Sunday, August 9, 2009

Reasons for Overeating

I just read a very powerful post on Roni's site. She talks about emotional eating and it is really great. Here is a little quote:

“You will not lose weight until you value yourself more.”

It really made me think about myself and my own habits. I feel that since my IVF attempt in June, when I have let "getting pregnant" go, I am finally making some progress with getting in shape. I feel like a big weight has been lifted (not pounds, but figuratively :) and I can see what a toll this (infertility) has taken on me, mentally and physically. Out of the past 6 years, I have been trying to get pregnant for 4 of them, and pregnant and having a newborn, the other 2.

Now, I feel like I can make fitness goals. It is exciting.

I can't wait to see what happens.

I promise to post more...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Yo-Yo Exercising

My poor body. Due to my fertility treatments, I have been a yo-yo exerciser. Just when I thought I had started to get in better shape, I stopped. Then half-way started up again. Then stopped again. You get the picture, right.

So yesterday I started 30 Day Shred AGAIN. I thought I was going to DIE!!! I couldn't finish the push-ups, or the lunges, or the side to side arm lift things. Jillian would have been screaming at me could she see the wimp that I was...(Thank goodness she couldn't.)

So today I tried to talk myself out of doing it again. I thought about doing the Biggest Loser Power Sculpt video, but I knew that it wouldn't be as hard, and when every muscle in my body hurts, something must be right? or wrong... :) So the little angel on my shoulder won out over the little wimpy devil, and I did it again. Yea for me. I even managed on both days, to do 30 mins on my elliptical after. Even though I felt like Jello.

So I probably ate a bit too many calories today, and started picking my body apart, and then I thought about how I can only do better if I can keep up the workouts. I saw major improvements before I stopped last time, and now, with no (forced) stopping in sight, I am so excited. Maybe I can really get into shape this time for the first time in YEARS!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Update

Haven't posted in a while, and wanted to post an update. After dealing with infertility for the past few years, we finally did IVF last month. Well, I found out a few things about my body, and getting pregnant was a long shot. Suffice it to say, that the treatment didn't work, and I am not pregnant.

So we are giving it a rest for a while. It has been close to impossible to try to think about weight loss and cooking and recipes, and since those things weren't a priority, neither was blogging about them. But now that fertility treatments are over for a while, I am ready to get back on track!

The Plan:
I am not going to be super strict with counting points, but I will have them in the back of my mind as I eat and cook. I still will be making weight-watcher dinners and trying out new recipes, but I am going to try to lose the rest of my weight by eating reasonable and incorporating a great workout. We'll see how it goes. I did gain about 5 lbs last month and I am hoping to lose that soon.

I am just excited to have my life and body back! I am excited to see what kind of progress I can make. Wish me luck!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Orange Creamsicle Protein Shake

While we are on the topic of protein shakes, here is an idea that I came up with when I had some orange juice around. (I don't keep it on hand that often because of the calories) My daughter loves "shakes" so I can make this one and split it with her:

Orange Creamsicle Protein Shake
2 Servings/2 pts ea.

12 oz. orange juice
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I use designer whey)
3/4C cup ice cubes
1-2 tablespoons sweetener (I use Splenda)

Blend well and split in half. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Special K Protein Shake


Ok-more beverage posts...
The folks at Special K contacted me and asked me if I would like to try a sample of their new(ish) protein shake. Of course, being a sucker for anything free and easy, I said yes. A couple of days later the shake arrived and I immediately had to try a taste. I am not a regular consumer of protein shakes; I only occasionally mix up my own with Designer Whey Protein powder, but rarely buy the pre-made ones.

Back in the day, when I was working full time, I would buy the Slim Fast shakes, or the Costco ones to help me get breakfast in. Of course I liked them, anything chocolate and sugary is good to me. However, they never filled me up for more than a couple of hours.

They sent me the Milk Chocolate flavor, which was very tasty. There is 10 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber, which is nice since most protein shakes don't have nearly that amount of fiber. In Weight Watcher's terms, they have 3 points.

Summary:
Tastes Great (Similar to Slim Fast)
3 Points
A great snack, but it wouldn't work for ME for a meal replacement

Friday, June 12, 2009

There is a Reason for the Slacking

So a couple of months ago I mentioned that I was going through IVF to try and get pregnant. Well that first round got cancelled because my body was not responding very well to the drugs, and not enough follicles (which contain the eggs) were developing. So that round turned into artificial insemination, which wasn't successful. So this month we have gone through the whole IVF process, which has resulted in only one healthy embryo, which was implanted yesterday. So you can understand why my posts have been few and far between. Now I am on bed rest for several days and finally have lots of time on my hands.
So send your positive thoughts my way that this little embryo sticks!

P.S... We don't even want to talk about how I have been eating the past couple of weeks. The good news, is I have maintained my 128 lbs through all this up until Monday when I was weighed before my egg retrieval surgery.

Monday, June 1, 2009

SoBe Lifewater 0

Here is another good option for naturally sweetened flavored waters. Personally, I like the VitaminWater 10's a little better, but these are pretty good too.

These are really interesting flavors:

Black and Blue Berry: Husband loved this one
Yumberry Pomegranate: Pretty Sweet, toddler's favorite
Fuji Apple Pear: Interesting and Different, we all like it

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Skinny Habit: Watch What You Drink



OK-I am back!

I don't know about the rest of you, but I get tired of plain old water to drink. I know it is the best thing for you, but I like to have other options for beverages that are healthy, and get the biggest bang for your calorie. So this week (or two or three...notice I changed the heading to be Skinny Habit instead of Skinny Habit of the Week) I am going to focus on Skinny Beverages. As always, you are welcome to chime in with your faves.

How about we start with the new flavored waters.
VitaminWater 10
Lemonade: 5 Stars-Love it! It has the perfect amount of sweet.
Orange: 4 Stars- Like it
Tropical Citrus: 3 Stars- Like It
Acai-Blueberry-Pomegranite: 1 Star- Not a huge fan

With these type of waters, they can be a little too sicky-sweet for me, so I am pretty picky. I like that the new ones are naturally sweetened, so that is a plus.

What do you think??? I love comments!

Next post, will review the new SoBe LifeWater 0s.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bad Posting

Hey guys,
Sorry for not posting this week... I have been sick and am leaving for a mini-vacation today. Will be back next week!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Interesting Vegetable Ideas

I have come across some great blogs with some interesting vegetable ideas. I haven't tried these yet, but they come from awesome sites, and look great! Here are some that I can think of right now...

