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I’m Alive!

Oh heeeeeey there. It’s been a while, eh?

Don’t worry – I haven’t gone off the deep end or anything. I have just been suuuper busy lately and to be honest, this blog and healthy living in general haven’t been the focal point of my life the past few months!

But then tonight, I had a great conversation with Kelly because we are speaking at FitBloggin’ together this year, and it made me realize it has been a looooooong time since I’ve checked in with you all and I want to give you a glimpse into why I’ve been so busy!

1.) I just had my biggest work-event of the year the week before last, which was a conference in Orlando with almost 5,000 attendees. It was a huge success in the end, but veeeeery hard work both leading up to it and at the conference itself, and I’m really glad it’s over.

2.) While in Florida at said event, I got a call from my neighbor while I was at a staff dinner, and when he called a second time I knew something was up. He was calling to let me know that he was standing with a police officer and that my car’s e-brake had failed and it rolled out of my parking spot and into the street, blocking the bike lane. I’d already gotten 4 parking tickets so he wasn’t giving me another one, but the officer was going to have a tow truck come to put it back in the spot with bricks behind the tires.

3.) Fast forward 20 minutes, and my neighbor calls again and starts with, “Hey Beth… I really don’t want to have to tell you this, but…” So I knew it wasn’t going to be good. Apparently, when the tow truck came, it lifted up the back tires to maneuver my car back into the spot, and then when it put the car back down, instead of putting it NEXT to the fence, they dropped it ON the fence. A steel fence. And it went through my car and made some holes and broke some parts. So that was fun.

4.) After removing myself from the dinner because I was completely freaking out so I could go call my insurance company, I left to head back to my hotel room, and promptly dropped my phone out of my hand. In my head I said, “That would actually be kind of funny if my phone broke now…” and then it did. And it wasn’t that funny. Especially when I called Geico from my computer and it disconnected, and then when they called me back on my cell I couldn’t answer it.

5.) BUT THEN! I got back to DC, got my phone fixed, and had my insurance come pick up and deal with the car. For the record, the police officer filed a report and since he was the witness, it’s pretty clear cut. I shouldn’t have to pay anything in the end, but it’s been a pain to deal with it all as I’m sure you can imagine.

6.) And then the next day, I ended up walking through the lobby of my apartment building and running into a guy who asked if I was there for the open house. I wasn’t, but asked him what was up and he said he was renting out an apartment two floors up from mine that is a one bedroom (I live in a studio) and it was barely more than I pay now for rent! Somehow, I talked to my current landlord and managed to make it happen, and so now I’m moving in less than a month! And I have a LOT of work to do. Yikes.

6.) And last, I definitely didn’t win the DietBet. But there will be another one. I need it.

Random Confessional

1.) Last week, I flushed an entire stick of deodorant down my toilet.

I knocked it in from the back of the toilet while I was flushing and didn’t think it would go down, but long story short, it did. The culprit:

deodorant

It’s out now, at least.

2.) I am giving a presentation at the all staff meeting at my day job today about healthy lunches, and I’m really nervous.

I don’t normally mix my weight loss/healthy living world with my regular job, and especially do not talk about my personal weight loss story that openly (until today, that is). On top of that, I also just found out yesterday it is a 45 minute presentation instead of the 15 minutes I was expecting. Oy.

3.) This weekend my parents are coming into town and I’m hosting Easter brunch.

It’s my first time ever hosting a holiday, and I am nervous even though my mom is going to help me cook.

4.) Last week, I didn’t meal plan AT ALL for the first time in a long time.

I ate out for almost every meal with the exception of a few english muffins and soft boiled eggs here and there. It was not kind to my wallet, but it felt pretty freeing and made me excited to get back to a plan this week.

5.) Despite claiming that being active is a nonnegotiable part of healthy living for me, I took two full weeks off from working out sort of unintentionally.

One day fed into the next and into the next, and then all of a sudden it had been two full weeks. I broke that streak yesterday with 5 miles on the treadmill, and it was, as should be expected, really, really hard.

breakthestreak

I felt like a million bucks afterwards, though.

