Thursday, May 24, 2012

Low Fat Snacks

I just read an article from Good Housekeeping on the best low calorie snacks and I thought you might all like to read it.  I think they have some great snack ideas.

Here are a few of my favorite low fat snacks that I have been enjoying lately.
- VitaTops (chocolate of course)
- Sugar Free/Fat Free Chocolate Pudding with a tsp of peanut butter
- Banana
- Apple
- Cashews
- Pirate's Booty
- String Cheese
- Watermelon
- Sliced Strawberries with Stevia
- Baby Carrots and hummus or dill dip
- Almonds
- Apple Pie Yogurt

What's your favorite Low-Fat Snack?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

10 Pound Cut

I really should be sleeping instead of writing this post but I really wanted to update all of you on how I'm doing.  I'm finally past all of my illnesses and I'm feeling great.  I have been going to the gym everyday before work and although it is hard to get out of bed at 5:45am it feels so good when I'm done exercising.  It's a wonderful way to start my day.

The past two days I have gone on the elliptical for an hour straight.  I burned about 500 caleries each time.  I think I am going to try to stick to the hour as long as time allows. 

I finally made it to my loss of 10 pounds this week and I was able to get my much needed hair cut. :)  I am now at 186 pounds!  It feels so good to be back down to this weight but it felt even better to get my hair cut and colored.  I will post pictures of my new cut once I take some with my camera.  The ones from my phone didn't turn out that well.

Not only am I working out everyday but I am also using MyFitnessPal to log everything that I eat.  The best part is that it all syncs to my fitbit site and allows me to compare what I ate to the amount of calories I burned.  It's been so helpful and simple.  You have to check it out!

Now I'm off to bed but I knew if I didn't share this news now I wouldn't ever get it posted.  Night all!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Top 50

I was just spending some time reading through some of my old blog posts and I came across this one.   I really think that this may be my best post ever!  You have to read my list of the Top 50 Things My Weight Loss Journey Taught Me.

It brought back such good memories and they are all such good reminders on why I won't give up on my weight loss.  I really have learned so much from my weight loss journey and even though I feel like a failure at moments I am still very proud of myself.  It's a must read!  I hope it encourages you to never give up as much as it has me. :)

Answered Prayers

I had the most productive day at work today.  I was really nervous about having to catch up on the two days that I missed while I had the stomach virus but to my surprise it turned out to be an amazing day. I was able to catch up on everything I was behind on plus some.  My prayers in bed and in the car this morning were definitely answered  and I'm so thankful for a God that is always taking care of me.

I felt a little sick this morning and then I started feeling shaky around noon.  I think it is because I hadn't had a real meal since Sunday night.  I made myself eat a banana and it seemed to help a bit and then around 1pm I had an English muffin and some strawberries for lunch.  That actually made me feel a hundred times better and by dinner I was eating a steak, baked potato and green beans.  It's funny how quickly our bodies bounce back from these nasty viruses. 

I feel great tonight and I actually plan on going to the gym in the morning.  I will see how I feel when I wake up but I think I should be fine.  I'm excited to get back into my exercise routine.  It's always so nice when it is new and exciting.  If only it could stay that way. :)

Now it's time for some sleep.  5:45 am comes way too quickly!  Thanks for all of the prayers and well wishes.  Have a great night!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Beach Ready!

The gym membership has been such a blessing. I really forgot how nice it is to get away and exercise. I joined the gym last Tuesday and made it to the gym to exercise on Wed., Thur. and Fri. morning. I'm so thankful that my husband lets me have that time to exercise while he gets the girls ready and off to school each morning.

The weekend was very busy. No gym but I hope at some point to incorporate the gym into at least one day of the weekend. We ended up going out for dinner to celebrate4 my Birthday with my parents on Friday night. It was a month late but with our vacation and then me getting fifth disease things got pushed back. I had tortellini with Alfredo sauce which is a big no no. On Saturday we celebrating my nephew's 6th Birthday with a party at the bowling alley. It was so much fun! Then we spent the rest of the day at my sister's house checking out their new renovations and just hanging out with the family.

Sunday my husband and I went out for a wonderful breakfast before Church (my sister had the girls for the night). It was a beautiful Sunday morning! Followed by my oldest daughter and I taking my Mom out for Sushi. It was amazing! It was a wonderful Mother's Day spent with my family. I hope all of you had a great Mother's Day as well!

Unfortunately the weekend ended and I woke up for the gym around 5am Monday. Only plans changed slightly when I started with a stomach virus. I won't go into details but by 10am I was in the Emergency Room feeling like I was going to die. I hate the emeregy room especially since I have a $250 copay but it was so bad that I couldn't get out of bed anymore to make it to the bathroom and I knew I needed to get there before I had to call an ambulance.

That kind of put a downer on my day. I was at the ER for about 7 hours getting IV fluids, torodal (for pain), zofran and protonics (for nausea) and of course a little Tylenol for the fever. I'm home now still trying to recover. I'm honestly not sure how much more my body can take. It seems like one illness after the next. It's not good for my family and not at all good for my job.

I'm going back to work tomorrow and I'm not looking forward to the catch up I will be playing. I finally felt like I was getting caught up from my last illness.

I highly doubt that I will make it to the gym tomorrow. If this fever would go away I'm sure I would feel a lot better. Hopefully by Thursday I will be back to the gym.

The beach is only 4 weeks away and I really want to be able to fit into my swimsuit. Are any of you getting ready for the beach? How are you preparing to fit into your swimsuit? Or am I the only crazy one that bought a swimsuit one size too small? ;)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I Did It!

I made it to the gym before work today!  I woke up at 5:45AM, picked up bagels and cream cheese for all of my girls teachers and then headed to the gym.  45 minutes on the elliptical wasn't as bad as it seems.  I survived anyway. :)

After the first 15 my legs turned to jelly and I didn't think I could go on but somehow I did. I'm so glad I pushed myself because I felt so good when I was done.  I forgot how good it feels to exercise at the gym.

I was able eat well also.  I'm praying for no binging tonight from the prednisone.  I'm heading to bed right now so that I can make it to the gym tomorrow morning before an early morning meeting. 

Nighty Night!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My Crazy Life - I Joined The Gym

It's been over a month since I wrote last.  I can't believe how time flies.  I actually went on a mini vacation not long after my last post.  Erin, one of my very sweet readers sent me some Phillies tickets and we made a little mini vacay out of it.  We stayed in Lancaster, PA for 2 days and Philly for 2 days.  It was wonderful to get away for a few days, just the two of us.

Here are a few pics from our getaway:
 Writing in the guest book at our Bed and Breakfast.  Loved that place!
 My husband and I
 I don't want to leave our hot tub. :)

 My husband

 At the Phillies Game. We froze our butts off but loved every second of it. :)

After we got home my oldest daughter came down with fifth disease.  It's not dangerous to children.  Just a little uncomfortable with a rash all over her body.  Unfortunately we realized a few weeks later that the "flu" that the doctor thought I had (and wouldn't go away) was actually Fifth Disease.  Most adults had it as child and are then immune throughout the rest of their life.  I guess I am one of the lucky ones that didn't have it as a child.

