Reuben Baked Potatoes

It felt so good to start my day with stretching – it kind of eased my way into the day.  It’s been in the low 30s in the morning still around here, so it was nice to be comfy in my pjs doing stretches.

I had a low carb breakfast yesterday.  Not that I am doing a low carb diet at all, but I think it helps to mix things up a bit.  I pan fried up a 4 ounce pork chop and made an egg white spinach Cabot cheese scramble on the side.   And a touch of hot sauce.

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Later in the morning I got this email!

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Eek!  Get ready for Race Day!  My last race I did was in September of 2012

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I’ve been watching Spartan videos on youtube, and it’s been inspiring to say the least.  I’ve said it before, but my only goal is to finish it – nothing more or nothing less.

I got my walking shoes on at lunch – it was 60 degrees and perfect walking weather.

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I was more than ready to fix my lunch.  When I was thumbing through my Cabot Creamery cookbook, I stopped in my tracks as I saw they had a recipe for a Reuben twice baked potato.  What??!!  I love, love, love Reuben sandwiches and like most people who love them, critique pretty much every one I eat.  I was lucky that my friend Alison gave me a jar of homemade sauerkraut that one of her husbands friends made – so good!  I am writing this recipe for 2 servings, and I adjusted the recipe a bit to bump up the protein:

  • 8 ounce baked potato, sliced in half and most of potatoes taken out of the shell
  • 4 ounces chopped deli corned beef
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese (mine was 2%)
  • 1/3 cup sauerkraut
  • 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon pickle relish
  • 2 ounces shredded 50% reduced fat Cabot cheese

In a bowl combine all the ingredients except for the Cabot cheese and mix well.  Put that filling back into the two potato halves – really stuff it in there!   Top each with 1 ounce of the shredded cheese and put it in the toaster oven until the cheese is nice and toasted and melty.

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Yep, this one is a keeper!  I had some veggies and fruit on the side, but the potato was the star of the show. 

I had back on tap for strength yesterday:

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That set above, plus abs on the ball took me about 35 minutes.  New PR for me yesterday – I am now up to 40 pounds on my Lat Pull-down!

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Then I finished with a 2 mile walk

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When I walked into the gym it was near 65 degrees – a little over an hour later and it had dropped down to 50 and was on and off raining the whole drive home.  But I got to see a rainbow!  For the record, I pulled over to take this picture, I wasn’t driving. Open-mouthed smile

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Since it was nearly 7 by the time I got home and I was hangry, I decided to make a quick one pot pasta dish.  Well, two pots – Hannah had the boiling water started for me for the pasta.  I started cooking the one pound of pasta while I got everything together in the second skillet.  I sliced up two Italian sausages (I used Johnsonville) and started cooking them in a pan.  As those started to cook, I chopped up two zucchini in slices, then cut them in half and added them to the skillet.  Since there was a bit of fat in the sausage, I didn’t add any extra oil, but at this point, I added 1/4 cup of beef broth to help the zucchini cook faster.  Then I chopped up two cups of baby spinach.  Once the pasta was finished cooking, I drained it, added that to the pot, then added 1 cup of tomato puree, 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning, pinch of crushed red pepper and reduced the heat to medium low and mixed it all together and cooked another few minutes.  At the very end I tossed in the baby spinach, cooked for another minute, then added 1/3 cup 2% milk and 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and cooked for another minute.   This was literally ready in about 20 minutes.

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It ended up being a really clear night – the moon was so bright!

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And I got in a good amount of steps!

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Is anyone watching American Idol?  I am hoping that either Clark or Jax wins, we’ll just have to see.  I don’t even know what the ratings are on that show this season – Tony used to tell me all the time how low they were in years past and wondered why I watched it – I just love music!

Alright, off to do my stretches in my p.j.s – I still have 45 minutes before I have to leave the house – plenty of time. 

Here is my Throw Back Thursday for you – this was probably taken in 2005 when we were driving to Florida for Spring Break.  Joe spent half the spring break with his Mom and we got him the second half.  We stopped at a wine tasting and didn’t realize until about half way through the tour that ALL the wine was moscato – super sweet and gross, but I love this pic of us.  And yes, I will have those calf muscles back again!