6.) Last week for the first time in ages, I didn’t track my food at all.

I ate what I wanted when I was hungry, and it was really liberating in a way. I ate a lot of things I’d been craving and tried to balance it out with fruit and veggies, but didn’t count points at all. I was excited to see that I was down a few pounds yesterday despite that – I think my body and my mind both needed the break.

Tell me one thing you want to get off your chest!

Make March Your Month

Falling off track with our healthiness goals is so much easier than sticking with them. Case in point, this picture of my office gym when I went last week at 6pm on a Wednesday:

photo 1 (1)

Not even a month ago, I had to actually wait in line to get on one of the treadmills, and last week there was not a person in sight.

Because I think we can all use a little extra motivation at this time of year, I put the idea out there on my facebook page of starting a Beth’s Journey DietBet for the month of March. There seemed to be a bit of interest, so I went ahead and started a game.

DietBet

The basic concept behind it is that you pay $25 to play, and the goal is to lose 4% of your starting weight in the 4 weeks that the game runs. My game starts one week from today on Monday March 4, and will run through Sunday, March 31. Everyone who hits their goal of losing 4% of their starting weight splits the pot, so you automatically get your money back if you hit that goal.

In case you’re curious, I am not making any money or getting any special privileges for hosting this game – I paid $25 to play just like anyone else who is interested will, and I don’t get a cut or anything for hosting. I just thought it would be a fun way to bring a sense of community here and I’m excited to have another forum for support!

On the Beth’s Journey DietBet page, we can post photos, motivation, struggles, etc., sort of like a message board for extra support during the game. You’re also welcome to invite and friends and/or family you think might be interested in participating in the challenge, which you can do through the site.

It’s hosted through DietBet, so there are rules about how to submit your weigh in to avoid cheating which is something I was really curious about. Here are some links with more info:

As of now, 22 people have already signed up to play, so the pot is at $550! I’m really excited to have motivation to get back into weight loss mode for the whole month of March, and a little healthy competition never hurt anyone! I am especially excited about this because I am traveling to Philadelphia for work this entire week from this morning until Friday night, and I always struggle a lot while traveling for business (or in general). This will be a great way to get my butt back in gear right when I get back from the trip.

Who’s in!?

On Growing Up Heavy

The first time someone ever referenced my weight in a negative way was when I was in the third grade and just 8 years old. I remember sitting at the table in class with some of my peers, when one girl was looking at me a little weird. I asked her what was wrong, and she said, “You’re fat.” Even typing this now over 20 years later, I can still feel the sting of her words and vividly remember the red sweater I wore that day.

Things never really got any easier for me all throughout school. I was constantly harassed for my weight and often went home in tears from being teased. It caused me to develop a really hard shell over the years and pretend like the taunting wasn’t getting to me. Sometimes I’d even laugh along with them. That was, until I got home and could really let myself feel the affects of their words in the form of tears and self loathing.

I remember when my sisters both got married in 2004, how instead of feeling joy and happiness for them, I was overcome with fear because of the bridesmaid dresses I’d have to wear. Nothing in regular stores ever fit me, so how on Earth would I fit into a dress that the other normal sized bridesmaids could wear? For my sister Wendy’s wedding, I had to order a size 14 (the biggest size it came in) with a yard of extra fabric to make it large enough to fit around me, and for my sister Heather’s wedding I had to order a size 20 dress. I remember telling myself that bridesmaid dresses ran small and that was the reason. And I actually believed it. But even now, I have a hard time looking at the pictures from both of their weddings without a terrible feeling coming over me because of how far I let my weight get out of control.

I finally got a boyfriend in college, and I remember the first six months being bliss. I was so excited to be in a relationship with someone who actually liked me despite my weight, that I turned a blind eye to how he actually treated me. He was never physically abusive, but would often do things that left me in tears and that no one should ever put up with. I felt like I should just take what I could get at that point because honestly, how many options did I have?

