A Saturday Game of Scolf

On Saturday the weather was absolutely gorgeous—sunny and highs reached 68*.  The husband and I headed out to City Park in uptown New Orleans to play a game of Scolf with friends.  I thought some of the wives/girlfriends would be going along, but it turned out I was the only girl in attendance.

Several years ago a friend of the family invented a game which he originally named Scoobat.  Later, he renamed it Scolf.  Scolf, similar to golf where a ball (the size of a tennis ball) is scooped into different sized baskets with different point values, and is played in teams.  We had three teams of three.  My team consisted of myself, Chris, and our friend Timmy.  Later on in the day we added another player to our team who came late.

photo 3 Here are my teammates—Timmy left and Chris right.

Each player has a paddle and a ball.  To start, each team member hits the ball off of a batting tee as far as he or she can hit it toward one of the other baskets a couple hundred feet away.  A player can opt to hit the ball out of hand as opposed to using the tee.

scolf basket Off in the distance between the yellow flags is one of the baskets valued at 2 points.  Three other baskets were scattered valued at 3 points, 4 points, and 5 points with the smallest basket being valued the most.

photo 2 The basket above is the 3 pointer.  After each team member hits off the tee, the “best” ball is chosen for all team members to play from, which is why you see four balls in line in the first picture next to my teammates.  Once close enough to the baskets, players must then use the paddle to scoop the ball in the basket.

photo 4 Here I am scooping my ball for a 4 point gain for my team. 

All members of one team attempt to score until one person makes the basket or no member makes it. (It is not that easy!) The other teams then attempt a basket until 1 team earns the  points.  Then we move toward the next basket of the scoring team’s choice.  (The man in the background above on the right is the inventor of the game.)  The team that reaches 22 points first is the winning team. 

The game is fun, but loooong.  We were there for about three hours until another team beat us at the 5 point basket earning their 22 points total.  The game requires lots of walking, but it was a beautiful day so I didn’t mind much though it was tiring having done an hour of cardio and abs Saturday morning.

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Monday’s breakfast was a half whole wheat bagel with peanut butter, plain 0% greek yogurt, sugar free syrup, and a sliced banana.

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Today’s commute was blanketed with morning fog over the entire city causing traffic galore so I was a few minutes late for work.  What a way to start the week.  Ugh!

Lunch included an Everything Bagel Thin with turkey and reduced fat swiss heated in the microwave at school, a simple spring mix and tomato side salad topped with balsamic vinegar and a splash of olive oil, with an apple.

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My after school tutoring snack was two handfuls of peanuts…

Plus I stopped on the way home to get a Mardi Gras King Cake filled with Raspberry Cream Cheese after talking with hubby about him wanting a good one.  Oh my yum!  Confession:  We bought a cream cheese king cake just yesterday at the grocery, but we ate it all in one day.  Oops!! :/

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Dianne’s bakes their cakes each morning so it was super soft and fresh.  More to come on King Cakes in the future.

For dinner I cooked a potato in the microwave and topped it with leftover chicken from last nights “beer in a chicken.”

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I added some BBQ sauce, reduced fat mexican cheese blend, a dollop of greek yogurt, jalapenos, and salt and pepper.

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….All mixed up.

Does Scolf sound like something you might like to play?

Did I Have a Good Workout?

Whenever I go to the gym, it is highly likely that someone (Mom or Husband) will ask if I had a good workout.  Why, yes I did thanks!  But truthfully was it really a good one?

There are some gauges that I use to determine if a workout was actually sufficient.   I know that I’ve had a good workout when the following occurs:

1.) I Sweat!  As a child I hardly ever sweat.  Once at softball practice when I was 10 years old my coach actually yelled at me because he said I wasn’t sweating enough.  I guess my metabolism was slow, but after a couple of months of getting active and working out I began to sweat more and more.  A few months ago I noticed I was not sweating as much, so I took that as a sign that my body was getting to accustomed to my cardio and weight routine.  So I started incorporating the stair master into my workouts and now I am back to sweatin’.

2.) I Breathe Heavier Than Normal!  To me, that means my body is in workout mode and I need to get more oxygen pumping throughout, so it is a “good” sign.

3.) My Muscles Burn!  Now if it is so much pain, I can’t bear it I certainly wouldn’t continue doing it.  The burn I’m talking about is a “good” burn; that burning sensation let’s me know that muscles are being toned. 

