Tag Archives: Health

New Perspectives

Hi, Sweeties! Remember those photos I promised you of my ziplining adventure in Alaska? Well, get ready because here they come. They actually are a pretty good illustration for some of the points of today’s post, so I thought it would be quite appropriate. Also, I’m sorry I’ve been away for so long. This post should explain my absence. 

I was excited about ziplining in Ketchikan, Alaska, but I didn’t know what to expect. Before taking the leap off of the platform, the instructor made sure I had the proper gear and an understanding of how to use it. I was harnessed up and the trolley attached to the harness was clipped to the line. The instructor explained how I should use my hand to steer the trolley if  I found myself spinning off to the side and needed to straighten back up. He also explained how to press down on the top, which works like a friction brake, when it was time to stop. Stopping proved to be the challenging part.

Geared UpEach leap into weight loss started with gathering gear and trying to understand how to use it properly. If you want to read about my journey in greater detail, please check out this page. Just to briefly summarize, you might recall that my experience went something like this:

Date: 2000 Weight: 340 pounds Gear: knowledge of fat content in the foods I ate, a well stocked kitchen and good walking shoes

Results: Loss of 110 pounds and gall bladder problems due to, according to my doctor, the restriction of fat in my diet

In 2001, I started law school, had to have my gallbladder removed, discovered that I didn’t have time to make all of my own food, and got out of my walking habit. I gained back 60 of the pounds I’d lost and ended up weighing about 280 pounds.

Date: 2005 Weight: 280 pounds Gear: Weight Watcher’s On-line tools, fancy food scale and all sorts of exercise gear, including a heart rate monitor to measure calories burned during exercise

Results: I lost 120 pounds and gained the ability to rattle off the points values for food like a superstar. I learned to really enjoy all sorts of exercises and discovered that my body was strong and capable. I also hit a plateau and became frustrated when my meticulous counting wasn’t providing results on the scale. 

I started this blog in January of this year and by March, I decided that I was sick of counting points and I was tired of beating myself up when the scale refused to budge. I decided that a change would be a good thing, so I switched to counting calories and started using the Sparkpeople on-line tracker in place of my ww on-line tracker. I thought that the new approach would be a bit more flexible and would shake things up a bit. I viewed it as a sort of transition to something that was less of a diet, and more like normal life. WW claims not to be a diet, but I never totally bought that idea. For a short time, I did revel in the flexibility of calories versus points. Calories are calories, and I didn’t need to use a calculator to convert things into points. That was somewhat liberating. The scale immediately dropped from 160 to 153 in reaction to the changes in my eating, and I started thinking about whether it was time to stop trying to lose and to start trying to maintain. That brings me to this:

Zipping AlongOnce you leap off of the platform and start zipping along, you build up speed and just sort of fly through the air. It’s a bit like cruise control. I think that dieting can be very similar. You just kind of zip along, counting your points or calories or whatever, and then you decide for one reason or another that it might be time to stop. That’s where things got tricky during ziplining, and that’s where things have gotten tricky for me with my weight loss. Here’s a photo of me getting ready to land. 

StoppingTo stop yourself, you have to use the friction brake. If you press down too early, you may have to use your hands to drag yourself along the line to the platform. If you press down too late, and the friendly instructor doesn’t use the back up brake, you could find yourself pulling a “George of the Jungle” and crashing into a tree. Each platform is actually built around a tree, kind of like a tree house. If you stop too early, you will make it to the platform eventually. Stopping too late has a worse consequence.

Unfortunately, the ultimate weight loss stopping point isn’t always clearly defined like the strong and sturdy tree. Yes, I set a goal weight for myself, once upon a time, and I haven’t reached it. However, I was basing it on a BMI chart that doesn’t know how much muscle I have in my 160 pound make-up. It also doesn’t know how much deflated skin I have. Yes. I do have some. I don’t think it’s possible to lose more than half of your body weight without that unwelcome side effect. 

I think my bottom line this year has been that I’m not unhappy at my current weight. Sure, I wouldn’t mind losing more, but I could be happy right here. Rather than letting the scale determine whether it’s time to stop, I’ve started looking at other factors too. I’ve realized a few things.

1) I’m sick of counting points/calories and of weighing my food. This was becoming a bit of an unhealthy obsession for me, and I’ve only become more obsessed and frustrated as the scale has stayed steady despite my best efforts. To quote the old saying, it might have been “like beating a dead horse.” 

2) Despite allowing myself treats along the way, I’m definitely suffering from diet deprivation and the backlash eating it can cause. I ate like nobody’s business on my Alaskan cruise. I ate until I was sick on more than one occasion. I had the feeling that I’d been freed from prison for one week in order to eat everything that wasn’t on the menu in the prison cafeteria. It wasn’t a pretty sight to see, and that’s when the scale jumped back into the 160s where it has been ever since.

3) While I have certainly felt deprived of certain foods, I think the bigger sense of deprivation was coming from the inability to go out with friends and to do things spontaneously. I spent a lot of time and energy wondering if there would be anything I could eat within my rules when I found myself out with friends. Often, I would just stay home. Sometimes I would find something that would work. Other times, I would toss my rules out the window only to feel guilty later about breaking them. 