Zucchini Pizza Bites

Cauliflower "Spanish Rice"

Cauliflower Fritters

Stuffed Mushrooms

Zucchini Lasagna

Spaghetti Squash Salad w/Tomato, Basil and Feta

Cauliflower Cream

Garlic-Honey Asperigus

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Easy Veggie Ideas

What are some great ways to eat lots of veggies throughout the day? Here are some of my favorites:

1. Pita Pizzas or Calzones
-Start with Western Bagel Alternative Pita
-Spoon some low cal pizza sauce
-Pile on the veggies
-Top with a little bit of mozzarella cheese


2. Weight Watcher's 0 point vegetable soup
-Can freeze in individual servings

3. Quick Egg White Veggie Omelet

4. Broccoli Salad (Lasts for a few days in the fridge)

5. Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers
-Frozen veggies with cheese sauce you steam in the microwave
-1 pt. for huge serving

These are my top 5, what are your ideas?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Best Broccoli Salad Ever!

I never thought I could eat raw broccoli until I made this salad. You can use florets, or broccoli slaw mix. Either way, it is amazing! My husband wants me to make it every week and he can eat 2 cups at a time.

8 Servings/ 2 pts. ea (about a cup)

2 bags broccoli slaw or 8 cups chopped broccoli
7 T Sweet Poppy Seed Dressing (I used Trader Joes, but another brand at 2 pts. for 2 T would work too)
1/2 C Dried Cranberries
1 oz. candied pecans, chopped
2 oz. light feta cheese, crumbled

Mix everything together and enjoy!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Container Vegetable Garden


As part of my quest to make vegetables a bigger part of my life, this year I decided to plant a container vegetable garden. This type of garden is perfect for people who do not have a big planting area or maybe just have a deck or patio and no yard at all. Now is the perfect time of year for doing this. I am not a gardener, and do not consider myself to have a "green thumb" at all.

But how great will it be to be able to eat garden fresh vegetables in a couple of months?

For those of you who are interested, this is how I got started:

1. I bought/found my containers and saved a lot of money by using storage containers instead of traditional pots, which are expensive. I went to Walmart and bought some big buckets for $8 each, and drilled drainage holes in the bottom with my husband's drill. The plastic pots that size were $14. Then I found a couple of rectangular storage bins laying around in the garage, and drilled holes in them too!

2. Then I went to Home Depot and bought my potting soil. I bought the cheapest one that would work for vegetables, because you can add your own fertilizer/plant food. The big bags I bought were $4.99 each, versus $13 for Miracle Gro.

3. Then I went to a gardening center/nursery to buy my plants and plant food. You can buy them at Home Depot or Lowes, but as a beginner gardener, I wanted to talk to someone knowledgeable about which plants to buy. The plants are about the same price anywhere, anyway.

4. Came home and filled my pots with soil, and mixed in my plant food, and planted the plants.

This happened last Thursday, and they have already grown at least 3-4 inches already! It is very exciting. I encourage everyone who has even the tiniest sunny place to plant a veggie or some herbs. It is really a fun thing to do with kids, or even with your partner. And not to mention, a really smart thing to do in this economy.
Patio Tomatoes
Zucchini
Green Beans
Green, Yellow and Red Bell Peppers
Grape Tomatoes

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Skinny Habit of the Week: Load up on Vegetables


Last week's Skinny Habit actually lasted about two weeks, so I thought it would be good to introduce the next one. Load up on vegetables. Another one that is so simple in theory, but I think it is hard to actually do every day.

I love vegetables. I love some raw, some cooked. I still don't think I eat enough of them, except at dinnertime. I think my difficulty is not having quick, easy, accessible veggie options. If I have to wash, cut and steam them,(except at dinner time, when that is normal) I probably won't eat them and will choose an easier snack or lunch option.

We know why vegetables are good for us, but why are they essential for losing and maintaining weight?

1. They are low in calories and high in volume
2. Most of them are high in fiber
3. They contain a lot of water which fills you up
4. They can help reduce food cravings
5. The nutrients from veggies can help our physical and emotional well-being

So my goal with this week's posts, is to explore all the possibilities with veggies. Any tips and advice on how you get more into your diet are welcome!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Breakfast Musings

While my daughter eats breakfast, and I sit at my computer eating mine, I thought I would read a few of my favorite blogs. This post made me think.

I started the in-vitro process this month. Gave myself injections every night, and went to almost daily doctor's appointments to check the progress of my follicles. (The fluid-filled sack the eggs grow in.)

Once the follicles start growing, any real exercise is off-limits. So to make a long (and painful) story shorter, after about 8 days only 3 of my 10 follicles were responding to the medicine. In-Vitro was cancelled and replaced with Intrauterine Insemination. So that was done on Saturday and Sunday. Now I am just trying to keep my stress levels low so that it has a chance of working.

What does this have to do with anything? Well, Roni's post made me think about exercise. I had to stop exercising and it was an almost-daily habit to get a great work-out in. Right now, I am told to take it easy, and with my particular fertility doctor, if I do get pregnant, NO exercise at all is permitted in my first trimester, as I am considered high-risk. I can't even walk the dog I don't have.

I would have thought this would have been a welcome break, and it was at first. But I miss it. I can't believe I do. I miss feeling the sense of accomplishment. I miss the energy it gave me. I miss the endorphins it released. I miss the sense of becoming stronger and fitter.

Don't get me wrong. I am not complaining about this process I am going through. Any future child is worth all this. But I have learned something about myself, that Roni in her post has discovered also. I really do love exercise and can't wait until I can add it back into my life.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt

One of my favorite things to eat with breakfast is greek yogurt. For 2 WW points, it is a great way to start off your day right. This morning I had open face egg white sandwiches with Oikos Honey flavored greek yogurt on the side. I am really full for only a 5 point breakfast.

A few little facts about this yummy, thick, tart and creamy yogurt:

*110-120 calories for each 5.3oz container
*Fat Free
*13-15 grams of protein
*Comes in plain, vanilla, honey and blueberry
*You can download coupons off the Oikos Website
*So much more satisfying than regular yogurt!

