Posted in Food, Menu Planning, Recipe

Lemon and Sage Salmon

Mmmm… Salmon. Yesterday I previewed a lemon sage salmon and it. was. so. good!

I’ve been trying to simplify our menu-planning efforts by making meals that are repeatable, if not predictable. For example, fish once/week, vegetarian meal, something with beef, something with chicken, something with pork. That gets us through the work week, and then the weekends are usually scavenging whatever is left.

Monday I made unstuffed peppers and that recipe was *really* good. I could’ve skipped the cheese, but why would I? It also came together really easily.. ground beef, bell peppers, seasonings, (cook), pasta sauce, beef stock, pasta, (cook), cheese, stir, serve.

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Here’s the recipe, if you can call it that…The salmon was moist and delicious when we had it for dinner last night. I bought a 1.5lb fillet from our local grocer and sliced up 4 portions at home. From there, I drizzled it with olive oil, seasoned with lemon peel, sage, salt, and pepper. Bake at 375 F for 20ish minutes, squeeze fresh lemon over top and serve.

We had ours with frozen veggies and a slice of buttered bread. It might as well be dessert because the Peppridge Farm Whole Grain Oatmeal Bread was delicious. I could probably eat an entire loaf if I weren’t disciplined enough.

The cool thing about this fish (and something I didn’t appreciate until today) is that it actually reheated pretty well. I squeezed fresh lemon on top then zapped it in the microwave for 45 seconds. It didn’t get dried out at all and I actually enjoyed having left overs at work today. Do you like fish? What’s your favorite cut and method of preparation?

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Posted in Emotional Eating, Food, Life + Living

Do your best

I’m a good Christian man!

I kind of stopped listening after that because this “good Christian man” had spent the last 20 minutes yelling and swearing at me because he didn’t like the terms of the contract that he signed with my company.

And now I’m going to have to pray for forgiveness for swearing at you!

Because it’s my fault, right?

Ugh. Talking to this guy had my heart rate up at 86 BPM while sitting at my desk. I’m proud of myself, though, because I did not lash out at him, nor did I take the verbal assault personally. He asked what I was going to do and I told him that I was going to continue to service his account and do my best to help him in any way that I could. When he asked why, I told him it’s because “that’s the way my momma raised me.”

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With an air of authority, he told me that he does his best every day because Colossians 3:23 says: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”

*sigh*

Well, Mr. Christian… I told him that I’d made myself vulnerable by reaching out to him with the information that he needed to make an informed decision for his business and that I did so because I, too, am a good person and I’m trying to do my best. I let him know in no uncertain terms that I was not obligated to be yelled at or sworn at or criticized, but I did so because I wanted him to have the information needed, and be able to ask questions if he had them. He apologized, I forgave him, then I went for a walk.

I’m down 3.4 lbs this week and I’m not going to ruin it by going to “comfort foods,” because the adrenaline makes me feel icky. Walking for 25 minutes helped me work up a good sweat, and now I can vent here and get back to work.

 

Posted in Emotional Eating, Fitness, Food, Menu Planning, Overeating, Self-Reflection, Weight Watchers

I’m eating the damn salad.

wp-1503509607481Before I joined Weight Watchers, I made this week’s menu — breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks–all mapped out. Well, then Tuesday rolled around and suddenly my plan sucks. I was so frustrated.

First of all, Little Elfkin is eating like mad–she must be heading for a growth spurt because I was about to dig into my breakfast when her cherubic voice inquired “Mama? More egg? Please?”

“Yes, Baby, you can have more egg…”

So, I tracked one egg, one tortilla for breakfast–and it was 5 points–not bad! But by the time I got to work, I was hungry again. I stopped at the gas station and picked up what I thought was a healthy alternative–a turkey sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich and a couple of espressos. Well, no 2nd breakfast for this Hobbit! That breakfast sandwich would’ve been 11 points, which would’ve put me at 16 points, then the espressos were another 6, so just in BREAKFAST I would’ve used up 22/40 points (or 55%) of my daily budget on one meal. *fizzle*

I skipped the breakfast sandwich! Go me!

1st break rolls around and I. Am. Starving. I had 2 espressos and a cup of coffee to try to stave off the hangry but noon couldn’t come soon enough! I had a cheese stick (1 point) and that held me over until noon.

YES! I CAN EAT! HALLELUJAH!

I’d packed a yummy yummy Dole Chopped Salad kit in Sunflower Crunch flavor. It has a sweet onion dressing and a little bit of bacon, so it’s yum yum delicious.

