Tag Archives: Foodie

Thursday night and we’re feeling good

I made it to Thursday, y’all. Okay, I know you made it, too. We all did, and we should be proud of that. Because some weeks feel like this. This week was particularly turtle-ish, though, because I decided to do something I’ve never done. I gave up refined and added sugars for 3 full days. I mostly survived (if you can call it that) on vegetables and eggs and tofu and a few other things for those three days. My sugar intake for three days combined was less than my average on a “healthy day” previously.

And although it felt like hell (the carbo-flu is real), I’m glad I did it. I’ve been reading a lot lately about nutrition and dieting and sugar and fat and carbs and all those things that get really confusing. One day, we shouldn’t eat fat or chocolate or drink coffee. The next day, we’re not eating/drinking enough of any of those! And for someone who struggles with weight, it is especially confusing to navigate what I should and shouldn’t be doing. It’s frustrating to eat healthy and exercise well and still feel like you’re getting nowhere.

After being engrossed by several books, The Case Against Sugar being one of them, I decided to make some changes. And those changes started with a self-imposed 3 day ban on just about all sugar. I roughly followed the plan in The Sugar Detox. I know myself, and I know that I am not a “just a little taste” kind of person. If I want to make changes, some of them do need to be dramatic, at least for now. I have to go cold turkey before I can work myself up to being able to enjoy “just a little taste.”

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I’ve never understood this more than now. (via giphy)

So here we are. If anyone is interested, I can list out what I ate these three days, but I won’t bore you for now. Mostly, it was tough at night. I found myself daydreaming of apples and clementines and donuts by Tuesday night, and so I had a little cottage cheese. Dairy wasn’t on the plan, but it felt like the lesser of all “cheats,” since protein is critical for me as a vegetarian. Surprisingly, it did the trick, and I felt extremely satisfied afterward.

Out of curiosity, I weighed myself this morning. I was down 6 lbs. from Monday morning. I attribute this to a couple of things:
1. I have always been someone to retain a lot of water weight
2. Monday was the day after a holiday weekend with family and indulging in things I don’t normally have (I now realize I added an extra barrier for myself, because…leftover Easter candy), so the poundage was probably up from that

Still, I have to assume that sugar keeps me holding onto all of these icky things in my body. And the less I can have of it, the better off I’ll be. Health issues run in my family, and many of those issues have been researched and correlated with sugar consumption.

Am I saying I think everyone can/should do this kind of thing? No, not at all. Will it work for me? Jury is still out. But I do know I have already been surprised by the amount of sugar I was consuming and how often I was doing it, just after noticing my habits these past three days. It’s easy to lick the knife with leftover jelly when I’m making LJ’s PB&J sandwich. Grabbing a handful of chocolate covered peanuts in the breakroom doesn’t feel monumental. However, these things add up over time.

The American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 tsp of sugar a day for women, 9 tsp for men, and 3 tsp for children.
The average adult eats 22 tsp of sugar per day. That’s 2.5-3.5 times more than is recommended. Scary. Here’s an infographic if you’re looking for even more scary.

I’m ready to bring my average way down. These three days have proven I can do it, even when it’s not fun. Today, I already feel less hungry and “snacky,” and I want to keep that going. Even if I don’t have some sort of weight loss breakthrough, I am fairly certain I’ll still feel better, mentally and physically.

But again, the jury is still out. Expect to hear more in the days/weeks/months to come. It’s a new world I’m navigating, and I’m sure I’ll continue to have many thoughts and challenges with it. And don’t worry. I’m not giving up donuts forever. I would never punish myself like that.

SHOP

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3/28/17: Tasty Tuesday

I did it! I came back like I said I would! Aren’t you proud? (Cue the crickets.)

Well, meal planning wasn’t exactly my strong suit this week. I know I have much smoother weeks when I do plan out everything on Sunday afternoon/evening, but I am realistic. It’s not always gonna happen. Life happens.

Luckily, hubby ran to the store late Sunday night to get at least one recipe’s worth of ingredients. I’ve wanted to try stuffed peppers for quite some time, and they jumped to the top of the recipe pile as I was shuffling through my food folder. What better time than a Monday?

I used a recipe I found a few weeks ago on the Poundfit blog, and…yum! They took a little more preparation time than anticipated, and I also neglected to see the part where they bake for 30-40 minutes. Still, we had a delicious and healthy meal hot from the oven around 7:00 PM.

Verdicts:
-Hubby: thumbs way up! By the end of the meal, he was talking about tweaks we could make, and he was excited to take the leftover filling to work with him. It’s a good standalone mix, too.

