Thursday, April 4, 2013

Shifting Priorities

I am a great schedule follower. Give me a checklist of what needs to be done each day and I will go right through the list; give me a calendar with a structured routine and I will cross off every day like a champ.  While this may sound like an excellent trait to have (and it can be) there is one problem – life does not always cooperate with our best laid plans or schedules.  I am not talking about the type of situation where something random comes up and you have to change your plans for a week; even a type A person like me can handle that.  Instead, I am talking about what do you do when life shifts in a more permanent way- when you already have a full plate, but all of the sudden you have more things you need (or want) to include.  Suddenly that perfect schedule or routine that you have no longer works and things can seem overwhelming!

The truth is, we just cannot do everything.  This is very hard for me to admit- as Lexy can attest, I have visions of doing everything perfectly and pleasing everyone- and I HATE HATE HATE when I feel like I have not performed my best or when I have let someone down.  However, what I am learning is that it simply is not possible to do everything and that as life changes we have to be flexible, take a step back, figure out what really is important to us, regroup and create an entirely new routine or schedule that works for us.
Does this mean that we have license to start eating like crap or skip exercising because we are too busy? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Instead, it means refocusing on your goals and figuring out how to incorporate your healthy lifestyle in a way that works for you.   Here are some examples of changes that I have made in my schedule/routine recently:
-         Running: Getting in 3-4 runs a week (including one long run) is still a priority for me.  Running keeps me healthy and strong, is a great stress relief, burns a ton of calories and as I said the other day “running makes me way nicer.”  As much as I enjoy running group, there are times when not getting home on a Tuesday night until 8:30 or getting up at 6:30 on a Saturday morning has interfered with other things that I needed to get done or wanted to do.  Instead of feeling guilty about missing running group, I have shifted my focus to simply getting my weekly mileage in no matter what; if that means squeezing in a 10 mile run between Easter celebrations in the middle of an afternoon, that is a perfectly acceptable substitute.  In fact, recently I have been running some on weekends with my boyfriend Kevin and the time that we spend talking as we run (that is until we both get out of breath or I am cursing the fact that he lives in a hilly neighborhoodJ) has been great time for just the two of us. 

-         Healthy Eating:  Between being busy at work and having a lot more fun things to do on the weekends, I have not had as much time to make a bunch of meals from scratch ahead of time.  Does that mean that I have gone back to eating crap? No! Eating healthy, nutritious, real food is still a priority for me- so when I do not have time to make a bunch of things from scratch, instead of caving and running through a drive through,  I will resort to healthy quick meals (such as oatmeal or eggs or salads with chicken).  If I do not have time to make my own pita or sweet potato chips, I do not grab a can of Pringles- I will go to Trader Joe’s and buy the organic equivalent.  If I know that I am going to be going out to dinner more than usual in a week/weekend, then that may count as my extra treat for the week instead of going to Graeters. 

-        Strength Training/Toning: As much as I loved my trainer, twice a week training sessions were no longer in my budget.  However, since I have been feeling flabby lately and I still want to be toned, lean and strong I have found some at home strength training workouts on Pinterest and I also am going to start going rock climbing more.
For me, the key was letting go of the notion that I had to stick to the exact same routine or else I would fail; instead, I realized the smartest course of action was not to try to cram more activities onto an already overcrowded plate, but rather to acknowledge that life and my priorities had shifted and to adjust my time, schedule, and healthy lifestyle to realign with those shifts. 
You know what else I’m learning (or trying to learnJ ?  When you choose to reprioritize your life or schedule, not everyone may be pleased with your decisions. However, letting others make you feel guilty for doing what is right for you only adds unnecessary stress and pressure! Trust me, I know this is easier said than done, but try to think of that extra guilt or peer pressure as a thick layer of fat on top of your already full plate and scrape it into the trash!!!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Carrie's Running Playlist

I do not know about you but when I am running by myself I have to have music! Especially during a long run, having music with a catchy tune or an upbeat tempo is crucial to keeping me going.  I also keep my playlist on shuffle when I am running, so that I never know what song is coming next- that keeps my mind and body from knowing exactly how much longer I have left to run.  Here are some of my current favorite running songs: (warning some of them are explicit- but  sometimes I have found that a good swear word is what you need to get through a long run;) 

