Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Strep Life

This past weekend was, in a word, incredible.  Sakief and I had a fantastic time together, doing mostly nothing but just enjoying each others' company.  I'm not sure it's possible to put into words how much I missed him. 

I don't believe in any of that "absence makes the heart grow fonder" BS.  The fact is, I couldn't possibly love Sakief any more than I already do.  What I do believe in is that when a relationship is right, absence makes the heart appreciate. 

Unfortunately we didn't make it out to the beach like I had planned.  Why?  Because I have strep (not really, I have an upper respiratory infection, but whatever makes people happy).  It's not that the strep itself prevented me from beaching it, but my wonderful caregiver boyfriend wanted to make sure that I didn't catch any additional bugs while my immune system is suppressed.  Good man.

Sickness also meant that I didn't get a chance to work out.  And likely won't for a few more days.  I'm having some serious difficulty breathing, ugh.  I also didn't eat so healthy this weekend.  But Sakief did make me korma and biryani, yum!  I miss his cooking...

I head back to Pensacola a month from today... yay!  And this next trip I fully intend to not only be well, but to keep up my healthy habits as well (I'm looking at you Sakief).

Not sure how it is already 8pm, but I am exhausted and should head to bed.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Heading Back to Pensacola!

Happy Memorial Day Weekend everyone!  Unfortunately I don't leave until tomorrow morning (extremely early!), but I'm heading back to Pensacola for the first time since I moved.  After a whole three weeks, haha.  But it has been a long three weeks.  I am so ready to spend some quality time with Sakief, catch up with my PCola friends, and celebrate Darci and Logan at their wedding tomorrow night!  Finally!

As it's Friday, it's weigh in day!  My last official weigh in was on my birthday, and since then I am down a net 1.5 pounds.  I did have an unofficial weigh in earlier this week and I was down 2.5 pounds, and then I ate horribly... don't judge me.  I have felt horrible (literally) for the past 36 hours.  Since I have been eating healthier again today (Greek yogurt for bfast, chicken breast and broccoli for lunch), it's already getting my insides back on track and I feel much better! 

I have a pretty lofty goal of losing 3 more pounds by next Friday, but hopefully I can keep on track this weekend (though I know the wedding will be difficult).  Thankfully Sakief has been experimenting more with a diet closer to mine, so we should be able to help each other this weekend.  I also packed my work out clothes; I'd love to go for a run while I'm there, I'll need it!

Unfortunately I only worked out once this week so far, and unless I can motivate myself to work out today (ha!), I will already be breaking my work out goal.  Let's see if I can get myself moving!  I tried to get up early all week to work out before work, and yet, nothing.  I'm definitely not a morning work out person.

Pounds lost: 47
Pounds to go: 53

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Melt In Your Mouth Chicken

I have definitely been on a "try new recipes from Pinterest" kick.  Unfortunately more are flops, but I see ways that I may be able to improve on them in the future, so I won't nix them all together yet.  One that I do want to share is what I made for dinner last night.  It's called "Melt in Your Mouth Chicken", hence the title of my post.

I have seen this recipe two ways on Pinterest, made with mayo or with greek yogurt.  I chose mayo (I used the lower fat made with olive oil), but I'm looking forward to trying it with greek yogurt to lower the fat content even more.

Perhaps it was the fat from the mayo that made it taste so good, but I think it's mostly the parmesan cheese, but I will report on the greek yogurt version as soon as I try it.  I liked it so much, that not only did I eat it for dinner last night, but took it for lunch today, and just for good measure, had some more for dinner tonight.  And I still have one more breast!

Anyway, all in all it's not that bad for you, and the fact is that this is a low carb diet, not a low fat (but let's get real, I'm a fat free food junkie... and they basically all suck, I'm just not willing to admit it until I eat the real deal again).

