Cold snap!

I really do mean to update more than once per week so these entries don’t become ten miles long. It also saves me from being up early on a Saturday out of guilt for not updating all week. I guess I was up anyway. This week did not start out a success for my weight loss. I’ve been having stomach pains a lot recently, and I think that contributed to the weight gain I experienced after last weekend. It was a slow, steady gain, but still a gain and I couldn’t figure out why. I cut back on food–didn’t work. Increased exercise–still didn’t work. It wasn’t until the stomachache finally subsided on about Thursday that I saw some results. Ironically, it was after a day at the gym where I slacked and a dinner I was convinced was too calorie-rich and heavy. Weird. Maybe it was just my body’s way of saying I needed to take it a little easier on myself.

In any case, things evened out and I did manage to go to the gym all five nights this week (one of them with my friend, who wasn’t feeling well either and didn’t stay as long as he’d planned). I’m just relieved they fixed the darn TVs at the gym that play E and MTV. I love some reality trash while I’m pedaling away! I somehow miraculously managed to cook every night except Thursday (which has become our Panera salad night. I take all the croutons off and only use half the dressing. I feel like that helps). Thank goodness for the wealth of recipes on Cooking Light and Eating Well!

Sunday’s dinner was individual Spinach-Asiago Gratins. I didn’t have any asiago, but I did have reduced-fat mozzarella, which was just as good (and probably lower calorie). I liked getting to whir a piece of my light wheat bread in my mini food processor to make the bread crumbs. The recipe made four servings, but we each ate two of the ramekins just because they were so good and low calorie.

Monday, we had Moroccan Chicken-Squash Stew, which I made with boneless skinless chicken breast strips because we never have animal thighs just lying around. We do, however, always have a pack of pre-cut butternut squash that tends to go bad quickly. I appreciated the pop of citrus from the orange rind, and especially the couscous, which cooked up more and more as the stew warmed! Sooooo good!

Tuesday, I was still feeling Moroccan, and I was feeling like we had way too many veggies just waiting to be used up in the crisper, so we had Moroccan Chickpea Chili. It used up a lot of my veggies and a lot of my spices (including a few I don’t get to open very often)! We had it with mini whole wheat pitas so we could dip. The leftovers were a great lunch for Dan the next day.

Wednesday was “use up the thin steak” night. It was also “those mushrooms and onions don’t look so good anymore” night. They were fine, fyi. Skinnytaste’s Quick Skillet Steak With Mushrooms and Onions seemed perfect. I have a little trouble believing it is only about 100 calories per serving, but I’m sure she did out the math. I was so hungry, I chose to believe it. I’m not great at cooking steak, so it was a little dry and tough. I prefer my beef in a nice stew with some hard cider and potatoes mixed in, but those days are gone. For now.

Thursday – salad night. Friday, I tried to make a recipe I found on Pinterest. It was for Greek yogurt pancakes. Basically, you take a little Greek yogurt, some flour, levener, and an egg and mix them up for delicious pancakes that you can add any fruit to. I decided to be clever and further reduce the calories. Bad move. I ground up my own oat flour, reduced the egg to an egg white, and used up the end of my Chobani Vanilla Greek yogurt. I chopped up some strawberries to use up the pack, and mixed it all up. The result was a goopy mess that immediately burned and stuck to a well-seasoned pan. Yikes. We had the leftovers of the skillet steak, which Dan “accidentally” forgot to take for lunch, stuffed in a pita with a ton of baby spinach. Meh.

Today, we are revisiting our vegan haunt from a few weeks back thanks to a coupon we bought online! My friend is coming to join us and we are going to look for a new cat companion for her at some of our local shelters. I’m hoping I can keep it together. I always want every adoptable cat I see, and I’d love Isis to have a sibling someday, although our living situation doesn’t permit it. We are also in the grip of massive cold, which has caused me to have a sore throat and dry skin for days. My hand cracked open at work, which was pretty disgusting, but I can’t really stop using the Purell because the cleaning in the common bathrooms is suspect, and there are a lot of disrespectful non-hand washers in the adjacent offices. Ew.

Hope everyone has a great weekend and isn’t snowed in!

Spinach gratins!

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Squash chili

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Chickpea stew

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