Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year Everyone!

OK, you got your goals ready? Now, how about your plan? Exactly HOW are you going to achieve your goals? You need to plan how you are going to reach your goals or you will not achieve them. If nutrition is your biggest problem, keep a food journal (on paper or online, like at If motivation to work out is your problem, plan to commit to a program for 30 days. If you don't like it, pick something else. You won't stick with it if you don't like it. (In fact, Turbulence Training has a 21 day trial you can try with a money back guarantee if you don't like the program.) Plan to cut out sugar (Dr. Scott Olson, author of Sugarettes, has even announced that January 2009 is International Sugar Free Month). Plan to eat more fruits and veggies. Make your menu for the week and stick to your shopping list. Plan your workouts like appointments on your calendar that you cannot miss. Break up large goals into smaller, more manageable goals. Instead of "I'm going to lose 20 lbs" say "I'm going to lose 5 lbs in January".

I don't have a recipe today for New Years Eve, but if you are going out tonight, stay away from the sugary mixers; maybe just have a rum and diet cola (my personal choice, for the once a year I have a drink). If you are staying in, there are many sugar free cocktails you could make; or you could go completely non-alcoholic and mix two 2-liter bottles of diet Sprite with a 2-liter bottle of club soda and a large bottle of cranberry juice (no sugar/Splenda sweetened if you can find it). Tonight, I will be curled up at home nursing my cold with a warm mug of sugar free hot cocoa. I probably won't even make it to midnight ...zzzz....zzzz....zzzzz.... Sleep is very important too. ;)

(Photo: Countdown Entertainment, LLC)

Monday, December 29, 2008

First New Workout And I Hate Being Sick

Got my first new workout in today. It kicked my butt. It doesn't help that I think I am coming down with a cold. Blah. I chose TT 2K5 as my workout for the first 4 weeks of the contest. (2K5 just refers to the year Craig created the workout.) I used 2K3 in the first contest, and 2K4 in the second contest. I didn't use any of the "numbered" ones for the third contest, so now I am using 2K5 to start this one. It's sort of an upper body/lower body split, which I don't always like. However, Workout A is more total body and incorporates some spiderman push ups and a bench press with the 1-legged squats and Romanian Deadlifts. Workout B is much more upper body focused with incline presses, chin ups, and inverted rows. First exercise this morning? 1-legged squats. Oh, man, am I feeling those tonight. I can't do them all the way to the floor. I squat down onto a bench. One of these days I want to try them using the cable stack rope for support and see how low I can go. But I'm a little bit chicken to try it out in front of everyone. Bawk Bawk BAWK!! One day very soon though....Maybe this Saturday morning. The gym is usually pretty empty when I go early on Saturday mornings. Hmmm....well, I'll let you know!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Year of Turbulence Training

Today is Day One of my next 12 week TT Transformation Contest. I didn't see any reason to wait until after January 1st since this is a lifestyle and not a "New Years' Resolution". I posted my new goals on last Friday, but I wanted to start this contest today just looking back over the past year. The picture on the left is my before picture from the first TT contest that I began on December 31, 2007. The picture on the right is my after picture from the third TT contest that I finished on November 23, 2008. Between 12/31/07 and 11/23/08, I lost over 30 lbs and I lost 28 inches (including almost 7 inches off of my abdomen). I am excited to be beginning my fourth TT contest and I wanted to take a minute to sincerely thank Craig Ballantyne and Turbulence Training for giving me the tools to get into the best shape of my life this year. I've lost a little of the definition I had in my final picture (love that holiday family cooking) but I know I'll have it back in no time! :)

New Years Day is just a few days away. Have you made the same resolution you make every year, only to still look the same when December rolls around? There is a woman at my gym who I see every morning on the cardio machines. She is always there, chugging away on the elliptical or treadmill, book or magazine in hand. She looks EXACTLY THE SAME as she did when I joined that gym over 18 months ago. Don't be that woman. Make your goals this year and stick with them. Make your goals specific! Don't say you want to lose weight, say you want to lose 10 pounds of fat. Don't just make "Resolutions", make lifestyle changes that will allow you to achieve your goals! Find a training program you like and that gives you results, eat healthy foods instead of junk, and find the support you need to be the best you can be in 2009!

Friday, December 26, 2008

New Turbulence Training Contest

The 4th Turbulence Training Transformation Contest begins today! I was dead set against joining, but ultimately I decided that if I am going to be doing the workouts anyway, it wouldn't hurt to join the contest and have the support from the TT Members Forum. There are male and female categories this time with the top prize being $1000 plus a 3 year platinum membership to the TTMembers site.

My start date will be this Sunday, December 28. In the 5 weeks since TC3 ended (for me), I've been on a muscle building diet and I've gained back a few pounds, which was intentional; although I didn't gain the pounds back as slowly as I planned (too many cookies - LOL). And now my midsection isn't quite as defined as it was, and I'm finding I don't like that! ;)

For TC4, I've adopted these 10 rules/goals:
1. I will make every workout count
2. I will drink less diet soda
3. I will weigh myself ONLY once per week
4. I will eat 2200-2500 calories per day while building muscle (to be reassessed as needed)
5. I will eat cleanly, but will allow treat meals
6. I will eat 5-7 fruits/vegetables per day
7. I will not worry about gaining extra weight while building muscle
8. I will not be neurotic with my diet
9. I will not be grumpy at my family
10. I will enjoy the contest and will not allow it to stress me out

If anyone out there is interested in joining, you can see the rules here:

Turbulence Training Contest Rules

And you can get your own copy of TT here:

Turbulence Training for Fat Loss

When you purchase TT, you get 3 months free to the forums, so you will have access to all the contest forums and could see what past winners ate, and what TT programs they used, etc. And if you wanted to join the contest, you just start your own thread in the Fourth Transformation Contest forum, and presto you're in! Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wednesday Recipe - Egg Nog

After a couple week hiatus, Recipe Wednesday is back! Or is it Wednesday Recipe? I forget now. Still need a catchier name! I wanted a holiday themed recipe and so here is a recipe for eggnog. It's adapted from Dana Carpender's 500 Low Carb Recipes and it's cooked, for those of you who don't want to eat raw eggs. Since it's from a low carb cookbook, it is sugar free, but definitely not low calorie!

Egg Nog (Low Carb)

2 cups half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup Splenda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 eggs
1 cup water
nutmeg, to taste

1. In a medium saucepan (double boiler if you have one), heat the half-and-half and heavy cream until very warm, but not boiling.

2. Whisk in the Splenda, vanilla, salt and eggs. The recipe didn't call for tempering the eggs, so I just drizzled them in slowly while whisking. Turn the heat down to low. Now you just have to stand there and stir the mixture until it is thick enough to coat a metal spoon with a thin film. It could take anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes. I dunked the spoon in right at the beginning so I would have a reference point, and then tested it again every 5 minutes. It seemed to me like it coated the spoon from the beginning, but I dutifully stood there until minute 18 when it magically got thicker! I just let it continue cooking all the way to 20 minutes.

3. From here, I poured the mixture through a screen strainer because as I was stirring, I noticed a few chunky bits. Sure enough, there was a custardy bit on the bottom of the pan. I poured it through the strainer into a pitcher and added the 1 cup water. Let it chill for several hours, overnight is best.

4. When chilled, add nutmeg to taste. Don't be shy with the nutmeg. Start with 1 teaspoon, mix it in, and taste it. Add more if needed. It should be quite spicy. I also added a tablespoon or so more Splenda because it wasn't quite sweet enough.

This doesn't taste EXACTLY like the stuff you buy at the grocery store, but it is very tasty in it's own right and has the nice thick texture of eggnog. Feel free to spike this too if you like your eggnog with a little spirit! :)

This will make about 6 cups. I don't have the nutritional info, but do you really want to know? ;)

Happy Holidays Everyone!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

7 Days of Fat Loss

Craig's new Turbulence Training 7-Day Weight Loss Call this week includes his 7 tips to help you get through the holidays guilt-free. I am definitely going to listen closely. My willpower gets a little weak over the holidays. :)

Here is the link:
7 Days of Fat Loss

If you can subscribe to the TT podcasts on iTunes:
TT on iTunes

And here's a Christmas present from Craig - free 10-minute workouts!
Free 10 minute TT workouts

Friday, December 19, 2008

Thank You!!

Thank you everyone for all of your votes and support, but I didn't win. Ah, well, next time. The next contest starts December 26. There's going to be a male category and a female category this time. Stay tuned for more details!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

TT Video Contest Voting

The folks at Turbulence Training have decided that everyone can vote on the "Video Diaries" that were submitted for the Transformation Contest. If you would like to vote (I'm Video #5, down at the bottom), here's the link:

Video Contest Voting

Thank you if you decide to vote for me!!

