Who says you have to grill on Memorial Day?

Not me!

I didn’t have any plans at all on Memorial Day. I needed a day to just be at home with my dog. If it wasn’t so gosh darned hot we might have gone for a walk or something. But K-dog’s black fur doesn’t hold up so well in the heat, and neither do I, come to think of it.

We spent most of the day lounging. But in the morning, while it was still relatively cool, I did put together a few things in the crock pot. I used my new Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook‘s recipe for Moroccan Chicken Thighs.

I don’t usually do foodie blog posts, but this was SO GOOD I had to share. I made 3 modifications to the recipe. I didn’t have a red onion so I used a yellow, I didn’t have canned whole tomatoes so I used canned crushed whole tomatoes. (The recipe said to take canned whole tomatoes and dice them which seemed to defeat the purpose of throwing things in a crockpot anyway.) I used bone-in chicken thighs that I de-skinned instead of boneless skinless thighs and just cooked for a bit longer. Bones = flavor, people. Plus, when they were cooked the bone just slid out of each thigh anyway.The rest of the recipe was golden raisins, cumin, chickpeas, and tomato paste.

It was torture as the house started to smell more and more like delicious food. About 10 minutes before it was due to be done, I whipped up some 5-minute couscous. And got my mason jars ready. “Mason jars?” you ask. Yes, the whole point of this recipe was to make myself some meals to take in for lunches and I thought I’d try a technique I’d seen on this blog.

It went a little something like this.

Open lid and gaze at deliciousness:

Then layer coucous, sauce, and a chicken thigh into a mason jar:

(I am never going to make a living as a food photographer, sorry.)

I had the chicken out of the pot for dinner and a jar for lunch today. I already know I’ll be making this again, maybe a double batch! I’m not sure how the calories breakdown in this recipe, but without the skin on the chicken thighs, there isn’t anything in this recipe to make it bad for you!

Weigh-in Wednesday 5: The “But it’s Thursday” Edition

I was out sick from work yesterday, but I dragged my butt to the scale early in the morning, I just didn’t post about it.

Thoughts off the scale

I have high hopes for this week. I feel like I did a lot of things right.

Weight goals

Small goals: a pound a week, slow and steady.

Larger goal: 199, to be below 200 for the first time in my adult life.

Overall goal: Not sure about this yet, I really don’t like to look too far ahead because it all starts to feel overwhelming and nearly impossible. I know it’s not, so I’m going to hold off on a long-range goal.

Starting Weight: 227

Last Week’s Weight: 223.8

Today’s Weight: 221.8

Loss this week: 2lbs

Total loss: 5.2 lbs

Thoughts after the scale:  Yay!!!!!


 


Weigh-in Wednesday 4: The But I Don’t Wanna Edition

 

Mirror update: Check for a post in a little bit that actually contains fairly recent (Tuesday 3/13) full body photographs. Still no mirror.

Thoughts off the scale

I did better with eating this week. My only real indulgence was Texas Roadhouse. But I kind of resented everything about working out and eating right this week, because I think I have looked the same for a while and I want everything to GO. FASTER. Without, of course, reducing my calorie intake. My body seems to be holding on to everything, but a few friends have told me this is a part of the process, so I’ll just keep slogging on. Dear Spare Tire–I won’t quit, you can’t make me. So no matter what the scale says this week, there’s next week and the next….I’ll get it right eventually.

Weight goals

Small goals: a pound a week, slow and steady.

Larger goal: 199, to be below 200 for the first time in my adult life.

Overall goal: Not sure about this yet, I really don’t like to look too far ahead because it all starts to feel overwhelming and nearly impossible. I know it’s not, so I’m going to hold off on a long-range goal.

Starting Weight: 227

Last Week’s Weight: 224.8

Today’s Weight: 223.8

Thoughts after the scale: Gee, that number looks familiar. ::Sigh:: Well, a pound down is a pound down, even if it is one I thought I already lost once, right?  Today starts a clean slate.

I MAY NOT BE THE LIGHTEST

Do you ever have weeks where even the things that are always easy seem hard?

Flippin’ Food Frustration

You know how I was talking about cliches the other day? I thought of another one I hate: “Eat to Live, Don’t Live to Eat.” Now we all know that’s true insofar as it goes. We all know that we need to eat properly in order to fuel our bodies for what our day/week/life is going to bring. But that cliche brings to mind someone sitting in a small dark room in a folding chair at a card table eating kibble–alone.

