Thursday, September 30, 2010

Non-Stop All Day Long

When your job consists sitting in front of a computer for eight-plus hours, it can be bad news bears sometimes. Today was hectic with several deadlines and it was just one of those days where my eyes felt fuzzy from staring at computer for too long. I'm also going stir crazy because I haven't channeled any of my energy through exercise. This has to stop. It's my fault for taking on additional freelance assignments on top of my regular freelance gig. I never learn, I suppose.

Anyways, I prepped my favorite Love Your Man-Steel Cut Oatmeal for breakfast and had an iced coffee. I like oatmeal in general, but I've been sticking with Bethenny Frankel's easy and healthy version for a while now. Any oatmeal lovers out there with other suggestions?

Lunch was quick today, with a non-dairy burrito from Amy's Kitchen. I've never had anything from Amy's Kitchen before and my burrito was surprisingly good. I had mine with two tablespoons of light sour cream and jalepeno sauce.

I fought against snacks today and only had a small one about an hour after lunch. This time I had a McClure's garlic pickle with some part-skim, light string cheese and some pretzels.

Quittin' time didn't roll around until 7pm tonight and when all was said and done, I was starving and exhausted. I haven't had sushi in ages, so I had some spicy tuna and salmon rolls. Yum!

Come tomorrow morning, I promise myself that I'll wake up 6:30AM to hit the elliptical trainer. At the very least, I'm going on a 45-minute walk with the designs of hitting the elliptical at 5PM. Either way, the last two weeks haven't yielded my greatest performance in the exercise department. My AIDS Run Walk is Saturday ... it'll be SO GREAT to be outside and walk five miles. I cannot wait to break away from the routine. One day and counting!

The Office, Grey's Anatomy, and Private Practice will have to sit tight via my DVR. It's a quick freelance deadline and some blood orange gelato tonight. Until tomorrow ... thanks a mil for reading! xx

Do you ever have a week where things just don't seem to fall into place, especially after trying so hard to get it together during the week before?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Snack Attack ... Arrggh!

Happy Wednesday, folks. I have to say today I was sort of in a snacky mood although the morning and early afternoon didn't start that way.

Breakfast featured one of my regular favorites, a one-egg sandwich served on a Arnold multi-grain sandwich thin and ghee with strawberries. My friend Katie recently commented about my use of ghee, asking if it's the Indian kind. Well, I think so? When I was home over the summer my Mom was all about what she called "ghee". She informed me that it's just (boiled) unsalted butter, but with the fat scooped off the top. So essentially it's clarified butter, right? Once scooping the fat off the top, I pour the melted butter in a small jar and refrigerate. It lasts me about three weeks. And a small portion goes along way. That's my ghee.

Ryan and I realized that we kind of blew it this week with our meal preparations, in that we failed in making enough food for the entire week. So for lunch today, we resorted to having organic Mediterranean garlic and herb ravioli from Rising Moon. We serve ours with chunky vegetable pasta sauce from Rinaldi. Reallllllly good stuff! I also had a mixed greens salad with baby beets, cucumbers, walnuts, and BelGioso parmesan cheese.

After lunch, I grabbed one of my trusty dark chocolate calcium disks from Adora. I LOVE THESE!!

Again, getting back to our lack of planning in the meal department, we ended up at Whole Foods for dinner. This worked out nicely since we had to pick up a few odds and ends. I grabbed for as many greens and colors at the salad bar and ended up with some kale with cranberries, cucumber salad, curry cauliflower and some pasta with sun-dried tomatoes. I can never pass up Whole Foods' soup, and tonight I had their chunky vegetable with orzo. To drink, I tried Zevia's orange flavor. My Mom talks a lot about stevia and Zevia's caffeinated beverage uses stevia. Good good good!

When we got home is when things started to go the snack route. I should have reached for a water instead, but I wanted to chomp on as many Potato and Cheddar PopChips as I wanted to. I couldn't stop. They're too good.

Bad news is that my exercise is falling to the wayside because of all of my work time spent on the computer. I need a vacation from my desktop, STAT! I pray I see my elliptical on Thursday.

Thanks for reading! Hope your Wednesday was fab fab fab!

How do you handle it when your snack cravings kick in?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My Day Is Made ... with Crab Cakes

It was another crazy busy day in the world of UK entertainment. But again, I'm grateful for the work and love being productive, so bring it on. I'm adjusting to the AM starts, too. Each day is getting easier with reconfiguring my daily routine.

I resorted to my fat-free Fage and fruit dish for breakfast today. It's quick and easy to prepare and totally satisfying. I also had an iced coffee. Just one cup is my early morning savior.

