Friend Makin’ Monday

Time for another Friend Makin’ Monday before I head out for Thanksgiving Break. Tonight my roomie and I will have a mini-Thanksgiving here and then tomorrow I fly to see my husband and pup. I am pretty excited!

What I am not excited about is how cold it has been here. Yesterday it was 17 degrees when my friend and I went running! Today it is a little “warmer” with a high around 32, but it was still cold enough that I am fairly certain I will be retiring my bike for the winter. I thought I could tough it out but I guess I’m a wimp (I still beat you, Kris!). At least I’m not at my parents’ house – they got over 2 feet of snow and are expecting 6 inches more! If there is anything I hate more than cold, it is snow. Sorry that I rant about the weather all the time, but basically I will never be happy unless I live somewhere that is 65 and sunny 24/7.

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If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

  The Holidays and More: Part 2

1.  What state/country do you live in?  Pennsylvania/Indiana

2.  Where were you born?  Were you raised there?  I was born and raised in a small town in Western PA. Let’s just say I get mildly offended when I’m watching Orange is the New Black because the one character is named “Pennsatucky” and I have always referred lovingly to my region as “Pennsyltucky.”

3.  How do you feel about stores like Wal-mart opening on Thanksgiving Day for pre-Black Friday sales?  Will you participate?  I think it is awful, but in the grand scheme of things it is just one part of the horrifying system we have for service workers in the US. In many other countries low-paying, no benefits (including no vacation or sick pay EVER) jobs like this would be considered absurd. I’m not sure as consumers we can do anything to keep companies from opening – it is unrealistic to think that literally no one will go out and help them bring in their revenues. What we should REALLY be fighting for is reform for part-time/low-wage employee rights if we want to make an actual difference. Note: I want to add that I am saying this as a person who volunteered (but was not selected) to work on Thanksgiving last year. I don’t think it’s inherently wrong. The problem is that in our current system where workers like I was are completely dependent on these jobs where they have almost no rights, you can never be sure who is really “volunteering.” Plus, some stores (like the store where my mother in law works) make everyone work. I won’t be shopping on Thanksgiving.

4.  Have you ever participated in a Turkey Trot?  Kris and I are doing our first Turkey Trot this year. I’m super excited!

5.  What was your favorite toy as a child? Barbies. I had hundreds. I’m not exaggerating. I literally had like 3 full-sized suitcases (how I stored them) full. I might have been spoiled.

6.  Will you count points/calories on Thanksgiving Day?  No. It is one of the few times a year where you can say “it’s just one day” (unlike all the work parties, celebrations, etc). Plus, I think it takes away something special from the holiday if you are ignoring your family and friends to plug calories into your phone. If you want more detail see my post on days that don’t “count.”

7.  Will you watch football Thursday?  If it is one I will probably watch it. I think last time I was around a TV on Thanksgiving I painfully sat through “The Phantom Menace” just because it was on and I had nothing else to do, so it can’t get much worse.

8.  Do you decorate inside/outside of your home for the holidays?  Kris and I are expanding our decorations year by year. We used to just have a tree, now we have a tree and several indoor things. I even made us stockings last year!

 I think we may have tried to hang lights last year and found that there weren’t any outside outlets? Maybe I’ll put some inside of our windows on the front of the house, though, and put out a wreath or something. I like decorating, I just don’t have much time or many decorations.

9.  Do you have allergies that prevent you from eating traditional holiday meals? Nope, but I do have allergies that prevent me from using traditional holiday decorations – I’m allergic to pine! We can therefore only have artificial trees and wreaths 😦

10.  Is it snowing where you live?  Not yet!

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions.  Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments.  We had some new FMM-ers last week so let’s be sure to make them feel welcome this week!  Happy Monday, friends!

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Food Friday

I finally tried one of the seasonal Clif bars that I ordered a few weeks ago. I am happy to report that pecan pie flavored Clif bars taste yummy. However, I am sad to report that they don’t taste very distinct. It reminded me of white chocolate macadamia nut. Still, if they were a flavor that was available year round, I’d probably buy them. Too bad they don’t seem to sell the seasonal flavors around here.

This week, I also tried two new recipes. One turned out very well, the other turned out kind of meh.

