Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Bleh. I went over in my calories today-- roughly 150 over. There were so many things I could have done differently for that not to have been the case, and I even thought of doing some of them a few times, but I didn't. Why? I have plenty of excuses. Wednesday is my off day from exercise-- my body needs time to rest. Tara, this doesn't mean you can't take a 30 minute walk with a stroller. You could have totally burned off that extra little snack. We had friends over for lunch (always fun!!) and both of the women who joined us are nursing mothers so THEY got (and totally should have!) to have an extra croissant with the chicken salad. I had one, too. That's 90 calories right there. One of the guests brought some Uh-mazing brownies with her. I totally ate one. That's 110 calories that were 100% WORTH IT. But I should have done something to counteract it.

Tomorrow I'm doing my incline program at the gym. I typically do 30 minutes and then just head home. I think tomorrow I'll do the 30 minute incline program and then something else (rowing? yoga? ab work? hmm...) for 15 minutes.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sounds weird, but it was so good!

I had a roasted grape, goat cheese and honey stuffed sweet potato for lunch today. I know, it sounds weird. Roasted grapes? Sweet potatoes with what cheese? Yeah. well. It was fabulous. Go here and get the recipe and make it. Well, if you like goat cheese. You definitely taste that awesome tang, and if you already you know you hate goat cheese, you will probably hate this. But still go roast some grapes. Cause they.were.awesome.  And the whole thing was about 250 calories (medium sized potato, and I'm out of honey so I used agave nectar). Just delicious. Yum.

And here's today's accountability. If you look right this instant, obviously dinner isn't up yet, but we're having Lebanese style beef patties. Just 340 calories and super flavorful. I'll share that recipe next Monday, I think! Oh, and we have LifeGroup tonight, so hopefully I can handle myself with the snacks. That's always a hard time for me. I don't want to make the hostess/snack provider feel bad and think "well my snack isn't good enough/healthy enough/whatever for that Tara Salsman. hmmph." And goodness knows I WANT to try it... and try it again... and about 12 times. But I also know that if I eat just one cookie, I'm going to end up eating 4. I'm horrible at portion control. I'm really an all-or-nothing sort of eater most of the time. But I'm working on it. I promise. Check out my food journal later tonight to see how I did!

Monday, September 17, 2012

A few words on breakfast and notes on a weekend

Happy Monday morning, folks. Apparently I'm not a weekend blogger. I'm ok with that-- I wasn't entirely sure how weekends would shape up in the blogging world since we sleep in (kind of... we do have 2 toddlers) and I don't formally exercise or typically record food intake on Saturday and Sunday. So Monday-Friday seems to be when I'm able to hop on.

So breakfast. I'm finding that a lot of dieters/lifestyle changers really struggle with breakfast. Some people's former go-tos are now perceived as off-limits. No more sugary cereal; no more PopTarts; bacon or no bacon? There just seems to be so much confusion about what will be filling and truly break the overnight fast and get you to lunch time and still stay within calorie and nutrient restrictions.

Last Monday, I posted a recipe for pumpkin pie baked oatmeal which has 190 calories per serving. I try to stay around 300 calories for breakfast (then there's 400 for lunch, 400 for dinner and 100 for a snack). However, that is just my personal preference. If you'd rather have a bigger breakfast and cut back at lunch, go for it! It's all about what is sustainable and works within your lifestyle.

I have noticed in my own diet and in the diet of many around me that we (Americans? Mid-Americans? my little group of friends & family? I'm not really sure how to define the 'we') are somedays severely lacking in vegetables. Scott and I are members of a CSA, so we do have access to a lot of fresh produce that I am struggling to learn to cook and use effectively (this is our first year); but some people I talk to say things like "I know I need to eat more kale/chard/greens/green vegetables, but I have no idea what to do with them and/or what I tried last week tasted TERRIBLE." I'll admit, greens take a little getting used to and take some creativity and really good recipes to actually ENJOY for me. I have a friend who loves greens and seems to eat them constantly (I'm sure this isn't true, though). I've been trying a lot of different things, and one that has worked REALLY well for me has been adding kale to my scrambled eggs in the morning. I know, I know you guys are thinking "WHAT?!!? I don't need greens THAT badly! KALE! for BREAKFAST?!" Yeah, I thought the same thing. But guys. I have one serving of veggies under my belt alread and it's not even 8am. And it adds extra volume to my breakfast and I almost couldn't finish my eggs this morning. So give it a shot. I think you'll like it! Here's my method:

1. slice up one (or half of one if they're big) apple & maple chicken sausage (I used meijer brand). Saute over medium-low heat in a pan sprayed with cooking spray. Let it get a little brown, but not too much.
2. While the sausage is browning, chop up a nice handful of kale. I used 2 small leaves. Remove the middle rib and chop leaves into 1" cubes. I used organic red kale, but any sort of tender green like chard, any sort of kale, or whatever you have on hand should work well. I wouldn't use more bitter greens like turnips or collards. Those need to be cooked longer.
3. Add kale to the pan with the sausage and saute until bright green and a little wilted. My kale hasn't been wilting very much lately, so just saute for 3ish minutes. Remove sausage and kale from pan.
4. Scramble one or two large eggs (so stir up in a separate bowl, add a tablespoon of milk and a pinch of salt & pepper) in the same pan. Just before set, when it still looks a little wet, add back the kale and sausage and mix together.
5. Sprinkle with some grated fresh Parmesan (just a tablespoon or so). Stir to melted and then eat! I had a whole wheat frozen waffle (Van's brand) with mine, but any bread product would be great.

