Monday, December 28, 2015

Wrapping Up 2015


Well, this is the last post of 2015 and while I don't have any recipes to share or any good news on the scale front, I am optimistic for 2016 and proud of the things I've accomplished this year.  It's a slow process but I am starting to realize that life doesn't begin and end with a number on a scale. I think I want to shift my focus from worrying so much about surface issues and learn how to appreciate who I am in the next year.  I know it sounds cheesy but I do believe that caring more about myself on a deeper level will help me in my weight loss journey by proxy.  So, even though it's cliche to reflect at the end of the year, it's what I'm doing.  I hope 2015 was good for everyone and if it wasn't, cheers to a better 2016.

I would like to give my brother a birthday shout out.  He is turning 22 on Wednesday and he is so very special to me! Happy Birthday, David!




This Christmas was filled with fun and family. I am beyond appreciate of the gifts and help I have received.  I am so unbelievably fortunate and I realize that now more than ever.  I hope you all have a fun, safe time ringing in the new year.  I will be watching Alabama football in the playoffs and starting 2016 with my my oldest dog bestie, Coco.  I am dog sitting and actually looking forward to a quiet NYE.

Best wishes and ROLL TIDE, y'all!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Happy Holidays Y'all!


Hi everyone! I hope you all get a chance to rest, relax and enjoy family and friends this week.  I am still steering clear of the scale but I'm counting calories today and I actually have a recipe to share.





Since it's winter time and since soups are easy, flavorful and often low in calories, I tend to make them quite a bit.  I made a chicken tortellini soup.  I love using store-bought rotisserie chickens for recipes. I tend to use them for a lot of recipes.  They are easy to shred, already cooked for you and they are packed with taste which adds another layer of flavor for your dish.  Remove the skin and then use all the white meat.  I also used frozen, cheese filled tortellini. The use of these two "cheats" made this soup extremely easy.  Use a bit of oil to saut√© carrots, celery and onion.  Add garlic.  Add 4-1/2 cups of chicken broth and bring to a boil.   After you do that, add the chicken and tortellini and let that pot simmer until everything is cooked through.  I served with salad and cheese toast.  Those sides packed on some calories but the soup alone is less than a couple hundred calories a cup depending on how many tortellinis you eat.  It's a nice spin on traditional chicken noodle soup and the cheese and tortellini makes it even more hearty and filling.  It was a nice winter meal.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Safe travels...

Until next time...

Monday, December 14, 2015

I'm Going To Snap!


The truth is, I think I've already snapped.  I haven't weighed in a few weeks and even though my exercise game is strong, my mentality when it comes to food is not.  I have good moments and bad moments but I have most definitely slipped into my holiday slump where I try desperately each day not to do the typical, "I'll just wait until January" diet.  The holidays are hard because Christmas celebrations pop up all over the place and I'm not a "say no" kind of gal.  Sometimes, it's worth it though. For instance, I went with friends to Texas de Brazil (a Brazilian steakhouse) on Saturday and it was absolutely delicious.  I had another party with different friends yesterday and I can't turn down a mimosa.  I will figure it out and I'm determined to find the motivation I had for so long again.


One of my goals is to replace my need to eat with other things.  I know the print on this list is small but it's 100 things to do instead of eat so here is the link as well: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/avoid-mindless-eating.  It includes activities like shopping, getting a massage and meditating. Sadly, all of these ideas cost money.  Shopping actually works well for me as a hunger mitigator but it's not something I can always do.  I also like the free ideas on this list like wash your car, take a bath and organize your photos.  I have found that my best diet moments in the past couple weeks is when I've been busy for hours doing stuff around the new house.  Keeping busy is the best way to stay away from the pantry.


One of my most favorite holiday treats are the gingersnaps from World Market.  They are perfect, crispy and somehow moist as well.  I am convinced they are laced with some type of drug.  The best part about them is that if you can stop at one or two, they are only 20 calories a piece.


Ian and I put up our first tree.  It's quite crooked and the ornaments and lights could be more evenly distributed but I kind of like its imperfections.

Have a good week everyone and good luck out there!


Monday, December 7, 2015

Tired

Hi everyone! I am exhausted.  I moved into a new house.  Moving is always difficult, especially when the change comes with such heavy emotions.  I'm excited about the future but still feel bits of my apartment with Cassandra life pulling at me so there are a lot of mixed emotions.  Having said that, I have been working like crazy to get the place looking more like a home rather than a mess.  I worked all day.  I didn't weigh again this weekend because I'm scared of the results.  The good news is that I counted today for the first time in awhile and it felt good.  I will weigh at some point but my primary goal this week is to stay on the right path until I have a Christmas dinner with friends at Texas De Brazil on Saturday.


