AMSHARK's SparkPeople Blog AMSHARK's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Crock Pot Freezer Meals I saw a post about crockpot freezer meals on FB a while ago. This was huge news to me. I didn't know you could throw a bunch of ingredients in a bag, freeze them (including raw meat) and just thaw and dump them in your crockpot when you're ready to use them. <BR> Here's the original link:<BR>rockpot-freezer-meals-for-back-to-school/ <BR> <BR> I had planned on prepping a bunch of freezer meals when I was pregnant, so that we'd have healthy food t... Wed, 25 May 2016 09:28:10 EST (Re-)Starting Small I'm baaaaccckkk. Infertility, and pregnancy, and loss of pregnancy, and pregnancy again with complications, and infant twins (HUZZAH!!!), and lots of time logged in the NICU, and then the PICU, and medical equipment for both me and the little ones.... these things have pushed my diet and exercise farther back on my to-do list than I'd like to admit. Maybe I'll make a post that talks about some or all of the craziness that life has been around here. <BR> <BR> And now, I've returned to Spark... Tue, 24 May 2016 08:48:16 EST Loss of Fitness After Time Off Emotionally and physically, 2014 has been a rough year. So, I spent a lot of time using this as an excuse to eat without logging. (Which means, turning a blind eye to the amount and quality of the calories I was consuming from November through April). <BR> To make matters worse, there was a period of more than 6 weeks during which I was told that I could not run *at all* due to the medication I was on. A smarter person would have used this as an opportunity to diversify her workout, and... Fri, 30 May 2014 17:07:37 EST Sub-Freezing Half Marathon & Comfort Food I could focus on all of the weight that I've gained and kept since Thanksgiving, but I think I'll look at recent positives instead. <BR> <BR> Manhattan Half - Recap: <BR> This weekend I ran the Fred Lebow Manhattan Half Marathon in Central Park. My husband and I signed up for it weeks ago, and that turned out to be a good thing. If we hadn't pre-registered, we never would have left the house at 5:30 am on a Sunday in sub-freezing temps to do a race in the city. It was so cold out, I was h... Tue, 28 Jan 2014 18:56:48 EST So, I ran yesterday... ... I ran 5 miles at the park yesterday. It's amazing how freeing and easy a nice 5 mile run can be, when its not part of a larger training program. I felt like I could do two more laps, but it was really, really nice knowing that I didn't need to. <BR> <BR> For the first time ever in my adult life, I woke up in the middle of the night last night, and i could not fall back to sleep. I was up from some time before 2:30 (the first time I think I checked the time) until 5:00 am. I couldn't ... Mon, 18 Nov 2013 12:33:27 EST Logging for Realz As of tonight, we are back to hard core logging - not just logging estimates of what we ate, but carefully planning a day in advance, and weighing everything down to the lettuce on our sandwiches. (Though, we might ditch this *one* tiny item, because, really, weighing your cucumbers is annoying enough). <BR> <BR> I'm also seriously considering changing to the new tracking style that links your fitness/exercise tracking to nutrition tracking. Part of me thinks it would work better for me, a... Sun, 17 Nov 2013 19:04:55 EST short am workout I didn't get a big workout in today, but I did work out a little - so, I'm declaring a victory in weight training, and a draw for cardio today. <BR> <BR> I did legs - leg press, calf raises, leg extension and leg curl, and I did some core - knee raises on the captain's chair and crunches on an exercise ball. <BR> Like I said - no a lot, but considering that it's been almost a year since I last did legs, its an improvement. <BR> <BR> I didn't really do cardio today, except that I walked on... Wed, 13 Nov 2013 11:05:48 EST Life Between Marathons I ran my first NYC marathon on 3 November, and I'm already signed up for my 6th NJ marathon at the end of April. That leaves less than 4 weeks until I start my next 20 week marathon training program. My goal is to make the most of this time. <BR> <BR> I have blown the dust off of the elliptical machine, and I've now used it 3 times. I've also done 2 days of weight training. It's a slow start, but at least it's a start. I've also recently remembered that treadmills are good for both runn... Tue, 12 Nov 2013 