Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tuna steaks on the grill... Turned out Great!

Prepped Tuna for Grill
Picked up tuna steaks from Hy-Vee on Saturday.  I got a new grilling cookbook for Christmas and this is my first attempt at grilling using one of those recipes.  I received the book "The Cook's Illustrated Guide to Grilling and Barbecue".  Tonight, I tried the recipe for Grilled Tuna Steaks with Watercress, parsley, and spied vinaigrette (page 244).  We changed the recipe slightly as we were unable to find the watercress at the store (not in season).

The preparation for cooking was fairly easy. Blend everything in a bowl, grill the tuna, combine ingredients in a bowl, place cooked tuna on top of leafy parsley.  We loved it!  Turned out great and it was simple to cook.  I cooked the tuna for about seven minutes.  We have some friends who will really enjoy this sometime later this year.  I am hoping to be able to grill more and more this year.  Like last year, I plan to post blogs about my grilling and it will also help me to remember which recipes we like.  As you may recall, I did not post many blogs or updates regarding the grilling I did last year.  Hoping to change all of that this year.

We are trying to eat healthy (see my Life Style posts) to lose weight.  So, many of the recipes we will pick out will be low calorie or easy split.  This recipe tonight was perfect for a Sunday night and turned out great!

Tuna Steak Hot off the Grill
The finished product was exactly what I was hoping to accomplish.  Pink in the middle and nice grill marks on the tuna.  The bed of parsley was perfect with the cooked tuna.  I cooked two tuna steaks.  Carrie and I split one and we will have the second one tomorrow night with a pasta dinner.

The tuna with the parsley was good and to split the portions was only 536 calories.  I definitely like this new book that I received.  Made a note next to this recipe and I see others that I want to try.

Carrie has bunco this Friday and I think I am going to grill again.  I picked up another gas tank from the store today.  So I am ready for more grilling!

Primarily it has been Carrie who has cooked our meals.  Unless we are grilling of course in which case I have done the grilling.  While I enjoy grilling, I also enjoy cooking in the kitchen too.  Although, I have not had the need to cook my own meals for the past ten years.  I told her I would love to cook our meals at least once a week.  More than simply grilling, but to actually cook in the kitchen.  All preparation and then cleanup.  Give her a night off.

I am looking forward to cooking our meals each week.  I did let Carrie know that I might need help cooking.  Since I have not cooked much in the past few years, I forget things that I use to know.  Still, I expect her to simply help, give direction, or recommendations on how to do things better.  I would like to be able to get to the point where I can cook the whole meal.  More than just a simple sandwich, but things a bit more complicated.

My first blog of the 2012 year regarding grilling.  I hope to have many more throughout the year.  Maybe not all with pictures, but at least my posting about recipes I like or recommend.  Until next time, have a great week!

Three Weeks Done Status Update

I officially started this life style change on Monday, January 2.  I just finished the third full week of trying to improve my eating and exercise habits.  How am I doing so far?  Well, I am feeling pretty good.  I am slowly getting back into being able to jog long distances and I am eating better.

I just finished week two day three of Couch 2 5K, so I am jogging about three minutes without stopping.  I could really feel it on Friday when I did my last session.  I admit it that I like to sweat and I like to sweat a lot.  I believe it helps to motivate me to keep going and it of course is a indication to me that I am burning calories.  Now that I am getting deeper into the Couch 2 5K program, I am starting to sweat more and more.

Along with running, I am also lifting weights.  This is not something I have really done in the past.  I am trying to track it as part of the MyFitnessPal diary.  I have been doing weights for probably about two weeks.  I could really feel it the first week and then on Thursday after working on my legs, I could really feel my legs.  It is a good feeling and lets me know that I am working out correctly.

The good news about finishing the second full week of jogging is that so far I do not have any pain in my legs.  You may recall that last September when I ran my last 5K of the season, I was having major pains in my legs after each run.  To the point where it was difficult to walk following a workout or race.  It was even difficult to stand after sitting for a period of time.

So far, non of that has happened so far.  I believe that part of the reason I did start having pain is due to the fact that I tried to run faster than I should have and I was working out four times a week.  I put too much torture on my legs which caused pulling of muscles.  In a way, I believe it was good that I took off the four or five months off from jogging.  It helped my legs to repair whatever was hurting and hopefully with lots of stretching before working out, I will avoid having any pain in my legs.

Everyone, have a great week and keep the focus on your life style change...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Windows 7 Problem After Failed Hard Drive... Problem Resolved!

I had a hard drive failure on my Dell Windows 7 system back at the end of November.  I ended up purchasing a new drive and copying the drive to it.  Everything appeared to work without any problems.  Updates were working and overall the system seemed to be working correctly.  I thought the problem was resolved and everything was going to work correctly.

