30 September 2013

t-minus one week

Sooooooooooo it's the last day of September.

When did that happen?!

It's also the last week of my half marathon training.

Again, I ask, when did that happen?!

As of yesterday there is one week until the inaugural Rock 'n' Roll Cleveland Half Marathon! Friday is the Expo at the new Cleveland Convention Center and I love that it's close enough that I can walk. I'm excited to see what vendors are going to be there and what sorts of fabulous things I'm able to pick up!

If any more seasoned longer distance runners have any advice for this newbie on handling her first half and the week leading up to it, it would be very much appreciated!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus 

27 September 2013

choosing happy

A week from today I'll be hanging out at the Run Rock 'n' Roll Expo in anticipation of my first half marathon, which is only a week and a half away! I'm done with all of my long runs and have now entered the tapering phase and being so close to the half has given me a lot to think about. Specifically my pace and the fact that the half is probably going to take me about 30 minutes longer to run than I initially thought.

Do I wish I was a faster runner? Absolutely.
Do I wish I could knock out 7, 8 minute miles? Hell yes.

But I am not and I cannot. So, I have two options: I can either work with what I have or I can whine and moan and miss the big picture.

I am not a fast runner, but I'm still a runner.

I may not be first across that finish line but I will cross that finish line.

I may not weigh under 200 pounds but I have maintained a 100+ pound weight loss for over a year.

I may not wear a size 4, but damn if I don't make a size 14 look good.

I may not be a natural ginger but I at least have ways of faking it.

I may not have a boyfriend but at least I'm not the 300 Sandwiches lady.

Accepting what you are not does not equal settling. Take my hair: I was born a natural blonde. With age not only comes wisdom but a shade closer to brunette. I can waste a lot of time hating my hair or I can just dye it, which I've been doing for over a decade.

Sure, I wish I hadn't gained some of my weight back and was still at 175. But I'm not. I can lament this fact and beat myself up or I can learn to feel comfortable and sexy and happy at my current weight while continuing to make the positive healthy choices that will get me back down.

Approach life as it is, not how you want it to be. But also recognize that to get the life you want, you have to work for it.

In other news, the dates and location for FitBloggin '14 were announced! I had to miss this year because of Sissy's wedding but come June I'm determined to be in Savannah, Georgia for the conference and to finally meet (in real life) so many people from the healthy living community I've come to know through social media. Anyone else planning on attending?

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

25 September 2013

track star

I didn't really know what to anticipate when I went to Monday's Weight Watchers meeting. I did a ton of walking in DC and, of course, there were those 11 miles before I even left, but I also did a ton of eating out and, admittedly, didn't track everything so I figured I'd be up just a little.

0.8? Puh-leeze. So totally not a big deal. I mean, seriously.

This week's meeting topic was about making healthy choices and what those choices say about you. We also talked about the importance of tracking. As I follow the Simply Filling Plan, I only have to track the things I eat that aren't on the Power Foods List but I find that when I track everything I do much better about staying on plan so I'm really, really trying to make an effort to track everything I eat.

But more than that, Carrie mentioned the idea of tracking more than just food.

Say wha?

Oh, sure, we track our exercise so we can get Activity Points. But what about tracking time of day that you eat or hunger level or how you feel (ie: emotions) when reaching for food.


The notion of tracking more than just food stuck with me. Enough that I was still thinking about it when I woke up the next morning. So I made a choice and this week I'm trying something new.


I'm an e-Tools user. I love love love the Weight Watchers app on my phone. I love having the instant access, I love being able to look up things at a moment's notice, and being able to track foods in seconds.

While the quickness and ease of use is fantastic I also think at this point it's become second-nature that I track sometimes without really thinking about it. I mean, I know what I'm eating, obviously, but the act of looking something up in e-Tools or my Weight Watchers app is just so quick and fast, it doesn't require much thought.

