Day 160-My best friend’s wedding, power exercise, and Greek dressing recipe

This morning I received some great news…my best friend from home is getting married! Her boyfriend popped the question on their beach vacation. I’m so happy for them! Now that she is officially engaged that means a wedding is in the near future. I have no choice but to keep the weight down and continue working out 🙂 I can’t think of a better reason! Congratulations to the happy couple!

I failed to mention in my post yesterday that Lisa and I power walked Saturday 5.2 miles in 1:22:39. I think it’s a great time considering the heat and our sore knees and hips 🙂 I now have a bicycle that will help change-up my exercise routine and make it easier on my old bones. I rode it Sunday afternoon until I had a blow out and had to walk my bike back home 🙂 They say you never forget how to pedal a bike and that is true but it does take a while to get used to it again. Those seats aren’t nearly as comfy as they were when I was younger 🙂

Last night I ate a really good dinner of steak, a salad loaded with bell pepper and tomatoes and 1/2 a baked potato (my taste buds didn’t know what to think considering how long it has been since I’ve eaten potatoes!). On the Mediterranean Diet red meat is encouraged only once a month. I am not anti-red meat. I don’t eat much of it but sometimes I get a craving for grilled steak. This was perfectly cooked and seasoned. After I ate it, I felt so much better. Despite its bad reputation for not being heart healthy, red meat in moderation is good for you.

This morning I had a bowl of Cheerios (1 cup) with sliced peaches and skim milk. I really like a large breakfast but was running late and didn’t have time to cook. Eating breakfast really speeds up my metabolism. By 10am I’m hungry and ready for a snack! A diet you eat on every 2 hours? I can live with that! 🙂

Good Housekeeping recently published a fabulous article on the Mediterranean eating plan. They not only discussed the benefits of eating fruits, vegetables and incorporationg olive oil into your menu but they lay out a week’s worth of food choices-with nutrition information!!! It doesn’t get any easier than that! http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/diet-plans/mediterranean-mpw1

A main component of this eating plan is garden fresh healthy salads. The more vegetables you can pack into your day, the better! It is ok to have salad dressing with it too…just watch the amount you pour on. Greek salad dressing is absolutely wonderful. It has such a clean taste with just enough tang to get your taste buds going. Unsure how to make Greek salad dressing? Here’s a recipe. The calorie count is not that bad but roughly 2 Tablespoons goes a long way on a salad.

1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup olive oil
2-3 cloves pressed or minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
pinch of dried thyme
big pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper

Combine lemon juice, vinegar, oregano, thyme and salt and pepper in bowl.  Using a whisk, slowly stream in olive oil and whisk into vinegar mixture.  You will see it thicken up a bit (emulsifying) while combining.  Store in a jar with a tight lid in the refrigerator after using.  Always give the dressing jar a couple of shakes before serving.  In my opinion, best at room temperature, so take it out a few minutes before using.
For the salad, any, some, or all of the following:

chopped romaine lettuce
chopped green and red peppers
chopped cucumbers
chopped tomatoes
sliced red onion
feta cheese, cubed or crumbled
kalamata olives
cooked and sliced grilled chicken (or shrimp), marinated in Greek Salad Dressing

Have a great day everyone!

Elizabeth

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