Favorite Side ~Balsamic Green Beans~

We have a new favorite side dish.  It’s so fresh and easy.

It was inspired by this recipe on MyFitnessPal’s blog.

Balsamic green beans

We followed the recipe the first time and it was good enough for us to keep playing with it.

The pomegranate seeds were good but I didn’t feel that they added anything to the dish.

Here’s what we came up with:

  • Warm up about a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan.
  • Once it’s hot, add about a pound of trimmed fresh green beans (or asparagus!).
  • Spread them out in a single layer and cook until the bottoms start to sear.
  • Flip and add about 1/4 cup of water.
  • As soon as the water is mostly gone, flip again and lower the heat to medium.
  • Add one or two chopped cloves of garlic.
  • Cook until the garlic is golden, then add a couple tablespoons of balsamic vinegar (stand back when you add the balsamic because it can be pretty strong)  and cook for 1 more minute or until it starts to get sticky.
  • Add some flaky salt (my favorite is fluer de sel) and serve.

Enjoy!

Hugs and stuff, 
Kat

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New Veggie Recipes to Try

Due to new diet restrictions in my home, we have started to only eat meat on the weekends. (I quickly noticed the lovely side benefit of a cheaper grocery bill too.)

After including meat as a meal essential for so long, I struggled a bit at first with how to vary our meals in a non-boring way. We purchased a gigantic book of vegetarian recipes. It was a good place to start but there weren’t many dishes that my whole family could agree on.  I have pinned a bunch of recipes on Pinterest and tried a few of those, but I’m definitely always looking for more.

I stumbled across this article on myfitnesspal today and thought you might be interested too. I can’t wait to try some.

15 Dishes That Will Change How You Think About Veggies ‹ Hello Healthy http://blog.myfitnesspal.com/15-dishes-that-will-change-how-you-think-about-veggies/

Hugs and stuff,
Kat

Introducing the Toolbox

I tripped and fell this weekend.
Not literally.
I fell off my new get healthy plan.

We had the final two holiday celebrations.
It was all awesome, but I let myself enjoy the treats a little too much.
I am doing my best to leave it in the past though.

Instead, I’m trying to dust off some tools and use them to get the momentum started in the right direction.
You see, I have this toolbox.
Again, not literally.
It’s a figurative toolbox full of mental health tools.
It has many compartments because like fixing a house, fixing a lifestyle takes more than one kind of tool.

I’ll be sharing some of my tools as I utilize them.
For example, last night I used meditation before I could start beating myself up.
I took a quick 10 minutes to quiet my mind and shake off the growing unease.
My mind felt so much healthier right away.

I have been meditating off and on for years.
Right now, I’m using a couple different meditation apps to polish up this useful tool.
I’ll share about them soon.  I want to explore them more thoroughly before I recommend one.

Today, I’ll be using a different tool.
Today I will focus on positive self-talk.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Hugs and stuff,
Kat

Day One: A New Plan

I am weighing in at 259.6 pounds as of January 1st.

My 1st goal is 240.0 pounds with an ultimate goal of 180 pounds.

I have chosen to break down my weight loss into 20 pound increments.
I feel that my ultimate goal is realistic because it is actually a little more than the “ideal” weight for my height of 5’9”.

I am tracking my progress on more than one program.
I may drop one or more if it turns out that it’s making progress more difficult.
I want to succeed and that requires making it easy on myself or I will just be setting myself up for failure.

First, here’s where I’m at with fitbit (a gift from my hubby for Christmas!):

5000 steps badge

I got my first success badge.  I’ve walked above 7,000 steps at least 3 times since I got my new walking companion but I haven’t managed to hit 10,000 yet.
It’s amazing how much walking you need to do to hit 10,000.  I’m considering a couple ways to increase my walking.

So this is an example of an average night’s sleep for me.  I’m a life-long insomniac.Sleep log jan 1

I know all the sleep tricks and I do a pretty good job using them.
50% sleep efficiency is actually greatly better than I used to get.

I want to improve my sleep efficiency as much as possible.
Sleep affects most systems in your body.
If I stand any chance at reshaping this body of mine, I need it in optimal running condition.
(Plus I could really use the extra mind energy for school.)

I also use my fitness pal and lose it!

That’s my unofficial check-in for the week.

Wish me luck with mine.  I wish you luck with yours!

Hugs and stuff,
Kat

New Year, New Plan

Okay, it’s been awhile.  I’m back to start all over again.  This is why:

Last year one of my goals on my other blog (Kat & Company) was to post at least once a week.

I failed miserably.

The fact is that I am a busy girl and I have higher expectations for myself than the posts I have the time to create right now.

