Friday, March 30, 2007

I made my first main dish meal from the Low GI cookbook my sister-in-law gave us and we both loved it! I modified it a bit to suit our tastes and when we ate it I thought it was just okay but I had not let it sit long enough for the rice to soak up the broth. Here are the details:

2 teaspoons canola oil
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
2 cups chicken broth (low fat low sodium)
2 green bell peppers, steamed seeded and diced
1 can (28 oz) stewed tomatoes
1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup brown rice
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the celery, garlic, and onion and cook until the onion has softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken, thyme, oregano, chili powder, and the cayenne, if using, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
2. Add the broth, bell peppers, tomatoes, beans, rice, and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for abotu 35 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Let the dish stand for 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Stir in the parsley before serving.

Jason does not like celery or beans so I left both out, and we did not have regular brown rice but we did have the instant version. I threw in the rice the last 12 minutes and it was just right. Also, I don't care for green bell peppers so we used a red and a yellow. Delicious! When I went back to get a second bowl a while later it was so much better because it had thickened up a lot. This is a green light recipe which as you can imagine means GO (weight loss, no worries, etc)

Recipe from "Living the g.i. Diet" by Rick Gallop, page 217

Friday, March 23, 2007

When I slack off posting in this space I tend to be floating along feeling lost regarding life in general. The rigors of being a student/mother/wife/relative/friend/etc. have officially overwhelmed me as of late. Husband's grandfather is having medical problems again after having a quadruple bypass last year and coming through amazingly well. He fell down at the cardio center's gym Wednesday and then they found fluid in his chest and something looks odd with the lymph nodes. The doctors seem to think it is not going to be something horrible but there is still tension in the background for me because I love him like he is my grandfather.
A confession: I had drifted back to mostly thinking like I did before my big ephiphany and of course it screwed with my mind. I am slowly, persistently retraining my brain again to stop counting and ticking and obsessing and to just focus on eating nutritious foods, being mindful of my hunger/satiety cues, and exercising regularly. The exercise is not a problem, it has finally become something that I just consider part of life, and if I periodically can't/don't fit it in my day then that is okay because guess what? I will the next day, or the day after that, and the world will not end. I am not lazy, or worthless, or slipping into a black vortex of sloth if I miss a few days. THIS IS FOR LIFE. God, probably the most oft quoted and concurrently hypocritical statement I see tossed around the 'net. I realize there are people that do want to live their life going through bulking/cutting phases, trying new plans, etc. and that is FINE. I am that way sometimes and that is okay too, and I am not bad if I do that either. For the most part however; I just want to feed my body quality fuel and move it around consistently enough in fun ways to have a kickass body. I have thought quite a bit this week (okay just the last two days) about what I really want out of the physical side of my life and it hit me like a ton of bricks. The physique I admire and can obtain given my physiological makeup is like Angelina Jolie in Lara Croft (though I think she was a bit too thin for me) or Jennifer Garner in Electra or Daredevil. Muscular, lean, badass chick bodies. I honest to God, hand on my heart do not want to look like a SI model, after seeing the pictures I could not believe that is the ideal for the masses, there is so little muscle it reminds me of a young child with breasts and well, that kinda freaks me out. This is my personal opinion and more power to everyone out there that disagrees. What I want for ME is to look tough and strong and well, hot at the same time. When I feel the most powerful is when I lift weights and get my hands dirty or work on a car or dig in the dirt all sweaty and tired. That makes me feel damn good, like I can do anything, and who would not want that each day of their life?
I tried mountain climbers and didn't think it was that bad, I can also do a shitload of jumping jacks now which makes me proud looking back on the gasping red faced past. Disclaimer: I am sure I did not do nearly enough mountain climbers to say for sure if I can handle it or not. Heh
I watched a clip about the workout they put the men through for the movie "300". Holy shit that is the kinda stuff I want to be able to do, pushups on hanging rings and throwing a tire around, lol. She-ra!

