Saturday, September 19, 2009

Before and After (But Not The Last After)

The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single footstep. I am treating getting healthy and losing weight as a journey. There are places to go, people to meet, goals to reach. And milestones. Fitting into an old pair of jeans is a milestone. Not fitting into a not very old pair of jeans is even more of a milestone.

I came across these pictures recently. They were taken almost 2 years ago. If I wasn't at my heaviest weight here, I was pretty darned close. See the tan jeans. They were snug. See the green shirt. Not very good at concealing my spare tires.

Here I am in the same clothes today. (The jeans are fresh from the drier, so you know they're at their tightest)

Not too shabby, huh? Serious baggy britches. And the spare tires? Slowly getting the air let out of them.

Shortstuff wonders why I'm taking pictures, but she thinks it's all good. (Puppygirl is camera shy)

It's a worthwhile and serious journey. But for now, I gotta tell ya. I'm having fun clothes shopping in my own closet.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Workout Playlist and Missouri 60

For the last couple of weeks I have been tweaking my workout playlist for my walk around the neighborhood. Serious music-nerd time. Compiling songs, finding the bmp for each song, ordering the songs by bmp, changing my mind, re-0rdering them, swapping out songs .... on and on it went. Today's walk was PERFECT, so I'm posting my playlist.

Hella Good - No Doubt - 115 bmp - 4:03
I'm Too Sexy - Right Said Fred - 121 bmp - 2:51
What Is Love - Haddaway - 126 bmp - 4:29
Can't Get You Out Of My Head - 126 bmp - 3:51
I Gotta Feeling - Black Eyed Peas - 128 bmp - 4:49
Uprising - Muse - 128 bmp - 5:05
Mercy - Duffy - 130 bmp - 3:40
Days Go By - Dirty Vegas - 127 bmp - 3:43
Walkin' On The Sun - Smashmouth - 125 bmp - 3:27
Stacy's Mom - Fountains Of Wayne - 118 bmp - 3:18
Today I'm Goldilocks and it's just right. Until I change my mind again...

(As a side note, having I'm Too Sexy in your playlist can be dangerous. You don't know how tempted I was to do my little turns on the catwalk while walking down the sidewalk. Knowing me and my relationship with the side-walk monster, I'd trip and fall spectacularly.)

And here's my Missouri 60 pictures... (grin)
Here is the first picture.
And here's the latest picture.

These look like, but aren't, the same pants I wore in the first picture. They're a pair of 12s I haven't fit into in a couple of years!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

It was a dark and stormy night...

It was a dark and stormy night. Rain was lashing at the windows and the wind was howling... Okay, so it was about 75 degrees out, but it was still dark and stormy and I wanted comfort food. In my house, that means curry.

Because I had the ingredients on hand, I decided to go for a hat trick. Curried sweet potato soup, curried cauliflower and lamb curry (one of The Aussie's favorite things to eat).

Curried Sweet Potato Soup (makes 8 one cup servings)
1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes
1 medium onion
2 garlic cloves
1 T olive oil
1 T curry powder
1/2 t grated ginger
4 cups stock (I use chicken, but vegetable would be fine)
salt and pepper to taste

Peel and dice the sweet potatoes into a large dice. 1 1/2 pounds will give you about 8 cups of diced potatoes. Peel and chop the onion and crush the garlic through a garlic press.

This is a fun new vegetable peeler I got at the grocery store when I was buying the sweet potatoes.

Add olive oil to large pot set over medium high heat. Add in curry powder. We like spicy, so I tend to add more than the 1 tablespoon. Mix the curry and oil together to form a paste and heat for a minute. Toasting, or "blooming" the spices, helps bring out their flavor.

Next add the diced onion and the crushed garlic. Stir to incorporate the curry paste and cook until lightly softened, about 1 minute.

Add the diced sweet potatoes ...

... and the chicken stock. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

For safety's sake, since I have been known to wear what I'm making, I let the soup cool down before I get out the stick blender. Puree until smooth. You can serve with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream, but it tastes fantastic without it.

The sous chef taking a nap on the newly washed dog bed.

Next up, lamb curry. The Aussie's mother's family emigrated from Scotland to Australia, by way of India. My MIL was born and raised in India, and this is based on her recipe. It works very well with chicken and shrimp too.