4) My perfectionist tendencies have been making me crazy. By giving myself a set of strict rules or limits, I drive myself to stay within the framework I’ve created in order to avoid feeling that I’ve failed and to feel that I’ve succeeded. I was to the point of weighing the lettuce in my salad so that I could calculate the calories and subtract them from my daily allowance. Lettuce!? Did the scale budge thanks to those efforts? No. Did my frustration level grow? You betcha. 

5) I can’t spend the rest of my life weighing everything and counting calories or points if I want to stay sane, happy and avoid smacking into the tree of endless dieting despair.

6) I like sanity and happiness.

7) I need to figure out a way to “stop” that is not a restrictive diet but that will keep me from reverting to my old habits. As funny as it sounds, I need to learn to eat.

That brings me to the last three weeks and my absence. I’d been reading about intuitive eating throughout the blogosphere for some time now, and I had a vague idea of what it meant to eat intuitively. I decided it was time for me to check out some of the literature on the subject. Forever the student, I picked up a few of the more well known IE books. The two most useful ones I’ve read so far are: Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program that Works by Evelyn Tribole, M.S., R.D., and Elyse Resch, M.S., R.D., F.A.D.A. and The Rules of Normal Eating: A Commonsense Approach for Dieters, Overeaters Undereaters, Emotional Eaters, and Everyone in Between by Karen R. Koenig, ICSW, M. ED. A useful website that lists the 10 principles found in the book by Tribole and Resch can be found here.

Both of these books really resonated with me. I think the basic idea is quite simple. You should eat when you are hungry and stop when you are satisfied/full. If you are already an intuitive eater, that might sound quite obvious to you, but my eating was not typically driven by hunger or fullness. Aside from, perhaps, being driven by an effort to avoid hunger completely. IE is a more novel concept for me. Back in the heavier days, my eating was likely driven by emotions or boredom. In recent years, it has been driven by the external rules and limits I’ve imposed on myself. I’ve watched plenty of my friends use this “eat when you are hungry method” in their daily lives, with positive results. It makes a lot of sense to me, and it seems like a natural way of giving your body what it wants and needs.  

The books go beyond that basic idea with a number of other very useful principles. One of these principles involves legalizing foods that you have forbidden yourself. Vani had an excellent forbidden foods challenge sometime back, and I happily participated. I think I’m just beginning to understand why this is so important. It’s human nature to sometimes want the very thing you can’t have. If you know that you can have those forbidden foods, their power is greatly diminished. I’ve been experimenting with some of these foods over the past few weeks, and the funny thing is, many of the things I’ve really been sad to pass up over the past few years aren’t even that great. I had a pretty lousy cupcake from the store yesterday, for example. It looked pretty, but it wasn’t all that good. When I really concentrated on the taste and texture while savoring it, I realized that the frosting was too sweet. I think that’s the first time I have EVER determined that something was too sweet. Apparently, “Just Sweet Enough” has an even greater meaning than I had realized. 🙂 I’ve been amazed at the things that I have built up into some sort of mega treat in my mind only to find that they really aren’t that amazing after all. 

So, basically, I haven’t been cooking as much lately as I’ve started working through the principles in these books. I’m not sure what the scale is doing, but I do know that my pants still fit after three weeks. I’m trying to spend less time, energy and focus on food and the scale, and that has resulted in less blogging. I haven’t been sure how to explain what I’m up to, and I’m not sure this really does a great job. I would never want to discourage anyone from the path they’ve chosen, but I do think it’s important for me to tell you about my experience. I’m still not certain how IE will work for me, but my stress level around food and eating has already decreased by about a zillion percent. That’s right. A zillion percent. Math was never my strong suit. 🙂 That, to me, has made this effort worthwhile. I think it is also a good experiment to try to get a new perspective on eating, and I’ve been pleased with the results so far.

I’m not going away, but, at this point, I do not plan to post full days of eats anymore. I find that putting that much attention on the things I eat is not a good thing for me. I do plan to share plenty of recipes and reviews with you, as well as updates on how this IE process is going. I just hope you will understand why I’ll be posting less frequently and why my recipes may not all be “light” ones. I know that my body prefers healthy and nutritious foods, and there will certainly be plenty of that in the days to come. I do plan, however, to keep experimenting with previously forbidden foods, which could lead to some interesting kitchen experiments. 

This blog has been so useful for me during the past 7 months as I’ve tried to find a way to stop my diet merry-go-round and find a comfortable resting spot, and all of the supportive comments from my wonderful readers have really made all the difference. The ultimate goal, after all, is not to fit into a certain pair of pants but rather to be happy in life. That might look something like my post-ziplining mug:

HappySince one of my favorite things about this blog has been the opportunity to learn from many of you, I just have to ask: Have you had a period in your life where you counted calories/points/fat grams/whatever and then decided that there was a better way to find balance? What’s your story? Are you still counting? Do you have an exit strategy for when you get where you’re going? 

As always, I wish you all the best wherever you may be in your life’s journey. 

