Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tender Chicken in Gravy Recipe (5 pts)

Tomorrow is my weigh in day. Tomorrow I report whether I lost 1/2 pound for the Jack Sh*t Half Pound Challenge. If I haven't lost that .5 pound there is a chance that I will resort to this plastic knife and do my own liposuction. There won't be any suction though. Just cuttin'. I must win this challenge.
Breakfast: Swamp Water with Amazing Greens, spinach, kefir, banana, chia, ice and stevia Have you tried a Green Smoothie yet? If not, what are you waiting for? It's not bad. I promise. Please try this:
*handful of spinach leaves
*about 1 cup almond milk, soy milk, regular milk or even water (better with milk though)
*1 banana
*1 orange (optional..can also use pineapple, berries, kiwi, etc)
*about 1-2 handfuls ice
*some sweetener like agave, honey, stevia
*1 Tbs flax seed or chia seed (optional)
Blend. Drink. Now go do it and let me know what you think. :)

Lunch: tuna salad and spinach leaves on whole wheat toast; fresh pineapple That's some of the sweetest pineapple I've had in a long time.
Exercise time: did The Shred Level 1 The hardest parts were the push ups and the arm raises where you lift weights to eye level. Lets me know that I need to work on upper body strength.
Drank some water and then did Leslie Sansone's 4 Mile Super Challenge. It's not a terribly difficult DVD but it does burn the calories. Bodybugg said I burned 600 calories today on this DVD. A little over 300 doing Jillian's workout.
Leslie has a 5 mile walk that I am going to lobby for. Chuck, if you are reading this.....I sure would like to have this. :)
Dinner: Tender Chicken in Gravy over brown rice; Broccoli with a sprinkling of cheese; (not shown) cantaloupe The chicken was pretty good. Good comfort food.
Tender Chicken in Gravy (5 pts)
from Weight Watchers 20 Minute Recipes mag
cooking spray
1.5 pounds chicken breast tenders
1 (14 oz) can fat free less sodium chicken broth (I used organic)
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup fat free evaporated milk
2 Tbs. all purpose flour
1 Tbs. light butter
2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley, divided
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken, and cook 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Turn chicken; add broth thyme, garlic powder, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in center. Remove chicken from pan; set aside, and keep warm.
Combine milk and flour in small bowl; stir with a whisk. Bring broth mixture to a boil. Cook 4 minutes or until liquid is reduced to 1 cup. Slowly stir in milk mixture, butter, and 1 Tbs parsley. Cook, stirring constantly, until gravy thickens. Serve over chicken; sprinkle with remaining parsley. Yield: 4 servings (about 3 chicken tenders with 1/4 cup gravy)
Calories 254; Fat 4g; Protein 43.5g; Carb 8.2g; Fiber .4g 5 Points

My cupcake maker, Rachel, made another cute creation for me. I told her I would eat it after weigh in. She tried to make it healthier by using applesauce instead of oil but the toppings are not healthy at all. I think it's just the cutest! The "potatoes" are cream cheese frosting; the gravy is caramel; the butter is a laffy taffy. Love it!
That's it for today. We finally got some good rain and boy did we need it.
Wish me luck on the weigh in tomorrow. :)
Giveaway Alert: * Zesty Cook is giving away some POM. I've been wanting to try this.
*J. Leigh Designz is having a giveaway of a really cool product called Sport Brella. This would be great for hiking and canoe trips or just a day at the beach.

Monday Eats

No pictures today. :( Chuck had the camera with him. Oh noooooooooo. *said in my Bruce voice from Family Guy*

Breakfast: Green Monster (I prefer to call it swamp water) with spinach, Amazing Grass mix original, banana, 1/2 of huge orange, kefir, stevia, ice, chia seeds Made about a quart of deliciousness.

The Amazing Grass folks also sent a couple of samples of their mix for kids.

I mixed a shake for Charlie and Rachel using the packet & chocolate almond milk and they loved it. Both drank it down with no problem at all. I have to go get some of this now.

Check out the wonderful things about this product:

A nutritional powerhouse that combines 33 rainbow colored fruits and vegetables in a delicious chocolate drink powder. Mix with milk or water. One serving gives you the antioxidant equivalent of 3 servings of fruits and vegetables.

Amazing Grass Kidz SuperFood phyto-nutritous fruit and vegetable blend: organic wheat grass, organic barley grass, organic alfalfa, asparagus, lima beans, green peas, kale, kiwi, organic spinach, organic broccoli, brussel sprouts, green beans, zuichini, apricots, organic carrots, mangos, pineapple, sweet potatoes, tangerines, yellow squash, pomegranates, raspberries, guavas, cranberries, red cabbage, cherries, tomatoes, beets, plums, purple grapes, blueberries, organic oat fiber, organic soy milk powder (organic soy beants, organic cane juice), organic cocoa, FOS (from chicory root), dutch cocoa, natural vanilla, apple pectin fiber, carrageenan, sea salt, silicon dioxide (anti-caking).

