Becoming a Beef Expert

When I got back to my hotel room after dinner Friday night, there was a big canvas swag bag that among other things, had a yoga mat.  There was an optional one hour yoga session from 7:30 to 8:30 before breakfast.

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I saw a yoga studio the day before when I worked out so I just assumed that’s where it was going to be.  When I got down there exactly at 7:30, I was shocked to find only one other person there!  We waited 10 minutes, and then finally realized that we were in the wrong place.  So our hour of yoga turned into 45 minutes of yoga, but it was still tough.

The weird part?  The yoga instructor was touchy feely.  I don’t have that much experience with yoga, so at one point we were in child’s pose and all of a sudden I see feet on either side of my mat and she started moving my hips and massaging my shoulders!  Is that normal?!  Ha!

A quick shower and change of clothes and I was at the Rooftop Deck for our private breakfast. 


They had assorted muffins, fresh fruit, granola, and beef and sweet potato breakfast burritos.   Holy cow, were these good!  They knew I was coming because there were tiny bottles of Tabasco!

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This recipe is on their website here – and here’s a better picture of it from their website.  The meat was super tender and I loved the slightly sweet balance from the sweet potato.  Of course, I had to pick off some onions, what else is new.

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We then had two guest speakers before heading to lunch.  One topic was “Lifestyling: Styling your Life and Inspiring Others” and the second one was “13 Lessons I’ve Learned in 30 Years as a Mommy RD.”

The second topic wasn’t as appropo to me, because it talked about nutrition in school lunches – although she did have great distain for Jamie Oliver and how he tried to recreate the American school lunch with fresher ingredients.  Sadly, most school districts have to feed 500 kids on about $1.25 per person – you just can’t get that price point solely on fresh, unprocessed foods.  I liked this slide too:

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It’s completely true – you don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.  I think Tony and I do a pretty good job avoiding processed food.  Well, until we have fish stick tacos!

We then met Chef Dave Zino for a cooking demonstration and lunch.  First course?  Tiny grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup.  Heaven!

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We also had a Thai beef salad – my keen senses removed the purple onions.

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We learned about the different cuts of beef and how they are best prepared.  We also learned about beef flavor – I never really knew that different cuts of beef have more flavor – think that flavor moves front to back – the chuck and rib are very rich with beef flavor, the loin and sirloin have moderate flavor and the round has mild beef flavor.

Dave made three dishes – here are two of them – a ginger Asian beef kabob served over orzo, and a classic stir fry:

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And dessert were macaroons – yep, insulin worthy – I had one.  So flakey and tender.

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And before I knew it, it was time to go to our last stop:  The Chopping Block!  Hands down my favorite part of the whole weekend – the last and final recap will be tomorrow.

I think I must be on a breakfast burrito/breakfast taco kick because yet again, I had a breakfast burrito (with a tiny bit of hot sauce) and a lemon Chobani for breakfast.

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Oh man.  I am so happy I finally found the lemon Chobani – so good!  So tart, but slightly sweet.  I cannot wait to make lemon poppy seed muffins using this yogurt.

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We had a work luncheon – one of my co-workers is getting married in a week and a half.  We ended up having a pizza party.  Um, I think you guys know how I feel about pizza.  #icouldeatiteverydayandnevergetsickofit.

So after my overindulgence in the alcohol department the night before, I knew I had to be in control – not the pizza!

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Here is a tip.  If you ever order deep dish pizza, don’t have them cut it at the restaurant if you take it out or have it delivered.  The cheese and sauce will be a complete mess by the time you get it.  I brought my pizza cutter from home.  The crust was still crisp tender – look at that crust!

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I was good! My plate:

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And I didn’t eat any of the chocolate mouse torte cake – but everyone gave it rave reviews.  I actually bought it at a Jewel bakery!

