Monthly Archives:

February 2017

Breakfast/ Vegetable

Spinach Waffles

I think I am going to have to start eating my breakfast on the way to work.  I normally am not hungry right when I get up, and my coffee is fine for the hour train ride to work.  But lately I’ve hit the ground running and yesterday didn’t even heat up my breakfast until nearly 10.

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These spinach waffles are so good.  I was worried that the fresh baby spinach would “water” down the batter, but it was just fine.  The secret was putting all the wet ingredients into the blender, all the dry ingredients in a large bowl, and while I contemplated throwing the flour mixture into the blender as well, I was glad I didn’t.  I just poured the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and just mix until combined.  It’s okay if the batter is a bit lumpy.  I love how the edges of the waffle stay bright green!  I had lunch plans, and since I ate a late breakfast, only ate one waffle sammie (2 for the waffle, 2 for the egg, 1 for the bacon, 1 for the syrup) with fresh fruit on the side for six smart points.

I am so lucky to have Boston Blackie’s in the lobby of my building.  It’s nice having a restaurant that has good food so close, so we don’t waste time walking somewhere and can spend that time talking at the table.  I had lunch with two of my co-workers, and it was nice getting to know them a bit better.   I’ve said it before, but Tony’s word of advice when going to a restaurant is don’t order lasagna in an Irish Pub.  Get what they are known for, and this place is known for its burgers.  I had this lunch built into my weekly meal plan. 

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Look at that deliciousness!  I used my trusty WW app to guesstimate how much this burger was, and based on other restaurant chains, my guess was 20 points for the whole burger.  My plan, which I stuck to, was to just eat half the burger, and order the side salad instead of fries (or sweet potato fries or mashed potatoes!).   I also asked for the Italian dressing on the side and dipped my fork in there, picked the croutons off and called lunch 12 smart points.  It was delicious, I didn’t feel guilty, I no longer have the mindset that food is “good” or “bad.”  It’s just food!  I plan for deliciousness like this, and move on. 

Work has been so busy that I literally look up and a couple hours goes by.  Before I knew it, it was time to head home.  And guess what I made for dinner – Lasagna Soup!  Batch probably 2,872?!   I halved the amount of Italian sausage I normally used, and added six cheese tortellini, so this giant bowl of soup came in at 9 smart points – leaving me with 3 points for an after dinner snack.

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I got a few books from the library over the weekend.  One of them was this book called Lean Habits for Lifelong Weight Loss.   I know to truly continue on my weight loss journey, that this has to be a lifelong journey, not just until I hit goal weight.  And I know that through Weight Watchers, which is one of the reasons I love the plan because I can still eat pizza, burgers and the like while continuing to lose weight, but I approach food in a whole different way now.

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Check out my tracker from August through November.  I only tracked NINE full days in four months!  No wonder the scale wasn’t moving! That, and well, maybe all the wine I hardly counted either. Open-mouthed smile

What I like about this book though is that it teaches you core eating behaviors that you build on.  You don’t go onto the next one until you’ve mastered the one you are on, and then take that first behavior, continue it and add the next behavior.

The first behavior?  Only eat 3 meals a day.  Unless you eat a very early breakfast, you can add a 4th meal.  The key to all of this?  Tracking!  Saying “I’ll just do it in my head” or “I’ll just try and cut back” rarely works.  Testament to those four months above, where I “thought” I was tracking everything, but without seeing it in black and white, you easily forget that granola bar you ate when you blood sugar was low in the car, or the cookie you grabbed at work.  “Trying to change your habits doesn’t take the weight off.  You have to actually practice your habits, so make sure you write them down somewhere to keep track.”

I think getting my cough in the middle of January was a blessing in disguise.  I was still high on the “New Year New Me!” mantra, and didn’t want to throw in the towel because I couldn’t work out.  Like most people when they want to make a change, they want to make ALL the changes at once:

  • meal prep
  • exercise
  • track food
  • get to bed by 10:30 at night
  • limit t.v.
  • no alcohol during the week
  • no fast food

The ALL or NOTHING approach.  But what happens to me every.single.time is that I’ll start out great, and by maybe day five or six, after maybe a particularly long day at work, I would come home and have three glasses of wine on a Thursday night.  Well, fudge crackers, that was one of my “rules” wasn’t it?  Not to drink during the week?!  Gah.  Well, if I can’t do that, then I may as well hit up McDonald’s at the train station for breakfast!  Thus continuing my life on the hamster wheel as I am calling it where I repeat the same thing over and over, expecting different results.

