Thursday, December 31, 2009

Weigh In Results for past two weeks

Well, I'm still a little sick but feeling much better. It's probably just a bad cold. I hate having a stuffy nose though. Nothing like going around snorking.

OK, let's get to the weigh in. There hasn't been a Weight Watcher meeting for the past two weeks because both Thursdays fell on or near holidays. I've pretty much deciced to stop going to the meetings again. I just haven't made a love connection with this group. I miss my leader Jennifer from before but I just don't want to spend an hour on the road driving to and from meetings.

I'm down 3.5 pounds for the past two weeks!! Yeah.

I don't think that's too bad considering we have had Christmas treats and Christmas day and everything in between. I haven't been terrible but I haven't been a dieting saint either. Exercise has been non existent. Either I was busy preparing for Christmas or was sick.

Hey, remember the Shake Weight? I GOT one. LOL I'll let you know what I think after I use it a few time. I gave it a half-assed try while sitting in bed last night.

Also got eyelash extensions yesterday. I really like them a lot! I don't have to wear mascara and they look great. I do wish they were a little thicker so I may get some more added. It took the lady almost 5 friggin' hours to do them though. Apparently my lashes are straighter than most and the extensions are curved making it difficult to apply or something. I was told they will last 6-8 weeks before I need to get them touched up. I'll post a picture of them later. :)

Let's talk resolutions since it's New Year's Eve. Let's get thin in 2010!

*I'm going to take at least one group class per week.
*I'm going to start caring more about my appearance (wear better clothes than jeans and tee; keep myself up)
*take belly dancing classes (start next week at the Y)
*prepare to run a 5K (not sure if I'll actually run one or not but I'll be prepared!)
*keep house better
*keep a better schedule with the kids' homeschooling
*keep my marriage spicy :)
*go canoeing more
*cook more fancy shmancy gourmet dinners

I just want to experience life to the fullest. You'll notice I didn't include losing weight. I figure that if I change my lifestyle, the weight will naturally come off as I get in shape. I don't want it to be the focus of my life.

Wishing you all a wonderful and SAFE New Year.

We have a load of fireworks for tonight. Can't wait. :)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas is gone but the leftover aren't

Hope you all had a great holiday. I sure did! I got most of my cooking done in advance so for Christmas dinner all I had to do was heat up a few things. No slaving in the kitchen. And the best thing was that it was a low calorie dinner.

The Menu:

appetizer: raspberry chipotle sauce over reduced fat cream cheese with reduced fat Ritz crackers

lean ham
broccoli in cheese sauce (thanks Green Giant)
wheat rolls
garlic mashed potatoes (WW recipe)
turkey stuffing (WW recipe)
crockpot mac n cheese (3 pt per serving)
sweet potato casserole (not low cal. MIL brought it. I had a small amount and it was good!)

dessert: I had no pudge brownie

The kids got so many great gifts. That night we went to Moody Gardens to see the baby penguins and the Festival of Lights.

I did manage to get something for Christmas that I did NOT want: a cold. I feel terrible right now. As soon as I get to feeling a little better I will post some Christmas dinner pics and recipes. Until then, I'm curling up with some Kleenex, Dayquil and some chick flix.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Last Minute Gift For Men

So you're running a little late on buying Christmas gifts and you don't know what to get a certain guy. How about some exercise equipment?!

(this is not a joke. It's real and you can order one)
I couldn't stop laughing when I watched this. So that's how guys get those impressive arms. LOL I really don't even know what to say about it. And yes, there's one for the ladies too.
If I don't see you between now and Christmas, I hope you have a great holiday filled with peace, love and joy. I'm planning a semi-healthy Christmas dinner. I even baked up some No Pudge Brownies!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fifty Ways to Lose Your Blubber

"The problem is all inside your head", she said to me
The answer is easy if you take it logically
I'd like to help you in your struggle to be lean
There must be fifty ways to lose your blubber.

She said it's really not my habit to intrude
Furthermore, I hope my meaning won't be lost or misconstrued
But I'll repeat myself, at the risk of being crude
There must be fifty ways to lose your blubber
Fifty ways to lose your blubber

You just work out your back, Jack
Start a new diet plan, Stan
You don't need to take pills, Jill
Just listen to me
Hop on the treadmill, Bill
You don't need to discuss much
Just lay off the fat, Pat
And set yourself free

Ooo work out with weights, Kate
Keep with the plan, Jan
No need to procrastinate, Nate
Just listen to me
Hop off your rear, Dear
Don't need to discuss much
Just eat a little less, Bess
Set your fat free

She said it grieves me so to see you in such pain
I wish there was something I could do to make you smile again
I said I appreciate that and would you please explain
About the fifty ways

She said why don't we both just stop by the gym tonight
And I believe in the morning you'll begin to see the light
And then she smacked my flab and I realized she probably was right
There must be fifty ways to lose your blubber
Fifty ways to lose your blubber

You just try out the Shred, Fred
Keep with the plan, Fran
Dont need surgery, Marjorie
Just listen to me
Hop on the treadmill, Jill
Don't need to discuss much
Just get to the gym, Jim
Set yourself free

Slip on your shoes, Sue
Stick with the plan, Stan
Don't eat all on the plate, Nate
Just listen to me
Hop up and go, Jo
You don't need to discuss much
Just stay away from cake, Blake
And set yourself free

(inspired by the ravings of Jack Sh*t. Love ya, Jack)

No Pudge Brownie Giveaway Winner

I LOVE giveaways. :)

OK, the winner of the No Pudge Brownie Giveaway (according to a random number generator) is
Jo of 282.5 blog!

Congratulations! Send me your address so I can get these out to you today. Maybe they'll arrive in time for Christmas.

If you didn't win, don't despair. I'll be having another giveaway soon. :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Food Porn

Warning: The content of this post is not suitable for dieters. XXX Food Porn follows.