I haven't had time to cook but I wanted to show you my "dinner" tonight.  I burned so many calories today and stayed so busy that I had a boat load of calories left before I climbed in bed tonight.  What did I do? Made my own little cheese tray.  I am obsessed with cheese and crackers so it was a special treat.  I used sesame seed Lavash crackers and smoked gouda and shaved parmesan from Fresh Market.  It was a nice big plate and it was quite the luxury.


I also wanted to share something that isn't friendly for those that eat clean but I found myself loving them.  I tried cinnamon sugar Pringles.  The combination of salty and sweet is great! Plus, they aren't too caloric.  I am such a snacker and since I know that's more than likely never going to change, I make sure to always have snacks on deck.

Hopefully I'll make time to cook soon but after my $300 Wal-Mart trip today, I'm in no mood to do more shopping.

I want to give a HUGE shout out to everyone that has been so supportive during this move.  I want to especially thank my family who have spoiled me beyond anything I could have imagined.  The physical labor, the financial help and just being there made this very difficult move a bit less stressful.

Also, a huge ROLL TIDE as Bama won yet another SEC Championship when they defeated Florida.

Until next week!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Bad Turkey



Hey y'all.  I have no weights or recipes or updates to share.  I will just share a picture of my Mom's Thanksgiving table and a picture of the stadium because Bama beat Auburn and they are headed to the SEC Championship this weekend.

I have nothing to share because it's the last couple weeks of school, I'm trying to pack and get ready to move and oh, I have been in a shame spiral since Thanksgiving day.  I didn't want to look on the scale.  I'm disappointed with myself but worked out and sticking to the diet today.  One day at a time I guess, especially during the holidays.  I'll do my best to keep you in the loop and cook something in the next week or two but I'm not making any promises.  The new year will hold better blogs.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy Thanksbolognese!


Hey y'all.  First, let me go ahead and say Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! I hope you get some time to rest and enjoy your families and friends.  I was up almost half a pound when I weighed Saturday which sadly made me happy since I ate too much last weekend.  I doubt I'll be so lucky when I weigh at the end of this week considering Thanksgiving and all.  I have been pretty hard on myself mentally about the food I've been eating on the weekends but haven't been motivated to change.  I am going to do my best to struggle through the holidays without gaining too much but it's always a challenge.






Once again, I took to the crockpot for a recipe.  This time it was Bolognese sauce and I think it has been my favorite so far.  The good thing was that I could easily serve mine with zucchini noodles and whip up "real" noodles for Ian.  The other great thing was that it wasn't all that expensive and I was able to serve four people and had a ton of leftovers to last through the week. All I did was saut√© some veggies (I believe it's called the trinity with onion, celery and carrots) with turkey bacon (you could also use pancetta), add lean ground beef (that you drain), crushed tomatoes (that you add to the top of the meat mixture in the crockpot), spices etc and pop it in the crockpot.  6 hours later, you have rich, flavorful bolognese.  It was so easy and quite delicious.  Ian liked it and he didn't seem bothered at all by the veggies.

Alabama has to win Saturday against Auburn and win the SEC championship game before they officially bounce back from their one loss to Ole Miss.  I am glad football season is winding down.  Even though I love it, there's far too much temptation involved. So, Roll Tide everyone! Until next time...




Monday, November 16, 2015

I got some eggsplainin' to do...

Happy Monday everyone! We are inching closer and closer to the holidays which means it's going to be more and more difficult to "be good."  As for me, as much as I love football, this season has been way harder than any holiday challenges I've had in the past.  I had a perfect week until Friday.  I weighed Friday morning and I was up over 2 pounds.  Even though I had eaten perfectly for 11 and a half straight days (but who's counting) I was up. I kind of expected it though because the week before I had some type of stomach virus or something that caused me to lose weight.  I figured it would balance out.  I had an unexpected trip to Nashville on Friday though and I won't even talk about my behavior Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  It was a hot mess.  I am back in business today and decided not to dwell on it because it never does any good.





I am someone who ALWAYS eats breakfast.  I'm usually hungry as soon as I wake up so I rarely skip it.  I love an Egg White Delight from McDonald's.  Usually though I don't have time to stop and get one.  Well, I found a cheaper, better tasting, quick solution.  I have to give Pinterest credit for this one. All you do is take a muffin tin and spray it with non-stick spray.  The oven should be pre-heated to 350.  Crack an egg in each cup, pop it in the oven and about 15 minutes later, you get a round egg, ready for an English muffin.  I also added some salt and pepper before they went in.  I put them in a plastic container and saved them all week so I could throw together an egg, Canadian bacon and cheese breakfast sandwich on a light Enligh muffin.  It couldn't be easier.  It was also more filling than the McDonald's version, better tasting and of course cheaper.  I highly recommend it!




