Monday, February 19, 2024

Snowy Surprise and Boarded Up Weekend Recap

Anyone else feel like the weekend is basically one day of semi-rest and one day of whirling dervishness sprinkled with anxiety?  

Just me?  As you were.

We finally got a bit of snow Friday night.  We knew that meant we'd have ONE day to snow shoe because the ground was not cold enough to sustain it sticking around.  The Mr got to working on cutting baseboards for going upstairs.  I pointlessly added the sound deadening strips I used in my closet for behind them.  I figured I bought them for a reason so I should probably just slap them on so they weren't a waste of money.  (They are but still.)  He really busted his butt trying to get some angles going that we have to deal with.  Who knew adding 5/8" drywall was going to be such a clusterfudge?  

(Me.  I knew.)   

I chatted with my friend down south and she confirmed she's got Covid so I sent her a Doordash gift card so she could get dinner and rest.  She ended up getting Italian which is her heritage and it felt nice to be able to help take care of her in some way since she's going through it alone with no one to check on her.  

Saturday I got to weigh in and find zippo on all fronts according to the fancy scale.  I wasn't surprised because I tried upping my calories slightly and I knew it was a crap shoot.  We thought I was creating too much of a deficit but then what did I do?  I only did the bike once instead of 3-4x for NEAT calories.  (I can't really walk extra around the house with the feet still utterly screwed.)  I found out stevia is in the ragweed family, which I'm allergic to, and wasn't sure if that was contributing to any inflammation and last week was week one off of it.  It was also the first week without coffee daily.  (Albeit decaf but still.)  I only uh, 'liberated' my bowels twice last week despite getting in pristine water consumption every day.  My sleep was worse than the week before but not as bad as the week before that.  Unfortunately, I reacted to the news by snarfing the Mr's Valentine's gift of Cape League popcorn from Smith's Popcorn from Cape Cod in a reflex rage.  Smart, I know but I also know I'm still trying to overcome a lifetime of programmed responses and I didn't figure all of that other stuff out until the damage had been done. 😑   Based on averages, I should be able to save myself this week if I'm strict.  If I look at just the calories up/bike down that explains the maintenance but the stevia and coffee are also possible contributors.  So I'm going back down to the previous calorie range, making sure I do the bike at least 3-4x week and keep up the water consumption and pray I can get some solid sleep somehow.  I tried belly breathing the past two nights and that weirdly seemed to help me get to sleep.  Now that I've typed it, if history serves as a predictor, it will never work again.

We knew Saturday was the only day we'd have to get out and snowshoe so there could be slight redemption on the great popcorn binge.   So we suited up in the thermals, grabbed some hand warmers this time thanks to the Mr remembering, threw in the walking poles and off we went to shoe in the white winter wonderland!

Or not.

Well, we did but stayed in the snow on the crappier parts that had clearly been basking in the sun despite it being 23 degrees.  I HATE sunny winter days.  Not only is it blinding but if you actually had snow, it makes it disappear real quick.  

Thankfully that only made up maybe 1/4 of the trail total and most of it looked similar to this:

We were able to make two full laps around the main trail and one around the crappiest, soggiest auxiliary trail for a total of 550 calories burned for me and 700 for him.  I felt good about that though I REALLY would've loved to push out one more lap.  It wasn't in the cards for either of us and I could already tell my legs were protesting.  

Woke up Sunday with super tight legs so a lot of attention was needed to make me functional.  I made a quick tide us over breakfast of peanut butter on seeded bread with a nana and tea.  The Mr got to work on installing/cutting baseboards.  I worked on this a bit and then supposed it was time to get to a bit of meal prep.  The "egg thingies", as I've dubbed them, has been giving a nice protein boost.  I did find adding 4 oz of sweet potato chunks seemed to be the sweet spot on getting that to hold us despite it having a crap ton of  protein.  A protein laden breakfast will make me hungry in an hour every single time.  This seemed to do the trick for both of us.  I had some frozen French toast mini meatballs I got at the holidays that I needed to use up so that was going to serve as the protein in them this time.  Four of them cut in half and plopped in as needed.  I baked up some einkorn pumpkin muffins to freeze for snacks.  I felt so bad for the Mr.  There's a spot at the top of the stairs that was a complete nightmare for him.  I told him he definitely wasn't working out because he'd been up and down the stairs all friggin' day.  I know he wouldn't want to miss a strength session which is our typical schedule for Sunday's so I switched it to cardio for me.  The snow laps left my calves absolutely locked up so I knew I couldn't do something like Turbo Fire or something I wanted to do and would have to stick to WATP.

