The Quest to be Fit

Tracking my journey to better health

All hail the throne October 31, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kersten @ 9:32 pm
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Check out the new goods at the house!


That’s right, new thrones!  Toto Aquia III dual flush, to be exact.  But that heinous toilet seat has got to go.  The plumber used an off brand seat, and as you can see it hangs over the edge and isn’t quite the same white.  I’m so picky about toilet seats, not even joking.  It should look like this:

My pimp throne

Bet you love the fact that we kept the heinous vinyl underneath the throne.  The budget blew up, we threw the idea of new vinyl out, and ended up going over budget anyway 😐  Boo.

Here’s the living room.  Yes, that’s a vintage Oreck upright in there.  Thing is a sucking beast!!!  We inherited that, and a big Eureka (behind it).  I think I may keep the Oreck.  We moved all that stuff today so the carpet can go in tomorrow. 


And the kitchen….not quite finished, but almost there.  LOVE LOVE LOVE the new stuff—sink, faucet, instant hot/cold, cooktop, and counters.


A few weeks ago I finally took my giant stash of non-curbside recyclable plastics to a local depot, Far West Fibers.  So easy to drop it off!!  They only request that you separate plastic film from rigid plastics.  Done and done!  BTW, the backseat was also crammed full.  Now I just need to take in the styrofoam…  I collect these items from our personal use and from our office; this stash had been piling since almost the beginning of the year.  Hooray for diverting crap from the landfill and recycling instead! 🙂


The other day Chris and I saw this while driving. Rope holding the license plate holding the bumper up with bungee cords.  Why didn’t I think of that?


Today we picked up a sweet new treat at Costco.  Jordan knows what I’m talking ’bout.  We’ll share next week once the place is set up.  Tomorrow we start seriously packing.  Like, get more than 8 boxes packed.  In fact, I kind of hope we only have like 8 boxes left to pack after all is said and done.  Wish me luck!

As far as food goes, here were the day’s eats:

Breakfast—Kashi Go Lean mixed with crack (Pumpkin Flax granola), raisins, cinnamon, and almond milk. 

Lunch—leftover pizza from last night: kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, parm.

Snacks—cheese samples at Costco: Bandon cheddar, Jarlsberg Swiss, Kerrygold Irish cheddar, and cambozola of some sort. 

Dinner—Grilled cheese with fries (!) 

Quite a cheesy, carby day.  Um, I guess there was a semblance of veggies in there somewhere 😉


Squeaky wheel gets the grease April 22, 2009

I told myself to remember this blog title while at the gym, and now I can’t remember why!  Um, I’ll think on that for a minute.

Today was another rather meh day.  The weather was colder (suck!), everything was fine, and here I am at 11:30 trying to remember my non-descript day.

Breakfast was probably the most perfect oatmeal I’ve had in awhile.  I added soy protein powder to the regular mix of steel cut oats, peanut butter, almond milk, water, cinnamon, and raisins.  Creamy, but not gooey!


Chris had lunch with a colleague, so I ate on my own around 1.  Half a sando (whole wheat, peppered turkey, romaine), and the fave carrot.


The afternoon was rather non descript, but for visiting the new condo where my mom is moving this summer.  It is in a pretty place by an old quarry that was filled in with water, thus creating a small lake.  She has a nice view of it, and the area is nice, too.  I’m jealous!

For Earth Day my office buildings had a battery collection drive, and I stopped by to speak with the property manager about being a Master Recycler and hoping to help make the office buildings greener.  She was excited and I hope to speak with her soon about some of my ideas.

After getting back to work I ate my apple from yesterday, but forgot to take a pic.


Dinner was a run to Si Senor, but it wasn’t quite as good as usual.  They got Chris’ burger order wrong (brought him a chicken burger instead of beef, and with different toppings), but he was nice and said he’d eat it.  He should have been the squeaky wheel and insisted on the Mexican Deluxe Cheeseburger he ordered, but he didn’t and ended up not being as satisfied.  My tortilla soup was good, but I prefer the version I get at Fajitas b/c it isn’t as salty, and has shredded chicken rather than grilled breast.  The chips were really good tonight, though!

