Please send me your Muffin Recipes!

Tony doesn’t like to eat breakfast.  Like hardly ever.  On the weekends its usually closer to noon before he eats, and there is a fine window of when breakfast is no longer appropriate.  You will never find Tony eating breakfast for dinner unless he’s had a stroke, can’t speak and I’ve dressed us in matching jackets.

Muffins though?  Those are an anytime snack.  I had some really ripe bananas, and made him some banana muffins the night before last.  He tasted the batter (um, I’ve been known to leave out the sugar in muffins on more than one occasion!) and he liked it!

Until they came out of the oven and tasted them.  He said they had a weird aftertaste – the recipe called for 3 cups of flour to 4 teaspoons of baking soda which made 16 muffins – maybe the baking soda was too strong?  Well, I brought them to work and everyone like them, to which Tony said “people will eat free food at work if its been sitting by the coffee for three days.”  Touché.

So since I don’t bake that often, can you link or leave in the comments your tried and true muffin recipes?  I’d appreciate it!

So it was rise and shine yesterday!  I love taking the back roads – not a lot of traffic – and for the record, I was stopped in the road, not driving and taking a picture. Open-mouthed smile

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It was back and biceps on the strength training menu.  Check it out!

  • Wide-grip Lat Pulldown: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Underhand Cable Pulldown: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • One Arm Dumbbell Row: 3 sets of 15 reps, per arm
  • Exercise Ball Pull-in: 3 sets of 15 reps  
  • Seated Cable Row: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Jackknife on Bench: 3 sets of 15 reps  
  • Bent-Over Barbell Row: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Mountain Climber: 3 sets of 20 reps  
  • Standing Alternating Dumbbell Curl: 3 sets of 20 reps
  • Bench Dip: 3 sets of 12 reps  
  • Preacher Curl: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Narrow Push-Up: 3 sets of 12 reps 
  • Triceps Pushdown – rope attachment: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Mountain Climber: 3 sets of 20 reps  
  • Cable rope overhead triceps extension: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Air Bike: 3 sets of 25 reps

Cardio:

30-second sprints on treadmill; Level 8; 30 seconds on/30 off; 30 minutes total

Um, yeah – WITHOUT the cardio that routine took me 60 minutes!  It doesn’t seem like much, but 3 sets of 20 is a lot.  I ended up pushing the cardio to lunch.  Still smiling after 60 minutes though!

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Okay, see that pink underneath my diet coke shirt?  I got that from a company to promote workout gear, which then quickly went out of business.  I couldn’t even find the name of it, but I LOVE that shirt – it’s a tank, and it’s made by NUX.  For those of us who have, ahem, a muffin top, that shirt holds everything in, while I am doing weights, running, etc.  LOVE.

I had 1/2 a cup of granola before working out, then more jalapeno quiche for breakfast with Chobani and fruit later in the morning.

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I was super busy at work yesterday, which I love.  It makes the day go by so fast, and before I knew it, it was time to head back to the gym.  Now it said for cardio “8.0 mph – 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off.”   I took that as run 30 seconds at 8.0 (which is a 7:30 minute mile pace!) and then bring the pace down and walk the second 30 seconds and back and forth. 

Well, by the time that I ran 30 seconds at 8.0, then reduced the speed to 3.7 to recover, it was almost time to bring it back up to sprint!  So I ended up doing 1 minute at 8.0 and 1 minute at 3.7 for 30 minutes.

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With a cool down, I did 3 miles.  But what I thought about later in the afternoon is I think I am supposed to keep the speed at 8.0 the whole time, and then jump off for the 30 second rest?  It’s on tap again today, so I am going to try it – although the mileage won’t be as accurate since I am stepping off half the time!  Do you think that’s what it means 30 seconds on/off??

And the gym?  Completely empty.  Now is the calm before the January 1 storm!

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Since the muffins I made tasted like ass to Tony, I picked him up a blueberry muffin that they sell at the gym for $1 by the front desk.  I brought it to my desk and stuck it in my lunch bag to bring it home for him.

