Sunday, December 27, 2009

Here we go again...

I know that I'm not the only one who has problems controlling myself during the holidays, but it seems that it's definitely an all or nothing attitude. This is really not cool because it makes it that much harder to get back on the wagon at the end of the season. Oh well...

So I was wondering if anyone was interested in a challenge. I need to lose 25 lbs and I need some bonus incentive!! I'm kind of broke right now, so the whole money motivation is gone because if I lose, I'm screwed. I'm not sure what else it could really be. I'm sort of motivated right now and I'm hoping that after this week, I will have cleaned the basement enough to start getting down there and kicking my butt into shape!!

My mom got me a Wavemaster punching bag for christmas and I'm headed out to get some sand later this afternoon. She also bought a ton of new workout videos, which I think is kind of silly since we already have well over 20 that aren't getting used. Whatever, it's her money. Hubby and I own a 2 tenament and my mom lives downstairs. Its definitely got its positives and negatives. I can get into that in another post.

Anyway, anyone up for the challenge??

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Getting Ready for the Holidays!!

Well, I stayed away from weight watchers for a few months, but when I stepped on the scale last week I was excited to discover I had only gained 1.4 lbs since June!! Yay! BUT - I ended my sessions with my personal trainer and the holidays are coming so I need a plan...

My plan is to start eating healthier, start working out more regularly, and just generally not being an idiot when it comes to food and the holidays!

Now, after saying that I am currently planning a cookie swap AND a holiday pastry party... think I'm setting myself up? Got any healthy options that would work with my plan? Good luck on your endeavors!!

Oh btw... this 1.4lbs means that I am currently at a total loss of 68lbs. Still trying to reach the big 9-0!! Continuing to repeat the "Training is the opposite of hoping" quote from my nike t-shirt.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Here are some recipes...

Ok, so we got back last week and I have been BUSY!! lol... as usual.

I'm going to start with the stirfry because I've made it a few times this week alone... I get a little addicted to recipes, if you haven't noticed. Chef Hubby and I had a cookout and decided to make this for a side dish. He actually grilled some bread on the grill to serve this on, so people could eat it a little easier - it rocked!! I cooked it on the side burned we have so it was super fresh for the festivities.

"Stuffed Portabella" Stir-Fry

4 medium portabella mushroom caps
1 red bell pepper
1 can black olives (drained)
1 can artichoke hearts (drained)
5 cups baby spinach
Crumbled Feta Cheese
1/4 Balsamic Vinegar

Clean and chop the mushrooms. If buying the presliced, just cut the slices in half. Chop the Red pepper, olives, and artichoke hearts.

Add the Balsamic Vinegar to a heated nonstick skillet. I used a 12" so that I could put all of the spinach in at once. Then add the red pepper and allow it to soften a little... about 2-3 minutes). Add the mushrooms and cook for another minute or 2. Then add the olives and artichoke hearts, toss until everything is coated. Finally, add the spinach until it's wilted. I transfered it to a bowl and topped some of the breads with it. I allowed the guests to add the feta as they liked, because a few aren't big cheese eaters, but it's sooo yummy, mixed in!!

I hope you liked this one!

Rhubarb and Peach Sauce

2 stalks of rhubard, cleaned and chopped into 1-2" pieces
4-5 peaches,pitted and cubed
1/2 cup sugar
1/2-1 cup water

Add the rhubarb, peaches, sugar, and about 1/2 cup of water to a small sauce pan, on medium-low. If necessary, add more water as it cooks. This takes about 30 minutes to really break down the rhubarb and get the true blend of flavors, but it is sooo worth it! BTW - it's thick and rich and it isn't necessary to use a lot of it. This was awesome on grilled Pork Chops, but I can see it on chicken and steak... it's so flavorful!

Oh, wanna know the secret to a perfect pork chop?? Brine it before you cook it. You won't have to worry about a dry piece of meat again! How do you brine? It's super easy!

Brine Mixture

1 gallon water
1/2 Cup sugar
1/2 cup salt

Heat the mixture just until the salt and sugar melt completely, then remove from heat, add the meat of choice (making sure that everything is completely covered) and then cover and place in the fridge for 1-24 hrs. This is going to give you a juicy, tasty, perfect piece of meat!!

