Category Archives: nutrition

No pasta… No pasta… No pasta…


Rottttinnnnniiii...... Roootttttiiiinnnnniiiiiiii


I’m almost there… I’m almost one week pasta free. I have til Sunday at 3pm to put it in the win category. I CAN DO THIS.

To be honest, I haven’t been eating low carb in the absence. While I haven’t touched bread, I have had rice or potatoes every day to replace pasta. But, I’m ok with that. This is more about proving to myself that I can live without these sometimes unhealthy staples in my diet and less about fixing a bad habit.

I think that next up on the chopping block will be popcorn. I obviously dont eat this every day, but I do have a HUGE bowl (ok, pan) of homemade popcorn once a week on Sundays.


How are my other challenges going? So-So. I’m doing great on strength training. I got in a half hour last night and went to Body Pump on Monday. Body Pump, btw, was HORRIBLE/AWESOME. I went a couple times when it first started, but dear God… I really dont remember it being that painful. My quads are still not fully recovered yet from all the squats and lunges. But, of course, I am going back again on Monday and possibly tomorrow morning for more punishment.

Running has not been great. I’ve basically lost all motivation to get out there or get on a treadmill and just run. I did sign up for a Turkey Trot 8K (5 miles) on Thanksgiving. I know I can do it after this long hiatus, but just for kicks, I ran 2.5 miles yesterday and felt just fine. I will run on Sunday (4 miles) and again on Tuesday (3 miles) just to be sure.

My BLC group challenge for this week is pirate themed, so this is what I’ll be working on this weekend:

P= Personal Time- find 10min for yourself daily (10pts per day) (think bubble bath, read a book, take a walk etc)
L= Liquid- 8cps water daily (10pts per day)
A= A-hoy there- Shout out to a Spark friend with a goodie or message (10pts per day)
N= Nutrition- Keep calories in range (10pts daily)
K= Kick Butt- Any LEG ST. (1rep=1pt, 100max daily) 1 REP= BOTH legs

Corny, but cute. It’ll keep my strength and nutrition in mind. Since B and I are both saving up money for Disney and potential dog adoptions, we are both thinking a relaxing weekend in would be fine for us!

Tell me how your pre-Turkey weekend is going! Any goals in mind as you fight off the pre-fat pants?


My Week as a Vegetarian


Well, here I am. I was sick with a bitchy cold bug that would NOT give up.

And since I didn’t want to basically cough and sneeze over a public treadmill, I avoided working out every day of this week. Seriously. All that was done was a dance class last Sunday and another one (where I moved much slower) yesterday. I was the DJ for the last Sunday session, and because I’m a nerd, here’s my playlist:

My "theme" was "Best of Playlist." Basically, it was all my favorite songs I've ever played at DDPP. I thought it went over really well and the calorie burn was INTENSE.

So, there’s that.

I didn’t work out and I felt somewhat ok with it. I did have some guilt, but then I would cough something up and everything would be justified in my head.

Another thing I didn’t do? Yeah, I didn’t track my eating. BUT, I did do something awesome…

I was a vegetarian for a week!

For some of you, this is isn’t amazing at all. This would be torture of the cruelest kind. And it was once the Taco Bell cravings hit, but I pushed through.

While I dreamed of cheesy gordita crunches, I did do some research. Being a vegetarian helps conservation efforts of the ecosystem. Even if you eat locally, being a meat eater increases your carbon foot print by a TON. As for the numerous health reasons, I would say helping avoid heart disease is a HUGE motivator for me. I also found that my acne and redness in my skin decreased this week by eating vegetarian. And finally, being a vegetarian saved me about $20 in groceries, even after buying meat replacers. Being a scrooge, this is HUGE.

For all these reasons and countless others, I’ve decided to eat vegetarian every other week. I cant go full on vegetarian. I would miss holiday goodies like Thanksgiving turkey or a steak from my dad’s grill. By at least attempting to eat vegetarian two weeks out of a month, I’m still getting lots of those health, economic, and environmental benefits while still getting to indulge my hamburger cravings.

However, I really need to work on increasing my meal creativity. My food this week, as predicted, was super carb heavy. To make up for it, I am going to try to have a past a free week! This may be my hardest challenge yet. Us Italians are ADDICTED to our carb loading pasta dishes. And if I need something to eat quick, I turn to a bag of frozen raviolis. Now, I need to muster all creativity to combat my daemons head on.

No, Cheesesaurus! I will NOT give in to you!

I should probably also practice eating in calorie range. Under 1800 calories is not hard to do. Let’s add that to the list.

So, those are goals #1 and 2 for the week.