I remember one time, my sister Wendy told me about a job that was mine if I wanted it, working for one of Justin’s, her now-husband, clients. My ex was with me when she was filling me in on the details, and of course I wanted the job – it sounded perfect for a summer gig. The next week, Justin was at his clients and was following up to make sure the job would work out for me, when the client pulled up an email and said, “Is this her?” Justin looked at the email with sheer confusion when he realized the email the client was referring to was sent not from me, but from my ex. Apparently, after Wendy had filled me in on the job details, my ex went behind my back to look up the employer, and then sent in an email pitching himself as the perfect fit for the job and trying to steal the job out from under me. Even after a stunt like that, I stayed with him for several years.

I think because of the years of being told I was fat and the accompanying harassment, I adopted being heavy as part of my self identity. This probably contributed to my lack of success at losing weight until I was an adult because I let what others think of me be such a large part of who I was. Even though all through middle school, high school, and college, I wanted nothing more than to be skinny, I think I was fearful of shedding the weight and having to deal with what was underneath it all.

It was not until I was out of college and living and working in the “real world” that I was finally able to realize that I had so much more to me than just the size of my clothes or the number on the scale. I was mature enough to realize that the names that other people called me or the reasons that they judged me were not what defined me. The ball was in my court in terms of growing (or shrinking) into the person I wanted to be, and no one could stand in my way if I wouldn’t let them. And while I have found myself many times wishing that I had started to make the change in my life sooner, I also think being heavy was something I needed to go through to be who I am today. And honestly, I like the person I’ve become, so I’m OK with it. Finally.

On Trying to Be Responsible: Seeing The Dermatologist

In late December (this had nothing to do with trying to use up my flexible spending money, I swear) I decided to be responsible and go to the dermatologist for a mole check. When I mentioned this to a few friends, I was surprised to hear that several didn’t even know this is something you are supposed to do, so I figured I should share this story.

I am relatively fair skinned and have a lot of freckles (and a few moles) and though I have no history of skin cancer in my family, I’m told that I should be going for a full body scan every year, though I’d only been a time or two before this last appointment. The doctor basically looks closely at your entire body and sees if there are any questionable moles. Depending on what they see/find, they will act accordingly.

When I was there, I noticed the doctor stopping at one particular spot on my leg. I realize that this is really weird to say, but it was actually a freckle I really liked. It was cute, small, and on the top of my quad and I don’t know, I just liked it. To me, it didn’t look like anything was wrong with it at all, which is probably why I’m not a doctor.

  • “This one looks suspicious,” she said. “Do you mind if I remove it and send it in for testing?”
  • “Umm.. right now!? What? How does that work?”
  • “Basically, I’ll just inject a little Lidocaine under the skin, shave it off, cover it with a bandage, and you won’t feel a thing. It’ll take less than a minute.”
  • “Uhhhhhhmmmm ok I guess. Are you SURE it’s not going to hurt??”

Now, you should know I am a total freak about these things. I tend to get worked up over the littlest things and automatically assume worst case scenario on all things health related (some might call this a hypochondriac?), but honestly, the procedure was no big deal. I left there with a Band-Aid over the spot where my beloved freckle used to be with no harm done.

Fast forward a week later, and I got a call back from the doctor saying that the mole came back atypical and she wanted to go in to remove more.

Frantically, I asked her a ton of questions and she explained that basically, there is a spectrum between benign (nothing wrong) and melanoma (cancer), and it had come back as “moderate” on the atypical scale, so not mild, nor severe. To be safe, the doctor wanted to go back in to remove more of the mole to make sure the margins were clear (aka no atypical cells were left) and stitch it back up. It’s a fairly common procedure and though I didn’t have skin cancer, this would make sure that I didn’t develop it there.

Now, I also had this weird thing on my arm. It’s something I have had for years and have always been super self-conscious of, and oddly enough got asked about A LOT. I think it is from a scar, but I honestly can’t remember when it showed up, how long I’ve had it for, and if it has changed over time. I have had it looked at before, but I brought it to the dermatologist’s attention when I was there this time, too.

Weird Thing

The doc said that she didn’t think it was anything serious, but that she wanted to remove it and  and send it in to be tested, too.

