Monday, July 30, 2012

July Foodie Penpals

The Lean Green Bean

For those of you who haven't heard of foodie penpals - it's an awesome idea where you get matched with two people and you basically send food to one person and the other person sends food to you. There will be more in depth details at the end of this blog post!!

This was my first month participating and  I got matched with Olivia and Emily. Olivia was the person who sent me my box and Emily was the person I sent the box to.

Olivia emailed me and asked me what I liked and didn't like etc. I told her I preferred savory snacks that were healthy as I was following weight watchers, she did an awesome job picking out treats for me.


I was super excited when I got home to find my parcel waiting on the doorstep from me and the first thing I saw when I opened it was this lovely hand written note from Olivia. Then the yumminess....



As you can see I had a glorious box of super yummy things.  The salsa went down a treat at a party we had the other nice, everyone commented on how nice it was. The popcorn seasoning is something I have been wanting to try for a long while, but never purchased. I haven't actually got round to trying it yet, but will do soon. Olivia said the pita chips were here favorite so of course I had to try them first, and ended up eating the whole bag!! They were super yummy. The oat bran sesame sticks are also very yummy, but I have managed to resist eating them all :) The gum I have put in my purse for 'emergency needs'. I am a big fan of almonds, and had a big bag open which I have almost finished then I plan to try these, I'm a little nervous about the wasabi flavoring, as Ive never had that before, but I will let you know. Olivia wasn't aware I'm from England, so it was a nice surprise getting some nice Twinings tea. The jam was super yummy, and strawberry jam is my favorite, I enjoyed trying this on toast for breakfast one day.
Olivia, thanks again for such a fantastic box and all the thought you put into it.

The box I picked and packed went to Emily (@blissforEM) who blogs at Finding Bliss. She has kindly written the following guest post for me about the items I sent her.

I had the pleasure of Sarah picking my name for the swap!!! After I got over my excitement of her English roots (my best friend is from England) I could fully focus on the wonderful bounty I received in my box.  

Where should I start???  All the dried fruit! Amazing stuff! I shared with my dad (usually I hide the best stuff when my parents are visiting) but he loves dried fruit and gave it a big thumbs up.  However, I'm not sure he is the best judge since he will eat and love everything. But I am not so easy to please and I LOVED the fruit.  Next, the pumpkin seeds!! I haven't had many BUT, naturally, I had to sample them.  They have a fabulous flavor.  I also received some larabars which are my FAVORITE!!! But see that little uberbar???  I have yet to try any of the uber bars.... I've wanted to try those new bars since the second they came out so I'm waiting for the perfect moment! I'm pretty confident I will be in love.  And the Justin's squeeze packets? Girl! You read my mind!!! I love those squeeze packets! Did you know you can get them through security in airports?  Well don't hold me to it, but I have : )  I hadn't tried the maple almond one yet.  I may have ate half (more than half?) directly by squeezing it into my mouth the second I could shut my apartment door and have a private little moment with my box  : )  Amazing! There was also some tea in there but it's been too hot to have any!  Good thing is that 9 out of 12 months I consume ridiculous amounts of tea! Can't wait to have some!!! 

If you are doing to swap box thang you should really hope Sarah is the person to send you a box.  She takes this very, very seriously! 

Thanks Sarah!

And now it's time for some details about Foodie Penpals.  In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:
-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. 
-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We've determined things might get too slow and backed up if we're trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. 
If you’re interested in participating for August, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. 
You must submit your information by August 4th as pairings will be emailed on August 5th!

*If you're from somewhere besides the US, Canada or Europe and want to participate, send me an email and I'll see if we get enough interest this month!

Week 29

Time for another fresh start, well not a complete fresh start, but something new.

Last week I decided to try following Weight Watchers Simply Filling plan, the first few days went well, then it got a bit out of hand. The idea behind it is you eat the 'simply filling foods' as much as you want until you are full. For me that wasn't great, as I never seem to get full, things like fat free cheddar, which I found in a local store and purchased two blocks of, well that was classed as simply filling, so i ate all of it in one go! Yes I was the freak who ate from the block of cheese and didn't even cut it!!. So by mid week I kind of gave up and didn't do any kind of tracking :( I did workout last week though, I went swimming three times and went to the actual gym for a workout with the trainer which went really well.

As a result this week's weigh in was a gain of 1lb. Which is rightly deserved and really should have been a lot more.

