Cooking · Fitness · Self-reflection · Summer

A new mini chapter and Protein Pancakes

So, in my journey of weight loss and self improvement, I am starting a new chapter! Today marks the 8th day that I have been following Jamie Eason’s LiveFit program. 72 Days to go! This program is pretty great for me (and this coming from somebody who can’t even do a 30 day photo challenge) mostly because of the meal plans, and it gives me a guide to something I’ve already been thinking of getting into but completely lost on how to start. I shall explain:

iphone june 2013 backup 3921I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been going to the gym since January and changed my eating habits since last August. Since doing these things I’ve gone from 195lbs to 167lbs or so and I am so much happier – still have about 30-40lbs to go and lots of toning before I’m wear my height says I should be but I am so happy with the progress that I’ve made. There is only so much that a treadmill can do for you though. I’ve been looking longingly at the weight section in my Planet Fitness for a while now, but had no idea where to start! This program gives me specific exercises on specific days to target two muscles each day, and makes sure to have rest days each week. To read more on those you really should check it out, even if just for your own knowledge! I also have a meal plan to follow – which I normally cringe at! I’m in general the pickiest of eaters – usually a crucial spice or ingredient is something I’m not overly fond of (aka my mortal enemies: Pickles and Celery) But this meal plan is so easy and versatile! I LOVE her homemade protein bars – so far I’ve made the chocolate and carrot cake ones.

So far I’ve made: Turkey Meatloaf Muffins (not a muffin – more like a muffin shaped meatball), Chocolate Protein bars, Carrot Cake Protein bars, Peanut Butter Banana Ice cream, and Banana Protein Pancakes. I’m really looking forward to making more of these recipes! So far I really love clean eating! The only thing I’ve been missing is Raisin Bran muffins and breads. I love eating Turkey and Chicken though! I can’t wait to see where this new lifestyle leads me!

I am the first to admit I have cheated once, no twice. I ate two small squares of a sheet cheese pizza that somebody had left in the office, as well as a half a Russell Stover’s S’more. Those by the way are amazing. I really recommend them if you love s’mores. Which I do. I really really do.

I wonder if there’s a healthy version of salted Caramel gelato. No, that would be too good to be true. Much too good to be true!

I’ll be going to North Carolina soon to see my dad and I really can’t wait. I miss him so much since he moved down there and I am beyond excited to see him. Just need to make sure I stay on track that week and do some exercises while I’m with him.

iphone june 2013 backup 3879In completely other news I went to see Man of Steel at a prerelease showing with my friend Susan! It was awesome – not even a little bit disappointed and Henry Cavill being pleasing to the eye didn’t hurt one little bit! I’m not going to say another word as it’s a pretty new movie – and I hate when people spoil things for me – so I promise that you will love it – just embrace the changes that were made, and delight in the delicious man candy that’s in front of you. Amy Adams is also cute.

That’s all for now! I’ll include a recipe down below!

Protein Pancakes with Strawberry Sauce!

Cooking · Fun and Games · jarred · Long Distance · Self-reflection · Summer

Hello, Summer.

ImageI can’t believe it’s already June 1st! I feel like May went by way too fast.  Let’s see…to sum up the month: I got to see my love, went to Niagara Falls, and I turned 27.

Ah, 27. I don’t feel any different, but at the same time I don’t feel that old either.  Maybe I’ll never feel as old as I actually am.  Before you pounce – I’m not saying I’m old, just that however old I imagined 27 to feel like…I don’t feel it.  If that makes sense.  No? Moving on.
The picture you see to the left is the most delicious thing on this entire planet.  Not the healthiest but who cares about health when your taste buds are singing songs about Euphoria and delight.  Something about Salty Sweet foods calls to me.  I crave them and develop an  immediate fondness and addiction to them that I should probably seek further knowledge on what my body is lacking that I crave these foods so badly.

Niagara Falls, this is the fourth time I’ve been and it’s always magical to me. Something about completely natural water with that much power is awe-inspiring. Someday I’ll manage to cross the Rainbow Bridge to Canada and see what I’ve heard is the much better view of the Falls.  Or at least a most entertaining one.Image

Jarred and I went to a concert on my birthday.  It was a concert I’d been really looking forward to; Volbeat, Big Wreck, 10 Years, Eye Empire, Wayland and Surrender the Fall.  The crowd killed this concert though.  It was dead, drunk and less enthused than anything I’ve ever seen in my life.  The Bands were great, I just didn’t enjoy myself when they were not playing.

