And, I’m Off…

16 04 2010

Hi….um….Lemonheads?  Will that work?!?  It’s my last day for nicknames and I can’t think of anything!!  :sad:   Does that mean I FAILED at this quest?

You’re probably wondering what I’m doing here, huh?  I thought I was going to have 3 guest bloggers lined up, but it looks like it’ll only be two, so I figured I’d say goodbye to my favorite peeps before I head up north :grin:

Very simply…

Today’s workout went well.  I was slightly timid on my run because of the knee and didn’t push it as much as I could/should have.  It didn’t hurt at all while I was running and I was able to bust out 4 miles.  Mr. KD and I completed the Legs & Back portion of P90 again this morning.  This is a great workout that really gets your legs burning!  My knee was okay for the most part, but there were definitely a few times where it just didn’t feel right.  I’m so unimpressed by it, honestly :evil:

After out workout, I had another protein shake before hitting the shower.

Since I’m off today, I got a bunch of stuff done around the house and packed for my trip.  After that was all said and done, I settled into the MOST decadent breakfast known to woman.  Seriously.  It was the best batch of oats I’ve ever eaten.

I decided that since I’m on a mini “vacation”, it would only be proper to kick the weekend off with a dessert-like bowl of oats.  I knew I wanted it to be sweet and something I would never make myself on a normal day.  I definitely wanted to step it up a notch and found inspiration in a jar of maple butter I had leftover from Easter (I mixed it with butter for the cornbread). 

The only ingredients are: Organic Maple Syrup and Inverted Organic Maple Syrup.

I’m not exactly sure what the latter means, but I can tell you it is lights out.  You have to enjoy really sweet things because it’s basically solidified maple syrup, which makes it somehow sweeter if you can imagine that.  A little definitely goes a long way.  This is a good thing because while it’s a natural source of sugar, it’s STILL sugar.  Once I found this puppy, I knew exactly where my bowl of oats was headed!

In the mix:

  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/4 oats
  • 1/4 almond milk
  • 1/4 water
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed
  • 1/3 cup cottage cheese
  • Dash of vanilla
  • Pinch of salt


  • 1/2 banana
  • Maple Butter (Melted in the microwave for 1 min and drizzle on top)
  • 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp chocolate chips

Do I actually have to put in words how good this was?  Good.  Because there aren’t any.  It was so, so, so delish.  It’s definitely not a breakfast that I would have on a regular basis, but I can tell you it was worth every splurge calorie.  Holy delish!

In fact, this was so filling that it held me over through lunch.  Starbucks sent me a coupon for a free drink due to my upcoming birthday :smile:   I happily obliged and stopped over to get a tall skinny cinnamon dolce latte (unpictured).  Heavenly!  I had this around noonish on my way to the mall where I picked up Mr. KD’s birthday present (shh!) and some summer scents from Bath & Body Works!

Do you change your scents with the seasons?  In the winter, I’m an amber and vanilla girl.  In the summer, I’m all about coconut lime.  This year, I also bought the new vanilla coconut smell.  It smells outrageously good!

At around 3:00, I got home and heated up last night’s leftovers and tossed the remainder of the pork onto the plate, as well.  I didn’t eat the whole thing, but came pretty darn close.  It was a protein feast after my carb overload this morning!

Okay, I am officially unplugging for the remainder of the weekend!  Can’t wait to chat on Monday!  Have a safe and lovely two days!!!

Question of the day:  What’s the best breakfast you’ve ever created?  Or, if you’ve never created anything spectacular, spill on the best you’ve had!

When Your Body is Talking To You…

14 04 2010


Oh, my little Jujubes (Gross!).  Why is it so hard to listen to your own advice sometimes?  I love motivating others to be well and offering advice like nobody’s business.  When it comes to heeding said advice, I – well – flat-out stink at it sometimes.  Allow me to explain…

On A Fitness Level:

During our first plyo workout last week, I felt a slight twinge in my right knee.  Of course, that didn’t stop me from plowing through the workout and posting a sweaty picture of my Heisman pose after.  A few days later, I bent down to put a DVD in, and literally almost fell over from the sudden pain in my knee.  I’m talking seeing stars.  It came out of nowhere.  What did I do about it?  Nada!  Instead, I continued on with my regular routine.

This week during work, I’ve noticed that my knee is extremely painful when walking up and down the stairs.  The pain strikes and then the knee almost feels like it’s going to give out.  It’s worse in heels, so I’ve surrendered to flats, figuring this is a fair compromise.  Believe me – this is TOUGH for me!  I love heels and own approximately 345 pairs.  I’m digressing…. 

The funny thing with this knee is that it doesn’t hurt when I run.  It feels mobile, loose and just fine.  I’ve had no issue.  However, ask me to walk up and down the stairs a few times in my best heels and you’ll send me into the fetal position.  I’m completely perplexed by it.

I’ll be honest, I’ve never really had an injury before (knock on wood) other than an IT band issue once that was easily solved by a few days’ rest and some ice.  I also tore a few muscles (I think) in my right shin/calf area last year around Christmas, but thanks to the flu, I was out of commission for over a week and they healed up on their own.

I’ve been assuming that because the knee only hurts at certain times, I’m fine to go about my daily routine.  This morning, I decided to take a break from running and hit up the ArcTrainer.  As soon as I cranked the incline up to “5” (it starts at “3”), my knee pain came out in full force.  It literally almost took my breath away.  However, it wasn’t consistent and when I worked at a higher incline, I felt no pain at all.  Because I learned how to work around it, I finished up my 45 minutes and came home to hit the shoulders & arms workout on P90 (such a great workout, btw.).
I’m not sure where I’m going with this other than to admit that I clearly haven’t been paying much attention to my body.  CLEARLY, something is a bit off.  I shouldn’t see stars when trying to put in a DVD.  But, because I’m stubborn and love my workouts, I’ve told my knee that it’s not the boss of me.  In fact, I wouldn’t say I’ve been “secretive” about this pain, but I haven’t even told Mr. KD that much about it other than to say, “my knee feels a little funny sometimes.”  What I really should be saying is, “The thought of climbing up and down stairs leaves me terrified and grasping the railing for dear life.” 

So, now that I’m here, what shall I do?  My thought process: I have yoga on the schedule tomorrow, which may actually feel really good and stretch out my knee.  It could also be pure torture between all the Warrior poses.  I guess I’ll have to see how it goes.  If yoga goes well, I plan to go along with my scheduled routine on Friday, which would be some form of cardio and the Legs/Back workout of P90.  The legs portion might be tough on the knee and I will obviously have to be mindful of that.  This brings us to Saturday.

To be honest, the thought of Mr. KD being home and sweating it out to the Kenpo routine (while I’m away) has me feeling insanely jealous.  We’re in this together and I hate that I’m missing a workout in general.  To know he’s not missing it too is pure torture.  My original plan was to bring running clothes and go out for a run on Saturday morning.   I’m an early riser and figured I could run and be back before anyone even knew I was gone.  Now, I’m thinking this isn’t the best idea.  Maybe this opportunity for a 2-day rest is exactly what I need.

Remember when I told you that part of my New Year’s resolution (that started on January 1st, Kelly…hehe) was to take a week off every quarter to let my body and mind rest?  It was two weeks ago – right before P90 started.  I justified a week of “cardio only” exercise by telling myself it was going to be an indulgent week (it was).  I surmised that a week full of Easter candy and fish & chips required exercise.  While I would normally agree with this statement, I’m not sure I do in this case.  I made this resolution for A REASON.  I’m so in-tune with my body at this point in my life that I know exactly when it starts to break down on me.  I also know when my mind simply needs a break from the 4 am routine.  It’s about once every 3 months, which is why I made this strict promise to myself.  It was a promise for me, which was then broken by ME.

