Tuesday, July 27, 2010
New recipe from Cooking Light. It originally called for yellow squash but I couldn't find any so I switched it out for zucchini which is extra plentiful right now.
Baked Couscous with Zucchini and Herbs
Yields: 6 servings (1.5 cups)
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less sodium chicken broth, divided
3/4 cup uncooked couscous
2 cups zucchini (about 2 small)
1/2 cup sliced green onions
2 TBSP chopped fresh basil
1 TBSP chopped fresh oregano (my oregano isn't doing well, so I used some fresh and some dried)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup shredded fontina cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup egg substitute
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Preheat oven to 400.
Bring 1 cup of broth to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually stir in couscous. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat with cooking spray. Add squash, onions, basil, oregano, and garlic; saute 3 min or until tender. (I actually let it cook a bit longer so that I could cut baking time in half). Set aside.
Combine cheese. Combine couscous, squash mixture, and half of cheese mixture in a large bowl; stir in remaining chicken broth, egg substitute, salt and pepper. Spoon mixture into an 8x8 baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray. Top with remaining cheese mixture. Bake at 400 for 35 min or until golden brown.
Verdict: This was super yummy. It had really great flavor and is super low in calories (161 per serving). Both my mom and I had seconds! We ate it as a main dish but it would also be a great side dish. Definitely, a new keeper!
The good part about having to change up my activities is we can focus more on my core. However, this presents all sorts of new frustrations. I hate not being able to hold myself up or that I continually fall over when doing these exercises. I know I am too hard on myself. But is that really a bad thing?
I think I will head off for a little walk around campus. I need to get those steps in before midnight because this girl needs some sleep! I have a new recipe to post a little later. Something to look forward too!!
Monday, July 26, 2010
I had to run/walk after the pool because with all the napping I was a wee short on my steps. And by a wee short, I mean 6000. Yikes. So after an 1.5 hour of cardio, I went home and passed out.
Steps aren't looking too good today either. Doh...time to get up and move.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Friday: I had a good day at work and hopefully resolved a problem that has been driving me batty for weeks! However, every time I mention that it is better it bites me in the arse! I managed a great milestone in my fitness endeavors. I had a low zone night and was to keep it at 30 min plus warm-up and cool down! I managed to run all 30 min at 5.0 and keep my HR steady!! I was super proud of myself. It helped that I ran in the cardio cinema with Paul Walker and Vin Diesel on the screen!! Yummy!
Saturday: My WW weigh-in wasn't the best. I was up 0.8lbs. I blame it on not eating enough this week and having to track calories. I am not used to doing it yet and I was worried about converting points to calories. Therefore, I was under cals each day and that isn't a good thing. You need to eat to lose. Hopefully, it gets better. I worked out with Ms. AS. This was the first 3x week and boy does my body hurt. She will be so stoked when she reads this, LOL!! F'n kettlebells. :) I got to spend some time at the pool, planned some meals for the week and went grocery shopping! I cleaned out the freezers and threw out old stuff and super crappy stuff!! I have some pantry cleaning to do but most of the bad food is gone.
Sunday: I stayed up way too late and I am drained. The plan for today is low key. I skipped church and took Moses for a walk. At least it was a little cooler, relatively! I intend to finish the laundry, take a nap and hit the gym. I may swim today since I don't think I have the energy to push through a medium zone day. I should be heading to a graduation party but I'm not sure that will happen. However, I really need to send those cards. I am such a slacker.
I am gearing up for a great week! Plus, Cards game on Friday!!! Woo hoo!
Friday, July 23, 2010
I was talking to a dear friend last night that is on this same journey. She has done amazing things so far and I am really proud of her. We were discussing how our lives have been put on hold because of our commitment to losing weight. Right now, I spend tons of time in the gym and not with my peeps. It's frustrating that so much time and effort has to be devoted to the cause. However as frustrating as it is, being fat is detrimental to my life. There will be a point when I can find a routine that let's me maintain a healthier weight. But I'm not there yet. So for now, I can't do all the those fun things during the week because my priority is me and turning my life around. The weekends will have to suffice until I'm a better me!
