Dee Vee Dee

Good evening, all!

This was honestly a very uneventful day.  I had tomato soup and yogurt for lunch.  Work was smooth sailing.  It’s still really, really cold.  Good times!

Tim called me about 3:30 to let me know he’d be home around 6:30 tonight.  This meant that I couldn’t get to the gym after work because I had to go home to take the dog out.  I was a little sad because I’ve been dying for some weightlifting and a treadmill run, but, hey, no big deal, just means I have to get creative with my workout again!

Yesterday’s Wii workout wasn’t the most successful and I was honestly left feeling lazy and un-worked-out.  No good.  Then, of course, later that night I remembered that I do own an actual workout DVD that I used to enjoy and do all the time: Biggest Loser Cardio Max.  So, I decided that would be the perfect solution for tonight, since it’s still a wee bit too cold to hit the pavement.

This DVD is divided up into three “levels.”  Level one is with friendly trainer Bob.  This section is about 20 minutes, and uses light weights.  Again, I don’t consider this weightlifting, rather accelerated cardio.  He uses simple moves like jumping jacks, combined with more advanced moves.  He uses some interesting wood-chop-like moves that I really like for some reason.’

Then, it’s Jillian time!  You all know I’m a big Jillian fan, and, as  usual, this is the highlight of the DVD for me.  It’s 10 minutes with her, but it’s an intense 10 minutes (of course).  She uses a lot of her standard moves that appear in all her DVDs, but this is a fun section that flies by.

The third and final section is with former Biggest Loser trainer Kim Lyons.  I don’t know how to put it other than bluntly–this part of the DVD sucks.  It is not hard and she shrieks a lot.  It’s like watching Fitness Barbie on crack.  At this point, I remembered from my past experiences, it is a great idea to mute the TV, or skip back and do Jillian’s section again if you’re a glutton for punishment.

Buckley decided he wanted to participate as well:

All in all, I give this workout 4 stars out of 5.  It’s good, but Kim just ruins the whole thing for me.  You all know I’m in at least half decent shape–don’t let the “Biggest Loser” title fool you, this is a pretty challenging workout.   There’s a lot of plyometrics (jumping) involved, which is really pretty advanced stuff. I doubt that someone very out of shape would be able to keep up without some serious modifications.   It’s also nice that the background people are past contestants.  I’m not a compulsive Biggest Loser watcher–I watch most of the episodes, but didn’t start until last year–but it’s good to see regular-looking people working out and not super thin dancers.

By the time I’d finished and showered, Tim was walking in the door!  It’s so good to have him home again.  It’s been awfully quiet around here!

Team Bob or Team Jillian?

Advertisements

Wedding bands!

First things first!   The randomly chosen winner of the Oikos yogurt giveaway is comment #8, Grace, who says:

“My favorite is a Greek yogurt parfait… a layer of greek yogurt, then bananas, then yogurt again, then topped with granola and ground flax.”

Grace, e-mail me at thefitbride at gmail dot com to claim your prize!

Moving right along…it is so good to be home.  I miss T and the animals so much when I travel!

We both slept in pretty late today.  I had some toast with almond butter and then went upstairs to do Jillian Michaels’ No More Trouble Zones DVD.  I did about half–that DVD just turns me into jelly!  I’m sure I’ll be feeling it tomorrow.  My shoulders and abs were mush by the time I stopped.  Then I took a shower and we went to pick up our wedding bands!

I am a sucker for jewelry.  I’m also kind of a snob–I just feel weird wearing cheap costume jewelry on a daily basis, so instead I’ve asked for nice jewelry for various holidays and gotten it.  I wear the same pair of simple pearl earrings every day, plus my engagement ring and about half the time, a necklace with a pearl pendant T got me last Christmas.  So, needless to say, I’m excited to add another item to my jewelry wardrobe!  They didn’t let me take any pictures in the store, so I went a little crazy when we got home.

All together:

Just mine:

One of the things that bothered me about a lot of wedding bands is that they were flat against my finger.  My engagement ring is a small cathedral setting, meaning it raises up from my finger a little bit, and I finally found a band that’s raised on top and thinner on the bottom too.  I’m a little OCD and having the two different would bother me.

T’s ring is a classic yellow gold band.  I love it–it’s very him and will never go out of style.

(Like the camera reflection?)

Anyway, I’m happy we have these checked off our list and totally paid for.  I love mine and I want to start wearing it now…but unfortunately I’ll have to wait.  Sigh.  Just a little over five months to go..

Have a great Saturday everyone!

Iowa!

Hi from the road again!  I’m in and around Iowa this time, a place near and dear to my heart.  T and I met in Iowa and I will forever remember it as the place we spent one summer falling in love, the place we got engaged, and the place we started our happy little family together.  (Cats, people.  No babies.)   Driving around here reminds me of all the various things we did in our three years here together and it makes me sad that I’m by myself this time.