Have fun grilling - it's finally summer!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Keep Watching!!

OK - so right now I am in Kansas visiting my brother, SIL, and 3 month old niece! Yay! Unfortunately, there are sooo many different food joints here so I haven't been doing very good watching what I'm eating for lunches, but we have been cooking dinners while we've been here. This means that as soon as I get back home, I will be posting a bunch of new, yummy, easy, and nutritious meals... wanna see what we've made so far....

Grilled Pork Chops with a Peach/Rhubarb Sauce
Sauteed Zucchini
Sweet Potato Fries

and Tonights Menu:

Steak - lean
"Stuffed Portabella Mushroom" Stir-fry
Grilled Corn on the Cob

mmm mmm mmm... I can't wait!

So check back next and I'll explain - especially the stirfry, OMG!!!

Hope your week is going as well as mine :o)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Healthier Food Options...

So it's summer and the fruits and veggies are looking good! Now, if you actually know me, I mean, really know me... you'll understand that this statement is sort of strange coming out of me! Until only about a year and a half ago, my definition of veggies was lettuce, carrots, and cucumbers. Other than that I would eat corn - yes, that would be the vegetable with zero nutritional value!

Anyway, I'm still on Weight Watchers and I'm now eating veggies... lots of veggies - and liking them! Now, I just have to figure out how to cook them. I'm kind of spoiled in the fact that I can pretty much tell Chef hubby (AKA, Henry) what I want thrown together and he makes it taste soooo yummy! But, I've had to figure out how to incorporate more of them into my routine all on my own.

A big favorite is the Greek Omelette... Egg whites, 3 olives chopped, 1/2 tomato chopped, Spinach chopped, and only about a teaspoon of feta cheese... mmm mmm mmm. I have this at least 3 times a week. Do you think I might have a problem?

I also love the WW smoothies! You can get the mixes at the centers and you don't have to be a member. I know that you can get protein smoothie mixes at other stores, but I like these and they are only 1pt! My new favorite is the Wild Berry... with frozen strawberries, blueberries, and either milk, or a yogurt with some water to thin it a little. OMG - I've actually started to crave these!!

I also love the stuffed portabellas that I blogged about last week. And the topping can be made in "bulk" and thrown on top of a salad or some whole wheat pasta.

Finally, although it's not a fruit or veggie, it has become more new go to, travel snack... Kellogg's Jumbo Multi-grain Rice Krispies. These little babies are packed full of nutrition and an entire cup is only 1 pt. I can throw a baggy of these into my bag and it gives me something sweet to munch on without the guilt of the extra calories!

I also just want to share my new favorite website Hungry Girl. This website totally rocks, with it's help hints and up to date information for healthy eating. Just remember that even little steps make a big difference! I'm still going, trying to reach my goal! Good luck with whatever you are reaching for! It's a new week and now is the time to make the jump!

"Training is the Opposite of Hoping!" ~Nike

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Couch Potato Workout

So, some of my friends have been requesting a workout that they can do at home with the kids running around, without equipment, and with a small area of space. I've been thinking of this for a while, and then I saw that Jillian Michaels was starting with it, so I know it's not an original idea, but I still think it's worth sharing...

The Couch Potato Workout!!

Basically you will be doing a "circuit" of exercises during the commercials of your favorite tv shows. Now, if you don't watch tv... how the heck are you not in shape?!?! If I was motivated enough to get away from technology, I would be a freaking buff bunny!! lmao

So you can rotate the exercises in any order you want, just make sure that do one exercise throughout the entire commercial break. Do as many as you can, taking a break if necessary. You can keep track of the length of time and the number of repetitions you get done, if you'd like. Your choices are:

Push ups: If you are a beginner, feel free to do them on your knees, but otherwise, maintain a straight line through your head, shoulders, hips, knees (and if you are doing normal push-ups, your toes). Hands even with your shoulders and thumbs pointing towards your body.

Couch Dips: Sit on the edge of the coach cushion, place palms on the couch frame just outside your hips, being sure that your elbows are pointed back, not out to the sides. Now skoot your butt forward off the couch and drop it down towards the floor. You want to keep your feet out away from the couch so that when you press down your knees stay behind your toes. You can make this more difficult by moving your feet further away or even lifting one foot off the ground.

