Thursday, August 25, 2011

I'm not going to let 3lbs ruin my goal!

After a few weeks of celebrating and an ill timed ankle injury. I found myself with a cocktail in one hand, a high calorie treat in the other - and no way to work out (my typical bike commute was out of the question).  During this time I went into Weight Watchers denial. I did'nt want to weigh myself, and I only tracked "part" of the time and pretrended all of my happy celebration indulgences did'nt count. I knew I couldn't work out, and should have been even more, reliable about my tracking and watching what I put in my mouth.

I forced myself to weigh-in this week, I knew I had gained and I wanted to at least be accountable for the number so I could do something about it. Rather then continuing to let the scale creep upwards in the wrong direction. After a three week hiatus from weighing in - I learned that sure enough I had put 3lbs on - thats 1lb a week! I know most of you may think, REALLY 1lb a week is'nt the end of the world! But in reality if i don't pay attention to these numbers now - that 1lb a week can turn into a steady gain for the few months - next thing you know BLAM - all 30lbs I worked so hard to take off are back on! I refuse to NOT be accountable for myself!

After throwing a pity party for myself for the remainder of wednesday, I decided to wake up Thursday and put some fresh perspective on this. I got myself out of bed - put a great outfit on - made to make me feel great about myself, and decided make a plan! Here it is.

The Plan

TRACK!- I have no excuses, i have 4 ways to track my points with WW. Computer, iPad, Smartphone, and just plain writing it down. This week I am getting my tracking in order. After all even though I might be lying to the "tracker" about what i've been eating, my body remembers, so there is no point in 'guessing' points - i should just write it down. 

WATER! - With my reduced workouts, with my leg injury, i for some reason decided to stop drinking the massive amount of water i was intaking before. Maybe i was bored, but it feels like i have LOST my mind for a few weeks and its time to get myself back. I'm drinking more water - no more excuses!!!

SHOP! - Recipe time! I'm looking for some fun new recipes, and i'm also looking to spoil my appetite on more then just fruit! I'm going to get my veggies involved.

PLAN! - These happy celebrations are just getting started. In Late August and through September I will be celebrating 3 birthdays (including my own), 1 Wedding, 1 PreWedding Celebration (my own), and my own Birthday Celebrations. All of these include BBQ's, Beer tastings, Wedding food, and Birthday food/Drinks. I plan to spoil my appetite with veggies and high fiber foods - then order some appetizers and again drink more water between cocktails. This way i feel like i'm still included, but my points plus target is'nt creeping out of control.

WORK OUT! - I really hurt myself last week - but I am eager to get back to a zumba class or onto my bike. Even if i have to take it a little slower then usual i'm determined to get at least 1 work out in this week.

INSPIRATION! - Back to my bloggy buddies, that have been through the same set backs as mine- is a favorite of mine, her post about Non-Scale summer victories! Really speaks to what i'm going through! and did she give up? NO!  I'm going to start looking for and posting and looking for some inspirational mantra's. Positive mantra for today! : Yesterday was a challenging day. I can make a fresh start.

Here are some great mantra's!

“Steady and slow, learn as you go. Lose too fast, it may not last.” — Louise F. *

“It matters not how slowly you go, only that you do not stop.” — Julia B. *

“No matter how slow you go, you’re still lapping the [person] sitting on the couch.” — Stephanie H. *

“I may no be where I want to be, but I’m better than where I was.” — Heather J. *

“You don’t drown from falling in the water, you only drown if you stay there.” — Barb L. *

“Success requires backbone, not wishbone.” —Debbie S.*

“If we defend our habits, we have no intentions of breaking them.” — Judy P. *

“Life has no remote…YOU have to get up and change it yourself!” — Tracy S. *

“The weight didn’t arrive from the Fat Fairy last night, and the Skinny Fairy isn’t coming tonight, either.” — Miscelena1.**

“Instead of a plate, reach for your mate!” — Frank E. *

“What you eat in private shows up in public!” — NicoleJuner1 **

“I’ve come too far to take orders from a cookie.” — Gina L. *

“If you kinda do it, it kinda works. If you really do it, it really works.” — Andrea G., Carol T. *

“If you’re driving and you get a flat tire, do you get out of the car and slash the other three? No, you fix it and get back on the road.” — Tanya S. *

“The scale is a weight loss tool – not a judge, jury and executioner.” — Brenda T. *

“Keep tracking, stop slacking!” — Holly L. *

Time to get Started!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Review: Girls in White Dresses

Just Started: Girls in White Dresses, by Jennifer Close. I'm currently about  to attend  7 weddings from July 4th 2011, ending with my own in Sept. 2012. I need a break from "skinny reading" and based on this review -"Wickedly hilarious and utterly recognizable, Girls in White Dresses tells the story of three women grappling with heartbreak and career change, family pressure and new love—all while suffering through an endless round of weddings and bridal showers." This book sounded like just the ticket to give me a little comic relief from the large array of happy celebrations, i'm about to attend. 