And 22 points for the whole bag. T^T It would’ve been 27, but that number was too scary so I only counted 5 cups instead of 6 1/2 which is more likely…

SERIOUSLY, WW?! SERIOUSLY?!

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I portioned out half the bag and contented myself with the 13 points that it would be. I ate slowly. I was mindful of the flavors in each bite. I drank water and tried to stay in tune with my appetite.

There’s no WAY this is going to be enough food.

And then I stopped. I freaked out a little, but I let my food settle. I let my mind stop racing ahead and just… sat here. Honestly, I started typing this entry out and that’s what really gave me time enough to say “you know what? Maybe it IS enough food.”

So, here I am, 1/3 salad on my plate and I’m full.

Maybe I can do this. Maybe I can finally lose weight.

I need to go for a walk. If you made it this far, I appreciate your listening to my rant. So to speak 😉

Posted in Baby Girl, Fitness, Food, sleep, Weigh Ins/Progress Photos, Weight Watchers

Tracking is such an eye-opening experience

As a commitment to reaching my health and fitness goals, I’ve reinvested in tools and technology. I bought myself a gym membership for my birthday. It’s at Orange Theory Fitness and I am loving it. The environment is upbeat, the time just FLIES by, and I’m able to get 1 really good work out in each week. As I get in better shape, I’ll be adding more work outs based on the work out I do each week, and it’ll only get better from here:

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Against my better judgement, I splurged on a 12-week membership to Weight Watchers (yes, again). I attended the first meeting today and it was good. There are about 14 people that I work with that attend every Tuesday. As a group over the last 12 weeks, they lost over 300 pounds. That’s astonishing! I tracked my food so far today and figured out that part of why I’m not losing weight on my own is because I’ve become delusional about my food quality. I knew my breakfast was “bad” but I didn’t think it was “that bad,” until I tracked it and realized it was more than half a day’s worth of allotted points.

I’ve got a profile going for the next twelve weeks, though, and my “before” pics and measurements. I’ve come to accept that I will constantly be starting over, but if I can shorten each time between quitting and starting to work on my health again, I think I’ll trend in the overall right direction.

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As an inspiration to bring us both towards our best selves, Hubs bought us each a FitBit of our choice. He went for the Fitbit Blaze while I opted for the more minimalistic FitBit Charge 2. (These are not affiliated links, I just put them here for ease of reference.)

I’ve been using the FitBit to track my sleep and it’s been frustrating, to say the least:

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I mean, it’s no wonder I feel addicted to caffeine and energy drinks. Based on the data that I’m getting (and I’ll wait until I get a whole heck of a lot more) I’m seeing that I really need to work on my sleep hygiene.  This will mean targeting an earlier bed time, trying to reduce the time I’m awake in the middle of the night, and generally trying to improve the quality of the sleep that I’m getting.

I have some ideas, but before I can really implement them or know for sure if it’s the right way to go, I need more data–so more to come on that.

Weekly WW Exercise:
Theme: Get Happy

“…just 5 minutes to notice, savor, and record everyday goodness and beauty.”

  1. “We should carpool more often.” – Hubs and I carpooled to the office out of necessity today and it was so nice to hear him express a desire to do so more often. He supported his suggestion by listing, not only the measurable benefits (reduced emissions, reduced wear and tear on the other vehicle, reduced fuel consumption) but the benefit of spending more time together as a couple. He even resolved the work dilemma by volunteering to work from home as necessary so that we don’t have to worry about him working late or whatnot. It was so nice.
  2. Little Elfkin has started counting down to “blast off” in the car. “threeeeee..twoooo…one.. GO DAD!” Hahaha.. she loves it when we can blast off like the rocket in Little Einsteins. She even gets us to join her patting our laps for power. “c’mon, Mom! Pat, pat, pat!” Gosh, it’s crazy to think how well she communicates now compared to a year ago.
  3. “Big hugs, you don’t battle alone. #BattleBuddy” – My friend, Robin, offered me comfort after I posted about the terrible choices I made for breakfast. I really enjoy the camaraderie and support that is gained through having an accountability buddy. We went through our pregnancies together, we’re raising our kids “together,” and we’re fitness friends too. Don’t let anyone tell you the internet is just full of bad people with nefarious intentions.
Posted in Baby Girl, Fitness, Life + Living, Uncategorized, Weight Watchers

1 year update: Cliffnotes

The last year has been a whirlwind. It seems like we were just putting up streamers for Little Elfkin’s first birthday, and here we are planning out the party for her second birthday. (Spoiler: it’s Moana themed.)

