I have had a great last few days. For starters, I played soccer last Thursday night with Emily, which I haven't done in a few years. Emily and I are friends because of soccer. We met because we played on the same team in the 5th grade, and we've been best friends ever since. It felt great to be cheering her on, kicking the ball, defending the goal, and running around until I felt like my lungs would pop out of my chest. I exercise a lot but nothing works me out like soccer. I felt exhilarated and happy tired afterwards. Plus not only did we win, but I got some pretty gnarly new bruises that made me feel rough and tough.
Over the weekend, my cousin got married. I was honored to be a bridesmaid and I had so much fun hanging out with my family. I hadn't seen my dad since January because he lives on the other side of the state. So this weekend I got some much-needed hugs from dad, not to mention some amazing compliments and confidence boosters. (If someone hasn't seen you since you were three sizes bigger, it tends to create a bit of a stir.)
And that brings me to the big news: the challenge I mentioned a few blogs ago started today. There are 8 of us ladies trying to lose weight. We each put in 50 bucks and the one who has lost the highest percentage of body weight at the end of 12 weeks wins the $400 pot. Our first weigh in was today and... drumroll please... I have officially lost over 40 pounds since December! Boo yah! You can bet I did a little dance and had Queen's "We are the Champions" playing in my mind.
Just to recap:
Me in December vs. me today
Losing weight and keeping it off has been a lifelong struggle for me, and being on the no starch diet has helped me bust through a plateau. Also, losing weight has definitely helped my AS symptoms. The exercise/diet/weight loss trifecta has really been amazing for my overall well-being, as being on the diet has helped me feel less fatigued and bloated which in turn gives me more energy to exercise. The exercise helps my back feel stronger and less stiff, and carrying less weight on my 5'5" frame has definitely lessened the achiness in my lower spine.
Other big news this week: I am excited to report that I figured out a no starch version of Thai food! If Mexican food is my most favorite cuisine then Thai is a very close second. I have missed phad see ew, red curry, and chicken satay. I got a wicked hankering for some chicken with peanut sauce yesterday and decided to go for it. That's how this recipe was born.
Thai Chicken with Peanut Sauce, Cucumber, and Cilantro:
1/3 cup unsweetened creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 tsp wheat free tamari
juice and zest of 1/2 fresh lime
1 TB minced fresh ginger
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
dash of chili powder
Whisk all ingredients together.
1/2 cup chopped portobello mushroom
1/2 cup bean sprouts
4 sliced chicken breasts
Peanut Sauce mixture
Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add 1/2 cup chopped cucumber and 1/4 cup chopped cabbage.