Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Goals for the new year

I realize it's been an incredibly long amount of time since I regularly posted anything food-related here. I would be quite surprised if I was still even located in very many of your google readers!

Every year I make a list of goals that I want to accomplish. I don't like to call them resolutions because I feel like so many of us make resolutions & then don't think about them again beyond January... until it's time to make new ones. So what I do is make a list of goals, and at the end of every month, I examine them to make note of my progress. It keeps the goal fresh in my mind so I don't forget about it. Then at the end of the year, rather than focus on what I didn't accomplish, I take a look at what I did get done. For example... I did all of these things this year:
-I donated blood
-I bought a house
-I saved $1000 for our wedding reception
-I didn't buy any brand new books
-I married my best friend
-We donated to the ASPCA instead of giving wedding favors
-I completed one 5K
-I completed one scrapbook
-I donated items or money to different causes for 10 of 12 months
-I cooked at least one new item each month
-I found a new job that is a perfect fit for me
-I found 40 letterboxes
-I paid off two credit cards
-I visited a new state


So, it's time to start making my 2010 list... and one of those items is going to be to post here at least once per week. It may not seem like much, but it is a start. My hope is that by posting here, I will get back into the swing of things and my waistline may start to show some improvement! I try to have goals that relate to getting healthier, without actually saying "lose x amount of pounds" or something like that. So my goal of writing here should hopefully spark that healthy lifestyle back up over time.

I hope there are still some out there that haven't forgotten about me... you'll be seeing more of me in 2010, I promise!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Giving back

One of my goals for this year has been to donate somewhere at least once per month. I have gotten nearly every month, with maybe 1 or 2 missing out due to the wedding planning. Places I have donated have included food for a local food bank, hygiene items for a local women's shelter, my never-been-worn wedding dress to Brides Against Breast Cancer, the ASPCA received a donation in lieu of our wedding favors, and I know there were others, but off the top of my head I can't think of them all... So for October, where was I to donate? It's nearly the end of the month, and I still hadn't donated anywhere. Then in my google reader yesterday was an entry from a local blogger. I've been reading her for just a couple months, and have never even commented on her entries until yesterday, but the post she wrote moved me and inspired me. You see, her sister recently lost her battle with cancer, and she wrote about a friend of hers who donated her hair in honor of her sister.

I donated my hair once before, to Locks of Love. They make wigs for children with cancer, and they require a 10 inch minimum donation length. I wasn't quite sure that I had 10 inches at this point, but I had been growing my hair out for our wedding, so it had gotten pretty long. The program that the blogger's friend donated to was through Pantene's Beautiful Lengths program, which donates hair to the American Cancer Society to make wigs for women (not just children like Locks of Love). And their minimum donation length is only 8 inches. And I knew I had that.

So just like that, I made my decision. I was going to donate my hair. Again. My thought is that I have been extremely blessed in my life and with my family, that cancer has never directly affected me. I have great aunts and uncles who have fought their battles, but never anyone in my immediate family. I consider myself very fortunate. And because of that, I feel like I should give back, specifically for that cause. Aside from the hair donation and wedding dress donation, I was very involved with Relay for Life for 7 years (and hope to be involved again next year). So it was a no-brainer that this hair was getting chopped. It will grow back for me, whereas there is someone out there who can't grow their hair back right now, so I wanted to help them.

The Process: In Pictures

(^getting a picture of the back of your own head is hard!)

(^all pulled back and double checking the ruler... 9 inches!)


(^It looks like a squirrel's tail!)

(^And here I am, with 9 inches less hair!)

If you're interested in finding out more information about donating your own hair, please check out:



Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Porcupine Meatballs

I believe I've posted this recipe in the past, using ground turkey, but to be honest, it's been ages since I've posted recipes regularly, that I couldn't tell you when or where! So you get the recipe again! These are an old family favorite, and I love them! They do have quite a bit of sodium due to the canned soup used, but you can buy the lower sodium/lower fat versions if you're watching your fat/sodium content!

