Monday, January 31, 2011

The Monday Morsel - Tea Time

Weekly Monday Report:

Pounds Lost = 3

Total pounds lost = 6
# of Diet Cokes Consumed =  5 (pretty good, right?)

# of Times Exercised = 0 :(


5 diet cokes in 7 days is quite impressive for me.  How did I do it?!  Well, basically I ran out and just didn't bother to buy any more at the store.  Amazing how that works, isn't it?  It actually reminds me of when my son was potty trained.  Noticed I didn't say when "I" potty trained my son, but it was when the preschool did it for me.  In the morning, I dropped him off in diapers and when I picked him up, he was in underwear!  Yeah, it was some other kids underwear, but I tried not to focus on that in the moment.  They simply told him they ran out of diapers in his size so he would have to wear underwear.  He said okay and voila, Ryan was potty trained (minus a few accidents here and there).  We learn a lot from preschool and kindergarten - tools for the rest of our life!  I didn't realize that preschool teachings would work on me, but alas, they did.  At least so far.  I just wish I was three years old and not able to buy diet coke on my own : )  

Tea

I needed to replace the caffeine ladened diet coke with something.  My answer was tea.  I've never been a coffee drinker and I care not to start, so tea it would be.  I have enjoyed some tea in the past, but I'm rather partial to cold drinks.  When that hankering comes, I may have to try iced tea.  For now, I'm drinking what we have in the house, which is quite a wide variety of teas.  Why?  Because I've tried this tactic before.  I've read about the health benefits of tea, so of course I tried to be a regular consumer.  Whose to say it won't work this time?!  I don't believe I've ever made this much of a conscious effort to not buy diet coke, so hopefully I'll have several more tea drinking days ahead of me.  I'm really enjoying STASH Chai Green Tea right now.  It has such a clean taste and flavorful aroma.  
Of course I have mention a bit about foods made with green tea.  Green tea ice cream is fairly common, but I've never been much of a fan.  With my renewed appreciation for green tea, I will make a point to try some again.  But what about KitKat made with Green Tea?  Only in Japan, I'm afraid. 
This cake is just too beautiful not to share.  Some people might not like the idea of eating green cake, but the shade of green is so impressive and without any food coloring!  I've never purchased matcha (the green tea powder responsible for this), but I'm on a mission to find it.  Henry's or WholeFoods maybe?  I bet if Kermit tried this cake, he may find it easier bein' green. 


Let's just hope they don't start marketing this in the US or I might give in to temptation (yes, it's no calorie coke with green tea flavor).  I know there are a lot of tea connoisseurs out there, so please share with me your favorite teas!  I need to keep this new found healthy habit going. 

The topic this week for Eat. Live. Be. is "What is your favorite healthy change?".  It's a change I'm going to make right now.  I'm sure you all noticed my big fat zero for exercise this week.  It has to change.  I actually enjoy exercising, but just don't make the time for it.  Starting today, I'm scheduling exercise into my weekly calendar, just as I would any other meeting.  Working from home, I never take a true lunch break, so this will be my break - a one hour time slot for exercise.  Let's see if next week's exercise count goes up!  
Please join me and the other ELB bloggers on the journey to better health!

Sarah at Cucina Bella
Cate at Sweetnicks
Maris at In Good Taste
Chris at Mele Cotte
Faith at Bon Appetit
Kristen at Dine and Dish
Emily at The Anderson Crew
Joanne at Eats Well With Others
Casey at The Starnes Family
Patsy at Friends, Family and Food
Tri-Fit Mom at Tri-Fit Mom
Claire at Cooking is Medicine
Allison at Sweet Flours
Jen at NJ Epicurean
Jenna at Stop, Drop, and Blog
Rivki at Healthy Eating for Ordinary People
Sarah at Sarah’s Sweet Creations
Denise and Lenny at Chez Us

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Monday Morsel - Garlic

Weekly Monday Report:

