Monday, September 29, 2014

Pasta Fake Out

Greetings y'all. I was up again a little this week so I'm making two changes.  First, I think I mentioned last week that I can't trust myself to have a whole cheat day and then get back on track the day after that.  I'm changing it to two cheat meals per week that I still count as calories but not as many as I normally would.  I'll try to spread these out so there's not a day that I over indulge completely.  I practiced a bit this weekend and I think it's going to be better.  You know me, I'm always trying to manipulate my diet.  By now, I know what works and what doesn't so I'm just trying to do what is right here.  This way, I still get a little wiggle room but not so much I want to puke at the end of the day.  Two, I've decided to stop weighing in weekly.  I'm someone's whose weight can fluctuate drastically from week to week and day to day.  I've gained 6 pounds in a day and lost 4 overnight before.  I need to focus on doing what is right and pay less attention to the number on the scale.  I'm still motivated, still pushing.

I want to give a birthday shout out to my mom! Her birthday is on Wednesday but we celebrated yesterday.  Sometimes you win on Pinterest and sometimes you lose.  It seems like when you lose though, you lose TERRIBLY.  I was trying to go for the checkerboard effect in the first picture but the cake broke apart and the top pieces started to slide and then the whole cake fell apart.  I was pretty devastated but luckily I was able to salvage some nice big hunks of cake and spread them out.  I still put candles all over them and it tasted good.  Oh well.  Have a good one, Mom!

A Pinterest recipe I had success with this week (pictured above) was a Paleo inspired ravioli.  I want to be clear that this recipe is not Paleo because it's got cream cheese and store bought sauce but the idea of using squash as ravioli is Paleo friendly.  I don't follow the Paleo diet but certainly respect some of the recipes.  I have to say that this is probably the best recipe I've ever made in terms of a pasta substitute dish.  All I did was use my slicer to slice up thin pieces of squash and cross hatch them.  I filled them with a ham and cream cheese mixture that I made.  Both the mixture and the squash were spiced with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.  You seal up the ravioli with a toothpick, spray a skillet with non-stick spray and cook them on medium until they are done or done they are is up to you.  It's a struggle to keep them together when you flip them and take out the toothpicks but I managed to do pretty well.  I took them out then topped them with some light Alfredo sauce.  Y'all, this was so good.  The best part is you can mix and match so many fillings and sauces for these.  My belly was full at the end and I was happy.

I also made yet another wonton recipe.  There will be more to come as I'm still plowing through all of them.  I'm obsessed with cream cheese/crab rangoon.  I love that stuff and it's so hard for me to resist.  So I used the same cream cheese I used for the ravioli and stuffed the wontons with those along with some garlic and onion powder and baked them up for a few minutes.  I didn't add crab because I was just trying to make a quick snack. These were so simple and a yummy and easy alternative to the deep fried recipes you get when you go out to eat. I was a little bad and dipped them in a bit of store bought yum yum sauce.  

Halloween is looming and while it's my favorite holiday, it's also the season of candy which can be pure torture on someone that's dieting.  I had a meeting this morning with a woman who had a bucket of candy on her desk and I just stared at the whole time contemplating getting one.  I didn't but it was hard.  There are candy alternatives though. First, I have been in love with Caramel Apple Pops from Tootsie Roll for years.  They last awhile because there's real caramel stuck to them, they are only 60 calories and they are delicious.  Also, I've discovered Ghiradelli miniatures.  I love the chocolate caramels that that they have.  This is just a smaller version and at 38 calories a piece, it's nice if you just have to have a bite of chocolate.  As always though, be careful with these types of things because they can add up quickly. 

My Dad, friends and I had an awesome time at the Alabama Brewfest this weekend. Picture above was stolen from my friend, Arianne. 

Bama was off but they play Ole Miss on Saturday.  

Roll Tide!

Good luck y'all and I'll have more next week!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Fill me up...

Greetings y'all! I hope Monday is treating you right! When I weighed on Saturday I was up 1.4 which I expected since I had a rough weekend prior to that. I ate too much last night but we were celebrating my Oma's birthday so it wasn't my fault.  Speaking of, I'd like to give a September birthday shout out to both my Oma and my brother's girlfriend, Lisa.  Once again, I feel bad for eating too much over the weekend. I took my cheat day to another level so I think after this week, I'm going to change my plan and have two cheat meals per week rather than a whole cheat day.  I cannot be trusted to cheat in moderation, y'all.  I wish I could but I just can't.  Having said that, I don't expect to lose this weekend.  My goal is to have a perfect week.  I had already planned a cheat day Friday so I will start my cheat meal plan next week.  Always struggling...

