Saturday, February 23, 2013

Keeping My Body Guessing

New Goals:

So, I have been doing the Shrinking Jeans Weight Loss Challenge for 7 weeks now and I've lost just a couple of pounds. I feel like I'm in a weight loss rut, so I have decided to take a couple of steps to try to pull myself out. We'll see if it helps.  I am attacking my eating and my exercise in an effort to move forward with my weight loss goals. It really sucks that gaining is so easy and losing is so hard.

As for food, I am going to eat less.  I am hoping to stay around 1400 calories to start off and am going to focus on not eating past 7 or 8 pm. I am also contemplating having an "anything goes day" (within reason, of course...I'm not crazy).  What I mean is that one day, I might decide to eat past my calories or just not count for that one day or maybe eat a small dessert or something "out of the norm" for me. The hope is that giving myself a day like this once in awhile will stimulate my metabolism to keep working.I've heard this called a "fat day" but I don't like that term. I figure a day  different than normal is good once in awhile to jar my system. We'll see if it works. I just figure it's worth a try.

I am also attacking my exercise plan.  I am trying to mix up my exercise routine on a daily basis in hopes of  "keeping my body guessing."  I think if I do this that my body will not get used to one type of exercise all the time. Yesterday it was bike riding and today it was a DVD: Leslie Sansone's Super Fat Burning 3 mile Walk with weights It was 49 minutes long and a great workout. I like finding good workout DVDs because when summer hits here in Arizona, I won't be able to get outside to exercise too much. I think varying my exercise routine will be good for me because different exercises affect the body parts differently. They say "Variety is the spice of life" so why not with exercise too? I still plan to exercise daily, trying to do some cardio most days.

I am a work in progress and so is my plan.  I may change it tomorrow, but at least I'm trying, right? I think that's the important thing.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Exercise Log and Friday Favorites

Last week's exercise log was pretty good, but I still want to do a cardio workout every day. I got this 10 minute solution DVD out of the library, and I really like the 10 minute abs blaster aerobic segment. I've done it several times and I really enjoy it. Here's how my workouts went this week:

Sat 2/16/13…kneeexercise

Sun 2/17/13…aerobics10 min (10 minute solutions dvd), Pilates 40 min, bicycling 30 min

Mon 2/18/13…kneeexercises

Tues 2/19/13…aerobics20 min

Wed 2/20/13…kneeexercises

Thurs2/21/13…interval walking 30 min, karaokes, high knees,stationery bike 10 min,60 side crunches, 200 abdominal crunches
Fri 2/22/13...10 minute ab blaster aerobics, 3 mile super fat burning walk dvd by Leslie Sansone. I have some of her other walk dvds and really like them....especially in the summer when it's 120 degrees outside.

This Friday's Favorites:

Trader Joe's Middle East Whole Wheat Flat bread (perfect for wraps and pizza crusts) and Trader Joe's Eggplant Garlic Spread (perfect with pasta or to top the flat bread as sauce when making pizzas) I think you can get both for right under $5.00 .


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What My Scale Said Wednesday 5

So what did my scale say to me today?
I was even Steven this morning... No loss , but I guess more importantly no gain.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Menu Plan Monday and a Must Have RIGHT NOW!

This is our menu for the week (subject to change, of course) and it's linked to Laura's Menu Plan Monday.   Check out Laura's site for lots of good organizational tips and tricks as well as recipes.  You'll be glad you stopped by.

Monday- Kids:  Homemade chicken strip, carrots, fruit/yogurt
                 Me and DH:  smoothie/salad
Tuesday- Kids:  LO roast beef, broccoli,  fruit/yogurt
                 Me and DH: Big Greek salad with Grilled chicken

Wednesday- All:  Spaghetti/fettuccine and sauce/lo lasagna, bread, salad

Thursday-    Kids:  Pork tenderloin, roasted carrots and potatoes, fruit/yogurt
                      Me and DH:  Bean soup and cornbread and salad

Friday – Kids:  Pizza
               Me and DH:  Pita pizza , Mango Chicken Sausage, fruit, veggie sticks

Saturday-  Kids:  Sandwiches/hot dogs and chips, fruit/yogurt
                    Me and DH:  Chili (LO for taco salad next week)
Sunday- Kids:  Deli chicken, green beans, fruit/yogurt, whole wheat rolls
                Me and DH: Salad and ww roll or LO chili
Monday-  Kids:  Tomato soup and grilled cheese
                   Me and DH:  Mexican stuffed peppers, fruit/yogurt, burrito

Lunch for me:
Hummus and homemade pita chips, potato soup, smoothie, "chicken" patty, left overs
We have been waiting for a long time for the Sumos to return to Whole Foods because they are so absolutely, mind numbingly delicious! Get them now if you can because they are only around for about a month, and then they are gone will the following year. Why do we love them?  They are seedless, easy to peel, and without a doubt, the sweetest, most succulent citrus we've ever eaten (all without being super messy). Read the Sumo's story here.  They are huge and while they are not the cheapest fruit (2.99 a pound at Whole Paycheck), they are totally worth it.  If they are at a Whole paycheck near you, I highly suggest them!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Weekly Exercise Log

This past week, I still managed to exercise a little everyday (yay!), however some days, it was just my knee exercises. It is unfortunate that an injury has to derail my exercise plans, but you have to go with what life deals you, and I guess any exercise, even if not super strenuous, is better than no exercise.   I have to remember that I'm still better off than the couch potato not doing any exercise but reaching for the bag of chips. My new goal is to extend my exercise everyday rule to making sure that on days when my knee is not bothering me that I have some form of cardio, not just strengthening exercises....EVERY DAY.

