Sunday, February 19, 2017

Weekly Goal Update: Feb 12 - 18

February 12 - 18

Seven weeks of 2017 down!  This week was incredibly busy and stressful for me.  Not stressful because of anything bad but just because I was swamped both at work and at home and I didn't have time to do everything I needed to do in either situation.  Let's see what got sacrificed in this incredibly full week.

1. Make healthier food choices.
Another week of oatmeal!

Lunches consisted of healthy and balanced foods that were DASH diet friendly.  I went out to lunch on Friday and had a grilled chicken salad with red wine vinegar and olive oil.

Again, dinners were DASH friendly and had lots of veggies.  Hubby is starting to have more lacrosse games and therefore is not home for dinner.  While I still want to eat well, I don't always want to go to the effort to cook an extravagant meal for one, especially when I'm low on time.  One fun new addition to my cooking repertoire has been a countertop grill that makes cooking for one really easy.  Toss some chicken in the grill, add some delicious low sodium barbecue sauce and put it on a whole wheat bun and microwave a steamable bag of vegetables and a healthy dinner is done.

Still eating nuts and raisins!

I only had dessert a few nights this week.  I chose either low fat vanilla frozen yogurt with strawberries on top or strawberry fruit bars.

2. Exercise five days a week for thirty minutes (or a total of 150 minutes per week, 2.5 hours).
Check!  I was actually really surprised by the amount of exercise I completed.  At least I didn't skimp out on that!

Sunday: 41 minute indoor walk
Monday: 20 minute indoor walk
Tuesday: 31 minute indoor walk 
Wednesday: 37 minute indoor walk & 24 minutes of yoga
Thursday: 20 minute outdoor walk
Friday: 20 minutes of yoga
Saturday: --

Total time: 3 hours, 13 minutes

3. Get 10,000 steps six days a week.
Another check!  I got 10,000 steps or more every day this week.  On Saturday, I went on one of my marathon shopping trips with a good friend and I ended up with a total of 14,768 steps that day!  Nearly 50% above my daily step goal.

4. Go to sleep earlier.
Goal: Weeknights between 9:00PM and 9:30PM
My actual average bed time for weeknights was 9:28:04 PM.  I also went to bed every single night before 9:30!  However, several nights were not quality sleep after going to bed which left me feeling exhausted by Friday.

Goal: Weekends between 10:00PM and 10:30PM
My actual average bed time for weekends was 11:40:36 PM.  Way later than my goal time!  This was another area where I felt like I sacrificed this week.  Friday night I spent hours doing housework and then Saturday I went out shopping all day and needed quite a bit of time to unwind after before I was able to fall asleep.

5. Leave some wiggle room.
The stress of this week left me so tempted and when paired with that with the fact that I went out to eat several days, I'm actually pretty proud of the choices I made.  I split half a Valentine's chocolate bar with hubby and had some healthyish desserts.  When we were shopping Saturday, I had a whole wheat Greek wrap for lunch, stuffed full of veggies and totaling right around 500 calories (not bad for food court lunch!) and then we also stopped at Starbucks and I got a chai tea latte with almond milk (140 calories).  So all in all, I still think I did pretty well!

6. Progress towards goal?
While I didn't hit all of my goals this week, I did still lose weight!  I ended the week down 0.6 pounds and my total weight loss so far is 8.0 pounds, leaving me only 2.0 pounds left to lose before I hit my goal weight.

7. Goals for this week?
Last week's goals:
✅ 1. Complete a 20 minute yoga video.
I did this one and it was a great way to slow down during a very fast paced and busy week.
🚫 2. Complete at least one 20 minute strength walking workout.
I didn't hit this goal.  I was planning on doing this Friday night, but after a long week, I had to come home and do several hours worth of housework to clean up the mess that had been accumulating all week long.  After decluttering, scrubbing toilets and counters and reorganizing the pantry, I was pretty pooped and just wanted to relax and de-stress with some calming yoga instead.  Sometimes you just need to do what's right for you in that moment.
✅ 3. Go for a walk outside that is at least one mile.
I went for a much needed walk on Thursday that was 1.17 miles (1.88 kilometers).

