Monday, January 28, 2013

Snack Attack

Greetings y’all.  It’s Monday again. In fact, it’s the last Monday in January.  I have got to stop wishing time away because it seems like just yesterday it was New Year’s Day.  The immediate New Year’s Resolution I had is going well, though.  I lost 2 more pounds last week.  I have lost 7 of the 15.2 goal with 8.2 left to go.    Since I started Insanity, I’ve also lost a total of 2.75 inches so things are going well.  I ate too much between Saturday evening and Sunday night but hopefully I’ll work it off this week.  I could have done better but it’s really the first time since the beginning of the year that I’ve slipped.  The point is that dusted myself off and I’m right back on.  We all fail in something every day. You just have to get back on track.  Besides, if you were faced with something called pizza dip and then chicken stuffed with prosciutto and cheese, you’d cheat too.

Other than binge eating, my biggest problem in the diet game is completely mental.  I have to convince myself that I’m not hungry.  I do this by making sure that I never go more than a couple hours without eating.  In order to do this and not balloon up, you have to have snacks that are healthy and filling.  This first image is of cucumbers and hummus.  I love bread and hummus together but the bread is loaded with carbs and the hummus can be a bit fattening so having both isn’t something that’s recommended.  So, we must make sacrifices and I find this snack to be a good compromise.  I found these individual servings of hummus which are great because the risk of eating too much is diminished.  I used a cucumber instead of bread because you can have as much as you want for zero points and they are pretty filling.  I also had ham on the side which is of course optional but I needed some protein.  I’ve had this several times and I’m not tired of it yet so that’s good.

This picture is very simple but something not to forget.  Salsa is something that you can have unlimited amounts of so I eat it a lot.  I also discovered recently that guacamole and low fat sour cream aren’t too bad in points either so I created a little snack fiesta with Baked Tostitos Scoops.  I mix all three together and it’s quite tasty.  You have to be careful with the guacamole and sour cream though and only have a couple tablespoons of each.  My problem is I want to eat the whole container.  Just make sure if anything has fat in it, you only eat the recommended serving.

So, as many of you know, I’m addicted to Pinterest.  The next series of images will tell a tragic but quite funny story of a cookie project gone horribly wrong.  The first picture is how the cookies I attempted are supposed to look.  The pictures after that are several attempts that I made to mimic the image.  I got Cassandra to make one and hers at least had good shape.  You take sugar cookie dough, shape it like a heart and leave a hole in the middle.  After that, you put Jolly Ranchers in the middle to create a stained-glass effect.  The cookie kept creeping over the candy.  I kept making them bigger and bigger thinking that would help…but it made it worse.  The last picture was the closest I got but I gave up because after over 2 hours of trial and error, I was over it.  I should’ve known a project to celebrate Valentine’s day would turn sour.

 That’s all I’ve got today.

 Hopefully my weigh in Saturday won’t be too harsh after my weekend indulgence.

Wish me luck.

Have a great week.


“It’s getting late
To give you up.” Toxic-Britney Spears

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Buffalo Style

Hello, y'all. I hope your Monday was great. I know I usually post on Monday but stuff happens and it's Tuesday.  I'm behind so I will jump right in. I have been doing Insanity for a little over a week now and I took my measurements this weekend. So far, I've lost 2 pounds and 2.25" total. This means that I've lost 5 of the 15.2 pounds I need to lose as my first 2013 goals. 5 down, 10.2 to go. I am satisfied with these results. Insanity is tough but effective and I'm being a good girl when it comes to food. I won't use the word perfect in reference to my behavior on the weekends but I'm pretty least when it comes to calorie intake. I am definitely going to keep up with the results and fill you in. I hope whatever life changes you are determined to accomplish in 2013 are on track.

The star of this week's recipe chit chat is a Light Ranch that I've discovered. It's got a buffalo flavor and I'm quite fond of it. In the first pictures, I take a Morning Star "chicken" patty and make a buffalo chicken sandwich out of it. No, those patties don't taste like chicken but when you add bread, dressing and fat free potato chips, it's quite tasty. I'm even more proud of the second concoction that I came up with. I call these Buffalo Chicken Bites and I made them up all by myself. I took canned chicken (if you aren't into that, you could use deli meat or pulled rotisserie chicken), mixed it with one serving of the Light Buffalo Ranch and put a dollop into baked tortilla scoops. I added one drop of hot sauce to each scoop for a little extra kick. I found it quite delicious!

In Oscar news, I watched Beasts of the Southern Wild this week. I like to say that this movie is this year's Tree of Life. Honestly, it's not nearly as trippy and hard to follow but I draw the parallel because there are several bizarre moments in the movie that I truly don't understand. The premise is interesting because it's based on a real group of people that live in a rural, mostly flooded part of the Mississippi Delta. The movie did prompt me to do research and it's definitely molded after a real group of people. I discovered that there is a documentary about these people and quite honestly, I think I would've rather seen that. The story is sad and very raw in it's scenery, make up and content. The young girl in the movie is fantastic but overall, the point of the movie escapes me. It's weird and gross and wasn't my favorite.