As I mentioned, I went to Nashville Friday night with my brother and a couple of his friends.  My Dad was supposed to go but was sick and in the hospital last week.  He's OK now but gave us a bit of a scare so he needed to rest.  I hate the circumstances that allowed me to go but I am glad I was able to because I had a great time with my brother.  We rarely get to hang out like that and the fact that it was Nashville made it even better.  It is also such a blessing to know we went to the concert without fear of terrorist attack.  I hope and pray for anyone around the world who has to live in fear.

We have one more home game in T-Town and then it's Iron Bowl time.

Roll Tide!

Have an awesome week everyone!

Until next time...





Monday, November 9, 2015

Zippity Zoodle


Hey y'all! Roll Tide! Also, shout out to ALL vets out there! Happy Early Veterans Day. Thank you as always for your service. I had a fantastic weekend. Alabama dominated and I just had a fun, relaxing weekend all around. I am pleased to admit I had my first perfect dieting week in awhile. I even took sandwiches to tailgate so I had a small sandwich before and after the game. It allowed some wiggle room in the drink/snack department but I never went over. It felt amazing to do the right thing. It also showed on the scale. Sadly the number I got when I weighed Saturday is probably skewed because I either had a touch of a stomach virus this week or I got a little bit of food poisoning from something I ate (possibly the soup I'm about to show you...but YOLO, right?) I was down almost 5 pounds which is a lot so if I go up this week, I'll know it's because I'm balancing out from being sick to my stomach for 4 or 5 days in a row and not because I did something wrong. Here's hoping I carry the "being good" trend into this week. I'd like to get down a few more before Thanksgiving. The important thing is, I felt kinda pretty on Saturday for the first time in weeks and I could definitely use more of that feeling.








This past week I made Italian Meatball Zoodle Soup. This was another crock pot recipe. The base of the soup is pretty much beef stock and veggies. It included zucchini (in which I made into "zoodles"), celery, onion, carrot and tomato. You pile all of the veggies in with 32 ounces of beef stock (add some garlic salt) and turn the crock pot onto low then cover it. After that's done, get a bowl out, mix together 1-1/2 pounds of lean ground meat with six cloves of garlic, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, 1 egg, parsley, sea salt, onion powder, Italian seasoning, oregano and black pepper. Heat a skillet on low to medium that you've sprayed with non-stick spray, turn the beef mixture into small meatballs and heat them in the skillet for a few minutes, browning them on the outside. Drain the fat. They don't have to be cooked all the way because once you've done that, toss them in the crockpot and let that thing go for 5-1/2-6 hours.


So, I'm one of those people that operates MUCH better with a recipe. In this recipe, it didn't tell me to drain the fat from the meatballs...so I didn't. I did consider it because my instinct told me to do so but it wasn't in the recipe so I left it out. Even though I used very lean meat, I think the grease in the soup is what made me sick. I also ate it several times in a row. Ian had one bowl but I think that was only because he wanted to make me happy. There were 12 servings in the pot and for one person, it's just too much. I detest wasting food so I kept trying to eat it and eat it which kept the ball rolling on the sick stomach thing. It tasted delicious. My only complaint was that I think the broth was a little too salty. Coming from me that says a lot because I'm a salt person but if I made it again, I'd get low sodium broth. I ended up chunking the rest of it away yesterday which made me feel horrible because I feel like I'm throwing away money but it looked gross. The fat had separated so I got rid of it. I didn't want to be sick anymore. What's funny about me is that thrown away food will haunt me for awhile. So, if you decide to make it (it's good, I promise), drain fat from the meatballs and use low sodium broth. You can use whatever veggies you want.




I have to give Ian a shout out this week. He looks at my Pinterest boards sometimes for ideas and ways to surprise me. He saw something I had pinned, collaborated with his mom, she made it and he went to pick it up yesterday. It was this gorgeous, purple mirror. I didn't even do anything to deserve a present, haha but I guess those are the best kind.


Alabama is playing away this weekend so I'm going to stay away from all tempting tailgate fare. Here's to them beating Mississippi State!


Roll Tide!


Until next time...







Monday, November 2, 2015

The Not Really Marsala Chicken Marsala

Hey y'all. Sorry for the late post.  It's Monday, Fall Break is over and I'm so busy I don't know where to start.  So, I'll keep it simple, I didn't weigh, back on today, Halloween was fun, dieting is not fun and Roll Tide because Bame plays LSU this weekend.





