The Quest to be Fit

Tracking my journey to better health

Wednesday wonders January 21, 2009

Even though I can’t get enough sleep to save myself, I had a great day today.  I woke up a little cranky, but that dissipated by the time I started working around 8:30 🙂

I had a bowl of oats this morning;  I somehow remembered to prep them b/c I knew I wouldn’t have time to eat a bowl of cereal at home.  I snarfed them down while finishing my meeting prep for my 9am conference call:

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After reading the many Barney Butter reviews out there, and talking with fellow consumers, I somehow think there is a consistency issue in the production of the stuff.  Some say the chunky is like all chunks and no butter, some say it is sweet, and I say it is a little salty.  I like the stuff, but I haven’t had any other AB but store ground, which wasn’t so hot, esp. compared to BB.  Oh well, just a thought.

I worked for about 4 hours and broke for lunch.  Same thing as yesterday, but with a few spoonfuls of cc.

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It was a colleague’s birthday today, and his sister brought in these bad boys:

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They were calling my name all afternoon, but I resisted the urge by eating the rest of my apple and working.

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Before leaving work I had a few quick bites of cc b/c I was getting hungry.

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I made whole wheat spaghetti with Prego Italian Sausage sauce for dinner (fancy, I know), and forgot to take a pic.  I also added some canned Parmesan on top.

I did a little Master Recycler related reading, and then headed off to the class around 6.  Tonight’s topics were e-cycling (electronic waste) and composting.  Yay!

E-cycling is a huge issue since computers, TVs, and other electronics have a lot of metals that are big contaminants if they get into ground water or are incinerated and get into the air.  The average CRT or TV has 4-6 POUNDS of lead in it!  Holy shit!  I had no idea it was that great.  Another great fact was that 1 ton of e-waste has more gold than 17 tons of gold ore.  Whoa, new meaning to the phrase “gold mine.” 

Composting has been on my mind, and I think I’m going to set up a bin/area in the next few weeks.  Our yard has been abused by someone who shall remain nameless with various pesticides, our soil sucks, and I hate throwing away the food waste and yard debris we produce.  Organic waste breaking down in a landfill will produce methane, but in a compost bin/with oxygen it will not.

I also learned about worm bins, and how easy they are to set up and maintain.  Great for people without much/any yard, with a lot of food scraps, or those who don’t want to deal with composting outside.  Here’s a bin the size of an average curbside recycling bin. 

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Class let out a little early, and I realized I wanted a snack when I got home.  I had one serving of PB Puffins and almond milk.  🙂

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Yummy.

Top Chef just came on (which I usually miss b/c of the timing of my MR class), so I’m gonna watch this and hit the hay, yo!

Hope your Wednesday was merry 🙂

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Master Recycler, Part Un January 8, 2009

Hello there faithful readers!  There are about 50 of you on average each day now 🙂  Yippee!  I would love it if more of you commented, tho (hint hint!).  Come on out of the woodwork and let me know what’s up in your neck of the woods.  🙂

I was super lazy and tired this morning and didn’t get out of bed until 9am.  Holy shit.  Pretty lame, right?  Eventually I arrived at work and ate my oatmeal there.  Same mix as yesterday, but it didn’t seem quite as flavorful. I think I’m not adding as many raisins, so it hasn’t been as sweet.

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My work computer is annoying me big time…got the same “registry altered, possibly by a virus” message on start up today, had a few crash/freeze incidents during the day, and just hope I can do a restore tomorrow and be rid of the shiznit.

I was busy busting out work and dealing with the computer stuff, and didn’t end up eating lunch until about 1:45.  Sundried tomato Flatout with 1/2 a wedge LCL, two slices of turkey, a handful of spinach, a grab of rainbow slaw, and some ground pepper.  I missed the LCL and will be adding that back in more.  That’s a whole little Fuji on the left.

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My 3pm meeting ended up lasting until 4:55 somehow…shouldn’t have been that long.  I had to bust ass outta there in order to get home and make dinner before heading to my first Master Recycler class!  I threw a quick and easy meal on:  whole wheat spaghetti and Prego Italian Sausage pasta sauce  with black olives added.  I’m not a fan of Italian sausage–it’s for Chris–but the sauce is good.  I grated some fresh Parmesan on top 🙂

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And I was off!  I arrived a few minutes late and was almost blown away by the wind.  We’re having quite the wind storm right now, but not as much rain as was predicted in the city. 