Balancing blogging with laundry left me with only a few minutes to grab lunch, where I had the last of my Sweet Potato Chili. I also had a pickle on the side with some baby carrots and jalapeno hummos from Athenos.

Tuesday is my day to volunteer with Open Books. I always look forward to this time away and the chance to converse with some really amazing students. The two girls that I meet with each week are so kind and always enthusiastic about reading. It's been a fun experience so far.

Ryan kindly prepared dinner this evening since I was away and man, was it fabulous! He prepared Ellie Krieger's Crab Cakes with Smart Tartar sauce. We also had green beans with walnuts on the side. We've done Krieger's Salmon Cakes countless times, but this was our first attempt at the crab cakes. YUM!

I think I'm going to call it a night with some pistachio gelato and some TV. Gonna relax a bit before a freelance deadlines come up. Anyone out there a fan of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? I am going to try to start this book tonight, once and for all, if I can keep my eyes open. Would love to hear your thoughts or any book recommendations for that matter :)

Back on the elliptical tomorrow, too. Thanks again for reading! Have a fabulous evening!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Falling Behind

Hello everyone and Happy Monday! Man, I tell ya, weekends operate at the speed of light and before you know it, it's Monday AM and then it's nearly the end of the work day. I've been meaning to catch up on my blog posts since Friday, but I figure starting fresh rather than going backward is a better way to kick things off this week. So hello, again!

Thanks for all of the fantastic comments on balancing work with exercise. I'm glad I'm not alone. Even though I've only been freelancing for BBC America's entertainment blog, Anglophenia, for a week, I'm still working out some kinks. I didn't hit the elliptical trainer (my first 45 minutes in nearly a week) until 5:30PM today, which is much later than I'm used to. But hey, this is how the working world does it, right? Gotta get back in it. In a perfect world, I'd love to exercise when I get up in the morning, but with a husband working at home and my 7:30AM start time, it's a little difficult.

Anyways, breakfast featured a new recipe, fANNEtastic food's Blueberry Spelt Pancakes with Yogurt Maple Banana topping. YUM-MY! I am probably the world's worst pancake maker, for I had to pitch the first one I made, but my second was a hit with Ryan. And as they say, third time's a charm and the pancake I had was lovely. The banana topping is really light and much tastier than I had imagined. I used Fage's fat-free yogurt and the bitter taste wasn't so noticeable with the combined banana and maple syrup. I also had an iced coffee.

For lunch, I had Sweet Potato Chili, which is included in Whole Foods' Market Cookbook. This is FAB-U-LOUS! It's also a little spicy, but I don't mind spicy. I also had an orange on the side.

Later on this afternoon, I was feeling a bit crazed in between blog posts, for I also squeezed in two phoners for a press bio I'm working on. I was looking for something crunchy, so I grabbed some pretzels and a spicy McClure's pickle with a club soda. Best!

Once the work day finally ended and my workout was completed, I was starving for dinner. I snacked on an Adora milk chocolate calcium disc. These little guys are really perfect.

Lastly, for dinner, Ryan prepared baked parmesan tilapia with grilled asparagus. He also whipped up an incredible mustard-based sauce for the asparagus. SO GOOD! It's a little bit of mustard powder, dijon mustard, greek yogurt, red wine vinegar, and tarragon with salt and pepper to taste.

I also caught up on last Thursday's season premiere of Grey's Anatomy during my workout today. Wow! Did anyone see it? I am so proud of Christina! But this season is gonna be another doozy. Hope to catch up with Private Practice tomorrow. Did anyone else catch some great TV last week?

Ok, I gotta put this post to bed and enjoy some R&R ... and some gelato. :) Many thanks for reading Fighting the Pudge! Have a fab evening!

What's your favorite post-work or post-dinner snack?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Work Never Stops

Greetings blog friends! Seriously, summer won't leave Chicago. It's outwearing its welcome, but somehow a part of me doesn't mind. What I do mind is the humidity. Boo!

Breakfast kicked off bright and early at 7:30AM with one egg on Arnold multi-grain sandwich thin plus mixed berries and an iced coffee. I can go the entire day with just this one coffee, but I wonder if there's more of it in my future? My fellow coffee drinkers, can you only last on one cup a day? I suppose my dose is a bit more than your usual cup.

Like I mentioned yesterday, I figured I'd probably reach for my Greek Bulgar-Chicken Salad for lunch and I did! Can't get enough of this stuff. I also had a McClure's garlic pickle and a pear on the side.