I made Chinese for dinner with shrimp and cauliflower rice.  That about stuck the fork in us for the weekend.  Thanks so much Mr for busting your hump Friday and Sunday.  I really don't know how you're going to be able to function today!

What did you guys get into this weekend?

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Friday, February 16, 2024

What I'm Reading This Week #7

Happy Friday to you!  I hope you had a lovely week.  It's been a week around here.  We sold my car to Carvana Tuesday.  Sigh.  I loved that car but too much of a liability with different insurance companies refusing to cover Hyundai's and we can't do that crap.  Someone is getting a helluva car with less than 20K original miles.  It's something I was pretty traumatized by.  We had to use Carvana to sell Mom's car and it brought all of that back.  I wanted nothing to do with any of it.  I will say though if you need to sell your car privately, they are definitely the way to go, give you a very fair price and it's literally 5 minutes for the pickup.  Then came the Mr doing the deal on the new car which made me want to barf.  This is the first car we've had to buy over $30k...way over.  I refuse to ever pay over $350/ mo so we pooled money from different resources and we're under that amount.  I have to keep telling myself that's less money we're paying interest on.  It's ludicrous people accept paying an amount similar to rent for a friggin' car.   I've never felt so sick about a purchase in my life but this is the world we live in now, I guess.  The formula the Mr used for 30 years without fail is dead now with the pandemic, so the days of dickering are basically over.  (Though he still managed to get $1k off with a firm out the door price.  It was on a brand new one that hadn't even been on the lot yet so that was surprising.  It was the last one in town before the ones they were bringing in $2k higher because they're forcing leaky sunroofs on people.  No thanks.)

This week was good on the food/water/exercise front again even with Valentines Day thrown in.  I usually cook us steak that day since a restaurant is so much higher calorie and sodium wise.  I had Halo Top brownie ice cream on hand for a treat and protein boost.  I have to say if you have an Aldi, grab their Hawaiian chicken because that stuff is AMAZING on a big ass salad.  I just use the sauce as the dressing and give it a toss.  I add pineapple, carrots and zucchini to bulk it up and it's soooo good.  Tastes just like what we get there too which makes us both happy and sad.  It was much harder for me to drink my morning water.  Like really hard.  I managed but it's taking a lot to make this a habit and I've definitely quit by now in the past.

Now let's manage:

The 7 Worst Exercises for Joint Health and What to Do Instead  (So basically stay off of cable machines is what I'm getting from this.)

20 Exercises To Work on Hip Strength and Mobility  (Definitely need to incorporate these.  I need to break out my PT loops.)

9 Mistakes That Can Make Plantar Fasciitis Worse  (I just got my pair of 'around the house' shoes so hopefully it'll help.)

How to Stop Being So Mean to Yourself  (It feels impossible to overcome for me.)

Six months after the Maui fires, an uncertain economy for the island  (Our hearts still break.  The talk of Hawaii has come back up from time to time but still don't know that our hearts could take seeing Lahaina leveled.)

Miss a post this week?  Catch up below:

The Mr says he wants to do the baseboards this weekend.  Beh.  Maybe we can push it to Sunday so we can do something fun (ish) Saturday.  

Anything fun on tap for you this weekend?  Is it a long weekend for you?

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Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Hump Day Poll: Why Are You Reading?

I have to assume most of you who still check in here are likely from SparkPeeps.  I was reading through old saved blogs I pulled when I got the notice they were shutting down.  I spent weeks making sure I copied them as they were basically the journal into our initial 150/200 lb weight losses.  I wanted to remember those thoughts, feelings, triumphs, etc as well as the people.  

