Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Glad I exercise indoors


Yesterday, I could see grass - no longer, plus it is really windy.  Made bigger breakfast this am - omlet (with ham, swiss, onion, and mushrooms), yogart and an orange a bit later - along with coffee, of course.

Lunch will be pretty simple - soup and a salad - dinner - maybe enchiladas.  I just bought some low-carb/cal flat bread to try for wrapping them.  Phyllo dough would be too thin.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fajitas, spanish rice and refried beans

I had forgotten how much I like fajitas, until I made them yesterday.  One fajita, 1 cup of Spanish rice, and one half cup of refried beans made a very filling 14 point meal.  I think I would have been satisfied with only 1/2 cup of rice (decrease of 3 points), but I wanted to make the rice the way the recipe stated.  Served with cantaloupe.  Yum

This morning I am trying chocolate biscotti.  I found the recipe online and each cookie (small biscotti) equals one point.  I love a cup of coffee and a cookie or something with friends, so if this tastes 1/2 as good as I think it will (dough smelled wonderful - so does the cooking), it may become a well loved recipe.  If you have nut issues - maybe not for you as I id include almonds.  However, I had to use vanilla extract rather than almond (ran out), so hoping they are still good - bet they will be.

Another yummy addition - I bought the Aldi's pre-made bacon and added 6 slices to scrambled eggs, along with 1/4 cup of diced onion.  Sauteed the onion and bacon about 5 minutes - added 12 eggs and milk, salt and pepper for some delicious scrambled eggs.  PointsPlus?  5 points for 2/3 cup of the scrambled eggs.  I opted for two slices of toast an 2 teaspoons of butter as well as an orange for a very filling breakfast (with my coffee, of course :)).  By the time I add my 1/2 and 1/2, breakfast was 11 points - a bit higher than normal, but I know I will be eating a quick salad with ff dressing for lunch and supper is still up in the air, though I have leftovers - measured and labeled - in the refrigerator in case it ends up being frozen pizza.  (Monday nights tend to get a bit hectic - so either leftovers or some type of easy casserole dish - maybe spagetti - spagetti (whole wheat) with toast (plus butter and garlic), and a veggie salad with ff dressing runs 11 points - works for my plan :)). 

One tip - I prefer real butter for toast and certain toppings.  I haven't found anything else I like as well, so measuring is always necessary.  However, when cold, butter is easy to slice, so, I take 1 Tbsp of butter - easy with the package measurements and cut it into three pieces (3t/T).  works great and everyone knows that the little dish in the refrigerator is mom's butter.  It warms quickly in these portions for my toast.  I usually cut 1-3 Tbsp every so often (I have toast about twice a week).  Works for me - less hassle as pre-measured teaspoons of butter make my life much easier.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Exercise is coming easier, though it doesn't really mean I enjoy it.  However, it does make me feel better - both physically and emotionally to get up and move, plus keeps kids challenged, so - exercise shall continue.  I have one dance mat - one that doesn't require a game console  - that I enjoy - I think it is time to get moving with it again.

Food wise - date type dinner last night.  I had time to figure points and calculate to leave extra for dinner, but then, lunch was a bit special, so, two larger meals yesterday - I used 30 of my Points Plus Allowance.  I knew this day was coming, so left room on purpose (after all - a single cream cheese wonton?  I think not - I did have two - no clue on points, so guessing at 8 each).  As it stands - I have 11 Points Plus Allowance left and 8 more Points Plus for activites unused right now.  I can earn 10 more - figure I will earn 8 this morning (kids and dh are all at various things, so I will end up doing chores on my own - not a big deal :)) and with my regular workout video - another 10 then.  So I still have plenty of points left.

Breakfast this am?  Coffee and a partial leftover chicken roll-up.  Those things are really filling and soooo easy to add more veggies to (regular recipe - a few onions, peppers, and some black olives - however, I now add lettuce, more of both onions and peppers, cucumbers (diced), and tomato.  I wonder if they make a reduced calorie tortilla?  That could really pull the points down for this recipe.  1/2 the points are for the wrap alone!

I am slowly figuring in points for other foods I love - fig neutons, gummy bears - LOL - yes, you would think I was a little kid.  Next recipe for points calculation - Chex Mix.  This will be tough.  I haven't measured in years (other than a box of this, 1/2 a box of that, etc.).  I will have to record points for various methods of making as well.  Sometimes it has nuts, sometimes no nuts, sometimes cashews only, other times, throw in any 'exta' non-sugar coated cereals and leftover crackers into the mix. 

Oh well - I would rather know how to count and eat something I enjoy than never have it again.  I did finish entering my favorite hot appetizers.  Yummy!  So glad they are each only 1 point.  I will probably plan for 10 points in appetizers, but that is fine with me.  Kids also seem to be fine with ranch or onion dip made with reduced fat cottage cheese that has been pureed.  I won't cut out sour-cream entirely, but I am finding ways to lighten a few of the items that are favorites.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Weight loss?

Not this week.  According to scales, I have increased, however, according to my body - my jeans fit!!  No lines where they are tight, I can sit, bend and do a lot of things with no tight feelings around the middle :)

Other clothes fit better, I can make it farther into my exercise routine before I need to slow it down and my muscles are beginning to actually return to muscle, rather than just hanging out where they are ROFL.

What did I do different?  I ate less than last week :( and exercised more :).

My thoughts - I am going to eat more this week (going to use more of the points plus allowance (first week of loosing - used them all; this week of gaining - I had 42 left!!!).

