Diet · Fitness · Food · weight loss

Fall down 77 times, get up 78?

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If starting over again is the hardest part, then why-oh-why do I keep quitting in the first place?

If you follow my blog at all, you know that if I am not writing I am not doing well working toward my healthy lifestyle goals. I can’t even remember the last time I made an entry.

Since New Year I have been trying to work out and eat better, with many, many ups and downs.

I plan on going into each in more detail in future blog posts, but so far this year I have joined a second gym, tried Spinning, Zumba, and have taken a six-week nutrition class.

Things are working, but more slowly than I am used to and that I would like. I have lost a few pounds, but am feeling stronger and a little more healthy. Still a long way to go, but this is a step in the right direction.

Today I realized I really needed to start writing again. It helps. I am going to work much harder to carve out a little time every day to focus on myself and write things down. In the past it has helped keep me going, organize my thoughts and clear my head. Knowing I have people cheering me on helps a lot too.

I know this post is a little all over the place, but that is how I am feeling right now. More on that in the near future I’m sure.

Right now all I know is I am taking this one day at a time. I am not beating myself up if I miss a workout or eat that cookie. I am going to be on this journey and enjoy life at the same time. As long as I continue in the right direction any progress is good progress.

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Diet · Food · Goals · Health · weight loss

Misery loves company

Onion 1, Lynn 0
Onion 1, Lynn 0

Don’t let the photo fool you, everything is fine. That was the result of me attempting to cut an onion. Terrible. I used to wear ski goggles when doing this horrible task, but I lost them in one of the many moves I have made in the last few years.

Anywho…

In an effort to hold myself accountable this time, I told lots of people that yesterday was my first day living healthy again. This of course included my boyfriend who assured me he was going to help me reach my goals. So far he sure is following through.

When we got home from work last night we went through the whole kitchen getting rid of everything unhealthy. Boxes of hamburger helper, chocolate, cookies, cake mix, bacon, Mountain Dew and an ungodly amount of Zebra Cakes went out the door, among other things.

Today I worked on replacing the bad food with the good stuff. Spinach, mushrooms, squash, eggplant, apples, strawberries, chicken and fish. Lots of healthy foods for meals and to munch on.

For dinner I sauteed chicken breast with white wine, minced garlic, half an onion and added spinach in for the last few minutes. It was really tasty if I don’t say so myself.

Chicken sauteed with onion, garlic, wine and spinach with sides of sweet potato and corn.
Chicken sauteed with onion, garlic, wine and spinach with sides of sweet potato and corn.

The last two days have been easier than I expected, it deffinitly helps that I have support. Hopefully this time will be different than the last few tries.

I also finished up my juice cleanse today. I think it worked. i work up this morning feeling better than I have in a while. Whether the cleanse really did work on me physically or if it was just mental, I don’t know. Honestly I really don’t care, as long as it helps get me moving in the right direction.

Tomorrow I am going to try and get up and work our before work, even if it is just walking around the block or the park near m house a few times, something to get my blood flowing.

Thursday I have a gym date ay 6 a.m. with one of my good friends who also struggles with her weight. My plan is to get enough people involved in my weight loss journey this time that I won’t have a choice but to succeed.

Goal for Friday’s weigh in is to lose 5 pounds. Her’s hoping.

Diet · Food · Health

Attack of the three-day-old pizza

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I can follow my healthy eating routine no problem until around 8 p.m. Without fail, as soon as the clock strikes eight-ish, the munchies attack. I want to eat everything in sight (and maybe go to the store for more).

Today I found out I’m not the only one with this problem.

Here is the CliffsNotes version of a conversation between me and one of my best friends today. (Note: Names have been changed to protect the munchy.)

Kimmy: Help! David just caught me shoveling three day old pizza into my mouth and I wasn’t even hungry, I was just in the kitchen. Whan can I do about the eight o’clock problem???

Me: Pour dish soap on it! (Learned that from Sex and the City, you know, the one where Miranda makes a cake for herself, throws it out, then proceeds to eat it out of the trash can. Pouring dish soap put an end to that). I wish I knew what to do about it, that’s my biggest problem too!

Kimmy: Let’s brainstorm and then you should blog about it. (Great idea by the way) I’m thinking of learning how to knit. Or perhaps some other craft. Cross stitching? Starting a Pinterest board… “Pinning so I don’t overeat”

Me: Love it!

Kimmy: Clean. Organize — You’re not helping with ideas.

Me: Drink! Paint.

Kimmy: Shock collar.

