Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Week 4

I feel like I am failing majorly lately. I don't have much to update. The last time I weighed myself, last Tuesday, I had lost .1 lb. And I haven't weighed myself this week. I think the hardest part of this "journey" is staying motivated after a rough patch. I didn't splurge on boyfriends birthday, something I was a little nervous of, but I didn't do practically any meal planning last week. Plus, we had two children in the house and the only food that was made was kid friendly i.e. macaroni and cheese.

This week has been okay (although there is plenty of time to screw it up, or maintain). Today hasn't been amazing, but I did okay yesterday and Sunday I was pretty good. A few weeks ago I had an awesome avocado egg salad wrap. It's really tasty and a major cut back on the usual mayo dominated meal. Yeah, there is still a little mayo, but it's not too much, plus you can always use vegenaise and then some curry, although I used some dijon mustard. I found the recipe from this blog. I really like her blog and I've tried my had at a few of her recipes. Here's a picture of her wrap (because I deleted mine already, but it was on instagram if you want to go back through my pics and see what it looked like).
So, I've never actually hard boiled an egg for myself, my mom often boils a bunch and I take from that stash. Last summer I bought Martha Stewart's Cooking Lessons book and it's pretty extensive and has just about anything in it you think you might need to know, including cooking eggs. Her method says to place the eggs in a sauce pan with enough water to cover an inch, bring to a boil then take off heat for 13 minutes and transfer to ice water. I did this. And.....they were only soft boiled. What I'm trying to say is that I didn't have this for lunch today. I had some edamame and avocado with tortilla chips (not awesome). So....I did some internetting and found a method that states you need to cover the eggs after you take them off the heat and to let it sit for 20 minutes. I'm gonna try that tomorrow. Or, maybe just ask my mom how to do it. ha.

Also, I have been having this for breakfast this week. But, subbing the strawberries for raspberries. It is pretty tasty. I think I'm gonna try the chai one tomorrow with raspberries.
Doesn't that bowl look amazing? It was pretty tasty. I had never mixed greek yogurt with oatmeal before so the first bite was...different. Not bad, but not something I'd ever had before.

For dinner's I plan on making a stir fry a la few weeks ago tomorrow or Thursday. My mom cooked some chicken and veggies on Sunday that I had yesterday and tonight for dinner. So...not bad.

My goals for this week are to workout every weekday this week. My 5-week class is over so I only have my online classes left, which means all my mornings are free. So, my plan is to go to the fieldhouse and do weights Monday, Wednesday and Friday and then run Tuesday and Thursday. So far so good. Yesterday was biceps, pecs and calves and today I went on my usual route that's almost 2 miles.

I also need to make sure that I can push through the weekend without splurging. I did pretty good last weekend, so hopefully I can keep that up. I'll report back, as usual.

Also, can I just say that a dunkin donuts opened across the street from my work today and I did NOT go in. I was tempted and probably the only reason I didn't go in was because there was a line around the fracking corner.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Homemade Twix & How Weekends Ruin My Digestive System

Hey guys,

As promised, albeit late, I am here to report on the Twix bars I made. Unfortunately I did not photograph them, but I'll include the photograph from the blog where I found the recipe (it is much prettier than any I could have taken anyway). First off, they are super easy, but take time. Each layer has to cool off, two in the fridge or freezer, so a recipe that only takes 30 minutes to prepare is stretched into two hours.

I found them initially on pinterest (basically where all my recipes are found now) but here is the blog with the recipe.


  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 cups caramel, cut into small chunks
  • 3 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 3 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable shortening (Optional)

For the crust:
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degree Fahrenheit.
  2. Spray a 9x13 in pan with cooking spray, or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, and vanilla.
  4. Add the flour - at first the mixture may seem dry, but will come together quickly.
  5. Take the dough and press it evenly into the pan. (Lightly flouring your fingertips will help with any sticking.)
  6. Prick the crust all over with a fork - this allows steam to escape so the crust will bake evenly with fewer bubbles.
  7. Bake until lightly golden brown on top and edges - about 30-35 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and immediately run a knife around the edges to loosen the crust. Set aside to cool completely.
For the caramel layer:
  1. Melt the caramel and cream in a small saucepan over low heat.
  2. Pour the caramel over the cooled crust and set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to firm up.
For the chocolate layer:
  1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave using ten second increments - stirring every time.
  2. If the chocolate seems too thick, add a tablespoon of shortening to thin it. (Just know that this will leave your end-resulting chocolate a little softer than normal. I don't use it for this very reason. )
  3. Pour evenly over the chilled caramel layer and spread until it covers the entire surface.
  4. Return to the refrigerator (or freezer) until the chocolate is well set.
  5. Cut and serve.
 I ended up making them twice this week. Yeah, twice. I made them on Thursday and took them to work and then the leftovers to a friends house after. The next day I was with the same friend and we decided we needed to have them again. I would like to point out that I was very good in only eating a small one each day. However, on Thursday everyone seemed to have the same idea of bringing food to work (what does that say about our coping mechanisms? see last post) and so while I was good in only eating one twix bar on Thursday I also had a delicious homemade pretzel as well as a small slice of cake from The Bakery.

