Wednesday, July 28, 2010

and the no-cooking saga continues...

2 things to share this evening...

1) After a coupon driven/Ad shopping trip to the grocery store last night, I was ready to come home and get back in the kitchen full force.  And then our fridge died today!  Cold food is lost and we're back to beef jerky, pretzels, a loaf of bread and chips.  It's a sad state of affairs at our house, but luckily it happened after both sets of parents left and before work gets crazy for me again.  The lady that owns our house said she'd order a new one right away and have it delivered asap.  I'm thankful that work this week will be somewhat flexible so I can come and meet the delivery guys whenever they get here.


2) We've started training for a 5K!  Tonight was our first night of doing it out of the next 9 weeks.  We'll be doing the couch to 5k program 3 nights a week and by the 9th week we should be able to run 5k (a little over 3 miles) without stopping.  Tonight was actually another WOW moment for me!  First, I could actually jog/run.  I'm surprised my body remembered how to do that!  Maybe it was because I had reintroduced my body to being in a pool again this past week (it had been a LONG 12 years....)  I got new workout clothes when my mom was out and we were shopping.  Let me just say, I love Reebok Fit Dry clothes.  I'm currently in a size 18 capri/pant and their XL capris and pants fit me.  Of course they are tight - but hey, they are moisture wick work out pants that are intended to be tight!  They come in an XXL for anyone in the area that is interested.  I found 1 pair at Ross in York and got another pair at the Reebok outlet in Lancaster ($17 on sale).  I think I'll be going back for a 3rd pair of carpis so I have one for each day that we run.  They are really nice because they go about 3 or 4 inches below my knee - which means that none of my chub rubs together on my legs.  Who would have thought that this bundunka dunk butt could run without getting that horrible chub rub!?!

Things I noticed while I was running: 1) my chub on my arms bounces against my torso and it sounds like people are clapping.  Yep, I pretty much supply my own audience.  It's great!  2) My butt is still the largest thing on my shrinking body and it bounces onto my legs as I run... it kind of hurt and that was strange! 3) I'm wearing a non-wire cotton minimizer bra, a sports tank that has a double layered sports bra and I can't believe I'm saying this... the girls stayed in check and didn't hurt afterward - if anyone wants specific brands, let me know (Ryan did ask if I needed tape just in case of chaffing... that is a reference to Andy Bernard on the Office ;) 4) for the first time tonight, I put my I-pod to good use while my play list kept my butt going!!!!

For those that are still in disbelief that my butt was on a treadmill jogging/running (I kind of am)... below is a picture of the start of our 5K training.  Watch out 5K race runners in late October/early November... we could be coming to a race near you!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Round 2 of Vacation!

This past week we spent with my parents traveling around - we accomplished a lot in the 7 days that they were here!  We're all exhausted now, but their plane just landed in Iowa and Ryan and I are in laundry/weekend mode as usual.  Below are some pics from our trip.  Food posts will hopefully be coming in the week to come.  With all this traveling we haven't been making anything! 
Ryan and I at Rehoboth Beach, DE!
Orioles game - God was it HOT!
Mom and Dad on their 31st wedding anniversary at the WWII Memorial in DC
Bentley was a happy boy when we got home - no more LONG vacations for awhile (if it were up to him ;)

Another update - I had my 6 month appointment with Dr. Brader (my surgeon) on Thursday and I'm 12 pounds ahead of schedule.  I weighed in at 239 on Thursday and because I'm doing "so well" he set a HARD goal for me for my next appointment.  By October 7th he wants me to be at 212!  EEEEKKKK.  10 weeks, another 27 pounds... we'll see about that buddy!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

NYC Trip Recap

This past week we went to NYC for 4 days with my in-laws.  It was their first time ever being to the city, so we did all the touristy things we could fit into those days.  3 days in a row it was over 100 degrees (I think every day set a record!) and the fourth day it was a comfortable 98.  (Note the sarcasm!) 6 days from now my parents fly in and we'll be going south to Rehoboth Beach, Annapolis, Baltimore and DC for the week.  July is officially family vacation month!

Here's what we did:
St. Pat's Cathedral
Top of the Rock - NBC Studios
Rockefeller Plaza
3 gray line tours of NYC Downtown, Uptown and night time/Brooklyn loop
Grand Central Station
Macy's / FAO Schwartz / Bloomingdale's
Empire State Building
Ellis Island/Statue of Liberty
Central Park
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Natural History Museum
Jersey Boys Broadway show

Here are some pics!
Let me explain the hat... it was over 100 degrees and the sun was beating down.  Anyone that knows me knows that my skin will blister and burn in 2 seconds!  So I said to hell with it and protected my neck and face with the floppy hat!  Outcome: not one sunburn in all the days we were there... only one slightly embarrassed husband ;)

View from the Top of the Rock.  A far superior experience compared to the top of the empire state building.  The lines are much more manageable and the view is 10 times better!
This is us standing in line at the end of the 3rd day at the Natural History museum.  I was literally drenched at this point (my hair was soaking wet with sweat) and I kept asking Ryan how my hair looked.  All he did was laugh - but wouldn't help!  So my retaliation was to take a picture of us waiting in that god-awful line looking marvelous!
This is the Egyptian Sphinx I got in trouble for leaning up against during this picture... Needless to say, I was CAREFUL to not touch anything else the rest of the day!
Waiting to get into Jersey Boys - it turned out to be a good show that we both enjoyed.  The people our parents age around us were REALLY into it!  It's a good starter show for those that are skeptical about going to one - we had seats 10 rows off the stage =)

Tomato Chicken Rice Soup

This past Friday, we went back to a place called Baxter's in Paoli, PA.  It's where we had our rehearsal dinner for our wedding in October of 2008.  My father in law has been talking about his meal for the past 2 years!!!  We made the trip out on Friday evening for him to get his steak tip dinner before they left for Iowa on Saturday morning.  This time around, I ordered this chicken dish and got a cup of soup to start.  The soup was a tomato base with chunks of chicken and rice.  It was SO good I didn't even bother eating the rest of my meal (1 cup of soup is still more than enough).

