Nov 172014
 

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With bronchitis!

That’s how I spent my weekend. Not on the plan, at all, and as per usual, poor timing universe. I was feeling kind of rundown all week but it wasn’t until Thursday that I started to really feel sick. Friday I went to the doctor and yep, bronchitis. Sadly, there wasn’t much I could do about it. My doctor said that if I didn’t improve in a few days that it might be bacterial and he’d give me antibiotics. So time will tell.

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I basically spent the entire weekend on the couch or in bed. The one good thing about being sick is that the animals are excellent nursemaids. Both Bella and Fat Kitty snuggled and kept me company while I coughed up a lung.

The beasts also helped me watch TV. :) So I realize that I am like 14 years behind on the times but I started watching Gilmore Girls. It’s streaming on Netflix and with Chromecast I can watch it on the TV in the living room or the bedroom instead of the computer (it’s a cheap option and works well). So many people talk about this show–STILL–and I never watched it when it was on TV so I thought I’d give it a try. And I got hooked. It’s a good show. It’s sometimes silly but really charming.

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The writing is pretty good and funny, I love that Melissa McCarthy is in it (I had no idea she was on this show). I go back and forth loving the relationship between mother and daughter and being annoyed by the codependency but overall I love the show.

Dinner Saturday night was soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. I was craving comfort food and I’d been eating soup for several days. We had some white bread in the freezer from the last time Michael made his famous mac n’ cheese (we rarely have bread in the house and when we do it’s the gluten free stuff from Costco) so I made the sandwich with that and it was AMAZING. Grilled cheese on cheap white bread is the best.

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Saturday night I actually got some okay sleep and wasn’t coughing the entire time like Friday night. But that’s where the good news ended.

Sunday I started to feel worse instead of better–but not with bronchitis symptoms. I ended up spending most of Sunday in bed napping on and off because of vertigo. I have no idea where that came from but I had waves of nausea all day with brief moments of feeling like I was almost okay. It sucked! But at least I wasn’t coughing uncontrollably like I was on Friday. I called the advice nurse and she had no idea. “Eat saltines and drink water.” Um, great. We ruled out pregnancy and ebola. :P But still, no diagnosis for Sunday’s misery. The only thing I could really eat was diet ginger ale, ginger candies and toasted bagels. I would not say it was a fun day. But hey, I got to season 2 of Gilmore Girls…..

I’m really hoping this over with soon because I am getting restless and sick of being in bed or on the couch. I’m also starting to get antsy because I was finally making progress on the scale and as of today I haven’t been to the gym since last Wednesday. I guess the only upside to that is that I’ve had zero appetite since then. But truthfully, I am irritated because I was getting into the swing of things; I was back to running consistently and getting a little bit faster AND I went up in weight on some of the kettlebells I was using at the Warrior Room. All that progress and now I have to go back to where I was before. Dammit!

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Oct 282014
 

Goodbye summer!

Fall is here. We were soaking up the sun in Hawaii when Fall officially arrived to the NW. We got back to cooler temperatures, leaves turning colors and pumpkin everything. It seemed too soon and out of place. But after a week or so of being home, I started to settle in and welcome the coming autumn weather. Cozy sweaters, fires in the fireplace, hot tea, and soup.

from http://livinginportlandor.blogspot.com/

from http://livinginportlandor.blogspot.com/

I found this recipe somewhere…it’s not a blog I’ve ever read and I honestly don’t know what search I did that brought me to it but once I found it I thought, I need to make this! I knew Michael would love it. He’s a huge fan of spinach and wants to eat more of it. I have not-so-fond memories of cooked spinach from my childhood. In fact, they were so horrible that I never ate spinach again until I met Michael. I remember we were first dating and he made me this Greek scrambled egg breakfast with spinach in it and I wrinkled my nose and said “I hate spinach.”

Lo and behold, I didn’t hate spinach. I just hated the frozen spinach slop defrosted in a microwave and used as a side dish at dinner. Ever since then I’ve found that I actually quite like it and it went GREAT in this recipe. It was one of the highlights I think.

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I cooked the veggies in a skillet and heat the tomatoes and broth in a separate stockpot. It’s actually a wedding gift! Le Creuset stock pot from Michael’s coworkers. Very generous gift that we will use often. This was the maiden voyage of said pot.

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So I cooked the onions, carrots and celery separately and then added that to the stockpot of broth. The recipe was vegetarian but had options to make it not vegetarian. I didn’t have vegetable broth so I used about 1 cup of leftover beef broth and the rest was chicken broth. I had some leftover hamburger meat I needed to cook up so we browned that in the skillet with the garlic and then added that to the pot, too. I’d say it was roughly about the amount you’d use for one hamburger. It wasn’t much and I wish it had been a little more.

Here is the recipe:

ITALIAN ORZO SPINACH SOUP

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 4-6

Calories per serving: 300-400 calories depending on servings

From: http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/italian-orzo-spinach-soup-recipe/

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups (about 8 ounces) DeLallo whole wheat orzo pasta, or other whole wheat pasta
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 4 cups loosely-packed spinach
  • salt and black pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute for 4 minutes, until soft. Add carrots, celery and garlic and saute for an additional 3 minutes. Add chicken stock, tomatoes, orzo (pasta), thyme, oregano, rosemary and stir to combine.
  2. Bring soup to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente.
  4. Stir in the spinach and cook for 1-2 minutes until it is bright green and wilted.
  5. Season with salt and black pepper to taste (if needed). Serve warm.
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=44645

I’ve never had orzo before (shocking) and I liked it a lot! Kind of a cross between brown rice and tiny pasta…I got roughly 7 servings out of this recipe. I topped the soup with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

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Michael said it was okay; I liked the recipe a lot but I’d make one change: I’d use spicy ground pork in it. I think the spice would go great with the rest of the flavors.

So while the evening darkened outside and we settled in to watch The Walking Dead, we ate our soup and felt it warm us from the inside. I love soup weather! We shared a few glasses of a sweet, smooth Malbec wine and it went perfectly with the soup.

I had some leftovers that I ate for lunch during the week. It was less soupy then because the orzo soaked up most of the broth. Despite that, it was still really tasty and it might even have been better the next day. I liked this dinner and would make it again. I’d probably also make some biscuits to go with it. Perfect fall meal for not many calories!

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