This is the last installment of my trip to Texas last week!  It’s been nice sharing my trip with you this week, so thank for coming along for the ride!

Last Friday morning we had a buffet breakfast.  Holy balls – so much to choose from!  French toast, cinnamon rolls, bacon, eggs – even a make your own Belgian waffle station!  In the end, once I saw the biscuits and gravy, well, let’s just say my mind was made up.  I promise there is fruit under the bacon!  And what is it about coffee served in a cup and saucer that makes it taste so good?

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Friday morning we had our panel discussions.  The panel was super informative, but I have to say for the most part, most of it was over my head.  While Phd nutritionist Mary Van Elswyk was down to earth, her discussion about nutrition and beef looked like this:

Beef is a primary source of MUFA in the U.S. diet and one of the
most common sources of MUFA in the form of oleic acid (18:1 n-9)
(National Cancer Institute, 2010). Oleic acid increases in beef as
marbling fat cells differentiate. U.S. grass-fed cattle produce beef with
30–70% less MUFA, compared to beef from grain-finished cattle
(Table 3). This observation may be due, at least in part, to an effect of
grass-based diets on desaturase enzyme activity and subsequent decreased
MUFA deposition (Smith et al., 2006). The reduction in total
MUFA is estimated to be as much as 1.8 g less MUFA per 100 g (average
= 0.990 g) beef in U.S. grass/forage-fed beef as compared to
grain-finished beef (Table 3).

Did I mention that 3/4 of the people invited were registered dieticians?  They were the ones that asked the tough questions – I think I kind of just shook my head as if to be in agreement with what they were saying, when really I was thinking “I could really go for another cup of coffee right about now.”

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After the Q&A session, it was basically over.  Most of our flights weren’t until late afternoon, so some of the women and I ate our box lunches outside.  This roast beef sandwich was the size of my head – everything is bigger in Texas!  I ended up eating the top bottom half that didn’t have the icky onions on it.

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After lunch some went shopping, but I wanted to get more steps in.  On Wednesday I got 15,000 steps, on Thursday I got just over 3,000 since we were on the bus most of the day.  Me and two other girls got our walking shoes on and headed across the street to the Texas Tech campus.  We stepped into the football training center – this was state of the art!

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Before we knew it, it was time to head back to the hotel and get our shuttle to the airport.  When we got there a few of us found out that our flight was delayed 30 minutes, but luckily our layover was 90 minutes so we didn’t have any problem making our connecting flight.  I had a glass of wine to settle my flying nerves – um, note to self, realize that a glass of wine will cost you $14 in an airport!

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Tony picked me up.  As soon as I got in the car I could smell food – he picked me up my favorite gnocchi at a local Italian restaurant near the airport.  If you are ever delayed going in or out of O’Hare, check out this restaurant.  It’s in a funky strip mall not far from the airport – best Italian food!

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Here is a group shot of all of us – I luckily made it into the picture because I was in the bathroom because we were just about to get on the bus to go back to the hotel!  There I am on the far right side wearing Tony’s favorite hat – ha!


So I actually didn’t do too bad food wise last week.  I actually only gained .2, which I consider a victory!    But it was nice getting back into the routine this week.

Yesterday’s breakfast was a mini very berry parfait – I find that the mini parfaits don’t spike my blood sugar as much as the bigger ones do – and I try to use a lower glycemic fruit like berries vs. bananas.

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Following my Bite Sized Fitness plan, yesterday targeted the back.  I ended up doing a one mile walk on the treadmill at 4.0 mph and 7% incline.

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So before I left I looked at all the back exercises and knew what they were.  The only machine I hadn’t done before was the assisted chin up machine.  With the volume off on my computer, I watched a quick youtube video to see how it worked.  Well when it got time to do the exercise, I was stumped on the weights.  My brain said “you don’t want to add much more weight than your body weight” so I put it on 14.  I walked the two steps up to the machine, then held onto the wide grip and then proceeded to put my feet on the assisted bar.  I feet immediately fell to the ground and I thought I had ripped my shoulders out of their socket!  Um, turns out the lower the weight means the less the machine helps you!  Duh!  So once I put it on 100 pounds, I could stand on the bar and have it assist me – lessons learned!  Although when I told Tony the store later last night, I think he would have liked to have seen my first attempt!  Luckily there was no one in the gym with me!  Kym, I took this empty picture of the gym just for you!

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The back exercises took me 25 minutes, then I finished off with another mile.

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Lunch was a huge ass taco salad:  red cabbage, angel hair cabbage, romaine, 3 ounces taco meat, carrots, cucumbers, Annie’s goddess dressing and hot sauce – oh and a bit of Cabot cheese over the top for good measure.  Can’t go a day without my cheese!

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So Tony had some errands to run and knowing that it was going to be nice outside last night, decided to pick up something to grill.  I was completely shocked when he said he bought pork chops!  I can’t even remember the last time we had pork chops!!  He marinated mine in sriracha, apple sauce and I am not sure what else.  I have to think that the apple sauce somehow tenderized the meat because it was so good and perfectly balanced spice wise – I don’t know how he does it since he can’t taste what he makes for me, but it always turns out just right.  We ended up sitting outside for a good hour before I even lit the gas grill – it was nearly 7:30 by the time we ate and I was hangry!  My battery was dead on my DSLR, so my iPhone had to step in – wish I had better pics but this was delicious – and Tony enjoyed his skinny pork chops too!

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My chop was probably 6 or 7 ounces, but I ate the whole thing!  I had some zucchini and half a potato on the side.  Delish!

So next up on who you should know is Regan.  Regan and I “met” through Cabot Cheese probably in 2009?  In fact when I got on the shuttle bus she turned around and looked at me and said “are you Biz from My Bizzy Kitchen?!”  What I didn’t know was that she owns the site Healthy Aperture.   Regan is a registered dietitian and owner of her own company – a nutrition communications firm that specializes in marketing, recipe development and photography, as well as social media.  She knows her stuff!  Healthy Aperture is a healthy version of Foodgawker and Tastespotting.  Their recipes are reviewed by RDs so that they meat healthy requirements.  They also are a bit more lax about the photos they accept – ones that I have submitted to Foodgawker and Tastespotting that get rejected for a variety of reasons, get accepted on her site.

She also has a site called Recipe Redux, where registered dietitians take the challenge of making meals more healthy, while still keeping them delicious.  It was great to meet you in person Regan!

Okay, this is weird – I am only on the restaurant schedule for Saturday night both this weekend and next weekend!  It’s going to be weird not working a double today!  Tony has plans of picking me up some pizza (he’ll get a salad) and we plan to have a movie date night in.  While I would love to go out, we hate going out on Friday nights because it’s too crowded and I don’t like waiting an hour for a table at a restaurant.

Thanks again for reliving my Texas journey last week – hope you enjoyed it!  Time to get my shit together and get this show on the road – make it a great day!

Disclaimer: This trip was provided to me free from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association to review for the blog. All opinions are my own.