Tuesday, June 30, 2009

It's Gonna Be A Great Week!

I am so excited about this week but I have no idea why. I got home from New York at 11:30pm yesterday and I am pretty exhausted from the weekend. It was so nice to see my family. We really had a great time.






I ate semi-healthy while I was their. I tried to eat salads and for breakfast on Sunday I had an egg white flat bread sandwich from Dunkin Donuts and on Monday I had a 100 calorie english muffin and cheerios. Lunch on the other hand was not as healthy. On Monday we went to a restaurant called Charlie's somewhere in upstate New York. It was the best restaurant I have ever been to. They made me the best meal I have ever had. It wasn't on the menu but the waitress said it was her favorite spicy meal and I love spicy! It was a spicy Asian dish. It had yellow rice on the bottom then what looked like General Sou's chicken on the top with tons of fresh veggies. The veggies where amazing and the sauce was perfect. It was a spicy yet sweet sauce and I am craving it already. I can't wait to go back!













This is today's lunch. I need to go shopping. I am out of a lot of things. It has been almost two weeks since I have been grocery shopping. It was actually a great lunch. I want to eat more. On Saturday I made chicken salad puffs for my family reunion. They were a big hit. I made my chicken salad with fat free miracle whip, cooked and cubed chicken, purple grapes cut into 8ths and chopped pecans. It was great! I have some left over but I didn't have any bread so I decide to have it with reduced fat Ritz crackers. I think I might eat it for dinner too. It was so good.



Tonight I am off to a Jewelry party. I am excited because it is my first party at someone elses house. It is actually at my husbands cousins house so it should be really nice. I am really hoping for a lot of sales. I will let you know how it goes tomorrow.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Off To New York

It is 5:45 am and I am getting ready to leave for New York. I had a great time a my family reunion yesterday. We stayed for over 8 hours. What a Blast!

I ate way to much but what are you going to do when you have hot dogs over the fire and S'mores? And that was just the snack at night. :) I have to get back on track today.

Here are some pictures from my reunion. It was at my parents house in their grove. It is so beautiful!




The Grove


My daughter making a really big mess. Check out her new travel high chair! We got it for when we go camping.


My husband and I were in charge of the games this year. I think the kids had a great time. This picture is during their Scavenger Hunt.


Candy Toss


Egg Toss - The kids loved this game!



Friday, June 26, 2009

Today's Breakfast Was So Good!

Today's breakfast was so good. Again I took some advice from the comments on my breakfast post (found here). Several people mentioned that they eat egg beaters for breakfast and this morning an omlet sounded good.

So I got out my egg substitute from Aldi (1/4 cup = 30 calories/0 Fat)(I used 3/4 of a cup), a red onion that I sliced and sautaed in PAM, chopped tomatoes (leftover from out tacos last night), 4 slices of Healthy One's Ham (7 slices are a serving but that was a bit much for an omlet) and my store brand hot sauce.



And This Is What I Made:









It was a little hard to flip but other then that it was perfect. I ate it with two slices of light bread with ICBINB Spray. It was so filling and really hit the spot. I ate it at 8:30am and it held me over until 1pm.


Thanks again to everyone who left comments on my breakfast post. I found all of the comments so helpful and I am really enjoying trying so many new things.


Jessica


What I Eat



I thought I would share with you a little of what I ate yesterday. I forgot to take pictures of my dinner and snack in the evening.

I am so excited because I tried one of the oatmeal recipes that I was given in my breakfast post.







Breakfast - Oatmeal with PB2 and milk chocolate bits and light toast with ICBINB spray


To tell you the truth I had to force it down. I used oatmeal, 1TBSP of PB2 and 1TBSP of chopped milk chocolate. When I tried it I didn't like the taste so I added some Splenda and then I was able to eat it. I really thought I would love it because of the chocolate and peanut butter combination but for some reason I just didn't. It was kind of salty and I was expecting it to be sweet. I dipped my light toast (with I Can't Believe It's not butter Spray) in it and was able to eat about half of it. Maybe I have to try a different combination of ingredients?



Lunch: Romain Lettuce w/tomato and a sprinkle of 2% cheese w/ Ken's Raspberry Walnut Dressing, Morning Star Buffalo Wings and Watermelon.

This was a great lunch. The Morning Star Buffalo Wings are amazing. I found them on sale last week and decided to give them a try. They are a must try! The Watermelon was so refreshing on a hot day and the salad was kind of a filler.




Afternoon Snack: Cherry Cheesecake Fluff

I used to make this when I was on Weight Watchers in the past. I brought this to my families Father's Day Picnic and it needed to be finished off. You mix 1 package of fat free cream cheese with 1 tub of fat free cool whip and 1 can of sugar free cherry pie filling. It is delish!

