Daily Affirmation

The best things in life are free.
The second best are very expensive.
- Coco Chanel

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Eating Well and Yoga Excess

Since I'm trying to lose some poundage, and avoid carbs, naturally all I do is think about food, and what I'm going to eat next.  *sigh*  I'll be glad when this phase is over...  But I have some good news for all of you that are in my camp.
To back up, one our sons and his wife sent us a lovely gift from the store in one of Chef Mario Batali's restaurants.

It included 3 types of pasta, and 2 different jars of pasta sauce.  Since I'm trying so hard to avoid carbs, this gift has caused me to look in the pantry more than once with a heavy sigh.  But here's where the good news comes in.  A few days ago I was finishing my breakfast and watching the Today Show.  They had a nutritionist on talking about diets, helpful hints, etc.  Normally, anything they say during these types of segments I never do.  Either they don't work for me, or  - well, they just don't work for me.  But this time it was different.  She talked about a serving of pasta being 1 cup, and she suggested replacing 1/2 cup of that serving with spaghetti squash.  In doing this, not only do you eliminate the carb equivalent of 5 slices of bread (in my world that is more than 2 1/2 days worth of carbs!) but you gain all kinds of vitamins and antioxidents from the squash.
Well, tonight was the night.  L was home early and he made some killer meatballs.
yeah... they looked just like this.  Mmmmmm...

We threw in fresh oregano and fresh thyme, freshly grated Parmesan, Worcestershire sauce, freshly ground breadcrumbs, and anything else we could think of to make them tasty.  The jar of sauce we chose was a basil tomato sauce.  It contained just that: tomato and basil.  It needed some help so we added some seasonings (salt, fresh ground pepper and garlic), some heavy cream (just a touch!) and some diced sauteed onions.  The squash finished baking and we served ourselves 1/2 cup of that, and 1/2 cup of pasta (well, I did anyway - I don't monitor L's portions!) We served ourselves some of that new, improved sauce, some meatballs, and threw more freshly grated Parmesan on top.  {{HEAVEN}}  I have to say that I didn't miss that extra portion of pasta in the least.  In fact, I could probably do 100% squash if it were just me - although the pasta gave it a nice texture - a little more full.  Now bear in mind that we dumbed down the health factor a little bit by adding the cream to the sauce - but I love me a creamy sauce, and it wasn't more than a couple of tablespoons.  And a girl's got to live a little bit, right?
Today I'm feeling a little bit self righteous as I attended a (for me) REALLY DIFFICULT yoga class this morning.  So difficult that I had to take a nap at around 2pm.  Seriously - it wiped me out that much! And then at 3:00, L moseyed through the door all hot to go bike riding.  So off we went.  It was nice to have a nice ride with my sweetheart - I got him gabbing like a girl and I enjoyed it thoroughly.  But holy cats I am sore tonight!!  Not from the bike, but from freaking yoga.  I need to go take about a bottle of Advil and collapse.
Anyway - I felt I could have a little bit of pasta after all of that.  But do try the squash substitution - just half and half until you see how you like it.  I liked having a little bit of pasta mixed in as the texture was better that way, but you may find you like just the squash.  Like I said, I think I could do either.

What are some healthy tips and tricks that you've tried?  I would really like to know if anyone has a good idea for when you hit the wall and just want something sweet or carby.  Today was like that for me - after that class I came home and had a good high protein lunch but about 1:30 I was dying again.  My body hurt, and was craving sugar (probably for a pick me up?)  I compromised and had a few pieces of dried fruit.  Kind of high carb, but better than candy or something starchy.  It was the best I could come up with in my addled, achey frame of mind.  But I'd love to know how some of you handle that situation.
That's it for today.  I'm exhausted - or as a neighbor of my daughter's says: I'm "dishausted." I'm off to wash my face and fall into bed.  Tomorrow is another day, and another yoga class - which, unless the Excedrin and Advil really do their jobs and I'm feeling a lot better I think I'll ditch out on.  But just for tomorrow.  A day of rest, in respect for my body, and I'll be as good as new.


  1. That is a really great substitution and it sounds yummy too - I love squash.
    Another thing you can do is use whole wheat pasta - it cuts down the calories quite a bit.

