Shrimp

Back At It

Thank you guys so much for all your comments and support on yesterday’s post! It seems like a lot of you can relate to feeling like you barely know your old self anymore. When you lose a significant amount of weight and/or make drastic changes to move towards a healthy lifestyle, a lot more changes than just the way you look to others. For those of you just starting or thinking about starting on your journey, realize that it’s much more important to focus on the day at hand and making smart, healthy decisions for yourself right now, rather than looking too far ahead and getting discouraged. I promise you that those little choices you make will eventually add up to huge strides in your own healthiness journey and before long, you’ll have a similar story to share.

Moving along – though I desperately miss the perfection that is San Diego, I have to admit it does feel pretty good to get back into my normal routine and be sleeping in my own bed (though the beds at the Westin ARE heavenly). Because of the severe weather alerts that actually did come true, I got let out of work at 3pm yesterday in hopes of beating the storm home. While I did get home before the storm, I immediately went out to the grocery store to pick up a few things. I could have made due with frozen veggies, grains, and the tofu and tempeh in my fridge, but I really wanted to get some fresh fruit and veggies and stock up the kitchen. So I did. And the drive was kind of intense with slush/snow, but the supermarket was shockingly not busy at all and I was able to zip around the store and be done in less than 30 minutes. Luckily, too, because as I was pulling back into my garage afterwards, the weather was getting worse and worse and let’s just say I was glad not to be driving anymore.

After the grocery store, I ended up doing a 35 minute tempo run, and it felt wonderful. I was trying to figure out why I felt so good during the run, and I’m pretty sure I was experiencing runners high, for the second time ever. It’s crazy how runs can be so hit or miss, and this one just felt so good that I was almost disappointed when it was over.

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Man I love my Polar. I honestly don’t know if I can go back to the Garmin, even when I start running outside again… You’d be proud of me though – I stretched for 8 minutes after my run. I think that’s a record for me.

After a quick shower, I whipped up a quick and healthy dinner with Wil, and it felt so good to be back in my own kitchen. I picked up a few parsnips at the store, and I just love them.

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This might be obvious to some, but I only learned it within the last several months. If you cut a parsnip in half before you start chopping it, it makes it way easier to handle.

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Same story with carrots. You slice those ones in half again, and then chop them to your desired size, trying to get them all about the same.

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I used to always try to cut them in half lengthwise while they were still intact, and they would always come out so uneven. Doing them this way helps a lot.

Anyways, I ended up roasting two large parsnips and four carrots in a little evoo, salt, and pepper, making some red quinoa (1/2 cup dried, rinsed, added to 1 cup of water, boiled, then brought to a simmer until the water was all gone – about 15 minutes total), and steaming just under a pound of shrimp for Wil and I for dinner (plus lunch for me today).

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Plus a little cilantro for some green and extra flavor. Super simple and clean, but totally delicious. I love steaming my own shrimp – just a touch of salt and they are sweet and flavorful on their own without much seasoning. Plus, they only take 3 or so minutes to cook this way. (This is the steamer I use, which works really well for veggies, too. Best $17 I ever spent.)

What’s the thing you miss most about being home after you’ve been away (even if you are really enjoying yourself!)? For me, it’s definitely cooking my own meals.

Eww!

Hello! How’s your Monday going so far? Mine is good and fast! Lots to do so the day is flying by. Lunch today was reworked leftovers with some of the veggies from my CSA.

I had Shrimp Fajitas for dinner last night, and only ate about half, so brought the other half home to bring in today. I grabbed some red leaf lettuce from my farm share and washed it 3x before packing it up. I brought it out today and look what I found:

A slug! I know its actually a good sign because you know it really came from the ground and is fresh, but…

Ew!

I almost couldn’t eat my salad but I washed the lettuce two more times and carefully inspected each piece to make sure there were no other creatures trying to get in my belly.

I threw together:

  • 2 cups of red leaf lettuce (0 pts)
  • 1/2 cup black beans (1 pt)
  • 5 shrimp + veggies (3 pts)

It was actually quite delicious! The shrimp + veggies were so good and added a ton of flavor to the salad. I didn’t eat all the lettuce because I was still a little nervous about the slug discovery.

