Saturday, December 31, 2011

What a difference a year makes...

This was me December 31, 2010

I had lost 30 lbs. and felt great about my success thus far but wanted to take a picture to see how much I would change in a year.

This was me today, December 31 2011

I can see visible changes in my arms, stomach and legs.

It has been a long year of hard workouts, sore muscles and lots of sweating.

I just signed up for the Tone It Up plan and cannot wait to see what my picture on December 31, 2012 will look like! I will be blogging my journey of this new lifestyle and can't wait to share it with all of you. 

Happy New Year
Just Keep Sweating

Sunday, December 18, 2011

'Tis the season to get tipsy

 With Christmas just a week away and the temperatures dipping below 30 degrees for the first time this season I felt that a few hot cocktails were in order. After a trip to the food and liquor store I came up with two ideas: Mulled wine & Hot chocolate with marshmallow vodka.  These are perfect for a holiday get together or for a cozy night home in front of the fire, both very different in taste but delicious all the same.

Mulled Wine:
1 bottle of inexpensive red wine, we used Vampire Merlot because it is our favorite
2 T mulling spices
1/3 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick for garnish

Pour the wine into a 2 quart pot and heat on medium-low.

 Add 2 T of mulling spices and stir

 Add sugar and stir

Pick out cute mugs, this is a crucial step in the process

After 25 minutes of simmering, pour into a mug, stir with a cinnamon stick and enjoy!

The first batch was so delicious we decided to try it with SkinnyGirl Sangria, which was just as tasty!

Hot Chocolate with marshmallow vodka and cinnamon whipped cream:

First choose the hot chocolate of your preference, we used Ghirardelli double chocolate and it was fantastic
8 oz of milk ( I used almond milk)
1 shot of pinnacle marshmallow vodka per mug
dollop of cool whip cinnamon

Warm the milk on the stove top then add chocolate. Wisk the two together and simmer for 5 minutes.

 Pour into mug and add a dollop of whipped cream.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

2012 Ideas & Goals

With the new year approaching I want to take the time out and thank everyone who has been reading since I started this blog back in June. I cannot believe it has been six months already! I have so many ideas for where I want to take this next year that I can't wait to share.

     As much as I love my fitness routine and classes I find it may become repetitive to talk about the same schedule week after week, so I would like to incorporate some of the other aspects of my life that are just as important to me as working out and eating healthy. For instance I am a nailpolish junkie, I am switching my polish out several times a week and would love to do posts on that. Shopping and beauty/hair are also things I really enjoy so I may incorporate some outfit of the day posts here and there, along with products I am loving and reviews. I want to share a lot more recipes in 2012 and of course I will keep writing about my fitness journey. 

Gees there are a lot of  "i" 's in there! But it's my blog, so I do what I want, right?

Because I don't believe in New Years resolutions, here are my goals for 2012:

-Loose 20 more pounds
-Sign up and complete at least 2 5ks
-Be able to do 100 PERFECT push ups
-Learn how to use the machines at the gym, and use them
-Watch my carbohydrate intake, I tend to be a carb-o-holic
-Blog at least four times a week

Basically, "Just Keep Sweating" is going to grow, while I continue to shrink.
Here's to a new year, new blog ideas and an even better version of me!

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

 I cannot believe Christmas is 11 days away.

I have been so busy and it shows in my lack of posts, please bear with me until 2012, then everything will slow down and I can get back to business!

In the meantime here are two things I am IN LOVE with::

This website has been my go to, whenever I have down time or if I am looking for an idea for a gift/recipe/outfit inspiration. If you haven't been on this website yet I highly suggest clicking the link and joining me in the (healthy) addiction!

My other love of the past few weeks has been this:

This is the MOST delicious drink I have ever had at Starbucks. OMG It is just AMAZING. If you haven't had the pleasure of trying it yet, stop reading and go to Starbucks RIGHT THIS SECOND and buy one!
As much as I love a grande, regular version of this drink, it costs me a whopping 320 calories and I hate to drink my cals. So I choose the skinny version( no whipped cream) with soy or non-fat milk.
The soy milk version is 250 calories and the non-fat milk is 200. Pick and choose your battles people!

 I hope Santa puts some Starbucks gift cards in my stocking this year :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Jawbone UP = epic fail.

A few weeks ago I posted my excitement over a new fitness related product that is hitting the shelves, the Jawbone UP. I had fully planned to purchase one for myself with my christmas bonus,  but due to recent reports I am happy that I have not. Although the company itself hasn't pulled the products from the shelves(yet), I have read reports and have seen reviews in Apple's app store saying this product simply does NOT work. The main complaint with the  Jawbone UP is it just stops working after a short period of time. Other complaints have been the inaccuracy of fitness tracking/calories burned.

