Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Exciting New Find: Kale


I am so excited to be telling you about my new food find. It is called Kale. It doesn't sound very interesting but don't rule it out just yet. Did you know that Kale is a very good source of fiber, Optimizes Your Cells' Detoxification / Cleansing Ability, has Organosulfur Phytonutrients that Help Prevent Cancer including Ovarian Cancer and has Carotenoids that Lower Cataract Risk? These are just a few of the many benefits of Kale. To read about more benefits click here.

Another thing that excites me about Kale is that it only cost approximately $1.19 a pound and one pound of Kale is a lot of leafy greens.

So far I have only had Kale two ways. The first is in the Pork, white bean and Kale soup which was awesome. Click here for the recipe. The other way I tried Kale was raw. It sounds kind of gross but I put it in my morning smoothie. Yes, I made a Green Monster. If you have never heard of it before you should check out the Oh She Glows Site. This is where I got the idea for a Green Monster. Angela at Oh She Glows drinks these almost every morning. This is one of her recipes (the one that I tried).

Green Monster:

1-2 leaves of organic kale
1 cup Almond Breeze in unsweetened or Original
1 Tbsp flax
1 ripe banana
1/3 cup organic frozen blueberries
1 Tbsp Maranatha Raw Almond Butter


Click here to see the picture she posted. You are all probably wondering what I thought of the Green Monster. Well, it was kind of weird drinking a green drink. I think that was the hardest part for me. It took me a while to get past the fact that I was drinking green veggies. Other then that the taste was not bad. It was different but kind of good. I wouldn't say that it was my favorite thing to drink but I would definitely drink it again.

I love drinking something that is so healthy and I love that it boosts my energy level. Definitely a good choice before working out. The only changes that I would make next time are to only use 1/2 a banana and less kale leaves (I used 2 large ones). The only reason I would make these changes is because my Green Monster got thick very quickly. That part was gross. I also think I would add ice to make it more like a smoothie.

Actually, today I made my chocolate peanut butter smoothie and added flax meal and 1 leaf of kale to it. I could only taste a slight difference in flavor. It tasted great and was great for me.

I really am excited about finding Kale. My new goal is to search for low fat, inexpensive recipes that include Kale. It is so healthy, tastes great and is low in cost. It can't get much better then that.

I would love to hear about your experiences with Kale or if you have any great recipes for it.


Free Domino's Pizza

Update: Sorry everyone. Domino's is no longer offering this promotion. I guess they gave away more pizza's then they were expecting.

Click HERE to go to the Domino's Website and click on the online coupons and type the word BAILOUT. Then add a medium pizza with one topping (I didn't add a topping to save on points) and proceed to the checkout. If you don't want toppings but the rest of your family does you can add a topping to half of your pizza and leave the other half cheese. If your area is participating in this deal, the medium pizza will be free of charge with store pickup. Make sure it shows up free before you place your order.

I am so excited. No cooking tonight! I will make up a salad to have with the pizza and we will have a nice little point friendly meal.

Let me know if you are able to get it in your area. Enjoy!


Sunday, March 29, 2009

And The Winner Is......

I found out last night the winner of the prize I am giving away at the 5 Minutes For Mom Ultimate Blog Party. The prize that I am giving away is the Jillian Micheals 30 Day Shred DVD and The Biggest Loser Family Cookbook: Budget Friendly Meals Your Whole Family Will Love.

And the winner is Natalie from Normal To Natalie! I am so excited. I actually follow Natalie's blog so it is so nice to give the prize to someone I know. I found Natalie's blog a few weeks ago and I really enjoy it. Click here to check it out.

Congratulations Natalie! I am so excited that you won this prize. You will have to let all of us know if you like the Cookbook. I haven't bought one for myself yet but I am very interested to find out what it is like. I hope you enjoy your prize! Please email me with your shipping information when you get a chance.

For anyone else interested in these products they can be purchased at a reasonable price on Amazon. Click here for the 30 Day Shred and here for the Biggest Loser Cookbook.


I Caved

That's right. I caved. Yesterday my Mom took me out for lunch and shopping for my Birthday. We decided to go to Red Lobster since I enjoyed it so much last weekend.

We were starving when we arrived at Red Lobster and my Mom wanted to order an appetizer because it was my Birthday (That's the excuse we used anyway :)). We debated between the Lobster Cheese Fondue in a bread bowl (pictured below) and the Parrot Bay Coconut Shrimp. We decided on the fondue because we had never had it and it looked amazing. The verdict is that it tasted even better then it looked and my Mom and I ate almost the entire thing. It was awesome!








After the appetizer we got our meals. I ordered the Salmon like last week and my Mom got the Coconut Shrimp and Grilled Garlic Shrimp. So I ate my salad, two of my Mom's coconut Shrimp and two biscuits. I can't believe I did that.

It is funny how your mind works. After I ate the appetizer (which I convinced myself it was OK because we were celebrating my birthday) I figured I may as well eat the biscuits since I already screwed up. It's crazy!

I should have just stopped at the appetizer and it wouldn't have been that bad. Since I didn't I ended up eating 46 Points yesterday. This is 18 Points more then my daily allowance and probably the reason I was up a pound on the scale this morning.

At least I didn't eat my meal. I brought it home and I plan to eat it for lunch today. I can't wait.


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Do any of you have the same problem of convincing yourself to eat more since you already ate to much? If not, how do you keep yourself from thinking that way? How do you get past a little pig out and get back on track and eat well the rest of the day?


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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Pork, White Bean & Kale Soup - Great Taste/ Low Cost

Last night I made another great soup for dinner. When I was searching for low-fat bean recipes a few weeks ago I found this one. It really didn't sound that appetizing but I had about a pound of leftover pork tenderloin that I had frozen and I figured I could use it in this recipe.

Boy am I glad I decided to give it a try. This is the best soup I have ever had. I'm serious. I loved it and so did my husband. I really didn't think it would taste that good but it was awesome. Definitely a keeper for me.

This is another one of those high fiber meals that is very inexpensive. I would only make it if I got pork tenderloin at a really good price. We all know how expensive pork tenderloin can be. Another thought that I had was that it would taste just as good made with chicken. This would be another alternative if you can't find pork tenderloin on sale. The best part is that they are both really lean meats.

The whole meal probably cost me about $6.00-$7.00. This is or 6 (1 2/3 cup) servings. Pretty big servings. I only ate 1 cup but a whole servings = 5 WW. I could have done it for less money if I would have used canned tomatoes instead of fresh and used chicken instead of pork. Next time I am definitely going to try it with the chicken. I also had a lot of he ingredients on hand such as the garlic and smoked paprika. I am so excited about finding a recipe that I really love and don't have to feel guilty about eating it.

Make sure you check back later. I will be talking about my latest food find!


Pork, White Bean & Kale Soup
From EatingWell Magazine September/October 2007

Kale is matched up here with white beans and chunks of lean pork tenderloin to create a soup that’s satisfying and quick to make. Smoked paprika gives the soup a Spanish flair so some warm bread and sliced Manchego cheese would go well on the side.

Makes 6 servings, about 1 2/3 cups each
ACTIVE TIME: 40 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 40 minutes
EASE OF PREPARATION: Easy

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons paprika, preferably smoked
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste (optional)
1 cup white wine (I don't drink so I didn't have any wine to use. I just added an extra cup of chicken broth. I'm sure it was cheaper this way.)
4 plum tomatoes, chopped (I'm sure you could use canned. It would probably cost less.)
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (I used fat free)
1 bunch kale, ribs removed, chopped (about 8 cups lightly packed)(Only $1.19 a pound at my grocery store. I only had to use a pound.)
1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed (see Tip)
1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add pork, sprinkle with salt and cook, stirring once or twice, until no longer pink on the outside, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate with tongs, leaving juices in the pot. (I used leftover pork tenderloin from a previous dinner)
2. Add onion to the pot and cook, stirring often, until just beginning to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic, paprika and crushed red pepper (if using) and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add wine and tomatoes, increase heat to high and stir to scrape up any browned bits. Add broth and bring to a boil.
3. Add kale and stir just until it wilts. Reduce heat to maintain a lively simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is just tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in beans, the reserved pork and any accumulated juices; simmer until the beans and pork are heated through, about 2 minutes.