Having to actually write down everything I eat makes me more aware of what I'm putting into my mouth. Not just in terms of the food but the quantity, too. Seeing all the Power Food green triangles helps keep me motivated to continue making those choices and reserve my 49 Weekly Points for those foods that are really worth it. It's really all about the topic of this week's meeting and making choices and what those choices say about us. I've frequently heard Carrie say Is that a choice that will help you get to your goal? and I'm trying to adopt that as a question I ask myself often: Yesterday morning all I wanted to do was stay in my nice warm comfy bed with the cats. But when weighing that against the question, I forced myself out of bed and onto the elliptical.

So this is my little experiment this week. Baby steps. Small changes. They add up.

Speaking of Carrie, this is the second time she has been a sub for our regular leader and I really like her. Maybe even more than the one we usually have. When I eventually inevitably have to find a new meeting I may talk to her and see when and where she leads meetings on a regular basis.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

23 September 2013

beer and books and spies, oh my!

Whenever asked, I always say that my favorite author is Margaret Atwood. No questions asked. Her books take up nearly an entire shelf on my bookcase all on their own. I read her novel Cat's Eye in 8th or 9th grade although I didn't really get into her until college and even then it was actually through her poetry and it still took me years to put together the poet with the novelist I had read years before.

As such, when I found out that she would be appearing at the National Book Festival in Washington D.C. this past weekend I had to be there. Luckily, Sissy and my bro-in-law live in the greater DC area so I was able to stay at their place and spend the weekend with them!

I arrived Friday morning and after having lunch with Sissy and BIL, we spent the day walking around Old Town Alexandria. They had this neighborhood wide scavenger hunt where you had to collect stamps from 37 stores. It was a great idea and something I'd love to see Cleveland neighborhoods adopt.

It ran all weekend long but since we were looking for something to do that afternoon anyway we decided to just complete the whole thing. Many of the stores Sissy and BIL had never been to before and after filling in the sheet, Sissy collected a swag bag full of coupons and samples from all of the stores.

Once we were finished we headed to their apartment to settle in for a bit before heading to a really sweet pizza place for dinner where I found a taste of home in the form of Great Lakes Oktoberfest.

Saturday morning, Sissy and I were up bright and early so we could make it to the Mall for the Book Fest! (And when I say "bright and early" I mean "I was awake at 5:30 for some unknown reason." Either my sleep schedule is all outta whack or I've officially turned into my mother. It was all good, though, 'cause I was able to catch up on Survivor and Project Runway before Sissy was awake.)

We took the Metro in and exiting the station decided to climb the broken/stopped escalator. Being the clumsy idiot that I was, I managed to trip on the very top step and my left knee got pretty scraped up on the metal grating of the escalator so our first stop was, unfortunately, First Aid. There was some super ugly bruising right away, but it's mostly all disappeared and while I still have some scraps the swelling has all gone away and it doesn't really hurt anymore. Thankfully it wasn't anything more serious as that would have been really, really unfortunate this close to my half-marathon.

So after we got my knee looked at, Sissy and I walked around the Mall trying to gain our bearings and figure the festival out.

Naturally, I had to show my Cleveland love with a shirt from the CLE Clothing Co. That would be the I Heart Cleveland Metroparks shirt. Soooooo comfy!

So, the authors all give moderated talks and then do the signings. The lines to wait for the signings start before the talks even begin and can get ridiculously long so you usually have to pick one or the other. I happen to have a super awesome sister who offered to be my place holder and wait in line while I heard Ms. Atwood speak and then I was able to come get back in line for the signings. We got there early enough that we were 12th in line and it was a good move, too, because by the time I got back from the talk there were probably close to 300 people lined up behind us! She was the big headliner and it stretched all the way across the Mall lawn to the museum on the other side of the street. She was only signing for about an hour so I don't know how many people got through.


I was also the last person to get more than one book signed (I opted for Oryx & Crake, which is my favorite book of hers, and there's no way I couldn't not get The Handmaid's Tale signed as well. I mean, hello. Also, this week is ALA's Banned Book Week so it was fitting  timing seeing as how nearly 30 years after it's publication, The Handmaid's Tale is still challenged in schools across the country to this day.) 

Once the books were signed we walked around the festival for a little bit before wandering into the Natural History Museum for a hot minute (I wanted to see the Hope Diamond) before getting lunch at Chop't, which was the most overwhelming salad restaurant ever.

