Feelin' Chalky

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Tale of Two Thanksgivings

Well, I did it.  I fought Thanksgiving...and I won!  After the week I had I was pretty sure I would have a gain, but I was very pleasantly surprised to lose 0.4 pounds this week!  Considering I probably gain 10-15 pounds every holiday season, that's a real plus - I mean minus!  My total loss as of today is 83.8 pounds!

So how did I do it?  I really don't think there was any special methodology or formula.  I ate a big salad at both T-meals which filled me up a lot and then I ate lots of veggies and fruits. I left out the stuffing and breads for the most part (I did have a small roll at my in-laws).  I didn't eat turkey this year which was really weird for me b/c it's a pretty big deal for my family.  Anyway, I didn't really miss it much.  There was so much other yummy stuff to sample.

I tried to keep my portions small (for the most part), and I still felt full - VERY full at that!  I did have a little dessert.  My sis made a killer gluten-free/sugar-free apple pie that I had a small slice of,  and my mother-in-law made like 6 pies (apple, pecan, pumpkin, sugar cream, and chocolate - whew!) that I took 1 bite samples of.  Yum.  :)  That's about it.  Oh, and I drank a lot of water so that I would stay full and not want to nibble!

All in all, I really enjoyed my Thanksgiving this year!  I didn't feel stressed out about what I was going to eat and that was nice!  I made a super-delicious Vegan Green Bean Casserole that I wanted to share the recipe to.  You can find it on this site:

I also made one of my fav fall salads using a recipe from Little House of Veggies.  You can find it on this site:

On top of holiday feasting I also had the privilege of running away to Indy with my husband last weekend.  We had a blast to say the least.  It was filled with some delicious food!  One of my favorite meals was from a restaurant on Mass Ave. called R Bistro.  I wish I would have taken my camera in with me to photo our amazing food and dessert.  It is a quaint little place - small and charming.  If you blink you might miss it!  

The restaurant is situated next to a chocolate shop (perfect placement in my opinion) and seats about 20 tables.  The menu is fresh, all organic/free-range/grass-fed, and a lot of the veggies come from a garden behind the restaurant.  They change the menu every week to take advantage of whatever is in season.  Such a cool concept!  There are a handful of entrees and always a meat-free option.  I had tomato and red lentil soup as an appetizer, celery and parmesan tart with roasted pumpkin and a wild greens salad with a sherry vinaigrette for my entree.  Our dessert was perfect - dark french-pressed coffee with chocolate truffles (2 truffles - one dark chocolate, one milk chocolate).  Ahhh-mazing! :)  Definitely check this place out if you are in Indy!  Here is their website:

You can sign up to receive menu updates each week and then plan a time to visit when the menu suits your tastes.  You will not be disppointed! :)

Have a GREAT week!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Slippers and Snuggies

Ahhh...the Snuggie.  The world's most awkward Christmas present...OK maybe not the MOST awkward, but it has to be in the top 10.  The very first time I saw a commercial for it I immediately thought of my mom.  All throughout my life my mom has always been cold.  And I am not talking about your average, "brrr, it's cold, I think I'll grab an afghan."  I am talking about living-in-an-igloo kind of cold.  On any given night you can probably peep in the windows of my parents' home (but please don't - that's pretty creepy) and find my mom with flannel pjs, some sort of jacket/hoodie, slippers that go up to her kneecaps and a blanket - oh, and it's probably AT LEAST 74 degrees in the house already with the Buck Stove running.

You may think I am exaggerating...and maybe I am a little but not by much.  I used to laugh at my mom when I was younger.  I thought she was pretty silly, looking like an Eskimo all of the time.  There are a lot of things that I have inherited from my lovely mama - lots of things that I am proud of...but I NEVER thought I would be COLD.

It's funny.  I actually considered buying a Snuggie the other day...for myself.  Ha!  Since I have lost weight I have discovered that all along I have been cold too...I just had my own built-in heating unit.  ;)  Makes sense, right?  A couple of nights ago I was lying in bed and I realized that I was wearing a hooded sweatshirt, socks, and had a quilt and a comforter covering me...and I was still a little cold.  I realized that in two weeks time I had bought myself two pair of fuzzy-lined slippers that went up to my knees.  I realized that in the last several months our thermostat had jumped up 3 degrees.  I had to laugh.  I was becoming my mother - the Eskimo.

