Feelin' Chalky

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Skinny What?!?

So...I am reading this new book...and I like it...a lot.  It is raw, humorous, and contains lots of factual info about what we do or don't put into our mouths.  I have a feeling that this book would ruffle the feathers of anyone with a pulse.  It is called, "Skinny Bitch."  I didn't write the title so don't go hating me.

This book is not for the faint of heart or the faint of stomach (if there is such a thing).  It is a kick-in-the-pants approach to living healthy and losing weight or, well, being "skinny."  The language is quite sailoresque - akin to the locker or break room, but the information is vital and I think anyone trying to live out a healthier life should read it.  You might want to keep a bar of soap beside you, though, because you may end up wanting to wash out your own mouth (and ears).

The book takes-on carbs, junk food, sugar, artificial sweeteners, dairy, meat, wheat, and talks about why they are not good for us - and what they do to our bodies.  Here is a small excerpt that I found particularly amusing:

"Brace yourselves, girls: Soda is liquid Satan.  It is the devil.  It is garbage.  There is nothing in soda that should be put into your body.  For starters, soda's high level of phosphorous can increase calcium loss from the body as can its sodium and caffeine. [Cousens, Conscious Eating, 475]  You know what that means - bone loss, which may lead to osteoporosis.  And the last time we checked, sugar, found in soda by the boatload, does not make you skinny!  Now don't go patting yourself on the back if you drink diet soda.  That stuff is even worse..."

It then goes into a long but interesting (and frightening) discussion about aspartame and sucralose (Splenda)  and how the heck they got into the wonderful products on our grocery shelves today!  Yikes.

The reason I am really digging this book is because it is challenging me.  Just when you think you are eating healthy...there is always something new to learn, new foods to try, new information out there to keep you on your toes.  I said before that this journey is about health and changing my family tree.  The weight I lose is a bonus.  (a big bonus that is wrapped up in a shiny bow!)

Here is a link to the site if you'd like more info:

Skinny Site

For those who are skeptical of the motives in the book, here is an excerpt from the final chapter:

"P.S. Wait! We have a confession to make. We really couldn't care less about being skinny. Don't get scared or upset: you will definitely lose weight if you adopt the "Skinny Bitch" lifestyle. However, our real hope is for you to become healthy. We don't want anyone to be obsessed with getting skinny. When you eat right and exercise, you feel strong and healthy, and confident. You start loving your body - not because you lose weight - but because you feel great. It's an inside job. You're finally treating your body like the temple it is.  
Comparison is the thief of joy. No matter what we do, most of us will never look like supermodels or celebrities. And accepting that will make our lives a whole lot better. So what if there is only one standard of beauty perpetuated by Hollywood that you don't fit into? Don't buy into that bull-. Take excellent care of the body you were blessed with and love, love, love it!" 

- Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin -

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Beachbody, Birthdays, and Bicycles, Oh My!

I am pretty sure my body is giving me the middle finger.  I kinda ran it through the ringer this week.  On top of having two get-togethers (which were very fun), staying up way past my bed time multiple nights, a pizza fiasco, and cleaning the house (OK that is a feat when you have small kids), I purposefully "worked out" 3 days this week.  I know that doesn't seem like much, but when you start at nothing then it's a big step.  One of those workout sessions really kicked my butt - I mean really.  It's a little program called Brazil Butt-Lift by Beachbody.  I am still sore today from it.  That's why I am convinced that my body officially hates me.

This week I have a whole lot on my mind, so I am warning you now - this may get random real fast!

