Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sweet potato casserole

Hi! Very busy this week! Still trying to get all the workokuts in though, will post a new week workout recap on Sunday!

Black Friday goodies!
Our tree!

Cider I drank while putting up the tree - delicious

Sweet Potato Casserole

Did you know that sweet potatoes are good for your skin? We need antioxidants to fight free radical damage that ages us, and Vitamin A is an antioxidant. . A single sweet potato contains over 200% of your daily Vitamin A needs. I threw together this sweet potato casserole in a few minutes with whatever I had laying around, it turned out AMAZING! 
Sweet Potato Casserole
2 medium sweet potatoes sliced thinly
A cup of feta (or less)
A small sliced onion
Three to four slices of bread (I used millet bread) crumbled
Half a cup of sharp cheddar
Three quarters of a block of tofu, already pressed, dried and marinated overnight in a McCormick mix. Slice into cubes.
Spices- onion and garlic powder, a few chili flakes, salt and pepper, a touch of cinnamon, a little hot sauce

Butter a 9 inch square cake pan, mix all the ingredients together (except for the cheddar – which you sprinkle on top)
Cover with aluminum foil, bake for 45 minutes at 350.
Uncover and make for 15 more minutes into the cheese is golden and bubbly.
This keeps well and gets even better the next day

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Weekly Workout Recap

I'm going to start a new feature of this blog to help keep me more accountable- a weekly workout recap. I will share what I accomplished from Sunday-Saturday workout wise with honesty! :D

I actually typed a draft of this last Sunday and entered in an awesome Sunday workout......then did NOTHING for the rest of the week! I was SO busy with work and school and a job interview!

This week is better so far :D

Sunday 20th:

Jillian's 30 Day Shred level 2- wow, every time I take a break from Jillian and then do her DVD again it is a killer! I don't work my abs as hard on the machines at the gym as Jillian does with mat work!

Monday 21st:

Yoga: A college in the evening after work kind of day so I did yoga - about 30 minutes. It felt great- wearing heels makes my legs so stiff so I need it! I was surprised to realize I cant get as deep into moves as I could when I did yoga consistently in my youth....time to get flexible again!!

Tuesday 22nd:

Gym time! I did 30 minutes on the arc at level 30, 30 incline, and burned 300 calories, and did 5 minutes of weights.Felt pretty tired from the work day and proud of myself for going!

Friday the 25th

Does running around the mall shopping count? :D

I went to the gym and did 45 minutes of cardio on the arc and burned 430 calories. I also did some leg presses and stretching. I found it kind of hard to last all the way through to 45 minutes but music sure helped!

 Saturday the 26th

Didnt 'officially' work out but walked at least a mile or two all morning at flea markets taking photos for my still life assignment like this:

Thursday, November 24, 2011


This is my third Thanksgiving ever (I moved to the USA three years ago) I  have so much to be grateful for today, not least of all the fact that I live near a GIANT VEGETARIAN POTLUCK! Ty and I went for the first time last year and it was amazing- 300 vegetarian's, tons of food, sunshine, beautiful forested grounds- and it was the same again! If anyone ever asks what vegetarians eat for Thanksgiving I will show them  these photos:

(Ps-what did you get on Black Friday shopping?)

vegetarian 'turkey'

ready to eat!

everyone holding hands to give thanks

My savory plate- the sweet plate was even better!                 

Monday, November 14, 2011


Sometimes we get so lost in our little world and gripe about gaining a pound or our Ipod not working. We need to keep the bigger picture in mind and remember how blessed we to have food, shelter, water ... running shoes.....I saw this picture and it really touched me. I have seen things like this while living in India but I forget about this reality sometimes...And every now and then I'm struck by the sad fact that I'm writing a blog on weight loss when there are people in the world to whom the problem would seem ridiculous as they have nothing...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Vegan Chicken Pot Pie

I hadn't "cooked" in a while: Cooking by this definition being anything over 20 minutes of prep time and with an official recipe. I've made lots of salads and quick veggie dishes but nothing to post about!