On the way home I almost forgot to pick up Lily at my mom’s!!!  :shocked:  How could I forget my little girl?! 

Tonight I did workout # 2 and 45 minutes on the stair mill.  There were a couple of times I felt like speaking up and being a squeaky wheel here, but I pussied out and remained silent: 1) some chick sitting in the locker room picking at her feet for at least an hour, and leaving all the, um, results on the floor.  Gag!  Clean that up, bitch! 2) Some weird guy kept going in and out of the pool area over and over and over, acting rather weird.  I almost said something to a staff person, but the dude seemed harmless enough.  Here’s where I thought of the title of this post, but still can’t remember if all of the reasons mentioned herein are why it came to mind.  Oh well…

Once home I desired some of my fave granola, and even though I’ve been avoiding sugar at night (except on nights where I drink too much wine!) I said WTF, I want it and I deserve it.  So, my snack was 1/2 cup pumpkin flax plus granola with 1/2 a banana.  Mmmm!


Well, that’s all, folks. Not a very exciting day, but hopefully you found some bits of it entertaining 😉


More protein, please April 2, 2009

I don’t think I get enough protein for my fitness goals and activity, and today I began trying to plan in more protein without adding more calories.  I’m not sure I want to scarf down more meat, or eggs, so I figured using a protein powder and finding some healthy add-ins should work.  I searched high and low for protein powders with low calories, low sugars, and versatility.  I came up with brown rice protein powder–has anyone tried this before?  Thoughts?  What other foods do you enjoy that are protein rich/lower in cals?

Today it was really hard to get out of bed, and the day was rather blah and unmotivated.  At least Friday is nearly here!!!

The day started with me realizing I forgot to prep my oats (again), but I made them this morning in my usual manner anyhow (same proportions, nuke for 2 minutes).  They turn out a little chewier, but still good.  While eating I found out the true fate of the office “other” recycling bin that I manage–it was thrown away while I was gone, and by my least favorite person in the office.  👿 WTF?  Whatevs.  In a few months we’re moving into a new suite and she ain’t goin’ with us!


I ate this rather late, and then snacked on some grapes while Chris ate lunch, so I had my lunch later than normal.  I like my carrot at lunchtime a lot 🙂  Lots of good nutrients!  My sando was whole wheat bread, avocado, peppered turkey, dill pickle, and romaine.  MMMM.


Later in the afternoon I tried a new-to-me Clif Nectar bar:  Cacao Dark Chocolate Walnut.  This was like a healthy brownie, and quite good.  It wasn’t as soft and sticky as the other Nectar bars, which is okay.  I’ll definitely buy this again.  I can’t stress enough how much I like these bars for their simplicity and nutrition:  great taste, 2 servings of fruit, ~1/4 of your daily fiber, about 140-170 cals each, and only 4-5 ingredients, all of which are organic and whole.  Love!


I wasn’t sure what I’d make for dinner tonight, and funnily enough Chris recommended taco salads.  I think the man needs to see someone for his Mexican food addiction!  LOL!  But, admittedly it sounded good, and I only needed to buy the meat.  I stopped at the store on the way to pick Lily up from my mom’s, and saw they had ground buffalo at the meat counter.  Sign me up!

I sauteed the meat with onion and orange bell pepp, then added in most of one of those taco seasoning packets (low sodium version), and added some romaine, olives, more orange pepp, and a touch of medium cheddar on top.  It was really good, and quite filling.  My eyes were a little bigger than  my stomach:


After playing with Lily outside and talking on the phone with my Dad (at the same time), I suited up for the gym and headed out.  I’m such a snob about the stair mills these days–I refuse to use the old ones.  I must have my custom interval settings and smooth motion on the new ones!!!  Forty-five insane minutes later I was done.  It was already nearing 10:30 so I skipped weights and went home.

