Friday, January 28, 2011

Apothica Giveaway!

I am proud to pass along a fabulous giveaway to you guys.  I have been thinking lately about how I do NOT take enough time to take care of myself the way I should.  Not just with being active and eating right, but ... all the other ways.  Like, skin care and making sure my dry skin in this winter time stays nice and hydrated.  Like giving myself pedicures, or doing a hair mask.  Lighting some great aromatherapy candles while I read up on the latest diet.  Replenishing my OLD makeup stash so I'm not using expired products.

So, I want to focus on that, and help you to do so as well.  So, right now, you can...

Win a $50 gift card to!

They have a ridiculously awesome bunch of great stuff to buy.  One of my very favorites is the Pre de Provence Lavender Soap.  Handmade, natural soaps are my favorites, and Lavender is a naturally calming and relaxing scent.  If you're stressed, take a hot shower with this soap and I guarantee after a few deep breaths you're going to feel better and sleep hard.  You can check out all the Pre de Provence soaps here.  They even have gift boxes with all kinds of soaps, which I actually get for myself because I can't pick.  They have green tea soap, pomegranate, mint leaf, I mean, come on!  Oh, and hand creams.  Okay, I need to go buy some more of this stuff.  /delicious.

Don't worry, they don't JUST have soap, so if you're all stocked up, there's plenty more for you to check out.  They feature bath products, yes, but also candles, fragrances, skin care like Bumble & Bumble hair products, the swanky Jurlique brand (all natural ingredients), makeup including the anti-aging brand Shiseido Cosmetics, Smashbox Cosmetics, hair goodies and stuff for the guys, too.  (Oh yeah, male bloggers, you can enter.  It's not just chick stuff.)

The contest will end on Friday, February 11th, 2011.

As usual, there are LOTS of ways to win!  Remember, you have to comment here to let me know the steps you did, or I won't know. :)  Please do separate comments for each method you use.  Thanks!!

Option 1: Facebook
1. Visit
2. Write on Apothica’s Facebook wall about what you think of Apothica
Bonus Entry: Opt in to Apothica’s Newsletter

Option 2: Twitter
1. Visit
2. Tweet about Apothica on your own Twitter Account
Bonus Entry: Retweet Apothica’s tweet about this giveaway

Option 3: Blog
1. Visit
2. Write something on your blog about what you think of Apothica
Bonus Entry: Write about the brand I highlighted and link it to Apothica

Have fun, and good luck!!


*What you need to know if you enter:

1) Apothica will contact the winner to verify information is correct
2) After verification, Apothica will email the a code for the gift card to be used at,, and
3) The contest is open internationally, but Apothica does not ship to all countries.
Also, please save SkinCareRx as a contact in your email.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Groceries & What's in my Fridge!

I have to admit, my take at the grocery store today looked freakin' amazing.  

I feel SO good about myself when I'm in line, my stuff looks like this, and I look at other people's garbage in their carts.  ...Actually, I feel good about myself, but I feel really sad that people eat so much trash.  Why can't we all live in a happy world of fresh fruit and veggies?

SO!  Here's a little bit about my groceries, my fridge, what I eat.  It's not everything, but it's a lot of what I like, and like to have.

Our grocery store has these great little "100 calorie packs" of dried fruit / nuts.  And you guys?  They're TINY.  These are really tiny.  What you THINK is 100 calories, is probably twice that.  Weigh, measure, or buy pre-weighed.  Seriously.  <3

Blueberries 2/$5.  Love those sales.  Also some grapes.  Trying to re-kindle my love affair with fruit now that it's not off limits.  Also a beefsteak tomato for sandwiches.  ($2.18!)  Some raw green beans for snacking.  There's also fresh broccoli there for salads and snacks.  Oh~!  And we can't forget about the sweet potatoes (yams.)  These are delicious, and Dan will be stoked I got some.

 A lime to try to make the water drinking situation more interesting, and some bananas.  Light & Fit yogurt (vanilla all the way,) and a spaghetti squash.  YUM!  Got some yummy looking Rinaldi healthy spaghetti sauce.  It's 70 cal per 1/2 cup.  I'm going to share a little recipe later this week with it!

