Still here! And with “healthy” cookie dough dip!

Never fear friends; while I got busy and didn’t have time to sit down and write at the end of last week, I’m still here! I had a pretty decent end to last work week dietwise but but Friday night I was just frustrated with counting again. I had been going hardcore with the logging and counting since the beginning of January and I just needed a break. So, I took it. I stopped counting all weekend and ate what I wanted. I had a party on Sunday afternoon and made lots of tasty AND healthy snacks. I ate all of them and honestly probably (okay, definitely!) ate much more than I should have. But it’s okay. Because I allowed myself that time and have already planned out the meals for the next couple of days and am totally back on track as of today.

Also, after trying and seriously struggling last week to stay at 120g of carbs on running days, I made some new decisions and plans this week. It was super annoying last week… I’m pretty sure I could have done it if I could separate my running brain from my stomach… I am pretty sure the few miles I ran could not have actually made me that much hungrier on the days I ran last week. But I got so used to fueling my body with carbs and not restricting at all while training for the marathon last summer, I had a lot of trouble switching that part of my brain that screams, “Eat. Fuel. Eat!” off after each run. So, on my running days, I think I will allow myself 150g of carbs. Non-running days, I’m aiming for 120g. I don’t think it will make a whole lot of difference overall, but I am hoping it will alleviate the stress of trying to stick low on somewhat hungrier running days and help me feel good about my choices everyday. Hopefully. 🙂 It’s a work in progress, I guess. Suggestions, runner dieters?

recipe of the day

Cookie dough dip! Healthy style!

So I stumbled upon a recipe on Pinterest recently for “healthy” cookie dough dip. I was excited but confused how that could be possible. When I followed the link to the actual recipe, I found that it contained no actual cookie dough… It’s chickpeas. Wait — chickpeas? What? How could that possibly be good, right?

I thought so too. But I tried it. Seriously tasty… So much so that I have to be careful when I make it not to eat too much because eating a can of chickpeas doesn’t sit too well with my tummy. Um, that’s A LOT of fiber… Anyway, here’s the recipe and the link to the original poster/creator/chef’s blog!

Cookie Dough Dip/em>;;

*1 1/2 cups chickpeas (1 can, drained) (250g)
*1/8 tsp plus 1/16 tsp salt
*tiny bit over 1/8 tsp baking soda
*2 tsp pure vanilla extract
*1/4 cup nut butter (You can get away with using only 3 T. If you use peanut butter, it’ll have a very-slight “pb cookie dough” taste, so if you don’t want this, you can sub oil.)
*up to 1/4 cup milk of choice (Start with 1 T, and add more as needed)
*Sweetener (calls for 2/3 cup brown sugar… I used 1/2 cup Splenda brown sugar blend and it was good!)
*1/3 cup chocolate chips or Sugar-Free Chocolate Chips
*2 to 3 T oats (or flaxmeal) (You can omit, but also omit the milk if you do)

Add all ingredients (except for chocolate chips) to a good food processor (not blender), and blend until very smooth. Then mix in the chocolate chips.

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Picture and recipe taken from Chocolate-Covered Katie’s blog; she’s awesome! Go check her out!

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The Great Push-Up and Crunch Challenge

It’s day two of restarting the blog and I’m going strong! I’m feeling super encouraged after seeing how many people visited me last night and today and are excited to see what’s happening in the world of BrookeOnADiet. Awesome stuff!?

The Great Sit-Up and Crunch Challenge

Today, I’m blogging about my latest fitness challenge for myself. I started this plan yesterday but I’m working my way to 100 push-ups and 100 crunches a day. I started out yesterday doing 50 of each in sets of 25. I did the same thing today. I will do 50 of each per day this week, and start adding 10 more each week until I reach 100 per day which should be sometime in April. I think it’s going to be tough to do once I get closer to 100 and because it will be “extra” to my regular workouts — but I’m committed. I feel like the push-ups will really help tone my arms (and what girls doesn’t some shame with their upper arms) and the crunches will help whittle away some of the belly I’ve still got happening. I’m getting tank top and bathing suit ready! I know you’re probably thinking it’s only March… But March leads to April and then May and then… Bathing suit season is officially upon us. So really, starting now is exactly perfect.

Who’s with me?

–B

Recipe of the day: Chicken Salad, Greek Yogurt Style!

*12 ounces of chicken breast chunks (I’m lazy and use the “just chicken” chunks from trader joes fresh section)
*8 ounces of plain 0% Greek yogurt
*1/2 cup craisins
*22 almonds
*salt and pepper to taste
*pesto seasoning to taste
*10 sprays of honey mustard salad spritzer (or another favoring agent you like!)

Chunk up chicken a bit, chop up the almonds (or use almond slivers instead!) and choo the craisins. add all the ingredients and mix!

