Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Getting Excited About Vacation!

I'm starting to get really excited about our Gatlinburg vacation! Only 28 more days to go. I have a countdown calender on my google homepage. We paid the last of our money today for our cabin rental. Here are some pictures of where we will be staying.

I love cozy little cabins. I'm super excited about having our own private hottub also. That will be nice after running up in the mountains. I can't decide if I want to make plans for what I want to do and see each day while we are there or if I want to relax and just do whatever comes up. Knowing me I'll end up planning out every minute of the time that we will be there.

I just finished up my last workday for this week, and now I'm off for 8 glorious days! I love having an 8 day break every 4 weeks. It just hit me that I have a 5K in 3 days. This one is probably going to be a bit different from the last one I did. The course is suppose to have a few pretty steep hills, so I doubt I'll be setting any personal records this time, but you never know. I need to get started on working on my playlist. There are certain songs like I like to listen to when I'm running hills.

What are some of your favorite songs to run to?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Callaway Gardens Trip


We got up early yesterday morning to drive to Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia to spend the day. It was about a 2 hour drive, but it went by really fast. I haven't been to Callaway since I was a small kid so I really didn't remember anything about it, but I saw on the website that they had a 10 mile bike trail that I wanted to try.

It was almost lunch time by the time we got to Callaway, so we decided to eat at one of their restaurants in the gardens. I was really hoping it would be a nice little deli type place, but they only had just a very few items on the menu. Hamburgers, hotdogs, paninis, french fries ... things like that. They did have veggie burgers and veggie hotdogs, but I didn't know what kind they would be. So I ordered what I thought was probably the healthiest thing there.


After lunch we got our bikes all set up and cruised around the park for a while. We never could find the beginning of the bike trail, but we managed to get on it somewhere in the middle and just rode around to the different attractions.


We ended up riding just under 13 miles for the day. It was great! Lincoln was really good riding in his trailer behind my bike and he slept alot of the time. We stopped at the Butterfly Gardens and the Vegetable Gardens. I wanted to go see the chapel, but every time we rode by Lincoln was asleep. My favorite thing was the sundial, I was suprised at how accurate it was.


We left Callaway when they closed and headed back home. I was starving after riding so much on the bike, so we stopped for dinner at Mimi's Cafe. I went in planning to eat something light and healthy, but somewhere along the line one thing turned into another and I ended up with: a steak, potato, salad, bread, 2 beers, and dessert. For dessert I had the sampler thingy with bread pudding, a brownie and apple crisp.

I literally felt sick. I haven't felt that bad after I've eaten in a really long time. I can't believe I used to do that to myself pretty much every single day. And why I chose to do it the night before weigh-in is beyond me. Thankfully I was still down this morning when I weighed in, but not as much as I was the other day when I cheated. I weighed in at 159.8, putting me at 100.2 lbs lost!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Voice Inside My Head

I woke up this morning just before 6:30 with plans of going to Callaway Gardens today. I checked the weather report last night and knew that it was probably going to rain most of the day, but my husband assured me that there would plenty of things to do indoors. I decided to take a look at the weather again while everyone else was still sleeping, and it looked about the same as expected. But tomorrow is suppose to be mostly sunny. So we are going to go tomorrow instead. I just hate to drive all that way and pay $30 for admission and not be able to do the bike trail or walk through the gardens.

I decided to go for a morning run since I was already awake. I drove to my normal parking spot and started my run. I normally do 2 laps around the neighborhood, which is almost exactly 5 miles. But today somewhere along the way I started thinking some crazy thoughts like, "what if I could do 3 laps today instead of just 2?", "what if I ran 7 miles?".

After my first lap I was already starting to feel winded, so I nixed the idea of running farther than normal. But for some reason this voice kept saying things to me ... "its Saturday, you have plenty of time ... the weather is beautiful, just slow down and keep going". Everytime I seriously wanted to quit I thought about how accomplished I would feel if I was able to run 7 miles. And somehow I pushed through and did it.


As you can see it took me 1 hour and 8 minutes to run the 7 miles. I was trying hard not to concentrate on my time, to just keep putting one foot infront of the other. But I'm a very competitive person so it was hard for me not to race myself.

