July 29th

Remember that zucchini bread I mentioned making yesterday? Yeah, that was breakfast. I actually put a bit of coconut oil in a pan, then fried up each side of a few slices of the zucchini bread so they were warm and golden-crispy on the outside.

Then I put about a teaspoon-ish of Nutella (well…Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut butter, really!) some sliced banana and then some sliced strawberry. I made four of these…I ate one…Chris ate three. LOL

Seems a bit more like dessert then breakfast, doesn’t it? Oh well!

Since  I did only eat one, it didn’t take much longer for me to be hungry again, so I reached for this Chia Pod thing I had gotten from the dairy section of Shoprite the day before. Chia, from what I’m seeing everywhere, is one of those superfoods that’s supposed to be AMAZBALLS for you and I thought I’d give it a shot…

Well…

Opening it up it really, really didn’t look all that appetizing…  

Putting it on the spoon didn’t help matters. To me, it looked like a cup full of fresh frog’s eggs…bravely I put it in my mouth thinking it couldn’t be that bad.

Mistake. You know how I said it looked like frog’s eggs? Well…it FELT exactly how I though frog’s eggs might feel should you try to ingest them as well. Like lots of little balls of slime. GROSS.

It promptly went into the garbage. Thankfully,  I had picked up a few greek yogurts as well and had one of those instead. Well, semi normal. It was a Vanilla Yoplait Greek Plenti yogurt, so it had whole grain oats, flax and pumpkin seeds mixed in. It was good…but I really think I’d prefer to add those things in on my own. The seeds were a bit soft from sitting in the yogurt – I could see them being better fresh-added so they had more crunch!

Then came exercise! Chris’ workout videos are generally 20 minutes long each workout, except for the ‘specialist’ workouts. Specialist workouts are 12 minutes each and are meant to target one specific area of the body at a time. Since we had done the upper body 20 minute workout last night, and since I didn’t know where his second DVD with the lower body was, I went with the abs specialist 12 minute workout.
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Not to bad, right? Well, hope not!

A little while later lunch was half of a Cuban panini, purchased from Stop&Shop the day before. Being super hungry I had take a bite or two before remembering about pictures. Half the bread was pulled off, as usual, since I’m just not a bread person.

Went out for awhile to some store in town…ended up getting a nice little sport dress from Kohl’s on clearence…$4.50!! I was thrilled because there were dinner plans with family for later.

Once I got back to the house with my find …there was more exercise! Now usually, as you’ve maybe noted, Chris and I will go out jogging late afternoon early evening – sometime between 7 and 7:30 mostly – but today I wasn’t sure that would happen as we were to go out to dinner with my mother, my sister and her boyfriend around that time. Chris wasn’t back yet, so I decided to be brave and solo it in the 90 degree heat – thank goodness at least the humidity was low!

About halfway around the lake I run into a woman walking her dog who warned me: Watch out for the bear!

Well…I’m not ashamed to say I did an about-face and cut my jog short after that. I am a little shamed to say my jog was more a half-and-half type thing with almost equal walking to jogging. Well…walking prior to my run in with the warning woman. LOL

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Got back in the house, grabbed a quick shower and then spiffed up for the impending dinner.

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It was a belated dinner for my recently-passed birthday, so I got to choose place of eating and I went with a favorite: Red Lobster. How do you go wrong with seafood?! :0)

Dinner for me started with a bowl of salad with red wine vinaigrette dressing, and a cheddar bay biscuit. Previous to arriving at the dinner I told myself I would only have ONE of those goodies, and I’m glad to report I only had one… and a half. So close!

Dinner was this:

Wood grilled salmon, shrimp and a petite Maine lobster tail with green onions and roasted potatoes. Come to find out…I don’t like lobster. So half went to my mother, and half to my other half. I also shared half the shrimp with Chris. The green beans I greedily kept for myself, same with the potatoes. The salmon I also only ate half of.

Now, why would I do that?

DESSERT OF COURSE.

An apple crostada with ice cream and caramel sauce. Also, notice the candle? My sweet, darling sister ratted me out early on at the restaurant.

Waitress: And what brings you here to-
Sister: -immediately points a finger at me across the table- It’s HER birthday. Her THIRTIETH birthday!

Little brat!

The dessert was, as everything else is, shared with Chris. LOL

And that was about the end of the night, for both food and exercise stuff.

My Fitbit ruling of the day?

I notice that my FitBit needs charging…but I left the charger at Chris’ (I have since come back to PA for a time).

