Thursday, June 28, 2012

Busy Morning

I went in for my annual physical this morning.  I feel like I got put through the ringer!  Here are our the topics and things we went through:

Fasting blood work - including insulin resistance to see if it's improved (as well as PCOS).  Hopefully I'll get those results next week.

We discussed my Weight Loss and Exercise Plan - and the message was "keep going!!!!".

Referral to a real OB/GYN...since it typically takes 6 months to get in as a new patient.

And then after my physical I went in for my allergy shots (UGH they are itchy) and teeth whitening...

WHAT A MORNING!  No more poking and prodding for me for awhile (thankfully). 

What do you discuss with your doctor at your annual appointment? 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

My Crack Hos

I mean that in a totally positive way.  I mean, not a positive way FOR ME personally on my weight loss journey, but...ok, let me explain.

I am love with these 2 products.  I seriously CANNOT stay away from them if they are placed in front of me. 

Jake's Ice Cream Thrillah Vanilla

I ate like a whole cup of it today.  Without even blinking.  And then I went back for seconds.  And just a bit' o thirds.  I am estimating at least 6 points for this.

Why, why, why does this have to be such Kryptonite?  Another confessional.  I ate six - SIX - of these cookies today (granted, at 0.7oz per cookie) and that was like another FOURTEEN POINTS.

I feel AWFUL tonight.  My stomach and head hurt and I have felt yucky all afternoon.  And TWENTY POINTS OF JUNK later, I know exactly why.  But I'm telling you, these are delicious.  But for me, moderation is NOT possible therefore, I need to just say no next time.

(PS - Jeff says I have been writing about food too much so I have committed to not writing about food every day.  But I just had to share this one.)

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Recent Trip

I just had to share...I bought clothes at Dillard's yesterday.  A real, bona-fide department store.  And I bought more than just purses and make-up.

Guess what else.  I bought clothes.  That fit.  And were cute.  And fit really well.  Really, really well.

My favorite item purchased?  A bright, sunny, super cheerful yellow top that is shiny crochet with ponte sleeves.

Jeff's favorite item purchased?  A boatneck Ralph Lauren lavender knit top with cuffed 3/4 sleeves.

Those items, plus a few more tops, and two pairs of TWO SIZES SMALLER THAN THIS TIME LAST YEAR...means I'm ready to go on vacation in July!!!

When I actually get everything laundered, I'll post a photo.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Bad Fiction

Do you ever pick up a book (or download it, in my case) and although you're pretty sure it sucks after ready the first 10 pages, you can't put it down?

Enter Fifty Shades of Grey.  I'm sure if you're female you've heard of it.  Men, you can stop reading here. 

The dialogue is clunky, the characters are only sort of developed, and there is an inordinate amount of time spent on things I tend to skip over (you know what I mean).

Also, my pet peeve is present - REPEATED PHRASES.  I hate that.  Especially in a trilogy.  Just because it's a new book doesn't mean you can repeat a phrase.  I WILL remember it from the book I just finished.  Ugh.  Annoying.

Anyway, for some reason, I have devoured the first 2 books of the Fifty Shades series even though I don't really like them.  I am just so curious about what will happen to the 2 main characters (will Leila find them and shoot them? will Jack make a pass at Ana? will they have a huge fight?). 

It's kind of like a train wreck.  Or an episode of Real Housewives.  So I guess I keep reading. 

I have a feeling that when I finish the final book I will still be unimpressed, yet probably glad I particpated in a pop culture phenomenon.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

On The Road

Guess what!  I get to travel today!!!

My new job (started March 2011) is WAY less travel than my old job which at first I was excited about...but that I've been away a year...I could travel a bit more.

Today's trip is to ORLANDO.  A fancy dinner tonight followed by a trade show tomorrow should be fun!  It's gonna be god-forsaken hot but I'm used to it by now.

And FYI, I will wear my ugliest - but comfyest - shoes.  At trade shows, even flats won't do.  I have lace-up, black leather, Rockport orthopedics.  And I'm not ashamed.

Bring it on, WBENC!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Time Management Confessional

I have been working out at the gym at work (!) 2-3 days a week over the lunch hour.  There are several classes I am in love with (hello Muscle Mayhem), and they are scheduled for 45 minutes.  This is perfect because you can change, go to class, and shower in an hour TOTAL and it's just like you were "out to lunch".

The problem is that I have never been a "lunch-taker".  Ever since entering the real world in 2004, I almost always, every day, bring my lunch and eat at my desk while working.  Occasionally, I'll go out to eat with colleagues for a special occasion or if we just need a break, but by and large I am a desk-eater.