On the side, I had some broccoli from the farm share.

I had some salsa to dip it in, but the broccoli was so delicious that I didn’t even use it! What a difference fresh broccoli is from what I usually get at the store! It was so flavorful and crunchy, and just perfect. I ended up eating this x2 and loved every second of it.

So time to check back in on my June goals, even though they are really not going as well as I would have hoped.

1.) Drink more water. Check on this one. I’ve been consistently drinking more water and making an effort to have at least 8 glasses during the work day, and more at night.

2.) Be consistent with exercise. Check on this one, too. I managed to wake up early Friday to get in a run and then did a 17 mile bike ride yesterday even though I was away for the weekend. I’d like to be getting in 5 days a week but 4 is more reasonable with the amount of traveling I’ve been doing lately.

3.) Get back to strength training. I have done strength training 2x this month so far, which is more than normal, but I’d like to get in 1-2x a week. I plan to do at least one day this week, so half check. I also ordered The Shred from amazon.com, so hopefully once that arrives (early next week) I’ll be able to get it in more consistently.

4.) Go back to Weight Watchers Meetings – Hopefully I’ll make it this Thursday. I weighed myself this morning and it’s not looking too good, but I definitely need to just suck it back up and go.

5.) Limit alcohol consumption – Fail. I haven’t been going crazy or anything, but I have been having a lot of unnecessary drinks here and there – and high calorie ones at that (margaritas!). I need to cut back in this department, though I have a happy hour for work coming up Thursday…

6.) Count WW Points. Half check. I’ve been good about counting my breakfasts/lunches, but not so much about dinners and eating out. Have to be more consistent about this until I’m at goal weight.

So I guess its not as bad as I was thinking, but I really need to get it together so that I can look and feel my best in my best friend’s wedding in August. I have 7 weeks from Saturday, so definitely enough time, but I need to get my butt in gear and stop making excuses! I realize that I’ve had a lot going on the past few weeks, but there’s always a lot going on, and I can’t keep using it as an excuse to get off track and not be so focused on my goals.

On Track

Hiya! I’m going to make this a quick one because it is already almost 11pm! The day slipped away but I was 100% on track for the first time in a while and it feels great to end my day with that sentiment. That salad kept me full for a while and was so tasty, definitely something I will make again. In the afternoon I had fruit for a snack. First, some cherries.

And then a fuji apple right before leaving work.

Fujis are my favorite, so crispy and delicious. And I loooove cherries, but can’t even tell you the last time I had any. They are always so expensive, but I got them on sale for $2.44/pound at the store yesterday, which is cheap for DC!

After work, I struggled with myself but ended up getting in an awesome workout. I wanted to do weights and went upstairs to the gym in my apartment building for what felt like the first time in ages. I did some free weights for my biceps and triceps, and then did the machines for my back, shoulder, and chest. I did 3 sets of 15 reps of everything, and it took about 20 minutes in total. When I first got there, only one person was on the treadmill and there were 2 ellipticals and 2 treadmills available. By the time I finished doing the weights, people had come and gotten on both of the open treadmills AND both of the ellipticals. I decided to come downstairs to my apartment and maybe go for a run or a bikeride, or else do a workout video.

I ended up forcing myself to go outside for a run, and it was HARD. It was my first time running outside in a while, and I just felt it from the first step. I set out to do 3 miles, but I ended up going 4. It took me 39:52 and I did exactly 4.0 miles, so a 9:58 average pace. The first two miles were a lot faster than the second two, and i was really struggling to mak it through the run. I thought I learned my lesson the last time I went too long between runs outside, but apparently not. After I got home, I felt realllly good and was so happy I made myself do 4.0. It’s always a little dangerous for me to come back to my apartment mid workout because my couch usually calls my name, but I’m so glad I made myself go.

After my run, I made myself a quick snack because I was hungry. I bought these veggie dogs at the grocery store:

And had heard good things. They have 45 calories and 0 grams of fat per hotdog (1 pt), so I heated one up in the microwave and rolled it up in a flatout wrap (1 pt) with som melted reduced fat cheese (1 pt).

