Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Bathroom Drama; Mad Scientist; Kung Pao Chicken Recipe

Got up early to do some studying. Ugh, I can't believe it's already time to take finals. or in my case, final.

Breakfast: oatmeal with strawberries and WW strawberry yogurt (4 pts). Very filling and good. It was more like a dessert than a breakfast. I'll have to do this again.
When I grow up I want to be a mad scientist. Or at least an angry one. ;-) Now I will share one of my geeky science tricks that I love to do. It usually impresses people. Hope you're impressed! :)
You'll need a grape, a plate and a microwave.
First, cut the grape so that the skin is still barely intact. You won't cut all the way through. Then turn it cut side down (leaving the skin intact) so that it looks like butt cheeks (or boobs) on the plate.

Place in the microwave for a few seconds and enjoy the show. Take it out as soon as the sparks stop or you will have burnt grape smell. Not a Yankee Candle future fragrance.

I know. I'm such a geek but proud of it. For Mother's Day last year I got a microscope. I like to take samples of the water that the kids swim in and then look at it under the microscope and freak them out.
This is my favorite watch that I've had for years. I'll cry when it finally dies. Any other geeks out there or am I the only one?
Took the kids to the "Y" for PE. I had to visit the women's facilities while there. I went to unroll a piece of toilet tissue and it falls off the holder and rolls away under the door! Come on! Really? Why me? I was able to grab a tiny piece from under the door and pull on it but all that did was unravel it further. I got my share, flushed and caught the runaway paper. My life.
UPDATE: Forgot to mention that I had a Fiber One Bar on the road while running errands (2 pts)
Lunch: spicy tuna sushi with cucumber (6 pts)

Got a last chance workout with Jillian and did Shred Level 1. I haven't done it in a while and boy did I feel it! Ouch. But I did it.

Dinner: Kung Pao Chicken over brown rice (7 pts) VERY good. Another one of those "make this" recipes. Try it. Plus you get some veggies. The chicken itself is only 4 pts. A cup of cooked brown rice will cost you 3 points.
Kung Pao Chicken (4 pts plus whatever you serve it with)
based on a recipe from That's My Home
1 egg white
2 tsp cornstarch
Pinch salt
1/2lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 3/4" cubes
1 TBS Hoisin sauce
1 TBS vinegar
2 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tsp sweetener (Stevia, Splenda, etc)
1/2 tsp hot chili paste
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp olive oil
some crushed red pepper flakes to taste
3 cups steamed broccoli florets
1/4 cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
In a medium bowl, whisk the first 3 ingredients until smooth. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Refrigerate, covered for about 30 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the hoisin through the garlic with 3 TBS of water. In a large nonstick skillet or wok, heat oil. Add the chicken mixture. Cook tossing lightly, until the chicken becomes translucent (do not brown), 1-2 minutes. Transfer chicken and juices to a plate and keep warm. Return the skillet to the hear; add the hoisin sauce mixture and crushed red peppers and cook, stirring constantly, about 30 seconds. Stir in the chicken, broccoli; cook, stirring gently until heated through, 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with the peanuts, serve at once.
Makes 4 servings 4 points

Dessert: watermelon (1 pt) And it was so darn good. Love watermelon. I could eat a whole one. Or at least half of one. :)

Points: 21/24
Activity: +2

Tomorrow is weigh in. Wish me luck. :)

Biggest Loser Recap 3/31/09

So did you watch it or miss it or just don't like it? :)

Here's what happened in case you do care.

Nicole was brought back because she won a mini weigh in between 3 contestants who had been at home. She had lost 87 pounds! Her percentage of weight loss was second only to Tara's.

Ron was having chest pains and had to go to the hospital. It turns out that he had a few ulcers and was losing blood. It seems to be effects from his gastric bypass surgery. Poor guy. He had to stay at the hospital and have a lot of fluid and blood pumped into him.

Allison had her baby so the hosts were Alli and Michelle! They looked great. But by the weigh in Allison was back.

The challenge was standing on a board balanced by ropes and one by one the ropes were cut. Cione (is that how you spell his name?) was determined and won the challenge. He got an extra pound off for the weigh in.

Weigh in: Nicole, Laura and Ron gained. Poor Nicole gained 5 pounds! Too much stress at the house and her schedule was changed. It looks like she did better at home!

Ron and Nicole fell below the yellow line. Phillipe and Cione were still upset that Ron had suggested that Phillipe go home last week so they both voted for him. Helen voted for him too. But in the end, Nicole had the most votes and went home after only 1 week on the ranch. And Ron has some new friends! ;-)

That's it peeps. Time to get off the couch and get moving.

