The Quest to be Fit

Tracking my journey to better health

How did I…. December 1, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kersten @ 5:08 pm
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Make it through the whole month of November and only post once?!  I suck!!  Chris and I moved on Nov. 7, and life has been a blur since then.  Where has the time gone?  I’m totally reeling that today is December 1st.  😐

You’ll have to bear with me… I don’t have my camera cord at work, nor can I plug the card into the CPU, so all you get it text, people!  I’ve taken some great pics of food here and there, but for the most part I haven’t eaten well and haven’t exercised in like forever.  I’m having some issues with body image b/c of how the bod is looking these days, and the fact that I now have like 10 large mirrors around the house.  Handy for getting dressed, not handy for freaky critical ladies like me to evaluate the bod!

On a great note, Chris, Lily, and I love the new house 🙂  Our move sucked b/c of the torrential rain that day, but the process went just fine (and we managed to avoid killing each other ;))  We hosted Thanksgiving at our house, and when all was said and done we were quite proud to invite our families into our home and serve them a wonderful holiday meal.  I was in charge of the following dishes:

  • turkey
  • mushroom dressing (vegan)
  • mushroom gravy (vegan)
  • mashed potatoes (vegetarian)
  • root vegetable gratin (vegetarian)
  • green bean casserole (vegetarian)
  • pumpkin pie

Leading up to Thanksgiving I was torn over whether or not to eat turkey/non-veg items.  Poultry is my veg weakness it seems, and that bird was talking to me all afternoon while I roasted it.   I had a small piece of white meat, but otherwise my meal was vegetarian.  I should have just made mashed or roasted sweet potatoes, as my gratin just wasn’t quite right.  Okay, but odd–garlic and nutmeg in the same dish?  Okay, Gourmet, I trusted you but am not convinced. 

I was such a proud little domestic goddess in the week leading up to Thanksgiving.  I planned the menu meticulously, created a Turkey Day Timeline for prep and cooking, and then went and got the flu 😐  Gah!  Thankfully I had picked up the turkey the Friday before T-Day, but I was illin’ when I intended to do my fresh food shopping on Tuesday.  By the time I got to the store Wednesday there were no green beans, no Brussels sprouts, hardly any parsnips, no white, cremini, or dried porcini mushrooms, and like 10 sweet potatoes to choose from.  Gah!  I ended up nixing my Brussels sprout dish (boo!!), went with frozen green beans, subbed in mini mushrooms and mixed dried, and all turned out okay. 

After Thanksgiving Chris and I enjoyed a nice relaxing weekend at home.  Our new neighborhood has lots of walking paths, and butts up to two schools.  We take Lily for walks, and play ball with her at the school, and so far she’s loving the new neighborhood, too 🙂  I wish it weren’t getting dark so early so we could walk more after work…summer, where did you go!?!

It has been so beautiful here in Portland this fall–lots of sun, and not much rain (but for that week we moved!!).  The tree outside my office has lost its leaves, so now my office gets more light and I have a bigger view.  I love the crisp fall days, the remaining colorful leaves, and the beautiful sunsets.  I’m totally in need of getting my holiday baking on!!!  I almost make cookies this weekend…. I’ve got a leaf-shaped cookie cutter begging to be used 🙂

As you may have noticed I’ve all but abandoned the blogosphere 😦  Not intentionally, but because I’ve had so many things distracting me, I’ve not had internet access at home (and probably won’t), and I’ve honestly felt a little guilty.  Because I don’t eat as well, am not working out, etc., I feel bad in a way.  Since I can’t share my triumphs and glories of fitness and food I’m not as jazzed about blogging.  I kind of feel like I’ve let y’all down a little cuz I’m not as inspirational as I was 😐  Nameen?

Oh, dude, I almost forgot…. I hit my one year blogiversary in early November!  I think it was the 7th…  Can’t believe it has been one year, and that I’ve made so much progress in that timeframe.  I know, I know,  was just ranting about letting you (me?) down, but in reality I do feel proud that I shed nearly 30 lbs. and got my ass in better shape by working hard, eating well, and using the blogging community for support, inspiration, and resources. 

