Food Budget Week 1

The budget is $125, and we definitely went over this week. We spent $177.09! We bought quite a few convenience foods and other random things that we didn’t need. Have to stop doing that.

This week we also made kind of an inventory list of things we have in the freezer and pantry. Hoping that will help to keep necessary purchases down and get stuff used up.

Here is what we bought:


  • 2 honey crisp apples $2.58 – expensive but last time I had one was in Seattle and I couldn’t resist
  • Organic bulk carrots $.75
  • 2 cloves garlic $1.38
  • Parsley, chives, and dill $7.36 – bought these to make homemade ranch dressing
  • Organic baby kale for salads $2.50
  • Organic romaine hearts $2.49
  • Onions $3.08
  • 4 pounds navel oranges $2.99
  • Organic salad mix $2.50


  • Cocoa powder $2.99
  • Buttermilk $4.49
  • Heavy cream $4.29
  • 1/2 gallon milk $3.19
  • Fage yogurts $10 – they were 10/$10
  • 1 1/2 dozen eggs $3.39
  • Turkey lunchmeat $6.59
  • Chia seeds $9.99 – this was one of those random did-not-need items :lol:
  • 2 bottles sweet and korean chile sauces $5.78
  • 4 cans coconut milk $8.00
  • Boxed coconut milk (for smoothies and such) $10.99
  • Honey $10.99
  • Mayo $4.39
  • Mustard $3.79
  • Costco organic olive oil $14.99
  • 4 bags organic popcorn $9.96
  • Jasmine rice $3.19
  • TJ’s verde salsa/sauce $199
  • Tamari $3.99
  • Case of tomato paste $6.69
  • Caveman bars $17.99 – another unnecessary buy
  • Pumpkin flax granola $7.79

I’ve made a meal plan this week based off of what we already have, and I’m determined to stick to it, or at least stay very close to it. We didn’t use much of the produce we bought so we shouldn’t even have to get much of that. What I have jotted down for the meal plan:

Lemon glazed turkey meatballs

Crispy beef/vaca frita

Fish tacos with mahi mahi

Colombian roast chicken


I’m going to try to just buy what we need for these recipes, and it shouldn’t be much. Got to save a little to make up for overspending so much this week!



Chicken soup with a twist

This is something I made this week that turned out really good, so I thought I’d share. I was craving some soup and this really hit the spot. I used leeks because I had them, but you could just as easily use an onion instead.

Chicken, corn, chard, and potato soup

  • 1 large chicken breast, cut into small pieces
  • 2 leeks sliced thin or 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 bunch swiss chard, stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 4-5 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 -2 T olive oil or bacon grease (I use grease when I can)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Saute the chicken in 1 T oil until it is no longer pink and just beginning to brown, remove from pot. Add another T oil and the leeks or onion, cook on medium low heat for 10 minutes. Add the potatoes, corn, and garlic, cooking for a few minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer for 25 minutes. Add the chard and simmer for another 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the cream, and serve.

I had a bowl and a half for dinner with a buttered ciabatta roll for dipping and it was so satisfying!! This soup would be so pretty with red bell pepper added too :)

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/404/29380722/files/2015/01/img_0015.jpgWe were also playing a pretty good game of Killer Bunnies with dinner too :lol:


December Goals

  • Finish the Wayfarer shawl, once and for all!  I bought another skein of yarn, it’s all wound up, and I just need to get going on it!  I really only have a few days worth of knitting to do.  There is no reason not to just get it done.
  • Keep not eating out.  We haven’t been out to eat since we swore it off in November and I’m not really wanting to start it back up.  We are spending too much on holiday stuff anyway, so not eating out will help :lol:
  • Lose 4 pounds.  I would say 5 but I’m being realistic here.  I’m going to keep up with my workouts, keep avoiding alcohol, and continue to count calories.
  • Up my running days to 5.  I’m not exactly sure how I’ll do this with my current schedule, I might have to shuffle some things around.  And my 5th day running will probably be just a mile!  It may not even work, but I will try it for a couple of weeks and see how it goes.
  • Clean up my crafting storage area downstairs.  It is a total disaster.  I’ll show you, you’ll be shocked :lol:
  • Start sewing something, the quilt I wanted to start on last month.

I guess that’s about it, and that’s probably enough!

My Week in Workouts

I nailed it on all of my workouts this week. I decided I’d try for an hour each workout and strength two times. I also added ‘finishers’ to my strength workouts. I even got outside for a chilly a.m run. I was super sore after the weights, but things feel like they are evening out now. For my finishers I’m using Jen Sinkler’s Lift Weights Faster. Here’s what I did:

Monday – I got outside for a run/walk. I did an hour total and I think I did intervals of 3 minutes running and 2 walking. I was able to go late morning and the weather was perfect!

Tuesday – Strength. I did machine squats, DB bench presses, DB Rows, 1 warmup set and 4 sets with 6 reps, heavier weights. After that I did the POGO Circuit – it included jumping jacks, squat thrusts, pushups and mountain climbers, among others. I went 10 minutes and it kicked my butt! I still had 10 minutes left so I walked on the treadmill to finish up.