It was bittersweet seeing so many old user names that I miss seeing on a regular basis.  I don't know if commenting on blogs isn't a thing anymore or if mine just isn't interesting enough.  I see so many other blogs I occasionally check in on with plenty of comments so I (*sniffs armpits* ) assume it's me.  It's sad even looking back like 5 years ago and seeing how many people kind of went poof.  I get it.  Blogs are dying, I guess.  I certainly don't check in on the people I did 5 years ago but a lot has happened in those 5 years.  I lost the two most important women in my life and honestly, I haven't had any success worth noting other than mostly maintenance until Mom passed and I got scope creep across my ass.  (And everywhere else)

All these years later, I still don't have or really want to figure out SEO, get sponsorships because it would mean changing the way I write and I literally make enough money through those of you kind enough to click through links to break even.  (So sorry about the Google ads, I hate them too.)  I prefer it being a small community but I have no idea if that community is 5 people, 50 people or 500?  The thought of going viral is a nightmare that would probably make me turn this into a private blog.  I'd like to think I'm putting something useful out there but I don't know anymore.  I don't know what/if I offer anything to you anymore.  I don't really want to quit especially as we're getting our mojo back to some degree as we try a new to us approach but I guess I just need to know:

If you're still reading...why?  

(That's an honest to God question not a pathetic attempt at ego stroke.  I want to know the things you like so I can keep doing them.  What do you miss that maybe I used to do but have stopped?  I feel pretty rudderless out here so I'm trying to get a direction and give the people, whether 5 or 500 what they want.)

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Monday, February 12, 2024

Movin' Right Along Weekend Recap

It's Monday...y'all ready?  I hope your weekend was full of delights.  Apparently some big football game was on which I give zero effs about and couldn't tell you who played.  The Mr's cluster headaches had ramped up to the point he was getting some accompanying pain on his neck to the touch.  A quick look up showed this is unfortunately common and sometimes ultrasounding can help.  Lucky for us we already have one so I got to wanding him but good.  The next morning he said he felt good so let's road trip.  

Dude...know when to stop.

We had a hankering for Portillo's Maxwell's Street Polish.  Since we didn't get to order them last summer, we were overdue.  We got on the road a little later than we'd probably like to with multiple hours ahead of us but eh, what else did we have to do?  Just when we were both dying of hunger after nothing more than coffee for breakfast, we got to the promised land.

After enjoying some local goodies, it was time to head to the park I scoped out the night before.

Parks are always a crap shoot when you're depending on Google to be your guide but this was a really nice one so we lucked out.  We got a good amount of walking in to help with digestion and burned a good bit for a Saturday.

Since we were in another state, we made sure to grab a cache so we could get a 'souvenir.'

Then it was time for the loooong trek back home.  We picked up a Whole Foods order and got home in time to see the Mr's Valentine's gift arrived:


No way in hell am I trusting hot coffee or tea in a mug whose handle broke without any evidence of damage on the box.  He insists it's awesome and is displaying it on his already overcrowded office shelves.  At least the seller dude was quick with a refund.  

Oh, forgot to mention.  The Mr was another 2 lbs down.  I was down one...again.  On the road trip, we talked about the possibility of me maybe upping my calories by 50-75 cals to see how that goes the next week or two.  He's eating a somewhat obscene amount of food and it's working for him.  I'm also adding in about 200 cals more per day doing the floor bike in addition to our regular workouts so I may be creating way too much of a deficit.  I don't want to cut out the bike so we'll see how that does.  Everything else is on point though and we're both down a bit on body fat and up a teense on muscle mass.  SO glad we had some extra data through that scale.  

We were chatting about when to bite the bullet on getting a new car.  We've been Hyundai owners for 20 years but with the shitstorm as of late and the lack of seeming to care about a true fix, we're tapping out.  My car is the most vulnerable at this point so after 10 years, it's time to bid her adieu.  She's climbed Mt. Washington, drove us on a big road trip vacations to several of the Mr's childhood haunts and honestly, I'm going to hate getting rid of a sedan.  I much prefer to be lower to the ground and love the way it drives but at this point, it's only going to keep plummeting in value even though it has LESS than 20K original miles on it.  Carvana will be coming out tomorrow to give it the once over after the Mr did an impeccable job cleaning it up.  We dealt with them when we had to sell Mom's car and it could not have been easier.  Given what could've been a real headache during an already difficult time, we were happy for the easy sale and very fair price in comparison.  

I did a little food prep though not as much as last week.  I added sweet potatoes to our occasional egg/black bean mashup.  We both agreed despite the original version having like 45g of protein in it, it was not holding either of us.  (This isn't a surprise for me.  Protein based anything only makes me completely ravenous within an hour whereas a bowl of oatmeal can hold me for 4 hours easily.)  So hopefully that'll do a little better for us.  Of course dobo me forgets to add the hummus and cottage cheese to the egg mixture because I was rushing but it's still almost 30g of protein without it.  Who knows, maybe it'll work out better?

