Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A smile is a curve that sets everything straight. ~Phyllis Diller

this week i have not been smiling as much as i typically do & i notice the difference in my overall mood.  im feeling quite tired and sluggish as well as dealing with some lingering pain so i am a bit cranky right now.  however, i typically try to walk with a smile & appear as though i am in a good mood, even when i am not.  when a student or colleague smiles back at me or when i exchange pleasantries with someone, for that brief moment, i am not wrapped up in negative feelings.  i truly feel good and happy.  i didnt realize that i was not smiling as much as normal until i read this quote.  smiling more begins right now! :)  ill snap out of this funk with a ear-to-ear grin! :)

moving on to what always make me smile.....food!! :)

monday, march 28, 2011
Morning
Coffee (1/4 cup fat free half & half, 2 tsp organic turbinado raw cane sugar, 6 cups black coffee)
2
7 Whole Grain Puffs (1 large banana, 1/2 cup trader joe's organic vanilla soy milk, 1/2 cup kashi 7 whole grain puffs cereal)
2
Subtotal 4
Midday
1/2 cup(s) strawberries (in yogurt)
0
1  medium nectarine(s)
0
1  medium pear(s)
0
1  large orange(s)
0
1/2 serving(s) Trader Joe's Organic Nonfat Yogurt French Vanilla
2
1/2 cup(s) fresh blueberries (in yogurt)
0
1/2 cup(s) pineapple
0
1  serving(s) Trader Joe's Organic Light String Cheese
1
1  medium baby carrots
0
Subtotal 3
Evening
1  cup(s) mixed greens (trader joe's organic romaine lettuce, trader joe's organic broccoli slaw, grape tomatoes, red onions, and cucumber)
0
1  serving(s) Trader Joe's Cranberry, Walnut, & Gorgonzola Salad Dressing
2
Cheese Steak Sandwich (see recipe below)
8
Subtotal 10
Anytime
4  cup(s) Healthy Pop® Kettle Corn, Popped
3
1  serving(s) Edy's Slow Churned Thin Mint Ice Cream
3
1  Chocolate Marshmallow Madness (recipe in previous posts)
3
Subtotal 9
Food PointsPlus values total used 26

i realized the other day that i never posted a picture of my lunch.  the fruits may change, but the preparation and the appearance really doesnt.  as soon as i get home, i prepare my lunch for the next day.  it takes about 15 minutes and it is well worth it!


cheese steak sandwich
1/4 tbsp trader joes evoo
1/4 cup onions, long strips sliced thinly
4oz boars head italian roasted beef thinly sliced
2 tbsp trader joes lite shredded mozarella cheese
1 flatout light italian herb flatbread
  • heat evoo in a frying pan for a few minutes.  cook the onions until caramelized.  put onions in a bowl.
  • spray the same frying pan with trader joe's italian olive oil spray.  cook the roast beef.  2 minutes each side.
  • place cooked roasted beef, onions, and mozarella in flatbread and roll up.
i was very surprised at how much i loved this sandwich!  it was yummy!  the picture is of the sandwich before i rolled it up.





tuesday, march 29, 2011
Morning
Coffee (1/4 cup fat free half & half, 2 tsp organic turbinado raw cane sugar, 6 cups black coffee)
2
7 Whole Grain Puffs (1 large banana, 1/2 cup trader joe's organic vanilla soy milk, 1/2 cup kashi 7 whole grain puffs cereal)
2
Subtotal 4
Midday
1  medium nectarine(s)
0
1  medium orange(s)
0
1/2 cup(s) pineapple
0
1  medium baby carrots
0
1  serving(s) Trader Joe's Organic Light String Cheese
1
1  large pear(s)
0
Subtotal 1
Evening
1  Mexican Potato Casserole (see recipe below)
9
Brussel Sprouts Bake (see recipe below)
2
Subtotal 11
Anytime
1  bag(s) Healthy Pop® 100 cal butter mini bag
3
1  serving(s) Jell-o Sugar Free Dulce de Leche
2
1  serving(s) Edy's Slow Churned Thin Mint Ice Cream
3
1  Chocolate Marshmallow Madness (recipe in previous posts)
3
Subtotal 11
Food PointsPlus values total used 27

mexican potato casserole
2/3 cup betty crocker cheddar & sour cream instant mashed potatoes
4oz trader joe's butcher shop ground beef 96/4
2 tsp taco seasoning
1/2 cup trader joe's low fat vegetarian refried beans
1 tbsp trader joe's reduced fat mexican cheese

  • preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • spread prepared mashed potatoes across the bottom of a pyrex sprayed with trader joe's italian olive oil spray
  • spray a frying pan with trader joe's italian olive oil spray (frying pan has been on medium-low heat for a few minutes) & cook the ground beef.  as it is cooking, break up the meat into small bits.  once the meat is cooked, add about 2-3 tbsp of water to the frying pan with about 2 tsps of taco seasonings.
  • when the water has completely evaporated, add the refried beans to the pan and cook for about 2 minutes.
  • spread meat/bean mix on top of mashed potatoes
  • sprinkle cheese on top
  • bake uncovered for about 25 minutes

brussels sprouts bake
1 1/2 cups brussels sprouts cut in half
2 tbsp progresso bread crumbs italian style
1 tbsp trader joe's grated cheese, parmesan & romano
italian seasoning
garlic & herb seasoning

  • preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • layer the bottom of a pyrex with the brussels sprouts
  • sprinkle bread crumbs, cheese, and seasonings
  • bake covered for about 20-25 minutes

delicious meal!!!


