Monday, October 6, 2014

Chili with cornbread waffles

Years ago, before children, I used to work nightshifts and Rob worked days. Our time together on my workdays was during his lunchbreak. He'd come home for lunch and I'd have slept about 4 hours, we'd eat and then I'd take a nap and go back to work. While we ate, we would watch Paula Deen on Food Network.

See all of the things that have changed?
-sleeping all day
-watching tv while eating
-eating on the couch
-watching something not animated or including names like Squidworth

Anyhoo, one day I was watching ole Paula (pre-banning from Food Network) make some chili. And she put it on cornbread waffles. It was weird but at the same time, it looked fan-freaking tastic. Here is the recipe if you want hers.

It's a bit........not super healthy. Its not bad in comparison to many of Paula's delicacies, but it can get skinnied up a bit. I also like to cook the meat ahead of time and stick it in the crock pot all day so it can be ready when we get home on a workday.

Sara's Lightened Up Crockpot Spicy Chili
1 lb 93% ff ground turkey
1 onion
1 green pepper
2 cloves garlic minced
1 can corn drained
2 cans 15oz red beans drained
1 can 15oz tomato sauce
1 can 10oz can diced tomatoes and green chilis
2 tbsp cumin
1tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt

In a large skillet cook the ground turkey. As the turkey gets close to being completely done, use your spoon/spatula whatever, and chop it up into tiny tiny pieces. This is how you make ground turkey doable for a person not used to the texture/taste of ground turkey. Get it into as small of pieces as possible and they won't even know the difference.

After the turkey is done, drain any excess grease and stick it in the crock, chop up the onion and green pepper as finely as possible (or chunky if so desired and you don't have littles that think they don't like big hunks of green in their soup) and cook in skillet. About three minutes before the veggies are done, add the garlic and saute with veggies until onions are transperent. Add to crock.

Drain corn and beans and add, put tomatoes in undrained. If you want a more "soupier" chili, add another can of tomato sauce, this chili is meant to be THICK! Add the seasonings, stir and set at low for 8-10hours. You'll be a happy camper. I promise.
One very overfilled cup will run 334 calories. Its perfectly wonderful on its own in a bowl with cilantro on top. I usually crunch up four tortilla chips and call it 375 calories. This is when I'm being super awesome whole-ish foods on plan dieter. It is a perfect blend of protein/fat/carb.

This is as far as I can take you and still call this a "Lightened Up recipe". But, I suggest you save calories occasionally and do it up right.

Onto the cornbread

I've lightened up the cornbread, but it is still, a huge serving, as its the same size as a Belgium waffle, and full of flour and many other carbs. Half of a large waffle is plenty for a cup o chili.

1 3/4cup white flour
1 1/4 cup cornmeal
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup applesauce
2 eggs 
2 cups milk

Cook in a waffle maker, put it on your plate. Add toppings. 

Sour cream

On Saturday we had the whole Qualls family over for dinner. I worked out hard that morn in the morn, walked all over Walmart getting groceries immediately after,  and the library after, and ate very few carbs all day. Mostly egg beaters, veggies and protein shake.  I budgeted my calories for the half a mamma jamma cornbread waffle with chili and cheese and sour cream and even for two cookies after. An it was heaven. This is my very favorite recipe I make.

Robs a fan too. I told him he needed to make an appearance on the blog so he modeled his chili and waffles. 

But first lemme take a selfie

Oh selfies. It used to be me and my college friends turning the phone around on ourselves and not knowing the outcome till Wal Mart developed the prints. And that maybe happened once every six months. Now we have the power to take pics of ourselves 24/7. I love watching people's transformations on Instagram and they are forever posting gym selfies and progress pics and I'm like "yep, I'm gonna inspire some too someday." So I do a few selfies. Plus I joined an online weight loss challenge where you check in with selfies, so, its not vanity, but me trying to not get kicked off the challenge. I get done with a workout, feeling all eye of the tiger and think, time to have proof I worked out (because actually losing weight isn't proof enough in our world of technology).  But then I look at my phone and....just no.
Fake smile, ten things in my hands, tshirt that I cut the sleeves off which is semi douchy, but makes it comfy

Not looking at the camera. And pushing the button with the other hand. If can't even motor function a selfie really.

