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5 Doggie Myths My Dog Busted

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Happy Tuesday!

Oh man oh man today's been cray-zay. Let's just say that today I learned why I am a stickler for routine and structure, because I learned exactly what happens when I try to move things around.

But first, let's back up to last night.

emoticon emoticon Last Night's Dinner emoticon emoticon

Actually, the craziness started last night. The phones for our business would not stop ringing last night and as a result, we didn't eat until after 7 pm (we work at home). So yes, I was like totally starving by the time dinner was served (a common theme in these past few days it seems), but I did stuff myself with a ton of water to tide me over until dinner.

On the menu: steaks!

That's my guy. He's the grill chef in the family. Steak night is a teamwork effort in my house that I enjoy: I do the marinating, and he does the grilling. Works for me!

Bruno tries his paw at being grill chef. Unfortunately, he doesn't look too into it, ha. (Err, excuse the condition of the planter, will you? My talents revolve around eating, not gardening, ha)

The end result:

One juicy 8 oz filet mignon marinated in soy sauce, olive oil and various seasonings + a whole lotta steamed broccoli = dee-leee-shus.

There was no dessert because by the time I washed all the dishes and fed the dog, it was past 8 pm and I was EXHAUSTED - too much so to eat dessert or - gasp! - play Candy Crush. I probably got found rounds in before I waved the white flag and went to bed.

emoticon emoticon Breakfast emoticon emoticon

I must have slept super soundly because I woke up ten minutes earlier than usual, hooray! (I can easily sleep 12 hours. Next to eating, sleeping is my second most favorite hobby.)

I started this morning off with my regular cup of toasted hazelnut joe with two tbsp of soy creamer:

Today was an unconventional day for me. This is my typical weekday:

emoticon Wake Up
emoticon Coffee!
emoticon Feed Dog
emoticon Workout with Dog
emoticon Stretch
emoticon Breakfast
emoticon Work

What actually happened today:

emoticon Wake up
emoticon Coffee
emoticon Go to breakfast at a local diner
emoticon Feed dog
emoticon Work (impromptu - I had to put together some paperwork for a client ASAP)
emoticon Tell the dog and cats to settle down
emoticon Work (more ASAP stuff)
emoticon Grab the cat toy out of dog's mouth
emoticon Work (ASAP stuff)
emoticon Tell the dog to stop barking
emoticon Work (ASAP stuff)
emoticon Let the dog outside
emoticon Work (ASAP stuff)
emoticon Let the dog inside
emoticon Work (ASAP stuff)
emoticon Take the dog on a workout to exhaust him!
emoticon Stretch
emoticon Work

Lesson: keep to the routine, it's there for a reason. emoticon

Anyway! The reason why we went out for breakfast is that a local diner was celebrating their 54th anniversary. Every year, they celebrate with classic cars, music and menu with prices that reflect how much they charged when first opened:

In case you can't read it, it's bacon or sausage, 2 eggs and pancakes for only $1.25! They also offered pancakes for $0.60 and dollar pancakes for $0.70. It's something we plan on every year, so I wasn't going to skip this just because I'm living healthy. Moderation, right?

My breakfast eats:

Two eggs over easy, two sausage patties and two pancakes plus sugar-free syrup (unpictured). By the way, I didn't eat the butter, which isn't a big deal since being Chinese I didn't grow up with butter anyway. No loss there. emoticon

And our awesome receipt for brekkie:

Whoop! Wish every day was 1959. :)

While it was fun attending the celebration and even more fun eating pancakes for breakfast, I admit it wasn't the brightest idea to eat it to begin my day because I was really tired when I got back home. (This is why I prefer to eat pancakes at night, when I can just roll over and go to bed after, ha!)

I tried very hard to pep myself up with a cup of lightly caffeinated jasmine tea:

It worked to help me pep up to go for that workout with the dog who was driving me INSANE with his energy (the cats were no better - those little devils instigate half the madness), but I kept getting interrupted with work stuff! It wasn't until mid-morning when I finally got the guy outside for a little walk-run.

emoticon emoticon Fitness emoticon emoticon

If I didn't have the dog, this would be the prime morning when the "I don't feel like it" excuse could have gotten me out of today's workout, but the trouble - ahem! I mean BENEFIT - of having a dog is great for keeping one on track activity-wise.

Being an "off day," we completed an almost 40-minute workout consisting of Couch to 5k Week One. Since we are on Week Three now, it was easy peasy yet got the dog tired enough to do this:


Today's visitor during my stretching included that furry beast again:

It's a blurry pic, but you can see that he just plopped down in front of my while I did the butterfly stretch. Silly dog!