Here's how I ended up last week.  What I need to remember is

Friday 2/8/13   20 minutes yoga

Sat 2/9/13         knee exercises

Sun 2/10/13     knee exercises, 100 waist twists

Mon 2/11/13    knee exercises

Tues 2/12/13    bicycling 10-12 mph 30 min

Wed 2/13/13   abdominal crunches 10 sets-20 reps=200

Thurs 2/14/13 walking 3.5 mph uphill- 30 min…….side crunches-6 sets,20 reps=120…….abdominal crunches-10 sets,20 reps=200

Fri 2/15/13       knee exercises

Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday Favorites and Cinnamon Roll Donuts

So yesterday, I did something nice for myself by taking myself to the gym and working out. It started my day off in the best way possible. I also meditated for 15 minutes in quiet, which was ..heaven! Then I cam home and started baking donuts for my kids. I don't make homemade donuts a lot, but my kids love it when I do, and I thought it might be a nice treat for Valentine's Day.  Then, brilliant woman that I am, I decided I would make them breakfast for dinner, which included my donuts, eggs, fresh fruit, and piggies for those who wanted them. killed two birds with one stone with that idea.

This is only the 2nd time I have made donuts from scratch. You can read about the first time here.  This time I had an idea that I wanted to make cinnamon roll donuts. I could do it, right? Boy did I!  I'm not even a donut person, but I must say they were delicious. I also made chocolate glazed, regular glaze, and powdered sugar donuts.  They were all good, but the chocolate ones the kids liked the least. I think that the topping wasn't sweet enough for them. Maybe if I had used milk chocolate vs semi- sweet chocolate they would have liked them better.

So how did I make this masterpiece of a cinnamon roll donut? I used 2 recipes: one came with my donut pan and called fro cake flour, and one was this one from Mama Pea. I did change it a bit. First, I sifted all my flours and dry ingredients. Next, I doubled Mama Pea's batter, except for the nutmeg. I used less of it because I think it is so over powering and a little truly does go a long way for me. So even though I doubled the recipe ingredients, I only used the single recipe amount of nutmeg. Next time, I may even leave it out completely.  I also used slightly less sugar thinking that the cinnamon roll topping would add extra sweetness, and I didn't want it to be sickening sweet, just delicious sweet. I think I used a heaping cup of sugar only.  And, of course, I used butter and skim milk instead of the vegan alternatives.

Once I made the batter and had my donut pan sprayed with non stick spray, I put in a little batter. Then in a separate bowl, I mixed 4 Tbs. brown sugar and 1 tsp of cinnamon. I generously sprinkled some of the brown sugar-cinnamon mixture on top of the batter I had already put into the pan. Then I topped it with more batter filling the donut pan 2/3 - 3/4 full. After they were all put together, I baked them according to Mama Pea's directions.

Notes:  Next time, I will pipe the batter into the donut pan. I think that will be easier for sure and probably less messy. I used a spoon and my finger and it was successful, but a mess! I also will buy 2 more cake pans before i make donuts again. I have 1 large donut pan that makes 6 donuts at a time, and it took me f-o-r-e-v-e-r! My boys are worth it though.

After they were done cooking, I made a glaze with about powdered sugar (@ 1 c), milk (@ 1 Tbsp +), and vanilla ( @ 1/2 tsp). Stir it together adding more milk or powdered sugar till smooth and the consistency you want. I let my glaze sit and rest on the counter while I was cooking, and I think that worked out well. When the donuts were cooled, I dipped each donut in the glazed so that only the top had glaze on it. then I put them on the pan to dry and sprinkled them with  a little red sugar sprinkles.
YUMMMMY!  I used the powdered sugar glaze for my plain glazed donuts as well.
The chocolate glazed ones I made like Mama Pea. And I covered the small donuts with powdered sugar.

This recipe brings me to one of my Friday Favorites: my Wilton donut pan. I just need more than 1. I actually have a small donut pan too, but it's too small...honestly, not worth the trouble, in my opinion. But, I love the big pan!

My next Friday favorite is my new favorite yogurt.It is Green Mountain Creamery 0% Fat Greek Yogurt, pineapple good. It is great if you are craving something sweet.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Pita Pizza....Yum!

