Coffee face explosion!

The teacher I was with today made fresh coffee in her classroom all day long… I must have had six cups. Wowwweeeee I’m still shaking!!!

Today is just non-stop as can be (caffeine mandatory). I’m home just for a minute before going to a spin class and then to the Arcade Fire show. And since I was gone from 7am to 4:30pm, I needed lots of road food:


(Latte, diet ginger ale, granola bar, fruit, dates, cat cookies, string cheese, yogurt)

Another sunny day near 90 degrees in Oregon; here I am on my lunch break, walking the country roads (southeast of Salem):

Is tomorrow really Friday? And October? When and how did that happen?

Weigh-in Wednesday

Ooooh boy, what a day. My drive from Bend back to Portland was easy and insanely gorgeous… the only issue being the black dog who hates car rides. And because of the craziness of the day, I took a break from working out… I highly recommend rest if your body and schedule require it.

Weigh-in results: Down 3.2 pounds!!! And that’s after a week full of wine tasting and traveling. Maybe I can pull off this weight loss mission after all.

To celebrate I made dinner with my old pals, Kelso and Megan W. Dang, I’ve missed them.

Pizza with pesto and chanterelle mushrooms and fresh mozzarella.

No rolling pin? A wine bottle will do.

Four small pizzas and some pretty rad leg warmers:

Who remembers these famous faces?

Amish Friendship Bread (recipe coming soon… Megan!?)

Benham Falls, almost

Our hike to Benham Falls was foiled by vicious mosquitoes this afternoon, so now I have to convince myself to go into the dungeon-y basement of this hotel and use the stair climber for at least 35 minutes. Gross.

Food today has been pre-made grocery store items like soup, salad and granola bars. Nothing to see here, folks. My plan is to go to bed under Points tonight, prepping for good results at Weight Watchers tomorrow night when I get back to town. Wish me luck.

Lucy in the wild…

Besties in the wild…

It took us awhile to make it here; we missed a turn the first time and ended up at the ski slopes of Mt. Bachelor…

The sun makes everything look magical, no?

Central Oregon

What a gloriously hot sunny day in Central Oregon! Lucy isn’t such a fan of being carted around in this weather, but I can totally dig it. The day started in Madras and now we’re in a hotel room in Bend with Ty!

Mt. Jefferson:

Best tacos ever! $1 minis at Taco Express in Madras… two chicken, one spicy pork… I dare you to find a better $3 lunch.

I worked it out in the hotel gym this evening: 40 minutes on the stair machine, 60 crunches and 20 sit ups.

And then Ty and I ate at 900 Wall for dinner; what an unexpectedly fantastic meal. Sorry, no pics on this… Thankfully the lighting was terrible since I left my camera at the hotel. Check this menu out: Great northern white beans with chorizo and arugula for an appetizer; kubocha squash soup; wilted spinach salad with wild mushrooms and gorgonzola; sorbet trio for dessert. I needed this meal to remind that fall is actually here, regardless of the weather, and that life should be filled with frequent squash and mushrooms dishes right now.

And by limo, we mean short bus…

So maybe our limo ride through wine country was more of a shuttle bus excursion with no actual limo in sight… we still had the time of our lives! We’ve had this trip on the calendar since June, giving us three months of giddy anticipation.

We compiled a lunch of crackers, cookies, pears, apples, carrots, multiple cheeses, salads, chips and salsa… and I’m pretty sure we ate almost everything. Quite an indulgence that I’m sure my early morning spin at the gym did little to combat.

At Ponzi, one of our faves:

Hip Chicks, complimentary stemless glasses!

Who loves Oregon?

Sara and the winery dogs…

Confused by false advertising:

Cheers to one more week of September Summer!

Harvest Moon

Portland was blessed with the most spectacular Indian summer day, complete with a dazzling sunset and golden harvest moon. I randomly caught a local radio station playing Neil Young’s song of the same title on my way home from Anna’s bbq tonight… a perfect end to the day.

To reward myself for going home early last night, I woke up at 7am and biked downtown to the Chrisanthi S.E.T. class. Between the lunging, squatting, and uphill climb home, I’m not sure I’ll be walking tomorrow. The class was fun, though, and worked some muscles that required immediate attention… my triceps, for example.

My bbq contribution was this wildly colorful potato salad:

Best appetizer award goes to ANTS ON A LOG!!