I made a breakfast cookie again this morning.  This time I used less milk and added dried cherries!  Yum.  It’s not to the point where I can pick it up and eat it yet, but I think the third time will be the charm.  (Unfortunately, I’m out of protein powder and will have to pick up more!)  I also used peanut butter, not almond butter, today, and I liked the flavor a lot better.  I like AB and PB, but I think sometimes they’re better suited to different things.

Anyway, when your job takes you through rural Missouri and Iowa, you see things like this–an entire aisle of jerky!  (I could not find a single snack in this gas station that didn’t scare the bejeezus out of me.)

I broke into an Almond Fudge Clif Bar instead.  I ate half at around 11 because I was getting hangry and had to work through the lunch hour!  I finished up around 1, and instead of hitting up Subway in the town I was in, I ate the other half of the bar and drove an hour to my alma mater’s town for the best tomato soup ever.  I didn’t eat until about 2, but it was worth the wait!  I had a cup of soup (their cup is huge), a piece of bread, and a bowl of watermelon and pineapple.  Annnd they just happened to have my favorite bar, so I picked one up for tomorrow’s snack!

I will be at five different colleges this week.  Because traveling makes me a little sad and I miss T and the animal crew, I decided to make others happy with Operation Beautiful notes on every campus!

College #1.  Please note my kicky red winter coat, which I lovelovelove.

(Bonus points: name that movie!)

College #2:

At College #2 I had a rapt audience of thousands:

Oh, wait.  Dammit.

The upshot of nobody attending was that I only stuck around waiting for SOMEONE to show up for half an hour…then I checked into my hotel and did half an hour of Jillian Michaels’ Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism in a tiny square of hotel room space.  See?  I would estimate this is about the size of a yoga mat.

I forgot my sports bra (TMI) and almost threw in the towel and didn’t work out.  And then I realized how ridiculous that was, and that skipping the workout because of something so minor was something the OLD me would have done.  The NEW me works out in a regular bra and just holds the girls in place on the extra bouncy parts!

Now, I am off to have pizza with an old friend from law school and I will likely spend the evening watching Glee and catching up with the backlog in my Google Reader.

What places always make you feel warm and fuzzy when you visit?

A productive Sunday

Since T and I spent all day yesterday doing fun stuff, today was all business!  (Still fun, though.)

First, I went grocery shopping, and to Petsmart.

Since I’m going to be traveling this week again for work (Chicago this time–home sweet home!  Yay.), I decided to get in a workout today.  (I don’t usually work out on weekends unless I’m running a race.)  I kind of wanted to go for a run outside, but it’s been POURING rain all day.  I’d go if it was sprinkling, but this was full out, chilly rain, and the roads were slippery and muddy.  No thanks!  Instead I spent 50 minutes with Jillian Michaels, doing her “No More Trouble Zones” DVD.

Tangent: I believe in lifting HEAVY weights and I do not believe in “toning” with light weights.  HOWEVER, I will enthusiastically recommend any of Jillian’s DVDs that use tiny 5 pound-ish weights.  Why?  Well, they all involve awesome compound moves that are great for your body, like squats, combined with smaller isolation exercises, like a tricep kickback.  The larger move, like the squat, will skyrocket your heart rate, with the added benefit of the smaller exercise making it a wee bit more challenging. I don’t consider these DVDs weightlifting–I consider them cardio exercise, and I view the light weights as just adding a little extra level of difficulty to the cardio.  So, they’re kind of like cardio plus, I suppose?  Nonetheless, I give every single DVD by Jillian Michaels 5 out of 5 stars, and I’m pretty sure I’ve done them all.   They are challenging, require minimal equipment, and are effective.  Most of her workouts can be broken into two shorter workouts as well, which I like.

Then, after lunch and a shower, I threw in a load of laundry and hit the kitchen.  First project?  Chicken Corn Chowder, which I first saw on Heather’s blog.  I borrowed the recipe pretty much verbatim from her and Cooking Light, except I used garlic instead of green onion.

I made this last year and T wasn’t a fan, but I liked it.  So, I made a batch to freeze, heat, and eat for easy lunches.  I will honestly say that this soup is good, but not great, but I love soup and it is great and healthy for lunch paired with a nice salad.  Mission accomplished!

sunday 001

Tomorrow at work is our official Thanksgiving Dinner.  The university provides us with a turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese and everyone else brings in sides, desserts, and drinks.  I volunteered to bring a dessert, because I love nothing more than making baked goods…and then getting them out of my house.

Enter brownie balls, the cousin of the cake ball:

sunday 002

sunday 003

Directions: make brownie mix and bake.  Crumble.  Mix with frosting.  Ball.  Freeze.  Dip in chocolate.  NOM.

