Monthly Archives: October 2010

Weekend of Firsts

So this weekend had its highs and its lows. I found out that my multivitamin I took (for the first time) had MSG in it. Seriously . . . that stuff is EVERYWHERE! I learned a valuable lesson: I MUST check the ingredients on everything that goes into my body. My body is very sensitive to MSG and I actually got a two day migraine because of it. I was sick all day Friday and all day Saturday. Not fun.

But I am feeling much better now and this weekend was a weekend of firsts.

Last night, I tried butternut squash for the first time.

leaving the dirty work of the cutting to my husband

Before . . .

After!

I really liked it. It wasn’t actually as hard to peel or cut that I thought it would be. Maybe that’s because I left that part for my husband. :)

I do think that I overcooked it a little because it was kind of mushy. But I still liked the taste and I would try it again. How long should I roast butternut squash anyway?

Today I tried making homemade cinnamon rolls for the first time. I made Pumpkin Cinnamon rolls and they were so tasty!

Fresh out of the oven

I can post the recipe later. It’s one that my dietician emailed to me and it was adapted from Cooking Light. There were a few times that I wasn’t sure me and Corey were doing it right, but they came out so delicious and they actually looked like cinnamon rolls.

It was a great Sunday morning activity for me and Corey to do together. The couple who cooks together, stays together . . . that is, unless the couple kill each other over which room is best to leave the dough in to rise. ;)

I also left my very first Operation Beautiful note!

I was in the fitting room at Kohl’s, trying on some new clothes for work. I was feeling really bad about myself and engaging in a lot of negative self-talk. At that point, I stopped myself and decided that I would post an encouraging note instead. I couldn’t think of a better location for positive encouragement than a fitting room! It made me feel so much better and it really put a smile on my face.

I also got my very first IPhone! Yay! My cell phone that I had was about five years old, so it was practically ancient. Our Verizon contract ended yesterday, so we switched to AT&T first chance we got. :)

Love the pic of me and Corey as my wallpaper. So cute!

This evening, I tried spaghetti squash for the first time.

Mmm . . . very tasty. Corey and I made some simple sauce by combining 365 organic pasta sauce, some Jennie-O lean turkey sausage (hot), some garlic powder, oregano, and red pepper. The sauce was super tasty and the squash really didn’t have that much taste, which I didn’t mind. But I think we undercooked the squash just a little because it wasn’t as tender as I think it could have been. How tender does spaghetti squash get anyway? We bought half a squash that was already cut up and baked it in the oven for about 30 minutes. Did I undercook it? Again, I just need some advice. How long should I bake the spaghetti squash?

The highlight of today (for sure) was that I had my very first Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks!

this pic was taken on my new IPhone!

Totally yummy . . . I may have to look into making my own Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I have seen so many recipes on blogs lately and goodness knows, it would be cheaper than going to Starbucks all the time. I definitely see more of these in my future. :)

So that was my weekend in a nutshell. Were there any firsts for you this weekend?

Happy Halloween!

He’s Back!!!

Okay, I’m going to make this a quick post. My husband is now home from his business trip and he’s ready to annoy spend time with me. :)

Breakfast started out with a meal of champions. I had a couple of eggs, some American cheese and I topped them with hot sauce. With the eggs, I had some a toasted pita with almond butter and Trader Joe’s pumpkin butter.

I was really surprised that my pumpkin butter has been in my cabinet since Saturday and I hadn’t opened it yet. Surprisingly, I was not super impressed with it. It was a little too spicy or something (meaning too much nutmeg) and I thought it could have used some extra sweetness or something. I will continue to eat it, but I’m not sure I will buy it again.

I went to work kind of early (for a Thursday anyway) and I was hungry by midmorning, so I had a snack of some Farmer’s Market fresh pineapple. Mmm . . . it was so fresh and so juicy. I love pineapple!

Lunch was some Trader Joe’s roasted turkey slices, hummus, and spinach on a whole wheat pita. I also may have put some hot sauce on it. I swear, I put that stuff on everything lately!

I have got to find another type of bread for my sandwiches. I don’t know what is up, but lately the pitas that I get at the store just fall apart. They are so flimsy! The pita starts breaking even before I begin to put my fillings in. Above is a pretty picture of the sandwich. Below is a picture that shows the broken parts of the pita.

These broken pitas make for a very messy lunch. Tasty, but messy.

