Day 355–Goodbye 2011

I love the holidays…makes coming up with blog titles really easy.

As you can tell from the day number, I’m only 10 days from my weight loss anniversary, so I’ll save the retrospective for then.  As for today I’ll say that we had a very productive last day of 2011–Abby got a new iPad, we had an amazing dinner/soiree with the Shipleys, and I had one of my better workouts of the last year.

I hope that 2012 is productive, healthy, and blessed for everyone, and thanks for following my journey this year!

Breakfast–Cheerios.  Gotta end the year in style!

Exercise–Twenty minutes on the elliptical, burning 300 calories!  It was odd that as of 11 AM I had eaten negative calories for the day. I love that feeling.

Lunch–Chick Fila.  I had twelve nuggets and some pita chips, and water to drink. I’m getting to where I don’t miss the fries as much and I really don’t miss the soda or the lemonade.  I enjoy “feeling” healthier, where it isn’t a challenge to fight my willpower over sweets or sodas or fries.  I know there’s a long way to go, but progress is nice.

Snack–Fiber One bar.  Went to the store and got some more…healthy snacks are nice to have around.

Dinner–Here’s the big time.  We had, for an appetizer, grilled ahi tuna on crackers with goat cheese and raspberry or peach jalapeno jelly.  I tried the goat cheese…guess what I still don’t like! My brain must be broken.  Anyways, after that we had crostini with beef tenderloin, caramelized balsamic onions, salad and roasted butternut squash. Incredible meal.

Dessert–Homemade (by Amanda Earles) white chocolate raspberry cheesecake.  Fantastico.

See y’all in 2012!

Day 354–Resolutions Are For Sissies

Yeah, so about those resolutions…whoops.

Today was really REALLY bad.  Jenna and Seth went back to Memphis, and I either celebrated or mourned with food; I can’t tell.  In all seriousness, I will miss them.  I’m very glad that this time it’s only three and a half months until we see them again instead of nine…nine was too long. We also got to see Karla and Kathy today, spent some time shopping at Watters Creek, picked up some furniture for the new house, and I might have inadvertently gotten a job. Pretty solid, eh?

Breakfast–Pancakes!  Two little (4-5 inch) chocolate chip pancakes and two strips of bacon.  I also may or may not have gotten some chocolate on my bacon intentionally, and I can totally see why people think that’s a viable dessert combination. Still not as good as maple and bacon though.

Lunch–Pei Wei.  Mandarin Kung Pao chicken with brown rice and some extra vegetables.  I ate the whole thing, which was a mistake and I think a byproduct of having protein instead of all vegetables.  I need to stop doing that and order the veggie explosion from here on, because the fiber fills me up and I only eat half of it. Like I said, today was a disaster.

Snack–And here’s where it really goes downhill.  Karla came down to visit, and Kathy came up to visit, so we went to Bonnie Ruth’s to have some cake and visit.  Unfortunately, everyone wanted different cake so we ended up with about a whole cake, plus the chocolate cupcake with peanut butter buttercream frosting that I ate. Just a mess…I’ve never been repulsed by sweets before, but I was so full of sugar that looking at the leftover cake actually made me disgusted. I’d like to never do that again, thankyouverymuch. Anyways, when we checked out they mentioned that they make everything in-house and that they needed some help, and wouldn’t you know but that I love to bake…boom.  So I might have a job in a week or two. Huzzah!

Dinner–Snuffers’ spicy chicken strips and fries.  I ended up walking home from Watters’ Creek because I don’t have the shopping gene, so I actually burned a few calories and got some exercise to help alleviate the cake coma, and then promptly had fried chicken afterwards.  I’m not sure what’s wrong with me today, but its a mess.

Happy New Years’ Eve Eve people…celebrate safely tomorrow. Peace.

Day 353–New Years’ Resolutions

The horrible thing about writing a blog is that when you make bold proclamations and resolutions, lots of people can read them and hold you accountable. The great thing about writing a blog is that when you make bold proclamations and resolutions, lots of people can read them and hold you accountable. So I call on you, dear reader(s), to keep me on track for the ridiculousness that’s about to spew forth from my mind.

