Friday, July 31, 2009

Farm Share Week...Um...9

I missed a few weeks there. We've been very busy the past few weekends and since I pick up my farm share on Thursday nights, sometimes it gets lost in the shuffle.

Last week I got zucchini, beets, cucumbers, carrots and pattypan squash. I've been indulging in my new favorite zucchini (and baby bok choy) recipe (you don't have to have bok choy. Apparently the baby bok choy was only a one week thing at the farm share. It was tasty while it lasted!)

I've been collecting beets for the past few weeks and storing them in preparation for making borscht, a Russian beet soup. My brother-in-law lived in Russia for 2 years and has a genuine recipe. I thought my attempt tasted great. Jason told me it was the wrong color. Despite the color issue, he managed to choke down a few bowls. Apparently the tomato paste I put in overwhelmed the bright red beet color. (If you've never worked with beets before, beware the staining red juice.)

A friend told me she just roasts beets in the oven like potatoes, which I'm going to try with this week's batch.

Anyway, on to Week 9. Behold!
3 large zucchini, 3 short but thick cucumbers and a bunch of beets. It doesn't look like much, but one of those zucchinis will make enough for a large side dish for me and Jason for 2 meals. As for the cucumbers, I like to chop one up, drizzle a little balsamic on top, and eat it with my lunch or for an afternoon snack.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cable TV!

Tuesday night I went to the gym. I seem to have a chronic inability to pull myself out of bed this week so I ran over after work and before some of my friends showed up for our weekly craft night. I blame the mugginess for not being able to get up. I get tired just being.

Anyway, I believe I mentioned that they just put in new cardio equipment. WELL, now they have TVs attached to that cardio equipment. TV with cable! Jason and I made an executive decision to not pay for cable right after we got married almost 2 years ago (really? 2 years?!). I spied the TVs when I was weight lifting on Saturday, but since I swam afterward, I didn't get to do any viewing. I was really looking forward to a TLC or HGTV fix.

So the volume was broken on the first elliptical's TV. Hmmm. I got on another one, looked at the channel guide while warming up, picked my show, and tried to scroll to the channel. Only for some reason, this TV was not hooked up to the cable. I was already about 7 minutes into my workout and thought I would probably look like some TV-obssessed freak if I changed ellipticals again, so I stayed put. All around me I could see logos for HGTV and TLC and Bravo and the History channel. Next time I will check that there is cable first!

However, I must admit that the workout flies when I watch TV, even if I'm only watching bad Seinfeld* reruns. Plus, since I'm so completely distracted, I wind up working harder because I'm not so attuned to how hard I'm huffing and puffing and sweating. Tuesday night on the elliptical's hill program, I climbed 3100 feet.

* Yeah, I don't really get the whole Seinfeld thing. I suppose the show was new and inventive in that it was about nothing. But Jerry Seinfeld was a horrendous actor, the show wasn't really very funny, and every character was kind of a miserable person. Meh.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Apparently Jillian Michaels is no longer doing her radio show, which totally bums me out. I think hers was probably my favorite podcast to listen to while I walked to and from work and when I worked out. Alas, no longer. Sad.

So I make the plea: does anyone have any fitness/health podcasts to recommend? Right now I listen to:
I also regularly listen to Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me, This American Life, NPR On Health and a few other NPR podcasts.

Podcasts can be hit or miss. I found this one fitness podcast online and was so excited when I saw each episode was almost 2 hours long. One problem - it was insanely boring. You really have to have some personality to keep a listener engaged and these people did not. Since there were anywhere from 3-5 people hosting each episode, you would think there would be some interesting conversation at some point. Not so much.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Smart People

I can't tell you how much I love having a friend nearby with a background in dietetics who not only helps me figure out what the heck is going on with my body, but can also explain all the information to Jason using scientific terms so that he actually believes her. Because I've been saying the same things to him for years, only I don't know the jargon so he blows me off. Annoying.

Sunday night the three of us spent hours talking about health care reform, the need for farm subsidy reform, and then Rachel helped us figure out what to do to get healthier. I showed her my SparkPeople nutrition and fitness charts and she said, "Hmmm, I still think your calories are too low." Lately I've been shooting for an average of 1800 calories per day, and when we averaged up last week as a model, it turns out I'm eating more like 1700 calories per day. And that's too low?