And here are the winners from the TT Transformation Contest:

TT Transformation Winners

Congratulations to the winners!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Turbulence Training Finalists Announced

Well, I didn't make the finals this time. There were so many fantastic transformations! And I don't envy Craig's job of narrowing it down. If you would like to vote, here's the link:

Transformation Contest Voting

Congratulations and Good Luck to all the Finalists!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Transformation Contest Video

Whoo-hoo! It's finally done! I had my Turbulence Training Contest video almost complete and then our computer died, so I had to recreate it from scratch! So, without further ado, here it is:

Sorry, I removed my video.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Weekend Challenge Workout

This week's Weekend Challenge workout on the Turbulence Training Members Forum is the Advanced TT Abs 300 Workout. It's one of the challenge/bonus workout from the TT Home Abdominal Workouts program. My warm up this morning was 15 minutes of shoveling my driveway and front sidewalk before I went to the gym! For the spiderman pull ups, I did right, left, and then 2 normal pull ups. Then right, left, then 2 normal, etc. So I ended up doing 10 spiderman pull ups (5 per side) and 10 regular ones (with lots of breaks). I could see my underwear in the mirror every time I brought my knee up to my elbow so I wonder how many people I flashed this morning?

Advanced TT Abs 300 Workout
Prisoner Squat – 20
Mountain Climber – 15 per side
Spiderman Pull-up – 10 per side (5 per side plus 10 regular)
Side Plank Leg Raise – 20 per side
Stability Ball Jackknife with Pushup – 20
Underhand Inverted Row – 20 (beginner)
Elevated Pushup – 15 per side
1-Leg Squat or Pistol – 10 per side
Hanging Leg Raise – 10
Stability Ball Rollout – 15
Chin-up with Knee-up – 10
Decline Pushup – 20
1-Leg Reach Lunge – 10 per side
Stability Ball X-Body Mountain Climber (hands on ball) – 15 per side
Plank with Arms on Ball – 30 seconds
Spiderman Climb – 10 per side
Chop – 20 per side (5 lb DB - my arms were toast by now)
Bulgarian Split Squat – 10 per side
Decline Spiderman Pushup – 10 per side
Burpees – 10

Total time: 17 minutes, 18 seconds

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Recipe Wednesday...ummm..Thursday

OK, I totally spaced that yesterday was Wednesday. What's my excuse? Well...I was watching the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show last night. I use "Fashion Show" loosely. Kind of inspiring though to watch a bunch of skinny minnies prancing in their underwear. I did jumping jack intervals while watching. :)

But on to the recipe...

I found a recipe for the most delicious carrot cupcakes. These were the most moist cupcakes I think I have ever had. The recipe said it would make 12 cupcakes, but I got 18 out of it. Maybe my princess cupcake papers were a little smaller than the normal size. You'll results may vary depending on how much batter your muffin tin will hold. I got this recipe from The Cake Mix Doctor Cookbook. And don't raise your eyebrows at the prunes, they're the secret ingredient.

1/2 cup pitted prunes (about 12 prunes)
1/4 cup hot water
1 package (18.25 oz) plain yellow cake mix
1/4 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple in juice, drained
1 cup grated carrots (about 3 medium, or 14 baby carrots)

4 oz neufchatel cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup marshmallow creme

1. Preheat oven to 350. Place cupcake papers in your muffin tins, if using. Or lightly mist your muffin pans with cooking spray.

2. Place the prunes and hot water in a food processor and pulse until the prunes are finely chopped. Set aside.

3. Place the cake mix, oil, eggs, cinnamon and prune puree in a large mixing bowl and blend with an electric mixer for 1 minute on low speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. The batter will be thick.

4. Fold in the drained pineapple and carrots. Pour into cupcake papers until about 3/4 full.

5. Bake for about 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

6. While the cupcakes are baking, prepare the frosting. Place the neufchatel cheese and marshmallow creme in a medium mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until fluffy.

7. When the cupcakes have cooled, top with a thin layer of frosting. Sprinkle chopped pecans or walnuts on top, if desired.

With my particular ingredients, and if you make 18, each cupcake has:

188 calories

2.1g protein

6.2g fat

31.5 carbs

Monday, December 1, 2008

A New Week, New Workout, and the Arrival of Winter

I woke up at 5:00am this morning to the sound of my neighbor scraping ice off of his car windows. Lovely. It's the most wonderful time of the year... After a week of rest (complete with a little viral gastroenteritis), I began my new Turbulence Training workout this morning. I chose TT Fusion Muscle Building from May of 2006. I wanted a muscle building workout, but wasn't sure I wanted to go to the gym 4 days a week, as per most TT muscle building programs (see today's weather for reason why). This particular program is 3 days per week. My workout this morning took me about 35 minutes. After I got home, my arms were still shaking. Not just "fatigued" - I mean my arms were literally shaking. Everytime I took a drink of my whey protein drink, my whole arm would shake. Putting in my earrings was difficult, and just forget about mascara! LOL

In other news, Craig Ballantyne has created a "7 Day Call" that everyone can download. Here is an email he sent out yesterday with a look at what is included in this week's 7 Day Call:

You need to focus on starting NEW, healthy, fat burning habits today. Don't wait till January 1st when Monday, December 1st is an even better time to start! Two habits I recommend are getting up earlier to exercise, and being sure to record all of your workouts and nutrition. I promise those two habits will help you lose weight.

New research shows that a 15-minute brisk walk can help you overcome chocolate cravings! Use that tip OFTEN this December.

My three favorite medicine ball exercises for office workers are: Woodchops, Golf Chop Squats, Lunge Chops. Listen to the call for more direction, or download the Medicine Ballworkout and watch the videos in the member's site.

Take Bally The Dog's "Fruit and Vegetable Challenge" to make sure you are eating more fruits and vegetables than him. If you aren't eating at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, start to add one new fruit and vegetable to your day - immediately!

If you want to gain muscle, research shows that doing 40 reps per bodypart in a workout is necessary. So 5 sets of 8 or 4 sets of 10. I share one of my new workouts on the call.

Research shows women eat the most fat, calories, and cholesterol at family meals. That means we need new recipe ideas! Share your cookbook ideas please!

Today's the day when you should be planning, shopping and preparing your food for the week. Here's "what's in my fridge". You can see the photos HERE.

So don't miss the call, go and listen to it or download it HERE. It's about 30 minutes long. I listened to it this evening and it's full of great tips! Keep 'em coming, Craig!

Don't wait for January 1st - December 1st is the perfect time to start your Turbulence Training workout! Give the 21-day trial a try!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Recipe

Here's a special edition Recipe Wednesday (well, technically Thursday!) for Thanksgiving. I made this today and brought it over to the family dinner. It went over well, and people seemed to like that the dish wasn't as sweet as the "traditional" sweet potatoes with the marshmallows on top.

1 40oz can sweet potatoes, drained (rinsed and drained, if desired)
1 8oz can crushed pineapple in juice, drained
1T butter, melted
1T packed brown sugar
2T walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Place sweet potatoes in a baking dish
3. Spoon pineapple over sweet potatoes
4. Mix melted butter and brown sugar and drizzle over the sweet potatoes/pineapple
5. Sprinkle walnuts over the top
6. Bake for 30-35 minutes

If it is not sweet enough for you, you could use 2T butter and 2T brown sugar, and/or don't rinse the syrup off of the sweet potatoes.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Final Pictures for Turbulence Training Transformation Contest

OK, here they are! I'm pretty happy with my results from my third 12 week Turbulence Training Transformation Contest. I worked really hard, and that's what matters to me. I did the best that I could. I lost a total of 10.6 lbs. I lost 2.5 inches from my waist, and 2.25 inches from my abdomen. I'm getting my bodyfat measured at the gym tomorrow, so I'll let you know how that goes!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

You Like Me, You Really Like Me!

I feel so honored! I've been bestowed with the Superior Scribbler Award from Kelly at Aim High! Please head on over and check out her cool site.

Here are the rules:
Post the award on your blog
Link to me for giving it to you
Link the originating post here
Pass it on to five deserving people
Post these rules for your recipients

So here are my honorees (It was hard to narrow it down to only 5!):

Losing the Jiggle
Team Testosterone

Everyone get out there and share the love!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Recipe Wednesday

Today's recipe is adapted from Suzanne Somers' Eat Great, Lose Weight. It's a recipe for taco seasoning, but I also like to use it on chicken when I want a southwestern flavor.

