Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Update and Twenty FOURTEEN is coming!

I've had a few bad months.   I know it all sounds like one giant excuse, but whatevs.  Don't really care what anybody else thinks.

My hot flashes were cured by the antidepressant the doctor prescribed me.   In the beginning I was flying high, like literally.  I didn't like it, but hubby talked me into sticking it out to see if it normalized in my system.  The high feeling left, but I was still pretty hyper, which was nothing to complain about, just a noticeable difference.

Suddenly, a couple of months in, I crashed.  Literally.  It was like I was just shy of a medicated coma.  I could literally sleep 12 hours a day after sleeping 6 hours through the night. 

Yes, my sleep had improved, as did my back, with no more rolling around, but I couldn't stay awake.

I thought I'd take a stab at halving the dose, but the same thing happened.  I would immediately begin yawning incessantly after about 20 minutes of taking it.  The up side to the half dose was that I slept less.  I tried moving the dosage to bedtime, but I was up all night.  I can't figure that one out.  It's twisted really.

I could be standing in the shower and get an uncontrollable urge to just close my eyes, and once I did so, it was scary, as I felt that I could literally crumple down into a ball of sleep right where I stood. 

Then I decided I'd skip a day, my thinking being that I'd only sleep every other day away. 

Then I spaced it out to every 3 days.  Then the severe hip pain kicked in.  I could hardly walk and I barely made it through Christmas shopping having to stop frequently and give up about an hour in. 

I looked it up and, holy cow!  The problems people have had coming off of this medication are literally frightening, and it includes severe hip pain and weight gain.  I've gained 10 pounds from all the sleeping. Forget about eating altogether.  I drank a lot of sugary caffeinated drinks to try to combat the drowsiness, but nothing worked. 

I didn't realize the half-life of this stuff was so short, so I was essentially weaning myself off of it by playing with the dosage and spacing it out.  Every 3 days I reintroduced it to my brain and my brain didn't like it when it wore off.  I'm thankful I didn't have the electrical brain zaps and symptoms of stroke that others spoke of, but I'm done with this mess. It's not worth it.

I've been completely off for a week and the hip pain is completely gone.  I'm starting to have the Flashes again and difficulty sleeping, but what would you choose?  Medicated coma/narcolepsy, or severe hot flashes?  Pick one! Sigh.

It's winter, so the Flashes aren't as bad.  <Knocking on wood!>

The New Year is approaching, and I'm trying to remain optimistic despite my setbacks.  I don't really like resolutions because I obviously made becoming Flabuless a goal prior, but January 1st is a great start-over date regardless, dontchya think?

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Okay, so the F word for the past few weeks is FUHGEDDABOUTIT! As in, get it over with and then fuhgeddaboutit!

I've been so busy that I just can't find the time to think about tending to myself.  It doesn't help that I hit that point where cooking came to a standstill.  Have you ever hit that place where suddenly you just can't figure out what to cook next when dealing with one who doesn't eat chicken, one who doesn't eat beef, and three out of five who whine at the mere sight of a veggie?  I do.

If I had to estimate how often that hits, I'd have to guesstimate that it's maybe every 4 months or so.  It can last one week, or around three.  Probably weird to some, but it is what it is.  Hitting this wall was probably triggered by so much baking.

I spent a great deal of time the last few weeks trying to perfect a royal icing recipe to try out on the designer-style cookies I've been complimented on in the past.  This, in itself, is NOT a good thing when trying to eat right.  It involves a lot of taste testing. Taste it with/without this ingredient or that ingredient, taste it again a few hours in after applying to cookies, and taste it again the next day and the next to see how it's holding up.  The good news is that I finally feel I perfected my recipe and I will henceforth be able to make these cookies as they are ordered without having to taste them!  In the past, when making for special occasions and loved ones, I used a raw egg white in my icing, but to sell, you can't use raw egg whites.  Turns out meringue powder doesn't taste well to me, so off I went trying to find a new way to make a good-tasting icing for sugar cookies, and one that was neither too hard or too soft.  This may explain why you can't find any available for sale that actually taste good.

This is my first crack at a Halloween collection, and it's not as good as they could have been because they aren't very 3-Dish, which is how I like them, but my frosting wasn't drying very well on these, and to layer them into 3-D requires layering the frosting. I therefore just made the best of it for this batch. 

