Two a Healthy Life

One couple on a mission to become healthy

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Day 38: Chasing dreams & Skinny Jeans

He said:

Today I did the second 7 mile run of my life, a little longer on time then the one I did on Sunday and I had to rest for about three minutes near the end, but I got all the way.  I look back on how I got to this point and see that it was a series of baby steps.

The first time I tried to start running (again) I took a completely different approach and just started walking, trying to speed walk and keep a decent pace.  Then slowly starting to jog a little bit at a time with intermediate walking, which went on for months.

It was only Sunday and the 7 mile run that I realized that I probably haven’t been pushing myself enough, but only because I wasn’t approaching running the right way.  I always thought that you just started running and that was the end, but there are many facets of being able to run well.

You have to work on your stance, pace, breathing, stride, etc.  When starting out I was trying to just run without thinking about any of these other aspects, needless to say I would get tired quickly and then have to stop and walk for a while.  It was on Sunday that I finally found a pace that worked where I do not get tired and can stay on track, I have been running now for six months (some of us are slow learners).

I am excited about the fact that a life long goal is slowly being realized, I have always wanted to be one of those people that was able to run everyday for about five miles.  Maybe in another month I can check another box on my list.

Food Log:

Breakfast: Skyr (100 cal.)

Mid-morning snack: Banana (120 cal.)

Lunch: Broccoli soup (125 cal., 3.5g fat)

Afternoon snack: Fat-Free Cottage cheese (90 cal.,)

Dinner: glass of milk + Vegan Spring Rolls (594 cal., 16g fat)

Total calories: 1,029.

She Said: 

Today was my first day wearing my skinny jeans out and about!

By “skinny jeans” I mean that one pair all women keep in the back of their closet hoping they will fit into them again someday… Three weeks ago I couldn’t pull them all the way up much less BUTTON them.

So in my skinny jeans I went to GAP and purchased a size 14 pair of jeans in a style I already own.

The “skinny jeans” are still a size 16 but because of their style they fit smaller than the 16’s I have been wearing.

Progress Progress Progress!

For dinner I made Nathaniel and I veggie spring rolls with lettuce, cucumber, carrot, avocado and mushrooms inside. We dipped them in peanut sauce and sriracha and they were delicious!

Monday I ran the week 4 program of couch-to-5k, yesterday I ran 2.5 miles at varying speeds and tomorrow I will run the week 4 schedule again.

Feeling good!


Day 35: the seven mile run & Feeling Good

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He said:

As days go, sometimes the difference is night and day.  Yesterday it was raining and I had to go to work in the morning, I took Alex’s car (because mine was in the shop) and then got to work without my key to get in, by the time I got back with my keys I was already over it and then there were two doughnuts left over from the day before that people had brought in, even though I brought my own food to work I woofed down those two suckers like there was no tomorrow.

As soon as I was done eating them I felt like crap and that set a bad tone for the rest of the day.  I knew those doughnuts were going to be there and there just seemed to be nothing I could do in that moment to not eat them, so I just had to let it go for that day and not beat myself up too bad about it.

It was supposed to rain all weekend, but to my glorious delight it was sunny when I woke up this morning.  I didn’t get to go for my run on Friday (because of the before mentioned car problems), so I decided that I was just going to go for it and try to do five miles today.  Unbeknownst to me, my pedometer must be broken or needs new batteries because I did a loop around my house and at the end it said 4.1 miles, but was more then that.

I used map my run to map the run I did and it said that it was 7 miles.  Not believing that this could be true I tried to use Google maps and then Alex and I (the nerds we are) drove her car on the route to see how many miles it was…and it ended up being 7 miles.  I was able to run 7 miles without stopping in 1 hour, box checked.

One of my goals at the beginning of this lifestyle change was being able to run 5 miles without stopping, shot that out of the water.  My new goal is 12 miles at a time.

The other goal I met today was, after my run, I weighed in at 174.0…I don’t know if I will weigh this tomorrow, but I am on the cusp of reaching my other goal of 175 pounds (that will put me at 50 pounds lost total).  After looking at charts on height and weight, I think I have to move this goal down to 165, so my goal now is another ten pounds, but after doing 50, that seems like a cake walk.

