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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions I see regularly on my blog. If you have any other questions please feel free to e-mail me at mealsandmiles@gmail.com.

 

Weight Loss

Do you count calories?

No, I do not count calories. When I first started to lose weight a friend of mine told me to try counting calories after I had already lost 10 or so pounds. I counted for about a week and absolutely hated it. I ended up scrutinizing all the food I ate and I would end up feeling bad when I did not come in way below my calorie goal. While I counted calories I pretty much starved my body and did not lose any weight. When I realized the calorie counting did not make a difference I went back to what I was doing before and the weight melted off. There are plenty of people who had success counting calories and losing weight, I was just not one of them.

How did you lose the weight and what are you doing differently now?

I am not doing one thing different now, then when I was trying to lose weight. I simply stopped eating fast food, I stopped cooking with heavy sauces, started exercising and started to learn about this whole other realm of good for you food out there. The changes I made to my lifestyle were enjoyable ones and I felt no reason to change any of them just because I had reached my goal. I decided to keep up with my habits and see when my weight naturally landed. When I hit around 124 the needle stopped moving and I decided this is the weight I should be at.

Food

 

You rarely document what you drink, how do you stay hydrated during the day?

Trust me I stay very hydrated throughout the day, I only tend to document any drink that has calories in it. I usually survive off of daily fixes of water, hot herbal tea, unsweetened iced tea (which I buy Publix’s brand by the gallon!), sparkling water, and flavored seltzer water. I have eased myself away from adding any sweetener or milk to my tea and now prefer it black. I am a recovering soda addict and miss the bubbles so I have either one sparkling water or seltzer a day. Right now I am in love with Raspberry La Croix Sparkling Waters, which you may have seen popping up in a few pictures in my blog. Just remember when buying flavored water to make sure nothing artificial is added. The La Croix has 0 calories and 0 artificial sweeteners.

How much of your food goes undocumented? (Especially during marathon training)

I would say I document 90% – 95% of what I eat on the blog. The other 5% – 10% are bites here and there that I forget to document. For instance, I am a terrible nibbler when it comes to preparing meals. Its usually one scoop of cereal for my bowl and one small handful in my mouth as I prepare my morning breakfast. I also will randomly grab pieces of dried fruit or a small handful of cereal from the cabinets after work or will grab a couple of grapes or strawberries when ever I stare at the fridge deciding what’s for dinner.

What is the average amount you spend on groceries per month? (Veggies and organic ingredients seem to be sooooo expensive)

Thanks to Mint.com I can tell you I spent exactly $293 on groceries in the month of January.

$293? Yikes!

That seems like a lot for one person for a month. I just can’t help myself when it comes to groceries. I love food and it’s the one thing I am willing to spend a little more on. I may not buy expensive make up, but I do buy fresh, healthy food each week.

And if you consider the $293 covers three meals and two snacks a day and that I rarely eat out during the week then it doesn’t seem to bad. :)

Do you usually eat everything on your plate? Especially at restaurants?

If I prepared it at home then more thank likely I have licked my plate clean. At restaurants it all depends. I judge my plate on portion size and how heavy the meal is. Depending on that I will eat until I feel satisfied or clean my plate. Usually I know how to order just enough food to fill me up and will eat everything provided.

Do you plan your meals for the week? or do you decide what to eat, right before the meal?

It depends. Sometimes at the beginning of the week I feel inspired with a lot of great meals ideas and plan accordingly. However, some weeks I have no clue what I want (like this week). In those cases I try to imagine a great meal while I’m at work, or I stand in front of the fridge for 10 minutes until something pops out at me.

Running

 

How do you measure your running distances and do you use a heart rate monitor?
I own and LOVE the Garmin Forerunner 205. It’s a GPS enabled watch that tracks my distance, pace,  etc. It also has great programming features that allows me to plug in speed work outs and set specific running goals. I do not use a heart rate monitor. I did at one time, but never reviewed any of the information, so I stopped using it.

Did you ever write a post about what you did to start running? I was just curious if you used any specific method to start running.

You can read about my running journey here. I didn’t start out with any goals or specific method – I just ran. I think I’m living proof that anyone can become a runner. :)

Do you ever take plain rest days–not active rest days?

I do! In fact I took one last Saturday when I had to be up early for Derek’s race and we went straight to Tampa afterwards. I don’t plan plain-rest days they just kind of happen and I go with the flow.

Daily Routine

What time do you get up in the morning and how the heck are you able to squeeze runs in before work?

I typically got to bed around 10:00 and wake up at 5:30. You can read about my entire morning routine here.

Do you go home for lunch? How do you pull that off?

Yes, I have the luxury of being able to go home for lunch to let Maddie out and eat in my own kitchen. You can read my entire lunchtime routine here.