Mile 1: 9:06
Mile 2: 9:19
Mile 3: 9:35
Mile 4: 9:57
Mile 5: 10:07
Mile 6: 10:09
Mile 7: 10:09

I was pretty sweaty and disgusting by the time I finished, but so happy and proud!


Suprisingly I wasn't very hungry when I got back home. I had to remind myself that I hadn't eaten breakfast yet. So I made some yogurt with Kashi Crunch and some melon for breakfast. Its my new favorite for the moment.


What is your go-to breakfast food? I'm always up for new ideas.

Friday, September 25, 2009

My Trip

After my run this morning I got ready and headed to Birmingham (my hometown) to see my best friend, Vanessa and her son, Jackson. Its about a 2 hour drive from where we live now. The weather was really nice and Lincoln slept almost the entire way, so it was a peaceful trip.


We hung around at her house for a couple of hours and let the boys play together. They played very sweetly and had a great time. Then we decided they both really needed haircuts and I wanted an excuse to buy a new purse so we headed out to go shopping.

Lincoln did really good for his haircut and afterwards he got a Dum-dum.


After haircuts and shopping we went back to Vanessa's house to pack up and take a few pictures before heading home.



Lincoln fell asleep in the car and slept about half of the way home, and then the gates of hell broke open and he screamed the rest of the way home. But it was all ok, because when I walked in the door my sweet hubby had this lovely dinner waiting on me.


Melissa D'Arabian's North African Meatballs, Couscous with chopped dates and steamed baby carrots. I've been promising to make this dinner for weeks now, but he knew it would be really late when I got home so he made it for me. Wasn't that sweet? I really liked the meatballs, but I'm not sure about the couscous. I've never eaten it before, and although it tasted good ... it had a strange texture that I didn't much care for.

Tomorrow morning we are getting up early to go to Callaway Gardens. I've never been there before but they have a 10 mile bike trail that I would love to ride. Hopefully I'll get some great pictures of all the flowers and the butterfly garden.

I Cheated.

This morning I woke up at about 6:15 for my morning run. When I was changing clothes I decided to hop on the scale. I really try to only weigh myself once a week, but I was feeling particularly light this morning so I decided to cheat.

The scale read: 158.2!!!

That means I have unofficially lost 101.8 pounds. Of course we won't know the official results until Monday, but I'm so excited! Lets hope it sticks!

I had a decent 5 mile run this morning. My iPod stopped working right at the halfway point, and I happened to be right beside my car at the time. It would have been easy to just stop right then, but I forced myself to keep going. Its hard for me to run without music.... I just feel heavier, slower, and I concentrate too much on my fast breathing and my pounding heart when I don't have my music. Also my shorts kept slipping down. I guess thats what I get for running in clothes that are 2 sizes too big.

I'm getting ready to head to Birmingham (2 hour drive) to visit my BFF that I haven't seen since March (and 58 pounds ago). This should be interesting!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Book Review: Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster

I recently finished reading the book Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster and I was going to write a review of the book for you guys. However, I just ran across this video that sums the book up perfectly.

I had mixed feeling about this book. I really loved Jen and the way she writes. She is hilariously funny and there were several times when I was literally laughing my ass off while reading this book. The thing that I didn't like about this book was that almost the entire book is about the process of her writing the book. It wasn't until about 75% through the book when she actually started losing weight. The majority of the book was her writing about why she didn't want to lose weight but she felt she had to so that she could write this book.

Overall I'm glad I read the book, although I don't think it was especially motivating as far as a weightloss memoir goes. But it was definitely good for some laughs.

I'm going to give this book 3/5 stars.

My Culinary Mistake

Well, I'm finally off of work for a few days. I can't write much when I'm working since I work three 12 hour shifts in a row. I pretty much just work and sleep for 3 days straight.

When I woke up this afternoon I got some Parisienne Chicken going in the crockpot for my dinner tonight. I already had all of the ingredients at home except the mushrooms, so it was an easy fix.