Eventually he moved towards the back of the mat so I could finish my little session:

Thank you Bruno, for being so considerate. :)

There are no lunch pics today because it's late afternoon and I'm STILL stuffed. Actually, I'm extremely stressed too, which often times holds my hunger at bay and makes food appear nauseating. I'm the opposite of most people: I eat when I'm deliriously happy and can't eat when I'm under stress or sad. And since I'm pretty happy almost every day... you get the picture. :)

emoticon emoticon 5 Doggie Myths My Dog Busted emoticon emoticon

During our workout, my mind drifted as it usually does, but today it was in reflection of my time with my dog. This is my first dog really, and I love him so, but my fiance and I throw around some terrible jokes where Bruno is the butt of them because he is just so unexpectedly so not what we thought we were getting when we decided to get a dog.

emoticon "Dogs are wonderful, natural alarm clocks." emoticon

While this was so when Bruno was a puppy, THIS dog will throw you dirty looks when you try to get him up in the morning. any time earlier than 7 am will get you a mean left hook with his paw (most days he won't even respond to treats) and any later, if he's hungry, he may be willing to get up.

emoticon "Dogs make ideal running partners." emoticon

HAHAHAHAHAHAAAA! My dog HATES running. He used to hide in his crate during early morning runs and have even gone so far as to fake sleep. I've eased up a bit and tried to make it more fun, but you can still tell that he prefers to go on workouts consisting of hiking and walking only. P.S. The only running he loves to do is uphill. All else is walk, walk, walk unless I give him no choice.

emoticon "Dogs don't always get along with cats." emoticon

Oh this is a goodie. I used to worry about the cats before I brought a puppy home; I never would have guessed that it's the CATS that terrorize the dog! Because Bruno is good-natured in general, he loves, loves, *loves* them despite the fact that some days he gets two swipes to the face before breakfast. It's hilarious to see him so eager to join the cats in their napping parties only to receive growls and looks of vast annoyance. Poor pup!

emoticon "He won't grow more than 40 pounds, tops." emoticon

This was told to us by his foster parents, and we ate up that prediction like the naive little wannabe dog parents that we were, happy that we were not adopting a dog that will take up half the house. We were not laughing when the puppy grew, grew, and grew to a massive 78 pounds - almost twice the prediction. Whenever we come across a litter of puppies and hear the same prediction come from the foster parents' mouths, we can't help but roll around the floor laughing because that never seems to be the case. (Sidenote: a few years back my best friend adopted a "miniature" poodle that grew to 30 pounds. Boy was she surprised!)

emoticon "Mutts are healthier and cost less long-term in healthcare." emoticon

First of all, let me just say that I fully support the adoption of mutts because for the most part, they are healthier. As for this dog, however, guess who spends around $120 a month in allergy pills??? Oh yes. As it turns out, he is a little allergic to grass and develops hot spots in a drop of a hat that results in fur loss. (This is common in pit bulls and Bruno is a Pit-Shepherd mix)

By the way, this was written in jest, because if you can't tell by ALLLLL the pictures of the pictures I've posted over the past week, we LOVE our dog. I am even willing to admit that we are Those Fur Parents who truly consider their dog as their kid. We just think it's hilarious that we ended up picking a dog that truly defines the slang "lie like a dog." Ha!

See ya tomorrow. :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NOMORECRASH 7/30/2013 6:04PM

  some days are like that.

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Rules for My Success

Monday, July 29, 2013

Hap-Hap-Happy Monday!

I wish I could tell you that I went straight to sleep last night, but I didn't. My fingers itched for “just one more play” at Candy Crush, and … well, you can imagine how *that* worked out.

So anyway, I was supposed to start waking up earlier this morning – ha ha and another ha. My fiance accomplished the feat, but me? I grumbled a bit, rolled over and crashed out again. It wasn’t just me, by the way. My dog was just as interested as sleeping in as were my two cats. I call this bonding.

emoticon emoticon emoticon Last Night’s Dinner + Dessert emoticon emoticon emoticon

If there was one bad habit I could not shake this past weekend, it’s that I kept running into situations where I am starving and willing to eat everything. And by everything, I don’t mean being indiscriminant about my food choices, I mean willing to *eat everything in sight*. Not good. Thankfully, my fiance suggested California Fish Grill, a rather healthy place to for dinner. I did order quite a bit for dinner, but at least it was all wholesome and healthy. I started with a side salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing:

And followed it up with Cajun-grilled barramundi over brown rice (I know it looks white, it’s definitely the lightest brown rice I’ve ever seen) with a cup of coleslaw and a plate of grilled zucchini. I ate part of the rice and saved the rest for my dog.

