Monday, April 14, 2014

Checking in and two recipes

Accountability partners!

How is it going?!  So far, so good for me and I hope you're finding success in your hard work, as well.  I'm down in poundage and up in spirits!

My number one weapon in this endeavor is my ultimate accountability partner and support system, my loving husband.  He listens to me rail on about the next recipe I want to try, how many grams of lettuce I've eaten in twenty-four hours, and how much I'm loving feeling so empowered in these last few weeks.  He's the best.

I know, puke. But God blessed me; what can I say?

Two cool things I'm trying today (the school system where I usually volunteer has spring break this week and I'm just about done with my homework...hence: free time): Roasted Chipotle Chickpeas and Kidney Bean Relish

Roasted Chipotle Chickpeas

1 cup of dry chickpeas
eyeball a few drops of EVOO
A few dashes of Mrs. Dash Southwestern Chipotle seasoning

Soak the chickpeas in water over night, covering the dry beans with at least two inches of water.  By morning, they will expand quite a bit.

Cook the chickpeas in a saucepan for at least 20 minutes at a boil (I'm an estimator when it comes to cooking).  Stir them and know that they're done when you try one and it tastes edible and not too crunchy/chalky. Drain.

Stir in a few drops of EVOO, enough to get them "wet," and throw in enough Mrs. Dash to make sure each chickpea has some on it.  I like spice, so I was generous.

Spread it out on a cookie tin and broil it in the oven (or toaster oven, as I did) for about twenty minutes.  You want them to be crunchy, as these are your salty-craving squasher! And they are good for you! Yay, legumes!

Nutrition info (calculated on MyFitnessPal):
4 servings of about 1/6 cup (ha, obscure enough?) each (19 g, .68 oz)

62 calories per serving
Fat: 1.9 g
Sodium: 5 mg
Potassium: 157.5 mg
Carbs: 10.5 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sugars: 2 g
Protein: 3.5 g

Kidney Bean Relish

1 cup dry kidney beans
3 stalks of celery
1/4 white onion
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
spices to taste

(A lot of this is repeat. Pete and Repeat get in a boat, Pete falls out...)

Soak the kidney beans in water over night, covering the dry beans with at least two inches of water.  By morning, they will expand quite a bit.

Cook the kidney beans in a saucepan for at least 20 minutes at a boil (I'm an estimator when it comes to cooking).  Stir them and know that they're done when you try one and it tastes edible and not too crunchy/chalky. Drain.

Cook the corn as directed on the package.  In the meantime, dice up the celery and onion into little pieces.  Picture putting this relish on your salad, chicken, or rice (maybe?) and picture what size of veggies you would want to scoop up with your fork.  That's how small they should be (again, I'm an estimator, married to an engineer).

Pour all ingredients (beans and corn at room temperature) into a bowl, mixing the apple cider vinegar and spice (to taste) in with the lot.  If you have a container with a top or you want to put this mixture in a zipper bag, do so, because this is a great, healthy alternative to dressing on your salad that should last all week.  I think it would also be good as an alternative to chili on a sausage or hot dog in the summer.  I also think this could be tasty with some sauerkraut mixed in.

It's a clean, refreshing, crunchy addition to the day!

Nutrition info (calculated on MyFitnessPal):
10 servings, 63 g each

38 calories per serving
Fat: 0 g
Sodium: 11.7 mg
Potassium: 132.1 mg
Carbs: 7.6 g
Fiber: 1.1 g
Sugars: 0.7 g
Protein: 1.9 g

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

My View - Cathedral of the Sacred Heart

My husband and I had the opportunity to be at the deaconate ordination of a friend of ours at the Richmond Diocese's Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.  The Mass was beautiful and it was transcending to watch a faithful guy I've known since childhood receive Holy Orders, one year before he (God willing) becomes a priest.  Sitting in this beautiful cathedral, I'm also reminded that I will soon sit in these pews again to watch two other friends enter the Sacrament of Matrimony!

Visit Julie at The Corner with a View for more "My View" posts!
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Wednesday, April 2, 2014


He turned and looked at me after I poked him a few times.  What he saw was a sheepish grin, determined and begging.

"What?" he said.
"I think it's Snack Time," I responded.
"What? We just ate dinner! We have a run tomorrow," he said, jokingly (I presume), knowing that it was, in fact, Snack Time. Of Course.
Snack Time

One of those bits of insight people tend to give out to brides and grooms to be is about the married people version of the Freshman Fifteen that seems to be inevitable.  I was only slightly worried about it, because I knew I was already in the habit of working out regularly and my steadfast, runner husband was far away from giving up his endorphin habit.  We had been and still are running buddies (Thank you, God).

