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!!!!!!!!!!!


The booze has got me fiz-izzled! December 23, 2008

Today was a nice relaxing day for the most part that started out well and is going to end with a repeat of Top Chef I missed over the last few weeks.  I forgot to tell you I kicked my foot into the foot of the couch yesterday, and my foot ain’t so happy.  Can I say foot more in one sentence?

I decided not to have my usual oatmeal for breakfast today, instead opting for Quaker Oatmeal Squares with almond milk and banana.  I picked up the box of cereal yesterday for only $2!  They are usually $4.59 or so; if I had room I’d have bought more probably.  I hate how expensive cereal is.


Not sure what I did all morning… walked Lily out in the street I think, was online some, and did a few things around the house.  Eventually I made Chris lunch, and contemplated what to do for myself.

I settled on a new salad:  spinach, chopped turkey lunch meat, a chopped cooked egg white, a few slices of chopped apple, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper.  So tasty!!  I also had the rest of the Fuji apple on the side.


This didn’t have much staying power, so shortly thereafter I had ~1/2 cup of lf/ff cottage cheese.


Chris spotted a varied thrush in our yard while I was cleaning up the kitchen!!  We haven’t seen one in the yard for a few years, so we were quite happy to spot her. She stayed around all afternoon 🙂  We also had a new bird today–a white crowned sparrow.  Nifty!


The ice didn’t seem as bad today, so we let Lily have the run of the yard.  After hearing that my mom’s neighbor’s dog nearly severed a toe b/c of the ice I was super anal about clearing an area and only walking her on the leash in that area.  She was very happy to get to play ball and romp around.


My hands and feet got really cold all of a sudden, and when I came in hot cocoa sounded really good.  I mixed some almond milk, cocoa, and tiny bit of sugar (why did I even bother??), microwaved it, and then ended up adding some whipped cream on top.  Yummy!  The almond milk was a great base and added that much more depth to the drink.  This was the first time I used almond milk in a hot beverage application.  I also had half a nana shortly after this.


Chris mentioned walking to the Mexican restaurant, and at first I thought he was kidding, but not so.  After he cleared the snow off of our wood shed we got ready and headed out.  The compacted snow was slippery in areas, but the walk was good.  I felt like I was speed walking to keep up with Chris, as he is 6’2″ and I’m 5’5″, so I had to tell him to slow down here and there. 

We had our usual round of Casuelas, and I had tortilla soup sin crema, con un poco de queso, solamente jalapenos a parte.  Mmmmm.  Another epiphany came to me as we ate…the 1/2 pitcher of Casuela that I usually drink is also killing my diet.  Doesn’t seem like much, but ~24oz. of fruit juice and booze 2x/week adds up to 700+ cals.  Eeeeeeeeeek!  And the La Casa (ice cream, milk, Bailey’s, cinnamon) ain’t helpin’ either.  Scheize.

100_0298 My Casuela100_0300 Soupie soupie!100_0303 La Casa

Our walk home was nice, and somewhat entertaining when we saw 3 semi trucks stuck at the light in one intersection.  Woops!

Lily enjoyed playing a ton when we got home, and now we’re watching Law & Order.  Can’t believe Christmas Eve is tomorrow, and that I have NO GIFTS for most people on my list.  Double woops. 

I sent my Secret Santa gift last Wednesday via Priority Mail, and my recipient hasn’t received it yet 😦  I didn’t get delivery confirmation, but hopefully she gets it tomorrow.  I just hope it isn’t lost 😦  I’ll be sure to keep you posted when I receive mine, too 😉

Well, off I go to get comfy and watch Top Chef.  Hope you all had a great Tuesday!


Saucin’ it up in the snow December 22, 2008


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.


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. 


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.


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.


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.


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 😉


White out December 21, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kersten @ 11:31 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wow, Saturday brought an incredible amount of snow to the Portland metro area.  I think we had 6-10 inches, but the wind made it difficult to measure very well. 

Since I have so many pics and am feeling rather poopy at the moment with sinus issues, I’ll insert a gallery for your viewing pleasure.

The day started out with a romp in the backyard snow, feeding the birds, and eating a bowl of Peace Cereal with almond milk and frozen berries.  I thought putting the berries in my cup of almond milk would help defrost them, but it ended up the other way around!  The berries all had a coat of almond milk on them, which is why they appear white in the pic.  But, it was yummy. 

I went to the gym and did ~45 minutes of cardio on the elliptical.  My neck was killing me yesterday morning, which I’m fairly sure is a result of me sitting on the computer and looking to the side to watch TV, or perhaps even spending too much time on the computer in general; the pain developed over the last week, but has been more intense the last few days. It is the right side of my neck that hurts, and yesterday even one small false move would send pain shooting up my neck.  Grrrr.  Thankfully I was able to keep my upper body still on the elliptical and avoided pain for most of my workout. 

I hit the store on the way home, and made lunch when I got back.  I had a sundried tomato Flatout, one fried egg white, spinach, broc slaw, 1/2 wedge LCL, with 1/2 a Fuji on the side and the other 1/2 wedge LCL.  Mmmm.

Chris and I decided to go for a walk in the snow with Lily down to the Clackamas river.  We ended up putting a fleece vest on her to protect her from the snow a bit.  So cute!  Our walk down was good, but it was snowing hard and the wind picked up when we got down to the river.  Lily was so cute in the snow 🙂  We stopped at the Starbucks in Safeway on the way back, and I treated myself to a small hot chocolate.  It was so decadent!  I haven’t had hot chocolate in a long time, and the creamy goodness was quite a treat.  Chris had a caramel apple cider–that would have been far too sweet for my taste.

We got back a full 2 1/2 hours after we left!  The last mile felt like walking in sand b/c of the texture and depth of the snow.  Yay, it was a great workout and really pretty and fun, too 🙂

I was so tired when we got back, and tempted to take a nap, but we got cleaned up and made dinner.  Chris wanted something far too rich for me (sausage and pasta), so I had a Gardenburger riblet and a spinach salad with broc slaw, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Yum yum yum yum yummmm! 

Eventually I got hungry, so I had a bowl of vanilla yogurt with raisins, almond slivers, and cinnamon.  Chris had some of the fudge pictured–check it out–it is made by monk in Amity, Oregon.  It has 200 cals in a ~1″ cube, and that was enough to help me say no.  I’ve found that if I just don’t go in for a taste/small bite at all, it is much easier to say no to the foods that would blow up my daily intake.  How bout you?

Freezing rain started to fall at night 😦  Boooo!!  That means we can’t play in the snow anymore, and it is tough for Lily to get around.  We let her out when the ice was still thin, and she hopped through the ice/snow around the yard, but was confused and didn’t like it.  Chris was sweet and got out there to stomp an area clear for her to do her business.

Today the ice is like 1/2″+ thick, and we had to go remove it from a larger area for Lily.  I hate the ice, and the fact that we can’t go for another walk in the snow, and that Lily can’t play.  She relishes in running around the yard chasing the ball, and she’s going a bit stir crazy so far today.  We’ll see what happens and I’ll report back to you later on today’s eats and happenings.  Hope you’re staying warm and dry where you are!


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 🙂