Slow and Steady

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tuesday Tidbit: It's My Birthday!!!

Middle age is when your age 
starts to show around your middle. 
~Bob Hope

Before breakfast I got the best gift. A jacket in summer! Yep, you read that right. I have been wanting a white jacket since forever. I feel like white jackets are feminine and pretty.
 Breakfast was Super Hubby's specialty Shakshuka. It was served with great crusty bread, fresh avocado and his signature chopped cilantro. We also had some cooling fresh fruit, watermelon and raspberries.

After breakfast I seriously considered crawling into bed and staying there, but feeling rested and well fed I thought I could make better use of my day and went to a boot camp work out at the gym. That was great and I made it home with time to shower and watch TV-fiddle on the internet for an hour and a half. Who knew there was so much time in the day?

Noon-Hair cut. Just a trim really, but I love that I get it blown out straight, I feel like a fun, prettier, hipper version of myself with straight hair. Like it is a costume or disguise or something.

Lunch-Lunch with my hubby at my favorite seafood restaurant in town. I was anticipated a mahi mahi or halibut encrusted with some delicious macadamia nuts or pistachios, but it wasn't to be. Instead I went with the California combo. This was fried taken to the extreme with a some cod, shrimp AND calamari. Too much food. Too much and no picture to share.

I planned to nap when I got home, but I was feeling home sick so I baked a chocolate cake and rainbow confetti cup cakes. Chocolate sounded boring so I put mini chocolate chips in it and that sounded too boring so I also made banana cream pudding and plan to make a triffle with it. Rainbow confetti didn't seem colorful enough so I portioned the batter out and used 5 different colors of food coloring and piped them into the cupcake cups to make a tye died confetti style cupcake. Super fun! So how does this relate to being home sick? Well, I am taking said deserts to my family for a dessert party. My parents were out of the country for a month and I figured why not use my birthday as a way to get us all together for a night.

In the few minutes after I was done baking and just settled into bed to finish my movie from early in the day I got a call (hang up) and a knock at the door. Would you believe it? I was delivered some delicious Sherry's Berries. Thanks AMW, this was a very cool gift.

Why I Kick A$$: Because I surround myself with awesome people who love me.
The Big Picture: I wasn't sure my day was going to be "perfect." We usually do something extravagant like a long weekend away, but this year with our family vacation coming up, we decided not to. Instead, I just took the day off to relax and found that the phone calls, text messages and family dessert night was just what my heart and soul needed this birthday.
Thankful Three:
  1. For a peaceful day
  2. For my new outfit from my nieces and nephew
  3. For Netflix

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday Summary: Home Run in the Kitchen

  All happiness depends 
on a leisurely breakfast. 
~John Gunther

So while this blog post will focus on how flipp'n awesome I was in the kitchen today, I can't go without sharing with you a summary of the last few days. No I haven't worked out, yes I know that is not shocking anyone, but we'll talk more work out stuff in another post. First I have to tell you that my oldest graduated from preschool and he looked fabulous! I used to think "graduating" from pre-school or kindergarten was lame, but man did my son feel accomplished and it is certainly setting the tone for him as he prepares for elementary school so I guess these types of things aren't so bad.

Friday night my extended family gathered at a local winery to celebrate my cousin's 30th birthday. Why it didn't occur to us to get a huge family photo is beyond me. We did snap this one and it is a glimpse of what life would be like if I lived back home. I only live 15 minutes away, but when you come from a "small" town kind of place, anything outside of city limits is "far" and there is a tendency to get left out of the Saturday coffee invites or last minute drinks. It is only 15 minutes people! Ok, well 15 minutes plus trying to nail down a sitter, but still.

We were in town on Thursday night to see our nieces last softball game, my hubby sponsored her team. We ran into 2 aunts, 2 cousins and boat load of kids at the pizza parlor. Small towns equal impromptu family reunions.

