Bless My Heart

the improvement of a southern girl


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Skrimp and the bear

Today was a quiet day. The girls stayed at their mawmaw’s last night and tonight, so it’s been rather calm around here. I have to admit that I enjoy days like this from time to time. To rememer the life I had before procreating, and imagine what it would be like if I didn’t at all. It’s peaceful. It’s quiet.

But it’s lonely, too. And I miss the lil’ buggers. I’ll get them back tomorrow afternoon.

In the meantime, I watched a movie…  by myself..

It was precious. No. Really. It was Precious, the movie.  A movie about a 16 year old Harlem mother of an in-bred downs child that lives with her abusive mother and is pregnant with another of her daddy’s babies. Yeah, it was a real upper of a film. Which is why I watched it by myself.

I do like Netflix. I’ll get a happier movie by Saturday 🙂

The Man came home from work and we headed to the gym. I freaking love weightlifting. I like to feel strong. Powerful. And no, I’m not getting hulk-like muscles. Women don’t bulk like men do unless they alter their hormones and junk. We women get toned and beautiful and can lift things and change a tire without asking for help.

I am women – hear me ROAR!

Or something like that. :/

After we’ve kicked our butts to exhaustion, we’ve added a “fun” little exercise called The Bear Complex to the end of our routine.

It’s actually a pretty good cardio workout to end the day with. And it hurts. It hurts so good.

We came back home and made up a quick yummy supper. Shrimp Salad!

I don’t normally buy shrimp because The Man only really likes buying them from the seafood market and they are expensive there and a pain in the butt to clean and get ready, but I talked myself into getting a bag of frozen peeled from Sam’s the last time I was there. We are on the lookout for all kinds of proteins nowadays!

Sauteed up with some homemade Cajun seasoning and a little butter.

Added some avocado, tomatoes, and artichoke hearts (which I haven’t decided if I like or not).

Sliced up some of my pumpernickel bread I made the other day. First time to make this and I’m telling you, it’s a keeper! Yum 🙂

Pretty good supper put together from freezer to table in under 20 minutes.

I believe we’ll be keeping the shrimp in stock from now on. It’s a low calorie/high protein ingredient that’s way too easy to thaw out and throw together something good in a short amount of time. Next will be some kind of pasta dish, I’m sure.

Time to go work on starting Eclipse. I want to have it read before I see the movie in a few weeks!

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A slow night for anything

Today was blah. Not as much energy as yesterday or Monday. The midweek blahs are upon me. MUST GET MORE SLEEP! Could be sleep problems, could be the 2/1 margaritas I had last night..

Trying to reduce alcohol/breadstick bloat by drinking tons of water today. I’m so tired of squeezing into my jeans! What’s it gonna take for me to finally “get it”? I’m about ready, that’s all I can say.

The Man and I had a pretty good workout today. My muscles are pooped out tonight after lifting and running. Enjoying the feeling of soreness 🙂

I haven’t been very hungry today. I had the usual oatmeal for breakfast, made up at work so I could get there a little earlier. Lunch was leftover eggplant pizza on wheat from last night, and I had some hummus and crackers when I got home this afternoon. Supper consisted of a deli turkey/avocado/craisin/walnut salad on lettuce and spinach.

My favorite default salad dressing

I’ve been enjoying the spring iris I cut last weekend. Gorgeous color.


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A Very Curry Wednesday

If there is one thing that is not found very often around these parts, it’s curry. We have gravy. We have butter. We don’t have much curry.

Amy helped me open my eyes..

This frozen meal also helped me learn about garbanzo beans. Again, round here, BBQ beans? Sure. Pinto beans? Alright! Garbanzo beans? What’s that? Ewwww….

But not anyyyy moooooooreee….

This Chickpea Stew was based out of my new Eat Clean cookbook. I am really happy with this one. It will become a standard around here.

  • 1 can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 3 small potatoes
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup raisins, soaked in hot water

opt. 1 bell pepper, diced
opt. 1 cup leftover dark beer

Blend up have the chickpeas in a food processor or blender with 2 tbsp of the oil and liquid from the soaked raisins. add rosemary, turmeric and curry powder. Blend till smooth.