Here is the bouquet I made for my son to present to the girl he wished to take to the school formal, which is a masquerade.  She accepted his invitation.  You can see the layering on these.

And here is one of the 26 Slenderman cookies I made for my other son's school birthday treat, which took literally ALL day long to do.  These required the layering, but also spanning out each addition for a space of time to prevent the icing from running together, i.e. to delineate better.

These aren't even ALL of the cookies I made over the past few weeks, but you probably get it at this point, especially if I share that I had 14 different colors of icing made and ready to go for them all and my entire kitchen was covered in all of the supplies--every single surface. 

Some people will look at this as an EXCUSE.  I do NOT.  I look at it as a REASON why I'm fat.  You see, I had so many hours a day to try this out, and I did it from the moment my kids went off to school to the moment they came home.  I didn't even stop to eat a single bite for myself.  If it were an excuse, I'd probably have eaten whatever I could get my hands on, but I have a goal-oriented mind.  Unfortunately, some goals prohibit the accomplishment of others.  I could have decided to try to perfect my recipe one day a week for the next few weeks, but that would have only dragged out the reason why I would have been unsuccessful for as long as that lasted.  I preferred to buckle down and get it over with. Moving on!

So now that this is out of the way and the fridge is stocked, it's back to meal planning.  Wish me luck!

If you have a personality like mine, I highly recommend sticking to something and getting it straight out of the way and not dwelling on the minor set back.  You have to pick and choose how to make it all work together.  Some women like to say they can do it all, but something, somewhere along the line suffers.  Some let the house suffer, some the homemade dinners, and people like me, ourselves.  No judgment here.  We are who we are. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


I got sick.  Some sort of upper respiratory deal that started in my head and is ending in my chest.  It was the deepest, strongest cough I've ever had.  Doctor said it can last sometimes for 6 weeks.  I'm at the tail end of it now. 

The "deep" adjective I chose is the best I can describe it because the lung junk wasn't moving, but my body was digging deep down to try to force it to, and so much so that it would trigger my gag reflex causing me to vomit if anything "light" or too much water was in my tummy.  Therefore, I ate once a day and cut back on my water, but I chose heavy, not-so-great things to eat and pop to get rid of the icky taste in my mouth. 

I haven't been on the scale since the last weigh in but am starting to get back on the right eating track.  Oatmeal for breakfast today! I'll check back in on Monday for my regularly scheduled weigh in.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Weekly Weigh In - Week 3

I didn't lose and I didn't gain.  I maintained, which is a plus.  I've been sick for 4 days now and haven't felt like eating or preparing food in any way, shape, or form.  It is what it is right now. 

I've taken in a lot of orange juice, which happens to be Freakin' delicious for some reason right now, but overall, not enough intake I guess to promote a loss.

My poor husband's birthday was this weekend.  I tried to make him his favorite pie, pumpkin pie, instead of cake and ice cream.  As I was putting the overly full pie shells into the oven, ever so gingerly, trying to balance them, I burned my finger and spilled quite a bit all over the inside of the oven and door in that painful, jerk-your-hand-away-from-heat moment where it registers in your brain you just burned yourself.  Then, as I was trying to remove the pies, the top rack hit the bottom pie and mangled it pretty good, which just topped off the overly darkened edges due to the spill.

He knew something was up and appreciated my mangled attempts when the detail-oriented me left the plastic on the sweet husband card I picked out that clearly said "Remove Plastic", but especially so now that he's getting it. lol

Has anybody else ever been successful at losing weight, any weight, if even a single pound, during illness and how? I'm just not going to worry about it right now but am curious. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Lost Day #1

F Words:  Frizz,  Foils, Forfeit, and Four

Well, today was a bad day.  I didn't go crazy, and I may even be under my points range, but I know when this happens, the weight doesn't budge.

I had a hair appointment today.  For a lot of people this is no big deal, but alas I'm different. 

I woke and had my 2-point oatmeal.  I laid out some meat on the counter for my lunch later in the day.  My appointment was at 1 p.m.  I PLANNED to eat at noon, but then I got to messing with my hair while getting ready. 