I could probably write an entire post about how frustrated I am with myself over this, but it’s not going to help any.  Who’s to say that if I had rested, my knee wouldn’t still be bothering me?  Obviously, this is something I’ll never know.  But, I think I can take away a valuable lesson from this.  When I set these rules for myself, they are there for a reason.  I need to take a few days off to rest before the knee DOES start hurting when I run.  Right now, it’s bearable and I don’t want to push myself to a point where I’m declaring I have “an injury”.  Knee pain is no joke and I know many people get sidelined for MONTHS.  If I can prevent that with a few days’ rest then, obviously, the decision is quite easy.  So, when I pack my bag for my weekend getaway, I will not be packing my running clothes and won’t even bring my sneakers.  I’m too nervous to have them and feel the urge.  There – I said it and now only have to follow through :smile:

Anyone out there know what the issue might be, by the way?  Pain is mostly right under the knee cap and shoots to the inside of the knee.  Thoughts?

On a Food Level:

At the risk of outing myself as a complete phony, I truly haven’t been listening to my body when it comes to food either.  Hello, Lindsay!!  How can I expect people to take my advice seriously when I can’t even listen to it myself? 
Truth is, I’ve been so consumed by all things “KD” that I haven’t really stopped to think about how I’m feeling after meals.  It feels as though my every bit of free time is sucked up by replying to emails, answering comments, writing posts, checking out others’ blogs and brainstorming ways to make this blog better (it’s in the works, folks!!).  I’m not complaining.  I love every second of it and have never been so happy.  But, my focus has been on work, work, work and less on yours truly.

I realized today that while my lunches might look scrumptious, they really haven’t been doing the trick.  Yesterday’s lunch (salad with fruit, goat cheese and balsamic vinegar/olive oil and pb&j sandwich) was the only lunch that held me over until snack time.  On the other days, I’ve been reaching for my snack earlier.  I don’t have set times that I need to eat by any means, so it’s not the timing of my snack that bothers me.  I’m simply bothered that I’ve been getting so hungry!!  I drink water like a fish all day long at my desk, so I know my H2O intake is not the culprit.  This leads me to examine my food.

I’ve talked recently about incorporating more protein and how it helps keep me satiated.  This is very true, but good carbs and healthy fats also play a huge roll for me.  I think I’ve been so concerned with displaying different lunches on the blog that I haven’t really been paying much attention to what works for me.  I’m such a siwwy wabbit sometimes!

For example, last night, I knew I wanted to take leftover pork because it is just delightful.  I decided to take leftover asparagus with it to let a little green into my life.  I also packed a slice of bread, which I toasted and used as a base for the pork (this was so good!).  I also brought along half an apple.  It sounds good in theory, but after dinner last night, we only had 4 asparagus stems left.  That’s not exactly a hearty serving.  I was in such a rush to post, I never stopped to think that perhaps I should actually take an entire apple or another slice of bread.  I ate my lunch and felt satisfied until about 2:00 pm when I thought I’d die of starvation.

Here she is:

The scary part about these hunger strikes (which I’ve alluded to in past posts) is that they come on strong and are the type that leave me feeling weak, dizzy and with a slight headache.  Um, this is so not cool and so completely against everything I believe in!!  If I’m feeling weak and dizzy, obviously I need to eat more!!!  I can’t believe it took me over a week to figure this out.  I could just smack myself sometimes!

Through further analysis, I realize the actual culprit is P90X.  Whether you’ve tried the workouts, seen the infomercials or just heard me talk about it, you pretty much know by now that it’s intense.  Luckily, I’ve always kept my workouts pretty intense at the gym, but this is definitely taking it up a notch. In the few weeks prior to this, I knew we were going to start and I was pretty bored with my lifting routine.  Looking back on it, I didn’t push myself the way I could have.  Now that I’m working at 110% intensity all the time, I need to find a better way to fuel my body.
Even though I’m having the most trouble after lunch, I suspect the problem begins earlier.  I wake up early, workout, shower, get ready and head to work.  It’s generally 4.5 – 5 hrs from the time I wake up before I eat “breakfast”.  I’m so ashamed to admit it, but it’s true. :oops:  My body doesn’t think that’s breakfast!  The poor thing is probably starving for lunch at that point!

I’ve tried to combat this in the past with a protein shake or ½ banana after my workout.  At least it’s SOMETHING to hold me over until my actual bowl of oats (which were so outstanding today).  I keep going back-and-forth with this protein shake.   I just told you guys I was going to stop drinking it in the morning because I felt like it threw off my entire eating cycle.  But, am I just making that up because I’m not used to it?  Or, is simply that if I add these extra calories to my morning routine, I don’t want to give them up at another meal?  I’m not really sure at this point.  I simply feel confused and know something needs to change because I’m lethargic and can’t take the afternoon headaches anymore (Would you like some wine with that cheese, little girl?) 

This eating plan has always worked for me before (even though I’ve always known that I wait too long to eat breakfast), but now that I’ve ramped up my exercise routine, I don’t think it’s cutting it.  So, I’m turning to you guys.  How long do you wait from the moment you wake up until you eat breakfast?  What do you generally eat after a workout?  Are you completely horrified that I’m going 5 hours before I actually put a drop of food in my mouth?!? 

Any help you can give would be SO appreciated!

Now let’s get to the GOOD stuff!


New Classic Banana Oats with Cottage cheese! 

I was nervous about using the cottage cheese in overnight oats for fear that they would become too cheesy when heated in the microwave.  They definitely melted more, but they didn’t give off a heavy cheese flavor.  They simply made the bowl creamy goodness!  I might never make a bowl without them again. 

In the mix:

·       ¼ cup oats
·       ¼ water
·       ¼ cup almond milk
·       ½ banana
·       Dash of salt
·       Splash of vanilla
·       Cinnamon
·       1 tbsp flaxseed
·       1/3 cup cottage cheese


·       Spoonful of Naturally Nutty Chocolate Toffee (I am going to miss this stuff when it’s gone!)
·       ½ tbsp chia seeds!!!!!

We’ve already covered my lunch, but didn’t go through what I did when my hunger strike hit.  Naturally, I bought some frozen yogurt :smile:   I’m IN LOVE with strawberry frozen yogurt (and strawberry milkshakes…yum!).  I think it might actually be my favorite flavor (of froyo..NOT ice cream…let’s make that clear), but I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings.  I saw it in the cafeteria and knew it had to meet my belly immediately!  They NEVER have strawberry, so when I got hungry too early and didn’t feel like surrendering my packed snacks so early, I ventured down for some.  It’s a good thing, too, because it was almost completely melted and on its way out!  I topped it with ~ tbsp of crushed peanuts and spring colored M&M’s. 

And, then I forgot to take a picture of it.  Sorry :sad:

However, the strangest thing happened and I decided I didn’t want the M&M’s and ate around them.  I actually threw them away.  I don’t think I’ve ever said no to chocolate in my life!  Hell must be feeling pretty chilly today!  I guess all I really wanted was the cool, strawberry flavor and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

For my actual snack, I had fruit salad and a Larabar.  I love this bar so much that it might have actually been the highlight of my day, topping the strawberry froyo.  No joke, kids.  I love these things.

Dinner was supposed to be two pieces of lasagna that we have in the freezer, but neither of us were feeling it.  So, it became a free-for-all.  Mr. KD wound up with a tuna sandwich and I decided on an egg scramble of one egg, two egg whites, spinach, arugula and onion.  I topped it with ketchup and parmesan cheese.  It was all accompanied by a piece of toast.  However, at the last minute I decided to heat up MORE pork and serve it on the side.

