Monday, April 27, 2015

Burned Bacon Edition

Hey everyone! I'd like to first wish my parents an early Happy Anniversary! On Friday they will have been married 33 years.  Kudos to them because that is a long time to live with anyone!

I also wanted to wish Jordan a happy early birthday! He turns 30 on Sunday and I'm so excited to celebrate with him all weekend! You are an amazing person and even better friend! I hope your weekend is perfect! 30 isn't so bad!

When I weighed this past weekend I was down .2 which essentially means I saw no change in my weight.  I found this unsurprising because I wasn't perfect the week before.  I was perfect all week until yesterday and things got a little slippery.  It wasn't too bad though.  I'm going to work hard to maintain the next few weeks but I don't see a whole lot of potential for losing weight.  I've got a concert on Thursday, Jordan's birthday weekend, Cinco de Mayo, a trip to Atlanta on Mother's Day weekend and my own birthday.  I just need to do my best not to go crazy and make sure that I mind my p's and q's when I can and keep exercising! May is always a tough month but I'd rather have to work off a few pounds than not have the fun times.

I have a tendency to burn turkey bacon.  I'm not sure why this is but I've convinced myself that I like it burned so when it happens it's no big deal.  I'm providing two recipes that my burned turkey bacon made complete.  Of course, if you decide not to burn your bacon, they'll still be good.  The first is a nice little appetizer.  All I did was take the bacon and make little guacamole sandwiches.  This would be a perfect, healthy treat for a cocktail party.  The combination of guacamole and bacon tastes great and I'm not sure there's an easier recipe.

The next recipe has to be one of my favorite things I have ever made.  It's slow carb friendly, easy and takes a typical recipe up a notch.  I made sriracha deviled eggs.  I cheated and bought eggs that were already hard boiled so that made the recipe even quicker but it's not hard to boil eggs.  I cut the eggs in half, gutted the yolk and combined it with low fat mayo, sriracha sauce, garlic powder and salt.  I stuffed the eggs with the mixture and crumbled up the bacon on top.  It gave the deviled eggs a kick and I loved it! I will most definitely make it again.

If you're like me, sometimes you're up after hours and hunger strikes.  If you have no food at home there are very few options out there that won't make you feel guilty in the morning.  Taco Bell is a place that I only crave after I leave the bars.  The problem is if you get what you want at Taco Bell, you might rack up over 1,000 calories before you're satisfied.  Taco Bell has taken strides to offer healthier options.  If you're on the slow carb diet you pretty much have to eat a taco salad (no rice or dairy) without eating the shell or order black or refried beans (again without any cheese).  If you allow yourself carbs, they also offer the fresco menu.  Having two tacos from that will make you feel way better about yourself in the morning than the quesadilla and potato combination I like to get.  Wendy's is also open late and has salad options.  If you are on a low or slow carb diet, the absolute best option at Wendy's is their chili.  It tastes pretty good, fits the diet and it's super filling.  Unfortunately, the one by my house is often out of chili late at night but hopefully your Wendy's is better.  Honestly, I get chili at a lot of lunch spots too.  It's a bit caloric but like I said it's a filling way to get protein and flavor.  I recommend the chili at both Jason's Deli, McAlister's and Newk's.  Finally, Hardees is open late at night and they have low carb burgers and sandwiches! This is great because you can eat a fast food burger and even though you may miss the bread, you get to enjoy the other elements.  The best option is to have food at home that you can prepare quickly so you spend less money and calories but trust me I get it, sometimes you have to have 4th meal.

Pictures and more recipes to come next week! Have a good one!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Summer is Coming

Hey y’all.  It’s my last week of teaching for the semester which means everything is a bit crazy right now.  The silver lining is that by the end of next week I will have all of my grading done and posted.  It’s just a matter of pressing through.  Then it will be summer time and I will have so much free time and I have a feeling I’m going to have a love/hate relationship with that time. When I weighed this week I had lost the 2 pounds I had gained from the couple of weekends around Easter that I ate too much so I was happy about that.  I went a bit rogue on Saturday and Sunday this week but I have done worse in the past.  I worked out so much that I was too lazy to go in yesterday but I kind of felt like my body needed a “do nothing” day because I haven’t had one in a while.  This week will be tough with the stress of trying to get everything done but I’m most concerned about the summer.  When I am just sitting around the house, all I want to do is eat.  Hopefully I will find other things to occupy my time.  Anyway, I want to have a couple perfect weeks where I eat right and don’t create loopholes and I exercise like crazy.

Since it’s almost summertime the produce section is looking a bit brighter.  Cucumbers are good because they are good for you and super low in calories because you are basically eating water.  They also serve as nice little vessels for food.  You could use the slices to make little sandwiches or you could make tiny boats out of them.  This recipe is super simple and perfect for a summer lunch.  If I’m going to have meat in a can, I much prefer it to be chicken but I had tuna so I used it.  All I did was mix tuna, light mayo and a bit of the guacamole dip to add a kick and another layer of flavor and spread it out among several slices of cucumber. It’s not much but it’s filling and flavorful.

I hate red tomatoes but I love fried green tomatoes.  Since I can’t batter and fry the tomatoes, I like to sauté them up in the skillet.  I spray the pan with Pam and add a lot of spice to the tomato and crisp them up in the pan.  I try to cut the slices as thin as possible.  Green tomatoes are available right now and I just like them because they are tart.  I also added some mushrooms and served them with a side salad. Again, it’s a nice light summer lunch.

