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There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Ah, Sundays. It is my day of rest and relaxation, for an hour of church, however prior to that is an hour and a half of choir rehearsal, and after that is food shopping, food taking care of, laundry, cleaning, and anything else that needs to be done. Although, I usually still feel pretty good because it is very much a system for me, and the OCD in me likes the process of having the same things happen every Sunday. Today, though, was a little more annoying than usual. I had some issues finding the sales I wanted at the grocery stores, and had to buy some non-sale essential type items, which always annoys me. Fortunately, with my stockpiling, those items are fewer and fewer. Anyway, I got a little stressed out and did a little impulsive-shopping-eating with a marked down Reese's brownie (oops!), and I had already had a few too many goodies at church coffee hour, and I feel a bit bad about getting off diet, ack. However, I have a plan to try an increase my fruits/veggies now that things are coming back into season (in season somewhere anyway, we still have a few snowpiles in Mass). I am going to spend 1 day this week (Tuesday) where between waking up and dinner I can eat whatever I want, so long as it is a raw, non-starchy vegetable or fruit. No cooking, no dried fruits, but no limits. If I'm hungry, I eat more. I'm going to allow carrots, but other starchy veggies like corn and potatoes are out. I have no bananas, but they would be out too. However, I do have red and green peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, radishes, apples, strawberries, and a cantaloupe ($0.79! couldn't resist). It should be an interesting experiment. I won't be having any extra proteins on that day until dinner, so we'll see how I feel. However, if I feel hungry, I can just eat more. It could go either way. I like experiments.

This week's shopping trip was disappointing money-wise because my savings weren't that great. I bought some printer cartridges at Target because they were on sale with a gift-card deal, so that cost a lot, but less than if I waited for the cartridges to run out and had no deal. I also needed a prescription, so I did use my giftcard right away and it was like getting the prescription for free plus a couple of cans of Bill's low-cal Progresso soups (with coupon). Whole Foods keeps putting on sale the Food Should Taste Good Chips for $2, and I keep printing the $1 off coupon, so I got another bag of $1 awesome chips! Most of my WF run was veggies and bulk items. I have chickpeas again though! They did have organic apples for $0.99/lb, which is an awesome price for conventional apples, so I bought some. It is apparently second apple season where stored apples aren't going to make it much longer and need to be sold off quickly. Whatever, I like apples, and I could always make more applesauce. I think I may need more applesauce soon.

My Big Y trip was annoying, because the sales I saw didn't seem to match my notes from their flyer quite right. Only one type of colgate was on sale, and it was gone. There were no colgate tootchbrushes on sale. the wrong brand of hummus was on sale. I also hit two sales I wasn't prepared for and had to search for the coupon (fortunately, I bring the whole coupon organizer and it is somwhat alphabetical, but still annoying to hunt in the middle of an aisle!). However, I did buy a number of important BOGO sale items, and found these great chocolate coated almonds from Emerald Nuts (sale and coupon) that are delicious! Just one or two is perfect for a chocolate craving too. Between store sales ($33.71 saved) and coupons ($7.75 saved) I still saved 49% off wholesale costs. My Stop and Shop experience was all about the items I had to buy because I need them, and I had coupons expiring for some of them, and all of them are expensive, but will last me months and months (so I keep telling myself that while looking at the bill!). I did manage to use my save $4 for a trip over $40 quite easily! Stop and Shop also had the meat deals, ground turkey for $1.99/lb and boneless, skinless chicken for $1.79/lb (wow!), so those were bought in excess, but are now in the freezer. They also still had 2lb of strawberries for $3.99, so I bought those again, and quite a few red potatos ($0.99/lb). Overall, I saved $18.91 on sales and $12.25 in coupons and reusable bag credits (even though the stupid bagging kid couldn't figure out how to use my bags well, and put things in the plastic bags which I then had to put together in the cloth bags, aah!), which was 33% saved. Not too bad, not too great.

Anyway, time now for Menu Plan Monday. This week is all old favorites, I'm tired of new recipes for a while, and I think Bill is too.

Monday: taco salad with black beans in the meat (Low carb for Bill)

Tuesday: oregano chicken, mac and cheese, salad

Wednesday: beef pasta hamburger helper (gotta use it up while I'm on wheat!) with lots of veggies (trying to make it healthy as possible)

Thursday: couscous using frozen zucchini and grape tomatoes and radish greens

Friday: chicken, rice, and broccoli using the white sauce I froze a few weeks ago

Saturday: chicken parm with spaghetti and salad

Sunday: Pad Thai (always a favorite!)