I smothered it in some reduced sugar ketchup (0 pts, 5 calories per tbsp)

And rolled it up and ate it. It was so good for a quick 3 pt snack! I was meeting my boyfriend for a quick dinner at Chef Geoff Tysons but knew I couldn’t wait until then to eat something. When I got to the restaurant, I decided to keep it really light, and ordered the Shrimp Wonton Soup, with a baby lettuce salad. The salad came with blue cheese (2 pts) and berry vinaigrette, which I ordered on the side and just used a tiny bit of (1 pt).

I also got the Shrimp Wonton Soup, which was delicious. I’m guessing that had 5 points, but that’s just an estimate.

It had 3 shrimp wontons and some greens and mushrooms in the broth. It was chilly in the restaurant and was just what I wanted.

So today was an awesome day in terms of being on track. I had 13 pts at work + 3 snack + 8 dinner which is 24, my exact daily target. I also got a great workout in, so I am feeling great about now.

I hope you had an awesome day too! Be back manana.

It’s OK to Cheat (Sometimes)

Hey! Whew this day has flown by even though I got out of work early. I ended up making the 5:30pm Bikram class and it was amazing. I think after taking a few days/over a week off, my body craves it and I have such a good time. At first I thought my body would be angry for taking the time off/in shock from the heat, but as soon as I got in the room I was just happy. I found myself actually looking forward to some of the postures and surprised when the standing series was over. I go back and forth with that – sometimes I can’t believe it’s over, and sometimes I can’t believe it’s not time to lie down yet!

After Bikram, I headed to the grocery store for a much needed trip. I got a bunch of produce and some other random things so I can make it through the week making all my meals. I had gotten out of cooking for a bit leading up to my trip and I have been missing it! When I got home from the store, it was already after 8 and my boyfriend actually beat me home so we just decided to whip up something quick. I bought a pound of deveined shrimp, so we boiled them with some white wine, water, blackening seasoning and some bay leaves.

 Then I whipped up a salad with spinach, shredded carrots, roasted red peppers, and garlic sprouts.

And we pan fried some polenta with a little romano cheese for a starch with the meal.

This meal was delicious and SO easy. It’s OK to cheat sometimes… For one, we used bottled dressing (which we never do).

And the polenta was in a tube so we just had to cut it up and pan fry it. Plus, the shrimp were Easy Peel, so they were already deveined so all we had to do was cook them. We usually do most things from scratch but sometimes its nice to just have to take a few minutes to heat things up rather than take the time to do it all – – especially when you’re famished from Bikram!

I’m off to watch a little TV and get to bed early. Be back in the morning!

What’s your favorite cooking shortcut? I looooove canned beans and use them almost exclusively. It cuts hours of soaking and boiling the dried kind, even though I know those are better for me because they don’t add as much salt/preservatives.

Crabby

Hiya! Sorry for not coming back yesterday, but blogging from my phone is kind of difficult because it takes so long to type! I had a pretty good day yesterday because some of my coworkers arrived in OKC so I had some friends instead of being on my own. It was a looong day, but a good one. The course wrapped up and went really well, and then I helped with a few other things and took a tour of the hotel where the rest of our conference is going to be held.

For dinner, we decided to go out to a seafood restaurant and it ended up being so fun! They had tons of different kinds of fresh fish, and we ended up getting this feast where we each got steamed snow crab legs, shrimp, corn on the cob, potatoes, and andouille sausage (I gave mine away). They put brown paper down on the table and then dumped the buckets down in the middle. It was so fun!! I love eating with my hands and getting messy (on occasion). Here’s a pick of the feast in the middle of our table

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The food was delicious! I loooove crab legs and hadn’t had them in so long. Plus the shrimp, corn and potatoes were delicious, too. They boiled everything together so there was also onions and different spices, so everything was super flavorful.

After dinner, we ended up walking around Bricktown a bit more and then stopping for frozen yogurt again. I forgot to take a picture, but I got cookies and cream fro yo and topped it with snickers and cookie dough. Definitely delicious, but not the healthiest. I left feeling really full from dinner and the fro yo, and a little bit sick to my stomach even though everything was good, I just ate too much of it!

