Sep 082015

The original plan for Labor Day weekend was for us to go to Seattle and spend time with friends and see Faith No More at Bumbershoot. In the end I ended up staying home and Michael went to Seattle. I was torn and wanted to see our friends, but I knew that sitting in a car in holiday traffic for 4+ hours was not a good idea for my back. While my back is much better, sitting for long periods of time is not good. I was bummed to be missing out on the fun, but it gave me a chance to get some stuff done at home.


I started my day with the gym:


Then Bella and I hit the road to meet my friend Erika at Laurelhurst Park (where I recently ran my 5k!) for lunch and a walk. Bella sniffing me as we sit at a very long light (she gets antsy when we just sit):


It was a slightly chilly day but we found a picnic bench and ate lunch and talked. While we ate lunch it drizzled on us a teeny bit, but it wasn’t too bad. The park was full of people playing, having BBQ’s and birthday parties and there was even a wedding about to take place!


I’d been craving pasta salad lately so that’s what I made for my lunch. Bowtie high-fiber pasta with chopped carrots, black olives, red peppers, tomatoes from my garden and Trader Joe’s Tuscan Italian dressing. I had a string cheese and a plum with the salad. After lunch we walked around the park for a bit, saw this guy practicing tight rope walking:


And then walked around the neighborhood. I found my new house:

I bet that house has a library in it! ūüėÄ We finished up our neighborhood walk and said our goodbyes and it was just in time, too, because it started to downpour! When I got home I got set baking chocolate zucchini bread.


Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes



  • ¬ĺ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil, plus more for greasing loaf pan
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • ¬ľ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1¬ľ tsp. baking soda
  • 1¬Ĺ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¬ľ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1¬Ĺ cups finely shredded zucchini (about 2 medium zucchinis)
  • ¬Ĺ cup semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9x5 loaf pan with coconut oil and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, 2 tbsp. coconut oil, eggs, applesauce and vanilla extract. Whisk together until well-blended.
  4. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt and stir to combine, taking care not to over-stir.
  5. Add the shredded zucchini and chocolate chips and fold into the mixture until well-blended.
  6. Pour the mixture into the greased loaf pan and spread evenly.
  7. Place in the oven and bake for 50-65 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick comes out clean from the center of the loaf.
  8. Remove the pan from the oven and let rest in for 10 minutes. If desired, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

I liked healthier options for baking things like this. I would have liked to find one that used less sugar, but 3/4 cup of sugar was the least amount of sugar I was able to find in a recipe. I also love using applesauce in baking recipes! It makes the bread moist and fluffy in my opinion. I actually made 4 mini loaves of bread in my mini loaf pan.

The house smelled amazing as the bread baked! Yum yum. I gave one mini loaf to a friend and I froze two of the loaves for later. I carved into the last one for dessert!


It was SO good. Spongy and moist, slightly sweet but not overly so and just plain delicious. I loved this recipe. It’s a keeper!


Sunday was elliptical and yoga time. Then I came home and got lunch ready for Bella’s foster mom who was coming over for a visit. Lunch was cheese and crackers (smoked gouda and pepper jack), cantaloupe, pasta salad, salami and tomatoes. Then some zucchini bread for dessert.


She brought her dog, Kona, so the two pups could race around the yard and play. It was so cute to watch them! Bella LOVES her mama Jen. She gets so excited and spazzy when she sees her. It’s amazing to watch.




Bella was in HEAVEN. The dogs raced in the yard, Bella had zoomies for hours, she was so freakin’ happy! The dogs played for a few hours, we had lunch and chatted and Jen had some ideas for Bella’s latest issue. Jen has done some dog training courses and she’s seriously like the dog whisperer. We’ll see how things go. We have some good ideas on things to try for Bella.

After they left, Bella sat in the window kind of bummed–missing her buddies. Then I got to making tomato soup from the tomatoes from my garden. First I roasted the tomatoes with onions and garlic. Then I cooked it all down for a few hours. I used this recipe.


I used the recipe as a base. I let the roasted tomatoes, onions, garlic simmer for a few hours, stirring occasionally. It thickened up and I used my immersion blender (I LOVE that thing!) to mix everything up until it was smooth and creamy (and didn’t have to remove the skins because it all blended up nicely. I added salt, pepper, seasonings, some vegetable broth, tomato paste and mixed it again. Then added a few pinches of sugar.


Let it simmer a little longer and then put the tomato soup into freezer containers for this winter. I can’t wait to have this soup! When I defrost it I will probably experiment with adding some cream to it and it may need more tomato paste once I reheat it. We’ll see. It tastes good though!



Got two 42 ounce plastic tubs of tomato soup (for freezing) and a small tupperware full for my lunch one day this week. How was your holiday?


Jun 032015

…And back on the plan!

Honestly I didn’t do too bad on my vacation in Arizona. We were doing a LOT of walking the entire time and I still worked out. I used the hotel gym twice, I swam once and we went for a hike. Most days we didn’t eat three meals. Which is typical when I’m on vacation. I usually just eat breakfast and dinner, or brunch and a snack.

I tried to make good choices when we did eat out, choosing vegetables and salads whenever possible. I knew that the portions would be much bigger than what I was used to. I also knew that a lot of my calories would be coming from booze. I tried to limit that as well to 3 glasses of whatever it was for the day.

When I got back I weighed myself. I was up about 1.5 pounds. Which was disappointing for sure, but I’m not beating myself up because I knew that I might gain some back on vacation. Anyways, I’m back at it and hopefully will make some progress soon.