The bad part is that it can be 100 times worse as an adult.  It started with flu symptoms (fever, chills, body aches, fatigue, headache, head cold) but wouldn't go away for about 2 weeks.  After being put on antibiotics all of my joints started swelling and throbbing.  I went to the Rheumatologist who tested me for Fifth's Disease and a few days later I got my positive result.  It's crazy.  I am now on 30 mg of prednisone a day for the swelling and pain and am having no luck.  It looks like tomorrow I will be starting with Tramodal which really worries me because of my body's way of becoming addicted to meds.

Unfortunately this disease (virus) just has to work it's course.  It could take weeks, months or years.  I'm of course trusting God to heal me and praying that is only lasts a few weeks.  One horrible part to this disease is that the prednisone is increasing my appetite.  I lost 10 pounds and now I gained 6 of it back in the last month.  I  feel like I am going crazy!

Today, I decided that Fifth Disease is not going to rule my life.  I need to fight the food cravings with something so I signed up for a membership at my old gym.  I am so thrilled!  I really hope my body can handle it while I am trying to recover from this virus.  I'm going to start slow . 

I can't wait to get back on track.  It is going to be so wonderful to be back in the gym.  I really hope it's going to make a huge difference in the way I look and feel. Especially since I am going to be going to the beach in a few short week. :)

I need to get to sleep now.  I have the alarm set for 5:45am.  It's going to be an early morning.  Thanks to everyone that has been sending me encouraging messages and emails this past month.  It really made me feel good to know that so many of you care. :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

February 2012 Update Pictures

Here are some before pictures that I took about 6 weeks ago. I have been holding off on posting them for obvious reasons. ;)

I'm excited that when I lose 2 more pounds I can take some more pictures and compare. I always love the comparison shots!

In these pictures I weighed in a 196. As of today I am down to 188. I hope that by the end of the week I will be down 10 pounds. It will feel great and I really need a hair cut. :)

I don't know why it is so hard to post these pictures. I know that this is what I look like. Everyone that knows me knows that this is what I look like. So what is my problem?

Maybe it's the perfectionist in me that is so bothered by these pictures. These pictures prove that I made a mistake and gained 30 pounds back of the 50 that I lost. I guess I just hate having to admit that I failed at something.

So now that I got that embarrassing moment over I can move forward and focus on the changes I will see in my 10 pound loss comparison shot.

Bye, Bye Beachbody!

I've decieded after 6 weeks of drinking the Shakeology shakes that I am no longer going to be a Beachbody Coach or drink the Shakeology.

You are probably wondering why. The shakes taste great but they just aren't doing what I expected them to do. I expected some noticable changes and I just don't see enough of them to justify spending so much each month.

I do enjoy the shakes and if they weren't so expensive I probalby would continue drinking them. Not because they make me feel good or because they have helped me lose weight but because they are a tastey, easy breakfast that is supposed to be healthy.

I have to tell you that I was honestly a little disappointed in the product. With all of their claims I really was hoping for some awesome results. Maybe it was just me and I was looking for too much.

I was hoping for two things from this product. One of them was increased energy. I definitely didn't find that. Number two was weight loss. I have lost 8 pounds since I started drinking the shakes and they may have helped in this area but honestly I have been working really hard with watching my portions, the types of foods I eat and exercising almost daily. I really think that has more to do with the weight loss than the shakes. It's sad to say but I can't say I feel any different today than when I started the shakes 6 weeks ago.

I'm not trying to bad mouth their product. It really does seem to work/help so many people and I think that is wonderful. I just wish I was one of them. :)

I decided last week that I couldn't justify spending that kind of money without seeing some major results so that is why I decided to stop using the product and resign as a Beachbody Coach. I actually paid about $140.00 last month on the product and my coach site and upkeep. That just seemed crazy to me.

Now I am going through the process of canceling my account and resigning as a coach. Easier said than done. It seems like it might be a little tricky to do so. After having trouble finding any information on how to do so I googled it and found hundreds of people that have had trouble getting their accounts canceled. I'm praying I don't have the same trouble. I'm still waiting on a response from their customer service. They said they would get back to me last Thursday but I'm still waiting. I'm praying that they are an honest company and that it all works out.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

It Has Come To An End

I'm still alive and doing well with the weight loss. I am getting close to my 1st goal of losing 10 pounds and getting a haircut. Yay!!! If you could see my hair right now you would definitely be cheering me on. It's embarrassingly bad right now. I have stuck to my rules. No haircut until I lose 10 pounds. I can't wait to get a new hair style.

I would say that by tomorrow morning I will be down at least 7 pounds. That means I will be in the 180's again. I can't wait to weigh myself in the morning.

The past two days my Fibromyalgia has been great. I totally believe in the power of prayer. I owe a big "thank you" to my life group for all of the prayers. God is good!

Since it has been so warm lately I have been walking around the mall at lunch time. It has been wonderful to get out of the office and walk in the warm sun. I have been walking a mile and a half each day. It takes me about 20 minutes. I figure any exercise is better than none.

Today my Fitbit said that I walked 9310 steps. I was pretty excited about that. Still loving my Fitbit! It is encouraging to see you effort in numbers.

After writing the post last week about eating a plant based diet. I received a message saying to check out Fork over Knives debugged. I googled it and it's pretty interesting. I didn't read the entire thing because I was too tired but it seems like everyone has crazy drastic ideas and who know who or what to believe.

I think I'm going back to the everything in motiration idea. Well, maybe not everything. I am totally against eating processed foods. This is something I thought I would never say. I love the taste of processed foods but they just really aren't good for you. I'm not saying that I won't ever eat processed foods again. I'm just saying that I am going to seriously limit the amount of processed foods my family will eat.

It's really odd to feel this way since the last time I lost the weight I did it eating quite a few low fat processed foods and of course everything had Splenda in it. It's funny how we learn and grow from our experiences. Now I am trying to avoid processed foods and artificial sweeteners and eat more organic foods and only sweeten with Stevia (which rarely gets used).

Well, I don't think my whole plant based diet experience was a waste. It was interesting to eat like that for two weeks. We survived without the meat and even found a few plant based meals that we liked and will continue to eat. I am thankful for the experience.

Did I mention I had ham last night. ;) My husband cooked and it was so good. It really makes you appreciate meat when you go without it. Of course we all ate it in moderation. Probably a lot more so than we would have before our plant based diet experience.

Thanks for all of the advice on plant based diet verses a meat and plant based diet. It's always great to hear other opinions.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Fibromyalgia and a Plant Based Diet

I seriously feel like I don't have any time for my blog lately. My job is really wearing me out. That and my kids. ;) Anyway, I am up way later than I should be typing this but I really felt the need to write a post. Not for any particular reason. Just because I miss it.

I have to start out by saying that I have the most kind, generous and thoughtful readers in the whole world. I really don't know what I would do without all of your support. Your emails and FB messages and comments on my blog mean so, so much to me. You all make me smile every day. I have give a huge shout out to one of my sweet wonderful readers. Thank you, thank you , thank you, Erin!!! Erin is such a generous person. She read my post about having trouble finding my husband Philladelphia Phillies tickets and she emailed me to give me three of hers. Seriously, does it get any sweeter than that. Thanks to Erin my husband and I will be able to make it to a Phillies game this year. We are both very excited.

