Two a Healthy Life

One couple on a mission to become healthy


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Day 49: the ten mile run & Out running Jay-Z

He said:

Well I made it through my business trip and was able to not gain any weight!  This is a big accomplishment for me, but also puts into perspective that when I get to the weight I want to be at I will be able to maintain it while being looser with my diet as long as I continue to exercise.

With this in mind, I was able to work out every night but one when I was down in LA, and I found out something interesting about myself, I no longer enjoy using treadmills.  When I used to go to the gym I would only use the treadmill, or the elliptical, but never really tried running on the streets because I would become winded too easily and gave up.  Now is the exact opposite, having a machine dictate to me how fast I was going to run just didn’t seem like any fun.  I am sure I should work on one in the future to help me better understand pacing, but for now, give me a run on the streets any day.

Switching gears I did a long run today and broke the ten mile mark (10.5 miles to be exact) though those last couple of miles I was clearly not running at my top speed, though I was able to do the whole run in about an hour and twenty minuets, but that is not a super accurate number as the goal was the mileage not how long it took me and I didn’t bring a watch.  All the experts say that you shouldn’t be adding that much mileage that quickly, so I plan on working on pacing and speed for the next couple of weeks before I try this run again.  I want to gt my 5 mile to thirty minutes, so I need to start picking up my pace.

The other goal I have for this week is to go to a running group that happens every week at the local shoe store.  I have seen it several times on meetup.org and have never wanted to go because I was embarrassed about my running abilities. Now that I am a little more versed in how it works, I think running with some experienced runners could be great as they can hopefully point out flaws in my running that will help me improve and give me someone to help push me.

That’s all for now, just trying to keep the motivation up!

She Said:

Nathaniel should try running with my friend Billy! Billy did a half marathon recently and they could have some healthy boy competition!

Anyways – I have been feeling kind of down the past week because I wasn’t capable of running the amount of minutes that I should be able to according to the couch-to-5k program.

This and a combination of Texas BBQ and tamales (okay- and maybe a churro) hasn’t helped my self esteem since I have been in Texas visiting family. So, today I told myself I was going to do at least 3 miles on the treadmill and then walk until I finished an hour.

Around the three mile mark of jogging and walking I found it hard to keep a steady pace. As I was walking I kept wanting to jog on the treadmill but I knew I couldn’t keep the “usual” jog pace for more than a few minutes if I tried to jog again. In my mind I was failing again because I couldn’t properly fulfill my jog time quota.

It was a “dur” type of lightbulb moment for me to decided that jogging at a significantly slower pace and doing it for longer would be much better than the jack rabbit yo-yo thing I was doing. That last mile was the easiest of the 4+ miles I did today.

Keep in mind I didn’t have an iPod in high school and in my past attempts at couch-to-5k I gave up before getting to the half way point but… today for the first time in my life while jogging with an iPod I ran through an entire song and kept running. (For the record – it was Jay-Z’s “can I get a”)

I know that sounds like total weak sauce compared to Nathaniel’s 10 mile day but I feel really good about this. I think tomorrow I am going to be able to do some really really good mileage now that I have accepted I just need to run slower (for now).

I ran more than 4 miles but I like to underestimate how many calories I burn and overestimate how many calories I take in. Plugging in 4 miles in 1 hour into my livestrong.com myplate program tell me I burned 983 calories.

This more than made up for the churro and pint of beer I had today.

Can’t wait to take on the treadmill tomorrow!


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Day: Traveling & STUPID free days

He said:

I am working down in LA this week on a business trip and one of the hardest aspects of this (aside from being away from Alex) is trying to stay on my diet and routine while on the road.

This morning before my flight I ate my usual yogurt and got a cup of coffee at the airport.  To help me with my snacks during the week, I brought some protein bars (4.5g fat, 180 cal.) as a way to make sure I have some low calorie options.

While I have let my coworkers know that I am on a diet, I also don’t want to be one of those people who makes people eat what they want because they are on a diet.  Thus I have to make smart decisions as I navigate menus this week.  The coworkers wanted Baja Fresh, which I have never been to before, and while Mexican food is not known for being calorie friendly, I knew I could find something on the menu that would work for lunch.

Navigating restaurant menus (done well in Eat this, Not that) can be tricky and they use many words to hide what they are trying to feed you.  After pursing the menu, the highest calorie item topping out at 2,060 (Carnitas nachos, I would hope you could figure out that nachos are not really a good choice) I decided to get the Baja Ensalada (310 cal, 7g fat) with no dressing, but I did put more pico de gallo on it for flavor maybe 325 calories.