Jeff helped me see that by going to class 2-3 times per week over lunch, I was really losing 2-3 hours of productvity I had previously depended on. 

Add that to the insane amount of workload and projects and special events and demands and everything else happening at work right now...and I'm behind.

I'm not majorly behind, but NOT performing at the level that I'm used to.

And I have a hard time saying no.  (Who's with me?) 

(By the way, my reasoning for saying "yes", is if I say "no" - the person is still going to do what they were going to do anyway and I will be STUCK WITH THE CONSEQUENCES without having had input.)

But I DO like my lunchtime ritual and break from work.  It's become really important to me.

The only options are to go to work earlier or stay later.  Staying later sucks (I already get home around 6:30PM), so I need to go work earlier.

So I made the decision.  I am committed to coming in early on Mondays and Thursdays. 

Guess what.  Today is Monday.  I came in 30 minutes early.

Eesh.  Not exactly what I had in mind.  But I guess I had to start somewhere?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Creative Substitutions

Here are some creative and not so creative food substitutions that I have found and really like - and incorporate into my routine pretty often! 
Coke -- Coke Zero -- Berry LaCroix Sparkling Water

2 cups of coffee -- 1 cup of coffee and 2 cups of Japanese green tea

Cracker Barrel cheddar cheese planks -- Reduced Fat Sargento cheddar cheese sticks

Betty Crocker brownies from a box -- Peanut Butter and Fudge Vita Tops

Coffee Mate French Vanilla liquid -- Light Vanilla Silk Soymilk

Ranch Dressing Veggie Dip -- Sabra Hummus 2oz cups

Microwave bacon -- Microwave TURKEY bacon

BBQ Kettle style Chips -- BBQ PopChips

Regular sliced bread -- Sara Lee Delightful Wheat Bread

I hope you consider one of these next time you're at the grocery store!!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

This Week's Meal List

Plan, Plan, Plan.  It's just about the only way to REMAIN successful at this healthier-eating thing.

I have been making (mostly) hot breakfasts and fresh sack lunches in the morning for Jeff and me, but the dinners present a challenge.  I usually get home between 6 and 6:30PM and am STARVING and TIRED and think it's much EASIER to go out for dinner.

But, it's not as easy on my points, or on the wallet, to eat out that much.  So this week my goal is to cook at home all of our dinners.

Here's what's on my meal list this week, and I am preparing to go to the store to pick up ingredients for:

- Pulled Pork Sandwiches in the Crock Pot, with Tator Tots and Green Beans

- Beef Tacos with Fajita Fixin's & Rice

- Curried Chicken, Peas, and Potatoes (made with Greek yummy and easy)

- Baked Mahi Mahi with Mangos (for me) & Rice (for both)

- Moussaka in Minutes (NEW RECIPE!!!)

- Turkey Pepperoni Calzones

Pretty much everything on this list is between 7 and 12 Points Plus for one serving.  Hopefully I can get them all cranked out this week and meet my goal this week of COOKING DINNER AT HOME!!!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Crock Pot Jerk Chicken Soup

Can't wait to share this SPICY and HOT Jerk Chicken Soup recipe!  It was originally a Weight Watchers recipe - but you know me, I always have to modify recipes to make them both easier and faster.

The original had a lot more combos of spices and was made with turkey...but mine still turned out yummy.  I will make a few modifications - so I'm sharing the modified-but-not-yet-tried version as I'm sure it will be better than my modified-first-try.

Crock Pot Jerk Chicken Soup
Serves 4: 5 PPV per serving

3 tsp McCormick Jerk Seasoning
1/2 tsp black pepper, divided
1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (I buy the large ones and it's about 2 pieces)

1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1 medium uncooked onion
1 medium uncooked red bell pepper
1 medium uncooked green bell pepper
1 regular can of diced tomatoes (undrained) (fire-roasted with chilies if you like the heat)
1 regular can of lower sodium black beans (rinsed and drained)
2 cups lower sodium chicken broth

1 cup water (if want more soupy / less hot)
2 tbsp fresh cilantro from my deck herb garden :)

Coat the 2 whole chicken breasts with 1 tsp Jerk Seasoning (more if you like heat).  Let sit for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop up the 1 onion, 2 peppers, and garlic clove.

Spray or use 1 tsp Olive Oil in the bottom of the crock pot.  Place coated chicken breasts on the bottom, layer in the onion, then peppers, then garlic.  Dump in the black beans, then tomatoes, then chicken broth, then the remaining 1 tsp of Jerk Seasoning and pepper.

