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


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.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Hidden Veggie Meat Pasta Sauce

I am a big fan of beefing dishes up with veggies. Not only does it make the meal much bigger for the same amount of WW points, it also can save you money. You can use less meat, which is expensive, and have your entire meal be much cheaper, and you don't even know what you are missing!

Whenever I make this meat sauce, it is slightly different, as I don't use a recipe. I am going to try and remember the exact measurements I used, but you can vary the amounts of spices you would like to use.

5 Servings/2 pts ea. (about 3/4 C) (This is only for sauce, you need to add additional points for pasta)

1/2 large onion or 1 small onion, chopped finely
1/2 lb. extra lean ground beef (4% fat)
1 large zucchini (grated)
5 oz. sliced mushrooms (chopped finely (I use food processor)
3 cloves garlic, minced or crushed (can add more if you wish)
1 T oregano
1 T basil (can add more if you wish)
3 cans diced tomatoes (garlic, basil and oregano style, the ones with no sweeteners)
1 sm. can tomato sauce
2 T tomato paste
1 T Worcestershire Sauce
1 T balsamic vinegar

Spray large skillet with cooking spray. Cook onions until soft. Add ground beef and cook till brown. Add shredded zucchini and finely chopped mushrooms. Add garlic, oregano and basil. Stir till combined. Add add 2 cans diced tomatoes, sauce and tomato paste. The third can of diced tomatoes you need to blend up in food processor or blender until tomatoes are finely chopped. Add to sauce mixture. Finally, add the balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire Sauce. Bring to a boil and then turn down temperature to low and simmer for a while. I simmered it for 1 1/2 hours, that is great if you have the time, but it probably needs to simmer at least 20-30 minutes to blend flavors.

When I served this over high-fiber or whole wheat pasta, my husband really liked it. It makes a very nice serving size with the pasta, and is very filling. He was very surprised when I told him that it was full of veggies. Your family will never know!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

It All Evens Out

During these last few months, there have been some discouraging weeks, where I feel like I did everything right, and lost barely any weight. Then there have been weeks where I really didn't stay on plan, or didn't exercise enough, or whatever. And surprisingly sometimes I lost weight on those weeks. There were weeks where I was stuck in a plateau.

There have been days where all I wanted to do was eat eat eat. Chocolate, breads, sweets, crazy cravings. There also have been days when I wasn't even hungry for all my points for the day. Yesterday, after dinner, I had 3 points left, and I wasn't even very hungry. But because they were there, I ate a granola bar. I could have done without it.

Even though these ups and downs have happened, I'm learning to see the bigger picture. I have lost almost (hopefully by next weigh in) 10% of my body weight. That is such a great feeling. Did those frustrating weigh-ins really matter in the long run? No. It may be taking me longer to lose this weight than I thought it would originally, but I am learning to be ok with that too. I am learning to "love the process."

Check out Roni's post on this. It really is mind-altering. Learning to love the process is just as important as loving the result. It is so true.

Thanks Roni!!!

So next time I (or you) have a bad weigh-in, or we eat out of control for a day, or whatever the challenge may be, we need to realize that it will all even out in the end, as long as we love the process and not quit.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Warm Zucchini and Corn Salad

Today started off with a great start. I actually got out of bed early, and got my workout in before 8:30. (I am NOT a morning person) This gave me time to shower, eat breakfast, get my daughter ready and leave the house by 9:45 for Mommy and Me Ballet class.

Today was my cooking day, and not only was I cooking for my cooking group (we now have a third member), but I made dinner for 2 other families, one who just had a new baby. I was cooking from 1:30 till 5:15 non-stop. Won't be doing that again for a while... Since I was cooking for a large amount of people, I decided to make my yummy creamy chicken enchiladas. I made a couple of small adjustments to the recipe which made it even better.

As a side, I made this really tasty Warm Zucchini and Corn Salad. It is a great side dish for Mexican food. You could eat it as a dip with chips too, I guess.

