Friday, May 28, 2010

Accomplishments & Goals

It's Friday, and that means it's time to evaluate how I did this week & set new goals for next week!

This week I accomplished:
-Lost 2.2 pounds! (-13 total)

-Walked 3 times, a total of 4.1 miles. Yesterday afternoon before my meeting, I thought about how I'd set the goal for myself to walk three times. And I'd only done it twice. It was 30 minutes before I had to leave for my meeting, and I really didn't want to walk. But I actually gave myself a pep talk... outloud, mind you... and said "You made a committment to walk 3 times. You have time to walk a mile with the dog. You need to follow through and do what you say you're going to do. That's how this time is going to be different. You are capable!" And you know what, I got my butt out there and walked a mile in the heat with a puppy who has no idea how to walk on a leash & pulled me the whole time, and I FELT GOOD!

-I got more fruits/veggies in this week. There's still room to improve, but I made a conscious effort to try to incorporate them more.

-Tried 4 new recipes: Veggie Alfredo, Cheeseburger Cassrole, Tuna Noodle Casserole, and Italian Wedding Soup.

-Was able to wear these every single day! My fingers had gotten too fat to wear both of them, and so I was only wearing my engagement ring (and sometimes even that wouldn't fit). But for the past 10 days or so, I've been flashing these babies daily! (Pardon the crappy cell phone picture)

This week I commit to:

-Have veggies as a side for dinner when I cook. Right now we usually are just eating a main course that has veggies included in it. I'm going to start cooking veggies as a side as well... gotta work on getting those suckers in!

-Walk 5 miles total.

-Look into how to get healthy oils. Weight watchers recommends 2 servings of healthy oils per day, and I don't get them ever, as far as I know. I need to figure out how to incorporate them (if there are any WW's out there who successfully do this, give me tips!

What did you accomplish this week? What are you committed to next week?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Italian Wedding Soup

This recipe is a little different from a traditional italian wedding soup, but hey, you gotta work with what you got! It was still super tasty and I'd absolutely make this again! Another perk, this was quick AND easy! What better combo is there?!

8 cups chicken broth
1/2 pound lean ground beef
2 cups escarole (but I used kale because my store didn't have any. It was still delish)
1 diced onion
2 diced carrots
2 tbsp bread crumbs
1.5 tbsp parmesan
1.5 tsp oregano (I used italian blend)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
(optional) Cooked Orzo (but again, my store didn't have this, so I used mini shells, 8 oz)

1. Put broth on stove to boil in a large pan. Meanwhile, chop veggies.

2. Combine meat, bread crumbs, parmesan, and remaining seasonings & mix well. Form into small meatballs (less than 1").

3. Once broth is boiling, add veggies & meatballs. Continue boiling for 15-20 minutes. Meatballs will begin to float to the surface when they're cooked.

4. While that's cooking, cook pasta in a separate pan. Add to soup just before serving.

Definately a tasty, easy soup! Yum!

My first award!

I was honored to receive my very first award today, from Sarah! You should stop by and leave her some love, because she is great! Thank you so much Sarah!

So, the stipulations of receiving the award are that you must choose 7 bloggers to pass the award on to, and you must share 7 things about yourself that your readers may not know!

First thing's first, so I'll share my 7 things!

1. I am the oldest of my parents' children. I have no full siblings, but I have 7 half siblings. I was raised by my grandparents though, as an only child. I've always known 3 of my siblings, but 4 of them were adopted out of the family at a very young age, over 15 years ago. In the last 6 months 2 of them have found me & have contacted me. I've met one of them & will meet the other next month, hopefully!

2. I met my husband online. I had just gotten out of a rotten relationship and wasn't looking to date at all. I was looking for new friends in the area & have always been one to have more male friends than female friends. He was new to the area and also looking to meet people. We talked online for a week or so before meeting up at a local diner. My friends insisted it was a date, but I insisted it was a "friendship interview". A year and a half later, we were married:)

3. Growing up, I always wanted a pet rabbit. My parents would never let me have one, because they insisted they were "dirty". As soon as I had my own apartment in college, I bought a rabbit. And she was not dirty. Mollie was the best little rabbit friend EVER! She would let me cuddle her & hold her like a baby & she never bit me (though she did try to nibble on my clothes from time to time!). I got her from the humane society, and they were unsure of her age. She was only with me for about 2 years, but she was a great pet before she died! We would even play tag--she would chase after me, then I would turn around and chase her. She was a really fun pet!

4. I don't like to wear shoes & socks. In fact, I'd go so far as to say I HATE wearing socks! I do it when I have to, obviously, but I'd prefer to be barefoot or in a pair of Havaiana flip flops any day!

