That is me and my beautiful nephew. We had a really special time together on Saturday. The mister set us up with a class at Gymboree where my sister, Leo and I got to play and learn! It was part of his gift to me to celebrate today, my 34th Birthday. I didn’t realize it until after the fact but John chose this specifically because he knows I want to be a healthy, active role model for Leo. The Gymboree class fits that ideal perfectly. This thoughtfulness made the time even more special, Leo’s first workout with Mama and Auntie.
Looking back over 33, I am filled with gratitude. Of course my physical progress and the amazing change that physical progress has made in my life. No way I could have participated fully in Gymboree if I hadn’t changed my body. Seriously, I mean it.
But there is so much more to be happy about. I have an amazing family, amazing friends, a beautiful dog and a crazy kitty, a spacious apartment, a job where I work with some pretty great people and I am more spiritually connected than I have ever been, which is a beautiful thing and a gift in itself.
And YOU. My readers. This blog. Just knowing that you are out there, reading and supporting me through the interwebs keeps me going. Thank you for reading and sticking it out with me.
Looking forward to this year, I know there are so many wonderful, exciting things waiting for me. Some I know about and have planned. Others will be a complete surprise. I know I will enjoy the year, savoring each day in this body I have worked so hard to make healthy. I think that’s the best birthday gift I have given to myself. Being truly comfortable in my own skin for the first time in my life. And it feels pretty darn great.
Yeah, it is a Michael Scott kind of day here on the Weekly Run Down. I went to the gym once this week – ONCE! I couldn’t seem to get myself out of bed. Maybe because it is still dark outside at 5:30am when my alarm goes off. Maybe because I am still recovering from a crazy Thanksgiving weekend. Whatever the reason, my body has just been on sleep mode and I have been listening. Maybe next week will be better.
Here are some links to love from this week
So a few readers have asked me for daily menus, what my typical day of food looks like, especially without meat. I thought this would be a perfect post so here goes!
I am pretty boring and tend to eat the same things every day, especially during the week. As I have mentioned before, the Mr. and I have pretty busy schedules and don’t have a lot of time on weeknights to cook.
I start out every day with a smoothie using my NutriBullet. Oh NutriBullet how I love you! My adoration for this machine is a whole other post.
I sometimes I add protein powder and other fruits depending on what’s around. I love to add frozen kale too, I don’t even taste it.
I eat my breakfast early like 5:45 – 6am so by the time I get done working out and head to the office at 9am, I am ready for a snack. I will have a piece of fruit, like an apple or a banana when I get to work.
Lunch lately has been salad with my homemade oil-free dressing, a green juice, and either a cup of quinoa or some of my special beans. I order the salad and green juice from Free Foods. They aren’t a chain but I am sure there are other places like it all over.
My favorite green juice has celery, kale, lime and ginger. YUM! I admit, it took me a while to get used to the taste but now I really enjoy it.
I make this in the NutriBullet. I used to use a food processor but the NB is so much easier to clean! I make a double batch on weekends to get me through the week.
Emma’s Special Beans – like the inside of a bean burrito
I put Franks Red Hot in mine after. I am a little obsessed with that hot sauce right now. I even have a little bottle on my desk at work.
I usually need another snack in the afternoon. I love pickles, kale chips, fruit, carrots and celery – any cut up veggie really.
The salad is the main dish for dinner. John and I love to put fruit in our salad. Our favorites are blueberries, strawberries, figs when they are in season, apples. If I have beans at lunch, I have quinoa at dinner and vice versa. I will often take a bag of frozen artichoke hearts, defrost them in the microwave and put them under the broiler to crisp. Their moisture from being frozen gives them nice brown edges. I usually have a prune or two after dinner, I feel like they are just good for my digestion. So the dinner is basically a big salad, some other cooked vegetable and either beans or quinoa and a few prunes.
So there you have it! A day in the life of my (current) eating!
(Source – borrowed from Mary Stefanski’s facebook page)
So that image above of my cousin Mary is how I felt today after my workout. I hadn’t done a really serious, gruelling workout in almost two weeks and it was SO HARD. I wanted to quit half way through. I felt vomit rising after only 20 minutes. I half-ass’ed the burpees ’cause I thought I might pass out from exhaustion. It’s funny how quickly you fall out of shape. This is one of those days where I swear to myself, “I will never not workout again! The pain of coming back is just too hard!” We will see how spin class goes on Friday morning. Eek!
Hi All! Did you have a good Thanksgiving? I definitely did. I loved being with my family. We did a lot of eating, a little shopping, some more eating, more shopping. You get it.
In my last post, I talked about my commitment to Eat To Live and I am here to tell you that I am on track! I made it through with my first meatless Thanksgiving. It wasn’t all that hard, I had lots of veggies during the appetizer portion of the day then a huge salad with homemade oil free dressing, sweet potatoes, a rice stuffing, sugarless cranberry chutney and then a sugarless/gluten-free apple strudel all courtesy of Mama Lynda. The hardest part of this is the suggestion of avoiding oil, oil is everywhere. I am taking it easy on myself and if I have a little oil, oh well. I have to be realistic for my life and I order lunch out every day – it is impossible to control how restaurants prepare food. I order mostly salads and green juices but if there is a little oil in the quinoa salad I like, I am not going to get worked up about it. One of my friends who is also rocking out ETL style said she and her husband don’t freak out about oil outside the home and take a good, realistic 90% of the time approach. Sounds like good advice to me!