I’m sorry, but going out to eat with, or creating a good meal for, my friends, sitting around the table laughing, joking, and telling stories is a huge pleasure for me. I like to eat well. I like to eat good food with my friends, or alone for that matter. I don’t want to reduce the act of dinner to something I could replace with a nutritionally balanced meal replacement bar.

I don’t think the above is incompatible with losing weight or a healthy lifestyle, do you? I think it takes maybe a little more thought, a little more planning, and maybe a bit of sacrifice when you make menu choices.

Yet, I’ve been having trouble in this regard lately. I’ve been getting frustrated and feeling like nothing that I want to eat is what I should eat. I’ve been craving wings, I’ve been craving fried anything, cheese fries. You name it, if it’s hard to fit in with a 1690 calorie a day diet (which is what myfitness pal tells me is the magic number that, when combined with exercise, will allow me to lose a pound a week) that’s what I’ve been wanting. I’ll fill my fridge and pantry full of healthy choices and then look at them and go BLERGH.  Oh, I know what you are thinking and it starts with an “m” and ends in “oderation.” But everything that I’m craving lately is a trigger food for me that only leads me down a path of more bad choices, more cravings, and well, “finishing the bag.”

Re: Finishing the bag, portion sizes are a big (heh, see what I did there?) thing for me. I like BIG portions. (I mean you had to figure that, you don’t get to be 230 pounds by eating your 3oz of fish) I like the look of big portions on my plate, and I like taking seconds. Yet, I don’t think that is completely incompatable with weight loss either. Emily over at Daily Garnish talks frequently about loving big portions and look at her adorable tiny cuteness!

I need to (re)tweak my mindset a bit.  So I’m going to list the following food goals:

  1. I know I like the feeling of taking seconds, so I’ll start with a smaller 1st helping.
  2. I know I like big portions so I’ll try to have something each meal that I can have a lot of, but still maintain my calorie goals. (See roasted Brussels sprouts, or a crunchy salad)
  3. I need to try some of the gazillion recipes I’ve starred on Google Reader for healthy, yet sweet and delicious (or salty and savory), treats. (See these, or this)
  4. I need to change up my healthy snack drawer at work. I’ve been restocking with the same pistachios, reduced fat peanut butter, and dried fruit strips for too long now and my tastebuds are bored. (And that box of Girl Scout Lemonades [150 cal for 2] is probably stale by now.)

I think trying to make even a few of the above changes will pull me out of this food frustration I’m in. I was making too much progress to get stuck in a plateau now.

What do you do when you get bored with your go-to foods? How often do you think it’s OK to give in to something you’ve been craving.

Weigh-in Wednesday 3: If You Shove It In, You have to Sweat It Out Edition

Sorry, still no mirror. Maybe by Sunday. Will I ever have a relaxing weekend again? I need to schedule that. I also need to write a post about the rest of the truth behind the “still no mirror.” That goes on the list too.

Thoughts off the scale

I screwed up with eating this week. I know that. I knew that while I was screwing up with eating. I know the right things to do (which does not include eating a whole box of Spicy Buffalo Wheat Thins by myself) and I didn’t do them. I did stick to a good workout schedule this week, but that can only do so much when you are eating like crap. It takes a lot more sweating to burn it off the calories than the effort it takes to shove the calories in. I don’t think this is going to be pretty. I’m going to try not to beat myself up too much. I don’t have a time schedule and the number on the scale is only one of the things I’m using to judge my progress.

Weight goals

Small goals: a pound a week, slow and steady.

Larger goal: 199, to be below 200 for the first time in my adult life.

Overall goal: Not sure about this yet, I really don’t like to look too far ahead because it all starts to feel overwhelming and nearly impossible. I know it’s not, so I’m going to hold off on a long-range goal.

Starting Weight: 227

Today’s Weight 224.8

Last Week’s Weight: 223.8

That’s a 1 pound gain from last week.

