All about the Mando

It’s not everyday one of your best friends turns thirty. Lucky for Sara and I, we got to help Mandy kick her celebration off right last night. We sipped, ate (Thai food), danced (to the Alabama Shakes, check ’em out!) and even managed a photoshoot at Beech Street Parlor (our first of many evening hotspots). This picture was worth the hijinx it required to capture:

After a night of very moderate indulging (I did have my first two cocktails in nearly four weeks), I woke up a few pounds lighter, ready for the gym and feeling very in control. At this point I’m still trying to figure out some rule for incorporating alcohol into my lifestyle. I can say that not drinking this month has been so satisfying that I look forward to abstaining as much as possible. And alternately, I do not feel guilty AT ALL for my choices last night. Oh boy, look who’s finding balance!!

As for the birthday train, it continues on, so stay tuned for celebratory food stuffs! Happy Birthday week, Mandy! Thank you for inspiring me with your passion, loyalty, sensibility and incredible love for life. Je t’aime!

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170s!!!

Last time I was in the 170s? I don’t know, elementary school probably? This is a huge milestone for me! And while I only lost a couple pounds since my last weigh-in, the sheer bliss of seeing a number I’ve never seen before makes it all worth it.

When the initial ten pounds literally fell off, I thought, “sweet, no need to go to the gym anymore!” Not the case, folks. Success for me will certainly come from a combination of a low-calorie diet and regular exercise.

Workouts since I’ve been back in town:

Yesterday – 30 minute spin, 60 minute Bodypump class (with Sara!)
Today – 30 minute spin

Tomorrow I plan to go to a serious Chrisanthi spin class. And then I will cut loose a bit and start celebrating Mandy’s 30th birthday!

Need new workout tunes? Check out the Givers’ album, In Light. It got me going at the gym at 6:30 this morning!

25 Minute Hotel Workout

Since there isn’t a workout facility at this hotel (so far I’m NOT impressed with this place), and I also forgot my Jillian DVD’s, I’ve been researching effective 25-minute full body workouts to do in my hotel room.

This is my goal for tonight:

Warm-up —

25 jumping jacks
15 squats
10 push-ups
10 hip-raises
25 jacks

Workout (repeat this for twenty minutes) —

25 overhead squats
20 push-ups
10 one arm rows with weight
15 reverse crunches

In addition, I think I’ll practice a few yoga moves to stretch at the end. Lindsay, Stacey and Mandy all practice yoga on a regular basis, and I’m considering making a fool of myself and giving it a shot. Stay tuned for a full report on my first-ever yoga class… whenever that may be.

Goal for the rest of the week and weekend — Go to one spin class and one lift class. I miss my gym and my people there!

I better not get stuck out here.

Well I made it to the coast and found myself smack in the middle of a raging hurricane. This storm is wild! My hotel is beachfront, which under normal circumstances would be amazing, but today it means I don’t have internet or phone reception. So here I am, hunkered down in the local coffeeshop, using the internet and planning my meal. I think I’ll have salmon.

Hope you are warmer and dryer than I!

Weary traveler

Crab Cakes

Craziest thing happened. I posted about the virtues of tea, and about ten minutes later found myself wheezing with a deep-lung chest cough. Consequently, I spent the next four days drinking more tea than I thought humanly possible while propped upright in bed, immersed in The Girl with Dragon Tattoo.

Finishing that book was my greatest accomplishment since we last saw each other. I barely cooked, barely moved, canceled nearly every plan I had and seem to have stagnated in weight loss. Man, doing nothing really doesn’t do this body of mine any favors. Regardless, I’ve stuck to the Medifast plan and have been certainly enjoying the byproduct of more money and much, much less guilt. In fact, I never feel guilty anymore! It’s fabulous!

Since you’ve been so patient with me and my lazy photography skills (I do realize how inappropriate it is to blog camera phone pics, by the way), I decided today is the day to dust off the Nikon and create a new recipe.

Crab Cakes with Brussel Sprouts

I went the cheap (and easy) route with canned crab.

Mix crab with a 2 egg whites, 1/4 chopped/sautéed jalapeno, some lime zest and bit of juice, 2 chopped scallions, 2 tsp vegan (or real) mayo, salt, pepper and hot sauce.

Let the mix sit and saute up some slice brussel sprouts in cooking spray and apple cider vinegar and salt/pepper:

Pan fry crab cakes on medium/high, a few minutes on each side.

