Calorie Counting Update

Hi everybody! Happy Friday! I wanted to give you an update on my new “plan”, which is calorie counting with the MyFitnessPal app. Ok, first of all – how is this app free? It’s freaking awesome, and way more functional, interactive and efficient than the Weight Watchers app. No offense to Weight Watchers, but as somebody in the digital industry, MyFitnessPal blows me away with its functionality. It also flashes this cool little update when you finish counting calories for the day that tells you, “If you ate this way everyday, in five weeks you’d weigh XXX pounds.” Very motivating!

I’m finding calorie counting strangely much easier than tracking points. The only “calculation” required is typing in what I ate – and usually, the exact brands and portions comes right up. I’m also a lot more full, and I think I figured out why. On Weight Watchers, I’d stave off hunger with zero-point fruit. What I’ve realized now is that fruit wasn’t really ever filling me up… in fact, it might have been making me even more hungry. I’m not eating as much fruit, but I’m not eating as much in general now – focusing more on heavier breakfasts and lunch. MyFitnessPal has me at 1,900 calories a day to lose 1 pound a week. I weigh in on Monday morning with my university nutritionist. I’m curious how it’s going to go – it’s been three weeks since I weighed in. It could be really good, really bad, or the same. We’ll see! I’ve also decided not to weigh in weekly. I get a little too focused on the number, and I think it’s better for me to focus less on what the scales says and more on what my body and clothes and FitnessPal say.

Here’s an example of how I’m eating. I’m trying to pack protein and fiber into my mornings, and focus on a slightly larger lunch to keep the snacking at bay. I’m still obsessed with Chobani 2% Mango, and I usually have a small snack at night – in this case, it was a small bowl of raisin bran. I usually don’t drink whole milk but it’s all we had, so it was a nice creamy treat.

I exercised for 40 minutes and ended the night with 262 something calories. Not too shabby. That’s 8 peeps! ๐Ÿ˜‰

What are your thoughts about calorie counting? I initially thought it would be incredibly hard and force me to eat lettuce and water. In fact, it’s much easier than I thought!

Have a wonderful day!




My new gym

Fancy Matador Recreation Center

Today, I had a little bit of a stomach ache. Today, I also decided I was going to the gym – no ifs, ands or buts about it. And then the stomach ache got worse.ย  My intentions were good. But my stomach was not good. I pondered this over and over. The husband chimed in. And then I thought, “No. You know what? If I do the same thing I’ve always done, I’m going to get the same results I’ve always got.” So I got dressed. I went to the gym. And I walked for 45 minutes on an incline, and my stomach ache went away. Figures. I’ve had the not so shocking realization lately that to lose weight, you kind of need to be all or nothing. It’s not 60% here and 90% there. It’s got to be mostly all or nothing. If I keep putting out half attempts to lose weight, I’m going to get half success in return. So I bucked it up, grabbed a magazine and got my butt walkin’.

Rock Climbing Wall

I’m super spoiled to have a new and beautiful gym at my disposal – the CSUN Student Recreation Center. It’s included with my tuition, so I get to use it for “free”. There’s a rock climbing wall that I’ll surely hit up when I’m a little bit more in shape, three separate cardio equipment areas, and an indoor track that looks down into a racquet ball court. It’s snazzy! There’s also cute copy all over the place, like a sign above the water fountain that says “This is not a spittoon, others will be drinking soon.” Clever. Well played, CSUN copywriter, well played.

Blurry fancy robot pod machine thing because I was in motion!

What I love most, however, is the fancy machine-robot-pod- TV-thing that’s attached to every cardio machine. I can plug in my head phones and watch music videos, TV, On Demand, or… my favorite… RUN THROUGH SCENIC PLACES! It’s cool, yo. Last week I ran through the downtown Chicago Loop, which was kind of hard because inevitably it got me thinking about Chicago Hot Dogs and how if I was there I’d stop and get some caramel corn from Nuts on Clark and… You get the picture. This is what happens when you’re obsessed with food. Even whilst burning off the aftermath of said food, you’re still daydreaming and salivating and longingly thinking, “Oh, fattening delicious thing, wish you were here.”

