Little girl’s layer dress

8 Aug

20140808-220013-79213608.jpgFor my first “unsupervised” sewing project, I decided to tackle a little girl’s dress for my dear friend, Nancy’s, daughter, Charlotte. Doesn’t she make the SWEETEST model? :) In this picture, I hadn’t quite figured out the buttons yet. I actually literally just finished those, so I’ll be sending the dress on over tonight! 

I used the tutorial in this post: http://crazylittleprojects.com/2012/10/girls-tiered-ruffle-dress.html

but edited the size to fit the measurements for Charlotte. 

Once I finished, I realized that I wanted a more finished project, so I used a zigzag stitch to finish the inner seams.  I also had to figure out how to make button holes and put on buttons. It was pretty complex, but I enjoyed learning some new skills and feeling like I craftily put together a project largely on my own! 

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Craftiness!

18 Jun 20140618-210247-75767501.jpg

I am taking a break from the clean eating posts after a quick week two weight update…
Sasha: 162
Jonathan: 178.4
Weight loss has slowed down and the clean eating is running closer to 75% over the last few days due to work functions. We are going to try to get back on track and add back exercise this week.

Now into the point if this post… Craftiness!! My mother in law has kindly lent me her sewing machine and I have been taking lessons. I have made two projects so far, a small tote bag and a pillow! I am also signed up for a three zipper bag and quilting 101 in July. Right now I know how to read a basic pattern and do basic stitches on the machine. If any of my friends see out there, I’d love recommendations for simple projects that I can take on to build confidence! 20140618-210139-75699871.jpg

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Work day nibbles!

13 Jun

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I thought I would share an example of the food I am taking to stay full and away from the vending machine all day at work! What we have pictured for today is:
Half an avocado
Salad with romaine, cucumbers, bell pepper, homemade peach vinaigrette, and a sliced hard boiled egg
Almonds
Cherries
Cucumber, jicama, carrots, and green beans

Yummy clean eating snacks for my workday!

One Week In – Progress Update

9 Jun

Jonathan and I are one week into this challenge. We’ve already blown it. I want to be up front and honest about the fact that we were not perfect this week.  If I had to give us a score, I’d give us maybe a 90%. Which is pretty good — in school I would have been marginally pleased with a 90%. So why did I spend two days trying to decide whether we should just give up on this since we couldn’t even do it for a week? 

Then I read this blog post, shared by someone on my facebook feed. I have no idea who this person is, but their words spoke to me. 

http://jlgerhardt.tumblr.com/post/86313682822/no-more-perfect-days-on-starting-over

In recap, she emphasizes how by human nature once we ruin a perfect day, we feel like that is our permission to give up on that day and on ourselves. Then she decides to start starting over. So I have been trying to do that, even when we get off course. 

Well, Jonathan and I are not giving up. We might have had a crazy busy weekend, didn’t plan appropriately and ended up grabbing hamburgers one day because, well, it was past lunchtime and the hopes of going home and cooking a nice, pre-planned, perfect meal just didn’t pan out. It’s okay. I considered saying, forget it, we already had hamburgers, let’s just have pizza for dinner. It’s fast and easy and we are both tired. But I didn’t. We stuck with it and ate a clean dinner. 

We are eating about 90% clean at this point, and that’s 100% because we are doing this self-imposed challenge. Without it, we would have already lapsed into our regular bad habits. 

So, at this 1-week mark, I wanted to share our weight progress and some thoughts from each of us: 

June 9,2014 Weigh In

Sasha : 163.2 (down 4.4 lbs) 

Jonathan: 181.2  (down 3.6 lbs)

Thoughts from Sasha: 

Each day, making healthier decisions gets easier. I felt exhausted and a little sick after that hamburger. I feel like I am getting better at reading my body and what I need. Also, I believe that you can become desensitized to the amazing flavor of fresh fruits and vegetables when you overwhelm your palate with too much sugar and chemicals.  Today, my raspberries and blueberries tasted as sweet as candy to me.  I am enjoying rediscovering a variety of produce and how great they taste on their own. I eat raw veggies daily with lunch, and have enjoyed jicama, green beans, carrots, cucumber, and zucchini raw. I have also had the chance to get creative with meals. The jambalaya recipe that I shared last week was so great that I remade it tonight! I also made a chicken/coconut/sweet potato stew and chicken with brown rice pasta. I don’t usually do so much cooking, so it has been sort of nice to give Jonathan a break and get creative. 

Thoughts from Jonathan: 

It’s odd, never feeling full but never being hungry either. It’s weird to be eating the same portions as Sasha, but it seems to be working. I’m slowly losing weight and I don’t feel like it’s in a way that is unhealthy or unsustainable (other than the cost). It’s tough to be prepared for every day, but hopefully with some practice that will be easier. Some days I want to just be lazy and get something delicious for lunch, but knowing we’ve bought the stuff and it’s waiting in the fridge makes it easier.

 

So here we boldy go into week two. We’re eating roughly the same things as week one, but cycled ever couple of day in alignment with the Fast Metabolism Diet. 