I hadn't realized how long my curly, curly hair had gotten until I was trying to drag the brush through it to blow it out.  I had been wearing it up all summer long. 

I was sweating like crazy with the heat focused on my head (menopause).  I don't dare use a blow dryer like that in summer month's.  I grabbed the rotating blow-drying brush and hit it with the additional blow dryer to speed things up, but my hair kept getting tangled, and I had to keep taking breaks with even more heat added.  Then it started thunder storming.  Sigh.  What happens to my hair with moisture in the air, even a single drop of rain? Fah-rizz! It quickly turned into a wrestling match I never win.  I should have just Forfeited and ran it up into a pony or a clip, but I kept trying. 

You see, when you pay as much as I do to have your hair Foil highlighted with two colors, it's best to go in with straightened hair.  Otherwise, the beautician can't get very close to my scalp.  I don't like to walk out of there with a few weeks of root growth showing for that price, so to help her out, I try to smooth my hair and get it untangled.

We both had a good laugh, as it was a bit Frizzy when I left the house, but 20 minutes later at her salon, I looked like I had stuck my Finger in a light socket.

Anyway, I didn't get to eat my lunch before I left.   When I got home 3 hours later, I took a nap on the couch having only gotten 2 hours of sleep last night (just couldn't sleep). 

My husband made some oven-baked thin pizzas.  I had 4 whole pieces.  I had 27 points left for the whole day, and here we were at dinner!  I could have eaten what I had planned to for lunch, but to cook and still not hit my points?  I Figured I might as well just enjoy the pizza.  If I remember correctly, each piece was around 3 points, so I still didn't hit my points for the day, and I would not have even if each was worth 5 points.  Didn't get in my water either.

Oh well.  Tomorrow is another day with no appointments for anybody.  One lost day doesn't mean throw in the towel for another and another.  It means it's simply a single lost day!

Do you use your lost day as a reason to lose a few more or do you rectify it immediately?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Gyro Sandwich on a Diet!? Yaaaaaaaaasssssssss!

I love me a gyro sandwich.  Until I tried NutriSystem, I thought that it was something I should avoid.

On NutriSystem, thanks to the NS community, I found a recipe on their site on how to turn the rehydrated beef patty into a mock gyro.  I really liked it, and that was my go-to idea for the beef patties, but it was time consuming to make the mock-Tzatziki sauce.

Fast forward to now.....I went to my local Gordon's Food Service and found they had a bulk package of gyro meet.  I could see that the serving size was 4 slices and figured it may work.  I bought it, figured out my points (only 5 points for 4 slices) and prepackaged it in serving sizes to freeze.  Grab & go is what I need to be successful.  The NutriSystem flame-broiled beef patty was 2 points, so this is only 3 points more for me.

Just like with NutriSystem, I put it into a whole wheat pita bread half and stuffed it full of lettuce, onions, and tomato for 1 point.  Instead of making the Tzatziki sauce myself, I had come across a Tzatziki spread at my grocery store.  I bought that and figured out my points....only 1 point per tablespoon!

All of the items in the picture below are only 3 points for me (2 for 2 tablespoons for Tzatziki sauce and 1 for the pita bread). 

Here is my gyro lunch for only 8 points

Does this help you have a gyro too?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Weekly Weigh In - Week 2

Two pounds down this week.  Not as good as last week, but it's a loss.  The weight usually falls off quicker in the first few weeks.  It's kind of like that old saying "The bigger you are, the harder you fall."  Well, the bigger you are, the more weight you lose at a faster rate. 

Never be disappointed about a loss.  Do yourself a favor and find something of equal weight to your loss and hold it in your hand, then if possible find more things that add up to your total loss if you're feeling discouraged.  It's amazing how big it looks when it's sitting in your hand and envision it falling off of a single part of your body. ;)  It's how I encourage myself.

My challenges this week were dinners with the family and trying to eat without journaling.  I tried the MyFitnessPal.com site, but I found it too time consuming to create meals.  It's quicker for me to just journal on paper.   I slept in a few days and that messed up how much time was left in the day to eat all my required food.  A couple of days I didn't meet my allotted points.

One thing I considered a huge victory this week was having delicious and huge frosted cinnamon rolls in the house.  I'll admit to licking the frosting off the knife after I cut them up, but I'm proud to share that I didn't eat a single bite of those delicious thangs!