Let's start off with the nitty-gritty.  This is week 10.  This week I lost .4 pounds.  Yes, a small number, but after consistently dropping 2-4 pounds a week, I knew it was coming.  My total is 26.8 pounds lost!  Buh-bye!  On to this week's happenings and thoughts:

So...this week was my birthday.  The big 3-0.  I was pretty sure I was just going to go all out - have my cake and eat it (all of it) too.  Not so much.  I found myself thinking about my birthday as one more year of life, not an occasion to go hog wild.  I thought about how this lifestyle change is helping me have many more birthdays, God willing, to share with my family and friends.  I realized that instead of over-eating and over-indulging, it was even more of a reason to stay on track - to eat as healthy as possible and celebrate life!  Here was our menu:  Lemon Chicken (an old "recipe" from my grandpa), roasted asparagus, baked sweet potatoes (really they are yams) drizzled with maple syrup, roasted broccoli and cauliflower, and a fantastic salad.  It was perfect.  I was able to eat my fill and not feel guilty and I think everyone really enjoyed it!  For dessert, I chose a No Pudge Brownie "cake" with CoolWhip Light and blueberries and strawberries.  It was better than any box cake could be.  I tried to take a picture, but my camera batteries were dead, and, well, I didn't want to wait until they were charged.  Can you blame me?

Here is one of my fantastic birthday gifts:

And here are two more:

Yay for cookbooks!  And yay for pink bikes!  ;)

OK, now onto confession and a fairytale (I think it may be one Aesop's lost fables or something?).  This week I did great except for one fateful day.  Once upon a time, there was a kingdom, and in this kingdom, a family, a family who loved pizza.  This family loved pizza so much that they couldn't go an extended period of time without eating it.  (and the King couldn't go a week without eating chips and salsa from El Arrieros)  One day, when they were least expecting it, they got hungry.  *GASP* "Oh whatever should we do," they cried?!  Along came a glorious restaurant named CiCi's who had delicious pizza to-go for a low price ($6.99 for a large).  "Let's just get three large pizzas," they exclaimed, "that way we each can eat exactly what we want and never have to share or compromise!"  So they did.  They were even rewarded for their brilliance with 24 tiny brownies for only one dollar!  Hooray!  And they all ate pizza and brownies until their bellies were full.  The End.  The moral of the story:  who really needs three large pizzas?  I mean, come on!!!  What were we thinking???  I didn't eat a whole pizza by myself, but I did eat more than I had planned (4 pieces - I only wanted to eat 2) and I would have rather spent my points on something with more nutritional value.  I wanted to convince myself that the spinach on my pizza counted as a vegetable, but I'm pretty sure when a veggie is completely surrounded in cheese...well, it kinda defeats the purpose.  ;)  Moving on...

Last item up for grabs today is another rant!  This is directed toward one very compassionate individual on YouTube.  I have been keeping this in for weeks now and it's time to let it go.  Breathe in.  Breathe out.  Most of you know that I am a singer.  I sing on the worship team at Church and they frequently upload performances onto YouTube.  My children tend to have days where, let's just say, I feel like I am managing a large zoo.  On those days, I do whatever I can to survive.  One thing we like to do is listen to music on the computer.  Sometimes they ask to watch mommy sing.  (really, I'm not THAT vain)  A few weeks ago, we were going through some of my "videos" and I happened to read a comment from someone who had viewed the video.  I was angry and devastated at the same time.  Basically he/she was commenting on how I needed to "look into" a weight loss program.  Now, mind you, I was pregnant, but I did look pretty bad.  I have been carrying that with me ever since I read it.  I have contemplated what I wanted to comment back to them.  I finally decided that saying anything back would just give that person some sort of satisfaction, so I never did.  But here today, I would like to say to mkd1202: Compassion for others - look into it.  You're a jackass.  (sorry if that offended anyone)

Here's to a healthy, happy, active week!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

I'm a Loser!

I actually used that title because I had that song playing in my head...anyone know who sang it?  OK...no...not Beck...The Beatles!  ;) I guess the title fits what I am going for anyway though, right?  In fact, I think it's GOOD to be a loser in my case!

