Grocery Haul Week of November 1st

This week’s grocery haul was our cheapest one yet! Each week we spend between $60-70 on our big grocery haul. Although, I usually go out to the store once more during the week to pick up fresh produce or something we may have missed during our haul.

We always aim to spend under $60, but unfortunately that doesn’t usually happen. Today we crushed our goal! Our grand total was $52.49 for:

  • Bananas
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Avocados (2)
  • Shredded cheese
  • 32 oz. plain Chobani container
  • Chobani 2% cranberry oats (1)
  • Chobani pumpkin (1)
  • Frozen green beans
  • Penne pasta
  • Marinara sauce
  • Brown rice
  • Campbell’s butternut squash soup
  • Wegman’s minestrone soup
  • Garlic breadsticks
  • Frozen pizza
  • Frozen Superpretzels

Today’s workout

I had a run/walk and abs scheduled for today, but since I did a treadmill workout yesterday, I decided to do 15 minutes of the elliptical at a 15% incline, and 15 minutes of the Stair Master- level 8. I ended up doing my abs workout before I left for the gym, which was a great decision because I was starving before I even left the gym!

Here is the armor abs workout that I did:


And speaking of abs, Planksgiving starts today! I’ve never been able to get past 2 minutes, but maybe this year that will change.



I made lunch immediately after getting home! I threw together a quick sandwich of lettuce, tomato, cheese, avocado, and edamame hummus on whole wheat bread, and had some leftover tortilla chips and salsa on the side.





I must be all candied out from yesterday because I had no desire for dessert after lunch! I’m sure that won’t be the case with dinner though.

I’m off to finish some homework and then relax. Have a great Saturday!

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Creamy Coconut Mango Smoothie

Happy November! Just like that Halloween is gone and for many people when the clock struck midnight, the holiday season began.

christmas carols everywhere

Despite the freezing cold/ blizzard filled/ polar vortex winters of upstate New York, I love this time of year. Colorful Christmas lights, the wood stove at my house, and a cozy cup of egg nog are just some of the peaceful things I look forward to all year long.

However, I’m one of those people who needs to wait for one holiday to end before I start getting ready for the next! Also, I’m still digesting from last night’s Halloween party.

I met Danielle at Spot Coffee yesterday to discuss a potential job (I’ll post more on that when I know more!). I ordered a decaf coffee with cream and a slice of spice bread to munch on while we chatted. Their coffee was a little too bitter for my liking, but the spice bread was delicious!


After we discussed business, it was time to talk party! I’m always good at remembering plans and due dates, but Danielle had forgotten our potential plans. Luckily, she was still free last night so we planned a mini party to have at her house. Just a few friends, lots of food, and lots of fun!

Cameron and I left for the party around 8:15pm, and before we left I snacked on some carrots and edamame hummus. I was still full from the spice bread, but I wanted to make sure I got in some veggies since I knew there wouldn’t be any at the party.

The party spread consisted of a large Wegmans cheese pizza, chips and salsa that Cameron and I brought, blue corn chips and store bought guac, mini Reeses’s cups (my favorite!), homemade cupcakes complete with DIY frosting spread, and a bottle of Chardonnay, some Redds Apple ale, and UV Blue Vodka. Holy moly was there a lot to eat and drink!





I ate two slices of pizza (sorry, forgot to take a picture), a couple Reese’s cups, one cupcake with orange frosting, and probably too many chips with guac and salsa. No wonder I’m still full!

I also had some Chardonnay, but kept it to two glasses since I was driving.

The Great Grumpkin also made an appearance 😉

IMG_5119 Cameron has a class today at 8:00am (yuck), so we stayed to watch Ghost Busters and chat for a while, then took off around 11:15pm.

I definitely feel that I overindulged a little too much last night, but it was fun nonetheless and I am ready to get back on track! I have a run/walk and abs workout scheduled for today, and a made a creamy coconut mango smoothie to help me start November on a healthier note.

Creamy Coconut Mango Smoothie

  • 1 frozen banana, sliced
  • 1/4 cup plain, non-fat Chobani
  • 1 tablespoon Bob’s Red Mill coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup vanilla flax milk
  • 1/2 cup Mighty Mango Naked juice


I also had a slice of homemade chocolate chip banana bread that my friend Vivian made last night for the party 🙂


I have a lot I want to do today (laundry, clean the apartment, study for an exam, workout), so I better get crackin’!

P.S.-I lost miserable at another round of the “workweek hustle” challenge. I blame it on my long legs and long strides 😉 Oh well!

