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
6.8
http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/2017/03/17/banana-nut-muffins/

3.16.17 029

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! 

Pork Potsticker Noodle Bowl

Um, can I just say it’s bullshit that work is getting in the way of me posting my eats on Instagram?!  Hahahaha!   I am kidding . . .a little bit.  The minutes and hours go by so fast.  I’ll have my phone plugged in under my desk and even though it’s on mute, I can hear the vibrations of notifications on my social media, and I have to wait until the end of the day to catch up with you all.

So question:  has anyone had trouble viewing my posts?  I’ve gotten a couple dozen emails, texts and messages on Instagram asking if I am okay, because they haven’t seen a post since March 8 or 9th.  I know my posts are published, other people are commenting on them, just wondering so I can let my brother know.  I have no idea how the back end of my blog works, even after nearly 9 years Smile with tongue out

Breakfast and lunch were good, but nothing out of the ordinary.   Breakfast was an egg, deli roast beef and spinach tortilla (6 points) and lunch was more deli roast beef with spinach, cucumbers, tzatziki and the best potato chips I’ve ever had from a place in the French Market near my office called Frietkoten.   Note to self, I’ll have to go back for some Belgian beer, but these potato chips were insanely delicious – so much so that I ate the whole small bag (the portion on this plate was about 1/4 of the bag) and my guess was 7 points, but so worth it!

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The reason I stopped at the French Market was because the wind was so strong, even though it was sunny, it was cold AF.   So I got my steps walking around the market – how cute are these marzipan?!

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I am not sure I’ve ever even eaten marzipan but I wanted to buy a pig, a hot dog and a taco!  

At least when it snows this late in the year, it doesn’t last long. 

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And before I knew it, it was time to call it a day and head home.  Some people have a hard time with daylight savings, but it does nothing to me.  But what it does do is make me happy when I step off the train at 6:30 and the sun is just setting.

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My store had ground pork on sale for $1.99 a pound – did you know that you can buy 96% lean ground pork?   It’s only 2 points for 3 ounces, and a quick Pinterest search landed me on Kristin’s page (Iowa Girl Eats) for her pork potsticker noodle bowl.  She’s gluten free, so I took inspiration from her recipe.  She also called for A LOT of soy sauce, and this being my weigh in day, I wanted to reduce the sodium in the dish as much as possible without sacrificing flavor.

These are the noodles I use to make this a super quick week night dinner.  I found them in the Asian aisle at my regular grocery store.  Each packet contains two servings – and I just cut the bag in half and microwave the noodles for a minute and they are ready to go.

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This recipe is for my one serving:

Serves 1 bowl

Pork Potsticker Noodle Bowl

A super quick and easy weeknight dinner, that tastes just like eating the inside of a pork potsticker, without the deep fryer.

5 minPrep Time

8 minCook Time

13 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 3 ounces lean ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon szechwan sauce (I use House of Tsang)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/2 cup shredded zucchini
  • cilantro for garnish
  • 3/4 cup noodles (mine were 5 smart points)
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Normally I would salt and pepper the pork before cooking, but I think the sauce has enough salt so it's not necessary. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add pork and add ground pepper, and cook for about 1-2 minutes.
  2. In a bowl, mix the soy sauce, chicken broth, szechwan sauce, sriracha, ginger and garlic and mix until combined. Add this mixture to the pork and cook for about 30 seconds. Add in the cabbage, carrots and zucchini and cooked pasta, and cook for an additional minute or so. Plate and garnish with fresh cilantro or green onions.
Cuisine: Asian | Recipe Type: Dinner

Notes

While I used pre-cooked noodles, feel free to sub in any pasta you want - gluten free noodles, ramen - just be sure to check the points.

I also used 96% lean ground pork, so using the Weight Watcher recipe builder, this comes in at 10 smart points

6.8
http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/2017/03/16/pork-potsticker-noodle-bowl/

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That, my friends, is the perfect bite!  It literally does taste like the inside of a pork potsticker, without the deep fryer.  Although I did think that a pan fried wonton wrapper or two crumbled over the top would be a nice addition.  Love that this was so super quick too.

It’s Thursday, so it’s WI day for me.  Hopefully the sodium packed dinner wasn’t a bad idea.  For those of you following along I gained 1.6 last week after a couple mini binges and Hannah’s birthday.  I had a good week this week, although my strength training is not going as well as I had hoped.  I need to figure out how to squeeze that into my day.

