Wednesday, April 29, 2009

uh oh….

well… I didn’t feel it until just now…its about oh... 14 hours after the last workout of cardio/thighs and yoga stretching-- but I just stood up from the couch to go outside and I think I may have over-stretched my hamstrings during the yoga workout…. this is not good!!! its a bit painful and inshallah it doesnt’ get any more painful tomorrow morning… I mean its my off-day but if I did over-do it I may be in pain for longer than just one day!! inshallah not!!

ChaLEAN Extreme kicks my butt!

as-salaam aleikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

well, during my long absence from the blog, I finally got the ChaLEAN Extreme set…  just this morning I completed the first week of the 3 month program.  WOW!! it really kicked my butt! I was getting angry at the screen as I was doing some of the exercises LOL –but I got through all of the workouts with some having to make the moves easier for me but I did them Alhamdulillah!  For the 3 heavy weight-lifting days I did some cardio on the treadmill for around 20-25 minutes. I will slowly up it to over a half an hour for next week inshallah.

today’s workout in particular was soooo challenging on my thighs!!  it was a looooooooooooooot of thigh work and my thighs were burning for hours after the workout LOL.    the second part of the workout is yoga moves to stretch the body but yoga is a workout in itself but it felt good to stretch the muscles out!!

I looked at the calender schedule of workouts for the next 3 months and decided to start the first workout of the week on Fridays because the 2nd day is a rest day.  there is another rest day on the 7th day so by starting Friday, I have Saturdays and Thursdays as my rest days.  for now, because I am just starting out, I will completely let my body rest for those days, but eventually inshallah I will at least do some treadmill walking on those days for extra cardio. 

I have been eating good Alhamdulillah!  I’m still eating Amy’s frozen vegetarian meals when I am lazy and if I go out to eat lunch with a friend, for instance, I always choose a 6” whole wheat turkey sandwich from Subways.  tomorrow though, a friend and I are going to a restaurant named “Wagamama” so we will see what they have to offer that I can have.  it is a Japanese restaurant specializing in noodle dishes so I am hoping they have soba noodles (which are made with buckwheat) inshallah!

I haven’t really been taking pictures because I have been extra lazy but I did get some pictures from yesterday.

for lunch, I first had a bowl of brown rice with some broiled smokes salmon, and then a green tea packet called “Chazuke” which is a green tea broth powder you sprinkle on rice, and then add hot water.  so its like a green tea soup with rice.  too bad I didnt’ take a picture but it was delicious!!

  then I later had Philadelphia sushi rolls which I made with brown rice and the filling for the roll is smoked salmon, light cream cheese (they didn’t have fat free at the store-next time inshallah!), and cucumbers. I bought a small packet of a portion of smoked Kind Salmon fillet and the day before I made the same Philly roll by leaving the smoked salmon raw, but because I opened the package and it was the next day, I broiled the rest of the fillet.  it was just as delicious with cooked smoked salmon, Alhamdulillah!



ha ha ha this is so embarrassing to show the picture of my roll because my father is a sushi chef in the US…   and yet I cannot roll sushi very well LOL


for dinner my husband wanted to get food from a place called Sumo Sushi and we really wanted to try a roll that had shrimp tempura and then topped with sweet chili sauce and then teriyaki sauce.  so because this roll is not exactly a dieter’s friend, I did extra good with my meal and ordered a sashimi platter without rice.  I was going to eat it with leftover brown rice from lunch, but it was gone so I went rice-less. 

I had two pieces of the shrimp tempura roll and my husbad at 4 so I didn’t do too bad.  oh yeah.. I did eat a few bites of my husband’s teriyaki chicken dinner too…   just to get a taste.


YUMMMMM!!  but next time if I decide to bring home sashimi I will make brown rice inshallah!  its just best to eat with a bowl of rice.

Friday, April 17, 2009

not the best I’ve done these days….

as-salaam aleikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

i was a bit bad today… but not overly so inshallah.