Tonight, I walked through the Swiss Alps, feeling little tinges of jealousy here and there because my sister was actually in Switzerland all weekend, probably walking among the REAL Swiss Alps. However, this virtual activity thing is super cool, and CSUN’s probably getting sick of me tweeting about it because every time I use the robot machine pod thing I have to tweet them because I loves me some fancy robot pod machine things. It’s just a fun little perk that makes fitness a little more exciting, and a little more interactive.

Food Network Magazine: To remind you of all the things you can't eat because you'll have to work out longer to burn them off.

So yeah. I enjoyed a little virtual exercise, and then because I like to torture myself, I read the new Food Network magazine and pondered their recipe for buttercream with egg whites. It was a positive exercise experience – one I hope to replicate very soon.

Do you have any perks or special things about working out that make the experience a little better, especially if you’re naturally lazy about fitness, like yours truly? Tell me your secrets!

(PSST: See that little indentation next to the red towel? That area perfectly cradles an iPhone or iPod. It’s kind of creepy. Like they designed it that way. I’m telling you, these are state of the art fancy robot pod machine things!)


PS: Big thank you to everyone who entered my giveaway, and an even bigger thank you to EatSmart for sponsoring a scale! I hope to have more exciting giveaways soon. We have a lucky winner, and it’s Sharon, who said – ” I’m so happy to be your winner! Just tonight I needed a scale to weigh out flour for a recipe – this is wonderful!” Congrats, Sharon!


3 Day Weekend Recap

Hi everybody – I hope you had a great weekend! I was lucky enough to have Friday off, and I used this weekend to completely recharge, do some fun things, and finish a few projects around the house. On Thursday night, we went to the LA County Museum of Art to see a surrealistic wonderland exhibit. Some of the highlights included seeing work by Frida Kahlo, including Las Dos Fridas. Her work has such a visceral feeling to it, and it’s even more intense in person. This painting is about five feet wide and staggering in person.

Las Dos Fridas at LACMA

The biggest project we crossed off our list this weekend is our garden! Every year Matt and I spend a lot of time working on our garden, and we reap the benefits in late summer when we’re practically begging our friends to take tomatoes. This weekend I put in cucumbers, green beans, peas and zucchini – now growing in two boxes filled with hot peppers, green peppers, and six different kinds of tomatoes (I know, excessive much?!). Matt also put down weed block and mulch to keep the area a little nicer. Doesn’t it look good?

Our garden - ready to grow!

After a long day of ripping weeds, planting plants and general putzing around the yard, we celebrated Easter with a ham, mashed potatoes, peas and rolls. It was tasty, and we have tons of ham leftover – time for frittata and split pea soup! That was Saturday… and then on Sunday, we spent our actual Easter at the beach! How spoiled can we get? We live about 45 minutes from Malibu and we spent our day reading on the sand and walking up and down the coast.

Zumba Beach Malibu

While we were there we saw a beached seal – this poor little guy didn’t look too hot. A crowd of teenagers had gathered around him and were trying to figure out what to do. Being old and jaded, Matt and I had a feeling he had come out of the water to die, but we didn’t want to say that… so we kept walking. Haha. I hope he’s okay – but any seal that’s beached itself and doesn’t even move when strange, loud humans approach it is probably not in the best health. ๐Ÿ™

Sick beached seal - poor guy

We spent a couple of hours relaxing at the beach and then came home and made pizza. This pizza had caramelized onions, garlic, olive oil, mozzerella and asiago cheese. It was delicious – but so savory we both stopped after a piece and a half!

Savory caramelized onion and garlic pizza

It was a great long weekend and exactly what I needed to plow through this last month of the Spring semester. I’m also geared up to get back on track with healthier eating and fitness. I officially ended Weight Watchers and am back to calorie counting and cardio. I’ll do a weekly weigh in a little earlier this week since I still owe you two from the past two weeks! Please don’t forget to enter my EatSmart Scale Giveaway – and share it with your friends! There’s only one day left, so enter now!