First, I made these amazing butternut squash and black bean enchiladas. I am always looking for new ways to ingest butternut squash because it was the best and as an added bonus these make a great meatless entree. I tweaked a few things (was too lazy for fresh cilantro; made mine like 10x spicier) and they turned out great! They were fairly easy to make, too, other than peeling and cubing the squash which is the only thing I don’t like about butternut squash. The other good thing about these was that I made them the day we were under tornado threat so that helped to distract me/calm me at least a little bit!

The cooking process!

About to go in the oven.

Already to eat! Don’t they look cheesy and yummy?!

My other recipe attempt came from making these enchiladas. I usually use dry black beans rather than canned (cheaper and BPA free) so to make these I had to soak the beans overnight so that I could cook the beans the next morning. I must have been super tired, though, because instead of putting in 1/2 a cup of dry beans to yield 1 1/2 cups total, I put in 1 1/2 dry beans, and ended up with 3 times the beans that I needed. I made myself a black bean-egg breakfast one day and black bean tacos a couple of nights, but still had some. So I decided to try black bean brownies which I have heard of before but never been brave enough to try. It went okay. Here is the recipe, because I blame myself, not the recipe. The brownies this person made look way different than what I ended up with! An added bonus to black bean brownies is that they are gluten free, so I will probably attempt these again for some of my flour-less friends. 

So, what went wrong? First of all, I will note that the brownies taste pretty good considering that they are made out of beans. I used peanut butter instead of chocolate chips in mine and they are quite yummy. They taste like chocolate and peanut butter with a hint of coffee (who knows why, there is no coffee in them). My problem is texture based.  Maybe it is because I used sugar free syrup instead of honey or regular syrup? Maybe it is that I baked them in cupcake cups because I didn’t have an 8×8 pan? Maybe it is because I am impatient and didn’t put them through enough chopping in the food processor? Who knows, but they just feel a bit…grainy? It could also just be me, as I am pretty sensitive to food textures.

I’ll try to pop in for a post or two over the weekend, but if I don’t get the chance, have a good Thanksgiving holiday, everyone! It seems appropriate to wish you a good food-based holiday on a food-based post, anyway 🙂

Throwback Thursday – Thanksgiving Edition

In one week it will be Thanksgiving!

Kris and I are still planning to do our Turkey Trot, and I think I’m going to go out tonight and get some supplies to make these turkey hats. I was going to just buy some at Target, but they seem to have run out. The good thing is that I think I can make these with nothing but construction paper and cardboard, and they should fit over our winter hats, which we will need because mother nature hates me and there is supposed to be a high of 43 in Charlotte on Thanksgiving Day. My only concern is getting these into my luggage without smooshing them for my travels!

Lately I’ve been feeling kind of stuck fitness-wise. I’ve been hovering at the upper end of my normal weight range all semester, which I’ve whined about before, but that doesn’t mean it has become less frustrating. If I really think about why I’ve been stuck lately, it is probably because I’ve been pretty much in hardcore training mode all semester and I’ve made a lot of big changes. I’ve run two races, started bike commuting, and went straight from half-marathon training to weight training while maintaining 15-20 miles per week of running. I’m probably stuck because I haven’t had much of a break! Looking back also really helps me to remember that I’m not a complete failure at weight-loss maintenance, though, so I thought that with the holiday coming up, I’d look back at the last few Thanksgivings in order to remind myself of that.

Thanksgiving 2010 – my first year of grad school, and before I started losing weight (actually before I reached my highest weight, I think):

Sorry that pictures that I post of you are almost always unflattering, Kris 😦 I promise he doesn’t normally run around with his eyes closed! To be fair, this is a particularly bad picture of me as well – my hair is super frizzy! I think we had just woken up.

One year later – Thanksgiving 2011, about 6 months after I started losing weight:

See! Much better picture of us both. And an especially good picture of Belle! For a real fun comparison, I am wearing this same sweatshirt in my high weight photo on the progress pics page.

One year ago – Thanksgiving 2012. This is also the first year that Kris and I had our own Thanksgiving due to me having to work at Target on Black Friday. Note that I do not really look any different than I do now (which reassures me quite a bit). I also know that I have made huge fitness progress. Today I ran an “easy” 5K in 27 minutes; last November, the only 2 5K runs that I logged on Runkeeper were over 34 minutes each!

Cooking!

We made cornish hens, green beans, and sweet potatoes. And pie, but for some reason that isn’t pictured?

Hens!

 

Our awesome table ready for us to eat!