Speaking of awesome blog followers. I would just like to thank all of you for the advice, suggestions and awesome links to help me with my Fibromyalgia. They have all been so helpful. I am now on a hunt for a Naturopath near me. A dear reader sent me a sweet message with a name to search for on FB. The name was Dave Frahm. He is so knowledgable. He seems like a wonderful Christian man that is helping so many fight diseases and cancer naturally. I messaged him to see if he has any links that he already wrote on Fibro or if he has any books that will help me. I can't wait to hear back from him.

I have to tell you a little about what has been going on in my life the past few weeks. I have already told you about the Shakeology drinks that I am drinking. Lost 5 pounds so far so I am very happy with it. But I have also started eating differentlly.

I normally eat like everyone else. Meat, potatoes, veggies, cheese, processed foods, fast foods or whatever is the easiest. Until a few weeks ago when a friend of mine told my sister about this move called "Forks Over Knives". Don't buy it if you have Netflix. I bought it but I heard it was on Netflix after I already ordered. I ordered it from Amazon and it wasn't very expensive. I also ordered the Forks Over Knives book.

I started watching the movie and I thought it was going to tell me how gross it is that they put hormoes or other things in the meat we eat. I was completely wrong. It talks a lot about the corrilation between meats/dairy to cancer. The studies they have done are amazing.

This move was one more push to eat more plant based food and less of the processed food, meats and dairy. I am actually on week 2 of eating this way. Week one was easy and hard at the same time. I like meat but for the most part I can do without. My husband and childrens have had a little more trouble adjusting. My husband likes the plant based food that I have made and my girls like some of it but honestly my husband doesn't really care about the cancer/meat issue and my girls are so used to eating meats and milk products that it is a hard adjustment.

I don't want to do this just for myself and let them eat regular food. That would toatly defeat my whole purpose of trying to prevent cancer and make us healthier.

. I worked so hard thie week and last to make healthy plant based meals for my family. My husband likes it but still makes comments about not having meat. My three year old screams because she want mac and cheese and my 7 year old loved dinner tonight but was trying to sneak gummy worms later in the evening.

So I came to bed thinking "Is it really worth it?". I am so exhausted from trying to find recipes that the whole family will like, doing the grocery shopping and cooking all of this food. It is so much harder than regular cooking. Unless I'm doing something wrong? ;)

I told my husband tonight that I'm thinking about just doing regular food but using more plant based ingredients and using less meat based food. He of course like that idea.

Just last week I got a message from a old friend of mine who suggested that I check out this weeksite (DAES). The auther of this blog wrote a series called "31 days of no medication". She seems like a great lady adn I am still reading it. She also suggest a plant based diet.

When I got into bed I received a message from the sweet follower who suggested I check out Dave Frahm on facebook. He is a Nuturolist. He of course recommends a plant based diet.

So can this all just be coincidence? I don't know. Is God trying to tell me something? I am completely serious.

I went to bed thinking that I was going to stop this plant based diet because it is so hard but now I don't know. I know I sound crazy but I really want to make sure I do what is best for myself and my family.

Do any of you have any experience with a plant based diet? Any suggestions on what I should do ? :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

And The Winner Is.....

The winner of the $25.00 Sam's Club/Walmart Gift Card is #18 Sarah. Congrats Sarah! Please email your full name and email address to

Thanks to all that entered.

Monday, March 5, 2012

And The Winner Is...

And the winner of the General Mills Cereal Giveaway is #9 Ashley! Congrats Ashley! Please email me your name and mailing address to .

Thanks to all who entered!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A Little Disappointed

I had a bit of a disappointing day. Today is my husband's Birthday. We had a great day celebrating but I'm disappointed that I wasn't able to buy him the present that I wanted to. I really wanted to buy him tickets to a Philadelphia Phillie's game. Of course they are all sold out and the only way (if I'm reading it correctly) to buy them is to purchase them from someone that already bought them and is now selling them to make a profit. That just seem so greedy and wrong. Oh well. I told my husband about it and he doesn't want me to purchase them that way. I hope at some point soon I will figure out a way to get them for him. It's been years since we have gone to a game together and now that I'm working I would really love to buy them.

That was just one of my disappointments for the day. I also had a disappointing doctor's appointment today. I went to my Doctor's to discuss my neck pain and migraines. He saw me for all of a minute and then ordered me a muscle relaxer. Not exactly what I was looking for. :( I'm not saying he is wrong in his thinking but I just wish he would have acknowledged my concerns about my neck instead of just blaming it on my Fibromyalgia and sending me home with more meds. I seriously sat in the office wanting to cry. All I wanted was for someone to listen to me and try to figure out why my pain is so bad and I feel like I got brushed off and that my Doctor was too busy to care. Although I am disappointed in the way my appointment went I am going to give the muscle relaxers a try. I prayed before my appointment that I would get some help and some answers today and I am going to leave it in God's hands.

On an better note I got to meet some really great kids today at an event that we hold at our mall. It's called Classroom in the Mall. We have a Chamber Foundation that puts this event together for local high school students to come to the mall and gain some knowledge on how a mall is run and also work with some of the stores to do some really creative activities. I had a great time talking to them about my life and my career. It's always so much fun to tell the younger generation things that you wish you would have been told when you were their age. I also got to judge the Marketing campaigns that they came up with for products they created. They were all so cute and so creative. It really was a lot of fun spending the day with them.

Tonight I had a major accomplishment. Something that I haven't done in a long time. The girls and I took my husband to Applebee's for his Birthday tonight. Applebee's is one of our favorite restaurants but we don't eat there very much because we can't seem to get out of there without our bill being between $60.00 and $80.00. Although we have never been disappointed with their food. We usually go for a special occasion or a birthday treat. My accomplishment was that I was able to control myself and order one of their Weight Watchers meals. And even better I only ate half of it. I know. It felt so good to have a little control. I hope I can continue to have this type of self control. It will definitely speed up my weight loss.

Now it's time for me to get to sleep. Morning comes way too quickly and I have been dragging all week. I hope the two muscle relaxers I took don't keep me from being able to get up tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My BeachBody Reviews So Far...

I'm finally getting back on to write about my BeachBody experience so far. I started drinking the Shakeology Shakes a week ago Thursday. So far I have lost three pounds. I'm not saying the shakes made me lose the weight by themselves. I have been eating healthy and making sure to drink lots and lots of water.

I fell in love with the Shakeology shake from the first time I tried them. My favorites so far are blending the shakeology with 1 cup of cold coffee, Stevia, almond extract and ice and the second favorite is the chocolate shakeology, 1 cup of almond breeze, 1 banana, stevia and ice. I've been alternating between the two. They are addictingly good. Which is a good thing since they are costing me about $3.00 a day.

I can't say I have noticed too much of a change from the shakeology except for the fact that I am full until lunch when I drink one. I am hoping to notice some other changes as I continue to dring the Shakeology shakes. To learn more about the changes I am hoping to notice click here and view all of the benefits of Shakeology.