I went to the Y this evening and did 15 minutes on the elliptical before my spinning class. Spin class was really good tonight. I've been feeling like it was a waste of time lately because I think my body is too used to it. My heart rate doesn't usually get high enough for me to burn enough calories in spinning anymore. But tonight was different ... my heart rate stayed higher than normal and I felt like I got a really good workout.

When I got home the chicken was smelling really good. But when I looked at it I realized something was wrong.


The sauce was all grainy and gross. At first I thought that it was just a bad recipe, but I just re-read it and realized I messed up. I was suppose to mix sour cream into the white wine and cream of mushroom soup mixture, and instead I just put it into the crockpot. Oops!

I tried to make the best of it by serving it with some yummy sauteed green beans and rice. And it wasn't actually that bad, but it definitely isn't a keeper. I don't think it would have been that great if I had done it correctly either, so I probably won't bother making this one again.


Oh well, lesson learned. What culinary mistakes have you made?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Just a Quick Hello

We had a great night last night in Labor and Delivery. For some reason I didn't sleep very well today though. I woke up several times during the day and finally decided to get up at 2:45. I usually get up at 4:00. I packed a healthy dinner for work tonight: hummus and sprout sammy, edamame succotash and more cucumber dill salad. I did the Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zones DVD and now I'm snacking on a pretzel with yellow mustard and honeydew.

I wish I could be home tonight to watch The Biggest Loser. I guess it will have to wait til Thursday night when I'm off work though. That is .. unless someone decides to post the results on Facebook. I hate it when people do that.

Have a great night everyone!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Official Race Results and Weigh-In Day

I can't believe I forgot to mention in my last post that I got my official race results from the Big Brother/ Big Sister 5K today.

My official time was 28:50. So pretty close to my estimation. And I finished 38th out of 131 runners. Not bad at all for my first race!

I also forgot to mention earlier that today was weigh-in day. I gain 0.2 lbs this week. I don't know what's going on with my body. Its just bouncing back and forth right now. But I know that I'm eating well and exercising plenty so I'm ok with it.

How's That for a 4 Point Lunch?!

Calico Bacon & Corn Pie, Sauteed Green Beans with diced Shallots and cantalope. Yummy!

Now I'm off to bed. I have to work the next 3 nights and help bring some new lives into the world.

A Great Run Today

This morning I woke up at about 6:45 and debated on whether to go running or not. My mind wanted to get up and go, but my body wanted to sleep in a little longer. I decided to go ahead and bite the bullet and get it done. I knew I'd feel much better if I did, and I also wanted to make up for the pitiful run I had yesterday.

I had decided last night that instead of running from home like I normally do, that I would drive to this spot along my running route and park my car. That way I wouldn't have to run across the busy street near my house and run through the grass on the side of the busy road where I always get squooshy wet shoes. I couldn't find my car keys though. I eventually did but I had a few moments of panic where I thought I might have dropped them in the movie theater yesterday.

Once I finally got going it was a great run. I felt much lighter and free than yesterday when I ran with the jog stroller. I did two loops around the neighborhood for 5 miles. I really felt like I could keep going but I needed to get home so Tim could get to work.

After my run I had some Organic Greek Yogurt with Kashi Honey Almond Flax cereal and some cantaloupe chunks. It was yummy and really filled me up after my run.


For lunch I'm going to make one of my E-mealz recipes called Calico Corn and Bacon Pie and some veggies.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Homemade Granola Bars

I've been eating a lot of granola bars lately, so I thought I might try my hand at making my own. I found this recipe online to use as a guide. I decided to make mine with dried cranberries and sunflower seeds. I also added some milled flax seeds. I made a few other changes as well; I used 1/3 cup of brown sugar instead of the 3/4 cups called for. I also used Blue Agave instead of honey to sweeten it with.


Mix all dry ingredients from recipe into a large bowl, make a well in the center and pour in all the wet ingredients. Mix well with your hands and spread on a 9x13 pan.


I put a piece of saran wrap sprayed with PAM over the mixture and had the hubby roll it out with a rolling pin for me so that it would be nice and even.