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Make it a great day – and give your spouse or significant other an extra hug today.  Open-mouthed smile

Strong Not Skinny

I know I am only on Day 3 of this intuitive eating thing, but I can’t tell you how free I feel not having to type everything I put in my mouth into a program to see how many calories, how many carbs, how much protein.  I’ve been doing this a long time (shit, since I started this blog in 2008!) and I don’t know if it’s because I have more time now to just concentrate on me now that Tony isn’t with me anymore, or what, but I no longer have a “magic” number that I want to scale to be.  I want to be strong, not skinny, and I think that’s helping me make better choices because I have to simply have to ask myself if that action will get me stronger – like not waking up in the morning to go walking, or eating the cookies by the coffee machine – and the answer is usually no and I can just continue on this path I am on. 

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And there in lies the question.  What path am I on?  I’ve felt kind of lost these last several months (can you believe in a few days Tony will be gone six months already?!) and I was a caretaker for so long and I happily took on that role, but now that I don’t have that anymore, I feel a bit. . .  lost.  I am still taking my life a day at a time, and I know at some point the answer will hit me on what to do with my life.  Until I figure it out, I’ll just continue to ramble – ha!

Breakfast was delicious – scrambled ham, egg whites and spinach on high fiber English muffins with Cabot cheese and fruit on the side. 

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While it was only 36 degrees when I took my morning walk, but was 55 degrees by lunch time.  I just grabbed my phone and left the building and did a quick 45 minute walk.  The sun felt glorious on my face!  Momma, I did trim my bangs a bit!

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I had leftover copycat Portillo salad for lunch, except without the steak, and I have to tell you, it was a lot better with the steak!   Still good though – but you know how I feel about my beef!

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There were tons of teenage boys at the gym last night – so I had to kind of make up my own strength program based on what was available.  One thing I did that was hard as shit were squats against the wall with a balance ball – holy balls my legs were shaking!  I did five sets of one minute, and I literally thought my legs were going to fall off after that last minute.  Then finished up with 2.5 miles on the treadmill before I could feel my blood sugar starting to drop – it was 79 when I left the gym.

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My step-son Joe and I have been talking because he’s doing a Spartan race in a week and a half, although his is EIGHT MILES LONG!  Mine is only 3 miles but we were talking that there are a couple things that no amount of training can prepare us for – such as the rope climb and the spear throw.

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I am up to 50 pounds on my bench presses, so I think I will be able to do it, but I texted him the other day and said “do you think there will be knots on the rope?”  He replied “no, I don’t think so.”  Damn.  But guess what?  I saw this picture on Instagram and I think maybe the women’s races have knots on the rope – I can totally do that!!  That’s pretty much what I will look like on my race day – ha!  I have no goal but to finish.

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I ended up making burgers for dinner with sweet potato and Idaho potatoes on the side.  I ditched my bun and put my burger on a bed of baby spinach, and topped it with American cheese, hot giardiniera, dill pickles and a tiny bit of mustard!

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So I basically kicked ass on my steps!  A part of me was going to walk around my yard to get to 20k, but I said fuck it – close enough!

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I am opting to do Classical Stretch today instead of walking outside – the PT said that my hamstring, calf and thigh muscles are still really tight, and need to stretch out more during the week.  Make it a great day!

Cabot Cheese Creamery Cookbook and Cheese Giveaway!

My alarm went off yesterday morning and I was so nice and cozy.  I was under not only my sheets and comforter, but also our down comforter because I slept with the window open – perfect sleeping conditions!  Until I lifted off the covers and damn, it was cold!  I turned off the alarm and checked my weather app – no wonder – it was 36 degrees out!  But it was sunny, so instead of climbing back into bed, even before I went to the bathroom I put my shoes on.  Yes, I walk in whatever I wear to bed.  No judging Open-mouthed smile

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Ally, this was the same river your hotel was on – see how much calmer it is 30 miles north?!   I took this picture on my last road home, and wouldn’t you know, the green orb was with me!  I’ve talked about how lately this spot has been in some of my pics – it’s never happened before in any of the other pictures I’ve taken in the same neighborhood in the same conditions over the last 14 years – I like to think it’s Tony taking a walk with me.

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Over the weekend I had some bananas the really really needed to be used up or tossed out.  I stumbled upon Minimalist Baker’s Banana Bread Granola.  Huh.   I did have to adapt it a bit with what I had on hand, and I baked it twice because after the first baking it was still kind of chewy in the middle and I only like crunchy granola.  My changes are in red.