I'll take slow steps but eventually they'll be enjoying Swamp Water with me. :)

Lunch: tuna salad and spinach leaves on whole wheat bread; apple I used plain Greek yogurt instead of mayo in the tuna and it worked just fine.

Dinner: spaghetti with bison meat sauce; 1 garlic bread stick; salad; iced tea

Exercise was doing mountains of laundry and cleaning my bedroom. I had stacks of books that needed to be sorted. Also used my rubber band to do some upper body strength training and did some planks. Planks are rough for me. I have very little core strength.

Found out today that we won't be going camping at South Llano State Park this weekend. It kind of sucks because we were going for 5 days! 5 days of tubing, swimming, canoeing and hiking. Our diesel truck is having some issues and the miniature van won't pull the trailer. And there's no way I'm sleeping in a tent in this kind of heat. Forget about it.

I guess we'll spend the weekend completing nature challenge missions, geocaching and maybe go paddle a river or something. So it's all good. I have to find some way to totally exhaust my family on the holidays. :)

Thanks for checking in on me. Things are back to normal emotionally. The scale...well, I'm not going to let that thing bother me. My clothes are fitting much loser and I'm getting stronger. But the most important thing of all is that I am happy. :) Ah, the ups and downs of life.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Have Room on That Wagon for One More?

Monday morning.

I'm touched by all of the encouragement from my "downer" post. Thank you so much. It really does make a difference. It's like my own personal therapy session and you guys are the psychologists. :)

Yesterday, Sunday, I was determined to crawl back on to the wagon. And I succeeded big time.

I had to go get the kids so I was going to be on the road during lunch but I planned ahead and succeeded in staying with it.

Breakfast: Amazing Grass shake with chia seeds and vanilla kefir The chia seeds are a wonderful addition because they really make you feel full and satisfied. I love 'em.

Lunch: (the challenge to have lunch on the road without stopping for junk food or making a mess in the car) Amazing Grass shake and an Amazing Grass bar It was very satisfying and the whole thing was only 330 calories. But I can say that I prefer the shakes made with almond milk than just water.

Dinner: Chuck was sweet and made breakfast for dinner scrambled egg whites, 2 slices whole wheat toast, and 2 slices uncured bacon which I like much better than the cured bacon with nitrites that I was eating

Dessert: a "clean eating" ice cream sandwich that I had made

I did not exercise because of the hamstring issue I was having. Plus I was tired and something is messed up with my hormones because I am breaking out like crazy and it's not even close to time for something like that to happen. Maybe it was the junk I ate.

Feeling like myself again. :) Thanks again for the encouragement.

Goals for the week:
  • exercise at least 5 days this week
  • clean house
  • eat healthy options ONLY this week

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Dear Diary.....

It is Sunday morning. Chuck is still asleep. And I am feeling pretty low.

Friday I had an appointment for a pedicure. A luxury in a time I should be saving. Well, I guess it wasn't meant to be because the van had a flat. Chuck dropped off the tire at the store and went for his chiropractor appointment and 2 hour massage.

While he was gone I tried Jillian Michael's Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism. It is 40 minutes of crazy high impact, high intensity Jillian madness. It's pretty advanced and I felt like I was going to die. I made it through the DVD but there were times that I just could not keep up with the exercises. I also injured my hamstring in the process. Yay, me.

Also did Leslie Sansone 4 mile walk. I think it's about 55 minutes. So I did get a lot of exercise in Friday.

That night we went out for gyros. I ordered potatoes instead of fries (trying to make at least one good choice here) but the potatoes were so fatty and buttery and had an "off" taste to them. I only had a couple of bites. I did have a baklava for dessert.

Afterwards we went to see The Proposal which is hilarious and I recommend it. Great movie. But they had a preview for a new movie coming out called Old Dogs that had everyone in the theater laughing so hard including me. I can't wait to see that one.

Got home and had a sugar free margarita. Trying to be a little good with my rita making it sugar free. Then I got munchies and the pretzels and caramel rice cakes made an appearance. Not good, Kelly.

Saturday morning started out fine...good breakfast. Went to Chuck's IDPA shooting match and he came in first in accuracy but didn't do as well in speed. It was way too hot to be running around out there. He had an issue with the heat and almost blacked out. It was pretty serious. What makes me mad is that he didn't tell me until afterwards that he was having trouble.

Stop to get him some food and get hydrated quickly at (not the best choice, Kelly) Casa Ole. Crap. No I didn't do good here. It's not like I don't know that this stuff is fattening and unhealthy. So why do I do it?

The dudes at the tire store put my tire on backwards (I didn't even realize that was an option) so we had to go by there and get that changed out. Then to REI where I drooled over backpacks and imagined myself hiking rim to rim of the Grand Canyon. ahhhh. Tried out a Thermarest pad and compared weights of tents. One day I'll be a backpacker. I was happy to see another full figured lady there trying on daypacks. Usually the only people who shop there are skinny and in great shape. I always feel a little out of place.

