Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Putting the passion back into cooking

There's a girl that the Mr and I are friends with that I just love.  She's an ex of a family member and she's such a good person, I made sure we stayed friends with her because she's one of those people who is always smiling, looking for the good in life and those are the kind of people you want around you.  The last time she was here, I mentioned the different things I buy at Trader Joe's and she laughed and said "I want to go there with you.  I have no idea what to buy there!"  We laughed and before she left she said "I'm serious about Trader Joe's!"  I told her to let me know when because I'm always down with sharing some TJ love.

Yesterday was that day.  I told her we could go midday because it probably wouldn't be as crowded.  HA!  I don't think there is such a thing.

She is so cute.  She wants to learn to cook and save money, both of which are up my alley.  She came over and I had her try several of my favorites and I asked her if she wanted something to eat.  She politely declined and I said "I've got chicken done in the crock pot, I can easily make a chicken wrap."  She smiled and said "okay!"  I quickly threw together a quesadilla on the panini press using a low carb wrap, chicken breast, enchilada sauce, a little BBQ sauce, 1 tbsp of chipotle hummus, thin sliced cheese and arugula.  Almost all of it was from TJ's.  She raved about it.  She said she wanted to cook like that and was asking all kinds of questions.

It was like throwing me square into my element.  I love sharing my knowledge of cooking especially to people who don't think they can or are basically a clean slate eager to learn any little suggestion you throw at them.  We got some of the things she tasted as well as a few extras.  I know people were getting irritated with us because you TJ's peeps know how it is, even if you're trying to get out of the way, you're still in the way.  She wants to make Brussels sprouts (squee!) and her excitement and enthusiasm was rubbing off on me big time.  I think it's just what I needed to kick me out of the food rut and reaffirm that yes, I do know what I'm doing.  She jokingly said she wished I taught cooking classes.  I told her if she wanted to learn, I'd be more than willing to teach her.  She said absolutely and she would bring over food she wanted to learn to make and have me teach her how to prepare it so she and her boyfriend could still eat well at home and save money.  I can't wait to begin teaching her stuff and I hope it'll get my creative wheels turning so I can make even better stuff to share with the Mr.  (And of course, you guys!)

It was such a fun time and I am really looking forward to teaching her how to cook and how to stretch meals to make them last for multiple meals.  Yay for sharing the culinary love!

Does someone else's enthusiasm about something you take for granted help reignite your passion for it?

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Gratitude

I want to start this week with a little gratitude.  When I was part of a weight loss community eons ago, they had this thing called your daily gratefuls and it was a nice habit to get into even if you had to stretch some days to find the things you were grateful for on a daily basis.  So in the spirit of that genre, I'm going to do mine here.

My 5 Gratefuls:

1)  The Mr.  I truly have found that person that 'gets' me.  My moods, my thoughts (from mundane to the ridiculous), my dreams and anything else about me.  As I go through life and see other people's marriages or relationships, I am constantly reminded of how special what we have together is.  When someone says "you guys are my model of what a relationship I deserve should look like", there is no higher compliment.  I love you honey and I can never tell you enough what you mean to me.

2)  My family.  Obviously more grateful for some more than others (HA!) and even though many drive me out of my mind, I've got it pretty good compared to some people.

3)  My friends.  I'm can be guarded about who I "let in" but the ones I do that have stood by me are precious to me and I'm thankful they're still in my life.  Two of my best friends I've known since 3rd and 7th grade.

4)  My readers.  You guys are awesome!  I am so thankful for your support and love everyday and I hope more lurkers take the time to comment.  I love seeing "new to me" comments as well!

5)  My life.  I'm not where I want to be but I'm getting there.  In the meantime, I'll make the most of what I can do.

What are you grateful for?

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Guess what I wrote on my calendar - Weigh In

...after I lost no weight this week?

"I GIVE UP!"

I'm mentally spent.  I don't have any more to give.  My calories were spot on.  My exercise goal was met.  Sodium wasn't out of control.  Water could've been *slightly* better but I was nowhere near dehydration or anything.  Fiber was good.  I didn't go over last Sunday like I did the Sunday before.  Basically I did everything I could other than rocket into outer space and align the stars and it still wasn't good enough.  I wasn't good enough.  I might as well have sat on my ass all week.  I know that's not true because then I'd be even fatter but seriously, there's no other way to feel when you've put forth the effort into some hard friggin' workouts all week and you're greeted with the exact same number to the ounce as the GAIN the week before.

