The Quest to be Fit

Tracking my journey to better health

Contemplation of a substantial change May 7, 2009

Today has been a mixed bag of ups and downs for me as I have almost come to a life changing conclusion:  going vegetarian.   :shocked:  That’s right, I think I’m on my way to becoming veg.  I’ve always cared deeply for animals, and now that I know more about how a meat-based diet affects our environment, too, I’m much more uncomfortable consuming animal derived products.  I spent a lot of the afternoon in a bit of a rut thinking about the terror that is livestock’s life, and also fearing how Chris and my family will react to me wanting to make this change.  Going veg has been on my mind for awhile, but animal foods have always been a part of my life and I wasn’t sure I could reasonably make the change.  Now I feel compelled to do it based on my values, but I admit I’m afraid of how I will succeed or fail at this goal, and what obstacles I may encounter.  Ultimately I want to reduce my impact on the environment, and help save animals from the cruelty that is our food industry.

Over the last few months as I’ve lost more weight I think part of it has been eating less dairy, but I guess I’ve still eaten meat as usual.  I don’t think I want to go as far as being vegan, but I want to exercise great care in selecting the dairy, egg, and other animal-based products I consume.  I have a feeling this will be quite a task, and involve me going to farmer’s markets, interrogating vendors, and buying only what seems minimally invasive to animals and our environment.

I feel really weird writing all of this, kind of like scared to declare my thoughts and pursue this change.  I haven’t discussed this with anyone yet, but spilling the beans to my blog friends seems only logical since so many of you are already vegetarian or vegan.  How did you make the change to vegetarianism/veganism?  What were/are your biggest challenges?  I hope you are willing to share some of your thoughts and experiences.  Thank you in advance!

Let’s recap my day, and some thoughts along the way.

Holy shit, I got up at 5:30 this morning to hit the gym with Andrea.  We were set to meet at 6:45, but I went at 6 so I could get in cardio, too.  Getting up really wasn’t that bad, but I didn’t sleep that well and was already awake when my alarm went off. 

I ate a Kashi TLC bar and had a cup of coffee before heading out.100_0616

The gym was busier than I thought, but the stair mills I like were open 🙂  Getting started I did feel tired, but that dissipated and I was able to feel energized.  Until I smelled beef jerky, fire, and pipe smoke–some guy had to climb on the mill right next to me, even though all the others were open.  Grrrr…. his stench was so odd and overwhelming, but at least it wasn’t cigarette smoke stench.  I almost said something to him, like, “hey, I’m not sure you realize this, but you smell like you’ve been in a smoker with a side of bacon and pipe tobacco for like a week.”  Think he’d get the point?

Right on time, The Drizz rolled in at 6:45 and we got to workin’ the legs and shoulders.  We saw a bunny while doing hack squats, and I’m sure Andrea thought I was crazy to point it out again during her leg presses.  I’ve really enjoyed having Andrea as a workout partner…makes me reminisce of the good ol’ days with Erin!

We wrapped it up around 7:50, blew that joint, and I raced home to get ready and leave the house by 8:30.  I nuked my oats before leaving and had Chris drive. 


We had a business meeting all morning (which was quite good thankfully), and it included a catered lunch.  I ended up eating a small Caesar salad (lightly dressed, thank god), steamed carrots and asparagus, rice, and part of a chicken breast.  I stopped b/c I was feeling satisfied, but then came the tiramisu!  Ah!  Thankfully it was too rich and I only ate a small portion, but I probably should have just passed.  On the way home to let Lily out I felt guilty for overeating again 😦  And then I had asparagus pee and thought of Erin–hehe!!  🙂

I had some major allergies kick in while at the meeting, and they stuck with me all day.  Not good, cause this made me overly hungry feeling all afternoon.  Or maybe my furnace was burning hotter from working out this morning?  Either way, I snacked on another Kashi TLC bar, then a cup of light peach yogurt, and then mandarin oranges over the course of an hour or so.  The beast just wouldn’t stop!