hope everyone is having a no guilt, smile-filled day!! :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Achy & Tired But Ate Great! :)

for some reason, my pain increased a little this weekend & im just so tired!  i think my vague is related to my pain, but it typically doesnt make me this exhausted.  luckily, i didnt turn to food for comfort or to keep me awake.  i will admit, it was tempting, but after having pizza tonight, i am happy that i didnt give in all weekend long.  im sure i would feel bloated & "heavy" if i gave in to my cravings.  i also had some great meals this weekend which helped me get over the thoughts of shrimp in garlic sauce, fried rice, & a shrimp roll! :) 

friday, march 25, 2011
Morning
Coffee (1/4 cup fat free half & half, 2 tsp organic turbinado raw cane sugar, 6 cups black coffee)


2
7 Whole Grain Puffs (1 large banana, 1/2 cup trader joe's organic vanilla soy milk, 1/2 cup kashi 7 whole grain puffs cereal)


2
Subtotal 4
Midday
1/2 serving(s) Trader Joe's Organic Nonfat Yogurt French Vanilla


2
1  cup(s) fresh blueberries (in yogurt)

0
1  cup(s) grapes

0
1  medium nectarine(s)

0
1  medium orange(s)

0
2  small pear(s)

0
1  medium baby carrots

0
1  serving(s) Trader Joe's Organic Light String Cheese

1
1  serving(s) Jell-o Sugar Free Dulce de Leche

2
Subtotal 5
Evening
1  cup(s) mixed greens (trader joe's organic romaine lettuce, trader joe's organic broccoli slaw, grape tomatoes, red onions, and cucumber)


0
1  serving(s) Trader Joe's Langostino Tails (in enchiladas)

2
1  serving(s) Maple Grove Fat Free Caesar Dressing

0
Enchiladas (recipe below)

10
Subtotal 12
Anytime
4  cup(s) Healthy Pop® Kettle Corn, Popped

3
1  serving(s) Breyers Fat Free Creamy Vanilla

2
1  Chocolate Marshmallow Madness (link to recipe in previous blogs)

3
Subtotal 8
Food PointsPlus values total used 29

i usually use ground beef or turkey meat in enchiladas which makes them a really nice size, but since i used langostino tails, they were not as sizable.  however, they were delicious!

enchiladas
3 oz trader joe's langostino tails
1/2 cup trader joes vegetarian refried beans salsa style
1/4 cup trader joe's enchilada sauce
1/4 cup trader joes reduced fat mexican cheese
2 la tortilla factory low carb large tortillas
  • preheat oven to 375 degrees & spray a pyrex with trader joe's italian olive oil spray
  • wrap 1/2 langostino tails & 1/2 refried beans in one tortilla and the remaining in the other tortilla
  • put the tortillas in the pryex 
  • pour enchilada sauce then sprinkle cheese over both of them
  • cover and bake for about 20 minutes
  • top enchiladas with salsa 



    saturday, march 26, 2011
    Morning
    Coffee (1/4 cup fat free half & half, 2 tsp organic turbinado raw cane sugar, 6 cups black coffee)


    2
    7 Whole Grain Puffs (1 large banana, 1/2 cup trader joe's organic vanilla soy milk, 1/2 cup kashi 7 whole grain puffs cereal)


    2
    Subtotal 4
    Midday
    1  item(s) Flatout Flatbread  Italian Herb Bread

    2
    Egg Salad (see recipe below)

    4
    Subtotal 6
    Evening
    1  serving(s) Trader Joe's Butcher Shop Premium Angus Tri-Tip Steak (broiled)


    5
    1  Tbsp Steak Sauce Original (marinade for steak)

    0
    1  Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce (marinade for steak)

    0
    1  tray(s) Just for One Peas and Corn in a Basil Butter Sauce

    2
    Mashed Sweet Potatoes (recipe below)

    6
    Subtotal 13
    Anytime
    1  bag(s) Healthy Pop® 100 cal butter mini bag

    3
    1  serving(s) Edy's Slow Churned Thin Mint Ice Cream

    3
    1  PB n Chocolate Bread Pudding (recipe below)

    4
    Subtotal 10
    Food PointsPlus values total used 33

    todays meals were excellent & easy!  i was tired so i was even more lazy than normal! :)

    egg salad
    2 hard boiled egg whites
    1 hard boiled egg 
    1 tbsp hellmanns light mayo
    two drops of mustard
    italian seasonings
    garlic & herb seasoning
    1 flatout light italian herb flatbread
    • mix ingredients together then wrap in flatbread

    mashed sweet potatoes
    1 large sweet potato, cubed
    1 tbsp smart balance heartright light buttery spread
    2 tbsp spring tree sugar free low calorie maple syrup
    • bring salt water to a boil
    • lower heat to med-high, place sweet potato in water, and cook for about 20 minutes or until fork can very easily go through cubes
    • drain potatoes & begin to mash
    • add butter & syrup and mash until desired consistency



      pb n chocolate bread pudding
      below is the link to the recipe (first recipe on page).  i only modified the ingredients to make it for 1 instead of 4.  this recipe was perfect for me too because i have all the ingredients!  i need to use a smaller pyrex next time but other than that, it was excellent!!  :)

      1 slice pepperidge farms carbstyle 7 grain
      1/4 cup trader joe's organic vanilla soy milk
      1/8 cup fat free egg substitute
      1/2 tbsp better n peanut butter
      1/4 tbsp brown sugar
      1/2 tbsp semi-sweet mini chocolate chips

      http://www.hungry-girl.com/newsletters/raw/630


       hope everyone had a great no guilt weekend!! :)

      Thursday, March 24, 2011

      Bye Bye 2.4 lbs!

