Steel Cut Oat Waffles

I love Saturday and Sunday mornings because there is no rush.  I can get up, make my Chemex coffee, sip on that for a while before thinking about what I want for breakfast.  Lately I’ve been in a waffle mood.  I was short on flour, so decided to see if I could you steel cut oats to replace most of the flour, and it worked surprisingly well!

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I just used my coffee grinder to grind up the oats.  

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Love the texture of this flour – it’s coarser than regular flour which gave my waffles an added crispness.

Serves 1 waffle

Steel Cut Oat Waffles

A different take on waffles by using steel cut oat flour - the waffles are super crispy, yet light.

5 minPrep Time

15 minCook Time

20 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup steel cut oat flour*
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Mix the oat flour, flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon together. In another bowl, mix the milk, eggs and vanilla until combined.
  2. Mix those together and let the batter sit for 15 minutes while your waffle maker gets hot. I used a heaping 1/3 measure per waffle, to get 5 waffles at 5 smart points each. Cook according to manufacture directions (mine took about 4-5 minutes each on medium heat).
  3. Serve with fresh fruit, and bacon!
Recipe Type: Breakfast

Notes

The total time includes cooking all the waffles. These will stay in the fridge for several days, just reheat in a toaster.

I just put the steel cut oats into a coffee grinder to process it into a flour.

7.3
http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/2017/04/03/steel-cut-oat-waffles/

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These waffles were crisp on the outside, yet light on the inside.  This recipe made 5 waffles, at 5 smart points each.  Topped with SF syrup (1) and two slices of turkey bacon (2), this was a very filling breakfast.

I had plans to head to The Chopping Block on Saturday for the first of two events to celebrate their 20th Anniversary.  Even though I only worked there five months, I know I’ve made lifelong friends and it is still the best job I ever had – I loved going to work every day to work with food, talk about food, and just be around people who were as passionate to get the country cooking as I was.

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I didn’t get there until nearly 2:30, but just in time to hear Shelley, the founder and owner, talk about one of the first dishes that she ever made when she first started the cooking school – it was a blue cheese and caramelized onion tart.  But as she started talking, she started crying.  Crying because that recipe was one of her Mom’s recipes, and sadly her Mom died of breast cancer this past December.   You guys, I cry at weddings I watch on Youtube for people I don’t even know!  I immediately started tearing up, but then she said something funny and I was able to keep it together.

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Most of the savory food was gone by the time I got there, but there were plenty of sweets! 

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I had a glass of wine – this pinot grigio was really good:

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I nearly bought this, but couldn’t figure out where I would put it Open-mouthed smile

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And after Shelley’s demo, there was cake and champagne, which I ate too – loved seeing a full house!

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It was a fun afternoon, and I am happy I went.  I just forgot how awful the traffic was.  It took me nearly 90 minutes to drive 40 miles!  Totally worth it though.

I got my cleaning pants and meal planning pants on yesterday and I feel good about my eats this week.  I have a couple new recipes to share this week – another hash waffle – this one was over the top because it had crispy shredded gouda cheese on top:

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And this butternut squash mac n cheese – holy balls is this one good!  I adapted it from here, but made it more Weight Watcher friendly – left out the butter completely and scaled it back for two servings. 

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Anything new on your meal plan this week?  I’d love to hear!   I am actually doing a carb cycle again to shake things up, while still following the points for WW.  Three days lower carb (around 75-100 carbs) then day 4 is high carb (175-200 carbs), day 6 is low carb (75-100) and day 7 is high carb again.  I like that the two higher carb days fall on Thursday (after my weekly weigh in) and on Sunday, because that’ s a fun day!  Most of my carbs will be coming from fruits and veggies. 

Here’s some Monday motivation for you – make it a great day!

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French Fry Frittata

There are a lot of people at my office who are on Weight Watchers, which I love.   More people to talk about point friendly food!  One woman though the day before yesterday only ate strawberries and grapes for breakfast and wondered why she was starving at 11:00 a.m.   I asked if she had any protein, hard boiled egg, deli ham, anything else?  Nope.  I told her I would bring in a leftover French Fry Frittata, and she was a bit intrigued!

I brought home all the fries from my lunch out earlier in the week.  I had 3 ounces of fries leftover, which was perfect for two servings of this breakfast.  I put this in the WW recipe builder and each serving came in at 6 smart points.