An afternoon snack consisted of something that I haven’t had in a super long time . . . a Larabar!!! I was so thrilled to eat this. I am reintroducing dried fruits to my diet to see if they cause migraines. I know that nuts do not cause headaches (thank goodness), so I am eating some Larabars to see if dried fruit causes a reaction.

I had the Peanut Butter Cookie flavor. I don ‘t know how the people of Larabar gets their bars to taste so much like peanut butter cookies when the only ingredients are peanuts, dates and salt . . . but dammit, they taste awesome!

After work and picking up Callie from doggy daycare, I headed home. Callie and I both wanted a bit of exercise in the form of a jog (even though she was super tired from her day) and I had a great pre-workout snack of Peanut Butter Puffins.

several handfuls of these

Where have these things been all my life?? I adore the peanut butter flavor and they taste so much better than the original. I could get super addicted to these things!

Callie and I had an awesome jog and then I also did 30 minutes on the elliptical. So I did an hour of cardio today and I feel great . . . although my feet are a bit sore.

Does anyone have any ideas or links to direct me to for good stretches after running? I did stretch today (yay for me), but I usually feel as if I’m going blind and I’m not sure the proper stretches to do so that I stretch the muscles that I have used the most. If anyone has any ideas to help, that would be great.

Dinner came together quickly. I heated up the leftover Red Beans and Rice and I heated up some Canadian Farm organic frozen peas. So yummy, filling, and quick. My favorite!

Yes, I have everything mixed together in a crazy mess. For some reason, I can only eat certain veggies if they are mixed in with other things. Is anyone else like that? I felt pretty good about myself by eating a dish with beans, peas, and tomatoes. No one had to bribe me to eat my veggies today. Oh wait, are beans a vegetable? Maybe not . . . ;)

Now I must go because my husband is back from his business trip (yay!) and I am so happy to have him home. And he was so nice that he brought a sandwich and chicken chili from Jason’s Deli on his way home (my favorite!). How sweet is that? I know that I will be having a good lunch of leftovers at work this week. :)

Goals and Satisfying a Craving

Why is it that the rain just completely drains me of all energy?

It has been raining all day today, and since it was my day off I spent most of the day indoors, not doing a whole lot of anything. It felt so good.

Last week, I talked about how I got a physical and some blood work done for the first time ever. I finally got the results back (most of them anyway). Most of the numbers are pretty much normal, except for my good cholesterol, which is a little low. Also, my Vitamin D level seems to be low as well. The doctor said that could explain why I have been so tired. She prescribed me some Vitamin D and she advised me to start taking fish oil supplements to raise my good cholesterol.

Unfortunately, she told me that she “forgot” to get complete blood work on me that would determine whether I was anemic or not. So I had to drag myself out of the house in this nasty weather today in order to get my blood drawn. I actually had to wait 45 minutes for this. Ugh!

After the blood was drawn, I headed to Sam’s to pick up some vitamins. Seriously, I got enough vitamins to last for months! The bottles were huge, but it was a really good deal. My cabinet now resembles a pharmacy.

Yes, these are the vitamins that I must take (including my prescribed one). And yes, that is a prenatal multivitamin you see but, no I am not pregnant. :) I have heard that prenatal vitamins are the best for women to take because it gives women the nutrients they need more than other types of vitamins.

So now that I have my blood work done, I have a few goals for October and beyond (can’t believe October is just about over!).

1. Eat a healthy breakfast every day.


Yesterday’s breakfast: 2 eggs with cheese and hot sauce, half a whole wheat bagel with almond butter and jam

2. Eat more fruits and veggies.


Yesterday’s lunch: salad with hamburger patty, cheese, and homemade Italian vinaigrette

Snack for today: mashed avocado and hot sauce (served with unpictured tortilla chips)

3. Sweat (or exercise) 5 days a week.

Side note: It’s always nice to work out with a partner. ;)

6. Incorporate more strength training into my workouts. Speaking of which, I did Gina’s Bridal Bootcamp yesterday and WOW. Yes, I am already married but who doesn’t need a little boost to get nice and buff. My ENTIRE upper body is sore: biceps, triceps, even my back). It’s not the kind of sore that makes me never want to work out again or inhibits my daily activities. But my muscles are sore enough so that I do wince a little when I reach for stuff and I definitely feel that I got in a great workout. I can’t wait for the rest of the bootcamp workouts!

7. Cook more meals at home. I am all about indulging in moderation and I have always included about one meal a week at a restaurant just for a change of pace. But when Corey and I were going over the money, we discovered that we had gone over budget and we had also eaten out a LOT this month. I do try to make healthier decisions when I eat out (most of the time anyway), but let’s face it . . . the calorie counts are still too high. And I wonder why I have hit a plateau with my weight.

