Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Sometimes It is One and Sometimes It is the Other

Two days into the week and I have had two very different days.

Monday - Good on Food and No Exercise

I bought of bag of peaches from Aldi. I am always anxious about buying peaches. Seems like they are never ripe when I buy them they get ripe and spoil 8 seconds later. I end up wasting them. This bag was actually very good from the start and haven't spoiled yet. I am putting my sweet potato on hold for a couple of days and having peach oatmeal this week...mmm!
After breakfast, Monday set in. I was in the middle of curling my bangs when this happened.  How does a curling iron just randomly break in half?? I got a little burn on my forehead where it hit me, but fortunately I dropped the iron quickly and it didn't roll down my entire face.
I packed a lunch with leftover Cajun Shrimp and Veggies that I made on Sunday. The Cajun Shrimp portions seemed a bit skimpy, especially for the 300 calories listed in the recipe. I recalculated the calories using the actual ingredients and amounts I used. It was actually 194 calories. Remember I used half the oil, less shrimp and a different andouille sausage. To bulk up the meal a bit I cooked some whole wheat spaghetti and put the shrimp/veggies on top. It turned out really well, even though I am not a huge whole wheat pasta fan . I mostly used it to finish up the box and get it out of the pantry. Cherries and veggies completed the meal. I love the black meal containers - they really highlight the colors of the food.
While I was at work, my husband called to say the person who wanted to buy our car was ready to get it. I ended up leaving work a bit early to meet my husband, give the car a final cleaning and deliver it. We have had this car for almost 5 years. I am too embarrassed to post a full picture of it - it is a hot mess. However, it has run great and my husband was a trooper for using it so long. Hurray for saving money! About a month ago we bought an upgrade for my him - he definitely deserved it. He appreciated the years of service his ugly car, affectionately known as R2D2, gave. But he was ready to move on. I don't think Boba Fett is known for watching over people per se, but I hope he will watch over the new owner and she will have some good years with our R2D2.
While dinner was on the grill, I visited the tomato plants. I am eager for fresh ripe tomatoes, but thought we had a couple weeks to wait/ Then I spied these guys nestled in the middle of the tomato bed. Can't wait to eat them!
Clearly, I am a fan of the Cajun Shrimp foil packets. I ate them again for dinner. The fourth packet is safely in the freezer...for now. For dinner, I ate it with a sweet potato. I was a happy camper.
By the time we got home after the car delivery I was hungry and not in the mood for a workout. I know, I know, lame reasons to not workout, but it happened. This also happened. That is my shoulder to the left of the picture. Millie was leaning against me. Puppy snuggle time :)

Tuesday - Not So Good on Food and Great on Exercise

I got up at 5a and enjoyed a beautiful dawn walk in the 53 degree weather (ideal in my book). One of my absolutely favorite things about dawn is this. Be sure to turn up the volume.

This walk is brought to you by the color pink.

There was an abundance of pink flowers blooming in the neighborhood. Even the fake flowers were pink.
This particular house had so much more than pink. How pretty is that??

