All posts by meless50

Just a regular ol' gal with a years-old weight problem; the problem being I've never met a food that I didn't like and haven't been able to commit to regular exercise. I love my son and husband 100 percent, and I am trying to do the same for myself.

Recipe Review – Meatloaf

We’re on a strict budget, which means we grocery shop based on what’s on sale. This week, that item was ground beef. Now, if you’re willing to get the 80/20 beef, you can get it for really cheap. I’m not so I pay a little more but still got it for a good price. With the protein out of the way, it was just a matter of finding something to make with it. We already were having chili with beef and stuffed peppers with turkey, and have frozen burgers, so I wanted something new. Everyone raves about Skinnytaste recipes so I headed over to her website to find something new. I didn’t find something new, but it was something I hadn’t had in a long time. Meatloaf. Something about meatloaf makes me think of being a 50s housewife, so I’m not generally inclined to make it. But my husband likes it and my son said he ate it at school so I thought he might eat some (he didn’t), so I gave it a shot. (Side note, I just went to the Skinnytaste website to get the meatloaf link and how awesome does this look?)

I only found a recipe for turkey meatloaf so I just subbed in my beef. Two things: (1) this recipe could not have been easier to make and (2) it was really good. I followed the recipe pretty closely. Other than the turkey-beef substitution, I didn’t have marjoram (and also I didn’t know what marjoram was) so I threw in some garlic powder. I looked it up today and substitutes for marjoram are basil or thyme so I was WAY off, but it still worked out OK. Also, I was a little low on ketchup so I added in some barbecue sauce. It’s hard to tell how different it would have been with just ketchup but I feel like the barbecue added a little kick.

Meatloaf is so easy. It’s just mixing everything in a bowl and then baking. Nothing to it. I’ll definitely make this again.

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My favorite part. I LOVE the smell of onions cooking!
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Can’t go wrong with Sweet Baby Ray’s!
meat
Good ol’ lean ground beef
Going in to the oven
Going in to the oven

The hardest part about making meatloaf is waiting an hour for it to cook. Luckily, I have a five-year-old who has lots of things he needs mommy to do  so I barely noticed the time go by!

The finished product
The finished product

I am a terrible food chopper so the onions were a little larger than I would have preferred. Next time I’ll use the food processor, or better yet, my husband.

So We Meet Again

This post has been in my drafts for exactly one month and I haven’t published because I’m too embarrassed. Too ashamed. Too angry. Too frustrated. Too tired. And most of all, too over it. I’m not sure why I am finally publishing it. Maybe I’m just sick of it all and ready to move on. Maybe I’m hoping someone will have the magic answer for me. Maybe I just need some support. Whatever the reason, here it is.

I got on the scale this morning, saw THAT number and thought, “so, here we are again.” This is not where I want to be. Of course, I didn’t need the scale to tell me any of that. I have a mirror; I can see what I look like. I have pants; I can feel how tight they are. I can tell that I physically feel crappy. My stomach hurts. I’m more tired. My skin even has a different look.

I’ve been slowly gaining since the summer. One pound here, half a pound there. But guess what all that adds up to? Me being right where I was two years ago.

stats

I just can’t believe it. I cannot believe I am here again. Let’s be honest, there’s one word that comes to mind when we gain back our weight: FAILURE. There’s no getting around it. No blaming anyone else. It’s not the weather’s fault that it got cold out or the winter’s fault that it’s dark so early. It’s not the box of chocolate’s fault that I ate the entire thing (and two more). It’s not my dad’s fault that he brought over a cake for at least 20 people and that I ate more than half. It’s not my son’s fault that he still wakes up during the night and then very early in the morning and so I’m tired. It’s not the train’s fault that it has a schedule and so I have to leave the house early in the morning. It’s not my husband’s fault that he made a heavier meal and that I ate multiple servings. It’s not the internet’s fault that it has way too much information so that I get totally overwhelmed trying to understand every food, additive, preserve, diet, exercise, activity, etc.

Sure, there are a number of circumstances that contributed to this: depression, work situations, money troubles, etc. Frankly, I’m pretty overwhelmed with life in general. But it all comes down to one thing. It’s me. It’s my fault and mine alone. That also means there’s only one person who can fix this. Me, Myself and I.

So here I go again. I don’t have a plan. I don’t have a clue what I’m going to do.

What I do have is knowledge about everything I need to, the tools to make that happen (for the most part), and the experience to put those in place. I know I will get back on track, but that first step is a hard one. And the first step after you’ve taken that first step a million times before (or at least a dozen to be more accurate), to me, is even harder.