Time to move forward, I have heard a lot of friends talk about eating clean, so I have been doing some research and it makes sense. So as of today I am going to attempt to eat clean and will be using my fitness pal to track my calories and exercise. I do have a lot of food leftover in my cupboards which is considered less clean and some is 'dirty', but I don't want to throw it out and waste it, so I know I won't be 100% clean this week, but hope to try and be at least 75% clean, and focus on sticking within my calorie allowance.

I have been wearing my fitbit everyday, but now I'm working out at the gym I'm focusing less on the number of steps (47647 steps last week, but then I didn't wear it when working out). I am thinking about buying a HRM to properly calculate my calories burned, but think for now I will focus on the exercise part. Today I did just over 20 mins on the cross trainer, it was hard work, I took a photo of the report at the end of my workout so now I have something to work towards beating this week, I want to work on bringing my heart rate down and also speeding up and doing a further distance in my 20 mins. I put my weight in at the start, so am hoping the calories burned is reasonably accurate. After a few weeks I will try increasing my time to 25 and then 30 mins. I am also do strength training whilst at the gym. I plan to go to the gym M,W,F and swim T and T, although this week I have plans on Thursday, so might have to do something else that day instead.

Last week Melissa (@TheDailyMel) mentioned the Healthy Wage challenge, you basically get together a team of 5 people and you all pay $60, although we paid $50 as we signed up through Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans. Each week you weigh in, the challenge is for 3 months, and at the end of the 3 months the team that is the biggest loser % wise wins $10,000, the second team wins $5000, and the third team wins $3000. There are various challenges on the website so go check it out, and you might make some money. So I'm using this challenge as a great way to motivate me to a: lose weight, b: maybe win some money, c: work in a team, and not let the others down. If you are interested in following our progress you can like our facebook team page Healthinauts.

Have a great week everyone
Sarah xxx

Monday, July 23, 2012

July Bark Box

It's the pups favorite time of the month again when they love the mail man :)

I loved the new design on the edge of the box, Bluey was super eager this month, and was quick to start tearing up the box to open it.

Once open both dogs were eager to look inside, the fancy blue packing ended up everywhere!

As usual the first item we tried was the edible treats - just realized I didn't take individual photos of the items, so apologies.

The treats were YumZies from Nootie they were BBQ flavor treats and a nice handy size to be used as training treats too. As you can see both dogs loved them and were eager to try more.

The second edible item was a Spinz Bone from Precision Pet this kept my two quiet for a good 20 mins, with me switching it between dogs periodically. It is an edible chew toy that moves so its harder for them to chew, it is also good for teeth and fresh breath.

The IncrediBubbles from Pet Qwerks were an interesting item, they are basically bubbles that are safe for dogs, sadly my two weren't interested in them at all, not sure the peach scent/flavor is very appealing to dogs. I will try them again outside one afternoon.

 Bluey enjoyed playing with the T-Bone steak squeaky toy from Petprojekt - it's the closest he will probably ever get to a real steak!

We also received some poop bags from Metro Paws which will come in very handy, especially having two dogs.

Finally we received a $10 off coupon code for PetFlow Which is a site that delivers dog and cat food and treats, I checked it out but they don't currently stock the food I purchase, so I have emailed them to see if they have any plans to stock it, as the delivery sounds like a great idea, and you can select a delivery schedule too, so you don't need to remember to go buy food.

Thanks again BarkBox for another great box of goodies.. Don't forget if you sign up at and use the code SASCO020 you will get $5 off your first box. Go on  - treat your puppy :)

Next month we may attempt a video blog post for the Bark Box

Week 28

Monday is here again :) Interesting fact for today, its 22 weeks until Christmas - there you go - time to start planning!!

So.... this week how did I get on, up until Saturday I did really well and tracked 100%. I used 26 of my weekly points, then Saturday I had friends over and I ate and drank without thinking about points *tut tut*, I had been weighing myself each morning and was ranging from between a 2lb and 3lb loss, this was not the case Sunday morning, or at my official weigh in this morning - I ended up staying the same, which is kind of OK, as I did go well over points on Saturday, but I'm also disappointed in myself. I seem to be stuck in a rut around the 280lbs mark again :(

Steps wise, last week was a poor week (again). I didn't even hit 60,000.

I think I'm getting a bit bored of the whole pointing thing, and maybe the steps thing too - well maybe not bored but not motivated.
So I have decided on two things to shake up things this week.
1, I'm going to attempt to try following the  Simply Filling technique this week, I just need to make sure I don't get carried away with portion sizes. I don't have much planned for this week, except an event on Sunday where I know there will be loads of yummy foods, so will need to work on that, and maybe eat before I go or take some fruit with me.

