Burning Daylight

Today is the first day of my first vacation since maternity leave. I am hoping to put vacation to good use. Working out, eating better, etc. I have been on a diet (calorie and portion watching) for two weeks. So far so good. Without working out I have still lost five pounds.

We will see how it goes I suppose.

Since my last post, I am down a dress size, so things have still been going well. My daughter is nearly two years old and growing like a weed. She is getting so big its depressing.

Either way, lets get this party started! ♥

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Figuring it out

We finally were able to afford a gym membership with California Family Fitness. We have been going for three weeks, and I have lost 12 pounds.  I am using a handy app on my phone that helps me log all of my calories and exercising.  Of course, watching our diet and portions has helped a lot.  I have cut out the Starbucks (EEEK!) and the Vodka (GASP!).  I am feeling great, and keeping motivated to go even further.  Now to just move forward and keep going in the right direction.

In other news, my daughter has a slight cold.  I am off work the next few days to stay at home and be a mama.  I love it.  I wish I could stay with her every day.  I am sure she would love that too.  I am sure the dog would love to be home with people every day instead of alone with the cat.

I also recently started a second “job” as a Passion Parties independent sales consultant.  This second job is totally fun, and probably shouldn’t even be called a job.  I love it.  I am still building my business, and waiting for the day it can become a full-time job.  I have met so many interesting women, heard great stories, and helped women experience themselves for the first time.  It’s been great.

My life is headed in the right direction, I am just waiting to figure out what my next moves are going to be.  I am praying daily for a sign as to what my next move needs to be.  I am thankful for what we have, and I am excited to see what the future brings for my family.  Now to just keep moving in the right direction.

A New Recipe

So, I was browsing the book, and found another recipe, which I changed up a bit, and it is amazingly good, makes a ton, and can be frozen for those lazy days.

  • 1 Can Low Sodium Black Beans (Drained)
  • 1 Can Low Sodium Pinto Beans (Drained)
  • 1 Can Tomatoes and Bell Peppers
  • 1 Bag Frozen Corn
  • A Dash of Chili Powder
  • A Dash of Tabasco Sauce
  • 1 lb Ground Turkey Cooked
  • Onions

Cook the turkey with the onions, then combine all ingredients in the crock pot, cook on low for four hours.

The recipe in the book is a lot different, so I modified it quite a bit.  It called for a can of corn and a table-spoon of sugar vs my bag of corn which is a larger quantity of corn.  Instead of the black and pinto beans, it called for kidney beans.  So needless to say, I changed it up based on what I have in the pantry.  🙂  My husband loves the meal, and it was good for three nights worth of dinner, plus a lunch for me.  Now I am making it again to freeze for the lazy days.  We made burritos’ one night, nachos another night, and tacos.  A friend even suggested putting corn bread mix on it while cooking, which I don’t have any of that, so needless to say, it isn’t getting done.

On the diet update, I haven’t lost any weight, but I haven’t been trying as much as I have promised myself.  We ate at home a lot this week, but work has been slow so my daily walking around the big box store isn’t happening as much as usual.  It has also been storming here so I haven’t had the ability to walk around the neighborhood.  At the same time, I haven’t gained any, so it’s somewhat of a wash.  The eating healthier and the lack of physical activities has evened out.  I have lost a few millimeters centimeters off the hips, which did get me into my skinny self/pre-pregnancy jeans, which I am excited about.

I tend to eat the same way over and over and over again, and no matter how much I exercise, I still manage to gain weight.  I have actually lost a fraction of a pound over the last week, so it is truly a move in the right direction. I took an hour out of my day today to prepare meals for the week to make eating healthy at home easier and more appealing, as well as cut up cucumbers, celery, and carrots as easy grab-n-go snacks, to avoid buying a snickers bar or a bag of chips.

Eating healthy isn’t just a way of eating, it is a whole lifestyle change that takes time, effort, and commitment to do the things you need to do to continue eating healthy   You can’t eat healthy and be lazy, because if you are lazy, you will want to go through the drive through instead of make a leaner burger at home.  I know I keep talking about all of this, mostly trying to embed it into my own head, because I am not showing much of a change.  Maybe I will start posting pictures for all of my readers to see.  I have been shrinking, and I have a flatter tummy today than I have in years, just the scale doesn’t show the same thing.

Note to self: More Water!!!  I think I am retaining water thus causing the scale to reflect a heavier weight.