Right now I am having trouble with my neck. It has been very painful for me to function the past two weeks. I have had a constant migraine since last Mon. or Tues. I am very thankful for Maxolt (migraine meds). After the migraine and pain not easing up I finally decided to call the Doctor. I go on Thursday to get checked out. I have a feeling it has something to do with the permanent damage I suffered in my neck about 9 years ago in a car accident. I was hit from behind while driving 40 miles an hour and had severe whiplash and damage to several discs in my neck.

I have been chalking up my neck pain to my Fibromyalgia but lately it has been so bad that I am hoping it isn't Fibromyalgia related and that the Doctors can do something to help me.

If you have ever had a migraine you know how hard it is to focus or function. I am honestly having trouble getting through my days. Working, cooking, cleaning and getting the kids to bed have been very hard for me this past week. My husband has been so helpful with the girls. That is the only reason I am still able to function at all. I keep telling myself only two more days until I see the Doctor and then hopefully I can get some answers. Unfortunately I am having trouble finding the energy to do anything but the absolute necessities. Exercise has pretty much flown out the window.

I really do want to exercise but the migraines are just killing me. I did exercise once last Monday and again on Sunday morning. I got the BeachBody Body Gospel exercise set. It's not exactly what I was expecting but it is a really good workout. I am sweating and out of breath but I am able to do everything in the video which makes me feel good. I have only done three of the exercise sessions so far and I really do love them. Two of them are a little slower and focus on stretching more. I feel so good when I am done with them. I would highly recommend this set. I'm really excited to do some of the other dvds it came with.

So all in all I am very pleased with the BeachBody products so far. I'm looking forward to feeling better and actually being able to give my weight loss and exercise the effort it requires. Then I can really test out the BeachBody Products. Hopefully soon!. :)

You have to check this one out.

You have to check out this post. I just happened to come across it on my blog. I forgot how spiteful my little puppy was. She is almost two years old now. I can't believe how time flies. She is still adorable but these pictures are just too cute!

General Mills Giveaway!

I have another great Giveaway to offer you! Did I ever mention that I love giveaways? I really do. I love giving away free stuff to my great readers. :)

This Giveaway is a pretty nice one for anyone try to eat healthy. I was pretty excited to find 5 boxes of General Mills cereal on my doorstep. They sent me Cheerios®, Lucky Charms®, Cinnamon Toast Crunch®, Honey Nut Cheerios® and Total®. These five cereals are all included in their new White Check program. Every cereal with a White Check on the box has a whole grain listed as part of the number one ingredient. I was excited to see even some of my favs (Lucky Charms) have the White Check.

My Children of course devoured the cereal and loved all of them except for the Total. Which is ok because that is one that I really enjoy.

Here are some Whole Grain suggestions from Dr. Stork:

Start Early! The Dietary Guidelines recommend people get at least 48 grams of whole grain in their daily diets. Get a jump-start on the day’s nutrition by incorporating whole grain into your morning routine. For instance, when choosing cereal make sure whole grain is listed as the first ingredient. One easy choice is cereal with the white check, which have more whole grain than any other single ingredient.

Make Simple Swaps. Choose whole grain versions of the foods you love. Great options include whole wheat pasta and whole wheat bread or even whole grain crackers. Also, try different types of whole grain. Use brown rice instead of white rice as a side dish at dinner or popcorn, which is a whole grain, for a snack.

Don’t Judge a Food by Its Cover. The front of food packages provide good nutritional cues, but don’t forget to read the ingredients and check the nutrition label and side labels for additional health information. Cereals with the white check even include the amount of whole grain per serving on packaging.

For more information on the importance of whole grain and a chance to enter the “Fast Lane for Whole Grain” sweepstakes, visit

Now to the Giveaway! One lucky Winner will receive 5 boxes of General Mills Cereal with the White Check!

How To Enter the General Mills Giveaway:

1. Let me know your favorite General Mills Cereal.

2. For a second entry post on your blog about this contest and include a link to my blog and post the link in the comment section.

3. For a third entry become a follower. If you are already a follower just leave that in the comment section.

4. For a fourth entry add my button to your blog and post the link in a comment below.

5. For a fifth entry add me as a friend on Facebook by clicking here and then leave me a comment telling me you did so.

The Winner will be chosen using a random number generator. All entries must be received by Friday, March 2, 2012 at 11:59 CST. The winner will be announced Saturday March 3, 2012. For U.S Addresses Only. MyBlogSpark is responsible for shipping all prizes.

Disclosure: The prize pack, information, and giveaway have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark.

$25.00 Sam's Club/Walmart Gift Card Giveaway!!!

I have another great Giveaway to offer on my blog. P&G, Sam's Club and MyBlogSpark have given me a $25.00 Sam's Club/Walmart Gift Card and are also allowing me to offer a $25.00 Sam's Club/Walmart Gift Card to one of my followers.

Check out this great offer!

Stock up on P&G products at Sam’s Club in February so you can afford to
give your baby quality products and a little more mommy time
Pick up any two of the following baby products to receive a $10 Sam’s Club
Gift Card toward your purchase made between Feb 1st and Feb 29th:
Pampers® Swaddlers® or Pampers
Cruisers® Diapers
Pampers SoftCare™ Scented Baby Wipes
Similac® Advance® Powder or Similac Sensitive® Powder
Dreft® Liquid Laundry Detergent
Register for your Gift Card at by March 14, 2012

How To Enter the Sam's Club/Walmart Gift Card Giveaway:

1. Let me know your favorite P&G product.

2. For a second entry post on your blog about this contest and include a link to my blog and post the link in the comment section.

3. For a third entry become a follower. If you are already a follower just leave that in the comment section.

4. For a fourth entry add my button to your blog and post the link in a comment below.

5. For a fifth entry add me as a friend on Facebook by clicking here and then leave me a comment telling me you did so.

The Winner will be chosen using a random number generator. All entries must be received by Tuesday, March 6, 2012 at 11:59 CST. The winner will be announced Wednesday, March 7, 2012. For U.S Addresses Only.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

And The Winner Is ...

Just realized that this post is long overdue. The winners of the Ocean Spray Fruit Snack Giveaway are :

#40 - Jen
#6 - Melissa
#35 – JusticeCW
#12 – Cheryl Free

Congratulations to all of the winners! I'm sure you will love these fruit snacks (in moderation of course. :) ).

Please email your name, address and phone number to by Nov. 28, 2012.

Friday, February 17, 2012

My Big Surprise

I can finally announce my big surprise. I would have liked to announce it sooner but I have really felt run down this week.

My big surprise is that I joined the BeachBody Team!

I heard of BeachBody and Shakeology about 3 years ago. It caught my interest back then but I really couldn't afford to try it out. A few weeks ago I read a story in a business journal at work about Shakeology and all of it's benefits and it made me even more intrigued.

Needless to say that after looking into it for hours I decided to order my first month's worth of Shakeology. :) As I was placing the order I got a little nervous. I would have been spending about $4.00 a day on these shakes. It doesn't sound like a lot but since you have to pay for the month up front it looks worse than it is.

This is when I decided to look for bad reviews. I didn't want to jump into this purchase without the proper research. Well, I couldn't find a bad review but I was able to find a review from someone that did the same thing as me. He was also looking for bad reviews. After not being able to find any he decided to order. He loves Shakeology and BeachBody and has had great results.

