Friday, August 31, 2012

Dangerously Low on Vitamin D

As an obese woman with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (causing hormonal problems) and Multiple Sclerosis (causing a weakened immune system and inflammation) the information below, was very eye-opening.

According to an article from Sparkpeople.com, a lack of vitamin D has been blamed for a plethora of health problems, but more targeted research should continue for diseases such as:
  • Cancer. Preliminary research suggests that vitamin D has an anti-cancer benefit. It may stop the growth and progression of cancer cells and be beneficial during cancer treatment, too.
  • Hormonal problems. Vitamin D influences the functions of insulin, rennin, serotonin and estrogen—hormones involved with health conditions such as diabetes, blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, depression and premenstrual syndrome.
  • Obesity. Some research shows that a vitamin D deficiency can interfere with the "fullness" hormone leptin, which signals the brain that you are full and should stop eating.
  • Inflammation. Vitamin D may help control the inflammation involved with periodontal disease, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
  • Weakened immune system. Vitamin D may play a role in a strengthening your immune system, especially in autoimmune disorders (when the body attacks itself) like multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.
I have 4 out of the 5 issues that indicate a lack of Vitamin D! That's huge. Every few months or so my neurologist has me do blood work to check on my Vitamin D levels. Each time I have been tested, I have been dangerously low on Vitamin D. This, he believes, is attributed to my multiple sclerosis. Once he finds that I am dangerously low, he prescribes me a drastically high dose of Vitamin D to take for 8 weeks. After the prescription has run out, I am suppose to get rechecked. I have never fully followed through with the directions. Going back to get rechecked hasn't worked out for me so well. I hate needles so I will find any excuse to get out of getting blood tests. My legitimate excuse of being sick with pneumonia was a pretty good one, though. As for the other times, I don't remember quite what kept me from going.

The reason that I bring up Vitamin D and my (personally) dreadful process of being checked (then rechecked) is because it is time for me to get checked, yet again. I should have gotten the bloodwork done weeks ago, but I had a good excuse! I was in my friends wedding and I didn't want a bruise on my arm for the big day. I know, I know. I need to get it done! It is my hope to muster up the courage to get my bloodwork done by the end of this week, or early next week. After the bloodwork, I am going to comply with the prescription and really try to go back to get rechecked. Learning what I have from the article from sparkpeople has really motivated me to get going on this! Vitamin D is so important and now that I know this, I have no excuse not to try to get my body in balance!

In other news, I just recently realized that I have only 6 more months to complete all of the items listed in my 25 by 25 List. The items that I am referring to are listed, below:

1. Try 25 new recipes (22/25 done)
2. Complete a 5K
3. Try 3 new bike/walking trails (1/3 done)
4. Try tofu for the first time
5. Read 5 books regarding healthy living (2/5 done)
6. Post 5 video blog recipes (1/5 done)
7. Reach "Onederland"
8. Go on 12 dates with my husband (4/12 complete)
9. Treat myself with a professional massage
10. Travel out of state 3 times (2/3 complete)
11. Crochet a blanket
12. Cook something for our mothers, "just because"
13. Host a bonfire with friends
14. Invite my father-in-law over for dinner 5 times (2/5 done)
15. Host a picnic with family
16. Search for beach glass at the lake
17. Go canoeing
18. Swing dance in Cleveland
19. Shop at a whole foods market
20. Try a new fruit or vegetable
21. Try a new workout
22. Complete a home project
23. Take our dog on 10 walks and blog about them (5/10 done)
24. Try a new restaurant
25. Pay off a credit card ($1,000)

One of the reasons I am not further along on some items listed would be because I forget to blog about them. For instance, I know that my husband and I have been on more than 4 dates this year, and I know that I have taken my dog for more than 5 walks, too!

The 4th date that I am blogging about is one that occured this past weekend. My husband asked if he could take me out for lunch at a local restaurant that we rarely ever visit. We both had fish and fries with a side of cottage cheese. We also ordered cheese sticks.

My cute husband :)
There are a couple items on my list that I am afraid I won't complete in time. I am afraid that we won't get the chance to go canoeing, swing dance in Cleveland, or try 2 more new biking/walking trails. I am most worried that I won't reach Onederland before February. I still have 38 pounds to go before I reach that place, so I guess it is still technically possible. Nothing is completely out of the running yet. I still have many goals to work on reaching!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Breasts

Last week, I tried a new recipe for dinner. That is new recipe number 22 for those who are keeping track! Only 3 more new recipes to go before reaching my goal this year! This most recent recipe was one of my husband's favorites. He literally sat in the chair for an enitre minute after eating, just staring off in to space. I asked him what he was thinking about and he said that he was just enjoying the taste in his mouth from dinner. He makes me laugh! For those of you who like buffalo chicken wings dipped in bleu cheese, this is a healthier way to take care of that craving!


Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Breasts

Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Breasts

Servings: 5 
Nutrition per serving: Calories: 172; Fat: 5 g; Carbs: 5 g; Protein: 22 g

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup shredded 2% cheddar
  • 4 wedges light Laughing Cow blue cheese 
  • 1/3 cup celery stalk, minced
  • 1/4 cup green onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup carrot, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 5 (3 oz each) thin boneless chicken breasts cutlets
  • 15 reduced fat Ritz Crackers, crushed into crumbs
  • 1 tbsp light mayonnaise
  • 6 tbsp Franks hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp light butter
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • cooking spray 
Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly spray a baking dish with oil.
Mix cheddar, laughing cow cheese, celery, green onion, carrot, salt and pepper in a dish.


Lay out the chicken cutlets, placing even amount of mixture in the middle and spread in the center.

In one bowl make a breading station out of crushed ritz crumbs. In another bowl combine mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon of hot sauce, and lemon juice as a dredging mixture.

Roll chicken breasts in the mayonnaise mixture, then into cracker crumbs, and put on a lightly greased pan, seam side down.




Lightly spray top of chicken with cooking spray. Bake 30 minutes. While the chicken cooks, melt butter and mix with the remaining hot sauce and garlic powder. Drizzle buffalo sauce over finished chicken breast and serve.

I put the leftovers from this recipe in containers and froze them. They lasted about a week before we just had to bring them back out for dinner. We chopped up the chicken and tossed it in to a salad. It was the best buffalo chicken salad I've ever had! This is definitely a meal we will have again and again!

Let me know if you give this recipe a try and how you liked it!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ready for Summer to be Over!

Yesterday morning I woke up 30 minutes before my alarm was to go off to wake me up for work. I felt well rested and the first thing that I thought of was going for a walk with my dog. I set a goal earlier this year to take my dog, Max, for 10 walks and blog about them. Today was walk # 5 of 10.



The sun was rising and the weather was perfect for a morning stroll. I walked .74 miles with Max, which added to some miles that my husband and I racked up the night before during an evening bike ride. We are trying to reach 5 miles through exercise this week, among a couple other mini goals:

Kay's Mini Goals for the Week:

~ No eating out - 3/7
~ Go 5 miles through exercise - 3.34 miles / 5 miles
~ Drink 64 ounces of water/day - 2/7

Nicks's Mini Goals for the Week:

~ No eating out - 3/7
~ Go 5 miles through exercise - 2.6 miles / 5 miles
~ Drink 64 ounces of water/day - 2/7

I have been trying to get more sleep lately, and I really think it is starting to help. I feel more energized throughout the day and I actually feel like I have enough energy to do things such as take a walk with my dog and go for an evening bike ride with my husband. My energy levels were really suffering from the late summer nights. I live in an area that experiences all four seasons and even though I know I will regret saying this months from now, I am really looking forward to fall and even winter.

Are you ready for summer to be over yet?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"How Come I'm Not Losing Weight?"


Yesterday I read an article from Sparkpeople.com that got me thinking. Maybe I'm not losing much weight lately because I have been thinking like a dieter! I know that this is a journey, a lifestyle change; not a diet! However, I still find myself thinking like a dieter, somtimes. This could be what is holding me back!

10 Habits of Unsuccessful Dieters

Bad Habit #1: Going "on a diet" in the first place.
The word "diet" implies restriction, limitation, and a short-lived effort to get some quick results and then return to a "normal" way of eating. iets usually mean giving things up: favorite foods, dining out, desserts—even your social life. You don't have to be a psychology expert to know that when you tell yourself you can't have something, you usually want it more. This way of thinking could directly be sabotaging your efforts.
 
Smart Fix: Ditch the diets for good and focus on creating a healthy lifestyle based on nutritious foods and small, realistic changes that you can live with for the long term.

Bad Habit #2: Overhauling your eating habits overnight.
How many times have you gone crazy eating all the "bad" foods you know you shouldn't, only to promise to swear them off starting next week or next month or next year? How often have you decided to suddenly clean out your kitchen, throw away all the "junk" and then shop for only healthy food?

How's that working for you? No one can expect to change a lifetime of eating habits overnight—and no one should have to! To lose weight successfully and keep it off, you have to adopt a way of eating that you can stick with for the rest of your life.
 
Smart Fix: Eating healthy isn't about taking food away; it's about eating MORE of the things that are good for you. To be successful, you have to implement small and realistic changes to your diet. The point is to start small with changes that fit into your lifestyle. 

Bad Habit #3: Giving up certain foods altogether.
We've already touched on the idea that labeling certain foods as diet no-no's can make you crave them even more. Whether you feel out of control when you're around certain foods or you've read about a certain diet plan that promises results if you were to just cut out wheat, gluten, carbs, sugar, or dairy, a lot of people think that to lose weight they have to give up specific things—including foods that they love.

