Monthly Archives: June 2012

Boot Camp and Exercise Lingo

Last night, I was craving Mexican food, so I made chicken tacos for the boys and a cheese quesadilla for myself.

I found these La Tortilla Factory wraps at the grocery store, and they only have 100 calories for the whole giant tortilla.

I added red onion, green and red pepper, and cheese to mine.

I ate it with a bit of sour cream and pineapple salsa. I also had steamed brussels sprouts on the side. It was so good, I’ll probably have one for lunch today too. I also had some fresh strawberries and blueberries.

I have been trying to eat fruit when I’m craving something sweet instead of reaching for candy. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.


This morning was the Biggest Loser Boot Camp workout at 8 am. Even though I left in plenty of time, I was still five minutes late because I couldn’t find the stupid building. The Saturday workout is at a nearby park, not at the normal park district. I was finally able to find it, but I hate being late. I am the kind of person who is usually a few minutes early to everything.

Boot Camp was tough. It was outside, and it’s hot out today so that makes it feel harder. We did some sprinting, lunges, squats, arm work using our own body weight, push-ups, shuffling, burpees, and ab work. I didn’t eat before, and was hungry by the time I got home.

I had a bagelwich with three egg whites and a thin slice of cheese. Strawberries and watermelon on the side.

I also had a new coffee this morning – Folger’s caramel drizzle. I have been wanting to try this coffee, but kept putting it off. Usually, I like medium or bold coffee with a bit of flavored cream, rather than flavored coffee. But the caramel drizzle flavor kept catching my eye at the store, and I finally decided to try it.

I’m glad that I did because it was delicious. I love coffee.

While eating breakfast, I was reading the new issue of Shape (I can’t seem to break the habit of reading while I eat), and I found a short article that explained exercise lingo. I thought it would be really helpful to someone who is new to exercise or who just isn’t familiar with certain terms.

Anaerobic Exercise – A high intensity activity (like sprinting) performed for fewer than two minutes, that uses phosphate and glycogen – instead of oxygen - as fuel. Anaerobic means “without the presence of oxygen.”

Compound Exercise – A movement that occurs at several joints, working multiple muscle groups. Ex: squats

Drop sets – A technique that involves starting an exercise with the heaviest weight you can lift, then decreasing with each set.

High-Intensity Interval Training – Alternating short bursts of exercise at a very challenging effort level with recovery periods at a moderate level.

Plyometrics – Quick, explosive moves, like jumping, that increase muscle strength and power while blasting calories.

Superset – A set of two exercises done back-to-back, without rest in between.

Target Heart Rate – The beats per minute you should aim for during cardio exercise, based on your intended exertion level.

Questions of the day:

  • Were you familiar with all those exercise terms?
  • Do you like coffee? How do you drink it? I use 1 tbsp. of cream and a Truvia packet.
  • Are you always on-time or are you always running late?


Filed under Biggest Loser, Breakfast, Dinner, Fitness, Working Out

Nuun Giveaway

As I mentioned before, Danny and I are doing the Muddy Buddy in July. I also mentioned that I was applying to represent Nuun in this year’s Muddy Buddy.

Previous Muddy Buddy pics:

Nuun is a tab that you add to your water that is full of electrolytes but has no sugar or carbs and is only around 4 calories.

I recently found out that Danny and I were selected to represent Nuun this year! Yay!

Unfortunately, since we were already signed up for the Muddy Buddy, Nuun was unable to reimburse our fee. (Darn!) But I still received a box of Nuun goodies and shirts to wear for the Muddy Buddy.

We received two water bottles, two technical shirt, and eight tubes of Nuun.

I actually really love that my shirt is pink. Our team name is the Dirty Swines. Get it? Swines. Pigs. Mud. Muddy Buddy. Yeah, I thought it was clever too.

So, it works out that the shirt is pink. I love that it’s a technical shirt, and luckily, it fits perfectly.