This Week's Goals:
I know I have a ton of stuff going on this week after work and I still have to work on President's Day so I'm going to set my goals pretty light and just try to be realistic.
1. Get 11,000 steps at least one day this week.
2. Complete a 15 minute yoga routine.
3. Try one new healthy recipe.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Weekly Goal Update: Feb 5 - 11

February 5 - 11

Six weeks of 2017 are already over!  Every week I'm astounded by how fast this year is going.  Not going to lie though... this week couldn't end fast enough!  It was just one of those weeks.  But even having a stressful week, I kept focused on my goals.  Let's break them down.

1. Make healthier food choices.
I'm still eating oatmeal!  Having lots of variety in flavors keeps it from getting boring.
I've done a really good job of having balanced lunches this week.  Whole grain crackers or sandwich thins, light cheese, low sodium turkey, carrots, strawberries, and apples.
Dinners consisted of a variety of DASH diet friendly recipes with lots of veggies.
Hubby is currently coaching lacrosse so he's getting home for dinner later than usual.  To keep myself from having low blood sugars with so much time between lunch and dinner, I've taken to snacking on unsalted nuts and raisins.  It's a yummy and healthy home made trail mix.
I only had dessert a few nights this week.  I had low fat vanilla frozen yogurt with strawberries on top and one night I had a pineapple fruit bar.

2. Exercise five days a week for thirty minutes (or a total of 150 minutes per week, 2.5 hours).
I really tried to turn to exercise for stress relief this week instead of eating junk food like I wanted to.  It seems like it paid off!  Friday's walk was very therapeutic and pretty too.  And after Tuesday's and Saturday's workouts, I was definitely feeling some hard core workout endorphins bringing me up a bit.

Sunday: 25 minute indoor walk
Monday: 15 minutes of yoga
Tuesday: 31 minutes of cardio/calisthenics (HIIT)
Wednesday: 17 minutes of yoga
Thursday: 26 minute indoor walk
Friday: 32 minute outdoor walk (1.87 miles!)
Saturday: 36 minute stride & strength workout [this one]

Total time: 3 hours, 2 minutes

3. Get 10,000 steps six days a week.
Met and surpassed this one again!  I don't know why but I've just really had more energy on the weekends lately and it's motivated me to get up and move, even if it isn't to do a hard core workout.  Sometimes it's just nice to go for a walk and get some fresh air.  Friday was my best step day with 11,185 thanks to a long walk outside.

4. Go to sleep earlier.
Goal: Weeknights between 9:00PM and 9:30PM
My actual average bed time for weeknights was 9:22:35 PM.  Go me!  It was kind of easy to go to bed early though when this week was so stressful.  Each day, I felt exhausted and very ready to say goodbye to the day and just sleep.

Goal: Weekends between 10:00PM and 10:30PM
My actual average bed time for weekends was 10:21:00 PM.  Another goal met!  I'm hoping that going to bed early and getting up earlier on the weekends will help me to stay more on the same schedule during the week.  Hopefully tonight I'll be able to fall asleep earlier.

5. Leave some wiggle room.
Our friends from Germany sent us a package a few weeks ago and these Stapelchips were one of the yummy treats they sent.  I've been trying to resist them ever since but I couldn't help myself!  They are a lot like Pringles but have a different flavor (pepper flavored) that to me is a lot tastier and less salty than Pringles.  But I was careful to only eat a little bit and only on the weekend and then stop myself.  And of course, there was dessert!  Frozen yogurt with strawberries and also a pineapple Outshine fruit bar.  I have a few of these in my freezer (also strawberry, which I think is even better) and they are taking up quite a bit of space so I'm going to try to eat them for dessert.

