Thursday, March 15, 2012

Update on Life & Why I have been MIA + Kale & Feta Egg Bake

     Maybe you have noticed that I haven't been posting as often as I used to around here.  Maybe you haven't noticed!  My life has changed over the past 4 1/2 months.  My younger brother got engaged and I decided that it was time to get serious about getting healthy because I wanted to feel great at his wedding and enjoy having my picture taken.  I joined Wow! Boot Camp, which is an awesome workout that  combines cardio, strength training, intervals, etc. and starting training for a half marathon with other Boot Campers. I became a part of a great support system.  I also got serious about my nutrition.  I started keeping a food diary and writing down every single thing that I ate.  Every little bite.  Now I use Lose It! as a way to track my calories and exercise. 

  It hasn't been easy.  I have had to change my lifestyle.  I thought I was eating healthy before, but keeping a food diary has helped me realize exactly what I was consuming and also helped me realize that I was consuming too much.  I have reduced the refined sugar and flour that I eat.  I have increased the lean protein that I consume.  I have changed my ways.
  I'm not here to preach about what you should eat or how you should exercise, but I am here to tell you that in the past four months I have lost 20.5 pounds.  I have shed 16.5 inches off my body.  I have reduced my BMI  and reduced my body fat % by 5.6 %    I have worked hard and I feel happier than I have in years.  I have more energy.  I don't need naps during the day and I wake up excited about exercising and starting my day off right.  I am proof that if you want to accomplish something bad enough and you combine hard work and determination- it is possible.
  Through this process, I haven't felt like blogging much.  I haven't been baking very often and if I have been baking, I haven't been eating the things I bake.  When I started this blog, it filled a void in my life and I feel like I don't need to blog anymore.  I feel excited about other things.  I still love to cook and bake, but for some reason, documenting it just isn't the same for me.  I don't know what that means exactly.  Maybe I will get back to blogging often.  Maybe not. 
   My husband and I ran the half marathon on our 11th anniversary and had a great time.  I missed my goal time (1:48)by a couple of minutes (1:54:31), but considering the pouring rain and tornado sirens, I will have to get over it.  I can't believe I am saying this, but it was fun!

My brother got married last weekend and I couldn't have enjoyed myself more.  I fit into a lovely dress and felt great about being in a million pictures.  I am truly happy and loved our time with family.  I was able to cook and bake for my family while we were in Utah visiting and will share some of the recipes below.

 I made this Kale and Feta Egg Bake before we went to Utah in 2 single servings, but also made it in Utah to serve 15 people.  It will take longer to bake if you make it in a 9*13-inch dish, but it still works.  I reduced the amount of cheese and oil, just to keep the calories in check.  When I made it for myself, I used 1 egg and 1 egg white, instead of 2 eggs.  I love this dish and plan to keep in rotation for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  You can reduce the feta even more and just do a little sprinkle on the top for a hit of flavor.  You can follow me on Pinterest, if you are interested in the recipes and things that have caught my eye.

    Here is the original recipe for Kale and Feta Egg Bake
    * I doubled the amount of marinara and kale
    * I used half the amount of oil and feta
    * I used 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites
    * I served Sweet Potato Biscuits on the side

    Other recipes I made and shared with a crowd last week in Utah-
    Greek Salad with Orzo and Black-Eyed Peas

    Savory Cornmeal and Chive Waffles with salsa and eggs 
    * I used half whole wheat flour
    * I did not use melted butter in these waffles.  I used 1/4 cup of canola oil and a couple extra Tablespoons of low fat buttermilk.
    * I also used this recipe as a base for a sweet waffle- omitted the herbs and added 2 tsps of sugar.

    Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Black Beans
    * I didn't puree the dressing, I just added the jalapenos, lime juice and other ingredients
    the the roasted veggies & beans
    * I used less olive oil than called for, both when roasted the sweet potatoes and when dressing the salad
    Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders and Salad with Tangy Maple Dressing
    * I have made this multiple times and never fry the tenders in as much oil as it calls for.  I use about 2 Tablespoons of canola oil and cooking spray.

    Lemon Blueberry Pancakes

    Blackberry, Lemon and Thyme Muffins
    * I used half whole wheat flour in this recipe

    Thick and Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies


    Jenni said...

    Way to go!!! Your accomplishments are fantastic, great job!! I have missed your blog updates, but I understand how sometimes you grow up and move on. Maybe you could switch to blog about the healthier foods you are eating everyday, instead of just baked goods?

    Charlotte said...

    Yay for you, and for your whole family! You all look so great in that wedding photo. Looks like it was a banner day, and I'm so glad you were all able to experience it together.

    Carlia said...

    Mary look awesome!!! Healthy and happy and vibrant! Congratulations to your brother - and to you and Matt on your 11th! I hope we can see you sometime in the not too distant future!!!

    Mumsy said...

    I love it! Good for you. I'm so happy that you're happy with all the changes you've made. Very inspiring.

    Prudy said...

    I did miss your blog! I'm MIA for almost a year now, so I can relate. You look fantastic and I'm so happy you're feeling great. I got more serious about running after my blog hiatus. It helps to have more time but it also helps me to not have food on the brain 24/7. To everything there is a season, right? I'll miss your frequent posts, so throw us an update often! xoxoxo

    Ekin said...

    Hi there.. all this while, i've been a silent reader...and i like visiting ur blog.. which is very resourceful to me..why don't you share us your recipes that you have in your food diary.. i do have my food diary but i am always a cheater when it comes to dieting..(hahaha) perhaps.. you could share in your blog.. *:)

    Shelby said...

    What great news to read today! I'm glad you did what you did to make you feel better! I know you were already in the health minded mode before, but in all seriousness, getting that way and staying there is a lot easier when your not blogging! I lost over 100 pounds and successfully put on 25 of them over the last couple of years. I pretty much stay the same now but would love to drop that 25 pounds again! I'm super proud of you!

    Aggie said...

    Oh I am so proud of you girl!! You look amazing, your smile just radiates happiness! There is nothing like feeling healthy. Kudos to you. :)

    Deborah said...

    Congratulations! I have been following you for a long time but never commented. I'd love to see you take your blog and continue to share your healthy cooking! You have learned a lot and I'm sure have tons to share! We would love to hear. Take care and enjoy your new found health.

    Unknown said...

    Congratulations on your new way of living! Isn't it fun? You look amazing and I am very excited for you. I know what you mean about not needing to fill a void. When a person starts doing something they love it fills that void and other things fall by the wayside. "Things" & blogs aren't as important as your health. My husband and I ran our first and only 1/2 last fall and it was FUN!!! I was recently told that I need to cut back on running because of a problem I was born with so i am looking into bikes and want to stay active. I am excited about this new journey. Way to go and keep up the good work because you look and feel amazing!!!