Friday, April 30, 2010

Check out this steal of a deal!




OKay, I am not a size 12 yet, but I will be soon enough.  I have gone from an 18/20 to a 16 in a month and a half.  Plus, with my new gym membership and motivation to get in shape to be a roller derby girl, it will be soon enough!    This is a great work into dress.  My sister is even motivated to work down to it as well, and I rarely see her in a dress.  Originally $129, marked down to $79.99, final price $5.34 with tax.  Yep, you read that right.  It was on sale for $4.99!  Gotta love good bargains!

I lost .8 this week.  I had the most tasty and enjoyable weekend.  My meal Saturday night may have kept me from losing more, but I lost and I enjoyed every bite!  I went to see the Indigo Girls in Bloomington, IN, and I ate at Roots before.  Roots is a wonderful local foods vegan/vegetarian restaurant.  It was so freeing to walk into a restaurant where I knew I could order anything I wanted and didn't have to pick from a few limited items with modifications.  My friend and I split the appetizer sampler platter which was all fried foods.  The breaded and fried seitan was awesome, as were the sauces that came with the appetizer platter.  We left food on it. 

Dinner was polenta with local farmer's cheese and homemade chunky marinara.  My friend ordered the Tofu in Peanut Sauce.  We got extra plates and shared the deliciousness.  OMG!  So delish!  She ordered the curried sweet potato soup that was amazing as well.  I sipped an ABC, Apple, Beet, Carrot juice.  The only regret, I would have ordered ginger in my juice.  Other than that, I have no regrets about this meal!  Well, that and I didn't have enough points of stomach space to eat more.  You know, the amazing thing was I wasn't stuffed.  I would say I was full, but we walked to the concert around the corner and I wasn't uncomfortable at all.  I was even hungry after singing and dancing to the Girls!  So, by leaving food, not cleaning my plate, getting some activity, and indulging appropriately, I lost weight!

I am .3 pounds from my first 5% goal.  Whatdya think?  Will my post next week say I did?  I think so!

If you are in the Indianapolis area, check out Livrite Fitness.  I just joined this week and I am loving it.  It is $1 to join right now and you get a free month for a friend.  Pool, sauna, cardio equipment, classes...I will be at basic yoga Mon and Wed nights whenever I can.  I was given a great rate and I am glad I made the decision to join.  The first night, I did 30 minutes on the elliptical.  I was drenched.  Last night, I was only able to do 15 but I didn't give up.  I did another 15 on the recumbent bike.  I have said for years, I have arthritis in my knees.  I can't do bikes.  My knees never hurt and don't today.  My muscles are awake and alive and it feels good.

I also welcomed new life into mine.  My stray kitty had her babies!  They are sooooooo cute.  4 little ones came into this world yesterday.  Here they are.  And they are looking for homes in about 6-8 weeks!




Have a great week and remember, Sprout something (seeds or seeds of change)!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!!!!!! A little scattered today...

Yippee! I lost another 1.2 pounds, for a total of 10.4 in 6 weeks!

I increased my activity and did more yard work this week. Sadly, my yoga routine has suffered slightly this week. Monday I tried a yoga dvd from Netflix, and I didn’t like it. It was 45 minutes and it was hard, but I wasn’t impressed. Tuesday was the Crane episode of Namaste Yoga. I saw the description and said to myself, “Yeah right!” Last night was Weight Watchers night, so no yoga. I have been walking at lunch every day, sometimes only 15 minutes but it all adds up! I have cut our grass twice and my parent’s front yard (about half of a large yard). Today, 17 minutes walk at lunch, walk with a friend after work around a local park, and yoga at 6. I am even going to transplant a couple small Rose of Sharons tonight.




I have noticed 2 things today. I am in a foul mood. Lots of drivers were honking me off this morning. Hee hee, get it, honking me off! I kill myself. And my knees are sore. I know this is because I haven’t had my Namaste Yoga fix this week. I am not sore from walking, I am sore from not doing gentle, peaceful yoga moves. My knees and body need yoga. My mind and soul need yoga. I have been hungrier the last few days, and the urges have called to me more than in the past 6 weeks. I need yoga! So, looking at the Fit TV website, I am so happy to see this is the program airing tonight at 6 pm:

Earth


TV-G, CC






Earth series begins kneeling and continues with floor poses that are both gentle and invigorating. This series builds core strength and spinal flexibility and is a slow gentle sequence appropriate for all practitioners.



Ahhhhhhhhhh, sounds beautiful! After 2 walks and a few days absence this will feel amazing.



