Two a Healthy Life

One couple on a mission to become healthy

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Day 10: Long days & Week “2.5”

He said:

I was supposed to write an article on yogurt varieties, but I had to work late and didn’t have time.  Thus I am working on it now and should have it done tomorrow night.

As I said I had to work late today, and was beginning to feel the pangs of hunger so I grabbed a handful of mixed nuts which helped quell the urge to eat something bad.  The last couple of days have been harder than last week, but I think I am coming out of my funk and am getting excited about the next couple of days.

Food Log:

Breakfast: Skyr (100 cal.)

Mid-morning snack: Banana (120 cal.)

Lunch: Lentil Soup (1g fat, 250 cal.)

Mid-afternoon snack: Apple (100 cal.) + nuts (5g fat, 150 cal.)

Dinner: Carrot Ginger Soup + Salad (5g fat, 216 cal.)

Peanut Butter and Jelly cookie (75 cal.)

Total calories: 1011 calories


She Said:

So today was accidentally a good day.

My workout at the gym was harder than yesterday… and I realized when I got home it was because I was running more than I should be at this point in the couch-to-5k program.

I should be alternating between 90 seconds of running and 2 minutes of walking but I had mentally flipped it and was running for 2 minutes and walking for 90 seconds.

The amount I ended up running is somewhere between week 2 and week 3. So lets call it week 2.5… I will finish this week running the 2.5 program and step it up to week 3 next week.

It should be easier transitioning to week 3 than anticipated.

After the gym I went to the store to get ingredients for carrot ginger soup. In the Mollie Stone’s parking lot I talked to a guy from Vespa on the phone and set an appointment for my second interview(tomorrow at 10:30 a.m.) which I am really excited about.

It’s easier to get out of bed in the morning these days because I know that I will weigh less than I did the previous day. I love getting up in the morning, hopping on the scale and watching the numbers drop.

As of right now I have lost 3 pounds more than the goal I had set for March 1st.


Food Today:

Siggi’s Yogurt (100 cal.)

Lentil Soup (250 Cal. 2.5g fat)

Peanut Butter and Jelly cookie (75 cal.)

Carrot ginger soup / salad (216 cal. 4.5g fat)

1 cup milk (90 calories)

Total: 731 calories 6.5g fat

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Day 9: Overcoming Angst & helladelicous Vegetarian Sandwiches

He said:

Well I must have set myself up yesterday by saying there would be days were I just wouldn’t feel it.  Today was kind of one of those days.  It is not that anything specific happened to make me not motivated, well that’s not exactly true.

My goal weight is 175 and this has been kind of like the pie in the sky weight I have held in the back of my mind for a while.  Now that I am getting close, I still do not look the way that I thought I would when I got there.

I think that I have a realistic idea of how I want to look, regardless of the weight that this pertains to, and I do not look close to that.  I told Alex this, and she was supportive in the way that a girlfriend should be, by not being sympathetic.  She was hard on me when I needed it, I have to be happy with what I have done this far, and be patient for getting where I want to go.

I have to remind myself that this is a lifestyle change, and that it didn’t take a couple months to put all this weight on (all the usual hackneyed sayings). Got to keep to the path, and keep going, because if I go back to the way I was, I will never reach my goal (I always have to keep this in mind).

Thank you Alex for being the rock I need.

Food Log:

Breakfast: Skyr (100 cal.)

Mid-morning snack: Banana (120 cal.)

Lunch: Lentil Soup (1g fat, 250 cal.)

Mid-afternoon snack: Apple (100 cal.)

Dinner: Vegetarian Sandwich + Salad (13g fat, 450 cal.)

Total calories: 1020.

She Said: 

Today I continued week 2 of my couch-to-5k program and it felt a lot easier than last week.

I think this was in part because Nathaniel and I were pretty active this weekend although we didn’t “work out” in the traditional sense. A walk across San Francisco is nothing to sneeze at.