I've been kind of struggling the past week and a half with my dieting habits. I plan really well and then don't always follow through, or I have a really rough weekend and eat pizza and oreos and drink dr. pepper. Last week I was pretty solid on the weekdays. Then this weekend I had pizza on friday, plus a couple oreos, and two dr peppers. Saturday I had a muffin at work (despite my "healthy" lunch I brought), steak nachos for dinner, three oreos and a churro. Plus last night at about 11 I was hungry and had some microwaveable mac and cheese.

I feel like some days I have the resolve and then others I don't, but I am thinking it's all about convenience. The days when I put work into my meals I stick with them but then I usually don't have much planned for the weekends because something in my head tells me I can have some "cheat" meals, or that I have the will power to make good choices at restaurants or drive-thrus. I need to just stop with the drive-thrus altogether. I know that seems pretty obvious, like, why would I still even go there when I have these specific goals? It's all the effing convenience and my laziness. I think that's the key here, as long as I plan and keep it up I'll be okay, and that might mean having to bring something pre-prepared to a friends house but right now I feel like that's my best option.

On Friday night as I was leaving my friends house my tummy was not happy. I felt sick, like I had a stomach bug sick (and even though I developed a cold, I feel like it was unrelated as it only lasted a couple of hours). I am pretty sure I can relate this to my horrible food choices that day. I only wish I could remember that feeling each time I am presented with the opportunity to have a treat or pizza.

Any tips on staying focused on the weekends?
I would like to point out that last week I was able to muster up the motivation to go to the gym three days! woot! However, I developed a cough over the weekend and didn't go running yesterday :(

This week is boyfriends birthday, plus we are babysitting two of my nieces this week so I'm a little concerned about my meals. I haven't been to the grocery store or planned anything out yet which already spells disaster. I need to do that tonight. And, I'm gonna try and convince myself not to splurge on boyfriends birthday, it's his day to splurge not mine (I did that last week). Hopefully I can maintain that mentality on Wednesday.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Week 3: Being Real

I'm late with my update, I know. But here I am. I thought about just waiting till next week, but I don't want to let that become a habit.

Recap of last week: Last week was horrible. It was awful. There were donuts and ice cream and cake and Oreo's and it was bad. With each bite of Oreo I said to myself, Damnit! What are you doing. And then, I ate another one. So....no weight loss last week. Not only did my food intake suck, but my workouts failed as well. Last week was just a big fail. In fact it was such an EFFING fail that I gained over a pound. Yeah, it was that bad. It was also a super stressful week. All of my classes had major things happening, and I have one of those condensed 5-week classes and so basically it takes over my life. Excuses, excuses.

This week has been great so far! I have really been pushing myself to plan out my meals and make it to the gym on all my planned days. It's only Wednesday night, but so far I think I can say it has been successful.

My meal plans are as follows:
Breakfast: oatmeal again, I'm not sick of it, plus it's pretty fast to make. Although I may switch it up next week.
Lunch: Turkey wraps. I should have taken a picture but I haven't. Anyway, I found this herbed turkey that is tasty, so I'm rolling it up in a tortilla with a wedge of laughing cow cheese (spread out) and chopped cucumber. Then I'm eating a fruit or other veggie on the side. It's pretty easy and tasty. Mostly I'm happy about the easy. I need easy lunch solutions because that is where I fail a lot.
Snacks: still with the rice cakes and strawberries and kiwi. I have made an amazing discovery: Justin's Vanilla Almond Butter. It's so good. I wish I could buy the little individual packets and just sit and suck on them. I know, I can just buy the jar, but aren't little packets much more fun?
Dinner: Monday I had some pesto pasta for dinner, Tuesday and today I had some stir fry's. They are so easy I think I will be making them a lot. Tomorrow and Thursday I will be having pesto pasta again and some sweet potatoes.
Here is last nights stir fry. Tofu, broccoli, red onion, red pepper and mushrooms. It was awesome. On Tuesday I cooked a bunch of rice and tofu to spread out through a few meals. Today I cooked some snow peas, mushrooms and green onions.

I don't have an exact recipe for the stir fry, but I just cut up the veggies and sautéed them in a pan with some olive oil. It was super easy.