The Avengers wasn't nominated in a major category but I thought I'd give it a shout out because I've seen it and it's nominated for visual effects and I think it's deserving. I don't always run to go see movies like this but I wanted to mention it because it was hilarious and fun and I'd be happy if it got Oscar love...even if it is just for visual effects.

Lastly, I wanted to let it be known that I have now seen Silver Linings Playbook twice and I love it even more than I did after the first time. It's precious. Go see it. Seriously, get dressed right now and go watch it.

I'll wrap it up out of laziness. Have a good week!
"Another day has almost come and gone,
Can't imagine what else could go wrong.
Sometimes I'd like to hide away somewhere and lock the door.
A single battle lost but not the war.

'Cause tomorrow's another day
and I'm thirsty anyway
So bring on the rain." Bring on the Rain-Jo Dee Messina

Monday, January 14, 2013


Happy Monday, everyone! I will jump right in because I have a lot to put in here. First of all, I weighed Saturday and I was down 2.8 pounds! I was very pleased with this and relieved because I knew I had done well.  This means I have 12.4 pounds to go in my initial goal to lose 15.2 pounds and get back to my lowest weight.  It may take several weeks to do that but there is no race; as long as I stay with it, I’m fine with whatever pace my body wants.  I also started the workout program, Insanity on Saturday. I am normally not inclined to trust programs like this but I tried a boot camp a few months ago that I loved and my roommate said it was similar and very effective.  I went ahead and decided to try it because I needed something new and I like the idea of not having to think about it.  This program tells me what to do every day.  It’s a 60 day program.  I intend to complete the 60 days and then if I have had results, I’ll continue to do it but incorporate it with exercise that isn’t so hard on the joints.  I like it a lot.  It’s difficult but I felt great when I got done.  I will say though that if you have not been working out for a significant amount of time, you should definitely NOT do Insanity.  This program is for people who are in at least decent shape.  I am sore but I like that because it means it’s working.  He’s strict about form and safety which is also a plus. I took my weight and measurements so I could monitor my results. The recipe I shared above is for tomato soup.  When I was little I thought I hate tomatoes and tomato soup.  As I’ve gotten older, my tastes have developed.  I now enjoy cooked, green and sun dried tomatoes.  I thought I’d try tomato soup.  This is a Hungry Girl recipe.  It uses hot sauce which kicked the flavor notch up a bit.  It was quite tasty and I paired it with toast that I slathered with Sun Dried Tomato Laughing Cow Cheese.  It was a nice pairing.  I’d make it again, for sure.  I eat a lot of soup…it’s usually much lower in calories.

Since the last time I blogged, Alabama won its 15th national championship against Notre Dame.  It is a wonderful time to be an Alabama fan.  I know everyone in the country is tired of Bama but who cares, it feels great to be a winner!

Jordan and I have started our Operation Oscar for this year.  We see all of the movies nominated for Oscars in the major categories and this year we got quite a head start before the nominations came out.  I’ll give a brief little review of each one, in case you’re interested.  We only have a few more to watch before we are done.  The show is on February 24th and after the Golden Globes last night, I’m anxious to see how it turns out!

Argo is my second favorite movie so far.  Its nominations include: Best Picture, Supporting Actor (Alan Arkin), Adapted Screenplay (Chris Terrio).  This is an intense movie laced with funny moments about a real and serious situation that happened during the Iran hostage crisis.  It takes history and makes it interesting. Ben Affleck was not only grossly snubbed for Director, he could have been nominated as an actor as well.  I’m not biased.  I love Ben Affleck but he hasn’t always been the best actor in the world.  This movie is great and I’m glad the Golden Globes recognized him because the Academy was wrong on this.  This movie also included John Goodman who was amazing and one of my all-time favorite actors.  

Flight has two nominations: Actor (Denzel Washington) and Original Screenplay (John Gatins).  I would say that these nominations could’ve gone either way.  The movie was pretty good but when you compare Denzel Washington’s performance to some of the other men in the category, I don’t think he was as good.  The movie has a really intense scene in the beginning with a plane situation that will make you think twice before stepping onto your next flight.  Other than that, I’d say it was good, not great.  It’s about a drunk who gets in trouble and I prefer Denzel Washington in his more bada** roles. 

