MotoActv at last

Finally got my new toy in the mail today! I was super excited to try it out, and I have to say, I think this is going to be addictive. I know, normal people, who actually have smart phones, can use apps to track this stuff, but my phone/plan is very limited. I just don’t use my phone enough to be worth spending a ton on it.

motoactv

Conclusions I’ve made after my first walk/jog with the gps watch:

  • I’m slower than I thought!
  • I’ve verified that I did really get in 3.5-4 miles on almost all of my walk/jogs these past few weeks.
  • This is going to be a great way to challenge myself to actually improve speed and distance. I don’t think I was accomplishing much by just doing what I “felt like” at the time.
  • I’m looking forward to changing up my routes and being able to see a map and the distance as I go.
  • I absolutely love being able to hold all my mp3s and play them on the watch. My old mp3 player was old and bulky and hardly had any space on it.

Here’s my first workout summary. If any real runners are looking at this, don’t make fun of how slow I am! I’ll get better.

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I was really slow the first mile because I kept playing with the watch.

Looking forward to my next jog! I don’t say that often.

Recipe: Lentil Mango Picadillo

lentilpicadillo

This recipe really doesn’t seem close to traditional Picadillo, not only because there’s no meat and there’s mango in it, but because every Picadillo recipe I’ve seen has olives. However, I hate olives and have never had traditional Picadillo, so I am glad I saw this version. I can’t think of another name for it, so I’m sticking with the same recipe title from the recipe I slightly adapted.

I really liked this recipe for a change. We have one standard lentil dish we cook all the time, and I was ready for a change. I love adding mango to savory dishes, so this was a great choice for me. I do think it could have used a bit more flavor. The flavor was there, but it seemed to get a little lost. Or maybe I am just used to well spiced dishes thanks to my husband. I would recommend upping all the seasonings listed below by 25-50% and possibly using a hotter salsa.

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Lentil Mango Picadillo

adapted from Eats Well with Others, originally adapted from Simply Recipes

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups lentils
1 onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 cup mild Pace Picante sauce (or other salsa)
1-2 mangoes, peeled pitted and cubed
Blue Diamond Jalapeno Smokehouse almonds, chopped, for topping (or other almonds)
chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for topping

Directions:
1. Place lentils in a large pan and fill pot with walter. Add some salt, and bring to a boil.  Cook for 15-25 minutes, covered. (I cooked it longer because we like very soft lentils.) When lentils are tender, drain off the excess water.

2. Heat a large non-stick skillet on medium heat and spray with Pam. Cook onions about 5 minutes, then add the bell pepper and continue cooking another 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cumin, oregano, thyme, mango, and salsa. Cook 2 minutes. Add the cooked lentils and stir to combine, keeping on the heat for another few minutes.

3. Serve topped with chopped almonds and cilantro.

I served this with pita wedges and hummus on the side.

Easing into it

Today I’ve been thinking more about my all-or-nothing tendencies. I don’t know why this became such an ingrained part of my personality, but it really seems impossible to loosen the reins this mindset has on me.

At the moment, I’m thinking about exercise. It’s like, getting in a workout 5-6 days a week is not enough for me. I also have to make every single one of those workouts at least an hour. If not, it isn’t even worth it. This is ridiculous, and I know that, yet I still feel this way.

Yesterday I did 30 Day Shred for the first time this year. Including warm up and cool down, one level of the video is only 25 minutes. That was all I did for the day. It really showed me how much my fitness level has slipped. I gave it about 95% of my maximum effort level, and it was a killer workout. Today, my arms and legs are sore.  Yet, somehow in the back of my mind I am still thinking I need to make up for that extra time I didn’t do. And today, I walked/jogged for only 51 minutes (because I needed to have time to take a shower and go run an errand before cooking dinner), and that doesn’t seem like enough either.

I really need to stop this thinking. I’ve been back to working out for only 3 weeks. There was not much easing in; I jumped right in and didn’t look back. Which is great, but… I have to give myself a break, mentally. Any workout is a step in the right direction.

I am just trying to go so full steam ahead, and for the most part I feel great and it’s working, but I also wonder how fast I’m going to burn out and start slipping and give up again.

Anyway, just getting out some thoughts and trying to recognize where I start going wrong.

Recipe: Hawaiian Pizza Pocket

We recently made pita bread pizzas, and I made a Hawaiian one. With the leftovers, I decided to make a sandwich of sorts with the same theme. I know, that’s not a unique idea, but I thought I would share anyway, because this was a really good lunch. I served it with a yummy ripe nectarine (excited they are so good this time of year!) on the side.

hawaiianpocket

Hawaiian Pizza Pocket

Ingredients:
1/2 a pita bread or flat bread (or other bread/bun/wrap)
2 ounces (about 5 slices) deli honey ham
1 slice of mozzarella cheese
6 fresh spinach leaves
1 ring grilled fresh pineapple (canned would work too)
5 sun-dried tomato strips
2-3 tbsp spaghetti or pizza sauce (I used Bertolli Fire Roasted Tomato With Cabernet Sauvignon)

Directions:
Place all the ingredients in a pita pocket or on 2 slices of bread. Or, save the spaghetti sauce for dipping sauce if you want to pretend it’s a calzone. Heat in the toaster oven, panini press, foreman grill, and/or microwave until the cheese is melted and everything is heated through. I microwaved first, then used the toaster oven to crisp up the bread. Super easy!

