2015 Fitness Goals

Who says New Years resolutions are for January 1st? They totally still count the first week of February, right? 😛

One thing I have always done a pretty good job of on this blog is setting goals and keeping myself accountable for them. In 2014, I started the year off by giving myself a budget, which was a good way for me to change my spending habits while I was working at my internship. The year before, I made goals to run a 5k and run 25 miles in a month at least once during 2013. I actually ended up running two 10k’s and was registered for my first half marathon by the end of the year.

It’s nice to be able to look back and track progress on your goals…and it’s even nicer to be able to say you beat your goals. 😉

For the past month, I have thought good and hard about my fitness goals for the year…and I have decided I don’t want to be over ambitious, or over specific. I’m keeping it to 2 goals that I think are challenging, achievable, and measurable: Continue reading

Healthy Grocery Shopping on a Budget

New Years Resolutions…Such a divisive topic. Around the first of the year in 2013, I set myself a few Fitness Goals for the year and checked in occasionally (see my last check-in in September here) to see how I was doing. Having a blog and stating my “resolutions” publicly for the internet to see definitely made me more likely to hold myself accountable.

If you read my About Me, you’ll see that I call myself a 20-something on a budget. When I wrote that, I basically figured that since I didn’t make much money, and didn’t spend a ton each month, I considered myself to be living “on a budget”.

Welp, it may not have been before, but that’s about to become literal, folks.

Next week, I start a paid internship, and although it is exactly the job duties and experience that I’m looking for, it pays a little less than I’m used to making. 1/3 less, to be exact…and teetering close to California’s minimum wage. So instead of fitness goals, I’m resolving to establish a monthly budget for myself – and actually follow it!

Because I don’t own a car, I don’t have to worry about a lot of the costs associated with a vehicle, like gas/insurance/parking/repairs. Our rent is on the pricey side for Midtown Sacramento, but my roommate and I are pretty frugal when it comes to utilities and internet bills.

The budget about which I am going to have to be more wise from here on out is my food budget. (OK, and no more shopping sprees on my Macy’s Credit Card…)

I constantly hear that eating healthy is not only more time consuming, but also more expensive than just relying on fast food or pre-packaged/processed meals. I’m here to prove that while the first half might be true, it is absolutely doable to eat healthy on a budget! Here is the monthly food budget that I’ve established for myself:

foodbudgetMy average monthly food spending in 2013 (including groceries, bars, and restaurants) was about $425, with almost 1/4 of that being spent in bars each month. (Thanks, dodgeball)

I’m hoping to spend $15/week at the Farmer’s Market and $15/week at the grocery store. I rarely spend more than $20 at the Farmer’s Market, and the only times I’ve gotten close were when I’ve bought flowers (#TreatYoSelf!). If I do most of my shopping at Grocery Outlet and use coupons at Safeway, that will be plenty. An extra bit of miscellaneous spending money in case I run out of anything during the week or want to treat myself to a bottle of wine or nail polish from CVS will provide a safety net. (again…#TreatYoSelf)

Going out is another area where I can save a lot of money. I will be limiting myself to $10/week at the dodgeball bar (which is actually almost 3 drinks + tip!) that I frequent twice a week, and $10/week to spend on other evening activities, such as other bars, movies, ice skating, etc.

Finally, I am limiting myself to $20/week in eating out expenses. This is actually a generous allowance, since I don’t eat out often.

You’ll notice there’s not a lot of extra money allowed for alcohol. That was no accident…I’m just trying to follow through on improving my lifestyle for maximum Half Marathon success!

Now…for this week’s groceries.

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Before I go into what I bought, let me tell you what I already had in my fridge & pantry. I was pretty low on perishable goods, since we were gone to Oregon for 4 days.