Then, as if the day couldn't possibly get any better, we went to the INTERNATIONAL SPY MUSEUM.

Oh yeah, baby, that's right.

Not only is one of my dream jobs to be a librarian at the CIA but I actually applied for an open position once years ago. True story.

We went through the museum but we also did the interactive Operation Spy activity beforehand. Oh man oh man it was so totally awesome. Running around cracking safes and surveillance and pretending to be a spy. Like I said: so totally awesome.

By that point in the day it had started to rain so the museum made a perfect escape, although that also meant everyone else and their mother decided it was the perfect place, too, so the place was packed to the gills. Even with the crowds, the information and artifacts presented were fascinating and they had a special exhibit on Bond Villains that was pretty cool.

After a very busy Saturday, Sissy and I were hungry and ready to meet BIL for dinner. Sissy and I were exhausted after all that walking around and both of us were in bed and asleep by, like, 10pm.

Sunday morning we bummed around their apartment before a family friend came over for brunch then we packed up all my stuff, did some shopping in Old Town, and BIL and Sissy took me to the airport and I headed back to Cleveland!

It was a jam-packed weekend but oh-so-much fun and I'm so glad I was able to hang out with my sister and her husband for a few days and have a brief escape from the "real world" back home. Of course, I'm also exhausted and already looking ahead to this upcoming weekend, although it won't all be rest as Papa G. and I will be attending a Murder Mystery Dinner at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium Saturday night.

Hmmmm. Wonder if any of my newly acquired spy training will come in handy...

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

20 September 2013

a perfect storm

First, I started out too late in the morning. I was up early enough to get my butt out the door hours before I did but I decided to putz around and didn't end up getting to Edgewater until about 10:30. With 11 miles ahead of me that was way too late to start, especially considering within two miles the overcast clouds burned away and I was left with bright blue sky, lots of sun, and very little coverage.

Someone obviously went out without wearing sunscreen

Next, when I did start running I started way too fast. There was no way I was going to keep that pace up in that heat. Luckily I had my water bottle and kept filling it as necessary.

I nearly quit after 8 miles. I was off the path and halfway to my car before I gritted my teeth and turned around to finish the remaining three. In the end, I had walked half my mileage.

Those were a rough 11 miles. They were slow, and tedious, and loooooooong.

But they were still 11 miles.

As a friend said on Facebook, Sometimes 11 miles feels awesome. Sometimes 11 miles feels...less than awesome. Either way you still made it through 11 miles!

Last weekend's 10 miles was proof that I can have good long runs and I know bad runs, at any distance, can happen to any runner. Plus, no matter what, I can take pride in doing every single long run that was part of my half training. If nothing else, by the time race day comes around it should be much cooler and I know I'll be starting early!

Speaking of running in cooler weather, I took advantage of a Groupon earlier this week and registered for the Christmas Story House 10K

Yes, ladies & gents, that A Christmas Story house.

Parts of the movie were filmed here in my fair city and in honor of the film's 30th anniversary, the house and museum is celebrating with lots of events, including this race. Not only will they be showing the film after the race but all entrants are put in a drawing for their very own Leg Lamp.

Also, I'm not one for dressing but this race may require it. With my pink shoes and pink athletic jacket I may try to find pink bunny ears this Halloween season in honor of Ralphie's Christmas present from his Aunt Clara.

The best part, though?

I may have signed up for the race just so I could have one of these finisher's medals.

True story.

I'm headed to the DC area to visit Sissy and her husband! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

18 September 2013


After last week's abysmal weigh in, I was actually looking forward to this week's meeting as I knew I had a good week. There was cutting out my coffee creamer and, of course, we can't forget Friday's 10 mile run. 

I lost the exact same amount I gained last week.

How do you like them apples?

This week's meeting topic was staying on track during the weekends and I'm so glad for the timing because 1) weekends are when I have the hardest time staying on track and 2) I'm going out of town this weekend to visit Sissy and her husband and attend the National Book Festival.

