November Foodie Pen Pal and there’s nothing like the flu, helping you limit calories!

I woke Wednesday with a bit of the flu. I tossed my cookies twice and spent the morning/afternoon resting. By 5pm I was doing much better and realized that I’m pretty sure it was the massive amount of snot that has been draining down the back of my throat into my stomach. This is apparently common and disgusting! It did significantly limit my calorie intake since solid food terrified me. Feeling MUCH better now.  I did sneak in 15 minutes of yoga that day as my “New Exercise” for the day. It’s still not my fave.

In other news related to the fact that


Yesterday we were asked to wake up 15 minutes early to meditate. Every Thursday I get up and go to book club at 6:30am. Those of you who know me, understand that it’s gotta be good for me to wake up that early! It is something I look forward to every week. This week I needed to go pick up my friend Dianne because she’s been having some eye issues. So I took that 15 minutes to enjoy the moon and the dark and pray a bit before I picked her up. It was really lovely driving through the country that early in the morning!

Today we were to eat as many colors as possible and I’ve done a great job so far, if I do say so myself.

Speaking of food

The Lean Green Bean

I received a box of yummy goodies as well as a thoughtful gift from Cassandra who blogs of here.

In the picture above (That I now realize kind of sucks) is one of the coolest notes I’ve ever received, a copy of the audio version of Bossy Pants by Tina Fey since Cassandra knows that I have a long commute (that book is hilarious and I can’t wait to listen to Tina read it again!) Cherry Almnond Butter (That is so good  I’m going to go slather it on some toast right now. Hang on…..OH DEAR LORD THAT IS DELICIOUS! I’m going to have to contact the company and order a case of it) Sun-dried tomato pesto (I mixed a bit of that with quinoa. Now my favorite way to make quinoa is to add pesto of some sort) Wasabi Wow (a snack mix with Wasabi peas that I never thought I would like, but now love!) and some dipping oil that I’ll be trying out after December 23rd when the Biggest Loser competition is over. I can’t thank you enough, this package is just full of awesome!

Speaking of the Biggest Loser competition, I’m still at the top as of last Sunday with a loss of 4.87%
Here’s hoping the #elf4health challenge will continue to keep me on track!!

Have a great weekend everyone!


I’m like a new woman, sort of…but not really

Yesterday was day one of the Elf for Health challenge and I knocked it out of the park!

Meatless Monday is something I have heard about for years but never cared to participate in. I like meat, it’s easy to get my 100grams of protein with meat, and honestly, militant vegetarians scare me. However, I managed to stay meatless and within my calorie goals as well as consume 97grams of protein. I even lifted weights at 8:30pm! As much as I would like to think it was the lack of meat that gave me all that energy, I’m pretty sure it was the 3pm coffee. Which will now become my daily routine instead of my morning coffee.

I realized something half way through the day. When you have a larger audience watching to see what you’re doing, you follow through. Because I was using the #elf4health hash tag, people were reading my texts and encouraging me throughout the day. Strangers were applauding my efforts. That is huge! I now understand why people become “health ambassadors” it keeps you accountable.

Today’s challenge was to send a hand written note to a friend or family member. The art of the written note is most under appreciated. It’s something I have wanted to practice more often. I sent out a total of 5 notes today. One of them was quite difficult.

My brother has been incarcerated at the Indiana State Prison since sometime last year. Prior to that he was in LaPorte County jail for about 3 years. During that time I went to visit him a whopping 3 times. He sent me a letter this week, which was really one giant guilt trip (that I truly deserved) and a visitation form. Today, I decided that I would respond, and fill out that visitation form, in hopes that I will be able to go see him around Christmas. It’s really hard to explain why it has taken me so long to take this step, I’m not sure I fully understand it myself. I do know, regardless of his mistakes and heinous crime, I love my brother.

If not for this incredibly exciting challenge, I don’t know how long it would have taken me to sit down and write that letter.

It was just an awesomely caloric day!