Here is the recipe:

4 Servings/1 pt. ea. (about 2/3 C)

1 1/2 cups whole kernel corn, frozen
2 1/2 cups diced zucchini
2 T green onion, chopped
1 t. olive oil
1 T lime juice
1/8 t. freshly ground pepper
1/2 t. salt
2 T fresh cilantro, chopped

Toss corn, zucchini and green onions with olive oil. Pour into large skillet, and cook, stirring frequently, until zucchini is fork-tender. Remove skillet from heat, and mix in lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper.

I love finding healthy side dishes that go with Mexican food. It seems like rice and beans are your only option, and to eat rice and enchiladas is a bit too many points. Anyone have any other sides that you eat with Mexican food? I would love to hear them...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Product Review: Kellogg's Fiber Plus Antioxidants Bar

I was at the grocery store and they were handing out samples of some new fiber bars, comparable to Fiber One bars. I grabbed one and was really surprised by how tasty it was. Way better than Fiber One bars, in my opinion. The bars are a tiny bit smaller, but not by much.

They come in two flavors, Chocolate Chip and Dark Chocolate Almond, which is the one that I bought. 2 points a piece, 130 Calories, 5g fat, and 9g fiber. The Chocolate Chips have a little less calories.

Check them out!!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Forever Plan

I've been thinking a lot about how in the past, I've done Weight Watchers, and lost some weight, and went back to the same bad eating habits, and gained the weight all back.

What is going to make this time different? I was gung-ho in the past also, and still "fell off the wagon." I am not sure I know the answer, but I think my thought process is different this time. I feel like I now know that this is not just a temporary way of living. This is my forever plan. I will ALWAYS have to live like this, eating right and exercising.

And you know what? I am OK with it. Yesterday was my flex day (where I eat my flex points) and though it is fun to not have to be as careful, I do notice I don't feel as good at the end of the day. I feel sort of energy deficient, lazy, full or something.

Another thing that makes this time different, is all the blog reading and writing I am doing. It is so motivating to see other "regular" people (not celebrities with trainers and chefs and nannies) who can lose the weight and keep it off. Reading these stories and following the good examples of my fellow bloggers really helps me see the big picture in a way I have never experienced. Thank you for your stories.

I am counting on myself this time. This time is for real. Forever.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Feed the Hungry by Losing Weight

For all you people out there who are actively losing weight, why not kill two birds with one stone?

General Mills has teamed up with NBC’s The Biggest Loser and Feeding America to encourage people to get fit and feed the hungry. You can pledge to lose weight at and for every pound lost, General Mills will donate 10 cents, equivalent to one pound of groceries, to a local food bank based on the ZIP codes of participants.

Whether you are an avid The Biggest Loser fan, in need of dropping a few pounds, or just want to feel good and make a difference, the Pound For Pound Challenge is an easy way help eliminate hunger in America. The Pound For Pound Challenge gives Americans the opportunity to assist in hunger relief and help families in their neighborhoods by simply pledging to lose weight and get healthy.

Here are the ways you can participate in the Pound For Pound Challenge:

· Pledge to lose weight at or You can also donate directcly at these sites.

· Mail-in the Pound For Pound lids and seals from specially-marked General Mills products. For every lid or seal mailed in, General Mills will donate 10 cents to Feeding America. Brands with the Pound For Pound lid or seal are included in this press release.

· Donate directly to Feeding America by visiting or

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Soup and Sandwich Dinner

I thought I would have a soup and sandwich dinner tonight. I made my favorite french dip sandwiches and they turned out great. For once I didn't overcook the meat. I added a photo to the post if you want the recipe.

The soup I made was Cream of Zucchini, and it was amazing- 2 pts. per cup. I got the recipe off of A Veggie Venture and if you click on the link, you can get the recipe. Every recipe I have gotten off of that blog has been amazing. So if you are looking for more ways to eat more veggies, look no further!

The soup was restaurant quality, in my opinion. She offers variations in preparation, so this is what I used: I used chicken broth for the liquid, stuck with the brown jasmine rice that she uses, and followed the recipe pretty much exactly. The only thing I did differently was use a hand-held blender and blended the soup right in the pot instead of transferring to a blender. I think it saved me a little time. I used light sour cream and tasted wonderful.

I also began thinking of other veggies I could use to make it, mushroom, or cauliflower would be great variations....

