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Impressing Myself

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

On a fluke I went back and read my blog from July 22, 2013. I wrote the following:

"When I got my FitBit in January, I was lucky if I got 2500 steps a day. In the last month, I've not dropped below 4,000 a day, and I average more than 5k. On weekends I do more, since I'm not bound to my desk at work. "

Last week I averaged over 10,000 steps. I've DOUBLED my steps in the past year!

Totally patting myself on the back for that one!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WEBEZE 8/1/2014 2:07AM

    Well done. I find my fitbit keeps me pushing myself to do more and more. I started out at just over 10,000 steps a day and I am now getting just over 14,000 steps a day. I am lucky that my job is very physical and I get to move around a lot since I am not tied to a desk. My goal this year is 2000 miles with my fitbit. I am on track to hit just over 1800 miles so I have been trying to add a mile a day over what I did the first half of the year.

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HOPEFULHIPPO 7/31/2014 12:27PM

    Um YEAH! Pat away as that is REMARKABLE!!!


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MISTY_MOUNTAINS 7/31/2014 12:21AM


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STEPH-KNEE 7/30/2014 11:54PM

    The best achievements seem to be the ones that take us by surprise! When we set out to do something and actually do it, it's great, but we are actively working towards it. That was just you being AWESOME and not even trying to increase your steps, and that counts for extra in my book!! emoticon emoticon

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LIVEDAILY 7/30/2014 10:50PM

Great job!!

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TALULAX- 7/30/2014 8:22PM

    emoticon emoticon

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GRACEOMALLEY 7/30/2014 5:49PM

Keep doing thwe best things for you!
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SUSANELAINE1956 7/30/2014 5:33PM


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STLADEE 7/30/2014 4:23PM

    emoticon emoticon

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STEELHEAD01 7/30/2014 4:21PM

    That's great. Your plan is working.

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FINCHFEEDER80 7/30/2014 4:05PM

    WOO HOO!!

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UNSWEETMAMA 7/30/2014 3:49PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JADED_CHICK19 7/30/2014 3:30PM


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VALYNN26 7/30/2014 3:25PM

    Great job! emoticon

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JUSGETTENBY42 7/30/2014 3:22PM


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My Week in Review, plus MENU!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I've had a pretty good week. I still haven't lost all of that water weight, but meh. It will come off in the next week.

Last Tuesday I got over 15,000 steps! I had so much excess energy I just jogged at my desk until I was worn out. It took a while, lol. So last week I averaged over 10k steps a day.

This week I'm on par for 10k average also! I got 10,428 on Sunday and 13,483 yesterday, most of which was walking on the beach! After some minor mis-communication Sunday night, hubby and I decided we would go to Cape May, NJ yesterday and spend the day on the beach. I only live an hour from the ocean, but we hardly ever go because let's face it, there are too many damn people there in the summer!

We stopped at Walmart and got one of those beach umbrellas you jam into the sand so we could enjoy the day without roasting. This was a good idea in theory. The problem was there had been a huge thunderstorm the night before and it was WINDY! I jammed the umbrella into the ground and not 2 minutes later it gets pulled out of the sand and tumbles down the beach towards other people. Yikes!!! I managed to get it before it stabbed anyone but we decided we would both hold it with one hand while we lay there. It was a tense couple of hours! At one point we decided the sun was behind clouds and the wind really picked up so we took the umbrella down to be safe.

Hubby and I holding the umbrella selfie.

The water was super rough so I only walked the beach and let the waves splash my feet and legs. I got a tiny tan even with the sunscreen, but did not burn, so it was a success! We stayed on the beach until noon, then packed up and tossed our stuff in the car before walking the promenade. See, Cape May doesn't have a boardwalk like Ocean City does, it has a promenade, which is paved! We checked out a few of the shops and surprised my boss's sister by stopping in at her little jewelry store and saying hi. Then we had a fantastic (albeit unhealthy) lunch at a little place called y.b. We each had a Belushi Burger with Duck Fat Fries. So damned worth it!!! (kobe beef / sweet onions / tomato / lettuce / swiss / brioche bun) I could not pass up the phrase "duck fat fries". I mean, come on.

