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No Thanks to Cake: 10/01/2011 - 11/01/2011

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Surviving Halloween

It's Halloween Eve!  If you're celebrating, I hope you have your costume details prepared and your candy purchased!

I'm not a big Halloween girl, myself... but I do love passing out candy to those cute little kiddos!  When I went to weigh-in yesterday, my Jenny Craig center had a list of great tips that they were sharing that I thought might be good for all!

Halloween Treats without the Trick by Jenny Craig

  • BUY YOUR LEAST FAVORITE CANDY - - This is something I totally do.  I buy things I can resist.  For me, that's definitely Hot Tamales, Almond Joy, Bottle Caps, Smarties, and some Twizzlers.  Now, I love Smarties and Twizzlers, but I know that I'll give them away and not eat them.  Too bad I don't not like Reese's Cups or Milky Ways... I guess at my house, you get the lame candy.  Sorry, kids, but I'll give you a LOT!

  • START A TRADITION WITH YOUR KIDS, AND DONATE THE STASH OF CANDY TO A LOCAL SHELTER - - Wow.  You have to let me know if you're able to pull this one off.  I can almost hear the whining, but it's a GREAT idea!
  • CHEW SUGARLESS GUM TO OVERCOME THE URGE FOR SWEET TREATS - - Brilliant!  They have so many sugarfree gums out there that taste like candy - - I recommend the Extra Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream flavor.  Yum-O.

  • FOCUS ON THE FUN, NOT THE CANDY - - Carve pumpkins, put up decorations, or go to a haunted house!  You can be festive without eating the candy! 
  • WAIT TO OPEN THE BAG OF CANDY UNTIL THE FIRST TRICK-OR-TREATER KNOCKS - - If no one knocks, take it back to the store tomorrow!
  • POP IN A MOVIE AND ENJOY A LOW-CAL SNACK WHILE WAITING FOR TRICK-OR-TREATERS - -  A fun Halloween themed one always works well.  Maybe Hocus Pocus (I may have watched it last night!)
  • EAT REGULAR MEALS.  YOU DON'T WANT TO BE HUNGRY WHILE GIVING OUT CANDY - - Eat throughout the day + keep a bag of veggies you LIKE close by. For me, that's cucumbers and colored peppers or maybe some beet chips!
  • ENGAGE FRIENDS OR FAMILY IN AN EVENING WALK TO CHECK OUT THE JACK-O-LANTERNS - - Not a bad idea here, I might switch it up and offer to take the kiddos out for their trick-or-treating (or with friend who has kids!)
  • KEEP YOUR HANDS AND MOUTH BUSY BY SIPPING ON A LOW CAL BEVERAGE - - How about Crystal Light, Diet Coke, or some hot tea?  
  • WEIGH THE PROS AND CONS OF INDULGING - - Think about what eating candy will mean to your week and to your weigh in.  Can you balance your slight candy-eating with a workout?  Also consider this... will you be able to stop at just one piece??
    • If you eat 1 Nestle's Crunch fun size bar - - Walking with trick-or-treaters for 30 minutes will burn it off, but considering the stop and go, plan for 60-90 minutes total.
    • If you eat 2 Kit Kat miniatures - - Rake leaves for 40 minutes in exchange for the treat.
    • If you eat 1 100 Grand fun size bar - - Burn them off by carving pumpkins for 50 minutes.
    • If you eat 8 Sweet Tarts pieces - - Make them vanish by playing frisbee for 50 minutes

Use these tips to make it a successful night, and have fun!

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Weigh In Update + a Creative Lunch

After several, several weeks, I finally made my way to JC to weigh in and to have a consultation this morning.  

I'm down another -0.8 lb

I was quite relieved.  I know the scale had hovered right about where I was last time I was in.  I wasn't expecting a great loss, but I thought there was always the possibility of a maintained weight.  Phew.  Another loss.  I'll take it.

After my weigh-in and consultation, I scooted off to Whole Foods.  I had apples in mind, and plan on making another batch of yummy applesauce today.  

As usual, I found much more than apples today.  Looks like heirloom tomatoes and golden beets will also be on the menu this week.  

When I got home, I was READY for lunch.  Looking at all that delicious food at Whole Foods made me ravenous! Since I had been to see Jenny today, I have a full freezer of entrees to choose from.

Today, I decided to embark upon.... TURKEY JOES!

I wanted to create this recipe a few weeks back and didn't have a turkey burger.  Well, I do now... and I dug in my fridge to see what kind of veggies I had hanging about.  About 1/3 of a red pepper, 1/4 a shallot, and a little white onion were added to my recipe as a result.

My mom's sloppy joes are my absolute favorite.  They have lots of chopped veggies and a tangy sweet sauce.  I tried to make a modified version of her sauce.  Here's her original recipe, if you'd like to check it out.

As you can imagine, this recipe came together pretty quickly.  The turkey burger was crumbled into the saute pan with the veggies, then I added the sauce and VOILA!

Turkey Joes
Serves 1

  • 1/3 red pepper, diced
  • 1/3 sweet white onion, diced
  • 1/4 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. ketchup
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 squeeze of Dijon Mustard
sprinkle of Truvia

1.  Place diced veggies in a saute pan, sprayed with cooking spray.
2.  Cook turkey burger patty in the microwave (on provided dish) for 60 seconds
3.  Dice turkey burger to create a "ground turkey" feel... then add to pan.
4.  Mix ketchup, vinegar, worcestershire, Truvia, and dijon in a small bowl.
5.  Taste sauce to make sure it tastes right for you.  Add salt and pepper as you see fit.
6.  Add to meat and veggie mixture.
7.  Defrost bun by microwaving for 30 seconds.  Toast, if you like (I do!)

