Categories

What I’m Talking About

Find Me Online


Follow Me on Pinterest

Site search

The latest…

My Favorite Apps

Metabolism!

Me and my birthday girl yesterday!

Boy my metabolism must be really going.  I thought for sure this was going to be a bad week…a bad weigh in.  And I can fully deal with that.  After all I was the one who missed 3 days of exercise and I was the one who ate a little more snack than I should have. ;-)  I take all blame as I’m responsible!

But apparently my body had other plans.  The only explanation… Metabolism!

I know as I get older [yikes – I hit 35 this year! ;-) ], my metabolism will naturally slow.  But I don’t want to go down without a fight.  There’s lots to be said for a good diet, and exercise to keep it going.  I do think I’m lucky that I have been blessed with a half way decent metabolism in general.  However in recent years it was lacking [hence the gained weight/jiggling].  In the promos for the Body Revolution ads [you can watch them here], she talks about using metabolic training and HIIT [high intensity interval training] to help jack up your metabolism.  And on top of that – eating clean and real also helps weed out other metabolism crashing things.

I don’t mean to be all “Jillian this” and “Jillian that”  ;-)  Really that’s not my goal, and unfortunately, she doesn’t know me or give me any royalties [though I wouldn’t turn them down!].  But as I mentioned before, she has a fantastic book called Master Your Metabolism all about eating right, eating real, and cutting out processed junk.

Between my revamped eating over the last 3 months and upped exercise that use metabolic training and lots of muscle building, I’ve really got my metabolism going…

Apparently!

Because after a week where I was just expecting to see the scale go up… I actually LOST 2.6 lbs!

Yeah…  I literally, out loud, said “What the heck” when that # came up.

Not that I’m disappointed…not at all…just surprised!  Pleasantly surprised… :)  And that brings me up to just over 15 lbs lost so far.  Wow…  I didn’t imagine that I would actually lose that much.  As I think I’ve said before, most people hear about it and tell me “You didn’t have that much to lose!”  I wasn’t sure I did either, but I feel great, my clothes fit great [or in some cases, were replaced by new, smaller ones], and lest anyone worry…I’m not anywhere close to being too thin. LOL :)  I’m pretty sure I have enough “junk in the trunk” to live off of for months. ;-)

So….that said, I’m kind of on Week 12 now.  I did Week 11 twice due to the back pain.  And I mentioned last time that Week 12 might span 2 weeks due to a very busy schedule this week not allowing a good, final week 12.  So I’m going to workout what I can this week and then do a full week next week as well before I call it “the end”.

Which reminds me…I need to call and schedule my re-take of my cholesterol test to see if my #’s have improved! I’m sure hoping so!  I must say, I’m pretty excited to see the new #’s.  VERY curious on what they will show.

Have a great week!

Me and my oldest…who’s going to soon pass me up in height!

What is it with pain?

Me and Julie ~ if I look tired it’s because I am and in pain [this was during back pain week] :)

Well I’m happy to report that my back pain has now vanished.  Many thanks to my chiropractor. :)  And while last week was a bust for exercise and fitness, I was very pleased to weigh in on Monday and find myself with zero gained [or lost].  I can live with that!

So I got back into things again this week. I am enjoying workouts 11 & 12.  So challenging and I like the moves.  These videos are more “fun” for me than some of the others.  However I did hurt the outside edge of one of my feet doing something.  I think it must have been during one of the jumping things.  My chiropractor did adjust my foot for me and its on the mend, but I swear it seems like I just can’t do exercise without having pain somewhere!

The last few times I’ve going for a run, I’ve gotten pain on the sides of my ankles….I think in the tendons there.  It just gets SO sore and painful that many times I have to just stop running, but other times I can keep going but I know if I do go too much that area will be sore for a couple days.  It was my left ankle [2 weeks ago…I didn’t run last week with my back pain], and now this week its my right one! :P  I swear!!

