Monday, June 30, 2014

Monday!

What a crazy day today was! I can't wait to share the adventure. I will say this...It was such an adventure that Sunday's meals will be combined into Monday's meal post tomorrow. Serious craziness! Are you curious?

Just to keep the knitting suspense to a minimum...


The blue socks are DONE!!! I finished them Sunday evening! Happiness!!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Broccoli is too Breakfast Food!

In the interests of a low glycemic impact meal fresh veggies are of utmost importance. Every meal needs to have fiber and protein. Sometimes that means breakfast might include foods that are not considered "normal" breakfast foods. Broccoli is one of those. Yes, broccoli can be found in a quiche or in an omelet. It is rare to find steamed broccoli on a plate with eggs and bacon. Well, it is rare to find that in the average American kitchen. My kitchen is not average. I go for whatever green vegetable I have on hand when it comes to breakfast. I'm about over the eggs for breakfast kick. It doesn't last long for me. There will be changes coming soon!


I purchased two boneless turkey thighs on Friday. I was feeling creative so I rubbed them with 1 tsp of sea salt and 2 tsp of Kickin' Chicken spice. I put them into a deep casserole dish and covered them tightly with aluminum foil. Then I baked at 325 for two and a half hours. The result? Pulled turkey barbecue. If I was a bread eater I would have made a wonderful sandwich. I'm not a bread eater. I had two meals using this meat. The first was simple. Just over baby spinach.


The next was pretty simple as well but had more fat in it. Kam is on a wedge of iceberg lettuce kick. So we did a wedge salad (gluten free blue cheese dressing for me), fresh tomato with chopped parsley and fresh mozzarella with the turkey thigh. 


My mid-afternoon snack was an apple with peanut butter. Just a tablespoon of the healthy fat as is appropriate.


At the end of the day I was feeling the need for more food. I didn't want a full meal yet I was feeling hungry and needed something. I chose to make a healthy desert. I sliced fresh pear and put it under the broiler for 10 minutes until it just started to brown on the edges. Then ate it with 1/2 a cup of Greek Yogurt and some raw walnuts. It was quite tasty!


Sock progress? There was plenty! Oh yes. I managed to get to half the foot!





What happened Friday??

Oh yes. Friday. That would be the day I somehow forgot to take pictures of some of the meals. Then there was Saturday when I was to write about Friday. Well...Friday I started a headache that has not yet gone away. Headaches don't put you in to mood for writing and tend to take away some of the spontaneous memory abilities. Yeah. Long drawn out excuse which really means...I forgot.

On with Friday! The meal I forgot to take a picture of was breakfast. It wasn't that exciting. Bacon (yes I'm often get into that turkey bacon at breakfast rut), eggs and greens. If you are curious what that looks like just refer to Thursday's breakfast. It was very much the same.

Snack time though. That is something new and different. I had a friend drop off some grape sized plums. They are very cute. They taste just like a normal plum and have a pit in the center. The difference? They fit in your mouth in one bite. I also had a protein bar. I'm not a big fan of the average protein bar. I don't like the taste of them and they often use ingredients that I can't digest. A client shared Epic bars with us. They remind me of my dad. He loved Slim Jims. They are not high on the food quality list but they were his favorite treat and every time I see them I think of him. Epic bars are made from high quality ingredients. They come in a variety of flavors. As with all food items I think the flavor you like is a matter of personal taste.


I had an acupuncture appointment in the middle of the day. My hope was it would take away the itch and knock my headache back to a dull hum. The itching was better for a bit but the headache just climbed. I knew it was going to be one of those weekends. To make my life easier and be sure there was plenty of food on hand I stopped off at Whole Foods on my way home. I picked up clean meats, fresh corn from South Georgia, and some beautiful red cherries. Lunch was simple assembly since I also bought chicken salad. Chicken salad is easy enough to make and I make it in a way I enjoy eating. That will happen soon. Maybe next weekend since we have a three day weekend coming up. 


My afternoon snack was roasted chickpeas. They are one of my go to foods. I rolled these in a bit of that coconut oil since it is liquid right now I'm enjoying using it. I then added sea salt and garlic powder. I was in a hurry. I waited too long for snack time so I just put them under the broiler to crisp up a bit. A fast 5 minute snack! I use a full can of chickpeas but only ate half. 