We then figured out my BMR, with the added factor of my activity level. Result: 2500 calories. Then we figured out Jason's, with HIS activity level. Result: 2500 calories. So basically, all my working out gives me the BMR of a not-skinny, 6 foot tall man. Awesome.

Rachel thinks I should be averaging about 2100 calories per day to keep me at a healthy deficit and get my body losing again. This week I'm giving that a go.

We're starting with baby steps for Jason. Step one: eat breakfast. He never eats breakfast unless I make smoothies for us. He might have a Fiber One granola bar, but Rachel told him to shoot for about 300 calories and the Fiber One bars are only 140 calories. Also, Fiber One bars are not really the breakfast of champions (neither is Jason's other favorite, Lucky Charms). I had a mini discussion with him yesterday morning about how whole foods are best. Fiber One bars are okay on occasion, but when the ingredient list takes up half the packaging, there's a problem.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Sometimes logging all my information only serves to point out how frustrated I should be.

I ran a fitness report on SparkPeople on Friday. I have been working out for 17 weeks straight with no visible results in either weight or measurements or clothes fitting or anything*. Week before last I worked out 3 times, but the other 16 weeks, I worked out at least 4 times - usually 5 times per week was my average.

Where is the fairness?

Well, it just goes to show I'm not crazy.

I also looked at my nutrition reports and I've had some days where my eating wasn't stellar. But usually that was one meal when either we were on the road, or we went out special (Like, for instance, the past 2 weeks have been Restaurant Week here in Providence, and we went out a couple times because when else are we going to be able to afford to eat at the really posh places? Every time, though, I came away with leftovers from my entree AND my dessert). I honestly think if I printed off the last 4 months of reports and took them to a doctor, the only thing the doctor could say would be something like, "Well, maybe you shouldn't have had that dessert that one time. Maybe you shouldn't have eaten McDonald's on that road trip." These are valid points, however, even when I ate the dessert or ate the McDonald's, I still stayed within my calorie range. (Saturday being the one exception)

I told Jason all this and his response was, "What a downer." Yes. What a downer, indeed.

*Actually, I lie, I have had one (or two) visible results. Yesterday, I measured my thighs and they are both about a half inch smaller. So that's good news. That's the only measurement decrease though.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

True Confessions

In the interest of full disclosure, yesterday was not a good day. It started out great. I woke up early and went to the gym for a half hour of weights and an hour swim. Then I came home and ate some scrambled eggs and a smoothie. Then it all went downhill.

Once again, we were on the road yesterday, headed up to Tanglewood to see a friend of ours sing (and, as we later found out, to enjoy the giant mosquitoes). I meant to cook a loaf of bread on Friday night. Then I meant to have that bread ready to make sandwiches to take with us. Then I got some cherries, which Jason LOVES, for us to snack on.

Well, I was busy doing other stuff Friday night and didn't get to the bread. So no sandwiches. I was also running around yesterday morning and forgot to wash the cherries and we were running late so that didn't happen.

We decided to pick up lunch on the way out of town and stopped at Wendy's, where I proceeded to completely sabotage my day by getting the new Asian Sweet and Spicy Wings. Newsflash: they're fried. I don't know what I was expecting exactly, but not the heavy breading. Also in a combo meal. With a small Frosty.

Ugh. I just entered all of that into SparkPeople and for the first time in a very long time I am over my calorie range. Not to mention sodium, carbs and all that other good stuff. Newsflash #2: those wings have 2500 mg of sodium. Insane!

The thing is, about 5 minutes after I finished eating all of that, I told Jason that next time we're going on a roadtrip, he needs to remind me to make sandwiches. I felt HORRIBLE. And then I was drowsy for the rest of our two-hour drive as I tried to seriously fight off the carb/sugar/crappy food crash. Totally not worth it.

Normally I would get the Mandarin Chicken Salad at Wendy's, but I was driving the first leg while Jason tried to figure out via his phone where exactly we were headed. This is a big lesson to me that it really does pay to be prepared.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Could I Have Shin Splints Already?

I've run a grand total of twice now. This morning I was going to run, but we had a major storm going on outside, so I stayed in my cozy house and shredded and did some ab exercises afterward. On Wednesday when I ran, I noticed pain in my shins, but pushed on through. Today during the 30-Day Shred, I couldn't even complete a 30 second segment of butt-kicks*. It wasn't because I was out of breath, but because my shins hurt every time each foot hit the ground and I finally had to stop.

