The Quest to be Fit

Tracking my journey to better health

Gone too fast!…and, Tofu on You ;) January 28, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kersten @ 9:56 am
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*I am a total dork!  I saved this one as a draft instead of publishing it on Sunday!  Grrrr….. *

Why do weekends have to be so fast?  This weekend has ended up well, did not involve work after all (yee-yeah!), and has laid the groundwork for a week with some new food combos.  I’m seriously excited to put Sriracha on like everything possible and break a sweat from the heat!  Ya feel me?

I’ve got a block of extra-firm tofu pressing in the fridge right now, and I’m tempted to cook it tonight so I can use it for lunch tomorrow 🙂  Hell, I’m gonna get on that NOW.

I sliced it into 12 pcs., rubbed some BBQ sauce and Sriracha on it, and baked it for 35 minutes at 425.  It’s done…check it out:




Perhaps I overdid it a bit, but it still tastes good 🙂  More details on that in a minute.

On to the rest of my day…

Last night I totally thought of prepping my oats, but got distracted and never did it.  So, this morning I went for a bowl of Barbara’s Shredded Oats with two sliced strawberries and almond milk.  I also tried out a new creamer in my coffee… Silk French Vanilla Creamer.  Yay!  I found an alternative to the super-fake-o Coffeemate!


Around 9:40 I left for the gym to hit up my usual Sunday yoga class.  Holy moley, the class was packed already by the time I entered the door at 9:55.  Because there’s no class beforehand anymore everyone moves in early and the place fills up fast.  I got a spot up front and was perfectly happy, tho.  I forgot my towel AGAIN, but managed not to sweat all over the place.  I opted to head out after yoga rather than do cardio without a towel.

Not too long after getting home lunch started calling my name.  I was struggling to figure out what to eat when I remembered my Gardenburger riblets in the freezer.  Perfect!  I put that in a tortilla with shredded carrot, chopped celery & green bell pepper, and green leaf lettuce.  It was really messy, but divine.  I also had some carrot and pepp on the side, and an whole apple. 


The afternoon was easy and productive, and at one point I finally made some bird “suet” from old PB, trail mix I didn’t want, bird seed, raisins, and old cornmeal.  Want a bite?  I poured it into old suet containers and my tofu container and popped it in the freezer.  I hope the birdies love it tomorrow 🙂


I also refilled my hummingbird feeders, but totally pushed my thumb through the plastic on one of them!  I guess 2 years in the sun has made them brittle 😦  I got sugar water on my arm, the counter, and the floor.  Boo.  At least we still have one feeder.

Eventually I realized I was pretty hungry around 3:30, and went for a modified regular snack:  Dannon Light’n’Fit strawberry with 1/2 a banana.  It tasted good, but I got more of the fake sweetener taste in this flavor.  Freddy’s was out of vanilla 😦


Around 5 we went to Fajitas for dinner.  I had the same thing as last time there:  tortilla soup and part of a Casuela.


Not pictured is the guilty goodness that is La Casa: a small glass of 1/2 & 1/2 blended with ice cream and Bailey’s Irish Cream, then topped with cinnamon. 

I bought the tofu yesterday and was hoping to have it for dinner tonight or tomorrow, but then I realized we are eating at McCormick’s tomorrow, and that having it for lunch would be great.  Prepping and baking it was so easy!  I’ll have to experiment with toppings and see what else, besides my current fave flavor combo of BBQ and Sriracha.  Told you I’d put it on everything I could!  I ate three of the driest looking pieces with more of the said sauces:

Oh, and I had a few small glasses of chardonnay.


No, both glasses aren’t mine, sillies!

Shit, when did it get to be 11:45??  Oy vey!  I’m outta here and off to bed.  Might as well start the week with a good amount of sleep…

Take care, and I hope your weekends were very enjoyable 🙂


What day is it? December 5, 2008

I feel totally disoriented today.  I worked from home and keep feeling like it is Saturday.  Also, I am dizzy today!  I think it is allergy related, but it is majorly annoying.

I started off the day with a newer oats combination:  1/4 cup steel cut oats, 1/4 cup pumpkin spice Silk, 1/4 cup water, tbsp raisins, tbsp slivered almonds, cinnamon, dash of salt, and a dash more of water and 1/4 cup fat free cottage cheese after they were done cooking.  Rich and creamy, slightly tangy, yummy.  I bought some pumpkin and need to remember to add that in!