I love that he is wearing a shirt that says, "Let me drop everything and work on your problem" while he's rolling out my granola for me. :)


According to the recipe you are suppose to cook the mixture at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, but I read several of the reviews that said that was way too long. I cooked it for 18 minutes and it turned out perfectly. After letting it cool off for a good 5 minutes I cut it into bars.


For 24 bars it works out to be 3 points per bar. Not bad! I might try one in the morning for breakfast. Lincoln ate a whole one tonight for dinner, and he rarely eats anything so they must not be too bad.

Originally I planned on making Melissa D'Arabian's Morrocan Meatballs, couscous with dried dates and steamed carrots for dinner tonight. But after eating some movie theater popcorn that I didn't plan for I decided I needed a lighter dinner. So I had some yummy sushi, edamame succotash and some of the leftover dilly cucumber salad.


My Loot and Yummy Lunch

After my pitiful excuse for a run this morning, Tim and I decided to go to Fresh Market to get some ingredients to make our own homemade granola bars. Fresh Market is a very dangerous place for me. Not only can I spend hours in that store, but I could literally spend my life savings there as well.

So here is my loot from my Fresh Market trip:


Blue Agave, Frozen Shallots, Dilly Cucumber salad, Edamame Succotash, Wheat Germ, Flax Seed, Ezekiel Bread, Tuna roll, Vegetarian Spring Roll, Calamari salad, Clover sprouts, dried cranberries, Fig preserves, fruit sticks, and sunflower seeds.

As you can see most of what I bought has nothing to do with my homemade granola bars. But, I am weak for a good gourmet market.

I've seen several blogs with people eating sprout and hummus sandwhiches and it looked so good I have been craving it for days. So I made a yummy sprout and roasted red pepper hummus sandwhich for lunch with Dilly Cucumber Salad, the spring rolls from above, and some calamari salad. It was delish! Definitely the best lunch I've had in a good while.


Tim and I are going to take Lincoln to his first movie this afternoon. We are going to go see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. I hope he enjoys himself and is good. I'm afraid he's going to try to run up and down the aisles. I think we'll take his booster seat and get him a small popcorn and hopefully that will keep him occupied.

I used my jog stroller this morning on our run and I HATED it. I'm really upset because I spent alot of money on it and really wanted to enjoy running with it. I don't know what to do now. I don't know if I can even send it back. Its very hard to turn because it has a fixed wheel instead of a swivel wheel, and its like pushing an extra 50 pounds while you run. I did 4 miles, but I walked the majority of it. I'll let you know what we decide to do about the stroller later.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Race Day Review

My morning started really early this morning. I set my alarm to go off at 5:00 am so that I would have plenty of time to wake up and get everything together before the race this morning. I actually ended up starting to wake up around 3:45, then 4:15, then 4:35 .. you get the idea.

Tim and I got to the race site about 7:20 this morning and met up with several of my friends from work who ran with us.

Me, Sam, Bailey and Bonnie

Before the race some military-type guy lead us in some stretching and calisthenics. Then we got going about 8:00. I made my way to the back of the crowd at the starting line because I was terrified of getting trampled after reading about that happening to people. As the race got going I weaved my way through the back of the pack and ended up fairly close to the front.

I breezed through the first 2 miles with no problem. Actually I was completely suprised at what my Garmin was saying my pace was. I didn't feel like I was running any faster than normal, but my heart rate was running in the 170s and my pace was in the 8:45 range. When I hit the beginning of the 3rd mile I got a side-stitch so bad that I almost couldn't run through the pain. It was sheer willpower that kept me going at that point. I kept telling myself that I knew I could finish and I didn't want to walk during my first race. At one point I was hurting so bad I seriously thought I was gonna puke on the side of the road. But somehow I pushed through and the pain eased off.

I forgot to look at the clock when I crossed the finish line, and oddly enough I also forgot to stop my Garmin for several seconds after I finished. I think my official time is going to be right about 28:45. But for now I'll give you the stats from my Garmin:

Total Time: 28:56
Mile 1: 8:59
Mile 2: 8:54
Mile 3: 9:24

Here are a few pictures from after the race:

Tim and I


As if running wasn't enough, Tim and I decided to go moutain biking afterwards because the weather was actually decent. Its been raining for about 2 weeks straight and this is the first clear day we've had in a while. We biked a 4 mile trail at Swayback Bridge Trail. After we got home from that I was exhausted and starving!