I swear, I don't know why you guys would want to follow someone who has been stuck in the same 10 lbs for almost 6 months and watch me tweak and re-tweak only to come up with nothing.  Yeah...there's some friggin' inspiration.  Not.

Now I get to put on a happy face and cook all day for a friend's visit when all I want to do is curl up in bed and do nothing.

I'm sick of this shit.

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Food Journal Friday 7/22-26

I'm trying to decide if this week has gone fast or slow.  I guess it doesn't really matter, it's Friday!  

A friend of ours is coming over tonight to fix an issue with my car.  We're so lucky to have a friend who is so handy with both cars and home projects...two areas we're not.  We'll give him a little green for his time.

I've got a friend coming into town tomorrow.  I'm excited but I know it's going to go too fast.  Our time together always does.  But that's not why you came over...let's eat!



Sunday was bbq salmon burger on a whole wheat bun, leftover chipotle mashed potatoes with caramelized onions and a side salad with 1 tbsp of Catalina French.  Calories:  534


Monday was yummy chicken tacos with arugula (I <3 Arugula.  Just thought you should know) with a side of bean therapy green beans.  Yum.  Calories:  614


Tuesday was crab stuffed flounder with a side of zucchini, red peppers, onions and brussels sprouts.  With all of that vegetable goodness, I'm surprised we weren't skywriting.  Calories:  436


Wednesday was BBQ coho salmon, TJ's chipotle cheddar bites and zucchini and red peppers.  Calories:  440


Thursday was BBQ chicken naan pizza with grilled zucchini and red peppers on the bottom, 7 oz russet potato wedges and 1 tbsp ketchup.  Calories:  711

I was apparently craving BBQ this week!

What was your favorite dinner this week?

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

I got nothin'

Um yeah.

I have been staring at this blank page for about an hour thinking "I got nothin'."  I'll just let whatever flow, flow.

This week has been pretty good on the "healthy lifestyle" front.  (Seriously, can't we get better terms than "journey" and "lifestyle change" when referring to this whole thing?)  Calories have been good, it's been a hard workout week but I'm still trying to catch up to what my goal is so I may need to do a workout Friday. I'm thinking one of the ones I've had to relegate to the bottom shelf because the calorie burn is low like Xtreme Cardio Disco.  I miss Jaana and it's a fun one.  I've been trying to up my water because I felt like I was slacking on it a bit.  Why is it always so hard for me to keep my water intake on the up and up?  *Sigh*

Is it weird I'm already jonesing for Fall eats?  I mean I want chili, shrimp bisque I saw Ina Garten whipping up yesterday, a bread bowl of Boudin's clam chowder and pumpkin everything.  Especially these.  I'm even getting ready to start testing out a few new recipes to be ready for the welcome chill in the air of Fall.

I'm also praying we get a buttload of snow this year since we were completely and utterly ripped off last year.  I bought the Mr some snow shoes and he never got to use them because we never got past 2" of snow at a time.  He's itching to go cross country skiing as well and by God, that man is going to ski if I have to drive him somewhere.  Oops, don't tell him I told you that!

I'll leave you with a pic of the gorgeous afterglow of sunset from last night.


It would've been a shame to miss it and I'm glad I didn't.

Are you ready for the heat to take a hike and settle into a cooler season?

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fluffernutter Push Ups

I was craving Fluffernutter cookies but once I make a batch of those things, I can't eat just one or two and their GPS coordinates go straight to my gut and/or thighs.  Plus with it being hotter than a furnace here for what seems like decades, I wasn't up for giving the oven a workout in the heat of the day.  So why not carry on my obsession for all things push up and make these bad boys?



I wanted to make them as low cal as possible so a little experimentation went on.  Here's what you'll need for 4 push pops:

8 oz bananas, frozen and sliced
3 oz Vita Coco coconut water
2 tbsp Better N' Peanut Butter
1 tbsp PB2 powder (plain)
2/3 cup (30g) mini marshmallows

Originally these were my cast of characters...


In a personal sized blender, I added the bananas and coconut water and blended to a smooth consistency.


Like so...


Next the 2 tbsp of Better N' Peanut Butter and give it another whirl.


