Thursday, October 30, 2008
and her post talks about how she was at the library working on a project and didn't think she could make it to lunch without eating. However, she drank some water and got absorbed into her project - and made it to lunchtime with no problems.
This made me think. Today I am battling monstrous PMS chocolate cravings. All I want is a huge cookie sundae or chocolate cake, candy, whatever. It is ridiculous. I ate a little chocolate mint 2-point bar, instead of something worse, but the craving was not fixed. Not in the slightest. I whined to my husband about it, and he said that PMS doesn't cause chocolate cravings. I argued. But that is not the point. The point is what to do about them. (the cravings)
So I left the kitchen, went to my computer and started blog-surfing. Then I read the post. It made me think about distraction. It works with even the stubbornest toddlers (most of the time), why not with food? As I read her simple statement I realized that as I have been on the computer, and then am off to the next task of the day, the craving has been put on the back burner. It just needs to stay there till tomorrow night when I will have my splurge meal.
So how can I make this technique work in the future now that it is conscious? I need fight the cravings with other activities, whether it is something mundane like laundry, or whether I need to go outside, and walk to the park with my daughter. But now I have a tool to help me when the times are tough.
2 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, no oil, minced (I soak them in water for a few minutes to make them easier to chop.)
2 oz. soft-type goat cheese
1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
1 pound uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts, four 4 ounce pieces
1/8 tsp table salt or to taste
1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste
1 tbsp all-purpose flour1 cup dry white wine
1 tbsp corn starch
1 cup fat-free chicken broth
1 tbsp canned tomato paste
In a small bowl, stir together sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese and thyme. Using a sharp paring knife, cut a horizontal slit through the thickest part of each chicken breast, creating a pocket. Be careful not to cut all the way through. Place 1/4 of the mixture in each chicken breast.
Spray a large nonstick skillet with olive oil cooking spray and warm over high heat. Add chicken and brown well. Remove and set aside. Add white wine to pan and boil until almost all evaporated.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together cornstarch and 2 tablespoons chicken broth until smooth. Whisk cornstarch mixture, remaining chicken broth and tomato paste into white wine.
Return chicken breasts to pan. Bring to a summer, cover and cook over low heat until chicken is cooked through, about ten minutes. Baste occasionally with sauce
5 points a serving
I'll be posting here a couple of times a week whenever I make something that Jen really likes and thinks just HAS to be on here. And since I'm not a big fan of exercise, I'll post tips from time to time that help me get out the door anyway. I've lost ten pounds in the last two months and it's all about finding little tricks that work and support good eating habits. You can check out more of my personal blog where I ramble about everything, sometimes even skinny stuff, at Write Stuff.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
1 Serving/4 Pts.
1 Alternative Pita (Made by Western Bagel)
Veggies of choice
1 1/2 T jarred pizza sauce (I used Trader Joes)
1 1/2 oz. shredded mozzarella
Cut pita in half. Open and fill with sauce, veggies and half of the cheese in each side. Place halves on baking sheet, spray with olive oil spray (optional) and bake till cheese is melted.
Great fast lunch alternative to a sandwich!
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
My husband loved it!
8 Servings/5 Pts. ea.
Serving Size: 1 1/3 C
2 1/4 lbs. flank steak
8 small red potatoes, chopped into 1" pieces
10 baby carrots
sliced fresh mushrooms
1 large clove garlic, chopped or more if you like
1 med-lg onion, chopped
1 C peas
3 ribs celery, cut into 1" pieces
3 C cabbage, chopped
2 8-oz cans tomato sauce
1-2 T Worcestershire Sauce
2 bay leaves
1/2 t dried thyme
1/2 t dried basil
1.2 t dried marjoram
1 T dried parsely
2 C water
4 cubes or t. beef buillon
2-3 T Cornstarch or Flour mixed into 1/4 C water
Trim flank steak of fat. Cut into 1 1/2 chunks. Brown slowly in large skillet. Chop potatoes and other veggies. Combine all ingredients in large slow-cooker. Cover. Cook on high for one hour, then turn to low and cook for 9 more hours. About an hour before it's done, mix cornstarch or flour with water till smooth, and pour into crockpot. Stir and recover.
