Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My new way to run

So it has gotten pretty cold in Atlanta this week and I thought it would be difficult for me to get Hope out of the house. She has been pretty healthy, but I fear taking her out in the cold. Yesterday my future brother-in-law was off work (a big runner), so he came over so we could all go for a run. He is much faster than me, even when he is out of shape, so he is in charge of the jogging stroller, and I just run beside him. I am usually also in charge of the route. He wanted to do roughly 5 miles, so I have a newish loop that I do that is 5.4 miles.

So here is Hope before we get ready for the run. She is sporting a sweater because the high yesterday was only in the mid 40's (yes, that is cold for us). She is also sporting the plastic spoon that goes with her new kitchen she got her Christmas (her favorite toy).

Step 1 is to get the mittens and hat on her which is very difficult to keep on her. She tries to pull the hat off as soon as I put it on her. Same with the mittens.

And thank goodness her grandmother (Adam's mom) got her a snow suit like thing from LL Bean. The hands and feet actually roll over to cover her up completely. It's awesome! One of my favorite gifts Hope got. I feel much better taking her running when she is covered up like this.

So now, I have her in the jogging stroller and it was pretty sunny, so I thought she could sport her shades too.

And finally, a blanket over her. She was ready to go now! She sang and talked almost the entire way, so I guess that means she was pretty comfortable. Her new thing is counting. I know she doesn't know what she is doing, but I will say "One" and then she will respond with "Two." We showed off for Uncle Eric for over 5 miles.
She was an angel which made mommy very happy. I have been able to work out as much as I would like with all the Christmas stuff and have been eating very heavy meals, so it felt great to get out and pound the pavement.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas presents

Well Christmas at our house was full! We did Christmas morning at our house instead of my dad's house because he doesn't have much furniture because he is remodeling. I thought that would be great because then I wouldn't have to get Hope up and ready, but it was still a lot of work. Hope got up at 4:30am and she doesn't even understand the whole Santa thing yet. So we finally got her back down at 7:00am and I slept for another hour. Then I was up to make some cinnamon rolls. My dad sent me a text at 9:00am (when he was supposed to be over) that he had either a stomach bug or food poisoning and wasn't coming over.

So it took some time to get all the troops over but once we did, we opened a lot of presents. It was crazy. There were boxes and paper everywhere. Adam and I decided to clean up some before heading to our next stop. We were very late, but we didn't expect to have so much to clean up. Yikes.

We continued the Christmas holiday with brunch at my grandmother's and then it was off to Adam's mom's house for the rest of the day. We had a fabulous time but were exhausted by the end of the day.

I am happy to report on the health and fitness side, I received some new running tights and the Your Shape for my laptop. I also got a subscription to Cooking Light and a new vegetarian recipe book. I am hoping to try out the Your Shape this week. I wanted to get it for days when it is raining or too cold to go running and still want to get a decent workout in. This seems to have a lot of variety so I am hoping I do not get bored with it.

On the not to health and fitness side, Adam and Hope got me an anniversary band to go with my engagement ring and wedding band. I was so excited (although I did pick this one out so I knew it was coming). I am so happy with it. :)

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday as well.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday debates

Well, I finally got all my wrapping done yesterday. I am usually really good about wrapping up gifts early, but this year, I am down to the wire. Adam and I are in a debate on the Christmas thing with little Hope now involved. At my house, we had presents from mom and dad and then from Santa. On Christmas morning we would come down and there would be presents galore (not kidding, my parents went crazy with presents, it was AWESOME). Obviously there was wrapping paper I hadn't seen my mom using, because that was what Santa had brought us. Well in Adam's house, his mom never got him any presents; they all came from Santa. Santa also had one wrapping paper just for Adam and one just for his brother. So when they went down to see the tree, they knew which ones were whose. I didn't like that idea, but Adam thinks it's so cool, so I am going with it. But when I said, can we have some presents from us to Hope and the rest can be from Santa, I had to go into a huge debate about it. I think Adam is just someone who likes to debate. He is not willing to give up his view in the beginning (I am thinking he should be a lawyer now). So finally, it is that Hope will get a few presents from us (as of now) and some from Santa, but the ones from Santa will be in a wrapping paper just from her. I still don't like it. I liked seeing a big present and not knowing who it was for. Call me crazy!

