Jenna and I recently raced in the Rothman Institute 8K. Below are our separate reactions, post-race! Q: What was the best part of the race? Jenna: There were so many ...
I love salad dressing. I stumbled upon a yogurt based ranch a few months ago that was life changing (only 45 calories a serving). I always want to make my own for a healthier option, but most of them require equipment and ingredients that I don’t have. I’m pretty against spending $15 on items to make something like dressing, so I started messing around with stuff in my kitchen last night and really like this one that I came up with. It does require tahini, but I happened to have some on hand from making hummus (another excellent investment considering it can push $5 a container).
Simple Tahini Dressing:
Equal parts tahini, apple cider vinegar and olive oil. I did about 3 tablespoons of each.
Whisk quickly. It’ll be pretty thick at this point, so add water until you get the consistency you want. Continue to whisk. Salt and Pepper to taste. I also added the juice of one lime. Yum!
Last night added some of this to a mix of chickpeas, tomato, broccoli and onion. It made a delicious little salad as a side to some protein.
Have you ever made your own dressing? What’s your favorite kind?
Sundays at home have become one of my favorite days. Snuggling in, taking care of crafts and projects, cooking large pots of soup. I get so much accomplished during these peaceful days. And yesterday, with Jersey’s first snow fall, it was quite perfect indeed.
Every year I make my own Christmas cards, which has become quite the feat. I’ve been doing this since 2008, and my list of recipients has nearly doubled since then! Nevertheless, I enjoy coming up with new ideas for these cards and writing personal messages. This weekend, amidst a 6K and fun in Philadelphia with some friends, I finished writing out all 75+ cards for family and friends. It feels good to have these ready to go; they’ll ship tomorrow.
Not only that, but I wrapped ALL of my Christmas presents. I have a big family, so this took a straight two hours. Thank goodness I’ve found The Killing on Netflix to keep me occupied. I watched many an episode yesterday.
I was also able to make a banner for my upcoming Ugly Sweater Party – “Merry” with triangle flags. I love the way it turned out. And I decided that instead of buying “real art,” I think I’ll just start decorating with banners like these. A word for every month. Or something like that. It’s much cheaper, and it gives me a reason to work with my hands!
When life gets too busy, these Sundays are simply perfect. I pound it out, day after day – working, eating, sleeping, exercising. It feels good to have time to delight in the simple joys of a holiday season.
How are you getting ready for Christmas?
I once said this thing about Cleveland: It’s not as bad as you’d think. And I think I’ll use that same mantra for the 3-Day Shakeology Performance Cleanse. I feel lighter, leaner and all around better since I finished the cleanse. And I dropped 4.4 pounds (for those of you who care about numbers).
Why I Tried It
My weight loss plateaued a while ago. And, while I am probably fitter than I’ve ever been, I was looking to get just a bit leaner. I also overate throughout the Thanksgiving holiday and pounded my body with unclean foods. I arrived home feeling bloated and tired. I wanted a pick-me-up, and I remembered this cleanse.
Many of my FitFam friends have tried the cleanse before and detoxed their system of all the nasty stuff. All of them reported feeling lighter and leaner. And while I have never been a fan of juice cleanses or anything like that, I wanted to try it at least once in my life. The Shakeology cleanse appealed to me for several reasons:
- I am already drinking the product and know how it works.
- It’s a calorie-restricted cleanse – but dense in nutrients. I knew I’d still be getting 800-1,200 calories per day (anything less, and I could kill.)
- It follows the five-meals-per-day plan, which I’m also following.
- It’s only three days.
Due to my work schedule, I modified my cleanse, swapping my dinners and lunches. I also decided to drink two to three shakes per day with a banana. I consumed 6 oz. of coffee each morning. As you can see, I didn’t follow the cleanse to the T but modified it based on my personal needs. Despite this, I still saw results.
While I am not a fan of the scale, I do find it occasionally helpful to measure my progress. And I lost 4.4 pounds, as noted above. My clothes fit much better, and my stomach was much less bloated. I ended the cleanse feeling so much lighter, refreshed and energized. I’m also noticing that I now get fuller faster since I’ve completed.
The cleanse is most definitely a test of your mental willpower. I never wanted to give up, but I often questioned why I was doing it. Would it be worth it? In those moments, I found myself wondering about the lives of those who are truly hungry. And I felt grateful for my life.
I also realized that I don’t need as much food as I eat to survive. At night, I always treat myself to an apple smeared with natural PB. Not a bad thing, but eating so close to my bedtime probably isn’t necessary. Sometimes I do it just out of habit. The same applies to my half n’ half addiction. I don’t need to dump five containers into my morning coffee.