ALREADY HAD:

1/2 bunch kale
1/2 head broccoli
tub of farmer’s market salsa
pasta
onions
quinoa
old fashioned oats
candy/chocolate/etc leftover from christmas
half a dozen protein bars
chocolate peanut butter spread
crackers
a few wedges of Laughing Cow cream cheese
frozen tilapia filets
frozen fruit
most other pantry staples (garlic, ginger, oil, vinegar, butter, etc)

Here’s what I bought:

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How epic is that 2 lb bucket of hummus for just $2.58?! Thank youuuu Grocery Outlet! Unfortunately it expired yesterday, lol, so I’ve gotta eat it fast!

Since I have enough bread and beans to last me for a couple of weeks, next week I’ll probably stock up on tortillas and almond milk instead. It’s all about divvying up the staples between grocery trips!

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And to finish, here are some ideas of meals I will be eating with these groceries and what I already had:

Breakfast

Toast with hummus or Laughing Cow wedges or chocolate PB
Eggs and cheese (with or without toast)
Breakfast nachos
Oatmeal with frozen fruit
Toast with eggs

Lunch

Stir fry (brussels sprouts, kale, cauliflower) and toast
Salsa, eggs & stir fry veggies
Grilled cheese sandwich

Snacks

Protein shakes with frozen fruit
Chips and salsa
Hummus and chips/crackers
Cheese and crackers

Dinner

Tilapia with sauteed greens
Cauliflower soup
Black bean soup
Moar stir fry (it’s my fave)
Roasted acorn squash stew

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Now if I could just tackle the whole “it takes too long to cook and eat healthy” part… Looks like I am going to get back into the Sunday Food Prep routine come next week!

Would you be able to live on $30/week for groceries? (Assuming you’d only be shopping for yourself)

I already asked this yesterday, but how do you keep track of your budget? I downloaded Pocket Expense to use for now, but have heard good things about Mint as well.

Fitness Friday – New Years Resolution Check In!

Hey all! First of all, thank you so much for all your lovely comments on my Treat Yourself birthday post. It’s reassuring to hear that so many of you are going through the same quarter life crisis ~struggle~…we’re all in this together, right?

Today I’m here to check in on some of my Fitness Goals for the year. They were pretty much my version of New Years Resolutions this year…I haven’t checked in on my progress since March, but I am actually pretty happy with how much I’ve accomplished exactly 6 months later!

Fitness Goals
  • Run a 5K race
  • Start weight training again (and eat more protein!)
  • Be able to do a 2 minute plank and 2 minute leg lifts
  • Run 25 miles in a month (several times if possible)

Let’s see how I’m doing….

  • Run a 5K race

I’ll see your 5K race…and raise you a 10K!

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Earlier this month, I ran the Run to Remember 10K in 1:02:27. I’ve been consistently keeping up with my long distance runs on the weekends, running 4-5 miles every week since! I also ran a 5K in March in 28:54. Fun fact: I ran 5K for speed on Wednesday and accomplished a new PR- I improved my time to 27:11! That’s faster than 9 minutes per mile! I’m looking forward to running more 5Ks and 10Ks to improve my speed.

  • Start weight training again (and eat more protein!)

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My gym FINALLY reopened on Monday! They moved all the equipment into a much larger and more spacious suite in the building.

I was actually pretty consistently doing upper body and ab/core workouts from Women’s Health and GPP Fitness before I broke my thumb in July. I obviously then had to take a break from lifting…but I have gotten back into it since I got my cast off a month ago! I’m still pretty frustrated at how little I can lift (5 pound dumbbells are too light, but 10 pounds too heavy), but I am trying!

baby musclesMy muscles really aren’t that big…. I feel like there’s some shadows helping me out here haha.

As for protein…this is always an area I could improve in, since I don’t buy chicken and turkey too often. I have started incorporating a lot more cheese into my diet for calcium’s sake, so I’m hoping that’s helping with the protein too!

  • Be able to do a 2 minute plank and 2 minute leg lifts

I don’t do leg lifts anymore, haha…But I have gotten pretty close to a 2 minute plank. I think my longest is about 1:45! I’ll get there!

