About Me

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Hampton Roads, Virginia, United States
I am a late-30's busy career mom, attempting to find her inner athlete, be a vegan in a non-vegan household, and find a way to balance it all without going crazy! I love to cook, read, run, knit, and learn as many new things as I can - which often gets me in trouble.... I am passionate about life in general, and if I didn't write about it, I'd probably implode.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Life is slowly getting back to normal this week.  Between the storm and working crazy hours, I was feeling like less than myself, but I'm happy to say that life is back on track (for now anyway!).

I've worked out every single day this week, so I'm definitely giving myself an A on the exercise front.  I've started weight training - and area I know where I am lacking - and my body is killing me - in a good way of course!.  I must admit, I jumped on the P90X bandwagon.  I know several people at work who have done it, so I thought, what the heck.  I need guidance on weight training because I hate it and don't really know what I'm doing.

Sunday was start day, and I did the Chest and Back video, which didn't seem hard until later that evening when my chest started hurting.  Monday was this crazy jumping bean workout called Plyometrics.  It was NUTS.  According to my bodybugg, I torched 330 calories in that hour alone.  Of course yesterday my legs were burning a bit - nothing like trying to walk down the stairs when your leg muscles ache!  Yesterday was Shoulders and Arms - an area where I know I'm particularly weak.  My biceps are definitely talking to me today.
Today will be a 90 minute yoga video.  I'm looking forward to doing that one after work.  For now though, I'm going to go for a run before getting ready for work.  And here is the challenge I always face - how to do both??  We'll see how I keep up with this routine.

Eating has been mostly very good.  Maybe I could have skipped the breadsticks on Monday, but otherwise I'm pleased with this week thus far.

Yesterday was a fun evening.  The little one had dance class (she's in 1st grade) and then a Health and Wellness Fair at her grade school.  We had a blast playing games with the people from the YMCA and doing Children's Yoga (which she's used to doing anyway), and we went to the clinic on food allergies since she has a severe allergy to peanuts and tree nuts, which was awesome to connect with other parents.  R got a pedometer which she found absolutely fascinating, so that was pretty cool.

So, I'm off for a run (or as much of a run as my sore muscles will tolerate), and then work.  I'll let you all know how the Yoga video goes, and the rest of my eating.

Exercise - A
Eating - B

Sunday, November 15, 2009

My Upper Body is Going to Be Sore Tomorrow...I Hope!

Second day back on days, and I slept like poo.  I don't mind working nights, but I hate the flipping of the schedules.  I imagine it's like intense jet lag.

We slept in until about 930 this morning.  Probably all would have slept much later if not for the doggies wanting their breakfast.

D ran out to Dunkin Donuts for him and the kids (I did not partake!).  I did a killer upper body workout of pullups and pushups for an hour right after waking.  Felt very proud of that actually.  The only thing I didn't plan well was the whole eating thing.  Since D and I had plans to have lunch and go to a mantinee, I didn't eat breakfast.  By the time I got done working out, it was getting too late to eat anything and NOT ruin my lunch.  Next time, I'll splurge on a smoothie or some chocolate soy milk or something.

We went to lunch - and I had a lovely bowl of split pea and barley soup and a salad of grilled vegetables.  Very filling and yummy - and I didn't feel remotely guilty about any of it.

What I did feel guilty about is skipping the movie.  I was just so tired, and didn't want to wander around the mall another hour before our flick even started.  SO...our Sunday date got cut short, we went home - and I lied down for about 15 minutes while D went and bought yet another new video game.

Dinner was fun.  For D and the kids I made homemade meatballs, beer bread, grilled chicken parm, and spaghetti.  For me???  Leftover tofu and brown basmati from yesterday.  Ah well, at least the red wine is good!

Exercise - B+
Eating - B+

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Finally, a Day Without Rain!

So the Nor'Easter finally passed, thank goodness!  Some of my friends had some flooding, but we did pretty well.  Driving in it to work was the scariest - but otherwise we were on high enough ground to not be too terribly affected.

We had to sleep with the sleeping bag on the bed last night - the doggies made the comforter very smelly after being out in the rain and mud - and then jumping on the bed when D was in the shower and I was at work!  Alas...they were cute, so I guess it's worth it.

Today was a great day.  I went shopping - bought a Cuisinart BLO-195 convection/toaster oven.  Making cookies in it as we speak!  First day back on normal working hours, and I got to shop.