(Note: I didn't have time for 10 hours cooking, so I cooked it on high for 2 hours, and then turned to low for 6 hours and it came out perfectly.
Monday, October 27, 2008
4 Servings/ 5pts. each + toppings (Each serving is 2 tostadas)
1 14 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
1/2 can mild (or spicy if you wish) green chiles, drained
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
2-3 T chopped cilantro
1 sm. onion, sliced thinly
3 cups (12 oz) shredded cooked turkey or chicken breast (I bought some turkey breasts and boiled them, and then shredded them. You could use leftovers from another meal as well.)
8 corn tortillas
2 C fat free refried beans (Used Rosarita for this recipe) heated
Light sour cream
Light shredded cheese
Preheat oven to 375. Bring tomatoes and their juice, chiles and garlic to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and most of the liquid has evaporated, 15 - 20 mins. Add turkey and cilantro, heat till hot and flavors are mixed, about 2 mins.
Meanwhile, coat tortillas on both sides with cooking spray. Bake on oven rack, or on a rack on a cookie sheet until crisped and lightly golden brown, about 10 mins.
Spread each crisped tortilla with 1/4 C refried beans, about 1/3 C turkey mixture, and your toppings of choice.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
4 Servings/ Without the meat it is 5 Pts each.
1 1/4 C egg substitute
1/2 C light sour cream
1/2 t salt
2 oz (1/2 C) shredded light cheese
2 1/2 C Shredded frozen hashbrowns- thawed
low calorie meat of choice - chopped or crumbled (I used Amylu's Apple and Gouda Cheese Chicken Sausages from Costco- they are sooo amazing.) Just calculate the points.
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and pour into an 8x8 pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 325 for about 45 mins or until set. (when you shake it, it stays still)
You can make it with low cal sausage, turkey bacon, canadian bacon or ham, or any vegetable combination. I even thought of doing a mexican version with salsa, peppers, tomatoes and onions. You could even throw some black beans in it. The variations are endless!
Saturday, October 25, 2008
So.... what did I do? Did I eat them?
I wanted to soooo bad.
But I did not succumb to temptation. Funny enough, a couple of thoughts helped me get through the weak moment. The first was the quote I have at the side of this blog: "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels." I thought about that for a bit. Then I thought about something I read recently, which talked about how you have to get past the "now" by thinking about the future instead. So without making a firm decision, I just kept reading my book. The next time I thought about it, the craving wasn't nearly as strong.
I don't think I have ever resisted like that before. Hopefully I can do it again.
For 5 Pts you can get the following 6-inch sandwiches:
Turkey and Ham
All of these are on whole wheat rolls and do not have mayo or cheese. If you want cheese, add 1 point, and if you want mayo, add 3 more Pts! Yikes.
A Veggie Sandwich on wheat is only 4 pts.
For white breads (except for the cheese breads) you would need to add 1 point.
Friday, October 24, 2008
BAKED COCONUT SHRIMP3 servings/5 Pts ea. or 2 servings/7 Pts ea.
1 1/2 pounds Shrimp (Extra large, defrosted, shelled & deveined, rinsed & patted dry. Costco Shrimp was used to calculate values)
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
dash of salt
1 T honey
1 T lime juice (fresh squeezed)
1/3 cup egg whites
3/4 cup Coconut (Bakers brand is what I used to calculate values)
Preheat oven to 425. Lightly spray a large baking sheet with butter
flavored cooking spray. In a small bowl combine cornstarch, pepper & salt.
In a small microwave safe dish heat up honey approx. 30-45 secs. Add lime
juice to honey & stir.
Slowly add in egg whites & continue to stir.