On another note, that stroganoff is kickass after a couple days! I was holding my little Ziploc container trying to get the last bite onto my spoon and it slipped out of my hand. I lost the last bite! I am heartbroken. I didn’t add any salt since I used the broth and canned soup. It could have used a little but the mushrooms were nice and soft and the taste was delicious! Try it! You will like it! Soooooo yummy. I love when I taste food, especially something I have created, and fall in love with it!



I watched Food, Inc. last night. It was heartbreaking. Parts of it I wish I had never seen, but it made me so happy for having been a vegetarian for 6 and a half years. In 5 days it will be 6.5 years exactly. Those poor animals, and workers that have to do such dastardly things. I was bawling, loudly, and heaving in certain parts, especially the Smithfield footage. Seeing this makes me grateful for all the animals I have saved, and the animals all my veggie friends have saved. May many more realize that factory farming is hideous and insidious. Please consider going more meatless if you aren’t veggie. Please remember that what you see in the store has a story and that story includes much pain and suffering.



Okay, off my soapbox now!



Off to track my lunch which included a delicious salad of homegrown lettuce picked last night and locally grown radishes! It was delicious! I want more.





If you are looking for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) to join this summer, please consider Seldom Seen Farm (http://www.seldomseenfarm.com/). I am mailing my contract this week! You can pick up your produce at many locations, including the Broad Ripple Farmers Market.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Recipe and Roller Derby! - Corrected

Use 1 T Veggie Worcestershire Sauce in the soup/milk mixture!

I had a hankering for some fatty, unhealthy stroganoff.  The healthy me won out, and I settled for a light version.  Here is what I created last night.  It was pretty good.

Veggie Stroganoff

Heat 3 t canola oil over medium heat.  Add in half of a large onion, chopped.  Cook for a few minutes.  Add 1 bag Quorn "meat" crumbles and continue cooking.  While this is cooking, make 1 cube of un-chicken broth in boiling water and slice 6 medium mushroom caps into small chunks.  (You can use canned broth if you like, I just happen to have the cubed kind you rehydrate).  Add the mushroom to the pan, stirring into the crumbles and onions.  Add the broth a bit at a time to keep from sticking.  Let it simmer in a bit of the broth to help soften the mushrooms.  Add in 1 can of 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup (make sure its vegetarian), dried oregano and basil to taste, a dash of paprika for a little color, and 6 roasted garlic cloves smushed (or however many you prefer - you can saute fresh with the onions if you don't have roasted cloves available).  Add about one half cup light soymilk to the soup to thin.  Cook until bubbly and warm, and all ingredients are married.  Add a bit of freshly cracked black pepper and salt if needed.  To finish, blend in 1/4 light sour cream.

I had 3 servings as an end result, could very well be 4.  Heck, you could get 6 servings if not that hungry.  It would be good over pasta, but I didn't have the pernts available for that.  My count, 15 pernts for the whole recipe.  I didn't count the mushrooms and onions.   I ate it plain, as is, last night.  Today I had this over steamed green beans and it was reminiscent of Thanksgiving Green Bean Casserole.  Sure, it looks a little anemic, but stroganoff is supposed to look that way!



Here is an old video of the Tornado Sirens of the Naptown Roller Girls, my new idols!  Enjoy!  Four Leaf Cleaver and Touretta Lynn, both shown in interviews, are extremely nice women.  I have had the pleasure of meeting and talking with both of them, both urging me try out.  Maybe in November.  It is definitely my motivation to work out and lose weight.  I will be a derby girl someday!  For now, I am happy to be a non-skating official.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Beet Salad


A couple beets got a little overcooked, but this was a delicious dinner. 

4 small beets, peeled, chopped in 8ths and roasted with salt and pepper in spray (I didn't use oil and so they were a little dry) - 400° until done.

Fresh lettuce from garden (green and red leaf) - rinsed and torn
Fresh pea shoots from windowsill, chopped
Sargento cheese, nut, and dried craisins mix
Honey Mustard Dressing (or your dressing of choice)

SO YUMMY AND DIVINE!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The scale is tipping, in a good way!

Happy Thursday everyone! I hope you are enjoying this string of beautiful 80 degree days. Looks like the weather will change tomorrow, so get out and enjoy it today while it is dry and warm!

This morning, a friend asked my online group: “How do you balance life responsibilities with taking care of yourself?”