Give it a try. It is super good.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

"Skinny" Monkey Bread

Here is a super yummy recipe for monkey bread that is low in points/calories. To make it a filling breakfast, I added some banana and eggs to make a great weekend breakfast. Great for Sunday brunch, or for a holiday breakfast.
6 Servings-3 Pts. ea. (about 130 calories)
8 Servings-2 Pts. ea. (about 100 calories)

1 Tube Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuits (Small Blue Can, comes in packages of 4)
1/4 C Splenda
1 t. Cinnamon
1/4 C Brown Sugar
2 T light butter
2 t. milk

Preheat oven to 400. Spray a pie pan with butter flavored non-stick spray. Cut each biscuit into 4 pieces. (I used a pizza cutter and it worked great) In a large zip lock bag, pour in the cinnamon and splenda. Put the biscuit pieces in the mixture and shake till coated. Place each piece into the pie pan. In a small saucepan, heat the brown sugar, butter and milk. Boil for 1 minute, and then pour over the biscuit pieces. Bake for about 8 minutes. Cut into 6-8 servings.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Skinny Habit of the Week: Eat a Good Breakfast

This sounds more like common sense than a "skinny habit," but this is one habit that really helps in weight loss and maintenance. The days that I either skip breakfast or eat a wimpy one (ie. just grab a bar or something) are the days when I really struggle to eat right.

On those days, I am usually starving by 11am, and then am cranky and miserable until I get some lunch. I am impatient with my daughter, and when I do eat, I usually compensate and eat more. Some days, the compensation doesn't stop with lunch.

I have been in maintenance mode for a couple of weeks now (as I have started my in-vitro process) and have been eating a little more for breakfast than I used to. I am noticing such a difference in my hunger levels. I am noticing that it does carry into the whole day. I am less hungry over-all and more satisfied with the other meals.

Some of my breakfast staples:

Liquid Egg Whites
Alternative Bagels
Fiber One Frosted Mini Wheats
Peanut Butter Puffins or Reg. Puffins w/
Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (40 cals/cup)
Banana or other fruit
Bran Muffins
Greek Yogurt
Oatmeal

I mix and match, for a breakfast of 5 or 6 WW pts. Sometimes I microwave some egg whites and eat them with a bit of light melted cheese on a bagel. Sometimes I have my cereal with fruit and a muffin on the side. Other times I eat some fruit and greek yogurt with eggs, or with cereal. The more filling, the better.

If you aren't currently eating a filling breakfast and trying to lose weight, give this a try and see what happens!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Chocolate Torte

OK. Let's be honest here. Once in a while we all need something sweet. And according to my Skinny Habit of the Week, it is important to not over-indulge.

My solution is simple. If you are a chocolate lover like me, and you make this dessert, it would be REALLY HARD to over-indulge. This dessert is so rich and satisfying that it kills all cravings. You really cannot eat two.

Craving Killer Chocolate Torte

4 Servings/4 pts ea.
(about 215 calories)

1/4 C fat free vanilla yogurt
1 t vanilla extract
4 lg. egg whites
1/2 C sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
3/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder (tastes better with a good brand)
2 T instant no-sugar added vanilla pudding
1 T whole wheat flour (can use white also)
1/2 t. salt
Four 3 1/2" diameter ramekins
Light Vanilla Ice Cream

Preheat the oven to 350. Spray each ramekin with non-stick cooking spray. Place them in a baking dish filled halfway with water. In a medium mixing bowl, with a whisk, mix the yogurt, vanilla, egg whites and sugar. Once combined, add the cocoa powder, pudding, flour, and salt. Mix until just combined, and no lumps remain. Pour into the ramekins, equally.

Bake for 24 minutes, or until tops are shiny.

Take out of water bath and cool in ramekins for 7-10 minutes. Turn ramekins upside down on plates and tortes should come right out.

Cool for another five minutes and then top with your favorite low-fat or fat-free ice cream.

My favorite is Breyers Fat Free and it is awesome. You definitely cannot tell it is fat-free. Only one point per serving, also.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Blog Post Spotlight: Treat Yourself

Wow.

A friend of mine, Melanie (who actually guest posts here once in a while) emailed me a link to a great blog post about "treats." It fits right into my Skinny Habit of the Week. Here is a snippet, and I know you will want to read the whole post:

"I wonder why you can’t get this simple lesson to stick in your head. The days you eat well are the days that you feel brighter and cheerier. You get more done. You aren’t plagued by headaches. The kids are positively affected by your happier outlook. You enjoy them more and they enjoy you.

You call your indulgences “treats”? No, dear self. A treat is something that makes you feel good. Try a few chapters of a favourite book. A bubble bath. A cuddle session with your kids. Try turning on a fun song and dancing. Try eating something you enjoy that nourishes your body and your self-respect both."

Check it out.
I promise it will not be a waste of time.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Why Limits Are Good and What Not to Do

Wednesday, 3/18/09

Jen, alone while husband is out of town
: I think I'll try a new treat recipe tonight. Roni's Whole Wheat Dried Fruit and Walnut Oatmeal Cookie recipe looks good.

Jen goes to the store and buys dried cranberries and mini chocolate chips to substitute for the walnuts.


Jen puts daughter down for bed, and makes the cookies. 36 to be exact.

9:30 pm: Jen eats 2 cookies right out of oven, having to see how they turned out. Not bad!
Puts another batch into oven, then goes into the living room to watch her tv show.
9:37: Jen comes back into kitchen and grabs 2 more cookies. Goes back to the show.
9:43: Jen comes back into kitchen and grabs 2 more cookies. Goes back to the show.
9:50: Jen comes back into kitchen, switches batches and grabs 1 more cookie. Last one, I promise.
10:00: Jen comes back into kitchen and grabs 3 more cookies.
10:30: Jen puts cookies away as she is turning into one and is worried for her mental health.

Thursday, 3/19/09

8:30 am: I'll just grab one of those. They are almost like having oatmeal for breakfast.
10:30 am: Jen eats 2 more cookies.
3:00 pm: Jen eats 10 cookies.

8:30 pm: Husband comes home.
8:40 pm. Husband sees cookies and tastes one. Husband likes. Husband wonders why they are almost gone.

Jen makes no comment. Jen has nothing to say.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Skinny Habit of the Week: Set Limits for Treats

In other words: DON'T BINGE!

If anyone saw The Biggest Loser episode a couple of weeks ago when the black team had 24 hours of luxury, you know what I am talking about. One 24 hour period of binging can ruin your weight loss.