.

Serves 1/2 of frittata

French Fry Frittata

A great way to use up leftover French fries!

5 minPrep Time

8 minCook Time

13 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 3 ounces leftover French fries, chopped
  • 1 cup liquid egg whites
  • 1/3 cup chopped red peppers
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/3 cup chopped tomato
  • 1 teaspoon everything bagel seasoning
  • 4 Jennie-O turkey sausage links, cooked and chopped
  • Coconut oil cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Heat a small skillet over medium heat, and add coconut oil spray. Put the chopped French fries on the bottom and press down with a spatula. Cook for about 4 minutes. Add in liquid egg whites, chopped red peppers, salt, pepper, dried parsley, turkey sausage and put a lid on the pan, reduce heat to low and cook 6-8 minutes, or until the egg whites are cooked through.
  2. I cut this in half, and after reheating it at work, tossed the diced tomatoes with the everything bagel seasoning and put that on top of my frittata.
Recipe Type: breakfast

Notes

Feel free to add any extra seasonings to the egg mixture - I didn't know if my friend at worked liked spicy stuff (turns out she does!) so I'd add crushed red pepper, or maybe paprika or cayenne.

Luckily I had hot sauce at my desk to kick it up a notch!

7.3
http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/2017/03/24/french-fry-frittata/

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So good – and putting Trader Joe’s everything seasoning on the tomatoes was an awesome idea.  My friend couldn’t believe that she got all that food for 6 points, but more importantly, it kept her full for hours.  #winning #changinglivesonebreakfastatatime

I didn’t end up going to WW before work for my weigh in, because I wanted to get in early so I could leave to go to the lunch time meeting.  I am happy to report that my eating/drinking frenzy that was my birthday weekend, only cost me a 1.8 pound gain!  Congrats to my twin sister though who LOST 2.2 during our birthday weekend.  Great job!

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So I basically have to kick some serious ass this last week of March so that I’ll only have a small gain for the month.  Still down almost 15 pounds though – but I was SO close to being down almost 20!  Gah.

Lunch was on repeat – I fricken love the tomato feta soup from Pret!  

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I worked late and was really thinking of hitting up Burger King on the way home because it’s literally two blocks from the train station and I pass right by it every day to and from the train.  I even opened up the app to see what my choices would be before I slapped myself out of it.  Because a.  I knew I would get a side of fries no matter how healthy my order was, and b.  I had plenty of food at home and knew I could figure something out.

Having a stocked pantry is key – I had canned crushed tomatoes, pasta, and more ground sirloin that needed to be used up, so pasta and meatballs it was!  This was literally so easy – while the water boiled I cooked down the canned tomatoes with garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper.  I used 3 ounces of ground sirloin (4) to make my mini meatballs, and cooked those up with coconut oil spray.  I bought this at Trader Joe’s and I love it because I can use it over high heat.

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I was still able to get a nice sear and the balls before throwing them in the sauce to finish cooking.  These were tiny balls (sometimes tiny balls are okay!) so they didn’t need to simmer too long before being cooked through.

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And because two ounces of dry pasta is hardly anything, I sautéed up a whole zucchini to bulk up my dinner.   Thanks to Hannah who came in and took the photo for me.

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Not surprisingly I follow lots of WW peeps on Instagram.  What was my life without Instagram?  It’s hilarious because I had no idea Instagram was a photo sharing site when I downloaded it a few years ago, and I took a picture of the train leaving after Hannah came to visit me when she and Jacob were living in the city.  I put a cool filter on it (I thought!) and Hannah texted me and said “love the train shot!” and I was thinking “how the hell did she see that picture?!” 

Anywho, one of my fellow WW ambassadors Catherine (@cheeseandcardio – follow her!) is down nearly 90 pounds since this time last year, and while following the Weight Watcher program with the smart points, she’s chosen to do low carb because that’s what works for her.  She’s been recently getting some “hate” comments, for lack of a better word, telling her that since she’s on WW she can eat ANYTHING she wants, so why not eat more bread, pasta, etc.? 

Well, her plan of WW/low carb is obviously working since she is down 86 pounds, but it just shows that no matter who you are, or what your journey is, do what’s right for you.   I think because of social media that more people are able to hide behind their monitors/ipads/laptops/iphones and just say whatever they want because it’s so anonymous. 