Just Finished: Girls in White Dresses is breezier book than most, a light chronicle of a group of recent Boston College grads whose ambitions seem to hinge largely on finding a decent guy and a doorman building without a rodent problem. If the stakes seem low, they are. And too often the characters are indistinguishable from one another; they all tend to say sitcom-witty things like ''I've been out to eat with boys that were my boyfriend, but that's not dating. That's just parallel eating.'' I found this extremely trite.

The friendships between several of the characters sounded true to life...sarcastic but loving, snarky but truthful...and that was good to read. It is the way a lot of women actually relate to their good friends. However, the book just drug on and on and on.... I kept waiting for something really exciting to happen but it never did.  I would not go out of my way to read this one, but if you need a little mindless reading for a few hours go for this one.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter

You should probably know by now that I LOVE peanut butter.  I love the creaminess. I love how it sticks to the roof of my mouth, and I love that you can eat it on a variety of 0Points Plus foods! My love for PB isn’t the most figure-friendly addiction. Yes, it contains "healthy" fat from nuts, but it also packs quite bit of calories, so naturally, when i heard about PB2, I was intrigued...

Peanut butter that has substantially less fat calories than traditional PB? Awesome. Stats from the website. PB2 is made with premium quality peanuts that are slow-roasted to our specifications and pressed to remove the fat. All natural with no artificial sweeteners or preservatives. Same consistency as full-fat peanut butter with all of the roasted peanut flavor, but with more than 85% less fat calories.

Amount Per 2 Tablespoon Serving (*when mixed with water):
Calories 53.2
Calories from Fat 16.8
The stats:
  • Total Fat - 1.87 g
  • Saturated Fat - 0.34 g
  • Trans Fat - 0 g
  • Unsaturated Fat - 1.53 g
  • Cholesterol - 0 mg
  • Sodium - 77.6 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 3.4 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 0.48 g
  • Sugars - 1.66 g
  • Protein - 5.65 g
So how does it taste? Perfect! It's super smooth, the taste has all of the buttery salty-ness I have come to love from the original PB. You cannot tell that there is a difference in consistency, and I love mixing it in non-fat yogurt, and with non-fat milk. I also have the chocolate version, which could be more chocolate-y but it certainly keeps up with the peanut butter taste. I am going to have to try baking cookies, cakes or pancakes with this as I'm sure the consistency will make baking with PB way easier!

In conclusion: its a little hard to find (i ordered mine from Amazon) but i would definitely suggest it as a low calorie substitution for PB that doesn't leave you "missing" the original, higher calorie treat.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Getting back to "Track"

While I have had a pretty good week in terms of work outs and calorie intake. One thing that I would like to improve on this week is to get back to "tracking".

I have the WW tracker on my phone, as well as easy access to the program on computers but for some reason last week tracking my food intake was illusive. It really can't be easier for me to put something into my mouth and track it, but I found every excuse i could think of not to do so. This week, as a result I found that on the scale stayed the same.

Given that the United states as a whole, intakes more average daily calories per person then any other country in the world. (see my little graphic friend as reference).  Its a good idea for everyone to track a little closer what we are eating and at what time of day. Tracking makes you take accountability for your actions while also giving you a barometer of how to set up workouts or the amount of treats you can have during a week.

I've also found that the easier it is to track - in my case - tracking online is key. The less excuse prone I can be, and the less "guess" work I do. Having a journal in one place that i can go back and reference recipes and food tools, lets me visually see and graph how calorie intake effects my weight-loss or gain. I'm hoping that this week getting back to "track" will give me great results on the scale!

Besides the WW tracker i have found a few other free alternatives to help track.
FitBit -
FoodSpotting -

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Grape Tomato and Bacon Sauce

The best thing about this Tomato dish is its easy to freeze and a yummy treat to pour over any pasta. Its also quick and easy to make and can be made with out Bacon for a vegetarian version.