1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp salt (or less, if desired)
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

This amount is good for a pound of ground beef, but you can easily double or triple it and keep it in an old spice container so you have some on hand to sprinkle on chicken breasts. When I put it on chicken, I like to first splash the chicken with a little lime juice. Then I sprinkle on the seasoning and cook the chicken on my George Foreman grill.

To make taco meat:
1. Heat 1T canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add about 1/4 to 1/2 of an onion, chopped, and let it cook for about 3 or 4 minutes. Then add a couple of cloves of garlic, minced.

2. Turn the heat up and add a pound of ground beef. Brown the meat and drain the excess fat. Rinse the meat and drain the water to remove more fat (if desired).

3. Place pan back over medium heat and add the taco seasoning blend. Add a 6 oz can of tomato paste and about a cup of water. Mix it all up, bring it to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.

Use the meat in tacos or taco salad.

Or, you could mix the raw ground beef, 1 egg, taco seasoning, chopped onion and garlic and shape into 4 burgers. Cook the burgers and then top with cheese and salsa for taco burgers.

I really prefer making tacos with this seasoning blend instead of the stuff that comes in a packet! And you can add more cayenne if you like it a little more spicy. I've never used it on fish, but probably would be good there too. Have fun experimenting!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Weekend Challenge and Week 11 Update

This week's TT Members' challenge was the Tar Heels Ultimate Medicine Ball Workout as featured in Men's Health. There are ten different exercises using a medicine ball that you complete in a circuit (20 reps each) and once completing the circuit (200 total reps) you can go again for 400 total reps. It has a lot of non-TT type exercises (like crunches) so it was something quite different than what I have been doing. I did it twice through with a time of 20:48. Two days later, I'm still a little sore. Not too bad, though. Using four different TT for Abs programs in the past year (including my current workout: TT Home Abdominal Workouts) has given me a nice, strong core. Craig said he was actually going to film a TT version of the the workout, so I'll post that when it becomes available. (UPDATE: Craig has posted the video on You Tube - I've added it to the end of this post below.) Here's the workout (CLICK HERE for pictures of the exercises):

2x through circuit:
Big Circles - 10/10 = 20
WoodChoppers - 20
Standing Russian Twist - 20 (left + right for 1 rep)
Squat to press - 20
Med ball Sit ups - 20
Rocky Solo’s - 10/10 = 20
Toe Touch - 20
45 Degrees torso Twist - 20 (left + right for 1 rep)
Suitcase Crunch - 20 (left + right for 1 rep)
Diagonal Crunch - 20 (left + right for 1 rep)

Be careful if you try this workout. Many of these exercises can hurt your back if performed incorrectly.

In other news, the pink beast is gone! We finished painting the kitchen last night. We left the one wall yellow (it looked better after it dried), and painted over the rest of the pink with the same beige as the living room. It's much brighter, and much less pink! :)

And finally, for those of you who are counting, there are only 6 more days until I take my final pictures. I'm getting a little nervous. The competition is looking really fierce on the forums. I hope to finish strong!

UPDATE: OK, here is Craig's version of the medicine ball workout:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Recipe Wednesday - Thin Crust Pizza

Today's recipe is one that I love. It's so good! In Gourmet Nutrition, there is a recipe for Texas Thin Crust Pizza, which is a very good recipe. But over time I have tweaked it and this is my version. It's still best for a special dinner, as it has a lot of calories, but it is very filling and tasty when you want pizza!

Thin Crust Pizza

1 large or 2 small whole wheat/low carb tortillas
1 link of sweet italian or spicy turkey sausage
1/4 cup salsa
1t minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
1/2 small can chunk pineapple in juice, drained (about 1/2 cup)
4-6 cherry tomatoes, or 1/2 of a small tomato
1/2 cup reduced fat shredded cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Chop the cherry tomatoes in quarters (or chop the small tomato).
3. Place the tortillas on a baking sheet that has been lightly coated with cooking spray. Place in the oven.
4. Remove the sausage from it's casing and place in a hot skillet. Cook until no pink remains.
5. While the sausage is cooking, flip over the tortillas. If they are getting too brown, remove them from the oven.
6. When the sausage is done cooking, add the garlic, salsa, pineapple, tomatoes. Cook together for a few minutes.
7. Take the tortillas out of the oven (if you haven't already). Place the meat mixture on the 1 large or 2 small tortillas and top with cheese. If I am using 1 large tortilla, I just use 1/4 cup. If I am using 2 small tortillas, I use closer to a 1/2 cup.
8. Place pizzas back in the oven until the cheese melts, about 5 minutes or so.
9. I use a pizza cutter to cut the pizzas into quarters. Enjoy!

Yes, I eat both when I use 2 small tortillas! And I usually eat the other half of the can of pineapple on the side. I've also made this with sun dried tomato pesto instead of salsa.

Using 2 small tortillas, 4 cherry tomatoes, and 1/2 cup cheese, this has approximately:
515 calories
44g protein
26g fat
45g carbs
16g fiber

Using 1 large tortilla, and 1/4 cup cheese, this has approximately:
418 calories
33g protein
19g fat
42g carbs
14g fiber
You could further reduce the calories by making it with 2 small tortillas, and then eating only one of the pizzas. Just make a salad to go with it and you'd have a nice healthy meal. And then the pizza would only have about 257 calories, 22g protein, 23 carbs, and 8g fiber.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fun With DIY

When we moved into our house, the kitchen was purple. We immediately painted over it with what we thought was a copper color. It was more of a basketball orange. So after about a year, I went to the store looking for a cranberryish color, and came home with something called Spiceberry, or what I like to call "the Great Hot Pink Mistake". It's HOT PINK. I painted it all by myself as a surprise for my husband last Memorial Day. I believe he was quite surprised. So what started as a simple repaint the kitchen idea today ended up a mess. All started well (it always does). I moved the table out of the way, carefully removed all the trim, and discovered that the paint was peeling right off the wall. All 3 layers. Yikes. I couldn't paint over that! So here's 9:45am:

So I thought, well, it's peeling off pretty good, we'll just peel the whole wall. Here's 11:30am, lunch break:
Hubby started helping on the other end there. By 2:45pm, things were looking up:

Next came the first coat of paint. Finished about 4:00pm:

Now the final coat. Hurray!

So a 3 hour paint job turned into a 10 hour experience. It's hard to tell in the picture, but it's kind of a goldy yellow. I'm not sure I like it yet. I think it looks better in the picture than it does in my kitchen. LOL I only got 3 cuts on my hands from scraping off the paint. It hurts under my nails from prying the paint off with my fingers. And my arms are going to be pretty sore tomorrow, I think. I hope it doesn't interfere too much with my workout! I have to do T-Push ups tomorrow. And there is still one more wall to go, but I think we are going to wait until Sunday to finish. Unless we decide we don't like the color. Then it's back to the store!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Weekend Challenge

This Weekend's Turbulence Training members forum challenge was a little different. It was a workout for Change and Hope, inspired by the recent election. Here are the 10 things on the list:

1) Do as many pushups as you can, to failure. Record the number and remark at how far you've come. If you know you can already do 75 or more pushups in a single set, do pull-ups or chin-ups instead.
2) Run for 1 mile. Before you do, set a goal. For every 10 seconds above your goal you need to do 1 pullup or bodyweight row.
3) Learn one new exercise you haven't tried before.
4) Find one new healthy recipe, make it, and eat it as one of your meals. Bonus points if you learned about the recipe from a fellow TT member.
5) Recommit yourself to your goals listed in the Fat Loss Manual
6) Smile...a lot (although I'm sure that isnt a change from most days for TT members!)
7) Do something nice (really nice) for a loved one
8) For those who live in countries that participate in Halloween...Throw out all of your leftover Halloween candy. It's called junk food for a reason!
9) Keep that momentum going and do a total kitchen makeover. Raid the pantry and toss the processed carbohydrates from a bag or a box (or take the unopened to a food shelter). Don't let that stuff mysteriously get in there in the future!
10) Do an activity you don't normally do (but don't overdo it!)

