Sunday, November 29, 2009

Work, work and more work...

Have I mentioned that I have been doing work all day?! winking

My cough kept me up last night AGAIN! Matt was kind enough to get up first, walk the dog and pick up breakfast before he woke me up. I got to sleep in and wake up to breakfast! That's the perfect start to any day! For breakfast I had a ham, egg and cheese on an english muffin, a yogurt and a large coffee. I was going to need the caffeine for all the work I had ahead of me!

Both Matt and I got into the routine of work shortly after breakfast. The next time one of us stopped it was 5:00. Matt decided to run downstairs to City Convenience and pick up a snack for us. He was also nice enough to get me a Lipton honey green iced tea to go with my snack, red pepper hummus and crackers. You'll also notice my medicine! Lucky me!

I finished the project that I had been working on during snack time and decided that if I was going to make dinner I needed to go to Whole Foods stat. I took Bailey out real quick and then walked to our closest store. We have nothing in the house and I got overwhelmed trying to figure out what we were going to eat that I ended up walking around the store about 4 times. I finally decided on pizza and a salad. I picked up the bare necessities for dinner and lunch for tomorrow then walked home. We had a nice pepperoni and red pepper pizza with a side salad for dinner. We're also enjoying one last bottle of wine before we go back to no liquor for the week.

Now I'm going to go do more work and hope that Matt makes a smoothie soon for dessert!
Have a great night!

Sunday = Sick in Bed + Work

I have a lot of work to do today but I'm still not feeling 100%. So I've decided to stay in bed today and do work. My boy wanted to cuddle so I put a sheet on the bed (Bailey sheds SO much that we need a sheet on the bed to contain his hair) and now he's "helping" me with my work. I had to share this photo!

Things that I'm hoping to accomplish today:

1. WORK!
2. Walk to Whole Foods for some bare necessities to hold us over until tomorrow
3. 1:1 yoga with my friend

It doesn't look like a long list but we'll see how much I actually get accomplished!

Hope your Sunday is better than mine!

The Rest of Our Visit

Friday and Saturday have been a blur of food and family. Friday Matt took me to the ER so that I could get some medicine for my cough that wouldn't go away! I hadn't been able to get a good night sleep (and neither had Matt) since the cough had started and we didn't want to risk me being sick on our vacation. With the H1N1 they make anyone with potential symptoms wear a mask. Lucky me! Didn't I look hot?!

I was diagnosed with bronchitis and was sent home with two prescriptions. I'm finally on the road to recovery and was able to get in some good sleep!!!

Shortly after we got back to the house we had to say good bye to my sister-in-law and her husband. They had a flight back to Chicago to catch! Later that night some of our friends came over to my in-laws house and we all played Wii and snacked on some appetizers and cookies from Thanksgiving.

Today I managed to get some work done in between naps and food breaks. Now we're back home just in time for bed.

I'm feeling better so tomorrow I should be back on track with the goals, cooking at home and taking pictures.

Below is some of the food that I ate over the last two days!

Friday's Breakfast: Pumpkin pancakes and Canadian bacon

Friday's Lunch: Leftover sandwich with a side of sweet potato casserole and mashed potatoes with gravy

Friday's Dinner: Chicken soup and salad

Friday's Dessert: one of my sweet potato oatmeal raisin cookies and a turtle bar

Saturday's Breakfast: scrambled eggs, bacon and my lemon poppy seed muffin

Saturday's lunch: a medley of apples, veggie crackers and laughing cow cheese

Saturday's Dinner: Front Porch Restaurant in Ogunquit. Matt and I shared a chop salad to start.

For dinner we split a steak with green peppercorn butter and parmesan fries and a side of mushroom risotto. Everything was DELICIOUS! The picture doesn't do the meal justice.

To counteract the "effects" of the antibiotics that I'm on I have been eating a container of yogurt as often as I can. I prefer all natural greek yogurt but the grocery store in Wells didn't have any. This was the best yogurt that I could get. I figured the probiotics should help me out!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is a day that is full of tradition. I remember the days of waking up early and running to the TV waiting for the Macy's Day Parade to begin! I remember all the family packed in our house. The smell of food. The eating, all day!! Today was no exception.

I woke up early in the morning and came downstairs to find the in-laws sitting around the Macy's Day Parade while breakfast was baking in the oven. For breakfast we had Grand Marnier French Toast accompanied by my Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins. I was happy with my muffins but I almost think that they would have been better without the "glaze". Too sweet and sticky. My in-laws disagreed. My mother-in-laws french toast is always great!

