Kelly the Culinarian: January 2019

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Three Things Thursday

1. I've been working from home for a week now because of the weather. It's been colder than our generation has ever experienced, so I've stayed inside and become a crazy dog lady who picks up her dog to take him outside.

2. I've learned one week into the Transformation Challenge that the difference between being under and over calories is razor thin when you're 5'3". Brent regularly has more calories left at the end of the day than I consumed all day. I'm operating at a deficit, naturally, because I'm trying to lose weight. In the past week, I've created enough of a deficit that I could have had two Taco Bell Burrito Supremes. A day. Every day. On top of everything else I ate.
Missing: 2 Burrito Supremes

3. I've reached peak suburbanite in the past week by taking the wrong, identical coat home from Orange Theory. It's that time of year where every woman in this area of a certain age wears a 3/4 length black North Face puffy jacket. I got home and only several hours later when I went to walk Napoleon did I realize the jacket I was wearing was too big, and the stitching was white instead of black. I had to call the studio and go back and exchange it with the (equally bewildered) woman who took my jacket. Long story short, I now have to label my winter gear like I do for the kids.

Why hello, I'm definitely an adult, why do you ask?

Monday, January 28, 2019

Chicago Auto Show First Look For Charity 2019

First Look for Charity looks through the years
I can't believe this is going to be my fifth year working with the Chicago Auto Show! Smashmouth was right, the years start coming and they don't stop coming.

A little something for everyone
Anyhow, another year, another dress and another memorable night is right around the corner. The First Look for Charity is Feb. 8 and gives attendees a unique look at all the auto show has to offer while enjoying local treats to benefit local charities. In the past 27 years, the event has raised more than $50 million for more than 20 charities in our backyard. For some of these organizations, #FLFC19 is the only fundraiser they have to keep providing services to people in need in Chicago.

The premise is pretty awesome: get dressed up in your favorite black tie apparel, walk around and look at amazing cars with diminished crowds, eat incredible food in insane quantities, enjoy local beverages and hand-crafted cocktails, raise money for nonprofits that need it. There's also live music and a raffle for two brand-new cars (I'm not eligible but don't cry for me, I'll be just fine).

Earlier this month, I stopped by Acura McGrath, which is one of the sponsoring dealerships, for a preview of this year's food. I'm really excited because the food was much different from years past - think tiny tacos, custom-printed macaroons and expertly assembled old fashioneds.

So if you don't have plans or are looking for a great gift for Valentine's Day, consider buying #FLFC19 tickets and making the trek to the McCormick Center on Feb. 8. It's a memorable evening that has something for everyone and is for a great cause. See you there?

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Welcome to my OTF #TransformationChallenge

Hi mom, I hope you like this.

Pre-Ironman me
Current me, at the #FLFC19 Preview
My fitness routine has changed significantly since my last Ironman. And if I'm being honest, I floundered for a while. I trained for and finished Circular Logic verrrry slowly in 2018 and then chilled for a few weeks, trying to decide what to do next. After my experience with Spenga, I wondered what other fitness trends might be out there that would appeal to me. And after years of steady-state cardio, I was ready to do something that made me look better in a bikini instead of a tri suit.

Enter Orange Theory La Grange.

Last April, I signed up for an intro class and got my ass handed to me. I'm a three-time Ironman finisher and I was unattractively sweating from the word "go" and got worked over in an hour. I signed a six-month contract on the spot and reasoned that the more I went, the cheaper it would be. The six-month membership was still cheaper than an Ironman entry fee and I knew my body couldn't do a third year in a row of Ironman training.

Day 1 of the #TransformationChallenge
What's kept me coming back is that in an hour, I'm done. There are tons of classes daily and they include weight lifting and cardio. The quest to get 12 minutes in the orange and red (z4/5) of your heart rate is a powerful enough incentive for me to keep pushing through the tough parts. Also, because it's constantly varied, I'm not usually that sore or worn down.

Now what's keeping me going is the Transformation Challenge. OTF La Grange invited me to participate and cover my fees in exchange for my honest opinions about the experience. It's an eight-week program in which participants have to make it to three workouts per week during six out of the eight weeks. There's a pre-, mid- and post-program weight in and the person who loses the greatest percentage of weight wins a cash prize. Mostly, it's about camaraderie and mutual suffering. OTF La Grange split us into two teams with at studio assistant monitoring us weekly with small challenges along the way. We started Monday, and the first challenge was to track our food.

My body has definitely changed since I started in the spring, but my diet has just gotten worse. I like beer and tacos and chocolate. I travel a ton for work now and my meals aren't always up to me (and if I fly 7,000 miles to a place I'm going to eat the local delicacies). So for the duration of this challenge, I'm tracking my food via FitBit and focusing on quality protein and lots of vegetables. I weighed in at 141 and my goal is to drop 10 pounds. This would put me close to my pre-Ironman weight and would go a long way in helping me fit into my dress for the Chicago Auto Show's First Look for Charity.

Basically, I want to see what would happen to my body if I could couple a less crap-tastic diet with solid physical activity in my peak fitness zone.

Follow me on Instagram, where I'll be chronicling my workouts and meals, and check back to how far I can get on my journey to be the best me.