When I mentioned it to my chiropractor he said simply “Bad feet!”  Well isn’t that the truth… I have really low arches and I over pronate.  I have good shoes with good support but I’m almost thinking I need insoles with that.

Anyway, such is life and I’ll work through it.  I do the best I can with what I’ve been given. :)  But otherwise I’m just plugging through week 11.  Next week will be a bit crazy and at this point I’m thinking that Wed-Sat will = no workout dvd’s. :(  So I’m thinking that I’ll just get in what I can for exercise that week, and really do week 12 the following week.   Either way – I’m almost to the end! :)

And before I go, I have a few pics of my non-human “girls” to share! :)  We have these two chickens that we got earlier this spring.  They were tinier than the rest so they were kept together in a small cage until they were bigger enough to mingle with the big ones.  They formed some sort of bond.  These two are together all day.  Even if they are apart from the others.  Its so sweet. :)  Now they have taken to liking our outdoor swing…

Buttercup & Storm

My oldest was taking the camera around and snapping pics.  She does an amazing  job most times with her very close zoomed in shots of things.  I’m always amazed that she gets such a clear shot when she’s this close in.  She loves using the camera!

Sarah – one of our easter eggers

Hawkeye – another easter egger. She is such a curious bird. She’s always looking at us funny. I love this pic!

Julie – up close and personal :)

Week 11 is a bust!

Well what started out as a new, productive week is now a very unproductive week – at least in the area of exercise.  For the past few months I have occasionally been getting back pain in my mid back.  Not always, but often after doing the workouts that work the back.  It seems [feels] to be a pinched nerve/inflammation type thing.  In the past it was mainly just a little sore and kind of stiff.  One other time it was not great but passed within a few hours and was fine by the next day.

Well this time…not so much! :(  After spending a terrible night in agony on Tue night, I headed to my chiropractor on Wed.  He did some adjusting and advised me to ice it, come back Fri and no running or impact type exercise.  Light aerobics, biking, elliptical, etc were ok.  So that pretty much killed my normal routine of Body Revolution and running. :(

It hasn’t mattered TOO much cause I’ve still been in too much pain to think about trying to exercise.  Today has been better than yesterday so I’m hoping that tomorrow [especially after another chiro visit] that I’ll be even better.  I’m just taking it easy this week and I’m hoping to get out for a walk yet today both for the movement and the fresh air!  I’ve been kind of cooped up, sitting here in weird positions in my comfy chair, trying to make the pain go away. :)

So even though I haven’t been productive in exercise, I have caught up on a bunch of reading, including finishing a book on my Kindle that I started in June!  And of course improving my Sudoku technique. ;-)  It has been frustrating to be put at a stand still.  I don’t like being out of commission but there’s really no choice here as being up and around proved too painful.  I’m just appreciating where I’m at, and taking the time to relax and do the things I keep putting off….not because I don’t enjoy them, but because I always feel guilty sitting down to knit or read when I know there are chores to be done, etc.

Remember – “me” time is important, people!  Don’t wait until you’re in pain to remember that. ;-)

So I’ll dive into week 11 again next week… In the meantime I have a few Runner’s World magazines and a pile of books to keep me busy!

 

*** Sorry due to spam comments I had to turn off comments for this article ~ you can contact me here if you have something to share :)  Thanks!  ***

What I eat & a weekly update

Just a quick check in for the end of week 10!  Last week I was bad and I didn’t track my calories AT ALL!  But I did watch what I ate, limited evening snacks, and ate healthy, well portioned meals full of veggies.  The result is a big fat ZERO…as in nothing gained, nothing lost.  I consider that a great success…especially since I missed 3 workouts last week! :O  So now this week I’m onto week 11.  I started the next [and last 2] dvd’s of the Body Revolution series.  Workout 11 kicked butt!  I did that yesterday and my thighs are BURNING today. :)  Its a good burn but my shoulders & back were so sore too so I took the day off from strength work to recover.  Plus my back is killing me today…as in I need to call the chiropractor I think!  Its been bugging me off and on for a few weeks now.