Enough of this novel!  Words without pics are boring, no?  Thanks for reading, bloggies!  I’ve missed you and hope to reconnect more soon!  Hope you all had a fabu Thanksgiving and are excited for the holidays!!!!!!!!!!!


Maybe Sabra does have something… August 16, 2009

Awhile back the great folks over at Sabra were kind enough to send me a few coupons for their delights, and Friday night I finally found Sabra products in my local Winco.  (Costco has them, too, but I couldn’t use a coupon there.)

Chris and I tried the variety shown here:


Overall I quite liked the taste and texture, but there’s something in here that makes my throat tickle/burn a little.  I got over that and consumed a large blob with lunch, and many other unpictured tastes, mostly with cucumber as my dipping agent. 


This week has been a tough one for me–I was especially unmotivated at work and feel like I just sat there all week doing nothing.  I’ve also been a tad depressed and listless at times 😦  Boo.  

On a positive note I worked out four times!  Monday was a full body weight sesh, Tuesday a hot date with the stairmill, Wednesday a walk/run with Lily, and Saturday a leg workout and stairmill sesh.  I was very happy to get back into the gym and sweat my little heiny off–hurt so good!

I mentioned Winco on Friday night.  I was feeling a little blah, and thought I’d venture out to Walmart (gasp!) to see what the store was like.  I haven’t been to a Walmart in over 5 years, since when I was in Klamath Falls with the ex.  Not my favorite place, but I was curious about their groceries.  I ended up finding a Danskin shirt for $5, and some leggings for $5.  No full-on grocery section, but they did have some things.  I picked up some tuna for Chris, a can of garbonzos, and some baking soda.  Woop-de-doo. 

Not in the mood to go home just yet, I ventured to Winco afterward.  I was saddened by their lack of organic produce, but very impressed by their bulk and organic bulk offerings.  Then I caught sight of the Sabra. Who woulda figured that the discount grocer would have Sabra?!  I also picked up Dreyer’s Vanilla Frozen Yogurt, which I promptly opened up and ate directly from the container when I got home :shocked:.  I totally didn’t need it, but was a bad girl and ate some anyway, only to feel a tad guilty afterward.

Let’s see, what else do I have here…

More of my own hummus and other goodies:


An avocado tostada, jalapenos fritos, cucumber with lime and jalapenos (grown by the restaurant manager :)), and some of Si Senor’s new salsas from their salsa bar.


Chinese food!  It had been a long time, but we were craving Chinese the last few weeks.  I should have gone with my intuition and ordered something with veggies as the base, but I’m a sucker for Kung Pao.  Here’s a vegetarian spring roll, Chris’ BBQ pork, and my Kung Pao Fried Bean Curd.  Yes, fried tofu.  I’ve realized I’m not a fan of the taste of tofu, but it was rather good fried–kinda chewy on the outside and soft/melty on the inside.  I forgot to ask for brown rice!


I liked how the blueberries nestled with the apple here 😉  Did I tell you I picked a huge bag of blueberries out of my dad’s yard?  He was going out of town so I took the opportunity to be a blueburglar. 


Thursday was Miracle Treat Day at Dairy Queen; what a fabulous excuse to go get a Blizzard! Of course I didn’t do so well when put on the spot–“What would you like?”  I was like a deer in the headlights!  I should have gone for the Tagalong cookie blizzard, but opted instead for a chocolate base with cookie dough added in.  Not too shabby, but Tagalongs or Reese’s would have been perfect in there.  Chris got the Thin Mint, and was kind enough to flip off the camera when I snapped the pic.  He’s so klassy 😉




 Last night we attended another dinner bonanza at Typhoon! Beaverton.  Our friends Eric and Benny coordinated the evening and got 17 of us around the chef’s table to enjoy like 13 delicacies and tons of wine.  There were quite a few veg options, but I still did have a few non-veg things:  crab pad thai (picked out the crab; didn’t like the flavor of the dish anyway); a green salad with chicken (picked out the chicken); Drunken Noodles with chicken (picked it out) and Bo’s Lemongrass Clam Chowder (holy yum!!).  Other than that, I had Miang Kum sans shrimp, a veggie spring roll, spicy green beans, veggie fried rice, white rice, broccoli, and a few things I’m sure. 

