Tag Archives: Trader Joe’s

Frankie’s Being Evicted

You know that moment when you know you have made the right decision, all the parts are in place, everything is order, but you still feel like Alice when she goes thrown down the rabbit hole?

Frankie in his natural habitat

That is me, right now. At first I thought that my expanding tummy pooch was due the fact that I had fallen off the wagon with my clean eating and workout habits, but when I started to feel pressure in my stomach and my clothes no longer fit, I knew that Frankie was getting his revenge. It takes a lot for me to willingly schedule a doctor’s appointment and even more for my to call the “girly doctor” on my lunch break. I had a week before my appointment to wrap my head around the possibility that my doctor would tell me that I needed surgery. If you have weak constitutions, please for the Love of Pancakes and Chocolate Chip cookies do not google the terms, Fibroid removal and/or myomectomy. If you do, please don’t search images. You have been warned and I do not take any responsibility for your reaction.

I must admit, at the beginning of the appointment, my doctor was leaning towards renewing Frankie’s lease. But after being ultrasounded every way possible and examined, it was abundantly clear that Frankie was getting his eviction notice. I was surprisingly calm about the whole thing. I had done enough reading and video watching to know what I was in for. What I was not prepared for was my doctor informing me that there is chance I need vertical incision. Yeah, Frankie #1 and #2 (seems that one of my other fibroids decided to have a growth spurt as well) are so big and I am so small, that I need to sliced open.  And I just got a cute new Fendi bikini. There is a chance that this will change when I am splayed out on the operating table, but for right now, one piece swim suits and a Scar Away are in my future.

 

Damn you Frankie

Honestly, the hardest part of this entire process has not been telling people. That truly has been a piece of cake. My family and “circle of trust” have been absolutely amazing. I don’t know what I would do without them. Getting the phone calls, letters, and emails from the hospital have been the worst.It makes everything so real, like “yup, you are going to be under anesthesia, sliced open, crap removed from your uterus, stitched up like Frankenstein and sent on my merry way to spend Thanksgiving convalescing at my parent’s house. While I know that this is a necessary procedure which will improve my quality of life and chances of having kids one day in the very not so distant future. I just want to get everything over and done with. Just yank the bandaid off already and be done with it.

Another thing I am not looking forward to… 4-6 weeks of recovery. The most I have not worked out has been a week, but even then, I would walk at lunch and to and from the train station. What is a girl to do? I guess I can catch up on my knitting, reading, and Netflix binging. Bring it on!

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the end. Pre-Opp appointment with my doctor and pre-admission testing at the hospital, then one last weekend hoorah before the big slice and dice. Until then, it’s all happy thoughts of unicorns, rainbows, glitter, pixie dust, and blue skies up until S-Day (surgery day) and beyond. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you all in the loop about my surgery and recovery!

Later Days
B

I Eat So I Don’t Pass Out

 

My sister cooks. She can spend hours making sauces from scratch,
complex stews, soups and other deliciousness. We won’t even go into the octopus salad
adventure, which included an actual octopus.
Julia Child I am not. Although I could
spend hours, and I have, watching her make aspics and coq au van; the only
reason I cook is to eat. And I only eat so I don’t get hangry or pass out. Pure
and simple.
The simpler the better. If it has more
than 3 ingredients or involves advanced
Culinary terminology, I will not make it. I won’t even read
through a recipe if the ingredients are complicated. Yeah, I have issues. And
just like my simple ingredient list, I have simple cooking techniques. Sautéed,
bake and microwave. Again pure and simple. So when I find a recipe that is easy
to make, tastes good, and I can eat for a week without getting tired of it, I feel like I have won the
lottery.
Case in point…. Bean salad. I had this two weeks ago at a pot luck
dinner and it was amazing. So amazing that I knew that I had to try it. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.
I could not keep this stuff out of my mouth!! I honestly ate it
for 4 days straight and could not get enough off it. Only problem? I ran
out of tortilla chips and had to get more!
This is so easy to make that I even a kid can do it. And total
prep time… 7-8 minutes. Less than that if you are a fast chopper and have an electric
can opener.
 Want to know how to make it? Here ya go!
  • 2 cans of black beans
  • 2 cans of corn
  • 1 can of chick peas – rinsed. (need trick – rinse them in the can! Mind blown)
  • 3 Roma tomatoes chopped
  • Oregano, salt, and basil to taste
  • Dump contents of can into a big ass bowl. Add oregano, salt, and
    basil to taste. Mix well and refrigerate.
  • Eat

 

 That’s it.
I made another batch this week and added another can of chick
peas, garlic, and finely chopped (thanks to my Veggie Chop) red onion. My taste
buds are still singing and I have 6 Tupperware containers full. Oh and I
remembered to get another bag of chips!!
This is the perfect appetizer for a summer cookout or gathering.
Give it a try and let me know how it turns out!
Later Days!