      yesterday it was the pants fitting that had me smiling at 6:20 am & today it was the scale!  im down another 2.4 lbs which leaves me with another 6 - 8 lbs to go.  i rediscovered my love for weight watchers at the end of december 2010 & i am now 13.5 lbs lighter as a result.  what an amazing sense of accomplishment!  feeling successful goes a long way.  i feel more confident, empowered, and happy.  tomorrow i am going to try on another pair of pants i grew out of about a year ago.  if they fit, it will be another great start!  if they dont, i will absolutely not let it put a damper on these past days!  ill take 2 successes in 2 days! :)

      march 23, 2011

      Morning
      Coffee (1/4 cup fat free half & half, 2 tsp organic turbinado raw cane sugar, 6 cups black coffee)
      2
      7 Whole Grain Puffs (1 large banana, 1/2 cup trader joe's organic vanilla soy milk, 1/2 cup kashi 7 whole grain puffs cereal)
      2
      Subtotal 4
      Midday
      1/2 serving(s) Trader Joe's Organic Nonfat Yogurt French Vanilla
      2
      1  cup(s) fresh blueberries (in yogurt)
      0
      1  medium orange(s)
      0
      1  medium nectarine(s)
      0
      2  small pear(s)
      0
      1  cup(s) grapes
      0
      1  serving(s) Trader Joe's Organic Light String Cheese
      1
      1  medium baby carrots
      0
      Subtotal 3
      Evening
      1  serving(s) Trader Joe's Butcher Shop Ground Beef 96/4 (on pizza)
      3
      Asparagus Bake (see recipe below)
      2
      White Pizza (see recipe below)
      4
      Subtotal 9
      Anytime
      1  bag(s) Healthy Pop® 100 cal butter mini bag
      3
      1  serving(s) Edy's Slow Churned Thin Mint Ice Cream
      3
      1  Chocolate Marshmallow Madness (see link to recipe in previous posts)
      3
      Subtotal 9
      Food PointsPlus values total used 25

      asparagus bake
      asparagus spears
      2 tbsp progresso bread crumbs italian style
      1 tbsp trader joe's parmesan, romano & asiago cheese mix
      italian seasoning
      garlic & herb seasoning
       
      • preheat oven to 375 degrees
      • layer the bottom of a pyrex with the aparagus spears
      • sprinkle bread crumbs, cheese, and seasonings
      • bake covered for about 20-25 minutes

      faux pizza
      1 flatout light italian herb (flat bread)
      4oz trader joes ground beef 96/4
      2 tbsp chopped onions
      3 cloves minced garlic
      1/4 cup & 2 tbsp trader joes fat free ricotta cheese
      2 tbsp trader joes lite shredded mozzarella cheese
      italian seasoning
      garlic & herb seasoning
      • preheat ove to 375 degrees
      • spray a baking sheet with trader joe's italian olive oil spray.  place flatout on the sheet and bake for 5 minutes.  flip flatout and bake for another 5 minutes.
      • spray a frying pan with trader joe's italian olive oil spray (frying pan has been on medium-low heat for a few minutes).  cook the onions & garlic for a minute.  add ground beef & cook completely while chopping meat up into small pieces.
      • combine cheeses, seasonings, meat w/onion & garlic.  the heat from meat will melt the cheeses to a spreadable consistency.   spread on baked flatout.
      • put back in oven for another 5 minutes.

      below is the link to the recipe that got me started on this faux pizza journey.  it has so much potential but i just cant seem to find the right combination of ingredients.  i thought using flatout flatbread instead of using a la tortilla factory low carb large tortilla would help but it only did a bit.  so, next time i think i am going to try adding 1/4 cup of trader joes alfredo sauce to the cheese mix.  i need to figure this out!  :)

      http://www.hungry-girl.com/show/you-wanna-pizza-me-crispy-white-pizza-recipe






      hope everyone is having a fantastic no guilt day!!

      Wednesday, March 23, 2011

      And They Fit!

      this morning i faced a huge fear.  i attempted to put on a pair of pants that i have not been able to wear for about a year now and to my surprise, they fit!!  i tried to put them on about a month ago & they didnt button at all but today they buttoned & zipped with no problem!!  i shared this with a collegue of mine who is also on weight watchers and she had the same experience this morning!  that made my day even better because i had two successes to celebrate! :)  i wish this feeling on anyone who is working towards being more healthy.  i feel great about myself and i dont feel deprived in anyway!  i love weight watchers!  can you tell by all the exclamation points that i am super excited?!  :)

      i ate great this week and its paying off so far!  heres what i had monday & tuesday.

      monday, march 21, 2011
      Morning
      Coffee (1/4 cup fat free half & half, 2 tsp organic turbinado raw cane sugar, 6 cups black coffee)
      2
      7 Whole Grain Puffs (1 large banana, 1/2 cup trader joe's organic vanilla soy milk, 1/2 cup kashi 7 whole grain puffs cereal)
      2
      Subtotal 4
      Midday
      1  medium baby carrots
      0
      1  serving(s) Trader Joe's Organic Light String Cheese
      1
      1/2 serving(s) Trader Joe's Organic Nonfat Yogurt French Vanilla
      2
      1  cup(s) fresh blueberries (in yogurt)
      0
      1  medium orange(s)
      0
      2  small pear(s)
      0
      1  medium nectarine(s)
      0
      1  cup(s) grapes
      0
      Subtotal 3
      Evening
      1  serving(s) Trader Joe's Butcher Shop Ground Turkey Breast (in quesadilla)
      3
      Kale Chips (see link below)
      0
      Quesadilla ~ 2 pt tortilla (see recipe below)
      5
      Subtotal 8
      Anytime
      1  bag(s) Healthy Pop® 100 cal butter mini bag
      3
      1  serving(s) Edy's Slow Churned Thin Mint Ice Cream
      3
      1  Chocolate Marshmallow Madness (see link at bottom of post)
      3
      Subtotal 9
      Food PointsPlus values total used 24

