WIAW and a revelation about myself

It’s time for another segment of What I Ate Wednesday!

 

I feel like it’s been forever since I posted but I’m ready to get back into the swing!  Las Vegas was ah-mazing and I plan on sharing some photos with you soon!  First, however, I want to tell you about my New Year resolution!  It’s your stereotypical get-back-in-shape, stick-to-a-fitness/healthy-eating-routine resolution BUT it’s such an exciting one!  I first heard about Jamie Eason’s LiveFit 12-Week-Trainer from Clare, since she is planning to start the plan later this month.  I’m jumping in headfirst today!

Jamie’s plan involves three phases.  Phase 1 (which lasts the first 4 weeks) is weight-lifting only, no cardio.  The nutrition and workout plan focus on building lean muscle.  And, as we all know, the more lean muscle you have, the more fat you burn.  I plan on hitting the gym (ie. Dane’s basement) later tonight and the first workout seems fairly basic as far as weight lifting goes.

You see, I haven’t told you this before, but….I’m no stranger to weight lifting (cue sappy music and film reel of old memories).

I haven’t spent a TON of time on my “About” page yet (which I’m sure you have already noticed and made a mental note about how crappy it looks) because I’m still kind of mentally figuring out what I want to say about myself as an introduction.  I plan on fleshing it out more as it feels right.  ANYWAY–what I haven’t told you yet is that, for two awesome years, I was a member of the Division I Varsity Women’s Crew team at Drake University.  It was a blast!

That's me, second from the back!I’m second from the back, I was part of what’s known as the “bow pair”, Starboard forever! (I’m guessing only rowers or boat enthusiasts will understand that).

I’m second from the right in this picture, sitting up in the boat like a weirdo when I was probably supposed to be rowing :).

 

When we weren’t on the water, we were indoors on rowing machines (since it gets cold in Iowa, yo!), or in the weight room.  There were two rowing seasons–spring and fall–so we worked out year round.  We even had a separate weight lifting coach.  I could dead-lift like nobody’s business and we chugged muscle milk together after practice like we were giant, muscular football players, we were awesome.  I was never so tired or so hungry (from working out so much) in my life but it’s such a great team sport and cardiovascular exercise!

So, the point I’m trying to make is that I’m really excited to start Jamie Eason’s LiveFit plan because I’m familiar with a lot of the exercises, I just haven’t done them consistently in a couple years.  Which leads me to what I ate today, as I followed Jamie’s meal plan to the T–I’m nothing if not a sucker for sticking to a plan.  I may adjust down the road as my body needs it, but for now I’m just really hoping I’ll be able to keep up my motivation and stick with this plan for 12 weeks!

Eats for the day:

Breakfast was 5 egg whites scrambled with a handful of spinach, some tomato, green onions and a little garlic salt with a side of Apple Cinnamon oatmeal packet, Full Circle brand (I typically buy rolled oats in a bulk bag but I’ve had these packets sitting in the cupboard for a while and they fit Jamie’s portion exactly 🙂 ).

Mid-morning snack was some greek yogurt, frozen blueberries and raspberries, chia seeds and a little cinnamon:

Lunch was 3/4 C. of chickpeas, 60z. chicken breast, spinach, tomato, green onions, Parmesan cheese and some balsamic vinaigrette:

 

Late afternoon snack was 4 squares of homemade carrot protein bars which I made this morning from one of Jamie Eason’s recipes, which can be found here.  They actually turned out pretty yummy, I’ll try the pumpkin version next time.  Sorry the picture turned out a little funky :(.

Dinner tonight will be extremely similar to lunch.  A spinach salad with 6oz. chicken and maybe some quinoa or whole wheat noodles instead of chickpeas and maybe a few more veggies.

Alright, that’s all I’ve got, have a good night!

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Why You Need A Man

In honor of my upcoming New Year’s trip with the sexy bald man (we leave tomorrow–whee!)–today’s post is dedicated to the topic of dating older men.  This is in no way meant to offend anyone who may be partial to dating in other age groups or even to encourage young girls to chase much older men, I’m simply sharing my experience.