 

B

Bondi Bands to the Rescue!

This is not a paid endorsement. But it might as well be one since I will
probably be shelling out a lot of cash on these bad boys.
My New Sweat Fighting Weapon
I have a “sweating issue”. I am
always hot. I have to sleep with fan year-round. Basically I sweat like an NFL
linebacker. So just imagine what I look like after 40 minutes of Insanity. I
knew I was in for a good sweat session (which I love) when my shoulders were
glistening after Plyometric Cardio Circuit warm up, which is the first 10
minutes of the workout. By the last circuit, I couldn’t keep my eyes open. The
sweat was pouring into them like someone had turned on the sweat faucets full
blast. It is not a fun experience to do exercises with your eyes closed and
near death. I looked like a drowned, harassed, exhausted rat with blood shot
eyes. Pretty picture right?
And it hurt. Sweat hurts when it gets into
your eyes people. It really does. And as the workouts increase in intensity,
the sweat was going to get worse. So I pulled out some of my old headbands and
I made a shocking discovery. The blinding sweat was not coming from my scalp.
It was coming from my forehead. Thanks to a super speedy metabolism, I am now a
full out sweating machine! So all of my “skinny” headbands were not
going to cut it. I had to do something, or should I say buy something.
And this is why I love Amazon and Amazon
Prime. After a quick search of wide, inexpensive headbands, I decided to give
Bondi Bands a try. I had heard of this brand before at some race expos. I
figured I would give it a shot since 1.) Had a lot of good reviews, 2.) Was
under $10, and 3.) Came in many colors, like bright pink. What girl doesn’t like
brightly colored workout gear? The next day, my new sweat fighting weapon was
at my door.
I tested out the Bondi Band on, what else, Plyometric Cardio
Circuit. It was my scheduled workout and would definitely put this bad boy
through its paces. And it worked! No sweat in my eyes at all. Thank you Baby
Jesus. It didn’t slip, slide, or anything. I even forgot that it was on my
head. It stayed in place through basketball drills, burpees, and whatever
craziness Shaun T was throwing my way. It is super lightweight and wicks away
the sweat like a champ. I am sold!
Bondi Band Post Workout – no sweat tears!
So, if you happen to be in the market for a good workout headband,
give Bondi Band a try! If it can handle my man sweat, I am sure it will do
wonders for you.
Later Days!

 

B

Now the real Insanity Begins…

Yes, I am insane… But in a good way….

 

I started Insanity Thursday. Yup, I finally took the plunge into
the deep end of the crazy pool. I completed the infamous Insanity Fit Test Wednesday
night after work and I did better than I thought I did (thanks Max 30!) I even
did full push up jacks. All 19 of them in 1 minute and I am proud of each and
every one of them.
The first 20 minutes of Plyometric Cardio workout
fooled me. I mean really fooled me. 3 cardio intervals followed by at least 5
minutes of stretching. I can handle this. If the rest of the workout is like this
I am set. It wasn’t. The second circuit came along and I was not ready. Like
not ready at all. Like totally unprepared for what my body was about to do. One
move called Level 1 had my heart at Defcon 5. You jump to a plank, do 4
pushups, jump your feet in and then jump up… For a minute. And that is the
second exercise in the circuit. And you repeat each circuit 3 times. Yeah, this
is where the workout gets its name from because it is flipping insane.
I don’t know how I made it through the last circuit. So much sweat
was pouring down my face (I really need to get a good headband). But I pushed
through even though I couldn’t see and thought I was going to pass out and
throw up at the same time. Sounds awesome doesn’t it?
And what is even crazier, I came back for more. Yesterday was
Power Cardio. More my pace because I am not a Plyo kinda girl, but I still had
my ass handed to me. Same warm up, but I knew it was the calm before the storm.
And I was ready for the ridiculous workout that Shaun T was about to put me
through. This workout contains a lot more jumping, and one thing is for sure…
this girl can’t jump. Maybe my body isn’t used to it. Maybe I was holding back
so I didn’t wake the neighbors by sounding like a thundering herd of wildebeests,
but using my core to increase the height of my jumps is something that I am
working on. Wow that sounds hella technical. Another thing that made this
workout easier was that a lot of the strength moves were in Inanity Max 30,
which made them familiar, but still a minute of tricep dips is a bit much.
I also, well I should say, my heart also liked the fact that the
cardio and power sections alternated which gave me time to recover. While my arms
were burning from V pushups, the air was returning to my burning lungs. Talk
about sweet relief. I guess.
But what was really awesome… I didn’t
modify! I’ve talked about how my thalassemia had kept me from going “all out”
in the past, but thanks to my iron pills and a year of heavy training, I am
doing full-on globe jumps, pushup jacks, and basketball drills. Albeit slow and
uncoordinated, but was I doing it! Any progress is good progress.
Insane Sweat Session = puppy salt lick
Today is Cardio recovery day. But if this workout is anything like
the last two… it will be insane.
Let’s do this!
Later Days

