Monday, July 28, 2014

Friend Makin' Mondays: Feeling Fruity!

Funny how that last post of "I'm going to post everyday for a month!" turned into "I'm not blogging for almost 10 months!"

There have been so many times I've thought about how I could "break back into" blogging after going radio silent. I attended Fitbloggin' a month ago and while I loved seeing my friends and I *wanted* to blog again, I just had so many excuses about why I haven't.

So what better way to make a return then doing a Friend Makin' Monday by Sarah at Losing Weight and Having Fun.

This week’s topic is ‘Feeling Fruity’

1. What is your favorite fruit?
 Bananas! Or maybe Avocados....are those really considered fruit?

2. Is there a fruit that you really really don’t like?
Nope! I love all fruit!

3. If you could only drink one fruit juice for the rest of your life, what flavor would it be?
I don't really like fruit juice, but a splash of Pomegranate juice is nice with sparkling water.

4. Tomatoes – fruit or vegetable?
I want to say fruit, because that's technically what they are, but I view them as a vegetable in my own diet.

5. How many portions of fruit do you eat a day?
I eat a banana nearly everyday so usually 1-3

6. if you were making a smoothie what fruits would you add?
blueberries, strawberries, and/or bananas

7. Are you allergic to any fruits?

8. Do you have a favorite fruit recipe? Feel free to share the recipe with us.
Peach Cobbler, Paula Deen style :)

9. Do you have any fruits that are local to your area?
People grow berries, peaches, and melons, but I'm not sure any are native to Tennessee.

10. What is your favorite fruit pie? pie is probably my favorite traditional pie.

Want to participate in Friend Makin' Monday? Answer these questions on your blog, then post up the link over at Sarah's Blog Post!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

NoBloPoMo: My last blog post was almost 2 months ago...

I'd like to say I've been busy. I guess in some respects I have been. This time of year work is so crazy that the last thing I want to do on evenings and weekends is look at a computer screen.

To get out of this lack-of-blogging funk I decided late last night to participate in NoBloPoMo. Sure, I'm two days late, but better late than never. Right?!

Here is just a short post to kick it off. I have so much on my mind about the weight gain I've allowed happen, but I just want to kick this off with a bit of positivity.

Yesterday, the fall colors motivated me to take a short 30 minute walk (a victory for me since I haven't been working out)

Then the roommate and I enjoyed the weather walking around downtown and checking out the Grand Opening at the new Hatch Show Print location inside the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Hatch Show Print is one of Nashville's staples. It is one of the oldest letterpress print shops in the US. (They celebrated 133 years last year.)

After walking around downtown some more, we found another staple of the city - a location shoot for the ABC TV show "Nashville".

Featuring fake TV's own country stars Rayna James and Juliette Barnes! Yes, they had a whole "music festival" set up just for filming the TV show. I see them filming around town a lot - it's sort of cool to see them out and about and then catch that episode and see how it turned out.

All in all it was a good fall day with lots of walking - exactly what I need right now!

Monday, September 9, 2013

I actually won something...Laughing Cow Cheese!

A few weeks after Fitbloggin, I got a tweet notifying me that I had WON their contest they ran at the Conference:

I have seriously been a fan of Laughing Cow cheese, particularly the light Swiss flavor for years, and years. And I honestly, NEVER win anything, so I was pumped.

A few days later, this arrived on my doorstep.

A nifty Laughing Cow branded lunch box with four packages of Laughing Cow Cheese to try: Garlic & Herb, light Swiss, and two new flavors, White Cheddar and Queso Fresco & Chipotle.

Although I've been a fan of the light Swiss for a long time, I honestly have never branched out and tried other flavors, like the Garlic & Herb. So I was stoked to expand my Laughing Cow Cheese repertoire and try to find inventive ways to use the different flavors.

My standard, go-to recipe is to make a light, low calorie Alfredo sauce with the Swiss flavor. This goes great with pasta - or spaghetti squash for a lower carb version. I saw this recipe on a blog years, and years ago - probably 5 or more. But Laughing Cow also has a version on their website.