As far as working out goes, it is not going so well. Hope had a cold, so I couldn't take her out running in the stroller, then it got crazy cold for the ATL, then it rained on all my running days. Last Saturday Adam had to go out to do some shopping for me, and I convinced him to take Hope to have some bonding time. He did and I got to hit the pavement. It was very cold so I couldn't have taken Hope with me, so it was good she was with her daddy. :) I only conquered 6.5 miles, but I don't like running in the cold like some people do. I would much rather run in 90 degree heat. Yesterday, it was much nicer, so I decided to 4.5 miles with Hope and the stroller. Boy, taking 3 weeks off with minimal exercise and very little running showed. My time was terrible!!! But I have decided to take it easy. I have signed up for another half-marathon, but it's not until March. January is always the coldest time to run in Atlanta, so it will be nice not to think about getting in too many runs in while it's cold (well cold for me and Hope). I plan to get back into the swing of things at the end of Jan. I plan to do an 8 week training plan from Runner's World. You can create your own personalized training plan there and I find them very helpful.

1st Annual Cookie Swap

I hosted my 1st annual Holiday Cookie Swap last week and it was a success! I didn't get many pictures, but that was because we were having such a good time. Here are the cookies I made:

Chewy Chocolate Cookies
from the 2008 January/February Cooks Illustrated magazine

They are so good. I made them before and they really are to die for. They have chocolate chunks in them which just puts it over the top for me. Adam has been enjoying my leftovers.

"Christmas Cookies"
from The Food Network's Robin Miller
I have made these for several years. I love the green and red and the dipping in white chocolate makes it special. I am not a fan of making homemade sugar cookie dough, so I am glad this recipe calls for the pre-made dough. Another hit, at least in my family.

And here was the table after the swap. You can see there are a lot of cookies still left. I told everyone to take the leftovers, but most people did not, which means I was left with my swap cookies (2 dozen), the extras from my 2 cookies, and then everyone elses extras. Yikes! We have a lot of cookies in the house right now.
I can't wait until next year's. I will have to start thinking of my recipes now. :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How to survive the holidays - well at least your figure

The holidays are a stressful time for everyone, even if you aren't talking about your waistline. Both of our immediate families (and a lot of my extended family) are in town, so it can get very crazy just trying to see everyone. But then when you throw in there that you want to maintain your weight through the holidays, now it's just insane. Here are my 4 rules for the holidays.

Don't skip your workouts!!!

This is one I am struggling with this year because I now have a little one. But I do remember a couple of years ago before trying to conceiving and being pregnant, when I had to get up early or squeeze gym time in during lunch to get all my workouts in for the week. There are a lot more parties this time of year and it's easy to skip your spin class to go to a cocktail party. But that is the worst thing you can do. You are not only not working out, but you are mostly likely going to eat more than you would if you were cooking at home. So whatever you do, make sure you are working out the same amount during this holiday season.

It's a holi-DAY, not a holi-WEEK (or month).

I would never advocate for you to eat celery sticks on Thanksgiving, but I would also never advocate to consume leftover pecan pie and sweet potatoes covered in butter, brown sugar and marshmellows for days on end. Yes, Thanksgiving is fun and the food is delicious, so enjoy, but don't over indulge. I always start to fill my plate with the veggies first. Then I start to fill in the rest of my plate with the not so healthy dishes. Once my plate is full, I start eating. No more room on the plate. I also don't get seconds. Nope! Don't need it (and I ran a half marathon last Thanksgiving). :) When it comes to dessert (my favorite part of the meal), enjoy your favorite dessert, but just one. Thanksgiving does not mean you can have one piece of pumpkin pie, one piece of apple pie, and a collection of cookies. No, shockingly it doesn't. If you are someone who likes to try everything (I am one of those people), then share with your spouse, friend, relative, etc. You each get one dessert and split them both. See, easy! Now, the big way to survive Thanksgiving (or any big holiday), is to give away the leftovers. Now, if you want to save the salad you made, fine, but give away the apple pie. I love apple pie and usually make it for at least one holiday meal, but I always give away the leftovers. I enjoy it that day, but that is it. I go back to my regular meals the next day (and apple pie is never one my daily menus). The problem with holiday weight gain is never the day of over indulging, it's when you get those decadent dishes for a whole week, that is the problem. So enjoy your meal, but remember it's just ONE meal.

The trick to surviving party after party is portions.

