Temptations at work, temptations at home

Things I was tempted with at work, but stayed away from due to an unknown amount of calories…

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Things I had a much harder time resisting at home…

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Chocolate peppermint bark cookies I made for our New Years party tomorrow (recipe found here, originally discovered through CNC)

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So I cut myself a piece. I had to know what they tasted like before serving them to my guests, no? ;)

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[~177 calories]

I made half a batch topped with crushed candy canes and half with walnut pieces. The walnut pieces side is so me with my nut and chocolate addition. This is one buttery “cookie.” I think our guests will enjoy them.

I also made Ellie Krieger’s lemon icebox bars from her new cookbook So Easy, which my husband got me for Christmas (recipe can also be found here). They are this week’s CEiMB recipe hosted by Playing House. Unfortunately my bars did not set! They are delicious lemon cheesecake mush. I’m going to need to find a creative way to serve them tomorrow. No bueno as of right now :(

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[150 calories]

Aside from sweet temptations, today went pretty well. It did feel different, counting calories and not grabbing a snack “just because.” I guess that means it’s “working.” I’m not going to celebrate just yet. It’s been 1 day, and I won’t be counting on New Year’s eve. I am excited about continuing this into 2010. Those holiday pounds will be gone in no time, and my self-esteem should come back with those lost pounds. *Fingers crossed!* Here is what the rest of my eats looked like…

BREAKFAST

Nonfat yogurt with 1/2 mango, 1/2 pear, 1/2 persimmon + a handful of Kashi GoLean cereal and pecan halves

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So many gorgeous colors!

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[308 calories]

LUNCH

Leftover risotto with cauliflower, tomatoes and walnuts

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[~449 calories]

Still creamy and delicious! :)

WORKOUT

During lunch hour today, I took a 40 minute boot camp class called SHRED, then jumped on the elliptical for 17 minutes. The entire time I felt pretty out of shape. Those extra pounds are really affecting my performance. I’m excited to change that! :D

SNACKS

Power bran muffin + tea

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And a sweet fresh apple

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DINNER

Dinner was kept on the lighter side because I knew I wanted to taste each of the sweet treats. It was a mish-mosh of things, all combined into a giant salad. The goat cheese tied them all together.

Chicken, mushrooms, olives and diced tomatoes (all from leftover chicken cacciatore), roasted brussels sprouts (from last night’s dinner) over mixed greens, topped with goat cheese and dressed with lemon juice

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It was actually pretty awesome. I love warm salads like that! :grin:

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[~271 calories]

Approximate total for the day: 1646 calories (I’m trying to stay in the 1500-1650 range)

So that’s today for ya. Thank you all for you support on my previous post. It means a lot to me that my readers really care about me. Hopefully a thinner Elina is a lot happier and thus more inspirational. One more day left in 2009. Can you believe that?!!

Happy New Year to all of you! I’ll hope to see you back here in 2010!!!!!!! :mrgreen: :cool:

Back to the drawing board

I hope you guys enjoyed my 2009 recap post. It was so fun searching through the blog for my favorite recipes of the year. I really need to remake every single one of them – each one was absolutely fabulous! :D

The post today is a little bit more “serious.” Naturally with the year nearly ending I’ve been doing lots of reflecting. Yes, I’ve grown a lot over the year, but I’m not finished yet. The holiday season set me back once again (I talked about it here, did better the next day, and went back to my old bad habits the day after that). I just haven’t been very happy with myself lately and I know the reason is too many mindless bites (that I cannot seem to avoid no matter how hard I try or how motivated I am!) which often lead to sub-par workouts (or none at all if I’m too full – today was exhibit A of such behavior). So for one millionth time this season I mentioned it to my husband. He can tell I haven’t been myself/100% happy, even if I try to hide it. It’s hard because usually there isn’t much he can say to “make it better,” but for some reason today his suggestion worked (at least in theory). So here it is… I didn’t want to do this, but I’m desperate and I think this will do the trick – I’m temporarily going back to calorie counting. I know I can eat intuitively and maintain my weight, but for some reason I’ve gotten way off track and can’t bring myself back to only eating intuitively (and not stuffing my face with chocolate and random snacks). Calorie counting will be a bit of a shock to my system, a shock that I think I very much need. It won’t be about severe restriction, although I will cut down a bit since those 6+ holiday pounds I’ve gained must go! I will try this for the month of January, and see if this is enough to get the old Elina back. :)

Now let’s see what today’s eats looked like…

BREAKFAST

1 FFL english muffin with Barney Butter and 1/2 banana + coffee

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I woke up starving but for some reason this breakfast really filled me up. I was actually sick for hours after eating it as if I went overboard at an unlimited food buffet. Not sure what’s up with that but it was not a good time :???:

“SNACKS”

1 real snack – this orange was beyond sweet and juicy. Yum!

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And then the junk food raid began… (there is a limitless supply of cookies and chocolates in my office so when I get a craving, it’s way too easy to satisfy it!)