After my vegetarian research and thoughts I began thinking of dinner, and ended up with quite a yummy veg feast 🙂  Sarah, Sharon, Andrea, and Erin have inspired me in the salad department lately, so I called Hugh Jass and Bigg Azz, but they were unavailable 😦 Then I discovered Random Azz was available!


This crazy pile consisted of romaine, yellow bell pepp, mixed sliced olives, edamame, avocado, carrot, a veggie patty (three years old in the freezer and still okay!), ground black pepper, and a tiny bit of olive oil and a splash of balsamic.  Yay to yummy goodness!  That half ear of corn with SB Light wasn’t bad either 😉  I also snacked on a few grapes and small cubes of cheese while prepping this. 

While eating this a commercial for Let’s Act Now came on and I nearly dropped my plate.  I took that as a sign that I should go veg, or at least pursue a less impactful diet like my gut is telling me to.  This morning I asked Andrea how she decided to go veg, and one of the reasons was a major sign while she was already contemplating it.  Must be that is is meant to be, then!  Kinda freaky…

After this feast and deep thought my little package of dark chocolate from last night called my name…. “eat me…you know you love how I melt in your mouth!”  So I did, and yes I do, so I ate three or four of you! 


Okay, I’m rhyming without a clue here, must mean it is time for me to go to bed.  This bitch is tired in more ways than one, and my comfy bed sounds so glorious right about now.  Later!


Baking blues April 10, 2009

This bitch wants to bake!  But she does not have the ingredients and/or recipes to throw together the quick almond cookie recipe she was hoping for tonight 😦  Boo.  Reading Gourmet yesterday made me want to create tasty baked goods and cooked items.  After looking through all my recipes (except four years worth of magazines and online reserves) I gave up, and ate a marshmallow in frustration.  That damn bag doesn’t seem to be getting any smaller… I have dreams of creating some naughty peanut butter marshmallow concoction, but I don’t know if that will come to fruition.

Here’s a recap of most eats the last few days; no breakfast from Thursday (pumpkin flax granola, strawberries, almond milk) and some snacks along the way.

Lunch Thursday:  same sando, but no avocado for some silly reason, and the ever popular and satisfying carrot. 


Dinner:  a creative mix of leftover chicken, 1/2 a can of tomatoes with green chiles, more green chiles, and some microwave-steamed broc on the side.  Pretty tasty after all 🙂


Snack after a good weight workout and 45 of stair climbing: vanilla Light’n’Fit yogurt, pumpkin flax granola, and two HUGE strawberries.  I was pissed the strawberries I picked were too ripe, and getting soft 😦

By the way, my workout came from, thanks to Miss Erin’s referral to that website!  Thanks, girl!  I used their workout database to put in my criteria and came up with a good 4 day per week weight workout.  Thurs. night was biceps, chest, back, and abs.


Breakfast Friday:  steel cut oats, cinnamon, raisins, pb, and pumpkin flax granola (yes, I’m obsessed with it!).  Tasty goodness!


Lunch:  Same damn sando and carrot!  When slicing the avocado this morning I was a bit generous… making up for yesterday’s lack of it, I guess 🙂  My TMJ seems to be acting up a tad; is it because I insist on eating crunchy hard things like carrots??


I snacked on my Fuji eventually, but was still a hungry girl this afternoon.  I think it was allergies throwing my system off.  Do you get odd, seemingly unrelated symptoms like that?  I get hungry feeling, and flu-like symptoms sometimes related to allergies.

Dinner:  Maria!  We visited Si Senor, and I switched it up a bit.  One tamale and one chicken taco, and the huge Diet Coke, of course.  I justify the DC by saying it means I have to go workout to burn off the caffeine, or else I’ll be up all night.  Good tactic!

Chris was kind enough to give me his avocados 🙂


A post dinner workout followed, which included legs, shoulders, back, and triceps.  I also did 30 minutes on the elliptical, followed by 15 minutes on the stair mill while watching the last 5 minutes of the Blazer Game.  They beat the Lakers again and have secured a place in the Playoffs!!  That was my Friday night excitement…a fun night at the gym 🙂

My snack tonight was the same as last night, but with some sliced almonds on top for shits and giggles.  Yummy!


