Thursday, September 16, 2010 | By: Tangy

Cleaning up an old fav!

Pete's first job after he left the Army was with Schwans. In case you didn't know, it is a food company that delivers food to your home. We both kind of thought it would be helpful for him as a salesperson to try some of the products, and it helped that we got a little discount. Our hands-down, favorite thing was the Garlic Chicken Pizza Flatbread. Two crunchy, thin flatbreads with a creamy garlicy white sauce with chicken and cheese. ***drool*** Oh so tasty but definitely nothing even resembling clean!! I saw a recipe via Facebook last night for a blog I "like" that featured a homemade pizza recipe. I used the crust recipe here but I did not put it in a skillet like the author did. I was pleasantly surprised that I got the dough to rise--all my past experiences with yeast have been complete failures--and this was a good, soft, whole-wheat dough. Next time I will try to find one that cooks more flatbread-style, but this was good. I divided my dough into 4 sections to make 4 little pizzas. I baked them on two cookie sheets on 400* for about 10 minutes. While they were baking, I decided to experiment with my toppings. I chopped and sauted 3 cloves of garlic in about 2 tbsp olive oil for one minute, then added it to 1/2 cup low-fat ricotta cheese, 2 tbsp fat free plain greek yogurt, 2 tbsp parmesan cheese, a few dashes of pepper, and a tsp of italian herbs. I had some baked chicken breast in the fridge and I cut up one of them and added it to my cheese mixture. This made enough for two of the pizzas. I flipped the crusts after 10 minutes I topped each one with some fresh baby spinach.

Looks delicious, huh? I was hoping it would taste as good as it smelled. I baked it another 10 minutes and practically burned my mouth taking the first bite because I didn't want to wait for them to cool down! It was everything I was hoping it would be! A great alternative to one of my favorite pizzas, made much cheaper and much healthier by moi.

I had some leftover plain 'ole tomato sauce in my fridge also, so I wanted to use this as well. I sauteed 2 more cloves of garlic in olive oil (1 tbsp this time) and then added it to my sauce, plus a bit more freshly-grinded italian herb seasoning. Sooo good. I put this on the other two pizzas with a little cheese for my kids and they loved it!

I was so excited to find something we all loved that was not only healthy, but very inexpensive to make and I had all of the ingredients on-hand! I'm already thinking of making the garlic chicken pizza again on Friday night!
Wednesday, September 15, 2010 | By: Tangy


I feel like my motivation has taken a complete 180* turn for the worst!! I was at a stand-still and I think my metabolism had all but shut down from me overtraining and probably not taking in enough calories. My hip was so sore from all the running I was doing. So I decided to take a week off from running. That was my only intention, but in the process I have also taken a week and a half off from p90x. Now I just cannot seem to find that momentum again!! I'm at a stand-still. I used to look forward to working out all day and now I am finding myself dreading it and procrastinating until I no longer have time for a workout and all this needs to change, stat!! I need to find a happy medium of eating and exercise. I know right now I am not doing enough but before I was doing too much and I am not sure exactly how to meet myself in the middle. I have a really hard time not giving it 110% so I think that is why I just don't even want to try anymore!! ARRGGGG I really hope that today I will change all of this and get a workout in and start to feel motivated again!
Wednesday, September 8, 2010 | By: Tangy

If only my body would match my mind!

I have been feeling really good lately. I rarely have trouble finishing a workout or not being able to get all my reps in--yes it is time for some heavier weights, but I'm also getting so much stronger and my endurance is at an all-time high. It used to be my asthma that would hold me back from a good run or I just was too out of shape to complete something but that's not the case anymore. I CRAVE a good workout. I love to workout til I am tired and sore and I cannot physically do any more of whatever I am doing. And then I'll do that twice a day.

But I think I may have been keeping myself from getting the benefit of these workouts. My joints are constantly sore and I have this pain in my left hip/groin area that isn't going away. It starts really bugging me while I'm running and I just can't run anything further than 5 or 6 miles and I absolutely cannot do any sprint intervals because it hurts to bad when I am running fast. And this is not good for me as a runner to keep running the same distance and speed without changing things up. I'm never going to get any faster this way and I'm never going to build up my distance endurance, either. I'm really not sure what to do about my hip problem. I think I could take a little break from running to see if it gets better, because it doesn't just affect my running. There are other exercises I just cannot do right now, like dive-bombers, one-handed pushups; pretty much anything that requires me to have a wide stance with my legs. It sounds so simple, just STOP running. But it won't be nice outside for much longer and I am just addicted to running!! It feels so good and I look forward to my run every day! But I need this pain to go away! I might try taking a week off of running to see if it feels any better. It will KILL me but I think it must be done.

