Monday, April 15, 2013

Yup, 10 pounds

You read that right, 10 pounds! Well... For today anyway. I actually came down with a terrible stomach flu on Thursday night. I didn't eat anything real until Sunday. And that, my friends is how you do it. 
I think that weight loss should be permanent. Kind of like a reward for my pain and suffering, you know?  I'm realistic enough to know that it will likely all be right back on me by tomorrow. But I'm holding out hope. 
Truly though, I'm trying to look at the bright side of this. I am not as hungry as I usually am. I am more satisfied with smaller portions.  I haven't even been dying for sweets like usual. It would seem this 3-day detox, if you will, did everything I can't seem to accomplish on my own.  So, I know it sounds crazy but I am thinking this could be a jump start for me. I'm trying to pay more attention to my body, and listen to if I am really hungry and what kind of nourishment I need instead of just eating jellybeans because I have some and they're delicious. You know?  I know you know. 
I'm not exactly hopeful this will work. We've all been here after praying to the porcelain gods and all. But, I vowed that I would speak honestly on my blog so there it is.  I'm turning my stomach flu into something good. Laugh all you want. 
P.S. my apologies that this post isn't anything pretty to look at. I haven't seen anything worth sharing lately!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Game Night Dip

My friends and I planned a game night for last Friday.  Best. Idea. Ever.  We had the great time and laughed harder than we have in a long time.  We each brought some munchies to enjoy and then went crazy with catch phrase.  I'm going to share my dip "recipe" now.  It's not so much a recipe as instructions for how to make it.  I seem to be good at imprecise recipes.  So, here it is.

I made a double batch in a 9x13 pan, but usually do a single batch in a 9" pie plate.  This dip probably has a real name, we usually call it "the raspberry salsa dip".  As you'll soon discover, this particular batch has no raspberry salsa.  Minor detail.  That stuff is IMPOSSIBLE to find.  Hence the new name: game night dip.

Ingredients (for a single recipe):
8 oz cream cheese SOFTENED
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
Chopped red onion, to taste
1 jar sweet salsa
Shredded cheddar cheese
I didn't give amounts for everything because it kind of depends on your taste! 

Spread softened cream cheese evenly in dish
Sprinkle on some diced onion
Next comes the beans

This is the salsa I used.  Found at the Walmart. 
Pour on the salsa and spread evenly.  I used 1 1/2 jars for this pan
Sprinkle on some cheese.  I used the Mexican blend because that's what I buy at Sam's club.  This is about 2 cups.
Bake at 350 until hot and bubbly! About 20-30 minutes.  Serve with tortilla chips.

I'm not gonna lie.. My crew thought this was a weird recipe and weren't sure about it, but in the end it received a thumbs up!

And now, a moment of time shared from game night.  Please excuse the poor quality as I tried out the panorama feature on my phone.
Everyone should be so lucky to have people like this in their lives.
Enjoy this gorgeous weather while it lasts!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Spring Break (so far) in Pictures

So far spring break has been AMAZING!  My nephew was here for a few days all by himself last week, which is always a wonderful treat.  The day after he arrived we received 18" of snow. In 24 hrs.  It was beautiful and even earned me a snow day!

So pretty!
My good friend invited us to come sledding.  They live out in the country and hook an old satellite dish to the back of the 4-wheeler and have a ball.  Carson really had fun and I think he could have stayed out there all day!  

Thank you, Nick!!
After a few days, Brooke came to join her big brother.  We saw "The Croods" movie and it was ADORABLE.  We also took a drive through deer park, had pretend picnics outside (the snow melted super fast) and skipped nap time every day.  
Love these eyelashes.  

We wrapped up a wonderful weekend with a FANTASTIC church service followed by brunch at Granny's.  
My loves in their Easter Sunday best!

I've been spending some time doing some spring cleaning this week.  I got my hair done, and got some baby-loving time with my friend's twin baby girls.  I've spent plenty of time being lazy, and catching up with friends too.  Of course, I've had a couple projects going on too so I'll update on those soon! 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Sleeping in Workout Clothes...

So, I'm just going to own it... It takes talent to eat this terribly for so many consecutive days.  Seriously, if I weren't so ashamed of myself I might be a slightly impressed by how much crap food my body can tolerate.  Part of the problem is that I have only been to the grocery store once this month.  On the first.  It's the 22nd.  That's a problem.  Instead, I've been using it as an excuse to eat out.  The reality of the situation is that I still have plenty of healthy options I could fix- I have just chosen not to.  Did I mention I just got home from having pizza out with friends?  Yup, and it was delicious.

