Monday, February 13, 2012, admittedly I've been a little MIA here but I am back! I got sidetracked by life!  I went to a writers conference last week which was great!  This week, my goal is to work out three days.  Last week I only worked out one because it was so busy!  My kids are off-track and when they are it just throws everything off!  So...thanks for hanging in with me. I'm back.  There will be menu's on Friday...promise!  Cheer me on in my goal this week!  3 days!  Eating is hard, and I need to be better...Moving forward!

Monday, January 30, 2012

3 weeks to GO!

I have heard it said more than once that it takes three weeks of doing something to form a habit.  Well, today is day one.  When I lost all the weight before I became a little bit of an the gym, to working out.  I discovered I LOVED it.   But, over the last year, I have completely fallen off the wagon.  I hate the time it takes out of my day.  But I know that I need it.  It improves my mood, my energy level, my focus, and just a myriad of other things.  Plus, at the end of the day, it's a fact...I still LOVE it.  I had originally decided that I would wait till I lost 20 pounds to go back since my arches are falling and my feet have been absolutely killing me.  The more I thought about that though, the more I knew I could do it before that.  Instead of using my favorite, "go-to machine", the AMT(Advanced Motion Trainer), which is pictured here,

I decided the recumbent bike would be my best option until I lose enough weight that my feet are better.  So, today I went to the gym, I warmed up for five minutes on the AMT and then I did another 30 on the bike.  It was a great workout and I remembered how much I love to do it!'s to day ONE!  My goal is to set a new habit or rather reclaim my old one. You have to start somewhere!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday Food

Saturday 1/21 - PLANNED: Nothing!
What Actually Made it To The Table: We took Our "Kat" to Wingers to "celebrate" her broken finger!

Rating: 3 :)  5 :/  Cuz they didn't get to go out...

Sunday 1/22 - PLANNED: Green Chicken Chili, Flour Tortilla's for dipping
What Actually Made it to The Table: Our Chili was delicious!  We eat this often and everyone loves it.  It's actually originally an Eating For Life recipe.  So, it's VERY good for you too! BONUS!

Rating: 8 :)

Monday 1/23 - PLANNED: Homestyle Turkey Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes,Cauliflower & Carrots
What Actually Made it to the Table:  Another great recipe from the Eating For Life cookbook!

Serves 6

1 1/2 lbs. Lean Ground Turkey
1 onion, chopped
4 egg whites
1 cup salsa
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats, uncooked
1 pkg. Knorr Vegetable Recipe Mix
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup Ketchup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients EXCEPT Ketchup.  Press mixture into 9" x 5" loaf pan.  Spread Ketchup on top.  Bake in preheated oven until meatloaf is no longer pink in the center and juice is clear, about 60 minutes.

6 portions red potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
3/4 cup Skim Milk
2 TBSP. Butter Buds
Salt to Taste

Boil potatoes until tender.  Drain. Add Milk, Butter Buds and salt. Mash.

**I do not put the ketchup on top, but serve it on the side since not everyone in my family likes ketchup.  I also use 1 cup of egg beaters instead of egg whites.  And obviously, I didn't serve the green beans as shown in the picture.

Rating: 6 :) 2 :| (My husband is not a fan of meatloaf, but he does eat this. Also, there always has to be one kid that frowns upon dinner! UGH!)

Tuesday 1/24 - PLANNED:  Vegetable Lasagna
What Actually Made it to The Table:  The only thing I do differently is I use Low-fat Ricotta and Low-fat Mozzarella if I can.  Also, I've used whole wheat flour and white.  This time I used white, because it was easily available.

Rating: 8 :)

Wednesday 1/25 - PLANNEDCrock-pot Orange Chicken, Quinoa
What Actually Made it to The Table:  I made this, no changes.   We all ate it BUT, it was pretty strong and one dimensional.  I doubt I will make it again without changing the recipe in some way.  Kids were not thrilled about it, and Bean didn't eat it.  Eclaire says she hates orange chicken, AND quinoa so....

