Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I Caught Myself...

....dancing around the kitchen to some of my favorite songs!
 Calvin and Hobbes

You thought I was going to say something along the lines of "I caught myself binge eating today". I can't say that today was the best food day for me but I am passed that already and onto better feelings.

I've heard of friends that talk about the post-running good feelings. Sheesh, while I was "running" today, I just wanted to rip my legs off and stop! My legs hurt so much, and I'm going to have to figure out why my left foot goes numb about 35 minutes into my workout. That's for another day I suppose so I will add it to my list of blog ideas! I think I must be having one of those post-run euphorias.  Usually when I come home from work, I sit myself down on the couch, right infront of the tv and only get up to make dinner. The moment I got home after doing  3.22 miles (a little more than a 5k) in 49 minutes, I made some mini meatless pizzas out of English Muffins and some traditional toppings. While those were heating in the toaster oven, I cut up two acorn squash that have been sitting on my counter for too long. Those are now cooling on the counter and the pizzas have been eaten. They were quite yummy.

Suddenly as I was cleaning the dishes for the night, I caught myself grooving around the kitchen sink to the music coming from my computer! I don't do things like that! Especially in a well lit kitchen where all the curtains were open where my neighbors might see me! My friends know I am a horrible dancer and can't seem to get my body to move to the correct beat. That's why while I was in college, the dance club wasn't visited until the end of a night at the bars. I'm even bobbing my head here as I type this! Ahhh!

I think I am enjoying this post-run good feeling even if it sucks major while I am doing it. I guess those are the endorphins that are making me feel better. And as I type this I'm slowly getting tired. I guess maybe I am coming off that euphoria? Or not. I plan to keep the tv off this night. It's very rare the tv doesn't get turned on in my house; it's usually turned on by me. Not tonight. I have other things I can do tonight, like read blogs and books. I'm making a choice.

Days 'till race: 172 Eeek!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fake It and Nike +

It's finally starting to get nice outside again. I'm hoping that maybe this is finally the end of winter. It sure has been a brutal one!

Well, because the weather has been a little bit nicer, 42 degrees today, I decided to call up my friend Kinsey to see if she wanted to go for a walk/jog with me. She is the person that helped me get moving in the fall. She had an injury which had her laid up for quite a few weeks. I really needed someone there to push me and having someone there depending on my showing up helps me immensely.  The goal for the afternoon was to do 2 miles in 30 minutes. I wasn't sure if I could pull it off since I hadn't worked out for over a week. And there were hills! Oh boy, were my calves killing me when we hit that hill but I pushed through and finished that interval. My calves were tight but I walked through that too.

I was reading Jen's blog over at Prior Fat Girl.  She said she's been in "Fake it till you make it" mode. I've been feeling that same way lately...a lot! That's really why I need someone there to push me through those times where I really just want to stop and lay down. And the motivation I got from my successful 2 mile run in just over 27 minutes will push me through tomorrow's work out. AND according to Kinsey's Nike +, the first mile was run in a time of 12 minutes and 18 seconds! I think that's pretty good motivation to keep going.



Speaking of Nike +, they are pretty neat. I can really see why to get one, or something similar. The things I keep track of on Dailymile are automatically kept track for you on the Nike +. I think I eventually would like to get something like this because of how easy it is but it is definitely not in the budget right now. I do really like how it keeps track of your pace from mile to mile. I know I could get that from a watch that has some sort of GPS system, once again, not in the budget. Hopefully sometime soon! If you have any recommendations for gear like this, let me know.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Vegan Black Bean Soup

I tried a new recipe tonight and added my own twist on it. I was a little worried at first because right out of the blender, it didn't taste good. I thought it would be one of our "If this turns out badly, we are going out to eat" nights. It turned out pretty well. Here is the recipe. Definitely make changes to how you like things. You could even add chicken to this if you wanted to.