10:35:41 EST 2013 NYC Marathon Starting with the positive - I ran the NYC marathon last week, and it was a really great experience - much more fun than I imagined it would be. It was worth the 2 year wait. The crowd support was amazing. <BR> <BR> My time was ok. I can't really complain about it, but I know if I had kept up with my training and proper eating, I could have been faster. I suppose the worst part of it is knowing that I didn't give my all to the preparation. It just feels like a lost opportunity. <BR> <B... Mon, 11 Nov 2013 12:54:25 EST Bad Blogger I'll admit it - I am a bad blogger. <BR> Come to think of it, I'm not such a good food or exercise logger either..... maybe this is why I haven't been blogging. I find my regression in healthy activities embarrassing. <BR> <BR> I am tracking some food and I'm doing a fairly decent job of hitting my training runs for the NYC marathon in November. I really need to log ALL of my food, and really be honest with myself about what I'm eating. (I know it can't be good, because my weight keeps cr... Thu, 22 Aug 2013 10:35:14 EST Cooking, Logging, Running I think I'm finally getting back in a healthy groove. I've been doing a lot of cooking, logging & running recently - and it think I'm starting to see some results. (It's always so hard for me to continue in healthy habits if I don't feel like there's any proof of improvement). <BR> <BR> So, we've tried a whole bunch of new Cooking Light Recipes in January. Since Friday we've made Roasted Cauliflower Soup, Seared Scallops with Bacon, Cabbage & Apple, Oven-Puffed Pancake, Thai-Style Pork St... Tue, 8 Jan 2013 14:29:28 EST Moving Forward Happy New Year! <BR> Today, I keep thinking, "Today is the first day of the rest of your life." <BR> <BR> I have a ton of holiday health sins to atone for - starting.... now. Wed, 2 Jan 2013 11:14:58 EST Ups and Downs On the upside, my 5K time is down. <BR> On the downside, my weight is up. <BR> <BR> *sigh* <BR> <BR> Focusing on the positive, I've PR'ed my last 3 5K races, and in one of them, I was dressed as a hot dog. (I know, right?) On Saturday, I broke 28 minutes, and on Sunday, I finally broke 27 minutes! Neither race was chipped, and there is a possibility that either or both were a little short, but either way, I'm pretty sure that my speed is improving for short distances. <BR> <BR> I can't ... Mon, 10 Dec 2012 15:49:58 EST Thanksgiving - lost the battle but not the war So..... it's been unbelievably long since I've blogged here. I've been doing a decent job of tracking calories & semi decent with exercise - but I just haven't been blogging. A whole heck of a lot has gone on since my last post... but starting with the most recent... <BR> <BR> Thanksgiving - Boy, did I eat this Thanksgiving. I should be used to having 2 Thanksgiving dinners by now, and some years, I negotiate the whole thing a lot better. This year, I knew I that I was piling too much on... Sat, 1 Dec 2012 11:08:00 EST depressed I can't seem to get excited about anything. I find my diet frustrating, my marathon training time consuming, my commute oppressive, my job uninspiring, ..... and I suffer from an overall lack of sleep and time in the day, .... and I feel like I need to force myself to care about anything. <BR> <BR> plus, I'm always freakin' hungry. <BR> <BR> crap. Wed, 26 Sep 2012 18:03:48 EST Tough Day Ahead It's not even 11:00 AM, and I can't stop thinking about lunch. <BR> Looks like it's gonna be a tough day. <BR> <BR> Plan of action: Drink a cup of tea and some water, and hold off until at least 11:30. <BR> <BR> My tea is brewed and on my desk, my water bottles have been filled. <BR> <BR> Commencing "Operation Don't Blow It On Monday Morning." Mon, 17 Sep 2012 10:51:55 EST Taking down my own road blocks I try not to get marathon training mixed up with losing weight. For me, they are two separate things. I just forget sometimes, but I really need to keep those things separate. <BR> My real goal should to not let marathon training interfere with my weight loss efforts. The problem is that marathon training is so time consuming, it becomes hard to find time for other exercise - most notably strength training. <BR> I think it's really just a mental shift that I need to make. If I think of ... Fri, 7 Sep 2012 09:32:55 EST Stop Blaming the Bloat I can no longer blame my weight ups and downs, ... but mostly ups to bloating. It's silly, and short