After the gym I went to Lucky’s and purchased mushrooms, zucchini, an apple and a few other things to make a delicious vegetarian sandwich for dinner that Nathaniel and I both love with a salad.

I included the recipe in another blog because I don’t want to spam people with my day-to-day writing (like this). We are actually getting a decent amount of hits for this being Day 9 of the blog. We had 80 views yesterday!

The recipes we’ve been putting out are getting the most hits- hence why I want to be able to advertise those separately.

Nathaniel was feeling bummed today because although he has lost 40 lbs. he isn’t as close to looking the way he thought he would after all that weight loss. While I certainly understand that, I feel he has hit to many personal benchmarks lately to be reasonably feeling that way.

Something I kind of brought up to him the other day was how depressing it can be for me to be so far behind him in weight loss. He started this regimen before I moved back to California and had lost about 25 lbs. before I lost my first 5.

As his girlfriend it’s hard to fight back feelings of insecurity when I know there is no healthful way for me to catch up to him in weight loss. By the time he reaches his overall goal in physical appearance I will only be half way to mine. Maybe not even that.

Any way you look at it –that’s hard for me to deal with psychologically.

Food Today:

Siggi’s Yogurt (100 cal.)

Banana (120 cal.)

Red Pear (103 cal.)

Lentil Soup (250 cal. 1g fat)

Vegetarian Sandwich + Salad (450 cal. 13g fat)

Total: 1,023 Calories 14g fat

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Best Vegetarian Sandwich

How to make the most delicious vegetarian sandwich you will ever have…

About a month ago I visited Outerlands in San Francisco with my friend Lauren and had a delicious almost vegetarian sandwich. I wanted to re-create it home but Nathaniel insisted I stick to our vegetarian Monday-Friday routine.

In doing a version of the Outerlands sandwich I invented one of our favorite healthy meals although today was only the second time I’ve made it.

I will list the steps separately but if you can multi-task with two skillets by all means do it. 8 steps looks like a lot of steps but it’s really not – I was just really detail orientated in how I broke it down.


2 small zucchini

1 small yellow onion

1 granny smith apple

5 oz. shitake mushrooms

4 slices of low fat cheese

2 large slices of sourdough bread from a round loaf (or whatever bread you prefer)

Olive oil

1 tablespoon of butter

Salt and Pepper

***Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

  1. Thinly slice one small onion as you melt 1tbsp of butter on a skillet (low heat). Once the butter is melted toss in the onion and stir it every once in a while as you do steps 2-6.
  2. Slice your zucchini into ¼ inch wide strips or ¼ inch rounds and place on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with PAM
  3. Slice an apple into 6 ¼ inch rounds and place on another baking sheet that has also been sprayed with PAM
  4. Pour about 1 table spoon of olive oil onto a small plate, dip a fork into the oil and use the fork tongs to lightly dot olive oil on top of the apple slices and zucchini.
  5. Salt and pepper the zucchini before sliding the two trays into the oven. Zucchini and apple can be taken out of the oven when they are easily pierced with a fork (10-15 minutes).
  6. After you get the zucchini and apples into the oven your onion should be almost done. When the onions have caramelized to your liking place them off to the side in a small bowl.
  7. Add the shitake mushrooms to the same pan you cooked the onions in and cook on medium-low until soft (5-6 minutes)
  8. Once the zucchinis, apple, onions and mushrooms are cooked you are ready to layer them on top of your bread with cheese and broil for 10-15 minutes.

From the bottom layer up I constructed them: bread, cheese, apple, onions, mushrooms, zucchini and cheese. Each piece of bread only had 2 slices of low fat cheese on them and as you can see by the photo it was more than enough.

I washed dishes as the cheese melted atop the sandwiches so after dinner we only had two plates to wash.

Total time: 40 minutes and I wasn’t hurrying.

Makes 2 servings. Each Serving: Approx. 400 calories and less than 10g fat.

We paired ours tonight with a salad.