(BTW, I LOVE that I can select multiple pics to upload at once now and that this new version of WP is a lot faster!!!)

I had some good coffee, played with Lily, blogged, worked, and shipped the last 3 eBay boxes I had. 

Lunchtime came around, and I mad a yummy wrap:  low fat tortilla, 1/2 wedge LCL, semi-scrambled/fried egg, spinach, and broc slaw.  I also had ~1/4 cup ff cottage cheese mixed with a big spoon of lf cottage cheese. 


The egg and LCL taste so good together!!  I strongly suggest you give it a try on a sandwich, in a wrap, in an omelette, etc.  While eating this I noticed I zoned out a bit, though, and wasn’t as mindful of what I was doing as I should have been. 

I putzed around this afternoon, not even sure if I can recount what I did… I had a small snack of 1/2 wedge LCL and some Food Should Taste Good multigrain chips around 3 or 4.  Forgot the pic of course.

I watched the 4pm news and some shows on the Food Network.  I’m liking Good Eats again (didn’t like it for a few years), and watched an episode about fruit cake and one about roasting meat.  That made me nice and hungry, and excited to head off to eat Mexican food.

Off to Fajitas Chris and I went, and I had my usual feast:  some chips and salsa, tortilla soup, and a Casuela. 


I added a tbsp of sour cream to the soup tonight for a little extra indulgence.  Bad me!  The soup was probably cheesy enough that I didn’t need it, but it was good 🙂  The jalapeno was nice and spicy, just as I like it.

000_0014_00 “La Casa” for dessert 🙂

I didn’t sleep as well as I’d hoped last night (kept waking up, sleep wasn’t very deep), and I know I’m watching Lipstick Jungle at 9, so I figured I had better post earlier tonight. 

There’s another party tomorrow night–Erin, Joel is back in town for the holidays and Chad & Chelsea are having a party.  Should be fun!  I’ll try to take some pics and post them for you 🙂  We’ll miss you!


Flipping the calendar (off) December 1, 2008

It is sooooooo weird that December is already here.  Where is the time going?  Ahhhhhh!  Over the last few years it seems that life has been accelerating rapidly.  How bout you?  On to the posting madness… Let’s start with a pic of yet another female hummingbird that is visiting my feeders:

100_0001_14This means there are at least 4 coming by!

Sunday was good, especially because I got in a rockin’ yoga class–more on that in a minute.  I started out at about 8, made coffee, cooked steel cut oats on the stove top, played with Lily and enjoyed some blogs.  I’ve figured out that I totally prefer steel cut oats soaked overnight then nuked rather than done on the stovetop.


I headed out to the gym, got warmed up on the treadmill, and plunked my yoga mat down in the biggest class ever.  There were like 50 people in the studio, and a few had to be turned a way I think.  I saw Megan S. and her sis-in-law (hi!!) in class 🙂 This yoga session was pretty intense, moved quickly, and was warm since there were so many bodies squeezed in there.  I felt kind of inept a few times, but it was a great overall.  I had planned on doing cardio and weights afterward, but just did a quick bicep/ab/back workout instead.

Since I already ran out of my new friend, cottage cheese, I stopped by Freddy’s on the way home and managed to fill an entire grocery bag with stuff.  I got a big container of fat-free cottage cheese to try and other usual stuff.  I was getting pretty famished, and made the same lunch as Saturday (sans apples): low fat tortilla with one egg, 1/2 wedge Laughing Cow Light, spinach, broc slaw; cottage cheese on the side.  At first the f.f. c.c. tasted kinda weird to me (funny aftertaste?), but it was still good. 


Not sure what I did after this…blog some?  Play with LB?  Shower? Who knows…

I snacked on the same thing as Saturday, too, while reading up on yoga poses. It was cottage cheese and Food Should Taste Good multigrain chips.  Mmmmmmm…..


Putzed around more in the afternoon, and got out some chicken I’d had in the fridge to cook for our lunches this week.  Peeeeeeeeeee-eeeeeeeeeeewwwww! It had gone bad and smelled kinda fishy 😦  Damn.  At least I bought fresh chix and can cook that up, as we’re about out of lunch meat.

Moving on to dinner… I was bad at menu planning and didn’t really have any sides, so we used mashed potatoes, roasted veggies, and dressing from Thanksgiving.  I cooked up a pork chop for each of us; when I opened the package I saw one was pretty small–perfect for me 🙂  I gave Chris the carrots from my roasted veggies, and had the remaining parsnips, squash, and onions.  I also had dressing.  It was all yummy.


