September 28, 2012

Losing Fat Friday

     Well I am not sure this title is any better than last week's. What do you think?  I am sure that there are going to be weeks that the scale is not always going to be headed in the right direction and boy would that title hurt then... moving on.

     Amazingly I actually lost 1.2 pounds this week. Old habits die hard and I'm a stress eater. This week was absolute proof that this is something I am going to struggle with for a long time to truly get under control.  Monday I ate not only my allotted daily points (43) and all of the 49 extra points we get every week but also the 3 activity points I earned and beyond.... think I was stressed?  It isn't as if we can plan on when we are going to stress eat and Monday proves just that. I had scheduled a roasted veggie salad for dinner ~ very low in points.  So before I even walked through the door at Chili's half of my daily allotted points were gone between breakfast, lunch and a snack. Despite drinking most of the points that night (dang those Long Island Iced Teas will get you one way or another) I was a bit proud of how I handled the food.  We didn't take the free unlimited chips and salsa, as I knew that would just add to my being even more out of control with the food.  Even though Chili's does offer a couple of entrees under 750 calories I did NOT want salad or grilled chicken.  We started off with our favorite Appetizer, their Triple Dipper, which came with 2 sliders, 3 loaded potato skins and 8 boneless buffalo wings.  That dish, including the three dipping sauces that come with it, is over 60 Points and for those unfamiliar with Weight Watchers over 2500 calories!! I'll admit that in the past we would have that and then split an entree.  Monday was no different. We ordered the Fajitas for our entree and when it came I didn't even want it.  Michael, who wasn't drinking one for one with me as someone had to be the designated driver, could barely finish the small one he made.  The kids were certainly happy when we brought home, which was almost a complete Triple fajita dinner that they gladly consumed quite quickly despite having eaten dinner, ah to be a teenager  So despite my completely blowing the day it wasn't as bad as it could have been,
     I wouldn't recommend anyone to eat like this on a regular basis and expect to lose weight weekly.  What I do believe is that this proves even when you do have an absolutely horrible, throw the plan out the window, points who cares about points day, the week is not a total loss.  The important thing is to get back on track the next day you can and will be successful.  That's the wonderful thing I am loving about Weight Watchers~ every day is a fresh start.

     This week's food find was a personal creation.  I absolutely loved the Strawberry Poppy Seed Chicken Salad that Panera had this summer and with it being only 6 points (w/o dressing) I ate it at least twice a week. I was recently crushed to learn that it is seasonal and no longer being offered :( Their fall offering is a Roasted Turkey Harvest Salad. I have now eaten this twice and just can't embrace it.  To start off with I'm not a huge Turkey person.  I dislike turkey so much that the only day I cook one is on Thanksgiving and then it's usually the smallest I can find.  Secondly the salad is 14 points!!! HOLY SHAMBOLI!!  The reason being they've added cheese and dried fruits to this salad which are high in points.  However it was not a complete  loss as I absolutely loved the dressing they used ~ cherry balsamic vinaigrette.
     I recently learned that Target carries Panera dressings, however this flavor I couldn't find.  FYI you'll find the dressings in the refrigerated section.  Not to be dismayed I was determined to create a version of the harvest salad at home for dinner.   Thinking that this was probably no different than the raspberry vinaigrette we all love I went to the frozen food section and grabbed a small bag of frozen pitted cherries.  Once home I made my basic balsamic vinaigrette, OK it is actually Emeril's. I then added half the bag of cherries and placed it in the microwave for 5 minutes @ 50%.  I removed the dressing and smashed the cherries a bit and cooked it for another 5 minutes @ 50%.  I'm a big low and slow cooker even with my microwave.  I then placed the dressing in the blender and blended until smooth.  This yielded almost 2 cups of dressing.  Knowing we wouldn't eat it all and not sure how well it would keep I used 1 1/2 cups as a marinade on the chicken.  I prefer to cook with skinless chicken thighs and this was more than enough to cover the 6 pieces I had.  I'm proud to announce this was very successful, so much in fact the family would like it to be a weekly salad night offering (woo-hoo).
     I also wanted to mention my new fascination with froze as a whole.  Like many households I usually have some frozen fruit on hand for smoothies and other various (possibly alcoholic) drinks.  These last few weeks I've been using them regularly for my morning yogurt and granola breakfast.  Chances are many of you are shaking you heads thinking DUH where have you been and I totally agree it was a duh moment when I realized what I was missing out on.  Instead of putting the fruit in the freezer when I get home it goes straight into the fridge.  Over the next couple of mornings I get to spoon juicy, glorious berries into my bowl!  After my success with the Cherry Dressing I am considering playing with other frozen fruits and seeing what I can come up with.