In the category of really great news: My mom saw her oncologist yesterday and she is still kicking butt! She will be 11 years cancer free next week! I am still amazed by the medical miracles that saved her life. When she was diagnosed with Stage IV NH-Lymphoma, I was prepared for the worst but after loads of chemo and a stem cell transplant, she's won that battle and every battle since then. I love you mommy!!
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Last night, I weighed and measured with Ms. All-star! OMG I f'n rocked those measurements! I've had great months before but nothing close to this one! I remember in the very beginning losing 10lbs and being super excited! Well this month has superseded that excitement by a 100%. I weighed 240 (why can't all scales read the same). I've lost 17lbs of fat and gained a 1lb of muscle! There is a 1-inch difference in chest, waist and hips!! I can't remember neck, thigh and arm. I gained a 1/2-inch on my calves. Woo hoo!
It is nice to know that all the effort has been worth it. I know some days that working out was the last thing I wanted to do but I did it. I figured something was better than nothing. I am sure Ms. AS has wanted to strangle me when telling me to push and keep going. All the hard work has paid off though! We have a long way to go but we are off to a great start!
My eating this week has been erratic. I am not sure how nice the scale will be to be on Saturday. I've been under on points/calories. I also haven't been hungry. I am eating because I know I should but not enjoying it. I've only really cooked once and that needs to change. I did make a super yummy veggie:
Roasted Fennel with Asiago
1 large Fennel bulb or 2 medium ones
2 Tbsp Asiago cheese
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1/8 tsp salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400. Cut the fennel bulb into slices. Place fennel, oil, salt and pepper into a Ziploc bag to mix up ingredients. Roast on a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan for 12 min. Mix in the cheese and bake for an additional 12 min or until tender.
I have never had fennel and it smelled so good roasting. It tasted good too! Make sure you get the slices tender those are much better than the crispy pieces! I served with stuffed chicken breast (already prepared). Enjoy!
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
So before I get called out for not reporting the "best part" of the gym extravaganza, I'll poke a little fun at myself. I managed to show up with a left and a right shoe, just not the same pair of shoes. Needless to say my lovely trainer made sure the entire gym was aware (or at least the ones who bothered to listen)! The combo was a bit uncomfortable and my feet hurt this morning. I will definitely pay closer attention when packing my gym bag from now on.
I rode a spin bike for the first time last night. I only did it for like 10 min and that was freakin hard. Wow, people actually do that for an entire class. Bless them! However, it was fun! Although not nearly as entertaining to watch as my circuit training, where I flail around and try to decapitate Ms. AS, sometimes intentionally and sometimes accidentally!
It is nice to know that my efforts are starting to show up. Every day someone will tell me that I look better and thinner! I like getting the attention. There was a point in my life where I preferred to be invisible. The less people looked at me the better. When you are morbidly obese you never get your wish; everyone stares at you. You feel like a circus side show. Each day is a struggle to just get out of bed and put on the armor to protect against the looks and the comments. It is amazing how much confidence can come from shedding some weight and figuring out who I am on the inside. I am starting to really like the new me!
Sunday, July 18, 2010
I worked out super hard last night. It was a medium night and the zone 2 interval added a minute. I ran 3 miles in 35 minutes; that is crazy for me. I only made it through two cycles. I was tired. I really had to push myself through that workout.
You are probably wondering why I titled this post "Weight Loss Challenge". I have been wanting to do something that challenged myself but provided for someone else. This summer our mission trip worked at a local food pantry and the city foodbank. It is amazing to see how many people need these services. I am also a huge fan of The Biggest Loser. So being inspired by their Pound for Pound Challege, I have decided to do this for my weight loss too! For every pound I have lost and every pound that I will lose I intend to donate the equivalent in food! The plan is to stockpile my loses and donate when I reach goal! I'll post pictures of my progress. First, I have 80 pounds of food to accumulate!!
