Thursday, May 30, 2013

Day trip to Kennebunkport

Travis and I decided that we'd do several day trips this Memorial Day weekend instead of going on vacation.  The weather was terrible for the first part of the weekend, so we decided to stay closer to Boston on Sunday and take the longer drive Monday when the weather would be nice.  Since Monday's weather did indeed cooperate, we decided to go to Kennebunkport, Maine.

Kennebunkport is just under 2 hours away from Boston and is one of the cutest seaside towns in New England.  We rode through the town about a year ago with Ann and Terence to meet with a photographer who took pictures of them when they were on a vacation, and it just made me want to go back!

We started the day by doing some shopping downtown.

Then we had lunch at Federal Jack's.  This was the only place we went on our first trip with Ann and Terence, and it was fantastic (so we had to go back!).  Federal Jack's has a beautiful view of the harbor and is the birthplace of the Shipyard Brewery.  Travis was excited to get a flight (five 3 oz. tastes) of beer.  

The view from Federal Jack's

Our meals.  Our nice waiter let me order off the kid's meal!
While we ate lunch, we told our waiter we wanted to go see the "Bush compound".  The Bush family (Senior and Barbara) lives in Kennebunkport, and their house is something of a tourist spot.  They're well loved by the entire town and even participate in the Memorial Day parade (which we  They all refer to him as "Senior".  Our waiter let us know that it was only about a 2.5 mile walk down one of the prettiest roads, so we decided to walk instead of drive.  

I highly recommend taking this walk down Ocean Avenue.  You pass lots of rocky beaches with beautiful views and some of the most massive houses you've ever seen! 

Then we reached  President Bush (#1's) house.  Quite a nice little place they've got there! 

I found someone!

Once we got back into town, we decided our 5 mile walk earned us some ice cream!  I got Maine Blueberry  (of course!) and Travis had some mint chocolate chip.  It was perfect for a warm day.

At that point, we decided we'd done enough walking, so we hopped in the car and drove a few miles outside of the downtown area to the Goat Island Lighthouse.

By this time it was starting to get late.  One of our favorite restaurants in Maine is Warren's Lobster House in Kittery.  Since it was only about 30 minutes down the road and on the way home, we decided to break up the drive and stop for dinner there.  Warren's is right on the water, has one of the biggest salad bars ever, and fantastic seafood.  

The view

This picture doesn't even capture half of the bar!

Shrimp, scallops, and haddock!

Trav's lazy man's lobster

What are some of your favorite day-trip destinations?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Flatbread Pizzas

Last week I was at the grocery store when I stumbled up some wraps I hadn't seen before - Flat Outs!  They're similar to regular wraps, but are a little thicker and lower in calories.  I don't often make an impulse purchase - I'm and in & out kind of shopper - but when I saw their idea about pizzas I snatched 'em up!  Good marketing, Flat Out.  :)

At only 90 calories for the crust, it makes pizza a low calorie dinner...which is fantastic since we're on a diet.

Just spread on 1/4 cup of pizza sauce and top with your favorite toppings!  My pizza had spinach, tomato, mushroom, red onion, 2 ounces of shredded chicken, garlic powder, basil, and shredded cheese.  Travis had spinach, red onion, chicken (mixed with Texas Pete Hot Sauce), tomato, garlic, basil, and pepperonis.  Since the crusts are thin, it's important not to overload them with toppings.  Don't be stingy, but don't get too crazy.

Bake for 12 minutes or until cheese is melted and edges of the crust are light brown.

They were SO yummy and will definitely go on our regular dinner rotation.  Mmmm....

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Losing Weight - what's worked for me so far!

A few months ago I told you about my 'adventure' in giving up soda and caffeine.  Well, I'm happy to report that I haven't had one since, and I don't miss it ONE BIT.  I feel much better knowing that I'm not tied to a 12 ounce can of soda every morning so I can 1) function and 2) not end up with a headache by lunch.

One of the other perks of giving up soda verified what I've been hearing all along.  It's true what they say - diet soda makes you crave sweet things.  I don't crave sugar nearly as much as I used to since giving up my daily dose of artificial sweeteners.  This new non-need for sweet has made the diet I've been on much easier (as easy as a diet can be I guess).

For the last 7 weeks I've been tracking my meals and exercise using  They really do have the best tracker out there.  I also participated in a DietBet through The Sweaty Betties last month and loved it.  In a diet bet, every participant puts the same amount of money in the pot to start.  The bet is to try to lose 4% of your weight in four weeks.  If you don't lose 4%, you lose your money.  Everyone who loses the weight gets their money back plus splits the pot from those who didn't.  They have weigh-in safeguards to help curb cheating, which is nice.  Not only did I lose 14 pounds...I won $60!  