That brings me to week 9!  Wow...has it been that long already?  This week, I lost 4 pounds!  That brings my total to 26.4!  "Cel-e-brate good times, come on!"  ;)  I have been thinking about what I have been doing - the good and bad - so far in this journey to healthy living and here is what I came up with:

I am eating AT LEAST 3 servings of fruits and veggies everyday - really!
Most of my grains are whole grains...I eat very little "white" foods (white bread, white rice, pasta, potatoes - I do eat and love sweet potatoes though)
As a family our consumption of processed food has decreased dramatically (I would guess we are about 75% raw/fresh and 25% processed)
I eat out less and plan ahead when I do
I cook more and enjoy cooking more!
I track like a crazy person - I take time to enter recipes in and try to be very honest and accurate
I drink water or Vitamin Water Zero - that's it - pop is gone forever and I am not a big coffee drinker, so that doesn't really bother me - I will have a Starbucks one of these days though!  I do like tea, but have been too lazy to make it!
I use measuring cups and spoons, my food scale, and my points calculator EVERY day (I am slightly obsessive - in a good way)

I still love chocolate and my one guilty pleasure is Snickers Ice Cream Bars (they are in the freezer right now).  However, I used to want to eat three at a time...now I cut them in half and give the other half to my hubby.  And...I only indulge in them once a week.
I am not exercising as much as I want to be - no excuse - just haven't made that a priority or habit yet  :(
I still pick at my kids' food (sometimes I don't even realize I do it) - I'll eat a goldfish here and an animal cracker there, but I do track it and try my best to account for those "extra" points
I ate M&Ms the other day...but I only ate 4...

The worst thing in my fridge right now?  Hmmm...probably all of the full-fat cheeses.  I have a confession...I love cheese and I am pretty picky when it comes to what I like.  I do not like fat-free cheeses and really I would rather "spend" the extra points and use a little less of a cheese that I love rather than a lot of a cheese that tastes like cardboard.  Same with yogurt and such.  I cannot stand aspartame, so I hate the light yogurts that are out there...but I love yogurt...I just have to control how much I eat of it and make sure I account for the points.  You all know what my fav yogurt is, I don't even have to go there.  ;)

My friend Kristin gave me a recipe the other day that my whole family LOVED (did I say loved?).  I want to share it with everyone.  It has veggies, whole grains, lean meat and healthy oils in it...and it tastes fantastic!  :)  My hubby ate squash, people!

Kristin's Turkey Quinoa Casserole

1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 T olive oil
5-6 mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 c. acorn squash, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 lb. lean ground turkey
1 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning (or dried sage)
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
1 1/2 c. chicken broth (I used stock b/c I like it better)
1 c. quinoa, rinsed
1/4 c. parsley, chopped
6 oz. reduced-fat Monterey-Jack cheese, shredded (I used mild cheddar)

To cook the acorn squash: Cut in half, scoop out seeds, and place cut-side down onto a cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a skillet, saute onion in olive oil on med-high heat for 2-3 minutes or until translucent.  Add mushrooms, squash, and garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Add turkey, breaking it into small pieces as it browns, about 3-5 minutes.  Add poultry seasoning, s&p, stock, and quinoa, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.  Transfer ingredients from pan into a 9X9 casserole dish.  Mix in parsley and half of cheese.  Sprinkle remaining 3 ounces of cheese on top of casserole.  Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes.  I cut this into 6 servings and each serving is 8 points.  YUM!

Friday, April 16, 2010


Wow...2 recipes in a week?  I say that's definitely a JACKPOT!

Most people who know me well know that I love The Food Network.  Until I had kids, I watched it religiously, everyday, as much as possible.  I just love getting new ideas, and well...I like food!  Now I am working on having a healthy relationship with it.  Anyway, I made a recipe today from Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa).  I have never attempted a recipe from her because, for whatever reason, she intimidates me.  I am so glad I got over my fear!

I had two very ripe avocados waiting to be used, so I racked my brain to come up with a recipe that would use them.  I remembered seeing an episode where she made a salad with avocado and (I thought) shrimp.  So I looked on www.foodnetwork.com to find it.  What I discovered was that it was actually a recipe with lobster - Lobster Cobb Salad - so I adapted it and made it my own!  The big "jackpot" for me was that is used three things that I have never tried before (avocado, arugula, and pita bread) - BONUS!  Here it is!  :)  Thanks Ina!