  • 3 cups rolled oats (GF for gluten free eaters)
  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup pecans  one cup mixed canned nuts
  • 3 Tbsp raw sugar   3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp flax seed  (didn’t have any)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp maple syrup, agave or honey if not vegan  1/3 cup of sugar free pancake syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 medium ripe banana, mashed (~1/2 cup) mine were really ripe, so I used two bananas

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix the oats, cinnamon, sugar, salt, flaxseed and nuts together in a large bowl (see photo).
  3. In a small saucepan over medium low heat, warm the coconut oil, maple syrup (or agave or honey) and vanilla extract. Once liquidy, remove from heat and whisk in banana puree until well combined. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix well.
  4. Spread the mixture evenly onto one or two baking sheets (making sure it doesn’t get crowded) and bake for 23-28 minutes or until golden brown. The coconut oil will help it crisp up well, but be sure to watch it carefully as it can brown quickly.   At this point I broke up the granola into clumps, reduced the oven to 250 and baked for another 20 minutes.  It will all be crunchy once it’s completely cooled.
  5. NOTE: If you don’t toss the granola while baking, it will make get clumpy, which I personally love. But if you want a more crumbly granola, toss/stir a bit at the halfway point to break up the clumps.
  6. Once the granola is visibly browned, remove from the oven and toss just a bit to let the heat escape. Cool completely on the baking sheet or in a heat-safe bowl. Store in a container or jar with an air-tight seal – it should keep for a couple weeks.

I ended up making a strawberry banana bread granola parfait with plain Chobani – so good!   I have to say, it was weird to be putting bananas in granola!

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I had physical therapy again yesterday.  It’s at a weird time, 1:30 in the afternoon and I can never decide whether to eat before or after I come back.  I decided I was still full from the parfait so I ate afterwards.  I went to grab my gym bag to change into sweats before going across the street, only to find out that I packed a pair of really tight shorts that I normally just wear around the house, and a size Medium pair of sweats I just bought because they were only $1.00 at Goodwill and I was planning to save them until they actually fit.  They were super tight and I felt like a sausage in them, but I got through all my stretches.  I got the rolling pin on my quad again and it felt really good!

By now, I am assuming that most regular readers know that I puffy heart Cabot cheese.  Like a lot.  I may even have a separate compartment in my fridge for my Cabot cheese.

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About a month ago they sent me their new Cookbook – The Cabot Creamery cookbook.  When I was meal planning I decided to incorporate some of their recipes into my weekly menu.  When I cleaned out the fridge and saw that I had a whole head of broccoli that needed to be used up, a quick look on Page 84 and there was their recipe for broccoli cheddar soup!

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:121]

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I garnished my soup with some chopped radish and a bit more cheddar cheese.  On the side I had some extra grilled chicken that I cooked the night before last and had open face chicken and spinach sandwiches with more Cabot cheese.  Duh.  I used to think their extra sharp was my favorite, but this is the first time I’ve had the 12 month aged cheese and it’s remarkable.  If I could I’d just have a block of that cheese on my desk and just slice it off bit by bit until it was all gone.

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So after work I wasn’t going to the gym because I didn’t really have anything to wear that I’d be comfy in, so I decided to come home.  I thought Jacob was going to be working, but Hannah had his keys in her purse at work and when he called to tell them he’d be late for work, he got called off because it wasn’t busy.  I had pinned this recipe for Portillos Chopped Salad, because I know it’s one of her favorites.  I was going to put tiny chopped chicken in her salad, but once I knew Jacob was going to be home, I decided he and I would have some steak on ours.

I really didn’t follow the recipe that closely – Hannah just kept chopping stuff up – romaine, butter lettuce, carrots, cucumber.  She had cooked up ditalini pasta and had that cooling in the pasta drainer.  She added the cooked pasta to the veggies, and then everyone kind of plated their own with additional fixins:  mine had blueberries, craisins, a few pecans, red cabbage, goat cheese, Cabot cheese, and steak – I used Paul Newman’s light balsamic – just over a tablespoons because the salad was so flavorful on it’s own, you didn’t need to bury it in salad dressing.

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Holy balls this was delicious – the tartness of the craisins and goat cheese paired well with the beef and blueberries.  I literally licked my plate clean.

Since I still had to get my steps in, and it was only 6:50 by the time we finished dinner, I set off on my walk.  Loving that it is light until nearly 7:55!  And guess who joined me for my walk?  Tony!  The biggest orb I’ve seen to date!  Now I know there is an explanation on how these are appearing on my camera, just odd that they are showing up now.