The package from Nuun included eight tubes with 12 tabs each, and I still have Nuun at home that I purchased. That’s a lot of Nuun, so I decided to have a giveaway with two tubes of the Nuun. I believe in sharing the wealth, and will ship out one tube of Nuun to two winners!

To Enter:

  • Tell me in the comments which flavor you would love to try: Citrus Fruit or Tropical?

Optional Entries:

  • Like Run Eat Play on Facebook. Comment telling me you did.
  • Like Nuun on Facebook. Comment telling me you did.

The giveaway will go through Monday, and I will post the winners on Tuesday. US residents only please. Good luck!

Stay tuned for some more fun giveaways coming soon!


Filed under Giveaway, Nuun

My Plate

Biggest Loser

Yesterday was my first nutrition meeting of the Biggest Loser Challenge. Basically, the dietician just went over the new My Plate that recently replaced the food pyramid. We weren’t given an exact daily calorie count to follow. Instead, she said we should focus on eating the proper portion sizes and getting in the recommended daily serving of fruits, veggies, grain, dairy, and protein.

I still plan on sticking to my normal 1200-1500 calories per day (higher on the weekends, because I get crazy!), and we’re supposed to turn our food journal in weekly. Maybe this will help with my weekend eating, since I usually giving up writing down what I eat around Saturday afternoon.

After the nutrition class, we had a 5k prep. I thought that we’d start off with some walking and jogging intervals. Nope. We were all supposed to run a mile and then get our time recorded. This was pretty easy for me, but not as easy for a lot of people, which is why I thought we’d ease into it. The instructor did say that we’d be doing walk/run intervals next time.

That mile was the only time I ever came in second place while running in my life. Normally, I’m near end of the pack of runners. The girl who finished before me was speedy. I finished close behind her with a time of 10:08. Now, only if I could maintain that during a 5k.

We all waited for the last lady to finish walking the mile and went to cheer her on. I love how this group of people is so supportive already. Then, I rode my bike home. I like riding my bike, but I hate crossing the busy streets.

Yesterday, we also spent most of the morning at the doctor’s office. I forgave the doctor for making us wait for over an hour when I found this:

They were even sugar-free, which makes me happy. Waiting makes my not happy.


This morning, I had Kashi oatmeal for breakfast, topped with seven blueberries.

Yes, just seven blueberries. Trust me, it would have been more, but there were only seven decent blueberries in the whole container of blueberries. The rest were old, yucky, and squishy.

Since we’re in desperate need of produce, the kids and I headed to the store to buy some. We bought grapefruits, apples, watermelon, brussels sprouts, broccoli, red peppers, and spinach.

I also found this cranberry almond Greek yogurt bar to try. I can’t wait to try it out.

Questions of the day:

  • Do you follow the servings on the My Plate?
  • How long is too long to wait at the doctor?
  • How often do you buy produce?


Filed under Biggest Loser, Breakfast, Fitness, Working Out

12 Hour Fast

I recently read an article in the new issue of Health magazine called, “Can You Eat Late – and Still Lose Weight?” that I found interesting.

Basically, this article says that new studies have found that to burn the most fat, you should go 12 hours overnight without eating. The reasoning behind it is that during the day your muscles use some of the calories you eat for fuel, the rest is stored as glycogen. Overnight, that glycogen is converted to glucose. Once the glycogen is gone, your liver starts burning the fat cells.

Fasting for 12 hours overnight allows your body the chance to convert the glycogen and start burning fat.

I don’t know about you, but I feel like there’s so many “health rules” that you’re supposed to follow.

According to the article, if you eat dinner at 8 pm, you shouldn’t eat breakfast until 8 am. Okay, that’s fine. But the article also says that juice and milk count as breaking the fast, so if you drink a glass of milk at 10pm, you shouldn’t eat breakfast until 10 am.

Now, here’s where I started thinking about the golden rule – Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The article agrees with this, saying that all breakfast eaters typically weigh less, but they say if you eat late at night, around 11 pm or later, you should actually skip breakfast to get the 12 hour fast in.