4.) My Heart Rate Is In My Optimal Zone!  I normally just use the machine grips where I have entered my age and weight whenever possible because I do not have a heart rate monitor.  Generally, my zone stays between 130 and 175, sometimes a little more or less.  To calculate your optimal zone click here for an on-line calculator. 

I can check yes to all of the above for today’s workout; it was a good one.  I began with 6 minutes on the stair master.  Next up was total body weight training on 12 different machines with three sets of 10-20 reps on each dependent on muscle group.  I ended the session with 16 minutes on the stair master and some stretching.

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Onto my good eats:

Breakfast~blueberry oatmeal with chai

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In the mix:

~1/2 c oats, water, milk

~cinnamon, salt, vanilla, stevia, vanilla

~handful frozen blueberries toward end

~topped with pb

Lunch~Chicken and Vegetable Noodle Soup + Satsuma

[I thought I blogged about this soup a few weeks ago when I made it and froze it, but apparently I did not.  I also erased the pictures and did not snap a pic this a.m. since it was frozen.  Anyway it was made with celery, carrots, turnip, chicken stock, whole wheat egg noodles, and rotisserie chicken along with dried seasonings.]

Dinner~Tuna Melt on Everything Bagel Thin + Roasted Turnip Fries

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The tuna was made with a big can of drained light tuna in water, 1/2 an onion, dill pickles, 3 boiled eggs, 3 tablespoons of light miracle whip, 2 tablespoons of fat free greek yogurt, and salt and pepper. I topped the tuna salad with light mexican cheese blend and more onion and pickles.

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To roast the turnip I peeled and sliced it first.  Next a pan was lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray.  The turnip slices were tossed in cooking spray, salt and pepper.  They were roasted in the oven at 400* for 22 minutes.

Did you have a good workout today?  How do you gauge if you’ve had a good workout?

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Less Wordy Wednesday

Started with an everything bagel thin and a fried egg + a bananaDSC00159 DSC00154 DSC00161

Lunch included some leftover spinach and artichoke pasta from Monday night’s dinner and an apple. DSC00164 DSC00166

Dinner from the Cherry Blossom was shared with the husband—eastbank roll, philly roll, and snowcrab roll + lots of edamame!

Cows in a Pot

There is a small joke between me, my mom, and my sister that I think they will never let me live down.  It revolves around coming up with a title.  Many moons ago when I was in middle school, Mom, Sis, and I were sitting around our kitchen table trying to come up with a winning title for our annual elementary school fair/fundraiser.  The fair is a “Cochon de Lait” where whole pigs are roasted hanging above a fire pit.  Each year students were given the opportunity to come up with a theme  that would be put on t-shirts, signs, etc.  Mom and Sis were spewing out titles left and right.  Past titles included “The Times Pigayune,” which is a play off of the local newspaper, The Times Picayune and “Squeal of Fortune” to name a couple.  My very intelligent self got really excited and shouted out “Pigs in a Pot.”  Needless to say, they and I still laugh about my dry, uncreative title revolving around pigs being cooked in a pot although the pigs are actually roasted.

On another note, I actually did cook my cow err beef roast in a pot on Sunday night for the first time.  I never knew pot roast on the stovetop was so simple.  I have always opted for the slow cooker or oven when cooking roasts in the past.  Atop the roast was the directions for browning the roast and simmering it in a small amount of liquid until tender.  Below is what I did.

Pot Roast

2.5 pounds beef chuck roast

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder to taste

1 can beef broth (reduced sodium)

1 can of french onion soup (reduced sodium)

Directions:  Heat oil over medium heat.  Meanwhile, season roast with salt, pepper, etc.  Place roast in pot to brown on all sides about 4-5 minutes per side.  Drain any oil from pot before continuing.  Next pour in broth and soup.  Cover, lower heat to medium-low and simmer for 2.5-3 hours until tender.  Baste with liquid periodically during cooking.

The super simple pot roast turned out fantastic served over brown rice and peas.  Chris and I ate the roast for dinner Sunday and I just had some for dinner tonight.

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For my other meals today I enjoyed a whole wheat english muffin with banana, peanut butter and cinnamon + chai.

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Lunch included some Sante Fe Ravioletti Soup defrosted from frozen.  I also had a satsuma from Sis’s tree.