So it was only appropriate that I was thinking about not listening to other people in your journey, when my Instagram motivator posted this:

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So this Friday morning I hope that you #BEtheLION!   Make it a great day!

Banana Nut Muffins

There is temptation all around me every day working in Chicago.  From the coffee shop across from my train station that has THE BEST glazed donuts, to all the food stalls at the train station, the nearly 20 restaurants within a two block radius of my office – it’s everywhere!

Lately though, I’ve had a taste for a giant muffin.  You know the ones I am talking about – the giant ones you can buy at Sam’s Club – chocolate chip chunk, lemon poppy seeds.  I did a quick WW app search and those muffins can range anywhere from 18-28 EACH.  I used to eat an Otis Spunkmeyer banana muffin and a Dr. Pepper for breakfast before high school.  😛  Of course, I was an athlete back then and I could eat whatever I wanted – oh how times have changed!

I had bananas that needed to be used up, so decided to make muffins.  Most muffins call for some type of oil or butter, but I decided to leave that out completely and see what happened.  The result?  A delicious, 5 point banana muffin that cured my muffin jones.

Serves 1 muffin

Banana Nut Muffins

A super delicious, fluffy banana nut muffin that won't break the calorie bank!

5 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

25 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 bananas
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Splenda baking
  • 1 5.3 ounce container plain Chobani greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • 1/8 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup salted sunflower seeds

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 375.
  2. In a medium sized bowl add the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, mash the bananas, the sugar, Splenda, Chobani together. Mix those two together and fold together just until combined. You don't want to over mix your batter because then you get a more dense muffin.
  3. Put batter into muffin tins about 3/4 of the way up - I got 10 muffins out of this recipe, so if you stretch it out to 12 muffins it drops the points down to 4 points per muffin. Mix the brown sugar, flour, oats and sunflower seeds together and sprinkle over the tops of the muffin batter. Press down a bit to make sure the nuts stick into the batter
  4. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Mine took exactly 20 minutes. Let cool in the muffin tin. I used paper muffin cups, but I still sprayed them with coconut oil spray so the paper wouldn't stick, and that worked just fine. If you don't use paper cups, be sure to spray your muffin tin before adding the batter.
Recipe Type: Breakfast
7.3
http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/2017/03/17/banana-nut-muffins/

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I met my sister at WW and I was up .6 for the week.  Not bad to maintain, but looking back at my points tracker, I can see that I relied on my brain tracking, and not actually tracking on my app, and I know if I am not 95% on top of tracking EVERYTHING that the scale isn’t going to move in my favor.  

I did manage to pull away at lunch to go back to our meeting at lunch – I love our leader.  Having a great leader in WW makes all the difference!   I picked up tomato/feta soup at Pret to eat at my desk since I was so busy. 

Well, I got so busy that I didn’t eat that soup until 5:00 p.m.  

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I worked an hour overtime and somehow justified that since I worked so hard and hardly had any food, that I DESERVED popcorn.  Not just any popcorn, but Garrett’s popcorn.  A small bag, but 3/4 butter and 1/4 caramel.

I normally respond to social media on the train ride home since I literally am offline all day, but I just wanted to veg out and started watching My 600 Pound Life.  

As I am listening to this woman talk about how she eats breakfast and then wonders what she’s going to have lunch, and then eats lunch and wonders what she’s going to have for dinner, all while I am stuffing my face with popcorn I realized that there was no difference between the woman I was watching any myself, other than the fact that she had 500 pounds on me.

I was literally thinking in my head “woman, get some control over your food!” as I had a handful of popcorn ready to shove in my mouth.  I stopped in my tracks, took the half eaten bag of popcorn and threw it in the garbage – well, after I poured water on it.  NOT that I would go back into the trash and fish it out, but better safe than sorry!

I got home at 7 and loved that there was still a bit of light left.  My town has a “downtown” that is really only one block long, but it’s really cute.

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Thursday night is usually leftover night, because it’s a great way to use up stuff before the weekend.  I am sure I’ve talked about these tortillas before, but they are 1 smart point each, super soft and pliable and delicious.  

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I defrosted this chicken before I went to work – a couple weekends ago I hit up the discount meat bin at Jewel, while this one said Today’s special, the one next to it said Buy 1 Get 1 Free – so I got two chicken breast for $1.35.  I used half of this chicken for dinner last night.

