Monday, April 29, 2013


On vacation and rocking good choices 85% of the time. Success in my book.


Scads of healthy choices along with some indulgences.

Friday, April 26, 2013


Hello inner badass. Where the fuck have YOU been? 2 miles , 36 degrees, rain and snow mix.

Who says you can't eat healthy at the airport? Roasted beet salad with grilled chicken and orange vinaigrette.


Passing on sweets is starting to FEEL differently.  Instead of thinking about how "I'm not eating that right now" it's more like "I'm not eating sugar anymore" or "I'm not eating white flour anymore".  Even though nothing is black and white right now (I haven't TOTALLY eliminated sugar and flour but I'm trying) it still just FEELS differently. I even go through the reasons sometimes about why I'm saying no to sugar or white flour, having a little internal dialog to just remind myself what my body needs verses what my brain thinks it wants. More like a permanent shift instead of a temporary fix if that makes sense.  And feeling that way makes saying "No Thank You" easier.  Ta-da!  And that's today folks.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Well, I tried my first kale recipe.  I mean, I've thrown it in smoothies before, but never actually just cooked and ate it.  I was a bit nervous.  I love fresh, raw spinach but I HATE it hot and I figured kale would be along the same lines.  Turns out..............I was right.  Ish.  Ew.  Yuck.  Blech.  I did not care for it.  but I was really glad I tried it.  I think my kale eating will consist more of it being mixed into smoothies and recipes.  But continue it will.  And onward we go.

Tofu and kale with sesame seeds.


Bran and flax seed muffin made by my friend Jenn. Not too shabby!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Ups: Mon, Tues, Wed: workout, workout, workout. Hooray! Damn it feels good to be moving again. It feels good to be headache free again! And I'm sleeping great. Food is where it needs to be at this stage in the game.

Downs: I miss my coffee, not the caffeine, but the creamy, smooth ahhhhhhh I got after a sip. It was comforting and filling in a way that tea isn't. Not sure there is any healthy alternative to that horrible, chemical filled creamer that I enjoyed so much. Also, my cholesterol is high which only inspires my inner hater. "Of course it's high fatty. What do you expect when you allow yourself to gain 30 pounds? You've earned this. Way to go." While I can change what I put in my body, and I can become more active and I can be mindful of my awareness and breathing at mealtimes, my inner hater is still there, more vocal than ever. I wish that stupid bitch would just shut up.

So that's today.

Monday, April 22, 2013


When you fail to plan, plan to fail. That's what I was thinking this morning as I threw together a breakfast of brown rice, craisins, raisins and strawberries. Not to self...some things shouldn't be heated up, like craisins, raisins and strawberries. They turn to mush and smell funny and don't taste great. I threw in some salt and peanuts but it did little to help. But that's what I get for being too lazy to make my breakfast quiche yesterday. Guess I know what I'm doing tonight after work.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

My Body

One of my assignments is to write about my body.  Just a little free flow, whatever pops into my head kind of thing.  As I start, I am thinking about how this blog is not private.  I could make it private if I chose, but so far, I haven't.  I haven't told anyone besides Maggie and one other friend (Hi Kimmy) about this blog, yet there are 48 pageviews.  From whom?  How did they find their way here? Are they coming back?  Do I know any of them?  Those things are in the back of my mind as I start to type and I just wanted to mention that as it will not alter what I write but it may alter how I feel as I write it.

Dear Body,

I do believe I have written you to before.  Odd as it may sound, this is not my first letter to you.  I believe I wrote to you either as my father was dying or shortly there after.  Or maybe I wrote ABOUT you to my Dad, something like that.  I have such a love/hate relationship with you.  There are plenty of things I really love about you.  You have a really great shape and great proportions.  When you gain weight, you gain it all over which I think is one of your best features.  You carry weight well I think.  Strange as it may be, I think your feet are one of your most attractive features.  Who gets to have pretty feet?  Me.  I do.  I love that about you.  Thanks for that.  Because of that, I wear flip flops as often as I can.  I also really love the way your eyelashes and are so thick and long.  I don't have to wear mascara if I don't want to, and I almost never do.  Also, your hair is awesome.  It's thick and long and curly.  When women tell me they are jealous, it's always about my hair or my eyelashes.