I woke up late, so skipped breakfast and for lunch had two whole wheat sandwiches with the Athenos roasted eggplant hummus and smoked turkey, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and avocado slices.

then my husband, his niece, and I went to Dubai Mall where we ended up stopping at Second Cup and I got a small Chillatte, which is like the Frappuccino at Starbucks. It was delicious, I must admit…but I know there is sugar in it. then my husband got a strawberry muffin and his niece got a chocolate croissant of which I had a few bites of each… but I wasn’t going to let this make me feel so bad I ruin the rest of the day. I usually would just think, “well, I already ruined it so might as well start tomorrow!” and I would gorge on more fattening stuff the rest of the day.

in Dubai Mall I went to The Organic Foods and Cafe and bought some more vegetarian frozen meals and organic food products. most of it were different kinds of pasta and Japanese noodles. I got some brown rice spaghetti, organic pasta sauces, lotus root soba noodles, buckwheat soba noodles, and Qinoa soba noodles. so I guess I will be eating lots of noodles LOL.

my niece got an Amy’s kids’ mac n’ cheese meal and I got a soy mac n cheese meal so I can try out what soy cheese foods tastes like. not that I am intent on becoming vegan, but I thought while I am dieting, perhaps I can try non-dairy cheese to avoid some of the fat.





she made her’s first and I tasted it while waiting for mine to finish microwaving. wow, her’s was really delicious Mashallah.

mine…. well…. lets just say, I was able to eat it all, but will not be switching to non-dairy cheese products anytime soon, LOL

I still have to get in a few more calories for the day so I think I will just eat some fruit for my last meal inshallah.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

still eating good, Alhamdulillah


well, so I’ve been keeping myself busy these days, going out a lot and walking but its more doing activities rather than working out.  I’m still waiting for the ChaLEAN Extreme to arrive.

I’ve been eating really well Alhamdulillah and I just want to kick myself for not doing this earlier…because the healthy foods are actually really really delicious, Mashallah!

yesterday the family got Pizza Hut and my husband and BIL were all “come eat, its a new kind of pizza!”  and I saw the pizza, it looked delicious, but said “no thanks” and went to heat up my whole wheat pasta veggie lasagna.  it wasn’t homemade, just a frozen meal by Amy’s but it is deeeeelicious Mashallah.

I saw this one idea on Oprah and I made them for my final meal tonight:


these are crisp bread open-faced sandwiches.

just take some wholegrain rye crisp bread.. like:


this isn’t the only brand that makes it…  there is also another good one named “Wasa” crisp breads.

anyhoo, by themselves they don’t have much flavor… but then you can top them with whatever you wish… 3 of mine are with a liiiiiiigggghht spread of low-fat mayo and then some yellow mustard…and then 2 of them are with a liggghht spread of Athenos roasted eggplant hummos (their other flavors are yummy too!):


then I topped with slices of smoked turkey breast sandwich meat, tomatoes and some avocado slices, then added a bit of fresh cracked black pepper.

the ones with the mayo/mustard spread--- yummy!

the ones with the eggplant hummus spread—YUMMY!!!!

that thin spread of hummus had an explosion of flavor Mashallah.  it was a delicious and light-filling meal Alhamdulillah.

Monday, April 13, 2009

mmm mmm pizza!!!

so, I bought a little sister version of a Kitchen Aid mixer:
the store I got it from, Home Centre, had it for 25% off. so with the discount I got it for Dhs449 ($122.00)!!
the one I really want is from KitchenAid and it sells here for Dhs2,500 ($680.00)…so as long the one I got gets the job done I say I will have gotten a great deal. and I can see how much I use this stand mixer to justify buying whether or not to buy KitchenAid in the future inshallah.
my first test with the machine was to make myself a whole-wheat pizza dough. The mixer did a really good job Alhamdulillah :D
I wanted a thin crust (because of my healthier eating) and so here is how I made it:

