pancakes are jerks

First and foremost, today is my grandma’s birthday!

gr kate and my sister - I adore this picture!
gr kate and my sister – I adore this picture!

Happiest of Birthdays to a wonderful woman!  Seriously, everyone she meets loves her oodles and oodles.  I just got lucky to be her granddaughter.  People are jealous.

I have some odds and ends to share…

1) My stomach decided to stage a violent protest today.  Last night I made some brownie overnight oats.  It’s been on my must try list for some time and I was motivated last night so I made it.  These were some highly anticipated oats, my friends.  It made two servings and when I tried some today, I found them pretty rich.  I wasn’t sure if I totally dug them or not and then was only able to manage 1/2 of the serving before I put it back in the fridge.

before I delved into what I was hoping was chocolatey breakfast goodness
before I delved into what I was hoping was chocolatey breakfast goodness

It wasn’t long before my stomach starting picketing.  Now, I can’t be sure the oats were the culprit.  They did have a fair amount of milk in them (I used evaporated milk since I was out of almond milk – I use it for cooking).  I hurt for the rest of the day and I still can’t be sure if I feel better because my stomach is sore from the manic cramping.  The question… do I try the oats again to make sure it was them?  Or do I throw out the batch?  I’m conflicted.  (I got the recipe here)

2) I ran/walked 5 miles on the tready on Saturday.  I had a wicked dizzy spell in the middle of it so when I jumped back on for another 5 on Sunday I stuck to walking.  Still a bit woozy so I’m thinking I was dehydrated?  Yesterday I planned on a few more miles but gave into the siren call of my couch.  I still managed 3 walking miles for the day.

3) I made pancakes this weekend.  I was craving them and after the run I wanted a GIANT pancake.  Naturally, I chose a small frying pan and filled that sucker with batter – I wanted a super thick pancake.  I’m sure you might want to face-palm me right now because you guessed it – this bad boy took FOREVER to cook!  Oh my gosh!  20 minutes later it still had a gooey center, so I started scraping the done part off in order to try to cook it in mashed up pieces.  It was a pancake massacre… that still had a soft-batter center.  Thankfully butter, syrup and ham helped to hide the not-quite-done-parts.

this is a great illustration of my pancake sadness… and confusion

The thing is, this is the second time my pancakes have been mini-disasters.  The first time, fine, I tried to put together my own batter with flour and some odds and ends.  Not happening.  But this time I used a box mix!  The rest of the batter still didn’t cook very well even though I made them smaller/thinner.  I used Krusteaz gluten-free mix.  At this point I’m sticking to the Bisquick gluten-free pancake mix – those were more successful.  It was a bit tough on the ego to mess up pancakes, hence my firmly placing the blame on the pancakes themselves.  Jerks.

I thought I had more.  I guess I don’t.  But please weigh in on my question:

Try the oats again in order to not waste food in case they weren’t responsible for the loads of pain I suffered today?

tasty eats and treats

This is going to be my attempt at a sort of “holiday” post.  Here’s the deal, I’ve gotten a bit grinchy in my later years so I don’t have super cute stocking pics to post or anything like that.  However, I did want to put a few things out there that might be helpful to all of you!

this is an accurate depiction

1.  The nice and easy-ish giftie

My supervisee gave this to me – isn’t it cute?  She went to the dollar store for the mug and maybe the ornament? and then proceeded to stuff it with all of the goodness that is hot chocolate.  She also put a tin of homemade cookies in there with it.  It was such a sweet (ha – see what I did?!) gift and it looks great.

giftie2.  Giftie #2

This was also from a co-worker.  Originally a version of this was in a white elephant exchange I was part of – and then someone stole it from me.  Rude.  But she brought me one anyway – a “baby” from her spider plant in a container that was recycled from something in her apt.  I love it!  Such a cute idea.  She told me the only thing she spends money on is the soil and the containers are from different upcycled items.  Brilliant.

a perfect gift for all ocassions!
a perfect gift for all occasions!

