Friday, July 31, 2009

How I Eat...A Photo Diary

I was working out with Lisa this morning and she asked if I would post a food diary of what I eat in a typical day. She said it would be a help to her. This made me chuckle because Lisa has always been a fitness inspiration to me and I find hilarious that she's looking to me for some now. Well, I'm happy to return the favor because Lisa was always willing to go for a walk with me when I needed a little push back when I was just starting out.

Click on any of the images for a more detailed view.

9am~ I ate a Think Thin bar on the way to the gym. I don't often have an appetite when I'm first out of bed but it's very important that I eat something to get my metabolism fired up.

Gym then food shopping. After lugging all the bundles in and making Rob his sandwich, I made juice.

12pm~ Juicy goodness...a blend of rainbow chard, zucchini, celery, carrots, lemon, ginger and apple.

1pm~ Parfait in my favorite purple bowl...a half cup of Fage 2% plain Greek yogurt, half a package of Cascadian Farms organic blueberries, thawed (no blueberries at the market and that's what I wanted so the frozen ones are great to have on hand), a sprinkle of cinnamon, a teaspoon of honey drizzled over and a palmful (which is about 1/4 cup) of Back to Nature sunflower and pumpkin seed granola.

1:30pm~Finally, some me time. I'm going to spend it in the shower. A cup of green tea comes with. I always use 2-4 teabags per mug. My favorite mug is big and there isn't anything I hate more than weak tea. Two bags of green tea/yerba mate/peppermint blend and two bags of Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime and one packet of stevia. Green tea is supposed to have lots of health benefits and help rev the metabolism, but I just love the way it tastes and the gentle caffeine buzz I get from it.

I'm about 1.5 liters into my water consumption by this time. I drank 1 liter at the gym and then another half with my vitamins.

By the time I finished pottering around upstairs and had a shower it had gotten quite late for lunch and I was very hungry.

4pm~mini-meal...two roll-ups consisting of 1 slice of Lorraine cheese, 1 slice of lower sodium ham and 1 slice of lower sodium turkey, a half-cup of Veggie Crunchers (this is one of the few foods I actually measure if you recall the Veggie Crunchers emotional overeating debacle) and a juicy plum. Another half liter of cold water in my favorite Red Sox cup.

I got the laundry going and then it was time for wine.

5:55pm~ Nero 'd Avola from Italy, intense berry flavor, juicy and supple!

6:45pm~ Linguine Margherita! I picked a bunch of grape tomatoes from the garden and quartered them, tossed them with fresh basil from the garden, a small ball of fresh mozzarella cut into cubes, a drizzle of spicy evoo and a sprinkle of kosher salt and black pepper. Toss with half a box of hot, al dente Dreamfields linguine and you have an absolutely mouthwateringly delectable and super simple (/Sandra Lee) supper. I had a second glass of wine with dinner.

8pm~ While finishing my glass of red wine I enjoyed a 100 calorie dark chocolate bar from Trader Joe's. Nothing like the sweet snap of dark chocolate and along with rich red wine. It was the perfect, relaxing finish to a rather busy and productive day.

So, there you have it, a full day's meals and snacks. As you can see I don't count calories at all and I don't weigh and measure every bite of food I take. I'm full and satisfied. Some days I eat a bit more but never much less than this. I hope this is helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to post it in the comments. I'm going to do this again in the future on a day when I'm not so busy. I may also make posts about how I exercise and how I shop if anyone might find that helpful. Have a delicious and nutritious weekend!

NOTE~ the only thing atypical about this day is the wine. While I do think wine can be part of a healthy lifestyle (and woe be to anyone who tries to deny me my favorite bevvy) I tend to imbibe only moderately on Friday if I'm not working and a bit more liberally on Saturday, but not during the rest of the week.

Friday Weigh-In...This Stop, Onederland!