(This nutritional info is for the original recipe. I don't have the info for the altered version.)
NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 262 calories; 6 g fat (1 g sat, 3 g mono); 45 mg cholesterol; 26 g carbohydrate; 25 g protein; 7 g fiber; 627 mg sodium; 1,024 mg potassium.
Nutrition bonus: Vitamin A (290% daily value), Vitamin C (190% dv), Potassium (29% dv), Iron (20% dv).
1 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1 starch, 2 vegetable, 2 lean meat
TIP: Tip: While we love the convenience of canned beans, they tend to be high in sodium. Give them a good rinse before adding to a recipe to rid them of some of their sodium (up to 35 percent) or opt for low-sodium or no-salt-added varieties. (Our recipes are analyzed with rinsed, regular canned beans.) Or, if you have the time, cook your own beans from scratch.


Friday, March 27, 2009

How I Stay Motivated To Exercise





I found this exercise chart over at Heather's blog, The Weight Watchers Chick. Heather is a Weight Watchers Leader and has a really great blog. I read it all the time and I am always finding new ideas and recipes from her.

I used the calender this month and I have found it very motivating. I also printed one for my daughter and we put stickers on them every time we exercise. It sounds kind of silly but it really is motivating to see how much you have exercised. If I don't see many stickers I know that I am slacking.

This is definitely something that I am going to continue to do each month. I put mine on the front of my fridge (next to my Fridge Front Friday list) so that I see it every time I open the door.

If you are interested in using this calender to motivate yourself to exercise more you can click here for the link to Heather's Calender. I'm not sure if she posts an update each month but if she doesn't you can always make one using Microsoft Word or Works.

I hope this chart helps you as much as it has helped me this month. Enjoy!


Fridge Front Friday

Posting your a list of goals and motivations on the front of your fridge is the perfect way to remind yourself to stay on track.

Please post your Fridge Front Friday List on your site and link it back to mine, post it in the comment section below or just post it on your fridge (or all three if you would like :)).


I will start us off with my Fridge Front Friday List for the week. I plan to print my list and put it on my fridge and read a few of these if not all of them each time I look at the fridge.


Jessica's Fridge Front Friday List

Motivation
1. You really lost 20 Pounds!!!
2. You have to wear a bathing suit to Seasame Place this summer!
3. Size 14 here I come.


Reminders:

1. Check out your progress pics. You don't want to go back.
2. Are you tracking your points today? How many do you have left?
3. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
4. Stick to planned menu.
5. Every bite counts. You need to take points for every single bite.


READ ME!!!
1. Are you really hungry?
2. Drink your water


Goals for the week:
1. Exercise at least 5 days this week.
2. Eat salads.
3. Track my points every day.
4. Don't go over my points.
5. Drink lots of water.
6. Stay within budget.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Great Point Friendly Meal



Yesterday was my sisters Birthday so I took her to Cracker Barrel for a Birthday lunch. If you are ever looking for a restaurant that has point friendly meals you should check out Cracker Barrel. They have so many point friendly meals to chose from and the food is always great.

This is what I had.

To start I had a side salad with fat free ranch dressing.

Then I had Chicken and Dumplings (which I call chicken pot pie), green beans and carrots. What a huge meal. I actually ate most of it while we were there and then the leftovers (plus my daughters leftover mac & cheese) for dinner. It was wonderful. I always seem to get the same thing at Cracker Barrel and I think I enjoy it more each time.

Here are some cute pics from our lunch. They all had dessert but I resisted the urge :).

My Nephew

My Oldest Daughter

My Sister and My Niece

My Baby

My Niece



HAPPY BIRTHDAY HEATHER!


And The Number Is... Week 12 Weigh In

I really can't believe it has been twelve weeks since I started my weight loss journey. This last week flew by especially fast. What a crazy week I had. With all of us being sick I really did not have much time to think about planning and exercising. This really threw me off track.

I can see now how much I depend on my meal planning. It was awful not knowing what I was going to eat for meals this week. I was just grabbing whatever we had in the fridge when I was hungry. Not a good idea. It makes dieting so much harder.

When I stepped on the scale this morning the number I saw was 196.4 pounds. I am thrilled because I really didn't know how I was going to do this week. It was so stressful and I only exercised once. I know I didn't lose much but at least I didn't gain. I am actually up a few ounces from Saturday but I'm OK with that.

I am fully recovered, my house is mostly cleaned and I am ready to get back on track.
I am getting ready to head to the gym and then when I get home I am going to sit down and plan our meals for this week and make a grocery list. I am really excited to be back on track. It was depressing being to sick and tired to eat right and exercise.

This brings me to a total loss of 20.2 pounds. I am so glad I am still down 20 pounds. I would have been really embarrassed having to tell all of you that I am no longer down 20 :). Kind of silly but it keeps me motivated.

My mom is taking me shopping for my Birthday on Saturday so I would like to lose another pound or so by then. So here's to a great workout at the gym today and tomorrow :).

My Week In Review:

1. Exercise: I only made it to the gym once this week.

2. Track My Points Every Day: I tracked my points almost every day this week. Pretty good for being sick.

3. Exercise Points: I didn't have many to eat and I think I ate them all.

4. Water: I didn't drink as much water as usual. I did get myself back on track yesterday.

5. Late night eating: It was more early morning eating for me this week. That stupid (big) piece of chocolate.

6. Snacking: I didn't really snack this week. Just didn't have the time or energy.

7. Eating more fruits and veggies: I did good until Sunday and then it went downhill from there. I do have a lot of salad mix and apples in my fridge that I plan to eat this week.

So not a great week for me but at least I didn't gain any weight back. I'm not sure how I didn't gain but all I can think is that I burned lots of calories when I wasn't sleeping the three nights that I was up with my daughter.

This week I plan to get back on track and lose a few pounds. I feel so much better when I am eating healthy and exercising. I guess this week was a good reminder of that.

Have a great week!


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

You Guys Are Great!

I have to say that I have the best followers in the world. You guys are so great!

Thanks you all so much for all of your sweet comments to yesterdays post. You will never know how much they mean to me. I was really feeling down about everything and I probably would have eaten everything in sight but because of all of your sweet comments I was reminded of how far I have come and that these things do happen.

I think in the past this may have been my breaking point and I would have given up on my weight loss. But after reading all of your thoughtful and encouraging words I knew that I couldn't just give up. I didn't make the best food choices yesterday just because healthy food doesn't sound great when you don't feel good but I didn't binge. That is a big accomplishment for me.

I made it through the worst of it. The girls both seem to be feeling better today and I got a little more sleep last night. We are not quite 100% but anything is better then yesterday.

Thank you all again for being so sweet, kind, thoughtful and sincere. You are all wonderful people and I love reading all of the comments you leave me. You really lifted my spirits yesterday and I feel like God has really blessed me by putting all of you in my life.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It's A Bad, Bad Day

My baby finally fell asleep. I am letting her sleep behind me in her high chair as I type because I am afraid if I move her she will wake up :). She just loves that balloon.



Actually it's been a couple bad days.

On Sunday my daughters woke up with head colds. My baby has been absolutely miserable since. Sunday was very busy because I was cooking for my sisters 30th Birthday Party that night. Then on Monday we had to leave the house very early to go to my husbands Aunt's funeral that was out of town. Right now my house is a mess, we are all sick now and I just feel like the last couple days have been a whirlwind.

It doesn't help that when my baby gets sick she doesn't sleep at night. Last night I spent the night on the couch with her and she just cried off and on all night (that was after she threw up all over her crib). The poor baby just couldn't get comfy. She finally fell asleep around 5:30 this morning and we slept until about 8:15am. I'm not really sure how I am going to make it through the day but I just hope I don't eat to much in the process.

I don't know about you guys but when I get overly tired or stressed I just want to eat. Sometimes I think I eat just to stay awake.

