Healthy and Sane

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Photo inspiration: 10 years of yo-yo dieting

November 30th, 2011 · 50 Comments · diet free living, weight loss struggles


I’ve been working on a food photo collage for our kitchen and yesterday decided to print a few inspirational photos of myself – both at my heavier and lighter weights. This was the most inspiring exercise I’ve done to-date. I couldn’t believe how much I’ve fluctuated in weight over the years!! The picture of the “thinner me” looked to me like what I should look like. I don’t see someone that’s too thin. I see someone that looks “right.” I see my bone structure. I see my smile. It looks like it should (in contract to pictures of a thinner Adam, who’s fluctuated in weight by the same amount, that just looks too skinny to me… interesting). The pictures of the “heavier me” instantly bring tears to my eyes. I am unfortunately getting too close to that weight and I refuse to get there. I will not let myself go like that again!!

These are pictures going back to 2002 in no particular order.




Camera Pics 005




















Katy, Allison and me in NYC




[Toy gun for Halloween Smile ]







This is me today:


I actually think this picture hides well all of the weight gain but I’m reversing this trend starting TODAY.

Here is my plan:

  • Start P90Xas soon as I get better (I’m nursing a cold). I’m hoping this will give me good structure with my exercise which I’ve definitely been missing lately.
  • Eat (mostly healthy eats) when hungry. Stop when I’m full.
  • Limit the amount of dessert I eat. I refuse to put myself on a diet and limit my caloric intake (I’ve dieted nearly my entire life and these pictures show that it just doesn’t work in the long term). But indulgent meals need to be limited. I’ve been in denial about my food. No more living in la-la land. It’s time to buckle down!!

What motivates you to stay (or become) fit and healthy?

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Healthy and Sane quick and cheap: loaded potato soup

November 28th, 2011 · 22 Comments · 20 minute meals, favorite recipes

Before I forget, thank you for taking the 1 question survey from last week. It looks like almost 5 times as many people would love to see some Russian recipes here on Healthy and Sane. Very exciting! You can expect to see the very first  post soon.

Now onto more relevant things…

How was your Thanksgiving? Did you host this year or traveled to see family or friends? Did you make anything delicious? I stuck to my plan and made an apple pie and roasted brussels sprouts with pomegranates and vanilla-pecan butter. I popped the pie out of the oven right before heading on a drive to my sister-in-law’s for dinner… the hot pie smelled SO incredible the whole way there. I looked pretty ridiculous sitting there with oven mitts and hugging a pie but I’d do it all over again just for the smell.


The pie recipe came from the Joy of Cookingcookbook – I made the flaky pie dough recipe using 100% butter (shortening freaks me out) and “Apple Pie II” recipe to be able to do a lattice top. I just think it looks prettier and it gives the apples a chance to steam through the holes. Oh and since I made this pie last week as well I learned that I didn’t like their recommendation of refrigerating the strips first. They became too hard to maneuver. Just cut them up right before topping the pie. Worked for me!


Looks better than my first pie, right? I’m happy to say I’m pretty comfortable making a pie now… and just like the recipe said – the dough was nice and flaky. Very exciting! The recipe happens to pre-cook the apples as well so you can make the dough and apples the day before and then assemble and bake the whole thing the day of your party. Nice and easy!


Bobby Flay’s brussels sprouts recipe was also a hit with everyone, including brussels sprouts haters. Yay! Although Adam and I preferred the more savory version with capers and anchovies.


Ok, ok, so this post actually has a point (more Thanksgiving pictures of all the fair and puppies and kids will go up today on the Healthy and Sane Facebook page, so check it out if you want more!). I wanted to share a quick and cheap recipe with you that may utilize ingredients you already have at home. Maybe you’re too tired to cook anything elaborate after last week’s feast. Maybe you just got home from your travels and haven’t gone grocery shopping yet…or maybe – like me- you try to avoid all stores at all cost during this holiday weekend so now that your Thanksgiving leftovers are gone, your fridge is looking a little bare. This recipe from Cooking Light for loaded potato soup is for you then! It’s creamy, hearty, healthy; it comes together in a cinch… and it’s delicious. Very delicious!


I made this soup a few weeks ago. It was supposed to be a quick dinner. I had no plans of blogging about it… until I had the first sip. I knew it was a winner and I just had to share. The potatoes are “baked” in the microwave while the bacon is fried. I of course omitted the onions but instead of adding oil, I left a little bacon grease in the pan before adding the broth, milk and the rest of the ingredients. I think this is what gave it that extra smoky flavor that provided a lot of depth to an otherwise simple dish. Seriously, make this soup this winter. I promise you’ll love it! Smile


What other healthy, quick, cheap and delicious recipes would you recommend? I’d like to make it a regular feature on Healthy and Sane. Plate

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Happy Thanksgiving!!

November 23rd, 2011 · 14 Comments · Uncategorized

I was working on a more elaborate post all morning but I can’t sit in front of the keyboard any longer… which means I’m postponing that post till later and will just tell you what I’m excited about this very morning. I’m excited for Adam to get off early from work today. I’m excited to start Thanksgiving preparations. I hope you are too!

Having a blog gives you the fun ability to look back at previous years…

Thanksgiving 2008 was my very first Thanksgiving as Mrs. Holbrook! I made white chocolate cranberry blondies which were delicious. I think I’m going to make them again this winter. They seem very Christmassy, don’t you think? [They are also on the healthier side… comparatively.]

white chocolate cranberry blondies

Thanksgiving 2009 was the very first time my mom joined Adam’s family for Thankgiving dinner… and the very first Thanksgiving for my baby nephew Colby. It was also the very first time I tried making pie… and it was the ugliest pie I’ve ever seen (still tasty, though!).


I think I look really happy here. Don’t you? It was also the first Thanksgiving I ate intuitively and did not stuff myself silly. It felt good!

Leftover turkey was turned into fantastic (and healthy!) Chinese dumplings the next day! I should have stocked up on wonton wrappers… it’s definitely a great way to give leftovers a second life!

2010 apparently went undocumented but I know it was a good time. It was the first time my dad also joined the whole family for Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone in one spot – chilling, eating, drinking. LOVE.

Hope this year will be the best one yet! I’m going to make a prettier pie (that’s a promise!) and roasted brussels sprouts with pom seeds and vanilla butter. My sister-in-law as always is going to cook up a storm.

What are you making?

Happy Thanksgiving!! Open-mouthed smile Eat mindfully and enjoy this time with your families and/or friends!

See you soon!

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