Friday, May 31, 2019

Recipe: Grilled Teriyaki Chicken Pineapple Boats

  • 1 pineapple
  •  2 pound chicken breast (or pork or beef)
  •  1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
  •  1/2 cup instant brown rice
  •  1/2 pound carrots
  •  1/4 cup Almonds or Pecans, chopped
  •  2 tbsp coconut flakes
  •  juice from 1/2 lime
  •  salt to taste


  1. Cut meat into bite sized pieces and place them in a bowl.  Pour  1/2 cup teriyaki sauce over them and make sure all meat is coated.  Marinate for as long as you can – preferably several hours.
  2. Cut carrots into pieces and place in steamer for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Cook rice according to directions.
  4. Using a sharp knife, cut pineapple in half lengthwise. Remove the fruit (flesh) using a paring knife and a spoon.  This is easy if you cut the insides of the pineapple like a cake and the spoon will easily scoop out the pineapple in chunks.  Place pineapple in bowl.  Add the juice of 1/2 lime and salt and stir.
  5. In large saucepan, pour in meat and teriyaki sauce and cook over medium high heat until cooked through.  Add carrots.
  6. Toast the chopped Almonds or pecans and the coconut.
  7. Once the carrots are warmed through add the pineapple mixture and cook just until warm.
  8. Place rice at the bottom of the pineapple “bowl”. Add chicken mixture on top of rice.
  9. Top with chopped almonds and coconut flakes and serve.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

A half-hearted WOO HOO

It's been almost a month since I last posted.  I almost feel like I've been moving in slow motion.  This fucking winter just refuses to die and I am sick and tired of being cold ALL THE TIME and being stuck inside.

Then there's the war with myself and the scale.  It has relentlessly and heartlessly continued to bump back and forth with the same 2 pounds.  And then, just like that, without really doing much different - BANG BANG BANG - down 3 pounds over the last 3 days.

Part of me wants to celebrate this unexpected gift.  But the pessimistic part of me believes that if I can drop this unexpectedly, then tomorrow I could see that I gained those 3 pounds back for no reason.  And if those pounds are truly gone, I still feel that I have so far to go.  Geez, Jen, can't you allow yourself to just be happy for at least a few minutes??!!

A couple of days ago a friend tagged me on Instagram.  A run blogger had posted my before and after in their feed with the word "Inspiration".  I think those pics were from the story Runner's World did on me a few years ago.  The before was a pic from my wedding reception in 2005 in my full fat glory.  The second pic was from 2013  with me holding a trophy after coming in 1st in a 10K.

I showed this post to my friend and mentioned how weird it is to see myself just pop up out of nowhere.  She scrutinized the pics.  She then gently asked me if I could see that I was "too thin" back then.

I immediately said "No way!!!" She told me that at that time I looked "fragile" and pointed out features that she sees in people who are anorexic - not that I was to that point, but I was on the road there.  I told her that at that point I was still about 10 pounds away from "underweight" according to the BMI standards.

My friend then said that I look so much healthier now, and even though I want to lose weight she hopes that I won't get to that point.  I told her that when I look at that pic that I am jealous of me.

Crazy? Maybe, but I think of that person that seemed to have so much self control.  That could refuse brownies and cake and didn't eat spoonfuls of peanut butter like it was her last meal ever.  She stuck to her goals.  It wasn't that long ago!! So why can't I be her again??!!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Some sort of miracle...

Yesterday a co-worker was celebrating her birthday and as I walked throught the office she offered me a piece of the cake another co-worker had made for her.  The  sheet cake was covered by aluminum foil so I couldn't see what kind it was.

I automatically declined and thanked her, but because I just love to torture myself I aked her what kind it was.  I should have known, since she is as obsessed as I am, and she gave me a little smile and said "peanut butter!"  I made some sort of statement about it killing me and moved on.  But as I went about my business and came back through, she had sliced off a piece for someone and it sat there taunting me.

Seeing me look at it, my friend offered to cut me a "very small" piece.  I again declined and ran back to my office to hide before my self-control abandoned ship.

