Monday, December 28, 2009

My Holiday

‘Twas a successful holiday trip to the south food-wise. I was able to find good animal free things to eat on the two restaurant dining excursions I had. One was a lunch where I ate from a salad bar and left full of veggie goodness. One was a dinner where I got to choose the spot and thanks to some pre-trip internet research I found an Italian restaurant that good food for all, and a whole wheat pasta dish with lots of veggies sautéed in olive oil for me. I made sure there was no butter and had them separate the vegetables and pasta (so I’d make sure to eat most of my veggies first) and voila-a delish dish! For the second leg of the journey I cooked up a pot of Eggplant Chana Masala and Chocolate Peanut Cups courtesy of The Kind Diet, and I bought some kale, apples, and oranges at a grocery store, so I had plenty of clean delicious food for my belly. I actually lost a couple of pounds over Christmas. And we all know that my scale is quite opposed to budging, so this was great news! Even better news is that I really didn’t feel tempted or deprived sans a momentary slight pang I felt in choosing not to have queso dip. I quickly reminded myself of how I would feel if I ate it and knew the possible stomach ache wouldn’t be worth it! The feeling seriously just lasted a moment.

I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by The Conscious Cook cookbook, so my supportive husband got me a simpler cookbook for Christmas, The Urban Vegan by Denise Balcavage. I’ve only just started to go through it and it seems much less intimidating. Eventually I will dive into some of the more complicated time consuming dishes in The Conscious Cook, but since I am still new to this kind of eating, I need to slow down and learn some good basic go-to meals. I’m excited to test out some appetizer recipes this week when some friends will come over for a little pre-New Years Eve party toasting!

I am looking forward to 2010 as a year of renewal and change and health. I’ll start my women's seminar, begin rehearsing for my next show, and embrace the four months I have left to reach my goal. There will be a lot of hard work involved mentally and physically as I unclog some mental blockages and dive into more intense exercise and toning, but I feel ready for the challenge. If I were to say what my New Year’s resolution is, I would say that I want to be more selfish. Sounds funny doesn’t it, but it’s true. I don’t always feel like the majority of my choices are all about what's best for me (I am a card carrying member of the People Pleaser Club), so I want to start making choices based on what’s best for me mentally and physically which I know will make me feel healthier inside and out each day!

What are your New Year’s resolutions?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Feelin' Great!

So my show closed this weekend. It's so bittersweet because I really had a blast. Sometimes when you reach the end of a run you are ready to let it go and move on. Sometimes you enjoy yourself so much you could keep going and going. I was so fortunate that the latter was the case with my latest show. On the other hand, soon I will have a little more free time to work out and play with new recipes in the kicthen.

Tonight I had a great win. It was my husband's birthday today and in addition to fun gifts and a day at the planetarium for my galactic-loving mate, I took him to dinner. He wanted a steak for his birthday dinner and I scoured nearby restaurants for a place that could possibly suit my needs in some way (aka I was resigned to the fact that I would most likely be eating a boring salad or some steamed veggies-none of the menus looked promising.) Then, on the way home from learning about stars and galaxies I remembered one nearby restaurant that I'd forgotten to look into. Lo and behold, there seemed to be some really decent options for me as well as a great steak option for the birthday guy. Boy was there ever!!! On the menu was a "Greens and Grains" option that changes daily. Tonight it was quinoa, fresh green beans, carrots, seared tofu, and a balsamic carmelized onion. YUUUMM! It was so delicious and succulent and fancy and animal product free!! The waitress said almost all of their soups were animal free as well and they would make pretty much anything on the menu animal free for me if it's at all possible. Awesome. My husband said his steak was terrific and my meal was fantastic so it was such a win! I had been so bummed that I would most likely be eating lettuce leaves and sneaking raw carrots and nuts from my purse for dinner, but the fates smiled and I felt rewarded for sticking to my health guns! (For any Chicago folks the restaurant is Sola on Lincoln Ave.)

I am feeling so healthy and confident and slender lately. Cleaning up my diet and sticking to grains, greens, and bean protein has made me feel so amazing! I touched my abs randomly today and they felt so much more lean and toned.

I'm off to a four day visit to my home state of Texas bright and early in the morning. I'm nervous about food options, but my plan is to hit a grocery store for some staples to get me through the visit. My hubby is so supportive so I know I can get through it! I wish you all very fanatsic and healthy holidays. I'm thankful for all of you! We can make it through this season of temptation!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I've had some wins lately that I'd like to share.

Energy! I have a lot more. I'm finding that I get bursts of energy throughout the day that I haven't had in a long time. My schedule has been really hectic and having an energy boost from all of the clean food I am eating has been helpful to keep me from crumbling under the pressure. Yesterday for example I worked, went to an afternoon work function, had a surprise call back for a show, and had a holiday party to attend later that night. Holy moly, what a long day! BUT I felt more equipped with the stamina to do it!

I dined out for lunch! At my work function I was faced with my first time of being at a restaurant and attempting to eat animal product free. It was a nicer restaurant that didn't have a standard "big salad" to order, so I thought maybe I will have them tossed some salad greens together for me or order some side veggies cooked without butter. I was okay with that since I know choosing clean foods right now is really benefitting my health. When I mentioned that I was trying to go the vegan route and asked if could I have some sides of veggies, the waiter said it was no problem he would make something for me. The result: I was served the most succulent dish of squash, zucchini and other veggies in a delicious tomato ragu with a side of fresh green beans. It was a delight and I felt very satisfied and full. I can do this!

I feel deflated (in a good way): By reducing my processed food intake I feel less puffy, less salty, and lighter!

I'm also enjoying trying new whole grains. My current love is barley. It's terribly nutritious and I love how it's like super soft brown rice. So nutty and light and comforting! I like to top it with steamed kale (another current love.)

Saturday I made a recipe from The Kind Diet, a delicious Eggplant Chana Masala. It was really easy and made a ton of stew so I was able to eat it for a few meals over the weekend and freeze some in individual containers for lunches this week. My husband also liked it a lot!

