Cranberry sauce muffins

Yesterday’s eats were all about using stuff up in the fridge.  We still had leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving, don’t worry, it had lots of booze and sugar in it so it was still good!  I decided to make some muffins for breakfast.  I used this recipe from Kitchen Treaty with a couple of tweaks, so I’ll share what my recipe ended up being.

Leftover Cranberry Sauce Muffins (adapted from Kitchentreaty.com)

  • 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups leftover cranberry sauce
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 egg

Mix all the dry ingredients together, then mix the wet ingredients together, then mix the wet into the dry.  I have a small muffin tin so I filled that up and still had more so I put it in a small loaf pan.  My muffins baked at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, and the loaf took probably 10 minutes longer.

We had these for breakfast with a little butter and they were so good!  I was only planning on having one, but they were so good I had to have another.  I also had a glass of homemade V8 and some yogurt with my canned pears.

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I was able to go shopping before work and hit up 3 stores, filling my entire trunk with groceries.  We were all out of salad ingredients and I’ve really been enjoying my salads, so I had to get more!  I also ended up with quite a few things I didn’t really need, but oh well.  Lunch was another salad :lol:  This time I added some chicken breast that I cooked the night before, some cheddar cheese, and olive oil and balsamic.  It was really good.

My workout of the day was an hour on the elliptical at an easy pace, varying the levels here and there while watching Arrested Development.  I am on season 3 and I love it, too funny.  I hopped on the treadmill for about a half hour after that and walked at an incline.  I was able to hit my 500 calorie goal!

Dinner was chicken teriyaki meatballs, sauteed kale, peppers, and onion, and steamed broccoli.  Pretty simple, but good.  I also had 2 cocktails based off of the Rusty Nail that Michael Ruhlman posted yesterday.  I couldn’t find the Drambuie so I just grabbed some whiskey that had honey added.  I think I will try to make my own Drambuie if I have this again.  I snacked on a square of chocolate and had some ginger cookies while watching a movie and winding down for the night.

My calories were 1946, Fitbit burn was 2504, and I managed 20,636 steps.

I guess my workout on Thursday was effective, because man, my back and shoulders are feeling very worked!  I was stiff and sore and uncomfortable last night so I ended up in bed around 8:00 :lol:  I’m feeling a lot better today though, so I’m going to do another strength workout and just take tomorrow off.  We are having friends over tonight for pizza, drinks, and cards.  It will be fun!  Just need to balance out the rest of my day so I don’t overdo it :)

More waffles

Real ones this time ;)  I accidentally pulled some pumpkin puree from the freezer thinking it was soup the other day.  Oops!  Now I have a bunch of pumpkin that I need to use up.  So I made waffles for breakfast yesterday.  They were quite tasty!  I used this recipe from Simply Recipes sans the cornmeal.  I had P.A.N. cornmeal and stoneground cornmeal, but the pan stuff seemed stale so I just used extra whole wheat flour.  They were really good!  And my waffle maker made 8 of them so they were only 200 calories for a whole waffle.  I had half of one with some cheesy eggs and 1/2 an orange.  Then I went back for a second waffle half.  There are plenty leftover so we will be having them for breakfast tomorrow too, the rest will go in the freezer.  They make great sandwiches for M’s lunch!

So not a real food blogger

So not a real food blogger

Lunch was salad again, a taco salad this time.  That one is self explanatory.

I said I wasn’t going to work out, but I actually felt pretty good so I changed my mind.  I warmed up on the treadmill at an incline at 3.5 mph for 20 minutes.  Then I did my weights.  Basic stuff – deadlifts, pushups, inverted rows with the TRX, and kettlebell swings.  I tried doing my kettlebell work sets with a 25# bell and it was hard!  I had to cut down the reps on the last two sets.  Toward the end of the night I was feeling worked, I guess that’s a good thing.  The whole workout took an hour and 16 minutes, and my HRM said I burned 356 calories.  I was tempted to get back on the treadmill and do some more but we had a school play to go to.

Dinner was leftover chicken, squash soup, and roasted broccoli and cauliflower.  Nothing fancy but still yummy.  I had a square of chocolate as a ‘finisher’, and at the play we all shared a small bag of pretzels.  When we got home I had a glass of wine while the others went to bed.

We are running out of food!  I prepped more salads tonight but now we are low on produce and some other stuff so I will need to make a grocery run in the next few days.

Waffle

Yesterday was good.  I got up early and got my walk in, about 40 minutes for 100 calories and maybe 3/4 mile, I forgot to check.  I didn’t have any other food prep to do so I decided to make a nice breakfast.  Here’s what I ended up with.

