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January 2015

Cauliflower Soup? Uh…. I Ate It!

Cauliflower soup recipe
I guess I like cauliflower, who knew?

Veggies are not my friends. I don’t like them. Well, mostly, and up until I started this Ideal Protein thing, I did not eat them much. My feelings about veggies are starting to change. I’ve come so far! So, my first cauliflower experiment was way back, on day 21 of my journey, when we made the O’Rooney’s (Blasphemous) Shepherd’s Pie. Blasphemous because my Irish husband had to put whipped cauliflower on top rather than spuds. It kind of creeped me out. I ate it, but he loved it! I don’t like things parading around as if they’re something else. Our kids totally busted us on that one too, but surprisingly, they ate it.

Since my humble no veggie beginnings, I’ve eaten lots of weird things I thought I wouldn’t eat, like Brussels sprouts, stuffed peppers, and zucchini. I know, I AM proud! My favorite thing though, and I’m not even having to lie right here, is the Cauliflower soup. It might be a little off my Ideal Protein diet, only because it’s got coconut milk which is high in fat. Coconut milk, though, doesn’t have many carbs, so there’s that. Well, and I add the cashews, again, low carb, but higher fat. It’s so delicious, I can’t even tell you! I found a version somewhere on Pinterest, but here’s my version.

Monkey Cauli Soup

1 Head of Cauliflower

Olive Oil

1/2 tsp Turmeric

1/2 tsp Coriander

1 1/2 tsp Cumin

1 Onion

3 Cups Chicken Broth

1 Cup of Coconut Milk (or the whole can if you hate wasting it) 🙂

Cashews (whatever amount you think is good in your bowl, I’m bad, I go back for more handfuls)

Disclaimer, precision is for prudes… (just kidding, I’m just not very precise, but this will work!) Preheat oven to 375. Cut cauliflower into florets or smaller, and chop onion. Put both on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil (use your best judgement, I just drizzle). Roast until kind of brown. Stir if needed. I like mine really roasted. Heat everything else in a large pan until boiling. Dump the veggies in the broth/spice mixture. Boil for 5 mins. Remove from heat and blend all together in a blender. Pour back in the pan, and add the Coconut Milk. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve while hot and sprinkle with Cashews.

Holy wow. I want some right now. Some folks would consider this recipe Paleo, maybe? Not sure on that one but if so, then woohoo!

I’d love to hear about your results with this soup. I mean, I crave it! And that’s a bit freaky because it’s cauliflower for gosh sakes!

One Thing

If There's One Thing You Could Do...
One Thing. Every Day.

At a class the other day, if you can call it that, it was more a sales pitch about why you should spend $800 on their class, they did ask a really good question. What is the one thing that you could do every day in your business that would make a big difference if you actually did it daily? My brain answered it quickly for my day-job business, but then I immediately thought of my wee writing business. My one thing? Write every day. Maybe that means getting out of bed, and going directly to my computer. I could get a good hour in before my day job if I’d get up when I’m supposed to. I could do that. I will do that. I will write for an hour every day.

So, what might help me stay motivated when it comes to this damned monkey? I’ve found through experience, like my whole entire life’s experience, that I’m not good at goals. I’m just not great at setting a goal that takes awhile to reach. My ADD just whisks me, my emotions and my ambition/interest right away from those goals like the wind, more like a Cat 5 hurricane. My brain goes so fast, a goal I set last week (like to lose 50 pounds by whatever date) just gets left in the dust. Even when I’ve written it down, it becomes a memory quickly as if I formed that thought (and what a stupid thought it was) a thousand years ago. I’m better with short term goals, and immediate gratification. I’ve noticed that when I get on my scale every morning, my monkey is in my subconscious, under the attention deficit radar, and I tend to be a better eater the whole day through. There’s my one thing! When I come in to my computer, I’ll just stand up on that scale and face the music. I did it this morning. Let’s hope I don’t have a <squirrel> moment…

And, I liked having a fitbit, but mine was recalled. I’ve been waiting for the Apple Watch, but I’m thinking I want to have some serious reminder and motivation on my wrist again, or instant gratification? It’s not like my knee will let me go 10,000 steps right now, but don’t you think it’ll have that yellow ribbon on the finger effect? It might remind me to do my strength stuff on my knee daily. Or is that just an excuse to spend money?