Almost finished my walk. It occurred to me there should be GO signs to encourage walkers in the wee hours of the morning. I guess I will have to interpret this sign as "stop, making excuses and keep moving."
It wasn't exactly a time to write home about (just to blog about). For the next walk I am going to have a time goal. I think I can take a minute off each mile. Obviously, a little time is lost in picture taking, but I definitely need to pick up the pace to get a good cardio workout.
Breakfast was peach oatmeal again. Spoiler alert: Tomorrow will be peach oatmeal. The next day will be peach oatmeal.  
I packed my lunch from the meal prep grilling I did on Sunday - chicken, veggies and cherries. A former co-worker was going to be at the office today and I knew we would go out to lunch. I packed my lunch just in case, her plans changed. I certainly didn't want to be lunch-less. 
On the way to work I had to stop at the store and I saw this. I like granola bars okay, but have never found them very satisfying. I am not sure making them bigger is the best solutionl - more sugar, more fat, more calories. I did not buy them.
As I mentioned, a former co-worker was at the office today. She was there cleaning out some of her stuff from when she worked there. I carried about 5-6 stacks of books up these stairs. The same steep stairs I mentioned carrying books up last week because I am super strong now :)
Honestly, I wasn't excited about going out to lunch because I wanted to eat really well this week before a planned splurge Wednesday evening. But here I was trying to make a decent choice. I got sucked into the lunch menu and nothing else sounded good after I saw this taco salad. Okay, it is a salad, but that doesn't mean healthy. I ordered the dressing on the side, so that was good, right?
And I picked around most of the chips. In an alternate universe I would have eaten ALL of those chips - after dipping them in the rest of that chipotle ranch dressing. Hurray for small wins at least.
When I got home there was a Double Light strength training waiting for me. We started with Skier lunges. Basically you are lunging from side to side as you are raising and lowering the weights. I didn't love this exercise, but I had determined to have a better attitude.

A better attitude - even if the smiles were fake!  I suspect my trainer recognizes sarcasm, but he might prefer it to grouchy trainee.
Bent rows. By the way, did you notice those are bigger weights. My husband broke out the 15 pounders for me. There were definitely fewer reps before I failed out, bur it felt good to push. Like I said, I prefer pushing strength training to pushing cardio :)
Finished up with some Skullcrushers. Another workout without actually crushing my skull...winning!
Dinner was very similar to what I would have eaten for lunch :)  I need to get those peaches eaten before they turn.
Some days you might be better with the food and some days you might be better with the exercise. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it has balanced out in my favor this week.

I am writing this Tuesday evening and thinking I should be getting in bed because I have early morning swimming on the schedule Wednesday. We are having dinner out tomorrow and I want to get a good calorie burn in to help balance that controlled pizza splurge.

How do you find your balance?

UPDATE:  I am completely bummed. I went out to pick those beautiful tomatoes and they were GONE!!!!  Maybe rabbits?  I am buying some fencing today!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

It Isn't Just to Look Good

My husband is super into pork tenderloin at the moment. It seems like they have been less expensive lately, so we have been enjoying the other white meat at least once a week.  I will be sad when asparagus is gone from the more playing flamingo in the jungle.
I knew there was a splurge looming Saturday night so I kept the rest of the day pretty simple. Some quick and trusty Corn Flakes with bananas and a sprinkle of pecans.  Lunch was the last of my stuffed poblanos.
I noticed this guy hard at work in the garden. I have never really gotten a good look at a bee's pollen sacs. I have to be honest they gross me out just a bit...not sure why.