On my way to the gym I tried out a new Larabar I purchased at Academy Sports and Outdoors this past Saturday.  I found the chocolate chip cookie dough Larabar and it tasted much like cookie dough.  And I love the short, natural ingredient list.

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My cardio workout included 30 minutes on the hard Precor elliptical, 5 minutes on the bike, and 5 minutes on the stairmaster.  I concluded with some stretching and abdominal floor work.  Now I am going to chill and perhaps read some of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo that I just picked up at Wal-Mart along with some prizes for our 100th student through the halls on the 100th Day of School.  Phew!! I made it through another hundred school days.  Only 80 more to go!

Do you have any funny anecdotes to share?

Is It the Carbs or the Calories?

While people around the globe set a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight, surely there are some of them jumping on the “no carb”Atkins Diet bandwagon in hopes of eliminating those unwanted pounds.  But is it necessary to completely cut out an entire nutritional component of foods that our bodies use for its main source of energy?

The answer is simple.  No!  One does not need to eliminate carbohydrates in an effort to shed pounds.  Those who are on “no carb” diets do in fact lose weight eliminating carbs, but the real reasoning behind that is because they are actually consuming less calories. 

Regardless of what one eats, he or she can lose weight.  It is a simple mathematical equation.  One pound=3,500 calories.  So over seven days in a week, if 500 extra calories are burned per day or 500 less calories are consumed per day then weight loss will result dependent upon individual basal metabolic rates (number of calories the body naturally burns with normal daily activities). 

Now, why does the “No Carb” diet work?  Well, if a consumer has trouble watching portions and balancing fat, protein, and carbs in a normal balanced way, he or she may opt for the diet mentioned above.  Consuming fat and proteins are more satiating /filling, so the result is that they should ultimately consume less food. Hence, less food means less calories.  However, if too much proteins and fatty foods are consumed in excess of the basal metabolic rate, weight loss will not occur due to the overindulgence of calories. 

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All this talk of carbs had me in the mood for a baked microwaved potato for dinner.  Along with my potato I had a simply baked fillet of the grown up fish and roasted asparagus.

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The salmon was seasoned with salt and pepper, garlic powder + the juice of a Satsuma baked at 400* for 15 minutes until flaky.

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The asparagus were tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted at 400* for 20 minutes.  I topped my tater with Brummel and Brown Yogurt Spread, a little reduced fat mexican cheese, and a dollop of plain greek yogurt.  It was delish and Chris agreed!

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As for lunch, it was leftover Chinese vegetables and rice from last night’s take out…

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….and a satsuma from sis’s tree.

Breakfast was an over toasted whole wheat waffle with a thin spread of peanut butter, two spoonfuls of cottage cheese, a sliced banana, and a spoonful of sweet potato pecan butter.  Yummy aside from the crunchy, blackened waffle beneath.

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I did also have a carby cornbread muffin when I got home from work with a killer headache.  It has finally gone away after a nap and dinner.

**Disclaimer: I am not a registered dietician; the above information is what I have learned in my own effort to lose weight.  For professional nutritional advice please consult a registered dietician.  

The Eyelash Predicament

I know that sounds weird, but I have been having this little predicament within the tiny strands above my eyes.  For a couple of months now, when it turns dark out my eyelashes begin to itch.

mel It doesn’t happen every single night, but more often than not.  What could it be?  Is it my makeup?  It still itches even after I wash my face at night.  Could it be a sign that I am tired?  I took a nap today and they still itch.  Perhaps it is my contacts?  I have been wearing the same type for many years and this just began recently.  Has this ever happened to you or should I be worried? :/

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Today was a lazy day at a math workshop, which left me completely sluggish.  I thought starting with breakfast would be a good thing, but it did not keep me full for long.  My stomach was growling at 9:00.  My unfilling breakfast consisted of:

A Cereal mix of 1/4 c Bear Naked Vanilla Almond Crunch Granola, a few raisins, a small handful of Kashi Vanilla Squares, 4 sliced strawberries, and 1/2 c 1% lowfat milk.  I also had hot chai.

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Since away from school today, my work friend was very nice and offered to treat me to lunch at Boudreaux’s Road House.  I ordered the soup and side salad combo.  Spicy chicken and sausage gumbo was ordered for warmth since the meeting room was so cold with a lettuce, tomato, cucumber, purple onion, and honey mustard simple salad.  Thanks again to Vickie for treating me to lunch!

