WW Trick # 3 – Let’s Get Digital, Digital. I Wanna Get Digital. @WeightWatchers


 

** Disclaimer:  I’m not getting paid to endorse Weight Watchers or any of their products, which means I’m telling you my take from the process and products. Xoxoxoxoxox**

 

If you have a monthly pass or are an Online only member for Weight Watchers you have the world of food at your finger tips.  The eTools center and website are chock full of information right at your finger tips.  I especially like the Simple Start grocery list.  If you are a person who simply just grabs food from the store and hopes that you can some how come up with 3 meals a day over the next week, then you and I could be friends.

I started planning meals because of money, and now I realize that if I set up a healthy menu of dinners and lunches I can also set myself up to not go off plan by buying – ONLY – those things.  Sure, random things enter my cart as well, cereal, yogurt bars, etc.  But the bad stuff – the cake mixes, chocolate chips, etc. – I use for baking my coworkers goodies.  I never eat them which I think is funny.

Not my tracker… found on google images

Planning ahead also gives you the chance to put your meals into your tracker.  This works well for people like me with the memory of an ant.  That way I can just look at my phone – which is glued to my hand and usually at least in half of my line of vision – and see what’s for dinner.

I pre-pack my lunches most weeks because it’s a salad, so I don’t usually worry about that, but sometimes the coworkers want to go out to lunch, and well, that is always like ‘AHHHHHH’ for me.

Luckily, my coworkers like Chipotle (Not being paid for this either, FYI.  I’m just a blue blooded American who adores Chipotle).  So, I can go into my food look up on the tracker and add ingredient by ingredient what I am putting in my Chipotle meal.  It also helps that a lot of my favorite restaurants, Chipotle included, have their meals already in the tracker with the correct points attached – so there is no guessing.

Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Hudson

I wanna look like them, so regardless of the bad weekend, or the bad day, the bad month, the bad year, I will continue to fight after it.

Weight Watchers just makes it easier.

Why Turkey Bacon, is in fact, Not Bacon


Whenever the husband and I deviate from the normal shopping trip to Wegmans, our mecca, we end up getting food that is similar to what we normally eat, but, really, not as good.

This past weekend, we ran out of time and had to hit up the Harris Teeter for our weekly trip.  This is no cut to Harris Teeter, but when you are used to Champagne, Budweiser just won’t cut it.

I eat bacon and eggs for breakfast everyday – I’m spoiled like that – because it’s a lot of protein that fills me up.  I learned this from talking to someone about how my protein drink in the morning didn’t do much, and how all I wanted were Donuts.

(FYI TODAY IS DONUT DAY – FREE DONUTS AT DUNKIN DONUTS)

This person was like, “Uh, eat actual food?”  So I did.  It’s worked out well.  I used to be a real freak and not eat pork.  I had a bad experience one time with ham and since then I’ve stayed far away from it.

Well, that changed with Bacon.  I love bacon.  I normally buy the Wegman’s Brand of center cut thin slice  no sodium bacon.  It’s pretty much my jam.

Well Harris Teeter does have bacon that is from pork, but it was all thick cut and expensive.  So I veered back to an old friend of Turkey Bacon.

Do you know what it’s like to eat real Italian Food in Italy, and then go to Olive Garden?  That’s what this experience has been.  The Turkey Bacon was great when I didn’t know any better.  But now, it’s flavor is a bit lacking, it’s dry, it doesn’t break apart well, even when crispy.  It kind of makes me hate breakfast.

WHICH SUCKS BECAUSE I LOVE BREAKFAST.

(I also love Brunch, Lunch, Second Lunch, Dinner, and Supper.)

So I sit here with my pathetic breakfast of dry turkey and eggs and wonder, why?

Then I think about the people who don’t eat bacon at all.  I understand moral objection to eating meat, and I’m not downing on Vegans or Vegetarians, but I tried that for like a day and have never been so hungry before in my life.  Granted I was doing it wrong.  I was eating lettuce and bread with Peanut Butter.  I’m sure if I added actual food it might have worked.

Until dinner with my husband, who refuses to not have at least two animals slaughtered for every meal he has.

I will live through this, but come Sunday, on our shopping trip to Wegmans, I will be buying multiple packs of actual, real to life, amazing bacon.