5. I can't straighten my arms all the way. Both of my elbows don't "lock". They are as straight as I can get them, but they're really at like a 45 degree angle. I should take a picture sometime. I've never had to go to the doctor about them or anything, and I don't have a medical diagnosis for why they are the way they are, I'm just a little different! The only thing it's inhibited me in is certain sports. When I throw a ball, I can't throw very accurately because I can't fully extend my arm, and when I bowl, I have to compensate for the fact that my ball always goes to one side!

6. My favorite place to travel has been to Oregon. I went there a couple years ago & absolutely loved it! It was so lush & people were so environmentally conscious. It was a beautiful, beautiful place! I'd never seen the Pacific Ocean before, and it was so different from the Gulf coast or the Atlantic coast! It was amazing though! One of my favorite parts was seeing seals basking in the sun on rocks in the wild. Awesome!

7. I have a lot of hobbies/interests. I love to scrapbook, crochet, cross-stitch, write, read, letterbox, you name it. One bad personality trait though is that I sometimes don't finish what I start... which results in a lot of unfinished projects that could be amazing if I'd just commit to finishing them!

There you have it! Now, without further ado, here are the 7 bloggers I am awarding the Beautiful Blogger Award to:
1. Chubby Chick over at Journeying to Lose 200 pounds. She has been a blog buddy of mine since early in my blogging days. I love to read about her journey, and can identify with having a lot to lose! Stop on by and give her some love & encouragement!

2. Julia over at JewliaGoulia is a really inspirational blogger! She's dropped an amazing amount of weight, just this year, and she's kicking butt! Go ahead and tell her how awesome she is!

3. Laura at No More Weight For Me has a great blog detailing her weight loss journey! She's also doing Weight Watchers, so I enjoy reading about her accomplishments! Tell her what a great job she's doing!

4. Smasher Girl has done an awesome job this year losing weight! Her blog is fun to read and I love learning about her life and her weight loss! Plus we both love pink... so what's not to love? Stop on by and give her some comment love!

5. Becca is point countin'! She lost over 100 pounds doing WW on her own, and she has a great blog! I'm so glad I stumbled upon it & you should head her way & stumble upon it too!

6. Lindsay over at Healthy Stride has ALSO lost over 100 pounds! I'm so lucky to read about such inspirational women! Stop by and check her out (plus she's got a giveaway going on right now!)

7. Valerie at It's Only 100 Pounds has a great blog & a great attitude! She's a great example of how sometimes we can feel like giving up, but when we're lifted up by our blog buddies, it can make all the difference in the world! Stop by and leave some love!

Even though these ladies are just a small snippet of those of you out there in blogland, I think you're ALL beautiful and you're all doing great! Keep on keepin' on!!!

Visit Lindsay Too!

Lindsay is also having a giveaway today on her blog, Healty Stride! She's giving away products from Tru-Roots, including quinoa, lentils, and brown rice! Hop on by & check out her blog, as well as her amazing weight-loss story!

Go visit Tricia!

Tricia over at Fight Fat Phobia is having a great giveaway! She's reached 300 followers and is giving away 300 things!!! Stop on by and check it out!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tuna Noodle Casserole

This was one was definately good & we'd have it again! Makes 8 servings with 5 points each.

8 oz. whole wheat rotini, cooked
12 oz. can white tuna, drained
1 bag frozen mixed veggies (mine had asparagus, carrots, and corn)
3 cups skim or lowfat milk
2 tbsp. flour
2 tbsp. worcestershire
1 tbsp italian seasonings (it called for dill weed, but I didn't have any)
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. low fat parmesan, grated

1. Add milk & flour to a small sauce pan & simmer until thickened. Stir often or it will burn!

2. Once sauce has thickened, whisk in worcestershire, italian seasonings, salt, and pepper.

3. Combine sauce, pasta, tuna, frozen veggies, and parmesan & mix well.

4. Cook in a baking dish for about 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Let sit 5-10 minutes before serving.

This was super creamy & very tasty. The only thing I'd add next time is maybe some garlic & a tad more salt. I definately recommend it!

Cheeseburger Casserole

This wasn't my favorite thing I've ever made, but it wasn't bad. It made 6 servings, with a points value of 5 points per serving.

2 yukon gold potatoes (I couldn't find these, so I used regular old potatoes)
1 pound lean ground beef
1 carrot, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 clove minced garlic
2 oz. 2% velveeta, cut into chunks
1/4 c. fat free evaporated milk
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
8 lowfat tortilla chips (I used baked)

1. Peel & slice potatoes & layer in the bottom of a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven, then set aside.
2. Meanwhile, chop veggies & cook in skillet with olive oil until tender. Remove and set aside.
3. Next, cook ground beef, then drain. Add veggies and mix all together. Layer on top of potatoes in baking dish.
4. Combine cheese, milk, and pepper flakes & microwave for 1 minute, or until melted & mixed completely. Drizzle over meat & potatoes.
5. Crunch up chips & sprinkle on top.
6. Cook for 25-30 minutes & serve.

