Almost Meatless Monday

I have been loving taking the back roads to work lately.  There is still traffic, but it keeps moving so the 30 minute drive doesn’t seem as long.  Yesterday morning was gorgeous!  I actually took these pictures while driving – but I didn’t look at the phone, I just took like 10 pictures and there were the only two that worked out. Open-mouthed smile

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I’ve seen Meatless Monday around the blog world for quite some time, but really never gave it a thought because, well, Tony and I like meat.  And while I talk about having fish or seafood once a week, I never really follow through with it, because I am not really a fan.  Well, the seafood I like is expensive – so if you could make some calls and make Chilean Sea Bass and crab legs $5 a pound, I would appreciate it!

I had baked a couple extra baked potatoes over the weekend.  I made another breakfast baked potato – 4 ounces of potato – scoop out the potato and scramble with 1 egg, 2 ounces deli ham (see, I could have left the ham out for a completely meatless Monday!) and then topped with 1/2 ounce cheddar cheese.  I assembled the potato at home, then just put it in the broiler of the toaster oven when I got to work.

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Yesterday marked Week 3 of the 12 Week Body Building Program.  The first two weeks were identical workouts – so I was happy that week three brought in some new exercises.

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Since it was all legs, I warmed up with 10 minutes on the stair master.

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The hardest workout above?  The single-leg barbell deadlift.  Holy bat shit that was hard.

I really feel that in my quads and hamstrings today.  So with the 10 minutes on the stair master, the 30 minutes of legs, and ending with 5 minutes of stretching, it was a great 45 minute lunch workout.

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Sadly, on the way to my locker, I realized one fatal mistake.  I locked the key to my locker inside my locker.  I was so concerned that I had my iPhone for music, headphones, workout paper, pen . . .I forgot the key.

I went to the front desk and we went to find maintenance, only to find out that they were all out to lunch.  I asked her if she had a tool I could use, and she found a pair of bolt cutters in the maintenance room.  She tried for about a minute, but it wasn’t budging at all.  I asked if I could try.  I pretended it was like doing flys, so I quickly squeezed 10 times and bam, I cut through the lock. 

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Note to self – maybe I should buy a combination lock.  It’s all this practicing for the gun show that gave me the strength to cut through steel.  Ha!

While menu planning this past weekend, I saw that I had a package of barley that I bought.  Other than beef and barley soup, I don’t think I’ve ever had barley before, definitely not by itself.  So I googled “barley recipes” and found Eating Well’s recipe for Bean and Barley Chili.

I adapted it somewhat – I used black beans instead of pinto beans, left out the onions, duh, and while they called for rehydrating dried chiles, I used one chipotle chili in adobo.  I made the mistake of using dried black beans, and even though I quick soaked them by boiling them and simmering for an hour before adding them to the chili, they were still a little, let’s say, “toothsome” but after reheating it for lunch for 5 minutes, the beans were finally soft.  I also doubled the amount of barley.

Black Bean and Barley Chili

  • makes 10 – 1 cup servings
  • 330 calories, 4 fat, 56 carbs, 14 protein, a whopping 16 grams of fiber


  • 2 cups canned black beans
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 6 cups of water
  • 1 chipotle chili in adobo
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 28 ounce can chopped tomatoes (or tomato puree)
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • pinch of sugar

Heat oil over medium high heat.  Add in carrots and celery and cook for about 5 minutes.  Add in garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.  Add everything but the barley and reduce to simmer for 30 minutes.  At this point, it will still be really soupy – I didn’t even think it would turn out into a chili, but after adding the barley, the chili thickened up beautifully.  Once you add the barley, simmer for 30-45 minutes until the barley is cooked through and the chili thickens.

I have a measuring cup at work too – otherwise my one cup portion could easily be two cups!

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I had an ounce of homemade tortilla chips on the side – I love to make individual dippers with chili – of course liberally sprinkled with hot sauce – the perfect bite:

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I have a feeling this chili will freeze well too, since Tony won’t eat it – he’s not a fan of the black beans.

When I got home from work I asked Tony what he felt like – I started to ramble off the dinners I had planned for the week when he stopped me at fish tacos.  Yum!  Well, not authentic fish tacos – we cheat and use fish sticks.  I bought a brand that said “xtra large sticks!”