I happen to know what I am talking about here. My weight loss has been stalled for a couple of months now due to my less-than-stellar ability to set limits on weekends. (And some weekdays but we will talk about that later.)

How many "skinny people" do you know that eat 10+ cookies in one sitting? (Not talking about teenagers here...) And if you do know any of these people, either they have SUPER METABOLISM (which I covet) or they are bulimic.

All kidding aside, binging is really an unhealthy habit. It is the attempt at filling a hole that can't be filled with food. The trick is to find out what hole you are trying (in vain) to fill up.

I think a lot of the time, we are trying to create happiness with food. If we are not happy, we need to think of ways to bring more joy into our lives. What are things that make us happy? Maybe it is learning, meditating, playing a sport, playing games, taking a class, crafting, sewing, doing nice things for others, etc. How many of these things can we incorporate into our lives to fill up those empty places? Excess food doesn't work. It just makes us fat and even more miserable.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

You Don't Have to Think Before You Eat This...

Thai Chicken and Vegetable Curry

4 Servings/5 pts. ea.
1 1/4C per serving

2 t. canola oil
1 med. red bell pepper, cut into 1-2 in. thin strips
1 med. onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T. minced fresh ginger
1-2 t. red curry paste, to taste (can be very spicy, so start out small and add more later if needed)
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 in. cubes
1 C reduced sodium chicken broth
1 C lite coconut milk
1 T fish sauce or soy sauce
1 t. light brown sugar
1 1/2 C cauliflower florets
1 zucchini, chopped
1 T lime juice
Lime wedges

Heat oil in a large skillet over med/high heat. Add pepper and onion, and cook until it begins to soften. Next, add garlic, ginger and curry paste. Stir. Add chicken, cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 min. Add broth, coconut milk, fish(soy) sauce, and brown sugar and bring to a boil. Add cauliflower and reduce heat to med-low, simmer, stirring occasionally until chicken is cooked through and cauliflower is tender. (about 10 min) Halfway through (at 5 min left), add chopped zucchini and lime juice. Cook until chicken and veggies are done. Serve over rice and garnish with lime wedges.

THIS TURNED OUT AMAZING! Of course I forgot to take a picture, but I will definitely be making this again and will post one later...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Not Thinking Before You Eat

2 Weekends Ago:

Friday Night - Out to Dinner with Friends at Lazy Dog Cafe
Appetiser: 5-6 Pieces of Flatbread
Entree: Roast Beef and Cheddar Sandwich on huge bun
french fries

Dessert at a Friends House
large bowl of ice cream
3 huge homemade chocolate chip cookies

Saturday Night - Home alone taking a much needed break from my almost-3-year-old who just about drove me psycho during our trip to the OC Swapmeet
Dinner: In N Out Cheeseburger and fries (eaten in bed)
Dessert: 8-10 Oreo cookies (Made a special trip to the store to buy some) (also eaten in bed)

Sunday - We had guests in town who went to my other favorite burger place (TK Burger) for lunch. They called us and wanted to know if we wanted to join them. No Hesitation. YES!
Lunch: Big Cheeseburger and Fries

No Thought Whatsoever (or maybe some serious denial....)
Sound familiar to anyone???

Monday, March 23, 2009

Skinny Habit of the Week: Think - Before You Eat It

Think-Before You Eat It

I think this is one of the most important Skinny Habits. When I don't even bother to think about the nutritional value of things before they go down the chute, I know I am waaay off track.

Sometimes I think about it and eat it anyway, and that is still way better than not thinking at all. It shows that at least I know what I am doing, and am aware. Awareness is the first step in developing this habit.

The times when I have stayed off track for the longest amounts of time (and gained the most weight), were the times when I just ate whatever I wanted and didn't think at all. Or maybe I started thinking but then blocked those thoughts out in denial.

The Skinny People that I know always think about what they are about to eat. They may not be counting calories or points, but they are aware of the food choices that they make ALL THE TIME. They know what choices are healthy.

As I go through in-vitro and possibly become pregnant, I need to follow this habit. I will not be in weight-loss mode, but I need to make healthy choices throughout this process. I don't want to gain a ridiculous amount of weight like I did last time. I want to be healthy this time. And I know I can do it!

Blog Changes...

So I am changing things up a bit. I am going to start having a weekly skinny habit that I focus most of my posts on. I think that this will be a great way for me to mix things up a bit. I have been off the (eating) wagon completely for a couple of weeks. Off the blogging wagon, too. My posts have been half-hearted and I haven't been putting the thought and effort in that I would like to. So hopefully I can do a better job!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Craziness

I feel like such a slacker on posting lately. I have had so much on my mind that there aren't a lot of great post ideas that have been popping up. My almost-three year-old has been having behavioral problems the past couple of weeks, my husband just switched companies and is out of town all week, and...I am going to start in-vitro in a couple of weeks. Which, not surprisingly, is very scary and intimidating.

So much has been going through my mind, and I am a little bit ashamed to admit that part of my crazy thoughts have been about the potential weight I could gain as I go through this process, (you have to stop exercising and be on bed-rest for a while.) I know, it is the last thing I should worry about, but I feel like I have worked so hard for this progress I have made, and worried that I won't be strong enough to be super strict with my eating while dealing with all of the drugs that I have to take, etc. (That is another story in itself, how many drugs I have to take...)

Then, pregnancy. I gained over 50 lbs last time. I have a small frame, and near the end of my term, I could barely walk because my body couldn't handle all the weight. It was miserable. I am DETERMINED to not gain that much weight again, but I have to admit I am really scared.

I am opening up like this because I would like to come to terms with it all before the process actually happens. I don't want my brain and all these fears to ruin everything.

So bear with me, and I will hopefully be able to at least post some of the time. Just may not be as frequently as I have in the past.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Fiber Quiz

Think you know all about Fiber?? Well you are probably right. (I was pretty good...)