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It was a nice luncheon, and between setting up, eating and then cleaning up, took a good two hour chunk out of the day. Open-mouthed smile

I had chicken marsala on the menu last night.  Chicken breast prices this past week were crazy, so I ended up buying a small package of chicken tenders for $3.  Instead of cooking two chicken breasts for each of us, I diced up 8 ounces of chicken for the two of us.  I used my tried and true chicken marsala for two recipe.  If you’ve never worked with Marsala wine, it’s in the vinegar aisle.  There are some Marsala wines that can cost up to $20, but this is Marsala cooking wine – this bottle cost $2.89.

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Chicken marsala is one of Tony’s favorite dinners.  Pure comfort in a bowl!

Well you guys, I have to admit that I am missing my Insanity at night.  So far all the alternatives I’ve used don’t push me or feel like I am working out as hard, so last night I dove back in and did 40 minutes of Pure Cardio.  Sadly, in the three weeks I haven’t done it, I’ve lost some of my stamina – I did about 90% of the workout.  Giant sweaty pics!!

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So as much as Shaun T and Tania drive me nuts sometimes, until I find another alternative (who is going to send me the new T25?!  Kidding!), I am going back to Insanity.

Stats for the Day:

  • 1967 calories (includes unpictured granola and apple/caramel dip snack)
  • 284 carbs (wholly bat shit that’s high!), 121 protein (nice) 42 grams of fiber (nicer!) and 39 grams of fat (nicest!)
  • 18$ of calories from fat, 24% from protein and 56% from carbs

Thanks to everyone on my Healthy for the Holidays FB page (still not too late to join – friend request me!  Beth Hills Velatini) for telling me to shake it off about my beer/wine consumption.  It put it into perspective, that one night doesn’t define how well I’ve been doing. 

I had to laugh at Debbi’s comment though!  Thanks Debbi!

Next time you drink unplanned alcohol, I’m coming over and putting onions on all your food for the day. Think about that next time you reach for a beer. Tough love, baby!

Make it a great day!


44 thoughts on “Becoming a Beef Expert

  1. I’d like to figure out how to get invited to a weekend like that Biz! Maybe I should become a food blogger? LOL.

    So, you know I have been doing T25 and here’s my opinon of it: boring as hell. Not my thing at all. Some of them are way too easy and one is so hard even Mr. Helen said he probably couldn’t do it – and he’s a much stronger/better athlete than me. He also said he thought some of the moves were sort of dangerous. So, not my thing I guess.

    • I have no idea how I got picked for this event Helen, but I am just lucky! Thanks for the heads up on T25. I ended up doing Insanity last night with the sound off and it wasn’t too bad!

  2. Way to stick to your guns and go back to Insanity. Do what works for you and what you like! Otherwise, you’ll just fall off the boat. Great job!

  3. I did yoga for about a year. Usually the instructor asks if they can touch you, then they re-arrange you to be in a more proper position. This weekend sounds so fun and I love all the pictures. And I’m just crazy about those tiny condiment bottles, ketchup, tabasco, etc. Way to go back to Shaun T. You do feel a sense of accomplishment once you’re finished. It IS a good workout.

    • I probably missed that because me and the other woman were late – I was glad that it just wasn’t me she adjusted! Yep, we are Insanity buddies again! 😀

  4. Oh my, all that food looks absolutely heavenly…I’m drooling!

  5. I know right?? I’d love to get T25 or Insanity, but since I can’t even find the time to pop in Jillian or P90X, that I already own, I just can’t justify the expense.

  6. Hey – I love your blog! I really look forward to reading it every morning. You actually inspired me to get back to working out in the evenings after dinner instead of sitting on the couch (and to limit my wine during the week). I tend to bookmark only the blogs where people are losing weight while eating real food (so few of them), I can’t stand freakin’ overnight-oatmeal-in-empty almond/peanut-butter-jar people!!!

    I’ve never done Insanity workouts so I don’t know how they would compare, but have you tried Bob Harper’s DVD’s? They kick my butt and they are only around $5 each on his website. I don’t think a lot of people buy them because he seems like the easier trainer on Biggest Loser, but his workouts are tough! Even the very fit people in his workouts have to stop at times (usually the men). And he’s not annoying (to me) which helps.

