Sunday, January 27, 2013

Weather on the Journey - Week 4

"What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness."
                                                                                            -Rachel Carson

Winter has arrived in full force this week. Winter came with blustery winds, arctic temperatures, and worst of all SNOW.  I have lived in Michigan my whole life so I am no stranger to Winter.

I remember the Blizzard of '78 (granted I was only 10).  I remember school being closed for a week. I remember our dead end country road not getting plowed for three days. Those were the days when you needed to stock up on groceries before a true BIG storm, not when they predict a "storm" of 6" of snow. I mean Seriously! I remember donning my snowmobile suit and my snowmobile boots (the ones with the plastic bread bags inside to keep my feet dry) to go out and make a snow cave in the mounds from the snowplow.

The problem with Winter is that last year and up until now this year, it has been fairly devoid of snow. Here is where the problem lies, I have grown quite comfortable with this Winter weather arrangement. I can still get outside most every day for our walks and can go exploring with my camera. At worst the skies are gray and I have to add another layer to keep the chill out.

This week that all came to a screeching halt, blowing snow and below zero wind chills forced me to stay inside and make friends with the treadmill. If only I could find a way to get Scout on the treadmill, since he is my dog that MUST have at least one walk, preferably two, per day. We did venture out for brief 20 minute intervals during the worst of it. The things I do for that dog :)

Our theme for my 52 of You class this week was: Shadows

Thankfully the sun did come out on Thursday, so I was able to find my shadow. Thanks to Scout for his help with the assignment.

This week I lost: 1 lb.
Total weight loss so far: 4.5 lbs

This week I made friends with the treadmill.

At least I have the t.v., or I rigged up a stand for my laptop so I can watch Kim Klassen's class videos.

I made an awesome and healthy pasta salad this week.

Tortellini Salad with Asparagus and Fresh Basil Vinaigrette

6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound asparagus, tough ends trimmed and sliced thin on the bias
2 (9-oz.) packages fresh cheese tortellini
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 pint grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup)

1. Whisk the olive oil, basil, lemon juice, shallot, garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper together in a bowl large enough to hold the pasta salad.
2. Cook the asparagus in 4 quarts boiling water seasoned with 1 Tablespoon salt until tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to a colander using a slotted spoon (do not discard the boiling water) and run under cold water until cool. Shake out any excess water and toss with the vinaigrette.
3. Return the water to boil, add the tortellini, and cook until tender, following the package instructions. Drain the tortellini thoroughly, then toss while hot with the asparagus and dressing. Refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.
4. Toast the pine nuts in a small skillet over medium heat until golden and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Just before serving, stir the toasted pine nuts, tomatoes, and Parmesan into the salad and season with salt and pepper.

To Make Ahead
The salad can be prepared, covered, and refrigerated a day in advance. Before serving, freshen the salad with a spoonful of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
*Recipe source:

Have a great week! Savor the Journey :)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Mantra for the Journey - Week 3

"I made up my mind not to care so much about the destination, and simply enjoy the Journey"
                                                                                                                       ~David Archuleta

What is a mantra? Here is what the dictionary says:
1. A word or sound repeated to aid in concentration in meditation.
2. A statement that is frequently repeated; a characteristic formula or refrain. 

I have always been one that believes in the Journey more than the destination. It is important to get to where you are going, but it is even more important to enjoy what you see and experience along the way. When you are in such a hurry to get where you are going you never know what life lessons you will miss.

A mantra that my daughter has heard from me many times in her life is: "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger". That is one I repeat to myself too when things seem tough. We should both be pretty strong by now.

What is your favorite mantra?


This week I lost: 2.5 lbs. 
Total weight loss so far: 3.5 lbs.

The quest for toned arms is on...

I found this video on youtube of a great 20 minute toned arm workout:

I can do two of the three reps on this video after starting this week. Next... moving up in hand weights.

After trying many varieties of greek yogurt here are my personal favorites...