July has been a good month so I wanted to close it out with an official weigh-in. I was greeted with a lovely surprise! It's been a long time since I've seen a "1" as the first number looking back at me from the scale, eleven years to be exact. I'm thrilled, not so much by the exact number, but because of the way I reached it. By saying NO to diets, by listening to my body and treating it with care and respect and by dealing with my "issues" in a responsible, thoughtful manner. Although it is very nice to be in Onederland, it doesn't change the fact that I'm going to continue living the lifestyle of a fit and healthy person so I can continue to become that person.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Retraining the Fat Brain

Getting home late from work last night and not sleeping well left me looking like The Mummy with none of the awesome powers like being able to rain a plague of locusts down on the gym so I wouldn't have to go and see my trainer. Fat Andra with her "fat brain" would have called in dead. But since I'm working on retraining my fat brain to be a "fit brain," I splashed some cold water on my face and got a move on. I explained to Blake that I was feeling rotten and to please ease me into the workout. He did and about halfway through the endorphins kicked in and I was able to finish strong and even got on the elliptical after we finished and rode like the wind to make up for my slow start.

About "fat brain," I don't have any scientific studies to back up such a thing, only life experience, so take this for what it's worth. I learned the behaviors of turning to food for reasons other than nourishment and the occasional gustatory pleasure from seeing the adult women on both sides of the family turn to food for comfort. I was thin as a child and didn't start having food issues until my dad left when I was 13. My mother turned to food for to deal with her pain and in turn I did the same thing. I developed bad habits and what I call "fat brain." Fat brain is really hard to turn off once it's activated. Though I believe, with all my heart and soul, fat brain can be retrained with conscious effort on a daily, even hourly basis. I didn't say it was easy, but it is possible.

I've been listening to a great podcast called Fat2Fit and they say that if you live the life of a fit, healthy person of (insert your goal weight here) than you will eventually become that fit, healthy person. And though it's not as easy as it sounds, it's amazing advice. This is how I'm trying to retrain my fat brain into my fit brain. This morning I thought, "What would fit, 150 pound Andra do?" She goes and does her workout. I made a conscious choice to listen to Fit Andra and not Fat Andra. I'm really happy I did. I feel clearer of mind and will have the energy to get through my shift this evening that I would not have had if I curled up on the couch and sulked and ate until it was time to go to work.

So what do you think about fat brain vs. fit brain? I want to hear from you.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Meatless Monday

Take a look at that beauty! Prepping those wheat berries in advance let me throw this gorgeous salad together in just a few minutes. Of course, I had to have a little nibble to check the seasoning and ohmygosh, it is so yummy! I'll grill up some whole wheat pita and a delicious and nutritious dinner will be served.

Monday Weigh-In

I've spent the morning grooming as you do before the Gynecologist, I'm out the door shortly for my annual appointment. Fun! I'm down another pound to 201, I'm getting very excited for the time when I see a "1" before the number on the scale. Not long now, next couple of weeks maybe.

It's meatless Monday, so I'm going to be trying out the Wheat Berry Salad recipe I mentioned the other day. I'm going to use tomatoes and cucumbers from my garden so I'm sure it's going to be a lovely supper.

I've got to run, I want to eat breakfast and make a mug of green tea before I have to head out the door. Happy Monday, everyone! I hope your week is low on stress and heavy on joy.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Label Reading Refresher

I am angry at myself for being fooled because I've become vigilant about reading labels but sometimes these manufacturers manage to get something over on me. I was about to do a review on Arnold Multi Grain Sandwich Thins and double checked the label before writing up my post and realized that sucralose is listed as one of the ingredients. I flipped! How did that get past me? And what the hell does Arnold think they are doing by avoiding HFCS in their products and replacing it with another poison like sucralose? I cannot in good conscience recommend this product.

You cannot be too careful about reading labels because these food producers do not care about the health of their customers, they only care about their bottom line. I need to be more careful so as a reminder to myself and a reminder to you, please read your labels. If there is something you don't like the sound of, do not buy it. Here is an article listing 10 biggies to avoid. Each one of us are the only ones we can depend on to nourish our bodies in a healthful and responsible way and I refuse to let these food manufacturers profit from trying to make me fat and unhealthy.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

It Was Quite a Moment

I don't know if I've waxed on about my love for Disney before. Especially this guy. I've been to Walt Disney World many times but have never been able to outfit myself on our trips in "layers of Disney" as my dear sister says. If you've ever filled out a size 28 practically to bursting, you know what it's like trying to find cute character clothing in your size, next to impossible.