Also, I recently read this absolutely hilarious excerpt from The Office’s Mindy Kaling’s new book titled, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? that I read on Glamour.com.


The Office is one of my all-time favorite shows and since Mindy Kaling is a writer for said favorite show, it only makes sense that her book would be awesome.  Mindy’s book is a series of essays and one is dedicated to dating older men.  I haven’t been able to find her book in good old rural Iowa yet and I haven’t gotten around to ordering it online, but I plan on picking it up at the airport tomorrow 🙂

In the meantime, this teaser has me very excited to dig into the rest of this book:

Until I was 30, I dated only boys. I’ll tell you why: Men scared the sh*t out of me. Men know what they want. Men own alarm clocks. Men sleep on a mattress that isn’t on the floor. Men buy new shampoo instead of adding water to a nearly empty bottle of shampoo. Men make reservations. Men go in for a kiss without giving you some long preamble about how they’re thinking of kissing you. Men wear clothes that have never been worn by anyone else before.

OK, maybe men aren’t exactly like this. But this is what I’ve cobbled together from the handful of men I know or know of, ranging from Heathcliff Huxtable to Theodore Roosevelt to my dad. The point: Men know what they want, and that is scary.

What I was used to was boys.

Boys are adorable. Boys trail off their sentences in an appealing way. Boys get haircuts from their roommate, who “totally knows how to cut hair.” Boys can pack up their whole life and move to Brooklyn for a gig if they need to. Boys have “gigs.” Boys are broke. And when they do have money, they spend it on a trip to Colorado to see a music festival.

Boys can talk for hours with you in a diner at three in the morning because they don’t have regular work hours. But they suck to date when you turn 30.”

Read more of the excerpt here.
Anyhow, even though I’m clearly not a successful writer for a popular comedic TV show on NBC, Mindy stole the words right out of my mouth.  I had been dating boys until I found Dane. Dane owns  an old school alarm clock from the 80’s and won’t part with it even though he now uses his cell phone for an alarm like everyone else I know.  He doesn’t use shampoo (since he’s bald) but I found some in his bathroom anyway (for guests)–how much more of a real man can he be?
He owns his own home and a business as well as having a real day job too–Mindy would totally agree that this one is a keeper.  Aside from all of those manly traits, he’s a truly amazing guy and I couldn’t be happier.  The fact that he is a couple (ok, more than a couple) years older than me is a complete non-issue for us.
I’ll stop bragging about my amazing boyfriend now :).

WIAW

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!

I had a pretty frustrating start to my day today :(.  A fellow insurance sales rep was supposed to meet up with me at my apartment at 9:30am for a day of prospecting and following up on leads we had been working on.  She is typically an hour late so I realistically planned to be ready to walk out the door at 10:30am.  Sure enough, she texted at 10:30am and said she was still 45 minutes away.  At 11:20am, she texted to say she had to stop at one of her accounts to help with an issue.  At 12:30pm, I texted to ask if she’d been held up at her account and she replied that she’d meant to text me that she was just going to run some errands since it was around the lunch hour and she would pick me up at 1pm.  I’d told her the day before that I had a hair appointment at 2:30pm (my hair dresser is 30 minutes away) and now we only had an hour to work together.  We didn’t actually end up getting together for the day so I wasted my entire morning waiting for her.

On the bright side, I spent my morning job searching online and found 3 good jobs to apply for :).

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it on this blog yet, but I just graduated with my Master’s degree in Public Administration a week and half ago from Drake University.  Drake is 2 hours away from the small town I live in so I’d been driving to class two or three times a week in order to finish my degree this semester.  My insurance gig allowed me the flexibility to earn some income on my own schedule while still making it to class each week.  Now that classes are over, I’m definitely ready to put my new degree to work but it’s a little difficult to find the types of jobs I’m qualified for in my small town.  I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ll probably have to commute and have begun searching within an hour of my small town.  Now I’ve just got to dust off/update the resume and crunch out some cover letters!