After dinner, I nibbled on two servings of frozen grapes and then followed it up with some good rounds of Candy Crush. Aside from sleeping a little less to accommodate my digital addiction, it was a good day and a good night. emoticon

emoticon emoticon emoticon Fitness emoticon emoticon emoticon

After a good night’s sleep, I woke up bright and early with a cup of flavored coffee and soy creamer.

Coffeecoffeecoffee oh how I love coffee. If it weren’t for coffee, I couldn’t catch up with this guy:

Er … that is my dog who is always looking for ways to make it to the kitchen where the kitty dishes are. As you can see, my dog is a foodie and an emotional eater like his mama. We both need boundaries and rules when it comes to food!

Speaking of this guy, today we embarked this workout:

YeeHAW! It’s been almost two months since I ran more than 1:30 at a time. My heart was pumping, sweat poured out of my pores and I kept checking my watch at the 2 min point to see how much time was left. As for the dog, I think he was a bit surprised at how long he had to run (“*Are we done yet???*“), but not only was he able to complete it, he was able to trot it out in the 9 minute miles – a massive improvement from the 11′s he used to do.

After Bruno got his post-workout ice cubes, he decided to visit me while I stretched and started licking the salt off my skin.


Unfortunately, even though I was a little wiped after the workout, Bruno still had a little left in the can. It wasn’t until his daddy played ball with him that he *finally* tired out. Where exactly does all this energy come from?

Whereever he gets it, I’d like to bottle it up and get some of that, ha.

emoticon emoticon emoticon Breakfast emoticon emoticon emoticon

Since the first half of Mondays are crazy around here, last night I made a point to put together ingredients for Cinnamon Apple Overnight Oats in a bowl and stuck it in the fridge. Post-workout, all I had to do was pull out the bowl and eat. WIN.

In the mix: 1/2 an apple, 1/3 cup oatmeal, 4 oz Greek yogurt, 1/3 cup almond milk, many shakes of cinnamon, 1 tsp sweetener, and 1/2 tbsp chia seeds. Stir, refrigerate and eat for breakfast. Delish!

(Sidenote: I had a HUGE craving for Pop Tarts this morning, like one brown sugar pop tart and a strawberry one. Um, where on dog’s earth did THAT come from?! Talk about a sugary breakfast. Sooo glad I don’t have that anywhere in my kitchen, because admittedly my willpower’s been running and hiding from me a lot lately.)

emoticon emoticon emoticon Lunch emoticon emoticon emoticon

After a busy morning with work, it was time for lunch. I love mealtimes – in fact, sometimes I think I live for the next meal.

A sizable salad containing spinach, shredded carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and raisins for sweetness. Add a chicken breast, top with salsa and – whoop! And easy and filling lunch for another win.

emoticon emoticon emoticon RULES FOR MY SUCCESS emoticon emoticon emoticon

I’ve thought in the last few months how I’m going to succeed in my 104th attempt to maintain healthy habits. I’ve said that I’m okay with failing as long as I get back up, but the failure part still really bugs. What did I do wrong? Why can’t I keep the weight off once I get it off? This required a lot of soul searching and complete honesty with myself.

What I think might be my problem is that because I love goals and am ambitious by nature, I can never pace myself. It is always 100 mph or nothing, which as we all know is a recipe for disaster. And while achieving the goal itself is exhilarating, there is a quick, sharp dive that always follows, because it seems that now “over,” when in fact – as most maintainers will tell you – that’s when the REAL work will begin.

So for the first time, I am forcing myself to focus on the journey instead of the end result, because what’s the point of the accomplishment when it’s just going to unravel itself, right? Further, whatever plan I think of, can’t be just about weight loss; it has to carry into maintenance mode. After all, wouldn’t the healthy habits learnt during the weight loss period actually be the practice period for the real thing that we refer to as maintenance?

After many drafts, I finally put together a list of rules to help me be successful – and stay successful! – this time around:

Annie's Rules for Success

emoticon 1. Create only workout programs that I can physically, mentally and emotionally maintain long-term.

When I get into fitness, I REALLY get into fitness. I mean, just take a look at my old blogs – they make me tired just reading them! Admittedly, my grueling workout schedule helped me to attain a pretty rockin’ body, but was it feasible for long-term? Uh, no. Do I even have the time for that now? Oh puh-leeze, I wish. In the past, that program was possible because I didn’t work nor did I have a dog that took up my time and energy. (And, um, Candy Crush did not exist for me then, but – ahem! – hopefully that is an irrelevant point) So when it comes to cardio, sessions must be 1 hr MAX (40 min ideal) unless it’s something I’m doing for fun, like bike riding, hiking, or um, training for a half! emoticon

emoticon 2. Functional exercises and routines only.