Oh, and my skin is clearer and smoother. I immediately noticed that some areas of redness went away.
Days 2 & 3 are a real struggle. Day 1 was, by far, the easiest. I was motivated and stuck to it. But on Day 3 came the intense hunger, especially at night. The hour or so before bedtime was usually the worst. I found myself going to bed earlier, just so I could focus on something else. That’s when I felt some of the headaches. The afternoons, at work, were especially hard to concentrate. But I’d often wake up the next day feeling great.
I had the Shakeology, so it wasn’t a big expense, but it could be for some. And they do get old after you’ve had 5 in two days. I also tried Vanilla Shakeology during the cleanse and hated it (you must add strawberries to that flavor!).
In terms of digestion, I can report that nothing bad happened to me there. I was (for lack of a better word) regular throughout the cleanse. I did drink a ton of water, forcing me to take bathroom breaks nearly every hour.
I would, without a doubt, do this again. It is designed so that you can only do it every three months. I see this as a nice reset following a holiday. I’d maybe incorporate it once or twice a year. I definitely feel as though it restarted my system and was worth the mental struggle I went through. I especially like that this cleanse doesn’t restrict your calories as much as the juice cleanses you read about. This is important for those who want to work out while going through it. I still completed my T25 workouts and even upped my game a bit. I still felt like I had enough fuel. I’d say it was a win!
Questions? Hit me up in the comments.
Blogging has taken a serious backseat this week. We’ve been busy! The holidays turn us all into crazy people, don’t they? If by crazy, you mean relaxed. Because I did a whole heck of a lot of that over the break.
This year, M and I drove up to Boston to spend time with his side of the family. It was nice! We’ve spent most holidays with my family, which I’ve loved, but I really wanted to get to know his people. We drove up after work on Wednesday and stayed through Saturday.
The trip had many highlights. Here they are, in no particular order.
My sleeping quarters.
So this was cool. I stayed in M’s nephew’s room. He’s 18 and a recent high school grad. Check out these posters! He has great taste and his room was artfully decorated. I forgot how cool posters are.
I feel like this photo doesn’t fully capture how good the food was. M’s brother was a chef in a past life, so everything was cooked to perfection. My favorite moment: M asked if I wanted gravy (I hate gravy), and I declined. His brother said, “Oh, no. You’re having some gravy. I slaved over this for three days.” Apparently this gravy had been cooked down and cooked down and so forth. And it was amazing. Best gravy I’ve ever tested (don’t tell my family!).
The basement workouts.
I didn’t want to totally wreck my fitness regime while in Boston. So, I chose to work out each morning in the basement. Thankfully, M’s brother had a set of weights and this cool mirror. But the basement was pretty cold. And the dog wouldn’t leave me alone. But still, it was a nice way to start my mornings.
How M wore an Italia sweatshirt all weekend.
It was pretty cold in Boston. We had to resort to thermal hoodies and layers of sweats. M decided to borrow his niece’s Italia shirt. Now I can’t picture him in anything else.
And there you have it. We maxed, we relaxed, and we ate. The perfect holiday vacation!
Fashionable, I am not. Ask anyone. I have trouble matching colors. I get very stressed when trying to decorate a room. And I’m only just now figuring out what looks good with my figure. On top of that, I haven’t had money for clothes for the past three years. But now I’m trying to branch out a little.
I keep raving about Zulily, but this site is amazing. While it markets itself as a “Deals for Moms, Babies, and Kids,” you don’t need to be any of those things to shop here. I am not a mom, nor am I kid. And I still find good stuff. So far, I’ve bought a few sports bras for myself along with some dresses. I’ve also purchased tutus for my nieces and beautiful winter gowns. I can’t wait until they arrive!
One of my recent purchases included these two dresses, bought from the same company:
I really took a chance when buying these. I wasn’t sure if I’d dig on the cowl neckline, but I do. It gives this ordinary dress such a flair. Because it’s so short, I pair it with yoga pants underneath. Tights would be too sheer. The yoga pants make me feel covered, along with a nice pair of boots.
As for the dress on the right, this one was interesting. It is a little snug on me; I have bigger hips than what will fit a medium dress. And there are pockets, which I’m constantly adjusting so that I don’t look weird. But I make it work somehow. And pairing it with this sweater seemed to make the dress pop even more. I was actually trying to imitate my boss’s style with this one – she has some lovely dresses with bold patterns on front.
Both of these dresses cost me $20 each. A steal, really, when you think about how much items cost in the store. But the one Zulily downfall is that items take FOREVER to ship. These didn’t arrive until a good 4-5 weeks later. So buy stuff early!
More to come on the Fashion Forward series. I plan on transforming my wardrobe piece by piece in the coming months.