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Archive for January, 2011

Hello! I hope you all are having a great day so far. I cannot believe it is Thursday already! The weekend is almost here 🙂 Yahooooooo!

Last night after work I headed to have dinner with my family. My aunts and cousin all meet for dinner once a month to hang out and catch up. This time there was only 4 of us. There was a lot of snow so only a few of us could make it. We had dinner at John Brewers. I started off with a blueberry beer.

We shared an order of my favorite- fried pickles. I had two, they were delicious!

For my meal I had a veggie burger topped with sauteed mushrooms and american cheese on 9-grain bread and sweet potato fries.

It was great to catch up. We also planned our get togethers for the next year or so, which includes 2 weekends away. I am super excited about that! I think it will be a blast. 🙂

After dinner I met my friend Colin and his friend Gabe out for a few beers.

I had a blast with them. They are so fun! I hadn’t seen them for a few months and it was great to chat with them and enjoy a few adult beverages! 🙂

This morning since the snow was pretty bad we had a 2 and a half hour delay which meant I didn’t need to be in work until 11am. I welcomed the extra sleep with open arms. It was so nice and unexpected 🙂 Thanks, snow!

Breakfast was an egg, veggie bacon and cheese sandwich on a whole wheat sandwich thin with cherries and coffee.

Work has been kind of busy, I had a few meetings and such. I made a lunch this morning, but then I left in my fridge- way to go, Ali. Luckily, I have Zoup right around the corner from me 🙂 I got a bowl of chicken fajita soup and a multigrain roll.

It was delicious and hit the spot! Nom, nom, nom.

Tonight’s plans include meeting with the architect that is working on our house and a laundry marathon. I am taking a rest day from working out. My body is very excited about that 🙂

 

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Almost Slept In

Hey everyone! Where the heck have I been?! Busy, that is where!!!

Yesterday after work I headed to the gym to get in a run. I ended up having to wait a few minutes because all the treadmills were in use. I was a little stressed since I had a limited amount of time to run, shower and eat dinner before my 7:15 pm class. But, someone finished up and I only had to wait about 15 minutes- which I used to stretch. I did an AMAZING 4.5 mile run. It was probably the best runs I have had in months, thank God the gym cleared out and I was alone because I danced and sang the last entire two miles. I don’t know if it was the great playlist, the fact that I took 3 days off from running or a fluke, but I felt like I could run forever! I heart running 🙂

After the run I showered and got redressed. I headed to Zoup to grab some dinner. I had the wild mushroom barley soup with a multigrain roll, it was the perfect post-run, pre-class dinner. I am such a huge fan of mushrooms so this soup was awesome in my opinion.

I love dipping the roll in the soup, the roll has sunflower seeds baked right in. Yum!

Class was fine, I think everyone was a little tired. I know I was, it was a long day for me. It will take some getting used to, but I think I can do it (well, I have to).

I slept like a baby last night, when the alarm went off at 5:40 am to workout my immediate reaction was, “Nooooooo!” and I shut it off and got back into bed for another hour. About 30 seconds later I got up and got dressed to go. I scraped the ice off my car and headed to Crossfit. I was awake, so I went and I was really glad I did. The class was hard but fun 🙂

Here was the workout:

15 Min As Many Rounds as Possible: (I did 4.1 rounds)
15 Front Squats (55 lbs)
15 lateral hurdle jumps
15 Abmat Situps

2 Minute Rest/recovery then:

Metcon #2:

Shuttle Runs- 8 Min
30 seconds on, 1 minute rest for 8 minutes (i.e. 5 rounds)

I was a sweaty mess by the end. But, I was so glad I got up and had a great workout. Unfortunately, my whole morning was not as great.

I dropped and egg on my kitchen floor while attempting to make breakfast. Once it was cleaned up, I went for attempt number 2- which was fruitful (literally). I had an egg, veggie “bacon” and cheese sandwich on a while wheat sandwich thin with a clementine and coffee.

Work was super busy today, just a lot to do and figure out. Before I knew it, it was lunch time. For lunch I have the last of my Spicy Refried Bean soup with a side of veggies (carrots, cucumbers, red peppers) and hummus. I was sad the see the soup go, but it did serve as three meals this week. I will be making it again soon, very soon!