Shrimp Cobb Salad

For the Vinaigrette:
1 1/2 T. Dijon mustard
1/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
5 T. good olive oil
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

For the Salad:
2 ripe Hass avocados
1 lemon, juiced
1 bunch arugula, washed and spun dry
15 oz. cooked shrimp (her recipe calls for 1 1/2 lb. cooked and diced lobster meat)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt (go easy...I thought that was too much salt so I didn't add it all!)
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
7 slices of turkey bacon, cooked and chopped (her recipe calls for 1/2 lb. lean bacon)
(I didn't add this b/c I was trying to conserve points, but 3/4 c. crumbled English Stilton, or other crumbly blue cheese - I am sure this would be yummy too)

Whisk together mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper for the vinaigrette in a small bowl and set aside.

Cut the avocados in half, remove the seed, and scoop out with a spoon.  Cut into a medium-sized dice and then toss with the lemon juice.  Cut the shrimp (or lobster) into bite-sized pieces and put them in a bowl with the cherry tomatoes.  Toss with enough vinaigrette to moisten (I added about half of the vinaigrette and saved the rest for another salad).  Add the avocado, arugula, and bacon (and blue cheese if you add it)  and toss again.

This was seriously amazing!  I actually ate mine cold in a whole wheat pita pocket and I thought it was perfect.  She suggests serving it in a hot dog roll at room temperature.  Of course she also gets all fancy in the episode and wraps it up in wax paper and puts it in a picnic basket for a beach-side dinner.  Meanwhile...I am trying to scarf down this delicious treasure while my kids throw grilled cheese, carrots, and apple slices on the floor.  Close enough, right?  ;)

The salad makes 6 good-sized portions (1 c. each) and is 7 points per serving (made my way...not sure how many points if you add the blue cheese...25?).  Please try this ASAP.  It is perfect for a light, spring-time lunch!  Here is a picture:

Also...for those with little ones...or those who want a HEALTHY 1-point snack: Meet Ella's Kitchen!  You can check out their products on www.ellaskitchen.com.  They have 2 smoothies: the Red One and the Yellow One (see picture below).  The Red One is a mixture of strawberries, raspberries, apple, banana, and a squeeze of lemon juice - that's it - nothing else.  The Yellow One is a mixture of banana, mango, peach, apple, and a squeeze of lemon juice - that's it - nothing else!  They are in cute little portable pouches perfect for lunch boxes or snacks on-the-go.  My kids LOVE them...and I do too.  My next mission is to try all of the stage 1 baby foods with Ethan.  They have crazy mixes like carrots, apples, and parsnips, and broccoli, pears, and peas.  Interesting!  The best part is that they can be used and then re-capped and put in the fridge OR freezer!  :)  Here is what they look like (I found mine on diapers.com):

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Chubby Hubby?

Well, I didn't get my "after" photo shoot with my hubby like I wanted...I am sure he was SO looking forward to it too.  ;)  It doesn't matter...I have enough evidence to show the difference.  When my husband and I first met, he was working for Kings Heating and Plumbing and then shortly after that started driving a truck full-time (locally) for his cousin's company, Apex.  During the time that he drove a truck, his eating habits went from bad to worse.  He was eating Little Debbie snack cakes for breakfast and then stopping for fast food and gas station grub while on the road.  Oh yeah, and we can't forget the Mountain Dew that we BOTH were drinking...ew!  (See...I can say, "ew" to Mt. Dew because it's not a Coke product!)  On top of that, we were eating out at least 3-4 times a week for supper - YIKES!

