Health and Fitness

This can serve as a reminder that I feel good when active and reasonably fit. Having reduced my weight by 28 pounds, starting at 204 pounds following our ski trip to Utah and currently at 176 pounds, I am more comfortable (both physically and mentally, I suppose) and feel more energetic. My initial goal was to drop my weight from “overweight” to within the “optimum” BMI range for my height, which, for a 5’11” individual, is between 136 and 172 pounds. I am getting closer to the upper threshold and, recognizing the reported shortcomings of the use of BMI for measuring “healthy” weight, I am working to change my focus to healthy meals and drinks (I should probably quit the Diet Cokes!), daily exercise and activity, and taking the time to think and write (and plan family adventures, which, if I’m honest, is one of my favorite things to do). The desire to be fit is largely personal, but a big motivator for me is a desire to remain healthy to be 100% with Lindsey, Harvey, and Carson. (Although, I’m guessing that no matter how much I run / bike / practice golf, the boys will outpace me before too long!, and I will love to see that.)

I Lost 30 Pounds Using Nutrisystem

In late June, I watched mom and dad try Nutrisystem and both had outstanding results. So, I decided to try it and, after following it meal for meal and snack for snack with no exceptions for two months, I’ve lost right around 30 pounds – down to 183 from 211. My initial goal was 182, which was my weight when I started at the University of Michigan in 2000 (see reference picture to the right, of me standing on my doorstep at 1518 Golden Street).

Over the years of working, law school, and more working, the pounds had slowly added on. It was a combination of lack of exercise and poor eating (like downing some Cinnamon Toast Crunch each evening, where “some” was limited by the bottom of the box!).

As a result of my weight loss, I’ve recovered a few suits, some other clothes, and most importantly, my Christmas pants (see picture). And, I just feel must better. I would recommend the program to anyone. After a couple weeks of adjusting to the smaller portions, I had no issues with the plan. The food was varied and generally good. My favorite breakfast item is the waffles, on which I put peanut butter, fresh blueberries, and a little sugar free syrup.

I have about one month of Nutrisystem food left, and hope to get to a range between 175 and 180 (a little below the upper end of my BMI calculation). I’m also trying to dedicate more time to working out (both lifting and cardio), as that will continue the good habits.

Just wanted to write and share this, so that I remember that it’s possible to try to loose weight, and actually do so!

Side note: today is my 36th birthday, 17 years after the start of college!

Harvest Weekend

We had a unique opportunity today to help a friend harvest his family’s Riesling grapes for processing into wine. We started mid-morning. The cold wind cut through the bare vines as we nipped clusters of grapes with pruning sheers. Most of the grapes were within three feet of the ground – the perfect height for Harvey to pluck one grape after another. He must have eaten fifty!

At home in the afternoon, we harvested leaves and thousands of acorns and deposited them deep in the woods. Mother nature can transform them into rich soil. The number of acorns is astonishing. With each gust of wind, they rain down on the roof of the Hielands House.

The weekend ended with my first trip to Beers n’ Hymns at Right Brain Brewery. I’d never been to either Right Brain or BNH, so the evening was double-fun. Lindsey’s co-worker, Rick, was playing keyboard and the place was packed full of folks singing away. (And, the chips and guacamole was excellent!)

Have a great week! Here’s some pictures of our weekend fun.




# 4 Spinach Potato Casserole

DELICIOUS! Ok I have to apologize right away … I forgot to take a photo. But I love this dish.

Boil a big pot of water and peel a few potatoes and then boil the potatoes for about 15 minutes

Pour a little olive oil in a pan and saute a whole chopped up onion and a few garlic cloves, also chopped.

Add spinach (I had un froze a frozen kind), and then add chunks of sausage (I had cut up sausage links) .

Drain the water and mash the potatoes with a dash of nutmeg, a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, 1/3 cup of skim milk and 1/2 cup of swiss cheese.

Mix it all together with the onion/sausage/spinach combo and place in an 8×8 baking dish. Cover with a 1/2 cup more of shredded swiss cheese and cook at 400 for 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly!


Chris’s Rating – 8…I think, he said “add it to the rotation”, which is a good sign.

Lindsey’s Rating – 9…I initially gave it a lower grade, but after having it for lunch the next day, it was even more amazing so it gets bonus points for left over ability.

# 3 – Apricot Chicken

Success! This dish was divine.

Ingredients – chicken, 12 oz jar of apricot preserves, 1 onion chopped up, little bit of crushed red pepper flakes, 1 tsp soy sauce, and a little squeeze of dijon mustard. It was wonderful, flavorful and a little spicy.

Super easy to make and we heated it up the next day and it tasted just as amazing.

Chris’ Rating – 9

Lindsey’s Rating – 8

# 2 – Cranberry Roast

One Word. Yuck.

Ingredients – 2 lbs stew meat, 1 can whole cranberries, 1 onion chopped, 2 table spoons soy sauce.

I think I overcooked the crap out of this…10 hours on low in the crockpot. The flavor was great but the meat was chewy. It was so disappointing because the house smelled out of this world when we got home from work.

In the future I would use less soy sauce, another can of cranberries and maybe some chopped up celery.

Lindsey’s Rating – 4

Chris’ Rating – 6 (I think he was being generous).