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I will say these were very yummy :D

LUNCH

I ended up having lunch at home, which is always fun. Did I ever show you guys where I often take pictures when I’m home? Yep, that’s our back yard. The lighting in our condo is terrible so when it’s light out (and I decide to brave the cold), I go outside and snap a photo there. Pretty scenic, no? ;)

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Brie + green apple and dijon mustard panini + salad with mixed greens, remaining apple and Annie’s goddess dressing

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Mmm, melty brie…

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Dessert – an almond stuffed date

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DINNER

Dinner was definitely a “man meal.” We were able to get some grass fed beef at WF on Sunday, so Adam requested that I cook some sirloin tips for dinner and make fries. Here is what we got…

Grass fed sirloin tips, marinaded in EVOO, balsamic vinegar, garlic and brown sugar (used an Ellie Krieger recipe) for a few hours and grilled for about 10 minutes.

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For the fries, I following this recipe for garlic fries from Cooking Light, using fresh thyme instead of parsley (Adam doesn’t like parsley). The fries were beyond amazing! I wish we had more than 1 potato so I could have had more than just a few of these.

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Of course veggies are a must. I deviated from my tried and true recipe for parmesan brussels sprouts (from 101 cookbooks) and tried the roasting method by following this recipe from Cooking Light (originally found through A Better Bag of Groceries). Looking good my little babies… :lol:

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Unfortunately this recipe cannot even compare to our beloved parmesan brussels sprouts, even after I added some shredded parmesan. I think cutting them in half really helps with the texture + brussels sprouts on the stove top take way less time. Heidi’s version definitely wins!

My plate (I only had a few fries so Adam could have them but we had a baked potato in the fridge so I had some of it instead):

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Oh yes, while cooking dinner I snacked on some (unpictured) somersaults, fresh cauliflower and roasted almonds which definitely spoiled my appetite! I had maybe 3/4 of the steak…

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4 fries + maybe 2 bites of the baked potato

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and about 3/4 of the brussels sprouts

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What I really wanted was Adam’s fries. SO good!!!!!!!!

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The decision to resume counting calories was made after dinner because I was upset with myself for overeating right before it (this has been happening a lot lately). I hope you guys support me in my journey back to what I know has worked in the past and hopefully will work again. My first day should be interesting :shock:

Best 9 eats of 2009 + 2009 resolutions review

Only a few more days left in 2009, which makes it the perfect time to evaluate the year that’s nearly past! Since I’ve been blogging for over a year now, the first thing I searched for was the blog post on my New Year’s resolutions for 2009 (if you are interested in the original post, you can find it here). Let’s see how I did…

- Become truly Healthy AND Sane! – well, well, well – as expected this was a loaded goal and a really tough one to achieve! I think this is still a work in progress. I’d like to think I got a little better at the balancing act this. Making the decision to stop trying to lose weight (and be ok with maintenance instead!) and stop counting calories and eating intuitively I believe has tremendously helped me in this quest. This goal is staying on my 2010 resolutions list!

- Stop being scared of running outside – ha, kicked that one’s butt! In fact, I now prefer to run outside and miss it terribly these days (running in the cold has not been fun so I’m back to treadmill running for the season).

- Race a 10K! – Yes, yes, yes. Achieved this one back in May (recap can be found here) and even trained for a half marathon later in the year (something I thought was impossible a year ago – see the 2009 resolutions post). If you haven’t been following my blog then and would like to read the horror story of my first half marathon, you can find it here (it’s slightly depressing but there are lessons to be learned too!). I signed up for another half in 2010, so you better believe I’m finishing one next time!

– Improve this blog! – another loaded goal! I guess you guys can tell me if the blog got better. Some days/weeks I feel like I’m really onto something and am cruising; other days it’s hard to find things to talk about and I find my posts are a little flat. My readership has grown quite a bit over the year, so I guess at least some of you like the blog ;) Please comment once in a while so I know you’re there! It’s good to be reminded that I’m not writing into space. I’m keeping this goal for 2010 as well :D

Overall I think 2009 was a really good year. My husband and I bought a condo (a major milestone achieved!), as mentioned above I stopped counting calories and started eating more intuitively (another biggie) and I met so many great friends though the blog that taught me lots in the process (like the fact that running can be fun and is not just a way to burn calories!). I hope 2010 is even better!! (I’ll do a separate post for resolutions for 2010)

Now let’s get to some fun stuff – 9 best eats of 2009! I should note that I’m excluding meals out – these are best eats that were prepared by me (and you can replicate them in your own kitchen!). It was fun reading through old posts to come up with this list. :mrgreen:

1. pumpkin spice muffins

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2. Endive boats stuffed with oranges, goat cheese and candied walnuts

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3. pork tenderloin stuffed with goat cheese, dates and pecans (this recipe is now our all-time favorite and has turned Adam into a goat cheese lover!)

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4. sweet potato ravioli with lemon-sage brown butter

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5. stir-fried tofu with bok choy and ginger sauce

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6. maple mustard chicken thighs

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7. savory pumpkin pudding (this one was not prepared by me but by a fellow blogger and friend Shannon, but it was one of the year’s highlights and you guys should make it! :) )

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8. pumpkin whoopie pies

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9. chocolate cherry almond clusters

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How was your year? What was the best thing you made in 2009?

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