Hunger wasn’t really on my mind after I cleaned up, but I had a little spoon of PB while prepping my oats.  That was the first bigger taste of the Maranatha that I’ve had alone, and I liked it even more than before!  There’s something about the smoothness and creamy taste that is really rockin’, and the multi-dimensional taste wins over “regular” brands any day.  Maranatha, if you want to send me some goodies or coupons I’d love to officially review them!  FYI, I did pick up this jar at Fred Meyer (Kroger) for only $3 🙂  Great sale!

It’s nearing midnight, so I’m outta here and hittin’ the hay.  Happy Friday to you all!  Yippee!


A test of values March 1, 2009

Hey there.  Is everyone gearing up to watch the new Celebrity Apprentice tonight?  It starts in less than half an hour so I gotta make this semi-quick.  It is a two hour episode tonight!

I definitely regretted drinking the additional red wine last night after we got home, as I woke up with a headache 😦  I was not planning on going to yoga, and I stayed in bed until 9:30! 

Once up, got the coffee going, played with LB, and settled in for my bowl of oats and cup of joe while reading blogs.  Same ol’ tasty oats, nothing different today.  Stay tuned tomorrow for a variation!


We hung around the house all morning, and I fantasized about going to Trader Joe’s to buy the week’s groceries while Chris went to the gym.  That eventually materialized at like 1:30, finally.  Just before we left I realized I never at lunch!  I had a quick snack of ww toast with Maranatha:


Here’s where my values were tested and where I was totally disappointed.  I’ve never bought all of my groceries at TJ’s, just a few odds and ends, and I was shocked at how much packaging they use, the lack of bulk products, and how they even package their produce individually in many cases. 

I began in the produce section and saw that the only broccoli was individually wrapped crowns.  Hm, no go there.  The trifecta of grapes looked good, but were packaged in a clamshell that isn’t recyclable at the curb.  I grabbed those anyway.  Next up, Chinese BBQ pork in plastic (tough to avoid with meats), quart of yogurt (impossible to avoid plastic packaging with dairy), crackers (okay, I can handle the box & bag), soup (individual aseptic cartons that can only be downcycled? or, steel cans I can deal with), oats (is that cylinder even recylable?), dried fruit (no bulk anywhere??? tons and tons of small plastic packages)…

By the time I got through the whole store I was almost feeling sick from the excess of consumption and packaging all around me and in my cart.  Don’t get me wrong, I really love TJ’s foods, but today I saw them in a whole new light as I walked through the store.  The one aisle I didn’t visit was the frozen foods; I didn’t have anything frozen on the list to buy, and all frozen food boxes are not recyclable. I felt really sad and disappointed that I couldn’t feel good purchasing half of the stuff there, and I ended up putting everything back except the pork and the yogurt. 

I went to Fred Meyer after getting home, and felt much better about the choices I was able to make there.  Even though packaging is not as important as the food inside of it, I still really want to reduce the packaging, especially plastic, that I use; I tested and clarified my values today and it felt good to be strong.  At Fred Meyer I had the choice to use my own containers for dried fruit, oats, lunch meat, and produce, which meant the only commercial packaging I had was for crackers, jam, Silk creamer, soup, and bread. 

What can I do to reduce my packaging and footprint further?  I am thinking of making large batches of soup and bread dough to freeze so I can have tasty, homemade, healthier choices that I can wrap myself in reusable containers.  Today I also looked in to Community Supported Agriculture to see about getting a local farmshare.  Whether or not I do that, I plan on attending farmer’s markets this year to see what kind of local items I can buy.  I love markets and haven’t visited any here in Oregon for years 😦

I want to research where my food comes from more, and learn how to make better upstream choices that reflect my values of increasing sustainability and reducing my eco footprint.  Okay, enough of my earthy-broad rant 😉

I looked at Stevia today at Fred Meyer (forgot at TJ’s), and it is so expensive!!  Like $10-13 for a bottle, box of packets (packaging!), or drops. I decided to forego it for now.

After shopping and putting groceries away we headed off to Fajitas for dinner.  When I ordered my soup Noe asked me if I wanted a large bowl, or a small one.  “There’s a small one??? Sweet, sign me up!”  More portion control and less waste.  I had that, part of a Cazuela (I used to spell it wrong), chips & salsa, and part of La Casa.




