I know this post is WAY overdue. This was one of those recipes where I was craving a really brothy soup, but didn’t want to eat a lot of carbs with it. A lot of my friends have asked me about this recipe as it has been one of my go to recipes to make, and it is so freaking good. David loves it to the point where we were eating it once a week. Seriously, it is that amazing.
I adapted it from this recipe. I have made a few versions of it, and even tried the recipe as is from what they make and for me the thing that really makes this recipe is the spicy turkey italian sausage. So without further ado…
makes 6-8 servings
2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
1lb of Spicy Turkey Italian Sausage (I recommend checking your meat counter to see if they make the sausage. If they don’t Jennie-O will work just fine)
20 Cloves of Garlic, Peeled
5 oz of Shiitake Mushrooms
1/3 cup Rice Vinegar
80oz, or 10 cups of Vegetable Broth
1 Bunch of Kale
1. Remove casing from Italian Sausage. Place meat and olive oil in soup pot and begin to brown the meat at a medium to medium high heat.
2. Thinly slice the garlic and place in pot one the meat is browned. De-stem and slice shiitake mushrooms and place in pot as well. Let everything cook for about 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms begin to look like they are sweating.
3. Add rice vinegar and stir. Let the mixture sit so the rice vinegar can evaporate, checking it and stirring every now and then. Continue this until the vinegar is almost evaporated.
4. Add vegetable broth. Give the pot another stir (gets rid of the stuff that may be stuck to the bottom of the pot) and turn the heat up to high to let the broth boil. While you are waiting you can slice up the Kale. I slice mine with the stems included, but feel free to de-stem if you aren’t a fan.
5. Once your pot is boiling add sliced Kale in and let it cook for 7-10 minutes, until Kale is tender.
6. Feel free to taste. If you are using a low sodium broth you may want to add some salt into the soup.
Once you are finished seasoning, you are ready to serve. I usually pair it with sourdough bread, which adds a bit more flavoring to it.
12 Changes 12 Months
My friend Katherine invited me to participate in this project she has been working on called 12 Changes, 12 Months. It’s a great idea, instead of having New Years resolutions that we all seem to forget after a few weeks, we make a list of 12 things we like to change and focus on one of them once a month so then it becomes habit. So since January 1st, I had a list together and I’ve been focusing in aspects of the list to make things easier. It isn’t exactly what the whole entire process is suppose to be about, but it really works for me and reminds to take things one day at a time. Here is the list.
1. Drink more water everyday.
2. Get to the gym 3+ times a week.
3. Take stairs instead of elevator
4. Keep laundry folded and put away.
5. Portion control my food.
6. Make a new recipe every week.
7. Make a playlist once a month.
8. Save at least $100/month.
9. Read at least one book a month.
10. Make Bed everyday.
11. Go to bed with a clean apartment.
12. Wear mouthguard every night and wash face before bed.
Overall the biggest theme here is healthy, like everyone else. I’ve basically given up drinking diet soda and put myself on a 1300 calorie intake for the day. I know it seems like a little, and it is, but it’s really working. I’ve already lost 6 pounds over the last 2 weeks, doing this has taught me not to stuff my face, which is a problem I have. It has also been easy to adapt meals I already eat into this. Soups, Turkey Burgers, and breakfast tacos have been adjusted accordingly. Throughout the day I am constantly making the right decisions for me. Should I eat this, or if I eat this I can eat/not eat something later. More than anything it’s been really enlightening.
In addition to healthy living, I really wanted to focus on things that make me happy. Music, reading, and cooking are things I get really excited about and I wanted to remind myself that while I am challenging myself I still need the things to keep me happy and thriving. It’s a good overall balance where I am not always thinking about the things I do wrong, and getting stressed out because of it.
The saving thing is just trying being smart and hopefully as time goes on I can save more. I really do need to have a stash of cash set aside so if something happens I can take care of myself. Too many bad memories of losing my job and having to move in with my parents back in 2007 with creditors and student loan companies down my throat. It was a really bad time, and I really want to be prepared in case something unexpected happens.
Overall I really want to get into a routine, which is where the laundry, making bed, mouthguard/washing face, and cleaning apartment changes come in. I cleaned out my closet over the last weekend of clothes, which I have not done since college and now I have room to hang all of my clothes up (which was my biggest problem). I get really stressed out and agitated when my living space is messy and chaotic and this is to prevent it.
Now I know I am only suppose to focus on one thing, but it seems like if I do one thing, the others seem to fall into place. This has been the easiest time I’ve had in try to make a change in my life and maybe it’s due to the fact that I am actually 100% ready for this change, and I am balancing it out. Sure there are going to be days when I mess up, but when I mess up, I make sure I dont fall into the cycle of just giving up. And that seems to be the biggest change I am making this year. Not only do I have the support system with 12 changes, but I have the support of my therapist, who I am checking in with once a week and David, who has been extremely encouraging (even when I am super grumpy and focused).
So now I just need to keep the movement going. Wish me luck.
