Thursday, April 28, 2011

New Header!!

Fingers crossed, Spring has dipped its toes in the lake and is leading us ever so slowly into Summer.  Looking at the snow covered trees was making me tired... so here's a new view of downtown while walking to the West Side Market!

Getting Back On Track

Windy much?

This week felt like a real roller coaster.  I weigh myself every day and write it down in a chart I keep by my scale.  I do this every morning before I eat and shower- obsessive compuslive much?  Now, I know it's not the best indication of your true weight, because it WILL vary day to day, but the overall trend of a decreasing number on the scale in the morning is a positive thing and helps me focus on my goal.

The past two weeks however... it's been a mess.  One day I'm up three pounds, the next down two, the next down 2, the next up 4, etc etc.  Over the past week I've gained and lost between three and four pounds.  The weight I track and count as being the most true is what I weigh in on Wednesday evenings at Weight Watchers.  Regardless of the foibles at my own scale, they still reflect a downward trend (if you were to average the numbers), however, math isn't my strong suit at 7:30 am. 

So, in week 14, I am down.  Maybe I didn't lose the entire three pounds I gained last week, but I'm close.  And I consider that great, since it was a holiday weekend, and on Sunday I ate... everything.  But I wrote everything down!  And I took advantage of the nice weather and walked Buster outside.  I think he forgot what green grass looked like.  All and all, I consider this to be a successful week.

Week 14: -2.4 lbs
Total: -11.2 lbs

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Fast Dinner- Black Beans and Rice

So, April has been a big time downer in Cleveland.  Near constant rain, giving me a near constant headache.  I wanted comfort food for dinner last night, but did not want to go grocery shopping.  I tend to keep a lot of canned goods, as well as pasta and rice on hand, and after a few minutes of standing in front of the fridge going ughhhhhhhhhhh I decided that rice and beans it was.  This is so simple, but it was really filling, satisfying AND yummy. 

Simple Black Beans and Rice

1 can black beans, drained
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 large squirt Sriracha Garlic Chili Sauce
1/2 tsp or to taste Matt's Mix
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Jasmine Rice
1 egg, over easy (again, however you want!)

Prepare rice according to directions on bag.  Combine black beans and diced tomatoes, salt, pepper and Sriracha in another pot, heat.  Cook egg.

Serving size is one cup rice, 1 cup bean/tomato mixture, and one egg.  Season to taste, I always like to put a little more Sriracha for some kick.  Approx. 9 Points+, depending on how you cook your egg.

You can always add more veggies like avocado or corn or chilis, or really anything, and this would still be delicious.  This is a very versatile meal that takes about 15 minutes to prepare, and you have lunch for the next couple days!

*Also- if you're wondering what Matt's Mix is- it's probably my favorite all-purpose seasoning.  I use it in place of salt on all savory foods, and it's amazing.  I'll do a future blog post about it, but in the mean time, check out their website, they have a lot of great recipes. 

Monday, April 25, 2011

Recipe Round Up

Thai Honey Peanut Chicken Spicy, smooth, sweet and salty... this is one tasty dish.  Makes four heaping servings, that when eaten with jasmine rice and broccoli make up a hearty filling meal.  Yes- this involves peanut butter, but not too much, so it comes out fairly low point per serving.

Silky Cauliflower Soup  A super low point soup that's creamy and delicious.  The majority of the soup is veggies- but when combined with some chicken stock and Parmesan cheese and blended, it becomes a silky cheesy treat.  Next time I make this, I will definitely blend a little more to achieve a smoother blend, but all in all, a success.  3 points+ per serving, but tastes like way more.

Breaded Zucchini Sticks   These were delicious!!!  Healthy, low point, great snack.  Kind of a pain in the butt to make, but very satisfying.  These reminded me how much I love onion rings... I'll probably use this recipe to make baked onion rings in the near future.

Baked Banana Oatmeal-  Sooooo hearty!  When I say filling... I really, really mean it.  The serving size is a quarter of the recipe, which is a giant portion of oatmeal.  I'd probably divide it into 6 portions next time.  I added a light drizzle of maple syrup on top and it was perfect.

Pina Colada Cupcakes-  I made these low point beauties for Easter, and they were a huge hit.  You substitute a can of crushed pineapple for the egg and oil in the cake mix, which makes it lower point AND delicious.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Well, This Is Embarrassing...

So... I weighed in yesterday.  I guess I shouldn't have skipped the meeting last week, seeing as how it probably would have been the kick in the ass I needed to get back on track.  But no, I decided to skip, thinking, "I can totally count points/exercise/lose that pound I gained over the last week."  But instead, I ate well for about 2 days, then went out all weekend.  Turn out, beer, cheese, bread, pizza, etc doesn't really keep the weight off.  What it DOES do is put more weight on. 

So, when I went to weigh in after work, I (unsurprisingly) gained.  A lot.  3 pounds, to be exact.  I was mad, sad, but more than anything, embarrassed.  I've worked THIS hard to lose weight, and now I'm back to where I was at the beginning of March. 

I worked out once last week, which was a step in the right direction, but now I gotta get my ass in gear and really focus.  Once I saw the scale, I was more scared than anything to write this blog entry, because now it's REAL.

Goals this week: write down EVERYTHING.  The meeting last night was about tracking, and I realize that I've been seriously slacking in the tracking department.  Sure, I track my breakfast and lunch... but it's kind of stopped after that.  Recounting the next morning what I *think* I ate the night before obviously isn't working.  Biggest goal this week- get back on track!!!

