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Rhode Island, United States

Monday, August 31, 2009


I was lacking in the motivation department today; but not for Body For Life- for cleaning!

I had put today aside to clean and organize my room and closet; well I think that was a bit ambitious for on day. I am the biggest procrastinator in the world!!

At least I got my butt moving early this a.m. and got to the gym before the procrastination set in!

I drank 2 glasses of water and headed to the Y for my 1st (real) day of upper body strength training on BFL. I say “real” because two days ago I went through all the exercises at the gym with my mom-  and my arms are still sore from it!

Here’s what I did for my UBWO (upper body workout): 


Dumbell bench press

12 @ 10 #

10 @ 16 #

8 @ 20 #

6 @ 24 #

(1 min rest between each)

12 @ 16 # 

Dumbell flyes- 12 @ 16 # (no rest in between)


Seated dumbell press

12 @ 10 #

10 @ 16 #

8 @ 20 #

6 @ 24 #

(1 min rest between each)

12 @ 16 # 

Side raises- 12 @ 16 # (no rest) 


One-arm dumbell rows

12 @ 10 #

10 @ 16 #

8 @ 20 #

6 @ 24 #

(1 min rest between each)

12 @ 16 # 

(No middle set- missed it! whoops!)


Dumbell extensions 

12 @ 10 #

10 @ 16 #

8 @ 20 #

6 @ 24 #

(1 min rest between each)

12 @ 16 # 

Bench dips- 12 @ bw (body weight) ---> these were HARD!!


Barbell curls 

12 @ 10 #

10 @ 16 #

8 @ 20 #

6 @ 24 #

(1 min rest between each)

12 @ 16 # 

Hammer curls- 12 @ 16# (no rest)

Phew! Great workout! 

Total time: 50 minutes (a few over the intended 45!!)

When I got home I immediately whipped up a quick and filling breakfast- I was starving! 

Not the prettiest I know, but ½ cup oats cooked in 1 cup water, and 1 scoop chocolate protein powder was the perfect combo to hold me the next couple of hours while I began to tackle my cleaning challenge.

Two hours later and I had hardly made a dent... 

Meal #2 was 1 container 0% chobani and a handful of blueberries.

After making some progress, I had meal #3 around 1pm.

Delicious combo! 1 baked mini sweet potato (thought ahead last night!), ½ cup low fat cottage cheese spiked with some Mrs. Dash and sea salt (the cottage cheese is low sodium) and some deliciously fresh cherry tomatoes and baby carrots. I snagged a few more tomatoes after this pic was taken. Theyre just so good!!

Easy to whip up and very filling! I loved this!

I have to admit, I was pretty upset this afternoon. I tried on some of the clothes I bought less than 3 weeks ago for school and they’re VERY tight. So of course I had  a mini-breakdown and decided I was a disgrace to nutrition majors everywhere, yada yada, well a few texts to the boyfriend made me feel a little better and then I went for a 30-minute run to clear my head.

It helped a lot; I realize I’m not in the shape I used to be, but I’m working at it. And I am more motivated than ever to make this BFL challenge work. So I will!

I only had a small afternoon meal because I wasn’t very hungry- just a juicy nectarine to hold me until I made dinner (no protein, I know!)

Dinner (Meal 5) was fab though- I made my favorite Salmon with sea salt, black pepper, cayenne and garlic cooked with a tiny bit of EVOO, a slightly large serving of whole wheat couscous and some boiled asparagus. 

I made extra salmon and I’m glad I did!

I ate dinner by the TV and somehow ended up falling asleep to Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations… I never fall asleep by the TV, and never at 7:00 pm!! I must have been exhausted!

Well, I talked to the boy on the phone for a bit (trying to work out visiting schedules…I don’t have Columbus day off this year? Wtf??) and now I’m sipping Meal #6

And soon I will be off to sleep… but not without reading a couple chapters of Mastering the Art of French Cooking of course =)

Night all! 