This sounds an awful lot like the shin splints my running friends used to complain about. What can I do? Will they get better as I run more? Do I keep going with the running, or revert back to the low-impact world of the elliptical and swimming?

I want to finish this C25K thing, but not if it's going to hobble me.

I have bad joints on both sides of the family and bone issues on my mom's side, and I might be a little paranoid about making sure I don't break down my body before its time.

*Jillian has you do 4 different cardio exercises in Workout 1: jumping jacks, jump rope, butt kicks and boxing.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Workout Wednesday

So I did Amy's bum exercises last night and they were pretty good. A couple of them felt completely ridiculous, but I really liked the ones where I had to focus on balance as well as actually doing the exercise. I liked the Tree Arabesque
and the Glute Swoop
for the balancing aspects.

I planned to run again this morning, but my legs are pretty sore from all the work I've been giving them (weights and elliptical Tuesday, running yesterday) so I thought they deserved a day off. This means I won't make my workout 5 times per week goal this week, but next week will be another story.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Running Again

I ran again today. Then I posed the question to Facebook of when exactly does running become fun? It did not make me feel better when my former Marine, totally in shape cousin responded that the runner's high for him is really more of a "runner's relief" felt only after the run is finished.

I like the idea of running. It's like the walks I like to take through the neighborhood, only faster. But right now I feel kind of scared of next week, when I'll be running for longer than 60 second intervals. I'm totally in awe of anyone who can run for, say, 5 whole minutes.

Tonight when I get home from work I'll do Amy's Workout Wednesday that she just posted. It's all about bum exercises, and heaven knows, I can always use those.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


This week, Amy challenged us to ponder and write about our goals, both short-term and long-term.

Long-term Goals
  1. Lose 30 pounds (aka, the one I've been whining about the most). I honestly don't know right now if that will ever happen. Right now I would be pretty darn pleased to lose half that and keep it off. Regardless, this is still a goal. I suppose my reward for achieving this would be getting a new wardrobe. I would probably do that after losing 15 pounds though, because most of what I now own wouldn't fit that well.
  2. Run a 5K, for reals. Sunday night we had dinner with some friends, one of whom is a big-time runner. When he found out that not only is Jason jogging, but now I have joined in the Couch to 5K effort, he challenged us to actually do a 5K race at some point. My reward after completing this would be a new pair of nice running shoes.
Short-term Goals
I'm thinking of the short-term goals as a means to an end with regard to the long-term goals.
STGs related to LTG 1:
  1. Work out for one hour, at least 4 times a week, with a good mix of cardio and strength training. If I keep this up for one month, I get a massage (Yay!). After that I'll make it a month and a half, two months, and so on before I get my reward.
  2. Eliminate white sugar and white flour from my diet as much as possible. Part of this goal is recognizing that sometimes I can have treats and sometimes I will be places where healthy food is not available, but overall I want the majority of my days (say 6 out of 7 per week) to look like my clean eating day last week. If 6 out of 7 days do not include the "white foods" for a month, my reward will be a new book that I have been wanting (believe me, I have a long list of books I want).
STGs related to LTG 2:
  1. Keep up with the Couch to 5K program, running 3 days per week. After one month of consistency, my reward will be an actual workout outfit. Right now my workout clothes consist of a ratty T-shirt and ancient workout pants. Sexy!
  2. I suppose in order to actually do the 5K, I'll need to research local 5Ks. I don't need a reward for that, but I'll list it here so I'll remember.
I'm going to print this list and put it next to my mirror to remind myself of my goals every morning and to help me make good choices. I should also probably hang it dangling from a rope over my pillow so when I'm tempted to not get up to work out, I'll be reminded of how I really, really want those nice shiny rewards. Oh yes, and health and fitness too. Of course.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Farm Share Week 5

I didn't post about week 4 because after I picked up the farm share on Thursday evening, I rushed home and started prepping for our friends' going-away party. This included slicing up one of the zucchini from the farm share for a veggie tray (paired with parsley hummus made with the out of control parsley from the AeroGrow). Then we left the next day for DC. Week 4 consisted of beets, onions, sugar snap peas, broccoli and zucchini. Since we were leaving for 4 days I focused on getting veggies that would wait until we got home for me to prep them.

