I am a Winner!

I guess money motivates me.  I joined my friend Helen’s DietBet last month hoping it would motivate me to make better choices, ditch the wine (in summer – I know!) and get my butt in gear.

May 31: 175.8 

June 29?

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I lost 8.2 pounds in 30 days!!!!

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Before and after(love my eyes being closed!)  – I think you can tell a difference?!  I sadly couldn’t wear the same top in the before and after, because the pink one got ruined when our basement got water.  I am still not wearing a bra in the after one though – you know, to keep it consistent! Open-mouthed smile

The month of June also showed a PR on my 5k – 33:11.  My goal is that by July 31, I want to run a sub 30 minute 5k. Open-mouthed smile


I measured myself in April for some odd reason, so while the measurements aren’t truly accurate for the month of June, since the last time I lost .5 inch each off my thigh, hips, waist and chest and a whopping .75 inch off my bicep!  Guess the Insanity is working!  Check out my workout calendar for June!   23.75 hours of workouts (and will be over 24 after I do Insanity this afternoon.)

I forgot to tell you that my motto for the month of June was

Train Insane or Remain the Same!”

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I did discover that next week is a recovery week, so I am still taking the DVD with me, but it won’t be as intense.  I still plan on getting a lot of walks, swimming and hill runs in while on vacation next week though. Open-mouthed smile

And when I get back from vacation I am going to be switching up my diet a bit – making sure to get more veggies and fruits in – yesterday I didn’t get many of either!

Breakfast was a breakfast roll – ham put in the bottom of a hot dog bun, topped with scrambled egg/egg whites and spinach, topped with cheese and put under the broiler.  I never ended up eating the apple.

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I had an errand to run at lunch, the pulled pork and cucumber I threw in my bag just didn’t cut it, so I got an Italian Beef – their website said this small one is only 375 calories!  Just beef, bun and lots of hot peppers.

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When I came home, Tony was waiting for me outside, smoking a cigar and he had already poured me a glass of wine.  It’s funny, but after staying away from alcohol all week, I am a cheap date – I had two glasses and I was already feeling loopy!

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Tony was making me laugh, as usual!

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He is staying home and he’s stocked the fridge with beer and meat.  I am confident next week that Tony will not consume one vegetable.  What would your significant other eat if you weren’t home to cook for them?!

He bought Boboli pizza crusts, two small ones and we each ate 3/4 of our pies – mine was sausage, pepperoni and spinach with cheddar cheese, Tony’s had mozzarella cheese and green olives added.

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Tony and I had a lazy morning, then ended up going to Trader Joe’s and out to lunch.  I ordered the Udon noodle soup – its only 65 degrees today – but seriously, I can soup year round no matter the temperature – who am I kidding?!

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Tony got sushi.  Raw shit.  Just . . . ew.

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So not a bad month!  Check out some of the good food I ate too – and I was still able to lose 8.2 pounds!


So a few of you have let me know you are interested in doing Helen’s second DietBet – it starts July 13.  Once the link is live I will send each of you the link who are interested – just leave me a comment if you haven’t already said you are in, or send me an email at mybizzykitchen@gmail.com.

I leave tomorrow for Virginia.  My internet is spotty so it’s a hit or miss if and when I will post – so you may see me a few times next week, or maybe not at all!  In either case, I’ll post vacation pictures next Saturday.  Cannot wait to eat pork bbq and float in the lake!  Have a wonderful 4th of July!

Hugs, Biz


Flashback Friday

I can’t believe the month of June is almost over!  And I never knew I could stick with my program for the whole month.  I have to say, I am a bit proud of myself!  And I loved walking into the living room, after finishing my Insanity, dripping with sweat and Tony giving me high fives!  He’s the best cheerleader I could ever have. Open-mouthed smile Red heartThumbs up

So May 31 – this is what I looked like – 175.8, filled with moist brisket, sausage, wine and beer after an awesome vacation in Austin.  Yep, love that I took this picture with no bra on – ha!  (turns out I don’t care). Open-mouthed smile

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My last official WI for the DietBet is tomorrow.  Winners of our group of 13 will be notified 48 hours after the end of the game – looks like some of the others pulled it out at the end, but I’ll wait for the official results – as of last week I had already met my goal of losing 4%, so I am hoping to add another pound off tomorrow.  I did 21 days of Insanity and have worked out more than 21 hours so far this month – just shows to go that hard work does pay off.