I want to look in the mirror and be happy with what I see. I want to put on clothes and still breathe. I want to see a picture my son drew and not think, “please don’t let me be the fat one.”

I want to be healthy. I want to be healthy. I want to be healthy.

I read an article the other day about a lady in her 60s who was a surrogate for her daughter, and the first thing I thought was, “I’d never be healthy enough to do that.” Never mind that no one has asked me to, nor do I plan on it, the point being that my health is always on my mind.

So that’s it. I’m back here and there’s nothing I can do about that. I can, however, do something about what comes next.

I’m done with this whole failure bullshit. Let’s go. It’s 4th and Goal with the game on the line. I have only one option. Win. Success. Health.

Turkey Trot: The Aftermath

Sounds dramatic, huh?

I’m sure you read my post about getting ready for this year’s 5K, after seriously struggling last year. And I know you are dying to to find out how I did. Of course, if you follow me on Twitter, you already know . . .

. . . that I kicked ass!

And just to clarify my own tweet, I beat my time by 3 minutes and 24 seconds. (And lordy, you know 24 seconds make a difference!) My goal was to finish in 48 minutes, which would have been a two minute time cut. So I beat that goal and more, so you could say I’m pretty stoked about that!

The funny thing is that I felt like I was really having a hard time during the race so the final time kind of surprised me. They threw me for a loop this year and reversed the course direction, so instead of going down a steep hill with about a mile left, we went up a steep hill about a mile in. And I mean steep. Actually, it was one little hill, right into a bigger hill, right into a really  big hill. We had gotten off to a good start so I was disappointed to come to a slow down so early, but I trudged through and just kept telling myself that the worst was over early on so the race could only get easier. It was tough. My legs were jello after only 20 minutes, but you best believe I was going to keep going strong.

Did I mention that I had some encouragement along for the ride?

Me and mom. All I can focus on is how cute mom looks and how my shirt is all jacked up and stuck on my belt.

That’s my bestie, mom, on the left. Even though her rah rah-ing sometimes annoys me, there is no one else I’d want to do this with! I don’t think I mentioned before that I’ve been doing the boot camp with mom, which is one of the reasons I’ve loved it so much! (Awwwwwww!)

Anywho, we rocked this race. 2012: Chip time, 46:48; Pace, 15:04 vs 2011: Chip time, 50:12; Pace, 16:10

I’ve done bunches of 5Ks over the years, but the last time I was under 47 minutes was at least nine years ago and I think more like 10 or 11. So, yeah, that’s pretty awesome.

So to recap, mom and I are awesome and killed it this year. I’m already looking forward to next year. I’m gonna smoke those turkeys.

(Turkeys, get it? It’s a Turkey Trot? Sigh.)

Turkey Trot Trot Trotting Along

Tomorrow’s Thanksgiving, which can only mean one thing . . . it’s Turkey Trot time!

 

 

I’ll be doing a Turkey Trot 5K to benefit the Laurel Advocacy and Referral Services, which assists homeless and low-income families and individuals. It’s my second year doing this race and I’m really looking forward to it. One, it’s a good cause and two, I really sucked it up last year and know I’ll do better this year.

Last year was tough, I really struggled through. Even though I was at a lower weight than other years, I actually was in much worse shape. I was completely unprepared for the race, even though I had registered well in advance. I wasn’t doing any activity and for some reason, thought I’d breeze through. I’ve walked lots of 5Ks without trouble in the past, and I guess I thought I could just jump right back in. Big mistake. I struggled almost from the start.

Cut to this year and I’m more prepared. One, I’ve been doing a boot camp class since September that has really helped with conditioning. I’m able to run more than 15 seconds and have much more endurance. I’ve also been doing a little more exercise than before. I’m not kidding myself that I’m doing enough activity or that I’m going to be able to run a 10-minute mile, but I’m doing more than before and I will be able to step up my game. Last year I also had trouble walking in the cold weather, so in addition to the outdoor boot camp, I’ve been walking in the mornings to get used to that weather. I think a big problem last year was that I was unfamiliar with the course and kept thinking I was nearing the end (despite knowing how long I had been walking and so there was no way it could be the end!). It should help this year knowing the course and also accepting that even if I improve my time, right now I’m not going faster than a 15-minute mile, so unless I’m nearing 45 minutes, I gotta keep going!

Sooooo the race is tomorrow. I’m excited and kind of nervous. I think I will do better and hope I’m not setting myself up for disappointment. I guess if I do the best I can do, there’s nothing to be disappointed in.

