Tag Archives: convenience foods

Starting NROLW Stage 7 and a Zing bar review

My weekend the good:  Beautiful weather Saturday and celebrated a friends birthday with champagne with hibiscus syrup (a must-try if you like champagne!), vodka, the first night of the seaon on a rooftop bar, and a late-night diner stop that may have involved a gyro platter.

My weekend the bad:  It took me 2.5 hours to drive into NYC due to traffic, a guy spilled a drink on my head when I was out (I actually think he did it on purpose, no idea why, but no I did not punch him in the face or kick him in the balls), and Sunday I was so tired from being out late the night before that I got nothing done except for going to a bridal shower.

All in all, a good weekend, I have to enjoy my free weekends right now when I have them because I have a bunch of weekends over the next couple of months where I’m going to have to work.  No fun.  The good thing about that is that it is way easier for me to stay on track eating-wise if I’m not going out and drinking vodka and going to diners. 🙂

Today I was back to my New Rules of Lifting for Women workouts.  My lifting days last week were actually NROLW workouts but they were Stage 6 workouts which are short and not too difficult.  Stage 6 is an optional stage which focuses on working up to be able to do an unassisted chin-up.  Well I’m happy to say I can now do one unassisted chin-up!!! I will be telling the story (including pictures!) on how/when I figured out I could do this when I finally do an LA vacation re-cap post.  I promise this will be coming soon.

Because I can do an unassisted chin-up and right now I prefer to have really challenging workouts because hello summer is right around the corner, I’m skipping right to Stage 7.

That leads me to today’s workout.   Well I wanted a really hard workout and boy did I get it.  This was one of those workouts that I didn’t think would be that hard, but it was extremely tough.  Here’s how it went:

NROLW Stage 7 Workout 1

Barbell squat-3 sets 8, 1st set 95 pounds, 2nd and 3rd 115 pounds

Alternating sets (with 30 second rests between sets)

Static lunge, rear foot elevated- 4 sets 15, 30 pounds

Push-up-4 sets 20

Barbell Romanian deadlift-4 sets 20, 50 pounds

Dumbbell bent-over row-4 sets 15, 50 pounds

That’s it.  I thought I was going to do a bit of cardio afterward but I couldn’t.  I was so shaky and slightly nauseous that I called it quits.  30 seconds of rest in between sets was killer, I barely caught my breath again once it was time for the next exercise.  After doing the 4 exercises through I had to rest a good minute/minute and a half before I could start the sequence again.  Whew.

I realized, especially after doing this workout and Jillian Michael’s No More Trouble Zones DVD, that I have to start working again on my muscle endurance.  I guess my body has gotten used to lifting heavier but with less reps but is totally not used to doing higher rep work.  I’m OK with this since I LOVE heavy (for me) lifting but I don’t want to feel like a total wimp when I do a higher rep workout.  Hopefully by the time I finish this stage I will be able to finish the workout without feeling like I’m going to die.

Since I was feeling so shaky I had a couple of bites of an almond blueberry Zing bar on the car ride home.  I picked this up while I was in California and wish I bought more flavors to try.  I’d been wanting to try them and I can’t get them around here so was excited when I found a place in LA that carries them.  I have been looking for a bar similar to a Lara bar or Raw Revolution bar which I love,  being wheat free and made with natural ingredients, but with a bit more protein.  The almond blueberry flavor has 11 grams of protein, which isn’t as much as your typical protein bar, but still more than a Lara bar.  The bar had a very sweet almond biscotti flavor but I could not really taste any blueberry.  I would love to try the other flavors so I hope a store around here carries them soon.  I may have to make a request at the health-food store I go to.

I hope this post isn’t totally boring since it has no pictures, I really need to start getting better with that!  I desperately need a new camera AND a new computer, hopefully I will be able to get them soon.

Q’s:  Do you eat nutrition/protein bars and if so what are your favorites? I love the peanut butter & jelly Lara bars and chocolate hazelnut Raw Revolution bars but because they are high-calorie but low protein I don’t eat them as regularly as I’d like to.

Have you ever had such a hard workout that you got sick? Once a couple of years ago when I had a personal trainer at the end of the workout I threw up, but made it to the bathroom thank God!


Snow day!

Finally!  A storm that was not on a weekend!  I think it’s safe to say I’m snowed in.

snow day!

There’s only about 6 inches on the ground right now but it started to snow again and we could get up to another foot!  Luckily my job sent out an alert last night that we would be closed today so I could go to bed without wondering if I was going to have work or not.

I figure now is a good time to post about some of the food I’ve been eating lately.  I’m not good at daily food posting like a lot of bloggers are!  For breakfast today (and my newest fave breakfast) was quinoa flakes with half banana cooked in with ground flax seeds/quarter scoop vanilla protein powder/cinnamon/almond butter.  Yes almond butter instead of peanut butter.  I’m doing a little experiment this week and eliminating peanuts to see if they affect my sinus issues.  They were one of the foods that my food allergy testing showed I was mildy allergic too but my Dr. said you would just know if you had a nut allergy.  I figure I’ll try eliminating them just to make sure.  My first taste of almond butter the other day left me less than impressed but it’s growing on me-sorta like the quinoa flakes did!  That happens to me a lot so I try to give foods a shot even if I don’t LOVE it at first.  And oddly enough this taste kind of like cashews to me.

cashews are you hiding in there?

That this almond butter is sweetened with organic unrefined cane sugar but with 3g per 2 tablespoons is that so bad?  I don’t know if I will ever like un-sweetened nut butters but I’m not going to make myself crazy over it.

I just had some lunch and it was a Jennie-O Lean Savory Seasoned turkey burger and healthified creamed spinach.  The turkey burgers are a total lifesaver sometimes and what I consider a convenience food.  Sometimes I want/need some protein as part of a meal but don’t really feel like making something.  OK maybe this is more like a lot of the time. These turkey burgers are actually really good because they are already seasoned and I just eat them with a bit of ketchup, no bun required.  They’re also great to “cook” ahead of time and eat cold (which is what I did today) and because of this are good to bring to work for lunch.  With 160 calories, 0g carbs, and 18 grams of protein I think they are a great find.

find them in your grocer's freezer

Now onto the healthified creamed spinach.  For this I tweaked a recipe that someone posted on a fitness board and I’ve been eating it a lot lately because it’s so good yet so easy.

For this you will need:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      about a 1/8 of an onion, chopped

1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic (the garlic is a good addition but I’ve also made it without and it’s still yummy)

2-3 cups frozen spinach

2 Laughing Cow Light cheese wedges


parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper to taste

First I saute the onion and garlic in some cooking spray while defrosting the spinach in the microwave.

onions and garlic, my favorite

Once the onions are translucent I add the thawed spinach, Laughing cow wedges, salt, pepper, parmesan cheese (I like at least a tablespoon) and a little bit of milk.

mixing everything up

I just add a little bit of milk at a time to make a creamy consistency, you do not need a lot.  Then just sort of chop up the Laughing cow to break it up into smaller pieces so it will melt and mix everything together.  Add more milk if it looks too dry.  It’s not actually going to look that creamy but don’t worry it will taste creamy.

the final product

This makes 2 side dish servings or one large serving.


I know that turkey burger doesn’t look too appetizing there but trust me it is!  That was half the spinach, but don’t be fooled, I then went back and ate the rest because I was still hungry.

must have been good!

Even my mother who is not a fan of a lot of the stuff I try out really likes this so give it a try!