the long road to healthy

July 28, 2009

True Confession – the late edition

Filed under: keeping it real, nutrition — karena @ 12:19 pm

OK, so I didn’t read this post over at the Sisterhood until Tuesday, but I’ll still play along!

  1. I got up at the crack of dawn and went jogging!
  2. Only because my toddler was already up and poking me in the back — “Mama, up!  Mama, up!”
  3. We went out for lunch today and I had salad.
  4. Taco salad, that is.
  5. I only ate half of the bowl.
  6. But all of the sour cream.
  7. Finally, I drank three glasses of wine last night.

And you?  !


the way to start a day

Filed under: C25K, family, fitness, good eats, nutrition — karena @ 7:01 am

Harry, the toddler, has been waking up between 5 and 6 AM recently.  It’s agony.  I hate sacrificing my sleep, even if it’s for some cuddly toddler love.  I want to sleep in — which, as all moms know, means make it til 7 without being awoken by matchbox cars running a race up and down your body, or little boys calling from the bathroom for you to come help wipe their butts, or a big CRASH! followed by uh-oh coming from the toy room.

Anyway, yesterday the parts finally arrived to fix the jogging stroller, and dh got it up and running again.  So this morning, when Harry got up at 5:45, I had no excuse.  I waited about twenty minutes, hoping I could wish him back to sleep.  No such luck.  I got up and, without so much as a cup of coffee, headed out the door with him.  And you know what?  It was nice.  It was still cool and crisp.  I didn’t have to contend with traffic.  Harry loved seeing the canal boats  traveling alongside us.  And I didn’t waste an hour sitting on the couch nursing a cup of coffee, wondering where I was going to find the energy later in the day to workout.  The best part?  I feel incredibly noble and healthy!

What a great way to start a day!  Of course, that could just be the combination of exhaustion and endorphins making me say that.

The other way to start a day:


A Green Monster.  Or a Green Smoothie.  Or, as my husband calls it, The Snotblower.  I started making these about a week ago.  The funny names were what enticed my kids to try it.  The taste is what forced me to make a second for myself since my five year old sucked down an entire one on his own.  And, yes, that’s a pint glass.  The recipe:

  • 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed
  • 2-3 cups of fresh spinach
  • 1 cup of lite milk (I use soy, but skim would be fine too)
  • 1 frozen banana

Put it all in your blender, in the order given, and blend away.  Once everything is blended, I turn it up on high and let it go wild for a full minute.  The smoother and the creamier, the better.  If you don’t have frozen bananas, try a banana and some ice cubes.  No, you can’t taste the spinach.  Really.  I swear.  The proof: my five year old has had four of these in the last week.  That’s eight cups of spinach.  Which is probably eight times the amount he’s been willing to eat in his entire life up until this point!

July 21, 2009

BFL trial week – Day 3

Filed under: fitness, nutrition — karena @ 7:22 pm


  1. eggbeaters and bell peppers, half a banana
  2. cottage cheese and strawberries
  3. a huge salad with tuna, lite balsamic dressing
  4. Boca burger, one piece of whole grain bread cut into two, pickles, ketchup, mustard, tomato, mustard, and green beans
  5. popcorn, and wine (what, wine’s not protein?  now you tell me!)
  6. ?

Sigh.  I really don’t want to add fish into my diet.  Ironically, I didn’t become vegetarian to save fluffy animals and slimy fish.  But, in light of much of what I’ve read since going veg, I’m really hesitant to add it back in.  But in less I eat edamame at every in between meal, I’m going to come up short.  Thinking… thinking…

workout: lower body

  • quads: squats, at 0,2,3,4,5,6  (might go up next time if my knees don’t object to today’s workout)
  • hamstrings: deadlifts, at 2,3,4,5,6,7 — definitely go up next time
  • calves: single leg raises, at 3,4,5,6,7,8 — definitely going up
  • abs: crunches for the first five sets, reverse crunches for the last

What, that doesn’t make any sense?  In BFL, you gradually increase your weights while decreasing your reps.  Then, for the last two sets, you use weights that allow you to do maximum reps, but almost to exhaustion.  I’m making it sound far more confusing than it actually is.  The “official” explanation can be found here.  Except that, instead of changing to a different exercise for the high point, I’m sticking with the same exercise.  For lower body only.  Because there are only a few quad/ham exercises that don’t obliterate my knees.

So  the numbers up there, they are the weights I used, per set.  And before you go thinking I’m a complete wimp, those are in kilos.  OK, still wimpy, but 2.2 times better than you thought, right?!  I’m hoping to increase weights quite dramatically in the first few weeks, once I see what my knees can withstand.

BFL trial week – Day 2

Filed under: fitness, nutrition, The Daily Shred — karena @ 5:21 am


  1. scrambled tofu with peppers
  2. cottage cheese and an apple
  3. chickpeas, tomato, and cucumber w/ a little balsamic vinegar
  4. peanut butter on rye crisp-type crackers
  5. leftover pasta from yesterday
  6. Camembert and whole grain baguette rounds (oops), glass of wine

Obviously, meal six was not the best choice I could make, and certainly not BFL-approved.  This is a trial week, don’t forget!

workout: cardio

  • Level 1 of the 30 Day Shred

OK, I’m actually completing this entry first thing in the morning of day 3.  I’m am now contemplating the wisdom of shredding the day before a lower body workout!

