Staying Healthy: Eating & Exercise (6/6-6/12)

This is a food shopping week, and the #1 item on our shopping list this time is beans! Brett got a 10% off coupon on any grocery purchase at Safeway when he got his shingles vaccination done last week, so we’re going to stock up there as they have the best selection on the island. Hopefully we will find a good variety at Safeway (I’m looking for cannellini beans in particular) and some organic varieties. I can cook dry beans in our InstantPot, and will start doing that once we get all the meat out of the freezer, but for now canned makes more sense.

Filling out our shopping list these days is a very different experience as our meals become less dependent on meat. Besides beans, produce tops our shopping list, as well as other ingredients to complete meatless meals, things like tofu, grains, or vegetable broth. We no longer buying eggs, but still put cheese on the list, although in more limited quantities than. Coming up with meals to use up our meat supply is no longer as fun as it was for me before, but we still have ground beef, ground pork, pork chops, shredded roast chicken breast, chicken thighs, a package of Italian sausages, and a bag of chicken curry to use up. It’s going to take a few more weeks for us to finish all of it, but I’m finding I want to cook and eat meat less and less as we progress.

We had four meatless meals last week, although three of the four meals contained cheese. We’re hoping we can do better going forward, although all two of three meatless meals next week again contain cheese. We enjoy eating cheese though (it’s always been my favorite section of the store) and we have no intention of removing it completely from our diet. However, I need to find and focus more on dishes that don’t include it.

Below are the dinners we enjoyed last week. Last week was basically a huge effort to use up what’s was on hand so there’s room for what we buy tomorrow. Bulgur Mexicana is a favorite vegetarian dish that we haven’t enjoyed in a long while but that fits our new style of eating well, basically a spicy wheat pilar topped with a variety of vegetables and salsa.

Sunday: Chicken & pasta soup with vegetables

Monday: Mabo tofu; steamed rice; sliced cucumber

Tuesday: Cheese mini pizzas, broiled Parmesan tomatoes; steamed artichoke

Wednesday: Roasted red pepper & tomato soup; toasted cheese sandwiches; coleslaw

Thursday: Chili pork burrito sauce over sweet potato; steamed artichoke

Friday: Cheese board

Saturday: Bulgur Mexicana

Dessert this week has been carrot cake baked oatmeal with s’mores on a couple of nights (we figured out that 10 seconds in the microwave makes the marshmallows melt perfectly for a s’more).

Below is next week’s menu.

  • Japanese food at Japanese Grandma’s Cafe
  • Chicken curry
  • Cheesy white bean tomato bake
  • Mini pizzas
  • Cheese board
  • Italian sausage sandwiches with sautéed peppers and onions
  • Mezze platter (hummus, baba ganoush, tabouli salad)

We discovered this past week that a beach visit and too much sun will kill any desire to walk later in the day. On Friday we were on the beach for a couple of hours, and kept telling ourselves we’d be fine for a walk later up at Kukukiolono. However, when it was time to set out for our walk both of us had to admit we felt absolutely drained and incapable of walking, and ended up staying home. Lesson learned! We otherwise got in five perimeter walks around the golf course this week, a new record for us (and found two golf balls each day for our collection except for Saturday when there were none). The weather has been windy and cool all week, but absolutely perfect for walking. We wish the current weather would last for the rest of the summer, but we know that’s not going to happen. Thankfully much of the perimeter walk is in the shade in the late afternoon.

A beautiful, sunny day at the beach zapped the energy right out of us.

I have always loved walking and am grateful these days for the almost daily opportunities to get outside to exercise. I am not built for running with my short, heavy legs, but walking is low impact, and I am able to walk at a pace that provides real benefits. In my younger days I would be thin as a rail by now from all the walking we do, but these days it remains an effort to further slim down. However, both Brett’s and my BMI is now in the optimal range for our gender and age, so I am trying to be satisfied with my current weight. How much I weigh though is always going to be an issue for me, as I was well-trained throughout my life by family and the media to always, always see the fat girl in the mirror.


12 thoughts on “Staying Healthy: Eating & Exercise (6/6-6/12)

  1. Our Costco had a 12 pack of shelf stable tofu last time I shopped for a great price. It’s so much easier to have it in a cabinet instead of taking up space in the fridge! P.S. you’re looking marvelous – and what would you tell your girls if they struggled with their weight? We are our own worst enemies aren’t we?


    1. I have never seen that at the Costco here – only the six-packs of refrigerated tofu, but will be looking out for it tomorrow as well as a couple of other things you and other readers have mentioned.

      Thankfully the girls have never struggled with their weight as I would have been a very poor role model for them in that regard. They are all very body positive, and have been a big help to me on changing my own attitude about how I look and how much I weigh. I am definitely my own worst enemy, but I had a LOT of training growing up.


  2. Jamie Oliver has a recipe for a Kale & Sausage stew which I make and is delicious. I skin the sausages and make into meatballs. Add a tin of butter beans or chick peas and substitute spinach for kale – I find spinach easier to source. With regards to weight and BMI, as long as you know you are doing the best you can do I think at our age that has to be good enough. We have to remind ourselves to celebrate the victories and let go of the disappointments.


    1. Spinach is hard to come by here. The bags of it are expensive in regular supermarkets and we rarely if ever see it at farmers’ markets. Costco is the only affordable solution except we have to buy a HUGE tub of the stuff and then figure out how to use it quickly. I may check out that recipe – I discovered another package of Italian sausage in the freezer this weekend that needs to be used up.


  3. If you decide to cook dry beans in your instant pot just be aware that red kidney beans have very high levels of hemagglutinin and consumption when undercooked can lead to food poisoning. Pressurized cooking for a long enough period can lower hemagglutinin levels. Problems generally occur when a slow cooker is used to cook the beans and the temp is not high enough to lower levels of the toxin. As far as I know this is not a problem with canned red kidney beans.


    1. Good to know! I think the only beans I would probably cook in the InstantPot are black beans, chickpeas, and white beans, like cannellini. I have never cooked beans in a slow cooker because it never got rid of the liquid.


    1. I’m keeping at it and feeling much better about myself. For example, when I first saw that picture of myself with my niece, my first reaction was “fat girl,” but then I told myself, “who is wearing a size small so get over yourself. You look great.” I will be reprogramming myself until the day I die.

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      1. I’m so sorry that is your first reaction. But, I know, I hate pics of myself! You look amazing and when you posted a pic not too long ago of when you were getting vaccinated…..I thought, “ wow, she looks tiny”.


      2. Thank you. I was very well trained, so that’s always going to be my default reaction no matter what, always looking to find fault. But sometimes when I pass a mirror I will stop and tell myself that I look pretty good these days.


  4. It’s amazing how hard we are on ourselves. You look great, but I do understand the internal voice. It’s a lifetime of negative feedback and social media has really ramped it up IMO. Now that I’m at this ripe old age, I look back and think of the pictures of me that I thought looked awful and what I wouldn’t give to look like that again. LOL.


    1. I had lots and lots of training when I was growing up, beginning with my family. It was mysogynistic and relentless. Add on the media and models like Twiggy, etc. and I was doomed even though I was active, etc. Like you, I’d love to look like I did back then.


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