The Mr wasn't feeling great and had a headache all day and a strength workout on top of things wasn't going to feel great afterward.  But it was Puppy Bowl recording time so I figured no better time to get our strength in and have something to look forward to afterward.  Not gonna lie, it sucked.  Twice I broke down bawling because of how bad my feet and left shoulder hurts.  This is not the time for me to start up treatments that are $200 a pop with all of the money stuff we've got going on.  So I'm going to have to start balance PT, be better about plantar fasciitis PT and up the ultrasounding to twice a day.  This scenario is exactly what I've always dreaded and here I am, in chronic pain.  Pain that likely could've been avoided if I'd just kept up PT like the chiro said.  "You'll have to do this at least 3-4x week for the rest of your lift or you're going to have problems."  

Welcome to problems.  

We came up and read our January one meh happy year, I made dinner and we watched Puppy Bowl to round things out.

How was your weekend?

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Friday, February 9, 2024

What I'm Reading This Week #6

You've made it to Friday!  *Booty poppin dance*


I know someone who is extra happy because he strategically planned a class next week to coincide with a holiday and appointment so he may not have to be "in office" for almost two weeks!  His normally laid back boss has quite the burr up the ass since return to office (for a job that is completely remote), so you give him no choice but to work the system.  

Our week has been going well on the food and exercise front.  Workouts were:
Sun- Turbo Fire Sculpt (resistance bands)
Mon - 3 laps at park/floor bike 
Tues- WATP Firm 30 /floor bike 
Wed - 3 laps at park 
Thurs - 3 laps at park 

Friday's are for gauging just how bad all of that has effed us up and a rest day if we need it.  I will assume we do because the walk Wednesday was particularly hard on both of us after the strength.  I really wish I was not so crippled after every activity.  We do rolling and stretching after and I hoped it would make a significant difference.  I'm able to walk without quite as much pain but afterward, it all catches up with me.  😞  Food has been on point but I have to say my disdain for meal planning is growing.  I need to give the Mr our dinner plans for the next day so he can plan what to pack for lunch and I have no clue.  I know I'm going to have to be one of those people who pre-plans weekly dinners but one thing at a time.  I made a new to us Thai chicken salad that was good and because of the cabbage took forever to eat.

The biggest struggle is protein and making sure we're getting the amount we're shooting for while making sure the sat fat is in check.  I have made it to week three on water every day for the first time.  I won't lie, it was harder this week so I get why it dropped off in the past.

Now let's drop into:

1 Subtle Sign Of A Heart Attack That Many People Often Ignore (Always good to know since it's different for women!)

The Simple Practice That Can Quiet Your Mind Faster Than Meditation  (Just make sure you do it alone because if you do it around someone like me with misophonia, it won't end well for you. 😂)

Why It's So Hard to Part With a Lost Loved One's Things (Because it's all you've got left of them and you can keep as little or as much as you can handle.  Don't let anyone EVER tell you 'it's time' to let go of things.  Not their call.   So no..."letting go is a step towards the future" is your opinion and may have worked  for you but it doesn't work for everyone.)

Cast of ‘Groundhog Day' reunites at Navy Pier for first time since movie's 1993 debut (Well, not everyone but lots of great cameos, stories and definitely worth a watch for the Groundhog Day fan!)

Miss some posts here this week?  Catch up below:

Our weekend plans are still up in the air.  We don't know if we're doing baseboards, road tripping, watching movies or a hybrid.  I know unfortunately meal prep will be in there and the thought of 6 hours of my life being flushed down the toilet until I limp out of the kitchen is not appealing.

What are you getting into this weekend?

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Thursday, February 8, 2024

Non scale victory


We have a justification problem especially on Saturday.  If I'm still full enough from lunch and could probably go without dinner "but it's Saturday.  I won't get to eat anything like that again until next weekend."  Order dinner, even if it's smaller, end up miserable and have to sleep half sitting up.  Stuff like that.