After lunch, I snacked on a vanilla bean sugar cookie, courtesy of Astrid at I Have Two Feet and Ten Toes. I bid on these mamas in the Carrots N' Cake bake sale a couple of weeks ago. Boy are these yummy! Fabulously yummy! Thanks so much Astrid!

Blogging for Anglophenia today took off like wildfire and for the second day in a row, I missed working out. I *cannot* do this tomorrow. I am missing my elliptical. What, I miss exercising? Had you told me I would say this a year ago, I would have said you were crazy. But you have my word, it's me and my elliptical tomorrow, man. In the past I've always struggled with balancing exercise with work, but now that I am working from home you'd think it might be a little easier. I'm working my way through it, I suppose ... learning the ropes this week while I reconfigure out my daily routine.

Dinner, oh dinner. Ryan and I both worked until 7, 7:30PM, so we went for pizza. We shared a medium margherita pizza and I had a spinach salad with veggies and balsamic vinegar on the side. I will make up for my pizza splurge tomorrow.

Did anyone catch the season opener for The Office? I thought it was laugh-out-loud hilarious! So thrilled it's back. I'll have to catch up to Grey's Anatomy this weekend. Ssshhhh don't tell me. :) I think it's about time for me to hit the pillow. Many thanks for reading. xx

Do you ever struggle with balancing work and working out? How do you handle it?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Feelin' Good

Here we are, middle of the week time. How's your week going so far? Fall is here in the Windy City, but man, summer temperatures are trying to stick around. Yesterday, we had a high of 89 degrees and today was close to that with a nice breeze.

As I got back into the groove of working for a living, I had one of my favorites for breakfast: my open fruit sandwich with ghee and chia seeds. I had an iced-coffee too, which helps with my 7:30am start time. :)

As I mentioned yesterday, I had an appointment with my doctor this afternoon to discuss my progress. I wasn't over anxious or crazy excited. I was just content and happy to have reached this point. Sooooooo .... between June and today, I achieved my goal of losing 15 pounds!!!! I am really happy. Most of all, I'm just glad that I stuck it out and actually made an effort to change my life in this way. That's the biggest accomplishment, at least to me. And I'm going to keep on keepin' on.

Lunchtime came and went since I was downtown, but I met up with my friend Sarah after my appointment for some frozen yogurt. Lunch for the day, yeah!

For dinner, I had Greek Bulgar-Chicken Salad, after catching the recipe via Self magazine's Twitter. Pretty yummy and light. I haven't had bulgar in ages, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to bring it back in. With the mixture of tomatoes, kalamata olives, cucumber, and feta, this dish was delicious! I'll probably have it again for lunch tomorrow. We also had some grilled zucchini and eggplant -- leftovers from cooking the Italian Vegetable Bake -- on the side. I also snacked on a spicy pickle from McClure's.

Wow, this week is flying by like crazy! I really need to catch up on my blog reading, but more deadlines are coming up. Time to take care of some freelance work. Thanks so very much for reading Fighting the Support. It means a lot. xx

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

T-Minus One Day

Well, here I am one day away from getting my first proper weigh-in since starting this blog in June. It was then that I started to seriously think about my weight and health. I talked to my doctor about my concerns and we came up with a plan. It was a simple plan, really, and it involved me making the effort to work out five days a week on top of eating healthy.

What started out as biking and some Wii Fit turned into Yoga, walking, free weights, more biking, and the elliptical trainer. It's been a total work in progress all summer. Thinking back to mid-June, I'd never heard of Zumba. I knew what Bikram Yoga was, or so I thought so. Three months later, I do Yoga once a week and I'm signed up for Bikram. I am also signed up for two 5k walks for October and November and I'm looking for a Zumba class.

My journey so far has been mind-boggling in the most positive ways. Sure, I've had my defeated moments, but I've brushed myself off and continued on. I've fallen in love with this blog and the food community. Three months ago, I had no idea that such a place existed. In the last six or seven weeks, especially, my journey has become less about the weight and more about enjoying the entire adventure. I've learned about so many different meals and ways to cook and I'm still learning soooo much and know there's plenty left to discover.

Anyways, tomorrow will be like any other day, but a bit exciting. I do know that I've lost some weight because I'm fitting into pants I couldn't fit into a year ago and really, that is more than enough to know that my hard work is paying off. But through all of that, I know I'm becoming a healthier person ... than ever before.

Getting back to Tuesday! Can I just tell you that today was absolutely bonkers? I started blogging for BBC America's Anglophenia blog, which is a fun spot for your latest UK entertainment news with an American accent, of course. I am really excited about it and thrilled to have the opportunity to work from home. Thank you for baring with my whiny moments of not having a full-time job.