Goal #3 is increasing my strength training… again. I failed at this two weeks in a ROW. (Albeit because I was sick this week.) This will be my week of muscle. Here’s my schedule:

Monday- Body Pump or Yoga… The online schedule for my Y is outdated, so I am not sure if Body Pump is actually offered tonight or not.
Tuesday- Run a 5K
Wednesday- Off
Thursday- Run a 5K and ST
Friday- Off… maybe swimming if I dont have any other plans
Saturday- Spin class and ST
Sunday- 10K run and possibly DDPP class

That’s three days of strength and four (possibly five) of cardio.

To recap… my goals of this week are simple: NO pasta of any kind and 3 days of strength training. Pretty easy. I’ll be sure to come back with an update on how my pasta withdrawal is going. I’m assuming it’s going to be messy.

Me on day 3 without my rotini.

Day 2 of the Weekly Challenge


Let’s just get to the good right off the bat:

Look who hit the minimum calorie intake on the freakin’ money! To be honest, it was probably more. When I eat restaurant food, I always use spark’s tools to search for the dish (in this case, left over beef stroganof), but then pick the highest calories and sodium option of the bunch because I’d rather be realistic about what I ate.

And on top of eating right, I got in a good 5K. My time was 36:30. Not bad. One day I’ll hit the elusive 35 minute! My only complaint was that my shins are still killing me. I’m thinking that once this race is over on Saturday, I am going to limit my running to 3 days a week of 5Ks only. Or, I might make the 10K my weekend long run while we are in the winter. I just need to ease off of my legs and give my shins a good rest.

The rest of the week during the off season will be focused primarily in strength training. I’m going to do my best to attend as many yoga classes as possible and try out some weight training classes as well.

Anyways, so eating and cardio were a positive check. The only thing that was a fail was…

Getting in my 8 cups of water!

Normally, I’m great at this. But on mornings when I have a smoothie, it’s really hard for me to get my typical three glasses in right away and thus my commitment to making it up later in the afternoon falls by the wayside. Of course, I felt pretty bloated this morning which most likely showed when I got on the scale. Meh. Today’s a new day and I’m half way to 8 already.

As for my other goals: I got laundry done, wrote/re-wrote 2 pages of my paper, and made some chicken tacos for dinner. Score.

Tonight’s goals are:

  • Write another page or two of my paper
  • Pasta with earth balance for dinner with a small portion of chicken
  • Drink 8 glasses of water

She’s Was Working In a Barbershop…


I think there is only one person who can accurately describe my current feelings, so I’ll let him do all the talking:



It’s weigh in day.



I worked my butt off. Wait, scratch that. I didn’t in fact, I apparently worked so hard, I worked some of it back on.

Mother f$%ker.

My workouts last week were awesome:

Friday: Hard 5K
Saturday: Spin class
Sunday: 8 miles on a treadmill… on a g-damn treadmill… while watching the BEARS game, damnit.
Monday: 20 minute intense core workout
Tuesday: 60 minute upper body strength training
This morning: Tempo 5K

To be honest, this has been the best week I’ve had in eating as well. I’ve even gotten back to tracking.

But what did all my hard work and persistence get me? 168.4
(For those keeping score, that’s a ounce weight gain)

I've sunk so low, I'm not even above posting a Garfield cartoon.

Part of me, the evil Fran Drescher side, is like,

“Honey, forget about it! You see those workouts? You’ve been getting back to strength training, which is FAB, but really… you know you gain weight for awhile after pumping irons…”

The other part of me, the Cici Babcock (if you will) screams,

“Puh-lease, you non-sensical twit. You still at candy, chips, and even freakin’ McDonalds. Who are you trying to fool, cause it ain’t your waistline.”

Of course, Fran’s mom has something to add…


“Oh, hunnny… stohp beehting yoself up ovah id! Id wahz a lohng wheek. New dawg, ahnowing clahss, big fight… ah dounat ere an there won hurt ya!”

And because this Nanny reference has to end at some point…

“Most annoying blog post ever.”

All of these highly annoying, fictional characters have a point. I worked out a ton, and strength training does mean some initial weight gain. HOWEVER, while I also ate pretty decently, I slipped up big time in the snack department. The stress of the new dog and some drama doesn’t help either.

What am I going to do? Keep on, keeping on. I’m washing my hands of it and moving on. More strength training, because it makes me feel good, and I am going to continue pushing my 5K runs just because they make me feel great. Next week, I’ll get back to yoga and I’ll make sure that I really sweat it out in my spin class. That’s all I can do at this point.