Things went further downhill for me when we went to the Kemah boardwalk on a very nice date. It was such a beautiful evening strolling together hand in hand. We ate a Louisiana inspired restaurant called Babin's. For an appetizer we tried fried alligator. Though it was very good I could not help but think about all of my alligator friends at Brazos Bend. :( I also had a martini, Greek salad, baked sweet potato and blackened amberjack with a lump crab meat sauce. OMG, so delicious. For dessert I had a very small glass of drambuie.

And now we are caught up. And I feel pretty crappy. I got on the scale and it showed a 4 pound gain. Just typing that makes my face turn red with embarrassment. If I know something is a bad choice and I'll regret it later then why do I make that choice anyway? It doesn't make sense.

I'm sorry this post is such a downer. I thought it would be good therapy for me. I can't pity myself because it's my own fault. The only one who can change anything is me. That's it. I just have to eat correctly and exercise. That's the secret to weight loss in case you are interested. Doing it is the problem. You either do it or you don't.

I expect to utterly fail my half pound challenge. There will be a gain. But right now, at this moment, I am rededicating myself to working hard at getting this weight off. I can't half-ass it anymore.

What a struggle this is. If you've made it this far you deserve a medal. Thanks for hanging with me and listening to me whine. I'm sure the next post will be more "me" and upbeat.

A couple of good things: We get the kids today and the lady at REI suggested I try a size MEDIUM pack. I was expecting her to say they didn't carry my size. :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Healthy Mojito Recipe; Does my breakfast make my grass look fat?

Started my day with a Chia Fizz that tasted so much like a mojito. Almost felt a little naughty starting the day with a mojito but it didn't have any rum and it was actually good for me! I know, it looks a little funky with those seeds floating in it but it's really good.So what are chia seeds anyway? Do you remember ch-ch-ch-chia pets? Well, these are the seeds.

From my container of Greens+ Omega3 Chia Seeds (which I found at Vitamin Shoppe):

"Salvia hispanica, also known as Chia (pronounced chee’ah), is the richest and only unprocessed, whole food source of pure Omega3. A member of the mint family, Chia is native to Central America and has been used traditionally for over 3000 years.

Ancient Aztec warriors prized Chia as an endurance promoting Superfood, eating it in bread just before battle, and drinking it in water before running long distances on foot. Mixed in lemonade or fruit juice (known as chia fresca) Omega3 Chia seed quickly becomes a refreshing, performance-enhancing energy drink.

Due to its high fiber content (more than 35%) Chia seed has the remarkable ability to absorb ten times its weight in water, making it an excellent source of hydration. Omega3 Chia’s fiber forms a gel that slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, binds it to toxins in the digestive system, and helps eliminate waste.

Omega3 Chia is especially rich in essential fatty acids. One 15gm serving provides more than 3gm of Omega3 (as alpha-linolenic acid) and 1gm of Omega6 (linoleic acid) in a perfectly balanced 3:1 ratio, making it the richest, unprocessed and fully-digestible whole food source of Omega3.

Because they are loaded with high-ORAC antioxidants like quercetin, caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid, Omega3 Chia seeds maintain a 99% sprout rate and have a shelf life of up to five years. Furthermore, Chia seeds are rich in calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc; many trace minerals and biologically complete protein, making them the perfect survival food.

Omega3 Chia’s health benefits are the subject of an intense study currently being conducted by the Nutritional Science Research Institute, in cooperation with Dr. David Neiman of Appalachian State University. NSRI’s randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled clinical trial is exploring Omega3 Chia’s sugar stabilizing, weight control properties and the conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA in healthy, non-diabetic subjects.

Greens Plus has joined with NSRI to make this Ancient yet Powerful New Superfood available to the market. Omega3 Chia is certified kosher and is pesticide, herbicide, gluten and GMO-free. Available in 1-pound (454gm) containers.

Important Facts
*Chia seeds have thousands of years of safe historical human consumption
*GREENS+ Omega3 Chia™ is the only ISO 9000 Certified (International Organization for Quality and standards) chia seeds
*Chia seeds enhance energy levels and extend endurance
*Chia seeds are 100% cholesterol free, and trans fat free
*Omega3 Chia is NOT genetically modified (GMO)
*Chia seeds contain significant amounts or Quercetin antioxidants that aid in reducing inflammation
*Omega3 Chia is one of the highest overall antioxidant containing foods (ORAC i680 pr 22g) – more than blueberries and prunes
*Omega3 Chia is gluten free, and can be eaten by people suffering from celiac disease.
*Chia seeds aid in increasing nutrient absorption and utilization
*Omega3 Chia is a complete, whole and natural food, not a supplement.
*Omega3 Chia is a perfect digestive aid, creating better assimilation of food and excess stomach acids
*Omega3 Chia is a dieters dream, fat replacement, food extender and creates a full satiated feeling.
*Chia seeds encourage healthy and gentle bowel elimination
*Omega3 Chia is certified Kosher
*Chia seeds prevent dehydration and aids in Electrolyte Balance "

Chia Fizz (Healthy Mojito)
From Clean Eating Magazine July/August 2009 issue
12 fresh mint leaves
1/2 lime, left unpeeled, and cut in thirds, divided
1 tsp light agave
1 Tbs chia seeds
8 oz seltzer or natural sparkling water

*In a large glass, muddle mint leaves and 2 lime wedges with a muddler of back of a spoon.
*Add agave, seeds and seltzer. Stir.
*Chill in fridge for 10 minutes to allow chia seeds to gel.
*Garnish with remaining lime wedge; stir and serve.
Calories 100; total fat 4.5g; omega 3 2490mg; omega6 820mg; fiber 6g; protein 2g

The wonderful folks at Amazing Grass (no they don't sell stuff to smoke or make "special" brownies with) sent me a bunch of samples of their products for me to try and share my thoughts/opinions/results with you guys.

