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Presidents' Day = lots of baking

Monday, February 21, 2011

Today I did some baking. A LOT of baking. Mocha-swirl pound cake this morning, whole-wheat bread for dinner (Brad made the dough, I just put it in the oven), and apricot-bran muffins to put in the freezer for breakfasts/snacks. And today I was also kind of lazy. I took a wonderful nap, spent a bunch of time on the couch, and I got my March workout plan loosely mapped out.

I've been sipping on water all day - I am AGAIN slacking on the water. I don't know why it's been so tough for me to drink all my water lately... I have tried the Silly Band trick and even *that* isn't working. I guess I just need to take my own advice - suck it up and do it ("it" being drinking the water).

Tomorrow is an evening stretch class - I think I'll get in some strength training before that. Brad is off of work (hooray!) so I'm going to come home and skip Body Pump. I think I might need a little break from it anyway - my muscles are still sore from Saturday's class, and my soreness doesn't usually last this long. Maybe my body is telling me I need a rest week.

This week:
- Drink all my water every day so I can go to the Wine and Chocolate Fundraiser on Saturday night with a clean conscience! ("I drank all my water, so I can have the wine tonight.")
- Buy some new running shoes on Wednesday. I have to get back into running for Pittsburgh at the end of the month! Yahoo!
- Really think before I eat. It's going to be hard with all the baked goods in the house, but I can do it. I will not meet my goals as quickly if I eat tons of baked good every day.

Off to enjoy the rest of my long weekend!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEPPIESUSAN 2/22/2011 12:07PM

    How can you bake and maintain your willpower??? That's one trick I haven't learned yet, so I never bake. :)

I hear you about being sore for Body Pump. Sometimes I think three times a week is too much, but usually I can handle it.

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COOPSM 2/22/2011 6:03AM

    Carrie--your good sounds awesome!!! Enjoy your Brad time....

Have a week full of water!!!!!

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ROGUE_1 2/22/2011 2:12AM

    Mmmmmm mocha swirl pound cake...makes my mouth water!!
I bet your house smelled like heaven all day long!

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ONECOOKIETWO 2/21/2011 11:31PM

    You always sound so perfect Carrie.
What's with that?
Oh. Yeah. I get it, you AREN'T perfect!!! You don't drink your water!!!
I was really worried there.

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    Have a great week,Carrie!!!

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

The other evening I was at the gym in the locker room getting ready, and I heard this woman complaining about all the New Years Resolution Gym Members. She complained that "her" treadmill was taken up, how there were no parking spaces, and something else (I kinda tuned it out). I smiled and nodded like I usually do - I don't like to knock anyone who is going to put the time into going to the gym.

This morning, I heard it again. I went early to set up for Body Pump. Half an hour before class it was already pretty full! I think it's a great energy - the full Body Pump class. But as I was setting up, I hear not one, not two, but at least three people complaining about all the people at the gym. "I've been going here 2 and a half years and I've never seen it this way." Blah blah blah.

I smiled and nodded, and finished setting up my stuff. I left, went over to the cardio room, and everything was full! Every single machine! So did I complain and b!tch and moan? No. I went over to the weight room and got my strength training on. Got some kettlebell and medicine ball training done, and it felt great.

So I came home, and I was really kind of bothered by the negative attitudes I heard at the gym. I mean, it's a place where you go to improve yourself in some way... nobody would be there if that wasn't one of their general goals. If people have been going to the gym for so long and *know* that this time of the year is busy, then they would come early to set up for class. It's not like an extra 30 minutes of something else while you wait for class to start is going to kill you. And if that's an inconvenience, start going on an off time. If you've been going for so long, you'll know when it's busy and when it's not.


Body Pump was good. I really like the class - it gets me doing those lunges and squats that I don't do enough of on my own. And the music is really really good! And it's also good for my ego - I have really good form when I lift; my chiropractor/physical therapist was very big on correct form when I went to do PT. My trainer was really big on form as well; so I am very conscious of what my body is doing when it lifts. So sometimes I look around to see everyone's form (I *know* I'm not the only one!) and I notice how some people are totally using the wrong muscles to do the move. I don't like to judge, but it really makes me appreciate my attention to detail. Brad says that's why I'll make a good personal trainer.

Mom and I went to lunch - I had to give her a pair of glasses for some new lenses, and I had to exchange a shirt. I had some Tom Yum soup and Pad Thai with tofu. SOOOO good. And then an Oatmeal Scotchie cookie from the Toll House store for dessert. Warm and gooey and delicious. Went to Barnes and Noble and picked up The New Rules of Lifting for Women. As much as I like my classes at the gym, I think that March is going to be "me time" at the gym and out running. I'm pretty introverted, and I don't go to the gym to be social. Sometimes I get a little jealous of all the people who talk with their buddies at the gym, but I just don't go to the gym for that. So I think I'd like to get back into putting on my iPod and hitting the weight room by myself. It's so therapeutic.


