Thursday, February 24, 2011

Viva WPPI!

I'm unwinding at the hotel for my last night in Vegas for the WPPI.

You all know I'm a photographer, and sometimes I actually do photographery things, like networking or Twittering compulsively, or going to conventions and stuff.  Well, WPPI was a first for me this year, and it was quite overwhelming.  Even extra overwhelming because the fiance came along.  And my two gay-maids from Denver, and my brother, and his girlfriend.  Oh, and one of the gay maid's parents.  Seriously, y'all - it was a busy freakin' week.

I did a mini quickie shoot on the strip, courtesy of Pierre Stephenson.  Here are a few of my favorites.

And now, my awesome crap iPhone photos! :)~

The awesome and amazing Cosmopolitan hotel lobby.  /dies.  All I want to do is a bridal shoot in there when the bubbles are on the pillars.  Amazing.

I'm ashamed to say, this is the only salad I ate the whole trip.  /badjenn.  I'm ready to get back to business when I get home, that's for sure.

Instead I ate fried crap like this!  Fish and chips.  Delicious.

Really yummy coleslaw in a light vinegar and mustard seed dressing.

Leftover fish and chips - I ate this right out of a baggie because I'm cheap, and food is expensive in Vegas.

This is how I approach a buffet.  Small portions, healthy choices.  Sushi, caprese salad, sweet potatoes, spinach, beef, cauliflower.  YUM.  (Yes, I also had a brownie.)

I'm splurging and getting gelatto tomorrow.  I took this photo today and I can't stop thinking about it.  SO beautiful.  

I love Caesar's palace.

With my brother and his girlfriend Lisa.  (Sorry ladies!)

Sushi with my friend Miranda!  YUM.

MGM bar playing "I Spy" with Dan, Miranda & Adam!

Very sad when Dan left. :(  He got on the shuttle, I went back to the room and cried like a baby for a few minutes.  I'm an idiot.

Reuben sandwich, amazing fries.  

Chicken pot pie and a creamy dreamy amazing macaroni and cheese.  Seriously, get the mac n cheese at Henry's at the Cosmopolitan.  Amazing.

Oh, snap.  I did eat another salad.  Pear & Endive with candied walnuts and goat cheese.  DELICIOUS.

Huge, juicy crab cake.  

Eggs benedict florentine.  Mon Ami Gabi, our favorite restaurant in Vegas.

Greatest cider on EARTH.

Bloody Mary marinated, beer-battered onion rings at Nine Fine Irishmen.  YUM.

More fish n chips.

My crazy brother!

Every time Dan puts in one dollar to the huge slots, he wins five.  Every. Time.

A picture with Hello Kitty for my mother. She's obsessed.

Some gorgeous sculptures by Richard MacDonald - inspired by Cirque Du Soleil.  The one on the right is my favorite - it reminds me of The Cell.

That's all, folks!


Monday, February 14, 2011

One Month & Two Days.

Today marks one month and two days since I quit smoking.  You will not see any more of this:

I realized the amount I was worrying about the foods I was putting into my body was very silly while still putting poison into my body via cigarettes.  I realized I would be healthier gaining weight back and quitting smoking, than being thinner and smoking.  I realized I love myself, my fiance', my friends and my family too much to continue to kill myself slowly.  So, I made the decision.

I threw the cigarettes I had left in the garbage.  I found one about a week later in the car, and I snapped it in half, and threw it away.

I quit cold turkey.  No patch, no gum, just stopped.

You can do this too.  It just has to be your own decision, and click inside your head.  You have to know it for yourself.  You have to say silently in your own mind, "I'm done."  It's all downhill from there, because even though you'll want one after a meal or occasionally when you drive... you'll remember why you're doing it.

