LisaListed

The best things in life aren't things at all


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Zucchini Pasta A La Lisa

There is something so comforting to me about a big bowl of fresh, warm pasta covered in delicious sauce in the winter months. Comfort food at it’s finest! Unfortunately for me, my hips find pasta a little bit TOO comforting.

So, how to get a bowl of fresh, warm pasta still covered in delicious sauce that is jean approved? Use vegetables as your noodles!

I’m sure you’ve seen this latest “trend” spiraling (pun defs necessary) out of control and you’ve probably thought that the concept seems interesting but there is NO WAY that you will replace your delicious, carby pasta noodles with VEGETABLES!? Stick with me, my fellow Carb Lovers!

Think zucchini is only delicious in loaf form with chocolate? Well you are wrong, my lovely!

First, let me share some health benefits of that silly, little green squash we call the zucchini:

  •  There’s ONLY 21 calories per cup.. HELLOOOO!!
  •  A POWER house of Vitamin C… move over oranges!
  •  Lutein & Zeaxanthin which promotes healthy eyesight… I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW THE RAIN IS GONE!
  •  Manganese… no this is not a “manly” Japanese dish, but a very essential mineral that promotes healthy bone tissue development and helps your body produce collagen. Asta la vista crow lines!
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Have you SEEN more beautiful noodles?!

Now let’s get to it, shall well?

Zucchini Pasta A La Lisa Recipe:

 Ingredients:

4 medium sized zucchini
Splash of olive oil
1 garlic glove diced
1 jar of tomato sauce
1 can of tomato paste
Approximately a cup of diced onions, mushrooms, garlic and bell peppers
Seasoning (I used Italian seasoning, and the classic duo of S&P)

Directions:

> I used my Paderno World Cuisine Tri-Blade Spiral Vegetable Slicer to turn my zuch’s into long and luscious zuch noodles, but you could also use a mandolin slicer, a veggie peeler or simply a knife. I kept the peels on for extra nutrients. And it’s prettier.

> Sautee diced garlic in the EVOO for a minute or two, add the raw zuch noodles to the pan.

> Sautee, toss and coat the noodles in the oil & garlic until evenly coated. Only sautee for a minute or two… the noodles will JUST start to change color. TAKE THEM OUT! You’ll probably be tempted to keep cooking them because they still kind of look raw, but NOBODY likes mushy noodles.

> Remove noodles from the pan, put them in a side bowl.

> In same pan, sautée the diced veggies in a bit of EVOO. After they get a little bit tender, add in the tomato sauce and tomato paste.

> Stir around until heated throughout. Season to your taste.

> Once heated and seasoned accordingly, toss back in the noodles into the sauce bath.

> Toss to coat the noodles evenly and serve immediately. Dig in and be amazed!

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Be prepared to be surprised how full you are off from a beautiful bowl of vegetables that is jean friendly! All comments, tips and questions are welcomed!

Also, this was “Husband Approved” – that’s a winner in my books! Voila!

Enjoy!
Lisa

*** Can also easily be made with added meat or beans!

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Does Size Really Matter?!

The age old question that never seems to die… The answer to this question gets debated back and forth with such controversy… And yes, my lovely, you guessed it… today I am going there!!!! I am going to talk about it, give you my opinion, maybe even paint you a pretty picture, so hold on tight because HERE WE GO!!!

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My answer to this age old question only has two letters… and you guessed them ‘n’ and ‘o’!

Now is probably about the time to get your head out of the gutter, you sick perv, because you think you know what I am talking about, however you are oh so wrong. I know that you think that I’m talking about “that” and some of you were already excited to read what I was about to write, some of you were completely disgusted with me and have probably already stopped reading altogether by now, and then there were those who would never admit to wanting to read this, but secretly were pretty curious…

So if I’m not referring to “that” what the hell am I rambling about? Well I am going share with you my  journey of accepting myself the way that I am no matter what pant size I am. If you are so disappointed with this new topic, I understand if you quit reading, but I encourage you to come along for the ride, my lovely, the more the merrier! Stay tuned for tales from my double chin 🙂

Now, I’m not entirely sure at which point my mind was swallowed by society’s perception of what the perfect beach body was and how I so badly needed to obtain it to be a better person, but somewhere along the lines, it did. I think it was somewhere in my late teens or early twenties though. Throughout high school, I was always very athletic and active and never gave one thought as to what jean size I was because I truly did not care. That was such a wonderful feeling and I’m working on having that feeling back again.

I was never exactly a super scrawny rawny, nor was I obese, however I still was never happy with my body no matter what weight I was. I have always had a healthy lifestyle, I eat relatively healthy and also regularly go to the gym, however it didn’t seem to matter what I did or didn’t do, nothing was ever good enough. I would look at old pictures of myself and think to myself “man, I had a killer body back then… I wish that I appreciated it more back then, I would love to look like that again” and there were probably times that I said this to myself were I still looked the same… but when I looked in the mirror, the body I was looking at was not the body that I saw in old photos.