There are a lot of changes that I have gone through in the past several months - some good and some bad.  Each one reminds me of how much I had let my body hold me back and about how much I abused it.  I can cross my legs now.  I don't have to worry about whether or not I will fit into a booth at a restaurant.  I can shop in "regular" stores and for clothes without multiple "X"s.  I can actually enjoy taking a bath.  Those are just a few things - things most people take for granted, but things that were a struggle for me before.  I don't know about you but, I think I'll take a Snuggie over insulin any day! :)

This week I lost 1.2 pounds bringing my total loss to 83.4 pounds.  I'm slowly creeping toward that 100 pound mark!  I have confidence that I will make it through the holidays without feeling deprived and without falling back into bad habits.  I really love the way I eat now anyway and I have no desire to go back!  What are your feelings as turkey day approaches?

I have a long list of new products that I have tried and loved lately.  I am planning on a post sometime soon that will be packed full of my new grocery finds.  Stay tuned!  In the meantime, if you get a chance to try Quorn's Turk'y Roast, please do!  It was very good and tasted a lot like turkey!  Once I come up with a good gravy recipe (working on it this week), I will send it your way!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Go ahead and buy a Snuggie (you know you want to)!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I'm Gonna Let It Shine!

Yes...I am finally back and ready to write!  Sometimes I just feel uninspired, and I never want my readers to be bored!  But alas, it's time for an update!  This week I lost 0.8 pounds and last week I lost 1.2 pounds which brings my grand total to 82.2 pounds!  To reach my goal of 100 pounds by January I will need to lose another 17.8 pounds.  I realize that it's a pretty lofty goal, but hey, I have to dream big!!  I never thought I could lose 80 pounds either - and I did!

So what has been going on in my journey lately?  Well....something new, foreign, strange.  Right now I am dealing with feelings I haven't experienced in a long time...I am feeling confident!  It's a really odd thing for me.  Most of my life I have hidden behind this wall that I created - this overweight self.  Now those walls are coming down and I am not sure how to deal with it.  I feel happy.  I feel motivated.  I feel "pretty" again.

As most of you probably know if you have followed Christ for very long at all...whenever something is going right in your life...satan is almost always prowling around trying to figure out how to get to you, make you doubt yourself and ultimately God. You see, before, it was easy for him to get to me - I didn't like myself and I just didn't put myself out there.  That negative self-image bled into all areas of my life...and satan LOVED it - loved that I was miserable and sad and defeated.  Now that I am coming back alive and reclaiming myself and my confidence he is working another angle.  So today I am going to shed a light on his lies!  

Right now, satan is trying to twist my new-found confidence and tell me that I am being prideful, arrogant, self-centered, and selfish which translates into feelings of guilt.  Sometimes I believe it....and what happens when I do?  I back down.  I bail-out.  I stop writing a blog that is inspiring SO many people.  Why?  Because I want to be humble - it's a good thing to be.  And because I just don't know how to be confident yet.  I don't know how to make a personal journey something that's not all about me...and still reach people.  I want to tell my story and inspire people to change...without seeming self-absorbed.  I know that God is using and will continue to use my story for His glory - and that's what I want it to be about.  He is the reason I am here - not me.  I tried MANY times to do this on my own...and fell flat on my chubby little face.  

This time there was no magic or mystical formula I followed, I simply listened to God's whisper and obeyed - plain and simple.  When people ask me, "how did you do it?" my answer should always be - I obeyed God's calling for my life.  I hope that through reading this people will understand where I am coming from.  This blog inspires and encourages me just as much as it has encouraged and inspired others.  I need this to help keep me accountable and to help keep me motivated and it's a great way to meet new people from all over the world who are dealing with the same struggles!  Thank you all for continuing to support me and I can't wait to celebrate YOUR successes with YOU! :)  Speaking of which...congrats to my buddy and my Aunt for their STELLAR numbers this week - way to go you two, I am SO proud of you both!!!