3.  Giftie #3

Can you knit or crochet?  Well, neither can I but I got a coozie from another supervisee wrapped in some hot chocolate.  I’m digging the homemade gifties this year.

Foods… so if you are partaking in holiday gatherings this year, I’m guessing many of them are potluck style.  So here are a couple of ideas.

1.  Go to Costco.  Seriously, I felt bad about going there and scooping up some Ivar’s clam chowder (made in WA!) but then I stopped feeling guilty when I dumped it in the crock pot and could continue planning the rest of the holiday gathering.  Those $11.00 were well spent and it was gluten-free so it was a guaranteed dish I could eat.

2.  If you want to get your chef on, I made chili tacos last week.  I am not going to include a picture because they certainly aren’t the prettiest of all goodness.  BUT they taste so good!  I’ve made it for groups in the past and they always look at me like I’m a nutball and then they gobble it up.  And yes, I always wear a smug smile on my face as they are scraping the last of the bowl.  I made a single batch because it makes a lot.  I forgot to decrease the spices but I added quite a few more veggies so it worked itself out.

Chili Tacos

2 onions chopped                            2 green peppers chopped

3 cloves of garlic                              2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder

2 teaspoons cumin                          1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon paprika                         1 bayleaf

Large can tomatoes                        1 can of beef broth (regular size)

6 oz can of tomato paste                 2 beef bouillon cubes

2 pounds of ground beef                 1 1/2 to 2 potatoes – peeled

Brown meat and drain the fat.  Put in veggies with the meat.  Stir in all of the spices and simmer for a few minutes.  Add tomatoes, paste, bouillon cubes and beef broth.  Stir.  Bring everything to a boil.  Simmer a 1/2 hour or longer.  Then shred peeled potatoes into the mix.  You want the consistency to be a bit on the thicker side so this is why it’s either 1 1/2 or 2 potatoes.  ***I came up with a brilliant plan:  Just used frozen (probably thawed) hash browns rather than shredding the potatoes with a cheese grater over the pot.  This is by far the most annoying part for me and I said to myself, “why can’t there be potatoes already shredded?!”  Sometimes my brain shuts down.*

3.  Finally, a cookie treat.  I haven’t made these yet so I could be putting the cart before the horse, however, I tasted one so it’s kind of the same thing.  A co-worker brought in a tasty ball of heaven… without the recipe.  I’ve coveted more of these tasty balls of heaven and still, I can’t get the damn recipe.  He is basically holding it hostage.  I pinterested the ever-living daylights out of it and the best I can come up with is they were Martha Washingtons.  I’m going to give them a go – mostly because I can’t stop thinking about them.  They require quite a bit of butter so I am going to swap this out for coconut oil – I think this will work.  Who knows, I’m still new to this replacing ingredients thing.

this recipe is from Deep South Dish
this recipe/picture are from Deep South Dish

4.  Oh wait!  One more!  I found a gluten-free frozen pizza!  For some reason, I really do love frozen pizza.  I was bummed until my friend sent me to Costco and I found Sabatasso’s.  It only comes in 4 cheese (at least here) so I added yellow/red peppers, some sausage/bacon crumbles, olives and goat cheese.  It was good.  Craving satiated.

That’s all I got – remember to take a rest or something this weekend!

*Instead of the bouillon cube, I used one of those concentrated flavor packets.  The cubes had a bunch of ingredients that I don’t mix well with my stomach.  The dbl batch recipe is listed above.  I still added a single packet to my 1/2 batch.

so you want to run, eh? ha! nope

My body mocked me last week with regards to my intentions to run.  I’m fairly certain I could hear its “I’ll show you” day after day.  Needless to say, I didn’t prove it wrong.

Do others get all jacked up with the time change?  I think I am finally starting to feel more alert today and that’s probably because I already took a nap.  I will say, my exhaustion last week was a perfect storm of time change, health, a crazy busy week at work (worked through lunches and late almost every night) and a total lack of determination on my part made running a far off concept.

at least I kept trying, yeah?

