A Diagnosis

I finally went to the orthopedist today about my knee.

It was a really nice office . . . one of the nicest doctor’s offices I have been to in a while. They did X-rays on my knee before I saw the doctor. And they gave me awful shorts to wear for the X-rays and doctor’s exam.

I have no idea what these things were made out of, but they were the most unflattering shorts I have ever worn.

After the doctor did some X-rays, he determined that I have arthritis in my knee. I’m not going to lie, the diagnosis made me feel like an old lady. But I’m really glad I know what’s going on. So he drained most of the fluid from my knee (though it still looks kind of big) and he gave me a prescription for some medicine that would help with the rest of the fluid.

He also gave me a knee brace to wear that is about as unflattering as the shorts.


My foot looks so tiny with this huge brace!


He did recommend a little physical therapy as well. As for the Peachtree Road Race that I am signed up for (which is July 4th by the way), he said that I should be up and running again by the end of this month or the middle of May at the latest. That should give me time to train for the race, which is a 10K.

He did say something that I have known for a while: I should not use running as my sole form of exercise. He said I shouldn’t plan on running any marathons any time soon. He did say that the Peachtree (or the occasional 5K) would be okay. I’m a little bummed by this because I would have loved to do at least a half marathon. But honestly, I’m not letting myself get too bothered by it. There is no reason that I can’t be healthy and active even though I’m not running on a regular basis. I am just happy that I know what’s wrong with my knee. I will trust my body (and the doctor) and do what I can to take care of it.

And can I just make one rant about doctors’ offices in general? Why is it that every single doctor seems to be located in a parking garage where you have to pay? Most of them require you to only be parked for 20 minutes or less so that you don’t have to pay anything. When have you ever been done with a doctor in under half an hour? To make matters worse, this one took cash only and there were no signs stating this. Thank goodness I happened to have some cash on me. Haven’t they gotten enough of my money?

Okay, that’s my rant for the day. Just a minor annoyance in an otherwise pleasant day off.

White Chocolate Brownies

I think that white chocolate gets a bad rap.

Honestly there was once a time when I would never have touched the stuff. I love dark chocolate. And lots of it. But alas, I had to give up chocolate because it gave me migraines. Sometimes I think there is a conspiracy against those who don’t eat chocolate. All of you bloggers who create mouth-watering recipes made with chocolate leave me drooling from envy.

Since giving up chocolate, I don’t miss it . . . that much. But I do miss brownies. Rich, moist, fudgy brownies. I thought I would never be able to eat them again. But I don’t give up easily. I have realized how sweet and decadent white chocolate can be. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me to make a white chocolate brownie before.

I never did find a decent recipe for white chocolate brownies that I liked on the web. So I created my own version and I was more than a little nervous about how they would come out.

I shouldn’t have worried. These brownies are moist, flavorful, and so very gooey. And they are bursting with white chocolate flavor. They are so good that I almost forget how much I love dark chocolate. Almost.

White Chocolate Brownies (makes 9-12 brownies, depending on the size)

1/2 c. flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. applesauce
2/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 egg whites
3 oz. white baking chocolate melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix applesauce and sugar until well blended. Add egg whites and vanilla; stir just until blended. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Stir dry ingredients in sugar mixture. Stir in melted chocolate. Pour into greased 9 x 9 inch pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until sides just start to pull away from pan. Be careful not to overcook. Cool completely before cutting.

Cooking for One

My husband is out of town on business all this week. While I will miss him terribly, there are a few good things that I can look forward to this week.

I can watch General Hospital without hearing his running commentary.

I can catch up on my blogs without feeling guilty about spending too much time on the computer.

More importantly, I can cook foods that Corey would never eat. Corey is a very picky eater. Considering how much I love food, that fact amazes me every day. But I guess Eharmony doesn’t have that particular question in their matchmaking test.

I will tell you a secret: one reason that most of my recipes for entrees on my blog serve only one or two people is because Corey doesn’t eat most of the foods I do. I have gotten very good at creating recipes for just myself. Usually I have leftovers for at least one more day, which I love!

It’s also tough cooking for one. Sometimes I feel too lazy to cook for just myself after a long day at work. That’s why I make sure my meals are easy.

Tonight’s meal was no different. I took my recipe for Boneless Buffalo Chicken Bites (excellent recipe, by the way) and made strips instead of bites.