Some roads were still under water, but it wasn’t that bad of a commute – I got there in 35 minutes.

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Breakfast was blueberry pancakes, sugar free syrup and two slices of deli ham. I love the salty sweet combo. Open-mouthed smile

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It was a gorgeous day after all the rain we’ve had.  What I love about the pool that I go to is that the dedicated lap swim lane is for adults only.  I was the only one in the lane yesterday, and if kids tried to creep in, the lifeguards would tell them to get out – love it!  I do find that it’s not as boring to swim outside as it is inside – there is so much to hear and look at in an outdoor pool.

After my 30 minute swim, I decided to just chill for 5 minutes in the sun.  No worries (Morgan, I am talking to you!) I had on water proof SPF 50. 

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It’s such a great way to break up the day.  If I haven’t told you in a while Tony, thanks again for getting me this gym membership!

I ended up making naan bread pizza for lunch – 1 ounce of sausage, 4 slices of turkey pepperoni, baby spinach and cheese with cucumbers and light ranch dip.  This plate was so filling – it came in at 523 calories.

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I kept spinning the tea wheel at work – yesterday I tried this one and I really, really liked it – it is spicy!

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By the time it was time to leave work, the storms returned with a vengeance.  There was actually two times that I had to pull over because it was raining so hard.

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And then when I was just miles from our house, the skies were sunny, bright blue skies, yet behind me, in the rear view mirror, it was pitch black.

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I realized once I got home that I never pulled out the chicken thighs I was going to cook for dinner.  So I went the easy route – sandwiches and french fries!  As you can see, I was using up the end of a loaf of bread, but I actually love the end pieces.

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I may have dipped my fries in this! So spicy good!
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Then it was time for Day 21 of Insanity!  Pure cardio, and I am happy to report that I did 95% of it.  Those burpees (suicides) will be the death of me – I can never do as many as they do – some day!  And when I began this program when we did certain stretches, I was only able to put my fingertips to the floor – now?  I can put my whole palm down! #gettingmoreflexible!

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I posted that picture on Instagram (are you following me?  biz319) and asked if they were sick of seeing this sweaty mug.  They said no.  I should have posted this picture just to mix it up!
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I am sure Tony is proud of that one – ha!

Stats for the Day:

  • 30 minute swim at lunch
  • 40 minutes – Day 21 Insanity
  • 1541 calories, 64 fat, 183 carbs, 13 fiber and 59 protein
  • 48% of calories from carbs, 31% from fat and 15% from protein

I stumbled upon a blog yesterday that talked about cool apps.  Who doesn’t love cool apps?  You can check out her run down here – thanks for sharing those Sara, I hadn’t heard of most of them!

The coolest one I downloaded right away was the Fooducate.  You can scan products at the grocery store, it will give you a letter grade on how good the food is, and also provide better alternatives in that same food group – how cool is that?!

Question of the Day:  Helen, the leader of my DietBet this month will be starting another DietBet on July 13.  The premise is you pay in $25 bucks (though paypal or a credit card) and you have to lose 4% of your weight in a month.  They give you a secret word you have to WI with, you have to take a picture of you full body like the photo of me above (no one sees it but the DietBet people) on your scale, and then at the end you have to repeat the process and they verify if you’ve lost the weight.  Everyone who loses gets to split the pot at the end.

If you have an interest in joining this next DietBet, can you please leave a comment and let me know or send my an email at mybizzykitchen@gmail.com.  Apparently, not only a photo of myself on a boat motivates me, but money does too!

Happy Friday!  My last workday before heading to my Aunt’s Lake House! Island with a palm tree

What Lit A Fire Under My Ass

What a crazy commute it was yesterday.  It took me 80 minutes to drive 15 miles.  Roads were closed because of flooding, so that diverted traffic onto the main road that gets me to work.

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Turns out out town ended up with six inches of rain the other night – so crazy!  Tony and I were talking that this has to be the rainiest spring/summer we’ve had since we’ve lived here.

By the time I got to work, the rain was still coming down in buckets and as much as I wanted to wait it out, I had to make a run for it and got soaked in the process. Sad smile

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I was really hungry by the time I got to work, I’d only had a cup of coffee, and really could have had three cups for how long I was in the car!  But I knew I had one of my favorite breakfasts to put together – the breakfast baked potato!

