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scaling down

Friday, January 20, 2012

I think the scale and I need to take a break. It seems like I've been getting stuck in this cycle of doing great for a week, weighing in (usually to a loss), then spending the next week "taking it easy" on the healthy choices front and undoing some or all of the last week's progress. Then I weigh in at the end of that week to a less-than-awesome number and, newly resolved, do stellar for the next week...wash, rinse, repeat. It's like seeing progress gives you permission to slack off and rest on your laurels. (Which, I know, makes no sense, but hey, I never said I was going to make sense every second of every day). So I think the scale and I need to take a break. I have to weigh in once more on the 30th for a contest I'm participating in on FB, and then I think I'm going to go to a bi-weekly or even monthly weigh-in schedule, rather than weekly. It's totally mind games, but hey, whatever works, right?

* * * * * * *
Edited to add today's salad:



...isn't this the awesomest salad you've ever seen! May I draw your attention to the little puddle of awesome in the corner? That, my friends is a soft boiled egg that I painstakingly peeled at my desk (just waiting for it to implode and coat my cardigan in bright yellow failure...BUT IT DIDN'T!!!!!) Bwahahahahahahahaha.


January Goals:

1/3 - strength training after work...yes!
1/4 - cardio after work...yes!
1/5 - bodypump after work...yes! so. sore. ow. ow. ow.
1/6 - cardio after work...yes! ran outside, it was so warm!
1/7 - no binges...no...many cupcakes/beers (but yay for birthday parties, no?)
1/8 - go for a run or a yoga session...nope.

1/9 - bodypump after work w/ the hubster...nope--too painful.
1/10 - upper body strength session...no.
1/11 - cardio (brisk walk after work)...yep!
1/12 - upper body strength session + cardio...no.
1/13 - cardio (preferably run outside!) after work...nope.
1/14 - walk or yoga...walk! yes!
1/15 - stay in calorie range...yep!

1/16 - stay in calorie range...yeps!
1/17 - take down the xmas tree...yep.
1/18 - prep salads for Thursday lunch...yes!
1/19 - stay in calorie range...yes!
1/20 - workout of some kind...
1/21 - workout of some kind...
1/22 - to the Y with hubby (yoga? strength? who knows)...

  


A perfect year...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

OK, so a blog I read occasionally is Location Rebel by Sean Ogle and it talks about how to cut the manacles of 9-5 jobs and work for yourself...anyhow, that's not the point, the point is, he posted an article on obstacles that people often have to that goal, and I thought it really applied to more than just ditching your 9-5 job and striking out on your own...actually, it really applied to weight loss, or saving for a house, or any large, somewhat risky goal, or a combination of lofty goals, even! (Post in question is here, BTW: www.seanogle.com/entrepreneur
ship/stop-failing
).

The post starts off with one very interesting question: "What is your perfect year?"...Not perfect day, or week, those are just vacations that don't have to be sustainable. But a year. That made me think...On the weight loss front, to have a "perfect" year (or, if you aren't into the whole "perfect" thing, replace perfect with awesome)...what would that take? What would my days need to look like *most* of the time? What above-and-beyond-awesome events would I want to have happen in that year? What down spells could I expect to weather? An awesome/perfect year doesn't imply that every. single. day. must be awesome/perfect...but that the majority of them add up to a very good average. Food for thought, eh? I think I shall ruminate on that a while.

COming back down off my philosophical cloud (it's comfy up there, but kind of chilly)...my nutrition this past week has been fabulously spot on. Even with a long weekend up at the cabin in MI thrown in! I'm insanely pround of that weekend, actually...I planned healthy breakfasts and second breakfasts (hey, it's the cabin, there WILL be second breakfast!), pre-packed super healthy and filling sammiches for lunches (and discovered that the zucchini relish we canned this summer is AMAZING on turkey sammiches!), and planned a huge pot of soup to eat for dinners (bean and bacon and kale soup...can't go wrong!). I pre-tracked the major stuff before we even left for the long weekend, so I had a pretty good idea of how much wiggle room I had for treats, and I stayed really close to my calorie range the whole weekend, without hardly thinking about it. It was awesome (plus, the MI upper peninsula had knee- to waist-deep snow, so I was happy as a clam (clams love snow, didn't you know?!) playing in that...it was a grand weekend!)