We walked around a bit more, picked up some salt water taffy (which is surprisingly reasonable in calories for the serving size) and coconut macaroons. Then we took a leisurely drive home and relaxed for a while before eating dinner. We weren't hungry until after 7 pm, despite not eating any snacks after lunch! I had thrown some london broil, mushrooms and onions into the crock pot to cook while we were out, so dinner was that and a baked potato.

There was a shift bid at my husband's job, so his schedule is changing at the end of September. The bad news is he now has off Thursdays and Fridays. I have off Sundays and Mondays. He is also going from working 9:30 - 6 to working 6:30 - 3. Which at the very least means I get to see him every night. My boss also said I can switch my days if I need to. I'm a keyholder so I can pretty much work what days I feel like, as long as I don't mind working by myself, lol. So that's cool. It's also good because that means he has off Black Friday now! I have to work, but we're trying to get my MIL to visit over Thanksgiving so at least one of us will be able to be home with her.

Oh, and on Sunday night I knew we wouldn't need leftovers for lunch, so I decided I would let hubby pick out some minute steaks and I would make stir fry with shrimp for me and steak for him. I got a little overzealous with the veggies, but this ENTIRE plate of food was less than 500 calories!

Plus it was delicious. I was SO FULL when I was done eating! I hadn't been that full in a long time. =)

Another good thing happened today. I was walking Bingley in a public parking lot and I found a BRAND NEW $100 bill. There was not a human being to be seen, so I don't know how I'm supposed to tell who it belonged to. And, unfortunately if you randomly ask people if they've dropped cash they often lie and say yes to get the cash! I'm not 100% sure what to do about it, any advice?

And without further ado, here is my weekly menu!

Sunday: Shrimp and veggie stir fry, white rice

Monday: Crockpot london broil w/ mushrooms, baked potato

Tuesday: Dad's Mac & Cheese, Stewed Tomatoes, Tossed Salad

Wednesday: Squash and Pierogi Stew

Thursday: Ham steak, cornbread, homegrown tomato salad

Friday: Creamy Chicken Taco Pasta, Tossed Salad

Saturday: Homemade pizza

Have a fantastic day, everyone!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISTY_MOUNTAINS 7/31/2014 12:22AM


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MUDGE4 7/30/2014 9:23AM

    emoticon Sounds like you had a great day!!

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LIVEDAILY 7/29/2014 11:24PM

    Awesomeness all the way 'round! So glad you and hubs had a nice day at the beach! It's super great you are getting all of those steps in!! And great menus, too. Tell me more about the squash and pierogi stew please! About the $100. You guys are saving up, as I remember. I'd put it in the fund. Or you could do the altruistic thing, since it was found money, and use it to buy food items and then donate them to a local food kitchen. Or save it for a rainy day.

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CATTUTT 7/29/2014 9:30PM

    Sounds like your day at the beach was awesome. I so wish we were close to the beach.

And WOO HOO for finding $100!!

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HOPEFULHIPPO 7/29/2014 4:24PM

    fantastic! I love it all....

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FINCHFEEDER80 7/29/2014 2:55PM

    I love your picture- super cute!! Congrats on the $100, that's awesome! Glad you guys had a great day together.

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ICEDEMETER 7/29/2014 2:26PM

    You and the hubs are both gorgeous - and what a great day you had! I'm grinning just reading about it!

As for that bill - I'd be checking to make sure it isn't a counterfeit. If there is a police station in the area, then maybe stop there, tell them where you found it, and ask what they recommend that you do (around here, they'll hold it for a week to see if anyone reports it lost, then give it back to you if nobody does --- and they confirm that it's not a counterfeit at the same time).

I'd say that the universe decided that you were a fabulous person, who deserved a little bit of something good...

I need to go make lunch now - all those fab foods you're describing are making me hungry.

Hope the rest of the week is just as grand for you!

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LOSER_ZIMM 7/29/2014 1:50PM


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I FEEL SO LAZY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

So I found out this morning that my amazing ultramarathon swimmer step-sister will be doing a SOLO 34 mile swim next Wednesday. She has already completed the Triple Crown of open water swims. This will be her longest solo swim, and quite possibly a record breaker.

I will be cheering her on, and I hope you will cheer with me!

