Three Weeks In…

So,  it’s been three weeks or so since I started my weight loss journey and I’ve definitely had highs and lows.  I’m doing well with watching what I eat.  I’ve cut back on the amount of food I eat and have been conscientious about eating things that are good for me and avoiding what I know is bad.

My difficulty lies in finding time to exercise.  I have a packed schedule and when I’m not working or doing homework I’m pretty happy to just hang out and catch up on some TV.  I have done some Tae Bo and I’ve run on my treadmill but not nearly enough.  I know that even doing anything is better than doing nothing,  however it is hard to get motivated.  Yeah I could spend 15 minutes getting my heart rate up,  or I could spend that time relaxing.

Am I wrong to spend my few spare moments relaxing?  Or should I be making an extra effort to be exercising?  Oh yeah…and I’ve lost 3 pounds so far!  So,  I guess I can’t be doing too much wrong right?


January 25, 2009 at 10:51 pm 1 comment

Three Down!

So, it’s been just over three weeks since I made the resolutions that I would lose 17 lbs in 17 weeks and clean up my lifestyle. Progress so far? Definitely! Am I wearing a size 6 now? Hell no.  At least, not yet.

I’ve spent the last three weeks trying to re-think the way I cook.  In case you weren’t aware, I. LOVE. FOOD.

Dining out is a hobby and I could play in my kitchen for hours. I’ve been making changes to staple meals like adding cup-fulls of veggies to my spaghetti sauce and replacing my regular old noods with whole wheat ones.

I’m drinking a LOT more water and have only had one soda since Jan 1. Although, I have to admit – I need more than milk, water, and orange juice in my beverage diet.  Oh, and beer and wine, but those don’t count, right?  

Moving on… I think differently about desserts and watch portion sizes – Skinny Cow’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches have been amazing. So have a few bites of Hershey’s Kisses or an Applesauce Oatmeal Muffin. I haven’t skimped on anything. But I’m thinking about everything.

And it hasn’t been tough – in fact, it’s fun to think of new approaches to cooking and preparing food. I have to think in advance about what I’m taking to work with me. Not only am I packing my own lunch, but I’m planning for both a morning and afternoon snack as well. Options have included fruits (the basics: I love bananas, apples, oranges and grapes), grains (ok… Triscuits… but just a few!) and a few slices of cheese, and yogurt with a handful of granola thrown in. Breakfasts at work have been mini bagels with peanut butter for the protein, mini quiches that I’ve pre-made and just take to work to heat up, fruits, or whole grain cereals.

The one thing I haven’t added to my routine yet is working out, and I think this is really going to be the jumpstart I need. It’s been too cold here to get active outside (excuses? maybe), and I’ve only attacked my yoga ball once. So… either I need to better budget to allow yoga classes back into my life, or I need to bundle up and at least make it around the block a time or two.

The results so far? I’m down three pounds. In three weeks. I believe… that would be right on track 🙂

January 23, 2009 at 5:26 am Leave a comment

It’s that time of year again…

… and it means I am at odds with my nemesis.

Look at what I’m dealing with:

king cake!

Photo courtesy of

With Mardi Gras right around the corner, I’m being tempted by the sweetest treat available: King Cakes. Mmm, sugar and flour-y goodness. And even though I no longer live in Louisiana, they are still accessible (and relatively good considering they were made in Mississippi.)

OK, OK. I haven’t eaten an entire one of these just yet, but it’s only a matter of time. I bought a king cake with my favorite filling (cream cheese, in case you were wondering), and I have been slowly knocking pieces off it.

Emphasis on slowly.

While this lifestyle change thing is tough sometimes, I figure we all need to treat ourselves every once in a while. In moderation.

… Right?

January 21, 2009 at 2:17 am 1 comment

Tae Bo Funk- A Review

I gave up my membership to my local gym because I have a free membership at the University.  That said,  the University gym is 20 minutes or so away, so I don’t get there as often as I like,  or ever really…  So,  in an effort to keep exercising,  I bought 2 Tae Bo dvd’s.  I’ll review both of them,  but for today it’s Tae Bo Funk.