Ok, on to my greatness in the kitchen with a nod to Pinterest, My Recipes and Farmer's Market:

Zucchini Puffs
Zucchini Puffs-light crispy outside, fluffy inside. I found several recipes on Pinterest all boasting tater tot like texture and I found that they were more fluffy and strata or quiche esque on the inside, but light and crispy on the outside. I made this for breakfast this morning hoping not to let my excess of zucchini's go to waste this week. I adapted what I read and did the following:

1/2 cup grated zucchini
1/2 cup shredded zucchini
(squeeze all the liquid out-used 4 medium zucchini)
1/4 cup (heaping) of finely chopped yellow onion
1/4 cup (heaping) of crushed saltine crackers
1/4 shredded parmesean
1 egg
salt & pepper to taste

fills 12 mini muffin cups, I sprayed with non-stick olive oil spray

400 degree over for 18 minutes

I would absolutely make these again and would likely serve them at a brunch or gathering, because they are so good, other people must try them.

Oatmeal Banana chocolate chip cookies

This recipe is straight from My Recipes and the only adaptation I made was to make a few in a mini muffin tin which took the same amount of time and dipped the tops in melted semi-sweet chocolate and froze them to harden the tops. So good with a cup of decaf in the afternoon

Farm Fresh Fried-Taquitos
2 inches of canola oil (can use any kind for frying)
Corn Tortillas for rolling (microwave for 25 seconds to soften enough for rolling)
sauteed in 1 tsp of olive oil:
1 tsp minced garlic
2 medium zucchini, chopped

Once the zucchini was semi cooked add
1/4 cup canned corn, can use fresh if desired
2 cups of spinach, cook spinach to desired texture

***I am so bummed I didn't take a picture of the sautee before I used it, it was beautiful***

I spooned this mixture into corn tortillas, sprinkled lightly with jack cheese (can't be too full or it will ooze into oil) then fried until golden brown about 1 minute then roll over for another minute. We served it with homemade guacamole, light sour cream and queso fresco.

Farm Fresh Fried-Enchiladas
Use leftover sautee from above and roll into corn tortillas filled with enough jack cheese to be ooey gooey and drizzle a little red enchilada sauce inside. I like to layer some sauce at the bottom of a 9x9 pan, put the rolled enchiladas in the cover them with more sauce and topped with cheese and a sprinkle of cilantro for an added fresh kick. (For my authentic enchilada makers, no I do not fry my sauce or tortillas in this recipe so I can same time on prep, if you know your way around enchiladas, adapt to your liking)
Why I Kick A$$: My yummy food speaks for itself.
The Big Picture: Enchiladas are delicious, even when I don't go all the way authentic like mom and cook the sauce and tortillas.
Thankful Three:
  1. For a relaxing Sunday
  2. For delicious confidence boosting home cooked food
  3. For waking up motivated to be Susie Homemaker today

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Five: Actually Working Out

I was always looking outside myself for 
strength and confidence 
but it comes from within.
Glad they look fun and pretty, because it is not that much fun and it sure doesn't look pretty LOL

  1. Wow, working a full 5-day work week is tough stuff. LOL yeah, I have been very lucky to be taking so much time off lately that this week was a challenge to get through mentally. I've gotten so much done and I have all day today to do more. Phew, good thing it is almost the weekend....wait?
  2. Tomorrow I am going to a wedding. I am super excited for my friends to be married, I am NOT super excited about the heat for this outdoor 4PM wedding. Fortunately, there will be refreshments if you know what I mean.
  3. Workouts, what's working and what's not. I haven't run since I can't remember when. Has it been a week? Two? I have been lifting weights though. Weights on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday I went to a HIIT bootcamp style class, Thursday was Kettle bells and today a class appropriately title Guts and Butts. I dig the class thing and I am definitely seeing some muscle tone from the weight lifting I am doing at home, but I was too weak to hold some of the 1-1.5 minute circuits at both HIIT and Kettle Bell. It is crazy, I have no idea how I was ever an athlete?
  4. Sunday is fathers day and I haven't gotten my husband anything. He is nearly impossible to shop for so I need to get it together in the next, uh 24 hours? We are going to an A's Game and are pretty excited about Coco Crisp Chia Pet day LOL Actually, what is most exciting is some of our bestest friends who just moved back to California will be there and that is a gift in and of itself.
  5. Eating. I packed my lunches all week, I am rocking my protein shakes, fiber and water in take, but on class days i am extra hungry, even beyond the extra calories I get for what I am burning. I am also not so restrictive that I am going to pretend that I am not going to drink and eat a lot at the wedding, like cheese off my fingers from the Nachos at the game or burp hot dogs the rest of the day Sunday. Yeah, I know super sexy for the hubby LOL It will be a fun day, hot and probably exhausting for the kiddos, but fun
Why I Kick A$$: My biceps are a quarter inch smaller and more defined. Out with the fat in with the toned muscle. NOTE: I am not trying to bulk up, just firm up.
The Big Picture: Damn it, I wish I knew. Actually, I love the way my body feels and is functioning. My biggest complaint is the belly swell, but I can feel my abs coming in underneath, just have to get more cardio in to burn fat. All in good time.