- finish load of laundry
- take polish off toes
- loosely plan next week's meals
- read my new book and some other good stuff
- enjoy my bubbly!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEPPIESUSAN 2/21/2011 4:06PM

    I wish I had your attitude about the crowds at the gym....I'm one of the complainers. Well, like you, I'm more of an introvert so I do most of the complaining in my head or in my blog, but I hate the cutthroat aspect of finding a parking spot and a space in the studio for Body Pump. And there's usually another class before Body Pump at my gym, so setting up early isn't always an option. I do it on Thursday nights though which is the only time there isn't another class ahead of time.

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MIAMIA7 2/21/2011 9:18AM

    Great bog Carrie! Makes us all try to be more positive towards helping people! We have a VERY small gym and I don't use the tm and such cause I have it at home but can see the frustration of the "regulars" when they were all (3) in use! Recently I was watching a woman showing her youngish (maybe 12) son how to workout correctly on the machines. It was cool to see them work out together. Hope you enjoyed your bubbly! And you reminded me that I need to do my pedicure! Anne

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COOPSM 2/21/2011 8:30AM

    Can't wait to hear what you think of NROLFW.......

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PILLOWFOOL 2/21/2011 2:36AM

    I know what you mean about being a bit frustrated at all the negative language. I mean - we were all new once, right? I can understand being a bit miffed if it's busier than usual - but you know it's coming, prepare for it. And we should all be encouraging other people to get fit as we get fit! Silly people. I think your attention to detail and great form are absolutely why you would make a great PT - you know how important it is to work the right muscles for a particular exercise to avoid injury and make sure it's doing the job you want it to do!

I LOOOOOOOVE tom yum and pad thai - that's one of the awesome things about having such a large south east asian population in dubai. AWESOME thai food :)
have a great week!

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    I train new members in the weight training and cardio equipment room at our YMCA. I often here about how intimidated many of them feel by the members who have been coming for a long time and are openly possessive and irritated by newbies. Its a sore spot with me. I've watched people who had to shore up the courage to even walk in the door, give up on trying to maintain any kind of workout routine, because they feel unwelcome. We should be embracing and supporting those people in our community who are trying to change their unhealthy lifestyles. Clearly, with our society's healthcare issues, we need proactive healthy citizens.

Shame on those women.

Thank you for posting your comments! And enjoy the new weightlifting routine. I LOVE that book!

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SOUTHGOINGZAX 2/20/2011 10:45AM

    I've really enjoyed the workouts in that book - I hope to complete my second round of the training schedule sometime this year - stage 7 is a killer!

Being around people who constantly complain is no fun - I think people must not realize just how negative they are being. It's something that I have noticed a lot lately, especially with some of the people in my life. I've never been a super cheerful person, but I am really working on trying to stay grateful for all of the good things in my life and I try to project a positive energy with my words and my expressions. Dolphin Face.

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LALAFLOWERS 2/20/2011 7:41AM

    I do agree about the negative attitudes. I've been seeing lots of it around here on SP too.. not fun! But, good job on the lifting! I do some, but I know I don't do enough.

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GSDMIKE 2/19/2011 10:04PM

    I've got the New Rules book. I really like it. It actually got me to do a little strength training a few times, which is saying something.

I understand the frustration of the folks at the gym this time of year. But I guess it's part of the game. I'm really not much of a gym guy any more, though back when I used to use ellipticals and stationary bikes, January was not much fun. Just more motivation to get out there and run in those wind chills for me.

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PHOENIXK26 2/19/2011 8:03PM

    These are the same people who invite others to church then complain because someone is sitting in "their" place. I admit, sometimes it gets more crowded than I care for, but I love the energy when the place is hopping!


Comment edited on: 2/19/2011 8:04:11 PM

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THE_JENCH 2/19/2011 7:18PM

    I would fully agree about gym time being ME time. Sometimes I've gone with friends but generally we do our own things, maybe chat a bit over cardio and I had one friend who, she and I, had created a whole weight routine that we giggled our way through. I prefer chatting in the locker room rather than interrupting my stride! Ipods are wonderful to continually motivate and offer a great excuse to be antisocial for an hour!

I also share your frustration with people who complain about other peoples new gym habits. We all have to start somewhere! It's 6 weeks past January 1 though, would seem that your new gym patrons have some devotion! People are funny about what we complain about.

Enjoy your bubbly and the rest of your weekend!

