Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Spicy Sweet and Sour Pork

This recipe from Cooking Light has become a new staple in our house.  Being able to make and eat Chinese food at home is incredibly rewarding!  Not to mention cheaper both monetarily and calorically.  I do not make the coconut rice mostly because I usually just nuke some ready rice.  I am not certain if the calorie count includes the rice or not.  I have been going with not and adding in my rice.  


Being a girl sucks. Sometimes.

I went home sick today.  It sucks when the cramps are bad enough to cause nausea.  I haven't had them this bad in a really long time and really thought they were over.  Especially, since Aunt Flo has been a piece of cake since losing weight.  Maybe it was my body telling me that I needed a day off from everything.  I've spent it lying on the couch hanging out with my pup and the DVR.   The nausea is gone for the most part and the cramps have subsided. Hopefully, tomorrow is back to normal.  But being a girl still sucks sometimes.  Thank goodness for sick days and television! 

Stay tuned for some recipes that I have been slacking on sharing! 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Catching up!

Hello blog world!  I apologize for being MIA.  I have been really busy as of late and have not had proper time to sit down to blog.  I hope all of you are doing well!  We have been hit with a bunch of snow this week.  I love it but could do without all the cold.  Snow with 70 degrees would be great....I wonder if the Big Guy can work on that one.  I have spent the morning doing all sorts of cooking and baking!  It was snowing here and I missed out on all the Thursday snow day activities because of work.   It was so great to try out a bunch of recipes that I had been wanting to make!  Ribs are in the crockpot, tomato soup with mozzarella croutons for lunch, PB&J cookie bars for whenever (probably not diet friendly but I refuse to give up all treats) and protein bars!  I have been a busy bee! 

I have been doing pretty well staying on course the past week or so.  I weighed in on Wed at my normal time and was at 208.8!  That number seemed more realistic than the previous week!  I am still on course and really feel that the weight will take care of itself in the end.  The important thing is I am losing inches and feeling so much better.  Except for breathing...between the cold and a sinus congestion my asthma has been a little cranky.  I am taking my meds like I am supposed to and doing better this week.  Funny thing huh? 

The meal planning is going along smoothly.  The tracking is inconsistent but I am doing better than in the past.  Although, I've clearly slacked through this weekend.  I'll have to catch up later...yes, later!  

My exercise has been the most consistent part!  Sure there were days were I dreaded going but I made myself do it.  And I am always glad that I did!  I actually used the elliptical twice in the past week.  I have always despised them.  It wasn't as bad as I thought but they still aren't my first choice in equipment!  See you can teach an old dog new tricks!

I have completed 40.57 miles in the JanGTD challenge!  I think I might just hit that 50 miles yet, lol!! Woo hoo.  Another goal being met!  

Have  wonderful Sunday y'all and I will post some recipes later!     

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Recipe -- Hawaiian Chicken Slow Cooker

Hawaiian Chicken
2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast
1 can pineapple chunks, drained
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 packed brown sugar
2 TBSP lemon juice
1/4 tsp ground ginger

Cut the chicken into large bite-sized chunks.  Put everything into your crockpot and stir it around until everything is mixed up.  Cover and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 5 to 6 hours.

Verdict:  I used frozen breast and couldn't chunk it.  I just placed the whole breast into the crockpot.  I felt their was not enough flavor to the chicken.  It was dry and that was probably do to not cutting it up.  However, for lunch today I shredded my breast and placed it and some of the fruit into a tortilla.  Served along with some peach salsa.  It was much better and juicier!  I think next time I'll cut it up and see if it helps.       

Recipe--Turkey Manicotti

I am a little behind putting up some recipe reviews.  I also need to be so much better with taking pictures.  I just don't think about it when there is food in front of me!  However, I think in the case of this recipe everyone knows what Manicotti looks like.  :)
Turkey Manicotti (from Taste of Home)
1-1/2 pounds ground turkey
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
14 manicotti shells, cooked and drained
1 jar spaghetti sauce

Note: I had some ricotta left over and I added it into the turkey mixture.

In a skillet, cook the turkey, onion, garlic, salt and pepper until meat is no longer pink and onion is tender; drain.  Stir in cheeses and mix well.  Spoon into manicotti shells.  Pour half of the spaghetti sauce into a greased 13 X 9 baking dish.  Arrange sauce over the sauce; top with the remaining sauce.  Cover and bake at 350 for 25-30 min or until heated through.  Serves: 6-8

Verdict:  I really liked it and ate it for lunch everyday!  The hardest part was stuffing the shells.  I've never made manicotti at home until now!  I can only get better at it, right?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

This post is packed full of useless knowledge!

The gym FINALLY replaced a bunch of the treadmills!  There were a couple that if I could have lifted them, I would have dragged them to the curb myself.  I took one for  a whirl last night.  It has these automatic inclines that are gnarly.  My arms were killing me from having to hang on!  I also felt like I was walking on the roof (I'm 5'11).  But despite the freak out over height and the hanging on for dear life, I do like them.  It will just take some getting used to being able to walk at such an incline.   Somewhere, the old treadmills are hanging their belts in shame.  

In other great news, the scale has finally moved in the right direction.  I weighed and measured today with my trainer.  I weighed in at 206.6 pounds.  YAY!  Of course we did this at 7am instead of our usual 6pm so it was probably a timing issue.  But I will still take it!  I also lost inches or fractions of inches all over!  I love forward progression!  Plateaus stink.  They just cause undue stress.  It is nice to know that when you refocus and start with a fresh slate that your body jumps back into the game too!    

