The Quest to be Fit

Tracking my journey to better health

June 26, 2009

We interrupt this program for a brief reflection…

It’s really hard to believe Michael Jackson is dead…at 50 no less.  He had such an intense life and influenced so many.  I remember when Thriller came out and I watched the video on MTV.  It kinda scared me, but I liked it.  RIP Jacko. 

It’s also hard to believe Farrah Fawcett died yesterday, too, at 62.  I feel so bad for her because of the type of cancer she had and how strong it was.  I didn’t watch Charlie’s Angels, or other projects of hers, but she did have the hair that changed the world.  RIP Farrah. 


Ah, Friday is over.  My day was rather quiet, successful, and seems short looking back.  It started with a massive headache from allergies and dehydration, but thankfully I kicked that around lunch time.

I started off with a bowl of traditional oats with a little Silk Vanilla Creamer on top.  My kitchen scale went bonkers last night, so the proportions were a bit off probably, resulting in a goo-ier consistency.  I use the scale b/c it’s easy, and I can’t quite eyeball some things like 10g of protein powder, apparently.


I’m diggin my lunch salads as of late since I’ve moved away from burrito gut salads.  Today it had romaine, yellow bell pepp, the last of my leftover corn salad, Fuji apple, avocado, chow mein noodles, goat cheese (had that yesterday, too, and forgot to mention it), Boca burger, balsamic, and sliced almonds.  Phew, everything but the kitchen sink!


I had part of the fruit and veg for a snack mid afternoon, and the rest as a snack before dinner. 

Once home and outside with Lily and caught a few good pics:


She loves catching the ball, so I figured an action shot was in order:


The great people over at Blue Diamond sent me a little gift in the mail today–coupons for Almond Breeze and their other products!! Yippee!!  I went online and told them that I love their products, especially the refrigerated almond milk, and they sent me these as a way to say thanks 🙂


Chris was hell bent on eating at Fajitas AGAIN tonight, whereas I wanted to stay home and BBQ or something.  I always give in to the man, cuz once he gets Mexican in mind nothing else is good enough basically.  I also didn’t have anything to cook for him, so this avoided a trip to the store just yet.

For dinner I had a vegetable quesadilla, light on the cheese, with a little bit of sour cream and guac.  Chips and salsa, a tiny bit of a Cazuela, and half of a La Casa were involved as well. 


This bitch is getting tired of quesadillas and burritos.  At Fajitas there aren’t many other veggie options, other than cheese enchiladas, chile relleno, and other super unhealthy options I won’t go for.  I had better figure out something quickly because I don’t know if I can stand it much longer!

This lady bug stopped by to say hi 🙂


Tonight I hit up the gym for full workout session:  upper body weights, abs, and 50 minutes on the mill.  This was my first full workout this week…oops.  An older man was watching me do my chest workout (not quite seedy/creepy, but nearly), and when I walked by him afterward he was like, “Ma’am, excuse me?”  He told me I’m doing well and to keep it up, and that I look good now but am on track to look even better if I keep at it.  He didn’t say it quite like it may sound; it came across very positively and I thanked him for the encouragement.  Alrighty then…

Post workout snack was a shake:  almond milk, Genisoy chocolate shake mix, flaxseed meal, cocoa powder, and ice.  Tasty dark chocolate goodness!


And so I leave you.  It is already 11:30!  Shit, wish I had a little more time to just chill.   My plans changed a little for tomorrow morning, and I think I’d like to treat myself to a special breakfast, solo.  I’m heading to my mom’s house to sort through crap and pack stuff she’s keeping, so I wouldn’t mind some peaceful time alone and a nice treat beforehand. 

Oyasuminasai  🙂


It’s a bird, it’s a plane…it’s a B.L.O.A.T.! June 20, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kersten @ 9:03 pm
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I had a fun new dinner that happens to have the acronym B.L.O.A.T. 

How about another backwards post?!

I just finished this smoothie:  almond milk, lots of strawberries, a drizzle of honey, ice, and some ground flax.