Porcupine Meatballs
1 pound lean ground beef
1 cup rice (I used brown rice, but have used white in the past)
1 medium egg
1/2 tbsp minced garlic

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix. And the best way to mix meat for meatballs/meatloaf, etc is the old fashioned way--WITH YOUR HANDS! Just be sure to take your rings off first! Once you've mixed well, spray a baking dish with cooking spray, then form into small/medium meatballs. It really just depends on how big your dish is & how big you want your meatballs. Mine were probably 1 1/2"-2" across the middle, if I were to guess, and I got 11 meatballs. After arranging in a pan (don't squish them or they'll take longer to cook!), cover with cream of mushroom soup (or tomato if you prefer--I don't like tomato, so mushroom it is for me!). Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes. I like to cut into the biggest meatball that's closest to the middle of the pan to make sure it's cooked all the way through. If it is, then odds are all the others are too!

This is really good with mashed potatoes too... throw some of that "soup-gravy" onto the potatoes... sooo good!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

For your viewing pleasure...

Crock Pot Italian Beef

I made this tonight and it was seriously to DIE for. It took literally 5 minutes of prep this morning before work, and I came home from work to an unbelieveable, savory smell!

Crock Pot Italian Beef
3-4 pounds lean rump roast
2 cans beef broth
2 packets Good Seasons italian dressing mix
1 packet Good Seasons zesty italian mix
1 clove garlic, minced
6-8 pepperocinis

Place roast in crock pot & pour 1 packet of regular dressing mix & the zesty mix on top. Add garlic & 3-4 peppers, the top with 1 can beef broth. Cook on low 8-10 hours, then add remaining ingredients and cook on high 1-2 more hours. Shred beef with fork and serve on hoagie buns.


This one will definately be making an appearance in our household at least once a month!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

From Miss to Mrs.

Just a quick note for those of you that may still have this blog in your reader.

In a few short hours, I will be walking down the aisle... yes, it is my wedding day!

I hope all of you are well, and I hope to post some pics after the big day to share with those that may be interested!

For the last time,
Miss Teale

Friday, July 10, 2009

Big Changes

Two whole months+ have gone by since writing here, huh? I guess I got tired of writing the same old "I've gained my weight back, I've gotta get back on track... I've gotta get my head in the game.. blah blah blah" It's the same stuff, just said in different words, and I was tired of it.

I'd love to come back here and write and say that I've been doing great with my weight, but you know that's not the case at all. In fact, my weight is probably the highest it's ever been. I say probably, because my scale weighs up to a certain amount, and after that says "error". And we've been in "error" territory for awhile now. Happiness makes me fat, what can I say? And this might sound like the wrong thing to say, but right now, I just don't care. Am I happy with my body, no... not at all... not even a little bit. But I'm happy with SO MANY OTHER THINGS. Shouldn't I be happy for those things, instead of focusing on the negative with my weight? Do I still want to get healthy and eat better *eventually*? Yes. But is it consuming my life right now? No.

Let me tell you what is going on in my life right now. I'm getting married next month, for one. When I started this blog, I was planning a wedding, and that was a huge motivating factor for my weight loss. You'd think it would be this time too, but it's just not. Plain and simple. Is my wedding day still going to be amazing, whether I'm wearing a 14 or a 24? Yes. Is my fiance still going to love me, even if I don't drop 50 pounds before the wedding? yes. The wedding day is about the promise we're making to each other, it's not about how good I look in a white dress. But I must say, I do look pretty stunning, even if I am in my size 24.

On top of planning a wedding that is about 40 days away, my fiance and I closed on a house on June 30. We've been working on cleaning and painting since we bought it, and our big move is tomorrow. We don't currently live together, so this is a major milestone in our relationship. We currently both live in a bigger town where fast food every day is the norm, simply because of its convenience. We will now be living in a small town where everything shuts down after like 9pm. Hopefully this will help with our spontaneous fast food stops.