I never got hungry after dinner, and felt like I had a good day since I was back on track eating well.  Chris and I decided to watch a movie around 9, and we chose “Heat”.  We enjoyed a Willakenzie 2004 Emery Pinot Noir–soooooooooo tasty.


That wrapped up Sunday 🙂

On to today, Monday.  Hmmm…got up later than I should have, felt discombobulated making lunch since it had been so long, but then felt skinny when I got dressed for work!  My pants were definitely looser than they have been, and my shirt.  Yay!!!  That put me in a stellar mood all day.

I didn’t get a chance to eat breakfast until 10:30.  I should have known better and eaten at home.  I was doing work stuff, had to pick up wreaths I ordered from a colleague in the next building, and take Lily to my mom’s house.  I was really hungry and enjoyed my oats tremendously.  I mixed in a big spoonful of cottage cheese!!  It was somewhat creamy, and I think the little curds plumped up in there 🙂 BTW, this was the first day I had the Fred Meyer bulk oats, and I couldn’t tell the difference from Bob’s Red Mill.

100_0020_06 I’ll add more next time…

I went into a meeting after this, and emerged hungry already around noon.  Chris and I sat down for lunch in his office, where I had half of my wrap (low fat tortilla, 1/2 wedge LCL, turkey, spinach, broc slaw, ground pepper), a little bit of the cottage cheese pictured, half an apple, and water.


Around 12:45 I left to go to acupuncture, which also went well.  I saw my naturopath and conveyed the good news that I have been working out and eating well, and that I feel so much better.  She was really excited for me–thanks Dr. B!  My acu. session went well, and back to work I went.

I was hungry again and ate the rest of my lunch around 2:30, sans cottage cheese (Chris had it with his lunch). I should have photographed the “butt” of my wrap for Erin!


Man, I was a bottomless pit today, and ate my banana around 4:45.

100_0024_06Hello little nanner!

Chris told me Maria was calling (aka he wanted to go to Mexican for dinner), and that didn’t sound too bad to me at all.  My 5pm meeting couldn’t make it, and around 6 we left to go to Si Senor.  I had an Original Margarita and a Chicken Monterrey Burger (small chicken breast with jack cheese, lettuce, avocado, and jalapeno(not pictured), oh and fries on the side).  I ate waaaaay to much of the burger…spurned on by the yummy chicken, avocado, and roasted fresh jalapenos (not to mention margarita buzz), I kept putting food in my mouth.  The jalapenos were bloody hot, and I kept trying to find something to kill the heat, too (or at least that’s part of my excuse!).


So, although my day started on a good note, I feel bad for overeating tonight.  No, I did not eat the whole burger, or even half of the fries, but I was full and knew it while I was still eating.  Bad me!  Lesson learned and I will do my best to be more diligent in the eats dept. this week. 

I think I’m going to find some yoga online and do a little sesh here at my house.  I have a 4:30pm meeting tomorrow but hope I can make it to the 6:30 pm yoga class.  I’m really digging the movement, exercise, and breathing so far, and am excited to become more proficient.  It is really awesome that all classes are included in my gym membership–thanks 24 Hour Fitness!

On a random note, my WordPress Dashboard said I had like 300 views today!!!!!!!!!!!!  Say what?  Is this a fluke?  Did your view counter look right today?  That’s like 10x more than my normal traffic.  If it is true, thanks for visiting everyone!  Please leave a comment and say hi 🙂


Gobble, gobble…gobble-gobble November 27, 2008

Whoo-ee, what a day!  It felt so loooong, and had a few speed bumps in there.  But, here I am, somehow not in a comatose state from all of the food I consumed. 

The day started out well, with me getting up around 8:15 and knowing I was going for a walk around 10:30.  Lily and I played, and the wildlife came out in droves. 


I had my oats, but today added a bit of nutmeg since I had it for the apple crisp.  It was so yummy!  To recap, the oats consisted of steel cut oats, pumpkin spice Silk, water, dried figs, almond slivers, cinnamon, and a pinch of nutmeg. 


I got ready for my walk, got Lily ready, too, and headed over to my dad’s house to carpool.  Lily was excited b/c she saw lots of dogs and people walking in my dad’s neighborhood, so while my dad changed we ran around his back yard.  There was a bright orange fungus growing at the edge of his lawn, and it fascinated me.  I forgot to take a pic!  At first I seriously thought it was flower petals or an orange peel.  Way cool!

