Tag Archives: elliptical

Feeling Productive

I spontaneously took today off of work. I didn’t have any meetings on my schedule and I got what I needed to get done yesterday. Plus, once I saw that we’d be getting some snow today, I told my boss that I was most likely going to take off. I banked the MLK holiday and would much rather have a Friday off than a Monday!

So, I made my list of what I wanted to get done and also thought about it on my bus ride home.

Here are some scenes from my bus ride.

Milwaukee Art Museum sort of blocked by the street lights.


Pretty church and Allen Bradley. My dad worked at Allen Bradley for 35 years and I’ve been wanting to get a shot like this for a while. The sun was shining perfectly on it last night.


It’s nearly 11:30 and I’ve felt pretty productive on my day off so far.

I woke up, ate this for breakfast. Fage yogurt, wild blueberry preserves, chia seeds and coffee. Then I meditated and got to the gym.


I had a really good workout at Y today. I spent 42 minutes on the elliptical (blame HGTV for a longer workout on the machine than I initially anticipated). I lifted weights, etc. You know, the usual.

I made a protein smoothie when I got home. It included pumpkin ice cream (my husband will be happy about this because I needed to finish it up months ago), whey protein powder, almond milk, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, ginger and chia seeds.

I opened a new container of almond milk and marked it with the opening date because I tend to need a reminder to use it up.




I have some reading to get through today. Magazines that I started and never finished and a book that falls in the same category. Blame the kindle for taking me away from this reading material for a while.


The other exciting thing I did this morning was download the free version of Angry Birds and play it. Yes, I was an Angry Birds virgin before today. I hope I don’t become addicted.


I also downloaded the iTunes U app and some “classes” on nutrition, German language, history, etc. Very excited to learn some new things through this awesome app.


I have so much more I want to get done today: laundry (currently doing), dishes, baking, organizing, calling a laboratory to get an appointment for the celiac sprue test I need, blogging and more! I am sure I will have to put off some of these tasks and try to accomplish them over the weekend.

Have a wonderful Friday everyone!

The last couple of days…

Our weekend has been really good so far…here’s a recap of some Thursday/Friday eats and workouts. This post is kind of random because I’m covering a couple of days. Sorry about that!

I had the Love Grown cocoa goodness granola for breakfast on Friday morning. I didn’t realize it but my sample size package expired in late September. The flavor seemed a bit off to me compared to all of the other Love Grown granolas I have tried. I’ve really loved all of the other flavors and was looking forward to the chocolate based one. Oh well!


Once I was at work, I walked to Starbucks and treated myself to a Salted Caramel Mocha to celebrate it being the end of the work week.

Salted Caramel Mocha Starbucks

I liked the drink, but it was very sweet. Craig and I were keen on the Salted Caramel hot chocolates last fall and winter and I much prefer sharing one of those with him to save on calories and just get a little taste of the drink. My favorite part is the salty taste with the sweet.

For lunch, I tried a new to me yogurt–the Siggi’s brand of Icelandic style yogurt in strawberry. It wasn’t sweet and reminded me of greek yogurt. I got used to the taste after a while.

siggi's strawberry yogurt

sigg's strawberry yogurt

I’ll deal with the taste for the amount of protein it had in it.

Siggi's strawberry yogurt nutrition stats

I also had a spinach salad with feta, a roma tomato from our garden, and some Rosemary and Olive Oil Triscuits thrown in. Carrots were on the side.

salad and carrots

On Thursday, I tried this nogii bar by Elizabeth Hasselback. It was just ok.

nogii high protein bar

I brought a Cranberry Lemonade Mamma Chia drink for lunch on Thursday and it was my favorite flavor yet. I’m really loving the taste and texture of Mamma Chia drinks.

Mamma Chia Cranberry Lemonade

Mamma Chia nutriton facts

I have been listening to this podcast all week. It has some really good tips that I think everyone can learn from such as assertiveness, dealing with difficult people, etc.

Life Habits mentoring podcast

Before going to the gym on Friday, I had a pumpkin spice protein shake from a recipe I found on Carrots N’ Cake.

Pumpkin Spice Protein Shake

Pumpkin Spice Protein Shake

Sprinkled some cinnamon on top.

cinnamon on top of pumpkin spice shake

It was yummy!