Throw them together with a bit of salsa!

I can not fully express the love I have for the jalapeno-lime-scallion combo. Spice is nice when you’re trying to kill the demons inside your throat and lungs.

Tomorrow I leave for the coast, so weigh-in is on Friday.

And one more thing — Congrats to two of my most favorite people — Jamie Aspenson and Jesse Steadman are engaged! Let the wedding planning begin! Love you guys 🙂

Satisfaction Guaranteed

Ty changed my life this week. When it comes to consumables, I tend to be a bit, well, passionate. Who knew a simple cup of tea would set my mind right and make me feel like a new person!?

During a bout of hunger at her place on Monday night, I started rummaging through her coffee and tea selection, desperately seeking a sweet-tooth-craving fix. And then I discovered THIS. AMAZING. PRODUCT.

This tea has perfect sweet undertones and a very rich, satisfying flavor. It’s caffeine free, so it leaves you feeling relaxed as well as warm, calm and satiated.

Let me know if you’d like to try it, and I’ll send you a bag to sample! If you’re trying to minimize your sugar and LOVE licorice, this is really the bees knees.

Weigh-in… Monday?

I’m on the road this week, so no-go on weighing-in tomorrow. As of yesterday though, I was down another five pounds! My brain is a bit rattled by this instant success I’m seeing; it’s just so crazy how relatively easy this has been.

Last night at Ty’s we had stuffed zucchini with a side of steamed kale.

Slice zucchini and scoop out the insides. Stuff with mixture of sauteed chicken sausage, onion, kale and a bit of grated parmesan. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Before the baking:

Hotel salads going forward this week. Oh yay.

Turkey Meatloaf

It’s been awhile since I posted a recipe, and I have to say, last night’s turkey meatloaf was worthy of this honor. Lindsay made the accompanied salad, and Mandy, Sara and Missy were available to tell us how great it all tasted. Enjoying such a healthy Friday night with these women really left me feeling warm and fuzzy. Who needs wine when you’ve got these gals to make you feel like a million bucks?!

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I can’t remember where I found this, but apparently it’s called Lyn’s FAVORITE Meatloaf. Two changes I made: Add a few handfulls of chopped sauteed mushrooms to the mix. And instead of one piece of raw bacon, I added three pieces of cooked.

2 lbs. extra lean ground beef
8 oz can of tomato sauce
3 T soy sauce (I use low sodium/lite soy sauce)
1 T onion powder
1 T dried parsley
ground black pepper to taste
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 whole eggs (you could use Egg Beaters if you want… I used free range eggs)
1/2 c Parmesan cheese (you want the powdery kind, like Kraft in a can, not shreds. This is the binder).
1 piece of raw bacon (trust me. I used Hormel frozen bacon, 40 calories in 1 slice) cut up as fine as you can

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix everything together in a bowl. I use my hands. Mush it all up good.
Put the mixture into a casserole dish. Smooth the top a bit. Bake uncovered for 1 hour 10 minutes. I checked mine in the center with a meat thermometer (160+). Take it out of the oven and CAREFULLY pour off the fat. Do not hurt yourself. Let the meatloaf rest for 10 minutes, then serve.

Coffee with THE ladies + ankle update

THE ladies are my Vegas flight friends (Joyce and Carol) who introduced me to Cindy and Take Shape for Life/Medifast! The four of us met for a coffee date during my lunch break today, and it was just so great to chat about the program and swap stories about what we’re eating and how we’re living. Welcome to my world, ladies! Can’t wait to introduce your inspiration to the people I love 🙂

Other highlights: Ankle doctor appointment – nothing has changed in six months (good news). Although he did tell me to quit the basketball playing and running around. This wasn’t a surprise, but it really felt sadly restrictive. Is it even worth practicing my jump shot if I can’t run to rebound when I miss the shot?

Dinner with Stacey! Roasted brussel sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower with mahi mahi lettuce wraps.

Lean/Green

Lean/Green dinner tonight: Napa cabbage sauteed with leftover Dinner Club Chinese chicken. It was tasty but definitely not easy on the eyes. Since you’d rather see green and vibrant colors, I’ll spare the shot of the grayish-brown mess I happily wolfed down today and share yesterday’s lunch with you instead:

Thank you, Expense Report, for making this Medifast-friendly Market of Choice salad bar selection possible!