P.P.S- A helpful article on managing Halloween sugar damage

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Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween! I’ve got to make this quick because I have a lot of work to do today.

I spent most of my day yesterday working on future career related business; I’m trying to create a website where I can offer nutrition consultations as well as meal plans! I also spent a few hours working on a meal plan for my brother-in-law, and creating a handout of breakfast ideas to-go. With that being said, I didn’t get a lot of actual school work done so I have some catching up to do!

Today I started off my morning with a pre-workout banana, followed by a trip to the gym. I’m glad I took a rest day yesterday because my body was feeling so much better today!

Here is the workout that I did this morning:


Calories burned: 326

I came home with the intention of strength training, but it was nearly 10:00am and I was starving! I decided to save the strength training for later and whipped up a quick breakfast instead.

I refueled with a drippy egg, cheese, and avocado sandwich.


With coffee and half and half of course!



I don’t really have any fun Halloween plans for later; my friend Danielle and I talked about getting together but nothing is set in stone yet. I am meeting up with her later for some potential job discussions though 🙂 Fingers crossed!

Have a fun and safe Halloween!

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5 Foolproof Ways To Prevent Holiday Weight Gain

The holidays are a time for family, joy, and thankfulness, but for many people, they can be a time for weight gain. It’s not surprising, considering the holiday season begins with buckets of Halloween candy and ends with a basket of Easter goodies.

Here are 5 foolproof ways to prevent holiday weight gain this year.

1) Plan ahead– One of the best ways to ensure surviving the holiday season without a weight gain is to be prepared and plan ahead. You know that most holiday parties and events will be filled with treats and sweets, so guarantee yourself at least one healthy dish by bringing a fruit platter with yogurt dip or a vegetable platter with hummus, olives, and some low-fat cheese.

If you want to, you can also have a small, healthy meal before the party. By eating a small meal with lean protein and vegetables, like 3 oz. of grilled chicken and ½ cup of green beans, you’ll keep your hunger at bay and will be less likely to fill up on the cookie platter at the party.

2) Don’t drink your calories– Drinking your calories is a quick and easy way to gain weight without realizing it. While the heavy carbs in beer may will you up, wine, cocktails, and soda can go down like water. A typical 5 oz. glass of wine has 120 calories- the same as 2.5 cups of vegetables. Allow yourself a couple of your favorite alcoholic drinks, then stick to water or seltzer with a lime wedge.

 Tip: to determine calories from alcohol, multiply (0.8) x (proof) x (ounces). *proof = % alcohol x 2

3) Make time for exercise– The holidays can get pretty hectic, so make sure you make time for exercise. It’s almost impossible to prevent holiday weight gain without making exercise a regular event. Whether it’s 30 minutes at the gym after work, or three brisk 10 minute walks throughout the day, it’s important to make the time. You can also turn exercise into a family event by going for a hike or playing a light game of football on Thanksgiving.

 4) Get enough sleep– Being sleep-deprived is a common event for many people year round, but particularly during the holiday season when there’s last minute gift shopping and getting up at the crack of dawn for Black Friday shopping. Getting enough sleep is important for brain function and overall health, and can also help prevent weight gain. When you’re tired, you’re more likely to reach for high sugar, high caffeine foods that will keep you awake for present wrapping. Prevent yourself from eating unnecessary candy bars and sugary coffee shop drinks by going to bed just 30 minutes earlier, and aiming for a minimum of 7 hours of sleep.

5) Allow yourself your favorite treats, in moderation– For some people, the holiday season is the only time they eat certain foods or have certain drinks, such as gingerbread cookies or eggnog. Rather than depriving yourself of these once-a-year-treats just to prevent a few pounds of weight gain, practice moderation. If drinking eggnog while decorating the Christmas tree is a family tradition, enjoy a small glass that night, and skip the ‘nog in favor of water at the holiday party the next night. Aim for following the 80/20 rule whenever you can; make 80% of the foods you eat during the day healthy choices, and allow yourself to enjoy treats for the other 20%.

Despite the stress of the holidays and the pressure you may put on yourself to avoid gaining weight, it’s important to remember what the holidays are all about; family and friends. You may find it’s easier to prevent a holiday weight gain if you focus more on family and less on food. And if you find yourself “slipping up”, get right back on track. Find a friend or family member who shares your goals and offer each other support.

Have a fun, healthy, and safe holiday season!