  • 1/2 a baked potato, insides scooped out (5 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup of chopped spinach
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ounce of cheese
  • 2 ounces of chopped steak

I scrambled the potato insides with the spinach and egg.  Once I got to work, I put the potato skin in the toaster oven and got it super crispy.  I reheated the egg mixture, put that into the potato, topped with leftover steak, then the cheese and broiled it for another few minutes.  This is so filling and comes in at 433 calories.

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I knew I had cardio recovery last night for Insanity, so ended up doing the stair master for 35 minutes – it is such a sweaty workout – I felt my eyelashes were sweating too!
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I actually had to look up how many stories the Sears Tower was, and found that they have a fund raiser walk in October I might sign up for?

I ended up making me and my boss turkey, spinach and cheese panini’s on my artisan whole grain bread.  My boss and I both decided we really like these “tasting plates.”  They take a long time to eat and are really filling and a lot of food for the calories. Open-mouthed smile

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A new tea that I made iced tea out of yesterday, that I think is even better than the cranberry apple?  Pom Raspberry – yum!  I think I had 100 ounces of this tea alone yesterday!

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I had leftover flank steak in the fridge that needed to be used up.  I decided to make taquitos.  Since the fryer was already on, I decided to fry up some jalapenos for myself:

  • 1 sliced jalapeno
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon beer (um, turns out Tony was okay drinking the rest of the beer)

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My taquito filling – for each taquito – 1.5 ounces of chopped steak, 1/2 ounce of cheese, salsa and cilantro.  Since our fryer holds a temperature, these aren’t greasy, but to be on the safe side, I add a teaspoon of oil to my fatsecret food log.

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Yum and yum.  The side dish?  Could not be easier.  I cheated and stopped at a Chinese restaurant and ordered a large white rice for $2 bucks to go.

Black Bean Corn & Rice Salad

  • six servings: 3/4 cup each: 151 calories, 1.9 fat, 28 carbs, 4.3 fiber and 5 protein


  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 tablespoon ranch dressing
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • salt and pepper

So delicious!  The first jalapeno almost made me choke it was so spicy, but I got used to it and quickly ate the rest.  Tony just shook his head! Open-mouthed smile

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After I cleaned up the kitchen, I went straight to Cardio Recovery, Day #20 of Insanity.  I am proud to say that I was able to do 100% of the workout with no modifications!  I am even getting more flexible, which I didn’t think was possible.  I was super flexible as a child, I could do the splits no problem.  In the beginning I couldn’t put my hands on the ground, only to my ankle.  Last night I could put the palms of my hands on the floor – crazy!

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So I’ve gotten a few emails from readers asking my where I’ve gotten my workout mojo this month.  They say a picture is worth 1,000 words.


That picture was taken by my step-son on vacation in Austin. May 21st to be exact.  I didn’t know he was taking the picture, and actually didn’t notice it on Facebook until we got home.  You can’t hide a stomach like that, fyi.  My sister and I always joke that we have the opposite of anorexia, the bigger we got we thought we still looked good!

And when my step-son Joe said that he could make me an Insanity DVD, game on.  I actually am as surprised myself how long I’ve kept this up.  I usually give up by now because it’s too hard and it’s easier to do nothing.  As of this typing, I am over 21 hours of working out in the month of June.  And guess what?  I still watch 2 hours of t.v. at night, so if there is a will, you’ll find a way.

Stats for the Day:

  • 35 minute Sears Tower climb on stair master
  • 33 minute Cardio Recovery Day #20
  • 1577 calories, 68 fat, 172 carbs, 21 fiber and 76 protein
  • 44% of calories from carbs, 39% from fat and 21 from protein

Only two more days until my final DietBet weigh in. . . .


Make it a great day!

Stormy Weather

Wow, two night in a row I’ve been woken up with major thunder storms.  Last night was crazy loud!  Thank goodness our sump pumps are working, this is what I woke up to this morning in our back yard.  A mini lake!

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No wonder, when I went on ChicagoTribune.com this morning, we got 4.5 inches of rain over night – crazy!!

Thanks for all your well wishes for my Momma – I swear nothing can slow that woman down.  Turns out no surgery was needed, but she has a cast and not one that can get wet sadly.  So no floating in the lake, but I know we can figure out a way somehow.  I told her all the positives though!

  • she can still eat my delicious food – I am making deep dish pizza one night and biscuits and sausage gravy one morning
  • she can sip wine
  • she can dip her toes in the lake
  • and she can be a passenger on a jet ski!