Lateral Raises: Use anything you have for weights (start with soup cans, work out to water bottles, then even milk jugs!) With your arms straight, sit or stand with back straight and head forward, lift your arms out to the side up until they are shoulder height (AKA... parallel to the floor).

Forward Raises: Same as Lateral Raises, only you are lifting your arms straight out in front of you.

Chest Press: Use anything for weights, including your child!! You are going to lay flat on the floor and with arms straight out, elbows bent, press whatever you are lifting up towards the ceiling.

Plie Squats: With toes pointing out to the sides and feet apart slightly wider than your shoulder width, squat down. Be sure to keep your shoulders back and head up. You can even use the kids or a backpack for added resistance. If you want to make it more difficult, you can do it with one heel up and alternate OR you can lift your heels each time you come up from the squat.

Lunges: Stand one foot forward and one foot back. Make sure that toes are pointed forward and press your body down (NOT FORWARD!!). Your back knee does not have to touch the floor, but be sure to keep the head, shoulders, hips, and back knee in line when pressing down. You can do each side 10 times and keep switching. Also, feel free to use your child or backpack again!!

Crunches: Basic abdominal crunch is when your back is flat on the floor, knees bent with feet flat on the floor, with hands behind head for support (do NOT pull head up with your hands). Now lift your shoulders towards the ceiling.

Reverse Crunch: Back flat on floor, hands down by your side, keeping knees bent at 90 degrees, lift feet off the floor. Remember that slow and controlled, don't just speed through it.

Heel Touches: Get into reverse crunch position, keep feet flat on floor, lift your shoulders off the floor and bend to the side trying to touch your heels with your finger tips.

Bridging: Get into reverse crunch position and lift hips off the floor, squeezing your butt and hamstrings (the back of your thigh) at the top. To add more of a challenge you can have your kids sit on your hips... lol! Also, you can bring your hips up, hold, then do a marching motion with your feet. If this gets too easy, you can even lift one leg and bridge single leg.

Well, I think that's a good start! Let me know what you think. One more thing... If you want to make any of this even more difficult, add a pulse! With the raises, presses, bridging, and crunches perform the motion 10-15 times, then bring it up, hold it and then a very little motion (pulse) pretty fast. Be sure to throw your arms or body around. This is all a controlled motion, just very small. You can do the same with the squats and lunges, but perform the pulse when you drop it down.

Hope that this helps you in your quest to get that beach body... lol! OK - or at least just get you off the couch! Good luck!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Miss me?

I know, I know... I've completely lost any people who ever read this but I wanted to say "I'm sorry". I didn't abandon the blog; I've just been trying to get back into my groove. It was frustrating trying to write something motivation while thinking about eating a hot fudge sundae, right?!

So I'm doing well. Proud to say that I've lost a few pounds and well on my way to my goal - FINALLY! I've actually been following weight watchers again and let trust me when I say, it's so much easier to stay within my points and not get bored, now that I actually eat veggies. I've been scouring cookbooks again and I've used a TON of post-it flags marking recipes that I "MUST TRY"! I'm so excited for the summer and the fresh flavors and smells that I can pick up at the local farmer's market.

Well, since it's the summer and grilling has started, I figured that I would share a very simple recipe that can be done indoors or out. It's something I've actually come to crave...

"Stuffed" Portabella Mushroom Caps

4 Portabella Mushroom Caps – stems removed
1/2 cup Balsamic vinaigrette with olive oil or Balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup fresh spinach
1/2 cup diced sundried tomatoes
1/2 cup diced roasted red peppers
1/4 cup black olives
1/2 cup artichoke hearts
1/4 cup feta cheese
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Marinate the cleaned portabella caps in the balsamic vinaigrette for at least 2hours. This can be done up to 24 hrs before preparing.

Place caps on a lightly greased baking pan tops down. Chop the tomatoes, peppers, olives, and artichokes. Layer spinach, tomato mixture, and feta cheese. Drizzle a little olive oil on top. Salt and pepper for seasoning.

Place in 350 degree oven for 25 mins.

** These can be placed in foil packets and prepared on the grill. 12 mins at 400 deg.

** Use the small Bella Caps instead and you have a super easy appetizer anyone would love!!

Hopefully, this will help get you motivated to eat healthier! I got me through our first cookout of the season. No one was wondering why I wasn't eating the burger while I was chowing down on one of these... lmao. Actually, it was the only thing that we didn't have left over!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Hello Again!!