Ask Me Anything!

I've had a formspring account for awhile, but haven't used it in some time. I decided to link it up here (as well as my facebook & twitter accounts--check the sidebar!), so if any of you have questions to ask me, feel free to hop on over here and ask away! Also, if you're on formspring let me know so I can follow you on there! (Questions don't have to be weight-loss related, I'm open to any and all questions!)

Why I Do This Here

Some of you may be readers of the blog Jack Sh*t, Gettin' Fit, and if you are, you know that he asked his readers to write on notecards reasons for why they're blogging and/or getting healthy. I sent one in about a week ago, and mine was finally posted! You can check out others at his blog, and send in your own if you haven't yet!

A couple recipes to come later tonight, stay posted!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Beat the Heat!

Illinois weather is sometimes very strange. It seems like the past couple years, we've had two seasons: Miserably Hot or Frigid Cold. Spring & Fall have seemed to just skipped right over. For example, last Monday when my friend and I went for a walk, it was about 40 degrees and misting rain the whole time. We were troopers though and walked our 1.5 miles all bundled up in coats.

Then the weekend happened, and Mother Nature decided it was time to be hot like July & have record-breaking temperatures in mid-May. Not cool.

So this Monday during our walk, it was about 95 degrees with humidity that felt like probably 80-90%. MISERABLE. Buuuuut... we did it. Another 1.5 miles down, this time wearing as light-weight of clothes as possible! By the time we were done I was hot, miserable, sweaty, and had a headache. But, I did it.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Weekend Victories

Date night at TGIFriday's. Whom I officially really dislike because of their lack of nutritional information on their website/menu. Does anyone else really dislike this fact? They provide you with NONE, and the info I found from other websites with nutritional info were totally inconsistent, so I just had to wing it. (I did all this research before we went to the restaurant, something I highly recommend others do too! Make a plan before you go!)

They had a 3-course meal thingy going on, so for my appetizer I got a wedge salad with dressing on the side. My husband got the same, but dressing on top, and his salad was SWIMMING in the stuff. So glad I asked for it on the side. They literally brought me probably 1/3 cup of dressing. I used about 2 tbsp. For my entree, I went with the sizzling chicken, which comes with grilled onions/peppers & some cheese sizzling in there with them. It also comes with TWO grilled chicken breasts & cheesy mashed potatoes. I substitued broccoli for the potatoes & took one of the chicken breasts home. Dessert was cheesecake, but I only had half and also took the other half home.

Another dislike for the nutrition at TGIFriday's... my broccoli was cooked with no seasoning/butter, as I requested, but I did ask for a side of butter, because I wanted maybe a teaspoon to top them, with salt & pepper. They brought me out another cup that was probably 1/4 cup of LIQUID BUTTER. wtf? Gross.

We grocery shopped & I got some good stuff for the week (FOUR new recipes to try, stay tuned!). When we got home, I was a little bummed to find out I had forgotten to thaw chicken for that night's meal! I made the most of it though & had some veggies that I grilled up & we had
Veggie Alfredo instead of Chicken Alfredo! Good stuff!

Overall, a pretty good weekend. My husband and I go to the chinese buffet every sunday for brunch, which to some probably seems like a dumb choice. But, I save my points up for it and I eat pretty smart, considering, so I don't have a problem with it! What about you guys? How did you do this weekend?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Veggie Alfredo

I had initially planned to make whole wheat rotini with Laughing Cow alfredo tonight & top it with cajun grilled chicken... but you know, best laid plans... I forgot to lay the chicken out. Soooo, I improvised (surprise, surprise, right?). We had some frozen cheese ravioli, so I thought I'd make that with the LC alfredo & sautee some onions/peppers to go with it. And it was pretty good!

I can't remember where I got the LC alfredo recipe, but there are a dozen floating around the internet. I tweaked one to my liking.

3 wedges garlic/herb Laughing Cow Light wedges
3/4 c. skim milk
2 tbsp grated parmesan
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp butter/margarine (optional--or you can use Molly McButter or spray butter)
Salt/pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan & cook til smooth. You might want to use a whisk to make it smooth faster. Simmer, stirring constantly (or it will stick/burn) until sauce thickens.