I ended up having a huge ass salad with leftover turkey cutlet from our sammies the night before.  Well, my lunch was mostly veggies with about 3 ounces of turkey and 303 calories. 

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About an hour after I ate I was so hungry!!  So, I took half of Tony’s blueberry muffin.  I have to admit, it was pretty good – I am calling half of it 200 calories.

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Now is the time I am getting two or three gift catalogs a day at work.  Some of them I just throw straight in the trash, but some I look through.  I saw this super cute snowman tree that would fit on your desk.  I texted the picture to Tony.

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Apparently he doesn’t feel the same way about snowmen as I do!

Dinner was quick and easy – Chicken Marsala for Two – except this time I cut up the chicken into bite size pieces, and I added a cup of broccoli to mine.  I just tossed the broccoli in the pasta water for the last two minutes.

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Alright, I am off the gym for chest/shoulders.  Fingers crossed it doesn’t take me an hour to get through it!

Stats for the Day:
  

  • 1674 calories, 200 carbs, 98 protein, 50 fat, 28 fiber
  • 26% of calories from fat, 23% from protein and 47% from carbs
  • A- grade on caloriecount.com
  • 60 minute back/biceps strength
  • 30 minute treadmill sprints

Make it a great day!

Jalapeno Popper Quiche

It’s funny how a whole weekend can fly by and I can’t seem to find the time to workout, when most workdays I work out 90 minutes a day!  After our super stormy weather Sunday and mild temps, it was back to reality – I left the house and it was 30 degrees.

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I just scanned through the workout the night before.  If I don’t know what the exercise is, I’ll watch the video so I know what I am doing and don’t have to waste time during the workout watching videos!

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Holy bat shit.  Yesterday was calves and quads and it took me 55 minutes to complete!

  • Leg Press: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Squat Jump: 3 sets of 15 reps
Working Set Active Rest:
  • Smith Machine Single-leg Split Squat 3 sets of 15 reps, per side
  • Jump rope: 3 sets of 1 minute
Superset:
  • Walking Barbell Lunge: 3 sets of 20 reps, 10 steps down, 10 back
  • Long Jump: 3 sets of 20 reps, 10 jumps down, 10 back
Superset:
  • Leg Extension: 3 sets of 20 reps
  • Lateral Bound (side-to-side single leg hops): 3 sets of 20 reps
  • Smith Machine Squat: 3 sets of 30 reps
Working Set Active Rest:
  • Standing Calf Raise: 3 sets of 20 reps
  • Jump rope: 3 sets of 1 minute
Working Set Active Rest:
  • Calf Press on Leg Press: 3 sets of 20 reps
  • Jump rope: 3 sets of 1 minute

Do you know how hard it is to go from a single legged squat straight to jump roping?!   And doing 60 squats on hand weights so that my heels were off the ground really made my quads shake by the end.

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This was intense for sure, but I ended up doing the whole thing.  I even made good time to the gym so I had a chance to take a 15 minute long shower before heading to work.

So I know a bunch of you are dying for the Jalapeno Popper Recipe – I wish I had come up with the idea, but I “borrowed” it from my sister who put it on Facebook last week.

I did make some changes, mostly to make it a bit more healthy – so here is my adaptation:

Biz’s Jalapeno Popper Quiche

  • 4 servings – each one: 247 calories, 12 fat, 14 carbs, 1.6 fiber and 19 protein

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces canned potatoes (about 1 can)
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 6 ounce plain greek yogurt (0% or 2%)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 cup egg beaters
  • 1/2 cup Cabot extra sharp shredded cheese
  • 1 zucchini, shredded
  • 2 jalapenos – one shredded and one sliced

Spray a pie plate with Pam.  Layer the cut canned potatoes to make a potato layer on the bottom of the pie pan.  With a stand mixer, mix the cream cheese, yogurt, milks, and egg beaters together until cream cheese is broken up.  I grated one jalapeno and put that in the egg mixture.  Pour that into pie pan.  Sprinkle with shredded zucchini, then finish with the cheese.  I only added pepper to the egg mixture because there was enough salt in the cream cheese and cheddar cheese.  I put sliced jalapenos on top and baked for 45 minutes at 350.