After that my day got a little crazy and I forgot to take pictures but before dinner I had a smoothie which I shouldn't have had right before dinner. It was 1 cup of fat free milk, 2TBSP of fat free/sager free chocolate pudding mix, 1/4 cup of Splenda, 1TBSP of PB2, 1/3 of a frozen banana and 6 ice cubes.

Dinner: 1 Soft taco shell (those things are killers if you don't get the low fat one's). That baby had 150 calories, 7 grams of fat and 0 fiber. I put 1/4 cup of lean taco meat, a sprinkle of 2% cheese, lettuce, tomato and taco sauce. I also had 1/4 cup of white rice and 1/4 cup of fat free refried beans (I love refried beans. I think I could eat them every day)

.

I was feeling kind of down before bed last night and of course felt the need to munch. I hate when I do this. I had 15 reduced fat Ritz Crackers. I wish I would have read the nutrition info before I ate 15 of them. It turned out to be 3 servings.

I hope you all enjoyed getting a glimpse of what I eat.

Jessica



Thursday, June 25, 2009

And The Number Is... Week 25 Weigh In

It just hasn't been a great week. It started off on Friday with mine and my husbands date night. We had a great time but I ate way to much. We don't get to go to fancy places to eat very often so I decided to try everything that I could. The food was truly amazing but I left feeling like I was going to get sick. My stomach just cannot handle that much food anymore.

Then on Saturday we went out for a Father's Day Lunch at a local pizza shop (that's what my husband requested :) ). We had the buffet. I ate two bites of pizza and a huge salad with beautiful tomatoes and fat free italien dressing. Surprisingly I was stuffed when we left. Then we went to a huge birthday picnic for my friends daughter. They had so much food it was ridiculous (in a good way). Let's just say I used no self control. I tried a little of everything. The food was wonderful!

On Sunday my cousin's baby was dedicated at Church and they had a picnic after. The food was even better then the day before and a bigger selection (which I didn't even think was possible). These girls know how to throw a party. Let's just say I ate everything (especially my Grandma's famous coleslaw). And then that night we had a Father's Day picnic at my parents. We had Stromboli, Fire Balls, bugolgi (Korean beef - not sure if I spelled it right) and Korean rice, perigees, Calico beans, macaroni salad, strawberry cake, lemon squares, cheesecake fluff (fat free) and watermelon. I actually ate so much that I got sick. Now that is sad.

So you can see how I had a rough start to my week. Monday I got back on track and did great on Tuesday and Wednesday. Unfortunately I didn't do well enough to reverse what I ate over the weekend. When I got on the scale this morning I was very disappointed with myself. The number on the scale was 188. I am not happy with this number or myself for not having any self control this weekend. It is very disappointing to see my weight going up and down. I just want it to keep going down. It all comes down to the fact that I need to try harder. I need to exercise more and I need to eat healthier.




My Week In Review:



1. Exercise:: I went on one walk this week. I really need to get my butt moving again.
2. Track My Points Every Day: I didn't track my points over the weekend by I have been since Monday. It's a start. :)
3. Exercise Points:

4. Water: I drank lots of water. I love my water bottle.

5. Late night eating: Two nights I couldn't sleep. One night I ate ice cream and the other I ate a Sager Free Cosy Shack Rice Pudding. Ate least one night I ate healthy.

6. Snacking: I really didn't snack much this week. I did eat yogurt with granola and stawberries yesterday and fresh strawberries or watermelon on other days.

7. Eating more fruits and veggies: I didn't do well in this area. I really need to get back to eating veggies with every meal. They really help to fill me up.

My goal for the week is to stay on track over the weekend. It's going to be hard because I have a family reunion on Saturday and a Bridal Shower in New York on Sunday. I am really excited about the shower because I get to visit my Aunt Diana. I don't get to see her as much as I would like so I am super excited. I also get to visit with my two cousins (the one is getting married in August) and their fiance and girlfriend. They are all great and I can't wait to spend Sunday and Monday with them. I just have to remind myself that I need to stay on track.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Our Afternoon Snack





My snack today was so good that I just had to share it with all of you. I found this great granola at the grocery store last week. It is called Cocoa Beach Granola made by Kashi. Like I said before I love chocolate. So when I saw this I knew that I had to try it.








The Cocoa Beach Granola has almonds, coconut and cocoa-infused clusters. Let me just tell you that it is as good as it sounds. I got it on sale for about $2.50 (I can't find my receipt for the exact amount). It has 14 1/4 cup servings. Each 1/4 cup serving has 115 calories, 4.5 grams of fat and 3.5 grams of fiber. I also had a coupon if you buy six Yoplait yogurts you get one free and they happened to be on sale this week. Yippee!




My daughter also had the Yoplait French Vanilla yogurt with Strawberries on top and loved it!