Along with the chicken strips, I had some Alexia sweet potato fries and asparagus that I roasted with olive oil and Cajun seasoning.

Of course I just had to put barbecue sauce on top of the asparagus. 😉

The meal was perfect. It was quick, easy and healthy. Corey wouldn’t have wanted a single thing that was on my plate. He has no idea what he’s missing.

I think I will go watch General Hospital now.

Going Out of Business!

Thank all of you for your support over my last post. I feel much better today. I think the main issue is that I haven’t been able to exercise over the last few days due to my knee. I am actually feeling some pain in it now.

Whenever I go a few days without exercise, my self-esteem (and eating habits) go down the toilet. But I plan on making an appointment with an orthopedist next week to see what’s going on. In the meantime, I will make the best choices I can and try to forgive myself for not being perfect.

Today was a great day. There was a Borders nearby that was going out of business. Woo-hoo! I was all set for excellent deals on books. I bought several items. The deals weren’t earth-shattering on the cookbooks, but somehow the fact that all cookbooks were 20% off made me want to buy them. Plus I had some gift cards burning a hole in my pocket from Christmas. Buying books with someone else’s money is even better.

Here are my finds:

Food Rules: by Michael Pollan <– very excited about this one!
Now Eat This! by Rocco DiSpirito
Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich <– I can’t WAIT to try a recipe from this cookbook. There isn’t one single recipe in here that doesn’t make my mouth water.
Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell <– Loved the movie and I can’t wait to read the book!
Personal Training with Jackie Warner: Crunch-Free XTreme Abs DVD <– LOVE her!

Can you tell that I’m kind of obsessed with food? Note : never go to the bookstore hungry. 😉
Hope everyone has a great weekend! Tomorrow is Internet-free day in our household so I will be back with a great post on Monday. 🙂
Anyone have any great cookbook recommendations?


Tina at Carrots and Cake wrote an interesting post yesterday about books that were motivational to her in terms of healthy living and losing weight. That post got me thinking about the book that produced quite a few epiphanies for me.

Women, Food and God was a life-changing book for me. There were countless “a-ha” moments. When the author spoke about her experiences and her feelings about food, I felt like she was speaking about me. I could relate to her so much.

Now I think it is time to read that book for a second time (and maybe a couple of the books that Tina mentioned). The past couple of days have been rough for me. I have made some bad choices and I am trying to recover from a binge as I type this. I think I feel even guiltier for the binge because I am supposedly a healthy living blogger. I debated on whether to talk about this or not, but I want to be honest with you guys.

It seems like every single day is a struggle. I struggle to make the “right” choice with every single bite that goes into my mouth. Maybe that’s why I felt the urge to binge yesterday and tonight. I am just tired of the struggle. I am tired of fighting every day to be healthy and be active. So I gave in to my impulses because it’s the easier thing to do.

But every day is a day for new choices. I have to figure out a new way of coping and handling my urge to binge. Living a healthy lifestyle should not be this hard. Should it?

I think my first step is to go back to Geneen Roth’s guidelines to eating. These guidelines are good rules to follow and I can honestly say that I don’t follow any of them.

  • Eat when you are hungry.
  • Eat sitting down in a calm environment. This does not include the car.
  • Eat without distractions. Distractions include radio, television, newspapers, books, intense or anxiety-producing conversations or music.
  • Eat what your body wants.
  • Eat until you are satisfied.
  • Eat (with the intention of being) in full view of others.
  • Eat with enjoyment, gusto and pleasure.

Thanks for following along with me during this little ramble. I promise that tomorrow’s post will be somewhat cheerier. 🙂

Do you follow these guidelines on a regular basis? Is there any book that has motivated you in terms of healthy living and weight loss?

April Showers

Where, oh where, did the month of March go? Is it just me or does it seem like time flies the older you get? I guess that’s a good reason why we should all take time to enjoy the moment instead of worrying so much about the future (as I tend to do). 🙂

I can tell it’s April though because of all the rain. You know what they say . . . April showers bring May flowers. And coincidentally May is my birthday month! Since it’s April, I thought I would give an update on my goals for March, as well as come up with some new goals for April.