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I had 1/4 of the quiche, a Chobani and some kiwi on the side.  Note, my quiche was a bit watery after I reheated it – I probably didn’t squeeze out enough liquid from the shredded zucchini – I think a better substitute would be broccoli.

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This was so spicy good!  A couple of bites I had to alternate with the yogurt to tone it down a bit.

I was more than happy to get to the pool at lunch.  For some reason after doing strength, the pool just makes my whole body feel better – and I only had one other person to share the pool with!

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I had to take this picture for Roz.  She’s the only other person I know who loves to show her oddly shaped carrots!

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Alright, I know I am going to get a lot of shit for this, but I did take home some of my Mom’s chili from last Friday.  As I was driving home though, the smell of the onions got stronger and stronger, but what I now realize is that was probably ME that stank of onions, since I cut so many of them.

I emailed my Mom yesterday morning to tell her I was going to eat her chili at lunch, even though I knew the vast amounts of onions that were in it.  She emailed me back and said “let me know if you throw up.”

Well, I didn’t throw up and actually my Mom’s chili is delicious!  I didn’t see, nor did I taste any onions, which just goes to show that if they don’t taste like anything, why put them in a dish?

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So on the days I do cardio on equipment with t.v.’s during lunch, I usually watch The Chew.  In the beginning I didn’t like it, but now I do – they do have some creative dishes on that show and I think their personalities go pretty well together.  Last week Michael Symon did a turkey cutlet sandwich with broccoli rabe that looked amazeballs.

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I couldn’t find broccoli rabe at my store to save my life but I thought I could quickly sauté some baby spinach and get kind of the same effect.   I just FEB’d my turkey cutlets (flour/egg beater/breadcrumbs) and sautéed them quickly in 2 teaspoons olive oil until nice and crispy – turkey cutlets are a great weeknight protein because they take just a few minutes to cook.

After I cooked the cutlets I just sautéed the spinach with some minced garlic and crushed red pepper and put it on a 2 ounce bun.

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The turkey was juicy, crunchy and then the garlic red pepper spinach made this dish.  Tony asked for cranberry sauce on his sammie.  He liked the flavor of it, but his sandwich was too thick for his liking.  I think he was thinking a pork cutlet sandwich when I mentioned turkey cutlet.  Have you ever had this?  It’s ridiculously good – usually served on a tiny white bun with pickles.

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I wouldn’t even know how to attempt to make that pork sandwich at home!   Well, unless I get a bigger deep fat fryer!

Stats for the Day

  • 1728 calories, 236 carbs, 100 protein, 41 fat and 29 fiber
  • (not pictured – 1/2 cup granola pre-workout snack)
  • 21% of calories from fat, 25% from protein and 53% from carbs
  • B+ grade on caloriecount.com
  • 55 minute calves/quads strength
  • 30 minute swim at lunch

I hope that the people in the south suburbs of Chicago can rebuild after the storms on Sunday.  To see the pictures is so crazy that your life can change in an instant!

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Today is back and biceps, and it looks equally as hard as yesterday.  Oh, and after the strength?  The cardio is 30 minutes of sprints – 30 seconds on at 8 mph, then 30 seconds recovery.  Wish me luck!  Make it a great day!

Cinnamon Granola Clusters

Since I had Friday off, my whole weekend has been off – Saturday felt like Sunday all day! We slept in so long on Saturday morning, I didn’t make breakfast until nearly 11:30 – so this was brunch – 1 scrambled egg, 2 slices of bacon, 2 sausages and an English muffin – reminded me of a true diner breakfast!

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Check to see if your deli sells bacon.  Our store sells this “Gypsy” bacon for $3.99 a pound.  Most of the bacon sold in the refrigerator case are only 10 or 12 ounces for the same price.  And at the deli you can request how thick you want the bacon cut. 

