Sunday, August 26, 2012


I am really terrible at blogging every day. I was doing so well until Wednesday rolled around and I found myself stuck at work until 9- yuck! By the time I got home I had no desire to eat dinner, which meant that I didn't make the salad I had planned and I skipped my post. On Thursday I ended up getting dinner with some friends visiting from out of town; catching up trumped my original salad plans but, in a completely unprecedented Andolini's moment, I did manage to order a salad with my pizza.

Friday and Saturday were salad-free, but I tried to make up for it today by making two special salads. Here's lunch:

Curried tomatoes and chickpeas on a bed of romaine lettuce.

This recipe came out of one of the daily recipe emails that I get from Real Simple. A lot of times I ignore them because they're not vegetarian or have way more sugar than I need to consume, but they do send out quite a few good ones. I love that they are quick and easy to prepare and generally have a short list of ingredients. 

For dinner we had my favorite: bean cakes. This time I made a really big batch so that I don't have to get depressed when they run out after a day. 

Bean cake salad with peppers, cucumber, corn, sprouts, and spicy chipotle dressing. Delicious.

Not only was today a day of salads, but also a day of workouts. I had to catch up on the two days that I missed to finish out Week 8 (yay!), and I was also dying to try one of my new Bob dvds. I had a morning session- Jillian Michaels yoga, Firm Express cardio, and Jackie Warner abs, which was about an hour total. Then, before dinner I did Bob Harper's Pure Burn Super Strength. I have a feeling I'm going to be in a world of pain tomorrow from this one. It was just over an hour long and worked every single muscle in my body. The only part I didn't like about it was Bob's backup talent, Stephanie, who was performing the modified version of all the moves and looked like she was about to die at any given moment. It was hard, I'll give her that, but she needed to get a grip- especially since she was doing the easy version. I really like Bob's teaching style and the fact that the workout was comprised of fairly simple moves that still managed to kick my butt. I can't wait to try the rest.

Hope everyone has a wonderful start to their week!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Week of Salads: Day 3

I think it's no secret that I have an unnatural love for Mexican food. I could eat Mexican all day every day. One of my favorite places to go is Moe's, but I always end up mesmerized by their crazy soda machine and tempted by the queso. No bueno. In the spirit of salad week and to help curb my Mexican cravings I decided to make a healthier version of the nachos I normally get- no chips and no cheese, but still delightful:

This salad was made up of romaine lettuce, various peppers, carrots, corn, black beans, and avocado. I substituted salsa for dressing and the whole thing was absolutely delicious. My nose is actually still running from the spiciness. The best part was that it only took me about 10 minutes to prepare and half of a Biggest Loser episode to eat. Looks like I'm right on schedule for my 9:00 bedtime.

See y'all tomorrow!

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Week of Salads: Day 2

Happy Monday! I think at one point in my life I swore to myself that I would never be one of those people that fits into the whole hatred of Mondays cliche, but it has totally happened. I'm sorry, younger Allison, I didn't mean to be lame. It's gotten so bad that around dinner time on Sunday I start getting truly depressed at the thought of another week. Mondays at the bank are no fun; we seem to pay a heavy price for being gone over the weekend. Does anyone have any good tricks for coping with their Mondays? Maybe I need to start my day with a good pillow fight or something.

At least I had my lunchtime salad to look forward to:

This was a bed of spring greens, which I'm convinced were the weeds that some farmer picked out of his field and laughed at the thought of somebody actually purchasing and eating. Look closely at the bottom left corner. Weeds, I'm telling you! For toppings I had cucumbers, tomatoes, a sweet yellow pepper, and goat cheese, all topped with Brianna's Real French Vinaigrette. I highly recommend Brianna's dressings. They've got really simple ingredients so I don't have to feel like I completely ruined the integrity of my salad with some skanky dressing. I've been on kind of a goat cheese kick ever since I had it on my salad on Saturday while babysitting. It was so good that I knew we had to pick some up at the grocery store. Holy smokes, that stuff is expensive! After getting home and reading the packaging a little more carefully I discovered that this particular goat cheese came from Johns Island which means that there's a very real chance that it comes from my little goat friends. All in all, this was a deliciously fresh (and colorful!) salad and I'll probably have the same thing for lunch again tomorrow. Don't worry, I've got a fun one planned for dinner.

Right now I'm waiting on pins and needles for my Amazon order to ship. Like a highschool girl, I took my babysitting money from this weekend and used it on an impulse buy. Instead of 3 tubes of lip gloss and The Notebook on dvd, I bought workout videos. Big shock, I know. I think I may be developing a problem. I got 3 Biggest Loser and 2 Bob Harper workouts and I'm super excited to try them out. According to the reviews they're all very tough, so I look forward to having my butt kicked. I'll keep you all posted- if I like them then there's a bunch more on my wish list that I might just have to try.

Be back tomorrow with another salad!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Week of Salads

I realize that the title to this blog post sounded a lot more exciting in my head, but you know what, I'm sticking with it. 