A truly healthy diet that you can stick with forever will include all the foods you love. Unless you plan to give up ice cream or bread forever, then don't cut anything out temporarily. Generally, people can give up foods like that for a while and see some weight loss success (usually because they're eating fewer calories, not because anything about that specific food causes weight problems). But as soon as that food is let back into your life, the weight tends to come back with it.
 
Smart Fix: All things in moderation. Instead of focusing on the foods you can't have, set goals to eat more of the foods that you know are good for you. This is a much more positive way to think about your goals and get results. Plus, allowing yourself portion-controlled servings of the food you're thinking about banning will keep you happy and content, but also prevent crazed binges that can occur when you're feeling weak.

Bad Habit #4: Only caring about calories.
Calories are key to weight loss. In fact, balancing your calorie equation (what you eat and what you burn) is what results in successful weight management. However, there is more to weight loss and a healthy lifestyle than calories alone. Some foods that may be higher in calories per serving are actually healthier for you than foods that may be lower in calories (think a heart-healthy avocado vs. a processed 100-calorie pack of pretzels). So while calories count, nutrition matters, too.
 
Smart Fix: While tracking your calories, don't forget to look at other key nutrients like protein and healthy fats (both of which can keep you full) and key vitamins and minerals that are important for your overall health. Ideally, you want to use a little trial and error to balance not only your calorie equation, but make the kinds of choices that meet your protein, fat, carbohydrate and micronutrient (vitamins and minerals) goals.

Bad Habit #5: Focusing on the scale.
You want to lose weight, so you weigh yourself, right? Yes…and no. Weight is an easy way to measure your progress, but it doesn't tell you the whole story. Even if the scale isn't budging, that does not mean that you're not making major progress toward losing weight and getting healthier. You can lose inches, get fitter, gain lean muscle mass, drop body fat, become better hydrated, look better and feel more energized without the pounds budging at all.
 
Smart Fix: Remember that the scale tells you only one thing: the total mass of all your body parts at a given moment. Don't put too much stock into it. Weigh yourself less frequently and track all the other signs that amazing changes are happening in your body even if the scale doesn't move. This is the best way to stay motivated for the long haul.

Bad Habit #6: Only dieting and not exercising.
This may be one of the most common reasons your weight loss is stalling. Yes, you can lose weight through diet alone, but it will be a lot harder. You can only cut so many calories without feeling overly hungry, lethargic or miserable. Yet by exercising along with making dietary changes, you can eat more (and feel more satisfied) and still lose weight. Plus, you'll get all the amazing physical and mental benefits that come from exercising, including improved appearance, better muscle tone and a healthier body overall.
 
Smart Fix: Add exercise to your weight-loss plan. It doesn't have to be boring, strenuous, or time-consuming either. Even 10 minutes a day can make a huge difference in your results. For tons of fun, easy and effective workout ideas, check out these Fitness Resources. You're sure to find something that you enjoy!

Bad Habit #7: Trying to eat as little as possible.
If cutting calories is good for weight loss, then eating as little as possible is better, right? Wrong (especially if you're also trying to fuel your body for regular workouts). You need to eat a certain calorie level to function optimally and get all its essential nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. Eating much less than that can cause serious problems in the long term and damage your metabolism, making weight loss even harder.
 
Smart Fix: Don't just guess how many calories you need, and don't eat what someone else eats either. Sparkpeople is a good resource with free Nutrition Tracker that has a recommended calorie range that is personalized for you and your goals. Eating within that range (even at the very top of it) will help you reach your weight loss goal. There is no reason to go below it. Remember: You have to eat to lose!

Bad Habit #8: Giving up too easily.  
No person who ever lost weight successfully reached that goal because they were perfect all the time. Setbacks happen to everyone, even the most successful people. We've all had days where we made a poor food decision during a meal—or even for an entire day. We've all missed workouts, forgot the lunch we packed, or been too busy to cook a diet-friendly meal at home. But those who continue dropping the pounds pick themselves up, forgive themselves from their mistakes, learn from their slipups, and just keep right on going.
 
Smart Fix: Remember that perfection has no place in a weight loss plan. When you do make a mistake or feel like you're not making enough progress, don't give up. Change requires time and old habits die hard. When you feel yourself ready to give up, reach out for some support, and don't wait until next week or next month to get back on the wagon.

Bad Habit #9: Confusing "healthy" with "low-calorie."
Research shows that when shoppers see "healthy" buzz words or claims on food packages (think: gluten-free, organic, all-natural, sugar-free, low-fat, etc.), they automatically assume the food is low in calories. This couldn't be further from the truth. Food manufacturers will plaster all sorts of enticing lingo onto their packages, knowing that you'll think exactly that. But none of these words really tell you much about the healthfulness of a product; and none of them actually have any affect on a food's calories.
 
