Alphabet Soup: H (as in Hurry Up and Post Before Something Else Comes Up)

Despite appearances to the contrary, The Tippy Toe diet has NOT become a monthly or semi-monthly blog. Things just keep coming up!

But it’s quiet right now, so I’m going to sneak in my next installment of Alphabet Soup, the series in which I explore–alphabetically–the words and concepts that help me with weight management.

lower case h blue floral“H”, as it turns out, was/is a very helpful letter for me in dealing with matters of weight.

First and foremost, the concept of making healthier choices, even if not always the healthiEST choice, helped me transition from a mostly ridiculous diet to one that made me feel good and supported the path to a healthier weight. When I first started, especially, I didn’t worry so much about making the BEST choice, just BETTER than I’d been making in the past. As time passed, I continued to make even healthier choices until I’d eliminated most (but not all) of the icky stuff from my life. I’ll probably never have a 100% healthy diet, but 90% or so is a whole lot healthier than what I did before!

Hand in hand with making healthier choices is habit-izing those choices–making it so that it was hard NOT to do them. For example, I set up my exercise schedule for immediately after work, almost like an extension of my workday. Now that I’m not working a traditional work schedule, it’s a little more iffy on workdays, but I still get the exercise in most days. It’s just as hard to ignore a good habit when it’s not there anymore as it is a not-so-good habit you’re trying to eliminate. (Hello, full-sized Snickers bars!)

Moving on, unrelenting honestly is another big contributor to my success in (mostly) managing my weight. It’s also proving helpful in managing my life, but that’s a story for another blog. :) One little question completely turns almost any situation around for me: Is it true? Not only does it knock out any excuses and keep me honest that way, it also helps pick me up at those times when I’m certain ruin and mayhem lurk just around the next corner.

Finally, a sense of humor sure does help a lot. For so many of us, weight and size are emotional territory filled with many dashed hopes and dreams, past hurts and failures, etc. It’s no wonder that we take it all so seriously. For me to break free of those chains, I tapped into my weird but ever-present sense of humor and found ways to make it fun.

There are probably more H words I could discuss, but those are the big ones. As always, I’ll count on you to fill in the gaps! :)

Back to Basics

I’ve been whining a lot about my crazy schedule, but I’m pleased to say that this has been a better week for me. My schedule is still all over the place, but I’m feeling very much on point with my nutrition and exercise. That alone helps combat stress and fatigue. I’m hoping it will also help with getting the proper amount of sleep.

One of the things I’ve done to feel more “in control” is to return to full meal logging in sparkpeople. It takes only a few minutes a day and should be helpful for peace of mind, if nothing else.

I haven’t made any changes to what I’m eating, and if the first three days of logging are any indication, I won’t be changing much at all. So far, all I’m picking up on is that I’m still overestimating calories and portion sizes. Example: those roasted green beans I mentioned in my last post, saying I reckoned they were 100-125 calories? They’re actually about 75 calories. I’ve also learned that I need to up my calcium and my fiber intake, but I’ll figure out how I want to do that later.

Another back-to-basics move was to get myself back to the gym for strength training! Be still my heart! I’ve been getting plenty of exercise, but not as much of the “official” variety as I’d like. Between work-work, working on my kitchen, and working on Memaw’s house, I’m up and moving for about 8-10 hours a day, but there’s something about a structured workout that gives me more of a sense of control. I think I’ve figured out a way to get in at least two workouts a week and possibly the third one on weeks that don’t require yard work. (I count that as a workout since the power bar on my mower is out. :) )

It’s only been three days, but I’m amazed at how focusing on those two basics–nutrition and exercise–carries over into other areas. I feel much more “in charge”.

