Operation Bad-Ass!

I’ve decided it’s time to put up, or shut up.  When I started this blog in 2008, I weighed 168 pounds and thought by showing what I ate and how I worked out, it would give me the accountability I needed to get my ass in shape.

Well, here we are, nearly 3 1/2 years later, and I weigh 164 pounds.

I’ve lost and gained the same 5 pounds for years but now I really want to get moving.  It’s time to start walking the walk!

So what is Operation Bad Ass?  Really, it’s a 30 day challenge for myself.  I figure that I can follow any plan for 30 days!

Here are my “before” pics.  I love that the strap is twisted on one side and I am wearing my glasses, and have no make up on.  But really, why should I try to be something I am not.  Like classy! Open-mouthed smile  And I am sure everyone wanted to see my stretch marks on my tummy. Thumbs up

before 001

before 002

before 004

I know there is an athlete’s body underneath there – I just have to kick ass and let her out!

So I made a motivation poster.  Basically it looks like a second grader made it, but I am a sticker whore.  I like to reward myself with stickers!  My plan is to write in what I did each day in the calendar boxes.

before 073

My goals are to the side:

before 074

  • 1500 – 1600 calories a day
  • 25-30% of calories from fat
  • Less than 125 carbs per day
  • 90 minutes of exercise, includes 4 days of strength
  • Wednesday is my rest day
  • In bed between 10:30 and 10:45
  • Limit wine to six glasses a week
  • Eight servings of fruits and veggies a day
  • One Cheat Meal per week

My plan is to just make each day the best that I can.  I have no excuses.  I don’t have little kids to take care of.  I have time to hit up the gym before work.  The only thing I’ll probably have to change is I normally do my blog posts in the morning before work, I’ll just have to write them the night before.

I am using Windows Live Writer and am loving it.  I used it a long time ago on our old computer, but it made our computer really slow.  I reinstalled it on the computer we got last summer (a used one I bought from a co-worker) and hopefully it will make my blog post time quicker.

So I promise to write about the awesome bread I made yesterday, but that will wait until tomorrow’s post.  I plan on doing the recap of BSI – Pasta, and will announce next weeks ingredient which will be . . . flour!

Here is a sneak peak:

before 066

Anyone else want to be a bad ass with me?  Just leave me your goal for April in the comments section so I can be your cheerleader!

Fruit Puree Granola – Winning!

I hadn’t had a bagel in a long time and knowing starting tomorrow that I am going to be limiting my carbs for the month of April, I indulged in a bagel breakfast sammie – a delicious and filling 10 point breakfast.

I had a couple errands to run at lunch yesterday – it was rainy and cold so I didn’t work out.  I ended up picking up Subway – the turkey and black forest ham on flat bread (only adds 10 calories and 2.5 grams of fat vs. the regular bread) with buffalo sauce.  Super filling and delicious!

Since it was lent last night, that meant no meat for Tony.  The last couple weeks we’ve just gotten pizza, but Tony decided on Thursday that he would take care of dinner.   Mind you, he had to come up with something with what we had on hand.  And it being the end of the week and I haven’t done my pantry stock up in a while, he had to be a bit creative!

A few weeks ago I bought head on shrimp because they were $4.99 a pound.  I never did anything with them so they were in the freezer.   One thing we love to eat when we go out to our favorite Chinese restaurant is to get the sizzling shrimp.  Basically they bring deep fried rice to you in a bowl, and the server pours a flavorful broth with veggies over the top and once the broth hits the rice it starts to sizzle.

Here is another thing that makes Tony’s job difficult to work in the kitchen.  I hardly ever put anything back in the same place.  It even drives me nuts sometimes when I have to go into five cupboards, look in the pantry or downstairs in the basement where my overflow kitchen supplies are.  But he McGyvered and made rice on top of the stove since he couldn’t find the rice maker (fyi. . . the base of the rice cooker was in my downstairs fridge – still with the leftover yellow rice I made earlier in the week – oops!)