This morning started EARLY and my alarm went off at 5:30am (ouch!). There’s a huge exam going on so it’s pretty low key since i”m not actually taking the exam, just have to stand by and make sure everything goes well. I went to the breakfast buffet again and got the same thing I had yesterday – a veggie eggwhite omelet with fresh fruit and skim milk. Having the stabilizing breakfast also helped my stomach feel a bit better even though I woke up at the crack of dawn. Coffee has been flowing as well, as I’m sure you can imagine.

So yesterday felt a bit indulgent with the big dinner + candy covered frozen yogurt, so I’m counting that as my splurge day for the week. I had a healthy breakfast and plan to try to be mindful for the rest of my trip. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to squeeze in another workout, but I’m going to try to get one in either later today or tomorrow. The days are just so busy that its going to be tough.

Hope you all got to sleep later than me and are enjoying your Saturday!! 😉

Party Time

Today has been such a fun day but I am so sad this day and the weekend in general are wrapping up! Yesterday was a bunch of running around doing errands to get ready for the party, and all day today was cooking, cleaning, picking up some last minute things, and then having people over! We had about 15 people total (including us) and Wil cooked up a storm. I had a stabilizing and light breakfast because I knew there’d be heavy eating later in the day, but didn’t want to NOT eat so that I overate when the party started.

This was 2 egg whites microwaved into a puff on an arnold thin with some melted cheddar, a little sriracha, and half a banana sliced on the side. I just poured the egg whites into a bowl that I had sprayed with nonstick spray and then microwaved them for 1 minute and it puffed up into the perfect size for a sandwich.

Then, we got geared up for the party, which started around 1pm. Here’s a peek at the buffet:

Grilled Veggies + Fried Chicken. Wil made the fried chicken by marinating it overnight and then frying it in a wok of oil and then finishing it in the oven. I didn’t have any, but heard it was incredible!

And that is the grilled veggie plater up close. It had eggplant, yellow squash, zucchini, and roasted red peppers, plus some olives. We grilled the veggies last night in balsamic vinaigrette and then shaved some romano cheese over them today.

Cucumber Salad, Potato Salad, and Homemade Biscuits.

The cucumber salad just had cucumbers and red onions, and was marinated in white vinegar, a little sugar, and some salt. It was very tasty and light and so easy to throw together, too. The potato salad was incredible, but not so light. It had olive oil mayo, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, dill, and mustard. It was sooo good, but I tried to go easy on that and heavier on the cucumber salad.

After I took pics of the buffet, blackened shrimp was added for those of who don’t eat chicken. I bought blackening spice and just coated the shrimp in it and then seared it on a flat grill pan with a little butter. Here’s a picture of my plate:

Some blackened shrimp, cucumber salad, grilled veggies, potato salad, and a biscuit. I definitely had some more shrimp, veggies, and cucumber salad, and maybe another biscuit or two. All of the food was soooo good, and the company even better. We spent some time at the pool and the weather was PERFECT. Clear, sunny, and not at all humid.

I’m so sad this weekend is over because I have such a busy day ahead. Tomorrow is my only day in the office, and then Wednesday I am flying to Oklahoma City for a conference. I always struggle with being healthy on conferences, but I really want to do well because I feel like I’ve been slacking a bit on healthy eating/exercise. During this whole weekend, I only worked out one time (Bikram on Sunday) and usually weekends are when I get the most working out in.

I’m going to try to get a workout in tomorrow while also getting ready for my business trip, and then hopefully get a few workouts in while I’m in OKC. Once I get back from OKC, I’m in full fledged get-to-goal weight mode because I really need to lose these last few pounds and get to goal so I can become lifetime and stop paying for Weight Watchers. I’ll probably be eating a lot stricter and posting points for a lot of my recipes, which I don’t usually do. I’ve been more in maintenance mode for the last few months, but the truth is I still have a few pounds left to go and I really need to start crackin’!

What was the highlight of your Memorial Day weekend? For me, definitely today’s party! It was so fun and nice to spend time with friends eating good food and in the sun.