2lbs of Grape tomatoes
2 stocks (leaves on) of rosemary
3-4 Cloves of Garlic
3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
2 peices of thick cut bacon
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat the oven to 400°F and line a large baking sheet with foil. Toss grape tomatoes in olive oil, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper and place on baking sheet. Let tomatoes roast for 20 mins till skins are wrinkled. Turn oven off and turn broiler on high. Add bacon to the top of tomatoes and Broil until bacon is crispy.

Take out of oven and take the bacon out and drain fat from tomatoes. Place in a bowl and "smoosh" the tomatoes to make a sauce.

Roasted Zucchini & Mushroom Rissotto

1 cup of Rissotto rice (Arborio Rice)
2 1/2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup of dry white wine
2 large Zucchinis sliced vertically
3-4 Cloves of Garlic
3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon of fresh basil (leaves only then sliced)
1 1/2 of Sliced Mushroom
Squeeze of lemon juice
2-3 tablespoons of finely grated Parmesan

1. Heat the oven to 400°F and line a large baking sheet with foil. Halve the zucchini lengthwise and score the flesh in a crisscross pattern. Arrange cut side up on the sheet. season lightly and sprinkle over the garlic slices and basil leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and squeeze over a little lemon juice. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the zucchini are soft. Let them cool slightly, then roughly chop the flesh.
2. For the risotto, bring the stock to a simmer in a pan. Heat another medium pan and add 1 tbsp olive oil. stir in the rice and cook, stirring, for a minute. Pour in the wine and let it bubble to reduce down until the pan is quite dry. Now add the stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring frequently. Let the rice absorb most of the stock in the pan before adding another ladleful.
3. When the rice is al dente, stir in the chopped zucchini and turn off the heat. Let the risotto stand for a few minutes.
4. Divide the risotto among warm plates and sprinkle over the remaining Parmesan.

Thai Veggie Spring Rolls

An easy - no cooking required- best thing you'll want to eat on a hot summer day snack.

1/2 a cup of Carrots, Celery, Sprouts, Onion, Zucchini.
1 Large jalapeño Pepper (thinly sliced), and
1 stock of Mint
10-15 Rice Paper Wraps (12 inch variety)

This is one of my favorite ways to clean out an array of items from my produce drawer, and its a quick easy guilt free snack, that can be served with a little bit of soy sauce or honey on the side.
Everything needs to be shredded into equal sizes. I keep the jalapeño slices separately so i can "build" each wrap with a desired heat. Once you have everything shredded and mixed together in a bowl. Dip the rice paper into a large bowl of luke warm water, once its de-solved and a little bit tacky place it on a plastic cutting board. You have to do each of these one at a time or you will have a big glob of rice paper in your hands.  Begin to "stack" your wrap with a small handful of your shredded mixture adding a mint leaf and a jalapeño slice to each wrap. Fold in each corner and roll. Then place open side down onto a clean plate. Continue until all of you wraps are finished.  Enjoy!

Mediterranean Buckwheat Salad

1 cup of large grain buckwheat
1 tablespoon of cilantro
1 tablespoon of mint
1 cup of sliced grape tomatoes
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
3 tablespoon of lemon juice (or juice of one large lemon
1 1/2 tablespoons of feta cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Place buckwheat into a medium sized pot and cover with water (so its about 1/2 inch over the buckwheat in the bottom of the pan - about a cup and a half). Cook until buckwheat is soft and fluffy, then set aside to cool. Once buckwheat has cooled, add in sliced tomatoes, cilantro, mint, salt and pepper, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, white wine vinegar. Mix throughly and taste for seasoning. Once this is complete add in feta cheese and stir-thoroughly so it is crumbled and mixed into buckwheat salad.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Skinnygirl Rules

Just Finished: The Skinnygirl Rules: For Getting and Staying Naturally Thin - By Bethenny Frankel. I found Bethanny's perspective a refreshing treat to Skinny Bitch - By Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. She makes fantastic points of stopping the constant craziness of yoyo dieting and making yourself feel guilty for food blunders. I would definitely suggest this book to anyone looking for a healthy "mentally" friendly book. I think Bethany does a great job of identifying food issues we all mentally struggle with and making realistic healthy attainable goals that stop you from the same old yo yo cycle of unhealthy eating!