I must give credit for this re-focusing to Sally, with whom I spent some quality time this past weekend. This is always good for my spirits, because in addition to being exceptionally cute, Sally is a very good listener. :) sally playing with a ball

Sally has lots of interests, but three rise to the top: dinner, walks, and playing with the ball. As long as she has those three things in place, she lets everything else fall into its proper place. When I think about it, my interests aren’t really all that different from Sally’s, and that’s why I’m following her excellent lead and focusing on getting the basics in place. :)

Sadly, this might have been my last Sally visit for awhile. Her parents have selfishly decided that they’d like to live on the coast with its silly beaches and average winter temps in the 60s. Even more selfishly, they’re taking my dog with them! Okay, so technically, she’s their dog, but still. It’s just not right.

The upside is that they’ll still need a pet-sitter from time to time, and this one travels! :)

Besides Sally-sitting, another stress release was the selection of a yellow paint color for my kitchen and laundry room. I’m not yet ready to call it The Perfect Shade of Yellow. For now it’s just the yellow that’s going on the wall. I’ll know more when it’s actually on the wall.

yellow paint test strips on the wall

I’ll share the final (I hope!) results when the paint is up. It’s one of the colors shown above.

On that note of suspense, I’ll close this out. I’ve got a 4:30 a.m. alarm tomorrow, which means I’m already up too late. I hope you’re having a lovely week!

On the Menu: Roasted Parmesan Green Beans

One of my favorite things about summer is the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. In this particular crazy summer, my schedule and meals have been so scattered that I’ve hardly even taken the time to enjoy the season’s bounty. A few tomatoes, a bit of watermelon, lots of strawberries–and that’s about it.

Fortunately, I had time to make a decent grocery run last weekend and picked up some fresh produce, including the subject of today’s post: fresh green beans! Even better, I actually had an opportunity to prepare them tonight!

As you might expect, this is one of those “methods of cooking” more than it is a recipe, but we won’t get all caught up in semantics. When they taste this good, who cares what we call it other than done?

Roasted Parmesan Green Beans, Cammy-style

Ingredients for one serving:
1 handful fresh green beans
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tablespoon parmesan cheese (I had to use the powdered stuff because my shredded cheese bit the dust. Fresh would be better.)

Optional: any other seasonings or spices you’d like

1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Wash beans and pat dry, then trim the ends.
3. Toss beans, olive oil, salt and pepper (and other seasonings as desired) in a bowl until well coated.
4. Spread beans on cookie sheet (I lined it with aluminum foil for ease of clean-up)

green beans in oven

5. Bake for about 20 minutes, giving the pan a good shake after 10 or 15 minutes.
6. Remove from oven and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

I have no idea how many calories this single serving has, but if I had to guess, I’d go with 100-125.

Roasted Parmesan Green Beans with beef patty and broccoli slaw

Pretty, and tasty too! That it’s so super simple to prepare makes it a trifecta.

As you can see, I served these jewels of cheesy goodness with a simple beef patty and broccoli-pineapple-raisin slaw. My taste buds were very happy with the balance. (They would have been ecstatic if I’d remembered to add a little apple cider vinegar to the slaw.)

Before moving on to dessert, I wanted to mention that I took advantage of a sale at Aldi’s last week to try their grass-fed, no “extras”, brand of beef. It’s really good, but I’m not sure if that’s because it’s grass fed or because of it’s 85/15% lean/fat ratio. I’m so used to eating 93% lean that I’d forgotten how scrumptious the fattier mix can be. Anyway, there’s your mini-product review to go with your not-really-a-recipe green beans. LOL

In case you’re wondering, there was a dessert:

frozen yogurt fruit cup with chocolate syrup drizzle and pecans

I made a whole bunch of banana split fro-yo cups a few weeks ago, and this was the last one in the freezer. I didn’t want it to get lonely, so I ate it with a drizzle of syrup and a couple of pecan halves. The perfect ending to the meal!

Hmm, in writing about it, I think I’ve talked myself into having this meal again on Sunday. Must get more green beans. :)

Have you taken time to enjoy the fruits (and veggies) of summer?