To test your knowledge and to play a fun little game, go to Fiber Friend Face-Off for the opportunity to get some great coupons for Fiber One products and to enter to win some cool prizes. I just printed one for a dollar off of a Fiber One cereal. In this economy, every dollar counts!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Great Quote

Recovery is always more important than perfection.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Deep Dish Meaty Pizza

After making poor eating choices for a week and a half, I am determined to eat right this week. I don't know if I have gained any weight from my little sabbatical and I am not going to weigh myself for a while to find out. I will just eat right for a couple of weeks and see where the scale goes. It is interesting that I am able to bounce right back after that long of a slump. I think it is great. In the past, when a week like that has happened, it turned into months. Maybe this time I am creating "skinny habits!" :)

Anyway, enough about that. Tonight I made a great dinner. It satisfies the pizza craving, but you don't need 3 or 4 pieces to fill you up. (Yea, I am talking from experience. There was a day when I would split a large pizza with my husband who is a big guy. I am nowhere as big as him. How could I eat as much as a grown man????)

Deep Dish Meaty Pizza

6 Servings/6 Pts. ea.

1 lb extra lean ground beef (4% fat)
1 can diced tomatoes with garlic, basil and oragano, drained (Hunts has no high fructose corn syrup)
3/4 C Pizza Sauce (I used Trader Joes Pizza Sauce in a jar)
1 sm. onion or 1/2 of a large-chopped finely
1-2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
5 1/2 oz. shredded part-skim mozzarella
1 T parmesan cheese
1 Can Pillsbury Thin Crust Pizza Dough
sprinkle of dried basil

Preheat the oven to 425. In a large skillet, saute the chopped onions. Add the ground beef and break it up while it cooks. Once the ground beef is cooked, add the diced tomatoes and pizza sauce. Stir till heated through. Set aside. Spray a 9 X 13 baking dish with cooking spray. Unroll the pillsbury dough and place it into the pan, adjusting it until about 1 inch goes up the side of the pan. Bake in the oven for about 5-7 minutes, till it partially cooks, but is not brown. Remove from oven, and top with the ground beef mixture. Place the sliced tomatoes on top, and then sprinkle the shredded cheese until covered. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese, and lightly sprinkle some dried basil to finish it off. Bake for 15 minutes and cut into 6 squares.

I served this with the baked "fried" zucchini and ranch dressing, and it was a great filling 7 point dinner!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

This is souper!

Hi! I'm Jen's dinner swap partner, Melanie, and every now and then if she really likes something I make, I try to remember to stick the recipe up here. I don't know if it's because we're beachside that our weather is suffering from multiple personality disroder right now, or if that's just Spring any where, but one day you wake up and it's a beach day and the very next is a definite soup day. If you love soup weather, this is a really good recipe. Total crowd pleaser. If you beef it up with some whole grain Goldfish crackers sprinkled on top, it makes a great lunch all by itself.

Bell Pepper-Tomato Soup

2 tsp olive oil
2 medium garlic clove(s), minced
1 medium onion(s), diced
1 medium carrot(s), chopped
1 1/2 tsp herbes de Provence
3 medium sweet red pepper(s), or orange, sliced**
14 1/2 oz reduced-sodium chicken broth
28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
1 tsp table salt
1/2 cup(s) fat-free creamer, or fat-free half-and-half
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp sugar

In a large pot, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic, stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add onion and carrot. Cook until onion is tender, about 5 minutes.

Add herbes de Provence, cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add peppers. Cook until begins to soften, about 5 minutes. (See footnote: You do not need to cook peppers if they are charred and peeled.)

Add broth and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Cover; simmer for 25 minutes. Stir in salt, pepper, half-and-half and sugar. Purée in small batches; briefly reheat, if needed. Yields 1 cup per serving.

**The bell peppers are awesome if you roast them. Just halve them, remove the seeds, and place them face down on a foil covered cookie sheet under your broiler for fifteen minutes until charred. Remove them from the heat and seal them in a Ziploc bag for fifteen minutes, then remove the charred parts (comes off easily in your hands). It really adds a lot to the flavor.

This makes 8 servings at only 1 point per serving!

You can check out my blog where I dump out all my random thoughts for a low calorie sweet and salty snack I love here.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Top 100 Healthy Mom Blogs

RNCentral.com just posted their Top 100 Healthy Mom Blogs. (And they put me on it! YEA!)
There are some that are familiar to me on the list, and others that I definitely want to check out. If you are looking for more blogs to read (I always am and even though I subscribe to tons, I still look for more! I think I'm addicted...), they cover just about every health-related topic, including:

*General Healthy Blogs
*Eating Right
*Managing Stress
*Pregnancy and Newborns
*Losing Weight
*Working Out
*Going Green and Organic
*Mental Health
*Relationships

Check it out!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Blog Post Spotlight: Laura's Life with the D-word

A couple of weeks ago, I read a post on MizFit that really resonated with me. I love MizFit's blog. She talks about so many great things. From exercise to food and all things in between. This post is actually a guest post, by Laura from Life of L. It is about her relationship with what she calls The Diet, and her hope that someday it will become a lifestyle. Here, she says:

"I have an on again/off again relationship that I'm not proud of. For about nine months, it was solid as a rock. I was faithful and attentive, and everything felt just right. Then the newness wore off. I'd gotten what I'd wanted, and I moved on. But before long, I had to go back. I just couldn't take being away anymore.

Because my pants were getting too tight.

The relationship of which I speak is with the D word. Some may call it a lifestyle change, or healthy living, or eating right. But for me, it's still very much The Diet."

As much as I always say that I am changing my lifestyle into a healthy one, and am not on a diet, I definitely relate to what she says here:

"Someday, I think my relationship with The Diet will mature to the point where it is a Lifestyle and no longer something I'm going steady with one day, and leaving for Cake the next."

I definitely think that making this a lifestyle is a work in progress. It's ok to go steady for a while first before making that ultimate committment. I think that is the best way, that way we can learn how we want and need that relationship to be, and make mistakes along the way. Once we have learned what things work for us, we can commit for life. This is my goal, anyway.

Hopefully this makes sense. If it doesn't, ignore my words and go check out this post, because it was great!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Southwestern Corn Chowder

If you are in a hurry, and need a quick but absolutely delicious meal, you have come to the right place. This corn chowder recipe is from a friend of mine and I made a couple of simple changes to lighten it up. Everyone who has tried it has loved it!