Melt in Your Mouth Chicken:
4 chicken breasts
1 cup mayo
1/2 cup grated parmesan
salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste

Stats per serving:
Cal: 347
Fat: 23g
Carb: 8.4g
Protein: 25g
Sodium: 720mg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Combine mayo, parmesan and spices.  Spread over chicken breasts in oven safe dish.  Bake approximately 45 mins.  Chicken should be browned on top.

Friday, May 18, 2012

New Mini Goals!

I realize that today is Friday, and therefore I should be weighing in, but, I'm not.  I am still riding high from making my birthday goal, and didn't want to ruin it so quickly.  Adam took me out to a wonderful dinner at Pappadeaux where both of us overate and over drank, and then I polished off the leftovers yesterday.

I know that one meal (well, maybe two... and maybe it should have been three) won't ruin my diet, and I likely haven't actually gained any weight; but in my weight loss battle, when feeling good about myself is just as important as eating well and exercising, I don't want to burst my own bubble.

I forgot to update my stats on Wednesday, so for those who haven't done the math:

Total pounds lost: 45.5
Pounds to go: 54.5

I also need to set a few new mini goals for myself, so here goes!

1) Surpass 50 lbs lost by June 1 (at least 5 pounds in the next two weeks)
2) Hit a new decade before Beth's wedding on June 23
3) Work out at least twice a week until the end of June

I also want to use this post to share one of my new favorite recipes.  I have made this several times using several different methods for the chicken, but I have found my favorite (and it's the easiest).

Avocado Chicken Salad (yield 4 servings):

2 10oz cans white meat chicken
1 avocado
2 Tbsp low fat mayo

Drain chicken and chop scallions.  Mix all ingredients together and enjoy!

Avocado chicken salad on an
Everything Bagel Thin with light Swiss cheese.

184 cals
9g fat
5.7g carb
23.2g protein
490mg sodium

For a little extra kick I added diced, fresh jalapeno to this batch.  I have tried making it by cooking the chicken myself (which will definitely reduce the sodium) both in the oven, and in the crock pot and hand shredding it.  Baking the chicken in the oven made for a tasty treat, however, neither Sakief nor I liked the chicken salad when I cooked the chicken in the crock pot.  The flavor was just not right.  I have also heard of people using a cooked rotisserie chicken for this recipe.  Obviously you have options.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Happy birthday to me!

Well, it's finally here, my 26th birthday!  To be honest, I've been less than thrilled about this birthday.  Not for any particular reason, I think I just may be finally getting to an age where I don't much care about my birthday.  Perhaps I'll care again when I turn 30...

Anyway, today was also a mini goal deadline, and I am happy to report that I not only met my mini goal (two new decades!), but surpassed it.  While I am still in the decade that I wanted to be in, I weigh less than I anticipated, so I'm feeling good.  In fact, I have lost 3 pounds since last Friday already!

Monday was my first day at work, but today I get to counsel again, so I'm very excited (less than excited about being supervised though, boo).  After work Adam and I are going to Pappadeaux to celebrate my birthday, so hopefully I don't ruin the hard work I've done over the past week... but Pappadeaux, yum!

Thanks for all of the birthday love I've received already!

Monday, May 14, 2012

1.5 weeks in...

Long distance relationships suck.  I wish that there were a more eloquent way to put it, but it's true, they suck.  1.5 weeks away from Sakief and I am definitely ready for our separation to be over already.  I know that getting started with work will keep me busy, which will help, but I worry if it will be enough to keep me from going absolutely crazy.  Sakief, as always, continues to be my biggest cheerleader, which probably makes being away from him all that much harder.  Having Adam, Erin and Maiya is also incredible, but it doesn't make all of the loneliness go away.  Nothing can really make up for being separated from your significant other.  I have renewed respect for those, like my parents, who have made it work for so long when life necessitates being apart.