After dinner I washed & organized all of my produce buys from today, and snacked on some of the fruit along the way.  No pic.

Here’s the B.L.O.A.T. fun:  Boca Lettuce Olive Avocado and Tomato sandwich on a whole wheat bolillo roll.  The addition of the olive was especially tasty–I used my stick blender mini food processor attachment to process a few kalamata, herbed green, and one feta stuffed green olive.  Bomb!  A little went a long way 😉  I ate more tomato and avo on the side as you can see.


My body wasn’t satisfied after my first afternoon snack, so I went in for some raisins, almonds, and one piece of dark chocolate.  My tum wasn’t too happy, though.  Not enough fresh stuff today?


Before that I consumed a small bowl of NP GingerZing granola with cinnamon, sliced almonds, raisins, a pinch of salt, and almond milk.  The granola didn’t taste flat 🙂  Yeah!


After a morning of sorting through and moving boxes at my mom’s, lunch of my leftover half burrito was in order.  I also had the rest of my fruit from yesterday.


Breakfast was a yummy bowl of the usual oats 🙂


My pre-butt-crack-o-dawn workout snack was a Kashi TLC Chewy Peanut Butter Peanut bar with some raisins on the side.  I nuked them both and rather liked the warm raisins.


I had a big dinner last night, and never ate after dinner.  I was also dog tired–woof! Dinner was a big ol’ burrito of beans, rice, vegetables, and jalapenos topped with verde sauce.


Prior to and during eating I imbibed in this:


Lunch was leftover pesto pasta from Thursday.  Whoa, super heavy still.  I added more carrots and mushrooms, and even sopped up some of the oil before eating, but felt rather heavy all afternoon from it.


Friday’s breakfast was the same as today’s–yummy oats 🙂  I DID notice a difference when prepping these oats–I don’t think Freddy’s used Bob’s in the bulk bin prior to me buying this batch, as I noticed how much bigger the oats were when pouring them next to the old batch.  I wasn’t smoking crack when I compared bagged Bob’s and bulk before 😉 Bob’s turn out chewier indeed. 


This bitch is tired!!  And tomorrow won’t really be any relief for the weary–busy Father’s Day that includes another trip to Freddy’s, eating out at Red Robin for lunch, and cooking dinner for my dad.  I think I’ll get up early again to get working out done with and move on. 

Some random comments/reiterations before I leave you:

  • my body needs lots of fresh food daily and I feel sluggish/bad if I don’t get it
  • I can’t tolerate heavy/greasy/fatty/creamy meals any more
  • I love fruit and it loves me 🙂
  • I often forget to buy organic at the store even though I’m consciously trying to buy more and more organic
  • washing fruit/veg immediately and getting it put away neatly is a godsend for the week ahead
  • my house is a mess and I don’t feel like cleaning
  • I hate the smell of mayonnaise
  • Lily won’t leave me alone and it’s annoying me



Back by popular demand… June 18, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kersten @ 11:11 pm
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…highlights of Kersten’s world.  Well, not really…I mean no one’s banging down my email inbox asking me to come back.  I know my little blog gets readers, I just wish there were more of you, and that you would comment more actively.  Any suggestions?

Pretty lunch–salad had romaine, avocado, grape tomatoes, burrito guts, verde sauce.  That glorious fruit has been my go-to for afternoon snacking as well 🙂


Mondo dinner of steamed corn with SmartBalance Light, oven roasted butternut chips with Northwoods seasoning and garlic salt (too salty), veggie burger with sauteed mushrooms, ketchup for the burger and chips.  I ate too fast 😦


Genisoy chocolate shake mix, almond milk, ???


Pina!!  I sliced up this baby and enjoyed the fruits of my labor.


I. love. fruity. cereal.  Kashi Go Lean Crunch with fabu blueberries, cherries, and strawberries, covered with almond milk I think.


My eyes enjoyed this more than my stomach–quesadilla with sauteed veggies, cheese, sour cream, guac, tomatoes.  Too many onions + too much sour cream + too much cheese + too much food = unhappy tummy. 