I’m also excited to be adding on two virtual races. (If you don’t know, a virtual race is just what it sounds like – a race you can do from anywhere!) The first one I signed up for  is Just Keep Sweating‘s Racing for Relief. While it does have a fee, the fees are donations to the American Red Cross and all proceeds go to Hurricane (Super Storm) Sandy Relief efforts. Although it was many moons ago, I went to school at Hofstra University on Long Island. I lived in the community and always felt like a native. I have a lot of family and dear friends in that area, including in Long Beach/Lido Beach and across the way in Staten Island where the devastation is heartbreaking. So as soon as I saw this virtual race, I jumped at it. P.S. There also are cool prizes!

The second virtual race is just for fun. It’s A Journey to Thin‘s Third Annual Thankful Healthy Blogger 5K. I’m not going to lie, the prizes in this race are pretty awesome!

So what about you? Are you doing a Turkey Trot tomorrow?  Do great!

I’ll post back after my race tomorrow and let you know how I did. Wish me luck!

Recipe Review – Creamy Avocado Pasta

First it was, “are you on Facebook?” Then it was, “do you tweet,” and now “did you pin that?” Pin, as in Pinterest, as in the “you think it’s stupid but next thing you know you are pinning everything and getting excited about creating new boards” website. If you don’t know it, Pinterest is a combination of scrapbooking and bookmarking a website. You create a board and then “pin” things to it. You know how when you want to come back to a website, you bookmark it? Now you pin a thumbnail of it and it looks pretty.

Anywho, one of my Pinterest boards is for recipe saving. I always intend to but I’ve never actually made any of the recipes, until, you guessed it, until now! I have been so bored with my eating lately I figured I better shake things up, and so I attempted to make Creamy Avocado Pasta, originally found on the Flourishing Foodie website. In cooking, for me, the more simple the better and this seemed pretty simple –  tomatoes, avocado, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and pasta. It was simple and it was really good!

I’ll skip right ahead to the end product:

And just for comparison, here’s the original recipe photo on the left and mine on the right:

OK, so now the details. (To be honest, I don’t really know how it works doing a recipe review and I don’t want to post anything without permission so I’m not going to post the whole recipe, but you can find it here.

What I liked:

  • It was delicious!
  • Easy to make, even for me!
  • Roasting the tomatoes added incredible flavor. It also gave me time to make the avocado mix before starting the pasta/finishing the tomatoes. I get very flustered in the kitchen doing more than one thing at a time!
  • The avocado mix (avocado, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil) was so good I could eat it right out of the bowl. I will definitely make just that again and use as a dip.

What I would change next time:

  • The recipe used fettuccine. We didn’t have any so I used regular spaghetti, which I found really hard to mix together, so at hubby’s suggestion, I’d probably use bow tie, rotini or penne next time.
  • It was a little too creamy for my taste. The recipe says to blend the avocado mix until “smooth and creamy.” It’s possible that I mixed too much so next time I’ll leave it a little chunkier. It didn’t taste too oily but I will cut back the oil next time. With the avocados and lemon juice, I think two tablespoons of oil is too much.
  • The recipe called for Campari tomatoes. I have no idea what those are but based on the photos I’m guessing like the smaller tomatoes on the vine. I couldn’t find those so I used plum tomatoes. I think next time I’ll use cherry tomatoes. It will be a little harder to cut up (those damn little ones always slip away!) but the plum tomatoes, even cut up, were too big for the pasta.
  • Being my usual self, I added in two extra garlic cloves. I will not do that again. The garlic flavor was a little overwhelming. She made a good call there in her recipe!
  • I didn’t have any pine nuts, which the recipe called for (and at $4.62 a bag was not about to buy any!), so I don’t know what that would have added. I think the nutty crunch would probably be great.
  • The recipe said to use four servings of pasta (instead of a measurable amount). I have no idea how much that is without measuring. Given how much avocado mix I had, I might not have used enough pasta. I’ll have to fool with that.

In short, this was awesome and I’ll definitely make again, with a few minor changes. But that’s the fun with recipes – taking someone else’s creation and making it your own! Or as I like to call it, letting someone else do all the work and sweeping in for the victory!

Tomatoes – bought, chopped and roasted
Avocado, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil

And least I forget, because I’m not sure exactly how much pasta I used, it’s a little hard to figure out the Weight Watchers points.  I’m estimating this at 8-10PP per serving. I know that’s vague but I’ll come back and update after I make it again and measure out the pasta. Don’t freak out about the high points. I wouldn’t eat this every day and, other than the pasta, this is healthy eating at it’s best. Avocado and olive oil are fantastically good for you, and if you cut the oil like I plan to do, it will knock one point off.