Weight loss update – so excited!

It’s a moderate pain day, so I may ramble a little.  If you’re not in a rambling read kind of mood, feel free to skip this one. 

Hey, y’all!  I told you I’d be back regularly, and here I am.  I want to share my progress since I haven’t really shared on that front lately.  I’ve been continuing physical therapy at home and focusing on getting healthier all around.   I recognize that weight can play a role in how I feel physically.   I’m not referring to anyone else but me in this post and hope that how I’m doing helps you.

I’m down 15.4 pounds since I buckled down on nutrition about 6 weeks ago.

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Stuffed peppers made with ground Impossible Burgers.  So good! 

My exercise has been daily pt (mostly stretching and ab work) and walking when I can get it in.  It’s nutrition for the most part.  I eat mostly whole foods but do make room for treats.  Produce is always first and protein is also a big part of my day.  I’m still all about the plants, even when Impossible or Beyond Burgers are on the plate.  On high pain days, take out or leftovers are the plan but I try to keep my macros/containers in mind.

Containers?  I’m back to following the Ultimate Portion Fix to help me keep on track and it’s been so much easier than I made it seem previously.  I think in rainbow when I’m at home or out, even when I don’t try to.

So, that’s the update on the weight loss front.  If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see more of what I’ve been cooking, eating, and reading.  If not, no worries.  More content will be shared here on a regular basis.  Thank you for reading.  I hope today (and the rest of 2020) is good for you.

Until next time, be well!

Quarantine food game freezer edition

So, how are things going for you?   COVID-19 cases are growing here in Charleston and I think (and hope) a stay at home order is coming.  We need to flatten the curve so we can save lives.

I know you’re not here for news, but for food help.  If you haven’t already seen the pantry and fridge posts, give them a peek. This one is all about what we keep in the freezer and how it helps us get through the busy days and when we just don’t feel like hitting the grocery store.  Believe me, those days were many when my back went wonky a few months back and walking was an ordeal.  Grabbing a bag of veggies and a veggie burger or sausage out of the freezer made meals so much easier.

What are our freezer staples?

  • Veggies – blends, cauliflower, broccoli, green beans, Brussels sprouts, greens, and okra
  • Beans – either cooked from dry and frozen in 2-cup increments or store-bought
  • Fruit – whatever happens to be on sale but usually berries, mango, and pineapple
  • Veggie meat – burgers and sausage
  • Vegan meals – occasionally homemade leftovers, skillet meals, and individual meals
  • Tofu – firm and extra-firm

It’s a short list, but these staples paired with pantry and fridge staples result in fantastic meals and snacks all day long.  Sometimes just the frozen options can make nice meals.  These are goodies I’ve made in the past, present, and future.

Smoothies with fruit and greens (or cauliflower rice) make a nice breakfast or snack.  I’ll add oats sometimes to make it a heartier drink or make a smoothie bowl topped with oats, nuts, and fresh or thawed frozen fruit.  Sometimes, I’ll blend tofu and berries to make a mousse as a snack or dessert.  Topping it like a smoothie bowl also makes a nice breakfast – one I ‘ve had a few days this week.  rsz_20200331_120333

A veggie burger with or without a bun served with fries and baked beans is a standard go-to when I’m not feeling creative.  When I am feeling more creative or feel like re-creating my old favorite tv dinners, I’ll turn the burger into Salisbury Steak with mashed potatoes, mixed veggies, and a fruit crisp or brownie for dessert.  I’ve also turned burgers into meatloaf when I want a lof but not lentil loaf.

Vegan sausage is perfect on a bun with sauteed peppers and onions, sliced up and mixed with beans (who didn’t like Beanie Weenies as a kid?), or sitting on the side of red beans and rice.  For a snack, a link with brown mustard and pickles is nice for a lower carb day.  Beyond Sausage and Lightlife’s new Sausage are in the freezer now.  I found them on sale a few months back and stocked up for a rainy day.

Sometimes all I want for dinner are beans, greens, and rice.  Throwing the rice in the InstantPot and thawing cooked beans and greens on the stovetop or microwave makes a healthy comfort food meal easy.   Hitting them with a little hot sauce or bbq sauce always does it for me. And if there’s time, some cornbread will seal the deal. There is no shame in using cornbread mix, y’all.

Frozen planned overs or leftovers help me get a homemade meal ready to go quickly.  Right now there is chili and a black beans and rice casserole waiting for their time to shine again.  When you freeze, make sure to put the name and date on the container. I’m not always up for “Vegan Surprize” after a long day.