The best thing? Elaine is a shining example at being fit at any size. You can see her here on her blog:

Anyone else feel lazy?!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISTY_MOUNTAINS 7/25/2014 12:53PM

    How awesome is that??!! I hope she breaks a record, either way, what an accomplishment!!

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VERSESTHATHURT 7/25/2014 10:00AM

    That is impressive and inspiring!

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CLUMBOY 7/25/2014 7:40AM

    wow--how phenomenal! you have both accomplished so much!
(chicken and pasta recipes are on my blog page now)

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LIVEDAILY 7/24/2014 11:50PM

    Everyone is fit in their own way. You like to walk and hike. She likes to swim. Both are awesome achievements!!

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CATTUTT 7/24/2014 1:50PM

    I do feel lazy, and best of luck to your sister!

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GRACEOMALLEY 7/24/2014 11:53AM

    That is quite fantastic! I'll be cheering - for sure! emoticon emoticon

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FINCHFEEDER80 7/24/2014 11:46AM

    Just..... wow.....! Guess I really can pull off the half-marathon after all! I love swimming, I just don't get to do it very often. That was a neat read. I would have also been terrified of swimming in a lake by myself in the dark!

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UNSWEETMAMA 7/24/2014 11:29AM

    That is awesome!

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JLAMING263 7/24/2014 11:00AM

    emoticon emoticon

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Weekly Menu for the week of July 20th-26th

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Sunday - AFGHANI FOOOOOD!!! We're checking out a restaurant we haven't been to before. Looks like a cross between Moroccan food and Indian food.

Monday - French Onion Soup w/ Hummus BLTs (we use hummus instead of mayo)

Tuesday - Freitas McGriddles (Pork Roll, Egg & Cheese on a Pancake bun) with fruit salad

Wednesday - Chicken Satay Salad

Thursday - Homemade Cheeseburgers and Baked Potatoes

Friday - Jerk Pork Chops, Mango Salad, Jamaican Rice & Peas

Saturday - Tuna Salad stuffed in tomatoes, macaroni salad

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SIMONEKP 7/23/2014 1:36PM

    sounds good

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POMATOJUICE 7/21/2014 9:04AM

    You know, when you typed "hummus instead of mayo," my initial reaction was "ewwwww" then immediately after, "wait, I bet that's really good...." I love your creativity and variety in your menus! Makes me want to go find a new husband that likes to eat more types of things!! :O mostly kidding!

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LIVEDAILY 7/20/2014 6:45PM

    Yummy! I tried a new restaurant in Montclair (foodie heaven!) called Uncle Momo's. It's Lebanese, and they make their own pita bread, from scratch, right there in the restaurant. You can watch them. Huge pitas, light as air, and they come to your table hot and puffy from the oven! I had chciken kebob on a bed of lentil hummus/pureed lentils - very yum! If you are ever up my way, let me know ahead of time. SO many really good restaurants here!

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TALULAX- 7/20/2014 2:47PM


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Learning to Cook

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I would say that at least 60% of my success at this weight loss thing is directly related to how frequently I cook. I've been cooking most of my life, due to living with a single dad and getting sick of eating pancakes and mac and cheese all the time. (Plus my dad had this rule where if one person cooked the other did the dishes, and I hate washing dishes!)

Now I know not everyone is as comfortable in the kitchen as I am. I would call myself an intermediate cook. I'm comfortable trying new recipes, and I'm comfortable making up my own dishes. Most of my stuff comes out fairly tasty.

But, if you're not confident in the kitchen, cooking can be daunting. Food network and Cooking Channel used to be a place where you could learn how to cook (Remember that show How to Boil Water?) but now it seems it's a place to plop competition shows and shows where all they do is talk about how good a restaurant's signature dish is. Frankly, I'm sick of this stuff. I don't want to see arrogant chefs bleeding all over their cutting board while trying to make an appetizer out of cinnamon candies, pita bread and fennel.

So I have some recommendations of resources for those of you who are really interested in learning the principles behind cooking.

1. America's Test Kitchen
What a great resource! Christopher Kimball and crew guide you through the principles of cooking and test recipes, equipment and wines. The website offers videos, recipes and taste test lists, and you can download the podcast from iTunes.

