Happy Professional Secretary, Assistant, Helper Day!

Some holidays I think are just made up.  I didn’t even know it was Professional Secretary Day yesterday, until I got to work and my co-worker heard it on the radio. 

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I had brought my breakfast, but when I got there, my boss and brought in a shit ton of food.

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Icing coated croissants, sugar cookies, angel food cake, whip cream and apricot jelly.  I think even though working for her for nearly 10 years that she forgets I am diabetic.  No worries!  I helped myself to the fruit!  And it was a nice gesture.

I went ahead and had the breakfast I made before work yesterday.  I cut up 3/4 cup of sweet potatoes, diced them up and put then in a pan with some water and let them cook while I took a shower – about 7 minutes.  I took them out of the pan, wiped it dry and then seared off 2 ounces of leftover steak.  Then I fried one egg, and put all of that in a container.  I had leftover diced red pepper, so I tossed that in my bag, along with some Cabot extra sharp cheese, and some sour cream.  When I got to work – it was time to assemble my nachos!  I used Tostitos whole grain scoops as the base.

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I just divided the steak, egg and sweet potato in each cup, topped it with a few pieces of shredded cheese, then put it in the toaster oven under broiler for about 5 minutes.  Once they came out, topped them with the sour cream, red pepper, hot sauce and cilantro.  Such a colorful plate of food!  These were super filling too – #nomnom!

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Another busy day at work and before I knew it, it was time to hit up the gym.  I ended up doing a glute workout on the arc trainer for 40 minutes while watching The Chew.  My Mom got me these socks for my birthday – I love them!  They have extra padding in the heel part – that seems to be the first part that wears out on my socks since my feet are a size and a half different.

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And I wore another shirt Hannah got me for my birthday.  Thanks Hannah!  It actually motivated me to work out harder yesterday.

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During my workout I got a snap chat from Joe – I know it’s either going to be one of their dogs or the weather – yep – it was the weather!  We didn’t make it to 50 degrees yesterday.

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And I’ll give you another episode of Texting with Tony!  He’s so sweet!

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I forgot I had brought home some broccoli cheddar soup from the restaurant last week.  It still smelled good, so I tossed in about 1/2 a cup of cooked egg noodles and topped it with some chopped cilantro that was leftover from breakfast.  I puffy heart cilantro!

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I can’t believe I am about to say this, but this soup was actually too cheesy for me!  I couldn’t taste the broccoli at all.  This ended up sitting in my stomach like a rock the rest of the afternoon. 

It was another busy day at work, but I have to say, I have enjoyed having work to do all day long – I’ll miss it once they hire a new assistant!  I was walking around so much that in the afternoon I was thinking about what I could cook for dinner, when I suddenly came to the realization that I didn’t want to cook at all.  What?!

So sammies it was!  I had leftover turkey breast from the weekend, I had bacon, deli Italian beef, lettuce, tomato – club sandwiches it was!  My Mom brought me this garlic mustard from her trip in Key West – she knows I loves my mustards!  They went to a hot dog place there and they had about a dozen different mustards.  This one is delish!  And it absolutely made my sammie.

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There may have been some crunchy Cheetos served with this sammie.  Just sayin.

No problem getting my 10,000 steps in!  I just realized I have 9 messages on Fitbit!  I’ll have to check those out.

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Alright, I am off to cook some lemon poppy seed pancakes for breakfast – loosely based off of Tieghan’s recipe – do you read Half Baked Harvest?  No?!  Go now – she has the longest food titles that crack me up and all of her food is food porn!  Make it a great day!

I don’t like to fly.

Remember last October when I was invited to an event in Chicago for the Beef Counsel of America (“Beef, It’s What’s For Dinner!”) Beef Checkoff and the National Cattleman’s Association?  We learned all about all the lean cuts of beef, went to restaurants I stayed at The Wit Hotel that has the coolest rooftop bar!  Well, I am going on another trip!  Karli (who has an amazing decorating blog on the side of her regular job with her Mom) has invited me to another event – this time to a cattle ranch in Lubbock Texas!  It’s in June, and because it’s Lubbock, there are really no direct flights there, so I’ll be flying through Dallas, which means I may be flying on a smaller plane.

Here’s the deal.  I don’t really like to fly.  I get super nervous and the last few times I’ve flown, I’ve flown by myself.  It’s kind of hard to ask the person sitting next to me to tell me that it will all be okay.  When Tony and I got married we honeymooned in Key West.  We were going to take a ferry from Ft. Meyers, but they cancelled the ferry due to weather, so we flew.  A tiny plane.  Like a 4 seater plane!  It was just the pilot, Tony and I and the pilot asked if I wanted to sit in the co-pilot seat.  Um, no thank you!  It actually turned out to be a very smooth flight – I pictured small plane = lots of turbulence, but that wasn’t the case – whew! 

