Mar 19 2012

Healthy Eating

I want to eat better and healthier. I don’t feel the need to cross over into the fad diet realm. I started a food diary just to see what my eating habits are right now. After a week the results are: I eat poorly. I snack a lot, too much. On things that are tasty but definitely not doing me favors. I’m snacking on things that don’t leave me feeling full. I’m taking in way more carbs that my activity requires. I’m also not drinking enough water. As in, none.

This past week I’ve tracked my calories and exercise, as well as protein, carbs, etc. I know very well that these numbers are guidelines. I’m not interested in starving myself, taking food away as punishment, nor using food as reward. That just reinforces the wrong ideas. Instead I want to be healthy and like myself naked again.

I do not care what the numbers on the scale or in my jeans say. I do care that the number on the scale jumped up quite a bit over a short period of time. My doctor listened to my concern and we decided on some blood tests. I’m not comfortable sharing all the details here.

My plan is to pay more attention to what I’m eating, continue running and biking, and learning how to cook healthier meals.

My goal is to have fun and look damn good doing it.

Jan 27 2012

Potato Taco Soup

Part of wanting to be healthier has meant learning to cook and learning to cook healthier. I’m not convinced that I’ve reached the cooking healthier part, other than we’re eating out less and I’ve pretty much weaned him off of freezer to microwave food.

I love soup and this time of the year is just perfect for soups. I love my crockpot and my crockpot loves making soups. It’s really an ideal relationship. My latest soup was a very altered version of a taco soup.

A friend of mine was talking about making taco soup midday and I was so hungry I nearly ate my hand. She sent me to the blog post Original Taco Soup CrockPot Recipe at A Year of Slow Cooking. I’ve definitely made a few other things from this blog and I’ve never been let down.

At this point you are probably wondering how potato got into my title for taco soup. Initially I didn’t know if this was going to work or not, but I had a bunch of potatoes that I needed to use or they were going to start turning. I substituted finely cut potato for the canned corn. Because, well I don’t like canned corn and I figured one starch for another. Plus, grocery shopping for each recipe is a pain if I’m not doing strict meal planning things.

I wasn’t really sure if this soup was even going to be any good. But it was. It makes A LOT though. So there was a lot of good soup that we spread out across a few lunches and another dinner.

Here’s what I ended up using:

  • 2 cans of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • approx. 6 medium sized red potatoes, sliced thin (I added another can’s worth of water)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomatoes and chilies
  • 1 lb browned ground beef
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 packet ranch dressing mix
  • shredded cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips for serving

Here’s what I did:

  • Brown meat and drain the fat
  • Add meat and season packets to crockpot
  • Add potatoes, add an extra can of water somewhere along the way
  • Add drained, rinsed beans
  • Add tomatoes and chilies
  • Stir

Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5.

Jan 12 2012



I’ve never really made resolutions, not because I can’t keep them but more because sometimes I feel like people put so much more effort into coming up with them than keeping up with them. No, of course I don’t mean you. I know you’ll keep yours.

Looking at some of the lists going around: Who doesn’t want to eat better this year, or workout more, or any other self-improvement thing? For some people listing these things out in a public or semi-public space helps them stick to it. These kinds of lists generally stress me out though. I don’t know why; other than I can be a tad high-strung.

My official New Year’s Resolution is to not use my credit cards anymore. Thankfully I only have 2. The most helpful thing in sticking with this is that I haven’t used them* since June. I’ve had a few months to pay down the balance and see actual results. It feels amazing and I think I can keep up with this.

* My prescriptions and EZ-Pass both pulled automatically from the credit card prior to this month.

My unofficial New Year’s Resolutions are; eating better, working out more, and other self-improvementy things. Before you laugh at me though I really do have some specific goals within those broad ideas.

  1. Learning to cook. This is actually more like expanding my comfort zone of what I cook. My goal is to be able to put together a meal that is tasty and healthy on a regular basis. A loftier goal is to do actual weekly or monthly meal planning, but let’s do this in baby steps.
  2. Building my endurance and strength. The goal is to bike all 150 miles of the BikeMS ride this year. Last year I made it 76/80 miles. Hopefully, you’ll see updates here and again detailing my  exercise exploits. I’m running (starting with intervals) and attempting this 30 day shred thing.
  3. Reading. I’m a total bookworm already so this one shouldn’t be hard. Specifically I’d like to read more of the best sellers. The majority of books I read tend to be fantasy or young adult. There’s nothing wrong with this, just I’d like to read more of the current stuff that out for adults.
  4. Chilling the hell out! Seriously. The high-strung thing above is not a joke. I have this great ability to get all wrapped up in an idea and forget to enjoy what I have right here in front of me. I’m not sure I have a specific activity for this, maybe finding a bit of time each day to meditate.

Did you come up with any resolutions? Did you stick with the vague stuff? Or do you not do resolutions at all?