Monday, September 29, 2014

cookin' for a couple weeks all in one day

a couple months ago at one of our church potluck meals one of my friends said to me, "is that all you ever eat is salad?"
i said, "yeah, pretty much. it's easy, cheap & too much of a hassle cooking just for 1 person."
he said, "yeah, i know what you mean -- i mostly eat junk because it's easier. hey, we should cook together! we could shop & cook & it'd be easier, cheaper & we'd eat better meals....."

so we looked up recipes & did a lot of research on the internet. we decided to "go paleo" -- it's not a diet, it's a way of eating. it's basically eating good, natural, fresh food rather than prepared, packaged garbage. i've also decided to go totally gluten free in hopes of getting my system working properly. i had already cut out sugar & dairy, but still had some bread & wheat in my diet, even though i deep down knew i should cut it out. sometimes it just takes a little push from someone else to get you going!

we made some meal plans & grocery lists. we went shopping together, and started cooking.

we've found some things we like, some things that we didn't like & some things that were just plain no good!!!! we vacuum sealed portions for lunches & dinners & breakfasts. it makes it real easy to grab a bag & heat it up at work rather than go out, spend $ on junk food, or not eat right. and we've portioned it so we have enough for dinner - easy to come home & eat good -- then have leftovers for lunch the next day.

last saturday night we had grilled chicken that i had marinated, sweet potato rounds & roasted cauliflower. we shared dinner with one of his co-workers & the guys went crazy over the sweet potatoes! they were the easiest thing too! slice the sweet potatoes, coat them with coconut oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper & cinnamon, then bake til tender. EASY!!!! no butter, no sugar, but fantastic!!! the chicken & cauliflower was good too, but the cauliflower had a little too much oil so it was a little mushy instead of crispy roasted. (the other guy being 1.5 hours LATE might have had something to do with the mushiness!!)

it was time to shop & cook again, but it's "tax season" right now & he's a CPA -- yes, there are several "tax seasons" a year, not just "the big one which ends april 15" -- so he's been working tons of overtime & weekends. no time to shop or plan meals OR cook together, so i just went ahead & did it myself this weekend. i needed to cook anyways & it was a yucky rainy cloudy day (even though MY yard got no rain!), & it's just as easy to cook for both of us as it is to just do it for myself. (isn't that funny? before it was too much hassle to cook for just 1, but it's easier to cook for 2!!!)

the CPA had to work late friday night so i planned meals. he was going to be at the office all day saturday, which turned into part of saturday night. saturday i had planned to sleep in a little before our card making/stamping workshop. geronimo had other plans!!!! that crazy dog can tell time - he knows EXACTLY when it's 4am, but he doesn't know what day it is!!! he doesn't know we're supposed to sleep in on saturdays!!!! he barked for a 1/2 hour straight til i got up & took him walking!!!!

we walked 3.25 miles with kenny chesney!!! (glad i've got that dog & glad i've got that iphone!!!) when we got back, i cleaned the dog pool, pulled some weeds in 1 of the flower beds, took a bubble bath & shaved my legs, got ready & went to the stamping workshop, then went grocery shopping. it's amazing how much energy you can have by getting up at 4:30 & walking!!!!

i went grocery shopping - spent $95.88 for this:

there's a lotta meat there!!!!! got some really good deals at krogers. i spent 4 hours cooking. some of the meat i just froze for later. here's what i made: tortilla soup, cajun spiced beans, beef stew, pepper steak, and a honey butter pork tenderloin.

here are some pictures of the "process":

here's a tip: when cooking meat, you need a meat thermometer. lots of recipes say "cook for 1.5 hours" or whatever. some recipes say "cook til meat reaches 145 degrees in center" -- you need a meat thermometer for that!!!! i've never had a meat thermometer. the pork was in the oven & i wasn't sure how long it needed to bake. i went next door to see if my neighbor had a thermometer -- nope! i went to another neighbor - she wasn't home, but her 10 year old said, "is a meat thermometer one of those needle things you stick in the meat to see if it's done? yeah, we've got one!" so i came home, stuck it in the meat, got a text from the CPA, was answering the text & thought, "oh, why did i leave the oven door open?" so i shut the door. 20 minutes later i remembered the thermometer!!! when i opened the oven door, this is what i found:

a MELTED thermometer!!!!! whoever invented a PLASTIC meat thermometer was an idiot!!!!!!!