I'm in a crock pot mode right now so don't be surprised if you see multiple crock recipes in the future.  I love how easy it is to toss everything in one pot, let it go then come back to tender, flavorful meat and a full dinner.  This is crock pot chicken marsala.  I opted to use chicken stock instead of white wine because it's cheaper and lower in calories. I'm happy with the decision.  One chicken breast with the mushroom sauce is 225 calories.  I had enough calories to have two pieces of chicken with sauce and these little potato cakes I whip up in no time.  The recipe is simple, put chicken in the bottom of the crock pot, add the broth, mushrooms and garlic.  Once it's been in on low about 5 hours, remove the chicken, stir up some corn starch and water, add that to the sauce and then replace the chicken.  Let it go on high for about another 20-30 minutes and you're done.

I hope to be less busy next week but I doubt it!

Until next time...here's a picture of Ian and I as a bull and matador...






Monday, October 26, 2015

What a crock...

Hey y'all.  I'm super bummed about weight after the weekend.  I was punished for eating Mexican food the night before a weigh in both physically and mentally.  It showed I was up 2 pounds.  I had a couple weeks where I felt optimistic for the first time in awhile then I let it slip away again, only to spiral out of control over the weekend.  At least I'm consistent.  I have decided to do the best I can with the first half of the week, enjoy my Fall Break and Halloween and refocus.  I am not letting anything get me down this week as I have dubbed it the "best week ever."  I have to work pretty hard today and tomorrow but then it's smooth sailing starting Wednesday.  No class and limited grading.  I mean I can't really take a half a week off FOR REAL but doing less work this week is a much needed reprieve.  I am going to see Third Eye Blind at Iron City on Wednesday, I think I'm going to the fair to blow some money on Thursday and Halloween is Saturday! Halloween is by far my favorite holiday so even though I'm softer in the belly area and weigh more on the scale than I have in years, I'm pushing it to the back burner this week to have fun.










I have been wanting a crock pot for a long time now.  I finally got one and I made my first dish in it last week.  The morning of didn't go well as I dropped the metal base of the crockpot denting it then managed to get chicken juice all over the floor and my body but things started looking up once the recipe was in there and the lid was on.  All I did was place three large chicken breasts in the pot then covered it with a mixture of barbecue sauce, brown sugar, light Italian dressing, salt and W sauce.  Then, you put it on high and let it go for 3-4 hours.  Since the breasts were big, I let them stay in for about 3-1/2 hours.  I was skeptical at first.  I thought the chicken would turn out dry or burn at the bottom but despite my anxiousness, I let them sit in there the entire time without touching them.  When I  opened the pot, I was happy to see nothing looked like it had done array. I took two forks and started shredding.  Much to my delight, the meat started tearing apart immediately.  I didn't have to put hardly any pressure when running the fork through them and they shredded right up.  It didn't take long before I had a whole pot of pulled barbecue chicken.  I absolutely loved it.  Ian wasn't crazy about it.  I am someone who likes barbecue all across the spectrum.  I like vinegar barbecue sauce and I like it really sweet.  If you don't like sweet barbecue sauce, you won't like this recipe.  You could probably make some adjustments to make it less sweet.  Me on the other hand, I really like it.  I split it up into 8 servings which were about 240 calories per serving which isn't the best but I was able to eat 8 meals off of it and not break the calorie bank.  I had a sandwich, a burrito, a salad, I ate it by itself once and I even had it with shredded hash browns for breakfast one morning.  I will be going back to the crock pot a lot more because it's a great way to get a big pot of food to split up for the week.



If there are any "real" beer drinkers out there, what I'm showing you now will make them cringe.  I am someone who loves craft beer but I am also someone who realizes how many calories come in one of those things and I have to find alternatives, otherwise my already fragile diet existence will be even more in danger.  I like apple juice but I find that most of the popular ciders are too sugary sweet.  While in Publix, I stumbled upon Michelob Ultra's new light apple cider.  They are 120 calories a piece and have a smooth, crisp taste.  You aren't going to earn any street cred drinking these.  In fact, I anticipate that if any of my people are out there reading this, the chances of me taking a little ribbing for drinking these are pretty strong but I don't care.  I like them because they aren't too strong but strong enough to unwind and they don't make you feel guilty.  Heck, even if I went crazy and had a 6 pack, it would be much better than letting loose on 5 or 6 craft beers.  Go ahead, try them at home.  I won't tell anyone.  Bama is off this week and I think we both need a break.  Until next time, y'all...Happy Halloween!