Category Archives: Beans

If you like Pina Coladas… and Getting Caught in the Rain…

Hi, y’all! You know that song, right? It seemed like a good title for this post. You will see why in a bit.

Well, I’m not doing very well with keeping up with my blogging lately. That’s for sure! Other things seem to be taking a bit of priority, but I’m hoping that everything will settle down soon, and I’ll get back in the kitchen. I haven’t been cooking much lately either, and I’m missing my kitchen therapy time! Cooking is so relaxing! I’m sure that many of you would agree. 🙂

I thought I’d do a quick “two fer” of a post– two days for the price of one post. I’m not going to post all of my eats from yesterday and today, but I am going to give you some highlights.

I’ve had the same breakfast the last two days:

Gritsy BranI love my “gritsy bran!!” I have really been enjoying it with some vanilla whey Jay Robb’s protein powder, agave nectar, almonds and a crisp pink lady apple on top. I mentioned this before, but I realized, during my cruise, that I really like crisp apple or pear on top of my bowl even more than when I cook the fruit in with the oats. It’s kind of like gritsy bran apple dip! Yum!!

Yesterday’s lunch and today’s lunch have a component in common: Refried beans. I opened the can the other night when I made a frittata to feed a craving for Mexican, and I’ve been enjoying the rest of the can over the last couple of days. Yesterday’s lunch:

Lunch #1I topped a bowl of beans with some feta and salsa, and had a quick salad made of cucumbers, tomatoes and fresh basil from the pot on my balcony. I topped it with salt, pepper and rice wine vinegar. Basically… I was out of lettuce, and needed some veggies in my lunch bag. This salad was quick, easy and fresh!

I also tried yet another Clif bar, my third this week, and the Chocolate Chip bar was yummy! You might recall that I tried the Carrot Cake bar a couple of days ago, and I had the Maple Nut bar on Tuesday. If this was a race, Carrot Cake would be winning. It is still my favorite so far. 

Today’s lunch:

Bean BowlI cooked  a big batch of brown rice this morning, and topped a serving with the leftover veggies from frittata night. I sauteed twice as many as I needed on Tuesday, thinking that I’d make another frittata. Instead, I made a bowl with brown rice, veggies, refried beans, feta and salsa. I added a dash of chipotle Tabasco too for a little more flavor. Yum!

Yesterday’s snacks included a bowl of Greek yogurt with berry jam and strawberries as well as a bowl of afternoon instant oatmeal. I think you know what they look like by now. 🙂 Today’s snacks, however, were a bit more interesting. I tried two new things, and I also had a smoothie in the mix. 

SmoothSmoothie: half a pack of chocolate Weight Watchers smoothie mix, 3/4 cup of milk, strawberries and two ice cubes. 

New thing #1:

MojoI liked this Clif Mojo Peanut Butter Pretzel bar! It was a little bit salty and a little bit sweet. The best part was the peanut butter chips! Chippy goodness aside, it also packed a nice amount of protein, and made for a satisfying snack.

New thing #2:

Pop Goes the ChipI’ve been trying new salty snacks lately, partly because I’ve been trying not to eat so many sugary snacks. I tried the barbecue flavor of Pop Chips the other night while I was watching my movie. Today, I decided to try the Parmesan Garlic flavor. My opinion? These were good, but the barbecue flavor was better. These had more garlic flavor and less parmesan taste than I was hoping for. They were good, but they probably won’t be my first choice the next time I’m at the store. I do think they make for an interesting photograph!

Now, hopping back to yesterday (I really hope I’m not making you dizzy going back and forth!), I had dinner at a new place and loved it!! I met up with my friends AW and JB to grab a bit of dinner before heading to a reception for alumni of our law school. AW suggested Sandella’s, which is a cool new flat bread place at 19th and I. She mentioned that they have their nutritional information on-line. Score! I checked it out, and it looked amazing! I decided to order the Brazilian Chicken Grilled Flatbread– grilled chicken and mozzarella on top of a Brazilian sauce. Now, I know where I’ll be going if I have a craving for pizza!

Sandella's LoveI had already eaten about 2/3 of my flatbread before I remembered to snap a photo. I was having too much fun talking to AW and JB. Oops!

I’m not a fan of really thick pizza crust, so a grilled flatbread is perfect for me. Yes, I eat my pizza for the toppings. I’ve been known to just pick the cheese and other yummies off the top and leave the bread alone. Do you like your pizza crust thick and doughy or thin and crispy? 

This flatbread was thin and chewy, and the Brazilian sauce was sweet and spicy. The cheese was perfectly melted, and the chicken was nice and tender. For 459 calories, it might be a little heftier than a dinner at home, but it is certainly a better choice than many other pizza options I could choose. Plus, I got to eat the whole thing! JB got the Aloha flatbread, and when I saw the pineapple, I knew what I’d be having on my next visit. I kind of wanted to steal his, but I restrained myself. 🙂

After dinner, we started walking to the reception and got caught in a major rainstorm. AW and JB were both in suits and serious lawyer shoes, and I was wearing a silk dress and sandals. Running clothes and rain panchos would have been preferable. We found ourselves trying to huddle under a tree at one point, because we were in a park near the White House with no building for shelter, but this rain was no joke and no match for a tree. Just imagine a wall of wind and water. Umbrellas were no use, so we finally just made a run for it. Unfortunately, there was a fatality:

R.I.P.I borrowed this book from Inga’s mom and dad, and it is demolished! Ugh! Getting caught in the rain while trekking around the city is a definite hazard of city life. My work papers are all crinkly and weird too.

Getting caught in the rain was an unexpected twist to the day, which might be part of the reason it made me laugh. I’m not sure that my friends would agree, but it was actually… kind of… fun. I splashed in some puddles, and laughed and squealed as the water soaked me through. It isn’t every day that I show up to an event with the ability to wring water out of my hair, my sweater, my dress and my book. There were no pina coladas, but I had definitely earned a bit of wine. I don’t have any photos, so just imagine a plastic cup full of sauvignon blanc and you will have the picture. If you imagine me looking as if I’ve had a bucket of water poured over my head, you will have an even better idea of the scene. 🙂

Tonight’s dinner wasn’t followed by a frolic through the rain, although, it has been raining all day. I’m hoping that the rain will be over by the time my parents come to visit. Sometimes I really do like the rain, but sunshine is much better for playing tourist! I had a simple salad with grilled chicken and feta. I also whipped up a quick dressing with mustard, honey and lime juice. I got a veggie box last night so I have lettuce in the fridge again. 