But that's all centered on how you LOOK.  There are plenty of good things about you that have nothing to do with how you look.  Like how you are strong and healthy.  You get sick rarely, you have no major diseases, you get up every day and do what you are supposed to do, despite how terribly you may be treated.  Despite me eating things I shouldn't, drinking alcohol which sometimes leads to a few cigarettes, despite me not moving enough or sometimes at all, you perform all of your duties as expected.  You totally rock.  Also, you are tall, and tall girls kick ass.

Now let's talk about how you don't rock, about how you suck, hard.  You require a lot of sleep.  Sometimes I think you are the equivalent of the slow kid in class.  You prefer to be at rest, you don't really like hard work, while you seem to be built well; easily capable of being an athlete,  able to master most physical tasks with little difficulty, you'd rather take a nap.  You store up fat like a bear about to hibernate.  You are not inclined to be a real go getter.  Maybe if you were, your metabolism would be faster and you would burn what you take in easier, maybe you would be more driven to compete, maybe you would TEAR SHIT UP on a daily basis instead of always having to be talked into every single workout. 

I hate how you feel at the weight you are at now, pretty close to the heaviest you've ever been.  I hate the way bras feel, I hate that there is fat UNDER your arms.  What the fuck is THAT?  I hate how every waistband feels.  I hate your double chin, the way you don't have one of those long marvelous necks with a defined jawline, how all your skin on your face is just starting to..............sag.  I mostly just hate how uncomfortable I am IN you.

I really wish I could accept and love you just as you are at whatever stage you happen to be in but I can't.  I really wish that so much of my self acceptance and self love weren't wrapped up in how you look in a pair of blue jeans but they are.  I would like us to be best friends really, but it seems that I am never satisfied with you.  Sorry about that.  I would love to be able to change that and I keep trying to, but so far I haven't been able to.

But I will tell you this.  I will never stop trying.  I will never accept you at this weight and I will fight forever to get you where I think you need to be.  I will continue to dream of a better future for you, I will seek out whatever means necessary to try and get you there and I will never ever give up on you.  Ever.  I think there is a key out there somewhere that unlocks the door to your health and my happiness and I won't rest until I find it.  That's a promise.

And finally, I love you.  Even when I hate you, I love you and I'm so grateful for you.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Field Trip to The Wedge

Mornings are always an enjoyable time for me.  I love sitting at the counter, enjoying a warm beverage, eating my breakfast while reading a little something.  Lately, what I've been reading are my materials from Maggie.  My binder chapters, the chapters in my books and of course recipes.
 I sit, I read and I make shopping lists for the recipes I want to try.  The different ingredients needed for my recipes have me going to different kinds of markets and co-ops.  This morning I decided to venture across the river to visit a co-op several people have raved about called The Wedge.
 I do believe it was the first store I have ever been to that had a big bin full of fiddleheads.  I don't even know what they are, how they taste or how you would cook them, but they are the coolest shaped food ever. 
 And I was SUPER impressed by their selection of items in self dispensing bins.  An ENTIRE aisle of them, whoa.
 And who wouldn't love wood from your hood?  Cute slogan and I LOVE the idea of taking scrap wood and turning it into useful cutting boards.
 I filled my cart with some things I would need to make a big batch of Pho and a 3 bean salad recipe I want to try.
 Like all of these places, it was expensive.  This organic thing ain't cheap, that's for sure.  But I was happy with my experience there.  I will probably stick to Mississippi Market as it is closer and just as nice, but I was glad I went so I could see what the fuss was about.

Afterwards, I was stopping by an art fair and found an awesome food truck parked outside that used only local organic ingredients from businesses whose philosophies matched their own.  Perfect, I was hungry and was thrilled to be presented with an entire truck full of good choices.
 Behold, my red lentil, brown rice "burger" with beets and sprouts with a side of quinoa salad.  It was super delicious and I sat in the sunshine and slowly ate it while breathing deep and appreciating the flavors.  Success.


What IS it with all the horror going on in the world right now?  What a horrible week this has been.  A bombing in Boston resulting in the entire city on lockdown as a massive manhunt is underway, an explosion in Texas that took out half a town, not to mention the loss of a family member (my sweet Uncle Jim Bob passed after a long battle with Parkinsons) a huge dumping of late April snow and a headache that has been residing in my skull for 17 days. Let's not even mention the horrors of the past 12 months, theater shootings, devastating storms, school shootings, threats from foreign countries, fighting over who can and can't get married.  It's enough to make me swear like a motherfucker, which I have been doing freely all week.  It also has me generously dolling out the wine and cookies in an attempt to soothe my battered self.  You want a glass?  I'll pour you one.  You need a hug?  I have one of those for you of those big bear hugs that lasts and lasts. It's a time for circling the wagons, huddling together, holding your loved ones close, counting your blessings and wondering when, oh when all this madness will end?  