Anyhoo, besides the weekend of general awesomeness, this week has been pretty stellar, too. We've been cooking a bit more, which always helps, and I've been conscripting John as a sous-chef/veggie prepper/dish washer (totaly fair, he's eating half the food, right?!). Tuesday we made pasties and butternut squash mash, yesterday we whipped up risotto and seared some elk steaks (leftovers for dinner tonight!), and tomorrow, we'll be making braised pork ribs adobo.

I also used my super handy-dandy salad-building list from my last blog post to make salads for lunch today/tomorrow...they are a high degree of awesome! Today we have elk steak, cherry tomatoes, carrots, radishes, romanesco cauliflower (tiny fractals in my lunch box? yes please!), kalamata olives, feta cheese, & romaine w/ caesar dressing. Tomorrow will be the same except I'll have a soft-boiled egg instead of the steak, and I'm leaning toward a soy/sesame/orange dressing and some mandarin orange segments, too. Yummers.

We also took the stinking xmas tree down (NOW I remember why I never put one up...they just linger and loom at you after the holiday...my living room is like twice as big now that it is sans tree!). That's really all I've got today. I'm off to the coffee shop to knit for a while (waiting for John to get off work), then off to the moooooovies to see the Way. Should be good times!

January Goals:

1/3 - strength training after work...yes!
1/4 - cardio after work...yes!
1/5 - bodypump after work...yes! so. sore. ow. ow. ow.
1/6 - cardio after work...yes! ran outside, it was so warm!
1/7 - no binges...no...many cupcakes/beers (but yay for birthday parties, no?)
1/8 - go for a run or a yoga session...nope.

1/9 - bodypump after work w/ the hubster...nope--too painful.
1/10 - upper body strength session...no.
1/11 - cardio (brisk walk after work)...yep!
1/12 - upper body strength session + cardio...no.
1/13 - cardio (preferably run outside!) after work...nope.
1/14 - walk or yoga...walk! yes!
1/15 - stay in calorie range...yep!

1/16 - stay in calorie range...yeps!
1/17 - take down the xmas tree...yep.
1/18 - prep salads for Thursday lunch...yes!
1/19 - stay in calorie range...
1/20 - workout of some kind...
1/21 - workout of some kind...
1/22 - to the Y with hubby (yoga? strength? who knows)...

  


smarter salads!

Friday, January 13, 2012

I've been on a salad-for-lunch kick for a while (what with all the warm weather and whatnot!), but lately it's been kind of an epic fail. I used to get a salad a couple days a week at the salad bar at work (just b/c I had forgotten or neglected to plan something to bring for my lunch), and I discovered I quite like salad (great way to down a lot of veggies, no?!), but I don't really like the price at the cafeteria (a salad with a hard egg, a cup of mixed chopped veggies, and some dressing runs me almost $9...which is kind of obscene if you think about what I'm actually paying for...my math comes out to about $3 in veggies and $6 for the convenience of someone else chopping them up! Not cool. (Plus, a week of forgotten lunches will set me back like $40...it adds up fast!)

So then I started to plan my own salads. I figure 1/2 a head of romaine + various chopped veggies + dressing = lunch. Simple, cheap, tasty. But somewhere my execution got a little lost...various chopped veggies became whatever was left in the fridge (a sad half-used onion? a droopy tomato? some ancient olives? some dried out trader joes parmesan?) Yep, that was my salad on Wednesday. It was the saddest salad on the planet, and I was hungry about 2 hours later. John and I take the same thing for lunch, and he complained it didn't even make a dent (and so he was forced to walk over to the butcher shop down the way and get a bratwich...life's rough, no?!).

Anyhow, that wasn't the first salad debacle, and unfortunately, having eaten today's salad, it's not the last. (Equally misbegotten mishmash of ingredients today). So I'm making a little salad chart for my own reference. And any lunch salad is going to have at least 2 items from each column, or it's not coming to work with us! (See, I learn from mistakes, and get to make a chart...everything is right with the world after all!)

Base: 1/2 head romaine lettuce per person

Column 1: veggies!
carrots (grated, sliced thinly on the diagonal, or shredded with a vegetable peeler)
peppers, any color
red cabbage (chopped)
tomatoes (seeded) or small whole
snap peas
radishes
broccoli
cauliflower
scallions
watercress
leftover roasted veggies (any!)