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It was a cool 50 degrees and perfect walking weather.  I ended up walking about 45 minutes.  I took this picture with my panoramic on my iPhone – the left was the road ahead of me and the right was the road behind me.

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And I found a heart on my walk – love.

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I managed to do pretty well considering I was basically only doing stretching at lunch at PT.  As long as it’s nice out in the morning I plan on getting my day off on the right foot.   I also just realized I never changed my weight on my fit bit app!

And it was nice not to enter all my food on caloriecount.com today.  I have to say that after participating in the protein challenge I have a pretty good idea on how much 30 grams of protein looks like, and I think I did pretty good because I had no desire to eat in between meals today, so I was probably pretty close.

My good friends at Cabot are thanking me for my continued support of their products by having them them offer up a Cabot Creamery Cookbook and $25 Cabot Gift Box to give away to my blog readers.  Just simply answer one question:  what’s your favorite way to eat cheese?  I’ll pick a winner on Friday’s post.  See why I puffy heart Cabot?!

Alright, here is day two of intuitively eating.  And I’ve packed the right clothes in my gym bag, so I’ve got that going for me!  Make it a great day!

Chimichurri Sauce and Balance

This weekend was the perfect balance of fun, relaxing and productivity.  When my friend Alison and her husband invited me over this weekend for a BBQ, earlier in the week it looked like Friday night was going to be the best weather night.  I ended up bringing the food and they provided the beer.  I ended up making marinated steaks with this beef marinade, grilled zucchini with a pear and walnut balsamic reduction and feta cheese (the reduction was store bought – only $1.99 at my store!) and mac n cheese for their girls.  Um, turns out both girls love beef so I was happy that they ate that too.

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Well it was cold and rainy, but Cameron kept my grilling spot dry with an umbrella.  I brought homemade tortilla chips and some of my baja fresh salsa to snack on.  Usually Alison goes crazy for my salsa, but my chimichurri sauce has now taken over as her favorite thing – after eating it she said “I don’t even want to look at that salsa anymore!”  If you love cilantro, you will love this sauce – it actually could work as a dip for chips but it is delicious on steak.  I do mine a bit differently, I use parsley, cilantro AND basil and add crushed red pepper for a spicy kick.

  • 1 cup parsley
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 cup basil
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste)

Just throw everything into the food processor and you are done. Keeps in the fridge for a couple weeks if not more. 

It was nice hanging out with them, although quite the adjustment to be around little kids again.  Last time we got together their youngest daughter didn’t want anything to do with me, but she let me hold her and both girls wanted me to sit next to them, so I sat in the middle.  So cute!  Thanks for having me over guys!

Hannah was off on Saturday and Jacob didn’t have to work until the afternoon until close.  We all slept in (I didn’t wake up until 10:30!) and Hannah had donuts on her mind.  You guys, if you have never made refrigerator biscuit donuts, you are missing out.  No having to get up super early to make the donut dough, let it rise, etc.  These are literally take no time at all – and you get 8 donuts and 8 donut holes for $1.99.

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My motto lately has been balance, and it seems to be working for me really well.  I don’t feel like I am depriving myself of anything and am pretty much following the 90/10 rule – I ate two donut holes and then made myself an egg white spinach scramble, with some ham and strawberries.

Hannah and Jacob belong to the YMCA by our house – they have a discounted student rate, and it’s the first time that I have been there since it was remodeled.  I went there probably 10+ years ago and I felt like I had walked into 1974 going there – rusty lockers, old floors, etc.  It’s gorgeous!  They have a fireplace, free wifi, a restaurant.  We started out in the cardio room and did 30 minutes on the treadmill, then did abs on the ball and then went swimming for over an hour – all told we were there over two hours!

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We didn’t finish until after 4:00 p.m. and we were hangry.  There is a new Mexican restaurant near our house – the locations has probably been a half dozen restaurants since we’ve lived here.   Hannah and Jacob have been there for the tamales, so I suggested we stop there for a quick bit to eat.  Holy balls, is this good.  Flavorful (not sure how someone who yelped this place thought there wasn’t any?!)  We each got two tacos (mine were steak, Hannah’s were chorizo.  Since we were dining in, we got complimentary chips and salsa.  With two glasses of water, lunch was only $7.21. 

