Monthly Archives: June 2011
On Monday night, a few girlfriends and I met up at the new Adobo Mexican Restaurant which has now taken the place of the old Our Best on Bardstown Road in Fern Creek. It looks exactly the same, just with a new paint job and different decor on the inside. I’m glad we chose it as Mexican restaurants are usually a safe bet for me as a vegetarian and the location was good for all of us to meet up in the middle.
The restaurant wasn’t too busy when we walked in and were seated right away. As we walked back to our table, we spotted the “Guacamole Bar” which I wish I had gotten a photo of. Basically, they make their guacamole fresh right when you order it. We couldn’t resist!
This appetizer was $8 but I swear, it was enough for the four of us and then some! Totally worth it too, I’m not kidding when I say this is the BEST guacamole I have ever had. It was fresh, creamy and even a bit spicy. Sorry, Qdoba, you have been replaced!
Like many Mexican restaurants do, they offered 99 cent margaritas on Mondays, so I decided to try one, you know, to review for the blog ;-)
It was really tasty. I usually don’t do “on the rocks” but I tried it because the frozen version was $1.99, which isn’t bad either but I thought I’d pick the cheap one this time ;-) I’m glad I did because I think I might like it better this way!
I forgot to take a photo of my entree but I ordered the veggie burrito with no cheese or sour cream. The vegetables in the burrito were surprisingly tasty and included zucchini, broccoli, onions, peppers and beans. It came with a side of rice.
Sometimes without the cheese and sour cream the dish can suffer (because they don’t try to do anything else with it) but this one did not. There was a nice garnish of lettuce, onion and spices on the side that I spread over it, plus a few dollops of guac :)
I enjoyed it very much, took the other half of it for lunch today and it was just as good reheated. It wasn’t the best Mexican restaurant I have ever been to but for a new place in a city with so many restaurants, it did stand out to me. The guacamole bar was really unique to me, I had never seen that before.
The prices were good too. For my entree, plus the drink, plus half the guacamole (me and a friend split the cost for the table) my bill came to $15 and I had leftovers so you figure that for 2 meals, not bad :)
We’ve all been bragging about it to our other friends and definitely want to go back soon. Although the veggie options are not plentiful, I’d be perfectly fine just eating the chips & guacamole!
On Thursday, I was really feeling the need for yoga. This usually happens when I am tired, sore, stiff and just needing some time to myself to focus on realigning my body and mind. I quickly remembered that they do offer classes here at work so I checked the schedule and sure enough, there was a 4:00 class that lasted an hour. Perfect!
The teacher was new to me but I knew instantly that I was going to enjoy the class. I love how each yoga instructor brings something different, puts their own special touch on their teaching. I’ve been doing yoga for several years now (off and on) and this was the first time I had done what I will now refer to as “on the wall yoga” :)
I’ve used a wall before for balance during tree pose, before I got steady enough to do it on my own, and also for laying down poses like “legs up the wall” for relaxation. But no kidding, the entire class was on the wall! I wish I could’ve taken some photos but that would’ve been weird so I went searching instead.
We started out using the wall to work on our downward facing dog pose.
Only instead of placing our
paws hands on the floor, we were standing and placed them on the wall. We also transitioned from downward dog to plank, did some side planks, and then worked on our chatarunga, which is one of the most challenging yoga moves for me personally. The instructor said it was good to practice on the wall because some of our body weight is still in our legs and not so much pressure is placed on the wrists. This must have worked because today, my triceps are really sore!
This is what it normally looks like on the floor:
After doing this for a while, we started working on triangle and warrior II, placing the little toe side of our back foot against the wall for support and our hand for balance if we needed it. It was during these poses (especially triangle) that the instructor noticed my tendency to hyper-extend my legs. I’ve always been conscious of this but she helped show me a way to put a slight bend in the knee and engage the calf and thigh in order to get the same strengthening effect in the leg without hurting the joints. I love how I learn something new every time I do yoga!
But my favorite time of this class had to be when we did half moon pose. This is one I feel like I can NEVER do, mostly because I don’t practice it much. But I can never get my leg up very far or keep my balance very long. We started out in triangle, then turned a bit and extended the back leg up the wall. The full expression of the pose is like this:
So just picture that with that back foot against the wall and that front hand on a block and you get me :) We did each side a couple of times and eventually, when we felt comfortable, we could gradually remove the foot from the wall. It was amazing! I felt such a sense of confidence from being able to do these more challenging poses, not to mention the incredible stretching!
After all those standing poses, we finally sat down and did some bridges with our feet up on the wall.
For relaxation, we did some legs up the wall and lying down spinal twists (not using the wall) then shavasana. It felt so good do this after all that hard work:
I was so glad that I went to this class, it was meant to be. I’m definitely going to have to practice some of these poses on the wall at home. And maybe go back to this class next Thursday too :)
For those of you who may be new to my blog, you may not know that from 2007-2008, I lost 70 pounds through my own hard work and lifestyle changes. When I was getting ready to turn 25, I found that I just wasn’t happy. Sure, I was married to a great guy, had a good job and managed to have a social life with my wonderful friends. But I did not like myself. The way I looked, the way I felt, nothing. So I worked hard and I changed.