When I got home I decided to try a 1/4 cup of Granola on top of the yogurt and it was amazing. Honestly I think this granola would be good on top of just about anything. It is that good!








I bought the Yoplait Light Thick & Creamy French Vanilla yogurt and I fell in love with it. It tastes just like the yogurt that McDonald's uses in their parfaits. I am not a yogurt person but this stuff I could eat plain. I think this is the only type of yogurt I will be buying. I just have never found one with such a great texture and taste before. The best part is that it only has 100 calories and zero fat.








Today I decided to do my usual yogurt and Cocoa Beach Granola and add some fresh strawberries that I cut up and put in a little Splenda. It was awesome! My new favorite.






And the baby just had Puffs. She just wanted to be in the post too. :)


I Hate Breakfast!

I wanted to write a post today about eating healthy breakfasts. This is one area of my diet that I really need to work on. I think that if I can get things figured out in the breakfast area I will feel better and lose weight quicker.

The problem is that I have know idea where to start. I am the type of person that wakes up way to early with my kids and feels hungry and nauseous (I think from lack of sleep) at the same time. The only thing that sounds good to me in the morning is Chocolate (muffins, cupcakes, cake, donuts, etc...). So what do I do? I either give into my cravings and eat unhealthy or I just skip breakfast completely. Neither of which is good for me.

I really want to be that person that gets up in the morning and gets a bowl of cereal and a big piece of fruit. I really would like to enjoy a breakfast like that but for some reason I can't stand the thought of healthy food in the morning.

It's kind of funny because when I was growing up my Mom would not buy cereal with sugar in it. I was always so jealous of my friends because they all ate the "good" cereal for breakfast. I do remember that instead of the sugar free cereal I would eat any cupcake, cookie, donut or dessert we had in the house at the time and that would be my breakfast. Either that or cold pizza (which by the way I still love to do).

Maybe it's just something that I got so used to doing as a teenager that I can't get rid of the thoughts of needing sweets in the morning. It is kind of crazy and sometimes I wonder if I am the only person in the world that feels this way about breakfast.

So I know I have this problem that I need to resolve but I'm not really sure how. It's not as easy as just eating it. I need to find some breakfast foods that sound appetizing to me at the same time as being inexpensive, healthy, filling and quick. Every week I go to he grocery store in search of breakfast foods and come home without any. It is just that nothing healthy looks good to me. I would love to have a healthy casserole that I could make the night before and bake in the morning.

Do you have a problem finding appetizing breakfast foods? What do you eat for breakfast?


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Skinny Girls At The Pool

Quick post today. I am taking my girls to the swimming pool at our local amusement park. They have such a nice kiddie swimming pool. My daughter is so excited. I'm not looking forward to putting on my swim suit again but I guess I just have to get over it. Last year when we went to the pool there were three other mother's with their children. They were all super skinny and it made me sick (or should I say jealous :) ). I am hoping that it doesn't happen again. I know it's not their fault but I just feel like crap when everyone around me is skinny. Is that stupid of me to think?

I do feel great today because I really had a great on track day yesterday. I had a crazy busy weekend and ate way to much so it felt good to get back on track. I really need to figure out a way to stay on track over the weekends this summer. Is has been so hard this summer with all of the picnics. It seems like I have at least one every weekend.

Today we are packing a lunch to save a little money. The girls are having peanut butter and jelly and I am having a ham and cheese sandwich (lean ham/2% cheese/light bread/mustard) and a salad with light raspberry walnut dressing. I will probably take some watermelon with us too.

I better finish this post because the girls are waiting. I just had to vent about the skinny girls. Ha Ha.

Do you feel like your self esteem drops when you are surrounded by thin people?


Monday, June 22, 2009

POM Wonderful




Last week I received a box of POM Wonderful pomegranate juice in the mail. I will tell you that when I got it I was a bit skeptical. I thought "How good can pomegranate juice taste?". I have heard so many good things about the benefits of drinking it I just never thought that I would like the taste.

The makers of POM Wonderful have definitely changed my mind. When I first received my large box of POM Wonderful I didn't know what to do with it. I was having a jewelry party at my house the next day and I knew I wanted to serve it so that I could give all of my readers the opinion of many instead of just my opinion. I called my sister that night and asked her what I should do with it. She said to mix it with diet 7up.

It was definitely a hit. I mixed 2/3 diet 7UP and ice to 1/3 POM Wonderful. It was awesome! I put it in my crystal picture and it looked beautiful. I got so many compliments on it. Everyone was asking me what was in it. I had 12 people at my party and they all loved it!


The best part about POM Wonderful are the Health Benefits. Check out all of the Health Benefits of this awesome drink on POM Wonderful's website or read them below.


POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice is the only pomegranate juice backed by $25 million in medical research. Actually, we are the only pomegranate juice backed by any medical research at all.


There has been a lot of talk lately about the role of pomegranates in promoting heart health, prostate health, and proper erectile function. But while these results are promising, keep in mind that all of the research has been done on POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice. Our juice comes from a unique pomegranate variety (the Wonderful), which is grown in a unique location (California), and which is juiced with proprietary technology (ours!). No other pomegranate juice can claim these distinctions, and no other brand has been clinically tested.

So what are the medical results on POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice?
Cardiovascular

♥ A 2005 study published in the American Journal of Cardiology showed improved blood flow to the heart in patients drinking 8oz. daily of POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice for 3 months. Researchers studied a total of 45 patients with coronary heart disease who had reduced blood flow to the heart. Patients drinking POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice experienced a 17% improvement in blood flow, compared to a 18% worsening in patients drinking a placebo...Read more


♥ One pilot study on 19 patients with atherosclerosis (clogged arteries) at the Technion Institute in Israel demonstrated a reduction in arterial plaque growth. After one year, arterial plaque decreased 30% for those patients who consumed 8oz of POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice daily, compared to a 9% worsening for patients who drank a placebo. ..Read more.


Prostate Health


♥ A preliminary UCLA medical study, published by The American Association for Cancer Research, found hopeful results for prostate health. The study followed 46 men previously treated for prostate cancer either with surgery or radiation. After drinking 8 oz POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice daily for two years, these men experienced significantly slower PSA doubling times – from 15 months at the beginning of the study to 54 months at the end. PSA is a biomarker for prostate cancer, and slower PSA doubling time may indicate slower disease progression.


Erectile Function


♥ A pilot study released in the International Journal of Impotence Research in 2007 examined 61 male subjects with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction. Compared to participants taking a placebo, those men drinking 8oz. of POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice daily for four weeks were 50% more likely to experience improved erections.


Antioxidant Superpower

♥ Numerous independent laboratory tests have shown that POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice has superior antioxidant content, ounce-for-ounce, compared to other juices and beverages...
Read more






My favorite part about POM Wonderful is that my daughter loves it. She drinks it right from the bottle. I just think that this is great. It is wonderful to see your children drinking something so good for them.

If you have never tried POM Wonderful I would suggest that you give it a try. The taste is unbelievable. I also found that they have a great website with tons of recipes for appetizers, meals and desserts. Click here to check it out.

POM Wonderful is not something that I can afford everyday but it will defiantly be top on our list when we are treating ourselves (maybe a once a week treat) or having guests over.

A big Thanks to Janny from POM Wonderful for all of the great juice. It was so nice to try something new and really love it!


Friday, June 19, 2009

Date Night On A Budget

Tonight my husband and I had a date night. We don't get to do this as often as we would like to but it is so nice when we get the chance.

This past Christmas I bought my husband 12 gift certificates from Restaurant.com. I had never heard of it before but decided to try it out. They were offering a special where it cost me $2.00 for every $25 gift certificate I purchased. When you use these certificates you have to spend at least $35.00.

What a steal. It is wonderful to be able to go to a restaurant and get a really nice meal for $10 to $15 plus the initial $2.00 that I paid.

The only downfall that I have found is that they don't have many restaurants in my area that offer these certificates. I was able to find three restaurants that are 20 minutes or less from my house. All three of them are fancier restaurants that I have never been to before.




My husband took this picture of me before we left for our date. I wasn't sure if I looked alright (I'm not used to wearing short skirts anymore.) so he was trying to show me that I looked nice.


Tonight we went to a beautiful restaurant with a beautiful view overlooking the mountains and a man playing the piano right next to us. It was amazing and so inexpensive!



If you are interested in going out to eat without breaking the bank check out Restaurant.com.


Recipe: Easter Pork Tenderloin



I just have to share this one. I posted the recipe for Easter Pork Tenderloin before Easter but didn't have a chance to try it until last week. I have to tell you that it is now a family favorite. I seriously have never seen my children eat so much.

I found a Pork Tenderloin on sale the other day and decided to buy it just because it was a great price. For us pork tenderloin is a treat because it is usually so expensive. So you can see why I was so excited to find this pork tenderloin for around $6.00.
I marinated it for a day and then baked it in the oven on 350 until it was done. The recipe calls for it to be broiled but I felt more comfortable baking it. I also used 3 teaspoons of regular mustard instead of 1 tsp of dry mustard. I didn't have any dry mustard at the time. Luckily I had all of the other ingredients and it turned into a very simple and inexpensive meal with lots of leftovers. I served it with sweet potatoes with Spenda, ICBINB spray and cinnamon and some green beans. It was a wonderful meal and I couldn't believe how much the pork tenderloin tasted like ham.