If you quit right now:

In 20 minutes:
Your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
In 12 hours:
The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
In 2 weeks to 3 months:
Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.
In 1 to 9 months:
Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia (tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs) start to regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.
In 1 year:
The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a continuing smoker's.
In 5 years:
Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder are cut in half. Cervical cancer risk falls to that of a non-smoker. Stroke risk can fall to that of a non-smoker after 2-5 years.
In 10 years:
The risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a person who is still smoking. The risk of cancer of the larynx and pancreas decreases.
In 15 years:
The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker's.
These are just a few of the benefits of quitting smoking for good. Quitting smoking lowers the risk of diabetes, lets blood vessels work better, and helps the heart and lungs. Quitting while you are younger will reduce your health risks more, but quitting at any age can give back years of life that would be lost by continuing to smoke.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Professional Measurements

I went and got myself professionally measured for my wedding dress today.  I really much prefer my naked morning measurements.

Bust - 38.5"
Waist - 31"
Hips - 42"
Arm Girth - 12.5"

Really?  They had to use the word "girth"?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

How do I Stave off the Hunger?

I've been noticing a creeping need to snack more at night.  It was to the point a few days ago that I ate somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 cups of grapes AND a pear after I'd eaten dinner.  I was totally entitled.  I had calories left to eat for the day, it was a healthy snack, and I figured it was a fine choice.  That is... until I was so uncomfortable that I felt like I might throw up.  I was laying in bed playing some games on my iPhone to try to distract myself from the awful feeling, but I couldn't even focus on what I was doing.  I just curled up in a ball in total pain.  I didn't throw up, and I'm shocked that I didn't.

The next day I came to the same point in the evening and wanted to eat fruit all night.  I felt snacky, I didn't even feel hungry.  I ate a cup of blueberries and put them away.  Then, I just sat on the couch and asked myself what the frack was going on.  I knew I wasn't hungry.  I knew that if I continued fruit binging that I'd end up precisely where I was the other night.  So, I then drank a few glasses of water, and  I ate an orange an hour later.  It was a step in the right direction.

I also have been hearing from some friends in the weight loss bloggosphere about the struggle of hunger.  I thought I'd do a quickie post about what to do when you're feeling hungry all of a sudden, how to manage those feelings and help truly feed your body so it feels balanced and satisfied.

1.  Eat your freakin' breakfast.  

I know, you are going to say, "I don't LIKE breakfast," or "I'm too busy for breakfast," but it doesn't matter.  Especially if you're working out in the morning.  Why on earth would you try to drive your car with no gas in it?  Well, that's what you're doing.  You're running on fumes first thing in the morning.

So, pack in a healthy breakfast that is full of protein and fiber.  Best bet?  Oatmeal with berries.  Do a really simple and easy weight control oatmeal packet (7g protein, 6g fiber) that you can do up in the microwave while you get dressed.  Throw it into a thermos with 1/2 cup of raspberries, and you've got an extra 4 grams of fiber, and you can down it on your way to the gym.

If you're not active in the morning, it doesn't have to be so intense.  A light yogurt and some fruit would be just fine.  Or even just some fruit.  But, I'm telling you - there's absolutely no way you should work out on an empty stomach.  You will pay for it later.

This is just a simple bowl of oatmeal with sliced 1/2 banana, some ground flaxseed and a tablespoon of almond butter.  It clocks in right around ~320 calories if prepared with water.

2.  If you feel hungry, drink water.  You're probably dehydrated.  

Well, it's true.  Your body will mistake dehydration for hunger.  Take your body weight, divide it in half.  That's the bare minimum number of ounces of water you should be drinking each day.  For me, that means I need to be drinking 80oz of water a day.  That means TEN 8 ounce glasses.  The good news?  Lots of things count.  Water.  Water with lemon or lime.  Crystal light.  Tea.  And yes, coffee.  (They say coffee can be dehydrating, but seriously?  It's water through a filter thing.  It counts.)  Lots of die-harders will tell you that you should be drinking your water pure and clear first, then drinking other stuff, but for me that's just not realistic.  I think the primary concern for anyone who isn't taking in the right amount of water is to get the numbers up.  Then, work on the quality. ;)

Please note:  If you're working out, you should be drinking more water than a person who isn't active.  You need to replenish your body with water that you've been sweating out.  Drink water, water, water.