The diet update, one month on Noom

So, I have been using the Noom app for about a month now, and without modifying my eating habits, exercising habits, just keeping an eye on what I am eating so that I know how bad it really is for me, and keeping an eye on my daily life, seeing how many calories I burn in my day-to-day life without trying, I have actually lost five pounds.  I think now I will start actually watching what I eat, and trying to increase my daily step count so that I can lose even more, and quicker.  We have still been eating highly unhealthy foods, as my husband “isn’t motivated to diet since he can’t afford a gym membership.”  I was actually planning on talking to him tonight about what I blogged previously.  It isn’t about losing weight, it is about a healthier lifestyle all together, diet, activity, heart health, and living longer so we can have more time with our daughter.

Don’t get me wrong, we both aren’t the picture perfect specimen of whatever, but we aren’t rolling down the block like bowling balls either.  We both need to quit being lazy with our diet.  I know I have been blogging about this for a few weeks now, and since I didn’t change my lifestyle at all, I just kept an eye on what I do and my habits, so I know where I can make some changes, I feel I can try to lose  some weight, and not have to spend hours a day at the gym.  So here is my next goal.

For the next month, I want to lose another five pounds in the next month.  In order to do this, I will drink less coffee and soda, and more water and tea.  If coffee is a must, I want to skip the latte and brew my own at home.   I will make at least three healthy dinners a week, versus our incredibly yummy and ever so cheesy nachos.  I know I have spouted all of this before, but now that I have just observed myself for a month, I think I will be more successful in the future.

Here goes nothing.

Chicken Soft What?

So today’s experiment in the slow cooker is chicken soft something.  The recipe is for chicken soft taco’s, but I am almost certain my husband will want chicken soft nacho’s.  The recipe is essentially the chicken itself, now what ever you decide to do with the chicken is up to you.  The recipe is simple, and great in a bind.  You don’t even have to defrost the chicken, and there are three easy ingredients.  Throw them all in the slow cooker, and cook on low for six to eight hours.

  • Four FROZEN Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (or approx 1 lb.)
  • 1 14.5 oz Can of Tomato’s (or tomato’s with peppers)
  • 1 Packet of Low Sodium taco seasoning.

Note: I put the can of tomato’s in and a little bit of salsa.  Also, instead of the seasoning packet, I put in some of my own seasonings that I know we like, therefore removing some of the seasonings that I don’t like.  I used paprika, chili powder, and dried onion flakes.

I have made this recipe previously, and it was amazing.  Now I am changing up the seasonings.  I am doing this because ever since I got pregnant, my heart burn doesn’t like too many crazy seasonings and spices.

The thing I like most about this recipe, is it is great in a bind.  I don’t know how many of you have a ton of chicken in the freezer to take out when you want it.  Well, this is the recipe for when you don’t want to risk the chicken de-frosting on time (like today when I remembered to take something out at noon!).  You can toss the frozen chicken in the slow cooker with a can of tomato’s some salsa and seasonings, turn it on, and you have a great meal that looks like it took all day to make.  This chicken can be used, like I said before, in so many different meals, like burritos, enchiladas, nachos, tacos, and change-up the seasonings for even more feasts.

Feel free to suggest seasoning alternative idea’s, and meal ideas for this simple easy main ingredient.  (And low sodium and diet friendly!)

Slow Cooker Parmesan Chicken

This recipe is from the Fix It and Forget It Lightly cook book, and is what I am making tonight for dinner.  The recipe says it makes 8 servings, however while shopping around today, I wasn’t able to find a package of chicken with four or eight chicken breasts, so I got a package with five monster breasts, chopped three in half, froze two, and so essentially I have six pieces of chicken in the slow cooker.  The prep time took about ten minutes, including cleaning up the chicken and chopping off the fat.   The recipe takes about four or four and a half hours to cook, and you should use a larger 4-5 quart slow cooker.

What you will need:

  • 8 Boneless Skinless Chicken breast (Like I said, I couldn’t find this, so I have three really really big chicken breasts cut in half)
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 cup fat-free mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup grated fat-free parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp paprika

First, of course, clean up the chicken, cut off the fat, remove any blood vessels if they are in there (cos that’s just nasty).  Then cover and cook on high for two hours.  (This is where I am now!) Then mix the remaining ingredients and spread over the chicken, then cover and cook on high for two to two and a half more hours.