Anyway…onto the eating :)

So last week I mentioned that I would post a little bit about what I eat.  But before I dive into that I want to talk a little about what I USED to eat.  We have been eating real food here for a few years now.  Every year [or month] improving and cutting out more and more processed food as we switch to eating just real and home made vs. packaged or processed.  However, even though the food I was eating before starting Body Revolution was mostly real food, I had a few problems:

  • I was eating TOO much of it [often just cause it tasted good or out of boredom].
  • I was not eating enough veggies
  • I was snacking too much, especially in the evening.

When I started Body Revolution it was kind of a shock of sorts for me to whip my mind back to the correct thinking.  I was seeing more visually how much I was eating before.  So many of our meals were carb/starch heavy and low (or no) veggies.  Its not that I didn’t make veggies at all, but it was primarily at dinner, and I would eat maybe a half cup worth.

My how things have changed!

I have had pasta I think twice in the last 10 weeks.  Yes…you heard me right.  TWICE!  I told my sister this and she immediately said “I could never do that diet, I love pasta!”  And I agree – I did too.  Well I still do… I still enjoy it.  But I have broke my cycle of needing the starches so much.  I still eat some grains, but I have greatly reduced the amount of them and in the past 8 weeks, 99% of the grains I’ve eaten have been 100% whole grain [both as grains in meals and in baked items].  I no longer crave piles of pasta at dinner or need that starchy fix.  Its amazing how you can retrain your mind & body.  On top of that, with the way I eat now, I am much fuller than I used to be.  I have had no problem sticking to 1200-1300 calories.  I’m not starving all the time!

Here’s what my plate looks like now:

photo credit: http://o5.com

And here are a couple pics of that in action…  First we have my lunch the other day.

Roasted veggies with sauteed shrimp [in a touch of coconut oil] with a small baked potato [with a tiny amount of butter].

Lunch today was similar:

Local [nitrate free] hot dog on a homemade whole wheat bun. Roasted veggies on the side [though it looks more like roasted veggies with a hot dog on the side!]

That lunch was fantastic by the way…I do love a good quality hot dog.  Sorry Oscar Mayer…

Both of these lunches I would interchange for dinner as well.  As you can see, in both veggies take up a HUGE portion of the plate and my starches/carbs and protein are smaller.  That said, I always make sure I’m getting good protein.  Its an important thing, especially when you are exercising a lot.

The other night for dinner, we had grilled chicken breasts.  I had those with a large side salad that was topped with roasted tomatoes and mushrooms and a homemade dijon vinaigrette dressing and 1/2 c brown rice on the side.

And one final pic – chili!  I love chili – not only is it delicious but its a pretty healthy meal.  Lots of protein and veggies and when you use lean ground beef its pretty low in fat too.

Yummy beef & bean chili with a whole wheat biscuit on the side. I had made up whole wheat corn bread to go with this with my raw honey but I had polished that off already in previous lunches. ;-) I love cornbread!

 

Breakfast

For breakfast I eat a lot of the same things everyday  just cause its easy!  One of my standby favorites is my steel cut oats.  I posted an easy recipe for doing this in your crock pot overnight awhile back.  I then add a teaspoon of maple syrup [the real stuff people, lose the maple corn syrup fake stuff! :)],  1.5 T of chopped pecans or almonds, and a good 1/2 c or so of blueberries.  Yum!  I also throw a splash of milk in cause I like it creamier.

Other breakfast things I do are whole grain muffins [various kinds], lightly sweetened greek yogurt with cut up fruit and good granola on it, or frying up a couple eggs with a piece of whole grain toast and some fruit.

