Enjoying vacation

Since the end of 2006 I have been a fairly healthy person.

In October 2006 I joined Weight Watchers and started on the venture to lose about 30 pounds.

In March of 2007 I started regularly exercising, which still continues to this day. (And now I teach other people to exercise and practice yoga.)

I work hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes it is easy. And sometimes it is a struggle.

Since I am healthy the majority of the time I allow myself to be unhealthy (or go off plan in the WW world) from time to time.

When I travel I want to enjoy food and drinks without having to worry about my caloric intake. Sometimes I am great with the exercise and other times it suffers. (I have been getting my yoga practice in every day since we have been here.)

But here’s the thing, I have fun while on vacation and then when I get home things get back to normal and healthy again.

Curt and I are in Las Vegas with friends for a long fun March Madness weekend.

There is sports watching, a little gambling, lots of eating and drinking (especially the cheap brewed … Continue reading

Is Guinness good for you?

A couple of years ago I wrote a post on St. Patrick’s Day after doing some research on Guinness.

I have heard rumors that Guinness is high in iron and better for you than most beers. I also heard that pregnant women have been advised to drink Guinness because of the high iron and low alcohol.

Is any of this true? Is Guinness good for you?

As I am researching there is no real clear answer to whether or not Guinness is in fact actually good for you. Though leaning toward no seems better than leaning toward yes.

The calories and alcohol content tend to be a little lower than other beers.

According to Realbeer.com, a 12-ounce Guinness draft has 4% alcohol, 125 calories and 10 grams of carbohydrates. (Just a reminder that a pint is 16 ounces.) I looked up a few other beers for comparison, all for 12 ounces: Blue Moon White: 5.4% alcohol, 171 calories and 12.9 grams of carbs; Budweiser: 5% alcohol, 143 calories and 10.6 grams of carbs; Heineken: 5.4% alcohol, 166 calories and 9.8 grams of carbs; Sierra Nevada Pale Ale: 5.7% alcohol, 171 calories and 14.1 grams of carbs; and last, a beer … Continue reading

Getting ready to Spring Forward

Twice a year I write about time change. (Read last year’s Spring Forward post here.)

It’s that time again to Spring Forward (Sunday at 2 a.m.). I am not a fan of time change.

I seriously don’t get the point of it. I grew up somewhere (Arizona) where time change doesn’t occur.

So to my Arizona family members who can never quite get the time difference: Starting Sunday we will be on the same time.

This is the advice I like to give on how to deal with time change:

Keeping the peppermint in my cocoa

Once it starts to get chilly I enjoy warm drinks in the evening.

When I was still working full-time a warm drink helped to get me sleepy and ready for bed. I needed all the help I could get for a good night’s sleep.

I will drink hot water with lemon, tea, hot apple cider or hot cocoa.

I like a little splash of Peppermint Schnapps in my cocoa … that was until I found out how many Weight Watcher’s points a shot is. If you are a WW member, you are welcome to look up the points. If not, sorry, can’t share. Just know it is a lot more than I thought it would be.

So instead of having the caloric syrupy goodness I have been adding a mini candy cane to my chocolatey goodness.

One mini candy cane gives me the minty taste I like with my hot chocolate and is only about 17 calories with about 4 carbohydrates, no fat and about 3 grams of sugar.

I found a website called Intoxicologist, which lists many liquors and their calories (as general guidelines). Peppermint Schnapps is not specifically on there. But other Schnapps are. For an ounce, 72 … Continue reading

My version of bibimbap (“hot pot”)

When I worked in South San Francisco there was a restaurant my co-workers and I frequented, Mom’s Tofu House. It was good and cheap (service isn’t great).

We nicknamed it hot pot, as the food we ordered came in a hot pot (really a hot stone pot).

I decided to recreate my favorite dish, tofu bibimbap. (Bibimbap is pronounced BEE-beem-bop.)

I found a recipe online that seemed pretty close to what I used to order and experimented.

According to the Food Network recipe page bibimbap is one of the most popular dishes in Korean cuisine, bibimbap is a nutritious rice dish of steamed rice and pre-cooked vegetables (usually spinach, bean sprouts, carrots, mushrooms, and lettuce) and egg. It can also contain ground beef but can be ordered without meat. Dolsot bibimbap is the same dish served in a hot stone pot (the pot is pre-heated in oven) to make the rice on the bottom crunchy and to keep the dish hot for a longer time.

The recipe appeared to have a lot involved with its list of ingredients.