SaladI had a little bowl of gelato for dessert after that. Then, I made the executive decision not to work out tonight. I made a deal with myself that I will go to the gym tomorrow night, and I’m sure I will unless last minute cleaning preempts it. Fridays are usually a night off, but it is always good to know that I have Friday in case I do need a back up day.  

I just didn’t feel like going tonight. That’s all I can say about it. My upper body, and especially my shoulders, are still quite sore from Tuesday night’s work out. I also feel sort of tired today. Going to the gym sounded like torture, and, uncharacteristically, I just didn’t go. I know I mentioned my bad workout on Tuesday night, and the fact that I don’t think I always allow time to recover properly between workouts. I’m hoping that I will feel awesome tomorrow, and I suspect I will have a better workout after another rest day anyway. 

So that’s about it for me. I’m tired and need to get to bed. I’m so glad that tomorrow is Friday! I hope to post regularly while my fam is visiting, but I guess we’ll see what happens. I can at least say with certainty that I’ll be able to spend some time in the kitchen. I’m looking forward to it!!

Here’s wishing you all a great Friday and an awesome weekend. Ciao for now, y’all!

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Filed under Beans, D.C., diet, Fitness, Food, Washington, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story

Introducing: “Gritsy Bran”

Hi, y’all! I hope this post finds everyone well. My work week is going much better after having wrapped up several things on Friday. I’m breathing a sigh of relief! My big news this week is that my parents are arriving on Saturday to spend a week hanging out at Chez Sweetie Pie. It’s always fun when they come to visit from Arkansas, and I’m looking forward to seeing them. I’m also looking forward to cooking all sorts of things. I love having people to feed! 🙂

Today, I’ve been busy feeding myself. I got creative this morning, and had an interesting mix in my breakfast bowl.

Gritsy BranI love grits, and I love oat bran. I decided to try the two together. They make an awesome couple! Who knew? I really like the taste and texture of “Gritsy Bran.” It’s unique, and half a serving of grits plus half a serving of oat bran made for a hefty and delicious bowl. I also added some Jay Robb’s protein powder, as usual, along with a bit of agave nectar. Then I topped it off with an apple and some chopped almonds. You can expect to see more “Gritsy Bran” in my breakfast bowls. I lurved it!

Lunch today looks much like yesterday’s lunch– complete with the picnic blanket. Yay!!

LunchI had a salad with light Italian dressing, and topped it with an Amy’s Texas Veggie Burger with melted cheddar. It was good yesterday, and it was good today!

I wanted to say a quick thanks to those of you who told me about the salad dressings you enjoy. I do love straight vinegar, and I often make my own concoctions involving mustard, vinegar, hummus, salsa, Greek yogurt, lemon juice and other things of that nature. I just think it might be fun, now that we are entering “salad season,” to buy one already made for me. I’m very much out of the loop, so it was great to hear about some of the products you enjoy. I plan to invest in some dressing on my next grocery shopping trip!!

The new item on today’s blanket is the Maple Nut Clif Bar. I loved the Carrot Cake Clif Bar I tried yesterday, and I was excited to try another flavor. I’d always avoided these because they are high in calories (and points), but they work well to round out a light lunch by serving as a protein packed “dessert.” I liked the Carrot Cake bar the best so far, but Maple Nut wasn’t too shabby!

I lunched with a couple of friends again today, and my friend, Miss C and I decided to take a quick stroll over to Tangy Sweet. I needed second dessert! I might be am totally hooked on Tangy Sweet! It’s close enough to the office to be dangerous! Today, I had a small chocolate fro yo topped with teddy grahams.

Still Tangy, Still SweetI counted the Teddy Grahams (16) so that I could figure out the calories when I got back to my computer. I might be a little nutty, but I like to know what I’m working with caloriewise so that I can adjust the rest of my eats if need be. It was good, but I actually think I like the chocolate fro yo better with strawberries. Good to know! 

Later in the afternoon, I felt a bit snackish so I  had a bowl of Blue Ridge Dairy Greek yogurt mixed with berry jam and strawberries from the farmer’s market.

Yo!!I didn’t snack much this afternoon since I had the bonus fro yo with lunch, but then, I wasn’t particularly hungry. Funny how that happens when I eat a bigger lunch! In addition to the Greek yogurt, I had the half serving of Snikiddy Pizza Puffs that I’d tossed in my lunch bag when it was close to time to head home.

Puffs!I’m loving this little snack for its crunch factor. Substance wise, of course, it’s kind of like eating air– tasty, tasty air! 

I was really craving Mexican this evening, so, while riding the metro home, I was thinking about what I had on hand that I could turn into a Mexican-esque dinner. I liked my final creation, and it was nice to use what I had on hand. Check it out!

Tex Mex FrittataIt looks a little weird, but it tasted awesome! I seasoned half a chopped onion, half a chopped red bell pepper and some spinach with a bit of Adobo and gave it a quick saute in a bit of cooking spray. When the veggies were soft, I poured 1/2 cup of egg beaters over the top of the veggies and let the mix cook in the skillet until the egg was nearly set up. Then, I put 1/2 cup of fat free green chili refried beans on the top, sprinkled an ounce of feta on the beans, and put it under the broiler just to finish setting up the eggs and to brown the cheese a bit. After it was done, I added some salsa and chowed down.

I had tortillas in the fridge, and I considered making bean tacos. I decided that I wanted more protein, and the tortillas got replaced by egg beaters. Eggs/egg beaters really are a “go to” food for me when I want more protein on the menu. I’m constantly amazed at how versatile they are.  This frittata was filling, had the flavors I wanted and really hit the spot! 

I followed it up with a bit of Dark Chocolate Dreams PB on Multi-grain bread.

Bread and ChocolateYou can’t go wrong with bread and chocolate, and when you add a PB twist… yum.

After my little dessert, I went to class with my trainer. Tonight’s workout was AWFUL! 😦 I’m not sure what the problem was, but I suspect I should have rested last night instead of doing cardio.

I struggled through the ab workout, and had to do easier versions of some moves that are usually not a problem. When it came to lifting, I reached failure sooner than usual, and I had to use some lighter weights. It was frustrating! I felt so weak and wimpy. Ugh! These sorts of workouts happen on occasion, and I just hope the next class will be better! 

I usually rest on Mondays and Fridays, but my workout schedule has been sort of screwy lately. After vacation, I returned to find that my trainer was in the midst of a project that has caused several cancellations. Glitches in her schedule are the reason I haven’t been back to kickboxing. In addition, I have a reception to attend tomorrow night, so I decided to trade my Monday night off for a Wednesday night off this week. That means that I didn’t take a rest day between my Sunday and Tuesday strength training workouts. I’m really looking forward to getting things back to normal. I think it makes a big difference!