Snacks

While my cravings for sweets have greatly decreased since being on this program, I still love something sweet in the evening.  I have been trying all sorts of recipes for real food cookies, brownies, “power bars”, etc.  All yummy!   The main difference from before is that my portion size of the snacks are MUCH smaller.  Since starting I have also  *sob* given up my beloved sour taffy.  This stuff was pretty much everything I shouldn’t eat.  Corn syrup and artificial colors and flavors mixed with even more refined sugar.  But I loved them…that was HARD.  But now I’m past that and focusing on healthier items.  I also enjoy some good quality [and organic if I can manage it] chocolate – I generally end up having just a tiny bit every day. :)  Another favorite snack of ours is air popped popcorn.  I found a great brand locally [Amish something or other] that is GMO free!  Yay!

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

 

So I hope this sheds some light on what I do and don’t eat.  Most of this journey has been about changes in how I think and what I’m used to.  I won’t be making up big pasta chicken casseroles anymore likely.  Homemade pot pies [even with their whole wheat crust I make and homemade filling] are going to to be small “sides” to a healthy main dish.

Its been an adjustment, I’ll be honest.  The food we used to eat is what I have always made and what I grew up eating.  Its not easy to just flip a switch and change what you’re used to.  But through small changes here and there you can adjust and work into a healthier way of eating.  Its easiest, I’d say, to work on one small change at a time.  We were half way there before I started this and I kind of went cold turkey on my regular lunches, dinners and snacks when I started Body Revolution.  Not something I’d recommend for someone who’s still on the fence if this is what they really want to do or not. :)  But for us it WAS something we wanted, so while it was challenging [and still is too at times], we have been pretty successful.

Ok sorry this turned out to be a book!  I hope that someone out there got something out of my rambling. :)

Sleep Writing

I don’t know why, but many nights when I lay down for bed I begin to get blog ideas in my head.  Blog posts write themselves as I try to sleep.  Ideas come up and I’ll think “that’s a great topic”.  And then I fall asleep…morning comes and I can’t really remember what I was thinking of.

I’ve really got to put a notepad by my bed! :)

<span style="font-size: xx-small;"><a href="http://www.123rf.com">(source)</a></span>

Summertime has been keeping me busy, which is why this post is not on Monday [right after weigh-in].  The week is getting away from me!  Yesterday I spent the day with cleaning & laundry, and then had the task of going through our school supplies to figure out what we need yet. [I really don’t want to think about this yet, but I also want it done with!]  Today we’ll shop!  I think the girls are at least partly excited…but not 100% on board with the idea of school again yet.  I don’t blame them! :)

But for now they are having a great summer, sleeping in, playing…and of course critiquing my workout skills.  Yeah…its lovely!

“Mom, how come you look more tired than they do?”
“Why aren’t you _______ [jumping as high, using weights, going as fast] as they are?”
“Why do you look so tired?”

And my favorite:
“Oh that’s not that hard to do, that looks easy!”

Of course when I tell them to come try it, they say “no thanks”. ;-)   I’m guessing they KNOW its challenging!  And it is!  This new Phase has brought new, harder workouts.  I’m now on workouts 9 & 10 for those who have the program.  The intensity is definitely picking up.  I’m finally being left sore after a workout, which is a good feeling.

I’ve been doing well with my workouts, but slacking with my food – not with WHAT I eat, but tracking it.  I have a pretty good mental picture now on how much I should be eating, and what I should be eating.  Last week, in fact, I only tracked about 3 days.  Over the weekend we went out of town for a girls crafting weekend.  It was a great time and I KNOW I ate over my calories on Sat – but overall I made ok choices.  So far this week I’ve just been mentally tracking.  I’m curious to see what the scale shows next week.  This week I was down .7 lbs ~ so that’s something!

I’ve been increasing my calories a little bit to taper off the loss a little.  Though I’m trying to focus on adding those calories in with nutritious items at meals, or healthy snacks [fruit, nuts, etc] instead of allowing myself more treats. ;-)  Despite eating well for the past 9 weeks, I still haven’t completely broken my mental “need/want” to eat lots of treats in the evening.  Its a real mental battle.  I think I’ve been doing well, but its so engrained in my head that I have to argue with myself ever evening! :)

Its hard to believe I only have about 2.5 weeks of the program left!  I’m really happy with the results I’ve had so far.  I can’t wait to see the end totals!