Blog to the Rescue

Let me preface this post by saying I failed miserably after this morning’s post with making more of an effort to cook at home. That said, we did have a really fun day. We got a bunch more plants for out on our balcony and did a little more thrifin’. I don’t think that’s actually a verb but in my world, it should be. I realized they have books at Goodwill for $1.59 and they had a lot of new looking best sellers. I am going to start stocking up there when I go because I love having books lined up to read.

We stopped at a cute little Mexican hole-in-the-wall after a few hours of errands, and had a nice meal sitting outside. Though the day was overcast, it was still pretty nice out and sitting outdoors to eat was ideal. We got the standard chips and salsa to start, with a side of guac.

The chips were still warm and delicious. The salsa was a little thinner than I like it, but the flavor was awesome. And the guac was just perfect. I perused the menu and was happy to see they had vegetable tortilla soup. I’ve only ever seen chicken tortilla soup on a menu so when it said veggie soup, I got excited and decided to order it along with a salad.


It did not disappoint! The flavor of the broth was sooo good, and there were peppers, onions, and other veggies in the soup. Also, a little bit of cheese and fresh cilantro on top. yum. The salad I got with it was pretty good too.

It had grilled shrimp, hearts of palm, baby corn, red cabbage, lettuce, and tomato. I got the dressing on the side, but actually ended up pouring the rest of the salsa over the salad which was perfect. The pieces of tomato in the salad were huge, and two of them were a little on the soft side. I ended up just putting them on the rim of the plate and not eating them, but the rest of the salad was awesome. The grilled shrimp were super flavorful and delicious, and I definitely would not have complained if there were more of them!

After running around doing errands all day, we decided to cave and order Indian food for dinner. I looked everywhere for the menu but could not find it anywhere. I didn’t know the name of the restaurant so I couldn’t even look it up online. Then I realized I could search my blog for Indian food to find out the last time we ordered it, and look up the number in my phone from that date. And it worked! Indian food is now on the way thanks to blogging. 🙂

I’ll be back tomorrow – hope your weekends are going fabulously!

PS: I’ve finally sort of gotten my head around Twitter and have started tweeting when I put up a new post. If you’re on there, follow me @bethsjourneytt!

Shrimp Ochazuke

I just got back from an awesome team lunch with work! Our department is pretty small so there’s only 7 of us, and everyone is pretty young and cool so we all get along quite well. We went to Teaism today and I hadn’t been there in ages. It’s a great little place with 3 locations around DC, and one of them happens to be just a few blocks from my office. Judging by the name, I’m sure you could venture to guess that they have tons of different kinds of hot tea, but they also have a retail area where they sell tea pots, tea sets, and of course, tea. It gets super busy during lunch so I couldn’t look that much into it, but I’d love to get a fancy tea pot and some nice loose teas.

As we were waiting in line, someone walked by me with their lunch and I saw it and knew I had to have it. Shrimp Ochazuke which was listed on the menu as a brown rice and tea soup, with shrimp, veggies, wasabi & sencha green tea. Your guess is as good as mine on how to pronounce that one (mine was acha-zu-key). 😉 Because we all ordered together, there was a little confusion over the drinks. I asked if they had unsweetened iced green tea, but they said they only had very lightly sweetened iced green tea, or hot green tea. So when I sat down to eat, I realized they had given me a pot of hot tea which I was fine with. I went and asked for a glass of ice and just iced it. Only after coming back to my office and looking at the menu online did I realize that tea was actually meant to be poured over my dish to make it into the soup that the menu described… better luck next time. 🙂

Even though I didn’t eat it how you were supposed to, it was delicious. (See that tea pot to the back left of the bowl? Yeah, that was the “broth”… oops!) It was incredibly flavorful and there was seaweed and some other spices sprinkled on top that made the whole dish pop. Underneath all the veggies was a scoop of brown rice, so the bowl not only tasted good, but it was filling, too. I’m looking forward to going back and eating it the right way, though my way was pretty darn good, too.

It’s a gorgeous day today, so I can’t wait for 5pm so I can go spend some time outside!