So here is your daily motivation – make it a great day!

3.15.17 027

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Steak With Lemon Pepper Pan Sauce

I switched bags that I travel to and from work because the zipper on my back pack keeps coming undone without me knowing.  On more than one occasion, my backpack has been wide open while I am walking through the train station with my laptop, wallet, etc. just hanging out in the wind.  So what I failed to do was put my gloves in my temporary new bag and when I got to the train station, realized my mistake.  It was 11 degrees out.

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This is what it looked like at 8:00 a.m. yesterday morning – overcast, cold, gross.   We haven’t really had a bad winter, and I can’t complain with all the snow my friends in the Northeast have gotten this winter, but I want to see spring flowers and green grass.  Okay, enough whining about the weather!

It was a low carb eating day for me yesterday, except for breakfast.  And while I love, love my breakfast parfaits, they are high on the carb count because of all the fruit, which is totally insulin worthy if you ask me.  However, after I took this picture, a co-worker stopped to talk about a project, and after we talked, I sat down and started eating my breakfast.  Until about 90 minutes later I thought, did I take my insulin?  Well, the answer to that was a big fat no – and a quick blood sugar check and it was up to 422! Gah.  It’s not the end of the world, I just gave myself fast acting insulin as if I were eating food, and 45 minutes later it was back to normal.  Um, adding chocolate Cheerios was a delicious idea.

3.14.17 035

My day flew by.  Seriously I think I could work at my desk 24 hours a day and still have plenty of work to do.  I had a couple rushes, and the typical time I take lunch just came and went, so I ate lunch at my desk.  I took a video and put it on Instagram (can’t figure out how to put it here) but it doesn’t matter – I made a Thai noodle soup, but it needs tweaking, so back to the drawing board on that one.  I made turkey meatballs to go in the soup, and while they tasted delicious straight out of my cast iron skillet when they had a nice crispy texture, once reheated in the soup they became mushy.  And ladies, am I right that mushy balls in your mouth isn’t all that appealing?!  (#sorrymom!).

Luckily I had my fruit as a snack on my train ride home – loving that it’s light outside by the time I get home.

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Since it was a low carb day I knew I had steak on the menu with green beans and mushrooms, but thought it needed something to tie it all together.  Duh – a pan sauce!  A pan sauce is nothing more than using all the goodness your steak leaves behind in your cast iron skillet to make a tasty sauce.  This dinner literally cold not have been easier – it was ready in about 15 minutes.

  • 5 ounces sirloin steak
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup fresh green beans
  • 1 teaspoon garlic
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon fat free half and half

Trim the green beans and put in a microwave safe bowl and cook for 1 1/2 minutes.  Set aside.  In a cast iron skillet, or non-stick pan, spray coconut oil spray (or use grapeseed or coconut oil – something that can handle the high heat).  I used Hardcore Carnivore rub on my steak, but feel free to stick with salt and pepper, or your favorite BBQ seasoning.  I like my beef on the rare side, so over high heat, I cooked my beef for 2 minutes per side, then set that aside.  Return the heat to low, add the grapeseed oil and cook the mushrooms for about 2-3 minutes.  Add in the green beans and garlic and cook for 2 minutes.  Mix in the corn starch and lemon pepper seasoning with the chicken broth and add that to the pan.  Cook for a minute or so until the sauce starts to thicken, then stir in the half and half.

I put the green beans and mushrooms in the bottom of the pan, sliced the steak and placed that on top, then drizzled the lemon pepper pan sauce over the top.  You probably won’t use all this pan sauce, but if you had a baked potato, it would be delicious over the top of that.

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This picture really doesn’t do it justice, but this was so flavorful and delicious.  Can’t wait to do this again with grilled steak.   I just barely made my points today – after dinner I had only eaten 21 points.  If it had been a high carb day that would have been easy to get the points in, so I had 1/3 cup of almonds and a piece of cheese for 7 points to bring me to 28 points for the day.  I always forget how much fuller I feel with so much protein, but, turns out I love carbs, so I like the carb cycling.  We’ll see how it plays out on the scale this week. 

Here is more motivation for you – love this one!