Let me know how you like it!

Today's food diary can be found here:

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thursday accountability

So tonight, I'm loving Jason's Deli. I'm waiting to see if the 100 Days of Real Food does a review of their ingredients. Jason's Deli claims organic and real food and I hope it's really true because it's delicious! The girls and I went there tonight for dinner and I had the Savvy Chicken Salad Wrap (340 calories) and their steamed veggies (60 calories). I had enough calories left over that I was able to indulge in their free for dine-in ice cream cones. So good!

Tomorrow I'm going to do a post about exercise, but here's today's food log. See y'all tomorrow! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Zoo Calories (Day 3)

Wednesdays are my gym off days. On Monday I go to the 5:45am spin class, Tuesday is the 5:45am Bootcamp, Thursday I do my own treadmill incline program (I'll post about this later) early in the morning and then Friday I do the 10:30am Power Yoga class. I've really found this mix to be a good mix for me. We can talk more later about how I discovered the best mix of exercises for me (sounds like a good Friday information post!). But since I don't go to the gym on Wednesdays, I feel more ready to do lots of walking with the girls. This means a zoo trip! We went with a group of friends today and had a great time for about 2 1/2 hours. I was conflicted about how to determine and record the calorie output for zoo trips. There was a lot of starting and stopping, but I was on my feet for about 2 hours straight (before we stopped to each lunch) and much of the time I was pushing a stroller that weighs roughly 60 pounds (stroller + 2 girls + diaper bag). After some facebook discussion, I went with 250 calories. My Fitness Pal registered pushing a stroller for 120 minutes as 445 and that felt way too high for the amount of exertion I felt. So 250 is my guesstimate. If anybody has other suggestions, please let me know!

Here's the link to my food diary. It turns out that the links I leave each night will take you to the current day's food diary. But you can scroll back to see any previous date's diary (in case you want to check out some dinner ideas maybe).
*Update* I think I figured out how to fix it. I'll go back to the past few days and try to remedy the issue. Have a great day tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Day 2 Accountability

Here's the link to my public food diary on My Fitness Pal.

Have a great night!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal & Today's Accountability

Fall is in the air! And this calls for pumpkin pie. For breakfast.  So this morning, I made baked oatmeal that has the tastes of pumpkin pie for all of us. It was yummy AND you're getting a vegetable (pumpkin is a vegetable, right?) for breakfast! Our girls DEVOURED it. This make 6 servings in small ramekins. 

1. Preheat your oven to 375*. 
2. In a bowl mix 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (not instant or quick but old-fashioned oats), 3/4 cup milk, 9 Tbsp canned pumpkin (plain, not pumpkin pie mix), 4 Tbsp maple syrup, 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract, 2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/8 tsp ground clove, 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg (if you like nutmeg... I don't so I didn't use it), healthy pinch of salt. Taste and adjust seasoning and sweetness according to your liking. 
3. Divide batter evenly between 6 small ramekins sprayed with cooking spray. 
4. Bake for 15-20 minutes until set. Switch oven to broiler and broil 3-4 minutes to get a crust on top.
5. Enjoy! (if I weren't being so calorie conscience, I would absolutely pour just a little cream over the top!) And the girls loved it with some raisins

Accountability: I've decided to make my My Fitness Pal food diaries public. This is for real a big deal to me. I really put everything that I take in there even the bad (if you look at today's... well, you'll see...even though I am under calories today) and it's been good accountability for awhile, but I see myself slipping because I can easily think "eh, no one knows if I eat this cookie... I'm the only one who sees this..." Well. No more. So if you want to, check out my food journal for today. Constructive criticism is welcome. And if you see a recipe ever that you'd like to have, just ask!

Here's the link to the MFP diary for today:

The Beck Diet Solution, Day 1

This is my second time going through The Beck Diet Solution by Dr. Judith Beck. I cannot recommend it enough. Yes, the basics of weight loss are less calories in + more calories out but if we're all honest with ourselves it is so much more than that. It's about our relationships with food, God and situations. The Beck Diet Solution (BDS from here on out) really teaches the reader how to "think like a thin person." In the actual book, Dr. Beck spends time explaining why certain mantras and mindsets are important to weight loss and each day you implement a new strategy to change your relationship with food. This time around, I'm just going through the workbook, which is an abbreviated version that gives space for writing in responses.

Day 1 of BDS is centered around WHY you want to lose weight. Your task for today is to write down all the reasons you want to lose weight and then refer back to them. You should read your card at least twice a day. I've chosen to read mine in the morning when I go through the workbook tasks and then again around 2:30 when I start craving afternoon snacks.