Place a little coconut in a thin layer on a pie plate or flat dish. (If
you only put the coconut in the dish a little at a time, you will get a
better coating & have plenty of coconut).
Take each shrimp & lst dip into cornstarch mixture, then in egg white
mixture & finally roll in the coconut.
Place on the baking sheet & lightly spray with butter non-stick cooking spray. Bake 10-15
mins. or until shrimp is pink & the coconut is lightly toasted.
For dipping, you can buy a jarred plum or other type of dipping sauce. Or what I did, was make more of the honey lime mixture and drizzled it on top. You would need to count additional points for the honey.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
I didn't want to get into the whole Weight Watchers thing, so I just said that I have been trying to make good choices by doing the following things:
1. When I go out, I look ahead of time at the restaurant's nutritional info, try to choose places where I can find a healthy option, and know ahead of time what I am getting. I didn't go into details with him, but the other day, my in-laws wanted to eat at Ruby's Diner. That was a hard one. I studied the menu (I go to dwlz.com to find out the menu options and their Weight Watcher's points) and figured out if I ordered a bowl of vegetable soup, and split a grilled chicken sandwich on a wheat bun and split the side of fries it comes with with my mother-in-law, that I could stay within my daily points. It wasn't easy to resist the burgers and shakes, but I did it, indulging in only a spoonful of my daughter's chocolate shake.
2. Not eat out as much. It is much easier to eat healthy when you prepare it yourself.
3. Watch my portions. Try not to stuff myself. Try to stop eating when I am no longer hungry, but not full.
4. If I know I want a bigger or more fattening meal at dinner or whatever, I eat a lighter breakfast and lunch.
5. I have one splurge meal a week. This is where I use my flex points for the week, for those of you who know the Weight Watcher's program. This meal is my indulgence, so I don't feel deprived. I don't have a splurge day, or weekend, however. Only 1 meal.
6. I exercise 4-5 days a week.
We both agreed that for the most part, for most people, it's not rocket science to lose weight. You just have to do it. That's the hard part. But the more I make these changes to my life, the easier it is to live this way. I really like it. Crazy, huh.
1 Pt. ea.
1 Can Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuits (Come in a 4-pack, blue packaging)
40 Mini marshmallows
2 T Splenda
2 T Cinnamon
Mix Splenda and Cinnamon together on a plate. Place each biscuit on a flat surface. Roll into flat circle with rolling pin. Spray each side with a squirt of spray butter. Dip each side in the cinnamon mixture. Lay inside a muffin tin. Put 4 mini marshmallows in each one. Pinch closed. Bake as directed on the Pillsbury package.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Another recent find is Yummy Diet Food. This site focuses on great low fat/low calorie products, and has some recipes on there too.
I feel like I am spending a lot of time online with this little project, but it is so fun! I love to come across great sites - it helps keep me focused and motivated in my own journey.
I would love if anyone had any other favorites to share.
4 Servings/3 Pts ea.
12 oz pork tenderloin, cut into thin strips
1 C pineapple chunks
(if using canned, reserve juice for sauce)
1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 sm. white onion, thinly sliced or chopped
1 zucchini, sliced thinly
2 roma tomatoes, seeds removed, coarsely chopped
2 T rice vinegar
2 T soy sauce
2 T minced or finely grated fresh ginger
1/2 C pineapple juice (use reserves from can of pineapple)
1 T soy sauce
1 T rice vinegar
2 t cornstarch
Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl or gallon size ziplock bag. Add the pork strips, toss to coat, and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 mins. Meanwhile, combine and mix the sauce ingredients in another small bowl and set aside. Chop vegetables. Lightly coat a nonstick frying pan or wok with cooking spray, and place over med high heat. Add the pork and stir-fry until it is no longer pink. (3-4 mins) Transfer the pork to another container and set aside. Recoat the pan with cooking spray and reduce the heat to med. Add the onion, pepper and zucchini. Saute until they begin to soften. (2-3 mins) Return the cooked pork to the pan along with the tomatoes, pineapple and sauce. Bring the ingredients to a boil, then remove the pan from the heat. Serve over rice. (additional points for rice)
Monday, October 20, 2008
So tonight, I tried out a recipe for roasted veggies that a few of my friends use.