Here is the score from last Thursday:

I got sugar snap peas, beets, garlic, pattypan squash, zucchini and baby bok choy. I was only supposed to get a pound of zucchini, but since they were all mammoth sized, he said we could grab whichever one we wanted, even if it was more than 1 pound. The one I got was almost 2 pounds. Nice! The broccoli is gone from the selection, which makes me sad. Having fresh, local broccoli to roast was awesome. However, other things are coming into season and it's getting more and more interesting to choose.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


I ran. FYI, running with good shoes is a whole different experience. Yes, it was difficult, and yes I sweated a lot (assisted by 70% humidity), but I didn't feel like my legs were going to fall off at the end of it.

I did the first step of the Couch to 5K program, which is a 5 minute warm-up walk, then 8 sets of 60 seconds running, 90 seconds walking. It's kind of like very, very slow intervals. I warmed up by walking down the hill to the Brown stadium, then ran around the track, then walked back up the hill home. I timed myself via my iPod, which was difficult as I was jostling around so much.*

One thing I noticed that was nice is that by interval 6 or so, my breathing was calming down more rapidly and I was raring to go again by the beginning of the 60 seconds. Also, I would glance at my iPod and notice that I had, say, 5 seconds left, but I would decide to go to a certain mark in the track instead and make the interval last a bit longer. I only did this when I was running, not with the easy walking, so the moral of the story is I was pushing myself rather than cheating. Always a good distinction. I guess my internal competing with myself thing is still there even when I'm not swimming. Good to know.

Here's my pretty picture:

After taking this I did a bunch of crunches and planks and did 10 whole push-ups! In a row! I know! I was shocked too.

Here are my new GIGANTIC shoes that don't cripple me so I love them:
(The fact that they're brand new and GLOWING white really accentuates the hugeness)

*I was talking with Jason yesterday about how I really want a heart rate monitor to time myself and to keep track of calories burned and all those little numbers I love so much. I just got a bonus at work and while the bulk of it is going straight into savings, I'm going to set aside a little to buy myself something. I've wanted a heart rate monitor for, oh, about 2 years, so it's probably time.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Eating Clean

This week on the 15 Week Challenge, Amy challenged us all to eat "clean" for one day, and that day for me was Wednesday. I'm pleased to report that this didn't require any huge deviations on my part. I'm usually pretty good about eating whole foods, but I realized there are still a couple of "processed" things in my regular menu - namely Klondike Slim-A-Bears, Healthy Choice Fudge Bars and Larabars.

On Wednesday, the only one of those I ate was a Larabar. My friend Rachel introduced me to these bars a month or so ago when we went on a Costco excursion and she came skipping back to the cart with a bulk box of them, thrilled because they were so cheap compared to buying them individually. Here's the thing, though. They're not really all that processed. I ate an Apple Pie one as part of my snack on Wednesday.
Ingredients: dates, walnuts, unsweetened apples, almonds, raisins, and cinnamon. That's it. Even better is the Cherry Pie bar. Ingredients: dates, cherries and almonds. Also, it tastes exactly like cherry pie, which blows my mind.

It occurred to me about midway through the day - when I was at work with no camera - that I should really be taking pictures of my clean eating. But I didn't. However, I did take a picture of a lovely dinner I made last week, just because the colors were so pretty. Of course, vivid colors never really translate in my point and shoot, but here you go:
The dinner above is similar to what I ate Wednesday, just with asparagus rather than zucchini.

So, my menu for Wednesday:
Pre-Workout Snack:
1/3 Cashew Cookie Larabar (FYI, not enough to power me up for my hour-long workout. I got serious hunger pangs after I finished the weights and was 5 minutes into the elliptical. Then I fought off a headache for the rest of the day and finally took a migraine pill at about 7 PM. My body does NOT like exercising on low blood sugar)

Smoothie with unsweetened Almond Breeze, strawberries, blueberries, plain Greek yogurt, whey protein.
3 scrambled eggs with feta cheese

2 pieces of baked chicken
Salad with romaine, parmesan and homemade balsamic vinaigrette

Apple Pie Larabar
1 T. all natural peanut butter
1 oz cheddar

Roasted zucchini and summer squash
Roasted broccoli

Evening Snack:
Popcorn popped on the stove in my Whirley-Pop

The popcorn may not be strictly "clean" either, although I think it should be okay, since I popped the kernels myself without any mysterious chemicals like you find in microwave popcorn. The popcorn is straight from the Whole Foods bulk bins.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I Was Running

I got some new running shoes this past weekend when we were in DC. My sister-in-law's dad owns a running store in Maryland and he fitted me for proper shoes and gave me a discount. So nice! Apparently I have some of the flattest feet he's ever seen.* The shoes I got are built to give me the stabilization that I don't have naturally. They feel great when I walk, which will hopefully translate into comfort when I run. He also showed me how to lace my shoes so that my narrow heel doesn't slide up and down and get blisters, which is a problem I've had before.