For my veggies, I just chopped 1/2 onion & 1/2 green pepper & sauteed it in some olive oil. Oh yeah, and I added garlic. Cuz I love garlic. Meanwhile, I cooked 1 slice turkey bacon in the microwave for about 1 minute, until good & crispy. Crumble that up & add to your veggies & cook for another minute or so to allow the flavors to blend. Top your pasta with sauce & veggies & you're good to go! The verdict: This was a quick, easy meal that I'd definately make again... only next time I'll remember to thaw the chicken!

*Edit* I forgot to add some nutritional info for the LC alfredo... It makes 2 servings, about 1/2 c. each, and it runs about 130 cals per serving!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Accomplishments & Goals

This week I accomplished:
1. Wrote down all food! I even made room in my points budget to have a small DQ treat this week! And it was good!
2. Walked 1.5 miles. Only got one walk in this week due to weather & husband having surgery, but I upped the walk from 1 mile to 1.5. I'm walking a 5K next month & I need to make sure I'm gonna make it!
3. Tried 2 new recipes,
Shepherd's Pie & Minestrone.
4. Took my vitamin every day!
5. Lost 8.8 Pounds!!!!! I couldn't believe it! My 2 pound loss last week surprised me a little, as in the past I'd always lost more my first week on WW, but I was on my period then too, which apparently caused a little bloat! So this week I played catch-up I guess! So I'm down a total of 10.8 pounds in 2 weeks. Amazing!

This week I commit to:
1. Try a new snack food option. (I don't want to get in the same "rut", eating the same things all the time... don't wanna get bored!)
2. Walk 3 times (1.5 mile each)
3. Work harder to get all fruits/veggies in every day. Some days I do really well with this and some days I only get 1 or 2 servings. Goal this week is to get my full servings in each day!

What did you accomplish this week? And what are you committing to next week?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Shepherd's Pie

One of the features I like about the WW online e-tools is the ability to find recipes based on certain ingredients. I mostly use it just for tracking weight/measurements & the recipe feature, which was helpful for tonight's recipe! I knew I was going to have some extra veggies on-hand from the produce I bought for last night's Minestrone, and I hate when veggies go to waste because I didn't use them up! So, I searched and I came across a WW version of Shepherd's Pie. I've never actually eaten shepherd's pie before, so I didn't quite know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised though, and I think we'd have this one again! I did have a bit of leakage through the potatoes when I baked it, but it didn't mess up the taste!

2 potatoes, peeled & diced

1/4 c. low fat sour cream

1 tbsp margarine

2 tbsp olive oil


3 carrots, diced

3 stalks celery, diced

1 leek, chopped (recipe called for onion, but this is what I had on-hand!)

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 pound lean ground beef (or turkey)

3 tbsp flour

1 tsp rosemary

1 tsp thyme

2 c. beef broth

1. Boil your potatoes until they are tender. Meanwhile, chop veggies & sautee in a skillet with olive oil until tender.

2. Once potatoes are finished, drain them and add sour cream & margarine. Beat until smooth, season with salt/pepper, and set aside.

3. Once veggies are tender, add ground beef and cook through. Once meat is cooked, add flour, rosemary, thyme, salt, & pepper, and stir well til all is coated.

4. Add beef broth to the meat/veggie mixture and simmer until sauce thickens.

5. Once sauce has thickened, pour mixture into a square or round baking dish, then spread mashed potatoes on top. Bake in a 400 degree oven until potatoes just start to brown on top, about 20-30 minutes. Let sit a couple minutes before serving, then enjoy!

Monday, May 17, 2010


Tonight I decided to try Krissie's minestrone recipe that she posted on her food journal. I followed her recipe to a T, but mine did not turn out as beautiful, or as soup-like. Here's the veggies in the soup:

1 leek, chopped
1 diced onion
2 carrots, chopped
2 zuchini, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 head cabbage, chopped
1 can kidney beans, drained
3 cans tomatoes, undrained

It was a whooole lotta veggies! She said she added about 2 cups of water, but even with doing that and letting it cook for awhile, it was just not soup-like, and I knew that adding pasta to the mix was just going to soak up all there was left... so I added more water. I also added some seasonings because I have a picky tongue. We used a couple tablespoons of an italian blend, salt, pepper, and more garlic. It was looking nice and soupy after some extra water, so I added the pasta & let it cook until it was tender. This was my end result:

It was mostly a bowl full of veggies with a bit of pasta & a bit of soupy-ness. And after we ate our bowls & I went to put the rest away, ALL the liquid had been soaked up in the pasta! Soooo, next time I think I'd add another can of tomatoes, only maybe I'd blend them up a bit to make them more liquid, plus add additional water or broth. Overall, it was a VERY tasty meal... my husband had THIRDS he liked it so much, my version just wasn't as soupy as hers, for some reason! Head on over to her blog to get the full recipe & see what hers was like!