So here's what I've done so far:

1. Did 45 push ups during my workout on Saturday. A new personal best!
2. Ran a mile in 10:55. Another personal best!
3. Tried the Inchworm exercise. Had never done it before.
4. Will be trying a new recipe for twice baked sweet potatoes later this week. Got the recipe from the TT recipe forum.
5. Recommitted to my private, personal goals. :)
6. Smiled a lot! I had to return a pair of pants and exchange them for a smaller size, and Hubby had to tighten his belt a notch.
7. I cleaned the bathroom. Even behind the toilet. Usually Hubby's job because I hate doing it. I have a 4 year old son. Need I say more?
8. I haven't eaten any Halloween candy this year, but I did go through what was left of the kids' candy and removed all of the candy they either won't eat, or are too young for (gum, suckers, etc). I will be bringing it to work to give away.
9. Went through the kitchen. Not too much to get rid of, but I cleaned out the fridge and freezer of some old stuff that should have been thrown away long ago. :)
10. Reserved the racquetball court at the gym. Hubby and I have never played. Should be funny to see! LOL

It's all about change this week! What are you waiting for?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Feast On This And Week 10 Update

I posted a couple months ago about The Flash Diet and how people who took pictures of what they were eating were more likely to stick to their diet. (See old post HERE.) Taking that a step further, there is a new website called It's a neat idea. You take pictures on your cell phone of what you are eating, and then you email it in and it gets posted. I don't own a cell phone (gasp!) so I just email them in from my PC. You can follow what I'm feasting on HERE!

Now, I don't know how long I will do this. It will depend on how time consuming it becomes. But it's kind of fun! And with only 2 weeks for me left in the Turbulence Training Transformation Contest, I could use all the motivation to stay on track that I can get! Turbulence Training Home Abdominal Workouts is kicking my rear end. I definitely feel it in my abs (and my rear end, LOL). I'm happy with my progress so far, and plan to stay strong until the end. That means NO Halloween candy! It's been hard having that in the house, but so far I have not had one piece. I've been pretty strict with my diet, eating with Precision Nutrition ideas in mind - eating starchy carbs around the time I work out (morning). And I've even given up caffeine. That was hard, but so far it's been going well. I'll be posting final pictures in 2 short weeks!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Recipe Wednesday - Cream of Cauliflower Soup

Today's recipe is adapted from a recipe in 500 Low Carb Recipes by Dana Carpender. It's a delicious cream of cauliflower soup and I like to add chicken breast for a little more protein. You could easily make this vegetarian by leaving out the chicken breast and using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. I don't eat low carb so much anymore, but I still love this book!

Cream of Cauliflower Soup

3T butter
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 ribs of celery, chopped
1 quart chicken broth
10 oz (about 2.75 cups) frozen cauliflower
1/2 teaspoon guar or xanthan (optional)
1/2c heavy cream
2 chicken breasts (about 5-6oz each)
salt and pepper

1. Place the chicken breasts in a hot pan that has been lightly sprayed with cooking oil spray, or place on an indoor grill. I just use my George Foreman grill. Cook until they are no longer pink, about 6 minutes per side, or 5 minutes total in the George Foreman grill. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. Melt butter in a large saucepan/dutch oven. Add the onion and celery, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes or so. Add the chicken broth and cauliflower, and simmer until the cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes.

3. While the cauliflower is simmering, cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces, or shred with 2 forks, if desired. (Don't add it to the soup just yet.)

4. When the cauliflower is done, you can place the vegetables, broth, and guar or xanthan into a blender and puree to the desired consistency. Or I prefer to use my stick immersion blender. I sprinkle the xanthan on top, and then quickly blend right in the saucepan. I think it keeps more chunks of cauliflower this way (and I don't have to get my blender dirty).

5. If you put it in the blender, now pour it back into the pan. Add the cream, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the chicken to the pan and let everything simmer for a couple minutes.

6. I like to top it with a tablespoon or two of shredded cheese. You could also sprinkle it with a few chives or green onions if you had those on hand. Or crumbled bacon. Yummm....but not as healthy!

This will make 4 servings. I like to make a batch and then will freeze the extra servings in Ziploc bowls. Then I just have to pull out a bowl and heat it up for a quick, healthy and yummy lunch or dinner.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Weekend Challenge and The Great Pumpkin

This week's TT Members forum Weekend Challenge had 2 versions. The Michael Myers Intermediate Version and the Jason Voorhees Advanced Version. I chose to try the Jason Voorhees version. Here are the rules:

--> Go through the circuit two times for 502 total reps
--> Rest as little as possible
--> Time how long it takes you

Jason Voorhees (Advanced)
31 Bodyweight Squats
13 Spiderman Pushups (per side)
31 Lunges (total, not per side, start with your weak side to get extra rep)
13 Pullups
31 Side-to-Side Hops (total)
13 Inverted Rows
31 Close-Grip Pushups
13 Chinups
31 Jumps
13 Burpees
31 Diagonal Lunges (total, not per side, start with your weak side)

I wasn't feeling my best this morning; seemed like I was moving in slow motion. My spiderman push ups weren't very pretty and most of my pull ups and chin ups were done 1 at a time. But I was still fairly happy with my time of 20:37. Anyone else giving this one a try?

In other news, I had the pumpkin cheesecake mentioned in a previous post. I had to adjust the recipe a little, as just using pumpkin instead of peanut butter wasn't quite sweet enough for me. So here's a new recipe:

1/4c cottage cheese
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
2T canned pumpkin
2T milk
1 packet Splenda
1t SF pancake syrup
sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice

Bake using the same directions as below (small ramekin in waterbath, at 350 (F), for about 35 minutes). I topped mine with a quick sprinkle of cinnamon, a shot of the new Cool Whip in a can, and 1T of walnuts. Delicious! With the ingredients I used, without the walnuts and Cool Whip, it has:
177.7 calories (242.7 calories with toppings)
30g protein (31g with toppings)
1.6g fat (7.6g with toppings)
12.12g carbs (15.12g with toppings)

Friday, October 31, 2008

I Have Created...A Masterpiece

A big thank you to Skwigg for the heads up about the website [me] & Goji. You can create your own custom artisanal cereal! I ordered "Abby's Cherry Walnut Crunch" on Friday, and yesterday my tube of deliciousness arrived. I opened it right away and had a sample. It was so good! Sweet crisp flakes, huge cherries, crunchy walnuts - I fell in love immediately. I know I shouldn't have. It cost about $15 for the 600g tube (15 servings). The price depends on what you put into it. I started with the artisanal cereal (multigrain oat bran, rye, spelt, barley, amaranth, wheat germ), and stayed simple, adding only cherries, walnuts and flax (there are over 40 ingredients to choose from). Since I have Strawberry Yogurt Burst Cheerios on hand (kids love it), here's a quick comparison:

Abby's Cherry Walnut Crunch
Serving: 3/4c
139.2 calories
4g fat
23.6g carbs
5.1g fiber
5g sugar
4.6g protein

Strawberry Yogurt Burst Cheerios
Serving: 3/4c
120 calories
1.5g fat
24g carbs
2g fiber
9g sugar
2g protein

So Abby's Cherry Walnut Crunch has a few more calories, but less sugar, more fiber and more protein. And it's delicious! Just wish it wasn't so darn expensive. :) It will be great plain, with milk, or sprinkled on top of yogurt!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Recipe Wednesday

Time for a dessert! I have to apologize, I can't remember where I found the original recipe online. This is my adaptation of a delicious high protein chocolate peanut butter cheesecake. The cheesecake is surprisingly healthy. Not an everyday dessert, but a nice treat. It's made from only 4 ingredients:

1/4c cottage cheese (I used fat free)
1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder (I used Designer Whey)
1T natural peanut butter
2T milk (I used fat free Calorie Countdown Dairy Beverage)

Preheat oven to 350. Blend all the ingredients together in a blender or with an immersion blender until fairly smooth. Pour into a single serve ramekin, or glass "pudding dish" that is oven-safe. Place the ramekin in a larger baking dish and add water to the larger dish so that it comes about 1/2 way up the side of the ramekin. This waterbath will help the cheesecake cook more evenly. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the top is firm to the touch. Let cool, then place in the refrigerator for a least a few hours, over night is best.

With the ingredients I use, it comes to:

276 calories
33.5g protein
12.5g carbs
10g fat (mostly from the pb)

Now the variations on this are endless. To make it "turtle" cheesecake, I add about a teaspoon each of SF caramel and SF hot fudge, plus 1/4 oz of crushed nuts. This adds 73 calories, 1.4g protein, 2.4 carbs, and 5.9g fat.

You could use vanilla protein powder, omit the peanut butter and then top it with raspberries, strawberries, peaches, etc after it cools.

You could use vanilla protein powder, omit the peanut butter, and add 2T of blueberries to the batter after you blend it smooth.

I haven't tried this yet, but on Saturday I plan to use vanilla protein powder and add 2T canned pumpkin. (I'm on a pumpkin kick right now!)