Edge of Glory- Lady Gaga
Poker Face- Lady Gaga
Scream- Usher
Lose Yourself- Eminem
Bad Romance- Lady Gaga
Born This Way- lady Gaga
Crazy Ex Girlfriend- Miranda Lambert
Dirrty – Christina Aguilera
Dynamite- Taio Cruz
F**kin’ Perfect- Pink
Fighter- Christina Aguilera
Gunpowder and Lead- Miranda Lambert
Hip Hop Hooray- Naughty by Nature
Jumpin’ Jumpin’- Destiny’s Child
Livin’ on a Prayer- Bon Jovi
No Air- Chris Brown and Jordin Sparks
Battlefield- Jordin Sparks
Rock Your Body- Justin Timberlake
Say My name- Destiny’s Child
Sexy and I know it- LMFAO
Single Ladies – Beyonce
Stronger- Kelly Clarkson
Telephone- Lady Gaga
Man in the Mirror- Michael Jackson
One More Night- Maroon 5
Firework- Katy Perry
Moves Like Jagger- Maroon 5
Catch My Breath- Kelly Clarkson
SexyBack- Justin Timberlake
DJ Got us Fallin’ in Love- Usher
Call me Maybe- Carly Rae Jepson
OMG- Usher
What Makes You Beautiful- OneDirection
This is How we Do It- Montell Jordan
Give Me Everything- Pitbull
Raise your Glass- Pink
Getting’ Jiggy Wit It- Will Smith
We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together- Taylor Swift
Run the World (Girls) Beyonce
Boots On- Randy Houser
Party in the USA – Miley Cyrus
Beer Money- Kip Moore
The Only Way I know- Jason Aldean
Dirt Road Anthem- Jason Aldean
Drunk on You- Luke Bryan
I Don’t Want this Night to End- Luke Bryan
Rain is a Good Thing- Luke Bryan
All my Friends Say- Luke Bryan
Smoke a Little Smoke- Eric Church
Creepin’ Eric Church
Baggage Claim- Miranda Lambert
Breakaway- Kelly Clarkson
Mean- Taylor Swift
Picture to Burn- Taylor Swift
Love the Way you Lie- Eminem
Not Afraid- Eminem
I Won’t Back Down- Tom Petty
5150- Dirks Bentley
Tornado- Little Big Town
Barefoot Blue Jean Night- Jake Owen
Gives you Hell- Glee Soundtrack
I Gotta Feeling- Black Eyed Peas
Wake Up Call- Maroon 5
I’m too Sexy- Right Said Fred
F**k You- Cee Lo Green
Paparazzi- Lady Gaga
Only Girl in the World-Rhianna
U Can’t Touch This- MC Hammer
Let’s Get it Started- Black Eyed Peas
Get Low- Lil John
Hot in Here- Nelly
Drop it Like its Hot- Snoop Dogg
 Til I Collapse- Eminem
 More- Usher
Alejandro- Lady Gaga
Born to Fly- Sara Evans
Hall of Fame- The Script,
Hips Don’t Lie- Shakira
Fighter- Christina Aguilera
Stronger- Kanye West
Born to Run- Bruce Springsteen
Ignition- R.Kelly
E.I- Nelly
Boom Boom Pow- Black Eyed Peas
Empire State of Mind- Jay-Z
Johnny Cash- Jason Aldean

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Switch It Up

Just like eating the same thing every day can get boring, so can doing the same type of physical exercise.  Whether you religiously hit the treadmill for a run or ride your bike along the trails, it’s good to switch it up every once in a while.  Not only will you start utilizing new muscle groups, but you might find a new way to stay fit that keeps it exciting.  

If you belong to a gym, utilize their free classes.   I have no rhythm and I think I am finally going to give in and try Zumba with the girls from work.  I figure laughing at me trying to dance will burn even more calories!  We also offer an Aqua Zumba class that I can’t wait to try out.  I have never tried Cross Fit, but I know they have some raging fans out there.  I also have some friends who love Barre classes, although I have never been. 