Also on my mind is the state of my job. Back in March, I started what I consider to be the perfect job for me. I'm doing prevention work at small-town mental health agency. I go into schools in the county and deliver alcohol & drug prevention curriculum to middle-schoolers. I love it. So much. But unfortunately, Illinois is notorious for cutting funding to social services. We are all ready 51st in the nation (even after Washington D.C.) for the funding allocated to social services. So that means we are DEAD LAST. And our legislators right now are wanting to cut the money to services even more, about 50%, to make up for the enormous deficit we have in our state funds right now. The fiscal year started 7/1, but we don't yet have a budget... the bad thing is, when we do have one, it could mean the cuts will impact my job. Our agency is choosing to operate month-to-month until a budget is in place, because we have some reserves saved up... but many agencies have all ready made huge layoffs, expecting the worst. It's very unfortunate, not only that I may lose my job, but that so many people will be without the services they so desperately need.

So, I've just bought a house, I'm getting married next month, and I may get laid off... these are the things that have been on my mind... not the weight loss. But I'm ok with that for right now. Sometimes you just gotta keep on keepin' on.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Not so good.

So those of you that were reading me a year to a year and a half ago know that I lost a good amount of weight on Weight Watchers. This wasn't the first time I'd lost a good amount of weight with the program, but this last time was the most I'd lost... I lost 53.4 pounds.

And I have gained every bit back, plus about 2 pounds.

I am disgusted and feel disgusting. I'm unhappy. I'm huge.

I should feel even more motivation to lose than usual, as I am getting married in three and a half months! I should be busting my ass to look good on my wedding day, right? Yeah, I'm not. And I don't really know why.

My apathy is startling.

I try not to throw myself pity parties, but it really really bothers me that I weigh more than Eddie does now. The boy is supposed to be bigger. Don't get me wrong, I'm INCREDIBLY proud of him for losing the weight that he has, but I do feel sad for myself a little that I'm just so totally unmotivated and lack an ounce of give-a-shit. I don't know WHY I am in such a funk about it.

I know I am capable of losing weight. I've done it several times. What is hard to think about is the fact that I HAVE done it so many times.... I feel like "well, yeah, I've lost it before... but it always comes back... I don't have what it takes to keep it off."

I know that weight loss surgery is something that a few women I read on here have either had done or are considering... and i believe that is a personal choice that everyone has to make... but it's just not a choice that I'm willing to consider. My personal choice is that I got myself into this mess and it's my responsibility to get myself out of... hopefully.

I just don't know where to start. I know that I need to just make the change and commit. I can't afford to join WW again, though I do have all my materials to do the program on my own... I don't know if I'll go that route or what. I'm just kind of lost. And it's like being fat allows me to stay lost... I don't have to figure it out... I don't have to solve the mystery of why I always end up back to where I was (and then some). But staying lost doesn't really get me anywhere...

The journey of a thousand miles, I guess...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Cop Out Post--CVS Deals

No update to report because basically I haven't been doing anything to warrant a blog post...

I am posting my awesome CVS deals this week though b/c I kicked butt... probably my best trip yet. I'm posting for CVS Superstars so here's my week:

I bought these items:
2 Scrubbing Bubble Action Scrubbers $2.99 each
2 Soft Soap refills $3.99 each plus earn $4 ECBs wyb 2
4 Sally Hanson nail polishes $2.49 each BOGO
1 CVS Paper Towels $1.29
2 Paas Easter egg dye kits $1.99 each plus earn $1.99 ECBs on each one
2 Glade Sense & Sprays $5.99 each plus $1 ECB (limit 1)

My pre-coupon total was around $42, including tax.