What do you do to keep yourself encouraged?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Fierce Friday - Have you Forgotten How to be Fierce?

F Words:  Femininity, Forgotten, Family, Fierce, Friday, Fun, and First

Admit it! You forgot how to be Feminine and Fierce!  Whether it was due to sacrificing hip clothes for yourself so your Family could have or giving up your manicures/pedicures/nice nails, hair and makeup, you need to get your groove back NOW!  Put yourself First for a change!

A misconception by outsiders looking in is that we've let ourselves go.  We have, but not in the way they are thinking.  We didn't just sit down and get Fat and lazy.  We sacrificed so much of ourselves for others -- TOO much in most cases.

It's time to remind yourself who you are.  Each Friday, when the wear and tear of the week is over, we need to do something nice for ourselves.  Put on your makeup and do  your hair, even if you have nowhere to go!  We need to remind ourselves we are Feminine women and men need to find their inner Fierceness too!

T-shirts and sweat pants won't do the trick, but since that's all I wear in my current state, I'm starting small.  I refuse to buy clothes that I don't plan to be wearing long, simple as that.  But a Feminine set of jammies might be nice.  No reason we can't Feel like a rock star when turning in for the night.  It's on my to do list. ;)

For today's Fierce Friday, I have chosen a self-pedi.  You'd be amazed at all the nail art videos you can find on You Tube.  My daughter and I have had some nail Fun.

The nails don't make me feel Fierce per se, but I haven't painted my nails in a very long time. I like girly toes! These nails do make me Feel like my Feet are Fierce though.

What are some things you plan to do to find your Femininity again or to feel Fierce?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Water Wednesday Reminder!!!

Remember to drink an adequate amount of water each and every day.  There have been numerous studies all pointing to the fact that doing so helps people lose weight.

Inadequate water intake has always been my downfall.  I think I started to learn how to go without water when we moved into the boonies.  I just couldn't get past what I referred to as "Fart Water" (aka well water with a Funky smell and taste to a city girl).  In hindsight, I wondered how I survived at all, but my body must have been pulling any and all water out of anything I put into my body enough to keep me here.

Your liver metabolizes fat to convert it to stored energy, but when your kidneys are deprived of water, they don't function normally.  The liver then shifts its focus from its normal functions to picking up the slack for the kidneys, which lowers it's efficiency.  It can't metabolize fat as quickly or efficiently as it can when the kidneys are pulling their own weight in the grand scheme of things.  When you fail to take in an adequate amount of water, you are being unfair to your liver and also happen to be setting yourself up for fat storage.

Water also promotes beauty by flushing impurities out of your system.  Those impurities may have been stored in the fat in your body, as you have put your body into "survival mode."  Survival mode is when your body isn't getting enough of what it needs and it creates stores of it to see you through until it thinks you'll be getting it next.  It just so happens to take some junk with it into storage because that's all you gave it.  Water is said to also combat saggy skin to a degree by plumping up your skin cells.

Some also feel that water helps them feel fuller throughout the day.  (I don't notice this, but some do apparently.)  

Some studies suggest that drinking cold water may speed up your metabolism a spell by the energy needed for the body to bring it to body temperature.

Fab Grab Breakfast of Kashi Go Lean Crunch for 3 Points

Kashi GoLean Crunch cereal is the cereal that offers the biggest bang for it's buck!  Compared to the NutriSystem approximately 1/2 cup of cereal serving sizes, you can have an entire cupful of this for only 3 points, and if you have the points allowance, double it up and have two cupfuls for only 6 points (before milk choice)!

I didn't take a picture, but will the next time.  It completely fills up my large soup bowls at a double serving.

I also don't like milk, so I consume approximately 1/2 cup of almond milk when eating a double-serving of this cereal, for a grand total of 7 points! (Half serving is only 4 points for me).


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Tuesday Success Tip

For recipes that make large meals, preportion and freeze!  Grab and eat helps a ton, especially when the rest of the family is having a fast food night and you don't have enough points left to join in.

I divided up the leftover Family Friendly Weight Watcher Sloppy Joe filling over the summer.  Five out of five of us eat this one, and it makes a lot.