His post not only convinced me to buy Shakology but to sign up to become a BeachBody Coach. Who could blame me? I am saving 25 percent on each Shakology purchase. :)

I am even more excited now that I have recieved my BeachBody Shakeology and Body Gospel Workout Video.

I drank a Shakeology Shake for breakfast yesterday and today. Both times I mixed together (in my vitamix) 1 scoop of Shakeology, 1 cup of water, 1 banana 9 ice cubes & 1 tbsp of peanut butter. It tastes almost exactly the same as my Pudget Smoothies. They have definitely recieved my stamp of approval for taste!

You can click here to watch the video on the health benefits of shakeology. The results of this product are awesome!

Today I tried out the Body Gospel Workout DVD. I really liked it. It made me sweat but it was totally duable for the out of shape me. :) I'm looking forward to using it again tomorrow. Did I mention that I over doubled my steps on my fitbit today. I was shocked at how much a little exercise can do for your daily activity.

I took my before BeachBody pictures tonight. Maybe someday soon I will share them. They are pretty bad.

I'm looking forward to some after shots real soon. I'm thinking about taking them every four weeks.

I will definitely let all of you know what I think of Shakeology in the next few weeks. I am praying that it helps increase my energy, make me feel better which will in turn lead to me wanting to exercise and lose weight. If I can get all of this for $3.00 a day I will be thrilled!

Wish me luck!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Exciting News

I have some really exciting news but I can't tell you about it until later this week. It is something that I really feel is going to boost my weight loss. I don't really want to give you any hints because I would hate to encourage anyone to purchase a product and then have it not be any good.

Ok. I'm not going to say anymore but my little secret should be arriving in the mail on Tuesday. I am beyond excited. I will tell you all about it in a few days and also review it for everyone to read for the next few months.

Can't wait!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

And The Winner Is.....

The winner of the $25 Sam's Club/Walmart Gift Card is Secret Mom Thoughts!!! Congratulations and enjoy your gift card.

Thank to all who entered. Check back next week for another $25 Sam's Club/ Walmart Gift Card.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Creamy Orzo Risotto with Butternut Squash Recipe

This recipe is my absolute favorite meal of all times. Not just healthy favorite but all time favorite!

It's Creamy Orzo Risotto with Butternut Squash. Click here for the recipe. Give it a try. You won't regret it. :)

And The Number Is.... Week 4 Weigh In

I'm not thrilled to be writing my weigh in post this week. I had a very hectic week (which seems to be the norm lately) and it totally messed with my motivation to eat healthier and exercise more.

When I stepped on the scale last Friday I was at 193. That is a gain of 1.2 pounds. I know it may not seem like much of a gain but to me it is still frustrating. I want to lose this weight so badly and I hate when the busyness of life gets in my way. :)

I'm sure many of you go through the same thing. You have a busy week and forget to eat healthy or just don't feel like you have the time to eat healthy or maybe you are just so busy and tired that you don't care. I think the last reason I listed was pretty much how I felt last week. I was busy with work, the girls, my house and so much more that I just couldn't do it all. So what suffered? My health of course.

I know I mentioned this before. My health always seems to come last when I have a busy week. It is so hard for me to make the time and put my health higher on my list of priorities. I just wish I could figure out a way to do this without feeling guilty.

Unfortunately this past week and even so far this week I have lost track of my goals. I haven't had the time to plan my meals, grocery shop or even do my daily devotion. It's so funny that I really do miss the getting up early to do my devotion and throw a meal in the crockpot.

It is really cool for me to see what a difference planning ahead can make. I am hoping the by Wednesday I should be back on track. That gives me today to get a menu planned for the week, go grocery shopping and get to bed a little earlier so that I can get up and do my daily devotions and Bible reading.

So the key for me is planning ahead. I know what I need to do to get back on track. Hopefully by the end of this week I can lose the 1.2 pounds I gained last week and continue to do so into next week.

I hope all of you had a great week! If you didn't than join me on getting back on track. Today is a new day!

Today Only - $25 Sam's Club/Walmart Gift Card Giveaway

I have another great giveaway to offer you this week. Sam's Club and MyBlogSpark sent me a $25.00 Sam's Club/Walmart Gift Card and are also offering one lucky follower of my blog a $25.00 Sam's Club/Walmart Gift Card.

This Giveaway is going to be a little different than most of my giveaway's. I will only accept entries today and tomorrow morning I will randomly choose a winner.

As most of you already know, Sam's Club offers great deals not only the products that they carry but also on Box Tops for Education. I love the offers they have because it allows me to help my daughter's school without any extra time, effort or money.

Here are some great General Mills brands that will also help you earn more cash for your local school with the Sam’s Club “6 Box Tops on a Pack” promotion.

At least 6 Bonus Box Tops will be located on return-to-school brands such as Nature Valley Oats 'N Honey Crunchy Granola Bars, Yoplait and Progresso.

I don't know about you but I love to give back to my daughter's school. I just cut off the box tops and put them in a ziplock bag and when we have a few I send them with her to school. The best part is that Sam's Club always seems to be offering the special extra box tops on some of their products. I love getting six Box Tops for Education instead of just one. It really is a great program and a great way to help your local school.

How To Enter the Sam's Club/Walmart Gift Card Giveaway:

1. Let me know if you collect Box Tops for Education.

2. For a second entry post on your blog about this contest and include a link to my blog and post the link in the comment section.

3. For a third entry become a follower. If you are already a follower just leave that in the comment section.

4. For a fourth entry add my button to your blog and post the link in a comment below.

5. For a fifth entry add me as a friend on Facebook by clicking here and then leave me a comment telling me you did so.

The Winner will be chosen using a random number generator. All entries must be received by Tuesday, February 7, 2012 at 11:59 CST. The winner will be announced Wednesday, February 8, 2012. For U.S Addresses Only. MyBlogSpark is responsible for sending the prize pack.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ocean Spray Giveaway - 4 Winners!!!

I'm pretty excited about this Giveaway Post. The reason why is because I get to choose four winners!! That's right! This is my first giveaway that I have been allowed to choose this many winners. It's also a pretty cool prize pack!

Ocean Spray and MyBlogSpark sent me six boxes of Ocean Spray Fruit Flavored Snacks. Just what I need. Right?! Luckily for me I am not a fruit snack fan. My sister on the other hand can devour a whole box in one sitting (and she may kill me for writing that). ;)

The fruit snacks came in the mail and I thought I was safe. Honestly I have never eaten a fruit snack that I have liked. My girls love them so I thought I would just let them review them. One night my youngest daughter was eating a pack and they smelled so good. I then made the mistake of eating one, and then another and another. I'm sure you can see where I am going with this. They are awesome. Honestly the best fruit snacks ever!!!

For a few moments I totally understood my sister. Yes, I did share with her. I gave her two boxes for her family. I'm not sure if the kids got any but I do know that my sister enjoyed them. She told me the next week she went to walmart and found them for less than $2 per box with a $1 coupon off each box. Pretty nice!