Whole-wheat Pizza dough (can make it thin or regular crust):
1 C very warm water
1  tsp yeast 
1 Tbs honey
2+1/2 C whole-wheat flour (white flour if you don't want whole wheat--or you could do about 1/2 to 1 cup of it whole wheat flour for a more chewy texture)
***some extra flour in case you need it
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

add honey to warm water, stir to dissolve then sprinkle on yeast. leave for 10 minutes, till foamy.
add this to a large mixing bowl or your stand mixer and reserve 1/2 cup of flour on the side and then add the rest of the ingredients. kneed by hand,  or with the mixer,adding the rest of the flour in a few batches as you go, for 6-8 minutes, until smooth and elastic.  Sometimes the dough may not need the full amount of flour called for, but other times it needs more.  The dough should not be very sticky in the end.
oil hands with E.V. olive oil and wipe around the dough ball. cover in bowl with plastic and leave to rest for 45 minutes. You can punch down dough and let rise again for an hour to an hour and 20 minutes (recommended but not necessary)
pre-heat oven to 230C/420F
divide dough in half,
roll out dough to desire shape, then place on flour or cornmeal dusted pizza pan/cookie sheet.
add desired toppings and bake 12-15 minutes, or until crust is lightly browned. watch the pizza because as the dough starts to brown, it can quickly get over-cooked and with whole-wheat dough its a bit harder to tell.
you can make a second pizza with the other half of the dough right away, or you can freeze it. just thaw it out before using.  I like to place the pizza on one of the lower racks so the bottom browns up a bit and the dough doesn't get over-cooked.  But every oven is different and the middle rack might be the best place for your pizza.
I made this pizza sauce minus the butter, celery, and fennel seeds:
Ultimate Pizza Sauce
for my pizza, I spread pizza sauce, then topped with sauteed onions, bell peppers, and zucchini, olives, and sprinkled mozzarella cheese on top. I used about 1/3 the amount of cheese I normally would use.
and here is the result:
cat 011
cat 006
it was really good Mashallah… though I prefer a doughy, soft and chewy crust---but this crunchy thin one satisfies my pizza craving.
I cut it into 9 pieces…and ate 6—probably a bit much… but I got busy and didn’t eat one of the small meals I was supposed to have earlier so I don’t feell guilty. the other 3 pieces are in the fridge for tomorrow :D
afterwards I remembered I have turkey bacon in the freezer and I could have chopped some really small and sprinkled lightly over the pizza just for added flavor. I can also do the same with turkey pepperoni… just chop it small and sprinkle lightly over pizza…just to get some of the flavor with the least amount of fat.
next time I will try it inshallah with the other piece of dough I froze.
ohhhh sis MOAD… you know what would go perfect with this pizza??? some chicken wings as an appetizer!! good thing I am full now and just thinking about wings or else I would have been CRAVING them!!

keeping on track… but waiting is tough!!!

as-salaam aleikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

well, I have been doing GREAT with the eating part of my new health kick here, Mashallah Alhamdulillah. the treadmill walking??? not so good.

I have been waking up late… staying up late and waking up late. I need to change this schedule because I just don’t have motivation to exercise unless I wake up early. I finally woke up early today Alhamdulillah and am going to stick to this schedule inshallah.

I am still waiting for the ChalEAN Extreme package to arrive!!! grrrrr… the tracking provided for it is still only showing “Billing information received” –which means UPS hasn’t even picked up my package for delivery yet!! but then again it is eaaaarrrly Monday morning in the US so hopefully there is an update in the tracking information soon!

the kinds of meals I have been eating these past few days…

for breakfast its usually cereal, like weetabix:


I usually have two weetabix biscuits with a dash of honey on them and skim milk. I have to eat one biscuit at a time because they disintegrate in the milk really quickly. I hate oatmeal and if I don't eat the weetabix quickly it turns into an oatmeal like consistency. I have a memory of my paternal grandmother making me oatmeal just because I hated it and force-feeding it to me. she made my sisters eggs that day just because they hated eggs and forced them to eat the eggs. honestly, she was crazy and abusive. that memory has traumatized me from ever wanting to even try to see if I can like oatmeal now. anyhow, I dash some honey on a biscuit, put it in a bowl, and pour some milk in and then eat as fast as I can, while its still crunchy. I do the same with the second bicsuit as well. its really good and it does make me feel full for a while.

oh, before I forget, I am also eating fruits--bananas, grapes, plums etc...

or some wholegrain toast with a light spread of camembert, or brie cheese, with sugar-free apricot jam (sweetened with apple juice concentrate:


this jam is excellent Mashallah!

for lunches, dinners, or for one of the several meals I am trying to eat a day:

a shredded chicken sandwich with low-fat mayo and mustard(my cat trying to check out what I made):


chicken breast,turkey breast or sandwich meat wraps with low fat mayo and mustard:


I am also still eating those veggies stuffed peppers I made last week that I froze, and Amy’s frozen meals like:




I also made this yesterday and today:


the recipe is Sesami Tofu Bowl with Peanut Dressing

it is sooo delicous Mashallah! I changed the recipe a bit to make it more healthier for me—I only added a couple dashes of sesame oil to the marinade for the tofu instead of 2 Tbs. for the peanut sauce I only used 2 Tbs of peanut butter instead of the 5Tbs called for in the recipe and it was sooooo yummy Mashallah. actually I cannot imagine wanting to add anymore peanut butter than I did. it was perfect with 2Tbs.

I ate this with brown rice, blanched broccoli, and a salad of purple cabbage, carrots, and tomatos (no dressing, just a dash of the peanut sauce on everything) -- i use the sauce sparingly and there is enough sauce for about 4 servings instead of the 2 the recipe says it serves.

anyhow, it is delicious, healthy, and very filling Mashallah.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Thurday’s foods…

as-salaam aleikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

  ok, I need to get updated here so I don’t fall behind. I have been busying myself and then too tired to post at night…

so, on Thursday, my best friend from Abu Dhabi came down to Dubai.   Her husband had a wedding to go to so they stayed at a hotel and I decided to cook.

I cooked a healthy dish and a couple of non-healthy stuff and some white rice. I was supposed to make brown rice but I was too busy and ran out of time. 

I didn’t eat breakfast or lunch…except for the nibbles I took to taste the marinade and such I was making—so I ended up eating everything… but I didn’t over-do it so inshallah I was alright. I know its bad to skip meals but I was running around to several stores to get all the ingredients and all the preparation time…I just didn’t have any time to eat.  I also forgot to take photos!! but I have a couple of photos of the same dishes I made previously for a forum I wanted to post the recipes on…

I made  Japanese potato salad:



OMG this is sooo yummy.  but FATTENING!!  now, this photo, the potatoes are cubed, and they stayed cubed only because it was leftover sauteed potatoes I made the salad with. normally you boil the potatoes and I just cannot keep it in cubes. it always turns to mash, but I like the salad mashed anyways.  so basically, you peel and boil potatoes, then let cool.  slice cucumber and onion paper thin, then soak in a bowl of water with salt added.  then remove the slices and squeeze, squeeze, squeeze until you have removed as much water as you can and set aside.

once the potatoes are cold, add the cucumbers and onions, and mayo… this you go by eye, I don’t have a measured recipe for this.  keep adding mayo until its creamy enough for you, then season with salt and pepper.  YUMM!!


next I made Bulgogi which is a Korean beef dish:


mmmmm this one is yummy too!!  the recipe for this (afterwards I will post how to make this healthier—without sugar—but the original recipe first)

serves 4
2 lb steak, thinly sliced (easiest if you slightly freeze them first)

1/2 onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp blk pepper
1 tsp sesame seeds
1-2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp juice of ginger
1/2 onion, grind in a food processor