8.5 Points Total, servings vary
(1.5 points total if you use olive oil cooking spray instead of oil.)
1 lb veggies ( I used broccoli, but you can use asparagus, zucchini, or other types of veggies)
2 T minced fresh garlic
2 T Olive Oil (Can adjust for smaller amounts of veggies) (Could omit and use spray, probably)
2 T Grated Parmesan Cheese
Preheat oven to 400. Stir veggies, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl till coated. Line baking sheet with foil. Top with the veggies, and sprinkle on the parmesan cheese. Roast in oven until crisp tender. Time varies with the different type of vegetable.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Health Mex Chicken or Mahi Mahi taco- 3.5 Pts ea.
For lunch I usually eat one of each and a diet coke.
Health Mex Burrito -either chicken or fish- 10.5 Pts.
I usually need to eat a lighter breakfast and lunch to have enough points left for this one, but it is really filling and delicious.
I often have this same conversation with my husband: He claims that when he eats out for lunch, there is no place to go to get a lower calorie/healthy meal. I will keep trying to prove him wrong.
4 Servings/5 Pts. ea.
1 packet dry ranch dressing mix
8 oz. fat free cream cheese, softened
1 C skim milk
8 oz. elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
2 C frozen green peas, thawed
2 cans (12 oz) tuna in water, drained and flaked
In a mixing bowl, combine dressing mix, cream cheese, and milk. Mix until smooth. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and combine with peas and tuna in a large skillet. Stir dressing mixture into pasta. Cook over low heat until mixture is hot.
Friday, October 17, 2008
8 Servings/ 2 Pts ea.
8 oz. fat free cream cheese
1/4 C fat free milk
1 Crystal Light lemonade (I have used raspberry lemonade too) on-the-go packet or 1 t Crystal Light
1 tub fat free cool whip
1/2 C graham cracker crumbs
1. Spray pie plate with spray butter or butter flavored non-stick cooking spray. Dump the graham cracker crumbs in and spread them around.
2. Mix the cream cheese, and lemonade packet together. Add milk. Mix till smooth. Add cool whip. Mix till smooth. Pour into pie plate on top of crumbs. Chill overnight.
This treat still is soft, even after chilling overnight, but it is soo good.
Just yesterday I realized that I have become used to not feeling super full. And I like it. I like leaving a restaurant and not feeling stuffed and uncomfortable. I like feeling like I am in control of my eating habits. It really helps my self-confidence.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
I believe that the healthiest relationship with food is to look at it as fuel. We obviously need food to survive, but we do not need to gorge ourselves, or fill ourselves up with tons of bad stuff. Klein, in her memoir, talks about the quantity of food she used to eat, sometimes when she wasn't even hungry. She would obsess about food. I go through times when I do too. It becomes a sort of drug. Socializing, many times, is all about food. It is so easy to have it be a main focus. Sometimes when my husband travels for work, I will go junk-food shopping to "get myself through the week." How sad is that.
Hopefully, as I am on this journey to change my lifestyle, I can change my views about food. Can I eat treats sparingly and be satisfied? (I could never give them up completely) Can I have balance in my eating habits? Can I have food fit in to my full life, not have my life revolve around food?
Heidi Klum in an Oprah interview, when asked how she lost her baby-weight so fast, said that she ate healthy her entire pregnancy. She said that it is hard. She would like to eat the cookies and other stuff all the time, but she can't eat everything she wants. She only eats them once in a while. I know we look at celebrities and talk about how they have nannies and chefs and trainers, and it's better to look elsewhere for motivation, but I have always remembered what she said in that interview. If we want to be healthy and skinny, we cannot eat whatever we want. We have to watch it. It's as simple as that.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
AKA butternut squash fries. I am not calling them that because the end result is too soft to be called fries. This recipe is all over the internet, and on two diet sites I like, Hungry Girl and Greenlitebites. In case you haven't seen it, these are really good, and are a great side dish for sandwich type meals.