At this point I tasted it and it needed a little more peanut butter kick to it so I busted out the PB2 powdered peanut butter I picked up recently.  (Should be at your local health food store)  I added 1 tbsp to the smoothie and blended it well.


There should be 12 mini marshmallows per push pop container.  Add the first 4 and cover with just enough smoothie mixture to cover them and put them into the freezer.  Why?  Because if you don't, the marshmallows float!  While that's fine, you don't want to eat all of the marshmallowy goodness in the first few bites only to be sad when you get to the bottom.  Don't forget to put the smoothie mixture into the fridge to hang out while you're waiting to freeze stuff up!


When the bottoms are frozen, add the smoothie mixture to about the halfway mark, top with 4 more marshmallows and freeze.  This one will take a little longer since there's more to freeze but it should be good in 30 minutes.  Patience is a virtue people and your taste buds will thank you!


Fill up the push pop containers the rest of the way and top with the final four marshmallows, carefully put on their lids and freeze them up the rest of the way!


Then you've got some Fluffernutter goodness that will satisfy that craving, cool you off and clocks in at under 100 calories!  Take THAT 100 calorie packs!  Pffft!


Nutritional Info per push up:  Calories 95  Fat 1g  Sodium 43mg  Potassium 194mg Total Carbs 20g  Fiber 1g  Sugars 10g  Protein 2g  Vitamin A 1% Vitamin C 21%  Calcium 1%  Iron 1%  Vitamin B-6  11%

To order push pop containers, click here.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Random Tuesday Thoughts

My body is trying to tell me something.  I am uncontrollably biting my nails back and my face is breaking out like I'm a pubescent school girl.  I don't know why exactly.  We have company coming this weekend and she likes to see our vacation video/pics so I don't know if the pressure of having to throw it together in a week when we've had...oh, 2 months to do it could have something to do with it but it feels like there's something more and I can't put my finger on it.  In the meantime, let's pray my Olay facial wash does its job.

I did a little more bean therapy last night and finished off the green beans with our chicken tacos.  I did a little more than blanch them so they were a more traditional texture instead of having that bite fresh beans can have.  I just wish I could add a little salt to them but I don't need it.

I'm getting excited.  Our friend Sam is going to be on Chopped Sunday!  I hope you guys tune in to Food Network to give our local boy some support.  I think you'll see why we think he's a sweetheart.

I fiddled with a new push pop recipe yesterday that I'll likely be sharing this week.  I learned something...marshmallows float even in smoothie consistency drinks.  Are you intrigued?  No?  Fine, who asked you?  HA!  I keed, I keed.

I got the sweetest thank you card from a friend we met up with.  I'm so glad to see that not everyone has abandoned this practice.  It may seem old fashioned and why bother sending a note when you can just email or text?  1)  You can't text me.  I don't use a cell phone.  I work from home, that's where you can call me, on my Jurassic land line.  If I'm out, I want to enjoy myself and who I'm with not hear about what the dude in the parking lot is doing, where you're going for dinner or some random gripe session thereby harshing my mellow.  2)  It's (thank you notes in case my rant got you off track) personable and I like seeing people's handwriting.  When someone close to me passes away, what do you think comforts me more to look back on...an email with a sentiment in Helvetica or a Christmas card that may have nothing more than "Love you, Great Grandma and Grandpa" handwritten in it?  I'll take the card/note hands down every time.

We did a kick butt workout last night and I'm feeling it today fo' sho.  I love and hate hard workouts.  Let's you know you did something...it also can pull random muscles and make you walk funny.

I think that's enough randomness for today, you think?

Tell me something random about your day yesterday (or today if it's been eventful).

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Bean Therapy

When I was a kid, my paternal grandma had a wonderful garden.  She had everything from corn to peppers to zucchini, even concord grapes that I was fascinated with as they grew on the vine.  She would make homemade grape jelly and pickles and preserve stuff for the winter.  Of course there were also beans.  Before we could can them, we'd need to snap the ends off.  I was 5 or 6 years old and I'd sit in grandma's kitchen with her and huge bowls of beans and we'd sit in silence except for the sounds of snapping as we each worked our respective bowls.