Yummmmy in my tummy!

Being a bit out of sorts for most of today has made me want to eat a lot this afternoon and evening.  Emotional eating sucks!  Or is it that I have’t had enough whole foods today, including fruits and veggies?  Eventually I caved tonight and decided to try out the TJ’s nonfat plain European style yogurt. 

Holy moley it is sour!  As I licked off the tub seal (can’t waste any, right? ;)) I thought it tasted like sour cream or cream cheese, and began thinking of all sorts of savory applications for it.

I decided to have half a cup with a few tablespoons of sugar-free raspberry preserves I picked up today.  Yes, sugar-free and Splenda-full…couldn’t justify the high caloric content of 50 cals for one tbsp of jam 😦  The combo was good, but still sour as you can imagine.  I think this yogurt tastes good, and I knew going in that it would be sour, but I’m going to have to get creative this week to spice it up a bit and see how best to use it.


We’re watching the Celebrity Apprentice now…what do you think?  Interesting mix of celebrities this time around!!!  That poker player chick is quite a pushy pistol! 

Okay, time to go upgrade the computer.  Wish me luck with my technology!


Alternative Thursday February 26, 2009

For some reason this post didn’t get published last week… 

Sorry I’ve been MIA for a three days; I’ve had a crazy schedule and been a bit sleep deprived.  You’ll get a nice long post today though!  Oh, and I don’t know if many of you saw my post from Valentine’s Day, since I posted twice in one day and it may have slipped by.  Please check it out–Best Dinner Ever!


Yo, what’s up in blogland?  I’m watching Millionaire Matchmaker right now…muy interesante.

Today was pretty good, rather fast, and tomorrow is Friday!!!  The day started off with a nice bowl of oats, standard Kersten-style:  steel cut oats, almond milk, water, Maranatha almond butter, raisins, and cinnamon.  (Reminds me I need to prep my oats for tomorrow!)


Worky worky, then lunchy lunchy eventually.  Today was a ww bread butt with 1/2 a wedge LCL, 1 slice of peppered turkey, carrot and celery sticks, and 1/2 an apple.


After a meeting and more work I had a snack of 1/2 cup lowfat cottage cheese.  In case you wondered, I haven’t been eating as much so I only buy the lowfat kind, rather than the fat-free kind.  Chris doesn’t like fat-free, either, so I might as well buy what he likes too.


We left to go pick up our food order from New Seasons for our workshop, and I ate the other half of my apple in the car.  No pic…

The food was gorgeous!  And not much more compared to me creating it myself.  I forgot to take a pic of the third platter before it was attacked…it was a Mezze platter with hummus, spicy feta, dolmas, spanakopita, olives, and pita bread on the side.  The other two platters are pretty self explanatory, and were yummy!


One of our workshop topics was alternative energy, and I really liked the presentation from our Calvert Investments wholesaler.  He is really passionate about the topic in his personal life, too, and even has solar panels on his house.  Great topic considering I’m getting the green bug and we’re in the Pacific Northwest where green abounds in many ways. 

I know, I know, my platters weren’t quite so green…I forgot to ask the New Seasons deli if I could bring in my own ceramic platters for them to use.  Maybe I can return them for re-use?

Sheesh, it is almost 11 and I have to get up at a normal hour again.  What did you all do today?  OMG, Real Housewives of New York is on.  I may have to watch it some…crazy divas and drama are sucking me in!

Nighty night, y’all!


Posty post February 21, 2009

Great title, I know.  Seriously going blank.

How was your Saturday? Mine was pretty good.  Let’s get back to Friday first, though…


Totally forgot to prep my oats even though I reminded myself while blogging :shocked:  As I got our lunches ready I put some vanilla Dannon Light’n’Fit and shredded wheat in a tub.  Some banana sounded good, too, so I brought one and a knife along as we left for Chris’ dental appt.  It was supposed to be quick, but totally wasn’t so I was starving by the time we got to work.  This was a yummy breakfast, though!  I forgot cinnamon…that would have made it perfect.


