September Challenge – Review

Of course this month didn’t go exactly as I hoped. I mean, ideally I would be a vegan marathon runner by now, if everything had gone perfectly. But it could have been worse. I haven’t gained weight, I haven’t survived on fast food or alcohol. I did have fast food and alcohol, but that wasn’t all I consumed. I had a variety of green smoothies and have exercised more days than I haven’t. Also, I’m learning to brew kombucha and use an Instant Pot. All growth is not physical. Plus, that leaves me with plenty to work on for my October challenge! I don’t think I’m doing an October challenge.

Daith Piercing – We’ll See

This might have been a mistake. I have thought about having a daith piercing for around two years now, not seriously, but playing with the idea. When my daughter decided she was ready to have her ears pierced I (stupidly) agreed to have mine done too. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence on the internet that suggests daith piercings help with migraine. I have two friends who claim it helped them with their migraines. So, I made an appointment at the closest tattoo shop and felt mildly nauseous until the time arrived. The shop was nice and clean and the girls working there were really sweet. One of my friends who had the piercing done already told me that “It hurt like heck,” which is strong language for her. She was right. It hurt, a lot. There was a lot of pain and a lot of pressure and then more pain. That night as a lie in bed, with a migraine, and my ear on fire I thought to myself “What have I done?” I had a migraine for the next three days. The instant relief that others had claimed was not so instant with me.

Today is my one week anniversary of my daith piercing. I have had three days migraine free and we will see how this day goes. I’m hoping it turns out like my experience with Lasik. In that it will be fantastic, but I would never do it again. I’m writing this to remind myself, that even if this does end up helping my migraines, it wasn’t quick and it “hurt like heck”!

September Challenge – day 28

Maybe I should have called this a green smoothie challenge instead of a get in shape challenge. I’m pretty good at having smoothies for breakfast, but exercising every day has been a bit more difficult. Maybe I should have had a different challenge each week. I’m better at focusing on one week at a time. Well, new idea for my October challenge. So, the green smoothie recipe for today is so yummy. It has one ingredient that you might not usually have in your kitchen: plantain. I started buying plantains a few month ago when I got my new endometriosis cookbook. I try to use them when they are green for savory dishes, but one will get overlooked on the counter and get really ripe. Then, just like bananas, it is time for a smoothie. I love using plantains in smoothies because they have a milder taste than bananas and they add great texture and creaminess.

Plantain Smoothie

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup unsweetened plant based milk
  • 1 ripe plantain
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 2 dates
  • 1 scoop collagen (optional)
  • 2 cups spinach or other greens
  • 1/2 cup mango

Blend it all up and enjoy. Makes 2 servings.

I don’t know that I’ve made much progress this month, but I’m not giving up. This is a new day and a new week. I do not have to be unhealthy. I will choose to do something about my diet and movement.

September Challenge – Day 21

I’m starting to see results. I’m so glad I decided to give myself some grace and just keep going. Sometimes I get discouraged after two weeks and just quit. Even though I haven’t been working as hard I’m still trying. I know I will have some challenges this week. My daughter’s birthday is this week. She wants to go out for hamburgers and frozen yogurt. Plus I am making Princess Leia and Chewbacca cupcakes for her Star Wars party. I will really have to watch my sugar intake. Well, I know I can start every day on the right foot.

Mexi-Mocha Smoothie

  • 1 cup cold coffee
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 scoop collagen powder
  • 1 tablespoon cacao nibs
  • 1 tablespoon cacao powder
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup mango
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Blend it up and enjoy!

If MyFitnessPal is correct that whole smoothie is just under 300 calories. The whole thing! That is quite a lot of smoothie. I’m full.

September Challenge – Day 17

Hmmm…Day 17? Where is that wagon? I might have fallen off. I do not fit into my jeans and yet, I have dropped down to 20 minute workouts…every other day. And I haven’t done a workout today. I accidentally wrote workpout and that might be closer to the truth. I will not pout. I have no reason to complain. I will not get discouraged. It will take some time for me to change my lifestyle. I just can’t give myself too much grace, because that is how I got into this mess in the first place.

Today my baby girl is sick so, I will be making chicken noodle soup. And I don’t think I have my recipe written down. I mean, it’s soup, there isn’t much to write.

Chicken Noodle Soup

  • 2 lbs. cooked chicken, cubed
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced
  • 6-8 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • pinch of cayenne
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 lb egg noodles

In a large soup pot, saute onion and celery in a little butter or olive oil, until translucent. Stir in carrots, chicken and broth. Add seasonings and bring boil. Lower heat to a simmer, simmer for 20 minutes or until carrots are tender. Adjust seasonings, if needed. Bring back up to a boil and add noodles, cooking according to package directions. Taste again, add more salt if needed. Serve nice and hot.

September Challenge – Day 10

Today is a better day. A new day without any diet mistakes in it…yet. Yesterday was not good. I only did a 20 minute workout. I had a bagel and cream cheese for lunch and I had a cocktail in the evening. NOT GOOD. Well, my home town is on fire and I’m a little worried for my friends and family. Apparently, I do eat my feelings. I must stop looking at Facebook. My life is not found in the media. Yesterday I made the Loch Ness smoothie from Green Thickies. When I looked at the recipe I have on my site I realized that I don’t make my smoothie like that anymore. So, do I update that one or make a new one or just have the link to Green Thickies? Yeah, I’m gonna update the recipe so I have it. I really love this smoothie. I want smoothies that taste good AND healthy. I have found I don’t like smoothies from shops. They are too sweet and they just don’t have enough real food in them for me. I make my own that way I like and stop complaining. Here is the recipe.