I brought the wontons back again y'all! I will say I've got one or two more things to try so they may find their way into the next couple blogs too.  This time, I made something a little "semi-homemade."  I enjoy the pre-made salads you can find in the produce section of most grocery stores. This one came from Wal-Mart and I know that's nobody's favorite place but the salads are fresh and convenient so I like them a lot.  All I did was crisp up some wontons and fill them with the salad that I mixed together.  I feel like Cher in Mermaids because I love appetizers and if you are throwing a party and you want a light snack for them to start with, these are perfect.  They are tasty, filling and only 40-50 calories a piece at the most.  Also, the process of popping these in the oven and filling them with whatever you like is SO SIMPLE.

It seems unlikely that I'll ever give up Diet Coke completely.  I love it and I'm a total addict.  However, most research shows that artificial sweeteners don't help you lose weight, add nasty chemicals to your body and in some cases make you gain weight.  The problem is I can't rid myself of all bad habits so I need the caffeine fix and don't plan on eliminating it.  However, that doesn't mean I can't take strides to cut back on the amount of Aspartame I ingest.  The sweet taste of Coca Cola is one that really can't be competed with...I just don't want to waste all the calories on drinking one.  I found these small cans that are only 90 calories.  They are a bit more expensive due to extreme cuteness I guess but 90 calories isn't bad when you're getting caffeine, real Coke and actual sugar instead of sweetener.  I can spare 90 calories from time to time.

Apparently I'm a fan of edible bowls and containers to keep food in.  I found these tortilla cups from Old El Paso.  They're cute, you can stuff anything in there and they are only 80 calories a piece.  This morning I made a non-attractive breakfast thing.  I put egg whites, tobasco and cheese.  It's not pretty but I made it quickly and the point is, it's another vessel to put food in that changes things up a bit.

I got to check something off my bucket list this weekend when we (my Mom, Dad and Cassandra) went to Atlanta to see Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood.  It was a whirlwind weekend full of traffic, tons of people, sleepiness and football but it was all worth it because Garth Brooks was phenomenal.  I loved every second of it!

Have a great week!

Roll Tide!

Monday, September 15, 2014

My Wonton Ways

Hey y'all! I'm gonna straight up tell you I didn't weigh last week.  I took a celebratory weekend off.  I'm not proud of it but I'm also not beating myself up. I had my last day of work on Friday so now I'm down to two jobs and while some of the emotions of leaving a job I've had for seven years were unexpected, I was still celebrating the change.  It was nice to not set an alarm this morning. I'm finding that I'm still busy and I think it will take me awhile to adjust to the schedule.  I ate poorly pretty much all weekend so I didn't want to have to answer to the schedule.  It may take a couple weeks to get it off but I'm back on today and I'll weigh this weekend to review the damage.  I think I'm going to have more time to exercise and I'm going to have more energy and both of those things will hopefully contribute to a metabolism boost that I desperately need.  

In addition to having more time to exercise, I'll also have more time to cook.  I am always on Pinterest so I was inspired by a few wonton recipes.  I wouldn't be surprised if they make an appearance again over the upcoming weeks because you get a boat load in a pack.  The cool thing about these wontons other than the fact that they are 20 calories a piece is that they serve as a nice vessel for pretty much anything you put inside them.  You can roll things in them in the shape of an egg roll, make ravioli with them and also make little cups using muffin tins.  All I do is bake them up for a few minutes in a muffin tin which makes them into a little cup.  I usually bake them at 350 and check them every few minutes.  They will burn if you turn your back for a second. You want them crispy and then once that happens, the possibilities of what you can put in them are endless!  Tip: Make sure to pray the heck out of these with cooking spray or you'll have to eat them directly from the pan that you use.

The first thing I did was make breakfast with them.  I crisped up the wontons then filled each cup with an egg white, ham and hot sauce combination.  I topped each one with a little piece of cheese. This took less than 10 minutes and it's something different and filling for breakfast.  The hot sauce added a nice little kick.

For snack time, I made mini mozzarella sticks.  I've made these before but wanted to show them again.  I made 4 of them for 130 calories by using 4 wontons and only one light string cheese. The string cheese breaks into four pieces nicely.  Just roll those puppies up, bake and enjoy.  You could definitely break out a couple tablespoons of marinara if you wanted to make them even more enjoyable.