Here's a picture of the turtle variety I had last night:

It was so good! I can't wait until Saturday to try the pumpkin cheesecake.
You can easily double or triple this recipe if you want to make more than one serving at a time. You could even sextuple or octuple it and put it in a pie crust. I haven't tried that, so I don't know what the baking time would be - but have fun with it!! Let me know if you think of any particularly yummy varieties - I love a good cheesecake!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Weekend Challenge and My New Toy

This week the challenge on the Turbulence Training forums was a great bodyweight workout (a big thank you to smoketheblowfish for coming up with this one).

With a 20 minute time limit, here's the circuit that you repeat:

Prisoner Squats - 20
Jumping Jacks - 50
X-body mountain climbers - 10/side
Bulgarian Split Squats - 10/side
Narrow Pushups - 20 (hands shoulder-width apart)
Jackknife (feet on ball, hands on ground) - 10
Burpees - 10

a) Repeat again and again and again (if you can)
b) 20 minute time limit
c) each rep is 1 Point
d) additional 1/2 Point for each Pushup Burpee
e) additional 1 Point for each Spiderman Pushup Burpee

My Results:
After the first round, I was thinking "this isn't so bad". After the second, I was breathing pretty hard. After the third, I was sweating hard and there were a few curses being uttered (something about smoking a blowfish). After the fourth, there were a few more curses (my apologies to Smoke's mother). I thought I might puke when I started the fifth. I only got 1/2 way through the X-body mountain climbers.

If you count each side as it's own rep, I came up with 150 points per round.

4 full rounds (150 x 4) = 600
partial 5th = 80
bonus for spiderman push up burpees first 2 rounds (10 x 2) = 20
bonus for push up burpees 3rd and 4th time through (5 x 2) = 10

Total score = 710

Great workout! And it's all bodyweight exercises - the only equipment required is a stability ball for the jackknives (or you could substitute a forward or diagonal lunge) and a couch or chair for the Bulgarian split squats. You could do this workout just about anywhere.

And now...about my new toy. Heeheehee. Here's a picture:

I love it! It's the Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar. Every time I walk by I have to do a chin up. It's great to have a bar right at home. And this one isn't permanently attached to the doorframe. I can take it down and put it up whenever. It took, like, 10 minutes to assemble and then I was doing chin ups. Whoo-hoo!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Week 8 Update

I can't believe it's been 8 weeks already! Only 4 more weeks to go - time for a transition. For the past 8 weeks I have been using Turbulence Training for Mass. Beginning next week, I am going to use the new Turbulence Training Home Abdominal workout (advanced). It will be a really nice change as most of the exercises are bodyweight. I will also begin doing intervals again so I am hoping to lose a percent or two of bodyfat over the next 4 weeks. My nutrition has been solid for the past couple weeks and I am going to eat as cleanly as possible for the remainder of the contest. Everyone posting in the TT Contest forum is doing so well and there is a lot of REALLY strong competition. I am going to have to work really hard these last 4 weeks to even stand a chance!

Just a reminder you can still sample the Original Turbulence Training Manual for $4.95 for 21 days. That includes the bonuses (TT for Abs, TT for Amazing Lower Abs, Chris Mohr's Nutrition Guide, etc) and you can try out the TT forums as well. Now that I think about it, you can also sample the Turbulence Training Home Abdominal workout for $4.95 as well, but I don't think it comes with 3 months to the forums (although it does have some other nice bonuses).

We're doing another challenge workout this weekend - I'll update you tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Recipe Wednesday

This recipe is one from my childhood. The first time I visited home from college, I asked my mom to make this for dinner. It's a great casserole, perfect for supper on a cold autumn or winter night. It's called 7-in-1 Casserole, but I only use 6 ingredients. I don't remember what the 7th one was! I think it was something like mushrooms or celery. Feel free to throw in a 7th ingredient!

1 pound lean ground beef
2 large baking potatoes (like Idaho or russet)
1/2 small onion, chopped
about 14 baby carrots
2-8oz cans of tomato sauce
1/4c brown rice
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Preheat the oven the 350 degrees (F)
2. I like to precook the rice in 1/4c of boiling water on the stove for about 10-15 minutes. Otherwise it's still crunchy when I take the casserole out of the oven. If you like your rice a little crunchy, you can skip this step.
3. While the rice is cooking, peel the potatoes and slice them into very thin circles. Slice the carrots in thin circles as well.
4. Place the potatoes and carrots in a large glass square or oval casserole dish that you've sprayed with a quick spray of non-stick cooking spray.
5. Sprinkle them with a little salt and pepper
6. Place the ground beef and onions on top of the potatoes.
7. Pour the 2 cans of tomato sauce over the top.
8. Remove the brown rice from the stove top and drain any excess water. Add the rice to the top of the tomato sauce and mix it into the tomato sauce a little bit.
9. Bake covered or uncovered until the beef is no longer pink, and the potatoes are tender, about 60-75 minutes.

I thought I had taken a picture of it when I had it last week, but I couldn't find it. It's the casserole that's in the container in my post "A Day in the Life", but I don't think you can see it very well! This will make 4-6 servings, although my husband and I can easily eat this all in one sitting between just the 2 of us. :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

New TT 6 Minute Abs Video

Here's a new Turbulence Training 6 minute abs video from Craig Ballantyne. This is a beginner circuit and is great to work in a couple times a week after your regular workout.

A Day In The Life...

I recently had someone ask me (thanks Niki!) how I do all this with 2 kids. I thought a good way to answer that would be to go through a typical day:

4:55am - Alarm goes off. Hit snooze.
5:05am - Alarm goes off again. Sometimes hit snooze again, but today I got up. Get dressed. Drink 4oz water + 1 scoop vanilla whey protein.
5:30am - Get to gym and workout - Today was Turbulence Training for Mass, phase 2, workout D; plus TT 6 minute abs circuit
6:20am - Finish workout and head home.
6:30am - Get home and drink 4oz water + 1 scoop chocolate whey protein. Eat 1/2 a banana.
6:45am - Leave home and take the bus to work.
8:30am - Eat breakfast. Today was 2 egg beaters nuked in the microwave, 1/4 tomato, 1 apple, 1T peanut butter. Then work, work, work.
11:20am - Decided it was nice enough for a walk outside. Stopped by the cafeteria on my way back and picked up a few items from the salad bar.
12:00pm - Lunch. Today was leftover casserole from last night and salad with spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, hard boiled egg.
2:00pm - Snack. Plain yogurt with strawberries, blueberries, walnuts and flax.
4:30pm - Get home from work and start making supper. (Hubby stays home with the kids all day so we don't have to pick them up from daycare or anything like that.)
5:15-ish - Eat dinner. Tonight was chicken breast with 1T sugar free BBQ sauce and sweet potato. Kids "don't like that" so I make a roast beef sandwich for one and a jelly sandwich for the other. I try not to be a short order cook, but some nights it still ends up that way.
5:45-8:00pm - Play with kids, check email and TT forums, get kids ready for bed.
8:00pm - Bedtime snack. Tonight it was 8oz Calorie Countdown dairy beverage with 1 scoop Cinnamon Bun Muscle Milk and 1.5 svg vanilla pudding powder (a new experiment). I let it set in the fridge and then topped it with cool whip free and walnuts.
8:30-10:00pm - Put kids to bed, get lunch and snacks ready for next day. Today is Friday so I usually finalize my meal plan for next week and finish my grocery list for tomorrow. This is also time for loading the dishwasher and doing laundry.

That's about it. I try to be asleep by 11:00pm.

Last night I actually took a picture of all the stuff I brought to work today. A few more containers than usual.

On the left, from top to bottom, we have an apple, plain yogurt, egg beaters, casserole, spinach. And on the right is strawberries/blueberries, peanut butter, walnuts/flax and tomato.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Recipe Wednesday - Beef and Barley Soup

OK, I need a catchier name than "Recipe Wednesday" but it will work for now. Today's recipe is Beef and Barley Soup. Thanks to a fellow TT Member for posting the original recipe on the TT Member forum. This is my updated version. I changed a few things and make it in a crock pot. This is a great fall recipe. I like to serve it with a slice of buttered wheat bread, but it's perfect just the way it is.

Beef and Barley Soup

Cooking Spray
1 pounds beef stew meat, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 medium rib of celery, chopped
2 cups chopped carrot
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
splash of worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
14-ounce can less-sodium beef broth
1/2 cup uncooked pearl barley

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Brown the beef on all sides. Remove from pan and place in a crock pot.

2. Heat 1t canola oil, if needed, in pan over medium-high heat. (If the beef was fatty, you may not need to add additional oil.) Add celery, carrot, and garlic; saute 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove veggies from pan and place in crock pot.