Smart Fix: Read front-of-package labels with a discerning eye, and always turn over the package and look at the nutrition facts (and ingredients) to get a full picture of what a food is really like. This goes for restaurant menus, too. Don't let healthy-sounding words make you think a food is actually low in calories. Know your menu watch words or look up nutrition facts before you place your order.

Bad Habit #10: Unrealistic expectations.
These days with news stories, weight-loss advertisements and reality shows alike touting fast and extreme weight loss as the norm, it can be easy to think that you are capable of those kinds of results, too. But in truth, these are extreme and abnormal results that most people cannot expect to replicate. If you're expecting to drop a lot of weight fast—and to do so consistently—these unrealistic expectations could be setting you up for failure. There's nothing worse than expecting to lose 10 pounds in your first week, but to only lose one.
 
Smart Fix: Change your expectations and your mindset. If you expect to lose 10 pounds in one week, then losing 1 pound is a major letdown. But if you expect to lose 1 pound and you did, you feel successful and inspired to keep working toward your goals. Losing 1-2 pounds per week—even half a pound—is major progress that should be commended. This is a healthy and realistic rate of weight loss that you can expect if you're sticking to your nutrition and fitness goals.

Just in the past month, I have been guilty of bad habit number 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 and 10!
Do you find yourself being guilty of any of the "bad habits" listed above?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Thick and Thin Challenge Update - Week 1

The Plan:

My husband and I will be working toward losing about 15 pounds each by September 19th. That is the date of our 3 year wedding anniversary.

The Terms and Conditions:

~ Weigh-in's will be every Sunday morning
~ Dinner plans are to be posted for each week
~ "Mini Goals" are to be posted for each week

Kay's Weekly Weigh-in's:

Start Date: August 19, 2012
Start Weight: 239 lbs.
Current Weight: 238 lbs.
Total Loss: 1
Goal Weight: 224 lbs.
Goal Date: September 19, 2012
Pounds to go: 14

Nick's Weekly Weigh-in's:

Start Date: August 19, 2012
Start Weight: 231 lbs.
Current Weight: 228 lbs.
Total Loss: 3
Goal Weight: 215 lbs.
Goal Date: September 19, 2012
Pounds to go: 13

Kay's Mini Goal Results from 8/19 - 8/25:

~ Do 100 sit-ups (50/100)
~ Do 100 push-ups (50/100)
~ Drink 64 ounces of water/day (6/7)

Nick's Mini Goal Results from 8/19 - 8/25:

~ Do 100 sit-ups (25/100)
~ Do 100 push-ups (20/100)
~ Drink 64 ounces of water/day (3/7)

I am super excited for my husband for losing a total of 3 pounds so far! Neither of us completed all of our mini goals for last week. Although it's easy to get frustrated about that, I am just going try harder to complete our mini goals this week!
This Week's Dinner Plan:

Monday: Salsa Con Queso with Chicken
Tuesday: Salmon with Broccoli and Rice
Wednesday: Buffalo Chicken Salads
Thursday: Butter Garlic Shrimp over Noodles
Friday: Homemade Calzones
Saturday: Zuppa Toscana

Mini Goals for the Week:

~ No eating out
~ Go 5 miles through exercise (walking, biking, etc.)
~ Drink 64 ounces of water/day

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cooking Light

As I was flipping through my new magazine of "Cooking Light" I found a really simple recipe that I am going to just have to try! It's called "Chicken with Honey-Beer Sauce". It sounds delicious and the picture in the magazine had me sold!



I am getting really excited about being so close to reaching my goal of trying 25 new recipes this year as part of my 25 by 25 list. We have tried so many new things! I'm hoping to get a post in tomorrow about the awesome Stuffed Buffalo Chicken that I made on Monday. It literally tasted like buffalo chicken wings dipped in bleu cheese. YUM!

Kay's Mini Goals for the Week:

~ Do 100 sit-ups (50/100)
~ Do 100 push-ups (50/100)
~ Drink 64 ounces of water/day (4/7)

Nick's Mini Goals for the Week:

~ Do 100 sit-ups (25/100)
~ Do 100 push-ups (20/100)
~ Drink 64 ounces of water/day (2/7)

My husband has a really hard time getting 64 ounces of water in per day. Even though he hasn't met that goal every day this week, I am still super proud for him putting in the effort to reach it!

Does anyone else have trouble getting their "8 glasses" of water in a day?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sit-Ups Are Hard, Push-Ups are Harder!

My mini goals for the week are kicking my butt! I have learned that sit-ups are hard and push-ups are even harder. Thankfully, I have the best personal training duo in the business to keep me going even when I feel as if I can't do anymore! Meet my personal trainers, Maximus and Topher:

This is my view when I am doing my sit-ups! Max is saying "keep going!"
In order to even do a single sit-up, I need to have a cushion under me and use the couch for assistance.
Topher and Max, checking out my cushion.

