Vegan Lemon Waffles and Weekly WI

If you follow me on Instagram, you will have noticed that I had an impromptu day off on Friday.  Sadly, there was another suicide on my line, and it happened on the train in front of me.  I got on the train at 7:40 a.m. – the accident happened down the line at 7:45, and within minutes of leaving our station, our train ground to a halt.  They finally got us to a station ten minutes from my house by around 9:00 a.m.  By the time the trains would have started running again, it would have made all the stops into downtown and I wouldn’t have gotten to work until  1:30, so I took PTO.  I read yesterday that it was a 32 year old woman who took her life.  So sad!  Thankfully Hannah and Jacob were working later on Friday, so they came and picked me up and took me back to my car. 

Hannah and Jacob decided to go Vegan for a couple weeks as a sort of “detox” after vacation.  I started to make myself waffles, and realized that I’d have to tweak my recipe to make it vegan friendly so I could feed them before they went to work.

Serves 1 waffle

Vegan Lemon Waffles

I put the ingredients into the WW recipe builder, and each waffle is 5 smart points.

5 minPrep Time

20 minCook Time

25 minTotal Time

Save Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1.75 cups flour
  • 1.5 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3 tabelspoons sugar
  • 1.25 cups almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and sugar together. In a smaller bowl, mix the almond milk with the vinegar - this makes a "mock" buttermilk. Let that sit for 5 minutes, or until thickened.
  2. Add the milk/vinegar mixture, and the remaining ingredients into the dry mix, and stir just until combined. Let the batter sit 5-10 minutes to let the baking powder do its magic while the waffle iron gets to temperatiure. These took 4-5 minutes to cook.
Cuisine: Vegan | Recipe Type: Breakfast
7.3
http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/2017/07/24/vegan-lemon-waffles-weekly-wi/

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I used my very berry sauce for a syrup, so with the bacon, this was an 8 point breakfast.

I went to my local WW meeting on Saturday.  I hadn’t weighed in for 2 1/2 weeks, and with my vacation, I knew I’d have a gain. 

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Remember how I talked about indulging in just ONE thing a day on vacation?   Within minutes of entering my Aunt’s house on vacation, she showed us all these delicious pimento cheeses she bought – jalapeno pimento cheese being the best of them all.  I didn’t eat any, and my brother asked “are you going to try it?”  I said I couldn’t break the seal yet, meaning if I started eating stuff on Day 1, all bets were off and I would continue to eat the whole weekend long.

Um, it took me until that first night.  I woke up around 12:30 with a blood sugar of 53.  When I went into the kitchen and saw Triscuits on the counter, I suddenly remembered the pimento cheese and ate that instead of grabbing a banana.   And so it began.  Jalapeno bacon for breakfast, burgers for lunch, wine at dinner, gelato – you get the idea.  So here I am –10 pounds lost on the year when in April I was already down 20! 

I’ve realized that I have to get back to basics – almost boot camp style, to refocus.  I know what to do, which is the weird part – but old habits kind of sneak in and take over if I am not paying attention.  I’ve decided that while I’ll continue to go to the Thursday WW meeting because I love the leader, I’ll also be going to my Saturday meeting for my weekly WI – Mickie the leader there is funny too, and I won’t have to worry about not getting to the meeting because of work. 

Friday night we had super bad storms.  I have an external pump that I plug in when we get a lot of water.  I checked the water level (too hard to explain, but I have a water “basin” under the front of my house).  If that fills up, the water comes in my basement.  It’s rare – we have to have either a lot of rain at once, or if we get a weird rain in the early spring when the ground is still partly frozen.  I went to bed at 10:30, and apparently the storms went on for hours, and as I left for WW Saturday morning, realized I had three inches of water throughout my whole basement.

The river is so high – higher than it was in 2013, the last time I got a ton of water in the basement – that time the water in my basement was 6-8 inches deep!

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This is the channel across the street from my house.  The water is all the way up to these people’s back doors – they had a giant sandbag station down the street for anyone who needed it.  I didn’t notice it until I walked after the storm, I would have been happy to help my neighbors.

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After we pumped out all the water in the basement and did an initial clean up, I had no desire to cook.  So I picked up a Lou Malnati’s frozen spinach pizza.  This slice set me back 15 points but it was delicious!

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Yesterday morning Hannah and I did a quick Sam’s Club run – she had to do a pick up for work and I had to pick up just a few things – paper towels, egg whites, baby spinach and a rotisserie chicken.  So I made a quick iced coffee with the chocolate Premier Protein.  So good!  Two smart points and 30 grams of protein, this kept me full for a few hours.

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 I love Sam’s Club rotisserie chicken.  It’s been a few weeks since I bought one.  It’s $4.98.  First thing I do when I get it home is to pick off most of the meat and make Rummy and Roman happy by letting them eat some of the chicken skin.  

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With the chicken I will make:  chicken tikka masala, chicken enchilada soup, chicken tacos and a Chicken and spinach Caesar wrap for lunch one day this week.   The chicken tikka masala turned out amazing if I do say so myself – I’ll share that recipe later this week – I actually used jarred pasta sauce as the base for the tikka sauce and it turned out so good.