So this past week I had 2 parties on the same day, one for lunch, and one for dinner. Yikes! I was not looking forward to it. How was I going to stay on track when I was having mexican for lunch and going to a wing place for dinner (even though I don't eat meat, there is not a lot of healthy fare at a wing place). So here is how you survive, portion control. I had a small, healthy breakfast that morning (small bowl of low sugar cereal and some skim milk). Luckily, at the mexican restaurant, they had a lunch menu. The nice thing about lunch menus are they are typically smaller portions than the dinner menu options. So my portion was going to be better. Now, you don't have to do the celery sticks again (now this is to maintain, not lose weight over the holidays), but try for something healthful. I ended up getting the shrimp salad salad. It came with sauteed shrimp (not grilled, but not fried either), avocado (good fat), cheese (yeah, there was a good amount of cheese, but no salad dressing, so I kept all the cheese on there), and the typical veggies. It was very tasty and I left full. Yes, I did have some cheese and salsa, but not a ton. Ok, one party done. Ok, so the rest of the day I sipped on water, tea, coffee, etc. No snacking! I typically eat 3 meals and 1-2 snacks a day, but when I eat out, I know that I am inhaling more calories than I typically do so I don't need the snacks. And I wasn't hungry. So then I went to the wing place for party #2 and I had 1 Guiness draft beer (surprisingly Guiness beer is a low calorie full body beer) and buffalo shrimp. Yes, the shrimp were fried, but came there were only 10 (I ate 9 because my dad wanted to try it) and it came with celery and carrots and blue cheese dressing. Yes, it was not the healthiest thing on the menu but the portion was controlled and that was all I ate. That night when I got home, no ice cream for me. I had had enough calories. :)

Now, I am not saying no snacks ever. I know there are a lot of people that advocate eating a piece of string cheese or some almonds before a party, and if you are starving, then yes, definitely eat something before you walk out of the door. I was not starving and sipping on the beer when I got there took the edge off. But after eating a mexican shrimp salad, I didn't need my yogurt and granola that I typically eat for a late afternoon snack. My salad was probably at least 250 calories more than I typically eat for lunch.

Find low calorie holiday treats!

I find it's more difficult to drink 64oz. of water in the winter than in the summer months. I do not feel like my body is asking for lots of water when I am bundled up. But I also know that it's important keep those liquids going in to keep my feeling full. So during the holiday months, I will treat myself to an afternoon coffee with skim milk. I know what you are thinking, really, that is a treat for you. Yes, it is. Because I live in the deep south, I don't want coffee typically in the afternoons, it's too hot. I would always say no coffee past noon, and that's my typical rule. Also, in order to drink 64oz. of water a day, I can't also drink 30oz. of coffee. I know some people can drink that much, but I can't drink that much of anything. So when I am not in the water drinking mood, I might spring for a late afternoon coffee. Now that is a treat, because coffee is probably my favorite food in the world. I love coffee. I used to think it was the caffeine but once Adam and I figured out we had issues conceiving, I went cold turkey on caffeine and still loved coffee, even decaf. So it is not the caffeine, it's the taste. Yum! So for me an afternoon coffee can help soothe my cravings for minimal calories when I am having big meals and don't need to be snacking. You just have to find out what works for you.

Wow, that's a lot of writing, and it's the abridged version. That is my holiday survival guide in a nut shell. Happy Holidays everyone!

I have been MIA!

Well between work, taking care of Hope, taking care of Adam (let's admit it, men need taking care of too), plus Christmas stuff, I have been MIA from my blog. Let me catch you up.

Hope is not sleeping! Poor thing got over a cold and then cut 2 molars (cut one before the cold). She woke up during the night and was inconsolable. It has been awful! 4 nights of me getting up with her for 1-2 hours. I am exhausted! Finally last night, she was fine and then started crying as soon as turned to leave the room. So that's when I knew that she was conning me. :) She was feeling fine now, she just wanted me. So I had to do a little tough love, which was so hard for me. I just wanted to scoop her up and let her hang out with me (Adam was working late). Finally, she fell asleep and slept through the night. Yeah!!! So hopefully, she will get back on her normal schedule and I can be human again.
With these late nights and rain, I have not been able to work out much at all. I did manage to hit the gym 3 times last week, but none for very long. I hope to hit the company gym today and then run on Friday (if I can work it in). With Christmas, comes lots of errands and that means less time to cook for the family annd work out for myself. I am trying to get it all in, but it's hard.
My friend jokes with me about writing a nutrition book (diet cook if it were in the mainstream media because that's what people want to hear). But if I did, I would have a surviving the holidays chapter indeed. I had hoped to share with ya'll (you all if you are not from the south) before the holiday season was upon us, but maybe I will in the next day or two, so you can see how I survive the holidays.
Hoping these next couple of days run smoothly.