Me: Those are only for dogs and kids. How bout a rubber band around your wrist?

Kimmy: lol, Kids?

Me: Yeah, I’m going to be a terrible mom.

Kimmy: Juggle. A hobby… jewelry making.

Me: Color in your daughter’s coloring books.

Kimmy: Color, I love it.

So, while Kimmy is off coloring in all of her daughter’s coloring books, I want to ask for all of your help. Do you get the post-dinner munchies? If so, what do you do to beat it?

Clothing · Diet · Fitness · Food

On your mark, get set, PACK!

Get ready for an all over the place post!

Yesterday's lunch, about a bazillion calories.
Yesterday’s lunch, about a bazillion calories.

The countdown has begun. Today was my last day at work and the movers come in the middle of next week to move me from Missouri back home to Massachusetts. Yay!

I haven’t been good this week at all. I haven’t been really bad, but I haven’t made it to the gym — at all. Hopefully I am burning enough calories moving boxes and packing that my body at least thinks it is lifting weights!

My meal choices have been lass than great as well. I am trying not go to the grocery store again before I leave, instead I am trying to eat the food I already have in the house. The only problem is that most of the food not really on my diet. In addition to that, my lovely coworkers organized a delicious potluck lunch for my going away party. Being the guest of honor, I didn’t think it was right to not eat, even though I don’t think any of the dishes were on my diet.

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I felt SO sick after this plate of food. No seconds for me, thankyouverymuch. Part of the reason I think this try at losing weigh is because it isn’t super strict. If I want to cheat and eat something that it high in calories, I do — I just remember for the rest of the day I need to either work it off or cut waaay back on the rest of my meals. I had an apple for dinner last night to make up for it, and it was plenty.

Today, my official last say, my diet sabotoging well meaning co workers brought in a goodbye cake.

I used to LOVE this kind of cake, with the buttercream frosting, but it was so sweet, I couldn’t eat my whole piece.

I am about to go through my closet one last time, getting rid of any clothes that don’t fit or that I don’t want any more so I don’t have to move them again. These jeans are on the chopping block.

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download-7I was running a little bit early for an appointment today and found myself over by JCPenney. Even though I had no intention of buying anything, I went in to look around and try on some clothed (It is more fun now than it was at the beginning of the year — I can’t wait to see how fun it is when I am a hundred pounds down.

I am not used to being able to walk in a department store and find clothes that fit me. That wasn’t the case today though. I tried a couple cute outfits on, but walked out empty handed.

I have a couple hours of cleaning and packing to do tomorrow before heading in to St. Louis to pick my wonderful mom up from the airport. She is flying in to help me pack, then she is going to make the drive with me and my dog. It should be a fun trip, but first I have to do something about the disaster I call a house…

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Diet · Food · Health · weight loss

Damn you San Francisco treat!

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Not gonna lie, I am pretty nervous about tomorrow’s weigh-in. I have a bad feeling I am not going to like what I see.

I chested on my diet once (I’ll get to that), I only worked out four out of seven days, and I just don’t FEEL like I have lost anything.

I don’t know what got into me, but yesterday I decided it would be a great idea to eat an entire box of Rice-A-Roni for dinner. Nothing else, just the rice. Gross.

I don’t know why I did it, but boy did I regret it. I felt like crap all night. I am going to try to file that memory away for next time I have the urge to do it again.

Hopefully that mistake won’t show up on the scale.

On a lighter side… I was at Panera the other day walking out to my car with a salad when my pants fell down. Literally. Thankfully I caught them before anyone noticed (I think). My family had a good laugh over it.

Needless to say, I’m not wearing those pants again till my mom can take them in.

Hopefully I can meet my goal of not gaining any weight today. Wish me luck, I have a feeling I am going to need it.

Diet · Food · Recipes

RECIPE: Low-calorie Shepherd’s Pie

The finished product... good enough to eat!
The finished product… good enough to eat!

Shepherd’s Pie has always been a comfort food of mine. After all, meat, corn and potatoes… what’s not to love? Not to mention all the salt and gobs of butter.Untitled-1

While dieting in the past I would never even think of letting myself eating Shepherd’s Pie. With my new lifestyle change (I’m not calling it a diet) I have been giving my favorite recipes — especially the comfort food — low-calorie makeovers with better nutritional values.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup fat free cheddar cheese
  • 1 pint sliced mushrooms
  • Mashed Cauliflower
  • Cream Corn
  • 10 ounce package of frozen spinach
  • 1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • Dried chives

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Prepare Mashed Cauliflower and Cream Corn
  3. Brown ground chicken in a skillet with garlic
  4. Drain fat
  5. Stir in Italian seasoning and  sliced mushrooms and cook until soft.
  6. Put chicken and mushrooms in the bottom of a 9×13 pan
  7. Spread creamed corn over chicken and mushrooms
  8. Layer spinach over corn
  9. Put Mashed Cauliflower over the corn
  10. Sprinkle cheese  and dried chives over the top
  11. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes
  12. Enjoy!