Lunch involved integrating some leftovers from our workshop the night before.  I can’t let the leftovers go to waste, can I?!  My sando had a little bit of goat cheese, a few slices of dry salami, and spinach.  I wasn’t that hungry when we ate so I didn’t eat all the apple or grapes.


Friday was a beautiful day in Portland…unseasonably gorgeous…. so I had no problem leaving work early 🙂  I ate a little snack of a Clif Nectar bar as we walked out to the car, since I knew I’d need something to fuel our next activity.  It is so weird…chewing the nut pieces in these usually makes my teeth hurt.  No, it’s not the bar, it is my TMJ; I clench my jaw and my teeth are a bit sensitized b/c of it.  Yummy bar tho!


We hit up 24 Hour, where I knew I had to do an hour of cardio to make up for the lack of it earlier in the week.  My goal is to do 225 minutes of cardio per week (45 min 5 times per week), and since I was behind I needed to catch up a tad.  I did 45 minutes on the stair mill (whoa, that was hot and hard!), and finished with 15 minutes on the elliptical.  A nice ab session followed, and then I had fun watching Chris finish up his hoopin’ in progress.  Considering he hasn’t played much in a long time he is doing really well!  White men really can jump 😉

After cleaning up we hit up Fajitas for dinner.  I had like an 1/8th of a Casuela, some chips & salsa, and tortilla soup sin crema y queso.  I was SO full after consuming this that I couldn’t even have a sip of my La Casa.  I threw in a piece of gum and called it good.



I did a few household things once we got home, and we went to bed at 10:30!  I didn’t fall asleep until after 11 I think, but it was nice to get in bed earlier than usual.  I think I’m going to aim to do that again tonight 🙂


I got up around 7 for my second Master Recycler field trip:  Reuse in Action (or so I will call it…).  After getting ready I had my typical oats, but with a small twist:  I used chocolate almond milk instead of vanilla.  The chocolate flavor really didn’t come through, but that’s okay.  This was a yummy combo that I enjoyed with coffee con Silk vanilla creamer.


The field trip was great 🙂  First stop was Free Geek, a charity dedicated to helping the needy get nerdy, as they say.  Basically you can donate any computer related item and they will test it, then refurb it or recycle it.  They build computers for schools, needy people, and their volunteers.  Pretty cool reuse in action!

Next stop was Community Warehouse, a charity dedicated to providing basic housewares to families in need.  They also have an estate store with various donated high end furniture or non-necessary items for sale.  The store helps fund about 1/3 of their operating budget, and had lots of cool retro and newer stuff in it.  I think I’ll donate to this organization in the future rather than Goodwill; I didn’t know that Goodwill dumps off unsold stuff to overseas locations where it is more of a burden than a help 😦

Third stop was SCRAP, School and Community Reuse Action Project.  This is another specialized organization whose mission is: “to inspire creative reuse and environmentally sustainable behavior by providing educational programs and affordable materials to the community.” They accept items that can be re-purposed in arts, crafts, and hobbies, which they then sell to the public in their store.  Really cool!  And super cheap…they aim to sell the stuff for 1/4 of what you’d pay retail, so it is a really affordable and fun resource for art centers, teachers, and others looking to find supplies or inspiration for their creative projects.

Fourth and final stop was The Rebuilding Center, which is the biggest construction & demolition (C&D) re-use seller in the country!  They collect re-usable/excess C&D items like cabinets, sinks, tubs, light fixtures, tile, doors, windows, and so much more.  This is a candy store for those doing renovations, remodels, or other projects around the home and yard.  The Center is run by Our United Villages.  Such a great place to visit!  Makes me want to re-tile the bathroom, do a new kitchen counter, and more.  The offices are really amazing, as they use mostly old doors to create the floors and walls, along with lots of other stuff to create the tables, beams, and more.  So cool.