I hope you have a wonderful Monday – Chin Up!


Cupcake Decorating: My fav new hobby

Tonight, I baked and decorated over 70 cupcakes – 50 mini, and 24 full size. Why? Because I felt like it. So tomorrow, my coworkers and matt’s coworkers are going to be very hopped up on sugar.

Easter Cupcakes!

I feel like I’ve stumbled on a lucky little pot of gold for myself – I used to hate baking, but I’ve come around to it, thanks to my cake decorating class. I spent two hours tonight just relaxing with a piping bag and frosting, listening to music and decorating cupcakes. It’s a good stress relief for me, but what’s even better about it is I pretty much have 0% temptation to eat any cupcakes! I’ll work one into my calorie counting every now and then, but what I love about making cupcakes isn’t eating them – it’s the process of making something pretty, and then sharing that creation with friends.

Marbled pastel buttercream

I’m also glad because I feel like I’ve been doing a good job keeping the creativity in my life the last few months. One of my goals for 2012 was to do more creative things, and this blog, cupcake decorating and a few other things have been great for nurturing my artistic side. You can do a lot with cupcakes – marbling, filling, piping, sprinkling… the sky is the limit. It’s kind of easy to fall in love with. The only thing I hate about making cupcakes is the clean up!

Tonight I played around with the SkinnyTaste Coconut Cupcakes recipe, and made a batch of straight chocolate cupcakes as well. I used peeps, cadbury eggs and shredded coconut on top of standard butter cream to decorate. My kitchen was trashed afterwards, but oh well – it was a good time, and in some small way I might brighten someone’s day tomorrow with a pretty cupcake!

Cupcake baking makes for a messy kitchen!

What hobby have you found that just takes you away for a little bit? Reading, cooking, running, painting, etc? I wanna know! I hope you’re having a great day!

****Don’t forget to enter the EatSmart Precision Pro Kitchen Scale Giveaway! Visit my post here, and just leave me a comment telling me why you want to win!ย ย  *********