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Day 8: Reach for those PRs & Oatmeal

He said:

Today was another great day, not only did my car pass smog (it is a 1993 Accord) but I set a new PR (personal record, yeah I had never herd of this before Alex told me) for jogging today.  I was able to go 2.7miles without stopping and at a pretty decent clip.  Alex rode my bike along side me which helped motivate me to reach deep when I started to feel tired.

This brings me in a way to a general comment and issue that I have wanted to address, how do we stay motivated? In the past I would start a new lifestyle regime with all the gusto I could muster and for a while it would be good, but eventually I would loose steam and fall off my program.

One solution I have thought of is to keep in mind the phrase “this too shall pass”.  I herd this when I was young and it has stuck with me throughout my life.  The basic tenant of this saying is that when things are good or things are bad, we have a tendency to fall into the thinking that it will be forever, but this too shall pass.  I am currently riding high and am super psyched about the program and my accomplishments, but the day will come (maybe soon) where I am not going to feel all that great about it and might even be depressed.  I need save a little piece of what I am feeling now, wrap it in saran wrap, and stick it in the fridge for later.

The other idea I have is that we need to hear from you guys, anyone reading the blog who have stories of successes or are feeling the pangs of loosing steam.  Some people have already told us about there trials and tribulations in trying to loose weight and live a healthier lifestyle, and it has helped immensely.  The e-mail address is  I will check this everyday and offer advice or positive feedback, so drop us a line (comments are always welcome too, we want everyone to share in our successes and we want to share in yours!).

Food Log:

Breakfast: Skyr (100 cal.)

Mid-morning snack: Banana (120 cal.)

Lunch: Lentil Soup (1g fat, 250 cal.)

Mid-afternoon snack: Apple (100 cal.)

Dinner: Stir Fry + Egg (269 cal., 8.1g fat) + 1 cup milk (90 cal.)

Total calories: 929 cal.

She Said: 

Today I got up early but instead of heading to the gym I headed to my computer and prepared a little more for a job interview I had today at Vespa San Francisco. (I made it to the second round of interviews! Yay!)

I left the house at 11:30 to run an errand at Kinko’s before going to the interview which ended around 1:40ish. Following the interview I ran a few errands and came home.

I was feeling guilty about not getting any exercise today so when Nathaniel went for a run I followed him on his bicycle. It’s a nice loop although the wind was kind of brutal through part of it.

I am apparently really good at not eating crap food if I plan in advance what I am going to eat.

But – I am not so good at making time for the gym every single day.

I’ve made plans and promises to myself in the past that I will start eating healthier but without knowing exactly what you are going to eat I thinks its easier to slip back into poor eating habits.

Monday through Friday every week we know in advanced we are going to eat Siggi’s yogurt for breakfast. My usual breakfast used to be plain oatmeal with raisins… not too bad but still not as healthy as the yogurt we eat.

About Oatmeal- I like many of you I grew up with my parents making oatmeal loaded with butter and sugar on top. Knowing that this totally defeated the purpose of eating oatmeal I slowly weaned myself off of all that stuff till I got to the point that I enjoy plain oatmeal with raisins on it just as much as the sugary buttery stuff of my childhood.

It sounds silly but if you really just can’t handle a cup of yogurt being your entire breakfast you should try and train your taste buds to enjoy plain oatmeal.

I love oatmeal… maybe Nathaniel will be okay with having it for dinner one day this week and our transformation into an 80-year-old couple will be complete!!!

Fitting – because it’s almost his birthday.

Food Today:

Siggi’s Yogurt (100 cal.)

Lentil Soup (250 cal.  1g fat)

Stir-Fry on “rice” cauliflower with an egg: (269 cal. 8.1g fat)

4oz milk / 1 cherry cordial (120 cal. 1.5g fat)

Total: 739 cal. 10.6g fat


Faux Rice and Stir-Fry

Nathaniel’s Calorie Counter ap (by FatSecret) on his smart phone gives him healthy recipe suggestions and the other day it suggested making rice with a cauliflower.

