Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Home Again...

We're home and camping was fun. As always, it seems it takes more time to recover and unpack from camping than the time you take for the actual trip!

I had a great "wow" moment. I actually got into a kayak! I would have never done that 18 months ago! My Husband had been trying to get me to do it, and so finally I did. I took the Kayak to an inlet off the lake where it was so peaceful. So still. I really just tried to be in the moment, listening to every sound and notice even the smallest movement. It was breath-taking.

I know... probably going tree-huggin'-hippy on you, but it really was beautiful.

Cassie rode a horse -- she was excited to do it, but once on Pepe it was a different story. The cowboys leading the trail-ride thought maybe she was suffering from motion sickness while on the horse. That happens sometimes. Poor thing. We were not allowed to get off, so we had to tough it out. :( She did it though, just like a champ.

It also seems my Daughter has lost all fear of the water/pool. At 3 1/2 she's jumping in from the side and holding her feet. She's going under, coming back up and is having great fun. She starts swim lessons in a few weeks and she'll be more than ready to go!

Aside from the heat and humidity (oh and the ducks and cats doing *it* all night) over the weekend, it was great fun!

I'm excited for the weekend to come. I'm headed to my friend's house in Dallas. We're going to see the opening of Sex and the City and make a "girl's weekend" out of it. After camping, I'm sooooo ready for a pedi!

More to post later... just 2 1/2 weeks until the TriAmerica in Clear Lake. Having no time is the story of my life. Argh! There is just never enough time. Never enough.

One more thing... that Mar-a-Lago Turkey burger that was supposed to be the bomb-diggity? My family and I didn't think much of it. They were pretty good the next day though. I think the recipe is a good start, but it needs something more. Could be that the additional Chutney to top the burger was necessary. *shrug* Don't waste your time on the recipe. Oprah let me down this time. *shock* LOL

I did however make a fantastic pork tenderloin roast. Don't fear the white meat of pork! I eat so much chicken and turkey that sometimes I feel like I could lay and egg or cluck! My husband found this recipe in one of his muscle mags... can't remember the name of it or I'd give a shout-out! Could use a little garlic in the stuffing as well. :)

Artichoke & Spinach Stuffed Tenderloin

2 lbs. Extra Lean Pork Tenderloin
1 C. Part-skim Ricotta Cheese
1 Tsp. Dried Basil
5.5 oz. Artichoke hearts in Water (not marinated)
1 Bag Baby Spinach, Chopped (Yeilds 2 C.)
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Butterfly-cut the port tenderloin.
  • Chop up the Baby Spinach and Artichokes and mix together with Ricotta and Basil.
  • Spread the mixture on the inside of the porkloin and tie together in at least 6 places.
  • Brush outside with a little Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper.
  • Bake for 25 minutes.

Number of Servings: 6
Calories: 313.1
Total Fat: 10.6 g
Cholesterol: 132.1 mg
Sodium: 143.8 mg
Total Carbs: 3.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.6 g
Protein: 47.7 g

Friday, May 23, 2008

Campin', Tri'n, Rememberin'

Well, the family is off for camping at Lake Livingston State Park. It's one of our favorite parks to go to for a quick get-a-way. This will be Cass' first time camping. The park has lots of activities to offer as well. Cassie can't wait to go horseback riding! They also have a pool, and of course lots of Nature walks, etc. We're bringing the boat and bikes, so it will make for a nice active weekend. Speaking of active... 21 days until the tri.

I can do this.

I will do this.

In honor of Memorial Day, please remember our troops. Our country's soldiers are the reason we get a day off! Check this out at the USO website; make a donation get a free flag!

While I may not necessarily support all our current government's politics, I always, whole-heartedly support our troops.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


We're headed for the great outdoors for the holiday weekend! I'm kind of excited about getting out of Dodge for the weekend, but it's always a production getting ready to go. That said, it is always worth it in the end. I can't wait to take Cassie horseback riding and we plan to take the boat and bikes. It should be fun!