      quesadilla
      4oz trader joe's butcher shop ground turkey breast
      1/2 cup trader joes vegetarian refried beans salsa style
      2 tbsp trader joes reduced fat mexican cheese
      1 la tortilla factory low carb large tortilla
      • spray a frying pan with trader joe's italian olive oil spray (frying pan has been on medium-low heat for a few minutes).  add turkey meat & cook completely while chopping it up into small pieces.  
      • add about 2-3 tbsp of water to the frying pan with about 2 tsps of taco seasonings.  when the water has completely evaporated, the turkey is ready to go into the tortilla.
      • place the turkey, refired beans, & cheese on the tortilla.
      • put the tortilla with the refried beans, turkey & cheese back into the frying pan which has been sprayed with olive oil spray again.  after a few seconds, fold the tortilla in half & press down a bit to evenly spread out the ingredients.
      • cook both sides for about 3-4 minutes or until browned.
      • top quesadilla with salsa

      the kale chips were awesome!  i used too must sea salt so next time i will either use less or try a different seasoning. 
      http://www.hungry-girl.com/show/surprises-shockers-and-swaps-baked-kale-recipe




      tuesday, march 22, 2011
      Morning
      Coffee (1/4 cup fat free half & half, 2 tsp organic turbinado raw cane sugar, 6 cups black coffee)
      2
      7 Whole Grain Puffs (1 large banana, 1/2 cup trader joe's organic vanilla soy milk, 1/2 cup kashi 7 whole grain puffs cereal)
      2
      Subtotal 4
      Midday
      1  cup(s) grapes
      0
      1  medium nectarine(s)
      0
      1  medium orange(s)
      0
      2  small pear(s)
      0
      1  medium baby carrots
      0
      1/2 serving(s) Trader Joe's Organic Nonfat Yogurt French Vanilla
      2
      1  cup(s) fresh blueberries (in yogurt)
      0
      1  serving(s) Trader Joe's Organic Light String Cheese
      1
      Subtotal 3
      Evening
      1  serving(s) Trader Joe's Organic Free Range Chicken
      3
      3  cup(s) cooked spaghetti squash
      0
      2  serving(s) Trader Joe's Soyaki
      2
      1  serving(s) Trader Joe's Low Fat Parmesan Ranch Dressing
      1
      1  cup(s) mixed greens (trader joe's organic romaine lettuce, trader joe's organic broccoli slaw, grape tomatoes, red onions, and cucumber)
      0
      1/2 serving(s) Plumrose 25% Lower Fat Bacon
      1
      Subtotal 7
      Anytime
      1  bag(s) Healthy Pop® 100 cal butter mini bag
      3
      1/2 cup(s) Fat-Free Mint Cookies 'n Cream Frozen Yogurt
      3
      1  Chocolate Marshmallow Madness (see link below)
      3
      Subtotal 9
      Food PointsPlus values total used 23


      on saturday when i prepared the spaghetti squash with margie's mango teriyaki, i felt it needed more flavor.  well, i found a marinade that doesnt need a thing!  this round of chicken and spaghetti squash was fantastic!

      soyaki chicken & spaghetti squash
      4 oz trader joe's organic free range chicken breast, cubed
      2 tbsp trader joe's soyaki (2 servings)
      1/2 of a spaghetti squash (leftover from saturday)
      • spray a frying pan with trader joe's italian olive oil spray (frying pan has been on medium-low heat for a few minutes).  add chicken & cook completely.
      • add soyaki & spaghetti squash. cook for about 5 minutes or until spaghetti squash is hot.


       

      here is the link to the chocolate marshmallow madness cupcakes that i swear by!  they seriously satisfy my chocolate craving completely!
      http://www.hungry-girl.com/show/chocolate-911-chocolate-marshmallow-madness-cupcakes-recipe

      hope you are all having a terrific no guilt day! :)

      Monday, March 21, 2011

      Emotional Eating

      today i want nothing more than a complete tub of ice cream after i have devoured a fat juicy burger & cheese fries.  i know whats triggering this craving but its not easy to fight it off.  so far, i am succeeding & my nightly ice cream snack should help.  i truly hope that tomorrow the desire is either gone or significantly reduced.  however, since i know that the trigger is my emotional state, i have to deal with that as well.  my mind seems to be on overdrive.  i have to slow it down.  reading the quotes on the two quote pages is helping me but i also need to take some action.  instead of stuffing my face, i can make things better by making positive changes in my life and by putting the problems i cant change into the proper perceptive.  taking the time to move forward positively is much better than emotional eating which will ultimately make me feel worse.  dr seuss said it best, “I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!” :) :)

      this blog has also been a wonderful outlet for me.  i appreciate every one of you that is reading & enjoying it! :)

      saturday, march 19, 2011
      Morning
      3  item(s) egg white(s)
      1
      2 tbsp Trader Joe's Fat Free Crumbled Feta
      1
      1/8 cup cooked spinach
      0
      1  serving(s) Pepperidge Farm CarbStyle 7 Grain
      1
      Coffee (1/4 cup fat free half & half, 2 tsp organic turbinado raw cane sugar, 6 cups black coffee)
      2
      Subtotal 5
      Midday
      1  large banana(s)
      0
      PB & J (2 slices pepperidge farm carbstyle 7 grain bread, 2 tbsp better n peanut butter, and 1 tbsp trader joe's organic reduced sugar blueberry preserves)
      6
      Subtotal 6
      Evening
      Mango Teriyaki Chicken & Spaghetti Squash (see recipe below)
      4
      Subtotal 4
      Anytime
      4  cup(s) Healthy Pop® Kettle Corn, Popped
      3
      1  serving(s) Edy's Slow Churned Thin Mint Ice Cream
      3
      3  Chocolate Marshmallow Madness (link to recipe in previous posts)
      8
      Subtotal 14
      Food PointsPlus values total used 29

      yes, i had 3 cupcakes!!! :)  they are sooo good & i had the points!! :)

      here is a picture of the egg white omelette i had in the morning.  so yummy!!  im not big on adding butter to bread so that was not something i needed to reduce or eliminate.  however, for all of you butter lovers, i would try substituting butter with smart balance heart right light buttery spread.  1 tbsp is 1 point.  i have used it in the past and truly liked it!