Red bell pepper (I probably pound through two or three of these in any given week.  I eat them in everything - tuna salad, salads, eggs, dipping in hummus.  YUM.)  Cherry tomatoes for salads, decaf coffee, a huge bag of oranges!  These will be dessert for the week. 

The Anti-Jared's post about Greek Yogurt has inspired me to try some.  Of course I didn't remember what kind he liked, and I ended up getting Chobani, which apparently he does NOT think is the greatest.  But, I'm excited to try it anyway.  I'm not brave enough to try the plain stuff yet, so I'm starting with vanilla. :)  Also, I got some light string cheese (@50 cal per, it's a great healthy snack.)  Also some Campbell's Select Harvest soups.  I love soup.  I know it's high in sodium, but I LOVE IT.  Especially because I live in Wisconsin and it's freakin' cold here in the winter.  I also found this great Ronzoni pasta, it's rainbow fettuccine, and I can't wait to make it.  I'll share that meal later with you guys, too.

Coffee creamer.  Green leaf lettuce, green grapes. 

I also have Lean Cuisine in my freezer for nights I don't feel like cooking.  I'm sort of embarrassed about this because I've been leaning toward more clean eating and these are nice and processed.  I hope to phase this type of eating out in favor of at least organic, preservative free alternatives.  But damn, I'm cheap, too.

Other stuff I always have.  Spinach.  A giant, huge, massive thing of it.  I live off of this stuff.  (The ridiculous muffins there and the creamy yoplait belong to Dan.  I don't eat that.)

Eggs.  White wine.  Obviously.

Goat cheese = my new love.  Fresh salsa = beats the crap out of Pace.  Hummus and grilled chicken ready to put into a salad.  These are staples, yo.

My crisper drawer.  Pre-cleaned, pre-sliced celery sticks for dipping into the aforementioned hummus or just snacking on.  Other veggies for chopping, etc.  What's underneath is some avocado and sliced mushrooms.  Also I usually have to have some asparagus, but occasionally I'll forget I have it and it'll go bad.  I need to keep it out of the crisper drawer to remember to eat it!

So aside from drinking the Diet Coke, Coffee and Crystal Light, I am really trying to up my protein intake.  So, I like to do 8th Continent Soymilk.  I drink the "Light Original."  It's only 50 calories for 8oz, and has 6g protein and 380mg potassium. Oh, and it's delicious.  It tastes WAY better than any other light soy milk I've ever tried.  Also love glasses that show the 8oz mark.  I'd be very likely to just pour a huge glass of whatever I'm drinking, but when I see that line, it reminds me where 1 serving actually is.  

Oh, and wanna see what we chowed down on for the Playoffs game?

GO PACKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Checking in, and GO PACK! Oh, and underwear pictures.

Hello all!

Well, today I weighed in.  I avoided the weighing in last (this past) week because my biatch Aunt Flo was coming to visit and I knew I wouldn't be happy.  So, even though she's still here, I weighed in a little early.  Also, because today is football I'm sure to eat some high sodium treats and I wanted my real number. ;)


Woo-hoo!  So from the 10th, that's a loss of 1.6 pounds.  Not as fabulous as I'd hoped, but good enough.

I'm feeling like I still have some pd. weight, most likely.  But, I'm trying not to get too hung up on that.  :)  I am slightly irritated because I had really good deficits and I still am not seeing the appropriate losses, but I know it's a slow and steady battle.

The other interesting thing is that the Bodybugg shows the numbers I recorded (which I feel I do a pretty good job,) - and then it'll adjust it after weighing in and show what my "actual" deficit probably was, based on my weigh in.  So, with the numbers it would appear I'm losing around 450 calories a day in my recording.  I don't really feel that is the case.  Really.  But, I'm willing to really take a look at myself and watch my process.

I posted this video about recording / guessing / measuring calories.  I am going to try to really focus on weighing everything.  