Turns out, I really wasn’t feeling pork and didn’t touch it.  Truthfully, I wasn’t very hungry.  WHAT IS WRONG WITH MY EATING PATTERNS?  As I’m typing this, I’m not hungry and I hope it stays this way.  I’m afraid I’ll get hungry before bed!

I’ll leave you with this final thought: I refuse to beat myself up over what I ate today.  Frozen yogurt is a completely suitable snack in a balanced meal plan, which I think I have.  However, I’m pretty bummed that I turned to it knowing that it doesn’t have any staying power.  It’s definitely more of a treat.  While I am 100% in favor of treats, I think they should be something of pure enjoyment rather than eaten in a clutch when you’re hungry.  I wish I had planned my meal better and saved the froyo splurge for a warm, sunny day when I was walking around in the sunshine.  See the difference?  I suppose you can’t win ‘em all.  Healthy living means dwelling in a constant learning environment and I’m simply still trying to nail down what works best for me :grin:

I would be lying, however, if I didn’t tell you that I was slightly very grumpy while typing this.  I blame it on hormones.

Question of the day:  What’s your favorite healthy breakfast? 

I don’t look forward to anything quite like my oats.  They’re a blank canvass for so many experiments and change with the seasons!  It’s impossible to get bored and I love that!

Granola Fail

10 04 2010

Let’s try this again after having computer issues ALL MORNING!

Hey there, Sugarbabies!

How are ya?  I’m just fabulous because it’s pretty tough to be in a bad mood on Saturday.  Although I’ll certainly say I’m pretty bummed that it’s cloudy and rather chilly.  I suppose it’s okay because Mr. KD and I have no plans and simply have a lot of errands to run.  We also have to clean the house.  Ick, ick, ICK.  I even hat the THOUGHT of it.  As with all things in life, cleaning would be a lot more fun if I were rich and could hire someone to do it for me :wink:

I rocked out a 5K on the treadmill this morning.  I gave myself 30 minutes to do it and rocked it out in 28 minutes.  If only I could do that outside!!  I asked for a Garmin for my birthday, which is coming up soon.  Hopefully, I’ll get one and can start getting outside.  All in all, I ended up getting close to 4 miles on the treadmill and then came home to do P90X.

We were up for Kenpo today, which was basically like being in a karate class or training for a boxing match.  Or, at least, that’s my assumption since I’ve never done either of these things.  It was an hour filled with a ton of punches and kicks.  It was a good workout, but it’s safe to say I was never meant to be a boxer.  I felt so uncoordinated!!  The good things is, I know I’ll improve.  I’m just not the jab and uppercuttin’ type.  Or at least not yet! :wink:

It was a good workout and after, I refueled with some breakfast.  Before we get into that though, I want to clarify that I didn’t eat the attune bar last night and ended up eating a no-bake protein bar.  It sounded better to me and it was delish.  It was way too many carbs at one time though between the oatmeal in the bars and my pizza.  No wonder why I was still hungry!   Protein is the thing that really does the trick for me!  Too bad I like my carbs, veggies and fruit so much better!  That’s okay though.  Eating well is a continuous learning process.  Don’t forget that!

I was feeling cold cereal at breakfast because I wanted to try out a new granola that I bought yesterday.  I have actually never bought granola before because I never think it’s worth the calories for the small serving size.  However, I’ve seen many of my fellow food bloggers using a tiny bit of granola as a topping for their green monsters and yogurt.  This sounded so good to me, so I was on a mission to find a granola that wouldn’t kill my diet.

Most of these food bloggers use Galaxy Granola and rave about its taste.  I checked out their website and was delighted to see that their products were sold at my grocery store.  Galaxy is unique because they bake their granola with unsweetened applesauce, as opposed to oil.  Pretty cool, right?  I had my mind-set on getting the vanilla flavor. 

However, when I started poking around the granola aisle, I wanted to be sure I was getting the best granola.  It felt like I look at 100 different kinds.  In the end, I settled on this kind:

The reason I decided on this is because the serving size was bigger than Galaxy (1/3 to 1/4) and the stats were similar with the exception of Simply Granola having less sugar.  I figured it was a win-win and went against my fellow food bloggers’ choice.  Guess what?  The joke is on me because this wasn’t very good.  I mixed it in with some Kashi Puffs and couldn’t taste it!  At all!  I’m not sure if this is because the Kashi puffs is such a strong flavored cereal (it’s very whole grain tasting).  I’ll give this one more shot on my yogurt, but I think I made a serious granola fail.  The more I thought about Galaxy, I realized that if something is sweetened with applesauce it’s obviously going to have more sugar.  I’m such a dope sometimes.

So, my breakfast consisted of: 1 cup Kashi puffs, 1/4 cup granola, 1 cup almond milk with 1/2 banana sliced on top.  On the side, I had some strawberries and blueberries.

This was light and refreshing, but I realized that even though it looked like a lot of food, the calories were actually pretty small considering the amount I had just worked out.  Kashi puffs only contain 70 calories for a cup!  That’s nothing!  So, I decided to scoop up some White Chocolate Wonderful on the side.

I had this X2.  It filled me up perfectly and I felt super energized after.  Love protein and healthy fats.  They were so well to curb my hunger!

I’m writing this paragraph a few hours after I started this post because I was having computer issues.  However, it got me to thinking how I put so much pressure on myself throughout the weekends to post breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Don’t get me wrong – I love you guys and enjoy talking to you everyday, but my weekends should be for me.  When I force myself to post all of these times during the day, I realize that I’m acting as though this is a chore.  During the week, my favorite part of the day is talking to you guys to unwind.  I don’t want to start resenting it because I’m trying to squeeze in too many posts plus some time for myself on the weekends!  It sounds so obvious, but sometimes you have these lightbulb moment.  Thomas Edison, I am not :wink:

So, with this being said, look for my normal nightly post on the weekends too.  Sometimes, if I’m not feeling up to it on a Saturday, I’ll simply post a recap and show pics of my food without all the details.  I’ve seen a lot of bloggers do this and, actually, I enjoy it as a reader.  It’s a good change of pace to see all of the pictures instead of words. 

I’m officially putting too much pressure on myself to make this blog perfect and that’s so silly.  I own this work and can do what I want with it, right?  So, thanks for understand :smile:

Love you guys and so very much appreciated your comments/emails about the format of the blog.  Looks like it’s pretty much staying as is :mrgreen:

Chat with you guys at dinner!  Enjoy your Saturday!

Switching Gears & Arugula, Goat Cheese and Date Pizza

9 04 2010

***Breaking News***  I wrote a guest post for Trading Up Downtown!  This was so exciting for me and I hope you pop over to read!  This blog is maintained by Tina of Carrots N Cake via her position with NuVal.  For all of you who are unfamiliar with the company, NuVal is a nutritional scoring system that is aiming to “invade” grocery stores nationwide.  Tina is lucky enough to work for this great company and maintains this blog as a way of showing how to live healthfully in the city without dropping an entire paycheck.  She also offers a ton of recipes featuring high-scoring items on the NuVal list.  You guys should definitely check out their website because I think they’re concept is AMAZING.  And, obviously, check out my guest post too!!!

Switching gears now…

My Raisinettes!  :smile:

Two days in a row and I’m still calling you something chocolate.  Think I’m going through an Easter candy withdrawal?  Speaking of…

I forgot to tell you that on Monday night, Mr. KD and I packed up all the Easter candy and placed it in a plastic bag.  I waved goodbye to it on Tuesday morning as it set off on the commute to Mr. KD’s workplace.  I still miss it, but know it was for the best.  Healthy living just stinks sometimes, doesn’t it?  If we didn’t give it away, I would be guaranteed to eat 3 – 4 pieces every night.  I don’t do well around chocolate.  I act like I’m never going to see it again.  It was best if we simply parted ways without hurt feelings.  Sometimes, when you love something, you’ve got to learn to let it go :wink:

Because my brain operates at the speed of lightning, I’d like to switch gears again and talk about the format of this blog.  I’ve been giving a lot of thought to this lately and whether or not my current format is interesting.  I’ve mentioned before that I am unsure if folks would like to see my daily food, but then I’ve considered how much I enjoy seeing what others eat, so I’ve continued.  However, Katie mentioned in her post the other day that she’s starting to change up the way she presents her blog and it got me thinking all over again.  I figure the best thing I can do is ask you, the reader, your thoughts.  Are you bored with the format?  Are there things you’d like me to address that I don’t?