Pounds Lost = 0 (ouch)
Total pounds lost = 3
# of Diet Cokes Consumed =  8
# of Times Exercised = 3

Number-wise, not too impressive, I guess.  Funny thing is, I actually feel in better shape this week, but the pounds lost sure don't show it.  I'm sure yesterday morning's breakfast of Sam The Cooking Guy's Pizza Eggs  topped with Bufalo Chipotle hot sauce didn't help either. 
I did a few exercise videos (streamed from Netflix - love that capability!) that worked some muscle groups I forgot I had.  "Crunch: Super SlimDown", "Crunch: Fat Burning Dance Party", and "Crunch: Candlelight Yoga".  Mind you, I had never done yoga or Pilates before (I know, I'm probably the only 38 year old woman in La Jolla who's never done either) and from this, I've concluded the following:
  1. Yoga and Pilates seem like good ol' stretching exercises - totally beneficial, but can't they just call it stretching?
  2. I love to dance (well, I knew this before) and the Fat Burning Dance Party video was my favorite.
  3. I need to do more, most likely live and in-person, yoga and Pilates classes to understand and appreciate the full experience. 
Back in college, my roommate and I used to turn down the lights, burn candles, and do our own stretches while listening to Yanni.  Did I really just admit that?   That's what yoga reminds me of, but I actually enjoyed those late night college sessions more than the Candlelight Yoga video.  Next up to try...power yoga or weight loss Pilates. 
The topic this week for Eat. Live. Be. is "What is your biggest challenge?"  Oh, where to start...I have a few, but I really put some thought into this and honed in on my biggest - Portion Control.  I eat healthy.  I eat a variety of foods.  I eat fruits and vegetables.  I don't routinely eat processed or fried foods.  I'm not addicted to sweets.  I cook most meals.  If I could only get this last aspect, portion control, in check, I would be much better off and several pounds lighter.  So my dieting technique takes this into account.  Some may say this isn't the best way to go, but it works for me.  I eat a light breakfast and lunch and save most of my calories for the evening since that is when I want to enjoy my food, the company, and the whole dining experience.
Garlic
Probably one of nature's most beneficial foods and I can't say enough about how much I love garlic.  Mark can tell from my breath and others by how much I cook with it!  Whenever a recipe calls for garlic cloves, I pretty much double the amount.  Most people already know the health benefits of this well-known member of the onion family, so instead, I want to share with you a few things you may not know about.


Scapes.  The immature flower stalks of the garlic plant.  Scapes are normally in season around the summer months and can be a bit hard to find.  I've never seen them at a grocery store, but they may just pop up in a farmer's market in June.  Last year was the first time I tried them and I am hooked!  Let alone their beautiful gracefulness as they curl into themselves, their flavor is amazing.  I simply tossed them in olive oil and laid them on the bbq.  Sprinkled with a little salt, they were divine.  The Vegan Appetite blog has some great recipes for incorporating garlic scapes into everyday foods. 



Gilroy Garlic Festival!  For all of those in California, you most likely have heard of, if not been to the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival.  Gilroy, CA is fondly known as "The Garlic Capitol of the World".  Unfortunately, I've never been to the festival, but I'm going to make it a point to go this year.  Garlic ice cream...I'm so there. 


Lastly, I want to share with you a delicious find - Majestic Garlic Creamy Garlic Paste.  This spread is made of pure garlic, perfectly creamed with safflower oil, flax seed oil, lemon juice, and sea salt.  The result is an amazing, versatile, and healthy condiment.  They have many flavors, all of which I've tried at the La Jolla Open Aire Market, but I always get the original, plain flavor.  It is pure garlic perfection and I want to enjoy it as such.  Their website lists a few recipes to try as well as serving tips.  I enjoy it routinely as a dip for broccoli and cauliflower, and also spread on a piece of whole wheat toast.  Last night, however, I went with one of their suggestions and tried it on a baked potato (that was all I had for dinner due to my Pizza Eggs splurge earlier in the day).  In my pursuit to be healthier, I've tried several different baked potato toppings attempting to move away from my much loved butter and chives, only to be severely disappointed.  I can now say, that I've successfully found my replacement!  I'm so excited since I hardly ever eat baked potatoes anymore since I know I can't control myself from dousing it in butter, but now things can change.  A healthy change for the better.
Do you have any amazing garlic finds?  Please do share since I need to feed this healthy addiction!  Next week's topic is "What is your favorite healthy change".  Please join me and the other ELB bloggers on the journey to better health!