I used these coupons:
(2) $2.75 off scrubbing bubble action scrubbers (-$5.50)
(2) $2.00 off soft soap (-$4.00)
(2) $3.00 off wyb 2 Sally Hanson products (-$6.00)
(1) Free CVS Towels (-$1.29)
(2) $1.00 off Glade CVS coupon (-$2.00)
(2) $4.00 off manf Glade coupon (-$8.00)
(1) $5/$30 CVS coupon
$4 ECBs previously earned

This took my total to $2.25, which I had to pay because it was tax. I also earned $8.98 back in ECBs. Talk about a good trip!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


...is SO not fun!

I've been under the weather for a week now, with two separate illnesses. Last week I suddenly became violently ill in the intestinal arena & spent a majority of the day on the toilet. Mid-evening, the non-stop vomiting began, and a few hours later, I ended up in the ER to get some meds & lots of IV fluids. To give you an idea of how ill I was, I weighed 10 pounds less on Wednesday than I did on Monday. Yikes. Of course though, as soon as I was able to eat again over the weekend, things evened out, and I ended up being only 5 down this Monday from where I was last Monday. That's a much healthier loss than 10 pounds, let me tell you.

After a delightful Valentine's Day, I started feeling sick AGAIN, only with head/chest congestion. Monday I went to work miserable, and decided I needed to take a day off to rest & get well. I work at a hospital (for now--more on that later), and every time I get sick, I end up getting 2 or 3 illnesses out of the deal... I have to come back to work before my immune system is totally better, and then I'm around infectious disease for 8 hours.... not the best environment. But, thankfully, in one week I will no longer be here!

That's right, after quite a search in a horrible job market, I landed a new job! I'll be working in case management at a small mental health center in the next town over. It's actually my hometown, so it's funny that I should end up with a job there! The pay is slightly better, but overall it will be a really great career move and a step in the right direction. I've been at such a lull with everythign in my life, because of this current job, for so long! It's been dragging me down, and I'm ready to be done with it!

I also don't have to be at work until 9am (instead of my current 7am), so the chance is there that I could get in a workout before work in the mornings. I would really like to get back into the swing of working out because I know I will feel better if I do so. Maybe I should take FB's idea and get off my lazy butt for Lent. We'll see.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Change gon' come

I overdid it last week. I didn't grocery shop and instead ate junk, and it was stupid. I gained 2 pounds, and to be honest, I expected more. I ate and ate and ate. I realized that in the month of January, I kind of did a half-ass job, and still lost 10 pounds (well, 8 after that gain on Monday), but that half-assing it isn't going to make 10 pounds disappear in the month of February. I've got to give 100% more than just 75% of the time. I haven't been to the gym in lord knows how long, so that above all else, really needs to be the habit that I get back into.

Back in April 2008, I wrote a letter to myself, and I think that re-reading this will be helpful to me. I encourage others to write a letter like this when you need reminding of why you started your journey.

April 15, 2008
Dear Old Self,

On August 22, 2007 I took a vow to leave you behind. At first it was easy. I was motivated to find the New Self, and I walked away from you pretty much without even looking back. I gave up your desire for greasy McDonald's, daily candy bars, and calorie-filled, sugar-loaded pop. New Self was winning the battle, and pounds dropped off. I think New Self lost 30 pounds in 3 months. It was a great ego boost, let me tell you. New Self was kicking Old Self's ass.

Around Thanksgiving time, Old Self, you tried to sneak your way back into my life. I tried to remain strong & remember how great New Self felt, but you were trying your hardest to be the boss in my life again. I fought back hard too though, and even though I didn't lose like I had been, I still came through the holidays weighing less than I did at the beginning of them.

The new year came, and New Self was feeling lazy and tired... you are a fighter, Old Self... You were really fighting to win my life over again, and I felt exhausted from fighting you! I went through some tough times in my personal life starting in January, and New Self started to feel defeated. Why bother? New Self tried to at least hold on a little through the storm, but Old Self, you seemed to be getting stronger.