Appetizers came out around noon. We had a great spread of dips for crackers, pretzels and carrots along with Chex Mix and peanuts. My sesame garlic dip was good but it was just a different version of the french onion soup dip. It was a seasoning packet mixed with nonfat Trader Joe's Greek yogurt.

My first Thanksgiving drink was mixed by my brother-in-law. A delicious vodka and soda water with a splash of cranberry. It looks just as good as it tasted! The perfect color of pink!

My drink was a perfect match for my salad with homemade croutons! Yum!

The dinner table looked beautiful! For dinner tonight we had:
mashed potatoes
butternut squash
sweet potato casserole
roasted asparagus
homemade cranberry sauce
homemade rosemary bread (that Matt made)
a couple beautiful bottles of red wine and good beer also graced the table

Last but not least we had dessert. My homemade pie. To be honest, it was way too sweet for my liking. I think the pie would have been perfect with more pumpkin and no cream cheese layer. Everyone was nice and they said they liked it. It's nice that they love me.

Today is a goal free day. No checklist as I would fail them all and I really look at the holiday as a "skip day".
Thanksgiving is a day to remember what we are all grateful for. This year I was extremely appreciative for technology. We were able to "visit" with my sister-in-law who is in Alabama celebrating Thanksgiving with a fellow AmeriCorps friend. She is stationed in Mississippi so Alabama was a nice 3 hour drive for her. We were so thankful to have the chance to celebrate with her. We also got a chance to visit with my father-in-laws family in Michigan, grandma, grandpa, 2 aunts, a friend, 2 awesome cousins* and their cute puppy! I am so grateful for Skype!
*Speaking of the two awesome cousins they design, make and sell their own jewelry! They are having a 25% off Black Friday sale! Check out their awesome Etsy site!

What were you thankful for this Thanksgiving?!

Hope everyone had a great day celebrating with family and friends!

The Night Before Thanksgiving...

Wednesday was the most productive day! By the end of the day I had been to work, had breakfast, went to 4 different grocery stores, had lunch, baked 3 goodies, made 1 dip, had dinner, packed for the weekend for Matt and me, loaded the car with all of our stuff (including Bailey) and then picked up Matt and our brother-in-law from the Celtics game to drive up to Maine. WOW!

My day started off with a bowl of half Kashi Cinnamon Harvest and All-Bran Caramel Delight at my desk.

During lunch Matt and I ran to Trader Joe's and Whole Foods for groceries, wine and lunch. For lunch I had a half of a rotisserie chicken and a cup of pumpkin apple curry soup. It was perfect for the foggy, drizzly day we were having.

After lunch I dropped Matt off at the T to go have drinks with a friend before meeting up with his brother-in-law for a meal in the North End and then the Celtics game. From the T I went to two more grocery stores to gather up the rest of the ingredients that I needed for Thanksgiving. As soon as I got home I got right to work in the kitchen:

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
Wash dishes
Sweet Potato Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Wash dishes
Wash dishes
Sesame Garlic Dip
Wash dishes

I finally had dinner after all of the baking and washing. I had the remaining mashed sweet potatoes from the cookies, a veggie burger on the only two slices of bread left in the house and a salad with left over veggies from Sunday's dinner.

Wednesday's Goal Recap
Go to the gym - Failed I decided to take the day off from the gym because of my cough

Drink 8 glasses of water
No alcohol -
Get 7 hours of sleep - I think I got 7 hours of sleep. I went to bed early enough to get 8 hours but I woke up a lot because of my cough. Ugh!
Consume no more than 1550 calories

What do you make for your Thanksgiving?

Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sleep Deprived

The last couple of days I've felt like a walking zoombie. I've had this cough that won't go away and has been keeping me awake ALL night long. Needless to say it's been a couple days of "fast food" and exhausting gym sessions.

Let's go back to Monday. I started out my day by picking up a Turkey Sausage Egg White flatbread from Dunkin' Donuts. I had a big cup of tea, a big bottle of water (I need my fluids!) and vitamins!

For lunch my co-worker and I took a walk down the street to Mariposa Bakery. We decided to share a curry, apple and currant chicken salad sandwich on sprouted whole wheat bread. I had a bag of baked Ruffles back at my desk which rounded out my meal.

After work Matt and I went to the gym for an upper body strength training and HIIT session. We had just enough time to get home, walk Bailey and take showers before we had to head to the airport to pick up my sister-in-law and her husband! The holidays, getting families together for centuries! They love French food so we decided to take them to Gaslight in the South End.