SquirrelMoment…And there went my squirrel! I almost forgot to hit post because I was over on the REI website checking out the Fitbits! Some things never change. Now, hit Publish!

Battered, Bruised and Befuddled

The joy of hitting tennis balls has worn off (kinda) and the angst has returned. My knee is angry again. I hit for about 30 minutes on Sunday and not even an hour on Monday. As a result, my PT (befuddled as she is at my continued pain) battered the hell out of my quad and my scar tissue on my knee when I showed her where the pain was… and I mean battered, raked and pretty much tore it up. That was, by far and away, the most painful PT session I’ve had. That skinny (adorable, though) girl has strong fingers and I’ve got a leg full of bruises to prove it. She didn’t stop there either, I had quite a mess where the hamstrings and the adductors and other things I’m either mispronouncing or making up all come together at the inside area of my knee. And the fire went up the back of the leg and hamstrings too! And then there’s the scar, the little innocent looking half inch line. It was a mess and a colossal ball of fire. Think about someone taking an ice pick, a long rusty one, and jabbing it into your knee. No, not just jabbing straight in, consider the fact that they’re starting just above your knee, on the inside and stabbing longways to poke out the bottom of the same side. Yes, that picture just about does it. Now do that over and over again for a good 40 minutes, making a new stab hole with each stroke. Yes, I was brutalized! (Glad you could join me on that little fantastical foray of pain; the joys of a vivid imagination never cease.) Brutal!

Today, though the tissue is bruised and sore, it all seems to be moving better. I was told to do nothing on the knee for 24 hours, then start working on strengthening the quad (think wall sits, and static strength) which will help my hammies take a break. They’re pulling more than their weight right now to compensate.

…And speaking of weight. (squirrel!)Squirrel Close with Corn  I’ve not lost my Holiday 10 (none of it to be precise), and my monkey is now about 33 pounds. What’s even more discouraging is that when I recalculate my goal weight based on body fat percentage (here’s how to calculate) I’ve got an extra 10 to lose now. The reason is simply muscle atrophy. I had more muscle back when I started this journey. What I’m hoping is that I can rebuild what I’ve lost and maybe my goal will remain the same. No doubt I’ve lost a bunch of core muscles, as well as upper body because I’ve not done a ding-dang-thang for six months. Man, I just want to go back to bed now.

My team matches start in a couple of weeks. I’m going to have to play doubles! That’s fine! I’m good with that, because it’s fun and it’s tennis! Pain, schmain, this sh*t is getting old.

And Then There Were Balls!

Glorious, fuzzy yellow balls! Oh, and the sound… it’s just one of those things like, like… horse smells.horse smell You know, if you’re a horse person, you love the way they smell. Back me up here horse peeps. It’s just a thing. I get it! But the sound of a racket striking a ball solid and hard, I love that sound! And so there were balls, and friends, and miss-hits, and crap serving (a weird disconnect has happened… it feels so foreign), but I got to hit, and feel and hear. And move! I couldn’t last all that long, though, disappointingly, the knee started to get annoyed. So, I did what I was supposed to do. I stopped!

Okay, I stopped playing tennis like a good girl, but not having fun. Of course, there was celebratory eating and drinking with the besties and the hubs. I love these people, and not just because of tennis! I just do.

And, tonight I actually get to hit my regular session at my club. I think that I will skip the drills class after, just because that’s probably more than I should do. What did the PT say? “Be smart. (bawhahha) Don’t go from 0-100 in one day, or even week.” Fine. I will try to breathe despite the cedar pollen that will attempt to kill me. I will try to get my timing back. I will try to get some stamina in my quad and get all those wimpy little atrophied muscles up and firing! One thing is quite clear,  it will (obviously) ROCK my world to hit balls two days in a row.

Giddy up!

Me and my first horse, Ruby.  Just because I referenced the horse thing.
Me and my first horse, Ruby. Just because I referenced the horse thing. I loved her so. 