So what I'm getting to is that these fruit snacks are really good. My whole family enjoyed them and my sister's whole family enjoyed them. If you are a fruit snack fan I would suggest giving them a try. Just remember, all things in moderation. :)

Ok, here comes the fun part. Time to enter for a chance to win (6) boxes of Ocean Spray fruit snacks. 4 Winners will be chosen to win this prize pack.

How To Enter:

1. Let me know if you like fruit snacks or not. If you do, what is your favorite fruit snack brand.

2. For a second entry post on your blog about this contest and include a link to my blog and post the link in the comment section.

3. For a third entry become a follower. If you are already a follower just leave that in the comment section.

4. For a fourth entry add my button to your blog and post the link in a comment below.

5. For a fifth entry add me as a friend on Facebook by clicking here and then leave me a comment telling me you did so.

The Winner will be chosen using a random number generator. All entries must be received by Friday, February 10, 2012 at 11:59 CST. The winner will be announced Monday, February 13, 2012. For U.S Addresses Only. MyBlogSpark is responsible for sending the prize pack.

Disclosure: The Ocean Spray Fruit Snacks were provided by Ocean Spray and MyBlogSpark.

And The Number Is... Week 3 Weigh In

I had another good yet tiring week. Somehow I got another head cold over last weekend and felt miserable for the first half of the week. These viruses seem to be never ending. I don't know if it is just my family or if it is everyone this year. We just seem to get one virus after another after another. By the time one virus has worked its way through all of us another one has already started. It is crazy and so tiring. I am finding it very hard to keep up with work, housework, cooking, laundry and everything else. I'm hoping that when the weather figures out what it is going to do that maybe we will all start to feel better. The crazy cold weather one day and warm weather the next is just so odd for January.

As far as my weight goes I was pleased with myself this past Friday when I weighed in at 191.8lbs. That is another 2.2 lbs down! Another 2 pounds and I will be in the 180's! What an exciting day that will be.

I'm getting very close to my hair cut and color! Another 5.8 pounds to lose and then I can make my appointment. I'm very excited about getting a new style. Not just getting a new style but feeling good about myself while I get a new style. :)

Once I lose the first 10 pounds I know I can do this. I think that is why the first 10 pounds is so important to me. After I lose 10 pounds I start to feel and see the difference. My clothes start to get lose, my face starts to look thinner and I just feel better in general. I can't wait!

I think I can do it in another 2 weeks. That would mean that I would have to lose a little over two and a half pounds a week. It's definitely doable. I just need to make sure that I don't let the stress of everyday life get to me and ruin my weight loss and motivation.

I'm sure all of you know how being tired and worn down can totally eliminate any motivation you many have. How do we work through this without totally ruining any chances of losing weight? I'm still working on the answer to this one because I seem to struggle with it daily. I think what has really been helping me is the fact that I have made myself be more organized this past month with my Daily Devotions, Monthly Meal Calendar and a better cleaning schedule.

I will try to write another post very soon to share with you what I have learned this past month since I started implementing some new things in our home. Check back soon!

A Must Try Snack

Click Here to check out one of my easiest all time favorite snacks. It tastes like a yummy peanut butter cup. I still love this one. I love that little bit of protein it gives me when I get hungry mid-afternoon.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

And The Number Is....

My weigh in post is a bit late this week. I weighed in on Friday yet it is Tuesday night and I am just now writing it. Life happens and I seem to lose track of time. At least I am getting it posted before this Friday's weigh in. ;)

When I stepped on the scale last Friday I weighed in a 194 pounds. That's 2 pounds lost for the week. I'm exited to have a loss this week.

I am still doing well. So far this week I am down another two pounds. Maybe I can make it 3 pounds by Friday. Planning my meals has been a huge success for me. I make a grocery list every Saturday, my husband does the grocery shopping and then I package and freeze what needs to be frozen when he gets home. It has made my life so much easier. I don't need to reach for the unhealthy food because I have great tasting low fat food right at my finger tips.

Jessica's White Chicken Chili

Low-Fat Pretzel Chicken Cordon Bleu

The inside of the Pretzel Chicken Cordon Bleu.

I still can't believe that it has been almost a whole month and I am sticking with my monthly menu and getting up early to read my devotional every morning. I have actually surprised myself.

I have to go and get some sleep. Morning comes way too quickly. I hope all of you are having a wonderful week. Please feel free to share what you have been making for dinner this week.

And The Winner Is...

The winner of the Burger King Gift Card is Mary from Grand Giveaways. Congrats Mary! I hope you enjoy it! Please email your name, and mailing address to .

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Chewy S'more's Snack Mix Recipe

I'm making this recipe this weekend. Chewy S'more's Snack Mix is one of my favorite recipes from the past. Click here to check it out.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

And The Number Is... Week 1 Weigh In

I finally have the chance to sit down and write this post. I have only been wanting to write it for about a week. :)

Last Friday when I weighed in I was 196 pounds. Yep, I thought the same thing. Yikes!

I had my husband take a picture of me this weekend to use as my before picture on my sidebar. I really don't want to post it but I am going to do it anyway. I'm hoping it will give me more motivation to actually lose the weight.

I weigh in tomorrow and I am excited to see what I have accomplished this week. I have done very well this week despite the craziness of it.

I have already set my first goal and of course it is 10 pounds. It worked for me in the past so I'm going to go with it again. I decided to reward myself with each ten pound goal just to give me a little more incentive. When I reach my first 10 pound goal I am going to get a nice new hair cut and color. I need it terribly so I am hoping having a bad hair day every day until I lose the 10 pounds will be incentive enough. So far it feels like torture but it may just work. ;)

I will post the picture on my sidebar later tonight and continue to post every ten pounds.

I have realized that my new favorite dessert/breakfast is pumpkin rice pudding. You mix 2 tbsp or more with a container of Jello Sugar Free Rice Pudding. It is amazing and such a great way to get in some extra fiber. Love it!

One of my breakfasts from this week

Last Night's Dinner - "The Most Amazing Meatloaf Ever"

This weeks menu had a lot more recipes that didn't involve the crockpot. I noticed that if was a lot harder this week for me to have everything in order and dinner on the table at a decent hour this week. I still managed to have dinner on the table but I had a lot more whining going on while I was making it and some starving kids by the time it was all done. I think I will stick with more crockpot meals in the future.

Gift Card Giveaway!

Don't forget to enter my Burger King Gift Card Giveaway. You can click here and submit your entry.

Friday, January 13, 2012

And The Number Is....

After reading several old posts from 2009 I have decided to start writing weekly weigh in's again. So when you see a post that says "And The Number Is...." You will know it is my weekly weigh in. I did this until I lost 50 pounds and then I stopped. I really thing I need to do it again.

I have to decide on my weigh in day but I will post about it again soon.

Snicker's Pie Recipe

This is another one of my favorite low-fat desserts. Snickers Pie. I haven't made it in ages. I'm posting it here for all of you to see but also so that I remember to make it very soon. Click here to vew the recipe.