Eventually New Self gave up. New Self was tired of fighting and it was easier to just back down and let you take charge again. I thought that New Self had totally hit the road, never to be seen again. Old Self, you have been ruining my life. You have got to go. I'm not happier with you around, and I'm certainly not healthier. Sometimes we keep old friends in our lives just because they've been there for so long. They might not be the best thing for us anymore (maybe they never were), but we feel attached to them in a very strong way. Well, Old Self, you are not my friend anymore. It's time to say goodbye.

I think in August, I really just said "see ya later" to you, but this time, I have to say goodbye for good. We can't meet again in the future, not if I want to be a healthy person and have New Self in my life. We have to close this chapter. You've been a close friend, Old Self, but I can't say you've been a "good" friend. You've been there for me when others weren't, but I know New Self will eventually be stronger than you ever were. It will just take time for New Self to thrive. But the good news is that even though you returned, New Self didn't really abandon me like I thought. Somehow, New Self held on through the rough waters lately, because she wants to be my best friend now.

New Self has grown her wings. It's time to fly.


Monday, January 26, 2009


Just a quick weekly update. I was a bit of a bad girl this past week. I didn't eat a LOT, but what I ate wasn't as healthy as I would have liked. There weren't many good sales last week at the grocery store, and I am on a budget... so I chose to get some items that weren't as healthy b/c they were within my budget.

So, when I got on the scale this morning, I honestly thought I'd probably have a pound or two gain b/c some of the food I ate were higher sodium items. However, I was pleased to find out I was actually down about a half pound. While that's not much, at least it is a loss, and it also takes my total for January to exactly 10 pounds lost. I am MORE than happy with those results! So, here's to a better week this week & another loss on the scale next week!

Current Weight: 317.6
Starting Weight: 327.6
Total Lost in 2009: 10.0 pounds!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Teeny Tiny Treat

I, for one, am an ice cream girl. I'm not gonna deny it, I can eat the HECK out of some ice cream. And cheese, but that's another day...

Anyway, there are some days when I CRAVE ice cream so bad I want to scream. And I dont' want any lite crap, I want the delicious candy & chocolate-filled stuff. Sometimes I want it so bad, I want to CRY because I know I shouldn't have it... but I WANT IT!!!!

And this weekend, I found the most amazing little treat to appease my lunatic urge for ice cream... Ben & Jerry's mini's!!!

I found these at my local Walmart, in the same section with the B&J pints. And for only $.98 it's a steal! They have 3 flavors at my stores: Cherry Garcia (my fave), Cookie Dough, and Double Fudge Brownie. At 200 calories and over 10g of fat a container, they're still not "healthy" by any means, but it's called a TREAT for a reason! And let's face it, if you got a pint, you'd probably eat the whole thing... which would be way worse than this little 1/2 cup serving!
And what could possibly be cuter than this tiny little B&J container? The MINI SPOON that is included in the lid!!!
It's nice because it only scoops up so much, so you have to take little bites... thus making your treat last longer! If you used a regular spoon, you'd probably have this sucker gone in 4 or 5 bites, but with this little spoon, my treat lasts me at least 10 minutes! And I really enjoy it!
And you know what's even better? I've had one of these in my freezer for almost a week & haven't even touched it. I see it when I open the freezer & it's a little comfort, knowing that if I have another maniac "GOTTA HAVE IT NOW" ice cream moment, I've got a little treat on reserve!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Weekly Update

Just checking in w/a weekly update on my progress. This was another pretty good week for me. The weekend wasn't as on-plan as usual--we had fried chicken & movie popcorn... but, as long as I don't do that every weekend, I think it's OK. And I still showed a loss on the scale!

Starting Weight: 327.6
Previous Weight: 321.2
Current Weight: 318.0 (-3.2)
Total Lost in 2009: 9.6

In other news, Eddie and I donated blood this weekend. This was the first time for me, and as usual, my veins did not cooperate! What is normally a 10 minute process took about 45 on me. They tried one arm, but it wouldn't cooperate, so then they had to do the other. But hey, at least in the end I got some sweet pink tape to match my outfit! Eddie went with a more masculine yellow:)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Pot Roast

(<----Good entry right before this!)