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I have never heard of Cilantro’s Taco and Grill, but one of Hannah’s customers brought this to her and lucky for me, it’s too spicy for her – this dressing is amazeballs!  It’s tangy, spicy and creamy.  1 point per tablespoon.

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So I made a deconstructed taco night – 4 ounces chicken (3), red pepper, romaine, carrots, cilantro, Cabot cheese (2) the Ole tortilla (1) and the Cilantro dressing for a dip (1).

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My mini tacos – only 7 points for the whole plate:

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It’s my birthday weekend!  My twin sister and I turn 49 on Sunday!   Hannah and Jacob have to work all day Saturday and Sunday, but they are taking me out for pizza tomorrow night at a new restaurant that just opened up in our town that has pizzas cooked in a 750 degree oven.  

Then I am having lunch with my Mom on Sunday, and depending on the weather, I may try to grill a pork shoulder Sunday night.  

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! 

Only +1.6! And Sweet Potato Toast

My sister and I vowed that good or bad, we’d show up every week to Weight Watchers.  I’ve already talked about how my eating was this last week – 35 weekly points spent on Sunday and Monday night alone, and my 56 point day on Hannah’s birthday, so I honestly thought that I would have a gain of at least 3 pounds.  I just woke up yesterday morning feeling. . .fatter.  

I think I can equate that to the beer – it’s only the fourth or fifth time I’ve had alcohol all year, and my drink of choice is usually wine, but the place we went to for Hannah’s birthday had Stella on tap, and that’s one of my favorite beers.  

In any event, I met my sister there, and she got there first and was disappointed to find out she gained 2.2, and SHE was the one that stayed on track this week!   While I was happy with only a 1.6 pound gain, she was obviously upset that she was up.  But we both know this is our lifestyle, not a diet, and being up one week over the course of months really isn’t going to matter in the whole grand scheme of things.

*************

I’ve seen on Pinterest and our WW weekly handout about sweet potato toast.  Huh.  I wasn’t actually sure what it was, but check out this post that has step by step instructions and topping suggestions.

I made this at home last Saturday and it took me about 4 times through my toaster at home to cook it through.  It won’t be crunchy like toast, but I really loved this.  When the sweet potato comes out of the toaster its obviously warm so the peanut butter got all nice and melty.  I like having a sweet and savory side.  It’s 4 ounces of sweet potato for 3, 1 teaspoon of peanut butter and strawberries on the left (1) and an egg with 1/3 ounce of pepper jack cheese, salsa verde and romaine (3).   7 points for both and this kept me full for the longest time.

My sister and I met back up at the Weight Watchers meeting.  I did grab my 10% bling from last week even though I had a gain this week, because I’ll know I’ll be back down there next week 😀  

Our leader just got back from a trip to Vegas and guess what?  She had an awesome time.  She was up on the scale when she got back, but she decided what she was going to indulge in when she was there, and is now back and watching what she eats.  No regrets at all, and just another reminder that you CAN have indulgences every once in a while and if that results in an uptick on the scale, it doesn’t matter.

When I got back I heated up this quick lunch.  More cucumber taco bites!  I did eat an ounce of tortilla chips, not just the ones that I crumbled on top (4) because the rest of the lunch was only 3 points for the beef.  Growing up I used to hate bell peppers, but now I love them – red peppers are my favorite.

Once again, I haven’t followed my meal plan all that much, but I had to use up the rest of a rotisserie chicken, and Gimme Some Oven’s 20 minute chicken enchilada soup is so quick and easy.  I didn’t have harisa so I used just 1/2 cup fat free refried beans to thicken the soup.  My 1.5 cups I guestimated to be about 7 points – mainly because 1/2 a cup of corn is 3 points.  I also just top the soup with the cheese, I don’t put it in the soup, but this is hearty and delicious.  I had 16 points going into dinner, so had 3/4 ounce of tortilla chips for dipping, and with the cheese, this bowl of soup was 13 points.  I’ll be having just the soup for lunch today, because I am not sure Mother Nature got the memo that it’s March, and this morning it’s 24 degrees but because it’s so windy, it feels like 10 degrees.