On a happier note, Bella was being extra cute this morning while I was mixing and brewing up my breakfast…apparently that darn pillow was directly in her sweet spot on the chair:

Now, onto more exciting things, like food…

For breakfast, I mixed up some Oikos greek yogurt, a Tablespoon of chia seeds and some granola.  I know the seeds make it look a little unappetizing and strange but they have absolutely no taste and sooo many health benefits that make up for it.  I also had some Keurig-ed coffee!

For lunch, I wanted something comforting since I was so frustrated.  I popped this Campbell’s Kettle-Style portabello mushroon and madeira bisque into the microwave.  It’s certainly not the healthiest soup option out there but the large chunks of mushroom were very delicious and comforting.

On my way to my hair appointment, I stopped at the gas station and grabbed some chocolate comfort in the form of an ice cream cone since the temperature was in the 40s today and I had not consumed any of my beloved chocolate in at least 48 hours. Unheard of weather for Western Iowa in the end of December, though!

Here’s a look at my hair before:

And after:

It’s definitely not much of a change–just a trim, refreshed hair color and waxed eyebrows so they no longer look like two caterpillars–but I love how light,clean, smooth and shiny my hair feels after it’s washed and cut by a professional.  Not to mention, the girl talk is always fun!

*Side Note*  I’m a little ashamed (or relieved?) at how long it took me to take those photos of my own hair.  I have never been the type of person to take pictures of myself and always thought it was bit corny when people posted them on MySpace or Facebook.  Either way, I want to portray myself accurately on this blog and I think that involves letting people know exactly what I look like…so, with that said, anyone have any tips on successful self-portrait photography?

Dinner tonight was a large-and-in-charge, delicious salad:

In the mix:

Spinach, peas, red onion, cucumber, tomato, olives, hard-boiled egg, feta cheese, crumbled bagel chips and shaken with fat-free ranch.

Off to the gym now (aka Dane’s basement), have a good night!

 

Christmas Recap

Hey folks!

I hope everyone had safe and happy holidays!  Personally, my jeans are uncomfortably tight today so I’m enjoying a healthy little afternoon snack:

Baby carrots, zesty dill pickles–I could seriously eat an entire jar of zesty dills every single day for the rest of my life– and yellow cherry tomatoes with some fat free ranch.  Delicious!

Besides consuming copious amounts of food over the last several days, I had a great time with my family, particularly at my mom and step-dad’s house for Christmas Eve.  I showed up around noon with my car packed full of gifts and found a little Mario Kart/pajama action going on in the living room:

After enjoying a Christmas program at Dane’s church that evening, we headed back to my parent’s house for dinner and gifts!  My step-dad prepared the most delicious and perfectly seasoned prime rib, as per usual (he is known in some circles as the meat master) and then we rolled ourselves to the living room to dive into the presents.

Here’s Chris (my sister’s boyfriend) and the sexy bald man showing their team spirit with some Iowa Hawkeye’s gear:

My sister, Chris and my mom looking seriously excited and full of Christmas cheer:

A beautiful vintage scarf from my sister (she knows me so well!)

And, a Keurig from my parents!  I’ve been happily brewing coffee for anyone who has dared to step into my apartment for the last couple of days…I’m already formulating a plan in my head for a K-Cup exchange party.

While Christmas with the fam was amazing, I’m even more excited for New Years….the sexy bald man and I will be flying out to Las Vegas on Friday and I’m giddy with excitement! With any luck, my Christmas food hangover will subside in the next few days and I’ll log some time on the treadmill so that I can strut around Sin City in these sparklers…

What are your New Years plans and how are you recovering from a little over-indulgence this holiday season?

Treadmill Review

Good evening!

So, last night I was able to log 45 minutes on my brand spanking new Horizon T101 Treadmill.

I did a power walking interval workout with an incline.  I wasn’t quite ready to run on it because I wanted to listen closely to any sounds it made….and it’s also been a couple months since I’ve been on a run and I need to get back into it slowly.  Also, there is usually a little bit of this going on….