8 Servings : 4 pts / 5 Pts + / Ea. serving is about 1 1/2 C.
1 lg. onion
2 t. cumin
2 T light butter
2 T flour
2 T chili powder
2 cans corn, drained
1 lg can chicken breast
2 (16 oz.) jars salsa
2 cans fat free chicken broth
8 oz. 1/3 less fat cream cheese
8 oz. fat free cream cheese
chopped cilantro

In a large saucepan, combine light butter, onion, cumin, chili powder and flour. Saute onions until transparent. Add corn, chicken breast, salsa and broth. Bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and add cream cheese. Stir until melted and dissolved. Add cilantro for garnish.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Such a Small Thing

Had a little moment today that I wanted to share. I had a minor surgery today and when I was filling out some of the paperwork, I came across the BMI chart. Not sure why they want to know, but you are supposed to find your height and weight and circle your BMI.

I found the closest ones to my stats (I am kinda in-between) and found that I have dropped a whole column on the chart from the last time I saw one of these charts. (A few months ago) It was so nice to be in the middle of the "normal" section.

Such a small thing, but a great feeling regardless!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Jillian Michael's - 30 Day Shred

Last week I won an exercise DVD off of a blog called It's A Lifelong Journey. I'd heard about this particular workout video from other bloggers and was super excited to give it a try. It is called Jillian Michaels - 30 Day Shred.

So Saturday morning I popped it into my DVD player and gave it a try. "Try" being the operative word here. Honestly, it kicked my butt. It was only 20 minutes and for someone who (delusionally) thinks of them self as reasonably in shape, I realized the harsh truth.

To break it down:

There are three 20 minute workouts on the video. Level 1, 2 and 3. I did Level 1. Following a short warm-up, the workout is split up into interval training. 2 Minutes of Strength, 2 Minutes of Cardio, followed by 1 Minute of Abs. This process is repeated 3 times with different exercises. Then you have a brief stretching period to cool down.

For those of you who want details, you do pushups, jumping jacks, jump rope (without the rope), lunges, squats, crunches, and many other forms of torture. No resting for the weary, either. She says, "No Rest! If you want your body to change, you have to ...!" So I have done it twice and both times I thought I was going to pass out. I was supposed to do it this morning too but that is another blog post....

Right now on Amazon this video is pretty cheap. For a workout that really works you out in 20 minutes (everyone has time for that) it's a great deal. (I've linked to Amazon at the top of this post)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Really Good Light Ranch Dressing

Tonight I made baked "fried" zucchini,

which I got from Gina's Weight Watcher Recipe Blog. It definitely needed ranch to dip it in. I am not a fan of reduced fat ranch dressing from the store, so here is a great recipe:

Makes 16 Servings/2T each Serving/.5pts ea.
26 calories/1.5g fat ea.

Ranch Salad Dressing/Seasoning mix, 1/2 pkg.
1 1/2 C. Reduced Fat Buttermilk
4 T Light Mayo
4 T Light Sour Cream

Whisk all ingredients together and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Winner of Swissmar Borner Mandoline Slicer

We have a winner! Random.org selected Emily C. as the winner of the Swissmar Borner Mandoline Slicer! Congratulations!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Progress Photos

Every weight loss blog needs progress photos (in my opinion) and I have been a slacker. I looked in my photo archives to find the "befores," so they don't show me as well as the last ones.

Oct 2006:
Highest Weight (besides during/right after pregnancy)
160lbs (ish)
6 months post baby
Did Weight Watchers while I nursed and got down to 136 lbs in June 2007. (The weight stayed on until I stopped nursing. Wasn't one of the lucky ones!)


Stayed around 140 (+/- 5 lbs) till Aug. 2008 and started the blog:

In Progress:
Sat. Feb 21, 2009
127.4 lbs

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Give Away: Swissmar Borner V-Slicer Plus Mandoline

I am so excited. I have something AWESOME to give away. The great people at Swissmar have agreed to give away a mandoline slicer to one of my blog readers.

Let me tell you about this mandoline. I got mine a couple of months ago on Amazon as a birthday present for myself. It got great reviews. I LOVE IT! I use it almost every time I cook. It is great for slicing and dicing almost every kind of vegetable and works on many fruits as well. It takes all the work out of making beautiful salads and veggie medleys. For those of us who are trying to eat more vegetables, it is an essential item to have. After getting my mandoline, my chopper (that I used to use to chop onions) has been retired. And I use my food processor way less, too. This is just so fast and easy, and the clean-up is nothing.

Here is what the mandoline looks like:

Here are some of the cuts it makes:


Here is a video (bear with me, it is my first one!) demonstrating how easy it is to use:




video

Here are the contest details:

The contest will run through Monday, Feb. 23. No entries will be accepted after 12pm. I will announce the winner on Tuesday or Wednesday next week.

For 1 entry: Leave a comment with your name, email address, and blog address if you have one.
For 1 entry: Write a post on your own blog/website with a link to this contest, and leave me a comment telling me what you did.
For 1 entry: Subscribe to my RSS feed, or let me know you are a subscriber already. Leave me a comment letting me know.

Each person can have a maximum of 3 entries.

This contest is open to U.S. residents only, for shipping purposes.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rut Follow Up

First I want to say thank you for all the supportive comments I got after my last post. Thanks so much!

So now that I am not in the moment (the one where I was sick from eating too much) I can see things a little bit more rationally.

Bottom line, weekends are going to happen. Yes, I want to lose weight. But more importantly, I am trying to live a sustainable healthy lifestyle. To me, losing the weight quickly is not as important as living my life in a way that is possible for the long term. I am going to have to learn how to deal with weekends. They aren't going away. I am going to have to figure out a way to make things work. Maybe extra exercise. Maybe small portions of the things I want to eat. Make trade-offs.

What are some ideas that have worked for you when it comes to weekends?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Rut:Part 2

OK. I am having major problems with weekends. Sundays actually. They are killing me.

Saturdays are my flex point days. I am lax on one meal and have a treat. Sunday I am SUPPOSED to be back on track. But my friends and/or husband likes to plan meal get-togethers on Sunday nights. A fun night with friends, little ones running all over the place, and lots of food.

Tonight was no exception. We were invited and asked to bring my peach cobbler. Let me tell you about this peach cobbler. This is my grandma's recipe, who is from the south. I used a whole cube of butter in each pan, and that is half of what the recipe originally calls for! It is so yummy. Can I ever resist that stuff? NOT AT ALL!
(This is why I rarely make it)

So not only did I have two helpings of the peach cobbler, I ate a plate full of dinner, quite a bit of chips and guacamole, vanilla ice cream and a brownie!

As I write this, I am scaring myself. I seriously binged tonight. And I didn't exercise today like I had planned.

