Monthly Archives:

August 2017


Beer and Chips

I love summer fruit.  Even though I have to take more insulin for it, it’t totally worth it.  I mean, I would take more insulin for a Dairy Queen Peanut Buster Parfait (33 points by the way, not that I know that first hand, I looked it up for a friend!) – I think the blueberries on my banana buttermilk pancakes is a better choice.  Pancake (3), blueberries (0) Smuckers sugar free pancake syrup (1) and a hard boiled egg (1).

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It’s the second day in a row that my sister couldn’t walk at lunch, which I think is bullshit.  Ha – just kidding Jenn – but hopefully you’ll be able to go to Weight Watchers today!  I just started walking north east – I normally set a time for 25 minutes on my phone and when it beeps, I turn around and head back to my office, which gives me 10 minutes to put my lunch together.

It was a gorgeous 75 degrees.

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I had walked about 2o minutes and stumbled upon a Whole Foods I didn’t know was there (on Grand I think?).  Oh my Lord – so much good food!  I only bought dried parsley though, thank you very much.  But that fruit tart was giving me the stink eye saying “Biz, you know you want me!”  Well, duh!  (for the record, I’d take the fruit tart over the chocolate cake any day of the week).

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Which reminds me that I need to make my mini fruit tarts again that I made for Cooking Club, those turned out amazing, and coming from someone who is more of a cook than a baker, I was so surprised these came out of my kitchen!

mini fruit tart

Hannah was off on Tuesday and when I told her I was going to make crock pot beef stew, she said she would have time to put it together.  I screen shot her a recipe that was initially meant to be cooked on top of the stove, but I knew she could just threw everything into the crock pot, set it on low and let it cook all day and it would turn out.  I didn’t screen shot her the final instruction, which is to add corn starch to cold beef broth to make a slurry to add to the stew the last half hour to make the sauce thick.

She’d been cleaning the house and when I got home, the first thing she said was “you got home early!”  It was 6:45.  The kitchen was still a bit of a disaster.  Our dishwasher has been broken, and with three of us to wash dishes, I just feel its necessary to replace it now.  But herein lies the problem.  I’ll start washing dishes and Hannah will say “Mom, I am off tomorrow, I’ll take care of it.”  But then she doesn’t and before you know it, there are three days worth of dishes.

She was upset that the stew didn’t work out to her liking, she was hungry, I added the corn startch mixture, and then just got the hell out of there and went to the gym. 

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And magically, the corn starch mixture did its job while I was at the gym, and this was delicious.  10 smart points for two cups.  See how pretty the dried parsley looks on the dish?!   The only unauthorized ingredient was onions.  Hannah and Jacob both love onions, and when they thought the stew tasted like “beef water” before the slurry was added, they decided to add sliced onions to it.  I am thankful that the pieces were big and I could see them and pick them out.

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No one signed up for night secretary, so I took a leisurely 2 mile walk to the softball field.  

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I only played one inning, and I was totally fine with that.  We had plenty of people, and if we lost it would be our last game, and I wanted everyone who played all season to get more playing time.  It was still so much fun though!  We lost 19-18 (pitching duel!) and that ended our season.  I don’t care what I have to do next year, but I am getting out of night secretary on Wednesday’s so I can play the whole season.

I had 45 minutes until my train, so walked the 2 miles back to the train station with plenty of time to spare.

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I felt it only appropriate to get a beer and chips for the ride home.  10 smart points by the way if you are keeping track.

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It’s the third day in a row I’ve gotten 20k or more steps a day.  Nice!

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I got home at 10, and was hungry, but knowing I was going to bed in an hour, didn’t want anything to heavy, so made this quick pizza bread.  Two slices of my homemade bread (4), 2 tablespoons pasta sauce, 2 ounces lite Trader Joe’s mozzarella (2) – broiled for a few minutes and topped with fresh basil.  6 points and hit the spot.

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Even with my beer and chips, I was only 1 point over for the day – not too bad!  

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It’s going to be another gorgeous day in Chicago – high of 72!  I have Weight Watchers at lunch today, so if I don’t have night secretary I might walk after work to take advantage of the weather and take a later train ride home.  We’ll see.

My boss is back today, so I will be busy.  Make it a great day!


Hello Pumpkin my old friend

I had my whole work day planned with my boss being out yesterday.  Until another secretary was sick yesterday.  I was asked to make some revisions to a document, and just like that, this attorney thought I was his all day.  It was fine, it made the day go by fast, but now my boss is coming back tomorrow, so I hope I get everything done today that I wanted.