I liked reading your comments about how you incorporate strength training into your lives, and now I’m wondering how you incorporate rest and recovery. How many workout days do you shoot for each week? Do you place great importance on recovery time? Can you tell when you haven’t recovered properly? 

After my disaster of a work out (I still burned 500 calories, but I struggled through every one!!), I had the interesting sensation of knowing exactly what I wanted for dessert. The bread and chocolate, well, that was a teaser! 😉 It is rare that I crave something specific, and even weirder when it is some sort of junk food. It seemed like I should honor my craving.

I’ve never mentioned this before, but there is a convenience store located in my building. That means that I can hop in the elevator and grab any old junk food I might be craving with very little effort. The store actually has some pretty gourmet choices too, and it’s great if I’m out of milk or looking for an emergency jar of salsa. It’s also perfect if I happen to have a specific craving for….

Oreos…. Oreos! I’m not sure why these were on my mind, but there was a mention of them in the book I’m currently reading, Underworld. Did that cause it? I don’t know. What I do know is that I really wanted Oreos, and I took advantage of the store downstairs by going down and snagging a single serving package. I enjoyed every bite! Although, I’m glad I opted for the single serving pack. I could have schnarfed tons of these little junk food gems. Instead, I savored my little packet. I wish it was always so easy to know exactly what will hit the spot, and I’m going to try to do a better job of responding when the answer is clear. 

With that, I’m going to bid you a goodnight. I need to empty the dishwasher, program the coffee maker, and put a load of clothes in the dryer. Fun fun fun!!! I also need to make sure I have a nice big bowl ready for some “Gritsy Bran” in the morning!

I hope you have a great humpday! Ciao for now, y’all. 🙂

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Filed under Beans, D.C., diet, Fitness, Frozen Yogurt, Greek Yogurt, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story

Packed (almost…) and Ready to Go!

Happy Mother’s day to you (if you are a mother), and if not, well, happy Sunday! I thought I’d leave you with a quick post before I head off on vacation. I’m not planning to post while I’m cruising in Alaska, but I will be taking tons of photos. I can’t wait to share them with you when I get back!

I’ve been busy trying to do some last minute shopping and packing over the last couple of days, and I haven’t had time to post up until now. Rather than try to catch you up on everything I’ve eaten, I thought I’d tell you about the yummy things I had on Friday. Everything else has basically been an adventure in refrigerator clean-out, and not that noteworthy.

On Friday, a friend of mine called before I left work, and we decided to hang out in the District for a bit before fleeing to our Virginia suburbs. We didn’t really have a plan, but I had just heard about a new fro-yo place that I wanted to try that was close by, so I proposed that we check it out. I loved the sign on the sidewalk outside of  Tangysweet:

I Saw the Sign“The bastion of zesty frozen delights”… Now, that’s high praise! I wasn’t sure what to expect from this fro-yo place, based on what I’d read about it on-line ahead of time. The website describes their fro-yo as being “tart.” I was intrigued! They have a number of permanent fro-yo options including vanilla, green tea and pomegranate, as well as a daily featured flavor. They also offer a wide array of toppings. There were lots of fresh fruits and berries, nuts and interesting cereal topping choices like Cap’n Crunch and Cocoa Puffs. I decided on the green tea fro-yo topped with some sliced almonds:

Fro-YoThe nutritional information (according to the website) is pretty awesome! There are 90 calories and no fat in 1/2 a cup of the yogurt itself. I got the small size, and it was plenty! The coolest thing was the way my tastebuds reacted to this frozen treat. It did seem quite tart at first. I wasn’t sure if I liked it very much during the first few bites. Then, it started to taste really sweet to me as I continued eating it. It was very interesting the way it seemed to transform as I neared the bottom of the cup. I really enjoyed my treat, and I can definitely see myself becoming a regular at Tangysweet!

After that, we just started walking while trying to figure out what to do next. We ended up doing the most logical thing to do after having dessert: eat dinner. I had seen so much awesome food on various posts in honor of Cinco de Mayo, and I kind of wanted to make up for the fact that I hadn’t had as much as a tortilla chip to celebrate. Make up for it, I did.  We decided to go to Rosa Mexicano. Their food is always very fresh and interesting, and they make the best guacamole right at the table:

Holy FreshamoleyLook at the fresh cilantro! I had a pretty frozen pomegranate margarita on the side– talk about a treat… I never have these! I was already in vacation mode without even leaving town!

Pomegranate MargaritaFor my main course, I ordered the chicken tacos. They came with a tiny little bowl of  red bean chorizo chili, plenty of super spicy salsa, and a cooling little dish of fresh sweet corn in a cream sauce. 

Chicken TacosI ate some of the chicken in taco form, wrapped in little corn tortillas, and then I put my fork to good use and finished off the chicken, peppers and the lovely melted chihuahua cheese in the bottom of the little skillet. They also brought out some delicious black beans and rice for us to share, and I sampled those a bit too. Yum! I love beans!!

Beans 'n RiceI think it is worth mentioning that there were plenty of chips left in the basket at the end of the meal, as well as plenty of beans and rice. They were good, but I was stuffed! There was a time when that chip basket would have been reduced to crumbs whether I was full or not. I love tangible evidence of progress!

Even though I didn’t polish off the chips, I was so full that I didn’t feel well. I started having premonitions about my upcoming cruise. Of course, I believe that vacation is supposed to be fun, and food is one of the parts I enjoy the most. I often enjoy it so much that I don’t feel well afterwards– which is not fun. As with my daily eating, I need to find a better balance between eating what I really want and not overdoing it. I had planned to stay on track (also known as weighing and counting each morsel I ate) until I left for my trip on Monday morning, but the spirit of vacation crept in a bit early with this Friday night fiesta. 

I often think of that sick feeling I get from overeating as “FAT,” which is my acronym for “Food Aversion Therapy.” Just so you know, I deal with lots of acronyms in my job and I love making them up for all sorts of non-job-related things too. Another favorite I have is “PITA,” which stands for “Pain in the Arse.” Anyway, there are days when I want to whine like a moody child that it’s not faaaaiiiirrr that I can’t eat whatever I want all the time and maintain my weight. What usually happens is that, after a week or so of eating whatever I want, I’m more than happy to come home and eat my usual healthy fare thanks to a bit of “FAT.” I know that I feel much better when I’m making healthier choices, and that overstuffed feeling tends to drive that point home.

