Monday, October 3, 2011

The Pioneer Woman, An Unexpected Run

I came home from school today ready to c-r-a-s-h, and I did for about an hour (the JOYS of working a normal 8-hour day, instead of an 11-hour day!). I contemplated skimping on my run, but the beautiful day outside eventually won me over and I laced up my shoes. It was a sloooowww run, but it's a run all done!

We had friends over for dinner tonight and I made these.

Melt-in-your-mouth fantastic, friends. I love a good excuse to cook with heavy cream and butter, and impressing guests is certainly justifiable!

You can see what I ate today. I definitely went a little overboard on the calorie-front...I am about 300 over my target range. Contributing factors:

*A pumpkin cookie in addition to my smoothie for a snack after school (I was somewhat ravenous...which definitely contributed to the extra calories here. I'm actually surprised I stopped at one...)
*Adding peanut butter to my smoothie (I could have skipped and saved the calories for the pumpkin cookie if that's what I really wanted).
*An extra indulgent dinner (again, the butter and heavy cream certainly plays a role today. I was portioned controlled, though).
*A glass of white wine (a necessity for me when we have guests! It does clock 120 calories, so I stopped at one).
*Eating the salad and a cookie with dinner (I did not plan on this...the original plan was to stick to wine and enchiladas for my dinner calories, but our guests brought the salad and cookies so I didn't want to be rude. They were delicious though, so calories well spent!).

All in all, I still clocked in at 1,815 calories today. With a 3-mile run, that takes me down to the 1500 range. Not bad!

Q: When cooking for friends, do you stress less about making your dishes low-calorie?? I definitely do! I want the food to be fun and indulgent, which usually means richer dishes. Plus, I am more likely to make something like enchiladas or lasagna when there's more people to eat it, rather than just the hubs and I trying to dominate it alone.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

6 Miles Down, Meal Prep for the Week


After a 2-week hiatus (due to traveling) I finally resumed my half-marathon training today. I talked the hubs into skipping morning church and instead going to the evening service (*note to self: if you don't go in the morning, you won't go in the evening. Try to switch long runs to Saturdays!) so I didn't have to wake up in the pre-6 am hour to get my run in. I was so thankful for the extra sleep. I think being emotionally tired really plays into how physically tired I am.

I finished 6 miles in 1:09:38, an average pace of 1:36 min/mi. I'm not pretending that's even remotely "good," but today it felt incredible just to finish. This half-marathon is going to be a challenge, and I really need to commit to finishing out my training plan. 

I spent the rest of the day meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking (recipes to come!). Here is a preview:

Calorie counting went well again today. I am not feeling deprived and even indulged in a few healthified treats. Energy is great and I am focusing well on work. Always a blessing! See what I ate today.

Healthy Mac & Cheese

Well hello again! 

Someone I am loving lately is Emily over at The Daily Garnish. I love the healthy recipes she posts on her blog and drool over admire them every time I pop over there.

With the hubs not expected for dinner, I decided to try one of her recipes for fun. This is not a hubs-friendly recipe by any means (ingredients include tofu and nutritional yeast...enough said). But the good news is it is a Carrie-friendly recipe if I ever saw one, and I had a blast trying it!

Healthy Mac & Cheese, adapted from The Daily Garnish.

1 14 oz package extra firm tofu (257 calories)
3 T nutritional yeast (80 calories)
1 tsp whole grain mustard
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup almond milk (30 calories)
1 T EVOO (120 calories)
Whole wheat rotini pasta (I just used what was left of a box we was still almost full) (800 calories)

Total Recipe = 1,287 calories

This made about 6 servings, so each serving has roughly 214.5 calories.


Plop tofu into food processor. Drain it but no need to press the water out for 20 minutes...victory!

2. Give it a quick spin. Lookin' good!

3. Add nutritional yeast, mustard, garlic powder and salt and give it another whirl.

4. To complete sauce, add almond milk and EVOO. What you have is a deliciously creamy (and "cheesy") sauce!

I made the sauce while the pasta was cooking. Once it was done, I tossed the cooked pasta with the sauce.

