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Checking in

Hello!

Long time, no blog.

Things are going well. My weight is around the same. I started working out in the mornings again, which has been amazing. Within just a few weeks, I lost the puffy muffin top that I was getting from lack of exercise. (No weight loss, but that’s not the goal.)

Halloween came and went. I had a few pieces of candy here and there, but nothing excessive. Every day is about progress and striving to make better choices.

I’m at peace with food for the first time in twenty years. It’s a nice feeling.

 

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Still here. Still maintaining.

Life is good.

Today’s eats:

Breakfast: banana, pb2, thinkthin bar

Snack: hard-boiled egg

Workout: 45 minutes/10k elliptical

Lunch: Giant salad in our largest serving bowl with an apple, blue cheese, chicken, fat-free balsamic, extra balsamic vinegar, and half a pound of spring mix.

Afternoon snack: apple + Luna protein bar

Dinner: out at a friend’s house.

Calories: 1900ish. Right on target.

It’s been a good weekend!

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Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Vegan & DELICIOUS Pumpkin Oat Muffins!

Hi everyone!

These muffins are a re-make of my whole wheat pumpkin muffins that I LOVED before I went gluten-free to resolve a pretty severe gluten intolerance. I love what going off gluten has done for my body and mind, so I’d never go back, but sometimes… you just want a muffin. These are amazing and can fit pretty much any diet.

Ingredients:

  • 1 c chickpea flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1.25 c rolled oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds + 3 tbsp water [or just use 1 egg]
  • 1 can pumpkin or 2 cups roasted pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 c unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 c sugar-free maple syrup or sweetener of choice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 c almond milk or water
  • Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and any other spices desired, to taste. I like a lot of cinnamon!

Mix up your ingredients and bake at 400 for 18-20 minutes. Each muffin has 125 calories, 6g protein, and 5g fiber. Enjoy!

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Reflections on 9 Months of Weight Maintenance

In January of this year, I hit the 120s for the first time since I was ten years old. To be honest, I had no idea what to expect. Part of me assumed I’d regain at least some weight quickly. A weight that started with “12” just seemed so … low.

But time went on, and I felt great. I maintained my weight within a few pounds despite job changes, a stress fracture, and a little bit of indulgence in delicious summer foods.

About a month ago, I dropped below 125… and stayed there. At one point. I saw “120.2” on the scale. That was too low; my skirts for work hung way too low in the back. But now, I’m around 123-124, and it’s… comfortable.

What’s even more important is: weight maintenance is no longer a struggle.

So what’s changed? One word… plants.

After reading Michael Pollan’s books and The China Study, I have, without even realizing it, begun to cultivate eating habits that approximate those of a vegan. My use of animal products has become smaller and I’ve eliminated most without even intending to do so. I replaced the chicken in my buffalo chicken quinoa with chickpeas. I eat serving bowl-sized salads on the weekends with cranberries, walnuts, balsamic dressing, chickpeas, and apple slices. Lunch is frequently a bowl of steel-cut oats with 2 tablespoons of chia seeds and 2 cups of berries. (Talk about a power bowl – this gives me energy all afternoon!)

Will I stay 90% vegan? Who knows. It’s possible. I feel great, my skin looks good, and I have tons of energy. I take a multivitamin with iron and vitamin B. My wallet is certainly better off without eating meat. We’ll see how things go – I’m excited to explore a plant-based diet!

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Still here!

A technology snafu meant that I took an unexpected break from blogging this summer. But I’m still here, still around, still maintaining at under 125 pounds. I actually hit 120 one day but have really worked on getting more calories in – my clothes were hanging off and it wasn’t pleasant.

 

So! Here’s to sharing more recipes and tales from weight maintenance land this fall!

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Lunch/Dinner in 25 minutes: Chia Berry Oatmeal

I’ve been craving iron lately thanks to some ongoing PCOS issues (I’ll leave it at that!) so oatmeal has been my go-to for a quick lunch and dinner. I have found that eating oatmeal in the morning will make me hungry quickly, but it makes a very filling lunch or dinner. This is a great one-dish meal that involves minimal prep time and clean-up. It’s packed full of fiber and all kinds of good vitamins, too!

Chia Berry Baked Oatmeal

1/2 c rolled oats (not instant)
1-1.5 c fresh or frozen berries of your choice
2 tbsp chia seeds

Preheat oven to 375. Combine 1/2 c rolled oats in an oven-safe glass dish and 1 c water (or milk) and microwave for 3-5 minutes. Measure out 2 tbsp chia seeds in a separate bowl. Add 2 tbsp water and let sit for a few minutes. Mix up the chia seeds and oatmeal; add another tablespoon of water if it looks too dry. Fold in berries and bake for 15 minutes.

I use Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free rolled oats (although I’m switching to steel cut this weekend – exciting!), 1.3 cups of the frozen three-berry blend from Costco, and chia seeds from Costco.

Nutrition Details
400 calories
14g fat
19g fiber
14g protein
3% vitamin a, 28% vitamin C, 34% calcium, 34% iron

If you’re looking for a quick lunch to pack for work, I can’t recommend this highly enough! It reheats well and the flavors just get better overnight.

image

(Not the prettiest photo, but it sure is delicious! This is about half a portion; I forgot to snap a photo before I started eating.)

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Dinner in 30 minutes: Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Bowls

One of the main complaints I read often about real food is that it takes a long time to make. While many people don’t have time to cook up extremely elaborate meals, you can feed your family good, nutritious, homemade food without spending hours in the kitchen.

Here’s a recipe that takes 30 minutes from start to finish, and produces enough leftovers for at least a few extra meals. It’s outrageously good, ridiculously cheap, filling, and nutritious. What’s more, you can make this for a weight-loss or weight-maintenance diet while still feeding your spouse/partner the same meal. I enjoyed one serving of this for dinner, while my husband got the nutrition he needs by doubling his portion of quinoa, adding more cheese, and eating a roasted sweet potato on the side.

Directions:

Cook up about 1c dry quinoa (makes 3c cooked -great for leftovers, and it freezes well!)
Meanwhile, bake your chicken. I bake mine in the oven for 10-15 minutes & then finish them on the stovetop.
Chop up a few cucumbers and carrots, plus some celery if you have it on hand. (I didn’t.)
When the quinoa is done, portion it into bowls and top with goat cheese or blue cheese.
Stir the cheese around so it melts in the hot quinoa.
Fold in the chopped vegetables and chicken.
Top with buffalo sauce of choice and stir well so that everything is mixed together.

One serving is 3/4c cooked quinoa, 1 chopped chicken breast, 1-2 tbsp buffalo sauce of choice, and 1/2c chopped cucumber plus any other veggies you want.

I used organic quinoa from Costco, a 4-oz Perdue frozen chicken breast (also from Costco), 1 tbsp of Wing Time buffalo sauce (medium), 1 oz goat cheese from Whole Foods, and 1/2 c chopped cucumber with the peel.

Nutrition facts: 11 g fat (4g saturated), 34g carbs, 3g fiber, 1g sugar, 646 mg sodium, 33g protein, 9% vit A, 8% vit C, 3% calcium, 27% iron. Cost: $2.00 for 6 generous servings

I served this with roasted summer squash on the side for extra vegetables. I roasted the squash while I cooked the chicken, so that didn’t add any extra time. It 30 minutes from start to finish and was well worth the minimal effort.

This would also be delicious with blue cheese instead of goat cheese!

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