Rachel made the cutest darn cupcakes this morning. What a way to start the day! Aren't they adorable?! They're Christmas ornaments. :) I love that kid.
In my quest to get as much prepared for Christmas dinner before Christmas day, I baked a ham. This recipe has been handed down for generations in my family and my mother taught me how to do it. If you like ham that falls apart like a good pot roast, you'll love this.

My Mom's Ham:
Take a butt ham (they're the best, better than shank) and trim off as much fat as you possibly can. Place in a LARGE pot and cover with water. Bring to a light boil and let it simmer for an hour or so. Can be longer. Drain water. Rub butter all over the ham. Sprinkle pepper on it. Place ham in a baking pan and tent foil over the top. Bake at 300-325 degrees for 1-2 hours or until the ham is stringy and tender. Soooooooooooooo delicious. The best ham in the world. Honest.

While the ham was baking, I made Martha Washington candies. If my in laws are reading this STOP now! This has to do with your Christmas gift and I want it to be a surprise. Or at least act surprised when I give it to you. :)

These are candies that my Aunt Mary used to make to bring to my grandmother's house every single Christmas. I love them. This year Rachel learned how to make them. It was nice to pass down a tradition. :)
Martha Washington Candy (makes a lot)

3 cups chopped pecans

1 7-oz can flaked coconut

1/2 cup margarine, softened

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk

2 (16 oz) boxes powdered sugar

1/4 pound paraffin, cut in pieces (found in canning section of grocery store)

1 (12 oz) package semi sweet chocolate morsels

Combine pecans and coconut in a large bowl. Mix in margarine with fingers (or a big ass mixer like I did). Stir in condensed milk. Add powdered sugar and mix well by hand (or again with that mixer). Shape into balls; place on waxed paper.

Combine paraffin with chocolate in a double boiler. Cook and stir until melted and blended. Pierce each ball with a wooden pick to use as a handle. Dip in chocolate and place on waxed paper to set. Yield: about 5 dozen balls.

The next treat to make was Oreo Balls. These are so incredible that it's impossible to eat one without making yummy noises. Bring these to a Christmas party if you really want to impress someone. They look good too. :)
Here they are after being drizzled with chocolate.
Oreo Balls

1 package Oreos, crushed (could try mint or other flavors too)
8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 pkg. white almond bark
1 pkg chocolate almond bark (you could just use some chocolate chips)

Mix oreos and cream cheese. I just empty my package of Oreos and the block of cream cheese into my food processor and process until very smooth and mixed. Roll into walnut sized balls and chill for at least 1 hour.
Melt approx. 3/4 package of white bark according to instructions. Stick toothpick in Oreo ball and dip in melted white bark. Allow to harden on wax paper for about 15 minutes. Melt 1/4 package of chocolate bark (or your chocolate chips) according to package instructions. Place the melted chocolate in a zip loc bag and cut a hole in one corner. Drizzle over the Oreo balls. Delicious! Chill until ready to serve.

I wasn't done yet! Rachel and I got out the juicer and juiced Meyer lemons that my mom gave me. It made the most delicious lemonade. It's really good with some fresh mint in it. mmmm I bet it would be even better with a little vodka. :)

For dinner I made Potato Chip Crusted Chicken, corn and salad. This is one of my very most favorite chicken dishes. It's even better than a lot of fried chicken I've had. Do yourself a favor and make this. It's so good. Would I lie to you? Click the link for the recipe. You'll have to scroll down a bit but it's there. Did I mention that it's only 4 points?
After all of that cooking, I'm beat. So I bid you all good night. Tomorrow I will be announcing the winner of the brownie mix giveaway. Yeah!!!

Nature: It's What's For Dinner

Back in May of this year, I went on an educational hike to learn which types of plants are edible around this area. (and I blogged about it, of course) This is good information to know whether you are trying to just eat local food or want to prepare for survival in the woods or you want to prepare for some sort of catastrophe. Let's face it: there are a few countries out there who don't exactly consider us friends. We saw how fast things can come to a screeching halt during Hurricane Ike.

If the oil production or shipments are shut down, cities will not be able to receive shipments of food and it is estimated that Houston only has 3 days of food on her grocery shelves. That's it. Then what? Eat Fido? These edible plant classes help to prepare for situations such as that whether it is natural disaster or human based disaster. The City of Houston is planning ahead and trying to create urban areas of food growth (aka gardens) to sustain its own citizens. One such location is The Last Organic Outpost. They have a plot of unused land and build gardens. It is in a lower income area so the neighborhood folks are allowed to come whenever they want and take food from the garden for free. So far it is a great success.

The idea is to get permission to use other pieces of unused land and plant more sustainable crops for disaster situations and also just to feed people in general. I think it's a great way to put the land to work instead of just resting fallow. You can read more about the project and plan a visit here.

I bring all of this up because my favorite adventurer and chemist, Merriwether, gave a class this weekend on edible plants and I was fortunate enough to attend. I was also happy that it was closer to my area! Merriwether is involved with the Last Organic Outpost and with emergency preparedness. He teaches how to be prepared for any situation and how to use "weeds" as food. Now that the doom and gloom is out of the way, let me tell you a little bit about the fun day.