So last night I decided I was going to use what we had in the cupboards and try to recreate it.  Surprisingly, it came pretty close!  I think the only thing I may do differently next time is sub the 10 oz. of water for 16 oz. of low sodium chicken broth.  It was a little more like a stew than a soup and I think the chicken broth would have added some depth to the flavor.  Ryan on the other hand said  "please don't change it too much, it's really good the way it is". 

Ingredients (from my version last night):
1/2 cup of chopped yellow onion
1 tsp. of minced garlic (equivalent to 2 garlic cloves)
2 tbsp. of olive oil
2-3 stalks of celery - chopped
2 tsp. of garlic salt
1 package of Purdue short cuts roasted chicken (chopped into tiny pieces) Here's what you're looking for
1 package of uncle ben's 90 second brown rice (don't cook in the microwave)
10 oz. of water
10 3/4 oz. condensed tomato soup
14.5 diced or whole stewed tomatoes - no salt added
5.5 oz. tomato juice
6 oz. tomato paste
1 pinch of dried bay leaves (found in the spices section)
6-8 small leaves of fresh basil - chopped finely

Saute onion, garlic and celery in olive oil on medium high heat for 3 minutes.  Add chopped up chicken to mixture and cook for an additional 2 minutes.  Stir in condensed tomato soup, water, tomato paste, tomato juice and stewed tomatoes.  Once that has mixed thoroughly, stir in brown rice (straight from the bag), bay leaves and basil leaves.  Stir until mixed well.  finally, add 2 tsp. of garlic salt and simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sugar Free Cupcakes

Pillsbury has come out with a new line of sugar free baking items (found in the regular baking section of the store).  With my in-laws in town, I wanted to make sure to have something sweet on hand in the evenings - my father in law is BIG on sweets =)

This was the first time I tried these, followed the package directions exactly and they turned out well.  People couldn't tell that they were sugar free.  I had 1/2 of one the first time with no problem.  The second day, I had a whole one and had some pretty rotten gas (if you're a WLS patient, you'll know what I'm talking about).  The splenda in it was too much for me to have a whole one - but I'm good with 1/2.  Everyone else was fine eating whatever and said they were good with a glass of milk.

Pillsbury Sugar Free Yellow Cake Mix
Pillsbury Sugar Free Chocolate Frosting
1/3 cup vegetable oil (in the future - I may sub applesauce, but didn't want to stray from the recipe this time)
1 cup water
3 eggs

Follow the directions on the box and apply frosting once cupcakes have cooled. The box says that it makes 24 cupcakes - the way I made them, I got 18.

Here is a link to the Pillsbury website where you can find more info on their sugar free products:

Sunday, July 4, 2010

6 month pictures are here!

Tomorrow marks my 6-month surgerversary!  I've lost 103 since last July 4, 2009 and 82 since surgery on January 5, 2010 (that difference is pictured below).

Tomorrow we're headed to NYC with Ryan's parents for a 4 day trip and I'm going to cross off many of my pre-surgery "to-do's" while we're there.  Three that I'm very excited about are 1) fit in a theater seat and go to a broadway show (it's been over 6 years since my last!) 2) Ride in the double decker bus and be able to sit next to Ryan - not across like we've had to do in the past 3) walk anywhere in the city that I please and know that my body won't limit me (okay... the 95 degree heat might, but my body won't!)

So here are the pics - the real deal - no going back now.  Still room for improvement, but for one of the first times tonight, I could really SEE the difference - not just feel it.  Thanks to all my friends and family for your continued love and support - it has meant the world.  And of course, I couldn't have made it this far without my partner in crime -RYAN (love that guy ;)!

326 on January 5, 2010

244 on July 4, 2010

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Chinese tonight!

This is one of our favorites - we made something similar before surgery, but we've changed up the ingredients to make it work for me after surgery.  Still great!

2 tbsp. Lite Soy Sauce
2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup or 1 small package of snow peas (we buy the steamer fresh that we can microwave)
Approx. 30 small to medium shrimp (we use frozen out of the bag)
3 cups of instant brown rice (uncle ben's instant rice is still our favorite!)
1/2 cup of green and red pepper chopped
1/2 cup of chopped yellow onion
Fried rice seasoning mix (we use Sun-Bird brand) We buy it in the grocery store, it's about 90 cents
Optional: scrambled/fried egg (we prefer it without because it changes the taste)

In small skillet, caramelize the onions in 1 tbsp. of olive oil.  Add Peppers to onion mixture and heat thoroughly.  In large wok, heat shrimp until hot (shrimp out of the frozen bag should be pre-cooked).  Drain shrimp and rinse wok out.  Add 3 cups of cooked brown rice, 2 tbsp. lite soy sauce, peas, onion and pepper mixture, 1 tbsp of olive oil and fried rice seasoning mix to wok.  Mix all ingredients together.   Pull tails off shrimp and add to mixture.  Heat for an additional 2-3 minutes until mixture has soaked up soy sauce.  Serve!