Sunday, August 11, 2013
Hello and Happy CATurday!
I didn’t post yesterday because it’s been CRAY-zy around here. From the time I woke up yesterday until I went to bed last night, it was go-go-go! Then today we happily entertained unexpected visitors. But it’s evening now, I’m kicking back on the couch and ready to update on my latest ventures on healthy (and, um, kind of unhealthy too) living.
Thursday Night’s Dinner
I had the luxury of having the house, television, cats and dog to myself, so the pressure was off to cook.
Because my fridge is BURSTING with leftovers, I repeated Wednesday night’s brisket dinner: brisket, Yukon baby gold potatoes, carrots, green beans and cauliflower rice. Would you believe that my entire dinner was a mere 408 calories? WIN!
Dinner was followed by a cup of frozen grapes, which, by the way, is seemingly like a nighttime tradition around here. I think my body knows it too, because I started craving grapes like crazy while I washed the dishes. So glad I am finally craving fruit and not candy!
P.S. Dodgers won, yeah!
I am so proud of myself: I woke up at my new, earlier time again for the third day in a row. YES!!!
Downside? I had a super rotten night of sleeping (or the lack thereof), so this was a necessity to jumpstart my day:
Coffee, my a.m. bff. (recycled photo)
After I got the caffeine flowing through my veins, Bruno and I completed this for the very last time:
The session was followed by a relaxing stretching session, which felt totally delicious.
Physically, I am SO ready to up my game, but mentally I am feeling lazy. The 90 second runs are feeling too short these days, but my mind prefers the easiness of that than running three minutes every time, even though three minutes flies by in a flash. I think my problem is that I’ve done this program so many times that I know what’s coming up – like the 20 minute run – and my mind freezes at that thought. I know what I need to do though, which is to just focus on the present.
As for Bruno, he will be in for a little surprise, as he loves walking breaks. Ready or not, Bruno, we’re moving on. Hope you can keep up!
Happy to be done for the week!
As for what to make today, I decided that the strawberries and yogurt was so refreshingly different that I had to have it again:
Scrambled egg substitute, a slice of Ezekiel cinnamon raisin toast, and sweetened Greek yogurt (with a drop of vanilla extract) topped with strawberries. MY NEW FAVE BREKKIE!
After breakfast, I was going crazy working, cleaning the house, completing my chores, and getting ready for company later, so I didn’t have much time to put my lunch together. (Thank dog for all those boxes of salads I prepped!)
And because I still had a TON of carnitas leftovers, I topped my salad with it along with a few scoops of salsa:
It’s a good thing I *love* these carnitas, because I may not otherwise be so easygoing in the second-day-of-the-same-leftovers department, ha. But I am making good headway with all the leftovers! (I don’t know about you, but I hate wasting food.)
Soooooo the good news for me was that we were going to another Dodger game.
Bad news? There are disastrous eats at the restaurant (Phillipe’s Original) we went to before the game.
Since my plans last time worked so well, I truly in my heart had every intention of repeating the grand plan. Unfortunately, I have a tendency to eat a lot more when dining with other people and … my plan got thwarted!
That would be the beef dip sandwich I ate (recycled photo). I planned on eating only half the sandwich plus the salad I brought, but … I was really happy that my fiance’s brother was with us, the beef was actually laced with delicious fat, the place was BUZZING with Dodger energy and … the entire sandwich landed in my tummy. And of course I chased it down with my veggies because eating is just so fun with other people around…
Post sandwich and salad, I really wanted to chase after the moist brownies they offer, but thank dog we had to leave! Game time saved me from a potential disaster.
So here’s the deal: I was bored because the Dodgers were down 6-0. I started looking around and everywhere I looked, people were eating juicy burgers, french fries, nachos, churros, ice cream, caramel corn, hot dogs… You name it! The scents of all the beautiful food made my brain absolutely crazy, and I suddenly developed a strong craving for peanuts.
I finally couldn’t take it anymore – when the peanut guy arrived, I was on top of my fiance to get.those.peanuts.to.me.now.
That isn’t the exact bag of peanuts that I munched on, but close. They were salty, crunchy and kept me busy as I waited patiently for the Dodgers to rally back.
By the way, out of the 7 ounces of peanuts in the bag, my fiance ate … 1 oz maybe? … and I ate the rest, which amounts to… 960 CALORIES.
But apparently that wasn't enough because I then topped the salty goodness with an apple. And a "few" bites of my fiance’s churros.