I really had no idea how challenging my mini challenges would be for me this week. However, I am loving the sense of accomplishment I am feeling as I creep my way closer to reaching 100 sit-ups and 100 push-ups done for this week! I am so proud of my husband for making an effort toward reaching these mini goals this week, as well. We can do it!

Kay's Mini Goals for the Week:

~ Do 100 sit-ups (50/100)
~ Do 100 push-ups (50/100)
~ Drink 64 ounces of water/day (2/7)

Nick's Mini Goals for the Week:

~ Do 100 sit-ups (25/100)
~ Do 100 push-ups (20/100)
~ Drink 64 ounces of water/day (1/7)

Monday, August 20, 2012

First Day of T and T Challenge Recap

Kay's Mini Goals for the Week:

~ Do 100 sit-ups (25/100)
~ Do 100 push-ups (25/100)
~ Drink 64 ounces of water/day (1/7)

Nick's Mini Goals for the Week:

~ Do 100 sit-ups (0/100)
~ Do 100 push-ups (0/100)
~ Drink 64 ounces of water/day (0/7)

Can I just say that before yesterday, I don't remember the last time that I did a sit-up or a push-up. It has easily been more than 3 years. I underestimated the amount of struggle I would have doing something as "basic" as sit-ups and push-ups. My first set of 10 sit-ups weren't anything compared to the second set and the last five. Around sit-up number 17 I literally couldn't sit up anymore! It was a complete struggle to finish the 25 sit-ups that I intended to do yesterday, but I finished strong! As for the push-ups, I tried doing 1 normally and couldn't. I couldn't even do 1 push-up! I decided to do the modified push-ups (otherwise known as the girls push-up) and I managed to do the full 25 that way.

Drinking 64 ounces of water isn't usually a struggle for me, except on the weekends. Yesterday, however, I made sure to get in all of my water for the day!

As for our meals, we woke up to find there were not very many options. It was clear that grocery day was upon us! I found a jello cup for breakfast and had no idea what we were going to do for lunch. Thankfully, my grandma saved the day and invited us over to have lunch at her house!


Lunch: My first plate.

Lunch: My second plate.
I really tried not to get a second plate but I was super hungry since the jello cup I had for breakfast didn't do a thing for me! After we ate, my husband and grandpa watched the Nascar race in the garage while I grabbed the best seat in the house and began to make my grocery list.

The most comfy seat in the house at my grandma's.
An hour or so later, before we left, I grabbed a snack from their stash of goodies. I could never have ho-ho's in our house so it was a nice little treat, today!

Grandma always has the best snacks.
 
I wasn't feeling really well after our visit at my grandparents so I took an hour nap and relaxed for a bit. I made a large pot of salsa con queso chicken for dinner and we had lots of yummy leftovers to freeze! I was really excited to make this meal today because we tried new noodles. I bought them because they looked fun and cute. If you read my post from the other day, I guess you could say that I have a thing for cute food.


Salsa Con Queso Chicken

Loads of leftovers and our dinner plates.

After dinner, we went to my moms house to visit my little brother. He always makes us laugh! I love visiting him! My husband left my moms house with some homemade banana bread. I was pretty proud of staying away from that treat, and can't wait for him to eat the bread for breakfast so the temptation is out of the house!

My little brother!
We had an awesome Sunday and a great first day of our new Challenge!

How was your weekend?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Through Thick and Thin Challenge

Now that my Big Bridesmaid Challenge is over, I am ready to begin something new! When I look to begin a new challenge, one of the first things that I contemplate is the potential goal date. I am usually more motivated when the goal date is related to an upcoming event, so I took a look at my calendar and began to think. I didn't have to think long about the next big event coming up in my life. My husband and I are going to be celebrating 3 years of marriage on September 19, 2012. That's next month!

So, in light of our 3 year wedding anniversary, both my husband I will be participating in my new challenge; Through Thick and Thin. This challenge is going to be even more fun and exciting because my husband is going to be working right along side me in this!

As with every challenge, I like to lay out the plan with terms and conditions:

The Plan:

My husband and I will be working toward losing about15 pounds each by September 19th. That is the date of our 3 year wedding anniversary.

The Terms and Conditions:

~ Weigh-in's will be every Sunday morning
~ Dinner plans are to be posted for each week
~ "Mini Goals" are to be posted for each week

Kay's Weekly Weigh-in's:

Start Date: August 19, 2012
Start Weight: 239 lbs.
Current Weight: 239 lbs.
Total Loss: 0
Goal Weight: 224 lbs.
Goal Date: September 19, 2012
Pounds to go: 15

Nick's Weekly Weigh-in's:

Start Date: August 19, 2012
Start Weight: 231 lbs.
Current Weight: 231 lbs.
Total Loss: 0
Goal Weight: 215 lbs.
Goal Date: September 19, 2012
Pounds to go: 16

This Week's Dinner Plan:

Sunday: Salsa Con Queso Chicken
Monday: Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Breasts
Tuesday: Turkey Sausage w/ Peppers, Onions and Rice
Wednesday: Butter Garlic Shrimp over Noodles
Thursday: Grilled Chicken Salads
Friday: Veggie Pizzas
Saturday: Date Night ~ Reverse Raffle

Mini Goals for the Week:

~ Do 100 sit-ups
~ Do 100 push-ups
~ Drink 64 ounces of water/day

My husband and I are both really motivated and super excited to start this new challenge! With only 4 weeks in this challenge, it is my hope that we will be able to keep each other motivated from start to finish!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Wraps

I am back home, and so happy to be here! Business trips can be fun but they really take a lot out of me.