My one boss is out today, but I have a lot of work to do, so the day will go by fast.  Hoping my sister still can meet for a walk – it may get up to 32 degrees today – balmy!

I plan on doing a group workout at the Y tomorrow and maybe even go swimming, I haven’t done that in a long time.   I am also going to be carb cycling my weight watcher meal plan this week starting tomorrow.   It’s going to be cold so I’ll be doing indoor projects.  My basement still needs attention – the rest of the house is pretty much “company” ready all the time, but the basement has become a hot mess and pretty much gets all the overflow.  I am confident a lot of it is just junk, but plan to put some time into that this weekend.  I also have a ton of old computer monitors and need to find a place to drop those off, because I don’t think you can throw those away, right?

I hope you all have a great weekend – and try the sweet potato toast and let me know what you think!  

Make it a great day!

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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Serves 1 waffle

Spinach Waffles

A great way to sneak in veggies to your breakfast!

5 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

25 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.75 cups unsweetened cashew milk
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. In a blender, add the spinach, eggs, cashew milk, yogurt and vanilla together and blend well. In a large bowl, whisk the brown sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Pour the blender mixture into the flour mixture and whisk just until combined. It's okay if its a bit lumpy.
  2. Heat your waffle maker according to manufacturer instructions. This made 8 waffles - I used 2/3 cup batter per waffle, and according to the WW recipe app, each waffle comes in at 4 smart points.
Recipe Type: breakfast

Notes

These freeze really well. Simply go straight from the freezer to your toaster!

7.3
http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/2017/02/28/spinach-waffles/

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?!

calendar-december-2016-january-february-2017

Make it a great day!

Hash Waffle and Weekly Menu

I don’t know what it was about Friday, but I was snacky as shit. 

snack

I normally don’t have wine in the house anymore, but I had 1/3 of a bottle left from my #livefully  party which was 10 ounces – or basically a point an ounce.  After that it was crazy.  I found myself looking for something to eat like every 15 minutes!  But I have to say, I am proud of myself for actually tracking everything I ate.  I even weighed or measured out the food too!  I have no idea why, but in looking back through my eats, I realize I need to bump up the protein big time.  It keeps me fuller longer.  And thanks to my WW app, I stopped my snack total at 31 because I was out of my weekly points, and my WI isn’t until Thursday.  So I just have to be extra careful with how my 30 points are spent each day until WI.

Saturday morning I made hash waffles.  They are the latest craze in the WW people I follow.  I first saw Sophie (who is “Tracking Is The New Black” on Instagram) make these hash waffles back in December and I finally got around to making them.  While she used frozen shredded potatoes which were thawed, I just shredded a raw potato for mine, and it worked just fine.  The recipe is for one waffle – which when put in the WW recipe builder app, comes in at 6 points for just the waffle, and 2 points for my pepper jelly topping.

Steak Hash Waffle
Serves 1
Another great way to use up your waffle maker - make hash waffles!
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
8 min
Total Time
13 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
8 min
Total Time
13 min
273 calories
28 g
210 g
8 g
22 g
3 g
268 g
324 g
1 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
268g
Servings
1
Amount Per Serving
Calories 273
Calories from Fat 73
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g
13%
Saturated Fat 3g
14%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 210mg
70%
Sodium 324mg
14%
Total Carbohydrates 28g
9%
Dietary Fiber 2g
10%
Sugars 1g
Protein 22g
Vitamin A
6%
Vitamin C
13%
Calcium
7%
Iron
16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 5 ounces potato, shredded and squeezed dry
  2. 1 ounce sirloin steak, cooked and chopped
  3. 1 egg
  4. 3 tablespoons egg whites
  5. salt and pepper *
Instructions
  1. Heat your waffle maker on the highest setting and preheat.  Mix the above together into a batter, and mix well.  Pour evenly in your waffle maker.   Cook for 6-8 minutes, or until desired doneness.  Mine was crispy at 8 minutes.  Since the batter was kind of thick, for the last minute I pressed my waffle maker down to make sure I got that crispy potato crunch.
Adapted from Tracking Is The New Black
beta
calories
273
fat
8g
protein
22g
carbs
28g
more
Adapted from Tracking Is The New Black
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
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* you can use any spice seasoning you want – cajun, Tabasco, the possibilities are endless!  I used 1/2 teaspoon of this jalapeno pepper – so good!

