The long and winding road to fitness, day 96

Hyundai i30

Image via Wikipedia

This was quite a busy day for me today…busy and productive, and I wasn’t even at work! A dear friend of mine came down for the day and we did some running around, I had to go to the license branch, she had to go to the dentist, and in between we did a little of this and a little of that.  While she was at the dentist, I went just down the road to Goodwill…hadn’t been there for a good little while…ended up buying some books, no clothes…honestly, there were too many people looking at the clothes that I wanted to look at, so I gave up, walked over to the books and found a few that I hadn’t read…well, I found lots of books that I hadn’t read, but not a lot that I was interested in reading.  So I ended up spending about $5….not bad!  While I was killing time and Margaret was getting her mouth pushed on and prodded, I drove over to the Hyundai dealership and drove thru their lot.  I’m in the market for a car, but I don’t want to have to make car payments, so it won’t be an expensive car.  Just something to get me around town, up to Indy and down to Mitchell on occasion.  So let me know if you hear of anything…well, not you Simone…I’m not coming out to Kansas to pick up a car.

After all of our more pressing errands were taken care of, we decided to go to WalMart…have I mentioned that I hate going in to WalMart?  Well, I do.  There are always way too many people there and they’re always in my way.  Ambling through WalMart isn’t high on my list of enjoyable activities…I usually just try to get in and out as quickly as possible. 

We stopped at a local restaurant (Cloverleaf…a locally owned family diner, not too many of those around these parts any more) for lunch.  We both ordered grilled tenderloin sandwiches.  I can’t even tell you the last time I ate one of those.  It was quite tasty and now I’m good on the grilled tenderloin for another five years or so.  I had a few fries with my sandwich, why is it that these places always give you way too many fries?  I ended up eating about half the bun on my sandwich and maybe 8 to 10 of the fries.  So I’m feeling pretty good about the lunch.

At the end of our day, we stopped at Jiffy Treat.  I went in intending to get their 8-calorie per ounce “ice cream”, but found the homemade pumpkin ice cream to be irresistable…and delicious.  Ahh…had I been in Mitchell for the annual Persimmon Festival, I would have been able to get persimmon ice cream.  If you haven’t tried it, don’t wrinkle your nose at it.  Persimmons are really quite versatile…pudding, cookies, bread, ice cream…yum, yum!!

So not a lot of exercise for the day and not the best eating either, but it was a fun day with an old friend and that doesn’t happen too often.  Thanks for everything, Margaret!  You rock!!

The long and winding road to fitness, day 94


I think this is day 94, I’m so sleepy and tired that I’m not absolutely certain what my name is…Abigail, right?  Uhh…wait…that’s not right…Anyhow, the first day of my vacation started really early…like 2 am, how’s that for early?  We found out yesterday that we were going to have corporate visitors today.  We were the first stop on a whirlwind, two-day tour of the district.  I don’t want to say too much about it…you never know who might be reading these things…you know, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that people aren’t spying on you…suffice it to say, we got a “C” on the visit.  I’m unaccustomed to receiving a C in anything…an awful lot of work went into that C…I’ll just leave it at that and you can fill in the blanks.  But it’s over and now I really am on vacation…I am so looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow.  And then just spending the day doing whatever I want to do.

I didn’t do any official exercise today…but I did do a ton of running around, ladder climbing, stair climbing, lifting, etc.  Oh yeah, and stressing out, as we did our last-minute preparations for the big visit. 

I finished the day with about 1400 calories, unless I decide to eat a bowl of ice cream later…I may just be too tired to do that though.  And that wouldn’t be a bad thing.  Just go to bed and forget about the ice cream.

I did still manage to get in my 750 words today.  I’m working on my book now and making some progress.  Kind of exciting to be able to say “I’m writing a book.”  One of my friends told me about a friend of hers who has written several books, told me she was sure she’d be glad to help me out if I have any questions.  See, you just never know when a networking opportunity might show up.  Just be open to the opportunities….go for it!

So, what is everyone else doing?  I feel like I’ve kind of lost touch a little what with going to bed so early every night and working so many hours every day….what’s going on?

