Saturday, November 3, 2012

I'm back!

Its official!  My stinkin' plantar fasciitis is on the mend!  Yes it's true.  The saga of my aching feet is nearing its end!  After 2 months of therapy I can say that I am finally having pain free days!

The true test?  Can I exercise on it?


A fun session of zumba - where I was the most mindful of "form" ever  - does that even exist in Zumba (???)  and I dreaded what the morning would bring.

But hooray for me!  Soreness - but no pain!!!!

I am BACK!

Yes, if you're thinking about now that you should warn me about not going overboard right out of the gates, then you DO know me!

I am desperate for an intense workout. 
Because I LOVE how I feel afterward.
But I WILL start from the beginning again. 
Slow and steady wins the race.

I admit I really let the whole situation get the best of me. 
I was not kind to myself.
So time to 'fess up, so I can move on!
  • I confess - there are days I have consumed obscene amounts of calories.  Myfitness pal, I know it doesn't seem like we're friends right now.  But we will be besties again.
  • I confess - that I have not been doing exercise, not even the kind I can.  Strength work is not my fav.  Sad I know. You'll be glad to know I followed my Zumba experiment with a strength circuit. Yes!
  • I confess - I have consumed more than my share of Halloween candy.  Those mini chocolate bars just don't seem like they should count! Warning co workers - its all coming your way.
  • I confess - I realized last night that I ordered a full 5 buckets of cookie dough.  5!! That is one BUCKET for each household member.  Darn school fundraisers!  Cute kiddies - stop knocking on my door! Oh..and guess what everyone is getting for Chriiiistmas this year? ;) heh heh heh

Ahh.  That's good.  Now that I've confessed I can get back to  being good to myself.  No more cursing my feet even though they betrayed me. No feeling sorry for myself!

Injuries happen! 
It's not the END. 
It's just part of the journey.
I'm half way there.
I've come so far!

Focusing on #1 and #3.  I want it.  Time to step forward.

As for #2 - sometimes we have to ask ourselves - aren't you worth it? 
The answer is always no until you do.


How are you doing?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

6 weeks!

So did you know......I LOVE fall!  The colors, the cooler temps, the apples, pumpkins, hay rides - LOVE IT!  It is the reason I live in and for the Midwest!  Autumn definitely doesn't stick around long enough in my opinion.  They changed daylight savings time....can't we all agree to make fall last like, oh I don't know - 6 months?

No I suppose not. 

Anyway, this IS the danger zone for me! Anyone else? 

I am one of those people that associates great memories of family and friends with some type of calorie laden comfort food.

So if I am missing family....I want to eat.
If I am bummed about my plantar fascitis ....I want to eat.
If I want to create some awesome memories with the kiddies...I want to EAT!

easy with the attitude kiddies
See the trend?

So I gave myself a good shaking, told myself to get back to working out --- even if that means I can't do what I WANT to do (read 100 burpees) and just do what I can, because IT IS better than nothing.

Did my feet hurt?  Yes.
Did I stop this time when they did? Yes
But did I give up? NO!

I moved on! I adjusted! I found something similar and maybe not as high impact, but continued to challenge my body.

"healthafied betty crocker fav - apple coffee cake love"

It would be so much easier to just eat coffee cake a couple of times a day with a hot cup of chai tea and watch the leaves change on the trees.

But actually sticking with it and giving my body a workout makes me feel SO MUCH better!

I mentioned before how much a plan made a difference (fitmixer boot camp I still love you!), and I realized yesterday that as of today we only 6 weeks away from Thanksgiving and the obstacle course of food madness, temptations and potential pitfalls at every gathering that follows, and I NEED to be prepared.

6 weeks?  Perfect for a challenge:

#operationpantsfit because the only muffin top I want is pumpkin-flavored \\ life + running \\

Calee!  Thank you! This is something I can get on board with!

My weight loss journey is far from over and I cannot head into the holidays with bad eating habits and a lack of workout discipline.

me + healthy = happy kids

Time to tighten the belt!  Ha!

So what am I going to do these next 6 weeks?  The same thing we always do pinky..., I guess not take OVER the world, just get MY world in check. 

Still, taking over the WORLD always seemed more awesome ;)  So the same "formula", tried and true:

1.  Count Calories
2.  Work out at least 30 minutes - 5 days a week.  With a 6th day - fun focused activity.
3.  More vegetables, less carbs, more protein.
4.  Try some healthier recipes showcasing fall flavors. 