Weekend Victories

I think my standard Monday morning post will be "Weekend Victories" because I like to reflect on what I did well to get me going for the week!

This weekend was less challenging than the last for a couple of reasons--last weekend was the Mother's Day hurrah, and I was also PMS-ing like crazy then! This weekend didn't have any special celebrations and I also didn't have the sweet/salty cravings like I did the week before.

Things I did well:

1. Ate a healthy meal for date night, followed by some mild activity (putt-putt, where I kicked my husbands butt!). I did indulge in the Skinny Bee Margarita, but at only 100 calories, it wasn't hard to fit in. My husband and I also decided to split one of their mini-desserts. It comes in a double-shot glass, and splitting it was the perfect size. We each got a couple good bites & left feeling satisfied, not stuffed!

2. We cooked dinner on Saturday night! In the past, the weekend has been kind of a free-for-all & we haven't planned much around meals, we've just gotten whatever sounded good. This weekend we planned for homemade pizza. I made whole wheat pizza dough in the breadmaker, then we divided it so we could each have our own personal sized pizzas. I used a wedge of Laughing Cow cheese on mine as the "sauce", then had mushrooms, spinach, feta, garlic, and a light sprinkle of mozzerella. It was pretty good! Next time I think I might make the Laughing Cow alfredo sauce that I've seen floating around the internet, because it was a teensy bit dry once it baked. Still, super tasty!

3. We ate out on Sunday, and I allowed it to be my one meal each week where I indulge & eat what sounds good to me, within reason. While I know we also ate out on Friday, that meal was planned out & within the points values for the day. Sundays meal allowed me to indulge a little using some of my flex points. When I made my plan, I thought in advance about how to handle eating-out situations, and I said that I'd allow myself one meal per week to indulge within reason. Because I planned this out in advance, it's really helped me in a couple of ways. 1.) I don't feel guilty for indulging one time per week, using my flex points, and 2.) It helps me not go overboard the whole DAY. Sometimes you'll indulge for one meal, then you figure "well, I screwed up the day, might as well go crazy!". I don't look at my indulgance as a screw-up, I look at it as a treat that I'm allowing myself. Since I know I get that treat once a week, I don't get discouraged or even think about going off-plan for a whole day!

4. While it didn't occur on the weekend, I also had a victory on Thursday. After I got news that my meeting was going to be closing, I felt pretty blue for the evening. I knew I had flex points that I could "blow" on junk if I wanted. But I was rational and reasonable. I told my husband "I have flex points and I really want chocolate or ice cream... but I know that I only want it because I'm sad. So I shouldn't go crazy, right?" He was proud of me for recognizing that while I could have "legally" eaten some junk, I wasn't doing it because I wanted the junk, I was doing it because I wanted to not feel sad right then. He suggested having a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich instead, so I did just that. Three points instead of maybe thirty that I would have blown at Dairy Queen. I was proud of myself!

How did you do this weekend? What were some of your victories?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Skinny Bee Margarita

Anyone who's been on weight watchers knows that Applebee's is always an easy place to go & eat on-plan because they have several items on the menu that are endorsed by WW and have points values listed. Well, last week at my meeting, someone mentioned that Applebee's now has a 100-calorie margarita, and while it isn't endorsed by weight watchers, it's still low-points & would be able to be fit into anyone's plan while eating out, if they desired.

So when my husband and I were deciding on a place for date night this week, Applebee's it was! And we decided to try the margarita. I was expecting it to either be A)tiny or B)not good. And surprisingly, it was actually not super tiny (though not the size of a regular margarita), and it was really good! This is what it looks like:

My only complaint about this margarita is the price! It was $5.99 for this little thing! Maybe to some that's not bad, but considering you can get a regular margarita at most restaurants for a couple bucks less (though for many more calories!), I thought the $6 price tag was a bit high! So while I did enjoy this little treat, I probably wouldn't be getting it again, unless I was dying for a little taste of margarita. Another thing that some might not like (but didn't bother me), is that it's served on the rocks, not frozen. I actually prefer my margaritas that way, but if you are a frozen margarita kinda gal, then you might not like this.

Has anyone else tried this, what did you think?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Accomplishments & Goals

At the end of each week in my WW tracker, there is a space to list your accomplishments for the week & your goals for the upcoming week. I will be sharing these here with you each week!

