The Quest to be Fit

Tracking my journey to better health

How did I…. December 1, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kersten @ 5:08 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Make it through the whole month of November and only post once?!  I suck!!  Chris and I moved on Nov. 7, and life has been a blur since then.  Where has the time gone?  I’m totally reeling that today is December 1st.  😐

You’ll have to bear with me… I don’t have my camera cord at work, nor can I plug the card into the CPU, so all you get it text, people!  I’ve taken some great pics of food here and there, but for the most part I haven’t eaten well and haven’t exercised in like forever.  I’m having some issues with body image b/c of how the bod is looking these days, and the fact that I now have like 10 large mirrors around the house.  Handy for getting dressed, not handy for freaky critical ladies like me to evaluate the bod!

On a great note, Chris, Lily, and I love the new house 🙂  Our move sucked b/c of the torrential rain that day, but the process went just fine (and we managed to avoid killing each other ;))  We hosted Thanksgiving at our house, and when all was said and done we were quite proud to invite our families into our home and serve them a wonderful holiday meal.  I was in charge of the following dishes:

  • turkey
  • mushroom dressing (vegan)
  • mushroom gravy (vegan)
  • mashed potatoes (vegetarian)
  • root vegetable gratin (vegetarian)
  • green bean casserole (vegetarian)
  • pumpkin pie

Leading up to Thanksgiving I was torn over whether or not to eat turkey/non-veg items.  Poultry is my veg weakness it seems, and that bird was talking to me all afternoon while I roasted it.   I had a small piece of white meat, but otherwise my meal was vegetarian.  I should have just made mashed or roasted sweet potatoes, as my gratin just wasn’t quite right.  Okay, but odd–garlic and nutmeg in the same dish?  Okay, Gourmet, I trusted you but am not convinced. 

I was such a proud little domestic goddess in the week leading up to Thanksgiving.  I planned the menu meticulously, created a Turkey Day Timeline for prep and cooking, and then went and got the flu 😐  Gah!  Thankfully I had picked up the turkey the Friday before T-Day, but I was illin’ when I intended to do my fresh food shopping on Tuesday.  By the time I got to the store Wednesday there were no green beans, no Brussels sprouts, hardly any parsnips, no white, cremini, or dried porcini mushrooms, and like 10 sweet potatoes to choose from.  Gah!  I ended up nixing my Brussels sprout dish (boo!!), went with frozen green beans, subbed in mini mushrooms and mixed dried, and all turned out okay. 

After Thanksgiving Chris and I enjoyed a nice relaxing weekend at home.  Our new neighborhood has lots of walking paths, and butts up to two schools.  We take Lily for walks, and play ball with her at the school, and so far she’s loving the new neighborhood, too 🙂  I wish it weren’t getting dark so early so we could walk more after work…summer, where did you go!?!

It has been so beautiful here in Portland this fall–lots of sun, and not much rain (but for that week we moved!!).  The tree outside my office has lost its leaves, so now my office gets more light and I have a bigger view.  I love the crisp fall days, the remaining colorful leaves, and the beautiful sunsets.  I’m totally in need of getting my holiday baking on!!!  I almost make cookies this weekend…. I’ve got a leaf-shaped cookie cutter begging to be used 🙂

As you may have noticed I’ve all but abandoned the blogosphere 😦  Not intentionally, but because I’ve had so many things distracting me, I’ve not had internet access at home (and probably won’t), and I’ve honestly felt a little guilty.  Because I don’t eat as well, am not working out, etc., I feel bad in a way.  Since I can’t share my triumphs and glories of fitness and food I’m not as jazzed about blogging.  I kind of feel like I’ve let y’all down a little cuz I’m not as inspirational as I was 😐  Nameen?

Oh, dude, I almost forgot…. I hit my one year blogiversary in early November!  I think it was the 7th…  Can’t believe it has been one year, and that I’ve made so much progress in that timeframe.  I know, I know,  was just ranting about letting you (me?) down, but in reality I do feel proud that I shed nearly 30 lbs. and got my ass in better shape by working hard, eating well, and using the blogging community for support, inspiration, and resources. 

