A bit of an off week + MILESTONE

I’m not really sure where the past week and half has gone…cue the “sorry it’s been so long” speech. The past several days have been off; I have woken up with either the start of a cold, a hangover (being honest), or just laid in bed far past an acceptable hour due to a lack of restful sleep.  Most of the past week has been filled with netflix and sleeping.

This past week has really been lacking in the discovery of new recipes. To be honest, I have been pretty lazy on that front probably due to the lack of sleep aforementioned. That said, I did manage to make a fresh batch of tomato sauce. I have been on the hunt for one that wasn’t salty so I decided to make my own really basic one. Super easy to make: I used onions, carrots, celery, red pepper, and garlic. Cook until they soften. Add canned tomatoes (no salt added), simmer and add the spices you like.

ImageThose that know me, know how I can’t walk away from a good sale. I literally stalk the internet for prices, and that is no exception during black friday-cyber monday. The holy grail of sales. Besides my Amazon/FutureShop/BestBuy orders, I bought the cutest of food processors for 40% off.  I bought a small one so my mom wouldn’t make me return it. Appliances have to earn there spot on our counters. It’s expensive real estate. I have made that peanut butter/banana “ice cream” in there as well as hummus and both were super easy to make and clean up was easy too. Hummus recipe: http://www.inspiredtaste.net/15938/easy-and-smooth-hummus-recipe/

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As the holiday season is beginning, I have had maybe a few more g&ts than I should have. Last weekend was an absolute disaster. Not only did I have an embarrassing amount of alcohol last last thursday night, but I capped the night off with a trip to Pizza Pizza (which I swore I would never eat again after they served me stale pizza months ago). Then, the next day we took my mom and my hangover out for lunch.  Between the pulled pork poutine appie, avocado bacon burger, and birthday fresh donuts (From Stack. This place is phenomenal, and it is possible to eat decent there…just skip the donuts (not the first time though..they are bits of heaven)), I was feeling AWESOME about my diet -_- (was listening to the most depressing music while writing that, made it feel even more shameful lol) The point of divulging this is that I was SUPER reluctant to weigh myself come Friday morning. I should note that I weighed myself before my swim in the ocean of Beefeater (why did they call it that?) so I didn’t have to worry about being hungover and gaining 2094 pounds of liquor. So last friday I was actually afraid to see the damage done (obviously i’m listening to Neil Young right now). BUT. I got on the scale, and somehow I managed to lose 3.5 lbs. I can officially say I Have Lost Ten Pounds. It’s actually more like 11. In exciting news, my new scale should be arriving on Friday!

Prepare for more regular postings! Happy Holidays!!

Carolyn

Week 3 (?)

Considering it is the third-ish week in November, I thought I should post track my progress over the past week or two.  Here are a few observations:

1.  Being one of those stuck-in-a-rut types; I really can’t stick to a weekly routine.  I mapped out each gym visit on a calendar, and I don’t think I would be honest if I said that I went on the days I had planned out.  That said, I did go. And if I didn’t, I made up for it by throwing in a walk (usually while on the phone…time really does fly).

  • I’m really finding twitter/instagram/stumbleupon/pinterest super helpful for workout ideas. I’m one of those who can’t stand spending an hour at the gym. I like to get in and get out. Here’s one I recently completed (trust me, the workout was neither graceful or pretty (thankfully my gym likes to put mirrors everywhere so I know how pathetic/ridiculous I look while attempting some of these exercises)):

fallingintolifeblog.wordpress.com

2. I’ve really enjoyed trying new recipes to eat cleaner…some of these meals included:

IMG_1953 IMG_1955 blackened salmon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Left to right:

Warning:  One should store the extra dry cajun spice immediately after one’s done with it.  Our kitchen was covered in the seasoning and therefore when anyone entered, immediately you would start coughing up a lung. No joke. It lasted all dinner. The zesty avocado was made purely to sooth the throat….but it was delicious, and in my humble opinion, the perfect pairing to the spicy salmon.

