Thursday, October 29, 2009

Guac Rocks

Until recently, I had never made totally-from-scratch guacamole! But I have now. It was A-MA-ZING. And today’s your lucky day because here’s the recipe for this tasty masterpiece!

3 Haas avocados
1 lime, juiced
½ red onion, diced
8ish cherry tomatoes, seeded and pulp removed, diced
1-2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp coarse salt
A few quick dashes of vegan Worcestershire sauce*

  1. Cut each avocado in half, remove the seed, scoop out the pulp and put in a mixing bowl. Squeeze the lime juice over the avocado pulp and mash with a fork (or a potato masher like I did).
  2. Mash in the cumin and salt, then fold in the onion, tomato, cilantro and garlic.
  3. Stir in a few quick dashes of Worcestershire sauce. (This is the secret ingredient that REALLY makes this guac special!)
  4. Refrigerate for a half hour or so, then serve soon after with tortilla chips (or whatever you want, for that matter).

*I use vegan Worcestershire sauce (like Annie’s Naturals Organic Worcestershire Sauce) because most traditional-recipe Worcestershire sauces contain anchovies … aka not vegetarian.

I know there are a bunch of ingredients, but it’s SOOOOO easy to make. I’m not sure this recipe has been perfected yet, so I’m open to your suggestions. Don’t get me wrong, it rocks. I brought it to a gathering of friends and it didn’t last long. I prefer to eat my guac with blue corn tortilla chips with flax seed or Mission tortilla strips. YUM!

I’m gonna keep this post short and sweet, but before I go you need to know about a cool giveaway Prior Fat Girl Jen is having. You could win a sample pack of Kay’s Naturals products! It all looks pretty good — and good FOR you — so head on over to Jen’s blog and enter!

I’m going to visit my best friend Morgan this weekend, and I’m hoping we make some fab semi-healthy vegetarian meals like we did when I visited in January. We’ve both been veggies for nine months and a few days, and it’s going splendidly! We’re gonna close out Vegetarian Awareness Month with a bang!!!

Peace out, friends!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


According to my daily Hungry Girl email, it’s National Chocolate Day! (If you don’t already subscribe to this gem, do so HERE. If you wanna check out what she’s all about first, go HERE. Then subscribe :) You won’t be disappointed.)

This is for all you chocoholic bloggers out there.

I will be celebrating with a little Hershey’s milk chocolate, although I’m not a huge sweets person. I’m much more into the salty stuff. Chips and salsa, cheddar cheese Quakes, chips and guac, Cheez-Its, my mom’s Chex Mix, cheese and crackers, and did I mention chips with some sort of dip? From the looks of it, I also like cheesy things. Surprise! I’m from Wisconsin!!!

Anyway, back to the issue at hand: chocolate! I don’t usually purchase chocolate (or any candy, for that matter), but Halloween-time presents an entirely different world than I’m accustomed. Coworkers have candy dishes on their desks: DANGER DANGER! I can’t help myself!

Here’s a scenario that hasn’t yet happened, but I’m dreading its inevitability. First I’ll take a Laffy Taffy. (They’re one of my favs because of the so-bad-they’re-good jokes on the wrapper.) Then I’ll grab a Starburst. These nonchocolatey treats are my gateway drug. I prefer them over chocolate, but while I’m digging for them I’ll see a Snickers — my nemesis. Once I eat a Snickers, I’m doomed. Then it’s on to a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and a Butterfinger. But they’re all “fun-sized” so it's totally OK, right?? Wrong answer.

Like I said, a major candy binge hasn’t happened yet, but I’ve already had a couple of miniepisodes. One Laffy Taffy and two Starbursts yesterday, and one Laffy Taffy and small Hershey’s bar today (only in celebration, of course). This isn’t great, but it’s definitely not horrible. Where I think it could get out of control is at my parents’ house. You see, I’m visiting them the weekend after Halloween, and you know what that means? Leftover candy.

Dear Mom and Dad:

I know you read my blogtacular sporadically, but if there’s ever a time for you to be reading, this is it. Please understand my sincerity when I write this: HIDE THE CANDY BEFORE I WALK IN THE DOOR!

I’m of sound mind and body right now, but you know how my healthy-eating habits go out the window once I get to your house. I will not be thinking clearly if I see your tasty goodies on the kitchen counter and in the candy jar on the end table in the living room.

So, if you could be so kind, hide the treats until after I leave.

Love love love,
Your little Amandarin

P.S. I’m serious. And don’t believe me when I tell you it’s OK to give me just one little Snickers. I’ll turn into a crazy candy-eating monster! You’ve been warned.