Here is the recipe and nutritional information so you can figure out your points as well:

1.5 lbs ground round
1 cup fresh onion
1/2 cup fresh green bell pepper
1 (8-oz.) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
1 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
1-1/2 Tbsp. low-salt Worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1-1/2 Tbsp. yellow mustard
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper
8 (1.5-oz) reduced-calorie whole-what hamburger buns

Coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium-high heat until hot. Add beef, onion, bell pepper and cook until beef is browned, stirring to crumble.  Drain in a colander & set aside.  Wipe drippings from skillet w/a paper towel.  Return beef mixture to skillet.  Stir in tomato sauce and next 7 ingredients; cook over medium heat 10 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring frequently.  Spoon beef mixture evenly between 8 buns.

Points: 5  Yields:  8 servings
272 cal, 22.1g protein, 6.7g fat, 30g carb, 2.9g fiber, 54mg chol, 3.2 mg iron, 673 mg sodium, 43mg calcium

Monday, September 9, 2013

Weekly Weigh In - Week 1

I'm down 4 pounds!

I probably could have done better because I still had a little pop over the weekend and my first week was a 6-day week from Tuesday to Sunday night since I weighed in Monday morning.  How'd you do?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Blueberry Mango Sundae Recipe

I made this Fruit topping mixture over the summer, and I had a lot left over, so I decided to portion it up individually and Freeze the portions in the Freezer using my Food Saver system after learning the points value was reasonable at only 4 points.

I just pull one out of the Freezer and defrost to later top a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt.  Sometimes I'll halve both the fruit topping mixture and the scoop of Frozen yogurt for half the points too.

Here is a picture of the whole Fresh Sundae with a 2-point 1/2-cup serving of low-Fat vanilla Frozen yogurt:

Below is a picture of the defrosted version in which the blueberries stain the mango giving it that reddish color, but the taste is still the same as Fresh and still delicious.

What you can't see in this photo is the yummy, sweet sauce that ran to the bottom, but you can see it in the photo of the Fresh Sundae above.

Here is a photo of the peel-removal in process and completed (the more lime peel you add, the stronger the lime flavor you will have):

The nutritional information noted below is information I had recorded from an old recipe I got from somewhere and put into my recipe book. The type of Frozen yogurt is unspecified, so I have separated the topping from the yogurt.  I used online sources to Figure nutritional information of approximate amounts of topping ingredients used in this recipe and come out a bit higher in points, so I rounded up. I use a 2-point low-fat Frozen yogurt, which comes out to 2 points per 1/2 cup, so together, I come out to 5 points for this dessert.  If I halve the dessert, it comes out to 2.5 points for me.

Here is the recipe and nutritional information:

2 mangoes, pitted, peeled and diced (about 2-1/4 lbs.)
3 cups blueberries
2 limes
1/2 cup sugar
5 mint leaves
vanilla frozen yogurt

  1. In a large bowl combine mangoes and blueberries and set aside. 
  2. Remove peel from limes in strips (can use a vegetable peeler or cut strips) and set aside. 
  3. Juice the limes for 3 tablespoons juice and set aside. 
  4. In a small saucepan bring 1/2 cup water, lime peel, sugar, and mint to boiling over medium heat.
  5. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 3 minutes. Remove from heat. 
  6. Place the syrup in a small bowl and stir in lime juice. Let stand 15-20 minutes. Remove peel and mint and discard. 
  7. Drizzle syrup over fruit and toss to coat. 
  8. Scoop yogurt into dessert dishes.  Spoon fruit over yogurt. May top with mint for garnish. 

Fruit Topping Servings: 6
Fruit Topping Serving Size:  Approximately 1/2 cup (turns out to be just shy of 1/2 cup for me)
Fruit Topping Points per Serving: 3 points (rounded up)

Nutritional Information: 230 cals, 0g fat, 0g sat fat, 0mg chol, 70mg sod, 55g carb, 5g fib, 5g protein

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Nutty Balsamic Tuna Sandwich with Avocado

This is one of my favorite sandwiches.  Unfortunately, it is high in points, but that's a good thing when you have a ton of points minus the appetite.  I know, I know....there are people wondering why I'm fat if I have no appetite.  I drank too much pop.  That's where all of my calories came from most days.