Check it out!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Mexican Deep Dish Pan Pizza

Mexican Deep Dish Pan Pizza

6 Servings/7 pts. ea.

Krusteaz Cornbread Mix
8 oz raw extra lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped

1 zucchini, shredded
Taco Packet

½ C Water

1 ½ T Ketchup

1 Can Black Beans
1 cup low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
bell pepper, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped, for garnish


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Make cornbread as directed, except bake in a 9 X13 pan. Bake for approx. 14 minutes, till golden brown.
Meanwhile, brown ground beef along with onions and zuchini. Add taco mix, ½ C. Water, Ketchup, and Beans. Cook till most of the liquid is absorbed.
Remove cornbread crust from oven and top with meat, cheese, and remainder of chopped vegetables. Add pan back to oven and cook 5 minutes more to melt cheese.

Garnish with cilantro. Cut into 6 pieces.

Bad News, Bad Eating

Had a bit of a rough weekend. Got some very bad news, and had a hard time moving past it. Saturday I used my 35 flex points, but yesterday was just a bad eating day. A bad EMOTIONAL eating day. I knew it. I didn't want to stop it even though I recognized it. I am OK with it, because it ended with yesterday.

Sometimes we need to be OK that we are human and will never be perfect. I knew I was making horrible choices, but once in a while that will happen. The trick is to set limits. Though I didn't say it to myself during my pity party, I knew it would stop with the end of the day.

And today I got up, exercised and ate right. That is what habits are for! We just need to stay the course until it is a habit, and it really isn't that hard.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Great Contest

Just found a new contest on a great blog, This Mama Cooks on a Diet. She is giving away 6 workout DVD's. Check it out!

Weigh In Saturday

Lost another 1.2 lbs this week! YEA!!

All in all it was a great week back. I felt good, ate well, and exercised. No stomach-ache from eating too much, no indigestion or heartburn. My husband ate right too this week-he was a daily Tums taker and didn't need it at all this week. Hmmm what does that tell us? No-brainer. This is how I want to live my life. Healthy and feeling good.

That is just physically. Emotionally, eating right does a lot for me too. I feel more in control of my life. I have more self-esteem because I am respecting my body and self when I treat it right. I feel great when I have less fat to obsess over. (Maybe I shouldn't be admitting that one...) Though I haven't graduated to any new sizes, my clothes are no longer too tight. I feel comfortable in them and am even starting to feel attractive again. I haven't felt that way in a long time. (That's another one that is probably too much information...)

Finally, as my mushy thoughts wind down, I am just feeling grateful that I am learning this lesson now instead of 20 years from now. I am grateful that I will have the opportunity to be a good example for my daughter, and any future children and show her/them a healthy way of life. I am grateful that because I embrace a healthy lifestyle, I will have the energy to keep up with my kids. And hopefully live a long, happy, healthy life.

What are your thoughts as you live a healthy lifestyle?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wii Fit

For my birthday I got a Wii Fit. Up until today, I have only done it once- for a lot of reasons. It is really hard to find time without my 2 1/2 year old trying to steal the wimotes and jump on the balance board. My goal is to continue my elliptical workouts every morning, and add in the wii fit 3 other times a week. Originally I was planning on doing it at night which is just not happening. By the time Emily is in bed, it is usually 8:30 or 9pm and I just don't have any energy left. So today I tried something different, I did it during naptime. It was awesome. I did yoga and strength training, going through each exercise that I have unlocked, some of them twice. I ended up having time for 36 minutes of exercises. I broke a sweat, and felt the burn on many of the exercises.

I was browsing through my blog subscription list and came across a link to a fun blog called Wii Fit Mommies. For anyone who has a Wii Fit and wants to learn great ways to really get a good workout, this site is for you. I haven' t had time to really peruse the site in detail but what I have read is helful. There is also a forum, which I am excited to read.