   So all in all a pretty good week.  I'll admit to being a bit disappointed when my loss was 1.2 but that's only because if it had been 1.4 that would have meant I hit the 30 pound mark!!! Here's to getting another 5 pound star next week :)

September 20, 2012

First Foodie(Fat Loss) Friday

HMM not sure if I am married to this title for my Friday posts but for this week we'll say it is a go, any suggestion is welcome
   Last night was weigh-in at Weight Watchers and I am proud to announce that I am down another
1.8 pounds Woo Hoo!!  What I found funny is that the bag of grapes I bought today weighed almost that exact amount ~ and I was looking for the biggest bag. Okay so it is not as dramatic as last week's 4.6 pounds but I will take it just the same.
Here's some facts from my week:

  • I learned that I can buy 1 petit four at a time from Publix's bakery.  Costing only 69 cents believe me when I tell you they are absolutely worth the 3 points.  I've been enjoying the WW treats as well as Skinny Cow's offerings.  But let's be honest nothing tastes as good as real cake and frosting.  I know myself and I can't buy even "just" a slice as well simply put there'd be no sharing possible just the sound of wind gushing by as I inhaled the whole thing. BTW Chocolate is my favorite not wasting the 3 points on anything that's not incredible
  • I am still struggling with my late-night eating.  Some people will get this others won't.  I'm not talking about eating at 10pm.  It is the waking up at 230am knowing exactly what you are going to devour and hide the evidence eating I've done most of my adult life.  As in any War it is important to have a Battle Plan and so far it seems to be working.  Before bed I make myself a container of fruit.  This week grapes and cantaloupe were on sale so that's what we've been eating.  I also grab a package of Granola Bars.  The first couple of nights I ate everything.  The last few nights haven't touched the Granola Bars.  As far as Weight Watchers goes fruit counts a 0 points so not a bad trade off.
  • As far as recipes go this week I tried a Biscuit for our Tuesday night Breakfast for Dinner and it was a great hit!! Somehow I lost the recipe I actually used but found this one and have it on my Breakfast for Dinner Board  What made these Biscuits incredible was the "folding process".  Before you let the dough set-up/cool down you folded it into thirds, it is just prior to this that you add the bacon and cheese....OMG they were so good.  My batch yielded 12 biscuits each being 5 Points.  Seeing as I am still in the 40 points a day range I had 3 of these.  With my eggs and fruit salad I was definitely satisfied
Overall I'd have to say it was a pretty good week.  I know that in the very near future I am going to have to add some sort of activity but I'm just not there yet.
I'll leave you with this thought for now~

So what have you been up to?

 .      This summer as I mentioned earlier this week, truly seemed to fly by.  It wasn't that I had a whirlwind of a summer or even went on a long vacation.  But I'm guessing now that the kids are older summers truly aren't what they used to be.   I think we figured that everyone was home for maybe 3 weeks of "Official Summer". We did wind up having one childless week as all three volunteered as counselors at a camp. And I must say it was quite nice not having to write a check for camp this year ~ woo hoo.
     Reflecting back I can't really say I even accomplished or completed anything major this summer and you know what I am perfectly OK with that.  I believe this new laid back attitude of mine is helping in my recovery as I have had less stressed-out/migraine episodes. So yeah.
    While doing "nothing" I did however seem to devour books.  I still am having trouble on the reading side so all of my books were audio versions.  I think I completely read all that my library system offered on two different authors.  I really am running out of option though so if you have anyone you particularly like that writes suspense or historical fiction please let me know.  I have added a page to my pinterest board just for my audio books. Though now that I've looked at it there are a bunch missing... guess what I'm doing once this is posted.
     One thing hubby and I did get into this summer was COCKTAILS. How is it that I didn't know such a thing as watermelon or strawberry vodka existed?  (head shake ~ I know how sad).  Well I made up for lost time.  We were buying a bottle every other (OK sometimes every) weekend.  With hundreds of recipes on the Internet how else was I going to do diligent research to share with you???  After trying a few (dozen) I finally decided to get creative for two reasons.

  1. It gets expensive going out and buying all the different juices and vodkas
  2. We started Weight Watchers
By the end of July our weekend cocktails started to follow this format:
2 2 liter bottles of club soda
1/2  flavored bottle of vodka (approx 1 1/2 cup or 12 oz)
fresh fruit
2 pks crystal light type mix.

PEOPLE do you know the combinations you can come up with??? I found that Wal-Mart has many more choices than Crystal Light does.  We did some serious experimenting.  Once favorite was Strawberry Vodka, fresh strawberries and banana muddled, walmart's strawberry banana drink mix.  Here's the best part~ the pitcher usually lasted the weekend.  Hubby and I shared so figured we each drank half (just go with it).  As far as WW goes half the pitcher would wind up being about 15 points.....less than 1/3 I was allotted for the entire weekend.   Here are some we tried :Lady Bren cocktails

     There were a number of exciting moments of  course but I think I'll share those one at a time.