The next time I find a cheap pork tenderloin I know what I will be making. :)



Easter Pork Tenderloin from Weight Watchers
Sisterhood Of The Shrinking Jeans
main meals

POINTS® Value: 4
Servings: 8
Preparation Time: 20 min
Cooking Time: 12 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy

Who needs a fattening Easter ham? The spices in this low-fat pork tenderloin make it taste even better. Marinate overnight for deeper flavor.

Ingredients

1/2 cup(s) reduced-calorie pancake syrup
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
2 1/2 pound(s) lean pork tenderloin, use two 1 1/4-pound pieces

Instructions
In a large zip-close plastic bag, combine syrup, dry mustard, cloves, ginger, salt, cinnamon and pepper. Trim pork of all visible fat and cut each tenderloin in half width wise. Add tenderloins to plastic bag, squeeze out air and seal bag; turn to coat tenderloins. Place bag on a plate and refrigerate on bottom shelf, turning bag occasionally, at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat broiler. Place tenderloins in a roasting pan and pour marinade over them. Broil 5 inches from heat until pork reaches an internal temperature of 160°F, about 6 minutes per side. Let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before slicing. Yields about 4 ounces of meat per serving.


My Awesome Gym Bag!






I have been meaning to share this with all of you for the past few weeks and have not had the chance until now. I purchased a bag a few weeks ago and it is the best purchase I have made in a long time. This bag is awesome! I love it because it is very cute and it is huge so it holds all of my gym stuff.

This bag is great because it has held up so well. I use it all of the time and some times it is almost to heavy for me to carry but it hasn't frayed or torn. It is just as beautiful as the day I got it in the mail.



I bought the bag from a woman named Connie. She sells her homemade items at her shop on Etsy. It is called Scandeez's Shop.Scandeez is the place for children's items with a Scandinavian flair. You will find clothing, bags and unique items. You really have to check it out. Not only does she sell this beautiful bag but she also has a really cute little padded pouch that I would like to have.





She also has some really adorable leather baby shoes.





I almost forgot that she has this really cool bag called a Wet Bag. It is a bag that can hold your wet items such as clothes without the wetness leaking through the bag. I think every Mother could use one of these.



I could keep going on and on about all of the products that she offers that I love. You really need to check out her shop. The quality of Connie's products are just amazing and everything she makes is so unique. Click here to visit Connie's shop and check out all of her cool creations.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

And The Number Is... Week 24 Weigh In

This week has been great! I started my own business of selling jewelry and did really great with my first show. It has been busy but exciting.

I didn't have as much exercise this week as I would have liked because I have had things going on every morning which kept me from the gym during child care hours. I went to the gym on Monday. I took the girls to the park on Tuesday. On Wednesday I had an appointment at a Christian School to check out their Pre-Kindergarten program. Today I can't go to the gym because my dog is getting groomed and I needed to take the first available appointment. He is filthy. :) Unfortunately my exercise has be slacking because of my busy week.

I have been doing great with my eating this week. I ate more salads this week then I have in the past couple weeks. My new favorite addition to a salad is banana peppers. YUM!!! I have also been eating lots of fruit. I think this has helped with my weight loss even though I haven't been exercising as much as I should be.

And the moment you have been waiting for. The number on the scale this morning was 187 lbs. I am super excited that I lost 1.2 pounds this week. I know it doesn't sound like much but I am at my lowest weight and only .4 of a pound away from losing 30 POUNDS! Yikes! It will feel so weird to say that I have lost 30 pounds. Next week!




My Week In Review:


1. Exercise: I only made it to the gym once this week. :(
2. Track My Points Every Day: I didn't have the time to track online every day but I did keep track in my head.

3. Exercise Points: I ate them!

4. Water: I did great with water this week. I made sure to carry my water bottle every where I went.

5. Late night eating:
No late night eating. Yippee!!!

6. Snacking: I honestly didn't have time for much snacking this week. I will admit that I did eat a HO Ho yesterday but other then that I ate mostly fruit and pretzels for snacks.

7. Eating more fruits and veggies: I ate lots of fruits and veggies this week.

My goal for the week is lose at least one pound. I know I can do it and then maybe next week you will all see my updated picture. :) I also need to get my butt moving whether its at the gym or not. If I can't make it to the gym I need to get outside more and walk or ride my bike.

I have a lot of great things to post about this week so I hope you check them out. Have a great week!


If It Sounds To Good To Be True ...






If it sounds to good to be true it probably is. I am referring to the cake recipe I posted yesterday. Click here to see it.

The cake turned out awesome and the flavor is great! The problem is that the recipe stated that it was 1 P per slice. When I figured it out it actually turned out to be 4 P's per slice. Not awful but when you are expecting it to be one then it is a little disappointing.