I’m currently sitting in my kitchen typing on my laptop because the house in unbearably hot and my room turns into a heat pod, where heat comes in and never leaves. It’s like a haunted house of heat.

I have never craved an Iced Chai more than I do at this exact moment.  I’m going to have to remedy this situation pronto.

So, as I sit, typing…sipping lemon water and smelling deliciousness from the oven (vegetable Lunas!) my little cat, Jack and my behemoth puppy, Sydney are both on opposite sides of the room collapsed on the floor.  These two are enemies you see.  More on Jack’s side than Sydney who probably doesn’t care about the irate kitten at all.

Upcoming recipes!

I made my own recipe for the first time for a yummy Corn Chowder that is super healthy and only about 160 calories per serving! I also made a creamy chicken and wild rice soup, that is less healthy. I’ve made some MuffinsImage from a recipe I found over at Ambitious Kitchen – Link is in the Blogroll.  They are delicious! and Guilt Free! I’ve been watching some food shows on Netflix and Hulu lately and I’ve been dying to try making Thai foods, maybe a Pad Thai, or a curry.  Tikka Masala sounds divine.  I’m always disappointed in the tofu though.  I can’t find the type of tofu in the grocery stores that I get when I order from a thai restaurant.  I wish I knew what the difference was or where to get it.  The texture is completely different – even from extra firm.  WHHHHHHHY can’t I find it? If you have any light to shed on this subject, I will pay you in diamonds and rubies.  Just kidding, I don’t have those types of riches.  But I would love you forever and promise to post pictures of the results of such advise!  That’s enough for now, until my room cools down enough for me to go through the pictures I took for those Muffins.

I hope you’re all having a wonderful June so far and look forward to the rest of the month.

Cooking

Taco Soup, and Welcoming Spring–maybe?

Finally! I have a Friday Morning free to type up a post. It seems as thought Spring has finally come to Central New York! I think farther upstate there is still some light snow, but it seems like the flowers can finally peek out from their hiding spots under the dead leaves.  I’ve seen quite a few robins over the past week, even with all the rain we’ve had over the past week.

Just before I went on vacation I was given a recipe for a delicious soup called Chicken Taco Soup – super healthy and full of protein! After coming home from vacation I remade the soup and left out of the chicken to see what the difference would be – I actually prefer it that way!

I’m a bit of an tea lover. An addict.  I could easily drink it constantly throughout the day.  I know I’ve discussed my addiction to Chai.  Be Proud readers! I’ve weaned myself to only ordering a small when I go to First Cup now! My other love is Green Tea, especially the SuperFruit one from Good Earth. My favorite tea however is usually from Loose Leaf tea.  I adore Teavana for their tea.  It’s been a while since I’ve ventured in so I was beyond ready to stock up today.  Peachberry Jasmine Green Tea, Superfruit Unity Green Tea, Pomegranate Cranberry Herbal Tea and I even got a free Jade Dragon Mao Feng blend because I’d bought so much.  Qualified for 10% off and had my lovely little $10 coupon and I got at least a years worth of tea for just under $45.

On to the recipe, I forgot to snap a picture of this.  But trust me, it’s better that way.  You might end up with your face plastered to the screen and hunger pangs in your tummy.
Taco Soup for the Crock Pot!

Boston · Self-reflection · Work

Life has been incredibly busy…

Life lately seems to be running me over with a steam roller.  Not in a completely bad way, just keeping me busy.

I got home from vacation about a week ago and went directly back into work with split nights off and recovering from being a little piggy about my diet while I was away.  There’s a donut shop in Saugus, MA called Kanes that I would gladly give a lung to eat at daily.

For the past week and a half I’ve been dealing with an on and off migraine – mostly on but occasionally off.  At first I thought it was because of my poor eating – fatty, heavy foods, when I’m usually a very light and fresh food eater.  Maybe even high salt.  But no, changing my diet back to normal didn’t help. Then I thought it was perhaps because I had so drastically changed my diet BACK with no time for my body to catch up and recover – so I snuck some salty and lightly sugary foods in. Nope, not that either.  So I’ve given up, if it gets unbearable I take some medication, otherwise I just have to tough it out I guess.