    Keep it up - it's going to pay off!!

    Hope you are not too sore in the morning - ouch!

  2. I'd heard of using squash but hadn't tried it. Sounds worth giving it a go!


  3. I kind of turned into a health freak last year. Not sure how that happened, lol. Anyway, one thing that really helped curb my sweet tooth was smoothies. They are naturally sweet with no added sugar and since they almost resemble ice cream, it seems like a treat. I usually start with plain yogurt or milk (make sure it has nothing else added), add any fresh or frozen fruit I have ( I stock up on bananas and strawberries when they are on sale and freeze them) and go from there. I sometimes add a little protein (vanilla flavored) ground flax or wheat germ, spinach (if I'm feeling extra healthy, lol) and blend the crap out of it. The extras are overpowered by the fruit so you can't even taste them. Really, just the fruit and dairy (mixed with ice if you want) is sweet and healthy. We make them almost daily!!

  4. I'm totally with you on the trying to lose weight and cut down on carbs. And it's true that all I want to think about is indulging in something truly sinful. I think I'm actually ADDICTED to foods that make my hips swell! It SUCKS!

    Those meatballs looked delish. :)

  5. Karen I have no sage advice about what you're going through right now. I'm going to try the squash because I love it by itself and it sounds fantastic with pasta! Thank you for sharing this great idea. I understand about wanting to sleep after working out. Sometimes after a really challenging run, I just want to sit down quietly for an hour to feel my endorphin buzz. Then I'm kind of lazy the rest of the day and seriously hungry.

  6. Yoga and Pilates both on the surface look so easy, but require incredible strength, balance, and coordination. Good for you!

    The spaghetti squash sounds like a great idea- going to have to give it a try.

  7. Glad I stumbled on your blog, think I am going to enjoy following

  8. I'm struggling right along with you as you know..today we had lunch provided by a drug company. Drug dealers always give the best food! (they can afford it!). It was chicken breast, salad, grilled veggies..all healthy and great. I was a happy girl...then I spotted them...the huge cookies...but I resisted and patted myself on the back. I came home and had some natural peanut butter and an apple. The apple is high in carbs but the nutrition of it is good so I'm OK. I sometimes have some high cocoa chocolate..more that 60% cocoa is a good number. Not a ton of it either, but it helps with the sugar cravings. That's all my advice. I lost 5lbs last week so I'm getting there slowly...hopefully this week will be as good!

  9. I am so impressed with what you are doing, Karen. I think the Yoga sounded a little too much though. I thought if you were going to do Yoga, you had to start slowly. I don't think I could ever do it!!

    I have lost weight this week though. I would like to lose about 15 pounds. We are both trying and doing pretty well. I lost about five pounds, but it is the first week and you always lose more the first week. It will be slow after this.

    I try to eat smaller portions of a very balanced diet. IT has always worked for us. We don't try to cut out carbs completely. It is the best for me over the long haul, because we don't have the cravings so much. We also allow ourselves to have chocolate on Sundays. We call that day our "Chocolate Sunday" We eat a whole candy bar or a bit of chunk milk chocolate. We eat it very slowly and sometimes stretch it into three servings. It gives us something to look forward to and it hasn't made us gain weight so far.

    I am determined that I am going to get 50 pounds off from my sweet husband this year. He really needs to do it for health reasons. He has always been heavy except for one great year when we actually went on Weight Watchers and he got down to 182! That diet, by the way, is a very good one.

    I too love peanut butter with my sliced apple!!

    Good luck to us all!

  10. Sounds like there are lots of us in the same boat. My daughter and I are doing a Healthy Habits Challenge. There are 8 things we need to do each day and we get a point for each things we do. One of the habits is: no sweets or soda. That's hard for me since I have a major sweet tooth! I have been replacing candy with some dried fruit and some raw almonds and cashews. Not really low cal but it helps me get through the bad times when my blood sugar is low and I need a pick-me-up. The almonds have some healthy fat in them so I justify it that way.

    You're awesome to do the yoga class. I'm suffering from a sore hip right now and it hurts to even walk. (not good)

    Good luck to both of us!


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