With exercise out of the picture for nearly a month, I really had to concentrate on WHAT I was eating, and WHY and WHEN.  This book advocates having three meals a day with nothing in between.  I really like that idea because since I take a shot of insulin every time I eat something, having two less shots a day is just fine in my book.   It’s also okay to feel a bit of hunger between meals.  “Having three or four satisfying meals also can help “reset” your hunger and fullness cues.”  It also suggests that without snacking, it leads to a “metabolic shift” toward burning more fat and relying less on carbohydrates.

So this first “habit” is to last two weeks before introducing the next one.  I have to tell you, that even though I was busy at work, there were times when I contemplated checking out what was in my “snack drawer” when I wasn’t even hungry.  Much like checking off something on a to do list, I wanted a check mark on my first day of eating three meals, and I did it.   Even though I had three points to “spend” after dinner, I wasn’t hungry, so I just didn’t eat. 

I like being cognizant of my food choices, not only to get down to a healthy weight, but hopefully that these “lean” habits will become instinctive that I won’t even have to think twice about them.  So here’s to the next couple weeks of my continued journey. 

Curious how many of you eat snacks throughout the day.  I have to be honest, if I did snack, it was on fruit in between meals because they are “free” but not really for me, because fruit is high in natural sugar which would require more insulin.  I’ve probably eaten more fruit in the last two months than I have in the last two years, but it’s so good!  I’ll just have to incorporate my fruit into my three meals.

I guess being aware is working for me, no?!

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Make it a great day!

Uncategorized

Teriyaki Salmon with Soba Veggie Noodles

This past weekend was the second weekend I’ve had off, but the first one where I had no plans at all.  And it was perfect.  The weather was back to winter, it was cold, overcast on Saturday and super windy on Sunday.  The kadults worked all day Saturday and Sunday so I had the house to myself.

I was up at 7:00 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday. I have no idea how I’ve turned into a morning person these last few years, but I like it.  It also helps that I am going to bed pretty much the same time on Friday and Saturday as I do during the week – between 10:30 and 11:00 p.m.  I sleep like the dead, so I think 8 hour of sleep is plenty. 

I woke up Saturday morning so hungry.  I am trying to limit my in between snacks, even if its fruit, and especially not snacking after dinner, which means I may need to eat a few more points at breakfast and lunch so I still get my 30 points in every day.  At 7:30 on Saturday morning I ate this plate:  light English muffin (2), 2 ounces avocado with Tajin (3), and fruit.

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I fully expected this to be breakfast #1, because it was only 5 smart points, but that kept me full for hours.  So much so that I left to run errands at 12:30 and never gave a thought to lunch.  Until I was at the grocery store and those damn chicken fingers smelled so good!  But I went to the prepared foods by the deli and picked up (an unphotographed) cooked grilled pork chop and ate that while I shopped (4) and had about 4 points of tastes at Sam’s Club while I shopped there.   I love the cut fruit at Sam’s Club – especially the mango and pineapple, because no matter how many youtube videos I watch, or see the Chef’s at The Chopping Block cut those fruits, I am like a kindergartner using a plastic knife for the first time – and have so much waste.  But the mango and pineapple alone are $13.  I couldn’t decide if it was worth the money to get them, or should I try buying the cheaper whole fruit and cutting it myself, when I glanced behind me and saw the wine and liquor section.  And suddenly, like a punch in the face, I realized when I drank wine on the regular, I wouldn’t flinch at spending $13 on a bottle of wine (or two or three!) so I bought the damn fruit.   Strawberries were on sale for .69 cents a container (I should have bought more!) and the kiwi was 4/$1 and bananas were .39 cents a pound at my local grocery store.

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PicMonkey Collage

The left receipt is my local grocery store.  I actually spent $25.26 there, but had a $5 off coupon.  The receipt on the right is the Fresh Market where I bought my salmon.  So with the $13 spent at Sam’s Club for the fruit, my weekly grocery shop came in at $44.35.

I haven’t really followed my meal plans as of late, but I still do them anyway.  I don’t mind changing it up during the week, and it’s nice to have options if I don’t feel like something that I’ve planned:

Breakfasts:

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  • Spinach Waffle Sammies:  That was my breakfast yesterday, and I’ll do a recipe post later this week for these.  Those two came in at 8 smart points and were super delicious and filling.
  • Steel Cut oats and fruit (probably 2 times this week – love it!)
  • Sweet Potato Toast with Peanut Butter (PB2) and Blueberries and Banana
  • Hashbrowns with Spinach and Carrot with Hardboiled Egg and Fruit

Lunches:

  • out to lunch today with co-workers (burger at Blackie’s!)
  • creamy potato soup made with unsweetened cashew milk (x2) (recipe coming later this week!)
  • lasagna soup
  • open faced pastrami sandwich with apple/red cabbage slaw on homemade marble rye bread (recipe coming later this week!)