Love the flavor of this one, it has a little thinner consistency.

This is probably my favorite, a little thicker consistency and great flavor.

Have a great week and ENJOY THE JOURNEY!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Set Backs on the Journey - Week 2

 It was week two of the Biggest Loser this week, and it was week two of my health and wellness journey.

If you have ever watched the show you will know that this is set back week. The week where you don't lose weight or where you injure yourself. Like I said this was week two for me as well, and yep it was set back week for me too. 

I knew this would be a busy week. I obviously wanted to spend as much as time as possible with Mallory before she headed back to school. This included some shopping and lunches out, something I don't do much otherwise. I tried to make healthy choices, but who knew that zucchini cake minis at Ruby Tuesday's were 824 calories each (I had two) and had 2,240 mg of sodium. Next time I am sticking to just the Garden Bar.

Mallory, the dogs and I did get out for some hikes at Riley Trails and I still managed to walk at least 60 minutes a day. I some how managed to pull a muscle in my leg at my new yoga class, so that is kind of annoying. But I am pushing ahead and working through the pain. 

It is a new week with new chances to make better eating choices and with a little ice and rest the leg will heal.


This week's theme was AT ARM'S LENGTH

Listed below are summaries for the week of areas involved in my journey this year.

This week I gained:  2 lbs.
Total weight loss so far: 1 lb.

Yoga class resumed this week. I take a Beginner's Yoga class on Tuesday nights, I could easily do harder than beginner, but I love the time of this class and I have some wonderful friends in this class. I added a new yoga class on Thursday nights called Core and Calm. Class description - Core yoga to stabilize and strengthen your power center: abs, glutes, lower back and diaphragm. Great class and it is obviously working muscles I haven't used in a while :)

Minutes walked/hiked this week = 579 minutes

My favorite new recipe this week was Baked Portobello Parmesan. One Portobello Mushroom cap was very filling. Get the recipe here at a new food blog that I discovered One Perfect Bite.

Have a great week. I look forward to sharing my Journey :)

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Fear of the Journey - Week 1

So do not throw away your confidence, it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.  - Hebrews 10:35-36

Fear of the Journey
I've written before on my other blog Paisley Rain Boots about my fear of stairs. This year I am facing a fear much bigger than a few stairs. Instead, I am facing the fear of the Journey. Fear of failure, fear of putting too much of myself out there, fear of body betrayal. So many fears associated with this Journey. As I sat in church this morning listening to the sermon, a sermon I had considered blowing off if the weather had been nice in favor of a hike at Saugatuck Dunes State Park. God obviously had other plans for me, since the weather was a mixture of snow and rain. The sermon "fear~less", which is our January sermon theme, hit me right between the eyes. The scripture reading was Hebrews 10:32-39, with the key verse being Hebrews 13:5b-6. God has said "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you" So we say with confidence. "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid". Pastor Keith made a key point that really stuck with me through out the day today. He said "Fear happens when life is out of control". So this year I am choosing to take control of my body, my health, my relationships, and my faith. Goodbye Fear.

Self-Portrait of the Week

Listed below are some summaries for the week of areas involved in my Journey this year.

My goal for January for weight lose is 5 lbs. This week I lost 3 lbs. This is mainly due to the fact that all the Christmas goodies are finally gone :)

I didn't mix it up too much yet this week. I have committed to walking/hiking at least 60 minutes a day in January. Walking/Hiking minutes for the week = 563 minutes

This week's food exploration was Greek Yogurt, after finding out that the one I have been eating for the last two year has none of the health benefits it should. I am enjoying trying some new varieties and will have the taste results next week.

One of my favorite healthy food blogs is I have quite a few recipes from that site that I will be making this week. I will share my favorites next week.