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So keep moving forward my friends!  #keepswimming 

Make it a great day!

Ricotta Pan Pasta with Jennie-O Turkey Meatballs

I hate snow in March.   I really really do.  But I know we are never out of the clear for snow in March.  Some birthdays when Hannah was little we had water balloon fights because it was so warm, other times we had five inches of snow.  I remember on Hannah’s 7th birthday it worked out perfect because she was going to school for an art fair the morning of her birthday party from 9-12, and her party started at 1.  I had it planned perfectly – I’d wrap her gifts, shovel the snow down my front walk, finish decorating her cake – three hours was plenty of time to get that all done!

Except when I went to leave, she begged me to stay.  Not just for a few minutes, but THE WHOLE TIME.  I was in a panic – how was I going to get it all done?  Well, the fast answer was, I didn’t.  And Hannah was none the wiser.  The only caveat was that I never did get a chance to shovel my walk to the front door, and a couple parents gave me a stern look Smile with tongue out

So here is what I woke up to:

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Just noticed Hannah never brought in the extension cord when she and Jacob had a bonfire a couple weeks ago and hung up lights around the gazebo!  #klassy

So my breakfast was a plate of sunshine on the cold, snowy, overcast day.  I made an egg white omelet microwaved dish – 2 ounces of canned potatoes on the bottom, 1/2 cup egg whites, baby spinach – cook on high for 2-3 minutes until the eggs are cooked, then flipped it and added 1/2 ounce of cheese on the top.  On the side was turkey sausage and fresh fruit – pineapple to make me think I was in Hawaii!  #not

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When I took this picture, it looked like I had sliced banana on top of my eggs, and a couple people on Instagram thought I had lost my damn mind!  (thank you Christina and Kym for your concern!) Open-mouthed smileMy sister and I talked mid-morning and she definitely did not want to walk in the cold/snow, and neither did I to tell the truth.  I thought I’d just hit up my office gym and walk on the treadmill for 45 minutes before heating up my lunch.  But I remembered I didn’t have my key card to get into the gym (I switched bags) and it would have been a hassle to get a temporary one from the office of the building, so I just bundled up and got to walking.  I was trying to get the Sears Tower in the picture, and didn’t notice the light post coming out of my head!

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Yesterday was a higher carb day, so I had chicken fried rice for lunch.  Since I was walking by myself, I walked to Mariano’s – not even thinking of buying anything, but just walking around getting more steps indoors.  But then I saw this wasabi sauce and it made me stop in my tracks.  I did not alter that picture below at all – that’s the actual color of the sauce, and if you love wasabi like I do, go buy this.  It’s only 10 calories (zero points) a serving and it has the zip of heat that goes away after a few seconds like wasabi does.  Even though Tony didn’t like spicy stuff, he could tolerate wasabi when he ate sushi because the heat didn’t last.  I still have yet to recreate a stir fry like Tony even close to what he could make.  I even watched the video Tony made, but to no avail.  I did use less soy sauce than he normally did, although his always turned out great, so I don’t know why I question the amount I use.  My plate came in at 8 smart points – 6 for the rice, 2 for the chicken and the rest was free.

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I actually got a lot of stuff done at work that I wanted to.  Are any of you like me that have a list of things you want to get off your desk, but constant interruptions foil your attempts to cross anything of your list?  Well surprisingly yesterday both my attorneys hardly bothered me at all.   So that means today I’ll probably be swamped Open-mouthed smile

I am on Jennie-O Turkey’s Blogger program and I am given products to try every other month.  In January I made the perfect turkey burger and turkey and bean chili.   I did just realize that I was supposed to make a breakfast dish with this turkey sausage they sent me, but is it wrong that I thought of meatballs when I first saw the product?  You all know how I am about the balls!

This dinner was ready in less than 20 minutes, and while I only made one serving, I am writing the recipe for 4 servings.  Each serving on the WW recipe app is 12 smart points.