Spring is finally here it seems! Flowers are sprouting and we haven’t had snow in a week! Hurrah!

I’m on day 4 of Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 workout regime and man, she kicks my butt in the short 20 minutes that the workout lasts.

I’ve got a couple recipes to post that I’ve discovered in the past month.  So hopefully on Wednesday I can get that done!

Happy Monday lovelies!

Long Distance · Self-reflection

Finally a day off and time to write…

I was hoping to make a post last week, unfortunately on the day when I normally would have time to cook and time to write, I was called in to work the night before and ended up sleeping all day with no time to do either cooking or writing.

Currently, I’m sitting in bed on my laptop watching Bones and contemplating the Noodle dish I plan on making for dinner tomorrow.  I bought whole grain linguine, fresh produce like Bell peppers, red onion, mushrooms, scallions, and it will all be combined with chicken breast strips and cajun seasoning for what I hope is a plate of dreamy deliciousness.

Today is or at this point, was the first day of Spring.  Here in my area of New York, we welcomed it with a 36 hour Lake Effect Snow watch.  Wonderful.  I still remain hopeful however that this is the last snow I’ll be seeing this season – after all, April is only about a week away!

Next week I’ll be traveling down to Massachusetts to spend Easter with Jarred and meet most of his family for the first time.  In preparation for that I will be making two batches of Oreo Truffles, one with peanut butter oreos, one with regular.  I’ll also be making a recipe from the Pioneer Woman that I’ve altered slightly to take out the pecans or nuts, called Knock You Naked Brownies.   Hoping to get recipes posted for all of these dishes.

Thursday morning I will be going to the dentist to have a Not-quite-a-cavity-yet tooth filling done.  My house has well water and a lack of fluoride, so apparently my molar needs a little extra protection and I have a new fluoride routine.

And lastly! A few questions that I hope some people will have the answer to and leave them for me!  I’ve lost a bit of weight probably too fast, my skin in my thighs, breasts and stomach is a little bit loose- not horribly so but enough that it bugs me.  I’ve been using Palmer’s Firming Butter to help tighten it up as well as drinking lots of water, any other suggestions?  I’m also going to give p90x a try starting this week – anybody have some excellent stretches to do before and after?

I’m also looking for some healthy lunches that don’t involve the bread part of a sandwich or if it does have bread – no cold cuts.  Any ideas or tips?

Cooking · Long Distance · Work

Minestrone Soup and “I-need-a-vacation-itis”

I woke up from a late night nap, looked out my window and was confronted with a vision of white. Actually getting out of my bed for closer inspection, I was delightfully surprised to see it was Fog. I’m not particularly a fan of fog, but I love it compared to snow. Bring on all the fog possible if it means the snow season is over this year.

That’s probably not the case.

But tomorrow it’s supposed to be a warm, no-jacket-needed fifty degrees, and that’s good enough news to make me wiggle my toes and do a little happy dance that has never been witnessed by another soul.

Requesting time off at my work is a not-so-complicated process, however actually getting the days is harder than you’d think.  This coming from a person who gets most of the days she requests – it’s still not easy.  I put my requests in six months ahead of time and usually schedule them around my days off so that I’m actually only requesting two days every other month instead of four or five.  It’s all put in through the computer at work, and then my Overnight Manager looks at it, and takes anywhere between a day or three weeks to Approve or Reject it.  I’m currently praying that I can manage to find somebody to fill my Easter shift that I requested in December and was denied for.  I’m hoping to meet Jarred’s family for the first time (sosososososososo incredibly nervous) and I’d like to not have to come home the day before Easter while everybody is on the highway doing the exact same thing.  I also just put in requests for July (Mayhem Fest 2013) and three days in August for a wedding.  I’m bracing myself for a long few weeks of “Bess, all these vacations, what am I going to do with you” followed by denying half of them.  All of this would easily be solved if they would give me Full Time (I work full time hours most weeks anyway) and allow  me to move out on my own.

Sigh.