Wednesday night we made it until midnight, watching a friend of a friend play an acoustic gig at a local bar. It was fun, but we were quite tired by the end. Poor Cary is still coughing his head off.

We decided we would go to gym to lift at 10am yesterday morning. I did not set an alarm because I knew, there was no possibility of me sleeping straight through 10am. I was right. I woke up at 8am, on the nose. I got up and started prepping to make the gluten free stuffing and by the time 9am rolled around, I realized that if I didn’t go to the gym immediately, I would have made 25 excuses why I couldn’t go. So I woke up a very sleepy Cary and we headed to the gym. We both had a tough workout, but that was the goal. If you want to see my workouts, you can follow me on Fitocracy I’m RinnieEats (surprise!)

I made my gluten free stuffing as well as this stuff called Scalloped Pineapple which is similar to a pineapple bread pudding. It’s yummy and it’s tradition. I entered all the info into livestrong so I knew exactly how many calories were in one portion. It worked out well that these were the only sides other than mashed potatoes, that were safe for me to eat. I was able to keep track, pretty accurately, of what I ate. So here’s the run down

Ham 5oz = 150 calories
Turkey 4oz = 110 calories
Cup of Mashed Potatoes = 237 calories
3 TBLS of gluten free gravy  made by my loving husband = 54 calories
Serving of Pineapple = 541 calories (HOLY CRAP!)
Serving of Stuffing = 245 calories
1 slice jellied cranberry sauce = 110 calories
1 deviled egg = 66 calories
1 can of regular Pepsi (I know, weird right?) = 150 calories (never again!)

Later I had a snack or dinner, whatever you want to call it
Turkey 4oz = 110 calories
1/2 serving pineapple = 270 calories
2 Slices jellied cranberry sauce = 165
approximately 2 Pumpkin roll slices = 510 calories

All of the above couple with my post-workout protein shake brings my grand total from yesterday to

3011 calories

For comparison, I’ll give you my regular daily calorie goals while I’m on a cut coupled with weight training.
Weight lifting day: 1675 (100grams of protein)
Rest day with usually light cardio or jazzercise: 1340 (100 grams of protein)

Here’s the REALLY interesting part about yesterday I was sure with that many calories, essentially double my workout day calories I would get plenty of protein. I only ate 138g of protein yesterday because most of what I ate were empty calories.

I will be honest and say, I think I ate more this year than I have in past Thanksgivings, which is the opposite of what I thought would happen. When I have Thanksgiving in Ohio, we’ve got relish trays out all day before we eat the big meal. So I’m snacking on, veggies and dip, pickles and black olives. I think because all I had was a  protein shake before the meal, I gorged myself.

Which means, all the helpful tweets with #elf4health were right.  I just wish , I had thought about making sure those options were available. It is definitely one of those moments when I thought “OH! That’s what healthy people do!” Which is probably the reason my Aunt Dianne, Uncle Gary and Cousins Andrew and Kyle have never had weight problems! (Except for that one year when Andrew came home his Sophomore year with a huge beer belly but that’s understandable! Now the dude runs marathons)

Major takeaway from yesterday: Henceforth there will be, VEGGIES AND DIP AT EVERY HOLIDAY MEAL!!

Even if Cary and I are the only ones who eat them!

Grateful for so many things!

I missed my Thankful Thursday post last week, due to some controversy. So I’ve decided to catch up and reflect on all my blessings, the day before Thanksgiving.
I’m thankful for:

9) for the work being done by the church I attend. As I type, they’re having their 2nd annual Thanksgiving dinner sponsored by the State Street Community Food Pantry. They’ve had 150 people in the first 40minutes. Incredible!

10) for the ability to eat safely during the holidays. I’ll be making gluten free stuffing, scalloped pineapple and my sweet sister-in-law has made me a gluten free pumpkin roll.  On top of that, my mother-in-law and other sister-in-law are attempting to make the dishes they’re bringing gluten free as well. When people feed me safely, it makes me feel so loved!

11) for my Ohio family that I won’t be seeing this Thanksgiving. I might even get a little weepy tomorrow, missing them.