Enough of this novel!  Words without pics are boring, no?  Thanks for reading, bloggies!  I’ve missed you and hope to reconnect more soon!  Hope you all had a fabu Thanksgiving and are excited for the holidays!!!!!!!!!!!


And Somehow things Improve August 17, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kersten @ 9:33 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Tonight I’m trying out Windows Live Writer; saw it on Miss Bender’s blog and thought is sounded nifty.  Loving it so far!  I really like that while I type the layout looks just like my blog, not just typing in some window without any frame of reference.  It also does spell check while you type!  Only thing I can’t figure out is getting the post to be sticky without having to go in manually on WordPress to do it.

I’ve mentioned a few times how I’ve been in a bit of a funk and listless.  Today was not much better—I slept like shit (undoubtedly from the shit I put in my body yesterday), and was just not in to anything this morning.  But, it all turned around when I took my car in for a service and was given this beauty to drive:


Amen!  The demons have been exorcised!  Amazing how driving a fun car with the top down on a sunny day improves your spirits 🙂  Yee-haw!  This lil’ beauty is a 2008 BMW 128i, convertible obv.  So fun, so easy, so free spirited.  Just what I needed 😉  I love you Jerry (my Rasmussen Service Advisor)!!!

I didn’t do a whole lotta workin’ today.  Instead, I took my tired, yet enthused, ass home early and went for a quick, super sweaty cardio date with the stairmill.  I didn’t eat breakfast today; Skinny Bitch was in my head, telling me to wait until I was really hungry to eat.  That was at 11:30 or so, and was just strawberries and cherries.  I also had a nectarine before I worked out.

Lunch was another story.  I was hungry, but I ate too fast, and had a little heartburn as a result.  It was worth it, tho 😉  1/2 a whole wheat pita stuffed with Romaine, avocado, shredded carrot, sliced grape tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, Nature’s Seasons, and Sabra hummus.  (I would insert a pic, but I’m too lazy to get the camera cord out.  I forgot to put the memory card back in the camera and the pic is on the internal memory.)  Yum!

I followed that up with the other half of the pita, and the rest of the Sabra.  Since the hummus is going fast, I opted to make a batch of it for the week ahead.  Westbrae garbanzos, Nature’s Seasons, cumin seed, toasted sesame seeds, olive oil, ‘zo juice, dash of vinegar, salt, garlic powder and pine nuts.  Mmmmmmy.


Let’s try out this Windows Live album thing, shall we?

View 8-17-09 convertible fun

Um, yeah, that’s a DQ Blizzard at  the end.  I was driving all over town to have fun in the car, and somehow ended up at DQ.  This time I got a Doggy Cone for Lily, and a Tagalong Blizzard for myself.  Oh. my. god.  That was one helluva treat!  So tasty, so naughty, and so completely unnecessary 😐 

I put that on top of dinner tonight, which was a burrito at Fajitas.  I kind of got sick of burritos awhile back, and now I’m rather sick of everything else, so a burrito sounded good again.  Vegetables, rice, whole beans, verde sauce, olives, jalapenos.


Hm, what else do I have to share with you?  Yes, that is a trailer full of shitters there in the middle.  Too much to pass up taking a pic!

View 8-17-09 random

Off I go to be a library geek and check the status of my books on hold.  Skinny Bitch only held me over for two days!  What’s a girl to do? 😉


Variety hour April 21, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kersten @ 10:32 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

In this wonderful post, you will find such varied fun topics as: workouts, calves, thong underwear, gum spitting, and random men directing traffic.  Now doesn’t that sound like a fun-filled read??!!  It was quite a random day, and hopefully I’ll amuse you with some of my Deep Thoughts rather than bore you to death with the usual eats.

The morning started with a wind blown drive into the office while soaking up the sun 🙂  Yee-haw!  Next up, a really normal breakfast of steel cut oats with raisins, PB, cinnamon, almond milk, and water. 


Walking into work I was thinking about my calves, and the fact that I’m actually getting some definition.  No, nothing ripped or “muscular” exactly, but way better than the soft mush they once were.  I caught my reflection in a glass door last night and commented to myself that they are shaped differently than before.  All that time on the stair mill must be paying off!

