Five Things Friday
The results for Shrinkvivor were posted yesterday and I am happy to announce that I won the Exile Shrinkvivor portion. Yay me! I was super excited to find out that I won and even more excited when I found out that my friend Whitney won the whole thing; she is the Ultimate Shrinkvivor! The prize pack that the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans put together is pretty sweet and I am over the moon excited about it. Included in it is a pair of Ryder’s Eyewear so yesterday I scoured their website trying to decide on the pair I wanted. They are freaking awesome; I can’t wait to get them. I am hoping that a free pair of nice sunglasses will push me to go to the optometrist and make the switch to contacts. It’s not that I don’t like wearing glasses, I really do, but wearing glasses while boxing or doing yoga/pilates or basically anything that makes me sweat is a pain in the ass. I hope to get contacts sometime in the next few months and then I will be able to rock those Ryder glasses proudly. I am also excited to have been asked to write a post about my weight loss journey and the Shrinkvivor competition for the Shrinking Jeans site. What an honor. I am hoping to work on that this weekend. I will definitely keep you posted if/when it is posted on their site.
Yesterday was Paul’s birthday but we didn’t do anything to celebrate it. He babysat for our friends last night while I rested on a heating pad trying to nurse my lower back back to health. I didn’t even make him a cake or a special meal or anything yesterday but I am planning on making him peanut butter chocolate pillows this weekend and hopefully we can also squeeze in something fun to celebrate. Yesterday was also my office Thanksgiving potluck luncheon. I was on the fence as what to bring and I decided on homemade cranberry sauce. Every time I have made this recipe it has been a big hit and it is quick, easy, and served cold which made it the perfect recipe. I was unsure whether or not people in this area eat cranberry sauce but I was still set on making it anyhow. Then Tuesday during my Weight Watchers meeting as we discussed Thanksgiving the topic of cranberry sauce came up and the consensus was that people either hate it or only eat the canned kind. Hmph! Not a good sign but still I went ahead and brought cranberry sauce and guess what? It was barely touched. I brought home 95% of what I brought. Luckily for me I am married to a cranberry sauce junkie. While most people would be esxcited to come home and eat cake on their birthday Paul was instead ecstatic to come home and eat cranberry sauce.
Which he did….
He ate all of it….
Maybe it’s the start of a new tradition: birthday cranberry sauce
Although I don’t like to admit it, Christmas is right around the corner. The funny thing about it is that I have a better idea as to what I am doing for Christmas than Thanksgiving. My parents are coming down for Christmas and they are pretty laid back. They wouldn’t care if we ate out every meal and more than anything they just want me to find some places where we can watch live music and just hang out. So for me Christmas day will not be spent cooking but instead it will be movie at the Alamo Drafthouse and dinner courtesy of Whole Foods. I am ordering a full turkey dinner for Paul and my parents and a vegan meal for me and I am excited to be able to relax and enjoy Christmas this year.
Since we are in a new house and there is really no room to put up a tree we are opting to buy a small live tree that can fit on our end table. Presents for my parents will probably be sent directly to them at their home so they don’t have to worry about fitting stuff in their luggage and Paul and I are both not getting anything Christmas day as we have already gotten our gifts so this year will definitely be different than what we are used to but that’s a good thing. I have so much stuff already I really don’t need anything else.
This morning Paul reminded me that Christmas is approaching and that we should put some care packages together for our friends serving in Afghanistan. I know they appreciate getting them but more than anything I like putting them together for them- it is the least I can do to show them their service is appreciated. I signed up for my workplace toy drive and we’ll do the same for Paul’s office, too. Is there more that we can do? Of course, so I am going to keep my eyes open and see what other holiday drives and maybe even volunteer opportunities come up. Let me know if you have any holiday ideas or suggestions you want to share. Is there a charity or local organization you support?