*** if you are using a cheap cut of steak add 1-2 tsp of white vinegar or rice vinegar to tenderize the meat.

after slicing the steaks and onion, set aside. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a big bowl.
Marinade beef and vegetables in this marinade for at least 30 minutes.
1-2 hours is the best, after more than several hours it will be too salty. I have never marinated it for more than an hour.
heat up a pan on a med-high to high heat and add the onions and beef  in batches, it cooks…10-20 seconds on each side at the most-and remove from pan.  you will get a lot of smoke and the marinade does burn to the pan so use a non-stick pan or else cleaning will be a pain.

If you are like my hubby and likes lots of sauce for the rice then add all the marinade sauce to a new clean pan with about half a cup of water and let the sauce boil and reduce a couple minutes. Then you can pour it over the rice grin.gif oh, and garnish with fresh green onion slices. it goes well with the beef

******************************* to make this healthier:

my Korean friend where I used to work made this dish for me one day and she said she didn’t use any sugar—she used crushed pears instead.  I just don’t know how much crushed pears to use with the soy sauce so this will something to experiment around with. maybe add some crushed pairs, and put a small piece of beef in for a minute, and fry it and taste.  then add more as necessary.

It tasted just like the versions that have sugar in them.  als0, for a healthier way..perhaps chicken or shrimp instead of beef…. but ohhh its perfect with beef!!


I then made a healthier version of Yakitori, which are Japanese chicken skewers, with or without onions/green onions with a teriyaki marinade (similar to the bulgogi marinade actually):


this photo is for a grill that is sold for this in Japan—not mine… this dish is best grilled over charcoal but I made this on a really high heat in the oven instead.

for the skewers, its basically just cubed chicken breasts and chicken thigh meat.  you can make this with beef as well. in Japan they make it with all parts of the chicken.. the gizzards, the liver etc..    but I can’t eat those parts:

here is the recipe I used for the marinade:

Orange Teriyaki Glazed Chicken

I say its healthier because it is made with honey instead of sugar. I know most food experts will tell you honey and sugar are practically the exact same thing,  but I say honey is better than sugar, so as long as you don’t over-do it (and most of it is marinade anyways, you won’t drink the leftover marinade), I think it is healthy enough.


the whole dinner was yummy Mashallah… 

oh…oops… I forgot to add….. I did eat some lemon shortbread cookies that my friend served us…   bad I know but was it oh so gooooood!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

my foods for today

as-salaam aleikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,


ok lets see for today I had:



a mango-banana smoothie made with skim milk.  just a whole banana, a whole mango and skim milk.  I put everything in the blender and then all the milk came pouring out the bottom.. there is a leak.. so then I got out our food processor and made it with that… well… it whipped everything up instead of just blending it like a blender would…  and that is not the texture I wanted… it was almost the consistency of soft ice cream… but I wanted it to be smoothie like…  oh well, maybe next time inshallah.  so now that I know my food processor whips up skim milk like this, I have to think of some desert ideas to make with skim milk so I can have a fake creamy desert.


for lunch:


a veggie stuffed pepper (or capsicum as some people call it).  I made 11 of these the night before.  I sauteed onions, zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant and mushrooms that were all cut up into small cubes—well, the mushrooms I just sliced.  I sauteed all of them seperately because with the amount of stuffed peppers I was trying to make, it would have all become one black clump of veggies—not very attractive.  I did this the first time I attempted to make them.  I sauteed everything with a dash of olive oil and some salt and pepper, and this time, some italian seasonings, and a bit of parmesan cheese (just a bit)  after all was sauteed, I put them all together in a pot, along with cooked brown rice.  I had to taste as I went because I had to add more salt since I did not cook the rice with salt.


then  you cut the tops of the bell peppers and boil them for about 2-3 minutes each, and remove them to a platter to cool a bit. and when they were cool enough to handle, stuffed them full of the mix I made.  I baked them for about 1 hour in the oven and served with a tomato sauce and a dollop of low-fat sour cream.

it pretty much tastes like ratatouille with rice and bell peppers.  yumm.  and very healthy as well, Alhamdulillah.


for dinner I had the Easy Honey Salmon for 2 that I had leftover from yesterday. it was yummylicious just like yesterday. 