      mango teriyaki chicken & spaghetti squash
      1 tbsp chopped onions
      2 cloves garlic, minced w/garlic press
      4 oz trader joe's organic free range chicken breast, cubed
      2 tbsp margie's mango teriyaki (2 servings)
      1/2 of a spaghetti squash
      • preheat oven to 350 degrees
      • cut spaghetti squash in half.  scoop out seeds & fibers.
      • add about a tbsp of water to a baking sheet.  place squash cut side down on the baking sheet.
      • bake for about 40 minutes.  when fork can go through skin easily, its done.
      • flip squash cut side is up so it can cool down while preparing chicken.
      • spray a frying pan with trader joe's italian olive oil spray (frying pan has been on medium-low heat for a few minutes).  cook the onions & garlic for a minute.  add chicken & cook completely.
      • lower heat & add margie's mango teriyaki.  let sit on low heat while using a fork to scrap the inside of the squash into a bowl.  it will naturally separate into spaghetti-like strands.  scrap the other half into a tupperware to be used for another dish later in the week.
      • add chicken mixture to spaghetti squash.

      there are many methods for cooking spaghetti squash.  the below website helped me when i first started my wonderful relationship with spaghetti squash.  i came up with my technique by incorporating a few different methods. 

      http://www.healthy-recipes-for-kids.com/spaghetti-squash-recipes.html

      i love this recipe but i feel like it can use a little more flavor.  i am not sure what to add so any suggestions would be appreciated! :) 


      sunday, march 20, 2011
      Morning
      Coffee (1/4 cup fat free half & half, 2 tsp organic turbinado raw cane sugar, 6 cups black coffee)
      2
      7 Whole Grain Puffs (1 large banana, 1/2 cup trader joe's organic vanilla soy milk, 1/2 cup kashi 7 whole grain puffs cereal)
      2
      Subtotal 4
      Midday
      1  serving(s) Trader Joe's Edamame in a Shell
      3
      Subtotal 3
      Evening
      1  serving(s) Trader Joe's Organic Vodka Sauce
      2
      1  serving(s) Trader Joe's Butcher Shop Premium Angus Tri-Tip Steak
      5
      1  serving(s) Trader Joe's Organic Pasta Penne
      5
      1  cup(s) mixed greens (trader joe's organic romaine lettuce, trader joe's organic broccoli slaw, grape tomatoes, red onions, and cucumber)
      0
      1  serving(s) Trader Joe's Fat Free Crumbled Feta (in salad)
      1
      1  serving(s) Plumrose 25% Lower Fat Bacon (in salad)
      2
      1  serving(s) Olde Cape Cod Toasted Sesame Soy & Ginger Dressing (in salad)
      1
      Subtotal 16
      Anytime
      4  cup(s) Healthy Pop® Kettle Corn, Popped
      3
      1  serving(s) Breyers Fat Free Creamy Vanilla
      2
      1  Chocolate Marshmallow Madness (link to recipe in previous posts)
      3
      Subtotal 8
      Food PointsPlus values total used 31

      i used 2 of my weekly points but its totally worth it for sunday macaroni!!  its my favorite & really enjoyed this meal!! 

      penne & steak alla vodka
      4 oz trader joe's premimum black angus beef tri-tip stea, cubed
      1 tbsp chopped onion
      2 cloves garlic, minced w/garlic press
      1/2 cup trader joe's organic vodka sauce
      2 oz trader joe's organic penne
      1 tsp grated cheese
      • spray a frying pan with trader joe's italian olive oil spray (frying pan has been on medium-low heat for a few minutes).  cook the onions & garlic for a minute.  add steak & cook completely.
      • lower heat & add vodka sauce.  let sit on low heat when the pasta has about 5 minutes left to cook.
      • mix it all together in a bowl w/grated cheese
       


      has anyone picked up on how i pretty much prepare everything the same way?  :)  i am a creature of habit for sure! :)

      hope you are having a wonderful no guilt day!!



      Saturday, March 19, 2011

      It's a Complete Lifestyle Change, Not a Diet

      to me, weight watchers is not a diet.  its a lifestyle change.  i know that i need to hold myself accountable even when i am at my ideal weight.  its funny how holding myself accountable for my weight can lead to holding myself accountable for my overall well-being.  it amazes me how much i am beginning to concentrate on being happier since i have been back on weight watchers.  i find myself working hard to pull myself out of slumps instead of being stuck in my mind and miserable.  recently i feel as though i am on an emotional roller coaster and i frequently have to put my life into perspective.  however, i firmly believe that weight watchers has influenced my efforts to change unproductive thoughts that lead to unhealthy emotions and behaviors.  the idea of being responsible for my eating is exactly the same as being held responsible for my thoughts.  a strategy i have begun to use when i am struggling with managing my thoughts is reading inspirational quotes. since i have this blog, i thought it would be a nice place for me to share the quotes that speak to me and help me through rough moments.  i created two pages that i will be updating regularly (for obvious reasons, dr seuss has his own page).  hopefully you will find these quotes as meaningful as i do and please share your favorites!  weight watchers is honestly a complete lifestyle change for me & i truly hope it is for other people as well.