I love your blog, but have to ask – do you proofread it? You have more typos than anyone else I read

I know! I know! I write most of my posts in such a hurry that I rarely have a chance to proofread! I’m sorry. :(

Honestly, I am not even sure why people read my blog. I swear every time I look back I cringe at all my typos and grammatical errors. I’ll admit its a bit embarrassing sometimes.

With that being said, I am trying really hard to get in the habit of proofreading before publishing. I know a few mistakes still make it through, but I am trying. The blogging software I use does have spell checker installed, but spell checker does not catch everything. For instance yesterday I meant to write ‘resume’ and accidentally put ‘recipe’ (don’t ask me how recipe came out?). Since recipe is a real word spell checker overlooked the error.

Camera

 

Love your photos! What kind of camera do you use?

Thanks! :)  I typically shoot with my Canon Rebel T3. It’s a great beginner DSLR and I highly recommend it for anyone looking to step up their skills! Most of my food shots are done with a 50 mm f/1.8 lens and all others are short with the kit lens that came with the camera.

For my on-the-go shots I rely on my Canon PowerShot S95 and all of my underwater photos are taken with my Fuji FinePix WP.

What camera do you film with while you’re running?

I run with a Flip MinoHD and love it!!! I typically store it in my SpiBelt or in a pouch in my arm. It’s very easy to operate without losing too much momentum in the process.

You can check out example race videos at the bottom of my Race Recaps page. :)

Do you have any tips or tricks for taking great photos?

Tons! Check out my Blogging 101: Pictures to check them out!

What camera bag do you use?

It’s the Golla Lynn Brown Cam bag.

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I bought mine at Target in December of 09, but I found it on Amazon here.

Derek

Who is Derek?

Derek is the fiance. :)

How did you and Derek meet?

Derek and I met through our mutual friend Emily back in college. We were first introduced in April of 2005, but didn’t meet up again until that November. We dated on and off for another year before Derek graduated and moved back home. Two years went by before I saw Derek again at an FSU football game in November of 2008. The rest is history. :)

What does Derek do?

He works in the human resources department for an accounting firm in Tampa.

Does Derek run too?

Yep! Check out this post where he PRed at the Seasons 52 5K in January!

Maddie

 

Maddie is adorable! What kind of dog is she?

Maddie is a purebred Jack Russell Terrier.

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Where did you get Maddie?

I brought Maddie home from a Jack Russell breeder just North of Orlando on August 3rd, 2009.

How old is Maddie?

Maddie was born on April 24, 2009, so depending on when you read this I’ll let you do the math to how old she is. ;)

I’ve heard Jack Russells are pretty hyper dogs, would you recommend them for someone in an apartment?

Well, I live in an apartment and Maddie does just find. :) Yes, Maddie has her moments of craziness, but overall she’s a pretty calm dog. She’s really shy and a Mama’s girl, so I think that helps. I let her run around outside in the morning, during lunch, and a few times after work to make sure she gets enough exercise too.

I love the Jack Russell breed and would recommend a JRT anyone looking for a loving, energetic dog. If you are looking for a quiet dog who doesn’t need a lot of attention, then a JRT probably isn’t for you. :)

Orlando

For all Orlando related questions I would suggest checking out the My Orlando section of the blog. There you will find reviews on local restaurants and events in the area!

Work

Does your work know about your blog?

Yes, my job knows about my blog and everyone seems to be ok with it. :)

How long did it take you to find your first “real” job after graduating from college?

I graduated from FSU in April of 2007 and found my first ‘real’ job as an Advertising Assistant at the local newspaper towards the end of July. I found the job via careerbuilder.com and went through three rounds of interviews before I was hired.

A year later when I quit and moved to Orlando I felt like I was starting at square one again. I got really, really lucky and after a month of living at home I had two great jobs offer. A couple of months ago I asked my supervisor why she hired me and she said it was because I was upbeat, had a great resume (I interned in college), and most importantly was willing to learn.

What suggestions do you have for a young graduate who is trying to break out of the late night/binge drinking environment into the 9-5 world?  My concerns are portable lunches, exercising after work (I am NOT a morning person), and making smart choices at happy hour with my co-workers.  Thanks :)

I believe a routine is key when trying to adapt to the 9-5 world. I would suggest planning everything in advance and finding a schedule that works best for you. Since you are not a morning person I would try bringing your work out clothes to work and heading straight to the gym/ running area/etc. after work. If you go home first you will want to crash. Trust me.

I also suggest packing your lunch and snacks the night before. It’s very important to remember your snacks! Just assume you will be hungry in the afternoon and come prepared. Portable lunches are easy if you have an office fridge and microwave. Leftovers make great portable lunches as well as salads, wraps, sandwiches, or even a mish mosh of eats.

Happy hour with the co-workers is a tricky situation. I usually stick with the one drink rule and just slowly sip it. No one will even realize you are still on your first drink when they are on their second or third. You could also try mocktails and quietly ask the bartender for a club soda with lime.

Good luck!

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