Today I tried a meal replacement for breakfast because I wasn't very hungry and I couldn't wait to try these.

Breakfast: shake with Amazing Grass Pomegranate Mango meal replacement with almond milk and ice I added a little stevia because I like it sweet. :) Taste: AWESOME!
This little shaker is perfect for shakin' up a healthy Green Monster and taking it with you. This stuff rocks my world already. It's raw so it's full of enzymes. So what all is in this super food? Check it out. Hope it's not too small to read. Click on the picture to go to the web site to view.

Lunch: leftover Thai Lime Chicken; Spinach & rice; and a terrible organic peach Bleck.
Afternoon snack: Amazing Greens Chocolate Whole Foods Energy Bar Click on pic to go to web site to read more about it.
The first bite I could taste the greens but after that it was so good. I mean really good. Plus it's so healthy.

Ingredient List - Organic Dates, Organic Dark Chocolate Coating (Cane Sugar, Unsweetened Chocolate, Cocoa Butter, Non-GMO Soy Lecithin, Natural Vanilla Flavor), Organic Agave Nectar, Amazing Grass Green SuperFood (Organic Wheat Grass, Organic Barley Grass, Organic Alfalfa, Organic Spirulina, Organic Spinach, Organic Chlorella, Organic Broccoli, Organic Acai, Organic Maca, Organic Carrot, Organic Beet, Raspberry, Organic Rose Hips, Pineapple, Green Tea, Organic Flax Lignans, L. Adidophilus, Alpha and Beta Amylase, Protease, Lipase, Lactase, Cellulase, Organic Peppermint), Organic Cashews, Organic Almond Butter, Organic Almonds, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Organic Dried Cranberries, Organic Cacao Nibs, Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Organic Dried Coconut and Organic Vanilla Extract. Allergy Information: Contains Almonds and Cashews
As you know, it was a sad day in the entertainment world. First Farrah Fawcett and then Michael Jackson passed away. I realize there are more pressing things going on in the world: election issues in Iran; N. Korea is threatening to nuke us; economy, etc. But these deaths hit close to home because I was familiar with the personalities. Michael Jackson was the first person I saw in concert.
His life was even more tragic than his death. Michael Jackson was so unhappy with his looks and life that he had so many surgeries that he looked mutilated. His death reminded me of a wonderful project called Operation Beautiful where people post notes of encouragement anonymously in public places or at home. I can't leave a message for Michael but I would like to post it here for everyone else:
Chuck and I went out for sushi at a place called Little Tokyo.
We started with spring rolls that were awesome. My throat only itched a little from the shrimp of which I am slightly allergic. :)
The mango roll was superb. That's sweet crispy mango and salmon. -- crab, cucumber, avocado, wrapped with salmon and mango
Then I had 3 pieces of the most AMAZING Cleopatra roll. OMG, it was the best. -- salmon, crab, avocado, apple, fried shrimp, with soy paper
This post is becoming a novel! Sorry guys. Just so many great things to share.
No exercise today because it was a much needed rest day. My arms are so sore.

Just a Regular Day. Nothing to See Here :P

Not much exciting going on today. Sometimes it's nice to have days like that though.

Stayed up way too late last night. But it was fun hanging out with Chuck while the kids are gone. It's so quiet around here. I wonder how I'll handle an empty nest when the time comes.

Breakfast: oatmeal with blueberries, Bartlett pear Australian yogurt, walnuts & pumpkin seeds I could not eat it all but it was very good.

Now I'd like to introduce you to two things that totally kicked my butt:

Meet EA Sports Active for Wii. Works both upper and lower body. I changed the band to a more resistant one and now my arms shake while doing the exercises. Excellent.
Now meet Leslie Sanson's Walk Away The Pounds 4 Mile Super Challenge. Doesn't seem difficult. You have 4 basic moves and there's no dancing or jumping around but I burn 700-800 calories when I do it. Not bad!
Guess who's on the cover of Self Magazine for July. Jillian Michaels! I know, I know. You either love her or hate her. I'm in the love her camp. Whatever you may feel about her, she gets great results. In this issue she opens up and we see that though Jillian is hard and crunchy on the outside, she's soft and sweet on the inside. Kind of like a Skittle.
I sure would like to meet her. Oh, how about that?! Self is giving away lunch with Jillian in LA! Just go to Self.com and register for a chance. While there you can also sign up to receive daily exercise tips from Ms. Shred herself. Plus there is the Great 1-Month Slimdown exercises to try. Jill had to lose 60 pounds and she shows you how to drop 8 pounds in a month. I'd love to be 8 pounds lighter.
Lunch: leftover Thai Lime Chicken and Spinach Rice
For dinner my sweety took me on a casual date to Mooyah. Stupid burgers are so darn good. I got the junior one this time. I wonder if he liked me. I hope he asks me out again. ;-)
Afterwards we went grocery shopping then home then to bed. I wish we were independently wealthy so he could stay home or could work from home. Why is The Man always trying to keep us down? LOL
OH! Got some great samples from Amazing Grass so you'll be seeing that a lot in the days to come.
Giveaway alert: Iowa Girl Eats is having a Real Simple & Pure Giveaway.
Calories Burned: 2996