When the tum wouldn’t settle I went for 1 tablet of Alka Seltzer.  You ever use it?  At first it doesn’t seem better, but then comes the burp that cures your woes.  I know, gross details, but it works.


For some insane reason I thought I needed a treat later.  I ate one square of Cadbury milk chocolate with almonds, went “meh,” and instead had some roasted almonds and dark chocolate pieces. 


More fruity cereal, but this time with Nature’s Path GingerZing Granola.  I like the texture of this granola, but it is missing something.  Salt maybe?  It isn’t very zing-y to me.  I miss my crack–NP Pumpkin Flax Plus Granola.


A pretty lunch 🙂  Salad had romaine, pickle, avocado, grape tomatoes, cremini mushroom, balsamic, crunchy chow mein noodles, and a veggie Gardenburger.


Dinner tonight at McCormick & Schmick’s Fish House.  The menu was tough since nearly every entree had seafood or meat, but they are quite flexible with preparations.  I had them leave the fish off of the  mushroom pesto pasta, and asked for extra veggies to be added in.  It tasted really good, but I was expecting a real pesto, not a creamy white wine sauce with pesto in it.  The cream was too heavy for me, and totally weighed me down tonight. 😐


Sometimes I think I want creamy and rich things, but when I eat them I often regret it b/c I feel super crappy.  That helps me avoid the temptation to get/make them I suppose!  I did bring home half of this, and figure I’ll eat it for lunch tomorrow with more veg added in.  I’ve run out of other things to eat for lunch, so I’ll just have to grin and bear it.

This was Chris’ dinner–filet mignon with the obvi veggies.  I thought it was pretty and deserved a pic.


My exercise this week:

Monday–legs, abs, 30 min on the mill

Tuesday–upper body, 50 min on the mill

Wednesday–off.  too stuffed and gross feeling to move!

Thursday–legs, abs, 50 min on the mill.

I suppose that’s about it!  I can’t remember all of my genius “oh I should put that on the blog” moments from the last four days 😐

Bon nuit 😉


Quiet on set June 12, 2009

My new office has been so quiet this week, which is a complete 180 from my last set up.  I no longer have a talkative office mate, loud laser printer, drawer-slamming staff member, busy hallway right outside my (interior) window, noisy door, or anything else that my old shared office had.  Phew! I cannot express how much of a relief it is to move on and no longer be in that suite 🙂  Yee-haw!

Today was a nice wrap up to my first week in the new space–quiet day, not many people there, got a lot done, had a good client meeting, good dinner, great workout, and now a great snack.  Only bad thing is I can’t stop reaching for the roasted almonds at my side!

Let’s recap the eats for the last few days.  How about a new style–meals side-by-side from both days?  Sounds good to me 😉

Breakfast: Kashi Go Lean Crunch with soy milk both days.  Add ins varied from banana to strawbs, bluebs, and ground flax. 



Thursday’s salad (Romaine, Boston, green leaf lettuces with avocado, pickle, grape tomatoes, balsamic) withwas a little sad after having sat in the fridge for over a day, but still tasted great!  I ate some leftover veggie lasagna on the side, and munched on the carrots, cherries, and apple mostly during the afternoon.

Friday’s salad was scrumptious! I nuked a portabella Gardenburger and put it over the top of the aforementioned lettuces, avocado, grape tomatoes, pickle, and balsamic.  I think the burger has cheese in it, which I don’t really like, but it tastes good nonetheless.  Chris tried a bite (total skeptic) and said it was really good!  I snacked on my fruit and carrots over the afternoon.


Dinners: a Mexi marathon; shocking I know.  Thursday I had my leftover dinner from Wednesday, even though I knew it would be rich and overly cheesy.  This time around I didn’t get the upset tummy; I think it may have been more from the onions, so I didn’t eat most of them in the quesadilla.  Fresh avocado on top.