I was still hungry a little while later so I quickly made a mini roast beef sandwich on a mini whole wheat roll:


ha ha ha ha I forgot to take a picture before eating it so there you see my first bit out of it.   and then later on I also at a couple of plums. 


I was a tiny bit bad tonight though as I was making a friend of mine some butter-sugar rusk and I ate 4 of them!!  ….ahhh I gotta learn to control myself.. anyhow, the rusk is made with thinly sliced Viennese baguette (its softer than the regular french baguette) brushed with melted butter, and sugar sprinkled on top. then you bake them on a high heat just to slightly toast them, then drop the heat down to 65-70C  for an hour and a half, until they are fully dried.  ohhh yummm… I can eat so many of these… but they are all going to my friend tomorrow and not in my stomach inshallah!




Tuesday, April 7, 2009

my first photo report :)

so finally I am starting my photo reporting of things relating to my weight-loss journey. and it is mostly going to be about the food LOL … because its so fun to talk about food, isn’t it?

so for breakfast today I had a banana because I woke up late and I basically ate it while preparing my lunch.

here was my yummy lunch:


Here is the recipe (its for the salmon only):

Easy Honey Salmon for 2

I tried adding a half a lemon to the orange juice called for in the recipe but I didn’t taste any of the lemon… but I just loved the sauce…I was worried about it being too much of orange in the sauce, but it really works, Mashallah.

I made whole-wheat couscous to go with this, lightly spiced with some curry powder, tumeric, salt and pepper. I also added a shirazi-style salad (diced cucumbers and tomatoes, minced onion, with some salt, pepper, and a dash of olive oil). now, this doesn’t go authentically with shirazi salad, but I threw in some chopped cilantro (or coriander) as well. the bites of salad that ended up touching the orange sauce was soooo good Mashallah.

I have the second piece of salmon that I made in this recipe and couscous waiting in the refrigerator for me for lunch tomorrow and I can’t wait!!!

for dinner I had:


this is Amy’s Black Bean Burrito—a frozen burrito. it is all organic, vegan, and deeeeelicious, Mashallah! I looooove frozen meals by Amy’s. most of them are vegan, but some do have dairy products in their other meals.

I was still wanting more to eat after the burrito so I had an apple.

my first mini-goal….

as-salaam aleikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I need to put down a goal, but not the total weight I want to lose, because then it will feel like its going slowly.  so here is my first goal.  to lose 25lbs, or 11.5kg  inshallah.

another goal is to eat more veggies and fruits.  since living with my in-laws here in Dubai, I don’t eat nearly as much veggies as I used to because I got spoiled and lazy about cooking.  I have been eating the home food and Gulf Arabic food just doesn’t include a lot of veggies.

I have to let not eat rice like it is the main part of the meal like they do over here.   I will have rice as a part of a balanced meal, inshallah.  and it will be wholegrain rice as well.

inshallah it goes smooth.

Monday, April 6, 2009

as-salaam aleikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I have been bad bad BAD about blogging!! its mainly because I haven’t 100% been doing as good as I would like and I don’t want to have to admit it…but I have to just admit it and move on to doing better inshallah.

I haven’t gotten on the treadmill yet, and I finally went grocery shopping yesterday and bought a huge load of veggies and fruits. I am going to try for a more vegetarian diet, but totally not strict or anything.

I also bought those plastic popsicle molds so I will inshallah be freezing 100% fruit juices in them as an icy treat because ice cream is one of my weaknesses so inshallah this will satisfy it enough.

