Birthday Week Plan: October 10 – 16

Weekend Recap

  • Friday – I was facing the reality of getting older while enjoying a wicked awesome salad with my friend Becky!

  • Saturday- I had health on the brain and went on a wonderful movie date with Neal
  • Sunday- 6 mile run + trying out a new recipe + finishing a lot of graduate work = A great sense of accomplishment

So I know I’ve been talking about it a lot, but I just love birthdays and I am really excited about my upcoming birthday.  This week is “birthday week”, according to Neal, so I’ve come up with a workout and meal plan but have a lot of ‘?’ towards the end of the week.

I’m also hoping for a great weigh in on Tuesday morning, as I’ve been working hard to watch my portion sizes, incorporate more fruits and veggies, and to avoid binge eating.

Workout

Breakfast

Lunch

Snack

Dinner

Plans

Monday

30 minute run

1 egg, 1 slice turkey bacon, slice of tomato on English muffin

Leftover tuna casserole, banana, yogurt

Pumpkin fluff (see below!!), honeycrisp apple

Bobby’s Burger Palace

DC Outing with Neal after work- MLK memorial and dinner

Tuesday

Weight Lifting

Pumpkin spice bread with peanut butter and sliced banana

Leftover tuna casserole, banana, yogurt

Pumpkin fluff, honeycrisp apple

Salad @ home

The Biggest Loser

Wednesday

4 mile run

1 egg, 1 slice turkey bacon, slice of tomato on English muffin

Leftover tuna casserole, banana, yogurt

Pumpkin fluff, honeycrisp apple

Mexican Acorn Squash with corn and avocado salad

Graduate work

Thursday

Weight Lifting

Pumpkin spice bread with peanut butter and sliced banana

Salad with chicken breast, can of soup

Pumpkin fluff, honeycrisp apple

Leftover Mexican Acorn Squash with corn and avocado salad

?

Friday

35 min run

1 egg, 1 slice turkey bacon, slice of tomato on English muffin

Salad with chicken breast, can of soup

?

?

?

Saturday

Off

?

?

?

?

Iowa vs. Northwestern @ 6PM

Sunday

7 mile run

?

?

?

?

My Birthday—

Woop Woop

One of my favorite snacks to make in the fall is Pumpkin Fluff.  I first learned about pumpkin fluff when I was with Weight Watchers a few years back and have enjoyed making it ever since.  Pumpkin fluff is so easy to make and it is SO tasty!

Pumpkin Fluff

  • 1 box fat free butterscotch pudding mix
  • 1 tub of low fat cool whip
  • 1 can pumpkin

Original Directions

  1. Make box of fat free butterscotch pudding as directed
  2. Stir in can of pumpkin
  3. Fold in cool whip
  4. Serve

Ashley’s Directions

  1. Sir butterscotch pudding powder with can of pumpkin.  The water from the pumpkin is enough to make the pudding in my opinion.

2.    Fold in cool whip

3.    Store in individual serving containers for easy to grab snacks!  I love eating the fluff with apple slices.

4.  Give leftovers to boyfriend.

Happy Monday Everyone!

What’s your favorite fall recipe?  Do you have any birthday traditions?

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Counting Calories

Happy Monday Everyone!

Hard to believe that this will be my first full week of work in over 2 weeks.  Vacationing in Iowa gave me a two day work week two weeks ago and then Labor day gave us a 4 day work week last week.  Back to normalcy I guess, and hopefully weather wise too!  I’m not sure if I can take any more earthquakes, hurricanes, and flooding.

Last night, after watching the Redskins beat the Giants, Neal and I made the most delicious hamburgers.  We began by sauteing onions, which Neal chopped with his new knife. We then cooked our beef burgers, from Whole Foods, on our stove top grill.  The burgers were so incredibly juicy and the onions were so sweet.  Once everything was cooked we assembled our burgers.  Bun, beef burger, slice of blue cheese (Trader Joes), onion, a little mustard, and a little BBQ sauce.  PERFECTION!

This week I really want to focus on my calories in and my calories out.  I have a hard time because I know I’m eating “good” food but my portion sizes are just too large.  It’s great that I’m eating healthy, but 2000 calories is 2000 calories, whether I’m eating whole wheat pasta or potato chips.