Anyone have (and use) a wii fit? Any tips for a newbie?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Brownie Experiment

Yesterday I watched an awesome video on WWChic's blog about making black-bean brownies. I have heard about this recipe for some time, but never had the guts to actually try to make them. So the video motivated me. Today I bought a brownie mix, and made them. I wanted to see if they were better or worse than No-Pudge brownie mix. Here are my findings:

1. Both black bean and No-Pudge are 2 points per brownie.
2. No-Pudge brownies are bigger.
3. No-Pudge brownies and black bean brownies are both good; I would say they are pretty equal in a taste test.
4. Black bean brownies are a lot more work to make than No-Pudge. It took me forever to puree the beans, not to mention the cleanup.
5. Neither Black bean nor No-Pudge are as good as original brownies, but they will do the trick for a chocolate fix.

Summary: I think I will stick with No-Pudge brownies as they are easier to make, and you get more for your points.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Shrimp with Feta and Roasted Vegetables

Made this recipe for dinner last night. The inspiration recipe was in my church cookbook, and with a few changes, wa la! Perfect for Weight Watchers.

4 Servings/5 pts. ea. + Pasta

6 Roma Tomatoes, cut into eighths
large bunch of asparagus, chopped into bite sized pieces
2 T Olive Oil
2 T minced garlic
3/4 t. kosher salt
3/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 lb uncooked shrimp, peeled (I use Costco brand)
1/2 C. chopped fresh parsely (can use Italian parsley)
2 T lemon juice
4 oz reduced fat feta cheese, crumbled
Orzo pasta (I had 1 oz. [uncooked], husband had 2 oz.)

Preheat oven to 450. Place tomatoes and asparagus in large baking dish. Sprinkle the garlic and drizzle the olive oil over the veggies. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper and toss. Place on top rack of oven and roast for 20 mins. Remove baking dish from oven and stir in the shrimp, parsley, and lemon juice. Sprinkle with the feta cheese. Place back in the oven until the shrimp are cooked, 5-10 mins. Toss with orzo pasta.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

It's a New Year's Miracle!

Drumroll please.....

I lost weight!!! When the nice little lady told me my weight yesterday morning, I couldn't believe it. I was down about 1.2 pounds. It had to be getting the stomach flu twice. That is the only way I could have lost weight with the way I was eating over the holidays.

I felt really grateful, when at the meeting, I sat next to this nice lady and she told me that she gained 9 pounds in December. It is so easy to let good habits slide, and crazy how the pounds can pile on so fast. It seems like ages sometimes for me to even lose 2 pounds, but they are so easy to gain back! I sure wish it was the opposite.

Yesterday went fine, I ate well all day, except later, some friends convinced me and Brian to go out for dessert. I had to use most of my weekly 35 points, and it is only day 2. Oh well. No cushion for the rest of the week, but that Pizookie from BJ's pizza was sure good. (If you haven't tried it it is a cookie in a pizza pan topped with ice cream)

I haven't posted new recipes for a while, but I will try to get some more up soon!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Good First Day

So today started out a little rough. Didn't make it to weigh-in. Am definitely going tomorrow morning. I threw up in the middle of the night- I think I ate a crappy dinner too late at night and it didn't sit well. So I didn't get very much sleep, and woke up late. After all that, I was definitely motivated to eat right today, though.

I had a birthday a few days ago, #33, and went to the mall today to do a little b-day shopping. It was actually fun. They had a great sale at Banana Republic. I hit the grocery store on the way home and then came home and had a cooking fest.

To help the cause, I made my blueberry bran muffins for the week, some homemade 0-Point veggie soup for snacks, and made a yummy dinner also- Beef Stroganoff and steamed broccoli.

I have points left for a treat, and am still deciding what I want to do with them...

Anyway, will post my new weight tomorrow. Am going to try to get through the whole weekend sticking to the plan.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Start

I am back!

In more ways than one. I have really let my eating habits slide a lot more than I had anticipated. I had nothing "skinny" to say since I have not been following any good habits in the last 2 weeks or so. Today is no exception. I hate to admit it, but today, I have slipped back into old thought patterns, thinking that since I am starting back on the plan tomorrow, I should eat all the things I won't be able to. But hey, nobody is perfect.

I actually am looking forward to eating right. I have more energy, feel better about myself, and plain old just feel better when I eat the right foods.

I am going to start with a weigh-in tomorrow morning. I haven't been in over a month. I need that accountability.

Here we go 2009!