#justonejanuary

How do you stop at just one cookie?

Sohee Lee of Sohee Fit wrote an article about the very subject, republished by Greatist.

Lee said stopping at just one cookie has nothing to do with discipline. She eats what she wants, when she wants (I also do that), but she balances her sweets with protein (I don’t do that). Lee also delays her sweets and treats if she knows she’s going to indulge later in the day or the week.

balance + planning > willpower

Usually, I have no problem stopping at just one cookie. Except for doughnuts, I’m not big on sweets. I do, however, have a huge problem stopping at just one taco. I don’t think it’s which food you overeat but that you overeat.

For example, I like to eat – let’s say multiple – tacos and at least two doughnuts (I’m obsessed). There’s a good chance I’ll eat more than two…

Wichita Kansas Donut Whole Donut Hole

A sedentary office job and eating more than one doughnut put weight on me. Obviously, a more active lifestyle and eating no doughnuts will help take the weight off me.

But we all know I’m not going to stop eating doughnuts (again, I’m obsessed).

Wichita Kansas Donut Whole Donut Hole

And Lee doesn’t want me to stop eating doughnuts. Good woman.

“Ban no foods. Otherwise, it doesn’t end well. The point is to not obsess over what you’re eating.” – Sohee Lee

I honestly haven’t obsessed about my food in ages – unless, it’s a positive obsession about the glorious-ness that is the doughnut – which is probably why I’ve put on as much weight as I have. Sneaky hidden weight that doesn’t show up until I sit down or try to put on old pants.

Instead, Lee promotes allowing yourself to eat food when you want – even food you fear to eat because you might binge nosh until you hate yourself.

She also encourages you to keep your “cheat” foods in your house. If you want to EAT ALL THE COOKIES, you should keep cookies in your house. That way, the urgent desire to consume them isn’t as overwhelming.  I’m not sure about this one – I almost never have cheat foods in my house – but I might not have identified any cheat foods to keep out of my house, which is probably more accurate.

I already allow myself to eat what I want, when I want. Now, I just have to add Lee’s delayed gratification tactics by planning my treats in advance and balancing the sugar (or, in my case, salt) with sugar fighters (or salt fighters).

With planning, balancing and a little will power (I’m going to need it), in January, I am going to have just one:

  • Doughnut (Heaven, help me.)
  • Beer
  • Glass of wine
  • Taco
  • Cookie, cake pop, dark chocolate square, etc.
  • (I’ll think of more when I come to a situation.)

The “just one” attempt does not apply to the following:

  • Fruits and veggies
  • Triscuits
  • Tortilla chips
  • French fries
  • Meat balls
  • Other tiny foods meant to be eaten in multiples like those cute sandwiches and ridiculous small tacos

I will document #justonejanuary on Facebook and Instagram. Let’s see how well I do!

Black Bean Corn Salsa

I once came across a recipe for Black Bean Corn Salsa on the back of a can of black beans I was using in my Black Bean Soup.

It was a simple recipe: one can of black beans, one can of corn and one can of diced tomatoes.

I loved it.

I still love it.

But I beefed up the recipe.

Black Bean Corn Salsa
Ingredients

  • 1 15-oz. can organic black beans, BPA-free, drained and rinsed
  • 1 8-oz. can organic corn (steamed corn works, too, but you have to let it cool before adding)
  • 1 medium organic red onion, diced
  • 1 medium organic avocado, diced
  • 4 Roma tomatoes or 2 beefier organic tomatoes, diced (My supermarket doesn’t have organic Roma tomatoes, so I usually opt for something else)
  • 1 lime, juiced (or 2 Tbs. lime juice)
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste

Directions
Chop it up. Mix it up. Eat it with your face.

 

diced red onion

diced tomatoes

Simple Truth Black Beans

steamed corn

black bean corn salsa spice mix

 

Fitbit floors “climbed” figured out

I woke Monday morning to ice-covered cars.

So I spent thirty minutes (probably more) doing laps around my vehicles scraping what felt like an inch of ice off the windows.

Notice when all my steps were…

Fitbit steps taken statistic chart

All of my “active minutes” were also recorded in the morning, except a few from a grocery shopping trip in the afternoon.

According to Fitbit, I passed 10,000 steps on Monday. (Yay, me! I got a badge!)

Fitbit badges 10,000 steps

Most of those occurred while I was scraping the windows, but quite a few were taken after 6 p.m., when I met with a few friends for a toasty beverage. During those 30 minutes of sitting in a chair at a table and not moving anywhere, I took 20 steps.

Crazy, right?

Crazier?

Floors climb with Fitbit

That morning, while moving around on my flat driveway, I climbed 13 floors.

Ridiculous.

A lot more ridiculous than yesterday’s doubled floors.

I went back to Fitbit.