Sunday, August 30, 2009


I'm happy to say today was a successful first day of Body For Life!!!

I woke up at 7am, chugged 2 cups of h20 and was at the gym by 7:30. 
I did my 20-minute HIIT and let me tell you... It was HARD!!!

Here's my routine: 
1 min @ 5.8
1 min @ 6.0
1 min @ 6.5
1 min @ 7.0
1 min @ 7.5
1 min @ 8.0
1 min @ 6.0
1 min @ 6.5
1 min @ 7.0
1 min @ 7.5
1 min @ 8.0
1 min @ 6.0
1 min @ 6.5
1 min @ 7.0
1 min @ 8.0
1 min @6.0
1 min @6.5
1 min @ 7.0
1 min @ 8.9 ---> Crazy hard!!!
1 min @ 4.0 (Cool down)
 Total time: 21:01 
Miles: 2.42
Average HR: 172 (wow, almost 85% of my max!!)

I came home and ate breakfast... 
1 container 0% chobani, 1/2 c Kashi Go Lean, small handful blueberries 
(I count the Greek yogurt as a protein because its so high in protein and low in carbs)

I spent the morning organizing my google calendar and doing laundry (yuck). 

My snack was fab... 

Chocolate protein powder + big squishy banana + 8oz h20 + handful of ice= heaven in a cup (and a half!)

Then my little sister proceeded to break my blender. 
Poo. Not happy. 

Lunch was delicious as well- I made a Janetha classic!!

1/2 c garbanzos, 1/2 c low fat cottage cheese, ranch seasoning, chopped up tomato and carrots on the side. 

My sis and I headed out to Staples for some back-to-school shopping (took WAY too long... giftcard issues, ugh)... and  I had this for a snack on the go:

Hershey's Cookies and Creme! I swear!!! Definitely buying this one again!

It didn't hold me until dinner though, I grabbed a small unpictured handful of grapes before cooking. 

Dinner was healthy but oh so yummy-
Baby baked sweet potato (love it!), Chicken rubbed with Spike seasoning and cooked in EVOO and chicken broth, sauteed mushrooms, steamed broccoli. 

Today's major project was this: 

I organized my pantry! Stuff we don't really use at the top, beans/cans/grains in the middle, 
breakfast stuff/snacks for my dad and sis on the bottom shelf... oils, dog food and onions/taters (and a large lunch box collection!) on the floor. I love organization! 

So it was a great day, clean eating, great exercise and I got a lot done. Oh, and I drank 10 cups of water and didn't even crave lemonade or diet soda!! Yay!

Ok, that's all for now folks. I think for meal # 6 I'll make another protein shake (minus blender... boo....)

Body For Life: Day 1

Good morning!!

And a good morning it is, because today is the start of my Body For Life challenge I  mentioned in a previous post. 

I'm so excited because both Janetha and Danica are also doing BFL at the moment, so it feels like I have some blogging-companions on my journey, as well as my mom who has come along for the ride!! 

Starting today, I will be  participating in the "challenge" for 12 weeks. The weeks consist of 6 days on, 1 day off (a "Free day" where you rest from exercise and get to eat whatever you want!). 

The basic principles are as follows: 
  • Eat 6 meals a day, 2-3 hours apart 
  • Balance your protein and carbohydrates equally, and add a bit of healthy fat too in a 40-40-20% ratio 
  • Add vegetables to at least 2 meals a day 
  • Count portions, not calories
  • Drink TONS of water!!! (10 glasses at least!) 
  • Workouts consist of 3 days of strength training (alternating upper and lower body) and 3 days of 20-minutes of HIIT (high intensity interval training)
  • Write everything down! Record your efforts every day, and read over your goals to inspire yourself =)
  • Always plan ahead 

My basic goals boil down to: 
  • lose the 7-10 pounds I gained over the summer
  • get back in shape and gain muscle
  • return to my healthy eating habits 
  • drink more water 
  • avoid bingeing just because "i can"- on regular OR free days 
  • regain the balance I strive for in healthy eating and exercise 
  • record all of my progress, from start to finish (I've already got my notebook!)
So that's where I'm headed! 