We have a trip to WDW coming up next month so I went to the Disney Store today just to see if I could get something to fit (as I've done many times in the past and always came away empty handed and sad.) I found 3 adorable ladies t-shirts, one Tinkerbell and two Mickey, size XL with room to spare! I started jumping up and down with joy, which isn't all that uncommon for me to do whilst in the Disney Store. I couldn't help but babble to the sales associate about my joy when I started to cry. Standing at the cash register. Inside the Disney Store. At that point the girl also started to cry because she, too, has had a recent weight loss after gaining a lot of weight from her last pregnancy and she really knew what I going through. It was quite a moment. I left the store sobbing, clutching my bag and found Rob waiting outside for me with a big hug and a big congratulations.

It may seem like such a small thing but for me it's a huge victory. I can't wait to sashay around Magic Kingdom in my cute little Tinkerbell top. Though if I don't find any denim or cargo shorts that fit properly, I'm likely to be sashaying around like this guy...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Try Something New: Wheat Berries

I found myself pottering around the house and came upon a container of organic wheat berries that I had purchased at Whole Foods in the spring. I thought today would be a good opportunity to try something with them.

Wheat berries are a whole grain, in fact, it's the entire wheat kernel. An excellent source of fiber, wheat berries have a nice, chewy texture, mellow, nutty flavor and have breakfast, side dish and salad applications. Wheat gets a bad rap because its presence in so many highly processed foods, but in its whole form wheat has a number of great health benefits.

First you have to cook the wheat berries. I followed the method from Eating Well magazine. I reserved 1 1/2 cups for a breakfast dish and froze the rest for Wheat Berry Salad with Goat Cheese which I'll serve with grilled whole wheat pita on meatless Monday.

This breakfast dish from Eating Well caught my eye, but I made my own tweaks. Here is my adaptation.

Ginger Wheat Berry Porridge

1 1/2 cups whole rolled oats
2 1/2 cups So Delicious vanilla coconut milk drink
1 1/2 cups cooked wheat berries
1/4 cup golden berry blend (dried cranberries, blueberries and golden raisins)
1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Bring milk to boil and add oats, dried fruit and ginger. Stir well, bring back to boil then lower heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Add cinnamon and wheat berries, stir well and simmer an additional 2 minutes until nice and thick. Makes five 3/4 cup servings.

It came out really delicious, plenty sweet from the coconut milk and candied ginger, no additional sugar was needed. I'll add a handful of nuts before eating. I divided it up into 5 containers to enjoy as a quick and hearty breakfast before working out. I thought it would be a nice diversion from the usual Larabar I have on the way out the door especially on mornings when Rob and I walk the mountain or when I walk the neighborhood.

I'll let you know how the wheat berry salad turns out.

Rest Days Required

Happy Thursday! I have an entire day looming in ahead of me and it feels a little strange not to have a to-do list hanging over my head. I'm off from work, the house is well stocked with a variety of nutritious and delicious foodstuffs, the laundry is done and the house is fairly clean and tidy. After two days of vigorous training, I'm taking the day off to let my muscles repair themselves. I'm sore today. Hit abs and legs on Tuesday and then did a grueling shoulder and bicep session with Blake yesterday. Needless to day, I won't be lifting much of anything today. Especially my arms.

I always thought that once you started exercising you had to just keep at it non-stop forever so I was very excited when I realized that rest days are just as important as workout days. After vigorous strength training or a long hike, your body *needs* the rest for the muscles to repair themselves so you'll be even stronger the next time you workout. How great is that?

What's on the menu this evening? Grilled ahi tuna and with sesame sugar snap pea salad. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. I'm going to make my lemon ginger green juice now, then have a parfait and enjoy having a few hours to myself before Rob comes home for lunch.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Start Today!

Are you sick and tired of feeling sick and tired? (Love that one!) Have you had it with feeling sluggish and heavy? No need to wait until Monday or until after Uncle Baldie's birthday bash. Whether you're a size 0 or a size 30, start embracing good health right now. The smallest step can be taken today.

Think before your next drive-thru trip. You can't fuel a healthy, happy person with that sort of crap any better than you can fuel your car with a gallon of milk. Grab a water instead of that can of Diet Coke, need a caffeine boost, try green tea with a drizzle of honey. Switch to half butter and half olive oil instead of all butter in your supper tonight. Plan just one extra serving of fresh fruit and one extra serving of fresh vegetables each day. Start reading labels to start building awareness of what you're putting in your body. Start by eating the recommended serving size of your favorite treat out of your prettiest bowl and savor every bite instead of mindlessly munching out of the container. Pick one suggestion, try it out and see how it makes you feel.