Since I’ve envisioned these detrimental situations, I’m hoping I can avoid or at least be prepared for them. That way, I can have a piece or two of candy and walk away knowing that what I’ve done really won’t affect my waistline — but if I don’t stop there I’ll be taking away some of my hard-earned weightloss success. Let’s keep it under control!

My WW leader Renee says, “We crave what we eat.” I totally believe this. If I don’t have my morning banana, I crave a piece of fruit until I get it. If I’m eating a lot of veggies and suddenly don’t get my fill one day, I crave a huge salad. This totally works in your favor when you’re eating healthfully; however, it backfires when you slip off track. For instance, after eating a Chipotle veggie burrito bowl Monday night and a cheese quesadilla and tons of popcorn for lunch yesterday, I came home from work and just wanted a junky supper. I’ve gotten back on the healthy-eating train today by eating some Kashi Honey-Toasted Oat Heart to Heart cereal (love it!) and an apple for breakfast and a salad and cottage cheese for lunch. For supper I’ll heat up the rest of the black bean chili I made last week. Back on track! Phew. That coulda gotten ugly in no time.

So, since it’s National Chocolate Day and nearing All Hallows’ Eve, and I know there are a lot of chocoholics and sweet tooths (sweet teeth?) out there, I’ll leave you with a tip:

When you eat a piece of candy,
leave the wrapper on your desk or other visible area.
It’s easy to forget each and every treat you’ve consumed
after you’ve disposed of the evidence …
but not when all the wrappers are lying out, staring back at you.

I almost forgot! The winner of two years’ worth of Shape is Missy @ Missy Maintains!

Email me your info and I'll get that rollin' for ya!

Peace, friends :)

P.S. The title of this post is a reference to Super Troopers. If you knew that, you're cool.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

No More Moody Manda

I am sooooo glad the treadmill was broken the other day because I had an AWESOME time dancing out my stress! I did the hip hop and cha cha sections of the So You Think You Can Dance Get Fit: Tone and Groove DVD. (Phew! Could they come up with a longer name?? Geez.)

The hip-hop dance is really fun, and it got my heart pumpin’ at the end when we (the SYTYCDancers and I) did the combo four times in a row. I’m STILL feeling it in my lower back today, so obviously I worked some muscles I haven’t worked in a while.

Regarding the broken treadmill in my gym, remember when I wrote that “it pays to be nice even when you don’t wanna be”? Someone from the main office of my apartment complex called me the next morning to tell me the treadmill was not going to be fixed. Rather, it’s been replaced! With a newer model!!!! I haven’t used it yet, but I plan on hittin’ it up this weekend.

On a completely unrelated note, I’ve written before about making black bean chili, but I’ve tweaked my recipe yet again and came up with something pretty darn tasty tonight.

OOOoooolala! Yummers.

I’ve added some more veggies and spices, which made it better than ever!!!! Want the improved recipe? You’ll be able to find it in Jen’s PriorFatGirl E-Cookbook when it’s complete :)

Something must have gotten into me because I’m also making totally-from-scratch guacamole for the first time in my life tomorrow! Liz and Cody are hosting a belated birthday get-together for me, and I can’t show up empty handed. (And guac is AMAZING!) I’ll share the recipe and results afterward. Let’s get real here: I don’t usually make stuff at all … but I’d like to. Maybe this will turn into a pattern? We’ll see.

Happy face!!!!!! I’m in a really great mood right now!!! I think it’s due to the pride in my recent cooking victory, tomorrow being Friday (woot woot!), eagerness to see friends (and have some drinkies) tomorrow evening, excitement for chips and guac, my breakfast date with Jen on Saturday …. and this:

!!!!A CONTEST!!!!

I’m giving away either a two-year subscription to Shape or (because I know there are a handful of male readers out there) a one-year subscription to Men’s Health!

And, yes you read that correctly: TWO WHOLE YEARS OF SHAPE-NESS! One year of Men's Health ain't too shabby either. The winner is free to choose which one he or she wants.

Here’s how to win:

  • Leave a comment and tell me something neat.
  • Add Amanda, another priorfatgirl, to your blog roll.
  • If you don’t have a blog, add this site to your internet favorites and promise to check back often.
  • Link back to this contest in your next blog post.
Note: You will receive multiple entries if you do more than one of these things, but you must tell me what’s up in your comment. Sad news, but because subscriptions to these mags are only available to residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and US Territories, this contest is only open to people who live in the aforementioned locations, too. I love everyone equally, though! The deadline for entries is 5pm on Monday, October 26. The winner will be announced sometime early next week.