Yesterday after the funeral I ate two pieces of my sisters birthday cake. Seriously what was I thinking. Sometimes I get so tired I don't care anymore. I hate when I do this. The funeral was very stressful so I think the combination of that, and being sick and not sleeping finally got to me. You would think I would have stopped at the cake, right? No, of course not. That would be to easy :). My throat was killing me and all I wanted was a soft ice cream. So my husband went out and got me one but he also brought back my favorite a Cheeseburger and french fries. I ate that cheeseburger so fast I don't think I even tasted it. It was wonderful. I did skip the fries because I was feeling pretty guilty at this point. So that was my day. I really ate to much.

Then early this morning when my baby woke up a ate a huge piece of solid chocolate. It wasn't that good but I was so exhausted and I knew that I have to keep going all day so I ate it. Crazy thinking but what do you expect from someone getting very little sleep.

I really hope we are feeling better tomorrow because I haven't exercised since Friday and I really need some sleep.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award



My friend Bonnie over at Seriously Too: Weight For It! has given me a blog award! Thank you Bonnie!!!

The rules to this blog award say I have to list 7 things I love and then pass it on to 7 bloggers I love.

Here is my list:


I Love my God.
I Love my hubbie.
I Love my daughters.
I Love to eat.
I Love to blog.
I Love feeling healthier.
I Love the way I feel after exercising.


Now for the 7 blogs I love to read:

money saving mommy
Scale Junkie
Tj's Test Kitchen
Chubbie Chica
Running Through Life
Weight Watchers Blog
Down With Fat


There are so many others that I would like to list but I can only list 7. I love all of the blogs I follow. Check them out on my sidebar.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Best Meal EVER!!!

After shopping for bridesmaids dresses for a few hours we were all really starving. We decided to go to Red Lobster for lunch.

The last two times I was their I really wasn't thrilled with the food but we were all just so hungry and wanted to find some place quickly. One thing that is always good at Red Lobster is their Cheddar Bay Biscuits. They really are to die for (in my opinion). I am proud to say that I didn't even eat one. I guess I had so much fun dress shopping and enjoying my weight loss that I wasn't even tempted.

Anyway, I wanted to tell you about the best meal I have ever had at a restaurant. I wasn't sure what to order so I asked the waitress is they had any Salmon. She showed me this little menu in the middle of the table and on it was Fire-Grilled Salmon. It came with a side salad, baked potato and broccoli. I was even able to order a lunch portion. The waitress first brought out the salad with fat free white wine vinaigrette. I wasn't sure if I would like the dressing but it was the only fat free/light dressing they had. It turned out to be excellent. Then she brought out my meal. The Salmon was thick and very juicy, the baked potato was sprinkled with sea salt - Yum- and the broccoli was cooked perfectly.

This meal was seriously amazing. I am drooling just thinking about it. The price wasn't awful either. I think it was $10.00 and it was a very large meal. It isn't something that I can afford everyday but when I do decide to go out and splurge this is the kind of meal I want. Something that tastes great, is healthy but doesn't leave me feeling deprived and reasonably priced. It was so good that I probably wouldn't have regretted paying $15.00 for it. Of course I would much rather pay $10. It was just that good. So if you are ever out and want something filling and healthy you really should try this meal.


Guess What Size I Ordered?

Yesterday was great. We went to David's Bridal to pick out Bridesmaid and flower girl dresses. I really had a blast. I definitely would not have had this much fun 20 pounds ago.

I was kind of afraid to try on dresses at first but as soon as I got started there was no stopping me. I seriously think I tried on 10-15 dresses. Unfortunately I forgot to put the memory card back in my camera so I don't have any pictures to show you. Sorry :(.

Some of the dresses were so beautiful. I wanted to buy a few just to have in my closet in case I ever need them (Yeah Right!). Although it would be nice. Who knows, maybe someday I will get to go on a cruise :).

My favorite dress was definitely the one that we chose for the wedding. I felt like Marilyn Monroe in it. It was so soft and flowy. I can't wait to wear it. Click here to see the dress. I would post the picture here but the site won't allow me. The color I will be wearing is watermelon. I was shocked but the dress actually looked good on me. Of course it will look much better when I lose a few more pounds but it did look really cute.

Guess what size I ordered? A size 12! No, I don't fit in the 12 yet but I was afraid to order anything bigger. I tried on the 16 but I figure another 10 pounds and I will be in the 14 and another 15-20 after that and I will be in the 12. It might sound like a crazy move to make but I am so sure that I am going to do this that I decided to order the smaller size. And guess what? I am ecstatic at the thought that I will be that small or even smaller by the time of the wedding. The wedding is in approximately 6 months.

Do you want to hear the funniest part of our shopping trip? When the saleswoman asked me what size I wear in front of everyone I was actually proud to say a size 16. It's so funny because in the past I would have been mortified for anyone to know that I wear that size. I think it is because I am so proud of myself for working so hard just to lose the last 20 pounds and get into that size 16 that I didn't even care what anyone thought. It was a great feeling.

I really had a great day shopping and trying on dresses. My favorite part was enjoying my "new" body. It is just really cool to see that all of my hard work is really making a difference.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

20 Pound Update Pictures

Day 1 - 216.6 Pounds



Me at 206 Pounds - 10 Pounds Lost




Me at 196 - 20 Pounds Lost





As promised I am excitedly posting my 20 pound loss update pictures. I am so glad I took a picture on the first day of my journey. I really like seeing every ten pound loss.

Make sure you check back tomorrow to hear about my dress shopping and the best lunch I have ever had at a restaurant. And it was even healthy.


I Did It!!!

I am just heading of to go Brides maid dress shopping.

I wanted to let you all know that I am officially down 20 pounds. Yippeee!!! It is the moment I have been waiting so long for. I am so, so excited. I can't believe I am saying I am down 20 pounds. I thought this day would never come.

I guess it's time for me to post some new progress pics. I have been holding off until 20 pounds. I will try to post some tonight. Wish me luck dress shopping.


Friday, March 20, 2009

I Need New Clothes

I can't believe I am actually saying this. My clothes are finally getting to big. Today I went to the gym and after my shower I put on a shirt that I wore last summer expecting it to look nice. I really love the shirt. To my surprise I looked like a frump in it. It was huge on me. I actually took it off and put on a tank top and sweatshirt to leave in because it would have been kind of embarrassing. Some shirts you can wear when they are to big but this just wasn't one of them.

It's funny because I was irritated instead of excited. I guess I am going to have to try my clothes on the night before when I pack them. It is pretty exciting to finally start seeing the difference. Finally all of my hard work is starting to show. I couldn't wait to get this point but now I need new clothes. Not so fun when you are on a budget. Maybe I will check out my local Good Will store next week. I will let you guys know if I find anything good.

So today at the gym I exercised on the elliptical for 70 minutes. That's right one hour and ten minutes :). I burned 560 calories. I kind of had to because I was up until 3 this morning getting my post ready for The Ultimate Blog Party and I ate 12 mini peanut butter cups. Boy I haven't done that in a while. They really didn't even taste that good. I think I was just so tired that I ate them without really thinking about it. Oh well, I am not going to let myself dwell on it. What's done is done.

After my workout I took my girls over to Rita's Italian Ice for Free Ice on the first day of Spring. My older daughter got Mango (my favorite), I got birthday cake for the baby (her first Rita's Ice) and Vanilla chip for myself. I ate a quarter of it and it was wonderful. We had a really great time eating it in the car because it was so cold outside.

I can't believe it is the first day of Spring. So exciting. Summer here we come!


Fridge Front Friday

Posting your a list of goals and motivations on the front of your fridge is the perfect way to remind yourself to stay on track. Please post your Fridge Front Friday List on your site and link it back to mine, post it in the comment section below or just post it on your fridge (or all three if you would like :)).


I will start us off with my Fridge Front Friday List for the week. I plan to print my list and put it on my fridge and read a few of these if not all of them each time I look at the fridge.

Jessica's Fridge Front Friday List

Motivation
1. You lost 19.6 pounds! Yippee!!!
2. You have to wear a bathing suit to Seasame Place this summer!
3. Remember how good it feels right after you exercise.
4. You are almost in a size 14. WOW!