My family, both my mom’s side and my dad’s side, are not big phone people. My usual weekly phone conversation with my parents lasts less than ten minutes. Conversations with my grandparents usually last only a few minutes and I only talk to them once every few months. It’s not that we don’t love each other or aren’t excited to hear from each other it’s just we don’t do small talk, over the phone at least, very well. Phone calls hit big life topics in rapid fire and then ‘I love you, goodbye’. I called my grandmother the other night to thank her for Paul’s birthday card, and our Halloween card (yes, we get Halloween cardsJ) and our housewarming card. Yeah, it’s been since July since I have talked to them- don’t judge. Any who, as we were quickly hitting the topics (how was your vacation; good, how are Paul’s eyes healing from surgery; good) my grandma said she heard I had lost some weight. Yep, 90 pounds I told her. ‘Wha-wha-what’ and a little squeal was her reaction. She had no idea I had lost so much. She asked me how I did it. I told her I eat less and move more, that’s basically it. She was thrilled, very happy for me and said she hopes to come visit us soon, hopefully next year, and said goodbye.
I wanted to bring up this conversation for one reason. I get asked all the time what I have done to lose the weight. You all know what I have and continue to do but most people don’t want to hear me recount all of the changes I have made over the past 9 months. The reality of it all is that I have really only done these two things; eat less and move more. Yes, I do Weight Watchers but that definitely would fall into the ‘eat less’ category. WW helps me with portion control and eating the appropriate amount of food for my body size. I have also become far more active and I really feel this has been key to my success so far. I have found the joy in movement and now I don’t think I could live a life without it. So yes, it’s a pretty simple answer but it means so much and it really is applicable to everyone. Regardless if you are trying to lose weight, get in shape, or maintain a healthy lifestyle I think it is a rule we should all try to live by.
I wanted to share with you a recipe that has been my lunchtime addiction lately. I love to go to Oh She Glows blog and look through all of her recipes. Actually I will be heading over there today to find some recipes for next week’s meals. The site is a vegan recipe blog but trust me these recipes are good for omnivores as well. Paul has eaten and loved everything of hers I have made so far. I make this soup up on Sunday and then portion it into six- 1.5 cup servings and freeze it. Each day I pull a serving out of the freezer and reheat it for lunch. It is so yummy, hearty and satisfying- it is the perfect mid-day meal.
This is hands down one of my all time favourite soups! Not only does it look festive just in time for the holidays, but it tastes incredible and warms the soul. It packs a wide array of seasonings and spices from cinnamon, nutmeg, and vegetable bouillon, to the saffron and curry. Somehow it just all works together magically!
Inspired by Fat Free Vegan Kitchen.
· 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
· 1/2 cup red quinoa, uncooked
· 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
· 1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
· 1 medium zucchini, chopped
· 3 cloves garlic, minced
· 1 vegetable bouillon cube (not low sodium)
· 6 cups water, boiled
· One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
· 1.5-2 cups cooked black beans (about one 15oz can)
· 1 tsp good-quality curry powder
· Pinch or two of cinnamon
· Pinch of ground nutmeg
· 2 cups baby spinach leaves, well rinsed and roughly chopped
· 1/2 tsp kosher salt, to taste
· Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
· Pinch of saffron threads (optional, but tasted amazing)
Directions: Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the chopped sweet onion and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the chopped carrots, chopped zucchini, and minced garlic, and continue to sauté for about 5-7 minutes.
Place your bouillon cube into a medium sized bowl. Boil 6 cups of water and pour over the bouillon cube. Stir well to dissolve. Add bouillon mixture, tomatoes, red quinoa, black beans, and spices + seasonings. Bring to a boil and then simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes.
Add the roughly chopped spinach, stir well, and cover. Simmer on low for about 15-35 minutes. The longer you cook it the more the flavours will develop. Taste test and adjust seasonings if necessary. I also have a feeling this soup will be even better the next day! Garnish with nuts of choice if preferred.
Makes about 8-10 cups.
I hope you try out this recipe, you won’t be disappointed. If you have time please stop by this blog and check out some of her recipes. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
Thanks for reading!