Wednesday, August 23, 2017

My Birthday Gift to Me......

Today is my birthday.  My final year in my 50's heading toward the big 60 now. I often say that my 40's were my best decade but the 50's have been pretty good to me too.

I received this gorgeous cake made from flowers from my sister in law, Rebecca, it fits in perfectly with my theme for this post.  This is a cake that I can truly enjoy!!  Isn't it beautiful?

For my 50th birthday, I decided to start running and be ready for a 5K by the time my 50th rolled around.  I started a couch to 5K program and on the 4th of July, over a month before my birthday, I ran my first 5K.  During my 50th year I ran a 5k every month.  By the time my 51st birthday rolled around, I was in pretty good shape.  I continued running but mixed in other exercise with it, Zumba, Kickboxing, Yoga.

Eventually, I slowed down.  A little more each year until it was just a trickle.  The pounds started coming on......and not at a trickle either.....So here I am approaching my 60th year and heavier than I have ever been in my life.

Oh, sure, there have been spurts of exercise and clean eating over the past few years but nothing that lasted.  I would lose 15 or 20 lbs and then find excuses to not workout and they would creep back on along with the breads, cakes, cookies, pizzas, wine, beer and cocktails.

We got home from a wonderful Alaskan Cruise that we enjoyed the first week of the month.  We had so much fun and I am so happy that we had the opportunity.  You can see a video of our trip right here.

We ate and drank like there was no tomorrow.  Then we got home and guess what?  Tomorrow arrived.

We continued our celebration over the weekend and then on Monday morning I buckled down and began the Fast Metabolism Diet in earnest.  I started walking and doing a beginners total body workout that I found on Youtube.  I am so out of shape that after the first workout, I could barely move for a day and a half.

But I stuck to it.  Day 9 was yesterday and found me 7 lbs lighter than when I first started.  My goal is to be in the same shape on my 60th birthday as I was on my 50th.  No, I won't be running but I will be more active and more cognizant of my food intake.

You can learn more about the FMD eating plan at this post that I wrote when I did the program last year.  We have our Little Angel Face each Tuesday and Wednesday.  Spaghetti is her favorite food in the whole world so we normally have spaghetti every Tuesday evening.

Last week they enjoyed spaghetti and I ate leftover chicken stir fry but this week I decided to make a Slow Cooker Meat Sauce that is found in the FMD Cookbook so that I could enjoy pasta with them.

I adapted the recipe to work with what I had on hand but not in any way that disrupted the integrity of the dish.  I browned my meat before putting it in the crockpot, but it was still a very easy recipe.

You just put everything into a slow cooker and walk away for 8 hrs.  When you are ready for dinner, simply boil your pasta and enjoy.

It was very delicious but more of a hamburger soup with noodles than a sauce.  In fact, the leftovers went into the freezer and I think I will add some brown rice to it for a meal during Phase 1 next week.

Tonight, we are going out for dinner.  We are now in Phase 2 which is protein and vegetable heavy. We are going to my favorite steakhouse, Louis', where I intend to enjoy a filet mignon, salad and vegetables.  See you tomorrow.

Slow Cooker Meat Sauce
adapted from The FMD Cookbook

2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 zucchini, diced
1 summer squash, diced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 (10 oz) pkg grape tomatoes
5 mini sweet pepper, cored and chopped
1 (8 oz) pkg. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 c. vegetable broth
1/2 c. tomato paste
3 cloves garlic, minced
sea salt and pepper, to taste
Brown Rice Pasta, prepared per package directions

Season the ground beef with salt and pepper and brown in a large skillet over med high heat.  Place into a crock pot along with the zucchini, squash, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, onion, broth, tomato paste and garlic.  Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Stir to combine and cook on low setting for 8 hrs. Serve over Brown Rice Pasta.

One serving= 1 cup pasta and 1 cup sauce.  Print Recipe


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