Why did I take this picture and then not a picture of the completed smoothie? I don’t know, but I drank the smoothie so no picture. Maybe next time.

September Challenge – Day 8

Feeling stronger! I love when working out feels good! Like “I can do this” instead of “this hurts, I don’t like it”. I did the whole T-Tapp workout in one session. And now I’m having my mango green smoothie. I love this smoothie. It’s so easy and my daughter will drink it. Of course then I don’t have a smoothie for tomorrow, but mothers make sacrifices.

Coconut Mango Smoothie

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 4 pitted dates
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed*(optional)
  • 2 scoops collagen powder or protein powder, unflavored
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 cup mango
  • 1 banana

Makes 2 servings, unless you share.

*I’ll use different seeds if I’m seed cycling. Flax, sesame, pumpkin, or sunflower all work. 1 tablespoon for the little seeds and 2-3 for the larger seeds like the pumpkin.

I feel good! Please, let this last!

September Challenge – Day 4

It’s Friday! I am so unmotivated! So far I have done the 20 minute T-Tapp workout. I just made my smoothie and it’s already 9:30am. Not a great start since I wake up at 6:20.

This beet smoothie is so pretty!

But it tastes like beets. And it made so much! I like beets, especially with honey mustard, but drinking beets isn’t so enjoyable. And the more stuff I add the bigger the smoothie will grow. Big breath. Not freaking out over a smoothie. Will the world end if I throw out the rest of this smoothie? Will my mother come back from the grave and make me finish it? Well, she might, she hated to waste food. That sounds macabre, but it made me laugh. Mama would tell me that I am a grown woman and if I don’t want to drink the smoothie then don’t drink the smoothie. I will drink this one glass and then try something else. I really think that chocolate is the only flavor strong enough to redeem this smoothie. Goodbye beautiful pink smoothie. Now it tastes of chocolate covered beets. Yup, I’m done!

If you don’t mind the taste of beets just search Pinterest for beet smoothies, there are a ton; way more than there should be.

I have to go brush my tongue.

And continue my T-Tapp.

September Challenge – Day 3

Really? Is it only the 3rd? One week at a time, one day at a time, one meal at a time. Yesterday didn’t go very well. I didn’t want to make fish for dinner so I used the excuse that it wasn’t thawed out enough. I made my kids frozen pizza. I ate leftovers. Not bad, I mean I had elk, beets and spinach. I wanted a piece of pizza so bad, but I didn’t have any. Before I get too full of myself I have to confess that I broke. I ate ice cream. Not a dainty, diet scoop, but two big scoops. And I think it is giving me a headache. Maybe migraines will help me give up sugar. So, today I’m drinking the other half of my chocolate covered almond smoothie (so delicious!), lunch will be, hey why not use the fish? Well, it was in the fridge overnight so it is thawed out now. Then I’ll make spaghetti for dinner. Noodles for the kids and roasted veggies for me. Have you tried meat sauce or marinara over roasted veggies? It is pretty good. Food set. Now for exercise.

I haven’t finished my T-Tapp today. I’m 3/4 of the way through the 55 minute workout. I got hungry. I don’t think there is anything wrong with breaking up my workout into 15-20 minutes chunks. I have no science to back that up, but I’m going with it.

I better plan for tomorrow. You never know I might even follow through. Friday will be my first weigh in. I don’t think there will be much change, I mean it hasn’t even been a week. I’m not too concerned with the scale though, I’m more interested in not having to buy bigger clothes.

Today:

  • Chocolate covered almond smoothie
  • Halibut fingers
  • spaghetti

Friday:

  • berry beet smoothie
  • Leftovers
  • Meatloaf muffins

Saturday:

  • Spaghetti squash “oatmeal”
  • shakshuka with plantains
  • Grilled chicken legs

Sunday:

  • leftover shakshuka
  • hamburgers
  • chicken salad

I have a plan. I have a food plan. Now to add exercise. I can do this!

UPDATE: I have no idea how many fish fingers I thought I would eat for lunch, but I ate 3 1/2.

It was super yummy and I have tons of leftovers. Sorry kids, no spaghetti tonight. We are having fish tacos or fish sammies or plain ol’ fish fingers.

September Challenge – day 2

Oh, my. I am quite sore. Bending over requires grunting or at least a sigh. But I know that tomorrow will be better. I will start feeling stronger and will  be able to workout without wanting to cry. Having my meals planned out has really helped. Perhaps, I can plan out the rest of the week. I remember when I would plan out the whole month, well the dinners anyway. OK, breakfast tomorrow I want a berry smoothie with beets. Lunch will be leftover halibut fingers and for dinner I’ll make meatloaf muffins. I think I’ll share my Aunt Sandi’s Easy Halibut Finger “recipe”. It isn’t a recipe so much as directions.

Baked Halibut Fingers

  • Halibut, salmon, or any other fish fillet
  • olive oil
  • oregano, basil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika
  • bread crumbs, tortilla chips crumbs, or potato chip crumbs

Slice fish into 1 inch, finger length pieces.

Mix seasonings into crumbs and pour into a shallow dish or plate. Pour 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil into shallow dish or plate.

Dip each piece of fish in the oil and then into the crumbs.

Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet at 425 for 10-15 minutes.

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I know it’s not really a recipe, but hey this is the way I cook. I guess if anybody cares I could try and figure out how much of this stuff is needed, but I never have the exact amount of protein that is called for in a recipe. And what if you are cooking for 2, or for 10? Oops, rabbit trail. What was I doing? Meal planning. Right.