Starting a few weeks into January, I started noticing problems with Windows 7 not being able to get Windows updates.  It would display a error message that "Windows update can not currently check for updates, because the service is not currently running".  I checked to confirm the service was running and could not get it check for updates.  I even tried clearing out the directory where updates are stored to see if perhaps it was corrupted, but the updates still would not run.  This was true for Microsoft Security Essentials as well and it had not received updated since the last week of December.

I tried various things to try and resolve the problem.  Going into the middle of last week I was planning on reformatting and installing Windows 7.  Not a huge problem in itself, but I did not look forward to getting all of my music off or the various programs I use re-installed.  I spent the rest of last week preparing to do the re-installation this weekend.  Backing up files, locating installation disks, etc.

Saturday morning I was ready to do the installation and decided to do one last search to see if I could find a solution for the problem of why Windows Updates would not work.  I found a article that spoke about having a old, outdated, or not installed Intel Rapid Storage Technology causing the problem I was seeing.  I decided to give it a try, so I downloaded the program.  The system rebooted and when it came back up, I found that I could at least get into the Windows Update section now on my computer without the error.  The system starting checking for updates and since I had removed all previous history of the updates, there were a lot to download.  It was working again and all because when I re-imaged to another drive the Intel Rapid Storage Technology had to be re-installed.

Everything is working again and I do not need to install Windows 7 again.  I made sure that Microsoft Security Essentials was running too and that it would update.  I promptly ran a full scan on the computer and found a few trojans that had gotten through when apparently I was unable to check or do Windows Updates.

As of today, the computer appears to be running smooth with Windows Updates running correctly and no errors showing up in the logs.  Ah, it is good to have my computer back and working properly.  I would provide a link back to the file I downloaded to correct the problem, but I cannot find it in my history.  If you are having a similar problem, I would suggest searching for the Intel Rapid Storage program.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Friday Night Food Implosion.... Ouch!

Finishing up my second full week and I was doing good.  I had eaten well through the week and not had any alcohol.  Well, Friday night, we decided to get take out from Chili's which was not the bad part.  I love the Margarita Grilled Chicken from there and it is only 550 calories.  Very tasty!  In addition to the chicken, I also had a lot of chips.  Again, not too bad as it was only about 240 calories.  The down fall came with Spangles shakes that we picked up.  It was our treat for the week... er, well, my treat anyway.  One large shake (yes I went for the large) is 4,200 calories.  For just one freak'n shake.  Ouch!

If I had stopped with the chicken and chips, I would have had about 300 calories to spare.  Nope, I had to have a shake too and it was delicious!  That one shake put me in the negative calories by -3,620.

I believe it is worth it to have a free day or have a few beers if I have been doing well, but this was over doing it a bit.  I need to be smarter in what I reward myself with or my cheat days.  Anything over 1,000 calories is probably not the best choice.

I weight this morning and remained the same weight from yesterday which is good.  I am sitting at 222.2 lbs.  I will probably see my free night tomorrow morning when I weigh-in and it should not shock me at all.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Two Weeks in Status Update

I finished the first week of Couch to 5K last night. Not bad for my first week back into running again. I ended up skipping last Sunday as I did not feel like running. I also ended up having beers last Friday and then wine on Sunday. OK, so not as planned, but better than drinking and eating throughout the week. Plus, I have been doing well with what I eat. I have been tracking it on MyFitNessPal.

Tomorrow, Thursday, I will start week two and I plan to include some weight lifting in my routine too. I used some birthday money and a money from Sprint rebate to get some weights. Basically a whole weight set from Dick Sports for about $150. I am excited to start using them and I might bring my weight bench out of hiding in the back of the basement. I plan on starting with small weights and of course not over doing it. I am doing the same with my jogging and trying to keep it at a 5 mph pace. So far so good and no pain when I jog.

Graph of Progress
Progress with Tracking Weight
I started off on January 2 weighing in at 223.2. I have fluctuated a lot since I started, but I am starting to see the line go down on slightly. This does help motivation and helps to make me think I will get back to where I was at back in mid-September. Two pounds in about two weeks, well, not great, but I did have fun last weekend with food and drinks, so no complaints.

Hard to believe that I will soon be halfway through the the first month. In a few short months my first 5K of the season will be here and I plan to be ready. Always good to get some friendly competition going among friends. So, I continue to get my friends interested in jogging and doing 5K's with me. We have fun competing and training for upcoming events. Text messages to brag that we are actually working out or how far we ran. I still have a few weeks to get to the point where I am bragging how far I ran as right now I would not be able to make it a mile running.