While it is likely that I will experience some “FAT” over the next week, here on the eve of vacation, I’m setting a few modest goals for myself. I won’t apologize for the fact that I plan to indulge while on vacation. I could choose to only eat healthy things, but that wouldn’t be nearly as much fun. 😉 Even so, I know myself well enough to know that I will still experience a bit of guilt and remorse when I experience “tight pants” syndrome on the way home. I know the negative consequences, but that doesn’t mean that I will do my best to avoid them. I wish that I could banish all food related guilt with a snap of my fingers, but I know that, for me, it isn’t that easy. What I can do is try to come up with a few positive things I can do while on vacation!

  1. Make sure to drink the usual 100 ounces of water a day. There are so many reasons to do this. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you. Plus, I like water and it keeps me from drinking calories, which I prefer not to do. I’d rather eat them in most cases.
  2. Visit the gym each day. I don’t expect to work out at the same level that I do when I’m at home, but I know that if I stay active, it will help a bit. It’s also hard to munch on baked Alaska while running. 🙂 My friend and I walked to a distant metro station after the Mexican feast, and I felt a bit better knowing that I had done something besides just collapse into a stuffed lump of lead. Exercise is always good for my mental health as well as my physical health. I’ve also booked a couple of excursions that are pretty active, as a way to make sure to work in some exercise, and I’m really looking forward to those.
  3. Try to eat as much fresh stuff as possible. I have no idea what to expect as far as food choices go, except to expect that there will be a lot of them. Hearing the phrase “floating buffet” applied to cruising has left me with mixed feelings. On the one hand, that means that there will be tasty food available 24/7, which means constant temptation. On the other hand, that probably means that I will have enough options to mix some healthier choices in with some unhealthier choices. I figure the easiest way to do that is just to make sure to focus on getting plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables into each day along with whatever else I might decide to eat. 
  4. Remember that tasting is fine and that cleaning the plate is not necessary. Variety can get me into trouble because I like to taste everything. I just need to remember to try to share things with my cruising friends, and to ask myself whether I really want that next bite. I’m a bit of a grazer, which you might be able to tell by looking at my daily food posts, and I’d like to try to stick to little portions of things as much as possible. A bite is often enough for me!
  5. Don’t overdo it on things I could have any day. That theory helped me make a few good choices while I was in Williamsburg recently, and it just makes sense. Saving room for the really special things makes more sense than eating Dunkin Donuts or something else that I could have any old day.
  6. Be kind to myself. I can be very hard on myself when I know that I’m eating in a way that is contrary to the weight loss goals I’ve been so dedicated to for the past few years. I’m hoping that, by writing all of these thoughts down, I’ll make peace with it a bit. I know that the scale will gravitate upwards for a little while after I get home, but, past experience has told me that it will go back down once I get back on track. I shouldn’t be so hard on myself, and I should just enjoy my time with friends, new sites, and fun experiences. I know that a fear of gaining back 180 pounds is largely what drives my negative thoughts, but I’m also smart enough to know that a week of eating “off-track” isn’t going to result in a 180 pound gain. I just need to have a good perspective, a good attitude, and try to stick to a few of the goals I’ve set for myself. I know that focusing on the positive rather than the negative is usually a much better approach in any situation. 

Do you ever set goals like these for yourself when you go on vacation? 

With that, I will leave you with the extra little treat I had yesterday. Most of yesterday’s choices were of the healthy variety following the Friday “FAT,” but I did manage to sneak in a treat from the Farmer’s Market. There are always some vendors with lovely baked goods, but I typically don’t stop by their booths. In the spirit of vacation (and since I couldn’t buy produce that would go bad while I was gone), I bought this lovely, spicy, fruity and nutty Appalach Apple cookie from the folks at Quail Creek Farm:

Awesome Apple

I’m reminded of the words from the mirror on my car: “objects in mirror may be larger than they appear.” This cookie was big. I had some right away, and I saved the rest for after lunch. Yum!

As always, thanks for reading. I hope you don’t think I’m silly for worrying so much about my upcoming vacation eating. Eating “off plan” is a genuine source of anxiety for me and something that I’m gradually getting better at dealing with. My main goal, above all– the goal to top all goals–  is to have fun!! Striking a balance is my constant challenge, and I’m sure it always will be. Good thing I like a challenge!

I hope to post again on the 19th or the 20th, and I can’t wait to show you some of the sites (and tastes) that I encountered on my trip. I’ll also tell you how I did with my vacation goals and attitude. I hope you will have lots of fun while I’m away. I will miss you all!! 🙂

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Filed under Beans, D.C., diet, Farmer's Market, Fitness, Food, Frozen Yogurt, Uncategorized, Washington, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story

Checking in On My “Pointless” Month and “The Microwave Scrambler”

Happy Friday and happy weekend to you all!! It is officially one month since I stopped counting Weight Watchers points and started with my new approach. It has been a good month, and I’m still very happy with my decision. I promised a weigh-in post today, and I’m happy to deliver.

Before I get into all of that, I thought I’d tell you about my lunch today. I made a batch of black bean taco filling a couple of nights ago, and immediately started thinking of other uses for the beans. The tortillas I use have to be heated in a skillet in order to be good, so an actual taco wasn’t really a lunchtime option. I’d considered the omelette possibility, but I couldn’t really whip up an omelette at work either. I could, however, do the next best thing and make a scramble! At least, I thought I could. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but here’s what I did:

I put my black bean filling and my cheese in a little container, and put 1/2 cup of egg beaters with some salsa in a bigger container. I didn’t think it would be smart to mix them this morning because I was afraid that the beans might soak up the eggs while sitting in the fridge.

Little Bowl

 

Big BowlWhen lunchtime rolled around, I set the cheese aside and heated up the beans. Then, I mixed the beans into the egg beaters and put it in the micro for 30 seconds.

All Together Now

I took it out, stirred it, and zapped it for 30 seconds more. I repeated the process, and, after thirty more seconds, I had a perfectly respectable microwave scrambler in my bowl!

The ScramblerSince I try to focus on getting plenty of protein in my diet, I often favor eggs over bread when it comes to choosing a food “holder.” I think it was just a matter of time before I figured out how to put this to play at work. The experiment was a success, and I have a whole new option for a quick and easy lunch made with leftover veggies and meats! Hooray for the “microwave scrambler!!”

Shifting gears now, if you are a regular reader you may recall that I decided to stop counting points and worrying so much about weekly weigh-ins because it was becoming counterproductive, and I was feeling like I was in a major rut. You can find the post about my decision to switch here. Almost immediately, I decided to start counting calories because I found that I wasn’t comfortable without some sort of framework. I felt bad about it at first, but now I’ve realized that it is a step in the right direction.

