Friday, July 29, 2011

Find Activities & Share with Others

Finding activities that don't revolve around food! Ultimately I want to be more active, but my social butterfly sense seems to flourish in foodie environments.

Solution: Get out and play!

The Plan:

Plan #1: Going for a Bike Ride & Bringing the Family.
This weekend i'm going to take advantage of the nice weather (and our new bikes) and try a biking trail with the fiance. We are searching blogs and checking out trails, then packing the bikes onto the car and seeing some new sights!

A shot from our local bike riding trip. We had a great time and wound up riding around 10miles!

Plan #2: Sign up for Something New
I'm lucky enough to have a fiance that likes to dance! So, we are signing up for ballroom dancing lessons. Not only will it be fun to try something new, but this may give us an opportunity to show off some moves at some upcoming weddings we are attending.

Plan #3: Get Inspired by Great Food.
We decided to explore a local farmers markets as well as a local barbeque joint. This inspired a left over pizza that rocked our world, while keeping me on track on WW points!

Farmers market fruits, which we did purchase. A photo of me feeling "skinny" and the pretty mini deserts I avoided because of it.
Eat, Drink and being merry. We checked out this local watering hole and enjoyed specialty local beers along with ribs. We didn't finish them but they inspired an amazing white pizza (recipe to come!)

I'm most excited about these three challenges because it will be another way for my fiance and myself to be active, bond,  and have fun together.  Ultimately, this is not only for better health, but to set a prescient for our marriage. Building a foundation for activities we enjoy together will keep the fire roaring for each other for years to come!

Skinny Bitch

Skinny Bitch - by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin

I'm currently wrapping up the book Skinny Bitch, that promises to tell the truth about dieting, the food and drug industry and everything you didn't want to know about the FDA. Some take-aways I have found with this book.

I agree its important to slow down, rest between bites, and drink water, and know what your eating, and be prepared. This call to arms for thoughtful eating against blind consumerism. Opening your diet to better, more veggie and fruit based foods are hyper beneficial. 
These authors bring up many great points about nutrition, trusting food companies, and making balanced choices to get nutrients from foods that you will stop eating on this diet. Just like they advocate, I believe you can trust-no-one and need to make decisions for yourself.

I disagree that you can hold onto this diet for the rest of your life. I believe that part of living the happy part of this life has to be about more then just being skinny, but also enjoying the amazing array of great foods we have available to us. One take-away from this book will be to really decide if these which foods are "worth it". I will also say I believe and agree that food is medicine, but part of this medicine is "balance" - after all, just becoming a vegan doesn't make you. They also advocate, not eating breakfast until your really hungry, yet also advocate working out in the morning. This seems incredible destructive to muscle building and a good way injure yourself.

In the beginning of the book, the authors encourage you to drink more water, work out more (especially in the morning) and loose self loathing to become a healthier happier person from the inside out. Then the book proceeds to tell you not to eat breakfast in the morning, and if you are going to - eat - eat a piece of fruit, and see how it sustains you for the rest of your day. Then slowly they begin to preach becoming a vegan - then suddenly they pounce, and the entire book becomes a bible for non meat eaters.  If i didn't feel like this was a "sneak attack" to a vegan lifestyle i might have been more open to what they where saying. Rather then being forth wright about their intentions they took a stand and preached

Ultimately: I bought the book loving this message -- "If you can't take one more day of self-loathing, you're ready to hear the truth: You cannot keep shoveling the same crap into your mouth every day and expect to lose weight." However I feel like I was surprised preached into veganisum and the book never took into account that all meat is not raised in unhealthy, unhappy circumstances. What about making smart, eco-sensitive consumer choices? I would have found their point of view more convincing - if veganisum was presented as a "choice" rather then "the decision".

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Salpicón Summer Cocktail

A delish Colombian non-alcoholic, summer beverage that you serve with a spoon! I made some for a hot summer afternoon, and it was thirst quenching. Low in points plus and a huge hit! This makes a large amount and would fill a large punch bowl; great for back yard parties. Although it's usually made with champagne kola, I made this with Soda water instead and thought it tasted just as good. You could really use any sparkling soda you desire, we even played with adding a little vodka or clear tequila to make it a more adult cocktail.

As for the fruit, don't skip the watermelon and fresh pineapple, because they give you the juice, but as far as other fruits like mangos, peaches, or blueberries - have fun and make what you can with what you have in season!