    Just thought I’d give you my 2 cents for the day!

    • Ha, I had to laugh about the overnight oats in an a jar – it drives me crazy too. And kale chips!! I like real food, real cheese, etc., and you can lose weight and eat real food.

      You know, I’ve seen those BL DVD’s at the library – totally going to check that out over the weekend. Thanks for your 2 cents. 😀

  7. All that food looks so good–especially the mini grilled cheese and tomato soup!! I love the Julia Child quote too… so true!

    • Tony doesn’t like tomato soup at all. He once dated a girl that wanted to make him an “Italian dinner.” All she did was cook pasta, then heat up a can of tomato soup and ladled that over the cooked pasta and served it – he nearly gagged!

  8. Insanity is definitely your soulmate workout, you should totally keep doing it 🙂 I had chicken marsala for the first time last month (I know) and I was in love right away. So good!

  9. As usual, the food looks wonderful! I’ve enjoyed a few macarons myself 🙂 I’ve got to try that lemon chobani too. I’m a plain Fage girl, but a little lemon sounds nice and refreshing! On another note – which of your grocery stores is the one with the $1 deals on produce? Have a beautiful day – enjoy this spectacular weather! Colder days are coming…

    • OMG, find the lemon, you will thank me later! This is the store I shop at mostly. The $1 rack is by the produce section – it’s hit or miss, you never know what will be on it!

      This weather has been so awesome – I agree! Sadly, we’ll probably have snow by Halloween. 😦

      • Thanks! – I’ll have to check out that store next time I’m down that way. That’s a vacation day for me – groceries and kitchen stores 🙂 I’ve heard there’s a grocery store in the Cincinnati area called Jungle Jim’s that’s like an amusement park – road trip!

  10. My son loves the lemon Chobani. So the second speaker, did she not approve of Jamie Oliver’s message? I don’t know much about what he hoped to accomplish, but I know that nutrition in schools and hospitals is severely lacking. I get that it comes down to money, but the serious health issues facing this nation cost a whole lot more than fresh ingredients. I wish I could channel my feelings into helping to find a solution when it comes to the food served on my unit at the hospital. I frequently see patients gain weight during short stays on the unit.

    If you find something that works for you stick with it. Sounds like Insanity is it. Mute the sound and play your own music if you know the workout well.

    The macarons look delicious!

    • I think her point was that Jamie Oliver went into a West Virginia school, that had limited funds to begin with and just thought that by serving healthier foods, the kids would gravitate for it – I haven’t seen the documentary, but I think that most of the kids threw out the healthy stuff and went back to their pizza lunches, because that’s what they had at home too.

      I am with you on hospital food. When Tony was hospitalized I tried to bring my own food in, but that didn’t always work. The salad bar was okay – but the hot meals were so high in calories – one panini sandwich looked good, so I got it – it said it was 450 calories, and I thought that wasn’t bad. It wasn’t until the next day I realized the nutrition stats were for HALF of the sandwich!

  11. WOW – I just caught up on your blog. YOU are BIZZY, WOMAN!!!! The conference sounds great. I had a touchy feely yoga person once and it just gave me the creeps. I have since found a better yoga teacher and sometimes even cue it up on the ol comcast ON DEMAND. And one final note…..I think its time for xfit ms. biz!!!! LOL

  12. Haha, that yoga instructor would have freaked me out!! I have never had that happen in a yoga class! 🙂
    Love all those beef dishes – yum! 🙂

  13. I’m laughing about the yoga – no, no one has massaged me in a yoga class!
    And the rooftop deck – wow. Perfection. I’d love to be there now sipping a glass of champagne…..

  14. wowsers! they sure did treat you like royalty!!! See now, that instructor probably just wanted to feel your extra firm body girl…gotta stop working it so hard! JK…keep up the good work, of course!

