An Emotional Day

Well, I will tell you, the downside of getting up at 4:30 am for work is getting up at 4:30 when you don’t have to work! I woke up bright and early and finally was able to fall back asleep for another little while. Once I had my chocolate cafe au lait in hand, I sat at my computer and wasted a little time until I was ready to write my post for the day. I was really emotional for me to write it out but I felt like it was the right thing to do. I had never written about my brothers passing before and feel that it was really therapeutic. As the day progressed and I read all of your comments, it was even more so. I was able to let it out even more as I read the thoughtful and kind words. So, thanks to you guys for being so kind, I know this is supposed to be a food blog but for me, it is so much more than that.

Once I pulled myself together, I heated up a bowl of oatmeal that I made a couple of nights ago. I was made with 1/3 cup rolled oats, milk, mashed banana, a smidge of salt. Once it was done, I stirred in ground flax seed and cashew butter.

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I had errands to run and a Doctor appointment so I headed out shortly after breakfast. The doc said I had yet another sinus infection and gave me a heavy duty antibiotic and a steroid shot. After a battle with my insurance company, I got my prescription settled and headed out to buy a pair of rain boots. The weather forecast for the dear husbands race was very rainy and with the number of blocks I would be walking, I wanted my feet to stay warm and dry. I wanted a cute pair with ducks or something but I could only find the heavy duty ones for the winter. I guess the cute ones probably come out in the spring. I finally settled on a pair and headed to lunch. I went to Panera and got my favorite, the tomato mozzarella sandwich and creamy tomato soup with no croutons. It was really good but I wasn’t able to finish the soup.

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After lunch, I headed home to get packed up for our mini trip to Richmond. Though we only live 14 miles from downtown, we booked a hotel near the race to avoid the hectic traffic situation that we have faced year after year. Once we were packed and ready to go, we made out way downtown. The rain was just starting and I was glad I had on my new rain boots. Once we arrived at the hotel, I had a mini meltdown because I assumed there would be a parking deck but there was not. And though I am 32 years old, I do not know how to parallel park! I have never really been a city dweller so I’ve never really had to practice it. So, the dear husband ran into the hotel and advised them of my meltdown. A lady rushed out and parked the car for me! Then the valet came out to help us with our backs and to whisk the car away to a secret parking deck. Crisis averted. I think I need to pay my friend Sarah to teach my how to parallel park in order to avoid such situations in the future.

Once settled into the hotel, we hit the sidewalk to plan out the morning and how we would meet up once the race was over. We also had dinner at The Capital Ale House planned but walked about 40 blocks waiting for it to be 5pm. It was raining the whole time so by the time we arrived we were soaking wet for the rain and the sweat from walking so far. More than hungry, I think we were thirsty so we started off with big glasses of water. For dinner, I ordered fish n greens. The fish of the day was tilapia and I ordered it blackened. When it arrived the salad probably didn’t even equal a cup of salad so I asked for an additional salad on the side! I guess that is better than ordering an additional dessert!

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After dinner, we walked the 10 blocks back to the hotel and then settled in for the night. Just before bed, my stomach was talking to me again so I had a bowl of cocoa pebbles I had packed in preparation. Cocoa pebbles remind of time spent with my grandma when I was a child and bring happy warm memories. She always gave me cocoa krispies bu when I was buying them, I noticed that the nutrition information on the pebbles was better than the krispies. The have less calories, less sugar and more fiber! I’m not claiming they are health food my any means but they sure are a nice treat!

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Before hitting the hay, my dear friend Mara from I Made Dinner made my new header for me! Let me know what you think of it! Give her a shout out if you’d be interested in having a new header for your blog!

Thought Provoker: Do you have a favorite junk food cereal? Though my parents were not health conscious (AT ALL) they did not allow us the have sugary cereals because they were more expensive than the plain ones.  I only got junky cereals as a treat every once in a while when I was away from home.

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Food, Food Everywhere

I slept in until almost 7 yesterday and when I woke up my stomach was roaring for food. I take this as a sign that I have not been eating too much the past couple of days. My thoughts have really been going there since I started the mini meals thing; I have even thought of counting calories. I have been mentally calculating calories for each mini meal and it is starting to get to me. I started mini meals to get my blood sugar back under control and already I can tell a huge difference. I never guessed that it would make me fear the foods I was eating or want to diet. The fear is that by eating so often, I could really easily eat too much and gain weight.