I should have known better. I usually make my cakes by mixing the cake mix and a can of diet soda and it turns out to be about 3 P's per slice. So if I would have thought about it I would have realized that 1 P is ridiculous.




Anyway, the cake did turn out great. It was super moist and really heavy but the cool whip/yogurt frosting lightened it up a bit. I used vanilla yogurt in the cake and threw in some fresh strawberries. Then I put strawberry yogurt with the cool whip and put fresh strawberries on top. It tasted like strawberry shortcake!

It is definitely a cake I will make again. It would be a great refreshing cake for the summer. I just wouldn't take it to a picnic. I think the frosting might run.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Recipe: 1 P Yogurt Cake

Update: Sorry guys. I found out after making this cake last night that it is not 1 P per slice but 4 P's per slice. I would still recommend making it because it was awesome. It tastes just like Strawberry Shortcake. I put fresh Strawberries in the cake and then Strawberry yogurt with the cool whip on top. Then I put fresh Strawberries on top. It was great! Check my next post for pictures.


I found this recipe on WeightWatchers.com. I am so excited to try it. It is called Yogurt Cake. It looks like one of those recipes that you can play around with to make it taste the way you like it. I never thought to put yogurt in a cake before but it makes sense. I can't wait to see if it makes it creamy and heavy. I love heavy cakes! I am going to make it tonight so I will post and let you know how it turns out.

Recipe:
1 box - white cake mix
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup applesauce
2 egg whites
2 - 8oz. low fat or fat free yogurt (you can use any flavor, ex. strawberry)
1 - 8oz. fat free cool whip

Instructions:
Combine cake mix, water, applesauce and egg whites in bowl, mix until smooth. Stir in 1 container of yogurt.

Bake in a sprayed 9 x 13 pan for 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until done.

Let cool.

Mix 1 container of yogurt with thawed Cool Whip. Spread over cake. Keep cake refrigerated.

Cut cake into 15 pieces, each piece is 1 P.


Check It Out!

Check out Crystal's post today at Money Saving Mom. I did a guest post for her and I am so excited to see that she has posted it. Crystal has a great blog where she posts about coupons, freebies and ways to save money. I read her blog every day! Click here to check it out.


Friday, June 12, 2009

And The Number Is.....Week 23 Weigh In

It's been another rough week with sick kids. But on the up side I did really well with the weight loss. It must be the lack of sleep. I guess I am burning extra calories when I'm up so late.

The number on the scale yesterday was 188.2. I am so excited. I am so close to losing 30 pounds. Maybe in the next few weeks I will be able to post some update pictures.



My Week In Review:


1. Exercise: No exercise except for cleaning like a mad woman. :)

2. Track My Points Every Day: Tracked in my head. :(

3. Exercise Points: N/A

4. Water: I did well with my water this week.

5. Late night eating: My baby is sick again this week. Another Ear infection. We have had some pretty rough nights which of course means that I was snacking to stay awake.

6. Snacking: I didn't do to bad with snacking this week. I ate lots of fruit.

7. Eating more fruits and veggies: I ate lots of fruits and veggies this week.

My goal for the week is to track everything that I eat and try to get some sleep.

Have a great week.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Weigh In

I have great news about my weight but I won't be able to post until later today. I'm off to the Dentist, then Doctor and then gymnastics. Crazy day. I will post later tonight.

Jess


Friday, June 5, 2009

Vacation On A Budget - Part One






I know that this has more to do with living on a budget then dieting but I wanted to share with all of you how my family was able to afford a vacation this year. We are obviously on a budget so we went on a budget friendly vacation.


I will start by telling you about two years ago when my husband, myself and my oldest daughter (who was two at the time) went on a wonderful vacation. Listed below are the things we did in the Philly\y/Lancaster (PA) area.

Philadelphia Zoo
Please Touch Museum
Sesame Place
Rode the ferry
New Jersey Aquarium
Dutch Wonderland
2 Phillie's Games
The Wilbur Chocolate Factory
The Strasbourg Railroad
Stayed at a hotel with a water park
Shopping at the outlets

Places we ate:
The Melting Pot
Our pricey hotel restaurant for breakfast every morning.
Room Service
A Korean Restaurant in Phillie
Pricey hotel for several dinners
Red Lobster
And many others that I can't think of right now but you get the point.

I'm not writing this to brag. I just wanted to give you a comparison of this years vacation to our last vacation. Two years ago we could afford a vacation like this because I was working. Now I am a stay at home mom and we just can't afford to spend as much money.


This year when my daughter started looking through photo albums and asking when we are going to go on vacation again it broke my heart. Our last vacation cost us $3,000.00. I knew that their was no way that we could afford that this year.