Tomorrow is going to be busy–pilates (first time in forever!), work, and an early Easter dinner with the fam.  I hate going to work on Saturdays/for a 6th day, but sometimes it’s just gotta be done.



Beware of the bitch March 6, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kersten @ 11:19 pm
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Somehow I made it through this week without being much of a PMS ridden monster, but today it came out a few times, esp. tonight.  Rawr!  I was frustrated that like three staff people neglected to do one really important thing at work, and dinner was rather frustrating for many reasons.  More on that later.

The day started off well…tired because I did watch some Graham Norton at midnight and set the alarm for 7, though.  I treated myself to a non-fat vanilla cafe au lait at Starbucks this morning (last of the gift card), and had my oats along with that.  I’ve been wanting more sweetness in my oats, but don’t really want to add fake sweetener.  Did the raisins make it sweeter?  Dunno, but I’ll live without added sweetness.


Chris had lunch with a friend, and I didn’t want his sandwich from yesterday to go to waste so I ate half of it.  I will spare you the details, but let’s say it had some unhealthy meat, kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, and a tiny bit of goat cheese.  So yummy!  I also had about half of the apple and grapes.  I ate while building an investment portfolio….ooh la la.


That didn’t hold me for very long, so I ate the rest of my fruit around 2:30. 

The rest of my afternoon didn’t feel very productive, and I’m starting to get a little anxious about getting ready to leave work and be on vacation.  I know I’ll be swamped next week with appointments and other work, and I hope I don’t go insane.   

After Chris’ last appointment we headed for Si Senor to meet my mom for dinner.  Everything started off okay, but went downhill.  They’ve tweaked their happy hour menu like 3 times in the last 2 weeks, and we ordered based on what the rules were on Tuesday.  Turns out Chris’ shrimp appetizer isn’t on happy hour, so he ordered Nachos Idaho.  My mom didn’t want sour cream on her quesadilla, and Chris didn’t want guacamole on his dish.  The kitchen mixed that up, but they swapped toppings and everything seemed okay.  Until Chris ate two of his six “nachos” and discovered there were beans in them!  He and I hate most beans, so he was totally disturbed when he realized what that funny taste and texture was.  He is rather farsighted and didn’t see the beans on the menu when he ordered… 

I was getting rather irritated at dinner from my PMS, and I think the touch of alcohol I had made it worse.  I had a Diet Coke,  part of a glass of margarita, some chips & salsa, and a cup of tortilla soup.  I also ate some pickled jalapenos on the side 😉


I had to head to the gym to burn off some steam, but decided to visit Target on the way for some cheap entertainment and price research.  The last few times I’ve been in Target I’ve noticed the price of goods was higher than at Fred Meyer; since I need some toiletries and such I thought I’d look at the prices there.  I did find a great deal on Clif bars!  Box o’ six for $5.99, or $1.09 each.  Most of their bars were $1.09 each, which is a better deal than Freddy’s.

The gym wasn’t very busy, and I hopped on the stair sweat mill for a tortuous 45 minutes.  I wanted to wimp out and reduce the intensity for the last 10 minutes, but stuck with it and completed the full 45 at a good pace.  Then I headed upstairs for a puny upper body session, mostly b/c I just wasn’t feeling into the weights tonight.  I did some quick back and biceps, a little bit of abs, then moved out.

My after-workout snack was new–yogurt with protein shake mix.  Since this yogurt is plain the combo reminded me of a mild chocolate cheesecake.  Not the best, but okay considering what it was.  Nice and fluffy at least!


I’m still feeling like a pessimistic little bitch over here, so I think I’m going to go to bed and watch some TV.  Sounds like a nice, comfortable way to end my day 🙂  Gotta prep my oats first!!

Nighty night!


Happy Days February 26, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kersten @ 11:01 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I totally thought of that title while thinking of the days of the week and then the “Happy Days” song came into my head.  That’s like the tenth time “Happy Days” has come up in the last week!

Sorry I’ve been MIA the last three days; work schedule, working out, being tired…didn’t really have the energy to blog at the end of the day.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday definitely had their ups and downs, but today has ended up happy somehow.  I’ve been rather sleep deprived and working my booty out in preparado por mi vacacion, and I think I’ve lost a few more pounds!  Yayayayay!