Friday we visited Si Senor again, but this time I had the Pollo Azado Burrito, sans pollo 🙂  Tasty goodness involving flour tortilla, rice, black beans, grilled pepp/onion/celery/zucchini/carrot, topped with verde sauce and pico de gallo.  I also added some guac and jalapenos fritos.  Wooee, those were some spicy peppers 😉


Don’t let that picture fool you, the burrito was HUGE.  I ate half and was waaaay too full.  And don’t shit your pants, but I ate a small piece of meat tonight.  Chris was like, “Here, eat this” when he thought he found beans on his burrito, but no, it was beef.  Oh well, no biggie I suppose.


The first pic is actually from Wednesday night after I posted.  Chris broke into the PB and I joined in for some of that goodness.

I went to Freddy’s and Costco to stock up on fruit, including grape tomatoes, pineapple, strawberries, cherries, and a nectarine.  Lovin’ it!

Can you read “yum” on the rim of my b’nut plate?  I thought it would be cute to try to write with ketchup, but it was a tad tougher than I realized.  LOVED these “fries” and can’t wait to make more soon.


Almonds are tasting sweet to me suddenly!  I’ve never noticed that before.  Oh, and shhh, don’t tell my dentist I’m eating them whole.  I told her I love almonds and other nuts and she said to chop them up before eating them to prevent cracking my teeth.  That’s no fun! 

Workouts the last few days have been good, but for forgetting my towel Thursday.  When I realized it I was in the locker room, and thought WTF, I probably should skip cardio today.  I did a good leg workout and called it.  Friday was an upper body extravaganza, including two exercises for each back, biceps, chest, triceps, shoulders, and abs.  I followed that up with a super sweaty 50 minutes on the stair mill.  Mercy!

While doing lateral raises I noticed how my forearms have become defined and my veins are coming to the surface.  Good signs in the fight against excess body fat!  Now if I can just get the abs to cooperate…

Hope you’re keeping it real out there 😉


You’ll never believe… June 10, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kersten @ 10:09 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

…where I found my keys.  I looked high and low, asked security and property management, scoured the house and car, and then today found them IN MY PURSE.  Yes, you read correctly, they were never lost to begin with.  WTF?? I was shocked to pull them out of the side pocket of my smallish purse today, and cannot believe I somehow missed them after looking through it like five times over the last three days.  WTF?, I say again.  Oh well, I guess at least I found them and don’t have to change the house locks.  I feel like a total do-do though!

Breakfast today was a staple with some new add ins–steel cut oats with honey, frozen mixed berries, soy protein, ground flax, cinnamon, and soy milk.  Coffee with Silk vanilla creamer on the side.

Yes, I know, soy soy soy, but I’ve got the stuff and plan to use it up.  I’ve read a lot more about soy over the last few weeks and am scared to eat too much of it, but I’m not the type to pour a half gallon of it down the drain or chuck a pile of protein powder.  One thing I don’t plan on stopping is the Silk creamer–love it too much and hate the alternatives.

This mix was pleasantly yummy, and the sweetness of the honey countered the berries’ sourness just perfectly. 


I ate rather late, so when Chris suggested lunch at 12:15 I wasn’t very hungry.  I ate my fruit and veg over the next hour or so.


The afternoon was chock full o’ action, and I forgot to eat my main lunch!!  Suddenly it was 4 and since we were heading to an early dinner, I skipped my “lunch.”  We hit up Westside Maria (Si Senor) and I tried something new: quesadilla ranchera.  Sounds good, right?  Well, it was 😉 

This consisted of three small flour tortillas layered with sauteed veggies and cheese, served with guac & tomatoes on top, black beans and rice on the side…along with Chris’ avocados 🙂 I ate half of this and was mighty full.  Not to mention having a tough time b/c the cheese was a tad rich for the tum tum. 


After feeling a tad ill for an hour the ickiness passed and I moved on to the gym.  I only hit up cardio, which was 50 minutes on the trusty stair mill doing intervals at 100spm/90spm.  Whoo, I was a sweaty beast when done.  And I craved fruit.