When I think about it logically, I know a few things to be true. If my mini meals had too much food in them, I wouldn’t be getting hungry every 2 to 4 hours. I would not be feeling the lightness I have felt the past few days and what happened at “lunch” yesterday would be constant, but more on that later. I have mainly been eating foods with low energy density so naturally, I would feel fuller on less calories rather than the other way around.  I have had enough experience with yo yo dieting to know that my brain is just going into overdrive with my new patter of eating. I know that I don’t have it all figured out yet and that I still need to learn the right balance of food for my body. I do feel sure if I can keep the logical side of my brain going, that I can stick with this and be a much happier, healthier person as a result.

Ok, now lets go back to my roaring stomach yesterday. It was growling so loud that I knew it wanted food and it wanted it then. There was no time to leisurely enjoy my coffee or to check my email and write my blog. I made myself a bowl of shredded wheat and bran with a banana, walnuts and plain hemp milk. I think I could probably eat this combo very day, it sounds plain and simple but it really is delicious.

The rest of the morning was spent blogging, doing laundry and grocery list writing. About 9:30, I started roasting Brussels sprouts in anticipation for my next meal. By 10:30, they were done and I was hungry. I had a leftover chicken, gouda and apple sausage from Whole Foods and Brussels sprouts. I actually started out with more sprouts on my plate and decided I was done after about 6 of them.

Once I was finished eating, we headed to the farm stand and then to the grocery store. We had really stocked up last weekend so we really only needed fresh veggies. From the farm stand we bought local kale, potatoes, apples, tomatoes and jam. From the grocery store, we bough banana, acorn squash and romaine lettuce. After shopping, we came home and did more laundry, does the laundry ever end?

When it was time for my next meal, I made made salmon salad from a Paula Deen recipe. I made it with canned wild Alaskan salmon, I used half greek yogurt and half olive oil mayo instead of all mayo and I added a little chopped cherry tomatoes. I served mine open faced on a slice of toasted whole grain local bread with a couple of pieces of crisp romaine. It was delicious and super filling, I know I ate way too much because I felt heavy afterwards. I have gotten used to the feeling of being light and not feeling the food so it felt rather unpleasant. The really strange part is that it wasn’t really alot of food.

A little more laundry later, the dear husband and I headed out for a walk to enjoy the beautiful fall day. We did one loop around our neighborhood plus we did a couple of the cul-de-sacs twice; it took us close to an hour. It was a lovely day and I really need to take advantage of the lovely weather while I have it so I will probably be doing walks more outside instead of on my treadmill. After our walk, we watched Without a Trace on the DVR. I made us both a cafe au lait and had an honest foods farmers trail mix square. It was just the thing to tide me over until we went to Sarah and FJ’s little get together.

We got to the party around 7 and I dove into this right away…

Baked Brie with apricot jam that Sarah made herself! She served the brie with crusty white bread and I had my fair share without a doubt. I also had a couple of triscuts with a cheese dip. Once dinner was served, I wasn’t very hungry any more so I took tiny portions of what I really wanted. I started with a little mac n cheese, the best roasted potatoes I have ever eaten along with a small piece of a lovely roasted savory acorn squash.

I ended up going back for seconds of the mac n cheese, it was pretty slammin. After dinner settled, it was time for dessert. Sarah made pumpkin muffins with white chocolate chips and cream cheese frosting. These were so good, I had one plus a tiny piece of the one she made for her sister, Mady, with nuts. Though I like nuts, I really enjoyed the one without the most.

Lots of laughs later, we hit the road. It was getting late and the dear husband had a really long run looming. Once we were home, I hit the hay right away. I’m getting to old for this party stuff!

QOTD: Do you eat breakfast as soon as you wake up or do you wait a little while? I try to eat within an hour of waking but lately, my stomach has been demanding food right away.