So last Friday, January 18th, I had an appointment to get the mole on my leg and the spot on my arm removed. I told them I was freaking out, so they told me to come in 30 minutes before my appointment so they could give me a Valium to calm me down before the procedure, and I was SO glad I did that.

photo 3 (5)

I definitely wouldn’t have been feeling that good without it, especially when I saw all the equipment laid out for the procedure.

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Yikes.

After a few minutes, the doctor came in and marked up my arm and leg for how she was going to cut in. Both places were going to be cut in a football type shape around the spots, given a lot of Lidocaine via injection, have the questionable things cut out, then stitched back up with both internal and external stitches.

The procedures themselves were not THAT bad, really. I couldn’t feel anything even though I was totally awake and made the doctors talk to me the whole time about anything other than the surgery. That is, until they put in the external stitches. It didn’t hurt at all, but I could feel the doctor pulling back and forth pretty hard when she was putting those stitches in and it was a really, really weird feeling. I was relieved when it was over, and also that they did my arm first because that was the worse of the two. They put some tape-like strips over the stitches in both spots, then loads of gauze to absorb any post-op bleeding, and then taped them up.

Both places looked like this:

photo 2 (4)

I was in and out in about an hour, and my aftercare instructions were this:

    • Ice both places 30 minutes on, 30 minutes off for the rest of the day.
    • Take Tylenol every 4 hours for pain, as needed (which did not help, at all).
    • Elevate both places as much as possible for the rest of the day.
    • Remove the bandages in the morning, and change them morning and night for the next 10 days until going back to have the stitches removed. I have to load them up with a ton of vaseline, then put gauze and tape over the sutures. The goal for these 10 days is not to let a scab form, because it’s better for healing.
    • No exercise for at least 2 weeks, possibly 3, to reduce the risk of clotting and reopening the wounds. Oy.

The hardest part of these instructions was the elevation part. It’s my left leg, and my right arm – so that proved to be a logistical challenge. I ended up sleeping that night with my legs swung over the arm of my couch, and my arm propped up against the couch on a pillow. Super comfortable.

When I woke up the next day, my leg was no big deal. I’ll show you this picture because I don’t think it’s too graphic, but this was the spot on my leg:

photo 3 (4)

Those are the stitches underneath, and then I was supposed to leave that tape over it until it fell off on it’s own. The tape on my leg stayed on for almost 48 hours post surgery, but the tape on my arm ended up coming off that first morning when I removed the original bandages.

My arm was a different story, but I’ll spare you the photos because they are NASTY. The cut is about twice as long as the one on my leg (about 2 inches probably) and bled through the bandages that first night. I almost gagged when I had to look at it in the morning because it was a lot bigger (and bloodier) that I was expecting, but luckily I was instructed to cover it right back up so I didn’t have to look at for long.

In terms of pain, my leg was barely noticeable. If it had just been that mole removal, I don’t think it would have been a big deal at all. My arm, on the other hand, hurt like a b. It stung really bad and felt like someone had stabbed me with a knife (oh wait…) and the Tylenol didn’t really help. I ended up icing it a lot that next day even though I wasn’t instructed to, and that took the edge off. By day three, it was still sore, but hurt significantly less, and now, just under a week afterward the procedure, the pain is minimal. My arm is definitely a little sore and it’s hard to forget I have stitches there, but I barely even notice my leg.

I go back this coming Monday for a follow up and to get the sutures removed, and at that point they will give me further care instructions to promote healing and minimize scarring. The thing I’m currently having the hardest time with is not being able to do any exercise at all. I’m such an active person, and I really like to eat, so I am struggling with not being able to do anything (and still wanting to eat like I am working out 6x a week). I know that my healing is way more important than my running, but I also have a half marathon coming up in March that I’m in the middle of training for, so it’s hard mentally to steer clear of running as well.

Anyway, I will keep you guys posted with how things progress with the healing (and if you aren’t offended by gross things and are curious to see a picture of my arm post-surgery, you can email me at bethsjourneyblog at gmail dot com and I’ll send it to you), but that’s what’s going on with me.

Are you good about preventative medicine and going to the doctor? Do you get yearly mole checks?