I've also been frustrated lately with my lack of weight loss! I've been working so hard and being so good with my diet and the scale has shown me NO lovin'! None! Over the weekend I took a break from working out and I ate a little more than usual, and it wasn't clean, and go figure--I have finally started losing again! So my gameplan for this week is no more running, and only one hard workout per day. It just seems like it isn't enough but if that's what will get me to lose, I'll do it!
Monday, September 6, 2010 | By: Tangy

Oh what a weekend :)

It was like, so totally tubular!! I kicked off my weekend with my sister's bachelorette party! We started off at a friends' house with a Surprise Party. For those less kinky readers, that is a TOY party!! Always fun to see what is out there and it rivals the awkward-ness of a Ben Stiller movie when both the mother and future mother-in-law of the bride are there! I could have done without seeing my mom walk out of there with a brown bag-o-goodies but I know she bought the candles. Candles, just candles, and maybe the nipple cream/lip gloss stuff. Keep telling yourself that, Tangy!

My night was not quite the night I had planned, however. Here's a timeline of how it progressed:

3:00- run out shopping and frantically look for a jacket to wear to the evening! It has suddenly started to get into the 40s and 50s at night and I am so unprepared!! Buy first jacket I see that isn't hideous, run back home!
5:30-hair, makeup, get dressed! wait for my sister Brittany to come pick me up!
6:10- Brittany arrives, we leave, she gives me some earrings and a Michael Jackson button to wear :)
6:15-have fun with Amber's friends, including her future MIL who was HILARIOUS at the toy party portion! have a mostly-liquor strawberry daquiri, 6 jello shots, and some kind of other shot that tasted like Sprite
9:15- Brittany drives us to a local carnival (DD by default for being pregnant!) for our first beer tent experience. Already starting to feel like shit, very drunk, and I had a KILLER headache! We stop at a gas station for Tylenol and water on the way there.
9:30- arrive at beer tent. See Pete and his parents, keep running into everyone. Labor Day beer tent is like a class reunion for the past 30 years of high school. Keep running into everyone but trying to hide a bit since the rest of the girls in 80s gear have not arrived yet!
9:45- the rest of the girls get there!! I ditch Pete to hang out with them and I go buy some alcohol tickets. Get a hurricane drink. Sip on it for a while, while headache gets worse and the noise keeps getting louder!
10:15- realize I am going to get sick--stat! I feel like total doo-doo and Pete asks me if I'm ready to go home. I reluctantly say yes, feeling super guilty for leaving my sis on her night. I found her and said good-bye and gave her the rest of my drink and my leftover tickets. Walk to pickup truck and expect to start throwing up at any moment.
10:25- just getting back into town, about a mile away from home. I cannot take it anymore!! I roll down my window and just let-er-rip outside. I was still puking when we pulled into our driveway!
10:30- get home, take out contacts and brush teeth and wash off makeup. Pass out shortly after.

I vow to not drink another drop of alcohol for a long, long time.
Sunday was a much better day! Pete and I had our first date since February!! We can almost never get a sitter, but my dad and his girlfriend offered to watch the kids for our anniversary and gave us dinner and a movie on-them so how could I say no?! We saw "Going the Distance" and I cannot remember the last time I laughed so hard at a movie!! I was DYING!! Crying, I was laughing so hard!! Pete really liked it, too! Score! Then I got some fresh highlights and a trim so I have decent hair at the wedding. We followed that with the most AWESOME mexican food, ever. I am salivating just thinking about it! We had fajitas for-two, and they were just amazing! So were the homemade chips and salsa. We'll definitely be back! We got some much-needed alone time and just had a great kids-free day!
I weighed today and I was pleasantly surprised to see I had lost a pound! It's not my official weigh-in day but hmm maybe it was a good thing I took it easy all weekend and splurged a little with my food! It sure seems to prove my stress theory for why I haven't been losing any weight despite strict clean nutrient-portioned eating and nearly 2 hours of daily workouts. I'm ready to get back into the grind tomorrow, though! I'm hoping this will be the week I will see 162!
Friday, September 3, 2010 | By: Tangy

