Friday, May 27, 2011

Feeling Good, Feeling Great

 I skipped my meeting today, but I did go and weigh in- it keeps me honest.  I thought I was going to do okay- and I did!  I didn't even weigh in on my favorite scale- and I still lost.  I'm not really sure why I'm attaching so much stigma to a certain scale at the WW center... but I do.  Maybe I shouldn't, since it turns out I still lost weight this week.

I had a great sit down with one of my best friends last night, and I told her my progress so far this time- 14 lbs lost since January- she was stoked for me.  However, I do still find it embarassing when people ask if I've lost weight to tell them yes, I have; but know in the back of my mind that I told them this same thing two years ago.  I told my friend how I felt about that- she said that she's noticed a big change in how and what I eat- and the fact that I'm cooking more has shown her a true change in my attitude towards food.  That is true- I never feel like I'm on a diet, because I'm NOT on one.  Yes, I'm losing weight, but that's because of the life changes I'm making. 

I'm eating well, I never feel deprived, and I don't have an urge to stuff my face with processed foods.  All in all, I'm feeling great.

Week 17: -.4 lbs
Total: -14.0 lbs

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

BLT Salad

Inspired by this recipe at Skinny Taste that sounded absolutely delicious, I made a BLT salad for dinner last night.  I had some bacon that needed to be used, and a BLT really sounded like it would hit the spot.  The salad its self is mega easy- my real triumph in this recipe was the salad dressing.  I love creamy salad dressings, but we all know how good those are for you.  I usually just use REALLY small amounts of ranch, but I set out last night to make a tasty yet healthy dressing.

*Editor's note- baking bacon is my new FAVORITE way to make it.  It's great, no fuss, but DO NOT leave it in for the full 17-20 minutes.  I'd recommend more like 13-15 minutes.  Check on it often.

BLT Salad
2 tomatos, diced
5 pieces of bacon, baked
1/2 Cucumber
2 oz crumbled Feta
Basil Cucumber Dressing

Serves 2- 5 Points+ per serving.

Assemble salad.  Crumble bacon and feta.  Pour dressing.  Eat.

Basil Cucumber Dressing
1/2 Cucumber, seeded and peeled
1/4 C Fage 0% Greek Yogurt
Matt's Mix (or Salt) and Pepper to taste
a dash of Onion Powder
1/4 C Fresh Basil Leaves

Serves 2.  0 Points+ per serving.  Yes, really.

Combine all ingredients in food processor.  Process until blended and smooth.  The cucumber and basil give this a really fresh, delicious taste.  The cucumber provides a lot of the bulk of the dressing, so while it's still creamy from the yogurt, it uses so little of it that the dressing comes out to 0 Points+ per serving, which is both insane and awesome.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Restaurant Review: Dog Brunch at Edison's

Edison's is slowly becoming one of my favorite Cleveland establishments.  They probably serve my favorite pizza in Cleveland (by the slice, so you can splurge on one piece and not be in danger of eating the whole pie); they have an amazing beer selection; and last but certainly not least, they allow Buster!!!  Tremont in general is a very dog friendly neighborhood- but my favorite place to take Buster is Edison's by a long shot.  It's like Cheers, but people know Buster's name, not mine.

This past Sunday, they started a new weekly event, Dog Brunch.  Starting May 22, every Sunday is Dog Brunch from 1-4 pm at Edison's!   I didn't get specifics, but I'm pretty sure it'll just be a summer thing.  They allow "well-behaved dogs on leashes", so the dog clientele is happy and friendly.  They had their regular Pizza Kitchen Menu for the people, and a special Dog Brunch Menu for the four legged guests! 

Food was prepared by The Grateful Dog Bakery, a dog bakery out of N. Olmstead.  Honestly, the dog menu looked a lot more healthy than the people menu- it was all locally sourced meat, organic veggies, as well as everything being vet approved as being healthy for your pup.  Buster got the Pupscicle as an appetizer- a frozen treat with Turkey, Bacon and fresh green herbs, and 5 scrumptous mini-meatballs for a main course.  He was a bigger fan of the meatballs than the pupscicle, but happily ate both. 

Where does this fit into the healthy living in Cleveland?  Buster is part of my family, so I feed him food that contains ingredients I would eat myself.  Maybe I'd take the turkey Popsicle in some other form, but I know I could have eaten it and would have been fine.

I know not everyone is a huge fan of dogs in their local watering hole, but I think it makes for a fun atmosphere.  I think we can all agree that a well behaved dog is usually a more welcome sight than a drunk frat guy.

Questions about the Dog Brunch?  Call Edison's at 216-298-4484.  Better yet, go have a beer and ask in person.  They're located at 2365 Professor Ave., Cleveland, OH 44113- between College and Jefferson in Tremont.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Breaking the Cycle

Feeling this happy today.
I'll just start off with the good news- I lost 2.4 lbs this week!!!  That's HUGE!!!  Needless to say I've been very excited ever since I weighed in last night.  I came home and hugged Nick like a thousand times because as much as I wanted to jump over the counter and hug my WW leader... I was able to restrain myself. 

I've been on a plateau for the past two months or so; I was okay with that because for the little ups and downs, I didn't actually put ON any pounds that stayed.  I was getting really frustrated and tired of it though.  This week- I stayed within my points, focused on cooking again, packed my lunch almost every day, and really tried to include meat in only one meal each day.