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Weigh In Results

I had no idea what to expect this morning. On Monday the scale showed a gain of 3.3 pounds. Yesterday it said I lost 2.9 pounds of that gain.
The magical scale told my fortune and today it said: "Well done, good and faithful servant."

Lost 3.1 pounds from last week's weigh in for a total of 54 pounds gone! Down to 196. Woop! Woop!

The Wii Fit is so close to saying that I'm overweight instead of obese. So close.

Things I did this week to kick the scale's @ss:

  • eat less processed foods but didn't count calories
  • MOVED a lot more (hiking out the wazoo & exercise videos/game)

Eat clean + move more= weight loss and muscle tone

Mood: Happy Camper

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

"Eat Clean" Recipes: Thai Lime Chicken & Ice Cream Sandwiches

Hello blogger buddies. Guess what: I got on the scale today and it said I had lost 2.9 pounds of the 3.3 pound gain from the weekend. So it's really any body's guess what the lovely scale will say tomorrow. I don't know whether to offer a cupcake to the scale god or threaten its life. Maybe I'll go neutral and see what happens.

Breakfast: watermelon; Carb Check Bagel with eggbeaters & cheese
I really need to look for an alternative to the processed American cheese slices. I really like the taste and texture though. Any one out there with a suggestion?
Did my EA Sports Active today. OMG, I so hate the squat holds and the lunge jumps. Lucky me: I had to do both today. Twice. My legs were shaking. I have noticed a wee bit more muscle tone. It's worth it for that. Yes, you can get a decent workout with that game.
Afterwards I did Leslie Sanson's 4 Mile Super Challenge. I forgot I even had this and it was too hot to walk outside. Got a very nice sweat going with this one. It's also very easy on the joints unlike EA Sports Active and the Shred. It seems like I remember some of Leslie's videos also using a rubber band for some light strength training. This one does not. :(

Getting all hot and sweaty made me not-so-hungry for lunch so I just made a protein shake with a banana, Jay Robb chocolate protein, some Greek yogurt, water, ice and agave nectar. VERY tasty! I want to have this again. Not a very big lunch but I got carbs & protein so I was happy.
Dinner: Thai Lime Chicken; rice & spinach Great dinner and it came together fast. The spinach & rice was just something I threw together and it worked out nicely. Just cook rice then stir in some thawed spinach with garlic powder, onion powder and salt.
Thai Lime Chicken
From Clean Eating Magazine July/August 2009 issue

1/3 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
1.5 Tbs. garlic powder
1.5 tsp. ginger, ground (oops! I think I used 1.5 Tbs!)
1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 lime

(I doubled everything to make it serve 4)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a mini food processor (or blender) grind peanuts until fine but not to a paste. In a small bowl, combine peanuts, garlic powder and ginger. Place chicken on a cookie sheet and squeeze lime juice from lime overtop. Then roll chicken in peanut mixture until well-coated. Bake chicken in oven for 25 minutes or until no longer pink in center.

Makes 2 servings, 4-oz each
Calories 360; Total Fat 16 g; Sat Fat 3g; Carbs 11g; Fiber 3g; Protein 42g

Also had a bowl of watermelon with dinner.

Dessert: 1 "clean eating" ice cream sandwich So good. The fro yo was just ok. I might just try to find some fro yo at the store to use next time.
CE "Ice Cream" Sandwiches

From Clean Eating Magazine July/August 2009

Vanilla Frozen Yogurt

1.5 cups strained low fat plain yogurt

1/4 cup agave nectar

2 tsp vanilla

In a mixing bowl, combine strained yogurt, agave, and vanilla. Stir until blended, then spoon mixture into a shallow 9x9" non-reactive freezer-safe container.

Transfer container to freezer and chill until mixture is starting to freeze slightly around edges, about 45 minutes. Scrape ice crystals from edges with a spatula and mix thoroughly back into yogurt mixture. Continue to blend until creamy again, about 2 minutes. Return container to freezer and repeat this process 2 more times, for a total of 3 times. Each time the mixture will get thicker and harder to blend. After third mixing, return container to freezer until ready to eat, about 2-3 hours. For best results, store tightly sealed in freezer and use within 2-3 days.