Done with Phase 2!

Wow…just wow.  I swear it was just yesterday I was posting that I finished Phase 1 of Body Revolution and now I’m done with Phase 2.  I’m happy because that means I’ve made it this far, but sad because it means summer is just FLYING by!  We’ve been having a great summer filled with pool time, grilling out, relaxing, and of course parties…and by that I mean 80’s parties:

My sister and I hosted our annual summer party this weekend and while we normally have a luau/pirate theme, this year we shook it up and did an 80’s theme!  Lots of fun! :)  It was so fun to see all of the amazing outfits on our friends and family.  Here are my hubby and I and the kids…

Ahhh the fun days of summer :)

So back to Body Revolution…and the end of Phase 2!

This phase went by in a flash.  I’m trying to remember back on the workouts and stuff and its just a blur.  I do know that in the last 2 weeks, I haven’t been as good as getting every workout in.  Weeks 7 & 8 were harder on me.  My back did NOT love workout 8.  The first time I did it, it left me with a siezed up muscle in my back later that afternoon.    So I didn’t do that one later in the week…just stuck with Workout 7 and doing cardio.  When I did Workout 8 the next week it wasn’t as bad but it did still leave it tight and aching.  I’m guessing that means this is an area I need to work on more!  :)  I haven’t done the Phase 2 Cardio more than a couple times.  I’ve been doing running more than anything.

This week my eating was a little off.  I had one higher day [just over 1600] when we went out to eat with my dad.  And there was one day that I know I ate fine, but I just took a day off of tracking.  I didn’t track at the 80’s party either, but we had a nice healthy dinner of kabobs with beef, chicken or shrimp and loads of veggies that we grilled.  So it was yummy and healthy!  So my results so far…

This week…     – 1.1 lbs!

My Phase 2 totals…    – 5.3 lbs  and   – 4.3 inches!

Total in 8 weeks…    – 11.9 lbs   and  – 15.5 inches!

I’m excited about those #’s!  I finally got around to re-trying on my Pile of Shame again and now all but ONE pair of pants I can comfortably wear!  Yay for 12 “new” pairs of pants! :)  The one last pair I can button and wear but dang they are just a tight stretchy denim.  I don’t know when these ever fit me right.  I’m thinking they were always this tight but honestly they just aren’t that comfy and really aren’t that flattering so I might just get rid of those.

So Phase 3 begins!  I’m curious to see what all of the upcoming workouts hold!  I also am very anxious to see the results that I get from this last month.  I’ve had great success so far and I feel great and I’m so excited about the changes I’m seeing. :)

Review: Ecover Laundry Soap

Happy Sunday! :)  I hope everyone is having a great weekend.  I’ll share more about mine tomorrow, but for today, I want to share a new product I tried recently.  As part of the Naturally Savvy Blogger Program, I received a bottle of Ecover Laundry Liquid in the Sunny Day scent.

I have been working through our home to “green up”.  Slowly I’ve been replacing chemical cleaners and such with products that are healthier for us and the environment.  So I was really excited to try out this Ecover laundry soap.  I’ve had “plans” to make my own laundry soap for a L-O-N-G time.  And I still want to do it.  However I just keep getting busy with other projects [kids, cooking, blogging, house, garden, etc.] and it keeps getting pushed back!  So if I can find a good alternative until I can work on that, I’ll be happy. :)

Things I love about this soap…

  • Its a concentrate!  Which means more for your $ and it doesn’t take up as much room in the laundry cabinet. :)
  • The bottle is made from a plant based plastic and is 100% recyclable & renewable.  You can read more about their packaging here.
  • No phosphates or chlorine and the scent is plant based.
  • Works in my HE machine!

If there were things I DIDN’T like, I’d say its just that there are still a few ingredients that, given the choice, I would opt out of but this product is a huge improvement over standard detergents with their long chemical list and heavy use of artificial dyes and fragrances.