Want a Flat Belly?

Yahoo Health had an article today about how to get a flat belly with the foods you eat.

One thing that was suggested was taking photos of your food! Hey! I did something right. :)

"Taking a photo of your plateful of food can keep you slim. People who took pictures of everything they ate for five days reported consuming fewer snacks and being less likely to go back for seconds than during a week-long period in which they kept a written food diary, a study from the University of Wisconsin at Madison finds. Try capturing your meals for a week to help eyeball portion sizes as well as color variety—aim for more green, less white (unless it's cauliflower). "

Other tips
  • stay away from high fructose corn syrup. It causes spikes in blood sugar and messes up the signals that tell you when you're hungry/full so you will tend to eat more. Eat healthy fats and lots of fiber instead.
  • eat low glycemic index foods. They make you feel full longer.
  • eat a banana. Their 442 mg of potassium help control the puffy effects of sodium.
  • drink green or white tea which contain the most catechins that may help burn fat!
  • eat foods high in vitamin c like grapefruit, strawberries and cantaloupe. People with diets low in C tend to have bigger waistlines. So get your recommended 75 mgs!


Too funny!
Saw this here: http://seashorerose.blogspot.com/

I also love the Fail Blog.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Experiment Thickens; Hunger; My Husband with X Ray Vision

Today was my first day without my super duper fiber bagels. I had a bowl of Kashi Honey Sunshine with milk (2 pt). no picture.

Did some school with the kids and was hungry waaayyy before lunch. Was I missing my bagel? Do they really keep me filled up longer? Or is it because TOM is here for a visit and I have the munchies? Hmmmm...the bagel experiment continues.

Lunch: turkey sandwich with fat free chips and 2 clementines (5 pts)
Midafternoon snack: Jazz apple (1 pt) Had a blast doing Wii Outdoor Challenge. I earned about 2 activity points. I was sweating and gasping for breath. LOL

Still hungry! I thought I would get some almonds and walnuts. THIS is what you get for 3 points?!

I was ready for dinner by the time Chuck called to say he was on his way home. I couldn't wait to get something in my huge belly. It was a leftover night because Chuck had to eat quickly so he could be on time to meet his date at Starbuck's. If you want to read about that you can visit his blog.

Dinner: soft corn tortilla chicken tacos and salad (5 pts) These were incredibly good.
Dessert: 1 oz of Beaver Nuggets (3 pts) As you can see I measured them on my very cool scale. Everyone should have one of these. Maybe I'll give one away one day. :)
I spent some time playing around making movies on http://www.xtranormal.com/. Oh my gosh! It's so much fun. We were cracking up. I need to make a movie for my blog. :)
I am still so darn hungry! What's the deal?
Popcorn (1 pt)

And the piece de la resistance: Coco Via Chocolate (2 pts) and Cheesecake Bar (2 pts) I know, I know. Please, don't judge me. :( I stayed within my points tonight. Today I felt like I could have eaten the entire contents of the pantry! If I were a fish I would be this whale shark. Just eat everything that comes my way. What in the world is going on with me? HEY, I stayed on plan!
I have to tell you how impressed I am with my husband. Chuck has X-Ray Vision! It's true. he can see right through my fat to the person I am inside. He has loved me at my lowest weight (120) and at my highest (confidential) ;-) He has never once made any kind of comment that would hurt my feelings. He has only told me how beautiful I am. He is a rare man and I am so fortunate to have him. Maybe one day he won't have to use his x-ray vision to see me. All of that extra fat will be gone and the real me will shine. But I am so thankful to him that he has only seen the inner me and thought I was pretty. I want to be the person that he thinks I am. I'm on my way!
Points: 24/24
Activity Points: +2

Sharing Blogger Love

I love blogger awards. Makes you feel warm and fuzzy. :)
Thanks to David for the award. It is greatly appreciated. In case you didn't know, David and his wife Cara are on a weight loss journey together and also founded fitago.com.
The rules to the award: list 7 things that you love and then pass the award on to 7 other bloggers.
I love this because now I get to spread blogger love to 7 more people!
7 things I love:
  1. a foggy morning over a lake
  2. my kids laughing
  3. holding hands with Chuck
  4. beautiful sunsets
  5. being a kid and flying a kite or swinging at the playground
  6. making Chuck laugh
  7. a good margarita
Now to pass on the love. I wish I could list more than 7 because there are so many blogs that I visit regularly. This time I would like to pass it on to:
(in no paritcular order)
Losing It and Losing It (same great name; two different blogs)
And just because I'm a rebel I'm going to do 8 blogs. :)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Road Trip to Brenham; Monster Hamburger; Beaver Nuggets

We had such an amazing time in Brenham yesterday that we decided to go back for another road trip today.