I'm also feeling kind of "buff", dare say it.  Compared to how I felt here when I weighed in at 160.4 pounds and did a side by side comparison of my body.  

I know I'm not super ripped, but holy crap I can see my arm muscles and shoulders more.  And my tummy is starting to shrink enough to sort of see the muscle forms underneath.  I'm looking forward to focusing on sculpting my body this year and / while losing the last 15-20 pounds.  :)~

Oh, and GO Packers!!!!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Yes, weigh.

Hey you!  The Blogger , Reader or Lurker who is struggling to lose weight.  You know, the one who really watches what they eat and can't figure out why the number on the scale isn't budging.  The one who just can't seem to break through the plateau.  I have something to share with you.

This video puts something huge into perspective for me.  Maybe it will for you, too.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Food, delicious food.

It's been so fantastic using the Bodybugg, and really getting a grasp on calories in, calories out.  Knowing my budget of calories, and realizing I can have certain kinds of foods I wasn't eating before.

Here's some of what I noshed on today!

I have found I much prefer spinach to any kind of greens (though if I do greens, it's the baby / spring greens mix you find in a similar box at the grocery store.)  I grab and pile on as much as I can on a huge dinner plate. Then, I cut it all up so it's in bite size pieces and it lays down much flatter on the plate. 

I love and live for red bell pepper.  I chopped 1/2 up and used 1/2 of that on my salad, saved the other 1/2 for another salad tomorrow, or maybe some eggs.  The other half of the pepper I sliced up later in the day.

I got some avocado (healthy fats = good!) - I really like to eat 1/2 a day or every other day if I can.  I just slice it up in my hand like you see, then squeeze the avocado half down over the salad.  All the pieces come out, and only a knife was dirtied (which I'm already using to chop other veggies.)  No need for a spoon!

I finished the salad off with some part-skim mozzarella cheese, cherry tomatoes and blueberries.  I used a creamy balsamic vinaigrette.  Delish!

Later in the day I really was feeling "munchie," so I measured out 2oz of tortilla chips and about 70 cal worth of salsa.  I would never have been able to eat this on a low carb diet, and it is one of my very favorite snacks!  Super high in sodium, but YUM.

I wanted a lighter alternative to bread, so I picked up some healthy whole wheat tortillas.  I cracked up when I saw the label.  On the top right, it says, "Perfect for the serious dieter."  Ha!

Oh, here are the veggies I sliced up that night.  Red pepper, cucumber and celery.  I was so full after I ate my wrap though, I couldn't get through more than 1/3 of this.

Here's the wrap.  Hummus spread on the tortilla with spinach leaves, a few slices of turkey breast, two slices of the cucumber and a red pepper slice.  Yum!

So here was my dinner.  I ate the whole wrap and some veggies with under 1/2 of the hummus in the tub.  (It's a small tub, that plate is a side plate.  The calorie count on the hummus I consumed was around 150 cal.

These pictures only cover lunch, snack and dinner.  I also had a small amount of leftovers from dinner a few nights ago (about 1oz salmon, 1/3 cup mashed potatoes and 1 asparagus spear,) as well as coffee in the morning with 2% milk (I was out of soy) and a Nature's Valley granola bar.  That's my typical breakfast any given day, unless I switch to cereal (usually a raisin bran or something similar) with soy milk.  

Overall, here's my take for the day:

Well, just wanted to give you guys a peek inside my chow for the day.  I'll be back soon with weigh in and other updates. :)~


Friday, January 14, 2011

Checking in: Bodybugg results,Walking, and a Weigh-in Prediction.

Holy crap balls.  I've been exercising.

Well, SORT of.  I've been walking.  And it's not quite an epidemic yet, but I've managed to do it twice so far this week.  Yeah, it's a big deal.  I hate being active if it doesn't involve a camera in my hands and money in my pockets.

So... here's a little updateroonie!

I realized, first of all, that I forgot to report how shooting a wedding shows up on my Bodybugg.  It's a pretty physical demand, so I was stoked to find out what it registered.  Here's Saturday's numbers.  Hell Yeah!  (Oh, and you can see the beautiful Jewish, gorgeous wedding here.)