Like this lentil soup, a mostly almost Isa recipe from her A4R cookbook! A must have in your kitchen.  Mmm, mmmm  good!

Golden Lentil Soup

1 med yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp sea salt
fresh ground pepper, to taste
2 ribs celery, diced
1 c carrots, diced
1 med zucchini, diced
1 cup red lentils
6 c veggie broth

Saute onion about 5 minutes in a pot over medium heat.  Use nonstick cooking spray or broth if needed.  Add garlic, thyme, pepper, salt and saute another minute.

Add celery, carrots, zucchini, lentils, veggie broth, and mix to combine. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower to a simmer and cook 45 minutes, until the lentils and veggies are very tender, and the soup has thickened.

Let sit 10 minutes, then serve! Love the consistency this soup and bursting with flavor.  Now that's good comfort food.

So what are you doing the next 6 weeks?

Monday, October 1, 2012

More Maize!

Helloooo readers!

Today's recipe has been inspired and brought to you by the rhythmic beat of the cowbell.  'Cause you can never have enough cowbell!

This cracks me up every time!

Being of Latina heritage, or maybe just because my family is so musical, I am VERY familiar with the cowbell.

Yes, I can play a mean cowbell, thank you very much.

And though I missed playing up national Hispanic heritage month - sorry my peeps - the lovely Heather has given me the opportunity to share some recipes by so very timely calling up Hominy as the latest on:

Lucky for me I had recently been craving Hominy and have a recipe to contribute!
I call it, More Maize Soup!
A little lesson first: What is Hominy?
Hominy consists of dried maize kernels  Maize (play /ˈmz/ MAYZ; from Spanish: maíz after Taíno mahiz), known in many English-speaking countries as corn, is a grain domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times. (thanks Wiki!)

Our family pronounce it Mahiz, Taino style.  Relevant, why?  Because this started as Tortilla Soup (an Isa recipe - highly recommended) - and since it called for corn tortillas (or tortilla chips), my brain - thanks to the persistence of my abuelos when I was a kid - translated it to Sopa de tortillas de maíz .  Which made me think of Maize, which made me think - this soup needs MORE Maize aka Hominy!
Yes my brain is a tangled web of random thoughts.
So this:
Isa's tortilla soup
Made up of these ingredients:
Quickly turned to this!
More Maize Soup!

And just like you can never have too much cowbell - I truly believe you can't have too much Maize in your bowl! 
Anyone note the third type of maize in the bowl? 
Yes!  That's right - good old yellow corn.
Heavenly Maize goodness.
You can have some too!
More Maize Soup
1 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp cumin powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp red pepper flakes
32 oz diced roasted tomatoes
24 oz vegetable broth
2 cups tortilla chips (plus extra for garnish or for scooping!!)
15 oz pinto beans, drained and rinsed if from can
1 cup frozen corn
juice from 1 lime
15 oz hominy, canned
1/2 c chopped fresh cilantro (plus extra for garnish)
Saute onions, pepper in oil over medium high heat until translucent.  Add spices and saute for another minute.  Add broth and tomatoes.  Break up tortilla chips and add to pot.  Cover and bring to boil.

When boiling, add beans, hominy, corn and cilantro.  Simmer for 5 minutes.
Add lime juice and serve!  Garnish with crumbled tortilla chips and cilantro.  Serve!

Now back to that cowbell.....;)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Forks or Tortilla Chips

My Forks over Knives Cookbook arrived on my Kindle a few days before the labor day holiday. As we traveled about I was able to peruse it while the kids snoozed in the van.

Ah, the simply joys. 

If you haven't already seen the documentary, I suggest you do!  The entire theme is simplicity!

As we have transitioned between summer and the school year, that is certainly all that has been on my mind.  Our world can get hectic, busy and overwhelming in a flash.  That usually leads to tired and stressed out kids and parents, and inevitably bad food choices in our haste.

As with every new school year, I'm determined to keep our schedules simple, and our food too!

Plus it's football season!!!!!  We are ALWAYS ready for some football in this town.  That in itself can present a whole new world of temptations and obstacles in Titletown, where the daily eats suddenly becomes all things meat, cheese, fried and beer - all in support of our Packers of course!!

So I was tickled to find a simple, healthy, game friendly food in my new cookbook featuring EDAMAME!  Just what I needed for my next Meatless Monday A-Z!

Don't you just love when everything false in place?

So first things first - what is Edamame? Here is what wiki said: Edamame is a green vegetable more commonly known as a soybean, harvested at the peak of ripening. 