What’s Changed: 

Little Elfkin has gotten bigger, braver, and much sassier. She has come to the point where she says “NO,” I say “YES!” and she says “FINE.” Teen years are coming earlier and earlier…

I quit my job. No, really. It was a joy working with my customers, but my boss threw me under the bus one-too-many times and I just couldn’t take it anymore. There seemed to be a lot of systemic issues with the business overall, though. It turned into a toxic environment where crying was expected and stress levels were notoriously and consistently high. No one wants that.

I found a new job. I spent 3 months looking for my next career and landed in the tech industry. I’m still getting to know the new business, but I feel like it’s going to be a good fit. It was a little bit of culture shock coming from a super-corporate office into a tech company because the atmosphere is so much more relaxed–but that is part of why it’s so great. It’s like a breath of fresh air.

Our health as a family has changed a lot this year. My weight has changed. I had another miscarriage, but haven’t lost the weight that came with the pregnancy yet. Hubs has some things we’re sorting out and combined, it’s really motivating us to get in shape. We both have FitBits now, I re-joined Weight Watchers and I attend an HIIT class every week at Orange Theory Fitness. 

What do I hope to accomplish with this blog?

I really don’t know. I’m on Facebook less and less these days, and on Instagram more, but I just haven’t found a great outlet for connecting with people who want fitness and wellness. I am hoping that by writing here, I’ll be more accountable again and get healthy enough to start reaching other goals.  I’ll flesh out a plan later on but I think that’s as good a place as any to start. At a minimum, I hope to write at least weekly.

 

Posted in Food, Menu Planning

Menu planning vs menu doing

It all starts with a nice solid plan. You know? You take the inspiration from cookbooks, Pinterest, fitness blogs, Facebook, Instagram, or what have you. You put pen to paper, stylus to screen, or fingers to keyboard and you’re off! Meatless Monday,  Tenderloin Tuesday, leftovers Wednesday, chicken Thursday, pizza Friday, tacos Saturday, and Sunday you do it all over again! At least,  that’s the plan. 

This week, I got pretty far, actually. I made the menu, made the corresponding grocery list, bought said groceries, and boiled the eggs. Then,  well. 

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Little Elfkin started getting sick.  Like,  both of us missed work, worked from home, and kept her out of daycare for days kind of sick. I managed to boil a couple eggs, but really, the majority of my time was spent trying to make her comfortable and watch for changes. 

We were supposed to have a paleo breakfast bake for this week’s breakfasts. We ate a lot of cereal and/or bought breakfast on the way to the office while the other parent stayed home. 

Side note: Affogato Strada Espresso is delicious. 

*weak stomach warming, skip this paragraph*

Ohhh Roseola. Not fun.  SO not fun. The thought of cooking goes right out the window when your little one is burning up,  throwing up, and refusing to eat. Her fever got so bad at one point that it caused her to throw up, even though she hadn’t eaten anything.  Poor dear. Poor Jeff, too! She got him completely and stunned him.. that didn’t stop the process, though, so she also got the floor, the changing table, and my foot. All Jeff could say was “it’s HOT.”

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So, off to the ER we went, where they told us that “sometimes, sick kids throw up.” …real insightful. 

All this to say: the menu was planned, but the menu was not done. The thing is, life will always be busy and hectic and in the way. I know how to not go completely off the rails, though! Some of it is planning ahead, yes, but more of it is sticking to my plan even when nothing else does. For example, when we had Jersey Mikes, I got a “sub in a tub,” and saved about 300 calories. When having pizza, I loaded it with veggies and split half with Jeff, even though it’s a personal pizza. At the gas station, I tried to pick snacks and meals that fit into my day by checking it on My Fitness Pal (sn: Aminarra) first and making a decision based on that. 

Now, if you open my refrigerator, you’ll find cherries that have gone soft, avocado that’s seen better days, and iceberg lettuce turning yellow instead of pale green.

This week’s plan is to salvage what I can and go from there. It’s always a bit grating to waste food, so we’ve learned to live with wrinkly peppers and to adjust our expectations. The plan is much simpler this time around. Oatmeal for breakfasts, batch cooked chicken for dinner, and either salad or sandwiches for lunch. I picked up some fruit at the grocery store because whole food is fast food. This is a plan I can stick to even if life goes crazy again. It’s not easy, but is doable. So just do it.