But I’ll get over my reservations for an all expense paid trip – I have a better chance getting hit by a car on my way to work than anything happening to me in a plane.  Are you okay with flying?

My pictures today are horrible because we had a client in the office yesterday. and he was using my “photo studio” i.e. the empty office that has the best light for my photos.  I walked in the door and hit the ground running – phones were out, an emergency document needed to be fixed – I ended up not even heating up my breakfast until 10:00!  I had a baby spinach, deli roast beef, egg white and swiss cheese tortilla – I used a low carb tortilla, and put it in the toaster oven and I really liked the crunchy edges of this.  Of course, I added about 3 times more hot sauce at my desk – that’s how I roll.  Devil

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Since the phones weren’t working, I had to forward our main line to my cell phone.  My window to work out came and went.  I couldn’t imagine huffing and puffing on a stair master and answering phone calls!  More low carb tacos for lunch – this time ground beef, black beans, broccoli slaw and these tortillas:

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While they are made with quinoa, amaranth and spelt, there is still whole wheat flour in them, so I guess they aren’t gluten free?  I like the chewy texture of these.  The tortilla from breakfast was a LaTortilla brand, which is  a bit thicker.  See what I mean about the shitty pics – ha!

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I got a couple snap chats from my stepson Joe – first up their dog TAQUITO!  They got this dog after we visited them last year.  Although he’s had a bit more problems adjusting to their house – they aren’t sure what his background is, but it probably wasn’t too kind.

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And then this, just to piss me off, because this morning it’s only 34 degrees.

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My work day went by in a flash.  Tony wasn’t feeling up to a big dinner last night.  I ended up making him some plain rice, which I then turned into steak stir fry for me – carrots, broccoli, yellow and red pepper, 4 ounces of steak, szechwan sauce and 1/2 a cup of cooked rice.  I then added some sriracha to kick it up.

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It took forever for it to cool down before I could eat it though!  Speaking of sriracha, Hannah gave me a t-shirt for my birthday – it screams me!  I can’t wait to wear it to the gym!

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So without my lunch time workout, I didn’t hit my 10,000 steps – but not bad for a desk job!

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For those of you who asked to be friends on Fitbit, I sent you email invitations yesterday – just click “accept” and we are good to go!  Now I have another person who’s giving me a run for my money – Andrea has some amazing step totals!

Alright, I am off to put my food together for the day – need to use up the rest of the steak I defrosted for dinner last night – I may make a steak and sweet potato wrap for breakfast!  Make it a great day!

Wonderful Weekend!

What a difference the weekend was since I didn’t have to work at the restaurant Saturday night.  I was happy that my schedule and Hannah’s worked out so we could get together for lunch on Saturday for lunch and thrifting.  I hadn’t seen her for over six weeks!  We ended up going to Wok n Fire – we sat and talked and ate for nearly two hours!  We started out with these tandori chicken wraps in naan that were delicious, we split the vegetable egg rolls, and I ended up getting the Thai curry tofu with mixed veggies and brown rice.  I was so full I only had a few bites and had the leftovers for lunch yesterday.

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I found a few cute tops, some new socks and Hannah found that “That shit is cray” sweatshirt.  She was totally going to buy it, but there wasn’t a tag on it.  The rules of this thrift store is that if the tag is missing, you can’t buy it, and they won’t retag it until the next day.  Bummer!

Saturday night was wonderful.  Tony and I sat outside, listened to music and had some wine (well, he had his beer!) and just relaxed while our turkey breast cooked.  OMG, that turkey breast?  Amazeballs.  I put Greek seasoning on it, and had sliced lemons underneath the skin.  I pulled it off the grill at 155 and let it rest 20 minutes before slicing – so juicy!  I also like that picture of my wine glass with the reflection of the trees in it.

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Since it was just my Mom and Tony for Easter Sunday, we decided against getting a giant ham.  We both have had a jones for this Italian Sunday Gravy that I first made in January of 2009!  But I realized that I had left my crock pot at work.  I figured a Dutch oven would work just as well.  I just put all the meat, the tomato puree, red wine, garlic, tomato paste in all at the same time, after browning each meat.  I nestled the browned meat in the sauce, and baked that with a lid on for four hours in my oven at 225 degrees.   I pulled all the meat out and chopped it up and added it back into the sauce.  On Easter Sunday, I just brought it back to a simmer and let it cook down for another hour.

