Tuesday, November 30, 2010
I haven't gotten around to taking the time to blog since Thanksgiving. My son stayed the whole vacation and I was enjoying my time with him. We took Stella on some short walks and on the really gorgeous day, we went on a 3 mile hike through the nature preserve. This is up and down hills on uneven trails, over and under logs, etc. I have always like hiking and am still a hiker; more so than my son. When we got home, I was energized and he fell asleep on the couch! A little smile to self ~ not too bad for the 60 year old.
I did take time to get to the gym a couple of times for water aerobics, swim laps, and use the cardio machines. But for the most part, I didn't get enough exercise and, while I THOUGHT I did really well on the Thanksgiving food front, it wasn't as good as I believed. I weighed myself today and was up 2 pounds. I am not overly concerned about it, as long as I don't trend upwards through the winter months. I think those 2 pounds will come off when I get back into the rhythm of exercise and get back to my usual diet.
On the fun front:
In July before we went on vacation, I bought 2 ukeleles at a garage sale, a small blue one that I thought children in my class might learn how to play, and what I think is a tenor uke - a larger wooden one for me to learn to play. Between vacation, my head injury, and the start of the school year, I did not take time to learn how to tune them or chord formations. I finally got around to that over break. The children love having the little blue uke. I have been teaching the children who are interested in guitar, guitar lessons, but the uke is great for children who need to start on an instrument that is easier for small hands to form the chords.
I'll try to remember to get a photo of the cute blue uke and post it.
Have a great Wednesday!
Friday, November 26, 2010
Well, if there is a day after pill for Thanksgiving, it is exercise, and that is just what I have planned for today. A date with the gym!
Actually, I did pretty well with Thanksgiving dinner for two reasons that have, sadly, very little to do with self restraint.
One was that I cooked the entire meal. I love to cook and I love to cook healthy. While I often cook vegetarian, I do not make a vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner - this is a holiday where I cannot give up the 'Norman Rockwell' family tradition. Turkey, side dishes, a fire crackling in the fireplace, and a naughty dog looking for opportunities to snatch a piece of turkey.
Two was that there were only 3 of us, my husband, one of our sons, and me so this year there wasn't a houseful of people bringing rich desserts and side dishes. It was bittersweet this way. This was our first Thanksgiving since Glenna, my mother-in-law, died and our second since my parents died. This year we decided just to have a cozy, quiet and personal Thanksgiving - the three of us enjoying each other's company.
I bought an organic turkey from one of my students who raises turkeys for 4-H, and brined it the night before.
For side dishes I included baked sweet potatoes (not a sweet casserole - just the sweet potatoes), baked potato for my husband and son, steamed brussels sprouts with a little salt and lime juice, and a cranberry orange relish.
The two calorie extravagant dishes I prepared were the stuffing and a pie.
I made my own bread cubes out of pugliese bread from the bakery, lightly sprinkled with olive oil, salt, and rosemary and dried them slowly in the oven. To these I added chopped onion, celery, a little more rosemary, and warm organic chicken broth. It was cooked in the turkey, so I know it had a higher fat content than if I had baked it separately.
My son adores pecan pie, so I made one for our dinner. However, I did make the following adjustments and it came out delicious; whole wheat crust, 1/2 the sugar called for, and 1/2 the butter.
Here's that baby before going into the oven.
I make pecan pie twice a year - Thanksgiving and Christmas, so I'm not too concerned about my occasional indulgence. I love pie and wish it were one of the basic food groups. Sadly, it isn't. My self restraint was eating only one slice.
Stella absolutely adores Jesse. Whenever he is here, she is velcro poodle with him. She and Jesse watched "Ice Age' for giggles while dinner was cooking.
I love the way she sits with her rear on the couch and her front feet on the floor.
Well, off the computer and out to the gym for me. Have a great Friday!
Monday, November 22, 2010
Stella has discovered my egg bowl where I put the eggs to be washed when I bring them in. She doesn't hurt them, she just carries them around the house.