 I just wanted to apologize for my previous post regarding this product, and I hope that if anyone purchased one they can get a refund! To avoid further situations like this I plan on testing out a product before posting about it on here.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

An object in motion...

We all have hectic lives during the week, most days it feels like we are literally running from one place to the next.

My schedule looks something like this:
5:41 am- Wake up
5:51-6:25am Coffee, feed and play with dogs, pinterest/Facebook.. It's ME time
6:25-6:55 am get ready/ pack gym bag depending on the day
6:55-7:10 pack lunch,start car make a mad dash to avoid missing my train
7:21-8:25 train to work.. Mostly reading time
8:30-5 work
5:09-6:15 train
6:20-8 gym( normally running to the 6pm class that's started so I change on the train.. Gross I know)

8-10pm shower/eat/tv sleep

Basically I am in motion all day long. There are so many times I'm exhausted on Wednesday or Thursday and just want to go home after work but I'm already out and have my gym clothes on so I push myself.

I find the days I'm off or weekends it's harder to get myself to the gym, I can find every excuse to stay on the couch and watch the same episode of King of Queens that I've seen 263849827 times.

The moral of the story is, if you're already out of the house don't skip your workout. If you're sitting home on the couch and it's cold and rainy out, so much that the gym just doesn't seem worth it.. Trust me, it is. The couch and the show you're watching will be there when you get back, I promise. The little device we all rely on called a DVR gives you even less of an excuse NOT to go.

" an object in motion tends to stay in motion"

Just Keep Sweating

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sunday Dinner: Lasagna Soup

Sunday dinner is the one night of the week I can take my time and try out a new recipe to make for the family. I spend a lot of time watching the Food Network, reading food blogs and spending time on Pinterest (my latest obsession) so finding something new and creative to cook is never difficult. I stumbled across a recipe for lasagna soup on Pinterest last week, which was from the blog A Farm Girl Dabbles and could not wait to make my own version.

Lasagna Soup

For the soup::
2 T. olive oil
1 lb ground beef
3 c. chopped onions
6 garlic cloves, minced ( we love garlic)
2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 T. tomato paste
1 28-oz. can tomato puree
1/4 c. good red wine ( I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
2 bay leaves
6 c. chicken stock
8 oz. mafalda or fusilli pasta
1/2 c. finely chopped fresh basil leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 Cheese Topping:
8 oz part skim ricotta
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch of freshly ground pepper
2 c. lowfat shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add ground beef, and cook until brown. Add onions and garlic, cook for about 6 minutes. Add red wine,tomato paste, oregano, and red pepper flakes, stir well and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.

Add pureed tomatoes, bay leaves, and chicken stock. Stir.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 30 - 40 minutes. Add uncooked pasta and cook until al dente. The original recipe said not to over cook the pasta because it would become mushy, but I prefer it that way so I let it cook longer.  Stir in basil and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

While the soup is simmering, create the cheese topping by combining ricotta, parmesan and shredded mozzarella. 

Once the soup is ready, ladle a hearty helping into your bowl and top it with some cheese-y YUM. Serve with italian bread and salad.

Nutritional Breakdown::

Calories: 324
Total fat: 14g
Cholesterol: 61mg
Sodium: 1,5206mg
Potassium: 856mg
Total Carbohydrate: 23g
Protein: 26g

Thursday, December 1, 2011

How I stay occupied on the dreaded treadmill

For me, the treadmill is one of the most boring workouts a person can do. It makes me feel like a hamster in a wheel, constantly moving yet staying in the same place... How frustrating. However I have been trying to change up my routine and add extra cardio where I can, even if it isn't strenuous it is something different.

These are a few ways to steer clear of boredom

- walk/jog with a friend. I did this on thanksgiving with Jill before our kickboxing class and before we new it we walked for 40 minutes AND broke a light sweat.. Win/win

-Read. If you are walking at a 2.5-3.8 pace you should have no trouble with this, but please don't hurt yourself

-Pump up the jams!! Make a great playlist put it on shuffle and get to work. Unfortunately I cannot use this method because I have a tendency to bust a move if I love a song and this has resulted in a fall or two

-Watch tv or a movie. Imagine if you were moving the entire 90 minutes you were watching The Holiday? Or jogged during Titanic? I think you could almost run a marathon in that amount of time... Either way catch up on your favorite shows while breaking a sweat

Winter is just around the corner, it is the hardest time to stay physically active. Find a workout that you love and fight the fat!