With a 3-point breakfast, that leaves me 26 points for the day.  Since I usually aim to leave myself around 15 points for dinner (so I can eat what my family is eating if needed or to go out at the last minute), eating an 8-point sandwich is no big deal.  That leaves me with 18 points left for the remainder of the day.

Here's the recipe:

4 slices of pumpernickel or whole wheat bread
5-oz. can of tuna fish, drained
4 Tbsp. balsamic dressing (I use Marzetti's Simply Dressed Balsamic)
4 Tbsp. shredded carrot
1 green onion finely chopped
2 Tbsp. toasted sliced almonds (you can use walnuts too)
Avocado, cubed to mix in, or sliced to top mixture.

Mix the drained tuna, dressing, shredded carrots, green onion, and nuts in a mixing bowl. (you can chop up the avocado to mix in, but I like to slice for weighing out 1 ounce to top the mixture.)  Lightly toast your bread, use one-half of the mixture in each of 2 sandwiches, and top with sliced avocado if you didn't mix it right in. Voila. Sandwich is done. Delish.

I don't have the nutritional information on this one, so you will need to figure that out for yourself.  For me, the 4 slices of pumpernickel is 8 points, the whole can of tuna fish is 2 points, the 4 tablespoons of dressing is 2 points, the shredded carrot is 0 to 0.5, green onion is zero, and 2 tablespoons of almonds is 0.5 to 1 point.  I rounded up for the almonds, so the grand total for two sandwiches is  14 points minus the avocado.  That makes each sandwich 7 points, and since I weigh out 1 ounce of sliced avocado to top the sandwich, my sandwich is 8 points.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Whuh!? Weigh Me Dammit!

Today's F Word:  Figures. 

Just kidding.

Today I went for a two-week follow-up appointment for the new medication they put me on for my hot Flashes.  They didn't even ask me to get on the scale!  I hate getting on the doctor's scale, but they usually always request that I weigh in.  I've lost some weight since I've seen them last so......  Not that big of a deal.....it....just....Figures. lol

Today was a good dieting day.  I had a turkey sausage patty and a banana bread mini muffin for breakfast at 2 points each, a mid-morning snack of 1/4 cup egg whites scrambled up with some baby spinach, mushrooms, and garlic powder for a whopping total of 1 point, a lunch of orzo salad with ham and peas for 4 points, a mid-afternoon snack of 12 wheat thins and 1 tablespoon of roasted pine nut hummus for 3 points, a dinner of 4 ounces of pork satay and a huge helping of my favorite salad (with bacon bits and regular dressing) for a total of 10 points, and an evening snack of the sweet snacking sandwich for 3 points.

I used to eat the 1/4 cup of scrambled egg and veggies for my protein serving when I was doing NutriSystem too.

Obviously, today was more of a smaller and more frequent meal type of day. Do you normally dread the doctor scales too?

What kind of dieting day did you have?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Dieting Tip - Grab-N-Go Preportioned Serving Sizes

I take my diet-friendly meals and divide them up into individual serving sizes so I can grab and go or grab and eat.  I do this whether I am counting out my Weight Watcher points or following more of a NutriSystem-style eating day.  It is a life saver for me!

I would love to hear some of your tips for success and life-saving measures!

Family Friendly Sweet Snacking Sandwich for 3 Weight Watchers Points

F Words: Family Friendly

Tonight I made a "Sweet Snacking Sandwich" that I got from an old Weight Watchers recipe book I bought.  Probably about 12 years ago or so.  The points came out to 3 points per serving for me, but I'll include the nutrition information so you can figure your points in the event you use the new plan.  

I like this for a more healthful snack for my kids.  Because they are not dieting, I embellished their servings just a tad with Nutella and a sprinkle of powdered sugar. 

Here is the kid's version:  

 ....and here is my diet-friendly version:

Recipe for the dieting version is as follows (easy peasy!):

1 banana
1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 oz. nonfat cream cheese
2 cinnamon-raisin English muffins, split and toasted
4 ripe strawberries, thinly sliced

(you can substitute peach, mango, pineapple, or kiwi for the strawberries or cinnamon-raisin bread-toasted-for the muffins)

  1. Combine 1/2 of the banana, the ricotta, and the cream cheese in a blender. Whirl just until smooth.  Thinly slice the remaining banana half. 
  2. Spread the banana mixture evenly over the toasted muffin halves.  Top with overlapping slices of the fruit. 