Here are the ingredients I used.

 I add red pepper flakes to add a bit of heat, and sometimes I use a sprinkling of flour if I need to thicken it up since I don't usually use dairy milk, thus cutting out the milkfat. The original soymilk from 8th Continent was definitely too sweet, but it did the trick in a pinch for a quick dinner.

I added mine to whole wheat angel hair pasta with broccoli and fresh tomatoes.

 Since I only tried the other flavors at Fitbloggin' with veggies and crispy flatbread, I tried to think of ways to add a little Laughing Cow flair to some of my old, regular, boring meals.

The winning shot.

The Queso Fresco & Chipotle went well on a black bean and rice burrito. I took a wedge and microwaved it for 30-60 seconds to melt it a bit. The flavor went quite well with this combination and has a bit of spice, but as someone that LOVES spice, you see that I still added my normal amount of hot sauce. :)

I stuffed the Swiss flavor in some mini peppers I had on-hand and roasted them in the oven. This was good, but it didn't turn out like a "jalapeno popper" like I hoped. I think next time mixing the Laughing Cow with some shredded cheese and green chilies is in order.

The White Cheddar flavor spruced up a boring turkey, spinach, tomato wrap for lunch at work.

Also, not shown, but the Garlic & Herb went great on my daily Egg & Spinach sandwich for breakfast!

Thank you Laughing Cow for sponsoring Fitbloggin'13 and for running the contest I won!

Disclaimer: All products were provided to me at no charge as part of a contest I won. Laughing Cow did not ask me to do this post, and all opinions and ideas are my own.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Where have I been?

Wow....where have I been?

I can't believe my last post was in JULY - July 28th to be exact.

I had just gotten back from a big trip and was gearing up for my last one of the summer. I can honestly say I have not been weighing and have not been tracking. I've been trying to make better choices, but I am not perfect.

Accept the imperfections.

I am sure I am up from my last weigh in, but my scale is broken so I haven't been focusing on it. I did take my measurements at the beginning of this month and I will share the results at the beginning of next month.

Work outs have been dismal, and my goal has been to just walk 20 minutes a day. Some days I get in longer walks (thanks Kate!) and some days I get no walks in. The last 2 days I've done no walking because I sprained my ankle again on Wednesday. Story of my life.

It's not as bad as last time, but I'm going to do some pool/yoga workouts this weekend and then pick the walking back up next week when hopefully it's a bit better.

Also, perhaps it's time I committed to doing those PT exercises to strengthen my hips and ankles?

So what else has been going on?

Honestly, nothing that is too noteworthy. This is the time of year at work I just want to do nothing when I am not AT work. 10-12 hour days of work, directly interacting with people in a very customer centric role leaves me feeling very much like I want nothing to do but eat copious amounts of carbs and be lazy when I'm not at work.

But a few things that have gone on:

- I visited New Orleans for my cousin's 30th birthday with family. I ate and drank to my heart's desire.

- I ran/walked a 5K in August, finishing in my slowest time ever.

- I took a side-by-side comparison of last year to this year. Time to face reality.

- I've been trying to pre-cook good food for the week, so I don't binge/make poor choices. Hopefully this will yield some yummy recipes for the blog.

I know my life seems really boring right now, and I guess it is. I am just trying to survive until Thanksgiving. It's hard to explain, but this time of year is really hard for me work-wise. I'll try and check in more regularly and hopefully get on a scale at the gym soon.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Weekly Weigh-in 3.2

Weight on July 15: 278.6
Today's Weight: 282.6

4 pounds GAINED

I just spent the last 10 days in 4 different cities between work and vacation....Columbus-Indianapolis-Chicago-Minneapolis....whew

Yes I could have traveled and not gained 4 lbs. If I didn't drink so much in Chicago, if I watched what I was eating and how much of it I was eating just a little closer, and I could have gotten out of bed and exercised while I was gone, but it happened and I'm still swinging around on these 5 lbs.