Hi Everyone! Sorry it's been so long since I've changed my post, but it's been crazy again. Chef Hubby is now working his normal teaching job during the week and also is working in the kitchen at a local Bar/Pub Monday and Fridays til close - ugh. This is the same place that he helped launch by creating the menu. Anyway, the girls and I have been spending lots of quality time. I also started on my own as a Pampered Chef consultant a few weeks ago. It's a great opportunity and I am hoping that I can make a little extra money to help pay off some bills a little faster. I'm still working as an Athletic Trainer at one of the local high schools, but this gives me a little time to talk to "big people"... lol. Anyway, I now have 2 cooking demos under my belt and I'm more than halfway to my fulfilling my "obligation" to company so I'm pretty excited.

Lately, the girls and I have been working a bunch of new things. We've been crafting, cooking, and creating! We created some peanut butter the other day. I didn't have a recipe so I referred back to chef hubby. Who knew, all you need is a little peanut oil or soybean oil and a bumch of peanuts. I was going to add a little sugar, but the kids seem to like it anyway, so why bother?





We also are continuing with the muffin tin adventures, but I haven't actually been doing the "assignments" for Muffin Tin Monday over at Her Cup Overfloweth. It's not that I like them any less, there just never seems to be one I can pull together when I think of doing it. I think that the breakfast muffin tin is the most requested, snack tim coming in a very close second... lol! My Grandparents actually babysit 2 days a week while I work and she always makes them a snacktime Muffin Tin. I'm an getting everyone into this... hehe. Here are 2 of our recent Muffin Tin attempts:



(ketchup for dipping, diced peaches, strawberry yogurt, eggs, toast with purple sprinkles)

I got these plates at JCPenney during the holidays so they were cheap, but I really do love them. The spot where the eggs are holds a bowl and where the yogurt is has a round indent to hold a cup. The kids love them!! I should have gotten 2 princess ones though, don't know what I was thinking!



Fudge Cookies, cheese, Cheetos, twizzlers

peanuts, PB&J on wheat bread, pretzel sticks

goldfish crackers, star marshmallows, cheese, grapes

This is a snacktine Muffin Tin. I make a big one so both girls can share, but usually they end up liking different things anyway... lol

Then we went to the New England Aquarium during school vacation. The kids are actually too little to have to worry about the whole vacation thing, but as a teacher, my hubby can tell you the amount of time between any vacation... if you thought the kids counted down, you have no idea!

Anyway, both of the kids loved the penguins and the turtles (They are looking at a turtle in a "rehab" tank, in the pic below). But they were not very excited about the octopus or the LARGE tank in the middle with sharks, etc in it. I tried to get a pic of them sitting on the ledge in front of the window and you would have thought I was trying to feed Payton to the darn shark!! I'll say, it was definitely an experience!

Well, I think I caught you up on a few of the things we've been doing. Today we are going to be hanging out and watching some tv. We're having some friends over for brunch (I say it's lunch, because it's at noon, but Chef Hubby keeps saying brunch - what do you think the cutoff time is?) for some delicious food! So far we are serving up:

Savory Egg Bake

(rosemary focassia bread, sweet sausage, a variety of cheese, fresh garlic and some other seasonings)


Fresh Pineapple and Grapes


Eggs to Order


Tossed Salad


(arugala, nuts, starwberries, raspberry vinegarette, and the best part - Kilchurn Estate Wensleydale with Cranberries)


I can't even describe how amazing this cheese is!! I could sit there with some graham crackers and a wedge and just eat. It's sweet, smooth, crumbly, amazing!! I will let you know how it goes!





Have a great day!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Motivation

So one of the tools that I've learned through Weight Watchers is something they call "Anchoring". This is a way to maintain focus for your success. Now I've been a little lost lately. I think after being on my little "journey" for so long, I lost my drive to continue. Now I'm not saying that I've thrown in the towel and wanted to let go of what I gained, but I will say that on my trip to California from Massachusetts, I found Vegas... lmao!!