3. So, like I said earlier, I hate routines, especially when it involves a scale. But I guess, a weekly weigh-in is par for this dreadful course. The scale and I have a fairly awful relationship and I try to avoid it like the plague.  When I started this challenge my friends would ask when I was going to do the first weigh-in.  I avoided it for probably two-weeks before I finally got the balls to just do it (I mean, it should only get better). As I had suspected, it was awful, and it really discouraged me from doing it weekly. A couple weeks later, one of my friends asked me how my weekly weigh-in went, and well, I hadn’t done it. He then recommended I weigh myself on a Friday.  I was super skeptical…who weighs themselves on a Friday? Depending on the outcome, it could totally destroy your weekend and you end up drowning your sorrows in a tub of ice-cream  or  if it were me, an 80 dollar bar bill of gin and tonics (to each their own).  However, my friend explained the logic: Obviously weekends tend to be more lax than the weekdays, we like to live on the edge (i.e. fries instead of salad, Dawson’s Creek marathons in bed (ok. that may just be me), and a complete avoidance of the gym). Ergo, the discipline that went missing on the weekend can be applied during the week. Genius. Long story short, my weekly weigh-in was a whopping -3.5 lbs. In total, that’s about 8 pounds give or take, mainly because I need a new scale so I can avoid having to weigh myself 5 ish times and take the average (or lowest, depending on the day), and because I forgot to record the first two weeks.

 

Some Sweet Finds!

While I pride myself on being the girl who can have just one chip, my self-control folds somewhere within the first bite of dessert. I absolutely love dessert, and bonus if there’s chocolate in it. I have taken it upon myself to search for somewhat healthier substitutes to some of my favourites.

When I say I have no control with dessert, I truly mean it. Three confessions come to mind…just so you know how big of a problem this is (I really have no shame):

1. The christmas baking that my mom makes gets put in the freezer until ready for the holiday season.  I may or may not visit said freezer multiple times a week or day to pull out a frozen treat or a couple…awkward when she pulls them out to serve and there are gaps in each container.

2. Years ago, a tub of homemade icing sat in our fridge for a while, and my brother and I made it a ritual to bring a spoon down to the basement and devour almost the whole tub. Safe to say we were caught…despite both of us denying any knowledge that the container even existed. We probably blamed our dad for it…better him than us getting in trouble.

3. The only thing I have to say here is DO NOT look in the depths of our couch in the basement, you never know what you’ll find. Both my brother and I took to hiding everything and anything under, behind, or in the couch.  At times there would be a box of cookies under the couch, empty, wrappers from chocolate bars or rice crispy squares stuffed in between the cushions. You should be happy to know that this kind of event hasn’t taken place in recent years.

Bonus: Dunkaroos were banned in my house after a fight broke out between my brother and I over a pack. One of us locked ourselves in the bathroom…trust me, I’m sure the fight was worth it. I mean who ever came up with the combo of icing and cookies was a true genius.

I have two recipes to share that come close in flavour to the evil, fat-laden desserts that I often salivate over.

The first is one that I tried for the first time, yesterday.

who doesn’t love the combo of peanut butter and banana? It’s almost as sacred as the relationship between PB&J.

Try this:

purée 3/4 cup of frozen (coined) bananas with 1 tbsp. of natural peanut butter (or any nut butter). My bananas were probably a bit too frozen for the blender, but it ended up working with a blend stick. This amount works well for 1 ish servings.

it will look something like this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

I got the recipe from http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/two-ingredient-banana-peanut-butter-ice-cream/

Seriously people. Do It.

Moving on…Another one of my favourites can just be summed up in one word chocolate

I may or may not have a Large Ziploc bag within arms reach of dark chocolate squares for when I’m feeling extra special…it’s O.k. Dr. Oz said it was good for you…

This next recipe had me feeling a little skeptical. Avocado Chocolate Pudding.

Anyone that knows me well, knows how I worship at the feet of Guacamole. I’m the sucker who pays the extra 509435 dollars to add Avocado to every dish. Recently Subway stopped carrying their guacamole and I have never been back. It really is a deal breaker. That said, the recipe for Avocado Chocolate Pudding left me feeling concerned for how this dish might ruin either staple for me. I took the risk.

The recipe is so simple, and with the help of a blender, can be accomplished in a matter of a couple minutes. I got the recipe from fearless homemaker.

1 ripe avocado, peeled + quartered
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup raw agave nectar
1/4 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

blend all ingredients until smooth

http://www.fearlesshomemaker.com/2013/05/chocolate-avocado-pudding/

If you don’t have agave nectar, honey works, and skim milk/nut milk can work as well.

Forgive my lack of presentation but this was what the pudding looked like after I made it…I did top it with fresh pears and bananas.

Avocado Chocolate Pudding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It really tastes like you’re eating your daily caloric intake in one bowl.