What about people who regularly eat late because they work late, or go out on the weekends and eat or drink late? Should they regularly skip breakfast and not eat until 11 am? I can understand that if you stay up late, you usually are sleeping later too, but this isn’t always the case. Why is being healthy so complicated?

I tried the 12 hour fast thing, and I got close, but it doesn’t really work for me. For example, Wednesday night I worked out. I got home at 8:30 pm, and had some protein-filled yogurt shortly after. I shouldn’t have eaten breakfast until around 8:45 am. Yeah, not going to happen. I wake up about 7 am, and I need coffee right away. And at 8:45 am, I am busy getting the kids ready to leave the house. There’s no way that I am getting breakfast at the time. I’m eating about 7:30 am. While, I got pretty close to the 12 hour mark, I feel like it’s harder to achieve that it seems.



I am still so sore from the Biggest Loser workout on Monday night. I went to Butts and Guts class yesterday morning, and it was tough. We did a lot of cardio and abs on the Bosu and I was really feeling it. Afterwards, I treated myself to a sugar-free iced coffee from McDonald’s.

I came home, and had some overnight oats for breakfast. My oats included: strawberry Greek yogurt, oats, almond milk, and chia seeds.

I topped it with some sad-looking blueberries.

After picking my niece up yesterday, we packed a lunch and went to the splash park.

The kids had fun playing in the water for a while, and Baby McCutie had fun looking in the grass for things to eat.

Luckily, I’m quick as lightning, and prevented her from consuming grass, sticks, leaves, and bugs.

Later in the evening, the kids had swim lessons. It was a full day of water play.

Questions of the day:

  • What are your thoughts on the 12 hour fast article?
  • How long do you go between your last meal of the day and breakfast?
  • When was the last time you went swimming?


Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Working Out

Drop Dead Healthy – Book Review

I just finished reading Drop Dead Healthy by A.J. Jacobs for Julie’s book club.

( Source)

About the book:

Hospitalized with a freak case of tropical pneumonia, goaded by his wife telling him, “I don’t want to be a widow at forty-five,” and ashamed of a middle-aged body best described as “a python that swallowed a goat,” A.J. Jacobs felt compelled to change his ways and get healthy. And he didn’t want only to lose weight, or finish a triathlon, or lower his cholesterol. His ambitions were far greater: maximal health from head to toe.

The task was epic. He consulted an army of experts— sleep consultants and sex clinicians, nutritionists and dermatologists. He subjected himself to dozens of different workouts—from Strollercize classes to Finger Fitness sessions, from bouldering with cavemen to a treadmill desk. And he took in a cartload of diets: raw foods, veganism, high protein, calorie restriction, extreme chewing, and dozens more. He bought gadgets and helmets, earphones and juicers. He poked and he pinched. He counted and he measured.

The story of his transformation is not only brilliantly entertaining, but it just may be the healthiest book ever written. It will make you laugh until your sides split and endorphins flood your bloodstream. It will alter the contours of your brain, imprinting you with better habits of hygiene and diet. It will move you emotionally and get you moving physically in surprising ways. And it will give you occasion to reflect on the body’s many mysteries and the ultimate pursuit of health: a well-lived life.

I usually read fiction books, so this book was a nice change since it was true story by the author.

At first, I thought that this book would be mostly about eating right and exercise, but A.J Jacobs strives to make his whole entire body healthy including the more forgotten parts like ears, eyes, hands, lungs, brain, heart, etc.

I thought this book was very well-written and funny. There were some parts that had me laughing out loud. It was interesting following Jacobs in his quest to become the world’s healthiest man. When he does things, he does them to an extreme. Does anyone else you know wear noise canceling headphones all day or walk around the city with a safety helmet on? Probably not.

While I found all the things that he did interesting – eating clean, wearing helmets, running barefoot, safety proofing his house – I wish there were parts that he went into a little more detail. I would have loved to hear more about his triathlon training and times, and what he ate on a daily basis. I was surprised that he only lost about 15 pounds while eating healthy for two years.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was informative, but funny at the same time.