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This may look simple, but the steak has these little bits of charred bites, super flavorful and the green and red hot sauces they brought to the table really made these tacos.  They were so filling too!  Hannah and I came home, I made two loaves of bread and a pot of broccoli soup for the week, and um, let’s just say Hannah took a nap for three hours.  Guess two hours at the gym was a bit much for her – and that girl has the gift of napping and sleeping like me!  I never really ate dinner per se, I had a slice of my bread and had a small bowl of soup and that was perfect. 

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Sunday’s are my cooking day, and I started out making granola, then made banana muffins and a taco soup for later in the week.  When I cook like that, I don’t really eat a meal, just kind of taste as I go.  Around 12:30 we were all hungry, and I said “how about that Mexican place again?!”  I literally can see myself going to this place at least once a week, it’s that good.   I got the steak tacos again and then added a sign of beans for an extra $1.50 – so good!

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Jacob got their King Burrito – steak, french fries, sour cream, cheese – it was so huge he could only eat half of it.

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It was nice hanging out with the kids since they were both off.  I still had grocery shopping to do, and hit up the gym, so late afternoon I took off.  I watched the Sox game while I was walking – Sox win!  They had an awesome fifth inning.

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I was so happy to see that Chobani was on sale!  I stocked up!

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I ended up grilling bone in chicken breasts with zucchini on the side.  Hannah and I are going to have a copycat Portillo’s chopped salad for dinner tonight, so I grilled once, cooked twice, and grilled off some chicken breasts for our salads tonight.

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So I think I did a pretty good balance this weekend – I had some tacos, but I worked out and got my steps in both days.   I have another physical therapy session at lunch today so I am going to squeeze in a quick 30 minute walk before work.  I am actually going to try to intuitively eat this next week and see how I do without micromanaging every number.  I know how much insulin to give myself, so I am fine with that.  I have reset my Zero scale and will see how I do the next two weeks.  I don’t plan on stepping on the scale for 14 days and see how I do.  Wouldn’t it be great to just live and not have to worry about every little thing that goes in your mouth?!

What are your thoughts on intuitively eating??   Have you done it?  How were your results?

Alright, time to get my walking shoes on – make it a great day!

Meat Up

I had to laugh because on the way to meeting Ally, I called my sister at work.  She said “did you know that your blog title said “Blogger Meat Up – didn’t you mean to say Meet Up?!”  Well, yes, yes, I did, but I guess I do have meat on my mind a lot – beef, it’s what’s for eats!  Hannah bought a new styling wand that gets so hot you have to have a glove on one hand to use it.  I wasn’t sure how the back of my head looked like, but I liked the extra curls.

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I was styled by Hannah.  I never would have thought to put these pieces together.

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Ally was staying at a hotel about an hour away from me.  It was a nice enjoyable ride, just listened to the music and loved having a sunny day.  We met at the lobby of her hotel.

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Here’s the thing about meeting a blog friend in real life that you’ve “known” for years.  It actually feels like meeting an old friend that you haven’t seen in a long time.  I felt comfortable with her from the first second I met her.  She looks exactly as she does in her blog pictures, except she was taller than I thought she would be!

We started walking down the street and stopped a woman and asked where a good place would be to go to lunch.  She suggested Stockholm across the street, so that’s where we went.  We sat down and immediately started talking – I have a feeling I talked a bit too much, but she was asking questions about when Tony was sick, and how her sister called her on her cell phone after reading this post and said “You have to read Biz’s last blog post.”  She was driving in the car and knew she couldn’t read it while driving, but went home, read the posts and started crying.  There were several times when I was talking to her about Tony that I almost completely lost it, but I have the ability to somehow shut off that emotion in front of people like a switch.  It’s only when I am by myself that I lose it.

I decided to get a burger with no bun, and ended up eating a few of the fries.  I am still all about the protein challenge!   I was hungry too because I only had an English muffin for breakfast on the drive up.  It’s so funny, but my twin sister can’t really stand mustard and when I send her pics like this she’s like “what’s with the mustard!”  I feel the same way about how she puts ketchup on tacos and eggs, so I guess we are even about that.

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Before we knew it, it was time for her to head back to her hotel for her event.  She and a bunch of other bloggers were invited to Aldi’s corporate headquarters for a tour taste testing of different Aldi products.  I had to tell her that I don’t normally buy meat at Aldi, but I do buy dairy and my K-cups there – super cheap!  I know we’ll meet up again, and told her the next time I’d bring Hannah.

