Oh no, I’ve been Pinterested

Pinterest

Pinterest (Photo credit: stevegarfield)

How could I have allowed this to happen?  I kept hearing all of the chatter surrounding Pinterest, but I resisted…until just a few days ago…and now I find myself pinning everything…creating my own boards…looking thru all of the latest pins, then getting sidetracked into viewing other people’s boards…and then repinning some of their pins…does it ever end?

Did I really need something else to occupy my time?  No, no, no…but there’s so much inspiration out there…motivating quotes (you know, for that fitness journey I’m still on), style and decorating ideas, gardening and birds, funny kitty antics, healthy eating, crockpot recipes, and on and on and on…

Are you pinning on Pinterest?  Care to share?

The long and winding road to fitness, day 182

Wow…not a good day today as far as the food goes…exercise?  Yeah, quite a bit of exercise today, some strength training before work, a couple of hours of up and down the ladder early on, a lot of walking the rest of the day.  At least I have that going for me.

But my eating today…sheesh…I don’t even want to go into what I ate…not much that was good for me.  Only one fruit and one veggie for the day.  I didn’t do any meal or snack preparations for the day and my diet definitely showed it.  I’ve got to make the time to do some cooking.  I’ve just got the rest of this week to go and then my work schedule won’t be quite so crazy…at least we’re off that six-day work week now.  Still going in at 5 am just because we’re so busy…those four hours before we open are really the only time we can get anything done.

And then there’s the sleep thing…still not getting enough sleep.  I have the chance to sleep in a little tomorrow, looking forward to that.  But I’m really looking forward to that vacation in early January…time to cook, sleep, get back into a regular exercise routine…ahh…sounds divine, doesn’t it?

The long and winding road to fitness, day 128

Christmas decoration at a shopping mall in Brazil

Image via Wikipedia

Wow!!  What a wild day.  Nasty weather, temps dropping, rain and mist all day, windy…brr…definitely not a good hair day…ha!!  And believe me, I sprayed on extra hair spray this morning before I left the house…all to no avail…when you’re outside in this stuff unloading a truck (really, there has to be a better way to do these trucks, if only I could get those bigwigs to listen to me)  there’s no point in worrying about how your hair looks.  And now there’s a frost advisory for tonight…there go my little volunteer grape tomatoes…

Oh my gosh, I just read a blog about one of the healthiest sounding chili recipes…Nikkianne posted this blog and I’m determined to make this recipe for chili…just the way she made it.  I’ve been wanting to make a pot of chili for a while and keep putting it off.  No more…this will be the one.

http://nikkianne.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/cocoa-corn-chili/

My eating was pretty good today.  I was tempted to go out to eat lunch even tho I’d brought my healthy lunch from home.  I think, more than anything, I just wanted to get out of the building and away from people for a while.  But I went back to the break room and nuked my lunch and was satisfied.  Ended the day with five fruits and veggies, so that’s decent.

Other than working the truck and doing some range of motion exercises for my shoulder, I didn’t do any exercise.  Of course, working that truck is constant motion for over eight hours.  And I’ll be right back at it at five tomorrow morning…trying to get some extra work done…ho ho ho, I love Christmas so much!

Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? I don’t have to buy a lot, but I have already purchased a few things.  Should probably get with that so I’m not doing it any closer to Christmas, you know, going into stores and stuff…I shudder at the thought!

 

On blueberry muffin hill

Blueberry muffins…yum!  Who doesn’t like a good moist blueberry muffin?  But don’t most of us also want something that’s at least somewhat healthy?  I try to make my muffins from scratch using whole grains and fresh fruit, but when time is short (or I’m feeling kind of lazy) I’ll resort to the boxed muffin mixes.  Fortunately I found this…

Is it as good for me as what I would make using one of my healthier recipes?  Mmm…no.  Is it better for me than something sweet and sugary from the vending machine?  You bet it is.

These muffins, baked according to the package directions, still have 210 calories per muffin.   I make them smaller by making 18 instead of 12 and that reduces the calories to 140 apiece.  This is just one more indication that what we now consider to be a serving size is much larger than it was in the past.  So I still get to enjoy a freshly baked muffin without going overboard on calories.