July 19, 2009

BFL trial week – Day 1

Filed under: fitness, nutrition — karena @ 5:56 pm

I’ve decided, after many, many volleys back and forth, to return to a regimented plan like BFL.  I find myself in need of the structure a plan like this provides.  This worked very well for me in the past.  It’s a lot of work, but so is carrying around 20-30 extra pounds on a 5’2″ frame!  It will take a week or so to get back in the swing of things, and to get all the “right” foods in the house, hence the “trial” label above.  I won’t be full-blown BFL until I get those small details sorted out, and, I must confess, the wine out of the house.  But I figure there’s no use putting it off for a week when I can at least make a decent start.



  1. scrambled tofu with peppers
  2. lentil soup over a little rice, baby carrots
  3. apple and one tablespoon of peanut butter
  4. pasta with sauce — TVP, tomatoes, and spinach added ((and a glass of red wine))
  5. ??
  6. ??

Ideally, I should be getting six small meals a day.  But Sunday is my day to sleep in, so I missed one meal.  I may have another light one this evening.  I always had problems fitting in six while doing BFL in the past.  There just aren’t enough hours in the day!  Also, for any “real” BFLers that stumble by, I realize my meals are low on protein, higher on carbs.  I’m a vegetarian, with the occasional portion of fish thrown in (like once every few months).  I may up my fish intake to help get a better ratio, but I’m not going to obsess about it.  And I know that pasta isn’t an ideal BFL-food, but the sauce was very heavy on veg, so the ratio of veg to pasta worked in my favor.  And I don’t do whey powder or shakes or energy bars.  I like real food, and I like to cook my own food.  Granted, that may be why I have 20+ pounds to lose, but that’s a topic for another post!

workout: upper body

  • chest: dumbbell press, flyes for the highpoint
  • shoulders: shoulder press, lateral raises for hp
  • back: bentover row, one arm rows for hp
  • triceps: tri extensions, dips for hp
  • biceps: curls, reverse curls for hp

Overall, I’d call today a pretty successful start.   Let’s keep it up!

July 9, 2009

9 juillet

Filed under: fitness, nutrition — karena @ 6:47 pm

As promised, a daily accountability thread:

Dietary Honesty:

0730: coffee (w/ sf Davinci’s syrup and light soy mlk) and a banana
1010: another coffee with 9 strawberries
1200: bowl of vegetarian chili, one piece of sourdough bread, and vegan “buttery” spread, iced tea (no sugar, lots of lemon)
1300: decaf tea with light soy milk and half a splenda packet
1730: (here’s where things get dicey) a couple sips from my husband’s beer, a slice of gouda, 3 cherry tomatoes, the crusts off half a grilled cheese sandwich, and two spoonfuls of tomato soup. ((kids’ supper time, since J had to rush back into town for something and I’ll be eating later with him)
1900: rice (brown and white) topped with zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, and pine nuts (a pretty large portion, but pretty low-cal, all things considered; and, of course, a glass of red wine
2045: about two cups of popcorn, no butter, water


push up challenge: level 1, week 1, day 3 – completed
sit up challenge: level 1, week 1, day 3 – completed
step count: 14,330

That’s a night for me. I’m sure I’ll walk a couple hundred more steps, and may have another glass of wine. If so, I’ll let you know tomorrow. Reflections: the mess up of timing around supper time gave me a bit of a problem. I certainly didn’t need that early-evening snack. I’m used to eating fairly early, around 6PM, with my kids. Roughly, this puts me at 1600-1800 calories, which seems a little high, but not weight-gainingly so. I guess that’s what tracking is all about. REALLY seeing how much I’m eating, and what I can do to adjust it.

June 24, 2009

weekly weigh in

Filed under: keeping it real, nutrition, weigh in — karena @ 12:08 pm

Hey, look over there. <—– See that button? It's about freakin' time!

Last week: 164.0
This week: 163.5

Small changes, I know. Apparently I am the tortoise in this race. But isn't he the one that wins in the end? I need to keep reminding myself that weight lost fast usually comes back. And that slower is surer, and probably healthier. Yadda, yadda, yadda. No, really, I am pleased. Just we've all heard all those things, so many times before, haven't we?

What? You think if I gave up my nightly glass(es) of wine I might be moving a little faster? Well, you want to know what I think??

Sigh. I think you're right. Tell you what, I'll give up my wine for a week if you pledge to give up something as well. Your evening screwdriver, or that little bowl of ice cream you've been indulging in nightly, or those chips you've been sneaking. Yeah, that's right, I'm talking to YOU. Takers?

May 27, 2009

weekly weigh in

Filed under: keeping it real, nutrition, weigh in — karena @ 3:07 pm

So, I haven’t shredded since late last week, I took three days completely off exercise to baby my knee back to health, and I’ve been going really low-impact on my cardio this week. Dare I step on the scale?

Yes, I dare. Because during all this I’ve been focusing on nutrition. Calculating just how many calories I’ve been eating and how many calories I’ve been drinking. It ain’t pretty, trust me. So I’ve adjusted accordingly. I’m feeling so noble and healthy, I don’t even miss my evening wine.

last week: 168.5
this week: 165.5

3 pounds

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