5 Years of Fat, Flab, Food, Fitness, and Fabulousness!

This was us 5 years ago, today. September 3, 2005. We were such youngin's then! And gosh, were we FAT! You know that saying about how an old married couple starts to look alike after so many years?! Well, we started that early. See, we weren't fat when we first got together in 2003. We were both high school athletes; me in track and cross country, and Pete in football. Then we started dating. Many trips out to eat, ice cream at Dairy Queen, family functions full of food--you get the picture. We both slowly started gaining weight. Oh to have the metabolism of an 18 year old again! Then in 2004 we moved in together. We worked different shifts; me working 6-2pm and him working 9-5pm. I had to leave the house by 5am every day to get to work an hour away and I sure never cared about the nutrient of anything that I ate. It was all about cheap, convenience, and availability. If it was there, I'd eat it! And so would Pete. Suddenly, I went from 160 lbs when we first started dating, to 210 lbs! I wish I had that picture on my computer of when we were both at our heaviest. Pete was up to 240 from 175. And we had ZERO excuses. We could have bought healthy foods. We could have spent our time together doing something physical, like going for walks or runs or hitting the gym together. But we didn't. We used the excuse that we didn't have any time. HA! I'd kill to have all that time now!

I cut back on the food and started walking and I lost about 20 lbs before our wedding. I was right around 180 when I got married and I thought I was looking pretty good, considering I had hit the 200 mark! Pete left for basic training less than 3 weeks after our wedding. He came back much, much, thinner but I had not lost any more weight.

Right after Pete left from his Christmas break from AIT, I found out I was pregnant! I had just started working out regularly and I was able to run an 8 minute mile again--big accomplishment for a fat girl! I enjoyed my pregnancy from a food point of view! I didn't try to eat particularly healthy or unhealthy but I did just enjoy to eat! I got up to 227 lbs! We took this picture a couple days after I had Peter. I was DEVASTATED to see myself like this.

It doesn't quite become real til you see yourself in a picture!
A short 5 weeks after this picture was taken, Pete left for his first deployment to Iraq. He was gone for 15 months. I was an overwhelmed 22 year old with a 6 week old baby living in Texas when everyone I knew lived in Illinois! It was easy to feel depressed about my weight and that my husband was gone, but I really pulled it together and decided that I was SICK of feeling fat! I started taking Peter for daily hour-long walks in his stroller, sometimes twice-daily. I started doing Tae-Bo and following the South Beach diet. I joined Gold's Gym and really enjoyed taking group classes for the first time and just getting a little time to myself again since I really did NOT have any help with my son! I got down to 170 by the time Pete came home in January 2008.

This, of course, was short-lived! He had just spent over a year in Iraq, living on crappy Army food, and I had missed making big family meals and just cooking in general! We went out to eat, we ate, we didn't keep moving. I quickly gained 10 lbs. Then I found out I was pregnant with our daughter. I went crazy again with my eating. I worked at a place where people brought food in almost daily and I lived within a 5 mile radius of any fast food joint you could imagine. I think I stopped at Sonic at least 3x a week!

I ballooned back up to the 220's with baby #2. I didn't feel happy and pregnant, just miserable and fat! People didn't know--my own coworkers didn't know--that I was pregnant and not just gaining more weight!!

Riley came on December 29, 2008 and I knew it was the start of a new life for me! No more pregnancies, no more excuses! Time to crack down! Pete left for his second deployment when Riley was 6 weeks old, the same age Peter was when he left for the first one. I was determined to have Pete come home to a brand-new me, one who was NOT heavy! Once again, we both lost weight while apart! Pete had lost a lot of body fat and then packed on another 20-30 lbs in muscle. I got down to 165--the lowest I had been since high school! From following the Abs diet, doing Jari Love dvds, walking and running with the kids in my new double stroller, and starting p90x. This time I was going to make sure I didn't gain any of that weight back just

because Pete was home!! I lost about another 8 lbs! I had never felt so good or confident about myself!!

Now I am proud to say I am in the best shape of my life. I have gotten back up to 165 but I am stronger and faster and better at all areas of my personal fitness than I've ever been! I am hoping to complete several fitness milestones in the next five years, and be able to ring in my 10th anniversary with my hard-earned dream body!
Thursday, September 2, 2010 | By: Tangy

Don't quit your dayjob!

Not to toot my own horn, but I know my way around the kitchen. I can make some pretty delicious dishes, both clean and VERY un-clean. I've enjoyed cooking ever since I've gotten out on my own, and I get all geeky goofy excited when I discover a new kitchen gadget that can somehow make my culinary life easier!