I think during these times, it’s important to just go easy on myself (or yourself).  Absolutely, there were times when I said some harsh words in my head about my dedication and abilities but then I realized this wasn’t helping either.  I need to chalk it up to a tough week and move into this week with a fresh attitude.  So this is what I am going to do.

I also made a pot of chili today using the same Wendy’s recipe I used before.  It’s really good and an easy meal for weeknights.  Last week, I had a peanut butter sandwich almost every night so it will be a nice change!  I keep reading more and more about meal planning.  I haven’t quite found a system that will work for me but I’m not giving up.  One of my friends has a family of five (one kiddie is 4 months old) and she feeds her family on $350 A MONTH! Whaaa?  And, she just bumped this up from $300.  Wow!  I saw her in the grocery store the other day and I asked her how she does it.  Meal planning.

my attempts at meal planning look a bit like this

Meal planning vexes me!  I also find it so impressive!  The good thing is, I can eat leftovers for days.  I have no problem eating the same thing (sometimes for both lunch and dinner).  It comes down to it being easy.  Hmm… I just realized this – the whole “whatever is easy” part.  This is a good foundation…  I think…

Alright, I’ve wasted your time enough today.  I want to go running today, really, I do.  I’ll see – my couch is like quicksand… a really comfy quicksand…

ground sirloin taste on a ground chuck budget

Friday I went to the grocery store.  It was one of those trips where I needed toiletries along with food so the bill was heftier than I wanted.  That’s when I realized a) food is expensive – why do we have to eat?!  b) last week I bought two pairs of cords and two shirts for LESS than this grocery bill!  c) it’s quite possible I could have gone a bit cheaper on this trip.  Here is the rundown:

Non-food items: body wash, female products, cold cream – I didn’t NEED the cold cream.  I saw this commercial for Abaline and I thought, “hey, that’s cool!  Washing my face with cold cream, just like in the 50’s!”  I’m sure my decade is way off but I like the sound of it.  The cold cream was on clearance but was still $3.95

does the skin right!

Cat food:  Simon is one lucky and picky cat.  I stocked up on treats and cat food.  I also put down puppy training pads right outside of his litter box so he cleans his feet a bit.  It also stops him from tracking litter onto the carpet.

Regular food:  I’m making some white chicken chili this weekend and needed most of the ingredients for this.  Except for the chicken, which I already have, thankfully, as it wasn’t on sale.  Bacon, eggs, bananas, a frozen pizza (I despise cooking on Friday night), a jug of water and tomatoes.

Coffee:  I have a problem but we all knew this already.  I needed creamer (I bought 3 or 4 bottles) and coffee.  I finally found some coffee that I really like and is actually fairly cheap.  A bag is $5.00.  I really like grocery store blends/roasts and strongly recommend them.  All of my favorites are non-big coffee chains.

Kind Bars:  while these are so, so good they are not “kind” to my budget (ha!)!  They were on sale for $1.39 per bar.  Since I used to eat granola bars/breakfast bars for breakfast this is a great alternative.  It keeps me full a lot longer, it’s all natural and with a banana I’m good to go.

Chobani Flips:  yep, still in love with these!  My fridge is stocked and I eat this for breakfast or lunch.  These aren’t cheap either but my obsession controls my pocket-book!

When I write it out, it doesn’t seem like that much.  I do buy chocolate milk for after running and to take my meds with at night.  I didn’t buy a lot of snack foods although I did buy my current favorite chocolate, Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate and Caramel squares – oh so yummy

Still, where does all the money go?  My cart wasn’t even all the way full!  Sometimes when I am going through aisle and see families I don’t understand how they feed everyone!  Not to mention, our sales tax isn’t bad at all.  In WA it’s 8%.  While my budget could withstand some ground sirloin it better supports ground chucking it.  I’ve been thinking a lot about budget lately and how I use/spend my money.  There is something to be said for learning how to better manage my funds when I’m doing okay rather than when I’m financially pinched.  I’m almost completely out of credit card debt.  I’m ecstatic about this considering it will be the first time in 15 years where I won’t be dragging a credit card ball and chain.  Oddly enough, the other day when I went to buy my Hokas, the price tag made me a bit nervous at first (they were mega on sale so I bought two pairs)  so I almost put it on my credit card to make me feel better.  Thankfully, I realized this was silly.  It’s a habit.  I can fool myself into thinking I’m not really spending the money if I put it on the little 3.370 × 2.125 in piece of plastic with the magic black strip.

breaking the habit is hard – rejoice!