Makes 4 servings. 207 calories, 3.4g of fat, 15 carbs, 32g protein per serving.

Tastes great on lettuce wraps, or low-carb tortillas! This isn’t the cutest pic but it will due for tonight; I’m ready for the rest of this week’s lunches!

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Brooke On a Diet: The post-dieter’s beginning

Confessions/Updates

I’m back! And I’m a whole lot happier than I was in my last post to BrookeOnADiet. I’ve been working my butt off with losing the extra pounds I put on in my post-marathon time and I even lost enough to feel comfortable (and ecstatic) enough to do another photo shoot and commercial shoot for eDiets. I cut some carbs out of my daily diet (nothing drastic just carb-conscious) and used MyFitnessPal to log everything I ate. After dieting from about January 5 to now, I’m at a very content 148.

I was originally aiming to get to 150 but since I’ve surpassed that number, I’m aiming for 145 now. I was 147 for the shoot with eDiets two weeks ago and then I got sick for a week or so and wasn’t logging and definitely wasn’t cutting carbs. I only seemed to want to eat peanut butter toast so… A pound gained. Either way, 148 or 147 — it’s a LOT better than the 163 that I was when I wrote at the beginning of January. Phew. That was a really, really, really scary place for me after battling and successfully losing all that weight over the past two years. I was on the brink of working my way back to somewhere I never wanted to go again. It was a slap in the face wake up call.

Well, guess what, 163? I don’t like you, how my body looks when I see you in the mirror or how you make me feel about myself — Stay the hell away from me!

As I recently read on one of my new obsessions, Pinterest, “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” That quote alone has gotten be through quite a few bouts lately battling it out against the cupcakes left on the tables at work for the weak to consume. It’s become my mantra lately and it’s wholly true. Nothing does taste as good as skinny feels. And nothing is really worth the guilt that will surely follow the scarfing of unnecessary calories and baked goods. 145, however? No guilt there. Just skinny jeans, bathing suit confidence and a smile you couldn’t scrub off my face.

Overall, gaining some pounds back has taught me a lot. It’s given me perspective on my journey and allowed me to honestly step back and appreciate how hard I have worked for my body to look this way. Am I perfect? Not even close. Am I “skinny”. Not in my mind… But it’s something I’m working on. I catch fleeting glimpses in the mirror of a thin or skinny girl but she’s still not there full time. I think gaining and seeing my body change and then watching with careful, insightful eyes as it shrunk back down again, really helped me to see how I really look without the fat-girl goggles still attached.

Moving Forward

I’m pledging to restart BrookeOnADiet. I’ll be posting regularly — I’m going to try for daily but I will at the very least be posting a few times a week. I’m starting training for the Annapolis Zooma half marathon next Monday so I’ll be blogging about my training process and also how things are going in getting to my 145 while training and running; something I know will be tough because even though the distances are not too bad compared to the full marathon training, running requires carbs which I will still be aiming to keep as low as I can while still being fully functional. I’m thinking 130-145g/day. I was down to about 110g/day to lose quickly before the shoot but if I am running 4 times a week, swimming or Zumba-ing two-days/week and bikram-ing on my rest day…. I can’t be only eating 110g carbs/day. That would end in misery. I’ll blog about it once I figure out the balance with the half training plan.

Recipe of the day!
Before I end the post tonight, I’m posting one of my new favorite junk-food-gone-healthy recipes; zucchini pizza bites! Simply brush zucchini slices with olive oil and grill! Then add you favorite (healthy) pizza options (turkey pepperoni for me!) and bake on a pizza stone until they are mostly and browned. They took about 15 minutes at 375 for me. Yum!

The dreaded stuff that rolls around in my head…

I had a great holiday season is year! It’s not 2012 and I’m finding it necessary to reexamine a lot of the things in my life. I’m not really very happy with where I am with my weight. I need to get things under control.

To explain, let me go back to where the issues began. Six weeks ago (just after the marathon), my weight jumped up… Four pounds past my “max-weight” I was enforcing. I chalked this gain up to the fact that I was not longer training and therefore running 30+ miles on a weekly basis… In all honestly, in the weeks after the marathon, I was hardly running at all — maybe once a week for a few short miles. I as just absolutely burned out. I was still working out though, mostly boot camp DVD’s and Zumba 5-6 days a week… But I was still starving from being ale to eat more during the marathon and not burning nearly as many calories as my body was used to. So, I gained. And my self-esteem plummeted. Did I mention I was going through a a break-up with a guy who was pretending not to date me at the time. (Oh, you know, we were just “hanging out” and talking on a daily basis and seeing each other on the weekends. Like I said, “not dating.”) Anyway, that didn’t help the weight issues at all. Old habits die hard.