Thankful Three
  1. For wonderful bloggers sharing great information.
  2. For a really neat gym offering dynamic classes that not only hold my interest, but are offered at ridiculous 5AM and 6AM start times.
  3. For the nice guy that sold me my protein and not a single unwanted-needed item more.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday Motivation: What's Next?

It is never too late to be 
who you might have been.  
~George Eliot

I starting eating better back in February and my energy levels and mood have steadily improved. No weight loss though. I started a weights routine early May and hot damn do my arms and legs feel sexy. They may not look it quite yet, but the fact that I feel it has done wonders for my self esteem. I've lost 1.5 inches from the smallest part of my waist in the last month. I am only 2 inches away from where I was once very happy with my waist.

My belly is a whole other story. I am 2 inches bigger than where I am comfortable and more like 4 inches from my goal. The belly is always the last to cooperate for me. Eating as a focus is a challenge, especially with so many festivities planned these last few months and going throughout the summer. The day to day I am good with. I have been packing my meals for the day and eating healthily for dinner when I am home. Out...another story.

I found my water, fiber and protein balance. Goodness gracious, it took me months, but I am there. I have found the balance. I have found my weight lifting zone, I am sure I'll need to mix it up, but wow, the results with such a manageable effort (3-5x per week about 20 minutes a night). So the last thing...cardio. Dang it, my last 2 weeks have been weak, I have an easy plan, but more excuses than I know what to do with.

Fitness In My Face:
A girl friend just finished her first full. My old trainer just won an award at a fitness model competition. A guy I just met at work this past week has been so committed to Cross fit, he packed an ice chest to our meeting so he could stay on point with his diet. My BFF has shaved inches off her body and has been building muscle successfully for the last 5 weeks. My other friend texted me Friday, she lost 6 lbs in her first week of weight loss efforts. I have run into several work people who are boasting about their latest half marathons or marathon plans. One was even going to one of my dream vacation places, Bend, OR to run and drink beer. How dreamy is that. So what do I think about all this? I think, H-E-double hockey sticks, yeah! I needed some motivation and now I have a laundry list of people who are holding themselves accountable and to look to when I need motivation.

So what is next?
I have got to get better at "the plan." Sure I have a general work out plan. Run Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. What I don't have is a drilled down version that reads what time of day I plan to do any of my work outs. Even my weights routine, I just do it at night without any plan. So I think I should have more structure. The reason my eating during the day is so controlled is because I pretty much plan the night before what I am going to eat and when and plug it into my handy dandy myfitnesspal app. I just have such a lackadaisical approach some times... fear of commitment LOL

I am still trying to decide among an 8K, 10K, 12K and half marathon. August is a 10K for sure, September might be a mud run and October is the big one, Nike Women's half marathon in SF. I am fighting the urge to do a full in December. Some friends are doing their first full and it's fairly local....I need to keep reminding myself that I have no real desire to go that distance. 

Why I Kick A$$: I am overwhelmed by happiness tonight. I love when I get that feeling, like nothing in the world matters. I wish my only job was to be home with my family, hanging out and loving life.
The Big Picture: My life is pretty great, because I have a pretty great job that enables us to have as much family time as we do have and wonderful weekends like this past one.

Thankful Three:
  1. For the ice cream, dipped in chocolate and nuts at Costco (shared)
  2. For dinner with my in laws
  3. So many people doing so well with fitness, so motivational

Friday, June 1, 2012

Friday Five: Nothing's Changed?