Breakfast

Poached eggs over sauteed peppers, onions, and kale, 1/2 an orange, toast with butter and tomato jam, and a glass of raw milk.  It was yummy!  The eggs went a little too far, I cooked them for 5 minutes, maybe next time I will go for 4.  Breakfast was at 7:30, and this kept me going until 12:30!  Lunch was a big old salad with the regular suspects and kale, kidney beans, my own pickled beets, and caesar parmesan dressing.

My afternoon workout was going to be running, and I probably could have but it was an orange air day so I opted for the elliptical.  I started out on level 1 for 4 minutes and then upped it by one level every 4 minutes, until I got to level 9.  I stayed at level 9 for 5 minutes and then worked my way back down in the same way.  It was SO hard!  Too hard I think.  I was exhausted after that.  I burned 400 calories and it took me 70 minutes.  I would so rather run!!

Dinner was a favorite around here, Alton Brown’s chicken with garlic and shallots, with some changes.  We usually only do chicken leg quarters, and use onions instead of shallots.  Still tastes amazing.  Every time.  To go with it I cooked a little squash whole in the oven, and steamed some beans.  I also baked the chicken wings from the whole chickens in the oven for about a half hour.  They were awesome too.  I also ended up having 2 glasses of wine and a square of chocolate.

Winner winner chicken dinner

Calories were kind of high yesterday, but I was just estimating portions too.  I was probably generous and so I don’t think I really ate that much.  It is all just a guess anyway!  (A link to my food journal if you are interested)  I had 2107 calories, and my Fitbit said I burned 2576 with 24,554 steps.  That’s a lot of steps!

Now for the waffle.  When I was doing the elliptical yesterday, all I could think was ‘this is not sustainable’!  I don’t think I could do that more than even once a week :lol:  I guess I knew this  new ‘plan’ would be too much when I started, yes only 3 short days ago :lol:  I don’t think I could really lose 2 pounds every week anyway.  In my history, the most I’ve consistently lost every week was 1.6.  So I guess I’m waffling on trying to follow through with this 1000 calorie deficit every day.  I think deep down I know that I’m probably setting myself up for another yo-yo cycle and I really don’t want to do that again.  So I’m just going to do the best I can.  So, scratch what I said before!

It is clear that with the air quality being such an issue here in Salt Lake City, that I will not be able to run like I want to this winter.  And I am not going to get a gym membership so that I can go run – it would just take too much time out of my day.  I was going to only do 2 days a week of strength, but I am going to do 3 instead, starting next week.  I will still keep trying to get up early and get a walk in on the treadmill, and I will do whatever cardio I can.  I’ll still count calories and try to keep around 1700, but if I occasionally go over like yesterday then it is no big deal.  I mostly want to keep track of all of the numbers to try and figure out my real TDEE (total daily energy expenditure), so I can figure out what kind of deficit I am really making.

So there it is.  I guess long term is where its at, and going balls to the wall for two months is probably just going to get me burned out and want to stop, like I have done in the past.  DUH.  I have to figure out something I can do for life, otherwise I’ll just keep repeating the yo-yo cycle and that is the LAST thing I want!  Ultimately I hope to get to a place where I am at a happy weight, I look good, and I listen to my body in regards to exercise and food.  I guess I really don’t care how long it takes.  So I’m listening to my body today and taking the day off after working so hard yesterday!  Plus we have stuff going on this afternoon and I won’t be able to work out, probably.  We’ll see ;)

Cold run

Today has been pretty good.  I didn’t get the good night’s sleep that I wanted though :(  Someone was snoring and I could hear him all the way in the living room, so I tried to sleep on the couch but it was horrible.  I finally went to the bed and got a little undisturbed sleep, but not enough.  I got up around around 5:15 anyway and by 5:20 I was downstairs walking on the treadmill.  I did 37 minutes to get to 100 calories burned, only 400 do to later!

I am going to try to start taking pictures of some meals, and putting up more of the recipes I make to make this a little more interesting :lol:  Until then…breakfast was scrambled cheesy eggs with toast and tomato jam, plus my morning coffee.  I had a co-op shift at M’s school today  and they had clementines for a snack and I had one too.  Lunch was a big chopped salad with some pickled beets, kidney beans, and caesar dressing.  I think I am coming around to the chop salad idea, this is the second one I’ve had in a week.  I usually like bigger pieces in my salads.

2nd workout of the day was the standard warmup and then a super cold run outside!  I went about 4 miles, didn’t time it but I think it was around 45 minutes.  I don’t know why I was surprised to see only 3 other people out there running, and only 1 walker.  It was only like 17 degrees!  I need to wear more layers tomorrow.  Dinner was some fajitas with corn tortillas and roasted cauliflower and broccoli.  I was going to have a treat, but I’m having wine instead ;)

All said and done, I met my goals for the day.  500+ calories burned on my heart rate monitor, just over 1700 calories eaten, and just over 20,000 steps on my Fitbit.  Not bad!  I wasn’t really sore before I went running, but man I am feeling it now!  Good thing I’m not lifting again until Thursday.

