So yesterday was the start of my summer vacation (okay, okay, I’ll shut up) and I took the time to do stuff that needed doing – like weeding my garden. But then I was out there, and, as happens every time, I can’t believe how big it’s all getting (I sound kinda like a proud parent, no?) and realized it had been a while since I gave you all an update…so here you go!
Just look how big that pepper is! I just need it to turn yellow and it’ll be ready (I could eat it green, but I MUCH prefer the flavour when fully ripened). I also have a poblano almost ready to go. The tomatoes I have are small and green, but they’re comin’. And there are tiny zucchinis that I think will be ready in a matter of weeks (maybe even days)….expect a boatload of zucchini recipes/experiments to appear in the days ahead. Bean and pea plants shooting up nicely, and big bunches of kale. And a prize goes to anyone who can tell me what that funky-coloured bug in the bottom right of the collage is…I saw it laying in the dirt when I was out weeding/picking.
I used something from the garden as part of the first (of many) at-home summer lunches. Any guesses? I’ll tell you in a bit, but first it’s time for (drumroll please):
THE OFFICIAL SHAPE UP FOR SUMMER SUMMARY!
I created this challenge to last for the month of June, in a large part to help motivate me to get back on track after my Vegas vacation and look good for the months ahead. Well, June has come, and as of tomorrow, it will be gone…so, how did I do? I’m posting my original goals, and below each one I’ll comment on my progress.
– eat low-carb, mostly whole foods, one day a week (I felt so fabulous after doing it last week that I want to continue)
I achieved this for each week in June (and even this week, which was just a partial week). I definitely don’t regret this. It pushed me to choose more whole, filling foods and get a bit more creative in the kitchen. I’m also a big believe in switching things up (both diet and exercise-wise) so your body doesn’t get used to things, and this dietary change helped me accomplish this. I don’t plan to make this a weekly feature in July, as it’s summer, and I just want to enjoy and not be so strict…but I will likely have a couple low carb meals (as there are some I just really enjoy) and treats now and again.
– use self-control and make smart choices at food functions in June (showers, graduations, birthdays, Father’s day) and bring a healthier option wherever possible
I’m pretty proud of myself on this one. In June, I had my grandma’s birthday, a day out with BBQ tour and frozen yogurt, Father’s Day, my cousin’s grad party and a church potluck. I wasn’t perfect, but I was pretty smart about what I made/brought, and used self-control around all the “special occasion foods,” and, most importantly, didn’t leave feeling totally stuffed….this is huge for me!
– push myself in my workouts, especially in strength training, to increase intensity and feel the burn
So-so on this one I’d say. I did get a new workout from my trainer, which was good, but not as killer as I’d hoped (I measure based on how sore I am afterward). I got in a couple of good workouts (one AWESOME interval session on the treadmill), and of course, a couple of Military Tone classes (when they weren’t cancelled). But I think my month-long Athletic Club Membership will REALLY help with this goal, even though it will be mostly in July. If the soreness I experienced from TRX class (even 2 days later) is any indication, then good things are ahead!
And, my late addition:
– try to fit in 10 minutes of at-home hula hooping 4 days a week
I’d say this was more like 3 days, but hey, that’s still 30 minutes of exercise I wasn’t getting before, right? I’ll admit, I haven’t done any this week, but I’ve been a little more consumed with exercise due to my new membership and all the classes and stuff I’m trying out, so it’s not like I’m just sitting on my butt. I don’t think all be as faithful in July, and it’s getting a bit old to be honest, but I’ll try not to let that hoop collect dust, and still get out there at least once a week.
I do feel like I’ve taken off the vacation pounds and I think I mentioned before that one of my pairs of “tight pants” weren’t so tight as I remembered…yay! As you know, I’m anti-scale, so I didn’t do any weighing, and didn’t take any measurements either.
I just want to thank all of you for making me accountable. You may not think that you’re doing anything just by reading my blog, but by your simple act of checking in and following along, you push me to succeed. I’ll admit, this little challenge was in the back of my mind when I felt like blowing off a hoop session or caving to unhealthy cravings…so THANK YOU!
And if you took me up on the challenge and shared your goals with me (or even if you didn’t), I wanna know how you did! Please leave comments on this post and/or email me to let me know how it went (Donna, didn’t we say we needed some lululemon to celebrate? ).
So, in case you didn’t guess, the garden ingredient I used was kale to make kale chips (shocker, I know). The kale chips went along side one of my absolutely delectable homemade veggie burgers. I served this burger on a toasted thin bun with some grainy mustard, a melted cheese slice, a baked (at the same time/temp as the chips) portabella, salsa, a nice juicy tomato slice and a slice of Vidalia onion.
This guy was SO MESSY! I can’t even begin to describe how messy it was. I think next time if I didn’t toast the bun it would be a bit easier to eat. But the combo of toasted bun, kinda mushy burger, ooey-gooey cheese, juicy mushroom and tomato and crisp onion made for a burger that dripped and oozed (in the best possible way) everywhere. I needed a paper towel for this bad boy. I think I’ve heard Food Network celebs say that the best burgers are messy. If so, this one would certainly qualify!!!
I’m leaving today to go to Buffalo for an overnight shopping (and grocery) trip with my mom (yep, Canada Day spent in the US…aren’t we patriotic?). Expect to see updates on the food shenanigans over the weekend…I’m planning to splurge a little bit on some 80/20 treats after the success of the Shape Up challenge (hopefully I won’t go TOO crazy).
And, since this is a summer post, I just HAVE to share with you a song that I am absolutely LOVING, and I have decided will be me theme song for the summer. I shared it with my BFF and she is as equally enthralled as I am. I heard it on CBC radio (I know, random), and it is called You, Me & Optimus Prime, sung by someone named James Struthers, who also happens to be Canadian. Basically, it’s about not wanting to grow up, and just enjoy the simple things in life…which is kinda where I’m at right now. I urge you, DOWNLOAD IT NOW! I’ve been listening to it over and over and I’m not sick of it yet…and it’s great to support a Canadian artist, right? Let me know your thoughts if you check it out.
Thanks again for your accountability on my Shape-Up journey. What are your plans for the Canada Day long weekend?