Easy reading is damn hard writing. 
~Nathaniel Hawthorne

I don't know how I so much time has lapsed since my last post, but it seems nothing has changed? I am still focusing on my fitness and food. I guess to be a better blogger, I should start by just blogging. Novel idea, no?! The never ending saga. My guess is that since I blog at night and I have been weight lifting at night that I just can't seem to manage both lifting at night and blogging at night. That and my late bloomer self has hopped on the Friday Night Light's band wagon late and have been watching the series on Netflix while I weight lift and after as I wind down. Oooh, and I have been reading more. Without further delay, my Friday Five:
  1. I read Bob Harper's Book The Skinny Rules. I wish he picked a different name, someone else published a book by the same title not so long ago HERE. Any way I guess that is neither here nor there. So I read the book and think for those with serious weight issues can benefit from his very simple plan. When I work on my weight I apply many of his same methods, but do not yield the same results....then again I don't stick to them for the blocks of time he suggests. For example there is an initial 30 day phase and then the program changes a bit. What I do like about his book and that I discovered only recently is that he emphasizes eating within 30 minutes to 1 hour of waking and having protein and EVERY MEAL.
  2. I was tricked! I am embarrassed to admit it, but I am reading 50 Shades of Grey. People all over the place were talking about how great it was, it was on best selling lists and I thought it was a teenager book when I heard it was banned from a high school reading list. A friend of mine read it and said it was like soft porn. I laughed and thought it was an exaggeration. I figured I'd fine a taboo scene or something, but boy was I wrong. If you are interested, know you will be reading some risque stuff. Fun reading if you are into that kind of thing, but not for the bashful.
  3. Eating. So I did great for a while and the energy levels were clearly up with my efforts. I prepped on Sunday by chopping fruits and veggies for the week, during week nights I pre-packed my lunches and wasn't eating after 8:00PM. I updated my fitness pal with more aggressive protein and fiber goals and started to really strike a balance with my food in take. Then Super Hubby went on a fishing trip and I spent a few days in San Francisco and at family parties and suddenly all my pre-packed and prepped life went down the toilet. Ok so I guess that was my fault. Darn food choices. I hurt my neck and obviously the only cure was brownies and cookies.
  4. What seems to work for me and what doesn't
  • Significantly more water. I was getting 60 ounces on non-work out days and thought I was awesome. 100-120 ounces really makes me feel so much better.
  • Protein. I am now eating protein at every meal, not including snacks and I have upped my intake from the basic .8 grams per pound of body weight to closer to 1.3. This tough to do strictly through food so I am on the hunt for a protein powder that does not eat up my 1200 calorie daily in take.Whey isolate, not yummy. Spirulina, yummy. Next on my trial list is whey and casein combo, hemp and pea proteins. Soy is not an option.
  • I am lifting. Almost every day. The focus on strength makes me feel fit even when the belly fat doesn't instantly disappear.
  • Fiber. I used to get 15 grams. My doctor recommended 25. I find 30-35 is a better fit for me at the moment. My current issue is varying my insoluable and soluable fibers. I tend to get more soluable in my diet than insoluable. Trying to balance insoluable in my 1200 calorie daily in take target is my current challenge.
  • What is not working is getting my runs in when Super Hubby is gone. I will be paying the gym day care in the future to make sure I don't have an excuse to skip a needed run.
  • What is not working is staying up too late to watch TV
5. 10K Training round 2 is not going as well as round 1. So far week 1 I did my two weekly runs, but missed my long run. Good news is the long run was only 3.5 miles.  Week 2 didn't start off well either. I hurt my neck. It almost felt like whiplash so I had to skip my Tuesday night run and didn't want to push it tonight. I plan to pick back up tomorrow. Good news is that it is a repeat of week 1. It is a slow building 8 week plan and I think I may drop the 10K goal in favor of a local 8K trail run series.

The Big Picture: I still only have 10 lbs to lose, so I can take my time to learn and grow into a normal eater. My brain still thinks I am a division 1 athlete. While that was a lifetime ago, my brain really thinks that I have the ability to be that same girl. I can...if I was doing 3 a days, sure I could be that girl. The goal here is to learn how to be that girl that sits at a desk 8+ hours day and still looks close to the basketball player I used to be.
Why I Kick A$$: I only have 10 lbs to go.
Thankful Three
  1. For quick fixes like better hydration and nutrition
  2. For time to read again even if it meant a break from blogging
  3. For a short work week