Breakfast included my usual iced coffee and I indulged in a cup of fat-free Fage greek yogurt with strawberries, bananas, walnuts, and chia seeds. It's exactly what I needed as I plowed through some David Beckham and Gordon Ramsay news. HA!

In between posts, I got in 45 minutes on the elliptical trainer. I needed it badly, as I didn't exercise on Monday and felt the need to really sweat my brains out.

For lunch, I had a chipotle wild salmon burger on a Cybros seven-sprouted bun with mixed greens and mustard. Ryan also whipped up some cucumber salad with feta for a side. A quick and satisfying lunch!

The rest of the afternoon was a bit of a blur with consuming publishing guidelines and directions. Once dinner rolled around, it was about 7:30pm. This time, we tried SparkPeople's Italian Vegetable Bake. This particular dish is really low in fat and sodium, but also loaded in nutrients and minerals with the plethora of colorful veggies. I'd never had okra before, so this is one of the reasons I wanted to try this dish. What an awesome mix of fresh tomatoes, eggplants, zucchini, and green beans, too. Top it with some parmesan cheese and you have yourself one of the healthiest dinners around.

Once the dishes were done and everything was put away, I crashed out on the couch. We were pretty excited for the new TV drama, Detroit 1-8-7 since we're both from Michigan. Not bad. This week is gonna be great, though, with all the new TV coming up. Woo hoo for The Office, Criminal Minds, and Grey's Anatomy! I also snacked on some hemp granola trail mix with cranberries, sunflower seeds, and chocolate chips. I'm becoming obsessed with this stuff.

What are some of your favorite television shows? Which ones will you be watching this week? Tell me! :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mom's Cooking + Monday Meals

Happy Monday everyone! I hope everyone's week is off to a great start! The weekends always seem to fly by, don't they? Mine was jam-packed with football and then some back home in Michigan. Michigan State beat Notre Dame on Saturday night with an awesome last-minute fake field goal touchdown and I nearly lost my voice from screaming so much.

While I was home, I also enjoyed some of my Mom's cooking. It's been fun watching my Mom embrace the food community online, too. She's discovered sooooo many new ingredients and recipes, which has only made her more excited to cook healthy. Going to Whole Foods is one of her favorite field trips. And what an amazing change from when I was a kid, for I always heard my Mom say that she didn't like to cook. Here we are 30 years later, and she has a bread maker, a juicer, and other kitchen gadgets. Plus, we're swapping kitchen techniques, recipes, and other helpful hints. It's a lot of fun! This weekend she really hooked us up, cooking my Dad, Ryan, and me a fabulous pre-game breakfast on Saturday, with some homemade oatmeal and blackberries, plus fruit and eggs.

She also served a lovely brunch prior to our jaunt back to the Windy City on Sunday. The chicken salad with grapes and apples was delicious. Her homemade spicy tomato soup included tomatoes from her garden. And you can never have too many raw veggies and fruit! YUM!

Come this morning, I was still reeling from the excitement of Saturday's game. Such excitement only pushed my motivation in the right direction ... for work. I caught up on loads of odds and ends, while tinkering away on some freelance work. Breakfast included Love Your Man Steel-Cut Oatmeal and an iced coffee. I also tried Vega Shake & Go's Vanilla Almondilla flavor. It was nice and frothy, but I think I prefer the Choc-o-lat version.

With several deadlines looming over my head, my butt never left the chair today, sadly. I gotta kick some serious booty on the exercise front tomorrow, stat! Lunch was a quick one, too. I had lemon dill tuna and kalamata olives on an Arnold multi-grain sandwich flat, with spinach and stone ground mustard.

Later on, I snacked on an apple with a tablespoon of reduced fat peanut butter.

Dinnertime was spent at the super-size Whole Foods, for Ryan and I had zero groceries in the house. Hitting two birds with one stone tonight seemed appropriate. For dinner, I had some mixed greens with vegetables as well as some sliced golden beets, italian vegetables, and chili lime tofu. I have to have my soup whenever I'm at Whole Foods, and tonight I opted for the Black Bean Adobo recipe. Can't forget my LaCroix sparkling water. A few new changes to my regular Whole Foods menu. Apologies for the dismal lighting in the following pics.

Man, and here we are, almost the end of Monday. Tuesday is likely to be just as busy, but I prefer it that way :) First proper day of fall and my brain is already churning with several recipe ideas.

Thanks so much for reading! I hope you had a great, stress-free Monday! xx