I couldn’t find the noodles I wanted at the store.  Since this is such a robust sauce, I wanted a fairly wide noodle.  So I decided to make my own!  This could not be easier – no longer do I try to put the flour on my counter, make a well and try to incorporate the eggs.  Invariably, one of the sides of my mound of flour will collapse and I try to catch the eggs as they try to roll off my counter.  I just threw everything into my food processor.

Homemade Pasta Dough

  • 3.5 cups flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4-8 tablespoons of water

Put everything but the water in the food processor – adding 1 tablespoon of water at a time, keep adding the water until the dough pulls from the side of your food processor bowl.  I used 6 tablespoons for mine.

Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.  Divide the dough into four sections.  Roll out to desired consistency – I wanted mine pretty thin – it puffs up when it cooks so it’s best to go thinner than what you think it should be.  No fancy pasta roller required – I just used my rolling pin and my pizza cutter to cut the dough.  This literally only takes 2-3 minutes to cook.  I am going to experiment to see if I can just make the dough and cook it immediately – not sure what the resting part does since there isn’t any yeast or anything like that.

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I think my Mom had a good time.  I always put pictures of me and my Mom on Facebook and let my brother and sister know that I am her favorite, since she spends most of the holidays with me – ha!

So the Queen of Maintenance is right on track.  I am sure next week I’ll be down –.2!   And seriously, I need to make an appointment to get a pedicure before flip flop season is in full force!

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I had no problem getting in my 10,000 steps yesterday.  However, over the weekend my Fitbit wouldn’t go to the next screen.  It was Sunday when I noticed it, and I never synced up on Saturday so when I had Tony pull the battery out, I lost all that info – oh well, it’s working again so that’s all that matters.  I also have more Fitbit friends – Rachel and her husband Dave!  If you want to be Fitbit friends, just leave a comment and I’ll send you an email invite.  It does actually motivate me to see how many steps other people have.  I will still never catch up to Fran or Kim!

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Time to get this show on the road.  We have a client coming in the office, so I need to dress up today – haven’t had to do that in a long time – I normally wear jeans to work every day.  Happy Tuesday – make it a great day!

A Guest Post from Tony . . .

When I was younger I never really wanted kids. I liked the idea of playing with one and handing it back to its folks.

I married my son Joey’s Mom and for several years all was well. At some point she (and I maybe) decided it was time to start trying to make another life form. I was fairly happy because it increased the activity in that area dramatically. It for some reason never dawned on me that this was going to create another life.

One day on my drive to the office I received a phone call from my huge cellular phone. It was Joey’s Mom, and she was pregnant. It was like getting hit with a bat. I acted excited but I was scared to death. We went to childbirth classes and did all of the things you do when expecting. Then the magic day arrived. Joey was predicted to be around eight pounds, but he turned out to be close to ten. They rushed us down to the operating room, mainly because of their concerns of complications.

I have seen some things in my life. Horrible care wrecks, Yentl, and other nasty things. I have never seen anything like that. I happened to sneak a look as they gave her the episiotomy…..that changed me forever. Joey came out, and I cried like a baby. I also got my dog fixed and swore to never do that again!

Joey and I didn’t bond right away. I didn’t have milk, and he really saw no need for me to be around. We moved from Sheboygan to the Chicago area when he was a few months old. Again he seemed to put up with me, but didn’t seem to notice me much.

One Sunday morning I decided to give Joey’s Mom a break and take him downstairs with me so she could sleep. Joey was kind of unusual because he rarely slept mote that four hours at a time until he was ten or so.

I put him on the floor with some toys and he looked at me. He then pulled himself up on the coffee table and gave me a huge smile. With that smile still on his mouth he walked into my arms. These were his first steps. Into my arms with a huge grin on his face. Well that did it for me, talk about bonding? I was done.

I will spend the rest of my life thinking about him, and hoping he is ok. I asked God for my son and I was lucky enough to get exactly what I asked for. He is the person I dreamed about all of those years ago. He has married a wonderful lady, he has two pugs and a cat. He is still afraid of bees, but he will always be my boy.

Hug your kids, they don’t stay around forever.

Impromptu Date Night!

Without eating dinner the night before, I was HANGRY when I woke up.  I ended up eating a giant copycat granola bar – I seem to never cut them all the same size, and my last row I had two giant ones – probably 400 calories each, but that’s all I ate for breakfast.  That’s the last bite – I ate the whole thing in the car ride to work.