The process is very simple:

  1. Grate the cauliflower with a regular cheese grater
  2. Place grated cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl
  3. Microwave till done checking every few minutes  (we microwaved it for about 6 minutes)
  4. Serve!

To go with our faux rice we stir-fried mushrooms, onions, baby corns, zucchini, water chestnuts, green beans and tofu. We only ended up eating half of it but altogether it was 756 calories and 13g of fat because we used a store bought stir-fry sauce.

Per serving: 189 cal., 3.1g fat

AND it was delicious!

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Day 7: of little shirts & five pounds

He said:

Today was a good day, and not simply because I didn’t get out of bed until 11 o’clock.  Alright this wasn’t the best thing, but after the hike yesterday and all the activity this week I didn’t feel too bad about sleeping in and getting ready for the rest of the week.

Once Alex and I got up and got ready to go we were off to the Gap (Alex has an interview tomorrow and needed to get a couple new things and I tagged along.  One of the great and not so great aspects of losing weight is coming to the realization that you have to start getting rid of some of the old cloths that don’t fit anymore.

The exciting part of today was when I went to try on a shirt and realized that the medium was a little too big.  I am going to take this opportunity for a little gloating in saying that today, for the first time in my adult life, I bought a small from a store.

While this means a lot to me, it also brings up the general idea that clothing companies need to standardize their sizes, as I still have some shirts that are larges that barely fit.  Regardless, this was a monumental moment for me, being very proud walking up to the register with a small shirt (that fit).  And using this a motivation to continue the work I am doing.

Getting ready for the new week and feeling jazzed about it after the shirt.  Onward!!

Food Log:

Mid-morning snack: Banana (120 cal.)

Lunch:  Skyr (100 cal.)

Dinner: Stir Fry (189 cal., 3.1g fat)

Total calories: 409*

*Yes I know this I not enough calories for a normal day.  I attribute the little amount of calories I ate to waking up extremely late, and yesterday being free day.  I was not hungry today and was not starving myself at all, this was just a normal day.  We will see how tomorrow goes.

She Said:

Today Nathaniel and I had to rush off to the GAP as soon as we crawled out of bed around 11 a.m.

I had to get some new clothes for my interview with Vespa tomorrow (very excited) so Nathaniel came with me to do some shopping.

The GAP visit wasn’t as epic for me as it was for Nathaniel but I am already at the goal weight I had set for myself for March 1st!

I’ve lost 5 lbs!

If I could lose 15 more in the next 5 weeks I would be incredibly pleased! Nathaniel and I have agreed that when I get to that point (It will be my ¼ way goal) we will go to Foreign Cinema.

I’ve wanted to go to Foreign Cinema for a couple of years so it will be a nice treat!

On the healthy side of things – Tonight we tried a new recipe for “faux rice” where you grate cauliflower and microwave it; it really does end up having rice like texture! We are going to write more about it in a separate post.

I am hoping to keep up the momentum and have an equally successful week as the past 7 days have been… Onward!

Today’s Food:

Breakfast: 1 cup of coffee

lunch: ½ a turkey sandwich / a diet coke

Dinner: Stir Fry (189 cal., 3.1g fat)

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Day 6: Healthy Date on a free day


We Said:

We went to see ‘Iron Lady’ last night, and it ended up being a double feature with ‘My Week With Marilyn’ meaning that we did not get back home and into bed until late.  The reason this is important is because we had a hike planned for today, and we needed to get up early to make sure it happened.  Many a Saturday starts with the attempt to get up that quickly demoralizes into laziness. Luckily, Nathaniel got up a half hour after he said he would and we made it out the door by nine.

The difference with this hike is that it wasn’t a mountain or out in the forest, but an urban hike.  As a couple trying to loose weight together, it is important to try and find activities that you enjoy that also provide exercise.  We planned on taking a walk/hike from the ferry building at the embarcadero to a restaurant in the Sunset.