Dinner was fun. We have someone local that brings fresh sea food from the coast on Thursdays. I bought sushi grade fish so we could have sushi at home. Salmon and tuna on arugula with water chestnuts and wheat free tamari. Don't worry. There was plenty of food. Seconds and a small bowl of cherries helped to fill me up. 


Now for the knitting progress. I started the second lace sock. The cuff takes forever. Not the plain knitting around and around. That is pretty simple. Even the knit two together and yarn over round that forms the ridges of the picot edge is pretty easy. It is the picking up the cast on edge to make the folded hem that takes a long time. I did find a trick that cut the time somewhat. I used a single double pointed needle the next size down to pick up the stitches. Not all of them that would be silly. Just a few at a time. Then I made it through a couple of repeats of the lace chart. Pretty good progress when you realize I had a full day with errands, appointments, and clients. 








Friday, June 27, 2014

Sock Completion Day

There are days that are made of awesome. Yesterday was one of those. Well parts of it was. Let's go with the awesome. SOCKS. Knitting first today. I finished that pair of green socks while listening to The Weasley Sisters Podcast. They crack me up! The first 5 minutes of this had me rolling. Why? Give a listen. They were talking about me. I love them. They are amazing sisters connecting over the miles and bringing smiles to so many people. I have been participating in a Cardio-Knit Sock Swap with them. These socks were knit for someone else. I can't say who because it is a secret swap. The rules were the socks had to be partially knit while doing cardio. I had intended to knit 100% of the second sock while doing cardio. The first sock was mostly knit while away at a training. Well...Poison Ivy and cardio don't mix. The socks had to be finished by this weekend. I decided that if I was watching the podcast and speed knitting that would count for something. So that is what I did. Speed knit socks. They are pretty cool for plain vanilla knit socks. The cool part? The yarn. It is one of my club yarns from Alina Shea Creations. The yarn is merino with a bit of nylon in it for durability. It makes a great sock that softens as it wears. Can you imagine merino that gets softer? I'm hoping the recipient of these socks loves them.


After work I finished up the blue sock. It needs a mate. I did start the second one today. I love the way the pattern worked up. The fit is fabulous. Again these socks are going out to someone else. Another swap. Not for me. I am known to knit for other people just not for sale. I knit for my family and I knit for surprise packages to trade with strangers. It is a variation on the pen pal theme. 


And the food you ask? Yes I did eat. I woke with a weird craving for eggs. I go through phases with eggs. I'll have months when I eat eggs every morning and then all of the sudden I can't face them any more. I like eating them best with toast. Toast is not on the menu this summer. See that? Not just today or this week. This summer! So I went with eggs and bacon with a side of greens. 


Check out these beets! They are candy cane beats. 


Aren't they pretty? It would be cool if they stayed those colors when cooked. They turn plain pink. They are pretty though. I had them with a green salad and roast turkey thigh. It was a great lunch!


Snack was a fresh peach and 10 raw almonds between clients at work. Then for dinner I made crispy kale with sliced new red onion. New red onion is similar to scallion but a bigger red bulb. I sliced up the bulb and the greens and rubbed all of it with 2 tsp of coconut oil. My kitchen is so warm right now the coconut oil is liquid. I used some freshly ground sea salt as seasoning. Then I sliced up more of the roast turkey and warmed it up. The bowl was full. I was just so hungry I started eating before I remembered I needed a picture of the food! 


For desert I had some frozen strawberries with chopped almonds. It was simple but satisfied all the taste cravings. Sometimes you just have to go with what is available in the fridge. 








Thursday, June 26, 2014

Return of the Protein

I had a client ask me if I was eating enough. It seems I'm not documenting all my snacks. OOPS! Sorry!! I have had an apple or two that didn't get all glammed up and into the shots. For today's post you can note there were two snacks that didn't make it to pictures. One was an apple with peanut butter and the other was an ounce of raw almonds. I was just so hungry I forgot to get a photo. Really though how exciting is a picture of an ounce of almonds?