Here is his morning class meeting outside of Armand Bayou Nature Center on Bay Area Blvd in Clear Lake. Right there at the entrance were several plants that would be considered weeds but are edible! (that's me with the full sized booty)

Merriwether taught us that plants that yield the most minerals are found in the sun while those that yield the most vitamins are found in the shade. Good thing to know. He also taught us which plants contain protein (usually in the form of seeds or bugs clinging to them) and which plants contained the most calories. Calories are very important when you are in survival mode. Not so much if you are just going through the neighborhood park noshing.
Here is an example of nut sedge. It's seeds are edible. Just shake them into your hand, grind them and make pancakes. Or dig up the roots and eat the little pea shaped tubers clinging to the roots. According to Merriwether, these were grown in Egypt and the seed flour was used. Be careful: the stems are razor sharp on the plant.
There were so many plants we learned about. I've been to this area so many times and never realized that a salad bowl of greens was right there under my feet. If you want to know more about edible plants, visit Merriwether's other blog devoted to plants. It was just a great day to be outdoors.
After getting home and taking a nap, it was time to fight the crowd at the grocery store to get everything I'd need for Christmas dinner. My idea is to cook as much as possible in advance and just heat it up on Christmas day. I really don't want to be a slave to the kitchen this year.
After about 2.5 hours in the grocery store I was finished. I don't even want to discuss how much I spent. It was just stupid. But it's done.
Chuck helped me wrap gifts and get them stuck under the tree. I love watching the kids' face light up. :) Here is a pic of our sparsely decorated tree.
It was a busy weekend as usual. It doesn't look like things will be slowing down this week either. The house is going to be filled with baked treats soon. We'll be heading to Moody Gardens one night this week for the Festival of Lights and to see the baby penguins that have hatched. I'm a freak for penguins.
Don't forget to enter the No Pudge Brownie Giveaway! I'll be announcing the winner on Tuesday morning!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday with a Chance of Illness

I have been so careful to stay well while those around me come down with colds and terrible illnesses. I've applied hand gel to my hands and bathed the kids in it every time we go in public. The holidays are here and I don't want any one sick around here. Especially me! The house shuts down when momma gets sick.

Today I have 2 kids and hubby who don't feel well. I have a slightly sore throat but I refuse to believe I could get a cold. It can not happen. My head spins when I think about all I need to do to get ready for Christmas day.

Breakfast: sugar free Rock star (o pts) and nothing else. I think I was still full from my pity party last night. That was some of the best pizza I've ever had in my life....ever.

Lunch: leftover broccoli chicken and brown rice (approx. 7 pts) and a soft peppermint that melts in your mouth (o pts for 1)

snack: brownie (2 pts) I LOVE No Pudge Brownies. My son has been hitting the brownies pretty hard.

Here's a little something I wanted to share with you. These gingerbread men are 6 for 1 pt or 12 for 3 pts. They're really good and satisfy your sweet tooth.
Dinner: chili cheese dog made with fat free wiener (1 pt), sugar free wheat hot dog bun (1 pt), mustard, 1/2 cup Wolf Brand turkey chili no beans (1 pt) and cheese (1 pt). also had 3 oz of steak cut fries (2 pts)
Did you know that you can get the frozen steak fries and bake them and have 3 oz for only 2 pts?! Not bad. No deprivation there, my friend. They're crispy and just as good (if not better) than fries you'd get at a restaurant. Try putting some low cal chili on them with a little cheese. mmmmmmmm
Snack: banana (2 pts), 8 oz almond milk with a packet of chocolate Amazing Grass (2 pts) and then a bottle of POM juice (3 pts) I'm trying to fight off that cold that's threatening me.
And just for fun, check out Rachel with the world's largest Reese's cup. It's true. The package said it was. It came with two of these babies. I had ONE bite. That's it. And it was small. :) True story. I counted it as 1 pt.

My Workouts For the Week of 12/11-12/17

Friday: rest

Saturday: Wii Biggest Loser Yoga session 30 minutes

Sunday: rest

Monday: rest

Tuesday: treadmill 30 minutes; Wii Biggest Loser 15 minutes (my balance board batteries ran out)

Wednesday: Leslie Sansone 3 mile Express Walk DVD

Thursday: Weights at the gym 45 minutes

Seeing all of my workouts on one page really helps see that I need to step up the pace. I need to get back to spinning. It burns so many calories and it's a lot of fun. I also want to do the Couch to 5K program (commonly known a C25K). There is an MP3 download so you know when to walk or run without a watch.

I also want to start adding the Shred back into my routine (like I have a routine!). It was tough but you see pretty fast results. Jillian is great but a little scary.

I have been enjoying the weights at the Y. I didn't go this week like I should. Next week is going to be tough as I get ready for the holidays. You do what you can. :)

Weigh In and a Diva Tantrum

The day went great. I stayed on plan AND did my strength training routine at the Y while Charlie had his Christmas party. I brought 100 McNuggets. :)

Breakfast: Fiber 1 Shredded Wheat with skim milk (4 pts) and a Sugar Free Rock Star (0 pts)