And poured it into a baking dish, garnished with paprika.

Baked at 325 for 15 minutes and viola!

This was delicious! I mixed it with spinach and called it dinner. I'd definitely make this again!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Living Water, Day 1 By the Numbers

I love the fresh feeling of a new month. For me, it's the chance to start renewed and make October be about something, and the month is a blank slate to make that something happen.

Today my healtified life and October 2011 kicked off in several important ways:

1. Fall weather is here! Today was a gloriously beautiful day and the heat was under control. I like the way things are headed in the weather department.

2. I counted calories for the first time today. I am trying to stick to Spark People's recommended 1200-1550 range, but knowing my activity level I am not going to kick myself for going higher. Today was a really successful day (see below) and I ended up at 1,430 calories total.

3. I told the gospel story to more people today than I ever have in my life while working the LWI open house for children. So. freaking. cool.

4. I went to bikram yoga for the first time in 2 years and MAN did it feel amazing. Now if only it didn't cost an arm and a leg....Groupon please help me out here??

By the numbers....counting calories was interesting today. It seemed pretty easy, but that's probably become I am coming off a debauchery of eating over the past few weeks. Let's just say I haven't wanted for much in terms of food. So I definitely expect that not every day will be this smooth. But I did feel comfortable eating within this range, and I liked how it made me really selective about what I really wanted to eat (i.e. peanut butter in the smoothie now? or frozen yogurt later?). Again, total was 1,430 with a calorie break down of carbs/fat/protein very close to recommended amounts. My energy is great so far as well!

What I Ate Today

The LWI open house was incredibly amazing. I know God shined so brightly into the hearts of these children today. Our prayer was that there would be two (for some reason this number was on our hearts) that would leave with an interest in the story of the thirsty that would one day impact the world for Christ, the true living water.

Q: Do you count calories? Or have you ever counted calories? I was an avid NO calorie counting person for a very very long time. However, the amount of weight I have put on over the course of the year has challenged me to take a closer look at what I am really eating. I don't intend to count forever, just until I get myself back on a healthified track where I can make wise choices without counting.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Get Going

Sometimes, you realize you are looking at your God-given life through foggy glasses. You are just not seeing things clearly. Blessings look like curses. People who love you fiercely look like saboteurs. Circumstances become threaten to sink your ship, instead of being seen as a passing storm.

At least this has been my experience in the past year. I can remember every tiny detail about the moment that changed my life. It was October 12, 2010, and I was bringing my 15 students back into the classroom from recess. I noticed the people following me inside--my instructional coach, my principal, my teacher's aide. I didn't think much of it, though. Observations were frequent. It wasn't until my principal took me aside and said, "Your husband is here" that I knew something was devastatingly wrong. I started shaking and breathing shortly as she led me to her office, and then I saw my husband of 15 months--his face ashy with fear. The door closed behind me and then came the words that changed everything: your brother died last night.

It was a bullet to the heart, and I screamed out in pain. Stomped my feet and punched my husband seemingly in an attempt to fight back an attacker. Talk about "shooting the messenger." It was the moment that changed the face of my family, and everything I knew to be true.

My parents and I just returned from a trip to Boulder, CO, where we celebrated his 21st birthday and the upcoming anniversary of his death. Grief is a journey, and this was a huge processing step for us. This blog will chronicle my determination to move forward, move through my pain and my loss. To trust God's perfect plan, no matter what it costs on earth. To prioritize my marriage, instead of allowing grief and worry to swallow me whole. To take care of myself and my body, once and for all.

For me, a healthy life is so much more than dropping pounds. It is a lifestyle. A new heart. A God-perspective. It's time to take off the foggy glasses and pray for eyes that see clearly. By the grace of our heavenly father, I seek to discover the riches and the blessings He has in store for those who love and serve him wholeheartedly.

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Phil. 4:8

Let's ROLL!