I drank way too much wine, ate way too much rich food, and paid the price with an aching belly for awhile and some digestive repercussions.  I haven’t had meat/seafood/flesh for a long time now, and each time I’ve tried something with flesh in it, I haven’t liked it.  The only exception was the chowder, as that is just liquid crack.  Don’t believe me?  I had three small cups of it :shocked:.

Yesterday I picked up Skinny Bitch at the library and am about halfway through it already.  It has been interesting to read through the chapters and affirm a lot of the changes I’ve already made in my diet, exercise, and health overall the last 8-9 months.  Lately I’ve thought a lot about going vegan, but then I encounter foods I love and think, “No, I don’t want to go vegan, and that’s okay.”  Most of the time I don’t eat animal products, but some egg and cheese products give me great pleasure every once in awhile.  I don’t like milk, but the damn cheese!  And whipped cream, ice cream/froyo, and a few other things.

The book makes a point about the body’s pH, and specifically that being overly acidic causes a myriad of problems, including allergies.  I do love my morning coffee (drinking some now), but I know the acidity is not good for me.  Every time I think of reaching for tea I cry a little inside– no coffee? cup of joe? black gold?  But would it relieve the allergies I get? Joint pain? Skin problems I can’t get over lately?  Garhhhhhh… I will contemplate this further to see if I want to give up my tasty coffee with Silk Creamer.

Thinking more about vegetarianism and tough food encounters, Thanksgiving and Christmas have crossed my mind more the last few weeks.  Specifically, will I choose to eat turkey and gravy?  If there’s a big prime rib for Christmas I can avoid that no problem, but Thanksgiving dinner is my favorite.  What’s a newly vegetarian girl to do?! 

I leave you with a few more pics from last night.  Ciao, bellas!




Produce EXTRAvaganza June 27, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kersten @ 10:27 pm
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Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude, I bought like 28 pounds of produce today! (And I eat nearly all of that within a week, sans rinds/seeds/pits of course!)  I have never added up the weight of the fruit and veggie goodness that finds its way home with me from the store; it was quite astounding to do so.

Buying organic on my trips to Costco ain’t happenin’ much, esp. b/c the prices have been great on their awesome offerings.  Costco’s selection varies between organic and non, too.  I almost need to go to Freddy’s first to check pricing and availability, then Costco, and then Freddy’s again. 

I’ve been really interested in reading other bloggers’ food cost analyses, finding out how much their grocery bills are, etc.  For your enjoyment, here’s what I brought home today and the total cost (I hope this doesn’t bore the shit out of you):

Costco: $26.95

  • 3 lbs cherries $5.99
  • 4 lbs strawberries $4.99
  • 2 lbs blueberries $5.99
  • one whole pineapple $2.99
  • 2 lbs grape tomatoes $6.99

Fred Meyer: $40.15 (including BYO bag refund and $0.50 coupon)

  • two Silk Vanilla Creamers $3.98
  • 2.4 lbs butternut squash $3.10
  • 4.79 lbs canteloupe $1.77
  • 2 ears yellow corn $1
  • 1.04 lbs carrots $0.61
  • .18 lbs soy protein powder $1.62
  •  6 peppercorn ciabatta rolls $1.50
  • 1.28 lbs organic broccoli $1.27
  • 1 red bell pepper $1.50
  • 1 head romaine lettuce $1.00
  • 1.08 lbs flank steak $8.63
  • .86 lbs bananas $$0.51
  • .32 lbs cremini mushrooms $0.96
  • .91 lbs organic Fuji apples $1.52
  • Burt’s Bees Peach and Willowbark Deep Pore Scrub $7.99

Yowza, excluding the face scrub I spent $59.11, and we don’t have enough protein for Chris to last the week.  My add’l produce intake over the last month or so has increased our bill a bit, but what’s a fruit-addict like me gonna do when all this insane summer fruit is around? 

Do you use a fruitwash and/or wash your produce methodically?  I do, but didn’t get around to it for this batch of stuff, yet.  I’ll be standing in front of the sink for an hour or so tomorrow washing, rinsing, and spinning my produce to squeaky clean perfection.