Chuck made breakfast again: egg white bagel with bacon and cheese (5 pts) and a Sugar Free Rock Star.
We drove through Chappell Hill and came across the Chappell Hill Lavender Farm. It was so beautiful! They had a field of lavender, a gazebo, pond and gift shop. I got a bar of lavender soap and a lavender candle. Also got some blueberry lavender jam for my MIL. Hey, yesterday she noticed my weight loss....she gets a gift! ;-)
The lavender farm was near Washington-on-the Brazos State Park and the Barrington Living History Farm so we stopped there to see what was going on. It was so cool! They had people dressed in period costume doing old farm stuff and demonstrating old farm stuff. They had chickens! I LOVE chickens. Look at this cute rooster looking at me.
And now for the coolest thing of the day: we got to take a ride in a cart pulled by oxen! I was so excited. It doesn't take much.
What would a trip to Brenham be without a picture in the bluebonnets? The wildflowers are amazing this year. Everywhere you go there are flowers and lines of cars pulled over trying to get pictures.
Trivia: bluebonnets are the state flower of Texas. Pecan tree is our state tree and chili is our state dish and mockingbird is our state bird and "Texas, Our Texas" is our state song and the horned toad is our state reptile. Do you know what the state gem is? This is a test. LOL
This old barn was in a field by the road. So rustic.
Something about cattle in bluebonnets.
My bagel really kept me feeling full. We didn't go out for lunch/dinner until 3:30. I wanted to try some local fare so we went to the historic downtown area and found a placed called BT Longhorn Saloon and Steakhouse.
We had to wait a long, long time for the food but when it arrived....aaaahhhhhh. It was so good! Forget the points. I went in with the idea that I would eat half of the 1/2 pound burger and drink a beer. But this was one of the best burgers I've had.
It was called the BT Ultimate and had 1/2 pound of meat, cheddar, fried jalapeno slices and barbecue sauce on a homemade bun with jalapeno slices served with black pepper fries (pointless). I also had two St Arnold beers.
St. Arnold is a microbrewery in Houston that gives tours on Saturdays with free beer at the end! It's so good. If you live near the Houston area I highly recommend it.
Yeah, I know I ate poorly but I love trying new places when we do road trips. I don't plan on giving that up. I eat good the rest of the time and exercise so that I can enjoy myself when we go out.
On the way home we spotted a new Bucees on Hwy 290! We needed gas so we stopped. Bucees is a gas station/deli/everything franchise that started in Lake Jackson and really tries to be everything to everybody: clean restrooms, fresh fudge, sandwiches, gasoline, tee shirts and Beaver Nuggets!
Beaver nuggets are like super sugar coated puffed cereal. We only get them when we stop on road trips and then it takes a couple of months for us to eat them or finally throw them away. They are so sweet that you can only eat a few. I think I had 5 tonight. Not too bad.

That was all I ate today. The bagel really filled me up. Lunch was both lunch and dinner. I think I'll just count it as using all my remaining daily and weekly points just to be safe. And I'll exercise a lot to earn some activity points.
So now it's back to being a good girl. :)
You know what's weird? On all previous diets I would have hated myself for eating a burger,etc off plan. I would have given up and gained even more weight. But with Weight Watchers I finally realize that this is a lifestyle, not a temporary diet. I will eat out sometimes and enjoy myself without any guilt whatsoever. But the next day I need to be eating healthy stuff and exercising. I can live with that! A diet that tells me that I can never have bread or a fatty burger? I can't do that.
I'm finding balance in my life and it feels so good.
By the way, I only have 9.2 pounds to lose before I reach my 10% goal and get the coveted WW key chain!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Give me back that Filet o Fish; Bluebonnets; Dinner Challenge

It got C-O-L-D overnight. Last night we could hear the wind blowing hard. It was kind of neat.

Chuck is so good to cook breakfast on the weekends. I'm still experimenting with my bagel fetish so my usual English muffin sandwich was turned into a bagel sandwich. OMG, so good!

Breakfast: CarbCheck bagel with egg white, cheese, and bacon (5 pts) and coffee with creamer (1 pt)

We all got ready and headed out to Brenham to see the bluebonnets.

I can't get that freakin McDonald's song out of my head! Have you seen the commercial?

Soooooo.....we stop by McD's for some lunch. Yep, I got the Filet-O-Fish (mustard instead of tartar sauce...to save points), small fry and Diet Coke (11 pts).
Gimme back that filet o fish; give me that fish.

