Monthly Archives: January 2011

So many movies, so little time

And now . . . here are my meals from yesterday and today. Join the “What I Ate Wednesday” over at Peas and Crayons! And her blog isn’t half bad either. ;)

Yesterday was a great day with my husband, even with my disappointment over getting pancakes instead of waffles. :)

Ever since I saw the list of Oscar nominees for best picture, I have had the urge to see as many of the nominees as possible. That may be because every year I have no idea who to root for since I usually have seen hardly any of the nominees. That’s not surprising since my taste usually falls in the romantic comedy category . . . not exactly Oscar worthy. ;)

Since I have not seen even one of the nominees, I have a lot of catching up to do. So yesterday Corey and I went to see not one, but two movies. We saw 127 hours and Black Swan. They were both pretty good movies. 127 hours made me uncomfortable in certain parts because he was so close to dying. And I had to look away at the infamous arm self-amputation scene. Black Swan was odd and more than a little dark, but still a good movie. I can see why both James Franco and Natalie Portman were nominated. I may be biased because I have had a crush on James Franco ever since he appeared on General Hospital. I told you guys I was a fan of soap operas. :)

In between movies, I went to the mall so I could get a bra fitting at Intimacy. It was kind of a waste of time. I did get an idea of my true size, but the woman didn’t even tell me. I had to look for myself, among all the bras she was bringing into the fitting room. She was mainly just trying to get me to buy something. At $145 a bra, no thank you! I have a budget after all. Even if I did use credit cards (which I don’t), I wouldn’t have put one of those expensive bras on it.

We had lunch at Jason’s Deli. I love that place! It’s one of the precious few sandwich places that I can eat without getting a migraine. No MSG baby! :)

I got a turkey on whole wheat bread with organic greens and roasted pepper hummus. It was pretty good, but I think I like their guacamole better than the hummus. It was such a big sandwich that I saved half to eat for later.

The star of the show though was the tomato basil soup I purchased along with my sandwich. Tomato is my favorite kind of soup, but I don’t usually get it here because I like their Southwestern Chicken Chili so much.

This was hands down the best soup I have ever tasted. It was so creamy and I could taste how fresh the tomatoes were. I was so sad when I was done with my soup.

What is your favorite soup?

The best part of lunch was the free soft serve!

I’m not afraid to say that this one of the reasons why I love this place so much.

Yesterday I actually slept in kind of late and we didn’t eat breakfast until after 10:30. Because of that, our whole eating schedule was thrown off. We had lunch late and then neither of us were in the mood for dinner. I ended up eating a light snack of cheese toast and a piece of chicken sausage around 9:30.

It seemed like the weekend just kind of flew by . . . especially because I worked on Saturday and then had to be back at work today. Argh. And Callie woke up early and started whining so she woke us up earlier than necessary. I don’t know what her issue was but we have a rule that we don’t get up to take her out until the alarm goes off (even if she’s whining). Because of this, she doesn’t whine too early before the alarm because she knows that is the signal to get up. She is such a smart dog!

I started the day with some leftover Gingerbread Walnut Pancakes.

Mmm . . . I love leftovers!

The work day was kind of slow. I had what seemed like a lot of work to do, but no immediate and pressing deadlines for anything. The day passed quickly anyway. For lunch, I had some spinach fettuccine, pasta sauce, and grilled chicken.

I don’t think I will get this pasta again. It tastes just like regular pasta, so the flavor is fine. However, it seems like no matter how long you cook it, it still tastes a little undercooked. Ironically, it seems to be more cooked the next day and it seems to soften a little when you reheat it.

My snacks included a couple of clementines,

a bagel with some Naturally Nutty Butter Toffee Peanut Butter,

bagel half times two

and the second pack of Biscoff cookies that my husband brought me from his trip (or should I say the airplane?).

I can’t believe I held onto these for two whole days before eating them. Talk about self-control!

Today was rainy and much colder than the weekend (which was a very warm 70 degrees). But I wanted to do another round of 10K training when I got home. My husband is going out of town (AGAIN) tomorrow so I wanted to go for a jog with him and Callie. It was drizzling most of the time and I had to walk the whole time (instead of jog) because my legs were shaking or something. But we still walked for around 40 minutes and it was nice to relax with Corey and discuss our day. It was truly the best part of my day. :)

Dinner was a simple baked chicken strips and sweet potato fries (fresh, not frozen).

