Monday, July 27, 2015

Summertime Blues

Hey y'all.  I'm back from the beautiful state of Colorado and even though I'm certain that I am heavier than I was before I left, I am feeling a bit more confident about the future.  As I sat at the Cheyenne Frontier Days, totally destroying a turkey leg, I knew that it was time to get back to business.  I decided to give myself a few weeks before I weigh again.  I put far too much stock in the number on the scale so I want to give myself a jump start.  I did pretty well this weekend when I got back and I am going full throttle this week.  I am going to Nashville over the weekend so I will have some loose rules then but my goal is to stop letting it all fall apart just because I leave the county or have a bad day.  I am in the search for motivation I once had but that doesn't mean I need to give up in the process.  I started a new running schedule for myself today and I plan on amping up the exercise.  As I have said many times before: one day at a time.

Since it's summer and it's disgustingly hot outside, I wanted to share a quick idea for a cool treat.  If you buy small sugar cones at the grocery store, you are getting a bargain on money and calories. You get a ton of these guys and depending on brand, you're looking at 20-30 calories a pop.  That is not bad.  You could put ice cream in there but to save even more calories, I mixed together some lite cool whip that I had in the freezer with some berries and a few chocolate chips.  The whole dessert was less than 150 calories.  If you only put Cool Whip in there you could keep it under 100. It's no substitute for a giant cone from Cold Stone but the little bites of chocolate keep you happy.  Also, it's super easy.

There are some people out there who are grossed out by Hardee's and all their crazy recipes.  Me, however, I like the looks of them.  I'm also intrigued by things like a hot dog stuffed crust on a pizza so maybe you shouldn't trust my taste buds.  When I saw the advertisement for the Hardee's American Thick Burger that is not only huge but topped with hot dogs and potato chips, I salivated.  I still haven't had one because even though I haven't been the greatest dieter lately, even I can't justify a burger that is 1,030 calories.  I decided to make my own version.  I took an all beef patty, one thin slice of swiss and one thin slice of cheddar, a few potato chips, ketchup, mustard, lite mayo and one 50 calorie turkey dog and piled it together on a whole wheat bun for the Heather Wyatt style American Thick Burger.  My burger saves you almost 500 calories and trust me when I tell you it was delicious.  Even if you're skeptical of turkey hot dogs, you'll be fine mixing it with the rest of the ingredients.  It was a lot of calories for my normal lunch amount but it was very filling and totally delicious.  Also, it totally clinched my thirst for the real thing at Hardee's.

 I pasted a few of the Colorado pictures below.

We had an amazing trip out west.  I want to extend a HUGE shout out to my Dad and my Mom for their generosity.  I could have never gone without them so as always, thanks for your help.  It was a blast.

I hope everyone has a great week!

Until next week...BYE!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Cucumbers & Colorado

Hey y'all.  There will be no post next week because I will be in Denver with my parents.  I'm sure I'll have lots of pictures to share when I get back.  I'm looking forward to it.  I was up a bit on the scale this week.  I realized the scary part of all of this isn't the number on the scale, it's my attitude.  I'm having a hard time caring about any of it.  I went to the gym this morning and I've got all this exercise planned that I'm sure I'll do but I have zero confidence in my body or my ability to lose weight.  Super inspiring stuff, huh?  The good news is, I really do feel like I'll figure this slump out.  It just may not go according to the rigid timelines I implement for myself.

As I mentioned last week my Grandma provided some fresh produce on my trip to Chattanooga.  In addition to the mounds of squash I received, I also got a fair amount of cucumbers.  The first thing I did was go the simple, traditional route and chopped them up in a fry shape to dip it in hummus.  It's an easy, filling snack.  It's nothing new but it was the first thing I made with my cucumber collection.

I took some of them and made a couple cucumber boats.  I stuffed them with low fat French onion dip and Swiss cheese.  It's funny how just altering the shape of a vegetable makes it more interesting. I was running low on groceries but you can fill up your cucumber boat with pretty much anything.