Recipes like these have honestly made it so much easier to turn away from old faithfuls. I urge you all to go indulge your sweet-tooth with both of these delectable concoctions!

Carolyn

Hey World, Here’s My Story…

It’s been a while since I’ve had to write about myself…the last time was likely in high school or first year university, but here it goes.

Short Story: I’m a 24-year old with a music degree, who decided to start writing about my weight-loss journey  to find a community where I can get advice, or share tips and tricks to make this torturous journey a bit easier.

Long Story: I have been very overweight for the majority of my life…let’s just say I am well-versed in Weight Watchers points, plus size clothing stores, and how to pose in pictures in order to capture the angle that makes everything look a bit slimmer (but for real, the camera really does add 10 pounds). I began Weight Watchers at the ripe age of 9, and although our relationship has been off and on over the years, I can attest that it really did (and does) work, but unfortunately some relationships are just not meant to be.  I’m more of a free spirit when it comes to my eating/exercise routines, something I have come to accept over the years. I am not a “diet” girl. I suck at food journals (obviously I didn’t eat those timbits if they’re not written down), counting points, or limiting myself to only leafy greens and meats for 2 weeks.

I reached my goal-weight, the first-time I was on Weight Watchers…in Grade 5. Then our leader left. Perhaps I have some sort of subconscious complex or repressed abandonment issues, but the weight piled on like a freight train running on all cylinders. The train slowed a bit after first year university (the freshman 15 was more like 40), but it wasn’t until after graduation that things got a bit better.  I began a chicboxing class with a friend (an extremely active/healthy friend (the ones you love to hate)), then we began walking at least an hour most days, and even began a bootcamp class that began at 6 a.m. three days a week.  The first class can only be described as FUCKING HELL…and I was the star of the show, as I was bent over, outside, gagging, fully believing that I was spending the final hour of my life in some alternate hell that, as irony would have it, was in a church auditorium. Since I survived, and my friend would have literally walked over to my house and dragged me with her, I went back. Eventually, I began to really like it, and I was seeing results…but after a year it was just becoming too difficult. 1) It was DAMN expensive 2) It was DAMN early. I quit after a year, and while I do regret it, similar to line 1 of this paragraph, our bootcamp trainer (who I could feel free to call an asshole as he stood over me counting my pushups, yet was the nicest guy who would make the workouts work for me) is no longer running the sessions, so I doubt I would have stuck it out.  Call it self-sabotage, it is what it is.  After, I joined the YMCA and really loved it for months. I no longer hated working out but I wouldn’t say I pushed myself quite like bootcamp pushed me.

Last May, I slipped into what I can only describe as depression.  I don’t think I’ve ever been depressed before, so I don’t know really what to call it, but ultimately I didn’t give two shits what I ate or the weeks going by that I didn’t exercise…I just didn’t care about anything. This continued for a few months, and in July, I began to get my mind back on its feet. After feeling so down for a while, it was difficult to get back into the swing of things, especially when you’ve let yourself go so drastically. From when I left bootcamp (last November) to now, I gained about 50 pounds, a large chunk of it, during those few blue months. Anyways, I spend half the year, working a seasonal job outside where I tell people I do landscaping (they immediately think of manual labour). Don’t kid yourselves, I ride a lawnmower. The upside? Some days I really do want to be lazy and cutting grass can become a game if you’re creative. The Downside? after 7 hours on a machine, not only do you have to be more creative/productive with what to think about whilst riding (iPods are banned) for 7 hours, but at the end of the day, trying to avoid monuments (I work in a cemetery), people, or trees does take a toll on your mind. I go home and immediately sleep most nights. It truly is pathetic.

As this season was winding down, I had been talking to a co-worker who had advised me to actually have a plan for my 6 months of, as I call it, fun-employment. Immediately I brainstormed what I could do, and came up with a challenge to myself to take this 6 months to really work on myself. I gave myself a goal to lose 60 pounds by November 1st, 2014. While I believe that goals that have a number attached do set you up for failure, the number isn’t important. The intent is. I’ve spent the last couple weeks really working to set myself up for success. When I actually land a career in my field, I want to feel confident enough in my first impression…because we all know how important those are. So here we are!

Thanks for reading the most long-winded story about my journey up until now (I really do have the gift for gab (go check my phone bill))…don’t you wish you had stuck with the short story? (I do too).

lol--guess which one is me? The other is my cousin--or my soul sister

lol–guess which one is me? The other is my cousin–or my soul sister

Carolyn