Sunday, August 28, 2011

Weigh-in Day...making headway towards my goal!

Well, yesterday was weigh-in day, down 2.4 lbs. That means I am 7 lbs away from my 40 lbs by 40 goal, and I have 10 weeks left. An obtainable goal yes, but not the time to slack off. And there's been no slacking yesterday and so far today....that's for sure.

You see, visiting my parents requires a little lot of movement as they both love to walk. Don't get me wrong, I love the extra motivation (and the extra PointsPlus values don't hurt either)! Yesterday afternoon we went to the lake. The water was pretty cold, so no swimming for this girl, but I did take the opportunity to get in a different kind of walk...in the water. It was invigorating, a change of pace and boy did my legs feel it this morning. Then this morning we walked to the grocery store and back, now I won't feel guilty when we have some guacamole later today!

Well, I think that's enough time on the computer for now...I'm sitting on the deck and want to enjoy my smoothie, the beautiful weather and the dear company of my parents.

By for now all...
Vanessa

Monday, August 22, 2011

Meatless Monday

Well I did it! I actually tried tofu. I had a hard time getting past the "eewww tofu" stigma in my brain, but once I did, I have to say it wasn't all bad. The Roasted Tomato Enchiladas were HOT - spicy hot, so for those of you brave enough to try them, here's the recipe...

Roasted Tomato Enchiladas

15 oz firm Tofu
15 oz Black Beans, canned, drained, rinsed and drained again
1/4 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
4 large burrito-size Tortillas, whole-wheat
1 small Onion, chopped
29 oz canned Tomatoes with chiles, diced
2 Tbsp fresh Cilantro, minced

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 12-inch skillet with cooking spray. Drain tofu and dice into 1/2-inch cubes; add to skillet and brown over medium heat until firm and dry, about 3 minutes.
Spoon tofu into mixing bowl and add beans, cumin, salt and pepper; mix well. Divide tofu mixture among 4 tortillas, arranging mixture down the center of each tortilla; fold sides into the center.
Coat a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Gently place filled tortillas, seam-side down, in pan. Set aside.
Coat skillet with additional cooking spray. Add onion and sauté over medium heat, 2 to 3 minutes. Add undrained tomatoes and cook over high heat until tomato mixture thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Spoon tomato mixture over tortillas.
Bake until thoroughly heated, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cilantro, if desired.

Serving Size = 1 enchilada
PointsPlus value = 7

Now I have to say a few things about this recipe. What I liked loved about making this recipe was when I cooked the tomatoes over high heat. I watch several Latin cooks who use this technique to make their sauce and actually trying it myself was really fun and different. What I disliked hated about this recipe was that I had to give up 7 points for something that didn't even have meat. For those of you who know me well, you know that I...
1. LOVE meat
2. LOVE vegetables
3. Regularly eat meatless meals without some sort of protein
4. Usually, #3 is done with the intention of using LESS points because I have something special going on later in the day or week

So all in all, this recipe was tasty, just not something I will most likely make again.

By the way....my Monday wasn't totally meatless...for dinner we had meatloaf!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Meatless challenge

So this week's meeting was all about going meatless for some meals and the benefits of doing so. My awesome WW leader challenged us to try tofu and anyone who does will get a prize at next week's meeting. So of course, I can't resist a challenge like that! As I type, I have the tofu drying on the counter for the Roasted Tomato Enchiladas I'm making for dinner.

In the meantime, here's what I had for lunch today!

Brown Rice Salad with Black Beans and Corn

1 c Brown Rice, instant
1 can (15 oz) Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1 c frozen Corn, thawed
1/4 c Scallion, chopped
2 Tbsp Cilantro, chopped
2 tsp Jalapeno, minced
1 Tbsp fresh Lime Juice
1 tsp fresh Lime Zest
1 medium Lime, quartered, for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook rice according to package directions. While rice is still warm, stir in all other ingredients except the lime wedges. Garnish with lime wedge.

