Sunday, February 27, 2011

Saturday Savings-- Organic Milk and More

I ran into Kroger last night to pick up early edition copies of the Sunday paper. While I was there I did a quick trip through the store to see if I could find any deals.

I paid $8.96 total including tax ($4.00 worth was newspapers, so really $4.96 including tax for the food)

Receipt didn't print very clear- $25.63 savings

Here's how I did it, so you can learn how to do it too!

9 Voskos Greek yogurts (8 pictured, as Emily was eating the 9th :)    On sale $1.00 each
   -used 6 $.75/1 "blinkies" (dispenser found on dairy case) and 3 B2G1 Free from 1/23/11 RP (RP= Red Plum newspaper insert)
Total paid: $1.50

1 Land O'Lakes spreadable butter: On sale $1.00 each
  -used .$40/1 Land O'Lakes Spread from 1/09/11 SS (SS=Smart Source newspaper insert) auto-doubled to $.80 off at register
Total paid: $.20

3 Kashi GoLean Bars: On sale $1.00 each
  -used 2 $2.00/1 Kashi item printable coupons "earned" from 
Total paid: free plus $1.00 overage

Cantaloupe: On sale $2.18
  - used 1 $3.00 off fresh fruit when you buy 3 Kashi items ("peelie" found on some Kashi cereals)
Total paid: Free plus $.82 overage

Nasoya Tofu Plus: $.75
  -  sell by date of 2/28/11 and was discounted from $2.99, used $1.25/1 printable from
Total paid: Free plus $.50 overage

Gallon Horizon Organic 1% Milk: $3.29
  - this one container was discounted 1/2 price, I'm assuming because of the dent. Expiration date was the same as the other containers and is otherwise fine.
Total paid: $3.29

6 Kroger yogurts: $.40 each...we eat a lot of yogurt around here
Total paid: $2.40

2 Sunday Early Edition newspapers: $2.00 each
Total paid: $4.00

Now see, didn't I tell you that you can buy more than just Chef Boyardee with coupons.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Big 3-0

On a good week I've been hitting about 25 miles, so I made it a goal to reach 30 miles of running this week. This is how it's shaped up so far:

Monday: off
Tuesday: 8 miles in 1:02:22 (7:48/mi)
Wednesday: off
Thursday: 7 miles treadmill (@ 7.2, 1% incline) with bursts at 9.0 thrown in along the way, 10 mins elliptical
Friday: 8 miles in 1:02:35 (7:50/mi)
Saturday: 7.2 miles w/ stroller in 1:00:00 (8:19/mi)
Sunday: TBD

30 miles achieved! Not sure if more running or some other cross training will be on the agenda for tomorrow instead.

Oh yeah, I also turned 30 this week. I knew there was some other significance to that number.....

Of course a fancy dinner was involved

with some really wild party animals. We roll with the fast crowd these days.

Some more friends stopped by the house afterwards, and lots of this was consumed-

Riesling and Red Velvet Cake

It was fun and low key. Just how us old folks like it :)

Mr. Blondie surprised me with a couple new beads for my Pandora bracelet and a new foam roller. For years I've been rolling out my calves with a pool noodle. I don't doubt the merits of foam rolling. I just couldn't bring myself to spend $20 bucks on a hunk of foam, so I've never gotten a real one.

The $1.68 pool noodle looks pretty similar huh? Its small diameter made it difficult to do areas like my IT band though.

You know I just about died when I found this Mr.Blondie's pocket when I was doing the laundry. AYFKM?!

He tore up the receipt in front of me when I insisted he take it back. I wasn't supposed to see that! Just enjoy the gift.

Oy. Will this thing cook dinner and give the kiddo a bath too? Now that would seriously help me out post-run.

Is there something you know you paid too much for, but are still glad you bought anyway?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Stock Your Pantry Week

Just a heads-up to my southern readers. Publix is having their annual Italian Days event until March 3rd. It's a good time to stock up your own kitchen or your local food pantry. Canned beans, sauces, soups, cheeses, pasta, olive oil, etc. are all on sale.

I stopped in quickly on my way home from work today to get more soup. My standard weekday lunch is Progresso Light soup with a piece of fruit......don't hate, it could be much worse. I plan on making a bigger trip later this week to stock up more sale items.

Order total- $3.36 including tax

Check out the full coupon match-ups for this week and next week.