I was looking through my photos this morning and I couldn't remember if I ever posted this little recipe that I made up. Even if I did, I think that it's worth repeating. I made Bacon Wrapped Chicken Wraps. We wrapped chicken fillets with turkey bacon and baked them (next time I will grill them because the texture wasn't as good as it could have been). I used two chickens to a tortilla shell, sprinkled the shell with cheddar cheese and then sliced tomatoes for mine. I also added ranch but you could add mayo or nothing at all! They were a really easy fun dinner and tasted great!


This would make number 21 of 25 new recipes I need to make as part of my 25 by 25 list this year. I am so excited to have gotten this far and I can't wait to try my next 4 new recipes!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Summer Vegetables with Sausage

So, the other night, I tried a new recipe as part of my 25 by 25 list. Click here for the recipe! It was suppose to be summer vegetable with sausage but I was lacking most of the summer vegetables. Instead, I just used zucchini and onions. The recipe still turned out great and I look forward to making this meal, again!


"Summer Vegetables with Sausage"
 My favorite part of this meal (besides how great it tasted) was that it only used one pan. Easy clean up and lots of yummy leftovers! We also used a new type of baby potatoes when trying this recipe.


Ruby Sensation Potatoes

They call themselves "ruby sensation" potatoes. They were the smallest baby reds I've ever seen. To be honest, I bought them because they looked cute. They paid me back for my compliment by taking even less time to cook and by tasting even better than I could have imagined! I think that ruby sensations and I have begun a new relationship in which I do not see ending anytime soon. Seriously, you need to try these potatoes! With these potatoes aside, the only other thing I belive I could speak more passionately about right now would be sleep. I travel home from my business trip this evening and I can't wait to catch up on some "z's" in my very own bed!

Have you ever tried "ruby sensation" potatoes?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pleasantly Surprised

Something that I completely forgot to mention about my friend's wedding this past weekend was the incredibly nice gifts she gave to her bridesmaids! We were all pleasantly surprised when we opened our gift bags to see a smaller bag inside.


I felt extremely spoiled! We were all sitting there with big eyes and mouths wide open in "awe". The bride said to take a look inside; in there we found our necklaces that she wanted us to wear in the wedding next day! I pulled mine out to find a beautiful string of pink pearls.


I tried the necklace on while we were at the restaurant and it barely fit; it was like a choker on me. That's the other downside to being a "big" bridesmaid. Luckily, I make jewelry as a hobby so I had everything I needed to make an extender for my necklace.


Everything fit well, the necklace and the dress! Although there was a lot of stress involved in being a "big" bridesmaid, it was well worth the honor I felt to be included in one of my best friends wedding day.

This morning I leave for a business trip and I will not return home until Wednesday night. I do not have any challenges this week and for that I am grateful. It is really hard staying on track with much of anything when I am away on business. I have, however, already begun thinking of my next challenge theme. I know it sounds silly, but creating and being a part of challenges really makes this weight loss journey fresh and fun for me!

Are you currently involved in any challenges?

Monday, August 13, 2012

My Friend's Wedding


Yesterday, one of my best friends from high school got married. She was a gorgeous bride and the wedding was perfect.
My newly married friend.


My other best friend from high scool and I.

A couple other friends from high school.


A snapshot of our full hotel room after the wedding.
After the wedding and reception, my husband and I checked in to our hotel room. Aparently we weren't the only ones who decided to get a room that night. It seemed as if the entire floor was filled with guests from the wedding. Oddly enough, they all ended up in our hotel room. At any given time last night, there were about 20 people in our room. We all had a good time. I'm so glad that my friends wedding went well and that everyone seemed to have a good time afterwards.

I really could have used an extra day off from work this week, however, I am already going to be out of the office for two days this week. I have a business trip to attend 4 hours from home, starting on Tuesday. We don't get back until Wednesday night. I am honestly looking forward to the weekend, already!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Big Bridesmaid Challenge Results

... drum roll please ...

My Big Bridesmaid Challenge Results are:

Start Date: January 1, 2012
Start Weight: 245 lbs.
Current Weight: 235 lbs.
Total Loss: 10 lbs.