I’ll say it again, Weight Watchers worked very well for me. If you are reading my blog and are currently following the Weight Watchers plan, please know that I don’t mean to be negative or discouraging about WW in any way. It is still in my list of options, and I will return to it in a heartbeat if I find that I’m unable to manage my weight with my new approach. I’d just been doing it for so long that I felt like I really needed a change. I stuck with it for the past four years because it DOES work. 

I discovered some things about the way I’d been eating when I made the switch to calories and went “pointless.” First, I realized that I might have been eating way too much fiber and not enough fat. Admittedly, if I’d been diligent about eating my daily requirement for oil under the WW plan, that might not have been a problem. I’m not sure, and I don’t love math enough to go back and figure it out. What I do know is that I’ve found some higher fat foods to be much more satisfying than what I was eating before, and I’ve felt more satisfied with my food choices over the last month than I have in a long time.

I also realized that I might have been too good at gaming the system. I might have been eating too many zero point foods of the healthy variety, since I knew my zero point options like the back of my hand, and I’ve learned that even my spinach has some calories in it. Well, I knew that, but now I understand it much better! A calorie is a calorie. Period. There’s no formula to apply. There’s something comforting about that to me. 

WW taught me well that eating a bunch of empty calorie foods, although staying within my points, would not necessarily fill me up. That’s a lesson that has carried over, and many of my meals look just the same as they did while I was counting points. One thousand calories worth of chocolate would never keep me full like one thousand calories made up of oat bran, omelettes, fruits and veggies. I think that keeping that in mind when making day to day food choices is key.

When I decided to go “pointless,” I was also struggling with the fact that my weight had stayed the same for the last few months. When I weighed in on March 20th, I was at 159.8. After a week of going “pointless” I dropped down to 153.8. I was so surprised! I think that there is much to be said for shaking things up. Today, the scale said 158.8. So, am I saying that I lost a pound this month? No. I’m getting better at looking at my weight over the course of time and not pinning all of my hopes on one snapshot weigh-in day a week. My weight had stayed around 155-157 for most of the month, but I don’t think that my weekend of eating Williamsburg’s best helped me out much for today’s weigh-in. The thing is, I’m not so freaked out about it anymore.

When I decided to make the switch, I also decided to make healthy choices and just see what happened rather than making myself miserable with the pressure to keep shedding pounds. This has done wonders for me, but I find that it is one of the things I struggle with the most. I’ve been so much more relaxed with my eating this month, and I’ve enjoyed so many things that I would have avoided before. I tend to fall back into the old patterns of worrying about staying on track in order to have a loss more often than I’d like, but I’ve gotten better about reminding myself that I don’t have to lose when I find myself in situations where I want to be less strict– like last weekend. The thing is, after a month of being more relaxed, I haven’t gained back 50 pounds. I’ve hovered around the same number and even lost a little. I needed to know that it was possible to achieve that, and I’m so very happy about it. 

My goals moving forward are to continue to stay around the weight I’m at now, or somewhere below. I really don’t want to gain anything back, but I’m ok with maintaining where I am. I also want to get better at paying attention to hunger signals. I feel like I’ve made some improvements in this area over the course of the month, but I have far to go. I would also like to focus even more on making healthy choices than on the scale number or the calories logged in my Sparkpeople calorie tracker. In other words, I’d like to keep working on eating more intuitively. 

This is an on-going process, and I know that I’ll always struggle with my weight. After this month, however, I’m even more convinced that the struggle is well worth it AND that I have the tools I need to be successful while enjoying my life. Isn’t that, after all, the best of both worlds?

As an example of the new approach in action, I will leave you with this:

LaLoo's LoveI attended a retirement ceremony this afternoon at work, and I decided that I really wanted a piece of the celebratory cake. I actually decided to have cake before I even went to the party so this wasn’t a case of seeing it and wanting it. I just wanted it. Period. I used to avoid the cake completely and munch on whatever fruits and veggies were available. That’s definitely a healthy strategy and one that I rely on often. Today, however, when I had my heart set on cake, it wouldn’t have been the best tactic for purposes of avoiding feelings of deprivation. I had my cake, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Yum! Cake with frosting is a major treat in my book! Striving for some balanced choices, I decided to finish off my LaLoo’s this evening without the usual side of chocolate cake from the freezer since I’d already had my cake today. I had a couple of reduced fat nilla wafers instead. I feel good knowing that I didn’t deprive myself of something I really wanted, and that I found a way to balance that out without guilt or deprivation. I’m figuring this thing out, one bowl at a time. 🙂 

This is post #99. I’m excited!! You’ll be hearing about my 100th post giveaway in my next post. If things go as planned…. that will be happening tomorrow! For now, thanks for reading, and I hope that my experience can be helpful to someone or, at the very least, kind of interesting. Writing it all out is definitely helpful for me. Thanks for reading it. Ciao for now, bloggie friends!

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Filed under Beans, Cake, cooking, diet, Fitness, Food, Vegetarian Recipes, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story, Weight Watchers

Ambrosiabix?

Have you noticed how most of my posts seem to start with breakfast cookies or bowls of oat bran? Well, hold on to your hat! I had a different kind of day today, and it started with breakfast.

I replenished my stock of Bruce’s sweet potato pancake mix at the Fresh Market on Sunday, and the bag has been tempting me all week. This morning, I decided it was time. I had a couple of pancakes topped with a PB2 and sugar free maple syrup mixture and another little drizzle of syrup. Yum! Peanut butter on pancakes rocks!! On the side, I had a quick scrambled egg beater and the rest of my berries. There is a lot of red on my plate, and I loved every bite!

Blue Plate Breakfast In addition to eating some different things today, I also had a new and different gadget on my counter.

Magic in a BoxAfter reading about all of the green monster smoothies on various blogs, and after hearing people talk about their magic bullets, I checked the magic bullet out on line. An “As Seen On TV” product in my kitchen seemed like an unlikely addition, but it seems that they have taken care of a few of the things I really hate about making smoothies in the blender. 1.) I hate trying to get the last bits out of the bottom of the blender and into my glass. 2.) I hate that I only have one blender container that is often much larger than the smoothie. 3.) I hate how annoying it is to clean all of the blender’s various parts. Since you blend the smoothie in the glass you drink it out of, and since there are a bunch of different sized glasses in the box, it seemed like the perfect thing to me. I got it out of the box today, and I made this:

Green Monster... RAWR!My first green smoothie!! I mixed up 1/2 cup of skim milk, 1/2 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond breeze, 50 grams of spinach, an ice cube and a packet of weight watchers chocolate smoothie mix. I bought a ton of ww smoothie mixes on-line, and I need to use them up and make more room in the pantry for Jay Robb! 🙂 Could I taste the spinach? Not at all. Amazing! The magic bullet worked like a charm, and the smoothie was really yummy. I’ll definitely be making more of these!! I’m just sad that my box didn’t include a dvd of the infomercial. It provided me with several minutes of quality entertainment when I watched it on-line! Hee hee. 