Then off to take some pictures. Chuck took so many terrific shots. I wish I could post them all but it would use up so much memory. Here are a few:

We had to rush home to make it to the in laws in time for dinner. Chuck's grandpa and aunt were there too. It was good to see them. His aunt is now my favorite aunt after tonight: she kept telling me how much weight I had lost and saying that my clothes were too big for me. Oh, she knew all the right things to say.

Chuck's mom even mentioned it! Wow! They asked what my secret was and I just said that I was eating healthier food and moving more. I'm not ready to mention Weight Watchers yet. I don't know why.

Here is a picture of the dinner spread. It would have been too hard for me to explain if I took a picture of my plate. This was easier. :) So I had some grilled chicken, corn, green beans, 1 Tbs mac and cheese (yeah, I know), and a big portion of salad with spray dressing. You don't see a picture of the dessert spread. There were two types of cakes and brownies. I had 1 brownie and a bite of both cakes. One bite each! I estimated my total dinner at 13 points.

I had to use 6 of my weekly allowance points but I am ok with that. I was able to eat dinner without making it a huge ordeal. Success!

We had such a good time just driving around looking at the landscape today. I think we're going to go and do the same tomorrow. Wish me luck if we stop by Blue Bell. I can get a HUGE bowl of any flavor for $1. Yeah, it's Brenham: the birthplace of Blue Bell Creamery.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Experiments; Hiking Brazos Bend; True Confessions of a WW

So I'm experimenting to see if these fiber packed CarbCheck bagels are the cause of my lack of hunger and snacking. This is day 3 of eating them and so far my snacking urges have been seriously curbed!

Breakfast: CarbCheck bagel with WW cream cheese and 2 coffees with creamer (5 pts)
Midmorning snack: Apple turnover yogurt (2 pts) I wasn't really hungry but I have tons of yogurt in the fridge and I don't want them to go bad. Is that wrong?
Chuck got home early. I love spending Fridays with him.
For lunch I made a salad with grilled chicken, 1 egg white, goat cheese and 2 sliced strawberries on the side for color. (4 pts)

I was eating the strawberries and came across this! Look...my food loves me! See the heart?
It's supposed to get cold so we can't waste the warm weather by staying indoors. So we head to the nearest state park for a short hike. I was hoping the baby gators would be there again but we couldn't find them.
We did see some gators but I figured you were tired of seeing gator pictures. :)
These are black bellied whistler ducks.
An angry squirrel watching me from a tree. I have a bad history with squirrels. I'd rather not go into it without having an appointment with a therapist scheduled. Let's just say I have a scar.
Cool looking old barn in a field of yellow flowers.

One of my favorites: yellow crowned night heron
Rachel with a red eared slider turtle. The turtle was looking for a place to lay eggs. It's that time of year. :)
Blue winged teal ducks
An anhinga drying its wings
An immature roseate spoonbill
The quiet before the storm....
All of the wildlife photos were taken by my man, Chuck.
By the time we got home it was time for dinner and we were pretty hungry. I had a Blow Pop (1 pt) as a little snack. No picture.

For dinner I made enchiladas with that taco chicken recipe. I just rolled about 2 oz of chicken in a low carb tortilla and topped it with canned enchilada sauce, sprinkled with very little 2% cheese and baked at 350 until bubbly. It was so darn good!!!
Dinner: chicken enchiladas, Mexican rice, fat free refried beans (9 pts)

Dessert: WW creamsicle (1 pt)

And now.........
True Confessions of a Weight Watcher
I have been on so many diets for nearly 18 years. So many times I've lost weight only to gain more weight until I ballooned into a big bodacious woman.
All along my in laws have watched my yoyo figure. I can only imagine what they must think and say. They are very "concerned" about every one's weight they meet. Do you know what I am trying to say?
Anyway, I have not told them that I am doing Weight Watchers. I am so afraid of failing again in their sight that I just can't bring myself to let them know that I am doing yet another diet. All of the others have failed me. Or I have failed them.
Tomorrow we are going over there for dinner. My MIL has made brownies (my all time favorite deadly dessert) and cake. There will also be veggies swimming in butter. I'm bringing a salad so I can feel good about one thing I eat at least.
But how do I eat WW style without letting them know I am dieting?
I was hoping by now they would comment on my weight loss but they haven't. At least not to me. So I guess they don't see much of a difference.
I just want to succeed and then announce, "It was because of Weight Watchers!" I am really afraid of failing yet again.
There's my confession. I guess I'll say 10 Bloody Marys and call it a day.
To end things on a good note, WW has been the most promising diet I've ever done. And it's not a diet; it's a way of life. I can live like this!