On a brighter note, I broke out my trusty slow cooker yesterday and made soup! Vegetarian-Wheat Free- Minestrone to be exact.  I wasn’t able to completely follow the directions of the recipe as my Slow Cooker must be a different size than the one originally used.  A fact that I didn’t discover until after I’d already started the process of combining ingredients. It is delicious nonetheless though! Chock full of vegetables and that warm-you-all-the-way-to-your-bones comfort food flavor.
Minestrone Soup in the Slow Cooker!

Cooking · Self-reflection

Hot Chocolate Kind of Mornings

Diet or not, some mornings were made specifically for Big Mugs of Hot chocolate. When the wind is blowing against the walls of my house, and the snow drifts across the roads where the fields are, I already know it’s going to be one of these mornings.

Oddly enough, this new outlook on life and my cravings, makes me shut the lid on my Large Hot Chocolate from Dunkin’ Donuts and crave the feeling of a mug of nice green tea. This girl no longer runs on Dunkin’.

Work’s been stressful. So enough of that.

I made a healthy Macaroni and Cheese the other night, and while I was really worried about some of the substitutions I’d made – I was extremely happy with the result.

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Macaroni and Cheese – a healthy Makeover!

Cooking · Self-reflection

The Comeback and the laziness of a Friday

This post is incredibly overdue.

It feels like it’s been weeks. Months. Years.

219f11f4829b11e2842d22000a1f9ada_7As I sit on this slightly chilly Friday in Upstate York, I am perfectly content.  I have my Chai from one of my favorite places to eat here, First Cup.  I also have a delicious breakfast sandwich on an everything bagel – which does nothing for my breath but everything for my soul. Music in my ears and snow falling gently outside, with my best friend sleeping in a curled up pile of shedding fur on my bed.

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted and so much has happened! I have no idea where I could even start.  So let’s just address the biggest things and I’ll attempt to fill in all the rest later on in other posts and side stories.

Last August I got an iPhone which in itself is not all that important other than I’ve become an app fiend.  Play me on Ruzzle! Dice with Buddies! Magic Piano!  I found a calorie / workout app called MyFitnessPal that has since changed my life.  I started keeping a food diary in mid August and while I haven’t done it every single day I’ve been brutally honest about portion sizes and overeating so I can learn.  Since then I have lost 30 pounds.  In January I decided to take it up a notch and got a Gym membership to Planet Fitness.  I love it, nothing clears all the stress of work and a long distance relationship than planting yourself firmly on an elliptical trainer and just blasting music and “running” for an hour.  I can already see noticeable changes!  I’ve been trying to do my Zumba on days when I can’t make it to the gym.  I’ve also been trying really hard to change my entire eating life style.  I use Skim Milk or Almond Milk, whole grains instead of normal white or whole wheat, Vegetarian and vegan alternatives, smoothies, ect.  It’s been going pretty good but every now and then I’ll have a “cheat” meal so I can stay on track and not get run off my health road by cravings.

I only have one downfall.

This Chai is like my crack.  I’ve had three this week.  Bad Nemmie.

I’m going to try and get back to my SuperFruit Green Tea by Good Earth to deter myself from slipping into the delicious silky smooth flavor of Oregon Chai.

This evening I’ll be experimenting with a Gluten Free Brown Rice Pasta and Almond Milk to make Mac and Cheese for dinner, I’m a bit nervous. I love my Mac and Cheese.  I’ll cry if it tastes bad.  Bawl even.

Work has been work.  I’m looking forward to training in the Cash Office if I can ever get time to get in there and learn.  I’ve been trying really hard since New Years to get Full Time status so I can get my own place and start working on making my Long Distance Romance a Not-so-Long-Distance one.

I’ve had some health problems lately.  I was put on Trazadone for insomnia  and it’s been working, it’s so wonderful to finally get some sleep.  I was also diagnosed with an Ovarian Cyst last August and rechecked in November.  Still there.  My Birth control keeps her (I’ve named my cyst Francine, after four months of constant cramps and pain) at bay for the most part and keeps Francine from growing but as a naturally anxious person I have a lot of worries about just the fact that I have a Cyst and that there’s really nothing being done about it. I wish it was as easy as serving a body eviction notice.  Get Out Ms. Cyst, don’t come back.

Progress Photo Time!

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Time to get back to the real world and paying the rest of my months Bills.

Tata Lovelies,
Nemmie