Last week I exercised in some way everyday but Friday (I was out the door at 7:45am and didn't return until after midnight-fair enough I'd say). So I came near my week's goal. This week I want to make sure to get in two full hour work outs. I've got to get my workout lengths up to boost this gettin' lean mean machine!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Seventy Savories Sent from Secret Santa

Oh yes, I have already attended a holiday paty and was gifted by a Secret Santa! Friday at a little day job gathering I was overjoyed to be recipient of The Conscious Cook by Tal Ronnen. He is the mastermind who crafted the plant based dishes that were so delectable that Oprah was able to stick to a 21 day cleanse. I have just cracked the cookbook open this week, and I am so excited to try out some of the seventy exciting recipes.

I typically hate following recipes. It makes me feel constricted and like my creativity is being taken away, hence why I am not a big baker (but clearly, I have control issues-haha). However I need to get better at succoming to following recipes since I am a novice to these new innovative plant based dishes. Sunday I made Alicia Silverstone's Kind Diet chocolate peanut cups and they are soo good and in my opinion far more divine than a highly processed Reese's Peanut Cup. Okay, I can do this. See, I can even have kind clean desserts. I just need to stick to some recipes at first and then I can learn the basic tools of this cooking method.

I went to Whole Foods early Saturday morning to get some things and felt overwhelmed. While I have my favorite veggie store, Stanley's, as my go-to Mecca of cheap organic produce, I need some cooking essentials if I am really going  to commit to more than my standard grain/bean/veg stirfry concoctions of late (although they are fab if I do say so myself). There are only certain kinds of fake meats I enjoy, and I am surrendering to the fact that fake cheese just isn't for me (I don't like most of it, so I'm not wasting calories eating it). I also had an unsucessful brush with tempeh so I need help understanding how to cook it-I can't just wing some of this stuff. What to eat, what to eat? I decided to treat myself to some animal product-free choices at the Whole Foods Salad Bar to give my pallet some variety and ideas. It was a delight!!!!!!! Much of it was tofu based, but so delicious! I currently have some curried tofu salad in my fridge that I want to copy-it's criminal how yummy it is.

This kind of cooking will just take me a little more time at first and I will also need to put some money into to get my essentials. I've already been using soy butter (Earth Balance soy butter is amazing-I doubt anyone could tell the difference), but I had to buy some things like mayo substitute and still need some other vinegars, sweeteners and various grains. Once I have all of the essentials then I think I will be in good shape. I also just need solid time at home to cook. Somehow even with my show up and running I have crammed my weeknights full of other things like auditions and seeing friends' plays and such. Health is an investment of mind, body, soul, time and money. That's a lot of committment, but I am truly enjoying most of the foods that I am trying and feel cleaner inside. I also feel good about being compassionate to my animals friends. I still find myself indulging in sushi so I am not a complete convert, and I may never stop, but overall I am feeling healthy!

Do you wonder why I am not using the word vegan? Here's why: I think over the years the word has been negatively conotated. I know because I was one of the Negative Nellies. When I would hear about someone being a vegan I would think that they were super malnourished and crazy and actually sacrificing their health. I thought it was down right scary! However, I've been doing a lot of reading and I am committed to learning how to incorporate the lifestyle successfully. There is work involved in making sure you get what you need, but there are soo many benefits and so many delicious creations to try (if you like to cook and are open to trying new things). Now listen, I may never fully cross over, but moving closer to the animal product-free end of the dietary spectrum is comfortable to me. I wrestle with a self imposed black and white pressure to be all or nothing, but there is no human rulebook that says I have to have a title for my dietary habits. I like using an Alicia word and saying I eat kind foods. I also love that in the literature I have been reading there are no harsh judgements about meat eaters and vegetarians. In fact, all I am finding is encouragement to all who are expressing interest and praise for small steps like incorporating one veggie based meal a week into your diet. I like praise. I'm a Taurus after all :)

I have been visiting The Kind Life everyday for inspirartion.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Monthly Measurements

So I didn't lose any inches this month, but I totally expected it with three weeks of almost no good workouts due to my hectic rehearsal/show schedule and some major work stress (the last quarter of the year is a particularly hectic time in Day Job land.) I'm disappointed of course, but I know I will do better over the next month. I also know that I need to make the most of Jan and Feb because I was cast in another play this week that will begin rehearsing at the end of Feb. On the flip side, knowing I will soon have about two months of more free time at night and on the weekends will help get me through these tough spells when I am frustrated with not having time to hit workouts hard.

Nov 3rd Waist (at belly button): 31 inches
Dec 3rd Waist (at belly button): 31 inches
NO CHANGE Down 2.5 inches total!

Nov 3rd Hips: 36.25
Dec 3rd Hips: 36.25
NO CHANGE Down 2.75 inches total!

Nov 3rd Arm: 11 inches around
Dec 3rd Arm: 11 inches around
NO CHANGE Down 3/4 inch total!

Nov 3rd Thigh: 22 inches around
Dec 3rd Thigh: 22 inches around
NO CHANGE Down 1 inch total!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Toned Cheeks!

How much do I covet a pair of Reebok EasyTone's? So much!! How much do I hate spending lots of money? Sososososo much! However, as much as I hate to have the moves put on me be manipulated by commercials, Reebok has hook, line, and sinkered me with this ad. I want an impossibly gorgeoues hiney too!! Here's my money! As an actor, I do have to wonder what that audition was like. Did they line up a bunch of women backwards and call back their top five bums?

You can look at all of the styles of Reebok EasyTones here.To celebrate being named on Oprah's holiday "O List" they are offering free shipping and returns all season. Score!

My current sneaks are silver, and I love them so much I wish I had bought two pairs, so needless to say, I want the Reeinspires in silver.

Will you be asking Santa for a fitness inspired gift this year??

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Call for Recipes

Did you all have a nice Thanksgiving?

I had a calm one and came out relatively unscathed health wise. I've nuzzled into a groove of good eating habits and find that I'm tempted a loss less, drink much less diet soda, crave raw veggies and salad to clean out my system when I've eaten something too heavy or salty, and I have in fact not died from greatly reducing my egg and dairy intake (much to my egg and cheese loving surprise). I've also gotten into a bit of a food rut. I am tiring of my standard veggies and soups and need to work on some new kind food based dishes to enjoy. I feel like since I have been weeding out processed foods and animal products that I am more sensitive to harsh foods. If I eat a piece of sugary candy I feel it pretty fast. If I eat something full of sodium my body gets puffier than it used to. Interesting.