Stay tuned for all my progress!
Saturday, July 17, 2010
My WW weigh-in went very well this morning! I lost 5lbs and reached the 10% mark. This is my second time achieving this success. However, this time it feels real and like something I can build on! A year ago when I reached this mark, 10% was just a number that didn't really mean anything to me. Heck, I'd already lost 60 some pounds on my own. This time I believe that I can do this and that 10% is a huge step! Every 10 is a success! Last week I only lost 0.8 and was disappointed since I'd been working so hard. It's nice to know that my body didn't let me down this week! I also made the attempt to eat more. You have to eat to loose and that seems like such a weird counter intuitive thing. It's all a vicious cycle that needs fine tuning along the way!
I weigh-in and measure with Ms. All-star on Wed and those will be our official numbers but per my WW success for current stats are:
Current weight = 238.8
Total weight = 84.2 lbs
I worked my ass off at the gym last night. I had my own little mini last chance workout! I ran 4 miles in 50 min. It wasn't incredibly fast but it was all about endurance. It was a low night so I just have to stay in HR zone 1. I did a great job of keeping it there! Then I chose to throw in a session of kettle bells. I am sure Ms. AS would be proud that even when she isn't around I am pushing myself. I felt having a night of stretching and then a night off made me better prepared for last night. Hopefully, tonight is just as successful!
Well my baby needs a good grooming. So I am off to take Moses to become spiffy!
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Here are the recipes I made for Wed dinner. I've made the chops before and they were just as yummy. The mashed potato variety was a new recipe. I really didn't miss the butter. However, I wished I had boiled them in chicken stock for more flavor. Next time. I'm trying to cook at least three nights a week and have left overs on the other nights. We'll see how it goes. I love trying out new recipes and have a bunch saved up. It helps that my mom will eat whatever I give her!!
Maple-Glazed Pork Chops
4 tsp chili powder
1 tsp kosher salt
6 (10-oz) center cut bone-in pork chops, about 1-inch thick (I doubt mine weighed this much)
2 Tbsp olive oil (I used spray)
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup butter maple syrup (Substitution idea: we only have sugar-free syrup so I added 4 tbsp butter)
1/2 cup chicken stockl
Pecans, toasted and chopped, optional (I opted out)
In a small bowl, combine chili powder and salt. Sprinkle evenly over both sides of chops.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the pork chops and cook until brown, about 2 min per side. Reduce the heat , and cook until desired doneness.
In a small skillet, over medium-high heat, add the balsamic vinegar and cook until reduced by half. Stir in the maple syrup and chicken stock. Cook over medium heat until thick and syrupy, about 5 min. (Note: I reduce the vinegar, add the other ingredients and then transfer to the skillet with the pork chops. I let it thicken while the chops simmer in the sauce. )
Garnish with pecans and serve!
Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes
1 1/2 pounds potatoes (red, Yukon, etc), cubed and peeled (I love peels)
1/3 cup milk
3 Tbsp mascarpone cheese
1/2 tsp salt
In a large saucepan, cover potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 min or until tender. Drain and return to pan. Add milk, cheese and salt. Mash to desired consistency.
I am wearing a pair of pants that I haven't worn for a couple summers! They buttoned and zipped and EVERYTHING. How fabulous is that. The only problem is they are white. And ladies guess what came to visit today. So far, so good! :)
Now for way more exciting information. My lovely friend KyokoCake gave me this really cool blogger award!
1. Thank the recipient: Kyoko, thank you for being my inspiration for diving back into the blogging world! You are an amazing person. I am so glad to have you and your sister in my life!
2. Line back the giver: Visit KyokoCake here. This girl loves pink more than me!! She is going through the same journey and doing with great flair!
3. Reveal 10 things: So difficult!
- I love to cook and bake and grill. I just wish I had more time to do them. In the pursuit of weight loss, I am trying to be better about cooking! I bake like a fiend at Christmas and then never seem to bother the rest of the year. I will grill until my butt is cold in the Fall especially now that I have an amazing new grill from the Easter bunny!