Unfortunately, a few of those pounds snuck up on me during those PJ-movie nights and multiple trips up to the snack cabinet.  When the above interaction occurred a few weeks ago, we were sitting in our living room with two good friends visiting town, who witnessed my overexcitement about a snack I really didn't need.

I realized this after some reflection (as trivial as the subject sounds) in Adoration.  Along with some other aspects of my life that are governed by a similar compulsion, I saw this silly interaction for what it was: an example of unthinking ungratefulness for what I can access.

We spend Lent fasting, almsgiving, and praying, yet I need to apply this to my daily life outside of Lent, as well.  The sacrifices we make to improve ourselves can pay off in confidence, joy, and a clearer perception of our relationship with God, so long as week keep giving Him the credit for our Earthly success.

I decided to refocus on how I can glorify God through my body.  Putting it in a blogpost is a step in the motivation direction, y'all.  Accountability partners, anyone?
My 10k bib from this weekend, pre-rainy-race.


  1. Cut time off of my running personal records.  I've worked so hard in the last several years at improving my times that I see now that the next step is to carry around less baggage and to recommit to running.
  2. Reduce my sugar intake.  I have a history of diabetes in my family.  I need to start thinking about what I'm making my pancreas perform on a daily basis.  My sugar addiction has not been kind to it.
  3. Avoid the binges.  But if they happen, to go to my support sources (Christ, my husband, my family, my friends) and revamp.
  4. Track everything in MyFitnessPal. For real.
  5. Replaces as many starches as possible with veggies or legumes.  Potatoes, rice, pasta, {and cookies} are a sometimes food.  I want to concentrate on knowing, "How is this food fueling my body?"
  6. Cheats are okay, but I want to go at least five days without a real cheat.
  7. Try to get as close to a 12 hour fast as possible.  Considering I eat breakfast as early as 6:00 am some mornings and can't get dinner until 7:30, this is not going to happen on many days.  The cut off time for "snacking" is 8:00 pm.
  8. Enjoy my life :)

Sidebar: I contacted the lovely Liesl of The Spiritual Workout Blog about whether or not she thought posting about this would be lame/vain/self-serving.  If it is any of those things, please forgive me.  I think refocusing on this daily need (fuel and thoughtful assessment of that fuel) is going to feed (pun intended) into my growing spiritual life.

What I know about myself:

  • I'm valuable because I'm a daughter of God and a sister in Christ.  This isn't going to change that.
  • Feeling accomplished through hard work puts me in a confident mood. This makes it easier for me to interact with and be friendly with others.  Being more friendly and joyful with others means more people who might hear/see the Gospel.
  • Slip-ups tend to make me feel discouraged. Which is why I'm so fortunate for my next point...
  • I have an extremely supportive husband.
  • I'm not terribly unhealthy or heavy now, but my habits with sugar could become dangers to my future health. I want to establish good practices with my relationship with food and my body before I have children.
  • I'm an athlete and I thrive on competition. This is a competition with my alternative choices.
  • I have a sugar addiction and a family history of diabetes.
This is not a cold turkey, GET HEALTHY RIGHT NOW process, it should be known. There are already a lot of key steps I have taken in the last few years.

My current habits:

  • Working out (running on the treadmill) 4 to 5 times per week and logging those miles on RunningAhead.
  • Tracking my food on MyFitnessPal on and off since November.
  • Measuring my food (literally pulling out the measuring cups, tablespoons, or digital scale), knowing the nutritional information for a lot of the foods I eat regularly.
  • I gave up fried food and soda in 2012.  The vast majority of my meals come from home (not restaurants) and are simple foods.  I also tend to order soup or salad when I go to a restaurant (because making salads can be a pain in the patooty and if someone else will make it for me, I's gunna eats it).
  • No artificial of two weeks ago. Not even in my coffee (cream only in this addict's cup). This was a drastic switch after learning about our body's reaction to sweetener.  The nutshell understanding is: our body craves sugar and when you give it sweetener, it isn't fooled, though it thanksyouverymuch for the flavor.  It increases your sugar craving to drive home the point, "YOU CAN'T FOOL ME! GIVE ME THE SWEET STUFF."
Though weight loss is not my primary goal (mostly because I know if this is strictly about weight loss, I'm not going to succeed), switching out starches with plants has already had an impact.  I would love some advice from those who succeed in meditating on Christ in prayer during their workouts, because this is lacking from my routine.

Again, I ask, accountability partners, y'all?
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