Lunch: homemade bean burrito (1 pt tortilla, 1/2 cup fat free refried beans, 1 slice FF cheese and taco sauce...3 pts total) and a strawberry shake (1 pt...served in a Jack Daniels tumbler to make it classy) and a brownie (2 pt)
My buddy Marisa used to make these. I hadn't had one in sooo long. Take 1/2 cup almond milk (unsweetened), about 5 strawberries, 1 Tbs. sugar free pudding mix (white chocolate is really yummy) and a handful of ice and blend. I like to add a little sweetener. This is a 1 pt shake.
Dinner: Crockpot Basil Chicken (3 pts) over white rice (3 pts), single serve broccoli with cheese sauce (0 pts) and a cup of grapes (1 pt) and a screwdriver (3 pts)
The kids actually cleaned their plates! The chicken was delicious and so tender you could cut it with a spoon. Really. It's a keeper. I love crockpot cooking. :)
Let's move on to the weigh in. I actually weighed my pants before I went. One pair of sweats was 13.8 oz and the other was 9.4 oz. I chose the lighter pair, of course.
I get to the meeting, take off my shoes, step on the scale and the little bastard says I lost .6 pounds. Yeah, it's a loss and if you were complaining about it on your blog, I'd leave an uplifting comment like "well at least it wasn't a gain!" or "that .6 pounds is gone forever. Be happy!" But I wasn't feeling it right then.
Then at the end of the meeting it's time for awards. One lady gets her bookmark for coming back (I love awards for just showing up). I've been there 4 weeks and haven't gotten my bookmark. :`(
The cherry on top: a round of applause and a sticker for the same lady because she also lost 5 pounds. Aw, dude! I've lost 5.4 pounds since going back to WW. I want my sticker!
I was a wee bit down. I admit it. Then I started to reason with myself: why are you down? Because you didn't get a freakin' sticker? Really? Go to Wal Mart and buy yourself a whole damn roll of stickers, girl. OMG! You're a diva! You're pitching a fit because you didn't get a bookmark and sticker and a pat on the back. That's sick.
Let's not forget that we haven't seen sunlight in two weeks in my neck of the woods. That can be bad for your mood. To counteract the lack of mood altering sunlight, Chuck and I took the kids to look at Christmas lights. Is there a national Bah Humbug going on? I have never seen the lack of Christmas lights as I have this year. What's happening, y'all?
Ever get in a "f*** it" mood? LOL I try to keep myself from those destructive moods but I wallowed in it like a pig in a mud puddle last night. We went to Center Court Pizza and got pizza rolls and a pepperoni pizza and shared chocolate chip cheesecake. I had 3 cosmopolitans that were quite strong and very delicious. I knew I'd feel bad about it later but I didn't care at the moment. And I'm not really sure why, which is weird. Gosh, I hate being honest sometimes.
It was the end of my WW week. The new week starts today (Friday). All of that negativity is gone. The sun is actually out today and the weekend has begun. We don't have a weigh in or meeting for 3 weeks because of how the holidays fall. I'm going to make this time count and come back with a great number. :)
Exercise: 45 minutes of weight machines at the Y (+2 activity points)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Happy Holidays No Pudge Brownies Giveaway

I know my cyber buddies are being tempted left and right by all of the holiday goodies. Hanukkah is all about the oily latkes and sufganiyot. Christmas has lots of cookies and fudge and countless other sweets. I don't want y'all to feel deprived.

That's why I'm giving one lucky person out there 3 boxes of No Pudge Brownie mixes in Original, Mint and Cappuccino!
The winner will be announced on Tuesday morning, December 22. Your price of entry: just a nice comment. That's it. :)

These brownies are only 120 calories or 2 pts each and taste even better than your full fat variety. Just add fat free yogurt to the mix and bake.

Good luck and Happy Holidays to all. My gift to you. :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Crockpot Beef Stew (5 pts); POM Wonderful Review; No Pudge Brownie Review

I have some gooood stuff to share with you today! Let's get started. :)

Breakfast: low sugar maple brown sugar oatmeal with a container of Fiber One vanilla yogurt and some Jay Robb chocolate protein powder and 1/2 of a banana (4 pts) and a cup of coffee with hazelnut creamer (1 pt)
Oatmeal and yogurt mixed almost taste like a dessert. Throw in some protein powder and you are good to go until lunch.
Lunch: Flatout Wrap (1 pt) with 1/2 cup Fat Free Refried beans (1 pt), FF cheese slice (1 pt); chili powder and cumin powder, 1/4 cup brown rice (1 pt) and taco sauce. Delicious and HUGE.
also had a "For One" serving of Green Giant Broccoli with Cheese sauce (o pts)
Snack: Weight Watcher yogurt (1 pt)

A while back I was sent some POM Wonderful Pomegranate juice from the good people at POM. I LOVE this stuff so much. It's slightly tart and slightly sweet and very good for you. You can mix this with your OJ, drink it with some vodka or go to the POM web site to get some recipes.
Not only is it tasty (yes I will be buying some when I run out) but it has a lot of research to back up its health benefit claims. This is good stuff.
An 8oz bottle is 3 points. Half of the bottle (4 oz) is 2 points.
I love using a crockpot. Throw a bunch of raw ingredients in and a few hours later you will have a great meal. In theory, anyway. The beef stew I made tonight was one of those magic recipes that comes out perfect and doesn't taste low cal at all. Give it a try. It's so easy to make.

Dinner: Crockpot Beef Stew (5 pts) and biscuit (3 pts)
Pillsbury Grands Golden Wheat Reduced Fat biscuits are only 3 pts and super delicious. These are located with the canned refrigerated biscuits at the grocery store. And they're big!

Recently I found a box of No Pudge Brownie Mix at my local Kroger store. Being a total brownie fiend I had to get some to try. All you do is mix in 2/3 cup of no fat vanilla yogurt. That's it. Taste? Check out the picture of the finished product below.
This is one super bad-ass chewy goodness brownie. Chuck liked it better than "regular" brownies. Yeah, it's that good. I HIGHLY recommend it. I mean this is 5 star brownie here. It's only 2 pts!!!! And, yeah, I ate it.
So I know you want some of this. Check out the No Pudge web site to find out which stores near you carry the mix and rush out to get some.
Exercise: I started out doing The Biggest Loser Wii game but my balance board batteries died half way through and I couldn't find any AAs anywhere. Oh well. 15 minutes (+1 activity point)
Then I hit the treadmill. After I hit the treadmill, I walked on it for 30 minutes (+2 points)
At this point I still have 3 points left to spend. Should I go get another brownie? LOL

Cilantro Rice Bowl Recipe

Mom left to go home today but my kids really wanted to go too. So they went home with her to stay until Wednesday. She has 10 acres where they can run around and just be kids. There's a pond and creek and woods and a horse and beautiful gardens. I had a fun time growing up there. :)

As you can imagine, the house was VERY quiet while they were gone. I took full advantage of it and changed bird cages then just vegged out and watched a couple of movies until Chuck came home.

