Posts made in February 15th, 2013

let’s talk top chef!

1

Posted on Feb 15, 2013 in Fun

top chef

Sorry for missing last week’s Top Chef discussion, friends! Since we were traveling, I just got to catch up on the episodes last night, and now I’m all ready for the finale. Just like always, I’m going to stick my commentary under a jump, so if you aren’t current on this season of Top Chef, go ahead and skip this post (and the comments).

let's dish...

Over the past two episodes, the cheftestants got off the cruise ship and were solidly in Alaska and working with all of the deliciousness that is Alaskan seafood. I’m a huge seafood fan, so pretty much every dish that ended up on the table these past two weeks made me drool. Although, I have to admit, I was a little bummed that the elimination challenge in the latest episode didn’t focus on local ingredients (instead, focusing on dishes that represented the moment the chefs knew they wanted to be chefs). It just seemed really strange to me to go to a place with some of the freshest, most sought after ingredients in the world and cook braised chicken and foie gras.

Anyway. Speaking of that meal. Anyone else spend the entire time thinking that if this had been filmed just a few years ago, the chefs would have been serving Sarah Palin? Ha! That’s all that was going through my mind during the entire dinner with the Governor.

I think probably my favorite meal of the past two weeks was one that all the judges seemed to hate—Lizzie’s salmon sourdough sliders. I thought the idea was incredible and looked like something right up my alley! I can’t wait to take the idea and make it my own. Even if Lizzie would have knocked that one out of the park, it was her time to go. She just wasn’t even close to the caliber of Brooke and Sheldon (and even Josh).

For this week’s elimination, I knew in my heart it was going to be Josh. I mean, I think pretty much everyone had Brooke and Sheldon pegged as going to the finale within the first few episodes of the season, but I was so sad to see Josh to go. Especially a day after missing the birth of his daughter. I wonder if he wishes he was sent home the elimination before? I mean, if you’re going to be eliminated anyway, wouldn’t it be better to be eliminated earlier and get to see the birth of your child?

And speaking of the upcoming finale, my pick has always been Brooke, and continues to be Brooke. She is creative, well-trained, sweet, kind, gracious and just a damn good cook. Although, I have to admit, her constant breaking-down-crying-fear of all the cool things she gets to do (go on a cruise! fly over Alaska in a helicopter!) is grinding my gears a little bit. But she does manage to overcome those fears, so that’s definitely a positive quality.

When it comes to her cooking, all of her problems in her dishes have been so minor compared to her competition. It’s almost like the judges are trying to find something wrong with her dishes just so she doesn’t look so obviously like the favorite to win. I just don’t see how she can’t win, unless she just absolutely implodes. Sheldon is creative and talented, but I think he gets into his own head so much and skips the important, but basic steps (like, uh, tasting something before you plate it!).

I’m so excited for the finale! Part one airs next Wednesday, February 20th at 10/9c. And the season finale is Wednesday, February 27 at 10/9c! Make sure to set your DVRs.

bravo, top chef

Alright, which dish was your favorite from this week? Who do you think will take it all?

This post is sponsored by Bravo. Photos courtesy of Bravo. All views are my own.

accountability update #5

11

Posted on Feb 15, 2013 in Motivation

This week was definitely a bit of a struggle. I’m having a hard time figuring out my new routine. Well, actually, what’s been happening is that I’m operating on no routine at all. I guess I’ve been taking an emotional break from the routine-based past decade of working, and basking in newfound freedom of working for myself. Which means I’ve been taking mid-day naps, working at 11pm and, uh, skipping (almost) all my workouts. A few days of freedom-enjoyment is great, but I really need to settle myself into a new routine. I do better with routine—even a breakable one.

Food

shabby slider

Food was actually not that bad this week. Last weekend, I went a little crazypants with food prep and cut up all kinds of veggies, made a big batch of hummus, boiled some eggs, made some date balls and made a big noodle salad for lunches. Having all of that readily available in the fridge made eating healthy snacks and lunches easy peasy. I need to keep up this trend in the future!

fridge snacks

What I really struggled with this week is keeping my dinner lean and green. For me, I feel my best (and lose the most weight) when my dinners are all about lean proteins and lots of veggies. During the summer, I pretty much lived on a giant piece of grilled fish with half-a-plateful of grilled summer veggies. But during the winter, I’m struggling with it a little bit more.