Here is my response: I actually experienced this last night. I got home for a brief stint after work. Fed the cats, let the dogs out which means walking them on a leash, fed the stray kitty, and then was able to change and do my things, like potty. I then left about 30 minutes later to go to Weight Watchers. Okay, that is me time.  I came home and had to let the dogs out again, entertain the dogs and kitties, clean the kitty litter, put the groceries away, clean out the fridge a bit, take out the trash, make something for dinner, unload the dishwasher and load it again…I finally said to the animals after I put the food away, give mommy 20 minutes so she can work out. Everything could wait 20 minutes. I could shelve my responsibilities for 20 minutes. I have a responsibility to myself to be healthy, and working out is part of that. If I had said, oh screw it, I would have felt guilty and remorseful, which could lead to eating, which could lead to not doing WW, which could lead to loads of unhappiness and weight gain. Yes, that one small moment could take me there. I knew it could, so I had to act on my desire. I am just grateful a silly workout dvd called to me and not Dairy Queen.

I lost another pound this week, for a total of 9.2 in 5 weeks! Total from last October, I am down 18 pounds. But, I look like I am down more than 18 pounds. My inches, which I didn’t measure, are telling a different story. Don’t get me wrong, 18 pounds is wonderful. But, when I have many more to lose, just focusing on the scale can get a little slow and the desire to berate myself can increase. So, as my WW leader taught us last night, it’s good to track other things. Thus, I think I will take my measurements. I hope I can find a tape measure. If not, I will track my exercise minutes and work to increase that.

My goal is to get to 30 pounds lost by 10/10/10. I am almost 33% there. So, did I set my goal too low or am I looking at a struggle once my weight loss slows down a bit? Who knows? I am not going to worry about it. If I pass 30 pounds, well then hot damn! If I don’t get there, I will have lost what I lost, lost inches and gained much athletic abilities. I cannot control the future, but I can work to change the outcomes ahead of me.

I am getting back into yoga tonight after missing it last night for WW. I am also going to do more. I want more exercise than yoga. I have some workout dvds in my Netflix queue, after I get another True Blood dvd, but for now I will do my Leslie Sansone. I think I will do the 30 minute dvd tonight. I can do that and then finish with the 30 minute Namaste Yoga on Fit Tv. Wow, I never ever thought I would be here. It feels good. I know I have to do this, number 1, to lose and keep my weight off. #2, to train to achieve my goal of being a derby girl. I may not ever tryout, and if I do, I may not make the team. I may decide I want to be a ref and that’s it. But, I do know I am to be a part of the derby, more than a spectator, and that I love to roller skate. I learned that Sunday. I am going Saturday at noon, I will be there when the doors open, or within a few minutes. I will skate for an hour to 2 hours. Then, I get to come home and shower and get ready to go to the last home bout of the Naptown Roller Girls! It will be sad, but it is a double header and it will be fun. They’ll be back. They aren’t going anywhere! And now I can take the $ for the monthly bout and put it towards roller skating practice.

Having goals is good. To reiterate what my WW leader said, be like Elmer Fudd. Find the rabbit twacks and search out your Bugs Bunny!

And as always, sprout something (seeds or seeds of change)!

Here's a yummy recipe from Vegetarian Times.  A friend made it and said you can cut the honey in half, they are very sweet!

Honey Braised Carrots

Veg Times
6 servings

6 large carrots, halved and cut into ¼” thick slices (4 cups)

2 medium shallots, sliced into thin rings (1/4 cup)

½ C honey

1 T cider vinegar

¼ C chopped fresh parsley

Place carrots and shallots in nonstick skillet, and heat over medium heat. Cook 2-4 minutes, or until beginning to brown.

Stir in honey, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Partially cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook 15 minutes, or until carrots are tender. Uncover, stir in the vinegar, and increase the heat to medium-high.

Cook 2 minutes more. Stir in parsley, and serve.

¾ C serving = 126 cal, less than 1 g fat, 3 g fiber

Monday, April 12, 2010

Activity check and a yummy Greek recipe!

Hello dear peeps! How was your weekend? What did you do for fun, and to get moving? I thought I would do a week starter post just to keep you motivated. I spent the weekend on the run. Saturday, I had a workshop in the morning and then it was off to officiate a derby bout. Well, 2 actually. I didn’t do much but sit Saturday night, but I was active. Dodging chairs being pushed into me from fast skaters sliding in for the penalty they didn’t want to serve is hard work. Luckily, none of them were mean to me. One was even laughing with me on her last penalty, with just a few seconds left in the game I felt it was okay to joke with her. Yesterday was laundry day. I also did yoga both Saturday and Sunday, and I even went roller skating yesterday with a friend. I was able to do it, only went down once trying to stop, and it felt darn good! So, look for me on a local derby team in a year or so.




