Saturday, February 25, 2012

Uncovering my discerning palette

Happy Saturday!

Hubby and I recently celebrated our anniversary. For that occasion we went to a local restaurant with Latin fusion food. The appetizer (best guacamole I ever had and I am from California!) and the dessert (lemon pie, which we split) were luscious and delicious. The entrees were a wonderful mix of seeming healthiness: including grilled salmon and veggies. They looked scrumptious, but, with one bite, I knew that a ridiculous amount of salt was added which obscured the flavors and subtracted tremendously from the healthy goodness they promised. Disappointing. Neither of us finished our entrees. Like I said, the dessert and the appetizers were divine. What I learned from this little outing is that I have developed a discerning palette. Yep, I can cook, and do so frequently. What I choose to cook is usually absent of salt and made with the freshest ingredients. Before I started my trek to being healthy and foot, I doubt I would have noticed the abundance of salt. I would have gobbled up the food and licked my plate, too! But no more. Now, I am picky, not about the kinds and types of foods I eat like a child, but picky in the sense that I want my food prepared so that they remain healthy and the mix of ingredients enhances the flavors and not detracts. I plan to communicate my disappointment to that restaurant and ask them why the salt?!?!?!

In case you were wondering, yes, I just had another great week of moving forward to better health. Yes, I ate my anniversary dinner, but I learned 10 months ago how to prepare for such an event: budget my calories accordingly. Sure I ate a little more than my allotted 1500 calories a day, but not much. Actually, planning is my new best friend when it comes to healthy living and eating. You all know that I am back to work as an academic. I make my lunch every day.  Many days I get a start on dinner by prepping the lettuce for our almost daily salads at the same time. I am in the kitchen already, so cutting and washing lettuce is just a snap. When I come home starving I just open the fridge, toss in a few other ingredients (like beans, shredded carrots, and some onions), grab a plate and I have something to get me through until hubby and I sit down for dinner. Easy. Really. It is.

In case you were wondering what else I was up to last week: I cross-country skied 9 miles, walked 4 and biked for 13 miles last week. 3/7 days I spent 30 minutes on exercise, with 2/7 days over 60 minutes. Not bad for a working girl! Enjoy a few pictures of my tracks in our lovely winter landscape.

A map of my 3.75 route today!
Finally thanks for reading. And new followers, thanks for coming along and sharing with me in this getting healthy thing. You all make me aware daily that I am not alone. Have a great week! Stay strong and TTFN, Michele

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Good week and short post

Hello Friendly Bloggers! Another good week just past. Not perfect, but very good. Stayed below my 1500 cals on 5/7 days. Everyday I packed a lunch and snacks so I always had very healthy and good things at my side while I was at work. I exercised 6/7 days with 21 more miles on my bike with trainer and 2.2 miles of cross-country skiing. I had to get up a couple days very early (5am) to get my exercise in, but I did it. No weight loss, but no gain either. So another good week. It was a beautiful day in NW Wisconsin today and a great day for XC skiing.
Thanks so much for stopping by. Thanks for your support and encouragement Have a great weekend and week. By all means: stay strong. TTFN, Michele

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Update and cooking with Poblano chiles

Greetings! My first week back to academia went well. I managed to get in 23 miles on my trainer and today completed another 1.5 miles of cross-country skiing. So for my first week back I achieved my first goal, which was making time to exercise almost every day. I can now ride for 35 minutes at a steady pace on my trainer. I did track my calories every day, too. So, all in all a great week back to work and staying true to my getting healthy and fit goals. You all know that I have found my inner cook. Well, last week, I took my first every cooking class at one of my favorite kitchen gadget shops in Minneapolis: Kitchen Window. I took a class called Healthy Winter Foods: Latin Flavors. In this class we were introduced to a number of healthy, vegetarian recipes, including corn and green chili chowder that I made tonight. Fantastic! I can now say that I can roast my own Poblano chiles, which are a main ingredient to the delicious chowder. The woman who taught the class, Anna Dvorak, is a certified nutrition and weight loss counselor. I did not know that when I signed up, but her philosophy of healthy easing and good health permeated everything she taught us about cooking. I still have a number of other recipes to try out from Anna and promise I will post pictures soon. I treated myself to my first ever “chef’s knife.” I never knew that chopping veggies was supposed to be THAT easy! Here is to a great week to all of you and Happy Valentine's, too! Stay strong in your own journey to be fit and healthy! TTFN, Michele

Sunday, February 5, 2012

XC, Endomondo, baking and a great week!

Yesterday was a great day for cross country skiing. 
Sunny, clear and of course snowy. 
It's fun to try to figure out what animals left tracks.

My tracks. 
Not as delicate as the animals, but pretty straight, 
don't you think?

 Today the oaks leaves were iced at the tips.

Yesterday, I tried a new recipe for French bread. They came out great! Don't you think? I had just two pieces and tracked my cals.

Many of you know  Maren who blogs about her weight loss journey from beautiful Norway. Last week she posted about this cool little app called Endomondo. I was sold immediately when I foldout that it tracks many sports, not just walking, but get this, stair climbing, cycling (sport and mountain!), walking, cross country skiing and many, many others. The download for the “pro” version was $3.99, a bargain. It really is a dandy. It tracks your exercise distance, duration, calories burned and with GPS plots your course and produces these cool little maps of your route and calendar.
Pretty nifty, eh??

I had a great week last week! Tracked my calories and exercised well. Our weather was warm for Minnesota, which allowed me to get in TWO bike rides outside for a total of 12 miles. I did another nine on my trainer. I am getting better at keeping a steady pace on my trainer, clocking in two 30-minute rides. I cross-country skied 6 miles and walked 6, too! I know I will shed that extra couple of pounds I picked up during my three week hiatus in quick order with week's like the one just past.

Now, I am back to reality.  Sabbatical is over. Back to academic life for me on Monday.

Look forward to checking in with all of you, too. As always, thanks for stopping by and sharing part of your day with me. Have a great week and stay strong! TTFN, Michele