Again, this goes back to #1: my craziness and red-hot passion many times fuels me to doing crazy workouts that actually don’t do anything for me outside of lookin’ good. Examples of functional: run because I should be able to outrun a potential captor (paranoid much?), cycle because it strengthens my leg muscles for running, plank because it strengthens my abs to hold a baby (yes, I have plans for that!), increase upper body strength so I can easily lug cases of water into my cart/car at Costco, strengthen my lower back to prevent back pain, etc.

emoticon 3. Know and accept my enemies.

For me, my #1 enemy is the wonderfully addictive and seductive sugar. In the past year, I’ve come to accept that I am a sugar addict, meaning I cannot stop at one chocolate truffle, one scoop of ice cream, or one slice of cake. When I try to stop, I start to obsess and have been known to drive to the local chocolate store and empty my wallet on the spot, and when I stop cold turkey, I do shake and become irritable. These are signs of an addiction, folks. :( Because of this, I can *not* do sugar in moderation, as it is all-or-nothing for me. It’s hard, because sugar is socially accepted, decorated so beautifully, widely available, and let’s face it: it feels darn good to eat it. Yes, you are supposed to consume things in moderation, but I can not to this with sugar. I can’t promise that I will succeed at this all the time or that I will avoid sugar for the rest of my life, but I know that at least for now, I have to try. (Side Note: Interestingly, I do not feel the same signs with sugar substitutes. I can eat a sugar-free treat and stop at one, so I know it’s not the sweet I’m addicted to.)

emoticon 4. Stretch daily to prevent injury and eliminate lactic acid.

As I mentioned yesterday, I am made like last week’s china and I need include this routine in my life every single day.

emoticon 5. Use SparkPeople’s Nutrition Tracker not just to track intake, but to plan meals as well.

Plan, plan, plan! Not only does this help to keep me on track, it takes the pressure off of last-minute decisions on what to eat – something I’m terrible at when I’m hungry.

emoticon 6. Stock my fridge with healthy food that is prepped and ready to “grab and eat.”

This is a super method that I’ve found lots of success so far, and I know that as long as I keep prepping and planning, I can and will continue to eat healthy. This includes chopping up veggies and distributing them into eight plastic containers for future lunches and dinners, keeping pre-washed broccoli (just microwave and eat), measure out grapes into containers and freezing them, and prepping my breakfast the night before for busy mornings.

emoticon 7. CHEW my food.

I am so embarrassed to admit that until earlier this year, I ate with the most minimal chews I can get away with before swallowing. Result? I was the fastest eater at the table… always, I ate more than I needed to because I wasn’t using up all the 20 minutes it takes to feel full, and I had stomach issues. One day, I just decided to become more conscientious about chewing and suddenly I became more full on less food, I was no longer reaching for other food to eat so I wasn’t the only one not eating, and my stomach felt so much better. This is HUGE for me in eating for my 5’0 stature – now I can eat the correct amount and feel satisfied instead of angry that I had to stop eating before I was full. Simple problem to solve, really!

emoticon 8. Eat non-healthy stuff in moderation, but absolutely NO ELIMINATING.

Oh boy, have I come a long way about eating in moderation. I used to be the one who would never ever eat under two helpings of anything ooey gooey and fattening; now I can actually put a tiny bit on my plate and feel good about it. The only thing I possibly have to eliminate – at least for a few months – is sugar, and I even have mixed feelings about eliminating that (50% of the time, I’m in denial of my addiction despite comments made about it by people close to me). So yes to that bread roll, mashed potatoes with gravy, Yorkshire pudding! Just not every day and at least a week between each treat. emoticon

emoticon 9. Aim for only ONE goal a month.

This is my Type-A speaking again. Love, love, love goals! However, in the interest of focusing on the journey, I am limited myself to one health-related goal a month to put my entire focus on, instead of three or more goals that I have to think, remember and divide my energy between in the 30 short days of the month.

emoticon 10. Get support, be supportive.

Hey, I’m not going to be shy about this: I NEED support. I need to be inspired, pushed and feel camaraderie in the journey. By the blog alone, I share my journey in hopes of reaching others that can relate in my struggles and celebrate with me when achieve something even so small as to make a better food choice. By supporting others, I re-learn and appreciate the struggles I go through and have overcome. By visiting other healthy-living blogs, I immerse myself in the community that is non-existent for me in real life. Out of all the strategies I list here in my list of ten, this is possibly the most important one of all!

There you go – my rules are now in print and out in the open. Next step for me is to DO IT. And I’m gonna!