Mmm, lots of comfort food. That's good, I could use comfort food this week (TOM!). Time to get laundry and start dinner!


Concentration is the ability to think about absolutely nothing when it is absolutely necessary

Friday, March 27, 2009

Tonight, I have one of the best quick and easy dinner recipes that my husband absolutely loves. Keilbasa and tomatoes over green beans. You might notice that all these things are usually fully cooked or just need to be heated, thus, quick and easy. I chop the keilbasa into half circles and fry them up in a frying pan for a bit, then add a can of tomatoes, whole, stewed, diced, whatever you want (we did whole tonight, I cut them with the spatula), spice with chili, garlic, and onion, and tonight I threw in cilantro. Serve over green beans (frozen or fresh and steamed). I served it tonight with chickpea salad: chickpeas, cucumber, celery, cherry tomatoes mixed up with a little bit of yogurt, red wine vinegar, italian salad dressing mix and Mrs. Dash. Delicious, not Bill's thing, but he ate it.

I did a couple of strength workouts off of exercisetv.tv tonight, then remembered I'm supposed to do my push-ups, so I did them. Next time, I have to remember the push-ups first. I made it though, 5 sets of 12, 13, 10, 10, 15. On Sunday I'm meant to do an exhaustion test, meaning one set of however many I can do in a row.

I finally solved the secret of the cottage cheese pancake: bisquick. Yeah, not the most healthy, but not much was used. My pancake was huge, for a normal size one, I would suggest 1 egg white, 1/4 cup cottage cheese, 1 tbsp bisquick (mine was double, and it was like 6 inches across). Great with frozen fruit, heated to make a sauce.

I've discovered something new at breakfast, this is technically the second time I've tried it. I fry an egg or two (over easy-medium), and saute some veggies like spinach, onion, and tomato, then eat them together. A nice change. Maybe I'll do it again tomorrow.

I almost had a major issue at work with my obnoxious machine where I thought it may need to be sent to Washington, but I think I solved that problem with a minor adjustment (which involved taking apart and putting back together part of the inside), and now I really just need to solve one more issue and tweak. That's good, because I think my boss wants it usable yesterday. I ran around like a maniac all day, and next week is not going to be better, especially with a lab meeting likely on Tuesday, aah!

The nice weather has finally showed up, but it may rain this weekend just to mess with us. I hope not, I want to run!


Words can sting like anything. But silence breaks the heart

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dinner tonight was chicken and asparagus in a creamy garlic sauce. Pretty easy cooking, and I used up the last of the fresh on-sale asparagus. Next week it will be broccoli, $0.99/lb! Anyway, the sauce was essentially minced garlic in homemade stock boiled, then I strained it because Bill doesn't like garlic pieces (oh well!), then added heavy cream and Italian mix cheese. However, the cheese got clumpy, so next time I'm just adding Parmesan. It tasted good though! We had my tiny crispy baked potato pieces and a salad along with it. Bill didn't have anything to say, but he did seem to be enjoying the sauce, so I'm taking that as a plus.

I did a strength workout tonight, mostly legs, mostly squats, ouch. I ended with 10 min of cardio tabatas. Those things are tough man, really keep you moving. I also participated in a challenge to get 100 close-grip wall push-ups in today, completed, yay! I didn't really stretch, hmm, probably should do yoga tomorrow morning, we'll see how I feel. If I feel good, maybe I'll jog on Wii Fit.

I feel great about my eating. I was barely hungry between my meals and snacks today. I think threatening my stomach with plain carrots if it complained worked. I'm also enjoying my black bean hummus, delicious. I used up the last of the ricotta and the last of my fresh strawberries, although I still have some cottage cheese left to finish, and plenty of frozen berries. Apparently berry-picking doesn't start until June! I need a longer growing season.

Work still has some issues, but I'm hoping to resolve them ASAP, if I can get in touch with the one-man tech support from the "mom and pop" company that makes my equipment. No current plans for this weekend. If the weather isn't too cold, I may walk down to the local market on Sat. morning as my morning workout and pick-up whatever veggies they have. We'll see.

Anyway, gotta run, drink tea, get sleep.


Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I made the best dinner ever tonight. It was an enchilada casserole. It was great for many reasons, it was easy, healthy, and cheap! It was healthy because it was made from whole, real foods with lots of veggies and I nailed the 500 calorie per serving point pretty much dead on without even trying. It is also high protein and high fiber, gluten-free, not made from processed foods, and could be dairy/casein free if someone just left the cheese off the top (or replaced with fake cheese). It was easy because I had frozen shredded chicken from whole chicken in the crockpot venture, I made the beans yesterday while making awesome black bean dip, and everything else was pretty much ready to go. I mixed a few things in the processor, and heated a few things in a pan on the stove, which I probably didn't even have to do, layered, and popped in the oven. It was cheap because it used homemade salsa, whole chicken from my $0.99/lb chicken, canned tomatoes I got with coupons, dried beans, the cheese was BOGO, and just little bits of other things. Here is the recipe: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-deta
il.asp?recipe=574965 (if you are on sparkpeople, try it and rate it!).

My food intake was good. I'm trying to work on my hunger signal. Mine is clearly faulty. It thinks I'm hungry an hour after eating far too often to be true. I keep trying to push my meals farther apart, but it is hard. However, I need to eat at more distinct times, because I'm becoming a grazer at school, and grazing is a bad habit that will hurt me at parties and buffets and events. So today, I had breakfast at about 8am, a yogurt and strawberry mix at noon, some carrots/celery and bean dip at 1:30, leftover gnocchi and the remaining veggies and dip and puffed wheat at 3:15, a string cheese and a fiber one bar at 5:15, and dinner at 7:30. That 1:30 one is the one not on the schedule. I'm not sure if my morning snack is actually insufficient (it shouldn't be) or if I just hit a lull in my day at that point and tend to think of food. I think it is the second option, which means I need to un-lull my day, i.e., keep working and stop sitting at my desk without a defined task. I am definitely programmed to eat when bored and to eat when only minimally occupied, bad! I'm just going to keep bringing carrots and decide that I can only eat carrots outside of my schedule. If I don't want carrots, I'm not hungry. I don't love raw carrots, so this is a good option. Maybe I'll add celery to that. And I have to eat them plain if I'm off schedule, no dips! That should work.

Yesterday, I did an excellent job of keeping my blood sugar high enough late enough to enjoy the brisk walk we took and do circuit training along with Bill. Tonight I did a quick Leslie Sansone power mile, my push-ups routine (hundredpushups.com), and then a 20, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15 countdown of get-ups, squats, crunches, dips, and leg lifts (from Project Mayhem minus the push-ups because I already did them!). Tought, whew! But I finished, even the get-ups (which are awful!). Then, I made an omelet with a batter of egg white, protein powder, cottage cheese, and wheat bran (that fell apart again, maybe I'll drain the cottage cheese next time) and an inside of strawberries with a drizzle of maple syrup on top. Yum! And I feel good, and full. Yes, I'm convinced that I am not hungry. My body thinks I should have another piece of chocolate, but I think not.


Attitudes are contagious. Is yours worth catching?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tonight, I made gluten-free gnocchi. It was a first attempt, and I didn't really measure anything, and they weren't half bad. Mostly too squishy, needed more flour. I ended up boiling then baking them and that helped a lot. They were good in my previously made and frozen bolgnese (plus, I didn't have to think about sauce while making gnocchi!). I think my food choices in general were better today. I'm laying off the high-density foods like nuts and cheese for a bit and aiming for lower-density like strawberries and ricotta and carrots and dip. Today's dip was just cream cheese. Remember that plan to make hummus? Well, it turns out that I only have enough chickpeas for one dinner later in the week, so no go. Instead, I made a load of black beans, some for enchiladas tomorrow, and the rest were processed with some cream cheese and some mexican blend cheese into a hummus-like dip that will be good with carrots and maybe also celery the rest of the week with lunch. It's a good and easy dip, you should try it.

I also did a different workout than I planned last night, because I'm working on 100 pushups (www.hundredpushups.com) on Mon, Wed, and Fri/Sat, so I did strength training upper body work instead. Tonight, me and Bill are going walking and then doing his workout and I may workout along with him, more or less, to get some strength in. My push-ups are going well, I just started week 2 and my max is 13! Now, these are real on my toes push-ups, so it is hard. I did just grab a Fiber One bar before our walk tonight, but we walk later than I usually exercise, so I need more fuel to get through to my next snack, which is usually at 9:30, but tonight will probably be 10-10:30, and I will just have yogurt and strawberries and puffed wheat. On that thought, I think I need to make new yogurts for Bill again too, blueberry again this time, but maybe with a bit of banana.

Work is going along reasonably well. I am so busy it is crazy now, I feel like I've barely sat down in two days except to eat. I also felt really dehydrated today even though I drank over 2 liters of water. Maybe all the activity requires even more water!

We are walking soon, I wonder how cold it is. Come on spring, I need warm walking weather!!


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