What I Did On My Long Winter Stay-Cation


I posted infrequently over the break, and most of the time it was short and not so sweet.  I decided since this is my morning back to reality that I would post a recap of my life since December 20.

The first day of our vacation, wasn’t a vacation at all.  We spent the entire day at a funeral and reception for Jason’s Aunt Daphne.  We had a pretty bipolar day as that evening we were celebrating our friend nuptials!

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Lisette and Alex finally tied the knot since marriage is legal in DC now for everyone (I don’t like the term gay marriage, because Jason and I don’t use the term “straight marriage” so it seems dumb to use a different nomenclature for them).  It was a joyous night that continued late into the evening.

We then went to a hockey game with my dad – where lost in overtime – but still it was nice to hang out with my dad for the night, drinking too much beer, and eating too much fried food.  That Sunday I met up with Adie (of AdieCakesBlog fame) and her Fiance (and Jason too) for Hunger Games in IMAX.  We had already seen it, but she hadn’t, and IMAX.  I will see pretty much anything in IMAX.  It was glorious.

We putzed around most days sleeping late and taking many target trips.

Christmas eve we did our normal thing of Church with my parents and then dinner at Tony’s Pizza in Manassas.  We then meandered home to watch TV before passing out.  We had to go to McLean in the early morning to pick up my Grandmother (so my dad didn’t have to do two trips out there) so our Christmas morning alone was pretty short.

We spent the morning with my family, and then evening with Jason’s.  It was good day.

Then there was more putzing around, deciding what recipe I would use with my new French Oven (it’s French and not Dutch because it’s from France.) and then we went to TJMaxx randomly and found a KitchenAid Stand up mixer for more than 50% off.  So then I became the proud mamma of that.

My Christmas continued with more La Crueset items, and general spending of money on random things at Target.  We totally know how to manage our money responsibly.

New Years Eve showed up and we went to the Heritage Brewing opening in Manassas.  I know, I am a loyal customer of BadWolf Brewing across the street, but I wanted to see what the new place was like (As did Jason and my Father in Law).  So we eagerly waited in line outside to buy our drink tickets and head in.  $7 a beer/flight/or experimental brew tasting, seemed pretty steep.  The flights were only 4 beers (which I didn’t get to pick) out of the 6 + seasonal they had on tap.  They were supposed to be 2 oz servings each, and instead mine were mostly head (the guy pouring had no idea what he was doing) and were not as good as expected.  I had a few problems with that evening:

  • The prices for the pints were too steep for an opening night- especially when we didn’t get a pint.  It was more like 8 – 10 oz because of the people pouring.
  • The flights should have included all the beers that they are regularly having on tap
  • The sitting area should have been extended because of how many people there were.  It was a total fire code violation
  • Children should NOT have been allowed in.  I witnessed too much running around in a location that is dangerous (exposed industrial areas) for kids.
  • You had to go back outside and wait in line to buy more drink tickets when there was a woman inside with a register who could have easily done this indoors.
  • No one knew what they were doing.
  • The fact that there were “normal brews” and “experimental batches” was kind of confusing.  This was there first night of being open.  Everything was experimental.

I would and will go back, but most likely not for a while.  It felt chaotic, unorganized, and the beer wasn’t as good as I thought it would be for having delayed the opening by 3-4 months.  I donated 100 bucks to their kickstarter, so I think the people who did that should have had a private opening experience.

We then parted ways with Jason’s dad, and partied with Lisette and Alex again for some dinner at Sweetwater and then Champagne and coffee at their house.  It was a nice relaxing evening.  We don’t need or want flare.  We are too old for flare.

After that night it was pretty much a whole lot of nothing.  I got an extra day of “vacation” (I worked from home) because of a freak snow thing on the the 3rd (last Friday), so Jason and I built a fire, I worked on my laptop from the couch and we watched a crap load of the Tudors.

Yesterday (Sunday) we woke up late, and then headed to Mosaic District for lunch at Cava Grill and then Gelato at Dolcezza.  They had a separate Dolcezza across the street that was basically a coffee shop that sold gelato as well.  We ordered our drinks and settled down at a table and chair area and had one of the best afternoons that we have had in a long time.  It’s the type of day where you realize the simple conversations over coffee were what was missing.