2. Everything Alton Brown has ever done
Some people may find his persona irritating, but there is no better resource for learning about the SCIENCE of cooking and baking. He uses props and comedy to make even complicated processes like the Maillard Reaction easy to understand. His books are less recipes books than method books, and even if you've never set foot in a kitchen before, Alton Brown can teach you how to cook. Definitely borrow "I'm Just Here For The Food" from your local library.

3. Nigella Lawson
Okay, so maybe I picked Nigella as my third because I have a girl crush on her. This woman makes food SEXY. If you don't fall in love with food after watching Nigella cook, I don't know what will work for you. The best thing about Nigella is she's not a chef. She's a home cook. She cooks simple, delicious food. Most of her stuff can be made after a long day at work and be ready within an hour. NOTHING COMES FROM A BOX.

And seriously, this woman is gorgeous.

Remember, diet is 80-90% of weight loss. Learn to feed yourself good, nutritious food in reasonable portions.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_MOBII_ 7/17/2014 10:02AM

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE Alton Brown! I would totally stalk that man if I could afford to post bail, lol!

I do like some of the competition shows though because they can be very creative and Chopped often shows ingredients that I have never heard of, lol!

My cooking skills are somewhat recent...compared to my age. We ate meat and carbs growing up, very, very basic things so you didn't starve...lots of mac and cheese, frozen pizza, and hot dogs.
My first husband was meat and potatoes and going out to eat. The second was meat and if I was lucky...potatoes, he hated me experimenting with cooking.
My beau on the other hand....he will eat all of my experiments (think jumbo shrimp that turned out blue, lol!)
He also encourages me to try new foods and combinations while keeping it healthy too.

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ARRREAGLES 7/17/2014 7:52AM

    I was young when I learned to cook. My mother in the kitchen whipping up amazing food from the random scraps of whatever that were in fridge and pantry. My best friend coming over and my mother inventing a new nacho/taco variation on the fly for us to munch on.

I only came to realize later in life how wonderful it was, and how truly daunting some people found cooking. But there is a really wonderfully secret thing to cooking that people fail to realize -- simple, fresh ingredients when combined taste good. Fresh tomatoes with a little salt and pepper or chickpeas blended with garlic and tahini and oil and lemon.

thanks for the inspirational blog. (and the introduction to an all new girl crush :) )

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LIVEDAILY 7/16/2014 11:48PM

    I have to say that America's Test Kitchen is awesome!! I subscribe to Kimball's magazine, Cook's Illustrated, and I have 1 or 2 of their cookbooks. I collect cookbooks the way some women collect shoes....

Another good resource is right here on SP. SP's recipe index is huge, and while it doesn't have everything, it DOES offer recipes with directions. I never would have tried Eggs n' Oats otherwise!!

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GSEATON 7/16/2014 10:11PM

    Agreed, Alton is KING! Good blog!

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MISTY_MOUNTAINS 7/16/2014 9:55PM

    You are just so darned helpful. Thanks!!

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HOPEFULHIPPO 7/16/2014 2:21PM

    THANK you! I was just asking Tom where all the cooking shows went...even on the "cooking" channel there are none...

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ICEDEMETER 7/16/2014 1:37PM

    Great point made, and great recommendations!

I'm another one who can put a good bit of the credit for weight-loss on cooking - and I just started learning to. (Yes, I'm in my late 40's - it's never too late to learn something!)

A few things that I would add:

- set up a good, solid stock of basic spices, oils, and vinegars so that you can make the flavours suit your mood

- make sure that you have the best cookware and knives that you can afford, and have them organized so that everything is easy to get to without having to think about it

- keep your sense of humour and remember that it's just food - not everything is going to turn out the way you figured, but at the very least it can be good for a laugh

- have a few batch recipes in the freezer for those nights when cooking feels more like a chore than play (and put them in the freezer on those days when it feels like play!)

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GRACEOMALLEY 7/16/2014 1:25PM


I'm a very good cook and make up my own versions of stuff all the time, but your blog points out the importanty factor that cooking it ourselves gives us more control over what goes in AND when you know what you're doing, you can spice / flavor up just about anything to suit you.

This was a good reminder to all of us.
emoticon emoticon

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