I also found out that my feet are HUGE. Here I thought I was an 8, 8 1/2. These new shoes are 9 1/2. Wide.

I am a delicate flower.**

This week for the Wednesday Workout Challenge we're supposed to run/walk for 20 minutes. Now that I have my new shoes, I can start running. I plan to start the Couch to 5K program this week. Stay tuned for a running report.

*Whereas Jason has obscenely high arches. I'm hoping our kids come out a happy medium.
**Well, I have dress shoes in 7 1/2 wide that are perfectly comfortable, so I'm going to say I average about an 8 1/2, depending on the shoe.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

No Sugar

I have a friend who is becoming vegetarian not because of any ethical concerns, but because meat makes her feel awful. She tests herself periodically, and most recently eating meat made her feel lethargic and actually triggered some of her anxiety issues. We were talking last night and I mentioned to her how my body is the same way with simple carbohydrates. Whenever I wean myself off of sugar and white flour, I feel awful for the first couple of days, and then I feel amazingly good. After that, eating sugar makes me feel loopy and I always have a heavy crash afterward. Of course, if I eat enough of it my body gets used to it again and I don't notice the bad feeling because it's there at a low level pretty much constantly.

Then I mentioned how I had brownies in the oven for our craft night and we both laughed.

After that discussion, though, I realized I need to get back in that no simple carbs mode. Without really planning at all, today is day 1. I'm not doing South Beach, I'm just cutting out the simple carbs, and focusing as much as possible on protein, fruits and vegetables, which are the foods that make my body feel the best.

I find it interesting that my friend can get sick from eating meat, while I feel my best when I'm eating fish and chicken and limiting carbs. It's just further proof to me that everyone is very different and no one food plan works for everyone.

By the way, I'm feeling better this week. I'm trying to focus as much as possible on how good I feel when I'm eating right and working out, and not so much on the scale. Even though I just want to yell, "Go down, d**n you!!!" when I step on it lately, I'm working on finding that zen place in my head where it's really just a number.

This morning I did 30 minutes of weights and 30 minutes of elliptical. My Y must have gotten a big donation lately because they upgraded all their machines over the weekend. It took me a good 5 minutes to figure out the display screen, which is all computerized and fancy schmancy with animated trainers. I did a hill program where it takes you to different peaks around the world and has you climb, adjusting the resistance based on the trail. Even though I had my towel over the screen, I could tell when the path inclined upward because it got really tough. According to the program, I hiked 2.11 miles and climbed 2300 feet. I realize it's not REALLY like hiking, but since I love numbers I can now keep track of mileage AND feet climbed.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

In A Funk

I am really having a hard time busting out of my discouragement mindset. It's hard to convince myself to get up out of my cozy bed when there's a voice in my head saying, "What's the point? You're never going to lose weight again." I know I should throttle that voice, but the motivation to do so just isn't there.

In the meantime, I feel round and puffy and like none of my clothes fit and that my pretty clothes from last summer when my hips were a few inches smaller are never going to see the light of day this summer and that's just depressing. I'm so tired of my clothes that do fit. I had a plan to give myself a little spree when I lost 10 pounds or so to get some newer stuff that doesn't look so raggedy, but I haven't lost any weight. So my clothes are old and raggedy and I'm still 190.

I know I shouldn't focus so much on the weight and I should love myself as I am and all that. Generally, I'm fine with me and I'm comfortable in my skin, but this feeling of wanting to lose weight and not knowing what in the world to do about it, when I feel like I USED to know what to do about it and whether or not I lost weight was MY choice, is discouraging.

I had 5 whole days of exercise planned this week and so far I've done 2. Tonight we're having a going away party for some friends and then I have to get ready for our trip to DC this weekend. We're leaving at about 1 PM tomorrow so I need to have my bag packed and in the car before I leave for work in the morning. So no shredding after work, and probably no swimming tomorrow morning because I'll be too tired and, let's face it, probably still doing laundry and throwing stuff in a bag.