At the gym, I completed 45 minutes of cardio on the elliptical. I normally don’t stay on the elliptical that long, but House Hunters International kept me there when they went to my favorite country, Germany, where a family was purchasing a house. I love learning about buying houses in Europe and dream of doing that someday. I know if we did that, we’d have to buy our own kitchen, the bathrooms wouldn’t be likely to have double sinks and the roofs in Germany are often sloped in a way that makes the bedrooms lose lots of space.

On Thursday night, I did yoga with my fav teacher and it was a super crowded class that was very tough. We all looked exhausted from the session and the teacher said so before we did some mat work. It felt SO good to stretch though. My hips were killing me as we started class but were totally fine by the end. I could feel the subtle soreness the next day as well. Too much sitting at work is starting to take a toll on my hips I think!

I did pretty good overall with getting to the gym this week. I had to make up for the previous week of hardly going at all and doing more outdoor exercises.

Time to enjoy my Saturday night!

Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Boats and DailyFeats

Lately, I’ve been coming up with a meal I want to make and get to cooking it right after I meditate. Tonight, I wanted to use up my zucchinis and I had the two types of onions the recipe called for in my fridge. I remembered that Emily at Daily Garnish made Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Boats during her internship last summer and I wanted to make them a year ago, but never got around to it!

I finally made them for dinner and I also boiled some corn on the cob.

quinoa stuffed zucchini boats

They came out pretty good! I think they needed a bit more spice. I did add a lot more cumin than Emily called for in her recipe.

quinoa stuffed zucchini boats

dinner 8-15-11

After letting my stomach rest a bit, I went to the gym to bike while reading Fitness magazine, do the elliptical for another 15, and I also lifted some weights.

Once home, I recovered with some protein in the form of plain Chobani with raw honey, chia seeds, and sliced almonds.

Chobani, raw honey, almonds, chia seeds

And now I am going to check out a website I saw mentioned in the September 2011 issue of Fitness magazine: DailyFeats

Doesn’t the description below have you intrigued too? 🙂

daily feats from Fitness magazine


Noticing a gap in my diet today

Glad Monday is over! It was hard to wake up this morning. I think I hit the snooze button three or four times.

I was in the mood for cereal for breakfast, so I tried Raisin Bran crunch. For some reason, I’ve been having cravings for Raisin Bran and I got a good deal on some with double coupon days on Saturday. I didn’t think the “crunch” was a whole lot different than the regular though.

Raisin Bran Crunch cereal, coffee

At work, I had an almond iced coffee and a cinnamon mini bagel just plain and warmed up in the microwave.

Lunch today was thrown together quickly, which is why it lacks veggies. I had a pb & j sandwich, a peach chobani and Stacy’s pita chips. I also had a lovely German chocolate Ritter sport mini bar.

lunch-pb & j, peach chobani, pita chips

After meditating and “being vocal” about my day (my way of saying complaining), I hit the gym and that made me feel better right away. I did 30 minutes on the elliptical and completed some pretty tough intervals while watching House Hunters International. I then lifted weights and did some abs. A pretty normal workout, but I felt energized at the end.

Dinner was some of the spinach I got at the farmer’s market (which seemed unusually dirty compared to spinach I have bought from farmers before. I know veggies and fruit are sometimes going to be dirty, but this was very dirty), red peppers, and I topped it with a Morningstar black bean veggie burger. This was a great & quick meal. You’ll be seeing more of this on the blog!


Enjoyed the meal outside while the hubby watered our plants with fertilizer.

It was pretty nice out this evening, so we went for a walk around the neighborhood. And finally, we read outside together. Craig is reading the sample of the “127 Hours” book, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, and is enjoying it so far. I didn’t comment on the movie on any of my weekend posts. It was pretty good. We could not watch the really gross parts! I definitely want to prepare for the worst whenever we go anywhere in nature now or on a long road trip.

So, after writing this post and reviewing the preview, I noticed something. I didn’t eat any fruit today and I am not happy about that. I mean, I have lots of it in my fridge, but I just didn’t incorporate fruit into my meals. I guess you could sort of count the raisins in my cereal and the peaches in my chobani yogurt. This is why I like to blog my meals because I see what I am lacking and also what may be affecting my tummy troubles. I better go eat a bowl of raspberries!