Do you detect a little guilt in that face?
Sunday, November 21, 2010
As most of my friends know, Sunday is food prep day for me. I like to make healthy breakfasts and lunches that can get me through the work week so I don't rely on processed or packaged foods.
I love to make nutritious waffles for breakfast, packed with protein, fiber, and flavor without the addition of sweeteners.
I like to start with Hodgson Mills Buckwheat Pancake mix because it saves a little time and I know it is whole grain and organic. Some people don't like the taste of buckwheat or haven't tried it. Buckwheat has excellent nutritional value and rates low on the glycemic index,
I rearrange the recipe each week: here is this week's recipe:
1 Cup Hodgson Mills Buckwheat Pancake mix
4 T. golden flax seeds
4 T. wheat germ
4 T. walnuts
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tsp. baking soda
1 Tsp. cinnamon
2 C. milk
1 T. vinegar
First I grind the flax, wheat germ, and walnuts to a flour consistency in my blender, add the apple to grind in, then add the rest of the ingredients. The vinegar is a quick way to make the milk more like buttermilk, but you could use buttermilk or kefir instead. This makes 8 waffles.
While I am making the soup, I cook up the waffles, then freeze them for this week's breakfasts.
Today's soup is a Vegetable Barley Soup.
2 cloves of garlic
1 C. fresh kale chopped
1/2 sweet potato
1/2 C. barley
1 can garbanzo beans
1/2 C. whole grain spiral macaroni
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. tumeric
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Chop onions and garlic and saute lightly in olive oil. Add the spices and saute a minute longer. Add two cups of water and let simmer for several minutes to blend flavors. You could also use purchased vegetable broth. Add the kale, sweet potatoes, garbanzos, barley, and macaroni. Bring to a boil, then cover and cook on low for 30 - 40 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add fresh cilantro right before serving.
(I decided to add a fresh boiled egg as garnish to add a little protein today.)
Sunday, November 14, 2010
I had fun taking my friend to the Y yesterday. She is having serious health problems and her cardiologist told her she needs to start exercising and to lose weight. I introduced her to the elliptical and showed her how to get the treadmills started. It was really fun to exercise with her. With the treadmills, we could walk side by side, me going at 3.5 mph and her at 2 mph, each getting the intensity we need, but staying within talking distance which we couldn't possibly do on the trail. She wasn't ready to try the weight machines, but we can do that another time.
Today we sang together, which is always fun. We broke out some holiday music and started working on that a little. Last year, it was really challenging, but this year, it just fell into place - we have made a lot of progress over the course of a year.
Next month, I will have been on Spark for a year. I had already lost some weight before I joined. My goal was to lose 30 pounds and regain strength, energy, and health. I have lost the 30 and am feeling much healthier. So far, so good. My weight fluctuates a couple of pounds over a few weeks, up 2, down 2, etc. This seems to be a normal pattern for me, so I don't worry about it at all - just as long as I don't start an upward trend. The holidays are still ahead. I love to cook and I love to eat good food. I'm not much of a junk food eater, but holiday foods do seem to have a high fat content. I am experimenting with some lower fat, lower calorie recipes that I can cook over the holiday season.
And... I need to keep focused on the exercise. I had gotten out of my weight training and yoga routines when I wasn't feeling well and need to build them back into my schedule. Stella makes sure I get in my walking time rain or shine, sick or well, so I have been getting my walkies in.
I was looking for some taller warm winter boots. My warm boots are LLBean snow hikers, very light weight and very warm, which I use for my early morning bike path walks in the winter. However, they aren't very good for deep snow. I saw a pair of Bogs which were touted as keeping feet warm in -40 weather. They looked perfect for deep snow walks with Stella, sledding, and doing outside chores, so I ordered them. They arrived yesterday, and feel comfy on. Now to see if they are as warm as they claim to be.
Denty and Myrtle managed to get into the picture - they are off in the distance. Stella, of course, has to be part of the action.
I chose the autumn colors.
I hope you all have a wonderful week.
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