Tag Archives: exercize

Buttercup Squash Soup

Hey guys,

So I’ve not posted here in a while but I have been busy. I was, sadly, laid off from my job a month ago, but have been using my time wisely. I’ve been heading to the gym a few days every week, working out at home, making lots of healthier meals, and possibly getting a contract that may allow me to start my own business.

I’ve done enough work with the gym and such that I’ve been able to lose 1 inch off my waist and 3/4 of an inch off my bust… it’s not much but it’s a step in the right direction.

I’ve been watching The Last 10 Pounds Bootcamp episodes too for inspiration and exercize ideas. This show is super inspirational to me and I really get the urge to exercize after watching it.

Today I was in the grocery store and I was trying to think of something to make for quick grab lunches, since I’m usually cleaning the house or gardening around lunchtime and don’t really want to stop and make anything big. I’m also very picky, I don’t really like sandwiches, and I need to be in the right mood for a salad.

Then I saw the Buttercup squash. I’ve had Butternut squash before, but not Buttercup, so I figured I’d pick it up and make a soup out of it. I found a simple recipe online and went from there. I added in some extra spices, and some red lentils, and goodness this is SO good!

It’s not vegan because of the cream cheese, but all things considered, I don’t think you’d necessarily need it. Next time I may just leave it out. I don’t have a picture yet, but I’ll add one tomorrow when I have my lunch.

Buttercup Squash Soup

-6 T onions chopped
-2 cloves garlic diced
-2 T olive oil
-6 Cups Buttercup Squash peeled and chopped
-1 1/2 Cups red lentils rinsed and sorted
-4 Cups vegetable broth
-1 tsp marjoram
-1/4 tsp seasoning salt
-1 tsp pepper
-1 T curry powder
-4 oz cream cheese

Saute onions and garlic with oil until softened. Add squash, lentils, broth and spices. Bring to boil and continue to cook 25 minutes, or until squash has softened, stirring occasionally. Place in blender, in batches, and puree with cream cheese until smooth. Place back in pot and heat through, do NOT boil.

Serves 10

I was able to figure out the nutritional info:

I need to figure out how to properly peel and cut up a squash because it took me about an hour just to do that… which could also be because I have pretty bad knives. The next time I make this I’ll probably leave out the cream cheese as stated before, and also use only 2 cups of broth and 2 cups of water to cut down on the sodium.

I ate a serving of this with a Tablespoon of sunflower seeds mixed in and it was heavenly.

I may have a new vice…

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More Pressure Needed

This weekend was my first anniversary. It got me thinking a lot. Last year at this time I was sitting in Hawaii, relieved because I didn’t need to worry about my weight any more. My dress fit (mostly) and I could stop restricting my diet in hopes of dropping those last few pounds.

To put it bluntly, I was an unhealthy dieter, as so many women are.

I decided that my best way to lose weight was to just eat subway subs, following the subway diet, I mean, it worked wonders for others, it would work for me. I watched Biggest Loser, I read diet books… but I didn’t use my head.

All things considered, I am not fat, I’m 160 lbs and 5’6″, I’m bigger than what “beautiful” is right now, but I’m comfortable in my skin, I’m proud of who I am, and I’m sick of feeling like I need to adhere to society’s ideal. Every woman is different and I’m trying to keep that in mind as I go through my day.

That being said, I have some issues that need to be dealt with.

My husband and I went away for the weekend. We pointed our car North and kept driving until we got to where we thought was good (it eneded up being 10 hours of driving each way). I have to say, the side view mirrors in cars are VERY unflattering. In any other mirror I don’t mind my face, but in those mirrors I have the double chin to end all double chins!

I took some stock of my life, where I am now compared to where I was a year ago. I haven’t gone up in weight, however I still have way too high of a body fat percentage.

I’m supposed to be at 20%, I’m sitting at around 35%, which is down from the 37.5% that I was at in November, which means I’m making some good steps forward, but I have to keep going.

Taking stock of my life I realize that I eat WAY too much fried foods, rich foods, snacky foods. I need to make better choices, and in order to do that I need to educate myself. I need to learn about good foods that I can snack on that don’t involve gallons of vegetable oil and pounds of salt.

I need to add more green, and maybe some orange and yellow to my diet. I was doing good at this last summer, but over the winter it dropped off. Now that the nice weather is back, I can start walking down to the grocery store and stocking my desk up with fruits and healthy snacks.

I’m also trying to work on my exercize. I used to think that in order to make my body look more the way I want to I needed to strength train. I’ve been educating myself here too, and I’ve realized that for the most part I’m pretty strong already (need to work on my upper body but it’ll come). What I really need to do is cardio, I need to work off this layer of fat that I’ve got and help it slim up.

I don’t want to become skinny though, I’m happy with the shape of my body, however I’m concerned with my health. My family history has a frighteningly long list of health issues, and a lot of them stem from weight. The majority of my family, including both parents, have weight issues, and I’m trying to break the mold with this.