Today’s Outfit:

Yellow Chinos (J Crew), White long sleeved shirt (Target), Navy Blazer (Forever 21).

Shoes:

Tory Burch flats

Necklace:

Leaf necklace inherited from my Nana.

Have you even almost slept through a workout, but got up instead? Were you glad you did or did you wish you slept in?

 

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Role Models

Hello, Hello! Well today is flying by and it is a good thing because today is a super long day for me. Looks like this:

  • 6:45 am- Get up, shower, pack lunch, iron clothes, eat breakfast, get ready for work and commute.
  • 9am-5pm- Work
  • 5:15-6:15 pm- Run
  • 6:15-6:45- Shower and blow dry my hair
  • 6:45-7:10 – Eat dinner
  • 7:15-10:00- Class

then- CRASH!

Lunch today was pretty simple, yet amazing. I had a turkey sandwich with mustard, lettuce, tomato and pickles on a whole wheat roll. On the side I have some delicious cherries and popchips. Popchips sent me an amazing Holiday gift on December of two boxes full of single servings of various flavors. They are awesome. Thanks, popchips!

To get through my busy day, I grabbed a medium nonfat vanilla latte as an afternoon snack. It was super yummy, but sweeter than I thought it would be.

During lunch, I got to talking with one of the student ambassadors in my department.  He was asking me about my career goals and when I told him I was getting my M.Ed. to be a guidance counselor and said, “That is great! You totally have that quality. you know. You are a great role model.”

For some reason that caught me a little off guard. I guess I never thought of myself as a role model. I never thought that when I am a guidance counselor I will be seen as one.  That is kind of a lot of pressure, no?

It got me thinking about my life’s role models. I have many, all of which I know personally- I don’t really have that many celebrity ones.

  • My Dad- I love that he always finds a way to give back and stand up for those without a voice.
  • My Mom- her kind heart and sense of humor are refreshing and she gives the best advice.
  • My Husband– He is a “tell it like it is” kind of guy, but is also the sweetest and most generous person I know- it is such a balance.
  • My sister-in-law Jen- She had the courage to chase her dreams and is so happy she did!
  • My bestie May– She is a very, very hard worker and even though she has a hard job she has a sense of humor about it.
  • My friend Caitlin– She is changing the lives of girls and women everyday with Operation Beautiful.
  • My friend Melissa– her commitment to her nieces and nephew is amazing, I hope as they get older they will understand how lucky they are to have her.
  • My friends Belle and Dan- They are always thinking of others and their kind, unexpected  gestures make my day so often.
  • My friend Ashley– She has unbelievable courage and believes that happy is the best thing she can be and lets nothing stand in her way of that

Just to name a few.  🙂

Who are your role models, ones you know well or don’t know personally at all? What do you admire about them? Do they know they are your role models?

Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.
– Albert Schweitzer

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Pizza Dilemma- Solved!

Ok, first of all I cannot even begin to thank everyone for their sweet comments, e-mails and tweets regarding my last post.  It was amazing how many of you were willing to share your stories via comments or e-mail. The support was amazing and made me glad I wrote the post. I have had some serious reservations about it for a long time.  I got many e-mails from people that have been in a similar situation, that are currently feeling that way and even some from people that have been been there, but wanted to offer support. It was just great, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

While getting a ride into work today from Adam (second day in a row…woop!) I heard this new song from Pink and it really reminded me of that post. Funny how things work out like that, huh?

