the long road to healthy

May 27, 2009

weekly weigh in

Filed under: keeping it real, nutrition, weigh in — karena @ 3:07 pm

So, I haven’t shredded since late last week, I took three days completely off exercise to baby my knee back to health, and I’ve been going really low-impact on my cardio this week. Dare I step on the scale?

Yes, I dare. Because during all this I’ve been focusing on nutrition. Calculating just how many calories I’ve been eating and how many calories I’ve been drinking. It ain’t pretty, trust me. So I’ve adjusted accordingly. I’m feeling so noble and healthy, I don’t even miss my evening wine.

last week: 168.5
this week: 165.5

3 pounds


May 26, 2009

Tofu Tuesday – Peanut Butter Fluff

Filed under: good eats — karena @ 12:38 pm

Brought to you by…
Kaci@Ellyphant & Kelli@Gohn Crazy

You know, I really need to get more organized for Tofu Tuesdays. I should write this post in advance, when I have oodles of time to myself and a stunningly beautiful dish to photograph and post here, as proof of my cooking prowess. In reality…

Recently we instituted Monday as Kids’ Cooking Day. My five year old makes supper. Prep, actual cooking, setting the table, clearing away… OK, what this actually means is that it takes me twice as long to get supper on the table, twice as much mess to clean up, and twice as much frustration. But also the joy of watching my little boy learn to cook, and take pride in all his “hard” work. It’s definitely worth the headache.

Yesterday was super-hot for and I had no intention of turning on the oven or standing over the stove. So L and I made a couple of side salads (carrot-raisin salad and a corn salad) and we had sandwiches to boot. The grown up version was kind of a tofu salad sandwich — no doubt if you own a veg cookbook, you’ve already got a good jumping-off recipe. The kid version, and the version my husband opted for as well, is known in this house as “Peanut Butter Fluff.” Trust me, it doesn’t get any easier than this! Plus, everyone (at least in our house) likes it, it greatly reduces the fat for those that need…ummm… fat-reducing, and it gets some quality protein into those sometimes picky kids!


1 box of silken tofu
12 oz peanut butter
4 tablespoons honey

Put all in your super-duper blender and blend away. Obviously, this makes a lot. Spread on your bread of choice; also good on apples, etc. Refrigerate any leftovers. If you have use for half a box of tofu, simply half the recipe.

I hope you enjoy! L’s got plenty of kid-friendly, easy recipes up his sleeves. Tune in next week. If the weather is more accommodating, he’ll be making you barbecue tofu!

May 23, 2009

a brief interlude

Filed under: fitness, keeping it real, The Daily Shred — karena @ 6:42 pm

Uh oh… two days without a shred post. That can’t be good, can it?

No. It cannot.

I’ve really hurt my knee. I should explain. In high school I was a cheerleader. No, I haven’t “let myself go;” I was a chubby cheerleader, and now I’m a chubby adult. Anyway, I did some pretty serious damage to my knee in my junior year, and it’s been a bone of contention (ha ha, I crack myself up!) ever since.

So… the combination of full squats and lunges, AND fairly high impact aerobics, has done a number on my knee. I’ve taken the last two days off, and will do so at least for tomorrow as well. After that, will I return to shredding? I’m not sure. I love it! But if I have to baby myself through either the high-impact cardio or the strength moves, I won’t be getting the full effects.

I’m exploring other options with a saddened heart. I’m hoping by Monday to return to working out in some form, and I definitely plan to continue on this journey. I’ll let you know…

May 20, 2009

Weekly Weigh In

Filed under: keeping it real, weigh in — karena @ 6:32 pm

last week: 167.5
this week: 168.5

pissed-off level: sky high

I’m pretty frustrated by this, as you might imagine. I worked hard this week, harder than I’ve probably worked my body in years. And although I didn’t make any radical dietary changes, I was honest with myself. I didn’t eat any more than I normally do — probably less because I was paying attention to mindless snacking and emotional eating.

Hormonal changes? Probably the cause. Does that make me feel any better? Nope. Am I quitting? Not on your life.