Because of the challenge and my impending school schedule... the blog format is going to change slightly. I am going to be posting my food/exercise once daily, along with other topics/points of interest I may post throughout the day (or I may not, depending on the day). 

So expect my recap of BFL day #1 this evening!

Have a great Sunday everyone!!


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Back in Action

Evening everyone!
Thanks so much for your support in giving me a little "break from blogging"... sometimes I feel that since I'm home I need to blog every meal, and that's not fair especially when I have a special guest over! But I'm back in action in the blogging world now (or, at least tomorrow morning) for sure! 

Lets see, where did I leave off? 

As promised, the second half of my Broadway Calzone. Perfect! 
We spent the afternoon in Garden City, window shopping at the bookstore and doing some stock-up shopping at Whole Foods (ground flax for $4.99? awesome!!). 
We had a lot of unpictured samples, and I had some Simply Lemonade on the way home. 

Back at home, I prepared dinner- Nick's favorite (remember anyone?)

We cracked open a bottle of Reisling from Flat Rock for my mom to try... 
She loved it! 
And we ate Garlic Parmesan chicken, blanched green beans and whole wheat couscous prepared with the tiniest bit of butter and some seasoned salt. 
It was delicious, if I do say so myself!
My sister's  boyfriend was over for dinner too, so my mom took us all out for ice cream!
Black cherry and Mint Oreo (with sprinkles, of course). I think my sweets cravings have been cured! 
Nick and I settled down to watch The Hangover  (hilarious!!!) and then drifted off to sleep. 

This morning I woke up early and said bye to Nick... it was sad, but unfortunately I'm getting used to saying goodbyes- I know it won't be too long until I see him again =) 

My mom and I started our planning day off with my fave on-the-go breakfast... 
Everything bagel toasted with cream cheese, large iced coffee. I also had a nectarine mid-morning. 

We went to the gym and I took her through the entire upper body workout for BFL. She's in good shape, but I think we'll both be sore tomorrow!

Lunch was the usual from Picnic Basket... 
Mmm... the Ed-wich... 

Then we proceeded to spend a ridiculous amount of money at Target and Trader Joes to stock up on healthy foods!!

My mom is going out to get pizza and watch Top Chef because I am long overdue in seeing the last 2 episodes!! Tomorrow we are starting Body For Life and I am so ready!!! 

To come.... 
  • A full BFL-plan post 
  • Wine tasting recaps! 
  • Possible new blog format...
  • Back to school fun =) 
I'm off to relax, 'see' you tomorrow morning! 


Friday, August 28, 2009

Bad blogger... again!

I've been a bad blogger yet again... I definitely deserve the bad blogger award right now- it's been a whole day since I posted and you guys are waaaayy behind... 
But I've been busy. It's my last day here with Nick and I'll be back to posting regularly soon. 

That being said, I've been livin' it up (maybe a little too much...) before starting Body For Life on Sunday. So here's how I've been eating and indulging... 

Wednesday night we got home from Canada, napped and really just wanted a relaxing evening. So we went out- the classic dinner-and-a-movie date. 

We ate at Kabuki, which I've mentioned before... and I absolutely love their take on japanese/asian cuisine! SO delicious!

We started with the obligatory HUGE calamari with sweet and spicy chili sauces...
Then we ordered some maki to share. Salmon, Tuna and Yellowtail spicy rolls (I ate 7 pieces of these)
And my alltime Kabuki favorite, the (not-so) angry dragon...  (I ate 3 pieces, plus the tail!)
Of course we had to go for dessert... the Exotic Bomba! 
3 types of tropical gelato in a white chocolate shell drizzled with chocolate and topped with a dollop of whipped cream... heaven. freal. 

