Friday, February 25, 2011

Burgers 88 Ways

Last night I took a chance and headed out to meet up with a dear ol' friend in Lee County. I simply recieved a text that read, "Thurs. Harry and Harry 2. Lee County. 630." Clearly, I was curious.

Conveniently, I needed to be in Lee County anyway to "help a sister out" and pick up the Girl Scout cookies for my nieces. Check out the pic of my SUV. That was an adventure as well, but I digress.

I headed into town (in Lee County, there's only 1 real town) and stopped at the Subway to be sure my directions were correct. A lovely teenage girl gave me the best directions! She said, "head just in the direction you were already going. When there's a cemetery on your right, immediately turn left." I did as the young lady said. And then I found it! In front was a classy roadway sign that reads, "Burgers 88 Ways"!

Nestled in the edge of the woods, Harry and Harry Two looks more like a hunting cabin than fine dining, but as soon as I walked in, I knew that this was somewhere that Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives needed to visit. On the porch there's an aluminium patio table topped off with a red and white Coke A Cola umbrella and the special of the night was the best spaghetti you can find outside of an Italian restaurant. It definitely was like "diner spaghetti" and was covered 100% in melted cheddar cheese. I was hoping to be able to order a plain grilled chicken breast and some veggies, but that wasn't exactly on the menu. I tried to stick with the healthiest option I could come up with and asked the waitress for a grilled chicken wrap with sauteed onions, mushrooms, & peppers. I had her add lettuce, onion, green pepper, and tomatoes to help fill me up. Instead of fries, I just had a side of pickles---ya can't go wrong with pickles and they basically are 0 calories.

This meal did not conform 100% with the 17 Day Diet, but I couldn't stand the thought of eating another grilled chicken salad this week and there was no balsamic vinegar anyway. This was the best I could do. Oh, did I mention that they had fried dill pickle spears?!? I ate one of those too. The spear is definitely superior to the chip. You get more pickle than breading and that's key.

There's even a bar that serves up beer and wine. The beer's only available in cans and if you order another glass of wine, they refill you right at your own table; I'm guessing there is only a limited supply of wine glasses, but that's okay.

Clearly this is a local dive and even if the food's not your style, the atmosphere will leave you content. This is clearly a place where locals gather. Everyone greets you as you come through the door and your glass never gets empty. Did I mention that it's cheap? Another plus.

Next time you're heading through Lee County, SC you definitely need to make Harry and Harry Two part of your agenda. You won't regret it.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

YBIYWI...Check in #3

Instead of posting by week, I've taken to updating you on YBIYWI whenever it pleases me. This past weekend can best be described as semi epic fail. Friday went well, but Saturday and Sunday were failures.

1) I didn't even write it. I seemed to think that I'd "remember" everything I'd eaten and could just write it down later. Surprisingly (or not at all), today when I finally pulled out my planner to record everything, I couldn't remember at all what I'd eaten for dinner on Sunday. I think left the house, but I'm really not sure. If I had dinner with you on Sunday night, please let me know what I ate.

2) I ate a whole bunch of crap NOT outlined on the 17 day diet. Basically, I'm not allowed most carbs other than some fruits. I didn't eat anything on Saturday before I headed to a wedding shower that I was hosting. Before the end of the event, I'd shoved 8 pigs in a blanket, 4 cake squares and 3 tablespoons of buffalo chicken dip w/ corn chips into my mouth---not okay.

3) The initial failure @ the shower led to me "sneaking" snacks including more pigs in a blanket, buffalo chicken dip and even 2 chocolate chip cookies.

Now, I'm feeling pretty "back on track" today's lunch and dinner went well and I had lots of H20. I'm feeling recommitted to my plan.

Tonight, Lee wanted Mexican so I ordered a Pollo Salad and used salsa as the dressing. Luckily I ran into this lovely woman from work. I hadn't seen her in at least a month and she immediately commented that I looked fabulous and thin! After that, I'm recommitted and in it to win it! Let's go 17 Day Diet!

Friday, February 18, 2011

YBIYWI...Check in for Week 2

I've begun relying a bit on blogging my diet info to help keep me accountable to the masses. YBIYWI went well for week 2; I think I'm fully in the swing of things. Combined with that, I've reached day 4 of the 17 Day Diet and I'm pretty sure if I can continue with the same attitude, I should eventually look like one of those bobble head girls from junior year; you know the ones who seemed to catch a slight case of anorexia overnight. A friends mom used to always say that a breif encounter with anorexia never hurt anyone...LOL. Luckily we took that with a grain of salt although I guess its not the message we want to share with impressionable young ladies. I share all that to say that I've greatly cut back on all the food I've been shoving into my body.

