This past year has been one of many healthy new habits gained and some not-so-healthy old ones lost for good. Below are some of the many changes that have been made
- Daily meal planning: Every day I make sure I know what I’m going to eat the next day and the calories for that food. I still start with 1200 calories/day but add calories according to how much walking we do.
- Water: Both Brett and I consistently drink at least 72 ounces of water a day.
- Reduced coffee intake: I finally found my sweet spot for daily coffee intake: two cups of half-caff in the morning, and a cup of decaf in the early afternoon.
- No sodas: A Diet Coke a day was an old habit, but no more! Brett got me one in May for a birthday treat, but it didn’t taste as good as I imagined it would be and I haven’t wanted one since.
- Reduced sugar intake: We keep supplies in our pantry for a once-a-week s’mores treat, but they’re hidden at the back of the pantry where we’re not tempted by them. Otherwise, no cookies, cakes, pies, etc. enter the house these days. A small piece of baked oatmeal in the evening, made with a little bit of maple syrup, is our sweet of choice these days.
- Vegetarian diet: We’ve nearly arrived at a full vegetarian diet, more plant-based (cheese is the only animal-based product we eat), and feel so much better for it. Along with exercise, it’s helping us to keep off the weight we’ve lost (and keeps our food costs down as well).
- More exercise: We walk nearly four miles every day now, and with everything else we do almost consistently get in 10,000 steps a day. I’ve also stuck with upper body strength training for nearly a year now. We still get more aches and pains then we did when we were younger, but we’re in the best shape we’ve been in a long time.
We had to find several ways to use feta cheese this week so that it didn’t spoil and have to be tossed out. Besides putting it a salad on a cheese board, and on pizza, we also ate it in sandwiches and as a snack. We bought a big container of organic feta at Costco last month, made from sheep’s milk and imported from Greece, and it ended up containing a LOT more cheese than we imagined. The feta has been positively delicious, so much better than what’s usually available in supermarkets, but we will be giving this variety of cheese a break for a while as we’ve had it so many ways for the past couple of weeks and are eager to have something different.
The coconut squash dal we bought was very good and we’re glad we bought a case of it! The quinoa salad was our favorite dish of the week though – I took a recipe I’ve used for years and added feta cheese and cucumbers to make it a main dish salad. We loved it and were very happy to have leftovers for a couple of days. Besides having meat sauce over zucchini noodles, we also used the leftover sauce on our mini pizzas – delicious! We have just one more small bag of the sauce left in the freezer now, two packages of ground beef, a very small pork chop, and a small package of roast chicken breast. We’ll be meat free in September!
Sunday: Coconut squash dal with steamed rice; Indian-spiced roasted zucchini
Monday: Zucchini noodles with meat sauce
Tuesday: Vegan Orange chick’n (actually batter-fried mushrooms); vegetable fried rice
Wednesday: Quinoa salad with cucumber and feta cheese
Thursday: Mini pizzas with leftover meat sauce
Friday: Cheese board
Saturday: Falafel sandwiches; tabouleh salad
Our desserts were yummy lemon blueberry baked oatmeal on Tuesday, s’mores on Wednesday and Friday, and pumpkin baked oatmeal the rest of the week.
We’ve got another Big Shop coming up this week. We’re also going to try some Japanese tofu burger patties using a seasoning mix we found at Walmart on our last Big Shop – it looks interesting. I’m planning to make the egg roll in a bowl (with ground beef this time), but If Costco has a nice selection of sushi we may pick up a package or two of that as a treat. I’m using plant-based ground “be’f” to make the mabo nasu.
- Zaru soba; hayakko
- Eggroll in a bowl (or sushi, depending on what’s available at Costco)
- Tofu burgers
- Mabo nasu
- Sweet corn ravioli with pesto
- Cheese board
- Mini pizzas
We started off our walking this week with a hike on the Waiokapua Trail at the Barking Sands base on Monday. The day was partly cloudy and much cooler than usual with a nice breeze, but for a fairly level 2 1/2-mile hike the trail was as much work as ever. We always finish feeling absolutely drained and can’t figure out why, whether it’s more humid out there than we realize, the trail itself, or something else. After hiking we had to walk another quarter of a mile from the parking lot out to out spot on the beach which just added to our feelings of exhaustion. Still, it was nice to have a change of view, and we’ve been unsuccessfully searching for the name of a plant along the trail with giant pods that were bursting and sending big balls of fluffy stuff everywhere.
The rest of the week we took our usual walks up at the park. We picked up trash again on Thursday, filling another bag and a half this time, frustrating because we only filled one bag last week! Hopefully we will see less this coming week. We found an amazing 39 lost balls last week in just five days of walking the perimeter, a new record, and also broke our previous one-day record of 10 when we found 14 balls on Saturday. Brett washed up all the dirty ones yesterday, and got them all dried and sorted.