I recently picked up a wacky turnip-y veg that I need to cook up. Ever heard of kohlrabi?? I need to get adventurous soon and see how it goes.

What are your favorite vegetable dishes??  My mouth is bored!

Friday, November 20, 2009


I hate forwards as much as the next person, but someone sent me this and I had to share. Maybe my downstairs neighbors will hate me, but me thinks I need a jump rope of my own. Check out these jump ropers!

Supposedly jumping rope is one of the best overall workouts you can get. If you jump rope for 15 minutes you can burn about 250 calories. WOAH!! (although 15 minutes straight of rope jumping would probably seem like an eternity!) It's cheap, a nice way to recapture some childhood fun, and it packs a lot of punch in a small amount time!

Do any of you jump rope for cardio?

PS. On Wednesday I did not eat a giant breakfast muffin at a meeting because I thought of all of you and how I need to practice what I preach. So thank you!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Making the Most of the Next Six Months

First, did I wear my dress at opening this weekend? No I didn't. I could have worn it, but I didn't feel 100% confident in it. (A lifetime-long pooched belly is hard to work off, sometimes I think no matter how toned and tiny I get I will still have one.) While girdly/spanx-y type aids may be great in general, I felt like for goal purposes, that it would be a bit of a cheat. I have just a little ways to go before I'll surely be able to wear my dress with pride. I could wear it for closing or to some upcoming holiday parties-there are options. Here are some before and afters.







So I'm getting close.

With six months left to work toward my ultimate goal, I want to fully embrace the time I have left. Like I've always said, this journey is about toning up both my outside and inside, so I am happy to continue forward with two strong tools to help with both: Kind Food and Soul Food.

Kind food:  Like I mentioned last week, I dove into reading The Kind Diet and learning about the benefits of a plant based diet. I have to say that I am really enjoying exploring all of the delicious, healthy, and very satisfying foods associated with kind of eating. There are so many dishes I was already eating that were basically in line, I've just done some tweaking like using soy butter instead of a chemically spray and adding in some essential whole grains that I had been leaving out because I've had the fear of carbs instilled in me like so many people. My favorite delight thus far is freekeh wheat. I stumbled across this at Trader Joe's and gave it a try since it was a whole grain, had a rad name (I like to say "give me some of them freaky wheats"), and the ingredients list contained only two simple things: freekeh wheat and water. It is delicious!!!! Add a dash of sea salt and a little soy butter and it is just amazing paired with some organic beans or sauteed greens. I am stocking up since you never know when TJs will stop carrying things (when they stopped carrying canned curried chick peas a few years ago I was decidedly destroyed.)

Soul food: I am signed up to begin a monthly women's seminar in January that focuses on the spiritual life cycle of a woman. I am super thrilled about it and can't wait. Think of it as a place to learn all about yourself. How cool is that? There are sections on self esteem, clearing out old blockages from past negative experiences, appreciating yourself, exploring your life's goals. Sound like therapy? Well, I guess it kind of is, the leader is actually a licensed clinical therapist. Ain't no shame in that game. I can't wait to tell you about it next year.

Anywho, now that my show is up and running. I can begin to commit fully to exercise again. I have to admit, I've had three weeks without a proper work out. I've hung in there with some maintainance: arms circles, leg lifts, good eating, but as far as solid workouts, I was so insanely busy with work and the show that sleep was actually the healthier choice. I remedied all of that Sunday with a nice workout on the elliptical finished off with some good belly blasting leg lifts. I am so happy to be on track and thrilled that I was not winded or exhausted. Phew! I am so happy to be back on the work out track and continuing to tone up!!!

I hope all of you are well, and know that I'll be right here with you as we head into high holiday season and all the food temptations it will bring! We will survive!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Kind Diet

With my life at such a grueling pace right now and two bouts of sickness in four weeks (the last week of October I was riddled with sinus headaches and migraines for five days), I really feel the need to get on track with taking care of myself and being good to me. My skin is stupid dry (I've fallen off the fish oil wagon-I just keep forgetting to take them), I have really dark circles under my eyes, and I'm achey. I need some TLC inside and out. Enter an interesting read that I have been anxious to get my hands on! The Kind Diet by Cher Horowitz herself Alicia TooAdorableForWords Silverstone.

I won't call this a vegan book, but rather a book about all of the benefits of a plant based diet and why animal products can be bad for you and the environment (there is a difference to me). The word kind refers to eating foods that are good to your system and friendly to the environment on the way to your mouth. I'm such a cheese and egg head that I don't know if I could ever adapt to losing all animal products, but I am really open to what the book has to say. It's written gently (aka the animal cruelty stuff isn't as graphic as some rougher literatue I have read-I get it, I don't need to read every gory detail) and Alicia, as a former meat eater, totally understands what it's like to change your diet. She speaks from experience about what it feels like and how wonderful a vegan life style has made her feel.

Veganism intrigues me (but can also seem a little rash and possibly unhealthy), and I wanted to read this book to see just how one is supposed to get essential nutrients when eating this way, and she does a great job of explaining it. She covers all the questions I had such as where you get calcium and protein, how eating so many carbs will not make you gain weight (you eat tons of beans and whole grains in this lifestyle), and even openly addresses "fartiness" and pooping (yes she actually uses the word fartiness-love it).

In addition to going animal product-free the kind way of eating also eliminates processed foods and white sugars. It's extreme (epecially in the land of fast foods and disgusting degrees of how we overwork ourselves), but Alicia claims it changed her life, gave her beautiful skin and hair, and has made her feel light and healthy. So far I really love that the book seems to focus on what you gain-awesome new foods and dishes to experience- instead of bombarding you with all of the things you have to kiss good bye. Because she knows that this is a serious life change, she presents three degrees of transitioning: flirting (maybe cutting out a meat meal or two each week or switching to whole grains and noting how you feel), vegan (no meat or dairy), and superhero (no meat, dairy, or processed foods). I've basically been a flirter for almost two years and have brought down my cheese consumption a lot since the spring to help ease my hot liver.

Bethenny Frankel mentions in Naturally Thin that if there are a lot of ingredients in a packaged food that you can't pronounce, then it's probably not a good investment. The Kind Diet follows a similar principle and sort of equates quality foods to gasoline. You can put regular ol' gas in your car, but it runs oh so much better on higher quality fuel. You can eat foods that are hard on your system, but you'll run so much better on nutrient rich, high quality, unprocessed foods. Makes sense. If we spend extra money to give our cars the good stuff-why not our bodies?