Anna’s salads:

Protein:

Ok, here’s the low down the potato salad…

Chop multiple types of potatoes (I used blue, fingerling, yams and sweet potatoes) and steam them until tender… run them under cold water to stop cooking process.

Chop other veggies: Radishes, scallions, carrots, parsley

Make dressing: Apple cider vinegar, fresh lemon juice, olive oil, spicy mustard, crushed garlic, honey, salt, pepper

Mix it up!

Family Dinner on Friday

Usually this event is reserved for Thursdays, but Nicole decided to host the gathering tonight instead to fully honor Mandy’s return to Portland. The friends brought every type of produce imaginable. Really, it was amazing.

Menu: Kale salad, corn salad, bruschetta, cauliflower saute, beet and apple pizza, zucchini/squash saute, quinoa stuffed peppers, potatoes with sausage and apple-pear-ginger pie with ice cream.

Bronwyn, the gal responsible for the pizza:

Fresh corn, tomato, red onion, red pepper, basil, feta, olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper:

Dana and her peppers:

Mandy’s Kale Salad from Vegetarian Times :

Soon-to-be-candied veggies:

And finally, Sara and her pies. Stay tuned for her recipe…

Workout today: Spin class and dog walk

Tomorrow: S.E.T class at 9am! (That’s a spin/step combo class… Chrisanthi style!)

Mental Health Day

Sometimes it’s necessary to cancel plans and just stay home and take care of yourself. For me, today was dedicated to work, dog walking, spin class, and counting Weight Watchers points (tracking my food intake). It’s been so long since I’ve spent every minute of the day making good decisions for myself and my health. *Must do this more often!*

Menu today: Fiber One cereal, apples, banana, low fat string cheese, Lean Cuisine, Wasa crackers, granola bar, carrots, shirataki noodles with fire roasted tomatoes and feta.

Yeah, that food has ‘diet’ written all over it, but I’m coming to terms with the fact that I do have to be on diet for the rest of my life. Normal eating habits are never going to come natural to me, so I need to re-evaluate my current approach to my weight loss journey. How can I fit a healthy and regimented lifestyle into an often times overzealous social life? It’s all about priorities and boundaries, right?

Whatever battle you’re waging this evening, I hope you’re going to bed feeling strong and in control. I’d forgotten that feeling, but I’m glad to have it back tonight. Cheers to good rest and mental recovery… and happy Friday tomorrow! G’night!

Weigh-in Wednesday

Not exactly the greatness I was expecting, but success nonetheless. I was down one pound this week. Why is it so hard for me to track my food intake? I used to do it religiously, but these days it just seems so impossible.

Tomorrow I will write down every bite. I will count points and hold myself accountable. Amanda is my inspiration; she’s a champion food journal-er.

Dinner tonight was spontaneous and delicious. You’ve probably noticed my lack of traditional recipes lately… I’ve definitely been cooking off the cuff, adding ingredients that look good and tasting as I go. That was definitely the story tonight when I made marinated grilled tofu and zucchini-ginger fritters.

Marination station (soy sauce, lime juice, lime zest, honey, olive oil, cilantro, salt, pepper):

Tonight’s secret ingredient, a four pound zucchini from the farm:

My arm is killing me; I grated the entire thing:

This took about five minutes of squeezing to remove the water… what a feat. Seriously, this zucchini exhausted me.

Zucchini-Ginger Fritters

Grated zucchini, grated garlic, grated ginger, minced onion, panko bread crumbs, egg whites, salt and pepper. Browned slowly in olive oil:

The magic bites in Sara’s salad:

I used the rest of the enormous amount of grated zucchini in another double batch of Zucchini Lemon Muffins. Please tell me you’ve made these by now… if not, DO IT! Don’t we all have a garden surplus we’re trying to use up?

lettuce wraps

Cooking and eating dinner at Mandy’s (and Will’s) tonight was a serious dose of what I’ve been missing for the past four months since she’s been gone and I’ve been displaced from my old ‘hood. The entire night just felt so comfortable and familiar… we’re back in action!

Menu: Stir fried veggies with grilled fish in lettuce wraps served with grilled sweet potatoes.

Green beans, yellow squash and red pepper (pre stir-fry):

Wraps:

Workout: 30 minutes elliptical/20 minutes spin bike

Weigh-in tomorrow… I’m expecting greatness 🙂