Have you read Drop Dead Healthy? What are your thoughts?


Filed under Book Review

First Biggest Loser Workout


Yesterday morning I went to BodyPump. I haven’t changed my weight amount at BodyPump in a long time. I think that the weights I lift are heavy enough that I struggle to lift them by the end of the song, but I still maintain proper form while lifting them. If you can’t maintain good form while lifting weights, then the weight is too heavy.

But, I am not sore after BodyPump anymore either, so I wonder if I should try to start lifting heavier weights. My instructor said that you can always start the song lifting heavier weights, and if it gets to be too hard, you can drop down to lighter weights. This is what I am currently lifting during each track:

(approximately – sometimes it changes depending on the track or if I’m tired that day)

  • Warm-up – 20 lbs
  • Squats – 25-30 lbs
  • Chest – 20 lbs
  • Back – 20-25 lbs
  • Triceps – 20 lbs (5 lbs for kickbacks, 7.5-10 lbs for extensions)
  • Biceps – 18 lbs
  • Shoulders – (2) 5 lbs plates or 12-15 lbs bar
  • Abs – no weight or 5 lb plate

I think maybe I should start adding a little more weight, but the smallest amount I can add 5 pounds because the lightest plate is 2.5 pounds. Sigh. BodyPump is getting too complicated.

After BodyPump, I came home and had a Van’s pumpkin muffin top with pineapple and cottage cheese for breakfast.

Later in the afternoon, we went to pick up my niece and then stopped at the park.

McCutie Baby Sunshine Happyface and I hung out in the tubes to get some shade.

Biggest Loser Workout

Last night was my first Biggest Loser workout. And it was tough. It was a circuit/interval workout, and we did a lot of sprinting back and forth, jumping jacks, scissors jumps, shuffling back and forth, and squats. We also did a little bit of shoulder and back weights at the end. By the time we were done, I wanted to lay on the floor and stay there. I can’t imagine how the other people who haven’t exercised in a while felt. I thought the instructors would maybe slowly ease us into working out, but nope, we jumped in with both feet.

I was feeling motivated, so I rode my bike to the gym last night. By the time the workout was over, I was feeling very less motivated about riding home. Luckily, it’s only two miles, so I made it home with my quads only screaming a little bit.

Wednesday is our first nutrition class with a 5k prep running class afterwards.

Questions of the day:

  • Do you lift weights? How often do you increase your weight?
  • What did you have for breakfast today?
  • Any workouts planned for today?



Filed under Biggest Loser, Breakfast, Fitness, Working Out

A Baby Shower and Some Time at a Farm

Good morning! In case you missed anything over weekend:

  • I went to the library and farmers market
  • Ran a 5k
  • Celebrated my mom’s birthday


Yesterday was my sister-in-law’s baby shower, and it turned out wonderful. I can’t wait to meet my new niece or nephew in a couple more months!

My sister-in-law, Mandy, with the kids:

It was decorated so pretty, and there was so much food and really cute drink stations.

Marlene made the owl cake and a variety of cupcakes. It was carrot cake, and it was so awesome.

If you get a chance, could you please vote for Marlene’s business here. She needs at least 250 votes to be eligible for a small business grant. Just type in Sweet Temptations and click on Illinois. Thank you :)

After the shower, we went back to my brother-in-law and sister-in-law’s house. They live a legit farm.

The idea of living on a farm is so foreign to me. They only live about 30 minutes away from us in the Chicago suburbs, but it’s like a whole different world. Life on a farm is hard and constant work. They get woken up by roosters, they have horses and donkeys, they eat fresh eggs from their neighbors chickens.

Jaden loved it. He is such an animal lover. He loved learning how to brush the horses and ponies.

They also have a bunch of cute puppies from a nearby shelter. When the shelter is full, they house the extra puppies and dogs.

It’s amazing how different life is on a farm.