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed *if you don't do this step, you may want your spouse to be in another room the rest of the night
1 cup salsa (any kind you like, I used Newman's Own)
1 can (or two cups) vegetable broth
1 tsp ground cumin, to your liking
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp chopped cilantro (I used fresh and I eyeballed it)

1/4 cup onion, chopped
olive oil
1 can black beans, once again drained and rinsed
1 can corn, or a cup frozen corn
1 4oz can of chopped green chili peppers
salt & pepper to taste

Combine the first six ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until somewhat smooth. I'll let you determine what consistency you want it. While blending, saute the onions in a little olive oil. To the onions, add the remaining can of black beans, the corn, 1/2 the can of chili peppers or if you are brave and can stand a little more spice, use the whole can. Also add in the mixture from the blender. Stir together, adding salt and pepper to your preferences. I covered and cooked this for about an hour to blend the flavors. It does not need an hour so if you want it faster, cook it for less time.

I also took this recipe as an opportunity to clean out my fridge. I added half a chopped tomato to the blender because I did not have enough salsa. So add anything you want!

I did serve this with a dollop of sour cream and corn chip on the side, which would no longer qualify this as a vegan recipe I suppose. But make of it what you wish. Give it a try. This recipe is full of protein and fiber and is incredibly filling.


Calories 208.5
  Total Fat 1.2 g
      Saturated Fat 0.1 g
      Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g
      Monounsaturated Fat 0.2 g
  Cholesterol 0.0 mg
  Sodium 1,250.5 mg
  Potassium 88.2 mg
  Total Carbohydrate 45.5 g
      Dietary Fiber 11.2 g
      Sugars 3.5 g
  Protein 11.6 g



 

Monday, March 21, 2011

Flickr

This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

First Day of Spring

I know this is my second post for the night but I missed this post for yesterday.

Traditionally, on the first day of spring since I was in college, I have taken the time to purchase a bouquet of daisies for a friend. I think daisies are the perfect cheery flower and a hint of hope for upcoming warm weather and summer. I forgot to do it this year! So I am spreading spring cheer via my blog with some pictures from my yard and a pop of daisies.

Happy Spring Everyone!
Enjoy!




My Second Veggie Review

I'm surprised that I already have another one of these. Maybe I need to make a certain night of the week the day to try new vegetarian products. Well, not necessarily new, but new to Pat and me. This whole thing has been quite an adventure. We are still not even two weeks into it. I still haven't lost any weight. I brought exercise back into it today so we will see how that goes.

Onto the review.


I picked up Smart Ground at the local grocery store the first week we were trying this vegetarian thing. I thought I had heard Pat's cousin talking about how it actually tasted like ground beef when it was mixed into a sauce. I was skeptical because the picture on the package looked a lot like ground beef. That had to be how they got people to buy this stuff right? From the little peep hole on the back of the box, the "meat" looked a little less appetizing than the picture on the front. 
Tonight, Pat and I decided to venture into the box. We were really craving tacos so we dug this out of the fridge along with some onion and bell pepper. We fried up the onion and pepper in a little bit of olive oil and then added the veggie crumbles. They looked really dry so we added extra water when we added the taco seasoning. To add a little extra kick to the mix, we added some Lawry's Seasoned Salt and a dash of fajita seasoning. Really the mix didn't look much different from the meat you get at Taco Bell. It was about the same consistency.  Maybe it would taste like Taco Bell once we got it wrapped into a taco shell?

Pat and I always joke when we are making a new food. It usually goes something like this, "If this is really bad, we're going out!" Tonight it was this, "If this is really bad, we're going out for chicken!" You know what? It wasn't all that bad! I only noticed a slight texture difference and a little bit of a taste difference but even that wasn't noticeable. I think if I hadn't known it wasn't meat, I wouldn't have thought any different. Pat and I each had seconds. This is definitely a product I would recommend if you are looking at meat alternatives. I don't know if I would recommend eating it plain though. I actually look forward to buying this in the future for spaghetti sauce or lasagna. 

If you are curious, here are the nutritional facts for Smart Ground Original. 
Serving Size - 1/3 cup
Calories/serving - 70 with no calories from fat
Total Fat - 0g
Cholesterol - 0 mg (my doctor would approve)
Sodium - 310 mg
Potassium - 360 mg
Total Carb - 6g
Fiber - 3g
Sugars - less than 1 g
Protein - 12g

I know there have been numerous articles about the downside of eating too much soy. I might touch on this later but I'm not really in the mood right now to do the research. Pat and I haven't been eating all that much soy since we have gone away from meat. Actually, I think the only times we eat are when we are looking for a meat substitute. Pat does like tofu but we haven't had the opportunity to try that yet. I think the first time I should try it, it should be prepared right and by someone that has done it before. I don't trust myself.