Friend Makin’ Monday

“If you don’t like the weather in Indiana, wait five minutes.” – astute observation from one of my roommate’s students.

This is how I felt yesterday when it was nearly 70 degrees and there were tornadoes everywhere after having snow earlier in the week. We didn’t have any actual tornadoes in my town, but there was a lot of wind damage and thousands are still without power. Luckily all I had was a few scary minutes where it seemed like there might be a tornado, and then all was well again! Well, it is still windy – I actually had to get off my bike and push it this morning. 

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If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

 Holidays

1.  What are you plans for Thanksgiving this year?  I’m going to South Carolina with Kris to visit his family. We didn’t get to celebrate the holidays with any family last year (lol working retail) so the last time we went to their house was something like 2011 for Christmas? While we are down there Kris is going to join me in a 5K for the first time! I am really excited – he even went out and bought running tights and a long-sleeved t-shirt in case it is cold!

2.  At what point do you begin celebrating the Christmas season?  Usually fairly late due to my living situation. I don’t bother putting up decorations out here in Indiana because everyone leaves before Christmas, and Kris doesn’t ever do it himself, so we usually don’t end up decorating until I come home like 2 weeks before Christmas. I think last year Kris and I might have decorated the tree the weekend after Thanksgiving?  Also, I do start trying to shop and come up with ideas around the beginning of November.

3.  Do you celebrate Christmas, or do you celebrate another holiday? Just Christmas.

4.  If you could have one present (you know, a material good, not love or world peace) what would you want?  Anything??? How about enough money to pay off all of my student loan debt! Does that count as a thing?

5.  Share an idea or two that you can plan to do for someone who may need to feel loved throughout the holiday season.  I always like to make a couple of handmade gifts for people. There are a lot of ideas out there for handmade gifts under $5 – jars of baking mix, ornaments, decorated objects (i.e. picture frames). People always like if you bake things for them (cookies, bread, pies, etc), too. 

6.  Would you rather spend the holiday season on the beach or in the snow?  Oh goodness I really hate both. I will say snow because there are a lot of things I like doing at the holiday season that require cold, such as wearing sweaters and drinking hot chocolate.

7. What is your favorite Thanksgiving food?  This is going to sound kind of ridiculous but traditional Thanksgiving food is fairly meh to me. I mean, I like turkey and mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie and all but they are not my favorite. I would have to say that my favorite part is that we always buy those fancy cheeseballs and then I eat them with crackers and summer sausage. Wow, that is almost embarrassing!

8.  Will you participate in Black Friday shopping?  Probably, though I won’t spend a billion dollars or anything. I pretty much have all my gifts for people planned out and none of it is really stuff that goes on super sale anyway. I might just get a couple things that seem like good deals.  I definitely won’t go out at like 5 AM and there is basically no way I will go out on Thanksgiving (for the sake of the workers).

9.  Will you travel for the holidays or stay at home?  If you’re traveling, are you flying or driving or making alternate plans?  I’m traveling. For Thanksgiving, I am flying to PA to drive down with Kris and then I will fly back to Indiana after we drive back up, so I will be running all around. I’m actually excited, though – I love road trips with Kris and Belle’s new, safer car harness has arrived so we will all be able to travel safely! For Christmas Kris and I will just need to drive about 3 hours to see my family, which isn’t so bad.

10.  List at least 5 things for which you are currently thankful.

  1. My immediate family is in good health this year.
  2. All of my friends and family that support me through graduate school (especially my poor husband, who has to deal with weekly existential crises).
  3. That I have the  means and ability to be at graduate school in the first place.
  4. That even though I have come close (floods, tornadoes, etc) I have never personally been the victim of a natural disaster.
  5. That a little stray doggie that came to be called Belle wandered up to my parents house 4 years ago 🙂 

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions!  Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments, and take a moment to share it on Facebook and twitter too!  Why not spread the friend makin’ love?! :)  Happy Monday, friends!

 

Food Friday

Exciting event of the day:

  • Cinnamon crunch bagel from Panera
  • Er, I mean, 25 minute 5K!!