After entering all my food into the tracker, my total ended up being 2,346 calories for the day. Yikes!
But, hey – the Dodgers came back to win it for a walk off! And when an entire stadium is screaming in bliss and happiness, that sure takes the sting out of eating 1000+ calories more than one intended. Oh well!
P.S. Check out my new Hello Kitty Dodger hat!
No exercise today – not only was I mentally tired from getting to bed late last night, my body was absolutely and completely physically exhausted from this week’s workouts. It almost hurt to even walk!
(Thankfully, after an active evening in the kennel, Bruno was more than happy to lay around)
We had our first morning meal at one of our favorite diners: Pepy’s Galley. Egg white spinach, bell pepper and mushroom omelette with tomatoes slices instead of hashed browns, and unbuttered wheat toast (which I didn’t eat and saved for my dog instead).
After breakfast, we received a surprise visit from my fiance’s brother and his wife. It’s been so long that I’ve had family around, I’ve forgotten how amazing it is to be with people who love you and adore you for who you are! Even better: my sister in law is pregnant with TWINS. I cannot even begin to contain my excitement, you would have thought I was the one with twins, ha.
Good news about company: I was too busy to think about snacking. WIN!
For lunch/dinner, we decided to hit up one of our favorite local restaurants, 26 Beach:
Small salad with sesame soy dressing, grilled teriyaki salmon, and sauteed veggies. DELICIOUS!
Hours later, I followed it up with frozen grapes.
That’s it for my day. I have a few more minutes of relaxation before it’ll be lights-out for me.
I hope you had a great Caturday. See ya tomorrow!
Thursday, August 08, 2013
Oooh it’s Thursday. One more day til zeh weekend. Whoop!
Last Night’s Dinner
Early yesterday morning, I put a marinated brisket, a bunch of carrots, baby Yukon potatoes, and a can of beef broth in the slow cooker and let it do it’s thang for nine hours.
Brisket dinner – woohoo! I added some steamed green beans and cauliflower rice (spiced with onion and garlic powders, salt and pepper) to my plate. Comfort food at its best.
I followed up my brisket dinner with a serving of tasty frozen grapes.
P.S. Dodgers won 13-4, yeah!
I woke up this morning really sore and muscles tighter than a rubber band.
On the bright side, I did get up at my new earlier time and got a ton of things done – win!
Bruno, however, was not up for today at all. Good thing I scheduled an “active rest day” today.
Never leave home without it. Spot the cat!
Here I am convincing the dog for a workout today (what on earth was he doing last night to be so groggy this morning? )
On our fitness agenda: casual 40 minute walk around the neighborhood:
The walk felt AMAZING on my tight muscles, especially the hammies. People, if you ever experience sore muscles, I totally recommend a casual walk!
I topped the walk off with some good stretching. Aaaaaaahhhhh, so good.
With those delicious strawberries sitting patiently in the fridge, my mind’s been working overtime on overhauling my brekkie. This is what I came up with for today:
Scrambled egg substitute, a slice of Ezekiel cinnamon raisin roast, and a cup of sweetened Greek yogurt topped with strawberries.
Truth be told, I was not a yogurt + fruit person … until today! This was so refreshingly different from anything I’ve had in the last year for brekkie that I’m starting to get ideas about making my own granola to top it off next time. I am SOLD.
Because I have a TON of leftover carnitas (understatement of the year!), I repeated my lunch from yesterday:
Spinach salad (from the boxes of salads I prepped on Tuesday), topped with carnitas and salsa. Big-lunch taste for respectable calories.
Nothing much going on this evening except for the exciting conclusion of the Dodgers-Cardinals series – goooo blue! – and the World Series Little League on ESPN after.
Hope you had a fabulous Thursday, see ya tomorrow!
Wednesday, August 07, 2013
Happy Hump Day!
Starting Weight: 119.4 lbs
Last Week's Weigh-In: 117.9 lbs (-1.5)
Sooooo it looks like 2.2 lb loss from last week, but I am 110% convinced that it's just more water loss and etc. After all, I'm still only at Week Two AND I am only 5'0 tall, which makes it almost physically impossible for me to lose anything more than one pound. (Oh the woes of being a shorty)
A loss is a loss though, so I will take it. From here on out, it will require hard work to get those six plus pounds off, but ... I'm still happy that I'm a total of 3.5 pounds total, whatever my body might be ridding of if not fat.
