Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I like the convenience of the gym I recently joined, it's so close to my house. The training is leaving a lot to be desired. Or should I say, the lack of training... Last night, after waiting for him for almost 15 minutes (I was on the treadmill and elliptical warming up) my trainer had to reschedule my session. Two of his trainers were out and since he's the trainer manager he has to cover their appointments. The sessions are only 30 minutes, so he would have had to stop before my session was over. We rescheduled the session for today's lunch hour. I show up and he isn't even there. The guy at the front desk, I think he's the owner, gets through to him on the phone. He says he'll be there in just a few minutes. By 26 past the hour I give up and leave. That's twice now he hasn't been there for a scheduled session. I don't care if they say it's on the house. I NEED A TRAINER.

Shrinkvivor: Outfit, Outlose, Outlast

I've got to hand it to The Sisterhood. They come up with some cool challenges. Today is the start of Shrinkvivor. I am a die-hard Survivor watcher, so this sounds like a really cool challenge. Go Tribe Yellow!

These challenges are good because they motivate you to accomplish something, but they also introduce you to new people. The support system you grow through The Sisterhood and through new twitter friends is so important. We all need support, I know I certainly do. The possibility/likelihood of being voted off by my tribemates terrifies me, but I'm just going to have to suck it up! The last challenge I joined, Burst Into Summer, I totally got off course on. The crappy 10K on July 4th weekend, and my trainer, Barbie's Evil Twin, moving away to Vegas, really threw me off. Clean slate time. New gym, starting with new trainer, and hopefully, a new improved attitude.

Starting weight: 174.0

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hunger Challenge Recipe

I had good intentions on following through on this challenge. Getting sick put a big damper on this plan as well as just about all others this past week. I'm still not 100%, but slowly I'm getting better. Here's an easy and inexpensive soup recipe. I've made it with chicken broth, but if you're vegetarian you could make it with vegetable broth. These prices come from my list that I've made up from my grocery receipts as well as my recent foray to Super H Mart and are broken down by how much I used. This soup makes 4 very generous servings. I had a half a package of the tofu in the fridge that needed using, otherwise I would have used the entire package.

Asian Soup
1 carton of Pacifica lowfat organic chicken broth ($1.67 Costco)
2 bunches of soba noodles ($.86 Super H Mart)
1/4 pound Shanghai bok choy, thinly sliced ($.55 Super H Mart)
1 carrot, thinly sliced ($.08 Super H Mart)
1 can whole straw mushrooms ($1.49 Super H Mart)
1/2 package firm tofu, cubed ($.60 Super H Mart)

Total: $5.24 for 4 servings ($1.31 per serving)

Heat the chicken broth in a medium-large pot. While this is heating, boil water to cook soba noodles. Add the sliced bok choy, carrots, straw mushrooms and cubed tofu to the broth to heat. Cook the soba noodles for 5 minutes, drain, rinse and add to the soup. I flavored this soup with 1/2 t sesame oil, 1/4 t chili oil, 1/2 t garlic powder, 1/8 t ginger paste and 1/2 t soy sauce. I do not have per serving price breakdown of these items yet as they are pantry staples. I will have to price them on my next trip out.

Monday, September 12, 2011

2011 Hunger Challenge

I'm not going to lie to you. This will not be an easy challenge to do. It will, however, be a worthwile challenge to try. Meal planning isn't simple for me, primarily because The Aussie tends to be a fussy eater. Meat and potatoes, meat and rice (plain with gravy or sauce) with some veggies thrown in, tend to be the way he rolls.

In preparation for this challenge, I started going through grocery receipts to see what I've paid for frequently purchased items, I've prowled through various grocery stores with a notebook and pen, jotting down prices and servings. What I'm finding has surprised me.

To start with, I did some grocery shopping at The World's Largest Retailer on Saturday morning. I purchased a few things that we were low on, and took LOTS of notes. On the way home, I stopped at another discount grocery store to write down a few comparison prices. Once home, I started writing down recipes and calculating cost per serving. Since I'm using the $4.72 per person, per day allowance, I need to know how much what I want to cook will cost.

Breakfast, at least for The Aussie, was easy. He basically eats 1 of 3 things, along with his coffee, every day.

Breakfast 1: Eggo Nutrigrain waffles (2), 1 T butter, 1 ounce of real maple syrup = .55+.09+.40=$1.04

Breakfast 2: 1 cup of Kellogg's cornflakes, 1 c 2% milk, 1 t sugar = .13+.15+.01=.29

Breakfast 3: 1 serving oats, 1/2 c 2% milk, 1 t sugar=.06+.08+.01=.15

Yesterday afternoon I went to an Asian grocery store in my town because I had some coupons for fruits and vegetables that were expiring that day. What a madhouse it was! It was also enlightening. The vegetables you can purchase at an Asian grocery store are super fresh, very reasonably priced, and there is a tremendous variety. If you like cooking Chinese food, you can buy your staples like soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil and chili paste much cheaper than you can in the specialty section at your regular grocery store. I also found chicken thighs (bone in with the backbone section) at this store for .69 per pound. That's a huge difference between the 1.08 per pound and 3.36 per pound at the first large store I went to. Do I like to buy organic? Yes. If I was on a food stamp budget would I have that luxury? No. The entire package of 5.28 pounds was $3.64 and it contained 9 large pieces. That's .40 per chicken thigh.

Last night for dinner I made a spicy chicken curry. The Aussie is sick, so I figured he might be able to taste something spicy (I was wrong). Here's my cost breakdown for TWO SERVINGS for this meal:

2 large chicken thighs (.80)
1 chopped onion (.20)
1 can diced tomatoes (.48)
2 garlic cloves (.08)
2 T vegetable oil (.06)
curry powder (.20)
rice (.12)
peas (.25)
Total for meal: $2.19 for two people

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Which would you choose?

Now that I'm starting to get back into running, soon it will be time to get in some long-ish runs. I'm looking forward to them, especially since we're having a wave of cooler temperatures. I was looking through my packages of sports chews in the pantry this afternoon, trying to organize things, and started reading labels. One packet was a brand I haven't tried, but was given out at a race expo. I love samples. The other two were brands I've tried, one of whom I absolutely love to have with me on long run/race days. The labels read as follows:

Brand 1 ingredients: sucrose, corn syrup, water, gelatin, vitamin premix (sodium ascorbate, acrola concentrate, potassium chloride, sodium chloride, green tea, pyridoxine HCL, cyanocobalamin, sodium selenite), pectin, citric acid, natural flavors, sodium citrate, paprika extract (color), carnauba wax, carmine.

Brand 2 ingredients: organic rice syrup, organic rice syrup solids, organic evaporated cane juice, pectin, organic white grape juice concentrate, citric acid, sea salt, colors added (black carrot juice concentrate), natural flavors, organic sunflower oil, carnauba wax.

Brand 3 ingredients: organic tapioca syrup, organic evaporated cane juice, organic honey, organic grape juice concentrate, pectin, citric acid, color (black carrot juice concentrate (red), annatto (orange)), ascorbic acid, natural flavors, potassium citrate, organic sunflower oil, carnauba wax.

Alrighty then. I might love samples, but I don't love the ingredients on bag number 1. What surprises me is that they bothered using natural flavors...