I had grapes for breakfast, and a black-bean taco salad for lunch.  Dinner was a tofu dish with indian flavors and brown basmati rice.  Probably would have been a perfect day, if not for the many mimosas this evening :)

I went for a 3 mile run today - actually brought Sammie (the yellow lab), and she did great!  The sidewalks and streets were a mess from the storm, but otherwise it felt very, very good after all the crazy work hours this week!

According to the Body Bugg (http://www.bodybugg.com/), I'm at 2100 calorie burn for the day.  Life is good.

Diet - B+
Excerise - B+

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Another Night Shift!

Today was a good day for sleeping!  I stayed up until 630 this morning - mainly watching TV, snuggling with Rico (the smaller dog) and the cat - and fighting to stay awake.  I didn't really eat much - but didn't exercise either when I had hoped to.  I could barely stay awake!

After going to bed at 630am, I didn't get up until just after 4pm!  I spent about an hour with D watching the Biggest Loser, had some veggie soup, took a shower, and took off for Hampton.  The drive was probably one of the scariest in my life - the wind, rain, and pitch blackness turned a 30 minute drive into 90.  I stopped and grabbed some healthy snacks on the way in, and am here now until 8am (it's 11pm right now).

So, I'm hoping for a quiet and productive night - and the strength to stay away from the junk food!  Wish me luck :)

Eating - B
Exercise - D (don't feel too terribly guilty given my strange schedule)

Red Wine and Pasta for Breakfast!

Aside from challenging the conventional notions of breakfast, when you wake up at 5pm, having wine and pasta at 7 really isn't all that weird.

I got off work at 8 this morning.  While it was a long night, I felt great the whole time and got a TON of much needed work done.  I got home, took a shower, brushed my teeth, and was out by 10am. 

I had plans with a friend of mine for Wine Night.  Each Wednesday, a nearby Italian chain restaurant has $10 off any bottle of wine.  There are typically several of us who go, but with our crazy work hours, it was just the two of us this evening.

So since I've been awake - which has only been a few hours, I've had a couple small slices of italian bread, my vegan pasta dish, and two glasses of red wine.  I'm off work tonight, but am staying up since I'm on the following 2 nights.  If I can swing it, I may just work out when I'm done watching a movie or two!

Unfortunately, we're experiencing a Nor'Easter for the next few days, so it's cold and wet and windy outside.  No running - no desire to leave the house.  Heck, even the kids' schools are closed for flooding.

Eating - B (so far)
Exercise - F (but the night is young!)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I Fibbed

I failed the test.  Wickedly failed it!  I'm working nights tonight and thought I could work in some type of physical activity.  And if it weren't for the apparent daytime marathons of Law and Order, I may have succeeded.

I went to work around 830 today - even though (again) it's my day off.  I had to give a presentation at 930, and left the office at 1030.  I went home, and was hoping after a few minutes of rest, that I'd get off my butt and at least walk the pups.  Yeah - not so much.  Instead I had a huge craving for stuffing - so I made some - and pretty much ate it all.  I had to work tonight from 8pm-8am, so figured I'd have to work a nap in there somewhere.  I slept from 230-5pm, and had to leave by 630. 

So....I can almost excuse myself from not working out (though it's lame), but what I can't excuse is that I ate like absolute crap today.  It started well with a healthy cereal and some soy milk.  It went down hill as soon as I got home from work.  Perisistent snacking and then gorging on stuffing didn't help.  And now I'm at work all night with nothing but snacks lying around.  Ugh - I feel like a cow.

I am obviously disparing a bit and need to stop and move on.  The grades for today??

Physical Activity - F
Eating Habits - F

Monday, November 9, 2009

So Much for Being Off Today

Okay, so just when I get this new resolve, life throws me a curve ball.  I have to work nights all this week, and sporadically over the next two (to support a big project).  So just when I'm trying to figure out how to fit it all into my busy schedule...my schedule changes.  So essentially, whatever rules I'm trying to formulate will basically get tossed out the window.

I was supposed to have off today to prepare for the switch to nights.  Instead, I had to go in for a 9am meeting (voluntarily), but the secretary (knowing I was on nights), paged the VP I was meeting with to tell her I wouldn't be in.  Oh well, meeting ended up happening, just later than planned.  I left the office around 1030 and went home to relax and play with the doggies.  I met D for lunch at Macaroni Grill (which is a misleading name, because they serve no macaroni and cheese that I could find!) and did fairly well unless you count the foccacia loaf that I wasn't smart enough to ignore.  There's just something about warm bread dipped in olive oil....but other than that, I chose the "Build Your Own Pasta" dish with whole wheat penne, spicy tomato sauce, and every vegetable they had available.  I ate about a third of it (darn bread) and brought the rest home.