Gotta stay motivated and watch out for those damn doughnuts.

She Said:

I think I gained a little weight (measured in fractions of a pound) this weekend and I accept it because I didn’t exercise as much as I should have this week!

I however have lost a solid 15 lbs. since Nathaniel and I began our health adventure. It’s so NICE to put on what used to be a tight (to the point of being uncomfortable) pair of jeans and have enough room to stick my arm down into them.  I’ve probably lost 4+ inches off my waist.

Another thing – it feels good going into a GAP and knowing with certainty that I will be able to find jeans that fit me. I tried on a few pairs today just because I could. I am still a size 16 but a much smaller 16.

Knowing we’ve only officially been on this for 40ish days and seeing how I’ve lost 15 lbs. gives me so much confidence in the fact that I will reach my next weight goal of losing another 10 lbs. by the end of April. My goal is to lose a total of 30 lbs. by the end of May.

How many times have I made new years resolutions to lose X lbs. by “summer”? Probably every year since I turned 18.

This is the first time in my life I’ve made a weight loss goal and made measurable progress towards it.

Nathaniel and I ate some hearty and healthful meals today and I am feeling really motivated to kick butt at the gym tomorrow.

Meals Today: (we both ate the same things)

Breakfast –

Mostly egg white omelet with 1 oz. of gouda cheese, ½ cup chopped spinach, caramelized white onions, grilled portabella mushrooms and roasted Yukon gold potatoes with a side of sliced strawberries and bananas. (-500 calories / 41g protein / 13.7g fat)


“Tacos” (using lettuce leaves) filled with black beans, corn, pico de gallo, ½ an avocado, 4 large shrimp. (-400 calories / 19g protein / 10.25g fat)

The shrimp were particularly delicious cooked with a sprinkle of garlic salt, red chili flakes and a squirt of limejuice.

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Veggie Tacos

This is not so much of a recipe as it is a meal alteration suggestion because you can interpret it in a million ways.

Last night I really wanted tacos but I can’t eat meat during the week and tortillas are calorie bombs. The average flour tortilla used to make burritos at taquerias has 300 calories. Corn tortillas while a much healthier option just aren’t worth it at nearly 100 calories each.

Meal suggestion – even if you want to make all the same taco fillings you normally would try using butter lettuce leaves instead of tortillas. Each leaf has 1 calorie (awesome) and I think I prefer them to corn tortillas (which I’ve never been a fan of anyway).

Tonight for dinner we had black bean tacos.


3 cups drained black beans

1 cup drained whole kernel corn

Pico De Gallo

2 butter lettuces


Sriracha / tapatio


1. Mix beans and corn together and heat on medium

2. While beans and corn are heating wash and tear leaves off of lettuce (discard outer wilted pieces)

3. Stack leaves on plates and spoon bean mixture into bowls

(serves 2)

Serve leaves and beans with your choice of toppings – which in our case was pico de gallo, sriracha, tapatio and cheese.

***Pico de Gallo ( 2oz. / 15 calories) is available fresh at most grocery stores and is simply a blend of chopped onions, tomato, jalapeño peppers and cilantro. You can make it yourself or just buy it.

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Day 30: Free Day & -13 Pounds

He said:

So I think I am getting the running thing down.  Did 3.1 miles last week on Thursday and was able to follow that up with another 3.1 on Sunday.  The progress is starting to show and I do feel more motivated because of that.

On another note, Alex and I were getting sick of losing weight all week and then gaining most of it back on our free day (and the free day wasn’t even that crazy…ok it was kind of crazy).  So we decided that for the next two weeks, starting on the 12th that we were not going to do a free day till the 31st (excluding a dinner with Alex’s parents on the 17th).

With all of that, last Saturday we had Alex’s parents over for dinner (corn beef and cabbage, shout out to my Irish cousins), but didn’t have a free day only that one meal.  The next day was back to normal and starting out this week I weighed a little less then I did at the end of last week, a great place to start.

I am supportive of the free day concept because it gives you something to look forward to during the week and when you do get a craving it is easier to tell yourself that all you have to do is wait for the weekend then to tell yourself your never going to be able to eat that again.  One of the bet free days that Alex and I had was when we hiked through SF.  Because even though we had half a doughnut and cookie, some breakfast sandwiches and a heavy Italian dinner, almost all of that was counter acted by the hike.

