Mozzarella Tomato & Green Pesto Chicken; Weigh In

After not having great success with the quinoa stuffed peppers (it was barely edible),  I made chicken smothered with tomatoes, pesto, and mozzarella and it tasted great. I placed it on a bed of spinach to kick up the health factor a little bit. It is comforting to know that I can cook for myself, and it is nice to add different things to the dinner rotation. It did’t beat the zucchini lasagna, but still a great dish.

Mozzarella Tomato & Green Pesto Chicken Scorecard

Easiness: 10. Super easy. Just put some pesto, diced tomatoes, and mozzarella on top of the chicken breasts. Took like 2 minutes.

Taste: 10.

Would I serve to others: Yes

http://www.myfussyeater.com/mozzarella-tomato-basil-pesto-chicken/

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So, it has been a little more than a week since I started my diet and I have lost about 4 pounds, which is pretty good. I do feel like I have more energy. I take random walks now because I just feel like it and I would rather be outside than inside. I barely like being in my apartment for long periods of time. I do want to start exercising more. I play volleyball twice a week, but I want to do something on the other days of the week. I am too broke to pay for exercise classes so I need to do free activities. I do play tennis against the wall sometimes so maybe I could do that more often. I could also pick up running again, but I would run around the track instead of running around town. Too many darn hills.

 

Charlottesville

I grew up in a small, rural county called King William, VA where there are only a few stoplights and my graduating class was only 130 people. When I went to UVA, I would dread going back home. I loved Charlottesville. There were things to do there, the school I loved was there, a life was there. Now, I work in Charlottesville and it is not the same. Most of my college friends are no longer here. They are all in DC, which is a 2.5 hour drive away and I hate driving all the way up there. The opportunity to meet new people is now smaller than it was in college. I don’t think there are a ton of young professionals here, but a lot of people disagree with me. I guess when I say “young professionals”  I mean single men with decent jobs and are around my age and are somewhat attractive and think that I am somewhat attractive. That is a very small pool of people, and I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that I will not find someone in Charlottesville.

There are things I do love about Charlottesville even though I complain about it a lot. I really like the people I work with at the office. I can’t say I would get this type of work environment anywhere else. When I go to wineries, the views are really gorgeous and there a ton of great places to eat. It is close to my hometown, but not too close that my parents would drop by unexpectedly. The Farmer’s Market is pretty cool. So, there are some upsides to living in Charlottesville.

I want to love Charlottesville more than I do and I have recently been trying to get to know Charlottesville better. I don’t really see Charlottesville being my forever home since I will eventually want to move to another city, but never say never.

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Confidence

Confidence

I am so hard on myself and it is hard to pinpoint where it all started. My parents were always pretty proud of me and they never said anything to me that would cause me to question myself as much as I do. I was always one of those kids that thought they did bad on a test and would end up with an A. It wasn’t because I was trying to downplay it. I really didn’t think I did well on it. I think it stems from fear of failure. If you don’t set your expectations high you never fail. I do my best in mostly everything I do, but rarely do I go into something feeling confident about it no matter how many times I have done it.

I know people get tired of me talking about myself and how I think I’m not good at anything, but I can’t help it. I think that is just the type of person I am. I get plenty of validation from my co-workers, family, and friends, but that doesn’t help. Sure I can fake confidence, but it wouldn’t change the way I feel on the inside. I can’t say for sure if my attitude about myself will ever change.

So, what am I going to do to change? I guess I will just keep saying I think I can until I get over that hill.

 

Zucchini Lasagna

Oh. My. Gosh. This dish was so good. I love pasta so I am glad that I was able to find a healthy alternative. I was hesitate to make it because I never really had zucchini before and I am not a big fan of other squashes so I was surprised that it ended up being really tasty.  But, I guess anything would taste good when you cover it in meat, mozzarella, and pasta sauce. I will admit that I made a miscalculation in the amount of meat sauce I put in the lasagna. I don’t have a 9×13 pan and I lack any type of casserole dish so I had to use a circular cake pan. I still followed the directions with a smaller pan and I just filled that pan with all the tomato meat sauce Also, I only used a little less than 3 zucchinis instead of 5. That probably played a huge part in why the dish was so good.

Zucchini Lasagna Scorecard

Easiness: 9. I would give it a 10, but i feared for my fingers cutting those zucchinis.

Taste: 10.

Would I serve to others: Yes, I actually would.

http://ifoodreal.com/clean-eating-zucchini-lasagna/

 

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Quinoa Nuggets

In an effort to make more healthy meals I will be relying on Pinterest a lot. My goal is that at least once I week I will try a Pinterest healthy recipe. Today, I made baked quinoa chicken nuggets. This was my first time eating quinoa and I liked it enough. The chicken nuggets were not as good as the real thing, but I consider making anything somewhat edible a success.

Quinoa Nuggets Scorecard

Easiness: 9. It didn’t involve a ton of ingredients so that was nice.

Taste: 7. Ketchup was involved so that upped the taste for sure.