Just Keep Sweating

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Wish List!

So I pinched a nerve in my right shoulder/neck area and haven't been able to workout much since Thanksgiving. I pushed myself to go to Jump & Drill and Power X Saturday because I pay extra for those classes, I ended up making myself worse and had to skip weights/kickboxing on Sunday. Major bummer. However, today (Wednesday) I am feeling MUCH better and will be going HAM in the gym, okay not really, but I am getting on the treadmill for 40 minutes before taking Shakin It.

Enough about me, here are some items on my Christmas Wish list!!

  1. Lulu Lemon "Destined for Greatness" duffel ($128) I never really thought about how often I use a gym bag, and how tacky mine is. So I decided to ask Santa for a pretty, yet sturdy gym bag.
  2. TOMS Pink Pop Herringbone ($54) I can't believe I do not already own a pair of TOMS. From what I hear they are super comfy and everytime someone buys a pair of TOMS, the company donates a pair to a child without shoes. Not just at Christmas, but ALL the time. 
  3. Marc Jacobs Daisy-Eau So Fresh ($90) Perfect scent
  4. Jawbone UP ($99) I list all the reasons I want this right here!
  5. WildFox ($88-109) These are the softest, most comfortable shirts/sweatshirts a girl could ask for. I would love one of these to wear with leggings and Uggs... YUM

Oh I also want all of the puppies in the world to have happy, healthy homes.

What's on your list?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Oh my goodness, has it really been over ten days since I've posted something? My apologies everyone! I think between crazy work days, and Thanksgiving time just got away from me.

  Every Thanksgiving my gym charges a $20 entry fee and 100% of the proceeds go to the charity of choice for that year. Last year we Kickboxed for Cancer:
(post workout November 2010)

This year the three of us Kickboxed for the EJ Austism Foundation, we forgot to take a picture together in our shirts, but here is mine:

This has become one of my favorite holiday traditions, not only am I working out with my mom and sister but we are doing something for others as well. That is a happy Thanksgiving.

Post gym workout(s) we caught the end of the parade, all of the dog show (my personal favorite) and then the eating began. We were surrounded by loved ones and lots of great food, what more could anyone ask for?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

TechBytes:Jawbone UP

During my lunch break at work I often watch videos on YouTube to avoid going outside and spending money I don't have( see Mom, I am saving!!!)
Today I stumbled across a review video by iJustine about the Jawbone UP. I'm not sure how I haven't heard about this sooner but I am glad I came across it, I think it's going to be a must have for fitness junkies and Apple lovers like myself....

What is it?
(as described on their website)
Powered by MotionX®, UP combines sophisticated technology and beautiful design to offer a durable, easy to wear, intelligent, motion-sensing band that lives on your wrist 24/7 and inspires you to live healthier. 

The Jawbone UP has up to 10 days battery life on a single charge(USB charger), has a vibrating motor that can be used as an alarm clock and a reminder to "move" that day, tracks your sleep patterns and movement, it has a 3.5 MM plug that plugs directly into your iPhone/iPad/iPod,etc., and is sweat proof/water proof.

What does the app provide?

Finess- It tracks your steps/distance, calories burned, pace, intensity level you are working at, active vs inactive time and GPS .

Sleep- This little device tracks how you are sleeping (light/heavy) how long you slept, the quality of your sleep overall.

Food Tracker- You can take pictures of your meals and it prompts you to answer questions about how the meal made you feel, if it kept you full, etc. 

If you have friends who also have the device you can create fitness challenges or join challenges with strangers that are also a part of the Jawbone UP community.

This product costs $99 and can be purchased in several different places, like Target, Apple Store, Amazon and AT&T. 

I am adding this to my Christmas list for this year, will you?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sunday Funday!

5:45 Sunday morning my body was up and ready to go, this is normal right? I hopped up had my coffee and caught up on some YouTube videos before heading to Uppercut & Kickboxing. My muscles were still really sore from Power X but working out always seems to help, even if I am miserable trying to push through the pain...okay that was overly dramatic, but you get the point.

(beautiful sky on my way to the gym)

I'm not sure if it was my low carb, healthy dinner Saturday night or the coffee before the gym Sunday morning, but something made me workout harder and stronger than I have in awhile. For my post workout meal I made myself an egg white omlette with fresh veggies, morning star sausage and laughing cow.

(low cal and delicious, my two favorite things in a meal)
(I LOVE my little snowman mug)

Eddie and I were both off on Monday so we took full advantage and went out to our favorite bar, and had Sunday Funday! It was such a great time, the gym girls came and even though the Jets AND Giants lost, we had a blast!