Column 2: protein!
chicken, beef, pork, tofu, tempeh, or fish
beans or lentils
hard or soft boiled eggs
canned tuna fish
cottage cheese

Column 3: fat. (yes, I said it. F.A.T.)
dressing
nuts/seeds: almonds, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, pepitas
sour cream
shredded/grated/crumbled cheese: any kind
olives

Column 4: funsies!
dried cranberries or raisins, mangoes, dates, apples
fresh cherries, grapes, apples, oranges
handful croutons
mandarin oranges
fried wonton sticks/noodles (for asian flair!)
hummus
bacon, crumbled

Dressings:
ranch
caesar
salsa & sour cream & lime juice
mayo & lemon & chipotle chilies
hummus

This also means I need to plan my grocery store trips a little better so I have this stuff on hand before salad day arrives, but that shouldn't be too hard!

January Goals:

1/3 - strength training after work...yes!
1/4 - cardio after work...yes!
1/5 - bodypump after work...yes! so. sore. ow. ow. ow.
1/6 - cardio after work...yes! ran outside, it was so warm!
1/7 - no binges...no...many cupcakes/beers (but yay for birthday parties, no?)
1/8 - go for a run or a yoga session...nope.

1/9 - bodypump after work w/ the hubster...nope--too painful.
1/10 - upper body strength session...no.
1/11 - cardio (brisk walk after work)...yep!
1/12 - upper body strength session + cardio...no.
1/13 - cardio (preferably run outside!) after work...
1/14 - walk or yoga...
1/15 - stay in calorie range...

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PAPER_WINGS18 1/13/2012 10:17PM

    Totally am stealing this for lunches next week! What a fab. idea. My salads seem to always be lame. What do you do dressing-wise? Make your own? I really am not a fan of bottled dressings, but sick of the italian dressing I typically make.(Canola oil + vinegar + seasonings).. So, any new ideas would be great for dressings!

What is body pump exactly? I'm thinking about trying a zumba class Tuesday night at my Park District & see they offer Body Pump too. Never knew what it was though! :)

Keep on rockin it! Post how yummy your salads were too!

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ELLIE381 1/13/2012 4:00PM

    Great job! Sounds wonderful.

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LIVENLOVELIFE 1/13/2012 3:07PM

    LOVE this idea Shannon!!!!! You are going to have some terrificly wonderfuly salads coming up!

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nuts to brown rice!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

So a while ago, we stopped eating rice. Not on purpose, but it just stopped making regular appearances on the weekly menu. A while before that, I got all health-conscious and switched from white rice to brown rice. And thus began our slow descent into becoming a non-rice-consuming household, which is sad because, you see, I love rice.

I love how rice is always there to soak up the yummy juices in saucy dishes, to provide a bit of body in an omelet, or a fluffy base for a rainbow of veggies in a stir fry. And it's cheap as all get-out, which doesn't hurt, either! Rice is great stuff. Then I tried brown rice...even better! All the endearing qualities of white rice, with a titch more fiber, and a lovely subtle nutty/grassy taste that white rice just doesn't have! I swooned. And then I realized that brown rice takes for.freaking.ever to cook. Like 45 minutes of simmering, if you're lucky, almost an hour if you aren't. And I just stopped making rice because it took way too long, and after a lifetime of 20-minute rice, I found myself having trouble remembering to start the rice soon enough to have it finish at the same time as everything else. And let me tell you, there is nothing sadder than trying to keep stir fry warm-but-not-overcooked while you wait for that stupid pot of rice to finish cooking. Nothing! (Well, OK, there might be some things worse...OK, a lot of things worse, but when my stomach is grumbling, I tend to focus on that...so it goes).

Just before new years, I was asked by a friend of a friend of a friend to do some recipe testing for his upcoming cookbook of Filipino food...and one recipe I made was an adobo recipe (braised meat in a dark gravy, always served over garlic rice). I was out of rice (since we hadn't had it in ages), and when I went to nab some to make for the recipe, the co-op was out of brown rice, so I defaulted to white rice, scampered home, and cooked it all up. And I swooned. And I remembered how much I love rice! Why did I ever stop eating it?!

In the intervening weeks, rice has popped up on the menu about once a week (including a spontaneous risotto last night that was a tiny, mushroomy slice of heaven). I think rice is officially back on the docket for us...I have been sticking with white varieties for convenience, but I do have some plans for some brown rice dished for days that I have gobs of time to wait around for my rice to cook...

(This ode to rice brought to you by the awesomeness that is mushroom risotto.)