6. Progress towards goal?
I really didn't think I would lose any weight this week so I was pretty surprised when I saw that I had lost 0.6 pounds this week, which means my total weight loss is now at 7.4 pounds.  If you have been trying to lose weight and struggling, I would definitely recommend trying the DASH diet.  It's not some crazy restrictive diet but just good healthy eating and it's easy to follow.  I'm just so surprised at how much easier it has been for me to lose weight on this plan than when I was trying to figure things out on my own.  And I've found a lot of healthy recipes that I've really been enjoying cooking and eating!

7. Goals for this week?
Last week's goals:
✅ 1. Try at least two new dinner recipes.
I actually tried four!  1. spiralized potatoes, ground turkey, broccoli, and cheese 2. Mexican chicken tortilla soup 3. pizzadillas 4. honey chicken and rice
✅ 2. Make at least one meal using my veggie spiralizer.
This time we tried spiralized potatoes.  Delicious!
✅ 3. Finish reading The Dash Diet Action Plan.
I finished this on Wednesday.  A really great read for anyone trying to lose weight or lower their blood pressure and cholesterol.  
✅ 4. Hit my bed time goals for weeknights and weekends.  Much needed sleep achieved!

This week's goals:
Since I've been focusing a lot of my goals lately on eating, I want to focus a bit on exercise for this week.
1. Complete a 20 minute yoga video.  I love Yoga With Adriene on YouTube.  She makes yoga easy and enjoyable but it's been a while since I've done one of her videos.
[20 - 25 min Yoga Practices Playlist]
2. Complete at least one 20 minute strength walking workout.  I also love Jessica Smith TV on YouTube.  I dusted off my dumb bells for a video on Saturday and I need to make an effort to use them more.
[Strength Training Playlist]
3. Go for a walk outside that is at least one mile.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

OOTD, Wednesday - Friday

I really put in some effort this week to document my outfits every day for work so now I'm here to share my outfits for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  (If you missed Monday and Tuesday, you can find that post here.)

Wednesday was another outfit with some fun colored pants!  And even better that I got them for ten bucks!

black 3/4 button down: Kohl's
grey striped blazer: Beall's Outlet
chili red pants: J.C. Penney [same]
black buckle flats: Rack Room shoes [same]

I'm not loving the way these boots look with this dress but I just wanted to be warm in my freezing cold office at work that day.

black and white print dress - Target [same]
pink cardigan - H&M
black fleece leggings - Body Central
black ankle boots - Walmart [same]

I laughed a bit at the random stray chunk of hair in the first picture here.  So awkward!  I really like the outfit though.

khaki blazer - Goodwill
purple shell - J.C. Penney
white longsleeve button down - Kohl's
black chinos - Amazon [same]
black buckle flats: Rack Room shoes [same]

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

OOTD, Monday & Tuesday

I've really liked both of the outfits I wore to work this week so far so I made an effort to snap some pictures to share.  Let's check out my work ready outfits.

Monday: I took these super fancy photos in the dressing room at my local H&M, after trying on several blouses and finding one to take home with me.  These pants are my first ever attempt at non-neutral pants.  I ordered them off of Amazon and I ended up loving them!  First of all, they're available in petite size and petite short sizes.  Access to the short size meant I didn't have to hem them!  Second, I love the way the fit.  While they are a tad large in the waist, they have belt loops, which are a feature I love in pants for work.  Third of all, they are chinos!  I much prefer chinos to silky trousers.  For me synthetic fabrics in pants just seem to show every nook and cranny of my less than perfect legs.  No thanks!  I've already ordered the same pants from Amazon in black and I've got my eye on several more colors as well.

black cardigan - Banana Republic
white and black geometric print sleeveless blouse - Kohl's
Calvin Klein men's belt - Beall's Outlet
cabernet straight leg chinos - Amazon [exact same
black braided flats - G.H. Bass Outlet