On a positive note, as I try to be the eternal optimist (ha!), I've been eating really well, trying new recipes, and actually working out!  I still need to get back on the C25k track, but I'm convincing myself to be less lazy, and have gotten on the treadmill and/or elliptical several times in the past week.  I'm feeling pretty confident (especially after a cheat weigh in this morning) that I will actually make my birthday mini goal.  Which means I have about a day and half to come up with a few more mini goals to begin!

I'm also excited to share the recipes that I deem worthy.  One is definitely not... ugh, that was a gross experiment.  Do NOT try the egg bake that I had pinned if you follow me on Pinterest (I have since deleted it because I was that unhappy with the result).  There are a couple that have been successful, so stay tuned!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Dip

I have a feeling that I'll be posting a lot of new recipes in the coming days and weeks.  I have big cooking plans, yum!  Here is my first experiment post move.

A few weeks before I left Sacred we through a bridal shower for Kerry.  Bridal and baby showers usually mean pot luck at the RPC, and one of the nurses brought buffalo chicken dip.  It was incredible, and thankfully she gave me the recipe.  I have of course adapted it to be healthier. 

Disclaimer: while low in calories, fat and carbs, this is ridiculously high in sodium.

Buffalo Chicken Dip (yields 4 servings):

10 oz canned chicken
8 oz fat free cream cheese (softened)
3/8 cup Frank's buffalo sauce
1/2 cup fat free cheddar cheese
1 packet ranch dip mix

Mix ingredients together and pour into baking dish.  Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 15 mins.  Serve with celery.

Calories: 162
Fat: 1.6g
Carb: 9.8g
Protein: 26.4g
Sodium: 2,668mg (which is essentially an entire day's worth, eek)

Friday, May 11, 2012


I can't deny that I've eaten poorly for the past few weeks.  I even stopped tracking because I had enough shame already, I didn't need to see exactly how many calories I was consuming, ugh!  I ate my way through Pensacola trying to enjoy all of my favorite restaurants, and the things that I really love there, prior to leaving.  You know, because I won't be going back to visit in a few weeks, and every month after that.  I'll never have a chance to eat at those restaurants again... wait...

I have definitely started getting back on track since settling in, and thanks to my amazing parents who bought me all of my groceries for my birthday, I have an incredibly healthy kitchen!  Adam and Erin have also been helpful if we eat meals together, making sure it's something I'm comfortable eating (except for that one night of pizza, but it was good).

This morning I was a little nervous to get on the scale, already anticipating the damage I had done.  I was hopeful to not have gained back more than 5 pounds.  I figured that was reasonable, considering, and since I had set a "weight gain goal" for myself, hopefully it would alleviate any disappointment.

So was I shocked when I got on the scale this morning?  You could say that... I actually LOST a pound.  How?  I have no idea, but I'm not going to argue.  Thank you scale, you made my day.

I still have two pounds to go in order to meet my last mini goal, which is to be in the next decade before my birthday.  Considering that's only 5 days away, I'm not sure that I'll make it, but I'm sure going to try!  Expect a special birthday weigh in on Wednesday.

As I type I am also drinking some water to hydrate for a run.  Afterwards I plan to sit down and figure out my menu for the next few days, as well as a work out plan to get my couch to 5k back on track.

Total weight loss: 43 pounds
Weight to go: 57 pounds
Pounds to next goal: 2

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Normally I wouldn't bore everyone with two posts in one day, but I received a very nice compliment today, and I wanted to share.

I was wandering in the grocery store today on an epic shopping trip to stock up on healthy food, when an elderly gentleman tapped me on the shoulder, and this is what he said:

"I'm not making a pass at you, well I am, but I'm not going to act on it because I'm too old and my wife would kill me.  But, I wanted to tell you that in a world where everyone is obsessed with the sickly skinny models, it's nice to see a young person who is full figured and healthy.  You're beautiful."

