You Can Get Fit!

Posts Tagged ‘indulgences

(well… aim better!)

I know, I know… keep my day job. Friends, I have had little interest in food, exercise, living…. for over a week now, due to The Worst Sinus Infection In Years. After 10 days, I think I’ve finally turned a corner (the overall achiness, fever, etc are gone, and the more peripheral symptoms are all that remain), so I finally have enough energy to post something.

Worst of all, I’ve had no sense of smell or taste for over a week. So that bulgur salad I posted on Tuesday that I love? That was all for you, and just a tease for me. Each day has become more and more torturous, as I keep on wanting to cook, but realize–what’s the point? I’m just eating the bare minimum to maintain nutrition, right now.

Meanwhile, I sit around, feeling like a useless blob trying to rest up, and unfortunately I’m tempted by lovely pictures in food blogs such as this one:

Savannah Buttermint Ice Cream

Nope, it’s not “You Can Get Fit” food, but just maybe I can tweak the milk:cream ratio and maintain the buttery, minty goodness. Looks divine, eh?

And if you probe a little further, the article is promoting the recipe author’s new cookbook, which talks about how to make ice cream at home. When I looked at the site for her ice cream shop, wow–holy flavor inspiration! I really want to try making a bunch of frozen yogurts, now. (Those are healthy!) Lime cardamom! Especially now that we occasionally see temperatures that start with a 7.

Okay, so, here’s to hoping that sometime within the next week, I’ll be able to taste something again!!

Meanwhile, help me with frozen yogurt ideas: what flavor would you like me to try to make?

Ten years ago today was one of the best days of my life, when I married my best friend.

just married

wedding party
I really appreciate our close friends who helped support us: Mike, Diane, Joe, and Mike. Thanks, you guys!

gorgeous backdrop
A gorgeous arbor in a spectacular setting. We held the wedding, reception, and dinner at the Marin Art and Garden Center in Marin County, CA.

wedding ceremony
The same arbor was the backdrop for the ceremony. I wanted to keep the guests in suspense and didn’t walk down a center aisle. Instead, Bruce entered from stage left down some stone steps, and I entered from stage right on a horse and carriage (clop-clop-clop). Pleasant surprise for the guests!

foot and petals
Gotta have the artsy shot, eh?

reception
Having fun at the reception. Even though our guests came from all walks of life, there was never a dull moment, and they all chatted easily!

***

I will never forget this day. It was perfect… just like the one I am married to. (Awwww…) Some girls get lucky, and this one truly did. Happy anniversary to us!

(we’ll return to less self-indulgent content in a few days.)

I’m not talking about the alcoholic sort… (though those certainly add up, too!) I’m talking about the luscious, creamy, yummy…… “coffees” that we’ve grown to love.

Come on… we know they’re “coffee drinks” and not coffee… even I, a true-blue black coffee drinker, occasionally get a hankerin’ for something made with caramel, hazelnut, and white chocolate. (Yummmm. That sounds so… dessert-like!)

Are you drinking your calories?

Consider this

According to a Starbucks website, a 16 oz caramel frappuccino contains 440 calories and 18 grams of fat. Wow! How many of us have this as just part of our midday snack?

If you had one of these every workday, that’s almost 2500 extra calories per WEEK!

You don’t have to be spartan

I remember back in my early weight loss days, all the books that said how easy it was… just trade your usual (ooey, gooey, buttery, cheesy) dinner for a poached chicken breast and steamed broccoli. Oh–and you even get to season it with lemon juice! Seriously, did these writers not know their audience? How did we get so overweight in the first place? You can’t make that sharp a transition!

What I’m trying to say is that if you’re downgrading the coffee drink calories, don’t go cold-turkey. Maybe try getting a smaller one for a few weeks, or try getting half the number of syrup pumps, or one without whipped cream… you have many calorie-reducing possibilities! Then once that feels like second-nature, take another reduction step. After a while, you might find you’re quite pleased with a black coffee with a splash of nonfat milk, and maybe a pump of sugar-free syrup–easier on the budget, as well! (But once again, don’t force yourself there immediately if you’re getting triple-whip chocolate bliss.)

But, don’t take forever to downgrade.

So, you’re slowly making progress toward leaner, healthier coffee drinks (or… substitute anything for coffee drinks: appetizers or cocktails with your friends, dessert choices…) by making one change at a time as outlined above. Just don’t take too long at each plateau, or you’ll never see progress. Make goals for yourself: maybe you’ll be drinking only 3 fancy coffees per week, and those being nonfat lattes, in four months. (Not that you can’t drink coffee, but maybe the rest is just plain ol’ coffee!) Be proud of your accomplishments when you reach your goal… just don’t reward yourself with a trenta caramel brulee frappuccino. 😉

Do you guys like fancy coffee drinks? Do you try to make them healthier, or do you just go for it when you get them? Me, I’ve become so budget-conscious that I only drink fancy coffee drinks less than once a month, so I just get whatever I want as a treat!