sighted, and bound to get me in trouble very soon. <BR> <BR> It's time to get out of the "my weight is happening to me" mode, and it's time to take control. <BR> <BR> Needless to say, I'm still staying in my calorie range (only 1 day over 1560 in 3 weeks, and I'm only assuming that was over because I went out to eat and couldn't find reliable calorie counts posted on-line) - and I'm also hi... Wed, 5 Sep 2012 17:44:03 EST light at the end of the bloat-tunnel It's been a rough week at the scale, but I think I'm finally getting to the end of the bloatedness that is the joy of being female. My weight was down this morning - Hooray! - possibly a little too far down. I ran 8 miles pretty late last night & I was sweating like crazy. This morning, I slept in which may have led to a dehydration weight - the opposite of my last week of weigh-ins. So, I'll try to take this morning's weigh in with another grain of salt - I don't want to be disappointed ... Sat, 1 Sep 2012 13:40:14 EST Why would I weigh myself again? Because I'm a glutton for punishment, I suppose. I've managed to stay in my calorie range every day for the past 2 weeks (except last Friday - but my overage wasn't terrible). I've been getting some runs in, and I did 90 minutes of P90X yoga on Monday - but none of that, it seems, is any match for a good female bloat. <BR> <BR> My weight is up another pound today. (It's not real. It's not real. If I don't believe in it, it will go away when I open my eyes). It's pretty incredible to wa... Thu, 30 Aug 2012 11:11:26 EST Bloated -fun female weigh in Bleh. I'm feeling bloated today, in that special way that only females get to experience. Lucky us. Why isn't there any reference to PMS in the lyrics of the song "I Enjoy Being a Girl"? (I mean, there is when I sing it, but why not in the *real* lyrics). Because it sucks, that's why. <BR> <BR> Anyway, feeling bloated today, so I'm going to take my weigh in with a grain of salt. (Doesn't salt make you retain water? Hmmm... maybe I should rethink that). <BR> My weight was up a little t... Tue, 28 Aug 2012 18:59:19 EST I'm IN! NYC ING Marathon So, with 10 weeks until the NYC marathon, I just signed up to run for a charity. My husband has been signed up with the same charity since the Spring, and of course HE has been doing our usual 20 week marathon prep training. I tried to get in with the lottery, but I didn't make it. Even so, I was *planning* to train with him - you know, for moral support & fitness. But honestly, in the first 10 weeks of training (that's 50 runs) I ran with him less than 5 times. Boy am I feeling that now... Mon, 27 Aug 2012 11:47:35 EST Weight Loss by Default The good news: I'm finally seeing some downward progress in my weigh-ins. <BR> The bad news: It's only because I've had a head cold for a while, and food doesn't taste good to me. <BR> Whatever, I'll take it. <BR> <BR> I finally ran again after more than a month of taking off. (The last time I ran, I hurt my ankle in the 5th mile, but ran it anyway, which was dumb, because then my ankle really hurt for about 2 weeks). <BR> I ran in the park yesterday. It wasn't pretty. Honestly, there w... Mon, 25 Jun 2012 19:27:26 EST Link - Overcoming Negative Thinking I think I needed this today: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ion_articles.asp?id=614 </link> <BR> <BR> I've been screwing up a lot more than my diet recently. I haven't felt like I'm "good at my job" for months & months.... maybe a year or more. I can't remember. <BR> Every time I make a mistake, I feel it like a kick to the gut. <BR> <BR> Anywho, I think this article helped. I'm glad that I read it. Tue, 5 Jun 2012 13:22:19 EST Focus Today's focus will be ... well, focus. <BR> <BR> I need to maintain my focus on work, on eating healthy & resisting the urge to snack, and on leaving work at a decent time, so that a healthy dinner, a little exercise, and a decent amount of sleep seem possible. <BR> <BR> Because you know why you need to sleep? To help maintain focus! Mon, 4 Jun 2012 10:50:08 EST lunch blog I'm just finishing lunch (yes, at my desk, in front of my pc..... YES, I know that's not ideal; I'll put it on the list of habits to improve), and I thought it would be a good time to check into sparkpeople and blog. <BR> <BR> A little typing here, a little tracking there, a little reading (what's left?) .... somewhere else - I'm hoping this will distract me from snacking. <BR> No - let me correct that; I'm not just looking for a distraction, I'm looking for a way to refocus on healthy beh... Thu, 31 May 2012 12:17:01 EST Rough Going It's been rough going on the eating and exercising front for a while now. I've formed some really bad habits - namely, snacking past my calorie limit and not planning enough exercise. <BR> <BR> On the plus side, I did not get any snacks from the vending machine or cafeteria at work yesterday (hooray), but on the negative side, I ate kettle chips straight out of the bag when I got home. (I reasoned why measure when I already knew that I was over my calories - I know, that was really, really... Wed, 30 May 2012 10:51:48 EST Been a long, long time I haven't blogged in a while, ... and (doesn't this sound familiar?) ... I haven't been good about logging food & exercise ... which translates to - I haven't been eating well and exercising enough recently. *sigh* when will I learn? <BR> <BR> I ran my 4th NJ Marathon on May 6th. The weather was just about perfect. Overall, I had an enjoyable race, and a respectable enough time, but I was 10 minutes slower than last year's pace. I think it comes down to weighing 10 lbs more this year, an... Tue, 29 May 2012 12:46:01 EST Adding up Exercise Looks like Wednesdays are turning out to be days with a lot of smaller bits of exercise adding up to a nice big portion of exercise. <BR> <BR> This morning, I had a short run scheduled - just 3 miles - which I ran at a pretty good pace (if I do say so myself - and I just did). <BR> <BR> After work, I have Zumba scheduled, so that should be a good 50 minutes of cardio with a little bit of abs. <BR> <BR> And right now, as I type this, I am walking at 2.0 mph on one of the "tread desks" at wo... Wed, 11 Jan 2012 14:05:19 EST Doing Ok I'm doing ok on the diet and exercise. <BR> I'm still perfect on my scheduled training runs for the 2012 NJ Marathon. Of course, it's only week 3, so there's a long way to go yet. I need to do a little better on cross training - some weights, a little more walking, maybe yoga. <BR> My eating has leveled off a bit, but it's still not perfect. After a couple of good days, I ate some random holiday gift candy in the office yesterday. I don't really know what possessed me to eat it. I wasn't... Tue, 10 Jan 2012 10:18:16 EST On a Log Roll ... on a food logging roll, that is. <BR> <BR> I'm back in the game, and I'm weighing and logging my food this week. I still went over my max calories the last 2 days, because I had cookies or peanut butter (yeah, on a spoon,... thanks for asking *hangs head in shame*) - but at least I know about how much I was over. <BR> Which really makes me think how crazy my over eating must have been for the past few weeks. I ran over 20 cumulative miles last week and my weight was still up by sever... Fri, 6 Jan 2012 12:39:41 EST Blogging Helps You Lose Weight, So.... Something seems to be wrong with my weight loss ticker. It isn't showing any weight loss. In fact, since Thanksgiving, it seems my turtle has been moving to the heavy side of the bar. Huh. HUH. <BR> Do you think this is at all related to the enormous amount of Christmas cookies that I've eaten? No? How about the workouts that I've skipped? Maybe. Or the lack of sleep and the extra hours I've spent at the office, where there are snacks and treats a plenty. Oh, you think so? <BR> <B... Thu, 5 Jan 2012 20:43:33 EST Spark Page Update Time I was way overdue for an update to my SparkPage. As evidence, the title of my page was "Andrea's 2010 Resolutions".... *ahem* - yeah, whoops. <BR> But I felt sad to delete my old resolutions, so I've copied and pasted them here. Maybe I'll look back on these and reflect in the future. <BR> <BR> <BR> Andrea's 2010 Resolutions <BR> <BR> <BR> My first resolution of 2010 was to update my SparkPage. Instead of focusing on the positives of an accomplishment, I was honed in on the negatives... Tue, 27 Dec 2011 17:34:33 EST Struggling to Regain Focus I've been horribly off plan in my eating, exercise and sleep. Pretty much, I've just been a mess. <BR> <BR> I can't really explain why I feel like I am falling so far behind at work, but I have been having a really difficult time making progress on anything. I guess just like my diet, I have no focus here either. <BR> <BR> I haven't really screwed up so far today.... yet... and that's the best thing I can say about anything I've done for the last