I altered some of the recipe for myself. I didn’t use sesame seeds or make the Gochuchang Paste. There were probably … Continue reading

Seeing results with healthy choices

I know that there are so many things challenging about the holidays. There is stress, overeating, over drinking … etc.

But we can overcome a lot of that and stay on a healthy track.

When I quit my job a little more than two months ago I thought the weight would fall off and I would easily fall back to my goal weight rather quickly.

Well, that didn’t happen and then I went on vacation.

Once back from vacation I got back on the healthy eating and regular exercise routine with indoor cycling and yoga (both public classes and my own home practice). I was also able to control my stress levels much more at that point.

I have been at it for about six weeks and am pleased with my results.

Yes, it can be difficult to maintain healthy living during the holidays. But it is possible.

When I first started on my weight loss track eight years ago I lost weight over Thanksgiving and Christmas.

So far this year I lost weight over Thanksgiving. I made sure to get my exercise in last week while still enjoying food and wine, all in moderation.

I stuck to my plan of … Continue reading

Understanding hunting

Just about every year Curt and I go back to his hometown of Albany, Mo., to visit his parents and for deer season.

I know a lot of people have issues with hunting.

And, it’s fine if you do. But if you eat meat, you should read more.

(If you don’t. Feel free to skip. I respect your choice to not eat meat if you respect mine to eat it.)

I don’t want to shoot the deer or see it dead, but I will eat it. (It’s not quite the same as getting your plastic wrapped steak or chicken legs at the grocery. But you get the basic idea.)

Before you make full judgment, let me try to make you understand hunting the way I do (as a meat eater).

Spicy cooking

Most weeks I try to explore at least one “new” recipe.

I was looking at Hungry Girl’s website and found spicy Thai-style no-cook stir-fry.

It sounded yummy so I decided to give it a try.

I added the ingredients I didn’t already have to my grocery list. I decided to add a few other ingredients to it as well.

When I got home I realized I forgot to write a few things down.

I modified the recipe a bit and had it for lunch three times last week. Yup, I thought it was really yummy. I really enjoyed it. It’s filling and fairly healthy.

The HG version is fine. I just made some adjustments because of what I had on hand.

I didn’t buy broccoli coleslaw and decided to add rice to make it more substantial. As I was grabbing veggies out of the fridge I realized I did have some broccoli coleslaw. So that got thrown in as well. HG’s version is cold and mine is hot.

Here’s my spicy Thai-style stir fry:

It’s peanut butter time!

Have you seen the 40-year-old Virgin?

Remember FRENCH TOAST? (Here’s a clip of that scene. Swearing is involved. So you’ve been warned.)

Ha ha!

Anyway, years ago Curt and I were watching some diner or cooking show and someone made peanut butter and banana French toast.

It sounded amazing. The version they made was super unhealthy.

I decided to take a stab at it with a healthy spin to it.

I don’t make a lot of breakfast. But I made this recipe recently and thought it would be a good idea to share.

Here’s my version of peanut butter and banana French toast:

  • 2 slices Sara Lee Delightful wheat bread
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter (I prefer creamy, but for this recipe crunchy works better)
  • 1/2-1 banana
  • 2 tablespoons egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon fat free milk

The ingredients listed are for one serving. Double or triple ingredients for extra servings.

I like to smoosh the banana onto my bread. Other slice I spread the peanut butter.

Dip “sandwich” into the egg whites/milk.

Use cooking spray oil in the pan. Grill it up and enjoy!

You get some protein and a fruit. It’s yummy. And melty heated up peanut butter … Continue reading

Cookin’ chicken in the kitchen

There was a lot of chicken making and eating in the house so far this week. OK, well not a lot, but more than the norm.

One recipe I made for dinner one night was new and super simple and quite delicious.

The other recipe was one that I have been making for years. And it usually just comes out for special occasions … like the Kansas City Royals playing in the World Series for the first time in 29 years.

Sauced ‘n’ simmered dijon chicken

The first recipe I made was another one of Hungry Girl’s creations: sauced ‘n’ simmered dijon chicken.

I was looking for something that was simple with few ingredients. And I just happened to have all the ingredients needed already.

If you are looking for a quick and easy dinner to make this is a good one.

I did alter the recipe because once the chicken was cooked it didn’t look like a lot of food, like the picture did.

Curt asked if we had any rice. And I have the brown rice from Trader Joe’s, which you can throw in the microwave and have hot and ready in three minutes.

I also made some carrots … Continue reading