Before you answer, let me tell you what my hope for this blog is.  I explained a bit of my past food struggles in my “About Me” section, so I won’t go through it again.  But, I want to drive home one point worth mentioning again: I started this blog to help the everyday, average person who is trying to make small and simple changes to be well.  I keep overusing the term “ eating unpretentious food”, but it’s my hope to show my readers that you don’t necessarily have to shop in overly priced supermarkets.  We can all be well, so long as we are making the correct decisions and moving our bodies.  Every day, I hope to convey the message that I’m just a 20-something with a busy life and 9 – 5 job, who is just as tempted by happy hour as the next person.  It’s simply all about deciding where to give-and-take.  I hope my daily food logs portray this via pictures.

Once I discovered the world of food blogs, I was so amazed and intrigued.  I read (and still currently read) blogs from vegans, vegetarians, folks following gluten-free or raw diets, etc., etc.  I LOVE reading all of this stuff.  I find it so informative and I would never knock another’s way of eating.  Everyone must find out what works for them.  But, I know myself and am comfortable with the fact that I’ll most likely never restrict something completely from my diet.  I originally thought this made me not “good enough” to start a blog of my own.  Then, I discovered Kristin of Iowa Girl Eats and she quickly became one of my favorite bloggers because I could relate to her.  A light bulb went off for me and I realized that no matter what works for you, you can always related to SOMEONE.  Kristin happened to be the person I related to most and I’m simply hoping to be that person for you, if you happen to share my eating and fitness philosophies. 

When I first started the blog, I had so many BIG ideas for it (as I do with anything I tackle in life).  I wanted to review restaurants, come up with a ton of new recipes, scour the internet for interesting articles for your enjoyment, etc, etc.  I haven’t given up on these ideas, but I certainly learned in the first week that blogging is a tough hobby when you work full-time.  While my posts might look like the same ol’ thing every day, I actually put a lot of time into each and every one of them.  So, if they’re boring, PLEASE let me know.  I would never want to put this much time and energy into something that wasn’t beneficial.  Not to mention, I only have so much time to devote to blogging every day.  As I’ve mentioned before, I am working hard at keeping my time with Mr. KD my number one priority.  I’m trying to do the best I can with the amount of time I have to blog (about an hour a night).  So, please, leave a comment or drop me an email and let me know how I can improve!  I’d love to hear from you.  I only ask that you respectfully criticize.  I’m working hard here and there’s no need to be mean, people!!


P90X ROCKED today.  I hit up the gym for a 45 minute sweat session on the ArcTrainer.  It felt great to stretch out my legs because my WHOLE BODY is sore from yesterday’s yoga!  When I got home, we got right into legs and back.  This workout was so kick-butt.  Mr. KD and I agreed it’s our favorite so far.  I have a love/hate relationship with leg workouts.  They’re always a killer, but you feel so accomplished after.  You know how I am about that “accomplished” feeling.

And again…

I just love starting the weekend :smile: It makes food taste THAT much better!

Breakfast consisted of one whole egg and a hardboiled egg white.  Accompanying these ladies was the remainder of my whole wheat pancakes from Easter.  These things held up surprisingly well!  Of course, they were topped with cinnamon apple goodness :smile:

I think I’m learning that eating one whole egg plus egg whites is one of the best things for me.  I don’t want to overdose on them, so I’m trying not to eat it every day.  I’m just noticing that on days when i have this for either breakfast or a snack, I am so satisfied for hours after.  Now that, my friends, is intuitive eating!!

Now can we talk about lunch?  I hit up The Chateau with a few co-workers, which is the same place I got my personal pineapple pizza a few weeks ago.  Remember?  Well, it’s the first Friday I could eat meat again and I was all over one of their delicious salads.  I noticed the “Spinach Salad With Warm Bacon Dressing” was new, so I had to learn more!  This salad came piled high with spinach, red onion, mushrooms, gorgonzola cheese (yes, please!), dried cranberries (double yes!), and crumbled bacon (Jess, you would have loved it even if it was a salad!).  You could have it as-is or choose a meat of your choice for topping. This was all served with warm bacon dressing. 

I’m sure the dressing probably made this salad, but I couldn’t bring myself to eat warm bacon dressing.  So, I customized my salad with some balsamic vinaigrette and marinated turkey tip.  Oh.Em.Gee.  I’m officially obsessed with this salad and will be begging anyone and everyone that knows me to go back for a lunch or dinner date.  The sweet marinade on the turkey tips (it was teriyaki-ish) coupled with the cheese and cranberries was TO DIE.  It also had the PERFECT amount of cheese and bacon.  There was about 2 tbsp of cheese and two slices of bacon.  It was enough to get a fix without feeling like it took over my salad.  It was very filling too.  In fact, so filling that I had to leave behind two tips.  Sad, but true.

Sorry about the crappy photo.  It was taken from my phone.

Mmmmmm….marinated turkey tips.  So juicy!!

This kept me full all afternoon.  However, right before I was leaving work, I decided to snack on the banana I had brought in.

I was off to the grocery store and I didn’t want to go hungry.  Know what I’m sayin’, kids?

Mr. KD informed me last night that he wanted to make homemade, individual pizzas for dinner.  I thought all day about what variety I wanted.  I decided I wanted to create a gourmet pizza with sweet flavors.  Think: figs and goat cheese.  I wasn’t sure what else I was going to do with it, but I had figs on the brain.

I searched far and wide for figs – fresh, dried, ANYTHING – and there was none to be found.  I solicited the help of the 16-year-old worker, who not-so-kindly informed me that figs are seasonal and only available around the holidays.  Well, duh!  I know they are most popular around that time, but I thought I could at least find them dried.  No such luck. 

I was stuck in the produce section to mope, feel sorry for my dead pizza idea and, consequently, think of a new combo.  I walked over the bananas and saw a package of dried dates.  I love dates and figured they’re naturally sweet like figs, so they might work.  I had the goat cheese at home (It should be a staple in everyone’s fridge.  I’m convinced of that fact.), but the pizza still needed something else, so I tried to think of all the gourmet pizzas I’ve had and loved over the years (there’s only been about 49,848,302).  A particular pizza stuck out to me that I had around Christmas.  It was loaded with figs (um, maybe the little kid WAS right?), prosciutto and arugula.   I almost bought the prosciutto, but decided against it.  I knew, however, that I had to have the arugula. 

Just today, Sabrina from Rhodey Girl Tests  posted a recipe for a homemade balsamic vinaigrette.  I thought this would work PERFECTLY on the arugula, which I planned to top my warm pizza with.  I also envisioned caramelized onions on it.  This is mostly because I’m 110% convinced that onions make all savory dishes better.  I now had a game plan and was ready to roll.

This was, of course, until I got home and realized I hadn’t thought of a sauce for this pizza.  I wouldn’t have necessarily minded a no sauce pizza if I had gotten the prosciutto, but the thought of having dates, cheese and onions on bread without a sauce didn’t seem appetizing, so I got creative.  Inspired by Sabrina’s dressing, I mixed roughly (I didn’t measure, sorry) 2 parts balsamic to 1 part honey.  I then added 1 – 1.5 parts corn starch and whisked away.  I placed this in the microwave until a sticky paste was formed.  I placed this over my Boboli and then drizzle it all with more honey. 