During one of my mid-morning trips to the loo, I saw a nice looking young lady but noticed she had panty lines!  Oh, poor thing…  Thong underwear are a miracle, and they’ve come a long way since the 80’s high waisted, hip-cutting nightmares of our childhood lore.  I’ll go out on a limb here and say that I quite prefer a thong to bikinis, and I especially love a brand called Steve that I buy at the Nordstrom Rack.  They are soft, comfy, don’t ride up, don’t dig in, and easy to care for.  And, hey, they cost less than bikinis or briefs!  Less material=lower price=less consumption.  Hell yes, I’ll whip out the “green” argument here 😉 

Check out the Wikipedia article on thongs.  I had no idea that something called a C-string existed!  It’s basically strapless underwear!!!

I hope like hell this picture turns out–quite a great result of Googling “80’s thong underwear picture.”  Hehe.














After this epiphany and kidding myself about working for awhile Chris and I ate lunch.  Today’s sandwich was nearly the same as like the last two weeks, but for one ingredient swap out.  Whole wheat bread butt, peppered turkey, romaine, orange bell pepp, avocado, Nature’s Seasons.  With a carrot on the side.


I chowed down on these after lunch in an effort to eat something sweeter, but I had heartburn all afternoon.  WTF??  I never get heartburn, and in my case I’m not sure if it is from a lack of acid, or too much of it. 


Work just sucked today.  I was not motivated to get much done, and I kept getting distracted and just wanting to go home.  It is too easy to put energy into my new office layout/furniture/etc, but I best keep working so I actually have some business to do in that damn office!

Later I finally ate the Kashi TLC multigrain crackers I’d packed like 3 weeks ago.  I’ve noticed that if I don’t have a mid-afternoon snack I seem prone to getting really hungry and snacky right before dinner, and overeating at dinner potentially. 


Somewhere along the way this afternoon I had a few ounces of a Rockstar because my ass was dragging so badly.  I promise that’s not pee in the bottom of my cup!


On the drive home Chris was bitching about how hungry he was (but not me!) when we encountered a mess of traffic in Sellwood.  Eventually we got to a point where some random, drunk dude was directing traffic and holding shit up.  Turns out he wasn’t the cause of the traffic, but he certainly wasn’t helping it.  Gotta love the randomness!

For dinner we went to Fajitas and sat outside with Lily.  I had the small tortilla soup, chips, salsa, and lots of water.  I certainly did not want to drink much and repeat my Friday weight-dropping experience, so I just had a few sips.



After dinner I headed to the gym for Workout #1 and 45 minutes of cardio, which was good!  I’m feeling stronger already on some exercises, but I still feel like a pussy on preacher curls. Check out the link above for details of my workouts and eats.  Let me know what else I can tell you about ’em!

On my way out of the gym I noticed there’s quite a collection of gum developing on the parking garage stairs.  Ew!  Why does everyone have to spit out there gum right there when there’s a trash can on the 2nd floor, like 10 feet away?  I admit I used to get a kick out of a great gum-spit now and again, but it usually involved opening the car window all the way and pa-toooeying the gum out the window onto the road with all my might. 

Now it’s around 11:15, and I’m feeling a twinge of hunger.  Last night I never did eat since I was heading to bed, and tonight I think it will be the same.  Oh, gotta prep the oats!



Sol y luna April 6, 2009

Today totally felt like Sunday, played over again in some sort of cruel way that involved having to do something responsible, like go to work.  I seriously considered staying home from work and enjoying some sun, working out, etc., but reason (aka Chris) reminded me that work needed our attention, even if just for a few hours.  Fine, I’ll get ready…

I ate granola at home while outside with Lily.  I added a few strawberries to the mix, and had a wonderful bowl of yumminess to start my day 🙂


We drove to work in Chris’ car, wind blowing through my hair, sun shining down… That made me feel a little more cheery, but I didn’t want to go inside to work.  At least work wasn’t painful and seemed somewhat productive for the few hours I cranked it out. 

Lunch was a familiar sammie from last week:  whole wheat bread, avocado, romaine, pickle, and peppered turkey.  And a carrot on the side, of course.


