DAILY TRACKER: 09/23/2015

Food:

Breakfast: Breakfast Quesadilla – whole wheat tortilla, 2 TBSP grated low fat mozzarella cheese, ½ cup scrambled egg white with sauteed spinach, onion, bell pepper. 1 banana. 1 cup coffee with 4 splenda and ¼ C whole milk

Snack 1: ½ C non-fat cottage cheese, 1.5 oz roasted almonds

Lunch: Tossed green salad with rice vinegar dressing and 2 oz canned tuna.

Snack 2: 1 apple, Nature Valley Trail Mix Fruit & Nut Bar

Snack 3 (pre-run): two slices thinly roasted turkey wrapped around 1 TBSP cream cheese and a pickle spear. 1 banana

Post Run: 2 carrots with 2 TBSP hummus

Dinner:  Veggie fried rice (brown rice, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, spinach, mushrooms) topped with two “fried” eggs (used cooking spray), one diet coke

Snack 4: 1/4 C non-fat yogurt chia seed pudding with 1 splenda and ½ cup blackberries

Water: 100 oz Goal Met

Exercise: Outdoor Run: 3 Miles

Gratitude: Two days and still feeling strong and in control.

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DAILY TRACKER: 09/22/2015

Food:

Breakfast: Breakfast Quesadilla – whole wheat tortilla, 2 TBSP grated low fat mozzarella cheese, ½ cup scrambled egg white with sauteed spinach, onion, bell pepper. 1 banana.

Snack 1: ½ C non-fat cottage cheese, 1.5 oz roasted almonds, 1 C cubed canteloupe

Lunch: 1 C artichoke chicken over ¾ C quinoa,

Snack 2: 1 apple, Nature Valley Trail Mix Fruit & Nut Bar

Snack 3: two slices thinly roasted turkey wrapped around 1 TBSP cream cheese and a pickle spear.

Dinner:  Pita Pizza 2 C lightly dressed mixed vegetable salad w/ ¼ C cottage cheese and one hard boiled egg, (Pizza = 1 whole wheat pita, 1/3 C tomato sauce, 1/3 C mozzarella cheese, 1 TBSP parmesan cheese, sautéed onions, mushrooms, bell pepper and spinach)

Snack 4: 3/4 C non-fat yogurt chia seed pudding with 1 splenda and ½ cup blackberries

Water: 100 oz Goal Met

Exercise: PM: Bhakti (Vinyasa) Yoga – Tristina (75 min) + 525 (up)stairs

Gratitude: Today I am grateful that I showed back up. I have a plan and a goal. I have trust in the process.

 

 

 

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Sometimes I Impress Myself & Grilled Steak over Black Beans with Chimichurri Sauce

Have you ever had one of those moments when you look at a recent accomplishment and feel really proud of yourself and excited? Well that is absolutely okay. Sometimes we need these moments of self congratulations to be grateful for who we are, and to experience the realization of our awesomeness and individual perfection. Last night was one of those nights for me. It was my dinner co-op meet up and as I got home and unpacked my weekly meal bag, I realized two things.

Weekly Meal Round Up: Grilled Steak over Black Beans with Chimichurri Sauce, Indian Dal with Brown Jasmine Rice and Sauteed Kale, Hearty Venison Chili, Thai Inspired Fried Rice and Cabbage "Papardelle" with Pork Ragout.

Weekly Meal Round Up: Grilled Steak over Black Beans with Chimichurri Sauce, Indian Dal with Brown Jasmine Rice and Sauteed Kale, Hearty Venison Chili with Home Baked Bread, Thai Inspired Fried Rice and Cabbage “Papardelle” with Pork Ragout.

One, this was not just about me. I am pretty sure everyone in the group is enjoying our adventure as much as I am. There is something so reassuring about looking in the refrigerator and knowing you are safe and provided for – for an entire week, and that all you have to do is warm up a homemade supper, and you can feel the love and kindness that went into preparing a meal just for you.

Two, I remembered just how good a cook I am. Since I live in a house with the World’s most amazing savory cook, (I lovingly refer to her as “kitchen McGuyver for her ability to whip up Bouillabaisse from a match stick and a piece of ABC gum), I usually defer myself to preserving, baking, dare I say “tablescaping” and other tasks that I excel in and leave the main-dish-type-preparations to her.

This project has forced me out of that comfort zone. It has my nose back in the cookbooks and my interest in practicing techniques and learning in the kitchen rekindled. This week, I nailed it. I found a recipe that not only turned out visually stunning (even in a dollar store food storage container) but tasted equally as delicious. I was so proud as I packed up my meals I was actually smiling, alone, at home in my kitchen – and it felt good!

Today, I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on a recent accomplishment, to recognize your greatness and use that feeling to direct the rest of your day. I find, that the more I can introduce this feeling of divine perfection and pride into my life, the more others see it in me, and the more I notice the perfection in others as well.