Have a great week. I look forward to sharing my Journey :)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Not All Greek Yogurt is Great

I have found the busiest section at the grocery store lately is the Greek Yogurt section. It seems everybody is in on this new sensation. One of the reasons it is so busy is that nobody knows which brand to buy. I have seen people standing there for ten minutes pondering all the varieties. I, on the other hand know exactly the brand I want and just have to weasel my way in there to get it. That is until my husband sent me an article...

My husband, lover of his iPad and of reading Flipboard, is always on the look out for interesting articles to send me. I just never know what will show up in my inbox, and honestly honey I do read them and am very appreciative that you are thinking of me :)

So yesterday morning when this article showed up in my inbox while I was eating breakfast I immediately took notice. I have been eating Greek Yogurt for a couple of years now, and to find out that I was eating the wrong kind was very disheartening.

According to the article my Greek Yogurt should contain only "milk and active live cultures". It should not contain cornstarch or milk-protein concentrate. Mine had both of those and no active live cultures :(

Yesterday afternoon while at the grocery store, I fought through the once again crowded Greek Yogurt section and picked up a few new varieties to try out.

OIKOS Organic - This one passed with flying colors - made with organic milk (even better right?) and "contains active live cultures". I have tried this variety before and do like it, I just didn't know it was better for me.

FAGE - This is probably the best one, as far as, the article says. The only ingredients are skimmed milk, active live cultures and honey. My husband took this one to work for lunch and liked it, although he said the honey was kind of thick. But we are use to honey straight from the Beekeeper (my dad) not from the store.

CHOBANI - This one also had milk and live and active cultures for the main ingredients. They had natural vanilla flavor as well, but that is understandable, since it is vanilla flavored.

Calories were pretty consistent across the board, about 170 per serving.

I chose the vanilla or vanilla with honey varieties because I like to load my Greek Yogurt up with fruit and a little Good Life Granola, which is the best granola I have ever tasted.

I will keep you posted on how the taste testing goes.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Focus

A New Year, a New Start and a New Focus.

In November as I pondered the fate of this blog one thing became crystal clear to me. I wasn't going to be able to "finish" my weight loss goal that I had set for myself in 2012. Not wanting to give up on that goal, I decided to make getting healthy my entire focus for Becoming A Finisher in 2013. Getting healthy for me goes beyond just the weight loss aspect. It is also about getting stronger physically, as much as I can for a 44 year old woman with back problems.

Once I made my decision about my focus for this blog, things started falling into place. A year long e-course that I had been ignoring for the last month, popped up yet again. So knowing where my future was headed I signed up for it...

MOVE MORE EAT WELL - I love Cathy's line in her first day opening paragraph "You might drop some weight, but you will gain better health and fitness and even some confidence, and in the end, that's the most important thing of all". She is speaking directly to me, I lack confidence in my body, so this is the year to restore confidence.

The next class that showed up confirmed I was going in the right direction...

52 of YOU - I took the first Now You course that Kristin Zecchnelli and Meredith Winn taught last Spring, but six weeks was too short of a time to really come to terms with being comfortable in front of the camera and taking your own self-portraits. So when the opportunity for a year long course came along, I quickly jumped on board. Even though I hate seeing myself in pictures, I find the challenge of taking pictures of myself strangely exhilarating.

Finally the last piece of the project fell into place...

One Little Word - I was chomping at the bit to sign up for this year long class. I had my word picked pretty much as soon as I made the decision on what to do with this blog. JOURNEY - hence the new tag line. The word JOURNEY carries over nicely to my other blog Paisley Rain Boots as well. This year will be a JOURNEY, a very exciting one that I can't wait to start.

Each of these classes encourages you to create a scrapbook, whether it is digital or physical. I am combining all three classes into one scrapbook, and I am going to do a physical one. I haven't done one in a while and I am kind of excited to get my supplies out and play with them. I know I won't play by the rules for each class, but I will make it my own and something I will be proud of.

My plan is to post once or twice a week with my progress, new things I have learned and some "selfies". This will help me to stay accountable.

I look forward to sharing my journey :)