Can you tell that I love orange vegetables? I have eaten a lot of sweet potatoes lately.

Now I am relaxing with my hubby and catching up on some White Collar and Royal Pains. Love those shows. :)

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Pancakes or Waffles?

Sometimes there can be miscommunication in a marriage.

It happens. I don’t understand what he means by “early.” And somehow, when I tell him I am craving waffles, he thinks I want pancakes. Good thing I love him because this only bothered me for about ten minutes. :)

I did come up with a great recipe. And because my husband is so wonderful, he insists on cooking me breakfast every weekend. So I gave him the recipe and left him to work his magic.

I was disappointed that he made pancakes instead of waffles, but somehow I managed to eat three of them. Guess they were still pretty tasty. :) Still . . . I can’t wait to make them as waffles. But if my husband is doing the cooking, I will make my instructions a lot more clear. 

Gingerbread Walnut Pancakes (0r Waffles)

1/2 c. white flour
1/2 c. wheat flour
1 T. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/2 c. nonfat milk
1/8 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 c. chopped walnuts

Combine all dry ingredients, except for the walnuts. In separate bowl, combine wet ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and fold together. Stir in chopped walnuts. Do not overbeat or they will be tough. Use 1/4 c. of batter per pancake (or waffle). Enjoy!

He’s home!

Today was a good day. Yesterday I felt really crappy. I think it was a combination of lack of sleep, a long day at work, not enough food and of course . . . missing my husband. He has been on a business trip all week and he was due back today.

I had to work (unfortunately) and his flight didn’t get in until after I was already at work. So he stopped by my office for a second or two just because he couldn’t wait to see me. :) And he brought me a present!

Biscoff cookies from the airplane! I love these things. I should try the Biscoff spread that everyone keeps talking about.

To celebrate Corey’s return, we went to our new favorite burger place: Farm Burger.

The beef is 100% grassfed and all of their toppings are locally grown. They are so incredibly delicious. I got a burger with pickles, roasted garlic, arugula, and caramelized onions. Yummy!

Not only do they have the best burgers in Atlanta, but they have the best onion rings in Atlanta as well.

We haven’t been to this place in quite a while, so it was a nice treat.

After I gave my food some time to digest, I did manage to sneak in a quick workout. Since I actually own the Jackie Warner total body workout now (thanks Borders gift card!), I did the 15 minute total body circuit. This was the first time doing this workout because I always did the 40 minute total body workout that was On Demand. While I wouldn’t choose to do the shorter version every single time, this was a nice option for when I don’t have the time (or the inclination) to do a longer workout. And even with just 15 minutes, Jackie Warner still knows how to break a sweat! Now I’m just trying not to feel too guilty because I did 15 minutes instead of 40.

Now I am relaxing with my husband and enjoying some quality time. I’m having a craving for waffles, so I think I’m going to search for (or create) a new recipe. Corey’s home and he always makes me breakfast on Sundays! :)

Hope everyone else is having a great weekend.

Tired

Callie looks as bad as I feel.

That is all.

Egg-cellent!

First of all, I just want to thank all of you guys for the wonderful support over my last post! I love the support from the blogging community. It was really nice to hear that I’m not the only one who refuses to obsess over the scale. It makes me feel a lot less alone. :)

Apparently, I am obsessed with eggs.

I ate eggs THREE times today. I didn’t really plan it in advance. But we were running low on groceries and there were very few quick options.

For breakfast, I had an egg and two egg whites scrambled with cheese and hot sauce. With my eggs, I had half a small pita with a little butter and strawberry preserves.

For lunch, I had a fried egg sandwich with mustard and hot sauce.

I think I have had three of these this week! I think I could eat these every day and not get sick of them.

An afternoon snack consisted of three hardboiled egg whites.

I guess I got my protein quota for the day!:)

Don’t worry, I did eat things other than eggs. Other snacks for the day included:

a small pita with the last of my Naturally Nutty Vanilla Almond Butter,

and some peanut butter granola (this stuff is AMAZING).

My dinner was a hamburger patty with ketchup and mustard and some sweet potato fries.

You can tell by my meals when I am running low on groceries. Suddenly, there are fewer fruits and veggies. Luckily, I went to Publix and Whole Foods tonight so that I could stock up on some items.

While I was at Whole Foods, I just had to buy myself a pecan pie cookie.

These cookies are the BEST cookies I have ever tasted. And I love that there aren’t any preservatives or fillers in them.

