Sunday AM Gratitude

Good morning! If you are in the States, did you change your clocks yet?

– and while you’re at it, maybe take a moment to think about a few things you

are grateful for on this beautiful Fall morning! And sending best wishes

to all those impacted by Sandy.

Train Like Your Stronger Fitter Evil-Twin is Plotting…

How hard do you train? More importantly, what are your real fitness goals? Are they written down? Have you even thought past just losing weight and being able to shop in cooler stores?

When I started this journey in April of 2011, my only goal was to lose weight, mainly because I was just so miserable and disgusted with myself. But actual fitness goals aside from what I needed to do to lose the weight, not really. There were a few ambiguous ones like being able to walk for 20 minutes, get through a whole yoga class, that sort of thing. Now, a bit over a year later, 80 pounds lighter, and spending more time at the gym than I ever dreamed I would, now I have goals. They are:

* Consistently do at least 30 minutes of sustained activity 30 minutes 6 days a week.

* Complete 2 5K’s by December 31, 2012. (Have 1 scheduled for October. And doing the C25K program.)

* Complete a Half Marathon in 2013. (Start training in January.)

* Reach my goal weight of 160 by December 31, 2012 – and be at 25% body fat percentage (the normal range).

* Biggest: At least double the amount of weight I can lift, strength training I can do, and incorporate a program like P90X to really push losing fat and building muscle.

* And of course, ditch the “white stuff” – sugar, white flour, salt, butter/margarine (ok they’re not white) and eat as cleanly as possible.

These are my goals – sure that yours may be different in many ways. However, the next most important piece is planning how to reach whatever your goals are. Planning how you’ll do it, creating a schedule, journalling/charting your progress, and celebrating milestones. All this seems pretty basic, right?

Basic until you ignore your eating regime to have oatmeal right before bed. Til you blow off gym class to do, well whatever. Letting your schedule slide because life is getting in the weigh (family, work, school). Unless you have a plan, look at it regularly, and have a method to hold yourself accountable, it’s so very easy to let life takeover one tiny piece at a time until you’re sliding backwards and even more stressed out.

If you don’t have a plan, consider making one. If you’re not journalling to keep your food under control and charting your fitness progress, there are tons of great sites and apps to make it quick and easy. A small notebook works, too!

Don’t do what I did last night – ignore my trainer’s advice to have a protein shake at night if I get hungry and instead carb load and let it turn to fat overnight. Especially after busting butt for over an hour with my trainer that afternoon. Stepping on your own success is only frustrating and discouraging. Let that “future you” you’ll become be your guide and advise you. I ask “what would future Lara want me to do right now to help her become the fit, toned, and healthy person she became?”. The answer is: move more, eat clean and smart, and keep going! This journey is truly a marathon not a sprint. Pace yourself, do your best, and you’ll get there. In the meantime, be firm but gentle with yourself “on the weigh”!

 

 

What Can You Do Now?

Depending on where you are with your personal weight loss journey, and at regular intervals, it’s a terrific idea to think back to where you started and take a few minutes to compare what you could do then versus what you can do now. Not the obvious things like being able to walk around the block, finish a gym class, are overall healthier and have more energy.

The less obvious ones:

* Being able to run to the car through the rain without being winded.

* Being able to bend over in the shower to shave your legs.

* Automatically reaching for an apple instead of a donut without realizing you’re doing it.

* Doing a yoga pose instinctively, perfectly, the first time, to your own amazement.

* Getting up from a low couch without leaning on something or needing help.

* Comfortably crossing your legs.

* Leaning over and wrapping your arms around your legs while seated on the floor, again without thinking about it.

* Moving past the conscious decision to do a healthier activity because so many are now second nature. Like taking the stairs and parking farther away to get a little extra activity.

* And the very little things like going to sleep at a decent hour because you’re honesty tired, not because you’re eyes are fried from too much tv or video gaming, but because your body has reset itself.

* Finally, the feeling developing deep in yourself that you’re a thin person, a healthy person, temporarily wearing a fat suit. That happened to me a few days ago and it’s been instrumental in strengthening my commitment to reaching my fitness and weight goals.

As you keep a food journal, an exercise journal, maybe think of starting a list of “new developments” list of thoughts and actions that you look back and realize how long it’s been since you were able to do them, if at all. More than a number on a scale or the amount of weight you’re able to lift or miles you can now run, it’s the little things that we now take for granted that truly make all the difference.

