Thanks to some fantastic temps this weekend, B and I managed to get in our first hike of the year. We took on our "training" hike, which is a nearby state park that has about 3.5 - 4 miles of trail and about another mile of paved walking paths. We usually warm up with the paved area and then hit the actual trail. I call it our training hike because this one is easy to moderate in difficulty and is good to get us ready for more challenging ones.
This is the first time I had my HR monitor with me. For about an hour and a half hike, with about 4 miles total, I logged 645 calories burned. Which was more than I expected, but again, way less than what SP had been telling me. That monitor was definitely a smart idea :)
I did better with my calories this weekend as well. I only had one above or at-maintenance day as opposed to two. And yesterday I managed to curb most of the emotional snacking. I was tempted to be moody and throw a pizza in the oven, but I prevailed and stuck with my original plan of trying out a new recipe.
I decided to go for a meatless dish and attempted the Quinoa Black-Bean Casserole:
Unfortunately, I have no pics to share, but if I make it again, I will get some then.
I followed the recipe almost exactly except I'm not sure if I was supposed to cook the sweet potatoes first. There was no way I was shredding and peeling raw sweet potatoes though, so I nuked them in the microwave for about 8 minutes each and the skin came right off. Really easy to shred them too! I added in the cooked quinoa and black beans. I had so much though that I had to go with a 13 X 9 pan. The original recipe is not that precise on the sweet potatoes, so 2 large for me may not be the same as 2 large for someone else. And I only used large eggs. And I added about half a cup more cheese to the top.
Verdict? Meh. It's not terrible, but it doesn't really have a ton of flavor either. I used some good homemade salsa, but I felt it needed more of a kick. I added some garlic and onion but guess I should've added more. I would up the qunioa and decrease the amount of sweet potatoes. You could probably add in some cooked diced chicken too if you don't like the idea of a meatless dish. It wasn't fabulous right off the bat, but it has some potential. I might make it again and play around with it. We shall see. I do have plenty to eat for dinner the next few nights though, so that's always a plus!
Here are some other new food/diet reviews. I've been trying some new stuff the last few weeks and have forgot to mention it here:
Chia seeds - I put about a tablespoon a day into either my oatmeal or my yogurt. I thought about flax seeds, but I liked these a little better in case I ever wanted to try oatmeal smoothies (these can be used as a thickener). It adds a little more texture to the yogurt and takes some away from that gloopiness that squicks me out so bad. I have serious food issues, people. Just looking at cottage cheese makes me want to retch. Yogurt is tolerable if I dont' think about it. Pudding, however, is fine. Not sure why.
It also helps that every time I put the seeds in the yogurt, I sing "Cha-Cha-Cha-CHIA!" in my head. Hopefully I'm not growing my very own pet in mah belleh.
Laughing Cow Lite Swiss Cheese Wedges - I FINALLY found these suckers at Kroger. They are pretty tasty with some turkey pepperoni and probably would be good spread on a piece of bread. Not so good when you attempt to mix them in like you would shredded cheese.
Simple Truth Organic Chocolate Soy Milk (Kroger) - Don't like the sugar, but I keep reading that chocolate low-fat milk is a great option for workout recovery. I also need more calcium and magnesium in my diet (see below). It's definitely a different taste than regular milk, but I think I like it. I've been getting the vanilla soy milk for awhile and I dig it. I know most people go with almond milk but the soy milk works really well for me, so for now I'm sticking with it.
DASH diet -
I'm also reluctantly trying to incorporate the DASH diet into my food plan to help with the whole high blood pressure concern. I figure even if it's not really that high, it can't hurt, right? My mom struggles with high BP, and she's skinny as a rail and is pretty active/eats decently, so it's definitely a genetic concern in this family. The ONLY problem I have is the 7-8 grains a day. I'm not a low-carb advocate, but that seems excessive even to me. That seems like a LOT.
So I'm adding a few more servings, but I just don't think 7-8 grains is feasible. Not unless I want to go crazy on my carb levels. And with all that, I'm hitting fiber levels of FIFTY, which is car-azy. Needless to say, I was glad I lived alone last night. Though the cats may not have been as appreciative of the fumes emanating from the couch. They can get over it. It's still not near as bad as the cat gas Bagheera cooks up and waits to release until someone pets him. Ew.
Other than the extra calcium/magnesium and the up in grains, I'm pretty much doing everything else they recommend. Except for the "no more than six ounces" of meat a day. WTF? I loves me some chicken, tuna, and salmon. I hardly ever eat red meat unless it's in cheeseburger form and even that is once every few months. And all the meat I do consume usually has very little fat or sodium. So that part? So not happening. I'm not saying I can eat a whole chicken in one sitting, but if I had a can of tuna for lunch and I want a chicken breast for dinner, you better believe I'll wind up with 8-10 ounces of poultry/fish for the day.
DASH is a great starter plan, but like any others, I truly believe it can be modified to become the best plan for me.
And my new sodium goal is under 3,000 milligrams a day, which I've managed to hit 4 days in a row so far. It's not the ideal 2,300, but it's way better than the 4 or 5K I've been averaging, so it's a start.