Recently {Eats and Pics}

Well, life is a little different around here in What’s for Dinner-ville.

Since I last checked in with you all (my loyal readers, and I thank you!) I had lost about 40 pounds and was eating and preparing only my OptiFast products and drooling over the low-carb deliciousness that awaited me.

The strangeness of camp photos is nothing new to you all, so this before/now comparison will make sense. The before was taken in early August, after an embarrassing moment when I was unable to truly participate in the giant inflatable jousting match. I was mortified but brushed it off by laughing. The “now” photo is from yesterday, where I wore a new outfit from New York & Company, complete with pointy heels ALL DAY… down from a 22/24 and 3XL to a 14/16 and XL. (please excuse the clutter in the background)


I feel like a different person. I know people say that all the time, but really, I don’t recognize myself in many different ways. Sure, I look different. But I’m not exhausted all the time. I’m not forgetful like I used to be, I can walk and talk at the same time. I’m enjoying *gasp* physical activity! Boot camp twice a week, plus the Couch to 5K program are keeping me busy, and I start Zumba this week! WHO AM I!?!? It’s a far cry from the cupcake-loving girl that I used to be.

I’ve also started eating one meal a day. I have 350 calories and >20g digestible carbs to work with, and within that I need to have 2+ cups of vegetables and 3-5 ounces of protein. Just a few things I’ve had as of late:

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Lots and lots of brussels sprouts, cucumber-wrapped rice-free sushi, sashimi, different preparations of chicken, and beautiful vegetables at Eataly. The lower left corner is my favorite dinner so far: spinach salad, sautéed mushrooms, baby pepper slices, a medium-rare burger, a runny egg, and 1/5 of an avocado. OMG. Just delicious.

I’m relearning to cook, without the starchy bases I relied on for so many years. Most things I eat are vegetable based with a side of protein. It makes eating out simple as well. Not to mention, a dinner out is actually 2-3 meals now since I physically cannot consume what I used to…and I haven’t had a drink since August. I’m a cheap date!!

In about 4 weeks, I get to start adding in a second meal a day, and I’m really looking forward to packing lunches again. There’s something about a giant salad or warm food midday…

I’ll stop rambling now. I ramble enough on my other blog, and you all don’t come here for my weight loss ramblings. Once I’m better at cooking the way I’m eating and have recipes to share, I’ll begin posting again. Thanks for sticking with me!

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Big Changes: UPDATE!

Oh hey there!

I know, it’s been a LONG time. 12 weeks to be exact.

I’ve spent the last 12 weeks NOT cooking, NOT making dinner, NOT grocery shopping, and instead, doing a doctor-supervised liquid diet program called OptiFast.

It hasn’t been easy by any means. Do I want to cook? YES. Do I want to eat delicious things like buffalo mac and cheese? YES.

But here’s the thing. This is working. I’m down over 40 pounds so far. I feel better than I have in years, I have more energy, my skin has cleared up, and I’m back into sizes that can be purchased at a “regular” store.

I posted this picture on Facebook and Instagram and had inadvertently put the year as 2014…guess I was looking ahead. I fixed it to share with you all!

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I’m sure that once I start transitioning back to normal food, I’ll start sharing recipes here again, but for now, my life is kind of boring.

6:30 a.m. – OptiFast shake made with hot coffee and sugar free syrup

9:30 a.m. – OptiFast bar

11:45 a.m. – Ready-to-drink OptiFast Shake

3:30 p.m. – Either a powdered OptiFast shake or another bar

7:00 p.m. – OptiFast soup, either chicken or tomato, made with a few herbs and spices

Throughout the day – approx 96 oz. water

Physical activity – Walking, and recently, I’ve been taking Pilates classes.

My life is so significantly different than it has been in previous years that I’m really making a new normal.

I’m chronicling my journey/adventure at my new blog, FoodieReset

Thanks for sticking with me!

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Big Changes

There are big changes happening here in Dinner-land…

I’ll be taking a break for an undetermined amount of time (12-21 weeks I think) but you can follow my changes/journey here:

Hope to see you over there!


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Free Printable: Some Inspiration

The beginning of the school year is always so insane for me, and without fail, I tend to panic and freak out that NOTHING is going right.

I was out with family this past weekend, and my cousin showed me a quote that, since then, has kept me motivated. I of course, made a cute printable for her to hang up in her classroom, and for me to hang up in mine…so I’ll share it with you!

Feel free to print it, share it, pin it, whatever. I’m going to live it :)

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Download the full-size printable here.

I’ll be back soon with a recipe, I promise!

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It’s Been A While!

Oh hey there!

It’s been a while…over a month actually. I’ve had an interesting summer, to say the least. My pescetarian summer challenge? Went well, I ate more veggies and sushi, and had no shame about eating a tuna sandwich for dinner.

Camp was truly exhausting, my girls really kept me on my toes! As usual, one of my favorite field trips was to the Lake County Fair, where we saw goats

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Sheep ready for aerobics

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And of course, the Ferris Wheel was the group favorite ride.

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I made a few insect friends, namely a katydid on my birthday, and a cicada later that week.

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Speaking of my birthday, Adam got me the most beautiful Miyabi chef’s knife, which helped me to create a delicious papparadelle dish with tomatoes, basil, and goat cheese from our vacation to Door County.

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And about that Door County trip… Adam and I spent a gloriously uneventful 4 days in the northern Wisconsin town of Sister Bay, eating too many cherries, delicious meals, and spending time doing nothing on the shores of Lake Michgan. We took a ferry up to Washington Island, where we visited a 1920s Norwegian church and a farm museum.

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When we got back, I met up with some former campers for a little photo shoot. They wanted to surprise their parents with some good pictures of them as a group for their anniversary. I can’t believe I met these girls when they were 6!



Finally, after the 10 weeks of camp were over, my sister and I flew off to Key West for a few days of tropical bliss. I managed to get strep and a cold, but we still had a blast.


(at the butterfly conservatory)


Decorated cigars, done by the chef of the amazing Havana 1 restaurant




The remarkable sunset at The Top of La Concha


So much blue!

There are a lot more photos on my Facebook album. Check them out here!

So now, here I sit, the day before I go into school for the first time for the 2013-2014 school year (my 11th year teaching!) wondering what the year will hold. I’m co-teaching this year, which is an adventure in itself (50 kids, 2 teachers, 1 subject!) and I’m spending time and energy working on myself. What that holds for the blog, I don’t know. If I cook or make something wonderful, I’ll be sure to share it with you.

This definitely isn’t goodbye. This is a “Thank you” for sticking with me, and a “see you soon”!

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Posted in family, friends, pasta, pescetarian summer, photography, random, travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments