Wednesday, January 19, 2011

if the pomegranates are in bloom...

Yes, in fact, it was necessary for me to make a Song of Solomon reference on my blog.  I am a married woman now, after all!  Don't worry, I'll spare you the commentary details about pomegranate symbolism in the Song of Solomon.

As I told you, I ate a pomegranate yesterday!  I was pretty psyched.  Like the genius nerd that I am, I decided to google "how to eat a pomegranate."  Here is the adventure it took me on:

I started out by scoring the outside of the pomegranate.  I think I did it in 5 different sections.  Then I filled a bowl with water.  Unfortunately the first bowl of water was too small.  You have to make sure that the pomegranate will be mostly submerged in the water.

Then I started to peel the pomegranate into those five sections.

Then I removed the arils (the edible seeds) from the peel.

What I was left with was lots of beautiful arils in peel-y water.

I then strained the arils from the water and the leftover peel and rinsed the arils.

Now the pomegranate is ready to be eaten!

Why, thank you!  Yes I do love my vintage flower petal bowls.

At first I thought that the pomegranate was kind of weird, mainly because I thought it was kind of weird to eat the seeds.  But after I figured out the texture and flavor a little more I was hooked!  This was sooo delicious!

Perhaps next time I'll try chocolate-covered pomegranate seeds a la Trader Joe's.  Chocolate, after all, makes everything better.  It even makes pomegranates better.  I wonder if Solomon thought of that...


A Week in Review and Week 1 Weigh-In

It has been like a crazy, busy week in the Keeping Up household.  Let's get ya'll caught up to speed, shall we?

Last Wednesday, I took a new exercise class with two close friends.

Let's just say it was probably one of the hardest workouts I've ever done.  Let's also say that it's not exactly what it looks like... more on this later.

I whipped up some old, faithful recipes and tried a couple of delicious new ones.

Does anyone else suck at making omelets? I always try but then decide to make it into an egg scramble.  It doesn't turn out pretty but it sure is tasty!

One egg, 3 egg whites, half a green pepper, a stalk of kale, and a little onion.  Topped off with sea salt, salsa and a delish laughing cow cheese wedge!

Thin and crispy veggie pizza made on whole wheat, low carb tortilla.  Topped off with green pepper, onion, mushrooms, tomatoes and part skim mozzarella.  SOO good!

In other news, Hubz and I did 5 loads of laundry.  Can I emphasize that a little more? 5 LOADS OF LAUNDRY. I now have have a cornucopia of clean undergarments.  Life is good.

Hubz and I also cleaned our entire living room and kitchen... It looks looked fantastic.

Saturday afternoon we had a couple of friends (both old and new) visit us before catching their flight back to sunny SoCal.  I'm not jealous... really.

On Sunday, the Hubz and I spent a ridiculous amount of money at Target.  Luckily, we used gift cards that we received as wedding gifts.  It's kind of fun dangerous knowing that you can buy basically anything you want in the store without it making a dent in your checking account.  A few of my favorite buys will be highlighted later.

Monday night was sups exciting.  We were so pumped for the premier of Chuck that Hubz and I decided we needed to turn it into a party.  We invited our friend Jake, another Chuck enthusiast, over for appys, burgers and Chuck, of course!

We put together quite a delicious, healthy and organic selection!

The burgers were quite ugly (and thus not photographed) but were really delish!  I made jalapeno  burgers a la Daddy S. on my new flat skillet.  I was pretty impressed with how they turned out.  But they were ugly.  Thus, no photo.

So that brings us to the present!  I finally had my first week weigh-in.  It's been tricky trying to figure out what day will work best for me to weigh in.  I got off of work early today and so I was able to go to the 5:30 meeting time (which I normally wouldn't be able to go to).  I think that I'll probably try to go on Tuesday mornings though.  We'll see.

So shall I share the results?  Drum roll, please...

Why, hello 5.8 pound loss!  Obviously I don't expect results like this every week.  But it is certainly a nice motivator to keep following the plan!

To make a great day even better, I checked another thing off of The List.  I ate a pomegranate!  I'll share the journey with you tomorrow.  Until then I'll just be hanging out in pomegranate-induced bliss!

Blessings on your Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Leap of Faith

Welp... might as well start crossing things off my list with a bang, no?  Thus far, I have completed one thing off of my list... and I'm about to complete another through this post.  Today, I am taking a leap of faith.  Things are about to get all kind of personal here on Keeping up with the Krechs.  Hold on, this may be a bumpy ride.

Friday, after being lazy for a good couple of hours, I got myself off the couch and went to a Weight Watchers meeting.  Yup.  Friday I rejoined Weight Watchers... Where me and my 50-year old BFFs had a Weight Watchers party complete with cupcakes broccoli.

To be quite honest, I was pretty excited.  Mainly I was excited to start something new and have a fresh start.