I'm pretty sure that I counted wrong at some point in my Big Bridesmaid Challenge because I think it was suppose to be 31 weeks long, but according to my last update, I was only on week 30. Regardless, this has been a loooong challenge! Even though I loved this challenge, I am defintiely happy that it is over. I am ready to take a week off of challenges all-together and then begin with something brand new come August 19th.

I didn't lose as much weight as I initially set out to lose in this challenge; however, I am still really proud of myself. I lost 10 pounds and kept it off over the summer, my hardest time to lose/maintain any weight! If it weren't for this challenge, I know that I wouldn't be where I am today. Staying motivated and sticking with a challenge for 30 weeks was another big accomplishement for me. Even though I didn't have many good reports this summer, I still reported each week as planned back in January of this year.

As I indicated above, I will not be participating in a challenge this week. I am, however, really excited to start a new *shorter* challenge next, Sunday.

A BIG thank-you to everyone who supported me throughout this challenge!
An update from my friends wedding, to include pictures of me in *the* dress, is soon to come.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Striped Delight

WARNING: this is not a healthy dessert!!

My office is having a "food day" where everyone brings in a dish and we all pig out the entire day. We do manage to fit work in between stuffing our faces, but eating as much as possible seems to be the goal of food day. I have officially decided to not even try to count calories today.

I volunteered to make dessert for food day, and found a new recipe from Kraft that I really wanted to try. By making this dessert, I am one step closer to reaching my goal of trying 25 new recipes this year!

New Recipe #18 of 25

Striped Delight

Serves 24
Nutrition per serving: 230 calories; 13 fat; 28 carbs; 3 protein

Ingredients

35 Oreo Cookies
6 Tbsp butter, melted
1 pkg. (8 oz) Cream Cheese
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp cold milk
1 tub (12 oz) cool whip
2 pkg. (3.9 oz each) JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding
3 1/4 cups cold milk

Directions

1. Process cookies in food processor until fine crumbs form. Transfer to medium bow; mix in butter. Press onto bottom of 13x9-inch dish. Refridgerate until ready to use.


2. Whisk cream cheese, sugar and 2 tbsp milk in medium bowl until blended. Stir in 1-1/4 cups cool whip; spread over crust.


3. Beat pudding mixes and 3-1/4 cups cold milk with whisk 2 min.; pour over cream cheese layer. Let stand 5 minutes or until thickened; cover with remaining cool whip. Refrigerate 4 hours (or overnight).



Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Binge

binge n.
1. a period of unrestrained, immoderate self-indulgence
2. a period of excessive or uncontrolled indulgence in food or drink

Last night, I binged on food at my moms house. I have many theories, however, I am not completely sure why I have no control over my eating habits while at my moms house. Last night, my mom invited my husband and I over for dinner. It sounded like a great idea because I had barely any groceries at our house. However, 3 bowls of spaghetti, 2 bowls of zucchini casserole, 1 slice of italian bread with butter and 2 cookie dough pop tarts later, it seemed as if it were a nightmare. I literally ate until I physically couldn't eat anymore. This happens so often when I go to my moms house! I don't know why.


Theories:

1) I waited too long between meals - I was really hungry when I got out of work. I wasn't able to go straight to my moms house to eat after work because last night was the only time that I had available to get my nails done before my friend's wedding on Saturday. I didn't get to my mom's house until 7:00 p.m.

2) Mom's house is where it all began - even though it is not my moms fault  (I repeat, it is NOT my moms fault) that I became severely overweight while living with her, he house is where it all began. While living with my mom, sometime in my early teens, I began the vicious cycle of diet > fail > binge > diet.

3) Different food - my mom sometimes cooks and has different food in stock at her house; foods that I wouldn't/couldn't keep in my own house. Also, she makes different portions that I would. For instance, I know that spaghetti is tempting for me to binge on,so when I make it at home, I only make enough for my husband and I. My mom is cooking for a lot of people, so she always makes more than we usually will eat.


I can't really think of any other reason why I always have a strong urge to binge at my mom's house. Those are my theories, though. I have struggled with this urge for as long as I can remember, so even though my first theory sounds correct, it can't be the core reason.

What are your thoughts? Does anyone else have this problem when they visit their parents or some place in particilar?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Random Snacks

Last night my husband and I went for a 20 minute bike ride. I had eaten well within my nutritional ranges for the day, until I got home from that ride. We were both really hungry so we had a couple random snacks from what we had around the house. I really need to go grocery shopping, tonight!

Chocolate covered strawberries

Ham and cheese roll-ups
Even though we both felt like we could have kept going with random snacks last night, we stopped there.