And now for my predictable trusty content:

An early breakfast of vegan French toast with Garden Sausage, blueberries, and syrup at Bob’s Red Mill 🙂  And coffee, of course.  (Don’t hate me Andrea, I decided to do this late last night and used it as some alone time before the packing and sorting fun at my mom’s.)


I came home rather hangry and threw together a big salad with some fruit and veg on the side.  Salad had: romaine, grapes, apple, yellow bell pepp, carrot, avocado, Boca burger, chow mein noodles, sliced almonds, goat cheese, and balsamic.


I had to force in the last few bites of salad and saved the side fruit/veg for later, after my grocery shopping. 

Chris and I visited the gym for a few hours, where I busted out legs, triceps, 25 minutes of running & walking on the treadmill, and 28 minutes o’ sweaty fun on the stair mill.  I was getting hangry again at the end of this sesh, and was glad to quickly move on to….

Dinner was a repeat of a simple, voluminous veg fest:  steamed corn with Smart Balance Light, steamed broc, and oven roasted butternut squash chips.  Oh. So. Good.  I’d already had loads of protein early in the day, so I didn’t feel too bad about not having much with dinner.


I knew a fruity treat would be in order later on, and when the time rolled around I threw in a little crack as well.  Oh, bowl of fruity, granola-y goodness, how I have missed thee.


I’m ready for bed, but is it ready for me?  I’ll check it out and report back tomorrow 😉  Enjoy your Sunday!


Back by popular demand… June 18, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kersten @ 11:11 pm
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…highlights of Kersten’s world.  Well, not really…I mean no one’s banging down my email inbox asking me to come back.  I know my little blog gets readers, I just wish there were more of you, and that you would comment more actively.  Any suggestions?

Pretty lunch–salad had romaine, avocado, grape tomatoes, burrito guts, verde sauce.  That glorious fruit has been my go-to for afternoon snacking as well 🙂


Mondo dinner of steamed corn with SmartBalance Light, oven roasted butternut chips with Northwoods seasoning and garlic salt (too salty), veggie burger with sauteed mushrooms, ketchup for the burger and chips.  I ate too fast 😦


Genisoy chocolate shake mix, almond milk, ???


Pina!!  I sliced up this baby and enjoyed the fruits of my labor.


I. love. fruity. cereal.  Kashi Go Lean Crunch with fabu blueberries, cherries, and strawberries, covered with almond milk I think.


My eyes enjoyed this more than my stomach–quesadilla with sauteed veggies, cheese, sour cream, guac, tomatoes.  Too many onions + too much sour cream + too much cheese + too much food = unhappy tummy. 


When the tum wouldn’t settle I went for 1 tablet of Alka Seltzer.  You ever use it?  At first it doesn’t seem better, but then comes the burp that cures your woes.  I know, gross details, but it works.


For some insane reason I thought I needed a treat later.  I ate one square of Cadbury milk chocolate with almonds, went “meh,” and instead had some roasted almonds and dark chocolate pieces. 


More fruity cereal, but this time with Nature’s Path GingerZing Granola.  I like the texture of this granola, but it is missing something.  Salt maybe?  It isn’t very zing-y to me.  I miss my crack–NP Pumpkin Flax Plus Granola.


A pretty lunch 🙂  Salad had romaine, pickle, avocado, grape tomatoes, cremini mushroom, balsamic, crunchy chow mein noodles, and a veggie Gardenburger.


Dinner tonight at McCormick & Schmick’s Fish House.  The menu was tough since nearly every entree had seafood or meat, but they are quite flexible with preparations.  I had them leave the fish off of the  mushroom pesto pasta, and asked for extra veggies to be added in.  It tasted really good, but I was expecting a real pesto, not a creamy white wine sauce with pesto in it.  The cream was too heavy for me, and totally weighed me down tonight. 😐


Sometimes I think I want creamy and rich things, but when I eat them I often regret it b/c I feel super crappy.  That helps me avoid the temptation to get/make them I suppose!  I did bring home half of this, and figure I’ll eat it for lunch tomorrow with more veg added in.  I’ve run out of other things to eat for lunch, so I’ll just have to grin and bear it.