Later I had my apple, and then my Kashi TLC 7 grain crackers.  I’ve been wanting some carbs to snack on, and I got a great deal on the crackers–they were on sale $2 for 5 at Freddy’s, and I had a $1 off coupon.  Normally they’re $3.99 a box full price, which I refuse to pay.


Hunger just wouldn’t leave me this afternoon, and by the time we got home and prepped dinner I was quite hungry again.  Dinner was an exact repeat of last night, but for a few changes:  I put some cayenne pepper on my chicken, and we had roasted marshmallows for dessert (and one for an appetizer as well ;)).



Lily was interested in the marshmallow roasting!


I had three roasted and two unroasted ‘mallows, not all at the same time, though.  I was feeling perfectly full after all this, and then I was a bit overly full awhile later.

Tonight I started a class called Agent of Change, run by the Center for Earth Leadership; it is meant to help enviro-friendly people like me identify circles of influence in our lives and effect change within them.  The class’ moderator, Jeanne Roy, is also the one who spearheaded the Master Recycler course in Portland back in the 90’s.  Go, Jeanne!! She made cookies for class, so I had a small one.  They were buttery, salty, and oat-y…not sure what you call those!

I wish the sunny day had never ended 😦  It really is amazing the change a sunny day can make on an otherwise gloomy gus like me!  Esp. since it’s Monday and I know we all love Mondays, right??

My title today is totally random, just something that sounded better than “Monday” or “Sunny Day.”

I’m not sure if I’m going to eat anything else tonight, but I’m guessing not since I’ve been enjoying wine and it is after 11 already.

Shit, my right hand is cramping!  My “arches” (not sure what to call that area on the hand between the forefinger and thumb) are sore/tight from tennis, and I guess the way I hold my thumb is making for some crampy hand action.  I best go stretch and massage my little piggly wigglies!  Night!


Sunnnnnnday April 5, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kersten @ 10:40 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

That’s right, folks, the Portland area has experienced two straight days of no rain and minimal clouds!!  Yee-haw!!!!!!!

The weather has no doubt put many PNWer’s in great moods, including me 🙂  I woke up today feeling quite tired, and honestly not wanting to get out of bed anytime soon.  So I skipped yoga and the gym 😐  How, you ask, am I ever going to get into optimal shape if I keep skipping the gym or cutting workouts short?  Who knows…but my high school reunion in 3 months now has me under constraints to whip this ass into shape!  I’ll get there eventually, trust me 😉

Can you tell I’ve had waaaaaaay too much wine?  I thought so.  More on that later.

Remember the Saladitas I mentioned last night as my snack?  Here’s the pic, with a curious Lily in the background 🙂  I really like how browned these crackers were compared to American Saltines (the closest comparison).  I like me some nearly burnt toasty crackers 🙂


I woke up today knowing I didn’t prep my oats, but I had an idea to up the cooked-ness of the finished product—hot water!!!  That’s right…instead of adding cold water/almond milk to the dry oats mixture I added a scalding hot liquid mix.  It worked better than the usual cold I-forgot-to-prep-the-oats mix, but was still chewier than normal overnight soaked oats.


Today I added just a heaping T of the protein mix, but all was well!  This held me over for a really long time, considering I didn’t think to eat until after 1 or 2.  What’s up with me and not eating lunch the last few days???


For “lunch” I had my yogurt/banana combo from Friday that I never ate, with some pumpkin flax granola added in, and a serving of Kashi TLC multi grain crackers.  Yum yum!  I ate while drenched in the sun outside 🙂

After much fun weed-pulling in the yard, my mom came over and we barbecued a nice dinner.  I had a 1/2 chicken breast with a mixed salad, and my mom and Chris had burgers.  My salad consisted of apples, carrots, avocado, orange bell pepp, green grapes, romaine, olive oil, balsamic, and S&P.  The chicken breast had some great seasoning on it (called Northwoods), and it was really juicy and perfect!