I could probably write a book on the commentary I have for Django Unchained but nobody has that kind of time.  It is nominated for Best Picture, Supporting Actor (Christoph Waltz), Original Screenplay (Quentin Tarantino).  In summary, it’s about a freed slave that is on a quest with a bounty hunter to find and rescue his wife from a heinous slave owner.  This movie is like classic Quentin Tarantino on crack.  It is by far the most gruesome, violent and uncomfortable Tarantino movie I’ve ever seen.  If you don’t like him, his movies, blood and guts or gun violence, you should, under NO circumstances see this movie.  My mother and Jordan despised this movie.  Having said all of that, I did not hate it, I LOVED about 60% of it and wanted to crawl under my chair and hide the other 40%.  I believe his movies are a commentary but I do know that the commentary he intends is lost on many audiences.  It is not lost on me. It is violent and racist much like the actual act of slavery was and you are not supposed to feel comfy cozy while watching it.  I can see both sides of the fence.  I do think he was also robbed as director.  I would say however that I don’t like his attitude about some things.  He’s very quick to dismiss discussions on violence in movies and I think he should take a more diplomatic approach.  I agree that violence in movies is not the reason people are crazy but I think they are a good starting place for dialogue and he always shuts down.  In the end, I think he’s a disturbed and at times, quite rude genius. As a side note, I’m obsessed with Christoph Waltz and wish he was in every movie. Lastly, I always think Leo is robbed and this year is no exception.  I am DEFINITELY biased about him though, we go way back. 

Ahhh, Les Miserables, the movie I feel like I should be more attached to.  It’s nominated for Best Picture, Actor (Hugh Jackman) and Supporting Actress (Anne Hathaway).  This movie was all about “moments” to me.  Anne Hathaway’s performance of “I Dreamed A Dream” was pretty stunning and brought tears to my eyes.  Unfortunately, Russell Crowe’s voice also brought tears to my eyes…and not in a good way.  The movie was WAY too long for me but that doesn’t say much, though because I think most movies are too long.  I actually downloaded a lot of the songs and though the movie looked amazing but overall, I was pretty bored.  Like I said, there were lots of great moments that I will probably look up on YouTube a few more times in life but I don’t see me watching it in its entirety ever again.  I have respect for the show but it’s not my favorite.  I have seen the play and there are parts of it that seem silly to me and it’s just not my favorite.  I don’t want to take away from Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway though, they were good.

Life of Pi is this year’s Avatar minus the hype and James Cameron.  It’s nominated for Best Picture, Director (Ang Lee) and Adapted Screenplay (David Magee).  I compare it to Avatar only because, in my opinion, it’s greatest attribute is the beauty of the scenery.  The special animated effects in this movie were gorgeous.  The story is cool, too and I enjoyed the movie overall.  I wasn’t blown away by the story but I liked it.

The Impossible holds only one nomination and that is for best actress (Naomi Watts).  I’d say I made it about 10 minutes before I started a full on, heaving cry that I maintained throughout the entire movie.  This is about the horrific tsunami that came from the Indian Ocean in 2004 and killed 230,000 people.  It’s based on the true story of one family trying to survive and get back to each other.  I have had recurring nightmares about deadly waves my entire adult life so I was anxious about the movie.  The best way to describe it is gut-wrenching.  The horror that these people had to face was something that none of us should ever take for granted.  So many died, lost all their loved ones, their homes and they lived in pain and fear for weeks trying to figure out the details of what happened. The movie portrays this very well and I’m not sure it wasn’t slightly robbed of other nominations.  I will never watch it again but it’s beautifully made.

I cannot say enough good things about Silver Linings Playbook. Its nominations include: Best Picture, Director (David O. Russell), Actor (Bradley Cooper), Actress (Jennifer Lawrence), Supporting Actor (Robert De Niro), Supporting Actress (Jacki Weaver), and Adapted Screenplay (David O. Russell).  It’s funny, engaging and by far my favorite of the Oscar season.  When I say favorite, I mean it’s the only one I would buy so I could watch whenever I want.  It’s got Bradley Cooper who seriously could not be hotter and more adorable.  I’m also a Hunger Games freak so I was happy to see Jennifer Lawrence.  Robert De Niro was amazing as always and as a side note, Chris Tucker turns out to be a pleasant surprise in the movie. It’s about mental illness but not in a sappy way.  Loved it.

Spielberg does it again with Lincoln.  It’s loaded up with nominations: Best Picture, Director (Stephen Spielberg), Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis), Supporting Actor (Tommy Lee Jones), Supporting Actress (Sally Field), and Adapted Screenplay (Tony Kushner).  I agree with all of these nominations.  Lincoln, though in my opinion a bit long (surprise, surprise), was outstanding.  It’s not the kind of movie I’d want to curl up to on a Saturday night as those are reserved for guilty pleasures but the movie is chock full of awesome actors, interesting and lesser known facts about the time period and gripping stories.  The film came together wonderfully for me and in the end you feel triumphant and sad all at the same time.  I liked it a lot…it has probably been my third favorite so far this season.

