Happy 2013!

Wow… what a CRAZY, CRAZY, CRAZY year! 42 Take offs and Landings… 91,000 air miles logged. From huge airplanes (Boeing A380) to a small 9 seater. China, Hong Kong, U.S., Japan and the Bahamas.

I completed the Dukan diet in May, having lost 111 pounds! And for the most part have kept it off. I bounce up a few pounds, readjust and it comes back off.

I went from not being able to run for 45 seconds to running 5K and completed one. I am now training for a triathlon next August with bloggy friends Cindy, Sandra and Anna and can’t wait!!!

I’ve also done yoga and a program called D.I.R.T. regularly… D.I.R.T. kicks my ass!

Last year I brought New Years in with my dear friend Lucy in Hong Kong…

New Years Eve in Hong Kong Dec 31, 2011. With Lucy Rowney.

New Years Eve in Hong Kong Dec 31, 2011. With Lucy Rowney.

Crazy how much has happened in the past 12 months! Crazy how blessed and fortunate I am to have the people in my life that I do. Crazy how lucky I am to have an amazing job with two crazy women that I adore and love working with!!

December 2012Lorie, Me and Miri

December 2012
Lorie, Me and Miri

The next adventure? Planning a conference for birth workers in Ecuador for July this year and planning my own little trip into Peru to visit Machu Picchu afterwards. It’s going to be an amazing trip!

What are your plans for 2013?

I hope all of you have a blessed, amazing, healthy and prosperous 2013!

Ciao!
Sandi 🙂

 

Dukan – Consolidation Day 222 – Recipe

Wow!!! 222 days since I met my goal weight… time sure flies. I’m nearly half way through the 500 days of Consolidation (it is 5 days for every pound you lost to your goal weight, which for me was 155, so 100 pounds lost… that said, I actually lost an additional 11 pounds for a total of 111 pounds, but I’m not counting those in my Consolidation #)… clear as mud?

Since Thanksgiving I had gained 3.5 pounds. This brought me dangerously close to 150 pounds… On Friday I was 149.8. So I took action. I decided to do 4 Pure Protein days in a row this week. I started on Monday.

Breakfast:
2 boiled eggs and 2 slices of sharp NY cheddar (yum!!!)
Lunch:
4 slices of deli roast beef and 4 slices of deli sliced turkey with 2 slices of muenster cheese
Dinner:
Pork Chop baked in the oven with onions

Tuesday…
Breakfast: 2 egg omelet with cheddar and 3 slices of bacon (yes, i technically know this is not Dukan friendly, but it is low carb!) 😀
Lunch: OMG Crockpot Tuesday… recipe below
Dinner: Stuck at the birth center assisting a birth…. 7 olives and 6 squares of feta cheese… low carb, but NOT the dinner I was hoping for 😦
Snack: FF Greek Yogurt w/Splenda

Should have taken a picture BEFORE it was nearly devoured!

Should have taken a picture BEFORE it was nearly devoured!

Dukan Spicy Chicken
Serves: 8 (I feed the crew here at the Palms Birth House lunch on Tuesdays)
Ingredients:
1 TBS coconut oil
4 pounds chicken thighs (boneless/skinless) You could use breasts, but thighs are WAY CHEAPER!!!
2 large onions, chopped (I like big chunks)
4 garlic cloves (crushed and chopped)
Grated zest of a lime
Juice of same lime
6 TBS apple cider vinegar
3 TBS water
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp crushed chilli flakes
2 TBS splenda
Dash of salt
I also added a TBS of my son-in-laws homemade Awesome Sauce (think home grown habenaros!)

Turn your crockpot to HIGH.
Heat a skillet on medium with coconut oil. Brown the chicken in the skillet, 3 minutes each side. Add to crockpot.
Sauté the onions for 2 minutes and then add the garlic and sauté two more minutes. Add to the crockpot.
In a small bowl mix the rest of the ingredients. Add to the crockpot.
Cook on high for 3 hours.
Eat and enjoy!

This lunch was FANTASTIC! The entire birth house smelled so yummy! It was very much a winter dinner. Let me know if you try it!

Ciao!

Dukan – High School Skinny

I found this in my email tonight…

20120928-232821.jpg

A high school friend pointed out on Facebook the other day that I weigh less now than high school… Not only is that a cool thing to say, but after thinking about it, it’s true 😀 When I became pregnant with my son at 17 I weighed 155, I was 146 this morning. I didn’t do it, however, with magic coffee beans, hormone shots or diet pills. I ate lots of good, wholesome food and never counted a single calorie 🙂 Good food and exercise… The key to successful weight loss and keeping it off 🙂

Ciao!