I guess you just have to customize when you are going to splurge and how much your going to allow yourself.  As I said before, I think it is crucial to have these free meals, one because you can do it guilt free as it is built into your diet and two it will help you stick to your diet.  But instead of having a doughnut breakfast of two or three doughnuts on your free day, have a bowl of adult cereal and one doughnut to cut the calories down.

Getting close to some goals and starting to set my eyes on new ones, it’s an exciting time.

Food Log:

Breakfast: Skyr (100 cal.)

Mid-morning snack: Banana (120 cal.)

Lunch: Lentil Soup (250 Cal. 2.5g fat)

Afternoon snack: Fat-Free Cottage cheese (90 cal.)

Dinner: Lettuce Bean Tacos (425 cal, 1g fat)

Total calories: 985.

She Said: 

As of today I have lost 13 lbs. since we started our blog one month ago!

Today I screwed up at the gym and didn’t change the incline on the treadmill after my warm-up walk. So after my first 3 minute jog I was dying. I thought to myself “holy cr*p how am I this tired?” and then I realized… “You idiot – you were running uphill for three minutes.”

As a result I didn’t run as much as I should of to fully complete my workout so after lifting weights and doing abs I went back to the treadmill and put in another 3 minutes of running to get as much cardio in as I was supposed to.

Now that I’ve lost 13 lbs. has cut the number of calories I can eat on non workout days to maintain my weekly weight loss goals. I have more motivation to work out now because that means I can eat REAL food!

My goal is to lose a definitive 2 more pounds before the end of the month and hopefully fit into my “skinny” jeans.

I ate a lot of little things today that I don’t want to bore you with… but with my workout I still have 275 more calories I am allowed to consume today.

Also – for the past few days my nightly motivational treat of choice has been semi-sweet dark chocolate chips – 32 to be exact (and yes I really do count them).

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Curry Tofu Spinach Soup

I wanted to make a quick soup with tofu because we need to start getting more protein in our diet. Per serving this soup has over 28g of protein and about 220 calories.

I used spinach instead of baby bok choy because I realize it may not be easy to get in the mid-west or Europe. However – feel free to use bok choy if you can find it.


3 cup low sodium vegetable or chicken stock

1 cup thinly sliced white onion (about ¼ of a medium onion)

2.5 cups baby spinach

1 cup sliced shitake mushrooms.

3oz. Organic firm tofu (1/4 inch cubes)

¼ tsp. Sriracha (or more depending on your taste)

2 tsp. red curry


1. Add chicken stock and onion to a medium saucepan and bring to boil over high heat

2. Once broth is boiling turn heat to low and add sriracha / red curry – stir till combined.

3. Add sliced mushrooms and cubed tofu.

4. Once mushrooms are done (about 2 minutes) add spinach and stir till spinach is wilted and tender.

5. Serve.

(Makes one large serving)

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Day 25: Cookies & Parents / Lame Treadmill Thiefs

He said:

So I had four cookies today, in the middle of the day, because I was hungry and I had brought them to work to try and get my coworkers to eat them.  That ended up being 360 calories that I didn’t plan on eating.

Again, I have to try and find a better way to cope when I have hunger pangs (I also need to keep some handfuls of healthy snacks around).  But unlike in the past, where I would chalk the whole day up to a waste and eat something really crazy, I remembered that Alex had searched and that running for about 45 min would burn something around 450 calories.  Even if it only burned 300 calories, that would still bring my splurge down to 60 calories.

After this realization I was motivated to go on a really good run.  Luck was on my side and the day cleared up and I was able to go for a run.  I did 3.1 miles in 50 min, a new personal best.  I hope that was enough exercise to undo the cookies, and if not I am still happy with the run I did.

I think this was a good way to look at how to deal with the fact that there was a craving I just couldn’t handle.  Also, never bring cookies to work because you will end up eating them.

Food Log:

Breakfast: Skyr (100 cal.)

Mid-morning snack: Banana (120 cal.)