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I have to say that since we are down one secretary in the office, I am loving being busy again at work.  So much better than sitting at my desk making scratch pads out of printer paper that people print and never pick up.

Before I knew it, it was time to work out.  Since I knew I would be working last night, I ended up just walking for 30 minutes at 8% incline and 4.0 mph.

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I thought I had the rest of my potato soup in the work fridge, but realized I must have brought it home.  Doh!  So I picked up Jimmy John’s – I always get the Vito with no tomato or onion – extra cherry peppers!  I also bought two loaves of their day old bread for .50 each.  I plan on making garlic crostini – so good – and delicious with Merkt’s Port Wine Cheese!

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When I got back to my desk, the mail came.  I’ve been waiting for this to come in the mail.  We have a local counsel that actually sends this to us every year for Easter.  He does all the drawings himself!

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I think anyone can have any religious belief they want, but I just find this odd to send this to a business establishment.  He sends another card just as creepy at Christmas time.

I switched into my work shirt, got to work only to realize that they had FIVE servers on the floor with only 3 reservations.  Really?  So I took a menu test (aced it!) and then told the manager that I was cutting myself.  He was fine with that!  I called Tony and I told him I hadn’t planned anything for dinner, so we decided we would meet up at our local restaurant for a couple beers and pizza.  Here was my happy face getting back in the car and coming home!

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Although with the traffic it took me nearly an hour to get there.  So this was just perfect to get this beer within a minute of walking in the door!

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We ended up ordering an appetizer – something I’ve never had before – fried artichoke hearts!  They were good – and I LOVE the marinara sauce at this restaurant – I think I ate nearly all of it.

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We ended up bringing the pizza home and catching up on the DVR. 

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Well, that is until someone, I am not going to name names (Tony!) fell asleep.  With the remote in his hand.  No worries though!  Did you know that if you have AT&T Uverse you can add an app on your phone and it acts just like a remote.  I can change channels, pull stuff off our DVR – it’s awesome!  I can also watch any live show on the app too.

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We have unlimited everything with our phones, so I don’t know how much data it would take up if you use it – but its nice to have.  Especially if I am at the gym and use a piece of equipment that doesn’t have a t.v. attached to it, I can just watch t.v. on my phone.

Sadly, I didn’t realize how close I was to 10,000 steps before going to bed last night – so close!  Had I looked I would have done a couple laps around the house!

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I have today off from my day job.  Tony and I plan to do our grocery shopping for Easter Sunday.  I work tonight, but then am off on Saturday night!  I am meeting Hannah at noon at Wok n Fire and then we are going to go thrifting.  I haven’t seen her in over a month – way too long!   I won’t be blogging again until Monday – so have a wonderful weekend!

Great News!

I was cleaning out my wallet the other day and realized I had a Panera gift card that still had $15 dollars on it.  My daughter must have given it to me – she is actually now an Assistant Morning Shift Manager and will start training new employees next month at Panera.  In May she will have worked there for two years already – time flies!

So on the way to work I bought some baby scones and some cinnamon raisin bread for the office.

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I didn’t have any however, because I ended up having a breakfast quesadilla!  Two low carb wraps, a scrambled egg and egg whites with chopped pickled jalapenos, ham and Cabot cheese.

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So we know that Tony’s been out of work since last summer.  I tried to refinance our mortgage the conventional way, however in our small town, the comps for two bedroom homes is quite small.  I could never get our house appraised correctly because for the last couple years, there have only been two sales each year of two bedroom homes.  Since we live by the river, a lot of two bedroom homes are really cottages that people considered “summer” homes when they lived here.  Our home was built in 1922 – where as the house next to us was built in 1987.  So I decided to see if I could modify our mortgage through our mortgage company.  I began this process on LABOR DAY.  I am shouting those words because that’s how long this process took.  I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of hours and hours I spent on this.  Weekly phone calls asking if Tony was working, filling out tons of paperwork, etc.

Well hallelujah!   My hard work paid off and we got our mortgage modified!!  Guess how much our mortgage payment is now?

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Yes, you are reading that correct – $385.96!  With our real estate tax escrow, our new monthly mortgage payment is going to be $717.  Whew.  What a relief!  I can’t tell you how many times I thought of giving up because I thought it would never work, but I am so glad I stuck with it.

Tony had to come to my office to sign the new paperwork, I had to have witnesses and have it notarized.  We ended up going out to lunch – to The Assembly.  Best burgers ever!  When I walked in and saw that their burger of the month was a buffalo burger with blue cheese I was sold!

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Perfect medium rare.  I ended up eating 3/4 of it and about 8 tater tots.  So good.  Tony?  He loves his burger on marble rye with their signature mushroom sherry sauce.