I did save my cookie for after my workout though, mostly because I was planning to work out right when I got home from the store and I didn’t think it would be the best pre-workout fuel. ;) 45 minutes after I got home, my muscles were sufficiently worked over by Jackie Warner and that cookie was the best cookie I have eaten in a long time.

Speaking of workouts, I was kind of excited when I did Jillian Michael’s Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism workout yesterday. It is a very tough workout and there are several moves that I have to modify because I can’t do the full version. There is a move called a “180 jump.” You basically start in a squat position and jump a full 180 degrees to the other side. You do these jumps for a minute or two. Up until now, I have only been able to jump 90 degrees. But yesterday, I was actually able to jump the full 180 degrees! I was so excited, especially after my last post. Regardless of what the scale says, I can tell that I am getting stronger. Those are the results that I can get on board with.

Doing away with the scale

I haven’t weighed myself since right after Christmas.

Even though I am trying to lose weight, there is a reason for my madness. When I used the scale as a measuring tool, I weighed myself constantly . . . at least 3 to 4 times a week, sometimes every single day.

Breakfast: chicken sausage link, a couple of scrambled egg whites with one scrambled egg, leftover breakfast potatoes and some ketchup

The numbers on the scale often determined my mood for the rest of the day. If the numbers went down, I was thrilled. If the numbers went up (or even if they stayed the same), I was frustrated. Sometimes this frustration would lead me to do things that further sabotaged my weight loss efforts, such as skip an exercise session or eat a little too much junk food.

Lunch: leftover Cajun pasta sauce with spinach fettuccine

The decision to stop weighing myself was both liberating and nerve-wracking. How could I listen to my body when I never have before? If I don’t weigh myself, how will I know that I am doing the right things when it comes to exercise and food? Besides determining my mood, the numbers on the scale often told me if I should start eating less or exercising more. It took me a while to realize that this is not the healthiest mindset.

Snack #1: clementines

It wasn’t enough to tell myself to stop using the scale. I actually gave it to Corey and told him to hide it. That may sound weird, but I can’t trust myself not to use it when I see it every single day. Corey is a lousy hider, so the first few times he hid it I happened to accidentally find it. Finally, right after the holidays and my last weigh-in, he hid it in the attic. Yes, he told me where he was hiding it but only because he knew the attic was the one place I would never, ever go. Sneaky, isn’t he? :)

Snack #2: peanut butter granola with a handful of sunflower seeds

Lately, it seems that all I think about is the scale. I wonder if I have lost weight or simply maintained. I am a person who likes results. It may take a while for me to lose enough weight so that my clothes feel differently . . . at least longer than I would like.

Dinner: chicken sausage, pasta sauce, and peppers and onions on hoagie roll. Served with Alexia sweet potato fries

I am trying really hard to exercise because it is good for me and because it makes me feel good, not because of how many calories I may burn within a twenty-minute elliptical session. I have been tracking my calories, mainly to make sure I am eating enough. And lately, I have been agonizing over every single calorie and asking myself if I should exercise more to burn more calories and lose the weight I need.

I wish I could be happy with myself the way that I am. I am trying. If I don’t see myself as beautiful now, I know that I won’t see myself as beautiful when I am 30 pounds lighter. That is another reason I stopped using the scale. I wanted to learn to like what I see in the mirror, regardless of what the scale says. It is a constant struggle. If I am patient, I will get there. But I am not a patient person.

This is an Operation Beautiful note that I wrote to myself and posted on the bathroom mirror. Something about me you should know is that I avoid mirrors if at all possible. I just don’t like looking at myself, which is a result of my negative self-esteem. I figured that if I posted this note and saw the words often enough, then maybe I would believe them.

Question: do you weigh yourself regularly? Why or why not?

Time for rest

So I haven’t posted anything since Thursday and I have a very good reason. I had other things to do. ;)

Don’t get me wrong, I love blogging and I love the blogging community. However, sometimes a girl just needs to unplug. Also, my husband came home from his business trip on Friday. Since he was scheduled to leave again yesterday evening, I wanted to spend as much time as possible with him. So I pretty much avoided the Internet for the entire weekend. I didn’t read any blogs and I didn’t tweet or visit Facebook. Spending time with my husband felt really nice. Now I am trying to keep busy until Corey returns on Saturday.

Since Corey was out of town and it was my day off, today was spent relaxing, cooking, and catching up on some DVR recordings. This morning, I slept in until nearly 9:00 am. I never sleep this late, but alas I did not sleep well last night. I was in the mood for breakfast potatoes. I had never made those before and wanted to try them out.