Who am I to write about Skinny Habits? More like BAD HABITS.

OK. Moving on.

Now that this is done and can't be reversed, I need to make a plan. I am going to exercise like crazy this coming week. Stay on track with my eating.

No excuses. I can do this.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Win Jillian MIchaels 30 Day Shred Workout DVD

I have heard great things about Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred Workout DVD. Click here to win one!

Rut

I have been in a huge rut the last few days. It started with a gain on Saturday. Not a huge one, but a gain regardless. Used my flex points for the day, so ate a few treats.

Then Sunday, went to a goodbye party for some friends of ours that are leaving town, and ate reasonably until I tasted the coconut cupcakes. I tried to stick with one but ended up eating 2. That started a downward slide for the rest of the day, and for the life of me I just couldn't rebound back.

Monday, the plan was to get up early, exercise and eat right. Instead, woke up with horrible cramps and could barely get out of bed at all. No exercise and no counting points.

Tuesday, still had cramps, so no exercise. Ate ok until after dinner. I was hosting a baby shower at my house and they had a chocolate fountain. Still, I thought I would do ok. Filled up my plate with mostly fruit, and one little rice krispy treat. Lightly drizzled chocolate on everything. That would have been ok, until I went back and got 2 more rice krispy treats. Then I ate a candy bar (that I won at a game) after everyone left.

Today I think I have somewhat gotten myself together. I woke up, exercised, and ate ok today. Even though I am (trying to be) back on track, I still feel like I am in a rut. I had all these plans for the blog, with new ideas for posts, and have done nothing. Other projects in my life are on hold too, while I try to pull myself together.

Anyone else have these kinds of weeks? When you cry for stupid reasons? Where its only Wednesday and it feels like Friday?

Monday, February 9, 2009

Cuties Winners

Congratulations to the following people. They will receive a 5 lb box of Cuties California Mandarins sometime this week!

Michelle in OH
Carolyn in NC
Jessica in IL
Jean in NE
Melanie in CA

Thanks for all your participation!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Blog Post Spotlight: For My Daughter

I have decided to try to spotlight a few amazing blog posts each month. As I read all of the blogs that I follow, I like to take note of the ones that really make me think about my own life. This week, I read a great post on Wii Fit Mommies about one woman's quest. Here it is in her own words:

"I want to raise my daughter in a home where weight is NOT an issue. Where it is commonplace to participate in physical activity after dinner. I want her to not even think twice about her weight. That will happen first and foremost by me taking charge of my own life and refusing to be ashamed of how I look, of what I weigh."

In this day and age, there is sooo much emphasis on the way women and even young girls look. I have heard even the littlest girls talk about how they don't want to be fat. I, as a mother, see it as my responsibility to raise my daughter (and any other future kids) healthy. Not only physically healthy, but emotionally healthy. Like Jenn, who wrote the post, I don' t want weight to be an issue in my family either. I want my children to see my example of living a healthy life. I want my children to see that eating healthy, exercise and a positive self-image (which I am trying to improve upon) is a normal part of life.

This is my own quest, and a work in progress. I am really glad I am learning these lessons now, when my daughter is only 2 1/2. Hopefully by the time she is old enough to think about these things, the habits I am trying to form now will be really set in place.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Kettle Baked Potato Chips- Salt and Vinegar


One of my weaknesses is Salt and Vinegar potato chips. They are my favorite potato chips of all time. I could eat and eat until my mouth was sore. Up until recently, they have been on my banned food list.

Now Kettle brand has come out with a baked version that tastes amazing. They taste like potato chips, only less greasy, and the flavor is just right. 2 WW points per oz, and when you weigh it out, it is quite a decent portion. I found mine at Whole Foods, but I need to find a closer place to buy, as the Whole Foods is kind of far from me.

If you are fan of Salt and Vinegar chips, you have got to try these!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Creamy Blended Mushroom Soup

So I used the Cream of Zucchini soup as my inspiration, and made a mushroom version. With mushrooms, most people either love them or hate them. I love them. There is a little French restaurant that I have gone to occasionally that makes the best mushroom soup. My version (to me at least) tastes just as great! (With a lot less fat I am sure. The only thing mine doesn't have is the crusty french bread to go along with it!)

I made this on Monday, and ate a bowl with lunch several times this week. It was great.

So if you are a mushroom fan, keep reading. If not, this post is not for you.

2 pts/Cup

2 T butter
2 C chopped onion
1/2 C brown rice
8 C chicken broth
1 1/2 lbs mushrooms (I used 2 portabello and the rest-white button)
1/2 C light sour cream

In a large pot on medium heat, melt butter. Add the onions and rice and saute till onions are golden and soft. Add 4 C broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat to med low, and stir frequently until rice is soft, about 30 min. Meanwhile, finely chop the mushrooms, (I used a food processor). When rice is cooked, add 2 more C of broth, and the mushrooms. Raise the heat back up to medium. Cook until mushrooms are soft. Using an immersion blender, blend until desired consistancy, adding the additional 2 C broth once it is blended. (Or you could take out of the pot and use a blender) Heat till hot, and turn off the stove. At the end, add the sour cream and stir till incorporated.

By the way, I did not take a picture. It is just brown soup.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hungry

I don't know what is going on with me but the past couple of days I have just been so hungry. It seems like nothing fills me up. I am not eating any different than any other weeks, so I don't know what is going on. It is frustrating.

Last night I caved in to a McDonald's ice cream sundae. The day before I just could not stop eating and snacked on all kinds of stuff. Today it is somewhat under control, but the evening has just begun.

Funny how this happens, and other weeks aren't so hard at all. I just have to keep telling myself that this is life, and that it will all come out in the wash.

I have also been trying to drink more water this week. My lips are chapped and my skin is so dry it is crazy. I am not a water drinker by nature; I don't really like it. So this is a new goal of mine, to try to sip water all day. I didn't do so well today, as I woke up not feeling good and didn't exercise. Exercise gets me started early with the water drinking and it is easier to refill the cup and keep it going all day.

My cold from last week turned into a Sinus Infection, and I am taking antibiotics to hopefully get rid of it. I can't wait until it is gone and my energy is back. Maybe its the drugs that are making me hungry.... :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Fun Valentines Day Giveaway: Cuties California Mandarins

This Valentines Day, send your child to school with a fun, unique Valentine! The folks at Cuties have donated 5 boxes (5 lbs each) of special Valentines Cuties to lucky blog readers!