Since it’s summer and I live in Alabama, it’s time to start thinking about shorts and swimsuits.  I don’t wear shorts because they have always ridden up but I’d love to find a pair that were made for more curvy girls.  Also, shopping for swimsuits is totally depressing and I’ve had the same one for about five years so I have to buy a new one to wear this summer.  I was informed of some shorts a couple weeks ago from Lane Bryant that are for working out and supposedly don’t ride up.  I’d love to try them but they are $50 so it may be awhile. I included the link to them below. If other people have suggestions on active wear for curvy ladies, I’d love to have them.  The heat in the south is unbearable during the summer months.  It would be nice not to have to wear pants.  I also included a link to swimsuitsforall which is a site with bathing suits for all shapes and sizes.  Some of them are cute which is hard to find.  Companies tend to not make cute bathing suits for bigger women.  I’d also love suggestions for swimwear.  I’ve gotten a few links but if someone else has ideas, I’d love to hear them.  I’ve also looked at Wal-Mart and Kohl’s who have a few lower priced suits that aren’t bad.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Wish me luck getting through the end of the semester.

Until next time...

Monday, April 13, 2015

Taco Night

Happy Monday y’all! I’ll jump right into things because I have grading and lesson planning up to my elbows.  I will start by saying the good news is I had a perfect diet week! I really to the term “cheat meal” to a whole new level last night because my mom made an amazing dinner but I stayed within my limits and I’m super proud of that.  I’m hoping to do a repeat this week.  I weighed this weekend and even though I had two bad weekends in a row, I was up less than two pounds.  My goal is to get those off this week.  I have to say, I’ve been really going at it in the gym.  I worked out 6 days last week and each day was between an hour and a half and two hours.  I’m not trying to brag.  My only point is that it isn’t all about food.  I have to work extremely hard not to gain weight.  It’s a frustrating and never ending fight but I’m still in it. 

I will cook for Ian sometimes but he’s an incredibly picky eater so it’s hard to make food acceptable for both of us.  I usually make what I’m going to make and add to his to make it tolerable for him. (I’m super nice.)  A couple weeks ago we had “taco night.”  I made it with ground chicken which shaves off fat and calories off the jump.  I made a nice pile of meat, refried beans, lettuce, salsa, onion, olives and a guacamole dip for my taco salad.  First, the guacamole dip is just OK.  I love guacamole but its shelf life is incredibly low and I’m the only one eating it so I tried the dip.  I’m sure it’s full of processed crap because it has a far off expiration date so I’m probably not even supposed to eat it but it added a nice little kick.  It’s not my favorite thing ever and I probably won’t buy it again but I’ll find uses for it.  When Ian fixed his plate (also pictured), he had tortillas, shredded cheese, queso and chips to choose from so he was happy.  Taco night is so simple and quick and you can make it healthy or you can fatten it up a bit to make other people you’re cooking for happy too.

In a round 2 recipe fashion, I used the leftover chicken for breakfast the next morning.  I fried up a couple eggs and served it on the side.  I topped it with salsa and it made for a nice, “brunchy” dish. 

Finally, I was at the end of my groceries again the other day and it was one of those “throw anything I can find in a skillet” recipes.  I just added some green beans, onion and turkey sausage.  I spiced it up nicely and had a filling, hearty lunch for under 400 calories.  Y’all need to look in your cabinets before you proclaim you “have no food” because you can pretty much put anything in a skillet with spices and call it dinner.

That's all I have this week.  The semester is winding down so for the next couple of weeks it will get worse before it gets better.

A-Day is this weekend so we get a bit of a taste of football season in the spring and that's always fun.

Roll Tide!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Keep Rollin'

Hey y’all.  I hope you had a wonderful Easter with your family! I had some kind of diet break down starting on Friday and it spiraled out of control over the course of the entire weekend.  Having said that, I decided not to weigh.  I didn’t want to own up to my bad behavior and didn’t need the negativity.  The temptation of wedding food and Easter treats was more than I was able to juggle.  Having said that, I’m not too discouraged.  I’ve certainly had worse binge-eating weekends and I exercised like crazy.  Also, I’m back at it today and my goal is to have one perfect week and see what the scale says this weekend.  Luckily there are no weddings or holidays for at least a few weeks.

I have to say that stuffing a mixture of yummy ingredients into a giant lettuce leaf and rolling it up is now one of my favorite past times.  I call this recipe “Italian Lettuce Roll-Ups.”  I took ground turkey sausage, onion, sun-dried tomato, mushroom, artichokes, olives and pepperoni.  I sauted all of it together and filled up a big piece of lettuce with it.  I used hummus as the base on the lettuce to add another layer of flavor. It had a nice pizza vibe to it.  It was super filling and delicious.  Also, and this is the best part, it’s so easy to make.

I eat a lot of broccoli so sometimes it helps to jazz it up.  I made some grilled chicken last week and as a side, I made a broccoli/mushroom side dish.  All I did was use non-stick spray to heat up some broccoli and mushrooms in a skillet.  I added some wine to give it more flavor and I have to say it was delicious.  I then poured some of that wine and enjoyed a glass with my dinner.  The combination of wine and mushrooms adds a more meaty flavor to your veggies.  This convinces your mind that you are full.  I will definitely make this again.

I think I mentioned a few weeks ago that I went to Tennessee and my Aunt Phyllis gave me some homemade strawberry preserves.  These aren’t slow carb but they are fresh and organic and totally delicious.  I allow myself a few servings of non-slow carb foods every week so I have been sneaking some of this in as a treat pretty frequently.  The taste of strawberry just explodes in my mouth.

Even though I’m having a bit of guilt about the food I ate, I had a great weekend.  I dyed eggs and enjoyed Easter and also had fun at Jordan’s sister’s wedding on Saturday. Wish me luck y'all! Until next week...