Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Tonight's Dinner: July 16, 2013

Over the weekend I got us a rotisserie chicken from Costco because I knew I wouldn't be in the mood to cook after my work outs this week.  It has been increasingly more difficult to get motivated to cook after the gym.  This is mostly because I'm just not that hungry to eat anything big.

Nick deboned the chicken while I did a quick stirfry of my remaining kale and a bunch of spinach.  We also had the rest of our curry-kale soup.  It was a lot of food and after the soup, we weren't very hungry for the rest of the food.  Because of my tough workouts, I've gotten much better with eating left overs simply because I'm tired and neither Nick or I are feeling creative enough to put together interesting meals.  The rotisserie chicken really does help with getting a pretty healthy dinner on the table.  I can't even imagine how it's going to be when we have kids.

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Tonight's Dinner: July 15, 2013

Although the rest of the country is going through a heat wave, it's been a little chilly in our neck of the woods.  After some intense climbing, I made an awesome Japanese curry based kale and bbq chicken soup.  I was craving chicken so I stopped by Sprouts on the way home to pick some up since I hadn't defrosted any.  

Emmy and I went for a short run while Nick grilled up the chicken quarters.  When I got home from the run, I still hadn't made up my mind on what we would have with the chicken.  I finally decided on making a soup.  Halfway through cooking, we thought it was a good idea to put the chicken in the soup.  It turned out really well and the soup tasted fantastic.  I was really patting myself on the back for whipping up such a tasty soup on the fly. I guess I forgot to take a picture, but I do have a picture of left over soup in my next post. 

BBQ Chicken and Kale soup 
3 quarts water
2 beef bouillon cubes
2 portions of packed curry bricks5+ cups organic kale
2 bbq or roasted chicken quarters 
Boil water and let beef bouillon and curry dissolve.  Once broth comes to a rolling boil, add kale and chicken.  Let simmer for 15-30 minutes.    

Tonight's Dinner: July 14, 2013

Our friend Frank came over to get out of his parents' house that he recently moved back into during his home buying transition.  He was so desperate to get out of the house that he came to watch the A's game and help me finish put together our wedding invitations.  He admitted that he didn't even have a hand in his own wedding invitations.  Welp, he helped put the finishing touches on the last 70 of our invites.  He's a pro at using a glue gun and tooth pick now. (Nick was at a shooting match so Frank and I had a spouseless craft date.) As a payment, I fed him Costco sushi, lots of beer and later on a garlic filled dinner.  Jenelle, his wife, was on a vacation with her family and absolutely detests garlic.  So I felt it was my duty as a friend to stuff him with as much garlic as I could. We then walked to a gay bar to check it out and experienced our first Drag show.  It was pretty awesome, but we did stick out like sore thumbs.  Everyone there was really nice and the place had a really cool lounge feel.

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Chicken apple sausage, garlic broccoli, cous cous, and
garlic-rosemary low fat Greek yogurt.

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Tonight's Dinner: July 13, 2013

Congrats to April and Shon!  Nick and I spent the evening in Livermore dancing and eating at April and Shon's wedding.  They had a really tasty BBQ buffet reception at the Retzlaff Vineyards.  We had a great time and I got see people I haven't seen since my Riverside days.

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I pretty much got a sampler plate of ribs, bbq chicken, bbq tri-tip, potato salad
corn salad, cucumber salad, baked beans, garlic bread, and corn bread.  And yes,
I did eat it all and had a second corn bread. 

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Cute litte berry pie. 

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Boys 2 Men ABC BBD

On Friday I finally went to my first Boys 2 Men concert and they were fantastic.  I only wish that they had played longer than 30 minutes.  They were by far the best singers and there was no flashy hip thrusting or stripping that both 98 Degrees and New Kids on the Block were guilty of.  It was a great time and I would definitely go see them again.

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From left: Melissa (Nick's sister), Kathy, Me, Steph (Nick's cousin)

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Future cousin-in-law was so excited and being a super
fan girl during the NKOTB set.  I tried to film her but it
was too dark to see anything. 

Tonight's Dinner: July 10, 2013

As I said in the last post, dinners have been drab and here is some proof.  Nick was out at one of his summertime shooting matches so I was on my own for dinner after getting back from climbing.  We had some left over green beans from the Fourth so I fried up five eggs to put on top.  Yup, that's what I had for dinner all right.  Exciting, huh?

