Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Menu Plan Monday 2013 ~ Week of April 29th

I've been having some trouble with menu planning the past several weeks.  Even now, I'm a day late in getting my menu posted.  We had a busy weekend getting ready for Grace's birthday that we celebrated on Sunday.  

Sorry for the lack of photos and links this week.  I promise to post a more creative menu plan next week!  


Leftover Pizza
We have a whole pizza leftover of Grace's
birthday party, so dinner is easy for tonight!  


After so much birthday cake and pizza this weekend,
I'm looking forward to a healthy meal.
I'll chop some lettuce and serve with bacon,
tuna, hard boiled eggs and some baby carrots.  


Navy Bean Soup
Still trying to fit in a couple more soups
before the warmer temeratures arrive.
With the crazy spring weather we've
been experiencing, I don't think I'll
have too much trouble serving up
another pot or two of our favorite soups!  


We'll need something quick and easy for this meal
since we'll be away from home for most of the day!


Crock Pot Ravioli, salad, garlic bread


Taco Salad
I've been wanting tacos for a few weeks now
and since I've been trying to watch my weight,
a taco salad seems like the best option to satisfy
the craving!


Now that you know what we're eating this week, let us know in the comments what's for dinner at your house this week! Or, if you need more menu planning inspiration? Follow me over to Menu Plan Monday hosted by I'm an Organizing Junkie! Or, if you like what you see here, you can check out my past menu plans.

You can also find this week's menu plan linked to On the Menu Monday hosted by Yvonne at Stone Gable. If you haven't checked out Yvonne's blog before, I suggest you drop everything and head on over to check out her delicious recipes, inviting tablescapes and stunning photographs!

Monday, April 29, 2013

100 Day Weight Loss Challenge ~ Bring on Week Four!

I've been meaning to write a check-in post for the 100 Day Weight Loss Challenge, but it's been crazy busy around here.  I can hardly believe that three weeks are over already!

Week one was a great week for me.  I counted calories, drank lots of water and even managed to get in a bit of exercise.  At the end of that first week, I recorded a 3.8 lb loss!  I was ecstatic!

Week two was more of a challenge.  The bad points definitely outweighed the good points and the scale reflected those bad days with a 2 lb. gain!

I've mentioned before that I tend to snack when I'm stressed and I've been super stressed lately.  I haven't been practicing this new healthy lifestyle long enough to break the habit of using food for comfort.  As a result, I've been eating all the wrong things and not in moderation either.

Week three is not going to be a good scale week.  I'm considering keeping off the scale this week.  I worry that getting on the scale and seeing another gain (as much as I know I've did nothing to deserve a loss) will cause me to just give up completely.

This week, we're on vacation.  Really, it's a stay-cation since we pretty much gave up vacations when we took on a mortgage payment six years ago!  Either way, we'll enjoy having Joe home with us for a few days! Plus, I tend to be more mindful of what I eat when Joe is home.  I don't stuff my face with junk as much when he's here so maybe that will help.  I'm also hoping that I'll have more time to exercise this week while he hangs out with Grace.

My goals for this week:

  • Drink water.  Aside from that first week, I don't think I've had even a gallon of water total!  I really need to get back to drinking more water.  I felt so much better when I was drinking water and cutting way back on the soda.  

  • Exercise.   I'm so out of shape that I need to start off small in the exercise department.  Ten minutes here and there seemed to really help my mood in week one....still, I found it difficult to get motivated in weeks two and three.  I really need to force myself to get in a few 10 minute cardio workouts this week.  I'll also be doing some squats and arm exercises this week.  (Something I did great with on week one...but really didn't even consider doing in weeks two and three.) 

  • Food.  With Joe home this week, we'll be heading to the local produce market where I'll stock up on some healthy snacks.  I'll bring it home and arrange several on-the-go containers of fruits and vegetables.  I'm considering having the calorie count written on the containers to make it easier to track my calories without having to constantly weigh and measure.  I'll be keeping my calories at 1200 per day.  

  • Sleep.  I'm a night owl.  I have such a difficult time getting myself motivated until very late in the day, which often results in me being up until the wee hours of the morning.  Since Grace has been getting up bright and early, I've been having a tough time finding any energy at all during the day.  This causes me to crave sugar and not really care at all about healthy options and calorie counts.  This week, my goal will to be in bed by midnight at the latest and see if that helps me at all.