I know it is a little odd to put spinach on Shepherd’s Pie, but I think it needed a little green, and it adds some extra nutrients. Plus, spinach is delicious.

Nutrition information is for 1/8 of the recipe.
Nutrition information is for 1/8 of the recipe.

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Food · Recipes

RECIPE: Mashed Cauliflower

While I am not doing a no-carb, or even a low-carb diet, I try to limit them whenever I can. I love, love, love mashed potatoes. Unfortunately, once you doctor them up, there are a ton of carbs and even more calories. I found a recipe for mashed cauliflower and — like always — made it my own.

Mashed Cauliflower

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  • Cut cauliflower into chunks
  • Cook cauliflower until soft
  • Put cauliflower in food processor with milk and garlic and blend until smooth. You will probably have to scrape the sides clean at several times during the process.
  • Microwave until warm and serve with your favorite mashed potato toppings

You can add more milk if you like your mashed potatoes runnier and less milk if you like them less runny.

A 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes is about 150 calories. A 1/2 cup of mashed cauliflower is about 30 calories. You pick! Plus, As you can see by the Nutritional Analysis, the cauliflower is SUPER good for you.

Could this be any healthier?
Could this be any healthier?
Nutrition information is for the whole recipe.
Nutrition information is for the whole recipe.
Diet · Food · weight loss

RECIPE: Panko tofu nuggets

The finished product. This whole plate of food is just over 300 calories. Yum!
The finished product. This whole plate of food is just over 300 calories. Yum!

I wanted to try something different for dinner tonight and I was craving chicken McNuggets (gross, I know). Clearly the McNuggets aren’t on my diet so I went in search of something that was. I came up with Panko tofu nuggets. I found a recipe online and modified it (as always). It turned out better than I could have hoped for!

Panko Tofu Nuggets

The ingredients for Panko Tofu Nuggets.
The ingredients for Panko Tofu Nuggets.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Japanese style Panko breading
  • 2 tablespoons Grill Mates Tennessee Smokehouse BBQ Rub
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup light, unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 package of extra firm tofu
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Press tofu.
  3. Combine coconut milk, garlic, BBQ rub and Cayenne Pepper.
  4. Stir well.
  5. Cut tofu in half, then in squares 1/4-1/2 inch thick. The more thin the square, the crunchier your nugget will be.

    Just before putting them in the oven.
    Just before putting them in the oven.
  6. Spray cookie sheet with non-stick spray.
  7. Dip each tofu square into the liquid mixture, then coat in Panko breading. Place squares on cookie sheet.
  8. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes.
  9. Serve with your choice of dipping sauce. (I used a homemade honey mustard sauce, a mixture of 1 tablespoon yellow mustard and 1 teaspoon of fresh honey from a friend’s hive.)
  10. Enjoy!

Next time I may try marinating the squares for a while before dipping them in the Panko to absorb more of the flavor. I can’t complain about how they turned out though. They had a very satisfying crunch — definitely going to add this to my favorites list!

UPDATE: I put the leftovers in the fridge for lunch and they lost all their crunch by the next day.

The nutrition information is for 1/3 of the recipe.

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Diet · Food · Health · Recipes · weight loss

RECIPE: Reduced-guilt zucchini lasagne

Delicious, reduced-guilt zucchini lasagne.
Delicious, reduced-guilt zucchini lasagne.

Holy deliciousness Batman!

I stumbled upon a recipe on Pinterest for a lower calorie lasagne using strips of lasagne instead of pasta. I like lasagne. I like zucchini. Clearly, I had to try this. I find it difficult — it not impossible — to follow a recipe to the letter. Instead, I use them as a guides, throwing in my own ingredients and substitutions along the way. Here is how I made my delicious dinner:

Reduced-guild lasagne

Brown turkey and garlic in a skillet.
Brown turkey and garlic in a skillet.
Boil strips of zucchini/summer squash.
Boil strips of zucchini/summer squash.
Add tomato sauce and mushrooms.
Add tomato sauce and mushrooms.
Place zucchini on the bottom of a 13x9" pan.
Place zucchini on the bottom of a 13×9″ pan.