I haven’t done a 25 minute 5K in awhile, and I was going to run 4-5 miles today, but I decided to go for a one mile walk with River first, and was thinking I could reduce my running down to 3-4 miles due to the walk. I told myself that if I was going to reduce my mileage I would have to run hard, though. I ran my first half mile in under 4 minutes and thought…why don’t I try for a 25 minute 5K? I barely squeaked it in! 3.11 miles in 25:00 on the dot (no screencap from runkeeper because despite my watch saying 3.11 25:00 it imported 3.07 miles and 24 something minutes)! I would say by biggest limitation was my cardio fitness – my heart rate kept hitting max near the end and I was having trouble breathing! My legs don’t even hurt. I find this interesting consider all of the running I do and my lack of strength training. Also, my husband has the opposite problem. His legs hurt, but he has no trouble breathing. Interesting!

In other exciting news, I received these in the mail this week:

Yay for seasonal Clif bars! They don’t sell them anywhere around here except the bike shop and they were out. I was very happy when a deal to get one of each for $3 with free shipping came up on the company’s Twitter. I barely use Twitter, but I’m glad that I check it occasionally because I got these bars. I’ve only tried the pumpkin, and I ate it when ravenous and didn’t pay much attention, so I don’t know how they really taste yet. Expect an update soon!

I also tried two new “recipes” this week. Well, only one was really a recipe, but we’ll go with calling it that for now.

First: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars. I had 2 containers of cream cheese to use up, so I looked for a pumpkin cream cheese recipe. These are really good! They taste like pumpkin pie topped with oatmeal, basically. The only thing I don’t like is that I expected them as a bar to be more solid. They are very weak/crumbly so they aren’t really good for bars that you could like carry around or something. Also, warning: this recipe is not for beginners, as it involves making crust from scratch. Even though I have done this before, I still messed it up (almost forgot to put oatmeal in and baked it for 30 seconds before taking it out of the oven to mix it in, melting the butter).

 

I also made some homemade almond butter with the almonds I bought on sale. This turned out great! It was easy, but it takes a lot of patience. The person who wrote the “recipe” (more like instructions has a lot of great pictures, but I thought I’d add some of my own, too, so you can really believe this takes patience. Picture 2 is about 5 minutes in, and I swear it didn’t change in appearance for another 10 minutes! I almost gave up then started to see little liquidy spots and persevered! The final product took about 20 minutes. I used 1 cup of almonds just to experiment and ended up with about 1/2 – 3/4 cup of almond butter. I did stir a little sea salt into it at the end.

After only a few seconds of grinding. Already all chopped up!

After about 5 minutes. I was thinking I was almost done – it’s already clumping together!

The final product!

 

Winter Running

Winter showed up a couple weeks “early” (who am I kidding, this is the midwest, I’m surprised it didn’t show up in September) – it snowed for the first time yesterday. I have a bit of a personal “code” when it comes to running outside. Basically, I feel guilty for running inside unless it is:

  • Raining (because glasses)
  • Under 20 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Blizzarding

Yesterday, it was a whole 26 degrees and snowing only lightly, so I opted for running outside. This is not that abnormal for me – I just bundled up and went. It went well for about the first 2 miles, but then I got a lot of phlegm in my throat and it was harder to breathe so I had to slow down. As I get used to the cold, though, I am sure it will improve.

Anyway, I then went home and posted a Facebook status about how hardcore I am for running in the snow (because I’m modest like that). My two most amusing responses:

  • Disbelief/amazement (from someone who biked to school, which I refrained from due to the ice)
  • The opinion that this does NOT make me hardcore but silly (why run outside when I could chose to be WARM??)

In addition to the fact that I will feel guilty for being too “lazy” to run outside in the cold, I really just prefer running outside, which is a major reason that I do it. I really hate treadmills – in fact, my first time on a treadmill was less than a year ago because I used to find them terrifying.

EXACTLY what I imagined would happen the moment I stepped on a treadmill:

Additionally, I don’t think it is that difficult to stay warm outside when running. In fact, I got somewhat sweaty out there running yesterday. I’ve had years of practice at staying warm in the winter, though – not only am I the COLDEST person alive (I might currently be wrapped in two blankets while wearing a sweater under a hoodie), but I was also in marching band for years. Note: marching band involves wearing “nothing” but a polyester uniform during football season. At the beginning of the season, this is way too warm; by the end of the season, you have discovered how to hide hundreds of layers under it. Since I find it so easy to bundle up for outdoor winter activities, I thought I’d discuss what exactly I wear to stay warm. I will probably link to a few specific products/discuss some specific brands, but these are mostly for illustrative purposes; most of my stuff was purchased because it was super cheap, not because I thought it was the best brand ever, and it works fine.