Dinner was Cilantro Rice Bowl (9 pts) that tasted just like something you'd get at Chipotle. 9 Points is a little more than I like to spend on dinner but these were HUGE portions and delicious. You could probably lower the points by cutting back on the cheese and meat. Maybe just 1 Tbs of sour cream instead of two. But it tastes so good the way I made it.

(Just follow the link above to the recipe)

Chuck and I enjoyed a glass of wine and went to sleep. It was a good way to end the day.

I stayed totally on plan but the rest of the food was pretty boring and seems to be a repeat of other days. LOL

Monday, December 14, 2009

My little weekend recap

Saturday I made one of Chuck's favorite breakfast treats: Ham & Swiss Breakfast Galette (4 pts) with a cup of grapes (1 pt). Of course, Chuck had two. :) Before lunch we went in search of a Christmas tree. Kroger happened to have one for $15! That's my kind of price.

Lunch: black bean patty with cheese and mustard on a sandwich thin and a slice of pumpkin pie (5 pts)

My mom came for a visit with my niece and nephew which was great since she hasn't been for a visit in months. My mom loves Chinese food but rarely gets to have it so I was going to her some from one of my favorite places: Imperial China Diner. I consulted my trusty Dining Out Guide from Weight Watchers and got the Chicken and Broccoli and brown rice (approx. 9 pts).

Dessert: a puddin' cup (1 pt)

I also had a couple of cheese samples (2 pts) while I was at the grocery store earlier

Fiber One yogurt (0 pts)

WW Red Velvet bar (1 pt)

Exercise: I rented The Biggest Loser Wii game from Blockbuster to try it before I bought it. I chose the Beginner option on the game and it set me up on a yoga routine....for a beginner. By the end of the routine I was sweating like crazy. I felt it was pretty easy but by the next morning my side were so sore. +1 Activity Point


Chuck made breakfast. My hero. :) He made hash browns, scrambled eggs, bacon and toast. mmmm. And even did the dishes!

Breakfast: scrambled egg whites, 2 slices bacon, 1 toast, a few hashbrowns cooked with a spray of nonstick spray (approx. 5 pts) and a glass of Tropicana50 orange juice (1 pt)

Also had a Sugar Free Rock Star (0 pt) I neeeeeed this stuff some mornings. I'm sure it's not good for you.

Snack: Fiber One Yogurt (0 pt)

Lunch: leftover spinach lasagna (6 pt) and garlic bread (1 pt) and coffee with hazelnut creamer (1 pt)

Mom left for a family Christmas party and I had to go to the grocery store. Got home, unloaded groceries, and went back out to pick up dinner. I had a craving for Pei Wei. :)

Dinner: Pei Wei Dan Dan noodles (8 pts for half of the order) I got a call from my mom. She had been lost in Houston for almost 2 hours. So instead of trying to make it home in the dark and the thick fog, she came back to spend the night. It was great to see her again so soon!

Dessert: 5 oz red wine (2 pts)

I don't know what happened but the weekend but it just flew by! I can't believe it's already Monday and Christmas is next week. I have got to get busy planning a semi-healthy Christmas dinner.

Are you planning a healthy Christmas dinner or just going to enjoy yourself?

Friday, December 11, 2009

I'll Take My 35 Points Now, Thank You

Breakfast: Amazing Grass Meal Replacement (1 pt) I haven't had this in a while and it was so good. I prefer it with almond milk over water though.

Rachel had a doctor appt for noon. The doctor didn't see us until 12:35 and then had the nerve to ask if I was in a rush after I threatened to leave if I had to wait another 5 minutes. How unprofessional. By the time we got out, we were all starving!

I had great reviews of a pizza place in Pearland. One family even drives 40 miles just to eat their pizza. Rachel asked if we could try it for lunch and I, being the great mom that I am, agreed to take her.

Lunch: Center Court Pizza and Brew
First we tried the cheddar bacon fries. I had maybe 6 points worth, if that. They were very tasty.

Chuck and I shared a Greek pizza: kalamata olives, feta cheese, spinach, roasted garlic and tomatoes. Well, my half didn't have any tomatoes. OH it was so good. I had estimated 28 pts. Sorry for the crappy phone picture.
Rachel had a HUGE calzone stuffed with 3 kinds of cheeses, hamburger and double pepperoni. She didn't finish it but Chuck was more than willing to help her out. :) I tasted it. VERY good.

The waitress highly recommended that we try the dessert. The owner went through school to be a pastry chef or something along those lines.

We all tried the Chocolate Mousse Cake and Turtle Cheesecake. The cheesecake was my favorite. OMG, it was so good.

I am going to guess that I had 14 points worth. That's probably more than I actually had but I'd rather be safe counting my points.
Sorry again for the photo quality. The phone didn't like taking pictures in a dark restaurant for some reason.

If you're counting, that puts me at 49 points. I had 24 left for the day which means I had to use 25 of my weekly 35 point allowance which means I still have 10 weekly points allowance left. That's a lot of math!
My tummy is happy. I think I am done for the day. :)
If you are in the Houston area, do try Center Court Pizza. You can also check out the reviews here:

WW Friendly Sonic Treats

Fast food is not exactly the healthiest option but when you're on the road a lot, sometimes you have to stop for a bite to eat! Or sometimes you just want a treat. The following are good options when you stop for some Sonic munchies.

