Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Road Goes Ever On and On...

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.


That is my favorite quote from Lord of the Rings, and so appropriate for this week since I won my Fitbit New Zealand badge this week for having walked the distance from the Shire to Mordor, 990 miles which also happens to be the length of New Zealand. By my calculations the Hobbits took a longer route, so this 990 miles would be as the Nasgul flies perhaps?

So this week neither of us lost weight, and in fact we gained back a pound each. It has been a very stressful week and there was rum involved. This week will be easier, plus I think I am going to ramp up my walking after being inspired by A Simple Walk Into Mordor. I do not want blisters on my toes next year when we do the North Downs Way. We both need to be comfortable walking 13 miles a day. I should probably start breaking in my walking shoes now...

Sunday, January 4, 2015

First Week in

So M and I have been sticking pretty closely to our healthy eating goal.  We ate out once this week and both stuck to our Paleo guidelines when we ate.  I am IFing most days and eating after 3pm.  I managed to save a few dollars by shopping at Safeway last week, but today's shopping trip went over budget--(mostly because I did not stick to my shopping list.)  I need to come up with easy weekly menus and actually stick to them.  So far We did primarily eat what I planned for last week, except that M is not fasting mostly, so I ran out of food a couple of times and had to improvise--I was also sick which meant I wasn't feeling like cooking as much as I usually do, so we ended up eating a rotisserie chicken once.  All said and done though, we each lost about 1.5 pounds this past week.  That's pretty good considering that I pretty much ate everything in sight after 3pm most days, and was not very good about keeping my carbs in check or cutting out the alcohol...

Rule for the future:  Only have wine/spirits when out on a "date," over at my cousin's for dinner, or playing our Tabletop RPG with our friends.  This should cut it down to about once per week--saving  us money and the detrimental affects of alcohol on willpower.

So far the most popular recipe I have made is the simple stew I made last Sunday.  I made it again today when M requested it.  It is one of the easiest recipes I have and truly delicious!

Simple Stew

4-5 pounds pork shoulder with a nice layer of fat on top--cut in 1-2 inch chunks  
1-2 large sweet onions, cut in 1 inch chunks
5 large carrots, scrubbed and cut in 1 inch chunks
2 T. dried thyme
2 T. dried basil
2 T. dried oregano
1 small can tomato paste
Salt and Pepper to taste.

Brown pork in its own fat for 5-10 minutes in large stew pot on medium high.  Add in carrots and onions, herbs, salt and pepper, and stir.  Cook for 30 minutes, then add in the can of tomato paste, cover and continue to cook.  After 30 minutes, take lid off pot, reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for 2-4 hours.  The longer you cook, the better it is. :)

This makes a lot of stew, so if you don't want to eat it for three days, I advise freezing half for another time--it freezes very well.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Happy Holidays!

I love the holiday season.  I love Christmas Carols, eggnog, and champagne.  I love holiday movies, decorating the house and planning special meals.  And I love love love that my anniversary is two days after Christmas!  M and I just celebrated our 11th anniversary.  Traditionally the gift for 11 years is steel.  We took this a little differently and for our anniversary we made the steel resolution to work together harder this year in the journey toward good health.  Over the past two years, I have mentioned that my health has declined somewhat due to STRESS, partly due to my job moving and partly due to money concerns.  M has also had issues mostly due to the same things--he has a job (also downtown, and also sedentary).  And as the new year approaches, we have been trying to find ways to incorporate better habits into our New Years plans.

We stress out a lot about money, and one of the things we are trying to do this year is save save save!!  It is totally possible.  Right now, we unfortunately let stress get the better of us, and often eat out because it is convenient and we want something simple and quick.  While we always (well, mostly always) chose something Paleo-friendly the expense is pretty crazy--especially if we have a glass or two of  wine each--eating out in Seattle adds up fast.  It is so easy to drop $100 on a dinner just for the two of us.  Our first step this year is to cut our "dinners out" down to once per month--and if possible once every other month!  Our second step is to cut out alcohol.  If we limit eating out to once per month, and have a glass of wine on those occasions, and stop buying wine to bring home, we can cut that back quite drastically as well.  Our third step is to cut back on groceries.  I have been buying grass fed and pastured everything, all organic veggies, and spending a huge portion of our budget to do it.  I am changing our approach to allow us to save an extra chunk of money per month.

As I have mentioned before, I use several tools to save money while still focusing on healthy eating.  One of those tools is intermittent fasting.  Another is Costco.  I also utilize the Environmental Working Group's Clean Fifteen/Dirty Dozen lists.  We are attempting to save $$ to put toward a house, so I am cutting back on the money we spend on grass fed and pastured meats, and focusing on adding more fish weekly (sardines) and using grass fed ghee to cook with.  The rest of our diet will be veggie-heavy with various other meats (whatever happens to be on sale.)  We will have lots of stews, roasts, casseroles and salads.

This week the menu is:
                  Pork, sweet onion and carrot stew.
                  Taco salad with tomatoes and guacamole.
                  Roast chicken with brussels sprouts.
                  Chomsky salad (salad with cucumber, tomato, avocado, bacon, chicken breast, mixed greens and vinaigrette.)
                  Beef pot roast with carrots, onions, and green beans.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Watch the Global Premiere of Origins the Movie

Watch the Global Premiere of Origins the Movie: From November 13th through November 22nd, watch the feature-length movie Origins for FREE from filmmaker Pedram Shojai. #OriginsFilm @Well_Org