I had a moment of revelation yesterday. I still see my midsection as pretty big. I am certainly carrying the unhealthy fat, and always have. But, the top I wore to skate in was swimming on me. I got it from a friend in August that had cleaned out her closet after losing weight. I think I need to gift it to someone. It is huge! And it wasn’t that loose when I received it. My arms are still tight in it, but the unhealthiest area to carry fat is much smaller.



I have to say, I never had this much focus and determination before. I was willing and determined to count and weigh in and lose, but I did it without activity and that is a huge difference this time. It is clicking! My head is clicking too!



I planted some beet seeds this weekend, hopefully they will sprout! My pea shoots will be ready to eat tonight, and then more tomorrow! Maybe some more by the end of the week. I have 4 pots going now. I also have 2 beet pots going. I tell ya, I love sprouting!



I made this delicious WW recipe this weekend. If memory serves it is 6 pernts per serving. Oh, I just figured it up for real and my calculations are 32 for the whole recipe, 8 servings is totally doable, so it’s 4 per serving! Yippee! I am off to update my tracker. I counted too much! It’s decadent and rich. Make sure to use lots of cinnamon and a little more nutmeg. So delicious!



WW Pastitsio



Sauce:

3 cups light soy milk - 6

1/4 cup cornstarch - 0

3 eggs, lightly beaten - 6

4 TBSP parmesan cheese - 2

salt and ground pepper

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg



Filling:

1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil - 3

1 onion, chopped

3/4 pound ground meat substitute, like Boca crumbles - 6

1 pound plum tomatoes, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced (although I used more--probably 4 or 5)

3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

salt and pepper



1/2 pound whole wheat spaghetti or elbow macaroni - 8

2 TBSP parmesan substitute - 1



Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.



Meanwhile, combined the milk, cornstarch and eggs in a large saucepan. Cook over low heat until thickened, stirring constantly. This took me a while, but I think I turned the fire down too low--I was warming, not cooking--so make sure the heat isn't too low. When thickened, remove from heat and add the Parmesan sub, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Place a lid on the pot and set aside while you make the filling.



At this point, you'll want to preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 7 by 11 inch baking dish with non-stick spray.



For the filling, heat the oil in a large skillet and saute the onion until softened. Add the remaining filling ingredients and cook until heated through, and the liquid from the tomatoes evaporates. Stir often.



To assemble the casserole, start with half of the pasta, then top with all of the filling and the other half of the pasta. Pour the b├ęchamel sauce over the top and sprinkle with the last 2 tablespoons of parmesan. Bake until golden, 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving, to set the casserole.



Have a great week and remember to sprout something (seeds or seeds of change)!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I scream, you scream...It’s all about the Frozen Treats today!

First, let me say thank you to the gals on a message board I frequent for these tempting and WW friendly treats. The heat is coming, and the desire for cool treats is intensifying. These are guilt free choices to help you stay on track, and indulge a bit.




Frozen Lemon Cup

Start by cutting off the top of a lemon, about ¾ from the bottom of the fruit. Make sure to save the cap! Using a hand held juicer, juice the lemon or into a fine strainer to remove any seeds and extra pulp. After diluting the fresh-squeezed lemon juice with 3 parts water to 1 part juice, add granulated sugar to taste (I add about 1 Tbsp. to every cup), depending on how sweet or how tart you like it. Whisk sugar until completely dissolved. Fill lemon with your juice mixture to a ¼-inch from the rim. Place in freezer for 3 hours, or until liquid has reached desired slushiness. Place cap on top and serve with a spoon! If you’re not a fan of lemons, you can make the same dish with blood oranges instead. [Lauren LaPenna] http://www.bust.com/



One Ingredient Ice Cream: http://bit.ly/do2Xq5



A variation of the above idea: http://fatfreevegan.com/blog/2010/03/08/banana-ice-cream/



I kept my vow of last week.  I got my 5 pound star and then some.  My weekly weigh in went great last night! I released another 3.8 pounds. 8.2 gone in 4 weeks! And we even had a big family dinner Sunday for Easter. And treats at the open Butler practice Friday. See, you can indulge, every now and then. Just be active and track the rest of the time. I have done yoga 5 of the last 6 days. I am joining the Walk-It Challenge issued by Weight Watchers, a 6 week training to go from couch to a 5K. I am not a couch potato, well not as much as I used to be, but I know I shouldn’t go out and walk a 5k today. If you are interested, check the WW website out for further info in the coming week or so.