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I was able to get to my mammogram appointment on time (hence why I was able to get a sick day yesterday to meet up with Ally) and then hit up the gym.  Just did a quick 5k before heading to the grocery store to pick up a few things.  I have plans to meet up with my friend Alison and her family for dinner at their house tonight.  I told her I would bring the food if she bought the beer.  I have steaks marinating in the fridge with this marinade on them, I made homemade tortilla chips for chips and my baja fresh salsa.  I made macaroni and cheese, because their girls are young and duh, who doesn’t like mac n cheese! and then made a chimmichurri sauce for the steak.  I plan on grilling up zucchini on the side with a pear walnut balsamic glaze.

So by the time dinner time rolled around, I made it quick and easy.  Brats and corn on the cob!  Jenn, guess what, more mustard!

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And since I was a good girl, I decided it was okay to have a Cupcake for dessert.  While Kim Crawford is my favorite Sauvignon Blanc, this one is not bad for $10 a bottle.

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And I met my step goal for the day!

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I could really get used to having a random day off of in the middle of the week, but I did wake up this morning thinking it was Saturday – damn.  So off to work I go!  Other than plans tonight, I don’t have much planned for the weekend – Hannah is off all weekend and Jacob has to work, so I will be getting lots of Hannah time this weekend – love it!

Hope you have a great weekend – see you Monday!

Blogger Meat Up!

I have the day off from work today, because I am meeting up with one of my long time blog buddies, Ally from Sweet and Savory Eats!   She emailed me and said she’d be in the Chicago area and had some down time before her blog event with Aldi Foods, and wondered if I’d be able to meet up with her.  We’ve always talked about meeting half way (she lives in Iowa) but as a busy stay at home Mom of three kids, the stars never aligned so I knew I didn’t want to pass this opportunity up.  You can check out my guest post on her blog here.

So I got to sleep in this morning, which was nice!  I have about an hour before I need to leave so that gives me plenty of time to blog, eat breakfast, shower, etc.  Can’t wait to meet her in person!

Speaking of blogger meet ups – all my Wisconsin peeps!  I’ll be in Milwaukee the weekend of May 23 for my Spartan Race.  I’ll be available for dinner that Friday night, and then dinner Saturday night and then brunch on Sunday if anyone wants to meet up with me – just leave a comment or shoot me an email at mybizzykitchen@gmail.com.

Since I didn’t eat all of my breakfast the day before, it morphed into breakfast yesterday morning – this time I just decided to put my hash on an English muffin, top it with Cabot cheese and melted it in the toaster oven.  I got these strawberries from Sam’s Club and they are amazing – so fricken sweet.

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I had physical therapy at lunch.  I actually really liked it.  Um, turns out I don’t stretch enough!  My IT bands, my hamstrings AND my calf muscles are all way too tight.  The girl also did something with a rolling pin – not exactly sure what it was but she got up on the table and put all her weight into it and kneaded my thigh muscles with it on the front and back.  At first it tickled, but it felt really good afterwards.  She was on time and I was done in 40 minutes.  I’ll go back on Monday.

So here is my super easy quick chicken tortilla soup.  Jacob was working at Home Depot the night before last in the garden center and he was cold and was wondering if we were going to be having anything hot for dinner.  I quickly scanned in my head what I had on hand and said “how does chicken tortilla soup sound?!”  And he said “whoop!”  You can see what our weather has been like – winter just doesn’t want to let go.

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    INGREDIENTS:

    1 teaspoon olive oil
    1 large clove garlic, grated
    1 cup diced carrot
    1 small zucchini, diced
    1 10 oz. can of corn, drained
    1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
    1 15-oz. can hominy, drained and rinsed
    1 28-oz. can tomato sauce
    salt & pepper, to taste
    1 tablespoon cumin
    2 teaspoons smoked paprika
    1 teaspoon oregano
    4 cups chicken stock
    2 chicken breasts, chopped
    4 corn tortillas, chopped

    DIRECTIONS:

    In a skillet on the side, add 1/2 teaspoon of oil over medium high heat.  Put the chicken in that pan and sear on both sides, about 5-6 minutes.  Meanwhile, add the other 1/2 teaspoon oil to your stock pot.  Add the garlic, carrots, and zucchini and sauté for 2-3 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients and stir until combined, and add back in the chicken and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes, to finish cooking the chicken.  The corn tortillas will dissolve in the broth and help thicken the sauce.  I love the addition of hominy in this soup.  It’s 325 calories a cup with the cheese and crushed tortillas chips I added on top and 29.5 grams of protein.   I used Cabot’s extra sharp cheddar on top – so good!

