Monday, August 25, 2014


Hi everyone! I hope you all had a lovely weekend.  I worked really hard all week and had a perfect Monday-Friday. I knew I felt a bit lighter so I was hoping that I had recovered from the gain the week before.  Much to my surprise, I was down 3.8 pounds! This was very encouraging since I was so bummed out from the results the prior week.  I know it won’t be like that every week but I needed that little motivational boost.  I had cheat day on Saturday and actually, I don’t think I went that crazy to be honest…especially if I consider how much I’ve eaten in the past on a cheat day.  I over indulged a  bit yesterday as usual but didn’t too bad and I ran three miles.  My goal as always is to have another perfect week so hopefully the scale will be nice to me again when I weigh on Saturday.  I wanted to go ahead and extend early Happy Labor Day wishes.  I won’t be posting a blog next week since it’s a holiday and I will more than likely have my nose crammed in Shelley’s “Frankenstein” so I can prepare for my Lit classes.  It’s still hectic for me right now because I’m working two full time jobs until September 12th but I couldn’t be happier (Jordan and my mom will get the Wicked reference there).

I wanted to take a second and express my disappointment in Panera Bread.  First, I’d like to state that I’ll still be going to Panera sometimes and that they do have nutrition facts available so this isn’t a total FAIL on their part but I’m still upset.  Panera was one of the first to have a nutrition calculator.  It was also one of the best out there.  You could choose what you were eating and remove ingredients like mayonnaise that you were going to get taken off your sandwich and it would show you the altered facts.  Well, Panera removed their nutrition calculator completely.  Now you don’t know what your new calorie count will be if you remove the tomato and the mayo.  It was also confusing because it’s not clear if the salads facts include dressing or if the sandwich facts include sides or all of the condiments.  I reached out to Panera and I will say they were very nice and responded.  They informed me that they pay a different company to handle that now which is why the calculator is gone.  For your reference, the nutrition facts listed on Panera do include the salad dressing that they recommend come with the salad but it will be difficult to figure them out if you want a different dressing or no dressing at all.  I’m still not happy at all about the changes but I am pleased they responded so quickly.  I was probably unreasonably angry about the whole thing but as someone with OCD, it’s important to be accurate.

I have been on a Diet Root Beer kick lately and if you don’t like root beer, you won’t like this.  I used some of the No Sugar Added Butter Pecan Ice Cream I had left over in the freezer to make a low calorie root beer float.  The root beer has no calories so you only need to count the ice cream.  I used half a cup which made this 110 calories.  It’s pretty simple.  I just scooped out the ice cream into a cup, poured root beer over it and enjoyed.  I thought it was delicious! The picture gives it a funny yellow/green color but that's just the camera. It wasn't a funny color.  It’s not very big but it’s a tiny little treat that was nice on these gross, hot summer days. You could also do it with Diet Coke, Sunkist or any diet drink.

Some of my friends and I went to see Boyz II Men this weekend and had a fun time! I loved them when I was a kid so it was nice to hear their hits.  It was almost too miserably hot to enjoy and there were a couple parts of the set list and performances that I thought could have been a bit stronger but overall, I had a great time.  We also got to see En Vogue and Keith Sweat open for them and that was cool.

This upcoming weekend marks the opening of football season for the University of Alabama and I’m so excited.  Football season is definitely my favorite time of the year.  Ian and I are going to the game against West Virginia in Atlanta on Saturday and I can’t wait.  It will be fun to hang out with his family and hopefully watch Alabama dominate West Virginia in the Georgia Dome.

I hope y’all have an awesome week! Roll Tide! Next post will be September 8th 

Monday, August 18, 2014

New Chapters

Hi y’all! I want to interrupt regularly scheduled programming to talk about an exciting new chapter in my life.  Many of you already know this because you are my friend on Facebook or I see you on a daily basis.  I have accepted a full time English teaching position with the University of Alabama.  For those that don’t know, I’ve been in the corporate world for well over seven years now.  While I’ve had a full time job with a company called AFFLINK, I’ve managed to get a Masters in Writing, acquire a part time teaching job and begun tutoring athletes at Alabama.  In other words, I’ve had three jobs for quite some time.  I function best when I’m busy but I have to admit, sometimes it is a bit overwhelming.  The ultimate goal in doing this was to eventually gain a full time position.  Well, it’s finally happened! I’m unbelievably excited.  I’ve had so many blessings along the way in addition to the amount of hard work I’ve put in.  I know it sounds like I’m giving an acceptance speech for an Oscar but honestly, it feels that way.  I wanted to take a quick second to thank all of my friends and family who have always encouraged me! I want to tell any instructor or peer that I’ve had from the University of Alabama or Spalding University that wrote me a letter of recommendation, taught me invaluable lessons or just inspired me in some way that  I don’t know what on earth I would have done without y’all…especially Ashley McWaters, Jason McCall and Rosemary Royston.  Finally, after seven years at AFFLINK, I have to thank any supervisor that allowed me to go to school or adjust my schedule when I needed to teach.  Without AFFLINK’s cooperation, there’s no way I’d have gotten this position.  I’m going to face a lot of changes in the coming months but they are changes that I’m welcoming with open arms.  I’m still going to have two jobs but both will be in the world of academia which is something I’ve always wanted.  So, thanks again and Roll Tide, y’all!

