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


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 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

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.