  • 1 1/2 cups diced banana 
  • 1 1/2 cups diced papaya 
  • 1 1/2 cups diced apples 
  • 1 1/2 cups diced strawberries 
  • 1 1/2 cups diced watermelon 
  • 1 1/2 cups diced orange 
  • 1 1/2 cups diced fresh pineapple 
  • 1 1/2 cups grapes (red and green) 
  • 1 1/2 cups diced kiwi 6 1/2 cups Sprite Zero or Soda Water (Tonic is Yummy To!) (for an "adult" version - add 1 1/2 cups of Vodka or Clear Tequila (we like Milagro for this one) ultimately it is better if you added it in per drink - rather then inside the entire Salpicón.
Weight watchers Points Plus Value : 2 (with 4oz of Vodka or Tequila 5)

Directions: Dice all fruit to equal size 1/2 inch pieces. Refrigerate until ready to serve. When ready to serve combine with sparkling soda and place in a large pitcher or punch bowl. Ladle into cups and serve with a spoon.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

30lbs Thinner

I've reached my goal of the week -  2.5lbs which puts my total weight loss at 30lbs!! I am thrilled to see my hard work paying off, yet at the same time i'm slightly terrified. Something goes off in my brain once i've reached a special milestone, that all of my hard work has paid off - therefore I deserve an extra "treat", really I am the maker of my own self sabotage.  Part of why i've started this blog is to put goals in writing and stick to them. 

This week I will be  concentrating on continuing to drink more water and incorporating activity into my social life.   I'm determined to make a change in my health and its time to carry this over into my social circles. I think this will will be a great way to make a new connection with friends that's not over food, and ultimately aid me in my quest for weight loss success!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Finding Balance

Here is the problem with "diets" you spend your days eating strictly, writing everything down and working out for every bead of sweat and calorie burned. You give up everything you love in order to loose weight because your not "allowed" to eat certain foods. You basque in the glory of compliments from friends, you feel a sense of accomplishment, and go shopping for new "skinny" jeans. This goes on for weeks, months or maybe even years (if your lucky) and then one day something SNAPS! You may be on vacation, or have hit that special number you where striving for but next thing you know your brain has shut off and filled it's body full of every fat, salt, sweet, giant portion of food that you have been denying yourself for months. Then a vicious cycle mind game starts, and you say to yourself- "well I already went overboard yesterday - might as well do it again today". I'm not perfect, and find myself in this conundrum more then i would like to admit, but being aware can make a huge difference and get you back on track.

Don't Deny It-
You like cream in your coffee every morning? Go for it! You enjoy french fries on occasion? Eat them! Having a chocolate and or ice cream craving? - Indulge! The trick here is you don't have to give up everything you love, just adjust! I learn everyday that finding a different way to fulfill your cravings or find balance in the amount that your eating. Gives you everything you want in terms of flavor, just a few less calories. But lets be honest - i'm not a Saint - if i am having a craving for ice cream - i'm going for it!

Know your triggers -
This actually has nothing to do with food. In my case a trigger is a Friday. TGIF - Uh oh! Its one of the happiest days of the week, but its also a slippery slope to cocktails, going out to dinner and merry-making with good friends. It also seems to a day where you want to "treat" yourself for being so good during the week, the ultimate excuse to have a black out - eat everything in site evening. A few things I find help : 1.Find a restaurant that gives you healthy alternatives, or make requests like salad without dressing to curb your going out cravings. 2. Avoid beer & wine - and if you can't - have a light beer. Better yet, have a light cocktail. Basically remember - Fresh Juice, and Clear booze, add soda water - LOOSE the straw! You will cut calories, and have less drinks, and slow down to enjoy yourself.

Get back in the saddle-
Get back into your workout routine. If that means adding it into your weekends or getting back in the (in my case) bike saddle. Do what it takes to find a balance with indulgence and fitness.

Grilled Chicken Lettuce Wraps

My fiance and I had a craving for something messy and refreshing on a hot summer day. Solution Lettuce wraps! A few minor tweaks to an old recipe and we had a healthy fast alternative to an Asian inspired favorite. This recipe is quick, great for a week night and it gave us a few left overs for lunch the next day.

4-6oz of grilled chicken breast, chopped into small cubes
1/2 cup of bean sprouts
1/2 cup of leeks
2 cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons of Simply Asia Tsao Stir-Fry Sauce
1 head of cabbage (for leaves)
5 sprays Spray olive oil

In a wok or frying pan. Spray your pan with a little bit of spray olive oil. Add chopped leeks, and garlic stir until soft. Add beans sprouts and chopped grilled chicken, as soon as everything is warm add in 3 table spoons of Simply Asia Tsao Stir-Fry Sauce and mix thoroughly. Add mixture to a bowl. Pull your cabbage apart. Assemble, your lettuce wraps and enjoy!