Heat up other 2 tbsp oil and cook onions and bell pepper till soft. Add remaining veggies and cook, stirring continuously. Add water to cover. Add rest of ingredients, cover, and cook about 30 minutes or veggies are tender. Salt/pepper to taste.

Serve over brown rice and enjoy.


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What does a busy bee eat?

Man – I’m having a tough time blogging right now. I need a laptop :), and an extra blogging hour a day 🙂 :).

The Man and I are going strong with our lifting program. I was SORE SORE SORE after the first few sessions, but now I’m recovering quickly and feeling much stronger. We are looking forward to our “gym dates” every Mon, Tues, and Wed., and all things are looking good for us continuing this routine through the next few months.

We’re gonna be buff by the beach in June! 🙂

Supper was simple tonight. Husband cooked a tortilla de patata – or so he says. To me, it was potatoes and eggs…

Topped with a tomato and some feta cheese. Accompanied by a home brew. Mmm.

Spending the rest of the evening on the red chair with my new magazines and the dvr’d shows.

I also tried out a new recipe tonight. Chickpea stew. I had a sample tonight but I’m saving it for tomorrow. I’ll let you know…


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Banana Bread

Banana bread has to be one of the first things I taught myself how to bake when I was a young teenager. That and real bread. I’m telling you, I could live on bread alone, the Man doesn’t understand… I don’t try to teach him. Women and bread just go together.

Anyway.

My recipe has come quite a long way since that first baking experience, but it’s been all for the better.

I present to you – Whole Wheat Banana Bread Muffins –

Get yourself some ripe bananas. The blacker the better. These where just kinda spotted.

and beat the daylights out of ’em

You should end up with banana soup

Next, add  2 eggs, 2/3 cup yogurt, and 1/3 cup oil

and beat it up again

add .5 cup brown sugar, packed

and a teaspoon vanilla. and use real vanilla. just do it. now.

next measure out 2.5 cups whole wheat flour, teaspoon of salt, and a teaspoon baking soda

Stir the dry ingredients together, then gently stir the dry into the wet with a spoon. I have read that adding a little orange juice to whole wheat recipes helps with the slightly bitter taste that ww can have. I was fresh outta orange juice, so I took a louisiana orange and squeezed about a tablespoon of juice out. Then gently mixed it in. You don’t want to over mix muffins.. It makes them tougher.

Spray muffin pans and get to it.

Bake at 350 for about 24 minutes, or till they look like this…

Let cool as long as you can stand it then eat two. Just like I did.

Very yummy. Moist. Can you see the bits of banana? And the whole wheat makes them more filling than the original. Not bad on the nutritional info, either:

Granted, they are small, but you could either fill up the muffin tins more to make 12, or just eat two and still be alright. I don’t feel bad about eating these AT ALL. Good ingredients. Good flavor. Good snack. Try it.

I have been very flexible with this recipe, too. I’ve added chopped nuts (pecans!), I’ve omited the oil completely, adding applesauce. It works fine, just makes the muffins a little more spongier. I’ve used sour cream instead of yogurt. I guess, if you just HAD to, you could use regular all purpose flour too. Or half and half. Don’t be afraid of whole wheat, though. It adds a nice texture, helping you not feel like you are eating fluff. And becoming fluffy as well 🙂 My family absolutely loves these. My girls eat them up as fast as they can, and I let them, knowing that they are a lot more healthy than some store-bought junk food I could have given them.

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

3-5 ripe bananas

2.5 cups whole wheat flour

.5 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup non fat plain yogurt

2 eggs, beaten

1/3 cup oil (canola)

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

Bake at 350 for 23 minutes making 24 muffins. a little longer for 12 muffins. and about 1 hr if making a bread loaf.

ENJOY 🙂


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Stormy Wednesday Night

I am slowly bouncing back to where I should be. Had a decent 4.5 mile run on the treadmill yesterday, and looking forward to doing it again. Kinda.

I think part of my problem is that I’m having to run more and more on the treadmill with my weekday runs now that they are becoming longer distance/time wise. I really, really don’t like running on the treadmill for more than 2 miles at a time. It’s become a necessary evil and I’m starting to become bitter towards it. I will work on refocusing that energy elsewhere, though, as I’ve got 5 more weeks of it.