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It was nice seeing Tony during the day!  Here’s a bit of backstory.  Way back before I met Tony he was dating this woman who gave him this cologne.

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That size bottle today costs $78 at Nordstroms!  In any event, the stuff smells awesome.  And I, who have no sense of smell, can smell it the second Tony puts it on.  He’s had this bottle of cologne going on 20 years and it’s only half empty!  So when he walked in the office I could immediately smell it – let’s just say I was sitting pretty close to him at lunch because he smelled so good! Open-mouthed smile

In the afternoon I got this snapchat from my step-son – he likes to tease me with his Austin weather!

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I got home from work and I was not hungry.  At all.  I asked Tony if he was hungry and he said “I can wait.”  Well guess what?!  I never ended up making or eating anything for dinner!  I just wasn’t hungry.   I know – so crazy for me!

And since I didn’t work out at lunch, I didn’t make my 10,000 step goal.

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I’ll make up for it today.   I am working a double today, but my office is closed tomorrow so I’ll get to sleep in.  I am only working tonight and Friday night at the restaurant, so I have Saturday off and will be meeting up with Hannah for lunch and thrifting.  My Mom is coming over for Easter, although we are not going to do a traditional menu – I’ll be making Italian Sunday gravy with homemade pasta.  Tony and I have both been having a jones for this sauce and figured why not.  Who needs ham?!

Alright, time to go iron my shirt for work tonight and get my stuff together – make it a great day!

What do you think?

Even though the sun was shining bright yesterday morning when I woke up, the fact that it was 23 degrees, but felt like 15 degrees and the fact that there was snow on MY chair, was a bit depressing.

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But we got up in the 40s, so most of it is already melted, so I got that going for me.  I am dreaming of our temps next week – every day in the 60s!

When I was putting my breakfast together, I realized I had an avocado that needed to be used up.  I just threw it in my bag with the rest of my food for the day.  I’ve seen avocado deviled eggs on Pinterest, but for some reason never made them before.  What was I waiting for?  I used 1 yolk, 1/2 an avocado and some sriracha, mixed that up and stuffed the hard boiled egg.  I had half an apple and another one of my Nature Valley copycat granola bars.

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Right before I was going to the gym, my step-son sent me a snapchat – a new record for him!  He said the last minute he did 30 seconds at 7.0 mph and the last 30 seconds at 8.0 mph – at a 15% incline!!

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I sent him a text showing him I was at the gym – I loved his response!  Actually Carla made a delicious looking sandwich on The Chew – a grilled tuna steak sandwich with a slaw – check it out!

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I used the new Cybex treadmill and did a workout called “speed bump.”  Imagine it was like running in rolling hills, except you never knew when you going to be on flat ground or on a hill.  I slept funny the night before and my neck was hurting, so I walked it. 

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Lunch was nearly a repeat of yesterday’s carrot potato soup, only this time I added two ounces of andouille sausage to it – so good!  This sausage is 120 calories for 2 ounces and it has a hint of smokiness to it.

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I bought these tortillas over the weekend.  I’ve never seen this brand before.

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I had chicken quesadillas on the menu and I walked into the living room with this package and a package of regular flour tortillas.  I asked Tony “which would you prefer?  These are regular flour tortillas, but these are low carb, and are made with quinoa, amaranth, and spelt!”  His answer?  What do you think?  I’ve tried to have Tony eat things like I do – like the time he asked what was for dinner one time and I said “red quinoa meatballs with spaghetti squash.”  He laughed.  Until I brought him dinner and it was in fact red quinoa meatballs over spaghetti squash! 

My quesadilla:  2 low carb wraps, 3 ounces of chicken taco breast meat, one ounce of Cabot chipotle cheese and a cup of arugula and hot sauce.  I “pam” fried these too with butter pam spray.

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Hers and his:

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Best part?  That whole quesadilla comes in at 373 calories, 37 grams of protein and a whopping 14 grams of fiber!

I had no problem getting my steps in yesterday, even without my morning walk.

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Stats for the Day:

  • 1548 calories, 154 carbs, 87 protein, 74 fat and 33 fiber
  • 40% of calories from fat, 20% from protein and 37% from carbs
  • average blood sugar 139
  • got my 10,000 steps in!

Question of the Day:  Would you eat completely different from your spouse if given the chance?  I think I would try more ethnic and spicy dishes if it were just me.  Although I am going to try to get Tony to make his famous fried rice for dinner tonight.  I have chicken to use up, and leftover cold rice – perfect!

Make it a great day!