  Earned 41 exercise points the first week, 31 the second week (movement issue).  So far this week?  14 earned and waiting for my turn with the Wii.  I am enjoying the EA Active 2 right now and on the days off I do the Wii Fit Plus yoga for stretching and all.  My activity level has increased and I feel better, so keeping that part up.  Note:  My weeks go Tuesday to Tuesday.

New recipes - trying a corned beef and cabbage strudel tonight.

Well - below is another weeks menu.  This one is based on an average of 41 points per day, and uses 20 of the PointsPlusAllowance for the week (one change I made after the menu - decided to have ice cream a different day and added 4 points worth of hot caramel sauce for a total ice cream point value of 12 points.  changed my Points Plus Allowance by using 4 more of those points)

Monday, March 14, 2011

A weight loss journey

It is that time - time to start loosing weight.  Why - not for any particular reason other than I don't like having sore joints, and getting tired way before I should.

So - first, the Dr's appointment.  She didn't say I had to loose weight, but if I was going to, gave me her recommendations.  (what is interesting - the weight she would be thrilled for me to reach is still over the 'ideal' weight on charts.  Even when we discussed 'ideal', she would be happy for me to be at the very top end - maybe 5 pounds more would still be healthy - she knows my lifestyle - camping, fishing, hiking - being underweight was an issue when I was younger.  I have a rather large bone structure, so top end plus 5 is what she said would be ideal. :)).  Enough babbling - time to do something.

For me, it takes more than just 'will power'.  Being responsible every week is hard, no fun, and requires some type of stick-to-it-ness.  Well, I did weight watchers about 20 years ago and it worked great.  It wasn't until 14 years ago - back to back pregnancies, surgery for medical scares and all that I stopped trying to be fit.  It is amazing how in what seems like 14 short years, I have gone from a size 16 to 22!!!  My goal is not a single digit size.  I have not been a single digit (other than skirts) size since junior high.  The above bone structure meant that my top (shoulders are big) wore a size 12 or 14 in high school, while a size 5 skirt was just fine for my waist.  There was a lot of altering done for my wedding dress. :) :) :)

Back to reality - goal - no particular size, but I have a pair of jeans that I wore after the first three pregnancies that fit the way I would like to be again.  The rest of the clothes are gone, just saved the one pair of jeans to help me remember what I think would be fabulous (also was within 5 pounds of ideal weight now), 

I also have a pair of shorts that would be wonderful to fit back into - even if they are tight - by the end of the summer - kind of a mid-term type goal.  The rest of my ill-fitting clothing (other than a wedding dress that will never fit again - after 6 pregnancies, my waist will never be 17" around - ever again) has gone on to other people in the years since.

My goals are long term-I want this to be a life weight - my goal for the rest of my life.  So, weight watchers is the program I picked - mainly because of convenience (no, I am not doing it online - I need to see people, I know that about myself).  It is in the same town I do grocery shopping in and easy to get to.  Also, weight watchers teaches more about what to eat rather than giving me a bunch of foods I won't do after reaching my goal.  I know plenty of success stories as well as plenty of people for whom it didn't work out.  Surgery is not something I want to face, so trying it this way. 

It has only been two weeks - below is one of my menu's.  My points right now are at 41 per day.  (29 is a standard)  I developed a 32 point menu to try and stick to.  So far, not so hot - I have been using all 41 points, plus the optional points plus, plus exercising for another 32-38 points per week in 'freebies'.  However, even with all that - I have been loosing.  Hopefully it will continue at a slow pace while I learn how to eat better.

A few notes.  The only low cal or reduced calorie foods you will find are bread, some reduced calorie cheeses, and salad dressings.  Most 'diet' foods give me migraines, so I avoid them.  Diet pops and other reduced calorie beverages are 100% out of my plan - the artificial sweeteners do horrible things to my digestive tract and again - migraines.  So, if you see Coke listed - I mean a real one - all the sugar and caffeine. I used to drink about 6 a day, now I am fine with one or two per week.

I have a family to cook for who doesn't need to loose weight.  While it is good for kids to see what serving sizes are, teenagers need milk, cheeses, yogarts, fresh fruits and veggies in large quantities.  I do keep tortilla chips and salsa on hand almost 100% of the time - as a snack.  One of their favorites along with some cheese or yogart, large glasses of milk and a piece of fruit (twice a day - they have sweet type snacks another few times a day). 

The weight watchers recipe builder is a wonderful tool right now.  I have been entering recipes that my family loves and learning what portion I should be eating.  Rather than taking a large portion and eating fruit after the kids are done, I have been taking my fruit and/or veggies first (I love fresh fruits and veggies - this helps a lot), enjoying it, then taking my portion of the meal.  Allowing myself to eat the fresh stuff is a big challenge for me.  In the past, I always kept the fresh for the kids and ate whatever was left.  I do spend a bit more on fresh produce, but not much more than I was.  I shop at Aldi's for the bulk of our groceries, hitting other stores as needed.  Walmart and Coborns (the only place I can find my favorite blue cheese dressing - it is NOT fat free, but that is fine as long as I plan for it). 

Another menu choice - not on this week, but it happens about once every two weeks - I adore McDonald's Big Mac's!  I found they are 14 points and adding a small fries, creates a delicious 20 point meal.  I miss the Big and Tasty - it is a few less points, but no longer sold in our area.  I won't be giving up Big Mac's - that would be a ridiculous assumption on my part, rather, I am learning how to incorporate them into a healthy lifestyle. 

Enough rambling.  Below is a sample menu