Have a great week and sprout something (seeds or seeds of change)!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Spring has sprung!

Finally!  Here is my newest love, and I am so glad I am doing it.  I have discovered sprouting.  I tried last year with a sprouting container but it was a dismal failure.  I discovered sprouted peas at the Indy Winter Farmer's Market (http://www.indywinterfarmersmarket.org/) a few weeks ago.  Well, I bought seeds the next week, and soil.  Now I have these beauties which sprout pretty quick.  The lady I bet the sprouts from said 4-5 days.  Mine are about 9-10 days.  They're even bigger today.  I picked off a few, rinsed, and cut up and garnished my eggs this morning.  I had a wedge of Laughing Cow cheese as well.  It was yummers!  Next, I am going to try beet sprouts.  There are many options to choose.  So many, so little time.  Oh wait, I can do this any darn time I please!


Aren't they cute?  They're yummy on sandwiches too.  I use them in place of lettuce, and I can constantly keep a supply going.  I need to invest in some more containers.  I am even thinking I could poke holes in old margarine tubs and use that.

I even have some kale seeds started to plant in a few weeks.  I'll be getting a full share in a CSA, but one can always use more, in case the farm has a bad year.  I grow in containers, so I feel like I would be more immune to natural problems that farms face.  Maybe not.  I cut a couple pieces from my rosemary plant to try and start a couple more.  The kale is very young, just a week or so old.  And I watered just after this picture, so don't worry, it's not thirsty anymore.



What are you going to do this summer to help coax new life into this world.  Life that will reap you many rewards, both internally and externally?  Here is some info from Mother Jones magazine about the cals burned doing gardening activities.  It's a great workout.  This doesn't address height and weight, so take this as a rough guide.

Watering lawn: 61


Mowing lawn (ride-on): 101


Trimming shrubs (power): 142

 
Raking: 162


Bagging leaves: 162


Planting seedlings: 182


Mowing (push with motor): 182


Planting trees: 182

 
Snow thrower (walking): 182


Trimming shrubs (manual): 182


Weeding: 182


Clearing land: 202

 
Digging, spading, tilling: 202


Laying sod: 202


Chopping wood: 202


Gardening with heavy power tools: 243


Mowing lawn (push manual): 243


Double digging: 344



Here is the link for this article crediting the source: http://motherjones.com/blue-marble/2010/04/econundrum-gardening-exercise-calories

So, get out there and work some of your land.  Get some containers and fill with soil and plants.  Build a pretty corner flower bed in your yard.  Just do something that will brighten your spirits when you see it, give you some physical, tangible benefits, and possibly even help feed you this summer. 

In later posts, I will share preserving tips that I find, to help extend the season a bit.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Weigh in results

I weighed in last night and lost 1.4 pounds, total of 4.4 in 3 weeks.  I vow to get my 5 pound star next week!

Vegan Mexican Tortilla Bake - well almost!

I got the VegNews email last week, and the recipe was a vegan tortilla bake.  Here is the recipe:

Mexican Tortilla Bake
Serves 4


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large garlic clove, minced

1-1/2 cups cooked pinto beans or one 15-ounce can, drained and rinsed

1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

Salt and pepper, to taste

1-1/2 cups prepared tomato salsa

4 ounces soft or silken tofu

2 tablespoons lime juice

12 6-inch flour tortillas

1 cup shredded vegan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 9x13-inch baking dish. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the pinto beans, tomatoes, chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.



2. In a food processor or blender, combine the salsa, tofu, lime juice, and 1/2 cup of the bean mixture. Process until well blended. Spread a thin layer of the tofu and salsa mixture over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Arrange 6 of the tortillas on top, overlapping as necessary. Spread the remaining bean mixture over the tortillas and cover with another layer of tortillas. Top with the remaining tofu-and-salsa mixture and sprinkle with the shredded cheese. Bake until hot and bubbly and lightly browned on top, about 30 minutes.

It is tasty, but looks nothing like the picture included with the email.  It is kind of flat.  I used white corn tortillas that I had.   I added some dried cilantro and cumin to the bean layers.  Next time, I will add some mexican spiced cooked veggie crumbles, and another can of beans.  The tofu puree is tasty, and I can imagine using it many other ways.  I didn't have vegan cheese, so I used the cheese I had.  Here are my results!



Before baking



After baking



Their casserole!

I figured this up as 35 pernts for whole recipe.  I didn't count pernts for the salsa and tomatoes.  I ate this as 6 servings, well I am still eating it.  So, roughly 6 pernts each if done as 6 servings.