Now,  this is my first introduction to Tae Bo so I wasn’t sure what to expect,  except that people seem to like it.  Plus,  I’ve done kickboxing at my gym and loved it.

The dvd was fun but at the time I definitely didn’t feel like I was getting a great cardio workout.  At times it felt fast paced,  but overall I didn’t feel like I was getting the best workout.  It was fun and I enjoyed it and would definitely do it again,  I just didn’t feel like it was the best workout I’d ever get.  That said,  I was sore the next day so it did do some work!  I certainly won’t be doing this dvd as my only workout,  I’ll add in some running on the treadmill for sure,  but it definitely will have a place in my routine.

January 19, 2009 at 9:02 am Leave a comment

The athletic mindset on food

When I was younger, I was an athlete, playing sports whenever and wherever I could. I always had the ‘athletic build,’ even though I was/am relatively skinny. And I always had the ‘athletic mindset’ when it came/comes to eating.

When my senior year of high school rolled around, I wasn’t involved in one sport: volleyball. When the season finished up in October, I didn’t have anything athletic to do other than playing on a recreation league basketball team, which was fun but didn’t burn near as many calories as high school varsity sports did.

What I didn’t realize was I could not continue eating the way I used to. No more athlete’s diet. No more carbs! carbs! carbs! And my body suffered because of my lack of knowledge (and my love for the athletic, energy-driven foods, as well as carbs.)

Into college, I still had that athletic form. I still was eating whatever I liked, and I was OK with it. I didn’t start thinking of my body as something I would like to improve until I got involved in the sorority and saw many of my sisters dieting and doing other things to make themselves “look better.”

I started watching what I ate — a little — and tried to work out with some sisters on a regular basis. (It didn’t last long.)

It wasn’t until the summer between my junior and senior years — the summer I spent in Italia — that I was worried about my body. Realizing I would be eating a lot of fabulous, carb-y pasta while in Tuscany, I convinced myself that I would be OK if I gained that pasta weight. Simply because this would probably be the only time I spent in that glorious country.

And I indulged while I was in Cortona. In fact, I added second, third and fourth helpings on my pasta plate simply because it was so damn good. And everything else was incredible.

By the time I got home, my clothing didn’t fit anymore. I didn’t notice a difference until my dad’s girlfriend (now wife) mentioned something about me starving myself while in Italy, which I found absurd.

Apparently, that hill I lived atop was my saving grace. I had to walk up and down it to get into town multiple times a day. Add all the fresh fruit, veggies and food into that, and, to my surprise, I lost quite a bit of weight while in a carb-happy country.

Over the past two and a half years, I have gained the weight back. Currently, I weigh the most I ever have. And while my weight isn’t obscene, I want to knock it back down. But I want more to go along with that, as well.

I want to feel the way I did while in Italy. I was eating fresh food every day. I was walking so much. I was healthy, and I felt incredible.

So, I am resolving to take it back. And since I won’t be living on top of a hill or in my tiny Etruscan town, a lifestyle change is in order. I still have the athlete’s mentality when it comes to eating, and I want to scale back on that. I want to think about what I’m putting into my body. I want to be in shape again. And I want to be happy with the way I feel and look — the way it was when I came home from my European adventure.

This blog and these ladies are going to help me get back to that, and I have already been so encouraged. We’re getting to work, and there will be a noticeable change by April 30th.

January 13, 2009 at 5:32 pm 2 comments

Why am I here?

Since this is my first post for our new healthy lifestyle blog,  I thought it would be nice to give you a little insight into why I’ve joined E.P. and Lily in this “live a healthier lifestyle” extravaganza!

I suffer from “I need it immediately”itis….Meaning,  if I’m hungry,  I want to eat now rather than later.  Typically this leads me to bring home take out rather than prepare a meal at home.  Now,  I know that it would probably take me less time to actually make my dinner rather than drive all the way to the restaurant and pick it up,  but it just seems like so much less work!

Yes I’ll probably still get take out a night or two a week,  but I pledge to eat at home more often,  allowing myself to regulate what goes into my body better.  I’ve even started out on the right foot.  Over the weekend I made some applesauce oatmeal muffins from a recipe I found on and let me tell you,  they are pretty good.

