Friday, March 30, 2012

Lunch & Black Mountain for 195 calories. Lovely.

I locked myself away in my room yesterday getting work done, but it really was enjoyable!  The soundtrack to my day was mighty fine.  It started with a Classic Soft Rock compilation full of goodies like Hall & Oates and Bread (don't even pretend you haven't sang along to them, too...).

The winning combination, though?  

This wrap...

Tumaro's Low Carb 95% Fat Free Gourmet Tortilla
2tbs Sabra Classic Hummus
2tbs rinsed black beans
1/4 medium red pepper
1/2 cup bean sprouts
1 cup raw spinach

195 Calories.  Nice.

And, the first two albums by Black Mountain.  I suggest you click the pics & check them out.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Fat Archaeology: From dirt to display.

I wonder if, when mummies were buried, they somehow knew that one day they might be on display.  Maybe they had some kind of will which stated, "I have been, and always will be smokin' and your mummification process had better show it off, or I will come haunt you.  I'm not kidding."  

Archaeologists’ initial intent might not have been simply to discover something so that others could see it.  But regardless of their paleontological aspirations, their dino-skeletons and ancient Egyptian kings have wound up behind glass for anyone who wishes to walk by, inspect, and discover for the first time themselves. 

While taking a leisurely stroll and chatting with my roomie the other night, she brought to light an aspect of Fat Archaeology that I had never anticipated: other people discovering me, too. 

Ouchy.  Did you know there's
a tendon there?!
This laborious, persistent excavation has revealed much more about me than I anticipated.  While scraping back layer by fluffy layer, I’ve come across collar bones, knuckles, knees and shoulder blades.  I’ve accidentally cut myself shaving where bones were once hidden behind a cushy, cushy buffer.  After the dirt’s been brushed aside and artifacts have been exhumed, there is infinitely more to be discovered. 

What is it that makes you want to stop and check out the mummy behind the glass, though?  Yeah, they look cool – but I bet they’ve got an awesome little placard next to them telling you about where they came from, what they did, and other interesting facts about their life.  This is what makes the discovery so appealing, and this is what has made it possible for me, and others, to discover me. 

I’m more open to allowing others to discover me because of all of these wonderful changes I’ve gone through.  I’m enjoying making myself more visible, whether it’s putting makeup on before going skiing so I feel a little sassier because you never know who you’ll bump into, or getting bolder with fashion because I’m confident enough to finally wear what I like.  After I realize that I’ve been checked out, I always find it wonderfully bizarre.  It really is a bit weird.  I don’t know why I feel this way, but I do.  It is good, yes.  But, weird. 

It’s one thing to catch a glimpse of myself walking down the street and think, “Ha – CUTE!!!”  It’s another to walk down the wrong aisle at the grocery store, have a handsome man smile at you as you walk by, and smile back.  Then, said handsome man smiles at you again on the way out, offers to carry your bag knowing full well that all you’re carrying is a box of tin foil.  So, you let him, and he walks you to your car and says goodnight. 

Placard read, subject observed.  Score.  

I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t looking forward to getting to a point where I’d feel better about myself and start having a few people stop, read my placard, and gaze through the glass for a little while.  And, alas, it is happening. 

Here is the beauty of not being a mummy behind glass any longer.  I can smile back.  I can be the exuberant, confident person who is eager to fully participate in life, and let other people admire it, too.   

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Happy St. Pats, you crazy cats.

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I wore this...  (From two angles, because I love the sides of the boots and was excited you could see my collar bones in the first one. Haha.)

Old Navy Ballet Neck Tshirt, Green/turquoise skirt from Target, Nine West hidden wedge boots,
leopard print skinny belt from Lane Bryant.

Danced to this...  (Thanks to my favorite WIDR DJs from our local college radio.)

Watched a friends band...

Then woke up today only wanting to hear this.

And it's been mighty good.  Hope you had a good one, too!

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Tuna Squared.

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I ate tuna twice today.  I can't help it.  I am a fish-monster.  I am also an apple-monster lately, but today?  Fish-monster.  I was curious to see if I could find some information about what are typically healthy amounts of fish to consume, and just happened to come across 8 ounces of fish in a day is pretty darn reasonable; no worries here.  But...  Obviously, the best source of finding out anything like this would be visiting your doctor.  In the meantime, I found this website quite informative!  I definitely eat fish quite a few times a week, but not necessarily more than once a day.  I was so pleased with my food today, I just had to share.

Can of tuna, 2 cups spinach, 1/4 of an orange bell pepper chopped, 5 sliced strawberries, dash of grated parmesan, sprinkled with balsamic vinegar.  And only 200 lovely, delicious calories.