Sarah at Cucina Bella
Cate at Sweetnicks
Maris at In Good Taste
Chris at Mele Cotte
Faith at Bon Appetit
Kristen at Dine and Dish
Emily at The Anderson Crew
Joanne at Eats Well With Others
Casey at The Starnes Family
Patsy at Friends, Family and Food
Tri-Fit Mom at Tri-Fit Mom
Claire at Cooking is Medicine
Allison at Sweet Flours
Jen at NJ Epicurean
Jenna at Stop, Drop, and Blog
Rivki at Healthy Eating for Ordinary People
Sarah at Sarah’s Sweet Creations
Denise and Lenny at Chez Us

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Monday Morsel - Massaged Kale Salad

Weekly Monday Report:

Pounds Lost = 3

# of Diet Cokes Consumed = 11

# of Times Exercised = 2 (1 Zumba, 1 walk)

Pounds lost is exciting; diet cokes and exercise, not so much.  I had previously commented that my brain and life can only handle 3 goals at this time, but maybe I need to adjust that to 1!  If I can flip the exercise and diet coke numbers, I would be in great shape, but that's probably a bit unrealistic.  Baby steps.  I was a bit bummed about the pounds lost this morning, since throughout the week, I had actually lost more than 3 pounds, but obviously one's weight fluctuates on a day to day basis.  Must keep motivation high, so I've decided to be proud of the 3 pounds I lost and move forward! 
Our topic this week for Eat. Live. Be. is "Baby, It's Cold Outside".  Well, not really in San Diego.  Yesterday, my husband and I enjoyed a beautifully warm walk to our local farmers market at a glorious 75 degrees.  Before you get upset, I'll just say that we don't have that every day in January and I'm sure sometime soon it will drop back down to the 60's.

Fighting off the winter blues is hard at times, even in San Diego.  I like to conquer the doldrums with a bright, refreshing salad, complete with fruit and citrus notes.  Aarti Sequeira from Aarti Party on the Food Network has an amazing kale salad recipe, Massaged Kale Salad.  I'm not a big fan of the show, but her recipes are unique and flavorful.
I've never liked kale.  My iguana (from years past) would eat kale, but after him, my kale purchasing ceased.  That is, until this salad.  It's called Massaged Kale Salad because after drizzling the kale with a bit of olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and salt, you massage the kale with your hand until it wilts slightly.  There are only two other components to the salad - mangoes and pepitas (pumpkin seeds).  The minimal ingredients allow them all to be shining stars in this salad.  The simple dressing is a perfect complement of lemon juice, honey, freshly ground pepper, and oil.  If the fruit and citrus flavors bursting in your mouth doesn't remind you of warm weather, then just move to San Diego :)
Next week's topic is "What is your biggest challenge?" where I'll be sharing one of my biggest challenges and how to tackle it.  Please join me and the other ELB bloggers on the journey to better health!

Sarah at Cucina Bella
Cate at Sweetnicks
Maris at In Good Taste
Chris at Mele Cotte
Faith at Bon Appetit
Kristen at Dine and Dish
Emily at The Anderson Crew
Joanne at Eats Well With Others
Casey at The Starnes Family
Patsy at Friends, Family and Food
Tri-Fit Mom at Tri-Fit Mom
Claire at Cooking is Medicine
Allison at Sweet Flours
Jen at NJ Epicurean
Jenna at Stop, Drop, and Blog
Rivki at Healthy Eating for Ordinary People
Sarah at Sarah’s Sweet Creations
Denise and Lenny at Chez Us

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Monday Morsel - Eat. Live. Be.