Frankly, I'm having a difficult time eating enough on the 17 Day Diet. I really don't like any of the probiotic options; I hate the texture of smoothies and yogurt. I do need to make some miso broth, but I sauteed all my mushrooms this week and didn't save any for miso. Next week I'll do better, but for this week, I've just not been eating those portions.

I also don't drink nearly enough green tea. I'm hoping I'll start to love the flavor, but right now, I'm just "in like" with it. I really only have about 12 oz a day and the diet specifies to have 3 glasses. Something else to work on.

I know that this weekend will be a big challenge. This will be my first weekend on the diet and it will be hard to avoid the pitfalls of burgers, cheese fries, chips & salsa, and mac & cheese. Nonetheless, I'm continuing on because somewhere inside of me a skinny girl is trapped and is just waiting to escape.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

17 Day Diet

In addition to YBIYWI, on Tuesday, February 15, 2010 I started the 17 Day Diet developed by Dr. Mike Moreno. Basically any fad diet would've worked, but I picked this in particular because my friend Jenna wanted to do it as well. We talked it through and figured we'd be much more successful if we went at it as a pair. In addition, Sara and I have discussed it enough that she's helping me follow through by holding me accountable and finding ways I can improve. I basically check in with one or both of them on a daily basis and feel very positive about making a change in my eating habits. I liked the diet as well because it is divided into 3 17 Day "phases" along with a 4th phase for maintenance. Unfortunately, I share most meals with Lee who is the king of crap food, but I've been slowly learning to make better choices in all situations. 

The basics behind Phase 1 of the 17 Day Diet are unlimited lean proteins and cleansing veggie along with 2 fruit and probiotic servings per day as well as lots of green tea. My hatred for yogurt has made the probiotic servings the most challenging for me. I'm on the second day and have had no probiotic portions yet. I had a friend pick up some miso from the Asian grocery so I'm hoping that I can have some miso broth each day just to get in the serving. I need to go ahead and make the miso soup though; really I'm just holding myself back.

I've definately cut alot of calories out of my diet in the past 2 days. Due to an allergy/sinus issue, I can barely taste anything, so I'm not too desperate to eat as I can barely taste and smell. I had tomato basil soup for lunch today and could pretty much only taste the basil. I ate it and almost enjoyed it, but still it only tasted like basil leaves.

Have you ever adopted a fad diet? How did it work for you? Got any tips to help me stick to it?

Friday, February 11, 2011

YBIYWI...Check in for Week 1

It's that time. YBIYWI is in full swing and week 1 actually went really well for me. I wrote down everything I ate and because of that I avoided alot of mindless snacking and random dessert binges (although I caved in with a few Hersey Kisses and a pre-diet gummy bear binge). Next week, I'll be announcing a new diet revolution, so get pumped. I've actually never ever tried to follow a diet before, but I need to develop into a healthy eater. In preparation, I added one cup of green tea to my diet each day. I really don't like hot beverages very much, but it's the easiest way for me to drink green tea at work within my schedule (the ice machine is located downstairs opposite the tea/coffee, so making a special trip all the time gets on my nerves). This weekend, I'm headed out for a Bachelorette weekend so the challenge will really set in as I attempt to not eat like a rabid pig all weekend.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

You bite it, you write it...

2011 is going to be a really exciting year and with so many wonderful and close friends deciding to tie the knot, it's also going to be a year full of pictures to last a lifetime. Like most women, I spend the beginning of every year contemplating what I can do to make myself more healthy...and by healthy, I mean skinny and hot. I do this rather half-heartedly as I know that I'm unwilling to stick with any plan that forces me to rearrange my whole life to revolve around food and exercise. For this reason, I'm going to implement small attainable goals and new processes slowly. My 2011 Challenge # 1 is (drumroll please)...You bite it, you write it!

Lost inside of me somewhere is a skinny person. I have the fondest memories of her, but she got lost after college. She looked something like this (additional people removed from pic with big white boxes for privacy). I'm on a quest to find this girl again.  She was so confident and carefree!

I remember not feeling the least bit self conscious in a bikini and spending all day running on the beach with no thought about what might be jiggling behind me (or in front of me!). I remember not having to use bronzer to create the appearance of abs and visible collar bones. I remember sharp little hip bones sticking above low rise bottoms. I remember borrowing the most amazing size 00 True Religion jeans from my former roommate and not having to take a deep breath to button them...the good ole days!

At this point, I'm sure you're thinking: "Gosh, I've read tons of blog posts like this since the new year. What makes this girl so much different and how is she actually going to succeed?"

