And so it begins…

In spite of (mostly) regular training for the past two years, I’m still a bit.. um.. let’s say fluffy.

It’s annoying more than anything.  I know karate is a great workout and I try to really go as hard as I can when I’m in class (even on the don’t wanna days) but my weight is really out of control.    I have to do something.  I can’t bend over and touch my toes .. not because I’m not flexible enough but because this darn belly fat is in the freaking way.   Color me frustrated.

Many years ago when I (~thought I~) was fat, I tried Atkins for those “stubborn few pounds”… it was awesome.. I got to eat bacon every day!  That was my breakfast.. three slices of microwaved bacon.  I’d drive to work with that bacon, swaddled in papertowels, on the passenger seat and just nom away..

Guess what… I didn’t lose those 10 pounds…  and they found friends.. about 45 of them.. so now here I am at 170 wondering what happened.  I’ve tried eating better but I get lazy.. chinese food, pizza, take out all fell into my mouth with abandon.

Enough.

This has to stop.  I’m unhealthy.  Sure I can go 90 minutes in the dojo but I’m exhausted.  I bruise easy.  I’m sore for days. I look like I’m going to pass out after 20 minutes.  I’m tired.  20 kicks and I want to fall down.

Enough already.

Karate should be fun! LIFE should be fun!  I need more energy for myself, my partner, my dogs, my job and my life.

On January 18th, we started the South Beach Diet.  After my Atkins experiment, I didn’t think low carb was a good idea.  But I did some reading and realized that we are probably both insulin resistant as well as dealing with yo-yoing blood sugar levels.  South Beach deals with this.. two weeks of no grains.  Carbs only come from certain veggies.  (Phase 1) And then you slowly add back in “good” carbs.  (Phase 2) This.. I could do without fear of my arteries slamming shut from saturated fats.

Shel went through the pantry and wiped it out of stuff we aren’t going to be eating on Phase 1.  She put potential Phase 2 foods up on a HIGH shelf.  Everything else..  to the local food pantry, my office kitchen or the squirrels.

The pantry looked woefully empty.

But the fridge is STUFFED.  We have so many veggies in there!  Stuff I never thought I’d like or that I’d forgotten I liked. Swiss chard, spinach, broccoli, zucchini..

So far, we are spending a lot of time preparing foods.. which makes it hard.  Last night I made dinner and then Shel made dinner for tonight because there is very little time to cook between coming home from work and heading out to the dojo.  Tuesdays and Thursdays were “frozen pizza for a snack night”.  And then we would eat a full sized dinner when I got home at 9PM.

No wonder we’re fluffy.

So far, I’m feeling great.  I’m snacking on good stuff all the time.  I feel like I’m constantly eating. (because I am!)  and my karate classes are going SO much better.  I think it’s all the water that I’m drinking.

I’ll be tracking my weight here once I find a plugin that will do it. And find the time to install it!  We are so busy cooking! And eating.. I swear I’m eating every 2 hours.

In other news:

Socks!

Shel Shocked.jpg
I made these cool socks for LB .  Straight Vanilla sock pattern but evidently I wasn’t paying attention because one is 1/2 shorter than the other.. oops!

And these are what I’m working on for me!
Stranded Stitches
The Pattern is Show-Off Stranded Socks –
Ravelry.com Link
and it really does a beautiful job showing off the variegated hand dyed yarn. Which, by the way, came from Jess at Weaving Rainbow. I totally need to finish her dog collars. I’m so far behind I’m embarassed!

Turn and face the strange

Ch.. ch.. ch.. CHANGES!

Now that you are all singing a David Bowie song, I wanted to tell you about some of the things we’ve changed for the furkids. As you may or may not know, I have been a proponent of raw feeding. My dogs have been on raw food since they came home to us.

And they loved it. But I worry. We lost Charlie to a bladder tumor at age 7. We lost Targ to hemangiosarcoma at age 6.

The girls are 5 this summer. Although they are pretty healthy over all, Qay is still very flighty despite all the work we’ve done with her and Qor has a reoccurring infection under her chin. It could be because for as much as we try, her face is never really dry. It’s that tongue thing. You’ve seen it.

Maybe it’s time to try something else. Maybe we aren’t able to nutritionally balance a diet for our dogs. Maybe these two dog would do better on (gasp!) kibble.

I confess. For a long time I was a full fledged member of “raw diet is the ONLY way” club. A few years ago, I started to realize that I could not covert everyone into my cult. I started telling people that the best diet for your dog is the one it thrives on.