The other day while grocery shopping, I saw a little recipe pamphlet in the soup aisle. It had 4 Campbell's recipes on there, including one for an easy pot roast. Now, let me just say that as a kid, I HATED pot roast. Well, I'm finding in adulthood, you have to try things that you think you hate one more time. Some things, you will still hate (raw celery=YUCK for me), but some things you might actually like! And this pot roast actually sounded GOOD! And it was!

The recipe said that the roast could cook on low for 8-9 hours, so I thought it would be perfect to cook while I was at work today. I didn't want to go through the trouble of cutting up all my veggies this morning, so I took care of it last night!

I used 6 red potatoes, quartered, about 2 dozen baby carrots, and 3 small yellow onions, quartered. I was worried that the potatoes might turn brown if they were just exposed to the air all night in the fridge, so I put water over my veggies & stored them in the fridge for the night.
This morning, all I had to do was wake up, drain the water off the veggies, pour in 1 packet of Lipton's onion soup mix, a can of cream of (what I thought was mushroom but was really) chicken soup, about 1/2 c. water (the recipe didn't call for this, but it seemed dry), and the meat.

This was my first time buying Chuck roast, so I really didn't know what I was doing. This one was more fatty than I prefer my meat to be, but my mom insisted that it would be the most tender. After it cooked, I could just separate the fatty meat & discard it. Soooo, I turned my crockpot on low, and off to work I went. About 8.5 hours later, I came home to this:

I turned my crockpot down to warm & a couple hours later I was ready to eat. It was so simple, and OH so tasty!!! I would definately cook this one again!


When you stand alone, you are only one person against the world. When you have others next to you, even the hardest task seems less scary. I think it's so important to be able to find a support system when you're trying to overcome something. Whether that something is grief, addiction, illness, whatever... having others around you that are in the same boat & understand where you've been & where you're going is of the utmost importance.

Where do you find your support system? For me, my blog & the blogs of others travelling the same path are a huge support. When I had the most success with weight loss was when I was blogging & reading consistently. To be able to celebrate with others, have others pat you on the back for a job well done, or even just knowing that someone else is nodding & going "me too" is comforting. And you know, it's the tough times that are just as important as the good ones. To write about those tough times & then feel all the love & support around you helps you get back up, time after time. I can't tell you how thankful I am for the handful of bloggers that still would comment me, even after absences on here of weeks at a time. To know that those women still thought of me & wondered how I was was the push I needed to get back up.

I was watching The Biggest Loser last night (and liveblogging with Fat Bridesmaid & friends) and the scene that touched me the most was when the heaviest contestant in the history of the show, a 19-year old named Daniel who weighs well over 400 pounds, was completing their weekly challenge. The challenge was tough. It would be daunting for someone half his size. They had to kayak for 1/4 mile in these pedal-boat things (can you imagine how your thighs would be feeling after that?) then get out and climb this HUGE incline probably another 1/4 mile to get to the top. I think most, if not all, contestants had finished the race before Daniel was even to shore in his kayak. But you know what, he kept going. He got out of his boat, and he started up that hill. I'm sure he wanted to quit, and maybe he would have, had it not been for his teammates, who after doing that activity themselves & were probably exhausted, went back down the hill and walked with him up it. They pushed him (literally and figuratively) to keep going and to finish that challenge. And he did!

What I think can be learned from this is two-fold. First, it's that having that support system can make all the difference. And second, it's that WE need to BE that support system for others. Even when we're exhausted & we feel like we've done our part & can't go a minute more, we need to step up and help our teammates out. We're all in this together. It doesn't matter who gets to the top of the hill first, all that matters is that each and every one of us finishes.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Chicken Noodle Soup

Last week I bought some sale veggies at the store & I had some leftovers that I didn't want to go to waste. I had carrots, onions, and celery. And I also had some chicken in the freezer.... so put these things together, add some chicken stock, seasonings, and noodles... and you've got a great soup for a cold winter day.