Per Serving (not including Nutella or powdered sugar)  (1 open sandwich=serving size): 142 cals, 2g total fat, 1g sat fat, 5mg chol, 187 mg sodium, 26g total carb, 2g fiber, 6g protein, 106 mg calcium.

Day 3 and Stuffed to the Gills


Today I am tracking my points.  For breakfast I had Quaker instant apples & cinnamon oatmeal.  For lunch I decided to use up some leftovers.  Probably not nutritiously balanced, but I'm so stuffed I doubt I'll be able to eat a good dinner. I still have 16 points left for the day.

I had 4 oz. of southwestern grilled tilapia (leftovers), just shy of 2/3 cup of lentil soup (leftovers), and ham and pea orzo salad (one of my favorites). The coolness of the salad was nice with the jalapeno heat on the fish.  The soup I thought would keep me fuller longer via it's protein punch.  I always get hungry sooner on fish alone.  I'm trying to use up the fresh ingredients I've harvested from my garden, so I'll probably soon be veggied out.

I could barely finish it all and am not used to eating breakfast and lunch yet.  I'm looking forward to getting down a points range so that I don't have so many points left over at the end of the day.

Were you a meal skipper too in your naughty past life? lol

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Official Start Day!

School started today, so I spent the half day alone getting my ducks in a row.  I'm recreating a journal-style notebook like I used to use when doing Weight Watchers.

Today I weighed in at 222 pounds.  I ended my dieting round last fall 14 pounds lighter.  I'm going to look at the positive and focus on the fact that I'm still 8 pounds lighter than when I started that adventure following no plan and drinking too much pop.  I weigh only 1/4 pound more than I did in May 2012 too.  No need to beat myself up now.

As you can see in my journal, I like to see what the calories and cholesterol contents are specifically.  It is no coincidence that when I'm on plan, that the calories and cholesterol totals are reasonable. It's kind of pointless to write them down, so I don't always, but when I do, it's actually more positive reinforcement that I'm getting healthier.  It also reminds me that this is not only about the number on the scale. Fit is the operative F word on this journey for me.

For breakfast, I had a banana bread mini muffin and some orange juice (Have never been a big breakfast girl).  For lunch, I had about 3/4 cup of Lentil soup and a lite string cheese stick with a bottle of water.  For a mid-afternoon snack I had a couple ounces of roasted chicken (after discovering the middle of my apple was somehow brown and squishy), and for dinner a turkey burger and salad.  I didn't track my points, but it's a good start.

I plan to weigh in weekly on Mondays to ensure I do so at the same time of day each week before school.  I will do so only with my hair dry and in a T-shirt. ;) 

What technique or system do you use to keep you on track?

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Well, well, well......It's Sabotage!

I woke this morning to find all my banana bread mini muffins gone.  The kids had some friends over.  They all woke before me, and BAM! Gone.

On one hand I have a helluva time finding things we all like that I can partake in while trying to shed the pounds, and on the other, when I do, keeping it handy for myself is a challenge.

Do you have this problem?

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Banana Bread Mini Muffins - 2 Weight Watchers Points Each

I just adapted an old Weight Watchers Banana Bread recipe into mini-muffins.  I always had the worst time trying to figure out how to cut the bread loaf into 24 equal servings.  This seems to do it.  Just a smidge over 2 tablespoons into each muffin tin (24) did the trick.

Here's one in my hand, and when I compare that to the NutriSystem Banana Nut Muffin here, it's just a bit smaller, but it's also a point less (on the old WW plan).  Mine tastes better though in my opinion and has no perservatives. ;)


2/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
1/2 c. fat-free buttermilk
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. toasted wheat germ
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray mini muffin cups with nonstick baking spray.  With a wooden spoon, beat the sugar and butter in a large bowl until creamy.  Add the eggs, bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla.  Beat until combined.

Combine the flour, wheat germ, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in another bowl.  Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and stir just until combined.