Yesterday marked the return of the protein. I started my day with the same squash on a bed of arugula with a half cup of blueberries but added uncured turkey bacon to the plate. It seemed such a treat!


Lunch may not look like much but it was filling. I sauteed yellow squash, green onion, and broccoli in a teaspoon of coconut oil and added in one chicken Italian sausage. I had this over a bed of fresh arugula greens. Plenty of flavor for something that is not all that creative. 



Dinner was one that we do when we are over tired and just need a quick meal. I made a fast chili. Not one to write home about. Not one that needs to go down in the history books or even near a cook book. Just a chili that fills the belly and satisfies some of those nutritional needs. This one was simple fresh garlic and onions sauteed with some ground bison. I added a can of black beans and some tomato paste to it. I used  a fun meat rub for the seasoning. It has the flavor of chili with some deep notes of chocolate and coffee. Once there was enough water to mix it all through it was simply a matter of simmering for 15 minutes. I had half an avocado and a nice green salad with it. Perfect.


Knitting? Oh yes! I did some cardio knitting...well walked back and forth to the gym and around at the gym a bit. By night fall the sock was an inch away from the toe decreases! Here it is measured up to its mate.


The blue sock? I spent a lovely lunch hour knitting on the porch swing. I took a picture of the start point. Silly me forgot to take a picture of it before I started knitting today. Today I finished it. You will have to wait for tomorrow's post to see the completion. Here is where I started on it though. I have to say I'm so enjoying the blue against the flowered nail wraps. 







Wednesday, June 25, 2014

All Things Green

I could also title this post "What I gained while going through detox week". Yeah. Not all green stuff is good for the body. As in that vine with three leaves you find out there in the woods. That lovely hike through the woods on Sunday was so full of rich green views. One view I didn't share was the edges of the trail. Western North Carolina is currently covered in poison ivy. I could be exaggerating just a bit. Or not! My yard has quite a few patches. I am always observant when out on the trail. I knew I was walking dangerously close to the offensive vine. I forgot when I returned home. I usually wash with that special (and highly smelly) poison ivy soap. I was so interested in finding food that I neglected to wash any possible exposure. I'm paying for that now. Lesson learned. Always return home and wash up before launching into meal prep. Another option would be heavy socks and long pants but I can guarantee that isn't happening. Summer muggy heat has kicked in and I'm not interested in wearing long pants and tall wool socks. So now I'm avoiding the itch and moving forward with eating healthy.

Yesterday was my last day of detox. I continued my high intake of veggies and explored a new version of one. My breakfast salad had apricots as the fruit. What a treat! I so enjoyed having fresh apricots. I might have to pick up more of them. The diakon radish added some spice to the mix. Pretty colors and a nice variety of flavors.


For early lunch I had even more green. That spinach arugula mix, olives, broccoli, and green apple. All raw foods full of enzymes.


And then there was this.


What on earth?? Yes that is food. Edamame is one of the foods I encourage my clients to eat while on detox. The fresh green soy beans are tasty and full of protein. Protein is low on the detox plan. I cannot eat soy. It upsets my stomach. When I found these green garbanzo beans in the health food store I was shocked and pleased. I had eaten the beans already cooked in prepared salads. I had never found them raw before. They are a bit messier to eat than edamame but oh so tasty. The pods are boiled for 5-10 minutes. You open them up and eat the bean just like you would edamame. Most pods only have one bean but some have two. The puffy pods are filled with water. Thus the messy. These were my afternoon snack. Here is what they look like shelled.


Before heading into the gym to train clients I had an early dinner. I was feeling quite hungry. I was low on energy and felt to get through the night and lead a decent class I would need to have more substance. To achieve this I had some roasted garbanzo beans. I knew I would be breaking my detox today and felt with the oncoming poison ivy outbreak I needed more fuel. I did have it with plenty of raw veggies though. More daikon, jicama, and the end of the spinach and arugula mix. 


After work I had another sprout salad and more roasted yellow squash. I have rediscovered how wonderful yellow squash is. Full of flavor and completely satisfying! I'll be keeping it in the weekly meal plan. 



