Monday, January 24, 2011

Menu Monday

This is one of my favorite meals!!!  Even if I'm not watching my calories I LOVE this dish.  I got it from the show "Cook Yourself Thin" on Lifetime.  Enjoy!

Penne Alla "Not-ka"

Serves 4

Calories per serving: 371

2 teaspoons olive oil, plus extra for serving
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup chopped red onion
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes or whole tomatoes in juice
Pinch red pepper flakes
8 ounces penne
1/4 cup heavy cream
6 tablespoons evaporated nonfat milk
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded fresh basil
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the penne.
2. In a large saucepan, heat the 2 teaspoons oil with the garlic over low heat until the garlic begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt, cover, and cook until the onion is softened, about 2 more minutes. Add the tomato, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and simmer very gently 10 minutes. Stir in the cream and evaporated milk and simmer 1 more minute.  Blend to a creamy mixture using an immersion blender or a blender.  (If you use a blender be sure to put a dish towel under the lid.  If you don't do this the sauce will explode out of the blender because of the heat.)
3. Meanwhile, after the sauce has cooked 5 minutes, add the penne to the boiling water and cook until just shy of al dente, about 6 minutes. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup pasta water. Add the drained penne to the saucepan and simmer until the penne is al dente, 1 to 2 minutes, adding a little of the pasta cooking water if the mixture is dry. Stir in 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, along with the basil and black pepper.
4. To serve, divide pasta among 4 serving bowls. Drizzle each serving with 1/2 teaspoon olive oil, and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Weigh Day!

I am happy to announce that I lost 2.5 lbs this week.  I was happy with that result since I haven't been able to work out this week.  In fact, I've been babying this foot so I've been down all week.  Not cleaning the house, fixing dinner, not anything.  So 2.5 lbs sounds good to me.  We're moving next week so won't be working out the way I normally would.  I'll hit it hard at the beginning of February.  I still have the goal of having a total of 30 lbs off by March.  I have 19.5 lbs to go. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Menu Monday

I know I said I would post a recipe every Monday so I apologize for not getting to this on Monday.  Here it is, Menu Wednesday, I guess.  The next two weeks are going to be crazy to say the least.  We need to be out of the home we're in by February 1st so my blogs will be hit and miss. 

I decided to post the recipe I use for Turkey Burgers.  I got it from  I changed a few things.  I use ground turkey instead of chicken and I use dry herbs instead of fresh just because the fresh herbs aren't readily available & are more expensive in the winter.  I used 1 tbsp & 1 tsp of dried Chives and 2 tsps of dried basil.  I replaced the mozzarella cheese with lite mozzarella cheese and of course I didn't cook them in oil.  I used a non stick pan instead.  I also make 1/4 lb patties instead of chicken nugget sized patties.  I put it on a sandwich thin, piled salad on top of the burger and topped it with one of my new favorite things, Trader Joe's Parmesan Ranch Dressing.  I'm drooling as I type this.  It is so good.  Jason & I fought over the left over burger. 


Chicken Cakes with Herbs

1 lb ground turkey or chicken
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 clove garlic
1 egg
1 handful basil
1 handful chives
1 tbsp flour

Begin by chopping the herbs and mincing the garlic. Place all ingredients, excluding the flour and the oil, and mix with your hands. Once combined add the flour. The mixture should stick together. Heat the oil in a pan over medium high heat. Form small patties, about the size of chicken nuggets, and add them to the heated pan. Brown on both sides, make sure their cooked through.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Weigh Day

I managed to get over to my sister's house to weigh this morning.  I lost 1 lb this week.  Not great but still a loss.  So in 6 months I've lost 77 lbs.  That's an average of 2.96 lbs a week.  The holidays were very tough so I know my average will be back up soon.  Barring any unforeseen situations I shouldn't have a problem losing the rest of my weight by July 1st.


DANGIT!!!!!  We went for our run last night.  It was fairly warm in comparison to other nights I've run.  It was wet, but not icey like it had been on Tuesday night.  It was going to be a quick 3 mile jaunt.  Then all of a sudden all 3 of us were slipping and sliding on black ice.  Down I went.  I fell to the left and my foot bent to the right.  I'm so MAD!!  I'm not sure how long this is going to take to heal.  It's been elevated, wrapped, iced and ibuprofened.  I'm doing my best to stay down, which is not easy for me, because I would love to be running again by next week.  I have two weeks until we start training for the 1/2 marathon and I need to be ready.  Along with the fact that I need to be able to do my circuits so I can continue to gain strength and lose fat. 