Diet Cherry Limeade (any size) 0 pts
Any Diet Soda (any size) 0 pts
Diet Limeade (any size) 0 pts
Need a slush? the Wacky Pack size is 3 pts
Hot chocolate 2 pts
Diet Cherry flavoring (to add to your drink order) 0 pts
Cranberry Juice (to add to your drink order) small 0 pts; medium and large 1 pt
Fresh Lime 0 pts
Fresh lemon 0 pts
Peach Ice tea 0 pts
Raspberry ice tea 0 pts
ice tea 0 pts
all of the flavorings are low in points (1 or 2 pts) green apple has the highest calories

jr Butterfinger Sundae 4 pts
jr M&M Sundae 4 pts
Jr Oreo Sundae 3 pts
Jr Reese Cup Sundae (pictured above) 4 pts
Jr Banana Split 4 pts
Vanilla Cone 4 pts

small French Fries 5 pts
jr Frito chili cheese wrap 7 pts
small tater tots 5 pts
jr hamburger 7 pts
jr cheeseburger 9 pts
popcorn chicken snack size 9 pts
corn dog 5 pts
grilled chicken wrap 8 pts
french fries regular serving 6 pts
tater tots with cheese 8 pts
tater tots regular serving 5 pts
grilled chicken salad 6 pts (add fat free Italian dressing for 1 more point)
Santa Fe grilled chicken salad 8 pts
grilled chicken sandwich 9 pts (you can lower this by substituting mustard for mayo)

What NOT to get:
Super Sonic Cheeseburger with mayo 24 pts
Chicken Strip Dinner 21 pts
Large Chocolate Cream Pie Shake 22 pts
Large M&M Sonic Blast 20 pts

So you could have a corn dog with mustard (5 pts), a regular order of tots (5 pts) and a diet cherry limeade (0 pts) and a jr oreo sundae (3 pts) for 13 pts! Not too bad for fast food.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Weigh In Results; Crockpot Cheeseburger Soup (5 pts)

Yes, it's weigh in night. I'm not a fan of weighing in at night but what are you going to do?

Results? Freakin' fantastic! I lost 3.2 pounds! Give me a high five, some one! I'm pretty excited. It's amazing what happens when you stay on plan and exercise (and wear your lightest clothes, shave your legs, cut some of your hair off, etc).

Breakfast: coffee with hazelnut creamer (1 pt) and spinach, egg and cheese wrap (3 pts)
The wrap is a great way to get a veggie in for the day. Just scramble 3 egg whites in the microwave, add some cheese (FF swiss in my case), some taco sauce or salsa, 1 cup of spinach and wrap it up in a 1 pt tortilla. Mmmmmm good and filling.

Took Charlie to the "Y" for PE. While he did his thing, I did my weight routine on the machines (ouch!!) and then did 5 minutes on the elliptical (that thing kicks my butt) and 10 minutes on the treadmill. Earned 3 activity points.
Lunch: leftover Spinach Lasagna (see yesterday's post) (6 pts); 1 garlic bread (1 pt) and slice of pumpkin pie (1 pt)
At the Weight Watcher meeting I had 1 cup of grapes (1 pt) so my tummy wouldn't growl too loud.
At the meeting I got a couple of goodies that I'd never tried before. I like the Red Velvet ones the best.
Snack: 1 Red Velvet bar (1 pt) and 1 Cookies n Cream bar (1 pt) Something new going on at the Weight Watcher meetings. Each week they hand out a new little mini magazine with interviews, tips, Cliff Notes version of the meeting topic and recipes. It's pretty cool! For dinner I made Crockpot Cheeseburger Soup (5 pts)
also had a few Fritos (2 pts)
Slow-Cooker Cheeseburger Soup

Servings: 8

Preparation Time: 15 min

Cooking Time: 120 min

Level of Difficulty: Easy
It’s everyone’s fast-food favorite in a bowl: rich, creamy, gooey and super-satisfying.
2 spray(s) cooking spray
1 medium garlic clove(s), minced
1 medium onion(s), chopped
1 medium stalk(s) celery, chopped
1 pound(s) uncooked lean ground beef (with 7% fat)
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3 cup(s) canned chicken broth, divided
1 cup(s) low-fat evaporated milk
8 oz Kraft Velveeta Light Reduced-Fat Pasteurized Processed Cheese Product, or similar product, cubed
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp table salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
24 item(s) baked low-fat tortilla chips, crumbled


Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat for about 30 seconds. Add garlic, onion and celery to skillet; cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender, about 5 to 10 minutes. Coat a 3-quart or larger slow cooker with cooking spray; spoon in vegetables.

Place same skillet over medium-high heat and brown beef, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon as it cooks, about 5 to 6 minutes; pour off any liquid and add meat to slow cooker.

In a small cup, combine flour and 1/2 cup of broth; stir until lump-free. Pour flour mixture into same skillet; add remaining 2 1/2 cups of broth. Bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits in bottom of skillet with a wooden spoon, and then pour into slow cooker; stir in evaporated milk, cheese, paprika, salt and pepper. Cover slow cooker and cook on low setting for 2 hours. Serve soup topped with crumbled chips. Yields about 3/4 cup of soup and 3 tablespoons of chips per serving.

If the soup cooks too long, the cheese could separate. If that happens, combine 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour and 1/4 cup of soup in a cup; stir to a paste. Stir flour mixture back into soup in slow cooker; cover and cook on low setting for 10 to 15 minutes (does not affect POINTS values).

You gotta try this stuff. Even the kids cleaned their bowls and then came back for more. It's rich, though. And you only get 3/4 cup serving for 5 points. But they are tasty points. It's easy and SO good.
Snack: 1 cup of cherries (1 pt) and popcorn (1 pt)
You'll notice that there are no candy corn points today. LOL I tossed them so those little sugar devils wouldn't tempt me. HA!
All is right with the world tonight. I lost weight and it's my favorite time of the day to chill. :)
What's your favorite time of the day? Morning? Night?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wanna join me in a challenge?

I'm breaking a rule (I think) by posting twice in one day. Oh well. I'm such a rebel.

I've joined a challenge that helps not only myself but others less fortunate. I'm talking about the Pound for Pound Challenge. You may have heard about it on Biggest Loser?