1 T Olive Oil
1 (2 lb) Butternut Squash
Preheat oven to 450. Cut ends of squash off, and cut lengthwise down the middle. Remove seeds, and peel the skin off with peeler. (be sure to get down to the bright orange layer) Cut into 1/2" wedges or slices. Pour into large ziplock bag or bowl with salt and olive oil. Shake or stir till coated. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange squash in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake for around 30 mins, turning a couple of times. Bake till edges start to brown. I like mine quite toasted, as it kind of carmelizes the squash. Be sure to eat them hot, though- they taste way better that way!
I made these last night for dinner, and thought of taking a picture when I was half done with mine. Didn't think anyone would want to see that. :)
The trick to making these lower calorie is the roll. At Trader Joes they have a par-baked panini roll that is only 2 pts. It's not huge, but with plenty of meat, it makes a great sandwich.
Flank or Sirloin Steak (cooked, trimmed of visible fat, is 1 pt. per oz.)
1 Onion Soup mix
1 au jus gravy mix
2 C water
1 Baking Bag
Put steak in baking bag. Mix water, soup mix, and gravy mix together. Pour over the steak. Close the baking bag, and poke some holes in the top. Bake at 325 till done to your liking. You might want to use a meat thermometer, because I have a tendency to overcook mine.
Once the meat is done, slice thin across the grain. I measure out 3 or 4 oz. and put it on the roll. You can add light mayo or cheese if you would like, but I like mine plain. Pour the liquid out of the baking bag into your dipping containers and there you have it. My husband and I love this recipe!
Monday, October 13, 2008
Had this for dinner tonight and was delicious as always. I have to thank my friend Holly for this recipe. This tasty Mexican chicken is so versatile. It can be the filling in tacos or burritos. It can top a salad. My favorite way to eat it is to make a rice bowl out of it. I make a copycat version of Chipotle's cilantro lime rice, top it with the chicken mixture and top that with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, and either light shredded cheese, or light sour cream. It is really filling meal. Another great one for men, as it is a lot of food.
7 Servings/3 pts ea.
Each Serving is 1 C
4 lg. or 6 sm. frozen chicken breasts- (adjust cooking time if thawed or fresh)
1 Taco Seasoning Packet
1 jar Salsa
1 C Chicken Broth
1 can black beans(drained)
1 can corn(drained)
Place all ingredients in crock pot. Cook on high for about 4 hours (or 3 1/2 hours if using small breast fillets) or on low for about 8 hours. When chicken is done, pull out the chicken and shred. Put shredded chicken back in crock pot and mix.
Cilantro Lime Rice
Add chopped cilantro to pot of rice and water. When rice is cooked, squeeze the juice of one lime and mix.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
These muffins are a great way to mix things up for breakfast. Even my toddler likes them!
18 Muffins/1 Pt ea.
3 C All-Bran Cereal (I use the Trader Joes version, I like it better)
2 1/2 C hot water
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 box Krusteaz Fat-Free Muffin mix (Blueberry is my favorite)
Optional: Extra blueberries (I like to add about 1/2 to 3/4 C fresh) Frozen would also work. Points stay the same.