And just so y'all know it's not all canned soup around here, here are links to some of the latest and greatest organic coupons I'll also be using this week:

What are some cooking staples you always keep on hand?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Red Lobster

Hope y'all got to have nice taste of spring this weekend! It was beautiful here in the ATL too.

Saturday started off with a snuggle session. Emily and I cuddled in bed until about 8 o'clock, then I quickly got both of us ready and out the door before there could be any protest. This was supposed to be my "long run" day. I pushed her around the lake in the jogging stroller, and covered 8 miles in 1:06 (8:17/mi pace). I squeezed in another Yoga X session later that afternoon while Emily was napping, then Mr.Blondie arrived home shortly afterwards.

We took a field trip to the Dekalb Farmer's Market to get fresh seafood for our belated Valentine's Day dinner. Along with a beautiful tuna steak we ate sashimi style with a little soy sauce and wasabi, we also got some jumbo shrimp and these tasty little morsels.

Emily was scared of them and didn't seem to mind as we dropped them into the pot. She actually waved bye-bye. We still have some time before we have to give the whole "circle of life" talk.

And what would a trip to the farmer's market be without a super random purchase. The sugar cane Mr. Blondie wanted. He said it was a treat he'd get as a kid. Besides gnawing on a hunk then spitting it out (uh, sounds appealing?) is there anything else I can make with this thing?

I didn't food log or track cals this weekend. Instead, I did my best to make sensible choices and take reasonable sized portions. My belly was ready to bust after our seafood feast though. It was totally worth it.

My intent for Sunday was to do an easy 45-60 minute run outside while Emily napped at home under Mr.Blondie's watch . Instead it turned into a 10 miler. I was over 7.5 miles by the hour mark, and thought I'd keep going to make it an even 8. Then what the heck, might as well take advantage of the day and make it 10. I finished in 1:17ish (7:46/mi pace).

In 2 days I more than doubled my mileage for the entire week. I don't think it would have happened without the big dinner the night before and the carby breakfast (bagel with LF cream cheese and bowl of Kashi GoLean Crunch) I ate before I left. I had more spring in my step than I've felt since the half marathon a few weeks ago. Something I'll keep in mind as I continue to analyze my diet this week.

Oh, and remember that photo shoot I won a couple months ago? Here's a sneak peek from our session yesterday. Miss E had a bunch of crazy wardrobe changes. I can't wait to see all of the pictures.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Week 1 Check-In (Racing Weight Experiment)

Week one of the Racing Weight experiment completed. I’ve been having a lot of fun with this little gadget. It’s been interesting to see how the little decisions I make throughout the day really add up.

Here's my typical weekday activity profile (w/ AM workout). Can you tell I have a desk job?

I did my first weigh-in today after 7 days of wearing the BodyMedia Fit, and came in at 108.4. Obviously there was water weight involved. And let’s face it, just a good trip to the bathroom can result in you a 1-2 pound fluctuation. In theory, about a pound of this 3.6 lb change is true weight loss since I averaged about a 500 calorie deficit everyday.

This week I’ll continue in the same calorie range, tinkering with my nutrient balance and timing with my workouts. Depending on how I feel, I may add more calories back in. A 500 calorie a day deficit may be a little too aggressive for someone my size. I’m wouldn’t be doing myself any favors if I start losing muscle too. Light and lean is what we’re going for here. Withering away is not my goal.

Week 1 totals (click to enlarge)

Nutritional breakdown from my online profile (click to enlarge)

Exported into Excel for another view (click to enlarge)

Getting more sleep will be another goal. I only averaged about 6 hours of sleep a night. I’m a gal who needs her 8 hours.

Now moving on to the workouts....Still low on the mileage, but things were better this week:

Thursday: 6 miles outside (@ 8:00/mi)

Friday: Off

Saturday: 6 miles outside (@ 8:00/mi)

Sunday: 45 mins treadmill (4 mins @ 7.0, 1 @ 8.0, repeat 9x), 20 mins ellipitical

Monday AM: Yoga X
Monday PM: 30 mins treadmill @ 7.2, 15 mins elliptical in PM

Tuesday: off

Wednesday: 45 mins treadmill (4 mins @ 7.0, 1 @ 8.0, repeat), 20 mins ellipitical

Thursday: Yoga X

I foresee more Yoga X in my future. It looks deceptively easy. Don’t be fooled. I feel like a wet noodle when I’m done.

