Saturday, March 31, 2012

Made it through the day

Luckily I felt a bit better as the today went on, and I was able to nab a bit of a nap while Charlotte slept and Emily watched Scooby-Doo.  The girls were well behaved too, so they really went easy on me :-)  Hopefully I'll still be able to say that tomorrow...Mama needs sleep!

Our later-than-usual wake up this morning combined with not feeling too well seems to have resulted in less snacky-ness today, which was nice.  I have been kind of stalled in my weight loss the last month or so, so I've been looking at ways I can cut back on calories while still feeling as happy and satisfied as I do with my current eating.  I don't think cutting out most of my snacks is the answer, but I still enjoyed eating less without having to consciously try. 

My food today:

Saturday morning breakfast with an egg over easy, my coffee lurking in the background
Greens, blue cheese, 1/4 avocado, tomatoes, 1/4 cup brown rice, 1/4 cup corn kernels, 1 tsp olive oil, orange champagne vinegar
3/4 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt, 1/4 cup peanut flour, coconut milk, 1/2 banana, 1 drop stevia, vanilla extract, sprinkle of TJs fiber cereals
Japanese sweet potato, leftover and defrosted taco soup, greek yogurt
Kale chips seasoned with salt and nutritional yeast
70% dark chocolate, unsweetened dried cherries
Now I'm using my evening alone to watch Hungry For Change, then heading to bed early-ish.  I'm quite interested to see what it's all about, having been on diets for most of my adult life.

Powering through

Friday morning started in a whirlwind, with the girls and I getting ready and making sure we had everything for Emily's preschool Easter party, and Will getting ready to go to the History Bee that the paper hosts every year.  I usually enjoy being a proctor for that, but with Emily's party today I just had to opt out this time.  There will be other years...

Will whipped up a tasty bowl of raisin banana oats (which I sprinkled with chias) and some eggs for breakfast.

We made it to Emily's party only slightly late, and despite my allergies making it extremely difficult for me to keep up with all those kids, we all had a good time.

I enjoyed watching Emily eat, even though I wasn't super-pleased about all of the offerings.  I'd say 80% of the other kids picked at their plates a bit, maybe eating one or two things, and then threw the rest of their food away.  Emily sat in that chair and methodically, one thing at a time, worked her way through the entire plate except for the lollipop and the gumdrops, which she said she didn't like (but which she was very careful to ingest all remaining frosting from before throwing them away).  The other kids all finished, got up, played for a bit, and some even headed home and Emily was still there, still eating.  It gives me comfort, because I have heard so many mothers complain that when their kids eat lunch at school they just scarf their dessert and then run out to recess, which is SO bad for their little growing bodies and brains that are trying to learn things all day.  I am worried already about Emily not being able to have morning or afternoon snacks at school, but at least it seems she will take the time to eat a good lunch even when all of her friends are running around playing already.  She may seem picky to ME when I'm throwing away all of her leftover meals, but when compared to other kids her age I guess she's a pretty good eater.

After the party was over I turned both girls over to Gemmy, then headed out for some mommy time!  Which for me meant going to Trader Joes and Whole Foods.  I was feeling pretty cruddy, and OH do I wish that I didn't have to make a special day trip to shop at either of these places, but it was fun nonetheless.  I prefer to hit Trader Joes first since their prices are lower and their inventory more variable, but I was starving for lunch, so Whole Foods had to be first.  I tried to focus a bit more on the delightfully prepared veggies in my salad this time vs. the delicious tofu concoctions, although there were still small samples of a couple of them in there hiding under the kale.

Oh yeah
I accidentally stole some lady's cart as I was shopping at Whole Foods (she had a flat of champagne mangoes too) which is a big deal in Montgomery County because if you lose your reusable bags you have to pay for paper ones.  Luckily she wasn't TOO mad, and I was able to locate mine afterward as well.  Then I had a shamefully excessive trip to Trader Joes where I had to leave with 2 carts to hold all my stuff, but what can I say, my children INHALE dried fruit and yogurt and TJ's has the best prices on those and many other staples for us so I can't help but go nuts every time I walk into one.  I don't get to go very frequently (probably a good thing), and even less frequently do I get to go without kids!