So our initial plan was to do a few day trips this summer. Which I still think is a great idea if you want to do something fun but can't afford a full vacation. It saves you so much money on hotel costs.







When I started looking into it I realized that it didn't make sense for us to do a day trip because we wanted to go to more then one attraction in the same area. This is when I started looking into hotels in hope of finding a place to stay for one night.

While on hotels.com I was able to find a hotel that was 9 miles from Sesame Place. The price was great and I noticed that the forth night was free. So I read the reviews which stated that the beds were to hard, the fridge did not get cool enough and the one stated that the room had a slight oder(not a bad oder just an oder). So I talked to my husband and we decided to go for it. For that price I figured I could handle a hard bed and how likely was it that every fridge didn't work and of course I packed the Lysol. :)




The room ended up costing us $313.00 for four nights (including taxes and fees). This was an awesome price. We were so excited because the hotel that we usually stay in in Philly costs between $145 - $300 per night depending on the time of year.

The best part about this hotel is that it had a full kitchen in it. It is called Extended Stay America Bensalem. This is what started our five day vacation (much better then the 1 day trip we originally hoped for). God is Good!



We decided that if we eat breakfast and dinner in the hotel and pack our lunches that we could save a ton of money. So this is what we did. Well almost. We actually went out for dinner three nights. It was really great to have a full kitchen in our room. We ended up packing a small cooler every day with our lunch in it. It was really fun taking our lunch everywhere. Every place we went had a nich picnic area and we all enjoyed sitting down and relaxing to enjoy our lunch. Our sandwiches always tasted great and we didn't feel guilty buying food out (when it usually doesn't taste that good at the parks anyway).









We did try to make it special for the girls. For lunches we packed special treats, chips, crackers, cookies and juice boxes. For breakfast we let my 4 year old pick out some things that she wanted. Her favorite was to make strawberry short cakes. :) For dinner we had spaghetti made with lean ground turkey (which was a big hit) and hamburger barbecue (with turkey) the other night. Both meals were quick and easy to make. I found it much easier on the nights that we ate at the hotel because I didn't have to worry about the girls being cranky, tired and miserable at the restaurant. Being able to cook and eat at our hotel saved us a ton of money.



Check back tomorrow for part two of our vacation!


Tuna Patties


I tried a new recipe last night. It was called Tuna Croquettes. I posted about this recipe a few months ago and I finally decided to try it.

They were excellent. This is the original recipe. I actually played with it a little bit and this is what I came up with.

These patties were so filling and I could eat two with out feeling guilty. They wer also very inexpensive and easy to make. They were so good that I had the leftovers for lunch today.

Tuna Patties (because they reminded me of Salmon patties rather then croquettes).

12 oz can albacore tuna in water, drained
2 cups of Fiber One cereal (our grocery store now has its own brand of fiber one.)
8 egg whites
4 green onions chopped
4 tsp dijonaise
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Place fiber One in blender and chop to breadcrumb consistency or pound in zip lock bag.

Line baking sheets with wax paper/pam and form tuna into 8 mounds on paper. let it sit at room temp for 15 min.

Coat the mounds or patties with Fiber One crumbs and cook in skillet sprayed with PAM. About 3 min. on each side.

I served them with homemade tarter sauce (fat free mayo and relish). YUM!

Made 9 cakes


And The Number Is..... Week 21 Weigh In



The Crayola Factory




The Philadelphia Zoo




Sorry I'm a little late on this post but I am still unpacking from vacation and had to take the girls to the Doctor's yesterday. My oldest has croup again and the baby has another ear infection. I feel like my kids are always sick. I am really starting to get concerned. The Doctor said not to worry about it but my oldest daughter has had croup 3 times since the middle of Feb. and the baby has had at least four ear infections since the same times. Most of them have been double ear infections. It's crazy and a bit miserable having sick children who can't sleep.

Well our vacation was great and as I said before I ate way to much while away. I had stuffed french toast from IHOP,really great Indian food with tons of garlic nan (to die for. I ate the leftovers for breakfast the next morning. :)) I love spicy food and it doesn't get much spicier then Indian food. I also had fried crab cake sandwiches, french fries, sweet potato fries and fried shrimp. I also had four ice creams (one at the phili zoo, one at cold stone creamery (Germanchocolatecake - it was the best) and two at Sesame place. I also had tons of other stuff but I won't mention it all. I am making myself too hungry.

However I did eat well for breakfast (minus the Indian) and our packed lunches. We had a blast and that is all that matters. I enjoyed every single bite that I ate and now I am back on track.

You are all probably wondering how much weight I gained on this vacation. Well, I did gain a little but I was able to lose it before weigh in day. Today when I got on the scale I weighed 190.5. I am still up from my lowest weight but I am very happy with the number considering I went on vacation.