Serves: 4
Weight watchers Points : 3 per serving

Loving My Fruits & Veggies

Summer time is full of fresh fruit, farmers markets and veggies. On the points plus plan veggies and fruits are free! I've been on a quest to discover a fresh batch of vegetarian delights, and while not all maybe the lowest calorie option, I am learning that eating vegetarian at least once or twice a day doesn't mean missing out on flavor or texture. It just gives me more options to cook and explore with!

Below are some of the wonderful meals I had.

Top: Grilled Peach Salad, Left - Veggetarian Burrito from Olecito, Right: Cut Strawberries for Lunch!

Top: Veggie Samosas, Left: Zucchini, Carrot, Summer Squash Slaw, Right: Summer Veggie Gaspacho

Saturday, July 23, 2011

More Water Please.

With this extreme heat wave, I can't help but work to be better hydrated. On top of my quest for thirst quenching deliciousness drinking; drinking water has lots of benifits. Clear skin, weight-loss, a clear knowledge of fullness (a great thing when you like to nibble on snacks when you think your hungry but in reality your really thirsty). My Goal of the week is to drink more water, especially in the presence of coffee or alcohol. For every coffee or cocktail, I need to drink at least one glass of water of equal or greater size, and with out these two vices i'm drinking at least 64oz of water a day.

However, i'm no saint. In reality the taste of water can really leave me wanting. So what to do in order to drink more? Here are my tricks -

Mio: It can be a little on the pricy side, but it also allows me to add as much or as little flavor I want, with out adding calories. Another trick I enjoy with mio - is to mix two flavors together and make my own. I find that changing up what i'm drinking really gets me drinking more water - and getting excited about it.

Add Ice: When its hot outside, what could be more refreshing then adding a healthy dose of ice to your water - seems obvious. But when its pushing 100 degree's - that ice goes fast. Besides burning more calories as your body adjusts the heat difference. The "race" to drink cold water before the ice melts can be a clever mind trick to get you drinking more.

Straws: I found that drinking out of a straw, motivates me to drink more water. I tend to pick up a few extra's when i'm grabbing an ice coffee or treating myself to a fountain soda. If i'm going to include these little decadences in my life - I might as well recycle my glass and drink at least the equal amount in water.

Suck it up: So its not always the sexiest, fun, and exhilarating part of my day but sometimes you just have to suck it up - and chug it down.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Lunch with Caprese

I work with a wonderful group of foodies, and today I was lucky enough to have someone bring in fresh and beautiful garden tomatoes - Idea!! Caprese sandwiches! (yum!) It is also a pretty point friendly lunch (10 points plus value). Eating like this reminded me you have to enjoy the summer season while its here!

When life gives you tomatoes -
make a Caprese Sandwich!


2 slices of ciabatta bread
1 medium tomato - sliced
1 ball of mozzarella (of the fresh in water variety)
2 large leafs of fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
1 oz of prosciutto (optional)
salt and pepper to taste.

Instructions : Rub slices of Cibatta bread with olive oil and balsamic. Slice your mozzarella, tomatoes, along with basil, and prosciutto. Assemble your sandwich, and enjoy.

Points Plus Value: 10

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ya Gotta Start Somewhere

I've been eager to start a blog about food and my life journey. I've decided to "rock it" and get this story started. I'm inspired by so many wonderful things and needed a place to share my rants, foodie obsessions and weight loss journey.

This story begins with a 2011 - trite new years resolution to get healthy. I have to start with saying, this wasn't a goal to get my butt to the gym or learn healthier eating habits. I've always been active yet - I've always been heavy. I reached a new level when I gained "happy" weight after meeting my now fiance. Dinner and cocktails? Sure? How about some Dessert - Why not? Everything was a celebration, and my gym activity came to a screaming stop. After a few months I refused to get my butt on a scale and decided somewhere in my head that having everything I wanted in my life, meant giving up my health.

Facing the facts - New years 2011. I saw a picture of myself and knew something had to be done about my health - you can't gain happy fat forever, ya gotta get healthy too. It seemed serendipitous that right around that them Jennifer Hudson made her debut in the new Weight Watchers program. I was hooked and signed myself up promptly.

I'm a foodie- I love to cook - infact you could say i'm an unsuspected house frau. Its become an obsession that gets me audibly saying "Mmmm..." at farmers markets and buying 40lbs of produce. I've been inspired by lots of foodie blogs to create my own concoctions of healthy, crave-worthy, foods that are fast, easy, and rock.

30lbs down - and still going - In the beginning of my journey I was that go-getter chick at every meeting, weighing my food and logging everything I put in my mouth. Not much has changed, but I find more inspiration during the week then just my meetings. Every week i'm inspired by recipes, workouts, and friends yet still sometimes my excuse train take me off track. Its my intention to interact, read, find tips on things that work and go for it.

Its time to Rock-it!