This week I accomplished:
--Walked three times, 1 mile each (though I hurt my knee on my last walk & have been in pain for several days!)
--Tracked my food every day
--Tried three new dishes, from scratch, with no recipe!
--Stuck to my plan!
--Lost 2 pounds

This week I commit to:
--Take my vitamin every day (I wasn't consistent last week!)
--Keep up with my exercise
--Don't feel discouraged about hurdles
--Keep logging all food

On a similar sidenote, one of my goals has been to give up pop. Last week I had just a couple of sips of diet pop, and to be honest, I didn't really miss it. Today I got Subway for lunch & the only fountain option they had that wasn't pop was powerade, which I don't like. So, I opted for Diet Coke. I got it and took one sip and almost spit it out! It was so syrupy & sweet to me! Isn't that odd that after just one week of going without, the stuff that I used to drink daily I can no longer really stand! It didn't taste good to me at all & I only had maybe 2 ounces of the whole big cup full, just to wash down my food. It was a pretty neat little victory!

What did you accomplish this week? What are your goals for the coming week?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A loss and a hurdle.

The good news: I saw a loss this week at WW. For my first week on the program, I honestly expected more (because in the past when I've done WW I've dropped more my first week), but a loss is a loss, and I'm trying not to hope for more. So, my loss was 2 pounds even. Two less pounds my knees have to carry around!

The bad news: I was informed tonight at my WW meeting, week TWO, mind you, that they are closing down the meeting due to low attendance. This is the only meeting held in my town, and the nearest other meeting is about 35 minutes away from home. I was devastated. It took me so much courage to actually start and take the first step, and now it's being pulled out from under me. I realize this isn't the end of the world, and that as part of my plan I made a committement to locate another meeting if I was unable to go to my own. I just didn't realize it would be permanently, nor did I realize it would be so soon! I could really use some encouraging words about this, cuz I'm feeling really upset about it. Probably moreso than I should be... I mean, I actually shed a few tears over it! I'm just bummed that I found a small, intimate meeting, and now I feel like I'm being abandoned.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Teale's Taco Soup

I've made a couple different mexican-themed soups before, including one for Chicken Tortilla Soup that I posted on here. Tonight though, I decided to improvise (must be the theme this week!), and this one did not disappoint! I'm not gonna lie... I had two generous helpings, and enjoyed every bit! This made 8 (1.5 cup) servings & came to about 5 points a serving.

1 pound lean ground beef
4 cups chicken broth
2 cans Rotel (I did one mild & one original flavor)
2 cans black beans
1/2 large onion, diced
1 bag frozen corn
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp minced garlic

1. In a crockpot, combine all ingredients except ground beef & cook on high for 4-5 hours
2. Right before serving, brown ground beef & drain. Season with additional chili powder/garlic powder/cumin/salt/pepper to taste. Add to soup. (You could have done this in the beginning, but I didn't have time when prepping the soup to also brown the meat!)
3. Serve alone or with a sprinkling of shredded cheese!

This was so good & so flavorful, we'll definately be having this again! That's three for three this week!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Chicken Salad Wraps

I picked up some Flat Out wraps this week at the grocery store (only 1 point!) & decided to concoct some kind of delicious wrap for one night's dinner this week. I totally improvised this, but was very happy with the end result!

12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked & diced
1/2 c. onion, minced
1/2 c. green pepper, minced
1 c. carrots, finely chopped
1/4 c. black beans
1/4 c. frozen corn, thawed
1/2 c. miracle whip (or low fat/fat free mayo
Tony Chachere's cajun seasoning to taste
1 leaf of romaine
1 wrap

It doesn't get much easier than this... cook your chicken (I like to boil it & chop it up, easiest for me!), slice & dice your veggies, toss everything in a bowl, and mix! Next I found a good, leafy piece of romaine, layed it on my wrap, topped with chicken salad, and rolled it right up! It was delicious, moist, and SO flavorful! Definately would do this again! Oh, and they came to a total of 7 points!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Shrimp Primavera

I was in the mood for some kind of shrimp pasta, but all the recipes I was finding either didn't quite sound like what I wanted, or else they were far too complicated to cook quickly. So, I improvised and made up my own recipe!
1/2 box thin spaghetti (wheat pasta would be healthier, but I used what I had, which was just regular spaghetti!)
1 pound shrimp, deveined & peeled
1/2 c. onion
1 can petite diced onions w/garlic & olive oil
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 c. parmesan cheese
Salt/Pepper to taste

1. Cook pasta as directed.

2. Cook onions in olive oil in a skillet.

3. Once browned, add shrimp & cook through (I used pre-cooked, frozen shrimp, so I just had to heat them through!)

4. Add can of tomatoes & simmer for about 10 minutes

5. Add parmesan cheese to the mixture at the very end & stir well to make a creamy tomato sauce.

6. Toss with pasta & serve!

This makes 4 servings with a WW points value of about 7.5 (depends on the exact ingredients you use, that's what I came up with for mine!). It was super good & even the husband said he'd definately have it again!