I’m trying to go jogging, or for walks at least, on my lunch. I’m making a point of heading to the gym on Saturday mornings at least, with the reward of going knitting afterwards. I figure I’ll work on my cardio as I have time throughout the week, and I’ll work on my strength training, with some cardio, on Saturdays.

I’ve also started up my SparkPeople account again. I’m tracking my food and I’m going to be reading a bunch of the articles on there to learn about healthier options for foods. I know about dried fruits and things like that, but I want to delve deeper and start making a good life change.

For starters, I need to eat more than just Cheerios and Milk for breakfast, add some cheese… a banana and apple, it might be a good breakfast… I just need to balance out my meals.

Oh… and I definitely need to skip the snack machine.

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Finally Spring!

So, we had an INCREDIBLY long winter here up in Canada, this morning, we woke up to it being nearly freezing temperature.

This has been a big set back for me. See, I’m hoping to work more cardio into my workouts, and for me that’s mainly running or dancing. Now I’ve been working on dancing a bit (I love Japanese Pop music, and they have some fairly difficult dances to their songs, so I’m practicing those and dancing along.. maybe I’ll eventually get the courage to take video of me doing it… but not right now), but the running is hard.

I get bored easily, and I really dislike running on treadmills. I’ve managed to do some over the winter by going to the gym and watching tv while I run, but it’s just not my thing.

Now, however, the weather is getting nice enough for me to run outside and enjoy… or.. not.

My issue is that while I’m not “Fat”, I am VERY out of shape. I used to dance 4 hours per week, and 3 of those hours were consecutive on one day. I was able to keep going and dance all I wanted, and now I’m lucky to be able to jog for 5 minutes without feeling that I’m going to die.

So I really have to push myself with my running.

Anyway, today I knew it was going to be beautiful out so I brought a change of clothes, and decided I was going for a jog on my lunch break. Just before I went out I checked my route to see how long it was, and to make sure it was safe.

I was going to start off slow, a simple 1.5 km approx jog, and see how I felt.

5 years ago this would have been easy as pie. Well… this is how it turned out for me today:

Jog for 700 m – I felt good just before I started out, but 10 steps into my jog, my ankles were complaining, so I stopped for a few seconds to rotate them and loosen them up. I’d done some quick stretching prior to heading out, but clearly not enough. I then started jogging again and thought “wow, this isn’t so bad”… I didn’t realize that I was on a small hill and that was helping me. Once the hill evened out it became a lot harder, and for the last 100 m or so I was chanting in my head, “just to the corner, just to the corner”. I was going to let myself walk and catch my breath for a bit because I felt like my chest was going to explode all Alien style in a second.

Walk for 270 m  – so I was going to walk from one corner to the next, and I did… sort of. I felt like a beached whale or something. I couldn’t catch my breath, my throat was killing me, and my chest hurt. I kept coughing because apparently when I exercize my body goes into “Mucous production mode” and tries to smother me in order to get me to stop. About 20 m from where I’d decided to jog again I started feeling better, but still sore in the chest.

Jog for 350 m – Now here’s where my route plan went awry. See… that lovely little hill I jogged DOWN at the beginning, I now had to jog UP, only at this part of the run, the little slope was a cliff… or at least that’s what it felt like to me, but I was determined to jog it, or at least the majority of it. So I started up the hill, and about half way up my chest was ready to explode again. I told myself that I was going to make it up the hill or I was going to die… no alternative. About 80% of the way up I decided I was going to walk the last bit of the hill and then jog back to work.

Walk for 65 m – Trying desperately to grab my breath again, I wasn’t going to let myself go that easily! I was only letting myself walk to where the hill flattened out, so… I walked slower, to give my body more time to recouperate. By the time I hit my start up point again I was not happy, but I was determined.

Jog for 270 m – This was my home stretch and I was fighting myself all the way. My body wanted to throw a 3 year old tantrum and my brain had to turn all Mommy on it. I came up to my last corner, and there’s a car lot on it. I spent a good minute and a half lecturing myself mentally as to why I was not allowed to cut the corner and had to continue to jog until I hit my work parking lot. When I could see the parking lot, I tried to imagine a finish line rope across it… it didn’t work much, but it helped a bit.

To add insult to injury, all the pictures of joggers and such that I’ve seen have these beautiful people who look like gazelles as they run their races or through the woods. All are smiling, all are strong. I felt like an elephant with a broken leg, gallomping along my path, huffing and puffing. There was no smile, I was just concentrating on ensuring I had oxygen getting in my lungs.

I would just quit right now, figuring that running and I are just not meant to be.

But I know myself.

And that’s why before I even started, I gave myself a goal… then TOLD people about it.

I’m intending on running an 8 km race in July, it’s called the Dirty Dash, and it raises money for local charities. (It also has a 4 km race, but I’m pushing for the 8 because I can always downgrade).

I know that if I don’t run it, or just give up I’ll look pretty stupid to all the people I’ve talked about it.

Right now though, it’s been an hour and a half since I finished my run and I still feel kinda light headed and like my chest is tight. Oh well, it’s something that I need to do in order to change from a broken legged elephant to a graceful gazelle….

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