So, in terms of the walking phenomenon... here's the deal on that.  Tuesday I forgot to use my Runkeeper App, so I used the G Maps Pedometer after I got home.  Walked 1.12 miles.  I think walking in the evening has been working better from me because I'm such a night person.  So, Tuesday - with a fairly normal activity day and walking just over a mile, I only barely broke through the halfway point of my 10,000 steps a day goal.  I'm realizing that 10,000 steps is a crap load of walking!  Aside from not meeting my steps goal, I did really well this day overall.  The giant spike you see between 1pm and 3pm are because I had a photo shoot from 2-3.  (You can see the maternity pictures here!)  :)

Wednesday I didn't walk, and my caloric deficit was only 438.  Yesterday, I went a little bonkers and decided to do a longer walk.  I live pretty close to the Milwaukee State Fair grounds, so I figured I'd walk around the whole state fair and it'd be around 2 miles.  Well, the way to walk the closest to the grounds is pretty scary looking at night, so I opted for the safer route a little tiny bit out of the way so I could stay on sidewalks and through the parking lot.  The total walk from my house to my house ended up at 3.05 miles.  I got home all schweaty.  I haven't sweat from physical activity other than photography in a long time.  Geez, Oh Pete's, I'm lazy.

A post-workout photo a la Bitch Cakes and Jewlia Goulia.  (Though not nearly as sexy or awesome as theirs are - I just wanted to show you all my Grossie sweat marks.)

So!  Here's my walk information:

Just completed a 3.05 mi walk with RunKeeper - Cold!!

Distance 3.05 mi | Duration 0:52:34 | Calories Burned 283
Average Pace 17:14 / mi | Average Speed 3.48 mph | Elevation Climb 94 ft

And here's my overall info for the day.  So even with walking 3 miles, making a trip to the grocery store, and going to the studio for a meeting with a client (parking across the street from the studio and walking up and down 4 flights of stairs,) I burned almost 400 calories less than I did on a day with a 1-hour photo shoot and only walking 1 mile that night.  So, apparently I should be busting my ass to book more work, not only because it's good for my finances, but it's good for my waistline, too.

SO!  At this point, Bodybugg is telling me that on average from this Monday through Thursday, I'm burning 2358 (target 2030) calories per day, consuming on average 1455 (target 1300) calories per day, and mantaining an average deficit of 903 (target 750) calories per day.  My daily average number of steps so far this week is 5589.  I need to step up my game.  Literally.  

If I keep up the pace, I should end up with a deficit for the week of 6321 (ish... obviously just a guesstimate,) which should equate to a loss of roughly 1.8lbs.  If that's the case, I should weigh in on Monday at 161.6.  So, here's hoping! :D

I have a photo shoot tomorrow, and it'll probably last around 2 hours or so.  That should get my blood moving.  I'll share pictures and update y'all soon! :)


Monday, January 10, 2011

Monday Weigh-In Results + Bodybugg Review

Hello lovelies!

Well, since I started using my Bodybugg on a Monday, that's when my weigh in is now.  That's pretty good, too - I feel like Mondays are good weigh in days.

SO, here we go.

-1.6 lbs!

So, apparently for the first week - this Bodybugg thing has put me on the right track.  Pretty sweet, too because I had a sandwich with actual bread on it at the wedding.  I ate a Lean Cuisine mini pizza with spinach and mushroom.  I had a Pho the size of a car tire.  If it can truly go this way -1.5~ pounds for the next however long it takes, that'd be pretty damn sweet.

Here's the update on my progress and my goal:

Now, for a little Bodybugg review based on my first week of use.

1.  It really helps show how many calories I'm actually burning.  Amazing and helpful.
2.  It acts as a pedometer, which is sweet.  Brings to light how much I need to walk.
3.  The food logging program is pretty good - it's similar to a Livestrong or Sparkpeople database, so I rarely have to enter custom foods.  If I need to, it's easy.  It also remembers things I usually eat for various meals, so since I'm a creature of habit, it's easier every day.