Just recently, at a chiropractic clinic, I saw a young dog practically glowing with life.. Glowing! Shiny coat, bright eyes, nice teeth and wonderful attitude. I said to myself, “this is a raw fed dog”. That dog was 5 years old and had been on kibble his whole life.

So for the past month, the girls have been getting a high quality kibble, for one meal a day. Although, digestively speaking they are still adjusting, I have noticed that Qor’s face is less swollen. And their poop is ok.. not great.. but okay. We are interested to see what their blood work looks like in February. We’ll be comparing it to last years.

On the home front, we purchased a new mattress as the old one was 8 years old and sagging pretty badly. Since we couldn’t have the old one hauled away, we had to put it SOMEWHERE until trash night. So I put it in our “we call it the library but it’s would be the dining room if we had a table but it’s really the quasi laundry/ doggy play room” room.

The dogs have claimed it as their own.

Click to Bigify

Two posts in one week and a recipe

I’m looking forward to training tomorrow.  I’ve been trying to eat better so that I have  energy and stamina for class!

Trying to plan recipes for the week,  we found this one.

Pasta with ChickPeas and Garlic Sauce

But of course, I couldn’t leave it alone and made a few revisions. I had a few slices of prosciutto left over and I wanted to use them. So I did.. and I added some peas to offset the badness.

Here is my version of Pasta with Chickpeas.

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained (garbanzo beans)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can reduced-sodium fat-free chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked medium pasta shells (about 6 ounce)
  • 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon  lemon juice
  • 2 slices of prosciutto, rolled and rough chopped (use scissors: trust me)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup of frozen peas
  • 3 tablespoons shredded parmigiano-reggiano cheese

Directions

Heat oil in a large skillet  over medium heat.  Add chopped  garlic, saute 1 minute. Add salt, pepper, chickpeas and broth, bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.

While garlic mixture simmers, cook pasta in boiling water 9 minutes, drain well.

Place chickpea mixture in a food processor and process until smooth. It will be thick. Don’t Panic.

In the same skillet, saute proscuitto until mostly crispy.  Toss in halved tomatoes, lemon juice and parsley.  Saute 1 minute.  Add sauce.   Add either more broth or water to thin to desired consistnecy.  Add frozen peas and heat through.

Add pasta.

Serve topped with cheese.

Enjoy!

Oatmeal Pancakes

Oatmeal Pancakes


Since I’ve not been able to make class for a week (thanks to my job taking up all my time lately! Must need to figure out how to get out of there on time) I thought I’d post about my breakfast.

Oatmeal Pancakes: Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone <– clicky the linky for the book info.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups quick oats
2 cups lowfat Kefir (recipe called for buttermilk. I find kefir makes a nice substitution. If you don’t have either add 2 tbsps of lemon juice or vinegar to enough milk to make 2 cups)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg (go for freshly grated. You’ll thank me later)
1/2 tsp baking soda.

Method:

Stir the oats and kefir together and let stand for 20 minutes. Plug in the electric griddle (or what have you)

Beat the eggs, vanilla, maple syrup, and oil together. Combine flour, salt nutmeg and baking soda in a separate bowl. When 20 minutes are up, mix eggs mixture into oat mixture. Stir in flour mixture. cook over medium low heat until tops are covered with holes. Flip once.

Since there is a lot of moisture in these, you need to cook them slowly.

Serve with maple syrup, apple sauce, greek style yogurt, fruit etc.

Falafel Chicken and homemade Tzatziki sauce

Since this really is a wellness blog.. not just about karate, I thought I’d post a recipe I sort of adapted from a fuller fatter version that involved frying and egg yolks.
I’d site the source, but I don’t know where the original came from.

Anyway, this was very tasty! Makes 4 servings but it heats up nicely the next day.

Falafel Chicken:

Four boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 box Falafel mix. You’ll actually only use 1/2 cup of the mix. (I like Fantastic Foods)
One zip top bag
Spray Oil (like Pam)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

Put 1/2 cup of falafel mix in the zip top bag. 

Rinse the chicken breast and shake off most of the water.  One at at time add to the zip top bag and shake to coat.  Put on a baking sheet sprayed with spray oil.

Bake chicken for 20 minutes, or until done through.

While chicken is baking make, tzatziki sauce

Tzatziki Sauce

1/4 cup small chopped cucumber.
One small container (8 ounces) of greek style low fat yogurt if you can find it. (Try Fage – pronouced “Fay -eh”) Otherwise get regular plain yogurt.
One clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon dried Dill (half that if you can find fresh)
Lemon juice, salt, pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together.  Re-season as necessary. To be honest, I sort of winged this last night.  I think these are about the correct proportions. 

Serve with whole wheat couscous, and a veg.