Monday, November 30, 2009

Pep In My Step

I woke up with such a happy feeling!  I think my “step it up” pep talk really worked!  I can’t describe the feeling;  it’s like something changed in me overnight.  I feel like I have a stronger resolve to stay on the healthy eating track.  I kept saying to myself that I would not let food control me.  I’m not giving it the power.  I have the ability to eat just what I need.  I have the ability.  I make the choice.  It’s up to me to do what’s right for my body.  It deserves it.   I know there are going to be rough times.  Times when food wants me…really badly.  I have to remind myself that I am in control of what I put in my body.  I can be in control.  Even through the holidays…  :)

So, breakfast was one of my favorite Yogurt Bowls topped with strawberries and diced apples…


I cheated on Chobani with this guy…


Chobani will always be my first greek love, but ya gotta get what’s on sale when ya can :)

After breakfast, I got my butt out the door for a peppy 45 minute walk (I’ll fill you in about the running tomorrow) around the neighborhood in the glorious weather.  I love mild November days!  The husband even joined me for the last 20 minutes which was  nice!

My stomach let me know it was lunchtime about 3 hours after eating breakfast.  I tried to cue into that to see how long it takes me to get hungry between meals.  I think knowing that is key to keeping munchies at bay and also, to help understand what types of food stick with me the longest.

Lunch was a Grilled Vegetable Boca Burger on a Pepperidge Farms Deli Flat, piled high with baby spinach and tomato.  Instead of my usual side of chips, I went with a longer lasting choice of fuji apple with 1 tbsp. homemade almond butter


We spent the afternoon at a Christmas carol sing-a-long at church.  It was a nice time and really got us in the spirit!

Again, around the 3 hour mark, I was hungry for a snack.  I decided to go salty with reduced-fat Triscuits with turkey and a dab of  wasabi mustard…



The dinner plan was a new recipe from Amelie for Grandmom’s Macaroni.  It sounded delicious;  sort of a new twist on baked mac n’ cheese.  I changed it up a tiny bit by subbing these for the originals :   Ronzoni Smart Taste elbow macaroni (high fiber), my own marinara sauce (had some left in the fridge to use up), Cracker Barrel 2% white cheddar and whipped light butter.

The result was DELISH and a hit with the husband and daughters…


My dish…served with a side of broccoli…


This will definitely be added into my regular dinner rotation!  Thanks for the great recipe, Amelie!


I have been thinking a lot lately about the blogworld and about how much encouragement I receive from other bloggers without them knowing it.  I read a lot of blogs.  A lot.  If you have a blog, you can rest assure I am reading it!  LOL!  I guess there are worse addictions :)  Anyway, I got to thinking how many bloggers write things that really strike me.  Really spur me on or cause me to take pause and reflect.  I don’t often take the time to get in touch with each person and tell them how something they wrote affected me, so I had the idea of making an addition to the end of my posts with a reference to a blogger who made an impact on me that day.  I decided to call it Brilliant Blogger because I often think “that’s brilliant” when I’ve read these words of wisdom.  There are also readers that leave me comments that are brilliant words of wisdom and they don’t have blogs, so I’m going to include some of those, too.  Just my small way of saying “thank you” to those bloggers/readers and sharing some great insights from them!

My first Brilliant Blogger is Joanna from Fitness and Spice

She wrote:  This year I’ve decided I’m not going to stress out about eating too much and working out too little during the holidays. That’s because I’ve already made up my mind that I won’t be eating too much and I will be making the time to workout.

Love that!

Don’t forget to enter my Campbell’s  Soup Giveaway – there’s a cool pedometer in there!!!

Have a great day, everyone!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Step It Up + A Giveaway

Hey everyone!  Hope you had a fantastic weekend!  Did you shop til you dropped?  Not me!  It was a hangin’ out kinda weekend here :)

I woke up ready to start a new day.  A new “non-holiday food” day!  I’ve been lazy about my regular exercise;  just been doing some Wii Fit with the daughters and a little weights here and there.  I guess my normal routine shifted with them being home, but I’m looking forward to hitting the gym HARD when they get back to school this week!