In a small attempt to counteract my lack of diet, I've been trying to get back on the exercise wagon.  After the new year began my friend and I decided to purchase the Jillian Michaels Body Revolution.

The key to my success

We are both pretty out of shape and may or may not have underestimated how harsh Jillian can be.  Now, you may recall that I do watch the Biggest Loser so there's no excuse for my mistake.   I already know she's a bit crazy.  We started off strong and put in a solid 8 weeks before our lack of fitness really caught up to us.  At the same time, her parents went out of town for the month which left her without childcare, thereby eliminating our usual after school routine.  The nerve!  My extremely sore muscles were thankful for the break.

So, after about 3 weeks of laziness I decided I need to find the motivation and get back to work.  I feel like I should explain that 9 times out of 10 when we got together I said we should skip and she said we had to do it.  Turns out, I really don't push myself all that well.  Back to the point... I decided I needed to do a before work morning exercise routine.  Here's how it went down: Sunday night I slept TERRIBLY and reset my alarm sometime around 3am. No workout Monday.  Monday night I tried again and actually woke up with the alarm! I did not, however, get out of bed.  No workout Tuesday.  Wednesday morning and Thursday morning were a success!  My trick?  I HAVE to sleep in my workout clothes and keep my shoes by the side of my bed. It's kind of pathetic but it's the only trick I have and it seems to be working for me.

In other news, I have decided to take up gardening this summer.  A few of my dear friends and I are all trying to figure this out together.  I love taking on new challenges with friends.  At least we'll all have fun if we aren't successful.  My little sister, Katy, has been a HUGE help in this arena.  Sometimes she's a tad too smart and I have no idea what she's talking about, but she is so patient with my silly questions.  I planted my first round of seeds on Tuesday and I already have sprouts! Surely growing my own vegetables is the secret to eating healthy... Right?!

Lettuce seeds sprouting 
P.S.  I did not work out this morning (Friday).  My small group from church meets on Thursday nights. I treasure my time with these people and have decided that I won't rush away to get to bed early enough to wake up for a workout.  Friday will be my morning of rest.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Mexican Lasagna

Well I have kind of been sucking at this diet thing for the last several days (which is, coincidentally, also why I haven't been blogging).  So, I took to Pinterest and found some new recipes to try and was reminded of some old favorites!  Saturday morning I made a meal plan for the week and took to the grocery store...

Last night was some delicious spaghetti squash.  If you haven't tried this stuff yet, you're missing out!  Maybe I'll do a post on that in the future. But, first...  On the menu tonight was Mexican Lasagna.  I haven't made this stuff in YEARS and forgot just how yummy (and easy) it is.

1lb ground beef
1 package of taco seasoning
3 large low carb tortillas
Shredded cheese (I used mexican and shredded some salsa jack on the top) 
Taco sauce (I like medium heat)
Diced onions
Sliced black olives

Brown, drain, and rinse ground beef.  Prepare according to instructions on taco seasoning packet. I just used a pan that's about equivalent to a 9x9 but it's a weird sized rectangle.  Spray with cooking spray.  Pour some taco sauce on the bottom to keep it from sticking and to keep it from being too dry!

 Cut the tortillas into thick strips (think lasagna noodles) and layer on top of the sauce.  This is the point where my friend dropped by and I got caught up in talking with her and forgot to keep taking pictures.  I'm confident you can take it from here!

 On top of the tortillas layer 1/3 of the meat, cheese, olives, and onions to taste.  Next add tortillas and layer again until you have 3 layers of meat!  Top with cheese and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes until bubbly on the sides and hot in the middle. 

Notes: You can really alter this recipe to be whatever you want it to be!  I left the quantities pretty open because I think it's a personal taste thing for how much cheese, onions, and olives to include.  You could also add jalepenos, tomatoes, or whatever else sounds good!   I also served mine with a bit of sour cream (no carbs, woot woot). 

 I prefer the mission brand carb balance tortillas.  They vary in carb count by size, of course, but they taste pretty normal and are soft and yummy!  Metabolism Miracle figures carbs by subtracting dietary fiber from total carbohydrates. The ones I used were 5g/ tortilla so the whole dish had 15g of carbs.  Awesome! 

I'm so excited for tomorrow night when my friend Sara comes over! We've been friends since high school and she is simply AMAZING.  I will be introducing her to mashed cauliflower.  Well, that's assuming she hasn't ever tried it before!  Until next time...