Day One

Breakfast: 2 fried eggs, piece of toast with jalapeno jam and coffee with creamer. Calories: 345

Snack: Sliced pear. Calories: 57

Lunch: Applesauce, 1 ham and cheese wrap and 1 turkey and cheese wrap with a little mayo and mustard, spinach and kale and Craisins. No bread (just wrapped everything up in the meat). Two mini Tootsie rolls. Calories: 255

Snack: Guacamole and celery for pre-gym snack. Calories: 109

Dinner: Brussels Sprouts, baked lemon and dill salmon, some tortilla chips (I was craving SALT!). Calories: 584


Dessert: 2 small pieces of chocolate. Calories: 180

Fitness: Back at the gym. Weight lifting, PT exercises, ran on the treadmill, also did a lot of walking on my breaks at work.


It felt REALLY good to get back into the routine right after vacation. It also felt good to eat fruits and veggies!


Day Two

Breakfast: 2 fried eggs, piece of toast with jalapeno jam and coffee with creamer. Calories: 345

Snack: Applesauce. Calories: 50

Lunch: Lentil and Roasted Red Pepper soup. There was a potluck at work for two retirements so I munched on some fruit and crackers and tried not to partake in the cake and other junk (that look REALLY tasty). Calories: Around 279

Snack: I ended up having a little bite of some potluck treats. Calories: about 100

Dinner: I baked some tilapia and topped it with mango peach salsa, steamed some green beans and had rice. Dinner was delicious! Calories: 448

Dessert: Strawberries and some chocolate. Calories: 142

Despite eating some potluck munchies, I did really well. It was a rest day so only walking for me.


Day Three

Breakfast: 2 fried eggs with hot sauce, English muffin toasted with cinnamon and Splenda, unsweetened iced tea and coffee with creamer. Calories: 338

Snack: Baby carrots and a Laughing Cow Swiss cheese wedge. Calories: 52

Lunch: Sliced apple wrapped in cheese and ham and turkey.  I also had some cashews. Calories: 294


Snack: Plain Greek yogurt with sliced strawberries and a tootsie roll. Calories: 164

Dinner: Michael made burgers. I had mine on a toasted sandwich thin with the light Sargento cheese slice, a little bit of mayo, mustard, lettuce and pickles. I also had some Trader Joe’s tots. Plus 2 glasses of wine. Calories: 892


Dessert: Strawberries and a piece of chocolate. Calories: 118

Fitness: Swim! Swam 2000 yards in 45 minutes. Burned around 300. Also did some walking during my lunch break and we walked Bella after dinner.

I’d call this day a fail. I could have skipped the tots and saved myself 200 calories. But I wanted them. I could have stuck with 1 glass of wine but I wanted the second. I struggled. Sure I didn’t go too crazy over my calories but…I still did. :(

Day Four

Breakfast: I sauteed some chopped broccoli in veggie broth, let the broth evaporate and then scrambled 2 eggs into them with green onion. Then I topped it with hot sauce and had cottage cheese with it. It was really delicious! Coffee with creamer and EmergenC drink. Calories: 348


Lunch: Ham and cheese sandwich on a sandwich thin. Goldfish crackers. Calories: 418

Snack: Luna protein bar. Calories: 90

Dinner: Papa Murphy’s DeLite pizza with a salad and wine. Calories: 910


Dessert: Strawberries and chocolate. Calories: 118

Fitness: Went for a hike and burned 867 calories!


Day Five

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with spicy pork sausage in a small corn tortilla with cottage cheese and hot sauce. Unsweetened iced tea and coffee with creamer. Calories: 392


Lunch: Roasted red pepper and lentil vegetable soup with some goldfish crackers. Calories: 337

Dinner: We had a garden party and two couples came over. They each brought a salad (a homemade Caesar salad with a sliced egg on top and a yummy kale salad). I did baked beans and Michael grilled up chicken drumsticks with BBQ sauce. There was some cider shared, some wine drunk…yeah I overdid it. Calories: 1146


Dessert: A friend brought over angel food cake (I sliced a small piece) and strawberries and it was a much healthier and lower calorie option for dessert. It was perfect! Calories: 172

Fitness: Went to the gym. Warmed up on the spin bike, then did weights followed by the elliptical. Also did some gardening and took Bella for a walk. It was a very active day and my body felt tired and sore from the busy weekend and the hike on Saturday!


I went over my calories. Dinner was pretty healthy but it was the portions and the liquid calories that got me!


Day Six

Breakfast: Toasted English muffin with cinnamon and splenda, Chocolate whey protein shake, coffee with creamer. Calories: 298

Snack: Unsweetened applesauce. Calories: 50

Lunch: Leftover rice, kale salad and some chips.  Calories: 281


Snack: I didn’t eat enough protein this day I think. I was kind of hungry most of the day. For a snack I had some Buddha Skinny Tea. Calories: 0

Dinner: Leftover chicken drumstricks, steamed green beans, cottage cheese and some crackers (not shown) while dinner was cooking. Calories: 418


Dessert: Strawberries and some chocolate. Calories: 212


Day Seven

Breakfast: 2 fried eggs, English muffin with cinnamon and splenda, unsweetened iced tea, coffee with creamer. Calories: 338

Snack: Applesauce. Calories: 50

Lunch: Miso soup with green onions and steamed Chicken Shu Mai dumplings. Calories: 205


Snack: Guacamole and baby carrots. Calories: 109

Dinner: Steamed broccoli with a little Goddess dressing, a bratwurst with mustard and sauerkraut, quinoa. Calories: 693


Dessert: Strawberries and some chocolate. Calories: 140

Fitness: Weight lifting, PT exercises and the elliptical at the gym.

Here are my stats for the day:

It was a pretty good day all in all. I’m going to weigh myself next week and keep doing what I’m doing and hopefully I’ll see some of the vacation weight gone.