But of course – how does it work?

Great!  I have washed a variety of things from regular clothes to dirty kids stuff to workout clothing and it all came out looking clean and smelling great.  While this product is available from amazon online, you can also find it at many local stores.  I saw it in a local grocery, but you can go to their Where to Buy section of the site to find other sources.

In addition to laundry items, Ecover also makes various other household cleaning products.  You can check them out on their site.

While I was shopping at the grocery store, I ran across the Ecover Laundry Stain Remover and picked that up to try.  I’ve used it on a few different things and so far it is working great.

I will update on how these products go as I use them some more on other laundry items and stains.  And maybe someday…I’ll get around to making my own laundry soap! :)

Week 7? Check!

As it always happens in summer, time is flying.  Its the only thing I DON’T like about summer – it goes too fast!  On top of just realizing its July already, we saw school supplies out at Target the other day.  Boooo! :(  We’re trying to slow summer down and enjoy the days, though.  We try to keep it low key, without too many activities.  It seems like the more stuff you have on the calendar, the faster time flies.    I prefer to sit back and just enjoy some lazy days…sleeping in a little, hanging out at home relaxing or playing outside, eating dinner a bit later [and bedtimes later for the kids].  I ♥ it!  I also love a good “moon rise”…this is what we saw the other night:

Also flying by are my weeks with Body Revolution!  I’ve been noticing that any weight loss I see goes up and down.  One week of hardly anything, next week of a little bigger.  This week was a BIG week I guess as I am down another 1.5 lbs! It always surprises me to see a number/change like that.  Partly because even though, on average, I’m eating 1300 calories, I rarely feel hungry. Unlike other “diets” I’ve done, I don’t get starving or finish a meal and feel like I need more to eat, but can’t because I ate all my calories worth.  I’m eating well balanced meals with lean protein, good fats, low starches, and lots of veggies.  And I must say – its very filling!

If you are trying to lose weight and find yourself starving all the time [even though you’ve been at it over a week…that first week is always hard], maybe its time to reevaluate your food choices at meals and snacks.  Some things may be healthy, but for the calories, they are not real filling and don’t do a whole lot for you.  People are often curious on what I DO eat so later this week I will do up a post on my daily meals to give you an idea.

So where am I at?  Well with this week’s loss, I’m down a total of 10.8 lbs in the past 7 weeks!  I’ve been thinking a lot about a “goal weight” and frankly it leaves me a bit lost.  I’ve never been real big on a # on the scale.  I always watched to make sure it didn’t creep up too high, but really, the way I looked and how my clothes fit were the real determination of where I was at.  But goal weights are kind of another post for another time.  ;-) But…

The Clothes!

That’s part of what got me started on this.  Too tight capris that used to fit me.  Pants that I could barely button.  Shorts that gouged into my stomach making it more of a muffin top than it was. ;-)   <sigh>  You may recall my post last week regarding my “pile of shame“.  I’m happy to report that I now fit in another pair of those pants that I didn’t before, bringing me up to 7 of the 13 fitting [over half – yay!].  Some others may fit but I didn’t try them all on again.  I was just itching to see if this one pair fit so I could wear them again. :)  But something else I’ve seen is that many of  the shorts that DID fit in May are now baggy and can almost be pulled off without unbuttoning them!  This is not very comfy. :)  And its sort of a bummer as a pair of capris I loved and my fav pair of shorts are among those that are too big. :(

But never fear, there’s a solution!  Shopping!! :)  Monday night I picked up 5 new pairs of shorts…yay for fitting shorts!  I found that I went down a size [well 2 numbers but one “size” :D ].  Crazy!  I say crazy because in some ways I still don’t feel like I’ve shrunk that much.  Even when I see the difference in my measurement #’s.  But 2″ off each my abdomen and hips really makes quite the difference in pants!  Its nice to see some results – its working! :)

100% Whole Wheat Bread

Mmmmm…bread.  I love it!  But if you do some label reading in the store, you’ll find that it is really hard to find bread products out there without icky things in them.  Its rare to find them without high fructose corn syrup, partially hydrogenated oils, artificial preservatives, or other refined sugars [among other things!].