I also feel like I often “ruin” a day with a random binge.  Last week it was Chex’s new Muddy Buddy mix.  I polished off a bag with Neal when we were at the movies on Saturday.  Not my finest moment.  Portion control is my biggest struggle and I hope counting my calories this week will show me where my portions should be.

This week I am going to log my food intake into My Plate.  I just need to gain a better perspective on how many calories I’m consuming.

Do you journal your food intake online?  What website do you use?

Here is this week’s weekly plan:

Workout

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Plans

Monday

20 min. run (E) and weights at work

Bowl of cereal with blueberries

Ham sandwich with swiss cheese and garlic hummus, grapes

Mexican turkey meatloaf with mashed potatoes

Cooking and graduate work

Tuesday

Off

Oatmeal with peanut butter

Leftover meatloaf and mashed potatoes

Good bye party after work and graduate work

Wednesday

2 mile run (E) and weights at work

Bowl of cereal with blueberries

Leftover meatloaf and mashed potatoes

Dinner with Liz

Crocheting class with Liz

Thursday

Spin

Oatmeal with peanut butter

Ham sandwich with swiss cheese and garlic hummus

Pasta with tuna and a side of asparagus

Graduate work

Friday

25 min. run (E) and weights at work

Oatmeal with peanut butter

Ham sandwich with swiss cheese and garlic hummus

I’m really looking forward to the crocheting class Liz and I are attending on Wednesday night.  I’ve been wanting to learn how to crochet for some time, and I’m excited to have found a studio that offers classes.  I’m going to be crocheting blankets before you know it!  I haven’t confessed this yet, but I have a little bit of a knitting obsession.  I enjoy it for many reasons…

  • It’s a fun hobby
  • It’s good for stress management
  • You create beautiful gifts for loved ones
  • It keeps your hands busy (when traveling, watching tv, or when you’re looking to pass the time)

I also need to get a lot of graduate work done this week, so I’m hoping to get to bed at a reasonable time each night that way I have energy on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday to crank out some graduate work after work.

I hope today goes well for you and that you have a fantastic week!

Flying High

Who says you can’t drink wine out of a straw?

OK, maybe not but it was a fun picture!  Last night Neal and I went out to dinner with his parents at the new Italian restaurant in town, Napoli’s.  As they don’t have a booze license yet, we brought our own wine… which was awesome!

The meal started with hot rolls and dinner salads.  For dinner I ordered the chicken cacciatore with spicy marinara sauce.  Neal ordered the sampler, Neal’s mom ordered lobster ravioli, and Neal’s dad ordered a seafood dish (can’t remember the name).

We also ordered a cannoli and piece of strawberry cheesecake for dessert.  The cannoli was so awesome!  I just loved the filling.  I could totally do without the fried pastry, but the filling is just amazing.

This morning Neal and I got up early to get in a run before breakfast.  We headed down Main Street and ran over to Grinnell College.  The campus is beautiful and it is also the site of the first University of Iowa football game.  Although Iowa, formally known as the State University of Iowa (SUI), lost that game it was really cool to see the field where the Hawkeye’s first played.

We ran for about 40 minutes, burning 453 calories and running about 4 miles, give or take (this is why I need the forerunner).  We also ran past some gorgeous houses with beautiful gardens.

After our run Neal and I had breakfast with his parents.  I ordered an omelet with an English muffin and Neal ordered a breakfast combo (pancake, eggs, hash browns, etc.)

I love dining with Neal and his parents though I must admit, I’m looking forward to getting back home to my oatmeal, eggs, salads, and new recipes!

Now we’re at the airport, waiting to fly back home.  I had a wonderful time in Iowa and am so grateful for Neal’s family.  They are so welcoming and it’s amazing to have a great relationship with them!

Weekly Plan

Workout

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Plans

Monday

20 min run (E) in Iowa (Check!)