And despite all the madness...the wine and cookies,  I am still on this journey to better health.  Even when I'm getting the crap kicked out of me by the winter that wouldn't die.

I've been doing great with cooking, trying new recipes and eating healthy meals.  And, after scorching my first attempt so bad that we actually had to burn scented candles and then leave the house (not to mention the soaking, scrubbing and elbow grease it took to restore the pan to its original condition), I was able to successfully cook brown rice on my second try.  Oh sure, it may not seem like much to you, but I was really proud of myself when I took off that lid to find this fluffy goodness inside.
I did it!
I've also been going into stores I didn't really frequent before, Whole Foods and Mississippi Market and REALLY looking around, spending time wandering the aisles without agenda, just checking out the merch.  I have found myself MUCH more at home at Mississippi Market than Whole Foods.  Whole Foods is a zoo, overwhelming, cramped and crowded.  Mississippi Market is the complete opposite and, as it's close to my work, I think I have found my new market.  I love the energy and the people in there.  I have stopped in there for lunch on previous occasions and always found it to feel really happy and light. 

However I keep hearing things about The Wedge in Minneapolis and so I've decided to take a field trip across the river (inhale! gasp!).  I'll be back with photos and stories.  Wish me luck. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Where is Spring????

 Yesterday I decided to take on two more of Maggie's recipes as well as making something I know to be tried and true.  It was just one of those gloomy winter days that is perfect for cooking.  I put on a little music and got to work.  I thought the Turkey Sloppy Joe's might be labor intensive but really, it was easy.  The prep work wasn't really that bad but I did decide to add an extra can of tomato sauce and some extra chicken stock to make them extra sloppy.  It turned out really delicious.  I plan to serve it over a little brown rice instead of on a bun and there is so much of it that it will last all week for my lunches. 
 Then I made my tried and true breakfast quiche.  It's a crustless recipe and really easy, quick and delicious.  Usually, I just throw in whatever leftovers we have hanging around into it, but this week, I had no such leftovers and so I cooked some beans and a sweet potato, I already had the chicken cooked and I threw in a few extra veggies and a small handful of cheese and voila!  Breakfast for the week.

At work, I eat a large piece for breakfast and that's it, but as it was the weekend, I threw in some delicious buttery whole grain toast. 

 And then, because I have an ENORMOUS sweet tooth and I was REALLY curious, I made the brownie recipe.  Instead of flour, you use chickpeas and instead of sugar, agave nectar.  Rather than using canned chickpeas, I bought dry beans, soaked them while I was at yoga and then cooked them when I came home.  The whole thing was thrown together in the blender and cooked up really nicely.  They are heartier than regular brownies and feel much more substantial, like an actual snack instead of a treat.  It called for peanuts on top but I was out so I used cashews.  I will for sure be making all of these recipes again.
I enjoyed my peaceful day of cooking and as it CONTINUES to snow outside, on April 14th for God's sake, I am looking forward to a dinner we are having tonight.  Shawn wants to have a "Fuck Winter" barbeque and we have invited some neighbors over for some summer fare.  Chicken, coleslaw, salad, melon and perhaps a gin and tonic or two.  Just because the weather says it's not spring yet doesn't mean we can't start acting like it's spring.  And I plan to fully enjoy the meal and breathe, breathe, breathe. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Cooking: Weeks 1 & 2

I meet with Maggie every 2 weeks.  In between meetings, I have lots of homework.  I love homework.  Feels like structure, keeps me focused and on task, gives me direction. My homework includes reading, writing and cooking. There are certain things I am to do each week, goals that Maggie and I have set together for myself.  One of those goals is to try new recipes.

Ever since we reno'd the kitchen, I've really been enjoying cooking more.  I used to hate it, then I got to where I could do it, even tolerate it but still, it could feel like a chore. Then we redid the kitchen and I just wanted to spend time in the beautiful space.  I would cook whatever I wanted, I did a lot of baking, but I think much of it was centered around just being in the kitchen.  More recently, cooking feels more like a gift, I am finding joy in the actions of cooking, even the shopping, although I will admit, Whole Foods is still totally overwhelming to me but I'm working on that too. 

Here is what I have tried out so far.