When I'm stressed, if there's a stray piece of bubble wrap around, I sit there and pop, pop, pop the stress away.  I was having a bit of a day Saturday as our plans were getting rearranged a bit due to home improvement gone awry.  Earlier in the morning we hit the farmers market and I got a big bag of beans to prepare with dinner that night for friends.  As I heard the sounds of chaos outside, I could feel my blood pressure rising.  I needed bubble wrap...I had none available.  Then I remembered I needed to snap the beans and do a little blanching to save myself some time.

I started with my bag o' beans.

Each bean has an end that needs to be snapped.

I snapped off each end.

By the end, I had a small bowl of green bean ends...

...and a wonderful bowl of beans to prepare for dinner.
I also had a normal heart rate and my stress went down.

So if you ever have a stressful day and need some cheap therapy to keep your sanity, bean therapy is a great way to go.

What form of food prep relaxes you?

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Dear Idiot - Weigh In

Up 2.

Dear Idiot.  Yeah, you...the one writing this post.

You know the myriad of ways you screwed up last weekend right?  You said you were going to flip flop your high cal day to Sunday, you didn't.  You should've made the correct decisions that were in front of you, you didn't.  Not only that, you said "hey let's see how much sweet crap I can stuff into my piehole!" on a day you're not supposed to do it because you already HAD sweet stuff the day before!

You broke a promise to yourself and no pep talk anyone would try to give you to ease your poor broken ego would help...that promise broken is the biggest thing you need to remember.  If you can't keep a promise to yourself then you've got a LOT of work to do to ever get where you're wanting to go.  You wonder why you've been stuck for so long?  Evaluate...the answer is in front of you.  If you'd like to continue bouncing between the same 3-5 pounds for the rest of your life, keep this crap up.  You'll never ride a roller coaster, zipline or indoor skydive at this rate.

You need some new ground rules because the old ones aren't working anymore.  So you just go out and enjoy the day you have planned today (within reason) and tomorrow, sit down and get real with yourself and the Mr.

Signed,
Me

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Food Journal 7/15-19

It's been awhile, yeah?  Time to see what a "food rut" looks like.  ;-)

Let's eat!


Monday was a Trader Joe's Mahi Mahi burger with 1 tbsp teriyaki on a whole wheat bun, 3 rambutans and rainbow salad.  Calories:  407


Monday was a fish taco with Mahi Mahi, 1 tbsp chipotle hummus, 1 tbsp chipotle mayo, broccoli slaw and arugula with a side of rainbow salad.  Calories:  538


Tuesday was BBQ Chicken Naan Pizza.  It wasn't a good day and when the timer went off I opened the oven to discover I hadn't turned it on.  *face palm*  So we had hot-ish pizza with cold brussels sprouts.  Calories:  577


Wednesday was grilled pesto salmon over Trader Joe's carrot and spinach polenta.  Calories:  671


Thursday was shredded chicken sandwich with half a slice of marble cheese and 1 tbsp bbq sauce and potato wedges with 1 tbsp ketchup.  Calories:  389

Tonight will be Chicken Lo Mein made with Shirataki Tofu Noodles, 5 oz boneless chicken breast, broccoli slaw and 3 tbsp of Trader Ming's General Tso's sauce.  Calories:  325

What was your favorite dinner this week?

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Food Follies

Man, I have been so uninspired in the kitchen lately.  Zero.  Zilch.  Nada.

I'm making due.  I'm still busting out pesto salmon, naan pizza, stuffed flounder and such but I feel like I'm reaching into a mental rolodex on that one and not being very creative.

Sometimes I look at the pantry and close the door...same with the fridge.

Open.

Meh.

Close.

*sulk*

Even looking at other blogs, recipe sites and stuff isn't sparking anything right now.  I have a friend and her hubby coming over and we're making a homemade dinner so I'm going to make chipotle mashed potatoes and either grilled asparagus if I can find some good ones or grilled green beans from the farmers market then an ice cream sandwich cake that I found a recipe for but needed more than just the two of us to try out.  I've got another friend coming into town the following weekend and I told her I'd do cookout foods and I'm pretty sure I know what I'm making for that but it just takes it out of me these days to think about whipping up something new.  I did do a new push pop last night so I might post that but entree wise I'm empty right now.  I wonder if it's the heat.

How do you snap out of a food rut?

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Bring on the funny

Yesterday the Mr had a vent session about work and I was happy to listen even if I wasn't happy with what went on to make him gripe.  (He rarely does)  We went down and had a pretty kick ass Turbo Fire session where I scorched off 1100 calories.  (Yay)  But we still felt a little beat up by life afterward so we decided to rent a movie.  The only good prospect was Friends with Kids.