12) for my late night assignment last night. I have to be vague, but I had a wonderful experience with the patient I was working with. I have the coolest job in the world!

13) for my book club. We’re currently reading N.T. Wright’s book Surprised by Hope and it is really interesting and challenging. Our group is very dynamic and I always come away with more questions than before.

14) for new life. My nephew had a daughter earlier this year, my niece just had her second child, a boy, this morning. I can’t wait to meet both of them.

15) for my brother in prison. It’s honestly the best place for him, he even has a therapist there! I received a letter from him today asking me to come visit. He wants me to visit once a month and I think that is doable. It will be good to rebuild a relationship with him.

16) for my brother who is not in prison. As I have gotten older, I have really come to appreciate him more than ever. Because he and I are so far apart in age (by the time I was born he was pretty much grown) we weren’t close like regular siblings. I really enjoy being with him and if my mom were still here, I think she would be delighted by that.

17) for my younger nieces and nephews (Cary’s sisters’ kids) I have to specify because I have A LOT of nieces and nephews! I get to see all four of them this week!

18) for my mother-in-law and father-in-law. They have given us so much support over the years. Recently there was an explosion in Indy in their neighborhood and I am so thankful they weren’t harmed!

19) for family recipes that my mom passed down to me. It’s faint but you can see her name under next to the By line. I always loved her handwriting. So loopy and feminine.

20) for Black Wednesday! We’re going to listen to some really good music, eat some really good food, and kick off this holiday weekend right!

21) for my husband decorating our giant tree in the middle of November and staying happy and positive while doing it!

This shows how giant the tree is, in comparison to me. It really is a dream come true to look at this every day during the holidays!

Fail to plan=plan to fail, that saying is annoyingly true!

I started to write today’s blog and realized I did NONE of the planning I said I would do yesterday. Instead I rearranged my blog and made it easier to find post that I think are funny or interesting. But, my priority should’ve been planning.

Don’t worry, I stopped and did all of that! In fact, for accountability, I think I’m going to start a “tracking page” where I post when I’m working out, what I’m eating, etc. Just haven’t figured out logistics yet.

I’ve decided on Thanksgiving I will

I will probably be more moderate than past Thanksgivings but I won’t be limiting myself too much. I want to enjoy my holiday. I’ll probably even drink a glass or two of wine.

I will, however, be writing down every calorie I ingest. I understand most people think calorie counting is restrictive and ridiculous but it works for me. Not to mention it will be interesting and highly entertaining to see exactly how much I eat on one of my favorite holidays!

I’m realizing today, I strongly dislike plain chicken. Or, almost any chicken I make myself that isn’t covered in some sort of sauce. If Cary makes it, it’s usually delicious. When I bake chicken breasts for our lunches Cary thinks it’s delicious while I can barely choke it down without adding something highly caloric. Anybody have a favorite way to cook chicken that tastes good without killing me on calories??

I just found out that my work schedule will calm down significantly, starting December 10th. This makes me sad because I have really enjoyed working on this particular assignment, but it also makes me happy because my life is borderline unmanageable. I’m trying, but I’ll be honest….I kind of suck at working 60 hours a week and being a wife, daughter and friend.*  I realize I work insane hours. As I’ve told the many people who have written e-mails about how they’re concerned about me becoming a workaholic (I really do love you guys for caring so much) I knew this crazy workload would be temporary. Turns out I was right and I’ll be leaving one heck of a fantastic job sooner than I would like.

Change is good.


*It’s funny because as I type this I’m at another assignment that will last until 10:30pm and I won’t get home til around midnight(my day started at 5am).


As you can tell, I’ve done a bang up job on my NoBloPoMo challenge. I’ve missed 11 days of postings. But, it’s Monday, and we can always start over on Monday, right?

Remember over the summer, when my friend Rachel and I won that biggest loser competition? On May 20th I weighed in at 158.2lbs and on July 1 I weighed in at 145.8lbs.