So because of that, for the past 2.5 years I have been making about 95% of the bread products we use in our home.  In fact pretty much the only thing I’ve been buying still are whole wheat tortillas…I do make them sometimes but its been nice to have those on hand.  I have to experiment more with recipes and finding some that maybe freeze well so I can stock up when I make them.

Anyway, today I’m talking bread – as in loaves of delicious, fresh baked bread!  I have had lots of people ask me to share the recipe I use.  This recipe has been in a work in progress over the last 2.5 years.  But I think I’ve hit on what works now.  My family loves it – even my young girls who can be particular at times. :)  And even better – it really doesn’t take that much hands on time.  Most of the time it takes is waiting for it to mix/rise or bake.  Your “active” time is just throwing ingredients in a bread machine and quickly shaping the dough into loaves.

Some recipe notes…

  • The beauty of this recipe is that it has some room for customization.  When I started making bread, we were using the Sara Lee Soft White Wheat bread.  I knew I couldn’t jump head first into 100% whole wheat and expect the kids to be all “yay!!!!!!”  So I worked with this recipe over time.  The recipe calls for 3 c flour.  I started out doing half and half and the every couple weeks I would increase the wheat amount and decrease the white amount.  Now we do it ALL wheat flour.
  • I use white wheat flour to make 99% of what I cook/bake here.  It is widely available [yes even at Walmart].  I buy the Gold Medal brand but there are lots of brands you can find it in.  Regular whole wheat flour [what you typically have bought] is from the hard red wheat variety.  White Wheat Flour [also whole grain] is from the white wheat berries.  It is still 100% whole grain, but the texture and color are lighter than standard wheat flour.  This means it tastes less “wheaty” and to me seems a little lighter [both in texture and flavor].
  • Please listen to me – I know it will go against all you love to do – but do NOT cut the bread until it is fully cooled.  If you’ve ever cut a warm loaf, you’ve seen the steam rise out.  When that steam rises out, your bread is losing that moisture.   When you allow it to cool first, all of that moisture is trapped in your bread, making it more moist and making it last longer.  Exceptions of course are if you are planning to eat most of a loaf immediately [hopefully not on your own! ;-) ] or if you just really can’t help yourself. :D
  • Don’t skip the vital wheat gluten.  The gluten will help give your bread some of that same texture like you have in white bread – it really does add something to the bread!  Makes it not seem as crumbly/dry.  You can find this in the baking aisle by the flours.
  • If you don’t use kosher or coarse salt and use table salt instead, please reduce the amount by at least half or you will have very salty bread! :)
  • For the yeast.  I have used both regular and instant [in the quantities I specify in the recipe] and both work fine.

I make my bread dough using my bread machine.  So I apologize that right now I don’t have a recipe for NOT using a machine for dough.  I promise to work on this, but I need to look into it first to make sure I get the technique right.

So now for the instructions…  Set your breadmaker to the dough setting.  This is pretty much all I use my bread machine for.  I haven’t baked a loaf in this for years.  I don’t like the weird/big shapes they make.  Gather up your ingredients…please also note that there are 2 eggs in my photo cause I make a double batch when I do this.  The recipe is for a single loaf.

Those green things on my flour are my eggs – we have an Easter Egger chicken who lays these lovely green-blue eggs!

Put all of the ingredients in your bread machine [I do them in the order I listed below, but check your bread machine in case it has different suggestions].  Then start up the machine and let it do its thing.  Mine takes 1.5 hrs.  When it beeps, get your loaf pan ready by spraying it with cooking spray.  Take out your dough…

And form it into a rectangle that is about the width of your loaf pan.  I don’t use flour or a rolling pin.  Just pat it with your hands.