Please check out Smart Ground the next time you are in the grocery store. You might actually find that you like it.



Sunday, March 20, 2011

Salads with Fruit

Now I know what you are thinking. Fruit salad! I used to have a lot of fruit salad when I was younger. I'm talking about fresh fruit salad. I was never a fan of fruit cocktail out of a can. There was something about canned grapes that I just couldn't get over. Ewww!

Fruit salad in our family usually included bananas, apples, grapes, kiwi, oranges etc. I remember brown bananas, sorry Dad, that always tasted so sweet. I sadly am now allergic to bananas and miss the taste of them.

What I am thinking now as far as fruit in salads is fruit in green salads. This is something I hadn't tried until about four years ago when I found a recipe for Strawberry Poppyseed salad. I fell in love with this salad. I could sit down at eat this salad for every meal. For Christmas this year I mad a green salad that had apples, pears, and dried cranberries with a homemade poppyseed dressing. The homemade everything idea is for another post but this salad was delicious.

I picked up a huge container of strawberries at Costco yesterday. Often, we buy fresh food from there and it goes bad. The goal this week is to eat all of them before they go bad. So tonight, I cut up some of the strawberries and added them to a bowl of lettuce, spinach, yellow bell peppers, chopped almonds. I added some Panera Poppyseed dressing (can be purchased at Target). Mmmm...delicious.

I apologize for the rambling of this entry. It comes down to it that fruit will add a wonderful hint of sweetness to your regular salad. Try it!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Childhood Lessons

I was perusing the internet looking for ideas on what to write a blog about. I've been stuck again and looking for ideas. So I came across a website that mentioned three self improvement techniques we should take from kids.

  1. "If at first you don't succeed, try and try again."
  2. "Once bitten, twice shy."
  3. Beauty is on the inside.

I sit and think about these things I was taught when I was a kid. The first technique is obvious and has come into play. I gained most of my weight during my five years in college and have had numerous attempts at losing those pounds. I will admit, I haven't been at all successful in any of those attempts. The most successful was two years ago when I just watched what I ate for a month and lost ten pounds, which I thought was pretty easy. I think my problem is that I procrastinate. I keep thinking that I will do it next week or I'll start that tomorrow. At some point I have to be successful at it right? If I try hard enough and keep trying over and over, sometime it will be successful? It has to work :)


The second technique I actually had to look up. I wasn't sure what it meant but it is something I can bring into this journey. I just have to remember how my tummy hurts when I eat certain foods or how I feel when I work out *good!*. It took me a long time to figure out that it was my favorite salad at Applebees that was making me sick. I've learned that the salad isn't worth the nausea it makes me feel 30 minutes later. I have to start thinking that if I eat those jelly beans, my pants will be tight! So much easier said than done I suppose.


Beauty is on the inside. Hmm...I feel like that is something that comes up constantly and it should be true. I could go into a rant about how society has taught us that beauty is actually on the outside but I won't.  I think beauty is inside. I also think it is in the attitude the person has. There are some pretty people on the outside, but boy are they ugly and mean on the inside.


So I was looking for something to write about and I could keep going but I am quickly running out of steam, as I often do. Tomorrow night...maybe another entry.

Monday, March 14, 2011

My First Veggie Review

So it's been almost a week since Pat and I started eating a vegetarian diet. It's been quite an adventure that I have really enjoyed so far.

Over the weekend, we had our first opportunity to eat out. I find that doing this is making me be very picky about what I order from the menu. No longer can I just order on impulse because most of those impulse orders include meat. I really notice that most menus are filled with meat! I really want to have soup on Saturday but the restaurant we were at only had soup with chicken; there were 5 different soups! So I ended up ordering a dish that I normally would have skimmed over for something with chicken. I feel like I am expanding my options.