Before I go, I want to send a few birthday wishes. My little brother turned 30 on Tuesday. I can’t believe it!!! It’s really hard to believe that he just turned 30 since our mother is just turning 28 today. 😉 Here’s a photo of my mom and me during the Christmas holidays:

Mom and MeHappy birthday to both of you and lots of love! XOXO 

Now, I’m off to have an air conditioned work out in the gym. It’s a scorcher of a day, and I’m glad to have an indoor option. Ciao for now, sweeties and have a great week! 🙂


Filed under Alaska, diet, Fitness, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story, Weight Watchers

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!


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

The Day Before Friday…

My Thursday thoughts often drift to the fact that it is the day before Friday. Not that I’m wishing my life away, but the weekend is almost here. As usual, I’m so ready!! I feel like this week has been a bit of a treadmill of tedium, and I’m ready to jump off and do something fun. I did try to break up the boredom a little bit with a different kind of breakfast this morning:

BrekkieI took a banana wheat bran scone out of the freezer, toasted it and then topped it with some PB2 and pomegranate honey jelly. I take back my negative opinion of these scones. Topped with some PB and jelly, this little scone was awesome! I had some blackberries on the side, and a bowl of my “ambrosia.” I had 1/2 a cup of Greek yogurt mixed with some canned mandarin oranges and topped with a little bit of sweetened coconut. I loved it just as much this week, as I did when I came up with it last week. Unlike last week, I didn’t eat the whole can of oranges today, so there’s more in my future! I also had a cup of coconut coffee mixed with skim milk and some sugar free hazelnut Torani. This breakfast was a fun and different start to the day.

Throughout the day, I snacked on this little baggie of Kashi Honey Sunshine cereal. This is, of course, my favorite “snacking” cereal, and you could win a box in my 100th post giveaway. If you haven’t entered already, you have until midnight on Friday. Just go to this post to find out how to enter. I’m looking forward to announcing a winner on Saturday, and Sweetie Pie’s Prize Pack is all packed up and ready to go to its new home. It could be headed your way!

Baggie of SunshineAround 11:00, I had what has become my traditional morning snack this week:

Pink Lady LoveI had a little trouble removing the middle with my plastic child safe knife today, so there are some extra pieces. There was plenty of Bee’s Knees PB to go around!

When lunchtime rolled around, I had another of my turkey burgers from the other night on an Arnold’s thin with some dijon and brie. I scored this brie the other day at a party, Sarah style, and I decided it would taste good on today’s burger. Using a different cheese was an easy way to change up my leftovers! Plus, I’ve eaten all of my chipotle cheddar. 🙂 I also had hummus and some baby carrots. Is it just me, or are these baby carrots huge? Several of them were bigger than my thumb. They really are as big as they look in the photo, and it took some serious chomping to eat them. I kind of liked the crunch!

Lunchy LunchSpeaking of crunch, I had one of these after lunch:

Mmmmm.....I love taking a bite and letting the chocolate and the honeycomb sort of melt in my mouth. YUM! Still craving chocolate, I went and got a fudgy peanut butter vitatop out of the work freezer. I started eating it before I remembered to snap a picture. Oops!

Oopsie!Ok, now I need you to put your imagination cap on. You have one of those, right? It might be hanging next to your thinking cap? I had another work reception to attend this afternoon and it included a random afternoon glass of vino, a few nibbles of parmesan, an artichoke heart, and a few nibbles of marinated zucchini and peppers. I skipped the bruschetta, and other items, but had enough nibbles to satisfy my curiosity. That seemed reasonable, and balanced. Hooray!

After that, I went back to my office and had my afternoon bowl of oatmeal:

Afternoon OatsToday’s bowl is full of Kashi Heart to Heart Apple Cinnamon instant oatmeal. Unless I find some hiding in an unexpected place, I believe I’m out of pre-flavored oatmeal packages. CRISIS! Ok, not really. Maybe I’ll just have a different snack tomorrow, or maybe I’ll take some plain oatmeal and fix it up. Either way, I’m kind of happy that I’ve eaten all of my random little pouches of oatmeal. That means I can buy a new kind to try now! Since I have limited kitchen storage space in my apartment, I have to try to use things up before buying more as often as possible. That rule obviously does not apply to coffee from the ‘burg!

When I got home, I had something great planned for dinner. The weather was kind of dreary today, and I decided to abandon my plan completely and just have a bowl of Trader Joe’s turkey chili topped with a piece of cheese. It doesn’t get any easier than opening a can, and I really wanted the warmth and coziness of this bowl. I’m doing better at thinking about what I really want, and trying to have it. I can just make my new recipe another night. This bowl was completely satisfying, and I don’t think you can go wrong with melted cheese!

Cheesy Turkey ChiliI followed that up with a small salad. I had the rest of my farmer’s market lettuce mix topped with a little goat cheese, a few dried cherries, and some balsamic vinegar. It was a bright little spot of green. I’m definitely going to visit the lettuce lady again on Saturday!

Little SaladMy veggies were followed up with the rest of my little container of Vanilla Snowflake LaLoo’s goat’s milk ice cream topped with vanilla almonds and a few blackberries. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how much I love this ice cream. My previous posts have probably made that point. Ok. I’m going to tell you again anyway. It’s SO GOOD!!! 