With my boss gone, it was breakfast with a view!  Beef, berries and toast.  And for the record, I’ve never seen my boss sit in that chair and its so comfy!

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Hannah bought these giant Mason jars a few months ago.  I love them and decided to track my water using it.  My goal was to drink four of these before I left the office – each one is 24 ounces.

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It was drizzling a bit at lunch so I decided to walk the Chicago pedway.  There is an entrance in my building. But I quickly realized my pedway didn’t go to far – just across the street – to the food court in the State of Illinois building.  It smelled amazing – fried chicken, pizza and burgers – oh my!

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I walked outside again and the rain held, so I walked towards the Aon building.  One of my sisters friends used to work in the building and as we were walking by it a couple weeks ago, she said there was so much stuff in the basement of this building she never had to leave – post office, Starbucks, tons of restaurants.  What?!

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I brought a grilled chicken breast and rice for lunch, but wanted to accessorize my lunch with some veggies.  This Market Thyme is amazing – all these different food stations – sushi, panini, hot bar, salad bar, burgers, build your own stirfry.  Jenn, we have to go there for lunch one Friday.

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I got $1.24 worth of grilled veggies to round out my lunch.  Delish!  I grilled a bunch of chicken breasts to use during the week.  If you do the same thing, undercook your meat by about 15% – no worries if the chicken is still pink in the middle when you finish grilling, when you reheat it for your meal, that will finish the cook on the chicken and it won’t be dried out.  #themoreyouknow 😀

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I realized when I left work that I only had two of my mason jars of water.  I am sure I’ve mentioned this on here before, but you can always get free water at Starbucks.   Just ask for a Venti water – you don’t have to buy anything else 😀  I drank this on the train ride home.

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Hannah was in deep cleaning mode when I got home from work.  She said “you came home too early!”  It was nearly 6:45 😛  To get out of her way, I wasn’t hungry yet, so I went to get gas in my car and hit the gym.

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Any other YouTube whores out there?!  OMG, I watched the kids version of The Voice from . . .GERMANY!  It was wonderful.   Because I had never seen any of those videos before, one video just scrolled into the next and before I knew it, I’d walked an hour.  At 6% incline, thank you very much.

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While Hannah made a beef stew in the crock pot (which she didn’t like the recipe I found – I’ll talk about that in tomorrow’s blog) by the time I got home from the gym at 9:30 the thought of having beef stew right before going to bed didn’t sound good, so I made a grilled cheese.

I don’t make it to Trader Joe’s all that often – its probably only a 20 minute drive from my house, but it’s in a direction I never go in.  That will soon change, because this cheese is amazing.  I bought it a while back and forgot how tasty and melty it gets.  And a whole ounce is only 1 smart point.

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1.5 ounces of my homemade rosemary bread (3), the cheese (1) and a teaspoon of whipped butter to grill it up (1).  Fruit  for dessert and this was a perfect light 5 point dinner an hour before I went to bed.

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And Shelley, this one is for your – haven’t done any snapchat filters lately 😀

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I hope to play softball tonight again.  I am night secretary, so that is the variable, but the game isn’t until 6:30, so I should be fine.  If we win tonight, we go to the playoffs next Wednesday and if we win that game – it’s a double header for the championship.   The weather is supposed to be gorgeous today, so we won’t get rained out.

And in case you are wondering what my blog post title is all about – it’s this.  I usually only have one cup of coffee a day during “pumpkin” season, but just found it at Sam’s Club over the weekend.  It’s nice to see you again old friend, even if you cost me two smart points PER TABLESPOON.  I forgive you. 😀

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Beef Fried Rice

Stay tuned for the beef fried rice recipe below – it will be quicker than take out!

Hannah and Jacob had a friend over on Sunday for Sunday dinner.  I made ribs, onion rings and an apple crisp.  When I woke up sick yesterday morning, my first thought was “I hope it wasn’t the food!”  I texted the kadults later yesterday morning, and they were fine.  I didn’t eat or drink anything until about 11:30.  Not even coffee!

This hit the spot.  A slice of my everything but the bagel seasoning bread (3) with a hard boiled egg (2).