Tuesday: Yes, that is a Harry Potter Deathly Hallows necklace you're seeing.  Nerd alert!  I love this blouse too, with its bright and cheery coral color.  I love it even more because it was on clearance at Kohl's for like $7!  And it can look a bit more casual like this or tuck in it and pair it with a blazer for a more formal look.

coral blouse - Kohl's
deathly hallows necklace - Christmas gift from hubby
black ankle chinos - Walmart
black buckle flats - Rack Room Shoes [exact same]

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Weekly Goal Update: Jan 29 - Feb 4

January 29 - February 4

Welcome to the end of the fifth week of 2017!  I did really well this week and I'm really excited to share my progress with you all, especially after last week's not so awesome action.

1. Make healthier food choices.
I've got this breakfast thing perfected!  This week I start cutting back the amount of oatmeal I eat from 1/2 cup (dry) to 1/3 cup.  I still was just as satisfied without feeling like I had eaten too much.  I think cutting out those excess calories really helped too!  And for breakfast on Saturday I had some yummy potatoes, eggs, and chopped green peppers that I seasoned with freshly cut rosemary and thyme from my herb garden, which is now producing tons of fresh yummy seasoning.

I had some new and different items in my lunch this week that made things a little more exciting while still having healthy and balanced mid day meals.

Good planning helped me to have lots of healthy dinners on the menu and also kept the amount of work to make them down to a minimum.  I even tried some new recipes!

Something I learned from the The Dash Diet Action Plan book I've been reading is that it's fine to have a healthy snack if you're not going to be eating for awhile so that you can manage your hunger.  Some days when I knew I was going to eat dinner especially late, I would snack on fruit or unsalted nuts.

Dessert is my weakness so this week I finished off the last of the full fat mini ice cream cups and now I'm switching over to low fat frozen yogurt.  I was actually surprised at how good it was!  And it never hurts to add a serving of fruit with some delicious fresh strawberries to make any frozen dessert more tasty.

2. Exercise five days a week for thirty minutes (or a total of 150 minutes per week, 2.5 hours).
Last week I was beginning to feel like my Fitbit's Smart Track was not accurately tracking my exercise so I created a Google Form where I can manually log my exercise.  After comparing, I'm mad at my Fitbit!  It didn't track a total of 25 minutes of exercise that I logged.  And I know my times were right because I used the stopwatch on my phone.  Below are the activities I recorded.  However, one thing that's cool with the Fitbit is that you can use GPS to track when you walk outside and it will show your path.  That's been motivating me to try to go for a walk before dinner.

Sunday: 37 minute indoor walk
Monday: 16 minute outdoor walk
Tuesday: 17 minute outdoor walk
Wednesday: 30 minute indoor walk
Thursday: 20 minute indoor walk
Friday: 27 minute indoor walk
Saturday: 18 minute outdoor walk

Total Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes

3. Get 10,000 steps six days a week.
I've met and surpassed this one again by getting 10,000 steps every day this week.  My best day was Monday with 11,062 steps and my worst day was Sunday with 10,004.  Enjoying my outdoor walks (and tracking them with the Fitbit app) has motivated me to get my 10,000 steps in by just going for a walk.

4. Go to sleep earlier.
While I improved on this from last week, I still have room to improve more.  Weekends especially seemed to get me this past week.

Goal: Weeknights between 9:00PM and 9:30PM
My actual average bed time for weeknights was 9:32:11PM.  I was going to bed before 9:30 every night except Sunday, when I went to bed at 10:25 and messed up my times for the whole rest of the week.  But I was really close to my goal and I'm pretty happy about that!  I'm going to really try hard next week to hit this goal.

Goal: Weekends between 10:00PM and 10:30PM
My actual average bed time for weekends was 10:52:54, well past my goal.  It's much easier for me to lose track of time on the weekends and just get busy doing some silly tasks and before I know it, it's already 10:00 and I haven't showered or anything.  This is another goal I really want to work on for next week.