Lunch: Veggie Soup (120 cal., 1g fat) + 4 cookies (360 cal., 16g fat)

Mid-afternoon snack: Nectarine (60 cal.)

Dinner: Quick lentil soup (150 cal)

Total calories: 910

She Said:

I started my morning by getting up just as Nathaniel got out of the shower – got myself ready for the day and hit the road armed with a banana and a cup of coffee.

It was my Dad’s 72nd Birthday today so I wanted to surprise him by randomly showing up at home early. I assumed he would still be in bed by the time I got there or was planning on heading to his favorite breakfast spot… he didn’t know I was coming.

He had already made plans in Stockton with friends so we were only able to hang out for a little while but it was nice.

While I was there he got me to eat a piece of bacon and a pop tart (260 calories). Mom wanted to go to lunch with me afterwards and we went to a Japanese place (765 calories).

So after hanging out with my parents I knew I really needed to push myself at the gym so I did! Hyah!

There was a wait for treadmills and this woman totally cut me in line! We of course ended up on treadmills directly next to each other but I comforted myself in the fact that although we started running at the same time I had burned 60 more calories than her when I hopped off a half hour later. I ran extra at the gym today and I felt really good by the time I left. Double hyah!

Food Today:

Coffe (5 calories)

Banana (105 calories)

Food at home (260 calories)

Japanese Lunch (765 calories)

Dinner 120 calories – stir fried cabbage / onions / mushroom / sesame seeds

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Day 24: Rain, Rain, Go away & Emotional Eating

He said:

It has been raining for the past two days, and while California needs the rain bad, it is not helping my running efforts.

I have been working longer days lately and having commitments at night after I’m done, which all sound like a bunch of excuses.  Doing ok with the diet, but had a couple of cookies today because we made some for Alex’s dad’s birthday and for me to take to work.  I think these acted like Alex’s cherry cordial, just giving me more motivation for tomorrow.

I really hope that the rain stops tomorrow sometime in the afternoon so that I can go for a run, because I’m itching to get back on the road.

Food Log:

Breakfast: Skyr (100 cal.)

Mid-morning snack: Banana (120 cal.)

Lunch: Veggie Soup (120 cal., 1g fat)

Mid-afternoon snack: Plum (60 cal.)

Dinner: Black Beans (454 cal., 2g fat)

Snack: cookies (420 cal.)

Total calories: 1274 (not too bad and gearing up for tomorrow)

She Said:

I’ve had a rough couple of days professionally. I didn’t get two jobs I really wanted and was notified on back-to-back days.

The first e-mail I read this morning was notifying me I didn’t make it to the interview round for a job I’ve been obsessing over for nearly a year.

I will have to apply again next year, but it was a tough thing to deal with. I ignored it till around lunchtime when I kept tearing up over coffee with Nathaniel.

This brings us to the subject of emotional eating – now that Nathaniel and I have been really reading food labels and paying close attention to our food it’s a lot easier to estimate how many calories are in restaurant dishes.

After hanging out with Nathaniel during his lunch break I still hadn’t eaten yet (like at all the whole day) and I ended up at Mr. Pickles Sandwich shop.

I ordered a Tom Turkey sandwich and a diet coke before heading out to my car. I told myself “I’m going to eat this whole thing! It has been such a shitty two days!”

Before our diet I wouldn’t have thought about how many calories are in the sandwich. I would have happily eaten the whole thing with a Snapple or a diet coke and gone home and had a regular dinner which could have easily put my daily non-diet food intake for the day at 2,500 calories.

At the halfway point of the sandwich eating I sat there thinking… and I guessed that the whole sandwich probably had 1,000 calories. It’s a large piece of bread, has mayo, pesto, turkey and several slices of cheese.

Still determined to eat the whole thing I checked online to see if I could find the nutrition info for the sandwich I was eating – it ended up being 865 calories.

I realized in that moment there is a difference between “guessing” at the amount of calories you are overeating and “knowing.”

I took one more bite and threw it away.

Then I went to a local grocery store and bought some stuff for me to make myself a really low calories soup for dinner. (Bok Choy and Shitake Mushroom Soup! Yum!)

I went over my “usual” calorie allotment today in part because Nathaniel asked me to bake cookies… putting my total calorie intake for the day at 936.