Start that list – you’ll be glad you did. Plus you can use it for a confidence boost when your commitment wanes or you hit a plateau!

Help, I’m Out of Control!

I’m Out of Control And Really Need Help

After 6 weeks I finally got the scale back and guess what, I’m almost 4 pounds heavier. Pretty upset about this.

It’s time to admit that I have a problem and figure out what to do about it. Yes, I’ve lost almost 80 pounds and for the most part have kept it off. BUT since losing that bulk of weight and still having 40 that I want to lose, I’ve been fighting a losing battle with emotional and impulse eating for the last 4 months. I’ve plateaued and been ping-ponging on the scale.

One of the reasons I’ve gained back 4 pounds is 2 weeks of limited exercise (no trainer sessions, no body pump classes, only a solid weekend of hard work outside). Even after the major lawn overhaul and then the following week getting ready for and getting some major dental work, the 2nd reason is that my eating is out of control. I try to stay with the plan my trainer gave me but during the weekend and the time around and after the dental work (about a week), it’s been carbs, carbs, carbs and SUGAR. Getting takeout, going out for lunch complete with pancakes two days in a row. Ice cream one night, a half container of caramel almond butter with chocolate chips another. Making mega brownies. Eating half a challah loaf two days in a row. No wonder the pounds are flying back on.

Add sitting on my butt on the couch for hours a day and not using the fitness equipment sitting in the other room and it all makes sense.

Although my trainer says over and over, it’s your fat percentage that counts and how your clothes fit, especially as you gain muscle and lose fat (muscle weighs more), because I am still so overweight that’s not the issue now. Get me down to 10 pounds to goal and we’ll talk.

I feel like I’m at the end of my rope – I’m sneaking sweet stuff again, staying on plan during the day and then blowing it at night, not getting in enough movement, and letting temptation rule my food choices. I’ll go for weeks on plan and then blow it over a weekend. And to make matters worse this Friday and Sat we’re eating out to celebrate with friends. So I’ll do great until Friday night then blow it with the bread at the restaurant. Saturday is a birthday party complete with cake that I’ll be making and dinner out at a japanese steakhouse. That’s what’s been happening the last few months and why I’m not making any progress. I’ll stay on plan and then at the slightest opportunity, fall right off. Sure I get back on but the damage has already been done.

Crappy factoid here: within a few hours of a high fat meal we put on 3 teaspoons of fat around our middle, waiting to move somewhere else on our body. 1 meal!!!

I’m feeling so discouraged when I should be grateful that for the most part I’ve kept off what I lost over the last year. The problem is I’m not at the maintaining stage yet and still have a ton to lose. And my willpower seems to have taken a vacation.

I don’t know whether I need to go see my therapist again for a booster or figure out what’s really going on mentally that’s blowing my progress. Going to a training session today and hopefully trainer will help put this in perspective. That and planning ahead for this weekend’s meals, making a single layer cake (just use 1 pan), and starting to journal food again. The picture journal is a lot of work and a real pain which is why it was a short lived venture. Trainer has nixed the calorie counting but a simple daily listing of intake seems like the best way to go.

Even bought a book about stopping emotional eating, which I put down after a few chapters and haven’t picked back up. Can’t tell if I’m not ready to face this yet but if I want to achieve my goals I really need to suck it up and figure out how to be the winner when faced with chocolate (and ice cream)! Something has to change and stay changed for this journey to continue and figure out how not to fall back into sabotaging habits. Many of you have inspired me so much and would love your feedback on this. Right now I’m my own worse enemy!

It’s All About Inspiration!

What is the hardest thing about achieving and then maintaining weight loss and any kind of fitness program?

Yep: Staying Inspired and Motivated!

That’s the reason I post videos, motivating quote pics (see above), and reblog great posts from bloggers who inspire me. You can count calories all day, run until you can’t breathe, and spend hours at the gym. But at some point, we all hit the wall.

It’s when we stop caring what we put in our mouths, whether we make it to the gym, and that cool workout and yoga stuff we bought to have at home starts collecting dust. The business world calls it burn out, I call it just plain tired.