One goal I had for March was to only eat out once a week. I would say that I succeeded and failed at this one. There were one or two weeks where I ate out twice instead of once. There was also one week where I didn’t eat out at all so I guess it balanced out in the end. 😉

The other goal I had was to try at least two new workouts. Done and done. For “new” workouts, I did count workouts that I haven’t done in months (if not years). One such workout was Jillian Michaels 30 day shred Level 2. I had made it to Level 2 before January, but for some reason I hadn’t done it since. Well I did Level 2 a couple of times this month and I intend to move on up to Level 3 (a level I haven’t done in several years) later this week.

I also did Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zones for the first time ever and I quickly fell in love. This workout is no joke and in 50 minutes it manages to hit every single trouble zone that I have. I have been doing it for a couple of weeks and I think I may move on to something else before doing it again. One thing I have learned is that even though I may be content to do the same exercises over and over again, my muscles are not as happy. They get bored. And I really want to push myself hard so that I can develop a lean and toned body.

For April, I have a couple of new goals. The first goal I have is to eat slower! I swear, I am like a vacuum when it comes to food. There have been lots of times where I have inhaled my food in about thirty seconds. My husband makes fun of me because sometimes I will have finished my meal and he has barely started.

The main problem with this is that the body takes longer than 30 seconds to realize it has had enough. So when I inhale my food, I am often still hungry (of course) and I end up eating way more than I should. By the time my body realizes that it’s full, I feel so stuffed that I feel sick because I have eaten so much. I already tried the whole “eating slower” thing with lunch today and it was tough. I tried to savor my food and drink lots of water in between bites. After I finished, I did feel more satisfied than I normally do. I can tell that it’s going to be a struggle though.

A second goal for April is to work on the 100 pushups challenge. I have wanted to do this challenge forever, but I always chicken out. Don’t ask me why. But if I am going to meet my 2011 goal of being able to do 20 REAL pushups, I should get started. I can tell that I need to strengthen my shoulders. When I tried to do a few regular pushups earlier today, my shoulders were feeling it the most.

Are there any goals that you are working on? How often do you switch up your workouts?

Chocolatey Peanutty Goodness

The past couple of days have been kind of boring food-wise. Eggs and toast, tomato soup, grilled cheese, pizza . . . and more than a few white chocolate Reese’s peanut butter eggs. Thank goodness those are gone. I had way too much chocolate this weekend.

Yesterday I ate breakfast kid of late because I wasn’t feeling well. The only thing I felt like was eggs and toast so my husband offered to make me some. And he got very creative with the eggs.

2 fried eggs in the shape of a heart! How cute is that? It did make me feel a lot better.

Other than that meal, the highlight of my weekend was probably making homemade peanut butter. Homemade white chocolate peanut butter at that. A couple of weeks ago, we bought a huge container of peanuts from Sam’s.

52 ounces of peanutty goodness. FYI: I bought these peanuts because I prefer peanut butter to almond butter (most of the time). I may be in the minority in this but oh well.

Peanut Butter & Co. make the most amazing White Chocolate Peanut Butter. It’s one of my favorites. I don’t know if you guys have noticed it or not, but food prices have gone up. Way up. So making your own peanut butter just makes good sense. I do feel weird calling this a recipe because there are only two ingredients. Well . . . three if you add salt. I never realized making your own nut butter could be so easy. My food processor is my favorite kitchen appliance.

White Chocolate Peanut Butter (makes about 1 2/3 c.)

2 cups dry roasted peanuts
1/2 c. white chocolate chips
salt to taste (optional, I did not add this because the peanuts I used were already salted)

You start out by placing the peanuts in your food processor.

Process until smooth. This process can take about ten minutes or so. So have patience! You will probably have to scrape the sides of the bowl several times until finished.

Meanwhile, melt white chocolate chips in microwave or over the stove on medium heat. My creative husband made our own double boiler by placing a large bowl over a pot filled with some water.

Once peanuts are a smooth consistency, add melted chocolate chips (and salt if using). Process well.

Enjoy! This peanut butter is a lot better than the store-bought stuff.

I had a serious lack of veggies this weekend so I decided to use my new white chocolate peanut butter in a delicious breakfast smoothie.

In the blender went:

2 large handfuls of spinach
a frozen banana
several fresh strawberries
1 c. of milk
half a scoop of vanilla protein powder
spoonful of white chocolate peanut butter

It was so delicious and healthy . . . not to mention filling. I don’t usually have smoothies for breakfast because they don’t fill  me up for very long. But this smoothie kept me full for a while. It was the perfect way to start the week.