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I have been trying pretty hard to change the way we eat.  I've cut down on a lot of our carbs and saturated fats.  I have noticed a significant difference in my energy level and general health.  My skin looks awesome, my hair has been growing like crazy, I'm losing fat and gaining muscle pretty quickly, I have so much energy, I don't get cravings for Taco Bell once a week, and I feel great about the healthy work I've been doing.  I have also noticed that when I do eat out with our office, I feel terrible afterwards.  Today we had a birthday lunch and I ordered a burger.  Though it was a tasty restaurant-style burger, I was so tired and actually felt a little bit sick the rest of the day.  It happened a couple of weeks ago also when I caved to a craving and got Chinese takeout.  I felt super lethargic and heavy.  I'm completely convinced that there is weight behind the whole "clean" eating that people are talking about.  I haven't even tried to make us eat fully organic, but I'm definitely starting to jump on the bandwagon.  Better late than never I guess. I just can't believe how much better I feel after a little over a month of cutting back on takeout and beer and introducing whole foods and green juice.  Oh man, I really am going crunch granola but hey, I have a Spartan Race, Tough Mudder, 10ks, and a wedding in my very near future.  I needed a good kick in the butt.

Speaking of kick in the butt, last night Christopher and I tried our first class of Crossfit.  The instructor was impressed that I could do more than 10 pullups, but I still came in last.  During the last set I wanted to drop kick all of the people who were cheering us on.  It was nice and all, but I just wanted them to stuff it because I was barely getting my chin up to the bar. I have been so tired all day and was only able to go to the gym for thirty minutes.  My arms are so sore that it even hurts to turn my steering wheel.  I think I'm so tired today because it has taken so much energy to keep my arms moving throughout the day and the few climbs that I did at the gym.  It was probably also the giant burger that I packed away.  Note: As I reach for my glass of water, my forearm stretches and is SORE. After feeling terrible at the gym and literally yawning before starting a few wall climbs, I decided to throw in the towel and get in bed early.  I was literally in bed before the sun was fully down.  Hopefully this regeneration will be enough to get me through tomorrow's Crossfit class.  Fingers crossed.

Also, I'm quite pleased that I finally was able to publish a couple of posts even if they weren't really that packed with food pictures.

Tonight's Dinner: Sometime in the week of July 15th

Dinners lately have been, lets say, lack luster.  Many times now while I'm at the gym Nick will pick up something for himself and I will eat eggs or salad.  Yeah, not very exciting and not exactly blog worthy.  One night last week I did, however, have a craving for fish tacos after the gym.  I stopped at Sprouts to pick up supplies on the way home.  Nick grilled up some fish while I took Emmy for a short, three mile run where we met a nice elderly couple who thought she was a pretty woof.

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Since I have been on such a health kick, I wanted to try out
protein powder again.  My Dad used to try to sneak it into my
milk when I was a kid and doing competitive gymnastics.
I could always tell because of the mealy texture.  I thought that
maybe because I'm an adult and was able to get past the fibrous
texture of my green juice that I could get past the protein powder.
Oh how wrong I was.  I couldn't even drink half of the glass.  Good
thing Christopher is trying to bulk up too and doesn't mind the
texture as much.  He is getting good use of it. 

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In case anyone was wondering what my green juice looks
like before it's blended, here it is.  From top to bottom: spinach
tomatoes, celery, and cucumber.  After this is all blended, I
add a few more handfuls of spinach.  I add about two tablespoons
of hydrated chia seed at the end. 

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Today's Lunch: July 4, 2013

Today we had a few friends over for the Fourth.  We wanted to keep it simple so that we could actually enjoy our company.  Nick really wanted to make hamburgers and I don't think it's a barbecue without some sausage.  I also had my staple cheese platter and green beans to make sure that everyone had enough to eat, but at the last minute I decided to also make a cheese tortellini pasta salad.  I just don't think I'm capable of really keeping things simple.

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I've been eyeing the house made bacon at Sprouts.  It was really quite good.
I don't think I'll get prepackaged bacon anymore!

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Country and Sweet Italian pork sausage from Sprouts. 

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Friday, July 05, 2013

Tonight's Dinner: June 30, 2013

A few family friends invited us over for a barbecue.  I was a little nervous because I knew that they had two small dogs and a cat.  Emmy did marvelously!  She could care less about the dogs because she spent the whole night staring at the cat laying on the ottoman.  Luckily, the cat is super old and used to being around dogs.  She just lay there while Emmy stood unblinkingly looking at her.  I'm sure that if the cat got up to move Emmy would have been her shadow.

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We were in charge of bringing appetizers.  With one guest being a vegetarian,
my mom had to consult her cookbooks for something to bring.  We made stuffed
mushrooms that were a hit.  We also brought a shrimp platter, nuts, Chex Mix,
and pretzels. 

