Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Sweet Tooth

Hey y’all! I’d like to give an early birthday shout out to my Dad! He’s turning 55 on Monday, July 3rd, as is Tom Cruise! Have a great day, Dad!

Also, here’s an early birthday shout out to the United States of America! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday! I will forever show gratitude to those who serve our country!

I weighed in on Saturday and as I suspected, I didn’t lose any weight. I was only up 0.8 pounds, which was a relief. I know where the weight came from and it didn’t bring me down. In fact, I did better this past weekend than I have in the past when I’ve shown a weight gain and I’m dominating this week so far. I’ve had a bit of a sweet tooth lately and while I like Halo Top ice cream, I tried to change it up a bit. I decided to pull out the light Cool Whip (which was an old favorite of mine back in the old Weight Watchers days), dark chocolate chips and PB2 Peanut Butter Powder. I prepared the PB2 with water, combined it with the Cool Whip and tossed in a few chocolate chips. I plopped a scoop of the mixture in a cupcake liner and put the tray in the freezer. I'm not 100% it was worth the trouble only because a tiny scoop is 3 points. Having said that, it was delicious!

One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned so far this week is that I need to make the most out of the points I have. For example, Ian and I pull out whatever meat we have out of the freezer the night before we have it so it can thaw. We pulled out some steaks we bought that were thin ribeye steaks. Because they were thin, I didn’t think they would be that bad. It turns out, one steak was going to be 22 points. I only get 37 for the day. So, I ate way less during the day than I usually would, but when I got home, I still didn’t want to blow that many points. Instead, I decided to eat only half the steak. Because of that decision, I got to have 2 eggs, a beer and a Zima (an old school malt liquor I haven’t had in a LONG time). It turns out, I’d much rather sacrifice in some places and not in others. It was much more satisfying to spread those points out. Plus, I was full AND happy!

Also, shout out to my friends Nish and Cassandra for enlightening me about the world of grocery pick up from Wal-Mart. Y’all. I don’t get everything from Wal-Mart but to be honest, it’s the cheapest place to get soda, toiletries, paper products, and processed foods. With the grocery pick up, all I did was load my cart on the Internet, select a pickup time and go get my groceries. It. Was. Epic. It saved so much time, and money, because I didn’t throw random things I saw on my way through the aisles. It’s a super easy process and I highly recommend it.

Have a wonderful week!

Happy 4th!

Until next week...


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A Week in the Life

Hey y'all! It is officially summer in Alabama. I know this because it feels like I'm swimming into a bucket of hot mop water every time I step outside. It's not my favorite season but then again, I don't like being cold either. When I went to Weight Watchers on Saturday, I was down again bringing my loss to 3.2 pounds. I was happy but I was back to my old ways starting Saturday night. I ate far too much this weekend but got right back to normal on Monday. Yesterday, I didn't plan well enough and ended up eating a Moe's burrito that was way more than I thought it would be. The point is, while I'm back to "normal" today, I fully expect to either gain or stay the same this week. This will be an interesting test for me. The good news is, I can pinpoint the exact reasons why I may not see a loss. Also, I feel good about making better weekend choices now. I need to plan better and stay positive. It's a slow process but I feel like I'm back "in it" again. Plus, I'm paying a lot of money for Weight Watchers so that's motivation too.

Other than being inducted into the weekend hall of shame a few days ago, I've been having nice balance throughout the week. I like to have one meal a day that "sticks to my ribs" as they say. I also like to start the day with protein. Then, for the rest of the day, I eat a ton of vegetables and lean protein. This works well because I'm getting plenty of food. I usually get protein in the morning by making eggs. On the occasion I have to be out of the house in the morning and only have 5 seconds to grab breakfast, getting protein is a bit more challenging. I decided to give Muscle Milk a try. I chose the chocolate kind with 25 grams of protein and no added sugar. As far as Weight Watchers goes, it was only 3 points. I was skeptical that a small shake could fill me up but I was WRONG. I was stuffed after drinking this and stayed full for hours. As far as taste goes, it's not exactly a chocolate shake from Cook Out but it's not bad either. I certainly wouldn't choose to have one every day but it serves a purpose when you need a quick, filling breakfast or snack. I bought a vanilla one to try next.

I know that I've spoken ad nauseam about cauliflower rice before and just so you know, it's still a staple for me. The two most important facts about cauliflower rice: 1) There's no need to ever make it on your own now. It's way too much work. It comes frozen and refrigerated now. 2) It needs lots and lots of flavor. For instance, last night, I mixed it with some yummy beef and broccoli I got at the store. I'm not saying it replaces rice but I really didn't it notice it when it was mixed with all that Asian flavor. When I'm making it as a side dish, I load it with Greek flavors. I add salt, pepper, garlic, smoked paprika, Greek olives, a lighter, olive oil based dressing and fat free feta crumbles. Ian grilled pork chops one night and I had it with the rice and even though it wasn't pretty, it was delicious.

Ian and I are spoiled because we love steak and I've been getting them from Fresh Market. We are on a tight budget right now so I bought some cheap chuck steaks to try. We read instructions meticulously on the web to see how to keep them tender. It wasn't that difficult. Bring them to room temp and salt the crap out of them. We let them sit awhile and then patted them dry. We added marinade and threw them on the grill. They were delicious! Of course it wasn't the Fresh Market ribeye but at $7 for 4 steaks, I would say it was a win. I served mine with my frozen, shredded hash browns that are only 70 calories a cup and roasted zucchini with fat free feta.