Monday, March 19, 2007

I've been extremely out of pocket since oh, around March 9th (which was my birthday, coincidence? no) but thank you for the comments about my birthday weekend, sorry I have been MIA. Two days after getting home from the birthday extravaganza we left town to visit family in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, OK. We returned last night and I've been immediately thrown back into real life and it sucks. Hard. I am exhausted and having a hard time thinking, in fact I have considered bailing on writing this several times already and let's face it: I have not typed that much at this point.
Anyway, no home cooked food was consumed from Wednesday lunch through breakfast this morning and my body is hatin' right about now. Dinner last night made both me and my husband pretty ill and neither one of us has any desire to go out to eat for quite some time. That's one of our favorite things to do so trust me, that was quite a feat. I did lift Tuesday morning, walked Wednesday and Thursday, then used the Stairmaster and my in-laws in Tulsa Friday and Saturday morning with a 30 minute walk outside afterwards Saturday. Saturday night I drank too much beer, and did a shot and then an Irish Car Bomb combined with consuming crappy food. I did eat some damn good food halfway through the night and have vowed to go back to Paddy's (Tulsa, OK) again to properly enjoy it. Smithwick's (pronounced smiddicks) and half a Reuben was an awesome combo.
So I exercised pretty well, but ate cookies and pie and pizza and lots and lots of fries. Oh and beer. I am so ready to feel good again instead of bloated and tired and dealing with seriously uncool digestive issues. I've eaten well today because that is all I feel like doing and am working on unpacking our little family and getting this house in order. Here's to onward and upward!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Thanks for the birthday wishes, I had a wonderful fantasy weekend. My husband earned enough points to last quite a while indeed. It has been a rude awakening returning to the real world but I don't suppose I have much of a choice. Update on my friend: She and the boyfriend are trying to work things out, and while I am happy for her I don’t trust him as far as I can throw him. If he really does treat her properly from here on out then I won’t hold a grudge.
On Friday, my actual birthday, my husband finally told me what he had planned for my weekend. Saturday morning I had to be ready by 8:45 to go spend all day at the Crescent Spa! His cousin (also my friend) went with me and though we didn’t have treatments together it was nice to have her along for the ride. My package was all wine related, first a Cabernet grape scrub, then a red wine anti-cellulite bath, then a wine and honey wrap and finally a Sauvignon massage. It was unbelievable and my skin feels delightful, and now I know that wraps really do tighten your skin though I don’t think it lasts. Still, it’s been very nice to experience that again even if for a little while. Following the spa day we were picked up and taking to the W hotel in downtown, and it is an absolutely incredible place to stay and hang out. I felt like a had stepped into an upscale Ikea catalogue, for instance: the walls downstairs change colors from red to blue and back, the lounge area was way cool with these long chandeliers that made me think of jellyfish and there were just quirky little details everywhere. Our room was the Mega Room which is advertised as Texas sized with really high ceilings and a huge bed. Very hard to describe but the design was ingenious. The W even gave me a birthday present, a massage candle scented with habanera and grapefruit. You actually can use the wax to do a massage-I’ve never seen one like it.
On the 33rd floor is the Ghostbar, probably hands down the coolest nightclub type place I have ever been in, it made me think of what you see clubs being like on tv instead of the cheesy places I’ve been to before. There’s a balcony area outside that is hanging out over thin air and the view of the city was amazing. Standing there I could see lights moving and blinking as far as my vision reached, sort of like looking out over the ocean-a sea of humanity. I’ve realized how much I don’t want to leave here now.
Sunday we walked across the street to the American Airlines center and went up to the platinum club area and had the best brunch buffet I have ever had. The Dallas Stars game started at 2:30 and it was super exciting and worth being there to see. Lots of action, both scoring and fighting and we had some of my favorite friends with us, including my best friend that has never been to a hockey game and is a huge fan. She kept saying, “Kids at Christmas have nothing on me today!”
Really the only downer was my dad was supposed to be at the game with us so I could see him for my birthday. He didn’t show up so we called several times and found out he was feeling really sickly and he said half his face was swollen up and his voice sounded terrible. My poor dad, when he gets better I’m going to ask him to go to a Ranger’s game just the two of us.
I did workout Thursday night and had a great lifting session. I’ve really increased the weight on my squats and I think it was a mental setback before and now I know I can push it harder. I will say it again-free weights training has done the most for my self image and confidence of anything I have tried. I haven’t worked out since then, literally no time to even though I really wanted to try the infinity pool at the hotel. We slept too late and stayed in bed too long to get to use it, but I plan on working out today when the Husband gets home. Eating was fairly on track all weekend and I just didn’t worry about it too much.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Greedy, that's me. I want new posts from everyone to read and yet here I sit not writing anything myself.
The tidal waves of sickness that plagued us for the last few weeks have gone and life is returning back to normal. Well physically that is, my mental state has sort of gone south-basically I think what is bugging me is my best friend is in a lot of pain right now. The guy she thought she would marry is more than likely dumping her tonight and he has left her in limbo all week. At this point I would like to punch his stupid face in, but I digress.
So I started taking Wellbutrin today and I am having some side effects, but I think it is related to the lack of water and food I have had today. Not on purpose, let me assure you. This girl is not one to starve herself, but I went by my mother's before she left for work and right before I left the afore mentioned friend called and sounded terrible. I called her back and even though I had a happy day planned of shoe shopping with my wonderful little boy, I turned the car around and headed straight to her apartment. She said she needed a hug and so I was there. I talked with her about everything and held her while she cried and this is very hard. On a selfish note it really sucks to be dealing with this on my birthday weekend, but unselfishly that is not stopping me from being her support.
For clarficiation I am not taking an anxiety medication because of her problems, it probably sounded that way in the above wording but that is not the case. I have struggled for years now with stress and depression and have yet to find a medication that works for me all the way around-lexapro did a good job but (TMI alert) made me unable to enjoy sex/any stimulation whatsoever. I stopped taking that immediately, ha! But the fact is, without some type of medical help I do not enjoy the wonderful life I have like I should, I am anxious and angry and irritable and then alternately mopey and tearful and full of despair. Not the way I want to live my life and so I am trying again. The side effect seems to be nausea and light headedness but I am already feeling better now that I ate some more and am drinking my third cup of water since we got back home.
I want to lift weights when my Husband gets home but maybe that is not a good idea with how my head feels. It has been a week though tomorrow, and I don't go more than a week without working out my whole body to failure. Working out once a week, using the heaviest weights possible and then resting the whole next day (no exercise planned at all) has done wonders for my body and strength. I have also consistently lifted, even during the sickness, because I know it is once a week and it makes me feel powerful and strong. I am steadily lifting heavier and that is progress I can touch and see and feel, unlike the scale. My scale weight is still heavier than my old consistent weigh ins and yet I look and feel so much better. Happy Birthday to me tomorrow, yay!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