It was a great break, all in all, and here are some pictures recapping the experience:

 

Heritage Brewing

Heritage Brewing

Heritage Brewing

Heritage Brewing

Heritage Brewing

Heritage Brewing

Beef Stew - the dinner that took my French Oven's virginity

Beef Stew – the dinner that took my French Oven’s virginity

There was a good amount of running.  I've pledged to run 700 miles (at least) in 2014.

There was a good amount of running. I’ve pledged to run 700 miles (at least) in 2014.

Cooking Extravaganza - Soupe au Pistou

Cooking Extravaganza – Soupe au Pistou

Cooking Extravaganza - Mini Bacon, Onion Quiche

Cooking Extravaganza – Mini Bacon, Onion Quiche

Cooking Extravaganza - Fluffy Drop Biscuits

Cooking Extravaganza – Fluffy Drop Biscuits

Date Day - Latte Art

Date Day – Latte Art

Date Day - Latte Art

Date Day – Latte Art

Date Day - The love of my life, the reason I am here, and the motivation to be better.

Date Day – The love of my life, the reason I am here, and the motivation to be better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wanting Versus Being Committed


I think with many things in life, there is a blurred line between wanting the result and being committed to getting the result.

Getting an A on a paper in school, doing well on a project at work, keeping your marriage on the right path, moving to a new location, finding that dream job, being happy, and of course losing weight.

I think on and off over the past 5 years of my weight loss journey I have flirted with wanting to lose weight (When the pounds kind of come off and then I plateau) and being committed to losing weight (when the pounds simply drop).   I realized this morning that pretty much for the past year I have been in the wanting mindset over the committed mindset more so than not.  This is troublesome because frankly, you would think, that if you want something bad enough, it should just happen right?

I’ve got an arsenal of blogs that are motivating, inspirational and exactly what I need to hear constantly being updated in my reader – SO YOU WOULD THINK IT WOULD JUST CLICK RIGHT?

Well, it does and then it doesn’t.  It clicks when I am reading it.  It clicks for hours afterward.  I am motivated, content, and ready and then something (Anger, Depression, stress, boredom) hits and I’m back to my old ways.

That was until I read the post from Run Roll Repeat today.  She went home and was surrounded by temptation of fried food and still managed to stay on track.  I was like “HOW?” and then I realized.  She is committed to losing weight, not just flirting with the idea.

Then I started thinking about other people’s blogs I read.

Runs For Cookies Lost over 100 pounds, and has kept it off.  She runs Marathons!

She’s Losing It is an incredible blog about a mom who got incredibly fit while still being a mom

Healthy Tipping Point is of course my go to for running advice and recipes that are both delicious and healthy.  She is informative without beating it into you.

BitchCakes is one of my biggest role models.   She lost 100 pounds and is now training for the NYC Marathon this year.  She is kick ass, and it still curvy and didn’t try to fit herself into some skinny mold.

The Spicy Simmer is a great blog with cooking and CSA goodies.  She has amazing mouth watering recipes and a great personality.  Very motivational in the kitchen.

You’d think with all of this wealth of knowledge, I’d be set.

The fact is, I am set.  I have more than enough ability and knowledge with these few blogs to master whatever I want in my weight loss journey.

The commitment just hasn’t been there.  I can run and run and run and lift and lift and lift alllllllllllll I freaking want, and it will make no difference if I eat like crap.  I need to be mindful.  I am going to be mindful.

I have tracked my day out, and I am planning on a run this afternoon once I get home.  I am excited to start lifting next week after the Half Marathon is over.  I am also working to clean up my diet.  I know I eat mostly healthy, but I am not eating the right things to keep me satiated.

I’m also not drinking nearly enough water.  So here starts my plan of being committed to losing weight.  Come hell or high water.  I just want to be back to where I was this time last year (about 10 pounds less), and then I can work from there.

Today’s Plan:

  • Breakfast: 1 slice Ezekiel Bread 1/2 TBSP of Better n’ Peanut butter, Yogurt and blueberries & Coffee
  • Snack: WATER
  • Lunch: Southwest Salad (Ready Pac brand), Yogurt, Apple, Turkey Muffins
  • Snack: WATER
  • Dinner: Spinach and Feta Turkey Muffins & Mac and Cheese (Light)
  • Activity: 2-3 Miles on treadmill

LET’S DO THIS.