Tell your friends! Good luck, everyone!!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dance It Out


Thank you. Just had to get that out.

I’ve been thinking lately that I just might have too much on my plate. But then I go back and think about it, and I really don’t do all that much. I could be checking more things off my ever-growing to-do list, but when I have a free moment I just want to lie back and relax. Then, the fact that I didn’t clean my apartment, write my latest blog post, tackle my laundry pile(s), shop for clothes that fit (smaller sizes, a-thank you), get rid of clothes that don’t, read my fellow bloggers’ stories, work my bod at the gym or outside, empty my cats’ litterboxes, go grocery shopping, call my friends and family, clip Norman’s claws, etc, gets me even more frustrated and I never completely relax.

I just read through that list and I feel ashamed because my life is not that rough at all. When there are so many larger issues in the world and other people less fortunate than I, why should I let these things get me in a tizzy? Easier said than done. These things do get me riled up, and it all came to a head after a stressful end to my rainy, gloomy workday.

On my drive home, I decided that I was going to hit the treadmill and run off my aggression. (Yes, that’s the girl I’ve become. And I kinda like it.) I march into the workout room, and what do I find??? The treadmill is broken!!!! I had my heart set on the treadmill, and the elliptical and bikes were just not gonna do the trick. You’d think that, since I was in the mood to work out and was wearing the appropriate clothing, I would hop on another machine instead. Nah. That was the last straw.

That's how I felt when I reported the broken treadmill
to the people who run my apartment complex.
I left a surprisingly upbeat and breezy voicemail.
(Little tip: It pays to be nice even when you don't wanna be.)

I decided to plop down on my couch and pound out my frustrations on the keyboard. I probably should have just taken on an alternate workout, but I needed to feel like I was in control. I am in control when I blog. Well, at least until I throw all my stuff onto Blogger, then it’s a whole new ballgame and there are other bugs to wrestle.

I really don’t think the coffee I drank today is helping me calm down. But this vent session kinda did.

Now that I’ve gotten that rant out of my system (for the time being), I’ve decided I'm going to pop in my So You Think You Can Dance Tone and Groove DVD and dance it off. I DVR Ellen every day, and I’ve had today’s episode playing in the background while typing this. She kicks off each show by shakin’ her thang, and I think there’s something to that. How can you not feel great while letting music penetrate every inch of your beautiful body?! I don’t care what I look like when I dance. I let loose. I rock out. I hope my neighbors outside enjoy the show.

I’m gonna sign off now before I change my mind about burning some extra cals. You know what would make me feel better? A contest. That’s right. You read correctly. A contest. Check back later this week for your chance to win a pretty sweet prize!!!!

Peace and love, lovelies.

PS The title of the Natalie Dee comic I used today is “Restless Egg Syndrome.” Hilarious! That’s enough for a giggle and a smile to brighten your and my day :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I'm Wicked Awesome (and modest)

Never fear! I’m alive! Haven’t posted in a very long time, but I decided to take some days off surrounding my birthday. Yep, you read that right. It was my birthday Saturday, October 10! Hey-o! I went to see the musical Wicked in Des Moines, Iowa, and it was as amazing as the first time I saw it in March. If you ever get a chance to see it, PLEASE DO. So so so great.

Overall, my birthday was fab!!! Here are some pics so you can feel like you were there:

Morgan and me waiting for Wicked to begin

Leah, me and Emily out for dinner and drinks after the show

Me talking to a cute boy on the phone

(I look a bit creepy.)

Christine, Morgan and me
workin' the Sunglasses at Night theme I demanded

Jen was supposed to come with to Wicked,
but she fell ill last minute and couldn't go :(
But she was there in spirit!
(so I've included this pic from the weekend before)

Anyway, kinda weird that in my last post I was boasting about being a true size 8, but guess what size pants I wore to work yesterday?!?! SIZE 6! I know I’m not a 6 in every store, but I bought two pairs of dress pants at The Limited last week. Just knowing that little number on the tag reads “6” makes me giddy.

I’ve never — I repeat, NEVER — owned a size-6 anything. And now I own two :)

It does make me wonder, though, what size would I wear if the sizing was the same as, say, 50 years ago?

Let’s go back to the Marilyn Monroe thing I’m sure most of you have heard. It’s been said that she was a size 14 or 16 at her heaviest point, which I’m sure was by British standards, making her more of a 10 or 12 in the United States. She was 5’5½” tall (same as I am!) and weighed anywhere between 118 and 140 pounds.