My clothes fit better than ever, in fact I had to buy some new stuff. Some of my clothes are still baggy and hanging off me, which is why I was surprised when I stepped on the scale last Sunday and weight 156.2lbs. Weight is weird.(By the way Rachel has not only kept her weight off, but lost even more I believe)

I realized that I would really like to get down to 140 and OH YEAH! There’s a giant muddy race that I signed up for, happening in May. The problem, at this time of year, is accountability. I have none, and as I’ve said before, my couch is oh-so-comfy. I have go to get back into healthy lifestyle mode. So I signed up for another Biggest Loser style competition. In the first week, I lost 6.2lbs, which was apparently water weight (mostly).  This means I’m back at 150. I think dropping 10lbs by December 23rd is totally feasible.

However, I don’t want to slide right back to where I was after the summer competition. So, I also signed on for the Elf for Health Challenge which will help me get through the New Year and stay on track.

Plus, it looks like a whole lot of fun!
You should sign up for it too…Jim.

I’m going to try and finish strong in November. I’m realizing, like anything in life, blogging takes a certain amount of planning. My goal today is to plan our meals for the week after Thanksgiving as well as my posts for the rest of the week and my workouts.

Thanks for reading this incredibly boring, yet informational post!

Back to writing about dogs, cats and the things with which I stuff my face!

Wednesday I complained on FB about people complaining (totally rational right?) about the early Christmas decorations because I LOVE CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS!! We’re talking twinkle lights, wreaths and Santa, not Nativity Creches. This lead to comments about consumerism and Christian privilege, which lead to me writing a controversial post responding to an article my friend had posted on her FB wall. I’m still partially convinced the posting was bait. I didn’t take the bait when it was originally posted but when I am asked for my opinion, I can’t shut my mouth.

It escalated quickly and led to a discussion on Facebook about marginalization and the fact that Christians run this country therefore gay marriage will never happen*.  In fact the author received an e-mail about my post (not sure if a person emailed him, or he was emailed because I linked to his post) and responded in the comments section of my blog. Typically I would be thrilled that someone came over and commented on my comments about their comments, but by yesterday morning I was TOTALLY DONE WITH THE WHOLE TOPIC TO THE POINT THAT I WANTED TO PUNCH SOMETHING!

Could this post HAVE anymore run-on sentences exclamation marks and CAPITALIZATION??!!!??!

At first I felt, it was just exhausting, pointless and accomplished nothing. It made me decide to go on a FB hiatus, which I think we all need from time to time. I did however have a Christian friend tell me that they never realized how privileged we are, and for that realization I am grateful. I still don’t feel it was worth it. My husband likes to say “For the 20 year old Rinnie, every hill was the one to die on.” Fortunately, that is no longer who I am. I don’t usually get into these discussions, even when I think they are important, because I take things way too personally. 20 year old Rinnie had herself convinced that it didn’t matter what people thought of her and all their criticisms rolled like water off a duck’s back. 28 year old Rinnie realizes that girl was full of shit.

In the middle of the day, yesterday, I was feeling particularly downtrodden asking myself “Who are you? Why do you do this to yourself when you KNOW it won’t end well for you?” and then I received this text message:

“I just want you to know. Your break from Facebook has left me marginalized and feeling like, well, underprivileged and forced to eat consumerism for 2 months out of the year. So I think I’ll sit in my dark bedroom, surrounded by the pretty twinkle lights and wait for the Great Pumpkin to arrive and sing Labor Day carols until you return.”

That coupled with several private messages and some public comments on my “hiatus status” asking me not to leave, made my cup runneth over.  I might be sticking my head in the sand and enjoying my blissful privilege (and deleting some unhealthy relationships from FB) but I’m surprisingly OK with that. Those people who aren’t OK with that, don’t really need to be my friends anyway.

I’ll change the world one personal relationship at a time and when they don’t work out the way I think they should, I’ll chalk it up to the fact that we just weren’t meant to be.

*I’m being tongue in cheek here, don’t get your panties in a bunch, if I don’t make jokes about this, I’ll go insane


Previous Older Entries