Lastnight, after a light lunch and a long day of driving home from the Twin Cities, I was starving. I had not done my usual snacking in the car while driving technique. Just a bottle of water and half a can of Coke Zero. We decided to stop at Chipotle for dinner and ordered a vegetarian burrito. It was beyond yummy! I might never go back to chicken.


Tonight for dinner we had Boca Spicy Chik'n Patties. I have always liked the traditional Boca Burgers. I think they taste like meatloaf. So I had to try these. I dont think I have had a true chicken patty in years! Really, I don't remember the last time I had one. I am very impressed at how similar these are. Tonight I had them on a bun with cheese and catchup. Last week, I cut one up and put it on a salad with some dressing. That was delicious as well. I would definitely recommend these to anyone who is looking for a chicken alternative.

After I am done with this post, I plan on doing some menu planning for the week so that we can hit up the grocery store tomorrow night. I am looking forward to making some soups so I have something different to eat at lunch. I have been eating prepackaged frozen meals from my fridge and almost went to Subway today.

Happy Pi Day!

Happy Pi Day!!!


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My 10 Things

I spent some of my time this afternoon coming up with my 10 Things. These 10 things are supposed to be used when I am feeling weak and all I want is the ice cream in the freezer (the ice cream is gone now) or when I just cant get my ass off the couch to work out. I came up with my 10 things and then promptly left them at work. So this list is a work in progress and will probably change as my motivations change.

1.  Be able to run a 5k without stopping
2.  Be able to stop shopping for clothing at the big girl stores
3.  Be able to decrease the amount of cholesterol medication I am taking
4.  Decrease my cholesterol numbers
5.  When we are ready, to be able to have a healthy pregnancy and not be chronically obese when said pregnancy is done.
6.  Get rid of the fold line across my belly that seems to be there permanently. (I apologize if that is too much information but it's true)
7.  Buy some new bras that actually fit me correctly.
8.  Buy a really cute/sexy red dress (I've always secretly wanted one of these)
9.  Be stylish at upcoming weddings.
10. Be able to run with my sister.

This really helped me get through my cravings on Tuesday but it didn't work too well today because I forgot about them. Silly me.  They are keeping my fingers out of the jelly beans I bought during a weak moment at Walgreen's today.

Do you have 10 Things or something that keeps you from giving in to your cravings?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Me, A Vegetarian?

I'm Catholic and Lent starts tomorrow with Ash Wednesday. Fasting is a tradition of Lent but now days, people typically just give up something over the period of Lent. I always gave up something like pop or candy. Last year I gave up caffeine. This year is going to be a little different.

A week ago I was ready to give up pop and make it to church every weekend. A couple of days ago, my husband told me he was going to give up meat for Lent. Now, I don't think it makes much sense to make two different meals for dinner, one with meat and one without. So since he was going to go meatless, I suppose I am going to go meatless as well.

I've never tried to be a vegetarian. I've looked at what I eat in the period of a week and there isn't much, if any red meat. When there is meat in the meal, it is usually chicken breasts or ground turkey. Most dinners out include chicken. Looking at the meals I make at home, most of them can be converted so they don't include meat and would still taste good.  I've heard good things about being a vegetarian, mostly from people who are vegetarians themselves. I've been told that I'll feel better if I don't eat meat. I'm not really sure why this is. I might lose weight, which is always a good thing. I worry though that I will replace the protein with carbohydrates, causing me to gain weight instead of lose it. I have a feeling that I will be trying to incorporate beans into a lot of recipes. The other good thing I have heard about being a vegetarian is that the taste of vegetables and fruit becomes more whole and that I will learn to really like those "healthy" foods. I think this is one thing I am looking forward to. I really want to taste the foods I am eating.

So, over the next few weeks, as the weather gets warmer and I get out running more, I will update you with the adventures of going meatless. I am still giving up the soda. I will blog about my triumphs and food failures. I will also write about what changes my body and my mind goes through. There will be hurdles, especially as we travel to the cities this weekend to visit family. I will also write about how my doctor wanted me to do this years ago. This will be an adventure.

If you have any great recipes, bring them on. I wanted to thank Christina for introducing me to Sweet Potato Fries. At 140 calories a serving, the are such a yummy snack.