Now, 7 weeks in, I've lost 20 pounds.  *WHOOP!*  Here are a few things I've done.

Follow the 80/20 rule.  Make 80% of what you eat healthy foods (fruits, veggies, lean meats) and 20% 'fun'.  We've gone out to dinner, had burgers, and eaten dessert - it really helps you from feeling deprived!

Eat the correct number of calories.  Obviously, if you're on a diet, you're going to try not to eat too many calories.  It's also important to eat enough calories though.  Use a website that will tell you how many calories you should consume based on your height, weight, and goals so you know what you should be shooting for.  Eating too few calories will throw your body into starvation mode and it will start conserving fat instead of shedding it.

Drink a lot of water.  I've been flying through the 5 gallon Poland Springs bottles at work.  Stay hydrated!

Eat throughout the day.  I've been eating small meals throughout the day so I stay full.  A typical day looks like:

9am - cereal
11:30 am - snack 1 (apple, carrots, yogurt, granola bar, banana (with pb sometimes), etc)
1pm - soup or sandwich
3pm - snack 2
5pm - snack 3
7pm - dinner
9pm - popsicles :)

Move all day.  I used to park in a parking garage for work.  2 months ago, I started parking at metered spots so that I would HAVE to get out of my chair and move my car.  Every. three. hours.  All I've been doing so far is walking for exercise, so I've made sure I do a lot of it (45 minutes to 1.5 hours a day).  I've been getting to work early to take a 25-30 minute walk, get in 15 minutes each time I move my car (twice daily), and usually take one with Toby and Travis in the afternoon.  Since I eat my lunch at my desk I don't feel bad about my walk breaks!

Tell someone what you're doing.  I'm WAY out of my comfort zone telling the blog world about this.  Up until now only a handful of people knew my goal, which is probably more normal.  :)  The point is, it's important to have a cheering section!  If you don't want to talk to 'real friends' about your weight loss, join an online community and enjoy your anonymity.

Lighten up your meals.  Here are a few delicious and low calories recipes I've posted lately.  Also, check out - she's fantastic.

Lisa Johnson recently did a video for ranting about bad diets that don't work, so I thought I'd share it with y'all since it fits.  While you're at it, subscribe to her newsletter list - she's full of great fitness information.

Check out the progress blog - down 31 pounds!  Whoop!

Here's to the next 20!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Strawberry Blueberry Rhubarb Crisp

Last week, Travis came home from a meeting with his teacher, Davy, with a few stalks of rhubarb.  Confession: I've been scared of rhubarb since I was old enough to know what it was.  Not frightened of the stalks themselves obviously.  More scared of the unknown of something that seemed SO unlikely to be paired with fruit...not having a clue what to do with it.

I stared at the stalks for a few days, trying to get up the nerve to use them.  Sunday, I remembered a blog I happened upon a few weeks ago for a Strawberry Blueberry Rhubarb Crisp.  Travis is more of a crisp person than a pie guy, so I thought this would be the perfect recipe to conquer my 'fear' with.  Our friends Laci, Christian, and their son Berkeley were coming over for dinner, and are such good friends that I felt ok about trying out a dish that might fail.  :)

Thank you, Eat More Veg, for helping me learn that I'm a rhubarb fan!  This berry rhubarb crisp is easy to make, tart AND sweet, has a pretty purple syrup, and smells delicious when cooking.  Top it off with some vanilla ice cream and it's perfect!


4 stalks of rhubarb, cut into 1" pieces (about 2 cups)
1 pint blueberries
1 pound strawberries, washed and quartered
1 cup sugar
1.5 Tablespoons cornstarch
3 Tablespoons orange juice

1 cup flour
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup brown sugar
1.5 sticks cold butter cut into little cubes


Mix rhubarb, blueberries, and strawberries in a large bowl.  Add sugar, cornstarch and orange juice and stir to evenly coat fruit.  Spread evenly along the bottom of a pyrex dish.  I used a 9x9 dish because I wanted a thicker crisp, but you could also use a 13x9 pan - it'll just be thin!

In a medium bowl, mix flour, oats, and brown sugar.  Cut cold butter into small squares and add to crisp mixture.  Using a knife (or your clean hands), combine butter with dry ingredients.  Sprinkle crisp over the fruit, the bake at 375 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until crust is light brown and the fruit is blubbling!

Let the crisp sit for 15-20 minutes before serving.  Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and enjoy!