      eating great also directly effects my mood so when i eat well, i feel well! :)  i definitely ate well thursday & friday!

      thursday, march 17, 2011
      Morning
      Coffee (1/4 cup fat free half & half, 2 tsp organic turbinado raw cane sugar, 6 cups black coffee)
      2
      7 Whole Grain Puffs (1 large banana, 1/2 cup trader joe's organic vanilla soy milk, 1/2 cup kashi 7 whole grain puffs cereal)
      2
      Subtotal 4
      Midday
      1  cup(s) grapes
      0
      1  small pear(s)
      0
      1  medium baby carrots
      0
      1  serving(s) Trader Joe's Organic Light String Cheese
      1
      Subtotal 1
      Evening
      1  serving(s) Trader Joe's Sliced Lite Provolone
      2
      1/2 serving(s) Plumrose 25% Lower Fat Bacon
      1
      1  serving(s) Trader Joe's Butcher Shop Ground Turkey Breast
      3
      2  Tbsp Free Thousand Island Salad Dressing
      1
      1  serving(s) Betty Crocker Cheddar & Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes
      2
      Asparagus Bake (see below for recipe)
      2
      Subtotal 11
      Anytime
      4  cup(s) Healthy Pop® Kettle Corn, Popped
      3
      1  serving(s) Edy's Slow Churned Thin Mint Ice Cream
      3
      1  Chocolate Marshmallow Madness (link to recipe in previous posts)
      3
      Subtotal 9
      Food PointsPlus values total used 25


      i was going to make a lazy shepard's pie, but when i got home, i really wanted asparagus.  therefore, i opted for an italian seasoned turkey burger w/provolone cheese & bacon dipped in thousand island dressing.  the seasoning i used for the turkey burger are the same ones i used in the asparagus bake (see below).  i also had leftover instant mashed potatoes from wednesday night and i really hate leftovers so it was a perfect addition.

      asparagus bake
      asparagus spears
      2 tbsp progresso bread crumbs italian style
      1 tbsp trader joe's parmesan, romano & asiago cheese mix
      italian seasoning
      garlic & herb seasoning

      • preheat oven to 375 degrees
      • layer the bottom of a pyrex with the aparagus spears
      • sprinkle bread crumbs, cheese, and seasonings
      • bake covered for about 20-25 minutes


      friday, march 18, 2011

      Morning
      Coffee (1/4 cup fat free half & half, 2 tsp organic turbinado raw cane sugar, 6 cups black coffee)
      2
      7 Whole Grain Puffs (1 large banana, 1/2 cup trader joe's organic vanilla soy milk, 1/2 cup kashi 7 whole grain puffs cereal)
      2
      Subtotal 4
      Midday
      1  cup(s) grapes
      0
      2  small pear(s)
      0
      1  medium orange(s)
      0
      1  medium nectarine(s)
      0
      1  serving(s) Trader Joe's Organic Light String Cheese
      1
      1/2 serving(s) Trader Joe's Organic Nonfat Yogurt French Vanilla
      2
      1  serving(s) Jell-o Sugar Free Dulce de Leche
      2
      1  medium baby carrots
      0
      Subtotal 5
      Evening
      1  cup(s) mixed greens (trader joe's organic romaine lettuce, red onions, and cucumber)
      0
      1  serving(s) Trader Joe's Crinkle Wedge Potatoes
      3
      1  serving(s) Maple Grove Fat Free Caesar Dressing (on salad)
      0
      Shrimp & Tuna Salad Sandwich (see recipe below)
      10
      Subtotal 13
      Anytime
      4  cup(s) Healthy Pop® Kettle Corn, Popped
      3
      1  serving(s) Edy's Slow Churned Thin Mint Ice Cream
      3
      1  Chocolate Marshmallow Madness (link to recipe in previous posts)
      3
      Subtotal 9
      Food PointsPlus values total used 31

      i used 2 of my weekly points.  im looking to lose as much as possible this week so i will not be digging into my weekly points too much.  however, it was worth going into them for this sandwich.  it was DELISH!!!

      tuna & shrimp salad sandwich
      3 oz bumble bee chunk light tuna in water
      1/2 serving (4 shrimp) trader joe's jumbo cooked shrimp cut into small pieces
      1 tbsp hellmann's light mayo
      italian seasoning
      garlic & herb seasoning
      1 wholly guacamole 100 calorie packet
      2 slices of pepperidge farm carbstyle 7 grain bread

      • mix tuna, shrimp, mayo, and seasonings together
      • spread guacamole onto each slice of bread
      • spread tuna shrimp salad onto one of the slices
      • close sandwich with other slice

      hope everyone is having a wonderful no guilt weekend!!

      Thursday, March 17, 2011

      Weigh In Woes

      i gained weight this week.  its only .7 lbs but its .7 lbs that i would have preferred to lose.  i was very upset when i first saw the gain & i am still a little upset, but in order for me to move on, i need to reflect.  first, i was sitting in a math seminar on thursday & friday and i sat in a waiting room at shore shore hospital all day on monday (my mother had her hip replaced & is doing well).  thats three days that i wasnt teaching which means i wasnt moving as much as i normally do, even when im in pain.  i also ate really bad this weekend.  i did track everything but i am not sure i was not accurate with my estimates.  now that i can explain the gain, i can move forward positively.  will i have another week were i gain instead of lose?  sure i will.  i am human and not perfect.  its all about moving forward and not dwelling.  i cant change it so i cant stress over it.  this disappointment also forced me to look at all the great aspects of my life at this present moment.  one being that my back is getting better.  my doctor thinks i pulled the nerve & i believe that is the case.  i finished one round of prednisone this week and will probably need another round.  im waiting to see how i feel on monday.  bottom line, i am MUCH better than one week ago.  my back getting better definitely helps me get over a measly .7 lb gain! :)

      i owe you two days of meals so here you go!