Speaking of perfect, here is MY recipe for the week: Grilled Steak over Black Beans with Chimichurri Sauce (adapted from Food & Wine)

01274Chimichurri Sauce:

1 cup lightly packed fresh parsley leaves

2 large cloves garlic, smashed

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup red-wine vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

½ tsp Guar Gum

Put all the ingredients in the blender, process until smooth.

That bright green sauce makes the dish POP!

That bright green sauce really makes the dish POP!

Now Directions:

2 tablespoons cooking oil

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups drained and rinsed canned black beans (from two 15-ounce cans)

1 cup canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock

2/3 cup canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree

2 4-ounce jars sliced pimentos, drained (2/3 cup)

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 pounds sirloin steak, about 1 inch thick

1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper

In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the beans, broth, tomatoes, pimentos, bay leaf, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaf.

Light the grill or heat the broiler. Rub the steak with the remaining oil; sprinkle with the remaining salt and the pepper. Grill or broil for 4 minutes. Turn; cook to your taste, about 4 minutes longer for medium-rare. Cut into thin diagonal slices. Top the beans with the steak and chimichurri sauce.

Looks fancy!

Square Plate = Fancy! 

All packed up for Meal Swap Co-Op!

Finally, all packed up for Meal Swap Co-Op!

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On Building Momentum(ish) and Curried Lentil Soup

Where is momentum when you need it?? Trying to get back to my healthy routine has been more challenging than expected. I want to be on track, I want to feel the benefits, but I just can’t seem to shake the winter lazies. The good news is, even with a slowdown in exercise I can still keep to healthy eating thanks to the amazing folks in my food exchange co-op.

Today’s recipe comes from my pal Taneisha. Working (more than) full time, she still manages to coach running at Fleet Feet amongst a plethora of other extracurricular activities. I met Taneisha through an amazing, local, yoga workshop series and her high energy, warm spirit and bright personality immediately made her stand out to me. What I didn’t know at the time, was what an absolutely amazing cook she was! I am so glad she joined the food co-op, as her contributions thus far have been absolutely fantastic – and well, perfect for a busy woman on the go. Like her!

Soup, salad and a hearty "Grateful Bread" wheat roll. Who could ask for a heartier meal??

Soup, salad and a hearty “Grateful Bread” wheat roll. Who could ask for a better meal??

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Catching Up, Food Exchange Co-Op and a Healthy Breakfast Recipe!

I am so grateful. It feels good to come back here and see all of the amazing support and love I have received over the past year. It also feels good to know that while I had taken a break from blogging, the healthy changes I had made were still taking place behind the scenes, so – if you were worried that I fell off the wagon and started soaring back towards obesity, be happy my friends, as I indeed continued my weight loss journey and in December in fact, crossed 200 pounds for the first time in my adult life. And it felt good.

But alas, everything is temporary and with the holidays (or as I like to call it, excuse season) – my weight did start to creep back up a bit, I am estimating I snuck back up to around 210 if not closer to 212. Wrong direction!

So, it is time to get back on track, it is time to work smarter and maybe harder too, and to continue my journey towards a healthier me! One way I have been accomplishing this goal was by recently starting a “Healthy Meal Exchange Co-op”. Four of my friends and I now make one, healthy, delicious, meal per week, separate them into five individual servings, and then meet to exchange them. The general rule for the meals are: four ounces of meat, a low glycemic carb (brown rice, quinoa, sweet potato) and whatever vegetable goes well. We also exchange one snack, so we get some extra variety in our lives as well.

Two of the meals for the week packed and ready to be traded. This is "Romantic Chicken" recipe coming soon...

Two of the meals for the week packed and ready to be traded. This is “Romantic Chicken” recipe coming soon…

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Snacks and dinners packed and bagged!

Snacks and dinners packed and bagged!

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Lessons from Yoga: On Breath

In yoga, one of the many themes that flows from class to class and recurs throughout most practices and various forms of yoga is that of “breath”. Yoga is not truly about the asanas or postures, Yoga is not about looking good or even doing things “right”. Yoga is about finding true presence in each moment, and what constant in our life requires the ultimate in active presence? Breath.

This seems fairly counterintuitive since breath is one of the few things that our bodies magically know how to do without our requiring our attention. From the moment the doctor smacks our ass when we first arrive on Earth for this brief existence, our bodies take over and breath begins to flow from our body. Breath in, breath out, repeat. A automatic action, which for most is soon taken for granted.

Most of us never give a second thought to our breath until for some reason it suddenly becomes “out of our control”. Through intense activity or exercise we are told that we have “lost our breath”. What an interesting and unusual concept, we will make every effort to convince ourselves that we have “lost our breath”, that somehow breath is an object to be left behind at home like a cell phone or wallet, or forgotten like leftovers after a meal at a diner. Our breath cannot truly be lost, as it is a part of our life. At the harshest, we realize that without breath, we cannot exist.

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The practice of yoga has taught me that it is impossible to lose your breath in this fashion, it is always inside of you, and always invites you to return to it. Ego might convince us that it is lost, even at times send us into a whirlwind of panic and hyperventilation – of anxiety and urgency, but like most things in life, if we slow down, return to the present moment and focus on each minute individual motion, breath in through the nose, slow it down, feel the oxygen nourish our lungs, savor the intense feeling of literally talking in millions of tiny nutrients from the AIR with each inhale and releasing toxins with each exhale.