Heath Bar Cake Recipe

This has to be my favorite cake of all times. Click here to see the recipe for Heath Bar Cake that I posted a few years ago.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Turkey Barbeque Recipe

This recipe is an oldie but goodie. I am going down memory lane on my blog and found this recipe back in week two of my journey over three years ago. Click here to see the recipe I posted on Turkey Barbeque I haven't made it in so long but it sounds easy and tasty. I may just be adding it to next months menu. ;)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

How To Handle Stress Munchies

The Pinto Beans and Ham are in the crockpot for tonight's dinner. I soaked the beans last night and put got all of the other ingredients ready last night and put them in a bowl for today. I drained the bean and mixed everything together and it looks and smells amazing already. Click here for the link to the recipe.

Last night we had Chili Meatloaf. You can find the recipe here. It is one of my favorite recipes. I made it in the crockpot yesterday and it just wasn't the same. It was very good but it was a little dry on top and a little too moist on the bottom. I probably won't make it in the crockpot again but it really is a great recipe.


Do any of you seem to find it easy to stay on track with your eating while at work during the day and then have more trouble at night when you get home? This seems to be the issue I am dealing with right now. I come home starving. I might snack a very little before I have dinner on the table and then I eat my dinner and I am good. Around 7:30 I start feeling the need to eat. I think it is because I am exhausted and my 3 year old is usually screaming or my 7 year old is throwing a fit about something at that point.

I really do think it's stress eating. I know from past experience that lack of sleep will do this to me. I just don't know how to solve it at this point. I am getting about 8 hours of sleep each night but with my Fibromyalgia I don't know if that is enough. I'm still hoping my body will adjust soon. :)

How do you handle the stress munchies?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Burger King Gift Card Giveaway

Two small words that I love and hate at the same time. lol.

I'm just kidding. I just like Burger King so much that I can't control myself when I am around their food. It's not good for my weight loss.

However, I was very excited when Burger King and My Blog Spark asked me to review the new BK Family Bundle packs. The only problem now is that they were very shorted lived at the Burger King in my area. It is an awesome deal and I hope they decide to bring them back.

I'm sorry. I got completely sidetracked feeling bad for myself. Burger King and My Blog Spark actually sent me a $25 Burger King gift card to try out the new Burger King Family Bundle meals.

I was actually able to try them out more then once with this card. The last time we had the BK Family Bundle meal was mid-December. I left work and picked up the girls, went through the Burger King drive thru, picked up my husband and then enjoyed a night of driving around looking at Christmas lights. It was so much fun.

Some of you may be wondering what the BK Family Bundle meal is. It is a Meal for three that they paired up as a bundle for a great price. This is what you get in the Bundle Meal.
For just $9.99 your family can enjoy the “BK™ Family Bundle” which includes a WHOPPER® sandwich, WHOPPER JR.® sandwich., two small fries, two small soft drinks and a Kids Meal.

We had to add an extra kids meal to our order but it was still a great price for the entire meal. Now you can see why I am so disappointed that they stopped selling it. I guess it's probably better for my weight this way. ;)

If your Burger King still has the Family Bundle you may want to check it out. Now, I'm not saying to eat it all of the time but it is a nice treat every once in a while. It's easy, convienent, tastes great, and it's affordable. Oh yeah, the new french fries are really great too!

Here is some more information that I received from My Blog Spark on the BK/CROWNTM/MC program:

The BK CROWNTM/MC Program comes in a fully interactive Kids Meal box. Sitting atop each box is a newly redesigned BURGER KING® crown, because every kid deserves to be treated like royalty at BURGER KING®! With crowns on their heads, kids can dive into the box, taking it apart, playing fun games and activities that challenge their minds, inspire their imagination and engage with the whole family.

With the BK CROWNTM/MC Program, Burger King Corporation invites kids to tell BURGER KING® what matters to them most. BKC has established a fund to help support the Wildlife Conservation Society, National Parks Conservation Association, and Have It Your Way™ Foundation. By visiting, kids learn how BKC’s charitable partners make a difference. Upon entering BK CROWNTM/MC Codes and clicking on their favorite cause, each kid’s vote helps BK® choose which charity to give back to.

Burger King and My Blog Spark are also offing a $25 Burger King Gift Card to one of my lucky readers.

How To Enter:

1. Leave a comment the name of your favorite Burger King food item.

2. For a second entry post on your blog about this contest and include a link to my blog and post the link in the comment section.

3. For a third entry become a follower. If you are already a follower just leave that in the comment section.

4. For a fourth entry add my button to your blog and post the link in a comment below.

5. For a fifth entry add me as a friend on Facebook by clicking here and then leave me a comment telling me you did so.

The Winner will be chosen using a random number generator. All entries must be received by Friday, January 20, 2012 at 11:59 CST. The winner will be announced Saturday, January 21, 2012. For U.S Addresses Only. MyBlogSpark is responsible for sending the prize pack.

Disclosure: The BK Gift Card used to purchase the BK Family Bundle Pack was provided by Burger King through MyBlogSpark.”

Crockpot Lemony Chicken and Rice Recipe

Just a quick post to share about tonight's dinner. It was wonderful. It's a new recipe from Skinny Ms. Slow Cooker on facebook.

The recipe is really simple. I didn't follow it exactly how it is listed below. I used the exact ingredients (except for white rice instead of the brown it calls for) but I package my chicken up into small freezer bags and then pull one bag of frozen chicken out in the morning, cut down the side of the bag and throw it into the crockpot. This helps keep my chicken from overcooking since I have to have it cook so long when I am at work.

With my chicken being frozen I couldn't brown the chicken and since I knew it would be cooking all day I didn't cook the onions and garlic before I threw them in. I just took all of the ingredients listed and put them in the crockpot. Then I gave it a good stir, put the lid on and cooked it on low for 4 1/2 hours. Then the crockpot goes to warm which also seems to make the cooking time a little bit longer then what I programed in.

The timing on this recipe was perfect. The rice was so moist and the flavor of lemon was amazing. My y0ungest didn't like the rice (because of the lemon flavor) but she did like the chicken. We are not huge lemon fans but I was very pleased with how much we all liked this recipe. The only thing I may change next time is to cut back on the lemon just a little. Maybe MJ won't mind it so much.

This recipe is definitely a keeper!

Crockpot Lemony Chicken And Rice

Posted by Shannon Cunningham Underwood
Skinny Ms. Slow Cooker on facebook

This is very simple and very yummy, especially if you love lemon. I adapted the recipe to my taste ~
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 boneless chicken breast halves, cut into large chunks
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 cups Texmati (long grain brown) rice
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Scrape into slow cooker.

Sprinkle chicken with salt. Melt remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in skillet over medium high heat until foaming. Add chicken breast halves and cook until browned, about 4 minutes per side. Just keep turning over until all sides are browned. Transfer to slow cooker.

Add 1 cup broth and lemon juice to skillet and bring to a boil, scraping browned bits from bottom of pan. Add to the slow cooker, along with remaining broth, rice and 1 tsp. salt. Stir, cover and cook on low until chicken is cooked through and rice is tender, 3 hours. If you are using white rice it will probably take 2-3 hrs. Remove chicken, stir parsley into rice and season with salt and pepper. Divide rice onto 4 plates and top each with pieces of chicken; serve immediately.

adapted from original recipe printed in 'All You' in MAY 2008

Amount per serving (they note 4 servings...but they do not say what a 'serving' is. I would guess it makes 6-8 servings, about 1.5 cups so the calories are less than noted here)

Another note, while you may think to cut the butter to margarine or leave it out, don't because it really adds the only flavors to the chicken and will be very bland if omitted.