Yeah, I should be doing the other DVD's in the P90X series, but baby steps here. Can yoga be considered part strength training too, or just flexibility? Are there any good yoga DVD’s you’d recommend?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

BodyMedia Fit Experiment- Day 2

Confession: I've run about 20 miles in the past two weeks. First, it was my left knee acting cranky after the half marathon. Considering I've done many a physical therapy session for it over the years, it's best to listen when it starts complaining. So I took it easy.

Then Mr. Blondie was home this entire week which means we worked double-time to take care of chores that can't be done while he's away.

Por ejemplo:
8:30 Wednesday night

Mr Blondie: Hey, why don't we get our taxes finished tonight.

Me: Now? Really? Like Seriously?

Mr.Blondie: Yeah, all our stuff is already in Turbo Tax from last year, all we have to do is import it to this year. It won't take long.

Riiight. Around 1:30 am we were finally wrapping things up.

Plus, my in-laws decided to visit for a couple days to celebrate Em's birthday. Oh, I also had that pesky full-time job to show up for.

Sure I could have gotten by on 4 hours of sleep each night and maintained my routine, but after many years I've finally learned it's not worth wearing myself out like that. It takes longer to recover from a sleep deprived week than missing a few workouts.

It was a good call. The knee is feeling fine now and I maintained my sanity. I'll play catch up this week...even thinking about throwing in some double workouts. We'll see how that goes.

So now that you've shed a tear over my hard, hard life, let's get to what you're really interested in :)

The BodyMedia Fit arrived on Thursday, sealed in it's original wrapping as the seller promised. It's actually the older model, labeled GoWear Fit. According to the BodyMedia website, it's the same exact unit they're selling now, they've just rebranded it BodyMedia Fit instead of GoWear Fit by Body Media, to simplify things. The technology and everything else about the unit are the same.

Display Unit

Can also be worn as a watch, but I'll pass on that cuteness and clip it to my waistband instead

The armband lies pretty flat and is inconspicuous under clothes

The set-up was easy. You just go to the BodyMedia website and download the driver required to sync the armband. Then connect the armband unit to the computer with the provided USB cable, enter your stats via the website (gender, age, height, current weight, etc.), and you're ready to go. The first 3 months of website access are free, and I purchased an additional 6 months for $9.95 a month. You can meal log, which I've been trying to keep up with, so I can compare trends in both my calorie consumption and calorie burn.

Saturday's final numbers

So far I've learned I burn about 1,900 calories on a regular (i.e. non-workout) weekday, and about 2,500 on an easy workout day (6 miles @ 8:00/mi pace). Pretty much in line with your standard calorie estimating websites, but it's pretty cool to watch the numbers accumulate throughout the day.

That's all for now. I'll continue to keep y'all updated on my progress.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Made with Love

Can you believe my “baby” is 2 today?! Time isn’t just marching by, it’s sprinting full-throttle.

All this talk about weight loss lately has made me hungry. While we wait for my BodyMedia Fit to arrive, can we get a little cake up in here please?

We celebrated her b-day a little early last night. Since I had stopped on my way home from work to choose only the finest cake mix and frosting Pillsbury had to offer, I wanted to do a little something to put my own special touch on it. Emily has been all about Finding Nemo since we first showed her the DVD at Christmas time, so of course a clownfish (a.k.a. Nemo) cake was in order.

Special it was. My Nemo looked like he’d been hanging around the nuclear power plant a little too long.

Mutant Nemo

This was my first time using a pastry bag to pipe frosting. I was going for a scaled effect, and it looked ok at first. Then I sadly watched as the frosting started oozing down the sides of the cake. It had been out of the oven for almost an hour, but it must have been a little too warm yet. To control the damage I popped it into the refrigerator for a few minutes to harden up, then smoothed it all out with a butter knife.

Then I ran out of white frosting, and resorted to shredded coconut at the end.

Emily exclaimed "Nemo!" when she saw it, so close enough.

Your mommy tries her best. At least the cake tasted good.


Happy Birthday kiddo!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Join me for an experiment, if you will....

I was so relieved to get meaningful comments after my last post. You guys rock. I was worried about bringing up the subject. If I talked to anyone else about trying to lose a few pounds they'd probably stuff a cookie in my mouth to shut me up.

