Thursday, March 10, 2011

First try at spaghetti squash

Well, these things last forever, luckily.  I bought a spaghetti squash a couple of weeks ago and didn't do anything with it.  I got another one shopping on Tuesday (I ended up leaving with 6 kinds of squash... I may have a problem) just in case the older one wasn't good anymore.  So... I'll just save that for later!

I made another recipe from How it All Vegan - Stuffed Spaghetti Squash.  Yum! 

(PS- they just bleeped out 'the f word' on Dr. Phil.  Not the actual word.  "the f word")

So I wrestled with the squash for a bit to cut it open. These things are such a pain to cut. The recipe said to scoop out the seeds and leave the flesh.  Seeds out, check.  I had no idea about the stringy stuff... was that the spaghetti-like part of the squash?  Or... is that like any other squash and you scrape that out, too?  And when does it start to look like spaghetti? I had never even tasted this stuff before, why did I try to cook it?

I left some of the junk in just in cast that was the actual spaghetti stuff.

The filling also contained something that I haven't really cooked before (though I had eaten them), lentils.  Yet another ingredient that had been sitting my cabinet for a while. This picture is really just because I love my nesting measuring cups.  So cute.

Anyhow- here is the finished product.  I loved it!  My boyfriend, as it turns out, not such a fan of spaghetti squash itself, but liked the stuffing a lot.  Also- I should have scraped out all of that stringy stuff.  It was easy enough to just kind of get rid of it, but, ya know, for next time.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

New (to me) food

I've had a bag of TVP sitting in my pantry for months.  I felt like I saw 5094343 recipes in my books that used it, so when I saw it at Market Basket (whaaaat? no really) I bought a bag and thought I'd figure it out.  Turns out there was one recipe and so it sat.

I finally decided to use it last night in some Vegan Sloppy Joes from the fabulous book, How it All Vegan!  I've been happy with everything I've tried in this book.  I realize that I've never had non-vegan sloppy joes, so I can't say it's better or worse or just like, but they were good! 

I didn't have all of the ingredients I needed (no tomato paste) and made some substitutions, so the sauce was probably not quite right, but still yummy.  They were the prettiest things I've ever made, but what can you do.
Made some cajuned sweet potato over "fries" on the side.  One thing- I was in a bit of a hurry to get to rehearsal, so I had to eat quickly.  A smoking hot sloppy joe is a terrible thing to eat quickly... mouth and throat- burned. Ouch.

Weigh in day

I'm down 2.6 this week!  It's my first week in a while tracking every day and really concentrating on EVERYTHING I consumed.  That's 37.8 down from my highest weight.

I have to say, I felt in control all week, and that's fantastic.  Knowing that I can have a beer (or 2. or whatever...) as long as I make room for it in my points is comforting.  Knowing that I can always have a zero PointsPlus piece of fruit if I'm hungry is great!  I know that's it's my first serious week on in a while, but I'm feeling optimistic.

I got some bad news from Jennie, my fabulous trainer, last week.  Due to a mix up that happened during sign up, I wouldn't be able to see her for a while!  I had been told I was signing up for 2x a week, but apparently only was supposed to be seeing her 6x a month.  Lame.  So, I'm letting time go by to make up for the extra sessions I had.
The good thing is, I know that I will be seeing her again soon enough (and she's still in the gym while I'm there), so I'm not slacking off.  I'm still pushing through, adding weight when I can because I know she will expect to see my progress.  That's definitely good motivation.

C25K is going alright.  It's still frustrating to think of where I was compared to where I am now, so I try to focus in on where I was about a month ago, Week 1 Day 1.  I'm going a little more slowly than I would like, but I'm doing it!  Instead of taking a couple of seconds to stop during my run portions, I'm just slowing the pace a bit and pushing through.  I want to work on getting through the minutes, and then I'll work on my pace.

Monday, March 7, 2011


I can't wait until I can just run without stopping again.