Reminders:
1. Every bite counts. You need to take points for every single bite.
2. Are you tracking your points today? How many do you have left?
3. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise


READ ME!!!
1. Are you really hungry?
2. Stay away from the Chocolate :)
3. Drink your water


Goals for the week:

1. Exercise at least 5 days this week.
2. Eat lots fruits and veggies.
3. Track my points every day.
4. Don't go over my points.
5. Don't eat all of my extra points for the week.
6. Drink lots of water.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pudget's Party Post And A GiveAway

Welcome to all of my Ultimate Blog Party Visitors. If you are new to my site my name is Jessica. I am a Stay At Home Mom of two beautiful little girls. On January 1st of 2009 I began my journey of losing weight on a budget. I started a blog to keep myself accountable and to share my ideas with anyone who is interested in losing weight or just eating healthy on a budget .

Since then I have learned so much about myself and how strong I am mentally and physically. I am learning more every day on how to better budget my money. I am also learning little tricks along the way on how to eat healthy on a budget. It’s not always easy but it is possible and well worth all of the effort.

I plan my menu every week and stick to it, I clip coupons, I do without some of the convenience foods that I used to enjoy and I definitely go out to eat less. I have also tried a ton of new recipes that are healthy and low in cost. Right now I am on a bean kick. I have found several great bean recipes that cost very little but are low in fat and very high in fiber. I am loving the fact that I can feed my family a hearty filling meal for just a few dollars.

So contrary to popular belief it is possible to eat healthy and not break the bank. It may be a little trickier and time consuming but with a little time, effort and planning it is all possible. I am living proof of that . I have lost 19.6 pounds in my first 11 weeks and I have no plans of stopping until I meet my goal. I love the fact that not only am I losing weight but I am becoming healthy and so is the rest of my family. It is such a great feeling to be able to teach my children about eating healthy and budgeting money all at the same time.

This is me on the first day of my journey weighing in at 216.6 pounds (Jan. 1, 2009).




This is me a couple days ago weighing in at 197 pounds!




Please take a few minutes to look around, sign up to become a follower of my site and make sure you sign up to win the great prizes I am offering at the 5 Minutes for Mom Ultimate Blog Party 2009. I am giving away a gift pack that includes Jillian Micheals 30 Day Shred DVD and The Biggest Loser Family Cookbook: Budget Friendly Meals Your Whole Family Will Love. Both prizes would be great for any stage of weight loss.

So Let’s Party!!!

My top pick list in the following order:

# 58 – Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer
Provided by: Moms Who Think
Prize details: From Amish Friendship Bread to Decadent Cheesecake and all the meals in between dessert, Moms Who Think has recipes you’ll love. We would like to donate a Kitchen Aid Artisan Stand Mixer to help make one lucky winner’s home cooking even easier. (winner’s choice of color, $349.99 retail value)


#71 – flip flops for Mom & Daughter from Top It Off
Provided by: Top It Off
Prize details:Unique accessories for moms and kids! Our newest style of flip flops are a huge hit, and we would love one lucky winner to have a pair for her and her daughter.

# 106 — Melissa & Doug Role Play Dress Up Costume (prize value $50)
Provided by: Good for the Kids
Prize details: Providing the best of what is good for your kids, Good for the Kids is giving away the winner’s selection of a Melissa & Doug Role Play Dress Up Costume.

next picks: 117, 5, 56, 28, 15, 9, 8, 7, 6, 1, 27, 79 , 85, 102, 103


Reminder

Just wanted to remind you to check out my blog tomorrow to hear more about the awesome prizes I am giving away at the Ultimate Blog Party 2009. Also, be sure to visit 5 Minutes For Mom sometime this week (March 20th - 27th) to join their Ultimate Blog Party, meet new friends and enter to win tons of great prizes.


My Meatball Recipe



Jessica's Low Fat Meatballs:


Ingredient:

28 oz Lean Hamburger
1/2 cup Seasoned Bread Crumbs
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 egg
3 eggs whites
1 clove of minced garlic
1 small onion finely chopped
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Mix by hand and roll into 40 meatballs. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes. WW = 1 each
I usually put in a crockpot with a jar of spaghetti sauce and put on low for the day and then serve over spaghetti noodles or on torpedo rolls.


And The Number is... Week 11 Weigh In

I had another great week. I really worked hard on eating right and exercising as much as possible and I think the scale really showed that this morning.

When I stepped on the scale this morning the number I saw was 197 pounds. Very exciting but of course I wanted more. Why can't I just be happy with every loss instead of thinking that I would have liked to have lost just a little more? Crazy!

This brings me to a total loss of 19.6 pounds. I really wanted to be telling you that is was 20 pounds this week but unfortunately I missed it by just a few ounces. Oh well. Hopefully next week.

I am going brides maid dress shopping on Saturday and my goal is to be down 20 pounds by then. I think I can do it. I will let you know and if I remember my camera I will post some pictures.

1. Exercise: This week was exciting for me because I joined the gym. I am really glad that I finally did it and for $20.00 a month you just can't beat that price. I went to the gym on Friday, Monday and Wednesday and had some really great workouts. I feel so good when I am done and it is so relaxing to have some time to myself. I didn't do any Jillian Micheals this week because on the days that I wasn't at the gym I was out walking or riding my bike to get a little extra exercise.

2. Track My Points Every Day: Again I tracked every point. I even had a few days where I didn't eat all of my points. I just wasn't hungry. This is very unusual for me.

3. Exercise Points: Again this week I did not eat any of my exercise points. It is really helping that I plan all of my meals out every week. Then I don't get stressed about what I am going to eat and just grab something unhealthy. I always have something in the fridge to eat for when I get hungry. Also, it has helped that we didn't go out to eat at all this week. We did get Subway on Saturday to take on our picnic but that was the extent of our going out to eat.

4. Water: I drank lots of water this week. I am still enjoying my Crystal Light drinks.

5. Late night eating: I am hoping that I am finally through the point where I feel the need to eat in the middle of the night. I haven't done it in weeks and I hope I don't ever feel that need to get out of bed just to eat ever again.

6. Snacking: My snacking was very minimal this week. When I did grab a snack it was usually a Fiber One bar.

7. Eating more fruits and veggies: I ate lots of fruits and veggies this week. This week my big thing was eating salads with apples on them. I love the taste and I get my fruits and veggies in all at once. It's very filling this way. I think I had a salad every day this week.


So I had a great week and can't wait to go brides maid dress shopping on Saturday. I'm shocked that I am actually saying that because eleven weeks ago I would have dreaded trying on dresses. I really think it is going to be fun to see how different my body really looks when I try those dresses on. Maybe then it will hit home that I have lost almost 20 pounds.

I hope you all have a great week and I hope that next week I will be telling you that I lost 20 pounds!!!


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's That Time Of Year!


I am so excited. It is the time of year when my husband pulls out the gas grill and I can cook some real cheeseburgers.

Today when I was at the grocery store I found some extra lean hamburger that was marked down for quick sale. I was so excited because I have been really hungry for cheeseburgers but I hate to spend the money on lean red meat when it isn't on sale. I was able to buy a little more then 6 pounds today for about $17.00. I usually can't find lean hamburger that cheap.

So when I got home I made my broccoli cheddar soup and mixed it with last nights batch which by the way turned out great and then I made up 17 quarter pound hamburger patties (pictured above) and 40 meatballs and froze them all. Sorry, they really aren't the prettiest burgers but I'm sure they will taste good. It feels really good to have lean red meat in my freezer. That is one thing that I can never keep stocked in the freezer. I rarely buy it just because of the price.

We are going to my parents house on Saturday for a little cookout. I can't wait to eat those burgers. Now I just have to think of an inexpensive side to take along.

If I get a chance tomorrow I will post my meatball recipe. They turned out great. They were so good I ate two of them plain. I can't wait to mix them with some sauce and have spaghetti and meatballs :).


Relaxing Day

I actually made it to the gym early today! My daughter went to bed early so she woke up around 8:00 this morning. This is actually a good thing. I usually like to sleep in but I have been missing out on the gym because of it. My baby is a night owl so she usually won't go to bed until 10 or 11pm. Not fun but I think she may be on a schedule now. I have been putting her in bed earlier and earlier each night for about a week. She is now going down at 8pm. Yippee!!!