There was always something… too soft in one place, not enough muscle definition in another, etc… and I would focus only on that, I wouldn’t see the good parts. I used to frustrate my husband when we would take a picture together and force him to take another picture with me because I thought my face looked too fat in the first one. No matter what I ate or how hard I exercised, I was always able to find something to pick apart…

My poor husband has had to listen to me complain about how I look like a stuffed sausage in my jeans, how my body looked like a white whale in my bathing suit, etc, etc… and the poor guy endlessly told me how beautiful I was to him, but I wasn’t able to see myself through his eyes. (Much to his credit, he has never given up trying to make me see myself the same way that he sees me. And for that, I love him dearly.)

I’ve struggled for years with my weight, obsessing over it, shaming myself for it, and I have FINALLY come to realize that this bootylicious body of mine is the only one that I am ever going to get. I am 5’8″ and have been anywhere from a size 2 up to a size 10, and the size of my pants no longer controls me. I have somehow learnt to let go and to stop putting so much energy and attention on my own body image issues.

I’ve learnt that the size of my pants does not define me as a person. I’ve learnt that people aren’t going to talk about my body at my funeral, they are going to talk about what kind of person I was. I’ve learnt that I would hate for my own child to ever have negative thoughts about her body, and I that I need to ensure that she hears her Mom talk about how much she loves her body. I’ve learnt that my husband, family and closest friends do not give a single crap what size I am and that neither should I. I’ve learnt that people at the beach aren’t going to point and laugh at me, that they themselves likely have the same insecurities that I do. I’ve learnt that some years I will be a size 6 and some years I will be a size 10 and that is a-okay. I’ve learnt to accept myself the way that I am whether I ever obtain a “perfect” beach body or not. I’ve learnt that I would never in a million years talk to any other person the way that I talk to myself and that I need to start being nicer to myself.

I’ve learnt that I am a happier person when I allow myself to occasionally indulge and eat the white pasta with cream sauce, or to have a whole dessert all to myself. I am a happier person when stop I focusing on a caloric intake and outtake and just enjoy myself.
I’ve learnt not to let some symbols on a pair of pants define who I am as a person. I have learnt to fully accept myself and to own my bootlicious self no matter how licious my booty is that year…

I’ve learnt that my thighs will always be each others best friends, that they have such a strong bond that there is nothing that I can do to separate them. They keep each other company. They tell each other secrets. They cuddle and snuggle each other when comfort is needed. I’ve learnt that it’s okay if I’m never able to grate cheese off my stomach. It’s okay if my arms wave back at you a little bit when you wave to me… they are friendly and for that, I love them.

I’m more than the number says on the scale. I no longer allow that number to reflect who I am. I value so much more in this life than jeans that might be a little bit too snug. And that, my lovely, is why size does not matter.

Enjoy Life,
L


41 Comments

A Letter To My Thighs

Dear Thighs,

First of, I would like to apologize to you. I am sorry for whispering behind your back and saying those hurtful things. You’re right, at first I was sorry to have been caught saying them, but now I really am sorry for saying that I wish I could have the very desired “thigh gap”.

I have come to my senses over the past few years and I am sorry for ever thinking such absurd thoughts. I understand now that you have such a bond with each other and how could I ever wish for you to part ways?! You two are the best of friends and have such a strong bond with one another and I am ashamed that I tried to ruin it. How could I ever want to ruin such a physical and emotional bond!? I’m sorry.

You have stuck together through almost 30 years and I am disgusted with myself for wanting to separate you two. I know that you guys keep each other company, that you tell each other secrets. I know that you cuddle ands snuggle one another when comfort is needed. You two are soul mates, you two deserve one another. The love between the two of you is so strong and fierce that it is often envied by many.

My dear thighs, I love you just the way you are. Through thick and thin, come hell or high water, I guarantee you that you will never, ever have to part.

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With Utmost Love,
LisaListed

My lovely, did you ever fall victim to the “thigh gap” tornado?

Enjoy Life!
L

 


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Hit Me With Your Best Shot – I Did, And Yes, That Was My Best Shot

They always say to wear clean underwear, but nobody ever says to not wear your ratty Walmart shorts that are over a decade old to go play tennis. Nobody ever says not to wear your crap clothes out in public in case a photographer asks to take photos of you. I wonder why nobody has ever warned me of this…?

Oh!

Because it doesn’t happen!

Except it did.

Today.

In Chicago.