While we will no doubt be walking around a bunch and I'm running my 11 mile long run tomorrow, so, yay! Activity Points! we will also be eating out most of the trip. Luckily I picked the restaurants so I have access to the menus in advance to look through and I'm being very very careful with my 49 weekly points this week.

I know I can do this, I just have to stay focused and remember why I'm doing this.

In other news, check out my new shiny!

Yes, ladies & gents, that would be an iPhone case with my blog's logo on it. Around the time I found myself in need of a new case, VistaPrint was running a Labor Day sale I just had to take advantage of. It arrived on Saturday and is even more amazing in person. Now I can carry my lil superhero around with me wherever I go!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

16 September 2013

three weeks and a 5K away {half-marathon training}

Friday morning I did something I never thought I'd ever be able to do. 

I did something my cousin Matt said would make me feel like a bad-ass when I finally did it.

Friday morning?

Friday morning I ran ten miles.

After waking up and having breakfast, I headed out fairly early for my half-marathon training long run. Instead of driving over to the Rocky River Reservation, I decided to keep it close to home by going to nearby Edgewater Park instead. It was a crisp and cool morning so I layered up with my hot pink athletic jacket.

(Believe it or not, there were quite a few surfers out there.)

Edgewater is comprised of two loops with a hill in between. The lower loop is roughly a mile around, the upper loop a little less. The idea of running ten laps around the lower loop bored me even just thinking about it so I decided to take advantage of the upper loop, and the hill, by alternating: two lower loop laps then hiked up the hill to the upper loop for one lap. Back down and repeat.

The weather itself couldn't seem to make up its mind, which is pretty typical of Northeast Ohio. Sometimes I could see blue sky above but most of the time it was grey and overcast. And windy. Very, very windy. It actually reminded me quite a bit of the weather conditions for the Next Step Run for Shelter 5K, which was actually held at Edgewater last November. Maybe not quite as cold, though Friday was still fairly chilly and being so close to the lake certainly didn't help.

Several miles into my run it started to sprinkle and I just hoped it wouldn't turn into a rain storm and, thankfully, it didn't. It did continue to lightly rain off-and-on and by the end I was damp from sweat, rain, and Lake Erie spray.

But that didn't matter.

It also didn't matter that I was exhausted, my fingers freezing, and my calves were burning. Because my cousin Matt was correct -- at the end of that run I did feel like a bad ass.

Ten. Freaking. Miles.

And y'know what else? It felt almost, dare I say it, easy. Maybe it was because I no longer had summer heat working against me or maybe it's just because I've grown stronger as a runner, my endurance raised. Maybe it was all mental and having that belief in myself. Whatever it was, it didn't take too long into the run for me to think "Oh, I so totally have this."

And I so totally did.

No, it wasn't a fast ten miles but you know what? Ten miles is ten miles regardless of speed or pace. 

The Cleveland Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon is now three weeks away and with this ten mile run I'm a mere 3.1 miles away from completing that goal. I have one more long run left (11 miles) before the mileage from my training schedule starts to taper. I honestly can't believe it's so close!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

13 September 2013

creamer de la creamer

I'm an all in kind of gal, see. I am a woman who gives into her whims and fully supports the idea that variety is the spice of life. I like having options. As such, when I find something I like I tend to go a little, well, overboard in the buying department. Like, say, with yogurt. Or coffee flavors for my Keurig. And, speaking of coffee, the creamers I put into it.

As I said. Options.

The thing with coffee creamer, however, is that ... well, actually there are two problems. See, I rarely buy the fat-free or sugar-free because the really fun flavors never come that way. This on its own would not be that bad except I'm kind of lazy about measuring and tracking. I tend to guestimate how much creamer I put in my coffee which is never a good way to go about anything so I potentially underestimate. Especially on Sunday mornings when I can go through six cups of coffee before second breakfast lunch.

Lately I've been wondering if my addiction obsession love for coffee creamer is perhaps hindering my weight loss (Magic 8 Ball Says: Signs Point To Yes). While creamer is listed on the Simply Filling Power Foods list, I imagine they wouldn't really approve of my six tablespoons of Coffee-mate Thin Mint flavored creamer (seriously, people, it's so freaking good). In fact, when you go into the Weight Watchers tracker it's only the plain fat free creamer that gets the special green arrow.

