I have been loving taking the back roads to work lately.  There is still traffic, but it keeps moving so the 30 minute drive doesn’t seem as long.  Yesterday morning was gorgeous!  I actually took these pictures while driving – but I didn’t look at the phone, I just took like 10 pictures and there were the only two that worked out. Open-mouthed smile

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I’ve seen Meatless Monday around the blog world for quite some time, but really never gave it a thought because, well, Tony and I like meat.  And while I talk about having fish or seafood once a week, I never really follow through with it, because I am not really a fan.  Well, the seafood I like is expensive – so if you could make some calls and make Chilean Sea Bass and crab legs $5 a pound, I would appreciate it!

I had baked a couple extra baked potatoes over the weekend.  I made another breakfast baked potato – 4 ounces of potato – scoop out the potato and scramble with 1 egg, 2 ounces deli ham (see, I could have left the ham out for a completely meatless Monday!) and then topped with 1/2 ounce cheddar cheese.  I assembled the potato at home, then just put it in the broiler of the toaster oven when I got to work.

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Yesterday marked Week 3 of the 12 Week Body Building Program.  The first two weeks were identical workouts – so I was happy that week three brought in some new exercises.

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Since it was all legs, I warmed up with 10 minutes on the stair master.

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The hardest workout above?  The single-leg barbell deadlift.  Holy bat shit that was hard.


I really feel that in my quads and hamstrings today.  So with the 10 minutes on the stair master, the 30 minutes of legs, and ending with 5 minutes of stretching, it was a great 45 minute lunch workout.

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Sadly, on the way to my locker, I realized one fatal mistake.  I locked the key to my locker inside my locker.  I was so concerned that I had my iPhone for music, headphones, workout paper, pen . . .I forgot the key.

I went to the front desk and we went to find maintenance, only to find out that they were all out to lunch.  I asked her if she had a tool I could use, and she found a pair of bolt cutters in the maintenance room.  She tried for about a minute, but it wasn’t budging at all.  I asked if I could try.  I pretended it was like doing flys, so I quickly squeezed 10 times and bam, I cut through the lock.

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Note to self – maybe I should buy a combination lock.  It’s all this practicing for the gun show that gave me the strength to cut through steel.  Ha!

While menu planning this past weekend, I saw that I had a package of barley that I bought.  Other than beef and barley soup, I don’t think I’ve ever had barley before, definitely not by itself.  So I googled “barley recipes” and found Eating Well’s recipe for Bean and Barley Chili.

I adapted it somewhat – I used black beans instead of pinto beans, left out the onions, duh, and while they called for rehydrating dried chiles, I used one chipotle chili in adobo.  I made the mistake of using dried black beans, and even though I quick soaked them by boiling them and simmering for an hour before adding them to the chili, they were still a little, let’s say, “toothsome” but after reheating it for lunch for 5 minutes, the beans were finally soft.  I also doubled the amount of barley.

Black Bean and Barley Chili

  • makes 10 – 1 cup servings
  • 330 calories, 4 fat, 56 carbs, 14 protein, a whopping 16 grams of fiber


  • 2 cups canned black beans
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 6 cups of water
  • 1 chipotle chili in adobo
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 28 ounce can chopped tomatoes (or tomato puree)
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • pinch of sugar

Heat oil over medium high heat.  Add in carrots and celery and cook for about 5 minutes.  Add in garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.  Add everything but the barley and reduce to simmer for 30 minutes.  At this point, it will still be really soupy – I didn’t even think it would turn out into a chili, but after adding the barley, the chili thickened up beautifully.  Once you add the barley, simmer for 30-45 minutes until the barley is cooked through and the chili thickens.

I have a measuring cup at work too – otherwise my one cup portion could easily be two cups!

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I had an ounce of homemade tortilla chips on the side – I love to make individual dippers with chili – of course liberally sprinkled with hot sauce – the perfect bite:

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I have a feeling this chili will freeze well too, since Tony won’t eat it – he’s not a fan of the black beans.

When I got home from work I asked Tony what he felt like – I started to ramble off the dinners I had planned for the week when he stopped me at fish tacos.  Yum!  Well, not authentic fish tacos – we cheat and use fish sticks.  I bought a brand that said “xtra large sticks!”

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Xtra large my ass!  Six sticks were 210 calories, so we each had 3 sticks per taco.  We split an avocado – so each of us had 1/4 of an mashed avocado on the bottom, lettuce tomato, fish sticks, cheese and I had my tomatillo salsa.

Ready for a nice fluorescent picture of dinner?

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These were excellent – I am not actually sure how much “fish” are in these fish tacos, but they were tasty.

So when I was contemplating my last week of exercise, I kind of felt like I was going through the motions – my lunch time strength workouts were fine, but I think I am getting burned out on Insanity.  I have done these workouts so many times that I can literally say exactly what Shaun T says before he even says it.

I’ve been listening to 8 tracks while working out and used “motivation” as my search – I’ve been listening to Eric Thomas, a motivational speaker.


Today is October 1.  I have a goal to be 150 pounds by December 31.  The only way I am going to get there is to work hard.  I can’t think about the things I want to do to get there, I have to do the things I want to do to get there.

So I think I am going to shake up my night time routine.  I have dozens of exercise videos from Tae Bo (thanks Helen!), to Shape, to Boot Camp, Biggest Loser, etc.   I will still probably do the longer versions of Insanity over the weekend, but I think its time for a change.

So it was a farewell last night while I did the 41 minute plyo routine.  I gave it 120% – kept up the pace with Shaun T the whole time and really pushed myself.  Go big or go home.

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What are your goals through the end of the year?  This is the toughest season to lose weight – basically from Halloween through Christmas there will be dozens of distraction that will try to get in my way, but I am not going to let it.

I can do this.  I will do this.  Who’s with me?  I want to start a private group on Facebook if you want to join me  – just a place we can go to cheer each other on – provide support, feed back, a place to vent.  (first I need to figure out how to do that!) so I will post the link tomorrow to join me.

Stats for the Day:

  • 1287 calories, 148 carbs, 71 protein, 24 fiber, 47 fat
  • 32% of calories from fat, 21% from protein and 45% from carbs
  • Calorie Count grade for the day B
  • 45 minute lunch time strength/stairmaster/stretch
  • 41 minute Plyo Insanity after dinner

My game face is on . . . is yours?  Make it a great day!