That’s all folks. It’s already 9 p.m. and almost time for me to hit the hay.

Donuts, Strawberries, and the Crohn’s/Colitis Walk

I felt like unplugging a bit this weekend, but I am back with a recap.

On Friday, I had to participate in National Donut Day by going to Dunkin’ Donuts to get a large iced coffee and a chocolate creme donut (which was free with the purchase of a large or extra large drink).

donut, Large Iced Coffee

After work, I went to Trader Joe’s to stock up. For once, the store wasn’t jam packed, so it made for some nice shopping.

It was hot out, but cooled off later in the evening, so Craig and I took a nice walk around a neighborhood next to us.

Then it was time for a new episode Food Revolution! In case you missed it, here is what I took away from the episode.

-I forget if Jamie said this or if someone else did, but the question of “Why can’t we do better?” was raised in regards to food in our schools.
-I was prompted to think, “Why does the governmenet allow bad food in cafeterias?”
-It is clear that Jamie and others in this country have a passion for good, nutritious food, but they face resistance to implement using this food in restaurants and schools.
-Fear is stopping progress. I think Jamie said this during the episode.
-Jamie showed the need to educate kids on food education in schools. Why aren’t we doing this, especially when facing an obesity epidemic in this country?

On Saturday, I slept in a bit, relaxed around the house, and then made it to the gym by 10:30. I stayed there for an hour and a half and did a full circuit of weights, 35 minutes on the elliptical, and rowed for 10 minutes.

Later in the afternoon, we braved the heat and went to the West Allis Farmer’s Market.

West Allis Farmer's Market sign

We found lots of flowers and vegetable plants for sale.

WA farmer's market

flowers at WA farmer's market

The only veggie for sale for consumption was spinach. I’ll return to the market when more veggies and fruits are for sale.

We went there with the hopes of getting a hanging strawberry basket. We found one for $15, which may be kind of expensive, but we decided to experiment this year. If the basket is successful, we’ll buy our own plants and put them in the basket next year. Can’t wait for fresh strawberries from our backyard!

strawberry plant


We have little bunnies in our backyard, so we figured having the strawberries hanging would be better than having them in containers, which allows easier access to the berries.

I also made Banana-Blueberry Bread from this book.

You Can Trust a Skinny Cook Allison Fishman


I like her “skinny tips” at the bottom of the recipe.

skinny tip

And I like that she includes nutritional information.

Blueberry banana bread nutritional stats and ingredients

It turned out really well! Nice and moist and I like the addition of the blueberries.

blueberry banana bread

And onto today. Had this for breakfast. Oh my gosh is that cereal addictive!


I am going to head to the gym for Body Pump this morning. I haven’t done it in a while and after reading parts of The New Rules of Lifting for Women, I am convinced I need to do it more often.

Later on today, I am meeting my friend Danielle for the Crohn’s and Colitis walk at Miller Park.

I did it for the first time last year and since I have Ulcerative Colitis, I need to support research efforts by walking and donating money to the cause. I wish the walk had as good as a turnout as the Breast Cancer walks in Milwaukee, but they market the hell out of those walks and women feel compelled to walk together.

Hope you have an excellent Sunday!

Moist and delicious banana bread

As always, where did this weekend go? Too bad we didn’t get to do too much outside due to the dreary weather we’ve been having in Milwaukee.

Did my usual Sunday morning thing–meditated, ate breakfast and watched CBS Sunday Morning.

Breakfast was an egg on a TJ’s sandwich thin with jack cheese, jalapenos, and Frank’s Red Hot sauce. Yum! I love eggs with jalapenos. 🙂

egg sandwich with jack cheese, jalapenos, frank's red hot, coffee

I really want to get back to doing Body Pump on Sunday mornings, but with my nose now being so stuffy, I figured it wasn’t the best thing for me today.

Instead, I showered and decided to run my errands. I went to Target and Pick N’ Save. I needed some produce, so I picked up a bunch of it at Pick N’ Save. I also got lunch meat, skim milk, Sun Chips, blue corn chips, and yogurt at Target. Oh and gummy bears and Milka chocolate somehow made it into my cart!

