In Retrospect

I did it!  I finished the week at BL.  As usual, there were times I wanted to quit, but I didn’t.  I stuck it out and endured a lot of pain and I am proud of myself for my accomplishment.  I have asked myself numerous times, (and a lot of you have asked, too) why I keep going back to BL and subjecting myself to it.  I think I have that figured out.  I feel a need, at times, to push myself beyond what I think I can do.  I also like the control I feel when I am at BL and there is no fast food or other unhealthy foods available to me.  I like knowing that the only thing I’m putting into my body is clean, healthy food.  I like knowing the exact number of calories I’m ingesting each day.  I don’t have the energy or the skill to keep track of those things on my own and I like knowing that stuff, even for a week.  The point of BL is to teach their guests to replicate BL when they get home – at least to a certain extent. (Obviously nobody is going to go home and exercise for seven hours a day….) Each time I have spent a week at BL I come home and do a better job of incorporating the plan into my real life.

My big lesson this time was what I learned from my Scottish friend, Brenda.  As you know if you’ve been following this blog, Brenda got onto an airplane and came to BL with a broken arm (she didn’t know for sure it was broken, but found out later that it was).  Despite the pain she was in, Brenda did the daily hikes almost every day she was there.  She attended any exercise classes that didn’t require her to use both hands (she obviously couldn’t do the kickboxing class, but she watched us!)  When she couldn’t attend classes she was in the gym on the treadmill. Brenda used to weigh 270 pounds.  She now weighs 155.  I never knew Brenda at her heaviest – I met her this past June and she had already lost almost 100 pounds at that point.  As we chatted during the week the topic of her huge weight loss came up.  She said something that really stuck with me:  “It comes down to one thing.  You have to go to the gym.  You go if you’re tired, sick, depressed – whatever.  It’s not rocket science.  You eat less calories and you burn more calories.  That’s the only way anyone loses weight.”  She told me about her commitment to do whatever it took to lose the weight.  She had to re-prioritize things in her life so that she could do what she needed to do.  She has a very high stress job, and she had to say no to anything that wasn’t going to help her achieve her goal.  She had to learn to say “I’m sorry, I have a class at that time”, so she could go to the gym.  She just did it! (someone should make that a slogan…)

As I said many times during the week at BL “Brenda is a beast!!!”  She really is!  I admire her strength.  I cherish her friendship.  (And she’s going back to BL in January….)

I promised to share the pizza recipe from BL.  It is truly delicious, so here it is:

Green Chili, Chicken and Avocado Pizza – Serves 4

2 Udi’s Gluten Free Pizza Crusts (I couldn’t find these.  My recommendation is to use a pre-baked pizza crust of your choice, just look at the nutrition data and choose a healthy one!)

11 ounces of ricotta filling – a little more than1/2 cup  (recipe below)

4 oz. tomatillo salsa

1 cup cooked chicken in bite size pieces

1 avocado, diced

1/2 cup sliced red onion

chopped cilantro – just enough to garnish

4 oz parmesan cheese, grated

Ricotta filling:

7 ounces light Ricotta cheese

3/4 cup yellow onion, diced

1 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp sea salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

1 ounce parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Heat a saute pan over medium heat and spray with nonstick cooking spray.  Add the diced onion and cook until they are a nice brown color.  (stir often so they don’t burn!)  In a large mixing bowl, mix filling ingredients together.  (Adding warm onions will soften ricotta and make it easier to mix).  After filling is mixed well use a 1/2 cup measuring cup to scoop filling onto center of each crust.  Spread filling to edges of crust, then top with tomatillo salsa and spread this over ricotta.  Top with parmesan cheese.  Add 1/2 cup of cooked chicken pieces to each pizza.  Top with red onions.  Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Remove pizza from oven and cut into quarters.  Place 2 quarters on each plate, top with chopped cilantro and diced avocado. YUM!

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