Rating: 6 :/ 2 :(

Thursday 1/26 - PLANNED: Meatball Subs using Melony's Homemade Marinara Sauce.
What Actually Made it to The Table:  I made my marinara sauce between 8 and 9AM and put it in the crock-pot to cook on low for 8 hours.  At about 3PM, I added precooked meatballs I buy in bulk at Costco.  I bought whole wheat sub rolls at Walmart.  We just load up the meatballs on the bread and add provolone cheese.  This day we used Sargento Blends Mozzarella Provolone. YUM!:)

Here's the sauce recipe.

Melony's Marinara Sauce
1/2 cup minced onion
1 bell pepper (any color) minced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

To make meat marinara(as I sometimes do) I cook some lean ground beef then drain and rinse it. Then to the rinsed and drained meat I add the bell  pepper, onion and garlic and saute until veggies begin to get tender. **(You can add a few tsp. of olive oil, if you like, I do sometimes) Then remove it from burner, add tomatoes(Usually I use diced tomatoes because that's what I have. I just put them in my food processor for a minute to de-chunk them) tomato paste and sauce and all remaining ingredients..then Voila! I put it all in my crock pot to cook for 8 hours on low. 
*when I'm using this for lasagna, I like to half the ground beef with some sweet Italian's SO yummy. You could, in theory, do that for spaghetti sauce. 

Rating: 8 :D

Thursday, January 26, 2012

What happens next?

This is how I feel daily.  I know a lot of us do, but I'm not talking about emotions here.  I'm talking about food.  Every day I'm at the top of this roller-coaster when I wake up.  Eating starts me down this hill with a momentum I can't seem to stop.  Last time I lost weight, I've openly admitted I starved myself.  This isn't good.  I know.  But the reason I did it wasn't just to be skinny.  When I eat, it starts me rolling down this hill at break neck pace.  By this I mean, If I eat I'm starving.  Makes no sense right?  I don't get it but it is a reality.  If I don't eat, I'm not hungry.  I could literally(and have) go all day without a bite.  But the moment I put a bite in my mouth I'm ravenous.  I don't get it!  Am I alone in this?  I'm so curious what other people think about this subject.  Specifically people who have been overweight or currently are.  I wish there was a way to stop it. It makes no sense that when you eat it makes you hungry when it's supposed to be the opposite.  I wonder if it is something we all share.  And if so, why do our brains work this way?

A 2, an 8, and a 7

What do these numbers mean to me?  They mean that I am losing my battle.  That I am giving up on myself, and, in some ways, my family.  They mean that I cry when I look at what I've become.  My clothes are chronically uncomfortable. 287 is what I weighed on January 18, 2012.  I know this is my Goliath and I need to do a better job of fighting it, but that doesn't make it easier.  Last time I lost all the weight I know I did not do it the right way.  Exercising was a good thing to add and also I did eat a lot better....when I ate.  The problem was I didn't do very much of that.  I starved myself. A lot.  That, I think, in large part is a big reason why I never reached my "goal weight" and also that I am back here again.  Although I don't weigh 354 like I did I am fast on my way back there.  Not anymore.  This time I'm doing things right.  NO skipping meals and NO starving.

What do you say to that 287?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Friday Food

Since I have a LARGE family my recipes are larger. Unless otherwise noted, assume all recipes serve 8.  You can easily downsize them for a smaller family.  Also, Every menu item should link to the original recipe.(To give credit where credit is due!)  My own original recipes will not be linked, unless they are repeats.  **PLEASE NOTE: I may have changed recipes even in my menu title, depending on what I did differently.

Saturday 1/14 - PLANNED: BBQ Chicken and Chili Quesadillas
What Actually Made it to The Table:
16 corn tortillas
1 1/2 lbs. Chicken Breasts
BBQ Sauce of choice
salt to taste
black pepper to taste
Monterey Jack cheese
2 small cans of chopped green chilis

I use my Kitchen-Aid food processor slicing blade to slice the frozen chicken. (I don't think a less expensive food processor can do this.)You can just cut the chicken into smaller pieces if you don't have a quality food processor. Cook the chicken in a skillet with the BBQ sauce, salt and pepper and cook through.  If you haven't used the food processor for the chicken, shred it now.  Spray griddle or non-stick skillet with cooking spray and put one corn tortilla.  Top with cheese, chicken, and some green chili's.  Then add a small amount of cheese on top of everything.  Top with second Tortilla and flip.  Cook till all cheese is melted.  Repeat process for the rest of the tortillas. Enjoy!