Happy dyed eggs and bunny ears!

Time for the twice-monthly list of interesting posts and articles I’ve found on the web… all helping YOU get fit physically and mentally!

Fellow Pilates instructor Karin Singleton talks about maintaining a strong foundation in your body even if you’re working out other parts of your body. One of my favorite Pilates metaphors: if the trunk isn’t strong, the branches cannot be supported!

A great post from Melinda’s Fitness Blog on overcoming 10 common workout distractions. We can do it!

I read Janetha’s blog all the time, and this (garbanzo bean turkey bake) is going to be one of the next things I make. It looks so yummy! 🙂

OK, this one isn’t fitness-related, but it’s good for the soul (and the dessert is bite-sized, therefore portion-controlled… kind of…) Have you tried cake balls? They’re like truffles, but with cake inside! Easy to make, too! I made my batch with homemade cake and frosting (because that’s my style) but store-bought works just as well. Great party food! (For spring, you could do a yellow cake with colored white chocolate, flavored with peppermint oil… now I want some!!)

Hope all of you are having a joyous holiday!

I’ve left you guys in the lurch all weekend, without even a Recipe Friday! I’ll make amends soon, promise!

This weekend was Mr. You Can Get Fit’s (Bruce’s) birthday. It wasn’t a big birthday, but I believe that every year–every day–is a reason to celebrate. (And apparently Chris had the same thoughts I did today!)

Friday, I made a yellow layer cake with chocolate buttercream–all from scratch–and we had a few friends over to share cake and some Black Adder episodes. Cake recipe came from America’s Test Kitchen, and I gotta say, the cake was a bit dry. However, the frosting was fantastic, containing both cocoa powder and melted chocolate. Yummmm.

Saturday, we got his free birthday scoop from our favorite local frozen custard place, sat in a park for a bit, had Thai food, and watched a favorite movie of his. Then, on Sunday, we finished the weekend having dinner with our neighbors and sharing a few rounds of Trivial Pursuit.

Even if it isn’t your birthday, or a special occasion… take the time out and enjoy! Every year, day, minute… is special.

What are you going to do to make today a special day? (Even if it’s a little thing. I’m not asking for the world! Maybe relax with your favorite tea, or book a manicure for the end of the week, or have dinner with a friend…)

We made it through the first week! How are your goals holding up? I’ve been doing great eating my 5-a-day!

Here are a few great posts I’ve found over the course of my surfing this week…

Benny The Irish Polyglot writes a great guest post at Location 180 about Sticking To New Year’s Resolutions. I especially love this: have something that you can feel proud of TODAY. Set a goal for yourself that you can accomplish soon! (What’s yours? I have a semi-secret business I’m working on… launching with a client before the end of the month!)

If you want to get started with yoga but don’t know how or where, More Than A Stretch offers a link with 10 free yoga videos for beginners.

Kate from Eat The Damn Cake talks about guilt.

A brilliant idea from Pride and Vegudice: if you use your blender or food processor to make homemade nut butter, don’tcha hate leaving the dregs behind that you can’t scrape out? Well… here’s a solution: add some yummy stuff and turn it into a shake! Waste no more!

May you have a happy, healthy beginning of 2011! Keep after those goals!

Hey, let’s indulge for a weekend! (And if you’re really concerned, just have a smaller serving.) But this, folks, is the real deal. Good-quality chocolate, simple ingredients, go together relatively quickly to make a really good, creamy, dense mousse. Christmas and birthdays are the few times a year that I give myself license to indulge, for what fun would life be if we were constantly “good”?

And this is a great recipe for doing so. Feel free to add flavorings such as espresso or any liqueur, but as Mark Bittman says, it’s the simple intensity of the chocolate that makes this one special—and I thoroughly agree! The first time I made this one, I took it to a dinner party, and everyone was swooning!

With no further ado…

Chocolate Mousse
from How to Cook Everything

2 tbsp unsalted butter
4 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
3 eggs, separated
¼ c sugar
½ c cream
½ tsp vanilla extract

1. Use a double boiler or a small saucepan over low heat to melt the butter and chocolate together. Just before the chocolate finishes melting, remove it from the stove and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth.

2. Transfer the chocolate mixture to a bowl and beat in the egg yolks with a whisk. Refrigerate.

3. Beat the egg whites with half the sugar until the hold stiff peaks but are not dry. Set aside. Beat the cream with the remaining sugar and the vanilla until it holds soft peaks.

4. Stir a couple of spoonfuls of the whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it a bit, then fold in the remaining whites thoroughly but gently. Fold in the cream and refrigerate until chilled. Serve within a day or two.

That is……… if it lasts a day or two!

Enjoy your Christmas with your friends and family! We’re tucking in here up in Seattle for a fabulous day of good food and good music tomorrow. If you’re doing anything exciting and out of the ordinary, I’d love to hear about it! (And if you’re doing the ordinary… hey, you’re just like me, in good company!) Peace and love to everyone!


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