This was Chris’ dinner–filet mignon with the obvi veggies.  I thought it was pretty and deserved a pic.


My exercise this week:

Monday–legs, abs, 30 min on the mill

Tuesday–upper body, 50 min on the mill

Wednesday–off.  too stuffed and gross feeling to move!

Thursday–legs, abs, 50 min on the mill.

I suppose that’s about it!  I can’t remember all of my genius “oh I should put that on the blog” moments from the last four days 😐

Bon nuit 😉


I’m drawing a blank! May 15, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kersten @ 9:32 pm
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Seriously, I need to carry around a recorder to capture post ideas and titles I think of, cause when I sit down to write I can’t remember them at all!  😦

Let’s recap a quick Friday for ya, as I think I’m going to hit the hay a little earlier tonight for a change.

Oaty oats for breakfast.  I forgot to prep them last night, but adding hot water and letting it sit, then nuking them really does the trick 🙂


Leftover burrito guts with avocado and red bell pepp on mixed greens, carrot, blackberries & strawberries, Fuji.  I ate most of the latter later on for my snack.  Love the burrito/salad mix!


This weekend is going to be busy, and Chris knew he wanted to eat Mexican at least once, so we he picked tonight.  I ordered the same thing as yesterday, but forgot to specify no cheese.  The guts consisted of rice (forgot to ask if its vegetarian, again), black beans, carrots, squash, onions, green beans, and cauliflower.  Super tasty, of course 😉


Notice a certain someone begging in the background?? 

Check out this creamy goodness that is La Casa.  I love the frothy top and the cinnamon 🙂


After dinner I was feeling out of whack from allergies, but I popped a pill and headed to the gym anyway.  Not much in the mood for weights, I did 50 minutes of less-sweaty-than-usual stair climbing while reading. I stopped off at the scale afterward since I can’t help weighing myself about once a week, after cardio usually.  I dropped two pounds!  Is this the result of my vegetarian diet this last week??  I dunno, but works for me 😉

Tonight I didn’t think I’d eat anything before bed, but now I just realized that I don’t have to get up as early as I thought to fit in a workout, so I opted for a snack of Genisoy Soy Crisps–both cheddar and deep sea salted.  Now, I gotta tell you, each time I eat these I think they are even more awesome!  Voluminous serving size, good nutritionals, and they don’t go stale!  I’ve had the bag of cheddar for like a month and can’t tell at all.  No pic for ya, but I’m sure you can picture me sticking my hand into two bags of crisps multiple times 🙂

Wow, Joel McHale is having a violent night on The Soup!!  Since I’m not really paying attention I’m not sure what the reason is, but there’s all sorts of fights and shit he keep showing, and yes, most of it is entertaining.  Gotta love The Soup!

Later, yo!  Have a great night and fun weekend 🙂


One week in May 14, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kersten @ 10:05 pm
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It has been a week since I’ve had any meat/fish/seafood, and for that matter eggs I think.  My eating hasn’t felt that different, other than incorporating three new things I never used to eat:  cauliflower, mushrooms, and beans.  I don’t know if I’ve felt different, but that’s okay cause I’ve been feelin pretty good since I moved to a healthier diet months ago 🙂 


Typical oats


I never really ate lunch b/c I was busy getting ready for a meeting.  I scarfed down a carrot and an apple around noon, and then had some grapes and the granola bar around 1:45.


My brother was in town dropping off his doggy for my mom to watch while he’s on vacation (phew, that was a mouthful), so we celebrated his birthday a little early with a dinner.  This was a bit of a challenge food-wise, as I guess I didn’t specify clearly enough that I’m on an ovo-lacto veggie trial; everyone thought I’d eat the halibut for dinner.  Believe me, I know it was good, but I chose not to eat it and brought on a little bit of wrath from the fam & Chris.

I had: a mixed greens salad with broccoli, bell pepper, apple, and almonds; roasted onion, potato, and red bell pepp; and roasted asparagus.  Oh yes, I lest not leave out the little glasses of champagne, sauvingnon blanc, and pinot noir 🙂


Say hi to Beaudin!  He’s such a cutie pie!


