Dear Erin,

I really like the link you put on facebook yesterday. Fifteen Powerful Things Happy People Do. Thanks for pointing me to some more good inspiration.

I would like to report that I skipped one of my gym workouts this week in favor of doing 1-3 hours of heavy duty yard work every day. I think my body has gotten the better end of the deal, as has my yard.  Tonight I return to the personal trainer for a good workout, and then out to a vegan dinner out with friends at a very non-vegan friendly restaurant for dinner. I’m bringing my own condiments (salsa and homemade salad dressing) for a plain garden salad and plain baked potato.

On the vegan eating…I would like to report that my body is really happy with my whole foods regimen. I cheated a little bit on Sunday night and has some cheese. I didn’t get sick or anything, but I just didn’t feel good, and it reaffirmed for me that I am feeling a lot healthier eating dairy free – with whole foods. This does not, of course, mean I won’t sneak a little bit of meat and dairy back into my diet on a limited basis later, or that I have stopped craving cheeseburgers. Just that I affirm that my body really appreciates the healthier fuel I have been filling it up with for the last week or so.

Also, I lost some weight – a whole shirt size now. Which is really nice.

Pictured above, me, playing at the playground on Monday (sporting that smaller sized shirt). I was there for an excellent mothers day celebration on Monday with my mom, sister, and nephew, pictured below. What fun!



Bonus Workout

Dear Erin,

Here is a picture of those veggie burgers from yesterday.
Mine didn’t stick together very well, and I am eating the leftovers as a bowl of rice and lentils, with the toppings chopped up on top. Since I really like homemade veggie burgers, I am thinking I need to get a patty mold to squish everything together more. (I guess that will be a weekend mission.)

I would also like to report that I did a bonus workout at the gym last night, just because.
I usually go Monday, Wednesday, Friday.  This week I added in an extra 40 minute workout on Thursday night! And I’m still going to go tonight too.


A Recipe for You…

Dear Erin,

Since you asked me to pass along recipes, here is a really good one:
Lentil and Brown Rice Veggie Burgers

You use 3 pans to cook up all the ingredients before forming the burger patties, but they are so good, its worth it.

In other news, yesterday’s workout went really well.
I was thinking of what you said earlier in the blog, about small goals seen to fruition over long periods of time = progress.
I definitely feel this way about the gym, and especially about working out with a Trainer. Each week, the exercises are a little more difficult than the last, and yet I feel a little bit BETTER after we do them, not worse (like I did the first week). YAY! PROGRESS!

Also, it looks like it may stop raining here, so Murph and I can get back out into the garden.
I hope there is a lot of garden time in your future as well!


I ate out!

Dear Erin,

Playing outside here has ceased and a long hard rain has settled in instead. I am trying to be happy because the garden loves rain, but I am honestly feeling a little bummed out. I was on a real roll out there.  Can’t wait to get back to it.

Here is my eating update – Went out to dinner last night at a Mediterranean place. Ordered a baba ganoush sandwich on a pita with no cheese. There was no option for whole wheat pita, and there was some oil on the sandwich, so it wasn’t completely “clean,” but it was vegetarian, low fat, and delish. I am calling it a success.  I also had a fun time with my friends at the event we went to – listening (and knitting along) to my favorite pod-caster and knitting celeb Brenda Dayne of Cast-On talk about knitting and memory at the famous Webs. It was really cool.

Also, today’s lunch was indeed homemade brown rice (with a splash of rice vinegar) veggie sushi rolls. They included, cucumber, avocado, carrot and spinach inside the nori with the rice. I accidentally made the rice not-very-sticky, and the rolls were a little messy as a result, but it still tasted very good. They were supposed to be my picture for the day, but they looked really disastrous, so I skipped it and am re-using this picture of the Murph being sad about the last rain we had (previously posted on facebook). Because that’s how I feel about the rain today, too.

Tonight…third personal training session. Wish me luck!



**For those of you missing Erin, she is without a computer for a little bit, but I expect you will find her back posting with us soon.
She HAS been posting some pictures over at our flickr account, so you can visit her there if you are missing her too much to wait.

Planning to Eat

Dear Erin,

As you know, planning my meals is one of my goals. This weekend I sat down and planned several days of healthy meals that were realistic for me to spend time cooking, and even did some of the prep work.

Prepping ahead of time allowed me time this morning to make one of my most favorite breakfasts – beets and eggs.  This is a recipe that I adapted from Animal Vegetable Miracle (a book I highly recommend by the way). It basically has sauteed beet greens and stems with some sort of onion and canned tomatos (in this case the last can from my own garden last summer), with some hot red pepper flakes and salt and pepper.  After the greens are all cooked up, I remove half for another meal, and poach an egg on top, leaving the yellow runny so I can mix it in. YUM!! Here is the version from the book. Normally I only do one egg, but my other meals are pretty calorie low for today, so I snuck this second one in today.

Also, I overslept, but I am going to go to the gym at lunch instead! Small victories.

Hope you are moving forward.


Weekend Update

Dear Erin,

On Friday I went in for a (torturous) deep tissue massage. It helped a lot.

So this weekend, sore back and all, I went for a hike with these guys on Saturday. They are both super excited to be be stomping around in the woods and swatting at bugs, so it was pretty motivating.

Then I did a walk on the beach on Sunday morning with the Murph, and a walk around the park with my friends for a while on Sunday afternoon (poor Murph had to stay home).  We did a little bit of eating out, but none of it was fast food, and I really feel good about all the exercise I managed to do.

I got another torture massage today, and my back is definitely on its road to recovery…and I am happy to report that TOMORROW I will be meeting with Kenya (the personal trainer).  I can’t wait!!

Watch for tomorrow’s gym report!


Slow and Steady Wins the …. Game?

Dear Sarah,

I woke up this morning (on the couch… where I flopped over from utter exhaustion) this morning in a haze of “what happened?”

Not having had any adult libations, or having my mind wiped by Hermione Granger’s “obliviate” charm, I wiped my sleepy eyes and remembered. This happened. 

Yes, the O’s are back in town. And yes, I completed the commitment I made to work the last opening day (hopefully) that I will ever work.

Let me start off by saying it was WAY better and easier than Opening Days in the past. We were more prepared, organized, and ready than ever before. Even still, it is a 12 hour day of hurry up and stay behind. That is the true nature of the hospitality industry when it comes to sports and entertainment.

And my decision, to move on to greener (or red hard-shelled pastures), has never been so solidified as it was yesterday. 12 hours of running around, and not finding anything healthy to eat but a single orange (that was originally destined to be cut into slices and garnish a Blue Moon beer) has left me feeling that I have made the right choice.

The pure and simple fact is that any major stadium is not a house of healthy. And, when I spend my time there, I am not a house of healthy either.

I committed to transition the new season and help where I can. And, I am a girl who takes my commitments seriously.

But, what I figured out yesterday, or more likely today as I sip my glorious cup of coffee, is I am finally more committed to myself than to others. I am committed to my health, my fitness, and to my family.

I came home to an amazing plate of salmon that the hubnut made. It was plated beautifully and waiting for me as I walked in the door. It was the first real nourishment that I consumed all day and it was freaking fantastic! So good, in fact, that I took a picture of it. 

And in that moment, I realized, there’s no place like home. No better people to spend my time with. To change my life with and to share this journey with.

The allure of the crowds and the excitement of baseball has worn off. The quiet charm of a more stable and “on my own terms” life is like a huge hug from your kid.

I’m going with it. I’m remembering that slow and steady = lasting progress.

~ E

P.S. Happy Easter, Passover, Spring and Health!