I didn't realize how much he had gained until he told me.  We looked at his Class B physical and found that at his heaviest, he was 262 pounds.  Here is a picture from around that time:

And here is another:

In December of 2007, he started working for Coca-Cola.  It is a physically demanding job.  He stocks and orders for Wal-mart. Meijer, Kroger, and Target here in Kokomo.  He throws hundreds of cases a day (that means puts them on the shelves - he doesn't really "throw" them).  I couldn't believe how much Coke is consumed DAILY by our community...which is good because it puts food on our table and keeps a roof over our heads (but also scary)!  I was skeptical that stocking the stores I listed would be a full-time job...but it is...and then some.  Coke also is responsible for products like Vitamin Water, Vitamin Water 10, and Vitamin Water Zero, Dasani water, Smart Water, and Powerade.  So...there are other non-pop options as well.

Back to the story!  My husband is not a health-food nut.  ;)  He does not love vegetables or fruit, BUT in the last 6 months he has eaten things that I never would have dreamed he would.  He has traded his cheeseburgers and fries for raw carrots, pineapple, watermelon, apples (He LOVES Honeycrisp apples!), and instead of Lil Debbie for breakfast he usually eats a banana and a protein shake or a CLIF bar.  (we're talking light years away from where we BOTH were 6 months ago, people!)  He hardly ever goes out to eat for lunch anymore when he used to eat out everyday.  As a family we only eat out 1 maybe 2 times a week now which is HUGE!  As an added benefit, it has helped up save a lot of money in the process.  A lot of people claim that eating healthy is more expensive.  I disagree.  It actually is about the same as we used to spend, but the money is just delegated in different ways, for instance:

We now spend $60-$70 of our $120 weekly grocery budget on fresh produce whereas we used to spend it on snacks and junk and usually pulled money from the grocery budget to feed our fast-food addiction.  We have had to adopt a more structured "menu" for the week and we only buy what is necessary for the meals that we plan.  That saves us money because we are throwing less rotten food away!  We are much more aware of what we are throwing in our cart and that helps us stay on budget - if it's not on the list, we try not to put it in the cart!

Here are some "after" pictures of my hubby - not so chubby anymore, is he?  He has lost almost 60 pounds!

The funny thing is that he is holding babies at the hospital in two of these pics - that's pretty much what our life has been like the past few years - get married, have a baby (I mean, two babies), get a new job, have another baby, go crazy, have another baby.  ;)

In honor of my husband and his success, I am going to post a recipe that was surprisingly a big hit with our WHOLE family.  He looked at it in the crockpot and claimed he would not eat it, but then I reminded him of our "2 bite rule."  (that rule is really for the kids, but I guess it applies to adults too)  So...he reluctantly tried it and liked it!  :)  He also ate salmon for the first time the other day and liked it!

Brent's Black-Eyed Pea Soup

(4 cups of water for boiling)
2 cups dried black-eyed peas
2- 14 oz cans of chicken broth (or stock - I like stock)
1/2 lb baby carrots cut up into bite-sized pieces
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup diced ham
1/2 cup diced onion
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme (I am not a big thyme fan so I left it out)
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Place 4 c. water and back-eyed peas in a large pot and bring to a boil, uncovered for 10 minutes.  Drain and rinse peas.  Place peas and remaining ingredients in a crock pot; cook 9 hours on low or 5 hours on high.  Serve.  Yum!

This was a recipe from our e-mealz points plan.  It was so flavorful and comforting!  The soup is 6 servings (which figured out to be a little shy of 2 c. per serving) and was only 2 points!!!  We served it with corn muffins and sliced strawberries.  For more meal ideas, visit:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

I am working on a post about my sweet hubby and his success.  I think that it took me a while to see how much weight he has lost because I am around him all of the time.  I knew he was thinner, but had no idea how much until I looked back on some old pictures.  WOW!  You don't want to miss it!  Coming soon!