Omelet and an English muffin

At the airport…

Traveling back home

Tuesday

Spin AM

Homemade smoothie pre workout, oatmeal and iced coffee post workout

Vegetable stir fry (Trader Joe’s), apple sauce, granola bar

Quinoa and asparagus

Back to work… grocery shopping and organizing things at home after work

Wednesday

2 mile run (E)

1 egg, 2 egg white sandwich, fruit

Leftover quinoa and asparagus

Grilled veggie and goat cheese sandwich

Cooking and graduate work

Thursday

Off

Homemade smoothie pre workout, oatmeal and iced coffee post workout

Grilled veggie and goat cheese sandwich, Figs

Taco Soup and seven layer dip

Dinner with the gang: Planning on making Taco Soup

Friday

20 min run (E) and weight lifting

1 egg, 2 egg white sandwich, fruit

Grilled veggie and goat cheese sandwich, Figs

Leftover taco soup

Enjoy a relaxing Friday night!

Saturday

Off

Pumpkin oatmeal and coffee

Lunch at Neal’s

Leftover taco soup

Alexandria’s Festival of the Arts and Iowa vs. Iowa State game

Sunday

3 mile run with Neal

Protein bar pre workout, post workout ??

Leftover taco soup

Homemade pizza with Neal

Redskins vs. Giants and plenty of graduate work

It looks to be a busy week, but it’ll be good getting back into the swing of things.

Happy Labor Day Everybody!

Weekly Plan: August 22-28

Oh graduate school, how I’ve missed you so… Ok, not so much, but it’s good to start another semester!  As each month passes, I am one step closer to finishing my masters degree!  Today was the first day of the fall semester.  I am now just 4 classes away from finishing my masters degree but my classes this fall look to be pretty tough.   I’ve spent most of the evening analyzing my syllabi and organizing my school work but the highlight of my day was getting my first issue of Bon Appetite magazine in the mail today.

I am OBSESSED with buying magazine subscriptions.  The day it hit me that I could get 2 years (24 magazines) worth of magazines for $20 verses spending $20 on 5 magazines at the store, I was forever changed.

My magazine subscriptions include:

  • Self
  • Shape
  • Readers Digest (I know, I know)
  • Whole Living (From a Groupon)
  • Everyday Living (From a Groupon)
  • Bon Appetit (From a Groupon)
  • Washingtonian  (not renewing after this year)
  • Prevention
  • Real Simple (not renewing after this year)
  • Women’s Health

I know… that’s a LOT but in the end, I still spend less than if I bought magazines at the store each month.  I really enjoy reading magazines.  It’s relaxing to me and takes me away from graduate work when I need it.  I’d love to get Rachel Ray’s magazine and Cooking Light.  Maybe after Real Simple and Washingtonian expire.

Tonight I made a big salad (Seinfeld reference anyone?) with black beans, corn, salsa, and sour cream.  I also cooked up from chicken for lunches and dinners later in the week.  I’ve really fallen in love with the Trader Joes marinated chicken breasts.  Tonight I made the Pesto Genovese, which I plan to use in salads, over pasta, and with couscous this week.

The key to staying on top of my eating and workouts throughout the week is planning my week ahead on Sundays.  Even if things need to be adjusted throughout the week, planning helps me keep my stress levels down when things get busy during the week.  I also feel a great sense of accomplishment when I’ve stuck to my plan, something I’ve really been working on.

Weekly Plan: August 22-28

Workout Breakfast Lunch Dinner Plans
Monday 40 min. elliptical/weight training Quaker Oats squares, frozen fresh blueberries, ½ cup Greek yogurt Leftover Greek pasta salad (pasta, artichoke hearts, chickpeas, roasted tomatoes, balsamic dressing) Salad (mixed greens, black beans, corn, salsa, sour cream) and 1 piece of Naan bread Organizing graduate work for the fall and redoing last night’s Fantasy Football draft
Tuesday Spin Oatmeal with protein powder  and 1 TBSP peanut butter, banana, iced coffee Lunch at work meeting Salad (mixed greens, black beans, grilled chicken, salad dressing) Create fall training program (running and weight lifting) and graduate work
Wednesday 40 min. elliptical/weight training Bagel thin with 2 egg whites, laughing cow cheese, plum Salad (mixed greens, black beans, grilled chicken, salad dressing) Couscous, grilled chicken, asparagus Graduate work
Thursday Spin Oatmeal with protein powder  and 1 TBSP peanut butter, banana, iced coffee Couscous, grilled chicken, asparagus Dinner with Neal Graduate work and Redskins Football!
Friday Off Bagel thin with cream cheese, banana Vegetable stir fry Dinner with family Enjoying my Friday night
Saturday Spin Breakfast with my Aunt ?? ?? Graduate work
Sunday Running with Neal Oatmeal with protein powder  and 1 TBSP peanut butter, banana, iced coffee Work luncheon Dinner with Neal (need to use a Groupon) Graduate work and Fantasy Football draft number 2