2, I haven't been to the gym for a few weeks *tut, tut* So I'm going to attempt to go at least 3 times for a 40 minute swim, plus on the days I don't go to the gym, Im going to either do 30 mins on my exercise bike at home, or a workout with my body bands. So I should be doing something each day. Along with my normal walking the dogs etc.

Another thing, I have signed up for another event - I know I must be crazy. Just hope my back holds out for all these events. The one I have signed up for that I am going to do with Lisa and Julia and team 'Anchorholics' is The Dirty Girl Mud Run in October in San Jose. It is a 5k course in the mud, with obstacles, some of the obstacles look scary but they do allow you to detour around any you think are too hard!!

 Have a great week everyone.

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Last night I had the pleasure of hosting a Telestrations party courtesy of House Party*

Telestrations is like broken telephone but with pictures and words. It is easy to play and is lots of fun and there was much laughing last night.

There were 8 of us last night, we received 2 board games, erasable face masks, balloons and bendable telestrations characters. We had lots of fun drawing our funny faces on the masks. Then we enjoyed some yummy food and drinks, before playing the game. 

It was interesting to see everyone's drawings and to see what the original word ended up as. Some of them made it from start to finish as the same word, others didn't do so well. We had one that started as iceberg and ended up as acorn, and one that started as tic, tac, toe and ended up as cemetery. There were a few other interesting ones too, unfortunately I didn't take any pictures of the drawings, but definitely will next time, it was nice to see the different levels of drawing, especially as one of the players is a graphic artist :).

 The game is for 4 - 8 players, and the suggested age is 12 upwards, but we had an 8 year play and he was able to enjoy the game as much as everyone else. We started using the suggested words on the cards, then we made up our own categories, including movies, animals, bands, book title and food.

*If you are interested in hosting a party sign up on the House Party website and you maybe lucky enough to get to selected, they have different kinds of parties each month, ranging from alcoholic (unfortunately living in CA, I'm not allowed to host that party :( ) to kids toys, to food to household products.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Week 27

Last week seemed to go really quickly, it only feels like yesterday that I was doing my weekly update blog post.

I completed two 5k's this week - the Do Life and The Color Run, both were lots and lots of fun, and I also set a new PR for 5k doing the Do Life run, but was nowhere close on The Color Run as the course made it a lot slower, especially stopping to get colored every kilometer.

Numbers wise, I tracked Monday to Thursday 100% then TOTM arrived and it all went out of the window and I didn't track and as a result of that I had a gain of 0.2lbs, which I think I am very lucky to have had as I was expecting a lot more. My total loss is now at 10.4lbs.

Step wise this week, you would have thought I would have beat my 65034 steps from last week after doing two 5k's - but I guess I was super lazy on the other days. It was very warm so I wasn't doing the usual long dog walks this week. My steps came in at 61097 for the week. My very active % was more this week, but other than that the numbers were pretty poor :( Want to really try hard this week and make it to a minimum of 70000 steps.

 Lots planned for this week, so should be kept active and away from the kitchen.
Have a great week everyone

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Do Life 5K

Last night I took part in a 5k  that was part of the Ben Does Life tour. For those of you who haven't heard of Ben, check out his blog - it's very inspirational. It was a great experience meeting him and everyone else last night.

My walking (yes I didn't run!) buddy for the 5k was Marisol We walked along the Embarcadero in San Francisco and it was a nice evening, warm in places and rather cool in the shade AND extremely cold later on in the evening!!

Photos are courtesy of Marisol

Looking rather windswept!

The half way turn around point

Merchandise :)

The gorgeous view of the Bay Bridge as we left the city
I started using the Nike + GPS app in January, and used it last night and apparently it was a new record time for a 5k - go me :) 17'22" minute mile. So I now have something to work towards :) I imagine the upcoming Color Run 5k for this Saturday will be a lot slower, as there will be a lot more people, plus we will be getting covered in color!! Photos will be posted later on Saturday of all the action.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Week 26

Happy Monday everyone - not that there is much left of today!

My one target for this week was to attempt to beat my total step count from two weeks ago which was 77686. I failed :( my week started off well, but then slowed down as the week went on, and two days I never hit 10,000 steps, as a result my total steps for the week was 65,034, which was more than last week, but not the target I had planned for. I did climb a lot more floors this week, the reason being I have set myself a new rule, those of you who have been to my house will know it has lots and lots of steps. So I now park my car in the garage instead of out front and walk up the steps (i really should count how many there are!) each time, this includes with shopping, the other day it took me four trips to bring all my shopping in from the car - it felt good though.