From here, I caramelized the onions in a bit of olive oil on the stovetop.  When they were done, I placed them on my sticky balsamic mixture with some goat cheese and one chopped date.  I place this in the oven at 450 for 8 minutes.

While the pizza was cooking, I took Sabrina’s inspiration a step further to create a dressing for my arugula.  Again, I didn’t measure, but would guess it was 2 tbsp of balsamic with 1 tbsp honey.  I wisked this up and then added about 1.5 tsp of olive oil and a pinch of garlic powder.  I let the arugula sit in the mixture to soak up the flavor while the pizza continued to cook. 

When the pizza was done, I topped it with the arugula (discarded any dressing that didn’t stick to the leaves), a dash of more goat cheese and a handful of walnuts for some protein and healthy fat. 

I know this pizza goes against my more protein rule, but guess what?  I COULDN’T CARE LESS BECAUSE THIS WAS AMAZING!  I know I overuse that term, but oh my goodness.  I can’t believe that I created something like this on a whim.  From the balsamic sticky paste to the salty cheese, paired with the caramelized onions (they really made it) and peppery arugula, it was honestly SO DELICIOUS.  Let me put it to you this way, I generally stop myself at two pieces of these individual pizzas and I ate the entire thing without thinking twice.  So worth it.

The funny part about it is that I wished it had a salty meat on it.  The prosciutto would have been perfect!  Or, I’m thinking a crumbled bacon slice might be in order next time.  You guys know I’m all about vegetarian meals, but this was one time that I think meat would have taken it over-the-top!  I’ll remember that for next time because there WILL BE a next time! 


Look at that roasted fig!!!  I could honestly eat another one of these pizzas right now!  Thank goodness it was a small one!

Mr. KD and I also had a side of the Caesar Lite salad in a bag we like so much.

I picked up some Attune Bars at the store tonight and think I hear a chocolate mint one calling my name.  Actually, I don’t think.   I know.  There will be no pic since I’m eating it after I post, but it will be consumed. 

Okay, I think I’ve talked your ear off enough for tonight.  Have a good rest of your Friday!

Oh, and don’t forget to email me if you’re interested in becoming a guest blogger for me next weekend!  I think I already have two people line up.  C’mon!  I know you wanna :smile:

Question of the Day:  Do you like grocery shopping?

I am honestly a nut in the grocery store.  Even though I have a list, I peruse every aisle item like I’ll never see it again.  I compare and contrast labels and take my sweet time.  It’s not unusual for me to be in the store for 1.5 – 2 hours.  I know that’s ridiculous, but the time goes by fast for me.  I honestly love checking out new products!  I’m weird.  What do you want from me :wink:

Kit Kats, Goals, Guests and Yoga

8 04 2010

Kit Kats!

I know I generally call you guys “loves”, but I thought it would be cute to call you something food chocolatesque.  Kit Kats sounded like it worked :smile:   I kind of like it and really LOVE Kit Kats.  I’m sure you’re shocked.  It’s been so long since you’ve heard me say I “loved” a food :lol:   I think I’ll try to go a whole week and call you something food related.  This could be fun because, well, I’m really cheesy like that.

Lots to say today so let’s get to it, yo!

I’ve been thinking a lot about this summer coming up and what I’d like to accomplish.  Last summer, Mr. KD and I were in the process of closing on/moving into our home.  It was a wonderful experience, but the summer was consumed with talks of interest rates, PMI, down payments, etc.  Eck.  In addition to this, it literally rained ALL summer.  If you’re from New England, you can back me up on this.  The number of nice days could be counted on two hands.  We had so many weekends full of cooler weather and rain.  And then – POOF – it was Fall all over again.
So, it’s quite easy to see why I’d like to make this a killer summer.  Therefore, I decided to make a list of things I’d like to do and accomplish.  I thought I’d share with you because I know you are SO interested in my goals.  And, even if you’re not, it might inspire some of you to make a plan of action for yourself!

Without further ado….

1.      I’d like to run outside more.  This is a tough one considering I work out so early.  It’s pitch black outside, which doesn’t make for great running conditions.  I know all you hard-core runners out there push through it in darkness, rain, snow and sleet, but that’s just not for me.  I’m 5’2” and little.  I’d be really easy to abduct.  I think I’d rather run in the sunshine when people are around.  Plus, I think my mom would be REALLY mad if she found out I were running by myself in the dark.  SO, look for me to run on Saturday mornings when I can find the time :smile:

2.      Sign up for my first race = CHECK!  I was thinking about this today and realized that I ACTUALLY signed up to run a 5K like I’m even a runner.  I’m excited, but the thought of it gives me total butterflies.  Moving on…

3.      Go on hikes.  I’m not really sure about the details on this one, but it’s something Mr. KD and I have talked about and it sounds like fun, so why the heck not?

4.      Cook more summer-inspired recipes.  What can I say?  I’m from Massachusetts!  We have beautiful summers, but the winters tend to drag on and on and my recipe collection certainly reflects my love of comfort food.  I want to start making diverse salads and light dishes!

5.      Attend the Healthy Living Summit.  I just noticed today on Caitlin’s blog that the Healthy Living Summit dates have been announced.  It will be held in Chicago on August 13 – 15th.  I so desperately want to go!  There are not many details out yet, but is anyone else tossing around the idea of going?  If so, email me and we can totally be hotel roommates to cut down on costs!

6.      I originally only had 5 goals, but an extra one is always important for good measure!  I want to go to the beach more!  I have SO many beaches at my disposal in the summer and sadly, the older I get, the less I seem to utilize them.  I’m hoping to put a stop to that this summer and simply stop to feel the sand beneath my toes :smile:

I hope to work toward these goals in the coming months.  If I don’t make them happen, I’m not going to stress over it, but I’m going to give them all my best effort.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I want to ask you all a favor!  Next weekend, I am heading up to New Hampshire for a girls’ weekend with my college roomies.  You’re jealous, aren’t you?   You should be :wink:   I really want to use this as a time to disconnect from the world and focus on my gf’s.  SO, I’m looking for guest bloggers!  Who’s up for it???  If you’ve always thought of starting your own blog, this could be the perfect time to test the waters.  If you already have a blog, share your favorite recipe or the reason you decided to start your blog in the first place.  Get creative, people!  You can truly write about anything, so long as you keep it clean :wink:   I talk to you guys all day long about fitness and food, but I have many other interests including fashion, sports, celebrity gossip, stopping childhood obesity, MAC makeup, high heels, beer, sweatpants, cozy fires, FEMALE EMPOWERMENT etc, etc.  As you can see, I’d enjoy reading a post on just about ANY topic, so long as it was charismatic! 

If you’re interested in being a guest blogger, please email me at  Please include your name and a blog – if you have one. I’d like to receive all posts by Wednesday, April 14th.  This will give me time to sort through them all and determine how many I’ll need to fill up the days I’m gone.  Don’t leave me hanging, folks!  I know you’ve got something to say to the blogosphere!  And, please, if you’re thinking of writing something and can’t get it to me until the 14th, at least let me know of the topic so I can do some pre-planning.  You didn’t think my Type A was going to let you wait ‘til the last minute, did you?!?

Let’s get on with our normal discussion, shall we? 