I made it home JUUUUST before rush hour got bad, and I snacked on 6 garlic-stuffed olives and 2 oz of beef jerky on the way home.  I was still hungry (not enough protein in my salad?) so I snacked on some seaweed, a pear, and TJ's dried oranges.  They were actually really good!

I don't know why these old placemats are still out laying around...I don't really like them
 Once I tossed all of my goodies into the fridge/freezer/pantry I changed and ran back out to the gym to workout with Will, Brad and Kim.  The only problem was that Will had forgotten his gym bag, and even though I had told him I'd bring it with me I forgot too :-(  He had to borrow shorts from Ken and workout barefoot.  How many people do you know who would workout barefoot if they forgot their gym stuff?  And how many gyms would let them?  Luckily we did most of our working out on the field which is fake grass and crushed up tires so it didn't really matter that he had no shoes.  People probably just thought he was taking the whole barefoot craze to the next level.

I got a chance to flip tires for the first time, and I actually managed to get the 350 lb tire up as far as my stomach!  I needed help from Kim to get it the rest of the way over though.  I SO didn't feel like working out what with my annoying sickness symptoms, but I'm glad I did.

After our functional strength training we met up at Cafe NOLA for dinner.

I had: 

Brekenridge Agave Wheat beer

1/2 kale tomato avocado feta tamari sesame salad
1/2 duck with apricot preserves and oyster mushroom, 1/2 Will's "duck salad" which was the exact same thing just with less duck and bigger sprouts
Triple berry ginger agave mojito-ish drink that wasn't very strong or good :-(
 I was DYING to go see Hunger Games after dinner, but by then Will had me convinced that we were suffering not from allergies (which we could just power through) but from Emily's sickness (in which case we would benefit from getting extra rest) so we just headed home and made plans to see the movie the next morning.  Which is this morning.  And there aren't any showings until 12:20, which is after I'm supposed to pick up the girls :-(  Crap.  Hunger Games will have to wait.  Probably until it comes out on DVD.

 I finished the night with a piece of Theo 70% dark chocolate with almond and dried cherry.

Then we went to bed at 9:30 and stayed there until 8AM.  It was nice, but unfortunately still not enough because we both woke up feeling like death.  Definitely a sickness and not just allergies then.

I'm trying to delay picking up the girls from my parents house for as long as possible because Will is leaving today to go up to the farm for an overnight guys-only paintball event so the longer I can rest up and prepare for my stint as a sick single mother, the better.  I really hope there's a new My Little Pony episode available today.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sniffle, sneeze

Oooh, my allergies finally caught up with me today.  Despite getting a blissful 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep last night I woke up feeling tired with a very sore throat.  I noticed some of those yellow wildflowers (either ragweed or goldenrod?) blooming away on the side of the road today so I blame those.  I tend to start reacting when they show up.

My allergies are certainly light compared to some, so I try to count myself lucky despite my discomfort.  All the same, I was glad that today was already planned as a rest day for me workout-wise.

It was too chilly to eat breakfast (or lunch or dinner) outside today, but I still slipped out there to get a bit of natural light.  My breakfast wasn't particularly pretty, even in natural light, but it's super-tasty and one of my current favorites.

Barbara's Bakery shredded wheat, walnuts, raisins, xylitol, cinnamon, banana
Plus coffee and egg with salsa
It was playdate morning here today, so Charlotte and I welcomed Carolyn and Abigail while Emily was in preschool.  I was out of Babybel wheels, so I had one of the orange-and-white-twisted-together cheese sticks that Emily picked out at the store yesterday as my morning snack.  

