Nov 102014
 

I had a pretty good weekend. To be honest, the last few weekends have been a struggle for me. The weather was ugly, the darkness was making me tired and I was feeling very distressed about my weight. I was starting to get into the “must restrict” mentality and when I ate something I deemed to be “not healthy” I felt like a failure and would beat myself up about it. All weekend long. One slip-up, even if I hadn’t gone over my calories, felt like I failed. It sucked. It was kind of a dark place to be. I felt resentful of (seemingly) everyone else on the planet that could eat and drink whatever they wanted and not worry about their weight. I felt like I wasn’t making any progress. I actually broke down and bought some clothes in one size up because I was tired of crying every time I put on my pants and they felt skintight.

So that’s where I was the last few weeks. This weekend I didn’t feel like that too much. I was on track with my food. I was feeling more positive. I wasn’t feeling STARVING all the time like I had been for the last month and a half. And I had some good workouts. This was the Warrior Room on Saturday (and I went up in weight in the kettle bells!):

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It was a great workout and I am reminded just how important the Warrior Room routine is to my knee health. I noticed that when I took time off when I was sick, then the wedding, then the honeymoon, my knees started to bother me. But when I go to the WR consistently my knees are happier. It really does show how unbalanced my body is naturally. I need to work extra hard to keep those glutes strong to keep my knees strong!

This was Sunday’s workout — despite feeling a little stiff and sore I was able to get in a 2 mile run on the treadmill before yoga class:

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The yoga teacher seemed to psychically know that I needed extra hip stretching because most of the moves in that particular class worked on the hips (thank goddess!).

I also ate really healthy foods. I wanted to share one of the finds because it was so delicious. Years and years ago I was a vegetarian but I wasn’t very good at it and didn’t eat in a healthy way, I just didn’t eat meat. There also weren’t a lot of options for vegetarians 15 years ago. The faux foods weren’t good and I think the only option was Morning Star, which I’ve never liked.

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I got these veggie burgers at Trader Joe’s on a whim and I’m so glad I did! They were amazing! I loved them. For dinner on Sunday night I cooked up one of these veggie burgers and had some sauteed Brussels Sprouts with onions (cooked in coconut oil) with some cottage cheese on the side. It was a really filling dinner and it was only around 400 calories. I loved these burgers!

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If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, I highly recommend you give them a try. I will be buying more of them and working them into my meal rotation. The only downside is that you have to cook them in a skillet. I don’t know if they’d turn out in the microwave, so I don’t know that it would be a feasible option for lunches at work. But on the weekends it would be a great lunch option.

The weather was also really nice on Saturday. I got so much stuff done–a lot of the usual chores in addition to a bunch of yard work (and planted some plants from a neighbor). I also went through a bunch of stuff and got a box and big bag full to donate. Plus, Michael and I took Bella to the dog park.

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(That picture was actually taken by our dog walker in the backyard but it’s too cute not to share.) The dog park was packed with dogs because it was so nice out! Bella had a blast running around playing and chasing dogs and there were two rambunctious puppies (one pitbull and one mutt) that were super spazzy and Bella loved them. They all had the same crazy energy.

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Once Bella was done playing (she stopped paying attention to the other dogs) Michael and I walked with Bella around the park. It’s a huge park with trails and a few different fields, there was even a fenced horse area! Crazy that this huge park is so close to our house and we had no idea.

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It was just a really nice way to spend the afternoon–sunshine, blue skies, fall leaves and a nice walk.

Back to the food. I was under my calorie goal every day for the weekend AND I had some leftover Halloween candy too. It just goes to show that I just do not do well with restriction and moderation is what works. For weeks I tried to restrict and NOT eat any of the foods that I deemed on my “no list”. No pizza. No dessert. No “fun” foods. Just eat whole foods, fruits and vegetables. But denying myself these things just made me want them more and made me feel more miserable and frustrated with my lack of progress. It just goes to show you how much of weight loss is MENTAL.

I haven’t weighed myself to check in for two weeks. I will do it this week and see if I’ve made any more progress.

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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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