Serving Size = 1 heaping cup
PointsPlus value = 5

Oh yeah, this is a good one...if you are a fan of Mexican cuisine, you will enjoy this salad.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Weigh-in Day and Apple-Cinnamon Pancakes

Happy Saturday everyone!

This scale was friendly to me this week (despite my overindulgence)...I lost 0.6 lbs. Well on my way to my goal!

School is right around the corner (and may have even started for some of your kiddos). Middle school starts at 7:45 am, so having breakfasts that are quick and healthy readily available will be a necessity this year. I made a double batch of these yummy pancakes and plan on freezing some to have on hand as needed.

Apple-Cinnamon Pancakes

1 1/4 c Flour
2 Tbsp Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
1 c Buttermilk
1/2 c Applesauce, unsweetened, Cinnamon flavor
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 large Egg, slightly beaten
1/2 c Apples, diced, Braeburn variety

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next five ingredients in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Combine buttermilk and next four ingredients in a small bowl; stir with a whisk until smooth. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture; stir until smooth. Stir in apple.

Spoon about 1⁄4 cup batter onto a hot nonstick griddle or nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray. Turn pancakes when tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked.

Serving Size = 1 pancake
PointsPlus value = 3

What do you make for breakfast for your kiddos ahead of time? I'd love to hear your ideas!
Until next time...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Waking up hungry

Do you ever have one of those days where you wake up hungry? Not just a little hungry, but like totally and completely famished? Like you haven't eaten for days, weeks even?

This is how I woke up today...at 5:15 am.

So tired I could hardly move, I forced myself out of bed and made my way to the couch in the dark. Not awake enough to make any type of breakfast, I grabbed my Jesus Calling book and my Bible and started reading. Forty-five minutes later, I'm beginning to wonder if the empty pit I felt in the bottom of my stomach was actually physical or spiritual hunger.

This got me thinking, how often do I misread my body's signals? Living in a culture of super-size everything, it's no wonder our minds and bodies are conditioned to consume more. Don't get me wrong, I don't blame our culture or society for my out-of-shape, overweight body, on the contrary I take full responsibility for what goes in my mouth. But it sure doesn't make it any easier.

Lord, help me to accurately read my body's signals today!

Well, my stomach is growling now, so perhaps it's time to go make some breakfast.
Have a great Wednesday all!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Weigh-in Day and 1-yr Anniversary with Weight Watchers

Hello everyone...lost 2.2 lbs this week, for a total of 30 lbs since last August. Actually, tomorrow marks my 1-yr anniversary as a WW member. My journey began as an online member first, and then 10 weeks ago I joined the meetings. What an accomplishment this is for me.

You see over the past 12 years I have attempted to use the WW plan to lose weight (mind you this is not the plan's fault...just saying). It seems I was on a roller coaster...lose 20 lbs, start feeling good, stop tracking, gain it back (and then some). Repeat!

But now it seems that I have finally broken the cycle! As my best friend's hubby says, "Praise be!"

Looking back over the past year, I remember lots of successes...some huge, some not so huge. But I also remember the struggles. And I also remember my family and friends who encouraged me during those struggles and those who told me I couldn't do it on my own. God has provided a support system that I didn't even realize I needed. One of the things that I have learned since attending the meetings is that I need to ask for help. Asking for help was one of the first things I saw on a board when I began attending meetings. What a novel idea! When you're stuck...ask for help! And I've learned to do that and it's working people!

Okay, enough of that....a few off-topic things:

  1. Tonight is the first Packer pre-season game...looking forward to my sister's famous Build-Your-Own Nachos (good thing my week is just starting and I have all of my Weekly Points)
  2. Tomorrow we are headed to Wisconsin Dells to spend the day with my sister and her family and my cousin and her family...lots of walking and swimming...should be fun!
  3. A slice of lime in my water is equally as more refreshing than a slice of lemon.
  4. Roasted red pepper and Asiago chicken sausage from Sam's = YUMMY and here's the bonus 1 link = 3 PointsPlus values can you believe it? When the grill is fired up for brats and such, I'll be having these. Don't like Asiago cheese? No worries they have other flavors.
Only 10 lbs to go to hit my goal of losing 40 lbs by the time I turn 40 this fall...