Then, I decided to roast another chicken with some veggies.  I just love these–tomorrow’s dinner will be quesadillas with leftover chicken, Laughing cow cheese, and wraps, and T will take some for lunch.  I am a big fan of meals that can stretch and stretch into several!  This time I added not only potatoes and carrots, but sweet potatoes to the pan.  I don’t think it could hold another veggie if I tried!

sunday 008

We are waiting for it to cook now with some Chateau Ste. Michelle cabernet sauvignon.  T and I recently discovered our love of cabernet, and so we are going to try to work on our wine knowledge without becoming snobs about it.  Next up is this bottle of Deep Purple red zinfandel!  Any suggestions for us?

sunday 009

Needless to say, after all this cooking, I’m exhausted, but alas, I have piles of laundry to iron.   Sigh.

What are your favorite recipes that can be re-invented throughout the week?

Just call me Jack Kerouac

Because I’m on the road.  (Awful, I know.)

This morning started bright and early.  I wanted to be on the road by 7 a.m. because the trip to Nebraska was going to take about 3.5 hours and I had to be there by 11.  I had some toast with almond butter and was on the way!

Around 8:30, I started feeling drowsy, which is bad when you’re driving.  So, because it was my only option, I stopped at a McDonalds near the Missouri/Iowa border for an iced coffee.  I would use the words “iced coffee” lightly, because this was really just coffee-flavored skim milk.  I am a coffee wuss, and usually add sweetener and cream or milk to mine, and I didn’t need to add anything to this.  It was TOO sweet, and I only drank half, but it did its job of keeping me awake.  And full!  I was burping after half of this I was so stuffed-feeling.  Must be all the protein in the milk?  And hey, since I’m traveling for work, I’m at least not paying for it!

ne 001

I finally arrived at my destination and did my thing for a few hours (I ate a Clif Kidz bar as a snack–love them!), and then hit up Panera for a late lunch and to leech off their free Wi-Fi.  I was starving, so I got a bowl of soup that came with bread and a yogurt parfait (and a cookie for later!).  I only ate half the soup though–it was kind of gelatinous and gross.  However, I love these yogurt parfaits with Stonyfield yogurt, strawberries, and maple pecan granola.  It’s nice to know I can get my daily yogurt parfait fix when I’m traveling!

ne 002

Yes, I am a diet soda junkie.  I try to limit it to one a day, occasionally two.  It could be worse.

Then I went to my second school, where I was supposed to give a PowerPoint presentation to a group of eager future law students in this very nice room:

ne 003

But nobody showed up!  That makes me sad.

ne 004

Obviously, I sat around taking pictures of myself for a commercially reasonable period of time, and then left to drive to my hotel.  Hey look, it’s my sorority!

ne 006

I arrived at my hotel tired, but ready to MOVE after sitting all day long.  Luckily my room was nice and roomy, and I did most of Jillian Michaels’  “Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism” workout.  I enjoyed it a lot!  I love kickboxing, and this workout incorporated lots of kicks and punches and such.  I have to say, I think this is the perfect workout for travelers–you don’t need any equipment, and it’s basically body-weight cardio exercises.  I will DEFINITELY be doing this again!  I can feel my abs screaming at me already.

ne 007

Now, I am off to scrounge for dinner.  I predict I will spend my evening watching Biggest Loser and reading blogs in my roomy king-size bed!

What’s your favorite part of traveling?

On the road again…

I have to say, almost one month in, I really really like my job.  The people are nice, and aside from the very cold office, it’s a great place to be.  My work is interesting and challenging but not particularly stressful and the benefits are great.

Tomorrow I’m starting kind of a new facet of work.  I’m officially entering the world of the business traveler!  Part of my job will be traveling around random parts of the U.S., promoting our school and meeting with interested students.  I have to say, I am really excited to start this.  I’ve always been kind of a solitary worker, and the idea of getting paid for two days to drive around the countryside is really appealing.  Bonus:  I’ll probably work the equivalent of two and a half workdays in just two calendar days, and my employer wants me to avoid overtime, so I’m going to take a half day on Friday!

That said, there’s a whole host of challenges that come with this.  Staying in hotels, being tired on the road, having to eat out…who’s to say what it will do to me?  I’m trying to go in with a plan–pack healthy snacks, use hotel gyms, keep equipment-free workout DVDs loaded on my laptop–but honestly, who knows.

To get in the spirit, tonight I did a new workout–Jillian Michaels’ No More Trouble Zones.  I am a big fan of Jillian’s and saw great results when I did the 30 Day Shred in August 2008.   The bonus of working out at home?  You don’t have to wash a workout shirt, because sports bras are a-okay!

jillian 004

And you need minimal space.  Yoga mat not even required.

jillian 005

As all of Jillian’s workouts are (which is why I’m a fan), this was HARD!  I did abotu 35 minutes and then had to stop.  I theoretically could have done more, but my stomach was rumbling since it was right before dinner.  I know I’ll be sore tomorrow!  I’m planning to do her weight-free new DVD tomorrow in my hotel room, or maybe hit up the hotel gym if it’s nice.  Who knows?

In other news, I bought new wedding earrings.  Thoughts?

jillian 002

I’m not TOTALLY sold on them, but they match well and I think I like them.

What are your on the road fitness tips?