Class was interesting and informative, and I like the leader, Lauren.  Our topics tonight were solid waste and Oregon recycling laws.  I had no idea that our landfill waste is trucked all the way out to Arlington, like 135 miles from Portland–85 trucks per day, with each truck carrying 5-6 tons of garbage.  WOW!   And, Seattle’s waste is brought down to the same landfill! The recovery rate (recovery = reduced, reused, recycled, composted, or used for energy) in the Portland metro area is 55%, and the City of Portland is 64%.  The methane gas gathered over the old St. Johns landfill is used to power the kilns at cement factories locally, among other things.  I borrowed a video called “Affluenza,” which is about the hyper-consumerism that has plagued our country in the last several years.  Hopefully I can watch that tomorrow.  I’ll add some factoids and links to my Three R’s page for y’all to ponder.  Love the details I get to learn!

I got a little hungry during class, and they had Hot Lips pizza!  Wish I had known that and I may have saved myself instead of having pasta.  But, alas, I resisted and ate this great bar from my Secret Santa when I got home:

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This bar deserves two thumbs up:  great texture, great taste, organic, vegan, low-glycemic index, all natural, low sodium, good fats…need I say more??  The sunflower seeds are abundant and provide most of the nutty flavor, but there were also walnuts, pumpkin seeds, raisins, rice crispies, and are those peanuts I see in the pic?  Thanks, Santa!  😉

Chris had Billy Joel blasting and was doing at-home karaoke!  He sang a few songs to me; it was sweet 🙂  I took a pic as he read lyrics off of the computer while he sang yet more later on.  That’s my silly man trying not to laugh when I was taking the pic.

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I’m sad I missed Top Chef tonight, and I’ll have to try to catch it on reruns for the rest of the season.  I don’t have the patience to watch it online.  Oh well, at least I’m missing it for a great cause 🙂

Hope you all had a great Wednesday!

 

Saucin’ it up in the snow December 22, 2008

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Wow, I didn’t realize the snow would persist into today as much as it did.  We now have over a foot of snow in all places outside, up to 2 in some areas.  Crazy!  It was really pretty this morning to wake up to the additional snow and quiet.  Remember that table from yesterday, it only had like a foot of snow on it, and now it is closer to 2 (see photo below)!

Chris started illin’ during the night, and was not feeling so hot this morning 😦  I took care of the LB, made some coffee, and Chris attempted to go back to bed, but he couldn’t get comfortable so he got up. Flu? Major tooth infection (seriously)? We’re not sure.  He’s been feeling pain in his mouth for a few days and I fear he has an abscessed tooth.  I told him to call the dentist, but of course he didn’t.  Men. 

I nuked my oats, and decided to add applesauce for shits and giggles.  It was good!  I liked the additional flavor it added, especially with the cinnamon.  The total package consisted of: steel cut oats, unsweetened almond milk, water, raisins, slivered almonds, unsweetened applesauce, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.

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Somehow I didn’t end up eating until 10 I think…not sure how that happened.  Time flew this morning.  I made Chris lunch around 11, farted around on the computer, cleaned out the fridge, and slowly went stir crazy.  Around 1 I decided I was hungry enough to eat lunch.  I wasn’t sure what to eat, but as I looked around I saw my leftovers from last night.  I decided to sauce them up by adding some cottage cheese and chili flakes.  Ohhhhhh yeahhhhh.  The cottage cheese was a nice protein addition that blended in well. 

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Chris passed out and I decided to walk to the store, which is 4/5 of a mile away.  With the snow still coming down heavily, and mixed forecasts not much above freezing the next several days, I figured I might as well get some more food for us since I won’t be driving anywhere soon.  Lily is almost out of her food, too!

I bundled up, grabbed my backpack, and set out hoping for a pretty walk.  Honestly, the area I live in is somewhat ugly, so the snow is a welcomed presence that beautifies the trailer parks up the street, the semi-run down houses, and the sparse industrial look of the rest of it.  This is what I encountered along my way to and fro:

100_0235 Icicles abound on my gutters!

100_0239 Wow, lots of snow covering those cars.

100_0237 Pretty trees over the sidewalk.

Fred Meyer was very busy, and the bread and meat departments were majorly lacking.  And, they stocked sliced raw almonds in the bin for blanched slivered almonds!!!!!  What is a girl to do?  I got the sliced almonds 😐 On my way back it was a more difficult walk, as the plow had gone by and totally buried the sidewalk in even more snow.  I was haulin’ a bigger quantity of shit than anticipated in my backpack and shopper bag, and I got nice and sweaty.  Hey, at least I got a workout out of the whole thing, right?