"For every pound you pledge to lose through June 30, 2010, the Pound For Pound Challenge will donate 14¢ to Feeding America® — enough to deliver one pound of groceries to a local food bank. $800,000 maximum donation."

I pledged to lose 40 pounds by June 10, 2010. The more I lose, the more someone else gains.

This is a great cause. Why not make all of your weight loss efforts help another person along the way? Join the Pound for Pound Challenge with me!

If you decide to join, please leave me a comment and let me know. :)

Lots of food, little on points

Yesterday it was hot, today it is cold. The thermometer has been up and down more than my weight!

Breakfast: CarbCheck bagel with WW cream cheese (3 pts) and a cup of coffee with hazelnut creamer (1 pt)

Lunch: can of Amy's Organic Alphabet Soup (2 pts for the whole can!) and a slice of pumpkin pie (1 pt)
I really love this soup. It reminds me of Spaghettios. :) It has corn, carrots, potato and a few pieces of green bean. I'm not a huge green bean fan but these don't have a bean-y taste at all. Very good and very expensive. My Kroger store had them on sale 2 for $5!
The kids had a Junior Master Gardener planning meeting today. They're going to get to do some really cool stuff in this group. It's part of 4 H if you've never heard of it.
Dinner: Spinach Lasagna (6 pts), garlic bread (2 pts), salad (1 pt)
The spinach lasagna is usually 5 pts for 1/8th of the recipe but I had to use low fat ricotta instead of fat free. Still a huge portion and delicious.

From The Happy Texan Cooks

Dessert: 1/2 cup cake flavored ice cream (3 pts)
This ice cream is so darn good! It's really sweet so 1/2 cup is just perfect but still makes you feel liked you've indulged.

Snack: popcorn (1 pt) and candy corn (5 pts)
That candy corn keeps getting me in trouble. I'll be glad when it's gone.
Hang on just a second..................
There! I threw it away. No more candy corn to tempt me. :)
I was looking at my weight tracking chart on the Weight Watchers web site. Then I realized that I would be in the 170s or 160s had I stayed on course. It make me physically sick to my stomach to even think about. I was doing so good.
I know there's no use in beating myself up about it now but thinking about where I could be instead of where I's tough. I don't know what else to say. I'm just glad I'm back on track. I need to get my exercise routine back to something more regular now. Then I'll be 100% on track.
Tomorrow is weigh in. I'm a little nervous. Yeah, I want to see a big number. Do I expect it? Not really. I'll take what I can get though. :)

Pumpkin Pie (the WHOLE pie 4 pts)

Tuesday. I woke up to a dense, foggy morning. But at least it wasn't cold anymore. It got up to 77 degrees! I wore shorts. Only 4 days ago it was snowing. Ah, I love this area. Hey, is it a sign of old age to be talking about the weather all the time? Huh, let's change the subject.

Breakfast: package of reduced sugar brown sugar oatmeal (2pts) and coffee (0 pts)

Keeping to schedule we started school at 9am and worked until 10:30. Then it was off to the YMCA for Charlie's PE class. Rachel prefers to work out with me than go to the teen class. So she hit the bike and the treadmill while I did weights.

The Y has a cool little gadget on all of the machines that tells you where your seat/leg position should be for each exercise and how much weight you set for each one. I haven't used this for quite a while (so long has it been that I had to ask them to reactivate my account). I just used the same weights I was using when I was working out before. Ummm, I'm not as strong as I was then. The worst were the arm exercises. My biceps and triceps are killing me. I worked out for 40 minutes (I'd say actual workout time was only 30 minutes since I had to set up machines and reactivate account, etc) so I earned 2 activity points.

Lunch: wrap with buffalo chicken, Dijonaise, spinach, and a little shredded mozzarella cheese (4 pts) and 2 clementines (1 pt)
After lunch it was time for more school and then to the grocery store. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I hate going to the grocery store!

Dinner: Tender Chicken in Gravy (5 pts) over brown rice (4 pts) and sugar snap peas with some spray butter (1 pt)
Just follow the link for the recipe then scroll down. This is a terrific family dinner and pretty quick to make. It sure doesn't taste low in points!

Dessert: Here it is. 1/4th of a crustless pumpkin pie for 1 pt
It was good. I would have liked it a little sweeter but that's just me. You really can't beat it for the points though. If you prefer to use a different sweetener, go ahead. I just followed the original recipe the first time.
I got the recipe from Kim Benson's web site. She lost over 200 pounds (!) on Weight Watchers. She will post various recipes from time to time on her web site. This one is no longer on there. She also sells light bagels and wraps and other goodies.
Snack: pineapple (2 pts) and some candy corn (4 pts)

Did you watch the Biggest Loser Finale? OMG, the transformations were just amazing! I didn't even recognize one guy. I didn't follow this season like I usually do. I love the way my whole family, myself included, gets so motivated when watching the show. My daughter starts eating healthier food and exercising more. Chuck gets motivated to exercise. And I always have a renewed sense of determination.

With that determination, I'll hit my goal and drag my family along to a better lifestyle.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Just a Monday

Drizzly. Gray. Cold. It's December in Texas. They say that people can become depressed during the winter months due to lack of sunlight. I think I might have had a touch of that this morning.

I have no reason to be down: decent health, great kids, the most loving husband, great house, great parents, my blogging buddies, etc. etc. The only thing I can think of to be slightly down about is that I am still a little on the fluffy side (I don't want to say fat). But I'm working on that! So that's a big plus. Yes? So it must be the lack of sunlight.

Realizing why I am down helped me to get over it and get moving. With that, I fixed a cup of coffee and totally forgot about breakfast.

Breakfast: N/A

Lunch: leftover chili with rice (7 pts It was a big bowl) and a few candy corn for dessert (3 pts)

I did school with the kids. Instead of making it an open ended school day I decided to set the timer and make school over at 3:30pm no matter where we were in our lessons. The kids really appreciated having that limit. I was too! We got a surprisingly large amount done today! I think I'll try that again tomorrow.