1.  The Bodybugg website is a pain in the ass.  It isn't compatible with Google Chrome, and you can only use it with Internet Explorer or Firefox.  This means it takes me 10293809284012 years to track stuff.
2.  The website likes to time you out.  Like, super quickly.  So I'm signing back in three or four times over the course of tracking my food for a day.  It takes a long time with that + the website only working with a slower browser.
3.  The Bodybugg resets every day at midnight.  So, for those of us up late like I am, through 1:30-3:30 am, or something like that... any of the calories I burn, or food I consume go on to the next day's count.  Now, it all evens out in the long run because it happens every single day.  However, it's really annoying.

Ultimately it's a phenomenal piece of equipment, but I still think they're kind of stuck behind the times in terms of where they should really be.  I am super happy I have it, and the cons aren't reasons to NOT buy it.  But, I do think they're things that can be easily fixed by the Bodybugg people.

Also right now, I would list as a "Con," when I go to download the app for it on the iPhone, it tells me I need iPhone 4 technology.  So, what the EFF?  The website says it's compatible with all the iPhones, but I can't download the app.  

There's information on synching it with your smartphone on the website, so I'm going to try that this week.  I'll keep you guys posted on how that goes.  :)


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Bodybugg! Bodybugg! Oh, holycrap.

So!  I had mentioned to you guys before that I got a Bodybugg for Xmas.  Pretty sweet.  Well, I knew Jewlia Goulia had one and she's always wearing it and I knew I was jealous and wanted one, but I didn't exactly know why.  Turns out... it's a pretty amazing tool.


It's pretty amazing how it's already starting to reshape my relationship with food.  I can now see precisely how many calories I actually burn every day.  I mean, I don't have to go online and find a calculator that will estimate how many calories someone my age and weight might probably maybe will burn on an average day if just sitting around (BMR = Base Metabolic Rate).  And I then don't have to look up how many calories someone my age and weight might probably maybe will burn doing various activities (ie: walking, dishes, laundry, sex, photographing a 9 hour wedding) and THEN try to add that all together, and THEN try to figure out my food calories and subtract it.

/phew.  I'm exhausted just typing that out.  The point is, I now know precisely what my body is burning.  Therefore, I know precisely how much I can eat.  It puts out little charts about my nutrition (basic ones, but charts nonetheless,) and I even get a breakdown of how many calories I was burning per minute through the day.  Wow.

I'll give you guys some screen shots of what the program looks like.  This is my info from yesterday:

A screenshot of the nutrition breakdown.  I don't like that they don't track the sugar in things, but aside from that it's pretty good.  My fat content is soooo high because I'm used to the low carb diet (high protein, high fat, low carb.)  I drink coffee with creamer, I eat higher fat content salad dressings (ie: ranch to dip veggies in, creamy balsamic or poppyseed, and I eat a lot of nuts.  I'll usually eat about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of mixed nuts a day.  Plus, I dig avocado.  It's got to be why my hair grows so quickly.)  ;)

Also, usually my carbs wouldn't be THIS high, but I ate a crapload of noodles yesterday and I also had a granola bar. :)  Sodium is normally lower too.

And here is the step counter thing.  I'm pretty sure if I hit the 10,000 steps, I'd be wayyyyy over the 2050 calorie burn.  Even more than I already am.  Maybe that's the idea! :)~

SO.  Did I mention that I had a ginormous bowl of Pho yesterday, noodles and all?  It's so awesome.  Yes, high in sodium, but totally worth it, and totally better for me than most other Chinese / etc options.  (Yes, I know Pho is Vietnamese, thankyouverymuch.)  (Photo of Pho below if you don't know what it is.  It's a broth / rice noodle soup with onion - I get it with beef and flank, and then they bring a little plate with fresh herbs, sliced jalapenos, lime and bean sprouts.  It's amazing.

