Box Jumps, Burgers and Brownies

I would rate my weekend food as a solid “C”. I did okay with my calories but nutritionally? Not as great as I could have. It started with a night out with my friend Erika. We grabbed a quick dinner at Pizza Schmizza (it’s so cool that they have my favorite beer on tap! Boneyard!)  and a beer and then we got to see the movie Labor Day with free tickets. It was a pre-release screening and we both really enjoyed the movie. There were parts that were totally cheesy chick-flick type moments, but overall the movie was good and it made me want to read the book. I felt like the pacing of the movie was a little off, but perhaps the book is better at that.

Saturday morning I made it to the Warrior Room for the 90 minute Warrior Workout class. It’s a great class, but the 90 minutes is a bit long for me. I think ideally the perfect length for that class would be like 75 minutes long. It’s a good class because everything is broken up into stations usually, there’s running involved, and so much variety you do not get bored.

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There were box jumps. I kind of hate box jumps. Mostly because the boxes at the Warrior Room are pretty large for what I’m used to. With my knee issues it turns into more of a step up as opposed to a jump. I’m okay with that modification–it’s still a good workout. It was another great class with a high calorie burn:

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Afterward Michael wanted to get burgers for lunch. It’s been ages since we’ve been out for burgers. I can’t remember the last time, perhaps back in October maybe? We went to Foster Burger, one of his favorites. We split an order of small fries and I got the “mini” Foster Burger. It’s a smaller patty. It comes with their special sauce (basically ketchup and mayo), lettuce and pickles, and I added sauteed onion and pepperjack cheese to mine.

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I love that they offer a smaller option. I just wish that the bun was also smaller. Of course, I could have cut off part of the bun to make it smaller like the patty but….I didn’t. The bun is outstanding, too. It’s made from a Vietnamese bakery right next door to Foster Burger. One of these days I’ll go to the bakery and get one of their sandwiches…So my portion was smaller but it still sat heavy.

It was a movie weekend! Michael and I watched two movies–the second Hunger Games movie (which was really, really good) and “American Hustle,” which was also a fun watch. Loved the costumes in both movies. I’m especially excited for part 1 of the Hunger Games finale that comes out this November. Seems so far away! We have a few more Oscar movies to watch now before the event!

We were so full from our burger from lunch that by the time dinner came around, neither of us wanted much. I could have made a good choice–a salad or maybe a snack of an apple sliced up with some raisins and cheese. All things I considered when we talked about dinner. Instead, I conceded to Michael’s suggestion that we just have popcorn for dinner. Not the best, most nutritional choice but at least it was homemade and healthier than microwave popcorn with a bunch or preservatives (at least that’s what I’m telling myself). Michael makes the best homemade popcorn on the stove. I’ve never had better! I add a little bit of salt, melted butter and a little nutritional yeast for a very yummy, savory snack.

I also made brownies, at Michael’s request, gluten free to be exact. I picked up a box of gluten free brownie mix at the grocery store that was on sale. The last time I attempted to make gf brownies from scratch they were so terrible that I tossed them in the garbage pretty much immediately. They were so bad. It kind of turned me off to gf baking to be quite honest, hence the box mix. I’m happy that these were actually delicious!

The brownies were plump and thick, at the same time kind of gooey. Definitely not your traditional gluten-free baked item that feels super dry and dense. It was just like a REAL brownie! I was shocked. Even though it came from a box, I was so happy with the results I will most definitely stick with this brand in the future.

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Yes the brownies tasted just as amazing as they look. I’m really happy with this grocery store find! The package says that there’s 16 servings for 130 calories. When I cut the brownies I got about 13 servings instead making the brownies closer to 200 calories each instead. Still a decent number.

On Sunday I went to yoga (which is a nice recovery workout after the Warrior Room ass-kicking) and then prepped food for the week. Michael made queso for a superbowl snack (which I ended up eating way too much of as well). All in all I could have done better this weekend. I need to tighten things up, stop with the indulging and get back on track!

Once Upon a Time

Since I’ve kept my weight off for four years now, I’ve kind of forgotten what it feels like to get attention–where everyone’s focus is my body. This is just me, give or take about 5 pounds, I haven’t changed much in the last few years and I’m used to living in this body.

Last weekend I went to my family reunion. It was the “big one” that I grew up going to, not the small one I’ve gone to the last few years. No, the “big” one was the tradition for 26 years. It was on my aunt’s farm here in Oregon and it was actually two families that were joined by marriage and stayed connected after my uncle was tragically killed. I grew up with this huge, extended family and it was such a fun environment for a kid. About 6 years ago, my poor aunt decided to retire from hosting it and I don’t blame her; imagine hosting a party for 3 days for 150+ people! This time, there were 108 people!

Well, the last time I saw most of those people (the other side of the family) was when I weighed 250 pounds. It was so weird being transported to the time in my life when my body was changing and people noticed it. Despite feeling awkward and uncomfortable, I had a fantastic time reliving my childhood at the family reunion. I saw people I haven’t seen in years and I got to show Michael what it was like (instead of just describing it).

We pitched our tent in the hazelnut orchard with everyone else. The house is an old farmhouse from the 1800′s and while my aunt and uncle have updated it and made changes, it’s still old.

I totally unplugged for the weekend and just relaxed. It was so nice to catch up with everyone. The sun was out, we were camping and lounging in the shade.

Of course there were shenanigans, too. (The girl in the cowboy hat above is my cousins Kristin and if you live in the Poulsbo, Washington area, they have a food cart! Check it out!)

Yes, that is my uncle below riding a bike backwards. It was quite impressive, actually. I am pretty sure I cannot do that!

One of the coolest things about this weekend event was that the kids just run wild! My aunt has 10 acres of farmland and for three days, the kids run around having fun, playing games, playing with the dogs, and just being kids –totally covered in dirt all weekend long. I remember those days…so much fun! (Flashlight tag, anyone?)

Friday is often a slow day because people are traveling to the farm. This year we had family travel from California, Florida, Texas, Wyoming, and Washington. Friday night my uncle grilled up burgers for everyone. I made a cheeseburger on a sandwich thin, had pasta salad and some veggies and fruit on the side.

When night falls, the campfire gets bigger and bigger and everyone sits around it talking, drinking, laughing, and sometimes singing. Some of my favorite childhood memories are of this family reunion and sitting around the campfire.

My 90 year old Grandma (left) put on a big show playing the harmonica around the fire. Her older sister, Mary, who is 92, joined in and played as well. It was a really special moment and I’m glad I was able to see the two of them play together.

Seeing everyone was so special and I was happy and content all weekend long. I did well with my food all weekend long (I even skipped the s’mores temptation!), often being too busy to even notice I was hungry!

QUESTION: Does your family have annual reunions?