Somehow this ended up being my snack:  one carrot and 1 1/2 T Maranatha PB.  I was going to have an apple with it, and then decided to try the carrot/pb combo I’ve seen.  Not sure it’s my fave; I ate the carrots first and the PB alone after that 🙂  Lily caught sight of this plate and was tortured watching me eat two of her favorites, so I gave her a carrot and she snarfed it down.


Reading all these food blogs now is making me hungry!  Or is it thirst and allergies?  The last several nights have been tough for me on the “hunger-or-is-it-something-else? ” front. 

Now for some random moments with Kersten

-I must confess–over the last few weeks there have been several snacks not shown/discussed on the blog.  Most of them have been handfuls of almonds, a few crackers, a bite of PB while prepping oatmeal…that sort of thing.  Oh, and a few small pieces of the possibly non-vegetarian (“animal and/or vegetable shortening”) cookies hanging around the office. 

-I haven’t had a Diet Coke for over a month (as far as I can remember).  I was usually just drinking it at Si Senor, and since we didn’t go there for like 3-4 weeks I didn’t have any DC.  Tonight and last week when we visited I opted not to have one.  Don’t get me wrong, you know I still drink caffeine in the form of coffee every morning.

-Remembering to ask if rice/beans/other items are vegetarian is difficult. I totally forgot to ask during my last two visits to Si Senor.  I remember hearing someone else asking about the bean dip in the past, but can’t remember about the beans and rice.  I’ll have to get better at that. 

-My trouble spots are troubling me, but I don’t seem to be doing what’s needed to change them.  Is that troubling?  My inner and outer thighs, triceps and lats, abs, and lovehandle/hips are softer than I’d like, which is confusing.  I say that b/c five years ago when I got all skinny and fit with Miss Erin, I was firmer everywhere and approximately the same weight.  My workout routine is definitely not as intense as it was then on the weight front, but is more intense on the cardio front.  Correlation?  Causation?  Discuss.

-There’s a bike-by groper in Salem.  Watch out, Sarah!  You may be getting more than LovIN My Tummy soon!

Time for bed, yo.  Peace out.


Where’d my keys go? June 9, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kersten @ 10:21 pm
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I’ve never lost my keys in my whole life before this last weekend.  In the back-and-forth and mayhem of moving I somehow misplaced them and cannot for the life of me remember where they are 😦  I also didn’t realized I’d lost them until Monday afternoon.  Booo!  At least I hadn’t put my new office keys on there yet, and I keep my car key separate (although if it was together with the others I would have noticed the missing keys sooner, and maybe reclaimed them.  Grrr.).  I shall search more tomorrow and hope they turn up.  Even though I’m pretty sure I lost them about 20 miles from home, and they had no address/name on them, Chris is obsessed with changing the locks now that I’ve lost my keys.

Tonight I shall rely on a galleryof pics for the last three days.  A few highlights/details:

  • Grandma’s 88th birthday dinner Sunday ended with a HUGE serving of pie–homemade rhubarb and Lee Berry Farms marionberry (?) with a big blob (I typed ‘blog’!!) of whipped cream. 
  • my first breakfast in my new office was Kashi Go Lean Crunch with mucho strawberries and soymilk.  Yummy and satisfying in more ways than one.
  • no, I didn’t eat that meat pictured.  Chris thought it deserved a pic so I indulged him 😉  It was his dinner tonight of flank steak rounds with sauteed mushrooms and broc on the side.
  • a fabulous batch of roasted butternut squash tonight.  They were mixed with canola oil spray, Northwoods seasoning, and some garlic salt.  Served with organic ketchup.  Mmmmmm…. I’m excited I have another batch I can cook up tomorrow or the next day.
  • I’m missing all of that fruity goodness that I had last week.  When I put together my lunch it just doesn’t seem the same without the blueberries.  Must go to Costco and get more fruit!
  • I didn’t go to the gym for like 3 1/2 days b/c of the move!  Oy vey. 