When lunchtime rolled around, I only had one thing on my mind: melted cheese. Instead of having my usual naan pizza, I decided to see if I could make a good pizza using an Arnold’s sandwich thin, Trader Joe’s bruschetta sauce, and some of my smoked mozzarella.

Lunchy LunchThe cheese was good (duh!), but the sandwich thin got soggy. 😦 The naan definitely makes a better crust, although it is also 80 more calories than the sandwich thin. I guess that’s what they call a trade-off. Even so, my hankering for a melty hunk of cheese was satisfied, and I had a bowl of Campbell’s Select Harvest Light Italian Style Vegetable Soup to go with it. When I want something filling, the answer is often soup!

What comes after lunch? Well, lunch dessert, of course! The Easter bunny AKA my friend, Cherie, tucked a very interesting bar of chocolate into the thoughtful Easter basket she gave me when I spent Easter at her home, and I was so excited to try it! 

Coconut Curry ConcoctionI generally think it’s hard to go wrong with Theo’s chocolate products, and I rarely meet a coconut product that I don’t like.  I LOVE coconut, and I love curry, but how would I like them together… and in chocolate…? I liked them. I liked them a lot. In fact, I’d say this was a pretty amazing bar! The bar has nice coconut bits throughout, and you can definitely taste the curry. Add chocolate to that combo, and wow. Thanks Easter bunny!! There are also some bits and pieces of vanilla wafer on the plate along with a little dark chocolate dreams PB. This was a tasty little plate for sure!

After I cleaned out the rest of the crumbs from the vanilla wafer jar, I needed to refill it. Sweetie Pie, you have a vanilla wafer jar? Well, sort of.

Papaw's Vanilla Wafer JarThis jar used to live in the kitchen at my grandparents’ house, and it has held many tasty things during its life. Sometimes it had homemade cookies in it, but often it was full of humble vanilla wafers. My papaw loved them, and he’d nibble on them when he just needed a bite of something sweet. I just think the jar looks “right” with vanilla wafers in it, and I’m happy to have it sitting on my cabinet at the ready if my sweet tooth starts to holler!

Here’s where my snacks take a turn that I thought was kind of funny. My fruit bowl has been emptied out this week, and I’m hoping to fill it up with things from Saturday’s farmer’s market. In the meantime, I decided to see what kind of fruit was in the pantry. I had a can of mandarin oranges in light syrup, and I decided to drain off the sticky syrup and mix the oranges into a bowl of Blue Ridge Dairy Greek yogurt.

Step OneMy plan was to mix up a big bowl, but not to eat it all at once. In fact, I planned to just have some on a Weetabix, which I did.

Ambrosiabix?While I was eating the Weetabix, I realized that this combination really reminded me of tasty ambrosia. Ambrosiabix?  The only thing missing was coconut. So…

Step TwoI had a little bowl about an hour later with some coconut on top. I was loving this combo!! When I got hungry again, the thought process went something like this:

“What do I want?”

“Hmm… there is about half a bowl of that ambrosia stuff left in the fridge.”

“But, you’ve already had that twice. Don’t you want something different?”

“If I add a couple of vanilla wafers, then it will be different.”

“Good point! You are so right! Let’s do it!”

Step ThreeYes, I do sometimes have conversations like that with myself. That’s normal, right? So, I ate the rest and ended with this:

Operation Empty The Bowl is CompleteI would really recommend this combination if you are looking for something light, bright and lovely. It was also a great way to make use of a pantry item. I love doing that! I have one more can of oranges that has been in my desk drawer at work for awhile now, and it will be on its way back home with me tomorrow so that I can make some more of my little ambrosia concoction! Maybe I won’t kid myself next time, and I’ll just sit down with the big bowl and a spoon. 

What’s your favorite thing to add to Greek yogurt? Apparently, mine is coconut and oranges. 🙂

There was nothing unusual about dinner. It was a rerun, but a delicious one! I had more of last night’s black bean tacos.

Din DinIf you happen to be on Weight Watchers and you’ve never tried Pepito’s corn tortillas, you might want to check them out. Two of them are only one point, and they are really good. My store keeps them in the refrigerator case. You can do so many things with them, and I almost always have some in the fridge.

I followed up my dinner with a piece of chocolate banana snack cake and some Strawberry Darling LaLoo’s goats milk ice cream. Yep, I had that for dessert last night too. It was awesome yesterday, it was awesome tonight, and I’m planning on finishing off the ice cream with another piece of cake tomorrow night. I’m sure it will be… awesome! I do love my cake and ice cream!! 🙂

Dessert!After dessert, I went to the gym to work out with my trainer and then to do some cardio. Tonight’s workout burned around 620 calories according to the heart rate monitor. We did some core exercises that we haven’t done in awhile, and I could really tell that my body had gotten out of the habit of doing them. I know that’s good, but it wasn’t the most pleasant thing. Ouch! I’ll be feeling it tomorrow for sure! After my workout, I tried my last new thing for the day. I had a cinnamon roll Larabar. This was one of those things that I always left on the shelf when I was counting points. I still think 200 calories is a little bit hefty for a bar, but I enjoyed it so I think it was well worth the “expense.”

LarabarOne more day of work to go and only a couple of more posts until I give you the scoop on my 100th post giveaway. Tomorrow, I’m planning to tell you how the scale has treated me with my switch from counting points to counting calories. I’m looking forward to all of it!

Now, as usual, I’m off to bed. Ciao for now, and I hope you have the best Friday ever!!

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Filed under Beans, Cake, Chocolate, diet, Fitness, Food, Greek Yogurt, Washington, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story

Wacky Taco Wednesday

Hi! Well, we are one day closer to the weekend, and I’m so ready. I had a great time in Williamsburg last weekend, but I still haven’t gotten caught up on my usual weekend tasks. I guess I get more done during my weekends than I realized!