This is SOOOOO frustrating!  AHHHHHHHH!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

6 Month Anniversary!!

It has arrived.  The 6 month anniversary of my weight loss journey.  I remembered it as I was working out tonight.  I can't believe it.  I've been talking about this day for a few weeks now and bam!  It's here!  I decided to celebrate the occassion with a Skinny Cow.  You'll have to excuse the looks, I had just finished an hour of circuits when we took the picture. 

When I started this journey I had hoped I would have most of my weight off by this point.  I didn't think I could stick to this "diet" much past 6 months.  I giggle when I think about that now.  The journey has been incredible and I wouldn't change a thing.  I now know I can and will stick to this way of eating and thinking for life!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Closet Is Empty!!

I am continually amazed at the process of losing weight. Not just the physical process, but the emotional process. Every time I think I've peeled back all the layers, I learn something new. What a journey!

As you know, this past Friday I hit the goal of being half way done with my weight loss. I had no idea what that would do to me. I am more motivated than ever. Success truly does inspire you to keep going. What I didn't expect was the sudden desire to get rid of all the clothes that are too big for me. As of that moment I didn't want them in my closet anymore and it had to be done immediately. So my middle daughter & I went into my closet and went to work. I filled two large black garbage sacks with clothes. It turned out to be an emotional time for me. I found myself feeling sad over some of the clothes. Apparently I had formed a bond with some because they had hidden me from the world. (Or so I thought.) But mostly it was exciting because I won't ever need those sizes again. I'm free from that number! This feeling of freedom is indescribable! It was like losing the 76 lbs again, all at once. I was able to bless a friend with them and now I can move forward. . . no more looking back. Here's to a better, brighter future!!

I no longer wallow in defeat but run in victory!!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Menu Monday

I've decided that Mondays are now "Menu Mondays".  Every Monday I'll post a recipe of something I love, have just tried, make regularly, etc.  Today I'm posting "Crock Pot Potato Soup".  It's yummy, inexpensive, and low in calories.  If you're a busy working woman you can store these in 1 cup servings in the freezer so you can just grab your lunch and go.

I also want to share with you one of my new favorite things to eat for breakfast.  Mmmmm. . . I just had a bowl and it's so good!  It the New! GOLEAN® Crisp!™ Toasted Berry Crumble.   It has 9g Protein, 8g fiber, 18g of whole grains & a scrumptious blend of cranberries and wild blueberries. You need to try this one!

Crock Pot Potato Soup Recipe

This savory low fat crock pot recipe is easy to assemble in the morning, then cook all day. Cream cheese and a sprinkling of bacon provide richness. Serve with a green salad and crusty bread. A healthy crock pot recipe bound to receive compliments.

• 8 cups diced potatoes

• 1/2 cup chopped onion

• 3 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) chicken broth

• 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted

• 1/4 teaspoon pepper

• 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, cubed

• 1/2 pound sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)

Snipped chives (optional)

In a crock pot, combine the first 5 ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until potatoes are tender. Add cream cheese; stir until blended. Garnish with bacon and chives if desired.

Yield 12 servings (3 quarts)

Nutritional Analysis: One 1-cup serving (prepared with reduced-fat cream of chicken soup and reduced-fat cream cheese; calculated without bacon) equals 148 calories, 4 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 13 mg cholesterol, 655 mg sodium, 22 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 6 g protein.

Diabetic Exchanges: 1-1/2 starch, 1/2 fat

Friday, January 7, 2011

Weigh Day!

Yeah, I had my biggest weight loss yet! I lost 7 lbs this week. I gained half a lb last week which put me at 233.5 lbs. Today I am at 226.5. Guess what?! I am exactly half way to the finish line. 76 lbs lost! It’s all downhill from here.

Last week I set a new short term goal. I would like to have 30 lbs off by March 4th. At that point I will have lost a total of 99 lbs. Only 1 more lb and I will be able to post another progress picture!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Quitting Is Not An Option!