Week 13: + 3 lbs
Total: -8.8 lbs

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Confessions of a Slip-Up-Aholic

I decided that I'm exercising my right to not go to a meeting or weigh in this week.  It's the opposite of what every good Weight Watcher would tell you to do, but I am going to do it.  Why?  I know I gained this week.  I only tell my blog about my weekly weigh ins, but I'm secretly (or maybe not) keeping track of my weight each day on my own.  Speaking of exercise... I have not done it in... a while.  My workout room looks like a shoe ghost town and my free COSE Y-Days have gone unused for at least a few weeks.

I feel the all too familiar feeling of slipping back into bad habits.  Maybe if I were already at the point of maintaining my weight, it'd be different; but I am still in active "losing" mode.  While I have remained fairly vigilent about my food habits, my workout habits are back to what they used to be- non existent.

I started this blog as a way of keeping myself honest, so this is just me confessing that yes, I gained this week.  Maybe not in an official capacity (since I'm not going to my meeting this week), but I know it when I step on my scale in the morning. 

Goals this week: Get back to tracking!  Stick to my points, get at least 1-2 workouts in, and get outside for some fresh air. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Expressing Gratitude

Another week, another small loss.  I skipped the meeting again, and didn't workout this week, AGAIN!  A loss is a loss is a loss, but I feel like I could be making more of an effort.  There are a thousand excuses I could use, but what it comes down to is the effort to put in extra work just hasn't been there for a few weeks.  I'm trying to get my inspiration and motivation up!  This week I'm going to concentrate not on just physically getting off the couch, but being positive about it.  I'd like to gain a small victory in focusing on the positive things.  Yesterday, I read this blog post about "gratitude killers" over on The Grateful Sparrow- and it really struck a chord with me.

Nikki says: 
...we’re so used to slipping little negatives into our everyday conversation, as half-jokes and self-depreciating, commiserating stabs.  Instead of “I’m so grateful I cheated on my diet for a doughnut, it was worth it,” say “I’m so grateful that I enjoyed every delicious bite of my doughnut treat today.”
Instead of "I only lost .4 lbs this week," I feel like- "I lost .4 lbs this week!  A loss that when added to everything else I've done, makes me 11.8 lbs lighter than I was just a mere 3 months ago!"  I haven't lost all the weight yet, but I am on my way and have made a great deal of progress.  I am learning to eat better, to say no, to cook, and most of all, appreciate where I'm at in life.

Go out and spread gratitude today!  Thank someone and really mean it.

Week 12: -.4 lbs
Total: -11.8 lbs

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Recipe Round-Up!

It's been a tasty week.  I'm trying to do these round-ups more often, since I DO cook often, and when I take too much time in between them I forget what I made. I've also decided to do a small review of each... probably for my own sake- if you'd like to make any of these, I'd highly encourage it.

Fusilli with Cauliflower, Olives and Herbs
A zesty, delicious dish.  I added some grated lemon peel as a topping... this dish is best RIGHT after it's done.  It makes pretty good leftovers, but I felt like it was missing a little something when reheated.  Right out of the pot, it's perfect.

Tortellini Soup
A really easy dish- takes about 25 minutes of opening cans, chopping spinach and tossing in some herbs etc.  Great reheated for lunches- makes a big batch that comes out low point, depending on what type of tortellini you use.  Unfortunately, it was hard to find frozen tortellini at Heinen's that didn't have 4534 ingredients... but everything else in this soup is whole and delicious.

Skillet Lasagna
One of my absolute favorite recipe's from The Well-Fed Newlyweds.  It's an ideal winter dish... and since it is APRIL and Cleveland has decided it's STILL WINTER.... ugh.  Whatever, at least I'm eating tasty food.  I snuck in a serving of spinach in with this, and I'm sure it'd be easy to swap out the turkey for some veggies to make it vegetarian.

Oh Hummus... how perfect you are.  And SO easy!  Remind me again why I bothered to skin all those edamame shells?  I'm ridiculous.  It makes for a great snack when paired with some veggies, pretzels or flatbread... and takes all of 30 seconds to make.  Better than store bought hummus, and way cheaper.

I've noticed it's been hard to work in more vegetarian meals.  I'm still buying local meats with no preservatives/anti-biotics- but sometimes a meal just doesn't feel like a "meal" without meat.  I'm trying to get out of that mind set... but it's hard.  One of my co-workers has some chickens and she brought me some eggs yesterday- they were delicious!  I'm hoping to maybe buy eggs off of her instead of from the grocery- I know they're probably the best taken-care-of chickens in the state of Ohio.

Any tips on better ways to cut meat out more often?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Slow and Steady Wins the Race?

I was back to losing this week!  Not a ton- just .6 lbs, but I'll take it.  I seem to be getting into a plateau mode here... I need something to break me out of it.  The fact that I worked out maybe two or three times in March probably didn't help much either.

To recap this week's meeting- ACCOUNTABILITY!!!  Support and accountability are not only crucial to weight loss success, but life success.  Yes- I am doing this for me, I am in charge of what I eat- but it is a thousand times easier when I know I have people who have my back.  It's easier to stay motivated when you aren't your only cheerleader.  Who can you turn to for support?  Who do you seek support from for everyday struggles?  Hopefully they can be the same people to give you that nudge you need in your weight loss.  Don't be afraid to talk about it- hiding weight loss struggles only makes it harder.  Be proud of what you're doing.  Be an inspiration for people who are struggling with the same situation.

Plateau or not- Nick reminded me that I still have lost 11.4 lbs- and I should be PROUD.  And I am.  Thank you Nick, for reminding me that while I may be struggling a bit now, I still have made it this far and do not want to go back.

Week 11: -.6
Total: -11.4

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