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tomorrow is only…

24 Feb

…a day away!

It’s been a long day, and this was very-much needed. Tomorrow’s going to be better, and I’m learning to put on a happy face, slowly but surely. Like everything else, though, it’ll take time. Today it got to me a little more than I would’ve liked, hence the video diary.

In happier news…
awesome people giving away free stuff!!!

  • Check out Kristen is having a Newman’s Own Organics giveaway; check it (and her!) out at Change of Pace
  • Help cheer up Jocelyn (and her blog!) through her giveaway at Jocelyn Eats Fresh
  • It’s makeover time again at casa del Zesty – enter to win a facelift for your blog at
  • Josie’s asking what dirty foods you want to indulge in for the chance at a subscription to Clean Eating over at Yum Yucky

here we go again…

28 Apr

Happy Monday!

As you can see, I was in the mood for a bit of a change. I realized that I’d changed, and the tone of the blog had changed, but the look of the blog…not so much. I think it’s due, how about you? I’m curious to know what y’all thing of the change; I want to know about the good, bad and the ugly. I know you’re out there, now I want to hear from you! If commenting isn’t your thing, please e-mail me (livelaughgrow at gmail dot com).

Overall, today’s a been a fairly good day. It’s nice outside, and I had a nice workout this morning, doing a little bit of everything, which involved the recumbent bike, treadclimber, walking and my usual Weighted Workout class. Thankfully, I started off my day with one of my favorite combos, whole wheat toast and MaraNatha almond butter, because it was a tough one! We did a workout entirely on the ball today, and at one point, I was doing crunches with both hands on my chest and one leg completely in the air! I’m actually shocked that I didn’t fall straight off, and pretty proud of myself, too. I was able to catch my trainer on my way out, and was able to get my measurements taken, since it’s the halfway point of the program (did I mention that I’ve been on local TV?). As a forever fat person, I had (and still have) no idea what my measurements should be, other than the ones I have now are too big. But, so far so good: I’ve lost 17.25 inches overall since February 6th, which is good (I think?). Also, my BMI (not that I put much faith in it) dropped 3.4 points and my body fat percentage dropped 3 percent. I do find it a little strange that the measurements on my right and left calves seem to have switched, and that somehow I gained a half inch on my right forearm, and the left stayed exactly the same. The body is a strange, fickle thing.

Since I had some yogurt, puffed wheat, cinnamon and maple syrup around 11 o’clock, I wasn’t even hungry for lunch until 2 o’clock, at which point I was starting to get a little hungry and figured I should eat. We have a fairly strange amalgamation of food in the house right now, so I had a really colourful salad. It was definitely delicious, and definitely different! It had:
Thanks to E’s handy-dandy microwave egg sandwich maker, this came together in just a few minutes, and I was able to cook the veggie cake in the bacon tray, which equals less dishes to do. Without a dishwasher, dishes are my nemesis, and seem to pile up way too quickly around here! We have our friend’s senior art show tonight, so I’m still up in there on what to do for dinner. This may be a night for Subway.

In terms of the giveaway, everyone’s a winner! Both participants will be sent 2 coupons each to purchase a Glade Sense&Spray of their own. You both should’ve received an e-mail from me, so please check your inbox. Also, The Fitnessista is giving away PETA’s Vegan College Cookbook and some homemade macaroons! You definitely don’t have to be a vegan to enjoy the food, so head over there and check it out!

I have a lot of fun doing giveaways, but I’d love for there to be more participation. I’m curious to know what kind of giveaways you’re interested in entering, and what you wouldn’t enter – leave me a comment letting me know, don’t be shy!

Have a great day, and I’ll see you tomorrow.

Boot Camp, Burns and Gardein

27 Apr

Good morning!