Can I make a lower calorie, healthier-for-me muffin?  Yes, I can.  But there are times in life where we make trade-offs, this is one of those times…calories for convenience.  I don’t do this all the time, but it’s nice to know I have the option.  Now I have a good supply of muffins in the freezer.  I can pull one out in the morning, put it in my lunch bag and it’ll be thawed and ready to eat for my morning or afternoon snack.  If that can keep me from putting that dollar in the vending machine, I think it’s worth it. 

My little garden in mid July

As with most gardens, there are some hits and some misses.  Some things in my garden are performing wonderfully.  I’ve got plenty of cucumbers…

Only one pepper plant has actually produced any peppers so far, although the jalapeno plant is now blooming, my fault, I transplanted it late.

The zucchini plant has taken over…

See how huge the plant is relative to the terra-cotta bird bath?  This thing is gigantic. I have plenty of zucchini even with picking them small.

The sunflowers are still blooming although the little gold finches are eating all the seeds.

Now the black-eyed Susans are blooming…

Unfortunately, the tomatoes have been hit with blight again this year…darn it, darn it, darn it! I’m hoping the ones that have come up on their own will manage to avoid it, they did fine last year even though the others all succumbed to the dreaded blight.   In the mean time, thank goodness for the farmers market.

Kai and kale at the farmers market

I didn’t set out to buy kale at the farmers market Saturday, but as I was perusing the assortment of veggies, someone stopped close to me.  When I looked up (I always have to look up unless the person is maybe five years old), I saw it was Kai, a co-worker from days gone by.  Kai had just finished her boot camp and sauntered on over to the farmers market in search of kale.  She said she’d been eating a lot of kale chips and needed to replenish her supply.  We talked for a few minutes, then went our separate ways.  But the kale stuck in my mind.  So I,too, decided to search for kale.  Once I started looking for it, it was everywhere, it seemed.  I finally decided on a nice curly kale, made my purchase and continued on my way.

In case you don’t know, that’s the kale on the right side of the picture.

My attempt at artistry…an heirloom tomato nestled up to a soft cloud of kale and  crispy green beans.

That nice fluffy mound of fresh kale bakes up into this crunchy bunch of kale chips.  Way better for you (and more importantly, for me, since I’m going to be the one eating them) than any kind of chips you can buy at the store.

Thanks, Kai, for reminding me how much I like these…and it was great running into you Saturday morning!!  Those boot camps are doing what they’re designed to do…you look fab!!

Coffee sensation

Bubbles atop freshly brewed coffee in a french...

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I’ve been trying different types of coffee, various flavors of coffee, numerous methods of coffee preparation…all in the effort to find the perfect (for me) cup of coffee. Now, I must say, I am definitely not a strong, black cup of coffee kind of girl.  I don’t know how so many of you drink it like that.  I’ve tried it, believe me, I’ve tried it…I try it with every new type of coffee that I buy…and I still can’t stomach it.  I wish I could.  It would be the perfect low-calorie drink, a drink that would deliver that much-needed jolt of caffeine.  But, I just don’t like it unless it’s sweet and flavored.  I’m sorry, that’s just the way I am.  I think I’m just going to have to accept that about myself.  And really, is that such a terrible thing?  I mean, I’m not saying I want a hit of cocaine in my coffee, just a little sweetness and flavor.

I bought another type of coffee to try yesterday…chocolate raspberry…before you say, “That’s not real coffee.”, just hear me out.  I opened the package this morning and the scent that wafted out was heavenly, a chocolatey raspberry coffee kind of thing going on.  So I prepared a small pot using a little less coffee than the directions called for.  Once it was finished brewing, I poured it into my favorite mug, added one packet of Truvia and a slug of this dark chocolate creamer I found. 

Holy moly, this was amazing…not an overpowering coffee flavor, but a mild coffee flavored with chocolate and raspberries.  Wow!!  If I’d had the time, I would have also tried this iced.  I guess I can look forward to doing that another day.

So, do you like your coffee strong or mild?  Black or some other way? 