My new favorite ab exercise is definitely V-ups. I can tell my form is improving every time I do them, and I love that they get your lower abs too! I try to incorporate planks and V-ups into every workout, including runs.

  • Run 25 miles in a month (several times if possible)

FINALLY accomplished!!! I ran 24.75 miles in August.. SO close! But I wanted to accomplish this goal for real!

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Hard to see, but I’ve run 32.19 miles so far this month.

With at least 1 more run on the horizon, I seriously knocked this goal out of the park this month. I’ve ran more in September than any other month since 2011. The crazy thing is, I accomplished it even though I usually only run twice per week! There have been a couple of months where I exceeded 25 miles, but I was also running 3x per week.

fitbit

Next month, I’ll also be able to track how many miles I’ve traveled- I got a Fitbit Zip for my birthday! (Thanks Mom and Dad!) Side note…me from 3 years ago would totally look at this picture in disgust that my booty has disappeared. #thanksalotRUNNING

So all in all, I am very happy with my progress this year! Can’t wait to see what the next 3 months hold…Time to start thinking about new goals I’ll make for myself next year!

Do you make New Years Resolutions, or do you have any fitness goals at the moment?

How do you get your protein?

Do you have a pedometer? How many steps per day do you average? My highest so far is 10,010 steps! Hard to get very many when you work an office job…

Cooking Bucket List + Fitness Goals for 2013

Generally, I don’t make New Years resolutions. I like to set goals for myself throughout the year, and I’d like to think this blog keeps me pretty accountable for those goals.

This year, I’m in the midst of participating in Elf for Health, which has set daily challenges for the holiday season. I admit I haven’t been participating 100%, but today’s challenge is to Set a New Fitness Goal.

Well Elf for Health, I’m going to one-up you. I have a couple of fitness goals, but something I’ve also wanted to do for a long time is make a Cooking Bucket List. Inspired by Emily’s Food Bucket List, I made a list of things I’ve always wanted to cook from scratch. She and I even have a few in common 🙂

Fitness Goals
  • Run a 5K race
  • Start weight training again (and eat more protein!)
  • Be able to do a 2 minute plank and 2 minute leg lifts
  • Run 25 miles in a month (several times if possible)

The biggest goal is to run the 5K race. I have run 3+ miles a good handful of times, and I have all but signed up for 5K races several times before…but I never actually registered. I have already ran 25 miles in a month before, but not since I broke my hand in June.

Cooking Bucket List
  • Chicken Tikka Masala
  • French Onion Soup
  • Cheese (Ricotta and Mozzarella)
  • Homemade pasta and/or ravioli
  • Crackers
  • Breakfast Quinoa
  • Roasted Chickpeas
  • Macaroni & Cheese
  • Use cauliflower as an alternative for potatoes (like here, here or here)
  • Bagels (preferably with some kind of cheese broiled on top!)
  • Donuts
  • Arroz con Pollo
  • Traditional Lasagna (I’ve only made a vegetable one, with zucchini/eggplant “noodles”)
  • My Great Grandma Rose’s famous New York Coffee Cake
  • Beer

I’ve already got a head start on that last one! I bought T-Man a beer brewing kit for his birthday and we decided New Years Day was as good a time as any to get started.

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(Drinking beer while we make beer…typical)

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It was a pretty long process (it took us about 3-4 hours including set up/sterilization) but hopefully it turns out! It’s bubbling away in a box in T-Man’s closet as we speak. Hopefully in about a month we’ll have a delicious IPA. I’ll be sure to tell you all about it 🙂

Tomorrow’s Elf for Health challenge is to eat 3 food groups at every meal. I’m having (very minor) surgery early in the morning to get a mole removed from my scalp, so I’m not sure how I’ll get in 3 food groups while that is all going down…but lunch and dinner should be no sweat! On Friday the challenge is to run a mile the fastest you can…I’m aiming for 8 minutes (my all time best is something like 7:50) but we’ll see how it goes!

Hope everyone had a happy new year!