I wasn’t feeling the whole shopping thing today even though the stores seemed empty to me.

I ate this when I got home. Just can’t seem to get sick of the Vegetable Masala burgers this week. 🙂

vegetable masala burger Trader Joe's, red grapes

Then it was time to bake! I had three dark bananas and had been waiting to make banana bread with them.

Please excuse the big hole I created by testing the middle with a knife!

banana bread

Even though I knew I was going to make banana bread, I didn’t have a recipe picked out yet. Luckily, myrecipes.com tweeted a bunch of banana bread recipes this morning and I bookmarked the tweet. I used the Classic Banana Bread recipe from Cooking Light.

The only alterations I made to the recipe below were that I used whole wheat flour and not all-purpose, I added three heaping scoops of ground flax seeds, and I used Chobani plain greek yogurt instead of regular plain yogurt.


* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup sugar
* 1/4 cup butter, softened
* 2 large eggs
* 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
* 1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* Cooking spray


* Preheat oven to 350°.
* Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.
* Place sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 1 minute). Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, yogurt, and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Spoon batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

banana bread

It turned out really moist and delicious! I definitely recommend this recipe.

After watching a movie in the afternoon, I finally got my butt to the gym. I wasn’t feeling it because of my stuffy nose, but I went anyway. Glad I did because once I am there, I am always fine. I did 25 minutes on the elliptical, a full circuit of weights, squats on the bosu, and crunches on the Swiss ball.

It was late when I got home and I didn’t have much of an appetite, but I put together a nice salad that contained spinach, chickpeas, feta cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, & artichokes. I topped it with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.


Dessert was gummy bears and a slice of banana bread.

And now I am watching one of my favorite movies because I am a big bird lover, Winged Migration. I usually turn on the TV while I blog and I still had PBS on, which just so happened to start that movie at the exact time I turned the TV on.

Better read some blogs, catch up on the Sunday newspaper and then get to bed early. Another week awaits!

With another work week upon most of us, it’s good to remember this quote from Onward by Howard Schultz (of Starbucks).

quote from Onward by Howard Schultz, kindle

Monday off

I had this Monday off because I work on Saturday. I am also hoping for this Wednesday off because of the snow!

Originally, I wanted to treat myself to a matinee movie of The King’s Speech. Those plans all changed as I ate the breakfast below (Stonyfield plain yogurt with Jessica’s almond cherry granola, fresh blueberries, chia seeds and a bit of almond milk; coffee; and a jalapeno cornbread muffin I had to save for a mid-morning snack because I was too full from my main meal).

yogurt with granola, chia seeds, blueberries; jalapeno cornbread muffin; coffee

You see, the last in the trilogy of the Stieg Larsson books was due back to the library today. I still had about 150 pages to read. Well, I stayed on the couch, snuggled with Karma and read the rest of the book. It moved fast at the end, but I think I read for about an hour and a half straight!

By the time I finished reading, I really felt like moving and going to the gym instead of showering and heading to a movie theater to sit for two hours. I sat enough (and napped) all weekend! The gym was calling me and I headed there for a good two hours.

Before the gym, I needed something to hold me over until the end of my workout. I snacked on half of a peanut butter cookie Larabar.

peanut butter cookie larabar

Walking into the gym, a cute little toddler girl was walking out way ahead of her mom and into the round driveway where cars pull up quite often. I looked at her mom’s face and immediately turned around to stop the little girl. It was a scary moment for her mom, who was tied up with a little boy in her arm. She was very grateful for what I did and then the guy who checked me into the Y said to me, “you saved that little girl.” It was my good deed for the day.

I worked out on the elliptical for 45 minutes. Blame HGTV and an American looking for a house in the French countryside. Aaah, they get me every time with International House Hunters. I also did a full circuit of weights and then called it quits, because it was a little after 1 p.m. at this point.

The snow was coming down pretty badly when I was driving back and I was glad to get off the slushy roads. Sadly, this is just the beginning of the snow for us this week!