I heated up a Morningstar Spicy Black Bean Burger and chopped it up on top of some Tostitos Scoops and made a huge taco salad out of it.


Overall it was a really great day and I'm glad to have my first 5K behind me. Next up is the Capitol City 5K on October 3rd. That one's going to be a toughy, a good portion of it is up some pretty serious hills. I've also signed up to run a 5K called the Turkey Burner on my birthday, November 21st. I thought that would be a fun thing to do for my birthday.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Pre-Race Post

Well, this will be my final post before my first 5K tomorrow morning at 8:00 am. I started off training with the Couch to 5K program several months ago and finished the program and kept going. At this point I have run up to 6 miles straight, and I do 4-5 miles consistantly several times a week. I don't have any doubt that I'll be able to run the whole 5K tomorrow which is what my original goal was. Now I'd like to finish in a reasonable time. I'd be happy to finish in 31 minutes or less. I think that is very do-able.

I worked on my playlist for my iPod tonight. I picked some songs that have good beats, a fast tempo, or are particularly motivating for me. So here it is:


Forgive the Kanye West. He's an ass, but that song motivates me when I need it. Thats why I chose to put it at the end. This playlist runs about 33 minutes, so hopefully I'll be well done by then.

I went through my race packet tonight. It contained: a course map, my t-shirt, my number, a pedometer, and a few pamphlets.


My tshirt is too big on me! I'm having a hard time realizing what size I actually am. In my mind I'm still a large. I'm hoping I can trade my large t-shirt in for a size medium tomorrow morning before the race. But I did put it on for just a second to take a picture.


Since I was out all day I didn't plan what I would make for dinner tonight, which is very uncharacteristic of me. I went through what we had in the house and came up with this:


Chicken macaroni, green beans and steamed baby carrots. The macaroni includes: diced chicken breast, diced tomatoes, artichoke hearts, black olives, green peas, cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup, mozzarella and cheddar cheese, and bread crumbs on top. It ended up making 2 huge pans! It worked out to be 5 points per serving. Not bad at all. I'll have alot leftover to freeze. For dessert I had a Sedona Frozen Yogurt and Granola Sandwhich. They are so delish!


Have a great night! I'm going to try to get to bed early tonight so I can get a fresh start tomorrow. I'll let you know how the race goes.

Not As Planned

Well so much for that lovely dovey, today is gonna be a fantastic day, nothing can go wrong business I spoke of this morning. For starters my cat barfed all over my house this morning. Awesome! And then when I ran outside to get Lincoln in the car to take him to Gymboree, my car wouldn't start.

So instead of taking him to Gymboree I got to take him to the car dealership and sit in the waiting room for 30 minutes or so while they replaced my battery and charged me $200.

Atleast Lincoln had fun playing with the toys.

And pretending to talk on my cellphone.

After we got that all straightened out it was lunch time. We met my friend, Bailey at Jason's Deli for some grub. I ordered the Mediterranean Wrap with Organic Blue Corn Chips, homemade salsa and a water.

The wrap was awesome! Oven roasted turkey breast, roasted Red Pepper Hummus, cucumber, purple onions, Kalamata olives, Roma tomatoes, and organic field greens in an organic wheat wrap ... whats not to love? The blue corn chips were good too, but if I had known that they were 5 points I probably would have just gotten some steamed veggies instead. I was anticipating them to be about 3 points. I guess thats what I get for not checking ahead of time.

Bailey wanted to make sure I included a picture of her in my blog, so here is a token picture of my friend Bailey with my food.

After lunch we went and picked up our race packets. I haven't really looked to see what's included yet. I also need to work on my playlist ... so more on that later.

Happy Friday!

I was fortunate to get put on call last night from work. Which basically means that I get to stay at home unless they call me and tell me that I need to come in because they are getting busy. Well, I didn't get called in so I had the opportunity to wake up to this:


He can never keep his eyes open when I take a picture of him. But how can you have a bad day when you wake up to that?!