For mini-muffins:  Spoon the batter by about 2 Tbs. at a time into each muffin cup or fill an icing bag with batter and distribute evenly amongst the cups.  Makes 24 mini muffins.

For a loaf:  Spoon the batter into a loaf pan.  (To be cut into 24 slices)

Bake until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean...about 15-20 minutes for mini muffins (my oven is on the Fritz so start checking yours at around 15 minutes), and the loaf for about 45-55 minutes.

Cool the loaf in the pan on a rack and remove muffins to cool on the rack.

YIELD:  24 servings
SERVING SIZE: One loaf slice or 1 mini muffin
POINTS:  2 points

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:  104 Calories; 4 g Fat (2 g saturated); 25 mg Cholesterol; 123 mg Sodium; 16 g Carbohydrates; 1 g Fiber, 3 g Protein, 24 mg Calcium

Greek Yogurt w/Fruit on Bottom

I take plain nonfat yogurt and strain it through a coffee filter to make Greek yogurt.  I let it strain overnight.  When finished, I transfer it to a container and scoop out individual servings in about 3 Tbsp. servings.  I add fruit on the bottom, top with 1 Tbsp. of honey, and a pinch of toasted sliced almonds. Delish!

Here is what it looks like once strained, i.e. nice and firm.

I adapted this from a Weight Watcher recipe into single-serving sizes so as to not waste any.  Only 2 of the 5 of us will eat this.

In this situation, I put strawberries and blueberries on the bottom.

(Excuse the mess in the background, my son's bedroom furniture is still in our dining room. We should be finished with his room tonight)

On the old Weight Watchers plan, this works out to 3 points per serving.

Friday, August 30, 2013

I'm baaaack.

I disappeared for a while, seeing how nobody was viewing this blog anyway. First, I found out that we would need to pay more than I paid for the NutriSystem food each month in health insurance premiums (ironic considering I'm trying to get healthy isn't it?) (and thanks Obamacare). At that point, I was getting tired of eating the same foods over and over again anyway.

I got a little cocky thinking I could combine NutriSystem and my old Weight Watchers plans and do it all on my own with my own food, but I couldn't continue to pay the plan fees and the new insurance premiums together. My insurance does not cover weight loss program fees. I did what I had planned for quite a while.

I also then underwent a medical procedure last fall that put my menopausal symptoms into overdrive. I was hardly getting any sleep, so I stayed up all night until the point of exhaustion when I was sure I would toss and turn less and not spend much time flat on my back unconsciously trying to cool off, which all exacerbates my degenerative back condition, but it happened anyway. In March, my back went into spasm and I was diagnosed with a sprained back. I looked like hell.  I went from hearing "You are really losing weight!" to "You have some serious bags under your eyes!"

At this point, I entered into that self-defeating place where I feel like I can't win for losing, that the universe is lined up against me, like I'm just treading water trying to keep my head above the water. Then I started drinking pop again on the run with the kids. When I started drinking the pop, I started skipping the meals again.

I tried some herbal supplements and remedies to deal with the hot flashes, but for some reason, it magnified them tenfold in intensity and frequency. I was miserable. I couldn't even put on make up because I could melt it off in a sweaty Freakin' instant. It actually became embarrassing enough that I avoided going out at all, quit volunteering at my son's school, etc. I was constantly lobster red and shiny. When you're heavy, that just looks plain bad, like you're about to have a heart attack.

I finally got an appointment, after calling for one months ago, and started a new treatment. I was very skeptical, but it's working. I'm day five in. My back is still very sensitive to certain movements and activities, so I have to remain ever aware of what I do until it heals to stay out of spasms. I'm sleeping better, feel like I'm tossing and turning less, and am definitely having fewer Flashes (only two, what I call, warm Flashes).

After a summer spent updating the house from hardwood floor refinishing to painting every room and what feels like eons of bickering, bored children (we didn't do anything with them during all this refinishing business and figured they'd live), and with school just around the corner, I'm feeling hopeful again that I can reenter the meal-planning phase for myself. I can wait to re-enter the workout phase for the physician's okay, but there is no reason to waste anymore time getting back to the weight loss in the interim.

I have at this point regained most of the weight I had lost over the last 10 months, sadly. This means I'm starting over, almost completely.  Not quite, but close enough.  Here I go!