Let me rephrase that, I was excited until I stepped on the scale.  Was I surprised with what I saw?  Not necessarily.  Was I terrified by what I saw?  Absolutely.  Friday morning I stepped on the scale and saw the highest number I ever have.  I reached an all time high of 175 pounds, which is a lot on my 5'3 frame.  I wanted to cry and run out the door right there.

Luckily the receptionist was probably the sweetest woman in Minnesota.  She helped me pull myself together and directed me to the ridiculously full meeting room.  I spaced out for most of the meeting.  Luckily, I knew most of the information that the leader talked about since all I could think about was how I ever got to this point... How I would talk about this on my blog... How I could possibly get to my goal weight in 2011.

The following two days I was in denial.  I pretended that I wasn't fat.  I pretended I wasn't on Weight Watchers.  I pretended that I could binge eat without consequences.  I pretended and it sucked.

Two days later, Mr. Krech and I visited a church in our area that an old friend is a youth pastor at.  Obviously, we were on time 10 minutes late.  Thus, we unfortunately missed the beginning of praise and worship.  But what we did hear and experience was awesome.  The last song we sang was "Our God" by Chris Tomlin.

The words to this song spoke so clearly to me that day:

"Into the darkness you shine
Out of the ashes we rise
There’s no one like you
None like You...

And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against"

It's not out of the ordinary for me to cry during worship, but on Sunday I wept.  It's so amazing to be reaffirmed of the awesome power of Our God, Jehovah.  The one who saves us, heals us, loves us, desires us.  God brought me to this place for a reason.  He gave me this blog for a reason.  He gave me a passion for 101 things for a reason.  He gave me the tools I need to be the best I can, to serve Him the best I can... and that kicks the butt of any dumb 175 pounds.

I am overwhelmed.
I am broken.
I am blessed.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Reflection on 2010...

 So two days ago I was listening to the Dave Ryan in the Morning Show, as I typically do.  Since it was the first show since New Years, they came up with a list that each member of the show answered.  They posted the list of questions online and I decided that there’s no better way to start a new year and new adventures than by reflecting on the previous.  So here it is, friends!

What is my favorite:
Day?  My wedding day of course  :)

Adventure?  Four-wheeling in the Black Hills…

Book?  “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” (mainly because I finally finished the series)

Event?  Wedding again… I mean how can you really beat that?

Exercise?  Running, mainly because I never thought that I would enjoy it or be able to do it

Experience?  Getting engaged and marrying the Hubz

Hobby?  Reading

Idea?  That I can do anything

Lesson?  If I want to be a better person, a better wife and a better friend I need to be less selfish

Love?  The Hubz  :)  and his sweet smile

Meal?  Four course dinner with wine at Grecco’s on the St. Croix. Oh man… I’m salivating just thinking about it

Memory?  Confessing my love to the Hubz in front of all of our family and friends

Movie?  “Julie and Julia”

Song?  “Dancing in the Minefields” by Andrew Peterson. (can you tell I’m a newlywed?)

TV Show?  “Chuck” when I’m snuggling with the Hubz.  “Law and Order: SVU” with Ahna or when I’m sick in bed.

The best thing that happened to me in 2010 was...  I married my best friend!

The worst thing that happened to me in 2010 was...  I gave up on myself one too many times.

Name three likes:  Avocadoes, Ingrid Michaelson, yoga

Name three dislikes:  Being broke, having a messy house, the Minnesota cold

What did I do for myself this year?  I realized that I deserve the best I can give myself

What did I do against myself this year?  I didn’t give myself the best I can have

If I could change one thing about myself, what would it be?  That I would be more confident… but I’ll get there

If I could change one thing about my life, what would it be?  My own house would be nice

If I could change one thing about the world, what would it be?  I wish the world knew Jesus

What are three things I've changed or done differently this year?  Believed in myself, went to bed earlier, followed more TV shows

What are three things I was reluctant to do, but did them anyway?  Ran a 5k, stood up for myself, settled in an apartment I wasn’t in love with

What are three things I was reluctant to do, but want to do this coming year?  Adapt a complete health and wellness lifestyle, become a blogger (oh hey, already started that!), become a runner

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

101 Things...

Two days ago, on Sunday, January 2nd, I began reflecting and thinking about the past year.  The things I had accomplished, the New Years resolutions that I didn't complete and the couple of days that changed my life forever.  Just to name a few:

I traveled to Belize to teach a Christian radio seminar...

I traveled to California with my (then) boyfriend and his family...

I got engaged to that boy on the Golden Gate Bridge...

I completed my senior project in radio broadcasting...

I graduated from Northwestern College...

I got my first "grown up" job...

I moved into my first apartment...

And most importantly, I got married to my best friend in the world.