- Along that same line, if I won the lottery, I would open a restaurant in a heartbeat. I think I missed my calling as a chef. I blame the FoodNetwork and Top Chef for this.
- I am a reality show junkie. I will watch just about anything except those dancing shows. My DVR needs a good cleaning because I tape more than I can watch!
- I am scared of heights. I can't sit above the first deck at sporting events, concerts, etc. It probably stems from being freakishly tall. It's a long way down!
- I am a vampire addict. You put a vamp in it and I'll read it or watch it. Even the really bad ones like, A Vampire in Brooklyn. So bad! I love me some Twilight and True Blood!
- I learned to crochet when I was like 9 or 10. I did it religiously during HS but totally quit in college and there after. I recently started up again. I have an afghan from HS that is almost done! It only took 20 years, lol! I just finished a baby blanket and shawl!
- Like many fat chicks out there who dread clothes shopping, I became addicted to shoes and purses. I have no where left to store them. I actually (gasp) had to donate some to Goodwill. To be honest, there really isn't a shortage of clothes either. I just like to blame my shoe/purse addiction on not finding clothes that particular shopping spree!
- I wish I could travel more. I have friends all over the country and wish I could see them more often. I've seen very little of this wonderful planet. There is so much more out there.
- I love to run. I never would have said that a decade ago. I really, really like to be outside running. However, with all the heat and humidity of the STL I am forced inside. It is better for my breathing!
- I have the best mom in the world. The bestest best friend in the world. I am truly blessed to have so many amazing supportive people in my life. Thank you!
- Ali @ The scales say what? She always has great things to say and usually right when I need to hear it! Plus, she reminds me of myself!
- Megan @ Come what may Megan's journey has been a rough one! She is living proof of a medical miracle. All of STL has been following her progress since her transplant. She is now blogging about her faith and the travels ahead! Go Megan!
- Traci @ Traci's Treasures We share a passion for running! She is way more prolific than myself.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
I am fairly certain that if this was an episode of the BL, there would be crying, cursing at Jillian/Bob and the proverbial "I can't do this" phrase. Thank goodness this is reality and not the BL or I would have quit. I'd take my pizza and go home thank you very much. But I can do this. I just need a pity party first. So I am coming here to have it.
I haven't pushed myself like this in the last year. My body was used to laying around again. Oh sure, there was the occasional run or perhaps I should go back to the gym moment but nothing like this hardcore ass whooping. This is where my brain needs to inform my body to get over it!
Perhaps I should start taking Edward with me for motivation. I could just stick him in front of the treadmill or next to my training session. Or better yet "HOT cop", who coincidentally attends the same gym again, could show up and stand there for me! (For those not in the know, there is the really hot STLCO cop that worked out at my last gym. I found him back. That totally sounds stalkerish!) Yep, motivation couldn't hurt! Sigh...
Now for something completely off topic: I am so glad that the NL finally won an AS Game. I shelled out big bucks to watch them screw up last year. It was great!! :) Now if only the Cardinals can get there mojo back!! Go Cards!
I can do it, I can do it, I can do it! But I am still exhausted....
Monday, July 12, 2010
I remember in the beginning how adverse I was to having a person trainer. Now I can't imagine not having her. She pushes my limits and forces me to try harder. We even have fun! The box is actually a ladder for agility purposes. I was goofing off and saying that the box was bigger laterally. This morphed into Brig in box. In reality it's a result of having two dorks in proximity! (I am watching Biggest Loser 9 and they just did the ladder stuff, lol)
Tonight I made chicken enchiladas for dinner. I added some zucchini which actually helped bulk up the filling. This may not have been the healthiest choice but I only had one and I was satisfied. I think this is the hardest part for me, harder than any workout, is watching what I eat. I take it meal by meal and try my best every day. I think the important part about eating tonight was that I cooked and we didn't eat out or eat crap.
