Day 11

Weight: Did not weigh in this morning.

Exercise: Ran 2.90 miles in 28 minutes, 45 seconds. Seems I shortchanged myself .13 miles based on how I mapped my run.

Breakfast: Small bowl of Nutty Nuggets with almond milk.

AM Snack: Reheated Cheezy Scalloped Potatoes with Sriracha hot sauce.

Lunch: Reheated, baked sweet potato with Sriracha hot sauce

Dinner: Shredded hash brown potacos with cabbage, cheese sauce #2 and salsa roja.

Synopsis: Just past the half way point of my 20 day challenge and I believe I have been put forth a very good effort. Most of my meals have centered around starch, although on days I work, if I have not cooked up potatoes for breakfast, I fall back to the reliable and quick Nutty Nuggets for my drive into work. Not the best option, but feel I rebound fine the remainder of the day.

I didn’t weigh in today, I only realized this as I was walking out of the door to walk. Not a big problem, I could guess my weight would be within half a pound of where I was on Day 10. As I have said from the beginning, my potato hack is not about losing weight, but strengthening my mentality for eating simple, healthy foods. I have been very good about avoiding nuts (although when I eat my salad, I do add a palmful of almonds) and not using tofu, avocado or olives. Thankfully I found the white bean based cheese sauce, which I seem to use very liberally over many of my meals.

It was nothing but potatoes at work, as I reheated Julie-Marie’s Cheezy Scalloped Potatoes for the final time. If I were to recommend this dish, I would say try to eat it all the day you make it. Mine did not look very appetizing 3 days later, but I still thought they tasted good, but added som Sriracha to give them a little kick. It wasn’t long after I finished my snack that I found myself chowing down on my sweet potato. I wanted to eat and give myself at least 2-3 hours before I got home and went on my daily run, which would be 3 miles today.

The eating worked out fine and I had plenty of energy to run 2.90 miles, improve my mile time by :09 seconds and finish the run in 28 minutes, 45 seconds. Somehow the course I had mapped out on Endomondo showed 3.03 miles, but the app I used logged me at 2.90. That puts me at just over 8 miles run this week as I face a final 3 mile run on Saturday.

Dinner wasn’t complicated, but I spent another 2 hours in the kitchen cooking dinner. After returning from the market I planned on shredded hash brown potacos. In a pinch I used taco seasoning sprinkled over the potatoes, which I had tosses in the bowl and mixed. I also made up a batch of cheese sauce #2, salsa roja and Chef AJ’s Husband’s Favorite No-oil Balsamic Vinaigrette. In between all this I was making more baked corn tortilla chips, for the family to snack on.

Have you ever noticed how some kitchen mistakes end up making your food taste better? It doesn’t happen often and honestly I am not sure what I was thinking. While making my cheese sauce it called for a quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepper. So I unscrewed the lid and had hoped to sprinkle it in the food processor. What actually happened was about 2 tablespoons poured out. After some colorful language I said, “oh well, I like spicy” and turned the food processor on. It resulted in a deeper orange-red color and a very good taste, my wife’s best friend commented on it tasting “more like what you would find on nachos.”

A few other food observations while cooking today. Chef AJ’s Balsamic dressing came out much thicker than it did the first time around. I followed the directions as they were listed and saved the Xanthan Gum until everything else was processed. It still tasted wonderful, hopefully it spreads over a salad just as nice as it tastes. Finally the salsa roja. My wife disagrees with me, but Julie-Marie has one of the best tasting salsa recipes I have ever made. Usually it’s a simple pico de gallo salsa I would make for any Mexican dish I made. I think I have found my new go to salsa. I used about 4 chips of grape tomatoes along with about 8 chile de Arbol peppers, which were all roasted and placed into the food processor. I processed and then added cilantro. This salsa was bursting with flavor and did not overpower the palate with a hot, spicy sensation. I can only hope the flavors came together nicely tomorrow when the salsa has a time to cool down.

Tomorrow I end the work week with a weight lifting session, as well as friends over for dinner. They were considerate enough to ask if I wanted a veggie pizza, but my wife, speaking for me said no. It will be leftovers or more potacos while they eat pizza.

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