San Francisco is roughly seven miles wide with some intense hills so we really had no idea how long the ‘urban hike’ was going to take.

We left the car at the Daily City Bart and took the train to the embarcadero stop, which is about a block away from the Ferry building. Saturdays it hosts a moderate sized farmers market with plenty of food vendors and vegetables.  Seeing as it is our free day, we had a, don’t laugh, vegan doughnut (that was delicious) and a chocolate chip sea salt cookie at the ferry building before taking off.

Our path (see above), lead through the city into Golden Gate park and ended in the outer sunset. We were going to have lunch at Outerlands but it was too busy so we ended up having a delicious snack at Beachside Café.  After Beachside we took muni back to the car.

All in all, we walked 7.8 miles today, while still enjoying the fact that it was free day and we could eat whatever we wanted.

In the past Nathaniel has mentioned that he would push free days to the max (KFC, McDonalds, brownies, cakes, etc) and while the entire idea of the day is to be rewarded for the week’s diet/exercise we try and not go overboard on what we have.

It was a great day full of good conversation and some amazing sites of the city along with a good amount of exercise.

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Apple Chips

Here is a recipe that I came across a couple of days ago that sounded super easy and is something I have bought in the past to snack on; Apple Chips!

In the store you can buy them by the bag, and while they are tasty, why eat preservatives when you can make them yourself for virtually no cost.  They turned out delicious and they are a great addition to take on hikes or walks as they wont go bad (or get bruised).

Ingredients: 1-2 large apples (of any variety), 1 lemon


Preheat over to 200 degrees.

Cut the apple(s) into 1/4 inch slices (as best as you can) and put into a pan lined with parchment paper.  Once all the slices are cut, drizzle lemon juice on them (I assume this is to keep them from oxidizing as they dry), I would squeeze the lemon on them and then use the fibers of the lemon as a paint brush to paint it on the slices.

Bake in oven for two hours, turning the slices over in the middle.

Notes: depending on how thick you slice the apples will determine how long they should bake.  If you want soft (more like dehydrated apple slices) then bake on a lower temperature for less time, for a more “chip” like texture then bake them for the time recommended.  Just keep an eye on them near the end of the second hour as they may begin to burn.  USE THE PARCHMENT PAPAER, thinner slices will stick to the pan.

Slices ready to go in the oven

Delicious Apple Chips (with as many calories as the apple you used, generally between 50-100)


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An ode to the omelet!

I love omelets, especially the kind that cost $15 at restaurants and come with sour cream, avocado, bacon and all that other delicious stuff… mmm…

One whole egg however nearly maxes out your recommended daily cholesterol intake.

I started making omelets at home because they are delicious and restaurants overcharge for them.

I started making egg white omelets because an omelet with 5 whole eggs will eventually kill you.

Each egg white only has 16 calories while the yolk has 54 along with most of the egg’s cholesterol and protein.

My lunch today was an almost egg white omelet (it had one yolk) filled with spinach, onion, 1 serving of feta and a sliced tomato on the side. You can obviously customize yours anyway you want and have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Total calories for lunch: 230 with 24.3g protein

Quick Tips on making an omelet:

  1. You should cook your eggs on medium to medium high heat
  2. Make sure your pan is up to heat before you place your eggs inside of it – if you take too much time cooking the omelet it will dry out
  3. Allow it to half cook before you add your spinach, feta, mushrooms etc…
  4. Make sure you are using a nonstick pan and/or nonstick spray because folding your omelet will be a disaster if it sticks (French people will tell you to use a lot of butter to coat the pan which will taste better but also defeat the purpose of making an egg white omelet)

For more omelet tips read this blog entry on bonappé

***Note: If I ever talk about making something you want to try and you don’t understand my directions ask me to clarify.  I will do a step-by-step how to either with photos or a video.