Until later,
Vanessa

Friday, August 12, 2011

Night before weigh-in! Take Two!

I must admit I am posting tonight with a little hesitation (fear of a repeat of last week), but I committed to this journey so press on I must!

I have this little book called Jesus Calling. It has a short devotional for each day, written like Jesus were speaking directly to you, as well as a few scripture verses supporting the devotional. Tonight, while preparing to write this post, I went back to last Saturday's entry. Looking back I wish I would have read this in the minutes immediately following my weigh-in. Don't misunderstand, not every entry has a mind-blowing, powerful impact, but some days it seems as though what's written was specifically put there just for me. Here's a snippet of last week's entry...

"When things seem to be going all wrong, stop and affirm your trust in Me. Calmly bring these matters to Me, and leave them in My capable hands. Then, simply do the next thing."

Are you kidding me?

Well, I know that I did what I needed to do this week. So if the scale reflects another gain...then so be it! I can stop and affirm my trust in the Judge who judges justly, give it to Him and simply do the next thing....which is to start my week a new.

Until tomorrow my friends...happy weekend everyone!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Slow Cooker Enchilada

Okay, so here's the recipe I promised you....

Slow Cooker Enchilada

2 lbs boneless, skinless Chicken Breast (cut into small pieces)*
1 can (15 oz) Enchilada Sauce
1 can (15 oz) diced Tomatoes with chiles
1 can 98% fat-free Cream of Chicken Soup
4 cups Sargento reduced fat shredded Mexican Cheese
8 low fat, fajita size Tortillas

Brown chicken, drain. Meanwhile combine enchilada sauce, tomatoes, and cream of chicken soup in a large bowl, add cooked chicken. In crockpot put down a layer of meat mixture. Then top with a layer of cheese. Tear up tortillas into bite size pieces, and layer over cheese mixture. Continue layers until all ingredients are used up.

Cook on high for 2 hours, low for 4 hours or until cheese is bubbly.

Serving size = 3/4 cup
PointsPlus value = 8

So far having a good week...a few hiccups along the way, but still counting my points and still drinking my water!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cheesy Veggie Soup and a fun Sunday in Appleton

Today we went to Appleton with my sister and niece to shop at World Market, the mall and several other places. Afterwards we came back and cooked up this yummy meal together.

Cheesy Veggie Soup

32 oz fat free Chicken Broth
16 oz Velveeta cheese (2 %)
1 bag Normandy Veggies frozen
1 can Rotel

Bring chicken broth to a boil, add frozen veggies and cook as directed on the package. Cut Velveeta cheese into chunks and add to pot once veggies are mostly cooked. Add Rotel and simmer covered for 30 minuntes.

Serving Size = 1 cup WW PointsPlus values = 3
  

My sister made these delicious appetizer cream cheese stuffed mini peppers (she actually used the Jalapeno Popper recipe from the WW website). Perhaps she'll leave the recipe as a comment to this blog (hint, hint Kris!)

 
She also made her famous yummy tomato salad. Halved cherry tomatoes, halved orange super-sweet tomatoes, and red onion. A little sea salt,  a little black pepper, stir it all together and voila! A tasty 0 WW PointsPlus values side dish!

It was such a nice treat to spend time together in the kitchen cooking, laughing and talking as opposed to going out to eat! Not only did our wallets find relief, our waistlines did too! Eating in also allowed us to savor crusty European garlic bread along with our soup.




This green salad was made by our girls! It was a delight to have them in the kitchen with us and they really enjoyed chopping and slicing all the veggies...hmmm have to remember that in the future...I can always use help in kitchen!