Gardein Skillet Meals are a store-bought option that will work well if you’re in a hurry. Keep in mind that these will not feed more than two people.  Or one really hungry person.  I have Chik’n Florentino and Italian Style Rigatoni and Saus’age on hand and am looking at the Porkless Thai Curry as the next one to try.

Frozen veggies are perfect to round out a meal or as a meal in themselves.  I’ll serve cauliflower mashed, as wings (breaded or not), straight up with a sauce of some kind, as 20200308_214605a low carb potato substitute in home fries or salad.  Why? Why not.  Cauliflower rice is also a nice side option some days.  A stir-fry blend is nice for a quick curry or with teriyaki, hoisin, or orange sauce.  Classic mixed carrots, peas, and corn can be a nostalgic side or added to soup, a pot pie, or veggie fried rice.  See where I’m going here?  Ask me for more examples or my recipes and I’m happy to share.

I hope that these last few posts have given you idea for meals that won’t bore you while saving you from extra grocery stops.   Remember, there is no shame in convenience foods.  Do whatever you need to do to make healthy, filling meals that make you and yours happy.   Please be safe out there and wash your hands.

Take care.

 

 

 

 

Living the semi-quarantine life

Hello, family!  It’s been far too long since I’ve posted here.  I’m still active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but my official blog has been about empty.

Bruno 5-19

He was tiny, but look at those feet! 

Here’s a short update:

  • I’m a puppy grandma (happy birthday, boy!)
  • I’m recovering from a series of three steroid injections and one oral steroid pack) because my spine decided my legs and hips shouldn’t work correctly
  • I’ve been up, down, and all-around these last months and think am coming out of that cycle

Getting back on my feet has been my main goal lately, but making sure my nutrition game is on point is up there, too.  I’ve been unable to cook for a couple of months now and proved to myself yesterday that short cooking sessions won’t knock me out or lead to spasms.  Thanks to Instant Pot, I will have on-plan food that has flavor.

The main reason I popped on is to tell you to hang tight.  It may be annoying and a little rocky at first, but this current normal is not the end of everything.  It may take a few weeks to a few months, but we are resilient.  We will get through this pandemic by washing our hands and not being dicks.  Don’t buy more toilet paper or cleaning supplies than you need.  Don’t grab all the bread and nut butter.  Remember that we are all facing the same shortages, reduced shopping hours, and uncertainty.  We will heal together.  We will find or way together.  Your neighbor is not your enemy – fear is.

For the time being, I’ll share my thoughts, menus, and whatever random idea of entertainment that comes to mind.  I have a few book reviews to share, too.  I’ll stop treating my blog as an afterthought for those of you here to see what’s happening in my corner of the spoonie world.  Until then, be good to yourselves.

mug

I’ve chosen self-quarantine as a way of life.  Get offa my lawn! 

Peace.

February 2019?

Hi, all.

It has been too long without an update on the good old blog.  If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you know what’s been happening.  If you don’t, here’s a quick rundown.

I have Posterior Tibial Tendonitis in my left leg.  The tendon is responsible for some of my knee and ankle pain according to the Physical therapist and the doc told me recovery would be long.   Recovery and PT have been decidedly unpleasant but PT is working.  Slowly.supports

Due to the injury, my fitness game is limited.  I am not allowed to lift heavy or spend too much time on my feet.  Yoga, Pilates, and some walking in 30-minute increments make up the majority of my training schedule.  Yay.  The pain increases the fatigue, but it’s not anything new.  Fibro/CFS life, right?

Of course, my weight is having a negative effect on recovery.  Nutrition is the main focus for hitting my goals.  I’m currently following 2B Mindset and figuring out how to customize my plan.  2BThe program is helping me change my relationship with food and to get in more water and veggies daily.  It’s also helping me pinpoint exactly how much corn I can have before I have a reaction.  I’m not allergic, but am sensitive to it.  I’m losing inches and have fewer digestive issues all around.

I’m counting down to the big 5-0 and kicked off 2019 with the Shrimp & Grits 5K (one of 5k 2019the Charleston Marathon events).  There was a new course (all flat, baby), a new location for the finish and after party, and were veggie grits available.  There was also coffee which was awesome because it was COLD!

Meal prep is not just a one-day marathon anymore.  I break it into a two-day thing and find it a better fit overall.  As always, there are batches of greens and beans every week.

culi fried rice

Batch cooking this way makes it easy to throw together meals on the fly that I did not necessarily plan for.  I felt like Asian food one night, so I made Edamame Cauliflower Fried Rice with the baked tofu I batch cooked, a cup each of frozen edamame and mixed veggies, and two cups of cauliflower rice.

And now you’re up to date.  If you have any questions for me about my nutrition, PT, food prep game, or anything, feel free to ask.