Food, Weightloss

Vacation’s over

It seems like it always takes until frickin’ June to fully shed the Holiday weight. Just me? Okay.

Well in my experience, there always seems to be an excuse to keep on those last few pounds between the months of January and April: “It’s Christmas.” “Screw it, it’s Spring Break.” “To hell with it; I’m on vacation!” Well, I’ve got news for you: vacation’s over.

I recently got back from a weekend family trip to San Francisco and, as it turns out, that city is fully awesome. Also, sea lions are silly creatures.

The last time I was there I was fifteen (fifteen!), and I don’t remember the city being nearly that phenomenal. The people. The architecture. The food. It’s all great. There are good vibes flying all over that place.

After spending some much needed time there with a couple friends of mine, I have determined that I must live there someday. Hopefully, when I reside there I won’t eat in the same excess that I did last weekend. There’s just so many good  restaurants! It’s foodie heaven. (I highly suggest a place on Columbus street called Colosseo…get the Penne in pink sauce with crab meat and asparagus). In just three days, I managed to cover all the no-no’s of eating options, including a cheeseburger from a place called Sally’s and a sourdough pizza from the Boudin Bakery.

I don’t regret these choices at all, for they are just a necessary element in my annual weight loss slash gain cycle. You know how it goes:

JANUARY: Self loathing and resentment due to holiday poundage. Vacation?

FEBRUARY: Acceptance of holiday weight + Valentines chocolates.

MARCH: Pretty much fed up with residual Holiday weight. Vacation?

APRIL: Realization that Holiday weight must soon vanish.

MAY: Panic and chaos reigns in this month as Summer hints at its existence.

JUNE: Comfort foods are no longer sought after since it’s too hot to be comfortable and we must now minimize layers.

JULY: Eat watermelon only. Play outside.

AUGUST: Eat watermelon only. Play outside.

SEPTEMBER: Feel good about self because you are thin from the summer.

OCTOBER: Same as September, but add leftover Halloween candy.

NOVEMBER: Same as October, but add Thanksgiving. Pounds start to add on.

DECEMBER: Fat and happy.

My goal this year is to be beach ready by the time summer starts. Last year I spent the whole summer getting in shape for summer. As you might guess, that’s not actually all that satisfying since the summer was over by the time I was in proper shape. But not this year! This means that in a couple weeks it will be high time to start kicking my own ass into shape. I’m actually quite excited and motivated for this next part of the weight loss cycle.

Another exciting thing that’s coming up is a career-related opportunity that has presented itself. I was selected to be a blogging intern for Cliché Magazine. I even have my own email! It’s jenni@clichemag.com. I’ll be blogging about fashion, music and entertainment for the Cliché website! So it seems that I have not only been on vacation from being in shape, but also from my school/career life. But in a week or two, vacation’s over and Spring is looking up.

I hope that the same goes for everyone else’s season. Until next time…

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Food, Recipes, Weightloss

I still ate cookies

Christmas cookies are the devil. Actually, they often take the shape of angels, trees, Santas and sleighs, but that’s beside the point.

The point is, my kitchen was overpopulated by Christmas cookies this season, and I only have myself to blame.

Traditionally, the plan is to make loads upon loads of Christmas cookies and then send them on their merry way to friends and family who live within a 20 minute drive. But this is not what happened this year. Although I fully intended on delivering cookie plates (I do it every year), the cookies didn’t seem to go anywhere but my stomach. My brother and I even forgot to put out cookies and milk for Santa (we still do this every year even though we both know we are only bombarding my mother with the task of chomping down cookies in her half-asleep state). All I’m saying is, very few cookies left my possession, and it has been a very dangerous situation. Actually, since there is still a significant amount of cookies in my kitchen, it’s still a pretty dangerous situation. That being said, things could have been a lot worse.

As many of you know, I set out a goal to not gain ANY holiday weight. If it wasn’t for the ferocious Insanity Workout, I’m not sure I would be in the position that I am in today: 5 pounds lighter! I can hardly believe it when I look at the scale, but it’s true. Instead of gaining, I actually lost weight during the Holidays. And I still ate cookies.

It seems that the key to losing weight while freely indulging in Christmas cookies is doing the Insanity Workout every night before bed. Since Insanity is so insane, my physical activity outweighed my seasonably excessive caloric intake. I’m sure that being on my feet for 9-hour work days helped too.

While I’m not sure if I’ll lose a total of 15 pounds by January 16th, I am very pleased with the success of my primary goal to not gain weight over the course of the Holiday season. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without making the sacrifices I did: 40 minutes of daily insanity, and choosing healthier options when I could. For example, when buying food on my lunch break, I would go for a Jamba Light smoothie from Jamba Juice, or a half turkey sandwich and side salad from the Nordstrom Café. I even incorporated healthier options into my holiday baking. Instead of making Oreo Truffles with the full-fat ingredients, I made them with the lightest ingredients I could find at my local Thriftway. They ended up being 175 calories and 8 grams of fat per truffle. Even so, it was difficult to limit myself to two truffles. Take my experience as a warning.

Reduced Fat Oreo Truffles

  • 1 package of Reduced Fat Oreos
  • 8oz. Philadelphia Fat-free cream cheese (1 brick package)
  • 1 1/2 bars of Ghirardelli Semisweet baking chocolate

This is probably the simplest recipe I can think of, but I’ll try to make it exciting for you.