After doing more laundry, I finally hit up the grocery store to buy the rest of my stuff for my meal plan.  I spent $38.  When I got out of the store, the storm clouds were back – luckily the storm only lasted an hour – but it was 89 degrees when I went into the store and when I came back out a mere 20 minutes later, the temps dropped to 68!

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I have all my food packed today – I bought a new lunch bag so I am testing it out this week.  I’ll post a picture later if I love it.  I am also restarting Insanity.  I was on Day 11 the Wednesday before vacation, but I haven’t done it in over a week, so I’ll start over.  I also lost the piece of paper that had my Fit Test stats, so that’s what I’ll do tonight.

How was your weekend?  Happy Monday – make it a great day!

 

Premier Protein–Your New BFF for Weight Loss

I get a lot of requests each week to partner with certain products, links to articles, advertising – most of which I just immediately delete after receiving them because I am not going to promote anything that I don’t already use, or think that other people will find value with.

I am happy to say that I am a Premier Protein Ambassador!  I tried to jump on the protein bar/protein shake bandwagon several times.  Only one teeny tiny problem.  Turns out most of those have some sort of ingredient in them that makes me need to find a bathroom within five minutes after eating/drinking such products.  Not going to name and any names (ahem, Pure Protein, EAS, Atkins, – just to name a few).

So I tried Premier Protein after Instagram Weight Watcher peeps were buying these 2 smart point shakes and adding them to a two shot espresso from Starbucks.  A great, quick on the go mini breakfast as I like to call it – for only 160 calories and a whopping 30 grams of protein.  I recently bought an espresso machine at Goodwill, so now can make my drink to go at home, saving me $2.17 a day. Open-mouthed smile

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I recently made vanilla coffee protein pancakes using the powdered protein mix:

coffee protein pancakes

But yesterday?  Holy balls, I made the best fluffy protein pancakes out there. 

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I am calling these Elvis Banana Pancakes because they have banana, peanut butter AND bacon.  And each fluffy pancake is only 4 smart points.  I use the Weight Watchers recipe builder to figure out  the points using my exact ingredients, so please don’t go by the nutrition label that is auto generated on generic ingredients.  My guess is that each pancakes is about 170 calories.

 

Elvis Protein Pancakes
Serves 8
A great, protein packed breakfast using Premier Protein.
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Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
326 calories
37 g
71 g
17 g
8 g
9 g
131 g
67 g
12 g
0 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
131g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 326
Calories from Fat 147
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 17g
26%
Saturated Fat 9g
44%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 71mg
24%
Sodium 67mg
3%
Total Carbohydrates 37g
12%
Dietary Fiber 2g
9%
Sugars 12g
Protein 8g
Vitamin A
14%
Vitamin C
10%
Calcium
11%
Iron
7%
* 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. • 1.5 cups flour
  2. • 3 teaspoon baking poweder
  3. • 1/2 teaspon salt
  4. • 2 tablespoons powdered peanut butter (I used PB2)
  5. • 1/4 cup sugar
  6. • 1 large egg
  7. • 1/4 cup Premier Protein vanilla milkshake protein powder
  8. • one 11 ounce container of Premier Protein prepared bananas and cream shake
Instructions
  1. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, peanut butter powder and protein powder and mix with a whisk, just until combined. Add in the egg and bananas and cream shake, and using a fork, mix just until combined. It’s okay if it’s a bit lumpy. Now here is the secret to fluffy pancakes. Let your batter sit a minimum of 15 minutes to let the baking powder do its magic. I used a 1/3 measuring cup to get 8 fluffy pancakes. Just cook with a lid on your pan between flips – because these are so fluffy, the lid helps steam the pancakes so they cook in the middle too.
beta
calories
326
fat
17g
protein
8g
carbs
37g
more
My Bizzy Kitchen http://www.mybizzykitchen.com/
For my breakfast yesterday I took the top pancake (4 points) used my sugar free syrup (1), ate all the banana and blackberries, the tablespoon of real bacon bits (1) and the two slices of peppered bacon for a very filling and protein packed 6 point breakfast.

I have also tried their protein bars:

images

They are 8 smart points.  I’ve eaten half for breakfast on the train before work if I am extra hungry, and saved the second half for the train ride home so I don’t feel like I have to eat the second I walk in the door.

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I also like to chop up half a bar and top it on my parfaits for a bit of texture.  I think the chocolate one tastes just like a snickers bar.

I now have found these products at Walgreen’s, CVS, Walmart and Sam’s Club.  Sam’s Club by me (Chicago area) is the cheapest – a 12 pack for only $16.68. 

Have you tried Premier Protein yet?  If other protein products bothered you in the past, I’d recommend trying these.  I am down 15 pounds this year, and I think in part because I’ve been able to drink a 2 point shake on my train ride home and have time to make a sensible dinner instead of coming home starving and driving through the Burger King drive through.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Note: This is a sponsored recipe post.  However, I will only endorse products I use and recommend.