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Xtra large my ass!  Six sticks were 210 calories, so we each had 3 sticks per taco.  We split an avocado – so each of us had 1/4 of an mashed avocado on the bottom, lettuce tomato, fish sticks, cheese and I had my tomatillo salsa.

Ready for a nice fluorescent picture of dinner? 

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These were excellent – I am not actually sure how much “fish” are in these fish tacos, but they were tasty. 

So when I was contemplating my last week of exercise, I kind of felt like I was going through the motions – my lunch time strength workouts were fine, but I think I am getting burned out on Insanity.  I have done these workouts so many times that I can literally say exactly what Shaun T says before he even says it.

I’ve been listening to 8 tracks while working out and used “motivation” as my search – I’ve been listening to Eric Thomas, a motivational speaker.

Today is October 1.  I have a goal to be 150 pounds by December 31.  The only way I am going to get there is to work hard.  I can’t think about the things I want to do to get there, I have to do the things I want to do to get there. 

So I think I am going to shake up my night time routine.  I have dozens of exercise videos from Tae Bo (thanks Helen!), to Shape, to Boot Camp, Biggest Loser, etc.   I will still probably do the longer versions of Insanity over the weekend, but I think its time for a change.

So it was a farewell last night while I did the 41 minute plyo routine.  I gave it 120% – kept up the pace with Shaun T the whole time and really pushed myself.  Go big or go home.

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What are your goals through the end of the year?  This is the toughest season to lose weight – basically from Halloween through Christmas there will be dozens of distraction that will try to get in my way, but I am not going to let it. 

I can do this.  I will do this.  Who’s with me?  I want to start a private group on Facebook if you want to join me  – just a place we can go to cheer each other on – provide support, feed back, a place to vent.  (first I need to figure out how to do that!) so I will post the link tomorrow to join me.

Stats for the Day:

  • 1287 calories, 148 carbs, 71 protein, 24 fiber, 47 fat
  • 32% of calories from fat, 21% from protein and 45% from carbs
  • Calorie Count grade for the day B
  • 45 minute lunch time strength/stairmaster/stretch
  • 41 minute Plyo Insanity after dinner

My game face is on . . . is yours?  Make it a great day!


49 thoughts on “Almost Meatless Monday

  1. GURL……………get me in on that private group!!!!! 😀 WHOO HOO!

  2. Hi Biz…I would be very interested in joining the private group as well. I belong to a couple of fitness groups on Facebook and they are full of tons of great ideas and motivation. It’s so nice to find a like-minded group of folks to share the trials & tribulations of fitness with. Great idea!!!!

  3. I wondered about those “extra large” fish sticks. Those marketing people really try to entice us. I never really noticed unitl you pointed it out that you don’t seem to eat much seafood. I LOVE me some seafood. Shrimp…yum, Mahi…yum, Tilapia…yum, crab…yum!

  4. Love the photos from your drive! And count me in on your FB group!

  5. I wondered how the Insanity was going. I can never do more than the 60 days at a time without having to take a break from it!! I’ve never tried barley but should – I’ve heard it’s very filling!! We don’t do meatless Monday (or Tuesday, Wednesday…) either – 3 boys in the house require meat!!!

    • Yeah, I am pretty much done for it for at least the month of October – I am going to the library on Friday to get some more DVDs to keep it interesting!

  6. In order to stick with a healthy lifestyle for the long haul, I think you DO have to change things up to keep yourself motivated and interested; good on ya for reevaluating and moving forward!

  7. I’m in!! 🙂

  8. oh man!!! Glad you got the locker open- yah muscles! That chili sounds amazing- MAKING it

  9. Catching up on blogs and when I read in your last post that you’ve been feeling like you were just going through the motions with your workouts my thought was “she’s bored.” Besides switching up what you are doing, you could have a couple evenings a week where you just know you get to go home and not workout. Things like that help with motivation and as you know, if you control your food you will still lose weight. It’s all about changing things up as necessary to be able to keep on until you make your goal!

  10. You are doing awesome! I am impressed. I am also bored with my workouts, which are…walking. That’s all I have time for.

    I can highly recommend P90X if you can get your hands on it. I haven’t done it in a couple of years (kids won’t let me have peace!) I also really like Jillian Michaels’ DVDs.