Serves 1 cup pasta with 3 ounces turkey meatballs

Ricotta Pan Pasta with Jennie-O Turkey Meatballs

5 minPrep Time

15 minCook Time

20 minTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 8 ounces dry pasta
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 4 tablespoons part skim ricotta
  • 12 ounces Jennie-O turkey sausage
  • 1 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach

Instructions

  1. Heat water for pasta.  Meanwhile mix the sausage, Italian seasoning, garlic, crushed red pepper, parsley, salt and pepper and mix just until combined.  For each 3 ounce portion, I made 6 meatballs, but feel free to make them however big you like them.  Heat a cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium high heat and spray with coconut oil spray (it can withstand the high heat) and sear the outside of the turkey meatballs.  Reduce the heat, and add the marinara sauce and let the meatballs simmer in the sauce until the pasta is ready.  Drain the pasta, add that to the meatball marinara pan, stir in the ricotta cheese and baby spinach, and put a lid on the pan for 1-2 minutes until the spinach starts to wilt - it will seem like too much, but no worries!
Cuisine: Italian | Recipe Type: dinner
6.8
http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/2017/03/14/ricotta-pan-pasta-jennie-o-turkey-meatballs/

Each serving is 1 cup of the cooked pasta and 6 meatballs (or three ounces).  Sprinkle with a bit of Parmesan cheese and dinner is served!

3.13

This was so delicious.  Pure healthy comfort food at it’s best.  I defrosted my zero point marinara for this dinner before I went to work, but just check the labels of store bought marinara if you go that route – a lot have a ton of added sugar in them (look at the ingredient list). 

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

On my way home from work I saw two different people make my chili and each gave it two thumbs up!  First up my friend Meg from Instagram:

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And then my high school friend Matt who I am friends with on Facebook made my buffalo chicken chili.

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That’s basically what I do – changing lives, one chili recipe at a time! (ha!)

I forgot to mention that my latest post is on The Chopping Block website – Kris, you’ll be happy to see a Vegan dish for my daughter-in-law.  If you could send me some comment love over there, I would appreciate it!  I made a lentil pasta with a kale pesto – so good, even coming from a meat eater like myself. Open-mouthed smile

Creamy Potato Soup

  1. This past weekend was perfect for spending time in my kitchen.  As I was meal planning I realized I had a 10 pound bag of potatoes that needed to be used up.  I peeled and diced half the bag, put the potatoes on a cookie sheet and froze them before putting them in a Ziploc bag to use for something else later on.  More soup, or hash browns on the weekend.

While I love a good potato soup, a lot of recipes call for copious amounts of heavy cream and lots of cheese.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I like to eat more than just a full days worth of points just for soup.  I exaggerate, but you get the idea.

Enter unsweetened cashew milk.  Have you guys tried it yet?  It’s only 25 calories a cup, but that I love about it is that it’s really thick, like heavy cream or even fat free half and half.   This recipe is so simple you don’t really need a recipe, but I’ll put a recipe card in here just in case you want to print it out.  This was my lunch yesterday – with homemade marble rye bread!   It was my first try, so I am going to tweak the recipe I used, but it was still pretty tasty.

Serves 1.25 cups

Creamy Potato Soup

A super quick, delicious, creamy potato soup!

5 minPrep Time

30 minCook Time

35 minTotal Time

Save Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 large carrots, diced
  • 3 large stalks celery, diced (with the leaves if possible!)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat 1/2 a cup of the chicken stock over medium low heat. When it starts to simmer, add the garlic, carrots, celery and cook for about 5-10 minutes. If the chicken broth is nearly evaporated, add another 1/4 cup. Stir in flour and cook for one minute.
  2. Throw in the potatoes, almond milk, Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper and turn the pot to low, put a lid on it, and let that simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cuisine: Soup | Recipe Type: Dinner

Notes

According to the WW recipe app, 1.25 cups comes in at 5 smart points. Feel free to add chopped bacon, sour cream, or cheese on top - just don't forget to add the points!

6.8
http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/2017/03/02/creamy-potato-soup/

My breakfast and dinner were a bit eclectic?  Case in point:

If you are wondering if that is a burger on the left, you would be correct!  It was the other half of my burger from my lunch out on Monday.  It weighed in at 3 ounces, but with cheese, I am calling it 5 points.  The hard boiled egg wasn’t good – I made them early last week, so I spit it out after the first bite, and had 1 Nature Valley granola bar for 3 with the fruit, so breakfast came in at 8 points.