For breakfast I had a glass of milk, a banana and a Cran Bran Vita Top. I'm seriously digging the Vita Tops.


I just have a feeling today is going to be great! I'm going to take my son to his Gymboree play group, then maybe out to lunch for some Mother/Son time, then we are going to go pick up my race packet for tomorrow's 5K. My jogger stroller should be delivered today, which I'm super excited about. I also need to work on my 5K playlist for my iPod.

Any suggestions for upbeat motivational songs to add to my playlist?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I Want To Be a Granola

Granola: An adjective used to describe people who are environmentally aware (flower child, tree-hugger), open-minded, left-winged, socially aware and active, queer or queer-positive, anti-oppressive/discriminatory (racial, sexual, gender, class, age, etc.) with an organic and natural emphasis on living, who will usually refrain from consuming or using anything containing animals and animal by-products (for health and/or environmental reasons), as well as limit consumption of what he or she does consume, as granola people are usually concerned about wasting resources. Usually buy only fair-trade goods and refrain from buying from large corporations, as most exploit the environment as well as their workers, which goes against granola core values.

(I stole that definition from

Most people who have known me for most of my life will laugh when they read this post. But in my mind, I'm a granola. I care about the environment, about animals, about healthy eating and living, energy conservation, pollution. Sometimes I want to be a vegetarian, except for the not eating fish part. That would just literally kill me. But if it weren't for that I'd probably do it. I'd like to cut all artificial products out of my diet. I'd like to eat only organic whole foods. In my head I'm a completely different person that I am in reality.

The problem is I don't know how. I live in a small southern city. We don't have Whole Foods or organic grocery stores. We don't have organic restaurants. We don't even have a recycling center for goodness sakes! I wish I lived in San Francisco or other places where these things are readily available. I have made some small changes though. I've stopped buying bottled water and instead started using a refillable Brita water filter to reduce waste. I've started using some meat substitutes like Boca Crumbles and Burgers and Morningstar Farms products in place of ground beef, sausage, etc. I try to eat products with no artificial ingredients whenever I have a choice. I've recently really starting loving the Kashi brand products. But there are only a few things available in my area. I've also recently cut out diet drinks and products containing aspartame.

Maybe one day my city will grow and these things will be easier to obtain. Maybe there is even something I can do to help. (Although I don't know what that would be.) Or maybe one day I'll move to a bigger city where this way of life is accepted or encouraged. But until then I guess I'll just have to keep taking the small steps I can with what I have.

I Eat Weird Food in the Mornings

Its 8:39 am, and I'm sitting down to a bowl of salad, fresh fruit and a fat free hotdog. Most people think its super weird that I eat these kinds of things in the morning. I just got home from working a 12 hour shift at the hospital and for some reason I just can't eat breakfast food before I go to bed. It feels like dinner time to me. Apparently its just me though because everyone else I work with eats breakfast when they get off work. Just a little tidbit about me that I haven't shared before.

I have to say that I'm really getting irritated with people asking me "What's your secret?". I know people are just trying to be complimentary and get encouragement in their own journeys, but I swear to all that is holy that I'm gonna blow up on someone one day when they ask me that. It really not that difficult! Everyone knows the "secret" is diet and exercise, but no one wants to do the work. They want a magic pill to make everything better. This is really becoming a huge pet peeve of mine.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A New Toy and The Biggest Loser

This is the new toy that I broke down and bought tonight. Its a Schwinn Joyrider jog stroller. I've been feeling guilty lately about the time that I've been spending away from my son when Tim and I are out exercising. We bought a bike trailer a few weeks ago so that we can take Lincoln with us when we go bike riding in the park. Now that we've both really gotten into running lately I thought it might be a good idea to have a good jog stroller as well.

Part of me feels really bad about spending all this money on the gadgets I've bought to workout with. But then I try to remind myself that although these things probably are technically necessary, they are all investments in my future, in our future, and in my son's future. Not to mention the fact that my husband encourages me. If I even have an inkling of an idea of buying something he's right behind me saying, "get it, get it!". Who can say no to that?!