Today I did 45 minutes on the elliptical and burned 400 calories.
I did the weight loss program again for 30 minutes and then just switched over to manual and did a slight incline and resistance for 15 minutes. It felt great! That is once I got past the first 15 minutes. For some reason the first 15 minutes kill me. I almost gave up today. Then as soon as I hit the 15 minute point I was good to go. I could have actually gone longer but I wanted to take a shower before I picked my girls up and I wasn't sure how they would do at child care for over an hour.

It felt so nice to workout for 45 minutes and then take a shower, get dressed, do my hair and make up. It was so relaxing. I actually left my girls in child care for 1 hour and 15 minutes and they did great. They are such troupers. My baby is great. She is kind of the go with the flow type. She is always so happy. They seriously are the best kids.

Now I am off to make the rest of my broccoli cheese soup. Of course I forgot the freezer bags so I am going to have to wait until my husband gets home until I can freeze it. Oh well. I will let you all know how it turns out.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Broccoli Cheddar Soup


Well tonight's dinner was definitely interesting and probably would have been excellent if I would have followed the directions.

I decided to make another bean recipe tonight to save a little money and make something healthy and filling for my family. I decided to make Broccoli Cheddar soup. You add cannelloni beans to it and puree to make a thick creamy soup. Unfortunately I added 1/2 a tablespoon of salt and 1/2 a tablespoon of pepper to the soup when the recipe actually called for 1/2 a teaspoon of each.

My husband and I ate it and it wasn't bad it was just really peppery. I can't believe I did that. I doubled the batch of soup so we had 12 cups of very peppery broccoli cheddar soup. So right now I am trying to figure out the cheapest way to fix the soup so that it doesn't all go to waste.

The soup cost me $7.50 for the 12 cups. This is a really great price because we can get several meals out of it. My only dilemma is do I spend another $7.50 and make another batch without salt and pepper and then mix the two batches together to even things out. $15.00 seems ridiculous for soup but I really hate to waste all that I made and I do think it will be great with less pepper and salt.

I guess I can freeze it into several containers and pull it out when I need it. I can consider it a start to my once a month cooking :). I think this amount of soup will probably last us at least two months. Do you think it will stay good that long?

If anyone has any other suggestions I would love to hear them. I'm just not sure what to do with this soup.

I will post the recipe below in case anyone is interested. Don't let my salt and pepper issues keep you from making it. It really has a great consistency and I think it will taste wonderful with less salt and pepper. Also it is so low in points it is crazy and the fiber from the beans were so filling. I ate one cup and I was stuffed.

Broccoli, Cannelloni Bean & Cheddar Soup

From EatingWell Magazine September/October 2007
White beans pureed into this broccoli soup make it extra creamy so you don’t need heaps of cheese to do the job. Serve with a crunchy whole-grain roll and a glass of winter ale.
Makes 6 servings, scant 1 cup each
ACTIVE TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 20 minutes
EASE OF PREPARATION: Easy

1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 pound broccoli crowns, trimmed and chopped (about 6 cups)
1 14-ounce can cannelloni beans, rinsed (see Tip)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 cup shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese - (I used 2% cheese)

1. Bring broth and water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add broccoli, cover and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in beans, salt and pepper and cook until the beans are heated through, about 1 minute.

2. Transfer half the mixture to a blender with half the cheese and puree. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.) Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining broccoli mixture and cheese. Serve warm.


TIP: Tip: While we love the convenience of canned beans, they tend to be high in sodium. Give them a good rinse before adding to a recipe to rid them of some of their sodium (up to 35 percent) or opt for low-sodium or no-salt-added varieties. (These recipes are analyzed with rinsed, regular canned beans.) Or, if you have the time, cook your own beans from scratch.


On The Run

Just wanted to let you know that I won't be around today.

It is supposed to be 60 degrees here today so I am going to catch up on a little house work and then spend the rest of the day with my girls. They need a little Mommy time :).

Check back tonight to see what I am making for dinner. I am pretty excited about it. It's another very high fiber, low cost meal. I hope it is as good as it sounds.


Monday, March 16, 2009

I Love The Gym!

I went to the gym this morning and really enjoyed. Although I did forget my head phones in the car so I couldn't watch TV. Oh well, I still had a great workout.

I used the elliptical again today for 30 minutes. I would have done longer but I got to the gym later then I wanted to and the child care was closing. They are open for three or four hours in the morning and then four hours again in the evening. So I did the weight loss program on the elliptical and burnt exactly 300 calories. I ended my cool down about 45 seconds early because I wanted to get a shower in before I picked up my girls. So as soon as that machine said 300 I was off. Next time I am going to have to get to the gym earlier so I can do more then 30 minutes.

I really want to start using the other equipment but I'm not comfortable enough with the place yet to try something new. They do have a machine that looks kind of like an elliptical but is actually more like a stepper. I can't wait to try that one out. I'm a little afraid of it because I hate the stepper but I'm curious to see what it is like.

I think next week I may hire a trainer for six sessions just to show me what I need to be doing and to help me get a good routine going. I definitely want to work on certain parts of my body and I'm not really sure what exercises I should be doing. So if I can afford it next week I think I will go ahead and make the purchase.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Walk At The Wetlands




Today we went for a walk at the Wetlands by our house. I have lived here all of my life and had never been there before.

It was really nice. There are a bunch of trails to walk on and it was really nice for my four year old to get a chance to explore and it was some good exercise for my husband and I. It was a little muddy at some points along the trail but other then that we had a great time. We walked for about an hour and a half so I'm sure I burnt a good amount of calories.

When we got back we road our bikes for about half and hour. I am not riding my bike again until my new bike seat comes in. My butt is so sore I can't even sit on the bike right now.

We went to the park yesterday and had a little picnic and road our bikes for about 2 and 1/2 hours and then spent another 45 minutes letting my daughter go on the swings, slides and climbing the rock wall. We had a blast! I'm not sure how many calories I burned yesterday but I'm sure it was a ton. I really got a great workout. That is probably why my butt hurts today :).

These are some of the pictures that I took on our hike today.








This is my favorite picture because it reminds me of all of those extra calories I must have burned from carrying a 40 pound child for 10-15 minutes back to the car.


Friday, March 13, 2009

I Did It!

I really did it.

I joined the gym! Yesterday while my daughter was at her gymnastics class I asked for a tour of the gym. All I have to say is WOW! This place is awesome. I knew that the gymnastics section was incredible but I wasn't expecting the fitness equipment to be equally as incredible. It is great!

The gym has a huge fitness room with tons of machines and weights. The room is seriously huge. Then they have an X-Biking room and an aerobics/kickboxing room. Really, really cool. The locker room is huge with nice lockers, showers, changing rooms and a huge counter with a mirror above and blow dryers. How cool is it that I can exercise, shower, blow my hair dry and put my make up on while my children are in the childcare room. I am super excited!

It gets better. During my tour the young lady told me that I can get a membership for $20.00 a month with no contract because my daughter is in their gymnastics program. Yippee!!! I was also able to buy a child care punch card for $25.00. This gives me 10 visits for my children to be in childcare. That come to $2.50 each time I need them to be watched.

So you are all probably wondering if I tried it out yet. Yep, first thing this morning I piled the kids in the car and headed to the gym. I dropped the kids off in the child care room and got on an elliptical for 30 minutes. I burned 262 calories in 30 minutes. Not bad. I was dieing by the end. I was covered in sweat. I wanted to go longer but I just couldn't. Hopefully I will be able to stay on longer each time. But for now I think I did pretty good and I really felt good when I left.

I am really glad I joined and I am really excited about going to some of the classes they offer. Once I feel a little more comfortable their I'm sure I will try them out.


Fridge Front Friday

Please post your Fridge Front Friday List on your site and link it back to mine, post it in the comment section below or just post it on your fridge (or all three if you would like :)).


I will start us off with my Fridge Front Friday List for the week. I plan to print my list and put it on my fridge and read a few of these if not all of them each time I look at the fridge.