Weekend Victories

During the week I've always had an easier time sticking to a healthy plan because there's a specific structure to my day. Every day has the same schedule, so it's easier to stick to my plan, given that schedule. The weekends are usually where I struggle. The nice thing with Weight Watchers is that you have 35 flex points in addition to your daily points, so that if somethign comes up & you want something special that "costs" more, you can do that. This weekend I faced my first date night on plan (a weekly tradition for my husband and I), my first cookout, and celebrating mother's day with 3 moms. Normally all of these would be a reason to eat as much of whatever was being served. But I'm happy to report these victories for the weekend:

1. Date night--We planned ahead when going to the steakhouse & I researched points for foods there. I made a plan ahead of time about what I was going to eat, and I stuck with it. I got salmon, broccoli, and a salad. We shared a small appetizer, but I budgeted for that & didn't go overboard.

2. Date night--We then went to the movies. The usual movie far would be an extra large pop and a huge bucket of popcorn, slathered in butter. This time I brought a package of sugar free hard candy, the husband got a diet pop, and I got a bottle of water. That was a huge victory, because I love my movie popcorn. But I resisted.

3. Cookout--A big chance to go overboard here, given there were hamburgers, hot dogs, italian sausage, pasta salad, potato salad, taco salad, chips, cookies, and pop. I sampled a lot of what was there, but I didn't go overboard. I also budgeted my points accordingly and used a few flex to round out the day. It wasn't the healthiest food in the world, but I didn't splurge and over-do it. And I didn't graze, which happens so often at cookouts! Once everyone was done eating, we put the food away and it solved that problem!

4. Mother's Day--Breakfast was the first hurdle. We were going to my mother-in-law's for a breakfast of french toast and bacon. Nothing too healthy about that option. I ate 2 slices of each, and tried to limit the syrup I used. I didn't have any other option in this case, so I just was careful with the rest of my day.

5. Mother's Day--Lunch was the second hurdle. My mom wanted fried chicken. Not the healthiest thing in the world, huh? I had a thigh & removed the skin. Also had a small amount of leftover sides from the cookout. Drank lots of water. Didn't feel deprived, just didn't overdo it. Good!

6. Mother's Day--Dinner was the last hurdle. I'd been dying for some chinese and we were headed to the buffet. Usually a disaster if you're trying to eat healthy. Once again, I made a plan before we went. I knew that I usually ate a lot of crab at this place. Crab by itself isn't so bad actually! But it's the butter that gets you. I looked at my points left for the day & my flex & decided that I would allow myself some crab with butter. I also would have a cup of soup (low in points), some shrimp, and one scoop of chicken & broccoli. I'd skip the rice since I was going with the points for the butter. I left feeling satisfied & I didn't deny myself a treat that I really wanted.

Overall, this weekend was filled with a lot of temptations. The weekend is harder for me to stay with my healthy eating schedule anyway, then throw a holiday in there, and without a plan, I might have been destined for disaster. But I wasn't. I made a plan and stuck with it. And I'm proud of myself.

What were your weekend victories? If you write about it, link to it in the comments!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Mindful or Mindless?

One thing that I'm really trying to pay attention to is to mindfully eat foods, rather than midLESSly eat them.

How many of us have sat down at our computers and munched snack foods? And then 20 minutes later, half the bag of chips is gone & you have no idea where it went. Mindless.

Or what about dinner... My family is guilty of eating in front of the television every single night. Next thing you know, your plate is cleaned & you have no idea where that mountain of food went. Mindless.

Anybody ever come home from school or work & immediately open the fridge scanning for a snack? It's not that we're really hungry, but it's just *what you do* (I blame this habit on the after school snacks my mom made every day for 12 years of schooling!). Mindless.

So how do we move from the mindless eating to actually being mindful about what we put in our mouths? The answer is simple, but so many of us probably don't do it. Pay attention & listen to your body! So many times have I had a snack just because the food was there. Was I really hungry? No, but I ate it anyway, *just because*.

One thing that Weight Watchers has added since I followed the plan last is a little scale at the bottom of your daily logs that allows you to monitor how hungry/satisfied/full you are, throughout the day. This is a great tool to have! Of course WW has always emphasized to pay attention to your "comfort zone" and try to stay in the middle--not starving, but not FULL... just no longer hungry--satisfied. And I heard about that comfort zone for months... but did I really pay attention to it in the past? Nope. I just ate my points & that was that. Having this simple little tool to fill out throughout the day is so helpful! Not only does it make me aware and make me LISTEN to my body, but it also teaches me what foods keep me satisfied for longer and what foods don't.