I know my fellow challengers are doing much better with their goals and I am so proud of them!  Keep up the great work everyone!  

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Menu Plan Monday 2013 ~ Week of April 15th

The weeks have just been flying by so quickly that I haven't been able to keep up with menu planning and shopping lists!  After Easter, we ate leftovers the whole week!  Last week, I started a new weight loss challenge and was totally unprepared but managed to put together a bunch of low calorie meals that worked for me, mostly with items we already had in the house.  

This week, or at least today, I feel like I'm in a better place mentally and have been able to think ahead into the current week and what I'll be serving for dinners.  


Hamburgers and salad.
Today is our errand day, so I'll be keeping it simple for when we return home.


Beef Pot Pie and salad
The last time I made Katie's Spicy Shredded Beef recipe (one of our favorite meals),
I used the leftovers to make a pot pie!
It was AMAZING and I've been craving it ever since!
It's so delicious, I just know I'm going to have trouble sticking to a single portion!  


Taco Salad 
I'm trying to increase the amount of vegetables that we eat every day.
Personally, I'm eating a lot of salads and I really want to keep switching up the flavors
to keep from getting bored with all that lettuce!


Enchiladas and salad
I'm going to really have to eat my salad first during this meal!
It's so easy for me to over eat when I serve enchiladas for dinner!


Spaghetti & Meatballs, Rolls, Salad
Moving some things around in the freezer,
I found a bag of meatballs in sauce
that I froze after dinner a month or so ago.

Leftover night!  


Ham, Baked Beans, Potato Salad
We bought a ham for Easter that we didn't end up using.
Since it needs to be frozen or used and I don't have any room in the freezer,
we're going to enjoy it for dinner tonight and use most of the leftovers next week!  

Now that you know what we're eating this week, let us know in the comments what's for dinner at your house this week! Or, if you need more menu planning inspiration? Follow me over to Menu Plan Monday hosted by I'm an Organizing Junkie! Or, if you like what you see here, you can check out my past menu plans.

You can also find this week's menu plan linked to On the Menu Monday hosted by Yvonne at Stone Gable. If you haven't checked out Yvonne's blog before, I suggest you drop everything and head on over to check out her delicious recipes, inviting tablescapes and stunning photographs!

Friday, April 12, 2013

100 Day Weight Loss Challenge Week 1 Friday Check-In

So far this week is going great!  Well, great as far as the challenge is concerned.  Personal stuff is causing me some stress and Grace is having trouble adjusting to the change of seasons and keeping us up all night.  Usually, things like this cause me to shut down and lose focus of my goals.  I am so proud of myself for not giving in to my usual habit of stress eating.  Not to say there won't be any stress eating in the future, but I just want to focus on now.


With the help of My Fitness Pal, I've calculated and set my calorie limit at 1200 per day.  This is less calories than I am used to with past challenges and I've found myself going over each of the first three days (that includes eating the exercise calories that I burned off).  In the past, I would have given up after so many days of not keeping within my limit.  This time, I'm not being so hard on myself.  I know that lowering my caloric intake is going to take some getting used to and as long as I am eating less than I have been in the days/weeks/months leading up to this challenge, than I know that I am on the right track.

On Day 4, I stayed within my calories by 1 calorie!  And only with the help of those exercise calories (58 calories) !

Drinking Water / Cutting Back on Diet Pepsi:  

If you've followed along during past challenges, than you know that I hate water.  It's a chore for me to drink just water and have a hard time resisting the urge to drink Diet Pepsi in place of my water each day.  So far this week, I have reached my daily goal of 64 oz. of water.  On Day 1, I gave up soda entirely.  On Day 2, I had such a horrible headache.  I couldn't open my eyes or move without feeling like my head was going to explode!  When nothing else worked, I had 2 very tiny glasses of soda.  While the headache didn't go away completely, I felt so much better!  And I still managed to get in the rest of my water for the day!

I have no illusions that I'll give up diet soda completely.  I enjoy it too much to say goodbye forever!  But I do want to cut back.  As mentioned above, I'm doing pretty good with that.  I'll have to do a photo comparison to show you the difference in the size glass I was drinking from prior to the challenge and what I'm using now!