Jessica's Fridge Front Friday List

Motivation:

1. You made it to "ONEDERLAND"! Whahoo!
2. You are going shopping for Bridesmaid dresses in one or two weeks!
3. Remember how good it feels right after you exercise.
4. You have to wear a bathing suit to Seasame Place this summer!
5. You are doing great! You have lost 17 POUNDS!


Reminders:


1. Every bite counts. You need to take points for every single bite.
2. Are you tracking your points today? How many do you have left?
3. Go To The Gym or maybe a bike ride.


READ ME!!!

1. Are you really hungry?
2. Drink your water

Goals for the week:


1. Don't eat my exercise points.
2. Go to bed a little earlier.
3. Track my points every day.
4. Stay within my points.
5. Exercise at least 5 days this week.
6. Drink lots of water.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

And The Number Is... Week 10 Weigh In

I am so excited to be writing this post today. Mostly because when I started this journey I wasn't even sure if I could make it 10 weeks. The first few weeks were pretty difficult. But I am also excited about the progress I have made throughout these ten weeks.

When I got on the scale this morning I could hardly believe my eyes. The number on the scale was 199.6!!! That's right I am officially in the one hundreds. This to me is the most exciting accomplishment. I want to squeal every time I look at that number. It has been so hard for me the past few months to look at the scale and see that big 2 every time I weighed myself and typing it onto this computer screen was even harder. I have finally made my way past that and I am determined to never go back to that point.

1. Exercise: I did my Jillian Micheals video three days this week. I wanted to do more but I kept talking myself out of it. I really think I need to join the gym.

2. Track My Points Every Day: I was awesome at this. I tracked every point and didn't cheat once. I actually had a few of my extra points left for the week.

3. Exercise Points: Again this week I did not eat any of my exercise points.

4. Water: I drank lots of water this week.

5. Late night eating: I didn't get up to eat in the middle of the night this week.

6. Snacking: I rarely snacked this week. It seems to get easier every week.

7. Eating more fruits and veggies: I ate lots of fruit and veggies this week. My daughter ad I eat chocolate fondue with a ton of fruit on Friday night. This was my four year old daughters request so I couldn't say no just because I am trying to lose weight. So we went to the store and got a ton of fruit and a bag of chocolate chips. We cut up the fruit and melted the chocolate and had our little Melting Pot at home. We all really enjoyed it. I was just very careful to only dip the very bottom of my fruit in the chocolate and take the point for it. It was well worth every point! I also ate a salad almost every day.


As you can see I had a really great week. I wish every week could be this easy. I am now at a total loss of 17 pounds. Sometimes it seems like a slow loss for me losing 17 pounds in 10 weeks but on the other hand it also seems really huge. I lost 17 pounds!!! I am super excited and now I can wait to reach a 20 pound loss.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

To Join or Not To Join???

The past few weeks I have been thinking about joining a gym. I found one in my area that costs $25.00 a month and I have really been considering doing it. I really want to exercise more but it is so hard with two small children and the lack of room in my house for a elliptical or treadmill. I actually own a really nice treadmill but it is at my parents house because we just don't have room for it anymore.

I love the fact that this gym has child care. I probably wouldn't use it that often but if I wanted to I could go during the day and exercise. It costs $2.00 per child so I would be paying an extra $4.00 on top of my monthly fee but at least I have it as an option. I was thinking that I would probably go one morning a week before my husband goes to work (it would have to be really early), one night a week after my husband gets home and every Thursday when my daughter has her gymnastics class. That way I am only paying two dollars in child care that day for my other daughter.

I would really love to get a personal trainer for a few weeks just to teach me the machines and set up a routine for me. I'm not sure how much that would cost so I might not be able to afford it.

I would love to hear any advice you may have for me about getting a gym membership. My daughters gymnastics class starts tomorrow so if I sign up I will probably do it then. I'm just not sure what to do.


Check Out This Recipe

I have found another bean recipe. It is for White Chicken Chile. I have always wanted to try this but I hadn't ever attempted to make it. Since I am on my bean kick I decided to make it on Monday night.

It is another great low cost high fiber meal. I used two cans of Northern beans which cost maybe $3.00 total and approx. 3 pounds of chicken. I got the chicken on sale for $.99 a pound (bone in). I also used a container of chicken stock that I bought with a coupon for $1.50. The total cost was about $7.50. This made about 4 meals worth. I love that I can make a meal for less then $2.00 and really enjoy it.

I had my parents over for dinner last night and fed them leftovers (Pinto beans and ham with PAM fried potatoes and White Chicken Chile). My Dad's favorite was the White Chicken Chile and my Mom's favorite was the Pinto Beans and Ham. I can't believe that after eating these two bean meals several times we still have a ton left.

I think these bean recipes are really going to help me save some of my budget to take my girls places this summer. Very exciting!


Jessica's White Chicken Chili:

Ingredients:

2 pounds chicken (I boiled until cooked and then cut into bite size pieces.)
26 oz chicken stock
2(40 oz.) cans great northern beans, with liquid
2 large onion, chopped
4 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
1 tsp. chili powder
4 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoon ground oregano
You can garnish this chili with Weight Watchers 2% shredded Mexican cheese, fat free sour cream or tortilla
chips (optional)

Directions:
boil chicken until fully cooked. Cut in pieces. In a large pot, pour small amount of stock. Add onion and garlic and simmer until onion is wilted and hot. Add the broth and beans with liquid. Mix in the chili powder, cumin and oregano. Bring to a boil and add chicken pieces. Cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes.

Enjoy!!!


The Point Of No Return

I am finally starting to notice a change in my body. Sometimes it feels like you have to eat healthy forever before you notice a change. I remember last time it took about a 20 pound loss before I could really notice my weight change. It stinks that it takes that long but I can officially say I am to that point.

I have been eating healthy for almost 10 weeks and I am happy to say that I have dropped a pants size. I can fit into my size 16 jeans again! Wahoo!!! I am so excited to be wearing a smaller size. I think noticing your body changing has to be the best motivation to keep doing what you are doing.

I don't think others can notice my weight loss yet but I don't think it will be long before I start getting asked if I am losing weight. Yeah, I love that part. I love to get compliments from my friends and family. It makes me feel like all of my hard work is starting to pay off. Not because they think I look good but because it is reassuring to know that I am not crazy and that my body really is changing and looking better.

I also had to change my bra's from hooking them on the biggest hook to the smallest. That's a two hook adjustment if that makes any sense at all :).

These changes that I am noticing have put me to the point of no return. I am to the point where I can tell you that I am going to do this. I am not going to give up on myself and I am not going to give into that chocolate cake or bread. I am strong and I am going to win this weight loss battle.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Beans, Beans and More Beans

After writing my post last week on 10 Ways To Save Money While Losing Weight I decided to search for some inexpensive bean recipes. When I went to Wal-mart last week I picked up two bags of dried Pinto Beans that cost about $.88 a piece.

I decided to make Pinto Beans and Ham. When I got home I went through several recipes I found online and came up with my own. On Friday I let my daughter sort through all of the Pinto Beans checking for rocks or anything that shouldn't be in the bag. She loved helping Mommy. I let the beans soak over night and on Saturday morning I mixed every thing together, cooked it a little and then put it in the crock pot to cook on low all day. It turned out wonderful and only cost about $5.00 for an entire crock pot full. You really can't beat the price. We have eaten it for several meals so far and will probably finish it off tonight when I have my family over for dinner. I think tonight I am going to fry some sliced potatoes in PAM to serve with it. I also heard it is good served with rice.

I have decided that I am going to make a bean meal at least once a week because it is so inexpensive, filling and healthy. I think it is really going to help me stay on budget by incorporating bean recipes into our weekly menus.

Jessica's Pinto Beans and Ham:

2lbs of dried Pinto Beans
6 Cups of Water
2 Large Onions chopped
12 oz of ham cut into bite sized pieces
3 cloves of garlic minced
½ cup of green pepper chopped
2 TBSP of Chili Powder
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp dried oregano

Directions:
Soak beans overnight. In morning drain beans and place in large pot with 6 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add all other ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes. Pour into crock-pot and cook on low all day or high for a few hours. Serve by itself or with rice or fried potatoes.