1.   Morning Glory Oats
Oatmeal with apple, cinnamon, golden raisins, almonds, a little sweetener and some ground flax seeds.  
 Result: I liked it.  It was warm, comforting and hearty.  I need to get some real maple syrup.  Because I didn't have any I used a little honey and a little dark kayro but it needed a little something more.  I threw in some Stevia, but didn't like that result.  But I would for sure make this again.

2.  Detox Juice: apples, bananas, parsley, lime, collard greens and chia seeds
Result: Shawn said it tasted like grass.  Megan was more complimentary with her "It takes fresh, like spring".  I thought it was ok.  Not SUPER YUM, but I love the idea of a detox, getting crap out of my system, rinsing the liver and all that.  I would make this again.  It would be good on a hot day with some ice blended it to make it nice and cold.

3.  Brown Rice Squares:  Dessert?  YES PLEASE!!!!!  These are awesome!  They taste like peanut butter bars AND they are vegan so I shared some with Jenn and she loved them too!  Instead of marshmallows and butter, they are held together with brown rice syrup, agave nectar and peanut butter.  There are sesame seeds in there as well and brown rice "crispies". 

 Result:  Yummy, yum, yum.  Yes please, over and over and over.

4.  Italian Style Pasta:  I'm trying this new thing where I don't alter the recipe at all the first time around.  Years of cooking with my husband have taught me that a recipe is just a jumping off place, but for this, I'm sticking to the original for at least the first go round.  For this recipe, it meant adding things I don't usually eat, like artichokes for example.  It's just a really hearty, heavy on the veggies sauce over brown rice pasta.

I made enough for my lunches for the entire week.

Result:  I liked it.  I think there are ways I could punch it up a bit next time, maybe run the sun dried tomatoes and artichokes through the food processor to really pulverize them and throw in a few more spices maybe. I was worried about the brown rice pasta tasting like cardboard, but it cooked up really nice and soft.  I didn't miss regular pasta one bit!  I will be making this again.

5.  Breakfast Quinoa: Quinoa, raisins, cinnamon, ground flax seeds and dulce flakes.  Dulce WHAT?  Maggie actually gave me 3 baggies with the Quinoa and the dulce flakes already measured out so I didn't have to go searching  high and low for whatever the hell dulce flakes are.  In my reading, I discovered that it's a form of a sea veggie, or seaweed if you will.  Apparently, sea veggies are amazingly good for you.  I'm a bit tentative about this because salty and fishy don't appeal to me much, I don't even like sushi for heavens sake.  But I'm also open to this entire process and will move forward with caution and lots of questions and I'm sure a few new shopping trips and try out these different veggies from the sea.

Results:  Breakfast quinoa is really good and stays with me a long time without making me feel heavy or sick.  Bravo for breakfast Quinoa.

Coming up Tonight....

6.  Sloppy Joes:  Turkey and the rest of the usual sloppy joe ingredients, heavy on the organic veggies.  I'll let you know how it goes. 

Meeting Maggie

Beginning a new adventure is always exciting and this one has the potential to change my health and the way I approach eating.  Choosing the right recipes to make, the right ingredients to include, the right nutrients to sustain me, all while focusing on being more aware of how I'm feeling inside as I approach all this ticks off a lot of boxes for me.  There's organization, information and a foundation to stand on.  There's communication, support and encouragement.  And there's also emotion, introspection and a constant desire to improve.  Feels a bit like a big ball of love to me and I'm so glad to have found Maggie.

Speaking of, meet Maggie: 
 Maggie Christopher

I found her on the magical interwebs from which all good things come.  First thing I liked about her was her location, SO CLOSE to my work!!  I do like my tiny little world here in Saint Paul.  Second thing I liked was just the look of her.  I get feelings about people instantly....INSTANTLY...and I liked her straight away so I set up a meeting.  Our free consultation went really well and I was in.  I took a breath and plunged right in, as I often do.  Jump first, ask questions later, that's me.  Nice to meet you.

People, it's not cheap.  I've thrown my money at a lot of different things over the years, many of them geared towards losing weight, but this didn't feel like an investment in a new program, a new gym, a new diet.  It felt like an investment in myself.  Maggie felt not only like a dietician who could help lead me through the food maze, but she also felt like a counselor who could lead me through my occasional head maze as well and I had a feeling we were going to make some really great changes together.  

And so begins my journey.  Four months to start, with additional support as needed.  And away we go.