You won’t hear me admit to this very often, but I am a talker. I know, to those that know me well, shocker huh?! My husband will sometimes ask me if my jaw hurts. Ha!! Funny, honey! My poor husband gets to listen to me talk the entire time we work out. It’s like a counseling session for me. I work through things I’m dealing with at the time, while working out and talking to him. Last night, while we were doing circuits, I was telling him that I’m pretty sure I can help anyone lose weight by providing them with a general plan, but how do I help them stick to it? He said, “They have to find that within themselves.” After a few seconds of processing that comment I replied, “But, I don’t even know why I’ve stuck to this.” We discussed it for a few more minutes when Jason looked at me and said, “Honey, you had a “quitting is not an option” attitude.” Amazingly, I didn’t talk much after that. It struck me right between the eyes. That has been the difference this time! Two nights ago we didn’t start our circuits until 10:45 PM. We hadn’t been able to fit them in at any other time and I had to do them to stay on track. After we completed the first circuit I looked at Jason and said, “Let’s just stop. I’m too tired for this tonight.” He said, “Yes, let’s stop. I’m exhausted too.” As he stood up, something inside me rose up and I looked up at him and said, “I can’t. If I stop I’ll hate myself tomorrow. You can just coach me if you want, but I’m not stopping, I can't.” Jason took a deep breath, dropped his shoulders and said, “If I don’t do it I’ll look like a woos.” Of course I had to tease him about his ego, but we finished the workout. (I won’t lie we whined and complained the entire time.) It hasn’t mattered how tired I am, how sore I am, how unmotivated I am, I work out. This, by no means, is meant to tell you how great I am. I’ve had good days and bad days. I’ve had good weekends and bad weekends. I’ve wanted to quit, many times. I’ve definitely had setbacks, but the difference this time is I stand back up and say it doesn’t matter. . .

Quitting is not an option!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011



I have to confess, I have been drinking Diet Pepsi since I started this weight loss journey. I used to drink Pepsi, but of course, cannot have the calories. I love soda! I don’t like hot drinks or juices or teas, but I LOVE soda. I crave soda even when I have been off of it for months. It’s tasty carbonated goodness. The problem is I know how terrible the stuff is for you, especially anything with Aspartame in it. So I decided to go off of it, again. My first day off was Sunday. I was anxious about the caffeine headache. I wasn’t sure how I would get through homeschooling and daycare kids with a headache that is so debilitating. Well, Praise Jesus, I didn’t have a headache this time around! Jason told me to drink lots of water and see if that would help. I drank so much water these past three days you could classify me as a fish. That has to be what helped. I’m finally off of the stuff and so glad. Here are some links to some websites that explain the dangers of Aspartame.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The hormone "Leptin"

I received this email from today and thought it would be good to share.  I received this same email at the beginning of my weight loss journey and it really encouraged me to keep going.  I believe education is one key to success.  The more you know the more you want to treat your body better. 

From Jillian Michaels:

Always Hungry? Maybe This Hormone Is Out of Whack

I've worked with many people who have told me that no matter how much they eat, they're still hungry. They can scarf down half a pizza plus dessert and still feel ravenous afterward. Does this sound familiar? If so, it's possible that a condition called leptin resistance is at least partly to blame.

To understand leptin resistance, you first have to understand the role the hormone leptin plays in your metabolism. When you've eaten a meal, the fat cells throughout your body release leptin, which travels to the hypothalamus, the part of your brain that helps regulate appetite. There, it switches off neuropeptide Y — a protein that tells your brain you're hungry — and switches on appetite-suppressing signals. In other words, it gives your brain the message to stop being hungry and start burning calories.

You'd think, then, that low levels of leptin would be the cause of an unstoppable appetite, but that's not necessarily the case. Some research indicates that many people who are overweight actually have very high levels of leptin. How could this be? Well, the more fat you have, the more leptin you produce. And when the body continually cranks out excess levels of leptin in response to overeating, the receptors for leptin in the hypothalamus can start to get worn out and no longer recognize it. People with leptin resistance have high circulating levels of leptin, but the receptors are "deaf" to it, so it can't shut off appetite or stimulate your metabolism.

This vicious circle is similar to what happens when a person develops resistance to insulin, the hormone that allows your cells to use the glucose in your blood. (Insulin resistance can cause high blood glucose levels and eventually lead to diabetes.) In fact, the two conditions often go hand in hand, and research suggests that leptin resistance may be reversed in the same way that insulin resistance can be reversed — by exercising, eating right, and losing weight.


The Role of Fat

You probably don't think of fat as an active part of your body, do you? Although researchers used to believe that fat cells were just big blobs of yuck waiting to get bigger or smaller, they now know that fat is an enormous endocrine gland, actively producing and reacting to hormones. The less fat you have, the less likely you are to overload your leptin receptors and deafen them to what leptin is trying to tell them — one more reason that fat-burning exercise is crucial for a healthy hormone balance!