Not sure if I ever mentioned this, but Cass has Anisicoria. Anisicoria is either a harmless birth defect where one pupil is more responsive than the other, or it is symptomatic of neuroblastoma (brain cancer - which I refuse to capitalize in terms). Anyway at about 4 months old we noticed it and spent 2 days at UTMB having her tested in the pediatric oncology unit. They did an MRI. They sedated her for it, but infants at that age can only have so much sedation. By the time it was Cass' turn to hit the tunnel, she was slowly coming out of sedation. They strapped her in and turned on the machine. MRI machines are LOUD; can you imagine how loud they are to a 4 month old? Anyway, she started crying and flailing. It was a horrible experience for all of us. :(

Long story short, they determined she did not have neuroblastoma. But in the back of our minds we always worry because how the heck could they get a decent MRI with her moving around so much? If anyone knows how MRI technology works, I would love some reassurance. This time of year we're always reminded because we have to have her eyes checked out annually and the "what if's" start flowing again.

Totally changing the subject... I've been taking a new fish oil supplement. My husband, the smarty-pants that he is, found out that the Odorless Fish Oil Caps are doubly-hard to digest because it's the cap that has the component which makes them odorless/burpless. Me, having limited digestion capabilities, I decided to try Coromega as a replacement.

This supplement is like a pudding -- you can just suck it right out of the packet, or they also suggest adding to yogurt, smoothies and like. It's been friendly on my tummy and no burps! Also of note, is that the fish oil product is distilled for purity. Not all fish oil supps are alike, so check them out!

The nice folks at Coromega are offering a free sample.

I've tried the "Orange with a hint of Chocolate", and it's pretty good. I was a little concerned about a GU like texture, but it is much thinner and truly I can just swallow it without having to wash it down. It also doesn't have a oily feel at all. It also boasts 28% more good stuff than the regular supps. I have blood work done in June, so we'll see if it makes a difference in my healthy cholesterol levels. :)

On a sad note, my prayers are with "GG (G'ma Gloira, my bio-g'ma). On Sunday, her youngest son, Dominick, died of lung cancer. Dominick was the one person left in the family that could confirm that I was indeed his brother's child. When I was born Dominick used to come visit my Mother and I even though Joey (my bio-dad) for forbidden by his father.

No one ever told GG of my existence because they knew she would want to help my Mother, against her husband's morals. I never got a chance to meet Dominick (or my bio-dad for that matter), but I truly believe I was meant to find GG so that she has some lineage from at least one of her Sons (neither Son married). I think she's 86 years old now, and has outlived her entire immediate family. She is a strong lady, that's for sure. She is also very blessed to have such a great family (they really are); as they care for her during this time.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Cassie's Recital - Encore!!! :)

Last night was Cassie's recital. It was an exciting day for our lil' one (and for us too!) Momy and Daddy both got a little teary-eyed. Can you believe that? LOL

If I hadn't mentioned it before, I love the dance school Cassie is at. It's not like they're the most posh and have the most talented kids, though there are some, but the owner truly loves dancing. Her only goal is to provide an outlet for kids, tweens, teens and adults alike to just dance for fun. She made such an simple yet heartfelt introduction before the recital about how much dance and her students mean to her, and made a specific point to mention how non-competitive and sans drama the school is. And it is. So, thank you Miss Jill and all your teachers at Jill Rauscher School of Dance for contributing to my Daughter's fun and appreciation of dance. :)

Here are the pictures (and video below).

The "Ballerina" and Mommy post-recital

The "Ballerina" and Daddy post-recital

Cassie and her "back-stage big sister", Elizabeth.
Elizabeth took care of Cassie and made sure she was right on cue!
(Incidentally, Cassie wanted to go home with her!)

A litle pre-recital posing...

Our little star dancing in Italy (see the colleseum?)
Seriously, we're outside of Mario's Seawall Italian Restaurant
(Awesome food, if you're ever in Galveston, TX)

Cheesin' it up at Dinner
Here's the video footage...

She's 4th from the right.
Yeah, that's right... the one that's not moving
until she warms-up halfway through. LOL

Something New To Try

Will report later with a review... We're skipping the bread and the Mar-a-Lago chutney.