I had planned on hitting up my office gym after work, but had to work late, and based on the train schedule, I ditched that idea and headed home.  But that’s the flexibility of my new strength training plan is that I only plan on 3-4 days a week, and it will be moved later in the week.  I am thinking I may just get up early and do it before work.  I have dumb bells of all sizes at home, so at least I get it in.  We’ll see how that goes.

Now this, my friends, is the epitome of being the #leftoverqueen!  I used my lasagna soup to make a pasta sauce for my ravioli!  I bought fresh green beans over the weekend because they were on sale, and thought, why not add that to my dinner?  When my pasta water came to a boil, I added the green beans for just a couple minutes to blanch, pulled them out, then added the ravioli.  This is my local grocery store brand of meat ravioli – 6 ravioli are 7 smart points.  I am calling my “soup” pasta sauce 3, so dinner came in at 10 points.   

For those of you playing along, that would bring me to 26 points for my food, but I had 3 points of coffee creamer, so that’s 29/30 for the day.

And here we are at Thursday again and another WI!  These weeks keep going faster and faster.  Again, no idea how my weigh in is going to be, but it doesn’t matter – my sister and I are in this for the long haul, and really the frugal part of me just wants to get to goal so I don’t have to pay for WW anymore 😀  Think of all the money I’d have for Sam’s Club fruit then!

Make it a great day!

Size 12!

While I felt a bit awkward eating this plate of food on the train ride to work yesterday morning, what I did love was that I didn’t feel rushed eating my breakfast like I do when I am sitting at my desk and work keeps piling up around me.  Three ounces leftover beef (well, really not leftover I cooked it before I left the house so it was still warm!) (3) 100 calorie pack of almonds (3) a hard boiled egg (2) and lots of fresh fruit.  But sadly between the three of us, we already ate all the mango!

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Another busy day, blah blah blah.  I know that’s probably getting old me telling you that, but I don’t really mind being busy.  I feel like I am actually earning my paycheck!  As luck would have it, the rain stayed away at lunch and I met my sister and her co-worker for a 45 minute walk at lunch – low 50’s, a bit windy, but it was nice catching up with my sister without distraction.

I had just enough time to get back and heat up lasagna soup and fruit for lunch – I didn’t even finish the soup, it got cold before I finished it, so I had two Nature Valley granola bars to go with lunch, so lunch was 14 points.

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And just like that, before I knew it, it was time to come home.  A couple people at work told me that my pants were too big.  All my pants are size 14, but even with a belt, the leg part of the pants are too big.  And the pants I wore yesterday are ones that get looser the longer you wear them – you know the ones that fit fine out of the dryer?  So I did a quick stop at our local thrift store because they were open until 7.  These were the black pants I wore to work:

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Sporting my fit bit too!  (I got 15k steps yesterday!)   So I tried on a pair of size 12!

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And guess what?  They fit!  I didn’t end up buying this pair because they were still a bit big in the pant leg area, but the fact that I could zip them up and button them without lying down on my bed is the best #nsv!  Hannah has told me that I should be wearing “tapered” pants but I am not sure I’ll have much luck at thrift stores, but I am up for the challenge!  I don’t want to spend too much money on clothes (ha, not like I normally do!) because by the end of spring/summer, I hope to be smaller still. Open-mouthed smile

I can’t believe that it’s March 1 already!  We had some pretty big thunderstorms yesterday, a sure sign of spring.  TWENTY FIVE YEARS AGO TODAY I had my baby shower!   It was 70 degrees and we had all the windows open.  Fast forward to bringing her home from the hospital on March 11, and there was an inch of snow on the ground.  So I know we aren’t out of the clear on snow yet this winter.

But I digress!  It’s time for progress pics!  I had Hannah take the picture last night – she was making me laugh!  She’s a bit farther away than I normally set up the camera, but I think I can see some change!   My face definitely looks thinner, as do my legs.  What’s up with the damn middle section – ha! 

PicMonkey Collage - feb 2017

Well that’s where Phase II comes in.  The first couple months I concentrated on the food, without having to kill myself at the gym.  But I know that the only way I can reshape my body is with strength training.  I know my friend Jody is secretly wishing I’d do cross-fit (not there yet Jody!) but I am bringing in strength training 3-4 times a week and we’ll see how the next progress pic looks at the end of March. 

And to keep it klassy, this is one of my favorite tank tops to wear because it is so soft, but it has stains all over the front of it, and I could care less.  Hannah and Jacob even had some friends come over and I was thinking to myself “at least I have a bra on!”