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CASSIOEPIA 2/19/2011 7:08PM

    Enjoy that new book.

I hate it at work when the talk turns negative at coffee break, and I've been known to walk out, cause I just can't stand to listen to it. There are so many other, and more 'real' types of problems. Bickering is one of my pet peeves.

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Are you sleeping? Are you sleeping? Yes I am, Yes I am...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I've been having a little trouble sleeping lately... the worst part was getting up in the middle of the night and not being able to fall back asleep. That's the worst!

So somewhere I read about how "white noise" helps you sleep. I think it was in a health magazine at the gym... at any rate, I decided to get the White Noise app for my phone. It plays all kinds of sounds - rain, crickets, storms... and you can set it to play all night.

Well holy moly, it works. This week I have been sleeping GREAT. I've been able to get back to sleep if I wake up in the middle of the night, and I've been awake two days (out of four) before my alarm went off. Hooray!


- Drink lots of water. Again, slacking on the water. Ugh.
- Go to stretch and Body Pump after school
- Be positive. Yesterday was a rough day - someone in my building did something that wasn't very smart, and it ruined my whole day. I don't want that to happen today.
- Update my gym play list. It's getting a little stale.

Have a super day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TAMARAC2 2/17/2011 10:32PM

    I have that sleeping problem, and I have that app, but I keep forgetting to use it. I have been trying just about every other trick I know to fall back asleep, but I'll have to try that one again!

Glad to hear someone is enjoying sleeping again!!!

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CASSIOEPIA 2/17/2011 9:46PM

    We leave our furnace fan running all the time for white noise, but I do believe I want to check out your app!

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COOPSM 2/17/2011 9:37PM

    Great idea Carrie---may have to try the white noise..
Hope you had a better day today at work....

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ONECOOKIETWO 2/17/2011 2:47PM

    White noise is working for you!!!
What, did you have black noise before? (I'm defining black noise as too much self talk when trying to drift off to sleep).
emoticon emoticon

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TORTUETOO 2/17/2011 2:17PM

    That was my biggest problem when we moved - after living on a busy street for so many years, I couldn't handle how QUIET it was at night! Lots of times I sleep with a fan on, just for the noise. I'll have to check out that app - thanks for the tip!

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PINKCOCONUT 2/17/2011 10:58AM

    I'm a huge fan of white noise as I'm a light sleeper, I actually keep the humidifier going at night and I sleep like a baby!

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GSDMIKE 2/17/2011 9:05AM

    My brother-in-law can't sleep without a fan running. It's not for cooling, it's for the white noise. I tend to sleep better in the summer with the ceiling fan on too, and would probably run it year round if I got to make the climate decisions around our house.


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HEALTHYASHLEY 2/17/2011 7:58AM

    I need to update my play list too. Thanks for reminding me. I am so checking out that app!

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    glad you're sleeping better,Carrie!! I run a humidifier in my room for Daniel and it's great for sleeping,too.

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SCEELLA 2/17/2011 7:15AM

    Haha, I love the post name :D Good luck with your goals! And have a nice long uninterrupted sleep during nighttime!

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Monday, February 14, 2011

I love my honey for many reasons... one of those reasons is that he is a great cook, and he taught me how to cook for myself. I mean, I could always cook, but it was usually just heating up some mac and cheese or Shake n' Bake. Tonight I threw together a shrimp soup... I used to be so scared of making soup, but Brad taught me a practically fool-proof way to make soup. And I'm going to share it with you.
*Note - I don't really measure my ingredients when I make soup, so don't get hung up on exact amounts.

Step One: Saute some onions/shallots/scallions and carrots (or no carrots, whatever), add a little garlic when the onion is cooked a bit. I use just enough oil to have a very thin coating on the bottom of the pan - probably not even half a tablespoon. And if you want to use bacon, you can start by cooking the bacon in the pan and using the bacon fat to saute the veggies. Add a little salt and pepper and any other dry spices/herbs.
Step Two: Add shrimp/chicken/tofu, salt and pepper as needed. If you need to add a little broth or water to keep the food from sticking, now is the time. Just a little bit right now, enough to get up the delicious brown bits.
Step Three: Add broth. Broth is so much tastier than water.
Step Four (totally optional - usually I am done by this point): Add leafy greens (kale, spinach, etc) and/or pasta (I like little orzo or vermicelli). Simmer until pasta is done. Season to taste.

Voila! A really simple simple simple soup. And it really doesn't take long at all. I think the most time consuming part is cutting up the veggies and thawing the shrimp. But you can cut up the veggies and thaw the night before. Tonight I had piping hot soup not half an hour after I got home from the gym. And so ridiculously healthy. Shrimp - about 100 calories. Vermicelli - about 100 calories. Oil - *maybe* 60 calories. Everything else - negligible.

