Monday, August 31, 2015

Spice Up Your Life

Happy Game Week Y'all! Football is back and Bama is facing off Wisconsin on Saturday in Dallas.  Even though I'm scared to face another football season and deal with tailgating food and drink head on, I'm so happy to watch another season of Crimson Tide football.  So, Roll Tide Y'all! I weighed Saturday for the first time in over a month.  The good news is I was almost the exact same weight as a month before so I haven't gained weight.  The bad news is, I have a lot of work to do so I need to get my mind right.  One thing I noticed that amazed me as I was looking at my weight tracker is that from the end of April this year to the end of June, I managed to gain 11 pounds.  That is just so crazy to me.  I can pack it on! I was lazy and ate too much yesterday but other than that, I had a pretty good week.  I am going to start weighing weekly again and hopefully I will start seeing some positive results.  I would love to lose around 20 pounds before Christmas.  It won't be easy, especially since I chose the holiday portion of the year but I'm going to do my best.  Right now, my biggest concern is staying strong and motivated every day.

My mom is doing an amazing job right now with her health and looks great! She has a renewed energy that I wish would rub off on me.  She told me about this ranch made from Greek yogurt.  It's from Bolthouse Farms and two tablespoons only costs you 45 calories. They also have a Blue Cheese version.  I'm a ranch snob so I didn't love it as much as my mom but it worked really well in the bacon, chicken ranch salad sandwich I made.  The combination of flavors masked any "diet" taste and it was quite tasty.  It's a good dressing to have on hand because as people who diet, we know that the battle with dressings is probably the hardest one.

One other thing that I'm super excited about is my new purchase of Flavor God seasonings. I haven't used them much because they are new but I plan on getting a ton of use out of them in the near future.  I had heard nothing but positive things from a woman that I know about them.  They have no chemicals in them, they are gluten free, exploding with flavor and have a long shelf life.  They are also 5 ounces, which is bigger than your normal spices. They are expensive but I feel like they are an investment.  I splurged and got the combo pack which included: Everything, Everything Spicy, Garlic Lovers, Lemon & Garlic, Pizza and Chipotle.  I added some of the Pizza to my eggs the other day and it was delicious.  Adding flavor to your food is so important to the dieting process.  I look forward to sharing recipes with you that I've used my new seasonings on. Until next week y'all...

Monday, August 24, 2015

"And a little bit of chicken fried..."

Hey everyone.  I'm super mopey about my diet performance last week.  I lost it completely mid-week and I'm not sure why.  I plan on behaving well this week and weighing on Saturday morning.  I haven't weighed in a long time and even though I don't really want to, I'm ready to see the number.  As usual, I work hard with exercise but it's not enough if I am not "perfect" with the food I eat.  I will just have to see where I am this weekend but until then, I will just get this post over with for the day.

I still have some canned squash from my Grandma and so I prepared it with some broccoli last week. Roasting vegetables isn't anything new or inventive but I think it's the best way to make a quick side. I didn't use any oil or butter.  I sprayed the pan with non-stick spray, used a ton of spices and then put a think layer of low-fat mozzarella cheese over the top.  Of course the cheese adds some calories but the flavor it gives the vegetables makes the extra calories totally worth it.  Plus, I found the yellow and green combined with the red from the spices made a pretty little summer side dish.

The other recipe I made did require a bit of oil but they could be baked.  I went with a bit more fat with the nuts and oil because I served it with veggies and it made the chicken tenders taste delicious, almost like you bought the breaded and deep fried kind from a restaurant. All I did was take the tenders, drop them in Egg Beaters and then I drug them through a combination of crushed cashews and smoky almonds.  I didn't cover them completely but it was just enough to give them great flavor and make them super filling.  Ian really enjoyed these as well.

School is in full swing so I'm hoping that gets my routine into place which always makes dieting easier.  I had a great weekend as my friend Arianne came into town and I was able to see the Alabama Shakes with my Dad and my friends, Nish and Elliott.  I also went to lunch at my Grandma's house in Chattanooga yesterday.  Come to think of it, I think I see why I let my diet go this week.

Until next time...

Monday, August 17, 2015

A Little Shrimp

Hi everyone! I hope Monday is treating you well.  Other than my scheduled cheat sessions this weekend, I've done well and I'm feeling motivated.  My goal is to have two perfect weeks before I weigh in on August 29th.  I think I can do it.

Last week Ian and I went to collect on a gift card from Applebee's that we've had for awhile.  I haven't always been crazy about Applebee's but to give them credit, they've been in the health food game for awhile.  Not only do they offer several healthy dishes, they tell you how many calories and Weight Watchers points they have.  I was running severely low on calories and decided to try the Thai Shrimp Salad they have for 390 calories.  I am so glad that I did.  I highly recommend it! It's got lots of crunch and flavor.  It has a bit of spice and sweetness.  It's got edamame, crispy strips and of course, shrimp.  Now that I know about it, I'm going to be sure to head back there occasionally to get it.