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Since I had hardly any steps before working out after work, I decided after strength to do a 5k.  Thankfully my blood sugar cooperated and I didn’t have to cut my workout short.

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It was just me and Hannah for dinner, so we used up some ground beef we had and you don’t have to twist our arms too hard to have tacos.  I had blue corn tortillas and I pan fried them in a bit of coconut oil to make them crunchy.  We had beef and baby spinach tacos with hot sauce Open-mouthed smile

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I managed to do okay on my steps too!

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My daughter-on-law Lizz texted me this picture yesterday.  She had come into town by herself to visit family while Joe was working and we met up for dinner.  Who would have known it would have been the last time Lizz say Tony in person.  This would have been taken I think around November 2013 – and a mere 13 months later, Tony would be gone.   I still can’t believe he is gone.

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Alright, let’s get a happy face on and get ready for meeting Ally for lunch.  Follow along on Instagram if you want!   My Bizzy Kitchen and Sweet Savory Eats’s is Ally’s Instagram.  Make it a great day!

Peppered Pork Udon Noodle Stiry Fry

Thanks for all your sweet comments yesterday on my transformation Tuesday!  I have to tell you, just seeing that comparison photo has given me even more inspiration to keep doing what I am doing.  Making this a lifestyle and not a diet.  Truth be told though, it doesn’t really “taste” like a diet.  I haven’t really been counting calories – I only put stuff into calorie count to see how many grams of protein I have, and it usually works out that most of my meals are around the 500 mark.  Because I am eating more calories per meal, it keeps me fuller longer and I am noticing that the licks and bites are nearly non-existent.

I had to do a Sam’s Club for work stuff before work.  By the time I sat down at my desk to eat it was nearly 9:45 and I was hangry!  I made a strawberry parfait and had a hash of 3 ounces of potato, egg whites, baby spinach, deli ham and cheese.  After taking this picture, I sat at my desk and had to do some things right off the bat, so I started with the parfait.  I realized I didn’t heat up my hash enough, and told myself when I got through the bunch of letters I’d go reheat it.  But guess what?  30 minutes later I wasn’t hungry enough to eat it, so that’s going to be breakfast for today.

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I ended up walking for 40 minutes outside – even though it was super windy and cold, but I went with it.  Every time my Mom sees a picture like that of me, she hints that maybe I should trim my bangs. Open-mouthed smile

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Nearly half of the walk my hair looked like this!

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Lunch was steak fajitas in lettuce wraps with quinoa, sautéed bell peppers, topped with my baja fresh salsa (I forgot the cheese!) and zucchini and tangerine on the side.  I quickly realized after the first couple of bites that it’s nearly impossible to eat lettuce wraps at your desk – way too messy, so I ate it knife and fork.

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We had a birthday celebration at our office, and I was in charge of the treats.  I got apple pie, brownie bites and strawberries with whip cream.  While I could easily have determined the brownie bites and apple pie as insulin worthy, I stuck with the strawberries and cream.  Non-scale victory!

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I went to the gym and did 25 minutes of strength training, then planned on doing hill intervals for a 5k.  I found this shirt at Goodwill and even though it’s probably meant for a 7th grader, I wore it to the gym.

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My blood sugar before working out was 250 – right where I want it to be.  However, just as I was hitting the two mile mark, I could feel my blood sugar dropping like a stone.  I got off, checked it and it was 59.  Fuck.  So on my way out of the gym I grabbed a banana and Kind bar and yelled to the front desk “can you put this on my tab!” and ate the banana all the way to the car, then ate the bar on the drive home.  Sometimes it really sucks to have the sugars.

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It was just me and Hannah for dinner last night and we decided on stir fry.  While hers was sans pork, I made mine peppered pork.  I am writing this recipe as if it were for two people with pork.

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:120]

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This was delicious if I do say so myself.  It was just enough sauce to coat everything without being too saucy.   This is great for a quick weeknight meal.

I ended up with decent steps yesterday too!
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Today is my first full day of PT on my knee – fingers crossed we start on time.  I got a text from a secretary that she’ll be out today, so hopefully I will be busy.  I made a super quick chicken tortilla soup last night for lunch – it was ready in 20 minutes – I’ll share the recipe tomorrow.  It’s 34 degrees today and cloudy with highs in the mid-40s and windy again, so soup will be good today!

Alright, time to get this show on the road – make it a great day!