So, I've decided to temporarily break up with my coffee creamer. Every morning this week I've had my coffee black with some Sweet 'n Low which, honestly, is how I drank it for the past few years. This coffee creamer thing is new. Usually I'd only buy it twice a year: Pumpkin Spice in the fall and Peppermint Mocha in the winter. That was it. I honestly don't remember when I started buying all this other creamer but it's only been within the last six months roundabout, so going back to life before creamer has been relatively easy. I mean, I buy only flavored coffee anyway so the flavored creamer was always a little unnecessary as it was.

This week I'm cutting it out completely. After that we'll see if I slowly reintroduce it maybe just once a week on Saturday or Sunday mornings, and if I do I will definitely whip out those measuring spoons of mine and accuretely track.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

11 September 2013

"failure is not an option. it's a step."

That post title was given to us by our leader at Monday's Weight Watchers meeting. She saw it on a t-shirt a few weeks ago when she was on vacation and, lemme tell ya, if there was a week I needed to hear those words it was this one.

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter you know I mentioned I didn't make the best choices this past weekend. During the week I did relatively okay with food choices but by the time Friday evening hit, man, I was all over the place.

Actually, Friday night wasn't that bad. It was what I like to call A Normal Person Day. That is, if I was a Normal Person (ie: someone without a history of food issues) ate what I ate it would be pretty average. I went to the Indians game with my friend Missy and we had dinner beforehand. I got a salad and small portion of a pasta, only eating half, and had some wine with dinner and ice cream at the ballpark.

Normal eating behavior, right?

Except, see, I'm not a normal person so what starts as a "Normal Person Day" and left unchecked (ie: untracked) soon turns into me falling back on old behaviors and having myself a free-for-all.

So I knew going into my meeting I'd see my weight going up and in my self-deprecating way I joked I probably gained five pounds.

Then I stepped on the scale and saw that I actually did.

At which point I promptly burst into tears.

It's not the five pounds that upsets me. It's that with those five pounds I weigh more than I did when I started Weight Watchers a month ago. Seriously? It's also knowing that this was all completely avoidable.

I knew I was going to the Indians game. I knew we would probably be doing dinner beforehand and I'd want alcohol and/or some treat. I should have been more careful with my weekly points earlier in the week, leaving me more wiggle room. I also could have exercised more, been more on my game with my half-marathon training, giving me some extra Activity Points to play with.

But I did neither of these things and it showed up on the scale. Trust me, I fully deserved those 5.6 pounds.

There's a lot I didn't do this week. But the one thing I did do was go to my meeting. And that's why I got the Bravo sticker. I felt it was undeserved, but as I managed to pour out my entire story in thirty seconds through tears ("Lost 135 using WW Online, gained 30, that's why I'm at meetings"), she asked if I knew how many people would know they had a bad week and would not come to a meeting ever again. They'd just quit, full stop. Me, I knew I was going to show a gain and I still came and am prepared to keep going, so Bravo.

The meeting topic this week was Believe, as in Believing in yourself. Believing you can reach your weight loss goals. Do I believe I can acheive those things? Absolutely. Why? Because I've already done it.

It's a double-edged sword, knowing I can do it because I already have. On the one hand, I know for a fact that it's achievable. But on the other hand, the fact that I have to do it all over again means at some point I quit and I don't like thinking about myself in  that way.

So I left that meeting and went home and I took those 5.6 pounds and turned them into 4.21 miles.

How's that for bouncing back?

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

09 September 2013

The China Study Cookbook: Review and Recipe

If there's one thing you need to know about me it's that I love cookbooks and trying new recipes. So when BenBella Books (publisher of Happy Herbivore Abroad) asked if I would be interested in reviewing a copy of the new The China Study Cookbook, this vegetarian immedietly said yes. Even better, I was given an opportunity to share one of the awesome plant-based recipes with you dear readers! (This is one you're going to want to try, too. Trust me.)