I leave for New Orleans on Friday to celebrate my cousin's 30th birthday, so I don't foresee it getting much better than this next week. I'm not going to torture myself, I'm just going to start back to my normal exercise routine and watch portions this week before I leave.

I'm in no place to make an empty promise that I won't go overboard in NOLA. School starts when I get back and hopefully a normal work routine will benefit me in the healthy living realm.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Go ahead and throw tomatoes - A very special 5k race giveaway!

When I first saw the sponsored post on Facebook about the upcoming Tomato Dodge 5K in Nashville, I was semi skeptical. I've come to be used to seeing a hot new specialty theme race announced every other day - everything from ass kicking mud and obstacle races to paint and glow fests. But one where the participants would be pelted with squishy fruit?

Inspired by the La Tomatina Festival in the Valenician town of Buñol, the Tomato Dodge combines history and fitness into a unique event.

From the La Tomatina Wiki page:

La Tomatina (Spanish pronunciation: [la tomaˈtina]) is a festival that is held in the Valencian town of Buñol, a town located 30 km from the Mediterranean, in which participants throw tomatoes and get involved in this tomato fight purely for fun. It is held on the last Wednesday of August, during the week of festivities of Buñol.

"Purely for fun" - no further description needed for me, I love fun! With a tomato pit to jump in and ambush zones to race through all while throwing the red bombs at other racers, this race is sure to meet the organizer's objective of "giving people a reason to get outside, get moving, and have a blast."

So my last question was, "won't they hurt?"

A simple answer is no, they "soak and squish these tomatoes so that they're soft on impact." To see more about the action packed race in the Tomato Dodge Presents: Run, Throw, Dodge video.

After seeing me comment on Twitter about the craziness of what they were doing the Tomato Dodge marketing team handed over a free race entry and TWO of my Nashville readers.

So, I've signed up to run this crazy race on August 17th. Do you want to join me? I'm giving away TWO free race entries right now!

All you have to do is comment below by Monday, July 22nd at 11:59 pm CST and I will draw 2 winners at random to be notified on Tuesday morning. the winner will receive a free entry to the race on August 17th in Nashville good for use by 7/24. Travel to Nashville and/or lodging is not included.

Disclosure: The nifty people at Tomato Dodge supplied me with a code for a free race entry for myself and two race entries to give away. All opinions are entirely my own. I’m pumped to do another theme race!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Vegan (and no oil) Pesto Sauce

I'm a huge fan of pesto. And basil in general. There's nothing better than a fresh mozzarella, tomato, basil salad in the summer.

But I digress...

We are here to talk about pesto. The thing where overgrown basil plants are made into a beautifully delicious, cheesy, oily delicacy. Yum.

However, most traditional pesto recipes call for 1/2 cup to 1 1/2 cups of olive oil - yikes! Even with the health benefits of olive oil that is a huge calorie bomb.

Enter a recipe I discovered 3 years ago: Katie's Raw Vegan Pesto Sauce

It's a wonderful take on the pesto flavor without all the calories, fat, and dairy (if you watch that sort of thing). It's delicious on raw veggies, as a flatbread topping and even as a pasta sauce. You can see the original recipe at the link above and here are my changes to a batch I made this week:
  • Used 1 tsp dried ginger rather than fresh
  • Used 3 oz almonds soaked for 24 hours rather than pine nuts (I would recommend walnuts over almonds if the cost of pine nuts deter you)
  • Left out jalapeño, but would recommend it!
  • Recommend starting with 2 T of water and adding a tablespoon at a time to get right consistency - mine was a little thick
Made a flatbread out of a whole wheat wrap, grape tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese.

Paired it with roasted cabbage and a simple roasted beet salad for a complete meal!

Have you ever lightened up a traditionally high in calorie recipe? Did it remind you of the original?