Weigh In Wednesday April 16th: No Luck Lotto

Here at 2 Fat Nerds each Wednesday is a Weigh-In day, where all of the data from the previous week is collected, displayed, and analyzed. If anyone is interested in taking part in weekly tracking, leave a comment!

Weight Loss

Each week, members who have opted to have their weights publicly displayed for the world to see have them graphed on the main blog. It is a great way to keep track over time, and it gives a bit more accountability to your workouts. If you are interested, leave a comment!

As usual, lets dig into Adrienne’s results first!

adn-graph

Congrats for hitting your goal, and glad you are feeling better!

percentages

Anti-Fat Points

Anti-fat points (AFP) is a system designed to give some sort of value to each and every workout, regardless of type. It is based on metabolic-equivalent values out of the compendium of physical activities. Submit a workout, get AFP. Each week we post the totals for each person for the week. In addition, you may see the monthly AFP leader-board on the right-hand sidebar. This is meant to be a fun way to encourage competition to see who can earn the most points!

Weekly Points

2014-AFP

The threshold is back to 100 AFP, Green is over and Red is under. Try to get 100 AFP and turn your bar green!

The Chain-Game

The Chain Game is a fun little system we came up with to see how many consecutive weeks a person can complete a minimum of three days of workouts. Every week in a row that a person completes the three-day goal, he or she adds one link to his or her active chain. For more information see this post!

quarterly

I grouped the first 13 weeks of the year and calculated everyones “longest chain” for that window of time. That way each quarter we can chart peoples progress, allowing for a nice jump-in point if you missed the first 13 weeks. Start building your Q2 Chain!

2014-Chain

 

As always, if you were slow to get data in, your chain will be re-instated!

April 15, 2014: One Year Boston Strong

 

 

When Not Working Out All Winter Became Obvious

This weekend was absolutely stunning in Buffalo. Maybe it is because of our abnormally long and drawn out winter (we are supposed to get snow tomorrow . . . ), or maybe it’s because I was largely inactive all winter, but as soon as the sun came out, I had an insane desire to go out and get some running in. Ellie and I decided on our route, and off we went.

She moves so fast her legs are a blur

She moves so fast her legs are a blur

Ellie has been pretty active most of the winter. She has gotten in a typical three-day-a-week minimum at the gym, and her level of fitness has been pretty well maintained. I, on the other hand, didn’t keep up for various reasons. It became abundantly clear to me, though, while on that run Saturday that I have some serious work to do to get back to where I want to be. I know not every run will be good, but I think I have some expectation of myself that I should have certain distances in the bag. If anything, it was a pretty good reality check, because now I know exactly where I am and how much I need to work to be where I want to be.

I’m excited to be more active again though, and I joked with Ellie as we stepped out the door saying, “Active Jono Mode — Engage.” To which she replied, “I like Active Jono Mode.” Probably because I am far less annoying when I am properly exercised.

Anyway, Hopefully the snow tomorrow won’t derail spring from coming, because I am totally ready for it.

Eat Fit Not Fat- Pulled Chicken Posole and Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins

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Last year Mike and I visted Strip T’s in Watertown MA. No, this is not a strip joint in a shady area of Boston. Get your mind out of the gutter. Strip T’s is an amazing and tiny, 10ish small table restaurant. I believe a father and son started the joint and it is somewhat family operated? My facts might be slightly off, don’t judge me. The menu changes weekly and is full of your local farm to table deliciousness. The restaurant also does amazing take out sandwiches. Hands down I’d say its the best meal Mike and I have enjoyed together in the 6+ years I’ve lived in Boston. Where am I going with this story you may ask? Well as our first course Mike and I split this amazing- fill your soul with goodness bowl of  posole/pozole (spell it however you like it). The watier really talked it up, said a family friend had been cooking it in the back all day. Mike was skeptical. He hates soup. Well, I should say he hates hot fatty broth. So choosing this special app of the night was a real stretch for him. But aren’t we glad we did. It was EPIC! So many delicious flavors that brougth me back to my grad school days living in AZ.  So so so so gooooood!