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Dinners:

  • Taco Salad with ground beef
  • Stuffed shells with my zero point marinara
  • steak/mushrooms/parmesan zucchini
  • lasagna soup
  • Nancy Silverman’s pizza dough pizza (my pics of the dough and quick steps will be a blog post later this week)  you will want to make this pizza dough!

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When I was meal planning Friday night, I stumbled upon Gordon Ramsey’s recipe videos that he does with his kids.  I watched several of them and there pretty much wasn’t a recipe that I would make.  I have the Cooking Club to thank for me trying AND liking seafood.  I tried Tina’s halibut en papillote, (check out her blog – it has amazing recipes!), I’ve tried Julie’s ceviche with tilapia, I’ve tried Catherine’s lemon garlic shrimp,  and this last Cooking Club, Donna’s Salmon Salmon with Hearts of Palm with Goat Cheese.  Who knew I even liked that much seafood other than shrimp!  So while I loved all those dishes, I don’t cook seafood all that much at home.  Usually because seafood is expensive, and if I mess up, that’s just money wasted.  I can’t remember if I ever bought salmon for Tony other than packaged smoked salmon for his bagels on Sunday mornings, so I really had no idea how much it was going to cost.  Well, turns out on that receipt above from The Fresh Market, only $6!  The episode that caught my eye though was the teriyaki salmon with soba noodles.

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I did scale this recipe to one serving.  I also adjusted it a bit because he added generous pours of sesame oil in the soba noodles, and I made this a bit more Weight Watcher friendly.  I put this in the WW recipe builder and it came out to 11 smart points for the whole plate.

  • 5 ounces salmon, raw
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, fresh and sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon mirin
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 ounces soba noodles*
  • 1/3 cup sugar snap peas
  • 1/3 cup carrots, peeled into ribbons
  • 1/3 cup zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 cup kale, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha

Put the ginger, garlic, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, maple syrup, mirin (rice wine vinegar) and olive oil.  Coat the salmon on the marinade and marinate for as little as 20 minutes, or two hours, or even overnight.  I marinated mine for about 3 hours.   Take the salmon out of the marinade and salt and pepper (I actually thought the marinade had plenty of salt, so I skipped this part).  Heat skillet over medium heat, add a bit of oil and when hot, add the salmon, skin side down.  Reserve the marinade.  Cook for 2 minutes, then pour the reserved marinade over the salmon**, and cook for 2 more minutes, then turn and cook an additional 3-4 minutes on the other side.

So while the salmon was cooking, I used my wok and cooked up the peas, carrots and zucchini in coconut spray and a touch of chicken stock (since I didn’t use any oil), then added the cooked soba noodles and the kale the last two minutes of cooking.  Removed that from the heat and stirred in the soy sauce and sriracha.   That process only took about 8 minutes.  Then I just plated the noodles and veggies, and topped it with the teriyaki salmon.  (Gosh I am a horrible recipe writer!).  Hopefully after watching Gordon’s video, you’ll see how easy this is to put together.

PicMonkey Collage coconut spray

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** this was my one mis-step – because I reduced the marinade to make it more WW friendly, I didn’t have a lot of sauce, and putting it on the salmon half way through, the sauce in the pan started to burn.  The flavor was still there in the salmon, but next time I’d just add the reserved marinade at the last 30 seconds of cook time.

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Wish this was a prettier photograph, but this was delicious.  The salmon was flakey and the bits of teriyaki that stayed on the salmon was delicious.  I will definitely make this again!  Thanks to all my Cooking Club friends for widening my seafood repertoire! 

I am expecting another busy week at work, but after my lunch out today, hope to get in some steps with my sister this week – I think we only walked together once last week?   I cannot believe there are only a couple more days of February left – so crazy how fast 2017 is going by so far.  But I am happy with my progress so far this year.  I think I am getting a handle on this whole food thing – which will be the topic of tomorrow’s blog post – how to form Lean Habits for lifelong health.

Make it a great day!

sinking ship

Uncategorized

-2.6!

So my weird dream with Oprah weighing me in with a 4.5 gain was all for nothing! 

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I forgot my WW journal at home that has my weekly WI booklet.  Check that out – only .7 pounds from the 150s!  I am down 17.8 pounds since December 26.  I actually thought “maybe I’ll hit 20 pounds lost by the end of February! Until I realized that next Thursday is already March!  Oh well! 