And then we went to go see Julie & Julia!! I read the book about a year ago, loved it and was so excited to see it! Nick was hesitant to go see a "chick movie" but he ended up liking it (and I'll admit he said he could relate to Eric, Julie's husband! lol). We laughed and smiled throughout the movie. The perfect movie for the food blogger/chef-to-be and her boyfriend =) 

We were up late so we slept in pretty late on Thursday morning. 
I had some chobani with fruit (bananas and blueberries) and slivered almonds for breakfast... 
Then I proceeded to go on a quite painful 30-minute run. On top of my achy food stupid me didn't drink enough water and I got dizzy halfway through and had to walk for two minutes! At least I got out there, I guess. I came home and made Nick breakfast (garlic and herb french omelette with grated fresh parmesan, toast with maple butter and grapes) and hung out for a while before getting going. I snacked on some unpictured grapes as well. 

We met up with a friend a couple hours later to grab lunch at Pick Pockets and then go play mini golf and go karts!! We had an awesome time, and lunch was great- I got the Chicken Pick Pocket, which is eggplant, roasted red peppers, fresh mozarella, chicken and balsamic viniagrette all wrapped up. I devoured it! 
We did some window shopping around town and grabbed a gift for my best friend Danielle who's birthday is next week- she had her party last night so we had to grab a quick dinner before heading to her house. We grabbed calzones from Pier Pizza- I got the "Broadway" which consisted of chicken, mozarella, broccoli, onions and honey mustard. Sounds kinda weird, but it was AMAZING I promise!!
I ate half and saved the other half for today's lunch!

We went to Danielle's and had some strawberry cake... 
Happy early birthday Tira!!! <3 

Stayed up a bit late, woke up a bit late, but had a deeelicious breakfast... Crazy Burger- what else?!?!
I got an omelette with steamed spinach, sauteed mushrooms and goat cheese, plus homefries (because theirs are SO damn good, and NOT greasy at all!) and brioche, and fresh squeeze mango grapefruit juice. I drank all the juice, and ate 3/4 of the omelette, 3/4 of the homefries and left the toast. It was amazing and totally worth it!! 

Now we're hanging around, a possible shopping trip later this afternoon, and then I'm making dinner this evening! Have a great day!


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sails, tent poles and vineyards: Adventures in Ontario

Hey guys! 

Sorry I haven’t gotten the chance to blog since last Monday, I’ve been super busy and I lost service on the blackberry as soon as I crossed the border so I figured I’d do a full recap and do my wine-tasting reviews separate =)
I had an
amazing week- we went lots of places, did lots of fun stuff and even though everything didn’t go as planned I had a great time overall.

Get ready for a monster recap…

Note: Not ALL of my food/adventures are pictured! It was long enough already!! here are the hilights...

Monday- My dad and I woke up earlier than the crack of dawn to head to Sarnia. It was dark almost 5 hours into the ride, but other than that it went smoothly and we got there in record time. Food-wise, I already had my chance to McDonalds-rant about my breakfast, but the rest of the day was much healthier- we snacked on some fruit we brought and some TJ’s salt and pepper rice crips before stopping for lunch right at the border. We grabbed chicken sandwiches on toasted wheat with iced tea and then set out for the last bit of the ride into Canada. 

When we got to Nick’s house I said goodbye to my dad so I could spend a little quality time with the boy before dinner. My dad met us again in a few hours back at Nick’s house where his dad made a delicious grilled teriyaki steak dinner with potatoes and fresh Ontario corn.  
For dessert Nick and I went for a walk through the park and made our way to get some real-fruit frozen yogurt- I got mango pineapple, and it hit the spot! I was pretty tired after a long day of driving, so we called it an early night. 

Tuesday morning we grabbed some fruit and muffins and set out early to bring Nick’s mom to work and spend the day in Port Dover. Our first stop after dropping his mom off was the Pickard's peanuts where we got some fun treats to snack on throughout the week...peanut brittle, dried pineapple, beer nuts, and fuzzy peaches… mmm!