I knew going into this recipe this week I would def. not be able to recreate Strip T’s masterpiece, but I wanted to try something similar. Overall, I think it was pretty darn successful. Give it a try for yourself, you might just like it :) (Note, ours was super spicey. Dial down the jalapenos if you don’t like the heat)

Some terms you may not have come across living in New England

Posole/Pozole- A hearty mexican stew usually made with hominy and pork and either has a red or green color depending on your chilies.  Sometimes you will see it made with chicken, beef, seafood or beans.

Hominy- is simply dried maize kernels which have been treated with an alkali in a process called nixtamalization.  What is nixtamalization? -  refers to a process for the preparation of maize (corn), or other grain, in which the grain is soaked and cooked in an alkaline solution, usually limewater and hulled. :) Use google if you want more info :) Its tasty stuff. Just trust me.

Tomatillos- aka “little tomato”  about the size of a cherry tomato. Found inside a brown husk (if buying fresh). Tomatillos are closely related to tomatoes, but unlike tomatoes, they are valued for their tart rather than sweet flavor. You can buy them in a can or fresh in your produce section.

Now on with the goods!

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Ingredients:

Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins:
1-2 tbsp chopped jalapeno, seeds removed
1 large egg
1/3 cup 1% milk
1tsp chili powder
1 container of cornbread mix ( I used Jiffy 8.5oz mix)

 

Pulled Chicken Posole:
8-10 tomatillos (I used them from a can)
1 overflowing cup of hominy (drainied if using from can)
2 cups low sodium chicken stock
2 (approx 6 ounce breasts of chicken)
1 cup onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp black pepper
1tsp cumin
1tsp oregano
1/2 to 1 jalapeno, diced and seeds removed (we used a full one, without seeds removed. Whooooo buddy it had some heat, just an fyi. Adjust to your liking)
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup radishes, sliced thinly
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Lets make the cornbread muffins first

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1)Slice/dice your jalapenos, remove seeds. Set aside enough for your posole (however much you have decided to sweat out tonight) Picture two makes for much easier removal of seeds and I recommend.

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2)In a bowl whisk together milk, egg, chili powder and jalapenos. Fold in cornbread mix. It will still be lumpy. Don’t try to mash out the lumps. Not worth your time.

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3)Pour batter into 4 (8oz) ramakins or into a standard muffin tin. Make sure you grease your pan prior to adding batter ;) Place aside until you are about 15-20 minutes out from eating. Bake for approx 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for a few minutes. Remove from tin or ramakins.

Now lets make some posole!

IMG_2211  IMG_2212

1) In a food procesor or blender pulse together tomatillos, jalapenos (whatever you have set aside after your muffins), cilantro, black pepper, cumin and oregano.

IMG_2213 IMG_2214

 

2)In a dutch oven heat 1 tbsp of oil on medium heat. Saute onions for approx 4 min. Add garlic and con’t to saute for 30 seconds or so. In a seperate pan cook chicken. I coated my chicken in salt and pepper before cooking. Cook 5 minutes on each side and then finish chicken in the oven for an additional 6-7 minutes. Oven times will vary.

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3) Pull chicken apart with two forks. Set aside. Meanwhile, add cilantro/jalapeno mixture to dutch oven. Pour in hominy. Bring to a boil. Add chicken. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for approx 10-20 minutes. Or till your so hungry you can’t stand it anymore :) Pour in lime juice at the last minute. Divide into 4 seperate bowls.

Don’t forget to take your muffins out of the oven! Top posole with radishes, squeeze of lime juice, some cilantro and enjoy. We also threw in chunks of the cornbread which was pretty tasty.

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Approx 4oo calories and 10 grams of fat per serving (posole and cornbread)

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Recipe adapted from: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/chicken-corn-bread-muffins-50400000134169/

 

 

True life: I can’t stop thinking about food

I’ve been having this problem lately, and I’m hoping some of you can relate. I’ve been counting calories now for about 7 weeks and everything was going really smoothly. But this week has been really hard. I have noticed that all I think about all day long is food. I’ve been having really intense cravings for fatty foods. I sit at work, staring out the window and fantasize about burgers. I haven’t yet strayed from the diet. I haven’t yet left work in a hurry and gone to the closest burger joint, so I think that’s a win. But I’m still having the problem. I have an insatiable appetite. But the weird thing is, I’m not actually hungry. I just want to eat.