It’s nice to be able to write a post at the beginning of the day. Normally, I’d be at the gym right now, but I’ve been waking up pretty stiff (and very sore!) lately, so I decided to give myself a break, and take a day off. Because I wasn’t rushing off, I got to enjoy a delicious and relaxed breakfast, and take my time eating and enjoying it. I couldn’t decide if I wanted something sweet or savory, so I decided to have both.
My plate included:

  • 1 1/4 cups nonfat plain yogurt with a teaspoon of pure Quebec maple syrup (thanks, Steph!) and 2 tablespoons of Glucerna Crunchy Flakes ‘n Strawberries
  • 2 thin slices of roast turkey breast
  • half of a peanut butter-chocolate chip bran-style muffin
  • 1 piece of whole wheat toast spread with a tablespoon of roasted red pepper hummus

Oh, and a great cup of Celestial Seasonings’ Lemon Zinger; it’s so delicious and good for you that I really should drink a cup more often!
I love that Lemon Zinger is caffeine-free and all-natural. Plus, the hibiscus and rosehips give it a really pretty cranberry color. It’s doing a great job perking me up this morning!

Breakfasts count came in at 381 calories, 63g of carbs, 3g of fat and 24g of protein. As a whole, it’s a little more than I usually eat, but the stats are still really good, so I’m satisfied.

This weekend was actually really fun. Saturday, E and I started off to the gym bright and early for boot camp, which was broken up in three parts: sliding, spinning and toning. I’d never tried sliding before, but I knew from past experience that for me, spinning = hyperventilating, so I decided to do sliding for both periods, totaling an hour. I’m glad I ended up taking it as long as I did, because it took me almost 20 minutes to be able to slide back and forth without freaking out about falling! I had a blast sliding, but man, is it hard – it definitely works up a sweat, and really gets the job done. For me, the best part of boot camp is meeting up with the other participants and getting to hang out, chat and compare notes. The exercise is a bonus, granted, but it’s an added one.

After boot camp, E and I decided to work in our ‘garden’, and work on getting the yard into shape for planting. After 2 hours or so, I developed quite a tan (and I use the term loosely), and decided that it was probably time for me to get out of the sun. Being the industrious, hard-working wife that I am, I then took a nap.
May I just say that it was the best nap I’ve had in a long time?
Just saying.

The next morning, while I let E sleep in, I locked myself out of the house, and spent an hour banging on the door and ringing the doorbell until E woke up. That pushed breakfast back just a touch…okay, by 3 hours. Thankfully, I made E Very Berry Pancakes, and he forgave me. Don’t worry, this stack was for both of us!

The mix included:
– frozen mixed blueberries, raspberries and blackberries
Bob’s Red Mill Low-Carb Baking Mix
– egg substitute
– sugar-free apple butter
– nonfat milk
– vanilla extract

Once the pancakes were cooked, I sprinkled a little pure Quebec maple syrup on top, and we dove in. We each had 3 pancakes, and the stats (including syrup) came in at 359 calories, 51g of carbs, 4g of fat and a whopping 13g of fiber and 38g of protein. This is the second time we’ve used the low-carb baking mix, and it’s really great. The pancakes were less dense and fluffier than last week’s banana-maple chip version, but both were amazing! I haven’t tried much of Bob’s Red Mill products, but I’ve loved every one that I have tried.

Because breakfast was so filling (and late), lunch never happened, so I moved on to dinner. It was awesome, and took 10 minutes to prepare, start from finish. It was also really, really good, and E noted that he could eat it once a week for sure, which is a glowing endorsement.

We had:
– spinach and mushroom salad with cucumber ranch dressing
– whole wheat couscous cooked up with a little red enchilada sauce, – sweet corn niblets and green chile
It’s All Good Santa Fe style black bean and corn stuffed chick’n

I’m a flexitarian who loves her meat, and the faux meats usually don’t do it for me at all. But this? This was amazing! It was juicy, flavourful and tender without any weird aftertaste or smell. It looks small, but at 5 oz., it’s a perfect portion. I’d definitely eat this chick’n again. I was so shocked by my sudden love of chick’n that I decided to do a little research. I discovered that It’s All Good is a Gardein brand, which is a Canadian company specializing in vegetarian products made with a “garden-grown protein”. According to the packaging:

Really, protein from the garden? You bet!
Gardein is a savory blend of nutritious vegetable and grain ingredients (soy, wheat, peas, beets and carrots) prepared and slow-cooked to have the authentic taste, texture and nutrition of premium lean meat.