How to avoid buying junk food at the grocery store

Grains in bulk

Image by RahelSharon via Flickr

Okay, everyone knows you should always shop with a list…and stick to it…no impulse purchases.  Plan your meals and snacks for the week, then make sure you buy everything you need for them so you’re not tempted when you have to stop at the store to pick up that jar of cumin that you need.  

Never, ever shop when you’re hungry.  Same goes for when you’re exhausted.  Shopping when you’re either hungry or tired (or even worse, when you’re both)  will cause you to pick up whatever looks good, whether or not it’s good for you. 

Don’t cut out coupons for junk food.  If you have coupons, you’ll be more tempted to buy it because, well…because it’s such a great deal.  And who among us can resist a good deal?

Try a new fruit or veggie every week.  Or a new, healthy recipe.  The more healthy food you have on hand, the less likely you are to reach for the junk.

Buy whole foods…food your grandmother would recognize.  Chances are, if you can’t pronounce the ingredients in a product, it’s not something your grandmother would have eaten.  I do make exceptions to this rule.  My grandma never ate yogurt or soy or Mexican or Italian food…but I think she would have at least been familiar with the ingredients used in them.

Plan to do some cooking.  You know, real meals.  Not stand at the kitchen counter and eat meals, but the sit down at the table with silverware and napkins meals.

Shopping the perimeter of the store is always recommended by experts.  That’s pretty good advice.  Usually your produce, meat, and dairy are on the perimeter of the store.  But the freezer section is also a great place to find some healthy choices..just avert your eyes from the ice cream and pizza when you walk by…quickly walk by.

Do some of your shopping at health food stores where you can purchase a lot of your staples in bulk.  That can save you money and help you avoid temptation by allowing you to make fewer trips to traditional grocery stores.  And these staples are great to have on hand when you decide to create your healthy go-to meals.

And my number one most effective way to avoid buying junk food at the grocery store is to simply not go to the grocery store.  Yes, I’ve discovered that I often go to the grocery store just because it’s Saturday (or whatever day is grocery shopping day for you), not necessarily because I need anything.  I was planning to go to the grocery store today and looked at what I actually needed (nothing).  Then I questioned myself about why I needed to go to the store if I didn’t need anything and wouldn’t need anything for several days.  I realized I was thinking about buying pizza and ice cream, neither of which do I need from a health stand point.  So not going to the grocery store today kept me from buying any kind of junk food at all…and saved me some money on top of that.  Not bad, huh?

What are your tips for avoiding junk food purchases?


The long and winding road to fitness, day 68

Root Beer Float

Image by babe_kl via Flickr

Oh, I felt so much better today…wasn’t in all that pain like I was yesterday, so right there my day was better…I worked just my regular 9.5 hours today…can’t remember the last time I’ve gone in at 7:30…what a treat!

Tomorrow, at work, we’re having a combination birthday celebration/farewell party.  I don’t know what everyone is bringing, but I do know that Donna is bringing her world-famous cookies…everyone loves those cookies!!  I stopped at Kroger after work and bought bread and buns for sandwiches (I couldn’t believe one of the guys is baking a ham), Coke, root beer and vanilla ice cream for floats.  I’ve been meaning to do that all summer and decided tomorrow would be the perfect day to finally get it done.  You do realize that summer is almost over, right?  Anyhow, I’m figuring my food intake for tomorrow will very likely not be the healthiest…I’m going to try to only have a little of just the things that I really love…kind of like Thanksgiving.  Hopefully I’ll be able to keep my calories under 2000 for the day.

Today I ended up with a little over 1650 calories for the day.  I didn’t eat breakfast because I kind of slept a little later than I should have.  I just had oj and vitamins.  The thing is, I know all the experts say you should always eat breakfast, but I seem to get hungrier when I do eat breakfast…am I just weird or is this something others experience too?  Hmm…additional research may be necessary in this area…and maybe I’ll be the lab rat.  Ooh…that reminds me, I took college classes where we had to do experiments on lab animals…I hated that…really, is this something that is vital to learning?  We take a lot of what we study in school at face value, why do we have to conduct experiments on innocent animals to learn what’s already in the textbooks?  Just sayin’…

I walked for 35 minutes today, that’s it on cardio.  I’ve still got to do some lower body strength training after I finish here and do the dishes…I’ve always liked doing strength training and never liked doing dishes…so I reward myself with the one for doing the other…does that make any kind of sense at all?