A snack was in order, so I sliced up a Fuji and mixed some lf and ff cottage cheese.  Why mix, you ask?  The 2% seems decadent, and the 0% a little lacking, but together they’re perfect 🙂  I also had the Diet Pepsi that I grabbed on an impulse while in line at the store.  Mmmm…I’ve been wanting DC or DP lately.

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I had only 1/2 the apple and 1/2 the DP, saving the rest for later.  Here’s a pic I got just before the sun went down.

100_0229 Check out the table’s snow depth!

Chris was still sleeping, and I putzed around here until about 5:30 when I realized I was really hungry.  I didn’t want to wake Chris as he slept on the couch in the family room, but I could not resist the urge to microwave a riblet 🙂 

Dinner was nice: Flatout with the riblet and some spinach; spinach salad with a wedge of sliced Fuji, sliced almonds, balsamic, olive oil, S&P.  Tas-tay.

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Chris finally woke up around 6:30, and thankfully didn’t feel any worse.  Still tired, but hungry enough to eat some soup.  Gotta take care of my baby, ya know?

We watched some Law & Order, and then Animal House.  Haven’t seen that in ages, and it was great.  I had a little snack-a-roo near the end:  the rest of my Fuji, a wedge of LCL, and a few TJ’s cinnamon flatbread pieces.

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Now it’s nearly 11 and I’m really cold!  I think I’ll take the LB out one more time and then hit the hay.

Thanks to those of you who commented on yesterday’s post.  I feel better reading about your experiences, and receiving your encouraging words.  I wish Erin was here to help me kick ass during workouts like 4 years ago!  Love ya, girl!

Take care, and keep it saucy 😉

 

Icy madness, and is wine killing my diet?! December 21, 2008

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The freezing rain started yesterday evening, and ended up leaving about a 1/2 in coat on all of our beautiful snow 😦  Boo!  It is hard to walk in, and I fear that Lily will cut her feet on the shards of ice if we let her walk all over in it.  Chris and I cleared off an area for Lily, and you can tell she is sad she doesn’t have the run of the yard today.  She enjoyed trying to tunnel under the ice, though! And she chewed on the end of an ice coated branch for a second.  (She’s barking in her sleep now! So cute :))

When I woke up my neck was markedly better–yay!–but still a bit messed up.  After clearing the ice I had a bowl of Peace cereal with almond milk and raisins, and a few cups of coffee with sf Coffeemate Vanilla creamer.

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My tum was not a happy camper this morning. I had a bad sinus headache that persisted til mid day; perhaps that was part of the problem.

There were tons of birds today, especially since Chris was kind enough to put out fresh water for them to drink.  There were tons of robins and juncos, some towhees and house sparrows, and a few house finches. Fun!

Mid-day brought hunger later on than expected, and the things that looked good to me created a snacky lunch of a Fuji apple, lf/ff cottage cheese, and Stacy’s Pita Chips.  Nom nom…the multi-textural experience was quite pleasing.

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Eventually a mid afternoon snack was in order, so I had a Fuji sprinkled with a little cinnamon (why, oh why, have I not thought of this before?!), some yogurt with a few almonds and cinnamon, and a few TJ’s cinnamon flatbread pcs.  ‘Twas a cinnamon experience I greatly enjoyed 🙂 You must try the apple with cinnamon.

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I was totally sad that we couldn’t go walking in the snow, and I ended up watching some TV, blogging, emailing, and reading a bit today instead.  We had a few inches more of fresh snow late this afternoon, but nothing can make all that damn ice go away.  We haven’t lost our power yet, so I wait with baited breath and flashlights for that to happen. 

Dinner was inspired by a read of my favorite cooking magazine, Gourmet:

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If I had ground beef I probably would have attempted a meatball!  I opted for an easy marinara sauce:  sauteed onions, one can of Italian tomatoes, extra garlic, herbs, and some chili flakes.  I had this over whole wheat penne, and it was quite good.  I added too much pasta, tho–I had hoped to eat the whole batch of tomato sauce with just a little pasta, but mis judged when adding it in.  Oh well.  I sprinkled some oh-so-fabu canned parmesan on top.  I know, I know, but at least it is real cheese with nothing added but a few natural preservatives.