My Week In Review:


1. Exercise: Does walking around a zoo, the Please Touch Museum, the Crayola Factory and Three days at Sesame Place count?

2. Track My Points Every Day: Obviously I didn't track anything. I should have but didn't.

3. Exercise Points: I'm sure I ate them all at one time when I had the Germanchocolatecake ice cream at Cold Stone. So worth it.

4. Water: I did drink a lot.

5. Late night eating: Let's just say sick child and a box of Ho-Ho's in a hotel room. You can figure out what happened.

6. Snacking: I didn't snack very much. We ate our three meals and then usually had one snack per day. (Ice cream, Philli Pretzel Factory)

7. Eating more fruits and veggies: I don't think I ate any veggies the whole vacation. No, I actually made a salad to go along with the hamburger barbecue I made. We did have Strawberry shortcakes for breakfast several mornings (my daughters request). Only on vacation can you eat Strawberry Shortcake every morning. My daughter thought it was the greatest thing in the world. She got up in the morning and would ask for everything and would make them up for all of us. It's a good memory for all of us. The memory was worth the extra calories.


My goal for this week is to get back down into the 180's and possibly back down to my lowest weight. I am really excited about the Summer Slim Down contest at my gym. It started Monday and ends in 8 weeks. I get weighed in in 4 weeks so I will keep you updated on how I do.

I hope you all have a wonderful healthy week!



Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Why Is It So Hard?

This week I got home from vacation and found that I had no food in the house. Luckily I still had my weekly budget left so I went to the grocery store expecting to spend maybe half of it. To my surprise I walk out of the grocery store spending almost every penny of my weekly budget. Standing at the checkout counter I wanted to cry. I couldn't believe I had spent that much money. I was thinking "how will I get through the rest of the week?". Then I realized that this isn't easy it is actually really hard.

People seem to think that I have such an easy time losing weight just because I have lost so much. This is not the case. I have the same day to day struggles that everyone else has. My main problem is stress eating. Luckily I found Weight Watchers Online. It has really held me accountable to what I am eating. I know that if I follow the plan and track my points that I will lose weight. My real problem? Buying healthy food while sticking to my budget.

The part that I find so hard is affording the healthy food I need while on a budget. It is hard to be on a budget in the first place but to try to eat healthy on a budget is even harder. I'm sure many of you already know this. I really did not have much in my cart this week yet I spent almost my whole budget. How is this possible you ask. When I unpacked my bags at home I realized that I bought a lot more convenience food then usual. I usually stay away from that stuff. I bought South Beach Diet Cookies (Yum!), baked Cheetos's (Double Yum!), a frozen meal, two frozen breakfasts. Well, you get the point. I am realizing that it is the convenience foods that are killing my budget.

I need to get back to the basics. When I started this blog I was doing great staying on a budget and still eating healthy. I look back and realize why. I was very careful with what I purchased. I shopped sales and used coupons and planned my meals around them. Lately I have been planning my menu by what sounds good and then going to the store without my coupons. It's just laziness. I know I can do it but I haven't been. This needs to change. In order for this budget thing to work with my weight loss I need to plan properly. Yes, I really enjoy all of those convenience foods but I don't need them. I can cook from scratch. I have done it before I can do it again.

I am going to paste below an old post that I wrote. This post helped me a lot and an am hoping it helped a lot of you as well. I think it is just a good reminder to read it and I am hoping that it will help me get back on track with my budget and my weight loss. I also hope that it helps any of you that have fallen into the same "convenience trap" that I have fallen into.

written on March 3, 2009

10 Ways To Save Money While Losing Weight


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.



Just by reading this again I feel so encouraged because I realize that it is possible to eat healthy and stick to my budget. I really did do it in the past and I can do it again. I hope this has helped to encourage all of you to take a look at what you are currently buying and how you can make some changes and still eat healthy on a budget.


Monday, June 1, 2009

I'm Back

I'm back from my vacation which was amazing. We had a great time and I ate way to much. I bet you are real surprised. :) I just don't have the kind of willpower that I would like to have while on vacation. But I did have a great time with my kids and husband. That is what really matters to me.

I think I probably put on a pound or two but I am hoping to have it off by Thursday (weigh in day). I can't wait to tell you all about our awesome vacation and post some pictures. It was a great budget friendly vacation!

I probably won't be posting much this week. I have a lot of unpacking, cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping and cooking to do. I also made it to the gym this morning and I plan to do the same the next three days. If I get time during my crazy week I will definitely post.

One great thing I did today that I want to share quickly is that I joined a contest at my gym. It is called The Summer Slim Down. It is a 8 week contest to see who can lose the most weight and inches. I am really excited about it and I can wait to find out what the prizes are. I will get weighed in every 4 weeks. I will keep you updated.

Have a great week!


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