Thoughts after the scale: Well yes, that was about what I expected. There are some factors I am considering, not excuses, there is really no need for excuses, but factors to keep in mind. 1) The last time I weighed in was immediately after a 2 mile run/walk interval. There was much sweating. Probably not the best time to get a fully accurate picture of my weight. This time was immediately after the 30 minute weight circuit. If I want to continue weighing in on Wednesday (which I do) it’s going to have to take place right after I work out and before I get dressed for work. I suppose it will all even out eventually. 2) I was feeling very hungry this week, for a reason that I believe most women will be familiar with (enough said on that), but I hadn’t made time to shop for the appropriate snacks. That must be remedied.

Well there it is. Certainly it’s a bit disappointing, but it’s just a small pot hole in the road to take me where I want to be. ONWARD AND DOWNWARD!

Did you make progress toward your goals (whatever they might be) this week? 

Can’t Fake This: Weigh-in Wednesday

Well, I still don’t have a full-length  mirror.  This is about the best I can do picture-wise. It was an experiment. My hair is wet, I have a strange expression on my face, but here you go:

Thoughts off the scale

I didn’t feel like my week was as good this week as last week. Saturday I didn’t end up eating very much during the day because of getting ready for my apartment warming. So after we worked out on Saturday night (weights) I was starving, and I…well, I might have hit up the closest place to the gym, which is, of all things, a McDonald’s. But like I said, it was pretty much the only meal I had that day. (Disclaimer: I know not eating isn’t healthy, it was just the way things worked out that day and not something I make a habit of doing.) Sunday was the party and I didn’t keep track at all, I grazed all day on all the goodies I made, but I was mostly busy socializing so I don’t think I did too too badly.

Goodies including….

Monday we didn’t hit the gym in the morning because we were doing a bonus night of  line dancing that night, but it was at a restaurant so we ate there as well. I chose two smaller-portioned apps and I had 1 and a half pints of Guinness. Last night we line danced again but we were tired from the night before so it probably wasn’t as much of a workout as it usually is.  All in all, it wasn’t a bad week, but it definitely wasn’t my best week.

Weight goals

 Small goals: a pound a week, slow and steady.

Larger goal: 199, to be below 200 for the first time in my adult life.

Overall goal:  Not sure about this yet.

Starting Weight: 227

Today’s Weight 223.8

That’s a 1.4 pound loss this week.

Thoughts after the scale: I can really see the difference now between trying to lose weight with just reducing calorie intake and trying to include working out with that. When I was on Weight Watchers I wasn’t focused on exercise at all, and on weeks that weren’t great but weren’t awful I’d lose .4 or .6. I’d still feel good because it was going in the right direction, but really that sort of weight loss you can make or break by drinking a couple glasses of water or having a sandwich. I’m finding out a lot about the way my body can function when I’m eating well and working out.

Did you make progress toward your goals (whatever they might be) this week? 

Can’t Fake This: Weigh-in Wednesday

I hope that today will be the last Weigh-in Wednesday (stealing from here, but I don’t know if it originated with Gretchen) without picture proof. I moved into my apartment at the beginning of this month, and while it has a lot of character and lovely wooden pocket doors, one thing it doesn’t have is a full length mirror. I’ve been standing on the edge of the bathtub in order to see my midsection before I leave the house. It must, and will, be remedied soon; and you’ll get to see yet another shot of someone holding a phone in front of a mirror. I promise not to make the duck face, though. What is with that face anyway?

Thoughts off the scale

I feel like I had a pretty good week this week with food. I even did a bit better on the weekend (I tracked Saturday, woo!). Working out was a bit less successful.  I missed a Friday dance night and I only worked out for 30 minutes instead of an hour on Sunday. I was missing my workout buddy and worried about her, and I considered it a small victory to get myself to the gym to run, I didn’t stay to lift weights. My heart was feeling heavy enough.

Weight goals

 Small goals: a pound a week, slow and steady.

Larger goal: 199, to be below 200 for the first time in my adult life.

Overall goal: Not sure about this yet, I really don’t like to look too far ahead because it all starts to feel overwhelming and nearly impossible. I know it’s not, so I’m going to hold off on a long-range goal.

Starting Weight

I’ll start with the weight at which I began this blog 227, and I’ll continue to use that as my starting weight, although I feel like I really started the mental change at 230 a few weeks before that.

Today’s Weight 225.2

That’s a 1.8 pound loss

Thoughts after the scale: Wow, I’m quite pleased with that number. I’m also eager to see what will be the result if I start doing more lifting, maybe even replacing a day of cardio with a day of  the 30 minute weight circuit. The article I cited a post or two ago says that while you burn more calories while you are actually doing cardio, you continue burning them for longer after lifting weights. That sounds nice.