The nutritional information is also impressive; one 5 oz. serving has only 160 calories, 5g of fat, 9g of carbohydrates (3 of which are fiber), 19g of protein and 35% of iron’s RDA. Take that, chicken! In all seriousness, I think this a great product not only for those who lead a meat-free lifestyle, but for everyone. It’s a great alternative source of protein, free of cholesterol and saturated fat and tastes great. Plus, it’s easy to prepare, either in a microwave, boiling it in a bag, over the stove top or baking it. I chose the microwave method, and it came out perfectly. For those of you in the Tri-State area, we got ours at Drug Emporium/Healthy Life Market out by the mall.
I have the Glade Sense&Spray giveaway going on until midnight tonight – there’s 5 coupons to be had, and only 2 entries so far, so if you enter now, you’re pretty close to being guaranteed a winner!

Friday Finds: Glade Sense & Spray

24 Apr

As a BzzAgent, I get the opportunity to review new products at no cost, which could possibly be the most fun thing ever (at least to me!). Not only do I get to hear and learn about new products, but I also get to try them out for myself, and see if they actually live up to the hype. Plus, I get to share that knowledge with you!

The first product I received was the Sense & Spray, a new automatic air freshener from Glade. I am an absolute air freshener junkie, so this was a perfect product to get my feet wet with. After using the Sense & Spray, I learned very quickly that this is no ordinary air freshener. After all, the Sense & Spray is motion activated, putting it in the category of “why didn’t anyone think of this before???” It works in two ways, releasing scent when:

  • motion is detected from 5 feet away
  • someone presses the button on the front of the unit

Translation? No wasted sprays!

I was definitely skeptical about this working; I figured it would go off every time someone walked by, or it wouldn’t go off at all. To test the unit, I put it on top of the toilet in our 1st floor bathroom, which gets the most use. I soon realized that while it sometimes takes a couple of seconds to release the scent, it has a lock feature, which times out the unit from spraying automatically for 30 minutes. I also liked that the unit was fairly attractive, didn’t take up too much space and was easy to assemble and operate. Having used it for 30 days and having the canister still half full, I can also say that the Sense & Spray lives up to its claim of being long-lasting.

I received the Clean Linen scent, and while it didn’t completely win me over, it’s a pleasant enough fragrance to keep around. Refills are also available in Apple Cinnamon, Country Garden and Powder Fresh, which gives you the option of finding the perfect scent for you, and at only $3.49, aren’t a fortune to replace, which is always a bonus.

Would I purchase the Sense & Spray for myself? Probably – I find it a convenient product, and I like that it gives you options. Plus, when you purchase the starter kit, you get everything you need in one package: the unit, 2 AA batteries and a refill canister (either in Clean Linen or Apple Cinnamon). It’s a little pricey at $8.99, but it makes up for it in quality and convenience.

To give you the opportunity to try out the Glade Sense & Spray for yourself, I have 5 coupons for $4 off a starter kit to give away, and they’re good until August 31st, 2009 (US only). The giveaway closes on Monday, April 27th at 11:59 PM EST, and there are three ways to enter:

  1. Leave a comment with your e-mail address and favourite scent
  2. Post about this giveaway on your blog, and leave a comment with the link
  3. Subscribe through a reader or by e-mail, and leave a comment letting me know. If you’re already a subscriber, leave a comment and you’ll be entered as well.

And the winner is…

8 Dec

Thank you to everyone who entered – I loved reading about your favourites, and adding a few to my own. I’m a little surprised that there weren’t more entries, but I’m thankful that the ones who did enter had a better chance at winning!