Combine Oreos and cream cheese in a large bowl. Mix together with a wooden spoon, crunching the Oreos in with the cream cheese (you can also use a Kitchen Aid mixer for this if you have a beater that is strong enough). Stir until the mixture is consolidated and somewhat creamy. It’s okay if there are still a few chunks of Oreo.

Form Oreo-cream cheese mixture into tablespoon-sized balls and place on cookie sheets. Don’t be afraid to get your hands a little gooey, it’s inevitable.

Melt chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl as the package instructs. After the balls are all formed, you have a choice to make. You have the option of either dunking the balls into the chocolate, or using a spoon to pour the chocolate over the Oreo balls. If you choose to dunk them, I would advise refrigerating the balls for about an hour beforehand. I, however, am impatient and prefer to just pour the chocolate on. It’s just easier.

After you have chosen your path, you might want to lick all the chocolate off your fingers. That’s usually pretty important. Now, clear out some room in your fridge, and place the truffle-covered cookie sheets in there. Let them sit in the refrigerator until the chocolate is hard and cold, (usually at least an hour).

After they’re done hardening, and you’ve eaten a few, it is now time to invite all your friends over so that you don’t have to eat them all by yourself. Believe me, it will be tempting to try.

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Weightloss

It’s all about balance

 

I hope you all had a Happy Halloween.

There I said it.

Please don’t criminalize me, I did my part. I carved that pumpkin up there, for one thing. I put on my red devil horns and tramped around town in the pouring rain. Now that that’s finally over with, I’d like to shift your focus on to the quickly approaching Thanksgiving, which ultimately is a sign that it’s CHRISTMAS TIME!!!!!!!!!

Excuse my enthusiasm, but I just can’t understand how anyone can find mediocrity in days like these: waking up to the smell of sausages sizzling in a skillet, delivering diverse cookie plates to my closest friends’ doorsteps, circling around the table in pursuit of our prey–a seafood feast made complete by Mom’s all-bran roles. You might notice that all of these events involve stuffing my face.

My whole year revolves around Christmas, or rather Christmas Eve (I like the anticipation). If every day were Christmas Eve, I would be the happiest of campers.

In my small family of three, Christmas is a big effing deal. We don’t waste time getting a tree, although we do spend an awful lot of time picking one out. Last year, we spent about 4 hours, went to three different farms, and criticized more Christmas trees than is probably healthy–for us or the trees.  Too tall, too small, too fat, too lop-sided, and too perfect are all serious issues that we mow over each year until we find the right one. And even after all that trouble, the poor tree will inevitably end up getting a haircut in the middle of our living room. Then it’s time to do the lights and the ornaments, and that’s just a whole new ballgame.

So as you can see, we take a lot of pride in the details of our Christmas, and making sure that we are consistent in our traditions. My priorities are mainly that we get the perfect tree, rearrange the presents on a weekly basis, make lots of Christmas cookies, and have our seafood feast on Christmas Eve.

Here’s the conflict: I want to lose a sizable amount of weight in time for my mom’s wedding in Maui on January 22nd. However, I refuse to deprive myself completely of the joys of Christmas…namely, eating treats. So my plan for my next goal, which I will announce in a mere moment, will begin today on November 1st. In this plan I will not swear off any foods (besides the obvious) until after December 25th. (I know that this sounds like it goes against my title of No Moore Muffins, but bear with me.)

My goal is three fold: 1) To not gain one pound of holiday weight. 2) To lose at least 15 pounds before January 16th. (I would just like to note that I initially put 12 pounds, but changed my mind. Losing 15 would mean I was the smallest size of my life). 3) To feel comfortable — not just fine–being photographed in a bikini.

And there you have it. I am going to be losing weight while simultaneously eating Christmas cookies. I know it sounds insane, but I have a pretty specific tactic of how I’m going to manage my holiday needs while still getting results. I figure if I allow myself just a couple holiday treats a week and balance that with extra cardio and strength, I can indulge while still getting beach-ready.

It’s all about balance.

  • I will workout every day, 6 days a week, alternating and combining strength, cardio and yoga. I want to be toned.
  • I will be on a low-carb diet in general, and eating mostly fruits, veggies, and protein.
  • For every day that I have a Holiday treat I will workout extra hard. (The only exception to this rule is Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.)
  • On days that I have more than one Holiday treat, I must workout twice, no exceptions.
  • After Christmas, I will have a little less than a month to be freed of cookie season. The dates between December 26th and January 22nd will be treat-free.
  • I will weigh myself at the beginning of each month. If my results are not where they should be at the beginning of December, I will need to adjust in one way or another.
  • The key to this is to enjoy small amounts of Christmas goodies. Small portions, diligent and diverse workouts, and controlled decision making. I will be calmly tasting the cake, if you will, for the next two months. There’s no need to eat 7 cookies, when I can just have one or two in a calm fashion and enjoy them just the same.

I’m now double excited for the Holiday season, can’t wait to get on that scale tomorrow, and into a bikini in January. The journey starts today, and I will be posting my healthy solutions along the way.

Wish me luck!

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