Recipe – Paleo – Coconut Flaxseed Bread Tweaked

So I tweaked this recipe to make it even better. Well, actually, at first because I didn’t have enough of the original ingredients AND I had coconut milk that I wanted to use this week, since I’m moving back to the States on Thursday (WOO HOO!!!). Tatiana came to dinner and had the first batch and said this was, “MUCH BETTER!”… Sweeter and moister. So here goes:

COCONUT FLAXSEED BREAD – IMPROVED

COCONUT FLAXSEED BREAD
Serves: 8
1 serving = 1 slice

Ingredients:
3 Tbs coconut creme powder or coconut flour
12 Tbs flaxseed, ground
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
6 pkts of Splenda (or 6 tsp of your favorite sweetner)
5 eggs
1/4 c coconut oil
1/8 c coconut milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar (not quite sure that’s what I used, lol… this is China, had to guess at it in the little store)

Preheat the oven (in my case the toaster oven) to 350 F.
Grease up a loaf pan with coconut oil.
Mix the dry stuff together, Mix the wet stuff together, Mix the dry and wet together 🙂
Pour into the pan.
Bake for 40 minutes.
Loaf is done when you stick in a chop stick (hey! I live in China!) comes out clean!
Enjoy!

This loaf came out browner, sweeter and moister than the last loaf.

dukan bread, paleo bread, low carb bread, atkins bread

Coconut Flaxseed Bread

Nutrition info per serving: Calories 150, Protein 5.5g, Fat 13.8g,
Total Carb 2.8g, Net Carb 0.4g

Dukan – Sunday Celebration and weekly wrap-up!

Consolidation Phase Day 128 of 500!
Weekly Weight: 146-149
Goal Weight: 155
So Consolidation DOES work 🙂 I can’t believe it’s been 128 days since I met my goal weight! This summer has flown by! I am very consistent with my weight, still weighing every morning and still VERY happy with the results!

This past week has been busy! I am moving back to the States on Thursday after living abroad for 4 years. I have been packed for over a month 🙂 I know, a bit OCD, but what to say. I’ve got 2 large suitcases and a large box as checked luggage (things I didn’t want to risk never seeing again if my shipped boxes disappear into the stratosphere or something.) It’ll be worth paying extra for the peace of mind.

Exercise this past week included running 4-5K 3 times. Walking 4-5K the other 4 nights. I also did 30-45 minutes of yoga 4 times the past week. I hiked the mountain 1 time this past week and hope to do it Tuesday morning as one last hurrah 🙂

I met Hanna and Diana and Jacob (next photo) on the street a couple of weeks ago. They are from Sweden and here to attend the University just down the block from my flat. Jacob had on a Miami Dolphins hat, so of course I stopped them 🙂 They’ve been to dinner a few times and I wish I had met them sooner!

Jacob

 

The weather in Hangzhou has been PERFECT this past 4 days. Sunny and a cool breeze. I’ve had the flat windows opened and the whole place is fresh. The summer heat was oppressive! So it’s a nice break.

Let’s see… what did I eat this week. Lots of tea eggs, as per usual. Lunches consisted of leftover roasts (both pork and beef), salad, cheddar cheese and almonds. Dinners were steak stir fry, pork roast, beef roast, shrimp stir fry and my new favorite way to cook veggies; veggies (broccoli, asparagus, carrots and garlic stems) steamed in coconut milk… OH MY you have no idea how good THAT is… a must try! I also had a dinner out with friends at a local sushi restaurant and a hot pot dinner… guests for dinner almost nightly, trying to cook up all the food in the freezer AND say good bye to friends, new and not so new.

Pork roast… Mmm!

Out for sushi with Baby Milva!

hot pot, hangzhou

Out for dinner with Joe, Chiara and baby Nunu!

You throw in the meat and veggies and it cooks in the hot pot… the liquid on the left is spicy, spicy!!! Mmmmmm!

 

 

 

And I did my last water birth lecture in front of a hundred people or so in a nearby town. I hope my message got across to some folks and they have gentler births!

midwife, china water birth

Me and Liang… on our way to my last water birth lecture. She’s the lead midwife supporting water birth at Hangzhou AIMA.

So, that’s my wrap up! How did your week go? Is it cooling down where you live?

Ciao!

Recipe – Low Carb – Roast Dinner

Last week I met 3 Swedish students that are here in Hangzhou to study a semester at the local university. I’m an extrovert (I’m sure most of you figured THAT out by now!) and the young man in the group was wearing a Miami Dolphins cap, so of course, being the Dolfan that I am, I said hello! By the end of the conversation I had invited Jacob, Diana and Hanna to my flat for dinner on Friday. Tatiana, one of my colleagues, also joined us.

On the menu:
Roast (this one was a prime rib hunk of love!)
Spaghetti squash (that turned out to be pumpkin, lol!)
Roasted vegetables – Onions, yam (which ended up being Taro) and carrots **TARO IS *NOT* LOW CARB… just so you know.
Fresh salad

I cooked the roast for 3.5 hours in the toaster oven and it was PERFECT… I had to fight the urge to not consume it before the guests arrived! The meat fell apart with the fork. In the container with the roast I added the onions, taro and carrots.