So I am making efforts to focus on fueling with kind foods and respecting my insides. Sunday afternoon I cooked up some kind lunches to enjoy during my upcoming busy week (I have some day trips for work for a huge project on top of rehearsals and an opening weekend of shows. Ooof. My two worlds have colided most unpleasantly this week.) My personal pre made meals include: Tofu and black beans marinated in soy sauce over whole wheat cous cous and quinoa. Accorn squash and parsnip steamed and mashed like potatoes (it's so good) with kidney beans, and tofu and veggie sautee with cous cous. All super flavorful and good for me on so many levels.

We'll see how incorporating some better quality foods aids in putting a spring back in my exhausted step!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Half Way There

Tuesday marked my six month mark (and my half birthday). The time has flown by. First things first, my monthly results:

Oct 3rd Waist (at belly button): 31.5 inches
Nov 3rd Waist (at belly button): 31 inches
Down 1/2 inch! Down 2.5 inches total!

Oct 3rd Hips: 36.5 inches
Nov 3rd Hips: 36.25
Down 1/4 an inch! Down 2.75 inches total!

Oct 3rd Arm: 11 inches around
Nov 3rd Arm: 11 inches around
No Change (but I really think I am exchanging it for muscle).
Down 3/4 inch total!

Oct 3rd Thigh: 22 inches around
Nov 3rd Thigh: 22 inches around
No Change. Down 1 inch total!

Now for the six month pics. Suprisingly, posting these was not easier than posting them last time. I thought I would be over it and confident, but I still feel exposed and vulnerable. However, I think it's really important to share. First you'll see Day One, followed by the Six Month Mark. And yes, I got new curtains in my livingroom :)

Then  Now
Then   Now

I didn't share my back pic in May, because I was embarrased, but the pics show some telling results, so I am sucking it up and sharing, because there is nothing to be ashamed of-these are just progress shots, I'm not done yet!
Then Now

So, although I dreamed of being further along after so many weeks of effort, I think I represent the many women who are very busy, don't have personal trainers, private chefs, and expensive pre-made food services, or have hours to work out everyday. I am a real woman on this journey! (However, I think a personal trainer and private chef sound dreamy!) I also need to celebrate the fact that I've lost 7 inches of mush off of my body, I am much firmer, and my clothes are loose. That's a great feeling!

I've realized that since I am someone who has always been chubby (and at times clinically obese), I don't have that picture in my head of what I will look like when I reach my goals. I've never been in shape and thin. I have never seen myself slim and svelt with muscle tone. I've neer been able to wear an outfit that shows off my legs because my thighs have always been jiggly and doughy. The goal pictures in my head are of other people and what I hope I can look like. I have to make sure to manage those expectations since we're all different and the look of my fit bod will be unique to me. Unfortunantely I will never be able to look just like fitness inspiration Janine although I can definitely use her as motivation!

I would say the two biggest factors that have contributed to what I have achieved thus far are:
Support and Being Picky

You fabulous motivating followers are always in the back of my head when I have tough decisions to make, and the first group of people I want to tell about successes. I appreciate you!!

My hubby and pals: I feel very lucky to be surrounded by people who are supportive of my plight and accept when I turn down junk food offers and don't pressure me to overindulge.

Being Picky:
I am a pickier eater than I have ever been. For the most part I only eat or drink something if I really want it. If I am not really enjoying something I typically stop, because it's a waste of calories and will only doom me in the end (even if it's not a seemingly detrimental high cal treat). I think this is a great habit to form, and it keeps me from mindlessly eating everything in sight when I am stressed out and helps me pay better attention to my food.

So there you have it. I am half way there. There is still a long road ahead, but I haven't given up, and I am glad so many folks have stuck with me.

Up Next: Embarking on a new way to nourish myself inside and out and really care for myself. I'm very excited to talk about this!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I Am In Fact Still Alive: Updates

Hello All:

Wowsa-I am a busy girl! Between the day job, a hectic job related day trip last week, rehearsals, and life, I am barely fitting in breathing and sleeping. In some ways this is great, because I have no time to over indulge. In some ways this is bad, because I am super stressed out and sometimes feel as though I could have an emotional binge at any moment.

Yesterday the day job celebrated Halloween. Of course, temptation roared it's head as we kick off a season of eating that doesn't end until Easter!

Surprisingly, it wasn't at challenging as the doughnuts! I sampled one of the pretzel rods dipped in some white chocolate and called it a day. Hmm...maybe it's getting easier.

Today I was gifted (or cursed) with four King Size chocolate candy bars. I gave one away and haven't touched the others. I am feeling particularly crazy and panicked and kind of hungry right now, so I should want to tear into one, but I really don't. Maybe those old habits are breaking afterall!

There are several odds and ins that I need to address:

Q: BB30, isn't your next measurement day and 6 month pic post due soon?
A: Yes, on November 3rd, and I am nervous! Even though I have six months to go and this will just be a check in, and I made it through the hardest part of taking the original shot, being photographed in a bikini is still scary!

Q: Doesn't your show open soon and thus time to sport your goal dress.
A: Yes, and I am nervous about that too, but will come clean and show pics regardless of the outcome. I am keeping the faith though!

Q: Why aren't you posting very often?
A: Because I am lame and manage the little time I have poorly.

Q: How are you dealing with being so busy and exercising?
A: I suppressed it and kept pushing forward until had a melt down on Saturday. Who knew one shrinking girl could produce so much snot?

Q: What are these leg lifts, arm and tricep goals you show in your weekly goals?
A: Oh those. Although I have been pretty good about my cardio and still averging about three workouts a week, I have been trying to do some simple toning moves everyday.
Leg Lifts: Lying on my back, starting with legs up, keeping them staright and bringing them down as close to the floor as possible, then bringing them back up. Good for the belly. I try to get in at least 20 a day. This week I have already skipped somedays, but I have been pretty diligent otherwise.
Arm circles: Good ol' gym class arms circles. Arms straight out in a 'T' position, making 100 small toning backward circles. I noticed my arms weren't slimming down so I wanted to give them some attention. This is easy, seems effective, and quick to do (I can even do them back stage).
Triceps: After getting on track with regular leg lifts and arm circles, I decided to throw in some daily tricep curls. I did fine last week with this new addition, but have failed miserably this week. No matter, still four days to get some in and four days are better than none!