This past week or so we've been going through movies we own that are kind of like "why did we buy this one?" to see if it's worth owning given how little DVD space we have left.  So after watching a few, we kicked Girl Next Door, Anchorman and Old School to the curb and Hitch made the cut.

Our back up to Friends with Kids was Spaceballs because it's mindless, funny and low brow.  Sadly, the one we rented wasn't necessarily funny all the way through (actually kind of a downer sometimes) so we should've deployed the back up.  There are times you just need to bring the funny to lift your mood and not get mired in life's poo traps.

What is your go to funny movie?  (You can name three if picking one is too hard)

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Invaders!

A side effect of a healthy lifestyle is you have a lot of fruits around.  Someone else likes fruit too...

Fruit flies!  Well they never get to actual fly status but more like fruit gnat.

Little bastards.

Sorry.  Can you tell I have a few?

It's not feasible for me to hide away my nanas...the likely culprit and I've done everything from the fruit traps with the fruit inside the glass and plastic wrap with holes poked in it to actual fruit fly traps which does not work.  The plastic wrap covered glass thing has about a 50 % success rate and I want something higher than that because I shouldn't have to name them Skippy (the laid  back one that literally just flew in front of my computer screen), Loopy (one I assume was just born because that sucker is light, full of energy and ready to taunt) and Moe (just because).  I would take a picture of them but they are elusive and I'd be tempted to crush them with the camera.

Anyone else had them?  How did you get rid of them?  I don't need a catch and release trap either if you get my drift.

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Time with food and friends

I like road trips.  An excuse to get a change of scenery or meet up with friends, they're awesome.  I consider anything within a 10-12 hour drive road trip territory depending on how much time we have and what we want to see.  We made a road trip this weekend to visit with a friend and her family. We brought a huge cooler because we were meeting at this great grocery store and after doing some research, I knew they'd probably have stuff we couldn't get.

Because one can never have enough frog and beer shaped cheese.
 
I was ecstatic to see rambutans!  We got a few and had them with dinner.  I was instantly back in Hawaii.

Because I am really a 9 year old boy inside who still laughs at stuff like this.
We made a good dent in the ol' grocery budget.  I got some of that PB2 peanut butter powder to add to smoothies, a few cereals we don't have here that aren't exactly high on the nutritional scale (Cap'n Crunch Cinnamon Roll and Maple Brown Sugar Life), Hershey's Special Dark unsweetened cocoa for some push pops, lychees so I can pretend I'm back in Kona having just come back from the farmer's market then we picked up some of the stuff we'd need for the week anyway like pineapples, bananas, sandwich bread, apples, etc.  Figured if we're gonna be at a grocery store, might as well kill 2 birds with one stone, yeah?

Then it was off for lunch where the sneaky poo heads bought our meals.  We evened the score paying for them to storm a nearby castle.

Creeepy!
It was fun but dang it was stagnant and humid there.  I thought my face was going to sweat off!  We had a great visit and can't wait to meet up again.

I wish for us road trip didn't mean 'food free for all.'  That's one lesson we can't seem to grasp.  It's like it's license to go batchit crazy.  We passed this sweet shop and of course had to stop because what was the likelihood we'd be back, right?  *rolling eyes*  We got a caramel, peanut butter ball and sea salt turtle...each.  We had some crap earlier in the day too and I was so disappointed in us that we essentially had 2 high cal days in a row.  Our punishment?  A late and brutal Atletica workout that burned just over 1000 calories.  It doesn't offset what my usual Sunday deficit is but it might give me a fighting chance this week on the scale.

What did you do this weekend?

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Weigh In

Down 2 this week. I'll take it!  The Mr lost 4!  Show off.

(I forgot to weigh in last week here, I was down 1 during power outage week)

We've got a road trip this weekend. What's on your agenda?

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Friday, July 13, 2012

Hello Tae Bo my old friend

(Anyone else got Simon and Garfunkel in their head now?  You should....because I do and I don't like songs stuck in my head without sharing the earworm)

We were doing Tae Bo last night and I thought of all Billy Boy (Blanks) and I have been through together.  We first started doing Tae Bo back in 1998.  When I lost my first chunk of weight (85 lbs.  You know before I gained it all back and then some) Tae Bo was our staple.  We basically just went back and forth between the basic and advanced VHS tapes (shut up) and maybe did a strength or two.

