Friday, March 20, 2009

A Beautiful Day, and BBQ Beans

Today was fantastic. I feel like a completely new person. Just two days of sunshine and warm weather, getting outside where I long to be, and I feel 50 pounds lighter. I totally underestimated the effects of the dismal weather on me. I knew I felt bad (and I was using a full spectrum light and taking vitamin D) but until today I didn't realize HOW bad.

I'd been stuck inside more than 90% of the time this winter. And when I did venture out, it was cold and overcast. Hardly any sun. Not much time outdoors. Let me explain why this is important.

I LOVE to be outside in nature. I am a real outdoorsy kind of person. I like yardwork, walks, picnics, trips to parks and zoos. I LOVE to hike. I love to camp, and every year for the past decade I have taken my kids out camping for at least a solid week each summer. When I am outside, I am in HEAVEN. The fresh air, the sun. I love to look at the clouds, flowers, trees. I have a degree in a field that will enable me to work outdoors if I so choose in the future. In fact, before my daughter was born, my job involved working outdoors, and I *loved* it. So when I am cooped up, it feels like jail.

Yesterday it got up to 60 degrees, and today 70. It was so wonderful! I had the windows open with breezes coming through the house all day. I went out this morning to work in the yard, and do you want to know what I did?!? I got up ON A LADDER with a CHAINSAW and I cut big branches off my huge maple tree in the backyard that had broken and needed to be trimmed (for the last 3+ years). ME! On a ladder! With a CHAINSAW!! This is something I would never, *ever* have attempted at 278 pounds. No way. I'd have ended up on the ground with a ladder, a branch, and a running chainsaw on top of me! But not today. I trimmed some heavy branches. Then I got down and cut them into logs. And then I helped my kids haul those heavy logs out of the yard. And you know what? It was fun! I LOVE yardwork and I felt so alive.

Afterwards, I got out the cushions for my yard swing, and I sat there in the sun and cool breeze while my daughter played in her sandbox. Just sitting there swinging... it was so heavenly.

Later, I took a nice mile-long walk. When I got back, I picked up the yard a little more and sat out on the deck for a bit, just soaking up the spring. My kids loved it too; my son went fishing with his friends, and my daughter was just dancing away on the deck.

After dinner, I went out for another short walk (about 1/3 mile). And then I soaked in the bath and just basked in the absolute joy of the first day of spring.

And yes, the PMS is over (obviously!). I also don't think it's a coincidence that I feel *this great* two days after giving up sugar and refined carbs. I've always known that that stuff affects my moods, and I've talked before about the "sugar fog." It's no fun living in a sugar fog. But you know what? Today, I didn't think about food AT ALL, unless I was hungry. I know part of it is just getting off the junk, but a huge part of it is that it's SPRING, and I got to be outside doing what I absolutely *love.*

Breakfast: Chai tea w/1tsp agave, Egg Beaters scrambled with sliced yellow summer squash and a bit of salsa, topped with light mozzarella, and green tea.
Lunch: spinach salad with yellow peppers, cauliflower, black olives avocado, leftover flatiron steak, and light blue cheese dressing.
Snacks: Enviga green tea soda (sugar free), string cheese, a small handful of peanuts, a fat free Greek yogurt with walnuts and 1 tsp agave, handful of turkey pepperoni and a Laughing Cow Light cheese.
Dinner: leftover mashed cauliflower and some *yummy* BBQ beans!! OMG they were so good and have NO added sugar. I love these. I am giving you the recipe! (These are "South Beach Phase 1" friendly, but they are also a healthy, fantastic, and QUICK food for dinner or a side dish or to bring to a picnic potluck in the summer instead of the usual fattening, sugar-laden barbecue baked beans). I found a recipe online (one that takes all day and has ingredients I don't have) and modified it to be fast and easy. If you want the original recipe, it's all over the web. Just google "Arizona Chuck Wagon Beans."

Healthy BBQ Beans (double this for more than 2-3 servings)

1 16-oz can of beans, drained (I used a 3-bean mix of kidney, pinto, and black beans)
4 oz canned tomato sauce (no added sugar, just plain ol' tomato sauce)
1/3 of an onion, chopped
1/3 of a bell pepper, chopped (I used yellow, very good!!)
1 clove of garlic, chopped
few shakes of oregano
generous pinch of cumin
small pinch of red pepper flakes
dash or two of liquid smoke
salt to taste
4 oz cooked meat (pieces/cubes of lean beef, or you could use extra lean ground beef. I used leftover steak, cubed, and it was amazing!)

Spray a pot with Pam. Put in the peppers and onions and saute until softened. Add garlic and spices, cook and stir a minute. Add the tomato sauce and liquid smoke. Simmer a couple minutes while you get the beans opened and drained. Add the beans and a few tablespoons of water. Stir. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the meat, simmer 5 more minutes. Taste and add salt if needed. Add water if too thick (it should be like baked beans). That's it! I ate half this recipe for dinner. Very delicious and filling. You won't miss the sugar!