Image

These feelings are probably leftover from past habits where I might actually go home from work and eat 1,000 calories of snacks before dinner. My stomach capacity has decreased to the point where I can’t physically eat as much as I could before. I can’t eat past when I hit the full point anymore. Don’t get me wrong, this is a wonderful thing, and is definitely helping me sustain my lesser calorie diet, but it makes craving food all the time really annoying because I can’t satisfy them because I can’t eat!

Knowing the difference between being hungry and being bored is something I’ve always struggled with. At work, I have a constant stream of tasks to work on, but they rarely require my entire brain capacity, so at least half of my brain is always planning my next snack. How do I flip off this switch? How do I get my body to accept the salad and move on to thinking about other things? My willpower is strong, but I don’t know how much more of these cravings I can take before I go out and eat a whole pizza! Help! Any advice is greatly appreciated.

 

Weigh-In Wednesday: A New Graph Approaches!

Here at 2 Fat Nerds each Wednesday is a Weigh-In day, where all of the data from the previous week is collected, displayed, and analyzed. If anyone is interested in taking part in weekly tracking, leave a comment!

Weight Loss

Each week, members who have opted to have their weights publicly displayed for the world to see have them graphed on the main blog. It is a great way to keep track over time, and it gives a bit more accountability to your workouts. If you are interested, leave a comment!

As usual, lets dig into Adrienne’s results first!

adn-graph

 

percentages

Anti-Fat Points

Anti-fat points (AFP) is a system designed to give some sort of value to each and every workout, regardless of type. It is based on metabolic-equivalent values out of the compendium of physical activities. Submit a workout, get AFP. Each week we post the totals for each person for the week. In addition, you may see the monthly AFP leader-board on the right-hand sidebar. This is meant to be a fun way to encourage competition to see who can earn the most points!

Weekly Points

2014-AFP

The threshold is back to 100 AFP, Green is over and Red is under. Try to get 100 AFP and turn your bar green!

The Chain-Game

The Chain Game is a fun little system we came up with to see how many consecutive weeks a person can complete a minimum of three days of workouts. Every week in a row that a person completes the three-day goal, he or she adds one link to his or her active chain. For more information see this post!

quarterly

This week I added a graph that I think may make things a little bit more fun. I grouped the first 13 weeks of the year and calculated everyones “longest chain” for that window of time. That way each quarter we can chart peoples progress, allowing for a nice jump-in point if you missed the first 13 weeks. Start building your Q2 Chain!

2014-Chain

 

As always, if you were slow to get data in, your chain will be re-instated!

Exercise for your Health

A little while ago an acquaintance of mine asked if I was embarrassed that I have my own weight-chart featured very publically each and every Wednesday here at 2 Fat Nerds. He is not an active reader of the blog and had stumbled on the site one Wednesday where he checked out my stats. He said he felt like he was prying on personal information.

body-weight-scale

I chose to make my data public for a couple reasons. The first is really the same reason the entire blog exists: accountability. It is so easy to make goals for yourself and then give up a little while down the road. Goals exist only in our own minds, and if nobody is keeping track, who really cares if you stop running three times a week, or stop smoking cigarettes, or stop only drinking beer on weekends. Everybody has unhealthy habits and I think most of those people go through phases where they want to be healthier. I chose for my data to be public so my journey for a healthier lifestyle would not just be a phase.

I’ve never been embarrassed to have my weight displayed on 2 Fat Nerds. I don’t care if the number on the scale reads 180 pounds, or 190 pounds, or 220 pounds. The number is not important. Losing weight doesn’t happen overnight, it is a long process, so as long as my numbers are trending downward, why would I be embarrassed? Maybe I wouldn’t be too keen on displaying my weight if all I did every night after work was eat chinese food in my bed and watch 30 Rock (this has happened). But having been making a very serious effort to take my life and body to a healthier place, I don’t really care if internet strangers, or close friends and family know that on any certain day my weight may fluctuate.