When I got home, I really just wanted to take a nap.  Almost did, but realized I was quickly running out of kid-free day and should probably do something about that whole exercise thing.  I popped open my latest issue of Runner's World magazine and after 7 pages, felt the motivation I needed to lace up and hit the road.  I decided on an easy 2 1/2 mile run, and it felt great.  In the final stretch, my son's school bus passed by (and he even yelled Hi Mom out the window) - and (how cute is this?) he waited for me at his bus stop!  That's when I stopped the jog and we walked together the half a block home.

Good for me I ran today.  Bad that I skipped my 730pm hot yoga class and opted for a glass of wine and watching So You Think You Can Dance with D and the kids.  They had a healthy meal - baked fish, potato and cauliflower au gratin, and peas.  Me?  I had snacked on pretzels and hummus (you seeing a trend with these yet?) and a glass of red wine.  Since I ate lentils and tabouli for breakfast, at least part of my day wasn't totally lost in the eating dept.

So for exercise I give myself a B-.
Eating I give myself a C+ (darn bread...and failure to actually eat dinner).

We'll see how tomorrow goes.  Have to give a presentation at 930 and then come home and try and sleep so I can work a 12 hour night shift.  Oh, and the kids are off school the next two days, so they'll have to actually be quiet while I'm trying to sleep.  So don't judge me too harshly if I don't work out tomorrow.  I promise I'll try and walk the dogs.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Does Swimming with the Kids Count??

Okay, so today was a nice day...even if I didn't exactly hit the gym.  Well...I DID go to the gym today (our local YMCA), but just to swim with the kids, and not to actually work out.  I figure every week gets a rest day, and since I ran in an 8K yesterday, I assumed I deserved a day off.  Of course, it's now 740pm, and I wish I had spent just an hour or so doing some form of physical exercise.
I decided last night that I really should try running in the morning.  I thought that today would be a good morning for that - until I got up and both dogs did too (just adpoted a new one on Monday who isn't quite house trained yet, so I'm a bit worried to leave him alone yet).  I fed them, then wanted them to go out and do their business.  Then of course I wanted to make tea and have some peace and quite before the rest of the family woke up.  Next thing I knew, it was 9am and everyone was up, so then I made breakfast, and before I knew it, it was time to take Rico to his first vet appt.

On the plus side, it was a good healthy eating day.  Being a vegan, I have to re-think the ideas of conventional breakfast.  My choices are typically oatmeal or smoothies.  I decided a few weeks ago that there are no rules, so today's breakfast was spicy lentils.  I had some coleslaw for a snack, and pretzels and hummus for lunch after swimming (here's where convenience food gets me every time).  Dinner was a totally awesome Butternut Squash recipe from Fat Free Vegan (see link on the side of the page).  Oh...and a couple of beers too.  Is that bad?  They were light beers....

So like I've said before, I can handle one or two healthy habits at a time, but balancing all 3?  Ugh.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Have You Ever Wanted to Learn to Balance a Family, a Career, and a Healthy Lifestyle?

Yeah, so have I.  I tend to do really well at one or two of them, but the idea of successfully managing all three seems highly unlikely.

And so I turn to you - faithful internet readers - to walk with me (and guide me), as I try to figure out how the heck to do this. 

A bit about me.  My name is Crissie and I am a busy.  Who isn't?!  I work 40+ hours per week as an IT Peformance Improvement expert, have 3 children ranging in age from 1st-9th grades, a husband who also works in IT, and a raging desire to be the athlete I never was growing up!

I have started (and stopped) many a running programs over the past 4 years.  While I've enjoyed some consistency, certainly not enough to actually improve any!  My average speed (which is painfully slow) has not gotten any better - meaning that I haven't actually tried hard enough.

My latest love is Hot Yoga, which is a bizzarre blend of relaxation and a kicking workout while in a ridiculously hot room.

What I have found is that I cannot seem to manage to do both - so I do well in neither.

On top of this, I am a Vegan - which is great for me, but since my husband and children are not, mealtimes can be adventerous to say the least.  Either I end up eating an unbalanced meal, or nothing at all.  Neither which is healthy or particularly kind to my waistline.

So join me in this fun new adventure of a balanced life.  And if anyone else has figured out to do this already, please make my life easier by letting me in on the secret sauce.