Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year! New Goals! New Me!

Happy New Year to everyone out there in bloggerland! I hope your holiday season was merry and full of fabulous fun and fabulous food. Mine certainly was. Here are some quick highlights from my Mom's fantastic Christmas dinner. On the menu was her classic spinach salad with eggs and slices of bacon plus her olive oil/lemon/vinegar dressing. We've had this at everyday holiday for most of my life and it's fantastic. Our main entree included salmon and steak, asparagus, mashed sweet potatoes, cranberries, and blueberry muffins. I have to include her table setup as well ... she always does an amazing job!

We also had one of her signature apple pies and my husband's homemade pumpkin pie for dessert. And I cannot forget about my Mom's epic cookies. She's made the Santa cookies for decades. I have fond memories of making 'em when I was a little kid. They're fab!

Ok let's fast-forward to the present: 2011. It's that time of year where everyone's making New Year resolutions and gearing up for big life changes. I typically do not make New Year resolutions because I never keep them. But for some reason, this year, I feel more determined that ever to see my New Year's goals through to the very end. Call me crazy! I seriously do feel ready and willing to accomplish a few, albeit small, things.

But before I share my list, I'd like to re-declare my mission with Fighting the Pudge. My dedication to finding my way to a healthier lifestyle with a healthier outlook may have taken a back seat in the last two months, as seen with the lack of posts. But as the saying goes, "Life is what happens when you're making other plans." Even though I may have stopped posting, I stayed true clean and healthy eating. Sure, my exercise routine and logging my meals via Spark People also suffered, but I got in some walking and yoga whenever I could. And I'm still getting into my size 10 pants (and one size 8), so I'm ok with that. But in my time off, I noticed that my passion for blogging was burning out. I needed a break.

Anyhow, here I am today, ready to get back to the reasons why I started this blog in June 2010. That means more healthy eating and regular exercising. I still have 15 more pounds (and probably a few extra) to lose. My projected goal is to shed these 15 pounds and then some by May 1. Will I post about every single meal every single day? I don't know. I'm still figuring that out. But I will continue to log my calories and meals via Spark People on a daily basis and photograph my food. I do enjoy the latter.

Ok, I'm getting TOTALLY carried away here, so without further ado, here is my New Year's resolution list for 2011:

- Work on being a better listener (My ADD brain gets ahead of the conversation way too much sometimes)
- Read for at least 30 minutes everyday (I spend too much time on the computer and watching TV).
- Do not waste my monthly magazine subscriptions (No more giant stacks of BUST, Time Out Chicago, Real Simple, Eating Well etc.)
- Join a book club (I'm a book geek. And I want to meet and spend time with other Chi-town peeps).
- Blog when it feels right and when I feel good (to avoid burning out).
- Try Zumba once and for ALL (My Mom loves it)!
- Keep all drawers, closet, and bill-folder organized.
- Say hello to passers-by when walking through the city. (Why not? My sister in Atlanta does this all the time and can't believe we don't).

I am sure a few things will be added to this mix during the coming weeks. This year, though, is shaping up nicely already. I kick off my second semester volunteering for Open Books this month. Ryan and I are also taking our first big trip together in March when we venture to Ireland. This has been a longtime dream of mine since I can remember. I am so so excited! I feel very blessed and aim stay focused on that very fact all year long.

Ok, this is running super long, so let's chat food. My morning breakfast featured a regular staple of mine: Bethenny Frankel's Love Your Man Steel-Cut Oatmeal. It's just too easy to make and a great source of protein. I also had an iced coffee and some blueberry Chobani on the side.

Snacktime came twice today. Before lunch, I grabbed a skim mozzarella string cheese from Frigo. In the late afternoon, I enjoyed a chocolate calcium disc from Adora.

For lunch, Ryan and I consulted Teresa Giudice's Skinny Italian cookbook. For Christmas, my awesome sister got us and my parents autographed copies since my Mom and I, plus Steph, are all huge fans of the Real Housewives reality series (minus D.C.). Anyhow, on Sunday night, Ryan prepared Giudice's Giardino Minestrone soup. Her recipe includes grean beans, diced tomatoes, Cannellini beans, zucchini (we used summer squash since the grocery store was out), onion and some herbs. We also topped ours with a tablespoon of freshly grated parmesan cheese and had some seven-grain sprouted Trader Joe's toast on the side. Super filling and super good!

And lastly, for dinner, we resorted to some leftover salmon for a fantastic veggie salad. Ours included mixed greens, cucumbers, sunflower seeds, and a homemade lemon vinaigrette. For dessert, I had some strawberry Mochi. YUM!

If you've read through this entire post, I sincerely applaud you (and thank you, of course) for sticking with me. I'm excited for 2011 and all of its many surprises. I hope you are too! Best wishes for a happy and healthy twenty-eleven! Cheers!

Do you have any New Year's resolutions?


  1. Happy New Year to you & yours, Mac! May all the good things coming to you in year 2011. Miss you dearly. :o) Hope everything is going well over your side. Frankly, I prefer simple meal during the festive season. Your mom is such a great cook & baker. I am loving her cookies especially the santa cookies. Thanks so much for sharing. Hope you're enjoying the day.
    Blessings, Kristy ((hugs))

  2. Happy New Year! Congrats on setting some new years goals -- and that they look to be well-balanced. I'd join you in a book club activity... it's one of the things I've wanted to do!

  3. Random! I'm having a mad craving for Mochi ice cream and am THIS CLOSE to getting some. Happy New Year girl, and good luck on your goals!

  4. Your mom makes blueberry muffins as part of the meal? That is so awesome. I love bluberry muffins.

    I like your resolutions. I need to read more, too. My unread book stack is getting too big.

  5. that minestrone soup looks amazing! i might just need the recipe, since i'm on a total soup kick. paula deen's spicey tomato soup recipe is my fave right now, but after three weeks, it's probably time for a change. :)

  6. Happy New Year, MacKenzie! Your goals are totally doable. Rock them!