Rats!

July 28th

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Started out breakfast with eggs made by Chris again…creamy and delicious – AND this time I made him show me the actual  process! I’d tell you about it…but I think the originator of the recipe would do a better job.

Anyway! Breakfast was eggs, and immediately after I grabbed my camera and went for a little walk around the lake area. The other day Chris and I got up and went jogging, and I got upset because there was a beautiful fog hanging around the surface of the water that I didn’t get to photograph. This morning was a little similar, and I was not going to miss it.  I even got lucky, and there was a heron hanging around.

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…I wish I had a more powerful lens! I would have loved to zoom in closer on this beautiful creature, but this is as close as it gets for me. I couldn’t even physically get closer; I’ve decided that I must sound like a bear when walking down the path, because this bird alerted to me long before I got even this close. Soon as I snapped this shot I moved to attempt a different position…and off it flew. Oh well. I am actually pretty ok with this, I LOVE how I was able to frame the bird in the leaves! As usually technically it’s NOT a great photo…but I still really love how it came out.

Here’s one more from my lake walk – I couldn’t resist the sun coming through the trees onto the path:

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A little later was snack time – a yummy banana!


Yes, the little dog with the begging eyes got a bit, too.


When lunch time rolled around I headed out. First I stopped at Shoprite, where they have a fresh sushi counter. I picked up two of these:


….and also two of these:


And then went and had lunch with Chris. We just ate in my car in the parking lot of his work so he could stay close should a computer blow up or something (he’s an IT administrator for  a medical office, and there has been a few issues lately.).

Got back to his house, and made some zucchini bread (gluten-free!) with the GIANT MONSTER zucchini that came from his mother’s garden. The thing was longer then my forearm…thicker too!


These two loaves took 3cups of shredded zucchini…and there is still plenty left over from the one squash (maybe another 3 or 4 cups?)….along with four others. Yikes. What to do with it all?!

When the bread came out of the oven it smelled so good…I HAD to get out of the house or risk eating it all. So I took the little dog and out for a walk around the lake we went.


It was a hot, sunny day so we only took the path around the lake. It’s shaded and since it’s not paved the ground was much cooler for the pooch’s paws.

Of course once we got back into the house the call of the fresh-made zucchini bread was just to strong and a piece was eaten for ‘taste-testing’ reasons.

Chris Mom had gone out shopping, and when she came back she had this with her:

A handful of them later and it was decided that yes, they DO taste like a NY Ruben sandwich. Which I was tasting still hours later. Ugh.

Dinner was, to start, a bit of salad and a half a corn on the cob. No butter on the corn, just a little salt. The salad was one of those pre-prepared bagged ones where everything is included. I think this is the Endless Summer bag…and it is SO very good. Love it. There was no butter put on my corn, just a little bit (VERY little bit) of salt.

After that…a turkey taco! Soft-shelled…I’m not a fan of the hard shell tacos.   

Not a very appetizing photo…I totally failed. It was good, and that was all I could do before pretty much shoving the rest of it in my mouth. Appologies!

Later on there was fitness-video doing. Barry’s Boot Camp, the arms and upper body workout. Here’s what that looked like for me:

And here’s how the day overall looked:

I need to work on being better about my active minutes. I want to try shooting for something like an hour overall each day. There is a gym locally that I’m thinking of getting some day passes for, just to see how I like it. They offer a few different fitness classes, as well as a nutritionist and personal trainer. I think it would be handy to see what advice could be offered by the trainer for the areas I really want to work on, and I am very interested in taking a beginner yoga class.  Their yoga I classes happen on Tuesday mornings, but I chickened out on doing it yesterday. I’m hoping to be able to build my courage and try to really psych myself up to go for the next coming class.

Anyone out there do yoga? If you do, what things should I have with me to be able to participate in this class? Do I need to bring my own mat or anything, do you think?

Sunflowers

On my post on the 26th, I told you I’d show more sunflower pictures today…and I fully intend to do so! I am happy with them…at first glance, but then I try to look at them more technically and suddenly they aren’t as wonderful.

Oh, I still think they are good…but I see a LOT of room for improvement in things like focus and exposure.

All these photos are minimally edited (I lack good editing software…so I use picmonkey. It drives Chris NUTS that I won’t get something better and learn to do it proper. It’s not that I won’t, really…it’s just on my future list of ‘to do’.) and were shot with my Nikon D5300 with the kit lens (A Nikkor DX AF-S 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6G II) in manual mode setting.