I have always been a huge Pink fan for her tell it like it is attitude and uniqueness. Plus, her songs are seriously awesome to run to 🙂

Anyways, I didn’t post last night because I was pooped by the end of the day. My day looked like this:

  • 5:40 am- wake up
  • 6:00 am-7:00 am- Crossfit
  • 7:00am-9:00am- breakfast, shower get ready commute to work.
  • 9:00 am-4:30pm- Work
  • 4:30pm-7:10pm- Class
  • 7:10pm-7:40pm- Commute
  • 7:40pm-8:40pm- Part-time job work
  • 8:40pm-9:00pm- Dinner
  • 9:00pm-11:00 pm- Homework

It was a long day and by the end I was ready for bed. I think this new schedule with class will take some getting used to. I have class until 10pm tonight. I am getting to old for this crap 😉

During class for a little energy kick, I had a medium nonfat cappuccino. It helped 🙂

Class was fine, but long. This class looks like it will be quite a bit of work. It seems like we were there forever, I don’t really know how else to explain it besides- Homegirl can taaaaalllllkkkkk. Wow! This professor can really talk, and you don’t even realize time is going by. Not too much of a bad thing, at least what she is saying is interesting.

When I got home, I did some work for my part-time job while dinner was cooking. Dinner was individual pizzas. I found individual whole wheat pizza crusts this weekend at the grocery store and bought one for me and one for Adam. Since I like my pizza topped with veggies and Adam hates the veggies and likes his plain this could be good. When I showed them to Adam last night he said, “This could be the best thing that ever happened to this household.” The man is serious about his pizza 🙂

My pizza was topped with tomatoes, spinach, artichokes, and red bell peppers.

It was pretty good. I think this is the answer to our pizza dilemma. I am a problem solver, what can I say!? 🙂

I had a few small lemon poppy seed cookies while working on some reading and homework for school.

Breakfast this morning was two whole wheat waffles with barney butter, blueberry jam and half of a banana- eaten sandwich style. On the side I had a clementine and coffee.

Today’s Outfit:

Dark bootcut jeans (gap), white tank (H&M), Black and white polka dotted sweater (target), hot pink scarf.

Shoes:

Black Tory Burch flats.

While packing up my three bags (work bag, school bag, gym bag) this morning before leaving for work I realized I was drinking out of a polka dotted mug and wearing a polka dotted sweater. I guess I am feeling the dots today 🙂

What are you “feelin’ ” today?

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Deep Breathe, Here Goes

Hello! I am not going to lie, today is flying by! I was in shock when it was time for lunch, I felt like I just got here. But, I was also excited because I knew I had leftover spicy refried bean soup waiting for me. This was the PERFECT lunch today for a below zero day. I enjoyed it with some blue corn tortilla chips.

It was amazing- which I expected. You have got to make this soup. I promise you will not regret it.

I think a post on this topic is long overdue. This is very personal and hitting publish is kind of giving me heart palpitations! Deep breathe, here goes:

I met a blog reader this weekend, we happened to be in the same place at the same time. She introduced herself and we got to talking. It was great to get to know her and she told me that reading my blog really inspired her. I was so happy to meet her and get some feedback on my blog. There was one thing she said to me a few times, she said, “You have so much confidence, I wish I had confidence like that.” In the past few days, I have been hearing that in my head over and over. It was strange for me to hear in some ways. I do have so much confidence, it is true. But that was not always the case. In fact, up until about 2 years ago, I had very little self-confidence. Speaking with her made me think about where this confidence came from and how it was born. To really understand why I do have it, I need to reflect on why I didn’t and what it was like for me before I didn’t.

As a kid, I thought I was superwoman. I was much like I am today- a busy body. I was went to school, did gymnastics, tap danced and when I wasn’t in activities I was running around my house like a maniac (sorry mom and dad). I thought I was pretty awesome, and I was. Around middle school everything changed for me. Up until that point I never really thought much about my body. I never worried about how I looked. It just never occurred to me to compare myself to anyone else.  However, I did notice other people paid attention to my body. Other people, mostly classmates compared themselves to me and me to them.  I was a VERY slow developer. A lot of the girls in my 7th and 8th grade classes looked like women. I still looked like I was 8 years old. I was made fun of a lot, and because of this I became so self conscious. I figured that if my “friends” said there was something wrong with me, they must be right?