3.  Did I mention FIBER?  Do up the soluble-ness.

Soluble fiber expands in you and makes you feel full.  It's also key to good bowlie health, so do it up.  I am a fiber freak.  This means, pack in the oats, broccoli, whole wheat bread, carrots.

Fiber tip:  A really simple way to get tons of fiber in your diet is to chop up that stuff and put it in your salads. Plus, all the color and texture variety will make your salad way more interesting to eat.  It takes two seconds to add 1 cup of broccoli to a salad.  Delish!

4.  Don't be afraid of fat.

Yes, we should avoid the nasty saturated fat monster.  But eating healthy fats is not only good for your hair, skin and nails, but it's also been proven to keep you feeling full longer.  Fat makes you feel satisfied.  So, if you feel during the afternoon like a ravenous beast and you want nothing more than to attack your local deli... try 1/2 an avocado, 4oz of salmon,or 1oz of cashews.  Natural, healthy fats are the way to go.  You'll feel satisfied and you'll be getting those really good fats in your body.

Salmon with cucumber salsa and some baked baby potatoes.

5.  Protein is King.

Don't overdo it, but aim for protein making up 30% of your daily nutrients.  (I'm working on this one myself.)  Folks with this percentage of protein intake have been shown to eat an average of over 400 calories less in a day.  It satiates and lasts (along with fiber) the way carbs just will not.  Your body burns through carbohydrates in about two hours, so give it something else to hold on to, like almond butter on your whole wheat bread, or lean turkey with your grapes.

Protein tip:  Of all meats, chicken (skinless, grilled) holds the biggest protein punch for the least calories!

6.  Spread it out.

Your body burns through food.  That's what your fuel source is.  So, if you're having huge gaps during the day where you're not eating anything, you're setting yourself up to want to overeat at night.  Keep easy snacks with you if you're on the go all the time.  Keep nuts in your car.  Pack a little cooler lunch box with you for the whole day if you're gonna be gone for most of it.  And don't just do a sissy little string cheese, but make sure to get real snacks in there.  Pre-make a wrap with tons of sprouts and lettuce, hummus and a little grilled turkey.  Cut it in half:  two days worth of awesome snackage.  Or do almond butter and whole wheat bread, or pita chips with hummus.  Make sure you're maximizing your fuel input.  And every time you feel hungry, DRINK WATER.  :)  Don't let more than 3-4 hours go without eating a little something.

When you're doing soup, be sure it's light and preferably, lower sodium.  The Progresso Light soups are between 60-80 calories per serving.  Nice and easy, 'cause one bowl is one serving!  Soup also helps fill you up.  Be sure to make your sandwiches with whole wheat bread, and pack on the spinach for the maximum nutritional boost.  Use mustard instead of mayo to save unwanted calories and unhealthy fats.

Hopefully these tippy doo dads help you guys out.  <3


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Delicious Eggy Breakfast and Snowmageddon 2011!

Greetings from Snowpocalypse 2011!  We were pummeled in the midwest here (I'm in Milwaukee,) and so Dan and I are sitting at home, hanging out and being uber lazy.  It's fabulous.

First, don't forget about my $50 gift card giveaway!  Click here for that info.  It's super easy to enter to win.

Secondly, here are some photos from our house ('cause I haven't gone outside yet and don't really plan to...) of the awesome snow.

This was in the middle of the night, Dan just felt like going out there.  I decided to take a few photos of him in the snow through the window.  Crazy guy! :)

Today after some people had shoveled out a little bit: 

And thirdly, I thought I'd share a quick, yummy, 375 calorie meal with you guys.  This is my favorite power breakfast - packed full of protein and veggies!

I first sautee' broccoli, red bell pepper and mushrooms in a non-stick skillet with some spray.  Once it's starting to get somewhat tender, I throw in a handful of spinach and wilt it by putting a cover on the pan for about a minute.

After that, I throw in three eggs, and scramble it all up!

Served up with some chopped up tomato and a 1/4 cup of fat free cottage cheese.  Absolutely delicious!

This has a crapload of nutrients and it's just great for you.  I like using the cottage cheese instead of shredded cheese or sour cream - it's packed with protein and adds a creaminess without the extra fat.  :)~