so since i couldn't tell what the temp of the meat was, i sliced it up -- it was done. it was tender. it was juicy!!! it was so easy!! it tasted SOOOOOOOO goood!!!!!

for the tortilla soup, instead of tortillas, i used shredded carrots. same crunchy texture (& they don't get soggy!), none of the bad stuff that i'm not eating!

i also put these carrots in the stew (at the end of the cooking, along with frozen peas & sweet potatoes.) i am not a big fan of crockpot cooking. i hate roast cooked in a crockpot--especially when you put the potatoes & carrots in & cook the heck out of them! it all has a certain taste that i don't care for. BUT THIS STEW TURNED OUT FANTASTIC!!!!! the stew beef was so tender, the flavor was perfect. we had some of it for lunch with "faux-tatoes" -- cauliflower "mashed potatoes" -- they were so good!!! amazing how they had the texture & flavor of potatoes, with less of the calories & bad things.

forgot to take a picture of the finished stew-- it looked as good as it tasted! here are the "faux-tatoes":

after we ate, we sealed up all the food -- some of it in jars to freeze & some in the vacuum bags.

i also have a couple things in the, a few hours work on a gloomy saturday means i don't have to cook for quite awhile. and the tax man can eat too!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

my boyfriend got married this weekend

it's a sad day --- all my boyfriends are now married.

i've been sharing my #1 and main boyfriend Sam Elliott with his wife for a long long time now.

for a long time i've been sharing another of my boyfriends with all the women of the world but he went & cheated on me & got married over the weekend.

and he didn't even invite me!!!!

but it's his loss though. she's just drop dead gorgeous & probably has tons of money, but i'm the one who really loved him!!!!!!!!

he'll be sorry one day, but by then i'll probably have another boyfriend!!!!

Friday, September 26, 2014

3 weeks to make a habit

they say it takes 3 weeks of doing something to make it a habit.

well, i've got 2 habits!

for 8 weeks i've been "gluten free/on a paleo eating lifestyle" and for 3 weeks i've been waking up at 4:10 am & walking @ memorial park with s & f. we go every day, monday - friday while sam does boot camp. i've only missed 1 day because i had to go to a training class for work. (made up for it by walking at night) f has missed only 1 day (today) AND he used to wear his work clothes (white shirt, dress pants & dress shoes!!!) the 1st few weeks he walked with susan when sam started the bootcamp. the 1st day i walked with them he wore a t-shirt, dress pants & dress shoes. the 2nd day he wore a t-shirt, dress pants & tennis shoes!!!! s was shocked!!! she said "i've been trying to get you to dress appropriately for weeks & just after 1 day of walking with her, you wear tennis shoes???" his response was, "the faster you women talk, the faster you walk, so if i'm gonna keep up with you, i need better shoes"!!!!!! he has since bought a new pair of walking shoes!!!!!!

we even walked last friday when it was raining & flooding all over town. the seals were still doing boot camp, so we still walked!! the park was flooded in some areas & we only saw 2 other walkers/joggers, but WE DID it!!!! and we did our usual 3 miles!!!!

pray for s - she's missed 2 days now. she's really sick. this week allergies started getting the best of her. monday & tuesday she was very congested. when i showed up at her house wednesday morning, the whole house was dark. no one was awake yet! however, geronimo & i were all perky!!! we woke them up & waited a few minutes for susan to throw some clothes & shoes on. we did our 3 miles in the neighborhood that morning & when she didn't show up for church that evening, i knew she was sick. yesterday morning she called & said she wasn't going to be able to go, but would i go & walk with f while sam did his thing & then bring sam home so f could go on to work as usual. well, i said, "if you don't mind me walking with your husband...." she said we'd be fine. foster & i walked our usual 3 miles, we started at the usual time of 5:30 but we finished 13 minutes early!!!!!! when we got back to the starting point, he said, "wow, we're 13 minutes early." i looked at my phone & sure enough, it was only 6:17!!!! so we walked around the parking lot, down the road to the gate, etc. it was funny because we both said at the same time, "well, i guess it's SUSAN who's holding us back!!!" Not really, susan!! we just didn't want you to think we were slackers!!!!!!!!