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There are tennis courts really close to our apartment, so last week, through the magic of online shopping, the tennis fairy delivered racquets and balls to our door (well, the doorman, but let’s not get into semantics shall we?)

online shopping

It was a warm, sunny afternoon and we made our way over to the tennis courts. The tennis courts are not even a hop, skip and a jump away from Buckingham fountain, the Magnificent Mile, the beautiful Lake Michigan. There is always tons of touristy stuff going on around there, but we wanted to escape and go get our Serena Williams on.

I actually took this shot

I actually took this shot

Walking to the courts, John says that he gets to be Maria Sharapova and he tells me that I can be Venus Williams. We talk a big talk, but neither of us have played tennis since our high school days…

This is how John chews his gum too, so I didn't put up much of a fight

This is how John chews his gum too, so I didn’t put up much of a fight

We get to the courts and rally around, never intending to actually play a game. Just hit the ball back and forth and if the balls stays in the court for 30 seconds that’s victory in itself! From a past injury, I’m unable to run or move the way that I used to be able to, so I do a lot of serving and John does a lot of returning.

Ooops, wrong sport

Ooops, wrong sport

Naturally, John looks great. I'm trying to convince him to try the ballet class with to me to show his guns a "real workout"

Naturally, John looks great. I’m trying to convince him to try the ballet class with to me to show his guns a “real workout”

As I am getting ready the serve the ball, I notice a man nearby. The man is walking, and he looks like he is coming our way. I don’t really think anything of it, and think that maybe he forgot something from an earlier game. Just before I actually serve, I hear:

“Excuse Miss, may I take your photos?”

At first, I don’t think that he is speaking to me. I turn my head and realize that his full attention is on me. I can’t help but look around and realize that I am the only person he could be talking to.

I can’t help myself and I blurt out :
“Why!?

He tells me that he is a sports photographer and would like to take some tennis shots.

The first thing that crosses my mind is that I am wearing ratty shorts that I purchased when I was 16 years old from Walmart for probably $10. They have been through a lot with me. They have been swimming in lakes and rivers, they have been camping, they have been slept in. They are my go to comfy shorts that are garbage worthy. Why couldn’t I be wearing  Lululemon like a normal person?! It’s just not my nature I suppose…

lulu tennis 2

You

me tennis

ME

I shout to John across the net that this man is going to be taking our photos, and I see John look at the five other tennis courts where there are actually quite good tennis players. They have the fancy racquets (our racket strings still had the big ‘W’ in the middle… a true sign of amateurs), they have the proper sunglasses, the proper grunting, and the proper footwork.

tennis gear

I’m thinking the same thing John is thinking “why the hell did he choose us?!”

 

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So, John and I resume “playing” tennis and we can’t help but have our competitive sides sweep over. Suddenly, we are no longer just rallying but we both feel like we are auditioning for lead roles in Wimbledon. We are both desperately trying to impress the photographer… why? I don’t know, it’s just what happens when a photographer asks to take photos of you.

 

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pro tennis 3pro tennis 4pro tennis

We are both exhausted, drenched in sweat, only now playing tennis so that the photographer could take photos. I can’t help but wonder if he is any good at photoshop and that he if can fix any of those jiggly spots of mine. I cross my fingers that he is a photoshop wiz.

photoshop

John and I finally muster up the courage to tell the photographer that we are finished. I tell some lie that we have somewhere to be, and then we hurry out of there. We hustle so fast that you would have thought that we were escaping the big bad wolf. We grab our things and bolt right on out of there JUST IN CASE the photographer asks us if we want to see his photos or he offers to send them to us… now, my lovely, there are some things in this world better left unseen and to me, those pictures are one of them.

But hey, at least we were wearing clean underwear!

Enjoy Life,
L


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A Ballerina Kicked My Butt

Once we settled into our new apartment in Chicago (code for our boxes were pushed to one side of the room), I went on the hunt. I went on the hunt to find a new gym. Since we were living downtown, I thought that there would be plenty of possible contenders where I could get my squat on. Surprisingly, there weren’t as many as I had expected. Perhaps my expectations were too high… wouldn’t be the first time.

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So I finally found the place where I would spend my mornings. The main ingredients that I was looking for in my new gym were:

1) Cleanliness… no explanation necessary
2) Safety … Back in Canada, I had never ever used a lock in a gym locker, however, I knew that I would likely have to start here.
3) Location – Close enough that I couldn’t convince myself that the gym was “too far” come winter time.
4) GROUP CLASSES – I likely would have given up everything else for the best group class schedule

I like Group Classes because they make me do things that I would never do on my own. A good class will push me to my absolute limit, will make me drop many “eff bombs” in my mind, will teach me new things, and will leave me covered in a nice, healthy, dripping glow of sweat.

group class

One of the classes that my gym offers is “Ballet Sculpt”. It followed the 6:00am spin class, so I thought that I would give it a whirl. I thought that it would be a good stretch and a good, long cool down after coming straight from my spin class.