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My sister and I took a leisurely walk along the riverwalk at lunch.  She didn’t bring lunch so we stopped along our way at a hot dog place that smelled amazing.  As I was feeling better, I realized the ramen soup I brought might not be enough food, so I bought a cup of lemon chicken soup for $3, and added it to my ramen noodle broth.  I have no idea how to count the points for this – I used about 1/4 of the seasoning packet, but I am calling it 12 points to be on the safe side.  I added a bit of crushed red pepper to spice up the broth – this was suprisingly pretty good!

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It rained the whole train ride home last night, but started to clear up by the time I got home.  As I was walking to my car, I saw a double rainbow!  The second one is kind of faint in this picture, but I have never seen a double rainbow before.

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I made a stop at Trader Joe’s over the weekend when I was headed back from Oak Park.  These were only $1.99 a bag, so I threw them in my cart.  If you scan it, it comes out to 1 point a cup, but looking at the packaging, it’s just vegetables, so I am counting them as zero.

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I bought a family size package of beef stew meat at Sam’s Club on Saturday.  Hannah is making a crock pot beef stew today since she has the day off.  I seared off the meat for her to just throw everything else in the crock pot, set it and forget it.  My friend Courtney uses her crock pot all the time and I need to use mine more – thanks for the inspiration Court!

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I sliced up 4 ounces for my beef fried rice.  I know what you are thinking “Biz, that cut of beef you need to cook low and slow.”  And normally I would agree with you, but – if you just fast sear this meat for 60 seconds – yes ONE MINUTE – it will be medium rare, and super tender.  You may look after a minute and think “that’s not cooked!” but the residual heat will finish cooking – just slice it thin.

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I love this sauce – it’s 1 point a tablespoon, and a tablespoon is plenty.  Point breakdown: coconut oil (1), beef (4), rice (3) stirfry sauce (1) = 9 points.

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Beef Fried Rice

A super quick and easy weeknight dinner, and a great way to use up leftover rice.

Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1
Author Biz


  • 4 ounces beef, fat trimmed, sliced thin
  • 1 cup frozen stir fry veggies
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon House of Tsang ginger sriracha sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha - for garnish
  • 1/2 cup cooked rice


  1. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium high heat.  Salt and pepper the sliced beef.  Add the teaspoon of coconut oil to the pan.  Add the beef and cook for 1 minute and remove immediately to a plate.

    Add in the frozen veggies and ginger sauce and cook the veggies for about 6 minutes.  Add in the rice and cook for another minute, lastly, throw the beef back in, and toss until the beef gets coated in the sauce.  Put in a bowl and add additional sriracha if you love spicy shit like me. 

Recipe Notes

Don't saute in olive oil.  Like ever.  You should use coconut or grapeseed oil.  Olive oil tends to burn too easily and coconut and grapeseed oil have higher smoke points, which will be much better to saute.   Use olive oil, especially extra virgin, as a finishing oil - like in a vinaigrette, or drizzled over popcorn.


Since I was feeling better, I decided to hit up the gym.  It had been 10 days since I was last there!

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I did this 30 minute circuit – I love it.  It has 20 stations and its one minute on, 30 seconds off.  I like to go in order 1-20, but there are people who just do it in no particular order, and Hannah and I just can’t do it. 😛  

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Then I just did a 30 minute walk at 3.0 incline. 

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It felt really good to break a sweat – it’s been too long.

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There is a Fresh Thyme next to the gym and I had to pick up a couple things.  Damn this aisle!  Seriously I walked up and down this aisle and was thinking of all the nuts, yogurt covered pretzels, gummies I should get.

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Hold up though – my favorite gummies for only $1.99 a pound.  I think I could eat a couple pounds of these a week if I let myself.  They are so flavorful and have the perfect texture.  Swoon.

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Cooler heads prevailed – which is why exercise is so important for me – if I work out I tend to make better food choices because I don’t want to negate the work I just did.

This is my new favorite way to cut watermelon.  I cut the outside skin and then just slice it up.  I think it took me a minute to cut this watermelon – I’ll have to do a quick video of this – hardly any waste!

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I finished the day with just over 22k steps.  After walking maybe 4k over the WHOLE weekend.  I was in bed by 11 last night and up at 6:30 this morning, and slept like a baby.  With Hannah and Jacob’s dogs.  They have taken to sleep with me, and I love it.  They sleep under the covers too – it’s just too damn cute. 

My sister is working from home today, so I’ll be getting my steps in by myself today.  One of my bosses is out the next three days, so that will be nice.  I have a couple projects I put aside for when he was going to be gone.

Happy Tuesday – make it a great day!