Then there is my running budget – absolutely a whole other post!

I should be running a turkey trot right now

I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself.  At this moment I am supposed to be running the annual Turkey Trot here on campus but instead I’m laying on my couch hacking up a lung.  I was certain I would be able to kick this sickness by resting this past week however this hasn’t been the case.

people have acted this way around me this week on some varying levels

Oh, I’m sure it’s helped.  I was out of work for two days.  Yesterday I went back and noticed I was out of breath walking around.  So, no running this morning… Being smart is dumb.  There is another Turkey Trot in town on Thanksgiving so this is a definite possibility.  I’m also thinking a trip to the doc on Monday might be in order.

Alright, whining finished… I think…

I did make a very good pot of chili this week!  I love Wendy’s chili and found this copy cat recipe on pinterest (of course) and it turned out really well.  Actually, I’ve seen this recipe floating around the internet for years and I finally made it.  It is incredibly easy and came together quickly.  I was pleasantly surprised.  Here is the recipe I used – it makes a big pot and I intend to freeze it.  It’s nice to have a ready made lunch/dinner option considering this upcoming week of hectic-ness.  ***I just noticed I forgot the 2 cups of water!  Ha!  I’ve only had a bowl right after I cooked it and it seemed like the right consistency.  Oh well!  Also, I used a can of diced green chili peppers and drained them a little.

Ingredients


How to make it


  • Brown the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat.
  • Drain off the fat.
  • In a large pot, combine the beef plus all the remaining ingredients, and bring to a simmer over low heat.
  • Cook, stirring every 15 minutes, for 2 to 3 hours.
  • Serve with shredded cheddar and a spoon of sour cream

I’m curious (and changing the subject) when you’ve taken time off from running, do you find it difficult to jump back in with your training plan?  I do think momentum plays a decent size role in my motivation and I feel like this has been trampled into submission this week.  I’m also basing this on my recent past with my depression level at the time so maybe this won’t be as big of an issue.

This hiccup in training is only a bit concerning.  While I know the first couple of runs back are going to be uncomfortable and I may not be jumping into my running tights with a fervor, I know I haven’t lost all of my running fitness and this setback can be remedied.  I believe it.

Last tidbit, I started falling asleep last night at 8:15 pm.  I slept off and on and never made it to my bed – my couch is crazy comfy!  While I don’t recommend sleeping during episodes of Law and Order, Criminal Intent (DISTURBING dreams, yo), I think I should go to bed at 8 pm more often.  I woke up this morning at 5:50 am; I never thought this was possible!

is that all?!

I have so many thoughts

Some of my thoughts:

1.  How could I have forgotten how good a BLT is?!  I completely skip the lettuce because I am lazy but I loaded up on the bacon and tomatoes.  I love the gushy tomato with the lightly crunchy bacon.

I think he loves bacon more than I do… but not by much

2.  I eat a Chobani Flip everyday for breakfast.  My boss told me the other day he is concerned about the amount of yogurt I eat.  This could be true but so far I have not tired of my Coco Loco and it’s a treat for breakfast.