In High School, I remained pretty self conscious during the first couple of years. Like other teen girls, I wanted to be thin and beautiful. I hated my thin hair, my braces, my wide nose, my flat chest and my puffy eyes. Then at start of my sophomore year, my family was faced with some really difficult times. We found out that my older brother (and only sibling) had a very bad drug addiction- which he has struggled with for years (he is currently 1 year and 5 months clean and I am very happy about that). This caused my family so much heartache. I was in more emotional pain than I even knew how to verbalize.  I remember just thinking how badly I felt for my mom and dad. They are honestly the best parents in the world; I felt they did not deserve what my brother was doing to them and our family. I felt so much pressure to make up for all the sadness and hurt he had caused them. This pressure was self-induced. I don’t think anyone was even aware of the standard I was holding myself up to. To make up for his wrong-doings, I had to be perfect…nothing less, no arguments. This meant I had to be good at everything I tried, get straight A’s, easy to get along with and obviously be thin and beautiful.  As we all know, perfection is not reachable or sustainable.  This is the first point in time I remember my obsession with my weight kicking in.

For about 1-2 years, I surely took part in what some may call disordered eating. I wouldn’t say I was anorexic to the extent that people often think of it, but I did go days without eating much and would go to bed feeling very accomplished after a day like that. At one point, in the spring of my sophomore year, I was down to the mid to low 80′s weight-wise. I was also not very tall, so it is not as bad as you think. But, I was too thin and wanted to be thinner. I remember my friend Lauren telling me, “When I notice you are getting thin, I always know something is going on with you emotionally, so I make sure to check up on you.” She was right; not eating was the way I dealt with painful things. It made me feel like I had control. The more I could not live up to the “perfect image” I had in my brain, the more I hated myself and wished I was someone else.

In college, I would go through bouts of feeling really unhappy with the way I looked and getting angry with myself for not being able to lose weight. I would cut portions way back at times, but would never actually go without eating (THANK GOD!) I would eat a ½ of an english muffin with a slice of fat free cheese and call it lunch. I went on all different fad diets to try to get weight off, of course none of them worked. I will note that all through high school and college I was a pretty heavy smoker. I was very addicted, but will say, the fear of gaining weight did play a role in keeping me from quitting. Throughout all of college and after, I remained uncomfortable with my weight and convinced that I would so happy if I lost that extra 10 pounds. The obsession with my weight was pretty bad in the sense that, it was on my mind every day. I would bet I could not go 3 hours without thinking about my weight.

About 3 years ago, it was like I woke up. I decided that gaining weight or not, smoking was a bad choice I had made for far too long, and I quit cold turkey on Feb 23, 2007 and never looked back. After that I made a vow to lose the weight. My mind was never really in the right place, I ended up gaining about 15 pounds, which only made me more obsessed with weight and angry with myself. I actually HATED my body! I hated that nothing fit, I hated that I was uncomfortable in all my clothes. I would even not want to go out because I was afraid people would notice I had gained weight and was the heaviest I had ever been. I did some re-thinking and realized that I quit smoking to become healthy, why not just focus on getting healthy instead of getting skinny?

I will admit this shift in my thinking was not easy. I knew the only way to lose the weight and feel good about myself was going to be to work at it. Man, was it work. It was physical and emotional work that I can’t even to put into words. I started running and adding distance and speed little by little. Every time I got faster or gained distance I began to feel better about myself. Not just about my body, but about how I had the ability to work hard and reach a goal. I was amazed at how I could push through the physical challenged and applied the same exact dedication to push through those emotional hurtles.  I also learned how to fuel my body in a way that made me feel good. I taught myself to cook- which made me feel really great about myself as well. I loved how creative I could get in the kitchen and how I seemed to really have a knack for it. It was a skill that I never knew I had! The more I got to know about myself, the more I really liked me. I remember thinking to myself, “I would totally be friends with me!” That was a huge step I went from hating myself to liking myself enough to want to be my friend. More importantly, I liked myself enough to treat myself and my body with the respect I deserved. Then something crazy happed-Those addition 30 pounds came off! Did it make me amazing happy and the world all rainbows and butterflies like I thought it would? Nope! But, I am happier, because I have learned to treat my body right, and in return, she treats me right. We work together, instead of me working against her and abusing her. I also learned a lot about who I am the strengths (which are boundless) and the weaknesses (which are many).