I do love the Body Pump classes.  It’s an intense hour, but you really get to work all of the major muscle groups including back, triceps, biceps, legs, and abs.   It’s great because you can start off with 1 small weight on your bar and work up as you progress.  I promise you aren’t going to bulk up like those professional bodybuilders, that takes hard work and 1 or 2 body pump classes a week isn’t going to do that.  And call me crazy but I actually kinda enjoy the muscle fatigueness/soreness and I can promise you I feel it about 24 hours later with Body Pump.  And those wonderful foam rollers can work out any pain! 

One of my coworkers teaches a Spinning class which are also adjustable to your own skill level.  I know my level 8 on the bike is much different than the pro’s in my class, but I know I am still getting a great workout.  It does give you a sore butt you will get used to it the longer you spin.  I love the camaraderie in the classes.  It’s easy to get discouraged when it gets hard, and you can be motivated by everyone around you pushing themselves too. 

I have taken some Yoga classes at the gym and also a park in town has outdoor classes on the weekend and I love the change of scenery.  It amazed me in my first yoga class how hard it was, they make it look so easy!  Balance is not one of my strong suits, but I am working on it. 

On Friday night I even tried Belly Dancing with some girlfriends.  I couldn’t believe how much it worked my core and my arms and I felt more confident as the hour went on. 

Make sure if it’s your first time at a class of that type to arrive a little earlier and tell your instructor so they can show you how to use the equipment properly and not hurt yourself.  And, if you don’t like the class, no worries, pick another one next time.  It’s all about finding something that works for you. 

What classes do you like?    

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes

I love sweet potatoes! Not only are sweet potatoes a fantastic source of B6, potassium, fiber, beta carotene, and vitamin c and e- they are delicious!  I have a sweet tooth and used to love sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on top, however once I started eating healthier I realized that just because you label something as a side dish does not make it any less of a dessert calorie wise:) So last year for Easter, I found this great recipe for a sweet potato side dish that satisfied my sweet tooth and was 1/3 of the calories per serving of regular sweet potato casserole.

Maple Roasted Sweet Potatoes (makes 12 servings)


2 1/2 lbs of sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces (approx. 8 cups)
1/3 c pure maple syrup
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Combine maple syrup, butter, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
3. Pour the mixture over the sweet potatoes, toss to coat.
4. Cover and bake the sweet potatoes for 15 minutes.  Uncover, stir and cook, stirring every 15 minutes, until tender and starting to brown, 45-50 minutes more. 

Nutrition Information: 
Per serving: 96 calories, 2 g fat, 19 g carb, 1 g protein, 2 g fiber- PLUS NO CHEMICALS OR HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP:) 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Wonton Wonders

Traditionally wonton wrappers are reserved for stuffing full of pork or shrimp and deep fried.  Smart Sassy Sisters think there are even tastier, and healthier, ways to enjoy these simple wrappers.  The smaller wonton wrappers have less than 25 calories each, and the larger egg roll ones are under 100.  They have about 50 wrappers in each package and I usually find them in the refrigerated produce section, by the bagged lettuce or pre-chopped veggies. 


Chips-I love a crunch and this packs a punch.  If using the wonton wrappers cut diagonally into triangles and coat with olive oil spray. 

24 wonton wrappers, sliced in half diagonally to form triangles
Spray with Olive Oil mister, or drizzle olive oil or melted butter on the wrappers

Choice of toppings:
Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated
Cinnamon (or Cinnamon Sugar)
Smoked Paprika
Chilli Powder

I just open my spice cabinet and start mixing up options and see what I like. 

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick foil. Lay wonton wrappers on baking sheet in one layer. Spray or brush olive oil or butter and top with seasonings of your choice.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the wontons have crisped and turned a lovely golden brown. Allow to cool on the baking sheet, then serve.

Crisps will keep for 3-4 days in an airtight container.


Banana, Chocolate, Almond Butter Wrap Up

This one works better with the larger egg roll wrappers.

 Lay the wrapper with the points up and cut a banana into piece as wide as the wrapper.

 Spread a little almond butter on the wrapper above the banana and put some dark chocolate chips below the banana.