Your 12 Hours Starts Now. Go!

fatclock 1This morning, The New York Times published an interesting article on their wellness blog. Though it seems that we’ve been hearing variations on this study forever, I like that there have been several experiments around this idea and it’s so very simple!! Basically, the “never eat midnight snacks” or “don’t eat after 6pm” mantras are pretty solid advice after all! Researchers fed mice different diets, high fat, high fructose, or high sucrose and mouse kibble. The mice who were allowed to eat kibble anytime they wanted ended up obese. The mice eating, whatever, but restricted to a time window, stayed sleek and healthy despite being allowed to cheat and eat whenever they wanted occasionally on the weekends. The poor obese mice, who used to eat whenever they wanted, when subjected to a time window of 9-12 hours, ended up losing weight. So, there’s hope people!

Though research hasn’t been done on human subjects yet, the scientists suggest that it won’t hurt to note what time you start with that first cup of coffee and stop 12 hours later. Sounds like a plan. I’m starting today.

Here’s the article.

It’s Okay To Look Up, But…

Keep your mouth closed! Last night, I felt overwhelmed, and posted on Facebook, “When it rains, it pours. I need an umbrella!” A friend replied with my headline. She gets me. For the past week or so, I’ve juggled my first world problems to a point where I finally thought, “I’ve got too much responsibility! Being a grown up is not for me. If I had nothing, no one would need things from me.” This morning I’m still overwhelmed, but the Advil PM let me get some rest when my brain wouldn’t shut up. I sat down to my computer with last night’s brain dump right in front of me. There are nine items to do before I start my day job. This blog was not one of them.

Ball Smack Therapy
Ball Smack Therapy

So, how do you calm yourself and just get things done? Stress makes you fat! Aaaack. I need to go hit tennis balls. In fact, I might just do that. (The sun is out today and it should get to 60, that also makes me happy!) I can still only ‘hit’ without the running and sweaty stuff, but it’s something to take my aggression out on. Arghhh, it will have to wait until the weekend between 3 soccer games on Saturday.Meanwhile, this fuzzy <—-yellow puppy is sitting on my desk. Smackin’ balls! Yes! I feel better already!

Carbs and Sugar: Yep, They’re The Evil Twins

Carbs and Sugar The Devils delights
Pure (delicious) Evil!

Maybe someone can help me. That’s actually a rhetorical statement because I know that what I’m about to say is pretty much a universal truth. Carbs and sugar are the fruit of evil, the devil’s delights. And I am the silly, fat monkey swinging through the trees unable to stop snatching donuts and shoving them into my gob. Oh wait, Fritos? Yes, please. Crunch, crunch, savor, crunch. (Squirrel moment: Are Fritos and bean dip a Texas thing? Because oh, my, gosh… I can’t stop! I don’t want to stop.)

In the last month, I’ve felt awful. My hands are raging in full gluten induced eczema, and they hurt and itch like a mother father. Raging! My joints are achy too. I’ve noticed that after coming down from a sugar high, I’m struck in the gut with nausea, gas, and my knee hurts no matter how far I’ve come in PT. It’s inflammation, full on, and haven’t I written about that? All the research shows that inflammation is the root of diseases like cancer, diabetes and maybe even Alzheimer’s. Well, I’ve lost my mind, that’s for sure. So why do I continue to do this to myself?

For months, I’ve given all that up. I lost almost 30 pounds doing so and I felt GREAT! Why, as I consider myself a fairly rational, moderately intelligent human, did I plop right back into the carb/sugar vortex during the holidays? Not only did I gain ten pounds, I’ve lost any modicum of acumen I might have had to start. (Hello big words in the morning… Oh, right, I haven’t eaten carbs today!) Holy shit. It’s the carbs isn’t it? They make you fat AND stupid. Yes, yes they do because sugar’s been proven to be more addictive than Cocaine. (I read that somewhere). And carbs really just turn into sugar, so what’s the difference? I’m an addict? Oh, hell no!

Today, the carbs go away. I will feel great, and smart, again soon!

Except at the Ranch

This week doesn’t count!!!! When you’re at the ranchito, it’s powdered donuts, alcohol, card games, and fire! Oh, and s’mores! So if I take a break to enjoy, and I call it in advance, these calories don’t count, just so we are clear!

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