Because Ian and I are on different diet plans, it can sometimes be a challenge to meet in the middle with him. If I ate what he ate, I'd eat mostly Taco Bell and pizza. Having said that, we still cook a lot at home. We make a ton of meat on the grill. Well, he had the hankering for spaghetti. Because I'd already had my "rib sticking" meal earlier that day, I decided to skip the pasta. It stilled turned out yummy. I had a giant bowl of lean ground beef, one quarter cup spaghetti sauce, mushrooms, onions, zucchini and garlic. I added a few teaspoons of grated parmesan and ate a piece of low calorie toast. I feel lucky that I like vegetables so I take advantage of that. However, it is important to me that the vegetables have flavor. These are the kinds of meals I have throughout the week.

Weeknights have rarely been a problem for me. It's has been and always will be those pesky weekends.

Have a good week everyone!

Stay dry and cool!

Until next week...

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Tossed Salad & Scrambled Eggs

Hey y'all! I want to begin by wishing not only my father, but all the dads out there an early Happy Father's Day! I hope you get to nap, eat and drink beer on Sunday! Enjoy your day. You are appreciated!

Congrats to my brother David on his engagement last week! I'm still not sure I've processed it yet emotionally. My baby brother is getting married! Either way, I wish both David and Lisa a lifetime of happiness!

On a sadder note, I want to say an early happy birthday to my late friend David Earp! If you were here, I would hope to be celebrating with you tomorrow. You are missed every day friend!

I don't typically get too excited about movies (other than during Oscar season) but Beauty and the Beast came out this week and Ian and I have already watched it once on Monday! I love it so much. I may watch it again tonight. Don't tell Ian. Also, last night we finally got to see Wonder Woman and it was incredible! I would go see it again. If y'all haven't managed to see either of these, get on it. You won't regret it!

Last time I went grocery shopping, I found out that Tyson has frozen chicken that is already pulled. I know it's easy to make and pull your own chicken but buying it pre-pulled is easier and I wanted to try it. I thought it would be good for tacos and/or salads and I was right on both accounts. Ian and I added taco seasoning to it and heated in a skillet. With that I made a big ol delicious taco salad. In addition to the seasoned chicken, I made the homemade tortilla chips for crunch and used salsa as dressing. There are a ton of veggies in the salad. It was tasty and the chicken wasn't dry. I'd say it's a win.

I attempted tackling something I never have before and that's homemade egg drop soup. I'm a fan of soup, especially because it's usually low in calories and you can make it super flavorful. I really like egg drop soup and thought I'd try it to have a couple ready-made meals at home. The premise is simple. Heat up 3 cups of chicken broth (I mixed salted and unsalted). In a separate bowl, mix 3 eggs. I questioned this because I always felt like I was eating egg whites at Chinese restaurants but I went with it anyway. When the chicken broth came to a boil, I slowly added the eggs. What I ended up with was scrambled egg soup. To that scrambled egg soup, I added chives. I mean, it wasn't a total fail because it didn't taste bad. It tasted like egg drop soup. It was the consistency I was bummed about. I would like to try a different recipe next time to get those ribbon-like strips of egg whites.

That's all I have for this week! I went back to Weight Watchers on Saturday and I was down 1.6 pounds! I'm trying with all my might not to let the scale define me while also making sure to stay on track. I'm happy with the results but I'm taking it one day at a time.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Snacks on Deck

Happy Wednesday, y'all! I have had an eventful week and so have my mom and brother! They both went skydiving on Saturday! They both said it was amazing. I'm still not sure I'd do it but after hearing about their experience, I'm not 100% ruling it out. The same morning they went, I went to a Weight Watchers meeting for the first time in years. I'm trying to find the roots of my original motivation and using the Weight Watchers system was my method for losing 115 pounds. The meetings are corny but have accountability, which I like, and also, they exchange lots of great tips. I kind of picked a terrible time to reignite my relationship with Weight Watchers because I started on a Saturday and went out of town for a night last night. Having said that, I feel no urgency to lose weight, only to get back the balance I used to have. For example, I went to Memphis last night to see friends that moved there and I enjoyed barbecue and indulged a bit (though not too much). Now the real test is making sure I don't blow the rest of the week just because I enjoyed a very tiny vacation. We will see how it goes. I have my first weigh in on Saturday to see what the numbers say but I'm trying to zen about all of it.

Because I've started eating better, I've been eating food like the salad above. Weight Watchers kind of forces you to eat more fruits and vegetables because they don't count as any points. So, I whipped one up with lots of veggies, Light Olive Garden Dressing, fat free feta crumbles and Greek olives. What isn't pictured are the pork chops I ate with it. I really just shared this because I think salads are so photogenic don't you?

I'm an avid snacker. I especially tend to snack during the summer when I spend more time at home. It's important to me to have good snacks readily available. Since salsa can be consumed frivolously, I eat a lot of it. I decided to make my own tortilla chips. I pre-heated the oven to 350 degrees and took 3 extra thin corn tortilla chips (120 calories for 3) and cut them into triangles. I sprayed a pan that I put aluminum foil and parchment paper on with non-stick spray and added the triangle. I baked them for about 5 minutes and then took them out of the oven, sprayed them with a bit more non-stick spray and added sea salt. I then put them under the broiler for a couple minutes. The darker brown they are, the crispier they will be. I've made my own flour tortilla chips before and they were a bit more crisp but I still prefer the corn.  It was a delicious and filling snack and it wasn't too time consuming.

I'll update you next week on the progress!

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Until next time!