Woo hoo, LaLoo!I got back from the gym later than usual. It was 10:15 by the time I got back to my apartment and started writing this post. While I’ve been typing, I’ve been munching on one of my favorite little sweet snacks:

Sweet Little SnackI have some Galaxy vanilla almond munch granola mixed with some Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips. This bowl keeps me nibbling for a nice long while, and feeds my chocolate tooth. It really is one of my faves. I’ve been eating other granolas lately, and I was so excited when I made the return to the Galaxy. I love it, and I especially dig all of the whole almonds in the mix!

Now, I’m going to make some chamomile tea and read a bit before I head to bed. My workout was really good tonight. I burned 706 calories and felt totally energized throughout the workout!! In fact, it left me a bit too energized for bedtime. 😦 Sometimes that happens. I’ll count some sheep, sip some tea, and hopefully nod off pretty soon. What helps you to unwind at the end of the day?

Have a great Friday, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway if you haven’t already!! Ciao for now, bloggie friends!


Filed under cooking, diet, Fitness, Food, Greek Yogurt, 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!


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


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!!


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:


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


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



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!


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

Back On Track

More Tulips!

Hi everybody! I hope you had a great Tuesday! I’m feeling much better after a couple of days of “back to normal” eating, that’s for sure. Thanks for all of the comments on yesterday’s post. I really do love Williamsburg, and I had a great time writing about some of my favorite places. 🙂 I decided that I’d post another tulip picture because I took a bunch! The dark ones and the red and white striped ones are two of my favorites!

Today’s eats are about as normal as it gets, with the exception of the fact that I didn’t do a full grocery shopping trip this weekend, and I didn’t make a “big batch” food for my lunches. As you will see in a minute, that isn’t a big problem… yet. First things first, I started off the day with a breakfast cookie:

BrekkieI made this one with 1/3 cup oats, 15 grams of Jay Robb’s Vanilla Whey Protein Powder, 16 grams of nut butter, and a bunch of cinnamon. I topped it with 1 Tbsp. of chocolate PB2 mixed with 1 Tbsp. of sugar free maple syrup and 1/2 Tbsp. of cocoa powder. That made for a pretty tasty frosting! Of course, you can barely see it since I covered it in a ton of strawberries. I bought a big container of berries at the Fresh Market on Sunday, and some of them are already getting mushy. I’m trying to use them up, but some of them may end up in the freezer. 😦

I snacked on some more of my Green and Black’s milk chocolate toffee bar during the morning and afternoon. I think I’ve now been eating this bar for three weeks. It’s good, and it’s almost gone. I don’t need a lot of chocolate to satisfy my chocolate tooth, so chipping away at a bar works pretty well for me. Plus, if I bring a few pieces to work and leave the rest of the bar at home, nibbling on it all day isn’t really an option!

Green and Black's... again So, I mentioned that the lack of a big batch wasn’t a problem yet. Why? I’m still eating succotash. I’ve been loving it, but I’ll be glad to eat the rest of it tomorrow. I rarely complain about leftovers, but I feel like I’ve been eating this forever! I wasn’t sure how it would do in the freezer so I’ve just been nibbling away at it bit by bit. I had it for lunch along with some tuna salad on light rye wasa crisps.

Lunchy LunchI also had a container of honey flavored Chobani with Zoe’s cinnamon raisin granola mixed in.

Honey ChobaniI wasn’t the biggest fan of the peach Chobani because of the overly sweet peachy goo, but the honey is already mixed in to this one, so there’s no goo in the bottom. It was just sweet enough, and it tasted more like my Greek yogurt typically does when I sweeten it myself. It’s a winner! I’ll definitely buy it again.

Later on, I snacked on some vanilla wafers topped with PB&Co. The Bee’s Knees peanut butter. Yum! Vanilla wafers are perfect if you want a little bite of cookie, and they are amazing topped with PB (but then… most things are amazing topped with PB…).

Snicky SnackLater in the day, I had an apple. I kind of forgot to take a picture, so you are just going to see the evidence.

BustedI hate red delicious apples, but I like Macintosh apples pretty well if they are still quite fresh and crisp. This one was pretty good. It was followed by three little candies that a friend shared with me, but I was too busy eating them to take a picture. 🙂 They were little pineapple mango fruit pectin gel candies from Safeway, and they were about the size of gum drops. The pineapple mango flavor was tasty and satisfied my craving for a little bite of something sweet for a little while. Then, I had this:

Crisp!I was excited to try these fruit crisps, and I bought them in both the berry and apple cinnamon flavors months ago. I’m still eating them, and I don’t think I will be buying more when I run out. They are perfectly tasty, but they don’t have any substance. They really don’t have much nutritional punch at all, and that makes them a bad choice, in my opinion, as far as bars go. They were fine for a little something sweet, but I knew it wasn’t really going to help with any hunger issues. I also ate the last two little wafers in the bag, sans PB this time.