Today’s tip is to embrace the burnout. It’s your body’s way of saying it needs a break. You may also be in a weight loss plateau at this point. That’s normal, too. When we have a lot of weight to lose (or even just a little), it’s typical to get to a certain point and stall. And to control how far we fall off the wagon, it’s a good idea to plan ahead for these burnout periods. To build in 2 slices of pizza (but not 4). To allow yourself a weekend off activity wise and let yourself get completely bored watching telly and finally getting up to “go do something”. It also gives you a chance to research a little and make some minor adjustments for when you get back to work. Changing what and how you’re eating a little, switching to a new/harder class, doing cardio before instead of after strength trainer (or the reverse), adding or subtracting a day.

A few posts ago I talked about the cruel truths of long term maintenance and leading an active, healthy life. Mixing it up on a regular basis is one of those truths. Your body gets bored the same as your mind. It gets used to a routine / way of eating and gets complacent. It’s your job in the control room to keep it guessing and challenge it!

In that vein, here’s the perfect example of an inspiring blog from a blogger I admire very much. She’s a Runner. Pre-Service PE teacher. Personal Trainer. Sports Nutritionist. Les Mills Body Pump Instructor. Yogi. Torquay & Surfcoast Lover. Wow! So if you’re feeling sluggish this morning and not in the mood to get in much activity check out what she’s doing today. And get that butt off the couch!

juice-cleanse-day-2

There is NO “I Can’t”

There truly is no “I Can’t” and the only limits we have are those we impose upon ourselves. No one exemplifies this more than South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius, a quadriplegic who is competing head to head with the rest of the those running in this summer’s 2012 Olympic Games in London.

“Oscar Pistorius, running on prosthetic legs, finishes last in race, first in hearts”

(South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius pops out of the starting block in the men’s 400m semifinals during the Summer Olympic Games on Sunday, August 5, 2012 in London, England.)

At the tiny gym I go to now (not sure it’s really a gym, more like a place where serious athletes and body builders train), one of the owners – my trainer Liz – is going to put a huge poster of Oscar on the wall so anytime anyone says “I can’t” or wants to quit when they still have something in them, she’ll point him out as an example. Not only did he make it to the Olympics, and even with all the padding, those prosthetics HURT! He’s in pain and he’s still running! And maybe he came in last in his first race but he still has the 400 to go. Talk about “never say die”!

I’ve posted the “Versus” motivational video numerous times because it is so powerful. Any goal we want to achieve – mental health, weight loss, getting in shape, relationship or career goals, school, whatever – can be daunting, especially if we don’t have a solid ground of support and/or achievement. There comes a time when it’s necessary to become our own cheerleaders. To discover the strength we have RIGHT NOW inside us to start down a new path. If it helps, print out Oscar’s picture and put it where you’ll see it the most. Use his example to remind yourself that anything is possible, anything that can be dreamed can be achieved.

I believe in you. Now it’s your turn. If you’re already there, I’m working my a** off to catch up!

6 Rules of Good Nutrition

6 Rules of Good Nutrition

(from the “Eat This, Not That” Crew)

1.      Never Skip Breakfast

People who skip breakfast are more likely to take up smoking or drinking, less likely to exercise, and more likely to follow fad diets or express concerns about body weight.

People who eat breakfast tend to have higher total calorie intakes throughout the day, but they also get significantly more fiber, calcium, and other micronutrients than skippers do. Breakfast eaters also tended to consume less soda and French fries and more fruits, vegetables, and milk. Breakfast eaters were approximately 30 percent less likely to be overweight or obese.

2.      Snack With Purpose

There’s a big difference between mindless munching and strategic snacking. Snacking with purpose means reinforcing good habits, keeping your metabolic rate high, and filling the gaps between meals with the nutrients your child’s body craves.

Chew on this piece of trivia: In the 20 years leading up to the 21st century (1977 to 1996), salty snack portions increased by 93 calories, and soft drink portions increased by 49 calories.

Combat portion distortion by eating healthy snacks: Triscuits and peanut butter; string cheese; a sandwich bag filled with homemade popcorn; or that classic of kid’s snack time nourishment, ants on a log.

3.      Beware of Portion Distortion

Snack portions aren’t the only things that have increased wildly in size. Since 1977, hamburgers have increased by 97 calories, French fries by 68 calories, and Mexican foods by 133 calories, according to analysis of the Nationwide Food Consumption Survey.

A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine looked at 63,380 individuals’ drinking habits over a span of 19 years. The results show that for children ages 2 to 18, portions of sweetened beverages increased from 13.1 ounces in 1977 to 18.9 ounces in 1996.