I also used the dip and Swiss and added some deli meat to make some mini sandwiches.  I rekindled a love for Swiss cheese.  It paired nicely with the cucumbers.  Don't let Pinterest fool you though, cucumbers are NO substitute for bread.  It did make for a nice snack though.

My favorite recipe was a bit more labor intensive than I would have liked but by far the most delicious.  All I did was use my fancy tool that makes vegetables super thin and topped the slices with spices, hummus, pepperoni and olives.  I rolled them up, popped a toothpick in them and enjoyed.  They were the perfect little bites, full of flavor.  It took me way more time to make them than it took to eat them but that's the case with most food that I eat.  Still, I recommend them because they were yummy.

I'd like to give a shout out to my very good friend David Earp.  He's in the hospital facing scary tests, numbers and a haze of insecurity.  I love you David and I hope you feel better instantly!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Until next week...


Monday, July 6, 2015

Squash It

Happy Monday y'all! I'm happy to report that despite my best efforts to each too much last week, I stayed the same weight.  I'm guessing it had to do with the constant rigorous exercise.  I'm going to Colorado in two weeks so I desperately want to drop at least a couple pounds before then so I can gain it all back with what I'm sure will be a vacation binge frenzy as always.  I'm still feeling low about my diet woes.  My mental status regarding my body and food intake is shaky at best, breakdown level at worst.  Still, I march on.  I will say that since it was a holiday weekend and my Dad's birthday, my overall analysis of my caloric intake is "it could've been worse."  I will take that.  As for today, it's been hard to stay motivated but so far, so good.

When I took a trip to Chattanooga a few weeks ago, my Grandmother loaded me up with both fresh and canned squash from her garden so I immediately whipped it up in several different ways because it is one of my favorite carby veggies.  Sure, it's no broccoli but it has fiber, it's low in calories and it's a perfect vessel for flavor.  The first recipe was simple but it might have been my favorite.  All I did was spray a pan with Pam, add slices of squash, added salt, pepper, a little parmesan and some more spray and popped it under a broiler. The bit of cheese made it crispy and flavorful and it went great with my burger that I make all the time.  It took about five minutes so you can't complain about that either.

I used the canned squash to make something I had never tried before...a squash casserole.  Casseroles are often high in calories so I went on the hunt for something I could eat and not feel guilty about.  I ended up with a recipe that used non-fat Greek yogurt, the heart healthy cream of mushroom soup and boxes Stovetop stuffing.  It couldn't have been easier.  All I did was sauté the onions and squash for a bit, mixed them with the cream of mushroom and yogurt, folded in a bit of stuffing, threw it in a dish and added the rest of the stuffing to the top.  I baked it and when it was done, it was all bubbly and ready to eat at about 122 calories for roughly a half a cup.  I ended up eating a huge portion because I was basically eating it for my dinner.  The first servings were great because they were straight out of the oven.  The light ingredients didn't leave an aftertaste and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  The leftovers weren't as good. The stuffing got mushy and the entire thing became a little dense and gummy.  I would say it's an awesome recipe for someone trying to cut calorie corners around Thanksgiving but next time, if I'm just cooking for myself, I'd cut the recipe in half so I didn't have to eat leftovers.

Finally, I threw together what I called Pizza Boats.  I used the rest of the fresh squash I had, cut them in half and scooped out the insides.  I added salt, pepper and garlic and broiled them on a sprayed pan for a few minutes. I pulled them out of the oven then stuffed them with a mixture of chicken, turkey pepperoni, pizza sauce and low fat mozzarella cheese.  I baked them for a few more minutes and boom, they were ready.  I got to have a ton of flavorful food with this recipe and I would definitely make it again.

Ian and I had a date night a couple weekends ago and had sushi.  It's something I've grown to love over the past couple years.  Of course, I tend to love ones that have fried shrimp, or tempura rice or cream cheese so they aren't exactly healthy but I actually crave sushi now which I never thought would happen.  Ian even liked it and he is VERY picky.  My goal is to try and find more sushi I like that is a bit less caloric. Have a great week, y'all!