Click on each picture and it should pop up into a new window where you can click it again to bring it to full size and see all the missed focus and other mistakes.
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 I took all these at about 5-5:45 in the afternoon, and the sun was behind the flowers. It made for a pretty glow-y effect on the petals (as you can see in the last photo)…but created some awful blow outs and shadow-y flower ‘faces’. The next time I go (which may be this afternoon) I want to go a bit later so the light is softed (I’m thinking early 7pm) AND I want to grab a large white foam board to try and reflect some light back to the flowers ‘faces’.

The other thing I want to try is flash. Usually I avoid flash at all costs (ew, flash) but really it’s because I don’t know how to properly use it. When I get the foam board I’m also planning on grabbing a ping-pong ball to use to cover and ‘soften’ the flash.

My photography right now isn’t bad…BUT I know I have a lot to learn, and I do look forward to learning it. 🙂

July 27th

Breakfast: Banana with peanut butter, cinnamon and a drizzle of honey on a 100 calorie Arnolds Whole Wheat sandwich thins. Sadly, we were out of Portuguese muffins. 😦

At work at about 9:30ish…there was this:


…a large cinnamon chip muffin from the bakery department and a coffee. Not exactly the best for me. And that’s not where the bad things stop.

Before I left I grabbed a bag of fried chicken strips (though I made sure it was THE smallest bag available!) and had those.

I feel like there was something else…because all yesterday in the afternoon I was mad at myself for my poor food choices again…but for the life of me right now I have NO IDEA what it was.

Maybe I wasn’t as bad as I thought I was, yesterday?

Especially since,  after poor eating and being mad about it for my weakness, I push myself a bit harder when we went out jogging that evening.

Mr. Fitbit says….


The 33 floors, I am pretty dang sure, is an incorrect reading. When Chris and I went jogging there were a few steep hills (which we, admittedly, walked up instead) and I think the elevation change caused that number to sky rocket. IN reality, I think I probably did half as many stairs.

Here’s a better look at the breakdown of my run stats:

Have I mentioned that I love my Fitbit before? 🙂 Which reminds me…need to send out a friend request or two…but to be honest…how? lol

July 25…AND July 26

So since I skipped out on posting yesterday today I’m going to attempt to smash the last two days into this post. Also…not a lot of photo recording…just a lot of words.

So….starting with SATURDAY, JULY 25TH

Breakfast was totally delicious eggs, made for me by my wonderful Christopher.

I skipped out on the bread, allowing him to have that bit along with about half the eggs for himself. Really…these eggs are so good…and easy! Apparently they are cooked at a low heat, with a bit of creme fraiche added at the end to keep them creamy. So, SO good.

At work I munched on a nice big organic red delicious apple and a handful or so of mixed nuts.

Getting back to the house…and honestly? I do not at all recall what else I ate that day…and I took no additional photos….which is bad. Bad, bad accountability on my part.

Exercise for Saturday was 15 minutes spent on the elliptical in manual mode.

And this is what Saturday looked like, Fitbit style:

And now onto SUNDAY, JULY 26th …

No delicious eggs this morning…just a yogurt to get me on my way.

The yogurt, despite it’s 12 grams of protein, didn’t really do much for me and by the time I was getting to work at 6am I was hungry again…

So…

Dunking Donuts veggie egg white flatbread. When I’ve gotten these in the past I’ve asked for them to hold the cheese…and they do…but this time I forgot to ask. Bad me.

Had some more mixed nuts at work later.

Got back to Chris’ in NJ and had a banana, a bunch of Balsamic vinegar and basil Triscuts (which are completely delicious and crazy addicting, by the way!) and two Sargento Colby-Jack cheese sticks.

Later on there was a bit of salmon topped with herbs and bread crumbs. And even later then that a spoonful or two of non-dairy ice cream. This one, specifically.

I blame Chris.

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No exercise this day…

But…this is what my Fitbit says about things.

For wanting to eat clean…I do an AWFUL job. 😦 I’m not throwing in the hat…but I have to find a way to stop going for all the ‘convenient’ foods (COUGHDUNKINDONUTSPIZZACOUGH) and get more into making my own.