Monday, March 9, 2009

My New Wheels




I think my husband did a pretty good job picking out my bike. It is a very nice shade of purple and I really like the feel of it. I only road it for about two minutes on Saturday because we had to go to my Mom's Birthday party. I can't wait to get on it again. My daughter loves her new bike too. My husband got her a Disney Princess bike with cute little streamers and a water bottle. She looks so cute on it.

Today I ordered a pull behind trailer for the kids and an infant bike helmet from Amazon. It was actually about $30.00 cheaper then Wal-mart and we got free shipping. I hope they come soon so we can take the kids to the park and ride around. My husband doesn't know yet but I ordered myself a more comfy seat. The one it came with is so hard and uncomfortable and I was only on the bike for two minutes.

I can't tell you how excited I am about getting this bike. I feel like a kid again. I haven't ridden in over 5 years maybe closer to 10. I forgot how good it feels to get on a bike and go. I think we are going to have a great time this summer taking family bike rides.


Friday, March 6, 2009

On A Bicycle Built For Two

My husband and I are planning on buying new bikes tomorrow. They are our birthday presents. I am so excited. I haven't had a new bike since I was 16 years old. I think it might still be in my grandparents barn.

Sorry about the title of this post. We really aren't getting a bicycle built for two. Although that would be pretty funny. I told my husband that we would be the talk of the town if we are seen riding a two seater bike pulling a little trailer behind with the kids in. We might even make it into the local paper :).

We have been trying to think of new ways to get in some exercise and we decided on bikes. We are going camping this summer and one of my best memories of camping was riding my bike around the campground. So we thought it would be nice to buy one of the pull behind trailers for the girls and go on bike rides.

My husband is getting up early tomorrow morning and going to Wal-mart to pick them up. He is getting himself one, one for me, one for our four year old daughter, a pull behind trailer and a bike rack to put on the van. It should be interesting for him. I told him to just get me something pretty.

So tomorrow I should have a new form of exercise. Maybe it will break up the whole Jillian Micheals routine. I'm hoping that I still know how to ride a bike. It's been awhile. It should definitely be some good exercise for us. I will post some pictures tomorrow after my husband gets home with the bikes.


Great News!

I have some great news about the Crystal Light that I posted about yesterday. Click here if you haven't read the post.

I went to Wal-Mart last night and found the same box of Crystal Light for $1.89 a piece. How great is that? Way cheaper then the non sale price of $3.19 at my local grocery store. So I am pretty excited that I can actually afford to keep drinking these.


Fridge Front Friday

Fridge Front Friday

Please post your Fridge Front Friday List on your site and link it back to mine, post it in the comment section below or just post it on your fridge (or all three if you would like :)).


I will start us off with my Fridge Front Friday List for the week. I plan to print my list and put it on my fridge and read a few of these if not all of them each time I look at the fridge.


Jessica's Fridge Front Friday List

Motivation
1. You lost 14.1 pounds! Whahoo!
2. You are going shopping for Bridesmaid dresses in two or three weeks!
3. Remember how good it feels right after you exercise.
4. You have to wear a bathing suit to Seasame Place this summer!
5. You are doing great! You are so close to "onederland".


Reminders:
1. Every bite counts. You need to take points for every single bite.
2. Are you tracking your points today? How many do you have left?
3. Did you do the 30 Day Shred today?


READ ME!!!

1. Are you really hungry?
2. Do Not Binge!!!
3. Drink your water

Goals for the week:
1. Don't eat my exercise points.
2. Eat more fruit and veggies.
3. Track my points every day.
4. Stay within my points.
5. Exercise 5 days this week.
6. Drink lots of water.
7. Don't snack as much.
8. No eating in the middle of the night.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

My Little Secret


OK, so I know you have all been waiting to hear about my little secret. I'm sorry I didn't write about it sooner. I just wanted to make sure that I liked it and it was really helping me before I told you all about it.

So here goes. My little secret is actually a drink that I discovered on Saturday. My mom called me and told me that she has been drinking this drink that helps boost your bodies metabolism. She said that it has really helped her control her hunger and stay energized . So I thought I would give it a try.

The drink is called Crystal Light metabolism +. The flavor that I got is Peach Mango Green Tea. It has Green Tea Antioxidants & Caffeine to help boost your metabolism. I was a little leary of it a first because I thought how can a drink help curb your appetite. Well my mom was right. It has helped me to curb my appetite. Since I have started drinking it I have noticed that I really don't get hungry until meal times. This is great because normally I am a big snacker.

I am loving the caffeine in it because I don't have that part of my day when I start feeling really tired and need to eat to stay awake. I just seem to feel so much better since I started drinking it and it tastes great. It is very sweet so I add a little extra water to it. I love anything mango flavored.

The box states that to get the full benefit you need to drink 3 a day. These drinks come in little individual packets that you put in a bottle or cup of water. If you don't like artificial sweeteners this one probably isn't for you. The box states that this is not a weight loss product. It is just a drink that gives you a short term boost in metabolism.

So it isn't a miracle weight loss product but it does make me feel good and I think it helped to contribute to my weight loss this week. The only downfall that I have found with the product so far is that it isn't cheap. I bought three 10 pack boxes for $7.00. This was a great sale price. I am going to Wal-mart tonight so I will check to see if I can get it cheaper their.

If you are looking for something to help boost your energy level and metabolism you should give this a try. Just don't drink it to late at night because the caffeine will keep you from falling asleep.


And The Number Is... Week 9 Weigh In

I am so excited about this week. I didn't do every thing perfectly but I did try very hard to follow my goals for the week. The good new is that when I stepped on the scale this morning I weighted 202.5. That is a loss of 2.7 lbs and a total loss of 14.1 pounds lost. "Onederland" here I come! It is hard to believe that next week I could be in the 100's. I am so excited.

1. Exercise: This week I wanted to exercise five times but I only exercised 4 times because my daughter had a stomach virus. Honestly I had a really hard time making myself exercise this week. Maybe I need to change up my routine a little. I have been doing Jillian Micheals every time and maybe I am getting bored with it. I hope it gets warm sooner so I can take the girls on a walk. That may be a good way to change things up.

2. Track my points every day: I did great with this throughout the week. I tracked every single thing I ate and I ended up with .5 points left at the end of the week.

3. Exercise points: I decided last week that I was going to try to not eat my exercise points. I ended up not putting them on my WW tracker so I wouldn't think that I had them to eat. It really worked and I didn't eat a single one.

4. Water: I drank a ton of water this week.

5. Late night eating: I didn't get up to eat in the middle of the night this week. This is a huge accomplishment considering my daughter did not want to sleep much for three nights because of her stomach virus.

6. Snacking: I didn't snack as much as usual this week. This is part of my little secret. I will share it with you in a post later today.

7. Eating more fruits and veggies: I ate a ton of veggies this week. I think it really helped to keep me fuller. I didn't eat much fruit this week because I spent a lot of my budget on my husbands birthday party which meant I had to cut back on fruit. I plan to buy a lot this week. I am really hungry for cantaloupe. I hope it is on sale.


Overall I had a great week and I hope to have another great one next week so that at next weigh in I can say I am in "Onderland". :) That would be so exciting. As for goals I plan to keep them the same as last week. I will post them below.

Goals for the week:

1. Don't eat my exercise points.
2. Eat more fruit and veggies.
3. Track my points every day.
4. Stay within my points.
5. Exercise 5 days this week.
6. Drink lots of water.
7. Don't snack as much.
8. No eating in the middle of the night.

Make sure you check back later today. I will be posting about my little weight loss secret. :)


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Ultimate Blog Party 2009

I am so excited about The Ultimate Blog Party 2009. If you haven't heard about it you need to check it out. It is hosted by 5 Minutes For Mom and runs from March 20th- 27th. It is a great way to meet new friends, promote your site and win some great prizes.
That brings me to the main reason I am posting about The Ultimate Blog Party 2009. I am hosting a giveaway at the party. I can't say what I am giving away but I think it is really cool. I will post more about it on the 20th but I just wanted to give you all a heads up. You can click here to learn more about this great party.