After the peanut factory, we headed down to Port Dover for a relaxing afternoon in the sun. We went for a very sweaty run (only got 20-minutes in due to the heat!) then retreated to the beach for a 30-minute jaunt in the ocean and some sun bathing. We topped off our fun afternoon with some friendly competition- an exciting game of mini golf! Nick beat me…but only by 3 points!
We did some window shopping in my new favorite shop,
  which happens to be the place Nick bought me the crystal necklace he gave me for my birthday…The Circle Game. How did he know that was one of my favorite songs growing up? Crazy!

After picking his mom up, we ate a nice dinner at a beautiful setting overlooking the beach at sunset. His mom and I split a greek salad and we all had fish and chips (I swapped the regular fries for sweet potato fries).

Wednesday- Nick and I were up and on the road again- this time for a run around the park. It was still warm but we made it 25 minutes instead of 20! We spent the day preparing for our camping trip- camping supplies at Canadian tire, food at the grocery store, drinks at the drugstore. It was an errand-filled day, but we split it up with a delicious sushi lunch at the Japanese restaurant in town (name). I got the Maki lunch special which included a small miso soup, salad with my favorite ginger dressing, and 2 sushi rolls- shrimp tempura and California roll. I devoured all but 2 of the maki pieces!

For an early dinner, Nick and I put together my favorite one of his recipes- Jambalaya!

I had a fun experience Wednesday evening- my first time in a sailboat! Well, a boat bigger than a dinghy that is. I headed out with Nick in his friend Kelly’s dad’s 32-foot boat for a race around the lake. It was a lot of fun, and they came in 3rd place! We grabbed one drink at the bar before making our way to the Pinery for the most disastrous camping experience in history!   

Let me start by stressing- disastrous doesn’t always mean awful. I had a great time camping, although not much went as planned. Since the tent is so easy to put up, I had nick on tent duty while I started the fire; figuring I had the hard job. Well less than 10 minutes later we had a blazing fire and the tent was…well, it wasn’t anywhere near up that’s for sure- Nick forgot the tent poles (in Rhode Island, nonetheless) and he had to rig the tent up to two trees to get it to stay. Needless to say, we were a little bit nervous we would wake up in the middle of the night with the tent on top of us. 

While the tent was being put up, I made us some jiffy-POP… when I say pop, I mean POP!... the side popped open in the process and popcorn proceeded to spill all over the fire pit, while burnt pieces of popcorn shot out of the pit everywhere! I was cracking up, it was THE funniest thing that happened all day. When the tent was somewhat rigged we enjoyed our half bag of popcorn and a s’more before heading to bed.

Yes, the tent made it through the night. =)

Ghetto rig: 

Thursday morning we woke up early enough to get a fire going and cook up one of the most unhealthy, but in my opinion, most fun campfire breakfasts there is… California Crackle! Yep, the only semi-valid excuse to eat cheez-its for breakfast. Gross, but delicious I promise. 

Eggs, maple sausage, crumbled cheez-its, and OJ on the side.

We went for a run around the dunes in the morning, then made our way 10 minutes away to Grand Bend for nice day at the beach. Well, our beach day never really happened…

We had a good lunch- I had a lamb burger (!!) with a salad on the side (picked around the ridiculous amount of dressing). 

Then we did some shopping around before the sky turned BLACK and we decided it was about tq-ime to head back to the car! Good thing, the sky opened up and it was one of the most intense rainstorms I’ve ever seen! So we packed up the very wet campsite and went back to Nick’s.

Not long after, it was sunny again. =( But our stuff was wet, so we decided leaving was a good decision and we opted for Taco Night at Nick’s with his friends instead. We even had a ‘campfire’- in the fire pit on his patio! We made monkey bread…

And I had one more s’more… can’t get enough!

A few too many rye & gingers were consumed and I woke up with a bit of a headache on Friday. We made it out for a nice bike ride anyway, stopping at Albert’s for bridge fries and chicken for lunch (yum!) and we laid out on the beach for a while. 
Around dinner time we went to Nick’s friend Kelly’s for a bbq- grilled chicken sandwiches, corn, pasta salad, way too many beers and chips… and we chilled out in the hot tub for a few hours. So relaxing! 