I was thinking about how I could anticipate the moves and such and it was so familiar.  How much easier it was for me now.  I used to not be able to do the squat kicks at the same time like he did, I had to do one or the other but I did last night.  I used to not be able to do the jumping jacks but my super duper sucker pants enabled me to do them without pulling a fat roll.  I used to dread this side/front kick combo that was preceded by this song that sounds like hammers and I would get a pit in my stomach.   Now it's one of my favorite moves.  (Side note:  why is it whenever an instructor says "if any of you know karate", dudes feel the need to morph into faux Bruce Lee and show off their highest kicks when you know they've pulled a groin muscle?)   We used to stop halfway through and declare ourselves done because we had to work up to the halfway point at our heaviest.  It amazes me that this is now one of our "easier" workouts in the scheme of things given how hard it used to be.  I got the chance to thank him 12 years ago in person for what he helped do for us then and literally the crowd parted when he said "come here" and gave me the biggest hug.

Tae Bo is one of those workouts I will likely always do at least a few times a month because of variety but also because it feels like an old friend.  One that is there for you in all forms whether it was our worst form or  our current best.  (3 more pounds and I'll finally be back to the weight I was when I lost it all with Tae Bo in the late 90's)  I'm thankful you're still around old friend.  I'll never ditch you for a newer cooler friend.

What workout/activity will you always have as part of your workout regimen regardless of its popularity?

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Pushing past exhaustion

The Mr and I have both noticed since we've gotten our power back this week that we are exhausted.  I mean like jet lag exhausted even though our bed times were actually an hour earlier during the outage and we got up at the same time.

My laziness and lack of motivation have lopped over into household chores.  I finally did dishes yesterday because I had no choice.  I've been itching to vacuum but can't bring myself to do it.  I've had a recipe I've wanted to put together and photograph all week and just can't seem to summon the energy to stand.  Ugh.

I really thought there was no way to power through last night's workout of HIIT 25 and Turbo Fire Sculpt 30.  It took everything in me to 'bring the intensity' for cardio and by the time we got to the band strength workout, I thought my arms were going to fall off.  If I could've gotten a free pass on the floor exercises to just lay on floor mat and sleep, I would've taken it.  Tonight is Tae Bo and I'm praying that come go time we don't have the same feeling of exhaustion we have all week because I just want to feel like I have energy to go full force tonight.  Actually we'll need to walk Friday to burn about 300 calories I need to hit my burn goal for the week.

How have you powered through your workouts when your energy/intensity level is in the toilet?  

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Farmers Market suggestions

I love farmers markets.  There's one in town that I really love that has some of the best radishes, lettuce and green onions.  Even though we have to drive a little further to get there, I don't mind because it feels like a good community market with people I want to support.

I tend to buy the same things at farmers markets though we did get some grass fed beef patties this last time and I'm looking to maybe buy bison next go round.  Anyone had it?  It's the same thing as buffalo to a degree, right?  Because I made buffalo burgers 10 years ago and it stunk up the house for 3 days.  Is that normal?

So I'm looking for suggestions.  What do you guys usually buy at farmers markets?  I want to buy some stuff outside of my "box" so to speak.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Our time in darkness

Sooo, here's some pics of our week long ordeal of how we welcomed July in our area.  Sunday to Sunday.  I went from reading about what a derecho was when the mid Atlantic got hit with one to living through one.  I didn't say I wanted to experience one, thanks.  It also happened at an awesome time when literally every single non bed bug hotel was booked for the holiday.  So we had no choice but to stay at first.  But then it became something else.  It was sticking around and defending our home and proving to ourselves that we could do it.  

When you walk outside after a land hurricane and see all of the lines on your street tilted and some down and then you kind of become a media spectacle, you know the news ain't gonna be good. They didn't give us any  ETA for a while then the next day it was "2-10 days."  Are you serious?  Did you spin a wheel of vague answers to come up with that one?
The next day we knew we needed to save what fridge stuff we could.  Yes, I saved brussels sprouts.  What?  So we got 2-3 coolers together and saved most of the fridge stuff and kept the bread in the empty fridge instead of on the counter because don't you know on day 3 is when the ants decided they were going to come in for a house party.  Thank God for Terro liquid ant baits because those babies stopped us from a full on infestation.