I am going to be baking some homemade twix bars tomorrow, and I know, I know, it's a treat. But, we've had a pretty rough week at work (see: suicide in the children's dept. and really mean, yelly patrons) and I'm going to bring them to staff meeting tomorrow (because what's the best response to stress and tumultuous times? food). I'll post the recipe if it's successful.

On another note, I did go running on Sunday. It wasn't as scary as I thought it was. I have been constantly anxious about running. And, while I am really relieved that it wasn't a complete fail I could tell that I haven't been running in over two months. I had to take a little break in my once easy two mile run, but that's okay. I'm excited to get back into the swing of it.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Loaded Pasta Salad

Here is the pasta salad as promised. It took a quick 30 minutes to make (mostly just chopping the veggies) and turned out pretty tasty. Although, I think I definitely put in too much celery, but probably just because celery is really not my favorite thing. I can eat it fine with salt sprinkled on top but I just wasn't liking it in the salad and found myself eating around it. So, next time maybe half the celery and I'm also thinking more tomatoes. Anyway, here's the recipe from Dashing Dish

Loaded Pasta Salad

3 cupsDry pasta
1/2 cup Garbanzo beans (or white beans)
1/2 cup Feta cheese (or shredded parmesan would be good)
1/2 cup Olives (I buys pre-sliced)
1 cupCelery, diced
1 cup Red pepper, diced
1 cup Cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
1/2 cup Red onion, diced
1/2 cup Green peas
1/2 cup Cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 pkg Dry Italian dressing mix
1/4 cup White vinegar
1/4 cup Water
1/2 tsp Lemon juice
PinchSalt and pepper to taste

As far as directions go, I think it's pretty self explanatory; you cook the pasta, and after it's cooled you add everything in together. 
She "makes" her own dressing but I just used Newman's Own Light Italian, also I forgot to put in Parmesan but I totally have some at home. I also used frozen green (she does too) and just microwaved them for 30 seconds.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Week Two and Recap

First things first, let's recap the last week. As far as goals go, I met them, kind of. The first half of the week was a huge success. At the gym on Monday I was able to lift heavier, woot! And, my eating habits were awesome, I was able to stick to my meal plans just fine. Then, Thursday rolled around and I got sick, and was sick till Sunday a horrible stomach bug. So, while I didn't necessarily stick to the meal plans, I still didn't eat horribly because, you know, sickness (I ate applesauce, soup, bananas and toast for three days). However, I didn't gym the rest of the week basically.
But, hey I lost almost 2 pounds this week! Yay. Although, I wonder how much of that is related to the sickness. But, I really don't think much, because I have still been eating and drinking a lot (just not my aforementioned planned meals).

Week Two.

This week for breakfast I am going with what I ate last week. So, oatmeal with bananas, or my protein shake when I exercise in the morning.

Tomorrow I am going to be making this pasta salad and I'll be having it for lunches for the week and dinner on Wednesday (which means I'll probably have some tuna for lunch on Wednesday).  I think the salad looks pretty tasty, plus who doesn't like pasta salad?

For snacks I've still got some rice cakes and I always enjoy those with some almond butter spread on top, plus I also picked up some strawberries and kiwis and I still have some of my Arctic Zero left over if I am needing something chocolatey.

Tonight for dinner I made an awesome one pot spaghetti dinner. This is where I got the recipe.
My picture doesn't look too appetizing, but trust me, it was super flavorful and way easy. Here, look at her picture of the pot, it's much prettier.
See? Anyway, here's the recipe, you've probably got the majority of the ingredients at home, so give it a try.
One Pot Pasta

Serves 4 to 6 as an entree
12 ounces linguine pasta
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes with liquid
1 large sweet onion, cut in julienne strips
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
2 large sprigs basil, chopped
4 1/2 cups vegetable broth (regular broth and NOT low sodium)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Parmesan cheese for garnish
Place pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, in a large stock pot. Pour in vegetable broth. Sprinkle on top the pepper flakes and oregano. Drizzle top with oil.
Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and keep covered and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes or so. Cook until almost all liquid has evaporated My Dad is a major sauce kind of guy, so I left probably 1-2 inches of sauce.
I'll post a pic of my pasta salad, and let you know how it is including the recipe tomorrow. 
Goals for this week:
-I'm gonna go along the same lines as last week because I didn't meet some of them. Keep lifting heavier (I lifted heavier doing some curls today and it was HARD, but good. 
-Stick to the meal plans obvs. However, I am going to give myself a pass for dessert on Friday as well as pretty much the whole day on Sunday. This week is my birthday, so you know, cake and things. Of course, I'll not go overboard, but pretty much the only time I get yellow cake (my fav) is on my bday. 
-Run twice. The doc said I could give it a try so I'm gonna try for a short run on Thursday and see how it goes and then hopefully again on Sunday. yay for running again (fingers crossed).