I Cooked For a Change…

Toasted Chickpeas on Spoon & Knife

I hate to cook, so when Mike travels I tend to eat a lot of salads or dine out. Anything that doesn’t involve cooking. One day while he was gone on a recent trip, and the light was perfect in the kitchen for food photography, I decided that I would make myself some toasted chickpeas with cinnamon & sugar. Oh, and butter. LOTS of butter.

So absolutely scrumptious and delicious! YUM!

You can find the recipe for Toasted Chickpeas with Cinnamon & Sugar over on Spoon & Knife. 4-Hour Body friendly (I go really light on the sugar), gluten-free, and full of flavor.

Day 6 of 365. Photograph taken with my Canon 5D mkIII and my 50mm f/1.2 lens in Houston, Texas.

Spending Sunday Cooking with Mike…

I spent much of Sunday cooking with Mike. Matter of fact, a lot of our weekend revolved around getting ready for upcoming Spoon & Knife posts as we spent part of Saturday at the grocery store shopping. It made for a nice, relaxing weekend!

While we were cooking on Sunday, I realized it was finally the perfect time to test out Vine. As a normally still photographer, it was interesting to create in 6 second image bursts!

He cut carrots (above), fluted mushroom caps and ground meat for the Brisket & Bacon meatloaf. It was so much fun!

The meat grinding may be my favorite. It is like it should have been the opening on CSI or something!

Do you Vine? I’d love to see some of your videos!

Overwhelmed by Things…

I’m overwhelmed by things.

Not that I’m overwhelmed by everything, but rather, things – things filling up my house. Especially clothes. I have entirely too many clothes. I need to clear them out. Give them away. Keep only what I wear the most.

This is always such a challenge for me. In the past 10 months, I’ve lost 25lbs thanks to Four Hour Body, which translates to over 2 clothing sizes. So clothes that I loved to wear last winter? They hang on me now. Yet I’m afraid to get rid of them.

I think that is the root of it all, the fear. Fear of gaining the weight again, of needing those old clothes. I know it isn’t going to happen, I’ve completely changed how I eat and it has kept the weight off.

It is time to let go of the clothes. Time to let go of the fear. Time to embrace me. Time to no longer be overwhelmed by holding on to too many things.

Four Hour Body Update! Low Carb, High Protein Dieting…

It has been ages since I gave an update on how I’m doing with the whole Four Hour Body eating plan, but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped doing it! Oh no, not at all — and really, I have never felt better!

Meat, eggs, vegetables that grow above ground and are low in sugar, beans, and a little dairy here and there — that sums up what I eat. I do my best to stick with it all the time. I don’t really do the “cheat day” any more – if I do, I try to make sure it is always something gluten free. When I eat wheat, it kicks my ass and I have the “gluten hangover” for a day or two afterwards.

I’m still holding pretty steady at 23lbs down in 9 months, and down 2-3 clothing sizes since I started this, depending on the clothing item. I would love it if it was more than that, but considering the amount of traveling I’ve done this year for destination weddings and the Hot Mama Travel Dates, I’m glad that I have been able to stay steady.

I didn’t do so well staying steady when I was in California in August. Matter of fact, it is the first time I had a major backslide. Yes, I managed to go to Paris & London and only gained 3lbs which I lost within 2 days of being home. But California? I gained 8lbs. ACK! And I know exactly what I did too – I skipped breakfasts, I ate a lot more cheese than normal, I did margaritas one night (a LOT of sugar in there), I had popcorn, I had little “treats” here and there of other sweets, I ate bread from the Village Bakery two or three times. I definitely did not drink enough water. All the things I don’t normally do – and it added up. UGH! So frustrating. However — I lost it all again within 2 weeks. I’m back to the weight I was when I left. YAY!!!

I am not discouraged by staying steady at this same weight – matter of fact, it is the weight I was when Mike & I met 10 years ago, and considering I’ve stayed steady here (fluctuating within a 3-4lb range, depending on the time of the month) for 6 months, I’m ok with that. I’m not giving up. I’m not going back to how I used to eat — this really, truly has been a life change.

It still fascinates me how many people have commented on my weight loss, ask me what my “secret” is, and then when they find out they have to give up wheat, sugar, potatoes, rice, fruit, dairy, they immediately say that there is just NO way they could do that!

Dude, I’m a SUPER picky eater. If *I* can do it, anyone can do it.

I was a hard core pastatarian before. I ate spaghetti all the time. I also had such painful acid reflux it was miserable. Now? No wheat – no acid reflux. Less inflammation throughout my body. My blood pressure is better. EVERYTHING is better. I honestly can not recommend it enough!

So I continue on. I’d still like to lose another 25-30lbs and I’m making some changes to see if I can jump start that. I will keep you posted!

Happy 8 Years and 1 Week Anniversary!

I read a quote the other day, and it really sums up what I’ve been thinking this past week since Mike & I had our wedding anniversary last Tuesday. (Yeah, I’m late in writing this. But it required some deep thought. Oh, and some time to sit down and write it.)

This is a relationship’s real purpose: to serve the mutual growth & soulful expression of each individual. – Marie Forleo

I look back over the past 10 years of our life since we met, and especially the 8 years since we were married in 2004, and I see so much change in both of us. A lot of growth.

If the 7 year itch was an itch anywhere, it wasn’t in our marriage, but it was in the rest of my life. We bought a new house. We waited 6 long months for the old house to sell. I’ve made huge changes in my photography business, and instead of weddings being my primary focus and boudoir photography being secondary, now it is all about working with the Hot Mamas and boudoir & contemporary beauty photography.

Over the past two years, I feel like I’ve become more comfortable in my own skin. I’ve lost 24 lbs. – in part because I was ready to do it. It is hard to explain, but when you like yourself more, like what you are doing more, you’re just finally more motivated to change.

But the thing that amused me the most was realizing at Joseph & Dena’s wedding (my brother-in-law and his now wife) that Mike has learned a lot about photography over the years. He still isn’t a photographer, but he knows so much about it. He knew how I would have photographed the wedding if I had been working at it. He knew what shots I would have taken, how I felt about things, and the list goes on and on. (I would have gifted them with photography for a wedding present, but I had a wedding in Houston the day before and flew in to Boston on a 7:30am flight. As it was, I got to the area at 3:20pm and the ceremony was at 4:30 – any delays and I would have missed it, so I just couldn’t take the risk!)

While I was in Paris last month, I realized what a foodie I have become. I’m still a picky eater, but I eat things now I wouldn’t eat 8-10 years ago. I was super giddy when we went to the Cristal Room Baccarat for lunch because I knew that Mike would have been in heaven there, and I decided I will take him back there someday. The food was just so very, very French! Le Grand Colbert was even more amazing for me – and to be honest, a lot more food on the menu that I would eat – so I’ll have to take him there too someday!

(Witness the beauty of my 18 Euro Crème Brulée from the Cristal Room. A $23 dessert. Crazy? Yes. AMAZING?!? Yes. And I had already eaten lunch at the hotel in my room, so I got to splurge on dessert!)

Creme Brulee from the Cristal Room Baccarat

It is hard for me to travel without Mike, because I’ve actually caught myself asking other people that I’m with, “Will I like that?” He knows me that well, he knows what flavors I will like and what I won’t.

To me, that sums up what a marriage is about. Learning about one another. Supporting one another. Knowing each other’s interests, likes, passions. Learning from one another. Letting the other person explore their passions. I like knowing that through me, he is a little bit of a photographer and can see things in a different light, and through him I am a bit more adventurous and can savor all that life has to offer.

He makes me a better person, and I’m so grateful for that. More than words can express. Happy Anniversary, Mike!