So, my ultimate goal is to eat better and get a little bit of exercise in.  Alright, a lot of exercise in.  Yeah,  I know… a LOT of people say the exact same thing EVERY new year!  And I’m not going to pretend that I’ll have no set backs.  I’m a busy girl after all…50 hour work week and  full time grad school keeps me pretty busy!  But all the missed sleep and TV time is worth it right?  RIGHT?  Definately!

January 12, 2009 at 11:25 pm 2 comments

Lily’s Veggie Burgers with Avo-Mayo Spread

My friends tease me a lot about my style of cooking, since it’s extremely experimental and mostly involves taking a quick mental inventory of what I have in stock and throwing things together. When I recruit guinea pigs, they call it Lily’s Test Kitchen and humor me by entertaining my latest idea.

One of my 2009 health goals is to try new foods and cook things I’d never tried cooking before. I don’t eat a lot of beans except green ones or BBQ beans, so I put these (new varieties) at the top of my list. I need to add some protein into my diet in a healthy and fun way, so I bought a bag of black beans and a bag of chickpeas knowing that if all else failed, I could throw together a black bean and corn salsa or some hummus. My real objective was veggie burgers, and they turned out superbly so that’s the recipe I’m sharing here!

Last night, my friend Beth volunteered to be my sous chef in exchange for a home-cooked meal, so we set out to making the burgers. Here are the tools we had on hand and then a quick run-down of the ingredients and the process:


Food processor
Crockpot (for the chickpeas; this isn’t necessary, but it sure did make cooking the chickpeas simple!)
Large pot

Lily’s Black Bean and Chickpea Veggie Burger with Avocado-Mayo Spread


(quantities are estimated as I don’t measure, but instead throw things together until it looks/feels right):

Burger Patties
Black Beans
Red Bell Pepper
Green Bell Pepper
1 Egg White and Bread Crumbs for binding the patties
Seasonings: Lowry’s Season Salt, Pepper, Basil, Onion Powder

Avo-Mayo Spread
1/2 Ripe Avocado
Enough low-fat Mayo to make the mushed-up/food processed avocado spreadable (couple of tbsps?)

Tomatoes (sliced) and Mixed Greens for garnish on Marble Rye Bread

Cooking the beans:

I did the chickpeas in my large crockpot following Kate’s instructions here:

Rinse 1# of dried chick peas well and pick over for quality. Place in crockpot and cover with water to a depth of 3 inches if possible. These little guys swell big time. Cook on high until tender, adding more water if necessary. Mine took nearly 4 hours.

Lily’s Notes: I put mine on low (the 10-hour setting) and left them for just over 6 hours. They were really tender when I took ’em out and those suckers popped right out of their skins.

For the black beans I just followed the instructions on the bag, opting for the Quick Rinse instead of the overnight soak and then simmering them on the stovetop for about an hour and a half.

With the food processor, chop up both the red pepper and the green pepper, add in the onions (I think we probably added about 1/4 cup or so. I don’t like an overwhelming onion flavor, but I love the kick it gave it). Because my food processor is teeny tiny, we did everything one at a time and then mixed it all together in a big bowl before making the patties.

Add the chickpeas (skins removed) to the food processor and blend until pretty fine, then add those to the peppers. This was probably close to the same amount of processed peppers we used and give the patties their firmer texture. We added the black beans whole (instead of chopping or mashing them) and I think this makes the final presentation really pretty. Throw in the egg white and some bread crumbs to help bind it all together, then add the seasonings.

I used my hands to grab and mold little balls of the veggie mix and then pressed them between my palms to make the patties. The ones we wanted on our sandwich, I did on the stovetop in a skillet with a little bit of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I did the rest on a cookie sheet in the over at 375* for 10 minutes on each side. These were eventually frozen for later use.

The Avo-Mayo was done in my little food processor as well and spread on toasted marble rye bread. The patties were put on and topped with sliced tomatoes and mixed greens.

So tasty! And really healthy and nutrient-rich. Let me know if anyone tries this and how you might tweak it!

*I promise to take pictures next time!*

January 11, 2009 at 4:49 pm 1 comment

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