1) Be 215 lbs by my birthday (mid February).  I’m at 229 now, give or take a pound (I weighed in before I left for Abilene, but I had to do it fully dressed AND forgot to blog about it yesterday. Double fail.) so that means ~14 pounds in 7 weeks. Not impossible, but it’ll require some work and dedication. And no more holidays.

2) Be 210 or under by the time we go to Disney World in mid-April. Walking around in humid Florida would be so nice if I was less fat. It’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed WDW without being coated in sweat.

3) Get at least one A in my two online classes this semester.  Both of them should be pretty difficult, but I hope I can do well.  I’m close to the finish line on my degree, so finishing strong is a high priority.

4) Start experimenting more with my cooking.  There are things that I see used all the time that scare me a bit, and so I’ve never used them.  Curry powders, fish sauce, some different cuts of meat/butchering…if I’m going to do this, I want to do it right. No time to be afraid…if it sucks, it sucks. The world won’t end; there’s always peanut butter.

5) Spend more time cooking with other people.  I’ve got so many great resources around me in family and friends, and the new kitchen is so “group-cooking friendly,” that it seems foolish to not use it to my/our advantage.  Great way to build community and learn a lot.

That seems like a good start…I’ll add some more as we go on. I’m almost to my one year weight loss anniversary too, so I’m sure I’ll do something weird for that too.

Breakfast–A bowl of my Cheerio mixture.  It’s fun to get some Multigrain-Honey-Nut-Apple-Cinnamon goodness in one bite.

Lunch–An omelette of poblano, onion, carrot, and leftover Perini tenderloin.  I threw a little Sriracha in the eggs (two of them) and it was all DELICIOUS.  Sriracha in the eggs. Do it. You’ll thank me later.

Snack–I had “coffee” with Kyle Stallard, and by “coffee” I mean Kyle took a couple of detours getting there so I indulged in the Marble Slab next door.  It’s been a rough month…ice cream was needed. Small Chocolate Swiss with a Reese’s PB Cup mixed in…wonderful, and according to MyFitnessPal, only 250 calories.  When Kyle did arrive, I got a Clementine Izze.  I always go get “coffee” with people, but I don’t like coffee. It’s a paradox.

Dinner–Blue Goose, one more time before Jenna and Seth go feed Biggs finally.  I had a half pound order of beef fajitas with grilled green peppers added.  I only used two tortillas and then ate the rest of it with my fork to cut down the carbs.  It was really good, although the tamales are better.  Sacrifices are part of the deal.

No exercise today…I’m exhausted, and my knees are beat up.  They’ve had a large man pounding on them for the last couple of weeks, so I’ll give them a break.  Tomorrow though I say hello to the treadmill again.  Here’s to being resolute!

Day 352–Christmas in Abilene

This afternoon we got back from our whirlwind tour of Abilene for Christmas with the family, which is why I didn’t blog last night or the night before that.  Last night we were in Buffalo Gap (if you don’t know, look it up) and the night before we went to bed early because we had to get up early to get to West Texas. It was a phenomenal trip though…got to see lots of people, got to enjoy an amazing home-cooked meal from Nancy, and got to see Gram on a couple of good days, which was good for the soul (and I hope good for her). I got some great cookbooks, a new CrockPot (because our other one died), and we got a white chocolate raspberry cheesecake from Amanda and Jamie.  That’s going to be a source of temptation…delicious, delicious temptation.

I also ate my body weight in incredible food the last two days…homemade tamales, Los Arcos, pecan pie, chocolate pecan pie, cinnamon sweet rolls, etc.  Going to be some workouts in the future.

Breakfast–The aforementioned cinnamon sweet rolls. Nancy has an amazing sweet roll recipe and she was kind enough to have it going when we arrived, meaning breakfast today was extraordinary.  I did exercise restraint though…only ate two.

