Wednesday, May 24, 2017


I know I am obsessed with my sweet potato hash breakfast. Who knows how many times I have mentioned it here or on Facebook. But I am going to keep harping on it until someone tells me that they tried it. Seriously, how can you resist that place of yum?
This week I used the kale from the market. I admit I haven't been on the kale bandwagon and it is probably no longer a thing, but here I am trying it out in place of spinach. The chicken breast was sprinkled with cajun seasoning (this time C'mon Man) and then grilled. It is super easy to cook a couple extra pieces of chicken at dinner and then keep them in the fridge to use throughout the week. I simply microwave the sweet potatoes. Again, you can cook and cut them up in advance, so they are ready for a quick and easy breakfast.
Like all the leafy greens a huge bunch of raw kale cooks down to pretty much nothing. So keep heaping it in. I used about 3 cups to get this much in my hash.
Please excuse my pan - I promise it has been scrubbed clean a hundred times - that white inside surface stains terribly.
The kale maintained a chewier texture than spinach, which I liked. I didn't think it was as flavorful as the spinach.  Ultimately, it is pretty much a wash for me and I would use whichever is available. So have I convinced anyone to try it??

I have begun working on a baked version of the pumpkin oatmeal I mentioned in my last post. This morning, I made "muffins'.  I found a baked oatmeal recipe that called for bananas for which I subbed canned pumpkin.  I added ground flax seed to the recipe because my husband wants to be sure to get his Omega-3. The recipe called for an egg and baking powder to hold everything together and to give it a bit more rise and "muffininess." I am not going to mislead you and say they were exactly like muffins, but they were good and definitely an improvement texture-wise for me. My taste buds were calling for raisins, but I want to keep the sugar down.
First attempt recipe for 6 muffins (approx. 108 calories per muffin)

2 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp baking power
1 tsp cinnamon
1 chopped apple (I left skin on)
1 Tbsp ground flax seed (not pictured)

Mix everything together and divide among 6 muffin cups. Bake at 375 for about 25 minutes. The batter is thick and I just piled it in. They don't rise much so there is not a big overflow issue. Not the most beautiful because they don't rise like normal muffins.
My husband actually really liked them so I am sure we will be making them ahead for breakfasts and snacks. There will probably be a few other tweaks along the way. I'd like to try blueberries instead of apples. I am tempted to do half banana and half pumpkin, but I do like that pumpkin is about half the calories of banana.  Again, I am trying to reduce the sugar in my diet so pumpkin is better there too.

Double Light Recap

Monday night was tough. There were push ups - knee assisted push ups (girl push ups).  I managed three in the first circuit and 3.5 the second circuit. I really wanted four that second circuit, but couldn't make it happen. Next time...unless my husband has mercy on me and never schedules them again. So yeah, next time.

The inverted flys were harder than I expected and my muscles ached more from those than anything else. I used my two pound hand weights. I don't think it was the weight as much as the motion my body is not used to making.

Bench Squats - I don't think I am ever going to say I like squats, but I liked using the "bench" (in my case the couch with the rolled yoga mat on top of it.) The idea is for my butt to touch the "bench" when I squat. I have a hard time telling if my squat is deep enough and having a physical target to aim for is quite helpful. Apparently, I am not keeping my body straight enough (too much waist bending). It is hard for me to feel that, so I might have to head up to the wall of mirrors at the gym one day and watch myself. I am quite certain there are MANY more squats in my future so I need to be sure I am doing them correctly.

Tuesday was cardio. The workout out itself is very simple, but I obsessed about it all day because I knew it would be difficult for me. For the record, I hate that 30 straight seconds of cardio scares me. The concept was simple - 30 seconds X hops, short rest, 30 seconds lateral hops, short rest, 30 seconds X hops (opposite foot in front) - see abbreviated version in video below. I am not entirely sure if you are supposed to have short rest between the 30 second exercises or if my husband put them in so I didn't have a heart attack.

Then the entire circuit is repeated three times with about a minute between circuits. I admit, it was super hard and I was huffing and puffing like it was my job. I am not the most coordinated and got off balance a few times. I would not have finished without my husband - I was not going to let him down. Personally, I would have quit.

