Monthly Archives: August 2010

Sometimes I feel like a . . .

Guess what I had for dinner . . .

beautifully cooked burger

fried crisp and cooked to perfection

And you know what?? I didn’t even feel that guilty. :)

It was delicious and the first burger I’ve had in months. Mmm . . .

My husband and I needed something fast and easy because we were going to the grocery store. Usually, Friday is grocery store night but tomorrow I will be on a plane. I am leaving for Rochester, New York for the weekend. Yay! I actually went to college in Rochester and my friend, Luke still lives there. So I will be visiting him for the weekend and I am super excited. I don’t know that I will have time to blog, but I will be taking lots of pictures and I will update as soon as I return Monday evening. As for now, I have to go pack!

And now, I will leave you with a random picture of Callie. She is obviously trying to wrestle her favorite toy away from me. So cute!

wrestling Mommy for my favorite toy!

Pumpkin Oat Bars

I love pumpkin. It totally reminds me of fall and even though the weather is still very summery, I am hoping that by baking something with pumpkin in it, I can somehow wish the Fall here just a little sooner. A girl can dream, right?

The thing is I had no idea there was even a can of pumpkin in my cabinet. (Note to self: clean out cabinets.) A few weeks ago, my husband and I were looking through them and I was delighted to find a couple of cans hidden. Yay! So I was dreaming of pumpkin dishes. I found a dish for Pumpkin Bars on Sparkpeople. I actually made a few changes and modified the recipe a bit. These bars could totally be made into muffins as well. Yummy! I was very happy with the result: moist and not too sweet. Yummy.

mixing the batter

warm from the oven

Pumpkin Oat Bars

1  1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. oats
1/2 c. brown sugar (if you want them a little sweeter, you can use about 3/4 of a cup. I just scaled the sugar back a bit)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1  1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 cup pumpkin
3/4 cup fat free milk
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup nuts of your choice (I did not use nuts here because I am not able to have them at this time)

Mix all dry ingredients together. Add pumpkin, milk, applesauce, and slightly beaten egg. Mix lightly (do not overmix). Add nuts if you are using. You can make muffins if you want or spread batter in 13 x 9 pan (lightly greased with nonstick cooking spray). Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes, use toothpick to see if they are done. Do not over cook.

yummy pumpkin bar

Delicious!

I told you so

Ever since I took up running, my family has told me that it would destroy my joints, my knees . . . it’s unsafe, etc., etc. Well, I am dreading the big “I told you so.” It appears that I have developed the dreaded “Runner’s Knee.” It started with a faint pain behind my knee the other day and it has gradually increased. I have been on one easy run since the pain began, but since then it has been rest and ice, ice baby.

I am thinking that maybe I increased my mileage too soon, too fast. That’s not really running’s fault, right? Not my beloved sport of running. I know I can’t possibly be going too fast. There are turtles who probably go faster than me. :) I am definitely disappointed that I am unable to run right now. Has anyone else had this before? How long does this take to go away? I am optimistic that after a week or so, I will be back to my old self.

The main thing is that this injury is preventing me from doing other exercises as well. I did Jillian Michaels 30 day shred on Sunday and all the jumping jacks and stuff definitely aggravated it. Then I decided to wake up at the crack of dawn at 5:30 am this morning to attempt some elliptical work. That . . . . failed me as well. After some research, it looks like any exercise where the legs have to bend is out. I really wish I had access to a pool. Tomorrow, I am going to do some research on other workouts and see if there is anything I can come up with that won’t aggravate this injury. I want to continue losing weight and I don’t like the idea of not working out at out for the next week or so.

Meanwhile, I am super proud of myself for not bingeing today. I ate super healthy and I felt great!

Breakfast was eggs with some red peppers, cheese, and some bacon.

filling and yummy breakfast

Lunch was a simple bowl of tomato soup. I didn’t take a picture because I forgot to take my camera to work, but trust me it was good. I am still not used to having my camera prepared for food pictures.

Snack #1 was carrot sticks dipped in hummus. Ordinarily, I am not a fan of raw carrot sticks. But I LOVE them in hummus. Whole Foods was having a Buy One, Get One free sale on the stuff this weekend on the stuff and if I’m not careful, I may run out of the stuff by the end of the week!

Snack #2 was a delicious apple.

Dinner was some pork tenderloin with some italian seasoning. red pepper flakes. Yummy. We also had mashed potatoes and some asparagus. Well, I had the asparagus. My husband just  had the potatoes.

one of my favorite meals

Best part of the day: I totally resisted the urge to have one of my husband’s cupcakes since I knew I wasn’t hungry. Success! I may or may not have taken a lick at some of the frosting that was left on his plate. Hehe. Just a small taste.

And I could not resist this picture of my dog. She is just as tired as me. She has had a very long day at doggy daycare. Poor thing.

I'm so tired, but the paparazzi keep hounding me!

Now Corey and I are relaxing while watching some TV which includes some “Wipeout” and “Flipping Out.” Love those shows. I’m also thinking of doing some baking, I have a can of pumpkin that has been screaming my name so we will see. Tomorrow is my day off, so I may do it today or I may wait until tomorrow when I am going at full throttle. Goodnight everyone!