Other than waxing poetic about rice, I haven't really been up to much. I tried bodypump yesterday but it was a tad too painful, so I think I shall take it fairly easy this week (which means watching my food intake like a HAWK). I've revised this week's goals, too (stupid injury!) But, the FB challenge weigh-in is Monday, so I have some impetus to behave for now!

January Goals:

1/3 - strength training after work...yes!
1/4 - cardio after work...yes!
1/5 - bodypump after work...yes! so. sore. ow. ow. ow.
1/6 - cardio after work...yes! ran outside, it was so warm!
1/7 - no binges...no...many cupcakes/beers (but yay for birthday parties, no?)
1/8 - go for a run or a yoga session...nope.

1/9 - bodypump after work w/ the hubster...nope--too painful.
1/10 - upper body strength session...
1/11 - cardio (brisk walk after work)...
1/12 - upper body strength session + cardio...
1/13 - cardio (preferably run outside!) after work...
1/14 - yoga...
1/15 - stay in calorie range...

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GETMETO50 1/10/2012 11:04PM

    I use the success boil in bag brown rice...it cooks in 10 minutes! I am lazy and not a big fan of cooking so I have never had long cooking brown rice before but if you want quick brown rice try success or uncle bens boil in bag brown rice.

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SEPPIESUSAN 1/10/2012 10:01PM

    Trader Joe's sells precooked frozen brown rice. Not quite as cheap as the dry stuff, but takes seconds to heat up!

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weekend updates

Monday, January 09, 2012

Well, food/exercise-wise, my weekend was mostly not-so-good (you know, the way Miracle Max describes "mostly dead"...pretty much all the way except for a glimmer of life that can be fanned with the liberal application of chocolate covered something?...yeah, that was my weekend).

I managed to hobble myself (thanks to my own klutzy-ness and my landlord's refusal to salt the ice in the parking area) bright and early Saturday morning (slipped on the ice while getting into the car...feet slid under the car and I caught myself with my shoulder and my left shin...holy mother of OW. So putting any weight on my left leg was painful all day saturday, which equaled no exercise (and a ginormous bruise, of course). Joy.

Saturday was a friend's birthday party, too, so to top it off, I had a few too many cupcakes and beers (which I'd sort of planned on, but I went beyond what I'd decided I wanted to stop at...booo!) But a good time was had by all, so I don't mind that too much...it's Sunday that has me all cranky. We sat around (again, hurt to walk, but improving), iced the shin, and played cards all day while watching movies and munching on cheese and crackers, then pizza. Holy cheese overload, batman!

So basically I sat around all weekend whining about my poor shin and stuffing my face. Not the most productive, eh? But! Today my shin is feeling a LOT better (yay for several hours of ice-packs, I guess!) so I'm going to go to bodypump after work (the hubs has decided to do the Warrior Dash in july with a few of his co-workers, and wants to start training, so we decided to go to Monday night bodypump for a start!) Exciting business! I figure if my shin starts hurting much I can always weenie out and go ride the stationary bike till the class is over, but aside from squats/lunges, there shouldn't be a lot of weight on it...we'll see!

But despite the down-in-flames-weekend (which, honestly wasn't THAT bad, I know!), last week was pretty stellar overall...I did manage to make all my weekly goals for exercise on the weekdays (even got outside for a run on Friday...that was awesome!!), and I have a similar plan for this week, so that should be pretty do-able! And my eating was really good for the most part (weekend cupcake and cheese spree excepted!)

This coming weekend we're thinking of heading up to the family cabin in MI for some snowshoeing (since, you know, there's ZERO snow here despite it supposedly being winter). So that's sort of my reward for good behaviour this week. And it's a 3-day weekend, so why not?! I think that makes for a good plan...nothing too crazy, just little things adding up, right?!

January Goals:

1/3 - strength training after work...yes!
1/4 - cardio after work...yes!
1/5 - bodypump after work...yes! so. sore. ow. ow. ow.
1/6 - cardio after work...yes! ran outside, it was so warm!
1/7 - no binges...no...many cupcakes/beers (but yay for birthday parties, no?)
1/8 - go for a run or a yoga session...nope.

1/9 - bodypump after work w/ the hubster...
1/10 - bike ride after work...
1/11 - strength training after work...
1/12 - interval cardio...
1/13 - cardio (preferably run outside!) after work...
1/14 - yoga...
1/15 - stay in calorie range...

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ELLIE381 1/9/2012 6:50PM

    Great blog! Love your humour! emoticon

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