Your Charge detects floors using an altimeter, which is a sensor that calculates altitude based on atmospheric pressure. Though your Charge is designed to look for pressure changes based on elevation gains, pressure changes due to other causes – such as a gust of wind, a weather change or opening a door – can occasionally cause your Charge to register an extra floor or two.

Since the wind was more than gusting that morning, I guess Charge might have been confused… but by far more than a floor or two.

And I live in Kansas!

The wind gusts.

All. The. Time.

Oh well, problem solved! (Or understood, at least.)

Today, I’ve climbed the stairs three times, and Charge is on the dot. I’ve been inside all day with a headache and general malaise so I’m no where near reaching my 10,000-step goal or the gusting winter wind that might make my device think I’m working hard while I’m sitting on my rear.

I’m early to bed tonight.

Fitbit has also been detailing my terrible sleeping habits rather depressingly so I should fix that…

Getting to know my Fitbit

My husband got me a Fitbit Charge for Christmas (because he’s a good husband – I asked for it).

Moments after setting it up on Saturday, I burned hundreds of calories, taken no steps, climbed no floors and entered no exercises. I figured it was the device warming up or getting used to being used, so I set it for sleep and prepared for a new day – my first day with Fitbit.

When I woke on Sunday, Fitbit told me I got six hours and 43 minutes of sleep – of which I woke twice and was restless nine times.

That’s depressing.

I’ll work on that.

My calories burned stat was still off the charts.

I read through Fitbit’s community forums and found out it includes BMR (basal metabolic rate) – which it knew because I entered my weight, height and age when I set up the device – in its calories burned calculation.

Fair.

BMR is the calculation of calories burned by existing. I didn’t think about those calories…

Using the dashboard, I set goals for weight loss and calories burned, which Fitbit decided should be 2,067 calories based on the medium level 20-pound weight loss plan I chose.

Yes, I need to lose 20 pounds.

No, you can’t tell.

Yes, I am considering fat loss not just weight loss, but, for the sake of this blog post and because I just got my Fitbit, we’ll just talk weight loss.

Fitbit Dashboard
Don’t judge me… I just started this thing.

I need a 500-calorie daily deficit, excluding my BMR, to lose one pound a week for a total of 20 pounds in five months – if Fitbit and I have done our math correctly. (I feel like it should be higher.)

I cross-checked with a few online BMR calculators to determine if Fitbit was correct – which, in hindsight, was silly because Fitbit is an online calculator.

Everything came out pretty much the same. I say we’re good to go.

Another stat is floors climbed, which was also inaccurate for me. At the end of the day, after my last climb to my upstairs bedroom, I climbed six floors.

Lies.

I know I climbed that flight of stairs – and only that flight of stairs – three times on Sunday. I went to the forums, but I didn’t really find a solution. My staircase is 15 steps up. Maybe that’s two floors to Fitbit.

I’ll keep an eye on it.

Fitbit’s claim to fame is its pedometer and the reason I wanted it in the first place. It sets the goal for you at 10,000 steps. I took less than 5,000 steps on Sunday, and I have no way of really knowing if I actually took that many steps, stomped my feet funny while sitting or swayed back and forth trying to decide what to wear.

I’ll take Fitbit for its word. Steps are its job after all.

The dashboard also features an exercise and food log, and Fitbit incorporates extra exercise entered into the overall calories burned stat – no math needed. The weight tracker, however, is manual – unless you get Fitbit’s scale thing – still no math needed.

Water tracking is manual, too, and it recommends drinking 64 ounces.

Overall, I’m excited to go to spin class and Power Yoga and walk around campus with my Fitbit. I am not going to make New Year’s resolutions this year… or ever again. Instead, I have a daily goal of 10,000 steps that I will reach on busy days at work without trying or by trying and taking a walk on campus twice a day.

…when I say it like that, it sounds easy.

Here goes!

Power Yoga + Bang Bang Shrimp

I abandoned by YMCA membership because I never used it. I was often too tired after work to hit the gym, and I couldn’t get myself out of bed early enough in the morning to make it to any of my spin classes, which I missssed so bad.

A Christmas present for my husband and I this December was re-upping our membership, and I went to Power Yoga again for the first time in a year.

As we went straight into Chair after one round of Sun Salutations, I said, “Nothing has changed.” Everyone agreed.

Of course, now I’m sore, but I’m happy :)

cropped-yoga.jpg
More than more than a year ago, I was thin and flexible and a Power Yoga regular. Hopefully, I’ll get this flexibility and strength back.

Now for dinner… last night.

Recently, I came across a recipe for Bang Bang Shrimp by how sweet it is (although the post is from way last year), and I decided to give it a try – even though I don’t have a great record with seafood.

And, I have to say, it’s a near-weekly staple at our house.