Want to start a fitness program and feel overwhelmed? Just put on a pair of comfortable shoes and start walking. Doesn't matter where. Around your living room, around the block, around the mall before it opens, at the park. Or put on some music in your living room and dance for a little while. Just start moving even if it's just for 10 minutes today.

It's so easy to fall into excuses (I've made them all) and self-pity. But it is just as easy to make one small change to improve your health and well-being and work on it until it's second nature. A healthy lifestyle, like a good meal is best absorbed by the body (and mind) when broken down into tiny, digestible pieces. You can do it!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Monday Weigh-In

We are on day three of a cold front that is making our weather so awesome that I haven't had to run the A/C since Friday afternoon. Unheard of in Georgia in July, if you're local to me I hope you're enjoying it as much as I am. On to the weigh-in...

202! Another 3 pounds gone, for a total of 75 pounds. I think I'll definitely make it to One-derland before the Disney trip, the hard thing is going to be staying there while on vacation in a place where I'm going to want to eat a Mickey bar about 5 times a day. I've got to get myself a buffer zone so I can enjoy a Mickey bar and not feel like I'm moving backward when I get home.

We hiked the mountain again Sunday morning and it was definitely a little easier this time around. We got fitted for new training shoes at the New Balance store on Saturday so we broke them in yesterday. My old 406's didn't have enough grip for hiking or enough padding for extended outdoor walking so I had been feeling a bit achy in my knees after my last few outdoor walks. I got the 1123 which are just made for my hobbit feet. They stabilize the heel so the foot doesn't roll in or out to keep my knees and hips in proper alignment. I felt a whole new group of leg muscles working yesterday because of this. And no knee pain today!

Because of the way the 1123 shoes are made very straight, it almost looks like you have your shoes on backwards and because I have hobbit feet, I got a wide width so I've taken to calling them "The Jimmy."

I've been going non-stop for the last four days ending with company last night so I'm taking it slow today before I have to go back to work tomorrow. I'll do a little laundry because I have to be a little productive but after I juice I'm going to take a big mug of green tea and the Sunday paper out on the deck and enjoy this glorious weather while it lasts.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Bumper Crop

Happy Saturday! It's a gorgeous morning here, unseasonably cool and breezy for Hotlanta in July. I was up super early to get the Sunday Gravy going (replete with red wine, steak, country ribs, hot and sweet Italian sausages and fresh oregano) for tomorrow' company. We sat outside with our juice and coffee to enjoy the fresh air and I just did a quick harvest in the garden. I'm so excited, have a look at these...

I finally got a yellow squash after all the others rotted before they could mature. I think the bees really helped as well as letting soil dry out between watering. The lovely globes with the yellow blush are lemon cucumbers and of course lots of ripe, sweet tomatoes. Some are for the grilled scallion and tomatoes to accompany the rib-eye steak for tonight's supper and the rest are for Caprese salad, tomorrow's first course. That little bowl of jewel colored goodness makes all the tending and worrying worthwhile. And you know how much organic tomatoes cost at Whole Foods.

We're off to Trader Joe's to pick up wine and dessert for tomorrow. I suppose it's good that there is not a good cannoli in the whole state of Georgia, so I won't have to worry about over-indulging tomorrow. Enjoy the day and eat something fresh!

Friday, July 17, 2009


Not that "euphoria" but I couldn't make a post with said title without referencing one of the best episodes of Beverly Hills 90210 of all time.

Seriously, I'm back from a long walk (I conquered every nook and cranny of the neighborhood for the first time, 75 minutes of sweaty glory) and I feel amazing, definitely euphoric. I was surprised to find out that not everyone gets that post exercise high, though. The hike on Sunday, which gave me a great high, left my husband napping on the couch. My friend Lisa says that while workouts truly energize her day, she doesn't get euphoric. It got me thinking. While everyone can certainly benefit from daily exercise, why doesn't every experience post-workout euphoria?

I wonder if it's because of my predilection toward food addiction and junk food binging. You've heard me talk about the good feelings associated with the serotonin dump that comes immediately after gorging on a super-sized fast food meal or an entire box of Twinkies. I get a similar, and to be totally honest way better, feeling post and sometimes even during my workouts. And the feeling lasts so much longer than the serotonin dump with none of the guilt and ugly mood swings associated with junk food.