I don't know what made me start running a few years back. Maybe it was because I couldn't run for so long with my old giant boobs? (I had a reduction in 2002) I did the Couch-to-5-K plan to start. Well, technically, I started and stopped a bunch of times, but eventually, I finished it and started running regularly.
I was never a very fast runner, but I liked distances and, for some reason, wanted a medal. I signed up for a half marathon that was set for November of 2007 in New Hampshire. I had stayed pretty true to a schedule I found on Hal Higdon's website, and was feeling confident that I'd be ready to go in November.
On a trip to Salem, MA, I noticed a sign for the Wicked half that was going to take place in September. I thought "Maybe I'll be ready by then" and then forgot about it for a bit. I came across the site for the race a week or so before the event and thought... maybe... The night before, I set and alarm and informed my boyfriend at the time that I was thinking about running a half the next day in Salem (even though I had only run 10 miles in a row before) and that as long as I was able to get up (damn you have to get up early on a Saturday for these things), I was doing it. His reply "I guess you're probably not doing it then, huh?" Well, that sure settled it, I was doing it. "Will you come and watch me cross the finish line?" I asked... the response included excuses about being bored waiting and not wanting to waste the morning, and some other junk. Alright then.
I got up at whatever ungodly hour it was, put on my running gear, and headed to Salem. I wasn't sure if I had what I needed, or too much, or what the hell I was really doing. I brought some safety pins to pin money, my car key, and my bib to my shirt, a sweat shirt in case it was cold, and my iPod (I know, I know, you're not supposed to). I signed up and had a long wait for the start. My bib number was 420. I took that as a good sign because I was currently involved in a production of Reefer Madness. "I think I'm going to finish this thing".
Towards the beginning of the race, I tried to keep up with a group that seemed to be going a steady pace, but ended up falling behind along the way. WHY didn't anyone remind me how many friggen hills are in Salem and Marblehead?! Oh right, because I only told one person I was even doing it.
The course was a loop around, so I figured since we ran UP so many hills, the second half would be easier. Not really. I don't think I remember running down hill for the entire race. At one point, I ran around a corner and was faced with another giant hill. I said, apparently out loud "oh, what the fuck!". The man next to me said "SERIOUSLY?!?!" At least I wasn't alone.
It wasn't all bad. It was a very pretty course with lots of cheering stations around. I discovered that gatorade and that goo stuff really do help.
I crossed the finish line in a respectable amount of time for someone that didn't train enough and I wasn't even close to being the last one. It was exciting and then kind of disappointing realizing I had no one there to share my victory with. I grabbed a bagel and got in my car.
I drove to visit my dad at work to show him my medal. It was a long ride to Natick and a painful exit from the car once I got there (Oh why didn't I stretch!?). "Dad, I got a medal today for running a half marathon!". "Oh cool... wait, what?" (I have to mention my dad was very proud once I explained and he was happy that my first stop after was to show him the medal)

I'm very proud of my half. I had come a long way from not being able to run for 2 minutes at a time. Also, due to a knee injury, I didn't get to do the half I signed up for that November... lame.

I just finished week 4 of the C25K program, and I really am looking forward to just running. My goal is to run in the Wicked Half again this fall, but to be more prepared. I'll get there. It's getting easier.

Day One. Again.

This is actually from last Thursday- 3/3/11

3 month Weight Watchers Journal- check
Points Plus Calculator- unavailable… lame
Complete Food Companion- eh, ok- check

Wednesday was my first day back on Weight Watchers and my first real run at the new program. So far, so good. Being a vegan, it helps that most fruits and vegetables are zero points.

I’ve been dieting for as long as I can remember and been on Weight Watchers multiple times through a few different variations on the old Points program. It works. I know it does. I just have to actually do it.

This time is a little different. I’ve been working with an awesome trainer at the gym and it really makes a huge difference. I work harder when we have our sessions together because, well, because she adds weight to machines or hands me a bigger weight and there’s not a whole lot I can do about it. I work harder on my own because I know I have to write down what I did and she’ll look at it.

So here we go. Again.