So.  I'm very interested to see where the bodybugg adventures will lead me.  It currently is telling me I need a 750 calorie deficit per day to lose 1.5 pounds per week and hit 153 pounds by February 27th.  I'm starting the process at 165 lbs.  So!  I will keep you guys posted on my progress.  Yes, I'm also keeping track of my measurements.  :)

SO!  I have a few pictures to share with you all:

The huge salad I made for Xmas dinner.  It was AMZBLS.  
Recipe:  Spinach, sliced pear, craisins, fresh pomegranate seeds.  
On the side:  Walnuts and goat cheese.  
Dressing:  Champagne vinaigrette.  
Result:  AWESOME.

Yeah.  Then I came home and ate loads of garbage, including this peppermint ice cream some of you were witness to to the downfall on Facebook.  (What, you're not on my Facebook?  Like me promptly here.  Oh, you can add me as a friend, too.  While you're at it, Like my Photography biz, JBe Photography, too.)

Then, I decided on my last fabulous meal, and Dan and I went to get the "Love Boat" of sushi.  Truly, that's what they call it.  It's awesome, and expensive, but totally worth it.

 Also thought I'd share a few pics of us from New Years!  

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Gluten Free?

So!  How many of you guys are Gluten Free?  I always wondered if that was primarily a dietary need based on allergies, or if there are some health benefits to being gluten free.

Anyhoo!  I was contacted by Bakery on Main, and they graciously sent me some fabulous goodies to try out.  I have to say, I was pretty damn impressed!

Please forgive the super uber crappy iPhone picture.  :D

So!  I got some really delicious granola (excellent on yogurt or ice cream) and the granola bars were chewy and yummy.  I'm not a big fan of granola bars if they're super crunchy, so it was really a nice surprise that these were chewy ones.  Overall - I'm not super familiar with gluten free food, but even as someone without that particular dietary requirement, their stuff is quite enjoyable!  Dan even enjoyed the bars as well!

You can check out their website here. :)

In other news - I'm awaiting a phone call from my Bodybugg coach.  I got the new Bodybugg for Christmas from my parents, and I got it all set up.  Now, just a matter of learning how to use it and being diligent about entering / tracking all my calories.  

I'm a little (read: lot) nervous about the eating plan they made for me - it's around 45% carbohydrates, which is way more than I consume.  I have a feeling I'm still going to try to cull back the amount of carbs I'm taking in, and focusing on veggies, greens and lean meats.  I'll keep you guys posted with my experience, and hopefully it helps me get closer to my goal weight.  

Right now it's giving a basis of food intake / calories based solely on my current weight and my activity level.  I will be curious to see what it says once I plug in the Bodybugg after I've been wearing it for a few hours - if it'll adjust it based on my BMR or not.  I'll let you guys know! 


Saturday, January 1, 2011


Welp, as usual it seems I'm crap at updating / posting.  And though I'm not too keen on New Years Resolutions... perhaps blogging more should be on that list.  I have lots of open time for the next few months, so I should truly have no excuse.

I'm eating Chinese food right now.  Delicious.  I have been openly eating carbs since Christmas, and I'll be starting back on my regular regime of low carb / high veg / high protein on Monday.  :)  I've gained back up to around 163 pounds (actually that's a bit back down with getting rid of some water weight).  I really feel like I'm going to have to start incorporating some physical activity into my lifestyle to drop more weight.  I really would like to have a house.  I swear to myself if I had a treadmill or a trampoline IN my house, I'd do it a lot more.  (Isn't that a great excuse?  I think so.)

So!  How were all of your holidays?  I went to Denver for two weeks to visit with friends and family.  It was a lovely trip, but I missed Dan terribly.  Coming home was fantastic!  And last night I went out to Mo's Irish Pub here to watch the ball drop and see my brother in law's band play.  It was great!  And right now I'm just catching up on all your lovely blogs and trying to gear myself up for the week. :)

Aside from the travel, I shot a few weddings and have been doing a few things with the business (new website, setting up a workshop, etc) - so things keep me good and busy.  Oh!  And wedding planning, too! :)

Click here for Tony and Dania's wedding photos.

Click here for Mary and Jason's reception photos:

Keep an eye out on the blog here for a $50 gift card giveaway for your beauty needs in a few days.  ;)