Meanwhile, most of you know that I am huge Jamie Oliver fan and I absolutely LOVE his show that is on ABC called, "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution."  You can find more info on the show and what he is doing on:


Basically, he is trying to totally overhaul the school lunch system, teach people (children and young adults especially) how to cook healthy (and tasty) food, and just make Americans more conscious of what they are putting into their mouths.  The show is so inspiring...I highly recommend you check it out Friday nights at 8 and 9 PM.

He also has a petition that you can sign in support of his efforts.  Check it out and sign it!


I sure wish he would come to Kokomo...we could all use some help!  ;)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Excuses, Excuses

I had a revelation today as I was heaving my 4 kids into the van trying to bust it to get to my WW meeting...OK, TWO revelations: 1. I am WAY more crazy than I thought, and 2. I really do want this. This morning I had every obstacle thrown at me to prevent me from going, and I CHOSE to go anyway - even if it was a disaster. I had visions of children running around the meeting room, knocking things down, screaming, you know, the usual stuff they do at home! ;) I prayed with tears in my eyes as I pulled into the parking lot that God would shut their mouths like He did for Daniel in the lions den...seriously, that story crossed my mind as I prayed. So how did it go?? Better than I could have imagined. The kids were all quiet and thanks to my WW buddies they had extra laps to sit on and things to play with and of course they ate their goldfish like champs!

Here is what I learned from this morning. You make time and you fight for what you think is important and you make excuses for everything else. I have spent most of my life making excuses, and that was just simply my way of saying that I wasn't ready. I think it's OK to not be ready. I also think that there is never going to be a better time. Life doesn't stop. Stress doesn't stop. Things may change but there is always going to be an excuse. I don't think many people would argue with me if I said, "I can't do Weight Watchers right now and exercise because I have four kids under the age of three - I don't have time to track or cook or exercise." But, if I can do it now with them being so small while in the midst of chaos, then I can definitely do it when they are older. And...while they are still small...I still have that window of opportunity to set them up to win in their own lives. I don't want to see them struggle like I have. Just as good ol' Dave Ramsey says (and I am totally paraphrasing), "I want to change their family tree."

This week I felt zapped. I have felt myself wanting to slip back into old patterns like not eating breakfast, but I pushed through it. I ate yogurt and fruit and granola most days for breakfast because it was quick and easy and filled me up. My favorite right now is The Greek Gods honey flavored Greek yogurt with Udi's original granola and sliced strawberries and bananas...I call it "bliss!" I was talking to my leader today and I think that one misconception about Greek Yogurt is that it is higher points so people want to shy away from it, BUT it also fills you up and keeps you satisfied longer because it's so much higher in protein. I think it is totally worth it!

Ok, so I didn't do the high kick today in the meeting because I was holding my son (see there I go making excuses) but I did make it under 300!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!!! This week I lost 2.6 pounds which brings my total to 22.4! :) We are getting ready to start training for a 5k in June, so I am going to dust off the walking shoes and get my booty moving! I will work on getting a video of the high kick...I owe you all one!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Surviving the Holiday

I thought Easter was going to be rough. Why? Because as a family - holidays mean - yummy food and LOTS of it! :) This year was a little different. We had yummy food but it was more healthy and less to pile onto your plate. I brought my trusty food scale along and dug out my mom's measuring cups and I did really well. Here is what I think helped me through it: 1. I planned ahead - pretty simple. I found out what we were going to be having, and helped plan the menu and then decided what I was going to eat before I got there. (it does help that my mom and sister are both on restricted diets and can't have sugar and such) 2. I took my food scale. I knew that I would have a hard time eye-balling what a 3 oz portion of ham or turkey was, so I took the guess-work out of it. Also - I did my research and knew what a 3 oz portion would be point wise (4 points for the glazed ham and 3 points for the turkey). 3. I ate less points for breakfast and lunch. I didn't eat less food really, just ate more filling, lower point foods so that I had a cushion just in case I needed it. We had HoneyBaked Ham (thanks to my sis-in-law), brined and roasted turkey breast, mashed potatoes and gravy, salad (with pepper, onions, tomatoes, etc), and green beans. For dessert my sister made a lemon-strawberry cake (no sugar), and I made a Caramel Apple Salad (I believe this is a WW recipe).