Pita Pizza....quick, easy, and endless possibilities...
So I was already to have some pita and hummus today for lunch when I realised that I had some baby Bella mushrooms that needed to be used. So instead of hummus, I whipped up the most delicious pita pizza I've ever had!  I used my misto, sprayed the  whole wheat pita gently with olive oil , and baked it a few minutes about 375-400 till it started to crisp. The I removed it from the oven and topped it  with 1 spoonful of marinara, 5 sliced green olives, some Roma tomato slices, diced onion, sauteed mushrooms, and a big hand full of chopped power greens (spinach, chard, and kale). Then I sprinkled 1-1 1/2 Tbsp of Trader Joe's Mediterranean seasoned feta cheese and 1/4 c of shredded Italian blend cheese. I baked it till cheese was melted and pizza was heated through, about 5 minutes. It was soooooo yummy! The feta in particular and the chopped power greens were wonderful. I will definitely be making this again. The flavors all worked together beautifully.  I would love to try kalamata olives in it next time and maybe some fresh basil leaves too. The possibilities are endless....

What My Scale Said Wednesday 4

Back up one pound negating last week's loss, but in all honesty, it could just be water weight or the fact that I had not yet gone to the bathroom. To me, I'm okay with this result : up or down a pound in any direction is virtually like staying the same for me. I know my body and it fluctuates wildly even from day to day... It's why I can only put so much emphasis on the scale . I do feel bloated today. Dh said yesterday that he noticed that I really am slimming , along my sides specifically so I guess that's progress, right?

So what did my scale say to me this
beautiful Wednesday morning ?

What did your scale say to you today?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday Favorites and Exercise Log

I have two new food favorites this Friday....both are from Trader Joe's.

So DH brought these pretzels home for me the other day, because he knows how much I absolutely love pretzels! I WILL NOT be getting them again however. They were so good that I found myself just wanting to keep eating them, and it was hard to stop myself and take just 1 or 2 servings. They are still a better snack than some things I could choose, but they are dangerous for me. I am trying to avoid excesives snacking anyway, so it's better that I just not have these around. Love them though...<3 p="">

This is another Trader Joe's great find made by DH, multi grain pita chips with sesame seeds. I love to eat them with a salad or with a dip such as hummus. They are equally as delicious as the pretzels.

Exercise Update:
I vowed to exercise every day in February and so far so good. On days when I couldn't get to the gym or was having trouble fitting in a good hour for exercise, I at least tried to do my knee exercises or walk around the block.

I have to remind myself that

A Little of something is better than a lot of nothing.

Exercise Log
Fri 2/1/13 100 waist twists
Sat 2/2/13 walk around the big  block with leg steps on and off of curb
Sun 2/3/13 walk around the block
Mon 2/4/13 stationary bike10 min
Walking 3.5 mph, uphill, 30 min
Running , 5 mph, 2 min,80 side crunches
200 abdominal crunches, karaokes ,waist twists
Tues 2/5/13 biking 30 min, 3.5 miles
Wed 2/6/13  100 waist twists
Thurs. 2/7/13  knee exercises, crunches

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

What My Scale Said Wednesday 3

I am down 1 # this week.

Not too shabby since it was Super Bowl week and since I went out to dinner one night with DH and even had dessert (which I never do). Still, I wish it was more.

This is what my scale said to me this morning.

 Sweet talker! And good morning to you too!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Friday Favorites

I take Emergen-C everyday. I don't work for the company, I just love the stuff. Especially now when everyone is getting so sick from the flu and colds. I take one packet everyday, preventatively, and I swear by it. That's not to say it will work for you the same way it works for me, and I am not in any way, shape, or form a health care professional. But I can tell you that since taking it, the last 2 times I have come down with cold symptoms, they lasted just one day and then were gone. I think it's probably a combination of the Emergen-C and good nutrition with a little luck tossed in.  Either way, I swear by the stuff, and there are a lot of different flavors to choose from. Whoile Foods and Sprouts sell the individual packets as well as the multi-packs so you can get a sampling of several flavors to see if you have either a favorite or one you just can't stand.

Especially ones that are in their own easy open/easy close container. My favorite one comes from Kroger/Frys. Turn the lid and you can get single toothpicks out or several at one time. Every time I  get a  regular box of toothpicks they always end up spilled all over my spice cabinet or kitchen shelf. They are a mess and a real pain in the butt to clean up. I have an oven that runs hot, and since I do a lot of baking, toothpicks are an indispensable kitchen tool for me. And everyoine likes toothpicks around for the occasional food-stuck in my tooth moment.

Other people's blogs....
 I love reading other people's stories, recipes, and ideas. I find I learn a lot from others and get good ideas based on things they are doing.  There are some great, not-so-well-known blogs out there that are really worth a read. You just need to find them. Try clicking on readers who leave comments or who are on the blog roll of blogs and sites that you frequent. They are likely to be like minded individuals or at least have similar interests as yourself.

Enjoy your weekend!