1. Soak Cereal in water about 5 mins. Mash with masher until cereal disintegrates. Mix all ingredients in mixer.
2. Pour into 18 muffin cups
3. Bake as directed on muffin mix package.
Servings Vary, 28 Pts total
4 C unpeeled, cubed red potatoes
2 C whole baby carrots
1 C chopped red onions
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 T olive oil
1 clove garlic - minced
1 1/2 T dried thyme
1 1/2 T dried rosemary
1 t dried tarragon
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1 C sliced green beans
1 C sliced mushrooms
1/2 C dry white wine (can substitute 1/2 C broth with either 1 t white wine vinegar, or 1/2 C broth with 1 t lemon juice)
24 oz chicken breast, cubed (about 4 breasts, or 6 breast fillets)
3 C fat-free chicken broth
3 T flour
1. Spray a large roasting pan with non-stick spray. Add potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, onions, vinegar, oil, garlic, 1 t thyme, 1 t rosemary, tarragon, salt and pepper. Mix well. Roast, uncovered, at 425 for 30 mins. Stir once, halfway through the cooking time. Add green beans and roast for 10 more mins.
2. Pour wine or wine substitute into a large saucepan. Add remaining thyme and rosemary. Bring to a boil. Add chicken pieces and reduce heat to med. high. Cook, uncovered, until chicken is cooked through, about 12 mins. Add roasted vegetables to chicken and wine. Stir in 2 1/2 cups of broth.
3. In a small bowl, combine flour with remaining broth and stir until lump free. Add flour mixture to chicken and vegetables. Cook until stew is bubbly and has thickened, about 3 mins. Serve hot.
Recipe by: Crazy Plates by Janet & Greta Podleski
This one is one of my husband's favorites. The servings are so huge! I actually got this one from a WW magazine, and it has been a favorite of our family's for years now. One time I made this as a demo of a healthy meal for a cooking class with a group of people from my church, and it was a huge hit.
Stuffed Butternut Squash
2 Servings/6 Pts ea.
1 Butternut squash (1 3/4 lbs) cut lengthwise and seeded
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/2 t olive oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
1/2 lb lean ground beef (7% fat or less, or lean ground turkey will work too)
1 C canned diced tomatoes with basil and oregano, drained
1 dried mission fig, finely chopped (I have used chopped raisins, or other dried fruit works too, its just for a bit of sweetness)
1/4 C frozen peas
1. Preheat the oven to 450. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Sprinkle cut sides of squash with half of the salt and pepper. Place the squash, cut side down, on the baking sheet and bake about 45 mins or until tender.
2. Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet and add the onion and sautée till tender. Add the beef and cook till brown. Add the tomatoes, fig and remainder of the salt and pepper. Cook until the liquid evaporates. Add the peas and cook until hot.
3. Turn the squash cut side up and fill the each cavity with half of the mixture.
Optional: For 1 additional point you can top the stuffed squash with a tablespoon of low fat mozzarella, or 1/2 T of mozzarella and 1/2 T of breadcrumbs. Bake till cheese is melted.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
A few weeks ago, I was getting dressed for church, and I put on a new dress, one of those high waisted knit dresses. As I was finishing getting ready, my husband said that there were too many lines (its low cut, so I had a cami on underneath) and it didn't look that great. So I went and looked for myself and not only were there too many lines, but too many lumps too. So the dress went back in the closet, until I ordered this fabulous body-shaper slip from Layers Clothing.
Not only does it double as an undershirt/shell but it streamlines all the lumps. No muffin top, only a smooth body. I think I will wear it under every dress I own.
Blah Blah Blah. This morning I was craving a breakfast burrito. I don't know about anyone else, but I hate low-carb, low-cal tortillas. They all taste funny to me. And I like to keep my breakfast at 4 points or less. So today I thought of a new idea. And it turned out awesome!
1 Serving/4 Pts
1 Alternative Pita (Made by Western Bagel)
3 Egg whites
1/4 C or so of salsa
1/2 C Black Beans-drained (mine were 1 pt for this amount)
2 T Low-fat shredded cheese
Spray frying pan with a little Pam. Scramble the egg whites. When almost done, add salsa and beans. Cook and stir till liquid is mostly evaporated. Spoon on top of the pita, and sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake at 400 for about 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
I really enjoyed this alternative to the breakfast burrito I was craving this morning, and it was a big serving for only 4 WW Points!