* Stretching Daily: It took me forever to get into this habit and it's finally paying off. I'm getting more flexible! Two in particular I'm making headway on: 1) My heels are getting closer to the floor while executing the Down-Dog pose and 2) My toes are that close to the floor in the Plow pose.
* Drinking a TON of water: I mentioned this last week but thought I'd mention it again. My body feels so much more flushed, my abdomen less bloated, and my skin feels healthier. Such a great compliment to my current sugar-free living and my recent extreme spike in sodium intake (Sunday night's pho!).
* Running with my dog: Reading my blogs reminds me exactly how often I feel unmotivated to work out! Thank you to my furry buddy who leaves me no choice but to work out or so fear the wrath of a bat-crazy dog tearing the house apart.
* Documenting my food: It's the best method I've found so far (for me) to really think about what I'm about to eat.
I need to work on:
* Getting to bed earlier, waking earlier
* Varying my meals
* Managing my time better
* My non-existent strength training routine
Overall, I think I am doing well between food and workouts. I just really need to work on my weekend eats so that I eat *before* I'm starving, not eat *because* I'm starving.
Last Night's Dinner
Carnitas! With a side of green beans and cauliflower Spanish Rice. Not pictured are the several shakes of Cholula bottle onto my meat. YUMMMMMMYYYY!
Just in case you are curious, this is how I put together the Cauliflower Spanish Rice:
* 200g Cauliflower, riced through a food processor
* 1/2 cup Salsa
* Garlic powder
* Onion powder
1. Combine cauliflower and salsa. Shake garlic powder and onion powder generously into the mixture in a small microwave-safe bowl. Add salt and pepper. Mix well.
2. Cover bowl and microwave for 3 minutes.
3. Taste "rice" again and adjust seasonings as desired. Enjoy!
Some scenes from last night:
That pic would be Bruno eyeing my fiance's every bite. We have never ever fed him food from the table, I have no idea where he would learn that from!
Dinner was promptly followed up with some post-dinner wrestling with a game of "hot paws" (think: hot hands, but paws )
AT LAST!!! I finally woke up 30 minutes early as I wished. It is fantastic exactly how much extra stuff one can get done in one extra half hour!
But first: credit where credit is due. Thank you, coffee.
Spot the cat!
On today's fitness agenda:
We have just one more session of this (Friday) before we move on to another modified version of Week 3 (I call it 3.5). Boy will Bruno be in for a real surprise on Monday!
Here's Bruno taking in his post-workout ice cubes:
And speaking of Bruno, guess who totally and completely laid in my post-workout stretching space?
Now, how exactly am I supposed to lay down my yoga mat? Luckily, as I stepped out of the room to get a drink, Bruno leapt up to follow me, and there you go - I got my space back. Silly dog!
So you know how I've been whining about my non-existent strength training that is still non-existent? I actually popped two sets of dumbbell deadlifts and one set of 15 (sloppy) pushups right before my post-workout stretches. Okay, so that itty bitty probably wouldn't be counted as an actual session, but my arms are reeeeally sore now, so that sort of counts for something right?
While grocery shopping yesterday, I spotted some bright red strawberries and could not resist grabbing and tossing them into my basket. As a result, it made it into my breakfast this morning:
I whipped up some Ezekiel Bread French Toast, and then topped it with Greek yogurt (yogurt + sweetener + dash vanilla extract + dash almond extract) and sliced strawberries.
A refreshing change of breakfast that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Now to think of what other breakfasts i can make this week with my strawberries!
Lunch today was put together in a rush. I ate it right out of the container:
A box of salad from yesterday's prepping, plus last night's carnitas and topped with salsa. Easy but filling.
Other Scenes From Today
Yesterday's effort of slow cooking chicken bones in water overnight resulted in this:
Delicious chicken broth. Two minutes of straining, half day in the fridge, ten seconds of straining fat, five minutes of ladling into containers, then stored in the freezer for future use.
I resurrected the three dumb bells I own:
I bought these last year from my neighbor who used to own a fitness center for like three bucks. What a deal, right!
After a terrible 2012, my peach tree is bearing fruit!
I just need to trim some leaves to help it to finish ripening. I can't wait for them to be ready.
After ... smelling my dog food a good month and a half, we decided that today was THE day for a bath:
Despite his "smiles," Bruno was NOT happy to be there. Fortunately, we go to this awesome place that passes out treats freely and even offers customers free spritzes of doggy cologne! CK One Dog best suits Bruno, and so that's what we spritzed on him for some handsome fun.
Here he is happy and clean:
Followed by a post-bath nap:
It was a good day.