I also put the “spaghetti” squash I cut in half, cut size down in a different pan and added the balance of the onions, taro and carrots and baked in the toaster oven (after the roast was done) for 50 minutes. This is when I realized that the “spaghetti” squash wasn’t and went to plan B 😀

Plan B was removing the flesh from the pumpkin, mashing it, adding in 4 pkts of Splenda, a Tbs of ghee and a tsp of cinnamon… OH MY GOODNESS was this yummy!

I threw the salad together and welcomed my guests… we had a lovely dinner! Here’s the pics!

After everyone left I did a quick clean up and then went for a short 3 km run around the block… perfect way to end the evening!

low carb, roast dinner, prime rib

Hunk of prime rib love… Mmm! You should always brown each side of the meat before roasting in the oven.

low carb, roast dinner, prime rib

Just browning this made the house smell delish!

roast dinner, low carb, vegetables

Carrots, celery, taro and onion… perfect compliments to a roast!

Seasonings… keep it simple!

Taro, Taro root

Taro in all it’s purply glory… It’s quite starchy, but has a lot of bang for it’s buck… it’s full of fiber and tastes a bit nutty.

low carb, roast dinner, prime rig

Ready for the toaster oven!

pumpkin, squash

My Un-spaghetti squash… it was yummy anyways!

low carb, roast dinner, prime rib

Falling apart with a fork!

low carb, roasted vegetables

The veggies after I removed from the roasting pan… Nom!

pumpkin, squash, mashed pumpkin

Making Mashed Pumpkin

Mixed Salad

Mixed Salad… I love adding purple cabbage for color and taste!

Dinner ready for the guests!

Hanna, Tatiana, Diana and Me… Lovely dinner companions!

One of the awesome things about living abroad is the people you meet. We have choices in life. We can go about our business and walk around with our eyes averted or we can keep our eyes open and look for new friendships. I choose the latter. I have met so many amazing people from all over the world these past 4 years living abroad… treasures, every one of them and lots of stories I have of my journey, as I head back home for good in 10 days.

Do you extend yourself to strangers?

Ciao!

p.s. added a pic of my Blue Sparkly Notebook to the last post 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dukan – Celebration Sunday & Mountain Hike

Sunday was Consolidation Day 114 of 500.
Today’s Weight: 145
Goal Weight: 155

Sunday is my Celebration Sunday day on Dukan. When you enter the third phase of Dukan, the Consolidation Phase, you get one celebration meal a week. You can eat whatever you want. This is in the first half of Consolidation (mine is 500 days long and the rule applies until I hit day 250). In the second half you can have 2 celebration meals a week.

I’ve chosen to remain wheat, gluten and sugar free, so my celebration meals usually include something like french fries (i’m not eating white potatoes) or lots of fruit! That was the case today.

I started the morning out with a 2 egg omelet with onion, asparagus and garlic. I then went on a 5.59 km mountain hike with my friend Tatiana. This is the trail that I try to hike every Sunday morning when I’m in Hangzhou. I have to say that during yesterday’s hike up I realized that I was really going to miss this part of living in China. Moving back to Florida (which I love more than any place in the world) won’t include mountain hiking!

runkeeper, mountain hike

Burned off breakfast and then some!

runkeeper, mountain hike, hangzhou, china

286 meter = 938 feet… not a bad climb 🙂

mountain hike, hangzhou, china

mountain hike, hangzhou, china

Tatiana

mountain hike, west lake, hangzhou, china

And I wore shorts… in public. You can see West Lake in the background. It’s a beautiful view from the top of this mountain!

And this was my reward… a fruit salad for lunch, along with a iced cafe latte with Splenda and a TON of water… like 2 liters.

fruit salad, hangzhou, china

I shared this delicious fruit platter with Tatiana. So fresh and cool after a long hike in the heat.

My driver Jerry met us at the restaurant and took us to the wet market. I’m going to have to go back and get pictures… I’m always so busy picking out my stuff that I don’t pull out the iPhone and take pics! The wet market has the freshest veggies, fruits, meats and live poultry and fish to choose from. I get my veggies, pork and beef there. The stands that I purchase my pork and beef from both have range free farms. The meat is butchered the day before and I can pick my cuts. Tatiana picked out a 1/2 kilo of live jumbo shrimp to make us a late afternoon snack.

We got home, I separated out all the meat and spent time reading for a while. Around 4 Tatiana simmered the shrimp with fresh ginger, sea salt and pepper corns. I made a wasabi & tamari mix and we had some yummy shrimp!!!

Didn’t have dinner, as I was stuffed. I had a couple of bites of cheese and a handful of almonds to round out my evening.

What did you do on Sunday? Were you active?

Ciao!