Have a great Monday. See ya tomorrow!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LETSDOTHIS1977 7/30/2013 11:53AM

    I have to say your blog posts are making me crave fish, which is odd since I detest it. I will also have to give frozen grapes a try, never stuck grapes in the freezer. I think it's great that you are trying to pace yourself. I am trying to do the same. It seems like when I make up my mind to get healthy, at least in the past, I go overboard. Then of course I end up sick of it & go on a binge of eating & drinking all I want. Sounds like you are doing great! Keep it up! emoticon

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ELISA322 7/30/2013 5:30AM

    Oh I'm drooling over that fish, that looks great. I also love coffee and frozen grapes, they're like candy.

Sugar is a serious problem for all of us I think. It's definitely an addiction/obsession for me too, and I can't stop at just a serving either... or turn it down when sweets are provided at work no matter how hard I try.

You're inspiring me to do a food blog too!

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Linner or Dunch?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Hello and Happy Sunday! emoticon

We had plans to hike at Runyon Canyon this morning, but when I woke up, my calves, ankles and feet complained even though I wore my compression socks and took an Advil last night. Hmm, sounds to me like an excuse to skip a workout!

And thankfully, Bruno was in the mood to skip too – a rare occasion when he gets a super duper workout in a day before.

Sidenote: I’ve come a long, long, long way in determining what excuses are valid for skipping and what is not. The last time I ignored signs that indicated that I needed rest, I suffered a Grade 2 tear in my left calf that called for two months of crutches (this happened in 2012). Before that, I went through frequent and uncomfortable bouts of plantar fasciitis. Needless to say, I’ve learned my lesson. When I feel a certain ache in my joints and muscles that are beyond DOMS, I take the day off and rest. Learning this lesson’s helped me prevent injuries by pacing myself when I get too enthusiastic or Type A towards my goals. emoticon

Before I talk about today, let me brief over last night’s YUMMY dinner.

emoticon emoticon emoticon YESTERDAY'S LUNCH/DINNER emoticon emoticon emoticon

Speaking of weekend eats, I want to mention that we eat a little strangely around here on Saturdays and Sundays. We’re the kind of people who prefer to eat very little before a morning workout, so often by the time we are done exercising and ready for breakfast, it’s later in the morning and end up not eating lunch until about 3 pm. Eating lunch later then puts us in a weird timing mode for dinner, which we end up eating just a light snack or so at around 7. So… what really should I call this mean, Linner? Dunch?

As for yesterday’s linner (ha!), we decided to order takeout from one of our favorite restaurants by our house: 26 Beach. The problem? They are known for their burgers – and I wanted one! With a side of handcut fries? Yespleaserightnow.

Fortunately, I was able to talk myself out of it, but it wasn’t easy. It wasn’t until I started perusing their entrees that I remembered how many other delicious options they offer.

I settled on the Teriyaki grilled salmon with a double helping of sauteed vegetables, salad with a drizzle of soy miso dressing, and one slice of French bread. It was actually satisfying! I was happy that there were a ton of veggies on my plate too, because I was starving. As a last-minute decision, I did decide to drop a roll on my plate, but it was only after remembering that my “problem” isn’t so much carbs as it is sugar, so I can do white stuff in moderation.

A couple of hours later, I was feeling snacky again and instead of dipping my hand into our candy drawer, I satisfied the craving by reaching for two servings of frozen grapes I had stashed in my freezer.

SUCCESS! emoticon

emoticon emoticon emoticon SUNDAY BUNDAY emoticon emoticon emoticon

I started my morning with a quick walk around the block with Bruno:

My post-dog-walk coffee from our favorite coffee shop, courtesy of my fiance. I added two tbsp of my favorite soy creamer. Yum!

For breakfast, we stopped in at a local best-kept secret: Pepy’s Galley.

By the way, Pepy’s Galley was recently featured in a recent episode of Ray Donovan. We were really excited to see it when it popped up onscreen!

My breakfast:

Egg white omelette with spinach, bell peppers and mushrooms with a side of slice tomatoes. I ordered wheat toast, but I ended up being too full. I also happily consumed my fiance’s buttered crusts from his white toast – a real treat for me every weekend.

After breakfast, we did some errands, and then walked the dog again:

And then it’s Dodger baseball time in our living room. Go blue!