I got a new tree today…
It seems like in therapy every time I go, I get a new tree that refocuses me. Last one was titled “I am willing to be energized.” This one is called, “I am willing to have a healthy relationship when it comes to food.” I’m sure you can kinda see what my last few sessions have been focused on, but seriously, I like my tree sessions.
Weight loss to date is 6 pounds. Not a lot considering the time frame, but with the sleep issues and energy situation it’s a huge thing. Losing weight when you can’t get a full night sleep is probably the hardest thing. I also would like to acknowledge the milestone of I am in a whole new category of weight, which probably doesn’t make sense to you at the moment, but I am really not ready to fully disclose. Let’s just say when I got on the scale this morning, the middle diget was one less than previous weigh in. Like I said, milestone.
Exercise is now another factor being done. Last Friday and Saturday I walked for an hour, Sunday I walked for a half hour, and Tuesday I ran 3 miles in 45ish minutes. Again progress, and the running time is going to get chipped away back to where I was a year ago (11:00ish a mile).
As a mini-reward, I bought Iron and Wine tickets for December. I’ve been dying to see them for years and I am finally getting to. Hopefully by then I will have something even more to celebrate.
In other news, my honey found out today the he and all of his co-workers get to hang onto their jobs, something we have both been stressing out about since July. It’s a huge relief considering the alternatives that we expected to happen. Looking forward to celebrating with him over the weekend with our families, although celebrating with mine is going to be more of a coincidence. We all planned to go to The Bridge School benefit on Sunday.
I also recently found a couch/chaise set on craigslist for $150. It isn’t even a year old, but it is super comfortable and snuggle/nap worthy. The insanity level in my apartment has gone away too. It’s amazing how having a place to sit and relax that isn’t your bed can make a huge difference.
So here is the thing about living in the same place for more than a year and not moving around… shit builds up! Normally I just go through the standard clean out my house when I move thing, but I am reaching 2 years in my apartment, and my big ass closet has already exploded about 20 times. Monday night I spent so much time folding laundry and then not having a place to put it because I have too many clothes. In addition, I acquired some much needed camping gear that I now need a space for. David even mentioned last night how he thinks this is the first time he could walk into my closet and not feel like something is going to crash on him. We’ve only been dating for 7 months!
This is a problem.
Enter me this morning into my therapist’s office. We talked about things and while the purpose of me going there has passed, I really need some help in the motivation department when it comes to the vicious cycle of me being tired and therefore not exercising, and blah blah blah. Honestly I need someone who is going to kick me in the butt and call me on my bullshit. She does it (and does it really well). So now I am no longer seeing a therapist, but rather a life coach. Or at least someone who knows me well enough to know how to get me to do what I really need to do in order to get the transformation that I so want and need.
How do the two relate? They really don’t. What I realized this morning is Lisa (my therapist) is giving me new tools I need to get motivated to live a healthier lifestyle. It isn’t too difficult, considering I am already eating pretty well, and when I eat a lot of carbs I am not a happy camper because I am super full and pretty much want to shoot myself. She is opening up my eyes at the things I want to overlook.
So now I have a plan…
I am willing to feel energized. That is my ultimate life goal. With that comes feeling good about myself, being positive, and sassy (my new favorite word at the moment). To this I must take the steps in order to feel energized, like getting enough sleep, healthy eating, and exercise. And within there I have steps I need to take in order to achieve this. I also have the steps/tasks that will help me recognize I am starting to drown. And I also have a reward set up to keep the eye on the prize.
So what is this current reward? Well if I can stay motivated for a week, I can finally buy that iPad I have been drooling over for the last month or so. If I can stay motivated for the month? I get to put the couch/chair set I want from Macy’s on the card.
And this is how my closet is tying into my motivation. Well first and foremost, I need to take back my space. So I’ve made a list (thanks to my friend Kati’s post) breaking up the different sections that desperately need to be de-cluttered. I’m calling the list “Cleanout 2011.” Here is the breakdown:
1. Big Ass Closet
2. Little Ass Closet
3. Junk Drawer in the Kitchen
4. Coffee Table (believe me, if you saw it you would understand)
5. Bedside Table (again, trust me)
7. TV Stand bookshelf
8. DVD Bookshelf
9. Bathroom Cabinets
11. Fridge (ok truth be told, I just did this one recently, but I am still putting it on the list)
12. Drawers with utensils and cupboard with pots/pans (that one is going to be the most interesting)
13. Cupboard under kitchen sink (aka the epic battle with the housecleaner)
14. Nook next to oven (bags galore)
15. Tupperware/Dishes Cupboard
The main goal with this is to break it up so it doesn’t feel so daunting. Probably over the course of a couple of months. A lot of this stuff is just going to go away because I dont use it/wear it/watch it/read it/need it. Simple is better! Once I have a bag ready to go, it is going in my car trunk and over to goodwill/crossroads/green apple books/whoever else wants my crap. Seriously if you want something give me a hollar.
Once everything is organized, then I can get to the fun projects like putting photos and posters up, a indoor garden in the kitchen, and overall a kick ass studio space that I love. Of course I will probably blog about the cleanup on here just for kicks and giggles. Just don’t judge me.