Mar-a-Lago Turkey Burger

(Donald Trump's new Resort)
Recipe courtesy of Jeff O'Neill

Serves 6

1/4 cup scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
1/8 cup canola oil
4 pounds ground turkey breast
2 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. black pepper
2 tsp. chipotle Tabasco™
1 lemon, juice and grated zest
1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup Major Grey's Chutney, pureed

Sauté the scallions, celery and apples in the canola oil until tender. Let cool. P

lace the ground turkey in a large mixing bowl. Add sautéed items and the remaining ingredients. Shape into eight 8-ounce burgers.

Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Season the turkey burgers with salt and pepper.

Place on a preheated, lightly oiled grill. Grill each side for 7 minutes until meat is thoroughly cooked.

Let sit for 5 minutes.

Serve with a side of Mar-a-Lago Pear Chutney and your favorite toasted bread, pita or hamburger roll.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Workout for yesterday...

Alt'd Seated Military Press and Side Lats:

Military Press
20x35 lbs.
20x40 lbs.
18x40 lbs.
15x40 lbs.

Dumbbell Side Laterals
10x17.5 lbs. (a little too agressive)
3 sets 15x15 lbs.

Alt'd Tricep Rope Pull-downs & Wide Grip Row

Tricep Rope Pulls
15x30 lbs.
10x30 lbs., 5x20
20x20 lbs.
15x20 lbs.

Wide Grip Row
20x50 lbs.
3 sets 18x60 lbs.

4 sets 20x50 lbs.

Alt'd Overhead Dumbbell Extensions & Dumbbell Press

Overhead Dumbbell Extensions
4 sets 18x15lbs.

Dumbell Press
18x15 lbs.
15x15 lbs., 5x12.5 lbs.
10x15 lbs., 10x12.5 lbs.
10x15 lbs., 10x12.5 lbs.

Did not meet my planned Cardio goal of 40 mintues; had to get out of there to pickup the munchkin from school!

5 min warmup
3/2 interval on 8% incline at 3.5 mph
3/2 interval on 9% incline at 3.5 mph
3/2 interval on 10% incline at 3.5 mph

"Pain is just weakness leaving the body." - Unknown

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Google Reader & SquatFest

Can I just say how much I love Google Reader? I mean it, seriously, I do. I love how I can get to my online friends from one source (as long as they have a feed). No more do I have to login here and login there to see when they've updated.

Yesterday was SquatFest at the gym:

Alt'd sets of dumbell squats, squats and lunges...

4 sets 15 x 45 lbs.

4 sets of 15

2 sets of 15 on right
2 sets of 15 on left

Alt'd single-legged squats and leg lifts on bench

Single-legged Squats
2 sets of 15 on right
2 sets of 15 on left

Leg Lifts on Bench
4 sets of 18

Finished off with Crunches
4 sets of 20

Sunday, May 11, 2008

On Mother's Day

Cassie is the whole reason I get to celebrate Mother's Day. To all the Mom's (and Dad's who have to be part-time Mom's and teachers who care for our kids like Moms) remember that each day you are appreciated -- it doesn't take a day of observance to say thanks. :)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Shelly's Oatmeal Raisin Protein Cookies

Darren is kayacking today. Cassie and I have been running errands and baking.


Yes, baking!

The first event was Shelly's Oatmeal Raisin Protein Cookies. Of course the amazing Melting Mama turned us on to them... as she does with everything she reviews. :) She's like Oprah's book club... Oprah says a book is good, it turns #1. MM says a product/recipe is good, the WLS community has to storm the stores/Internet to find it. LOL. So to make the review process a little more entertaining, I've enslisted my almost 4 year old daughter to help me. Who gives the truth better than a pre-schooler, right?

