Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween/Book Release Eve Eve Y'all!

Hi Everyone! Today is my absolute FAVORITE day of the year, so of course, I'm in a pretty good mood. My happiness is also fueled by the fact that my first book, My Life With(out) Ranch from 50/50 Press will be available on Amazon on FRIDAY!!! I am so grateful for everyone's support and honestly, even though I've been talking about it nearly a year, I can't believe we've finally made it. I really hope you enjoy it and can get something out of it. It has been a therapeutic process for me and I'm nearly ready to close the door on this topic in my writing. I will never be "finished" when it comes to loving myself, but I feel now that the book is here, I can let out a big sigh and dream about what's next. My weight has been steady for awhile, give or take a few pounds. I've kind of settled into it and I've stopped worrying so much about losing a lot. I work out so hard and eat right most of the time. My metabolism is stubborn. This is something I cannot change. I will always set goals for myself…for example…I plan to get back on track and lose any Halloween/Wedding weight, plus one or two pounds before Thanksgiving…but I'm done beating myself up.

I made a couple Halloween snacks for the book club I'm in. Full disclosure, my mom molded the cheeseball into a face and I just covered it with ham. Also, that is supposed to be a snake, though it is not exactly snake-shaped. Not pictured: blood and guts dip made with cheddar cheese, cream cheese, a jar of salsa, onions, garlic and chopped pepperoni. It was festive.

Well, my baby brother got married on Saturday. I don't know how or why I didn't get a selfie with him, so I'll be excited to see all the professional photos. It has been a somewhat exhausting journey for everyone involved in the planning but it was a beautiful, emotional day and I wish them all the joy in the world! They are living it up on a cruise ship right now.

In terms of food, I'd am going to share a couple photos from my phone…though it's nothing too exciting, haha. The first thing I wanted to show you is low carb…and people like low carb…even though it's really ugly. Essentially, I just made a quick egg salad with cucumbers, bacon bits, scallions, mustard, salt, pepper, garlic powder and a tablespoon of light mayo. Then, I make little turkey roll ups with it. There's lots of protein in this easy snack and since it's Halloween, I will tell you I made these to look like fingers…they kind of do. Egg salad is a go to recipe for me. If you don't like hard boiled eggs, then I don't know…I guess just shove turkey in your mouth and call it a day.

I also wanted to share something that may not be a discovery to you, but it was news to me. I found out that you can have chicken parmesan that A) isn't fried and B) doesn't come with pasta. Clearly, I believe that pasta and breaded chicken are superior, but when Fresh Market said their little big meal included a recipe that used grilled chicken parmesan over a bed of lettuce, I thought, "Why the heck have I never thought of that?" Since I ate it, I've had it a couple times and it's yummy. The simplest way to do it is either grill or cook a chicken breast in a skillet…then top it with spaghetti sauce and reduced fat mozzarella and pop it under the broiler for a few minutes. When it's done, pop it on top of the lettuce. You can gussy this up however you choose. I just served it with low cal toast that was spread with smoked gouda Laughing Cow cheese.

Finally, I've shared something like this before I think but another quick fix that I rely on a lot is what I like to call "a skillet full of stuff." In this particular skillet, we've got ground turkey, squash, and onions. I season this with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Oh, and since ground turkey has a tendency to dry out, I usually add some chicken broth instead of fat and that helps. This is another "low carb" or "free" item depending on what diet plan you're on. When I'm being "good," I'm looking for ways to eat the most amount of food possible.

I hope you all have a spooktacular Halloween!

Until next time!

Roll Tide!

Bye y'all!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

WARNING: Nearly Meatless Post

Hey y'all! I'd like to start by wishing my mom and soon to be sister-in-law Lisa Happy Belated Birthdays. I hope you had fun celebrating them! I will be heading to Gatlinburg, TN with Lisa tomorrow for her bachelorette trip! It should be a fun time. I am not exactly in strict diet mode right now but I do plan to try not stuffing EVERYTHING in my face this weekend…just mostly everything. I'm about the same as always. I fluctuate the same five pounds back and forth pretty much every other week. When I get back from the trip, I'd like to get in the zone a few weeks to prepare for the wedding, Halloween AND the book release. That's right y'all, My Life With(out) Ranch will be here in a month! I'm so excited!

This week, I wanted to share a recipe with you that took be way back to a time when I actually tried not to eat meat. It's been awhile, but sometimes I like to relive those days and try a delicious veggie dish. This time, I went all the way out on a limb and cooked tofu. I know at this point, some of you have stopped reading. I get it. Tofu can be gummy and it's flavorless…BUT if you prepare it correctly, it can be good. First, and most importantly, you HAVE TO PREP IT. Seriously, if you don't, it will be gross. To prep it, put several paper towels on a paper plate. Place the block of tofu (I get extra firm) on top of the towels, then add several more. Then, add the cast iron skillet to the top and let it sit there for about an hour. Once all the water has soaked into the paper towels, I kind of treat it like chicken at that point. I cut it into cubes and it's ready to go. I popped some steamable broccoli from the freezer into the microwave while I let a pan heat with non-stick cooking spray, a teaspoon of toasted sesame oil and one squirt from my olive oil sprayer. Then, I pile in the tofu and the broccoli. To that I add onions, salt, pepper, garlic, a tablespoon of teriyaki sauce, a teaspoon of brown sugar, a tiny pinch of crushed red pepper and a LOT of low sodium soy sauce. You can play with the measurements but I have to go light on anything sugary if I'm counting Weight Watchers points. They don't like sugar y'all. At that point, you just have to make sure the tofu is cooked (I don't think I cooked it long enough still) and that everything is all married together. I just put it in a bowl and topped it with a bit more soy sauce, toasted sesame seeds and green onions. It had great flavor but at the end of the day, I think I'd just rather use chicken. It's free on Weight Watchers and I prefer the texture. It was a good way to knock out a Chinese food craving though.

The other quick thing I wanted to show you was a charred corn and cucumber salad. That seems summer-y but since it's still around 90 in Alabama every day, I can no longer tell what season it's SUPPOSED to be. This is super healthy and tasty and of course, easy. I had Ian grill me up some corn and then I scraped it off the cob and combined it in a bowl with chopped cucumber, light Italian dressing (Olive Garden's brand is pretty good), fat free feta cheese, and bacon bits. This could be totally veggie without those but they add a nice, salty flavor. I love salads but sometimes I just skip right over the lettuce and just have the veggies.

That's it y'all! I'm busy as all get out right now with this semester!

Until next month!