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Day 4: Food rules & Cherry Cordials

He said:

Today was a hard day.  I finished my mid-morning snack and about thirty minutes later I was hungry again.  I only took half a bowl of soup for lunch (all that was left) so I ventured up to the local grocery store near my work and got a protein bar. Not eating meat during the week has one real disadvantage in that it is hard to get enough protein without consuming a lot of carbs.

Thinking that this week I have only eaten vegetables and a little rice, there has been no processed food or any food chemicals, so when I looked at the nutrition information on the protein bar it blew my mind how many ingredients it takes to make one of those (note: most of the ingredients are things that you never herb of).

This leads to a cool book that Alex randomly bought a couple weeks ago, but that I also own as well called Food Rules by Michael Pollan (who also wrote The Omnivore’s Dilemma).  Food rules is a great little book you can finish in one sitting if you want (I’m dyslexic and I still finished it in one sitting) that has a bunch of great food adages and advice in it with an easy to read approach.

One of the rules (or several rules put together) basically say that if you cannot pronounce the ingredients or if there are more then five (not including whole foods that would be part of a recipe) then you probably shouldn’t eat it.  I would agree with this and was reminded of it when I was looking at the label for the protein bar.

For years I just put things into my body without really thinking of what they were doing to it.  Growing up I thought I had a mild case of IBS but really it was probably due to the fact that I was putting lots of junk into my system (McDonalds just announced that they would stop putting ammonium hydroxide in hamburgers).

With this in mind, I am happy to say that, other then the protein bar, I have only consumed whole foods this week.  In modern society it is almost impossible to go without eating any processed foods or food chemicals, but it is a lofty goal to try and reduce the amount of these chemicals you put in your body (and most likely you’ll be eating significantly healthier).

Daily Food Log:

Breakfast: Skyr (100 cal.)

Mid-morning snack: Banana (120 cal.)

Lunch: Lentil Soup + Protein Bar(6.5g fat, 295 cal.)

Mid-afternoon snack: Apple (100 cal.)

Dinner: Carrot-Ginger Soup + Salad (7g fat, 205 cal.)

Total calories: 890.


She Said:

I’d been doing the ‘week one’ part of my couch-to-5k plan for a few weeks as I was establishing a gym routine so today I read the ‘week two’ schedule just before leaving for the gym although I told myself I was going to do the week one schedule again.

However, when I actually got on the treadmill I told myself to stop being silly (lazy) and start the week two plan. Week one wasn’t too hard even the first day I did it… wasn’t hard at all actually but when you are as out of shape as I am switching to week two was a little challenging.

So I did my 5-minute warm up walk and then switched between 90-seconds of jogging and 2 minutes of walking for 20 minutes. The most annoying part of doing this is manually changing the speed on the treadmill that many times. I wish you could program it so switch between the speeds for you!

Mini-topic: Have your cake and eat it too

I think in the long-term my nightly cherry cordial will help keep me on my diet longer than if I wasn’t eating it. During the day when I am hungry and eating yet another banana or Siggi’s yogurt while the smell of grilling meat is floating around outside it’s nice to think about that small indulgence waiting for me at the end of the day.

This idea is supported by a study Nathaniel shared with me the other day which showed that in the long term people who ate a piece of cake in the beginning of their day were more likely to keep weight off than those who didn’t.


Food Today:

1 cup Siggi’s yogurt (100 cal.)
1 bowl carrot ginger soup (145 cal. 2g fat)
1 banana (120 cal.)
Salad – lots of spinach, 5-6 cherry tomatoes, ¼ cup sliced onion, 1oz feta (80 cal. 6g fat), 1 egg (90 cal. 5g fat), balsamic vinaigrette ( 60 cal. 7 g fat)
1 cherry cordial (75 cal. 1.5g fat) (I ran out of milk / sad face)

(I consider the calories in the spinach and tomatoes to be arbitrary… kind of like celery it’s just not enough to worry about)

Total: 670 calories 16.5g fat