So while I was doing some computer work on Saturday I hear this barking outside my window.  Um, turns out Kyle the Squirrel was trying to get my attention!  What did I do?  I jumped up and got her some almonds!  You see that blue dish to the right?  That’s usually her food dish, I haven’t filled it up in a while!

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I am kind of getting obsessed with making granola lately.  I am still trying to find the perfect blend – all crunchy, clustery.  I read online that if you whisk up an egg white until frothy, add that at the very end before baking.  I figured I’d give it a try!

Cinnamon Granola Clusters

  • 3 cups oats
  • 1 cup whole unsalted almonds
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground gnger
  • 1 egg white, whipped until frothy

Mix all the dry ingredients together.  Stir in the honey, brown sugar and coconut oil until all the oats are coated.  Pour in the whipped egg white and bake at 325 for 30 minutes.  Make sure to press the oats down pretty tightly, and DO NOT STIR.  Remove from oven and cool completely.

I was thrilled that after the tray cooled, I was able to break the granola into clusters – super crunchy!

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One problem.  This morning, the granola was chewy again. WTF?!  I ended up baking the granola a second time, clusters and all, for another 15 minutes at 300 and let cool.  Success!  This morning they were still nice and crunchy.

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I still hadn’t gone to the grocery store.  I was thinking I would just run to the store and pick up something up.  I asked if Tony had a taste for anything, and he said “we have egg noodles in the cupboard, do we have stuff to make beef stroganoff?”  Well, I dove into the back of my freezer and lo and behold I found a one pound piece of chuck roast.  Done!  I also found a package of these veggies – I cooked up 3/4 of a cup of these veggies to add into my beef stroganoff.

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First, my shitty picture of dinner – my battery died right after this picture on my DSLR.

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I ended up only using 1/2 a cup of cooked noodles – pure comfort food!

As Tony and I were flipping channels, I started cruising through Instagram hash tags and found cats with wigs!  I literally could not stop laughing at this picture!

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I sent it to my step-son and daughter in law – they have a cat and I know my step-daughter-in law would totally get wigs for their cat!

Sunday morning, Tony made me breakfast – spicy tomatillo scrambled eggs, toast and apple.  This also was breakfast and lunch!

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Since I was pretty lazy on Saturday, I had to make up for it yesterday.  Only one problem – holy cow was it super stormy!  I never did get an Insanity workout done since I had to shut off the computer while it was stormy.  But it was a perfect day to spend in the kitchen!

I ended up making Tony pretzel bites for his football snack – with jarred queso sauce on the side. 

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I’ve decided to keep my breakfasts and lunches simple this week.  Sometimes I think I have to make something different every single day to keep things interested, but you know what?  Simple works too!  I made a jalapeno popper quiche for 4 of my breakfasts this week – recipe coming tomorrow!  1/4 of the pie is only 247 calories!  Paired with a Chobani and some fruit, healthy breakfast – done.

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I also made a pot of chili for later in the week.  And since pork bbq ribs were on sale (1 slab of ribs was only $6!).  I slow roasted them in the oven for 3 hours at 250.  I made another batch of Rudy’s BBQ sauce and ended up finishing up the ribs under the broiler. 

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With coleslaw on the side, it tasted like summer, even though we are half way through November!

I have a favor to ask.  My brother’s friends house got flooded on Halloween and they pretty much lost everything they own.  They were even hosting an exchange student and had to find a place for them to live.

If you have a couple extra bucks, I would appreciate it if you could check out their fundraising page.

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We’ve had water in our basement, but other than losing some snowmen, we didn’t lose much.  I can’t imagine losing everything!  So maybe we can skip a couple Pumpkin Lattes this week and pay it forward?

Today brings Week 9 of the Strength Training – todays legs workout looks pretty intense!  I haven’t done every single workout of this training, but probably 80%.  Since this is the last phase, I am going to try to do my best to do every single workout these last three weeks. Only 44 days until January 1 – let’s finish the year out strong!

Make it a great day!

Surprise, Surprise!