Wait, let me fix this one

Sara have you seen the light? Your camera has.

Sometimes I forget I didn't even brush my hair before I take a selfie.

I don't really "do" faces all that well. I'm wondering the story behind this one. Can't be that bad of a day. That's my bacon shirt (which I'm wearing currently). Bacon shirt helps a bad day.

Even when the rest of me looks ok, the lighting is great and the backdrop is fab, I still can't muster the strength to put that chunk of hair in the clippie.

Sometimes selfies prove your overindulgence in whipped cream vodka at a tailgate.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Back in the weight loss saddle and why I call my scale a douche

I'm going to start with this: The scale is a douche
Now I'll wind my way back.

When we found out we were moving, I was doing pretty good in my quest for weight loss. I was on week 5 of Couch to 5k, and doing weights at home. I was tracking my food on My Fitness Pal (quallsy, just in case you wanna bff me on there) and the scale was budging. Barely. But budging.

Then we found out we were moving in a month and I went a little nuts in my head. For a few weeks I had to be reminded to eat, which, in my entire life, had never happened. I just concentrated on painting and getting my kids where they needed to go and all the work needed to move. When we did eat, it was for convenience. Easy meals, lots of cleaning out the pantry so we didn't have to move a ton a food to move. So-spaghetti, sandwiches, breakfast for dinner, hot dogs, and more. I was putting in like 5+ hours of painting or cleaning or lugging around boxes, so despite the fact that I was eating off norm, I still could feel pants getting a little looser. I packed my scale at some point, so I had no idea what I really weighed.

When I got to Fayetteville, I was down 7lbs from my highest weight. Suh-weet! But, we weren't done being a little crazy. The day we moved took most of a Monday, then the movers drove to Fayetteville and stayed in a hotel, to bring our stuff the next day. We had our townhouse, and the stuff we'd shoved into our two vehicles. Then came moving in day. Then came family. A lot of family. And friends. A lot of friends. Everybody that we missed all the time that we desperately wanted to live by was right here. And every one of them wanted to go out to eat. And we had just moved to a new town that is total foodieville.

Our first 24 hours here this happened:
Dinner: Noodles (I shared Bacon Spinach Ravioli with my sister and partook in bread and salad and an alcoholic bev.)
Breakfast: Briar Rose (Rob and I shared Biscuits and Gravy and a Cinnamon Roll)
Lunch: Smitty's Garage (I had Fish Tacos and a few french fries)
Dinner: Firehouse Subs (at this point my stomach was about to blow up, I had the low fat chicken salad only)
Yeah, that was a rough 24 hour patch. It wasn't always that bad, but for about two weeks, we went out to dinner every other night or so and it was at new fun places, so you know my butt didn't choose wisely.

Life has settled down. We've both started jobs, the kids are both in school, and our pantry and fridge are finally restocked. I'm back couponing (not as well as before, never thought I'd miss Kroger so bad) and trying to stock us up with healthy stuff and have myself a plan so I don't fall prey to the easy fix of someone else making us dinner.

The scale caught up with me. For a few weeks I kept losing weight and I ridiculously convinced myself that the gym workouts were offsetting the bad eating. I've lived in this body for 34 years and a big part of that has been spent trying make that dang scale go down, so I should know that bad behavior takes forever to show up on the scale and good behavior takes EVENMOREFOREVER!!! So the drop on the scale was my efforts with running in July, the forgetting to eat during moving, the five hours a day doing squats while repainting my house, the walking around the zoo, museum, and Rivermarket ONE LAST TIME, the jumping at the trampoline park ONE LAST TIME,  and the seventy five boxes that I packed and moved to a storage unit.

