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Weekly WI and Butternut Squash Fries

I don’t know what made me think to walk to the train station from my house.  To tell you the truth, I didn’t really know exactly how far it was from my house to the train station.  I am kind of glad that I didn’t look it up because it was 2.6 miles one way, and I may have had second thoughts had I known that!  It was cool (okay 70) and a overcast.  Not knowing how long it was going to take me I made sure to leave in time so that if I missed the earlier train, I’d still make the next train (which is my normal 7:13 train) and not have to wait another 35 minutes for the next one if I missed that one.

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I love this backpack Hannah got me for my birthday.   The straps are so comfy – I was able to fit my laptop, and all my clothes to change into work in there.

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Not too bad!  It took me 41 minutes to walk there and I had 7 minutes to spare before the train came. 

While I knew I had my 61 point day last Friday, I tracked everything all week and closed my week only 9 points in the negative – without using any activity points.  So I was a bit shocked at the 2.6 gain on the scale.  However, I drank a ton of water on my walk to the train and while on the train.  Either way, not going to let that number derail me – because I feel . . . smaller, if you know what I mean.  I did have wine last weekend, and even though it accounted in my daily points, I am ditching alcohol this week.  We’ll see if that makes a difference on the scale next week.  It’s all good!

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I made a breakfast burrito – lavash wrap, eggs and egg white scramble, 1 piece of bacon, diced jalapeno and tomato with cherries on the side.

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I had a great meeting at Weight Watchers.  Cheryl our leader is so funny and engaging.  I had a talk with her after the meeting about the Focus Group and how I didn’t like it, and she said that she’s yet to attend, but was also thinking it wasn’t for her because she wasn’t into meditating, and it was my thoughts exactly.  I am sure it’s helpful for others so I am not discounting it, but life is too short not to do what you want to do.

I hit up the farmers market at Daley Center on my way back to the office.  I picked up Rock n Roll Thai red curry chicken and decided to take a picture from my bosses office since he was out of the office.  Not a bad view at all!

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While I was walking to the train station I was stopped at a light and just happened to look up and saw this giant cloud above the building – I am so lucky to be able to work in the great city of Chicago!

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Hannah had told me that she would pick me up from the train last night, but it was so nice out, I texted her and told her I’d walk home.

From one extreme to another!  Tall buildings in Chicago to farmland at home.

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Do you guys remember the book Country Mouse and City Mouse?  It used to be one of Hannah’s favorites.  I love being a country mouse at home and a city mouse during the day. 😀

So not surprising, after all that walking I was hangry when I got home at 7:15.  Thankfully thanks to Jennie-O, I have frozen turkey burgers at the ready – they cook in about 10 minutes.  Just enough time to heat up my deep fryer for these butternut squash fries.

For some reason I thought butternut squash would be high in points like sweet potatoes, so I was thrilled when I put them in my WW app and saw they were zero points.  Yes, I deep fried these, but I will always advocate that a good deep fryer holds the temperature so that hardly any oil gets absorbed into the food.  However, I did add 1 smart point for the oil.  And, let’s just say sprinkling with everything but the bagel seasoning when they came out of the fryer?  Best idea evah!

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AMAZING!   I will probably have butternut squash once a week from now on.  So good.  That cheese?  That’s the lite mozzarella from Trader Joe’s that is only 1 smart point for a whole ounce – it is so melty good.  The bun is Healthy Life brand is only 2 points.

Check out my steps!   I had planned on walking to the train this morning because it was only going to be in the upper 60s, but it was raining.  And truth be told, I am a bit sore from all that walking – my neighborhood is pretty hilly and you don’t notice it as much when you are driving.  So I am making today a rest day, or “light” walk day, because I know I’ll be exercising over the weekend.

If you haven’t already (and if you did – thank you!) can you send me some comment love over at The Chopping Block?!  You’ll finally get the recipe for my Everything Bagel Quiche I’ve been taunting you with on Instagram.  

I discovered this week that I have one of the top 10 blog posts of all time – coming in at number 4 with my Copycat Starbuck’s Muesli bread – and the only blogger to be in the top 10 for 2017 posts.  So thank you for your support over there, it means a lot to me!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend.  I have a low key weekend planned, which is alright by me.  I am still decluttering my closet and getting rid of the size 14 and 16 clothes that I’ve been holding on to.  I may need Hannah’s closet organizational skills to help me 😀

Make it a great day!!

Breakfast/ Premier Protein/ Weight Watchers

Strawberry Shortcake Buttermilk Waffles

Friday night I had Tony’s nephews and their families over for a BBQ.  It’s been way too long since we’ve been together, and I realize I have to make these get togethers happen, otherwise, the next thing you know we’ll look up and it’s Christmas!

These two little cutes were so fun.  Hazel (love her name!) was just an infant the last time I saw her.  Maddux?  Um, I think he was a bit sick of me saying “smile!” 