For dinner we went out to sushi, and while I kept my order to almost all sashimi (no rice) and one roll with rice, my meal (from what I can calculate) came out to around 513 calories.  I don’t feel to bad about this because there was a lot of good protein in it and I was able to put in 50min on the treadmill when I got done with work, so I know I burned some calories today.

Trying to stay on track, let’s see how tomorrow goes.

She Said:

Although Nathaniel and I ate nearly the same thing on our free day my body retains those extra calories longer than his. We both expect to weigh more the day after a free day because food can take a while to digest but it’s really frustrating to not know exactly how much weight you gained… the setback it a question mark.

I wanted to be really good on my diet this week but the cheese in our fridge was too tempting – I had some and then tossed it in the trash… later in the night I wanted a sweet snack so I drizzled a little honey over a banana.

Not a terrible lapse but I am feeling really down on myself and fat today.

I still ate 300 calories less than what my body needs to maintain my current weight but it was at least 200 calories more than I should have eaten today.

Nathaniel will come back from his business trip on friday but I will already be gone to Texas. The state that considers BBQ eating and expanding waist lines competitive sports.

I do plan on eating BBQ at least once but it’s going to be fun trying to exercise in San Antonio… I don’t know if my hotel has a workout facility yet.

Tomorrow I really want to get up early and go to the gym. Nathaniel hears me say this a lot (too often) and it usually doesn’t happen.

I’ll let you know tomorrow how it goes!

I am not going to allow myself another “free day” till I hit my half way weight loss goal which should be at the end of May.


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Cranberry Pecan Carrot Couscous

 A few years ago as I was searching for Thanksgiving side-dish ideas I came across a New York Times recipe for couscous with cranberries, pecans and carrots. I love this dish because it has bright clean flavors that help balance out fatty meals.

Saturday Nathaniel and I had his co-worker and his co-workers wife over for dinner and this was one of the sides I prepared. I doubled the recipe which made WAY more than four adults could reasonably eat at dinner time.

Some of the leftovers made for a great light lunch today.

Tip- Since there is so much chopping involved I suggest you prep all the ingredients before you start making the rest of your meal. If everything is chopped and ready to go this dish only takes another 10 minutes to put together.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 cup couscous

Salt

2 large carrots grated

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries

1/4 cup chopped scallions

1/4 cup olive oil (or more as needed)

Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon (or more juice as needed)

1 teaspoon coriander

Black pepper
to taste

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage (or 1 teaspoon dried)

1. Put the couscous in a small pot and add 1 1/2 cups water and a pinch of salt. Bring the water to a boil, then cover and remove from the heat. Let steep for at least 10 minutes, or up to 20.

2. Put the slightly cooled couscous in a large salad bowl along with the carrots, pecans, cranberries, scallions, oil and lemon zest and juice, and sprinkle with the spices and salt and pepper. Use 2 big forks to combine, fluffing the couscous and tossing gently to separate the grains. (The salad can be made up to this point and refrigerated for up to a day; bring to room temperature before proceeding.)

3. Stir in the parsley and sage. Taste and adjust the seasoning, moisten with a little more oil and lemon juice as you like, and serve.

Yield: 4 servings.


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Cranberry Pecan Carrot CousCous

            

 

 A few years ago as I was searching for Thanksgiving side-dish ideas I came across a New York Times recipe for couscous with cranberries, pecans and carrots. I love this dish because it has bright clean flavors that help balance out fatty meals.

            Saturday Nathaniel and I had his co-worker and his co-workers wife over for dinner and this was one of the sides I prepared. I doubled the recipe which made WAY more than four adults could reasonably eat at dinner time.

            Some of the leftovers made for a great light lunch today.           

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

 

1 cup couscous

Salt


2 large carrots grated


1/2 cup chopped pecans


1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries


1/4 cup chopped scallions


1/4 cup olive oil (or more as needed)


Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon (or more juice as needed)


1 teaspoon coriander


Black pepper
to taste

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley


1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage (or 1 teaspoon dried)

1. Put the couscous in a small pot and add 1 1/2 cups water and a pinch of salt. Bring the water to a boil, then cover and remove from the heat. Let steep for at least 10 minutes, or up to 20.

2. Put the slightly cooled couscous in a large salad bowl along with the carrots, pecans, cranberries, scallions, oil and lemon zest and juice, and sprinkle with the spices and salt and pepper. Use 2 big forks to combine, fluffing the couscous and tossing gently to separate the grains. (The salad can be made up to this point and refrigerated for up to a day; bring to room temperature before proceeding.)

3. Stir in the parsley and sage. Taste and adjust the seasoning, moisten with a little more oil and lemon juice as you like, and serve.

Yield: 4 servings.