I’ve never been embarrassed of who I am or the extra weight I’ve carried around. Maybe its made some things harder (fitting into pants, for example), but its made me who I am, and its made me realize how badly I want to be in shape for the rest of my life. Health and fitness are so much more important than the arbitrary number that flashes on your scale. I may be losing weight, but I still can’t bike up steep hills and I still lose my breath when I’m carrying my laundry up from the basement. The road to being fit is long, and having a community of people helping and supporting me, is worth the potential embarrassment. I’m taking steps to making my life more active, and logging my weight here on 2 Fat Nerds is just one way I’m keeping myself on track. So, no, I’m not embarrassed or ashamed, and no, you’re not prying on my personal information. Each new reader we have here is just a little more encouragement for me and for all of you to make positive changes.

 

Spring is better than Winter: Running in the Sun

This past weekend was beautiful. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and I was smiling because I ran my first-ever 5k in under 40 minutes! I am a slow runner, it’s not a secret. I have never really been focused on getting faster, just getting out there and gradually increasing my distance. I have been following a Hal Higdon training for the 10k coming up in June, and on it, he writes for the novice crowd: It’s not about speed, walk if you have to, but go the whole distance.

Jeff and I went out to run Saturday morning and we quickly realized we were overdressed. I ended up having to take off the jacket I had assumed I would need, having been used to winter running. Running in the sun was wonderful. Jeff set the pace, going a little bit faster than I normally do, and I tried my hardest to keep up, widening my stride when I could. I finished the run without walking, and without ever thinking, “oh, maybe I should stop.” I did what everyone has been telling me to do: I just ran. I kept running, and I ended up finishing the 3.1 miles with a smile on my face.

just-run

It feels great knowing that I can do this, and without ripping my hair out. This will be my third year running the B.A.A. 5k, and the first year I trained for it. The past two years I signed up with the best of intentions, and ended up walking the majority of the race. That will not be me this year. I am 15 pounds lighter, and 200% more serious. I’m excited and ready to show everyone how hard I have been working!

It’s pretty cool to be able to look back to when I started my Couch to 5k in October, and despite the cold, snowy winter, I made it to Spring being able to run the whole distance. I am looking forward to next October, when I finish my half marathon and can look back to this Spring; to where it started, and know that I truly can do anything I set my mind to. I can do it.

Eat Fit Not Fat- Maple Glazed Brussel Sprouts

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I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack! I owe an apology to everyone that looks forward to my foodie posts every Friday. I have been on hiatus. Mike and I have been super busy wedding venue shopping and catching up with life/work/friends the past couple of weeks. Anywho… back to the food :)

This week I wanted to try a recipe I discovered while reading an issue of Women’s Health on the way to Costa Rica two months ago. I quickly dog eared the page and pushed aside the recipe… till tonight. This recipe goes together so quickly and is so darn easy you should just try it, I promise it’s worth it. I know vegetables can be somewhat mundane and boring. Usually shoved to the side of your plate with little to no taste or sometimes non existent. This recipe highlights the brussel sprout and gives it a nice depth of maple and dijon flavor. So go ahead and actually enjoy your veggies tonight!

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Ingredients:

1 package of frozen brussel sprouts ( I used approx 22 fresh brussel sprouts, either works)
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp grainy mustard ( I used Grey Poupon)
2 tbsp maple syrup
salt

(next time I might roast a few cloves of garlic with the sprouts)

IMG_2187              IMG_2188

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

1)Cut brussel sprouts in half, length wise. Chop brown ends off as well if using fresh sprouts.

IMG_2189               IMG_2190

 

2)Whisk together maple syrup, mustard, salt and olive oil until well combined.

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3) Toss brussel sprouts with maple/mustard glaze till coated well.  Spread sprouts onto a baking sheet. Place in oven and roast for approx 20 min. (Mine were in for approx 23 minutes I believe)

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5) Remove from oven and enjoy! Serves 4.

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Approx. 95 calories per serving

 

Special Recognition!

Today I wanted to take a brief time out and shine the spotlight on a pretty impressive hotstreak! Through the entire month of March, one of our members didn’t miss a single day of workouts. And I have the calendar snapshot to prove it!

momCongratulations to Mom, who did an absolutely fantastic job, and who set a new personal monthly best AFP at 1004! Despite the sometimes frigid temperatures, she went out and got it done. I think the thing that is most important to point out that we can all learn from is that even if you do just a brief walk for 30 minutes, you are still establishing that habit and pattern of doing it.

So with this, I challenge someone else to dominate for an entire month! Major props to Mom, and hopefully someone else will gain inspiration from her feat of strength!

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