However, Tony made it healthy.  Instead of frying the cooked rice, he put a thin layer of rice in a cake pan and baked it in the oven until the edges got nice and crispy.  He used 2 cups of chicken broth, put the shrimp in the broth, shells and all and cooked it for a couple hours.  Once he took out the shrimp, he added veggies and cayenne pepper and pepper oil to the broth.  At this point, there was no way in hell Tony was even going to attempt to try it – way too spicy.

Holy cow, was this delicious.  The broth was super spicy, the rice was both crunchy and tender, and the zucchini and peppers were perfectly cooked.  Thanks for making dinner Tony!

I still think I’ll be eating my yogurt parfaits for breakfast because they are so filling, so I needed to make some more granola.  I found this recipe that called for a fruit puree to be mixed into the granola before baking.   She suggested a fruit puree such as apple, pear or peach.  I really had no idea what exactly a fruit puree was so I googled “fruit puree recipe” and found that it is simply 1 pound of fruit, 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.  Since I cleaned out both my upstairs fridge and downstairs fridge last night, I realized I had a bag of kiwi and a bag of watermelon that I froze for Hannah to use in her smoothies.

As luck would have it, I had exactly 1 pound of fruit between the two.  I nuked the frozen fruit just enough so that I could blend it.  I adapted the original recipe quite a bit with what I had on hand, and I reduced the amount of honey and brown sugar.  I haven’t figured out the stats yet, but I’ll update this post when I do.  You can see the flecks of the kiwi in the puree!

Fruit Puree Cranberry Chocolate Chip Granola

updated with calories – per cup:  418 calories, 5.6 fat, 87 carbs, 6.8 fiber and 9 protein

  • 5 cups quick oats
  • 2 cups Cheerios
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup fruit puree
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Heat oven to 300.  Mix the oats, Cheerios, cinnamon and salt together.  Mix the fruit puree, honey, brown sugar and oil together.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Now I was a bit worried at this point because it was REALLY wet.  But I baked it for 20 minutes, stirred, and baked for another 25 minutes.  At this point the granola was still a bit damp, but it was already starting to brown and I didn’t want to burn it.  I let it cool completely, then added the cranberries and chocolate chips at the end.

Super crunchy, not overly sweet and will be an excellent topping to my yogurt parfaits.  Yum!

So are you wondering how my WI went?  Well, I didn’t go because I am switching days.  Since my “Operation Bad Ass” starts tomorrow, I decided to switch my WI to Sunday’s for the month of April.  I also think that I will like weighing in on Sunday’s.  Typically my Saturday becomes an “eat whatever” day because I feel I have the rest of the week to burn it off.

I also have a loaf of bread in the oven – it’s a new to me recipe – 3 cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon yeast and 1 5/8 cup water.  The dough sits overnight, and right now it’s cooking in a dutch oven with the top on, and then the last 15 minutes you take the top off and it browns.  I’ll definitely post the recipe and pictures tomorrow if it works out!

Enjoy your Saturday!

It’s not too late to enter your BSI – pasta recipe.  Simply leave me a link to your pasta recipe on this post.  A winner will be picked on Monday, April 2!

Will Run For Garage Sale….Er…Almost

It was a chilly morning yesterday – 43 degrees!  I was rooting around trying to figure out what to make for breakfast when I decided on oatmeal.  I don’t often have a jones for oats because you know I try to involve cheese in every meal, but it sounded good.  I sauteed up one whole apple, 1/4 cup dried cranberries and cooked my 1/2 cup of oats and mixed it all together when I got to work.  A sprinkle of 1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds was a nice salty kick to an otherwise sweet breakfast.  Breakfast came in at 7 points.

While it was on the chilly side for my lunch run, I had a mission.  You see, I am a garage sale whore.  If I had a bumper sticker it would say “I brake for garage sales!”  I saw the sign when I was driving into work, and knew the subdivision was about a 10 minute run away, and then I would see how far it was from there.

