To Diet or Not to Diet? That is the Question …. (and one of my healthy recipes)

The number one, first thing I hate when I decide to shed a few pounds – is people telling me “Oh please … you don’t need to loose any weight. You’re nuts.”  If I’m deciding to put myself through the woes of dieting – I have a reason whether no one may see it or not.

No one likes to diet – it’s a pain in the butt.  Weighing yourself on the scale daily, just to notice that you haven’t lost any weight is frustrating. Exercising daily (especially when you have RA and Fibromyalgia) can be challenging. But I have gained over 20 pounds in 7 months and knew that if I didn’t do something quickly – shedding more than 20 pounds would be even more challenging and daunting.   So, I recently invested in NOOM – a weight-loss app that does more than count your calories.

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It’s a whole new approach to dieting using psychology and personalized coaches that text you every few days. So far I’ve lost 3 lbs in about a week, and overall I’m pretty happy. Plus, it works in conjunction with my Fitbit® and Qardio® blood pressure cuff.  Most of all, what I like best about this app is their food logging system. Food is easy to find and they give you a fair amount of calories to work with throughout the day. I’m very rarely hungry.  It also is just encouraging me to eat healthy – the way I used to eat before I got married.  I’m aware that NOOM comes with a post weight-loss program as well – to help people maintain a healthy weight, but I think just eating healthy for a few weeks/months could inspire me eat healthy again. Which is nice.  Which is why I thought I’d share a relatively delicious lunch I’ve been making for myself as of late.

**Feel free to add more or less of an ingredient.  My recipe is based on a specific calorie intake.**

Cucumber and Ham Pita Recipe

Ingredients

2 slices of Deli ham

1/2 of Whole Wheat Pita Pocket

1/2 of Organic Cucumber

1 tablespoon of Sabra Hummus (though I also really love Wegmans)

1 tablespoon of Helmann’s Light Mayonnaise

Salt and Pepper to taste

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Directions:

This is seriously the easiest sandwich you’ll ever make, but it tastes so good.

1.) Mix  hummus and mayo in a bowl and spread 1/2 on the inside of the pita. **You can also just spread the hummus inside the pita and save the mayo**

2.) Slice your cucumber into thin slices and pack them into the pita leaving just enough room for your ham.

3.) Take your deli ham and pack on top of cucumbers.

4.) Top with hummus/mayo mix or just mayo.

6) Season with salt and pepper.

248 Calories

 

Please note that I have no affiliation with NOOM®.  I am purely writing based on my personal experience with the app to which I pay a monthly fee.

German Cucumber Salad

I haven’t grown cucumbers in a few years because my vine veggies just haven’t been doing too well – and I gave up.  Since I had such a banner year with my squash in the past few years summer – I think I just may go back to cucumbers this year. So with the warm weather approaching and my love for cucumbers  and  German cooking (my great-great grandmother was from Bavaria) – I figured I would whip up another a great compliment to burgers and hotdogs.  Cucumber Salad.

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Apple Sausage and Zucchini Pasta Recipe (A post that should have been done – 5 months ago)

We’ve had such a ridiculous amount of squash and zucchini this summer- that I truly was beginning to think that Nick was getting “squashed” out.  I’ve made zucchini quiche (super quick – I’ll post it one day), grilled zucchini and squash – with homemade herbal marinade, zucchini bread and our favorite: Apple Sausage and Zucchini Pasta.  This is one of our favorite meals I came across some many years ago – and with a few changes and alterations – it keeps getting better every time.

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Pleasing Pesto Recipe

One of my favorite things to whip up is Pesto.  My dad used to make it sometimes when I was in college and when I finally got my own apartment and my own basil plant – I couldn’t wait to make some of my own.  Nick – was skeptical.  He had never liked pesto as a child and the color completely turned him off.  I promised him he would like it if he gave it a whirl. It turns out it is one of his favorite things I cook up. It’s a quick, easy and delicious dinner fix when time or motivation isn’t in your favor.

 

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Harley, Hiking and Reaching New Heights

Finding the time to do the things I love can be challenging.  Most certainly during the school year, but even during summer vacation.  And ever I was diagnosed with RA (Arthritis is not just a disease of old age. Two-thirds of people with arthritis are under the age of 65, including 300,000 children.) two years ago – it’s been an uphill battle with walking, bending, cooking, sitting, sleeping, eating and pretty much doing any kind of normal function.  It broke my heart to have to give up some of the things I absolutely LOVE to do.  That’s why – on a good day – when I can – I strap my hiking shoes on, queue up my Playlist, lead up Harley and head out into the woods. Last week I was  finally able to get out on a walk with Big H.  He’s been cooped up for the better half of two years – except for the occasional walk around our local development and yard time (of course). Harley has been off leash trained since he was 6 months old and the beagle in him loves a good nature sniff. So, I loaded him into the car and headed off to trek around one of the local hiking trails in my neck of the woods.  If pups can experience pure BLISS – Harley sure was! Mentally – I always feel my best during a hike – but it was even more special to experience my first walk -in a long time -with him. I love how I just never know what we’re going to find. Every turn, bridge and path – leads to a new adventure that’s never the same the next time we trek out. An hour and half later – we had discovered a turkey nest, caught some grasshoppers, spotted a fawn and snapped some cool shots. IMG_0285   Was I sore by the end? ABSOLUTELY.  Did it wet my appetite to get out there a bit more often? You had better believe it! Was it worth it to see Harley smile – EVERY BIT !!!! img_0287i

Are you like me ? Do you feel more at peace in the woods or are you more of a beach/city person?

Scrumptious Slaw Recipe

As I mentioned a while ago – in my Baking …. Basil and Cultivating …. Cabbage entry the Third Graders at our School were participating in the Burpee Cabbage Contest and I was lucky enough to score some cabbage seedlings.  Honestly, I’ve never grown cabbage before, I know they’re cooler weather crops and the way that my peppers and squash have been fairing the past few years – I was kind of nervous trying a new veggie.  But they were free – and I figured WHY NOT? The least it could get me would be a “I learned my lesson blog post”. The best thing it could get me was some delicious coleslaw.  Luckily for me and Nick’s belly we got the latter.

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Time for Thyme

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Cold HOW TO:

I’ve been fighting a nasty infection for the better part of a week now. So, taking the old motto: “if you can’t beat ‘em – join ‘em” to heart I figured … If I can’t get out and help Nick in the garden – I might as well bring the garden into me. With the amount of herbs I plant each year (or grow back every year) I knew I just had to have something natural to help defend my system. It just so happens I have a nice little bush of Lemon thyme by the back door.

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