4oz seared ahi tuna seasoned with garlic powder, lime, ginger and pepper.  On the side, 2 cups steamed broccoli with some ginger & garlic powder.  It's simple, it's quick, and it's really good.  I'll make it look all staged and pretty for you some other time!  Tonight, I had more important things to do, like, eat it.  I typically cook it for maybe 2 minutes on either side, just long enough to cook the outside edges, leaving the inside rare and pink.  I was a bit distracted playing catch with adorable puppies, though.  Still great!  And also only 200 lovely, delicious calories.

Sometime in the next week, I'm planning on making fish tacos with some blue marlin that's been living in my freezer for about a month.  It is time.  If it turns out well, I'll be sure to provide the recipe!

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Hurts so good.

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Last weekend, my friend April came to visit the roomie and I, and she brought along an awesome workout video.  She also brought along 4 jars of Trader Joe's Better'N Peanut Butter - best $10 I've spent in a while!  The next best $14 I hope to spend, though, is on Ellen Barrett's Fat Burning Fusion dvd.

Everything about this video did it for me.  Even the way she spoke...  I'm weird - I don't like it when people talk all mellow and spacey.  Tell me what to do, inform me, guide me, and we're straight.  But anyway!  She incorporates classic ballet moves, pilates, and does it all without ever stopping moving.  It is a constant, fluid, concentrated effort on parts of your body that you won't even know you've worked out until you're wonderfully  sore for the next few days.  My hamstrings were feelin' it for about 4 days afterwards.

Why it worked for me:

  • It worked out core/side, hamstring, and other muscles that I've been trying to target really, really well.
  • It encourages balance with steady, constant, controlled movement that works your muscles and stretches out your body all at once.  
  • She instructs very, very well with little insights that really help you do the moves effectively.  It's the littlest things, sometimes, that will take an exercise from being done incorrectly and ineffectively, to taking your breath away in the best way.
  • It's accessible - there may be a couple of things out of some people's range of ability.  But aside from one or two things that I can think of, anyone could join in and get a good workout, whether you're already fit or just beginning.
  • It's easy on my joints.  I have knees that sound like a tricycle creaking slowly over a gravel path, and this was very manageable.

I need this video!  I've been craving doing it again ever since.  This has inspired yet another list...  I've started my Weight-Loss Bucket List, and now I'm going to start an Exercise Wishlist.  Spinning is next!  Anything on your wish list?  What exercise, videos, etc. work for you?  Suggest and share!  I'm always up for something new.

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Friday, March 9, 2012

A size 10?!

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I had a lovely day on Tuesday on the east side of the state going to visit my cousin with my Mom and one of my faux Aunts.  We had lunch, did a bit of shopping, and perused some stores that I'm quite fond of but rarely get to visit.

The best part?

We stopped by Anthropologie, a store I've been smitten with for years but never imagined actually being able to wear something from.  Well, I tried on a skirt from the clearance rack.  A SIZE 10.  A size 10 from Anthropologie.  Oh.  My gosh.  If I seem a little giddy and inarticulate, well...  That's because I am.  Hooray.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Light Eggplant Parmesan

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I was in the mood for eggplant parmesan from one of my favorite restaurants in downtown Kalamazoo, Mangia Mangia.  SO, I took it upon myself to scour this here interweb for a light version to try out.  There were quite a few people ranting and raving about Moosewood's Eggplant Parmesan and tomato wine sauce, so I tried it out with a few minor alterations.

Um...  Awesome.

Even two servings of it is still a reasonable dinner!  It was great the first time, and even better the second time.  So here it is.  I seriously encourage you to try it.  Whether you're trying to watch your calories or not, it is absolutely delicious.

Serves 8.

Tomato Wine Sauce
2tsp olive oil
1 finely chopped onion
3 garlic cloves
2 tsp ground fennel (couldn't find any, so I substituted a cup of chopped, fresh fennel)
1tsp dried oregano
1tsp dried basil
1/2 cup red wine (I used a burgundy per the advice of a darling elderly lady in my local super market)
1 can Hunt's whole canned tomatoes (3.5 cups)
pepper to taste

Warm olive oil, onion, and garlic and saute on low heat for 5-7 minutes.  Add fennel, oregano and basil for 1 minute.  Pour in wine & bring to boil.  Blend tomatoes to desired consistency (I like it chunky) and add, simmering for about 20 minutes.

Eggplant Parmesan
1lb eggplant cut crosswise into 1/3" slices
4 egg whites
2 servings (60 chips) Special K Sea Salt Cracker Chips (instead of bread crumbs)
3tbs grated Parmesan cheese
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2tsp dried basil
1 cup low fat ricotta cheese
8oz reduced fat part skim mozzarella cheese
tomato wine sauce

Preheat oven to 375.