3.  I was reading through Run, Eat, Repeat the other day and I really like the compression shorts she wears for races.  They are Moving Comfort 7.5″ Compression Short.  I like how they are a little longer and reviews say they don’t ride up.  Since my thighs do touch (ha!  see how I worked that in?!) this is a good thing.  Some reviewers say the waist sits too low so we’ll see.

compression shorts
superhero shorts

4.  In both marathons I ran last year, I saw a couple of women whose shorts/skirt kept riding up and their inner thighs were bleeding from the chaffing.  Would you quit at this point?  It might have been mile 20… I would seriously consider it…

5.  I have 20 miles on my “schedule” (which I have loosely based on a training plan but play it by ear) for today.  I have decided my prize – yes, I do reward myself with food, is this incredibly delicious donut from a local donut place called Sweetwaters.  I had 1/2 of one about a month ago and I’m still thinking about it.  Only one problem, I don’t know what kind of donut it was so what if I pick the wrong one?!  I feel this will be my important decision for the day.

6.  Yesterday I learned there is a sandwich hierarchy when ordering food for college students.  Now, I understand there is such a hierarchy for candy (generic candy doesn’t cut it) and pizza but I didn’t realize this included sandwiches.  Apparently, Subway is at the bottom and Jimmy Johns is a much more “fun” sandwich.  I argued that Blimpies was much lower than Subway and I was informed that of course it was and it wasn’t even included in the list.  Now you are enlightened as well.

7.  If you ever came to visit me there is a good chance one of the following would be on tv, a Twilight, a Lord of the Rings, a Harry Potter or an episode of Supernatural.  A few months ago, I got invited to a party later in the evening on a Friday night.  Most everyone was already drunk and this guy asked me what I had been doing earlier.  I answered, “I was watching Lord of the Rings”.  He thought I was joking – I wasn’t.

maybe – but I’m not ashamed!

8.  Did you realize that the word scratch can be a verb, an adjective or a noun?

9.  You should feel lucky I didn’t bother typing what I was actually thinking here.  It was beyond dumb.

10.  I finally figured out my costume for the Dopey races!  Wahoo!  More to come in the next couple of months!

totally ready to eat all of the carbs in the world

This week has been weird.  In fact, today was weird.  It perked up toward the end of the day but I guess I am not remembering a whole lot from the few days prior either.  I think there are several reasons for this:

1.  The Cleanse… or maybe a better word would be detox.  Anyway, it’s messin’ with me, man!  I’m hungry, plain and simple.  After this is done, I have decided I am not going to give up carbs.  I like them.  I miss them.  I want real noodles and I want some bread.  I also want a burger but that’s a whole other story.  I am glad I decided to do this before heading off to Vegas because I’m going to eat a lot.  I’ve been hungry for days now and there are a few times where I feel a bit out of it.  And my energy has seen better days.  I haven’t been working out and I’m in bed around 10:30 pm every night.  At least it’s been good for my sleeping habits!  I chalk all of this up to not eating enough.  So when this is over, I am going to continue watching my sugar intake because I think this has made me sluggish recently.  But I will be making sure to get the right amount of calories for an active lifestyle.

turkey bacon in a baggie - completely normal, right?
turkey bacon in a baggie – completely normal, right?

2.  VEGAS next week!  I can’t wait!  I am thrilled to be going on a mini-vaca and I am looking into a 5k in the area!  I would be doing it with a twitter friend/runner!  I think it would be super fun and I am ready to go there and enjoy the sights and sounds of that crazy place.  I know I will be ready to come home too but it will be a few days before I reach that point.  Oh yeah, it won’t be 25* there either.

this is how fun vegas will be

3.  I had an appointment with my neurologist this week.  After my 4 day migraine last week, I figured it would be a good time to schedule something (clearly, I am very intelligent).  It was a fabulous appointment!  I am not kidding – she really listens to me and I brought her a whole list of questions.  One of my goals for the year was to become more educated on my disease/condition (I’m not sure which one it is) and this helped.  I have frontal lobe epilepsy.  I’ve never known this before!  We also decided to change up my medication.  WHOA NELLY!  To let you know how monumental this is, I haven’t changed my medication aside from dosage, in 16 years!  After I get back from vaca I will start the process.  It’s not going to be all bells and whistles, so my excitement is mingled with nerves.  I’m sure I will write more about it.  I do have this feeling of hope though, since my current meds have side effects that I will be happy to no longer have to deal with.

this is NOT what happened at my appointment!
this is NOT what happened at my appointment!