That means she was MAYBE a US size 12 when she weighed AT MOST 140 pounds. Hahahahaaa!!! I woke up this morning at 150 pounds and am a comfortable size 8. I wore a size 12 when I was in the 170s! I know she had an extreme hourglass figure, which I don’t, but still. Oh how sizing has changed!

Has this been happening slowly in the past 50 years or is it a more recent occurrence? Whenever it happened, I think it’s dumb. Yes, I feel good that the tags on my clothes read smaller numbers, but doesn’t that just make us have a false sense of skinniness? I don’t like that. I wanna be skinny (but most importantly, healthy) for real!

Speaking of false senses of skinniness, I’ve become complacent these last couple of weeks. I feel great about the 65-pound weightloss I’ve accomplished thus far, but I still have 15 pounds to lose. With that in mind, you’d think that I would be keeping up on my healthy-eating habits and regular workouts … but I haven’t.

My eating hasn’t been THAT horrible, but it hasn’t been superb either. I also haven’t worked out in a couple of weeks. What?!? I was on a roll before!! Why would I let myself get off track like this??? I haven’t gained weight, but I haven’t really lost either. I’m blaming the weather and, of course, myself. It’s time for me to get back in my apartment’s gym. Running outside was so much more fun, but I’m not a cold-weather gal. Sooooo many excuses. Time for that to stop.

I’ve been supertired all week, and I’m pretty sure it’s my body’s way of telling me that I’ve become a bum. I haven’t been sleeping well, which wasn’t a problem when I was working out regularly. Hmmm. Fancy that! Working out helps you sleep better and be more lively during the day. I felt sooooo much better then. It’s time to start groovin’ my body again!

Goal for tomorrow: Hit the gym after work. Eat my fav salad and cottage cheese at lunch (and not be tempted by the other less-veggietastic eats).

Peace, friends! It’s good to be back!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I’m at Michelle’s right now letting my food settle after a very tasty meal. She made Spicy Lime Shrimp Tacos with vegetables (zucchini, squash, onion, green pepper, corn — yum!). She made me a special little portion of just veggies because she’s the nicest :)

Action shot!

Think this meal sounds intriguing??? You can read more about it HERE. But more importantly, Michelle is submitting it to Jen’s PriorFatGirl E-Cookbook! Have a favorite recipe of your own? Send it to Jen!!! The deadline is October 10 … but I have a feeling she’ll extend it. (I haven’t sent her mine yet either, so let’s all get on this!)

I’ve worn size-10 shoes since forever. When I was thin, when I was fat, always. However, I’ve noticed a change in my foot size in the last couple of months. In one of my meetings a few weeks ago, the leader asked if I’d noticed my feet getting smaller since I’ve lost weight. I’m so glad she asked! I thought I was going crazy! Or maybe that shoe companies were going the way of clothing companies and their vanity sizing.

I ordered a pair of TOMS in April. I was sooo excited to get my tie-dyed TOMS! Sadly, when I opened the box and tried on my new kicks, I found that they were very narrow. My toes also went all the way to the end. I knew I wasn’t going to love wearing them as much as I love looking at them. (Have I mentioned I LOVE tie dye?!) But that was six months and 15 pounds ago.

We've been reunited!

I slipped them on a couple of days ago, and they fit like a dream!!! I’m not going crazy! My feet really are shrinking!

Another example of my feetshrinkingness happened a few weeks ago at DSW. I tried on a pair of my favorite brand of pumps in the size I always wear. I’ve purchased more than eight pairs of size-10 Bandolino’s, but when I went to try on my next potential purchase, they were too big! I know that my shoes at home don’t fit as snug as before, but I chalked that up to just everyday stretching out. They didn’t have a 9.5 in stock, so no new shoes for me :(

I've heard that your feet will shrink as you lose weight because gravity isn't pushing as much heaviness down on your tootsies. Apparently it's true! Anyone else ever experience this phenomenon?

Don’t get me wrong. I still have large feet for my 5’5 ½” bod. My running shoes are 11’s. 11’s! Running shoes should be bigger than your normal size because of your feet swelling and toes jamming toward the end. I would have been fine with size 10.5, but they don’t keep them in the store. I would have needed to order them, and I just wasn’t in the mood for that at the time. My size 11’s (with insoles for extra comfort, of course) rock. I do feel like a giant when I actually think about wearing a size 11, but that’s cool. Kate Winslet wears size 11, and I think she’s pretty neat. I’m in the bigfoot club!