Lazy Sundays

First, I just want to say that I love my new header! My wonderfully, technologically savvy husband took some ideas that I had and did exactly what I wanted. I have no clue how to use Photoshop, so I didn’t know where to begin. I think he did an AWESOME job!

I always intend for Sundays to be much more productive than they are. But today was kind of a lazy one. Although I did get a lot of working out done.

My husband does enjoy making me breakfast, so this morning I had him make me some blueberry pancakes from a recipe that I saw on Health.com. The recipe is one that combines oats, cottage cheese, vanilla, and eggs . . . and blueberries, of course! The pancakes came out very moist and super tasty!

First, you mix some oats, cottage cheese, eggs, and vanilla in a blender.

Then stir in some blueberries . . .

Then you fry them up and this is the final product . . .

Of course I just had to fry up some bacon to go with them!

And no, I didn’t eat ALL the pancakes! I just thought they looked pretty this way. :) I will have some good leftovers a couple days this week for breakfast. That’s why I love pancake breakfasts!

Corey and I decided to go for a run right before lunch. We are actually trying to sell our house (we have been trying at that for quite a while now) and someone wanted to come see it today, so we had to go away for a while. We were planning a 4 mile run, but somewhere along the way I got a headache that was threatening to turn into a migraine. Maybe it was dehydration or the heat or something. So we had to cut the run in half. I’m hoping to go for a 4 mile run tomorrow. Long runs don’t have to be on the weekend, right?

The rest of the day was spent going to the Farmer’s Market, which was super crowded and where we spent a lot of our food budget on fruits and veggies. Everything looked so good though and I should have plenty of good snacks for the week.

Dinner was simple hamburger steaks with asparagus and mashed potatoes. Can you believe I never tried asparagus until a year ago? And I have never actually cooked it for myself. I have always been afraid to do that, afraid that I would screw it up. My dad gave me a kind of fool proof, tasty recipe. I pretty much just drizzled it with a little olive oil, sprinkled it with a little cajun seasoning and then tossed it around on a baking sheet to make sure it was evenly coated. Then, bake for 15-20 minutes and voila! Tasty asparagus. And it was super tasty. It’s not easy finding a vegetable that I like and that I can cook, but I like asparagus.

I even got Corey to try it as part of his trying something new.

Corey trying asparagus while making cupcakes

He said the taste was okay, but he wasn’t sure about the texture. I swear, whatever new thing he tries, it’s always a texture thing with him. Always.

And speaking of cupcakes, Corey has been craving cupcakes for over a week now. We had a box of cake mix in the cabinet and we bought a box if chocolate frosting over the weekend just so he could make them.

Apparently, I have a really hard time with the whole “balance” thing . Before he started making them, I was telling him ways he could make them healthier (such as replace the oil with applesauce). He didn’t want any part of that. Then I told him the cake mix has trans fats in it, which raises your chances of heart attack by some outrageous number. I think I made up the number I actually told him. Seriously, what was I doing? I am supposed to believe in balance and giving in to your craving and the man has been craving a cupcake for over a week. Maybe I still have problems with eating foods that have always been on my “forbidden list.” I still feel guilty about it. My husband actually said to me, “You’re ruining cupcake day.” I just had to laugh at that and I stopped myself at that point and just let him have his fun. Let him have his cupcake. And I may have snuck one too.

Asparagus on one hand and chocolate batter on the other . . . that's what I call balance!

delicious, creamy cupcake

The day ended on a great note with a Jillian Michaels workout, followed by fifteen minutes on the elliptical. So all in all, it was a pretty good day. And maybe one of these days, I will work on the balance thing and the guilt that it produces.

Cookbook Fanatic

Before we get to the title of this post (cookbooks!!), I’ll say a little about today’s meals and give a very easy recipe for egg salad. This morning when I woke up, I didn’t know whether I was hungry or nauseous. Is anyone familiar with that feeling? I knew I needed to eat something, but there was no way I was going to be able to eat my granola and peach parfait that I wanted to. So I decided on my favorite food: tomato soup. Sometimes lunch is okay for breakfast right? And I got a serving of veggies in as well so it’s all good.

For lunch, it was so tough to decide because seriously we were running out of food. Good thing we were scheduled for a grocery run today. We needed one STAT! I decided on an easy dish of egg salad. I know a lot of people make their egg salads differently and sometimes it can be fatty with all the eggs and mayo. I want a lot of food without all the calories. Is that too much to ask??

I actually take two hard boiled eggs and then one hard boiled egg white and mix those together. More bang for your buck if you take that third yolk out. I don’t use any mayo at all. I use dijonnaise. I like my egg salad tangy. Dijonnaise is a creamy combo of mayo and dijon mustard . . . and it has only 10 calories! It is super yummy! I have used this stuff in everything.

a watched pot never boils!

Egg Salad

2 hard boiled eggs
1 hard boiled egg white
1 tablespoon dijonnaise
chopped up celery/green pepper
salt and pepper to taste; pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

Chop up hard boiled eggs and egg white. Mix in other ingredients very well. Serve with crackers, bread, or lettuce and enjoy!