When I got home I was feeling hungry/snacky so I started with a Satsuma picked from my sister’s tree…

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Followed by a peanut butter on whole wheat tortilla wrap.

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As for dinner, Mom cooked Monday Red Beans on Tuesday, so I ran drove over to her house [with containers in tow].  For some reason, Chris thought Mom omitted sausage from her beans and he picked some up at the store to grill.  So we had lots of sausage, red beans and rice, and cornbread.

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The real deal…

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I could have done without all of the extra sausage, but it was scrumptious nonetheless.

Hi Salubrious Foodie Friends

Hope you haven’t missed me too much while I was away!  I know I sometimes get annoyed when I check a blog and it hasn’t been updated in a while.  Please forgive me! 

Last Wednesday, I attended the second EFNEP Advisory Board Meeting hosted by the LSU Agricultural Center.  You may remember me talking about it a while back.  The meeting was basically to share what activities have been taking place with high school students across Jefferson Parish as EFNEP and LSU promote nutrition and health.  At the start of the meeting I learned a new word, which will make you sound super smart when used on your healthy living blog or in everyday life as you aspire to be salubrious. ;)  Did you catch on to that?  My vocabulary has grown to include the new word salubrious, which is just a fancy schmancy word for healthy.  One of the members of the LSU Ag team made a point to say that he would now be finding as many ways as possible to work [salubrious] into his conversations which gave us all a laugh.

Aside from learning a new word, we were also able to sample some salubrious recipes including a salmon salad and a turkey hummus wrap.  I have eaten the latter of the two on quite too many occasions so that was nothing new, but I do plan on making the salmon salad in the future and I’ll share the recipes which have been tested and given nutritional breakdowns.

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Today was a holiday, which I was completely thankful for with the week I had last week; with prayer and Lifesongs I got through it.  This morning I woke up with a craving for oatmeal, which I hadn’t eaten in about two weeks due to my being stuck on peanut butter and banana sandwiches instead.

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This bowl of creamy hot oatmeal hit the spot.  The mixture included:

~1/3 c each of old fashioned oats, 1% lowfat milk, and water

~salt, cinnamon, vanilla

~1 ripe banana, mashed

All heated up on the stovetop with:

~2 spoonfuls of cottage cheese stirred in

~1 spoonful of peanut butter

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And a bowl of coffee on the side.

After breakfast my mom and I hit up the gym.  I did 15 minutes on the Precor elliptical and 17 minutes on the Stairmaster.  The session concluded with stretching and 10 minutes or so of abdominal work.  I did 2 sets of basic crunches (25 reps), 1 set of leg lifts (20 reps), 1 set of butt lifts (not sure of the exact name; 20 reps), 2 sets of torso twists with 6 lb weighted medicine ball(25 reps alternating sides), and a minute and a half plank hold.

Mom and I then headed to Phil’s Grill for lunch followed by a trip to the theatre to see Black Swan.  I had a veggie burger on a jalapeño bun with herbed goat cheese and a side of fried pickle chips.  I ate 3/4 of my own burger plus 1/4 of Mom’s beef burger.  The veggie burger had too much breading and was nothing to wow over.  I did enjoy the sour pickle chips though. 

Okay, I am still unsure about the Black Swan and thinking back on some of the scenes still makes me a bit squeamish.  It was certainly not the uplifting kind of movie, but the acting was superb. 

After all of the popcorn, I wasn’t hungry so waited a while before deciding on what to cook for dinner.  I finally decided upon spaghetti with a shrimp creole type of sauce.  I simply used jarred tomato sauce and doctored it up.

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First I sauteed a chopped bell pepper, onion, and garlic in olive oil.  Next, I added the shrimp to cook until pink.  The sauce was added along with Chinese red pepper, basil, oregano, italian seasoning, salt and pepper, and two stevia packets to cut the acidity and tang of the sauce.  That simmered about 30 minutes until we were ready for eatin’.  It turned out delicious served over whole wheat spaghetti, topped with grated Romano cheese. 

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I also had a handful of sweet, cold strawberries, but no picture was warranted since I ate them as I rinsed them.

Have you seen the Black Swan?  What are your thoughts?