Last week when I surprised my Mom at church, after the service they were selling tickets for their annual Chili Supper.  I heard my Mom and another woman talking about how they were going to be short staffed in the kitchen this year.  I thought – bummer I have to work on Friday!

But then I remembered I had originally taken Friday off for my photo shoot and switched my mammogram appointment to Friday – so I was off of work!  I realized Thursday afternoon that I could again surprise my Mom and show up and help them cook!  I told my sister about it on my drive home from work on Thursday.

Since we had a lazy morning yesterday, I didn’t realize my Mom had called my cell phone at 8:30.  Odd.  My Mom usually doesn’t call me on my cell phone on a work day.  I called my sister and said “why would Mom be calling me?”  There was a pause.  She said “I accidentally told her you were coming today.”  WTF?!

So the surprise was ruined.  I called my Mom back, and she said even though she knew I was coming, she was so grateful for the help!  And that’s all that matters, right?

I ended up getting gas and then hitting up McDonald’s for breakfast.  My mouth was about to say “I’ll have the Sausage McMuffin with Egg and a Hash Brown!”  But I quickly caught myself and got the oatmeal – 290 calories – done.   The apples were actually really tart which I liked because the oatmeal was on the border of being too sweet for me.

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When I got to church my Mom and another woman had already started chopping veggies.  We were making enough chili for 300 PEOPLE which, if you don’t know, is a lot of chili!  First thing I smelled when I walked in?  Fricken onions!

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And guess who’s job it was to chop the rest of the onions?  That would be me.  I must really love my Momma to cut all those onions!

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I did two bowls of onions like the one above – and that was just for the garnish on TOP of the chili!

Momma was working her ass off – checking her timeline, making sure we had the right ingredients for each chili.  We did a traditional chili, a meat only chili (no beans!) and a vegetarian chili.

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She needed a little help though reaching the back pots of chili though!

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After a while we were getting hungry, so my Mom sent me across the street to the deli to pick up some sandwiches.  Tony and I recently watched an episode of Dinners and Drive-ins where they went to a bunch of Jewish deli’s – Tony and I always drool at the pastrami and corned beef!

So when I saw “corn beef” on the menu, I knew that’s the sandwich I was going to have.

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I had to laugh because it isn’t “corn beef” it’s “corned beef” but whatevs.  But then I heard these words: “sorry, we are out of corn beef.”  Waaaaaa.  So I got the Roast beef.  Tony thought I should have gotten the Italian, but the roast beef was good.  I ate half at lunch and then the other half mid-afternoon.

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They got all the canned goods at Aldi – my Mom says they are so cheap, and they get the no tax discount because they are a non-profit.

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And Ultra Foods gave them a discount on the ground beef.  Since it was 80/20, we browned it, then drained the fat before adding it to the chili.

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While I was chopping up onions, I asked my Mom “how much chili powder do you use in your chili?”  She said “I don’t use chili powder.”  Um, what?  Nope, turns out my Mom’s secret weapon is . . .still a secret!!   Whatever it is, it’s a perfect balance of seasonings and just enough heat.

Just when I thought I was done chopping onions?  “Hey Biz, can you slice up some red onion for the garnish for the salads?”  I think I cut a lifetime supply of onions yesterday!

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I also helped cook – making sure the beef was browning and the veggies weren’t overcooking.  I love this circa 1950’s apron – I had two aprons to bring with me, and I walked off without them!

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Can I just say that even though this church stove is old, I loved cooking on a 10 burner gas stove again!  I hate my electric stove.

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Hannah had texted me earlier in the day to ask how things were going.  I told her that Aunt Jennifer had ruined the surprise and she said she was sorry.  Later in the afternoon I was cutting up corn bread when I heard my Mom say “Hannah!”  Yep, she felt bad about my surprise being ruined so she surprised me and drove to church after she got off of work.  #love

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Three generations of chili makers!!  It was so nice to see her and she ended being a big help making sure we had a clean stock of chili bowls.  I hope they made a lot of money – it was $10 for an adult and $5 for kids – one guy paid $250 for a ticket!