Cook on low 5-7 hours.  Shred the chicken before eating and let it sit for 5-10 minutes to soak up the brothy flavors. 

Garnish your bowl with fresh cilantro and enjoy!!!

If you want, you can add 1/2 cup rice 30 minutes before eating, but be sure to add the extra cup of water if you do that.  This will then be 7 PPV for the recipe.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Turn a Watermelon into a Keg

I love this whole article on Lifehacker.  So much, that I am posting it here in its entirety.

The perfect drink dispenser for your summer cocktail parties may actually be a watermelon. Serve punch, juice, or a real fruit cocktail in that giant melon.

For your watermelon-to-keg transformation, simply cut a lid at the top and scoop out the watermelon, then attach a spigot (available at beer making supply companies) via a hole you either drill into the melon or make with an apple corer.
KegWorks offers a watermelon sour recipe along with the keg-making instructions from The Food Network, while the National Watermelon Promotion Board has somewhat more detailed instructions.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

#1 Tip for Feeling Rested

I came across an article recently that had some great tips for feeling rested.  They were all great grab a coffee, take a walk, distract yourself with chit chat for 5 minutes...

But none compares to my recent experience.

My #1 Tip?  Take a nap.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Happy Memorial Day

We had such a great time this weekend - started camping on Thursday at Vogel State Park and didn't come home till Monday.

Our favorite campsite is at a secluded area of the park, at the end of a 4-campsite cul-de-sac with Direct Trail Access.

After grocery shopping and packing the car on Thursday morning, we finally got started on the 2.5 hour drive to the North Georgia Mountains.  After arrival, we had our pick of campsites - people didn't really start pouring in until Friday so it was a blessedly quiet Thursday afternoon and evening.

On Thursday night, we did have a bit of a mis-hap.  I had to pee in the middle of the night (of course).  One of the reasons I like our secluded spot is it allows for NOT walking down the hill to the bathrooms (ie, peeing outside).  However, I did not remember there was such a STEEP DROP OFF behind the tent...I put my leg down to step and all I got was air. 

By that time I was already off-balance and tumbled down the hill (NO, we do NOT have a picture of that)...but not before twisting my ankle, bruising my leg, and landing on my knee (it swelled up big time). 

But - I was not SO injured as we couldn't do our planned actvities on Friday.  Which included hiking the Bear Hair Trail. 
Let me explain to you the premise behind Bear Hair: it goes up, then it comes down.  Two and a half miles up, two and a half miles down.  Simple, right?

Except I had BAD BAD BAD memories of it from last year. 

This was the first trail I ever hiked.  Now, being a kid from the farmland prairie, I thought hiking was akin to walking down a gravel road.  Flat-ish, straight, not too hard.  So last year my prairie naivete strapped on my Asics and said, "Yeah, let's try it!"

In short, I was ill-prepared.  I had to take like a thousand breaks and my freaking feet hurt so bad because tennies are not made for hiking on rocks and oh my god I hated it and it sucked so bad and it was hot and I got bit by a million mosquitos and I was not having any fun at ALL.

But after many hiking miles behind me, months of training, and 50 lbs lighter on my feet...look how much fun I'm having!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I KICKED IT'S BUTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (Actually, after later reflection - and time for my muscles to stiffen up - I would call it a draw.)
In any case, we still had energy to go swimming in the lake on Friday afternoon, and had a huge fire on Friday night. 

We did have the worst camping neighbors next door though.  A huge group with 15+ kids came in and were noisy until after midnight and began clanging pots at 6am.  I was SO NOT IMPRESSED.  It's the first and only time we have ever complained to a campground host about reinforcing the quiet hours. 
And then my air mattress got a hole in it.  I woke up on the ground.  We did not have a repair kit.  Nor an extra.  Jeff fixed it with duct tape and it kind of worked till around 5AM. 
Since Friday night's sleep was not super long or restful we nixed our hike for Saturday morning...and went to Wal-Mart instead for a new air mattress.  On the way there was a really cute arts & crafts fair (Mom, they had those bears you've been eyeballing) that we just had to swing by.
Our busy morning was followed by an afternoon of swimming!!!  The lake was super busy but it was fun...except Jeff and I BOTH got nipped by a FISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sunday we had more hiking - did almost 3 miles into the Coosa Backcountry Trail and came across this PRIMO photo spot. 

Jeff rigged up a set of hiking poles to serve as a camera tripod so we actually got a photo together!!!!!!  Then we had to hike almost 3 miles back out.  (Our "after" shot was not so cute.)

Happy Memorial Day weekend!