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Lavish & Lovely

Our weekend started pretty well. Daycare had a “date night” for parents and held a Halloween party for the kiddos so Michael and I got to go out to dinner just us. I think the last date night at daycare was back in June. Michael made the reservations for Laurelhurst Market a month ago and we were both really excited!

The place was packed. Glad we had reservations! We had a drink in the bar area while we waited for our table. The wait wasn’t very long. It was a cool space. We’ve been to Laurelhurst Market a few times but it’s been years for me. So this was a nice treat.

Laurelhurst Market is a very nice restaurant with a meat market attached to it. One of these days I’d like to get some stuff from the market.

Okay–the food. SO GOOD! We started with a few appetizers. The first was the bone marrow. Michael has been raving about it–he had it a few months ago when he was there for a work dinner and has been talking about it ever since. I’ve never had it before.

It arrived on a plate with a horseradish sauce (I usually hate horseradish but this was really good). It also came with a pretzel cut in half to share. The bone marrow was in the bone and there were some pickled radishes and celery on the side.

You used a tiny fork to get the bone marrow out and spread it on the pretzels. The flavor was really rich. If it sounds creepy, I understand and I can see where someone would be apprehensive. But it wasn’t creepy. It wasn’t amazing, but it was flavorful and went well with the other things on the plate.

The winner for me was the deviled egg appetizers. They were topped with thin slices of prosciutto. These babies were soooo good and I could have eaten a dozen of them.

I got a second glass of the delicious Sauvignon Blanc wine and then our entrees arrived

Michael got the Rib Eye steak with avocado puree and cowboy candy (I love cowboy candy!). I had a few bites of his steak and it was fantastic. Perfectly seared with a little crunch and rare in the middle. The flavors were outstanding.

I got the seared scallops. It came with raw fennel and caramelized onions, plus an egg yolk that you were supposed to swirl around in everything on the plate to kind of “cook” it. So the menu had said the dish came with some sausage. I kind of forgot about it and then realized that they made the sausage to look exactly like the scallops!

So there were two “scallops” in there that were actually sausage. The (real) scallops were absolutely perfect. I love scallops and haven’t had them in ages. So this was a really great dish for me. I loved my meal. It was so unique. I also had Brussels Sprouts on the side.

The sprouts were sautéed and a little crispy with jalapeños, maple syrup and radishes on top. It was slightly too sweet but I still loved the sprouts.

After our meal, we had some time before we had to pick up Logan from the party so we stopped at Papa Haydn’s to get some dessert to go. It was that time of year–pumpkin pie cheesecake! I really wanted to get that but Michael wasn’t into the idea (his loss). Boo! We ended up with a slice of New York cheesecake to go.

How good do these desserts look, though? Yum!

Our cheesecake was amazing, as usual. Papa Haydn’s never disappoints.

We picked up a very sleepy Logan who had had a fabulous night! Pizza, cupcakes and Halloween games. His face and fingers were stained blue from decorating cupcakes. So adorable!

The next day we went for a family hike.

It was a nice fall day, almost 60+ degrees pretty early and by noon it was about 70. The sun was out, it wasn’t foggy or cold like it usually is early in the morning. We decided to do Saltzman Road. It’s close to the city, so not too far to drive to. We needed something closer in town, so this was it.

We’ve done this hike a bunch of times. It’s a deceptive workout. It doesn’t feel all that strenuous and sometimes I kind of think it’s not worth a hike because the calories won’t be in there. But sometimes it surprises you and you do get a decent workout from it.

There were beautiful fall colors everywhere. It was a nice day for a hike. The trail wasn’t too busy, which was nice. Logan was doing well so we kept going past where we usually turn around.

We ended up doing the whole hike! I’ve never done it before–Michael did it once before without me. It was just under 6 miles round trip. Towards the end of the hike we let Logan out of the pack and he “hiked” for almost a mile. 😉

So we ended up hiking 5.75 miles! It might be the longest hike we’ve done in a long time. Like I said–this was deceptively hard. I ended up burning a pretty good calorie number.

My shins and calves were SO SORE afterwards.