So there you go… tonight I am going to maul some chicken and tomatoes and after tomorrow, I will be finished.  I will definitely “review” this whole detox thing but I am not doing the “miracle soup” on Saturday.  I have to fly on Sunday and I am not sure what that will do to my tummy.

this post is like my veggie soup – a whole mix of things

I woke up this morning and for a moment, I couldn’t figure out if I actually had today off or if it was all in my head and I was late for work.  A wee bit of unease set in as I tried to wake up and put two and two together.  Yes, I am a bit unorganized first thing in the morn!

I looked outside and was welcomed with big FAT snowflakes falling at an admirable rate – I’m guessing a 5:30 minute pace!  Impressive!  When I don’t have anywhere to go and can stay cuddled up inside my apt all day, it can snow cats and dogs and I don’t mind!  Running?  Maybe… I haven’t quite decided yet.  I did notice that by the time yesterday rolled around I was really looking forward to running.  It’s been a couple of months since I had that feeling and it was nice.  However, I made some homemade vegetable beef soup in the crock pot.

hmmm, a tad full...
hmmm, a tad full…

Unfortunately, I don’t quite understand the laws of physics(?), geometry(?), whatever, and I had to transfer all the goods to my dutch oven since I didn’t even have all the ingredients in and it looked like that!

So.  Last night I finally put my profile up on a dating site.  I was nervous.  In fact, I may have had a mild panic attack where I wondered if I would ever find love or hell, if I was even worthy of it!  Seriously, my insecurities seemed to multiply and reared their ugly heads.

I watched this yesterday!
I watched this yesterday!

Yep, just like that…

I think part of my anxiety stemmed from feelings resurfacing from my younger days.  Yes, some of it is still there considering this is a new process but I did pull myself together and I actually think there is some excitement brewing (coupled with knee-knocking fear of course!).  I’ll keep you posted – I have a feeling this is going to be interesting!

I'm pretty sure this movie helped spur me into action on the whole dating thing
I’m pretty sure this movie helped spur me into action on the whole dating thing

Lastly, I’m certain my whole toe is going to fall off!  Enter in the dramatics… but since I am a complete chicken, I am going to visit the doc tomorrow and let them decide.  I’m probably going to have it amputated… ;)

sports bras and beef and broccoli – naturally two things that go together

I FINALLY ran yesterday!  It wasn’t particularly speedy but I did manage five and half miles and skimmed in under an hour!  Yay!  Supposedly, you can feel an injury the first time you run after a marathon.  I felt decent throughout minus the slight twinge in my right hip joint.  I felt this during the marathon too and I’m guessing it’s from the hills.  Perhaps a few strength exercises will help it…

I ran around my neighborhood, which got some hills out of the way in the first 2.5 miles and then headed for downtown.  While I was there I stopped in at our local running store, Gazelle Sports.  I talked to the woman about my whole chafing issue since I have a 1/2 this weekend.  She had some good info to share and I will be heading back down there this week to try something else.  She also told me if I have chafing issues this weekend when I wear it I can bring it back.  Umm… they are going to want this back?!

I wonder how they would resell this?

It is nice though – as you all know, sports bras are $$$!  I also think I can still get by on my training runs with my current sport bras (at least until the girls shrink back down a bit – hormones are not my friends).  It also seems like when I am getting ready for a race I bloat more than normal and this is when I have more issues.  Whichever one I do buy, I’m going to only use for my longest runs.

oh yeah, I feel ya, cat

Good thing I’m working on inhaling less carbs!  Actually, this weekend I was reading blogs and someone had a picture of cinnamon rolls.  That was almost too much for me!  Haha, I love making the Pioneer Woman’s recipe for hot cross buns (with only the cinnamon) and these did a lovely dance in my mind.  Instead I finally made this

this was super tasty!