First things first. What is The China Study? Originally published in 2005 by T. Colin Campbell, this book states that the frequent consumption of animal and animal-by products has lead to the increase in chronic illnesses and that plant-based protein sources should be chosen over animal-based for a healthy lifestyle.

Now, not having actually read the original China Study I'm not going to weigh-in on Campbell's conclusions. Instead, I'm going to share a recipe from the awesome cookbook I received from BenBella Books which was written by Campbell's daughter, LeAnne.

Quick No-Fat Cranberry Bread

Preparation time: 15 minutes, Baking time: 45 minutes, Makes 1 loaf 

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
¾ cup Sucanat (brand name for a type of whole cane sugar)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup orange juice
1 egg replacer (1 T. ground flaxseed meal with 3 T. water)
1 ½ cups fresh cranberries, finely chopped in food processor
½ cup chopped walnuts

1 Preheat oven to 350˚F.
2 Mix together flour, Sucanat, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl.
3 Stir in orange juice and egg replacer. Mix until well blended.
4 Fold in cranberries and nuts. Spread evenly in a nonstick bread pan.
5 Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes before removing from the pan.

If you do not have an egg replacer, you can substitute ¼ cup prune paste (to make a supply of prune paste, mix ½ cup prunes and 1 cup water).
You can also use this recipe to make muffins and serve them for breakfast.
This recipe is great for Thanksgiving and other holidays.

This recipe is indeed very quick and so so so yummy. I actually used one of the provided Tips and turned them into muffins! I used an ice cream scoop to try and keep them consistent and got 14 muffins out of the batter. They baked for about 25-30 minutes.

All I had were liners from last October. Don't judge.

I baked them on a Saturday morning before yoga class and took some to my instructor Jessica and later that day I was meeting up with my vegan friend Lauren and she got some, too. Both loved them. In fact, Jessica had one before class and then as soon as class was done she told me she wanted another muffin.

The China Study Cookbook has specifically left out the nutritional information for all of their recipes, but as I know that's something that I and my readers are interested in I put everything into the Weight Watchers recipe builder and they come out to 4 points a muffin, which isn't that bad. If you take out the walnuts it's only 3 points plus per muffin.

I can already tell this cookbook is going to be used a lot, especially in the colder months because it has some delicious sounding soups and baked goods. Coconut Corn Chowder? Spicy Pumpkin Soup? How about Chocolate Banana Pie or Pineapple Cherry Cake? That's what I'm talking about, baby.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

06 September 2013

viva la fruit with yoplait

When it comes to staying on track I'm usually pretty good at regular meals. Y'know, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I tend to get into, well, trouble when it comes to in between meals or wanting dessert. I also work a pretty crazy schedule with six hours going between breakfast and lunch so it's important that I always have easy snacks to bring with me.

One of my favorite snack options is yogurt, specifically Yoplait thanks to all of their fun flavors. I mean, hello, Boston Creme Pie for dessert? Don't mind if I do. I feel like the woman in their old commercial where she goes to dry cleaner to have her clothes altered and she's telling the seamstress she's been eating Pineapple Upside Down Cake and Key Lime pie and it turns into a "take it out, take it in" debate because the seamstress doesn't realize she's talking about yogurt.

You thought I was exaggerating, right?

Also, yes, I have the most random memory ever.

Plus, this Weight Watchers member loves that the Points Plus are right on container (even better: the light variety is part of the Simply Filling plan which is another reason I like to have it on hand). As such, I am super excited to be partnering with Yoplait for today's post. They provided me with coupons to try their Yoplait Fruitful line for free and to tell y'all about it. Of course, it goes without saying that all opinions of this opinonated blogger are my own.

So, what makes Yoplait Fruitful different than the other Yoplait varities? Well, when they say fruitful they aren't kidding, with 1/3 cup of real fruit blended in each serving. That's, like, the main components of a yogurt parfait already taken care of. Throw on some granola and, hello, you have breakfast. Plus, there's no artificial sweeteners or flavors and with six different options -- Pineapple, Strawberry, Mango Pineapple & Orange, Blueberry, Peach, and Cherries & Red Berries -- there's something for just about every fruit fan.