That soup was so light that I treated myself to some chocolate ricotta "mousse" for dessert, which was also ridiculously easy.
1) Melt 1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate
2) Add a serving of ricotta
3) Mix in vanilla and sugar/honey/maple syrup/stevia/whatever
4) Enjoy your ridiculously easy and AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS dessert.

I got a giant tub of ricotta at the store on Sunday and am planning on having this dessert ALL WEEK.

I have to confess - today at school I had two chocolate cupcakes and two chocolate-covered strawberries. There is a mom who is an amazing baker and these cupcakes were just AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH SOOOOOOO good. It was actually a small miracle that I stuck to two. But you know what's funny, since I started watching my refined sugar and white flour intake, I have been really good at not going carb-crazy. Even after eating the first cupcake, it's not like I wanted to devour another one instantly, which is what was happening in January. So there is a bit of progress! And then I did 15 minutes on the bike and a 60 minute Body Pump class, so take that, cupcakes.

*General Tso update - it's funny how giving into a craving just kills it. There is absolutely NO PART of me that has any desire to eat Chinese food. Maybe in a couple months...

Off to bed.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BSTAKINGACTION 2/15/2011 10:30AM

    Thanks, the dessert idea. And I, too, was amazed at how easy a simple soup can be. Always thought it had to be an entire day of simmering to be like "mom's". I appreciate your sharing this! And, everything in moderation right? I'm all about enjoying the edible works of art that some people can create. Life's too short.

You're doing great!

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COOPSM 2/15/2011 8:32AM

    Carrie----loved this......I am going to make both of these!!!! Thanks for sharing.....when is the next cooking lesson???

Have my CSA app. all filled out, just need to amil that and the money.....lookign forward to it....may be hitting you up for ideas.....LOL

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LAGREBE 2/15/2011 7:30AM

    Soups are so easy to make and wonderful food to eat! (especially with chocolate covered strawberries for dessert!)

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GONE2014 2/14/2011 11:21PM

    Your recipe sounds so good ... and easy enough that maybe I could even make it!!! Thanks so much for sharing and Happy Valentines Day to you!!!!

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GSDMIKE 2/14/2011 11:01PM

    I owe my cooking skills to Alton Brown and Giada Delaurentis. And I guess to a willingness to risk cutting my fingertips off. Getting past the knife fear was really the biggest step for me.

My mom gives me the knife work now when I'm in her kitchen. Which is totally cool.

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

I had a paragraph written but I just couldn't think of a cohesive blog. So here are my thoughts in a list.

- I want to try some new nutrition stuff - lower carbs, upping the protein, and even adding in a protein shake a few times a week.
- i REALLY want to get my body fat % lower, which is why I want to do this. I picked up Muscle and Fitness Hers and I LOVE it. I look at the strong women in the magazine, and that's what I want to be. So along with the Spark diet, I want to start loosely following some of the eating plans in there (lots of protein, not so many carbs).
- I made some awesome veggie chili tonight. SOOOO good. And home made corn bread. YUM
- I seriously feel a difference in my thighs since I started doing Body Pump. I suppose that two entire songs of squats and lunges will do that do a person.
- I did NOT eat out of boredom AT ALL today. This is a big step - lately I've been struggling with this. I *knew* that I was eating out of boredom, but I did it anyway. Sigh.

That's all for now... I think I'd like to relax tonight. I did a lot of running around today and got lots done around the house. Time for the couch and a glass of wine.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARLIMOO 2/14/2011 3:40PM

    I bought some protein powder for the same reason- From GNC. I have used it= sprinkled in my oatmeal, added to shakes- not regularly though. I plan to kick it up in that regard- AFTER the marathon. So for now- ST and all of that is secondary. I am mainly doing my running thang- which is effecting my weight loss. Staying same size, but up - about 5 total to my lowest. Not the greatest, but not horrific. YOU GO. You can do it. Wine rocks.

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THE_JENCH 2/13/2011 11:45PM

    In the locker room of my gym on Saturday I saw a woman take a big bin out of her locker, scoop some powder into a cup and pour in some juice. Although I assumed it was protein powder I had to ask what she was doing. She told me, yes, it was protein powder and she was trying to increase her muscle mass so was drinking one or two shakes a day, always one after a workout. I'm not sure of the specifics but it could be something to look into?

Mmmm... wine! I had some with dinner tonight... and then chocolate cake with ganache and (half fat) ice cream... so good and worth it sometimes!

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LALAFLOWERS 2/13/2011 9:09PM

    Had my wine with supper... now, back to lots of water.. with all my running around, I didn't drink as much as usual...

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