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My goal now is to be 154 by our birthday, which is a month away – so another 6.6 to go until my next mini goal.  You may be wondering, why 154 pounds?

Well, when I did my six months of Insanity, it took me 6 months to lose 20 pounds.   And the lowest I got was 155.4 before I had to get a second job to make ends meet and gained it all back.  It’s weird, I just went back to that link and I posted it December 2, 2013 – who would have thought Tony would have died exactly a year later?!  So weird sometimes to think about.

But what is different about this time and last time?  I concentrated on getting the workouts in and “tried” to eat better.  “Tried” being the operative words.  Tony and I were still going out for beers on the weekends, which led to ordering onion rings, and then I’d try to work out more to work off what I ate.  Rinse and repeat.   That’s why it took me so long to lose the weight is because I wasn’t consistent with the food.  And when I think about it, while I had meals that were “Weight Watcher friendly” it was all the other crap that I never counted (coffee creamer, wine, beer, extra night snacks).  You get the drill.

But guess what happens when you actually track your food?

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February 9 was Cooking Club (counted points but was at 39 for the day) February 10 was the picky snack night (that was 46 points for the day).  Last Friday night I had two glasses of wine (that put me at 39 points for the day).  So even when I do go over, it’s no where near what I used to do, and no matter what, it goes in the tracker.

My sister also kicked but this week and lost 1.6!  Whoop!  

Had another super busy day at work.  Breakfast was steel cut oats and fruit with granola and a bit of brown sugar for 7 points.  I could literally eat this every day and never get sick of it.  Even when it wasn’t hot anymore, I still loved it. 

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I was able to break away at lunch to go back to WW for the meeting.  Our Leader Cheryl is hysterical – she makes us laugh so much.  Lots more people at the meeting too – I think every seat was filled!   Only one tiny problem.  When I walked from the train station to the WW office to weigh in before work, it was so warm I was sweating balls and I had my giant Eddie Bauer winter coat on.  So when I left to go back at lunch I just had my sweater on and was smacked in the face with cold air – wtf?!  I didn’t have time to go back up and get my coat, so suffered for the six block walk there.  Later in the afternoon I checked the weather – oh, only about a 25 degree drop in temps from the morning:

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Lunch was super quick to put together and was fine to eat room temp.  I used some more of my leftover grilled chicken breast to make a chicken sandwich on an English muffin, garlic hummus and red pepper and carrot for dipping.  Lunch was 7 smart points.

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I didn’t feel hungry until I started walking to the train station, so used some of my Starbuck’s gift card to pick up a banana and string cheese for a 3 smart point snack.  Even though I was eyeing the scones! Smile with tongue out

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I’ve had a crock pot Italian beef recipe on the menu all week, and Hannah assured me that she was going to put it together for the last few days, but so far that hasn’t happened yet Open-mouthed smileSo leftover night it was!   She was making a zesty chicken soup for her and Jacob.  I didn’t partake because swear to God that girl chopped up the biggest onion I’ve ever seen and proceeded to chop it all up and put it in the soup.  Gross.  But I did snag some chicken to make a deconstructed nacho supper for myself.  You know how I love my picky plates!  11 points for dinner – 2 for the chicken, 3 for the avocado, 2 for the black beans, and 4 for the tortilla chips.

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I can’t remember if I’ve shown this on Instagram before or not, and I am too lazy to look, but it’s worth sharing again!  First of all, if you haven’t completed your grocery list for the week, go out and buy Cabot whipped cream.  Hannah is actually my whipped cream aficionado and she has declared this the best whipped cream she’s ever tasted.  1 smart point for 2 tablespoons and 15 calories.  If you click that link you can put in your zip code to see where it’s sold near you.  I found mine at Trader Joe’s.

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This is my favorite after dinner treat – I usually eat it a couple hours after dinner, and while that’s not too long before I go to bed, it keeps me full, satisfied and feels like an actual dessert.  Apples and banana with 1 tablespoon sugar free syrup (1) 11 chopped peanuts (1) and 2 tablespoons of Cabot whipped cream (1).  3 points and delish!  And I haven’t been waking up with low blood sugars.

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I have no concrete plans for the weekend which I am loving.  I think Hannah and Jacob work all day Saturday so it will be nice to have the house to myself and cook and blare MY music Open-mouthed smile I am hoping the snow they think will hit us will go north (sorry Lynne, Jessica and Louise! ), but with temps back up in the 60s next week, I can’t complain too much.  I also officially quit the Y and my membership ends at the end of this month, so I’ll take advantage the last few days I have it. 

I have some goals lined up for March as far as exercise goes – stay tuned!   Happy Friday and have an awesome weekend!

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