We had a nice bottle of Fat Bastard Chardonnay with our meal, and then Chris and I cracked open a Frei Brothers Chardonnay after my mom left.  Oy vey!  You probably won’t also believe that we cracked open a red wine, too.  :0 

Did you watch “The Apprentice” tonight?  I can’t believe Donald’s justification for firing one of the people!!!  Seems really irrelevant considering the task at hand…

All that competition made me hungy eventually, so I had a small bowl of Pumpkin Flax Granola from the bulk section at Fred Meyer.  SO tasty!  Yay!  When I had it earlier in my yogurt snack it seemed good, but alone with almond milk I really go to taste the nuances of the mix.  I spent like 10 minutes deciding what granola to buy, and I’m glad I got this one 🙂


While that was good, I still wanted something sweet (and still do), so I had a small handful of raisins.


As an aside… I feel so bad for my Lily Bird!  Yesterday when we ran around the tennis court I didn’t think she’d get blisters or worn feet, but today her hind foot pads are peeling a bit 😦  My baby!!  I guess it’s kind of like human feet and blisters maybe?  She didn’t seem bothered at all until she had little flaps of skin on her main hind foot pads, and then she was irritated by the flaps I think.  So weird, and hopefully not too much detail for you, but quite fascinating to me.  I cut off one of the flaps she was chewing at and inspected it (like how we’d cut off excess blister skin that’s loose and not attached), and the texture and strength of it amazed me. It was like stretchy leather, and the texture of the inside was trippy–a funky web of sorts. 

Alrighty, I think that’s it for my Sunday!  I’ve had waaaaaaaay too much wine and need to drink about 10 glasses of water before hitting the hay.  Hopefully I don’t wake up with an alcohol induced headache…. suck!

I’m really glad this weekend was nice, both weather-wise and personally, and I hope you all had a great weekend, too!  Hasta la vista, babies!


Art, sun, and fun (and a funktastic Friday) April 4, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kersten @ 9:31 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Once I read Andrea’s post this morning saying it was supposed to be sunny and warmer, the day suddenly grew brighter 🙂  Thank goodness, because yesterday ended up sucking ass! 

Friday started out innocent enough…rather lazy Friday start, quiet office, and a new oats combination:  steel cut oats, almond milk, PB, raisins, and some Genisoy Protein Shake mix!!  I thought it would be an easy way to add more protein.  Why the shake mix, you ask?  It’s all I have in the protein powder department.  The end result was a little scary looking at first, but when mixed turned out quite well 🙂 That’s my Dark Chocolate hand cream in the background…it was a chocolate morning!


Although I ate this mid-morning, I was somehow hungry around 12:30.  I think its because I was working my little brain off all morning.  My sandwich was mostly the same, but I ran out of lunch meat!  With no protein to sub in I added orange bell pepp to my usual pickle, romaine, and avocado.  Sounds weird, but tasted good!  I also had a whole carrot–what’s up, Doc?


At some point I ate my grapes while doing some research.


I think this is where the day went downhill.  I had a headache all day that wouldn’t go away, and only seemed to get worse in the afternoon.  Staring at a computer screen didn’t seem to help 😐  Chris was also getting funktified from some frustrating client interactions, so our evening was a bit doomed I suppose.

Hold on to your shorts, we went to Fajitas for dinner again.  They were SO busy–busier than we’ve seen them for like a year.  Crazy! I knew I’d be going to work out, so I skipped the booze, but Chris happily drank mine for me.  I had tortilla soup with avocado, jalapenos, and sour cream.  I also had a little bit of my La Casa.



A little spunk from Chris to provide interest 😉  Thanks, honey. 

After dinner I was one cranky, irrational, PMS ridden beast…quite a force to be reckoned with.  I hit the gym and managed to bust out a full hour of cardio, split between the elliptical and the stair mill.  Whew!  But I still was in a funk.

I was a little out of sorts physically when I got home, and hungry, so I reached for a wholesome snack of a whole wheat bread butt with PB.  I nuked it for a few seconds to warm up the PB, ate a few bites, then decided I needed sugar free raspberry jam on top 🙂  I love that jam…reminds me of Jello (in a good way)!