Rating: 7:), 1:(  *Bean does not like BBQ(I KNOW it's crazy!)...otherwise I'm sure she would enjoy this too.  I just make her a quesadilla instead.

Sunday 1/15 - PLANNED: Ham and Baked Potato Soup
What actually made it to the table: I don't remember! We have church until 2:30 and eat late lunch and it throws our whole day off.  Plus, this particular day we were meeting my parents for their layover at the airport at 7 so the day was messed up anyway.  I did make cookies.  And I did eat them. :) I"M NOT ON A DIET!

Monday 1/16 - PLANNEDFrench Dip Crescents
What actually made it to the table: This was super easy and delicious!  I adapted the original "recipe" as follows: I put on a roast in the morning and then just cut up the meat, wrapped it, and a serving of low-fat provolone cheese in Pillsbury Crescents.  Then served them with Aus Jus.  As a serving, I ate two.

Rating: 8 :)

Tuesday 1/17 - PLANNED: Stuff-A-Roni (AKA Florentine Manicotti)
What actually made it to the table:
1 1/2 lbs. Lean Ground Turkey
1 Cup whole wheat, soft bread crumbs
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 10 oz. pkgs. frozen chopped spinach, thawed
3/4 cup Egg Beaters or 3 egg whites
2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 TBSP. Grated Parmesan Cheese
2 pkgs. Manicotti Noodles
1 large(4lb 3oz (67oz) jar Marinara ( I use Prego Traditional when I don't use homemade)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Saute onion with ground turkey until turkey is cooked.  Put the meat mixture in a large mixing bowl.  Squeeze ALL excess moisture out of spinach and add to meat mixture.  Add bread crumbs, egg whites, salt, pepper, and cheese to meat mixture and mix well.

Pour one cup of marinara sauce in bottom of two 9X13 pans (so, 1 cup in each pan)  Fill uncooked noodles with filling and place one package (filled noodles) in each pan.  Add 1 cup of water to remaining marinara and mix well.  Divide remaining marinara and water mixture equally between both pans and pour over the noodles.  Cover each pan with foil and bake for one hour. **Filling the noodles can be messy and time consuming, but this meal is SO worth it.  One day, I will film my stuffing method and post it, I promise!

Rating: 8 :)

Wednesday 1/18 - PLANNED: Sweet and Sour Mango-Pork Lettuce WrapsCilantro Lime Brown Rice
What Actually Made it to The Table: I used Pork Tenderloin rather than chicken which is called for in the original recipe above and brown rice instead of white.  In the end the rice didn't cook properly (I was rushing! It's Wednesday!)  So, we didn't eat the rice but I think it would be super yummy either in the wrap, or on the side!  Also, I would chop the mango up smaller than is pictured. I also used iceberg lettuce, thinking it would be better for the kids.

Rating: 5 :) 3 :|
*The kids aren't used to the "lettuce-wrap idea" and I think this affected how the little kids liked it.  And EClaire doesn't seem to like much these days.  All in all though everyone liked the taste of the pork.  It was very good!

Thursday 1/19 - PLANNED: Bobby Deen's "Un-Fried" Chicken, Homemade Sweet Potato Fries

What Actually Made it to The Table: I used chicken tenderloins rather than the chicken thighs called for.  Also, this was huge, the amount of cereal called for was SERIOUSLY lacking.  In the end, I'm not sure how much more I used because I just kept having to add handfuls with chicken coated hands as I ran out!  So, in my opinion - you need more cereal than called for!  Also, with the sweet potato fries:  I got SOME crisping...I mean, it was definitely better than without the cornstarch, BUT still not as expected.  NOT crispy as promised.  I may not have used enough cornstarch.  I'm going to tweak this and definitely try this one again.  They tasted good and are a favorite around here when we bought the more fattening Alexia brand.  Also, I did NOT make the dip for the fries.

Rating: 8 :) *But we would have liked the fries crispy as promised!

Friday 1/20 - PLANNED: Meatball Sandwiches, Chips

What Actually Made it to The Table: Friday night is date night.  I forgot to put the Marinara and Meatballs on, so the kids did their own thing.  Probably ate waffles.  Someday, I will succeed in changing this, but not today!