These special Valentine Cuties are bite sized, easy-to-peel, and super sweet mandarin oranges that make the perfect classroom treat. They are a great healthy alternative to candy. Each one has a special Valentines Day sticker on it, with sayings such as, "Kiss a Cutie," "U R A Cutie," "Sweet Cutie," and "Valentine Cutie." Kids love the removable stickers.

To win one of these boxes, here are the guidelines:

1. For One Entry, write a post about the giveaway on your blog or website, and leave a comment below with the link.

2. For One Entry, subscribe to my blog RSS feed, and leave a comment telling me you did so. If you are already a subscriber, just write a comment telling me and that counts as an entry also.

This contest is open until Midnight this coming Friday (the 13th...). The winners will be announced over the weekend. This contest is for U.S. residents only, for shipping purposes.

Thanks for playing!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

SuperBowl Sunday

Let's not talk about it.

How funny was The Office?

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Weigh In Saturday

I lost another 1.8 lbs!!!

I think its because I didn't exercise a lot. Every time that happens I lose more weight. Annoying, huh. But I guess it's because exercise builds muscles, which weighs more than fat. But I am ok with losing slower, and being more healthy by exercise. I am not going to let the scale rule my life. I want to reach my weight loss goals with muscle, rather than without it.

Last week I started to take my measurements, so I can see the progress that way. I am going to take them every 2 weeks. I think that it is a better way to see results, and more accurate.

Well, we are off to a birthday party for Emily's little friend, so will post more later!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Trader Joes Fast and Easy Meals (Part 3): Frozen Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina

Another great find is Trader Joe's Frozen Gnocchi Alla Sorrentina. As you can see,
it is only 3 points per cup, and that is plenty, as long as you doctor it up a little. It comes with the gnocchi, and frozen sauce nuggets, and frozen cheese nuggets, both which melt into a gooey cheesy sauce in the pan.

This time around, I added butternut squash cubes, and sliced zucchini. I also added some breaded chicken cutlets (also from Trader Joes, 3 points for 2) to make a meal for 6.5 points.


This is what I did, but you could virtually add any veggies you like, as well as any source of protein for a quick, healthy, easy meal.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Off My Game

It seems like every time I am on a roll, and life is going smoothly, something happens. Last week, I was waking up early every morning, getting my workout in, and having extra time to take care of my responsibilities.

This week, I am really struggling. My husband gave me his nasty cold, and it is a crappy one. I feel ok during the day, but in the morning and at night, I feel pretty rotten. It is hard enough to get out of bed in the morning when my toddler is shouting "MOMMY" from her crib; I am definitely unable to get up any earlier.

Today I decided that I would try to get a work-out in. I got on my elliptical and my goal was 30 minutes. I usually do at least 45 so I thought that was taking it easy. After 26 minutes I almost passed out. I had to lay on the floor for about 5 minutes to recuperate. Ridiculous.

One good thing that I have accomplished is this: In the past, when I got sick, I have used it as an excuse to eat bad. I usually have thought to myself, "I'm sick so I should be able to eat what I want."

This time around, I have managed to eat right. I feel the lack of exercise, but at least I am not blowing it on the food front. Knock on wood that I can stay strong. Why is it that our minds come up with the lamest excuses to fall off the wagon?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Great Give-away

I am a big fan of using a kitchen scale. Not a day goes by that I don't use mine. Scales let you get accurate portion sizes, and sometimes it is easier to weigh than measure.

If you currently don't own a kitchen scale, you are missing out. So:

Check out the scale giveaway on Roni’s Weight Loss Blog! I can win an Affordable Food Scale from Eat Smart and so can you! Click here for contest details!

Trader Joes Fast and Easy Meals (Part 2): Frozen Chicken Fajitas

Saturday night, I whipped up another fast and easy Trader Joes meal. Each bag contains frozen peppers and onions, as well as some sliced chicken breast. Each bag is only 2.5 points. (2.5 servings, each serving has 90 cals, 1 g. fat, 2 g. fiber(1 pt))

Add a couple of 2 pt. tortillas, some light sour cream and ff refried beans, and you have quite the dinner! I used two bags for me and Brian, but didn't use all the veggies. I put them in another freezer bag to use another time.
Not bad for about 10 minutes!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Pistachios

When was the last time you ate a pistachio? It had been a while for me. Thanks to Everybody's Nuts, and Wonderful Pistachios who sent me some sample pistachios, I got to eat them today. I was reminded how good they are!

Here are some little known facts about pistachios:
1. Pistachios are the most nutrient dense nut
2. Pistachios are a "super food"
3. Pistachios are full of antioxidants
4. Pistachios are one of the lowest fat and lowest calorie nuts
5. Pistachios are one of the highest fiber nuts

Pistachios are known as the "skinny nut" and yeild the most nuts per serving: 49 per oz compared to 23 almonds, 14 for walnut halves, and 18 cashews.

As I ate this snack in front of the tv today, (I had about 30 which is around 100 calories) I was surprisingly satisfied. It takes a little while to eat them, as you remove the shells, which is a great way to make the eating experience be more satisfying and take longer.

Everybody's Nuts and Wonderful Pistachios recommends setting out bowls of pistachios on Super Bowl Sunday, instead of other high-fat snacking foods. I think it is a great idea.

So if you want a great salty snack, pick up some pistachios, instead of those potato chips, you won't be sorry!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Trader Joes Fast and Easy Meals (Part 1): Trader Ming's Mandarin Orange Chicken

I don't know about everyone else, but it is really hard for me to want to cook on the weekends. I think if I wasn't careful, I would eat out every day!

As I am trying to save money(and eating out doesn't help the budget), I decided to browse Trader Joe's frozen aisle for some inexpensive, quick and easy weekend meal ideas. Last night, we tried the first one.

Trader Joe's Mandarin Orange Chicken


For one cup, it is 5 WW points, 230 calories, 8 g. fat, 0 g. fiber. It tastes just like a Chinese restaurant's orange chicken, with much less calories and fat. It is frozen, and comes with sauce packets. You just bake the chicken in the oven for 18 minutes, and heat up the sauce, mix and serve.

We mixed in some steamed broccoli and served it over brown rice (again, frozen from Trader Joes to save time) for a delicious weekend dinner, saved some money and stayed on plan.