Here’s a gallery of my rather typical eats the last few days, with a few exceptions:  I added part of an apple to my oats rather than fig or raisins (yummy!), and I mixed yogurt with protein powder and banana (kinda like puddin’!).

On to Friday tomorrow!!!  I had a really unproductive work week 😦  Today I was so tired I just felt like staying home in my poopy mood, but Chris told me he needed my help on a project and got my grumpy ass to go in to work. 

Nothing much new in my world, how about you?  I really need to get on some personal projects, and the tons of work I have hanging out there.  Anymore it seems like time flies and there’s hardly enough hours in the day to fit in a few projects, working out, eating, and sleeping.  Guess that’s life!

Happy Friday to you all 🙂  Catch ya later.


Mostly Monday February 16, 2009

Today being a holiday helped it feel not-so-Monday-ish.  I still worked almost a full day, but work didn’t feel too burdensome or boring.  In fact I was consumed by the same case I was working on Friday, but finally got it done.  Allergies have been plaguing me…can we have a hard rain up here already or what?  It seems all of our moisture is heading south to California and causing quite a bit of nastiness all up and down the state.  Hope those of you in California are staying safe, warm, and dry!

I forgot to prep my oats last night, so I packed some cereal and almond milk for breakfast to eat at work:  1 serving Fred Meyer Shredded Wheat with 1 tbsp raisins, and about 3/4 cup of almond milk. Not too shabby!


Around noon Chris wanted to eat, so we sat down and I had a little sando of 1 pc. ww bread with 1/2 wedge LCL and 2 slices peppered turkey; most of a Fuji :); 1 serving Kashi TLC Fire Roasted Vegetable crackers.  I totally forgot greenery at the store, so the sando was lacking vegetable matter completely. Oops.


Work work work, finally finished my case, and rewarded myself with a snack of  1 cup Dannon Light’n’Fit vanilla.  Freddy’s finally had vanilla yesterday, but now I think I may prefer strawberry since its got more goin’ on than the ‘nilla.  We’ll see…’nilla is more versatile and I can mix other stuff into it.

When we got home I started preparing dinner:  sauteed pork chops with steamed broccoli & carrots, and oven fried potatoes.  Trusty favorite these days, and tasty.  It is also voluminous (Erin!)without being heavy or highly caloric. 


Random fact of the day for you here:  tradable bonds go all the way back to 1171 in Venice!  Holy shit!  For over 100 years they never missed an interest payment.  That is a long time to have bonds around, and a great track record on defaults.  Me and my financial geekery!

Around 7:30 I headed out to the gym, and did the Bikini Body Workout:  Compete Cardio and Sculptine Routine.  This was a bit tougher, as between sets I had to do a minute of moderate intensity cardio; I did jump rope and jogging in place.  I think I also mis-read the instructions b/c I did three sets of each move, rather than just 1 minute of it and then moving on to the next.  We’ll see if I am nice and sore from it tomorrow 🙂  I followed this up with 45 moderate minutes on the stair mill.  Oh, the sweaty glory 🙂 

Once home a shake was calling my name…”Oh Keeeerrrrstennnn….you know you want me!”  To which I replied, “yes I do!” and proceeded to make a Genisoy Chocolate Protein Shake with chocolate unsweetened almond milk and 1/2 a banana.  SO yummy, rich, and thick!  I like the choc. almond milk since it is a nice tame chocolate taste.  I’ll have to give it a whirl in my cereal or oats, too.

I decided that I hadn’t had quite enough calories, so I had the other half of my nanner and a tiny bit of a.b. as I prepped my oats.

So here we are, the end of the day…. Did you take today off?  Switch up your routine b/c it was a holiday?  Hope you had a great Monday no matter what you did!  Keep it real til next time 🙂


Let’s get physical! February 9, 2009

“I wanna get physicaaaaaaal….”  I was driving to work the other day when a road construction flagger called in and asked for an Olivia Newton John song.  The DJs were blown away by that combo, and chose “Let’s Get Physical.” 