Right before I left work, I had a blurry date with some blurry peanut butter:

Blurry FoodHe just wouldn’t be still to have his picture taken. I blame the blur on his fidgeting. Meanwhile, I believe this is peanut butter installment number three of the day. 🙂

When I got home, I was hungry and wanted something quick. I had taken another chicken breast out of the freezer jungle to thaw, so I cut it into strips, sprinkled it with a citrus pepper seasoning mix and then tossed it on the griddler. I also put a potato in the microwave. This evening’s “blue plate special” included the chicken– topped with some Country Bob’s sauce, the potato– topped with some Greek yogurt, salt and pepper, and a few little steamed veggies.

Din DinIt was a quick, saucy and satisfying dinner, but it wasn’t nearly as exciting to me as dessert (shocker!). Since I finished off my big container of Edy’s slow churned, I was able to open a fresh container of ice cream. This happens to be one of my all time ice cream favorites!! 

LaLoo'sThe first time I bought LaLoo’s goat’s milk ice cream, it was totally on a whim. I figured that I loved goat’s milk cheeses, so why not try goat’s milk ice cream? I’ve been a devoted fan ever since. They carry it at my local Whole Foods, and I haven’t tried a flavor that I haven’t loved. The texture is SUPER creamy, and the nutritional information is amazing. One half a cup of the Strawberry Darling is 130 calories and 5 grams of fat, but you will swear that it should be more! The Vanilla Snowflake flavor is my favorite vanilla ice cream ever and the Black Mission Fig is amazing! The fig competes with the Strawberry Darling for first place in my book. This lovely ice cream features the combo of strawberries and balsamic vinegar. Heaven! I had some on a vita top for a little “cake” and ice cream action:

So Good!!I included a link to LaLoo’s website, because I thought it might be a fun link to share. It sounds like they have a lot of happy goats and good practices, which I appreciate. 

After dessert, I headed off to the gym to workout with my trainer and then to do cardio. I burned 600 calories. Woo hoo! After that, I needed one last snack. I thought about what I could have, and realized that I was truly hungry. This wasn’t a situation where a tasty little bar was going to do the trick. Instead, I opted for a very bland looking bowl of oat bran with the last installment of PB for the day:

Oat Brannie SnackIt’s not pretty, but, if you are a fan of oat bran you know that it was tasty. I added a bit of sugar free English Toffee Torani to sweeten it up, along with some cinnamon for spice. Now, I’m nice and full again, and I’m ready to head to bed with my tea. Before I go:

Tina is having a granola giveaway over at Carrots ‘n Cake.

Speaking of giveaways, this is my very own post #96, and I’ll be announcing an exciting giveaway in post #100 as a way to celebrate. I picked a few things up over the weekend, and I think you’ll like what I have for the winner. I can’t wait to tell you about it… but I will. 🙂

I hope to make a new recipe soon, but I’m so disorganized after being gone for a few days. I hope you don’t mind a few days of basic food journaling! It’s helpful to me, and, hopefully, interesting to you. Ciao for now, bloggies and have a great hump day!!


Filed under diet, Fitness, Food, Greek Yogurt, Uncategorized, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story, Weight Watchers

Thursday Food Parade

Hey, everybody! It’s been a beautiful day in the neighborhood here in the DC area. The sun was out, the temperature got up around 60, and I took the opportunity to take a little run outside. The weather was too nice to resist! With the sun streaming through the windows for the first time in days, I started my day with an old favorite. It was like putting on a comfy pair of shoes.

Comfy Shoe BreakfastI had a bowl of oat bran with some Jay Robb’s vanilla whey powder mixed in. I topped it with honey, vanilla almonds, and berries, and then I had a little spoonful of Dark Chocolate Dreams PB on the side. This really is one of my favorites. Oat bran, I still love you! 

I worked from home today, and had a pretty productive morning. The time sort of flew until lunch. I knew exactly what I wanted, and it was just as good as I expected it to be:

The Lunch SpecialI mixed the rest of the chicken breast I grilled last night with a bit of onion and some Country Bob’s Sauce, piled it on top of a piece of frozen naan from TJ’s, topped it with some of my favorite smoked mozzarella, and popped it under the broiler. BBQ chicken pizza!! I had it with the rest of the Campbell’s Select Harvest Light Southwestern Style Vegetable Soup that I opened last night. I haven’t been cooking much this week, but rather trying to use some of the convenience foods from the pantry and freezer. I promise I’ll be coming up with some new recipes next week! I’m not going to be around to make my usual “big batch” food this weekend, so next week’s eats could get interesting!

After I had my pizza and soup, I decided to nibble on a bit of my Green and Black’s milk chocolate toffee bar. I also had a grapefruit. It was nice to read about the ways that y’all eat your grapefruit. I should buy a grapefruit spoon and give it a spin! Today, I stuck with my usual very messy method of peeling the membrane off of each section and eating the good stuff from inside. Sadly, I bit the inside of my lip pretty hard before I ate the grapefruit. In case you are wondering, yes, it did hurt! Ha!

GrapefruityAfter the grapefruit, I had the very last Edy’s Coconut Cream bar from the freezer. That’s another item that is now extinct in my freezer jungle! Yay!

Pop goes the sicleI decided to put the boring looking popsicle in front of my painting just to make the photo a bit more interesting! These coconut popsicles are really good if you happen to love coconut the way I do!!