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The only time I could get a picture of him not in motion was when he was eating – look at that blonde hair!

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It was a fun night, and I hope to get together at least once a month this summer – it’s hard with everyone’s schedules, but family first, right?

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Not shocking, I thrifting on Saturday.  I am taking inspiration from one of the women at Weight Watchers, who purposely buys clothes in smaller sizes to keep her focused.  I found another size 10 pants, that also zipped but are still a bit tight – another 5 pounds and they should fit nicely.  Um, every piece was $1!

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This is my inspiration dress.  It’s Esley brand and when I looked that brand up, their dresses run around $60-80 – and since this had a blue tag, it was also $1.

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Excuse my closet mess, but I was organizing.  I love the bottom of the dress – it’s a size SMALL!  Hey, you never know, maybe one day I’ll fit into it!


If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen that I had 61 points on Friday – 20 of which was eating candy to get my blood sugar up on Friday afternoon (damn diabetes!) so after Friday night, I stuck with my new favorite water – lime and grape – so refreshing!

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Sunday morning I got up early and hit up my towns farmers market.  I was so happy to run into my friend Emily from the Cheese People.  I had a tent next to her last summer in Grayslake.  I would make her a veggie burger wrap for dinner and she would give me string cheese.  #winwin

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Your basic food groups, veggies, bacon, brats and granola!  OMG, this granola – this tent was also next to me last year and they make these butterscotch granola bites – I’ll have to take a picture of them and post it because they are amazing.  I plan to use it on parfaits later this week.

When I got back home, decided to make waffles – using strawberries and cream Premier Protein.  I know if I’ve been out of buttermilk, a simple trick is to just add vinegar to milk and let it sit and it will curdle up and get thick like buttermilk.  I wondered if that would work by adding vinegar to the protein shake?  

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The answer – it worked!  Look at how thick the shake got after letting the vinegar sit for just 10 minutes.

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Strawberry Shortcake Protein Waffles
Serves 5
Adding vinegar to your protein shake will make it thick like buttermilk - so good!
Write a review
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
362 calories
34 g
144 g
22 g
9 g
13 g
215 g
561 g
5 g
0 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 362
Calories from Fat 191
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 22g
Saturated Fat 13g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 144mg
Sodium 561mg
Total Carbohydrates 34g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 5g
Protein 9g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1.25 cups flour
  2. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 teaspoon McCormick sugar cinnamon
  6. 2 large eggs
  7. 1/4 cup liquid egg whites
  8. 11 ounce prepared Premier Protein strawberries and cream shake
  9. 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  10. 1/2 cup chopped strawberries
  1. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt together. In a 4 cup measuring cup, add the shake and vinegar and let sit for 10 minutes until thick. Add the egg and egg whites to flour mixture, pour in the shake/vinegar mixture and whisk, just until combined. Stir in the strawberries.
  2. I used 3/4 cup of batter per waffle, and got 5 waffles out of this batter. Cook according to your waffle maker instructions - mine took about 4 minutes to cook.
  1. I entered the recipe information into the Weight Watchers recipe builder and each waffle came out to 4 smart points.
My Bizzy Kitchen
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These are so light and delicious.  I had mine with 1/4 cup of sugar free Smuckers pancake syrup and two pieces of peppered turkey bacon from Trader Joe’s.  And since it was strawberry shortcake, it’s only natural to add a bit of whipped cream on top, no?!

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I have these for breakfast this morning, but I am making them into an egg white sandwich to add in a bit more protein.


And we are back to Monday.  It’s going to be hot in Chicago this week (90s) so I may be hitting up the gym after dinner if it’s still too hot to walk outside.  I also need to buy another bathing suit, I only had one, and cannot find it even after organizing all my closet yesterday.  Jenn, I’ve got lots of clothes for you!  Are you able to walk today??

Hope you had a great weekend – make it a great day!

Breakfast/ Premier Protein

Premier Protein–Your New BFF for Weight Loss

Premier Protein my friends is 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


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

coffee protein pancakes

Coffee Protein Pancakes

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

Elvis Protein Pancakes

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 Premier Protein Pancakes

Print Recipe
Serves: 8 Cooking Time: 20 minutes


  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons powdered peanut butter (PB2)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar*
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup Premier Protein vanilla protein powder
  • one 11 ounce Premier Protein bananas and cream shake



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 banana cream shake, and using a fork, mix just until combined. It's okay if its 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 measure cup to get 8 fluffy pancakes. Because these pancakes are so fluffy, after the first flip, place a lid on the pan so that they cook in the middle.


Premier Protein can be found in most stores, but I have found that the cheapest place is Sam's Club in the Chicagoland area. *On the WW Freestyle Program each pancake is 4 points using sugar, or 3 points if you substitute Splenda no calorie sweetener.

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:


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.



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.