A fitness article that is actually useful and doesn't leave me going, "No kidding, duh." This was on my Yahoo homepage and I clicked on it though I was reluctant to read the same stuff I already know. While I did already know this stuff it actually seemed like an article that might be USEFUL to people that don't know these things instead of the usual, "Hey, I have a revelation! Park further from the door and pass on that bread at dinner!" crapola. I have no idea about the vest thingie but will check it out when I get a chance. As of the moment I am mired in Organic Chemistry lab homework that I have no clue how to complete. D'oh!

Your Body Can Burn Fat on Its Own
Posted by Debbie Rocker
on Tue, Feb 27, 2007, 5:43 pm PST
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Wouldn’t you just love it if your body decided to burn fat and calories on its own?

It can:
1. Exercise in short, intense bursts (interval training) for effective fat burning after exercise.
2. Increase the amount of resistance/strength/weight training you do, to build more lean muscle. Muscle is ‘metabolically active’ and burns more calories than other body tissue even when you’re not moving.
And of course, for best results:
3. Chill on the amount of food you are eating.

1. Our bodies are built to survive, so when you exercise for long periods of time (often and consistently) your body thinks it needs to hold on to fat for energy. Doing short (12-15 minute), intense exercise sessions builds strength and burns calories, but not fat, so it “feels safe” using fat stores for energy after exercise.
2. Resistance training (using extra weight) helps build lean muscle mass (and strong bones), and muscle burns more calories than fat.
3. If you are obsessing over things like fat grams and not eating a nutritious diet, your body will reserve energy (store fat) to survive.

1. Varying your exercise is the most effective and efficient way to stay lean and healthy. You must do some longer exercise to build cardiovascular endurance, burn lots of calories, and yes, even burn fat during exercise - your body will not click in to “save” mode unless you exercise for long periods of time, regularly and often.
2. You must do resistance training in order to build muscle and strong bones.
3. Nobody wants to exercise more - and we don’t want to train our bodies to need more exercise to stay fit. So exercise efficiently – two short, very intense (relative to your level of fitness) training sessions weekly, like a 15-minute fast run/walk or fast cycling sprint intervals, and two moderately long, moderately intense sessions (30-45 minutes) of strong walking, cycling, or yoga, with one long day (60-90 minutes) of a moderately paced walk/hike. That’s a great five-day/week training schedule.
4. Instead of adding more days to your workout schedule, add a weighted vest to your training. I have said this before, but this is the most efficient way that I know of to build muscle while burning calories. For more information, go to
5. Eat moderately - stop counting fat grams and calories and look at how much food is on your plate! And eat more nutritiously by eating foods that are natural and unprocessed.