Weather permitting she’ll leave this morning and I’ll meet up with her on Sunday. Open-mouthed smile

So my camera battery was dead when I went to take my “4th of July” parfait, so I used my iPhone and plugged in my camera battery.  Come lunch time, I went to get the battery and um, I had it in backwards, so no charge!  I fixed it, plugged it back and and promptly left the office without it!  Gah.  So thanks to my iPhone for stepping in.  I puffy heart that phone.

Breakfast:  Plain greek yogurt, strawberries, blueberries and granola.

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Parfaits and smoothies, I have a hard time figuring out how much insulin to take, so I thought I gave myself just enough so my blood sugar would be in the low 200’s before working out.  Imagine my surprise that 30 minutes before I left, it was only 144.  I ended up having a Nature Valley salted bar as pre-workout fuel.  These are so good!


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It was stormy in the morning and I thought I’d have to swim inside yesterday, but by the time I headed to the pool around 1, there wasn’t a single person outside!  I swam by myself with two lifeguards, before a family of four kids came in five minutes before I was finished.  30 minutes was refreshing!

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My store has pre-seasoned chicken breasts, so I picked up one for my boss and I to split – it was lemon garlic, and it was only $1.80.  I pan fried it the night before, almost until done because I knew I would be heating it up yesterday for lunch.  I decided to make some pita chips, so good, cut up some carrots and cucumbers, sliced apple, and for dipping, a spicy hummus.

Spicy Hummus

  • makes 1.5 cups, 6 servings, or 1/4 cup each at 111 calories, 5.8 cat, 11.2 carbs, 2.6 fiber and 3.47 protein


  • 1 can of chick peas (about a cup)
  • 1/2 cup tahini paste
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons lemon
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Just add everything to the food processor and mix until the desired consistency.  I like a creamy hummus so I probably blended mine for a good two minutes.

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This plate was delicious and took me like 45 minutes to eat.  The hummus was spicy, but not too spicy – the only thing is that the store marinated chicken was a bit salty to me, but my boss ate every morsel of her plate, so this must have been a winner!

So, I’ve been kind of getting sick of the Detox water.  The cucumber water is kind of tasting gross to me, so I think I’ll only drink that a few times a month.  My new favorite drink?  Making iced tea with this tea:

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Ha – I love that you can see the recipe on my desk for the creamy polenta I was making for dinner!  This tea has a natural sweetness to it, so no sugar or artificial sugar is needed.

I adapted my polenta for two from Bev Cooks.  I do like her idea of making it with the chicken sausage and veggies though – I’ll have to try that sometime.

Creamy Polenta for Two

  • 2 servings:  254 calories, 10 fat, 29 carbs, 2.2 fiber and 11 protein


  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup polenta (or cornmeal)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • (I added 1 cup chopped spinach to my serving, and added a bit more cheese and butter to Tony’s!)

Bring the water and milk to a boil.  Add the polenta, stir so that there aren’t any clumps, and stir occasionally for 6-8 minutes.  Remove from heat and add in the butter, cheese and salt and pepper. 

I did grilled steak on top.  I actually loved the raw spinach in the polenta, it kind of wilted just a bit, but still had texture.

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I have to admit I was tired when I got home from work.  I don’t know if its because my sleep got interrupted the night before with the storms or what.  As I was eating dinner I told myself “just take the day off from Insanity – it’s okay!”

Well, I cleaned the kitchen after dinner and I got my second wind and I didn’t want to give in.  I ended up doing 90% of the workout – and that 90% I gave it 110%.  #winnersneverquit

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I have to say though, I am looking forward to Cardio Recovery tonight!

Stats for the Day:

  • 30 minute swim at lunch
  • 40 minute Insanity Day #19
  • 1545 calories, 63 fat, 136 carbs, 19 fiber, 106 protein
  • 36% of calories from carbs, 37% from fat and 27% from protein

Alright, time to get this how on the road.  I may not have taken a shower before I went to bed last night, and sitting here as I am typing this, I am offending myself!

Make it a great day!

Broccoli Pepper Jack Soup

Every weekend when I make my SIL’s lunches for the week, I’ve been adding a loaf of my artisan bread for my nephew each week.  In fact, when his Mom is on his way over to pick up her food, he’ll ask “make sure you bring back the bread!”

So when I got ready to make the dough for the bread, I realized I was out of regular bread flour.  Now I bake so much bread that I buy my bread at Sam’s Club for $8 for a 25 pound bag – I couldn’t believe I was out!