On the way home I stopped by BBs Bagels and Bread for my free coffee of the day and was pleased to find a place that was much nicer than I had assumed and whose coffee is roasted by Baltimore Tea and Coffee.  One of the neatest things about this whole Coffee Madness promotion (other than having an excuse to check out new places and the getting free coffee part) is finding out that some of my favorite places roast and supply the coffee for other shops.  I'll definitely know where to get a decent cup of coffee no matter where I am in the county after this!

My hazelnut coffee with a splash of skim joined my salad to become lunch.

Greens, chopped apple, Irish farmhouse blue cheese, sunflower seeds, dried figs, olive oil, balsamic vinegar
 After I had my salad I decided some whole grains would not go amiss, and upon discovering the last slice of Wegmans 100% whole wheat bread in the fridge I lunched on that as well.

At least most of it.  Once the girls discovered that I was eating it I was obliged to share with both of them.

I have done some wandering from my usual eating formula this week, and by that I mean having leftovers instead of a big salad for lunch or cottage cheese instead of my typical smoothie as a snack.  I haven't found anything that satisfies me nearly as well as my old standbys though, so I went back to being boring and predictable today.  And I loved it.

Nonfat greek yogurt, frozen berries, kale leaves, coconut milk, banana, vanilla extract, a drop of stevia
Around 4:15 I felt myself getting into the dangerously hungry zone, so I finished off what remained of the green papaya salad and I was good to go until dinner was ready.

Green papaya salad
Dinner...Asian ground beef with purple cabbage over brown basmati rice, copiously sprinkled with cilantro
 I took the girls with me to M.O.M. after dinner so we could pick up some small organic candies to put in the plastic eggs for Emily's preschool Easter egg hunt tomorrow and also to give Will a bit of a rest since he was feeling pretty poopy allergy-wise too.  I picked up this chocolate bar while I was there and made it my dessert when I got home.

I was actually pretty disappointed!  I thought that at 85% cocoa it would be nice and bitter but they must've compensated with extra sugar or wax or something because it was not bitter at all and the consistency reminded me of eating clotted cream.  My 70% cocoa Theo bar tastes more chocolate-y than this.  It would be good for people who like milk chocolate but are looking to develop a taste for dark chocolate.

I can't believe I just said that.  I used to be such a milk chocolate fiend and I couldn't stand even Hershey's dark chocolate which I think is only about 60% cocoa.  Now it's milk chocolate that I can't tastes WAY too sweet to me (with the exception of some European milk chocolates).

I am currently debating whether or not I am going to expend the energy to prepare and eat a grapefruit.  I am leaning towards yes.  I'll update you on the outcome of this exciting cliffhanger tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Good morning, good yawning

My morning started extra-early today.  About 3 hours early in fact, when a hyperventilating Emily walked into my room at 4AM saying her tummy hurt.  Over the course of the next 3 hours she cried and freaked out pretty much constantly, complaining about her ear popping, tummy hurting and not being able to breathe through her nose.  I suspect she has a low-grade ear infection.  I finally got her back to sleep around 7, just in time for Charlotte to wake up.  I tried to convince Charlotte that it would be super-fun to lay down with Mommy in bed for a bit, but she was not buying it.  It was breakfast time.

Mine had to include my new peanut flour.

Banana oatmeal with peanut flour, topped with Ezekiel cereal
I didn't send Emily to preschool due to her rocky morning, however I had no choice but to take both girls with me to the tire store because I had to get my tire fixed before it became totally flat and stranded me somewhere.  While we waited I pushed the girls in the stroller (so Emily could rest) over to Wal Mart and then to Common Market.  Unfortunately, my tire needed to be completely replaced and it looks like my others aren't doing too well either.  After owning my car for less than 2 years and only just having hit 20,000 miles I am NOT pleased that my tires are practically falling off.  I HAD to have the leaking tire replaced because I did not feel like continuing to run to a gas station to re-inflate it every 8 hours, but I plan to have words with the dealership before I replace the rest of them.  Maybe (hopefully) they are still under warranty.