 (My Sunday Funday nails, how appropriate)
 (us before we left for the bar)
(I promise I shared)

I'm sure some of you reading this are like OMG she talks about eating healthy and working out, then she goes out and drinks beer??? EVERYTHING IN MODERATION. I refuse to restrict myself from things that I enjoy whether they are unhealthy or not. I drink maybe once every two weeks, I eat healthy 90% of the time and workout hard.

Just Keep Sweating

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A perfect Saturday

I start the day with coffee and my blueberry oatmeal:

I use a 1/2 cup of oats, 1/2 cup of almond milk(sometimes 3/4) a drizzle of honey and sprinkle of cinnamon. It's super yummy and gives me energy for my workouts.

In Jump and Drill I find myself getting really frustrated with some of my moves, specifically my backside kick. We have our back to the pad, take one step backwards and kick while moving. My brain cannot handle such moves, even after a year of taking this class I cannot perfect it. So I have two goals for the New Year (so far) be able to do 100 perfect push-ups:right now I can do 10 and 90 messy ones, and work on my kicks. 
Power X was brutal. It was windy and 54 degrees, but felt 38 to me. We did a bunch of new moves. On the ropes we had to do the chariot on one leg for :45 seconds, each side. I could not keep my balance to save my life, but the second time around I felt a little more stable. TRX was also tough because it involved moves on one leg as well. By the end of the 30 minutes I was exhausted, but no matter how hard that class is, I always walk away feeling stronger than the week before. I think that's why I keep signing myself up for what some would call "torture." 

 After Power X I had my weekly Starbucks date with Lauren, Grande coffee in a venti cup with pumpkin spice please!
So delicious.

I spent the remainder of my afternoon alternating doing laundry and watching Harry Potter movies on the couch with these guys:
How cute are they?! I mean I know every mom says that about their "kids" but mine are really cute!

Saturday night is date night. The best night of the week, if you ask me. Eddie and I went to the Walt Whitman mall because I was on the hunt for a pair of J Crew moccasins I saw online
J Crew, 38.50
of course they didn't have them and I was heartbroken, but that's why they invented online shopping!

We roamed around the mall for an hour or so before heading to dinner at Kodiak's where I had the most delicious Black Bean & Corn burger topped with fresh salsa, a slice of swiss cheese and avacado.
(i also took it off the bun and had maybe a handful of the fries, WILLPOWER!)

 After dinner we went to Target because my hunt for moccasins was not over, I am not exactly sure what my obsession is with mocs these days but I wasn't going down without a fight. By the way, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Target, it is my favorite place to go and just walk around.

 I left Eddie alone for a few minutes and this is what I came back to, gotta love him.

Candy Cane antlers? 
 I was SO excited they had holiday mugs out already. I picked these two up for mom and I to have our morning coffee in.
FOUND A PAIR! They're not as pretty as the J Crew ones but they were half the price and are a great alternative until I can get my hands on the ones I really want.
All in all it was a great day!

Just Keep Sweating

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Finally Friday!

I have today and Monday off this weekend, and I am looking forward to two things: Working Out & relaxing! Today was a busy but fun day.
I started the morning off with breakfast(oatmeal with blueberries) and coffee before taking Bollywood Sweat at the gym
(pre-workout pic)

For those wondering, Bollywood Sweat is a class with 30 minutes of high cardio, 20 minutes of "bolly-inspired" dancing followed by abs and stretching.
After the gym I showered and had a snack, Chobani with Kashi and a drizzle of honey, my favorite.
(it tastes much better than it looks I promise, and it has PROTEIN-perfect post workout)

Then it was time for errands with Mom and Eddie, we went to Costco, where I had two samples: one was colby jack cheese(delicious) and the other was roasted red pepper "skinny" hummus on a cracker(also delicious). I meant to take pictures but I was too busy eating to photograph, whoops! 
After Costco we went to a few stores, Eddie picked out a new winter coat and I won 25$ on a scratch off! Pretty great day if you ask me!

For lunch I made "Buffalo Chicken Salad" which was so tasty and only 180 calories!!!

(I'll post the recipe soon!)

I think I filled this cup up 12 times today. Yay hydration!

 I ended the day with babysitting the neighbors babies for a few hours and then came home to this little guy:
:) love my pups!

Overall it was a nice day off, I hope to be asleep by 10 to make sure I am ready for tomorrow's Jump & Drill and PowerX workouts.

One of my best friends sent me this pic that she took while running through Philly and I had to share:

Just Keep Sweating