 

B

 

Trader Joe’s How I Love Thee

So, by now you are all aware of my absolute love, honor, admiration, and obsession with my new happy place, Trader Joe’s.

One of the biggest, in my opinion, excuses for not eating healthy is that it is too expensive. And you know what? It can be!!!! There have been many times that I have fallen victim to the Whole Foods Wallet Grab all in the name of healthy eating. I have driven 30 minutes to shop at Walmart because it was cheaper. But what else does Walmart have beside fresh vegetables and eccentric clientele? Junk food and lots of it. So covering my broccoli, corn, organic spaghetti sauce, and whole wheat pasta in a protective layer of bad food goodness, was always two bags of Utz’s Honey BBQ potato chips. (See previous post about will power). Don’t get me wrong, my shopping habits have improved tremendously. Avoid the end caps, shop the perimeter, etc etc. But the potato chips kept calling my name, so of course I had to bring them home with me.

Fast forward a couple of months, when I decided to go vegetarian (see post about Frankie the Fibroid). I was trolling Pinterest (OMG, so much good stuff!!) for vegetarian recipe ideas and shopping tips and there it was…. the top 20 vegan items to buy at Trader Joe’s. After perusing the list, I knew that I had to see what other goodies where contained within this Trader Joe’s place, and lucky for me, there is one two blocks away from my job. Score! After making my way through the store, I was waiting for the sticker shock to occur when I reached the register…..

And you know what?? I didn’t happen. Say What??? I spent $34.00 to feel myself for an entire week. This was less than I head ever spent in Walmart on one of my “good” shopping trips.

For those who are not familiar with the holy land that is Trader Joe’s, it is a small supermarket that stocks only organic, vegan, gluten-free, clean foods. They even have their on line of products. And the best part…. this stuff is CHEAP!!!  All clean and organic!! HOLY COW. Instead of reaching for the potato chips, I get two bags of vegan pita chips and two bags of air-popped popcorn as my snack!! A pack of Tempeh… $1.99!!! 16 oz of spinach…. $1.99. A bag of  individual serving sizes of almonds. $7 bucks!!! My life and eating habits are changed for the better. Not only is the food good for you, but it tastes so good!

On a whim, after eating some Chicken Marsala (before the change) and Naan for lunch one Friday. I scoped out the Trader Joe’s freeze aisle and stumbled upon frozen Naan. Not only was it healthy, it was flippin delicious. For two days I had sauteed kale and 2 pieces (I know, one piece too many) of Naan for dinner. And was stuffed!!!

Here are the items that are always on my Trader Joe’s Shopping List:

  • Frozen Corn
  • Kaledscope Chard
  • Durot – Frozen crushed garlic (they do have ginger which I am on the look out for)
  • Lentils
  • Air-popped popcorn ($1.50 for a huge bag) – the Devil
  • Sea Salt Pita Chips  – the Devil’s Helper
  • Dried Seaweed – $.99 – unbelievable 
  • Sliced mushrooms

I will add to this list depending on my taste buds. But basically, I eat the same thing for weeks on end until I get sick of it and move onto the next recipe. My current meal of choice is sauteed chard, kale, corn, lentils, and sliced mushrooms.  If I feel like a little splurge, I will get a bag of Southern Blend greens (collard, turnip, and mustard greens. So tasty).