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While you guys know I LOVE my sweet and savory combo, I melted one tablespoon of Tabasco pepper jelly with one tablespoon of Smuckers sugar free syrup to drizzle over the top for 2 extra smart points.  On the side was banana and blueberries for dessert.  You guys just might as well drop the mic on this one.  Crunchy, sweet, salty – is it wrong that I want to add Cabot cheese to these waffles to kick it over the top next time?!

This kept me full for hours.  I didn’t eat lunch until nearly 3 in the afternoon when I stopped by the coffee shop where Hannah and Jacob work.  It’s become my weekend treat to take an hour to just relax, meal plan, etc.  The soup that day was chicken noodle, and somehow Hannah knew I like a lot of cracked pepper on my soup.  Did I tell you that Jacob gave me his old Mac Book Pro?  He got a new computer a while back and let me have his old one.  The only problem was that I needed to have it plugged in all the time because the battery was shot, hence why he needed a new one.  That didn’t bother me though because I usually have it plugged in while I watch t.v. in the living room.

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But it works just fine now.  I had it unplugged from 8 in the morning until 10 Saturday night before it beeped that it needed to be charged.  Nice!  I still had time to make it to the gym before it closed.  I did 45 minutes on the treadmill on 8.0 incline at 4.0 mph.

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Here is the after – but I just had to show you how my eyebrows are on fleek!  I had a different girl at Wal-mart thread my eyebrows and it barely hurt at all.

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With last weeks grocery shop at a mere $25, I knew I’d be spending more this week.  Still not too bad!

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$23.24 of that budget went to stocking up on meat – I thought I’d show you what I got for that amount of money, and see if it compares to what your local grocery store prices are. 

PicMonkey Collage

So here are my ideas for the week:

Breakfasts:

  • Chobani parfait with try #2 of PB2 granola (that hasn’t been made yet)
  • Steel cut oats and toasted walnuts and blueberries (from Oprah’s new cookbook)
  • PB2 Banana Muffins picky plate breakfast (that are 4 points each and I’ll share that recipe tomorrow)
  • egg white and spinach breakfast tacos
  • Pork and apple breakfast sausage with egg white avocado toast

Lunches:

  • leftover frozen chili
  • shrimp cocktail picky plate
  • spaghetti squash pasta with pepperoni and mozzarella
  • beef and broccoli stir fry
  • leftovers on Friday of whatever needs to be eaten up

Dinners:

  • beef with zucchini noodles and red pepper orzo
  • baked chicken thighs with rosemary potatoes and spinach
  • pork and broccoli slaw egg rolls (made over the weekend – delish!)
  • skinny New Orleans BBQ shrimp and beef
  • Party Pizza Friday (it’s been too long since I’ve had pizza!)

I am actually glad I had most of this post written yesterday, because I worked late at The Chopping Block last night.  We didn’t get out until nearly 10:00 p.m. (our class ran long) and I drive my friend home because the public transportation isn’t the best on the weekends, and me driving 15 minutes out of my way saves her 45 minutes of walking to and from the train.

It was a fun class – great people, worked with my buddy Chef Nick (pictured below!) doing a surf and turf class.  But a sad one because it was officially my last day of work there.  I’ve only been working one day a week and it’s not worth my time anymore and it takes a huge chunk out of my weekend.  I will still be blogging for them on a regular basis, and I’ll still be involved in their social media and will be a “guest” worker at fun events like Apple Fest.  I really wish I could have made that my full time job, but you can’t always get what you want in life.

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I met some amazing people there that I otherwise never would have met, and for that I will always be grateful.  I need to write a nice note to Shelley the owner thanking her for the opportunity to work at such a great place.

So now I am back to just one job.  A year ago around this time I was just quitting my law firm job, and here I am a year later back at another law firm.  But I had an amazing year and I wouldn’t change a thing.  Except winning the lottery.  Smile with tongue out

UPDATED:  My next post is up on The Chopping Block’s website – you can check it out here – two point Sopa Azteca!  If you could leave me some comment love there, I would appreciate it. 😀

Alright, time to get my stuff together – happy Monday – make it a great day!  Here’s some Monday Motivation:

2e52ea3255f7323c6ae4750e392a2caa

4 weight watcher smart points

Chicken and Waffles

I finally got a chance to download my pictures from the weekend.  I had such a great time at Kendall College for the high school culinary semi-finals, and saw some of the same people from last year which was nice.