Later in the afternoon, I wanted some peanut butter. The question is always: What should I put the peanut butter on? It could be a spoon, my finger, some bread, a graham cracker, a vanilla wafer, an apple…. or…. a Weetabix. Have you tried Weetabix? They are really crunchy and wheaty and they’re kind of cute too! I couldn’t resist picking up a box when I spotted them at Trader Joe’s!

Weetabix!I put some Mighty Maple PB on my Weetabix and topped it with a chopped up berry. I’ve never had a Weetabix as a peanut butter holder before, but I will be having it again. YUM!!!

I was having a snacky sort of day, and I had an apple with a piece of Trader Joe’s Apricot Raisin Amaretto cheese after I had my little Weetabix. I love apples and nut butter, but I do love apples and cheese together too. I was really craving fruit today for some reason. I still feel so happy (and a little surprised) when I find myself craving healthy foods rather than the junk I used to want to eat all of the time. Fruit is so good! I was glad that I had plenty of the fresh stuff on hand to feed my fruit monster.

Apples and CheeseBefore I went to run, I was hankering for something sweet so I had a cup of hot cocoa and a Chex turtle bar. There’s no fruit here, but there is chocolate, caramel and pretzel goodness!

Sugary SnackinessI figure I should drink my cocoa before it gets hot and I’m not in the mood for it at all! I think I’m kind of hooked on these turtle bars. The ingredient list is a mile long, and I wouldn’t eat one if I wanted something to fill me up, but they are tasty as a sugary treat or a dessert. That’s a category of bar that I enjoy!

After my little snack, I went for a 30 minute run followed by 30 more minutes in the gym, and I burned 650 calories, according to my heart rate monitor. After overdoing it with the running on cherry blossom weekend, I’ve tried not to go too crazy. Today’s balance seemed about right. I felt really good after my workout, and I was definitely ready for dinner! I wanted some protein, and this dinner didn’t disappoint.

Din DinI had some of my soy bean succotash along with an egg beater, turkey pepperoni and smoked mozzarella omelette topped with some chipotle Tabasco. Mmm… protein… and Tabasco! 🙂 After that, I had a couple of desserts.

Banana ButterflyFirst, I had a banana butterfly topped with some PB2 and cinnamon and accompanied by a glass of unsweetened vanilla almond breeze. I love the banana, milk and peanut butter combo. I don’t think you can go wrong with that one! What a fruity day!

My last treat of the evening were these two little dark salt caramels that were in the Easter basket I received from my friend on Sunday.

Holy MolyYes, that’s salt on top and not sugar. I love the salt and caramel combo, and it’s probably a good thing that there were only two of these. I would hate to have to start planning my meals around them! 🙂

Gooey GoodnessEnough said! These were awesome!!!

When I first started my blog, I was only planning to do one food journal post a week. Now that I have fallen into the routine, I understand why so many people do it every day. I’m really enjoying it, and it does make you think a bit about what you are about to put in your mouth. If nothing else, it makes eating more of a conscious activity, and I think that’s worth a lot. I’m probably not going to do it every day from now on, but I think that it’s a good bet that I’ll be doing it most days– at least for awhile. I hope it’s helpful and maybe just a bit interesting. I love reading about what other people eating and getting ideas from their daily menus, and I do hope that you enjoy seeing mine!

By the way, my 100th post is coming up soon, and you should be prepared for a giveaway announcement that will involve some of the things that you’ve seen me nibbling on! I’m hoping to pick up a few things this weekend that will be part of the package too. Stay tuned! I’m also planning to post my monthly weigh-in results next Friday so there are several things on the horizon. Next week should be a good one!

Now, I’m off to pack for Williamsburg. I have an appointment to get a hair cut tomorrow afternoon on my way out of town so I need to get my ducks in a row tonight. Here’s wishing you bloggies a bunch of awesome Fridays!! Ciao for now!


Filed under cooking, diet, Fitness, Food, Soy, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story

Happy Tax Day?

Good evening! I wasn’t in the best mood this evening, and I got a little carried away in the gym and stayed longer than planned. It’s so good for relieving stress, but not for early blogging! I love that working out burns calories, but somedays, stress relief seems like a better goal. I’ve been in kind of a bad mood all day, but now I’m feeling much better thanks to my time in the gym. 🙂

 My breakfast was a bright spot in my day:

Berry Good BrekkieI made the usual breakfast cookie with oats, Jay Robb’s vanilla whey powder, almond milk, peanut butter and cinnamon. That’s a good start, but the toppings really made this cookie. I’m still experimenting with PB2, and this morning’s cookie has a layer of chocolate PB2 mixed with jelly and 1/2 Tbsp. of cocoa powder. I added a little splash of water too because of the extra powder. I don’t think the chocolate PB2 is very chocolatey at all, but the cocoa powder fixed that problem. I thought it was good! Of course, I was happy to get my morning chocolate and strawberry fix.

Tea LatteliciousI had tea and almond milk on the side. I’m still drinking tea in the mornings, but I have a feeling you will be seeing coffee again after the weekend. I’m going to Williamsburg for my five year law school reunion, and I will be making a special trip to my favorite coffee place. It’s called The Coffeehouse, and they roast some of the best beans I’ve ever had. I always buy enough coffee to last quite a while when I happen to find myself in the ‘burg, and there will definitely be some roasted coconut flavored beans coming home with me. I can’t wait!