As for the rest of today, I once again have big plans for this:

CANDY CRUSH! Um, I can’t even begin to describe my addiction to this game to you. It’s the reason why I’ve gone to bed later in the last couple of nights and why I dive for my couch the minute I have free time this weekend. Maybe I need help? ;)

See ya tomorrow!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LETSDOTHIS1977 7/29/2013 10:36AM

    I'm not a fish fan, but I will say that looked delicious! And the omlet looks very yummy too. Looks like you ate great! As for the Candy crush addiction, my husband has it too. He is on some insane level, like 390 or something like that. I used to play, but it started ticking me off so I deleted it. Anyhow, looks like you had a nice weekend & I hope your Monday goes well too! emoticon

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PROT358 7/28/2013 9:12PM

    Your breakfast and dunch look delicious! emoticon

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CHERIJ16 7/28/2013 8:11PM

    Sounds like a fun weekend!

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Hiking Adventure! Also: Caffeine and Children

Saturday, July 27, 2013

emoticon emoticon emoticon SUGAR DETOX emoticon emoticon emoticon

As I mentioned here and there, I am a sugar addict and today is my Day 3 of zero sugar. Cold turkey, brr gobble gobble, that is me.

(Sidenote: should I mentioned I last ate sugar on Wednesday and, to celebrate my anniversary, I ate two desserts? A strawberry trifle AND sticky toffee pudding. Yup.)

All’s gone well except for yesterday afternoon: suddenly, I started shaking and felt a great feeling of irritation descend upon me. I was NOT happy and was VERY snippy towards my fiance. Poor guy! Even worse, while getting my nails done at the salon, they had the glorious, delicious, fabulous Food Network going on half the television sets. OhhhhEmmmmmmGeeeeee! The show I happened to watch feature Guy Fieri visiting several DELICIOUS diners in Chicago that served unFREAKINGbelievable pancakes that I do not dare to whisper on this blog. And then those Rolo commercials? I nearly jumped out of my chair to pick up some Rolos while making immediate plans to drive to Chicago at that very minute.

It was not pretty.

emoticon emoticon emoticon LAST NIGHT'S DINNER + DESSERT emoticon emoticon emoticon

I committed the cardinal sin of eating for weight loss: I left the house hungry without a snack on my person.


While negotiating dinner, I was so badly starving that I started naming about five different places to eat with full intention of ordering meals that would completely and unexceptionably blow out my calorie budget for the day.

Fortunately, we happened to approach an El Pollo Loco in our fast moving car and we decided on that ASAP before I could change my mind. I can’t say it was easy though; I was this close to barging down the door of who knows where and ordering half the menu!

El Pollo Loco’s Skinless Chicken Breast Meal with side salad, steamed veggies, an extra side of steamed veggies, two little cups of salsa and about 1/3 of the Lite Creamy Cilantro dressing. Delicious, and – would you believe this? – filling. Disaster avoided.

Since I ate dinner quite early, I got snack-y later, so I pulled out some frozen grapes out of the freezer (unpictured). Of course I absolutely preferred ice cream or candy, but I held my ground (easier as time goes on) and stuck to those grapes. Success!

emoticon emoticon emoticon SATURDAY, CATURDAY emoticon emoticon emoticon

I confess: I did not wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed this morning because I went to bed a little late. Why? Because of this:

Ahh!!!! Why must I not only be addicted to sugar in real life, but digitally as well? This is taking over my life. Ugh.

Anyway, we woke up early this morning with great big plans to head to our favorite dog park: Runyon Canyon. Runyon is one of the great gems of LA: not only does it provide you a beautiful shot of the Hollywood Sign after a short hike up some stairs, but it’s an amazing dog park where your dog can run and hike unleashed for acres upon acres. It’s one of our most favorite spots to hit with our dog on the weekends and we often go on both Saturday and Sunday.

Bruno, understanding patterns, knew immediately that it was the weekend, and weekend usually involves really fun times with Mom and Dad. (Sidenote: we were so tired that we almost skipped today’s hike, but guess who was running around crazily in the living room? With a dog, there is no excuse, ha!)

On our way to the park, we chugged some delicious flavored drip from our favorite small coffee shop (not pictured) and 1/2 a granola bar (the other half went to my fiance)

Today’s hike was typical: 5 miles in 2.5 hours. The weather was perfect: not too hot and yet not too cold.

We saw the usual sites, people and dogs, but today Bruno decided to get a little nature-y and spent more time exploring than usual. Maybe it’s because he knew I had a camera and wanted me to document his adventure?

Here he is in some dry bushes:

emoticon: “Look Mom, I’m a wolf in the wild!”

And of course I wanted a pic with my furry adventurer:

But then he started to get some ideas. There is a fork that he abruptly took – on his own! – and we didn’t realize until we looked up and saw him ABOVE us:

emoticon: “Who’s the boss now, muaahaahaa!”

Oh Bruno! emoticon

And because I am a mama-razzi today, I had to take a closer-up pic:

emoticon: “I will come down only for treats. When you get some, will talk.”