Fat Betty Draper on Mad Men – Let the fat shaming continue

Do you watch Mad Men? I recently got into the show, and ripped through all of the episodes on Netflix, one after another, on hazy Friday nights with a glass of wine and husband by my side. I really like it because it bears a lot of similarities to what I do for my day job (and yes, that is unfortunate in some ways), and it’s a well written, cheeky show.
~~~~Spoiler Alert: Do not keep reading if you haven’t seen the episode yet! ~~~~~~

Last night was the second show of the season, and there seems to be ONE thing everybody is focusing on. Fat Betty Draper. Betty Draper is the frosty yet freakishly beautiful housewife – the ex wife of creative director Don Draper and current wife of politician Henry Francis. Much of her role on the show has been to serve as the 1950s arm candy to her husbands – as a lithe, gorgeous blonde, her main job was to prove to hungry potential business partners that her husband(s) (be it advertising or politics) were all around good guys.

January Jones, the real life actress who plays Betty, was pregnant while filming, so the writers decided to write her in as having a potential thyroid problem, and in the episode she appears to have gained 30-40 pounds. The scene opens with her trying to squeeze into a dress and faking sick when she realizes she can’t get into it. I really empathized with Betty through out the episode – as someone who has perpetually been fat, I know what it’s like to feel like your whole self worth is based on your jeans size. The show was very well written, and didn’t seem to focus on fat as a bad thing, just a change for appearance in a main character.

However, I’m more interested in the reaction of the public. Check out this headline by the Hollywood Reporter – c’mon – was the pun THAT good? Really?

People all over Twitter showed their emotions with expressive tweets like these:

“Betty (Draper) Francis really needs to die. Can’t stand her and now that she is fat, she serves no purpose.”

“My motivation to hit the gym today is chubby Betty Draper.”

“After seeing what fat Betty Draper looks like, I kind of want to starve myself…”

“ill correct that. january jones pregnant. not betty draper fat. thats gross.”

I just want to know what it is about FAT that freaks people out in such an extreme way. I understand the tweets above are directed at a character, not a real person, but the reality is we all know plenty of people who look like Betty or are even heavier. Even with her excess weight she was a stunner, but people can’t seem to handle her metamorphosis from string bean beauty queen to larger leading lady.

Why do people hate fat people so much? Is the sight of obesity really so vulgar and offensive? Also, what makes fat people an easier target to pick on? Sure, sure, people picked on Angelina’s weight at the Oscars – many claimed she was skeletal – but I think this leads to a bigger issue, that we’re a society so accustomed to constantly picking apart the physical appearance of women that it’s become the norm. If Don Draper had porked up in the episode, I bet the reactions would have been more along the lines of, “Oh, he’s got a big beer gut – too much schmoozing with the secrataries!”, and his portliness would be applauded as a direct result of his success, not that he “let himself go”.

What do you think? As a fellow voluptuous blonde, am I just being too sensitive to people’s harsh comments about fat Betty?

Review: EatSmart Food Scale and Giveaway

39g of Dried Mango is only 120 calories! Score!

Hi there! How was your weekend? Mine was AWESOME… because I spent it in the garden, getting my hands dirty and planting veggies! Pix later this week. Today, I’m delighted to review the EatSmart Precision Pro Scale and give you a chance to win one of your own! But first, here’s the stuff good bloggers should always admit: Disclosure: I did receive a complimentary scale from EatSmart for this review.Remember how I was getting frustrated with Points Plus and said I would be starting to weigh out my portions? I knew I needed a scale to make sure I wasn’t fudging any numbers. I like to eat things like dried mango, and the calorie count is measured in grams – for example, 38 grams is 120 calories. How would it even be possible to measure grams without a scale?!
Here’s what I loved about the scale:

  • Super easy to use. I didn’t even have to read the manual to know how to toggle

    Measuring is easy thanks to the Tara function that deletes the container weight...

    between different measurements, to turn it on and off, etc.

  • It has a nice, sleek look that would match any decor well.
  • It comes with batteries (so convenient – I loved that), and has an automatic turn off after 3 minutes if you get busy doing other things.
  • The display window has big, easy to read numbers and letters – perfect for people like me who always lose their glasses.
  • Wipes clean with a damp rag – no need to wash, and the plastic material seems like it would be easy to clean up should you have a big spill.
  • It does the trick easily and measures accurately, which is the most important thing!
  • Affordable price. On Amazon, this scale is priced at $25.00 and has over 3,000 5-star reviews. WOW – feedback like that doesn’t lie.

    Nice, simple packaging.

I only have one nitpicky thing to mention –

  • The stainless-steel looking buttons show finger prints pretty easily. If you want to keep it out on the counter top, you’ll have to be a little more maniacal about wiping it down more if you’re a spaz like me ๐Ÿ™‚ But, most normal people won’t even notice, so carry on!

Overall, the PrecisionPro Scale is a GREAT choice if you’re looking for a food scale. It also comes with a 2 year warranty, which is a big deal in today’s economy. If a company is willing to back something up with a long warranty, you know it’s a quality product. Check out EatSmart’s website for more details – how cute is thisย red retro scale? It totally reminds me of something Rachel Ray would have in her kitchen.

Want a chance to win your very own EatSmart scale? It’s super easy – just leave me a blog comment telling me WHY you want to win – and then when you do that, you’ll unlock five more easy entries! Make sure you use a real e-mail address when you comment so I can contact you if you win! This giveaway is for US residents only. Also – for every new Facebook “like” that Eat Smart gains in April, they’ll donate .50c to the Susan G Komen Foundation. So even if you don’t want a scale – “like them” to help raise money for breast cancer research.

I use rafflecopter for my giveaways, so I will randomly choose one winner on the morning of Tuesday, April 10. I think that’s all! Let me know if you have any questions – and GOOD LUCK!

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