You’ll know why I was interested in hitting up this particular garage sale – um, take a look at what the houses look like in this subdivision!

My plan was to run to the garage sale in about 15 minutes, look around for 15 minutes, then run back to my office.  I kept following the pink signs!

The only problem?  The pink signs kept going. . . and going . . .and going.  Until the last sign I saw still had an arrow pointing ahead and said “upper pond.”  I looked in the distance and faintly saw a pond and thought there was no way in hell I could keep going to find it – so I had to turn around and head back.  I had no idea how far I had gone!  I stopped my watch at 46:02 and figured I would use Map My Ride to see how far I actually ran.  I was pleasantly surprised that I ran 4.25 miles!  Not too shabby.  I guess I am like a rabbit with a carrot – if you stick a “sale” sign up I’ll run for it!

Lunch was the last of my spicy tomato soup with balls – again with baby spinach mixed in.  This bowl is 8 WW points.

Last night was taco night!  I know I have a ton of blog readers who could have Mexican every day and never get sick of it.  I had two corn tostadas, 3 ounces of taco meat, mini peppers and lettuce and had 1/2 a cup yellow saffron rice on the side – dinner comes in at 12  points.

I realized that Sunday is April 1, not Saturday so I plan on revealing my Operation Badass on Sunday.  If I am technically able, I may be posting a video blog post on Sunday, but I am not sure I have the capability. 😀

Don’t forget to enter your BSI – Pasta entry!  You have until Sunday, April 1 to enter.  Just leave a comment on this post, or email me at mybizzykitchen@gmail.com.

Any other garage sale fans like me?

Make it a great day!

Spicy Taco Black Bean Burger (or what my husband would throw up if given to eat)

Another morning of getting up at 6:30 without hitting the snooze!  This is in preparation for my April challenge.  Aren’t you all on pins and needles just wondering what it is?  Ha!  You’ll just have to wait until Saturday’s post.

I made quick breakfast tacos – I love this bag of tiny peppers that I got on my $1 rack last week.  It’s already Thursday but they are still nice and fresh.  Usually when I get something off the dollar rack I need to use it up within a couple days.  I think I’ll make tiny stuffed peppers with some of them. 😀

  • 2 corn tortillas, 1/2 cup egg beaters cooked with 1/8 cup salsa, sauteed peppers, baby spinach and an ounce of pepper jack cheese

Simply filling points would be 5 – I tracked yesterday, so it was 6 WW points.

I was more than ready to get out for my 10 mile bike ride.   The weather was perfect – about 67 degrees and sunny.  But what I wasn’t prepared for was the wind!!  On the second half of my ride the wind was at my face the whole time.  I even stopped pedaling at one point and the wind just rolled me back.  It took me 63 minutes to ride 10 miles.  Not sure if that’s good or bad, but I was spent by the time I got back to my office.

I made a quick stir fry yesterday morning for lunch.  While I know a lot of you think these noodles are gross, I happen to love them.  I just rinse them really well and I sauteed them in 1 tablespoon of chile paste – they were nice and spicy!

I used 4 ounces of leftover chicken, the noodles, broccoli, carrots, zucchini, 1 tablespoon of peanut sauce, 1 tablespoon of chile paste and 1 teaspoon of sriracha.  If you folow Simply Filling it would count as 3 points, tracking was 5 WW points for this whole delicious bowl.

Tony has had a jones for a good burger all week.  I decided to make a black bean burger for myself.  After I formed my patties and brought the burgers out to the deck, Tony took one look at my burger and I think he threw up in his mouth a bit.  No worries – this was delicious and a great way to get a big, low point burger.

Spicy Black Bean Burger

  • (serves 1 – 5 WW points, 3 Simply Filling Points, 270 calories, 7 fat, 29 carbs, 8 fiber and 20 protein.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces ground sirloin
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 2 tablespoons bread crumbs
  • 1 clover garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pickled jalapenos
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons taco sauce

Mix everything together and form into a patty.  Grill about 3 minutes per side, depending on desired doneness.