Most people will look at that list and say that I had a pretty freaking awesome year... but I know that something was missing.  A part of me was missing, the part of me that made life exciting and made me joyful.  I could tell, and I'm sure those close to me could as well, that I was, to be horribly cliche, missing my "spark."  That spark that made me... well, me.  The spark that made me adventurous, spontaneous, spunky and unique.  But why?  Why did that part of me disappear?

Basically, I got lazy... but not exactly in the sense that most people think of the word.  In the sense that most of my time was spent working at either my desk job during the week or my barista job on the weekend, and when I wasn't working I was "relaxing" (which basically meant sitting on the couch watching TV, browsing blogs or reading a book).  In order to fill the desire I had for relaxation and time to myself, I began to neglect, even avoid, time with friends, rarely did fun things outside of my apartment and basically became a hermit.

Two days ago I realized that something in my life needed to change.  And it needed to change fast.

Thus, I have decided that this year needs to be the best year of my whole freaking life.

And so, after much thought and reflection I have decided to blog myself through the year 2011... and a list of 101 adventures I am committed to completing over the next 361 days.  Some are more serious than others but each one made this list for a special reason.

So here it is, world... in no particular order, my list of 101 adventures for 2011:

1)   (Re)Join Weight Watchers
2)   Find a church to call “our church”
3)   Run a 10K
4)   Organize my pantry
5)   Rock a swimming suit (no matter the size)
6)   Buy a bike
7)   Draw up a budget (and stick to it)
8)   Buy a ukulele
9)   Learn to play the ukulele
10)  Try snowboarding
11)   Move out of my apartment and into somewhere better
12)   Get a new cellphone
13)   Knit a hat and scarf
14)   Take a creative class
15)   Take a leap of faith
16)   Lose 30 pounds
17)   Volunteer
18)   Host a dinner party
19)   Eat vegan for one week
20)   Get a drastic haircut
21)   Spend a week on the beach
22)   Climb a mountain
23)   Go without fast food for six months
24)   Recreate an awesome restaurant meal
25)   Plan a themed party
26)   Make sun tea
27)   Read “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and "In Defense of Food"
28)   Create a vision board
29)   Plan a surprise date for the Hubz
30)   Take a weekend trip to Chicago
31)   Have the best 1 year anniversary EVER!
32)   Get a puppy
33)   Make a unique cupcake flavor
34)   Make homemade hummus
35)   Fill my recipe box
36)   Spend an entire day with my little sister
37)   Tell someone about Jesus
38)   Go for a run in the city
39)   Go dancing with the girls
40)   Buy an entire outfit at a thrift store
41)   Go on a shopping spree
42)   Buy Kona coffee in Hawaii
43)   Devote 3 hours to prayer and meditation
44)   Go to a MN Twins game
45)   Bike somewhere I would normally walk to
46)   Bring food to a food shelf
47)   Play soccer with the Hubz
48)   Make homemade nut butter
49)   Successfully grow a basil plant (for longer than 2 weeks)
50)   Sleep under the stars
51)   Decorate my kitchen
52)   Send a care package to a friend
53)   Buy something cute at Crate and Barrel
54)   Do something nice for a stranger
55)   Go on a picnic
56)   Create my own granola bars
57)   Make a different breakfast every day for a week
58)   Learn to use a “real” camera
59)   Figure out that whole Twitter thing
60)   Make a conscious decision to be joyful
61)   Memorize a chapter of the Bible
62)   Join a small group
63)   Create an aircheck that I’m proud of
64)   Kill a spider
65)   Cook a live lobster
66)   Make a decision to stick with it… even when it sucks
67)   Make a tea tree
68)   Visit the Saint Paul farmers market in the winter
69)   Buy a new pair of glasses
70)   Make my on laundry soap
71)   Go on a date that is 100% free
72)   Make more homemade magnets
73)   Make a purse (with a fabric flower, of course)
74)   Complete my espresso bar
75)   Create motivational cards to put around the house
76)   Fix my HRM
77)   Buy something from Etsy
78)   Go deer hunting with the Hubz
79)   Call an old friend just to say hi
80)   Send an e-card
81)   Finish wedding Thank You notes
82)   Make OIAJ (Oats in a Jar)
83)   Visit 5 coffee shops that I've never been to in the Twin Cities
84)   Eat a pomegranate
85)   Go for a run… in the winter
86)   Create beautiful latte art
87)   Make the ultimate workout playlist
88)   Do yoga in the morning
89)   Do the 30 day shred… for real
90)   Go to a cupcake shop
91)   Organize with mason jars
92)   Play the Newlywed Game
93)   Go on a double date
94)   Have a burger at Burger Jones
95)   Run around Lake Calhoun
96)   Go skating at landmark center
97)   Make homemade chai
98)   Find out what that yummy corn bread pudding stuff is at Mexican restaurants… and then make it
99)   Go to a DCI show
100) Make a conscious decision to look on the bright side
101) Eat at a raw food restaurant

Follow me as I strive to bring adventure back into my life.  

The only question is, can you keep up with me?