Over the past couple of months, I have been going on a clean cooking and baking spree! I have been loving trying out new recipes and making up my own! Off the top of my head, some of the things I have made- blueberry-corn muffins, banana bread, fruit-filled muffins, pancakes, peanut-tahini pasta, fajitas, baby bella/potato omlettes, tomato-basil soup, cornbread, danish meatballs, and apple crisp. I know there are many more but you get the picture!

There's only one problem. I have been the only one who has liked everything!! My 20 month old daughter is my harshest critic! If she likes something, I'll hear "mmm mmm mmm" sounds coming from her highchair and she'll have this big grin plastered on her face while she's eating. If she doesn't like something? Oh, she'll get MAD! She'll just toss the food off her tray and scream, "YUCKY! EWWW!" I have been getting a lot of the ladder lately! It's been a bit of an ego kill!

Take this. This is my clean-eating danish meatballs over brown rice. We aren't normally rice eaters here, mostly because my only exposure to rice thus far has been broccoli au gratin Rice a Roni, fried rice from Panda Express, and Mexican rice served along side a heaping pile of greasy refried beans at one of the zillion Mexican restaurants we tried while living in Texas. The rice had a surprisingly good flavor, the turkey meatballs were delish, and the white dill sauce was unlike anything I've ever tried before! It was so good! And healthy! But of course, my little princess had her plate thrown on the floor before I had even served the other kids. Tell me how you really feel, Riley! Sheesh! I'm sure the dog enjoyed it!
Another obsession of mine lately has been sweet potato fries.

I feel like they are my gift from God!! A veggie-haters dream! I am not much of a fan of baked sweet potatoes or that nasty Thanksgiving dish with the big chunks of canned potatoes covered in butter, sugar, and marshmellows. It hasn't ever tasted good to me, aside from stealing a burnt marshmellow or two. These are so simple to make and I could eat them three times a day, they are THAT good! I slice them up, toss them VERY lightly in olive or canola oil, and sprinkle them with a bunch of cinnamon. Then I bake 'em for about 30 minutes at 450*, turning at least once. They get a little burnt and crispy on the edges and it is seriously my new favorite food! Of course, my husband and I are the only ones in the house who will eat them. Neither of the kids will touch them! Give them those salty, greasy fast-food fries, and they'll gobble those right up. Ugh.
With fall approaching, I feel the need to bake. One of my all-time favorites has been my mom's apple crisp. The original recipe calls for about a cup of sugar, plus a bunch of butter and white flour. I LOVE the sugar/butter/flour combo but my waistline does not!! So I decided to try making my own version. I put a little olive oil in a pan and then added some whole wheat pastry flour until it got crumbly. Then I just started adding stuff. I added some agave--about a teaspoon or two, plus wheat germ, flax, and chopped walnuts. I cut up 6 granny smith apples and put them in my baking dish and sprinkled them with apple pie spice and drizzled a little honey over that. Then I put on my crumbly topping and baked it at 400* for an hour.
I served it with the sweet potato fries and some grilled chicken.

Unfortunately, the apple crisp just didn't measure up. It was good, but just not quite the same thing. It was only "take one" of many so I am confident that one of these days I'll either get it right or I will just get used to the clean version tasting a bit different. And it tasted much better the second day when it was a little cooler. I've always liked my apple dishes at room temp or cold, never hot. I'm weird ;)
I'm still super frustrated that my kids do not enjoy much of the clean dishes I've made for them. They prefer boxed macaroni and cheese and commercial chicken nuggets and hot dogs. While I don't know if they will ever completely stop getting these things, I still have hope that they will start to get a taste for the wholesome foods I make for them! They really love the banana bread and pancakes I make and surprisingly one of their favorite things are ww tortillas with my homemade clean-seasoned refried beans, cheese, and chicken. They love to snack on string cheese and fresh fruit like apples, pineapples, strawberries, and grapes. I think they'd rather have fruit than any other kind of snack, which is always a "proud-mommy" moment for me! And I think I've gotten Peter hooked on a big spoon of peanut butter for a mid-afternoon snack. So even if they haven't liked 90% of the things I've made for them lately, they ARE making some healthy decisions every single day. And I am definitely not finished trying out new recipes and improvising as I go, so I have hope that one day I will get Riley's "nommmm mmmm" seal of approval!