Re-committing

Well, I have to admit that I have been doing really poorly in terms of my health and fitness over the last few months.  I don’t know why I do this, but I just kind of let it all go out the window since I ran the half marathon in October.  Too much beer, too much food, and I am up about 10 pounds from then and totally out of shape again.  I really want to break the cycle.  Like I said, I don’t know why I do it!  But I keep doing it, so there must be some payoff in a really weird way.  At any rate, I’m going to try committing to being healthy again and losing some weight, and hopefully if I make it more of a public thing then I’ll be more likely to stick to it.  So for now, I’m going to try and just post a daily recap of what I’m doing and how my days are going.

So, today!  I got up and had coffee for breakfast :)  I planned on not eating until lunch since I knew we would be eating out somewhere.  I dropped M off at school and picked up K so we could go Christmas shopping.  We got almost everything we needed to done, and around 1:30 we ended up at Red Iguana for lunch.  I finally got the mango enchiladas that I’ve been eyeing for a while.  They were good, but I got full pretty quickly in since I was having a beer too.  I ate one and 3/4 of the other, along with some chips and salsa and a few bites of guacamole from K’s plate.  I was glad I didn’t get anything bigger or heavier.

After we got home for the afternoon it was time to work out.  I ended up getting a heart monitor over the weekend and I’m making it my goal to burn 500 calories with intentional exercise 6 days of the week.  I started out on the elliptical for 25 minutes to warm up and then did my strength session.  The program I’m doing only has 5 exercises each session but with all of the warmup sets and rests in-between, it took me an hour to complete!  I still had 150 calories to go so I did some kettlebell swings with my 15 pounder.  I ended up doing 500 swings!  It took me 10 minutes active time, but I took a lot of breaks :lol:  I’m not used to that!  But it felt great so I’m going to try and do it more often.  I still had about 60 calories to go after that, so I got back on the elliptical for a quick 10 minutes.  My whole workout time was about 1 hour and 45 minutes!

Dinner was a stir-fry with broccoli, peppers, onions, and beef.  Pretty tasty and I ate quite a bit since it was just meat and veggies.  Now I’m having a beer :)  And then I’ll be done for the day.  Tomorrow I’m going to try and get up early and walk for a bit to get a jump on the 500 burn and hopefully I won’t have to work out so much in the afternoon.  I’m planning on getting outside for a run/walk if the air is good.

I estimated my calories at about 1834 for the day.  My Fitbit steps for the day right now are 15,000.  That is the most I’ve gotten in weeks!  I’m looking forward to a good night’s sleep and another good day tomorrow.  That’s all I can do right now, is take it one day at a time.

New workout begins!

I am over and done with boot camp.  I skipped today since my friend was sick, and really – I’m over it.  So I stayed home, warmed up on the elliptical and then did workout #1 of the new program I’m doing.  It is the beginner plan from Nia Shanks’ Train to be Awesome.  I figured it best that I start with the beginner part, since I haven’t done any weights consistently for a long time.  I chose this program since it uses weights, kettlebells, and a suspension trainer.  I hope that it will be enough variety to keep me excited about doing it.

Today’s workout was lots of pushups and swings – I did 160 swings total!  I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to do warmup sets for the swings but I did it anyway.  I’m still trying to decide if I want to lift 2 or 3 days a week, I’m trying to figure out how I’ll swing it with running too.  Right now I’m leaning towards 3 days.  We’ll see!  Anyway, it felt good to do a workout, I hope that I can keep motivated and finish the program!

Random stuff

Since my half marathon in October, I feel like I’ve just kind of been slacking at life, feeling very random.  I need some direction!  I want to start posting more here, more than just the budget posts.  So I’m going to start sharing a little more.  Things I want to do include weekly life goals, food I’m making, and focusing on just living a healthy, happy life.  I don’t think I’ll end up being one of those bloggers that posts every meal of every day, but I do cook a lot of interesting things and I’d like to share.

I also want to really get committed again and start consistently lifting weights and working on losing a few pounds.  I really don’t have all that much to lose, maybe 20 pounds.  At least I have stayed relatively stable for a while, I think in 5 months I’ve fluctuated maybe 5 pounds or so.  I could really be doing better though.  I know if I want to get anywhere, I really just have to focus on daily habits and be consistent, for a long time.  As long as I keep flitting around trying different things, I will probably just keep spinning my wheels.  So I’m going to keep it simple.