-LJ: meh, okay, if I must. We have a bit of a sassy attitude and picky eating thing going on these past few days. (Yay for spirited 3-year-olds!) It has been challenging. I did get her to take some reluctant bites, which she said tasted good. But then she’d say the next bite I offered was going to be yucky. We continue to push foods that she has decided she doesn’t like, though, because it usually takes several tries with kiddos before they realize, “Hey, maybe this isn’t so bad.” The more exposure, the better in our household.

-Me: yes, pretty great, thanks. I used a combination of red peppers and green peppers, and I have to say the red peppers complement the recipe much better. In the future, I’ll plan on using red. I also wanted a little more pow to it, so I may tweak it with  chili powder or cumin in the future. I also would like to incorporate some other veggies in there. This seems like a very versatile recipe.

On the schedule for my evening: Ironstrength DVD workout. I like that it’s made with runners in mind, and I love the short segments. 99% of the time, I try not to fall for the ad emails I receive. This one really caught me, though, and I am glad it did. I love Runner’s World and trust their products, so it seemed pretty-low risk. I also heard Dr. Metzl (creator of Ironstrength) on a podcast, and he was fantastic.
The first time I did the workout, I just about vomited. But in a good way. Is there a good way? If there were, this would be it. It worked my muscles and body in a new, effective way. And it scares me a little bit before I start it each time. Sometimes, it’s good to do things that scare you a little bit.

Enjoy your evening! Go do something a little scary.

Cassie

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3/17/17: Friday Favorites

A festive happy Friday to you all! Are you Irish folk wearing your green today? I now realize the only green I really have belongs to race shirts. So I’m sporting my 2017 “Get Lucky” top today. No pinching, please.

We celebrated St. Patrick’s Day at our house, because a leprechaun snuck in while we weren’t looking. It put rainbows on our pizza and dessert when we weren’t looking!

Silly leprechaun.

Today, I’m featuring a “favorite” that’s fairly new in my life. I’m always on the lookout for workouts that fit my style: fun, fresh, and distracting. (I’m not saying I personally am fun, fresh, or distracting. I just like those kinds of things. I’m actually more meh, stale, and inconspicuous most days.)

When POUND showed up in my Facebook newsfeed, I was immediately smitten. I thought it was such a neat idea, and I was disappointed there were no classes near me. At the time, I don’t think they had yet released any DVDs for at-home use, but I could be wrong. I just remember thinking, “I want to do that!”

Then a couple months ago, it popped up again! And I realized they do have DVDs for at-home use. And I wanted them. So I saved up, and my brand spankin’ new POUND DVDs and Ripstix arrived in the mail about a week later.

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The first night I did a workout, I was mainly planning on viewing it and maybe doing a few moves as a tester. The workout I picked was “Jam Session,” which was 40 minutes total. No way was I going to do all that on a Tuesday at 9:30 PM.

Well, fast forward 40 minutes, and I realized I was finishing up the entire workout. I did the whole damn thing. And I was sweating a lot. It hadn’t felt like a ton of work though, so I cleaned up and went to bed.

The next morning, oh goodness, could I ever feel it. Cursed DOMS! It got me. But I also knew that meant this was a good workout.

I’m currently following their 60-day routine, so I’ll likely have an update for you in a couple months. So far, though? Great stuff.

If you’re interested, read a little more here and here. Even if you’re not necessarily interested, they have good information and recipes on their blog.

What’s on your weekend docket, chickadees? I have a 7-mile long run in the plans, a couple POUND workouts, work on Sunday, and not much else. Here’s to hoping you find some time to relax, green beer (or ginger ale) in hand!

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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3/14/17: Tasty Tuesday

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Welcome to Tasty Tuesday! Gave a little teaser on my Facebook page this morning, so I figured I better follow through.

I’m still really enjoying LJ’s active interest in the kitchen. She wants to drag her stool everywhere so she can see everything going on, whether it’s prepping ingredients or washing dishes. (I hope she’s still fascinated by dishes in about 7 years. Or forever.)

Last night’s experiment was with black bean burgers! I have been vegetarian for, oh…maybe 9 years or so now? Hubby has for probably 5, and LJ has been her whole life. We face some challenges with this, but it’s worth it for us.

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She mostly covered her ears when the food processor was on, but she did take a few pushes of the button.

Anyway, even though we’ve been vegetarian for a while, we’ve never made our own black bean burgers from scratch. I’m a fan of a good black bean burger at a restaurant. Not the defrosted Boca burgers that many restaurants use. An actual homemade burger. The best ones even fall apart in the bun, because they’re made from honest-to-goodness whole foods.

I found this recipe on the POUND fit blog (sidenote: if you are a fan of music/dance during your workouts and haven’t checked out POUND, you’re missing out), and we decided it looked easy enough that we should give it a shot.

