Weekly Digest 45  6/7/19-6/13/19

This was a fun week!  It started off with quite a bang over the weekend!  The first “Happy Hour on the Deck” event of the spring/summer was held on the deck Friday, then on Sunday I cooked for my mom and a couple of her friends.  So right away, the week started with cleaning, cooking, and party preparation.  It was busy!  The downside is that I partook of the party food and put a sizable dent in my dietary intentions.  It wasn’t a disaster, but I definitely consumed more calories on happy hour day than I intended, and consumed more crackers throughout the week than my goal. 

Knowing that my diet was sub-optimal through most of the week, I was worried about getting on the scale on Friday to check my progress – or lack thereof.  So I did my best to put in a week of good, hard work, and even did a single cleanse day on Thursday.  My efforts were sufficient, it would appear as I managed to hold my ground.  I did not gain anything but did not lose anything.  With as many crackers as I had this week, I am willing to accept that as a victory!  That puts me in a great frame of mind to start the next week!

The Miata
No Happy Hour would be complete without an appearance of Donny Ks fabulous performance-tuned Miata. SO jealous!

Happy Hour on the Deck:

Many of you have seen pictures of my deck.  It’s a great place that features generous space, tree cover, overlooks a serene yard and lends itself well to social events. With summer being such a short season, and having a great asset as this deck, I am determined to make the most of it, and share it with many friends!  So Friday kicked off that summer trend with a modest get-together.   The biggest undertaking was cleaning the house prior to that event.  Predictably, the first big “top to bottom” cleaning since we emerged from winter is always the most labor intensive. Let me tell you, housework is no joke! I worked for hours to prepare the house, and by party time on Friday it was in good shape! I really love to get the house in ship-shape condition. It makes me feel good having a spotless place, if that makes even the remotest sense. 

Cooking for Happy Hour:

roasted carrot
Roasted Carrot and White Bean Dip

For this event I made up a couple vegetable/chip dips.  One is a great low cal option.  It’s a roasted carrot and white bean dip.  I was able to give my new food processor a good run-through with that dip, and it performed like a champ.  I picked up a relatively inexpensive Hamilton Beach processor that was well-reviewed.  I expect it will accomplish everything I need it to. 

Next, I made one of my favorites – cranberry salsa.  I LOVE cranberries, so to make a salsa out of them is utterly fantastic! It has just enough zip and tang to satisfy the salsa side of that equation …butt also as the sugary sweetness of the cranberries.  That dip on tortilla chips is marvelously dangerous for me.  Suffice it say, I managed to dispose of any leftovers! 

Last, I made a little shortbread for a sweet treat.  I looked over a series of shortbread recipes and methodologies and decided to adapt my grandmother’s recipe for cookie brittle since shortbread is so close to cookie brittle.  In fact, it’s almost completely the same ting as shortbread, just with some added ingredients that changes the outcome a bit.  It was delicious, and I was really pleased with it. I can see that becoming a staple at the “Happy Hour on the Deck”

Cooking for Mom:

salad
Mixed Green Salad

It’s always a treat when I get to cook for my mom.  This time, she was having some of her friends over to her place to play some cards, and asked if I would cook for them.  Of course, how can I say no?  In truth, it delights me to do something like that for mom.  I love to cook for her and I know she really appreciates it.  So I did my shopping on Saturday and prepared some of the ingredients including spicy pepita clusters and a honey dijon-fig vinaigrette. 

The menu for mom and her friends consisted of a starter of mixed greens salad with blueberries, Gorgonzola, spicy pepita clusters and the vinaigrette. The main course was a baked chicken and penne pasta “hot dish” that included sun dried tomatoes and mushrooms.  And for a side I prepared a traditional Greek salad.  I know, I know …TWO salads?  The Greek salad is all chopped and sliced vegetables, with feta, Kalmata olives and an olive oil vinaigrette with fresh chopped herbs.

Greek Salad
The Greek Salad

Overall, I was really pleased with the results – especially the baked chicken penne pasta. That just never fails to impress …it’s outstanding.  I think that’s another recipe I stole from the kitchens of Lani Weaver.  She is so kind to let me partake of blatant thievery.  I don’t know what I would do without my foodie friends. They make me better at all of this!

Intake: 

As I mentioned above, the prime culprit this week was crackers, cheese, cured meats, tortilla chips cranberry salsa etc.  You know, I have this large list of bad things I ate.  No doubt, I was naughty.  But you have to live a little too.  I let it worry me, and I fretted over how much of a setback it was going to represent. But I accepted the outcome whatever it would be, because I want to enjoy life too.  

Baked penne
Baked chicken penne hot dish!

On Sunday, after cooking for mom and er friends, I had a dinner at McCormick’s with my dad’s extended family.  It was really fun, and I had a nice salad with salmon.  I made a salad for myself at mom’s and had that with them when they ate the baked chicken penne dish.  I had to …that baked penne is about a gazillion calories …but oooooh sooo good!  The rest of my week was actually pretty good and I worked hard.  As a result I got lucky.  This next week, I need to be pretty good and keep up the hard work and activity.  

Exercise: 

Activity levels were good this week. I did my best to mix things up and keep my exercise routine from getting stale.  I biked 33 miles, walked 3.25 miles, did one long free weight session and worked my ass off around the house.  Combined, I feel like it was a really effective week.  Considering we had some weather obstacles this week, I am pretty happy to have gotten in 15 miles on the bike. Linnea Harju has been suggesting I change up my routine so following her advice (yes, yes ..you’re right, Linnea) was impactful.  I think that is something I need too keep in mind, going forward.

My Take-Away:

Moms kitchen
Making an utter mess of the kitchen at moms.

There is no doubt that I have struggled with intermittent plateaus and erratic progress since the start of winter, so tinkering with my routines is getting to be a bit of a science.  Even if I am going back and forth between a handful of activities, it is still important to change the routine and keep demanding different things from your body.  If I can keep my diet in check and have a week of good, clean eating, that should make an impact by the time that my Friday weigh-in rolls around.  So that’s the plan this week.  Change up the exercise regimen, but stick to the fundamentals. 

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