To a very serious subject. I am really struggling with the physical of these workouts, but more importantly I am struggling with my emotions. I am not proud to admit that my poor husband has his hands more than full with my meltdowns. Last night I asked him to record my feet doing a quick demo of the three types of hops. In my head it was perfectly clear, but I guess I didn't express it clearly. He stopped the video after each type of hop.  We finally got on the same page and got them all recorded together. Then he showed me the video and I completely lost it. It was showed my entire lower body. Like others, I am sure, I am SUPER self conscious about that lower stomach area....and it was AWFUL on video. I was completely horrified. I was upset that we had to redo the video again (NO WAY was I posting the other one). I was tired already from just demoing the workout - I hadn't even gotten to the doing the actual workout!  My poor unsuspecting husband was caught in the crossfire of my frustration and humiliation. Yes, there were tears again. It took awhile to get back to trying again (see video above). I can at least report that I finally got through the workout. Afterwards, my husband and I had a heart to heart talk. He is concerned that he is not the right person to "train" me. I get his point. We have a bond of trust that gives me the feeling of safety to express tough emotions and know that he still loves me. However, balancing that with being a good no-nonsense trainer is difficult when I need both. I know he is right that if I want this I have to do the work...and it will be hard. Truth is I know I have to do the work....but ideally, I just want the results without the work because it is SO difficult at this point. I am not giving up and I hope I can get my emotions in check so that he doesn't drop me as a client :) I can't do this without him. Any thoughts on how to get through this rough start and check my emotional side?

This is my first time really working with someone for workouts. In the past, I have just done my own thing - walking, swimming, etc. There is a definitely a different dynamic to have someone pushing (and encouraging) you each step. Since previous times have failed long term, I want to give this a real chance.

Disclaimer: I know I sound like a giant baby about this, but I am trying my best to be real about the process. I know from my own experience that this stuff does make people quit trying. If I can find a way to work through it and be successful, I hope that can inspire others to not give up.


  1. Aww, I wish I had some words of advice about this but all I know is that it is ALWAYS going to suck at the beginning. But soon enough you will start building stamina and getting stronger and you will be able to go longer. (and somehow let me really listen to my OWN words about this because jeez, I need to knuckle down myself).

    BTW, those muffins look delightful. I've never tried kale. Maybe one day since I do actually like spinach now.

    1. Let me know what you think of kale when you try it. So far I have found spinach to be more flavorful, but I am liking kale's chewier texture.

      And it is getting better :)

  2. Maybe this is where the saying "no pain no gain" comes from. I know it's hard now, but you're doing it! I'm very proud of you!

    That sweet potato hash looks good. But it looks like a weekend dish to me.

    1. Probably so...but I am looking for loss ;) Thanks for the encouragement. Let me know if you end up trying the hash.

  3. Gosh your food looks amazing. The only thing I can say regarding your new workout regime is this...because you are new at this, you WILL see quick progress if you just hang in there and don't get discouraged.

    The other piece of advice I can suggest is this....treat your workouts like your job. You would never quit a tough assignment at work because it was difficult, you'd power through. Treat these workouts like employment. Show up every day on time, don't call in sick because you don't feel like going to work that day because you are tiredand you will see good changes. Progress will come. Just hang in there and power through. Some days will suck (just like a job) but most days will be good ones. Look forward to the good (easy) ones. This is a new lifestyle for you. It's going to be a part of your every day life.....commit to yourself. And I am so happy to hear you have a hubby who is truly supportive. That's a major part of the equation.

    Like Yoda says...There is no try, only do.

    Good Luck.

    1. A job is a good way to think about...I think I am already seeing progress, so that helps too :)

  4. Oh Anna. I know exactly what you're talking about with the video. You are doing an incredible job. To put it simply: it sucks to start. We all know that. We're all here with you, in spirit, cheering you on. You've got this!

    So, I hate sweet potatoes but other than that your hash looks great!

    What do you think the calorie breakdown for those muffins is?

    1. Yep, starting does suck from physical and mental sides. Sorry about your the sweet potato hatred...I will try to invent a different hash for you :) Muffins are 108 calories each based on the recipe above.

  5. I'm not a big egg fan so I'm not jumping on your band wagon for the breakfast hash yet.....keep may talk me into it someday!!!

    The muffins look excellent. I used to make a strawberry chocolate baked oatmeal. I may have to pull that recipe out!!!

    I can see your husbands point....I think the biggest question is how you guys move on together after your meltdowns. If no one takes it personally and it's over and done when the workout is done...and no hard feelings are involved then all is good.

    1. We are really pretty good about moving past arguments and such...and we have managed to do that with my meltdowns so far. I am determined to have fewer of them so that will help too :)