month or more. (I don't even know if that... Wed, 14 Dec 2011 16:08:11 EST Tough Mudder Tomorrow is the big day. My husband, brother, nephew, a whole crew of co-workers, and I are going to participate in the Tough Mudder event. <BR> <BR> To give you an idea of how crazy this is, here's a link to the course map: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>1/tri-state-2011-course-map/ </link> <BR> <BR> Right about now, I'm really regretting that I let my training fall apart several weeks ago. This is going to be SO TOUGH.... and I was really foolish not to con... Fri, 11 Nov 2011 12:57:45 EST Dealing with Fluctuations So, last week was not a perfect week for me as far as eating and logging... and the numbers on the scale reflected this... or, should I say, amplified this? <BR> <BR> I was on a good trend when I had a higher weigh in on Tuesday morning (reason unknown - water? menstrual cycle? forces of evil?). Tuesday night, I went to cooking class, where we sampled a chicken & quinoa salad, and I let the unknown mess with my head too much. I knew the sampling would put me over my daily limit, if I had... Mon, 31 Oct 2011 10:29:06 EST Addicted to the Scale So, it seems that I'm still addicted to weighing myself everyday. Maybe it's not the best habit, but I don't think it's the worst habit either. <BR> <BR> After a rough Tuesday last week, where my weight went up, the rest of the week went much better, as far as weigh-ins are concerned. My weight continued to steadily decrease, until it went under the low I had weighed on the Monday before my own "Fat Tuesday." <BR> <BR> And guess what! It's Tuesday again, and my weight is up again. Huh... Tue, 25 Oct 2011 10:56:50 EST Rough Day I knew this day was coming, ... it's all really a matter of how I handle it. <BR> <BR> The food tracking honeymoon is over. This morning was the first day that the number on the scale went back up. It's true, I did go over on Sunday, but I still tracked and I still should have burned far more than I took in because of the half marathon. (One bear, one baked potato, and a slice of french bread over my norm should not undo 13.1 miles at a 10 min mile pace). <BR> <BR> I also knew that yeste... Tue, 18 Oct 2011 16:36:58 EST Seaside Half Marathon - could have been worse Yesterday, I ran in a half marathon at the beach. By no means did I run my best time. In fact, I could feel myself dragging for the last 3 miles, .... but you know what? It could have been worse. <BR> <BR> My husband and I signed up for this marathon for 3 main reasons: <BR> 1) It was cheap ($35 & you get a t-shirt & lunch - wow) <BR> 2) It was pretty close to home <BR> 3) We hadn't been running very much at all since the NJ marathon in May. We needed something to motivate us to get back... Mon, 17 Oct 2011 09:13:55 EST Progress Ok, so I ended my blogging streak early - Work was just too crazy yesterday to log onto my blog - but I am still going strong on staying under the 1550/day calorie range. Hooray! <BR> <BR> I am particularly excited because I haven't felt hungry this week. In the past, when I've stayed within my calorie range, I've felt irritable and hungry. I think I may be spacing my meals a little better this time and pacing myself. It could also be that I'm not exercising enough... hmmmm... Maybe I w... Fri, 14 Oct 2011 11:32:43 EST The Start of Something Good It's spark streak time! I've started a mini-streak, and I'm going to try to see how long I can keep it going. <BR> I'm running again (not at the level that I was running in winter & spring, but still, I'm running). <BR> I'm tracking foods again. <BR> I mean tracking *all* of my food. <BR> And keeping within the suggested guidelines for calories, carbs, proteins & fat. (I have 3 days in the can without overeating, and today feels like number 4). <BR> Now that I think about it, I having a min... Wed, 12 Oct 2011 11:45:15 EST Eating Better & Feeling Better Now that I've finally fallen back into some kind of running routine, I've also (finally) started back on the healthy eating track. It's only really been two full days that I've tracked, and measured and *not* gone past my daily goal. So, of course two days is not enough time to see progress on the scale. (In fact I weigh a little more today than yesterday, but that's ok - It's got to be water or something). But apparently, 2 days is enough to make you feel better. <BR> I really do just fe... Tue, 11 Oct 