Calories: 534
Fat: 15g
Saturated fat: 8g
Protein: 20g
Carbohydrate: 80g
Fiber: 2g
Cholesterol: 54mg
Sodium: 323mg

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Fitbit Review

I have received so many emails and messages from so many of you this past week asking about my fitbit. I'm so sorry it took me this long to write about it.

I've had my fitbit for over a week now and I have to tell you that I am thrilled with it. I haven't used it as much as possible this week because of going back to work and trying to stick with my new plan. I really only had enough time to wear my fitbit and try to learn all of it's benefits.

The thing that deterred me from logging my food this week was that the fitbit's food logging system does not have a lot of the food that I eat. It made it really hard to accurately log my food so then I gave up on the logging. Honestly one of the coolest features of the fitbit is that it measures the amount of food you eat to the amount of calories that you burn. Now you can see why I was so disappointed.

However, I did remember that I read on someones review that you can connect your Lose It account to your fitbit. What an awesome feature! Some of you may remember that I used to log my food into Lose It a few months ago. I really like Lose It and I always found it to have most of the foods that I eat. It is really great because they have an iPhone app.

Today I finally had the time to google how to sync the two systems. It wasn't hard at all. I just had to log into Lose It and go into the settings and click on add new device. It was super simple. Now I 'm really ready to get started!

I can't wait to share with you this week how well it works. I think the eat to burn ratio is really going to encourage me to stay on track throughout the day. It will make me want to move more and burn more calories.

The fitbit has a lot of features. Counting the amount of calories I burn is of course my favorite feature but there are so many others. Every time you sync to your fitbit account it tells you how many steps you have taken, how many stairs you have climbed (very accurate), miles traveled, calories burned and it also gives you an active score based on how active you were that day.

The fitbit site also has cute little graphs for each of the features I listed above. There is an activity graph that I really like. It shows you how active you have been throughout the day (Lightly active, fairly active, very active and sedentary) Each section of the graph tells you how many minutes you were in each area. It's very neat.

You can also set up a food goal on the fitbit site. The goal you set depends on how much weight you want to lose in a week (1lb, 2lb etc...). Depending on how much weight you want to lose in a week it tells you how many calories you need to eat. This is where the Lose It feature comes in handy. You can track every calorie and have it all synced right to the site to make sure you are on track for the day.

One of the coolest features of the fitbit is that it tracks your sleep. You push the sleep button when you crawl in bed and then it tracks your how long and how well you sleep at night. The next morning you wake up, turn off the sleep feature and sync your fitbit and it tells you how long it took you to fall asleep, how many times you woke up during the night and how many hours of total sleep you got that night.

Another great feature of the fitbit is that it is so small. This is one of the major reasons that I purchased it. I didn't want something bulky on my arm while I am working in the office. I wouldn't mind wearing something like that to the gym but when I am working I don't want everyone to see that I am wearing it. The fitbit can go in your pocket, on your belt or the waist of your pants or on your bra. I wear mine on my bra because I know that I won't lose it that way. It hooks right in the middle of your bra and no one can even notice that you are wearing it. At night I put it on the provided soft wrist band.

Overall I am very happy with my fitbit. I think it is really going to help me want to move more. I enjoy looking at how active I have been throughout the day just by pushing a button on the device. When I am at work it makes me happy to see that I have walked a lot or it shows me that I need to move more. It's a great tool and now I can't wait to combine it with the Lose It site so that I can accurately track my calories eaten and calories burned.

I would highly recommend this device to anyone looking for something to encourage them to be more active.

I was not asked by fitbit to review their product. This review is my own opinion and in no way represents the fitbit company.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

It's Not A Miracle Worker

My new plan was not a miracle worker but I must say that things went much smoother this week then in the past.

I started off the work week on Tuesday because Monday was a paid Holiday. :) Tuesday morning I threw the ingredients for Crockpot Balsamic Chicken in the crockpot when I got up and by the time I got home I had one of the best tasting meals that I have had in a long time. I was very pleased with this recipe and with my new crockpot.

My new crockpot is very similar to this one from

I love it because it has a timer and once the time goes off it automatically goes to warm and keeps my food warm until I get home. I would highly recommend this type of crockpot to anyone who needs to leave their crockpot on for a long period of time when they aren't home. It's a life saver. I found mine at Sam's Club before Christmas for approximately $17. It was a great buy!

I also started Tuesday off with my new devotional. It has been very good so far and if you have a Kindle it only costs $2.51. I surprised myself by getting up every morning about 45 minutes before I normally get up and enjoyed every minute of it. I'm not going to lie and say it was easy to get up that early but I looked forward to that quiet time so much that I was able to force myself to get up. Even on the two days that I slept very badly. I'm proud of myself for sticking with it even when I was very tempted to sleep a little longer. With God's help anything is possible. :)

I have to tell you that I noticed such a difference in my attitude throughout the days that I did this compared to the past. I feel calmer and so much more refreshed. It's just a good way to start your day. Reading God's word in the morning makes you look at the world so much differently throughout the day.

My breakfast was homemade bread with almond butter.

The paper products with our dinner have been a huge help. I only ran the dishwasher once this week and that was last night. I washed all of the pots and pans that I used to cook by hand and the rest of the silver wear and cups went right into the dishwasher.

I wrote in my new plan post that I was going to try crockpot liners with our meals. Well, I tried them this week and they are awesome! They are worth the money. It was so nice to not have to scrub the dried food off of my crockpot each night. I will not use my crockpot without them from now on.

Wednesday we went to dinner with friends. We went to a new interactive play area for kids and ate dinner there and let the kids play. It was so nice to let the kids run around and play while the adults talked and waited for the food. Then we let the kids eat and play some more until we were ready to leave. The food was great and it was so nice to spend time with our friends in a relaxed environment.

This is a picture of Thursday's dinner. It was one of my own creations of, Crockpot Mushroom Pot Roast, mashed potatoes, and green beans. I put it in the crockpot before work for about 5 hours on low and came home to this. It was so good! This recipe is our favorite from the week.

Thursday was a really rough day. I didn't sleep well on Tuesday or Wednesday night so Thursday was a hard day to get through at work. I was happy to have this meal made when I got home. I ended up taking two Tylenol pm before bed and sleeping like a baby Thursday night. It made Friday much more enjoyable.

Friday's dinner was Blackberry BBQ Pork Tenderloin. This is another recipe the I really love. The flavors mix so well together and it is so easy to make. I put it in the crockpot for 5 hours on low and came how to a very tender pork tenderloin. I love to put the extra liquid over my rice. It has great flavor. I have two pictures posted below. The broccoli took a little longer to cook so I had to add it to my plate a little later in the meal. I didn't want you to think that I didn't eat a veggie with my meal. ;) I love broccoli florets! They are so much better then broccoli cuts.

Today is the start to a great weekend! I woke up early and made the family French Toast and sausage. I made myself this. Here is a link to the recipe. So yummy!

This is a picture of MJ watching Disney's Robin Hood this morning. She is so funny!

I will post later today on the Fitbit and plans for next week. :)

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