I came up with an easy recipe. I just sautéed some peppers and onions until soft. While they were cooking, I boiled a couple of baking potatoes until they were firm but soft. Then I sautéed the potatoes in a little olive oil with some salt, pepper, paprika, and a little parsley. Yummy!

I made a very filling breakfast bowl with potatoes, a couple of scrambled eggs with cheese and a chicken sausage link that I bought at Publix. I topped the entire mixture with a little ketchup. It may look weird, but it was delicious! And I have leftovers. No way I could eat all those potatoes by myself. :)

Because I didn’t eat breakfast until kind of late, I didn’t eat lunch until late. I didn’t get hungry until nearly 2:00. When I did get hungry, I wasn’t in the mood for something really heavy. So I made a grilled cheese sandwich with some Muir Glen organic tomato basil soup.

It was comfort food at its finest!

After lunch, I was feeling a little stir crazy so I decided to take Callie and go for one of my 10k training runs. It was seriously gorgeous outside. It was actually 53 degrees today! It felt like fall, which is my favorite season. 45 minutes of walking and jogging intervals left both me and Callie tired and ready for some serious rest.

When I got home, I was in the mood for a little nourishment. And I had a craving for a Green Monster smoothie. I haven’t had a smoothie in so long, maybe because it’s been so cold. Believe it or not, today was the first time I used my new blender. I’ve been using the food processor attachment more than anything.

While I was catching up on a few blogs today, I noticed a recipe on Tina’s blog for a Gingerbread Smoothie. It sounded too good to pass up. I pretty much used her recipe, except for the fact that I used nonfat milk instead of Almond Breeze and I added a couple of handfuls of spinach to get a few more veggies in.

This was, by far, the best Green Smoothie I have ever made. I will definitely be making this again. It tasted like Christmas in a glass. :)

Soon it was time to make dinner and I made a very tasty and easy pasta sauce to enjoy. I hope you guys enjoy this recipe. It was full of flavor and had just the right amount of spice. For my first attempt at a homemade pasta sauce, I didn’t do half bad.

Cajun Pasta (serves 2)

1/2 c. nonfat milk
1/2 tsp. cajun seasoning
2 or 3 jarred roasted red pepper strips
2 links of Jennie-O hot italian turkey sausage (cooked)
Cooked pasta

Mix red pepper strips, milk, and cajun seasoning in food processor and process until smooth. Transfer the sauce to skillet with Italian turkey sausage and cook on medium high heat until heated through. Serve hot over pasta.

This was such a good sauce. It may have been a little thin, but the flavors were still there. I served the sauce over some spinach fettuccine.

Late today, it came to my attention that it was National Peanut Butter Day. I decided to celebrate my making some of Jessica’s Peanut Butter granola bars. I used some of my homemade white chocolate peanut butter. There was only one problem: I was out of honey so I used maple syrup as a sweetener. Unfortunately, it didn’t stick enough. They were really good, but when I cut them after they were baked, they were very crumbly.

I think I may chop it up and just use it as regular granola. The recipe still came out really well except for that. Next time I will remember to use honey. :)

Now I am relaxing and enjoying my last few hours of my day off. I’m watching Shrek Forever After.

Hope everyone had an excellent weekend. Do you ever unplug? If so, for how long?

Setting Goals

I have been thinking about goals a lot lately.

I have some goals that I would like to accomplish this year. However, I have started to get a little overwhelmed. This is mainly due to the fact that I have a lot of “mini-goals” I want to accomplish as well. I am trying to realize that I don’t have to do everything at once. And if it takes a little time to realize my goals, that is okay.

I have decided that I will set mini-goals for myself every month. This way, I can take baby steps to reach my full potential this year and I won’t feel so overwhelmed by trying to do everything at once. That is a sure path to failure.

Since it is already late January, I am going to set a goal for the rest of January, as well as February. I have two goals: a nutrition goal and a fitness goal.

1. Nutrition Goal – Over the next month, I will try at least two new vegetables. So far this year, I still struggle to eat enough vegetables and I haven’t tried a single new one yet. Hopefully, having a set goal during this time period with a set number will allow me to move out of my comfort zone.