After doing some cleaning (the husband was up early and scrubbed the bathroom floors for me –LOVE HIM!), I made got out of the freezer a hearty breakfast of Fat Free Pumpkin and Raisin Biscuits and a small banana…


The cleaning kept on for most of the day.  I wanted to get everything spiffed up before we put up the Christmas decorations!

I did make a pit-stop for lunch.  I was feeling pretty hungry, so I heated up one of the Bean and Rice Burritos  topped it with guacamole and ate it knife and fork style…


As filling as that was, I still did some picking in the afternoon.  It actually didn’t hit me until later that I was doing that.  A classic case of “mindless eating”.  It’s amazing how fast that bad habit comes back and into play.  Bites of this and that leftover from daughters’ plates, a candy from the candy dish, a nibble or two while preparing snacks.  The awareness fades and it becomes almost robotic in nature.

I finally came out of the haze I was in and realized what I was doing!  Okay…refocus… or just focus…or snap the hell out of it, I said to myself!

Dinner was much better.  I tried out a recipe from the current issue of Clean Eating Magazine for Individual Chicken Pot Pies.  I changed it up a little by using leftover turkey breast and 2 cups of frozen classic mixed vegetables.  It was super easy and very good;  everyone liked it and there were no complaints…yippee!

The recipe called for topping the pies with 3 whole wheat biscuits…


They were pretty hearty, so I was fine with two…



Despite the mindless eating episodes, I feel stoked and totally ready to step it up!  I really want to give this holiday eating season a run for its money!  I want to prove to myself that I can indulge in a controlled way during the specific holiday DAY and not have this sending me spiraling out of control into an eating oblivion.  I CAN DO IT!  You can do it, too!  Let’s do this!!!!

Okay, pep talk over (mainly for my benefit, but thanks for hanging in there with me –LOL!), now let’s get to the GIVEAWAY!!!!  The Campbell’s Soup folks sent me this neat package of goodies…


  • Campbell’s V8 Garden Vegetable Blend soup
  • A Campbell’s V8 Soup Health Journal and vegetable shaped pen
  • A Flip and Tumble shopping bag
  • A Pedometer – to count your steps!

Perfect for stepping it up, right?!  Well, they would like to send this gift pack to one lucky winner, too!  All you need to do is leave me a comment telling me what your favorite soup is.  I’ll pick a winner using on Wednesday, December 2.  Good luck!!!

Have a great day, everyone!!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Best Laid Plans

Thanksgiving was a great day of food and family!  I started off with a light breakfast;  I wasn’t super hungry and I knew there would be lots later!  A Pumpkin Smoothie hit the spot…

  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze
  • 5 ice cubes
  • 1/2 packet of NuNaturals Stevia
  • sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice


I reluctantly headed to the basement for a treadmill run.  I was feeling awfully lazy, but knew if I didn’t get in some exercise, I would regret it.  After a quick 2 miles, I felt better.  No regrets!

I decided on a small lunch to tide me over until the REAL eating started!  I used some leftover Baked Seitan (remember when I said it tasted a little like bacon?) to make an SLT on a Pepperidge Farms Deli Flat


With a honeycrisp apple, it was just the right amount.

Then, it was off to my parents’ house where the good stuff was being prepared!

For starters, an antipasto platter…


My plate x2…


Then I got myself a BIG glass of water x2 to avoid any more picking.  I wanted to save up for the other yummy food coming up!

When it was time to sit for dinner, we found these papers at our places…


Dad always writes a Thanksgiving prayer and big daughter reads it aloud…


Our first course, as always, was pasta!  This one was fettuccine with bolognese sauce…


my plate was about a half cup worth…


Believe me, I wanted more!!  But, I kept reminding myself of the plan - “controlled indulgence”.