Wrap up like an eggroll and bake at 400°F for about 10 minutes.  It will be all warm, gooey and caramelized. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Back on Track

As much as I hate to admit it, I think I am going to have to be a life-long calorie tracker. Around the beginning of this year I stopped entering my daily food and exercise in Myfitnesspal- not because I had stopped eating healthily, but rather because I am a creature of habit and was eating a lot of the same foods every day and since I already had the calorie count of those foods in my head, I figured I would be fine.  For most of January, I was pretty consistent- however, in February I started to notice that I was not feeling the same in my clothes or that my body felt just a little bit different.   It was not that I had abandoned my healthy eating habits – I was still eating mostly clean and organic and nutritious foods- but rather that I was no longer measuring out my portion sizes or tracking the calories. Combine this with the fact that my birthday, my boyfriend’s birthday, Valentine’s Day, and my girls vacation with Lexy and her mom were all in February- let’s just say that it was not difficult for an extra 7 lbs to creep back on.  

I will be honest- at first this really bummed me out.  I love the feeling when the scale is going down – the sight of it going up is definitely not fun. My very first inclination was to fall back into old patterns- I would tell myself, “I will get on the scale next week after I have been back on track for a week.”  But if I have learned one thing during this weight loss journey (and in life in general), it is that ignoring the problem only makes  it worse- and I am bound and determined that I am going to be proactive and take care of these extra pounds NOW instead of LATER- because 5-7 lbs is a lot easier to deal with than 20! 

So, as tedious as it may be sometimes, I am going back to tracking- for the following reasons:

  •  When I track, I am more diligent about measuring out my foods and sticking to portion sizes.  It is so easy to have an extra bowl of cereal, only to realize that you just wasted 600 calories on GRANOLA!
  •  Knowing that I have to write down everything that I eat makes me think twice about all of the extra nibbles or handfuls of things- I am less likely to grab a handful of almonds if I know that I am going to have to go online and track those 110 calories.  Those small little bites or snacks add up fast! 
  • When I am tracking, I am way more likely to ask myself whether I am really hungry or whether I just feel hungry because I am tired or stressed- because I know if I eat then I have to write it down!
  • Tracking helps me feel like I am in control- that I have a plan that I am working towards and executing on- and I am much more relaxed and confident when I am working towards something than when things seem chaotic.

Both Lexy (lexylily) and I (carrie2139) use myfitnesspal- I think it is the easiest and most comprehensive calorie tracking system- and it is free! Feel free to follow us as we recommit to daily tracking- and if you use myfitnesspal, please leave us your username in the comments- that way we can be motivated by you as well!

Friday, March 8, 2013


Thank you to all of our faithful readers for checking us out a few times a week and for sharing your stories with us.  Just last week Carrie received the statement to renew our domain name for another year.  How exciting!  We will run a 1 year anniversary contest in April, so be on the lookout for it. 

This marks our 100th post.  We weren’t quite sure how this year would go with sharing of topics and getting regular posts written despite our hectic lives.  Neither of us are perfect and we have indulged when we shouldn’t have or skipped workouts that were scheduled.  But hopefully we can learn from that and from you!  From eye opening movies like “Fat Sick and Nearly Dead” to motivating books like The Skinny Rules and more failed pinterest recipes than I care to admit it’s been a year of learning & change.  I have put on some pounds and haven’t been as dedicated to my workouts as I need to be.  I have not sunk back to my Diet Coke obsession but am constantly battling my sugar addiction.  I need you all to keep me motivated and on track.  I have read the books, done the research and have seen my body transform and I don’t want to see any more of those pounds creep back on.  It’s a slippery slope and the more “crap” you eat the hungrier you are.  I was at an event today and really couldn’t avoid eating pizza, so I had 2 slices of Papa John’s thin crust with cheese.  It was over 450 calories and I was still starving!  I would have to eat pounds of vegetables before I would even get close to that 450 and I would be stuffed. 

I wanted this post to be a unique milestone, but sometimes you have to just keep plugging away and realize you are making small changes.  One way I will be forced to get back into the gym on a regular basis is that I started a new job as the Vice President of Financial Development for the YMCA of Greater OKC!  With our family membership we will have access to all kinds of Y amenities including a wellness program for employees with time off and cash incentives.  My Associate Director teaches multiple classes a week so I am sure I will have to check those out.  I have taken Body Pump, Spinning and Yoga before but I am intimidated by the thought of Zumba, and anyone who has seen me dance, or lack of dancing, may understand why. 

I hope this chart is as inspiring to you as it was to me.  Join me in dropping that extra tire, 2 year old, or even a newborn giraffe!


What milestones have you reached and how do you celebrate those achievements?