Since no amount of asking and pleading of him to get down would work (usually treats work, but we are both on a diet, so…), my fiance climbed up there to get him:

He then led him to the path to come back down:

Only to have him suddenly park his butt down – in a lazy sit, no less!

emoticon: “But Dad, I can see the treat store from here!”

We finally got him down and continued on our way. He seemed real proud of himself.

By the time we were done, Bruno was eager to get back into the car and pass out in the backseat.

It was a good day. emoticon

Post-workout, we got breakfast from one of my favorite places in LA: Kitchen 24 in Hollywood:

Egg white omelette with broccoli, bell peppers and mushrooms. Sliced tomatoes on the side. And special treat for me: buttered crusts from my fiance’s sourdough toast that gets nice and soaked in my breakfast juices (not pictured). Yum!

And a pat on the back for me for actually ordering something healthy when I wanted French Toasted super duper incredibly badly.

After we got home, guess who visited me while stretching? My little Zack-meister.

emoticon emoticon emoticon CAFFEINE AND CHILDREN emoticon emoticon emoticon

Yesterday, it occurred to me that society does not deem coffee as child-friendly, but a Coke or Pepsi is? They all contain caffeine, but there is also a lot of sugar in soda. At least coffee contains antioxidants, and if you add a little milk, you’d get some protein and calcium out of it.

Anyway, it would make sense to me that if children “should not” drink coffee, wouldn’t the same rule apply – and possibly even more so – for soda as well?

Food for thought. What do you think?

emoticon: Coffee? Soda? Pfft. I prefer Red Bull. (Ask my mom about *that* sometime)

I have big plans of doing absolutely nothing the rest of the day, which for me is the best plans of all.

Hope you’re having a great Saturday so far. See ya tomorrow!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ELISA322 7/28/2013 8:23AM

    Bruno is just too cute. I love his big pointy ears! I wish we had something like Runyon Canyon by us, but while I think it would be great for me I don't think my dogs would last two minutes out there.

I have a problem with sugar too. I was doing good for awhile when I cut it out and made my own sugar free desserts, but now I'm back to craving it again. I could totally do two, or three, or four desserts in one day... seriously. Have cake for lunch? No problem. Eat ice cream for dinner? Yep, I actually did that for almost two weeks recently, and one weekend I bought a half gallon of ice cream and finished that in two days (my poor husband got a couple of servings out of it). Speaking of Guy Fieri, Triple D seems to be on ALL THE TIME!

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Waffles n More

Friday, July 26, 2013

***Last Night’s Dinner***

Earlier in the week, I went a little crazy at Costco and bought four gigantic bags of broccoli. I’ve used one so far for the dog’s meals for the week, but that leaves me with three bags. Three! In a slight panic, I steamed up a bunch in the microwave (shake on seasonings, add 2 tbsp water, cover and nuke for 3 minutes 30 seconds and bam!) and paired it up with some rotisserie chicken. Simple, paleo-friendly, delish and best of all – filling.


Unfortunately, I haven’t been sleeping well as of late. It isn't anything health-related; it’s just something that happens when you are in your 30′s I think. Those adult responsibilities stack into worries too quickly and easily. emoticon

Last night, I decided to pull out the big guns. In great ambition, I pulled this out:

Made for babies, but strong enough to put down an adult. 30 minutes later, I was begging for bed and stayed passed out for seven hours straight. Awesome. emoticon


This morning we woke up to this surprise:

It actually rained earlier this morning! Being that I live in Southern California, it almost never rains past February or March – though we’ve had more than a few days of rain since this year. It’s a good thing though; it keeps brush from getting too dry and creating fires, which is prevalent at this time of year. Another good thing is that the humidity is so awesome for my skin. My hair though? No so much. emoticon

Being that we did a little running every day this week, I was this close to calling today a rest day, but it then it seemed that this guy was ready for action:

How could I say no? So off we went into the thickly humid morning.

Since both my dog and I both need to lose weight, a few weeks ago, we started the Couch to 5k program. Problem? My dog hates to run! emoticon Unfortunately for him, I won’t let up, so we've been doing Week 1 for three weeks. We've actually mastered it, but instead of moving on to Week 2, I’ve modified it so that three days a week, we run 1:30 with 1:00 rests at eight intervals, and on Tuesdays/Thursdays, we do the actual C25k Week 1.

So being that it's Friday, we completed eight intervals of running 1:30 and walking 1:00. Yeow! By the time we were done, I was a sweaty mess and the dog was busy panting. I call that a success. Here are the stats:

If you examine the pink circles in the chart, you will learn that my furry champ LOVES to run uphill. Crazy part? He'd rather WALK downhill. Hilarious mutt. emoticon

The great thing about this modified interval workout is that it *used* to put my dog to sleep for the rest of the day, but now not only has he mastered it, he takes like five less naps a day. In fact, no more than an hour after we were done with the workout, he was running crazily in the backyard. I take this as a sign to take it up a notch starting Monday!