Keep it real -
Debbie Rocker

Sunday, March 04, 2007

(I know most people that come over my way already know this stuff but I'm writing it down because it helps me to remind myself and I am trying to casually help some friends that are working hard to change their lives.)

Portion sizes are super important, you can be eating the cleanest, most natural, healthy foods and if you are eating too much of them you are not going to lose weight. If that is your aim, then it’s something to really watch. No need to break out the scales and measuring cups however as we have built in tools at no additional cost.
Protein should be in an amount about the size of your flat palm minus fingers and thumb. Palm size varies but is usually a good indication of what portion you should have, for instance: my palm is not the same size as James’, but he needs more fuel than I do.
Carbohydrates should be roughly the size of your closed fist; that equals about a cup. I recommend eating 5-6 small meals a day if possible, and by that I don’t mean 5 chicken fried steaks, I am talking about a portion of protein, portion of carbs and try and make two of your carb portions veggies instead of starches.
Fast Food/Restaurant Eating
Who wants to cook all the time? I get sick of it sometimes, I just want to be waited on and someone else to prepare the food. While this is pretty much guaranteed not to be as good for me (control issues) there are things to watch out for when ordering. Fried takes the “n” out of friend. I have no idea what that means but I think you should avoid it. Covered in cheese is generally not good, but I do not think cheese is the bad guy and should not be eaten. Good quality flavorful cheese makes food TASTY, but it is not necessary to cover up the flavors of what you are eating with a huge layer of it unless the food underneath is not quality itself. Grilled is always going to be better than fried but lots of places still douse it in oil, and we aren’t talking olive. You can ask they go easy on the oil and most places will and there is nothing wrong with saying, “Can I please have a little less heart attack with my vegetables?” Avoid cream sauces, lots of alcohol, and eating multiple slices of bread before you even get your main course. These are some of the main things I had to unlearn because I ADORE great breads and sauces and ahem, The Sauce. Here are some things to get when you just did not/could not plan ahead: Taco Bell has chicken soft tacos that are a good choice without the cheese and sour cream and if that just breaks your heart get it anyway and scrape most of it off. What you probably like is the taste more than a huge clump of dairy products anyway. Wendy’s grilled chicken sandwich is pretty taste and a decent choice, sauce and all and if you throw a piece or two of fruit in your purse/backpack then there you go. McDonald’s grilled chicken sandwich tastes like a rubber boot to me, but that may be just me and I like their $1 menu yogurt parfait though it doesn’t tide me over for long. They may have some decent salads but as I mentioned before, not a big salad eater and if you add the dressing on, croutons etc that they give you, a cheeseburger meal might actually be better for you calorie wise. Iceberg lettuce has little to no nutritional value and that’s what a lot of fast food salads are made of though I can’t speak for Macca’s. Subway has plenty of good choices if you leave the cheese off, or if you really want the cheese LEAVE IT ON and don’t sweat it. If you are really wanting something, just do it unless you realize it’s a daily thing you are doing and not a strong occasional urge.
Which brings me to the idea of dieting/restriction: I do not believe in it. I find it impossible to truly learn a healthy lifestyle if you are basically punishing yourself day in and day out, leading to negative self talk and thinking and self destructive behavior. I thought the loving yourself stuff was a bunch of hooey but it’s not and it is vital to being a whole, healthy, happy person. If you try and eat well the majority of the time and sometimes you just want that chocolate or cheese enchiladas or beer, etc. then have it by all means. But be mindful and enjoy it while you are experiencing the treat. What kind of treat is it if you are mindlessly chewing and swallowing with no pleasure involved? That’s a whole ‘nother kettle of fish but I think I’ve talked enough.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