Over the course of my morning I got woefully little caffeine into my system, so as soon as I got home I whipped myself up a double shot of espresso to get rid of my encroaching headache.

Fixed me right up
 After serving the girls leftover mac and cheese for lunch and realizing there was exactly one serving left I decided to lunch on that instead of my typical salad.

Leftover mac and cheese
 I regretted it later, because despite being more calorie-dense I don't think it held off my hunger for as long.  Or maybe it's just that Charlotte refused to nap today that made the afternoon seem extra-long and hungry.

My first snack:

1/2 container of cottage cheese with raspberry juice-sweetened jelly
I didn't take pictures of everything I ate.  In the interest of full disclosure, I had 12 tamari almonds, 1 apple, and 1 grapefruit to try to tide myself over until Bodypump.  But then Remy came inside and tracked mud ALL over the floor, the doorknob came off the pantry and I was at the end of my rope with having been awake since 4 and spending pretty much every minute since then being whined at or talked to loudly by someone.  I LOVE that my kids are so verbal, but it can also wear on me when they never stop talking!  I dealt with my stress by eating a mug of cereal.  Definitely not the best solution, but also not the worst thing I've ever eaten to relieve stress.

Nature's Path juice-sweetened millet rice flakes topped with raisins, walnuts, and coconut milk
After my snack I packed up the girls and took a 3-minute drive to the gym for Bodypump.  I got to stay for the entire time!  I can really tell I've been missing the lunge, shoulder and ab tracks...I'm much weaker in those areas.  After class I got to chat with my friend Kim for awhile, then I took the girls home and whipped up dinner as fast as I could because we were fast approaching Charlotte's bedtime.  Have I mentioned that I love Costco's bagged frozen stir-fry veggies?  Because I do.  They make stir-fry prep so fast and easy.

Veggies and scallop sautée over whole wheat noodles
 After dinner I had a bit of dessert.

Theo 70% dark chocolate with dried cherries and almonds
Since I have only spent about 62% as much time in my bed as I prefer to over the past 24 hours, I am going to head there right now.  I know pretty much all of my posts end with a similar sentiment, but unless I can figure out a way to pre-blog foods I have yet to eat for the day I am stuck blogging right before bed when I am always exhausted.  I guess my Bloggy award for best-written blog will have to wait until my kids are older and my sleep schedule is more predictable.  

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What I did the past 4 days

Hey there, I'm back!  And no, I actually wasn't eating badly the whole time I was taking a blogging break this time!  I am back to 0.4 pounds above where I was when I left for San Antonio  (and THAT weight is the lightest I've been since I got pregnant with Charlotte) so I'm still feeling good :-)  New gym clothes are just around the corner.

And I will need them, because it has just gotten a lot easier for me to go to the gym!  My existing gym just bought a new location that is 3 minutes from my house and I am pretty ecstatic.  It's easy biking and jogging distance, which will be super-nice when my kids are both in school.  I have already attended several classes there, and I like it better than the location I have been going to PLUS it's a lot less crowded for now.  Who knows what it will be like when more people discover it.  I am especially psyched that it adds quite a few more Zumba and Bodypump options to my workout schedule.

On top of that, Emily's preschool is starting a "Lunch Bunch" program after spring break where the kids can stay an extra hour and eat lunch at school on Mondays and Tuesdays.  This will be great practice for Emily, who will be eating lunch at school every day starting next fall, and it's also great for me because it gives me the extra time I need to actually stay for the whole Bodypump class on Mondays.  Yay!

So lets see, what have I been up to since I last posted.

The girls and I had a picnic under the Bradford Pear trees in our neighborhood on Friday.

Emily even dragged Charlotte there for me
 I thought about going down to DC to see the cherry blossoms again this year, but they bloomed so early and it's always so crowded that I opted instead to just picnic with the girls a block from our house.  I was worried because the smell of Bradford Pears in bloom REALLY bothers me for some reason, but I guess since they had been blooming for about a week at this point the smell had faded because they really weren't too bad.