3. Add water, salt, worcestershire sauce, pepper, broth and barley to crock pot. Cook on low for at least 4-5 hours, or on high for 2-3 hours.

Serves 4

I forgot to take a picture the soup the last time I made it, but I did take a picture of my dessert tonight. Pumpkin Cheesecake from the Eating for Life cookbook. I could live on this cheesecake. I eat it year round, but it's great for fall. I've even used it as a substitution for pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Challenge: The Turbulence Training Bodyweight 500

Today I did the Turbulence Training Bodyweight 500 for a workout. Another TT Member (thanks M2P!) posed the idea for a mini challenge and quite a few people gave it a try. I did the "no substitutions" version on chin ups and pull ups, but I did do kneeling push ups. Here's what I did:

50 Prisoner Squats
50 Pushups (kneeling)
25 Jumps
25 Stability Ball Leg Curls
50 Stability Ball Jackknifes
50 Step-ups (25 reps per side)
25 Pull-ups (1 at a time)
50 Forward Lunges (25 reps per side)
50 Close-grip Pushups (kneeling)
50 Inverted Rows (beginner, with knees bent)
50 Squats
25 Chin-ups (mostly 1 at a time)

Total time: 26:17

I wasted a lot of time doing the pull ups and chin ups 1 at a time, but I was determined to do them all! I'm surprised the staff on duty didn't come and check on me when I collapsed to the floor after that last chin up! I think I laid there for 5 minutes. LOL

If you decide to tackle the BW 500, let me know! You are supposed to try and finish under 27 minutes.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Recipe Wednesday - Spicy Chicken Omelet

I thought I would try something new. I'm going to try and post a recipe every Wednesday. Please let me know if you try it out and what you think of it! I encourage you to take any recipe and use it just as a formula. Change it up and make it your own! Tonight for dinner, I had planned to make Jillian Michaels' Spicy Chicken, but my son informed me that today was opposites day in preschool, so we had to have breakfast for dinner. Hmmm...How do I not go off plan, and still have breakfast for dinner? I ended up changing the recipe a little, and then added 2 eggs and a little cheese to make a spicy chicken omelet. It looked awful, but tasted really good! Here is the recipe (and a picture, for all you flash dieters!):

Spicy Chicken Omelet

1 4oz chicken breast
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2c mexican style diced tomatoes
2 eggs, beaten
1/4c shredded cheese

1. Cook the chicken breast. I pan fried it in a quick spray of Pam cooking oil spray - about 6 minutes per side for a 4 oz breast. Then remove it from the pan and cut into bite sized pieces.

2. Place the chicken back in the pan. Add the garlic and tomatoes (I used Rotel Tomatoes w/ green chilies - you could use fresh tomatoes and/or jalapenos or just use salsa). Let some of the tomato juice cook off.

3. Add the beaten eggs.

4. Cook until the eggs are as firm as you like them. Sprinkle the cheese on top.

I served mine with cauliflower and strawberries:


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Turbulence Training Twitter Contest Finalists

The finalists have been announced! I am so excited to have made it to the finals!!

You can vote by CLICKING HERE!

Anyone can vote - one vote per computer. Last day to vote is Monday, October 6. Thank you if you decide to vote for me (I'm contestant #3)!!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Turbulence Training Twitter Transformation Results

Here are my results from using Turbulence Training for Mass for 4 weeks! I lost an inch on my abdomen, which was unexpected as I was eating a ton of calories to try and build mass. I gained half an inch on each bicep.

I also finished my video! I'm entering this in the "video diary" contest. I wasn't sure I was going to make a video this time, but finally decided that I would. You can also try THIS LINK directly to You Tube. Sometimes I think it plays better right on the You Tube website.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Turbulence Training 3 Minute Arms Workouts

Here's a video for you with Craig Ballantyne explaining his new "3 minute arms" system. The video is 5:25 long so you could be watching the video longer than it takes you to do the workout!

Stay tuned this week as it's the last week for the 4-week Turbulence Training Twitter Transformation Contest. I will try to post my results right away on Sunday!

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Flash Diet

A new study from the University of Wisconsin....Sing! Varsity.....Varsity....U-RAH-RAH Wisconsin...ahem, as I was saying, a new study now has shown that those who take photographs of their meals stick to their diet better than others.

Keeping a visible record may help to curb calories and/or increase the quality of your diet by allowing you to see and think more about what you are putting into your mouth. You can read more about the study by clicking HERE.

And on that note, here is a back log of photos I have on my camera! ;)

Tonight's Dinner

Turkey mignon (a little too well done), barley risotto from Gourmet Nutrition, grapes and an apple (not pictured)

Last Night's Dinner

Baked stuffing-coated pork chop, stuffing, cauliflower, applesauce

Tuesday Night's Dinner

Fancy Fish Sticks from Making the Cut, quinoa, broccoli

Today tip: go forth and photograph everything you eat! :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Important Announcements

The last day to enter the Turbulence Training contest and get the full 84 days to transform is now September 22! Craig Ballantyne's speciality is fitness, not math. ;) can enter just don't get the full 12 weeks. And you don't have to send in your photos just have to get them in by December 14th at midnight EST. Please see THE RULES for where to send your pictures.

And you don't even have to buy TT. You can get a free 4-week bodyweight workout by clicking HERE.

So if you've been hemming and hawing about entering, you still have time. You can still lose that 10 lbs by Christmas and look good while getting that kiss under the mistletoe.

And in other news, for all you avid readers (Thanks Andy T!), you may have noticed that Tuesday came and went with nary a tattoo in sight. There's nothing to report. So I'm not posting another picture until I have another treatment. Which may be awhile. They're not cheap!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My Lucky Day?

Ever have one of those days where it seems everything goes your way? I think today is my day. First, I was feeling really strong in the gym this morning. I was doing TT for Mass, phase 1, workout B and I raised up all my weights and had new personal bests in squat (110lbs), romanian dead lift (85lbs), cable chop (90lbs) and BB step ups (80lbs). Then I decided to try pull ups even though my arms were a little sore from yesterday. I ended up doing 5!! I used a closer grip (shoulder width vs. a wider grip) so maybe that helped. Or maybe it was the Depeche Mode I was listening to - who knows? :) I'm still proud of the effort. And I made my goal of 5 pull ups in only 2 and half weeks!

Second, as I was walking to the bus stop, I reached into the pocket of a jacket I haven't worn in a very long time and pulled out $4.03. Whoo-hoo! Money I didn't know I had. I think I'm going to buy a lottery ticket today!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Sneak Peak

Hubby and I took "2 weeks" pictures this morning. I'm going to keep most of my pictures a secret, but I have to confess I was impressed in the changes in my back in only 2 weeks. I can't wait to see how things shape up after 12 weeks!

Remember, the last day to enter the TT Contest is tomorrow, Monday, September 15. You can see the rules by clicking HERE. I hope you will join me in the contest. It's the most motivating thing I have ever done in terms of fitness and getting in shape. There are tons of people on the forums to help, advise and cheer you on! Remember you get 3 months free to the forums when you purchase the Basic TT Manual. For me, it's been the best $40 I've ever spent.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Advice From the Naked Cowboy

I was flipping through my Fitness magazine and they had a little Q&A with NYC's Naked Cowboy. About his workout, he says, "I lift weights for an hour and run for nearly two hours every day, but I would never call exercising 'tedious.' Once you do that, you'll be pitting it against what you'd rather be doing, and a kingdom that is divided cannot stand. I think of my workout only as fun - the most fun there is."

What a great way to put it! If you don't enjoy your workouts, you won't stick with them and then your diet will go off track and then 3 months from now you'll be wondering why your weight loss efforts failed. This morning I thoroughly enjoyed my workout. I started with 35 minutes on the elliptical. I used that entire time to delete specific songs on my mp3 player. It's not very user friendly! After that, I did 12 chin ups! New best! After that, I did the "6 minute abs" circuit (in previous post). Good ab workout! Then, I did 5 pull ups - 1 at a time! LOL I would do 1, then rest a bit, then another, then rest, etc. Fun workout today!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Week 2 Update

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE TT for Mass? I have been raising the weights as much as I can to get the most out of each workout and I try to achieve at least one personal best in each workout. Today I had to do 1-legged squats. Man, those are tough! I'm going to try to post more about my workouts and nutrition from now on. Stay tuned!

My plan for the current contest is to use TT for Mass for the first 8 weeks (phase 1 and phase 2 are each 4 weeks long) and then for the final four weeks, I am going to use the new TT Home Abdominal Workout (Advanced). There is a bonus $500 prize going to the Transformation Contestant who has the best results with the new TT for Abs, so I'm going to give that a shot!