But, ever since I reached a certain point on the scale, I’ve been obsessing (off and on) about how to get past it. I never really reached my original “goal” weight but I got to a comfortable point and never made it any further. When the number doesn’t go down, I get frustrated and think I’ve failed somehow. Then there are some times when that number starts to creep up and I get worried, especially when my clothes start to get tighter. So I refocus, get those few pesky pounds off and I’m back to where I was. This especially happens in the summer, I’ve come to refer to it as my “summer fluff.”
I know a lot of people think maintenance is easy but I do not. I feel like it has been a much harder struggle than weight loss ever was for me. Maybe that is because it’s been so long ago now that maintenance mode has just taken over. But I feel like every choice I make is important and if I don’t want to end up back where I was in pre-2007, I have to always be working hard at it. Partially, that is true. But I also need to stop putting so much pressure on myself. Because I know me and when I’m under pressure, it’s no good. It doesn’t motivate me, it breaks me down.
So, recently I have ceased weighing myself. I think it’s been well over a month since I’ve stepped on any scale. While I’ve given up weighing before, this time I feel like I really don’t care what I weigh anymore. Not in a “I’m giving up” way but in a “I’m breaking free from this torture” way. If I’m still wearing the same clothes I was after my initial weight loss, if I feel good and if I can be comfortable where I am, then why does it matter if I weigh one number or another? Why am I always trying to improve when I’m perfectly fine where I am?
I have also realized that by always being focused on calories, weight, exercise, that I am missing so much of the rest of my life. Did I mention I’m turning 30 next year? ;-)
If I’m being real with myself, I have to remember that I originally sought to lose weight for health reasons. I was sick, borderline everything and only 25 — a scary situation. These days, I am very healthy, all of my numbers are in the optimal ranges and my doctors are always impressed with my diet and workout regimen. So why do I care that I don’t have a flat stomach? Why do I care that I never got out of a certain “decade” in weight numbers? None of those things are health-related anymore.
I think some of it is comparing myself to others, seeing people my same age and height that weigh a lot less than I do. Some of it is the media I’m sure, even though I like to deny that one a lot. Some of it is my natural perfectionism. I am my own worst critic sometimes. But I’m making some great progress!
I hope she doesn’t mind me saying this but I had a real breakthrough when my friend Stephanie posted the following statement on her blog: “in my head, i’ve always admired very lean women, with their flat stomachs, small chests, and perfect pencil legs. but in my heart, i realize that’s not me, and i’m better learning to love what i do have than longing for what i don’t have.”
It was like the light shone down from above and the chorus sang “Hallelujah!” I had a major revelation about myself thanks to some thoughts from a friend about her own situation. This is why blogging is great and why we need to communicate with each other through this medium.
Little by little, I am learning to embrace who I am, my life, the body that I have and you know what? It’s great! Instead of wanting to be the next size down, I love my size. I also love that I have to buy one size at one store and a different one at another because clothes are made differently and I am not shaped like anyone else but me. It’s okay that I can’t wear low rise jeans, really. It’s better to wear what is flattering than to try to hide what is not in order to be trendy.
So if you’ve ever felt this way too, my advice would be this: instead of focusing on the things we don’t have or what we do have that we don’t like, we need to start focusing on our strengths. I’ll go first.
I may not have a flat stomach but I have incredible arms! Stuff may jiggle in places I don’t like but darn it, I have completed 5 half marathons, I still work out 5 days a week and I feel incredible! I am also feeding my body the healthiest diet I know and still allowing myself the occasional splurges (I heart french fries). I may never wear a two-piece but my doctors say I am very healthy!
Does it get any better than that? I think not :)
I’ve never been much for hobbies. I got into some things as a kid, teenager and young adult but never stuck with anything long-term. I have a hard time prioritizing and making time for things like hobbies (read: possible form of adult a.d.d.) and my Google calendar speaks volumes about how much time I spend and what I spend it on.
But, somehow, in the past several months, I have managed to take up a couple of hobbies.
First, my friend Wendy started teaching me how to knit. She had taken some classes at a local yarn shop here in Louisville and enjoyed it very much. She started sharing with me the things she had made and I was so impressed. And then I thought…wow, how cool would it be to make your own stuff?
Here are some things Wendy has made:
She graciously took me under her wing and showed me how to knit, perl and cable stitch. She’s also fixed a lot of mistakes and helped me when I got frustrated, which seems to happen more than I care to admit. For someone who just learned herself, she is quite the amazing teacher!
It took me FOREVER because I believe I started this when we still had snow on the ground, not to mention started, stopped, started over, changed yarn…but, I finally finished my first full knitting project, a fuzzy pink cable scarf!
I probably bit off more than I could chew for my first project. Scarves are a lot of work!
Especially when you consider that this was a cable scarf. For this particular project, that meant that every 6 rows at the right point, I had to pull off two stitches with a hook, knit the next two stitches down and then knit the two I pulled off from the hook. Sound complicated? It was. But it looks great once you are done!