But, I had whole wheat white flour.  I decided to give it a go.  One thing I noticed almost immediately was how much more dense and heavy the dough was with the whole wheat flour.  It wasn’t as sticky as the regular bread flour dough.

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And it didn’t keep its crusty crust after it cooled.  But I actually liked the taste of this bread, and my boss liked it too. Open-mouthed smile

Breakfast was a ham roll up – scrambled egg white and spinach rolled in ham, topped with cheese and put under the broiler, a slice of my whole wheat toast and fruit.

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I just wanted to do an easy workout at lunch since I knew Insanity was in store for me later, so I ended up walking a half mile, jogging a half mile, and toggled between the two until I hit 2.5 miles in 40 minutes.

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While I’ve lost 7 pounds, I still don’t really see it yet, but I can tell you that my legs feel more toned – especially in the back under the butt – whatever those are called!

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Over the weekend I bought these Nature Valley bars.  I am keeping them in my bag in case I need something quick to eat after working out, instead of paying $2.50 for one bar at the gym, I bought a whole box for $2.99.

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190 calories, 10 grams of protein, 14 carbs and 5 fiber.  These are amazing – so nutty and delicious, kind of like me! Open-mouthed smile  It hit the spot after my workout, I guess my breakfast didn’t have enough staying power.

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Okay, this broccoli soup recipe could not be easier.  I love the extra spice kick of the pepper jack cheese too.

Broccoli Pepper Jack Cheese

  • 4 servings – 1.75 cups is 256 calories, 15 fat, 16 carbs, 3.6 fiber and 13.3 protein


  • 4 cups broccoli (I had two small heads)
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup of pepper jack cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, add butter and flour and cook for one minute.  Add the skim milk and slowly stir until thickened.  Add the broth and broccoli, put heat on medium low and simmer for 20 minutes, or until broccoli is tender enough to use an emersion blender.  Puree to desired consistency, stir in shredded pepper jack cheese and salt and pepper to taste.  For so few ingredients, this really had  a lot flavor going on.

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I had a flat our wrap ham, spinach, cheese, pickle and mustard roll up on the side.

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Reason 2,742 I love Tony.  He found me a giant bottle of honey at Sam’s Club!!  He had to look in four different places, but brought it home – 5 pounds for $11 dollars!  Can you think of how much granola I can make with that?!  Thanks honey!  (pun intended!)

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When I was cleaning out the freezer over the weekend I had a bag labeled “pulled pork.”  Since Tony was okay with the pork roast over the weekend, I decided to make pulled pork bbq sandwiches with Rudy’s BBQ sauce.  We are kicking ourselves for not buying 5 bottles of it when we had the chance.  Four ounces of pork, mustard, bun and 3 ounces of fries.

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It was delicious!  Although I have to say that I am looking forward to my Aunt’s pork BBQ next week.  It’s North Carolina barbecue, meaning no sauce, just vinegar, crushed red pepper and Tabasco.  Seriously, if you have an opportunity to try it, get it!

Then last night it was Day 18 of Insanity!  Pure Cardio and Cardio Abs.  I was happy that after it rained our temps dropped to the upper 60’s, so I had a nice cross breeze going while working out.  That is not a mole on my left cheek, it’s sweat!

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Stats for the Day:

  • 1662 calories, 69 fat, 180 carbs, 30.2 fiber and 92 protein
  • 43% of calories from carbs, 38% from at and 19% from protein
  • 40 minute walk/jog at lunch
  • 40 minute pure cardio Insanity
  • 15 minute cardio abs

I have a calendar at work that I’ve been tracking my workouts for the month.  I’ve logged . . .

1,155 minutes or 19.25 hours or workouts for June!!

I am in the last week of my DietBet with my friend Helen and her group.  The pot is $325 dollars, so we’ll see if I get more than my $25 dollar investment back.

In other news, my poor Momma fell at Target yesterday and broke her wrist.  She’s supposed to fly out tomorrow for vacation and when she told the orderly that she was supposed to be swimming and floating in the lake, the guy said “just ask for a swim cast!”   Hopefully she’ll still be able to leave tomorrow.  I’ll see her on Sunday in Virginia! Open-mouthed smile

Off to make some hummus for lunch – I am making like a Mediterranean tasting plate for lunch today – in my head it sounds delicious – we’ll see!  Make it a great day!