I will not say there are not days were I still struggle with body image (especially when my skin is broken out, or I feel bloated) But, I have done A LOT of work on myself to get to a point where I can say, I LOVE MYSELF AND MY BODY!!!! And really mean it  There is no other person on this earth I would rather be than me. I am strong. I am stubborn. I am hilarious. I am beautiful. I am amazing!

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Oh Happy Day!

Morning! Guess what the temp is outside in Boston right now! Give up?

Here you go:

Yes- that says” -3 degrees”. It is the coldest day we have seen in Boston for 6 years. There is one great way to get warm in this cold…Crossfit! I got up at 5:45 and braved the cold to make it to a 6am Crossfit class. It was freezing cold, but let me tell you about 1 minute into the workout I was MUCH WARMER!!!! 😉

Here is the workout:

5 Rounds, 1 min per exercise- as many reps as possible.

Wall Ball Shots (I used 8 pounds)
Sumo Deadlift High-Pull (I used 12kg)
Box Jumps (20 inch box)
Push Press (45 pounds)
Rower/Jumping Pullups

It was an awesome workout! By round 5, I was pretty exhausted. I will be okay with it if I don’t do another box jump for a while. I was so glad I got out of my warm bed for it this morning. It made me so happy to get in an amazing workout before starting my day.

There were a bunch of other things that made me happy today as well:

1. The milk I bought yesterday expires on MY BIRTHDAY.

This is a sign that my birthday is coming soon. I love my birthday!!! I am  not one of the people that hates being a year older. I think every year older I am is another reason to celebrate!

2. This new flavor of coffee is totally rocking my world!

Chocolate Cappuccino? They should call it “The Ali Coffee”. Maybe I can convince they to name it after me as a birthday gift? 😉

3. Drinking chocolate cappuccino coffee out of a mug that says, “Chocolate” on it.

4. This Bees Knees peanut butter I bought yesterday.

5. The price I paid for the Bees Knees peanut butter:

Not bad at all 🙂

6. How amazing this peanut butter tasted with banana oats. PB+Honey+Bananas= Heaven.

7. Some handsome guy:

and his little sidekick:

(Sidekick is freezing!)

drove me into work this morning so I didn’t have to commute in the frigid temps. I love my husband for waking up and braving the cold on his day off to drive me in. I was so grateful.

8. Corduroys and cardigans…

Cords and sweaters make this weather and my freezing office much more bearable.

What little things have made you happy today?

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Spicy Refried Bean Soup

Oh man, do I have an amazing soup recipe for you guys! But let me back up first. Around 1:30 I got hungry for lunch and looked through the fridge, freezer and pantry for ideas of what to make. It was pretty much safe to say that we didn’t have much to eat. I had planned on going grocery shopping later on that day and really needed to eat. When I go to the grocery store hungry I spend a fortune.

I had to get a little creative and it wasn’t too bad actually. I mixed together leftover brown rice, two wedges of laughing cow cheese and some frozen peas. It was something I would eat again in a pinch. Sometimes having to fly by the seat of your pants helps you to think of new food ideas.

 

 

I spent the afternoon catching up with a friend, which was really great and grocery shopping. While shopping I had this great idea to make a spicy refried bean soup. To be 100% honest I was unsure how the soup would actually come out, but thought I would give it a try anyways. I mean lets face it, refried soup could either be amazing or utterly disgusting, right?

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of fat free vegetarian refried beans
  • 16 oz of organic veggie broth
  • 1 cup of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small can of corn, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (10 oz.) cans of tomatoes with chiles

I put all the ingredients in a large pot and let them mix while I unpacked the groceries. I did whisk the soup to make sure the refried beans and broth mixed well.

I had a bowl of soup with some blue corn tortilla chips.

Right after I took these photos, I thought about crushing up the chips and adding them right into the soup like I do with crackers. It was a great idea- I loved having the little crunch in each bite.

This soup was awesome! It had just the right amount of spice, cooked up in about 10 minutes and was really cheap to make. I HIGHLY recommend trying this recipe. I am so glad it turned out well!! It was the perfect dinner considering it was 7 degrees here in Boston.

For dessert I had two small lemon poppy seed cookies.

Have you ever created a strange recipe that could go ether way? Was it good or bad? Where you surprised by the outcome?

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