Hunger struck again after a while, but it was too close to bed time and I didn’t wan’t to eat anything.  So I had a peppermint taffy!  That baby was perfect, and so I went to bed 🙂


The sun was shining, birds singing, and my ass was in a cheery mood when I woke up.  Phew!  The oats once again had protein powder in them, but not quite as much.  I also added some cinnamon and vanilla extract–yum!


I headed out to volunteer at the Metro Earth Day Billboard Art Contest unveiling; this is part of my hours for the Master Recycler program.  I was staffing the denim display, an exercise in upstream thought and education.  I learned some very interesting facts, like the average pair of jeans takes 980 gallons of water to make, and travels 14,000 miles.  Zoikes! (Go Screech ;)) Cotton is also one of the most pesticide intensive crops, with 10.6 lbs used per acre :sick:  The display isn’t meant to pick on jeans, but rather help us think about where the things we use come from, and what resources go into making them along the way.

While at the show I ate some fruit, and then later snagged a few mondo cookies when I was done.  The house is sorely foodless, and I made lunch out of half of each cookie, an apple, and some PB.  Healthy, I know. 


Chris’ and Lily’s shadows are in there… 


I ate this while sitting outside in the glorious sun!!  It was warm (even hot) and felt so nice.  Chris and I thought about how we could enjoy the weather the next few days, and decided tennis and a meal outside today would be perfect.

We play tennis at a school nearby, and bring Lily along for fun 🙂  She enjoys chasing the balls around the court, and today she was a ball girl!  Whenever she’d retrieve a ball she’d put it at the side of the court by our bag.  It was so cute!  She also enjoyed trying to get the ball during play, and was having so much fun jumping around.  I should have taken a picture….

We had dinner at (surprise) Fajitas, sitting outside this time.  I switched things up a bit and had a chicken taco salad with jalapenos and olives.  I ate about half of the filling, and more than half of the shell.  I also had part of a Cazuela, and part of my La Casa.   




This dinner held me over for quite awhile, but now I just ate a few grapes and opened a packet of Saladitas crackers from Mexico.  I must stock up on more food and snacks this week so I have some good low carb options for night time.  I do believe that eating a bunch of sugar and carbs before bed is not helping my waist line look any better…

With that I leave you!  Happy weekend to you, and I hope the weather is great where you are 🙂


Funktified April 1, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kersten @ 9:52 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

This being back from vacation thing is starting to suck, and I’m in a funk of sorts.  Caroline is so right about the depression thing once getting back from vacation!! 

Sorry I didn’t post yesterday, as I had a nagging headache all frickin’ day and it made me totally uncomfortable and irritated.  👿

The gallery has been all to convenient and easy for me lately.  I’m feeling a tad lazy and allergenic this evening, sorry.  I think I’m going to sell all of my property and move to Mexico 🙂  Well, not really, I’m not sure I could live there permanently.  Then again, I think I have Vitamin D withdrawal going on now, and would love the sun. But the sun ages us so quickly!  Sheesh, listen to me! 

Speaking of aging, I saw lots of fine lines under my eyes this morning, and did not like that at all.  In the last few years I’ve gotten cheaper on the skin care and have foregone a separate anti-wrinkle eye cream, and I think I’m gonna have to spring for it now.  :shocked:

Moving on…. I’ve only worked out once since I got back.  Tonight I did 45 difficult minutes on the stair mill at a good clip and then some stretching and abs.  I totally got my sweat on and felt my lungs afterward!  Whew!

I made the mistake of stepping on to the scale after my workout, and did not like what I saw 😐  Guess all the cheese, pizza, cheese, pina coladas, cheese, fries, and cheese affected my progress!  Since I hadn’t eaten much cheese for a few months I think I went a little overboard, and I totally paid for it in more ways than one. 

You know what, I love my doggy 🙂  There’s a random comment for ya!  I was looking for a bright way to end my post, and I think this is good 🙂  She was funny this morning–I forgot to prep my oats last night, and as I was doing so this morning I gave her my nut butter spoon to lick.  I ran out of Maranatha AB, bought Maranatha PB, and she didn’t want it!  That seemed so odd to me, and made me question my PB.  Seemed fine to me…nice, in fact, that it is a subtle yet flavorful version of PB. 

With that, peace out, yo!