I am going to get the Chalean Extreme progam like sis Muslimah on a Diet and do that and some treadmill walking for my workouts. I normally would like to do intensive cardio but since my toe is not fully healed from being fractured, I will at least be working out hard in strength training… its a start until I can full out do cardio like I would like to.

alrighty, I neeeed to go to bed so I have more motivation to workout tomorrow (on the treadmill) inshallah! if I wake up too late I lose all motivation to exercise.

ughhh I have been so lazy… here is a bit of a plan for me inshallah…

as-salaam aleikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I have been bad bad BAD about blogging!! its mainly because I haven’t 100% been doing as good as I would like and I don’t want to have to admit it…but I have to just admit it and move on to doing better inshallah.

I haven’t gotten on the treadmill yet, and I finally went grocery shopping yesterday and bought a huge load of veggies and fruits. I am going to try for a more vegetarian diet, but totally not strict or anything.

I also bought those plastic popsicle molds so I will inshallah be freezing 100% fruit juices in them as an icy treat because ice cream is one of my weaknesses so inshallah this will satisfy it enough.

I am going to get the Chalean Extreme progam like sis Muslimah on a Diet and do that and some treadmill walking for my workouts. I normally would like to do intensive cardio but since my toe is not fully healed from being fractured, I will at least be working out hard in strength training… its a start until I can full out do cardio like I would like to.

alrighty, I neeeed to go to bed so I have more motivation to workout tomorrow (on the treadmill) inshallah! if I wake up too late I lose all motivation to exercise.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

still trying to get in that healthy mode... inshallah

when I am trying to diet, I make sure I eat plenty of calories and eat very healthy. I start with around 2200-2300 calories a day. I start like this because everyone seems to plateau at some point and I know a lot of people who start dieting with 1500-1600 calories a day. I want to be able to give myself room to drop 50-100 calories a day if I plateau (and I am giving myself room to plateau and reduce calories several times inshallah) and still feel like I am eating enough calories for myself. I have yo-yo'd up and down so many times in weight and work out on and off (workout like crazy for a time and then completely quit). my metabolism must be completely going haywire. I am able to go on these healthy kicks and exercising when there is some kind of pressure--some kind of event coming up. but once that is over I go back to being unhealthy again. and I kicked myself every single time the weight came back.

every single time I tell myself I will keep continuing the eating healthy and exercising, but once the event I lost weight for was over, I couldn't get back on track again.

and the thing is, although I was eating very healthy, I thought everything was delicious. I switched to all whole grains...whole grain bread, pasta, rice, quinoa, etc... I also was almost eating like a vegetarian, lots of veggies and fruits, tofu and beans for protein-- though I did sometimes still eat chicken breasts and salmon and other fish. when my husband and I would go out to eat, I almost always ordered salmon if it was on the menu, and asked to have it accompanied with steamed veggies with no oil or butter. and it was always still delicious.

yet, when I am not in the health mode, I never choose the healthy stuff.

it is the weekend now in Dubai (in UAE the weekends are Friday and Saturdays) so this past week I at a mix of good and bad but here is to start the weekend with eating good inshallah. I need to get back into the health kick and then let myself have meals now and then where I eat what I want. but really, when I am in the health mode, I don't even crave the bad stuff all that often.

for exercise, I will start slowly walking on the treadmill and see if I can also do some of the aerobic DVDs like Turbo Jam and Tae Bo that I have inshallah. I broke my big toe on the left foot in January and it is still a bit sore if I put pressure in it, so I have to take it slow. Incidentally, I broke the toe the night before the treadmill was delivered to me!!! I was so ready to start working out again and bam!! a broken leg on an old elliptical trainer I own fell right down hard on that toe... so we are now in April and the treadmill is still brand spankin' new LOL...but inshallah I will break it in so to speak tomorrow. I bought some very comfy padded sandles from Geox to wear for walking because I still cannot wear closed toe shoes because of the pressure they put on the toe. inshallah I will be able to fully workout with high intensity soon.