Each container of Yoplait Fruitful is between 150 and 170 calories and translate to 4 PointsPlus. While that is a couple more Points than some of their other yogurt, remember that Yoplait Fruitful includes real fruit and has no artifical sweeteners or flavors. For me, that seems a pretty fair trade-off.

As I can never say no to pineapple I, naturally, had to try that one. I also decided to go a little crazy and do one of my favorite things with pineapple yogurt which is add a few coconut toasted almonds.

With real fruit, dairy, and extra protein from the almonds it's the perfect 5 Point pina colada creation for dessert, late night snack, or even post run recovery food. Genius. The other variety I bought, Cherries & Red Berries, is just what I need for a mid-morning snack at work to keep me going until lunch.

Thanks to Yoplait, you dear readers get to be among the first to experience the goodness of new Yoplait Fruitful, with a $.30 off coupon available to download at their website. The coupon is located on the right-hand side of the page by clicking on the Enjoy with a Coupon box and is void in LA, NV, NJ, ND and TN. Yoplait Fruitful is currently available in select Midwest and Central regions. To find out if your local grocer carries Yoplait Fruitful, use the "where to buy" feature located at the bottom of the Fruitful landing page.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

04 September 2013

the home of walk and roll

Monday was seriously, like, the laziest day ever. I spent it reading, then sleeping, then reading, then sleeping, then reading, then...

You get the idea.

By the time evening rolled around and I peeled myself out of my bed, I decided it was so lovely out that I just had to take advantage of it by going on an after-dinner walk. Got my shoes on, put in my earbuds, and headed out.

I've lived here for almost five years and still manage to find things in the city that surprise me. Like how we apparently have our own mini Walk of Fame over near the new Convention Center (which I finally found. Not that it was, y'know, missing but the Expo for the Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon is there and every time I asked Papa G. where it was located I could never quite figure it out from the directions he offered).

There's also this ad agency over on Lakeside with the most fabulous windows.

For about half a city block there was a collection of different little sayings along the bottom of the windows, including one to say Hi to Mark -- he's the guy in glasses -- and that they like my shirt.

Given that it was a holiday there wasn't actually anyone in the office but I did say Hi to Glasses Mark on Twitter and he said hi back. 

True story. 

Can never forget Cleveland's iconic FREE stamp.

The stamp was commissioned in the mid-80s by Standard Oil of Ohio for their new headquarters. Before the scuplture was finished, Standard Oil was acquired by BP and apparently the BP executive didn't find the stamp appropriate for the intended location and so the stamp sat in storage for the next few years until 1991 when BP donated the sculpture to the city of Cleveland and it finally found a permanent home in Willard Park.

There's your history lesson for today, folks. You can thank me later. 
Although, when it comes to the Land of Cleves there is nothing more iconic than the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, which is what ended up being my turning around point of my walk.

There and back was just under four miles. Not too shabby for a spontaneous walk after dinner.

I had so much fun discovering little nooks and crannies of this city I love so much I think I'm going to have to make it a regular part of my week from now on.

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

02 September 2013

cloud nine

Since I don't work Fridays and since today is a holiday, I've had myself quite a lovely very long weekend that started with another training run through the Rocky River Reservation.

Hells yeah, baby. Nine freaking miles! 

Let me tell ya, my legs were on fire after this run. I discovered muscles in my calves that did not exist before.

The rest of my Friday was pretty quiet and mostly spent reading. Saturday morning was my yoga class followed by heading to my parents' house in Stars Hollow to help my mom with some stuff for a family bridal shower on Sunday.

Because today is Labor Day here in the States, my usual Weight Watchers meeting is cancelled so before heading to my parents for the weekend I made sure to check the Weight Watchers website to see if there were any nearby weekend meetings that fit my schedule and found one for Sunday morning.

That 2.8 certainly makes up for the 0.2 I lost last week! Just about half a pound away from my first 5 pounds, hopefully I'll hit that tomorrow and just a few more pounds after that I'll finally be back under 200!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus
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