I cleaned the fridge top to bottom.  I know it needed done but jeez, a more subtle hint would've been fine.


It was way too hot to sleep in the bedroom so we got our air mattresses out of the camping box in the garage that hadn't been cracked open for over 10 years and slept in the basement.  Some nights we were actually cold so we needed light blankets.  I had on a little LED flashlight because it was DARK down there and the 80's station on the transistor radio.  (Look it up kids)  If I never hear Journey, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard and Alanis Morissette again, it'll be too soon but there really didn't need to be a power outage for me to feel like that.  Then when it was time to work out, we'd chuck the beds aside and workout for 30 minutes. It would feel like it was going to rain once we were done!


It topped 91 for quite a few days inside.  You kind of wanted storms to cool things down but then they would hold up progress so you weren't sure if you wanted to suffer or go out to the car for AC.  Did I mention our cell tower was down?


Some of our lifesavers were battery-operated fans we ordered from Amazon because all of the sporting goods stores were out, the radio I found, my camping clotheslines for day 7 when my shorts and tank tops were ready to be washed.


Our only source of entertainment and progress reports was driving up a few side streets to watch the workers do their job.  The Mr was home with me every day except Thursday and I don't know how I would've made it without him.  I wanted to make sure I kept the Mr's tummy happy and healthy so I made just about anything I made any day of the week on the grill from omelets...


...to chicken dogs and beans for the 4th of July.


Everyone on our street left so it was just us to defend the homesteads.  I guess the saying "know your neighbors so you can help each other during a natural disaster" didn't apply.  I'm sure they came home to some ecoli soup in the fridge.  So I would booby trap the window at night in case prowlers got any bright ideas and trust me, there were people we never saw in the neighborhood suddenly loitering around.  Mama bought a metal paddle for my stand up paddle training and I was going to beat the hell out of them if they tried to come in.


We battled many things.  Mother Nature and the worst heat wave of the season, ants, yellow jackets, stinky trash (thanks neighboring apartments who had an open dumpster!), a backed up dishwasher and ecoli stew from melted ice in our freezer on day 6.



There is this acclimation you go through when you're out that long.  The heat is bad, yes but you become so busy with chores you have to do to keep things running, ice from melting and checking on progress that you don't have time to do much else.  You also realize that as most people "suffered" for 2-3 days (which I'm not minimizing, I promise) that people forget about you.  The helicopters go away and people are setting off fire crackers and celebrating the holiday and you think "how dare you live your life while we're back here suffering!?"  It's the same thing we felt when my father in law died.  It was like "how can you laugh and go on with your vacation when we're losing someone we love?"  It won't make sense until you go through it and I hope no one has to.  You also realize you only have each other to get through it and you come out of it stronger and more loving than ever.  You exercise and eat right and feel like you can truly say we live a no excuses lifestyle where our health is concerned and that makes us proud.  You handle whatever is thrown at you together and conquer each thing with much less freak out than if you had power because it has to be done.  Period.  And when the lights finally do come back on as you're in the middle of watching Weird Science on the tablet, you are cautiously optimistic, high five and get to the work at hand of getting the fridge/freezer set, close the windows and run the fans then work the AC back into the mix because again, things need to be done.  This is something that had we not been campers, I don't think we would've been nearly as successful in getting through the ordeal.  I'm not talking cushy campers either.  I mean no electricity, washing dishes in the water fountain and going home reeking of campfire and sweat.  I am so grateful for that experience and never thought that it would help us get through a week long power outage 14 years after our last camping trip.  I thank God I didn't throw away that camping box like I was going to 2 weeks ago!  I just ask if we ever have to go through this again it's in the winter so I can use some snow as my freezer and cuddle up under blankies in front of the gas fireplace.  (Yep, the switch still works without electricity...we checked!)

Are you a camper?  Would you prefer a summer or winter power outage?  
(Edit:  You can't pick spring or fall you wimps!  :-)  It has to be one extreme or the other since WE didn't have the choice.)

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Monday, July 9, 2012

Let there be light

and A/C!

I am still gathering my thoughts on this ordeal and yes, it was an ordeal.  One week with no power and having no one to rely on but ourselves but it's always been me and the Mr against the world.  Just makes me love him more.  I have a lot of pics to gather, resize and prep for tomorrow's post. I am so thankful for everyone who emailed or left supportive comments.  Thank you for sending your vibes our way.

