Sunday, May 12, 2013

Gluten-free Sweet Potato Pizza

A warning about this recipe for those who are trying to lose weight..the sweet potatoes and almond flower make this high in calories/carbs. And both times I have made this, I cannot stop eating it. It is delicious, but I'm going to have to save it for very special occasions.

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 bag of almond flour (16 oz)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups of shredded cheese
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • 1.5 lbs Ground turkey
  • Marina Sauce (my favorite: Rao's Homemade)


1. Microwave sweet potatoes until soft (5 minutes works if they are really large)
2. Mash sweet potatoes.
3. Stir in almond flower.
4. Mix in egg.
5. Add 1 cup of cheese and garlic powder to taste.
6. Butter pan and spread the dough.
7. Cook the ground turkey in a pan until brown.
8. Add sauce, the remaining cheese, and turkey to the pizza.
9. Cook at 425 degrees for 45 minutes.


Touring Dallas

Last Saturday, we spent the day touring Dallas. First Ed took a tour of Cowboy Stadium. He had to do something offensive, since we are Patriots fans.

Next we stopped in an area called West Village for an outdoor lunch and a little shopping. It was a gorgeous day.


After lunch and coffee, we went to the Sixth Floor Museum. The Museum chronicles the shooting of JFK and is located in the school book warehouse were the guns shots were fired from. In fact, you can see the exact window (second highest floor, all the way to the right). If you look on the road, in the middle lane, towards the bottom of these pictures, there is an X exactly where JFK's car was at the time.


The exhibits in the museum are well put together, and very moving. Ed and I were both captivated by seeing pictures and videos from that day, and it was chilling to listen to the breaking news radio announcements to the country.

Next, we headed back to White Rock Lake, the park I enjoyed so much earlier in the week.  I had mentioned to Ed how much I wanted to make it all the way around without stopping. The lake is 9 miles around. I've run 9 miles before, but it had been 8 weeks since the last time.  At mile 3 I was ready to turn back - which would have ended in 6 miles. Ed convinced me at that point that the extra 3 wouldn't be that bad. So glad I went for it! I felt amazing (and really sore) afterwards.

Isn't runner's high amazing? Everything just seems so beautiful after a great run.

After dropping off the rental car and checking into a hotel by the airport, Ed and I had a nice dinner at Saltgrass Steakhouse. We both had steak and a sweet potato. Perfect for after the long run.

Since our flight was at 7am we were back in Boston by noon the next day.

It was slightly depressing knowing that I was leaving again on Tuesday. I had to unpack so I could re-pack for Detroit.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

More fun in Dallas

On Wednesday night, after 8 hours of software training in a computer lab, I got to Crossfit again. So much fun working out with 30+ other people in another city!

After Crossfit, I had to get the mall to meet my coworker for dinner. The hotel shuttle was going to take 45 minutes to arrive, and the cab line was not answering their phone. I mapped it on my phone and it was only a mile, so I ran. It's amazing how great running feels when you are fully warmed up. I made it in 10 minutes - quickest form of transportation!

On Thursday Ed arrived in town and we went out to dinner at a Tex Mex place called Mi Cocina to celebrate his birthday. I probably gained a few pounds from this meal, but it was totally worth it.

On Friday after I finished up my training, we headed to Fort Worth. A girl in my training class had recommended checking out the Stockyards. It was a beautiful afternoon, and we had a great time walking around and soaking in the vibe.

After we finished wandering around, we headed to Arlington to go to the Red Sox game. Or as one of the Texans in my class corrected me - the Rangers game where the Sox were visiting. Ed was in sports stadium heaven. That's Cowboy Stadium next to the baseball stadium.

It was a perfect night for a ballgame, but just a little cold. It got down into the 50s.

It was all going well, until the Sox started losing, one run, two runs, and then a whole lot of Rangers crossing home plate. The game ended 7-0 Rangers. There was nothing for us to cheer! Dinner was pretty lame - a piece of chicken, ice cream, and peanuts. I probably could have tried harder to find better options. Oh well.

That morning we had booked a hotel in walking distance to the ballpark, so we headed back to the hotel after the game, and then watched the firework show from out hotel window. A fun night!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Working out in Dallas

On Sunday afternoon, I flew out to Dallas. It was a beautiful day in Boston.

I watched Silver Linings Playbook on the flight. It was definitely a cute and interesting movie. Soon we were landing.

I sure do love takeoff and landing shots. I think it's because the act of going somewhere far and new gets me really excited.

We arrived at the hotel before 5pm so I decided to check out the hotel gym. I ended up doing 30 minutes of cardio. It was okay but the air in the gym was stale and it was hard to stay in there long, even though there were nice pool views.

On Monday, I was in training for work all day. After training, I headed to the local Crossfit box, Crossfit Strong. Everyone was so welcoming, it was amazing. I really felt at home. What I love about Crossfit is it involves working out with other people, which helps me get more intense in my workouts. I never would get the same intensity on my own. I mean really, I don't want the Crossfitters in Dallas to think us New Englanders are weak. And oh my, what a hard workout it was.
DeadLift (185/115)
Box Jumps (24/20)
Front Squat (35/20)
1 round(s) for Time 

I definitely had to scale the deadlifts down to 85lbs and I used 15lb dumbbells for the front squats. I wanted to ease back into everything because I really have not done much Crossfit since my heal injury.

After Crossfit, my coworker joined me and we went for some Texas BBQ.