In addition to the egg salad, I bought side salad at the grocery store and a fruit cup. Tasty and nutritious lunch!

I am such a cookbook fanatic. I love them. I have quite a few on my shelf. I have tried several recipes out of every one of them and sometimes I will go months without using one. But each one is precious to me.

I am always wary about buying cookbooks sight unseen online. Usually, if I am in a bookstore I will scan through it and if I see several recipes I want to try then I buy it. Online shopping is a bit tougher. That doesn’t stop me from doing it though. :)

Imagine my delight when I found a totally inexpensive way to check out some cookbooks before buying them: the public library! I had no idea they had cookbooks available to check out. I have already checked out one cookbook: Cooking Light: the 5 ingredient, 15 minute cookbook.Honestly, there were about 5 recipes I wanted to try in the whole book. Other than that, it wouldn’t be worth buying. Others may like it, but there were a lot of ingredients that I knew would have MSG in it and such. I guess the fewer ingredients, the more processed it gets. Today, I got Vegan Cookies and Veganomicon: the Ultimate Vegan Cookbook. The latter one was recommended by Anne P. at Fannetastic Food.

I am, in no way vegan. I love meat and I love dairy. But I thought these books would have some interesting recipe ideas. And they do. So far, I have seen several things I would like to try. I’ll have to read up on them a little more to see if I will indeed buy them, but it does look promising. I feel like a kid on Christmas with two cookbooks! The funny thing is that Corey scoffed at me when he heard the title Vegan Cookies. And yet, there he was looking through it ten minutes later and he actually found a cookie recipe that he wanted us to try. :)

I am in a Rut

I am in a rut . . . a workout rut that is. I have found that the only exercise I truly enjoy is “running.”

Notice the quotations marks? Maybe that’s because sometimes I consider myself a jogger rather than a runner because of my pace. ;)

I never thought I would enjoy running, especially since I have NEVER been an outdoors kind of girl. But ever since I got into it, I find that running actually keeps me from going insane helps to relieve my stress. And it’s nice that I have that to turn to instead of comfort eating. Although I do still occasionally feel the need to eat one too many brownies when I am upset.

I have learned though that when I run too many days or for too long, it is rough on the joints. And let’s face it, I want to keep my knees when I’m sixty. So I keep my running down to 3 days a week, 4 at the most. That seems to work for me in regards to keeping the running injuries at bay.

So what do I do the rest of the time? I am still a good 30 pounds away from my weight loss goal. My workouts consist of the elliptical . . . .

. . . . and Jillian Michaels 30 day shred workouts for strength training.

Don’t get me wrong . . . I adore Jillian Michaels workouts and this one is awesome, not to mention the fact that it can be pretty tough. It’s just that both that and the elliptical can be pretty boring. It can be pretty hard to summon up any motivation to work out when I’m not excited about what I’m doing. So on days when I’m not running, I end up short-changing myself or even making excuses about why I can’t don’t want to work out.

Bottom line is that I need to find another type of cardio and strength training workout that I can get excited about. Something that will help relieve the stresses of the day just as much as running. I just have no idea where to start.

A desperate need for cookies and legs of jelly

Today I was in desperate need for something to fulfill my sweet tooth. There were no sweets in the house, besides grapes. And fruit just wasn’t going to cut it. I did make a pit stop at Whole Foods today and I was very proud of myself for resisting temptation there. I bypassed the coconut macaroons and just barely drooled over the jumbo sugar cookies in the bakery cookies. Note to self: do not go to grocery store hungry. You would think I had already learned this lesson. Alas, I have not.

I had a major craving for something that I have made several times before: Vanilla Wafer Cookies. The cookie is a mix of vanilla and buttery, sugary goodness. :) I initially found the recipe on Sparkpeople. I have modified it a little bit each time to make it better and the result is a really nice, crispy cookie.

Vanilla Wafer Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg white
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg white and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture and mix well. To form cookies, take 2 teaspoonfulls worth of dough and roll into a ball. Drop onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool. Should make about 35 cookies.

I can't stop at just one!

On another note, I had an awesome run tonight. I went two miles. Tonight I took my Ipod and maybe it was because it was a stressful day or maybe it was the fast music I was listening to . . . but I really pushed myself tonight. When I was almost home, it was technically going to be my cool down period but then a fast song came on that just inspired me to keep running. And that was a little bit of a miracle since my legs were feeling shaky at that point. But I pushed it and it felt great. I was going to do another workout when I got home, but my legs were like jelly by that point. Seriously . . . quivering like jelly and I had to sit down. Or bake cookies. Whatever. :)

Also, I tried some sunflower seed butter that I had heard about. Granted, it was not the Trader Joe’s brand that I heard was awesome. I bought this brand at Whole Foods. And I did not like it at all. It was a waste of $5. It was very bitter. I had heard good things about the other brand, but I’m not sure how I feel about spending the money to try it out again. Maybe I should wait until I can have peanut butter again. But I miss peanut butter so much! I guess that just goes to show you there is no substitute for the real thing.