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Afterward Chris and I decided to have wine, specifically a 2002 Gago red (de Espana).  I had some, walked Lily here and there, and finally had a snack a few hours later.  This was a conundrum at first–I was hoping for peanut butter, but that would have killed my wine palate for sure, and same goes for the creamy LCL I had listed as second.  Hm.  So, I went for a few white cheddar rice cakes.  Hit the spot, and low-cal.  Gotta love it.

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Here’s where I had a mini lightbulb moment about wine calories and me not losing much weight.  “Could it be? Am I killing my diet by having a few glasses of wine a few times per week?!  No, say it isn’t so!”  I guess each 4 oz. glass has about 100 calories.  Damn.   So we opened our 2nd bottle of wine 😮

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The last few days I’ve been rather down at times, and mostly about not seeing much progress on the weight loss front.  I do see more definition in my arms & shoulders, a reduction in cellulite (I think), my legs may be a little smaller, Chris sees a difference, and I know I’m making progress, but it just seems so small.  I need to do more intense weight training, and keep up the cardio, and perhaps then I’ll lose the 1lb/week I’m hoping for.  I really hope to go to Mexico in March and not have an embarassing body again this year.  I’m heavier than I was last year, so at least I’d like to be down 10lbs by then.  I’m trying to eat around 1500 calories per day in the hopes that most days I run a 500 calorie deficit to attempt to lose the 1lb per week.  I know that if I’m building muscle at the same time the weight loss may not be there, but, c’mon, I’ve been busting my ass and eating well for what feels like a decently good amount of time now, and I want to see my cellulite lessened more and my roll-of-shit-in-the-middle be reduced.  Hmmmph.  Okay, I’m done ranting for now.

Off I go to finish my first (and only) glass of this shiraz. 

For those of you that have had a goal of losing weight–de-lurk if you would and tell me what your weight loss experience/timing has been.  Am I eating too much bad stuff?  Am I eating too many calories?  Not enough working out?  What the fuck is up with me?  I appreciate your comments in advance.

 

Ready to go! November 26, 2008

Yippee, Turkey Day is almost here.  Today was rather slow, but all in all felt productive and positive.  I had a little funk this evening, but snapped out of it by doing food prep.  More on that later…

I was up later than usual last night, until a little after 1.  I listed 16 Cow Parade cows on eBay (they were a reward from my old office manager), got done around 11:45, and then decided to read some Road & Track.  There was an interesting article in there about oil use, unconventional liquids, and water.  Sounds like we’re in the shitter on non-OPEC oil production, and that water supply will be one of the key problems, perhaps moreso than oil.  Check it out here: http://www.roadandtrack.com/article.asp?section_id=36&article_id=7319

Lily has totally been my alarm clock this week, coming in to say hi and wake me up around 7, and insisting I get out of bed around 8.  It is kind of good, though, because that way I get up and start my day earlier on weekends, which I like.  No where near the 5 am alarm most of you have, but early enough for me 😉

Chris wasn’t feeling too hot again, and while he decided whether to stay home or go to work I had my oats.  Steel cut oats, pumpkin spice Silk, water, almond slivers, dried figs, cinnamon, pinch of salt=yummy.  Chris did decide to stay home, so I also made coffee and took a cup with me to work when I left.  I suppose I enjoy having coffee in the car, especially when it is cold like it has been lately.

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I worked for a few hours, and nearly ate out of boredom before I was hungry.  Alas, thinking about food make me hungry, so I had my wrap around noon.  Low fat tortilla, turkey, 1/2 wedge Laughing Cow Light, spinach, broc slaw, and pepper.

100_0004_10 I was drinking hot water with lunch b/c I was so cold!

It was hard to warm up today for various reasons, and I think the hot water helped.  Kinda weird though, just water with no tea or anything (didn’t feel like it).  And yes, I used a non-recyclable cup 😦  I can reuse it thought 🙂 I didn’t want to use my regular coffee cup, b/c even when it’s clean it still smells like coffee! 

I knew traffic would be horrible today, and I didn’t need to stay at work, so I left waaaaay early, like at 1:30.  Even then I hit some traffic, but not much–  phew.  I was already getting hungry thinking about my yogurt snack awaiting me, but when I got home I first heated up some soup for Chris and played with Lily outside.  Then I indulged in my snacky poo:  Light & Fit vanilla yogurt, slivered almonds, 1/2 a nanner sliced, and cinnamon.  I forgot to take a pic before I stirred it…

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After this I felt like doing something other than watching TV or reading, so I began prepping my veggies for the roasted veggie dish I’m making tomorrow.  I gathered some of the victims on my cutting board for you to see:

100_0011_08 “Haha!  You’re no match for my incredibly large and sharp chef’s knife!”