The biggest challenge wasn't the actual Easter meal itself, it is the candy that is now sitting around in my house begging me to eat it - M&Ms, jelly beans, Reese's Pieces, chocolate. *SIGH* I have done OK so far. I will probably allow myself to eat some chocolate this week and hopefully that will help. And, then if it sits too long around the house i will probably just chuck it. No one really needs all that candy anyway - not me, not the kids, not my hubby!

Meanwhile...the Paci Fairy arrived and the girls are now paci-free - YAY! But now without the pacis in their mouths they just sit in their room and talk instead of sleeping - BOOOOO!

Caramel Apple Salad

2-4 Apples cubed (I like Jazz apples or Honey Crisp)
1 can of crushed pineapple with juice
1 box sugar-free/fat-free butterscotch pudding
1 container CoolWhip Free (fat-free)
1 small bag of mini marshmallows (optional - I left this out)

Add the butterscotch pudding to the can of pineapple and juice. Combine. Add diced apple CoolWhip and marshmallows. Mix together and chill. Yum!

The kids really like this "dessert" and it has lots of fruit in it too! This is 1-2 points per serving depending how large your serving size is! ;) I figured on 6 servings, so it was 2 points. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Week 6 Update!

Gosh, it feels like time is flying by...here we are again at Saturday!

This week was fun. We started trying out e-mealz (see last post for more info) and I really think it helped me with meal ideas that the whole family could eat...and like - and that were healthy. That was nice because I sometimes feel slightly isolated in all of this, always having to do my own thing. This week the meals sound super-yummy, can't wait to try them!: Cilantro & Lime Shrimp (w/steamed red potatoes and sweet peas), Black-Eyed Pea Soup (w/ corn bread muffins and sliced strawberries), Pineapple Chicken (w/ orange ginger asparagus), and Tomato Baked Chicken (w/ sweet potato and carrot puree). :)

I have been thinking a lot about Christ and His death on the cross and resurrection this week because, well, it's Easter. BUT...also because I think it applies to so much of our daily lives. I think that we all have that resurrection power inside of us through Christ. We don't have to ever feel "stuck." We have the opportunity to start over and change for the better with His help. That truth is what I am leaning on heavily right now.

This week I lost 2.2 lbs. for a total loss so far of 19.8 lbs.! I have two big milestones (in my head) coming up in the next couple of weeks 1. losing 20 lbs. and 2. under 300. I tell you i will straight up do a high kick right in the middle of my WW meeting when that first number goes from a 3 to a 2! ;) No, I will not video tape that moment and post it in YouTube!

Happy Easter!

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Maple Syrup Mystery

When I started all of this, a month and a half ago, I bought a bottle of 100% pure maple syrup with high expectations. I wanted to use it as a sweetener and of course for the usual suspects: pancakes and waffles. You see, I love maple flavor and therefore should love maple syrup...so I thought. I tried it the first time on a baked sweet potato. I couldn't even taste it. Hmmm. All I tasted was sweet...no maple. I was disappointed. I had second thoughts. Maybe I was happier with my fakey, butter-flavored, generic jug of syrup...

Yesterday, I made sweet potatoes again (really they are yams, but the word yam just sounds less appealing). I tried maple syrup again, just a drizzle...and...mmmmmmm! I tasted it and it tasted wonderful...so it got me thinking.

Does eating all of the processed alternatives, for instance, "butter-flavored" syrup vs. real maple syrup cause our taste buds to be over-saturated and therefore prefer the bad stuff? I really think that when I used to drink so much pop it deadened my taste buds and I wasn't able to fully taste food the way it should have tasted. Did the overly sugary, acidic soda set a "standard" of sweet that nothing else could compete with? It makes sense to me at least. Maybe that is why I craved sweet SO much before...maybe I wanted to find something to meet that sweet expectation and everything fell short except for candy, chocolate, and pop.