Great take-away advice from this book - Portion your food! 
The skinny-girl rules does a great job of suggesting ways to portion you food. This has been my number 1 take away from this book. Putting food that i LOVE like ice cream or french fries into a small salad bowl or ramekin make eating less guilty but also more track-able! Her advice lead me to find 

Another great take away - You can eat anything - just not all at once.
Bethanny reinforces her no-dieting perspective to food by saying that we are all adults and responsible for what we put into our own mouths (what a concept!) No longer can you blame, anyone or situation to make you over eat or indulge in your favorite foods. Its about taking responsibility for yourself and listening to your inner food voice.

The Hardest Part - Listening to your inner food voice! I stopped listening to my inner food voice a long time ago. I believe its barley a whisper these days. I have to admit I'm terrible at - concentrating on eating when i'm eating. I love to concentrate on what i'm ABOUT to eat when i'm cooking, which I noticed also means that I load my plate with extra food because i'm hungry (my eyes are bigger then my stomach) - then i sit in front of the tv or computer and wolf it all down-  next thing you know that large portion is gone! I want to start concentrating on what i'm eating and sharing conversations with my fiance. I think this is another great way to build our relationship and both get on a track to listening to our inner "food voices".

Just read: Skinny Bitch: By Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin  |   Read My Thoughts

The-No-Excuse-NOT to bring a healthy and tasty lunch to work container.

I love riding my bike to work! It makes me feel fit and healthy - and it gives me a way to build activity points during 2 parts of my day; first thing in the morning and last thing in the afternoon. I no longer feel guilty if i did'nt make it to the gym and i'm decreasing my carbon footprint (and increasing my sanity!)

One of the biggest problems I have had with riding my bike to work is finding a leak proof container that I feel confident enough in to bring my lunch to work. I know that packing yummy, healthy and different lunch options for myself will not only help me save money - but it will put me in greater control over portion sizes. With a large array of delicious restaurant choices for lunch, right out outside our doorstep. Bringing string cheese, pre-packed lunch meat and a piece of fruit to work just wasn't cutting it.

Enter Ziploc Twist' n Loc containers!

Now when I cook up a storm (like I did this past weekend) I go ahead and pre-portion my meals, so in the morning its a matter of opening the fridge and tossing (literally tossing) healthy lunch choices into my bag. The best part about these twist and lock containers is the tops TWIST on. Meaning no matter how many speed bumps or random maneuvers I make, my food stays put. I bought the smaller containers so i can keep my food to around 1 cup and a half (the small ones hold 1 pint or 16fl oz).  Also since i'm not always the biggest fan of eating the "night before" left overs this twist and seal allows me to throw (again literally throw) my dinner left overs into the freezer for another day so i'm not eating the same thing back to back.  Its brilliant!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Beggar's Purse

After a trip to the farmers market, I came home with a bounty of fresh veggies and fruits, that promptly filled our fridge. Solution: Beggar's Purse. I have to say this was one of the most delicious dishes I have ever created and for 10 points plus per purse its a lovely splurge that wont take you away from your weight loss goals! My version below is not vegetarian, but you could save some points and some calories by leaving the bacon out!

Ingredients Serves:6
2 packages reduced fat crescent rolls (6 rolls)
1 cup of finely chopped carrots
1 cup of finely chopped potatoes
1 cup of finely chopped (mini) Japanese eggplant
1 cup of finely chopped onions
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup of finely chopped leeks
1/4 cup of finely chopped
3 tbsp of I can't believe its not butter (in a stick)
2 Sprigs of French Thyme (about two tsp)
Salt & Pepper to taste.
2 Slices of Bacon (cooked extra crisp and crumbled)
1/4 of grated Parmesan cheese

Baking Sheet, Sauté Pan

Preheat oven to 400 Degrees.

Add carrots, potatoes, eggplant, french thyme (leave the leaves on stem) and butter (ICBINB) to a sauté pan and cook on medium heat until soft. Remove carrot mixture from pan - Then add onions and garlic, until soft then remove from heat and mix with carrot mixture, remove thyme sprigs and add salt and pepper to taste.

Cover a Baking Sheet, with aluminum foil and spray with a little non-stick cooking spray. Open package of reduced fat crescent rolls. Marry together 2 triangles to make a rectangle by pinching the lines together and pounding to make a smooth line. Place about a tablespoon of the carrot mixture into the center of the dough, then add a little bit of the crumbled bacon to the top,  then "wrap" to make the purse. Add a little bit of grated Parmesan cheese to the top and continue until all 'rectangles' are complete and placed on the baking sheet.

Place purses into oven for 15 min until golden brown and crisp. Let cool and enjoy!

Weight Watchers Points Plus Value : 10 per purse