So, here's Cassie and her first cookie review:

Recipe: Shelly's Oatmeal Raisin Protein Cookies
1/4 cup Raw Almonds, ground
1/2 cup Steel Cut Oatmeal
1/4 cup Soy Flour (7 g. of protein per 1/4 cup)
2 scoops of Vanilla Protein Powder
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
3 Tablespoon Sugar Free Torani Syrup
2 Tablespoons Almond Butter
1 Egg, beaten
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
dash of Salt
1/3 cup Nuts, chopped (I used Pecans)
1/4 cup Dried Fruit (I used Raisins and Unsweetened Dried Cranberries)
10 Sugar Free Chocolate Baking Discs (or 4 miniature bars), chopped (I substituted witha 1/4 c of mini morsels)

Preheat oven to 325.

In a mini food processor whiz almonds, 1/4 cup of the oats, soy flour, 1 scoop of the protein powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt till fine.

Add Torani syrup and whiz again*.

In a separate dish beat egg, almond butter and vanilla together. Combine both. Add additional scoop of protein, the other 1/4 cup of oats, nuts, fruit and chocolate pieces.

Scoop with a small ice cream scoop onto a parchment paper lined baking tray. Pat down slightly. (I went my fingers with hot water and they didn't stick).

Bake at 325 for 9 minutes exactly. They will look light on the top but trust me they are done. Soy flour browns quickly.

Remove from tray immediately and cool on a wire rack. Makes 16.

*Be sure to add the Torani syrup to the dry ingredients.

Details on the second baking event to follow, but it's not nearly as health conscious a recipe, except that it is made from 100% whole wheat flower.

Friday, May 09, 2008

So..... I'm back. It's been a busy week. I had not been to the gym in 7 days, until yesterday. Certainly not the routine for someone who is planning on doing a triathlon in just 5 weeks. Ugh! I need to get on the ball this weekend, for sure

Went over a new macronutrient plan with my trainer yesterday. We're going to decrease protein and carbs, just a tad and increase fat. I'm reducing my training sessions with him to once a week and will be responsible, solely, for my reamaining 2 days of resistance training.

Anyway, here's the basic menu. Protein sources mgiht change but will have about the same nutrient value - I probably won't change much for a while. The routine works well for me during the week. I'm also allowed one cheat meal every 7 days. :)

Cottage Cheese, Nonfat, 0.5 cup (not packed)
Old Fashioned Quaker Oatmeal- Plain, 0.5 serving
Fat free half and half, 0.5 cup

AM Snack
Organic Peanut Butter Smooth/Salted, 1 tbsp
Suzy's Kamut Puffed Cakes, 1 serving
Nutrition Pro V60 Protein by Labrada, 1 serving

Tilapia, 4 oz
0.5 cup cherry tomatoes
Spinach, fresh, 1 cup
Alvarado Bakery Sprouted Whole Wheat Bread, 1 serving
Balsamic Vinegar, 1 tbsp

PM Snack
Suzy's Kamut Puffed Cakes, 1 serving
Organic Peanut Butter Smooth/Salted, 1 tbsp
Nutrition Pro V60 Protein by Labrada, 1 serving

Broccoli, cooked, 0.5 cup, chopped
Chicken Breast, no skin, 4 ounces

Evening Snack
Cottage Cheese, 1% Milkfat, 0.5 cup (not packed)

Total Calories: 1,197
Protein: 158 g (51.6%)
Carbohydrates: 86 g (28.6%)
Fat: 27 g (19.8%)

I am so close to 2 major goals... Dropping 100 lbs. and weighing under 200 lbs. I need to think of a good incentive/reward. I'm kickin' it up and I'm going to get there in the next few weeks.

Yesterday's Workout:

Alt'd sets of Step-ups, Curl-to-press, squats, leg lifts and bench press

20 - no weight
18 - 10 lbs.
15 - 20 lbs.

Curl-to-overhead press
Single-leg (R) 20 x 15 lbs.
Single-leg (L) 20 x 15 lbs.
both legs 20 x 15 lbs.

20 - no weight
2 Sets 20 x 25 lbs.

Leg Lifts on Bench
3 Sets, 25, 20, 18

Bench Press
25 X 55 lbs.
20 x 65 lbs.
12 x 95 lbs. , 8 x 45 lbs.

Finished the last 4 minutes with...

Cable Row Underhand (no rest between sets)
20 x 60 lbs.
18 x 50 lbs.
15 x 40 lbs.