Ahh...good simple.

 Some more simple ingredients. Excuse the fake lime.  It's handy in a pinch.
 Taken for a spin.
Then boiled edamame, cooked for 5 minutes get a whirl too.

Put it all together, and get your fork ready. 
Or some chips. 
I prefer tortilla chips as my eating utensil of choice.  Or tortillas...its a latin thing.
Because now you have Edamamemole! Edamamole? Edahuh? ....well you get it. A bowl full of yum is what we have!

Need a closer look?

One last end of summer deck party? Perfect.

Healthy tailgate potluck option?  Why yes thank you, this will do nicely.

This stuff is good.  It is as I-can't-stop-eating-this-stuff good as the full fat avocado version. 
The real test?  The hubster.  Would he like it?
Answer:  He loved it! Success!
This was the up and up version right out of the cookbook.  Shocking I know, from the master at straying from every recipe I've ever attempted!

  Not-So-Fat Guacamole

Makes 2 cups

1 c shelled edamame
1 c broccoli florets (yes, that's right. this is hard core green eating)
zest of 1 lime and juice of 2 limes (or 2 tbsp here)
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 small red onion, peeled and diced small
1/2 c finely chopped cilantro
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced (about 1 tsp)
Salt to taste
1 pinch of cayenne pepper, or to taste.

Boil edamame in medium saucepan, add water and boil 5 minutes.  Drain and rinse until cool.
Stream broccoli for about 8 minutes.  Drain and rinse until cooled.
Add edamame and broccoli to food processor and puree until smooth and creamy.  Add water if needed to achieve creamy texture.
Add pureed mixture to bowl and add remaining ingredients. 
Mix well,  chill until ready to serve.

Other options I have seen remove the broccoli and add 1/4 - 1/2 avocado if it just seems like too much of a shame not to include it.

For guiltier-free ....or guilt-freeER? ...snacking, I like you just the way you are edamamemole, edamole, ..uh...ed.

Forks over knives to heavy for you?  There's also a little documentary on the Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue which I actually got hubby to watch with me.  I think he was convinced, seeing as this big fire fighter, still seemed manly eating this green food.

But if you're ready for the full story, watch Forks over Knives. It could change the way you eat ...for the better.

Both are available on netflix!

So you tell me now. 

What healthy eats do you put out for the gang during football season?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Unexpected Detours

So I went into the fitmixer bootcamp to bring up my level of fitness.  Prior to this I had spent months doing Zumba, Piloxing, Kickboxing Classes.  I had gone through a Couch to 5K, worked through Jillian Michaels 30 day shred, even had a taste of Insanity.

The bootcamp completely challenged this novice and did what I wanted it to.  It toned and tightened, brought up muscle tone and reduced body fat %., but most importantly it gave me a great 101 Lesson on fitness.

Know what else it did?  Totally ruined me for Zumba, Piloxing, Kickboxing ...well you get it.  I just do not get the work out I use to with my old favorites!  The exertion level is just not there, like it was in the bootcamp!  I would totally do a Zumba class for fun with friends, but for a REAL workout, now....


I never thought this would be me saying this, never never.  Yes, I can completely make the moves bigger, jump higher, shuffle wider, and push a Zumba workout, but it's still not the same.

I completely have to ramp up my workouts!

So I have been searching for a new workout plan.  Thankfully, pinterest has a plethora of suggestions and plans, as do some of you my fellow bloggers.  It has sustained me, but honestly I haven't done the 5+ workouts/per week that I was doing in the bootcamp, and a month - the toning that I was seeing in the bootcamp is starting to fade.


I completely did awesome with working out when someone else was telling me what to do each day.  And knowing the workout assignments were coming daily, my brain would tell me they were piling up if I fell behind.  I am the lifelong student, so missing homework is a no-no!  And having the community/support,  really made a difference!

I had been doing well so long on my own, I forgot how great community is! btw for a great post about community - check out Lindsay's post on fellowship, good stuff.

But back to my dilemma: Question is, what plan do I follow?

I had Insanity on the brain as a potential plan, I even had it in my amazon cart. 

But then.

But then this nagging pain in my heel started getting worse.  I noticed it at the end of bootcamp, after a workout.  Then after simple walks with the kids. When the pain was starting to radiate up to my big toe and up my leg, I finally had it checked out.

Plantar Fasciitis.