Chocolate-Spiked Oatmeal Cookies

olive oil cooking spray

1 1/4 cup quick-cook old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour

2 tsp flaxseed meal

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup agave nectar

1 large egg white

2 tsp. unsalted almond butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup dark mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly spray 2 baking sheets with olive oil.

In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, flour, flaxseed meal, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together agave, egg white, almond butter and vanilla. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients all at once and combine. Stir in chocolate chips.

Divide batter equally into 16 mounds and arrange evenly spaced on prepared baking sheets. Using the back of a slightly dampened spoon, flatten each mound into 2.5 inch circles. Bake 9-10 minutes, until golden. Cool on sheets for an additional 10 minutes before transferring to racks to cool completely. Stored in an airtight container, cookies will keep fresh for 2-3 days.

(These are so yummy)

"Ice Cream" Sandwiches

To assemble sandwiches, spoon 3 Tbs frozen yogurt between 2 cookies. If yogurt is too hard to scoop, allow it to warm slightly for a few minutes on counter until desired consistency. Repeat for remaining cookies. Eat immediately of transfer to freezer-safe container and store in freezer until ready to eat. For best results, eat within 2-3 hours of filling cookies.

Makes 8 cookie sandwiches

Per sandwich:

calories 260; total fat 4.5g; carbs 50g; fiber 3g; protein 8g
Chuck and I went to Bass Pro Shop tonight and I saw this salsa and thought of Jack Sh*t....even though he did hint that I look like a dork in my bodybugg. Ahem. Let's move on. Anyway, the label cracked me up so I had to get it. :) This one's for you Mr. Sh*t.
Speaking of Mr Jack Sh*t, he is having a cool challenge. The stakes are low: lose 1/2 pound in a week. If you do it he will include your name in a poem. Can't wait for that one. You can bet that I'll be working hard. (Please don't make a rhyme with Kelly and Belly....I just might be offended. LOL)

Calories Burned: 3337 (!)

I burned approx 200 calories doing EA Sports Active but the Leslie Sansone DVD made me burn almost 800 calories!!! Can you guess what exercise I'll be doing today? :) I'm impressed.

Monday Food Log; Bodybugg FAQ

I was SO tired today and got nothing done. The kids are spending the week at my parents' house swimming and playing with cousins so the house was very quiet. :)

Breakfast: oatmeal with Jay Robb strawberry protein powder; pear

When lunch time came around I was hungry but nothing sounded good. Ever been like that?

Lunch: grilled chicken, mustard, cheese & tortilla wrap; organic grapes
Dinner: leftover Buddy's Natural Chicken Sausage; green beans; watermelon
Buddy's Natural Chicken products are delicious. Each link is 160 calories (4 pts for WW).
After dinner I became ravenous. Not sure what the deal was but I was hungry. Ate a Holey Donut for dessert but was still hungry. So I toasted half of a Carb Check bagel and it finally filled me up. I also kept thinking about those 3 nasty pounds I gained. That's a good motivator to stop munching.
I had to send my old Bodybugg back to the company because it wouldn't sync with my watch display. Today I got my replacement and it's the new style!! It's really sleek and lighter than my old one. Instead of replacing the batteries every 2 weeks I recharge these every 4-5 days. Bad news is that my watch display still won't sync. I told the guy on the phone before that I thought it was a problem with the display and not the Bodybugg. Oh well. I got a new one out of the whole mess. Now I have to see what they're going to do about my watch.
A few folks have asked me about my Bodybugg so I'm going to run through some FAQ. If you decide to get one I would go to Elizabeth Sherman's web site to order. She is also on Twitter @bodybugg. Tell her @dasschus sent ya. :)
  • What is a bodybugg? What does it do?

The bodybugg® is the most accurate device on the market today for measuring calorie expenditure outside of a clinical setting.

It utilizes a patented process for interpreting calorie burn called "sensor fusion" developed by BodyMedia, Inc. This process involves collecting a range of body-data using multiple physiological sensors instead of a single sensor, which is what other calorie estimation devices such as pedometers and heart rate monitors rely on. It's this multi-sensor approach that enables bodybugg® to "see" the wearer's context (whether they are sitting, sleeping, jogging, walking, etc.) that makes bodybugg® such a reliably accurate device for calorie expenditure estimation.
The Physiological Sensors
Here is a list of the sensors in the bodybugg® followed by a short description of how they contribute to energy expenditure estimation.

Accelerometer - The accelerometer in bodybugg® is a tri-axis micro-electro-mechanical sensor (MEMS) device that measures motion. This motion can be mapped to forces (g-force) exerted on the body. By taking gravity and motion into account along with the other sensor data, the wearer's body context and true level of physical exertion can be accurately predicted.
Heat Flux - The bodybugg® also contains a proprietary heat flux sensor located on the side that measures the amount of heat being dissipated by the body via a thermally resistant material. In short, this sensor measures how much heat the wearer's body is giving off. Heat flux is an important parameter because the body tends to heat up the faster it burns calories.

Galvanic Skin Response - Better known as GSR, this sensor is comprised of two "hypo-allergenic" stainless steel electrodes on the back of the armband that measure skin conductivity. Skin conductivity is how much an electrical current can pass between two points on the surface of the skin and is affected by sweat due to physical exertion as well as emotional stimuli such as psychological stress.