I love photography and that is what I want that blog to be; a place for me to share my life through my lens.  I haven’t posted here in a very long time.  When I started this blog, I thought that putting it all out there in public would help me be more accountable.  Let’s just say that I was wrong.

I am not happy with my body image right now.  I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle every time I open my mouth for the next bite.  I find it exhausting just trying to figure out what my next meal is going to be.  And knowing that it’s not just about the food, I berate myself every time I sit down to watch a movie or find myself surfing the internet just because I’m bored.  It’s not healthy, but I just feel so defeated by those numbers on the scale and the tightness of my jeans.

I have tried many diets and failed miserably every single time.  I know denying myself is a recipe for disaster, so I decided (more than a dozen times) to make “lifestyle changes”.  I fared a little better with those, but still fell off the wagon again and again.  So I thought about it.  I thought about why it is that I find it so hard to change my eating and activity levels.  I think I may have discovered the answer.  My head and heart aren’t working together.

Usually my head is the one who decides that it’s time for a change.  In my head, I usually feel like my body is the size I desire.  But then I look into a mirror and my heart falls.  I feel like I’m deluding myself.  My pants must be on fire, I lie to myself so often.  I tell myself that it’s not as bad as it seems.  It’s the mirror; it must be a fun house mirror or something.  I tell myself that everyone else is lying to me too.  They tell me I look fine, or worse, great.  Why do I feel it necessary to twist words?  It’s not healthy.

So here’s what I’m thinking:  I am a future psychologist.  I am most interested in why we feel the way we do and how it affects our behavior.  You see, if I can understand that, then I can help people change their behavior and in turn be happier.  I’m thinking that if I change the way I think about food and exercise, then I may actually succeed in making permanent changes in my life.  I can create a better body for myself but creating a healthier mind.

I’m going to embrace the double meaning that I considered when I named this blog.  I’m going to shrink my own head (using psychology) in order to shrink my body.  This time, I just want to share my journey with whoever is interested in any way.  Basically, I’m thinking this will be more like a journal of my personal experiment.  Fingers crossed.

Hugs and stuff,
Kat

Done Counting

I am feeling very disheartened right now.
I have changed the way I eat: how often, how much, and what kind.
I have added exercise.
And I am somehow getting bigger.

Quite frustrated here.

I’m also really tired and beyond busy these days with homework and housekeeping and schedule making and kid raising and…

Well, you get it.

I think right now I’m going to focus on keeping the changes I’ve made and give it a little more time.

Being hard on yourself for not losing fast enough is destructive thinking.

Personally, I’m not a destructive person.

So… time.

Days Five Through Twelve

I admit it.
I struggle with follow-through.
That includes following through with a diet and/or exercise program.

I have excuses.
Plenty of them.
*The food sucks and/or is boring.
*I’m too tired.
*It’s too hard.
*I don’t have time.
*My nose hurts. (Not an actual excuse but close enough.)

While any of those may be true, (except the last one), I cannot allow them to be acceptable.
I have a goal and I fully intend to meet it.
I am determined.

I figure I am allowed to fall down as long as I get back up.

The food does suck, so we’ve started the point system which allows a little more freedom.
I’m too tired is not a good excuse, because the exercise itself, will wake me up.
If the workout is too hard, I can start with the modified version and work my way up.
As Tony Horton says every workout “Do your best and forget the rest”.
And if my goal is a personal priority, I need to make time.

As for any other random excuses, well, sometimes they really are valid.
I can take a day off and start again tomorrow.

Studies have shown that denying yourself is not good right?
I won’t deny myself a day off if it is absolutely necessary and I will have a square of dark chocolate and not allow myself to feel guilty.
(I’ve read numerous times that dark chocolate is good for the heart, literally.)

And that’s that.

-Kat

Day Four

I cussed Tony Horton out today during the workout.
(Not actually Tony himself but his video.)

My old trainer told me is was okay to hate her.
She said it was her job to make me hate her.
If she didn’t, then she wasn’t doing her job right.
It meant that she was being too soft.

Well, Tony made me hate him today.
I’m sure he’d get a kick out of me admitting it too.
“Feel the burn.”

I fought my way through to the end though.
I may be doing the modified moves most of the time, but I’m doing the best I can.
And I will do it again tomorrow.

-Kat

Day Two and Three

I’m feeling a little sore after my daily workouts.
I am struggling with pushing myself.
Of course, that is a common problem for me.
That is why I am working with my guy and allowing him to push my buttons when I don’t want to work out.

I have mixed feelings about the provided diet.

Some things are really good and there is certainly no shortage of food for each day.
In fact, there is too much.
I struggle with eating three full meals and two snacks.
I know that the point is to jump-start my metabolism, but that doesn’t really help when I’m not hungry.

That’s all for today.

-Kat