Back to business.  I had a bit of a meltdown beginning on Friday.  I won’t lie.  Not many highs to report.  The week before last I was a picture of perfection and I was down only .6 pounds.  Last week, I had two tiny indiscretions and I was up 3.2 pounds on Friday.  I was so fed up with my body after I weighed that I could have thrown something.  It is clear that I can no longer do anything wrong without gaining weight.  Nothing.  It makes me want to throw a full on toddler-style temper tantrum.  It started mid-week when I went to eat Thai food with a friend.  She was moving and that’s what she wanted so we went.  I love Thai food but I’ve never tried to eat that food while dieting.  I went in prepared.  I had looked at the menu, compared calories by surfing the internet and decided.  Once I was there though, I completely went out of control.  Luckily, I had a lot of calories left for the day so I don’t think I went over too terribly but it was clear that unless I was having a cheat day, I need to stay far away from Thai food.  After that I was good until they gave us free pizza at one of my trainings.  Again, I had calories left and I only had two pieces but apparently it was those two incidences that caused my weight to go up over three pounds.  Well after that, it was on.  I was bad Friday night and all day Saturday.  Granted, Saturday was my cheat day so that didn’t count.  I woke up Sunday determined to do better.  My Dad and I went out of town and we stayed at an Embassy Suites.  They made omelets for breakfast so Sunday morning I had an egg white omelet with only vegetables.  No cheese. No meat.  I ate that with some fruit and then had Subway for lunch.  The problem yesterday was my mom’s dinner which was too good to resist.  I am back on today and my only goal this week is to have a perfect week.  I want to be good every day other than my cheat day.  I don’t anticipate any weight loss this week.  I’m hoping that I don’t go up again.  I think my adult tantrum is over but after years of doing this, it is exhausting to be unable to get where I want to be.

I think I’ve shown this as a breakfast option before but it’s been years.  I love the quick breakfast sandwiches you can get from Special K but since I’m cutting back even more, I wanted an option with even less calories.  These bagel thins are so tasty and they are only 110 calories.  I also like to get the Weight Watchers Cream Cheese that comes in single servings.  It definitely costs more but I don’t trust myself to only eat two tablespoons of cream cheese and these little tubs have plenty in them to cover the bagel thins.  This is definitely a filling and yummy option for breakfast.

I am really into chicken sausage which is probably a weird thing to be into but as a sausage fan, I’m really happy to have chicken sausage as an alternative.  I bought Guy Fieri’s version and it’s spicy and delicious.  It’s only 130 calories so when you pair that with some vegetables and mustard on the side, you can hardly beat the amount of flavor you get for the amount of calories you are consuming.  He has some other flavors and Target and Sam’s both have their own versions that are pretty tasty too.  I definitely recommend them!

As I mentioned above, my Dad and I went to Atlanta this weekend so he could cash in a Christmas present.  He was able to do a NASCAR ride a long at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. He was nervous but he did it and I think he had a good time.  Saturday night, we saw Alice Cooper and Motley Crue so it was a great weekend.  

The pictures and video links above are from the weekend. I’m tired today and school starts Wednesday.  

I have a super busy month ahead of me but I’m really excited!

I hope everyone has a wonderful week! 


Monday, August 11, 2014

Grilled Cheese Please

Hey y’all! Happy Monday! I got a solid 8 hours of sleep last night but for some reason, the puffiness around my eyes and my need to be in the bed right now says otherwise.  So, I must make a confession.  I worked my butt off last week.  I exercised every day and cranked up the diet by cutting calories and when I weighed on Saturday, I was only down .6 pounds.  I didn’t take this news well and my cheat day stretched into Sunday.  I revolted I guess and I know that doesn’t help me but y’all gotta understand, I’ve been at this for years now and that .6 made me angry.  It doesn’t seem fair but you know, life isn’t fair so it is what it is.  I’m back at it today with only a small pity party.  I’m certain my rendezvous with cake and my mom’s goulash yesterday will make for a rough weigh in on Saturday but I’ll try to take my lashes with dignity.  My challenge for this weekend will be to limit my bad food habits to one cheat day while I’m out of town.  My Dad and I are headed to Atlanta this weekend for what I’ve been calling Redneckpalooza.  We are driving over Friday night and then Saturday morning, my Dad is doing a Richard Petty ride along where he gets to experience the high speed Nascar life.  Then, Saturday night, we are going to see Motley Crue.  It should be interesting.   I just hope I can keep it together on Friday and Sunday and stay on my diet.  I’ve also been back in my jogging shoes.  I ran 3 miles without stopping yesterday in this miserable heat.  I’ve been jogging once a week so I’m hoping to get in another 3 miles on Sunday.