After the hike we headed home for lunch, naps and showers. Logan was wiped out and fell asleep in the car on the way home. Unfortunately, when he woke up from his nap he was sick and we ended up spending a few hours at urgent care. 🙁 He’s ok, it’s just a virus, but it made for a bummer for the rest of the weekend. We left urgent care at like 8pm and got drive-thru burgers for dinner. Boo–so much for the diet for that day.

Dear Diary

I haven’t had a chance to make it to the Twitter #fitblog chat in ages. I used to be there every week on Tuesdays and I loved having the opportunity to make connections with like-minded people. Twitter may be a clique and often a time-suck, but I’ve met so many great people on there that I’d consider friends. I enjoy talking to them, I get advice from them and learn new things. Then it was no more. 🙁 Goodbye Fitblog…

The last few months I’ve been so busy in the gym on Tuesdays lifting weights that I’ve missed the chats. In the past I was usually on the elliptical Tuesday nights so I could easily participate in the chat. It’s impossible now that I’m focusing on strength training.  There was a recent chat that I was sorry I missed. It sounded right up my alley. So why don’t we discuss it here?

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How has self-journaling helped you achieve your health and fitness goals? 
I didn’t keep a journal of my weight loss journey and I REALLY wish I had. I would have liked to look back at what my specific struggles were, how I felt when I hit landmarks and goals, and what my thoughts were. The things I kept track of were my calories and my weight.

I tracked my weigh-ins on an Excel spreadsheet (which you can see the numbers here) and I wrote down all of my calories each day in a little notebook. This was obviously long before I got an iPhone and used an app to track my calories! It worked well and I did it diligently for two years.

Now, I track my calories on my iPhone in either MyFitnessPal or Cronometer. I track my biking and running mileage on DailyMile and that’s about it!

What is the most difficult part of tracking your fitness journey?
I’m not sure that I have a difficult part of tracking. I’d say the most difficult part of the journey in general is dealing with injury. Me + injury does not = good mental health. Exercise is definitely my source of dealing with stress and anxiety. Exercise has alleviated a lot of the seasonal depression I deal with each winter. When I can’t exercise? I find myself slipping back into the old habits–the stress eating, getting sucked into that “black hole” mentality where I can’t see the silver lining on anything. It’s really hard.

Injuries that sideline me from doing things I love (run, bike, etc) make me feel despondent and stressed out. It also makes me start to over-analyze my food intake. I try REALLY hard not to let myself get super restrictive with my calories when I’m injured. Not only do I need calories to heal my body, but lack of exercise should NOT equal severe food restriction! Ever! I just have to be more mindful. Maybe I don’t eat dessert every night. Or I skip the beer with dinner. Little things like that save the calories and aren’t over-restrictive.

Do you think social media can help motivate people to create better habits? 
I think it does both, or rather it has the potential for both positive and negative things. Sometimes it’s easy to get sucked into disordered thinking when you’re surrounded by people who are also struggling. While support is great, if someone’s disordered eating or overexercising is starting to rub off on you–social media is NOT a healthy resource.

There have been several times over the years where I found myself getting a little disordered. It’s happened with running — where I compared myself to more experienced and conditioned runners — and pushed myself too far. I’ve definitely compared myself to other bloggers — why are they so popular when all they do is post photos of oatmeal every day? What helps me is to step away and remind myself that I am NOT them. My journey is different, my body is different, my story is different. Maybe my body type isn’t meant to run marathons or do crossfit every single day. I need my rest days! I also remind myself to celebrate the non-scale victories.

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How do you build an online community around your health goals? 

In terms of community, this happened naturally for me. When I decided it was time to lose 100 pounds most of my friends and family were super supportive. In my trek to finding a healthy lifestyle I started meeting new people who were interested in exercise and healthy living like I was.

As for the online community, that came later, after I lost the weight. I really wish I had known there was such a vast resource for weight loss online. The chat groups, twitter, Facebook groups, SparkPeople…the list goes on and on! So while I’m not trying to lose weight, I do use my online community for support and common interests.

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I love Twitter for this. The majority of people I follow are into healthy living. When I was running a lot, I participated in the #runchat running chat and I met so many cool runners. It’s a great place to get advice or learn new things about running. When I wanted to get serious about strength training I turned to my friend Suzanne.

Twitter is what you make it. Fill it will people who will inspire and support you!

Okay, your turn to weigh in!