Sock progress?? Well. Yes. There was some. Not a huge amount. I knit a few rounds on the green striped socks. They walked back and forth to the gym a few times. There really isn't enough progress to show. I know this to be true. I've measured. They are currently in the mysterious knitting phase where you knit and knit and knit but only get 1/4 of an inch in length. The blue socks? I knit an inch on those. Also not enough to warrant a picture. You bet there will be one tomorrow though. Something has to have happened to the length of one of those socks. Something. 



Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Baby it's COLD Inside

All these veggies are not heating my core up! Here in the mountains we are in full humid summer mode. To keep people safe and happy in the gym we have the AC set to 68 degrees. That is perfect if you are exercising. If you are telling people what exercises to do or sitting at the desk working that is not nearly warm enough. I have been so cold the last few days. Yesterday I went outside to warm up before my 5:30 pm group class came in. I was standing in what would have been the sun if it were not so overcast. The wind picked up. I would normally love a nice breeze on a muggy summer afternoon. Not yesterday! Oh my word!! That breeze started blowing and I was chilled to the bone.

Breakfast yesterday was another salad with fruit but I changed up the broccoli. I roasted it. The little flowers are crunchy and the stems are soft. It is an interesting switch for broccoli.


Second breakfast or that late morning snack? Well, in the south we do this thing with green tomatoes. It is not necessarily healthy. It is quite yummy. We slice them and bread them and dip them in hot oil. Fried green tomatoes! They are available with gravy, with cheese grits, with cheese, plain, as a side, as a full meal, with bacon, with shrimp, the list goes on and on. Sunday I found some lovely green tomatoes. I immediately started craving fried green tomatoes. Not on detox. Never on detox. Fried? Rarely if ever in my normal diet will I have fried anything. What did I opt for? Broiled green tomatoes. I will be experimenting with variations as I come off detox. This was a decent choice though and helped with that intense craving. How did I do it? I sliced the tomato and dusted it with powdered garlic and fresh ground Italian spices. I put it under the broiler until the edges started to brown. Then I had it with simple steamed kale. Very tasty!


Lunch was leftovers. It was also a late lunch. Steamed broccoli, roasted brussels and more of that jicama salad I've been eating. I took the salad with me to work and had more of it between clients. It is important to keep the energy levels up all day.


After work I was super hungry. A trip to the grocery store was needed. I opted for Whole Foods. There are so many choices for veggies! I bought sprouts, daikon radish, spinach and arugula mix, and pattypan squash. WOW! My world opened up! I started with a sprout and daikon salad while the squash was roasting. It looks small. It isn't. The bowl is huge. The bowl holds 20 oz. This is about a cup and a half of salad. That is a whole lot of sprouts!


Pattypan squash are cute! I love them. My favorite way is to saute them in butter with fresh onion. I roasted these with garlic and onion powder. 


Then I ate them over a bed of the spinach and arugula with a few green olives for added flavor. YUMMY!!




And what about that sock progress?? There was a bit of cardio-knitting in the day. I did sit still long enough to get the gusset stitches picked up and then it was around and around and around we go! The sock is missing about 3.5 inches of foot and a toe! Soon. Very soon for this one!









Monday, June 23, 2014

Cardio-Knitting on the Trail

Yesterday was hike day. I love getting out into the woods. Usually it is for a trail run. This weekend since I'm on detox trail running wasn't the best idea. So we drove north on the Blue Ridge Parkway and hiked a small portion of the Mountains to Sea Trail. The dogs love hiking. It is quite an adventure. I decided that since I was not running and we were hiking one of the easier portions of the trail that I would work on a sock while I hiked. It may sound crazy but once you are accustomed to cardio-knitting walking outdoors and knitting is not that difficult. I have been walking the urban trail (sidewalk) to work while knitting most of the week. I simply combined my skills of trail running and cardio-knitting for a 3 mile hike. Kam was intrigued and insisted on taking a video. I'm not sure how exciting it is to watch someone hike but I will admit the dog noises are humorous.

video

What do you eat before hiking when you are doing detox? I suggest more than this. It was a lazy sleep in morning so fixing breakfast at home was not quite as fun as you might think. Kam came up with the idea that we stop off at the grocery store and get salad bar picnic. It is interesting how quickly the taste buds get used to good fresh food. I could taste how the peppers were OK but not freshly cut. The olives were canned not jarred. My intention was to avoid adding in legumes as long as possible. Kam felt that if I was going for a hike I needed the fuel. I ate the garbanzo beans. I did not enjoy them. They too tasted canned. But the fruit was amazing.