2. Fitness Goal – I will do Jackie Warner total body circuit at least three days a week. As much as I dislike cardio, I still find that I focus on that more than strength. I haven’t been working out as much as I’d like to, although this week I have been knocking those workouts out. :) I bounce around from workout to workout (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing). But I would like to focus on this total body workout for the next month to allow my body to get stronger. After about a month, it will be time to switch up my workouts anyway to prevent boredom (both with me and my muscles).

Are there any goals that you have right now?

For every flop, there is a success

I think I was too ambitious today.

My husband has left on a business trip. Yes, of course I will miss him. But part of me likes his business trip because not only do I get to watch trashy soap operas that he hates, but I get to make things that he would never eat.

Today I attempted not one, but two recipes. First, I wanted to make soup. I decided to try my hand at corn chowder, something I have never made before. And I wanted to use my crockpot, an appliance that I don’t use nearly often enough.

The smell of the soup was driving me crazy all day. It smelled fantastic.

However, the flavors just weren’t there. I wanted something creamy and this wasn’t it. And the flavors did not work. Plus, I did not chop the potatoes enough and I think I put too many in there. Oh well. You can’t win them all, right?

But my second recipe was a true success. Biscuits that require only four ingredients. Yes, you heard me right . . . four ingredients.

These are light, fluffy, and they are low in calories and fat. The best part is that they are baked in little muffin tins, so it’s built-in portion control.

If they are so small, surely I can eat five of them right? Don’t worry, I didn’t eat five of them.

But my dinner did consist of a few bites of soup, along with two of these babies. And since I had one too many white chocolate covered pretzels this afternoon, I had a very carb heavy day.

Good thing I did the Jillian Michaels Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism workout earlier.

You can’t get much easier (or lighter) with this recipe. Enjoy.

Easy Biscuits (makes 6 biscuits)

1 c. self-rising flour
1/2 c. nonfat milk
2 tablespoons low fat mayonnaise
I can’t believe it’s not butter spray

Mix all ingredients (except butter spray) together and  place in greased muffin tins. Spray I can’t believe it’s not butter spray on top of biscuits. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

I am so glad I managed to save some for tomorrow. I see myself eating a couple of these tomorrow with strawberry preserves. Suddenly, I can’t wait for breakfast. :)


I heart leftovers

It was a short weekend. I worked all day on Saturday and I am back at work today. Who else has MLK Jr. Day off? Count your blessings. :)

I wasn’t really super hungry when I got up, so I made myself a nice egg and cheese sandwich on organic multigrain bread.

I’m so glad we went to Whole Foods yesterday so that I could get some more of this yummy bread!

Work was actually pretty busy, mainly because I missed a couple of days last week due to the weather. I had a lot of paperwork to catch up on. I kept my energy up with a couple of clementines.

I have decided that I like clementines much better than oranges. They don’t have seeds, they are easier to peel, and they also seem to be easier to eat. I haven’t been able to eat citrus in the longest time because of the possible connection between that and my migraines. I am reintroducing citrus to my diet and luckily, there don’t seem to be any ill effects as of yet. :)

Lunch was a taco salad. The salad consisted of ground beef made with my favorite homemade taco seasoning, some spinach, a little cheese, and some salsa.

It may not look very pretty, but it was delish! I also had some unpictured tortilla chips. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: homemade taco seasoning is just better than the packaged stuff. But isn’t that usually the case with most things? :)

For dessert, I had some fresh pineapple.

If I had to choose a favorite fruit, I think it would be pineapple. I love getting it at the Farmer’s Market. You pick out a fresh one and they will peel and core it for you. It’s a beautiful thing to see.

For a snack, I had a couple of pieces of bread with some homemade white chocolate peanut butter.

I think for my next nut butter, I will make cashew butter. I just discovered how much I enjoy cashews (especially in bite form). I have never tried cashew butter before, but I’m sure it would be tasty.

Dinner consisted of a few leftover chicken strips and some green beans that I roasted with a little olive oil and cajun seasoning.

Believe it or not, we made extra chicken strips last night just so I would have leftovers today. Does anyone else do that? Corey hates leftovers, but I love them. There are several dishes that we make extras of so I can have leftovers, such as chili, tacos, meatloaf, and pasta. What is your favorite meal that you enjoy even better  the next day?

The best part of the day was a package waiting for me when I got home.

Yes I ordered some more Naturally Nutty Vanilla Almond Butter. I love that stuff! Including the peanut butter I made yesterday, I have five different kinds of nut/seed butter.  That’s a lot of nut butter!

Have a great night.