That being said, the food we did eat was legen-wait-for-it-dary. This was my favorite meal from the week: Brussels sprouts greens (who knew you could eat them? I didn’t before my CSA.), sautéed with bacon, garlic, onions, and red pepper flakes. Then mixed with roasted Yukon gold baby potatoes and white beans. So. Yum.

beans and greens

Earlier in the week, my issue with dinner was SUGAR. I needed dessert. Had to have it. Wanted to eat it all. Dinner wasn’t dinner without dessert at the end. So I kept tipping over my calorie budget because of my “right” to eat something decadent at the end of the day. Once Ash Wednesday came ’round, and dessert was gone, I suddenly found myself hitting my calorie goals pretty consistently. I really need to get back to the place where dessert is an every-now-and-again kinda thing. And if I want something sweet, a piece of fruit or a small piece of dark chocolate is where to go. My microwave cakes rock, but they do not need to be made daily.

coffee microwave cake

How to improve next week: I need to be tracking my food before I eat. It doesn’t do me any good if I find out after I’ve already eaten dinner that I’m over by 400 calories. Every morning this week, I’d like to go ahead and pre-track my food for the day, and then make adjustments as things change during the day.


Fitness

slider notgreat

Gosh, guys, I don’t think I’ll ever be one of those people who wants to workout. Or likes it. Or craves it. Or needs it. I could literally go the rest of my life and never workout again without feeling any emotion other than pure guilt—because I know I should be workout out. I get so jealous when I see people who love working out. I just. Can’t even imagine.

So, as you can guess by that little tirade, I barely moved this week. At the beginning of the week, I used the excuse that I had a minor cold, but the truth is, I could have worked out through it without an issue. And at the end of the week, my only excuse was laziness.

But! There is hope! Yesterday, I took to Twitter and ask all my followers to help me get motivated to workout, and dude, y’all rock.

twitter

I really need to remember the impressive motivation tool that is my social media friends. I pretty much immediately when and changed into my UA capris and went downstairs to do a Valentine’s Day workout. Nothing Valentine’s Day-y about it other than the hearts I drew on the white board.

workout whiteboard gym

So, the short story is: one workout this week. But! It was a really good one and a great way to end the week, I think! And today, I promise you, I’m going to get on that treadmill again. Promise.

How to improve next week: I need to get into a workout routine. I keep getting in the habit of saying “Oh, I’ll do it after I finish this.” and then “this” becomes this and that and that and this and that and before I can get my workout in, it’s bedtime. My goal for next week: every workout is in before 10am.


Hydration

awesome slider

I’m doing really well with hydration again. It’s funny how when your body gets used to drinking water, when you go without it for even just a few minutes, you feel so incredibly dehydrated so quickly (because your body isn’t retaining water anymore so it “expects it” from an outside source). Because of this, I’ve started taking my water bottle pretty much everywhere with me. Into the grocery store. Down to the garden. From the kitchen to the TV room to our bedroom to the living room. If it wasn’t so darn big and heavy, I’d hang it around my neck for easy transport.

water bottle

How to improve next week: No improvement needed. I’m doing awesome! Just keep on keepin’ on.


Weight

awesome slider

Starting Weight: 272 lbs
Last Week’s Weight
235.0 lbs
This Week’s Weight:
 232.4 lbs
This Week’s Loss: -
2.6 lbs

Well, during traveling last week, I gained almost 3 1/2 pounds, but I’m happy that I dropped almost 2/3 of that this week. By the end of next week, I should be back on track. Granted, this means that, unless I happen to lose a limb at some point in the next three days, I won’t be winning my DietBet. The extra cash would have been nice, but I’m not too upset about it. 4% of my body weight in four weeks would have been a stretch during a normal month, let alone one that had a week of traveling slotted into it. Plus, I’m down 4.4 pounds from my starting DietBet weigh-in, which, in my books, is a victory! That’s more than a pound a week. Woohoo!

How to improve next week: Don’t lose momentum now that the DietBet is done. I don’t have the discretionary cash to throw at another DietBet, but I’d love it if that kind of motivation continues (for free). I need to keep reminding myself that my health, confidence and happiness is just as much (if not more) motivation than some extra cash.

How did your week go? Was it healthy? Did you hit your goals?