Skin Temperature - Skin temperature is measured by using a highly accurate thermistor-based sensor located on the back of the bodybugg®. Looking at continuous measurement of skin temperature in conjunction with data collected from the other sensors can reveal the body's core temperature trends which are affected by the level of a person's physical exertion or lack thereof.

The data these 4 sensors collect, in conjunction with the wearer's specific body parameters (age, gender, height, weight) enable the most accurate estimation of energy expenditure on the market today outside of a clinical setting.

  • A friend gave me their old bodybugg. What do I do now?

You will need to purchase a web-only program. With this you'll receive 2 bodybugg coaching sessions to help you learn how to use the program as well as a 3-month web subscription. During your first session, you'll just need to tell your bodybugg coach that you have an armband and he/she will make any necessary adjustments to your account.

  • Is there a warranty that comes with thearmband?

Yes, the armband comes with a one-year warranty which begins the day you activate your armband. Please note: water damage is not covered by the warranty. The elastic strap is intended to last at least 90 days from purchase date, provided it is hand-washed and allowed to air-dry (do not tumble dry).

  • Can I use the bodybugg system online without the bodybugg armband?

Yes. Actually the online program is the foundation of the bodybugg system. Based on your measurement changes, the system will determine your actual daily calorie deficit (or surplus) according to your one-week average. To help you stay on track without the bodybugg armband, there's an easy-to-use food logging function so you can keep track of calories consumed. There's also an exercise calculator with hundreds of activities to choose from to determine how many calories you've burned. Through the bodybugg online interface, you can customize and print menus as well as view and print your exercise programs. There are also several informative knowledge builders, tutorials, newsletters, and daily questions and answers to help you stay on track. Check out www.myapex.com

  • How accurate is the bodybugg?

The Armband has been clinically validated to be over 90% accurate when determining calorie burn through the entire day. More specifically, a recent independent study tested the Armband in real-life situations. Participants engaged in "free living" activities, including brisk walking, running, bicycling, sedentary activities, home activities, home repair, occupational activities, strength training, and ball games. The study compared the Armband to a $40,000 "portable oxygen analyzer", the gold standard for measuring calories.

Results showed:

Total Calories for free living activities: mean error <10%.>

Total Minutes of exercise: mean error <5%.

Source: British Journal of Sports Medicine. July 2008. Berntsen et al.

  • What is calorie balance, deficit, surplus?

Calorie balance is the difference between calories consumed and calories burned. Your caloric burn value is determined by the data from the Armband, off-body estimates and any manual activities that have been logged. The caloric consumption value is determined by either the logged meals or body mass changes. Calorie deficit = when you have burned more calories than consumed. Maintaining a calorie deficit over time is a key ingredient to weight loss.Calorie surplus = when you have consumed more calories than burned. Maintaining a caloric surplus over time is a key ingredient to weight gain.

  • Can one bodybugg be used by multiple people?

No, we do not recommend multiple users on one bodybugg® armband. Each armband is linked to a particular bodybugg® online program. Having multiple users wearing the same device simultaneously would negate the accuracy and effectiveness of the overall bodybugg® program.

  • Do I have to wear the bodybugg device 24 hours a day?

We recommend wearing the armband as much as possible during waking hours. The more you wear your bodybugg® , the more accurate and effective you will be at maintaining your calorie deficit goal. During times of low activity (such as sleeping), the program will estimate your calorie burn at rest, based on your body parameters, so it is not 100% necessary to wear to sleep. We advise removing the device for at least an hour during the day to allow your skin to breath.

  • Why is the bodybugg more accurate than a pedometer?

The bodybugg® is more accurate than a pedometer for calculating calories burned because it is "watching" your body from four different perspectives. A pedometer only measures steps. In addition to measuring motion and steps, the bodybugg® is able to see how much you are sweating, your skin temperature and the rate at which heat is being dissipated from your body. These additional physiological parameters give the bodybugg® a more complete picture of what your body is doing and its level of exertion, all of which means a much more accurate estimation of your calories burned.

  • Does the bodybugg measure my heart rate?

Not at this time. While heart rate information can be useful, it is not necessary to accurately measure total calorie burn. In fact, there are many factors, such as prescription drugs, cardiovascular disease and abnormalities, which can affect heart rate, making it more difficult to obtain an accurate overall assessment of calories burned.

  • Can I get it wet? Can I wear it swimming?

The bodybugg® should be protected from water and should be removed before showering, bathing or swimming. The armband should not be worn in saunas or steam rooms.

  • Does the bodybugg armband track what I eat?

No, the armband itself tracks the calories you burn, but not the calories you eat. Your calories consumed are calculated by the bodybugg® web interface based on your weekly body mass change. To better track your calorie input, the program also offers an easy-to-use food log so you can monitor the calories you eat throughout the day.
  • Will the display work without the armband? What does the display do?