Don't fear for me. I've already begun building a huge network of bull headed friends to keep me accountable and harass me if/when I falter. Success is in my future! And to entice me even more, I ordered this awesome daily appointment book from Staples that I'm in love with. Being organized turns into an OCD habit for me.  This appointment book easily allows me to record what time I eat certain foods, quantities, and even has extra space at the bottom of each page to allow me to give myself feedback for the day, week, etc. Now I just need to sort through all the attractive pen options in my desk drawer...

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Civic shall not go off road...and other lessons from a weekend in the country...

This weekend was packed with activities and Lee and I stayed SUPER busy, but had a blast as well. Death by Chocolate events were a success and we got done just in time to hope in the Civic (Thanks Sara!) to make it to Orangeburg County, SC to celebrate the pending Garrick-Ellenberg nuptuals.

We knew we were in for a good time as soon as we turned onto a dirt road and while in route tried to attend a different pig pickin along the same trail. --the guy had a HUGE Esso sign above his gate, clearly that was our idea of a good time. After getting back on course sucessfully making it to the Dangerfield frm (which was breathtaking), Sara and I did what any girl would do and scouted out the "facilities" before making our plan of attack on the wine. Pleasantly to our surprise, the Dangerfields had constructed an out house, but inside it was full of modern ammenities. Check out the cool crescent moon and star cut out along with the WARNING sign that was clearly placed there for Lee and Justin.

The food was devine and Justin and Sara tried their first hash...even though I am not brave enough to eat this. As with most evening pig pickins, we caught up with all our Orangeburg County friends, chatted it up with the fam and tried to stay warm as we huddled around the fire pit. Much to our suprise, over halfway through the evening, Mrs. Dangerfield had a little fun surprise planned for us visitors.

I felt pretty good about what was about to happen. Luckily, Lee and I started dating while he was finishing up his last year at the Citadel, so I'm fairly immune to the suprise sounds that occur during Citadel parades and have to secretly admit that I get highly amused as I watch other unprepared girls almost fall over when they're suprised by the cannon's fire. While they flounder and squeal like idiots, I stand confidently and unaffected. Even with all that Charleston training I was not prepared for the Dangerfield's surprise. I looked to my right as I sat along the fire pit and saw a small fuse burning from a tiny tabletop cannon....then 15 seconds later I heard the loudest boom I'd ever experienced. 1) Who would've thought that there would be cannons fired at a wedding pig pickin and 2) Who would've thought it could've been so loud? Such a surpise and so amusing!

I guess we were all thankful to be reminded that sometimes BIG things come in small packages? Most of all though, Sara and I had the best time catching up with Tori and getting in a little time with the besties before Tori becomes Mrs. Jordan Ellenberg!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My big SKINNNY Greek dinner...

Q: How in the heck do you start a blog anyway?
A: Just kick it off with the most recent event in your life?

So last night our friends Jenna and Glenn came over for dinner and since Jenna and I have been looking for ways to cut the fat from our diets, I found some great Greek inspired recipes from the Taste of Home Comfort Food Diet cookbook and the latest edition of Rachael Ray's magazine. I made the Lazy Baked Greek Chicken and Parmesan Tomatoes w/ asparagus and a Greek salad. So easy! I've given you the links for the recipes, but I changed each one slightly and the cooking times didn't work for me, so I'm giving them to you my way. Here's the info:

Lazy Baked Greek Chicken
  • Lazy Baked Greek Chicken1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of minced garlic
  • 1 box chopped spinach (10 ounces), thawed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
Saute the onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon of butter. When translucent (but not caramelized) add to a mixing bowl with spinach, salt, pepper, and feta. Cut chicken breasts to create a "pocket". Stuff each chicken breast with about 3 tablespoons of the spinach mixture. Place stuffed chicken breasts into a greased baking dish. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the microwave (I did this in my Pyrex measuring cup). Add the breadcrumbs to the butter and stir to coat. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over chicken. Bake covered until juices run clear; for me this was for about 45 minutes, then remove cover and allow breadcrumbs to toast.

Parmesan Tomatoes

  • 4 tomatoes sliced in half width wiseParmesan Tomatoes Recipe
  • 3 chicken bullion cubes
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter
Place the tomato halves skin side down in a greased baking dish. Spread a small thin layer of butter over the open face (doesn't need to cover everything). Use a mini chopper and combine cheese and breaking up bullion cubes. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes.

I served both of these recipes with some asparagus roasted in the oven with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic & a Greek salad served w/ Good Seasons Italian dressing. Overall, dinner was basically around 500 calories...not counting the chocolate chip cookies that appeared on the kitchen counter...