One easy way to short-circuit this growing trend? Buy smaller bowls and cups. A recent study at the Children’s Nutrition Research Center in Houston, Texas, shows that 5- and 6-year-old children will consume a third more calories when presented with a larger portion. The findings are based on a sample of 53 children who were served either 1- or 2-cup portions of macaroni and cheese.

4.      Drink Responsibly

Too many of us keep in mind the adage “watch what you eat,” and we forget another serious threat to our health: We don’t watch what we drink. In fact, according to research from the University of North Carolina, Americans now slurp up nearly 25 percent of their calories in liquid form—nearly double the rate we used to drink just 20 years ago. One study found that sweetened beverages constituted more than half (51 percent) of all beverages consumed by fourth- through sixth-grade students. The students who consumed the most sweetened beverages took in approximately 330 extra calories per day, and on average they ate less than half the amount of real fruit than did their peers who drank unsweetened or lightly sweetened beverages.

One important strategy is to keep cold, filtered water in a pitcher in the fridge. You might even want to keep some cut-up limes, oranges, or lemons nearby for kids to flavor their own water with.

Another important strategy: Be extra careful about the juice you purchase. Too many “juices” are little more than sugar water masquerading as the real thing. Ocean Spray Cran-Raspberry, for instance, has just 15 percent real fruit juice. The other 85 percent? High-fructose corn syrup and water. Make sure the juice you buy says “100 percent Fruit Juice” on the label, and try to choose one made from a single fruit, not a mix of high-sugar fruits like white grapes, which are commonly used in fruit juice blends.

5.      Eat More Whole Foods and Fewer Science Experiments

Here’s a rule of healthy eating that will serve you well when picking out foods for your family: The shorter the ingredients list, the healthier the food. (One of the worst foods we’ve ever found, the Baskin-Robbins Heath Shake, has 73 ingredients—and, by the way, a whopping 2,310 calories and more than 3 days’ worth of saturated fat! What happened to the idea that a milk shake was, um, milk and ice cream? Let’s be grateful that Baskin-Robbins finally pulled this monstrosity from their menus.) The FDA maintains a list of more than 3,000 ingredients that are considered safe to eat, but we’ve found reasons for concern for a number of the additives on that long list, and any one of them could wind up in your next box of mac ’n’ cheese.

6.  Set the Table

Children in families with more structured mealtimes exhibit healthier eating habits. Among middle- and high-school girls, those whose families ate together only once or twice per week were more than twice as likely to exhibit weight control issues, compared with those who ate together three or four times per week.

To combat this, one busy family I know keeps Sunday night dinner sacred—no social plans, no school projects, no extra work brought home from the office. Even keeping the family ritual just once a week gives parents the opportunity to point out what is and isn’t healthy at the dinner table.

Food & Activity Log: 7-21-12

Here you go with today’s indiscretions! Just kidding, not really!

FOOD LOG:

Breakfast: Total Calories – 214 calories

Coffee w/ fat free half & half –25 calories

Egg white scramble w/spinach and mushrooms – 186

Hot water w/fresh lemon juice – 3 calories

Lunch: Total Calories – 375 calories

Protein Shake – 195 calories

Chicken Breast (4 slices) – 180 calories

Afternoon Snack: Total Calories – 304 calories

Celery sticks w/ peanut butter – 304 calories

Dinner: Total Calories –580 calories

Chipolte Burrito Bowl – 450 calories

Ciao Bella Greek Frozen Yogurt – 130 calories

Green Tea – 0 calories

Night Snack: Total Calories – 358 calories

Quaker Natural Granola w/ 1 cup almond milk – 358 calories

TOTAL CALORIES FOR DAY: 1,831 of 1,700

ACTIVITY LOG:

Lots of walking (i.e. shopping). But lots of sitting too. Back to gym tomorrow!

Breaking Up (with Junk Food) is Hard to Do

This is a “reblog” (courtesy of and with thanks to SparkPeople) but truly funny to get your Sunday started off right! We’ll resume our regular programming of pretty food pics, scary exercise tips (ok, not really – have a foam roller one planned for tommorow – spoiler!), and all around good times!