For an appetizer I got a bowl of pumpkin soup and split a beet salad with Matt.

For dinner Matt and I split the rotisserie chicken. I really appreciate it when restaurants split the the entree before bringing it to the table! It makes it so much easier when I don't have to fork fight Matt over dinner! Our dinner was delicious! I was full from my appetizers but I managed to eat almost all of my chicken and some of the tasty fries!

When we got home Matt "forgot" that I'm not drinking during the week and poured me a glass of wine. I rationalized the wine consumption by stating that the antioxidants and vitamins may help my cough! Eh! I failed that goal for the day.

Monday's Goal Recap
Go to the gym
Drink 8 glasses of water
No alcohol - Failed
Get 7 hours of sleep - Failed but only because of my cough! I tried real hard to get more than 2 hours of sleep!
Consume no more than 1550 calories

After getting only two hours of sleep again I HAD to go to work! Damn! When I got to work I made banana oats with 1/3 c oatmeal, 1/2 banana, 1 teaspoon of honey, 1/2 c water, 1 teaspoon ground flaxseed, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and a tablespoon of milk. It was good and filling.

The oatmeal kept me full until 11:30. It was a super busy day so I only had time to run across the street to our cafeteria to grab lunch. I got my cafeteria reliable, a slice of pizza, a raspberry lime soda water and a big salad that included:
kidney beans
red pepper
sunflower seeds
balsamic vinegar

After work I went to the gym and completed my lower body, tricep and ab session. When I got home I was starving. I reheated some leftover roast beef from my dad's birthday dinner and mashed up some delicata squash with walnuts, a little brown sugar and maple syrup. After cutting off most of the fat that you see I ended up with about 3 ounces of meat which was perfect!

Now I'm off to bed. Hoping that the grape candy flavored super cough medicine and the half of a sleeping pill will get me through my seven hours of sleep.

Tuesday's Goal Recap
Go to the gym
Drink 8 glasses of water
No alcohol
Get 7 hours of sleep - Failed again because of my cough!
Consume no more than 1550 calories

Eat Guilt-Free on Thanksgiving

I just got my Women's Health daily email and I had to share. Check out the hyperlinks for some good articles and recipes:

Eat Guilt-Free on Thanksgiving

Use these 5 strategies, and your meal won't ruin your waistline

Thanksgiving was created for indulging, so go ahead and do it. Here are five tricks to help you savor the feast guilt-free:

Start the day with this 20-minute, no-gear workout. You can do it at home or at your in-laws' to burn off some of the calories you'll consume later. Or go for a walk or run—any excuse to escape your crazy family is a good one, right?

Eat off of smaller plates. Less food will look like more, so you'll be more likely to stick to reasonable portion sizes. And fill up half of your plate with veggies—either naked ones, or try these slimmed-down versions of green bean casserole and candied sweet potatoes.

Have a little dark meat, if you want it. An ounce of dark turkey meat contains just 8 more calories than an ounce of white meat, and the extra fat will help you feel fuller. Plus, only a third of the fat is saturated, and 86 percent of that has no impact on cholesterol, or raises HDL (good) cholesterol.

Savor dessert. Pumpkin pie (sans whipped cream) is one of the best picks since it doesn't have a top. Leave a little crust behind, and you'll skinny it up even more.

Stick to your normal (and healthy) workout and eating plan on the days leading up to and following T-Day. Sure you know it, but a reminder never hurts (and neither does thinking of your holiday LBD you want to fit into).

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Week 1 Goal Recap

I am pretty happy with the results of my first week of goals! A review of my first week with my new goals:

1. Go to the gym at least 5 times a week which will include at a minimum 4 strength training sessions and 2 HIIT sessions. Almost. I completed the 4 strength training and 2 HIIT sessions in 4 workout sessions instead of 5.

2. Drink a full glass of water first thing in the morning to jump start my metabolism. Continue to drink water, at least 8 glasses, throughout the day.

3. No alcohol will be consumed during the week (M-Th) with the exception of special events (i.e. Thanksgiving). woohoo! I was convinced that this was the one I was going to break!

4. Get at least 7 hours of sleep every night! *This is going to be very hard for me. I average about 5 hours of sleep a night currently.* Almost. There was one night that I got 6.5 hours of sleep instead of 7 but I'm still happy with that!

5. Maintain to ensure that I eat no more than 1550 calories a day except on special occasions (i.e. Thanksgiving and birthday celebrations). √ I am pretty sure that I met this goal. I had to estimate lunch for Thursday and my meals at my parent's house. I am pretty sure that I didn't eat more than 1550 calories this week.