Your Journey in Six Words

I’ve seen this in several weight loss and health magazines and found it pretty cool to think about. Basically, the idea is to summarize your weight loss/healthiness journey in six words exactly, which doesn’t sound like much space, but you really can say a lot.

I came up with a lot of ideas for my own journey, including:

1.) Tried. Failed. Tried again. Kept going.

2.) Making a plan equals longterm success.

3.) Must make herself a priority daily.

4.) Started. Stopped. Started again. For good.

5.) Healthier, stronger, thinner, AND happier.

I like them all, and do think they all speak to my journey, but none of them felt quiiiite right. So I kept going (how symbolic is that!?), and here’s what I finally settled on:

I have to keep trying. Everyday.

I feel like that captures the essence of the fact that this journey will NEVER be over for me, and that it takes focus, determination, and commitment each and every day to stay on the right path.

If you had to summarize your own journey in just six words, what would you say?

Duckling at the Farmer’s Market?

Hi! Despite the rough mid-morning, today has shaped up to be a pretty good day. My workday flew by and I was able to leave a little after 5 to head to the Farmer’s Market in Penn Quarter. More and more vendors are there each week which is a great thing! Here’s are a few pictures from the market.

Not sure about where the duckling came from, but isn’t he cute!?

Here’s what I walked away with:

Arugula, Baby Kale, Radishes, and 2 Tomatoes. I spent about $15 in total which seems like a lot to me, but its good to support your local farmers!

After getting home, I decided to go for a bike ride because the weather was gorgeous! I went out for an hour and did about 12 miles. My Garmin says I burned 682 calories in the hour. The path I went on was pretty hilly, and going up the hills was HARD. I don’t even know if I was really doing the gears right… I am such a novice when it comes to biking. I really think I need to do some research or get a lesson. I know Caitlin has a really helpful page on Tips for Biking, so I’ll have to look at that and go from there.

After coming home, I was starving because I hadn’t eaten since those Swedish Fish. I decided to pull out my juicer because I haven’t used it in a while and I had some produce on the way out in my fridge.

This juice had 2 carrots, 1 kiwi, 1/2 a grapefruit, and some celery. It was really good! Just what I was craving and I was glad I didn’t let the produce go to waste. I drank the juice while I whipped up a quick but delicious dinner.

I started by boiling some buckwheat soba noodles for 6 minutes. While those were cooking, I marinated some pre-cubed Nasoya tofu in the last of this sauce from my trip to Puerto Rico:

The tofu has 3 servings, so I took one serving out and marinated 2/3 of the tofu right in the box.

I let that sit for a few minutes, and then browned it in a pan with some nonstick spray.

Once the soba was done, I drained it and then put some sliced shallot and little olive oil back in the pot I cooked the pasta in. Once that heated up a bit, I put the soba noodles back in the pot and cracked an egg right over them.

I just stirred the egg up right into the pasta, and it scrambles but spreads all over the noodles this way. I learned this method back in college from one of my Italian friends and haven’t done it in so long! I added a little salt and pepper, and then grated some parmesan over the top. I served the tofu on the side, and then also took some of the arugula from the Farmer’s Market and drizzled it with some olive oil and some more parmesan.

I also drank some iced green tea out of a mason jar.

This dinner was so awesome! I can’t believe I forgot about that egg in the pasta trick… it is seriously so good and adds a lot of protein to your pasta if you’re not having any meat, beans, or tofu with it. It works best with long pastas like spaghetti, angel hair, and fettuccine, as opposed to short pasta like penne. Definitely worth a try!

I’m off to watch a movie.. we got two new ones from Netflix today. Have a good night!

Guess What I Bought!!!

Hey! Sorry I’ve been MIA since yesterday morning! I ended up being at the conference all day yesterday then out to dinner until late, and then woke up and went right back! Such is life around conference time…

After I went to the conference hotel yesterday, those delicious cookies made an appearance yet again and I had 3!! They were just so good, and after I had 2, they brought out more hot ones so I had another… oops. I didn’t eat anything else until several of us decided to go out to dinner after we wrapped up for the day. We went to the hotel bar and I had a martini:

Dirty Vodka Martini with Olives… mmm. After that, we headed out to dinner. The restaurant we chose ended up being kind of a bust. When they sat us down, they didn’t have enough menus for us because apparently they were a really hot commodity there. We saw a few other tables get menus first, and then finally after 20 mins or so we got ours. After we ordered, the food took over an hour to come! The company was good so we had a good time, but it was crazy how bad the service was. I got a salad to start:

And used olive oil and vinegar for dressing. Then for my main course, I got the salmon filet with a baked potato.