And say hello, er goodbye, to my dessert:  Lee Berry Farms rhubarb pie with Dreyer’s Slow Churned vanilla bean ice cream.  Mmmmmmmmmmm!


Awhile later at home Chris had some pretzels, and Lily strategically placed her head for handouts.  (Ignore the hideous furniture in the background.)


While reading Prevention I saw an ad for almonds and thought a few sounded good.  I was right 🙂



Lily didn’t want to eat her carrot this morning 😦


Extra liquidy normal oats.


Almost lunch-time snack.


My real lunch.  This salad was full of random goodness, including Andrea’s seitan, avocado, red bell pepp, dill pickles, edamame, Romain, and mixed greens.  At first the seitan was good, but then it reminded me of the tofu I ate before my flu kicked in months ago, and I couldn’t eat the rest 😦  Booooooo!  Damn aversive conditioning is still killing me like three or four months later.  Erin, how do I get over this??


Snacky poo for fueling worky poo.


Veggie burrito at Fajitas!  This one was extra tasty and special, and consisted of:  flour tortilla (I don’t think they have whole wheat there :(), rice (forgot to ask if it’s vegetarian!!), carrots, black beans, green bell pepp, onion, cauliflower, green beans, and verde sauce.  Ay ay ay!


No, I didn’t drink that whole Cazuela…Chris helped me out with that 😉  I only had half of my La Casa, too.


Lily was such a cutie while we ate.


After a run to Costco and Fred Meyer I enjoyed the fruits of my labor, literally.


I’m pooped, and feeling a tad blah.  Can ya tell?  I’m not my usual chatty self obviously, but hey, I’m sure many of you would rather view my day in the form of pics rather than read my long editorials 😉  I’ll forive ya!

Thank god tomorrow is Friday, cause it’s felt like Friday for three days already.  The office buildout and move is starting to become stressful, esp. when the contractor comes back and tells you it will cost $555 to move 4 electric/data outlets.  WTF?  Are they made of gold and plastered with cocaine or what?  I have a feeling we’ll be skipping that and opting for some cord hiding supplies instead…

Hoping you’ve all had a great few days!  Adios!


I hit the motherlode May 10, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kersten @ 10:26 pm
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Happy Mother’s Day!!  Today was really a nice day, as was yesterday, and I hope you all had a great weekend 🙂 

Since I’ve been running around all weekend I feel a tad tired, and I may just insert a gallery for ya.  Let me upload the pics and see what I feel like….

Oh my god, there’s 22 photos!  How about highlights?

  • The Oregon City Saturday Market–small but fun..picked up some goat’s milk soap, jam, rugelach, and goat cheese for the moms.  They were a hit!
  • A beautiful, sunny day Saturday
  • Another veggie burrito at Fajitas Saturday night–this one had carrots, green beans, cauliflower (another one I hate but ate and it wasn’t so bad :)) and verde sauce….and cheese.  Soo yummy!
  • Working out early and coming home today with a ravenous appetite.  I devoured my bowl of organic strawberries, pumpkin flax granola, and raisins with glee 🙂
  • Yummy mother’s day treats from Lily (and Chris;)):  smoked gouda cheese, Drunken Goat Spanish cheese, honey millet granola, and hickory salt. 
  • High Tea at the Heathman with Mom and Grandma–tasty goodness!
  • Walking around downtown Portland afterward and enjoying the beautiful city.
  • Putting up my bee box in the yard
  • Making pizza at home tonight with my honey.  Fun, yummy, satisfying experience 🙂
  • Leftover dessert from tea after dinner.  Yee-haw!!

Chris, my mom, and my grandma have all reacted well to my (trial of) going veggie.  And it has been a tasty endeavor so far, so I say, bring it on!  Thanks for all of your thoughts and support!  I feel really lucky that Erin introduced me to the blog world and that I have been able to learn so much from all of you.  🙂  Keep rockin’ ladies and germs! 

hit, I’m tired!!!  Gotta get to work at like 8 tomorrow, so I’m going to hit the hay now.  Happy trails to you 😉