We went for our walk on Mountain Park, in Lake Oswego, and it kicked my ass!  It was my brother, my dad, my bro’s dog, me, and Lily.  We huffed it up the hill, moving at a good clip, and finally reached the top of the hill about 50 minutes in.  At that point I noticed my left heel was getting rubbed by my shoe for a few reasons.  1) My left foot is a half size smaller than my right, so sometimes shoes are a little big for it.  2) I wore low cut socks, and the left one kinda shrunk down into my shoe.  On the way downhill my feet were barking at me a bit more, and I was kicking myself for not thinking more about the socks I wore and the friction I’d experience.  Grr.  My feet hurt pretty bad afterward, but my dad wanted to go to Whole Foods and I wasn’t about to say no.

We shopped for Friday’s dinner, and ended up getting halibut, rice, brie for a starter, and some beer 🙂  While there we sampled some yummy Seaside Cheddar.  I LOVE their cheese section and could probably just stand there all day asking for samples.  As you can see, my cheddar sample was HUGE.  I stabbed the toothpick into the bowl of cubes, and accidentally snagged that big boy on the end of my toothpick.  I was famished from walking so I gladly ate what I got 🙂


When I got home I felt tired, sore, and the dogs were barking.  As I bent over to untie my shoes Lily accidentally head butted me so hard I cried!  I’ve totally got a bruise on my forehead.  I made myself a typical wrap for lunch, and got out my yogurt snack that I prepped earlier.


The wrap was a low fat tortilla, 1/2 wedge Laughing Cow Light, turkey, spinach, broc slaw, and ground pepper.  I probably didn’t need the sidecar of yogurt, but I ate about half of it and saved the rest.  It was Dannon Light & Fit vanilla, half a nanner, slivered almonds, and cinnamon.

After this I got to baking my Thanksgiving dishes, starting with the vegetables.  They smelled yummy as they roasted, and I was happy with the finished results.  This consisted of parsnips, onions, carrots, acorn squash, olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Simple and tasty.


I was in quite a funk for some reason this afternoon, and totally emotional.  It was so weird and unexpected, and Chris had just the thing to try to snap me out of it:

100_0010_10 Cheers!

Next the apple crisp went in.  Just mixing the topping up made me drool!  Check out this pre-baked dish of goodness.  It smelled like heaven already and I totally licked off the beater from my mixer.  Wow, out of control!


As this baked I thought I was going to melt b/c the smell was to die for.  The finished product looked beautiful, with the top all crispy and brown, but I forgot to take a photo since I was in mad prep mode to get going to Grandma’s house.

After arriving at G-Ma’s I helped to finish and dish things, and the usual family stress crept in.  Too many people helping out in the kitchen, too many things going on at once… “hand me the wine.” 

Once we finally got seated for dinner, I just about died at how good the food was 😀  SO TASTY!!! I put too much food on my plate, at it all, and even had a little more afterward.  And, yes, those wine glasses are both mine 🙂  The plate o’ goodness included: white turkey meat, mashed potatoes, dressing, roasted veggies, two kinds of cranberry sauce, and gravy over half of the above.  The bowl back there had fruit salad with apples, orange, bananas, walnuts, cherries, and whipped cream (zoikes!). 


I was so bad and kept picking at the food as we cleared dishes and put leftovers away.  Naughty girl!  My sis-in-law’s dressing was super tasty, and I kept sneaking bites every time I passed by.  Someone slap my hand away!

Dessert was fabulous, and I had tastes of my apple crisp and my mom’s pumpkin pie.  The whipping cream froze solid during its short stay in the freezer (don’t ask…), so we opted for the blow-on kind instead.


Here’s where I really went over the top–too much food=uncomfy tummy!  I had a hard time sticking to my guns today, obviously.  All I can say is at least I worked out a lot this week, otherwise I think I would be feeling a lot more guilty now.  Did you all workout more to get ready for today?

I think Chris’ parents had a good time, and everyone got along really well and had fun.  Phew, and yay 🙂  The puparoos were really good during dinner, and here they are laying down watching the kitchen activity.  They were both laying with their heads on the floor, but Lily heard me and lifted her head up.  Hi sweetie!


Lily is tuckered out, and so am I.  I’m watching the Real Housewives of Atlanta reunion right now–wow, them bitches are crazy!  Off I go to watch more and drink massive quantities of water (too much vino). 

Hope your Thanksgiving ended splendidly 🙂 


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:

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.


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…


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:


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.


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. 


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!