Mr. KD and I were up BRIGHT AND EARLY to tackle some yoga.  I’m still trying to sort my thoughts on it to be honest.  I have a hard time letting go of the old school mentality that you have to sweat like a beast to get in a good workout.  This is why I’m a cardio lovin’ fool.  The more I sweat, the better I feel.  Even though running always seems like a drag in the beginning, the “rush” I get at the end is SO worth it.  I’m not sure if it’s exactly runner’s high, but it’s SOMETHING.  I feel invigorated and ready to tackle the day, which is the reason I’ve refused to give up my cardio sessions while doing P90X.  As I told you yesterday, the yoga is 90 minutes long, so there is no way I can fit both in.  I know that great workouts come in all forms and that is the main reason I am trying out P90.  I would be the first to tell an inactive person to make fitness “fun” and then force myself to grind it out on some boring piece of equipment just to get the feeling after the fact.  I’m a hypocrite in this area, but at least I can admit it.  So, keep this in mind when I give my yoga review.

At first, we performed a bunch of combinations.  For all of you who have never tried yoga, combinations are a series of fluid movements that you continue doing for a certain amount of time.  They included the Warrior pose, downward dogs, planks, etc, etc.  Dang – this part went on and on and it was TOUGH.  I was sweating and found it really challenging.

The second half of the workout consisted of static poses.  This was also tough, but in a different way.  I didn’t sweat nearly as much, but my muscles were being challenged like crazy!  Have you ever tried to hold your extended leg in the air for 60 seconds?!?  So hard!  My muscles were shaking uncontrollably!

I enjoyed challenging my body in a different way.  However, I didn’t get that “accomplished” sensation after the fact.  I will say that I definitely felt calmer during the entire day.  I’m not sure if is because of the yoga itself or the fact that I wasn’t rushing to the gym to rush back home for the second part of my workout.  It was refreshing to simply wake up, head downstairs and begin. 

I also understand that a huge part of yoga is about being in the zone and freeing your mind.  This is nearly impossible next to Mr. KD, who is a wisecracker like no other.  He made me giggle on more than one occasion.  On top of this, I had a hard time zoning out when I couldn’t always contort my body properly.  I also found it hard to relax when it hurt.  I danced for many, many years and this brought me back to ballet work on the barre.  Forcing your body to look graceful and composed when every inch of it aches is very, very difficult!

I bet a lot of people feel this way the first time they try yoga.  Can anyone back this theory up?  I knew it was going to be a mental and physical challenge.  That’s exactly what it was.  I’m excited to continue practicing it and, hopefully, watch my flexibility improve.  I also think that Mr. KD and I got all of our laughs out-of-the-way today, so next time we can focus on being more in the moment.

And I’ll tell ya another thing.  I’m sore.  Already.  I’m feeling sore in the back of my shoulders, so I’m actually not sure if it was from yesterday’s shoulder workout or from holding my body weight this morning.  It could be a little of both, which is okay with me!

Tomorrow is Legs & Back.  Bring it!!

Now let’s talk about the food, which is always my favorite part :mrgreen:

I did so well with my food today.  I was completely satisfied all day.  I know it’s only my fourth day on P90, but I’ve already given up my morning protein shake.  I just wasn’t feeling the 5 meals a day thing.  I do fine on four.  I found that when I was having the shake, I was hungrier throughout the rest of the day.  I could be making this up in my head, but since I’m all about listening to my body, that’s exactly what I’m going to do!  I don’t think I need it.  I’m not hoping to look like a fitness model, so I think I’m just fine eating the way that I do.  I will, however, try to incorporate more protein into my diet and you’ll probably see the protein powder making appearances in my day-to-day menus.

For example, in today’s Green Monster!!

I mixed:

  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 handfuls of spinach

 Topped with some chia seeds for fun!

You guys – I am LOVING these chia seeds.  By the time I got to the end of the smoothie (which I ate with a spoon), they were slightly gel-like.  It was fun having them crunchy in the beginning and then as a fun gel-like substance at the end.  I’m a total fan.  And not for nuthin’, but I like the GM better with vanilla protein powder. 

For lunch, I packed up the remainder of the Rosemary Chicken with Zucchini from the other night.

For the record, I think I made a fail with the rosemary.  I didn’t chop up the “twigs” enough.  I bet if I had done that, the flavor would have been a little less strong.  Regardless of my feelings for rosemary, Kelly’s combination of olive oil and mustard is OFF THE HOOK on these veggies.  Seriously.  I can’t believe how simple and delicious this is at the same time.  You guys know I’m all about simplistic, unpretentious food!

Snack time was ah-mazing. 

Mr. KD picked up some oranges at the store the other day and they are just PERFECT.  I love citrus fruit in the nice weather.  I know that oranges are one of the only fruits that is actually tasty AND reasonably priced during the New England winter, but they just don’t excite me in January as they do in April!

And do I really have to talk more about this yogurt?  I HAVE to find the plain, 2% kind.  There will be some added fat and calories, but the sugar will still be low.  I want to give it a try!

Dinner was simply a repeater from the other night.  We had turkey meatballs with spaghetti squash.  Mr. KD announced that these were the best turkey meatballs I’ve ever made.  Score! 

Yes, that is a regurgitated photo, but it looked exactly the same.  Scout’s honor.

I hope you guys have an excellent Thursday evening!!  I’ll chat with you tomorrow, my little Kit Kats :mrgreen:

And, don’t forget to think about becoming a guest blogger!!

Question of the day:  Tell me 5 random facts about yourself.  C’mon, just play!

  1. I have a slight chip in one of my front teeth and the dentist insisted on fixing it one time for me.  I put up a fight and insisted that it made me ME.  It’s still chipped to this day, thankyouverymuch.
  2. I have a very loud and very contagious laugh.  It’d make you laugh too.  I just know it :smile:
  3. I have small feet.  Only wear a size 6!
  4. I love James Dean and get a new calendar of him for my cube every year from “Santa”.
  5. I think Good & Plenty is the worst candy ever made.  This is followed closely by NECCO wafers.  Something tells me only the New England folks will know what those disgusting things are!

Easter, Aquariums and Rosemary Chicken

5 04 2010

My Lovelies! 

How how I’ve missed thee :mrgreen:

How the heck are you?  And how was your Easter?!?

Ours was FABULOUS.  I must say, for first time hosts, we kind of knocked it out of the park :wink:   The food was EXCELLENT (if I do say so myself) and everyone seemed to have a really great time. 

Before I show you the pics of all of the delicious eats, let me start by saying that hosting is hard.  It was well worth it, but I am still exhausted.  Of course, I had a pretty big day today too, but I think my exhaustion is mostly related to yesterday.  Coordinating dishes in and out of the oven is a talent!  It’s certainly one that I have yet to master.  But all in all, Mr. KD and I were able to work it all out and serve a fantastic meal. 

Check out these pics!  I apologize in advance for subjecting you to my decorating, as well.  Keep in mind that we have no kitchen table and a hand-me-down dining room table.  I think we did pretty well!!

Brunch Table

The brunch table was comprised of a folding table under the disguise of a tablecloth :wink:

Dinner setting in the dining room

Pier One napkins, napkin holder and place settings.  L-O-V-E that place!

Love those gerbera daisies!!

My brunch plate: Two mini quiches, a biscuit, two whole wheat pancakes with apple topping and two slices of bacon.  Holy, holy, holy yummers!!!!!

Dinner spread on the serving island.  My mouth is watering all over again!!

Cheesy potatoes

Cinnamon apples

The most delicious ham on EARTH

The Classic: Green bean casserole.  Why is this stuff so good?!?

Glazed carrots

Of course, there was more on the island than the close-ups I took.  I was too hungry!  I even forgot to take a picture of my individual plate.  Oops!  Just know I had a little of everything.

And before I knew it, it was time for DESSERT.  Or, as I like to call it, HEAVEN.

My mom’s ladyfinger strawberry cheesecake.