Did you make progress toward your goals (whatever they might be) this week? 

Faking Fit with Food

This blog is so new for me, I’m still trying to figure out exactly the kind of blogger I want to be. I’d like to post once a day, but I know that might not always be possible. I’d like to write posts ahead of time, but I’m a procrastinator. So we’ll see where that all goes. But one thing I know I’m not, at least not naturally, is a food blogger. The thought of trying to create a recipe gives me hives. The thought of taking a picture of every single step of a recipe I follow is surprisingly overwhelming. I don’t really go to any restaurants that are worth writing a real review about. I mean, hey, crazier things  have happened, and never say never and all that, but I can’t see those types of posts becoming regular features for me.

But I like eating, and I’ve got to eat something, right? And eating properly is definitely a part of finally Making Fit some day. So I guess I’ll have to address food quite frequently on this here blog.

So um…where to begin?

Day-to-Day? Now that I’m working out more, my relationship with food is beginning to change into a relationship with FUEL. What will I be doing today (and what did I do yesterday)? What will my body NEED to get through the day? What can I put in it to help? What should I avoid that will hinder? I’ve been asking myself these things more and more–while not avoiding the occasional indulgence.  Another (ironic?) side effect of working out as a part of trying to lose weight is I find myself much hungrier throughout the day. Especially the days after I do my Couch to 5K runs. I’ve learned (with help–Krissie calls it being Rungry)  that on those days I need to keep fueling myself with small healthy choices throughout the day. Or when it comes time for dinner, I completely go nuts and overeat. I track my choices (trying to do it for the whole day when I sit down in the morning), and try to leave the biggest chunk of my daily calories for dinner. I do that because dinner is the most variable as far as spontaneous changes (or burnt meal attempts) go, so I need to leave room if things don’t go as planned.

Shopping? I do that. Since it’s just me and the dog, I can usually get away without sitting down and doing a dinner plan with recipes and then shopping that way.  I make sure I have the pantry staples, I don’t really keep much meat around, and I keep my mind open for what looks interesting, fresh, or is on sale. But I would like to get better at having a plan of attack with recipes. What seems to happen, though, is I only really have time to cook about 1 full meal a week, I’ll have planned for 3 and things end up spoiling. The goal here, I think, is to eventually make Sunday the day when I make a few healthy recipes that can be frozen or refrigerated in single servings to use for lunches too.  I’ve got a couple busy weekends coming up, but after that, it’s go time!

My photo from a trip to Hicks Orchard in Upstate New York

I am also blessed to live in an area with a lot of farms, farmer’s markets and roadside stands. I take full advantage of those in the summer time. I’m even considering shelling out ~$700 (gulp) to join a CSA this summer through fall. I’m looking for someone to go halfsies with me, really, because I’ll never be able to use all those veggies myself. We’ll see what happens. I can’t wait for fresh local vegetable weather!

The battle for less packaged and processed foods? That, my friends, is a whole ‘nother post.

What I’m obsessed with right now? Freeze-dried bananas from Trader Joe’s.

What’s your relationship with food right now? 


Can you fake it on the weekend?

So it’s finally the weekend. All week long I tracked my food, exercised, and stayed within 100 calories of my goal. I have a bad habit of treating the weekend like a free-for-all. I mean, planning is harder, opportunities arise, things happen.  I’m also not usually sitting in front of a computer all weekend like I am at work, so the bookmark for the tracking site that I use  isn’t staring me in the face.

I want to work on stopping this little bit of self-sabotage. I feel like I took a step in that direction by committing to an hour workout one day of the weekend. But my weekend eating habits really need to change.  I don’t have a plan yet, but I know I don’t want to completely lose the fun of a spontaneous night out, or a special weekend treat. That’s one of the ways I’ve messed up before, being entirely too strict. As Cassie says, “Everything in moderation, even moderation.”

One thing I’m going to try is having the kind of breakfast I have for work, like a Chobani, so I start out with some protein. I also need to get better at grocery shopping so I have things on hand that I WANT to eat. (I just moved into this apartment so grocery shopping has been at the bottom of the to-do list) I’d love hear anything that has worked for you!

How do you handle your eating on the weekends?