Chicken Noodle Soup
2 large chicken breasts, boiled then diced
1/2 box cooked bowtie pasta (or pasta of your choice)
8 cups chicken stock/broth (this is an estimation... add more if you want it soupy, less if you want it chunky!)
3 small yellow onions (the equivalent of 1 large onion)
about 30 baby carrots (or probably 3-4 full sized ones)
4 stalks celery
2 tbsp chicken flavoring (or boullion cubes)
garlic, salt, pepper to taste

Add stock, seasonings, and diced veggies to a large pot & bring to boil. Cook for 1 hour, til veggies are to desired tenderness. Meanwhile, boil your chicken in a separate pan. Dice, then add to soup. Finally, cook pasta & add to soup right before serving (you don't want your pasta to get mushy).

This is so delicious and so easy! I plan to freeze leftovers in individual portions so I've got soup on the go for a quick lunch! See for yourself how tasty this looks:

One week under my belt

Just a quick note to say that I had a pretty successful first week. Last Monday I weighed 327.6 and this morning I weighed 321.2. The first week is always a big one for me, and this week did not disappoint. I still had a few indulgences, and I didn't feel cheated or hungry at all this week. I even have Eddie on board & he's doing so well!

I had another really good grocery week & got a ton of healthy stuff for only $22 at Meijer. I got the following:
2 smart ones
loaf of bread
bag of carrots
bag of red potatoes
bag of salad
5 bananas
1 pound grapes
2 bags frozen veggies
2 small boxes pizza rolls (ok, not everything was healthy, but they were free!)
chuck roast to make pot roast
Chex mix
Quaker rice snack cakes
8 light yogurts
4 mini betty crocker delights (gotta have treats once in awhile!)
pasta sauce

I shopped Meijer's 10/$10 & earn 1 item free sale, then I also had $5 in coupons. I was really pleased with the things I was able to get. I got some good snack items, a couple treats, stuff for a week's dinners, and good fruits & veggies. The biggest thing I do is sit down on Sunday, look at my local grocery ads, then plan my meals based on what's on sale. The past couple weeks I've gotten lucky & only had to go to one store b/c the deals were so good. On occasion I'll go to two.

Eating healthy on a budget IS possible, you just have to make it work. Flexibility is key!

Up next: Chicken Noodle Soup!

Friday, January 9, 2009

"I forgot to plan dinner, might as well order a pizza..."

I know I'm not the only person who's forgotten to plan dinner & automatically said "Oh well, we'll have pizza tonight". You either forget to run by the grocery store, you forget to thaw the mean, or you simply feel like you're too tired to cook a big meal.

Well I've got news for you... those excuses are lame! Tonight was a night when I forgot to thaw anything to cook. I didn't even think about it until I was getting a rumbling in my tummy... I wandered through the kitchen & couldn't find anything in the fridge that would be quick and easy to warm up. I looked in the freezer & I saw this:

Yes, I had quite a supply of Smart Ones, but I prefer to save those for a quick lunch. When Eddie comes over after work, I like to have a hot meal for him... you know, show him I'm gonna be a good little wife;) If I have something prepared, he's also less likely to suggest getting fast food or ordering in. So.... on top of those smart ones were some frozen chicken breasts (you know, the ones I'd forgotten to lay out this morning!). I like to snag them up when they're on sale. Usually buying in bulk is best... $1.49/pound for boneless/skinless chicken breasts? I'll take 5 pounds, please! I just wrap them up in some foil in 2-breast packs, and I'm good to go! Anyway....

Well shoot, I don't want to wait to the rock hard chicken to thaw, what am I gonna have? Then I remembered that I had received some Ziplock Zip n Steam bags free from some online promotion (seriously, look into giveaways & free samples... you get some great stuff & they usually also include a high-dollar coupon for future purchases of those items!). So I looked on the bags, and sure enough, I can cook frozen chicken breasts in them, in only 7 minutes!