And How Sweet’s Peanut Butter Frosted Brownies

After eating these, I can safely say that Jess is a goddess and I would bake anything she told me to.  These were OUTSTANDING and left me going to bed with a belly ache.  That’s the best compliment I can give a dessert!!  You should make this frosting NOW (I made my own brownies and just frosted them).  You can thank me later :wink:

I guess that sums up Easter.  As you can tell, it was a day of indulgence, but worth every stinkin’ bite!!

Now, Mr. KD and I have a new problem: Chocolate, chocolate, EVERYWHERE!  Not only did my mom give us candy baskets, but his mom did too.  On top of this, we each got each other a basket of candy.  I am not lying when I say we could handle Halloween night with all of the stuff we have.  It’s lovely and AWFUL at the same time!!  We’ve banished the chocolate (because it’s ALL chocolate) to our laundry room and have promised ourselves to take it slow.  We’re also thinking about taking some to work!! 

Switching gears now to talk about today!

Mr. KD and I woke up at 6:30 ready to tackle our first workout of P90!!  As I told you, I plan to do cardio on most days with the program, but I did not today.  I had a very special date that I had to be ready for, so we simply got dressed and headed downstairs to have our butts kicked!

It was tough.

Today, we worked chest and back in a variety of exercises and motions.  Obviously, Mr. KD is a lot stronger than I am, so some of the stuff came easier to him.  There were some things that I flat-out sucked at.  I’m sorry, but it’s true.  I refuse to get discouraged though and am already pumped for tomorrow!!  I can’t wait to see myself get stronger as we go along with the program.

After the workout, I refueled with 3 hard boiled egg whites, 1/2 cup cottage cheese and some fresh fruit.

After breakfast, it was time to get ready for my date! 

Two of my closest friends were recently lucky enough to adopt the two most beautiful little girls (ages 5 and 18 months).  Today, I got to meet them for the first time!!!!   They are so good-natured and happy and I am simply so excited to be a part of their future in the coming years.  Our first play date was at the aquarium!

Before we headed out, we decided to have some lunch to save money.  My friends were gracious enough to offer me a few of their Easter leftovers.  Looks familiar, doesn’t it? :wink:

That ham looks a lot bigger than it actually was.  It was fatty around the edges, so most of it got cut off before I ate it.

The acquarium was a blast and the girls seemed to have a really great time.  We saw a variety of sea life, including:

As you can see, we had a great time! 

All of the walking made snack time extra tasty today :smile:   I packed up an apple and Clif MoJo bar before setting off with my friends.  I am so glad I did because around 4 pm, I got so hungry!

I think I may officially be in love with these MoJo bars.  They were recommended to me as a good bar to snack on between my cardio sessions and P90X because they are low in sugar and contain a decent amount of protein.  On top of this, they contain healthy fats from nuts and help you stay satisfied longer than most bars.  I loved this thing and plan to order a couple boxes online.  Yummy!

For dinner, I cooked up a recipe that Kelly wrote up in the comments section of this post.  I had asked my readers if they had a delicious, yet simple recipe and this was Kelly’s!


1 pound new potatoes
2 carrots
2 small zucchini
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1 bunch of fresh rosemary
4 (6-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts
Salt and Pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Quarter the potatoes. Peel the carrots. Cut the carrots and zucchini into 2-inch sticks. Mix them in a bowl with olive oil, mustard, rosemary, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Season the chicken with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
Place everything in a 9X13 baking dish. Roast for 25 minutes. Toss the vegetables, turn the chicken and continue roasting until chicken is cooked through, 20-25 minutes more.

Yields: 4 servings

This was super easy to put together, which was so great!  There was only one problem: I don’t really like rosemary.  I knew this going into it, but I thought it would grow on me.  It didn’t.  It’s just not my spice.  I’m sure if rosemary gets your tastebuds excited, you would LOVE this dish.  There’s just something about it that I don’t like. 

I will, however, be experimenting with my own spices because this one-dish roasting method rocks.  The potatoes and veggies were perfectly browned, while the chicken remainded tender.  The olive oil/mustard mixture was great too.  Definitely try this one!  If you aren’t into rosemary, I’m sure you could substitute any spice!!

Since I’ve drowned you in photos today, I think I’ll leave you now.  As always, can’t wait to chat with you tomorrow!

Question of the Day:  How was YOUR Easter?

I spent so much time telling you about mine and now I want to hear about yours!  Spill!!

Classic Lasagna is Getting Slim

29 03 2010

Hey, hey, hey!

How did Monday treat everyone?!? 

I woke up in a MUCH better mood from where I last left you guys!  And thank goodness because it was pouring here  If my mood was sour on top it, the day would have been a total drag!

Good news though:  The weekend forecast looks like we might hit 77 degrees on Easter.  Can you believe it?!?  I am SO stoked.  I just hope it comes true!!

Plus, I was so grateful to your comments about not beating myself up.  You guys make me smile :smile:

Before we get into things tonight, I’d like to take you back to December 2009.  As always, the end of the year is exhausting and I found 2009 to be no different than any other.  However, this is the first time that I could truly feel exhaustion set in.  I’m talking the kind of tired where you couldn’t pay me to go to the gym.  The thought of it made me want to cry.  That is SO not like me, so I did a little soul-searching and came up with this conclusion: When you exercise 5 – 6 a week for an entire year (or more than a year in my case), it takes its toll on you mentally and physically.  By the time December rolls around and there are social events to attend and presents to buy, this exhaustion only seems amplified. 

Therefore, I came up with a solution for myself, as to not get overwhelmed by December in 2010.  I decided that every quarter (can you tell I work in the business world?), I would take a week off from working out.  I figured that this would not only be a great physical break, but also a much-needed mental exercise for me.  I wanted to teach myself that with mindful eating, I could take a week off without ill effects.

Well, guess what?  The quarter ends THIS WEEK :shock:   I can hardly believe it myself.  While the idea of resting sounds ah-mazing (3 months is the perfect time to take a break!), I looked at the week ahead, which consists of:

  • Fish N Chips date with parents on Friday (Fried deliciousness…I can’t wait!  And, don’t judge!  We’re Portuguese and it’s tradition, all right?)
  • Easter Candy
  • Easter Dinner
  • Mini Cadbury eggs (Yes, these require their own bullet)

Through further analysis, I didn’t think taking a week off would be best served during this week of indulgence. So, I made a compromise.  This week would be comprised of hour-long cardio workouts.  As I’ve mentioned previously, P90X starts a week from today, so I really wanted to take time off of lifting and allow my muscles to rest up.  After my cardio sessions, I vowed to stretch the way I should stretch every day (I often rush it).

With this being said, I had a great cardio workout this morning and am looking forward to my new lifting routine next week.  I did a classic pyramid this time, as follows:

0 – 5 min: 4.0 – 4.7
5 – 10 min: 6.3
10 – 20 min: 6.5
20 – 30 min: 6.7
30 – 40 min: 6.5
40 – 45 min: 6.3
Total Mileage: 4.69

I actually wanted to stay on the treadmill for the remainder of my workout, but I ended up getting a ferocious cramp in the last few minutes, so opted off the treadmill.  I then hopped onto the elliptical and continued to grind it out for an additional 20 mintues.  I then stretched and stretched and it felt SO good!

I want to talk briefly about P90X and our decision to do this program.  I feel as though I keep discussing it without further detail, which is kind of annoying, wouldn’t you say? 

Mr. KD and I have been seeing the infommercials for P90 for almost two years now.  We always said that “someday” we’d do it.  Well, Mr. KD turns 30 in a few weeks and we figured now was the perfect time, especially because we have an empty room in our house perfect for the two of us to exercise side-by-side.