In honor of their success, here is a fun (and maybe strange) culinary mash-up of sorts that I threw together this week:

Mexican Stir-Fry
serves: an army

1-2 T olive oil
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
8 oz sliced button mushrooms
garlic (to taste - I used about a T of minced garlic which is equal to 6 cloves or so of fresh)
1 can black beans, drained
1 12 oz bag frozen corn (I like Steamfresh by Bird's Eye - gold and white premium corn)
1 packet taco seasoning (I like Simply Organic)
S&P to taste

Heat your oil in a skillet (or wok - haha) on med-high heat.  Add onion, peppers, mushrooms, and garlic and saute until tender.  Add your beans, corn and taco seasoning.  Add salt and pepper as needed.  Serve over rice, as a filling for tacos or burritos, or toss with lettuce, avocado, and salsa for a yummy taco salad!  Enjoy!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Recipe Swap

I am in a giving kind of mood.  I've been busy in the kitchen trying new recipes and creating some of my own.  Here are a few of my recent favorites!

This first recipe is slightly adapted from one posted on the Little House of Veggies site.  You all know I love her recipes and so far every single one has been a winner! :)  You can view the original recipe here.

"Chicken" and Portobello Mushroom Sauce w/ Garlic Mashed Potatoes
serves 2-4

For the Garlic Mashed Potatoes:
1.5 lb. yukon gold or other small white potato, cubed
1 clove minced garlic (I added like 6 - because I am a garlic freak)
3 Tbsp. Earth Balance vegan butter
1/4 - 1/2 cup plain soy milk (or any other milk swap)
1/4 cup Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped (I used freeze-dried)
salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water, and add the potatoes. Boil for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are very tender.  Drain water. Add the rest of the ingredients to the potatoes. Add the milk slowly to achieve the right consistency , and then taste them and add additional salt and pepper to taste.

For the "Chicken":
1 large pkg. Gardein Chick'n Scallopinni (I found a large bag in the freezer section at Kroger, Dixon.  It contains 4 "breasts.") 
Salt and Pepper
Garlic Powder

Season each "breast" with a pinch of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and add the olive oil and butter.  Cook the "chicken" according to package directions - until nicely browned and slightly crispy.  Remove from the pan. (for extra crunch you can coat the "chicken" in flour before sautéing)

For the Mushroom Sauce:
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil,
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped onion
2-3 large portobello mushroom caps, sliced
2/3 cup vegetable stock
juice of 2 lemons
pinch of salt and pepper
2 Tbsp. Earth Balance vegan butter
Fresh parsley for garnish

I didn't have capers - the original dish called for them.  I am sure they give the dish an added kick - definitely worth a try if you have them.  In a bowl, combine the vegetable broth and lemon juice and set aside. In the same pan that you cooked the "chicken" in, add 1 Tbsp olive oil, and add in your garlic, onion and mushrooms, and a small pinch of salt and pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes until the mushrooms are softened. Then add in your lemon/vegetable broth mixture. Deglaze the pan a little Cook  over low for a few minutes to let the flavors combine, then add in 1 Tbsp. of earth balance to the sauce and slowly melt it in. Add your "chicken" pieces back into the pan to reheat.  Taste the sauce and add any additional salt and pepper if needed.

To Assemble the dish:
Place about 1/2 cup of potatoes on the plate, add a little bit of the mushroom sauce, add the "chicken breast," top with mushroom sauce and mushrooms.  You can garnish with fresh parsley.

This dish was an INSTANT hit - especially with my hubby!  He claimed it was the best dish I had made in a long time! I'm not sure if that was a compliment or not - haha.  Actually I know what he was saying.  He was saying that it was as close to a hearty, meat-filled dish as it could be.  I agree.  If you are testing the waters of a meat-free existence - try this out right now.  You will thank me! :) (Thanks, Morgan, again for a fabulous recipe!)