This weekend was super busy, and I woke up this morning feeling exhausted. I feel like I could sleep another eight hours, but Jacob has band this morning, so I figured since I have to be up anyway, I should go to BodyPump.

Have a great morning!

Questions of the day:

  • Do you like carrot cake? It’s funny that a cake with a vegetable in it would taste so sweet and delicious!
  • Do you know anyone that lives on a farm? Have you ever had fresh-straight-from-a-free-range-chicken eggs?
  • Any plans for today?



Filed under Family Fun

Happy Birthday, Mom

Happy Birthday to my mom today! My mom is such a wonderful and kind-hearted person. She’s a great mom and an awesome Grandma. I love you, Mom!

Last night, we went to Red Lobster to celebrate my mom’s birthday. We started out with the cheddar biscuits, which were as delicious as everyone said they were.

We also had shrimp brushetta. Normally, I do not like tomatoes or shrimp, but I tasted the brushetta (that’s what happens when you’re super hungry) and it was actually pretty good.

For my meal, I ordered fire-grilled salmon and crab & seafood stuffed flounder with broccoli. The salmon was decent, but I didn’t like the flounder.

My mom ordered parmesan crusted tilapia, which blew my meal out of the water (get it, out of the water. Fish. Water. Ha-ha. No?) Even Danny’s Cajun pasta was way better than my fish. Oh well, I know what to order next time.

This is what happens when your bring an almost one-year old out to dinner.

Don’t worry, we left a good tip.

After dinner, we came back to our house to open presents. That’s really the fun part of birthdays, isn’t it? No one likes getting older, but everyone likes opening presents.

Apparently, Danny really likes present opening time.

After presents, we had dessert. This is what I was waiting for! I bought a Michigan four-berry pie from Whole Foods, and it’s easily the best pie that I’ve ever had. I’m even thinking about finishing the rest for breakfast right now.

We also had cake. I didn’t have a zero candle, so I had to compromise and make a zero shape using candles. I’m crafty like that.

Happy birthday, mom!!

Today is my sister-in-law’s baby shower, and I am so excited to show you the diaper cake that I made her.

It’s made out of all diapers. I think it turned out so cute. It’s supposed to be a gender neutral diaper cake, but it came out looking more girly. I guess that’s what happens when you buy flowers and butterflies.

It’s the second diaper cake that I’ve made. I also made one for my sister-in-law’s shower last June. I actually had gotten the idea from her when she made one for a baby shower we both attended.

Have a great rest of your weekend!


Filed under Dinner, Family Fun

Bud’s Run 5k

Saturday family 5k complete!

I didn’t run my best during this race. I was overheated and it was very tough with no shade. I think my time was 36:37. I’m not fast runner, and I never will be, but I do it for fun. It used to bother me that I wasn’t fast, but now I’ve just accepted it. I enjoy it, and I’m out there doing something and that’s all that matters to me.

Yeah…I bet all us slow people say that.

Congrats to my brother who PR’d. And congrats to Danny who came in third place for his age group and my step-mom who came in third place for her age group. They are awesome.

The kids also completed their 1k race, and all the kids got a ribbon, which was nice.

Even though this was a smaller race, about 400 people, I thought it was well-organized and included a lot of good stuff. We signed up as a family and paid $22 each. We got a dry fit shirt and a goody bag with a Clif bar, jelly belly energy jelly beans, graham crackers, a coupon for free ice cream at Culvers, and more. Post-race there was water, lemonade, coffee, bagels, bananas, watermelon, oranges, Clif bars, and jelly beans. They were also giving out free Asics water bottles and free Culver’s lemon ice.

I think the best part was the lemon ice. I think the kids ate three each.

In addition to the top three runners in each group awards, they randomly called bib numbers for prizes. This is the first race I have ever been to that does that. My sister-in-law won a coupon for $15 off a Road ID, and Danny won a really nice pair of Redstar sunglasses.

Even though I didn’t run my best, I had a great time at this race and am glad that I could do it with my family.