I wasn't planning on adding exercise to this first week.  I've mentioned in the past the obstacles, or shall we say EXCUSES, that prevent me from exercising.  It's really difficult to exercise with an almost 4-year-old under foot,  we don't have exercise equipment, and we lack a DVD player in the only room large enough to do any sort of work out.

Well, on Day 2 I was scrolling through the OnDemand menu through our cable provider and found myself checking out the Sports & Fitness section.  I saw a 10 minute beginners Walking Basics.  Kind of like Walk Away the Pounds.  I decided to shove my coffee table out of the way and do the 10 minute work out!  I'm embarrassed to say that for this couch potato, 10 minutes kicked my butt!  I was so ready to give up after the first few minutes, especially when my daughter started getting in the way.

On Day 3, I decided to do the same 10 minute workout adding 1 lb. weights to each hand!  So, while walking, marching, kicking and moving my arms I was carrying an extra 2-pounds!  Not much, but it's a start!

Day 4, I almost didn't work out at all.  On Tuesday, I hurt my shoulder and must have pulled a muscle.  It didn't actually hurt until two days later.  But no matter how I moved, it hurt.  Last thing I wanted to do was exercise.  But that decision was really making me feel down in the dumps and I really just felt like giving up on the entire thing.  At 10:30 pm, I ended up doing the 10 minute walking workout again.  This time without the weights, partly because of the pain in my shoulder and partly because I couldn't find them!


This week, I ate a lot of wraps.  I found it was easier for me to figure the calories for my wraps than if I cooked a big meal.  While I love the recipe builder program on My Fitness Pal, sometimes I run out of time get overwhelmed.  That's when I decide to give up.  Eventually, I'll have the time to cook and calculate the calories, but for now I just want to keep it as simple as possible!

I've also been eating a lot of hummus.  Both on my wraps and as a dip with baby carrots!  Mmm!  So good!

Don't get me wrong, while I'm enjoying the healthier options and the smaller portions of my favorite meals, I'm still craving a hamburger.

I'll probably post more about food as soon as I feel a little more in control of this whole weight loss thing!


My attitude was so positive for the first three days.  I didn't mind weighing and measuring my food to determine calories for each item.

Day 4 was not so positive as I mentioned above.  I did not want to weigh and measure my food and was feeling resentful.  I wanted to eat whatever the heck I pleased and while I resisted, I'm still wanting a big, juicy burger!

Monday, April 8, 2013

100 Day Weight Loss Challenge Begins Today! Wish me luck!

Is it really Monday already?  It must be, since it definitely feels like a Monday.  I'm just surprised that it's already here.  After a very busy weekend full of lots of errands and full of a wide range of emotions, I am worn out and also feel like I may be getting a cold.  Or maybe it's just allergies.

Grace has been having sleep issues lately, too.  Which means Mommy has sleep issues.  This kid has been waking up several times a night and I just cannot figure out how to solve this problem.

Aside from the usual Monday morning blues, today is no normal Monday morning.  Today is the start of the 100 Day Weight Loss Challenge over at Colie's Kitchen.  (There's still time if you want to join-in!)

To say I am not prepared for Day 1 is an understatement.  Between being both physically and emotionally exhausted and also feeling sick, I'm just not ready.  Not to mention the fact that we didn't grocery shop this weekend and the healthy options just aren't in abundance at the moment.

All that said, if I don't begin this today, then when?  From past experience, I know I am guilty of pushing things off until the following Monday over and over again.  Until weeks, months, even years pass without me doing anything to help myself out of this fat situation.

Today, as Day 1 of the challenge, I am supposed to weigh in.  Sigh.  This is going to be dreadful.  I just know it.  I fully know that I am at my highest weight I've been in my life and the thought of seeing that number today just scares me!  To know that I let myself get this heavy and risking my health is very upsetting.

I'm also supposed to share what my goals are for this week and the challenge overall.  For me, that's the easy part.  Much easier than that moment of truth when I finally step on the scale.  Easy because my goals have been the same for each and every new diet or weight loss challenge I begin.

Overall, I want to lose weight, cut back (way back) on my diet soda consumption drinking more water as a result, kick my sugar addiction and lead a healthier lifestyle.  I want to be able to still eat the foods I love, just not as much of them.  I need to teach myself portion control.  For example, I want to allow myself to eat a brownie and not inhale the entire pan of brownies in one day.  Boredom and sugar addiction combined with a total lack of self control all contribute to that problem and it's something I want to work on through these next 100 days.