Huevos Rancheros with Cilantro Lime Potatoes

I hardly ever am hungry right when I get up.  I think its because I am used to eating breakfast at my desk a couple hours after I wake up.  But yesterday?  Hungry!  I ate half of this Premier Protein bar, and that hit the spot.  It’s 4 points for half and to me it tastes like a Snickers bar.  

As most of you know, I have an hour train ride to work every morning.  I had pretty much written my blog post yesterday the night before, so I put my laptop in  my bag 15 minutes into the train ride and proceeded to sleep the remaining 45 minutes to work.  The guy who sat behind me had to wake me up when we got into the station, otherwise who knows how long I could have kept sleeping?!

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Breakfast part 2:  I’ve seen variations of this on Instagram, but it’s basically a breakfast sundae.  A banana sliced down the middle, filled with a 5.3 container of Chobani (2), strawberries, PB2 (1), and a tablespoon of pecans (2).  For 5 points this was super filling, and had everything in a breakfast – sweet/tart/salty/crunchy.

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Even though I am not 100%, I still got my walk in with my twin sister.  It was windy!  We decided to head east on Randolph.  While I’ve driven by here before, I’ve never walked on foot this far east on Randolph.  As soon as we got close enough to read the sign, I think we both said out loud “Is that a Marianos?”  

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And a giant Mariano’s at that!  They are building a Mariano’s in the next town over where a Sears went out of business – right across the street from my regular grocery store, so it will be interesting to see where I shop once Mariano’s opens, because I puffy heart this store.

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I didn’t even notice our reflection until I downloaded this pic!  Ha!

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There is also a park outside, so when it does finally get nice and stay nice outside, we can have a picnic lunch.  This is probably a leisurely 10 minute walk from my office.  The Mariano’s has been there two years and my sister is kicking herself that she didn’t know it existed so close to her office as well. 

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I got back to my desk and quickly threw my lunch together.  A ham/spinach/cheese wrap (6), with carrots and ranch dressing (1) and an apple (I had to throw half away – boo!) with the rest of my PB2 from breakfast (0).

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Later on ate my chicken soup, except without noodles or chicken so it’s basically a zero point soup.  I love sipping on soup out of a coffee cup.  This was hot and delicious and I remember how my sister and I used zero point soups a lot on our last successful Weight Watchers run.  They are hot and filling.  I remember us sipping on these type of soups while making dinner – which prevented us from snacking while cooking.  

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I hit every single light on the way to the train station, and missed my train by a minute.  It’s not a big deal because since it’s rush hour, my next train was only 13 minutes later.  But that train was running 20 minutes late, so I didn’t get home until 7:15.   As soon as I walked in the back door Hannah said “the basement is flooded.”  Rat farts.  I have an old home (1922) and there is an external well outside my walkout basement door.  Many years ago Tony rigged up a sump pump in there because this time of year when we get a lot of rain, that well fills up and well, comes right under my door into the basement.  The only caviat is that you need to plug it in to drain it, and I forgot to tell her to do this.

So after 45 minutes of plugging in that sump pump, mopping up and running fans, I really just wanted to order a pizza and call it a night. 

But, I am participating in Weight Watchers #cincofoodsincinco – and had already prepped everything for dinner, so this was ready in a matter of 10 minutes, still on plan, and I didn’t cave to the stress.

I made Huevos rancheros – not sure how authentic these are because I saw so many variations online, but I love having these dried peppers on hand.  All you need to do is rehydrate them and they make amazing salsas.  

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As you can see, this made a ton.  However, I am going to try a baked version of this recipe over the weekend, I’ll let you know how it turns out.  I also think this would be an awesome marinade.

Colorado Sauce:

  • 4 dried New Mexico chili peppers
  • 2 dried Ancho chili peppers
  • 1 canned Chipotle pepper (or more if you want it really spicy!)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/8 cup grapeseed or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup soaking liquid
  • 2 cups chicken stock

Boil some water.  Add the dried peppers, which the stems and seeds have been removed.  Let the peppers soak for 15 minutes or until soft.  Throw everything into a food processor and let it whirl until everything is completely pureed.  That’s it.  Store in a mason jar for up to two weeks.

I pan toasted my corn tortilla in Pam until it was slightly crunchy, then filled it with a bit of quesadilla cheese, one scrambled egg, baby spinach, drizzled with the Colorado sauce, and topped with sliced jalapeno and radish. 

On the side was cilantro lime potatoes. Um, why haven’t I thought to do that before, I mean I love cilantro lime rice?!  I baked some potatoes over the weekend, and just pan fried 4 ounces of potato in 1/2 a teaspoon of ghee, then tossed it with chopped cilantro, lime zest and a squeeze of lime juice.  A delicious 10 point dinner.  Or brinner. 😀

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I am counting the Colorado sauce as 1 point, because of the grapeseed oil.  It’s smoky, spicy and adds such a depth of flavor to this taco.  Let me know if you try it – I’d love to hear what you think of it!

Another dreary day in Chicago, feels more like October than May, but I know we’ll get spring one of these days. 

Make it a great 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.

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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

Save Recipe

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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Print
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!