This next recipe was one that I threw together after reading multiple recipes on roasted Brussel sprouts.  I have been scouring the net to find ONE recipe to change my deep disdain for these cute little cabbage-like veggies.  Sometimes I just look through recipes and file them away in my brain until I have time to make them.  It's a hobby of mine!  I remember bits and pieces of recipes and then throw things together to concoct my own interpretation.  This side dish is a true keeper.  If you don't like Brussel sprouts - even if you've tried them 100 times - you need to try mine.  I will change your mind about Brussel sprouts for-ev-er! :)

The ISM's Roasted Brussel Sprouts

1 lb Brussel sprouts
2 T Olive oil
2 tsp BRAGG Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)
1-2 tsp Dijon mustard
Dried, minced onion (I used Onion, Onion! seasoning from Tastefully Simple)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Wash your Brussel sprouts, trim off the ends, and then cut in half.  Remove any loose outer leaves.  Place in a dutch oven or casserole dish.  In a separate dish combine the oil, BRAGG (or soy), and Dijon mustard.  Pour over the sprouts and stir to coat evenly.  Add your minced onion and pepper.  Stir to coat.  Roast sprouts in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until slightly browned and caramelized.  Be careful not to burn! Enjoy!

This last recipe is one of those "throw-it-all-together-and-hope-it-tastes-good" kind of dishes.  Luckily it WAS good! :)  The combination of sweet and sour really made for a great and satisfying meal!

BBQ "Chicken" Salad

1 1/2 Quorn Naked Chik'n Cutlets
1/4 c. BBQ sauce of your choice
2-3 cups of romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 c. Corn
1/2 Red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 c. Veggie Shreds - Cheddar flavor
2 dill pickle spears, chopped (or you could just use cucumber)
Ranch Vinaigrette

Ranch Vinaigrette
1 T Olive oil
2 T Apple cider vinegar
3 tsp ranch seasoning in the packet (any brand will do - I had Hidden Valley on hand)

Spray a pan with olive oil and heat on med-high heat. Cook the Quorn cutlets until browned slightly and cooked through (about 8-10 minutes).  Add the BBQ sauce and coat the "chik'n." Remove from heat.  Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces.  In a large bowl add the romaine, corn, red bell pepper, Veggie Shreds, dill pickle, and BBQ chicken.  Make sure you get all of the sauce!!  Add the ranch vinaigrette and toss to coat.  YUM!

Hope you are having a great week! :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Candy Demons

I'm never really amp'd to announce when I have a gain.  That might explain the delay in this post...well...that and a busy weekend! ;)  This week I gained a measly 0.2 pounds...no biggie, but still.  That brings my total to 80.2 pounds lost which brings me to GOAL time!  Since I met my last goal I need to put up a new challenge.  I have been thinking and crunching numbers and have decided that my next goal will be...100 pounds by January 1st.  I am aware that this may be a lofty goal...especially with holiday food and festivities coming up, but I think with a little extra effort and planning I can pull it off! :)  We'll see...

Speaking of holidays...how was YOUR Halloween?  I have to admit, I totally went into the weekend confident that the candy wasn't going to tempt me this year.  I was wrong.  We didn't buy candy this year (thank goodness), we bought mini bags of popcorn and play-doh to hand out, but just the sight of candy (especially chocolate) sent me back to a kid-like state. I remember the days when my sister and I would just eat Halloween candy to our heart's content and think nothing of it.  I mean, we're talking Pixie Sticks, Smarties, Milky Way, Snickers, Reese's, M&M's, Bottle Caps, Dots...you get the idea.  I wanted to be there again, but then reality set in.  My rational side reminded me of how BAD sugar and HFCS is on my body...and how crazy sick it would make me feel to binge on a boatload of candy.

The problem?  Not eating the candy made me want to snack on everything else.  And...my son had his 1st b-day party on Sunday...and there was a delicious cake...with like 2 inches of icing on it.  :(  I had one piece, but I WANTED the whole thing.  After waking up the next day and smelling the sweet icing aroma...I had to pray.  And after prayer didn't tame my cake demons, my husband had to lovingly send 7 pieces of birthday bliss down the garbage disposal.  Ahhh!

The truth is that I thought I had these cravings in check - for good.  I was wrong.  I guess it was just a reminder of why I am here.  A glimpse of what it will be like for the rest of my life.  There are always going to be those moments - some unexpected - where I have to be strong and even where I have to ask for outside help to keep myself in check.  I did overeat this weekend - just mindless bites, licks, and tastes (as they say in WW).  BUT...I didn't give up and I didn't quit.  I picked up the next day and started over - tracking all of my food and checking off the important stuff - fruits and veggies, grains, "dairy," proteins, etc.  I'm looking forward to a great weigh-in this weekend despite my Sunday slip-up! :)

Photo by: Breanne Adams