5. Leave some wiggle room.
This week all of my wiggle room went to sweets.  Sometimes you just have a craving!  I had 1/2 cup low fat vanilla frozen yogurt with strawberries, a chocolate ice cream cup with strawberries, and a mini almond joy because sometimes when you're at a training and the candy is staring at you the whole day, you can't resist.

6. Progress towards goal?
Wow!  This was the first week I really concentrated on following the DASH Diet and trying to be conscious of my portion sizes compared to their recommendations and I guess it paid off!  I'm down 2.4 pounds from last week and 6.8 pounds total.  And I'm not going to lie.  It was really easy!  I'm not killing myself exercising like a mad woman.  I'm just walking and making sure I get my 10,000 steps.  And I'm not starving myself or depriving myself.  I think the food pictures show that I'm just eating lots more whole grains, lots of fruits and veggies, and I'm watching my portion size on things that could add up to a lot of calories.  I've been more thoughtful about including smaller amounts of grains, rice, and other starches and incorporating more filling veggies instead.  However, I feel like soon I'll hit a plateau where I just get stuck and stop losing weight for awhile.  That happens to me often and it's usually after a big loss like this.

7. Goals for this week?
Last week's goals:
  1. Try something new for lunches. 
I switched it up from usual by adding in different fruits and vegetables, and switching my PB&J for crackers, meat and cheese or wheat sandwich rounds, meat and cheese.
✅  2. Try at least two new dinner recipes.
New recipes we tried included black bean burgers (which didn't hold together well but tasted great) and rosemary pork chops with balsamic glaze. 
  3. Cook dinner at least four nights out of the week.
The four meals I made were:
* rosemary pork chops with balsamic glaze, carrots, potatoes, and snow peas
* black bean burgers on toasted whole wheat buns topped with salsa and a side salad
* zucchini burrito boats
* balsamic chicken, carrots, and snow peas on a bed of mixed white and brown rice

This week's goals:
1. Try at least two new dinner recipes.  I really feel like I need to keep trying some new healthy dinner recipes until I have a decent stock of them that I can just choose from when meal planning.
2. Make at least one meal using my veggie spiralizer.  I don't want it to become another dusty kitchen gadget.
3. Finish reading The Dash Diet Action Plan.  I've really been enjoying this book but work and life have made me read at a slower pace than I would like.
4. Hit my bed time goals for weeknights and weekends.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Review: Wellsmith Scented Shea Butter

Wellsmith Scented Shea Butter
Almond Scent

Product Claims
According to the website, this is a moisturizer that works for dry or ashy skin and can be used all over the body.

Wellsmith on Etsy [link]

$6.00 for the 1 oz tin [link]
$22.00 for the 4 oz tin [link]
$32.00 for the 6 oz. tin [link]

1. Moisturizing without being greasy.  2. Smells amazing!  3. Very fair price point.

1. Only available on Etsy.

Would I buy it again or recommend it?
I would most definitely buy this again and recommend it to anyone who does yoga or has dry skin.  I absolutely love this stuff!  First of all, it works amazingly.  It really does moisturize but it isn't greasy.  At first it might seem a bit oily but it absorbs into the skin really well.  Also, the scent is fantastic!  Mine is the almond scent and it's very soft and not overbearing but smells lovely.  I love to put this stuff on my hands before I do yoga.  While doing certain poses (downward facing dog, I'm talking about you!), my knuckles can get strained and start to crack and be painful.  I just keep this little tin in my yoga space and I put some on the tops of my hands before I start my practice.  It works really well but my hands don't slip and slide all over the mat like with some lotions.  It's hard to tell in the photos but I've put a decent dent in this already, even though you only need a little bit.  When I run out, I'll definitely be getting more!  I'll probably order the almond scent again and also try out a couple of others.  I also think the price is really fair for what you're getting.