To read about P90X in detail, you can click here.  To summarize it for those of you that are not interested in reading on your own, P90X is centered around the idea of “muscle confusion.”  This means that over the course of 90 days, we will perform 12 workouts via DVDs that are constantly switching things up for our muscles.  There are basic weight training days for chest/back/legs/shoulders, plyometrics (lots of jumpting), kenpo (think Tae Bo on speed) and even yoga.  The program runs consistently for 90 days straight with a rest/stretch day on every seventh day.  We are choosing to start on a Monday, so that every Sunday will be our rest/stretch day.

There are three workouts to choose from: Classic, 2-A-Day and Lean.  Classic is obviously just as it is, while 2-a-day is for conditioned athletes that are looking for that extra workout (um, no thanks).  Lean is targeted specifically at women who would like a bit more cardio in their routine.  Of course, this sounds great to me, but Mr. KD was less than impressed, so we’re opting for Classic.

I’ve talked to two people (one male, one female) that have completed (or are completing) the Classic routine to gather their thoughts on it.  While the male loved every aspect about it, the female admits that it’s extremely motivating on a weight-lifting aspect.  However, she wishes there were more cardio.

Considering I am just starting to get better at running, I really don’t want to give it up.  I also expect that this is going to be the most physically grueling activity I’ve ever done.  BUT, I must try to do both.  If it’s too much for me, I’ll stop.  I don’t want ot overexert myself, but to begin, I’m going to attempt cardio 4 days a week in addition to the program.  My plan is to do it M/T/Th/F.  This way, I won’t be here, there and everywhere on a Saturday morning and I’ll take Wednesday as a day off of cardio.  This is going to be tough for me because mentally as I am used to doing cardio at a minimum of 5 days (and I love those Saturday runs).  The reason I stress mentally is because if you’ve ever seen the P90 commercials, you know I’m still in for some serious cardio.  I promise – if it becomes too much - I will stop.

Now, exercise is only one piece of the puzzle.  Nutrition is obviously a huge component to look like the folks on the commercials.  Mr. KD and I gave the meal plan (it accompanies the workouts) a lot of thought over the past few weeks.  We have both come to the conclusion that we’re going to eat well, but not follow the plan.

Now before you get in a tizzy, I realize that I’m not going to walk away with a six-pack unless I cut out almost all sugar and truly deplete my carbs in the beginning (this is phase 1 of the plan).  To be honest, it’s not worth that much to me right now.  We’ve talked about this a little in the past.  I’ve come too far to be controlled by a meal plan and to turn down social engagments because I have to eat a certain salad at a certain time.  Ick.  The thought of it makes me scoff.

Instead, I’m following these rules for myself:

  • Incorporate more protein into meals and snacks
  • Eat 5 small meals a day (right now, I only eat 4)
  • Limit desserts as much as possible (I’m really going to try, but in the beginning, I’m nibbling on my Easter candy.  Please don’t judge)
  • Eat lots of fruits and veggies
  • Eat all of my calories (1800 is recommeneded for my weight under this program)

If I follow these rules, I may not look like the women on the commercial, but I should definitely look like a better version of myself.  That’s all I can ask for!

As of right now, I see two major roadblocks: a girls’ weekend I planned forever ago during the weekend of April 16th (I WILL miss a workout here…so I guess I’m P89-ing?  I’m not happy about it, but what can you do?) and my birthday, Mr. KD’s bday AND my dad’s bday all fall in the last weekend of April.  Can you say lots of cake and lots of going out to dinner?

Other than that, I plan to think of new, clean dinners and lunches Mr. KD and I can have.  It will certainly take some time getting used to since I am SO used to the gym, but I think it will be great to switch it up.  I get so bored with my weight lifting routine and this will be a welcome change.  In addition, it will be great to workout WITH Mr. KD, which is something our schedules don’t allow for now.  I’m excited!

One more thing while we’re on this topic:  I’m looking for a protein bar that I can snack on after cardio/before I start the DVD.  Any suggestions?  I was thinking the Think Thin bars because they are high in protein yet low in sugar.  I know you should refuel after a lifting session with protein, but I figured this would be what my breakfast was for.

Okay, now onto today’s eats!

Breakfast was the remainder of my Saturday oatmeal with some egg beaters.  Lots of protein here and it held me over well until lunch!

Now, here’s where my pics get a little confusing.  I packed up some Curried Chicken Salad in a whole wheat pita with some pineapple.  However, I decided I wanted to save the pineapple for my snack and swaped it out for the plum that was supposed to be my snack.  Are you with me?  So, I take a bite out of the plum and it was gross.  All mushy.  Ick.  So, I then purchased an orange to enjoy with my sandwich instead.  No pic, but I’m sure you know what an orange looks like :wink:  

I also purchased a small side salad from the caf that I couldn’t photograph.  It contained mixed greens, red onions, ~ tbsp feta and ~1.5 tsp sunflower seeds.  I drizzled it with olive oil and balsamic. 

This curried chicken was SO yummy!  If you enjoy curry flavor, you will love this!  And the texture of the Granny Smith in there is to die for.  So delish!  Sorry that the pic is so boring!  Just picture it next to a small salad and orange!

Snack time was plain Greek yogurt, drizzeld with agave, ~ tsp vanilla and cinnamon.  You know what?  I thought it was pretty good!  This is the reason I saved my pineapple.  I mixed it up with the fresh pineapple and found it quite tasty!  It was still no Chobani pineapple, but it was good :wink:

Omit the plum, please.

Add: pineapple

Now, onto dinner and the lasagna recipe I promised you!  This is a classic lasagna, made healthy by Ronzoni Healthy Harvest pasta (It’s the recipe located on the back of the box).  I follow their recipe almost exactly, but add a few of my own spices here and there.  You can also view it online here under “Healthy Harvest Easy Lasagna”.

Now, many of you may be wondering why I share so many recipes that aren’t my own.  Well, sillies, it’s because recipes are meant to be shared and if I find one from a website that is healthy and tastes great, I want to share it with you even if it isn’t my own idea!  Glad we cleared that up :wink:

Below is the modified version in which I used more seasonings:


1lb ground beef
3 cups (26 oz jar) spaghetti sauce
1 1/2 cups water
1 3/4 cups (15 oz container) ricotta or small curd cottage cheese (I use 1% cottage cheese)
2 cups (8 oz) shredded mozzarella, divided
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
Crushed red pepper
Dried basil
Italian seasoning
9 pieces Ronzoni Healthy Harves lasagna, uncooked


Heat oven to 350°F. In 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, brown meat; drain. Add spaghetti sauce and water; simmer about 10 minutes and sprinkle mixture with dried basil. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, stir together ricotta cheese, one-half mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, eggs, parsley, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning (to taste), garlic powder (to taste), onion powder (to taste) and crushed red pepper (to taste)  Pour about 1 cup sauce on bottom of 13×9-inch baking dish. Arrange 3 UNCOOKED pasta pieces lengthwise over sauce; cover with 1 cup sauce. Spread one-half cheese filling over sauce. Repeat layers of lasagna, sauce and cheese filling. Top with layer of lasagna and remaining sauce; sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil. Bake 45 minutes. Remove foil; sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese and dried basil and bake additional 10 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

The box says it makes 12 servings, but I find that to be way small.  Instead, I cut it into 10.  We will be putting A LOT of lasagna in the freezer!!

I served it tonight with some roasted broccoli.

Layers of cheesy and beefy deliciousness.  So comforting on a rainy day!

After dinner, I might have some warmed almond milk with Cafe Mocha swirled in.  I’m also thinking about a vegan cookie.  Gotta get those desserts in while I can :wink:

Until we eat again…

Question of the day:  Are you right-handed or left-handed?

I’m a leftie, but only for writing.  I pretty much do everything else with my right hand and I can eat with both, depending on what is most convenient to my surroundings, i.e. on the outside of a booth, I’m going righty!