Tricep Curl
Q: Are you noticing any differences in your bod?
A: I am actually am starting to feel slimmer. As the temp drops and I pull out my fall/winter clothes from last year I see and feel that they are undeniably bigger. It's really rewarding! And in the vein of too much information, I am going to mention my unmentionables and share that I have to start buying new undies, because friends, I have saggy drawers! I can also no longer avoid an updated pro bra fitting! Okay, twist my arm and make me go girly shopping! (Although I could use some help finding the time to get this done.)

I must sign off and head to rehearsal land.

Love and whole grain goodness,

Monday, October 19, 2009

Tastes of Fall

Saturday after rehearsal I had myself a solo soup date and made a few pots of various deliciousness to freeze in individual containers for healthy low cal lunches (Tip Alert). One concoction stood out from the rest and I knew I had to share. For the mere cost of 29 cents a pound I had purchased a little butternut squash at my favorite produce store. The result: Divinity.

Please make yourself a big ol’ bowl of this nutrient rich, pallet pleasing delight:

BB30's Simple and Slammin' Butternut Squash Soup

You’ll need:
1 small butternut squash
½ a medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or grated
2-3 cups of vegetable broth
I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Spray, Soy Butter, or the like

Cut the Butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds and membranes with a spoon.

Place the squash face down in ½ an inch of water and microwave for 10 minutes. When it’s done you should be able to easily scoop out the cooked squash.

Sautee the onion and garlic in a non-stick skillet with some butter spray (let the onion work a few a minutes before adding the garlic-burned garlic is just plain narsty.)

Add in the cooked squash and a hearty sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg (ginger is also good if you have it).

Add in the veggie broth. (Always good to start with just a cup and work your way up depending on the consistency you prefer.)

Give it a quick stir to combine.

Take out your trusty immersion blender and blend away until it’s creamy. (If you don’t have an immersion blender-1) WHY? THEY'RE AWESOME! 2) You could put it in a food processor or even a blender.)


Mind you this doesn’t make a ton since I used a small squash, but it’s easily adjusted with the size of you gourd.

Reasons why you should eat this:
1) It tastes like autumn and will fill your soul!
2) It is ridiculously easy to make.
3) It is ridiculously yummy to eat.
4) It is low in calories.
4) Butternut Squash is oh-so-good for us.

Why Butternut Squash is oh-so-good for us:
According to, butternut squash is full of antioxidents and fiber, rich in betacaratine and vitamin C, and it contains other nutrients that promote heart and bone health, and ward off arthritis and asthma. I'll have a bowl of that please! You'll also be eating with the season which I am told is a wonderful way to make sure your body gets what it needs.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What's Sweet and Doughy and Adds to Your Middle?

As you all know I "daylight" in an office job while pursuing my acting career. And as you all know, offices are dangerous places for the figure as there seems to be an obsession with food at meetings. I present to you a pictorial of what I was met with first thing off of the elevator this morning.
You are correct friend. This is in fact a 15 foot table lined with a multitude of doughnuts in glazed and coated variants that would blow your mind. Fresh baked. The smell was intoxicating. It was brutal. Sure those green and red figures in the middle are some apples and pears, but DID YOU SEE THESE DOUGHNUTS!! Guh! How could I not have one bite? They were so beautiful, so perfect, so sugary. These weren’t generic everyday doughnuts. What’s a girl to do?

(See I'm not joking-literally right outside of the elevators!)

Photos by my pal Mandy. See her artistic photography here. Be warned that there are some nudey patooty shots!

Well, this girl thought of her goals, thought of how hard of a sugar crash she would take, thought of how much time on the elliptical it would entail to work one of these puppies off, and she turned her shrinking hiney around and WALKED AWAY is what she did! Even after five months of practicing restraint and defeating my ice cream craving demon, how was it so difficult to resist this sweet doughy vixen? Because doughnuts taste awesome, that’s why. BUT, I thought of Bethenny and the Naturally Thin principals. Did I have enough to spare in my diet bank account to leave me enough for the rest of the day? Was I really being true to me and knowing thyself and recognizing that the bites would be delicious but not worth the headachey crashing feeling I was guaranteed soon after? Was I being balanced since I’d had an apple and peanut butter already at breakfast? Can you tell I’ve been revisiting Naturally Thin lately? I’ve been jumping around in it reading different parts each day on the ride to work as kind of a daily affirmation of keeping healthy eating habits in line.

Do I always resist treats? Heck no, but I also know that I can have a bite or two of homemade fresh picked apple pie (made with Splenda-and unbelievably good) or a little ramekin of chocolate chips and stop there. I cannot eat just a bite or two of a doughnut. So I don’t. Not until I can get that under control. Maybe later after thinking about it and really assessing what I want, if I still feel like something sweet and chocolatey I will have a few Raisinets or something. I’ve been trying to give myself time between the initial craving for questionable eats and actually indulging in them. The result is that oftentimes I get over it and save the calories. For example, yesterday afternoon I had an overwhelming desire for a Charleston Chew. So gooey and chewy and comforting, but definitely not calorie conscious (although a little bit of a better choice according to Bethenny). I held off and told myself that if I really wanted one later, then on my walk to the train home I would stop in at the corner store and get one. When the time came the craving was gone and my limited elliptical time before rehearsal was spent burning fat and not wasted simply burning off an impulsive treat.

Have you had any triumphs over temptation lately? How'd ya do it?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

October 3rd Measurements

And here we go....

Sept 3rd Waist (at belly button): 31.5 inches
Oct 3rd Waist (at belly button): 31.5 inches
No change. Down 2 inches total!

Sept 3rd Hips: 37.5 inches
Oct 3rd Hips: 36.5 inches
Down 1 inch! Down 2.5 inches total!

Sept 3rd Arm: 11 inches around
Oct 3rd Arm: 11 inches around
No Change. Down 3/4 inch total!

Sept 3rd Thigh: 22 inches around
Oct 3rd Thigh: 22 inches around
No Change. Down 1 inch total!