What exercise do you like/enjoy?  Is there any that you just hate and force yourself to do anyhow?

The long and winding road to fitness, day 37

Freezing hot (62/365)

Image by LifeSupercharger via Flickr

Well….not such a great day of eating today.  I was so tired after working open to close yesterday, that I couldn’t drag myself out of bed in time to make anything to take to work today.  I ended up eating from the stupid, evil vending machine.  I had a bag of Cheez-Its for what I guess you’d say was my lunch today.  Unfortunately, breakfast was no better.  I ate a SuziQ…you know, those chocolate cakey things with the cream filling…not a lot of nutritional value in either of those choices, I’m afraid.

After work, I stopped at the grocery store, despite my vow not to go grocery shopping when I’m hungry or tired (and I was both today).  I walked down the cookie aisle, looked at the Fig Newtons (which really wouldn’t have been a terrible choice), then walked away.  When I walked by the deli, I looked at the BBQ wings, then walked away.  In the freezer section, I looked at the ice cream.  Then I looked at it some more.  Then I reminded myself that just a few days ago, I said I wasn’t going to buy ice cream.  I ended up buying a box of strawberry fruit bars…80 calories apiece…I think that was a better choice than the ice cream that I’ve been eating.  I ended up buying all healthy food and no diet Pepsi.  I think I’m getting closer to giving it up (again).  Anyhow, I’m feeling pretty good about my shopping trip…oh yeah, and that I have tomorrow off work!

Do you struggle to purchase healthier food and beverage choices?  How do you cope?

The long and winding road to fitness, day 32

Fiber One 90 Calorie Brownies (Chocolate Peanu...

Image by theimpulsivebuy via Flickr

Oh my goodness, this heat is crazy!  I felt like my lungs seized up as soon as I walked out the door this morning.  Because of that,  I didn’t do much walking outside today.  I have friends who actually run in this kind of weather.  I’m not sure how they do it, but I admire their tenacity!!  And I’ll be there for them with a bottle of water and a cold towel when they collapse from heat exhaustion.

I had to venture out to the eye doctor for a follow-up visit this morning.  I’ve always worn only one contact and that enabled me to see at a distance as well as read close up.  However, what I discovered over the past week, was that  it didn’t allow me to clearly view the computer monitor at work.  Since that’s a fairly important aspect of my job, we decided to use a contact in my left eye to correct that.  Then I guess I’ll have to wear reading glasses for paperwork…I really was trying to avoid that, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do…So now I have to go in for a follow-up follow-up visit next week.

I didn’t get a lot of exercise in today.  I did walk for about 15 minutes in the mall before my appointment…the nice air-conditioned mall.  I hate to admit this, but that’s all the exercise I did today.  What a slacker!!  I’m sure I’ll make up for it tomorrow.  It’s truck day.  We’ll be outside unloading a truck, then working it all day.  Yikes, I better remember to bring a water bottle, I think I’ll be needing that!

I ate well for the day.  Plenty of fruits and veggies…BUT, I did eat ice cream…and that put me over my upper calorie range for the day.  I finished the day with 1760 calories.  The good news is, I don’t have any ice cream left in the house and I’m not planning to buy any more.  I’ll substitute either frozen bananas or smoothies.  They take a little more effort to prepare, but they are so much better for me.

I also had to make a stop at the grocery store.  I bought blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe (oh, how I hope this one is as good as the one I just finished), broccoli slaw mix, bananas, Hendrickson’s salad dressing (can’t run out of that stuff), yogurt, rye bread, milk, more of the chai latte creamer, tea, oj, popcorn, tortilla chips (does anyone know, are they no longer making the baked tortilla chips…I think they’re by Tostitos), black beans, mozzarella cheese (if it ever cools off, I’m going to make a veggie pizza), Fiber One brownies, and, of course, a book.  I’ve got to stop doing that…our library is so nice, so convenient and so free!!  After shopping, I came home and stayed inside in the nice, air-conditioned house for most of the day.  I did go outside and feed the birds, fill the bird bath and water plants.  Whew!  That little bit of activity had me sweating~

How are you beating the heat?  Do you remember the days before air conditioning?