I was wrong

Remember when  I said the only thing my Peanut Butter Stuffed French Toast needed was more peanut butter?

I was wrong. Wrong in the most glorious way.

It needed bacon. Bacon makes everything better. I need to remember that.

Comfort Food

I have a confession to make: I actually like Chef Boyardee’s Beefaroni. I ate quite a bit of it when I was younger. As an adult, I have eaten Lean Cuisine’s Chili Mac, which is very similar, several times. My husband hates Chili Mac. He says that it reminds him of his days in the army. Apparently, he ate quite a bit of it when he was in the army and he got sick of it.

But Corey isn’t home, it’s my day off and it has been cold and rainy all day. Enter: comfort food!

The only time I got dressed today was to do an hour on the elliptical. After a workout like that, I needed carbs and comfort in a bowl. I was debating on what to make myself for lunch. I was trying to think of something comforting (yet healthy) I could make and then eat while I was snuggled on the couch in my pajamas.

So I decided to make my own version of Chili Mac. It came out quite tasty if I do say so myself. All of the ingredients were ones that I already had, it’s warm and comforting and the best part was that it only took me half an hour to cook it!

Because I spent so little time in the kitchen, I was able to get back into my pajamas quickly. For the rest of the day I watched girly movies that I knew my husband would never watch, like Ramona and Beezus and Anastasia. I miss Corey, but I love my alone time. 🙂

Chili Mac (serves 4)

1 lb. ground beef
8 oz. elbow macaroni, uncooked
1 (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
¼ – ½ c. pasta sauce*
¼ c. chopped onion
1 medium green pepper, chopped
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. red pepper flakes (can use more or less, depending on how spicy you like it)
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garlic powder

Begin cooking macaroni according to package directions. Brown ground beef and onion in large skillet. Once beef is browned, drain fat off the ground beef. Add diced tomatoes, pasta sauce, green pepper, and spices. Bring to a simmer and let simmer about 5 minutes, stirring often. Mix in cooked macaroni. Serve with cheese if desired (I did!).

*Cooking note: You can use as little pasta sauce or as much of it, depending on how liquidy you like it.

The power of the right size

This weekend I went clothes shopping. It was a long time coming because the only thing holding up my pants for the past couple of months has been a belt. Not to mention the fact that I have saved a couple of hundred dollars specifically for clothes over the past few months. And for some reason, I haven’t used any of it.

My jeans have been a size too big for a while now. But I have been waiting to get a pair of jeans in a smaller size. Waiting for my weight loss to accelerate so I could fit into an even smaller size. Waiting to see if I would gain all the weight back.

Holding onto those pants was like holding on to a security blanket. It was like holding onto these extra pounds I just can’t get rid of. Going to buy new pants was a bit scary. I was scared that I hadn’t actually gone down a size. I was scared that buying a new pair of pants was a sign that I was giving up on losing weight. What if I lost enough weight in the next few weeks so that I didn’t even need these pants? And wearing a pair of pants that actually fit means that if I gain some of my weight back I will know it. No more denial. That alone is a scary enough thought to deter me from shopping.

Then . . . I found them. A perfect pair of jeans. Not even just one pair, but two pair of jeans that fit perfectly.

I can’t tell you how refreshing it was to wear a pair of jeans that didn’t require a belt. And another unexpected side effect of wearing the correct size . . . my self-confidence shot up by about a thousand percent. No longer did I think of myself as fat. My jeans now accentuated my curves in a very flattering way. While in the fitting room, I couldn’t stop staring at my butt. 🙂

I had no idea that wearing the correct size would make me feel so good about myself. And honestly when I look at pictures of me wearing the bigger jeans, it’s like I lost ten pounds just by wearing the right size!

I am so glad that I finally made the journey to the store. I feel better about myself than I have in months. I even considered the fact that maybe I don’t need to lose weight. Maybe my curves are the way they are supposed to be. And maybe I am the size I am supposed to be.

Now I just need to buy some new work clothes. I only have one pair of work pants that fit me. Guess it wouldn’t hurt to be as confident as work as I am at home. 🙂

Question: Have you ever held onto clothes that were either too small or too big? For what reason?