I am looking forward to losing the belly weight again and having my clothes fit better. Not to mention being able to bend over or walk across the campus without getting winded. The important thing is that I am having fun and enjoying my workout.

I struggle with eating some days. No so much in that I am still hungry, but trying to make sure I get a mid-morning and afternoon snack. Sometimes things happen at work, life, etc. and I simply forget to eat my snack. I have picked up my water drinking considerably which is supposed to also help with not being hungry. Both the eating snacks and drinking water is something I continue to work on and battle going through this process. Just reminding myself to do so.

That's it for tonight! I meant to post earlier this week on my status, but at least I finally got it on here. Happy jogging to you and see you on the next post!

Friday, January 06, 2012

Brief Update on First Week

It has not been a week yet, but I am feeling pretty good with how things are going thus far. As I would expect, my weight went up/down a few times over the course of the week as my body adjusts to less food and no alcohol. While says I have lost 10 lbs, it is more like just three lbs. I mentioned before that I did not reset it went I started this again on January 2. So, the 10 lb weight loss goes back to when this whole thing started back in March 2011.

Still, I am happy that weight is starting to come off. I also understand that the weight being lost right now is water weight. As I get deeper into my work out routine, I will being sweating more and that will help to drop the weight. The early part of Couch to 5K is not my favorite part, but it is getting me into shape so I can run longer distances.

Last night we went to Dicks Sporting Goods to look at weights. I have a weight set picked out that I would like to buy. Dumbbells and then a bar to use too. All for about $150, so I think I am going to get it. Do a little more than just workout, but also work on the body some too.

Everyone have a great weekend and I will post something this weekend with an update.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Week 1 Day 2 Update... The Weigh-in

One thing I forgot to mention in my update yesterday was that I am going to weigh myself each day. Now, there might be some days that I am unable to weigh-in which would be if I am traveling, but for the most part I plan to record my weigh each day. Well, I did so this morning and tracked it on MyFitnessPal. Nothing like being on the second day and already gaining a pound. OK, I know that is not a huge problem as it is only my second day, but I was hoping to at least stay at the same weight.

So, total weight loss from the time I started last March is now 8 lbs. It is tough to begin a workout and see the weight increase, but I am not too surprised. My body is probably in shock that I did not eat as much yesterday and that I actually exercised. My target calorie count each day is 1920. Of course when I exercise, that is adjusted and more calories are allowed. Still, I am sure my body is going into shock with the new changes. I know my side was killing me at the end of my mild jog last night which it had not done since I started running back in March.

That is all for now, but I wanted to post a update while I was thinking about it. I thought about it while getting ready for work this morning and decided I better post it. Need to get this thing going on the best start I can and keep the posts going too.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Week 1 Day 1 Begins

Week One Front ViewI was excited to start my workout. I had told myself that I would start January 2 and that's exactly what I did. I took a before picture which I hope will motivate myself. I remember how great it felt to lose all that weight (about 30 lbs) between March to September 2011. I still remember how many people told me I looked good. I felt good to and that's what is important. I felt so much better when I was exercising and losing weight.

When I started in March 2011, I was right at about 235 edging in on 240 which was the most I have ever weighed. Back in March, I decided it was time for a change. I knew I had problems when it was difficult to bend over to tie my shoes or get winded walking up a flight of stairs. I started running just for the exercise... I never thought I would actually enjoy running and doing 5K races. I ran in three 5K races in 2011 and I enjoyed each one. Each one helped to motivate me to the next one. Well, that is not exactly true as the last one (in September) I lost all motivation after running that race. I initially thought it would be only short-term and I would start running again. I quickly learned that my thought process had completely changed and that I did not care what I ate, drank, or the fact that I was not exercising at all. How quickly the pounds came back on and back on my belly.

Week One Side ViewTo help to motivate, I decided I would post a front and side view picture. Ah yes, my belly is back and almost to the point where I can rest a can bottle on it. I can feel it when putting on shirts that were before previously fitting very nicely. I felt good and people were telling me I looked good.

While I do plan to post a blog update at least weekly, if not more often, I only plan on taking the set of pictures the second of each month. The next 5K I will be running in is tentatively set for April in Kansas City. Shayne and Autumn found the event and it sounds like it will be a fun one to run in. That leaves possibly three other events for me to race in and goals to train for during the next four months.

I hope everyone has a great 2012 and I look forward to posting my updates through the year on my progress. I hope that if I miss out on posting that you call me out on it and help to motivate me on this life changing routine.

If you have not used or heard of MyFitnessPal, I strongly encourage you to check it out. I can be found on the site where I keep track of what I eat and the exercise I complete by visiting I would be happy to help motivate you on the site too.

Thank you!