So not that long ago I posted about a book I was reading, Dr. Fuhrman’s Eat to Live. I gave it a good old college try for two weeks, going basically vegan. These two weeks smashed right up against our trip to Maine and my heart just wasn’t in it.
The thing is, I started this journey for my health but mainly for vanity. Let’s face it, I want to look good as well as feel good. But now, it has taken on a whole new direction. Yes, I want to lose these last 20 lbs and in the process, finally hit that 100 mark. But I am really interested in what food is doing to my insides. What can I eat now that will give me a longer life, what will give me more energy? I had been trying to cut down on the meat just because I know I feel better when I eat less of it.
After watching the contestants butcher a pig on Top Chef and seeing this video called Vegucated (Caution, that video really freaked me out and made me incredibly sad. Viewer’s discretion advised) I am giving it another go. I know, great timing, right before Thanksgiving where meat is the main thing. I mean a Thanksgiving without turkey? Who ever heard of that?! To be honest, I don’t really like turkey that much. I have been bringing my own ham to Thanksgiving the last few years. My In-laws are awesome about what I am and am not eating.
I made it through a horrendous day of detox – worst migraine of my life on Monday - and today is day four of being a “vegetarian/vegan.” I’m not big on labels like that, I am not focusing on “being” anything. I am just focusing on the foods I feel good about and right now that means no meat or dairy. Besides, I don’t know if you would call me a real vegan ’cause I’m wearing leather shoes. Oh shoes, how I love you.
Will I ever eat meat again? I don’t know. But for today, I am what the mister called me, “a hippie”, and not eating meat.
Yeah, so my sweet potato biscuits did not come out looking like the ones pictured here
BUT they did taste , good. I followed the recipe and used my silpat - first time ever since we got married over three years ago! If you like baking and don’t have a silpat, I suggest you run, not walk, to the nearest Bed Bath & Beyond and get one. No sticking at all. These babies slid right off the sheet.
The thing is, these are TOO GOOD. The consistency is spot on and they are buttery and delicious. I can’t handle it, these are a total binge food. My mind wants to trick my body into thinking these are an “OK” food for me since they are wheat free and I used a sugar alternative. In reality, my body thinks they might as well be this
I can’t just eat a little of that, I have to have the whole loaf. So I will have my second bread-free Thanksgiving this year. At first I was kinda bummed but you know what? I love looking like this MORE than I want to eat bread at Thanksgiving. And yes, that is a selfie and no I have no shame.
NYC is Too Damned Cold. Florida, on the other hand, was hot. And a little humid as you can tell from the frizz I was rocking.
We had a wonderful time. I read two books (Where’d you go Bernadette and The Other Typist, both were serious page turners) and worked on my knitting. I swam, walked the beach and enjoyed some tasty room service. My parents and I spent some great quality time together, it was really nice to just be with them.
But now I am back in NYC where the temperatures are in the 30s! Brrrr. I would trade my fur-hooded puffy for that red suit any day.
So it is to think about Thanksgiving and how I am going to manage this holiday with all of my (self-imposed) dietary restrictions. I have never really liked turkey so that is a challenge but stuffing is my all time favorite holiday food. Oh how I miss you stuffing! This year we are headed to my dad’s family in Baltimore. I have a few dishes in mind to take with me (and by me I mean cooked by my mother…have you caught on that I don’t spend a lot of time myself in the kitchen?!) a rice stuffing, mashed sweet potatoes, a sugar-free cranberry relish. I do want to attempt these biscuits myself we will see how they come out. I already bought gluten-free flour and some coconut palm sugar to use instead of regular sugar. Wish me luck on them!
This week’s Run Down is a little early since I am leaving for Hollywood, Florida tomorrow for a nice long weekend with my parents. Fluffy hotel-issued robes (I know you know what I mean) and beach cabanas are only a few hours away. I cannot wait for awesome bonding time with Mom and Dad and to break out my hot new red bathing suit. This girl is not going to be shy when it comes to strutting down the sand.
So workout wise I hit up a yoga class. BOO only one workout this week. With so much to do to get ready for the trip and some various appointments in the morning that were not skippable, well, one is better than none.
Here are the week’s links to love
Disclaimer…that is NOT chicken.
I have really worked on “teaching” myself to like new things, as I mentioned in the first part of this series, Foods I Used To hate. Mr. Brussels Sprout, I used to fear you, hate you and now you are almost a staple…OK now I am getting carried away, once or twice a week for those green jewels is PLENTY. There is only so much of that intense flavor I can take.
The second food I have recently taught myself to like is….SALMON! When I told my sister Ruthie this, her eyebrows pretty much left her face they were raised so high. Shock is the best way I can describe her reaction. I used to be 100% anti this healthy fish (except in sushi and even then it has to be spicy crunch salmon). Now, I eat it once a week at least. In that photo above, the salmon is even COLD.
My favorite way to eat it is a salmon steak flash sautéed on the stove and served with grey poupon. Delicious. John is so good at making salmon for me I even ask him to do it instead of “Oh man! Salmon? YUCK!”
Try it for yourself, the mustard really goes well with the unctuous-ness of the fish.