Two very different things, but one big goal, an energized Diana that is happy and healthy.
It’s getting easier…
Well the good news is I am still continuing with the diet. Today I am eating greek yogurt with granola and honey, about 40 grams in carbs. Im pretty stoked to be under my allotted intake. Greek yogurt is actually better for you in terms of carbs than regular yogurt. A thing of activia yogurt (I’d say probably about a half of cup in portion size) is 22 grams of carbs, whereas a full cup of greek yogurt is 7 grams of carbs. And I get to add goodies to it like clover honey, which is 17 grams for 1 tbsp and 1/4 cup of granola (mine was 15.5 grams of carbs), and you have a full meal. Did I also mention the 22 grams of protein I’m getting? Excellent for those after the gym meals/snacks.
With the craziness going on the last 3.5 weeks, just by changing my meal alone, I’ve lost 3 pounds. This included hanging out with friends and family and drinking wine, and having lunch out with co-workers. To be honest, I am pretty amazed I lost that much considering the wine I’ve been drinking when I am out and about with friends.
I do get hungrier more often these days, but that was to be expected. The first week I did it, I felt I was always hungry and it just didn’t seem right. But now I am more used to it and I always have some sort of nut sort of snack for those times where I need something to tie me over. Currently I love the spicy almonds from Trader Joes! Super yummy.
I am hoping to see even more progression next week now that I am trying to implement in a workout routine. Today I ran a mile and did a 15 minute focus on abs. I am trying to take it easy, and really ease in this time. I’m running at a slower, more controlled pace and keeping my heart rate lower than I normally do just to avoid the whole jump right back in and injure Diana scenario. Pairing the running with the other super focus workouts should help me with my strength. I know once it becomes routine, it will be easier. I use the Nike Training Center App for Women, and it seems to really kick my ass. Tomorrow I am planning on trying one of the half hour workouts, however we shall see (I am due to run 2 miles tomorrow). I am still trying to figure out how this works with my iPhone, so it may be bumpy for the first couple of weeks until I know what I am doing. In the meantime I am still working on it.
In other news, new job is going well. I really like it here. The projects are challenging, the people are awesome, and I am just enjoying what I am learning here.
I’m putting myself on a diet.
Most people say this, but for me, at this time, and this moment, it is 100% true. I am putting myself on a diet.
First and foremost, I need to lose the weight. I know this. Part of the problem is I am a big stress eater. Even when I was a kid I would binge eat to make myself feel better, but never knew it was a problem because I was playing year round volleyball, working out 2-3 hours everyday, sometime more (all day tournaments).
I have tried to lose the weight in the past, but I would always gain. I was doing really well about a year ago until I broke my foot and I never got back into my groove, which has been extremely frustrating. Then in February, I hit my biggest wall, and became so exhausted I haven’t been able to do anything.
So why now? Well first and foremost, I am in the middle of a staycation, and in the transition of a new job and with so many changes going on, this is something I can easily get myself into before the job starts. Second, I am currently in a sleep study, to see how I can improve my sleep. Lastly, I am seeing a nutritionist, who is giving me the tools I need to move forward. David is being super supportive, and with this, everything feels right to move forward.
The diet my nutritionist has me on is pretty simple. I need to reduce the amount of carbs I eat to 50g per meal. What she is trying to do is to not release so much insulin, which is what happens when I eat carbs, and focus more on eating alternative foods so my body grabs the stored fat and reduces my weight. At this point it seems pretty simple. I had a huge breakfast this morning ad my carb intake was 34g. I just need to make the right choices.
In addition to this, my nutritionist is asking me to walk 30 minutes per day. I am hoping I can actually start doing more than that (like running), but keeping that in mind it seems like a minimalistic adjustment, which is something I know I can do. The other thing is this is more of a lifestyle transition rather than a diet. Sure I can have those moments where I have a couple glasses of wine or those cookies once in a while. I just can’t do this all the time, which is fine with me anyways because I am not a fan of drinking all the time or eating sweets.
So here is to hoping. I just hope things will get easier as the week goes on and by the time I start my new job next week, it is a comfortable transition.
4 years later…
I have to admit, if you told me three weeks ago that my entire life would be turned upside down, I would have said you are crazy. Partly due to the fact that my life was already crazy to begin with, so the thought of adding more crazy, well that’s just insane.
Apparently I am insane.
I took a new job, and today is my last day at QuinStreet. It’s crazy because it just seems like yesterday that I was a big stress ball because I had no job, moved back in with my parents, and was just about to take a job working back at Longs because I needed to make ends meet. And here comes QS being my knight and shining armor giving me a job in the bay area, where I could find a place to live and kick start my life again.
And now I am leaving.
It isn’t a bad thing, the job is a better opportunity for me. But being a person who doesn’t do well with change, well it has an effect on me. I am truly sad to leave the people here, because they are awesome. And while I am excited about my upcoming adventures, it leaves me bittersweet.
Don’t you wish you were having dinner with me??? (Taken with instagram)