Crock-pot Beef Stew Recipe

This is the recipe of the beef stew that I made last Wednesday. This recipe makes about 8 servings. Enjoy!

1 1/2 lbs stewing meat
1/4 cup flour
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
3 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cubed, about 1 inch
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced in 1 inch pieces
2 celery roots, peeled and cubed, about 1 inch
2 turnips, peeled and cubed, about 1 inch
3 cloves of garlic, smashed and minced
black pepper to taste,
1 14.5-oz fat-free and reduce sodium beef broth
2 8-oz tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups of water
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf

1. Coat beef with flour and put in the bottom of the crock-pot/
2. Add all other ingredients. Cook, covered, on low 6 hours.
3. Remove bay leaf before serving.

* if you would like your stew to be a little thicker, empty the crock-pot into a big pot on the stove and cook on low heat while stirring the stew for about 15 minutes.

Nutrition Information for the entire pot of stew:
2491 calories
227 carbohydrates
39 fiber
92 fat
189 protein

Recipe for Southwestern Stuffed Squash

You'll remember that our friend made us Southwestern Stuffed Acorn Squash about a month ago. We loved it so much that I harassed her for the recipe. Then I made my own stuffed acorn squash and then, with the leftovers, stuffed delicata squash. Well, below is the recipe with some of my alterations. Hope you enjoy!

Southwestern Stuffed Acorn Squash
1lb ground turkey
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon of hot sauce (vary amount to personal taste)
shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

*the above ingredients is enough to stuff 3 acorn squash. I used it to stuff 1 acorn squash and 2 delicata squash with leftover stuffing on the side*

1. Preheat the oven to 375. Lightly coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray and put enough water to just cover the bottom of the pan.
2. Cut the squash horizontally. Scoop out and discard seeds. Place the squash cut-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until tender, about 45 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, lightly coat a large skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Add turkey and cook until browned. Stir in garlic, chili powder and cumin; cook for 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes, beans, salt and hot sauce, scraping up any browned bits. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until the tomatoes are broken down, 10 to 12 minutes.
4. When the squash are tender, reduce oven temperature to 325. Fill the squash halves with the turkey mixture. Top with cheese. Place on the baking sheet and bake until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.

It's Sunday Already?!

This week has flown by like most weeks have been! Before I know it we'll be in 2010!

Going back to Wednesday:

Wednesday started out back at my software training. Running late (again!) I only had time to grab a Blueberry bliss Luna bar and my coffee before leaving the house. The bar was good but I was starving by the time we finished our morning training session.
I loved the quote on the back of wrapper " What we put in our bodies matter; food feeds our souls, lifts our spirits, nourishes and sustains us..." The quote is how I feel about food so I had to share!

Once the training was over we ran over to Cosi and grabbed lunch to bring back to the office. I had a small three bean chili, half of a buffalo chicken sandwich on a whole wheat flatbread and a bag of baby carrots. It was nutritious, had a great calorie count for a lot of food and it tasted delicious! Very filling and rewarding!

We were having company Wednesday night so I started dinner Wednesday morning. I got the beef stew started in the crock-pot and set up the bread maker timer so that we would have fresh baked bread when we got home. When I got home the house smelled amazing and delicious!! I quickly put away all of our colorful produce from Boston Organics.

Then quickly made the dessert and put it in the oven. When I went to serve dinner I pulled the bread out of the bread machine and this is what I saw:

It had smelled so good but apparently I didn't put assemble the machine correctly and the bread never mixed. That was a sad moment! I decided to toast up some whole wheat bread to go with the stew to replace the delicious smelling bread. Dinner was still delicious even without the bread. I'll post the recipe for the stew in my next post.

For dessert I took the recipe from Betsy's post for pumpkin cupcakes and made a cake using the same concept. I took a box of Stonewall Kitchen Vanilla Cake mix and followed the directions for the cake replacing the milk with the can of pumpkin. I also added some pumpkin pie spices, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of ginger, 1/4 teaspoon allspice and 1/4 teaspoon cloves. For the icing I just picked up a container of Pillsbury's sour cream frosting. The cake was actually great without the icing so I only put a tiny amount of the icing on the cake.

Dinner was a success and I got to feed so many people! We had one friend come over for dinner and he brought some home for his wife who couldn't come over, two neighbors stopped by and hadn't eaten yet and then I was able to bring the rest of the cake into work on Thursday for my co-workers. I love sharing!!