Nothing else on my agenda today except for the Dodger game (pleeeease wiiiiiin) and to be in bed before 10 pm tonight so that I can wake up early again. I can feel it, it's gonna happen!
Hope your Hump Day was great! See ya tomorrow.
Wednesday, August 07, 2013
Hellooooo and Happy Tuesday!
Man oh man today was a busy one. It’s evening right now and I haven’t had a chance to sit and relax at all this morning – it’s been go go go from the time I woke up!
Last Night’s Dinner
For dinner, I decided to resurrect an item deep in my cupboard:
Nooch! In case you’ve never heard of nutritional yeast, it’s a yellow powder that tastes a lot like cheese. A lot of people love to sprinkle it onto popcorn to make it cheesy-tasting; I prefer to mix it with Greek yogurt to make a cheesy sauce to make something like this:
Chicken and broccoli topped with what I like to call “Cheese Sauce Without the Cheese.” :D It’s basically nooch and Greek Yogurt, as I already mentioned, plus a few shakes of garlic powder, onion powder, and ground pepper. Stir well, then combine with cooked chicken and steamed broccoli … then viola!
Nooch was one of my staple ingredients I used when I weaned myself off of cheese and other dairy (I’m a bit allergic). Not only is it a delicious-tasting ingredient, but according to Wikipedia: “It is a source of protein and vitamins, especially the B-complex vitamins, and is a complete protein. It is also naturally low in fat and sodium and is free of sugar, dairy, and gluten. Sometimes nutritional yeast is fortified with vitamin B12.”
My tastebuds seemed to be off at dinner, I think, from Sunday night's pho dinner, so I topped it off with an extra condiment:
Rooster sauce! Or more commonly known as Sriracha sauce. Sweet + Salty + Spicy = PERFECT.
I followed it up with some frozen grapes and called it a night.
Last night, I went to bed a little early with full intention of waking up 30 minutes earlier. The zzz’s were going all good until 3 am – some noise caused me to wake up and stir, which caused my cat next to me to wake up and move around, which caused my fiance to wake up to a full start, which woke up the other cat and then finally the dog. All said and done, our entirely farmily was up and walking around at 3 am – fun! Needless to say, by the time my alarm buzzed, I was not at all interested in waking up, no matter how many snoozes I had to punch through.
And so today became Day #2 that I woke up 30 minutes late.
Will tomorrow finally be the day I wake up on time?
When I finally leapt out of bed, I made a beeline for the coffee machine:
Spot the cats!
Not soon afterward, I got started with breakfast:
Not sure if I could ever get tired of waffle breakfasts. I think I could eat it every day for the rest of my life.
After doing some work, Bruno started bugging me for a walk.
On today's fitness agenda: 40 min power walk
Since we left the house later today, the sun was up and shining and the temperature was warm and temperate. By the end of our walk, I was a sweaty mess and Bruno was panting and ready for his post-workout ice cubes.
It was a good workout.
But the best part? This:
Discovering Mya waiting for us in the foyer when me came home. Precious! :)
Food Prep Day
Part of the craziness today was my scheduled trip to Costco. Is there ever a time when that place isn’t nuts?!
By the way, there’s a few more things that aren’t included in the pic – like the FIVE rotisserie chickens that I stripped down and separated into daily containers for my super duper spoiled dog (and one chicken for my future meals), cartons of eggs, yogurt, etc. (Costco trips should be considered a workout, I swear)
Anyway! After prepping my dear dog’s meal and my future chicken meals, I turned a bunch of those veggies to this:
Eight boxes filled with spinach, bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots and raisins. For meals, all I’d have to do is add a protein, drizzle dressing, shake and EAT. So easy and mobile.
I also did this:
French green beans that are washed and cut so that all I’d have to do is grab, microwave to cook and then eat.
Cauliflower “rice” – one of my favorites! It was easy – just dump into a food processor and process into “rice” bits. For meal prep, just put it into a container, cover and then microwave. Awesome.
After stripping all the meat off the chicken, I saved the bones and tossed them into my slower cooker. I set it on low for 12 hours to cook overnight so that in the morning – voila! Chicken broth. Bonus! (Since I stripped five chickens I’ll be making two batches)
And now, my fridge is BURSTING with healthy foods:
This is going to be a week of eating nothing but healthy foods! There will be ZERO excuses from here on out.