No. The Display provides a visual output for your Armband. It is not a monitor in itself. It will only update and present your Armband data when the Armband is on your arm and "on-body" (sensing). It shows calories burned, time, steps, calorie goal, what you did yesterday, and trip. Also has a light on it. Note: You can still use the Display as a time piece when the Display says "not in sync".

  • How much does it cost?

That depends on if they're running a sale. They are regularly $249 but right now they are on sale for $199. The optional watch display is $99 and worth getting. The online subscription has various plans (3 mth, 6 mth, monthly, yearly). The monthly is usually $14.95/month but right now is on special for $9.95/month. I got my 1 year subscription for $99 but the renewal for the year is $79.95.

Elizabeth Sherman also leases them for with the online program for $25/week. Kind of a try before you buy type thing.

Yes, I love my bodybugg. :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Camping and Geocaching at Brazos Bend State Park

This is going to be a very abbreviated recap of a busy weekend of camping, hiking, nature watching and geocaching. Chuck took so many pics but I'm only including a few here but I'll include the link to Chuck's facebook page if you would like to see some more. :)

Thursday was Chuck's birthday. We took our time loading up and finally got set up at a great site at Brazos Bend State Park. (*get site 100. close to playground, shaded and near bathrooms!)

I was surprised to see wild grapes everywhere. Of course I had to sample the local organic fare. Let's just say that I have a new appreciation for the tame grapes. Wild grapes have a tough bitter skin but the insides were pretty tasty though filled with seeds.
Brazos Bend is the place to go for hiking and nature watching. I love night herons and we got our share of sightings of yellow capped night herons. They're so beautiful and most of them let us get pretty close.
Went on an early morning hike Sunday morning and the gators were all feeding. It was wild watching them hit the water and sift for crawfish.
I have no idea what kind of flower this is but it was growing by the lake.
A momma moor hen feeding her babies. All of the babies are bald. :)
The back side of Brazos Bend has a canoe/kayak launch off of Sawmill Rd. It is .3 miles from parking lot to launch though. I would take the term "launch" very loosely because we had to use ropes and basically repel our way to the bottom here. Very tough but fun. It was 98 degrees and very hot on the white sands of the Brazos River which was low.
A view of the trail that connects Elm Lake to 40 Acre Lake. We went on a nice evening hike that required flashlights. Saw a guy with a broad banded water snake in his pocket (and I'm talking about an actual snake, not a crass euphemism) that he had found on the trail. He let the kids pet his snake which they enjoyed. Let's move along, shall we?
Saw a mother moor hen feeding her baby and stopped to watch and just enjoy the evening breeze and the wildlife coming out. Very peaceful time.
Chuck and I were able to get pretty close to a great blue heron that was fishing. They're such large, beautiful birds.
In the evenings the black bellied whistler ducks start flying in to roost. You can't miss their pepping noises. Cute little faces to match their cute little voices.
On one night hike around Elm Lake we could hear some odd bird noises. Finally spotted a barred owl that was following us. He wasn't making his usual "who cooks for you" call. His strange callings brought another barred owl over. I guess we were wildlife to them. Glad to entertain the owls. :) It was pretty dark at this point but I've tried to lighten the picture so you can see it.
Saturday we spent the day geocaching which is an absolute blast. DO always wear pants while caching because you will get torn up by stickers and bugs. Let's also remember to bring a walking stick because you don't want to poke around in holes with your hands. Snakes don't appreciate intruders and I don't do spiders though I definitely wore enough on Saturday after walking through their webs. The shrieks of 3 children could be heard throughout the woods as they walked in to webs. LOL
Another cache found. We found a total of 7 that day! Chuck forgot to pack his razor. :P
And another cache. This is really fun.
While looking for a cache in the woods, Chuck had a baby armadillo come up to him. Chuck scratched him behind the ears and the little critter wandered back into the woods. Crazy. Those things are usually pretty skittish.
Gator Bait: Charlie, Rachel and my niece Katelynn It was a pretty large gator behind them. I have no idea why my son looks stoned in the picture. Why do boys do that?
While staying at the park we also completed our Nature Challenge (Mission Possible) mission. It was fun and the kids learned some new things like "catfish have tastebuds on their skin."
Get back to the camp site after a hike and what do we find? A raccoon feeling around on the top of our table trying to find some groceries. He was so cute.
It was an action packed camping trip. I swear we were on the go most of the time. It did make for very sleepy kids at night. :)

I figured we walked about 10 miles total. Not a lot for a 4 day weekend trip but we took our time especially since it was in the high 90s the entire weekend.

Foodwise I did very good except that Chuck and I went on a date after dropping the kids off at my mom's on Sunday night. We had appetizer, burgers and dessert. It was good to spend time together.

We finally got home around 10:30ish and passed out.

This morning (Monday) I checked the scale and it showed a gain of 3 pounds! What the hell?! I worked and sweated buckets this weekend and did pretty darn good on the food. So who knows. I'm not going to stress about it. :D

**Remember that snake I helped across the road a few posts back? The one with his white mouth open wide? Turns out to be a juvenile cottonmouth....venomous. haha Perhaps I will be more careful in the future.