Monday has come and gone, and it was actually good I suppose.  I was tired all morning, rather groggy after staying up until 1 a.m. watching “The L Word” and “Secret Diary of a Call Girl” on Showtime.

Breakfast was my basic oats mix:  steel cut oats, almond milk, water, raisins, Barney Butter, and cinnamon.  Smells so good!

Nummy in my tummy!

Nummy in my tummy!

The morning was rather slow.  Who knows what happened between 9:30 and noon…Calls, emails, reading, constant internet issues….and then it was time to eat lunch.

My wrap today was SO boring:  ww tortilla, 1/2 wedge LCL, thick slice of peppered turkey, and a leaf of romaine.  I’ve gotta pep it up if I’m gonna survive the week.  On the side I had Kashi Fire Roasted Veggie crackers, and a Fuji. 



After more internet issues with the company website I did more emailing, case work, a little personal finance, and research.  Around 3:30 I had my trusty afternoon snack of 1 cup Dannon Light’n’Fit strawberry.


Chris and I headed home around 4:30 to get back to the LB.  After a good round of messy playing outside, Lily was settled in and I started dinner.  ‘Twas a fun and easy adventure!  I made oven fried potato wedges, steamed broccoli and carrots, re-done polenta in the oven, and reheated pork from Friday.  The potato wedges are so easy and quite tasty, and I liked the steamed carrot chunks.  The polenta could have used a bit longer in the oven, but I didn’t put it in early enough I guess. 


This filled me up pretty well, and I enjoyed having all of the variety on my plate.  Oh yeah, that’s my Diet Big K Cola in the background (Freddy’s version of Diet Coke). I’m hooked these days…

After dinner and watching part of a bad movie Chris and I headed out for 24 Hour Fitness.  We both did weights, I climbed on the stair mill, and Chris played basketball!  Yay!   His sports passion is basketball, but he hasn’t played in soooooo long, it was sad.  But, alas, no more!  He really enjoyed playing for like an hour, and felt like he didn’t do so bad for a guy who hadn’t played in like 3 years.  🙂  He was also looking forward to it since Saturday when he got his guest pass to the gym.  I think he may be a convert, folks…movin’ on over from Bally’s to 24 Hour seems to be in his near future!

Chris was done with basketball exactly when I was done on the stair mill.  I went faster tonight on intervals, and was on that bad boy for a full 45 minutes.  I figured out I need to do 45 minutes of cardio 4-5 times per week to kick start my weight loss and results.  Only doing half an hour for the last month has probably slowed down my progress more than I realized.  I really wanna look better for my vacation!  Let’s just say it involves a swimsuit. 

After working out I had a Genisoy chocolate protein shake made with 1 cup almond milk and a heaping 3 T of the shake mix.  SO good.  I really like the taste of this, as if I haven’t told you enough already.  It is also easy to blend (no blender required); I use a small, flat whisk to mix it. 

Tasty, frothy, thick goodness

Tasty, frothy, thick goodness

I’m in a great mood now; must be the endorphins from a longer cardio sesh and the fact that my honey got to play b-ball 🙂  Whatever it is, I’m takin’ it to bed with me now and hope it is still there when I wake up.  Tomorrow will be a long day…and with some possibly challenging clients book-ending my day.

Hope you all had a great Monday as well!  Ciao, bellas!


What’s up? February 7, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kersten @ 12:25 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The last two days have seemed long, yet gone by quickly.  Does that make any sense?  I feel like I’m behind on everything in every aspect of my life!  Ack!  The days are going by so quickly I’m not sure I can catch up 😐


Woosh, it came and went like that.  I had four meetings, some drama, and a big Diet Coke 😉  The day started with my favorite oatmeal combo:  steel cut oats, almond milk, water, raisins, Barney Butter, and cinnamon.  Everyone keeps saying it makes the office smell good 🙂


After this I went into back to back meetings until around 12:30, then I ate lunch and processed some business quickly.  Lunch was a small sando (ww bread, peppered turkey, avocado, pickle, romaine), Jonagold apple, Kashi TLC multigrain crackers.