I figured out a potential source for last week's insomnia was grief suppression.  The 6 month anniversary was approaching and I know no one wants to hear it anymore, the numbers here reflect that, but I told myself that the Mr deserved a 'normal' life and I should get one too.  (Knowing that is not possible to go back to normal.  Those versions of us are dead.)  Don't get me wrong, I still have issues every single day but cry in private unless I'm smacked with something out of the blue and I was trying to stuff it all down and pretend.  I see how well that worked.  I shared that with the Mr as we were talking about hard stuff in general and there were lots of tears as the trauma surrounding many things around her passing and leading up to it that came up.  Afterward, as we were headed upstairs, I looked the Mr in the eye and said "I want a serving of Hershey kisses."  (There are some out that are only once a year so yes, they're in the basement.)

When he came up, there were almost twice as many as I thought were a serving and I said "THAT'S a serving??"  We checked and it wasn't so I gave him the three extra to put on the half wall to go back down.  He went to the bathroom and I stared at the actual serving, knowing I was justifying because technically they could be worked in but I wasn't even thinking of those until after our talk about Mom.  When he came in, I handed him three more so I had one and said he could eat what he wanted.  He picked up his three and put them in the hall too.  

Maybe that doesn't seem like a big deal to most people but it was huge for us.  Those kisses with extra chocolate inside would've been right up Mom's alley but we still enjoyed one for her and that was going to have to be enough even though I wanted (and gladly would've eaten) the seven originally put out for me.  I can't guarantee that will happen every time but I've proven it can happen and right now that's enough.

Feel free to share your non scale victories as well.

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Wednesday, February 7, 2024

We Tried It: Miyoko's Pourable Plant Milk Mozzarella Review

Howdy do!  So if you guys remember a few weeks ago, I talked about how we unknowingly watched a Netflix  documentary "experiment" on twins on omnivore and plant based diets.  It became very apparent this was all sponsored by plant based companies which was irritating when that isn't how it was presented.  One of the things we didn't fast forward through was this 'pourable' liquid mozzarella that they claimed gave you the same mouth feel as real mozzarella on your pizza.  The Mr and I like to have BBQ chicken flatbreads every now and then so we thought "eh, let's give it a try."  At $7.50 per bottle (!), I was already irritated but we were still willing to give it a go especially since we both have to watch our sat fat.  

First off, let's compare the nutritional information:

For me, really the sat fat is the only thing I'm happy about.  I'm not happy that I'm getting more sodium, less protein, less calcium and more carbs by using the plant based option but I'm not going to hold that against it for now but based on those stats alone, I know I won't be buying it again.

Let's get this party started.

Here's a peek of what it looks like.

I measured out a serving into a small cup that had a spout on it so I could pour it more evenly.


Now it tells you on the bottle to put it into a 500 degree oven so that it can truly bubble and stuff but my flatbreads are already stiff upon entry to the oven so I put it on low broil so I could keep an eye on it without nuking what was underneath. 

I didn't want to go overboard so I pulled it out when it was just set and starting to slightly bubble.

As you can see, it kind of sorta has a cheesy look to it although a little plastic-y looking but at least there's a melt to it that you don't usually get with other shredded cheeses.

So how did it taste?

Does it taste like mozzarella?  No.  Even the documentary said that with the people who work for the company.  Does it have the mouth feel of mozzarella?  Pretty much.  Does it pull and stretch like cheese?  A little.  I think this is more about making people feel like they're not missing out on cheese but I couldn't really taste much because the rest of our flatbread is so flavorful on it's own.  

Our thoughts?

While it was nice to experiment with it and see if it could truly be an option for us, neither of us were blown away by it especially to warrant that price tag.  Yes, it has less saturated fat than its cheesy counterpart but we're more than willing to carefully plan that day to be able to fit the real thing in.  We've got four total servings left so we'll have to make sure we use it in the next month on something else.  I tasted it on its own and its way too salty for me but I'm sure I'll figure out some way to use it.  Maybe on salt free nachos with salsa on it or something.  

I think this is great for people who chose or need to go plant based.  If you've got money to burn and the $7.50 price tag for 6 servings doesn't grate you like it does me, spend your mad money.  I always like to try new to us stuff and I'm just glad it wasn't so bad that I wanted to chuck it because I would've been really mad.   So I say if you find it on sale, give it a go and see if it's something you want to permanently or occasionally throw into your rotation!  

Have you tried this pourable 'cheese' before?  Would you?

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