That's it for today. Have a great weekend!

21 comments:

ArleneWKW said...

November and December are typically difficult months for me. After that, I somehow make it to Spring. Oh joy, the flowers. Spring makes me smile.

Jules said...

Congrats on the great day! Sounds beautiful! And I'm with you! I LOVE being outdoors and for different reasons than weather... i have forgotten that. This month I've been back out there and I'm loving it. have a fabulous weekend!

MizFit said...

love to read about great days :)
especially in the morning as Im going to choose to harness this post and ride it into my day as well and MAKE IT GREAT too, Lyn.

new*me said...

being fresh air/light deprived really is hard on a person physically and mentally! I completely relate to everything you said........I feel the same way since the weather has warmed up. I am addicted to the outdoors and moving in the sun :) I don't know about the chain saw though....power tools scare me! I am quite a sissy!

sounds like it's all coming together for you!

Gigi said...

Glad to hear I'm not the only one who loves her outdoor power tools - altho I haven't done the ladder/chainsaw maneuver yet. What a great couple of days you had. The weather and doing what you love really makes such a huge difference in your mindset, doesn't it. Looking forward to getting some of that 60-70 degree weather this way.

Cammy said...

I *love* bbq beans! Thanks so much for the recipe. My friends tease me for eating them as my "entree" when we go to bbq restaurants, but they're loaded with protein and really hit the spot. It will be nice to try a truly healthy version of them at home!

Wishing you a fantastic spring weekend!

spunkysuzi said...

I am so glad your feeling better!! Spring definitely does a body good :)

IRJessica said...

Your day sounds divine!! (You know, it's like that most of the year in the southwest... I'm just saying... move out here!)

Bethany said...

Yea, Lyn! I'm so excited for your accomplishments! You are amazing--I would never dare to touch a chainsaw. I'm a scaredy cat. Anyway, winter weather is a definite downer. I'm slightly affected by it, too, although I've never really done anything about it. I just know that warmer weather is going to boost your weight loss efforts TONS!
Bethany

Falling Aircraft said...

Wow that is great! I also love outdoors and beautiful weather.

mk said...

I gave you an award on my blog! Thanks for writing from your heart!

Anonymous said...

Dear Lyn,
I found your blog yesterday and enjoyed your writing so much that I read almost the entire thing in one (long) sitting.
I am not battling an addiction myself but am a student in the field of mental health and addiction. We are strangers so please feel free to take the following with a grain of salt but I want to provide some feedback that may be helpful.
You are doing an incredible job battling your food addiction. Because of your determination and motivation I think you are an excellent candidate to work with a professional Addiction Counselor. Usually covered by insurance, this person would be able to help you tweak your treatment plan, discuss why you binge and what triggers it and listen in an unbiased, non judging way.
It seems like you are not receiving the affirmation you need from your husband and children. Of course this is not malicious on their part. However, like other addictions it is important for the whole family to be involved in the recovery process. No one expects a cocaine addict to recover without help. Why should someone have to suffer through food addiction alone? A counselor would also be able to work with your family and help them better help and support you.
Food addiction is uniquely challenging because you cannot abstain from food the way a recovering alcoholic abstains from drink.
I am inspired by your story and wish you the best of luck.
Respectfully,
RAY

Lyn said...

Thank you Ray, I appreciate your insight :)

moonduster said...

I love the outdoors too. Unfortunately, I suffer from allergies. *sigh*

bbubblyb said...

Loved reading about your day in the yard. Sounds like we both just needed some sunshine *smile*. Tomorrow will be a yard work day for our family, I'm looking forward to it. The baked bean recipe sounds great.

I'm with Annette about the power saw *scary*, you he-woman you lol.

antgirl said...

We woke up to ... snow.

The day before was great though. :) Sunshine is not over rated, I agree.

L1z4 said...

I noticed there were no grains in your day's food list. Is this on purpose, or just happened to workout that way? Whole grains are good for you, btw. :-)

Tena said...

I'm having power-tool envy! I want a chainsaw but I don't want my son to use it (I know, he's 25, but those things are scary!).

Glad you had such a wonderful day. Thanks for the great recipe! I love BBQ beans!!

Lyn said...

L1z4~

It's on purpose. I mentioned a few days ago that I am cutting out most carbs for a week or two to try and get my sugar/carb issues back under control. I stopped grains and fruits for a bit and will add them back in slowly.

Yep, I agree, whole grains are good for you, which is why in general my meals contain whole oats, brown rice, whole wheat, etc.

Karyn said...

Wow...you got a good workout in today!

So glad you were able to enjoy your day outside!

Those beans sound wonderful! I'm going to try them

Jennifer said...

I have never heard of a sugar tit either!! How funny is that?

Great job on no junk food for 4 days! I think you are right, don't bring it in the house if you can't handle it! I would buy Hostess Ho Ho's for my kids lunches, they didn't even really like them, but I could eat those out of control if they were in my house. Now I know they are not in there calling my name.

Congrats on your weight loss so far!