Anyway, back to the awesomeness that is my new treadmill…I was very pleasantly surprised with how quiet it is.  I had the TV on at a reasonable volume and I had no problem hearing it.  It was also a very smooth walk, it was similar to the treadmills at the gym as far as how it felt.  It also has a small speaker that I can plug my Ipod directly into and a fan right in front of my face.  The speakers aren’t subs or anything, but I can certainly jam out while I run.  If I want the music any louder, I can just put in my ear buds.  The fan also isn’t anything over the top but it provides a pleasant little breeze.  The treadmill deck also folds up and there are wheels on the front so it can be easily moved from room to room.

Overall, I’m really pleased with it and think I can get some really good use out of it.  Also, it’s super convenient to have it right in the basement and I don’t have to put on snow boots and a coat to go to the gym in the winter.  No excuses!

When I finished my workout, I came upstairs and found the sexy bald man feverishly wiping down the kitchen cabinets.  There was quite a bit of dust from the installation of ceramic tiles in the kitchen.  He’s a bit of a clean freak and it’s AMAZING.  Check out that awesome stainless steel fridge!

So–changing directions entirely now–I realized this morning that I have not yet mentioned my two lovable, furry sidekicks on this blog yet.

Meet Jack:

and Bella:

I adopted Jack from the Animal Rescue League in Des Moines after I graduated with my undergrad in May 2009.  He was already about 1.5 years old so he was fully grown.  He’s definitely a one-woman cat and regularly sleeps directly on top of my head on my pillow at night.  Bella, on the other hand, is still in her kitten stage.  I found her when she was about two months old on a very hot day this June in the middle of a gravel road, bleeding from a cut above her eye and screaming bloody murder.  After some TLC, she was good to go and hasn’t stopped going since.  She loves toys as much as a puppy and frequently runs sprints around the apartment.

I’ve read that the more you talk to your cats, the more they will talk back to you so I’ve been making a concerted effort to talk to them more the last few months and it actually works!  Every time I walk in the door or wake up in the morning, they give me a little meow and even go off on little rants sometimes, it’s very cute.

My cats are also very photogenic:

(note: please don’t think I’m a crazy cat lady–my entire family are animal lovers and have several pets–I swear I’m not making that up!)

Baby Bella, the remote is in the picture for size, she was so tiny!

Jack looking pensively out the window while pondering the meaning of life…

Jack letting loose…


They really are fun to have around and basically take care of themselves.  Jack is sure to remind me (verbally) when his dish needs to be refilled.

Anyway, off to spend some quality time with the fam!

Good night!

 

 

 

What I Ate Wednesday

Good afternoon folks!

I’ve seen a few “What I Ate Wednesday” posts amongst the healthy bloggers a few times and, as today is actually Wednesday, I decided to give it a try.  I woke up feeling really blah and bland from a day of crappy eating yesterday so I knew I needed to make some better decisions today.

First up, a container of Oikos yogurt and granola as well as a Tablespoon of chia seeds:

Then, I added two of these delicious No-Bake Energy Bites courtesy of Smashed Peas and Carrots, the recipe can be found here.

After I moped around the apartment for a few hours feeling unmotivated and searching for new jobs on the internet (when I should have been focusing on my own business instead), I decided I needed to stop being so lazy and get my butt in gear.  I whipped up 36oz of some iced peach tea in my giant pink cup (somehow, drinking from a straw is just more exciting than a regular glass) and went about sending some emails and running a few errands.

Then, as a reward for not buying any junk food while I was out running errands (this definitely took some serious discipline), I whipped up a giant Green Monster (which also went in the obnoxious pink straw cup).

Before:

After!:

In the mix:

-A large handful of spinach

-1 Cup almond milk

-1 Tablespoon chia seeds

-1 very ripe banana

-1 handful frozen strawberries and blueberries

-2 Tablespoons vanilla protein powder

-a few ice cubes

While making the green monster, I also prepared my dinner ahead of time in a tupperware container in order to trick my mind into believing it has to eat it because it’s already prepared in the fridge rather than ordering some fast food or just grabbing the piece of junk food closest to me when dinner time rolls around.  I know that sounds really pathetic but I’m feeling as though I have no self control today and self-sabotage would be likely.