When it came time for lunch, I kept going with the theme and made buffalo chicken wonton cups.  Again, I made some little cups and then filled them with a combination of shredded chicken (I know many people hate canned chicken so shred some yourself if you want), one tablespoon of light ranch, one slice of thin cheese and however much hot sauce you can handle.  It adds texture to an otherwise potentially boring dish.

My mother and I decided we should contact Guiness to see if I broke some sort of record from Saturday to Saturday for most concerts attended.  After Linkin Park last week, I saw Kings of Leon, Sister Hazel and Colbie Caillat in one week.  I also went to the football game with my Dad.  

I am going to see Garth Brooks this Friday but after that those kind of events are going to slow down a bit.  Football season is in full swing though and even though we are undefeated, the rest of the season is unclear.  We will see.  

Anyway, the pictures above are from all of the shenanigans.  I also included a picture of my desk from my last day at AFFLINK.  They unpacked the box I had prepared to take home with seven years worth of stuff and put it all on my desk.

Until next week, y'all!

Monday, September 8, 2014

On The Go

Hi y'all! I skipped last week because of Labor Day and whenever I do that it always feels like I haven't blogged in a million years.  I hope everyone has enjoyed the past couple weeks.  I have had so much going on and this week will be just as busy.  I am now in my very last week at AFFLINK.  I've been working there for seven years and on Friday, I will leave for the last time.  It's going to be such an interesting change.  I will be so much less busy than I have been and what's sad is I'll still be pretty dang busy.  I had two perfect weeks in a row.  When I weighed the first week, I was up .6 pounds and then when I weighed the second week, I was down that .6 pounds.  Essentially, I've stayed the same for awhile and up until yesterday, hadn't made any diet mistakes.  Once again, I'm frustrated.  I gave the scale a big kick across the room when I had gained and I won't lie...I teared up a little.  It's always a struggle but after the weight gain, I walked right out my apartment door and jogged four miles.  I'm not special or anything but it's hard living this same cycle every week.  I had a mishap last night but I'm back on track today.  I am anticipating some trouble starting Thursday because I'm having a going away party at work and then on Friday I'm going to see one of my idols (Colbie Caillat) in Birmingham.  I've decided to try not to over indulge too much this weekend but to also not beat myself up.  I want to celebrate this new chapter in my life.  Also, I have only had time to get one big run in a week.  Starting next week, I'll be able to exercise more which will mean I can eat a bit more.  I think that will be a metabolism boost that I need.  

I wanted to share the English Muffins that I found.  They are 160 calories.  They are Thomas brand, limited edition, Apple Pie flavor. I've been adding the Weight Watchers cream cheese to them.  They are delicious and they are gone now.  I'm hoping to get a couple more packs before they go away.  It was a nice change.

In addition to the English muffins, I've found a couple other quick snacks to share.  I know cooking is the best method but I'm not just kidding when I say I haven't had time.  I've been going hard on Pinterest though because I plan to start cooking much more in the coming weeks.  The problem is, I have about 15 minutes between class and tutoring in the evening and it's right in the middle of dinner time.  I've had no choice but to bring food with me.  The good news is, I've saved money by not eating out.  I know Lunchables are horrible for you because they are processed.  However, this little pack is low on calories and a nice snack.  I will say the Oscar Mayer one is my favorite because the meat and cheese taste legit and the peanuts make it a little more filling.  You'll spend a bit more on calories here though.

Over the past couple weeks, I've seen Umphrey's McGee in Tuscaloosa and traveled to Atlanta to watch Bama play West Virginia.  Ian went with me to the game and while we were there, we got to hang with his family and attend church where I could see Ian play drums on stage with his brother..  It was nice.  Then, this past weekend, my Dad, brother, Lisa and I drove all the way to Dallas to see 30 Seconds To Mars and Linkin Park.  It was an early 21st birthday present for my brother. The pictures above are from all of those adventures.

During this last hectic week, I'll be working like crazy but I've also got a lot of fun things to look forward to.  Concerts, food and I get to be around people that I love.  Life is pretty great.  I will say that I have a major complaint about blogger and Google.  I have had enormous trouble two years in a row trying to renew my domain name for this blog.  It is the most unfriendly and difficult process I've ever experienced and I still haven't been able to renew.  I've seriously considered quitting the posts because it's so ridiculous.  I've spent hours trying to figure it out.  I'm going to take to social media since they're also hard to get in touch with.  I'm pretty technically proficient.  I'm not genius but last year, I had to recruit a guy in the IT department to help me and he was having all kinds of trouble.  Hopefully I can get it resolved soon but it's urging me to make some changes.  That's my rant for the day.  Have a great week and ROLL TIDE!