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When You Know, You Know

I woke up at 7:30am this morning hell-bent on going to the gym. As soon as I got out of bed, I changed into my gym clothes, put on my heart rate monitor, and made pre-workout peanut butter toast.


Today’s workout was supposed to be 30 mins run/walk and 15 minutes of legs, but I did a spontaneous leg workout last night so I changed my plan to just cardio.

Super Speedy Leg Blaster

  • 25 squats
  • 25 fire hydrants (each leg)
  • 25 single leg raise (each leg)
  • 25 donkey kicks with weights (each leg)
  • 10 lunges with leg lift (each leg)
  • 10 jumping lunges

I guess the leg blaster and back-to-basics arm workout I did yesterday worked, because I was super sore this morning! So sore, in fact, that I drove all the way to the campus gym only to get out of the car and decide I needed a rest day. I went to the library to print off papers so the trip wouldn’t be a complete waste.

Usually for me, the hardest part of a workout is putting on my clothes and getting out the door, so when I made it all the way to the gym and didn’t feel like working out, I knew my body was trying to tell me something. If my body says rest day, I’m going to listen!

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Better Late Than Never

I was super busy this afternoon with homework and more job searching, so I never got a chance to post my lunch or dinner! I figured since I’ve only shared one meal today, it would be a good opportunity to participate in my first What I Ate Wednesday!


Even though I shared my breakfast, I’ll start from the beginning anyways.


In honor of National Oatmeal Day…

Oats cooked with vanilla flax milk and topped with plain non-fat Chobani, blueberries, and organic peanut butter.


With coffee of course!



Post workout

My workout this morning was 15 minutes of the rowing machine + 15 minutes on the Stair Master, followed by some light weight lifting.

I kept my post workout snack simple by making a protein shake with 2 scoops of Aria women’s protein powder and 1 cup vanilla flax milk.




When lunchtime came around, I was starving! Cameron wanted pizza, so he heated up a Wegman’s frozen thin crust pizza for us to share.

I ate two slices, along with a side salad.



In the salad…

  • Green leaf lettuce
  • Tomato
  • 1/4 avocado
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Good Seasons Italian dressing


And a handful of the white chocolate candy corn m&m’s, even though I don’t like them 😳 . I’m a broke graduate student so when I buy something, I’m going to get full use out of it!




My big lunch (it was over 500 calories!) kept me full for a long time and I didn’t make dinner until around 7:00pm. I wasn’t all that hungry so I made an “everything but the kitchen sink” salad. I don’t usually eat two salads a day, but I wasn’t hungry for a big carby meal.

In the dinner salad…

  • Green leaf lettuce
  • Tomato
  • 1/4 avocado
  • Snapea Caesar crisps
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Edamame hummus
  • Quinoa


Along with my salad, I had a small glass of Naked Mango!


And for dessert…

Two mini Reese’s cups 🙂


These are my favorite Halloween candy. I’ll probably go back for more!

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National Oatmeal Day

Happy National Oatmeal Day!

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 11.51.20 AM

Obviously, I had to celebrate 😉 . I wasn’t feeling pumpkin butter in my oats this morning, so I went with a more “traditional” route of plain non-fat Chobani, a tablespoon of organic peanut butter, and frozen blueberries.

Chobani + oats = choats

As always, a big mug of coffee!


I spent the morning applying for jobs (fingers crossed!), followed by a trip to the gym. I had one hour of yoga scheduled for today, but after spending a while hunched over my computer in the dining room, I decided I wanted to get out of the house.

Today’s workout

At the gym, I did 15 minutes of the rowing machine and 15 minutes of the Stair Master. I’m so happy it’s fixed! After that, I came home to do some strength training. I really don’t like the weight room at the school gym 😳 .

Here is the strength training workout I did this morning. I don’t have a barbell, so I just used two 8lb dumbbells.

back to basics workout

My total workout (not including time driving back from the gym) was about 55 minutes and burned almost 380 calories.


That’s much less than I would have burned doing cardio, but I know that the muscles I’m growing will burn more calories throughout the day!

Post workout, I made a protein shake with Aria Women’s Protein that I got at Trader Joes (price is about $10), plus vanilla flax milk.


I like the Aria protein because it’s a good ratio of calories to protein for someone who isn’t a big lifter. Since I’m just starting out with weights, I wanted something with less than 150 calories per serving, and something that didn’t have 30g of protein (save the kidneys!).


An update on the candy corn M&M’s…I should have heeded everyone else’s warnings. Do not buy!!

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