My chiropractor told me I had to stay ease up on the workouts, be kinder to my feet, stay off my heels (boo) and gave me treatments and exercises to help my foot.

No biggie, right?


Thought things were feeling better, went for a few walks and no pain.  So I tried a tabata routine.  At about jumping jack 100 (yes, genius I know),  I felt the twinges again.  That was a week and a half ago.

It still hurts when I walk. 

Every night I do the treatments.  Each morning I hope that this will be the day it doesn't hurt the moment I open my eyes.

Before the bootcamp I had no clue about exercise. 

After? Well I only know what I know from the bootcamp!

Honestly, I loved the cardio intensive stuff.  I felt like I was accomplishing something.

Honestly?  I slacked on the strength stuff. Even though I could feel and see the differences. I did the minimum required.

So my choice now? Focus on strength, and allow my foot to heal.

Unless someone has some experience with this plague or you have other workout suggestions for me! Grrrr...

Another confession:  I was getting really bummed about this.  My brain is seeing my body turn to mush - mashed potatoes is the actual visual going on. 

I am up 3 lbs. 

My brain is telling mean stories again:  you've undone everything you worked so hard for.  This injury is going to send you right back where you started.

I say no. 


I'll keep moving forward. Learn something know.  Regroup.  Roll with the punches. Sway with the curves.

I just won't give up.

Again I'm reminded that this is a journey.  And if you've ever been on any lengthy journey you know, there can be potholes, foul weather, unexpected events and detours.

This is my latest detour. 

I WILL remember to enjoy each moment, and learn all that I can from this experience.

And I won't give up.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Weekend Download

Happy Labor Day! And unofficial last day of summer!

My kiddies go back to school tomorrow, so we tried to make the most of our weekend stay-cation!  Fortunately we live near some great locations that the big city folk flock to for their getaways. Wow, did we ever get around!

First I started the weekend with a bang.  I went short with the locks, straightened for the first time ever, and went with RED highlights.  Whoa!  Did the family flip.  I am still getting use to this look!

My alter ego
We then started the weekend with some final school shopping and lunch with the kiddos. We tried a new place that a co-worker recommended - Senor Taco's Cantina.  The decor was fun. The draw to this place is it's salsa bar.  We had fun experimenting.  There were like 20 different salsa's.

Chile relleno plate

Wasn't the greatest stuff, we've had MUCH better, but always a filling choice. We rewarded our goal oriented shopping day with some more fro-yo, but who needs an excuse?
expresso/sea salt caramel pretzel and strawberries
We decided to do some maritime exploring for the weekend.  Lots of history in the Great Lakes and lots of great scenery to enjoy!

We visited during the olympics, can you tell? :)

We had gone to visit a lighthouse earlier in the summer and were hooked.  We decided to visit another this weekend, the Cana Island Lighthouse. This one was much larger and views were fantastic.


The island was fun exploring too, there is a walkway out to the island, but water levels are so low in the midwest right now, you can walk out into usually submerged rocky areas.

I could have taken a ton more pics, but I grabbed the wrong battery that morning!  I can tell you there was family hiking, lots of exploring, more beautiful scenery and old fashioned mint chip ice cream while we watched an amazing sunset.  Have I said it here before? I love Door County!  Sometimes its a good thing when your camera dies, you can just enjoy the moments!!

Next day I went back to my curly self.  Liking the RED highlights!

We went to the Maritime Museum and explored a WWII submarine.  Love the history lessons.  The guide was a Korean War Navy vet, and was very knowledgeable and a hoot.

Amazing what our vets have done for us.

We searched for other lighthouses on the coast and did some lounging around.

Then we made a long overdue trip to one of Milwaukee's favorites -Water Street Brewery!

I was soo excited to find this Veggie Mezzo Burger on the menu - falafel burger!  Yes, again - anything chickpea makes me happy :)

The burger was paired with some root veggie chips and of course we have the cold beer - root beer that is! lol  Hubby's german sausage meal is in the background.  Mmmmm.

And more mmmm... look at that beast!
We were in the neighborhood, so we made a stop at Trader Joe's - yay! Nearly 2 hours away from home so we couldn't pass up the opportunity.   
 I think I'm in love.
Between the kids and I these lovelies were gone before we pulled into the driveway.  Reeally wish we had bought more.
Hubby was back at work this morning and we are getting ourselves laundered, straightened and groceried for the first week back at school. 
But we had to end it with some relaxing for the adults with a viewing of Hunger Games.

How about you?  What adventures did you have this weekend?