      tuesday, march 15, 2011

      Morning
      Honey Sunshine (1 large banana, 1/2 cup trader joe's organic vanilla soy milk, 1/2 cup kashi honey sunshine cereal)
      3
      Coffee (1/4 cup fat free half & half, 2 tsp organic turbinado raw cane sugar, 6 cups black coffee)
      2
      Subtotal 5
      Midday
      1/2 serving(s) Trader Joe's Organic Nonfat Yogurt French Vanilla
      2
      1  serving(s) Jell-o Sugar Free Dulce de Leche
      2
      1  cup(s) grapes
      0
      1  medium nectarine(s)
      0
      1  medium orange(s)
      0
      1  large peach(es)
      0
      1  small pear(s)
      0
      1  serving(s) Trader Joe's Organic Light String Cheese
      1
      1  medium baby carrots
      0
      Subtotal 5
      Evening
      1  cup(s) mixed greens (trader joe's organic romaine lettuce, trader joe's organic broccoli slaw, grape tomatoes, red onions, and cucumber)
      0
      3  oz cooked shrimp (in salad)
      2
      1  serving(s) Trader Joe's Fat Free Crumbled Feta (in salad)
      1
      1  serving(s) Olde Cape Cod Toasted Sesame Soy & Ginger Dressing
      1
      2  Baked Sweet Potato Chips (see recipe below)
      4
      Subtotal 8
      Anytime
      1  bag(s) Healthy Pop® 100 cal butter mini bag
      3
      1/2 cup(s) Turkey Hill Fat-Free Mint Cookies 'n Cream Frozen Yogurt
      3
      2  Tbsp Whipped Topping Fat Free
      0
      1  Chocolate Marshmallow Madness (see recipe below)
      3
      Subtotal 9
      Food PointsPlus values total used 27

      http://www.weightwatchers.com/food/rcp/index.aspx?recipeid=50409

      http://www.hungry-girl.com/show/chocolate-911-chocolate-marshmallow-madness-cupcakes-recipe

      i never have just a salad for dinner so this was a first and i dont know why i was so opposed!  it was fantastic!  the chips were excellent too.......just used too big of a bowl! :)



      wednesday, march 16, 2011

      Morning
      Coffee (1/4 cup fat free half & half, 2 tsp organic turbinado raw cane sugar, 6 cups black coffee)
      2
      7 Whole Grain Puffs (1 large banana, 1/2 cup trader joe's organic vanilla soy milk, 1/2 cup kashi 7 whole grain puffs cereal)
      2
      Subtotal 4
      Midday
      1/2 serving(s) Trader Joe's Organic Nonfat Yogurt French Vanilla
      2
      2  small pear(s)
      0
      1  medium orange(s)
      0
      1  medium nectarine(s)
      0
      1  large peach(es)
      0
      1  cup(s) grapes
      0
      1  serving(s) Trader Joe's Organic Light String Cheese
      1
      Subtotal 3
      Evening
      1  cup(s) mixed greens (trader joe's organic romaine lettuce, trader joe's organic broccoli slaw, grape tomatoes, red onions, and cucumber)
      0
      1  serving(s) Trader Joe's Cranberry, Walnut, & Gorgonzola Salad Dressing
      2
      1  Mexican Potato Casserole (see below for recipe)
      9
      Subtotal 11
      Anytime
      1  bag(s) Healthy Pop® 100 cal butter mini bag
      3
      1  serving(s) Edy's Slow Churned Thin Mint Ice Cream
      3
      1  Chocolate Marshmallow Madness (recipe above)
      3
      Subtotal 9
      Food PointsPlus values total used 27


      mexican potato casserole
      2/3 cup betty crocker cheddar & sour cream instant mashed potatoes
      4oz trader joe's butcher shop ground beef 96/4
      2 tsp taco seasoning
      1/2 cup trader joe's low fat vegetarian refried beans
      1 tbsp trader joe's reduced fat mexican cheese

      • preheat oven to 375 degrees
      • spread prepared mashed potatoes across the bottom of a pyrex sprayed with trader joe's italian olive oil spray
      • spray a frying pan with trader joe's italian olive oil spray (frying pan has been on medium-low heat for a few minutes) & cook the ground beef.  as it is cooking, break up the meat into small bits.  once the meat is cooked, add about 2-3 tbsp of water to the frying pan with about 2 tsps of taco seasonings.
      • when the water has completely evaporated, add the refried beans to the pan and cook for about 2 minutes.
      • spread meat/bean mix on top of mashed potatoes
      • sprinkle cheese on top
      • bake uncovered for about 25 minutes
      here i what it looked like when i took it out of oven.  it was DELISH!


      heres the entire dinner!



      i feel no guilt and i hope you arent feeling any guilt today too!! :)