I decided that this would be the perfect week to give my diet a little tlc in the form of at least one salad a day. I don't know about anybody else but I tend to easily tire of eating the same type of salad over and over. I have to switch up my dressings and toppings pretty regularly in order to keep wanting to eat salad. It takes a lot of plan and preparation, which is why I tend to fall off the bandwagon, but I know I can commit to at least a week. After a mega trip to the grocery store today I've got an exciting line-up that I'm looking forward to sharing (and eating, of course). 

Tonight's salad was Greek-inspired: romaine lettuce with a healthy portion of sprouts, diced tomatoes, falafel, and homemade tzatziki sauce.  

I felt so fancy when I sat down to eat this, but it actually took very little effort to prepare. We bought the falafel pre-prepared in the "healthy and somewhat obscure vegetarian foods" section of Harris Teeter, and all it took was 10 minutes in the oven to cook before adding it to the salad. 

The falafel was both inexpensive and delicious, so I definitely plan on getting it again. I found a simple recipe for tzatziki sauce and was able to make it in the time that the falafel was cooking. Well, kind of... I'm not a big fan of yogurt but Carl has been really into Greek yogurt lately and had picked some up that I was going to use in the sauce. He thought he had gotten plain, but just as I was about to add the processed cucumbers and spices to the yogurt I happened to dip my finger in for a taste and realized that it was strawberry flavored. Whoops! I know, I know, it's just a thrill a minute in the Bussells house. I CAN'T believe that we mixed up yogurt flavors!!!! Carl was sweet enough to run back out and get the plain variety, and I'm sure that without the delay I could have whipped it up in 10 minutes. Gotta love quick and easy.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's salad! 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Holy Yum

I think I mentioned in a previous post that my sweet tooth has been out of control lately. If not then here it is, full disclosure: my sweet tooth has been out of control lately. I've been caught with Reese's in bed, searching the drawers at work for hidden candies, and finding any excuse to eat dessert. To try to curb my cravings after my workout this evening I decided to make myself a little treat that wouldn't completely destroy the efforts of the past half hour. What happened in my blender was truly a miracle (so I immediately rushed to my computer to share it with you all). I swear on Melman's life that this smoothie tasted just like a McDonald's milkshake:

Please excuse our creepy utility closet in the background. 
Look at that pretty pastel green! Here's what went into it:

1 banana
1 very ripe pear
1 cup spinach
2 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk and water
9 ice cubes (because 10 would have been too many)

The only thing slightly unhealthy about this smoothie was the peanut butter. I would love to say that it was an all natural brand but in all reality it was just Jif. Compared to a fast food milkshake this version is infinitely cleaner and just as delicious- plus, no guilt and no funny tummy syndrome afterwards. I just wish that I could have one handy for whenever people act disgusted by my regular green smoothies. I think that even the most skeptical of skeptics would enjoy this!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Killer Buns and Thighs

Oooooh lordy, my butt is killing me today. Yesterday I did level 2 of Jillian Michaels' Killer Buns and Thighs and I am paying for it. The upside is that I know I'm getting stronger because I probably wouldn't have made it through even 15 minutes of this workout about 4 weeks ago. As it was, I thought I might die when I made it through the third circuit thinking it was the last one, only to find out that there was a fourth- which included one-legged burpees. ONE-LEGGED BURPEES!! Even my belly button was sweating. I recommend this workout to anyone who is up for an extreme challenge. Every single muscle in my lower body is so sore that I don't even want to know what level 3 is like.

I recently discovered that all of the seasons of Biggest Loser are on Netflix and have become completely obsessed, which means that every time I do a Jillian workout I feel like a contestant on the show. It's actually been a huge motivator for me because if people twice my size can workout for 4 hours a day I should absolutely be able to put in my 45 minutes. The only disappointing part is that I don't lose 10 pounds a week- in fact, I weighed myself this past weekend and found that I've gained 3 pounds. Life is so cruel sometimes! I'm not going to let it get me down because in all fairness I haven't really done diddly squat to improve my diet. I haven't been eating fried twinkies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but my diet could use a little work (aka less pizza, more salad).

This week the PGA tournament is being held out on Kiawah, something that all of the residents and merchants have been bracing themselves for these past couple of weeks. For me it means the potential to sit in traffic for hours and possibly meet a few golf celebrities at the bank. Although, let's be honest, I probably wouldn't know if a famous golfer was in my midst, except for maybe Tiger. I also get to fulfill my lifelong goal of becoming a bartender! In all seriousness I've always thought it would be really cool to bartend but I think my hearing issues would prevent me from ever succeeding. It always amazes me that bartenders get drink orders right with music blaring at what can only be a damaging decibel level. Lucky for me this is going to be sort of an outdoor oasis with limited drink choices, only moderately amplified music, and the use of tickets instead of cash and credit cards- the perfect opportunity for me to make my big break.

I'm going to be absolutely exhausted by the time this week is over working two jobs, so I'm really glad I was able to enjoy a relaxing weekend with my family. My mom and Lauren flew down from Iowa and Nick popped down from Clemson for a lovely lake weekend with the Bussells. All we were missing was my dad, but he just started a new job (congratulations, dad!) and had to sit this one out. We floated in the cove for hours on end, did a little shopping, ate too much food, and squeezed in some Olympic viewing. Being with my family always makes me wish that they lived closer; a visit every 6 months is nowhere near enough!