In Memory of Paul

Yesterday started out pretty good. I slept in a little, I woke up around 7. It took me forever to decide what I wanted for breakfast and I finally settle on pancakes. I did a little twist of my oat and flax pancakes and made nutty oatmeal pancakes. I  topped them with a fruit puree I made out of Sarah’s homemade cherry jam, a ripe banana and a very ripe nectarine and then I had a little pure maple syrup on the side. I served them with scrambled eggs made from 1 egg and 2 egg whites. This was a hearty and satisfying meal.

nutty oatmeal pancakes

nutty oatmeal pancakes

Shortly after breakfast, I received some tragic news. The Pro informed me that Paul, our golf staff intern, lost his life in a car accident on Saturday. Paul was 22 years old. I only knew him for a short time but his death struck me so deeply. I lost my brother at the age of 25 to a terrible car accident and this really hit home for me. I feel such deep sympathy for his family and hope that they can come to a place of peace with their tragic loss. It has been almost four years since I lost my brother and losing Paul brought all of those feelings to the surface. All day long I thought of Paul on a golf cart meanwhile thinking of my own brother and his goofy faces. I guess it hit home for me yesterday that the grief doesn’t end, it just changes. I know what Paul’s family is going through and I hope they will find some comfort.

After the news of Paul’s death, I needed something to take my mind away from all of it. Dear husband and I decided to go for a really long walk. We walked just over six miles between our neighborhood and the one across the street. The walk felt long and somber. When we got home, I made lunch. Dear husband wanted pigs in a blanket so I made them with reduced fat crescent rolls and low fat turkey kielbasa. I ended up eating way more than I should have. I ate four of them along with a small salad with seasoned rice vinegar.

salad

salad

pigs in a blanket

pigs in a blanket

 

Lunch was followed my housework and cooking. While preparing some meals to pack into the freezer, I gave one of them a taste. It is called beef and bulgur casserole and it is really really good. It kind of took me back to childhood as it tastes like a cross between rice a roni and chili mac. But in a healthy way.

make ahead meals

make ahead meals

For dinner, I made a lentil loaf from vegetarian times. It took almost 2 hours to prepare from start to finish so this was definitely a Sunday dinner kind of thing.

Veg Times lentil loaf

Veg Times lentil loaf

According to the recipe, you should serve it with garlic and herb mayo but I couldn’t get to my basil plants because it was pouring rain and hailing outside.

holy storm

holy storm

So, I made a pesto mayo instead. I just mixed some already prepared pesto with some olive oil mayo. I served the lentil loaf with the mayo, garlic mashed potatoes and peas. It was all pretty good though, I don’t know that the taste value was worth the effort value. I actually think the pesto mayo is what made it.

Sunday Dinner

Sunday Dinner

Shortly after dinner, we decided to have some ice cream. I had a small bowl of lemon pie ice cream from the local ice cream shop. They make all of the ice cream on site, it is the richest most divine ice cream I have ever had.

lemon pie ice cream

lemon pie ice cream

A couple tv shows later and I was off to bed. I was really not looking forward to going back to Golf World, I knew it would be a sad place to be. Rest in Peace, Paul.

A busy Sunday?

Sundays are sacred to me. Not for religious reasons, not for any reasons really, they just are. If it were up to me, I would just stay at home every Sunday for the rest of my life and read, cook, watch the food network and piddle around the house. Oh and nap. 🙂 Well, yesterday just wasn’t like that. Sure, I stayed home all day but boy was I busy!

I woke up late, around 7:15, and since Sunday’s are special breakfast days at our house, I delved into making some cranberry orange muffins. I found some recipes online and kinda tweaked them because I wanted them to be low sugar/low fat and I wanted to use oat flour instead of white flour. They turned out pretty good though alot of them stuck to the pan. Maybe I should have let them cool longer?

sunday morning muffins
sunday morning muffins
I ate two of the muffins along with a glass of milk, it was a tasty breakfast though I was worried it wouldn’t last me very long. A little while after breakfast we went for a long walk around our neighborhood and the “HIlls of Death” neighborhood across the street for a total of 4.5 very hilly miles. I love long walks with the dear husband.
Soon it was lunch time and neither of us knew what we wanted. I looked around the fridge and freezer and came up with turkey burgers. I broiled them in the toaster oven, topped them with soy jalapeno cheddar cheese, ketchup, mustard, pickles, lettuce and hanover tomato. I served them on 100% whole wheat bread along side a fresh Virgnia peach.
lunch!

lunch!