Apparently his work is paying off....we have tons of little green tomatoes.  I hope that means we will see plenty of yellow and red tomatoes in the coming weeks.
Saturday evening we went to a local restaurant to celebrate my oldest niece's college graduation. I ordered the crab cakes from the appetizer menu...this does not look like an appetizer portion to me (there is a second crab cake under this one). It was very tasty and I did not regret ordering it. I did regret ordering a side of fries, but I am happy to say I only ate a few and didn't feel too bad about "wasting" the rest. I also ordered fried pickles to share with the table. I liked them, but you can't eat too many of them. We ended up not finishing them either. I didn't mean to get all fried things (I didn't expect the crab cake to be this "fried" from the menu description). Gold thing I had kept the rest of the day light.
The cool evening were so nice this weekend. I relaxed in the hammock.
Sunday morning I copied a breakfast a friend had posted the other day. She actually posted that she was inspired by me to add a side of apples. I guess I didn't realize how often I have apples. They are just a yummy no brainer side dish. I might have bought too much fruit for this upcoming week. In addition to apples, we got pears, peaches and cherries.
After breakfast, it was time to face a task I have been dreading...yard work. It is super easy to take pictures that make your yard/garden look spectacular. Let me demonstrate.  When we were dating my husband gave me this nice little hydrangea bush with delicate white flowers.
Remember the movie How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and the "love fern" she makes into a barometer of their relationship?  Well, this is our "relationship bush" - looks pretty good, right?
When in truth you have this going on. The weeds have been on fire this year and these crazy grow-a-foot-a-day trees have invaded. With the heat I have been staying indoors, resulting in a landscaping nightmare. When I heard the forecast for this weekend, I knew I was going to have to suck it up and the yard some attention. Notice the wild and craziness of the "relationship bush." :)
As you might have noticed, there are no workout pictures in this post....because I didn't not workout. Though not a "workout" per se, yard work is exactly I anticipate some aching muscles tomorrow, but perhaps not quite as much since I have been building my strength. There is practical value to being stronger and in better shape - it isn't just to look good.
I looked over at these tools and had a random flashback...las herramientas.  After college, I joined the Peace Corps and was sent to Honduras to work in Hillside Agriculture. Since then much of the farming vocabulary has been permanently stuck in my head and pops up randomly  I will share more about my Peace Corp experience in a future post.
This is embarrassing to share - my muscles and I cleared out those whole pile from the yard. I think my husband is going to claim some of it as his work ;)  Either way 2.5 hours of yard work is a legit workout in my book.
After a long shower and a trip to the grocery store, it was time for me to play. :) I found a new recipe on Skinnytaste that I have been eager to try - Cajun Shrimp in Foil. The shrimp got a good dose of Cajun seasoning and extra pepper.
 The recipe made four packets. You lay out the foil and just pile up the ingredients.
 Anything that has a sprinkle of fresh basil has my attention.
The recipe was intended to cook in the oven. but who wants to heat up their kitchen with a 425 degree oven in the summer? I decided to try them on the grill since I had some other grilling to do anyway. The other two packets I kept to put in the freezer for another day.
I was happy with the recipe and will definitely make it again. However, I will make a couple tweaks next time. First more veggies - it was a little bit short of a good portion in my opinion. I think I could easily double the zucchini and peppers. I want to take a closer looks at the recipe because the calories (310) were a little more than I expected for shrimp and veggies. I used half the olive oil that was recommended, so there a few 25 calories saved per serving - next time I won't use any. I was also a little short on shrimp - recipe called for a pound and I had a 12 oz. package. I think this would be delicious on a some spaghetti noodles or rice. EDIT: I forgot to mention although everything gets seasoned I think next time I wouldn't put all the seasoning on the shrimp - they are a little intense. I think next time I will toss the veggies in the seasoning too.
While I had the grill going I made a basket of veggies and chicken legs for lunches this week.
Sunday night was the culinary crown on the weekend. As I mentioned, my husband was celebrating the end of the three month workout program he completed this week. He chose to reward himself with homemade pizza. We each made our own pizza. His creation was covered in green olives, cilantro, pepperoni, jalapenos, peppers, onions and pineapple - not something you pick up at your local pizzeria. With that many toppings it is usually best to cook it in the oven. I, however, went lighter on toppings and cooked it on the grill . First, I grill the dough on one side, flip it over and top the grilled side.

Then it goes back on the grill to cook the other side and all the yummy toppings. I went with thinly sliced zucchini, onions, mushrooms, basil, peppers and a couple slice of pepperoni. It looked prettier before there was a bit of a slip getting it back on the grill and the toppings on top of the cheese slid a bit.

It can be a little tricky getting the toppings cooked without over cooking the bottom of the crust. This time was a bit more color than I would have liked. However, it was still delicious!!
I definitely had some treats this weekend, but I am hopeful I kept a good balance. (Full disclosure there was some ice cream too this weekend). Monday it is back to regularly scheduled workouts. I have restocked our fridge and have some delicious prepped food for this week.

This week I will be putting in extra effort to eat healthy and move this body. Next weekend is my birthday, then 4th of July - I see the splurges coming and I am going to be ready to enjoy them guilt-free.

How was your weekend?  How did you balance work and relaxation? Treats and healthy eating?  What are your goals for this week?