After that settled a bit, the big guns donned the table…



stuffing with whole wheat bread and sausage..and butter…and parmesan cheese… I DIE…


roasted sweets and parsnips…


broccoli rabe…


roasted asparagus…


mashed potatoes (a must for big daughter)…




homemade cranberry sauce…


I had a taste of it all…


but, I went a little crazy with this…


Best stuffing EVER!!!

We had a great time at the table reminiscing about our old houses and neighborhoods and the husband asked us to each share all the things that we were thankful for.  We ended up practically giving speeches!  We are very blessed and able to be grateful for even the smallest things, but family was at the top of all our lists!

No Thanksgiving is complete without dessert!  We were also celebrating my Dad’s birthday, so we had his favorites…

My Mom’s homemade cheesecake…again, I DIE…


and pecan pie…


and my only contribution to this fabulous day of food – Sugar Free Pumpkin Roll (for Gram who is diabetic).  I used NuNaturals Baking Blend (stevia) in the recipe and it came out surprisingly well…


I had to have the cheesecake.  One word…AMAZING!!


I had a nibble or two more of it, but called it a night.  I definitely ate a lot today, but didn’t let myself get stuffed or uncomfortable.  I enjoyed every bite!


Happy Birthday, DAD!!!


ONE GOOD THING:  I was happy with my plan of “controlled indulgence”.  I ate, I enjoyed and didn’t feel guilty or nervous.  I was full but not uncomfortable.  And that’s it – day over.  Back to the normal plan as I remind myself that the holiday was just one day, not the next four!  Back to the plan, stan :)

Hope everyone had a wonderful T-Day!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I Am Thankful

I love Thanksgiving!  It is a holiday that is all about the food, family and realization of everything good in our lives.  I know there is going to be lots of good food for me to eat today.  I feel confident that it will be a day of “controlled” indulgence and I will concentrate on being with and enjoying my family!  

I have so much to be thankful for and I truly express my gratitude on a daily basis!  Hope you all take a moment to appreciate all the wonderful people in your life today! 


My husband…


my kids and beautiful fall days…


my parents, in-laws and Gram…


the best dog in the world…


family walks…


good friends and summer days at the beach…


a healthier body so that I can run like the wind…okay, really slog (slow jog) like a snail, but it’s all good!


I am blessed!

Happy Thanksgiving!  And Happy Birthday Dad!!!

What are you thankful for today?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Houston, We Have A Problem

A communication problem.  A disconnect.  A MAJOR malfunction.

Remember that whole “listening to your body’s cues” and “paying attention to hunger signals” ? 


Yeah, my body is so deaf and in need of a hearing aid right now.  I am just eating up a storm with reckless abandon.  Bad stuff.  I know I’m not classifying my food as “good” and “bad” anymore, but it definitely deserves a “bad” label when all the choices revolve around this…


and this…


I did manage a couple of semi-healthful meals… this…


and this…


But, the majority of the day revolved around junk.  And for no apparent reason other than the fact that it was there.

Exercise even fell by the wayside;  all I got in was a quick Shake…


Which does seem like a ridiculous contraption that wouldn’t do much of anything, but my arms do burn even after I’m done.

But, that was it. 

I’m a little disappointed in myself, however, I’m not completely discouraged and lost.  I can only try to bounce back and make good choices today.  Even if it’s just one meal, it’s better than nothing.  It all counts.  One meal.  One step at a time.

Houston?  Come in, Houston?  Copy that :)

ONE GOOD THING:  Even though I didn’t make good choices, I don’t feel a complete sense of fear and frustration.  I realized that I can get myself out of this pattern and back to eating right.  I don’t feel overwhelmed, so far gone and that “ I’ll never be able to do this” feeling.  For once, I didn’t have that fear that I’ll go back to the way I used to eat and gain back all my weight.  No going back.  Onward…

Have a great day, everyone!  HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Breakfast All Day + Thin Recipes!

Hey guys!  Thanks for all the birthday wishes;  you guys are too kind!