  15. Loving these updates on your delicious beefy weekend. I’ve never had a macaron but they are on my bucket list to make. And that chicken marsala sounds good and when I clicked for the recipe I was reminded about your outdoor pets. Have Kyle and Mo been around lately? Our squirrel is now so tame he will follow you around the yard until you give him food and will eat from your hand!

  16. That roof top terrace is incredible!!!
    Hooray for going back to Insanity!! I could send you Insanity Asylum to borrow – it would be a change (no Tania). I agree with the comment above about the Bob Harper DVDs – the Inside-Out (I think that’s what they are called) ones are HARD!!!

  17. OOh those sweet potato and beef breakfast tacos look awesome – I could do that (still on my anti-egg kick). Plus that Thai salad and stir-fry looks incredible, too.

    I wish I would have thought of the onion thing for overdoing the wine/beer. Such a good idea! I had a donut this morning – not sure why, cuz I normally don’t even like them. Blargh; going to the gym in the morning again!

  18. Wow-what a rooftop. And i totally love breakfast burritos. But you are doing great. I love the way you post your meal statistics. Sometimes it is hard to believe. Do you measure portions or just guess. Curious! Now i have to figure out how to get to facebook!

    • Abbe, I am a food scale and measuring cup/spoon person. If I were to guess what a cup of chili would be, it would probably be 3 cups!

      I’ve been using for my food log and the recipe builder is amazing. You just type in the ingredients, tell it how many servings, and bam – nutritional label. At the end of the day I can analyze my day – and that’s where I see what my “grade” was for the day, and what I was low or high on.

      Turns out I am routinely high in cholesterol and sodium – thank goodness I take cholesterol medicine!

      What, you aren’t on Facebook yet?? Maybe my Healthy for the Holidays will spur you to set it up!

  19. LOVE the sweaty pics!!!! 🙂

    As far as the yoga class goes, adjustments or little massages are often a part of a yoga class, but it definitely takes some getting used to. Often the instructor will mention at the beginning of class that he/she will be doing adjustments and even tell people that they can opt out of being touched.

    Looking forward to the next sweaty pics! 🙂

  20. Okay now I am a little nervous. I signed up for a trail yoga class this Saturday. You made me laugh and I thought of the “touchy feely” yoga instructor on the movie couples retreat. Macaroons always look so pretty. The few I have tried were dry and bland those look awesome! I like the tiny bottle of hot sauce but I have a feeling you found a couple of extras. (that one teeny bottle would barely cover a couple of bites).

    • I actually did not swipe any of the tiny bottles and am now kicking myself because I didn’t think of it! My Mom did a trade show in New Orleans one time and gave me their leftovers of like 100 tiny bottles of those Tabasco sauces, I added one to my lunch for over 3 months!

  21. In some yoga classes, they will adjust you so that you are in the right pose, some will massage or put pressure so you can go deeper in the pose. However, they usually announce that up front and say that if you aren’t comfortable with it to just say so!

    As for Chicago-style pizza, that one looks good! Last year, we went to Gino’s East when we were in town and I wasn’t impressed. I love deep dish, and I loooooove tomatoes, so what’s my deal? Maybe it’s just not for me? I just double-checked my post. I guess it was just a little bland over all and Wisconsin-girl wanted more cheese. How does Georgio’s compare? I also belong to the #icouldeatiteverydayandnevergetsickofit Club. 😉

  22. Weighting For 50

    What a great recap Vat! Of a great weekend! I don’t mind when yoga instructors move me into poses. Like Carrie, the instructors I’ve had ALWAYS say “I may move you, and if you don’t want that, just say no, or fold over the corner of your mat so I don’t even approach”. To just jump on and touch? Hmm..maybe not. I would very much like to sit on that terrace with a glass of wine….and you! The laughter we’d share would be heard right across the city. 🙂 Have a great Friday

  23. What a great place for breakfast: I love it.
    I’ve done yoga in the past and the only time the teacher touched me was to correct my pose.

    Maybe you would like Turbofire, it’s kind of body combat/tae bo. It’s high intensity cardio and also from Beachbody. It gives me a good sweat when I do one of the workouts.

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