Fast forward to a month ago… I was losing very little weight despite eating 1500 calories/day and working out at least 5 days a week. So, two weeks before Christmas I decided to try calorie-cycling to help get the ball rolling. I did 3 days at 1350 and then a day at 1650 just as Raphael had me try around this time last year. As I suspected, it worked well. Two days before Christmas I was feeling good about things and was down to 157. Sweet success was mine and I was on my way back to my “goal weight” of 150. Then Christmas happened. I wasn’t dieting Christmas day but I did well and got back on track in the days after… Then New Years came and I was out of town for a 4-day weekend and lost my damn mind with drinking and party foods and eating whatever was around instead of eating carefully.

I haven’t stepped on a scale as I just got home yesterday… And I am scared. I am back on track today and don’t think I gained all the weight I had lost back as my jeans still fit (they didn’t fit for a few weeks before I lost this weight) but it still makes me nervous. I tried to restart the calorie-cycling today and didn’t succeed. Thanks to my binging all weekend I was starving and had to eat more than 1350… I guess I should have seen that coming though considering I was eating a ton all weekend. Not a great idea to go from 2000+ calories to 1350 while doing cardio and weights…

So, I guess tomorrow is a new day. I’m sick of feeling like a failure lately at this dieting thing though… I know what to do, at one point I had lost 99 freaking pounds! I wish I could just pull it the hell together… I need to push through the frustration that I am STILL dieting, suck it up and do it. This is my life. I think I will always battle good eating and weight issues. I may be thin but it doesn’t mean I can forget what I need to do to stay this way… I never wanna go back to that girl ever again. I guess that very fear is what will keep my pushing forward and trying harder and harder.

It begs the question though, will I ever really be done? Or completely satisfied with how I look when I look in the mirror?

Snack!

Pretzels and cheese: 300 calories. Eh…

Lunch: 550 calories

Panera bread: you pick two with French onion soup; 210 calories and 1/2 a smokehouse turkey sandwich (no bacon) 340 calories.

Mid morning coffee run

Skinny grande peppermint latte: 130 calories.

Breakfast cinnamon raisin English muffin sandwich with 1…

Breakfast: cinnamon raisin English muffin sandwich with 1 turkey sausage patty and 1 boiled egg. 270 calories.

New plan post everything I eat via BrookeOnADiet…

New plan: post everything I eat via BrookeOnADiet. Here goes nothing! Feel free to comment back with what you had or suggestions!

Race ReCap: The 2011 Baltimore Marathon

Saturday was RACE DAY! I completed my first marathon in 5:55:04. I had expected to finish between 5:00 and 5:30 but, whatever the time, I finished — an accomplishment to be proud of. Race day provided some obstacles that you couldn’t plan for but I pushed through and made it happily out on the other side of the finish line.

I'm in the pair of girls. I'm on the right.

Before we even started, I knew this race was going to be a battle. Jess had been very sick all week and her doctor had warned her to take it easy. She had fluid in her lungs and was just trying to make it through the race without getting hypoxia… or in her words “without being carried out on a stretcher with oxygen.” I had been fighting getting sick all week and pumping myself full of vitamin C to hold things off and for the most part, my strategy had worked. My battle on race day was not with sickness it was with terrible stomach cramps which pushing through or bathroom stop seemed to fix.

We started the race rolling up hill. On the first upward push for mile 1, I felt amazing. It was mile 1 so I was still trying to find my groove but it was absolutely incredible to run through confetti at the start and all the people cheering us on. Those cheers and happy faces and peppy chants keep my moving. Mile 2 felt good too. Around mile 3, I noticed that Jess was starting to look a little concerned and she had mostly stopped chatting as we normally do during out runs. This was an immediate warning sign for me. When I questioned her, she said she was feeling dizzy and her heart was racing. This concerned me. We slowed for a few minutes and I urged her to catch her breath before we started pushing again. I think she felt bad — like she was holding me back. And I struggled a little with this thought. I knew she wanted to finish this race. And I knew that I would never want to go the next 23 miles alone. But I also knew she probably shouldn’t have been trying this run at all and that there was no way in hell she would stop now. So, together I would make sure we finished the race. She deserved that much. After all, I would never have made it through training to get to race day if she hadn’t agreed to do it with me. I owed her a lot. And little did I know, I’d be struggling myself later in the mileage of this race.

Shortly after we started back into mile 3, we rounded a bend into the zoo. We ran along the access road and they had a few animals out to help cheer us on. I love this idea! I was wishing we had seen some more animals but it was a neat concept. Mile 4 is where my stomach starting trying to beat me up. Ugh. Worst stomach cramps ever. Water didn’t help. Running through didn’t ease it. Bathroom break was useless. So, with no other choice at mile 4, I told my stomach to back off, that it wasn’t winning this battle, and pushed onward. Miles 4 though 9 were good ones for Jess and I. I feel like we settled into a good groove and things rolled along nicely. Jess struggled some with her throat and lungs and my stomach was still making itself known but we ignored our issues and pushed forward.