Now I'm not going to blow smoke up anyone's ass here - I wanted a piece of cake.  But in something that was nothing short of a miracle I was ok not having a piece.  It didn't turn into a THING.

This is what usually happens under these circumstances.  I would go back to my office and obsessively think about the free delicious cake in the other room.  I would try to rationalize why it would be ok to eat it.  I would do some calorie math in my head.  I would be angry at myself and feel sorry for myself.

Then I would either cave and eat a piece - which then would lead to guilt and shame, or I wouldn't eat a piece and be all pity party about it.  

Instead I just kind of went on with my life like a normal human.  It sounds crazy to equate this to being a miracle, but really it kind of is!! As pathetic as it may sound.

I'd like to believe this is a sign of a healthier and more normal relationship with food, but I'm inclined to believe I just got lucky(?) that circumstances made me feel that way at that moment in time.

So help me, though, if I stand on the scale tommorow morning and haven't dropped.....

Monday, March 12, 2018

The more things change...

The more they stay completely and maddingly the same!!

When I was in my first phase of dropping pounds, I would talk to someone or read an online post where the person would say that they were eating less or exercising more and the scale wasn't moving.  I would think to myself that it was bullshit - if you expend more calories than you take in, you lose weight, period.

But it seems as if this is the hell I am living in right now.  When I stepped on the scale Friday I was exactly the same weight that I have been since January.  I have bounced between a pound up or down, but pretty much am what I was.

How is this possible??   I know that - for sure - I am eating less than I was last fall.  The not snacking on peanut butter after work ALONE has to be at least 200 calories per day.  And having increased my running should be showing some results.

My body, apparently, disagrees.

So my addict brain immediately said " Well, fuck this! If I`m putting in all this effort and nothing is happening I might as well just do whatever the hell I want - it's not like it will make a differnece!!"

I didn't throw it all out the window, but I really wanted to.

Having faith that hard work will eventually pay off - whether we're talking about diet and exercise, or a career choice, or lots of other things in life - is super hard when you feel like you're not seeing any results at all.  

What I tried to remember this weekend is that the benefits that my body is getting from the exercise and eating right is there - whether the scale shows it or not.  My heart and lungs and skin and liver and everything else that I can't see on the outside thanks me.

As if to send home this point, the results of a study were published last week.  So maybe my outward appearance isn't that great - but my immune system is  sexy as fuck!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

I hate me, too!

I have really been working on ramping up my running miles.  I continue to be painfully slow, but I am running a lot of miles.  Since the beginning of the year I have run every day with the exception of January 3rd.

Now mind you, most of these miles have been treadmill miles.  There is definite value in these miles but they just don't compare with the toughness - for me anyway - of running outside.  Remarkably I am ( knock on the biggest piece of wood ever) injury free.  I think this is a first, as I ALWAYS seem to have some injury.  I told Marc I just want to run while I can - without pain and feeling good.  Because historically I find a way to get hurt.

So I'm putting in about 50 miles or more a week.  And still trying to bike and lift weights.  Friday there was a storm and work was closed, so I got in 10 miles.  Another 10 on Saturday and 13 on Sunday.

Backing up, I should let you know that Saturday was Marc and my 13th wedding anniversary.  We had a gift certificate for Texas Roadhouse.  I wish I could tell you I ate sensibly, but I did not.  I could brag about choosing corn and salad as my side dishes, but I would also need to confess the amount of their amazing rolls I scarfed or the number of peanuts I ate...

I managed to only feel somewhat guilty.  

Lunch time arrived today and it was pretty chilly outside but mostly sunny.  I knew I should get outside and run but I really didn't want to. Finally I convinced myself to just get out and start.  My legs felt heavy and the whole time I was strugging physically and mentally.  I decided to call it when I arrived back towards work at only just over 4 miles.  Complete with self-recriminations about sucking at life and giving up.

As I was turning off my watch and taking off my headphones, I see someone who works in the next building who I interact with quite a bit.  She looks at me and growls "I HATE YOU!!!" I expressed shock and then, of course, she went on to say how it made her feel guilty seeing me finishing up a run.