  11. That chili looks incredible! I am happy the Vegas temps are finally starting to cool so I can my chili on! 🙂

  12. Okay….I’m in…I need some kind of motivation, with winter coming don’t want to gain another 5 lbs!!! I have lots of excercise videos that I could play also, but do I??? No. 😦 That barley soup sounds good, must try. Those pictures on the way to work are gorgeous!!

  13. count me in on the FB page. I’m proud to say I’m into the “rest” week of Insanity. I’m a little scared of the Max stuff to come, but I’m determined to finish. I love looking at my calendar and seeing how many days are marked off. I’m already getting bored with Shaun T so you must be too. BTW, I’d be interested in your 12 week strength program. I do Insanity in the a.m.’s but need to do something in the PM’s to keep building.

    • Here is the link to the strength training program I am doing – today is Week 3 day 3 – I notice that I have more exercises this week, with less reps, still takes me about 30 minutes though. 😀

      Welcome to the group!

  14. Only you could make a fish stick look delicious! lol And yes, I would love to join the group! I started back to Weight Watchers this month & really want to get back down to my 150 lifetime goal! I need all the motivation & encouragement I can get! lol
    Have a great day! 😀

  15. Gorgeous photos from your drive to work! 🙂
    Loving the idea of using fish sticks in fish tacos…I need to try that! 🙂

  16. Biz, you are so dedicated I know you will be able to reach your goal! Sending positive vibes!

  17. The chili sounds great. I love barley, but unfortunately can’t eat it anymore since it has gluten. Otherwise I would make this.

    I’m planning to do another cleanse in November to clean up my eating a bit before the holidays. I am also putting a more organized strength training program together. I love the idea of the FB group to support each other!

  18. That chili looks/sounds great! I think I’d like the FB group. I have a long way to go, but any kind of helpful hints and motivation are always helpful. Hope you enjoyed this beautiful day!

  19. I have not had a fish stick in years! I used to love them. And that idea you have is a good one. That isn’t a great time to lose weight but even maintaining would be a great thing! Don’t ya know?

  20. findingradiance

    Changing it up really can help you stick with it! I can’t imagine doing the insanity for that many days. I think I would go nuts LOL!
    I am starting to think about how I have to revamp my eating because the weather is going to make biking outside impossible soon enough.

  21. Digging the barley in your chili. We’re getting closer to chilly weather too, so this would be great to make.

  22. You look fantastic! I love the potato for breakfast idea, I think my family would too. I also like the plate that it is on, what pattern is it? So cute! That is awesome strength to break that lock like that- wow!!

    • It’s just flower on the plate – a random one I bought at a garage sale and stash at work. Yep, pretty soon I’ll be handing out tickets to the gun show! Hugs Robin! 😀

  23. You already invited me to the group: thank you for that, great idea! At least my “luck” at the end of this year is that we don’t celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving 🙂 Christmas time is hard enough already.

    I think it’s a great idea to mix things up. You have done so fantastic on Insanity but I understand you get burned out by doing it day after day. That’s the reason I don’t follow the programs completely but mix everything up. I might not get the same results but I never get bored. I have made a list with all the DVD’s I own and the workouts that are on them and then mixed them in the list and work through the list. Everytime I do a DVD I pick the workout on top of the list and move it to the bottom when I’m done. I have so many workouts right now that I have almost a year of workouts and never do the same 🙂

  24. I love making fish tacos with frozen fish planks – like the sticks but just bigger. So good! Here’s a quick recipe for them made with tilapia – healthier and stilll, so good!

  25. Ohhhh look at you, wonder woman, opening your locker with bolt cutters!

    I love fish tacos. Too bad I hate fish sticks! Something to do with 18 years of Lent in my parent’s home… 😉 We talked about making chili this weekend; no beans, though! It’s been in the 80s here so far this week but is supposed to drop into the 30s by the weekend. Perfect chili weather!

  26. You can count me in too 🙂

  27. I have never thought about using fish sticks to make fish tacos! Seriously genius. I’m the only one who really likes fish tacos but my toddler son loves fish, so maybe we’ll be able come up with a meal when daddy is gone. Or maybe my husband likes fish sticks? I don’t even know, and we’ve been together for about 9 years!

    Barley can make a good breakfast similar to porridge, but I’ve got oatmeal on the brain! I’ve also got some barley salads bookmarked, along with barley “risotto”.

  28. […] was more . . . black bean and barley chili!  I’ve frozen the rest for later.  This time I had cucumber “dippers” for my […]

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