Eat Run Eat


For some reason, as I was typing the title of this blog, this song got stuck in my head:

I’m. So. HUNGRY. So much so, that I’m googling this:

Yes, that is the Hot Doug’s menu, and no, I’ve never been there before. JUDGE ME!!!
I’ve been eating poorly this week. Between the Sonic, ice cream, Rainforest cafe, 2 bags of (eek!) microwavable popcorn, Taco Johns, etc… well, I haven’t done so hot. 
I’m just so hungry.
No. Really. My stomach is singing symphonies to me, and they are more on the line of:
In my head, I tell myself over and over that I should be satisfied with between 1300-1800 calories. That’s what I need to maintain and/or lose weight. I dont need anymore. 
Than I read articles that tell me to eat as much as I like. I’m a runner for Zeus-sake. Putting out over 20 miles a week means I earn a friggin’ cheeseburger or nine. And those fries–carb loading for the weekend. 
But, deep down, I know that this binge is not meant to be. Want to lose weight? You have to eat less, but also more. Try to get a deficit in calories in vs. calories out, but dont take too much out or you’ll hit starvation mode. 
I just want to eat. And eat. AND eat. Preferably, I want to munch on salty, hummus covered anything. As I run longer and farther, that want turns in to a need as the stomach basically threatens to eat itself. Sometimes, this hunger is frightening just in its intensity. Of course, it comes with headaches, tiredness, Modesky-esque rumbling… etc. 
So, I feed it, and I remember that if my stomach is to the point that it could overpower an 80s cover band, then I should eat. I try to be sensible about it. I continue to promise myself that when I ramp down my running in two weeks, I’ll eat less, especially less carbs until this all begins again for marathon training.

10K Recap


See these wonderful, delicious, sympathetic things? They were the only thing getting me across the finish line at the Fleet Feet Sports Women’s 10K/5K on Sunday.

There I was, at mile 6, ready to either throw up, cry, pass out, or all three… but the woman next to me (a saint in a red Chicago Marathon shirt) urged me to keep going. “Just think of the popsicles” she said, breathless as I was. “God, I hope they have red!” I replied.

.1 mile left, I spotted SOB waiting for me. He started filming, I started screaming at him to stop. And in about two seconds, I was across that finish line and searching for that illusive red popsicle. No luck, they only had orange and purple. Sucks being a slow runner. No good popsicles left for those slower than a 9 minute mile pace.

It could have been worse… much worse.

Run Hades had basically sucked the life out of me from start to finish. The ground was a sweltering 84 degrees when the 5000 ladies took off from the marina. My first mile was spent thanking all that is holy for giving me the insight to bring my amphipod water bottle along for the ride. It was then accompanied by curses directed at my shin splints. I wouldn’t blame them. My first mile was fast, even for me, causing my calves to basically buckle under me with each step.

“Slow the fuck down,” I probably said out loud (and to the chagrin of the other runners who already thought I was crazy). 5 miles left and I didn’t plan on burning out at mile 2. I was certainly not going to go down because my calves were a little pissed.

I was also not going to fail while trying to pass the herds of ladies walking the 5K, hand in hand. I get it, this is a celebration. You beat cancer, raised some money, got your lady loves involved, etc…. but do you really need to take up a path with all your love? Cant you just walk two-by-two, or a line? It could be a big freakin’ parade. Some of us are not in it to hold hands. We are there to get sweaty, make a PR, and allow ourselves to eat a second serving of popcorn. Next race that has this issue, I swear I’m going to play a game of Red Rover.

 More photoshop skills learned!

At mile 3, I got to witness the craziness of an enraged golfer. To that man, who cussed out a bunch of fine looking women in short shorts and sports bras running past the drive way to the Lincoln Park golf course… well, you deserve no pity. What you said was horrifying, and I chuckled loudly as the cop came and forced you back in to your car before one of the three women chasing you down could kick your sorry, old, white ass. Next time, check the website or the trail. Signs were posted and races happen almost every weekend.

Mile 4, well nothing happened then. Just hot air.

At mile 5, we headed back to the marina. We circled around the soccer fields and past the lake front church. I finally passed a group of girls who were casually chatting the entire time. No one should be able to chit-chat about their kid’s artwork and run a 10K in 90 degree weather. It’s just not fair.

And then mile 6 happened. My angel in a red marathon shirt guided me to that popsicle heaven. I crashed on the lawn, sucking down that orange juicy stick (mmm… dirty). After a good amount of not moving, SOB and I got back on the trail for the 1 mile walk home… in 90 degree temps. I spent the rest of the day happily eating mac and cheese and popcorn. Nothing like post race, non-guilt.

Other highlights of the weekend?:
– Harry Plopper
– Hair cutz. Wish I took a before picture, but my hair was past my shoulder blades and enough to be deemed a mechanical safety issue. So it got the chop. It was a last minute call, one that I put in the hands of a brilliant and awesome stylist. He did great. My hair feels fresh as a daisy and I can actually see my neck now.
– My eating… Cartman style… I’ll get back to you on the nutrition department. I’ve been bad.
– Oh, and hai, SOB’s Brother, SOB’sLBM had his graduation party. That was fun, but SOB’sLBM’s pictures were not flattering. I cannot wait till there comes a day when I do not look at pictures and shudder. A girl can dream.