Some make-ahead recipes I want to try in the near future:
* Chicken chili
* Slow cooker turkey breast with gravy
* Sesame honey chicken
* Sloppy Joe
* Slow cooker chicken cacciatore
After a long and busy day, I’m so off to bed. After a day like today, I’m so ready for Hump Day!
Hope your day was great. See ya tomorrow!
Monday, August 05, 2013
Aaaaand it’s Monday.
I woke up this morning feeling like a cupcake dumped on the floor and stomped on. You know how I thought that I finally figured out that the exhaustion I went through last week was because I was fighting something off? That notion was confirmed today – I had the full-blown runny nose, coughs and aching muscles. Today was not the day I liked to be proven right.
Today represented one downside to be self-employed: the non-existent sick and vacation policies. Today would have been a prime day to take off, but business must go on and there’s no one to replace me, so … there you go. At least I work from home though, there’s lots of flexibility in that when you’re sick! (Liiiiike working in your pj’s – win)
If you’ve been reading my blog, right now you’re probably thinking, “Salad, again?!“ Truth be told, I’m sick of restaurant salad too, but when you have a man in the house who is feeling under the weather along with the chef (me), delivery sounds entirely too inviting. While ordering lunch, I thought that by going with a different restaurant it would be some consolation to the salad thing – but nope! It turns out that when you order one grilled chicken salad, you’ve basically have had all the grilled chicken salads within the ten mile radius. (I did, however, receive some bonus avocado slices under all that chicken) And anyway, despite my current feelings about chicken salads, I did find my lunch delicious and filed another entry into the clean plate club.
Pho! We actually found a place that delivered pho to our house. We had an inkling that they thought our house was closer than it actually was to their restaurant, so this may be the last time they’d be willing to deliver to us – so sad about that. I ordered a vegetable pho and stuffed a ton of bean sprouts into the bowl. I also drizzled fish sauce for taste, squeezed some Sriracha for some heat, and nibbled on one har gow – shrimp dumpling dim sum. YUM!
Soooo that pho last night? Baaad idea.
It was so delicious and its ingredients were filling, but the sodium content made me blow up like a puffer fish when I woke up. Plus, I gained FOUR pounds in water weight alone!
I totally and completely forgot that since drastically lowering my sodium levels a few years ago, just the tiniest now will make my body hold on to water like a cactus on a drizzly day. There are so many other great, healthy things on their menu, I will have to remember to skip the pho next time – no matter how good it sounds.
So anyway, this morning! I accidentally woke up 30 minutes past my normal wake-up time, which all ended up being one hour later than the time I wanted to start getting up at. It might have something to do with how I’m feeling, so I’ll just have to try getting up earlier tomorrow.
Sleeping in did not preclude me from my morning ritual though:
Caramel flavored coffee with soy creamer. This was a morning where coffee was not an option! :D
Since the little sleep-in snafu screwed up my schedule (along with moping around the house brainlessly), I ate breakfast before working out.
Overnight oats with cinnamon and apple. REALLY glad I thought to prep this last night, I really needed a quick brekkie this a.m.!
Ugggggggh, today would have been the PERFECT excuse to skip out on the workout, except for this one thing: my dog was feeling particularly energetic. And so, I got dressed and off we went.
But not before stuffing myself with this:
Oh, DayQuil. We have such a tumultuous relationship, those little orange pills and I. On one hand, it’s helped me in more than a handful of occasions to get through the day, but the payoff is always so that my head is in the clouds. But heck! Desperate times calls for desperate measures, and tiring out the dog is definitely one of those desperate times. :D
Oomph, were we hot and tired at the end! I’m so glad we stuck to repeating last week’s workout, because Bruno went at this a little slower than last week. A couple more days of this, though, then I think we will be ready to do another C25k W3 mod. (I’m thinking of 5 intervals of 3 min runs and 2 min walks)
Post-C25k, I was supposed to do an ST session with my Nike phone app, but my body was EXHAUSTED. Weird thing about it? While my body wanted to give up, caffeine and DayQuil ran through my veins, keeping my mind awake. I felt like a living breathing oxymoron!
Today’s lunch was a quickie:
Spinach topped with ground pepper, chopped hard boiled eggs and a few drizzles of balsamic vinegar. I’ve never been so glad to eat my own salads again! (Soooo tired of romaine and iceberg lettuces)
Nothing on my agenda for this afternoon and evening except for watching the Dodger game (@ the mighty St. Louis ) and resting big time. If I’m feeling dangerous, I might even take a nap! Muaaahaahaa..zzzzzz
Hope you’re having a good (better?) Monday. See ya tomorrow!
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