Around the same time I started learning to knit, at our Wednesday night girl’s potlucks, we started receiving crochet instruction from our friend Kristin B. She taught herself how to crochet a while back using YouTube videos and she is very talented! She makes all sorts of things and sells her goods at craft shows and in some local shops. She also has an etsy site!
Courtesy of KB&T
In the past few months, Kristin has taught us how to single, double and triple crochet and we’ve done little fun things like make flowers.
Courtesy of KB&T
Again, since it was still cold and snowy when we were learning, I decided to make a crocheted scarf. I actually finished this one before the knitted scarf but it’s definitely a bit more rough and uneven. It started out wide and got a little narrower, then evened out for the last half or so. But I’ll still wear it!
I am just proud that I finished something!
So of course, now that knitting/crocheting is my hobby, I am totally obsessed with yarn, needles and crafty magazines. I walk into either Ben Franklin, Hobby Lobby or JoAnn’s about once a week, even if I don’t buy anything. I also joined the website Ravelry, an online knitting/crocheting community. Since these scarves were both big projects, I’m hoping to focus more on dish cloths, head bands and other smaller things for a bit :)
I still don’t spend as much time on my hobbies as I would like, but it definitely gives me something new to do on road trips and helps keep my hands busy on nights when I want to take too many trips to the pantry for snacks. But more than that, it keeps me calm. And even though I have only finished two things so far, that sense of accomplishment is a great feeling too. I can’t wait to make more stuff for myself, my house, for gifts and who knows what else.
I also think this may be true, in some cases…
Ha ha! Kidding. Sort of.
Do you have a hobby?
I have been reading Jenna’s blog for years, which means that for a long time, I have been drooling over her recipes! But it’s possible that I have either a) never made any of them myself or b) I have but it’s been so long that I can’t remember.
Well, whichever situation it is, I finally remedied that!
Jenna has a lot of vegan recipes on Eat Live Run but I chose to recreate her originally non-vegan Cinnamon Toast Muffins because I knew they were something my husband and friends would enjoy and that I could easily make some substitutes for myself in order to make it vegan.
1 and 1/2 cups organic whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze)
1/2 cup organic sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 Ener-G egg replacer “egg” (1.5 tsp powder + 2 tbsp warm water)
1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
Dash of salt
Topping: 4 tablespoons vegan butter (I used Earth Balance), 1/2 cup organic sugar, 1 heaping tsp cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients in one big bowl and the wet ingredients in a second, smaller bowl. Combine the two together and mix until well combined (I always have trouble with flour sticking to the bottom of my bowl so I make sure to scrape the bottom really good as I mix). Bake in a greased muffin tin for 25 minutes, poke center muffin with toothpick to make sure they are done.
To make the topping, melt the butter on the stove and then stir in the sugar and cinnamon. I thought mine was too chunky so I added a little water, then it was too runny so I couldn’t get it to stick very well. Next time I will just roll the muffins in the chunks :)
This recipe yielded 8 muffins for me, I actually used the wrong measuring cup for the flour, milk, and sugar and you will see that Jenna’s original recipe called for more of those three ingredients, so if I had managed to do that correctly, I may have gotten 9 or 10. But they were still awfully delicious!
I took these for dessert to my in-laws house a while back and everyone seemed to enjoy them, but I also had some for breakfast, which I have to say they were probably better suited for. I recommend 10 seconds in the microwave, plus a smear of peanut butter.
Thanks Jenna for sharing amazing recipes with the world. I will definitely make this one again!
Have you tried any great recipes recently? Feel free to share in the comments section!
Yes, you read that right, it is not a typo or even sarcasm. I really do appreciate Mondays more than the average person.
It’s kind of funny to read Facebook posts on Monday mornings. People recovering from a busy weekend and heading back to work are groaning and complaining that Mondays are the worst days ever. While I was pretty busy myself this weekend and had to get up for work this morning too, I still find myself inspired and excited about Mondays.
For one thing, Monday is the day I feel most motivated to work out. I tend to indulge a bit on the weekends, not just with food but with relaxation and naps. So on Monday it’s time to get back to the grind, either outside or in the gym (90 degrees outside today = gym for me). Starting a new week off with a workout means I am likely to keep it up the rest of the week and feel really good about myself too. Today, I plan to hit the stair master for a bit and then perhaps do some weights or an ab workout.
I also tend to eat the healthiest on Monday. After a weekend indulgence, my body craves fresh, whole foods and lots of water, which is exactly what I give it. I also like to spend more time cooking dinner on Mondays because I don’t have anywhere to be that evening, unlike Tuesday – Thursday evenings and most of the weekend. Tonight, I will probably make a standard Monday night dish for me of whole grain pasta with organic garden sauce, add some veggies, chik’n strips, nutritional yeast and have a salad on the side too. Sort of like this one:
I also like Mondays because it’s one of the only evenings during the week that my husband and I spend the whole time together. We usually have dinner and then watch a movie or catch up on some tv shows we’ve recorded on the DVR, then flip over to WWE Monday Night Raw and watch as much of that as we can stand before having to call it a night because we’re old and have to go to bed early, ha ha.
What about you? Monday fan or not?