Does anyone else ever get into the mentality of wanting “Perfect” days? 

 

Lightened Up Jambalaya

4 Jun

Ingredients:

(Serves 4)
4 cups cooked brown rice
1 can diced tomatoes
1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and chopped
1/4 lemon, juiced
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 tbspn fresh diced or pureed garlic
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne powder
16 ounces chicken sausage, cooked.
pepper to taste
optional: 2 cups chicken broth

Instructions:

1. Cook brown rice as instructed on package, but can optionally sub out half of the water required for chicken broth to give rice extra flavor.
2. While rice cooks, sautee kale, onions, garlic, and lemon juice in a large pot until kale is soft. Reduce heat to low, and stir in canned tomatoes.
3. Slice sausage links into rounds, and sear in a hot pan until the bottom is caramelized. Flip and sear other side.
4. Add the caramelized sausage to the large pot with the kale. Gently stir in your fully cooked rice. Add paprika, cayenne, and pepper to taste.

 

 

 

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28 Days of Clean Eating

2 Jun

I haven’t written in awhile, but Jonathan and I are challenging ourselves to healthy eating for 28 days, so I thought it was a good topic to start a blog series about for the month of June. We’ll be doing weekly weigh ins, before and after measurements, commentary on how it’s going, and sharing recipes. So here goes, the first post of this blog series! I hope you’ll follow along and cheer us on for the next 28 days!

DAY ONE 

Jonathan and I are committing to 28 days of clean eating. We are using the Fast Metabolism Diet (which has a handy app) as our road map for our meals, but we really believe that the key to its success is healthy, fresh, natural foods.

We “test drove” this diet for two weeks in April and had awesome results: increased energy, weight loss, clothes fitting better. And we weren’t being 100% serious about it either. So now we are going to give it a real go. The Fast Metabolism Diet asks you to give it 28 solid days, so that is what we are doing.

We’re going to blog about how it’s going as a way to stay accountable and to share how our habits and lives are changing as a result of being organized, disciplined, and simple about our meals and eating.

Today is Day 1, so I wanted to start with our BEFORE stats…

It’s taking us both a lot of courage to be share, but I HOPE that by the end of the month we’ll have something less embarrassing to show for it. So without further ado, here goes:

June 2nd, 2014

Sasha Jonathan
Weight 167.6 184.8
Waist 40 36.5
Hips 39.5 38.5
Upper Arm 12 12.5
Shoulders 43.5 44
Thigh 24 24.5

 

As a disclaimer, I am not really trying to “sell” this diet to anyone.. I’m not getting paid and I don’t benefit at all if anyone feels like giving it a try. I firmly believe that every body reacts to food, exercise, and the combination thereof differently, and so I don’t believe any specific diet or meal plan or eating plan will work for everyone. You have to find something that works for your body, for your lifestyle, for your preferences, etc.  For example, I can think of lots of eating plans that I for sure would lose weight on, but I’d end up not eating at all because I hate everything on it. That is not a healthy result.

That being said, we have tried so many different diets and methods for being healthier and losing weight. This one worked really well for us when we test drove it because the app made meal planning simple, I felt free from calorie counting, and we got results in a way that seemed relatively sustainable over the long term. I never felt sick from hunger and after the first 4 or 5 days I stopped having intense sugar and junk food cravings. So all in all, that was a win. So if you stick with us on this journey, and this specific food plan appeals to you, feel free to check out http://www.hayliepomroy.com/diet/, since that is the plan we are working with. Or ask me more about it and I’m glad to share.

Or if you want to join us in our fitness journey, feel free to commit to SOMETHING for 28 days and put it in the comments!  We’d love to see some more people commit to being healthy in some small way in the month of June. :)

 

Schnitzel with Dill sauce with Honeyed Prosciutto Brussels Sprouts

28 Dec

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Last night, Jonathan and I teamed up to make what turned out to be a delicious dinner! We made a pork schnitzel with brussell sprouts and cranberry sauce. Okay, the cranberry sauce was on hand, as you can tell from the perfect can-shape pictured above (thanks, Ocean Spray!). 

For the Schnitzel, we used this recipe: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/pork_schnitzel/ but with a few alterations:

- instead of seasoned salt, we used our seasoning favorite, Tony Chacheres’ Creole seasoning

- for the dill sauce, we added chopped shiitake mushrooms. 

 

The Brussels sprouts were actually made with a recipe I got from my big sister, using the honey vinegar that she gave me for Christmas. If you don’t have an amazing honey store from which to buy honey vinegar, you can make your own by stirring in a spoon full of honey into apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar. 

Sorry that this is more of a description than a recipe, but I like to cook with my heart rather than with measuring spoons sometimes!

All I did for the Brussels sprouts was:

wash them, and chop into quarters. Drizzle with walnut oil and honey vinegar and toss. Tear up 1 piece of prosciutto and toss. Place onto a lined cookie sheet and cook for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Delish!  Thanks, big sis, for the awesome gift and the awesome Brussels sprout recipe! 

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