Lunch–Cousin Lunch at Los Arcos, so fajitas and some of their salsa and chips.  The homemade salsa was extra fiery today…someone had a bad holiday or wasn’t paying attention with the peppers or something. It was all great though, and an added bonus of running into Isaac Bray and Dustin Johnson at lunch, along with Dustin’s beautiful new bride Kayla.  I miss those kids…good times on mountains.

Dinner–A large Kowloon salad from Bakers Bros.  I really wanted a tuna sandwich, but the choice was 780 calories or 450 calories, and with everything else I’ve eaten today I needed to be a bit more judicious in my choices. So I did.  It was a good salad though…almonds, mandarin oranges, chicken, those crunchy noodle things. I approve.

Exercise–A quick jaunt on the elliptical while watching Texas try to not suck.  It’s a challenge sometimes. I could rant about some questionable coaching decisions, but that’s not really what this space is for now, is it?

Tomorrow is our last full day of Seth and Jenna time…everybody be sad.

Day 349–Christmas!

As if there was another acceptable title for this one. Duh.

Santa was good to us this year, with a juicer, a Wii game (Zelda…ooooooooohhhhh), and some mise en place bowls from Jenna.  The juicer will help us with some health stuff (I hope) and we tried it out this afternoon–WOW.  Even something as simple as a Granny Smith creates some amazing apple juice, and that’s before I start contemplating adding things for health or flavor reasons.  Like watermelon-lime…mmmm.  And the good news is that we avoid the added sugars from supermarket versions.  Should be a win/win as long as I keep using it and it doesn’t just collect dust.  The Zelda game looks like it’ll be pretty awesome when I get further into it…lots of story-building that can be a bit tedious. I like the Wii Motion Plus concept though, even if the Kinect makes it look a bit shoddy. And the mise en place bowls will help with recipes (especially baking) and help keep things clean and organized.  A pretty great holiday, if I do say so myself.

Breakfast–Holiday tradition: Mom’s homemade cinnamon rolls.  I ate too many, but when it’s been since last Christmas that I’ve had them, I feel okay about the splurge.

Lunch–Christmas lunch!  Apple juice-brined turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, cornbread dressing…wonderful.  Between the excellent meal and the fantastic gifts, it made me aware of just how blessed I am.  I really look forward to being in a position where stability lets me give more back to the community.  If you haven’t spared a thought and a prayer (or hopefully something more if you’re able) for those in need, now’s the time.

Exercise–Yesterday we had Christmas with the Moores, and it was a bit of a gut-buster along with all the fun.  Barbecue, pie, ice cream…lots of calories.  But we got to see Pa and Katy and it really was a great trip. So I ran/walked today and for the first time, I ran more than I walked.  Again, small victories, but for me that’s huge.  Went about a mile and a half…good holiday workout.

Dinner–Leftovers, as if there was another option.  Turkey, leftover sweet potato ravioli, dressing and green beans. Afterwards we indulged in some more Christmas presents…The Help and Tangled. Like I said–GREAT Christmas.

You’ll notice a glaring omission from the holiday menu: pumpkin pie.  My mom made pumpkin pie, and decreed it the best she’s ever made.  It sits on the counter taunting me. But now I have the small problem of knowing that I’m already slightly over my calories for the day (even with working out) and that pie would be a huge deal-breaker.  So, what’s a weight loser (wait a minute…that doesn’t sound right) to do?

Eat pie. Merry Christmas everyone.

Day 347–Apple Bread and Brussel Sprouts

The Christmas season is upon us, and at the Henderson household that means baking.  Even with the dietary restrictions placed upon us (some by choice, some not) we’ve managed to find our way to some fantastic delicacies.  The chocolate cookies from yesterday are gone, but they’ve been replaced with my Mom’s amazing homemade gingerbread cookies (and by proxy, the dough…songs should be written about that dough) and some apple cinnamon bread.  I took the carrot-almond bread and changed the recipe around to make it into an apple-cinnamon walnut bread instead, complete with cinnamon chips for some extra fun.  The cookies are a part of my childhood and therefore will never be surpassed, but the bread is pretty phenomenal as well.  Breakfast will be fun for the next couple of days!