If you still want to enter the contest, the last day to begin is now September 15. Here are the RULES. Don't forget the Original TT Manual comes with 3 months free to the discussion forums. And you can still get it for $4.95 for the first 21 days as a trial offer. CLICK HERE to read more about that!

Finally, here is a recent email from Craig Ballantyne about his new "6 minute Abs" program that all TT for Abs customers will receive as a bonus (PS. I think I am going to try this circuit tomorrow!):

I hit the local YMCA for a leg and 6-minute abs workout on Sunday morning. Six-minute abs is my latest mini-report and workout coming out in October. You'll get a bunch of great beginner and advanced 6-minute ab workouts that show you how to get six pack abs in less time than it takes to watch all the commercials in a half-hour TV show. So some of these workouts you can do right at home in front of the TV.

The one I did yesterday was an advanced 6-minute workout, and it requires a chin-up bar. Here's how it went down...

1A) Hanging Knee Raises (10 reps)
1B) Spiderman Climbs (10 reps per side)
1C) Plank with Arms on Ball (20-30 seconds)

Go through that circuit as much as you can in 6 minutes with as little rest as possible between exercises. Don't even rest once you've completed the circuit, just start back again at the top. It's tough. But fun and effective and gets your workout done faster than ever. And it was a far better use of workout time compared to the people I watched doing 15 minutes of crunches. What a waste. I'll send you the bonus, "6-Minute Abs" workouts on October 1st, as soon as it is ready! You CAN train your abs in only 6-minutes!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tuesday Tattoo Watch

Ok, I'm a little late. Tuesday night we went to the ball park and it went into extra innings. Then last night, I went downstairs and found our hot water heater leaking. Just wonderful. But here is the new picture. I think I see a little difference.

In other news, for those of you who like to start on Mondays, you now have until September 15 to enter the Turbulence Training contest!

Also, some of you know that music is one of my passions. I love discovering new music. I just got this CD a couple weeks ago and it has been glued to my CD player. It's called Division, by 10 Years. Hubby thinks it sounds a bit like Cold, but I also think it sounds a bit along the lines of A Perfect Circle. Maybe a mix of the two. In any case, I love every song on the album!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Turbulence Training Announcement

As of September 15, Turbulence Training is raising the rates for their TT Members website.

Here are the details...

1) If you are a current TT Member, your Membership Plan does NOT, and will not ever change. You are LOCKED IN at your low rate for life, unless you cancel. If you are a current member, you don't have to take any action right now, you are set for life.

2) If you are not yet a TT Member, you can join before September 15th for only $19.95 for a BASIC membership or $197 per year for a PLATINUM All-Access Membership (and NO monthly fee).

3) But if you wait to join TT Members until AFTER September 15th, it will be $29.95 per month for a BASIC Membership or $197 to jointhe PLATINUM Level plus $39.95 per month.

You can use this link to join the TT Members site to lock in the current rates: Turbulence Training Preferred Customer Discount Offer

Or you can use this link if you just want the TT Manual, which includes a 3-month free basic membership to the forums: Turbulence Training Manual

Either way, the last day to enter the contest is September 14 (CLICK HERE for Rules). As of today, there were about 55 people signed up for the contest. Think you can beat the other 55 contestants? Sign up!

This the video that the folks at TT created after the first contest. See if you can spot my You Tube debut!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

End of Week One Update

The end of week one is officially tomorrow for me, but I don't have any workouts between now and then. I've chosen to begin the new TT contest (For Rules, CLICK HERE) with TT for Mass. It's actually 4 days a week instead of the usual 3 days a week. I've really been enjoying it. I've done this program before (during the last contest) and I wanted to use it again. I'm sure it will help me reach my goals of gaining lean mass. My arms felt like noodles after the upper body days, and today my glutes are sore from yesterday's workout (yeah, I'm looking at you glute-ham raises). I've been aiming to eat around 2500 calories a day on my workout days, and about 1700-2000 on my non-workout days. I'm hoping this will allow me to gain lean muscle while minimizing the gain of fat.

Speaking of eating, today I got my other 2 new flavors of Muscle Milk delivered. (GNC has free shipping on internet orders over $40 through September 8th.) The cinnamon bun won first dibs so I tried it for my evening snack. I blended it with 1/2c cottage cheese, 1 serving of sugar free vanilla pudding powder and 3/4c water, then put it in the freezer for a few hours. It was very yummy with the taste of a fresh cinnamon roll. Not too overpowering, not too sweet. I am an ice cream fanatic so this is a pretty darn healthy substitute! I will try the rocky road flavor tomorrow night.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Tuesday Tattoo Watch

OK, does anyone see a difference here? Seriously.

I think I forgot to mention that you can enter the new TT contest until September 14. And the new Muscle Milk? The Cake Batter is Delicious!

Monday, September 1, 2008

New TT Contest...Cue the Patti LaBelle

"Ooo-ooo ooo-ooo oooo - I got a New Attitude"

New Contest.
New hair color (can't really tell in the photo).
New bikini (Hubby picked it out).
New photo-taking location.
New Goals.

I started the 2 new Turbulence Training contests today. The regular 12-week contest (For Rules, CLICK HERE) and the 4-week Twitter Twansformation Contwest (For Rules, CLICK HERE). I've loaded up my before pictures in the sidebar. My new goals for the 12-week challenge are to gain 4lbs of lean mass, and to be able to do 15 chin ups and 5 pull ups.

If you are looking for a new workout program that gives you results in as little as 45 minutes, 3 days a week, TT could be what you are looking for. And the $4.95 special is still going. Purchase TT for $4.95 for 21 days - if you don't like it, drop the folks at TT a message and they will give you a refund. Read all about it by CLICKING HERE. (The $4.95 special includes 3 months free to the forums.) Come and join me in either or both contests! I am Cesium0122 on Twitter.

I went to GNC to get the new flavors of Muscle Milk today and only found 1 store that had 1 left (Cake Batter flavor). So I went online and got the Rocky Road and Cinnamon Bun (Brownie Batter was on Backorder). GNC has Muscle Milk seriously discounted for Labor Day. And there was free shipping. I got a great deal! Will let you know how they taste!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Protein Pancake Recipe

This recipe is an adaptation from the hotcake recipe in Jillian Michael's Making the Cut. Everything I have made from that book has been delicious! This recipe will make about 10 or 11 small pancakes.

3 large eggs
1 cup cottage cheese
1T whole wheat flour

Optional Ingredients:
fresh blueberries
1 packet of Splenda

The method:
1. Separate the yolks from the whites and put in 2 separate bowls.
2. With an electric mixer, beat the whites until nearly stiff peaks form
3. Now beat the yolks until they thicken a bit - about 2 minutes or so
4. (Optional) Run the cottage cheese through a food processor (I don't like the texture of cottage cheese.) This is also where I add the packet of Splenda.
5. Add the cottage cheese to the yolks, then the 1T wheat flour, then fold in the egg whites.
6. Let it sit a few moments before spooning onto a hot griddle. I like to use a Tablespoon, and use about 2T per pancake. Flip the pancake when the edges are dry and it begins to bubble.
7. Add the blueberries and/or walnuts (if desired) to the pancake after you spoon the batter onto the griddle, but before you flip.
8. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon and/or sugar free pancake syrup, if desired. Enjoy!

I once accidentally forgot to take the cottage cheese out of the food processor and ended up making the pancakes without it! The texture was different, but they still tasted good!

Friday, August 29, 2008

New Turbulence Training Contest Starts August 31

New contest starts August 31! CLICK HERE for the TT Transformation Contest rules.

But wait, there is a second contest that starts September 1, and YES, you can enter both. CLICK HERE for the rules to the 4-week TT Twitter Twansformation Contwest!

The TT Transformation Contest is the regular 12-week competition; the Twitter Contest is a 4-week competition and you must use the Twitter website and post everytime you do a TT workout. If you read the rules closely, you'll notice you don't actually have to purchase TT to participate, but you do have to use it. Having said that, I still would highly recommend purchasing at least the basic Turbulence Training program, as you get 3 months FREE to the forums! I know that the support I have received on the TT forums has been critical to my weight loss success.

I plan on entering both contests, start date of September 1! I have to confess, this Twitter thing is kind of addictive!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Big THANK YOU.... everyone who voted for me - I really appreciate it! But I didn't win. To see the winners, you can CLICK HERE. Congratulations!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Tuesday Tattoo Watch

It's Tuesday...Time again for "Watch the Tattoo Fade". Here's today's photo added:

I found out today that I'm supposed to still be putting petroleum jelly on it everyday and wrapping it up. Oops. I stopped doing that a week ago! Hope I'm not getting too scabby. The photo doesn't show a really big difference yet. I think I can see a difference in the mirror. I'm a little disappointed, to say the least.