I really wish I would have taken a picture of the star of tonight’s supper while I was making it, but I missed it. Yesterday I roasted a bunch of sweet potatoes and a large butternut squash in the oven. The potatoes transfer quickly into easy meals with a few additions, but I really didn’t know what to do about the squash until I found this recipe today.

This picture is from the blog in the above link-

I made a few adjustments to the recipe. No butter, just olive oil, and only about 1/2 cup cheese instead of 2 (that’s all I had, reduced fat Cabot cheddar).

THIS WAS SOOOOO GOOD!

I’m excited about tomorrow’s lunch already…LEFTOVERS 🙂


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Seven mile Sundays

Holy Freaking Crap! I made it!

7 miles checked off the training to-do list to close out a great week. I really can’t believe how far I’ve come in such a short time. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this all comes out in February. It’s taking a huge commitment, but I’m getting huge benefits from it.

I told you I was never doing a long run on the roads by my house again (due to the crazy hills I have around here), so I headed to the flatland known as Monroe this morning. I started at the local park and then ran the rest of the route through hoity-toityville. It was a really great run, as most of it was quiet and had little traffic. I stayed mostly on divided roads that had medians and wide shoulders. It was nice to not feel like I was about to get smooshed by someone.

About a mile of the trip was running by this Bayou. It was really calming.

Sorry about my finger alien flying around the bottom there. Hey, I was running 🙂

When I started my run is was about 8:45 and around 34 degrees. And windy. Cold and windy. My favorites! I buckled down into it, though, and sure enough, soon I was good and sweaty and thanking the wind when I turned a corner and it cooled me off. Here’s how I remember it..

  • Mile 1 – Started on top of the river levee. Fun view. Running is easy. My thumbs are cold. Should have brought gloves, but I left them in the car.
  • Mile 2 – Beautiful view of the bayou. I’m liking this run. I’m gonna breeze through this whole thing. First signs of life are older lady in santa-red nighty running out to get her newspaper. See three runners and a walker. Third runner’s pace is so fast it makes me look like a sloth. I have to remind myself that speed doesn’t matter to me. I’m faster than I was on the couch.
  • Mile 3 – Just cruising. Watching priviledged society wake up and start to stir on a lazy Sunday.
  • Mile 4 – Bored. And starting to get hungry. I only had coffee and a Zbar this morning.
  • Mile 5 – Longest mile of the day. Seemed like I was on mile 5 FOREVER. I’m bored and I want to be done.
  • Mile 6 – My hips and butt are starting to fatigue. I’m tired.
  • Mile 7 – I’m tired and sore and painfully slow. I try to perk up my pace to finish strong but I’m afraid of dragging my feet. I’m gonna get this done. I’m gonna do this because I have to. I’m gonna do this because I want to.

As soon as I started walking again, I was painfully cold again. I feel like I need to do plenty of runs while it is super cold, though, with my race day being in late February.

Yeah for big accomplishments! I am proud of myself and am actually looking forward to pushing myself even more on next weekends long run.

After doing a little grocery shopping (rocking my sweaty running clothes, yeah), I headed home and had a late brunch/lunch.

Can’t tell what it is, can you?

Well. Ladies and Gentlemen. Let me introduce you to the best, and yes, I said BEST, peanut butter and banana sandwich that has EVER been made!

Except it’s not peanut butter.

It’s PECAN butter. Remember? I made it only a few days ago. I’ve been wondering how to use it, and today I got a major idea lightbulb. I cut two slices out of my homemade sourdough loaf, spread each side with pecan butter, sliced up a banana, drizzled a slight amount of honey, and grilled it with butter in a cast iron skillet.

Oh. My. God.

This was one of the best sandwiches I have ever eaten, much less made. The Man hovered over me when he saw what I was making. I gave him a bite and he immediately went to work making his own.

Now, I’m not gonna say that this was a low calorie “diet” food. But I’ve just about decided that I don’t want to live that way. I want to eat food. Enjoy food. Exercise. Be healthy. And I’m gonna see if I can lose a little weight at the same time. It’s not about deprivation, it’s about being smart. Being balanced. And, most of all I think..  Being happy.

And this sandwich made me very, very happy 🙂