On Tuesday after training, I wanted to go back to Crossfit but I also wanted to see the city. My coworker and I decided to check out a local park called White Rock Lake.

We ran for about 3 miles, with a few short walk breaks. I'm not used to running in the Dallas heat, that is for sure. 3 miles is by far my longest since my heel injury, and my heel feels fine right now! After running seemed to lose it's appeal, we walked for another 1.5 miles because it was just too gorgeous not to keep going.

The sun started setting, and it was just so serene. Perfect temperature, perfect breeze, perfect summer smells.

I love that I have changed my life. I love that my favorite way to meet people in a new city is to go to Crossfit and that my favorite way sight-see in a new city, is to go for a run in the local park. This is why the hard work at the beginning of a weight loss journey is worth it - because being active allows you to experience more of life than you otherwise could.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Ode to Oatmeal

Through trying various diets, I've come to the conclusion that the perfect weekday breakfast for me is plain oatmeal with fresh fruit. It tastes great after a morning workout, is easy to make at work, and keeps me full all morning. It also seems to keep me on track all day - meaning that I tend to eat less at other meals and crave less snacks, all day long, on days I start with oatmeal.

Along with my oatmeal and fruit, I will also usually have either an orange, a hard boiled egg, or a Greek yogurt. Lately, I have been loving the Greek yogurt!

Recently, while I was doing the strict Paleo/Whole 60 diet, I gave up oatmeal and Greek yogurt. The point of a strict Whole 30 or 60 plan is to eliminate any and all foods that may not be agreeing with your body. I did feel great after completing the Whole 30. I slept better, had more energy, and just generally felt happy. However, it is not reasonable to give up all sugar, wheat, grains, dairy, etc. long term.

What I learned is exactly how sensitive my body is to refined carbohydrates like white bread, crackers, cookies etc. I'm also as sensitive to wheat bread and wheat crackers. In addition to being addictive to me, these foods make me feel sluggish and tired.

After the 60 days were over, the first thing I added back into my diet was dark chocolate. Of course! Then, I added dairy back to my diet, and as long as I eat it in moderation, I'm good. Then I added back in the oatmeal last week, and realized how not only is it okay, it is the best possible weekday breakfast for me.

My favorite healthy dinner is ground turkey, a bit of cheese, and salsa. It takes about 5 minutes to cook the ground turkey, so it's perfect for week nights when I get home from the gym. I ate this meal twice this week - and no matter how many times I eat this meal, I never get sick of it.

I had a great workout week this week too. I had two personal training sessions, I did one spin class, went to Crossfit twice and accumulated over 2 hours of cardio on my own. Again, see how red my face is! This was after sprints on the rower and then 15 minutes on the step-mill at a really hard to maintain pace.

The week was all hard work, both in the gym and at the office. By Friday night, it was time for some fun, so we went out for martinis. Life is all about balance right?

On Saturday morning, as usual, Jaxson followed Ed around the house, howling in the deep, commanding voice he only uses for Ed, when he is trying to order Ed around. The order was "take me to the park, now!"


It's always and adventure getting to the dog park because of the extreme excitement of the dogs. Non-stop barking and trying to get into the front seat. But, once they run around, they turn into little angels.

After the dog park we went to a baby shower, and then met up with my sister for a quick snack/dinner. My sister particularly loves it when I take random, candid pictures of her, and the post them online.  Isn't she cool?

And now I'm off to zip up my suitcase and head to Dallas for the week...

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Guess what I did?

Yesterday and today...I ran. Okay, well really more like jogged. But, I'm "running" again! Only for 5 minutes, which is when I start to feel the slightest twinge in my foot. Not pain, just a sensation. I'm being really careful not to over-do it, but I am at the 6 week mark of when I broke the bone, so I can start seeing what the heel can handle!

This morning was a gorgeous spring morning, so I grabbed the slower of the two dogs to be my running buddy.

Ed and Jaxson came with us, but ran so fast that we lost them and didn't know which way they turned. Oh well, Mario and I do not appreciate running snobs anyway!

This weekend has definitely been the best part of the week. What a rough week it has been!

Monday was the day of the Boston Marathon bombings. Such a scary, horrible day. I knew 4 people running the marathon, and numerous coworkers were down in the city watching the race. Cell phones were down, so it took hours to find out if everyone was okay. That day I was even worried about Ed getting home from work safely because at first they tied an unrelated fire at the JFK library to the bombings.

On Tuesday night, I had to stay late at work, but I still managed to get a good workout in on my own, using the rower. See how red my face is?

Then on Wednesday I had my wisdom teeth out. I was terrified of the laughing gas and anesthesia. Turns out that was the easy part - the recovery has been the worst. Its now day 5, and it still hurts and I can barely eat solid food.

On Friday morning I was awoken around 2am by sirens and helicopters. The chase for the bombing suspects was in full force one town over. My town was placed on lock down, and I pretty freaked out, so we stayed in and watched the search on TV all day. All businesses in my town, including my office, were closed. It was surreal seeing places we frequently go on TV inundated with hundreds of cops, FBI, SWAT teams, and special forces and seeing the Best Buy parking lot turned into a "staging" area.

I felt overwhelmed watching the showing of law enforcement work to protect us. And all of the departments did an amazing job. It was certainly a relief when they caught the second suspect. I'm ready for things to go back to normal, as much as they can, given that there are victims who have a long recovery and are without legs, and given that 4 innocent people lost their lives. I hope that this coming week is uneventful and that the healing continues for all.