I threw together a tuna/spinach salad consisting of:

-large handful of spinach

-1 small packet tuna

-1 chopped roma tomato

-chopped green onions

-a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

-a small squirt of light mayo

-small handful of almond slivers

-small handful of bagel chips, crunched

-sprinkle of shredded mozzarella cheese

In the meantime–I think I’m going to spend the rest of the day building up my jewelry inventory so I can open up an Etsy store!  I’ve been planning this for a little while but I haven’t had any jewelry on hand, I always end up giving it away to someone as a gift or making it just because someone requested it.  I plan on posting some pics of my handmade creations soon!

I’m also going to try to motivate myself to log a few miles on this little beauty:

I ordered it online a few weeks ago when I received a bonus from my insurance selling gig, this way I could cancel my gym membership and it would pay for itself in a few months.  However, I ran into a little snag when I attempted to do a Jillian Michael’s workout DVD in my living room and my downstairs neighbor complained that her pictures were nearly falling off of her walls because I was jumping (I hope that means I was doing it right).  So, after that incident, I knew I couldn’t set the treadmill up at my place so I patiently waited for my wonderful boyfriend to set it up in his basement–he’s been in the middle of renovating his house and hasn’t been able to actually live in it until this week.  This is a lovely shot of the bar in the basement–don’t worry–I plan on painting that ugly paneling white ASAP.  Dane (the boyfriend) would also like me to point out the awesome St. Louis Rams bar stools in the shot.

I’ll give you my full treadmill review tomorrow.  In the meantime, ponder these questions…

Do you self-sabotage with your diet and exercise plans?

What tricks do you use to keep yourself on track?

Introduction

Hi!  My name’s Kasey.  I’ve been thinking about starting this blog for a while now but I wasn’t exactly sure in what way I wanted to do it .  You see—even though the name of this blog implies that it’s a healthy living blog—I’m in a bit of a funk right now.  My plan for this blog is to document my journey back to a healthier, happier, saner me.   About a year ago, I had it all planned out (you know what I’m talking about if you’re as equally type A as me and understand the importance of plans).   I was working at a great job—my first since graduating from college—while I was in the middle of a master’s program that I worked on in the evenings and weekends.  I had just moved back in with my parents in my small, rural hometown in Iowa so I could save up my pennies while I studied.  My college sweetheart was finishing a residency a few states away and I was counting down the minutes until we finished our respective programs and could live in the same city again and I could finally hit the play button on my fairy tale life that I had been envisioning in my head since childhood.

Then, in the following 6 months, things slowly crumbled.  First, I was very unceremoniously dumped by the aforementioned college sweetheart.  Then, things started changing within the state agency I worked for and I was laid off from my job.  Angry, jobless, boyfriendless and living with my parents at the age of 24 was pretty much my rock bottom as far as I was concerned.  Forget the fact that I had just completed my first half-marathon a few months earlier and prided myself on introducing my parent’s to such diet staples as chia seeds, almond milk, hummus and lentils, and annually joined thousands of people to spend a week riding bikes across the state of Iowa in a phenomenon known and celebrated as RAGBRAI (details to follow)…I was feeling pretty darn sorry for myself.  And the only way I felt I could fill the huge aching hole left in the place where my life plans once stood was with chocolate, ice cream, pizza and fast food.

I certainly plan to fill you in on more of the gory details of my little “saga” later and I am clearly not yet out of the woods.   But—I have made some progress.  I’m no longer living with my parents (thank goodness) or completely jobless.  I have begun to explore the amazing and challenging world of self-employment in the form of insurance sales and a budding handmade jewelry business.  I have very recently finished my master’s degree (thanks to the extra time I had on my hands sans my day job) and I’ve somehow managed to stumble upon the true love of my life.  Meeting him was like getting smacked over the head with a sledge hammer (but in a good way—if that’s even possible) and exactly a year after I “temporarily” moved back to my tiny hometown in the middle of nowhere America…I decided to stay.  So, as you can see, I’ve had quite a ride this year.  But, I’m still not where I want to be as far as my health and fitness goals are concerned and I know getting that on track will do wonders for my emotional health.  Stay tuned and hopefully I’ll be on my way to getting my groove back soon.