Of course losing weight is my ultimate goal, but I also know I won't ever be model skinny, nor do I want to be (I agree with that lovely man, model skinny is blech).  Before I lost the weight that I have, I know that I didn't look healthy, I just looked fat, so it was nice to be referred to as "healthy".  I'm just excited to be healthier.

I think I'll go to Austin...

This post is WAY overdue (I guess any post is way overdue at this point, please excuse my blogging absence), but I figured it was about time to not only discuss why I moved to Austin, but the move itself, because I'M HERE!

To me it has been an interesting series of events that got me to this point, but I couldn't be happier or more excited (well, unless Sakief was here with me, boo).  I have known for awhile that I wanted/needed to be closer to family.  In fact, I looked at essentially this same job last fall, but that was obviously not the right timing. 

Because of this Sakief started looking into school in Austin, and fell in love with UT.  No complaints from me!  Of course we assumed at this point that he would leave me behind in Pensacola, and I would join him here, not the other way around.

Well my desire to be in Austin continued to grow, and miracle of miracles, a job opened in San Antonio.  Not exactly Austin, but I'd have taken it!  I knew pretty quickly that the job was mine if I wanted it, but had no idea what awesome turns this whole process would take. 

One of the counselors in Austin decided to take a new position, so Austin became an option after San Antonio was offered to me.  Austin was not only an option, but where the need for a new counselor was greater, so I was actually given a choice! 

Timing still wasn't great for a few reasons; Sakief and I had just moved in together and we had FINALLY hired some to replace Courtney at Sacred (and she doesn't start until late June).  But timing was great for other reasons... mainly, I need my family right now, and being close to Adam, Erin and Maiya has already been so incredible just three days into my Texas residency.

This is such a great opportunity for me, and while I'm not thrilled about being away from Sakief, he gets to join me in December.  I can't really complain about 7 months of long distance, and am hopeful that it will go by quickly.  I already have plans to go back to Pensacola for Memorial Day Weekend, which is only three weeks apart to start off, not bad.  I will also be headed back that direction for his jaw surgery, and I'm sure several other times this summer before he has more leave and can visit me here.

The move itself has gone pretty smoothly, but there are always hiccups... like Nora having emergency surgery three days beforehand.  Many, many thank yous to my wonderful and amazing cousin Corrie for flying in to drive with me and dealing with my constant anxiety and tears all weekend.  Also many thanks to Sakief and his buddies for loading the UHaul, and to Adam for unloading it.  I really am a lucky girl.

The move started off with the worry that I hadn't rented a large enough UHaul, thankfully not only did it fit everything, it had space to spare, whew!  The drive was pretty smooth, although Corrie and I both agree that Louisiana highways suck.  We made great time; it took us about 11.5 hours, including stops.  We made that little UHaul move!

It was when we arrived that sh*t hit the fan.  My apartment was FILTHY.  Corrie and I spent two hours cleaning it after being in the car for most of the day, which was not thrilling for either one of us.  I was clearly especially tired, because I wouldn't stop crying and decided that I wouldn't stay in this apartment (of course I stayed, and while I don't/won't love it, I like it, I guess).  It also smelled of smoke (and still often smells like marijuana... I thought it was from the old tenants, but I'm starting to think that it may be from my current next door neighbors...

While the apartment may not be all that I had hoped for, Austin is.  I'm already getting comfortable driving around the city, and have gotten a lot accomplished.  I have a little more to unpack, but have gotten most other things taken care of.  I have my car registered and have a new license, so it's all official!  Today I take Nora to her new vet, and will do a bit of grocery shopping so that I can actually eat at home and not at Adam and Erin's (not that I dislike getting to spend time with them).

As for my diet... I haven't been eating great for the past week, but Erin is helping to get me back on track (as will the grocery shopping).  I didn't get to weigh in on Friday before the move, but will have an update this coming Friday.  I'm expecting to have gained some weight, but hopefully it isn't too much.  I know I will head back in the right direction now that I'm settled, and I'm excited for my continued success.