on the way home sam sat in the front seat -- he normally sits in the back with geronimo. well, geronimo didn't like that!!! he wanted to sit with "his boy"--- we had a hard time keeping him in the back -- in fact, he sat most of the way right up front with us, sitting on the console!!!! at one point he even climbed into sam's lap & just sat!!!!!! that's a BIG dog to have sitting on your lap!!!!!

this morning s called to say the whole family was sick-- all of them! i was already ready to go & geronimo was too --- that dog can tell time!!!! he wouldn't stop barking til i went out to get him! when i let him in the house, he's learned that rather than running all over like a pinball, he makes a beeline for the garage door (which i leave open) & he sits next to the car, staring at the door as if to say, "open, open, open"!!!!!

so today geronimo & i walked around my neighborhood with kenny chesney!!!! we walked 3.25 miles - if i hadn't have had to go to work, i would have walked more!!!!! dang work!!!!

i have a lot more energy at work & the days have been flying, even though i'm super busy (there's a stack of stuff i haven't even touched yet -- don't tell my boss that though!!!) and i've been staying at the office til 6pm or after. i've had a lot of stress in my shoulders & back. i need someone to give me a good backrub! tonight i got home at about 7:10 -- i did some weights & as soon as i'm done with this post, i'm going to bed. have to get up early tomorrow for stamping workshop at church. never a day to sleep in!!!! i have a plan for my evenings - they've been a little wasted lately & it's bugging me.

part of that frustrating involves neglecting my blog. i've done a lot this summer but just haven't had time to blog it. i also haven't had a chance to read as many blogs as i'd like. after you read someone's blog for a while, you begin to look at them as your "friend". there are some "friends" i haven't "seen" in a long time. part of that is i haven't been reading, but there are some bloggers that haven't been posting as much lately either. wonder if they're like me & just too busy to post, or if some of them have just dropped off the blogosphere......????? it's funny how things go in cycles.

but one thing's for sure-- this "healthy living style" of mine isn't a cycle -- it's a HABIT!!!!!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

makin' some changes

so, all these weeks & months have flown by!!! i am so amazed when friday gets here. seems like it was just LAST friday & here it is friday AGAIN! i just wish the weekends wouldn't fly by as quickly!!!! what have i been doing? makin' lots of changes!!!

i'm sick & tired of my life & my body. i'm tired of not eating anything but salad & still not losing weight. & i eat GOOD salads, with those "good, healthy greens" & chicken or other lean meat or hard boiled eggs. i don't put croutons on my salads. but my body thinks it's starving. it goes into "survival mode" & says "we're gonna hang on to EVERY SINGLE calorie & we'll even make calories out of things that have NO calories -- like water!" "and no matter how much water you drink or what pills your dr. gives you, we're going to make you retain water & turn it all into FAT! So There!" i'm tired of having a body that doesn't make insulin at all so i have to take shots (which makes you retain/gain weight). i'm tired of pharmaceutical companies that give my dr. samples of medicines to pass out along with a list of side effects that are worse than the disease itself! i'm tired of a dr. that doesn't do anything except tell me my blood test #'s, listen to me complain about not losing weight & say, "here, let's try THIS medicine & i'll see you in 3 months." i'm convinced that drs. don't want you to get well. they want your money more than they want you well.

the last time i went to my dr we had a big argument! i was having so many side effects from the medicines he was giving me & i was very unhappy. i left his office basically saying "i'll show you!!! i'm gonna do this MY way now & in 3 months when i come back, i'll show you that MY way is better than all your stupid drugs!"