With the cheese and bun, dinner comes in at 10 points.  I never even made a side dish!

This burger was so tasty – it was tender, juicy and packed with lots of spicy flavor thanks to my jalapeno peppers.  Sam, I think you’d love this burger!

I plan on running at lunch today, another gorgeous day!  What’s your exercise going to be today?

Make it a great day!

Lighter Corn Chowder

I really enjoyed my morning yesterday.  I was up around 6:30.  I don’t have to leave my house until about 8:10, so it was nice to just blog, read blogs, put my food together, shower and not feel like I was rushed.  My problem lately?  I’ve been staying up until 11:30 or later!  I am too old for that so for my exciting new plan starting Saturday for the month of April (to be announced on Saturday April 1!) my plan is to get to bed no later than 10:30.

So one thing I noticed is that I can toggle between the tracking points and the Simply Filling plan on WW.  At the end of last night I had 28 flex points remaining for the week and when I switched the eTools back to tracking points, my flex points stayed at 28 – I wasn’t sure how that would work out!

I ended up having two open face english muffin sandwiches with a grapefruit on the side – the fruit was from my PIL for my birthday – nothing like having Florida citrus!  Breakfast comes in at 7 points.

I couldn’t wait to get outside yesterday – perfect – sunny and 50 degrees, although it was pretty windy!  Not that I didn’t mind the temps in the 80’s but I much prefer those temps in July and August, not March.

I ended up walking mostly (because my blood sugar was 160) with some sprints in between.  I mapped it when I got back and was happy to see I went 4.25 miles in 55 minutes.  Nice!

I love that we are seeing stuff bloom so early – so pretty to see colors instead of shades of grey. 😀

I ended up having leftover spicy tomato soup with balls, but added a cup of chopped baby spinach the last two minutes of heating it up – this is such a filling soup!   Lunch comes in at 8 points.

One of the birthday gifts Hannah gave me was America’s Test Kitchen COMPLETE COOKBOOK!  I didn’t even know this book existed, but it basically has every recipe from 2001 to 2012 – its 790 pages!

And because I read a cookbook like a book, the first recipe that caught my eye was on page 24.  Lighter Corn Chowder.  I made it even lighter by reducing the butter to 1 tablespoon instead of 3, and of course, left out the onions!  I wasn’t even sure I’d be able to find corn on the cob in March, but my store had it on sale – 8 ears for $1.98!

Lighter Corn Chowder

  • 2.8 points if you are following Simply Filling; 6 WW points, or 225 calories, 5.3 fat, 39 carbs, 5 fiber and 7 protein for a 1 1/4 cup serving.

Ingredients:

  • 8 ears of corn, husks and silk removed
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 slices bacon (original recipe called for 4 ounces
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 5 cups water
  • 12 ounces red potatoes (I used white baby potatoes)
  • 1 cup fat free half and half

Using a sharp knife (careful!) cut the kernels from the ears of corn; transfer to a bowl.  (I got exactly 5 cups of kernels).  Now holding the cob in another bowl, carefully scrape down the sides of the ear of corn, getting the corn milk from the cob.  The original recipe said to strain that mixture in cheese cloth, but I am lazy and just left it as it was.

Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add bacon (okay add onion here if you want), salt and pepper (about 1/2 a teaspoon each – or to taste).  Cook for a few minutes, then add flour and cook for 2 minutes.  While stirring constantly, gradually whisk in the water and bring to a boil.  Add the corn kernals, and potatoes.  Reduce to simmer and cook until potatoes are softened – about 15-20 minutes.

Transfer 2 cups of the chowder to a blender and puree until smooth – about 2 minutes.  Return the puree to the pot, stir in the half and half and the reserved corn juice (milk) whatever its called.  Season with salt, pepper and sprinkle with chopped basil if desired.