Hunger was not an issue today which surprised me. I usually have the munchies throughout the day. Could it be because yesterday I spent my 35 weekly allowance points at a pizza buffet and felt an incredible amount of guilt over it? Whatever the reason, I'm just not that interested in food today. Don't worry. It'll catch up with me and I'll be back to my ravenous self. :)

I didn't go to the grocery store today. I didn't have time and the weather was just terrible. It rained the entire day! So I rummaged through the refrigerator and found leftover fat free hot dogs. I made some alfredo noodles for Rachel and dinner was done.

Dinner: hot dog with cheese and mustard and baked kettle chips (7 pts)

Yes, this means I have 9 points leftover for the day. No, I did not get enough fruits and veggies today. But we have days like that.

And now is my favorite time of the day: when I get to snuggle down in a warm, soft bed with my favorite man (the other guys have left for the day LOL) and watch a little TV before drifting off to dreamland.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Ham & Swiss Breakfast Galette (4 pts); Cock-a-doodle-Christmas

Most of the snow was gone this morning. Just a few houses had some on their roofs. The lawns had frost all over them though. It looked really cool. I wish I would have taken a photo now.

I tried a new recipe for breakfast: Ham & Swiss Breakfast Galette (4 pts) and 2 clementines (1 pt) (Chuck gives this 5 stars out of 5)

From The Happy Texan Cooks

This recipe is full of flavor and very quick and easy to make. In the time it would take you to drive to a donut shop (provided that your donut shop is 15-20 minutes away) you could have one of these for only 4 pts.

I also had some coffee and creamer for 1 pt.

Though I didn't exercise (hey, it's the weekend!) I did wash and fold all of the laundry. *high five*

Lunch: packaged chicken noodles soup and some carrots that I added (4 pts) and then some candy corn (2 pts)

Rachel had volunteered to help out at the Sims Bayou Nature Center Holiday party so we had to be there at 4pm. I brought my own hot dog and chips and drink (5 pts)because I wasn't sure what was going to be there. So that I wouldn't seem rude I ate it in the van in the parking lot. LOL

They had sooooo many goodies there so I did indulge somewhat and used the rest of my 8 points for the day. But I don't feel too bad about that. On the way home the kids wanted McD's so we stopped and I didn't even get anything. Good for me. haha

The Christmas party was a lot of fun. They had crafts for the kids, a movie playing outside, Santa Claus, and LOTS of goodies. LOTS. But the greatest was my favorite chicken Scooter.

We were able to get a family Christmas picture. Isn't it cute? :) It's nice to be warm and cozy inside the house after a few hours outside. Now it's time to curl up with my favorite guy and watch movies. Maybe play some Wii too. :) Have a great Saturday evening.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies (4 for 2 pts); Chili Con Carne (4 pts); Healthy Indian Food Recipes

As I've posted earlier, it SNOWED today. Woohoo! I'm glad it snowed but I'm also glad that things should be back to "normal" by tomorrow.

Breakfast: Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies (all 4 for 2 pts) These are really terrific for breakfast on the go. Follow the link for the recipe. Just bake them until they are as crisp as you like. Also had some strawberries (1 pt)
More snow then lunch. I had made this up yesterday so I could have something for lunches besides wraps and sandwiches. And it was so goooooood. This is a great chili recipe. Try it. Be warned: the heat of the salsa will determine the heat of the chili. My chili was H-O-T.
I'm somewhat of a chili snob. In Texas, real chili does not contain beans. Or turkey, for that matter. Chuck gave me a good ribbing about this recipe but when you're trying to shrink the waistline you have to make some changes. :)
Lunch: Chili Con Carne (4 pts) with 3/4 cup brown rice (2 pts) Perfect for a cold winter day. This recipe gives you a LOT for the points. 1 1/3 cups of chili for those 4 pts. Not bad.
I used this rice in the chili. It was so easy! Just pop it in the microwave for 4 minutes and you have brown rice.
I really didn't want to exercise today but I did it. Chuck was my workout buddy today on the Bowflex. Having someone to exercise with makes it a lot nicer. I have a feeling that I am going to be sore tomorrow. lol But that's good. I want that Bowflex body, darn it!
Tonight I had a craving for some Indian food, but healthy. Let me just say that it turned out perfect. The blend of spices. The smell. Ohhhh, it was heavenly. Even the kids liked it and the house smelled so good. Please do try these recipes. Especially the kebabs. mmmmmmm
Dinner: Seek Kebab (3 pts); cucumber raita (1 pt for 1/4 cup) (the yogurt dip); saag
aloo (4 pts) (the spinach mixture); lentil curry (2 pts)
Delicious! Follow the links for the recipes.
The lentil curry was actually something from a box that I found at the grocery store. Just microwave the pouch for 2 minutes and it's done. You would not believe the flavor. I wasn't expecting much. I mean, it came in a box. I'll be getting this again.
If you do want to make the seek kebab but have trouble finding the garam masala seasoning, here is a link to a very easy recipe that should give you good results. If you're interested in the cucumber/yogurt recipe just email me and I'll send it to you. I think the tzaziki recipe I have would be a terrific sub. Just follow the link and scroll down.

Dessert: Cream Cheese Baklava Cups (1 pt each)
I stopped myself at two. Chuck did not. ;-)
By the way, the empty phyllo shells aare low in points. You can have 2 for 0 points. So if you come up with any other filling ideas let me know. They're super easy to work with and store well.
As you can see, I had a busy day of cooking and exercising. Tonight I feel like a bottomless pit. I wonder if it's because I started exercising regularly again. I'm going to resist the urge to go in the kitchen to clean out those little baklavas. :)