July 24th

The 24th of July started out with, once again, my favorite quick breakfast: half of a Portuguese muffin, smeared with half a tablespoon of peanut butter, covered with sliced banana and then drizzled with honey and sprinkled heavily with cinnamon. I only ate half, Chris got the other half. 🙂

Side Note: The sky in the morning was very pretty. Proof:

I had stopped at the bank to get some money out of the ATM and had to stop for an extra minutes to snap a quick picture and just admire. 🙂

At work at around 8-ish (I get into work at 6am) there was a snack of a Sargento Colby-Jack cheese stick and a handful (about a quarter cup) of mixed nuts.

At around 12-ish there was a 15 minute lunch break, purchased at work. Not being a big fan of bread I pulled off half the bread on each sandwich half.

I keep on saying I want to stop purchasing food at work, and now and then I succeed. Not only would it save me from giving back all my paycheck to those who gave it to me money, but I wouldn’t have to wonder about all the extras in the food I’m eating. So far, I am pretty much failing at clean eating.

After work, another fail. It was hot and I was weak and really really craving soft serve ice cream something awful. I got a small sized cup of soft serve vanilla, topped with strawberry.

For the record, it absolutely hit the spot and was delicious.

Got to Chris’, hung around a little and then headed back out with camera in hand. You see, there’s this little field of sunflowers beside the road. I did take a bunch of pictures, which will show up on Tuesday’s photography-related post, but for now have a teaser.

I really do like the pictures I took yesterday…but the more I look at them the more I see things that I can work on fixing…but that’s a tale for Tuesday!

Dinner was another sort of fail of the day…but not as bad as it could have been: pizza. To be specific, this pizza:

A margarita pie from a local favorite pizzeria. The good news is…I was very good and only had one slice. The bad news is is that it was still pizza and something I really wish I could say ‘No, thank you.’ too.

And the last fail? Again with the no exercise.

We were going to go for our usual jog…but a nice sized black bear hanging around the end of the driveway stopped that plan. We could have done the exercise video…but…well…no excuse. We just didn’t.

We are awful fitness wanna-be’s.

So, how did my day look according to my Fitbit?

July 23rd

So I’ve decided there may be THREE posts today. I want to try and catch this blog up to ‘real time’ instead of being a day behind. So this post is for yesterday…there might be one more later tonight for today’s food and activities.

Yesterday, for July 23rd, I skipped breakfast. That’s pretty much  a cardinal sin when working on fitting up and losing weight…there is definite truth to it being the most important meal of the day…but I just wasn’t hungry. I’ll tell you what I did do…and what I made Chris do, too.

We got up early and went out jogging.  Our jog could have been longer…it was a nice, cool morning…but I cut it short. I caught sight of the lake and there was this beautiful morning fog swirling about on it and I badly wanted my camera. Things like that happen all the time, yes…but it would never be THAT particular way or look THAT same way again. I may have even gotten irritated with Chris when he couldn’t seem to understand my want to stop jogging right then and head back for my camera.

Well…I missed the fog that morning. Buy the time we finished the jog and I got the camera and hustled back it had disappeared to the morning sun.  I was sad about it, but soon got distracted by other things happening that morning.

BUT ANYWAY…there was no breakfast for me. There was something of a mid-morning snack – a banana with peanut butter. Probably around…150 calories.

Lunch time rolled around and I spent it with this handsome man at a little cafe type establishment.


For lunch he got a fish sandwich…and I ordered the grilled vegetable panini.


It was VERY delicious. I ended up eating only about half the sandwich because somehow the other half ended up in Chris’ stomach somehow missing.   I am completely unsure of what the calorie count on this would be. Salad was maybe…150? And for half the sandwich…maybe 200? How about we call it 350…maybe 400 to be safe? And call it a day.

Side note, it was a stunningly beautiful day with blue skys and big, fluffy clouds. Want proof? Here you go:


At some point in the afternoon I got back to the house and started snacking on some Goldfish crackers…about two handfuls worth.  Maybe about 200 cals?


And to wash them down, some of THE BEST coconut water EVER…which I am included as a beverage because it does have a bit of a calorie count. 112 for the whole bottle.


Dinner was another ordered from someplace meal. In my case a salad…a pork, pineapple and red pepper salad with balsamic dressing.
  


Sometime after dinner….we worked out again. Chris has these exercise video’s – Barry’s Bootcamp – with multiple different exercises. We did the upper body specific one. Since we’ve been doing so much jogging, and therefor lower body stuff, I wanted to switch it up a little!

After that it was out into their spa for a little bit, into the shower and then later to bed.

So…what’s my July 23rd look like according to my Fitbit?