After I got to work, I had a grapefruit:

GrapefruitIf you are a grapefruit eater, how do you eat yours? I kind of pull each section apart and eat the guts from inside of the membrane. Do you eat yours with a spoon? Do you eat the membrane? I’m curious! It’s messy, but the flavor is so fresh and bright that I don’t mind it too much. I’m just wondering what the “best” way might be.

For lunch, I ate the rest of the pierogi/spinach/bruschetta sauce combo that I made for dinner the other night. I love the warm, cheesy potato goodness of the pierogies. YUM! Plus, I used something that had been in the freezer for awhile. YAY! I was glad to see that, based on the comments on the earlier post, I’m not the only one who is a fan of Mrs. T. I wonder if she knows Mr. T. If so, maybe she uses the line “I pity the fool who doesn’t like Pierogies.” I know, I know… that was bad. 🙂

Mrs. TFor dessert, I had another little cup of the Kozy Shack 100 calorie green tea chai pudding with a vanilla wafer crumbled on top. I like something crunchy with my pudding or my yogurt. One little wafer did the trick.

Puddin'Throughout the morning and afternoon, I snacked on a bit of Green & Black’s toffee milk chocolate. It’s amazing that I could be in a bad mood with that snack at hand. I think I’ve been eating this bar for three weeks now? I just need a little at a time, and I love chocolate bars that break into convenient little rectangles. 

Toffee TreatLater on, I had a chocolate brownie Z bar and some grapes. I also snacked on some “camera shy” (to use Beadie’s clever words) Zoe’s granola that I meant to have in my last snack. I was hungry so I munched on it ahead of schedule.

Snick Snack Paddy WhackMy last snack was a container of peach Chobani. I had been looking for Chobani for awhile, and I happened to find some at a different grocery store than usual this weekend so, of course, I stocked up on all of the flavors! I was excited to try it. I liked it, but I thought the peach was VERY sweet, and I didn’t like how much the peach goo really thinned out the yogurt. It was good, and I won’t mind eating the rest of my Chobani stash, but I think I may like adding my own sweeteners better. We’ll see. I’ll let you know when I try the next flavor in the fridge.

Peach ChobaniWhen I got home, I was SO hungry! I ate a small bowl of Campbell’s Select Harvest Light Southwestern Style Vegetable Soup while I was cooking my chicken. I believe in keeping cans of soup on hand for hungermergencies!!

SouperliciousI thawed a chicken breast in the fridge today, and planned to cook it on the griddler. I hadn’t planned to cut it into strips, but it occurred to me that it was going to get all chopped up and used to top a salad anyway, so I might as well speed the cooking process up a bit. I cut it into tenders, and it grilled up in a flash! I never seem to eat a whole chicken breast at once either, so this really makes a lot of sense.

On the GriddlerI had the chicken with some of my succotash and the last of my fresh farmer’s market lettuce. It was good! I’m going to be out of town this weekend so I’ll miss the farmer’s market. 😦 I’m going to miss having such nice lettuce this week! It really elevated my salads to another level.

SaladAfter that, I finished off my container of Edy’s Slow Churned Light Cookies and Cream ice cream. YAY!! That made a noticeable space in the freezer. Woo hoo! Now… I can buy more ice cream. You can be sure that it’s on the shopping list!

There were no survivorsAfter that, I had a piece of Nature’s Own Light Honey Wheat bread with a bit of Mighty Maple. I also had a camera shy Chex mix turtle bar. I had a pretty snacky evening.

Bread 'n ButtahI’m struggling with my mindset a bit this week. I did ok on Sunday as far as eating goes. I didn’t go overboard, but I enjoyed myself. I didn’t make it to the gym, and I think I’ve felt the need to compensate for my missed day all week long. I also know that I’m going to be eating goodness knows what this weekend, and I may miss another workout day too. All of that leaves me feeling a bit more stressed about the food/exercise balance than I would like. I’m trying to relax and not worry, but I’ll admit that I’m thinking about it a lot. Going “pointless” hasn’t been too hard so far, but that’s because I’ve basically been able to stick to my calorie counting and workout plans. I guess this week is a good challenge. I’ve always liked a good challenge, so, hopefully, I’ll learn something this week. You can bet that I’ll be telling you about it. 

For now, I’m going to focus on my awake/asleep balance. I hope you have a great Thursday, and I hope you survived tax day!! I’ve included info about a couple of cool giveaways, so be sure to check them out. Ciao for now, bloggadoos!

Check out this blondie giveaway at Sweet and Fit and support a good cause!

You could win some sweet Stonyfield swag from the Fitnessista!


Filed under Chocolate, cooking, diet, Farmer's Market, Fitness, Food, Greek Yogurt, Uncategorized, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story

My Experimental Grits

Happy Tuesday! I started the day off with a rather odd bowl of grits. Do you ever have an idea that sounds good in theory, but isn’t the best in reality? I love a fancy cheese course. My ideal cheese course involves some sort of jam or jelly, interesting cheese, nuts, bread, fruit… the usual. This morning I thought I’d try to create a bowl of “cheese course” grits. 