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Disappearing Act

Where has this week gone?  It's so hard to believe that it's already Friday Eve!  Who's more excited than me???

The week isn't the only thing that's disappeared....

JC Update:  It's been WEEKS, but I'm actually weighing in at Jenny Craig and having a consultation on Saturday morning.  I'm actually a little bit nervous to go.  They haven't seen me on a regular basis for sometime.  I've basically been having my consultations with you all. 

As I kick back into gear on this weight loss process, I figure I need to get back to my consultations.  I also plan to commit to some exercise.  

Now, I will be happy if I've maintained my weight on my weigh in on Saturday, and will be even happier if I've lost a few.  My expectations are very low, based upon what I've eaten (and drank) in the past few weeks.

My Mini-Goal:  To lose another 6 lbs by Thanksgiving.  That's not TOO aggressive, and I think it's realistic!  I'm going to Ohio to visit my family for Thanksgiving, so it'd be AWESOME to be at the -75 lb mark by then.  My hope is that my applesauce is not the only thing disappearing!!!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Snow Day with My Crockpot

Living in Colorado, you certainly expect to see snow.  However, I don't expect snow until NOVEMBER.  It just doesn't seem appropriate.  I mean, November is almost December.  That makes it ok, but before Halloween??  No thanks!

Poor Guy... I bet he didn't see this coming
The only GREAT thing about a Winter Storm Warning in October is a SNOW DAY!  With all the weather folks predicting 8-12 inches of snow in the past 24 hours, it was an EASY decision to stay in today.  The fact that I had continuing education for my licensing lingering about as well, I knew I'd stay busy.

His friends had a hard day too...
It was nice to be home and to not be running around town on such a blustery day.  I even tried a new JC lunch today.  Seriously, I've been on program for a year... why haven't I tried this sooner??

JC Broccoli and Cheese Potato (with extra broccoli)
Determined to be productive despite the weather, I also decided to try a new recipe today while I was busily working. I'm sure many of you are also fans of Skinny Taste.  The blogger posts phenomenal lowfat/lowcal/healthy eating recipes every week.  I've made tons of her recipes over the past year, and am always impressed!  If you haven't been to her site, click here now!

For those of you who follow Skinny Taste - - Did you see Gina's recipe this week for Crockpot Applesauce??  It seemed like the PERFECT cool weather treat.  And, what a treat it was!!!

This recipe creates the smoothest, tastiest, most delicious applesauce.  You HAVE to TRY it!

 I picked out a Honeycrisp, Gala, Granny Smith, and Golden Delicious to use...

and I decided to do just a 1/2 batch to try it out. 
Peeling was something new for me.  
It seemed easier to peel after slicing (in my opinion.)

Four pretty good sized apples filled my crock about 1/2 way.

Here's what it looked like after cooking for about two hours and the apples started breaking down.

I used my immersion blender to remove the chunks.  It made the smoothest, most fabulous applesauce ever.

Who would have thought 4 apples would "melt" down into this?  Next time I'll make a double batch for sure!

What a great snack!!!  Thanks, Gina!!!

Crockpot Applesauce
12 Servings

  • 8 medium apples (Use a combination)

  • 1 strips of lemon peel

  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

  • 3-inch cinnamon stick

  • 5 tsp light brown sugar (unpacked) - or agave

1.  Peel, core, and slice the apples. 

2.  Place them in the slow cooker. Add the cinnamon stick, lemon peel and brown sugar/agave. 

3.  Set crock pot to low and cook for 6 hours. Stir apples occasionally, apples will slowly become a delicious applesauce.  Remove cinnamon stick and use an immersion blender to blend until smooth or if you prefer a chunky sauce, leave sauce intact.

PER 1/4 CUP SERVING:  CALORIES 65.9; FAT 0.2g; PROTEIN 0.2g; CARB 17.5g; FIBER 2.8g; SODIUM 0.6mg

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

New Recipe: Crusted Honey Mustard Chicken

On Saturday night, Jaede and I decided to make dinner at the house - - just like old times!  After we got out of college, I loved having my girls over for dinner.  

We'd also eaten crap the days previous (i.e. high-altitude donuts, dessert with dinner, etc)  So, I instantly thought of this dish because it's a healthy option and oh-so-tasty!  Weight Watchers always has great low calorie recipes, and this was one that I tried last year and had been craving!

We paired this yummy, crunchy chicken with a tasty salad with the Red Wine Tomato Vinaigrette I love.  I even made some roasted broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.  Amazing dinner, to say the least!

Note:  Unfortunately, I didn't do the play by play with my camera, but you can see by the final shot how gorgeous this chicken is.  

I definitely recommend trying this chicken.  You won't be sorry.

WW Crusted Honey Mustard Chicken
Serves 4

1 spray(s) cooking spray   
2/3 cup(s) lite honey mustard dressing   
1/8 tsp table salt   
1/8 tsp black pepper   
2 tsp dill, freshly chopped   
1 medium scallion(s), finely sliced   
1 cup(s) cornflake crumbs   
1 pound(s) uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, four 4 oz pieces  

1.  Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a shallow pan with cooking spray. 
2.  In a small bowl, combine honey mustard dressing, salt, pepper, dill and scallions; remove 1/3 cup and set aside. 
3.  Place cornflake crumbs in a shallow bowl. 
4.  Dip chicken into dressing mixture and then cornflake crumbs; place in prepared pan.
5.  Bake until chicken is golden and no longer pink in center, about 15 minutes. 
6.  Drizzle remaining dressing mixture (the 1/3 cup that was set aside) over chicken breasts and serve.

Yields 1 piece of chicken and about 1 1/3 tablespoons of dressing per serving.

PER SERVING:  CALORIES 277; FAT 6.2g; PROTEIN 27.5g; CARB 23.4g; FIBER 2.4g; CHOL 66mg