What better way to spend a Friday – cooking up a storm and hanging out with family – it was a great day!  And my Mom really appreciated the help.  So that keeps me as the #1 child and of course, Hannah is the #1 grandchild.  Duh.

While its in the 50s today, its rainy and overcast.  I have cans of pumpkin in my pantry calling my name!  I may need to make some scones for the week.

Question of the Day:  Do you top your chili with fresh white onions?  If you do, I’ll still like you, but just wondering. Open-mouthed smile

Have a great weekend – see you Monday!

Lazy Morning

I have today off for a doctors appointment, so its nearly 9 a.m. and I am just getting out of bed and poured my first cup of coffee.  We’ve been up since 7, but we just laid under the toasty covers watching t.v.  Perfect way to start the day if you ask me!

I am sure Randi thinks something has happened to me since I am posting so late – no worries Randi – I am alive and well! Open-mouthed smile

I am actually a bit ashamed that although I knew it was diabetes awareness month in November, I didn’t realize yesterday was World Diabetes Day!  Sadly, every 17 seconds someone is diagnosed with diabetes, and every year diabetes kills more people that breast cancer and AIDS combined.  That’s kind of staggering!

So that’s why each day I try to make the right choices so I can live with this disease as long as possible.  And well, Tony said I can’t die before him because he says he wouldn’t know how to live without me.

Next week’s menu I am really cutting back on carbs – nearly every day this past week I’ve been 200 grams or more, and I’d really like to be between 125 and 150.  So yesterday morning I made a giant egg white omelet.  1/2 a cup of egg whites, 2 ounces taco meat, 1 tablespoon black beans, 1 tablespoon corn, one shredded zucchini and get this – no cheese!  On the side was a high fiber English muffin.

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What you didn’t see was the about 2 tablespoons of hot sauce I added to it after this picture was taken. #ilovehotshit  This omelet comes in at 274 calories, 5.8 fat, 12.3 carbs, 2.6 fiber and a whopping 42 grams of protein.

So it was shoulders for strength yesterday.  I am in week 8 of the strength training routine, and at first glance I thought “this should only take 20 minutes.”

Just as I was starting to workout, I get a text from my step-son Joe:

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Apparently he caught a baby bunny in his back yard!  I then texted back “I am working out!”

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So I upped my weights – this time using 8 pound weights – and well, that shoulder workout ended up taking me 40 minutes to finish!  Whew!  Good think there was no cardio on tap because i wouldn’t have had time to do it.

So since I am just using up what I have on hand this week, more tacos for lunch!  This time on the Ezekiel sprouted tortillas with red cabbage, more taco meat, black beans, corn and cilantro.  Oh, and tomatillo salsa – I need to make more soon!

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Guess what I like now?  Diced tomatoes.  So crazy.  I guess you just have to see something a thousand times before trying it!

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Okay, here’s a question.  I bought this shirt at Goodwill with my Mom – it was only $1.99.  The shirt is connected to the vest.  When I took a picture of it and showed it to Tony he said “it looks like you should be on The Big Bang Theory.

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I really like it, but I really have no fashion sense, so you can be honest and tell me if I should just give it back to Goodwill or keep it!

Dinner was sweet and simple – one of Tony’s favorites – red beans and rice with smoked sausage.  Only one tiny problem, (and the only cost I spent this week on groceries was the $3 for the sausage) I bought smoked sausage that was made with beef, turkey and pork.  We cook the sausage in the rice maker along with the red beans and rice, but the texture of the pork was awful, like really soft.  I should have bought a kielbasa, or an all beef smoked sausage.  I added one sautéed zucchini to my dish.  I think I may have eaten 3 pieces of sausage?

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Stats for the Day:

  • 1510 calories, 167 carbs, 103 protein, 49 grams fat, 26 fiber
  • 29% of calories from fat, 27% from protein, and 43% from carbs
  • B+ grade on calorie count
  • 40 minutes shoulder for strength

I am so happy its Friday!  This week really seemed to drag.  Alright, I am off to get my boobs smooshed in mammogram machine.  Make it a great day!