The Sessions was solid and good but overall underwhelming.  Helen Hunt is nominated for Supporting Actress and that’s it.  I think that’s about right.  The story was certainly interesting.  It’s about a man with polio who is paralyzed from the neck down and has to rely on a giant machine for him to breathe.  He wants to experience sex and Helen Hunt’s job is to help him with that.  She does a great job and the movie wasn’t too sentimental which I like but it didn’t blow me away.  In fact, that’s all I have to say about it, I think.

Zero Dark Thirty was intense to say the least.  It’s nominated for Best Picture, Actress (Jessica Chastain) and Original Screenplay (Mark Boal).  I think the movie was good.  It was a bit long, but it was still an “edge of your seat” kind of movie.  Jessica Chastain is someone who I think will be around for a while.  She’s versatile and I’ve never seen her do a bad job (she was even good in the disaster that was the Tree of Life).  I don’t know what percentage of the movie was based in fact but it definitely brought you along for the ride on the hunt for Osama Bin Laden.  I am not as mad about the directing snub on this as I am for Argo.  I certainly think Kathryn Bigelow COULD have been nominated for best director, especially for the excruciating torture scenes but it’s not the biggest snub in history.

I know that was a lot but like I said, Jordan and I got a  huge head start.  I'll have a few more plus some preferences/predictions in the coming weeks.

I hope you all have a great week and if you made it to the end, thanks for sticking with me!


“And I am done with my graceless heart
So tonight I’m gonna cut it out and then restart
‘Cause I like to keep my issues drawn
It’s always darkest before the dawn

Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
Shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, shake it out, ooh whoa
And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back
So shake him off, oh whoa…” Shake It Out-Florence+the Machine

Monday, January 7, 2013


Hello everyone.  It has been awhile.  In fact, it’s been about 3 weeks.  I was supposed to post last week but caught up in the festivities and the need to be lazy and I didn’t.  So, I apologize.  2012 was a long and challenging year and the beginning of 2013 is no different but changes are coming.  I am determined to make a lot of changes and not just in my food and exercise lifestyle.  Hopefully all of these changes will be for the better.  I hope that all of you have an amazing 2013.  When I last posted, I had decided to re-start Weight Watchers on January 5th.  However, as my pants tightened even more over Christmas, I thought maybe I should get a head start.  The day after Christmas, I re-joined Weight Watchers online.  I figured this would give me 7 or 8 days (not including the New Year’s Eve/Day food I had) before my weigh in to level out a bit.  I’m glad I did because when I got on the scale for the first time in a while on Saturday, the number was pretty high.  I can only imagine what it would’ve been had I not had those days of counting.  I reached my lowest weight on Weight Watchers in April of 2012.  Since then, I have gained 15.2 pounds.  My immediate reaction is disappointment in myself.  However, because I stayed diligent in my exercise routine, I probably escaped at least 5 or 10 more pounds.  Also, when I consider what I’ve done since April (Vegas trip, Dallas trip, football season, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and more), 15.2 pounds isn’t too bad.  My initial goal for 2013 is to lose that 15.2 pounds. 

Well, the fun is over.  I know that I have to get back into the grind so it doesn’t get out of hand.  I was relieved to get back to counting points.  I have a type A personality and I adore making lists so counting is just the best fit for me.  The challenging part is adjusting to the new points system.  For over 3 years, I was using the old points system and I know it front to back so adjusting to new calculations has been obnoxious.  I have spent several years developing a restaurant cheat sheet for myself which I’ve totally had to re-do.  It’s taking some time but I’m getting used to it.  Things cost more points but you get more points.  You get to have fruit for zero points which is new.  This is something I will have to not allow myself to abuse because there are a lot of sugars in fruits.  It seems to be much more geared towards trimming down the amount of carbs you get.  I will get accustomed to it over time, I’m sure.

Last year I made all kinds of resolutions and I don’t think I followed through with any of them so I don’t think I’ll make them again.  I am resolved however to “be better.”  I know that’s vague but maybe that’s what I need I need to try to be better in all aspects of my life.  I shared some pictures below but rather than giving captions for each I’ll just tell you it’s a mix of pictures of gifts I got myself, gifts I was given, Christmas, New Year’s, my brother’s birthday (Happy 19th Birthday David!) and other miscellaneous things.

Next week I will give you a recipe idea and talk about the Oscars!

I also hope to celebrate a BCS National Title with you next week as well.  I am VERY nervous about the game tonight…but…it’s just football, right? Roll Tide!

Have a great week! Bye!

“A thousand places I would rather be
So I choke back the tears and try to find the bright side
Though I find it hard to see beyond my suffering
In my heart I know your plan is so much bigger
But this small part is all that I can see
And I believe you haven’t left me here to wander
Still I can’t help but ponder where you’re leading me

And I ask I why this road
Why this way and this load
Tell me how far must I go
Til I see
Til I know why this road…” This Road-Ginny Owens