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The students practiced three separate menus and didn’t know until last Friday morning when they got to the college what menu they would be doing.  Vegetarian Indian food for the win!  The kids are grouped in threes, but they were grouped with strangers – not who they go to school with.  It’s fascinating to see who takes the leader roll, who is just fine taking orders and following.  And because someone is a leader doesn’t necessarily mean that they are going to lead their team to greatness.  One girl who I initially thought was quite a good leader, delegated the tasks, etc.  Until I realized she was micromanaging the others dishes so much, she never actually got her dish on the plate.  I could just see the tears welling up in her eyes as the director counted down the last ten seconds.

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All in all, each team did a great job.  But the potato and chick pea dish was really good, and I’ll be making a variation on that dish later this week for one of my dinners.  Loved the spice of that dish.  If any of you live in the Chicago area, you can eat there – the culinary students cook lunch and dinner at their dining hall.  You can check it out here.   

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I finished around 2:00 p.m. so headed to my sisters office.  It’s the longest I’ve walked since I’ve had my cough – it was near 40 and sunny skies.

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I walked passed the iconic parking garage made famous by the Blues Brothers movie – it’s half condos/half parking garage. 

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Here’s a better view – thanks google images Open-mouthed smile

marina-towers-garage

I surprised my sister.  I wasn’t sure I’d have time to meet up with her, but she was able to have coffee with me, and it was close enough to 5 that I stayed for their office happy hour which was fun.

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**************

Since I spent so little at the grocery store over the weekend, that meant I made a lot of stuff from scratch.  One of the recipes was waffles.  I was going to buy almond milk, but cashew milk was on sale for only $2.49 a container.  Score!  And only 25 calories per cup.  I have a simple Oster waffle maker – I used 2/3 cup of batter per waffle to get 8 waffles out of this recipe.  According to the Weight Watcher recipe builder, each waffle comes in at 4 smart points (or 1 point per 1/4!)

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Cashew Milk Waffles
Serves 8
A simple waffle recipe that is great to make on the weekends when you have more time, and just go from freezer to toaster during the week for a quick breakfast.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
323 calories
36 g
48 g
16 g
10 g
4 g
94 g
105 g
4 g
0 g
12 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
94g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 323
Calories from Fat 134
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16g
24%
Saturated Fat 4g
18%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 9g
Cholesterol 48mg
16%
Sodium 105mg
4%
Total Carbohydrates 36g
12%
Dietary Fiber 2g
7%
Sugars 4g
Protein 10g
Vitamin A
2%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
5%
Iron
13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 eggs
  2. 1.75 cups cashew milk
  3. 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  4. 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  5. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  6. 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  7. 2 cups flour
  8. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  9. 1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Mix the eggs, cashew milk, vinegar, yogurt and vanilla and let that sit while your waffle toaster gets to temperature.  Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar and mix to combine.  Mix the wet into the dry ingredients, and stir until combined.  Use 2/3 cup batter per waffle for eight waffles.  Follow your waffle iron for cooking instructions - mine takes about 4-5 minutes for each one.
  2. These store awesome in the freezer.  Simply go straight from the freezer to your toaster like you would any regular frozen waffle.
beta
calories
323
fat
16g
protein
10g
carbs
36g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/

For dinner last night I made chicken and waffles.  Tyson brand buffalo tenders are 6 smart points for 3 ounces.  I baked the tenders for 20 minutes, so this was a super quick weeknight dinner.  I cleaned the bathroom (one of my week night chores!) while the chicken cooked.  Then toasted the waffles and topped with a bit more buffalo sauce and 1/8 cup of Smucker’s sugar free pancake syrup, so dinner came in at 11 smart points.

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This is the best of all worlds – sweet/spicy/crunchy/vinegary.  And even though I had half of a Reuben sandwich at lunch when I had lunch out with my friend, I still ended up with 31/30 points for the day.  Don’t worry, I do have fruits and veggies planned in my meal plan today.  But again, I like that I can incorporate my favorite foods into my healthy guidelines.  And I am happy to report that my cough is 90% gone and I hope to get a walk in at lunch – we are supposed to have temps near 50 today and I don’t want to miss out on that.

Make it a great day!