Additionally, I’m in the Size-8 Pants Club! I had been between a size 8 and 10 for a while, but when I went shopping the other day, all the size 8’s I tried on fit! That wasn’t too surprising at Gap, but I was very pleased when all the size 8’s at American Eagle fit, too. (I owned a pair of size-8 AE jeans in high school and I could only kinda breathe in them.) I wound up buying a pair of Real Straight jeans at Gap and the size M shirt I’m wearing in this pic.

Oooolala, lookin' good

Alrighty, folks. That’s about it for today. Don’t forget to submit your recipe for Jen’s PriorFatGirl E-Cookbook! Not kidding. Do it. Do it.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Cat Lady: Part Deux

Thank you SOOOO much for the incredibly nice comments on my last post! Wowza! Holy comments! I know that I've come a long way, but y'all made me feel like a model or something! I'm not doing anything special here, people. I'm just doin' the tried and true stuff: eat well most of the time and exercise regularly. But really, you're too too kind :)

October 1 is World Vegetarian Day!!! Today kicks off Vegetarian Awareness Month, and, although I am a vegetarian, I'm not about to push it on you or anything. HOWEVER, there are many benefits to eating just one meatless meal a day/week/month/whatever. Maybe you didn't know that? Some benefits are listed HERE and HERE. Take a lookie :)

I've tried many new foods and began REALLY enjoying some oldies since becoming a lacto ovo vegetarian on January 27, 2009. I CRAVE the huge salad I make myself at work a few times a week. I prefer veggie burgers to beef burgers, and I might never have known what I was missing! I finally started liking cottage cheese again after a 20-year hiatus, and I recently discovered how high in protein it is. I never would have chosen veggie pizza before because I would always pick pepperoni and pineapple if I had the option. Now I love veggie pizza! Even with mushrooms! (Which I'm learning to like.) I don't feel famished without meat in my meals like many people think. Fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and many other meatless items are totally filling foods.

A very nice fellow made me dinner recently, and he was completely out of his comfort zone. He's a total meat guy. (Not to mention he works in the meat department of a grocery store. Not kidding.) He rarely if ever eats vegetables. He mentioned that he doesn't even remember the last time he ate a meatless meal because it had been years. Years! Every time he makes a meal it's meat meat meat, but he planned a completely veg meal just for little ol' me :)

He made three types of vegetables! The asparagus was my fav by a longshot, but he also whipped up some peppers and cucumbers. (Can you believe he'd never even tried a pepper or cucumber before?! Who are these people?!?!) He also made penne alfredo and garlic cheese bread. We made the alfredo sauce from scratch! A first for both of us. The penne alfredo was A-MA-ZING! The scotcheroos for dessert weren't too shabby either! (Not an incredibly healthy meal, I'll admit, but soooo tasty. And it was the evening of my 5K day, so give me some slack.) I wish I had taken pictures, but we were having such a great time goofing around in the kitchen that it slipped my mind. Oops.

The point of my going over this entire meal that happened nearly two weeks ago is that even a major meateater can enjoy a meatless meal every once in a while. I didn't really think I could totally give up meat either, but here I am more than eight months later and I've never felt better :)

It's kinda funny that World Vegetarian Day falls on October 1 because it's also another special day ...


Less than two weeks after I went veg, I adopted my second cat. My vegetarianism is a huge reason why I got him. Also, Edwyn needed a buddy. I JUST LOVE ANIMALS!!! Norman turned one year old today, and I can't believe it. Time sure flies when you're a cat lady ;) If you've been reading for awhile, you might remember seeing Norman lying next to my scale in the kitchen.

(Yes I keep my scale in the middle of my kitchen floor. It's cool.)

Wanna see more Norman pics??


All snuggled up
Senior pic

A couple of my fav things:
Norman and my bookcase

The first time I saw Edwyn and Norman be friends
My favorite Norman picture EVER!

Best friends now :)

Now that you had your dose of Edwyn a few weeks ago and your fill of Norman today, I probably won't go wild like this for another year. It's soooo weird to be obsessed with your pet like THIS GIRL ;) Hahaha! OK OK I might be obsessed, too.

Before I sign off, are you gonna try anything new during Vegetarian Awareness Month?

Like I said, I'm not about to push complete veggieness on you, but it really is fun to experiment with new meals! Honestly, I'm not that creative with my meals at home, but I've decided to actually utilize my cookbooks this month. I'll probably make two things I made at Morgan's in January and haven't eaten since: Penne with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta Cheese (tastes just like a Noodles & Co dish) and Spinach and Black Bean Enchiladas (loooooooove Mexican food!). When I make them, I'll be sure to take pictures are share the recipes. Stay tuned!

Peace, friends :)