i talked to my friend s who's a nurse & who has celiac disease, amongst other things, so she eats a special diet --- & we came up with a vitamin & mineral plan to supplement the insulin i take & i decided not to take the other medicines. i was also going to revamp my eating habits & be accountable to her by writing down everything i ate. i've also totally cut out bread, gluten, wheat products, dairy (except for some cheeses because the carbs/glucose content in cheese is lower than milk - go figure! but i already knew that, so i had already cut out dairy a long time ago & i had already cut out sugar). i've cheated in the carbs area though sometimes. i was still eating SOME bread but NOW i've cut it TOTALLY OUT! no bread, no pizza, no tortillas or chips with mexican food......and i have had only 1 diet dr. pepper in 3 weeks!!!!! haven't even been drinking a lot of tea --- water with lemons or limes is my drink of choice!!!

the 1st week i lost 5 lbs. - i think a lot of it was water weight. i was also craving vegetables & looked online for some recipes. while there i found a recipe for cauliflower pizza crust. on the friday night of the 1st week i was having some ladies from church over for dinner & a movie & everyone was going to bring something. 1 of the girls was bringing pizza & i was bummed because susan & i COULDN'T eat pizza. i was thinking i'd be eating a boring salad once again.

WELL!!! i made the cauliflower crust pizza on wednesday night -- all i had was sauce & cheese. but it was good!!!! so friday night i made it again & browned up some ground turkey with some seasonings to make it taste like sausage (without all the fat of sausage!), threw that on with some onions & green, yellow, red peppers & some mozerella cheese. IT WAS ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!! all the ladies tried it - they said they liked it (but i seriously think they liked the traditional bread crust pizza better, but i was in HEAVEN!!!!! one pretty good sized piece was all it took to fill me up (but not give me that "ohmygoshiatetoomuch" feeling). and then i ate it for breakfast the next morning & lunch & dinner & breakfast on sunday!!!!! it actually got better as the days went on. and you can make a huge pizza in less time than it takes to call & order one & have it delivered --- for WAY CHEAPER too!!! the recipe is on my pinterest board "lose weight by eating" if you're interested. (i hope you will -- it'll change your life!!!!)

i've done a lot of reading on the "paleo" way of eating -- it's not a diet, it's a way of eating. i'm eating totally gluten free. no bread. no tortillas. i eat "sandwiches" & tacos with lettuce wraps.

turkey burger wrapped in lettuce

and i haven't cheated one single time!!!!! another friend of mine at church & i are cooking together & making meals we can freeze or package to take to work & have on hand at home so we're not eating junk, or in my case not eating at all. he's doing it to eat better. he doesn't need to lose any weight. i'm doing it to get my metabolism & body back in shape. years of working in the bookstore & missing meals or not eating enough has wreaked havoc on my system. i've read a couple books on detoxing your body & i'm in the process of doing that. i won't go into the details of THAT!!!!!!

another major thing i've been doing is walking. i had been walking with geronimo in the evenings but it was easy to not do it when i had worked late or gone to the nursing home after work to see grandma & papa or whatever else excuse i could come up with. i've found that i need someone to be committed to to make me do things. i've committed to susan to eating better & taking vitamins & supplements; i've committed to brandt to cook better. susan's son does a Navy Seal bootcamp workout with a bunch of guys (& a couple girls) every morning at 5:30 am in memorial park. susan & her husband walk in the park while sam's doing bootcamp. and now i have committed to them to walk with them every morning. we've done it for a whole week now & i take geronimo -- he absolutely loves it!!!!!!!!!!!!! and i can see a big difference in his demeanor. he's a very sweet dog & i'm glad i've got him. and he's a very intelligent dog -- he can tell time!!! he knows exactly when 4:15 am is & he starts to bark at that time. (he didn't used to do that!!!!) now he's telling me, "come on, time to get up & go walking!!" and it turns out that i have another friend from work who does the bootcamp, so she & i are committed to getting up & going!!!

it's been 6 weeks & i can see a difference. it's gonna take some time. i'm gonna stick with it. i'm committed to several people to do this! i need that accountability. my body's adjusting. my muscles are getting stronger & i can see changes in my body. i have a pair of "BK jeans" (before kids jeans) that give me encouragement. they're a size 6 and they used to be my favorite jeans to go dancing in!!! i may not ever get back into them again, but i'm gonna try!!!!!!

i'm gonna show my dr!!!!!!