Looking ahead...we had our dear friends in for dinner after church on Saturday night. On the menu was Slow Cooker Enchiladas, fresh guacamole and chips and salsa. It was fabulous! I promise to post the recipe soon. Until then my friends be sure to relish those moments with friends and/or family where you enjoy a meal together and each other's company!


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Weigh-in day

Well, went this morning to weigh in...not what I expected...up 0.4 lbs.

At first I felt frustrated, ANGRY, disappointed. But a wise woman reminded me that I ramped up my exercise this week and then asked, "How did you do on drinking your water?" Oh yeah! I really didn't drink that much water.

For whatever reason, the scale did not reflect what I expected, but I'm not giving up. I keep pressing forward toward my goal. Working the program, staying within my Points Plus values, exercising and...

...DRINKING WATER!!!

Have a great rest of your weekend everyone...so long for now!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Night before weigh-in!

Well, it's the night before weigh-in. Had a Phineas & Ferb movie night with our best friends and shared an incredible meal. Since she is a WW member also, we began planning our meal yesterday. The conversation went something like this...

Her: So what do you think about coming over a little early for dinner? But I have no idea what to make, any ideas?
Me: Absolutely! We'd love to! Not really, I have no idea what I'm hungry for.

Here's what she came up with....doesn't this look fabulous? It was AMAZING!!!

1 lb extra lean ground beef
1 cup brown rice
6 multi-colored peppers
chopped onions, mushrooms and celery
2 Tbsp V-8 juice poured over each one
a little Italian seasoning, salt and pepper

1 pepper = 4 WW PointsPlus values

Bake at 350 for 30 min covered, then an additional 20 min uncovered (don't forget to add a little juice and/or water to the bottom of your pan)

In addition to these lovely peppers, she also made an appetizer...which was equally as delicious and paired well with a glass of sweet red wine!

These yummy zucchinis are stuffed with mushrooms and onions sauteed in Italian seasoning, diced tomatoes and topped with 2 Tbsp of feta cheese.

1 zucchini = 1 WW PointsPlus value

Don't like feta? Use Parmesan or your cheese of choice.
Can you imagine...including my glass of wine I only had 9 WW PointsPlus values for dinner? And here's what the kids had for dinner tonight....


I think we got the better end of the deal!

So what do you make when you get together with friends for a movie night?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Exercise

Exercise has always been hard for me. It's not exactly my favorite pasttime...if it were I don't think I would need to lose 40 lbs by the time I turn 40. So after dinner tonight I was determined to get out and walk. Who could resist on such a lovely evening like tonight, right?

My daughter...that's who!

Seriously, are you kidding me???? Here I am fighting within myself to walk and now I've got her antics to contend with? "It's too hot" "I don't want to walk" (yada, yada, yada)...never mind the fact that she was on her bike!

You're probably wondering why I didn't take my bike? Well, because it has had a flat. After much protesting for any kind of exercise at all, I finally relented, grumbling all the way back, and grabbed my bike. After a brisk walk to the gas station we were on our way. I absolutely love the way the breeze washes over you as you ride a bike. To me it's invigorating, exciting, exhilarating even! As much as I say exercise isn't my favorite pasttime, in some strange way I do find some of it to be calming, somewhat of a stress reliever, and I definitely feel rejuvanated after (not to mention I gain PointsPlus values).

Since I only have 1 Weekly PointsPlus value remaining it looks like biking is in our future for the rest of the week!

So how do you do with exercise? Love it? Hate it? What do you do to keep physically fit?

Until next time my friends...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom!



Today is my Mom’s birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!!


She has played plays a HUGE role in the success of my weight-loss journey.



She motivates me to exercise and make healthy choices.
She cheers me on when I’m doing well.
She lovingly encourages me when I fall off track.

More than that she puts up with my quirky personality and my crabby-ness.
She listens when I need to talk things out. She always helps and lends a hand.

I am truly blessed to have such a great Mom.
I love you, Mom and pray that your day is filled with joy beyond compare.

Ness