The recipe I found is super simple, but I simplified it to just ridiculous levels.

Bang Bang Shrimp (2)
From Instagram: Shriiiiiimmmmmmppppp yes

Instead of using raw shrimp, I found a bag of pre-cooked (don’t hate me).

The sauce is nearly the same with 5 tablespoons of mayo, 2 tablespoons of sweet chili sauce but spicier with two tablespoons of Sriracha.

Bang Bang Shrimp (3)
From Instagram: Mayo, Sriracha and sweet chili sauce. Probably the least healthy sauce ever. But… Bang Bang Shrimp.

Instead of making a homemade cabbage salad/slaw, I bought a chopped cabbage salad kit and threw dinner together in less than 15 minutes.

Bang Bang Shrimp (1)
Bang Bang Shrimp and chopped cabbage salad (from a bag) because it’s like I didn’t even cook.

Two days of work left before a week and a half holiday break! Nearly all the shopping is done, and I wrapped the husband’s presents while he was at work today. I have one FINAL shopping expedition tomorrow for my little brother.

Happy Christmas!
Happy Christmas!

Recipe: Black Bean Soup

I can successfully cook about four dishes.

Maybe five, if I’m having a good week.

One of those dishes is Black Bean Soup. I’ve posted about it before, but I’m a better blogger now, and the recipe changes every time I make it.

So it’s happening again.

And the recipe below is the one I like best because peppers.

Black Bean Soup
Ingredients

  • EVOO or oil of your choice
  • 2 large or 4 small carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 red and 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno (or 2, if you like it hot), diced
  • 1 Tbs. vinegar (white wine, apple cider or golden balsamic)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin, coriander, chili, garlic and paprika
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2-4 Chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce
  • 2-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 5.3-oz. container plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 32-oz. container of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 15 oz.-cans black beans
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels

Directions
Chopped carrots, green and red bell peppers, jalapeno and onion saute and simmer until soft in olive oil.

Black Bean Soup

Onions and carrots go in first. Hot pot with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. They burn fast – so I add a cup of water, set the heat to medium and cover for 5-10 minutes. Once soft, you’re free to crank the heat up for the peppers and a bit more olive oil. I usually add some vinegar here – white wine, apple cider or golden balsamic. If the produce sticks too much, add the other 1/2 cup of water.

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Seasoning is key since much of the produce will be simmered to squish. Ground cumin, coriander, chili, paprika and garlic with some thyme… because I love thyme, and I put it in everything.

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Process garlic cloves and Chipotle peppers into a chunky paste. A little German Shepherd doesn’t hurt, either #whenyouseeit

Add the paste, black beans and chicken or vegetable stock to the pot. Salt and pepper again, and stir to combine.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover for 10-15 minutes.

Add frozen corn – or fresh, if you’re into doing that first. Canned is too much and not that tasty in this soup. Just FYI. Plus, frozen corn is cheaper.

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While the soup is simmering, or whatever soup does over heat sans boil, add the juice of one lime, a 5.3-oz. container of plain Greek yogurt and an avocado to the food processor. Spin until smooth.

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Chop green onions or chives or shred cheese to top the soup. I do not recommend Goldfish crackers for this… you Goldfish cracker eaters.

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Serve soup with a dollop or two of the avocado yogurt sauce and toptions of your choice. (If your soup isn’t soupy enough, add 1-2 cups of water, more salt and pepper, and let it go on the heat for a little longer.)

Eat.

Eat two servings.

Do it.

It’s worth it.

Also, with vegetable stock, this dish is totes vegan.

I’m not.

But this dish is.

The other items I’m pretty bomb at cooking are Roasted Garlic Tomato Soup, Veal Meatball Soup, Turkey Sausage Skillet and Bang Bang Shrimp – which we’re having tomorrow so be prepared for the AWESOME that is bagged salad and pre-cooked shrimp in sweet, spicy sauce.

Cooking for the win.

ALL the Christmas

So… 10 days to Christmas.

I am so prepared.

Like so.

I have three… or four… Christmas trees…

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(In fairness, these ones are tiny.)

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A mood-setting mantle…

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Covered in candles GALORE…

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And a rather festive pup!

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I mean… look. how. cute.

Except for the dog, I got all of my decorations at Goodwill. Candles, too. I recommend.

Now, ask me how many Christmas presents I’ve purchased for my loved ones. Ask me how well I’ve planned my Christmas party, my family get-together, a friendsmasgiving…

Well, not well at all, I tell you.

Luckily, I’ve got a husband who knows how to Amazon, cook duck and keep cool under holiday pressure ;)

I suppose I have done a bit of planning. But it’s all Pinterest, no action.

I bet I could wrap presents that great… If, you know, I get them in time…

Happy 10 days to Christmas :)