In honor of my new goal to cook more meals at home, I made a very tasty meal tonight. It would have been so easy to order in since Corey is out of town. But I want to stick with my goal and I was in the mood for some beans and rice.

Yes . . . beans and rice. For some reason, I have had a craving for a week or so. I googled a bunch of recipes, but I finally just made some changes to a couple different ones until I had one that sounded good. And boy, was it delicious! This is coming from someone who normally doesn’t even like beans. The amount of the spice was so perfect that, for once, I didn’t need to put hot sauce on it. The recipe is below. I can’t wait until I eat the leftovers. So good!

Red Beans and Rice (serves 2)

1/2 of a 15 oz. can reduced sodium dark red kidney beans, drained
1/2 of a 14 oz. can diced tomatoes and chiles, undrained
3 slices of bacon, fried and drained
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
Brown Rice, cooked

Mix the cooked bacon, undrained tomatoes, drained beans, and spices together. Simmer until heated through. Serve over cooked rice.

Seriously . . . how easy is that?? I did use only half a can because it was just me (and one more serving for leftovers of course). If you are cooking for more people, obviously you can use the whole cans of beans and tomatoes and adjust the spices accordingly.

Off Track

Yesterday was kind of rough. It started out good enough. Corey and I went to Taste of Atlanta and had a really good time trying out some new foods and restaurants.

Here are some pictures . . .

Feta Stuffed Gyro Roll - Best thing ever! So good.

k

spicy thai chicken wrap that came from an organic fast food place. So good!

Mmm . . . tasty wrap.

Corey in line for some delicious steak. Yummy!

Is it too hot for coffee? Not if it's free!

organic pumpkin ice cream . . . delicious!

Free samples of Krispy Kreme totally made Corey's day!

Eating some red velvet pancakes . . . they were kind of disappointing.

So we had a good time, tasting food and walking around. Of course, we have more coupons and business cards for restaurants than we ever thought we could have.

Last night, however, was kind of rough. I feel kind of silly, but Corey went on another business trip and I did not handle it well. I’m not sure why this one hit me so hard. Corey goes out of town frequently for business. If I had a nickel for every time he went out of town in the four years we have been together, then I would be a very wealthy woman. For some reason, I felt particularly sad and very lonely about the fact that he was gone. And I did something I haven’t done in a long time. I used food to ease my pain. I binged.

Corey and I had gotten a package of sugar cookies at Taste of Atlanta, so I had quite a few cookies .

 

this cookie times six

I did not get hungry until kind of late, but when I did I ordered a 20 piece order o spicy wings from Papa John’s. I did not take a picture because I was filled with shame. :( But I ate every single wing. I would have ordered a pizza, but I was afraid that the cheese would give me a migraine (as it has been known to do). I felt so guilty about my binge. I felt sick to my stomach from so much food and I felt like I had undone the past several months of healthy eating.

I had to remind myself that it’s important to forgive myself for these mistakes. I also know that yesterday’s binge is not going to cause me to gain back all the fifteen pounds I have lost so far. What I need to do is recognize why I felt the urge to eat and try to do other things to deal with my anxieties about being alone. I also know that today is a new day and I had the ability to get back on track as soon as possible. And I did . . .

Breakfast was a whole wheat bagel (fresh from the Farmer’s Market) with some Trader Joe’s pumpkin cream cheese. I may have to reevaluate my opinion of Trader Joe’s. This stuff is freaking awesome!

Yes, my bagel is on the top to a tupperware container. Because that's just how I roll.

I had breakfast a little late because I woke up with no appetite. I’m sure that was due to last night’s overeating. So that was my whole breakfast and I did not get hungry until lunch.

Lunch was some leftover pasta from last week. I love leftovers! It was simple whole wheat pasta, 365 organic pasta sauce, and some cooked chicken breast.

wholesome goodness

Snack was unpictured pretzels with almond butter. This is quickly becoming my favorite go-to snack.

The day ended on an excellent note, much better than yesterday that’s for sure. After work, I picked up Callie from doggy day care and hurried home to go for a run. I wasn’t going to take Callie with me because I knew she would be exhausted from her day, but I kind of wanted some company on my walk since my husband usually accompanies us. It was really nice bonding time with her. We only jogged for about a mile because it looked like it might rain. I’m still working on the C25K program and easing back into the running thing and that was fine with me. When I got home, I did 30 minutes on the elliptical to end my workout. I really pushed myself on the elliptical and I felt great (if not a little sore).