Tracking wise, I tracked 100%, and used up 30 of my 49 weekly points - mainly when I went out for an Indian meal on Friday - which was so good (which reminds me I must go and write some yelp reviews). I didn't earn any activity points this week as other than walking I never did any extra exercise. The results from all my excellent tracking was a loss of 2.6lbs this week - which I was very pleased with and that now takes my total loss for this year to 10.6lbs.

This week I am taking part in two 5k runs (well I'll be walking!) with Marisol (@missmarisol) The first one is the Do Life run in San Francisco on Wednesday evening, and the second one is The Color Run in San Francisco on Saturday morning (bright and early) where we will get covered in color (and take lots of photos). So I will definitely be clocking up a few extra steps this week.

Have a great week everyone xxx

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Summer Challenge Final Results

A big thank you to everyone who took part in the 8 week summer challenge :) You were all great at sending me your weekly weigh in's (most of the time!) so that made my job a lot easier, and I have enjoyed hosting it. I was hoping someone would step up to host the next 8 week challenge, but sadly no-one has.


Firstly spot prize time :) This week the challenge was to walk/jog/run 5k and send me the results or post on twitter. I had three people complete this: Marisol N (@missmarisol), Alexis A (@divaonadiet) and Dacia L (@dacialee33)  Seeing as all three of you made the extra effort to do that this week, I am going to award you all a spot prize, so please send me your address so I can sort that out for you - and congratulations.

Not sure what happened this week, maybe it was the overindulging from 4th July, as between us we managed a gain of 9.2lbs this week which was 0.30%.  This takes our total 8 week loss to 119.3lbs so a big pat on the back to you all.

Do you think you did enough this week to be the overall winner? Our weekly winner for this week was Alexis A (@divaonadiet) who lost an awesome 2.03% this week :) This is the third time in the challenge that she was our weekly biggest loser. Well done :)


Our overall winner goes to someone who lost weight EVERY week in the challenge and as a result they lost a whopping 8.73% in the challenge - this title goes to Sarah G (@sarah1807) Congratulations to you, you have done really really well - keep up the good work. Please send me your address so I can send your prize to you.

I have one final spot prize to award and that goes to Becky M (@OMGBeckster), she stayed the same weight for two weeks but every other week she lost weight, so the only other person who didn't have a gain the entire challenge. Please send me your address also so I can send you your spot prize.

Thanks again everyone for participating, and remember just because the challenge is over the journey isn't, keep up the good work and good luck getting to your goals - you can do it

Sarah xxx

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Week 25

Hey everyone.

So I'm a day late posting this week, as I've been busy out and about doing lots of things, plus I wasn't as eager to post my results this week *hangs head in shame*

Let's get down to the nitty gritty - I had a gain this week! A gain of 3.4lbs this week. My week started well, then I went out to dinner, then gradually as the week went on I did less and less and ate more and more and stopped tracking, and the result was a gain.

I planned to beat my previous steps total from the week before which was 77686, well another fail I only managed 61814, so short by over 10,000 not a great attempt. Although my % of very active this week was 0.3% more.
This week is a new week, and so far I'm doing good and I've tracked 100%. I've even planned out my meals for tomorrow (4th July) so I won't go overboard with my choices. Planning chicken kebabs, grilled corn and lots of salad and fruit, and might indulge in some ribs from my weekly points allowance.

I want to try and beat my previous weeks steps total - so that is my one target for this week.

Have a great 4th of July everyone and stay safe.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Summer Challenge Week 7 results

Just one more week left in the  challenge - an extra special good luck to everyone for the final week.

Someone suggested this week that we do a #losew8in8 virtual 5k challenge - thanks to @divaonadiet for that great suggestion. I think this would be a great idea for the final week.

All you need to do is run/jog/walk 5k this week and email/DM me proof of your time/distance. It's not a race so you don't have to be super fast, just at the pace that works best for you. There will be spot prizes awarded for this challenge - so that's an even better reason to take part.

We lost a total of 0.51% this week, which was an awesome 15.8lbs - so well done to everyone. That takes out total loss to 128.5lbs in the challenge so far - you guys rock :)

Our biggest loser title for this week goes to Alexis A (@divaonadiet) who lost an amazing 2.27% this week. Well done to you. Our overall biggest loser title remains with Sarah G (@sarah1807) who holds the title for the second week now and has lost an amazing 8.01%. Anything could happen in the final week.

Hope you all have a great week and a fantastic 4th of July - don't eat too many burgers and hot dogs :)