It was OK. Nothing to write home about, but I ate it. I wanted some salsa for my baked potato and they didn’t have any, so I used the sour cream sparingly. I also ordered some fries to share with the table:

Because the service was so bad, we didn’t get back to the hotel until 11pm or so, and I didn’t end up getting home until almost midnight. I had to be back at the hotel this morning for 10am, so I just went to bed quick after getting home.

I was craving a Green Monster when I woke up, so I made one quickly before heading over. After I started putting it together, I realized I was out of bananas!

Tragic when it comes to Green Monsters but it still turned out pretty good. I think the banana adds some sweetness and creaminess that just isn’t there without it. This GM had:

  • 1.5 cups light soy milk
  • frozen peaches
  • frozen strawberries
  • frozen honeydew melon
  • Amazing Grass packet
  • 2 big handfuls of spinach

It was still pretty good, but definitely missing something. I’ll be going to restock on bananas shortly! 🙂

Today was a pretty easy day at the conference. It was the first day of the conference, because Thursday and Friday were the pre-conference course, yesterday was the exam, and then today through Tuesday is the conference itself. Everything went pretty smoothly and I was only there from 10 – 3ish, so it wasn’t too bad. We had an awesome lunch buffet which almost made working on a Sunday OK…

Butter Lettuce Salad with Strawberries and Oranges

Succotash and Rice and Beans

Chicken and Tilapia over Polenta

Green Bean Salad with tomatoes, red onions, and feta

Rolls

Chocolate and Lemon Cake

My first plate… Butter Lettuce Salad, Succotash, and Green Bean Salad.

My second plate, Rice and Beans, Tilapia, More Green Bean Salad and Succotash, and a roll. Everything was SO good. I also had a piece of the lemon cake which was awesome, and definitely ate more than I planned. I felt really stuffed after these plates but continued to a pick a little bit because the buffet was left out there for so long. I’m still feeling kind of stuffed and don’t know why I always overdo it at conferences! Argh.

After getting off around 3, I made an extremely exciting purchase…

A NEW BIKE!!!!! I’m sooo excited. It’s a hybrid bike that’s used, but has new tires and is fully tuned and ready to ride. I might take it on a ride later tonight or else wait until tomorrow, but I can’t wait!! I have been wanting a bike really badly ever since riding with my dad over Easter weekend, and I went yesterday to check them out at this Flea Market. There’s a vendor thats there every Saturday and Sunday that sells used bikes, and I found this bike yesterday and asked them to hold it for me. I went back today and gave it another go and loved it so I went ahead and bought it. It cost $200 plus $10 for a helmet, which is very reasonable. They do a 30 day warranty in case anything happens to the bike or you don’t like it, and will tune it up for free for 90 days. In case you’re in the DC/Arlington area, here’s their ad on Craig’s List. The guys are really helpful and knowledgeable and if you’re on the market for a used bike, I highly recommend these guys!

Be back later!

Killer Intervals

Hi! Just wanted to do a quick update because I’m on my way out the door to a potluck and probably won’t update after I get home. I am exhausted and have another super early day tomorrow. We should be wrapping up with the course around 3 or 3:30pm tomorrow though, so that’s definitely something to look forward to.

For the afternoon break at the course, they served assorted cookies that looked delicious:

I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to have one or not since I had already packed a snack, and by the time I came back to the cookies, this is what was left:

I had to laugh, but I guess a cookie just wasn’t meant to be for me. I did have an awesome snack, though. I tried another flavor that I was sent by Chobani:

Raspberry. I had brought the yogurt with me, along with a Weetabix biscuit and some sliced kiwi.