Last night I was about to post when nausea suddenly came over me, and I just about yakked.  Ugh.  Not sure if it was the super-red mystery sauce that was on my burrito or ???  Today I was fine, thankfully.

My office is just about set up, but for the artwork/decor.  I want to keep it simple, without clutter, so I need to rely on a really good piece of artwork and some simple, tasteful wall decor. 

I’ve been working on a big reorganizing project for our forms and brochures, and have quite enjoyed my inner organization nerd coming out.  I’ve got to cull 200 items down to about 130, map the damn forms bank, re-label it, and make sure no one feels like I left out there favorite items.  Personally I could do with about 10 things, but many of my colleagues are old school and like to have paper forms on hand, along with tons of brochures we never use.  Oh well, it is a rewarding task 🙂

Time for bed!  Ahhh…I’m tired, and bed sounds simply perfect.  Adios!


Giddyup June 4, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kersten @ 9:58 pm
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Gotta love Kramer.  I’m lacking in the post-title-creativity department, so I’ll just get to the point.  The week is dragging on again, and I keep thinking yesterday was Thursday and today was Friday.

Thursday Wednesday

Breakfast of Kashi Go Lean Crunch, strawberries, and lots of almond milk.  Lovin’ this cereal drowned in the milk 🙂


Lunch of burrito guts on Romaine topped with dill pickles and avocado.  Some carrots, apples, blueberries, and apples on the side and for snacking later.  I really love all of the fruit I’ve been eating, especially the cherries and blueberries lately. 


Snack of fruits, and then later a Kashi TLC Chewy Granola Honey Almond Flax bar, nuked for 8 seconds.


Dinner was a visit to Si Senor–it had been like three weeks due to schedule and dog watching issues.  My mom joined us and we split a Si Senor Margarita on special for Ladies’ Night 😉  I had a Burrito Fresco, which is beans, rice &  grilled seasonal veggies topped with a zesty red sauce and salad greens.  Yummy!



That’s my mom’s Ropa Vieja salad in the background–my old favorite.

After dinner I was kind of in a funk for no good reason.  The humidity lately pisses me off, and when I dragged myself to the gym I was shocked at how hot and humid it was upstairs.  I decided to do the Arc Trainer, but boged out after 10 minutes b/c of the heat.  Downstairs I was much cooler on the stair mill, but still hatin’ it so I only did 20 minutes there.  At least I went to the gym, I suppose.

I ate a snack for no good reason when I got home–a few Kashi TLC Honey Sesame Crackers and some almonds.  Then I went in for a small handfull of the Kashi Go Lean Crunch. 



Breakfast was the same as ThursdayWednesday, but I ran out of strawbs so I used blues.  Loved it! 


Lunch was another burrito gut salad with Romaine, without anything else added (guts on the bottom).  Same lunch companions of carrots, apples, blueberries, and cherries that I snacked on during the afternoon mostly.


Dinner was eaten at, surprise, Fajitas!  I had a burrito with whole pinto beans, green beans, carrots, cauliflower, olives, jalapenos, and verde sauce.  Chris thought his meal looked pretty damn good so I included it in the pic, too 🙂


Oh, how La Casa is good…


Gettin’ some Lakers v. Orlando action there.

Andrea phoned in that she was heading to the gym, so I took my overstuffed, semi-buzzed ass on over there to do a quick upper body workout while she finished up yoga, and then we did some cardio.  We walked, she ran, I walked, she walked, and then I ran.  Whoa, yeah, can’t believe it myself.  I did about 20 minutes at 5 miles per hour, so I guess that was about 1 2/3 miles.  I was surprised that I didn’t really feel winded, and I think I could have kept going 🙂  Perhaps this will help me firm up some of the jiggly pockets on my body and avoid some overuse injuries from just using the stair mill.  Cool!

And with that I leave you.  Andrea and I are going to be crazy dedicated ladies and workout at 6:30 tomorrow morning.  I suppose I had better get some sleep…

Have a great Friday!