Bread Note: I used 1/2 an Arnold’s Pocket Thin, but I am not a fan of these. I only bought them because I was buying Sandwich Thins on a bogo sale, and there was a high coupon specifically for the Pocket Thins, so I thought I’d try out one pack. To me, these are a waste because you could get real pita bread for much cheaper AND less calories AND better flavor. Seriously. You can get pita bread in a 6 pack for around $1.39 at Publix and each pita is 150 calories. The Pocket Thins are like $3.79 (!!!) for only 4 of them at 200 calories each, and they are thinner than the pita bread. I didn’t even think they tasted good because I’m not a fan of wheat bread. I will definitely stick to Arnold’s regular white Sandwich Thins, which I love, or just regular pita bread for this pizza pocket.

Recipe: Golden Curried Vegetables

curry2
This week I wasn’t as happy with the new recipes I tried, but they do have potential. I am posting this recipe with the adjustments that I would make in the future, not exactly how I made it this time. I did not have curry paste which was originally called for, so I modified with curry powder and other spices, and my end result was a bit too spicy in my opinion. So I’ve listed what I will do the next time, and I think this version will be a bit better. Although, if I ever have some curry paste on hand, maybe I will try it the way it is supposed to be made.

Note that I am really not a big fan of curry powder, but I am coming around. This dish was so healthy, I am willing to work with it and I know it will grow on me.
curry

Golden Curried Vegetables

adapted from Eats Well with Others and Vegetarian Times

Ingredients:
1.5 lbs potatoes (mix of sweet potatoes and russet), peeled and diced
3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
12 ounce frozen chopped green beans
1/2 cup chopped cauliflower
1 tsp coconut oil
1 large white onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 small squash, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can lite coconut milk
1.5 tbsp sweet yellow curry powder
1 tsp crushed coriander
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
dash cayenne pepper
1 tsp lemongrass paste
2 tbsp PB2
2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp dried basil (or use all fresh basil)
1 tbsp fresh basil (or use all dried basil)

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook the potatoes for 7 minutes.  Add the carrots, green beans, and cauliflower and cook 10 more minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and bell pepper and cook about 5 minutes until softening.  Add garlic and squash and cook another 5 minutes. Stir in drained cooked vegetables, coconut milk, and all seasonings (everything should be in the skillet at this point). Bring mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring a few times, for about 5 more minutes until sauce is thickening some.

Weekend Ramblings

I never really post much on the weekend, but I am a little bored at the moment. I just had lunch, so I am waiting about half an hour and then I’m going to get in a walk/jog. Usually I take a rest day on Sunday, but I want to do extra since yesterday was Gasparilla.

We headed down to the parade with friends, after pre-partying. The walk was over 3 miles total, so at least we got a little exercise. But, I definitely had some drinks and snacked on chips again. Afterwards, these things just don’t feel worth it, but I guess I gotta live a little. I try not to dwell on these things and do the best I can otherwise.

So far I haven’t seen any scale damage. I really want to work hard to get off the next 3 lbs. My menu this week is pretty good, and I’m looking forward to a good variety of dinners including 3 new recipes. I think I will hit 30 Day Shred tomorrow and see how it goes. I’m not doing that every day though.

I can’t believe I’m just a few days away from halfway through the competition. I just hope I can keep up the motivation after it ends. I have many more goals to meet by May.

Weekly Health Report – 3 weeks done

Today was the end of week 3 in the BL competition. Kind of hard to believe there are only 5 weeks left.

Weigh-In

Today I was down 2.4 from last Friday. Really glad I finally saw the scale move again, it just likes to hang out until Fridays. I’m hoping this will be enough to hold on to my 3rd place spot in the competition. (UPDATE: Yup, still a solid 3rd place.) I’ve been working my butt off and every pound is such a struggle. Down 10.6 overall in 3 weeks, not bad at all. I wish I could do 10lbs/3weeks all the time. This week’s goal is 2.6 because that will put me into the next “weight decade”.

Eating

Aside from the previously mentioned cake, ice cream, and chips, my eating has been fine.  Yesterday, I made chicken tacos at the husband’s request, and even though I loooooove Mexican, I managed to control myself and had 2 crunchy tacos (light on cheese) plus a bit of taco salad. I think I should always save Mexican for Thursdays since it’s easier to stop knowing my official weigh in is the next morning. Tonight I’m trying another new vegetarian recipe which is basically a curry, so I know my husband will like it. Tomorrow will be a challenge for Gasparilla, but I am going to bring healthy food with me and try to control my drink calories as much as I can.

Workouts

I definitely got in plenty of cardio this week. Monday-Friday I did at least an hour of cardio each day. I upped my jogging the first 3 days, but just did longer walks yesterday and today to give my legs a bit of a break. They were staying sore and I was tired with a headache yesterday anyway. Today I feel much better and my legs are good to go. I didn’t get in the amount of strength training I wanted though. Later today I’m going to do some arms/abs work.

I am sad that my GPS watch order was cancelled (Sports Authority – You Suck!), and I can’t find that good of a deal again, so I guess I won’t be tracking my speed/miles still for a while. Oh well. I also passed on the fitness classes (I knew I would chicken out), so it’s up to me to vary my routines. I may just dig out some videos soon.