I got home around 1, feeling a little delirious from not eating yet, and made up a plate of goodies:  hummus, spiced feta, kalamata olives, pita, strawberries, grapes, goat cheese, swiss cheese, apple, dolmas, and a slice of dry salami. This was a yummy sampling of tasty goodness, but I restrained enough that I didn’t feel full afterwards 🙂

After letting that settle and waiting for laundry I was off to the gym for another mega cardio sesh and some weights.  My sports bras weren’t dry yet, so I ended up wearing a semi-wet one to work out in.  I figured I was going to sweat it up anyway so what did it matter, right?!

I started on cardio since Chris put me on a time budget, cranking out the same hour of cardio as yesterday:  45 min on the mill, then 15 on the elliptical.  Considering it was after 4 at that point I headed out.  I know I haven’t done a weights/resistance workout in the last few days, but I think burnin’ it up on the cardio is going to help me lose a few more pounds sooner for my vaca, so I’ve kinda put that as priority one lately.

Dinner was an exact repeat of last night:  small part of a casuela, chips & salsa, and tortilla soup w/o cream or cheese.  Tonight I wasn’t as full so I did drink about 1/2 of my La Casa 🙂




Fo’ shizzle, yo.  I bet some of you out there think we’re crazy b/c of our Mexican food addiction…sometimes I think we’re a little crazy, too! 

What are your Sunday plans?  I think The Driz may be joining me in yoga!  Fun!  Haven’t seen her for awhile, so I get to check out her new haircut and catch up.  We should totally hook our men up to play basketball, as they’re both two tall white guys who play like no one’s business, or so it sounds like 😉  I think Chris will be out for awhile though since his ankle doesn’t seem any better today 😦  It is really weird…no swelling or sensitivity to the touch, but pain when weight is put on it and he flexes his foot while walking.  Tendon issue?  Ligament issue?

I be outta here.  I’m looking forward to a nice yoga sesh in the morning, and some good weights as well.  Hopefully the workout will motivate me to get all my housework done, too!



Tues to Wed February 18, 2009

Quickly my friends, as I’m tired.


Rather blue about my weight loss/fat loss progress… a client told me he’s lost like 20 lbs in 5 weeks on the South Beach Diet and I wanted to crawl in a hole with my measly 10 lbs in 3 months.  I mean, you guys see how I eat, it’s not that terrible, it’s no more than 1500 cals/day most days, and I exercise a lot.  I seriously think my only-half-an-hour of cardio January fucked up the progress.  Whatevs, I’m still motivated and pushing forward.

Usual oats:


Turkey and ww butt sando, Kashi TLC crackers, F-f-f-fuji!


The rest of my crackers with lowfat cottage cheese.


The infamous Casuela from Fajitas.


The ever familiar tortilla soup with jalapenos.


The most decadent drink ever…La Casa.  Creamy heaven in a glass.


I hit up the gym after dinner (I had just a few sips of the Casuela and gave that and over half of my La Casa to Chris), and felt a little out of it from my funk.  Did one of the four week bikini workouts, an ab workout, and 15 glorious minutes on the elliptical.  I didn’t do as much cardio intentionally; trying to do 45 minutes 4-5 times per week and thought I could use a lighter day time wise.

I ran by the store for a veggie and fruit stock up fest on the way home since I was feeling bad about my progress.  Figured I’m not eating enough fruits and veggies anyway, so buying a lot and integrating them more would be good.


Better day mostly, but I’m so tired. 

Loving the Maranatha in my oats.  If you remember from when I first put it in my oats I said it wasn’t flavorful enough there, but I was wrong.  Today it really shined through and was perfect.


Different lunch today…a little too light.  Spinach salad with turkey and cucumber, carrot and celery sticks, and grapes.


Dinner was ww linguine with Prego sauce and a little canned parm.  Classy, I know.  Tasty, but I forgot the pic!

Master Recyler class was good:  construction & demolition reduction/reusing/recycling; green building & renovation; and event recycling.  Great presenters and some tasty eats:  small homemade kumqwat (sp?) and cranberry scone, few tbsps Costco trail mix (waaaaaaay too salty).


And that’s all she wrote, folks.  Here’s hopin’ your Wednesday was wonderful 🙂