I like my crock pot because it will cook for the specified time, then keep the product warm.  So I can prepare this meal and have it done and then just keep it warm for a few hours while I am at work.  My theory is, make it on days I am off and my husband works, so that I can still get my errands done, play with the baby, etc and have an amazing meal waiting for him when he get’s home.  alternately, when he is working, I can get the first two hours done, and add the additional ingredients just before I leave for work on a closing day, have the crock pot cook and keep warm after the second two hours, so he can eat when he gets home, and I can eat when I get home.  Since when I close I often don’t get home until after 9pm!  I can make my husband dinner and don’t even have to be home.

Edit: Ok, so it is now 7:45pm, and dinner and dishes are done.  I didn’t take any pictures because, well, it didn’t look too pretty.  It did, however, taste amazing, and I am already looking forward to lunch tomorrow!  I was a little concerned because there is a lot of mayonnaise, but the majority of the ingredients added toward the end, stayed in the slow cooker, and went in the trash.  Someone else may choose to eat the sauce, but we are not big fans of mayo or miracle whip.  Enjoy!!!

Healthy Cooking Doesn’t Cost More

I keep hearing on the news that people on food stamps purchase crappy unhealthy food because it costs too much to eat healthier.  Ok, as one who just went to the grocery store for one meal, I am going to have to go ahead and call “Bull-Shit!” on that argument.  I purchased quite a bit of food, and spent about what one meal for my family at some sort of fast food joint like Taco Bell or Burger King.  The list of stuff I bought:

  • The stuff for just this meal: 
    • 3.73 lbs of Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (Eating Right Chicken Breast Boneless Skinless Extreme Value Pack)
    • A Baguette of Sourdough Bread (We need a side right?!?)
    • A bottle of Cabernet
  • The stuff for this and many meals in the future: 
    • Reduced Fat Mayonnaise (the small bottle)
    • A jar of paprika
    • A jar of dried oregano leaves

Ok, now just so you know, this meal cost me $25 (Not including the bottle of wine, that was $8.99).  The meal will feed us for three nights!  It costs us $20 to get through the drive through.  And now for the kicker…the chicken breasts were not from chickens, I think they were from Godzilla.  I used three of the five chicken breasts, froze the other two, and plan on making slow cooker chicken soft taco’s with them next week!  So really, from the $25, I am getting three meals for two, and then another meal for four (my parents are coming and I plan on making the chicken soft taco’s when they are here.)

Both recipes are from the Fix it and Forget it Lightly cookbook….both take about ten minutes to prepare before work, and at these prices, who needs the drive through?

A Dietary Assistance Plan

I downloaded a Diet Coach app on my Android called Noom. It is a combination of many other apps including a calorie tracker, goal setting, work out mapping app. It has a pedometer built in so I can keep track of my steps each day, as well as setting daily walking goals. It schedules workouts, which is a nice reminder of the things I need to do to shrink this waist line.  The app is based on Artificial Intelligence, which helps to monitor your eating habits, workout habits, and more, and generate a plan that you will stick to, and helps to motivate you. Like their website says, it’s not just an App, it’s a diet coach.  For example, it has been setting pedometer step goals for me every day, and every day it increases the amount of steps I need to take.  It also schedules time for me to exercise.  When you enter in your food, it color codes the food with green (for healthy) yellow (semi healthy) and red (not healthy).  It suggest so much of each food type for the day, and sets eating goals for you also.  Everyday you have some goals, and it’s just that nice extra little bit of help that I think I need.  Noom tracks all sorts of activities, from simply shopping or driving, dancing and yoga, to more extreme work outs like P90x and Insanity.  This is great because it helps you record even the simplest of tasks, even simple house work. and add’s them to your calorie burning calculations for the day.

Noom has both a free and a paid version.  They say that users with the pro version burn about two times more pounds than users with the free version.  I am going to try a month with the free version then try the paid version for thirty days just to see how much different it is, and see if it is worth it.  It is only $9.99/month, which is way less than something like Weight Watchers Online, which I was looking into.  I can’t find a great compairison of the two, so I will report back and let you know if the money is worth it.  The best I can find is even more personalized goals, workout suggestions, and an overall better understanding of your own need through the built in AI computers.

We shall see how this thing starts working for me, and I will share the progress. My next step is to get a scale.  The app can’t track my weight loss without a scale.  If you are interested in downloading Noom as well, you can download it on Google Play.