Breakfast–Two double fiber English muffins with my black raspberry jalapeno jelly and a couple of thick pieces of ham.  Great breakfast and great fuel for a workout.

Exercise–More running/walking.  This time I reached the rarely-attainable level of sprinting, because usually I’m fat and slow.  It wasn’t much of a sprint, but it did happen.  That seems like a win to me.

Lunch–Buffalo chicken sandwich on flatbread with some of my new strawberry balsamic vinegar…such a great sandwich.  I also got some Pink Lady apples at the grocery store which made for a great side.

Snack–Two of the gingerbread cookies and a half a piece of the apple-cinnamon bread.  Would have eaten more but I knew dinner was going to be quite the gut-buster. And I was right.

Dinner–We went to Mignon to celebrate the new house, and celebrate we did.  I had a roasted quail salad that was salad greens, raspberry-champagne vinaigrette, pear slices, “mixed berries,” and “filberts.”  I said those in quotes because it was literally one raspberry, one blackberry, and two pieces of filberts.  I then had the biggest pork chop I’ve ever seen with a cherry sauce, roasted brussel sprouts, bacon pieces and roasted potatoes.  One of the better meals I’ve had in a while, and even though I can’t say I’m just in love with brussel sprouts, I do like them with bacon and potato.

Dessert–A cinnamon-white chocolate creme brulee.  It was just as great as it sounds.

Tomorrow we head to Canton for some Christmas festivities, then the Cowboys/Eagles, and then IT’S CHRISTMAS!!!!!

Day 346–Oil & Vinegar

Well…we have a new house. Such a weird prospect…the last twenty years of my life have been in one place and now we embark on a new adventure.  I’m sure there will continue to be some psychological issues associated with moving, but for now I’m pretty excited about it all.  What I really want is to have a house of my own, but that will come. Hopefully.

I probably made a diet boo-boo today and make some chocolate crinkle cookies, but they’re SO GOOD.  They looked good in the picture, the recipe was different than the usual “cream butter and sugar, add egg, add dry, bake” so it was something different to try, and the final product was delicious.  I’m pretty sure there is enough calorie-disaster going on in one cookie to single-handedly destroy my day, but that didn’t stop me from eating like 3. Fail.

Breakfast–Oatmeal with a banana and a teaspoon of peanut butter.  It was pretty good, but the oatmeal (cooked according to directions on the packaging) was really watery and that diluted the peanut butter so by the time I got to the end, it was inedible. Blech.

Exercise–Twenty minutes of walking and running on an incline.  I just wasn’t feeling it today, so it was more of a chore than usual, but I was able to knock it out.  If I run tomorrow I hope it’ll be a better feeling.

Lunch–We went to Bonnie Ruth’s in Watters Creek near the new house, where I had a wonderful plate of Steak Frites.  Perfectly cooked tenderloin, crunchy fries, and a side salad with a great shallot vinaigrette.  More importantly, for me at least, after this amazing meal I was able to stop by Oil & Vinegar, a shop in Watters Creek devoted solely to (you guessed it) oils and vinegars.  I used a Groupon and ended up with Raspberry, Strawberry, and Passionfruit balsamic vinegars and they are absolutely fantastic.  Can’t wait to use my new toys.

Snack–A cookie. Duh. Haven’t you been reading?

Dinner–I made my sweet potato ravioli with some ham and sauteed snap peas.  The ravioli had bacon, sage, sweet potato, some ginger, sauteed garlic, and salt and pepper.  They were excellent, except there was supposed to be some diced Granny Smith apple on the ravioli but we had some sticking issues and I lost track of what was going on and…no apple. Sad day. Guess that means I’ll have to make it again!

Dessert–It’s chocolate and rhymes with Snooki.

Bring on the holidays, and bring on more baking! Hopefully I’ll work on making things a little healthier from here on out…