I'm not a brain chemist but I thought it was an interesting question. Exercise releases endorphins that cause a general feeling of well being, but I wonder why each brain experiences it differently. I'm not sure if there have been studies done on the subject, but I think it's worth a look.

What sort of feelings (other than thank goodness I'm done) do you experience after your daily exercise? Do you get euphoric, energized, or just a mellow feeling well being?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

More Food Porn

I had a great workout with Lisa this morning. We went through my lower body workout from last week. I was still feeling a bit of the soreness from the weekend workouts but it was worth it because the post workout euphoria was the only thing that kept me from completely losing it during this afternoon's viewing of My Sister's Keeper. It was really nice seeing Jason Patric again, I'm glad they pulled him out of the mothballs.

I went to the garden to pick a few goodies for dinner last night and came away with some beautiful tomatoes and some basil, parsley and lemon thyme. Looks so pretty!

It was Macaroni Monday yesterday. I cooked some mushrooms, zucchini, red bell pepper and green onion in the grill basket until tender-crisp, seasoned with a pinch of kosher salt, the fresh lemon thyme and white pepper. I tossed the grilled veggies with hot Dreamfield's pasta, the fresh herbs and tomatoes and a bit of crumbled light feta. I finished it off with some spicy Sicilian evoo and dinner was served.

The picture just does not do the dish justice. The juicy sweet tomatoes and pungent basil were a wonderful contrast to the smoky grilled veggies. The tang of the feta just brought it all together. We cleaned our plates and I have plenty leftover to take to work with me on Thursday.

Tonight I'm going to attempt pan-seared sea scallops. I'm going to roast up the beautiful organic beets and asparagus and then serve it all with a drizzle of mustard vinaigrette and snipped fresh chives. I'll be sure to report back with the results.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Did You Have Your Juice Today?

One of the lovely readers wanted more info about juicing not that I need an excuse to wax evangelical about juicing, here goes. I'll review my best juicing information and tips and then I'll provide some links for more information. Here's a link to my blog posts with the label "juicing for health."

I use the Jack Lalanne Power Juicer. I got it at Costco for around $90. I love my machine and buying it at Costco makes it risk free because of their fantastic return/replacement policy. The Power Juicer is easy to use, easy to assemble/break down and easy to clean. Of course there will be an adjustment period but it's so part of my routine now that it really only takes about 5 minutes, if that, to clean. I always save the produce bags from the market to line the receptacle. That way I never have to clean it, just toss the bag of pulp away or save it for baking. I use hot running water and a soapy sponge for all the parts and give the basket a quick brushing with a soft brush.

I buy the best produce I can afford. Sometimes organic, sometimes not. There is a weekly cost associated with buying pounds of produce but the cost of not getting them into your body is far greater. Lisa says that it's money she and her husband won't be spending on doctors and prescription medications in the future. Damn straight! The juicer also helps me to waste nothing. Any fruit or veg that didn't get eaten when it was supposed to goes right in the juicer even if it's a bit over its peak. Just trim off anything that looks suspect and in it goes.

I make about 32 ounces of juice per day, that's one 16-ounce glass each for me and my husband. It took me awhile to figure out the proportions of how much produce will yield that much juice. And sometimes I end up with a little more or less depending on the actual fruits/veg.

Dark leafy greens are the foundation of my juices. I buy pre-washed spinach, kale or turnip greens for convenience though you can get greens at farmer's markets very cheaply if you don't mind washing them yourself. If I buy beets to cook or juice, I'll use the greens in the juicer, they are delicious and loaded with health bennies.

Once a week I soak all the produce in the sink with produce wash and water. I give everything a good scrub, a good rinse, then I divide it up into the bags. This 20-30 minutes once a week saves me much time in the morning. I just grab the bag, juice it, drink it, wash up and go.

Here's what I buy in a typical week:
3-4 large bags of greens
5 pounds of carrots
2 bunches of celery, not hearts, the whole bunches
7 large or 14 small apples (whatever is on sale or looks best)
7 lemons or limes
about a pound of root ginger
and this varies: beets, zucchini, fennel, summer squash, cucumbers, bell peppers depending on my mood and what looks good.