So when Ty came home unexpectedly from his paramedic shift via tow truck (his car hit a deer, totalled the car) I decided to cheer him up and make a heartwarming dish: Chicken Pot Pie- only minus the chicken as I'm a vegetarian!! I saw a great vegan recipe on Ellen that uses Gardein chicken scallopini, so I used that recipe.

My Chicken Pot Pie- ideally do it in small individual ramkins as its kind of messy to serve from a large pie- unless you dont care like I didnt LOL

 If you plan on making this pie, be warned-it is comfort food. It has three fourths of a cup of butter/Earthbalance in it!! I kept at my new low of 124 pounds even after eating it over two days, but I did go to the gym for an hour on both days! 

I didn't have tamari or soy sauce but it still turned out great!

I added boiled diced potatoes for some extra heartiness.

 I had some pie mixture leftover, so I made a quick 'side pie' with puff pastry in a bread tin, it came out great! In fact, I kind of liked the flakier pastry more than the traditional pie!

My improv puff pastry pie- we had it as an appetizer

We ate more pie for lunch the next day and it was easier to cut and serve and came out like this:

Im kind of bummed the picture look so colorless, the pie has carrots in it and you can't even see ONE!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tips to beat the bloat: a flat stomach diet for partying

How was your Halloween? I hadn't planned on doing much, our neighborhood doesn't have kids or trick and treaters. But we got invited to a Halloween  party that a bunch of friends were going to. I threw together a quick costume- a Ladybug. I already had a black skirt and a black and red spotted shirt, so all I had to do was pick up some wings and antennae!

My costume for the  party:

You will notice I have more leg muscle now!

Looking over pictures from the night of my friends and I, I felt surprised to realize I was one of the fit girls!I know it sounds kind of silly, but the reality that I no longer have a paunchy belly or huge thighs still hasn't quite registered!

I've guess I've the past few years of group photos that I've cringed at have made more of a mark than my new reality!:D I'm past my goal of 125 pounds this year by the way- I've seen 123.8 on the scale for two days straight which is exciting :) I'm aiming for 120 pounds by January :D

Tips for a flat stomach

I knew I'd be wearing a pretty tight dress that night and wanted to cut down on bloat! You can have a fabulously toned core and abs, but still bloat if you eat or drink the wrong things! I followed these tips and it worked, I had a super flat stomach on the day :D

* Eat lots of fiber for days before the party/event but not on the actual day as voluminous fiber filled foods like salads take up a lot of space in your digestive tract. Eat high protein, dense foods instead

*On the day, avoid beans, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, broccolli- all the foods famous for gas!

*Drink lots of water! Or green tea- it helps speed up your metabolism.

*Avoid salt. Put down the salt shaker. And stay away from any processed foods (stuff in tins, or ready to eat in packages) as the salt content is usually high.

*Dont eat to quickly. If you eat too fast you gulp down a lot of air and that can lead to bloating (and gas, as my  Boston Terrier will attest to as he INHALES his food and then has horrible gas lol). Take your time,chew thoroughly. 

*Avoid milk for the day. Try almond or silk milk instead, just in case you are lactose intolerant. Lactose intolerance can make you bloat and you may not even realize that is what is doing it.

*NO carbonated drinks The fizz in the drinks can make you bloat

*Stay away  sugars and  alcohol before the event, these can also cause bloating

*Stay away from sorbitol (eg in chewing gum) and artifical sugars

*Stay away from breads, pastas, potatoes for the day- as starches are broken down they release gas

*Take an anti-gas pill, cheap and availible at walmart, just to make sure you wont have any bloat that day

* Do ab exercises to make your stomach taut (before and on the day!)

So what SHOULD you eat that day? Try some anti-bloating foods! I had two delicious Chobani yogurts as they are full of good bacteria. I had ginger, said to be anti-bloating, in my super boiled summer squash (if you eat vegetables, cook them well so they arent too fibrous!), in a pumpkin sauce with gardein 'chicken' scallopini.

Do NOT take laxatives or water pills or any other intense drugs as that isnt good for your body!! DONT skip meals, and DONT fast! You wont feel good, your body will go into 'starvation' mode making you retain fat, and you will get drunk too fast on just a drink or two if you dont eat- not good!