For lunch, I made a buffalo tofu wrap for lunch with a whole wheat tortilla, spinach and swiss cheese.

buffalo tofu with spinach, swiss cheese, whole wheat tortilla

This meal filled me up! I probably will bring the same thing for lunch tomorrow too. Tofu is the perfect food for me because I normally don’t eat a lot of protein and subsequently, don’t feel full and want to snack a couple of hours after a meal. With tofu, I always feel full until my next meal.

After lunch, I got to work on dumping photographs from iPhoto onto my Lacie hard drive. I really need to make photo books out of each season or year. Otherwise, digital photos just sit on my hard drive. Blogging has also caused rows and rows of food pictures to sit in my iPhoto. I need to clear those off my computer, because really, what am I going to do with all of them?

I headed out in the snow again to return my book and dvd to the library. Then it was time to shovel some of the driveway until my hands were so freezing cold that I couldn’t stand it anymore.

Off to get ready to head out again with Craig! We’re going to look at one more eyeglass place and then hopefully order some new glasses for him tonight.

Hope you had a good Monday!

Memories of glühwein and Christmas markets

Aaah, I got the all clear from the physical therapist to do something other than bike at the gym! And of course I hit the elliptical right away when I went to the Y tonight and it was so nice. I missed the elliptical. Time flew by on it while I listened to my iPod and read the latest issue of Health magazine. I logged 35 minutes on there, lifted a full circuit of weights and biked for 17 minutes.

I was released from my doc and PT care today and that is a huge relief. I still have to be careful with both of my ankles, but the PT seemed to think I look pretty strong when she assessed me. I still need to ice and do exercises to strengthen my feet. I can handle that so I can regain my strength.

Breakfast this morning was Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal. It was tasty, of course!

pumpkin pie oatmeal and Christkindlmarkt cup

Continue reading

Peppers for immunity

It was just a pretty normal Wednesday for me today. I can’t believe it’s already Thursday tomorrow!

Breakfast was Kashi Autumn Wheat cereal with skim milk and a coffee.

cereal and coffee

My snack was about 8 almonds and a chai tea, which was from a packet, so it was kind of too sugary for me.

Lunch was basically what I had for dinner last night, minus the tomatoes. That Swiss Rye cheese made the sub taste so good! I also had a Brown Cow Maple Yogurt, which is ultra creamy and dessert like. I know the nutritional label doesn’t display the best stats, such as that it’s higher in calories coming in at 170, but it’s such a nice treat to have a creamy yogurt once in a while.

Last night, I chopped up some green and red peppers and put together a little container of hummus to dip them in. That made grabbing my lunch and getting ready to go this morning so easy! I just had to make my sandwich, which is less complicated than chopping veggies. The peppers really filled me up! While at the gym tonight, I read that red peppers are better for immunity boosting than an orange. They contain more Vitamin C. I feel like I may be getting a cold, so I needed the pepper to help fight off anything that may be coming on in my body.


I left work a little early to go to the eye doc to check on my trial contacts. All clear with the new pair and I ordered a few boxes. Love getting that kind of stuff over with.

Dinner was just an egg sandwich with Swiss Rye cheese on a whole wheat English Muffin. I wasn’t that hungry before hitting the gym. I think lunch filled me up today.

egg sandwich

At the Y, I did about 30 minutes on the elliptical and then 6 minutes on the rowing machine. I also lifted arm weights, but no legs. I figured my legs could still use some rest from the pain they have been through this week. I wanted to stay there longer to do more, but then again my workout ended at 7:30 and that was just too late. I need to get up earlier tomorrow and didn’t want to be lying in bed tonight all wired!

Once home, I followed the advice of my co-worker’s personal trainer. My co-worker and I discuss healthy food and habits. She’s 60 something and in great shape and eats so healthy. Today, she gave me a post-it note with the following post-workout snacks recommended by her trainer.

  • soy nuts & fruit
  • hard-boiled egg whites (3-4)
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese or yogurt
  • apple wedges with almond butter
  • 2″ square-baked oatmeal (my co-worker is going to give me the recipe for this and I’ll share it with you too)

I had one of her recommended snacks after my workout tonight.

Almond butter and an apple. This was delicious!

I can’t believe it’s already 9:20, I better get off of here and get ready for bed!