*This product came in my October 2016 BuddhiBox subscription, which I paid for with my own money.

Monday, January 30, 2017

BuddhiBox January 2017

My BuddhiBox came late this month and then I was out of town for the rest of the week so I'm just now getting a chance to post what was in it.  Let's take a more detailed look at what was inside.

Seeds of Intention Cards
by May You Know Joy
These cards are a really neat idea but I just don't really know what I'll do with them.  I was thinking I can pick out a couple each week to display on my yoga inspiration cork board.  I would definitely not have purchased these on my own though.

Toxic Detox Aromatherapy Spray
by Urban Mysticism
* Cruelty Free
I like aromatherapy sprays but I already have multiple others and I just don't need any more.  However, this is a nice scent (lavender and peppermint) and I see myself using it but probably not all of it.

Smudge Stick
by Brand Name
This product was listed on my card, however I did not receive one in my box.  I guess I'm not that disappointed because I wouldn't have used it anyway but I hate that I paid for it and didn't get it.  I could have at least sent it to my brother, who would have enjoyed it.

Green Superfood Detox Sample
by Amazing Grass
* Cruelty Free, Organic, Vegan
I have to be honest, I was not excited about this product at all.  I'm still scarred after my December BuddhiBox where we got a protein bar from this same company in the same flavor and it was absolutely gross to me.  Also, after taking a closer look at the nutrition facts, I was quite surprised by just how much sodium is in this packet.  I think I'll be passing it on to a friend at work who is into protein shakes.  I'll stick to getting my vitamins and nutrients through normal food.

Nothing is Impossible Cuff
by Buddhi Box
This was the only item in this box that I was excited about!  This cuff is really pretty and I think I'll wear it but I really would never pay this much for a bracelet, especially for one that I like a lot but don't love.  The quote is nice but just doesn't really speak to me at this moment.

Gettin' Fierce: Steps into a Positive Mindset eBook
by Perspectives Yoga
$16.00 (currently on sale for $10.00)
I found this very disappointing.  I wouldn't have minded getting a printed book, even if it's only twenty pages but I just don't enjoy reading eBooks.  There's also the fact that I have to now make the effort to go to the site, give out my email (inviting a bunch of spam emails into my life, I'm sure), and wait for the response email before I could get this book.  And after skimming through it... it looks like every other self help book I've read and gotten bored with after ten pages.

Matcha Green Tea Samples
by Lively Matcha
* Vegan
Another product I have no interest in trying.  I love tea but I've never tried matcha and never really wanted to.  I guess it will be an opportunity to expand my horizons but I just tried chai tea for the first time and that took me years to be brave enough to experiment with.  The fact that this is green and looks like wasabi is not helping.

Lavender Detox Body Scrub
by Hara Healing Shop
$12.50 for full size, 4 oz (I received a 0.5 ounce jar, $1.56)
* Cruelty Free, Vegan
This product is not really something I'll get excited about but I believe I will use it.  I occasionally enjoy using a body scrub to exfoliate my arms and legs.  I sometimes have break outs of keratosis pilaris on my arms and a good exfoliation helps prevent it.  However, I find that just using an exfoliating loofah is usually enough. 

BuddhiBox Extras

Lassi Recipe
I have yet to make any of the recipes that have come in my BuddhiBox and this one will be no exception.  Watered down yogurt sounds gross to me.

Yoga Pose Card
This card is absolutely beautiful and the yoga pose cards are usually one of my favorite things in the box.  I just wish they were poses I could do!  Splits are not in my repertoire at this point in my life.  Maybe one day?

Quote Card
This is a lovely quote and I like the look with the green border.  On the back is all of the product information for each item.

Total Value: $81.56

I was incredibly disappointed by this month's box.  There was only one thing that I even liked.  All the rest were just meh or things I didn't like at all.  I'm really hoping next month is better!