I followed this recipe but I added water chestnuts (because they are awesome), mushrooms and edamame.  I was happy with myself.  Oh!  I also fancied it up with some sesame seeds.  I then made my favorite sweetened up sweet potato dish for dessert. Unfortunately, these also happened

These are funfetti cupcakes for my sweet friend who always looks after Simon when I am out of town.  What?  Don’t your baked goods call to you?

I had the beef and broccoli again last night and it was just as tasty as the first round.  And filling.  The nice thing is, there are enough leftovers for two more meals.  So folks, I recommend it!  Plus, you can just crock it so very handy!

carb-a-licious conundrum

I adore carbs.  A lot.  I love them as noodles, bread, cupcakes, bagels – it doesn’t matter.  As of right this second, I can’t think of a carb I DON’T like!  So you can imagine my dismay when I stumbled upon an article a couple of weeks ago that talked about carbs and how THEY MAKE YOU RETAIN WATER!

moment of silence for my uncontrollable sobs

Maybe I am a complete idiot or simply had my head in the sand but this is the first I had heard of this.  As I have mentioned about a billion times, I take on water at alarming rates/amounts and I’ve worked to decrease my sodium levels all the while cooking up some tasty carbs.  I feel like carbs have completely cheated on me – I defended you, carbohydrates!  And this is how you repay me?!

starbucks lemon loaf – love this stuff! yes, I’m one of those “pinners” goodies and healthy

Yes, I know they won’t answer but I feel like I deserve some kind of explanation!

I read this a few weeks before the marathon so I wasn’t about to completely change my diet.  I wanted to work on getting through the race before taking a closer look at my menu and finding ways to restock my fridge and pantry.  (Btw, we never called it a “pantry” when I was little.  In fact, I originally typed “cupboards” but decided to go all exotic on you and type pantry.  I know I’m impressed!)

First and foremost, I refuse to completely take carbs out of my diet.  I can’t do it – plain and simple.  Whenever I try to void a total food group and making it the enemy, I end up going in the opposite direction and pounding said food group like some kind fiend.  But I can make some better choices by actually planning a food menu.  I’ve never done this and even though it feels a bit constricting,  lately my dinner choices have ended up being a bowl of Frosted Blueberry Mini Wheats and a bowl of tomato soup.  I love both but it’s not a meal that satisfies for very long.

these are the first squash(es?) I have ever purchased. what can I say? I was intimidated by a gourd

Second, one of my “secrets of success” to my original weight loss was eating breakfast EVERYDAY.  I haven’t stopped doing this but since August, I’ve been eating some kind of bread with peanut butter in the morning.  I’ve read before that if you have protein for breakfast you eat approximately 400 calories LESS than if you have a carb-y (i.e. bagel) one.  CRAZY!  Lately, I’ve operated under the theory that something is better than nothing, which while true, isn’t smart.  I need to smarten up.  Welcome back eggs!

Third, I’m trying out some different recipes courtesy of pinterest.  Here are a couple I’ve pinned and that are on the menu for this week:

this is a chicken, squash and quinoa soup from cookin’ canuck! she has her own weightloss story btw!
beef and broccoli – yum! I’m going to load it with some edemame, carrots and maybe some mushrooms?

While there are carb elements in the two above dishes, they aren’t the MAIN ingredient.  I’m also going to add as many veggies as I can to a) make it more filling and b) jazz it up! (click on the pics for the blogs and corresponding recipes!)

Finally, I’m attempting to branch out in my meal selection.  Chickpea patties?  Sure!  Those above squash?  Why not?  I read a little tip to sprinkle pumpkin pie spice on the green gourd and roast it for some sweetness – sounds yummy!  Experimenting will be good and maybe add some enjoyment back to cooking.

There you go – it’s a mini plan!  Water weight isn’t harmless – it’s bad for your kidneys and your circulation.  Not to mention, it’s very uncomfortable and makes me feel bad about myself.  These are immediate changes I can make and should be interesting to say the least!  I’ll let you know how it goes!