So, not many changes, but one whole inch in the hips?! Yes! Mind you, it is beyond me how my thighs haven't shrunk but my hip area as a whole has. Regardless I suppose the tape measure doesn't lie. I am definitely firmer which is great. I wish I had a body fat measuring device so I could have taken my percentage at the start and could compare that each month as well. I think that would actually be very valuable to know. (Ugh-I just flashed to those horrible days each year in P.E. when we had to have our body fat percentage taken with one of those claw things. This is a most unsettling and embarrassing annual event for a fat kid whose number is always painfully higher than everyone else's.) Anywho, it's proving to be true what they say, the end of the lifetime of chubby road is in deed really challenging.

source and interesting article about exercising when you are sick

This week has been rough for me. Sunday I woke up and couldn't keep down food or water for five hours. I didn't think my evening cocktails the night before warranted such a reaction, it seemed really odd, something else had to be going on, maybe I had just run myself down from exercising plus working plus rehearsing. I was in terrible shape! Monday I made it to work, but feeling pretty rough. By Monday night at rehearsal my throat was on fire and I felt horrible. Tuesday I was out for the count and ached and couldn't move. Wednesday morning met me with much the same, plus a blinding headache. By Wednesday afternoon I couldn't keep food or water down again and my husband had to come home to take me to my doctor. The results: No flu. No H1N1. Sinusitis and a little virus plus dehydration to the max. Two IV bags of saline later and I was on the mend and coherent. I wish I had a picture of how dramatic it looked. Because of the Swine Flu threat I had to put on a mask immediately when I arrived at the doc's office (and curled up on the waiting room couch clutching a garbage bag). Then, because saline is kept at room temperature (over 20 degrees colder than human body temp) I had to be covered in blankets and given a hot pack to hold in the hand of my exposed arm because it makes you so cold. I was quite a sight, but my adorable and amazing husband managed to make me laugh after a while, and he was such a sport (on top of being crazy busy right now with his own show on the verge of opening-he is the most unselfish person I know).

So, my goal of moving of everyday was quite a challenge, but I have made it work. I actually got in some elliptical time this week as well as doing leg lifts almost everyday (Wednesday I was out of commission obviously). Having dehydration play such a big factor in my illness has made me recommit to water. Water, I take thee as my healthful companion to have and to hold and to keep me hydrated.

So, with my impending six month progress pictures and dress by opening goal coming up next month, I know I need to be on top of my game in the next four weeks!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Gussied Up

I've freshened up my blog courtesy of Lily Bean Designs !

I feel all shiny and new!

I've been a sick lady this week, but I am determined not to let it get in my way!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Back to Basics

In an effort to combat my feelings of overwhelmingness (That’s not a word, but it is today), I am going back to basics and revisiting my early goal of simply moving everyday. I think maybe some of my struggle of late was coming from assigning myself too many tasks, so I think making a nod toward simplicity and just creating time to move some everyday will help ease some of the pressure.

A Tale of A Supportive Partner:
Friday I had some things to do after work and my husband told me he would have dinner waiting when I got home. He is so supportive of my efforts to eat better and made a very health conscious meal for us. Fresh broccoli soup (a little Gordon Ramsey inspired recipe basically consisting of freshly steamed broccoli and the water you steam it in, seasoned and blended together with a dollup of goat cheese, baked fish on top of a fresh corn puree, tomato/cucumber/shrimp ceviche salad, and fresh homemade whole wheat bread. So you see you can have a delightful and fancy dinner without over doing it. It felt so indulgent but was entirely not!

A Tale of Motivation:
Saturday morning I opened my inbox to see a lovely message from a friend on the east coast. She is on a similar get-fit journey and offered up some encouragement and inspiration from afar reminding me that exercise is in fact great medicine for job/life stress and is much more rewarding than a greasy or sugary bag of anything will ever be. Then, I got up off the sofa where I was catching up my DVRd shows from the week and watched from my elliptical. I even upped the resistance to a higher level than ever for the last 15 minutes of it. I was proud of how much strength I’ve gained to able to go up yet another notch. I was proud that I got up off of the sofa. I was proud that I didn’t create an excuse not to get in some exercise.

So, I want to pay it forward today and remind you all that we can do this! Even if we just take an extra walk around the block today or do a set of sits ups instead of eating some chips, we’ve made one more step toward healthier lives!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dressed to be Motivated

So………..As the months move quickly along my bikini bod goal has been feeling sort of COLOSSAL. My motivating audition was a bust (not even a call back-sigh), so I am pretty bummed about that. Enter my new mini goal, a goal within a goal if you will.

Whilst perusing a consignment shop display at a street fair with my visiting besties this weekend, I stumbled upon a charming vintage inspired dress (I think it comes from Anthropologie). The size was questionable and ambitious, but it looked possible, and it was so adorable that I threw caution to the wind and bought it. Friends, the fit was pretty darn snug. Snug as in it was successfully zipped once then I was afraid to push it lest I break the zipper. BUT it’s definitely an inspiration to work hard and make my way into it which feels very attainable and like much less of an overwhelming challenge than getting an athletic bikini body feels at the moment.

So I present my stepping stone goal: Dress By Opening.

My new show (that I started rehearsals for Monday night-yay) opens on November 13th. With the time frame ( 6-7 weeks) and the dress’ tweediness it makes for the perfect fall event to wear my goal dress to. It will also hit just after the six month mark (when I will post updated bikini pics). Here are some shots so we can compare later when it WILL fit!

The Before:

This dress is precious, no? It satiates some of the Mad Men costume lust I have been experiencing. Side note: If you haven’t, please watch Mad Men, you know, only if you enjoy crazy good “it’s all about what’s not being said” acting and writing that will blow you away.

I think it was good to see some pics like this in general because although I was sad (and admittedly embarrassed) that it didn't fit, I can see definition in my back that I haven't seen before, because, well, I can't see my back :) It also helped me form my goal for the week: Work on those lower abs/belly. Last night I did lots of leg lifts and really noticed how much strength I am gaining. I can get my legs just inches from the ground and shoot them back up now. I definitely could not do that a few months ago. So, there are many positives that have come from my too-tight purchase.