It was raining when I got up this morning, and I was happy to have this sunshine on a plate in the fridge:

Brekkie

I had my usual breakfast cookie with a big pile of berries. On the side, I had coconut tea with a mix of sugar free chocolate and almond syrups, unsweetened vanilla almond breeze, and skim milk. The shiny bullet to the side is the thermos I took to work containing more of the same. I love getting to work in the morning with a big thermos of tea ready to hit my mug. I love anything with coconut, and this tea is one of my faves!

Remember the Green and Black’s bar I’ve been eating for weeks now? During the day, I reduced the last pieces to this:

All GoneNo worries! The Easter bunny gave me a tasty bar (involving coconut, no less), and it is next on the list of chocolatey treats. I can’t wait to try it tomorrow! 

The morning sped by, and it was lunchtime before I knew it. I finished off something else today: my succotash! It was good, but I’m glad to have it out of the fridge. I put the rest of the succotash and the leftover chicken from last night’s dinner in a little bowl with some Country Bob’s sauce this morning, so all I had to do was pop it in the micro for a little zap and then dump it into my big bowl with some spinach and some smoked mozzarella. Instant salad!

LunchI should have snapped a photo before I shook it all up because all of the good stuff is in the bottom of the bowl. It was yummy, and pretty filling too! After that, I tried a strawberry Chobani along with my usual side of Zoe’s granola:

Miss Zoe ChobaniJust to recap my Chobani experiences, I tried the peach and thought the goo was too sweet and goopy. I tried the honey, and I thought it was really good. I appreciated the fact that the honey was already mixed in, and there was no gloppy goo to stir in. The strawberry… well… I’m not a fan of the strawberry goo either. It wasn’t bad, but I think I’d prefer my strawberry Greek yogurt to be sweetened with some strawberry jam and fresh berries. There would be less goo and more flavor. Still, this will do in a pinch.

I wanted something else after this, but I couldn’t figure out what it was that I was craving. I hate when this happens. As I see it, there are several options. I could distract myself and hope that the craving would pass. I could eat a bunch of things hoping to land on the “right” food to feel satisfied, which is NOT a very good approach from a caloric standpoint. I could also eat something filling in the hopes that I will feel full enough to stop craving anything else. That’s what I decided to do today. I went searching through my desk drawer stash, and decided on a bowl of midday oatmeal with some peanut butter.

Midday OatmealI had a bowl of Quaker weight control banana bread oatmeal with Bee’s Knees peanut butter. I sometimes find that a bowl of oats like this will take care of a craving for baked goods, while providing a bit of extra positive nutrition. It definitely filled me up, but I figured out that chocolate was the thing I really wanted around the time I reached the bottom of the bowl. Luckily, I had a Hershey’s miniature Krackel in the desk drawer.

KrackeliciousDone. Whew! I was finally satisfied. Needless to say, I didn’t get hungry for quite some time. I also had a pretty busy afternoon, which kept me too occupied to snack. When I did decide to have a bite of something, I decided to go a little crazy with my usual peanut butter and vanilla wafer snacks.

Pruneston NapkintonMeet Mr. Pruneston Napkinton. I’ve been in a goofy mood all day. What can I say?! 🙂 I stuck a bite sized prune on the top of each little PB topped wafer, and it gave it a PB&J flavor. Yummy! They looked like eyeballs to me, so I decided to play with my food a little bit.  Getting creative with what’s in the desk drawer can be fun and tasty too. If you don’t keep a stash at work, I’d highly recommend it. It takes some of the pressure off when planning out snacks for the day if I know that there are plenty of healthy choices close at hand!

When I got home, I decided to whip up something new for dinner using pantry items as well as a couple of peppers and some cilantro I picked up at the Fresh Market on my way out of the ‘burg on Sunday with a different dish in mind. I also had some black beans, the chipotle cheddar I bought at the farmer’s market a couple of Saturdays ago and some Pepito’s corn tortillas in the fridge. This is so easy, it almost doesn’t merit writing out the recipe, but it was really good so I decided to just go ahead and tell you what was in it. It could obviously be varied in lots of ways, but this could be a quick and easy start for a worknight taco meal. 

Quick and Tasty

Worknight Black Bean Tacos

Ingredients:

1/2 tsp. olive oil

1 cup onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 cup any color bell pepper, chopped

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. chili powder

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

8 6″ corn tortillas

4 ounces grated sharp cheddar, chipotle cheddar or pepperjack cheese

salsa

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Saute the onion and garlic for three minutes. Add the bell pepper, cumin and chili powder and saute for three minutes more. Add the cilantro and the beans, and cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat, until beans are heated through.

Divide the bean mixture and cheese among the tortillas. Top with salsa and enjoy!

This makes 4 servings

TacoliciousThese were pleasantly spicy, and the creamy texture of the beans with the melty smoothness of the cheese made for a cozy and filling dish. All I can say is yum. I’m also happy because I have leftovers. 🙂 I’m already thinking that I’d like the bean mixture in an omelette or on a naan pizza if I get bored with the tacos. I love versatile things like this! The beans could be a side dish too, for that matter. 

So, of course, dessert came after dinner. YAY!! I had a piece of chocolate banana snack cake from the freezer alongside some LaLoo’s Strawberry Darling goat’s milk ice cream. The real cake and ice cream action made me one happy girl! 

BlissI just got back from the gym (617 calories burned this evening), and I had a camera shy Chex Turtle bar. I think I’m out of those now. They were really good. I might need more!! I may have another little nibble of something, but I’m basically done for the day. It’s time for me to make my evening tea and get myself to bed so that I’ll be nicely rested for Thursday. 

I really enjoyed my tacos this evening, and I realized that I’ve never made black bean tacos. There are so many taco varieties. What do you like in your taco??

Ciao for now, bloggies, and have a very happy Thursday! Only two more posts to go before post #100 and my giveaway announcement. I’m excited. I can’t wait!! See you all tomorrow!