But first, are you and junk food still doing the tonsil tango? (That sounds wrong doesn’t it!) Got this email recently and just roared! Hope you enjoy it to, so without further ado, here’s the:

“Top 3 Finalists from our Break-Up Letter Contest”

— By The SparkPeople Community

Editor’s Note: The following three letters were finalists in our June 2005 Break-Up Letter Contest. We’d like to thank everyone who participated and voted. While the contest is closed, you can still read the top three letters below.

Letter #1

Dear Abby,

Help! I have been trying for a long time to break up with this friend of mine (we’ll call him Snickers because that is his real name. He’s not innocent and does not need to be protected). He just can’t seem to take the hint. We’ve been together for longer than I care to admit. We’ve had some wonderfully sweet times together. No matter how tired I get of my other friends, Snick is always there. At first it was okay. We were a pretty good team. But then he would just never go away. Sometimes I wanted to be alone, but every time I turned around he was there. For a long time I enjoyed having him in my purse or in my top dresser drawer. Then I realized he was keeping me from some very important relationships. I barely knew Apple and Banana, and Broccoli just didn’t feel welcomed when Snick was around. It would have been different if he liked my other friends. We could have all spent time together. But Snick became so selfish. He wanted to be the only one. I’ve tried to explain how I feel. He has become so possessive of me, wanting all of my time and attention. Frankly, I’m afraid of him. Sometimes I see him watching me from the pages of a magazine, from the TV, even from my own kitchen cupboards. I’ve become a victim of Snicker stalking. Please help me! If only I could make him understand there still is room in my life for him. But there are others I want to spend time with also. What can I do?

Desperate

Dear Desperate,

Your problem is not uncommon. Many people out there find themselves in relationships that are too possessive, too selfish. I can sense from your letter that you are very upset with Snick. Take a moment to calm down and think clearly. Snick is feeling threatened right now. He used to be tops on your list. Now you’re bringing in more Apples, more Whole Grains, more Green Beans. Of course Snick is going to try harder than ever to get your attention. My advice to you is not to shut him out entirely. Invite your other friends in so you can all get to know each other. Let him hang around. As soon as he feels your friendship is secure, he won’t be so apt to require all of your attention. Let him know you still care. Let him know that most of your time is going to be devoted to Apple and Broccoli, Whole Grains and the others. If he feels you still care for him, he will be content to share you with others.

Abby


Letter #2

French Fries, we have to talk.

I don’t know how to say this, but –

I can’t see you anymore.

I just can’t do it—the clandestine meetings, the sneaking around—it’s just too much for me. My husband is beginning to suspect something.

Just yesterday, he found one of you on the floor of the car. I laughed nervously and denied everything but I think he knew I was lying.

I felt so ashamed!

And it started me thinking – I really love him!

We made a promise to each other, and I know you probably can’t understand this, but our life together means more to me than anything.

I know, I know, we’ve had some good times together and yes, you’ve been there for me — like the time I was so upset when my boss got mad at me. And when I was so nervous about giving that speech.

No, no, it’s not you, it’s me! I’ve changed.

I’ve found some new ways to deal with my emotions. And they’re really helping. One thing I do is meditate or pray every night. Nothing happened at first, but over time, I find myself a little calmer, a little more capable of handling life’s everyday stresses.

I also try to walk every day. You should try it, it really does clear your head!

And if I really get stressed, I write it all out in my journal.

So, you see, French Fries, I have to thank you for helping me out when I needed it.

But I think I can take it from here.


Letter #3

My Dear Beloved,

I’ll never forget the day I met you, Mr. BLT Pizza. I was on a church youth group retreat in the winter of 2003. We stopped by a Happy Joe’s Pizza Parlor on our way back to the cabin. I was expecting a pleasant time, for the parlor name indicated a cheerful, delightful atmosphere. I certainly wasn’t looking for anyone new. A new love in my life was out of the question, for I had been dragged down and chubbed up by your kind before. The other women at the table spotted you first. They said you looked “delicious” and just wanted to “eat you up!” To be honest, you weren’t my type. I wanted something safe and reliable; I wanted the strong, sturdy type. Plain ol’ Mr. Cheese beckoned to me; however, the women were wild cats and insisted on you. Now, I don’t hold them responsible. H How were they to know you would slowly destroy my life? How could they know that your initials didn’t only stand for Bacon Lettuce Tomato, but they also stood for Big Lying Traitor?