Y'all get it. I'm talking about getting a competitive edge, not getting into a smaller pair of jeans. I'm already happy in mine :)

Seems as though many of you have thought about this and your own performance at some point. The overall consensus was "Sure, why not, give it a shot and see what happens". So here we go.

The recipe for losing weight is pretty easy: eat less, move more. I'm good with the move more part. Eat less...not so much. Since I'm looking to lose "vanity pounds" I admittedly don't need to lose, it's going to be challenging.

Enter the BodyMedia Fit. I'm turning 30 in a couple weeks so I ordered one today (NIB from ebay, not retail of course!) as a gift to myself. Who else but a nerdy health & fitness blogger would be so excited to spend their birthday money on that?

I'm so excited!

This morning I weighed in at 112.0 (BMI 20.5), and 18.5% body fat. I take the body fat measurement with a HUGE grain of salt. I pretty much want to disregard it all together, since this isn't a reliable way to measure body fat and the readings fluctuate wildly. I'll get anywhere from 12% to 20% depending on my hydration level at the time. We'll just note it today for trending purposes.

Using the guidelines from Racing Weight, my goal is to get to 107 before the Georgia Half marathon on March 21st. Trying to get back to my weight from 10 years ago just wouldn't be healthy. I think 107 is a reasonable goal (BMI 19.6).

According to this article from Runner's World, you'll gain about 2 seconds per mile for every pound you lose. So for a 5K that would be a whole 30 seconds and a little over 2 minutes for a half. That's quite a bit for someone whose been stalled around the 21 minute mark.

I'm a very black and white thinker. My Garmin and heartrate monitor have improved how I workout, hopefully this will improve the way I eat. Seeing my calorie expenditure (with 90% accuracy) *might* me think twice before popping another pumpkin peanut butter cookie into my mouth. That's the intent anyway.

If I start getting sick more often, turn into a turbo bitch because I'm constantly hungry, or just all-around feel like sh!t this experiment will be terminated immediately.

Won't you join me for this experiment?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Can We Discuss Weight?

I never talk specifically about weight here, I prefer to keep the focus on the more nebulous term “health”, but I’m going there today. I’m really opening up to y’all for discussion, so don’t hate. This is a sensitive subject for any woman, and would like some insight from my wise readers.

Considering my eyes are open, I’m smiling, and don’t look like death warmed over, this would have to be one of the better race pictures I’ve had in a while ever. But I didn’t notice any of that stuff the first time I saw it. Instead, like most women, my eyes were drawn right to my thighs.

Before you X out of this post in disgust, I'm not fishing here. Yes, I know I’m not huge. But I’m also not one of those whippet-thin distance runners you normally see.

Which makes me think about running performance.

Since having Emily, I’m about 7 pounds above the number that I used to consider the very upper limit of my “acceptable weight range”. You know, that number that makes you think OMG I need to throw out those Thin Mints already when you see it on the scale. All through my teens and twenties I stayed under that number. Through running, I was able to maintain my weight within a pretty narrow range and still get away with eating pop-tarts as an afternoon snack.

I eat much better now than I did even a couple years ago….. about 90% of my diet consists of whole, clean foods prepared at home. Even with my mileage slashed in half, I’ve been able to maintain this higher weight with little effort. My stomach no longer feels like a bottomless pit. Sure my old clothes are a little more snug, but I can still fit in most of them.

But isn’t lighter always faster and more efficient? Well my race times are actually dropping, which makes an argument against that. But maybe it’s just the better quality foods and hill running I’ve been doing. I can’t help but wonder if I’d be a little faster by shaving off a few more pounds.

I’m reading the book Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald for the second time. The first time I sort of skimmed through, but this time  I’m reading more in depth and thinking about how I can apply it.

Would losing a few more lbs help me get closer to the sub 20 min 5k I’m after? Or would it have the opposite effect by making me weaker and injury prone?

We’re talking about going from a BMI of 20.1 to the 19.2-19.6 range on my 5’2” frame. That’s still within the healthy range. I’m not looking to starve myself.

Hmm, anyone have any experience/thoughts on this? How do you determine the best weight for yourself?

Now after all that rambling, I know you have a question for me too. You ask, Where can I get a sweet pair of shiny blue running tights like yours Blondie? Sorry folks they’re probably off the market. They’re Reebok tights I’ve have since the beginning of High school (that would be circa 1995). They’re still in great condition, and so comfy I just can’t let them go yet :)