After this I headed out to my acupuncture appointment.  My allergies have been acting up a lot, and the nasal passages were a swellin’ and I had a headache brewing.  Whatever he did helped a lot, but eventually my pressure came back 😦

A snack was in order during the afternoon, especially because I had a 5:45 meeting.  I’m diggin’ my Dannon Light’n’Fit strawberry these days.  At first I didn’t like the fake-ish taste it had, but now I don’t even notice it.  Freddy’s hasn’t been carrying the vanilla in the large container, so I’ve been going with the strawberry.


Before my meeting I got to thinking about the evening ahead, and that cooking at home afterward would probably push dinner out to 8:30 at least.  So, we opted to visit Si Senor afterward instead.  My meeting went until 7:3o I think, so I’m glad we chose to eat out.

I deviated from the norm quite a bit and went for a small chicken enchilada, and the huge Diet Coke I seem to be drinking a lot these days.


Once home I knew I had to hit the gym, totally not optional.  I went for a harder upper body workout than before, and half an hour on the stair mill.  I’ve been doing more time on the mill, and less time overall doing cardio.  Just haven’t been up for 45-60 minutes the last several weeks it seems. 

I didn’t get home until about 11:30 :O   After cleaning up a tad and prepping my oats I let Lily lick the almond butter spoon 🙂  She’s so cute…I wish I could come close to her beauty! 



Chris and I slept in quite a bit this morning…didn’t fall asleep until after 1, and bed was just too comfortable this morning.  I ate my oatmeal at home; same as usual and yummy.


I thought I’d try on some of the jeans I’d outgrown, and they fit!  Yippee!  It is interesting because I’m smaller than I was last time I weighed ~145; I didn’t fit into those jeans then.  Yippee again for progress!

Work was lazy, not terribly productive, and pretty quick.  Around 1-ish we ended up eating lunch.  We ran out of the usual lunch supplies, so I had a ww heel with Barney Butter and banana, heated a little.  Also had 1/2 a Jonagold and Kashi TLC multigrain.  The nana didn’t get consumed til later…


Chris and I booked a vacation today!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I’m so excited!!!!!!!!!!!  Work has been so mentally exhausting the last 6 months, and I think we really deserve some time off.   We are taking our laptop and planning to work some while we’re gone, so I’m going to try to blog some, too 🙂  I think I’ll wait til then to tell you where we’re off to.

I had the same afternoon snack as yesterday.


Dinner had been planned out for awhile, and I was excited to make it, but the execution wasn’t quite what I’d hope for.  I roasted a pork tenderloin (pre-seasoned–southern peppercorn), made polenta, and sauteed mushrooms in butter and chili powder for Chris (ew, fungus!).  My polenta took a helluva lot longer than expected, and for caloric reasons I opted to leave out the can of corn that I’d planned on adding.  In hindsight, I should’ve just added it.  Everything tasted good at least, and we have some yummy leftovers for the weekend.


I know this pic looks a bit sad, but don’t let that fool you.  I put a little Smart Balance Light and parmesan cheese (not canned) on my polenta. 

Nip/Tuck was on from 8 to 9, so I held off on the gym til after 9.  Do you all watch Nip/Tuck?  It is scandalous! 

The gym was good–another heavier leg workout and 30 minutes on the elliptical.   The gym was pretty tame at least, and I didn’t have any issues gettin’ my work out on. 

Once home and cleaned up I opted to make a protein shake.  ~12 oz. almond milk and water mixed, and ~5 tbsp Genisoy chocolate protein shake mix, and the other half of my nana from earlier.  I love my Braun stick blender, BTW!

(uh, I can’t insert the pic for some reason…)  It was tasty!

Time for bed, folks.  Gotta get up and hit the gym for pilates, and then get ready quickly to head out to wine country 🙂  Chris is going to check out 24 Hour Fitness with me tomorrow!  I hope he switches to 24 Hour soon so we can cut down on the driving for our gym ventures and he can have a bigger, more outfitted gym at his disposal.  He loves basketball but hasn’t played for years, so I hope he can hoop it up at 24 Hour and get back into his passion 🙂

Have a great Saturday!!!