Would I serve to others: No. It was edible to me, but I don’t know if other people would like it.

http://www.lecremedelacrumb.com/2014/12/quinoa-chicken-nuggets.html

 

Good Things Happen When You Leave the House

After work today, I went home and watched TV like I usually do. However, I was feeling super restless. So, I decided to talk a walk on the Downtown Mall. I stopped by Urban Outfitters and the skirt that I wanted was on sale. I scrolled through the sizes saying “please have my size, please have my size.” Boom, the size I wanted was there. I didn’t have a top to go with it, but I didn’t care because I really liked that skirt. Then I decided to stop by Market Street Market to pick up a snack. I ended up getting a Pink Lady apple, a Bold Rock cider, and a Bobo’s Oat Bar. The Bobo’s Oat Bar was hella good.

 

Heavy Heavy… You Got So Heavy Baby

 

182 lbs. I got on the scale and weighed 182. When I saw that number, I was so shocked. So, I decided that I am going to lose 30 lbs. If I can get my weight down to 150ish, I would be so proud of myself. I don’t think I have ever lost more than 8 lbs and I have been trying to lose weight since my first year in college. Yesterday, I did a pretty good job with eating well and I got some exercise in by playing volleyball, so I had a good first day. For dinner, I actually made a dish that I will add to the “Very Few Things That Brandy Can Cook List”.  The list contains the following:

  • chili/chili mac
  • ramen stir fry
  • fancy ramen soup
  • cream cheese pound cake
  • bacon wrapped asparagus
  • mac n cheese
  • slow cooker chicken burrito bowl
  • pigs in the blanket
  • turkey slaw – new dish (cabbage, carrots, turkey meat, spices)

The list is pretty small so I am glad I can add something new to it. I don’t know how to cook a ton of healthy meals yet, but I hope that will soon change.

Since I love lists, here is a list of all the things I want to do when I lose this weight.

  • Wear a bikini for the first time. One pieces are cool, but my stomach hasn’t seen the sun in 26 years (well almost 26).
  • Wear more sleeveless clothes. My arms are like wings and if I flap them fast enough I would probably fly away.
  • Go on a date. I think if I feel more confident I won’t feel as scared to talk to guys.
  • Finally change my Facebook profile picture (below). My current Facebook picture is from like 3 or more years ago. The best picture ever taken of me. Love, love, love this picture, but it is time for a change.

 

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Show Me How to Say No to This

In early June, I went to New York with my cousin and her mom to go see a Beyonce concert and to catch a Broadway show. On the car ride there, they played the Hamilton soundtrack. I looked at my cousin like she was crazy as she sung every single word to every single song. It is incredible how she can remember lyrics like that. I can only remember a few lines of any song no matter how many times I listen to it. Anyway, my cousin and her mom were lucky enough to actually see Hamilton sometime last year before it got huge. I soon realized how catchy the songs were as I started whispering “seventeen seventy six” randomly throughout the New York trip.

The day after the Beyonce concert, we stood in line to be placed in a lottery to see Hamilton. It is free to enter, and you only pay $10 if your name is called. They have x amount of seats available and you tell them if you want one or two tickets. This is the best alternative since resale tickets are going for about $1000+. The seats are cheaper if you can buy the tickets as soon as they go on sale, but as  you would guess, they sell out quickly and people will then sell their tickets for 10 times the original value.

There were probably a thousand people in that line. Once you put your name in, you stay and watch “Ham 4 Ham”, which is when some of the performers will come out and do a little 4 minute show. Then afterwards they call out names. While waiting for the performers to come out, it started to rain and I brought absolutely nothing to shield myself from it. Luckily, there were so many people surrounding me that had umbrellas that they formed a ceiling across the crowd. Standing in that line and waiting for my name to be called I realized that I was really excited. I was excited about a show I really didn’t know much about, but all that energy surrounding me just really got me pumped about the whole ordeal. Unfortunately, my name wasn’t called, but I did get to see the Color Purple, which was really good and the actress playing Celie won Best Actress at the Tonys.

So guess what? I now have the Hamilton soundtrack on my Spotify and I listen to it almost every other day. I tried to get tickets for the musical next year when they went on sale, but I hesitated on the seats I wanted and they sold out just like that. I am kicking myself for not just picking any seat. I also bought the book that the musical was based on and I am excited to start reading it. I hate that I like Hamilton so much because I might never get to see the musical. I really hope they release it on DVD, but I guess that isn’t a thing that Broadway normally does. I highly recommend listening to the soundtrack because it is a cool way to get a history lesson about A.Hamiton.

 

Don’t Call It a Comeback

So, the last time I wrote a blog post was back in December 2015 in hopes of releasing some creative energy. But, like many instances in my life, I started something that I had a hard time continuing with. Therefore, I am trying again and maybe this time I will write more frequent posts. I don’t have the most interesting life so I can’t promise that what I write will be riveting, but I do hope that it is somewhat relatable.