Ingredients

  • 5 zucchini or summer squash (I used a combination of both)
  • 1 pound ground lean turkey
  • 15 ounces of low fat ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups of low-fat mozzarella cheese
  • 1 can (10.5 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 pint fresh mushrooms
  • Minced garlic
  • Italian seasoning
  • Cayenne Pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Start by grounding the turkey in a skillet with Italian seasoning and 2 tablespoons of garlic stirring occasionally
  3. Slice the zucchini in thin slices to be used as the “noodles”
  4. Boil sliced zucchini for about 3-5 minutes
  5. Drain the fat out of the turkey
  6. stir in tomato sauce
  7. Stir in mushrooms
  8. Line bottom of a 13×9 pan with the sliced zucchini
  9. Add the turkey/mushroom/sauce mixture for the next layer
  10. The next layer should be ricotta cheese and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese
  11. Place another layer of zucchini followed by another layer of the sauce mixture
  12. Top off with remaining mozzarella cheese
  13. Sprinkle Cayenne pepper on the top before placing in the oven
  14. Bake for 20 minutes
  15. Enjoy!

The Cayenne pepper is optional. I cook with it a lot because I’ve heard it can help boost your metabolism. I’m not sure if that’s true, but either way I’m OK with it because it tastes good and is calorie-free.

I really, really enjoyed this recipe. It is really filling and serves a lot of people. I served mine with Brussels sprouts and broccoli.

The finished product: Serves eight at 253 calories a piece.
The finished product: Serves eight at 253 calories a piece.
Nutrition information is for 1/8 of the recipe.
Nutrition information is for 1/8 of the recipe.
Diet · Food · Health · Recipes · weight loss

RECIPE: Kick-ass low-cal soup

Delicious low-calorie soup.
Delicious low-calorie soup.

“Don’t you dare call that my soup Lynn Marie.”

That’s what my aunt said to me when I told her I tried to make her soup recipe — with a few modifications.

She sent me the recipe yesterday, explaining it was delicious and, even better, very low calorie. I’m willing to they anything that fits that description.

Here is her recipe:

Freedom soup

  • 1/2 large red onion sliced and halved
  • 2 cups cubed turnip or rutabaga
  • 2 cups sliced carrot (fresh or frozen)
  • 1-2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 cups cut green beans (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
  • 1/2 head med. cabbage cut in med. shreds
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 6-8 cups fat free beef broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups cubed zucchini

Directions

  1. In large pot- spray bottom with nonstick spray.
  2. Saute first 4 ingredients for 10 min.or until turnips are el dente. (use some of the broth if necessary to keep from sticking).
  3. While sauteing, prepare next 4 ingredients and combine in bowl.
  4. When turnips are ready, add broth, cabbage mixture, oregano, basil,salt and pepper.
  5. Bring to boil over med heat.
  6. Simmer 10 min.
  7. Add Zucchini and simmer another 10 min.

And here’s what it turned in to…
 

Kick-ass low-cal Soup

  • 1 large sweet onion

    Saute onion (cut into large chunks) in a large pot with 1/2 cup of beef broth and garlic. Add mushrooms.
    Saute onion (cut into large chunks) in a large pot with 1/2 cup of beef broth and garlic. Add mushrooms.
  • 5 large carrots
  • 2 pints of mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons of minced garlic
  • 15 ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 8 ounce can of sauerkraut
  • 1 summer squash
  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 8 cups fat-free beef broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions

  1. Saute onion (cut into large chunks) in a large pot with 1/2 cup of beef broth and garlic
  2. Add mushrooms (quartered)

    Looking yummy!
    Looking yummy!
  3. Saute for 5 minutes
  4. Add squash, zucchini, carrots, 1 cup of broth
  5. Saute for 5 more minutes stirring occasionally
  6. Add remainder of broth, the rest of the ingredients and two cups of water
  7. stir, cover and cook on medium-low for 10 minutes
  8. Enjoy!

I’ll have to compare it to the original recipe next time I go home, but I was repay happy with how it turned out. It is super-healthy and filling. The only down side is that it is pretty high in sodium (thanks to the sauerkraut and tomato sauce).

This makes a LOT of soup. I’m guessing about 12 1-cup servings. (The nutrition label is for 10 servings). I had some last night and will have some for dinner tonight. The rest I am going to put in single-serving bags and freeze for quick meals when I’m in a hurry.

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