On the front of the Zip n Steam bags is a handy little cooking guide for meats & veggies! These things are such a time-saver! You just put your meat or veggies in the bag, including any seasoning/spices, zip it up, and cook! I really love Cavendar's Greek Seasoning. So, I sprinkled that all over my chicken breasts!

Zip it up & cook!

(Just a sidenote, the guide on the front said that 2 frozen chicken breasts would cook in 7 minutes... if I had been cooking 2 4oz servings, they would have been done in that amount of time... Mine actually took a little longer b/c they were more like 8 oz breasts. I cut them in half & cooked them separately for a few more minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, I made this:

I had picked it up awhile back when it was on sale, and it only takes 5 or 6 minutes to make.
While that was cooking, I also prepared a Zip n Steam bag with some veggies:

Again, you add your seasonings before steaming. I like the greek seasoning on my broccoli/onions too, along with my favorite seasoning of all:

Once the chicken was done, I tossed my veggie bag in the microwave for 3 minutes.

In less than 15 minutes time, I went from having no plan for dinner to having a home-cooked, healthy meal:

I like to eat off the smaller salad plates, because then you get a nice full plate. I'm also more likely to eat appropriate portions on a small plate than a bit one.
Another excuse I'll be addressing is when people say they "can't afford" to eat healthy... well I have news for you... I made FOUR portions out of this meal, and this was the cost breakdown:
2 chicken breasts (halved): $2.10
1 bag broccoli: $1
2 small yellow onions: $.20 (bought a bag of about 10 for $1)
Stove Top: $1
Total: $4.30

That comes to about $1 per serving for a 15 minute meal. And way healthier than the McDonald's dollar menu.


Excuses.... we ALL have them.

I don't have time to go the gym.
Eating healthy is too expensive.
I don't have time to cook.
I forgot my lunch, so I have to eat out.
I screwed up at lunch, so the whole day is shot.

I am a problem-solver. It's just in my nature. So, I'm going to tackle these excuses one at a time in the next week or so and list solutions to them. Give me some of your excuses or problems that you had/have trouble overcoming in order to live a healthier lifestyle and what you did to tackle it (or if you haven't tackled it, that's ok!). If you don't address those problems & find answers, then nothing's ever going to change. Who knows, someone might just have an idea some of us have never heard of before!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Here's to 2009

I had hoped to privatise all previous entries, but can't seem to find how I can do that on blogger w/o actually deleting them, which I don't want to do. Buuuuut, instead of dwelling on the fact that I want to erase the proof that I successfully lost 50 pounds in 6 months in a healthy way, and then successfully gained it all back in the next year... I'll just move forward.

So, I'm back at it. I'm ready to take this blog to the level that it was when I started. That means regular posting, regular reading of others' blogs, and regular commenting. When I started this blog, I was planning a wedding. That was my motivation at the time for losing weight. I told myself it was just one of many reasons for losing weight, but let's be honest, it's a huge motivating factor when over a hundred people are going to have all eyes on you in your wedding dress. You want to look gooooood! That wedding didn't happen, but even after breaking it off, I continued to lose weight for a couple months. However, when I entered into my current relationship, both Eddie and I packed on the pounds. Happiness makes you fat apparently!

Well, we're both making an effort to reverse the effects of our first (almost) year together. The first step for us is eliminating full-sugar pop and to limit eating out to once per month. Not only is it more cost-effective to cook, but it's also much better for us! I'm a firm believer that you have to make little changes at a time, and I know what changes to make for myself, personally, that will make a difference right off the bat.

So, here's to a fresh start. 2009 is mine. I thought before that eating what I wanted and just having fun & being lazy about it was what I was choosing. But that wasn't me. I had relinquished control to other forces: eating for social reasons, eating because of boredom, eating to deal with bad emotions... I wasn't in control. 2009 will be the year I take control. I'm not a failure because I lost weight and gained it all back. I'm a success because I'm trying again.

I love myself enough to try again.