At the end of the 100 Day Weight Loss Challenge:

  • I want to be able to move more comfortably.  I'm too young for all of these aches, pains and creaky bones!  Not to mention being out of breath from one flight of stairs!

  • I want to feel good about myself.  While I know that appearance isn't everything, feeling confident about how I look in an outfit would help me enjoy myself more when we're out and about.  I spend so much time fidgeting and adjusting my ill-fitting clothes while we're out that I forget to have fun.  

  • My ultimate challenge goal is to fit into my wedding rings by the end of these 100 days.  It's been about 5 years since I've worn them.  I refuse to get them re-sized and a new ring just isn't in the budget.  

I think that about covers it.  I'm reluctant to choose a goal weight.  I'm a perfectionist and if I see that I'm not reaching my assigned goal, I'll end up quitting the challenge.  So, instead I need to focus on the other goals and not a set number.  As long as the weight is coming off, I'll be happy.  5 lbs, 10 lbs, 20 lbs. lost will all be a step in the right direction!  

It's 10:30 and I haven't eaten breakfast yet since I've been trying to work up the courage to step on the scale.  Monday morning before breakfast will be my weigh-in day.  

After breakfast, I'll be planning out my game-plan for the week.  This will include a shopping list of healthy options as well as a meal plan for the week.  Having a list of healthy meal options posted to the fridge will help me stay on track when I'm feeling hungry.  

In addition to posting here each week, I will also be tracking my success over at MyFitnessPal which is a free online program where you can track your daily calories, log in your weight each week, enter recipes to find calorie count per serving, etc. My profile name there is Fitmomma613 if you want to follow along over there, too!  

Good luck to my fellow challengers and many thanks to Nicole for setting this up!  It's definitely the kick in the pants that I needed!  Well, that and the fitting room disaster I had to deal with on Saturday!  I won't go into detail as I'm sure you can all relate in some way!  

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Chocolate Hummus

I have wanted to try Chocolate Hummus ever since Debbi shared her recipe almost 2 years ago!  I just never got around to making it since I knew I'd be the only person in the house that would eat it.  I really didn't want to make the entire batch of it for myself.  I probably could have cut the recipe in half, but that thought never occurred to me until just now.

Tuesday morning, I had the perfect opportunity to whip up a batch of delicious Chocolate Hummus.  We had company coming over and I wanted to offer a healthy snack to our guests.

I set out a bowl of veggies with some store-bought roasted red pepper hummus for a more savory snack along with a bowl of fruit with the Chocolate Hummus for dipping.

Mmm!  So good!  I'm so glad I finally got around to trying it!

Chocolate Hummus 
     adapted from Debbi Does Dinner...Healthy & Low-Calorie

  • 1 can chick peas, drained/rinsed 
  • 2 Tbs. coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 4 Tbs. honey
  • salt, to taste 
  • 2-4 Tbs. warm water 
  • Combine all ingredients in food processor. 
  • Add more or less water to get desired consistency.  

I really loved this healthy snack!  It was especially delicious on strawberries!  I'm just sorry it took me so long to make it!  

{Not So} Wordless Wednesday ~ Healthy Snacking

Last week, Grace and I had friends come for a visit.  I knew my friend Merry has been cutting out the junk food as much as possible and really watching what she eats.

With so many people with food intolerance or allergies and others following different diets, I tend to  panic when it comes time to host guests that keep away from certain foods.  This time, instead of panicking, I decided that I'd just put out some fruit and veggies for us to nibble on rather than preparing a full meal.

I filled one bowl with strawberries, grapes and pineapple chunks.  The other bowl had cucumber slices, celery sticks and baby carrots.  I opened a tub of Roasted Red Pepper Hummus for the veggies and whipped up a batch of Chocolate Hummus for the fruit.  I also set out a bowl of mini pretzels to dip in the Chocolate Hummus!  mmm!  So good!

Chocolate Hummus

I have forgotten how much I enjoy snacking on sweet fruits and crunchy veggies throughout the day.  These days I tend to snack on a lot of junk food.  Something that I really need change.

Soon, the farmers' markets in our area will be opening.  I'm looking forward to picking up some super-fresh produce to snack on each week!

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