Lamb Curry (4 servings)

6 round bone lamb chops
2 T olive oil
1 medium onion
4 cloves garlic
4 T curry powder (who am I kidding, I use twice that!)
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup milk (optional)
salt to taste

Trim and cube the lamb chops. This is the time intensive part of the recipe. If the chops are slightly frozen it makes it easier to cut the meat. You don't have to use round bone chops, but the bone does add extra flavor to the curry.
Peel and dice the onion and crush the garlic with a garlic press.

As with the soup, start out with a large pot over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and curry powder and bloom the spices.

Next you'll add the onions and garlic, stirring to incorporate the curry powder.

With the pot still over medium high heat, add the cubed lamb and brown the meat for several minutes.
Add the can of diced tomatoes and stir well.
Lower heat and cover. Cook for about an hour.
This is the curry after about half an hour. At this point, remove the cover. Stir well and continue to cook without the cover so that the liquid reduces.
This is the cooked down curry. Pour in the 1/4 cup of milk and stir well.

Curried Cauliflower (serves 4)
1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
1 T olive oil
1 T curry powder
1/2 cup water
The curried cauliflower is super easy. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 T olive oil and 1 T curry powder. Add in the cauliflower florets and stir to coat with curry mixture. Add water and cover. Reduce heat and cook for 8-10 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.

And here's dinner. Yes, with the cauliflower and rice it looks a bit mono-chromatic, but it doesn't taste mono-chromatic.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

'Twas the Last Day Of Summer...

'Twas the last day of summer, and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even my Spouse...

We had a very quiet, but productive, Labor Day. When I did venture out of the house (into the 95+ degree heat) I decided to take a field trip to a (fairly) recently opened store in Coppell. Where did I go, you ask? (Ok, humor me and pretend you asked)


Sprouts is a chain of natural grocery stores. It's like farmer's market crossed with a health food store. All sorts of lovely things there. I went there to get corn on the cob, tomatoes, and to see if they carry Crunchmaster multi-seed crackers (awesome crackers).

Here's a shot of the bakery/coffee section.

And the produce section...

Some lovely fruit. (The man picking out plums next to me was a bit puzzled by my photography subjects. )

Ooh. Mangos. We love mangos. (Hanlie, I'll be trying the mango sorbet recipe soon.)

Here's a peek into my basket so far. Corn, check. Tomatoes, check. Other stuff I didn't go there to buy, check.

All in all, it was a lovely field trip on the last "official" day of summer. Oh, and they do carry the crackers I was looking for. And the Hansen's grapefruit soda, and the asparagus, and the Pirate's Booty Veggie, and the...I had fun! (grin)

And here's the final result. Dinner!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Why thank you, for me?

I'd like to thank the Academy, oops, I mean The Diva Weigh for this lovely award!

How thrilling is it to have someone read your blog, leave encouraging comments, and think that it's worth a lovely blog award. Thank you so much Linda. (I feel kind of like Sally Field saying "you like me, you really like me...")

In a pay it forward way, I'd like to list a number of blogs that I follow that are also lovely blogs that deserve a Lovely Blog award.

Being a newbie blogger, I have absolutely no idea how to link their blogs to this with hypertext, so in no particular order, because I love you all, I'll just list them. (If someone could clue me in later on how to link things I'd appreciate it)

Bookworm On A Mission

I Am Succeeding

Follow In My Footsteps

The Fab Fatties

A Merry Life

Living Lighter

Fitter Happier

Warrior Woman

Does This Blog Make Us Look Fat

We Are The Real Deal

Smile, It Helps

Prior Fat Girl

Being Da Man Ain't Easy

Fertile Healthy

Hungry Little Catarpillar

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The challenge has just begun...

It's the last day of the challenge issued by the Fabulous Fatties. For the last 22 days I've been tweeting, drinking vast amounts of water, exercising, eating lots of fruit and vegetables, journaling everything I've eaten, not drinking soda... you name, I think I did it. While I may not have lost a lot of weight, I have gotten into a groove. So while "the challenge" is almost over, for me it's just begun. I'm going to keep logging my food, water and exercise because it helps me keep track of what I'm doing and how I'm progressing towards my monthly goals. But about the not drinking soda... I've had a 6 pack of Hansen's diet ginger ale in my fridge that's been calling my name for the last three weeks!

Thanks to all of the Downsizing Divas for your company on this challenge.