Goal - Lose 30lbs.

There, I said it.  My hope is that putting it out there for the world to see will help me hold myself accountable for what I want to accomplish.  I also have a support group - Eat. Live. Be.  Through Kristen's Dine & Dish blog, I stumbled upon Sarah and Cate who started a 2011 Challenge called Eat. Live. Be.
I am now part of a group of bloggers who are striving for a healthier 2011. Every Monday, we will be blogging about our progress as well as discussing a topic for the week.  In addition, I'll be sharing a healthy tip, food product, and possible recipe to go along with it - The Monday Morsel.  My philosophy with loosing weight is all about moderation instead of cutting items out of your diet, so in case you are wondering, my blog won't be turning into a health food blog :)  Heck, I'm the mayor of the La Jolla Jack in the Box on foursquare right now which I can't believe I just admitted. I've honestly only checked in there 3 or 4 times and it was to use up my 2 free taco coupons that I got from the Padres games before they expired.  Someone please take this mayorship away from me!


I missed last weeks post, so I need to start with outlining my goals.  I've stuck to three since I think that's all my brain and life can handle at the moment.  The first one you know already:


1.  Lose 30 lbs.  Will that get me to where I want to be?  I'm honestly not sure since I haven't been that low in a long time, so I'm taking baby steps. 


2.  Reduce the number of diet coke's consumed.  It's a bad addiction and one that I've had for way too long.   It all started with Tab when I was young.  This Tab commercial didn't help either since I desperately wanted her body.




Yes, I know, bad self image for young girls, but that's a whole other topic.  I moved on from Tab to the much healthier (ha!) Diet Coke.  I love it.  It's like a treat to me, so I'm not sure I can eliminate totally, but reduction is my goal.  I've read that 1 diet soda a day is okay, but more than that can harm your kidneys.  I just need to stop doing this:
 
Comic courtesy of Nataliddee


3.  Exercise more - Zumba Fitness for Wii!  I'm really excited about this, but mind you, I haven't even tried it yet.  We just got a Wii from Santa this year and I'm really hoping it can help me meet my exercise goal.  Trying to get Just Dance 2 as well.  Thinking about Wii Fit - anyone have experience with these?


As the group of bloggers with Eat. Live. Be., we're supposed to post our progress the last Monday of the month.  I'm going to give you my progress each week - pounds lost (or the reverse, which I don't even want to mention, so let's pretend I didn't), # of diet cokes consumed, # of times I Zumba'd (just made up a new word). 


This week's discussion topic is Where is Your Support Community?  My answer = You.  Yes, I have my family and they are a great support, but I'll have to admit, it's grown a bit stale.  They're used to my weight yo-yoing so I can't blame them.  Through this endeavor, I feel like I've made a new commitment and I have all of you as my support.  I've also just recently heard about SparkPeople, a free website to log in your progress and share in a community of like minded people shooting for healthier lifestyles.  So where is your support community?


I hope you join me every week on The Monday Morsel! Next week's topic is Baby, It's Cold Outside where my fellow bloggers and I will share how to be inspired during these cold winter months (soup recipes, indoor workout tips, etc).  I'm motivated to share my progress with you and welcome you to join me and the other bloggers on our journey.  Speaking of the other bloggers, please check out their posts as well   And finally, be sure to check out Eat. Live. Be. For a Better 2011 on Facebook:


Sarah at Cucina Bella
Cate at Sweetnicks
Maris at In Good Taste
Chris at Mele Cotte
Faith at Bon Appetit
Kristen at Dine and Dish
Emily at The Anderson Crew
Joanne at Eats Well With Others
Casey at The Starnes Family
Patsy at Friends, Family and Food
Tri-Fit Mom at Tri-Fit Mom
Claire at Cooking is Medicine
Allison at Sweet Flours
Jen at NJ Epicurean