I must say that right now, I am the most proud of us maintaining our lifestyle in the worst of conditions.  I made some amazing meals on the grill.  From a ham, cheese and caramelized onion omelet to bbq salmon to cheese stuffed chicken burgers to egg muffin sandwiches...I told the Mr "I got the memo we were out but not the one that said we had to suffer."  We did a workout every night we usually had one scheduled.  Granted they were shorter so we didn't keel or make it rain in the basement from the combo of our humidity and sweat.  (We literally melted ice quicker when we worked out!!)  But they were effective enough for me to still lose a pound last week.

I cannot begin to tell you the pride we both feel in the accomplishing that.  100+ degrees, doing what needed to be done to not let our home fall prey to Mother Nature (in more ways than one if ya get my drift) but nothing beat knowing that we didn't use those things that 98% of people would consider a free pass to bow out of exercise.

I will get a better post together for you tomorrow.  Thanks for coming back!  I've missed you guys!

What's made you proud of yourself lately?

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Friday, July 6, 2012

Quick update

Just a quick update. We still don't have power, over 100 degrees and we have been hanging in. I am a modern day pioneer goddess. I've got 2 words for you...grilled croissants. Yep. I have discovered there is nothing I can't bust out on the grill! I thank you for your thoughts and prayers as we trudge through this. On a health related note, we haven't missed a single workout! They are smaller in scale so we don't croak but still effective and I'm pretty proud of us. I hope to be back to it next week? Fingers crossed. ====================
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Monday, July 2, 2012

The No Power Diet

So I'm sitting there reading about all of these poor people who had their electricity knocked out in a big storm the beginning of the weekend and felt horrible given how hot it was supposed to be. Friends are without any real way to communicate and projections topping over a week in some areas I was just about to offer up a couch if someone wanted to drive when Mother Nature reared her head our way as well.

Um, sorry. We're gonna need those couch cushions in the basement because guess what? It's the tail end of a holiday weekend where the holiday falls mid-week and therefore no hotel rooms are available. All of my family is out and well basically the entire city is an exercise in frustration. It is alien to me that people so quickly give up on the food in their fridge. We immediately went into operation food save. The freezer is basically a cooler unto itself and is doing fine. The fridge? Well, we had to pick what we were going to save and I'm glad to say we saved a lot. We have been given no ETA for when we're going to have power and it's 100 degrees right now. Balls.

So I'm working off wifi in a parking lot to bring you guys this post...

The Mr says he apologizes for the bad cell pic.  I think it's fine.  Gets the point across
I'd like to ask for some good vibes sent this way because I'm friggin' hot. We're in a pretty devastated part of town where there was a micro-burst, massive damage and our community is basically cut off from the rest of the world. It's kind of creepy. I've been taking pics but don't have the battery power to edit them right now. I feel like I'm in a bad action flick or one of those post alien attack films where there are a couple hundred people left to fend for themselves. More than half of our neighbors left. I don't know where they are but it kind of makes us feel like we're defending our home. I can't quite describe it without sounding overly dramatic but parts of it have been scary.

I'm sad to report the Mr's beloved bird fledglings were casualties. They were no match for the high winds. I felt horrible for him. We named them post mortem...Poofy, Henrietta and Petey. You don't want to know why we named the last one Petey. Let's just say Dumb and Dumber and leave it at that.

Workouts will continue in the dark. Yep, the dark. We have 2 workouts on his tablet, free weights, a water rower and step. It'll be awkward but it'll get done. I have already proven that no power doesn't mean suffering on the food front as we had grilled pepper corn cheese stuffed chicken burgers on asiago bread halves, no salt tortilla chips with chipotle hummus. Damn straight I saved the hummus! I made corn/black bean salad so we can have something balanced as a side with dinners this week. Tonight will likely be mahi fish tacos and that salad.

I won't be able to check on here as much during the day so I can save power so please be patient with me this week until we have juice again. I will say there is something about being in this situation that makes us want to eat every bad thing out there. (Like Nutty Bars and Dark Chocolate Snickers) We somehow feel "entitled." There are going to be a lot of food demons being slayed this week. Pray we stay strong on all fronts!

Have you ever been without power? What time of year? How did you pass the time?

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