May 19, 2009

Tofu Tuesday – I heart Donna Klein

Filed under: good eats — karena @ 5:45 pm

Brought to you by…
Kaci@Ellyphant & Kelli@Gohn Crazy

Today I’m going to share one of my favorite recipes of all time, from my favorite cookbook author of all time. I have mad, mad love for Donna Klein. Other veg cookbooks come and go in my kitchen, but hers are the pride of my collection.

This my adaptation of her Quick Farmer’s Paella from The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen. I meant to get a picture, but was too busy cooking and running after kids to grab a camera. Enjoy!

2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon saffron
2 tablespoons high quality olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup rice
1 pkg frozen lima or butter beans *
1 can artichoke hearts
4oz baby carrots, rough chopped
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

In a saucepan, heat the broth and saffron to a simmer, then set aside.

In your biggest, favorite skillet (I like a cast iron) heat the oil, then add the onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the bell peppers and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes. Add the can of tomatoes and bring all to a simmer.

After about 3 minutes at a simmer, add the rice, zucchini, and broth. Simmer (covered) for ten minutes. Add the carrots and simmer for another ten. Add the peas and continue cooking 5-10 minutes, until the rice is “done.” Stir in the toasted pine nuts and serve.

*the recipe calls for lima beans, but I didn’t have any this time around. What I did have were two leftover zucchini that needed to be used up.

Hope you all have a terrific Tofu Tuesday!

Day 7

Filed under: fitness, The Daily Shred — karena @ 10:23 am

Once again I stayed in bed too late to get a workout in before the littlest awoke. So shredding got put off until the lunch hour. Which is normally fine, if a little inconvenient. Unfortunately, I skipped breakfast — not a calorie-cutting move, I assure you, just bad planning. When I did get hungry, around 10:30, I figured it was too close to my workout. I don’t need to be sweating, quivering, and tossing up scrambled tofu, thanks anyway.

Anyway, today’s shred was a little lackluster. I pushed through every bit of it, but I didn’t get that euphoric feeling I’ve been getting the last couple of days. I’m pretty sure it’s a direct result of not eating and therefore not having enough energy. Tomorrow I will plan better.

May 18, 2009

Day 6

Filed under: fitness, The Daily Shred — karena @ 4:57 am

Yesterday I shredded at 4PM; this morning at 5:30AM. Pretty intense, but great! I noticed this morning that my knees are a little sore, no doubt from really going into the squats and lunges yesterday, and feel like I may have gone easy on them in the jumping jacks today. It’s difficult, I think, for someone not used to working out, to judge how much is too much or just enough. I’m finding my stride. Unless they feel worse tomorrow morning, I’m going to make a conscious effort on day 7 to really make the jacks wide and powerful.

I love it when Jillian says, “You’re capable of working out hard.” Too often I’ve fallen into the trap of thinking that, because I’m out of shape, I’ve got to take it easy on my body. And yes, of course I have to watch out for my knees etc. But that doesn’t mean I can just go for a half hour walk and call it a workout.

If I’d previewed level 1 before I started, I probably wouldn’t have tried it. I would have thought it was too hard for me to do. But it isn’t. I’m doing it and feeling more stamina and strength every day.

Back later, as kids and errands allow, to post my weekly confessions!

May 17, 2009

On the 5th day of shredding….

Filed under: fitness, The Daily Shred — karena @ 6:25 pm

my true love gave to me,
time to get my shred on!

I was lazy and slept in this morning, so my husband was kind enough to take the kids in hand this afternoon so I could get my shred in. He’s been very supportive, despite his penchant for testing my quick-response muscles.

Dare I say it, but I think I’m beginning to “get it.” I didn’t wake up sore this morning. But I did wake up with tons of energy, which I’ve sustained all day long. I decided that I needed to step it up a little and push myself a little more. So I followed Natalie almost the whole workout. Or at least a cross… maybe Natita? I tried with the pushups, but I knew after about number four that I wasn’t getting low enough, so I switched over. On everything else, I was striving for Natalie’s form. Was I as deep into the squats and lunges as her? No, but I was really close. Anyway, I’m really proud that I’ve done this for five days in a row, and don’t have any thoughts of quitting. I AM going to see this through.