The long and winding road to fitness, day 28

Blackberry pie made with a pastry crust

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Day 28…hard to imagine I’ve been at this now for four weeks.  I still have a lot of room for improvement, but I guess that can be said for all of us in most areas of our lives.  At least I’m still working on it, haven’t given up, don’t intend to give up.  I’m so grateful for all of you who are taking this journey with me.  The load is lighter when shared with friends.

Today was a pretty good day.  I think starting the day by going to the farmers market put me in healthy mode.  It made me think about what I wanted to eat today, tomorrow, and when I go back to work next week (Monday…boo…).  While on vacation, I didn’t plan all my meals and snacks like I do when I have to go to work.  That’s okay, but I know I do better when I plan.  So I’ve already decided what I’ll take to work Monday and Tuesday (I’ll be off Wednesday), what I’ll eat for dinner those days, what snacks I’ll eat throughout the week.   I’m as ready as I can be to go back to the work routine, not looking forward to it, but ready.

I got in an hour of walking today…that was really all of the exercise I did.  I ended up eating a little over 1525 calories for the day, so pretty good there.  I made up some kale chips with the kale I bought at the farmers market today…yum!!  Also cooked the green beans I bought.  Tonight’s dinner was fish, green beans and kale chips.  Cantaloupe for dessert.  And this cantaloupe was the best of the season so far…delish!!  I think peaches and melon are my favorite summer fruits.  Well, except for strawberries and blackberries, those are pretty tasty too.  I love how much better all the fruits and veggies taste in the summer.

Zucchini blossom in my little garden…

I’m going to go out early in the morning and try to find some blackberries to pick.  I noticed some the other day when I was walking, so I’m going back that way to see if they’re ready to pick yet.  Kind of reminds me of when I was a kid and we’d go out blackberry pickin’ with Grandma and Mutt (her big old dog).  And that reminds me of the blackberry cobblers she used to bake.  She’d make the crust from scratch and put everything in her deep cast iron skillet, bake it until the crust was brown and the juices were bubbling through the cracks in the top crust.  Oh my…she’d dish some out on a plate and put a scoop of vanilla ice cream with it…heaven!!  I’ve never even tried to make a cobbler like that.  But I do like to eat the blackberries raw…just pop them in my mouth. Yum!

What summer dishes do you remember from your childhood?  Is there anything that you prepare now that reminds you of the good old days?

The long and winding road to fitness, day 15

Freezer of frozen bananas

Image via Wikipedia

What a difference a day can make…that and a little planning!  I ate so much healthier today….lots of fresh fruit and veggies, some fish and whole grains.  That’s more like it!  Planning what I’m going to eat for the day really does work for me.  I use the SparkPeople nutrition tracker and get all kinds of nifty feedback.  Today, everything was within range with the exception of calcium (please, no lectures…I do take a calcium supplement so I don’t feel too bad about not being within range every once in a while).

I made a big bowl of fresh salsa for lunch.  Then I got the wild idea to mix in one of the peaches I bought at the farmers market yesterday.  I wasn’t sure how it would taste, but it was remarkably good.

Very colorful, isn’t it?   I had this with fish for lunch today…yum!  Dinner was string cheese, fresh strawberries and some Back to Nature flaxseed crackers (my fave).  I also had a snack of a frozen banana pop…got the idea from another blogger (who got the idea from a restaurant in New York) and made up a batch…frozen bananas on a stick dipped in melted chocolate and peanut butter, then frozen until ready to eat.  Holy moly,these things are better than ice cream…and portion controlled!  One of these days, I’ll post a link to her blog…she has a lot of great food ideas and recipes (Back To Her Roots, if you can’t wait)…

As far as exercise goes today, I did some walking and gardening very early in the day, knowing it was going to be hot and humid again.  All in all, I’m feeling much happier with my efforts today, and the fact that I didn’t allow one not so good day to completely throw my off track.  YES!!  So how is everyone else coping with the holiday weekend?  Cookouts and picnics throwing you off your plan?