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You’re welcome!  Make it a great day!

Skinny Twice Baked Potatoes and Weekly Menu

What an amazing weather weekend we had!  Not only was the weekend gorgeous, but this was the first full weekend I’ve had off in the longest time – I think since last May?!  I worked the weekends at the farmers markets over the summer, then at The Chopping Block on the weekends.  One of the first things I did was call my Mom up and ask to get on her social calendar.  She’s a busy woman!  All I knew was that I was going to her neck of the woods and we were going to lunch and a movie. 

We never discussed where we were going, so to be on the safe side, Saturday morning I made a 4 point smoothie – a Premiere chocolate protein shake, 1/2 a frozen banana, 1 cup of coffee and 1 cup of ice and used Hannah’s Ninja blender to blend it all up. 

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In my pajamas, no bra – thanks for the great photo Hannah!  Aren’t these mason jars amazing?  They hold 24 ounces and for $5 at Wal-Mart you can get a set of four lids with a straw for a grab and go breakfast. 

Hannah was off on Saturday and offered to do my hair and make up.   Hair done, before makeup.  I see more and more grey hair but I am not at the point where I want to die my hair because I know I’ll be horrible with the upkeep.

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Sunroof open – check!  Eyebrows on feel – check!  Makeup on – check!  AND JEWELRY – check!  Hannah was actually my stylist.  If she could just get up every day and make me look good, I would appreciate it.  It’s not too much for a Mom to ask, right?!

We settled on Prasino in LaGrange because it was right across the street from the movie theater.  Perfect!  That way we wouldn’t feel rushed.

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Super cute restaurant.  The service was excellent and I really liked the mediterranean plate that I got.  My Mom’s short rib tacos were a bit on the dry side before she got to the avocado side.

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How cute is my Momma?!   I had to try the sweet potato and coconut bisque – it was delicious and I need to recreate a healthier version of this at home, because I am sure it used full fat coconut milk or heavy cream.  I only ordered a cup and my Mom and I split half of the cup.

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My plate, which I ate 3/4 of and called 12 points.  I wasn’t sure how much olive oil was in the hummus.

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We saw the movie Lion.  I won’t do any spoilers in case you have it on your list of movies to watch, but we both enjoyed it a lot.   And of course I had to take a picture of the two of us together to put on Facebook just to remind my brother and sister who Mom’s favorite is. Open-mouthed smile

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As I was downloading my pictures, when I got to the one above, I thought “I think my face looks a little thinner.”  While I am wearing a size smaller pants, I really haven’t “felt” that much of a change in my body since I’ve been recommitted to Weight Watchers.  I went back and found a picture from late November for comparison.  Is it just me, or can you see a difference?

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The kadults were up early yesterday morning to open the coffee shop.  After the dogs settled in bed with me for a bit, I got up at 7 a.m.  It’s so crazy because I never used to be a morning person.  I’d stay up until 2 in the morning on the weekends, then sleep until noon.  What a waste!  I got so much done before 10:00 a.m. yesterday morning:  made a batch of granola using prunes and a bit of brown sugar for sweetness (recipe coming later this week – Errign, you are going to love it!), a batch of very berry sauce for parfaits later in the week; another batch of cashew milk waffles for sweet/savory breakfast sandwiches later in the week and the rest for the freezer; and I cooked off the rest of the overnight naan dough that’s been in my fridge.  This time using Everything but the Bagel seasoning from Trader Joe’s – I want to put this on everything!

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After Hannah and I went grocery shopping and ran a couple errands, I was all prepared to go on a walk/run, but my blood sugar was only 77.  I ate a banana and some strawberries, but could only walk for fear of having my blood sugar tank on me.  I managed to hit just over 10k steps yesterday.  Short sleeve shirt in February #love.

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It was still light out by the time I rounded the corner to my house at 5:15 – look at how tall my pine trees are in front of my house!