This week's meeting was about the importance of breakfast- we all know how I feel about breakfast.  My favorite thing in the world.  I probably could have led the meeting, but I'm still glad I went. 

I'm chalking this week up to a win- I'm aiming to win again next week.

Week 16: -2.4
Total: -13.6

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

An Apple A Day

This picture started off as an apple with one bite out of it... but inbetween takes trying to get a good shot (that's right, of an apple), I kept eating it.  Just keeping it real here in Cleveland.

Pink Lady's are where it's at... what's your favorite kind of apple?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Recipe Round Up

Thai Coconut Curry Scallops-  This recipe actually calls for shrimp... I had scallops on hand.  Deal with it.  I served it over Jasmine rice with sliced avocado and Sriracha on the side- yummmmmm.  And super easy!  Who knew Thai food was so easy if you already had fish sauce and red curry paste on hand?

Beer Can Chicken- I didn't actually make this, but Nick did.  I watched him though, so that counts, right?  It's delicious- pair it with some grilled veggies (and try not to eat too much skin) and it's a tasty low point dinner.

French Toast Souffle-  I should probably point out that I made this dish for Mother's Day brunch... it's technically a "cooking light" recipe, but I can't really say that it's all THAT light... but it is amazing.  Like... almost unreal how good it is.  I know I tend to say that in almost every review of any food I make; what can I say, I'm a pretty positive person.  I also love food.  But this is impressive, easy to make, and great for a large crowd for breakfast- no standing over the stove top while everyone else is socializing and drinking Mimosas.  It clocks in at 9 Points+ for 1/12 of the recipe, which is a pretty good sized serving.

Skinny Tuna Noodle Casserole- I was craving comfort food last night, and REALLY wanted creamy pasta.  I dug through my cupboards, the fridge, no luck on "comfort food" (this is the EXACT reason I don't keep bad for me foods on hand)- so I went to the recipe binder!  Looking through the "dinner" section, I ran across this recipe I printed out a while ago.  I followed it pretty closely, only I added corn as well.  It was delicious, fit the bill, and I have leftovers that are perfect for lunch!  Hooray!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Sometimes Maintaining Can Be A Win

You may have noticed I didn't weigh in last week.  It wasn't a knock on how my progress had been going; I had a death in the family and was out of the state for the funeral.  It was a sad, hard week with a lot of traveling and no control over food.  After eating McDonald's, Wendy's, Chili's and other terrible "food"; sitting in the car for 12 hours straight there and back, I knew my week back was going to be spent recovering.  Emotional trauma can and will wreak havoc on your healthy choices, but I employed some of the things I've learned over the last few months to help me along.  Yes- I was sad- but I didn't let myself go overboard.

I weighed in last night, and my loss- 0.0 lbs.  My gain- 0.0 lbs.  This week- maintaining was a victory.  I felt and knew at last night's meeting that I CAN do this- not just for right now, but for the long term- maintain good eating habits.  Every other time I've done Weight Watchers- something throws me off track- a stressful few weeks, a breakup, the event that I was losing for being over and done with.  Not this time.

This week's meeting topic was about utilizing your support system and not letting people downplay or take advantage of the fact that your are trying to live a healthier lifestyle.  If you're strong about your health and believe in it- you can make it through hard times and get back on track.  You have got to believe in yourself- and when you don't- have someone around who does.  A few cheerleaders in your corner never hurt anyone.

I'm not trying to downplay the tragedy in this post- I just know that if it was hard for me, it's been harder for other people.  We all struggle with losses and hardships in our life- it's important to reach out to your support system and ask for help. 

Week 15: -0.0 lbs
Total: -11.2 lbs

Friday, May 6, 2011

Photo of the Day- Eggsallent

My coworker has some chickens.  I think they're more pets than anything else, but they pump out eggs everyday and therefore are very useful to... me.  I figure these are probably the most free range, best fed chickens in all of Ohio, so I buy eggs from her.  They're awesome, huge, different colors and best of all, taste AMAZING.

**Editor's note: I made eggs over easy for breakfast on Sunday morning- the blue egg had TWO yolks!  Crazy!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

50th Post- My Recipe Binder

In honor of the 50th post on my blog, I decided to share something that has really kept me going and organized in the kitchen.

Before I started this blog, I started printing out and collecting recipes I found on my favorite blogs.  At first it was just a few here and there, but I started collecting a whole lot of paper REALLY fast.  When I lived in DC, my roommate Eleanor had this genius binder that she put all her recipes in.  So I stole her idea.  Now, she (smartly, I must add) put all her recipes in plastic sleeves as to not destroy them with stray water/sauce/butter sprays.  I am to lazy/forgetful to do that, but so far I have survived on a binder and a hole punch to get me through.

Since it's inception, I have filled one 2" binder completely and am starting on my second.  It was originally divided into Soups, Appetizers, Main Courses, Sides and Desserts.  It has since blossomed and divided into many new sections including but not limited to: Breakfast, Booze, Salads, so on and so forth.

Anyways, it's a great way to organize your online recipes, since I for one am not about to shell out money for an iPad to only destroy it by spilling beans or something equally tech-devastating on it.