This was one crushed biscuit and two full kiwis sliced. And this was heavenly. A lot of times I don’t care for raspberry flavoring because it tastes a little strange, but this tasted like real raspberries crushed at the bottom of the yogurt. It was so thick and the kiwis went perfect with the raspberry, and the weetabix biscuit gave it a little crunch. So, so good! It was perfect pre-workout fuel, because about an hour after that I used the hotel gym.

I didn’t want to run too far, so I decided to do some intervals. I did 20 minutes, with 2 minutes slower, 2 minutes sprinting, and back and forth for 20 minutes. For the jogging I started at 6.0mph, and then 7.0 for the sprinting, but when I upped the sprinting to 7.5 mph, I downed the jogging to 5.5mph. It was so hard. I seriously was counting down the seconds for the sprint to be over and was sweating like crazy. Even though it was only 20 minutes I felt like I got an incredible workout, best one in a while. I walked for 5 minutes after that at 4.3 mph, and then spotted a stairmaster. When I joined a gym a few years back, I used to love the stairmaster because it kicked my butt and I was literally dripping sweat on it. Now that I don’t have one, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to use it. I did 12 minutes at Level 9 and it was hard. I felt so good when I was done using the gym even though it wasn’t too long because it was super intense.

I came home and showered quickly, and then got together the ingredients for Caitlin’s Sweet Potato Balls. The recipe is on her recipe page under lunch and dinners, and I decided to quadruple it since I was making these to share. I used 2 whole medium sweet potatoes, 1 cup of black beans, and 1/2 cup salsa. I cooked the sweet potatoes in the microwave on the potato setting, and drained, rinsed, and patted dry the beans. I mashed the black beans and the sweet potatoes together, and then stirred in the salsa. The mix looked like this when I was done:

Then came the fun part. Rolling it into balls, and then dipping them in ground flax seed. Here are three of them ready to be rolled in the flax:

And here they are ready to be baked:

I’m bringing these over to my friends house like this and plan to bake them there. I hope they transport well! Have a good night and be back tomorrow!

Transformed Leftovers

Hi! Sorry for the late post, but I’ve been in meetings all afternoon. We have a conference coming up at work this weekend (!!!) so that’s why things have been so hectic lately. I’m actually staffing our pre-conference course as well, so I will be on site from Thursday through Monday. Conference times tend to be a really hard for me because of the long hours and being away from home. This conference is actually right near DC so I’ll only be staying at the hotel one night, but I have some plans for how to stick to my healthy eating regimen while working the conference, so stay tuned.

I had a really satisfying lunch today that kept me full for almost 4 hours. That never happens to me! As I’ve mentioned, I have a lot of random leftovers and groceries that don’t necessarily go together, so I’ve been trying to use them up. For lunch I took 1 cup of leftover orzo from Friday night’s dinner, which was made with red peppers shallots, a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. To the orzo, I added 1 can of chunk light tuna in water (drained), and the rest of the baby kale, chopped up.

I mixed it all up and ate it cold, like a tuna pasta salad. It was so good and seriously packed a punch. With the salad, I had some broccoli raw with some of the cilantro black bean dip, also from Friday night.

It was way tastier than it looks, I promise. 😉 The dip just has black beans, nonfat yogurt, salsa, cilantro, and seasoning. Really flavorful and goes perfectly with veggies or crackers.

Fast-forward four hours, and it hit me that I hadn’t yet had my afternoon snack. I usually have it by 3 and am thinking about it by 2:30… but not today.

I had packed some popcorn kernels in a brown paper bag (if you haven’t yet tried this, you must!) and popped them in the microwave. I was craving sweet but also spicy, so I decided to eat the popcorn in two batches. First, I had some with cinnamon:

I was a little heavier handed with the cinnamon than I intended to be, so as I was eating parts of it I was breathing out cinnamon. It still tasted good, though. The next half I had doused in Tabasco sauce:

Apparently I didn’t learn my lesson the first time, because I was again a little heavy-handed with the Tabasco, so my mouth is still on fire, seriously. Tabasco sauce is wayyyy hotter than Frank’s Red Hot.

Back to work. I’ll be back!

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