The number one thing that makes eating “right” easier is planning and preparation. That sounds scary/boring but it doesn’t have to be, and it makes life so much easier. I have a short attention span and very little patience so if I can prep food for the week at one time I am guaranteed not to be running for the local pizza hut or eating yet another sandwich. Not that there is necessarily anything wrong with sandwiches, but for me boring equals danger zone, my taste buds must be surprised and stimulated! They’re quite high maintenance really, and quality of taste and ingredients is sort of what I am trying to focus on at this point. That does not mean I don’t have go-to “meals”, I am not a master chef or really even a good cook in my opinion-but I am a good assembler. Here are a few things I’ve been fixating on lately:
1. The cranberry/walnut/feta salad
2. the chocolate soy strawberry shake
3. Athenos baked pita chips, whole wheat of course
4. 2% cottage cheese, heavy on the lemon-pepper seasoning
5. cereal-I mix ¼ c. Kashi go lean crunch with ¾ c Fiber One, skim milk and fruit like bananas and cranberries, blueberries or strawberries-whatever is on sale
6. grilled vegetables basted with olive oil and granulated garlic
7. fresh fruit and veggies
8. crispbread with chicken/tuna salad
9. Carb Balance wheat tortillas

And now I’ll expand out all of this to make it even more exciting!

Okay 1. I already posted the other day, sometimes I throw in different stuff. I’m out of walnuts so I’m using pecans though I don’t love it as much. I also added my leftover grilled veggies and that’s definitely tasty and filling, and since I was lured into buying Fuji apples at Costco and must now be creative with them I added them to my salad. It was good and yet surprising to me because I am normally anti-fruit in savory salad.
2. is great as post workout or quick breakfast; I make a blender of it (about 2 cups blends up to be about 3) and the frozen strawberries are what give it a shake feel, instead of using ice cubes which make it taste too watery. I then keep it in the fridge and just add fresh strawberries and re-blend for a minute when I want to have another one instead of washing the blender and remaking the shake each time. Obviously I drink them pretty quickly or that would be…gross.
Number 3 was an impulse purchase that I have now bought each weekly shopping trip, I like to dip them into the cottage cheese (#4) eat them with sandwiches, soups, etc.
The cereal combo (#5) makes it a “meal” I eat the most I think, I like the different textures and tastes together, it’s light enough to eat at night and the Kashi Go Lean has a pretty worthy amount of protein so I don’t get hungry for awhile, unlike other cereal.
I grill the veggies(#6) for about ten minutes total until there are grill marks and they’re tender enough, and the crispbread(#8) is something my mom turned me on to as an alternative to bread. At 60 calories for two big pieces you can’t beat the crunch and taste you get. When I make chicken or tuna salad I also do that a bit differently. I use reduced fat mayo, capers, and an Italian seasoning blend and it’s wonderful, either on the crispbread or in the tortillas(#9). I love these tortillas because they are so soft and do not harden when you heat them up a bit, not to mention they taste great.
When I do take the time to make my life easier, I like to have a small selection of meat grilled up (or baked if necessary) like turkey tenderloin (much leaner than pork, not so greasy), chicken (I beat it flat with a meat tenderizer mallet, SO much better) or bake it (I put a small loaf pan with water in the oven at the same time I bake meats to help it not dry out so quickly), or burgers which we make from venison but a mix of lean turkey and beef works well too. If you have your veggies cut up in containers and different meats ready to go it’s not that hard to throw something together.
There’s so much more but I’m tired of working on this.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Current favorite recipes:

Cranberry Feta Salad

Romaine lettuce
reduced fat feta (crumbled)
reduced fat Ken's Steakhouse Caesar dressing
cherry tomatoes (optional)
purple onion (optional)

Toss it together, eat. What did you expect? It's a salad. The flavors are awesome together though, definitely does not taste same ol', same ol'.

Chocolate Strawberry Shake

1 cup Silk Chocolate Soy Milk Lite
handful of frozen strawberries
1 scoop vanilla soy protein powder

Blend, drink. What did you expect AGAIN? It's a shake. *grin

Both are delicious and hold me over for hours which is quite a feat. Just thought I would share, I haven't gotten tired of either one of these items yet!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

My first time being tagged (on my blog that is), and this meme is from Kada.

1. Grab the nearest book.

2. Open the book to page 123.

3. Find the fifth sentence.

4. Post the text of the next 3 sentences on your blog along with these instructions.

5. Tag 5 people.

"I was of the opinion that God wasn't messing around and it was critical to look at the reality of the situation, assess what needed to be done, and then put my efforts into BabySteps. Do you see the difference? I still made a big picture analysis, but because of BabySteps did it without the paralysis of no action."

I don't know five people to tag but if you read this and want to do it, please do and let me know!

Edited to add:The title of the book is "Body Clutter, Love Your Body Love Yourself by Marla Cilley and Leanne Ely.