Thursday, July 9, 2009

Going outside to play (and week 2 of challenge)

So week two, and I’m definitely dropping in poundage. There’s this weird sense of relief when I start getting back into my comfortable zone… I know that my clothes will fit and I won’t feel uncomfortable. And I’m still feeling happy with my food, which makes life easy for me. The difficulty always arises when my mind turns to sweets, and I start having my emotions getting all mixed up with cravings.

This week’s challenge is to incorporate outdoor activity into one’s life. This one’s a no brainer, since I’ve already fully embraced the great outdoors. I put my gym membership on hold in April, and haven’t looked back too much.

I do an outdoors bootcamp twice a week, in the early morning, before work. I participated in this bootcamp pre-Christmas last year and liked it, but it was indoors which limited some of the variety. Being outdoors is definitely far more interesting (and usually challenging!) The instructor makes excellent use of the surrounding and we haven’t really repeated a workout yet.

I also play flag football, and am actually participating in two leagues, one women and one co-ed. This means that I play at least twice a week I’m running around outside and maybe have a couple of practices thrown in as well. They’re both rec leagues, and not too competitive, so if there’s an evening where I feel the need to take it a bit easier, no one minds.

Starting in a couple of weeks I’ll also be playing co-ed softball with the co-ed flag team. That should be interesting given that I haven’t played softball since junior high. But the people on our team are so great, I don’t think I’ll be too stressed even I turn out to be terrible.

And finally, I’ve been taking my pup for more walks. I’m trying to meet up with my Mom for some of these, as it gets her active, but it also gives us a chance to catch up. And the pup definitely loves it. It’s funny; he’s a fifteen pound miniature poodle so you would think that he would limit the distance. But we’ve gone over 10 K without him having any problems, and I’m pretty sure that could even be extended.

There’s also a workout that we’ve been asked to try each week. This week’s is a tricep blitz. I did it last night, and can definitely feel my arms today.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Turkey Burger

So aside from the whole losing weight thing, this 15 Week Challenge includes little mini-assignments (if you want). This week’s is to health-ify a recipe.

Now while I’m not a fancy cook, it’s mostly because I’m kinda lazy. However, I can cook elaborate meals and have a pretty good palette. For the most part I don’t take an existing food and try to make it healthy. I find it’s either a poor substitute, or it’s not much healthier than the original (I’m thinking of most baked goods I’ve tried this with). I do have a repertoire of fairly healthy dishes, which both Nick (who is VERY picky) and I enjoy.

One which appears regularly, which is a healthified recipe, is turkey burgers or turkey meatballs. I don’t eat red meat at all, originally due to an effort to minimize my carbon footprint, and now because it makes me queasy. Nick just embraced it, and while he still relishes the occasional fast food burger, he’s never really complained.

I buy ground turkey when it’s on sale and freeze a ton of it, thawing it as necessary. To make the burgers I use about 600g (or about a pound and a half) of turkey. I add about ¼ c of oats whizzed through the blender (about flour consistency or a bit lumpier),1 egg and some salt, and mix the whole mess.

Then I start adding spices. These will vary with the meal. Sometimes a tex-mex theme, with chili, garlic, and peppers. Sometimes Indian, with onion and curry powder. Sometimes basil and sundried tomatoes. Sometimes shredded cheddar and savory. You get the idea. I use the burgers/meatballs as a base for whatever I want out of it, and it’s pretty hard to go wrong. You can even add some vegetables (like frozen spinach), but err on the side of too little otherwise the burgers won’t hold together.

You then form them into whatever shape you want, and then sauté them in a non-stick pan or on the barbeque (if burgers, obviously).

As for serving them, the burgers are pretty intuitive. For the meatballs, we’ve had them over pasta, in pita bread with hummus, in a stir-fry, or on their own with some dipping sauce.

The nutritional info changes for this depending on the proportions of the main ingredients and the add-ins, but I’ve worked them out in the past (using extra lean turkey) to: 150cal, 2g fat, 5g carb (with about 0.5g fiber), 27g protein.

Still here. Again.

So I didn’t actually disappear from the interwebs. I’ve just been feeling really unmotivated the past few months. Life has continued to putter along, and I’ve kept pace just fine. I still occasionally struggle with how I feel about my physical self, but most of the time it’s not in the front of my mind. I haven’t lost weight. But I did go to L.A. and had a great time. I’ve gone to parties and barbeques all at this weight and size, and enjoyed them all.

However, I do still get frustrated by times, and those times can put an unfortunate slant on a social occasion. Those times when I spend an hour trying to find an outfit in which I feel attractive (and never succeed), it does but a damper on my confidence. Not in a huge way, but I know the difference.

So, I’m going to keep on trying to drop the weight. The ten extra pounds I carried in ’08 has upscaled to fifteen. I definitely don’t want that trend, an additional five pounds a year, to continue through my thirties.

Aside from keeping my activity level up (still wearing the pedometer, playing sports, getting up at omigod o’clock to run), and trying to eat well (lower carbs, especially refined ones, trying not to binge), I’m doing Amy’s Quest to Skinny 15 Week Challenge. I just want some sort of check in system. I don’t want to start slipping backwards and abandon this, though. Posting weekly to her for the full fifteen weeks will be an accomplishment in itself.

So, there’s that.