Wednesday – Elliptical for 40 minutes and then an incline treadmill walk for 20 minutes while watching Netflix.

Thursday – Deadlifts, DB overhead press, Pulldowns, 5 sets including warmup, 6 reps, heavier weights. The finisher involved lots of planks and other core stuff. I was wiped after this one! Also walked on the treadmill 8 minutes to finish this one up.

Friday – Run for 37 minutes and then an incline treadmill walk for 15 minutes. I did the standard warmup before my run.

Saturday was a rest day!

Sunday – I did the standard warmup and then ran outside for 53 minutes and 5 miles. This one sucked. I felt like I was going in slow motion and couldn’t get my breathing to feel good. I took 2 walk breaks and ran mostly on the dirt/gravel trail. It was tough, but I’m glad I did it!

I’m switching it up this week so that my strength days are MWF, and I will do my best to get outside for a run on the other days. Saturday will be my rest day again.

This week’s meal plan plus easy baked tofu

We are halfway through the week but I thought I’d share the meal plan anyway, since it is one of my goals for this month to do it every week. This week’s focus has been trying to use up freezer stuff so we can get a meat CSA. It has been months since we got one, I think the last time was early summer! I’m excited for that :)

Sunday – Turkey burgers with salad. Trader Joe’s has frozen turkey burgers that are actually pretty good and pretty cheap too. I had mine with buffalo mayo and home canned pickles. I made tons of salad that night, enough for half a week of lunches probably.

Monday – I made an easy vegetable soup and just kind of threw a bunch of different stuff in there – carrots, purple cabbage, peppers, onion, potato, canned tomatoes and kidney beans. Plus I used up some frozen chicken stock. It was really tasty and there were lunch leftovers too. We bought a hunk of bread to have with it, and we also grabbed an organic rotisserie chicken from Harmon’s to try out. It was pretty good and will be a nice option to have occasionally when we need a quick dinner.

Tuesday – I needed to vote after work so we had to do a super quick dinner. I had already made baked tofu the day before so we just chopped up a bunch more veggies and threw together a stir-fry. We were supposed to have rice with it but someone other than me dropped the ball :lol: It ended up being really good! Just the kid didn’t like the tofu. But I’m not giving up yet.

Wednesday – We will have boxed macaroni amped up with veggies and hot dogs. Keepin’ it classy.

Thursday – Mahi Mahi burgers. This will be one more frozen thing used up. We’ll just have whatever veggies with it we feel like.

Friday – Vegetarian chili

Saturday – I took advantage of a buy 1 get 1 free sale on pork butt Saturday so we will be cooking up one of those. Probably mexican flavored for tacos.

We have been trying to like tofu for years now, though honestly we only try cooking it maybe once a year :lol: Every time has been a flop. We haven’t liked the texture or the taste. Why keep trying? I don’t know! But I finally tried baked tofu and K and I really liked it. This recipe is from The Moosewood Restaurant Cookbook by Mollie Katzen.

Easy Baked Tofu

One pound extra firm tofu
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup (I didn’t have enough ketchup so I used half hoisin sauce)

Cut the tofu into bite sized squares (I drained mine first). Spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle the sauce over the tofu and bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes until crispy, turning a few times during baking. Mine ended up cooking about 50 minutes because I crowded the pan.

I think when I make it again I’ll try just marinating it in a bag first and then baking, and see if that helps the flavor distribution, but it was pretty tasty as it was! I want to try it again and use it for salads or even just snacking. I’m still amazed that it was good and now we can eat tofu!

Business and November Goals

We have been busy around here! We just got back from an 8 day ‘vacation’ to Anaheim, California. We crammed as much as we possibly could into those 2 days, including driving both ways :/ We did Disneyland, Universal Studios, Knott’s Berry Farm, and Legoland! We walked about 70 miles in those 9 days :lol:

I should share pictures, and I might, if I get motivated to pull them onto my computer. I know, really exciting without pictures. It is what it is.

I haven’t been doing great with working out or eating well, and I’ve been indulging in too much alcohol – that’s what vacation is for?! Not really, yes I am aware of that. Anyway! I want to get back into a groove again. It seems so far away, so impossible, but I know that all I really need to do is just start doing it and it will become second nature again. Since we only have a few days left in this month I will just set some goals now for November.

The first would be to get back to exercising. I am not going for a lot, just strength 2 times and 4 shorter runs in a week. It should be fairly easy. And we got my treadmill fixed so I really have NO excuse!!

Another goal is to do more meal planning. We have been pretty good about it lately and it really does help with keeping the grocery bill down. So I want to make a meal plan every week and do the best we can to stick to it.

Eat as much home-prepared food as possible. I went to the store today and got a bunch of fresh produce and a few other things we needed, and the bill was about $60. We might have to go again this week but I’m sure we can keep it pretty low, using up stuff we already have on hand. I know that when I buy food from work or we go out to eat that it costs a lot more to eat. And to be honest, we are all kind of sick of eating out! So this means eating out less, and prepping at home more.