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Tonight's Dinner: June 29, 2013

This morning I did my first ever yoga class and let me tell you, it was HARD.  I don't know if it was because my arms were tired from Hot Fusion and bouldering, but everything was shaking when I was trying to hold the poses.  Needless to say, I laid around the house the rest of the day until we went to Alameda to meet up with Uncle Daniel to discuss the wedding ceremony.  We decided to get the largest party platter since there were four of us and we are all pretty substantial eaters.

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Tonight's Dinner: June 28, 2013

Tonight after doing my first Hot Fusion, class Nick and I headed to Mary's Pizza Shack for our friend Will's birthday.  Because of the hot weather I hadn't been very hungry all week.  Once we got to Mary's though, my appetite came back.  I'm pretty sure that I gained back the four pounds that I had lost during the week.  I ate an entire calzone that was specifically labeled "for two" by myself.  According to their pan sizes, the calzone was equivalent of a medium veggie pizza. Hey, at least I got the veggie instead of meat.  I considered getting their full protein meal, but it consisted of a hamburger patty and grilled chicken.  That didn't sound so great to me after a really hard work out.  I wanted carbs.  Beautiful, fattening, delicious carbs.

I'm not sure if I'll continue Hot Fusion.  It was pretty intense.  My arms were sore for at least three days, which I was surprised by as I've been climbing and doing fairly heavy arm work outs recently.  When I went to the wall after the class, one of my coworkers was bouldering and I told him that my arms were literally shaking.  Hot Fusion is no joke!

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My veggie calzone.

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Nick's mushroom burger.

Tonight's Dinner: June 27, 2013

Tonight when I got home from the gym Nick made me a healthy dinner.  I'm starting to notice that when we eat healthier I feel way better.  I know, I know, people have been on to this for a long time, but I never subscribed to the notion of going fully organic or vegetarianism.  I'm by no means going vegetarian, I think Nick would starve/die/divorce me before we're even married, but eating raw vegetables and less non-processed food has given me so much more energy.  So tonight, Nick made me a salad with four eggs.  I'm Gaston-ing it.

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Spinach salad with garbanzo beans, eggs, corn and cooked mushrooms.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Tonight's Dinner: June 25, 2013

After my first day of climbing, it was difficult for me to really hold my knife to cook.  Luckily for me, the Fongs came over with meat prepared and all I had to do was quinoa.  Nick did the rest!  It's great because the Fongs don't mind brining over all of the food as long as we cook it for them.  I'm all for that!  Afterwards I decided to swim laps at the gym and test it out.  The pool is really, really hot. Too hot for laps, but I'll just have to suck it up.

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Grilled marinated button mushrooms

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Quinoa with hot salsa and green beans.  It was a throw everything in the pot
concoction, but turned out pretty well. 

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Grilled marinated boneless chicken thighs.

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Korean style ribs.  I love these things!

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I haven't been doing much cooking or blogging recently because Christopher and I picked up a new hobby.  Bouldering!  It's basically rock climbing on 13 foot rock walls without the harnesses.  We joined a rock climbing gym that includes a comprehensive cardio and weight area, exercise classes and a 20 yard pool.  We decided to sign up for their three month plan for the summer to train for our Spartan and Tough Mudder races. So far we've gone enough for me to think that our membership was worth it and it's only been a week.  Depending on how it goes, I may even continue going after Christopher goes away for school.  One of the next goals that I'm working towards is a triathlon.

I can tell that my hands are much stronger and I'm much more confident with climbing. I also feel much more in tune with my body like I was when I was a gymnast.  So far I'm really enjoying it.  Our hands are still adjusting, but I can feel the calluses forming already (this is good).  I've also taken a couple of classes that they offer.  Yoga is way harder than it looks!

So for now blogging may be limited because Nick and I have been scrounging around the fridge for left overs.  Last week alone I lost four pounds and noticed that an entire fat roll is gone!  This is extremely fulfilling.  Losing weight and gaining muscle.  That's the way I want it to go!  I'm on my way to being where I want to be for the wedding.  ...minus my muscular man calves, but I can't help that.

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After the first day of climbing my hands were burning and
red.  The next day the red spot on my ring finger actually
ripped and has yet to fully heal. I also couldn't squeeze my stapler
for three days, but managed to get to the gym six times last

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I have been really working on getting this course.  It's the
lowest level, but I swear that it's the hardest of the lower
levels.  I've now graduated to the third level, but still can't
get this one!  I like that there are always challenges so we
don't get bored.