I knew we had a big department lunch planned for Thursday so my breakfast was just a small bowl of Kashi Cinnamon Harvest (no picture). For lunch my department went to Koreana. I was excited because I have been trying to get to this restaurant for three years. We had a great spread for lunch.
A co-worker and I split a sushi plate to start. I had one piece of each of the sushi tuna, salmon and whatever the white fish was. I also had two of the tuna maki rolls.

I tried a slice of the kimchee pancake. It was good but a little greasy.

For my lunch entree I had the chicken dolsot bimimbop. It was so colorful with all of the veggies, the egg and the seaweed! It tasted even better than it looked! This was my first time eating bimimbop but it won't be my last. I just wish I could get it with brown rice instead of white. I'll have to see if that's an option next time!

All of the meals came with an array of sides which included kimchee, bean sprouts, fish cakes, seaweed, zucchini and cucumber salads. I had the smallest bite of each to try. It was all good but I realized that I'm not a big fan of fish cake.

I estimated that lunch was probably 1000 calories. Ugh! Thank goodness that my gym routine for the day was upper body strength training AND a HIIT session. Lunch kept me full until dinner time. Due to my daily goals I decided that I would just have a small, low calorie, dinner. I made myself some banana oats with flax seed, coconut and a teaspoon of peanut butter. It was the perfect size dinner after the day of eating that I had.

Later on in the night I got a little hungry again so I had one packet of SunBest Raisin & Currant biscuits which is only 56 calories. These biscuits go perfectly with a cup of tea so I decided to make myself a cup of mint tea.

Even with estimating 1000 calories for lunch I am pretty sure that I made my goal of 1550 calories for the day! Yippee!

Friday was a crazy day! Matt and I were supposed to take the day off to go to New Hampshire to celebrate my dad and my sister's birthday. Poor Matt got stuck at work all day so we had to change our plans as the day went on. Before driving up to NH I had a big bowl of my Thursday night dinner, banana oats, and coffee.

Unsure of how the day was going to proceed I packed a bag of goodies for myself to snack on through out the day. I went up to Portsmouth to meet up with my sister and run a couple of errands. After the errand running Matt had informed me that he was going to take the train to NH, arriving at 7:00pm. Now I had a couple of hours to kill with Bailey in the backseat of the car. I decided to stop by my in-laws house for a visit so Bailey could get out and stretch and get some grandparent love! On the way to Ogunquit I ate my first snack, berry SoyJoy bar. It was better than the mango one that I had earlier in the week but still not very delicious.

When I got to Ogunquit I had a Honeycrisp apple and a couple of crackers with some hummus that my father-in-law was nice enough to put together for me. After snacking and visiting Bailey and I went to pick up Matt. When we finally got to my parent's house dinner was waiting for us! My dad had made a pork tenderloin in the smoker. My mom had made pierogies, green beans and homemade applesauce to go with my dad's dinner.

After dinner we all sang Happy Birthday to my dad. Poor dad! With the exception of Matt we are all very tone deaf! Then we shared some of dad's favorite cake, carrot cake!

My dad made us all one of his famous breakfasts Saturday morning. Eggs, bacon and toast! No one can make breakfast like my dad!

My sister is turning 14 next Friday. To celebrate her birthday I took her to see New Moon. It has become a birthday tradition for us starting with last year's release of Twilight!! For lunch we shared a small bag of popcorn, a bag of swedish fish and a bottle water for each of us. Let me clarify that we didn't finish either of the bags of treats but we snacked. I couldn't say no to my sister! After the movie we got home to a little birthday celebration with my dad with my parent's friends. There was a spread of appetizers (no pictures):
shrimp cocktail
chips with salsa and southwestern dip
crackers with port wine cheese spread and cranberry, walnut, orange zest spread
mini-dogs in BBQ sauce

For dinner my dad made a roast, popovers, glazed carrots, roasted potatoes and a "german" salad.

For dessert I had the smallest scoop of apple crisp.

After dinner Matt, Bailey and I drove home. We had a very busy, early day planned for Sunday.

Sunday started with half of a Dunkin' Donuts pumpkin muffin. I ate the top and then put the bottom into my bowl of oats. Yum!

For an afternoon snack I had the other half of my pumpkin muffin. A couple of hours later I had a Chobani vanilla greek yogurt.

We're having friends over for dinner and to watch the Patriots game. Dinner is currently cooking in the crockpot. We're going to have simplified Coq au Vin, brown rice and broccoli. I'll post the recipe along with a review of the dinner later. Now I'm off to watch the beginning of the Patriots game! Happy Sunday!