What if it doesn't taste good? (Grow up, this isn't pre-school, not everything has to taste like marshmallow peeps and chocolate muchkins.) Ahem, I tend to avoid anything that's too cabbage-y which can cause the juice to be bitter. If I use cabbage or broccoli, I use very small amounts, but you'll learn what you like with some experimentation. Add an apple, a whole lemon or lime (rind, pith and all) and lots of root ginger and I guarantee your juice will taste light and refreshing. Freshly pressed juice is loaded with nutrients that your body and mind will feel it.

Is it easier to just open a bottle and pour your juice? Sure it is. But why bother, you're only getting empty calories and God only know what else. The small time investment of juicing fresh whole vegetables and fruit has a payoff far greater than a few minutes a day. V-8 or Tropicana will not give you the same health benefits and vital energy and freshly pressed juice.

Buy a juicer and start juicing on weekends only. My juicer came with some good information and recipes. Buy just the produce needed for a couple of the recipes and try it out. Keep trying recipes until you find out what you really like or try out the recipes for any particular health conditions you'd like to remedy. Twice a week is better than none and then branch out and gradually build up to 5-7 days a week. If you're not eating your nine servings of fruit and vegetables a day, juicing is the fastest, easiest and best tasting way to get the nutrition into your body.

Juicing: your key to radiant health. If you're not getting Dr. Mercola's newsletter, you're really missing out. Sure he's a bit radical for me, but the bulk of information on his site is priceless.

Can juicing really lead to happiness? I say hell to the yeah, but read the article for more info.

Cherie Calbom is the juice lady. I'm currently reading her Juicing for Life book. I'll post a proper review when I get back into it (my boss gave me her copy of the latest in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, so everything else is on the back burner.)

If you took time to read the above novel, I thank you. If you have any questions or comments, as always, feel free.

Monday Weigh-In

Happy Monday! The combination of vacation eating having shaken up my metabolism and a week of really good workouts have broken the plateau. I weighed in at 205 this morning. That's a 4 pound week and a 72 pound total. YAY!

I'm taking it easy today because I worked out both Saturday and Sunday. I'm training with Lisa tomorrow and Blake on Wednesday so I need to rest up. Saturday afternoon I was feeling bored so I came upstairs and took the plastic off the Tae-Bo tape set after I've had them lying around for years collecting dust. Hee! VHS, how old and crusty is that? Anyhoo, Billy Blanks is a tool but his workout is good. It's tough, full body and cardio engagement. I went through the instruction tape then did the basic workout. Re-reading the paragraph I just typed it making my head spin. I was bored. So I exercised. ROFLMAO. I'm getting addicted to that post workout high, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's better than sitting on the couch shoveling gallons of ice cream down my gullet, that's for sure!

Yesterday morning Rob and I decided that after 8 years of living in Marietta, GA we were finally going to hike up Kennesaw Mountain. The whole area is protected land where battles of the Civil War were fought. The trail up is 1.1 miles and pretty steep and rocky at most parts. It was tough and I'm feeling it everywhere from my ankles to my butt this morning. We took the road down and did running sprints along the way. It was fun and exhilarating and the views from the top of the mountain are stunning! We're going to do this again next Sunday morning and keep at it until it's no longer a challenge. I want to work up the fitness to be able to hike up Stone Mountain, which is a 2 1/2 mile trail of rock face. We hiked down it once years ago and it was a bitch. Of course I was 300 pounds with busted-ass knees and I cried the entire way down because I was afraid of falling. But she's gone now and I'd love to go back and exorcise that demon once and for all.

I'm going to make the juice packs for the week. I bought gorgeous organic golden and ruby beets at Whole Foods last night. I'm going to use the fresh greens in the juice this morning. Can't wait! Have a super week.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Clean Eating

Y'all know that I'm totally addicted to magazines. So addicted that although I get about 15 or 20 of them in the mail every month (some are even weekly), I'll seek out and purchase ones I don't get. Often adding $20 to the grocery bill (shhhh, don't tell Rob!) Recently I came across a mag I hadn't seen before called Clean Eating.