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Filed under Beans, Cake, cooking, diet, Food, Greek Yogurt, Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegetarian Recipes, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story

Sweet Sufferin’ Soybean Succotash

Hi and I hope you’re having a great weekend! Mine got off to a very wet, damp and chilly start, but at least the bad weather didn’t keep me from visiting the farmer’s market. I asked one of the vendors whether we needed the rain, and I felt a bit better about my soggy shoes when he said “yes.” If it means great apples in the fall, I guess I can soak up some rain drops. 🙂 The market is really starting to come to life as winter loses its hold and spring takes over in full force. Just look at the flowers for sale today:

Bountiful BlossomsI was interested in finding some lettuce or other greens, and I stopped by the Endless Summer Harvest booth:

Gorgeous GreensThere were so many great choices, and I decided on a little bag of salad mix. I also restocked my Blue Ridge Farm Greek yogurt and smoked mozzarella, and got some chicken breasts from the EcoFriendly folks, a couple of sweet potatoes and a little bunch of arugula (that I had for dinner) from another farmer, some Chipotle Pepper Cheddar from a very nice man at Fields of Grace, and some pretty pink lady apples from the Toigo Orchards. It was worth getting out in the rain! I love apples with the leaves still on top. 🙂

My HaulBefore I headed out, I made a quick breakfast. I think that the holiday spirit put me in the mood for something special. I made a couple of pancakes, using my very favorite sweet potato pancake mix from Bruce’s, and had a quick scrambled egg beater and a few grapes on the side. I also made a latte and fixed it up in the very cool mug I got from Laura. It’s so pink and cheerful! I love it! It went to the market with me, and I was glad to have something warm to sip in the chilly morning rain.

BrekkieAfter I got back from the market, I decided it was time for today’s freezer clean-out project. My freezer is looking so much better after just a couple of weeks of really trying to use up the things inside. I’ve had a bag of frozen, shelled edamame that I bought months ago with succotash in mind. I also had some of Trader Joe’s awesome super sweet organic frozen corn, and a jar of roasted red and yellow peppers from Trader Joe’s in the pantry. Succotash was on!

Succotash!

Sweet Sufferin’ Soybean Succotash

Ingredients:

1 tsp. olive oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 clove of garlic, chopped

6 Tbsp. of roasted red peppers (or the red, yellow and orange combo I had in my jar)

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/4-1/2 tsp. ground black pepper (I used 1/2 but I like the heat along with the sweet corn)

16 ounce bag of frozen, shelled edamame (soybeans)

2 cups of frozen corn, rinsed

3 Tbsp. water

Directions:

Prepare the frozen edamame according to package directions. Mine involved boiling the edamame for five minutes and then draining it.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet and then saute the onion and garlic for three minutes over medium/medium high heat. Add the salt, pepper and roasted peppers. Saute for two additional minutes.

Add the edamame, corn and water to the skillet and saute for 3-5 minutes or until the corn is heated through and the water has evaporated. Easy! 

This makes a good sized batch. I divided mine into 12 side servings, but I may double them up and have them as a main course for lunch this week. I think that there is enough protein in there to keep me full for awhile. If you are not a soy eater, you could always use the traditional lima beans. I just love the combo of corn and beans together, and the bright colors make me happy!! 🙂

Lunchy is ServedI had some succotash on the side with my last leftover burger from the other night and a little Country Bob’s sauce. YUM! Then, I made a teeny bit more room in the freezer by eating my last blueberry muffin along with a little glass of almond milk. I love those muffins! 

The Last Muffin My sweet tooth was still not satisfied so I had one of these:

Easter TreatstersOn Thursday, I mentioned that I was unable to find any Cadbury Creme Eggs on my Facebook page. Every place I tried in my neighborhood was sold out! I really look forward to having a couple of these each year, and I was bummed that I couldn’t find one. I was on a genuine Easter egg hunt, and my basket was empty. One of my co-workers noticed my Facebook comment, and told me that she would bring me one of hers on Friday. Yay!!! She brought it by on Friday morning, and I set it aside to enjoy after lunch. When I returned to my office after lunch I found, not one, but three little eggs on my desk!!! The Easter bunny had smiled on me. Well, actually, another co-worker had read my comment and very sweetly fixed me up. I have such awesome co-workers,… and awesome candy. Tanks, Eastah bunnies! 🙂

Later this afternoon, I had a pink lady with some Mighty Maple peanut butter on top. Mighty Maple is absolutely my favorite PB&Co peanut butter, and I love it best on crispy apples!

Mmmmm....Before I went to the gym, I decided that I needed a bowl of Greek yogurt with some berry jam and a bit of Zoe’s granola to fuel my workout. I also just think it’s tasty. 🙂

Bowl of GoodnessAfter I got back from the gym, I was hungry… again. I’ve been hungry a lot this week. I’m not sure if it is because of last Sunday’s super calorie burning trek, but I’ve wanted to eat everything under the sun. I decided to try out the Wallaby Dulce de Leche yogurt that I had in the fridge. This is another yogurt that I wanted to try forever, but didn’t buy because it would be a little higher in points than my usual. I love Dulche de Leche, and the slightly burnt caramelly flavor was amazing in this yogurt. Wow. SO good!!

Oh my!After that, I hopped in the shower, and when I got out, it was time for dinner. I love potatoes and greens together, and I decided to saute a chicken sausage with my little bunch of arugula and use it to top a quick baked potato. I tossed a little feta and some chipotle Tabasco on top and, ta dah– a quick dinner that involved the greens and potato combo. 

Din DinMy dinner was really satisfying so I decided to just have a little nibble of something sweet before I went to finish up my grocery shopping. I had a slice of bran bread from the freezer topped with some PB2 and jam.

Little NibbleThe PB2 is growing on me. I’ve decided that I can’t really taste it mixed into my oatmeal, and I think the flavor is pretty lackluster when it’s just mixed with water. If you mix it directly into the jam or jelly however, it’s quite good! I’m certainly going to experiment with it some more, but, for now, I’m enjoying it mixed with my jam. It’s kind of magical, actually. You keep mixing this dried powder and, all of a sudden, you have peanut butter. Fun!

After I got home from the grocery store, I ate a Chex Turtle Bar. I didn’t take a photo, but I did enjoy the bar. I’d heard that these were good, and it really was delicious. It was also much more dense and chewy than some other cereal bars I’ve tried. I’m not sad that I have five more in the box. So, in case you can’t tell, I’ve had a pretty laid back day. That was fine with me! I really like days when I don’t have a schedule to keep. Now, I have a DVD to watch and I’m going to read some more of my new Alice Waters cookbook and sip on some bee pollen tea. Yes, I still have a couple of lazy Saturday hours left, and I plan to make the most of them! 

I’m making something special to take to Easter dinner at a friend’s house tomorrow, and I’m really excited! I can’t wait to tell you about it. For now, I’ll leave you with a photo of my aunt’s cat, Cricket, making friends with a neighbor’s bunny. Apparently, they got along pretty well. They look so much alike, they could be cousins! Ciao for now, friends. See you tomorrow! 

Do you have special Sunday plans this weekend?

cricket-and-her-bunny-friend

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Filed under Beans, Bread, cooking, D.C., diet, Farmer's Market, Fitness, Food, Greek Yogurt, Recipes, Soy, Uncategorized, Vegetarian Recipes, Washington, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story