It was a mostly successful venture for us!

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Stove-top griddles are fantastic.

The initial recipe called for 1 1/2 cups of black beans and 1/2 cup of chickpeas. We ended up doubling the amount of black beans and probably could have added more chickpeas. The recipe didn’t thicken up as much as we had hoped; I didn’t expect it to be thick like an actual burger, but it was basically liquid when we first mixed it up.

I also left out the cayenne, because hubby has a sensitive palate. Hubby commented that he thought the recipe could use some more salt and seasoning. I told him the goal was to eliminate extra salt sources for health reasons. He agreed it was healthier that way but tastier with more salt. We are at an impasse…though he is right. Most things taste better with salt.

LJ wasn’t a fan at first, but that’s normal for her when she tries new foods. We pulled out the good ol’ Daniel Tiger song, though, and he helped us save the day. By the end of the meal, she had eaten almost all of her burger and bun. And she even hesitantly admitted she liked it.

I think we’ll try this again, but I may research a few different recipes to see if there are some different seasoning options. Any of you ever tried making your own black bean burgers before?

Happy almost-hump day!

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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3/7/17: Tasty Tuesday

It’s Tuesday! Which means it’s not Monday! It’s the 7th of March! Which means Jenny Lawson’s new book/coloring adventure is officially released.

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It arrived on my doorstep today, and the wait was worth it. (I pre-ordered that bad boy in September.) I’ve had a rough few days in my hurricane brain, and the first page I opened to said this:

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Lovelovelovelovelove

I can’t wait to get coloring and reading and thinking. And I’m hoping to have a review up in the next week or two.

We’re still going somewhat strong in our house with the healthy eating and meal planning. Tonight’s fare was something a little different, though! I received a recommendation from my friend, Dana, about some stellar BBQ jackfruit sandwiches with avocado slaw. I had no idea what jackfruit was (pictures told me it was some sort of Kakuna-like creature that grew on trees) before this whole endeavor, but she kindly gave two cans to me so I could try out the recipe from Minimalist Baker.

The resemblance is uncanny, right? It’s like for real, real-life PokémonGo.

I am glad to say, though, it does not taste like Kakuna. Though, I have never actually tasted a Kakuna to do any sort of comparison. I’ve never tasted any Pokémon if you want to know the truth. I’m vegetarian. You’re welcome, Pikachu.

We had mixed results with the recipe, but that was nothing to do with the jackfruit itself. The BBQ sauce I chose for the recipe was much spicier than I expected, and that doesn’t jive with hubby or the 3-year-old. I did smear some plain Greek yogurt on her sandwich to mellow out the flavor a bit. She took three bites at my coaxing (and with the promise of a PB&J if she took a few bites). She isn’t a picky eater, so I no problems with her deciding she doesn’t want something, as long as she tries it. (She eats quality foods, but we have problems getting her to eat enough of a quantity to sustain the level of energy she exudes every minute of every day.)

I enjoyed the recipe! The spice was a little overwhelming and distracted from the jackfruit itself, but I was amazed at the similarity in texture to pulled pork. What a strange little fruit. I hadn’t ever made a slaw before, and I thought that was pretty tasty, too!

Hubby doesn’t like slaw. Or spicy things. But he ate his whole sandwich. I will consider this a victory.

When we try this again (notice I said “when,” not “if”), I’ll get a sweeter BBQ sauce. I’ll also use lime juice in the slaw recipe. The lemon juice competed hard with the jackfruit. I wanted it to complement it a bit more. I think lime is a bit more subtle, so maybe that’ll help.

Anyone else ever tried jackfruit before? Dana said it’s hard to find, so I’ll have to keep an eye out for it!

Have a fabulous rest of your day, folks! You’re almost halfway through the week!

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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2/5/17: Sunday Runday

Mad Eye Moody Constant Vigilence 5k for Hogwarts Running Club: completed. Miles managed.

Then, post-run waffles with the kiddo’s Frozen waffle iron she got for Christmas.(She wasn’t amused that I dubbed them “Olaffles.” I thought I was clever. She insisted they’re “Anna & Elsa” waffles, which I think is kinda morbid.)

And post-waffle movies/snuggling.

Hope your weekend was dandy.

Read on. Run on.

Cassie

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10/25/16: Tuesday Teaser

Okay, so I don’t have a toddler anymore. I’ve verbally acknowledged it, but my brain hasn’t accepted it yet. Nonetheless, I figure I should move along from “Toddler Tuesday,” because I write more than enough about the kiddo. Maybe it’s time for something fresh.