Recipe Review: Skinny Fish and Chips


As seen on The Londoner – I was dying to try this recipe, because when we were in London I pretty much gorged myself on Fish and Chips (The best place that I had on holiday was at The Swan in Paddington – I am sure there are ‘better’ versions, but that one stuck out to me for some reason).

Well if you look at the nutritional information for Fish and Chips anywhere, it will make you cry.  I think the lowest I found – just for the fish, no chips allowed – was 700 calories.  HOW CAN THEY MAKE FISH SO BAD FOR YOU?

Oh… right.

So when I was browsing through the recipe section of my favorite London Blogger and saw that she had a LIGHT version… I about cried.  Then I added it to my menu for this week.

Original Recipe

There might be a difference in my recipe with hers.  She’s in London and I am in the States, so there is bound to be a conversion factor :-)

Ingredients (for two people – or one really hungry runner):

  • 2 Fillets of Halibut or any white fish (I used halibut) – I also bought this fresh – but you can buy flash frozen fish.  Fresh fish is expensive yo’ – especially for my Midwest readers.. buy what you can… I suspect Frozen would work just as well.
  • 2 Cups of Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp Dried Chili Flakes
  • 1 large Egg
  • Oil

For the “Fries”

  • 2 Sweet Potatoes (She calls for 5, but I’m on a diet, and I could eat 5 pounds if I tried)
  • 2 Tbsp of Chili Flakes
  • Rock Salt
  • Oil

She makes her own Tartar sauce – because she’s perfect.  I, however, am  not.  So i bought mine from a store… but for those who are talented and patient enough:

For the sauce:
(The sauce makes enough for about 4-6 people, so just pop the extra in the fridge)
3tbsp skinny mayonaise
1/2 cup Crème fraiche
3 sprigs of fresh dill
2tbsp capers
1/2 a fist full of fresh chives
3 or 4 cornichons (little gerkhins) & a tbsp of the juice from the jar
Juice of half a lemon
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Instruction:
Preheat your oven to 350 Degrees F (180 degrees C – What??? Turns out I have readers in Europe!)
Line a cookie sheet with foil.  Throw your peeled and chopped potatoes in to the pan and drizzle with about 3 TBSP of oil, top with the chili flakes and salt to taste.
Use your hands to spread the oil and toppings over all of the potatoes – realllllllllly cover those babies.
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These will need to cook for at least 25 – 30 minutes (longer if you like them burned like me)
While you are waiting you can make the sauce…
Or stare at the Tartar sauce you bought at the store?
This is a mighty fine bottle of Tartar Sauce.

This is a mighty fine bottle of Tartar Sauce.

Now for the Fish!
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Mix the breadcrumbs and chili flakes together in a bowl.  Crack your egg and whisk it into another bowl.  Cut the fish into strips, if you haven’t done so already, and then submerge each strip into the egg.  Then, roll the egg fish in the breadcrumbs.  Lay to rest on a clean plate at the end of your assembly line.
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Soon you will have the beginnings of a fish mountain.  Bask in its glory.
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Check your fries.  If they look done, remove from oven, turn oven off, and add them to a bowl.  Put the bowl back into the oven that is off and cooling down to keep the fries warm.
Put a frying pan on the stove and heat it up.  When it’s just about to smoke, add enough Olive Oil to coat the bottom of the pan, and swirl it around.
Turn the heat down to medium, and add the fish strips.
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When you see the fish turn white and the crumbs start to brown, flip them.  When the fish are done they should be white all the way through, no pink or translucent fish here.
I like mine kind of burnt... yeah, that's it.

I like mine kind of burnt… yeah, that’s it.

Add them to a clean plate and scrape the excess breadcrumbs from the pan on to the fish.  Get allllllllll the crunchies you can.
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Plate this amazing dinner and enjoy!
Man Approved!

Man Approved!

I suggest drinking a beer with this while watching Broadchurch or Law and Order UK to get the full effect.
(Which is exactly what we did.)
Nutrition Info – Recipe Builder in MyFitnessPal (not including tartar sauce, and I used 2 TBSP of Canola oil, and 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs total – I measured what was left over after breading the fish… so I guess… just use less the begin with… as to not waste)
  • Calories – 570
  • Carbs – 46 g
  • Fat – 22 g
  • Protein – 44 g
  • Fiber 5 g

Not the most healthy meal, but a darn good substitute when you are craving the bad stuff!