      Tuesday, March 15, 2011

      Experimenting in the Kitchen

      weight watchers became so much easier for me once i became more flexible cooking.  i used to be very rigid.  i followed recipes exactly as written or kept my meals real simple without a recipe so when i first started weight watchers, my meals were often quite boring.  now i am more comfortable using a recipe as a guide & modifying ingredients to my liking.  i also am able to reduce points by substituting ingredients or leaving ingredients out, which i never would have considered previously.  one hurdle i am still working on is measurements.  since i like to know exact measurements, while i am preparing a meal, i use serving sizes as a guide.  typically that does the trick but its not that easy with spices.  i find it difficult to figure out how much of a spice to use & which ones i like to use together.  im not backing down from the challenge though & honestly, i never thought i would use spices the way to do today.  ive come a long way and i continue to grow.  i now have more meal choices, take more risks in the kitchen, and use spices much more than i ever did before.  im very appreciative that i had someone to help me with this transformation but for those who dont, just take the risk & start playing!  trust me......it pays off!  :)

      monday, march 14, 2011

      Morning
      Honey Sunshine (1 large banana, 1/2 cup trader joe's organic vanilla soy milk, 1/2 cup kashi honey sunshine cereal)
      3
      Coffee (1/4 cup fat free half & half, 2 tsp organic turbinado raw cane sugar, 6 cups black coffee)
      2
      Subtotal 5
      Midday
      1/2 serving(s) Trader Joe's Organic Nonfat Yogurt French Vanilla
      2
      1  medium orange(s) (in yogurt)
      0
      1  medium nectarine(s)
      0
      1  small pear(s)
      0
      1  serving(s) Trader Joe's Organic Light String Cheese
      1
      1  medium baby carrots
      0
      Subtotal 3
      Evening
      1  serving(s) Trader Joe's Organic Low Sodium Butternut Squash Soup
      2
      1  serving(s) Trader Joe's Crinkle Wedge Potatoes
      3
      1/2 Tbsp Light Mayonnaise (dip for fries)
      0
      1  serving(s) Trader Joe's Organic Ketchup (dip for fries)
      0
      Buffalo Chicken Wrap (see recipe below)
      6
      Subtotal 11
      Anytime
      1  bag(s) Healthy Pop® 100 cal butter mini bag
      3
      1  serving(s) Breyers Fat Free Creamy Vanilla
      2
      2  Tbsp Whipped Topping Free Whipped Topping
      0
      1  Chocolate Marshmallow Madness
      3
      Subtotal 8
      Food PointsPlus values total used 27

      buffalo chicken wrap recipe
      4 oz Trader Joe's Organic Free Range Chicken (cut into about 1 inch cubes)
      2 tsp Frank's Red Hot
      2 tsp Trader Joe's Grated Cheese (Romano & Parmesan)
      1 tbsp Wish-Bone Fat Free Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing
      1 La Tortilla Factory Low Carb Large Whole Wheat

      • spray a frying pan with trader joe's italian olive oil spray (frying pan has been on medium-low heat for a few minutes) & cook chicken completely
      • lower heat
      • add franks & grated cheese to pan and cook for another minute or two
      • combine buffalo chicken & blue cheese on top of open wrap
      • roll it up!
       i have modified this meal so many times until i perfected it the way i like it.  this is one of my favorites now!  the ketchup/mayo mix looks strange because i mixed it up with a spoon! :)


      can you imagine this much food for so little points?!?! :)

      hope you are all enjoying the warmer weather & having a guilt free day!!

      Monday, March 14, 2011

      Creature of Habit

      "Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going." -Anonymous
      my need for routines and the fact that i truly enjoy structure and organization are some of the reasons weight watchers works perfectly for me.  once i allowed myself to change for the better, i realized that i actually function better when i am on weight watchers than when i am not!  i like planning my meals and preparing my lunches.  however, i do need to let my hair down at times and this weekend was definitely one of those times!  even though i tracked everything i ate, i didnt worry too much about what i was eating.  i enjoyed it thoroughly but was thrilled to get back to my routine today! 
      here is what i ate this weekend.  i had to estimate a lot of the point values, so i hope i overestimated!
      saturday, march 12, 2011 (ella's 2nd birthday party)
      Morning
      1/2 serving(s) Spring Tree Sugar Free Low Cal Syrup            Coffee (1/4 cup fat free half & half, 2 tsp organic turbinado raw cane sugar, 6 cups black coffee)
      1 2
      2  Pancakes (1 cup heart smart bisquick, 1 egg white, 2/3 cup trader joes organic vanilla soy milk, 1 tbsp trader joes organic sugar = 9 pancakes little less than 1/4 cup each)
      3
      Subtotal 6
      Midday
      1  medium baby carrots
      0
      Subtotal 0
      Evening
      1  slice(s) bread
      2
      1/4 Tbsp regular butter
      1
      Chips & Dip - Quick-added food
      5
      1  cup(s) meatless baked ziti
      7
      Sausage n Peppers - Quick-added food
      5
      Chicken Francaise - Quick-added food
      5
      Subtotal 25
      Anytime
      Cupcake - Quick-added food
      8
      6  cup(s) Healthy Pop® Kettle Corn, Popped
      4
      Subtotal 12
      Food PointsPlus values total used 41
      the 8-point cupcake was amazing & more importantly, i had a great time eating it!  there is nothing better than eating icing with your fingers!!!
      sunday, march 13, 2011 (dinner at my parents with my brother & sister-in-law)
      Morning
      Honey Sunshine (1 large banana, 1/2 cup trader joe's organic vanilla soy milk, 1/2 cup kashi honey sunshine cereal)
      3
      Coffee (1/4 cup fat free half & half, 2 tsp organic turbinado raw cane sugar, 6 cups black coffee)
      2
      Subtotal 5
      Midday
      No entries for this meal time.  
      Subtotal 0
      Evening
      Shrimp Parmigiana - Quick-added food
      15
      Vegetables - Quick-added food
      2
      Potato Croquette - Quick-added food
      5
      Subtotal 22
      Anytime
      1  serving(s) Edy's Slow Churned Thin Mint Ice Cream
      3
      Subtotal 3
      Food PointsPlus values total used 30
      if i pointed everything well, i have 34 weekly points left.  i really find that hard to believe so lets see what happens when i get on the scale on thursday! :)  regardless, i have no regrets!  it was a great weekend & i tried very hard to track everything accurately! 
      hope you are all having a wonderful guilt free day!!  
      HAPPY PI DAY!!!!!