I’m fiddling around with a few different prompts for Tuesdays’ blog posts. And I’m not set on any one thing yet. (SUGGESTIONS ACCEPTED. And rewarded with virtual cookies and high-fives.) Here are a few ideas I’m tossing around:

  • Twitter Tuesday: a round-up of my favorite Tweets (and maybe posts from other social platforms) from cool people in the past week
  • Tuesday Tales: I’ve been trying to find a way to introduce book/media reviews in. But this presumes that I have something new to review each week. (This hearkens back to the fact that although I work in a library, I rarely have time to read.)
  • To-do Tuesday: The name of this prompt was difficult to come up with, but it would include whatever I’m up to as far as crafts/other DIY projects and tips that have helped make my home a somewhat decent place.

And let’s be real, it would  mostly be a list of “these cool things I found on Pinterest that I was able to half-ass on my own.” I’m not nearly as creative as I’d like to be.

I’m leaning toward either Twitter Tuesday or Tasty Tuesday. So today, you’re getting Tasty Tuesday! It’ll lean toward a round-up of recipes I want to try, have tried, and what we’re enjoying in our house. I like this idea, because I’m constantly on the search for easy, wholesome meals that Dino-Kid will actually eat. Ones that also support me and my husband as runners trying to lose weight and get healthier. And did I mention easy? Because it HAS to be easy and fairly quick.

I’m a big fan of the Crockpot. Set it and forget it? Count me in. I’m also finding the ways it can be incredibly versatile for more than just soups and stews. And with the changing season, in comes lots of yummy spaghetti squash. It is one of my favorite foods, and I’m convinced if you gave me a cooked spaghetti squash (no need to give me an extra plate or anything…just the halves) with a little EVOO, parmesan, salt, and peper, I could probably take down the whole thing solo.

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This picture is making me hungry.

Winter squashes in general are pretty amazing. So I’m glad we’re getting to the point of the year where they’re more plentiful.

Maybe I was just unaware until recently, but you can throw your spaghetti squash right in the Crockpot to cook it. Poke some holes, add some water and the whole squash to your slow cooker, and cook away!

Like I said, my goal is to keep it easy. Usually, I’ll throw some seasonings, olive oil, and parmesan on top and chow down. (See this recipe if you’re looking for something a little more formal.) It also leaves it open to adding whatever sauce/seasonings each family member wants. DK likes hers with some marinara and “chee-chee-cheese” as she calls parmesan. Hubby goes the route of butter, seasoning, and parmesan. If I’m feeling adventurous, I’ll drizzle a little balsamic vinegar over it for some tang. Basically, if I would add it to my spaghetti noodles, I’ll add it to my squash.

Any of you have recommended winter squash recipes? Because I’m totally listening (please! join my squash love-fest!).

Also, RIP “Toddler Tuesday.” You’ve given me some good fodder for posts, even when I haven’t felt like I had anything else to say. And you’ve been just one more source for me to show off my kid and pretend like others are deeply interested in her fascination with Daniel Tiger and potty training habits.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

 

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7/27/16: Whatever Wednesday

Whatever, indeed.

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Honestly, I’ve had little to say these past few days. Monday was a funeral, which is always hard. This one also involved quite a bit of travel, which drained us.

Tuesday morning, I FINALLY rolled out of bed and ran. It had been over a week! My stupid cold made it easy to say “no,” but I couldn’t keep using that as an excuse. I still have a tickle in my throat, but it was time to buck up.

And it was awful. Truly terrible. The humidity didn’t do me any favors. Even if the air hadn’t felt soupy, it still wouldn’t have been great. My limbs were lead. My head was foggy. I just wasn’t into it.

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I guess at least I had some decent views? Apparently I like trees on the skyline. Because there are many pics like this.

I did 45 minutes again this morning. I realized about 8 minutes in that the GPS on my Fitbit Surge had not picked up, and it seemed like the mileage was off by about .5 miles. That was even more discouraging, because it brought my “average pace” down a LOT. I already struggle to maintain a running pace that would be considered “walking pace” for others, and to be frank, it embarrasses me. I keep hoping it gets better, but it’s clearly something that will take time.

Regardless, I did FEEL better today. I got a very slight runner’s high around 25 minutes, and things started to feel a little easier. I also had my AMR podcast to keep me company. Usually, I have already burned through it on my weekend long-run.

Tonight, my family took me out for a birthday dinner (tomorrow is the big…err…not-so-big day). It was nice, and I ate my weight in the complimentary chips and salsa. Good news is I have lots of leftovers for tomorrow, since I was full by the time my meal even arrived.

I got to spend it with some of my favorite people, though. So no guilt there. Ever.

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On our way to bday dinner. Yes, that’s a winter hat. Yes, it’s too small for her head. That’s enough questions.

Read on. Run on.
Cassie

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