Around mile 9, I was really excited to be almost to the double-digit miles and I knew my friend from work would be coming up along the route soon to cheer us on. She found us at mile 9.5 and helped me forget how much I wanted a water stop and gave me the burst of energy I needed to keep moving. She ran along with us for a few minutes and it was really nice to chat and get some fresh perspective. After my friend stopped, Jess and I ran down towards the Under Armour plant for an ‘out and back’ until mile 13.

I was ecstatic to reach mile 13. Halfway there. Only, to be honest, as much as I was trying to look at it as “glass half full” I couldn’t help but think, Great. Half way. That means we have another 13 to run…” I tried to push back these thoughts though and for the most part, I was able to do it. Our strategy to run between water stops and then 1-minute stop to drink and catch our breath was feeling pretty good (despite our individual lung/stomach issues). The water stops were starting to be less than what I need though at mile 14. I didn’t want to carry anything on race day but it was sunnier and hotter than planned and that sun was dehydrating me faster than the every-2-miles water stops could keep up with. I stopped for another quick bathroom break at mile 14 and then we got back to pushing on. We ran through Fells Point and down by the old Fletcher’s location and smelled the delicious scents of baking bread. Miles 14 to 16 were kind of a blur that I’d chalk up to knowing where we were and just taking in all the familiar sights.

Once we reached 16, the doubt started creeping in. But, I knew we only had 10 miles left. We could do this. The downside was my cramping was getting worse. It was almost unbearable but what was I supposed to do about it? Nothing was helping and I just had to keep going. Jess’s issues were getting worse too. Her throat was constricting and her old ankle injuries were flaring up. From mile 16 to 19 we stuck it out and just pushed and pushed and pushed. We walked the uphill’s and ran the downhill’s. We gave those miles all we had to give and just kept running. At 19 though, Jess could barely walk on her ankle and my stomach had cramped up beyond belief. So, we resigned to walking for a while and likely for the rest of the race. She’s one hell of a power walker (I literally have to jog to keep us with her… damn long legs) and we quickly reached Lake Montebello at mile 20. It was beautiful and gloriously flat. We caught our breath and worked on loosening up our legs and I stretched out my hips joints, which were aching.

After the lake, we hit mile 22 and it was mostly uphill until mile 25. We were power walking with me just trying to stay with Jess because she is so much faster at power walking than me. I knew that she was keeping us moving though so I appreciated the effort. I also knew that if she slowed or stopped, she wouldn’t be able to start back again so I was glad she was pushing. At times, I was running to catch up to her and I thought each time, maybe I should just run for it. Go, GO! But as soon as I closed the short distance between her and me and was ready to tell her I was going for it, I’d get a fresh wave of cramping that would nearly halt me. So, I never made the big push even though I considered it seriously about every half mile between 23 and 26.

At mile 25, we could see the city buildings coming back into view. I wanted to cry. I think I almost did. My legs were dead. I am honestly not even sure how I made it. The uneven road surface had made my feet hurt worse than they’ve ever hurt on any other run and I can still vouch that a day after the race they are incredibly bruised. But, it was mile 25. Who the hell would quit now? I felt pure relief when we saw a sign that said Camden Yards was 7 blocks away. I could do that. That seemed quantifiable. So, we kept going. Past the bars, and the sidewalk karaoke-machine-preachers who assured me that ‘it wasn’t all about winning,” and we came down Eutaw Street. I saw a girl eating a snow cone and I had never wanted anything more in my life. I am such a fat-kid even when running a marathon. Who else gets to mile 25.9 and thinks, “gosh, I’d kill for a snow cone!”

At the 26 mile marker, Jess and I both took off running as fast as we could for the finish line. It both hurt and felt amazing at the same time. I was SO HAPPY to be done. They announced my name, I waved briefly at my family and I got my finisher medal. I could barely walk when I stopped running after that last push but I somehow made it.

I got a thing of “ReGen” muscle recovery milk (so much tastier than muscle milk!) and a bottle of water. I was exhausted but went to find my family. I am really, really happy I did it but I am kicking myself for it being such a tough running day. I feel like we should have finished so much earlier but I guess you can’t plan for a rough body day. Before the race and even for about an hour after the race, I said I’d never do another marathon. But I am so disappointed my time, I am sure I will do another. I know I need to be proud I did it at all; most people will never be able to say that. But, I also know I could have done so much better on a better day. And hey, I need to perfect my strategy, right?

PS: I never did get that snow cone. After I crossed the finished, I never thought about it again.

I swear I smiled in most of the photos my parents took. Just apparently not here. 🙂

My grandmother and I after the race!