Dinner was an awesome taco salad with homemade seasoning.

In this salad I had seasoned meat, spinach, cheese, tortilla chips, some salsa and my first ever guacamole attempt. I think the avocado I picked was a little over ripe, but it was still good. This is the first time I have ever picked out an avocado for myself. Does anyone have any tips for picking out a good avocado?

Now that I have eaten and exercised, I feel kind of like Callie.

Utterly exhausted

I feel so much better than yesterday. I am back on track with my eating and I had a great workout. I am trying not to let yesterday get me down too much. I miss Corey like crazy, but I will feel worse if I let one day’s binge turn into five days. I feel proud of myself that I was able to get back on track so easily.

 

Work Schedule

Most people are excited about the fact that today is Friday. Unfortunately, I am not. For me, the weekend does not start for me until tomorrow. I have kind of weird hours so I actually work on Saturdays. Usually, the days that I work are Tuesdays through Saturdays. I say usually because next week I will be working on Monday so technically, I won’t be having much of a weekend. Such is the life of a counselor. :)

Honestly though, I have never been one of those people who spend all week waiting for the weekend. I feel like we should enjoy every day as it comes. When you think about it, the weekend only lasts for 2 days. If we spend our whole lives just waiting for the weekend, then we are basically wishing 75% of our lives away. How about any readers out there? Do you guys wish for the weekend all week or what?

So I started my ordinary next to the last day of work for the week with an awesome breakfast. Seriously . . . it was so good and filling!

I had two eggs and an egg white with hot sauce. With that, I had some toasted pita bread and almond butter and some fresh blueberry jelly. Yummy! It was the most filling breakfast I have eaten in a while. Guess it was the almond butter.

I didn’t have to be at work until later, so I was able to catch up on some blogs, watch some TV, clean our mess of a kitchen, and play with my dog for a bit. Once I got to work though, it was full steam ahead and I was busy, busy, busy!

I work five days a week and three of those days are days that I actually counsel patients. I have other duties the other days. But on the counseling days, things are so rushed that I usually have to bring something to eat for lunch that I can eat very quickly in between patients. I know it isn’t healthy, but I pretty much just eat as fast as I can. At least I eat as healthy as I can!

Lunch was the last of my leftover chili. :( I LOVE that this lasted me all week. I also had a little container of cottage cheese with it. Weird combo, I know, but I needed something a little extra to keep me full for longer. And it totally did the trick.

I had an afternoon snack of some purple grapes that I bought at Whole Foods recently. These are so darn good!

Interesting fact: I never even tried purple grapes until several years ago. Before that, I had just eaten green grapes. But when I tried purple, I fell in love. They are so much better than the green ones!

After work, Corey and I came home and went for a run before dinner. The weather was so nice! As I explained in a previous post, I am just now getting back into running and I am doing the C25K program. I think it is a great program for getting my “running legs” back.

The first week of the program involves 60 seconds of jogging, followed by 90 seconds of walking. There were times when I felt that I could have run longer than 60 seconds. But I am sticking to the 60 minute guideline because this is the first time I have run in almost two months. Plus, the last time I ran I had a bad knee. I don’t want to push myself.

The only thing that is tricky is that I have to remember to stretch! Seriously, I’m not lazy; I’m just forgetful. I didn’t remember that stretching was a priority until three hours later!

After our run, dinner was a simple meal of a hamburger patty with sweet potato fries. Yummy!

Now I am going to rest up. My legs are a bit sore from tonight’s run and I do have to wake up bright and early for work tomorrow. Hope everyone else enjoys their Saturday! :)

Funny conversation with my husband:

Today, I discovered that I won something else from a blog giveaway. Of course, there was the time I won the nuts. And now, I found out I won The Granola cereal by Rude Health, thanks to Jemma at Celery and Cupcakes. Yay!

When I told my husband, he said, “When are you going to win something that I will eat . . . like Krispy Kreme donuts?”

“Umm . . . I don’t think that’s going to happen.” :)

Yes, this is my husband. But if any bloggers out there learn of any donut giveaways, please let me know. My husband would be very happy. ;)

Love your Body!

Today is National Love Your Body Day.

I may never have known that if Tina hadn’t pointed it out. When she asked how we would be loving our bodies today, I really had to think about that. It occurred to me that I thought several discouraging things about myself and the way I looked before I had even left the house. That was no way to celebrate or acknowledge this day.

So this is how I am choosing to love my body today.