You were so deceiving. You covered yourself in layers of crisp lettuce and ripe tomatoes that I had to peel away to find the bad parts like fatty bacon, oozing mayo, and greasy crust. I couldn’t figure out what I craved about you. What was I drawn to? I tried to convince myself that your lettuce and tomato exterior drew me to you. I told myself you were really a lettuce and tomato type of guy at heart. I’ll admit it now; I was drawn to the bad boy in you. The mayo got me! The mayo! My family begged me to bid you farewell, but I couldn’t. I was addicted to you. With a wild heart (and stomach and tongue and lips), I defied my family to be with you. When you invaded my mind, I wanted you right then and there. I’d throw you on the table and devour you. I found myself staying in with you more and more often. I invited a friend to hang out with us a few times, but I was too greedy. I couldn’t share you!

Soon my thighs were straining to escape my jeans. I think they were trying to tell me to escape you. My stomach was rolling over my waistband. I felt it. I saw it. I saw the me that was the result of you. I saw my chin, Mrs. Chiseled Chin, and her new partner, Mr. Chubby Chin, who moved in after you came into my life. They had united to form a chin family. I didn’t want to wait around for their children to emerge. It was enough.

I tried weaning myself off of you. I saw you less frequently and asked for smaller portions of you, but I couldn’t bring myself to a complete halt. I kept going back to you and forgiving you for mistreating me. But not anymore! I’ve burned all your boxes with relish. I’ve rid my phone of your number. I’ve realized that I’ve mistreated myself more than you have mistreated me. I’ve allowed you to take control of my life. It’s MY life. It’s not OUR life. I have control of my life, and you don’t belong in it with me. I don’t need to be Mrs. BLT Pizza and have my initials stand for Bulky Lard Tooshie. You were a little too wild for me. I think it’s time for me to find a real life partner, and that Mr. H2O over there is looking pretty refreshing!

You Don’t Deserve the Sincerely Here You Jerk!
N

————————-

And Now: Some “Ultimate Motivation” – try not to feel empowered after watching this one!! (I get very sniffly!)

Day 4 – Food and Exercise Log

A much better food day! Pathetic on the exercise side. Was quite braindead this morning and that put off plans with my sweetie. Instead of the Orlando Museum of Art, a vegan lunch, and other fun times, we stayed home and watched rented dvd’s. They’ve been good videos: Secretariat, Under the Tuscan Sun, and City Island. But that really doesn’t constitute raising the heart rate and getting a good sweat on.

But think you will enjoy today’s food log!

Breakfast: coffee, no fat greek yogurt, small bit of honey and cinnamon, and 1/4 cup of sliced strawberries

 

 

 

 

Snack: 1 package 100 cal butter popcorn

 

 

 

 

 

Lunch: 6″ cuban sandwich, 4 tostones (fried plantains) with special sauce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dinner: leftover Olive Garden chianti slow cooked ribs, small portion portabello rissoto, green bean, and AMAZING fresh roasted asparagus (recipe to follow)

 

 

 

 

Dessert: fresh strawberries with homemade dark chocolate ganache dip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the most part, except lunch and maybe the risotto, did pretty good today! The best of all though was the homemade roasted asparagus. It almost caramelizes the asparagus and the tops get crunchy and nutty. Recipe below and oh so worth it!

Roasted Asparagus w/ White Truffle Oil

Ingredients:

Small bunch fresh asparagus with hard bottoms removed (just snap off), wash and pat dry

About 1 tablespoon olive oil

white truffle oil, about 1/2 teaspoon

garlic salt

sea salt

fresh ground pepper

How to:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a baking sheet, place a piece of aluminum foil. Arrange the asparagus close together on the foil. Spritz the olive oil over the asparagus. Shake the garlic salt loosely over them, not too heavy. Lightly sprinkle sea salt to taste (any type), then a bit of pepper. Then drizzle a bit of the white truffle oil over them (optional but oh, man!). Put the asparagus in the oven for about 25 minutes. They will look a little wrinkly when they come out but that’s perfect.

Transfer to a plate to serve or your plate to eat – and enjoy!

The good news: even if you don’t really care for asparagus, these come out sweet and nutty and absolutely delicious. Worth giving them another try!

Exercise Log: my hands hurt from holding a fork and knife – enjoying this while it lasts. As of mon, will be working with demon trainer from hell and this food log will look RADICALLY different! Prepare!

Oh, an important aside, we were looking at the blog on our phones and saw that I have 575 followers! 575! And love each and every one of you!!! (That’s after I pass out!)