So, here I am, in early October. I have been going to the gym 3-4 days a week and wogging 1-2 days a week. I am logging like a beast in My Fitness Pal and paying attention to carbs and fats and proteins more than I ever have. It feels like I should have lost 14 lbs in a month. Instead, I'm almost back where I started. Its sad times. I am being punished for bad behavior in August. If I continue my current plan (working out, eating within my calorie range) I should see this reward in a couple of weeks. It might be 2015 before then, but we'll see.

You know on Biggest Loser where everyone loses like 10-30lbs in the first week? If I was on the show, I would lose 1, maybe gain 2, and get kicked off week 1. Remember when Rob and I did a cleanse and he lost 10 and I lost 3? I followed it to a T and he had a nacho buffet and alcohol on Day 3. The scale is a douche. Its fine.

The good news, is that I can see changes not involved with the scale. I measured myself and I had lost 3.5 inches. Rob was impressed when I flexed for him. And I think my head is in the right place now. Food is tricky for me. It is hard for me to not see food for being just what it is: nourishment. To not think of it as a reward, a therapist, a cheat, an enemy. To just simply think of it as a way to energize my body to get me through a busy day. I feel like my head is going in that direction and exercise isn't a way to 'burn off all the cheats' but to build a strong body.

I've joined a weight loss challenge group and weighed in and measured myself October 1. September was spent getting used to our new life and getting a schedule of sorts set up. October is all about implementing what I know. Water like a fish, logging food, exercising like a beast.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Max's 4th Birthday

I don't even know how its possible that Max is 4. In honor of his bday, this post is all about Max. 

Max was our second child in 2 years. We were overwhelmed to say the very least when he was born. At the same time, I think Rob and I were way more chill with Max. He benefited from our knowledge of what didn't work for Rylan (bless Rylan's heart). We knew that it would all be okay, that he would sleep eventually, that letting him cry for a minute wouldn't kill him and we were overall more calm about the situation. 

When he was a tiny baby he puked all the dang time. All the time, but he didn't cry about it. He just puked and then went about being cute. That was our first sign of our very go with the flow kid. Every day of Max's life is his new best day. He is easy to please and very rarely complains. He will shop with me, eat lunch with my girlfriends, yesterday he played in an empty jacuzzi at my sister's Pool and Spa Store for an hour. I love his chill nature.

That being said, Max is nuts. He is easy to please and overall happy, but ZOMG the kid does not stop moving until he passes out! He is a jumping, running, air guitar playing, spinning, chatting machine!!! If I could have 1/10th of his energy, I'd weigh 110, tops. He is still working on sleeping in a bed and bedtime is a little.......not fun at times. I've decided naps are no longer our friends if we'd like our kid in bed sleeping before 10pm. 

Kid loves corn. A lot.

 Our last trip to the zoo. I don't know many kids that love animals more than Max. 
He told me the other day I was his best friend. He has a sweet heart.

I don't lie, he will play at Toys R Us for an hour and be fine leaving with no toys. Perfectly happy picking everything up and playing and then putting it back.

He's nuts I tell you

He goes until he passes out, quite literally

He could play in the sand forever. This is a sand volleyball court near our new place in Fayetteville. Its his favorite.

Mastering the duckface

I posted this pic on Facebook recently. All the kids were having the best time swimming and Max was giddy about just hanging in this bucket meant for foot washing before getting in the pool.  
Someone mentioned him being my challenging child. He has his moments of having fits, being overtired and hitting or being a mess, but for the most part, aside from his constant ear infections and need for multiple allergy meds and a special diet, I've had a cakewalk with Max. I literally potty trained him in, like 4 hours. He is happy no matter what. He has the forgiving nature of a puppy dog. He has been so good about the fact that he can't have milk due to his allergies and tummy problems. He asks me dutifully, "mom? does this have cow's milk in it?" He randomly thanks me for things that most people wouldn't be thankful for "thanks mama, for taking me to preschool." "thank you for letting me feed the ducks at the pond, mommy." 

So big!

And so crazy

He was placed in his preschool in the "Wild Class" and last week was the "Wild Child of the Week". I've never heard a better phrase describe my kid. 

He's perfect in our eyes. 

Happy Birthday, love bug. You are so loved.