I knew I wanted to treat myself to something sweet for my birthday, so I decided to try their chocolate ice cream made with coconut milk. Baby Jesus must have made this delectable dessert himself because it was so good. Creamy, chocolaty, and it did not taste like coconut. Hands down it was one of the ice creams I have had in a while, and that is saying a lot. I will be trying the strawberry flavor very, very soon.

Overall, Trader Joe’s is an amazing place with great organic, non-GMO, and vegan choices for a very, very reasonable price and some stores even sell wine and beer. If you live near on, go check it out!!!

*** This is not a paid endorsement. I just love their product!!! ***

Later Days!

B

So you want to be a Vegetarian/Pescatarian?

I guess I still have food on the mind. Diet really can effect your body, positively and negatively. I have been trying to get back on the “clean eating” band wagon for a minute and have been making slow, consistent strides to do so, but like I said in my last post, it has been hard. But I did get my Insatcart delivery from Whole Foods!! There will be an entire blog dedicated to my love and admiration for Instacart (you have been warned)

Now, changing my diet (and lifestyle) is not  a “want to” it is a “must do”. I was recently diagnosed with fibroids. I have named mine Francis, Frankie for short. Frankie the Fibroid. It makes the invader seem like a part of the family.While fibroids are common and not cancerous (thank God), when someone tells you that there is something in your body that it not supposed to be there; it freaks you out. A lot.

Knowledge (Google) can be a good and bad thing. No, I have not consulted Web MD for they clearly would have told me that I have only minutes to live.  I researched possible causes of fibroids. Top of the list…excess estrogen. I guess they’re right when they say too much of a good thing can be bad. And since surgery is not an option (no need to go there if it is not necessary), I decided to see if there was anyway that I could shrink the fibroids naturally.

This led to more Google research and you know what I found out…. 1.) There is a crap load of chemicals out there that mimic estrogen (first clean up diet, second clean up make up bag . 2.) While I was eating clean or cleaner than I used to, my healthy eating habits were actually feeding Frankie. Mind blown. There are certain foods (I am not a scientist, nor do I claim to be) that produce estrogen (dairy, non-organic meat) so my daily does of Fage yogurt and chicken thighs was hurting me more than helping me, even though they are considered healthy foods. Mind spinning yet? Mine is.

So what am I supposed to do now?  Be a big girl and step up to the plate (no pun intended) by building a diet based around foods that reduce estrogen naturally. Translation – become a pescatarian (cold water fish only) and without the dairy. Sounds simple right. Absolutely, but changing habits and routines is hard. Especially if you just changed them and now have to start over again. But we are always changing, and that is how we grow. And we need to always be growing to accomplish our goals and my goal is to banish Frankie without going under the knife.

So what can I eat? A lot actually: The goal is to increase my fiber intake which will reduce the levels of estrogen in my body. Some of these yummy foods include:

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Parsley
  • Spinach
  • Lemons
  • Oranges
  • Apples
  • Oats
  • Berries
  • Beans
  • Brown rice
  • Wheat
  • Tuna
  • Salmon
That’s a pretty decent list if you ask me, and that is only part of it. So I loaded up and meal prepped based on my estrogen fighting food list. Preparation and proper shopping is a must if you want to win the war against bad eating habits.  I am fortunate to work a block away from Trader Joe’s. FABULOUS!! Healthy and affordable. Sign me up. I’ll save the rest of my Trader Joe’s rant for, you guessed it, another blog! And you want to know something weird and awesome…. I don’t miss chicken GASP!!!

These past few days have showed my that as long as I shop right, prep, and bring food with me to work, and avoid trips to the vending machine, I can eat clean with no problem!

And I’ll be honest. I will have days were I will fall off the wagon or eat a Snickers bar instead of an apple. But I won’t cut off my right hand because of it. This past year of being a Beachbody coach and working on my nutrition and fitness has taught me that this is a marathon, not a sprint. You have to trust the process and reward yourself. The minute you mind goes to what you can’t eat is the minute that you set yourself up for failure.

So I’m thinking off all of the new foods that I can eat, the new foods that I can try and spices that I use in my cooking, what new recipes that I can try!

So here’s to new foods and Frankie’s Defeat!

Later Days