For example, this morning, I got up & felt slightly hungry. I noted this on my graph at 7am, decided to hop in the shower then eat. Had a couple scrambled eggs & some yogurt & felt satisfied. Not full, but not hungry. Satisfied. Noted this on my chart. I drank half coffee/half milk (the only way I can get my milk in, cuz I dislike milk!), then I packed some multigrain cheerios to have as a snack later. At about 10, my tummy started growling. I was getting hungry. I could have just dug into the cheerios right then, but I decided to have a fruity (WW hard candy) & a glass of water to see if that would trick my body. Sometimes this will work--those are the times I know I"m not "really" hungry, but I'm just wanting to mindLESSly eat. This time though, the hard candy & water didn't bump me up, so I knew my body really did need some fuel. Ate my cheerios & I'm feeling better. It'll tide me over to lunchtime. And at lunchtime, I'll reevaluate my hunger & only eat til satisfied. The key is listening to my body & recognizing when enough is enough!

How have you tackled mindless eating? Have you made any rules for yourself, like no eating in front of the TV, etc? If you haven't tackled it yet, what are you going to do TODAY that will lead you down the direction of mindful eating?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tonight's the night

I go to my first Weight Watchers meeting tonight. I'm trying to think of this as the beginning. Not think about every other time I've done weight watchers & how I've heard some of this stuff before. It's all new. I'm going to hear it tonight for the first time, absorb as much as possible.

I'm very nervous, but it's a good nervous. I'm scared about seeing what the number really says, scared about seeing people I know, scared of being the new girl. But those fears are nothing compared to the fears if I DON'T do this--the fear of never conceiving children because of my weight, the fear of not living a long, full life because of my weight, the fear of developing illnesses related to my weight. Those fears are so much greater & are what's going to push me to the meeting tonight. My little fears about the meeting are nothing compared to the big picture.

So, in a couple hours, I'll face the scale, face the meeting, face the changes. I can do this.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Plan

1. Attend weekly Weight Watchers meeting, no matter what. If I have a conflict with the Monticello meeting, I will attend a Champaign meeting on another day. (First meeting this Thursday)

2. Write down everything I eat, even if I slip up & eat something that's not on-plan. Journal it all.
3. Have one planned meal out each week (date night with the husband), where I eat whatever on the menu that sounds good (not saying go overboard, but eat an entree that appeals to me). If an unexpected meal out occurs, that meal will be as healthy as possible, given the menu of the restaurant.

4. Walk at least 10 minutes, 3 times per week. Revise this as weight comes off.

5. Take progress pictures from the front & side every 10-pound milestone.

6. Read other blogs and provide support to others in the same boat.

7. Write at least once weekly in Teale's Meals to update on progress, emotions surrounding lifestyle change, struggles, victories, etc.

8. Eliminate pop. Right now I drink maybe 1 diet pop per day, but I'd like to eliminate that altogether.

9. Take measurements once per month as another way to monitor progress.

10. Don't give up.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sweet Surrender

My life has to change. I am a mess that is out of control with my weight. Changing gets put off again and again. The fear of failure is always at the forefront of my mind. But this is failure. This doing nothing. Trying to change is the farthest thing from failing. This apathy that I have sunken into though, that is failure.

I've gained so much weight that very few of my clothes fit. I'm uncomfortable all the time. I'm in pain in my knees, back, hips. My wedding rings are too tight. I don't like what I see in the mirror & I can't imagine why my husband would want to see what is under these too-tight clothes. My self-esteem is at rock bottom. I can't get life insurance. I'm miserable and I feel sad because of what I've done to myself.

The same question just keeps flashing in my head like a neon light. "What makes this time different?" I keep racking my brain, wondering what it is that always makes me quit focusing on living a healthy life when I'm seeing success. I've lost 40-50 pounds several times in my life... the same 40-50 pounds. So I am capable... but then there's something that throws me off. And I don't know what it is. Do I feel like I don't deserve to be healthy, deep down? Do I feel like I'm losing part of my identity when I lose weight. I don't know. I genuinely don't know what it is that makes me stop trying & leads me to where I'm at now.

It's time to make a plan. Time to quit talking about how I need to change & just get on with it already. I'm going to be forumlating a detailed plan for what I'm going to do & how I'm going to make this time be the difference. I need a contingency plan for when I start to get derailed. A go-to to get me back on track if need-be. I've got to do this. It's not a question of just wanting to, I need to. I'm pretty positive that I'm going to go back to Weight Watchers. I've had success with it in the past, much more success than when I try to do it on my own. Yes, eventually I started gaining weight back, but that wasn't the program's fault, it was my own. I've been away from the program for a couple years, and I think that it may be what I need to become refocused. I hate that I have so much more to lose than I've ever had to before. I hate that I've done this to myself. But only I can change this, nobody else can do it for me.