2011 09:59:34 EST Cooking classes & zumba I just signed up for weekly cooking classes and a zumba class through work. <BR> I have to say, I am pretty excited for both. I have done zumba before, so I know that it's a fun class. The cooking classes are entirely new. They'll be led by a nutritionist, and they'll come with lessons on healthy cooking & eating overall. <BR> I feel very lucky that my job has started to provide these great offerings. I'm looking forward to posting about my cooking lessons. Mon, 10 Oct 2011 13:18:23 EST Back in the Running Saddle I use Nike + to log my runs. It's nice, because it keeps a good record of my training and my progress. It's great to look back and see how much I've run over the course of the year. <BR> <BR> ... but it also shows when I've been slacking. I was planning to take a running break after the marathon in May, but I think I've out done myself. I don't believe I've had any runs over 5 miles since that race. In the month of August, I didn't log a single mile. Not one stinkin' mile! <BR> <BR> G... Fri, 30 Sep 2011 09:56:45 EST Core Synergistics - Better & Worse than Thought I've finally hit the 4th full week of P90X, and I've done the Core Synergistics workout. I had watched the video the night before the workout (I like to get up early, so I can be done with P90X by 6:00 AM) - I wanted to see what I was getting myself into. <BR> <BR> I think the workout was both easier and harder than I expected. All of those banana poses were not as terrible as I thought... until we were half way through them, at which point they became really very difficult for me. <BR> ... Thu, 18 Aug 2011 16:20:43 EST P90X - Bring It. My husband & I started P90X before I left for China, but it was a bit hard to keep up with it so far away from home, and with the crazy hours of the conference in Beijing. <BR> <BR> ... but we anticipated this, and decided our first 2 weeks were almost a "preview" of the program. <BR> <BR> Starting this morning, we are back on the program, and making this a "day 1." The plan is to leave Monday as the rest/stretch day - maybe a good day to do a little running too. <BR> <BR> I am pretty exc... Tue, 2 Aug 2011 12:19:09 EST Back from China & Back to Tracking I spent 10 days in Beijing for work over the last 2 weeks - well, 8 days for work, 2 days for leisure, plus 2 airplane rides of over 13 hours each. I didn't recognize more than half of what I ate, which made tracking it very difficult, so I slacked pretty badly. On the up side, I did manage to visit the gym 6 times for some treadmill runs, & a little weight lifting, & a got a really sweaty walk in at the Great Wall in Mutianyu. <BR> <BR> I've honestly been back for a couple of days - and a... Mon, 1 Aug 2011 09:56:53 EST Travelling for Work is Bad for My Health I am so disappointed in myself for how I handled my trip to Seattle last week. I made mostly ok food choices, but I ate too much (especially snacks, which I never really needed) and I did not exercise at all. I didn't even step foot outside of the hotel where the board meetings were being held. Not even once.... and certainly not to cross the parking lot to the hotel gym. <BR> <BR> No wonder I came back Sunday morning feeling bloated and slow. Although there was hardly a waking moment whe... Mon, 27 Jun 2011 10:55:46 EST Me vs. Small Weekend Set-backs I had a few small set backs this weekend, but all in all, I am ok with how I handled it. <BR> <BR> I spent all day Saturday at a Toastmasters district conference, which means I wasn't home for any meals. Since I was out of the house from 7:00 AM - 11:00 PM (and, since I didn't plan well enough to get up very, very early) I didn't have any time for formal exercise. <BR> Fortunately, since I knew what I was getting in to, I tried to be cautious. I did my best to log my food for every meal and... Mon, 16 May 2011 14:30:42 EST Let's Go Streaking!!! .... Bring your green hat! <BR> <BR> Whenever I am training for a marathon, I tend to let my eating habits slip. I justify an extra snack (gotta keep my energy up, right?), another ounce or two of wine (what's an ounce, among friends?), an extra sprinkle of cheese (a mere slip of the wrist), a post 5K doughnut (oh race organizers, why do you tempt me so?), or unmeasured chocolate (if ever there was a time to get out the food scale, this would be it. Good thing I know exactly how many grams... Thu, 12 May 2011 12:26:36 EST