Having the shrimp salad got me in the mood to not only make shrimp at home but make use of some aging groceries around the house.  I took some Rice Krispies and toasted coconut, added some chili powder and smashed it together to make a "breading."  Before I put the shrimp in the breading, I drug them through some Egg Beaters. I used a bit of oil though I am sure you could bake this for less calories and fried them up in a pan for a makeshift "coconut shrimp."  I was somewhat pleased with myself for coming up with this on the fly and even more pleased with the taste.  I had a big portion and though I would have liked a stronger coconut flavor, they tasted delicious.  It also took less than 10 minutes to whip up.

Cassandra and I went to a place called 9 Round last week to work out.  I don't think I need to tell you that the woman in the photo kicking the bag isn't me but I put it there so hopefully you'll get an idea of what we did.  The first workout at 9 Round is free and it was amazing.  You go around a circuit and spend 3 minutes at each station that's set up.  There's a trainer there motivating you and giving you ideas for different varieties of workouts.  The best part is that you get to punch and kick the crap out of a few different types of punching bags.  I absolutely loved it.  It was a hard workout and I was sore. The problem is that at this time, I am pretty sure it's not in my budget.  I don't know what to do but both Cassandra and I are trying to figure out a way to finagle it into our financial plans.

Cassandra and I had one final celebration for her 30th birthday this past weekend.  We had fun and here's to having a much better year! Love you!

I hope you all have a great week!

Until next time...


Monday, August 10, 2015

Pita Party

Hi Everyone! I will jump right in and tell you that this weekend was awesome but it kicked my butt.  With all of the birthday celebrations, I feel like I've been beaten up.  I'm in for another exciting weekend coming up but then school starts and it's a whole new kind of madness.  I did well all week last week aside from some sketchy moments starting Saturday night that creeped into yesterday.  I know that I will have some issues this weekend but all in all I am proud of my motivation this month so far.  I'm working hard and making sacrifices and I'm feeling confident.  I am back at it today and will be until Friday.  Then, I'm hoping for two perfect weeks in a row to help my weigh in on August 29th.

I am always looking for new vessels and admittedly, there's nothing new about pita bread.  It's been around for centuries but it caught my eye at the grocery store last week and since then, I've been having fun using it for a plethora of dishes.  I made a breakfast pita that I just stuffed with egg substitute and cheese which is always a nice, low calorie breakfast option.  The pita itself is 150 calories so whatever you put in it or on it adds to that base number.

Today, for lunch, I made a ham and cheese pita using the ham that my dad prepared in the smoker for 10 hours yesterday and it was delicious.

My favorite pita recipe so far is the pizza I made.  It looks a bit funny because all I had was a colby jack cheese stick but it was delicious.  I just added pizza sauce and lots of turkey pepperoni.  It was filling and tasty.

If the pizza was my favorite, the buffalo chicken was my second favorite.  I took the chicken fajita strips I had and some lettuce and then added my favorite light Buffalo Ranch.  It's amazing what a little spice can do for a recipe to make it that much better.

Finally, I used my favorite cheese-stuffed chicken sausage from Sam's that my mom gets me and plopped it in the pita. Adding carbs to sausage is never a bad thing.  The point is, there are about a million ways to dress up a pita and it's a fun, different way to change up the bread you typically use.

That's all I have for today!

Until next week..

Monday, August 3, 2015

Birthdays & Budgets

Hey y'all! I want to first take a moment to wish an early HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Cassandra!  She will officially be in the 30 club on Sunday.  I hope you have an amazing birthday, birthday week, birthday month.  You deserve it!  I had a great time this weekend.  I also wanted to tell my friend Lauren Happy Birthday as well as hers is on Wednesday! Jordan and I got to see Shania in Nashville and then Ian and I got together with some of his extended family and then we saw Phish in T-Town last night.  Overall, it was an awesome weekend.  I didn't weigh because I'm still waiting a few weeks but I had the best dieting week I've had in a LONG time last week.  I am so proud of myself.  I followed my rules, had room for fun but didn't take it too far.  I am hoping to have another great week.  I am feeling pretty motivated right now, more so than I have in awhile so I hope that's a good sign.  As always, it's a process.

I love making pizzas out of the Flat Out flat bread.  It's only 90 calories and makes a sizable pizza.  This time, I made a Greek inspired pizza with steak strips, Greek olives, mozzarella cheese and I used hummus at the base.  This was totally delicious! The best part was, depending on how much cheese you use, you can make it for 400-500 calories and your belly is full when you're done.  The flat breads have a diet-y taste to them but once you add a lot of flavor, they are totally worth it.

I only get paid once a month now and it has taken some getting used to.  The week before I get paid is usually one that is fairly destitute.  I was pulling all kinds of random ingredients out of the pantry.  I think I've shared potato cakes before but I added some kick to them this time.  This is so easy! All I do is take the pre-made cups of mashed potatoes.  I prepare them in the microwave per the instructions.  Then, I added some pizza seasoning and a bit of low fat mozzarella cheese.  I take a spoon and scoop out little blobs of the potatoes in a hot skillet that I've sprayed with butter flavored non-stick spray.  This takes these plain potatoes and totally kicks them up a notch.  The smaller the cake the better so it can crisp up but this was definitely a nice use of the very few groceries I had left.

Again, I had a nice time this weekend going to shows and spending time with friends.

I hope you all have a great week!

Until next time...