Recipe Review : Guilt Free Egg Fried Rice


I must seem like an obsessive fan, but here is another recipe from The Londoner.  She’s most likely black listed my name from most London Venues so there is no chance we’ll ever bump into each other (OH MY GOD I WOULD JUST DIE).  I kid I kid.  She doesn’t know I exist, and that’s cool too.  JUST KEEP POSTING RECIPES.

Ahem.

So here is my recipe review on her Guilt Free Egg Fried Rice.

In her recipe she added Prawns, which would be fine, but I wanted to use the chicken I bought, so this is Chicken Fried Rice :-)

(It is not necessary to call and gloat to your local Chinese takeout place that you don’t need them anymore.. because frankly, You can’t quit them.  Not even with this recipe.  Don’t burn bridges.)

Original Recipe

To Feed 3 or 4 people (OR LUNCHES FOR THE WEEK!)  (Or if you are having one of those days… 2 people):

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP Coconut oil
  • 2 TBSP sesame oil
  • 2 Cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 or 3 chilies, chopped
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 2 Chicken Breasts, skinless boneless, cooked and cut into strips
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Spring Onions, chopped
  • 1 handful of fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped
  • 1/4 cup of peanuts, chopped
  • soy sauce
  • Sweet Chili sauce for serving (optional)

Directions:

Grab the cauliflower and tear off the leaves.  Chop the head into smaller sections.  You’ll want to grate these pretty finely.  I used my food processor.

photo (12) photo (13)

If your pile of ‘rice’ is damp wring it out in a tea towel and let it sit out to dry out a bit.

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Get a wok nice and hot and add your oils.  Crush the garlic and fry it up until it’s a golden brown.

Next add your chilies.

Followed by your ‘rice’ which you will need to stir thoroughly to get all the flavors mixed in evenly.  After about  a minute, add your spring onions and then 2 TBSP of soy sauce.  Stir well.  Once the rice starts to look golden, you know you’re on the right path.

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Throw your chicken (or protein of choice) in.  Stir for about another minute or so.  Then make a well in the middle of your rice.

Crack your egg into it.

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Let it fry a little.

Then break it up with you spatula and just as it’s starting to look cooked, stir it through the ‘rice’.

Repeat that process with the second egg, and you are done.

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Sprinkle your chopped peanuts on top, and enjoy.

Or eat it out of the wok.  That works too.

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Nutritional Information – From My Fitness Pal Website (Nutrition based on a two serving recipe)

  • Calories – 535
  • Carbs – 26 g
  • Fat – 31 g (but they are all GOOD fats)
  • Protein – 43 g
  • Fiber – 12 g

Recipe Tuesday – Mexican Stuffed Zucchini


So I found this recipe on Skinny Taste and I tweaked it a bit, mainly because I didn’t have all the ingredients and I threw out some of the stuff while cooking, so, I had to make it ‘my own’ because I never know how to read ahead in instructions.

So here we go!

Serves 2 People

Ingredients

  • 2 Medium Zucchinis – cut in half
  • 1/2 pound of 99% fat free ground turkey
  • taco seasoning
  • 1/2 an onion
  • salsa
  • sour cream
  • cheese – coarse grating
  • 1 tbsp of canola oil

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Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the zucchinis in half and using a small spoon scoop out the inside seedy area.

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  1. Once the water is boiling, boil the zucchini’s for about a minute.
  2. Place the zucchini halves in a cooking dish inside facing up
  3. Brown the turkey meat in a skillet with 1 tbsp of oil (I used canola, but feel free to use your oil of choice).

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  1. Chop the half of an onion and add to skillet with turkey.
  2. Once the turkey is cooked through, add the taco seasoning to 1/2 a cup of water and then to the skillet.   Simmer until the liquid cooks off.
  3. Spoon the turkey mixture into the halves of the zucchini and top with the coarse grated cheese.  Cover in foil and cook in the oven for about 30 minutes – until cheese is melty and the zucchini is cooked through.

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  1. After it’s done cooking add salsa, sour cream, etc toppings you desire!

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