I am doing my best to make the most out of what we have left in the house. I had a salad with two hard boiled eggs and ranch for lunch. I had string cheese for a snack and my friend at work gave me some jello. For breakfast I scored when I found a lara bar that I had forgotten about. It was chocolate chip cookie dough; one of my favorites!
My mom offered that we go over there for dinner tonight. She made zucchini bake. It sounds really good! We may just take her up on that offer and use the time that I usually would have been cooking to go grocery shopping, instead!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Big Bridesmaid Challenge - Week 30

Big Bridesmaid Challenge Update - Week 30

The Plan:

I'm setting weekly goals/plans for myself until August 11th. That is the date of my best friend's wedding and I want to feel good about myself in my bridesmaid dress!

The Terms and Conditions:

~ Weigh-in's will be every Sunday morning
~ Dinner plans are to be posted for each week
~ Exercise plans are to be posted for each week


Weekly Weigh-In:

Start Date: 1/11/12
Starting Weight: 245 lbs
Current Date: 8/5/12
Current Weight: 236 lbs (+2 lbs from last week)
Total Loss: 9 lbs.
Goal Weight: 230 lbs.
Goal Date: 8/11/12
Pounds to Goal: 6 lbs.


Dinner Plan for the Week:

Monday: Chicken Con Queso
Tuesday: Cold Cut Salad
Wednesday: Butter Garlic Shrimp over Noodles
Thursday: Grilled Chicken Salad
Friday: Steak Salad (Rehearsal Dinner)
Saturday: *MY FRIEND'S WEDDING*


Exercise Plan for the Week:

Monday: Workout
Tuesday: Workout
Wednesday: Workout
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Rest
Saturday: *MY FRIEND'S WEDDING*

I've got a couple confessions to make. First confession: I gained 2 pounds this week. I have been all out of sorts lately. It's hard for me to lose weight whenever I am all over the place. Work has been crazy, life has been crazy. However, summer is always a huge struggle for me, so to have lost any weight during the challenge, has been a success. Second confession: my friend's wedding is 5 days away and I don't even know if my dress is going to fit. How crazy is that? I am usually so on top of things, but I have been so busy that I haven't been to my final fitting, yet! I am going to call my seamstress today. I am starting to get anxious.

My breakfast this morning.

So, given that this is my FINAL week of the Big Bridesmaid Challenge, I am going to give it my all. Giving it my all in these past few weeks has meant giving my all as long as it doesn't interfere with anything else. NOT this week! I am giving it my all, despite everything. Despite being too tired, despite feeling like I don't have enough time for working out, etc. It's the final week of my challenge developed the first of the year. Although my level of commitment to this challenge has varied over the course of the last 30 weeks, I have remained committed. I AM going to finish this challenge strong!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Incredible Edible Eggs

This morning, I woke up early. This gave me time to make a large cold cut salad to bring with me to work for lunch. To make my cold cut salad, I layed out a piece of ham and put a slice of munster cheese on top of it. I rolled the two together and then sliced the roll. That is why I call it a cold cut salad; I use cold cut ham and cheese from the deli. It's so fresh and delicious! I used a small bag of romaine lettuce and sliced up a roma tomato. I topped it all with 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese. A really filling and healthy lunch! I just finished half of the salad, the rest I will eat as an afternoon snack if I get hungry. The great part of this salad is that it was so full of taste that I didn't even add salad dressing! Now that I have picked all of the ham and cheese out of the salad, however, I may need some ranch when I finish it as a snack or with my dinner.

My "cold cut" salad.

Speaking of a snack, I made two hard boiled eggs and ate them before my salad at lunch. Those were super filling all on their own! I am going to have to make hard boiled eggs more often! I researched the health benefits of hard boiled eggs and I have found a lot of resources:


From those resources, I have learned that eggs are one of the only foods that contain naturally occurring Vitamin D. This is great news for me! I have multiple sclerosis so I am usually dangerously low on Vitamin D. I actually have to get blood work done soon to check my levels. From those resources, I also have learned that eating eggs may help lower risk of a heart attack or stroke by helping to prevent blood clots. Also great news, considering that I have Factor V Blood Clotting Disorder!

Now I guess I know why they call them "incredible edible eggs"!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I'm Not Giving 100%

How is it already Wednesday? I'm not really complaining. I just feel like I have wasted the first couple days of my week. I didn't follow my meal plan for Monday and Tuesday; I ate really late "snacks", and; I haven't been getting much sleep. I even ate a donut for breakfast this morning:


Instead of dwelling on what I haven't done, I will try to look to the positive. For instance, I have been following my exercise plan. My husband and I went for an evening bike ride on Monday and went 2.5 miles in 30 minutes. I also tried to make myself a healthy breakfast this morning, but left it covered on the stove, forgetting about it when I left for work. My co-worker brought in donuts so even though it wasn't the best choice, at least I had something to eat for breakfast.

I know that I'm not giving this 100% right now, and I feel guilty about that. I need to remind myself that nobody can give 100% all of the time. I just need to forgive myself and keep trying.

"You don't drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there" -Edwin L. Cole