I thought I could get some cute pictures of the girls, but once Emily started making faces and I laughed it was all over.  

Then Charlotte and Emily picked up my camera and took a couple shots.

That's more like it
 When we got back from lunch I started assembling our new patio furniture, and Emily started enjoying the box it came in.

When Charlotte woke up she joined in with the fun.

Dirty little feet from running around in the back yard :-)

Then she started helping me out too.

That girl wields a mean hex-key

Saturday we went to my parents' house to celebrate my youngest sister Kathleen's birthday.

Everyone pretending they don't realize I'm taking a picture
 Kathleen requested Thai for dinner, and it was delicious!

Dad's Quorn curry, bamboo rice, my green papaya salad
dumpling soup
The birthday girl
Kathleen the flasher, illustrating the fact that my sisters wore inversely-colored outfits

I, of course, made and brought Chocolate Covered Katie's Deep Dish Cookie Pie, and we had it with my dad's  homemade yogurt-ginger "ice cream". 

Yummy and healthy

Sunday we didn't do much, poor Emily was feverish with a pouring nose, painful ears and an upset tummy.  We did manage to arrange the back porch a bit.

Back porch with texting toddler
 Will wanted to have his hammock on the back porch, but I wasn't thrilled with the idea since it took up so much space and looked ugly.  After discussing it for a bit, Will came up with an acceptable solution...replace the nasty old standard hammock with his colorful hammock from Mexico.  It takes up much less space, is super-comfy and the colors fit in with the scheme I've been planning for the back porch anyway.  Win!

Plus the girls love it
Yes, I took Emily's sick day as an excuse to wear my PJs all day too
 Monday was more of the same.  We stayed home because Emily was still under the weather.

On to today!

My breakfast
 I went to Zumba at the new gym this morning, and it was really fun!  There were only 5 people there total and I was the only one who had ever taken class with that instructor before so I remembered a lot of the routines.  It's always more fun once you know all the moves :-)

Afterward I had a Babybel Light, did a bit of food shopping, and went to get Emily.

I decided I wanted to finish up the can of sardines that was in the pantry today, so I made Living Lindsay's Heart-Stopping Tuna Salad, except subbed sardines for tuna and added some greek yogurt too for creaminess.  Once it's all mixed together I really can't tell the difference between sardines and tuna, and sardines are much better for you!

Little fishies before mixing
 I served it over greens with some sprouts, and this left me STUFFED, but of course I did eventually get hungry again.  My late afternoon snack:

Dinner, per Emily's request, was mac and cheese to which I added parsnip/chickpea/cauliflower purée, nutritional yeast, ham and peas because I can't JUST make it mac and cheese when it's such a great vehicle for hiding nutrient-dense but child-unfriendly foods.  One day Emily will probably have plain mac and cheese and get mad at me for all the healthy things I've sneaked into hers over the years. 

I had another one of these yummy guys too.

And yes, it was too cold to eat dinner on the back porch this evening, but ever since we did the first time the girls have been adamant that we keep it up.  I just hope the weather gets warm again soon.

Dessert was some cherry almond Theo dark chocolate... some banana + peanut flour Vitamix soft serve to celebrate the fact that my iherb shipment FINALLY arrived!  Huzzah!

Now I have to drive to a gas station to put air in my tires :-(  I noticed this morning once I got to preschool that my back right tire was flat-ish.  I filled it up after Zumba and saw an area that was bulging and cracking.  Definitely no good.  It's a slow leak though, and I didn't have time to deal with it today, so I am filling it up tonight and hoping I will have enough air left in there by tomorrow morning to get Emily to preschool before I go get it patched.  I sure am getting sick of having to mess with my tires...this is the second one that has just gone flat for no good reason in the past few months!