Staying Healthy: Eating & Exercise (3/28 – 4/3)

Much if not most of our eating is centered around leftovers, mainly because I typically cook something different for dinner every evening and we’re eating smaller portions these days. Leftovers provide our lunches and even breakfasts most days. I know the calories and other nutritional information of the dishes I’ve made which makes it easier to track. Finally, managing leftovers is key to keeping our food budget in line, and making sure nothing gets wasted.

Usually we have no problem getting the leftovers eaten in a timely manner, but this last week it became something of a chore for two reasons: We ate no meals (leftovers or otherwise) at home on Monday, and the amount of leftovers we produced was larger than usual. For example, we had several meals worth of tortellini left over from the week before and it took more than a day or two to finish all of that. Same for the egg foo young and egg drop soup leftovers – the recipes I used made a lot of food. The only two days we didn’t produce leftovers were Monday – we ate all of our restaurant and takeout food – and Friday, when we had mini pizzas (they did use up leftovers though!). For several days it seemed that our refrigerator would burst from all the containers filled with leftover food.

Brett is the king of leftovers. He can put an interesting meal together with just about anything, and finds ways to incorporate even the smallest amounts of things. I tend to stick to leftovers that just need to be reheated. My leftover meals this week consisted of a tortellini with red pepper sauce, a grilled Polish sausage in a bun, two days of egg foo young and egg drop soup (one breakfast and one lunch), two days of pad Thai, and leftover chicken adobo with bok choy. Between the two of us the refrigerator is looking less full now – the only leftovers on hand now is a little bit of chicken adobo, some pork & pepper stir fry, and a little rice.

We do our food shopping with leftovers in mind; I guess you could say our leftovers are premeditated (from a delightful blog that I’ve been reading since 2010, by the way). We always ask ourselves when making our list if something we’re thinking of buying will produce leftovers as well as how many ways can we use something so that we finish it completely? Like Alton Brown, who advises not to invest in any single-use kitchen appliance (except for maybe a coffee maker), we try not to buy or make anything that can’t be used in more than one meal, leftovers or otherwise.

Here’s what we had for dinner last week (and pretty much for lunch as well!):

Sunday: Grilled beef Polish sausages in a bun; coleslaw

Monday: Tacos al pastor

Tuesday: Chicken pad thai

Wednesday: Egg foo yung; egg drop soup; rice; cucumber spears

Thursday: Slow cooker chicken adobo with bok choy

Friday: Mini pizzas with roasted peppers and leftover breakfast sausage

Saturday: CookDo pork & pepper stir fry

Here’s what’s on the menu for next week, in no particular order other than softer foods will be eaten earlier in the week just in case Brett is sore from his surgery:

  • Barbecue pulled pork sandwiches
  • Guadalajara quesadillas
  • Spinach quiche with goat cheese and gruyere
  • Zaru soba & hayayako (chilled tofu)
  • Mini pizzas
  • Turkey club sandwiches
  • California roll salad

This has been another off-and-on again week for walking. Sunday was our regular day off, but Monday it rained most of the day. Tuesday we did our food shopping, and I always get in a couple of miles (seriously!) pushing our carts around Costco and Walmart, although it’s not really a good cardio workout. I was grateful for it this past week though because when I was putting things away at home I hurt my back and was unable to stand up. Brett ended up walking without me. On Wednesday my back was in decent shape again, the weather was beautiful, and we got in a long walk up at the park. Thursday was supposed to be nice, but rain arrived in the morning. For awhile it didn’t seem as if it was going to leave, but by late afternoon it had cleared out and we once again had near-perfect weather for walking. Thursday was gloomy all day, but we managed a short 2.5 mile walk before rain arrived with the same on Friday. Saturday was nicer and we got in a nice, long walk again.

We walked a total of 93 miles in March, with an average pace of 4.3 mph – not bad, considering all the rain there was!

I’ve discovered that one downside of losing weight at my age is that my skin no longer shrinks back like it did when I was younger, or at least not as quickly as it used to. While having loose skin on my arms and legs is proof that I have gotten smaller, it’s frankly not all that attractive. I’d rather have the weight gone though so am learning to live with flabby skin in places.

11 thoughts on “Staying Healthy: Eating & Exercise (3/28 – 4/3)

  1. I typically make two meals a week that will last me through several lunches and dinners. I love leftovers! Best of luck to Brett today, I’ll be sending good thoughts.

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    1. I menu plan with leftovers in mind – they have really helped us stay focused on eating better rather than having rustle things up and making less healthy choices.

      Everything went well yesterday, and the results were the ones hoped for – only one gland had to be removed. He was ready to go home by noon.

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    1. The surgery and results were what was hoped for. Only one bad gland, hormones back in the normal range almost immediately once it was out, and he was ready to go home by noon. I had to ask to get my second vaccine dose early so he didn’t have to hang around!

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  2. Wow! Your walking pace is fantastic! That’s a bit under a 14 minute mile. Even when I was running 5ks in my late 50s, a 13 minute mile was my usual pace. I’m a daily walker, but my pace is usually 16.4 minutes per mile, which is 3.6 mph. My family thinks I walk too fast, but I’ll have to mention you two.

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    1. Everyone up at the park jokes about how fast we walk, but there are others we can barely keep up with. I have always been a “quick stepper” (as Brett calls me), but he paces himself with me now. I expect our pace will be slowing though as it warms up and grows more humid – it’s easy to walk quickly when it’s as cool as it’s been lately.

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  3. I’m so impressed with your dedication to staying fit and eating healthy food! Being consistent really does make a difference in the long run. I’m usually good at exercising for a week and then I let up. It’s also wonderful that you are diligent about using up leftovers.

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    1. We are very focused now on getting our diet and exercise so ingrained that we aren’t tempted to go back to our old habits when we start traveling again. We picked up some bad habits the last time (Have to try everything! Every day!) and both of gained A LOT of weight. We don’t want to do that again.

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  4. I cook a few times a week and we, too, utilize leftovers. However, after having something for leftovers once or twice, if there’s still some left, it goes to the freezer. And then it can come out the next week or so. We have a small stand-alone freezer which has been great for leftovers as well as stocking up on things at a good price.

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    1. We had a small, stand alone freezer when we lived here before, and even with it being just the two of us now, I really miss having one. There’s absolutely no space for one either. Our current freezer is very small, so we have no room to store leftovers there, but I’d do like you if we had more space. We have to stay very vigilant now to make sure things get eaten – everything is kept in glass containers so we know what’s there and nothing gets lost or forgotten.

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