What I Learned…

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This is it! I’m in the final week of the Get Well Challenge! It’s been a great three months, and I’ve had so much fun with the challenges, and I’m thankful that Ellwood Thompson gave me the opportunity to participate!

I lost a little weight, I lowered my body fat a bit, and I learned a lot along the way.

1. Sometimes, you’ve got to face the numbers

Let’s just get over the obvious- no one likes stepping on a scale. I realize that this is not for everyone. For some, it’s best if they manage their weight by how their clothes fit. For me, the number really helps. Plus, it was cool getting an actual body fat assessment! And the people at the wellness center were quick to answer questions, and help me reach my goal. Did I make it all the way? Nope. But I’m going in the right direction!

body fat assessment

Sorry for the foot picture. Is that gross? Maybe. (Probably.) But the whole electrode body fat thing was so cool to me.

2. Tracking your food can be hard

I liked meeting with the dietician. It was helpful that she was a vegetarian (so we could skip the whole “how do you get your protein” conversation) and she gave me ideas for some lower carb vegetarian meals. I tried to keep track of my daily eats, but I definitely had days where I… *forgot*… to track some things. But hey, I did alright.

Body Media Tracking

I recently switched from using the Daily Plate app, to using the app compatible with my Body Media band. Both are great, and even though it can be a lot of work to track everything, I will say it’s the best way to stay focused on your goal! I didn’t do a perfect job, but it really does make you more aware of what you’re eating!

3. Get a support system!

One of the best parts of the challenges was having a group of people to support me! Ellwood Thompson set up a Facebook group for us to connect, and I made some new friends throughout the challenge! Sometimes, just knowing we were all going to our weigh-in was enough encouragement 😉 But you don’t need an “official” group to have a support system. Get a few co-workers on board! (Hey Conor, I’m going to keep making you take those walks at lunch with me.)

workouts

Sometimes it was Jillian Michael’s with my roommate, sometimes it was a group fitness class, occasionally it was a run with friends, but whatever it was, working out with other people makes a sweat session 10x more fun. It’s a fact. Try it.

So did I accomplish my goals? Kind of.

I don’t think I got exactly where I want to be, but I did learn a lot of great tools to continue on a healthy path! I’m going to keep on tracking my food, keep on working out, and keep on trying new ways to keep myself from getting bored 😉 And it’s not about the destination… it’s about the journey… right? Something like that.

What have you learned recently?

Meeting at the Bar[re]

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Saturday afternoon, I met up with some blogger friends for a Virginia Bloggers meet up at Local Barre, and got my butt kicked. I had no idea how challenging barre classes could be! I’ve done long training runs, I’ve tried cross fit… but wow. These classes are intense!

We were welcomed right at the front door!

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Katherine and I had just gotten our butt kicked… but we were still smiling!

The class was an hour long and incorporated lot of repetitions of light weights. At first I didn’t think it was going to be too bad… but by the end, my legs were shaking with every move. I was definitely feeling the burn. I think this class would be the perfect way to really tone up!

You can read the full details on the Virginia Bloggers meet up here!

The rest of the weekend was filled with Christmas parties and festivities!

christmas parties

Doesn’t Conor look so cute? I also had to include that adorable picture of Christina’s veggie-tree. How cute is that?

Sunday, I wanted to make it to hot yoga, but I ended up not making it in time, so I put together a quick living room circuit workout, which was perfect for such a gloomy day. Sometimes, you just don’t want to venture out to the gym. So move your coffee table, and get your sweat on.

circuit workout

I did a little Jillian Michael’s yoga after that circuit, and it wasn’t easy, since I was so sore from Saturday’s barre class! This week I’m hoping to make it back to cross fit… but we shall see. I’m enjoying switching up my workouts!

Have you tried any new workouts lately?

[Low Cal] Creamy Peanut Butter Dip

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I have a slight obsession.

If you’ve spent more than an hour or two with me, you’ll quickly learn I have an addition to peanut butter. Let’s not call it a problem. Because it’s so delicious, that seems unfair.

It only becomes a problem when I can’t talk my spoon out of taking a dip in the jar. Over and over.

Anyways.

We all know apples + peanut butter = amazingness. 

The problem is, it takes like, 3 tbsp of peanut butter to sufficiently dip an entire apple. And while I love peanut butter, I do have to face the facts, that 1 measly tablespoon packs in 100 calories. Wow do those add up quickly. What’s a girl to do?

Whip up a batch of this creamy peanut butter dip, and start snacking!

Creamy Peanut Butter Dip

  • 3 tbsp greek yogurt (plain or vanilla can work)
  • 2 tbsp peanut flour (see note below)
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of stevia (optional)

Note: If you can’t find peanut flour (or PB2) and you don’t feel like ordering it from Amazon, feel free to use regular peanut butter! It’ll be a little higher in fat and calories, but at least it’s good fat! You can reduce it down to 1 tbsp and it’ll still be super creamy and peanut butter-y.

Just mix all your ingredients together in a small dish, and start dipping! I also think this would be pretty good on toast, with pretzels, or… with a spoon 😉

Delicious.

I don’t know about you, but this week seemed to fly by. I’m happy it’s the weekend, but the weekdays we’re pretty fantastic on their own. On Wednesday, I did get a chance to go to Kuba Kuba, where I hadn’t been since my vegan days, (where the menu was a little more limiting…) so I was excited to try the Roasted Red Pepper and Asparagus Tortilla.

This spanish style omelete was delicious, especially with a little hot sauce on top. It was also super filling! I ended up taking half of it home for later. Our server was friendly, and it reminded me how happy I am to be in a city with so many great local spots. Richmond, you’re pretty great 🙂

Have you ever had Cuban food?

Wheat Berry Greek Salad

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If you’re like me, you might still be full from holiday festivities. I think my body was in shock for a few days from the amount of sugar I consumed. Hey, it happens. So you might be on the hunt for a lighter recipe. Something simple & healthy that can get you back on track after a little holiday splurging.

I’ve been obsessed with the Wheat Berry salad at the Ellwood Thompson’s hot bar, so I decided to whip up my own version at home!

If you’ve never had them, a “wheat berry” is the entire wheat kernel. They have a slightly crunchy texture, and add a nice heartiness to lighter salads. I love tossing them on top of greens. I guess they’re like a cross between quinoa and rice, in terms of texture.

Wheat Berry Greek Salad

  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup wheat berries
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 tbsp chopped sundried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • Pinch of salt

Start by bringing the water and the wheat berries to a boil. It’ll take about an hour for them to cook. Once they absorb the water, they will be tender. Drain and set aside and let cool. Once the wheat berries are room temperature, toss them with the olive oil, cheese, sundried tomatoes, grape tomatoes, parsley and salt. I sliced the tomatoes in half, but you can leave them whole. Either way, it’ll be delicious.

Just how good are they?

Like barley and lentils, wheat berries pack plenty of fiber and protein. Just a 1/4 cup (uncooked) have 6g fiber, 6g protein, and only 160 calories. Also, they’re super cheap! Definitely worth giving them a chance.

While I was home in Columbus, I did managed to squeeze in a hilly run, as well as a couple of Jillian Michael’s workouts. If you haven’t tried her power yoga DVD, I highly recommend it! You can read the full review here, but I can promise your triceps will be sore the next day!

What do you eat to get back on track after a holiday?