I'm really looking forward to being able to go for runs in the park with my son. I think it will be a great family time, and it will give my mother in law a break from watching him every day not only while we work but also while we workout.

I did make a couple rules to follow regarding the stroller. I decided for safety's sake that we will only use it when we are in a park, on a track. I'm too afraid to use it out on the road, not only because of traffic but also because of the freaks that are out there in the world. I really don't want anyone messing with me while I have my baby with me. Its sad that the world has come to a point that you have to worry about things like that.

On another note I was super stoked about The Biggest Loser premiere tonight. That show has seriously helped change my life. Its so incredibly motivating! Every year up until now when The Biggest Loser would start I would wish that I could be on the show, that I could make those changes in my life, and be like those people. The ironic thing is that I'd usually watch the show while chowing down on a very unhealthy dinner.

It feels completely different to sit down and watch the show and know that I used to be where those contestants are starting out at, and that I have changed my life, instead of just wishing I could do it. Its hard to explain but my whole life, my way of thinking and everything I'm about has totally changed, and its amazing!

E-Mealz Review

A few months ago I ran across a website called E-mealz. I can't remember exactly what I was looking for when I ran across this site, but it has really been an excellent resource that I wanted to share.

Let me explain. E-mealz is a weekly meal plan and grocery list. You start by choosing which grocery store you prefer to shop at, how many people you are cooking for and how many meals per week you want to cook, and what dietary restrictions you are following. They even have a Weight Watchers plan! For my family I chose: Walmart Points System for two people, 5 day dinner plan.

E-mealz will create a recipe plan and aisle-by-aisle grocery list based on your preferences. One of my favorite things about it is that they base their menu on the items that are on sale at your chosen grocery store for that week. On the grocery list they divide it up easily so that you can remove all the items for one meal if you decide not to make that one. You can also see how much all of your items cost individually and what your total cost will be, which for me is usually around $40 per week.

I originally decided to sign up for this program because I thought it would save me some money on my grocery bill, but I didn't realize how delicious the meals would be. I've only come across 1 recipe that I really didn't care for. The others have been excellent, and very easy to make.

So if this sounds like something you might be interested in take a look at the website. You can see a sample menu on the site of what you will get. The cost is about $5 per month, but if you google "E-mealz Coupon Codes" or "E-mealz Promo Codes" you can save a dollar or two.

Here are a couple pictures of some of my E-mealz recipes I have made:

Turkey and Eggplant Casserole

Turkey Mexican Skillet

Both of these recipes happen to be turkey, but they use all other kinds of meats also and even have a vegetarian option I believe. Tonight for dinner I'm making County Fair Chicken, which is cubed chicken, carrots and red potatoes with yummy seasonings and baked in the oven. Can't wait to dig into that tonight after my spinning classes!

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Very Sad Day

On this day two years ago, one of the most important people in my life passed away. My Granny was an amazing woman, and she was always there for me even when it seemed like no one else in my life was. Her death was especially hard on me because she died when I was 10 weeks pregnant. I actually hadn't even told her that I was pregnant yet, although I suspect that she already knew.

I can remember every time we went to visit we would stay up late at night, laying in her bed and she would tell me story after story. I loved listening to my grandmother's stories of her life when she was a young girl. I remember her telling me about when she got the family cow so drunk on moonshine that it couldn't stand up and how she was so afraid that she had killed it. That was always one of my favorites.

I always loved the way my grandmother talked. She was from the deep south and lived way out in the country. She called paper towels - towlin' paper, and eggplants were called vegetable eggs. It still makes me smile to remember trying to figure out what she wanted when she asked for a piece of towlin'.

Granny always worried about me and my sisters. She'd call us every year and remind us when it was almost time to get our driver's licenses renewed. I still don't know how she kept up with all those dates.

I hope that I never forget all these things about my grandmother. It scares me to think that in 20 years I might not remember all these great memories. Its only been two years and I already feel like I'm forgetting things. It also makes me incredibly sad to know that my son will never get to meet my Granny. I can't wait to tell him about her when he gets older.

RIP Granny - You are loved and missed everyday!