I’m doing boot camp right now, but after this session is up I’m going to do my own thing.  I’m going to start with a basic weight training program and actually stick to it.  It is more geared toward beginners to start with, or people who haven’t consistently trained in a while.  That would be me.  The goal is just to finish the program, which is about 8 weeks, and then move up from there.  I’m going to eat, too.  I figure my energy needs to be about 2400 calories per day, that is just including walking/standing at work and 8 hours of sleep.  So I’m going to count calories (since it has worked in the past) and aim for about 2000-2250 daily.  I don’t care if the loss is slow, I mostly want to get strong, and that takes adequate intake.  I’m going to keep running 3 days a week.  So 3 days strength, 3 running, and that’s it.  I don’t want to burn out like I usually do, trying to go too hard and do too much.  I am ready to just be sane about the whole thing!  I hope that I can make some good progress and slow and steady change.

So anyway, hopefully I’ll be posting some eats, recipes, goals and workouts again, and maybe it will help me get and stay on track again :)

The Other Half 2013

I ran this race on the 20th and it was awesome!  This was my second time doing it, and my first time doing a race by myself!  I hit a PR too :D  I wasn’t planning for anything but to finish it without any walking at all, but when I started out I decided I just wanted to go for it and try for a good time.  The first half felt pretty easy, whenever I was going downhill I tried to be at least under 10:00.  I must have been doing pretty good because my time at 6 miles was 54 minutes!  When it got to around mile 8 it starts to get harder, there are some big hills that you can see a long way out, so a lot of it was kind of gearing up to get up the hills.  I just didn’t stop and tried to push it on the hills and using the downhill to regain my breathing while still going faster than my normal pace.  Basically my whole strategy was just to not stop at all and just push it :lol:   That’s what I did!  The last few miles I was just trying to pass as many people as I could.  I did line up around the 2:30 pacer, so there was a lot of room to pass for me finishing in 2:04:12.  My best half marathon race time before this was 2:19:41!!  There weren’t very many runners this year, just over 1100, and I finished 375th overall, 38th in my class, and 180th in my gender overall.

I think that the Boot Camp classes have really done something for my conditioning?!  Who knows.  I am just still amazed and so happy about how I did :D  It is a beautiful and fun race, and you get beer afterward, that is always a plus!

Good and easy chicken stock

Usually when we buy chicken we get the Coleman organic brand from Costco.  They come in twos, and are normally around $25, so I want to get all I can out of them!  It is super easy to break down your own chicken, if you aren’t already, you should google it and find a good tutorial that makes sense for you.  Buying chicken this way makes it so much cheaper, and once you get the hang of cutting it up, it is so worth it.  On to the chicken stock!

I’ve read a bunch of recipes online and the way I do it is pretty much based off of Ruhlman’s, except I do mine with raw chicken.  I buy the chicken in twos and usually cut them up in twos.  We end up making oven chicken with loads of onion and garlic with all of the legs and thighs.  I package the breasts and wings up and freeze them.  We wait until we have a good amount of wings to cook those, and usually the breasts get marinated and grilled or used for stir-fries and such.  Anyway!  I end up with two carcasses and the wing tips for my stock.  Here’s how I make it.  It might not be the ‘right’ way, but I like how it turns out, and, its’ easy.

Good and Easy Chicken Stock

  • 2 raw chicken carcasses with wing tips
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • About 5 1/5 quarts water

Heat the oil in your stock pot, add the chicken carcasses and wing tips and sear on all sides.  Remove the chicken and add the vegetables.  You should have quite a bit of good brown bits in the pan, the veggies will cook and soak them all up!  When you have gotten all of the brown bits up, add the garlic and cook for a minute.  Then add the chicken parts back in and cover it all up with water.  Add the peppercorns and bay leaves and cook at a low simmer without the bubbles breaking the surface for 4-6 hours.

At this point I fill the sink with ice and water and stick the pan in there so I can get it to cool down faster, stirring occasionally.  I pull out what I can of the carcass, it will be hard to get at it since it will have softened up.  I pick all of the meat off and use that for chicken and noodles or whatever.  It won’t be super flavorful but it is still good, and I don’t want to waste it!  Then I line my colander with a flour sack towel (you can reuse these, just rinse out well and wash with your dish towels) and strain the stock.  You can squeeze a good amount of goodness out of that, so do it!!

I won’t use all that this makes up at once, so I fill up my freezer containers and save it for another day.  This last batch made almost 5 quarts of stock!

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Not pretty chicken

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Veggies picking up the brown bits

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All the goodies in the pot

If you haven’t made your own chicken stock yet, you should do it!  It’s super easy and delicious.  Plus it’s just cool :)

Good chicken stock!

Good chicken stock!

 

A Day Off

I am going to start working on Sundays so I’ll be having one of my days off on Thursdays.  All to myself!!  What to do…..

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Ricotta blueberry muffins (to be fair M and I made these before she went to school)

Screen shot 2013-10-03 at 2.10.54 PM

Run

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Flour

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Bread – it’s been a while!

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Goofing off

Topped off with Boot Camp, dinner – Salmon with bbq glaze, sauteed kale and onions, and roasted potatoes – and a chilly walk with M.  Not a bad day at all :D