  • On my head: I typically wear one of those headbands that goes around your ears. I think the one linked is the one I have, and I got it for like $5 last year. It works fine, but I would note that even Target has much nicer ones (meaning that this is basically the crappiest one in the world and it still works fine). I might be switching to a hat – my hair keeps me less warm now that I cut it short and it flies out of my headband. Additionally, the headband doesn’t fit under my bike helmet very well. I bought a beanie at Dollar Tree for these purposes; I will have to provide an update on how that works out.
  • On my torso: This depends a little on temperature/conditions. If it is sunny and in the upper 30s/low 40s, I just wear an insulated long-sleeved shirt. I linked an Under Armour one, which I actually have. It is quite pricey, but I would note that I have owned this shirt for 12 years and it still works fine (I wore it all throughout high school, it is quite stretchy so it only stopped fitting senior year or so and has fit since I lost weight, so maybe 5-6 years of actual use?). I would note, however, that I also have an off-brand one from TJ Maxx that I love because it rides up less and has thumbholes and was like $20. So you don’t necessarily need the $50 shirt. If it is windy/cloudy/below 35ish, I add a fleece jacket. I have this one, which I purchased only because I worked at Target and it came in red and I needed a cheap jacket to wear at work. I have no loyalty to this jacket. In fact, I bought this one yesterday to wear for non-running purposes because I think the red one is ugly (don’t tell the red one!).
  • On my legs: I usually wear insulated running tights. The ones I have are some brand I have never heard of, but you could reference Under Armour cold gear again. The insulated ones will have a fuzzy inside, if you are uncertain of what to get. My legs don’t usually get as cold, so I also find that sometimes just plain compression tights without any insulation (like the ones I am wearing in my trail race photo) work fine. If they are see through or very tight, I wear regular running shorts over them. I saw yesterday that Old Navy is now carrying tights like this with a built in skirt over them, which is nice, but I haven’t tried those yet.
  • On my hands: I have two pairs of gloves. One pair is a cheap pair from Target, which I like because they tend to get dirty and I don’t mind ruining them, but this pair (unlike the one I linked to) is not touchscreen compatible. I do have a pair of Isotoner Smart Touch gloves that are much warmer (and are touchscreen compatible) and sometimes I sacrifice them (I do have 2 pairs, after all) to stay a little warmer.
  • On my feet. I just wear normal running socks and shoes most of the time (I buy my running socks cheaply at TJ Maxx). If you have very thin shoes or get cold feet easily you might want to wear wool running socks or add wool socks over your regular running socks. I’ve heard Smart Wool’s PhD socks (note: random link, not sure if good price) are good for that purpose. I also have spikes I can put over my shoes in the case that it is very icy. Note: these do not work well unless there is ice everywhere, because otherwise they just cause you pain from hitting against the pavement. The ones I linked are random ones I got as a present. I’m sure any brand is equally lovely.

Oh, and by the way – this is a great tool for figuring out roughly what you should wear given your weather conditions, in case you didn’t know about it yet!

Grocery Shopping

I have had a lovely weekend!

Yesterday, I played Settlers of Catan and a new to me game called Suburbia with my roommate and one of her friends. We enjoyed some wine and I enjoyed some super spicy chipotle salsa. It was spicy for me, so that meant that everyone else had to resort to medium – I can handle ridiculously spicy food. Like, I didn’t realize Indian food was spicy level of spice tolerance. We also went out for stir fry at Hu Hot (one of my favorite restaurants), where I again ate ridiculously spicy food. Yumm!

Today started out with a 5 mile trail run with one of my friends. I am always nervous about running with others, but then when I get out there I remember I like it. It can get boring out there by yourself sometimes. As I’ve said to Kris (and others) – I don’t think I’ll ever be able to train for a marathon until I have some regular running buddies, because I can’t imagine doing 18 or 20 mile runs alone! I also did some grocery shopping and baking today (there will be great things for Food Friday) and after a yummy steakhouse dinner (though we all had chicken, oops) I came home and watched some Twin Peaks with my roommate. We are about 2/3 of the way through the show and while we are sort of like “WTF” every 5 seconds we just can’t stop. WE MUST KNOW WHAT HAPPENED.