In other news, I am feeling a bit less scaly but not sure if I owe it to Fish Oil or one of the remedies that Dr. Mom has recently mailed me. Maybe a combo. My arm/neck/shoulder are still hurting after having to lift so many heavy crates during an office move two weeks ago. Hoping it gets better with rest so I don't have to go through the Physical Therapy regimen again. I have a massage scheduled for Friday so maybe that will give me some relief.

So there you have it. In a month and half I WILL sport my new dress at my show opening….and away we go!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Achy Breaky Me Or Ramblings of A Bleary BB30

I must make a confession: I did not work out last week. There I said it. It's out there. I ate fine and did ride my bike and was active, but I did not have an actual workout for seven days. BUT today, despite the difficulty, I got back on the proverbial horse and did an On Demand Bun and Thigh Yoga routine as well as my fave Lizbeth Garcia Pilates routine.

We were moved to different locations on our floor last week at my day job which involved packing a multitude of boxes and lots of lifting. Needless to say, my bum arm that was doing so well is very angry. I am achy from all of that as well as stress.

Another confession: I abhor not being in the writer's spirit and articulating myself better at the moment, but better to write a stream of consciousness to document my weary state than to write nothing at all.

Weary. This is the perfect word to describe me right now. Drained+exhausted+achy=weary.

Where is the energy exercise is supposed to bring me on this tiring day? Today it feels like a chore more than a treat.

A Third Confession: I am embarrassed to be so publicly negative. However, this is an important part of the journey: The part where I am not sure I can make it. The part where I need a break. We all go through it and I wouldn't be keeping an honest account of my journey if I didn't bear it all.

Which brings me to my goal for this week (which I used as my goal for last week as well): Keep Positive. I felt as though I was in need of mental challenge rather than a physical challenge. I am trying to stay positive throughout this grouchy, overworked, frazzled time. Instead of letting myself get too down and let negative BB30 seep in saying, "this is it, I can't go any further," I am telling myself that one day my slump will be over and focusing on remembering that I am merely in a personal rough patch and it WILL come to an end.

Have you hit a slump lately? What have you done to pull yourself out?

Friday, September 11, 2009


Very busy week. Lots of personal stress. Long days at work. I can definitely feel the missing endorphins from not getting in a lot of exercise in the past few days. I've missed my sculpting this week!

Here are some of the Exercise TV workouts I have been doing to help with sculpting:

One day last week I did the condensed 40 minute version of Jillian's Trouble Zones Workout. I didn't cheat and give up-there was actually a condensed choice! (But yes, there was still swearing.) I followed up with Tamilee "Abs of Steel" Webb's Best of Tamilee 15 Minute Ab workout. Then a quick focus on my stems with adorable Nicole Stewart's 10 minute Legs: Slimmer & Toner pilates workout.

Other faves have been Less is More Pilates with Lizbeth Garcia (I've done this one several times), Nicole Stewart's Pilates Abs, and 10 minute Buns and Thigh with Cindy Whitmarsh.

What are your favorite sculpting workouts?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

September Measurements

Pardon the delay in monthly results. I woke up unable to find my tape measure this morning which I now realize may have been a sign:

May 3rd Waist (at belly button): 33.5 inches
June 3rd Waist (at belly button): 33 inches
July 3rd Waist (at belly button): 32.5 inches
August 3rd Waist (at belly button): 31.75 inches
Sept 3rd Waist (at belly button): 31.5 inches
Down 1/4 an inch! Down 2 inches total!

May 3rd Hips: 39 inches
June 3rd Hips: 38 inches
July 3rd Hips: 38 inches
August 3rd Hips: 37.5 inches
Sept 3rd Hips: 37.5 inches
No Change. Down 1.5 inches total!

May 3rd Arm: 11.75 inches around
June 3rd Arm: 11.5 inches around
July 3rd Arm: 11.25 inches around
August 3rd Arm: 11 inches around
Sept 3rd Arm: 11 inches around
No Change. Down 3/4 inch total!

May 3rd Thigh: 23 inches around
June 3rd Thigh: 22.75 inches around
July 3rd Thigh: 22.5 inches around
August 3rd Thigh: 22 inches around
Sept 3rd Thigh: 22 inches around
No Change. Down 1 inch total!

I could blame my period. I could blame my overly lax weekend. I coould question everything I have eaten or even not eaten. Really though, I have only myself to blame. But I'm clinging to that quarter inch lost in my waist! No time to get down on myself. I just have to move on. Easier said than done, because in all honesty I'm a teary mess right now, but that won't help me. I'm in the last phase of getting off a life time of chub and it's just going to be really tough.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Back to Business

Alrighty. I am back from my friend extravaganza long weekend in NYC. There was fun. There were friends. There were temptations. Definitely more calories than normal were consumed this weekend, but I kept myself in relative check (and I was so happy to spend time with some lovely ladies). Will my weekend be a detriment to measuring day on Thursday? We shall see soon! The joke of the weekend in regards to my attempts at behaving with food was that I would say, "I can't eat that, I'm trying to get into a biki...(Hulk voice)FUNNEL CAKE!!!" That's probably much funnier in person.

Now for a tale from last week:
For Tuesday's workout I opted for a full hour of Jillian Michaels. I did her Trouble Zones workout On Demand. I swore a lot. It's a toughie y'all, but you definitely work out every part of your bod. One of the moves is even called The Surrender..but try as she Jillian did to wear me down, I prevailed....because of YOU! At one point I was sweating and out of breath and cursing the day Jillian was born and I checked to see if I was almost done. Surely I had been at this for almost an hour. I WAS ONLY HALF WAY THROUGH! Ugh. I wanted to give up so bad and do some other workout I knew was easier, but I thought about my blog and I thought about all of you, and I thought about my goals, I knew I had to keep going. So thank you all for being out there keeping me accountable!

This week I am going to focus on abs and legs. I feel like my lower doughiness is toughest to tone! I already got back on the work out wagon and exercised this afternoon after I got home. Score!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Into the Woods

I’ve recently spent a lovely weekend in the woods. Friday afternoon the fella’ and I headed toward central Illinois to commune with nature. We stayed at a former Boy Scout camp that was purchased in the 80s and renovated into rentable cabins (with jucuzzis-woo hoo). So charming and quaint. Despite the road trip, I still managed to stay relatively on track.