I am also making a goal to lose 5 pounds this month. If I get back into working out and eating well and drinking less, it should easily happen.

And in the other/life category, I want to start paying more on my car payment. My long term goal is to get it paid off in a year, and I owe about $11,000 right now. I just paid off my scooter today (YAY!) so I intend to keep on paying that same amount to my car. It will be about $500 extra a month on my car payment!

I also want to get back to putting cash into my HSA every month. I’m 3 months behind, so I’ll do my best to make a double deposit by the end of the month but we’ll see. I will at least get my minimum amount in there.

The next are crafting related. I want to start working on a quilt that I have all of the squares for, just never started it. My mom just gifted me with an amazing new machine so I better get using it! I will just dip my feet in for now, and maybe look at taking some lessons later on.

I am also working on the Wayfarer Shawl from Doomsday Knits and I really want to get it done. I’m on the second half, getting close to starting the border. If I work on it a little every day it will get done before I know it!

I suppose that is enough for now! I will try to update every week on my progress.

Scratch that

Ok, so I wasn’t really feeling the marathon idea after all. So, I’m changing course, yet again. I’ve decided to just do some half marathon programs until I DO really feel like I can train for a marathon again. I guess deep down I knew it wasn’t really a good idea, and I was really worried about getting hurt again. I feel kind of stupid for changing my mind so much, but I think it is the right thing to do.

So I am going to start with Hal Higdon’s Novice 1 program for a half. I did some weights yesterday and this morning I ran on the treadmill. Our treadmill was out of commission for months! We finally got a new deck and belt and put it all back together this past weekend. Running on it today reminded me of how much the treadmill sucks though :lol: Oh well. It will be nice to have it as an option when it gets freezing outside! My pace is always slower on the treadmill too – today’s was about 11:30. I started with a 1/4 mile walk and then ran 3 miles with a few walk breaks. That put me at about 40 minutes and I decided to just finish out an hour with walking. I did 4.5 miles total.

I am making it a goal to do ALL of the workouts in the program. Unless I am really sick or (knock on wood) injured, I am just going to get it done. I didn’t really feel like doing it this morning, or like doing weights yesterday, but I just did it, and I feel better for doing it. Go me!

Workouts #8 and #9

#8 was on Friday, I got an easy 2 miles in for 21 minutes and then did some weights. I was feeling kind of tired so I wasn’t really pushing hard, just getting it done. Here’s my weights, 2 sets of everything:

Single leg KB deadlifts 25#x10
Shoulder press 12#x12
Split squat with 8#db x 10
Pulldowns 80#x10
Quad curls 25#x12
Kickbacks 10#x10
Calf raises 20# on the machine x 15

I’m still trying to figure out what weights I should be using, so some of these were too easy. Hopefully I’ll get it all dialed in soon.

#9 was this morning’s run. I didn’t sleep great last night so I was pretty tired. I woke up too early but couldn’t go back to sleep so I just rested for a couple of hours. I got some things going in the kitchen, had a granola bar and coffee, and then headed out around 10:00. I did 4 miles total, with walk breaks after every mile. So when I was running I tried to keep my pace around 9:30. I did it in 39:22 which is pretty good for taking walk breaks. It was warm and humid which is always fun :/ Anyway, I’m glad I got it done! I haven’t been taking this whole thing very seriously, but I really want to get back on track and stop missing runs. So my goal is to just get them done and stop making excuses for not doing it!

#7, Easy 3

Today was an easy run. I basically just tried to pace myself to where I could still breath relatively easy and was never working too hard, except toward the end on an uphill. I live in a pretty hilly area, with some really big hills and a lot of small ones too. So it is rare that I am just running on a totally flat surface, unless I am out on the parkway. I just imagine that I am always getting a good workout in because of it :)

Anyway, I kept my pace even and when I finished I guessed that I had done a 10:30 pace overall, and I was right! 3 miles in 31:30. I do wear my Garmin on all of my runs but I try not to look at my pace or time until I’m done, makes it less stressful :lol: I’m happy with that pace, especially it being an easy run. I remember when I first started running, there were no easy paces. Before my run I did the Standard warmup and afterward I did some lunges and planks and a little stretching. I’m now caught up from missing my run on Tuesday! Tomorrow is 2 miles and weights, and hopefully since the mileage is so low I won’t be feeling any discomfort from running 3 days in a row. 2 is usually my limit.

It is still hot, and I am a sweaty mess. Time for a shower :/

Workout #6

I was supposed to do this yesterday but I slept in! So I’m getting it done today. I did a 3 mile run in 29 minutes for a 9:40 pace, which felt really tough, but I was happy to get it done under 30:00. And why in the hell is so still so hot?! Ugh. It will be nice when it starts to cool down finally.

Here’s what I did for weights, 2 sets of everything:

Squats 50# x 12
Pushups 10
Reverse Lunge 12#DB x 12
DB Row 25# x 10
Step-ups 10#DB x 12
Bicep curls 10# x 12
Hamstring curls 15# x 12

Not really heavy/too hard but that’s what I’m going for right now. It felt like a good workout and that’s all that matters!