Saturday was a lazy day, we slept in, walked over to Kelly’s to get Nick’s car (we got a ride home after all those Keith’s :P) and made delicious nachos for lunch with leftover Taco night stuff. After lunch Nick needed to head out for a regatta and some bartending work, so I spent the afternoon with Nick’s mom. We went shopping downtown and had lots of fun! I got a couple nice things- a new bracelet, a new lunchbox, and Nick’s mom bought me yummy spicy pasta sauce from Salvatores which I can’t wait to use!! After a long day of shopping, Nick’s dad made a delicious dinner of barbequed chicken with his homemade bbq sauce, corn, roasted potatoes and some Ontario white wine!

Nick was done a couple hours later, so he took me out for a drink… we shared the Irish flight- I snagged the Guinness (yum!) and the Kilkenny, he grabbed the harp and the Smitwick's. After drinks it was back home for us, we had another early morning on Sunday!

Sunday morning we woke up just in time for breakfast before making the 3 hour drive to Niagra. We arrived around noontime just in time to meet our Crush On Niagra wine tour guide, Paul, right outside the hotel! He was great- very informative and we had a great Sniff n’ swirl wine tour- but I won’t go into too much detail now…that’s for the review post! Didn’t drink too much the first day, but we sure were hungry when we got back! We checked into the hotel where we dropped our stuff in our room with the huge bed (and Jacuzzi!!) and made our way down the street for an Italian dinner. I got the pasta primavera, and Nick got spaghetti and meatballs. Both were very good, but I mostly ate the vegetables and just picked at the pasta- I had a fluffy piece of Italian bread as well! 
The rest of the night was spent wandering Niagra. 

We played at the Ripleys museum... 

And found Candy Mountain!!! 
We left with our kidneys ;)
Plus this loot... 
Fun times!

Monday morning we went for a  gorgeous half-hour walk along the falls...

and then made our way to brunch. Not healthy by any means, but my favorite breakfast is Eggs Benedict- and it was vacation! So I got Eggs Benedict, which I ate all of, and it came with homefries (had one bite and decided it wasn’t worth it) and a fruit cup (ate it all of course!). We needed something big to hold us because this was breakfast AND lunch- our tour was just after 12! 
Again, I won’t go into too much detail about the wine tours just yet, but let me tell you we had SO much fun on the second day! Our tour guide, Richard, was hilarious, and we drank some truly wonderful wines. 

We DID get pretty tipsy by the end of the 4 wineries… so it was dinner time again when we got back to the hotel! This time we had Mexican… we started off with this yummy Mexican bruschetta-type appetizer (don’t remember what it was called!) and for dinner I ordered the chicken burrito, which I ate almost all of (yes, it was huge!) it came with rice and beans, which I had a bite of each.

Mexican is never complete without Margaritas!!

Later that evening we went up the Skylon tower for a beautiful view of the falls at night. Too bad I didn’t get the best pictures!

Tuesday morning it was time to head home, but we stopped at Tim Horton’s for iced coffees and bagels (mine was the good!) and went for a refreshing run along the water. We grabbed lunch before we left- a fabulous Indian buffet!! $8 for all this deliciousness? Awesome!

We just laid around in the afternoon when we got back to Nick’s, and then made dinner- my famous burgers with caramelized onions, corn, roasted potatoes and Shiraz we got on our tour. Perfecto!

Dessert was a shared cup of Oh Henry ice cream…best way to end the week!

And yesterday we headed home. Just the usual travel-type food- muffins on the road, coffee, orange pieces, dill popcorn and subway sandwiches for lunch… no pictures, just traveling. I did spend the trip typing up blogs and getting all of my BFL stuff in order… but more on that later =)

I’m glad to be back!

**Wednesdays dinner and this morning's breakfast is to come later!!**