Why I Dont Support Your Weight Loss


Support from family and friends means the absolute world to me. Even when you dont know it, you are giving me the strength and courage to fight my deamons- weight loss, depression, desire to eat popcorn every night, addiction to MTV reality shows, etc.

Today, one of my coworkers, whom I only see in the Fall, stopped by my office to ask about music gigs. The first thing she said to me was “Oh my goodness. When did you get so small?” She didn’t know that I had been working my ass (literally) off for the last 9 months. She wasn’t prompted or given a cookie to say such nice things. And I wasn’t wearing lyrca infused miracle panties. She just said it.

Feeling good, I thanked her for her words and we started discussing running and all of my races, including this weekend’s Fleet Feet Women’s 10K/5K. Little does she know that when I’m running on Sunday, I’ll be thinking about how her face lit up when I said, without hesitation, that I am running to get healthy.

It’s easy to blow smoke up my ass. It is still that large, but it’s one thing to show genuine interest. And that’s what keeps me moving. I hope I do the same in return for all of my friends who are out there at the gym or are posting fitspiration blogs and race recaps. We are all in this together.

BUT, and it’s a big BUT, I will not support just anyone. You have to do this smartly. This shouldn’t just be about the number on the scale or the size of your tape measure. This is about obtaining the healthiest, manageable lifestyle. For many of us, that does include dropping 20-30-40-50-100lbs. So, just so we are clear on why I’m not friending you back on Sparkpeople or why I refuse to give you any advice on facebook, here’s a list of my exceptions:

I will NOT support you if you are intentionally eating under 1200 calories a day. Whether it be for a wackado diet or your own need to cut your calories, 1200 is not sufficient. 1200 calories is what you need to have normal brain function- that’s not to strive, create, push yourself through tough workouts. 1200 is the baseline low that you should shoot to get over. And when I mean over, let me say that as a 4’11” female at the weight of this tshirt cannon:

I strive to eat between 1400 calories (non-workout days), 1600 calories (strength and short runs), 2000 calories (long runs or over 2 hours of cardio). I’m assuming you are not as short as me, so add about 100 calories to each of those numbers and you most likely have the number you should be eating at if you are female.

I wont even begin to list all the horrors that could go on if you continue to eat at 1200, but let’s sum it up by saying that you will most likely give up, gain weight (starvation mode really does suck), or wind up with depression/muscle loss/fatigue/hair and nail loss/etc. So dont do it, please.

On the same line, I will NOT support you if you partake in a dangerous or redic. diet trend. That 1200 number? Subtract it by about 400 calories. That’s how much you are allowed to eat for the first week of a diet that requires you to also inject yourself with hormones twice a day. How idiotic does that sound? And oddly enough, it’s a real thing that quack doctors supposedly recommend. Do not tell me you are doing this diet to be healthy when clearly the means of getting you there are downright dangerous.

 Even the caveman doesn’t want to participate in the Caveman Diet.

I will NOT support you if you dont give yourself rest days. It’s a rookie mistake, I know, and there are weeks in which I will forget that my body cannot recover unless I let it. If you’re a new runner, dont run every day. In fact, 3 days a week is what most 5K-10K runners use to train. Any more is unnecessary and can lead to injury. And, if you dont allow your body to rest, I can guarantee you that you will burn out.

I will NOT support you if you are not completely honest about your program and effort. I just read a story about a woman who is tired of listing to her friend complain about all the hard work she puts in at the gym with little results to show. The story goes on to say that the author frequently saw her put in 10 minutes on the “old lady” bike and then spend an hour at the juice bar with a protein shake and a cereal bar.

I know, working out is hard work. And often times, you will get sweaty. Your makeup will run. Your hair will become matted and frayed. And fitness clothes? Sometimes not the most flattering to do squats in. Dont get me started on how boring machines can get or how intimidating classes can be… But these are all excuses. You dont burn a cookie off without sweating just a bit. And you certainly cant take back all those trips to Wendys without making some puddles in spin class. Suck it up. You get what you put in. It may not be immediate and it may not be as exciting as you had hoped, but it will come and it will pay off.

And finally, I will NOT support you if you try to sell me something. When did weight loss become the Mary Kay industry? I’m not knocking those who do it, and I apologize in advance if you do sell for these organizations. But here’s a big warning: Do not even attempt to sell to me. I wont bite. Same thought, but dont even try to make me a part of your “sales team.” I’m not going to your fitness party and I’m certainly not trying your “gourmet” shakes (that will subsequently cost me over $200/month for).

It’s that easy. Eat right, put in the right amount of exercise, know when to rest, and dont try to sell me shit. Do this and I promise that I’ll be there at every mile to cheer you on and blow smoke up your huge bum until it’s small and perky.