I’ve been thinking some about how long I’m going to stay on level 1. I think the intent is to complete the whole DVD in 30 days, which would mean moving on after day 10. But I think I’m going to stick with level 1 until I can do those bloody pushups!

Starting tomorrow morning, I’m going to start paying more attention to my diet as well. Not “diet,” as in on a diet, but rather the food that enters my mouth and sustains my body. I don’t plan to make any real changes — simply be more aware of the portions I serve up for myself, skip the evening snacking I so often find myself mindlessly doing, and limit wine to weekends only.

I want to make a real change here, and doing it in half measures is equivalent to not doing it at all. And I haven’t sweated and strained and winced and moaned for the last five days to end up right back where I started.

May 15, 2009

The Daily Shred – May 15th Edition

Filed under: fitness, The Daily Shred — karena @ 7:32 pm




OK, I’m really sore, particularly my thighs and backside. And my husband is taking evil delight in trying to make me move fast, so he can watch me wince, and in encouraging my kids to climb all over me, so he can witness my agony. But his time is coming. Oh, yes. Because after a couple months with Jillian, I’m going to be able to kick his sorry out of shape arse to the curb.

Because today was day three of the 30 Day Shred for me. And I didn’t put it off. I wanted desperately to make an excuse and not roll out of bed to go to it. But today was one of those days where, if I didn’t get to it before everyone else was awake, it wouldn’t happen. And I’ve got to be honest, I considered just staying in bed — knowing that I’d rationalize it late in the day and never get a workout in.

But I knew I’d be so disappointed in myself if I did. So I just did it. Like the Nike commercials of old, yet I’m a New Balance kind of girl. And you know what? It was great, and empowering. Oh, it sucked and I was gasping for breath and wondering if I could make it through the third set alive. But I did, and I feel a vast amount of accomplishment in that. Not just in the workout, but in getting up early purposefully to get in a workout. I don’t really like the fact that I have to get up an hour before everyone else just to have some “me” time, but I’m beginning to understand just how important “me” time is. I’m a mom, a homeschool teacher, and a housewife, long before I’m “me”. But unless I carve out some time for me, I’m not 100% in the rest of my life.

OK, sappy, I know. But completely true.

May 14, 2009

The Daily Shred

Filed under: fitness — karena @ 12:36 pm

So, day 2 of the shred for me. I set my alarm an hour early so I could get the workout out of the way before I had kids and school and housewifely duties to attend to. But when the alarm went off at quarter to six, do you think I gamely pulled myself out of bed and got to it? Hah. I did think about pulling myself out of bed, but I realized pretty much every part of my body was sore and just kind of wanted to coddle it.

Big mistake.

Why? Because I homeschool my five year old. So when I put the littlest down for his noon nap, I demanded half an hour of “mommy time”, in which he wouldn’t need me to unsnap Legos, or read a story, or help wipe his butt, or discuss the Apollo missions in excruciating detail. He agreed, and did an admirable job of just letting me get to it. Except that he provided running commentary:

    during butt-kicks: Wow, that’s lots of fun, isn’t it Mom?!
    during jumping rope: You know, you’re skin jiggles around a lot while you do that.
    during the last cardio: Mom, you’ve got water dripping down your face.

Yeah, I’ll be getting up early tomorrow.

I think.

Our library also has a copy of Jillian’s Winning by Losing. I’m considering checking it out and really paying attention. I find her to be really motivating, I like that she’s “been there”, and that she has a no nonsense, no pity kind of approach. I bet the book is great, and if I follow the advice I can make a huge change. But, I’m pretty sure she’s going to tell me that the couple of glasses of wine I enjoy every night (yes, every night, I live ten minutes from the French border. it’s doled out like water here.) have got to go. And I don’t want to read that.

Sigh. But I will.

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