spin
ballet feet

So I enter the studio, and see that everybody else has taken their shoes off, has a mat and has a set of 2.5 lbs weights. I grab a mat, take my shoes off, grab two weights in one hand and think to myself “Pfft I got this…” I even ponder the thought about ditching the class before it even starts so that I can go do some “real weights” on my own, but I figure that I’ll at least give the class a shot.

grandma weights

The instructor turns on some Lady Gaga, tells us to grab our dinky little weights and she leads us through a set of arm exercises. I’m following along, waving my dinky weights in the air, preparing for her to tell us to stop and to do some sort of pilates style moves on the mat.

pilates

Except she doesn’t stop. She doesn’t stop for 15 minutes.

Now, I don’t care who you are, I don’t care how big your biceps are, I don’t care how strong you think you are. Waving 2.5 lbs around for 15 minutes is tiring beyond belief. By the end of it, I couldn’t breathe properly. I couldn’t lift my arms straight above my head if my life depended on it. I couldn’t lift my arms straight to my sides to form a T-shape. My arms didn’t straighten. They were too heavy. And that is when I realized that maybe this “Ballet Sculpt” class was going to be a hell of a lot tougher than I gave it credit for.

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Think you’re tough, do ya? Try Ballet…

After the tiny, little ballerina is done yelling at us: “Do. Not. Put. Those. Weights. Down. Keep going, push it! Puussssshh it! You’re almost there!” (you were not almost there, that is a lie that they tell you to trick you), we go to the bar! (I’ll have a cosmo with raspberry vodka please)

Ah, now I feel like a ballerina! The bar – Where I picture tiny little girls in their tutus, being all cutesy and ballerina like. This part will be simple, I thought.
ballerina girl

It was not simple at all. We start plie-ing, and the instructor keeps coming over and telling me to stop squatting. “It’s a plie, not a squat!!!” After all these years of doing squats, I’ve never been yelled at for doing one. In fact, I’ve received compliments on my lunge and squat form from complete strangers at other gyms. When I bend down, my body just naturally squats. I can’t seem to control it from stopping… If the body wants to squat, let it squat!

squat

Nope… she was not having any part of it.

“Tuck your butt in!” I don’t even know how to tuck my butt in…
“Keep your back straight!”…. I’m trying to tuck my butt in, I didn’t know my back wasn’t straight! Finally, she gives up on me and I do my absolute best to plie rather than squat.

Please don’t yell at me, tiny little ballerina lady.

james van der beek

After we plie (by ‘we’ I mean ‘they’), we then start kicking. I don’t know what the ballerina term is for kicking, but I’ve always been a straight shooter and to me, a kick is a kick. So we stand with our feet angled out so they are shaped as a ‘V’ and we repeatedly kick over, and over, and over again with our one leg in the same direction. At first, it started out fun. My toes were even pointed (thank you gymnastic classes that I took as a child), and I kicked so high that I thought I was going to kick Heaven. But then after probably five minutes of doing the same kick over and over again, I could hardly lift my foot off the ground. My other leg is starting to ache in places that I didn’t know could ache. It’s not supposed to support all of my body weight for that long on it’s own…  after all, isn’t that why we have two legs!?

There are plenty of “eff bombs” rolling through my mind at this point, there is sweat dripping into my eyes, my arms can hardly reach my face to wipe the sweat off because they are so shaky from those dinky weights, and I see the tiny, little ballerina coming over my way as she shouts at us to “pulse”.

pissed off face

“How does one pulse a kick?” I wonder to myself. Well, you pulse a kick by holding your leg up as high as it can go and by making it go up and down REALLY fast without dropping your leg too much. But, the problem is is that by now, I literally cannot lift my leg much higher than a foot off the ground. Even a foot is probably giving myself too much credit.

So I am pulsing as best as I can as the tiny, ballerina lady comes over to me and shouts at me to go HIGHER! I try… God knows that I tried. She shouts at me again to go HIGHER, but I physically cannot lift my leg any higher. In fact, my leg is so tired that I am now not even able to pulse it a foot off the ground. I pulse the best that I can, thinking to myself that even if I had a gun to my head I could not pulse any higher. I’d have to get shot… and at that point, that didn’t seem like such a terrible idea (I kid, my lovely, I kid…)

So finally, the class is over. One of the longest hours of my life. I plied, I kicked, I got yelled at by a ballerina… And at that moment, I remember thinking to myself that maybe I should have gone to the spin class as a cool down from the ballet class instead!

funny spin

As I left the class, I learnt that a ballerina is a whole hell of a lot more than I have ever given credit for. A ballerina could kick a ninja’s butt anyday… She sure as heck kicked mine.

Enjoy Life,
L