As soon as my butt fit into my size 10 jeans, I started to let the reins go a little. So I decided that I needed a new anchor! My mom told me about Newport News and said they had some really cute clothes, so I checked it out. I found two bathing suits, both 2 piece, in the clearance section, and I bought them! hehe

I know that I've worn a 2 pc before... I'm pretty sure that at the time, I probably should not have, but hey whatever. This time, I want to flaunt it! So now I'm waiting the 7-10 days before I get them. Henry can't wait. I think he might be more excited than I am to have them come in. Anyway, keep your fingers crossed! My fear is even when I lose the weight, I'm still not going to have a beach going bod. I guess we'll just have to see, right?!

I can honestly say that there probably will not be any pics posted of me in the swimsuits... but hey you never know. I never thought I would actually like to wear 4inch either!! It's amazing what can happen!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Little Changes...

So we all start the new year with the highest of hopes, right? We're going to eat better, work out more and never ever ever cheat. This time is going to be different and there's nothing that's going to throw us off course. Sound familiar? Well, so will this... the next morning you wake up late, starving, and unprepared to start the way you planned. You grab some leftovers or a maybe just a coffee, beginning the cycle of downward spiral that lasts until the ball drops the next year.

Well, this year can be different!!! The winning approaches...

1. Make reasonable goals
2. Start small
3. Log progress
4. Acknowledge the successes and the setbacks
5. Allow yourself to let continue on the path, even if you stray a little
6. Accept that this is going to be a lifetime, not a vacation

OK, so are you set? Now I will go into a few ways for you start your "healthier" lifestyle right now! I'm not going to profess that I have all of the answers, that I am my ideal body size, shape, or composition, or that it's easy everyday. I will say that I am a person who has struggled my entire life with imagine problems. I have always been an athlete (albeit, not always a well trained one... lol) and have very high standards that I am trying to make more reasonable for everyday life. It's a challenge for me everyday and it doesn't seem to get easier, no matter what all of the books say about routines. Make you feel any better? We're probably in the same boat, so feel free to vent!

Some baby steps...
1. Try drinking one cup of water an hour. Chug it if you have to. Proper hydration can help prevent that mid-afternoon crash. Also, if you are hydrated you won't mistake the thirst sensation for hunger, which helps prevent overeating.
2. Move more. Whatever you are doing, double it. If you aren't working out at all, start using the stairs, parking further away, or even sit and stand more from the couch - MOVE!
3. Journal. This is where people lose interest. But you can log anything that will help show a change. Write about your mood during your "journey", log your food intake, track your training program (weights, sets, reps, or even intensity and time), record your measurements. Whatever works for YOU. This gives you your starting point. Something to look back and remind you where you have come from. Do it!
4. Eat more... fruits and veggies. If you feel like a sweet, grab some fruit. Need a crunch, grab a veggy. If you still need something to kill the extra urge after you've tried this, keep some miniatures around and allow yourself one. Don't eat the whole bag. BUT, if you do... live with it and move on. Please don't throw in the towel. It's not worth it!!

I know I said that I would be posting the Couch Potato Workout and I haven't forgotten. I will throw out the basics for right now and I'll post specific exercises a little later. The general plan would be to understand that at the end of the day you want to enjoy your favorites, and there's nothing wrong with that, but we need to get in some exercise. So during each commercial, get up and do something. ANYTHING. Dance with your kids, do some crunches, squats, leg lifts, push-ups. Go with the anything is better than nothing motto and say it in your head. When your show starts again, you get a break.

Hope this helps a little. Let me know how you do! I'm going to try to reach my goal of getting into a two piece this summer. Wish me luck... or not. I guess it's all up to me. My hubby bought me a Nike t-shirt for Christmas that says "Training is the opposite of hoping". I love it! That's my new mantra, right after "I've worked too damn hard to throw it all away for a piece of _____". You know what I mean! So... let's "JUST DO IT"!

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Years is a new start...

So I started this blog with the intention of putting some useful stuff including recipes, workouts, and inspirational to keep us all going. I'm sorry for dropping the ball! BUT... It's a new year and I'm going to start fresh. I have a workout program I've been working on. I call it the "Couch Potato Workout" and I'll explain it soon! Right now I am just going to leave you with a quote that I fell in love with...


It's MORE stressful to continue to be overweight
than it is to stop overeating!


That's it for today, but I will be back... Happy New Year! Let's do this together!