Next fold up the bottom edge to just over center, then fold the top edge down to overlap.

Flip the loaf over and then tuck the ends under a little to round the ends out.  Then place it in your pan.

 
Cover with a light towel and let rise for about 45 min or until it has risen above the pan an inch or so.  Start your oven heating to 375°.

Once the oven is heated, put the bread in and bake for 26-30 min.  I always start on the low end.  Then check if its done:  if the bread is nicely browned and you can tap on the top and it sounds hollow, it is done!  Remove from oven and take the loaf out of the pan and place it on a cooling rack to cool.

I make a double batch of this at once in my bread machine [which is why there are two loaf pans above].  After they have baked and cooled, I wrap one in plastic wrap and put it in 2 freezer ziplocks and freeze it.  We use the other loaf and then when I’m ready for a new one, we take it out to thaw.  It’s never in the freezer more than a week so I’ve not had any issues with freezer burn, dry texture, etc.

And for a nicer, printable version of this recipe…

100% Whole Wheat Bread
Author: 
Recipe type: Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 1 Loaf
 

100% whole wheat bread with the help of your bread machine! :)
Ingredients
  • 1 c milk, warmed slightly
  • 1 egg
  • 2½ T unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 T honey
  • 2 t kosher/coarse salt
  • 3 c whole wheat flour [I use white whole wheat]
  • 1¼ t instant/bread machine yeast OR 2¼ t regular yeast
  • 2½ T vital wheat gluten

Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients, in order, into the bread machine. Turn machine to dough setting and start.
  2. When the machine finishes, punch down the dough and turn out onto the counter [you can lightly flour it if the dough is a touch sticky]. Flatten the dough and pat into a rectangle about the length of your loaf pan.
  3. Fold ⅓ of the bottom up and then fold the top ⅓ down to slightly overlap at the seam. Pinch the seam a bit to seal. Flip over and place in a greased loaf pan.
  4. Cover with a light towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 45 min, or until it is an appropriate “bread” size.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375. Bake risen loaf for 26-30 min or until nicely browned and it sounds hollow when you tap on it. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

 

Melting off the pounds

I feel like that is quite literal lately with the heat we’ve been having!  I wish it was as easy as spending time in the sun to whisk away extra “baggage”. ;-)

I hope everyone enjoyed your Independence Day celebrations!  Despite the heat, we ventured out to the local parade.

And later my husband and oldest went to the fireworks.  My youngest didn’t really want to go.  I think it was a mix of just wanting to stay home [tired] and her dislike of the loud noise.  So we hung out at home and watched the fireworks from afar and then when they came home, we set off some small fireworks in the driveway – and sparklers!

Right after these pictures, I fled to the house to out run the mosquitoes that were attacking me!

So workouts & eating….Last week went well overall.  I did have one higher day ~ last Friday.  My hubby and I celebrated 15 years of marriage that day!  My sister graciously offered to take our kids overnight so we headed out to eat.  We ended up at Applebees and I had a fantastic steak meal there that was only 500 calories!  I didn’t even eat it all – I ate about 3/4 and then decided to save the rest [which I cut up and used in a great salad the next day!] and we treated ourselves to ice cream for dessert.  Yum!

Week 6 ended on Sunday for me – I can’t believe I’m half way done with this program already!  I weighed in Mon to a -.3 …. wooooooo ;-)  Not much in the way of that change but I noticed that a pair of my shorts that used to fit me can almost now be pulled down without undoing the button! :O  Bummer cause I love these shorts.  I can still wear them for now, though.

So now I’m in week 7, and new workout dvd’s.  So far they are good and challenging!  Definitely leaving parts sore!

I hope you are staying cool and keeping your motivation!  Its hard to feel motivated to exercise when its so hot and you just feel sapped for energy.  Remember to drink lots of water and get lots of sleep each night. :)  I can definitely feel the difference when I don’t drink enough water.  I have so much less energy!