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Here was my grocery total this week, which included a $13 chuck roast that’s going to be a dinner this week for all three of us:  $42.84

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Meal Ideas This Week:

Breakfast:

  • breakfast baked potato
  • steel cut oats with fruit and eggs (maybe Starbuck’s sous vide again – which my friend Beth pointed out are 5 points, not 4, but still worth it!)
  • mini bagel sandwich
  • egg white and spinach pita pocket
  • parfait

Lunch:

  • grilled chicken picky plate
  • leftover crockpot Italian beef salad
  • zucchini lasagna boats
  • mini pork tacos with avocado and refried beans
  • leftover Friday

Dinner:

  • grilled pork chops with skinny twice baked potatoes
  • crock pot Italian beef on naan bread
  • meat ravioli with homemade marinara
  • grilled chicken Caesar salad
  • Thursday is leftover night
  • Nancy Silverton’s pizza dough – I am thinking garlic/pepperoni/spinach*

*Nancy Silverton is the famed baker of Le Brea Bakery in California, but if you have Netflix, you have to watch her episode on Chef’s Table.  I love these cooking documentaries on Netflix.  It’s funny because as I was writing part of this blog post last night, my sister messaged me on Facebook and asked if I had seen it – of course my response was, “duh!”  I liked the detail in the pizza dough link above – my plan is to make the dough on Tuesday night for Friday night pizza.

I was so happy to light up my grill for the first time in 2017!  Sadly it was nearly dark out by the time the coals were ready, but Hannah hung some lights up on the gazebo frame and that helped.

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I already grilled up the meat for a pork chop dinner last night, and to have pork later in the week, and I grilled four bone in chicken breasts for the later in the week.  Here’s my meal prep tip to you though – if you plan on grilling meat to use later in the week, cook it about 80%, that way when you use it in a dish later, the chicken won’t be dried out.  And always try to grill bone in – the flavor is so much better.

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My brother and his family sent me Robert’s Reserve Texas Style Hatch Marinade, and that’s what I used to marinate my pork in for about 6 hours before grilling, as well as a drizzle over the top right before eating.  It’s delicious – spicy flavorful and only 15 calories for 2 tablespoons.  Texas folks can find the marinade at HEB.  (Tony used to call the store HIV when we visited his son – and it used to drive Joe crazy whenever Tony said “why don’t we stop by the HIV on the way home and pick up some beers!”

Here is the “skinny” twice baked potato recipe – still 6 smart points but a very generous serving for 6 points!

Skinny Twice Baked Potatoes
Serves 4
A great side dish to any grilled meat.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 5 min
264 calories
37 g
17 g
9 g
9 g
4 g
223 g
109 g
2 g
0 g
5 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
223g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 264
Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
14%
Saturated Fat 4g
21%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 17mg
6%
Sodium 109mg
5%
Total Carbohydrates 37g
12%
Dietary Fiber 3g
11%
Sugars 2g
Protein 9g
Vitamin A
6%
Vitamin C
18%
Calcium
15%
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 large baked potatoes
  2. 1/4 cup plain Chobani yogurt
  3. 1/4 cup unsweetened cashew milk
  4. 2 ounces 50% reduced fat Cabot cheese
  5. 1 teaspoon everything but the bagel seasoning (or salt/pepper combo)
  6. 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Bake potatoes for 45 minutes, or until a knife goes through cleanly.  Let cool slightly.  Slice in half, remove the potato pulp to a bowl, leaving about 1/4 inch of the potato shell.  Mix the potato with the yogurt, cashew milk, cheese, seasoning just until combined.  I kind of like my twice baked potatoes lumpy but feel free to add another splash of cashew milk to make the filling creamier.  Put under the broiler for 3-4 minutes, until the cheese gets melty and sprinkle with the smoked paprika.
beta
calories
264
fat
9g
protein
9g
carbs
37g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
We will have temps in the 60s the next several days and a slight chance of rain on Thursday, which I will take all day long.  Hopefully my sister and I can walk again together this week – we walked together three times last week and it’s nice to catch up with her without distraction.

I also did all my laundry – folded it and put it all away!  I took the Weight Watcher’s weekly focus of Clearing the Clutter challenge seriously, as did my sister when she Facetimed me on Saturday night showing me that she was getting rid of clothes that don’t fit (some to me!) and giving the rest away to Goodwill.  It will be nice to have everything in order this week clothes wise this week. 

Alright, time to get this show on the road – make it a great day!  And I had to laugh at this – my friend Allyson sent this to me over the weekend, and it literally made me laugh out loud – love it!

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Make it a great day!