Monday, January 3, 2011


I received an email from the other day and wanted to share it with you because it is exactly where I'm at now. Setbacks are just that, setbacks. They are not devastators, life destroyers or anything of that sort. They are simply a setback and you can start right back up. No looking back, only forward.

I liked her advice on creating a "Rescue List". We are in the middle of a financial crisis right now and it's been extremely difficult not to sooth myself with food. I like the idea of writing down a list of things that would bring me the same feelings, without eating. A few that I've thought of so far are worshiping and taking a long hot shower. These two things bring me a feeling of peacefulness. I obviously need to come up with a few more, but my list is started. When you are in the midst of the storm it is hard to find clarity to make a list like this. I would suggest making your "Rescue List" now and tucking it away somewhere so that when the crisis comes you can pull from it.

Jillian Michael's email:

How to Get Back on the Wagon

It happens — you over-indulged over the holidays, missed a few workouts and now you feel like you've fallen off the weight-loss wagon. It's tempting to mentally slap yourself around, right? (Or head for the fridge.) Before you start, I want to remind you of something: Being hard on yourself is so 2010 — that's the Old You.

The New You knows how to deal with setbacks and get back on the wagon. And after all, there are no mistakes, just learning experiences. Weight loss is a process — it takes time. You will encounter small failures — everyone does — but every pound you gain can be lost.

And if you miss a workout, it's not the end of the world! Get to the gym the next day and continue to focus on your short-term goals. Just because you made bad choices today doesn't mean you can't start over tomorrow. New day? New beginning. And don't you forget it!


Rescue Me

When life throws you curveballs, you can dodge them or let them hit you right between the eyes. Sometimes, though, you don't get a choice. For the moments when you can't avoid them, create a "Rescue Me" list. What kinds of healthy activities make you feel better? How about enjoying a bubble bath, taking a walk, or getting a massage? The next time you're staring down a crisis, reach for the "Rescue Me" list, not a bag of chips.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

In the past I have been a goal setter to a fault.  I love goals.  I love check lists.  Goals are fantastic checklists to me.  However, over the past, I don't know, 4 years or so, I haven't written any goals down.  I decided I hated them.  They were constant reminders of what a failure I was.

Since starting this weight loss journey, I have been forced to set goals, I have learned that goals are not the problem.  The problem is having no action plan and no follow through.  Goals are fantastic!  They need to be attainable and an action plan needs to be written for each goal.  I'm learning that you may not meet each goal in the time line you set, but that doesn't mean the goal can't be met.  It just means you need to reassess your goal and change your action plan a bit.  We all know life likes to throw curve balls at us.  That doesn't mean you can't meet your goal.  It just means you may need to go to plan B.

So make your New Year's resolution list, but make sure to have enough paper to add your action plan for each goal.  

Happy New Year!

My first blog post for 2011. . . I must say that I'm very excited to see what this new year holds for me. 

I started 2010 anxious, to say the least.  My husband was entering school for the first time; we decided to take the government up on their re-training program.  We were going to have to move out of the home we had lived in for 5 years.  I was miserable in my body.  I was tired, weak, unhealthy and a mess.  I hated my physical body, but didn't think I had what it took to change.  By March I was working 3 jobs and living off of fast food and caffeinated sodas.  We moved the first weekend in May and moved a family of 3 in with us.  It was a hectic, chaotic and stressful Spring.  By the 4th of July I was exhausted and felt like I was going to have a nervous break down.  I wasn't handling anything well, emotionally.  My body and my spirit were sick and TIRED!

July 12, 2010 I decided to change my life.  I didn't know what I was in for, I just knew something had to change.  I signed up with and embarked on the journey of a life time.   I have learned so much about myself this past 5 1/2 months.  I learned that I am strong, disciplined, determined, smart, stubborn (or so I've been told), capable, passionate, confident, leader, athlete and so much more.  I'm learning what it feels like to have a good self esteem.  (This is something I haven't had before.)

I started out 302.5 lbs.  I ended 2010 at 233.5 lbs.  I changed my body by 69 lbs and my life in 5 1/2  months.  I'm so excited to see what the next 6 months hold. 

In 2011 I will experience, for the first time as an adult, being at a healthy weight.  I will be a size 8.  I will run in my first half marathon on May 1st.  I will run in my first marathon in October.  I will ride an amusement park ride this summer. (I haven't done this since I was a kid because I've been too big as an adult.)  I will continue to gain confidence.  I will inspire.  I will succeed.

2011 you are going to be a GREAT year!