It is all relative, isn't it? What is success to one person is failure to another.  It shows that we all face our own demons.  In fact I was just talking with someone about that... to be continued...

Sunday, February 25, 2018

The avocado fail!

I have never been a good cook.  But when I started getting healthy, it was necessary for me to learn to cook at least some.  The days of buying scalloped potatoes in a box, or a can of Spaghetti O's or even 78% lean ground beef mixed with some corn and cheese and calling it dinner were over.

My tastes changed as well, so I do the best I can.  We eat a lot of fresh meat, which Marc cooks, and a lot of salads.  I can even put together a casserole - thankfully healthy eating is in vogue and there are smart people who post detailed recipes for people like me.

My biggest cooking quest has been to find desserts that taste great without the typical 10 billion calories.  And I'm not talking the "refreshing light desserts".  I want cookies and brownies and ice cream.  Fortunately, Halo Top has taken care of ice cream for me!

I have found some surprisingly great dessert recipes.  Sure, they aren't going to taste as good as the fat and sugar laden goodies of my past, but I can be naughty without being too naughty.

I have 2 healthy banana bread recipes, some protein brownie muffins, skinny peanut butter swirl brownies to name a few - they're pretty yummy.  Most use natural sweetners, like overripe bananas, honey and maple syrup, and some call for baking Truvia.

This week I ran across a recipe for brownies - they were designed for those following the keto diet.  The recipe called for avocado, sweet potato, maple syrup and some other ingredients.  Avocados are SO good for you, but I rarely buy them.  Some people live in a climate where they can grow them out back.  Not here! They are around $2 a pop!

So I made them for my Saturday evening treat.  For dinner we had some tasty lean pork ribs, and a kale, apple, cranberry and walnut dish that we love.  Given that healthy dinner, I felt justified and excited to try the brownies that looked thick and fudgy.


They were so seriously disgusting.  A nutrionist was credited with the recipe, and given the ingredients they were most certainly healthy.  But she must have burned off her taste buds in some sort of nuclear accident if she made these and then recommended them for a dessert that a human would want to eat!

I was pissed.  Pissed because my evening treat was ruined and I don't get another cheat for a week.  Pissed because the money I spent on this rancidness could have easily bought 2-3 boxes of fattening Betty Crocker brownie mixes - which I can't eat.  Pissed at the time and effort to make them.

I didn't find it funny at all last night.  Tonight it's a little funny.  And still NOT FAIR!!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Temper tantrums are cardio?

Apparently throwing a fit and having a pity party is an effective weight loss tool.  Who knew? Because after my weekend long melt down and feeling sorry for myself, I stood on the scale this morning and was 2 pounds lighter than last Friday.

It's pretty surprising how much of getting on track involves the simple act of changing habits.  Now it's not actually simple to put into practice, but so much of my challenges involve poor habits I've gotten into.  

Like coming home and plowing through a bunch of peanut butter.  When I decided to get back on track, that was one of the first things I knew had to change.  And the first couple weeks were rough.  I would longingly look at the cabinet where the pb is held and have actual mental arguments with myself.

That desire hasn't gone away, but that obsession is starting to fade.  It's just something I don't do anymore.  Last night, though, fairly late in the evening I was in the kitchen and thought I was hungry.  I had come home from work and did a BRICK - I rode the bike trainer for 21 miles, got off and immediately ran 4 miles on the treadmill.

So I rationalized that a little bit of peanut butter was perfectly justified.  You know that iconic cartoon of the cat burglar sneaking through the house and he hears a noise and freezes, hunched over, one leg in the air, arms frozen in mid-step.  That was me - posed in the kitchen - fully intending to dive into the pb.  I stopped, took a breath, shook my head and exited the kitchen.  

It's a good thing the scale was down this morning or I would have been pissed for my amazing (haha!) show of self control not paying off.

My body is certainly not responding on the timeline that I want to see.  It also is not suddenly becoming easy like I want it to.  I hope that this is a sign, though, that I am heading in the right direction!!