P.S. I've heard that comments weren't working so if someone would be so kind as to give it a try, that would be great!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Slow and Steady...

It's a life lesson we learn early in our lives... Slow and steady wins the race.  When it comes to weight loss, slow and steady sounds like a load of crap!  We all want to be slim and trim by tomorrow.  Or at least next month.  That's not asking too much, is it?!  This just doesn't seem to be the route I'm on here.  I'm currently hovering right around 20 pounds lost, and have been since Christmas.  Please ignore that it's March and I'm still blaming it on the holidays. So according to the app on my phone I am averaging .5 pounds a week.  Half a pound is not terribly impressive.
On top of that, I have taken to watching The Biggest Loser again this season.  I torture myself by watching these girls (who now weigh less than me) lost 6 or 10 pounds IN A WEEK!  Now I do understand the difference in our situations and I understand that weight loss like that is not a realistic expectation.  Of course, that doesn't stop me from wishing for it!
I did lose 1.4 pounds this week.  Yes, I count the "." and actually find it to be extremely important for my morale sometimes.  I am working hard to have a bit of a mental shift.  I'm trying to embrace the "slow and steady" mentality and acknowledge that any amount is hard earned and something to be proud of!
Speaking of slow and steady... I love to cook.  It's not generally anything very exciting, but it does usually taste super yummy!  My Mom and Dad just returned from a work trip to Wisconsin.  My souvenir was lots of cheese- the perfect addition to a low carb diet.  Very yummy cheese, might I add!  Thanks Mom & Dad! 
I have also discovered a tasty low carb bread- not necessarily an easy task.  Most of them are super dry and not especially tasty.  I had been eating some made by Wonder and we all know that the economy got the better of that company and that bread is no longer.  Now I eat this Sara Lee bread...
I don't know why this pic is sideways and can't figure out how to fix it!

Put these together with a couple slices of bacon and I had the most delicious grilled cheese for 14g of carbs.  Delicious lunch!  As with weight loss, the key to a fantastic gooey grilled cheese?  Slow and steady!  Who knew grilled cheese could mirror real life so closely! :-)
Now I will go spend the rest of my day off remembering how much I love Casmir Pulaski and maybe I'll even figure out what he did to give me this day off!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Going Public

I've decided to go public with something I usually keep private... My weight loss journey. I've always convinced myself that if I don't point it out no one will notice that I'm overweight. Who do I think I'm kidding?! So, there it is... Whew, what a relief to get my secret out there for the world to see.
In all seriousness, this is a battle I've been fighting nearly all my life with little success and lots of frustration.  I have all the tools I need.   I know what I am supposed to do. I just don't do it. I am hoping this will be an outlet for me to share my thoughts and hopefully gain your support. I will admit that I am incredibly nervous about sharing myself through this blog. It's embarrassing in some ways but empowering in others. So, I ask that you check in on me regularly and share some encouragement if you feel inclined!
To kick off this new side to my (previously neglected) blog I will share a recipe from my experiment today, but first a little back story. This summer I discovered a book called "The Metabolism Miracle". The name didn't do much to grab my attention but the content did. I won't go into details (unless you want them) but it seemed like a perfect fit. In its simplest form it's a version of a low carb diet and has worked wonderfully for me when I've been committed. One thing I love I that I can eat peanut butter. This, of course, does not allow me to eat the delicacy that is (sugar-filled) Peter Pan. It does allow for "all natural".  Let me just say, it's not the same.... So today I took it upon myself to make some peanut butter of my own!  Seriously folks, this stuff is pretty darn good!  I did some research to find a recipe and ingredients that would work for me and can't complain about the end result.
Ok, so I just spent 30 min trying to add a pic from my iPad with no luck so... Just imagine it. It looks like peanut butter in a glass jar!
Here's how I made it...
Roast 2 cups of peanuts on a baking sheet at 350 for 6-8 min. Shake the pan every couple of minutes so they don't burn. Let the peanuts cool. Toss the cooled peanuts and 1 1/2 tsp of coconut oil into the food processor. Let it rip for 2 or 3 minutes and then scrape the sides and bottom with a spatula.  I added a bit of Splenda and a tiny bit of salt to taste and then pulverized it til it was super smooth.  Store in an air tight container for up to a month in the refrigerator.
Let mBe know if anyone tries it out or if you have questions and I'll offer any advice I can.
Now for a super important question... Jif or Peter Pan?