We found some fun rock formations and had to take the time to play on them. Kam was almost swallowed up!

Ceili just thought is was a cool place to hang out. She was such a cutie out there. We crossed many small streams. Each time she would stop an drink. Darby rarely wanted a drink. She was all about the walk. Once Ceili sat right down in a puddle. She was obviously overheating. 


When we go on a long trail run we often use it as an excuse to eat pizza. Always gluten free and topped with healthy items but still pizza. There is no pizza on detox. I was still craving it. I opted for pretend pizza. I sliced up a beautiful tomato and topped it with chopped garlic and sliced new red onion. I added on some Italian herbs. Then I put it under the broiler until the onion was cooked. I ate it over top of some baby kale greens. Perfect pizza taste and I didn't go off my detox plan!


As is the case with most Sunday afternoons we had projects to get done. While Kam worked on the back porch I cooked another meal. That back porch turns into a pantry every winter. It is single wall construction. On any given day it is about 5 degrees warmer than outdoors. In the summer it is about 15 degrees warmer than outdoors. We love it spring and fall when we have the perfect outdoor weather. The meal? I roasted brussels. I love them tossed with olive oil and garlic. No oil on detox. What to do?? I tossed them with a bit of lemon juice, fresh chopped garlic, and sliced scallions. They were tangy and delicious. One of Kam's fun things is to have a wedge of iceberg lettuce. So we opted for warm roasted veggies and cold crunchy plain iceberg salad. 


For dinner I was reaching over hungry. REALLY really hungry. I blame it on the hike. It was pretty warm in the house too so I didn't want to cook. I opted for salad. For the two of us I chopped up a gala apple and a pound of jicama. I added half a pint of blueberries and a bit of lemon juice. We had this on top of chopped lettuce. I was amazingly satisfied and quite full. 


And what is the knitting progress for the day? Well I managed an inch of plain knitting and the heel flap of the green striped sock while out on the trail. My afternoon/evening knitting was on that blue lace sock. I turned the heel and finished the gusset. I think it was a spectacular day! Plenty of healthy food, exercise, knitting, and some solid progress on the late spring cleaning projects. 











Sunday, June 22, 2014

Can we just REST now?

I can honestly say I have been pushing hard. There were plenty of coaching hours logged in the last two weeks. In that time Kam and I lead a weekend long TLS Weight Loss Training where we trained close to 20 new weight loss coaches, we hosted a business presentation, and we lead a three and a half hour training for new business owners. When I woke on Saturday I was ready for a rest. Instead of lounging around I ate a hearty detox breakfast and headed to the gym to lead two group training classes.

Breakfast was another version of salad. Crunchy, sweet, and a bit of greenery. It was all raw too. Cauliflower, jicama, green apple, and lettuce a nice plate full of food.


After the training I was needing a snack. Since crunchy kale is seems to be the go to right now that is what I did. I used balsamic vinegar instead of the tamari though. It was delicious. 


For lunch I went with leftover jicama salad and steamed broccoli. It really was a keep it simple kind of day. 


Dinner was more of the same...veggies. Go figure. In this case it was beets, steam sauteed bok choy, and fresh carrots. The bok choy was pretty easy to cook. By heating to almost boiling vegetable broth you can add in diced onion and keep it simmering until the onions are clear. Then add the chopped bok choy and some more broth and tamari. Keep stirring and cooking until the bok choy is tender. Why do the beats look so washed out? They were candy cane beets. They are really pink when they are cooked. 


Knitting progress? I did take some rest and recover time. It was important. I finished up those socks from Friday and then cast on a new pair. It would be a shame to let the needles get too cold! The finished pair...


and the newly started pair...


I'm hoping for some speed knitting on the new ones. Maybe even get them done by the end of the week. Who knows. Life can be exciting and push sock knitting to the back burner.