The long and winding road to fitness, day 15

Freezer of frozen bananas

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What a difference a day can make…that and a little planning!  I ate so much healthier today….lots of fresh fruit and veggies, some fish and whole grains.  That’s more like it!  Planning what I’m going to eat for the day really does work for me.  I use the SparkPeople nutrition tracker and get all kinds of nifty feedback.  Today, everything was within range with the exception of calcium (please, no lectures…I do take a calcium supplement so I don’t feel too bad about not being within range every once in a while).

I made a big bowl of fresh salsa for lunch.  Then I got the wild idea to mix in one of the peaches I bought at the farmers market yesterday.  I wasn’t sure how it would taste, but it was remarkably good.

Very colorful, isn’t it?   I had this with fish for lunch today…yum!  Dinner was string cheese, fresh strawberries and some Back to Nature flaxseed crackers (my fave).  I also had a snack of a frozen banana pop…got the idea from another blogger (who got the idea from a restaurant in New York) and made up a batch…frozen bananas on a stick dipped in melted chocolate and peanut butter, then frozen until ready to eat.  Holy moly,these things are better than ice cream…and portion controlled!  One of these days, I’ll post a link to her blog…she has a lot of great food ideas and recipes (Back To Her Roots, if you can’t wait)…

As far as exercise goes today, I did some walking and gardening very early in the day, knowing it was going to be hot and humid again.  All in all, I’m feeling much happier with my efforts today, and the fact that I didn’t allow one not so good day to completely throw my off track.  YES!!  So how is everyone else coping with the holiday weekend?  Cookouts and picnics throwing you off your plan?

Container garden gone wild

Wow…all of the rain we’ve had this year has caused an explosion in my container garden…well, okay, not exactly an explosion (thankfully), but the plants continue to grow like crazy…over running the small patio outside my kitchen.  When I heard the mowers early this morning, I knew I was going to have to do something because the cucumbers were growing out into the grass and the mowing crew would just run over them.

So, lacking the supplies on hand to grow them vertically (make a note now for next year, Patti), what could I do with them to get them out of the way and to have them take up a little less room on the patio?

I put one of the pots on the top shelf of a plant stand altho it looks like this will only be a temporary fix…I think the plant will continue to grow so much that I’d have trouble getting in and out the back door.

I set the other pot in front of the Adirondack chair that I won’t be sitting in this summer.  I kind of originally used it to give a little extra support to the tomato plant, but the plant quickly took over.  I’ve just come to the conclusion that the chair will simply be a background for the art that is my garden this year!

Hard to believe I’m going to all that trouble for this…only another gardener would understand…

I picked another pepper today that I’m going to use in black bean salsa later today.

The zucchini plant continues to grow.  Hard to believe, when I first planted zucchini, many years ago, I planted an entire row…funny how many things you can do with zucchini when it’s got you buried in the kitchen…and really, there’s only so much you can palm off onto friends and family!  I actually found a cookbook devoted to zucchini…some very interesting recipes (many that I’ve never tried…and likely will never try).

And one of the sunflowers that the birds planted for me is getting ready to bloom…enjoy little birdies, maybe you’ll eat a little less of the expensive bird seed I buy for you…or not!

Don’t you just love how gardening is never the same year to year?  I just hope this year is a better year for my tomatoes than last year was…oh well, if not, there’s always the farmers market!

Hummus…a convenience food?

Hummus

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I was trying to figure out what to take to work for my for the rest of the week.  Nothing in the freezer or fridge was calling my name.  I looked in the pantry, thought about quinoa and black beans…one of my favorite dishes.  Then I saw the package of hummus mix on the shelf.  Oh yeah, quick, easy, tasty and good for me.  I grabbed the box…

and proceeded to mix up this wonderful convenience food.  All it takes is olive oil and warm water…can you believe that?  I love hummus, but I usually can’t eat an entire container of the pre-made stuff before it goes bad.  With this mix, I just put some of the mix in a bowl, saving the rest for another day.

How convenient is that?  And way better for me than a frozen dinner or a Lean Pocket, right?  I’ll pick a few lettuce leaves in the morning, use the hummus as a spread on a sandwich thin and top it with lettuce and pickles…yum!!  Throw in a piece of fruit and I’m ready to go!!

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