After you cut off all the corn from the cob, there is still so much flavor left – who knew?

And after you scrape the cobs into a bowl, this is what it looks like – you can see why I didn’t want to strain it, and that it kinda looks like scrambled eggs!

I may have added some pickled jalapenos to my bowl I had over the weekend!

For dinner Tony and I had skinny grilled pork chops and a bowl of corn chowder.  Kind of an unconventional dinner, but I learned many, many years ago that soup does not make a meal.  Hence, the pork chop on the side. 😀

It was still in the 70’s when I was grilling.

Guess who hung out with me on the deck while I grilled?  The man of mystery . . . TONY!  I put his picture in black and white to make him seem more mysterious. 😀

So my skinny pork chop and soup came in at 11 points.

After dinner Hannah and I watched an old VHS tape that my Mom put on DVD.  My sister recently found it and it was a tape that took that had Hannah’s 4th birthday on it and my nephew Paul’s first video after he was born.  It was weird to hear my Dad’s voice and see his face – he died when Hannah was six. 🙁  I am so thankful I lived with my parents for five years because Hannah has the best memories of Poppy out of all the grandkids.  You can read about my Dad here.

I took this picture off the computer because not only is it cute because Hannah has Paul wrapped up in her favorite blanket (aka the “stinky” blanket because she never wanted me to wash it).  She also has her polk-a-dot pillow case that was the first bed linens she had once moving from a crib to a twin bed.  Um, for the record, sixteen years later, Hannah has the stinky blanket still on her bed (my Mom made it into a pillow) and she still uses that pillowcase.

It’s supposed to be another gorgeous day – I think I’ll be able to get my 10 mile bike ride in at lunch today. 😀

Make it a great day!

Spicy Tomato Soup with Chicken Meatballs

I was never able to open the pictures my sister took on Sunday, but our friends gave us some old pictures that had me laughing.  I know I’ve talked about having glasses as big as my face before, but what’s with the giant mumu flower printed dresses?

I think these were both taken in 1996 – this picture below was when my sister was 7 months pregnant with her son who just turned 16!  Because you really can’t tell which one if us is pregnant, I am on the right side.

I know why I wore those shapeless dresses.  I somehow had the illusion that no one would realize I was fat and it would “hide” the fat, but in retrospect, they only make me look bigger!   I was only 28 in those pictures – it seems like such a lifetime ago. 😀

So I decided to do the Simply Filling plan yesterday.  I thought my breakfast would be perfect – I made another breakfast parfait, this time leaving out the granola to save on my flex points – this one was pommegranate Chobani, apple and banana.  It wasn’t until I entered my breakfast into eTools AFTER I ate it, that I realized only plain Greek yogurt is on the simply filling plan, so my breakfast was 4 points, leaving me with 30 for the rest of the week.  Sadly I left my camera at home – after I took my lunch pictures, my battery was low so I was charging my camera in my bosses office and walked off without it.  Um, pretty sure you’ve seen your fair share of my parfaits though! 😀

I worked through lunch yesterday so no run/walk – it was actual normal 40ish degrees when I left the house this morning!

I did, however, come up with a super tasty spicy tomato soup.  All the ingredients were on the “super food” list, except for the bread crumbs.  Half a cup of bread crumbs is 5 points, so divided by 4 servings, this was 1.25 Simply Filling points, 8 WW points if you are counting points, and 348 calories, 11 fat, 17 carbs, 1.45 fiber and 36 protein if you count calories.  Whew!

Spicy Tomato Soup with Chicken Meatballs

  • makes four servings:  2 1/4 cups of broth and 10 meatballs.  I love balls.