Slice eggplant and set aside.  Find a bowl in which the eggplant rounds can lie flat and lightly beat hte egg whites.  Crush Special K chips into bread crumb consistency.  In a large bowl, combine the crumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and basil.

Dip the eggplant slices on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  Should you have any leftover bread crumb mixture, set it aside.  Bake eggplant for about 15-20 minutes on each side until tender and easily pierced with a fork.

Spread about half the sauce in the bottom of an 8x12" glass baking dish.  Layer about half the eggplant slices on top of the sauce.  Spread all the ricotta cheese evenly on the eggplant and top with about 1 1/2 cups mozzarella.  Use the rest of the eggplant slices for a second layer.  Cover the with remaing sauce and any extra bread crumb mixture.  Sprinkle the top with the final 1/2 cup mozzarella and bake, uncovered for 25-30 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

And, don't forget to drink the rest of the red.

Nutritional Info:
Calories:  230
Carbs:  19
Fat:  8
Protein:  18
Sodium:  542
Fiber:  6

Weight Watchers Points Plus Values:  5pts (free fruits and/or vegetables not included)

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Just DO it!

It’s amazing the possibilities that arise when you decide to just DO things.  The more that we do, the more that we interact, and the more that we take advantage of the life we have by actually living (as horrifyingly clich├ęd as this may sound…), the possibilities really are endless. 

There are so many things that I want to do now that I’m physically able to do them again.  I want to ride roller coasters.  I want to go horseback riding without the worry I’m too heavy for the horse.  I’ve already done a cartwheel!  There are so many things that I’d like to do.  I’ve decided that tonight, I’m going to begin a weight-loss bucket list of things that I’d like to do or conquer.  After my cartwheel and my excursion Tuesday, I’m already two down!

Back in September, I started talking about how badly I wanted to go skiing this year.  And until yesterday, I had not!  Winter in Michigan has been a fickle beast this year…  I decided last week that if Tuesday was decent and the snow wasn’t gone, I was going.  I hadn’t gone in, probably…  10ish years.  I had to.  I probably wouldn’t get another chance.  My roommate and I sat down to have coffee before she headed off to work, and I started rambling off the things I wanted to get done for the day.  She stopped me mid-sentence and said, “SARAH!  GO DO IT!  GO!  RIGHT NOW!  You can clean and do whatever else you need to do later this week.  I will never hear the end of it if you don’t take advantage of this gorgeous day, which will VERY likely be the last decent day for any kind of winter sports this year…  GO!  DO IIIIIIT!” 

SO, I go’d.  I did it.  I went all by myself, and absolutely loved it.  I can’t even tell you how many times I went up and down the hills…  I was able to just glide right back onto the chair lift in this neverending cycle of ride up, ski down, ride up, ski down.  It was great.  I was ridiculous.  If there were cameras in mid-air that someone kept an eye on, they probably got a kick out of this chick sitting all by herself with the biggest grin, giggling out of pure glee and satisfaction.  I was so happy.

At first, I took the easy trail I knew that I could glide down to get my bearings.  Piece of cake.  So, I did that faster.  Piece of cake.  So, I did it faster.  Piece of cake.  Then it was onto the bigger front of the hill.  Done.  The steeper side…  Done.  Up to the top of the BIG hill down onto the steeper side of the other…   Done.  Onto the 2nd biggest…  Done!  It was great.  After a while, I decided that I was just going to stay until I couldn’t stand it anymore. 

My bum and the hill on the left became
fast friends.  I kept getting stuck
in the slush.  
Since I decided to stay, I went out to my car to eat a sandwich and refuel a bit and thought, “I’m cold. I should get some coffee.  Wait – I could get crappy coffee, or I could go get a BEER, which although cold, will also warm me up…  Why not get a beer?  Yes!  Just do it.  Sit in the lodge by yourself, in a table in the sun by the window, and just enjoy it.”  So, I did, and ran into a friend of mine who ended up joining me later for some skiing and fun conversation, and then introduced me to some lovely, new people.  I’m even going to see one of them in the next couple weeks to take her spinning class!  New exercise that’ll kick my bum?  Yes, please! 

Total.  Success.   It was a splendid, fulfilling, incredibly fun day.  And would any of this have happened if I’d gotten too busy and neglected to go?


Do it.  No – hush.  Don’t argue with me.  Just go do it.  You never know what might happen...

What are some of the things on your weight-loss bucket list, or just your bucket list in general?  Share!  
I might just have to copy you...

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Going up...
And about to ski down.

The bigger hill - piece of cake.
Happy & content.