Experimental GritsIf you’ve read one of my posts about grits before, you might remember that I like my grits sweet rather than savory. Since I had a cheese that was studded with fruit, Trader Joe’s Apricot and Raisin Amaretto English Cheese, I thought it might be the best of both worlds. I decided to mix some jam into my grits, and then top it with some crumbled up sweet and savory cheese and some chopped almonds. Ok. Pretend the grits count as bread. We’ve got jam, cheese, nuts, “bread” and…

Hungry For Grapes!… fruit. This is just like a fancy cheese course, right? Um, not so much. It was ok. It was certainly edible, but it isn’t an experiment that I plan to recreate any time soon. I do love cheese and grapes together, so breakfast earned some points for that combo, but otherwise, meh. Ah well. You win some, you just eat some anyway.

Speaking of winning some… my little morning snack was a winner!

All GoneI ate the last six little Cadbury mini eggs. I’m making my way through my Easter treats, and I’m kind of glad that it will be awhile until the next “candy” holiday. In fact, when is the next candy holiday anyway? Christmas?? That can’t be right. How can that be possible? I meant to have them after lunch, but I was craving something sweet and decided it wouldn’t hurt to go ahead and break them out pre-lunch. Speaking of lunch:

Lovely LunchI had a bowl of Trader Joe’s Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup, another salad tossed with my soybean succotash, feta and chicken sausage, and a new little pudding I found at the grocery store this weekend topped with a crumbled vanilla wafer. 

Green Tea Chai Pudding from Kozy ShackKozy Shack has come out with several flavors of 100 calorie puddings. I believe the packaging mentioned something about probiotics and other such things. I bought it because of the flavor: Green Tea Chai. It didn’t disappoint. I’m happy that I have three more in the fridge. This is certainly no official product review, but I will say that I enjoyed it.

After that, I was still a bit hungry, and I had a peanut butter Gnu bar. I think the cinnamon raisin Gnu bars are still my favorites, and, as far as peanut butter flavored bars go, this one just isn’t my favorite. It does earn points because of the little bird saying “it works!” on the package. Oh dear. Thanks, for the reassurance, bird.

Who Gnu?Late in the day, I finally got around to having the snack I had packed. This morning, I fixed up this little cup of Greek yogurt, and topped it with some honey and a ton of cinnamon. By the time I got around to eating it, the honey had all sunk to the bottom. It was just like a “fruit on the bottom” sort of yogurt. Wow! I didn’t know I had the ability to make one of those. Ha! There is some Zoe’s granola on the side, as usual. I stirred up the yogurt and started eating it, but it just wasn’t doing it for me. I realized that something was missing. That something was…

Honey Love and Zoe's… a pretty chopped up pink lady apple. This snack went from “so so” to “fabulously awesome!” I ended up dipping my apple slices in the yogurt and granola, and it was SOOOO good! I love Pink Lady apples. 🙂

The Lady is a SnackWhen I got home, I wanted something quick. I was tired and hungry and I needed food ASAP! When I feel that way, an omelet is often the answer. Mine is a bit over cooked, but mine usually are. There is also some chipotle Tabasco on the top. Inside the omelet, I put smoked mozzarella, turkey pepperoni and a couple of tablespoons of Trader Joe’s bruschetta sauce. I love having a jar of that in the fridge. It’s so helpful when you need just a tiny hit of tomato goodness. I had some of the beautiful farmer’s market lettuce on the side drizzled with a mix of balsamic vinegar and coarse dijon. That lettuce is SO good. I don’t know why it took me so long to try it. It’s beautiful and delicate and so very fresh. It’s also nearly all gone. 😦

Din DinAfter dinner, I had another half of a shortbread cookie, courtesy of my friend, BDK, with a bit of ice cream. These cookies are so good!! Then, I went to the gym. 

Shortbready Goodness!I just had this Chex turtle mix bar as my post gym dessert. I sort of feel entitled to an extra dessert each evening after I get home from the gym. Do you have a favorite post gym snack? 

Chex Turtle BarThanks for telling me about your favorite “snacking” cereals yesterday, by the way. I should get some cocoa puffs! Several people are fans of them. Golden Grahams, TJ’s Honey Macadamia Grainfest, PB Puffins (one of my faves), TJ’s High Fiber O’s and Honey Almond Kashi also made the list. I used to love golden grahams. I may have to visit the cereal aisle for some retro-snacks after I work my way through my current supply!

So that’s about it for me today. Work was busy, and aside from going to work, going to the gym and eating, I haven’t really done anything else. In other words, you’ve heard all about my day now! I do like busy days at work. It’s nice when the day sort of zips by. I definitely prefer that to the days where the clock seems to crawl along at a snail’s pace! 

Now, I’m going to make a cup of bee pollen tea, mix up a breakfast cookie since I’ve missed them the last couple of days, and then I’m going to call it a day. I hope you are all doing well, and having a great week! Ciao for now!


Filed under cooking, diet, Farmer's Market, Fitness, Food, Greek Yogurt, Soy, Uncategorized, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story