Low Fat, High Fiber Recipe

Heather at The Weight Watchers Blog posted a video a few day ago of herself making a recipe called Haystacks. They are a 1 point no bake cookie.
I decided to make them this weekend and they are delicious. Last night I was feeling like I wanted to snack so I took the Haystack cookies out of the fridge and sat on the couch with the whole bowl. I had several points left so I allowed myself to eat as many as I wanted. I ate four of them and then I was so full that I probably would have gotten sick if I would have eaten any more. It sounds crazy but the fiber really fills you up. I was very happy because I thought I might end up binging on Haystack cookies. I seem to have a problem binging on low fat foods sometimes. It was wonderful because they tasted great and I was satisfied with four. These cookies are not huge but they are very good sized for 1 Point. Click here to watch Heather's video.

Haystack Cookies:

1/4 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/4 Cup Peanut Butter
1 Cup Fiber One Cereal

Melt Peanut Butter and Chocolate chips together in microwave and stir. Mix in Fiber One Cereal and mix well until all cereal is covered. Spray Cookie Sheet or plate with PAM. Spoon mixture onto cookie sheet to create 9 cookies.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

10 Ways To Save Money While Losing Weight

Lately I have been struggling with eating healthy on a budget. I guess I thought it was going to be a little easier then it is. Sometimes it is really hard to buy all of the fruits, vegetables and lean meats that I need and still stay within my budget. It seems like everything is getting so expensive. So, today I decided to do some research on eating healthy while spending less. Here are some of the ideas I have found and already use or plan to use in the future.

1. Bulking up with beans. This is a new one for me. I am not really familiar with beans. Don’t get me wrong I love beans and I use them every once in a while. I love chili and ham and bean soup but that is about as far as my bean knowledge takes me. I have decided to start looking for some new recipes with beans. Not only are they cheap but they are low fat and full of fiber. Which means it will make you feel fuller longer.

2. Eat at home instead of going out to eat. This is something that I am becoming accustomed to. I do love to go out to eat but with my budget I just can’t afford to do it often. Not only is it cheaper to eat at home but it is also easier to eat healthy and know exactly how many calories you are putting in your mouth.

3. Drink lots of water. It’s FREE! This sounds like a given but I know plenty of people that drink 3 or more diet soda’s a day. It probably doesn’t sound that expensive but the cost of soda for your family can really add up every month. I drink a ton of water every day because I really think it helps flush everything out and I seem to feel a little fuller. In the long run I think it helps me to lose weight. I know some people would argue that but for me it works.

4. Exercise at home. Gym memberships can cost you hundreds of dollars a year which can quickly eat away at your budget. Other ways to get the exercise in without a gym membership are to buy a few exercise DVD’s (my favorite - Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred), borrow some from a friend or the local library or take a nice walk or bike ride. There are so many great ways to get free or almost free exercise.

5. Resist buying the 100 Calorie Packs. Instead make your own. Buy the same item in a box and package yourself or bake yourself a few batches of low fat snacks and put them in bags and write the calories or WW Points on the bag with a Black Sharpie. This may take a little more time and effort but it could save you a ton or money.

6. Clip coupons to save a ton. Check out my previous post on clipping coupons.

7. Buy the store brand. If you don’t have a coupon you can always buy the store brand of that product. Usually the store brand has the same taste and quality at a fraction of the price. I normally only buy store brand if I don’t have a coupon or I have tried the store brand and didn’t like it as much as the name brand.

8. Looking for clothes for those in-between sizes. Check out your local thrift store. I can usually find some really nice clothing that has been gently used at a great price. My local thrift store also has a lot of junk so sometimes I have to dig to find what I want but it usually worth the time spent. I haven’t been there in a few months but last time I was there I purchased several Layne Bryant clothes for a few dollars a piece.

9. Buy your fresh fruits and veggies when they are in season or on sale. I like to go to my local farmer's market in the summer and buy fresh fruits and veggies at a fraction of the price that the grocery stores charge. Not only does it taste better because it is so fresh but it is a really fun experience for my kids. My oldest daughter loves to visit the farmers market and pick out her own fruit and veggies. Last year she ate 6 plums before we even made it to the car. The girl loves fruit!
When it is not farmer's market season I buy my fruits and veggies when they are on sale. I look at the flyers from my two local grocery stores and choose the ones that are at a great price. With the price of fruit today I really can’t afford it unless it is on sale.

10. Buy lean meets when they are on sale and stock up. In theory this is a great idea. Buy meets when they are on sale and then freeze them in smaller portions. When I first started my weight loss journey and my budget I found this very hard because I lived off of my budget week to week. What I started doing is passing up on some of the great buys. I decided to pick one meat a week that was at a great price and stock up on it. It may sound silly but it really worked for me because of the limited amount of money I had available each week. It took a few weeks but I eventually ended up with a freezer full of meat. Unfortunately after I filled my freezer I took a break from buying meat for a few weeks to save money. So now my freezer is about out of meat. Looks like I am going to have to start stocking up on meats again.


Once A Month Cooking

I am so excited to have found this new site. It is called Once A Month Mom. Tricia at Once A Month Mom has created a site full of instructions, recipes, and grocery lists to get you started on your once a month cooking.
I love this idea! I have wanted to try it out for a long time but honestly I was always a little intimidated by the idea of cooking everything at once. That and the books at the book store cost about $25. Then I found Tricia's site through mommysnacks.net and I fell in love with it. I seriously can't wait to try it out. How cool would it be to cook all of your meals for the month in eight hours. Tricia said she made a months worth of meals for $75.00.
I think once a month cooking would be great for all of use trying to lose weight on a budget. It will save us time and money. Tricia even has low fat recipes on her menu. I noticed Chicken burgers, Chicken and rice pilaf, taco soup and vegetable soup. I haven't read all of her recipes but I'm sure there are more low fat one's or even one's that could be altered a little to become low fat.
Can you tell that I am so, so excited about this? Click here to check out this cool site. I am definitely going to try out the once a month cooking. I will let you know how it turns out.


Monday, March 2, 2009

Great Low Calorie Snack



So I haven't abandoned Little Debbie all together. On Saturday my Mom told me about these 100 calorie Little Debbie Snow Puffs. She promised me that they were big and very filling. I will say that when I opened my first one up I really didn't think it looked that big but I figured I would still give it a try. I am so glad that I did. The bottom layer is like a soft chocolate cookie and the top is a big marshmallow puff topped with coconut. They are so good and they taste like a combination of rich chocolate and marshmallow. The marshmallow is really thick and gooey and it takes several minutes to eat. To me that is really important. I hate taking 2 points for a snack that I eat in two bites. If you haven't tried these you really should. The greatest part of these for me is that I didn't feel the need to eat another as soon as I was done with it. Surprisingly it satisfied my craving and filled me up. I can't say that about many 100 calorie snacks. Way to go Little Debbie!


My Little Secret

Sorry about not posting this weekend. My husband turned 30 yesterday so I spent the weekend doing a lot of cooking and cleaning. I will say that I have the best husband in the world. He did all of my grocery shopping on Sat. and Sunday (coupons and all). I really saved me a lot of time.
I was able to fit in a little exercise on Saturday but not yesterday because I was to busy getting ready for my husband's party. I plan to exercise today, tomorrow and Wednesday which is not the five days this week that I planned but still not bad.
I am very proud of the way I ate this weekend. On Saturday I took my daughter to a birthday party and did not eat any cake or ice cream I ate a small bowl of ham and bean soup and a 1/2 slice of pizza. Surprisingly I wasn't even tempted by the other stuff. Yesterday I didn't have any of my husbands Birthday cake or ice cream either. Again not even tempted. This is a new thing for me. I am usually the one that can't control myself around any sweets.
Do you want to know my little secret? Make sure you read my posts this week I will reveal it sometime before the end of the week. I know this is kind of mean but I want to make sure it is really working before I claim that it works. I'm not doing anything crazy if that is what you are thinking. What I am doing does seem to be working for me as you can see by the way I was able to control my appetite this weekend. I will let you know for sure very soon. Sorry.
I also have a new snack find that I will tell you about later today. I can't wait for you to see a picture of it. It is so good. My Mom is doing weight watchers and she has been telling me about a lot of good things she has been finding or cooking. I will try to share them with you as she tells me. She has a lot of great ideas. Thanks Mom!


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