The first week of each semester is always rather stressful for me… just takes me a good week to get my brain around my assignments and to create a new routine.  My goal this week is not to overeat due to stress and to make sure I workout as planned.

What’s your favorite magazine?

A New Hangout Spot!

Sunday turned out to be a fantastic day!  Now if you read yesterday’s post about being mentally defeated, my plan was to go to spin this morning… but when my alarm went off I decided a good nights rest was what I needed.  Instead of being discouraged, I just decided to go to the gym later in the day.

The first thing I did when I woke up this morning was to finalize my Healthy Living Summit ticket purchase!!  A fellow blogger wasn’t able to attend this year, so she sold me her ticket.  I am SO incredibly excited to attend and can’t wait to be in Philly this weekend!

After coming off of that high, Neal and I set out to run some errands.  Since moving to Alexandria I’ve driven past the same shopping center every time I’ve got to the grocery store.  I always see the sign for “Grounded Coffee” but for whatever reason, I’ve never stopped to check it out.  Well today, I took a leap and stopped by Grounded Coffee.  I was SO happy to see what I had found!

I had been looking for a coffee shop, other than Starbucks, that I could go to when I needed to get some graduate work done or just wanted to get away for a bit.

The shop was super cute, filled with lots of comfy chairs, couches, and tables.  It was very inviting and homey.  They served all sorts of pastries, sandwiches, hot drinks, cold drinks, smoothies, and ground coffee.

Check out those bags... those are "I need coffee stat" bags under my eyes"

With a hot skim chai latte in my hand, Neal and I headed off to the grocery store.  So what’s better than Goldfish crackers??  Whales of course, lol.  Neal and I thought this was super funny.

There was also an awful lot of fall and Halloween candy out already… hard to believe since it’s still August!  I feel like the summer always gets jipped but the fall is pretty awesome too!

Neal and I got back home around 3PM, giving me about 1.5 hours to put away groceries, run to the gym, shower and get ready for church… so that’s what I did!  The gym was fantastic.  I worked out on the elliptical for 30 minutes and burned 407 calories.  I then ran home (in my car), hopped in the shower, and raced to meet the gang for church.  After church, Neal, Liz, Matt, and I went to Coastal Flats.

My dinner was super yummy– chopped salad with carrots, radishes, roasted corn, grilled salmon, and a light ranch dressing.

Matt also ordered this rocking white chocolate bread pudding… it was amazing.

Matt and "Eric"

After dinner we played a game of Yahtzee on the iPad2 and I ran into Barnes and Nobles to see if Tina’s book “Carrots N Cake” was available… and it sure was!

All in all I had a fantastic weekend!  Plenty of rest, lots of time with friends, and got all of my to-dos accomplished!

The week ahead is organized and my #1 goal is to stick to my plan.  My meals are planned, my workouts are planned, and my second week at my new job should be fantastic!  I do not want to be mentally defeated this week, that is my mission!

Workout Breakfast Lunch Dinner Plans
Monday 30 minutes elliptical and weight lifting Homemade smoothie, apples Ham sandwich, carrot salad, plum Homemade pizza with chicken sausage Laundry!
Tuesday Spin Homemade smoothie, bagel thin post workout Leftover pizza, grapes Dinner at Guapos Hang out with old friend
Wednesday 30 minutes on treadmill and weight lifting Cereal with almond milk Greek pasta salad, plum Ham sandwich, grapes, apples for game Nationals baseball game
Thursday Cereal with almond milk Greek pasta salad, plum Stir-fry Final destination 5
Friday 30 minutes elliptical and weight lifting Homemade smoothie, grapes Leftover stir-fry, plum ?? HLS!

I hope each of you have a wonderful Monday!  How was your weekend?