My dad helped watched the kids and took lots of race photos. Thanks, Dad! He’s got a nice DSLR camera that makes me jealous.

My dad wore his mullet wig that he got at Mullet Night at the Sox game last night. Don’t worry, he didn’t keep it on the whole time. We tried to get Danny to run in it, but he wouldn’t.

This race was named Bud’s Run after a local running coach who died of sarcoma cancer. All the proceeds from the race went to the Sarcoma Foundation of America.

Tonight we’re going to Red Lobster for my mom’s birthday. I heard their chedder biscuits are great. Have a great weekened!


Filed under Family Fun, Fitness

A Trip to the Library and the Farmer’s Market


Last night, Danny, Jacob, Jaden, and I tried to go on a family bike ride on a nearby trail.

We made it about .1 of a mile. Then Jaden’s bike broke down.

The chain fell off, washers came undone. It was a mess. And unfortunately Danny wasn’t able to fix it without tools. Bike fail.

Jacob and I decided to do what any nice brother and mom would do – we rode our bikes back home while Danny and Jaden drove.

Most of the way home is on a busier street, and I pretty much freaked out the whole time. If I was by myself, I would have been fine, but since I had Jacob with me, I was worried about all the cars that were zooming past at crazy speeds. Thankfully, there’s a bike lane, but I was still nervous. We made it home fine, and Jacob was excited to tell his friends that we rode so far.

Actually, I have no idea how far we went or how fast we were going because I wasn’t on a treadmill. It’s kind of nice that the treadmill does all that for you. Danny did get me a cyclocomputer for my birthday that measures speed, distance, and calories. But that thing is crazy hard to figure out. I think you have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out.

My dad even tried programming it, but the screen just froze. He asked how much it cost, and I told him $25. He just ohhh and then looked away. Jeesh. I thought $25 was a lot to spend a tiny little crazy computer that is impossible to attach to the bike and program. But apparently, I’m a cheap skate that doesn’t buy quality bike accessories. Whatever. I just want to ride my bike around and have fun. Wheeeee!!!!!!!!!

Today’s Breakfast

Last night, I mixed up some overnight oats to enjoy this morning.

My oats included:

  • 1 container peach Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • sliced strawberries

Those chia seeds really thicken things up! I added just a splash of almond milk this morning and stirred it up. I know that it doesn’t look very appetizing, but I love how it tastes. I prefer cold oats to hot oatmeal any day.

Today’s Workout

  • BodyPump

I don’t know if I’m just tired, but BodyPump was tough today! But I got through it, and checked off my workout for today.

I’ve been snacking on a lot of fruit this afternoon.  I love fruit!

One of my favorite summer fruits is a pluot. It’s a cross between an apricot and a plum. We call them dinosaur eggs, and they are so good. I forgot all about them until I saw them at the grocery store yesterday. Yay for the first pluot of the season!

After I picked up my niece today, I took all the kids to the library for a while.

After the library,we stopped at a local farmer’s market. The kids got a sno-cone.

I have gone to this farmer’s market for four years in a row, and I usually find the prices pretty expensive. I like to walk around but never really buy much. But today, I found a produce stand that had awesome prices. I bought broccoli and a cucumber for 75 cents each!

I would have bought more, but the farmer’s market was an unexpected stop, and I used most of my cash on the kid’s sno-cones. I don’t really usually carry much cash on me. I am more of a debit card person.

When we got home, I sliced up the cucumber and ate it with carrots and garlic hummus. It was delicious.

Tonight, we have plans to eat dinner at Whole Foods and then do a little baby shopping for my sister-in-law’s baby shower on Sunday.

Tomorrow, we’re doing a 5k in the morning and the going to dinner at Red Lobster to celebrate my mom’s birthday!

Have a great Friday!

Questions of the day:

  • Did you ever have workout fail? Like maybe your forgot to put your running shoes in your gym bag or your bike fell apart?
  • Have you ever had a pluot?
  • Do you use cash or a credit/debit card more?
  • Any plans for this weekend?


Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Working Out