I am taking part in a 12 week challenge at Gold's Gym.  The first official weigh-in, measurements and pictures are on Friday.  I could do without the pictures.  The belly area is not a pretty site.  However, it is way better than it used to be!   This gives me something new to focus on and 3 months to make an even greater impact on my health and my goddess like physique (sarcasm folks, sarcasm). 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Chicken breasts stuffed with ricotta and goat cheese

Dinner from Thursday night.  I didn't take a picture and apologize up front!  

Stuffed Chicken Breasts (adapted from American Heart Association)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast  (I bought the thin sliced breast)
7 oz FF or reduced-fat Ricotta cheese
2 oz soft goat cheese (I used the one with chives on it and skipped buying the chives)
2 Tbsp fresh parsley or 2 tsp dried
1 Tbsp fresh chives or chopped green onion
Tomato sauce (there was an included recipe but I already had the ragu on hand)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray a casserole dish with spray.  In a small bowl mix all the stuffing ingredients.

If you didn't purchase thin sliced breasts, you will need to pound them thinner.  Place between two pieces of plastic wrap and gently pound out to a 1/4 inch thickness.  Note: mine were thicker and turned out well! 

Spoon a quarter of the stuffing mixture down the center of each breast.  Starting at the short end, roll up the breast jelly-roll style.  Place the breast in the prepared casserole dish with the seam side down.  Spoon sauce over the breasts.

Bake, covered for 40 to 45 mins or until chicken is no longer pink. 
236 cal, 5.5 fat, 81 chol, 7 carbs, 36 protein (sodium will vary with sauce used)

Verdict:  It was good and had good flavor.  I think I may need to play with the recipe and make some changes to it.  It is low cal and fat conscious.   

Friday, January 7, 2011

I'm Overweight!!

I am overweight!  I have been waiting to say those words for years!  I am thrilled with this new revelation.  Why am I so excited about being overweight?  Because I am no longer OBESE!  For the record, I am not a big fan of the BMI Scale.   It is a mathematical calculation that doesn't take in to consideration fat vs muscle or your overall fitness.  Now having said that, it is the freaking gold standard and everyone wants to know where they stand on a medically accepted scale.  I started this journey at 323 pounds with a BMI = 45.  Forty-freakin-five....really?  Dude, I was fat.  I weighed in on Wednesday (for the first time in 2 weeks) at 210.8 pounds with a BMI = 29.4!  

I will always be overweight (according to the BMI) because even at my goal weight I will be just over the suggested weight for my height.  I don't care.  I have to be happy with my body and more importantly be able to maintain the weight.  I want to be comfortable and healthy!  So this is where the BMI scale and I disagree but you know what I think I'll win!  

I haven't been this close to 200 pounds since the 6th or maybe 7th grade.  I am pretty sure that after my father died it went up dramatically.  I know that I weigh much less than high school because I still had my prom dress hanging in the basement.  It was a size 22 and was huge on me! I can officially say I look better than I did in high school and not many people can say that!!  

I am doing the JanGTD challenge and pledge to do 50 miles on the treadmill and 50 strength circuits this month!  So far I've done 7 miles and 7 circuits!  So I will keep everyone posted!  

I need to take my Christmas trees down.  I usually wait until MLK weekend but I am going to try and get them down this weekend!  It's a goal at least (sadly harder than any at the gym). LOL

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Crockpot Tangy Pork Chop

First new recipe of the year!  It was yummy.  This was the first time I've done chops in the crockpot.  It turned out well.   I really love my crockpot and it makes cooking so easy!! 

Tangy Pork Chops  (from the Taste of Home Cookbook)
4 pork chops 
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 medium onions, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 large green pepper, sliced
1 can stewed tomatoes (14.5 oz)
1/2 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 chicken bouillon cube
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp water
Cooked rice

Place chops in  a slow cooker; sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired.  Add onion, celery, green pepper and tomatoes.  Combine ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and bouillon; pour over vegetables.  Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours [or on High 2-3].  Mix cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into liquid in slow cooker.  Cover and cook on high for 30 min or until thickened.  Serve over rice.  
Yield: 4 servings
227 cal, 37 chol, 34 carbs, 16 protein, 4 fat

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year and welcome 2011!

I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday season.  Mine was great and I am truly blessed!  But it is time to put 2010 behind me and move forward to make 2011 a great year.  

2010 was filled with ups and downs.  I am so proud to have restarted my weight loss journey. I've accomplished goals that seemed impossible before.  Heck, I ran a 10k.  That was an awesome accomplishment!   But the last couple of months have been stressful and I didn't allow myself to focus on the prize.  I was distracted and at times physically not up to the task.  I haven't been blogging.  I haven't had much to really write about because I felt like I've only been going through the motions of life not really invested in the outcomes.  

Thankfully today begins a brand new slate.  I've never been big on making resolutions.  It seems silly to make all these wild assumptions on January 1st only to know you'll break most of them before dinner.  However, this year I am making a few.  They aren't wildly crazy just things that I need to focus on for my overall success. 
  1. Get to work earlier.  It would be better for my overall happiness...I hope.  
  2. Get more sleep which mostly entails going to bed earlier.  
  3. Recommit to my goals and focus on the items that lead to success.  I need to track my food, continue meal planning, blog, set mini-goals, etc.  
I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings and more importantly what I chose to do to further my journey.   I still don't intend to blog everyday.  But I am going to try and be better at stopping by and reading!  Here's to a wonderful new year full of successes!  

New Year's eve picture!  I am incredibly proud of my success last year!