After the cardio session, I pulled out my yoga mat for some good stretching time. Today, both my cats decided to use that time to visit.

It started out like this:

(That’s Zack on the left and Mya on the right)

Zack left and so I thought I was on my own again to stretch:

But then this happened:

And then this:

Obviously I never got the memo that stretching time should be spent with furry friends. emoticon


Toasted hazelnut flavored coffee with two delicious tablespoons of Silk soy creamer. Perfect for this rainy morning.

I’ve been on a bit of a waffle kick lately, so I took part of yesterday’s recipe for Cinnamon Apple Overnight Oats and made an apple-Greek-yogurt blend to top my Kashi whole grain waffles. Here’s a quick recipe:

Cinnamon Apple Greek Yogurt Waffle Topping

* Half an apple, diced
* 4 oz Greek yogurt
* 1 tsp cinnamon (more or less according to your taste)
* 1 tsp sweetener (sugar, Splenda, stevia, etc., more or less according to your taste)
* 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1) Combine diced apple, cinnamon, honey and vanilla extract in a microwave-safe bowl and stir well. Microwave covered for one minute. (this will give the apple a more “baked” taste and texture)
2) Add Greek yogurt and stir until well combined.
3) Top waffles and enjoy! (Hint: add chia seeds for extra staying power)


Mmm, how about a BIG salad filled with spinach, bell peppers, shredded carrots, tomatoes and topped with raisins! Add rotisserie chicken for protein and salsa for pizzazz.

*** TGIF***

That’s right, it’s FRIIIIDAY – the day I've looked forward to since Monday. ;)

Here are my goals for the weekend:

emoticon Hikes with the dog on Saturday and Sunday
emoticon Healthy egg white veggie omelettes for breakfast, fruit for snacks and meals consisting of protein + veggies.
emoticon No splurges – I need to at least get through this weekend of eating whole foods to detox all the crap I ate before Day One
emoticon Stay hydrated! 8+ cups of water per day
emoticon Remember to stretch after weekend workouts

A few things I’m planning for next week:

emoticon Wake up earlier. Egh.
emoticon Weigh in on Wednesday morning. :D
emoticon New cardio routine for the dog and I MWF. Right now, my tentative plan is to do a slightly modified Couch to 5k Week 3 plan. Instead of two intervals of running/walking 1:30 and running/walking 3:00 minutes, I’m considering doing three. Currently we run for a total of 12 minutes a day; using the 10% rule, we should be increasing to a maximum of 13.2 minutes max. When you calculate the run times for my modified version of Week 3, it comes up to 13.5 minutes.
emoticon Create a new strength routine. My current (very sad!) routine includes only one 1-min plank and one 1-min superman a day. Current considerations include using my Nike Training Club app again (awesome!)
emoticon A strategy to eat healthy at Wednesday night’s baseball game
emoticon A hair appointment next Friday! Nothing like a new ‘do to encourage me along this road.

And in the near future:

emoticon I’d like to brush the dust off my recumbent bike and get my quads in order TTh
emoticon Start the 100 Push Up program again. The last time I did this program, I reached 75 push ups or so and decided that I was bored and quit. I still agree that it’s boring, but I can’t argue its effectiveness – and the mad guns I end up with!
emoticon Eventually I might want to start running alone without the dog, then when I return, run with the dog. Sounds ambitious, but my dog tends to run really slow; I feel this is the only way I can get myself tuned up for races. :)

That’s it for now, see ya tomorrow!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ELISA322 7/27/2013 2:04PM

    Haha, I have so much to say about this blog.

Sleep -- this has been a BIG issue for me the last two years. I think you're right about age too as I'm also in my 30's. I've tried everything to get more sleep but I feel like it's beyond my control. My lack of sleep has caused so many issues -- I'm cranky, I'm tired, I'm HUNGRY, I can't focus, I'm stressed, etc. I believe this is the biggest reason why I can't lose any more weight.

Your waffle/greek yogurt combo sounds amazing. I am addicted to Greek yogurt. It is like CRACK to me. I do all kinds of stuff to it to make it even more addicting. I had to stop buying the giant containers of Fage from Costco because I would go through it too fast!

Your pictures are too cute, I love both your kitties and dog... do you cook his food then?

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CHANGING-TURTLE 7/26/2013 5:30PM

    Great job, you inspire, keep up the good work!!! emoticon

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