Ingredients for Balls:

  • 1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Ingredients for the soup:

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (I added 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper to each batch of meatballs I seared)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 12 ounce jar roasted red peppers, packed in water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

I tend to be a throw everything in the pool kinda cook.   Throw all the ingredients for the balls in a food processor and pulse until it has the texture of ground beef.  Shape into 40 balls and cook in 1 teaspoon of olive oil and Pam over pretty high heat – you want to sear the outside, but not cook them all the way through.

Next, in a large stock pot – add all the soup ingredients, except the apple cider.  Using a stick blender, I blended the tomato mixture, then added the balls into the soup and simmered for about 15 minutes, or until the balls are cooked through.  Remove from heat and add the apple cider vinegar and adjust the salt if needed.  Serve with cilantro.

Luckily I had taken pictures over the weekend when I made this soup – this is such a flavorful soup – spicy, but flavorful spicy.  And super filling – get it, since I am doing the Super Filling plan on WW?!  I crack myself up sometimes. 😀

I had beef stroganoff on the menu – but my version literally is ready in about 15 minutes.  The only thing that takes a while is boiling the water for the egg noodles.  Except egg noodles aren’t a super food, so I nuked a spaghetti squash for myself.

Skippy, I am sorry to keep showing you my cheap meat prices!  I bought two of these for our dinner.

My other secret weapon – a packet of brown gravy.  Literally ready in about 3 minutes.  I sauteed mushrooms for Tony to add to his.

My store sells these 2/$1 and sometimes they go on sale 4/$1 and I stock up.  1/4 cup of gravy is only 20 calories!

My plate – sorry this is a bad picture, but this was tasty.  Spaghetti squash, beef, brown gravy and chopped baby spinach.  All on the Simply Filling plan. 😀

Don’t forget to enter your BSI – Pasta recipe.  Either leave your link in the comments section of this post, or email me your recipe at mybizzykitchen@gmail.com and I’ll post it for you on recap day.

Come back tomorrow for a Lighter Corn Chowder Soup – I am switching back to counting points today – love that you can switch back and forth!

Make it a great day!

BSI – Breakfast Winner!

Thanks for everyone who submitted their entries for BSI – Breakfast!  In no particular order:

Brianne Made Chocolate Almond Banana Oatmeal:

Tami made Buttermilk Spice Muffins:

Debbi made Southwest Sweet Potato Hash:

Jacky made Breakfast Quinoa with Blueberries and Pineapple:

Sara made Oatmeal Griddle Cakes with Greek Yogurt:

Rhonda made a Breakfast Lunch and Dinner Waffle:

Lisa made Crockpot Breakfast Casserole (thanks to Google images for the picture!)

Jane made Gluten Free Sourdough Pancakes (and shows how to make a sourdough starter!):

AND THE WINNER IS . . . Sara with her Oatmeal Griddle Cakes.  I was basically a bit jealous because her oat pancakes looked so much better than mine!  Send me your mailing address to mybizzykitchen@gmail.com.  Congrats!

This week’s BSI – PASTA!   I am thrilled that Veronica of Veronica’s Cornicopia has offered the prize this week.  Her sister owns a shop in Kansas and she makes handmade soaps.  You can check out the pictures of her super cute store here.   I know that homemade lemon grass soap will be in the prize basket.  Thanks again Veronica for offering up the prize!  And you can order her products on line here – not too late for some unique Easter gifts!

Again, just leave a link to your pasta recipe in the comments section, or send them to me at mybizzykitchen@gmail.com if you don’t have a blog.  This doesn’t have to be a new recipe this week, feel free to use your archieves!  You have until Sunday, April 1st to get your entries in.  Good luck! 😀

We had such a nice time at twinfest yesterday.  But I forgot my camera!  I am still waiting for my sister to forward me some of the pictures, I’ll update the post when I get them.  Um, let’s just say I counted points yesterday, as my breakfast and lunch were not Simply Filling friendly!  I had a 2 ounce whole wheat bagel for breakfast, and then lunch was our traditional sausage pan pizza, and I had a small sliver of cake.  Thanks for a great afternoon D&D and it was good to see you Jenn!