One of my problems is that I mentally convince myself that I’m hungry all the time…especially when I’m counting calories correctly.  My Oma told me that you can eat around 27 or 28 almonds for 170 calories.  What she does is she spreads her serving of almonds out throughout the day.  If she feels hungry, she might have one or two almonds every hour or so.  I thought this was a great idea.  I tried this last week and it actually worked pretty well.  Eating a couple almonds does give you a sense that you aren’t quite as hungry.  I need to work on spreading it out so they last a whole day and not just half a day but I’m still going to recommend this as a good hunger busting idea. 

Last week I shared a Diet Coke Cake.  A couple of my friends joked with me that I didn’t exactly give the cake a rave review.  I’ve decided that there is no real substitute for chocolate so I think I’m never going to be a big fan of recipes that try to act as a replacement.  Since I came to that conclusion, I tried the recipe with different flavors and liked the results much better.  I mixed together vanilla cake and Diet Sunkist which gave the cake a bit of an orange cream flavor.  I think it’s really yummy and if you cut it into tiny squares (20 total for the whole sheet of cake), it’s only 80 calories per piece which isn’t bad at all! I much preferred this version.  It seems like there are many ways to do this dessert and the best part about it is that it’s SUPER cheap.

I love a grilled cheese sandwich and even though my boyfriend informed me that any grilled sandwich that included items other than cheese shouldn’t be called a grilled cheese sandwich, I’ve decided to defy him and call this thrown together recipe a grilled cheese anyway.  I love Greek Olives and in my opinion, they made this sandwich.  All I did was take spray Pam (makes the sandwich way lighter), add two pieces of the 40 calorie provolone cheese on top and bottom, deli meat that was flavored with spices and olives and it was delicious.  The best part about a grilled cheese is that it takes practically no time to prepare.  I served it with Pringles sticks.  My Mom showed me these.  They are low in calories and make a nice side item for lunch.  I liked this A LOT and it’s less than 250 calories.  I want one right now.

Some of you may know that I’m obsessed with rainbow sprinkles.  I know they are just crunchy pieces of sugar but they add texture and fun colors to my life and I absolutely love them! I even know when certain companies (ahem Yogurt Mountain) change out who they buy their sprinkles from because believe it or not folks, not all rainbow sprinkles are created equal.  Anyway, I saw the above contraption on Tumblr and while from what I’ve read, I don’t think you can purchase these yet, I am amazed by this product and want one as soon as humanly possible.

A fun time was had by all this weekend.  We celebrated Cassandra’s birthday and stretched the weekend out as far as we could.  We should have taken way more pictures but I guess we just forgot to.  All in all I’d say it was a success. 

I’m sure I’ll have stories to share from the upcoming weekend on Monday.

I hope you all have a great week!


Monday, August 4, 2014

Ice Cream & Cake Y'all!

I wanted to start off my post by wishing my bestie, roommate and "wife" of nearly 8 years a happy early birthday! If May is “birthday month” then so is August. I have several friends that celebrate their birthdays this month so I hope you all have a wonderful one! Cassandra and I have had a LOT of fun over the years but also been there for each other through a lot of not so fun moments.  I can’t wait to celebrate this weekend! Make the last year of your twenties count! LOVE!

When I weighed this weekend, I was only down .8 pounds and I only achieved that after I got in my birthday suit and forced my bladder to release itself one final time.  I wasn’t going to take the same weight for an answer so when you think about it, the achievement wasn’t that great.  I had a perfect week prior to that weigh-in so I was a bit frustrated.  I wasn’t too angry about it though.  I cranked it up a notch and cut out some calories on my Lose-It app.  I was thinking that while I’m doing really well, I still feel like I might be eating too much to make a difference.  We will see if the calorie shaving I did makes a difference when I weigh this weekend.  I still like having a cheat day on Saturday and while I may have stretched the boundaries a bit for dinner last night, I had another perfect week. I have got to do better when I eat at my parent’s house.  I had around 700 calories going in then realized she made country fried steak and okra.  That was the only indulgence I had this week that wasn’t on cheat day plus I exercised like crazy yesterday.  It’s a struggle but I’m doing much better and I think I’m on the right track.  I’d love to lose around 17 pounds by the end of the year so I’ve got my work cut out for me but I think I’m moving steady in a good direction.

I am sure that most of you have seen this type of recipe before but in terms of simple, it’s hard to beat this cake.  Many of you have more than likely had Coca Cola cake and this is a revised version.  All you do, is take one 12 ounce diet soda and one box of cake mix, mix them together and then bake them in a 9x13 pan that is sprayed with non-stick spray for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.  I snagged this up from Hungry Girl.  She says you can do this with many combinations of soda like diet lime soda or diet cream soda and yellow cake mix or chocolate cake mix and diet cherry soda.  I may try another version this week.  I paired it with sugar free butter pecan ice cream.  I have to admit, the cake is just OK and the ice cream is just OK but when you pair them together, it’s not too bad.  Plus you get a pretty big piece of cake for only 150 calories.  Cake and ice cream is probably my favorite dessert so when I eat a diet version, I am never really satisfied with it serving as a substitute but it worked just fine. I hope you all have a fantastic week! Until next time!