1. I will not argue when my husband tells me I am beautiful.

2. I will not feel guilty for eating real maple syrup at breakfast instead of the fake, sugar-free stuff.

3. Nor will I feel guilty for cleaning my plate at lunch.

4. I will feed my body foods that nourish me and give me energy, rather than ones that make me crash a few hours later.

 

apple with some almond butter

 

5. I will not avoid mirrors.

6. I will not criticize myself or my appearance when I do look at myself in the mirror.

7.  I will not feel bad about eating carbs.

8. I will sweat and get in a good work out, not because I long to be thin, but because I know it will make my body healthy and strong.

9. I will bake a dessert that is made with real sugar and real butter. And no, I will not call myself fat because I eat more than one. Who can stop at just one pumpkin whoopie pie? ;)

Seriously, this is the best pumpkin dessert I have made yet. I got the recipe from Marg at Running on Cupcakes. Click on the link for the full recipe. They are phenomenal!

10. And finally . . . I will send my picture to Heather at Faces of Beauty. Enough procrastinating. It’s time to celebrate how beautiful I am!

How did you love your body today?

Reunited, and it feels so good

For the past few months, running and I have been on a break.

It started out when I began experiencing pain in my knee a couple of months ago and it felt like the beginnings of “Runners Knee.” At that point, I knew that I needed my space from running. I took a brief break for about a week or so. On my next run, however, there was still pain. So I decided that I needed to “see other people,” so to speak. I needed to do other exercises and find out what else I enjoyed in terms of working out that wasn’t quite so strenuous.

I am sure that running was hurt and my running shoes suffered because I did not use them. Before I knew it, one week turned into another and another and now it’s been nearly two months since my last run.

Maybe the reason it was so easy was because running no longer felt like fun to me. I was always anxious about trying to speed up my pace. I was constantly comparing myself to other people’s times. I could never feel satisfied with the simple joy of being outdoors and feeling the pavement beneath my feet. Running had lost its sparkle.

at the starting line for my first (and only) 10K!

Lately, I have felt the itch to reunite with running once again. I feel my running shoes calling to me, saying that they are ready when I am. The weather is perfect and I am beginning to get bored with other forms of exercise (except for maybe Pilates . . . love Pilates).

I have decided to get my feet wet and slowly start dating running again. We’ll see how it goes. I will start the Couch to 5K program. I know that is a light program and I am used to running a few more miles than that. But it is perfect to get me running again without injuring myself. I will slowly work my way up to the mileage I was doing before. Slowly but surely, running and I will have the same relationship as before, only better. This time, I won’t be constantly comparing myself to others. I will enjoy the time outside, whether it be by myself or with my husband. Speed is secondary to the experience. :)

Food today was very tasty and I had leftovers for two of my meals. So no cooking!

I started the day with some leftover Pumpkin Pancakes that my husband made on Sunday. These were just as yummy as the first day.

I put a little butter on them and drizzled some REAL maple syrup on them. Ever since I tasted real maple syrup, I can’t go back to the fake stuff ever again. I can’t do sugar-free syrup because aspartame gives me a headache. This stuff is so much better.

A midmorning snack consisted of one of the apples I picked the other day. Once again: best apple ever! Never had a Rome Beauty apple, but these are tasty.

Lunch was leftover chili from Sunday. Why does chili taste so much better the next day? It tastes phenomenal as leftovers. Unfortunately, I was so hungry and anxious to eat my chili that I didn’t even take a picture of it. So here is my bowl once I got done with it.

It was so good. I was tempted to lick the bowl. And since there was no one around, who says I didn’t. ;)

Afternoon snack #1 was a small container of cottage cheese.

Am I the only one who eats this stuff plain? It’s so tasty and I love the portion control of these containers!

Afternoon snack #2 was pretzels with some almond butter.

I had this pretzel times about eight

I do believe that almond butter is starting to grow on me. It was so good. Love the saltiness of the pretzels with the creaminess of the almond butter. Tasty!

Nothing like a good dose of healthy fat to keep you full until dinnertime.

Dinner was pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes, and some corn. I love the way my husband cooks his mashed potatoes. I don’t know how he does it, but they always turn out so creamy and tasty. He says it’s because he puts extra love in them. How cute is that. :)

That is my day in a nutshell. I did go for a leisurely walk with Corey and Callie and I also did 25 minutes on the elliptical. I think I am still feeling some residual headache from the pizza last night because I felt ill during both activities. Not good. Hope to be feeling better tomorrow!