The problem with not working out in the early AM is that I then wind up staying up too late that night because I'm not quite tired at my normal 11 PM bedtime. Last night I got to sleep at 12:30 and just couldn't get up to get to the gym at 6. It's becoming a vicious circle.

Physically, I'm really feeling the lack of exercise. I am dragging and a little cloudy today, and it's not just because the weather is crappy - again. Maybe the weather is playing a part in all of this, but if I'm having a hard time with some gray clouds in the morning, I'm never going to able to get up in January when it's pitch black and below zero.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Cross Training

This week I'm making a big effort to cross train and not focus so much on swimming. Yesterday I walked to and from work, then shredded when I got home (76 degrees and about 60% humidity. I was soaked by the end.) This morning I did 20 minutes of weight lifting, then 25 minutes on the elliptical. If all of this doesn't start working, I might flip out a little.

I've been feeling kind of discouraged about swimming because Jason keeps telling me anecdotes from his scientist colleagues that you can't lose weight swimming. It's kind of funny since he's usually all about wanting the scientific proof and yet he and the other science-type guys are speaking strictly from anecdotes. I have heard before that people don't lose weight swimming. However, I lost the initial 35 pounds a few years ago swimming. And the last couple of years I've lost 15 pounds each year primarily through swimming. (Then I slacked off for 4-5 months and gained it all back).

A lady on SparkPeople had an idea that maybe there's something off in my body now that wasn't a problem a year ago. Maybe it's just a slowed down metabolism, or maybe it's something more. Women on both sides of my family have had thyroid issue, but I've always tested normal. I think if I don't start seeing results from the cross training in a month or so I'll get some bloodwork done.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Farm Share Week 4

The bounty is getting more diverse:
2 heads of lettuce, a couple pounds of broccoli, beets, onions and zucchini. I'm going to try to roast the zucchini with a bit of salt, pepper and olive oil, since roasting is my favorite way to do vegetables lately. Also, I'm going to make my brother-in-law's borscht recipe. He went to Russia on his mission and so not only is it tasty, but it's authentic. I don't know if I have enough beets, though, since they're kind of small, but I'll give it a whirl.

Since I had the day off work today, I got a lot of little chores done, including prepping the veggies for the coming week. Have I told you all how much I love to chop? It's soothing to me.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Side Plank Impaired

I did the Wednesday Workout last night and worked my abs hard. They were screaming at me by the end, and were sore last night, but today they're ok. I guess that means they're ready for more abuse.

I have discovered that I have serious problems doing side planks. As soon as I push up on one arm, it starts wobbling like jelly. Oddly, it's easier for me to do a side plank if I go straight into it from a regular plank, rather than starting from the floor. But either way, my arms can't last very long. Ideally, the side plank is supposed to be working your core muscles, but I can't even get to that point when my arm won't hold me up. Does anyone else have that problem?

The weather is killing me and making it really hard to just get up in the morning, period, let alone getting up early and going to the gym. This morning I woke up to hard rain and thunder and lightning and while I usually love a thunderstorm, I just groaned at the prospect of yet another gray day. Almost every single person on my Facebook page who is in New England has made some sort of comment to the effect of, "Et tu, July?"

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

15 Week Challenge

I've decided to give myself some sort of goal other than losing weight and I'm participating in the 15 Week Challenge at Amy's Quest to Skinny. OK, yes, the ultimate goal is weight loss, but that's not all and I think I need more to focus on right now. Amy is kindly giving us a weekly challenge AND a workout challenge on Wednesdays AND we get points for doing those challenges. I'm all about points (15,552 SparkPoints and counting).

I'm looking forward to doing today's Wednesday Workout when I get home from work (even though my abs are trembling in fear and will hate me tomorrow). This week's weekly challenge is to remake an unhealthy dish into something healthier.

For those of you who read my other blog, or the recipe blog I contribute to, you've probably seen the below recipe before. However, it's one of my favorite unhealthy recipes that I tweaked to be healthier (relatively speaking) and it tastes great.

Sweet Potato Pie

  • 3 T. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 C. sugar
  • 3 C. mashed sweet potatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/8 C. light corn syrup
  • 1/2 t. ground nutmeg
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/4 C. butter
  • 3/4 C. evaporated skim milk
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pastry shell (I’m a slacker and used a store-bought crust)

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and sugar. Add potatoes, eggs, corn syrup, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, butter and evaporated milk; beat well. Pour into pastry shell. Bake at 350 degrees F for 55-60 minutes.