…Or so I thought.  That acorn squash’s skin armor was really hard to get through!  I had no idea how tough those puppies are! Don’t know if I needed to, but I peeled the SOB, too, which involved cutting the squash into sections and peeling them individually.  Hopefully it all turns out well.  I’m just going to roast them simply with some olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Maybe a little balsamic or nutmeg if it seems right, but I haven’t made up my mind.

After that I sat down for a few minutes, and Lily wanted to play again, so I went to the back door.  Behold, a Sharp Shinned Hawk had caught a bird and was eating the last bits of it!  Holy moley!  Lily and I scared him when we walked up to the door, and he flew into the tree nearby, but then came back, grabbed the last of the bird, and flew off.  I went out to inspect the feathers, and I don’t know what kind of bird the hawk got.  Here’s the scene of the crime:

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Wow, nothing left but feathers.  The orange on the feathers makes me think it was a Varied Thrush or Spotted Towhee 😦  Oh well, that’s nature for you!

I was kind of in a funk after this, but not because of it I don’t think.  I was getting a little hungry and had a spinach and broc slaw salad with S&P, olive oil, and balsamic.

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After this I got dinner ready, and as I prepped my chicken I realized just how natural it is for us to be a bit grossed out by handling meat, and that alone is another good reason to be a vegetarian.  I’ve never considered being one before, and I do like chicken and beef mostly, but just a thought that crossed my mind. 

Dinner was plain and simple:  sauteed chicken breast with whole wheat egg noodles.  I put Smart Balance on the noodles, cut up the chicken, and sprinkled canned parmesan & ground pepper on top.  I know, I know…canned parmesan?  Yes, I like it on pasta. 

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This was a bit too much food for me, but I ate it all anyway.  I was still coming out of the funk and was just kind of eating it mindlessly for a few minutes.  Bad, bad me!  I ended up feeling full, although not too bad.  That strange confused full/hungry feeling came over me as I digested; I find it quite fascinating that for a few minutes my stomach really seemed to be telling me I was hungry, yet I knew I had eaten and was full. 

Hmm…what did I do next?  Uh, I think I cleaned up, started the dishwasher, and sat down in front of the fire to read for about an hour before Top Chef.  I read more of the Road & Track, and before I knew it 7pm rolled around and I went into the living room to watch TV.  I have DirecTV, so I get new non-local-network shows premiering at eastern time, and then repeated a few times that night usually.  It means I can watch Top Chef, Mad Men, and other good series early 🙂

Top Chef was good, quite a doosy of a kitchen they had to cook in!  I won’t say anything in case you haven’t seen it yet, other than that dessert seems to get the best of ’em!  I’m surprised that in so many seasons the contestants haven’t learned to step outside their comfort zone and learn how to make better desserts before going on the show.

I talked with my mom and brother, and my bro asked me what I was doing tomorrow morning.  “Probably going to the gym, why?” “You should go on a walk with Dad and I in Mountain Park at 10:30, with the dogs.”  “Okay, sounds great!”  I’m excited, as I’ll get to exercise and spend some time outside with some family and the pups 🙂  My bro and his wife have a cute Bison Frisee/Havanese mix–Beaudin–and Lily loves to play with him. 

Knowing that the walk would take a few hours out of my day, I decided to prep the apples for my crisp.  I peeled, cut, and cored 10 apples and then added lemon juice, orange juice, lemon zest, orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar.  Woohee, I think I got enough peeling in today to reach my annual quota!

100_0022_03I ate a few of the apples before putting them away–they were so good!

I also mixed the dry ingredients together, so my work tomorrow should be really simple.  Yay for prep work!! 😀  That definitely got me out of my funk, and I finally feel all warm and cozy… now I get to go climb into my cold bed.  Brrr 😦

I can’t believe how excited I am for Thanksgiving…it is so weird.  You’d think it was Christmas and Santa was coming tonight or something.  Are you all excited and ready to cook up a storm?  What’s your favorite part of the holiday?  I LOVE the smell of the turkey and gravy, and the taste of pumpkin pie with whipped cream.  [Drooling now…]

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone, and I look forward to seeing and reading about all of your yummy Turkey Day eats and fun family experiences.  Be sure to take lots of pics!