One of the other things I did today was to go grocery shopping. Ever since I started eating at maintenance, I just cannot believe how much more food I buy. I used to be able to shop for myself for like $20/week! I spend especially more now that I work out all the time and have to eat even more food. I remember when I was making this painful transition last year, I just could not understand why my grocery bill seemed to have doubled…then I realized that I was literally eating twice as much food *facepalm.* I am trying to be a little more purposeful with my shopping, though – a major reason that I baked today was that I had 2 complete containers of cream cheese that I had NO IDEA what to do with. I thought it might be a nice exercise to go over everything I bought and see if I could connect a purpose with it and reflect on that a bit. FYI, this was about $40.

Produce

  • Baby carrots. For snacks and in lunches.
  • Sliced white mushrooms. To add to pastas, stir frys, and salads.
  • Butternut squash. To make some butternut squash black bean enchiladas!
  • Clementines. They are the seasonal fruit right now. I usually try to have at least one quick to eat fruit laying around for lunch or snacks.
  • Avocado. For wraps or salads or to put on my chili or something. It didn’t have a price but it so I just got one. I should have gotten more, they were 3/$5 and in great shape (hence me buying one without a price).

Dairy

  • Shredded cheddar cheese. I melt cheese like this on lots of things, so this something I pretty much always buy. I will probably put it on chili and some enchiladas I am going to make.
  • Greek yogurt. I got one container of the store brand organic greek yogurt to try. I’ll either have this as a quick breakfast or afternoon snack.

Frozen

  • Ice cream. I always like to have some for a go-to dessert, because I usually have at least one little dessert like this before bed.

Nuts

  • Emerald breakfast on the go. I like these for quick snacks to put in my desk. They are cheaper than Clif bars (though I might have ordered one of each of the seasonal flavors this week…) which is a plus. I got the maple flavor to try. So far I have tried breakfast blend and berry nut blend and I prefer breakfast blend.
  • Raw almonds. These are on sale right now, so I bought a pound. I experimented with making homemade almond butter and will probably try to make some flavored almonds. These replaced my Sam’s Club sized container of cocoa almonds I finished with my lunch today.

Grains

  • Oatmeal. I eat it for breakfast and bake with it. I got the gigantic-est one.
  • Bread. It’s bread, I don’t think it needs a justification. I usually get enough out for just a couple sandwiches and freeze the rest, and it lasts for weeks.

Canned Goods

  • Enchilada sauce. For the enchiladas.
  • Rotel. Also for the enchiladas.

Other? (AKA stuff I didn’t know where else to put)

  • Garlic hummus. For dipping carrots in and putting on wraps.
  • Cocoa powder. For the potential cocoa almonds.
  • Extra dark chocolate bar. I had a coupon that makes it free, so there was no reason not to buy it.

Evaluation: I really came out of there feeling like I had roamed around without a purpose and probably purchased too much stuff. After writing out my justifications, I think I did better than expected, though. I might not have needed ice cream because I baked a dessert, and I might not have NEEDED bread since I have leftover chili and will probably have leftover enchiladas to eat in lunches. I also may have bought slightly too many snacks, but I might also eat more snacks than I am admitting here.

Sorry if my grocery list was boring! I just really wanted this exercise in reflection. If you really want something to contrast this list with, a grocery list before I lost weight was more like:

  • 1 case of diet soda
  • Several (like 3) frozen pizzas
  • Tortilla chips
  • Queso dip
  • Cereal or yogurt (not greek) for breakfast
  • Lunchmeat/cheese/bread
  • Chips
  • Cookies
  • Ice cream

While I still eat all of these things (well, I rarely eat potato chips, they aren’t very filling so I only eat them at parties and stuff like that), keep in mind that this was my regular list and not my list of occasional additions (i.e. I have all the ingredients for nachos right now but they last for like, a month now). I think it is really telling that that list has no veggies and the only snacks are chips, cookies and nachos. Also, I find it interesting that I drink far less diet soda now that I am not trying to lose weight. Not that I drink regular soda or think that there is a problem with diet soda. I love diet soda (I’m a HUGE Coke Zero fan) I just don’t rely on drinking it at home because I drink so much more water now. I used to drink 3-4 cans a day because I didn’t really realize I could drink anything else! I would say one other major difference is that frozen pizza is less of a diet staple for me. This is probably more the result of me actually figuring out how to cook than me trying to be healthier, though (after all, they do make pizza with vegetables on it, apparently).