The burgers were tasty and pretty filling. I got started on my 4000 loads of laundry, lunch prep for the week and I started working on the nights dinner of chicken and brown rice. Through all of that I got hungry and decided that since dinner was a 3 hour process, I better have a snack. I had a stoneyfield farm low fat strawberry yogurt topped with blueberries. It was so tasty! I normally eat plain greek yogurt with fruit on top but for some reason, the stoneyfield farms yogurts looked really appealing this week.
a summertime treat

a summertime treat

The snack was followed by more laundry and more prepping for the week. We moved all of my workout clothes to our guest bedroom closet because the gym is upstairs and it is just easier if I can get dressed where I workout. Now we just have to wait and see if that encourages me to workout. 🙂 After about load 3097 was done, it was time for dinner.
I talked to my mom on Saturday morning and she really got my craving up for chicken and rice. The last time I made that was in my fat days, loads of butter and white rice. Instead, I made it with brown rice and no butter. I poached the chicken, the cooked the rice in my rice cooker with some of the broth and water. Then I combined it all together with a little more water for a creamy texture and WALA we had a healthier version of chicken and rice. I served it with a salad with tomatoes, rice vinegar and olive oil. It was mighty tasty and really satisfied my craving.
comfort food

comfort food

Dinner was followed by more laundry. Does the laundry ever end? By 8:00 I was wiped out and off to bed I went. Maybe next Sunday I will just do some reading.

A Super Saturday

Yesterday was a great day, the perfect kind of Saturday. I started the day with a nice cup of black coffee and a phone converstaion with my mom.  For some reason, the coffee made me feel more jazzed up than a typical morning so I was ready to go. Dear Husband and I normally eat the same thing on Saturdays as we do during the week, so, I had my ususal. I reheated some hot grain cereal I made last weekend, it is mainly wheatberries, oats and bulgur that I added the last of some Bob’s Red Mill 5 grain cereal to. I added a spalsh of milk for some creaminess then I stirred in some ground flax seed and finally topped it with fresh blueberries and a tbsp of almond butter.

Breakfast was followed by a trip to the local veggie stand for some of those fantastic hanover tomatoes, some cukes, squash, zucchini and peaches. Then we went to the regular groceries store for some of the standard stuff, salad mix, milk, soymilk, yogurts, etc. When we came out of the grocery store it was HOT, I mean HOT. The car said it was only 90* out but it really felt like 115*. Of course, I don’t really know what 115* feels like but I imagine it would be like that. We took the groceries home and unpacked them and then headed to Target. Normally, we would have done a one stop shop but Target has some amazing pizzas and we wanted to stock up and we didn’t want the groceries to go bad in the heat.

When we got to Target, we got our obligatory starbucks. I got a tall soy latte and dear husband had a tall caramel soy latte. There is something about those lattes that make our Target trips seem so fun. I have to say that Target is one of our favorite places, sentimental in a way. When we first starting dating, I told him that we should just go to Target to see if we can function in the real world as a couple instead of doind the same ole same ole date thing. We had a great time and we still do. Anyway, we got the standard $100 worth of crap that we needed and headed home.

Once home, I made us some lunch. I decided to do a little healthy twist on my favorite summertime lunch from back in the day. Instead of tomato, duke’s mayonaise,salt, pepper and white bread, I did 100% whole wheat bread, hummus, tomato and spring mix and I had the rest of the tomato on the side.

mmmm....lunch

After lunch, we decided to hang out on the back deck and bask in the rays of the sun. I know, I know, it is my vice, I must admit. After our fun in the sun we went upstairs and posted some of our crap on ebay. I started to get hungry so I decided to have a target brand granola bar, they are the knock off of fiber one bars but they don’t contain HFCS. While I munched on that, I sliced my very well drained tofu and then threw it in the oven, at Kath had suggested. I took about 50 minutes to get nice and crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Once we were finished with the ebay stuff, I cut the tofu into smaller cudes and made a veggie stir fry. It had green beans, broccoli, mushroom and onions and I topped it with some Joe’s Market stir fry sauce. I served my portion over less than half a cup of brown rice and topped it with sesame seeds. It was quite tasty.
bright green stir fry

bright green stir fry

After dinner, we went for a walk around our neighborhood, twice. It ended up being a little more than 3.5 miles. It was nice to get out and see the neighbors. After the walk, we settled in for the evening and since dinner was so early, about 5pm, I was hungry again about 9. So, before bed I had a small bowl of cocoa bumpers, the organic version of cocoa puffs, topped with some milk. A few more minutes of television and I was out like a light. I just love Saturdays like these.