I won't write all of my reasons here because some of them are private, but here are my top 10 reasons for losing weight in no particular order:
1. I will like myself.
2. I will have more time with my girls and more energy to play with them (and maybe even their future kids).
3. I will set a good example for the girls and others.
4. I will get off the medications I am currently on.
5. My knees and hips will feel better (I had knee surgery in high school, and my hips have basically been sore since my pregnancy. I can't imagine that losing weight wouldn't take off some of that pressure).
6. I can buy longer-lasting clothes in brands that fit my style better.
7. I will be less self-conscious.
8. I will complete a task (I'm a perpetual task-starter... and have a really hard time with 100% follow through. More on this in a future post maybe).
9. I will learn self-control and discipline--this is something I struggle with spiritually also. More on this later.
10. I won't be embarrassed to tell people my clothing size when asked for gift ideas or clothes sharing or while shopping in stores.

So there you go. My top 10 public reasons I want to lose weight. I have written these and others on a notecard and will carry it with me to ready when cravings and temptations to deviate from my eating plan strike. And I will also read it every day when I sit down to do my workbook.

I'll be back later today with a breakfast recipe!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Back on the wagon

So here I am. I'm going to try blogging about food and weight loss and PCOS thing again. A lot of things have changed for my family in the past 2 years since I last posted and that has, of course, changed the way I see food, the way we eat, and what we eat. There is so much that has changed, I'm not even 100% sure where to start.

Probably the biggest change, and one that led to many of the others, is that we have two toddlers now. A & N will be 2 in November and they are silly, sweet, wonderful, difficult, everything I had hoped for and nothing like what I expected. Being a mother has dramatically changed my priorities and how my day looks and feels. I am so blessed to be able to stay home with the girls, but this also presents challenges. I always have food at my fingertips. Any time I am frustrated, bored, needy or feel the slightest tinge of what may be hunger I have an entire pantry and refrigerator waiting for me. Some days it is so easy to turn on Sesame Street and give myself an hour to just sit in a recliner instead of taking the girls outside to play. I have long been an indoor girl-- I'm sure my mom would tell you from when I was a toddler myself that I would rather sit in a cozy chair and read a book than go climb on playground equipment. But my girls need to get outside more than we do right now.

So from the concerns of a new mother, as well as general disgust in my own body after giving birth (I gained 90, NINETY, pounds during the twin pregnancy. 50 came off easily. The last 40... not so much. Since Nov. 2011 I've lost 25 of those 40.), I started gathering information. That's me right there. Gather as much info as I can and then take another million years to make a decision. But then, THEN I am wholly altered and I move as quickly as I can with dogged conviction to make changes. Here is the stage I am fully implanted in now when it comes to food. Many of you may have read or heard through other avenues (or even me) about Michael Pollan's book In Defense of Food and the follow up book Food Rules. These two books have completely changed my views on food and the food culture of North America. Later I unintentionally read a series of books related to the food culture in France and have ever since been trying to take real steps in making concrete changes to the food that my family eats.  We daily move a little closer to eating what many blogs and books call "Real" food. There are countless people who can give more information on what this means, but to us it means cutting out the pre-made, processed food for whole, more natural foods. In the coming weeks and months I'll go into how this really looks for us. Right now, it means a lot more cooking, a lot more learning, and most of it is fun.

I've really been feeling lately that God wants me to pour myself into encouraging and supporting other women. For a while, I thought it would be in helping other mothers of multiples, but after a few unsuccessful attempts to connect with some ladies, I'm hearing more and more of my friends around me discussing food and weight loss and how it relates to us as Christian women. I have 0 credentials, y'all. What I do have is a lot of reading, and one successful dieting attempt that was cut short by pregnancy. I lost 60 lbs before getting pregnant, and I am looking forward to seeing those numbers again. But I also want to help and encourage those around me who want to lose weight, whether it's 10 lbs or 100. This journey isn't just about eating less and exercising more, honestly. It's about your thought process and your soul and your motivations and your relationships with people AND with food. I'm learning this more and more, and I'm excited to share it.

Well, now what is this blog going to look like from now on? I'm going to be honest and real with my expectations here. My plan is to make one post daily-- however, however, most of these posts are simply going to be accountability posts for myself. I am going to start over working through The Beck Diet Solution and will post my work through that each day including a sort of food diary to keep accountable. I am 100% positive that most people won't want to read that stuff and that's ok. Then I'm planning to make more in depth posts weekly: one recipe and then one informative post (I'm thinking Mondays and Wednesdays?).

Here we go. So far today:
breakfast: bowl of cereals (Multigrain Cheerios, Mom's Best Naturals Honeyful Wheat & Grape Nuts with whole milk. 2 cups of coffee
lunch: Open faced turkey sandwich: 1 piece walnut whole wheat bread from EarthFare with 1/2 tsp mayo, 1/4 tsp dijon mustard and 3 turkey lunchmeat slices; 1/2 medium apple (pink lady. yum); 2 small sweet peppers, 18 mesquite BBQ kettle cooked potato chips (meijer).

Not the best day so far... gotta pull back on the carbs for snack and dinner!
See you all tomorrow!