In other news....If you haven't voted for your favorite Turburlence Training Transformation Contest finalist yet, what are you waiting for? It's free, and you don't have to register or sign up for anything. Just CLICK HERE and VOTE! I'm Contestant #3, if you want to vote for me! :)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Turbulence Training Finalists Announced - Go And VOTE!

The Turbulence Training Transformation Contest Finalists have been announced! I can't believe I made it into the finals again! Please go and VOTE by clicking HERE! I'm contestant #3, if you feel inclined to vote for me! :) Voting ends THIS WEDNESDAY at Midnight!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I Think I Look Like My Mother

OK, special shout out to Skwigg for making me laugh so hard I had tears streaming down my face and Diet Pepsi nearly coming out of my nose. I read about on her blog and gave it a try. The pictures are, from left to right, me circa 1952, 1960, and 1990. In 1960, I look just like my mother. The 1990 picture looks almost like my high school freshman picture!

TT for Abs Complete and I Joined the Twitterverse!

I finished up the new TT for Abs Home Abdominal workout program (Intermediate) yesterday. It was different than what I normally would pick out because it was mostly bodyweight exercises and I usually like to use weights. But I really enjoyed it. I did increase the reps/holds for a few of the exercises (push ups, planks) to make it more challenging at times, but I was using the Intermediate program and I think I could have moved up to the Advanced (which looks quite a bit more difficult!) Having said that, I'm pretty sore today! LOL

Today is the final day of the current TT contest and I can't wait to see all the finalists! Get your voting fingers ready! I will post where to go to vote just as soon as I know!

Finally, I joined Twitter. I don't know if I will have much to say, but come join me! I am Cesium0122.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

National Elvis Week and Let's Play "Watch the Tattoo Fade"

In honor of National Elvis Week (which I think I just missed), I had this for my evening snack:

1/2c Cottage Cheese
1 Scoop Muscle Milk Light (Banana Creme)
1/2T Natural Peanut Butter
1 serving sugar free chocolate pudding mix (dry - about 1T)
a little over 1/2c cold water

Mix with a blender or hand held immersion blender. Freeze for a couple hours. Enjoy!

Speaking of Muscle Milk, there are 4 new flavors! The new flavors are: Cake Batter, Brownie Batter, Cinnamon Bun, and Rocky Road. Yum! Come September 1, me and my Gold Card will be heading to GNC! Perfect timing for the new Turbulence Training contest, which will *most likely* begin on August 31 (Get Ready - hint, hint!)

Now, about my tattoo - For some reason, I envisioned my tattoo being a lot lighter by now. I guess I thought having a LASER hit my arm would just make the ink dissolve. But no, apparently, it is a very slow process, much like watching paint dry. So, in the interim between contests, I decided I needed a weekly picture-taking fix. Here's the tattoo "Before", at "1 day after", and at "1 week after".

Not a whole lot of change yet. Just getting a little scabby. Check back next Tuesday as we play (all together now, like on Wheel of Fortune) "Watch the Tattoo Fade!"

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Go Carts, Dilated Pupils, and Bye Bye Tattoo!

Been very busy the last 2 days. Got my TT workout in yesterday morning, and then Hubby and I visited a nearby amusement park with roller coasters, waterslides and go carts. We started at one of the go cart tracks. We were first in line when it was our turn to pick out our cars. I picked a sexy little blue car at the front of the line and man could she fly! I had that baby floored the entire time and the nearest car (Hubby) was waaaaay behind. I was hugging the corners, cruising along with the wind in my hair, zipping up the hills, zooming down the hills...ahem, I mean, no officer, I have no idea how fast I was going. {halo pings}

We hit the 3 biggest roller coasters (one of which actually travels under the parking lot), and a couple more go cart tracks, and then headed over to the waterpark. It was a little cool when the sun went behind a cloud, but overall it was a beautiful day. I had to be careful and not get sunburn as today I got one of my arm tattoos lasered off. I forgot to take a "before" picture today, but I have lots of pictures of my arm already. It didn't hurt nearly as much as I was expecting! I can't take off the bandage until tomorrow.

After that appointment, I had an appointment with the eye doctor. I arrived with an ice pack on my arm, and left with blurry vision. I had my eyes dilated so I had to drive with 1 eye closed and the other eye squinted. I was driving on a 3-lane highway, but managed to make it with only a couple of white knuckle moments.

Today's Tip: Don't schedule an eye appointment after tattoo removal as it is difficult to hold the ice pack on your arm while driving. At least I didn't have the eye appointment first. Then I would have been blind while holding the ice pack on my arm while driving on a 3-lane highway. And as we already established, I can be a bit of a lead foot.

Last night, on the way home, we stopped at a rest area and there were 2 semi trucks with huge oversized loads parked there. I made Hubby go and stand near one so I could take a picture. I was playing with the night flash settings on my camera and Hubby was being funny and moving his arms, and this picture was the result!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Turbulence Training for Abs Update

It occured to me yesterday that I have been using the new TT Home Abdominal Workout Program for 2 weeks and haven't even posted anything about it! (Sorry!) I've been using the Intermediate program and I really like it. It has a different kind of push up in each workout, which I enjoy. There are 3 different workouts and each one takes about 45 minutes, including the interval training. My abs...have been sore for 2 weeks! LOL Not "hurts to laugh" sore, but abs-feel-tight-all-day sore. A very good sore. And I haven't done a single crunch! At first, I thought I would only use the Intermediate for 2 weeks and then move on to the Advanced. But I am really liking the Intermediate and so I have decided to stay with it for the full 4 weeks. Then I am going to take my week off, which should bring me right about to the time that the next contest will start. (This is all speculation on my part; I have no confirmation of when the next contest will start.) If the next competition does start then, I believe I am going to use TT for Mass again - phase one and phase two for the full 8 weeks of that program.

As for now, my metabolism must be on fire. I'm up about 1 pound from where I finished the contest 2 weeks ago, even though I have been indulging in cashews, sugar free ice cream and (shh!) even had french fries. I'm very happy with that pound as it is easily a product of daily fluctuations. I'm not looking to lose much more weight; I'm working at maintaining my current weight until I begin the mass building program again (and then I'd like to gain a pound or two of muscle).

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

New Tunes, Pull Ups and Daily Diet (Served in Bonus Watermelon Bowl)

I tried to be cool the other night and make a watermelon bowl to impress my son. He's 4 years old. I thought surely I could impress him. Here's a picture of of the bowl:

I showed it to my son, all excited because I thought it turned out pretty good. He says to me, "That's great, Mom".

Isn't he a little young for sarcasm?

Anyway...I've had a lot of people ask me about my diet during my transformation. I decided I would just post a typical day of what I eat. This is a workout day (all times are approximate):

5:20am (pre-workout): 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

6:30am (post-workout): 1 scoop GNC Wheybolic Extreme 60 in about 4oz water

8:45am: oatmeal made with 1 packet plain instant oatmeal, 2 oz blueberries, 4oz skim milk, 1T walnuts, 1/2t ground flax, 1 packet Splenda; additional 4oz skim milk to drink

11:45am: homemade cream of cauliflower and turkey sausage soup; salad made with 2 cups spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, a couple croutons, 2T homemade sugar-free French dressing
This is usually when I take my pills: 1 GNC women's ultra mega active multivitamin, 1 ProCaps Omega 3 Fish Oil, 1 ProCaps Healthy Hair, Skin and Nails

2:00pm: plain nonfat yogurt with strawberries, blueberries, 1 packet Splenda, 1/2t ground flax, 1T walnuts (or I'll just have 1 oz cheese with an apple/plum/peach)

5:15pm: My version of Texas Thin Crust Pizza from Gourmet Nutrition with turkey sausage and salsa instead of ground sirloin and bbq sauce (Often I just have a protein like chicken or beef, a vegetable like broccoli or cauliflower, and a fruit like pears, applesauce, or strawberries.)

8:00pm: GNC Lean Muscle Meal in about 12oz water (running out of this soon and then will finish off my Muscle Milk)
In other news...I attempted pull ups this morning! Last time I tried, which was several months ago, I just hung there like an idiot. Today I was able to do 2 and a half! (They weren't pretty.) I was very surprised, but very happy.
I added a few new tunes to the player in the side bar. My new favorite is "Forever Can Be" by Ashes Divide. It's Billy Howerdel's (A Perfect Circle) solo project. If you like A Perfect Circle, you'll probably like Ashes Divide.