I also have an 11,000 step goal each day. So far I am meeting it each day. It has made me aware of just how much I sit during the day. I think I need to start adding in a walk each day. I'll have to ponder this....
It's late and I am super tired. More tomorrow!!
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Turkish Rice Pilaf with Eggplant and Pistachios
1 pound eggplant (2 or 3 small, 1 medium)
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup rice, preferably basmati (or some other aromatic, long-grain rice)
1 medium onion
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup raisins
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried dill (or 1 tablespoon fresh dill)
1 teaspoon salt
1 whole tomato, peeled and chopped, or 7 to 8 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
16 to 19 ounces canned chickpeas, drained
1/2 cup pistachios, shelled
Trim and discard stem end of eggplant. Cut unpeeled eggplant into 1/2-inch cubes and place the cubes in a colander. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of salt, tossing the eggplant to coat it evenly with the salt. Set in a sink to drain.
Put the rice in a large bowl and fill the bowl with water. Swish the rice around and drain it. Repeat several times until the water runs clear. Cover the rice with water and set aside.
Chop the onion into 1/2-inch dice. Combine in a large saucepan with olive oil and cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened.
Rinse eggplant well with running water and press it firmly in a cloth towel to squeeze out excess moisture and dry it well. Add it to the pan and increase heat to high.
Cook eggplant and onions together, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
Drain the rice and add it to the pan. Chop raisins a little (don't be too obsessive about it) and add them to the pan with 1 1/2 cups water, cinnamon, dill and 1 teaspoon salt. Put the top on the pan, lower heat to simmer and cook 15 minutes, or until rice is tender and the water is absorbed.
Meanwhile, peel and core tomato, then chop into 1/2-inch dice.
Five minutes before the rice is cooked through, add tomato and chickpeas and stir gently to combine. When the rice is done and the dish is heated, spoon into a serving bowl or onto individual plates. Top with pistachio nuts.
Makes 2 to 4 servings as a main dish, 6 servings as a side dish.
In January 2005, I tipped the scales at 323 pounds. I about had a heart attack. There was absolutely no way I weighed more than 300. Oh but I did. I spent the next few months working on my diet and trying to exercise. I would pop in some Tae Bo and cry from the frustration of not being able to keep up. The weight started to melt off. I gave up many of my favorite foods and started in these weird things called vegetables. Gasp! I rewarded this progress by joining a gym! I began running. All totally out of character for me. I was a couch potato and junk food addict (Mt Dew addict at least)!
I maintained a 70ish pound loss for many years. In 2008, I joined Weight Watchers because I'd lost my way. Somewhere along the path it turned right and I made a loop backward. I had seen co-workers have success on the program. I was tired of doing it all myself and everyone needs to shake things up. I managed to hit the 100lb mark. It was torture to maintain. My body quickly added 15lbs and was perfectly happy there. I got lazy and let it.
In June 2009, I got sick. I didn't know what was wrong with me but I coughed all the time. I couldn't sleep, had no energy, and quit caring what or if I ate anything. I tried to push through with exercise which mostly left me wheezing and hacking. I finally got the diagnosis of Asthma and instantly felt better. Being able to treat it and medicate before a run made a world of difference. It also is amazing how sleep helps the weight loss goal!
In February 2010, I started back with WW and while I was having trouble committing to the program I was eating better than before. I recently hired a personal trainer and she is amazing (although don't tell her this). She helps me focus. It's amazing what an exercise goal will do to keep you on track both physically and nutritionally. Sure I make mistakes and eat things that aren't the wisest choice but that's life. This is my life and I need to live it for me.
My current stats: (per WW weigh in on sat) 243.8 that is 79.2 total. Sure it has taken 5 years but whose counting!! :)
Today's activities involve doing laundry and hitting the gym for a medium day. Zone 2 here I come.
Friday, July 9, 2010
This was super yummy! I am not a huge fan of oranges or the flavor of oranges. I may have added a bit too much orange rind and next time will be more careful! It was definitely super quick and easy!