Now that I have been pop-free for almost 2 months I am less driven by sugar. I require less sweet to be satisfied. Fruit is filling that void, and when I need something a little more decadent, I am able to, for the most part, enjoy it in smaller doses. That is a huge hurdle for me! It gives me such hope...maybe someday I WILL like brussel sprouts...haha...or maybe not.

So what do YOU think?

Thursday, April 1, 2010


So my hubby is a Dave Ramsey fanatic. He listens to his podcast everyday. We have been following (to the best of our ability) his financial program for several years now. The other day he came home to inform me that Dave is now endorsing (and maybe helped create?) a site called "e-mealz." I had to check it out.

Basically it is pre-planned meals on a budget. You sign up, and it costs $5 a month ($1.25 a week - which is about the cost of some random candy item you toss in your cart when you are waiting in line to check out). With your membership, you get a weekly menu that includes recipes (EASY recipes) AND a grocery list that goes along with it...with the breakdown of what each item costs. You can even pick a particular store...say you shop at Kroger's...you would pick the "family Kroger's" menu. The huge plus is that there are so many options. they have meals for 2, special diet restrictions (low-fat), menus for vacation, menus for holidays, AND points value menus. Yay! The points value menus not only tell you how many points are in a meal, but also how big the serving size should be!

I signed up this week and I am actually pretty impressed so far. The weekly grocery total for the meals is between $70-$80. NICE! I am sure it varies depending on what menu you choose, but I know it is designed to save you money. Also, the lady who created the site helps you link coupons to the meals she posts...so...if crescent rolls are on the menu, she tries to tell you where you can find a coupon for them. Pretty handy, eh? I will keep you updated on what I think, but on the meantime you can check out the site for yourself! http://e-mealz.com

On to fajitas! OK, this is mostly just a foundation for you to mix and match whatever you and your family love best. Here is how I like to make them:

Easy Chicken Fajitas:
Olive Oil
2 Chicken breasts, sliced into thin strips
10 oz container of fresh, sliced mushrooms
1 large red pepper, sliced
1 large green pepper, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
1 package Fajita seasoning (this is totally a preference thing, but the ONLY fajita seasoning I like and use is Old El Paso and the only place I can find it is Meijer)
Water, as needed
Whole Wheat tortillas or Flat-out wraps (whole grain w/ flax)

Shredded Cheese
Fat-free Sour Cream
Shredded Lettuce
Whatever your little heart desires

Pour 2 T of Olive Oil into a hot skillet and start to sweat the onions. Add the chicken. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Add salt and pepper to taste (and I actually added garlic here as well). Turn the pan down slightly and add the peppers and mushrooms. Once the vegetables have released their juices, add the packet of seasoning (it has corn starch in it so that it thickens slightly). If the sauce becomes too thick, add water a little at a time until it is the consistency you want. I usually end up adding about 1/2 to 3/4 c. of water. Turn the heat down and let the mixture simmer for about 5 minutes so that the flavors combine. Tell everyone to get off their lazy bums and come make their own fajitas...LOL.

OK. Heres the deal. This time I used a Flat-Out wrap instead of a tortilla. Why? Because the tortillas we have are 3 points a piece! Flat-Outs are 1 and they are very similar in taste and texture once all of the meat and veggies are in them. Total points for the Fajita mixture (chicken, veggies, and seasoning - yes the seasoning counts): 3 per serving, it serves 5. Now, your cheese adds up fast so be careful! I measured out 1/4 c. (which is the serving size) and didn't quite use it all - 1 serving of shredded cheese is 3 points. I love this meal, and even though it was pretty healthy all the way around, I was disappointed b/c I stuffed myself. LOL. I need to still listen to my body's signals and stop eating when I am full - regardless if I have the points to eat more. There's just some crazy voice in my head that says, "one isn't enough...you NEED more..." I'm working on that!