While Ego might try and convince us that we are separate in any moment from the connection to our breath, the breath itself will continue with or without our attachment, but disconnected from our regulation, it has a tendency to get even MORE intense and hyperactive than it was before we lost connection. Picture this, if we (as Ego) are scared in these moments that we might not regain the connection to our breath, imagine how Breath might feel during this period – how scared it must be that it will never return to the connection either, so it panics, increases intensity, heart rate, shallows the depth of breath, Breath makes every effort to be sure that we can find it as quickly as possible by lighting these biological flares to let us know exactly where it is. As soon as we pay attention to these signals, we can decide to accept Breath’s constant invitation to return to the flow and the connection. To relax, and return to the natural flow of breath within our bodies. We can comfort panicked Breath and remind it that we are forever connected and not going anywhere.

We can be present in each breath and find the joy in each moment of connection. Breath in, breath out, repeat. Savor this.

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DAILY TRACKER: 09/22/2015

Food:

Breakfast: Breakfast Quesadilla – whole wheat tortilla, 2 TBSP grated low fat mozzarella cheese, ½ cup scrambled egg white with sauteed spinach, onion, bell pepper. 1 banana.

Snack 1: ½ C non-fat cottage cheese, 1.5 oz roasted almonds, 1 C cubed canteloupe

Lunch: 1 C artichoke chicken over ¾ C quinoa,

Snack 2: 1 apple, Nature Valley Trail Mix Fruit & Nut Bar

Snack 3: two slices thinly roasted turkey wrapped around 1 TBSP cream cheese and a pickle spear.

Dinner:  Pita Pizza 2 C lightly dressed mixed vegetable salad w/ ¼ C cottage cheese and one hard boiled egg, (Pizza = 1 whole wheat pita, 1/3 C tomato sauce, 1/3 C mozzarella cheese, 1 TBSP parmesan cheese, sautéed onions, mushrooms, bell pepper and spinach)

Snack 4: 3/4 C non-fat yogurt chia seed pudding with 1 splenda and ½ cup blackberries

Water: 100 oz Goal Met

Exercise: PM: Bhakti (Vinyasa) Yoga – Tristina (75 min) + 525 (up)stairs

Gratitude: Today I am grateful that I showed back up. I have a plan and a goal. I have trust in the process.

 

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DAILY TRACKER: 08/26/2014

Food:

Breakfast: “Breakfast Fried Rice”: ½ C Brown rice, 1 C sautéed  broccoli, cauliflower, spinach blend, 1 egg, 1 TBSP soy sauce, I TBSP seasoned rice vinegar & I C fruit salad (watermelon, pineapple, grapes, blueberries.

Snack 1: 1 apple w/ 1 tbsp almond butter

Lunch: 1 C: Turkey & Rice Goulash (brown rice, ground turkey, sautéed onion and bell pepper, 1 C steamed cauliflower and broccoli, 4 oz non fat cottage cheese.

Snack 2: 1 banana, I oz almonds, ½ C Baby Carrots, 2 TBSP hummus

Dinner:  Baked Stuffed Chile (poblano chile, brown rice, corn, baked skinless chicken, a tiny bit of cheddar cheese) 1.5 C lightly dressed mixed green salad.

Snack 3: ¾ C Chia Seed Pudding w/ 2 TBSP blueberries

Water: 100 oz Goal Met

Exercise:  None Today

Gratitude: Today I am grateful for new friends and this blog.

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I am young, vibrant, passionate and intense!

In the past few years, I spent a lot of time saying things like:

*”God, I’m old!”

**”I’m so tired, I must be getting old!”

***”Ugh, I dont feel like doing anything, or being social, it’s because I’m old.

****I would think about “the old days” where I would be going out to grab a drink or go dancing at 10:00pm, and say to myself “I can’t believe I did that, time to be in my PJs at 10pm on a Saturday – I’m old.”

Well, as “I” as a person, health wise, energy wise and life circumstance wise have made changes to my life – I realize that it is ONLY because we tell ourselves these things that they are true. In fact, I feel younger now than I have in the past 5-7 years. Part of it is taking care of my body, but most of it is just the realization that “young” is a mindset.

If you want to live an active, youthful life, but feel like you can’t – stop telling yourself you are old, unhealthy, decrepit, tired, or whatever the excuse is you are using and just do it. Make plans to go out with a friend and go dancing, or see a movie, or take a long walk and look at the stars at 10pm, and keep it! See if you like it, and go from there.

I am not advocating for not “acting” maturely, getting crazy and partying every night, or binge drinking, or putting yourself in dangerous circumstances, as these will quickly deplete any extra energy you may feel and defeat the purpose – I’m saying, the more you decide that you are a vibrant, youthful being, and put yourself in circumstances to reinforce that, the more both your body and your mind will believe you.

Love,
Me

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