Friday night whilst I read a great book on the porch, red wine in hand, with our cabin neighbors playing acoustic guitar and singing in the background, my husband cooked salmon on cedar planks over the outdoor grill. Dreamy setting, healthy meal!

Saturday we did some horse back riding in the perfect weather!
Then we got some exercise to say the least! Hiking for three hours in Matthiessen State Park! We were up and down the 45 feet deep dells all afternoon. Talk about a work out!!

I know for sure that if I hadn’t been on a work out regimen I wouldn’t have been able to handle climbing up and down the steep steps as well and for that long (at least not without aching terribly the next day). Heck, I wouldn’t have been able to mount my horse (sweet Dusty) from the ground with such ease if I hadn’t been visiting the elliptical so much. The only other time I have ridden (other than at the fair in a circle as a child) was last November and we mounted from a wooden dock. I was a little nervous to mount from the ground, but had no problems hoisting myself up. I was proud. I also really really love riding. The whole day was such a tribute to my fitness journey and a great test of my new stamina. I tend to be tough on myself in the credit department, but the physical challenges of the weekend put it all into perspective. I'm making my way y'all!

Yes there are waterfalls in the mid west-who knew?
This week is a hectic week. I had a class on Monday (I take voice lessons-sharpening up the ol’ actor tool box), and am gearing up to take another trip on Thursday night after work for a girlfriend extravaganza weekend in NYC. So I am quickly washing clothes and taking care of errands I didn’t get to run over the weekend while trying to throw in exercising. So my goal for this week is to not let busy get in the way!

Meaurement Day is upon me in a week. Hopefully that will keep me in check over the coming weekend!

Visit Matthiessen State Park

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Something Fishy This Way Comes

Have you ever taken fish oil supplements? They seem to be all the rage and carry a multitude of benefits.


If you must know, and I think you must in the spirit of candor, I began looking into fish oil supplements as a last resort effort to an ongoing dilemma….stress related scalp issues. Charming. I’ve always had to be mindful of my scalp drying out, but this spring, it became an actual problem. I’ve been to the dermatologist several times and have tried fancy expensive prescription foam and a prescription oily syrup-like treatment (that is very difficult to get out of my hair). I’ve tried tea tree oil shampoo. I’ve tried actual tea tree oil. I’ve tried rubbing pure vitamin E on my head. I’ve tried my old go-tos like Matrix Actrol Shampoo, and even Selson Blue. I’ve tried excessive water consumption. I’ve been net-searching and all signs point to stress related eczema. I know my little dog child starts flaking when we go on car trips (he worries-he’s a rescue pup with a sad past), but it makes a girl feel not-so-lady-like to share traits with a dog. Mind you I could be wrong and this could also be a hormonal change (supposedly we regenerate our cells approximately every seven years-it’s not a 100% proven theory, and what is relatively provable seems to suggest a wider span such as cell life ranging between 7 and 10 years, but I digress.) It could be stress, it could be hormones, it is most definitely embarrassing.

One cure that seems to pop up a lot (other than dousing my head in apple cider vinegar) is taking fish oil supplements. Omega 3 fatty acids from our fishy friends Salmon, Mackerel, Sardines, and the like contain powerful goodness that is supposed to be helpful for aiding in joint pain, promoting weight loss, increasing concentration, combating depression, reducing stress, and of course soothing eczema.

Of course the web is full of info about fish oil supplements and it’s hard to gage what’s accurate and what’s not. Many sites seem to be upfront with the fact that it could take three months for results (which is tough for an impatient girl like me to hear), but that it can be very effective to help with the flaky, red, itchy, mortification that is living with an eczema head.


Weight loss, you say?! Tell me more. And I shall. According to , Professor Peter Howe at the University of South Australia concludes that a combination of taking fish oil supplements while maintaining an exercise regimen is the key to using fish oil for weight loss. You can read the article: here. It seems that fish oil consumption alone will most likely not result in weight loss, but when paired with exercise it can up the effect for better belly fat reduction. Who doesn't enjoy belly fat reduction?

So, with so many possible benefits why not give it a healthy try? I remember reading a magazine article a while ago that promoted fish oil, and it warned of fish burps as result of taking these supplements. Fish burps?! That sounds undeniably disgusting as well as a recipe for feeling even more self conscious. However, questioning my pals who have tried them, I am receiving no reports of these alleged fish burps. I did read somewhere that your supplement should list the specific fish that make up the oil and if it doesn’t its legitimacy could be uncertain. I have also gotten the advice to keep the supplements cold to avoid rancid pills which could cause fish burps.

Fish Burp. This would be a great name for a rock band.

In the end I chose a once-a-day supplement with mackerel, anchovies and sardines. There were indeed bottles that didn’t specify the fish of origin so I steered clear. Taking multiple pills a day doesn’t work for me, because I inevitably forget, so I was glad to find a once daily dose version. You take the supplement with food, and I took my first one last night at dinner. I am happy to report that I have experienced no fish burps today. Excellent. What is more excellent is that, to my surprise, my supplement of choice was on sale. Huzzah! Behold, Nature's Bounty Triple Strength.


Here are a few of the places I hit up in my quest for info if you’re interested, but frankly, most sites out there seem to say the exact same thing:

Sunday, August 16, 2009


I feel like I have hit a plateau. Not necessarily a progress plateau, because my measurements prove that I am shrinking, but more of a mental plateau. I have routinely exercised an average of three times a week and continue to follow a balanced Naturally Thin way of eating, but I am feeling a little bored. I've made efforts to combat this by adding variety to my work outs by introducing strength training and varying my cardio, but the repetiveness of work-dinner-exercise-sleep-repeat is getting to me. I also cannot seem to break up with my scale. It's like an abusive relationship-I keep going to it hoping that this time it will be different, but it is always the same cruel unchanging scale. I have to admit that it's hard to let go of the vanity of seeing my weight go down. I must remind myself constantly that it's just not the time for that, and weight loss will come when it's supposed to. The real time to worry will be when my measurements stop changing. Easier said than done!

Over the past couple of weeks I've had some extra edible and drinkable indulgences and I feel myself falling into some old bad habits, so this week I am going to keep an eye out for those extra calories that I don't need and really asking myself if I need them. Plus I want to make sure to get in four days of exercising.

Here's to you week 16!