Back to a regular old day and trying to maneuver around lots of leftover CAKE!!!  I wasn’t very hungry this morning, but the sweet cravings were still in my system, so I decided on the not-so-healthy breakfast of  my MIL’s Pumpkin Squares and a big cup of Pumpkin Spice coffee…


I was feeling pretty lazy, but wanted to try out the new exercise gadget my Mom got me – the Shake Weight


Okay, this is definitely one of those “minds out of the gutter” type contraptions.  If you check out the website, the infomercial video pops right up and shows you exactly how to use this.  That is where the comedy comes in.  Perverts, check out the website… you know who you are…. :P

Anyway, I have to say that in 6 minutes of, ehem, shaking this thing and doing the accompanying video, my arms and shoulders were burning!  I would love to see if it can really tone my arms as it claims;  I may do a 30 day challenge to see what results I get!  Anyone else have this?  Thoughts?

I was still wishy-washy about what to eat when lunch rolled around.  My fresh fruits and veggies stash was dwindled, so they were all out of the question.  I finally opted for a “clean out the fridge” lunch of leftover baked potato skins filled with scrambled egg whites and topped with a new yummy cheese…



This soy-based cheese is really delicious!  I topped my egg filled skins with it and melted it under the broiler for a minute…


I served it with a cup of Trader Joe’s Creamy Tomato Soup


Very hearty!

I felt full for a long time after and wasn’t super hungry for a big dinner.  I opted for a breakfast bowl!  Some Multi-bran Chex, skim milk, freeze dried blueberries and banana hit the spot…


I did find room for a couple big spoonfuls of light Moose Tracks Ice Cream later in the evening!  My stomach is never too full for sweets!


I was recently contacted by a representative for the Lifetime Channel regarding the show, Cook Yourself Thin.  This is a program that shows its viewers how to enjoy their favorite meals and indulgences by revamping them into healthier versions.   I have seen the show before and perused  the accompanying book of the same name and I thought it was fantastic.  The recipes are tasty and the show’s experts give sound nutritional advice, showing its viewers that you can indulge in a healthy and balanced way. 

I wanted to pass along some of the information sent to me and the link so that you can check it out…

Every Monday, through December 14th, will release about 5 to 7 new recipes from the authors of the wildly-popular “Cook Yourself Thin” book series.  These are exclusive recipes that cannot be found in their current book or the new one, “Cook Yourself Thin FASTER”— which hits shelves right before the New Year. 
The holiday shopping season is in full swing, but temptations of the food court and other on-the-go eateries don’t have to derail your diet.  This week’s recipes have just been released at and are easy-to-prepare dinner recipes to keep your diet on the right track.  Between work, shopping for gifts, and all those holiday get-togethers, your time is limited. Luckily, your options for healthy meals aren’t.

·         One-dish fish
·         Honey-glazed salmon and snap peas
·         Open lasagna
·         Baked ziti
·         Pork and roasted pears
·         Flank steak spirals
·         Sloppy Joes
·         Curried chicken salad

When you visit the site, you will also see there is a chance to win a copy of “Cook Yourself Thin FASTER” (

Here’s a sneak peek of what’s being released in the upcoming weeks:
·         Starters and Sides (November 30):  When making the rounds of holiday pot-luck parties, delicious and healthy dishes are a great way to win over the guests while keeping your caloric intake under control
·         Healthy holiday breakfast (December 7):  While the holiday season is often the most difficult time of year to eat lighter and healthier, you can always start your day right with healthy breakfast options
·         Spicy dinner options (December 14):  Need a break from the traditional holiday offerings? Try spicy—and diet-safe—dinner options
And be sure to also check out the deserts that were posted last week:
·         Pumpkin Spice Cookies
·         Toffee Bars
·         Dessert Calzones
·         Chocolate Cake
·         Fat-free Meringue Kisses

Don’t they sound great!  I already checked out the Pumpkin Spice Cookies and Toffee Bars.  You know my mind is always on dessert!  Anyway, just thought I’d share that with you all.  Thanks for the great info, Steve!

Have a great day, everyone!

Question of the Day:  What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dessert?