So tell me any great cocktails you'd like to share :)


September 17, 2012

Mummy please tell Daddy I'm scared

Dear Parents of Terrified Child:
   What makes you think that just because something is educational means it is appropriate for all ages?  AND just because there is a cartoon version that your child loves doesn't mean they will embrace reality in the same way.
   We spent almost an hour with you this past July as my family and I toured the Mummies of the World Exhibit at MOSI in Tampa.  My family, which included our daughters aged 15 and 20, absolutely loved it.  Like you, we chose to upgrade our tickets to include this private exhibit at the bequest of our daughter and I am so glad we did.  In the short hour that it took us to walk through the hall it seemed that at every turn I was learning something new.  Before that morning I didn't know that mummies first appeared in South America before the Middle East, did you?   Who knew that the oldest mummy found to date was from Chile?  We absolutely loved the 3-D and interactive displays where we learned how today's forensic science is revealing long hidden secrets that mummies once  held.  How cool is it to know that they are able to diagnosis causes of death as well as create a nutritional study for a person's lifetime?   The best part for us, at least, was that in addition to videos, spinning globes, and wonderful docents there were over 50 REAL MUMMIES.   Not only were they real but they out for the world to see and not hidden away in a sarcophagus.  The had mummies of cats, rabbits men, women and children; some clothed some not.
     So dear parents what possessed you to bring your pre-school aged child to this exhibit??  The rules we were read before entering should have been enough of a warning:
  • no cell phones allowed
  • no photography
  • no bathroom
  • dim lighting
  • and NO RE-ENTRY
     In addition to a docent informing you of these rules we watched a 5 minute video about the exhibit.  This video informed us that while this is an exhibition the ultimate goal is to respect these individuals on display and to remember that they once had families and friends. After that video was over we entered the exhibit through dark curtains and came face to face with the first mummy.  We watched as your sweet little girl ran up to the case and peered in.  "What's that Daddy?"  "That's a mummy," you replied.  "Is it Real?" "Yes that is a real mummy?"  "Is it Dead?" "Yes, it is dead."
     At that point your daughter climbed your leg into your arm then buried her head so deep into your neck an ostrich would have been proud.  I truly need to know, what possessed you to continue with the exhibit?  Did you think things were going to get better?  Maybe you thought they would be prettier as if you were viewing the riches of Tutankhamen's tomb?  I really need to know.
     Throughout the entire exhibit we could hear your daughter squealing with fear, crying and asking you to please take her home.  More than once we witnessed you telling her that she wanted to come here and see the mummies so you were staying.  I know that we were really impressed that they had an actual page from  The Book Of The Dead on display but somehow I don't think your daughter felt the same.
     While we were learning from the docent how Egyptians would paint their bodies different colors so they could find them in the afterlife we also got to hear your daughter crying to your wife "Mommy tell Daddy I'm scared".  ~On a personal note:  I absolutely love this idea of painting your body so much that I am going to include in my will/funeral directions bottles of the exact color of nail polish to be used.  In addition there will be a can of spray paint for my cousin Nancy and her husband Gordon who also totally love this idea and have permission to spray my feet. (OK maybe you had to be there but I laughed over this for about a week and again just now)
After this last outburst my family could no longer bear to hear it any more and actually hung back a bit in hopes we wouldn't encounter y'all anymore.  How you handled seeing the nude mummies or the last exhibit of an entire family I do not know.  What I do know is this:    YOU sir are the parent.  And as such you have theright to say no when a child asks to do something which is above their true understanding, know this is different for every child..  Also as the parent it is your responsibility to research an exhibit such as this if you are taking your young child.  Oh look the museum has a link for families which was easy to find and called: Information for families.  Finally your response of "I paid for these tickets we are going to see the entire show"  truly has no meaning whatsoever to your child. My advice for the future is to show your daughter pictures on the computer or in a book.  Possibly do a side by side comparison between the TV character and reality. See if videos (like the one above) are available and then give it a few days to see how or even if she truly understand what the exhibit is about.
     Somehow though I think your daughter got the last laugh as I am pretty confident she didn't sleep very well that night ~ bless her heart.

Lady Bren
I must admit my kids and I loved this show


September 15, 2012

Where did the summer go?

     I'll be honest I hadn't planned on taking the summer off but in retrospect it was a really good thing that I did.  Not that there wasn't a lot going on that I wanted to share with you because heaven forbid my life be without any drama ~ good or bad.  The summer just WAS.
     So now I am back.  Ready to share, explore, and rant.  And boy do I have some great rants just percolating.  I am going to try a new format for a bit and we'll see how it goes.  I have noticed a lot of blogs have a pattern of sorts and I've been playing around with that concept.  Starting Monday with that in mind here is what I am going to try:

Monday and Thursday ~ My world views; remember the world would run better if it ran according to ME
Friday ~ Food.

While I may post on other days these three days are a definite guarantee.

There's a reason that Food is Friday (not only because they both start with F though I do like that).  Since we last visited hubby and I joined weight watchers.  We attend meetings on Thursday nights so Friday I will share the results, both good and bad.  In the 12 weeks that we've been following Plan I have lost 27.2 pounds.  (I am imagining excessive applause and cheering).  It haven't been easy and I'll be honest I had two weeks where the scale went the wrong way, so I promise to share the good and the sad,

     So I'm back and boy do I have some dozy tales to share from the summer so stay tuned