Clean Eating is chock full of tips on how to eat a variety of colorful, nutritious and delicious foods everyday. There are some beautiful photos accompanying lovely and uncomplicated recipes. They have a two week meal plan along with the shopping list and a bevy of articles on health and fitness. Some of it comes across as a bit preachy, but don't we all. ;)

The July/August issue contains an excellent article that I strongly urge you read. The article goes into good detail about how your body/brain, wanting to experience a particular feeling (relaxation, happiness, anticipation, excitement) will manifest itself as a food craving. It doesn't *really* want the food just the feeling associated with the actions of eating and the resulting chemical reactions. It doesn't just tell you what food cravings are, it actually offers sensible advice on what you can do to curb food cravings and how re-train yourself away from negative behaviors associated with them.

I really don't need another magazine right now, but once one of my subscriptions is up, I'm subscribing to Clean Eating. In the meantime, I'll be reading it at the market.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Bit of Food Porn

This is the watermelon, mint and feta salad from Wednesday night. I drizzled it with a bit of tangy mustard herb vinaigrette before serving it as a first course. It is a MUST TRY! The flavors and textures are a revelation. The sweet, juicy and crisp watermelon with the soft, delicate mint leaves mingling with the sharp and salty tang of light feta (Trader Joe's light feta is awesome.) It's the most simple of plates with an amazing head satisfying payoff.
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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hump Day Chatter

Happy Wednesday! How's the week going? We're more than halfway to the weekend, yay. What's everyone got planned? I have the Black Phoenix Will Call event on Sunday. If you're local to Atlanta, Georgia come on over to the Harry's Whole Foods on Upper Hembree Road in Roswell on Sunday from 4pm-8pm. Come in to the Salud Cooking School, meet some great people, sniff and purchase some amazing perfumes (none that you've ever smelled the likes of in your life) and buy some gorgeous produce before you leave.

I had my session with Blake this morning, it's been a full month and I am very pleased with my progress. He led me on my first foray into LUNGES (sounds like dungeon.) As much as I was hobbled by the first session, I can feel myself getting stronger, he's able to push me harder with less rebound soreness. I didn't think I'd enjoy working out with a trainer as much as I do. If you're struggling with fitness and it's in your budget to get a few sessions with a trainer, I highly recommend it. I have a notebook full of great workouts I can do on my own or with a friend on the other days of the week. Keeping it fun and different is a great strategy to keep up with training and motivation!

I just finished making the juice bags for the rest of the week after having a long soak in a hot, salty bath. I have to make the juice when it's time for my snack. I've been putting fresh herbs from the garden in the juice and the mint/basil/parsley combo is a delight! The herbs are still growing like stink and the tomatoes and cucumbers are doing great. I made some quick pickles for our sandwiches yesterday and they were delish! The peppers have started to grow in but it will probably be another month before we can have our first taste. Sadly, the squash plants are doing poorly. They are infested with bugs despite my spraying with soap and neem and the veggies are rotting as they grow. I won't be planting them again next year, it's too frustrating. Next year I'm going to do double cukes with a cage for them to grow up on, more tomatoes, peppers and herbs. They seem to need the least amount of tending with the most abundance.

I'm making herb marinated grilled chicken on a bed of greens for supper tonight and a watermelon, mint and feta salad as a first course. Lastly, here's a link to the pics from the Savannah trip. There is some major food porn to behold.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Monday Weigh-In

Well, we're back home and I've turned into a pumpkin once again. What was the damage of a stay-cation that included pizza and vegetarian Indian and a long weekend in Savannah? A single pound! 209 this morning, no doubt a bit of bloat from eating restaurant food (and lots of wine) for much of the past week. The good habits I've been working on along with the exercise to stoke my metabolism is definitely working.

Savannah did not disappoint, it was definitely hot but it's lovely and romantic as ever. The meal we had at Sapphire Grill was one for the memory books, spectacular service, exciting and inventive cuisine in a really nice setting, I can't wait to go back. The pizza at Varasano's did not disappoint, either. They've got the crust down and the sauce on the Nana's pizza was really good, similar in style to my favorite pizzeria back in Boston. I ate too much that night, but going back to share a salad and one pie with my husband would be a perfectly reasonable (and tasty) now and again weekend treat.

I could not wait to have my juice this morning, I always miss my juicer while I'm away. I loaded it up with lots of fresh herbs from the garden and an entire bag of spinach for an extra anti-oxidant and energy boost. I have to go back to work tonight, so I'll need the energy. I did a bit of yoga this morning but I look forward to getting back to the gym for a proper workout tomorrow.

Happy Monday, everyone, have a great day!