Sunday, May 6, 2018

Teriyaki Turkey Meatball Bowls Meal Prep


Today I spent some time meal prepping.  I made Teriyaki Turkey Meatball Bowls.  I had one for lunch and it was pretty good!

Ingredients per serving:

  • Kroger Reduced Fat Frozen Turkey Meatballs - 85g (6 meatballs per serving)
  • Green Giant Frozen Cauliflower Rice - 85g (the package says you get four one cup servings but I really only ended up with four 1/2 cup servings out of the package so I used my old food scale to weight the grams just to be sure - I bought this thing over 20 years ago at Weight Watchers and it still works like a champ!)
  • Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos Teriyaki Sauce - 1 tablespoon per serving (I actually found this at my local Kroger and I do NOT live in a large area so I was quite surprised to see it!)
  • Member's Mark Steamable Broccoli Florets - 85g
  • Kroger Canned Pineapple Chunks - 141g (drained)

I precooked everything in the microwave except the pineapple.  I like the Green Giant cauliflower rice that comes in a steamable bag so I cooked that on high for 6 minutes.  The broccoli I bought comes in a steamable bag as well so I cooked that on high for 8 minutes.  For the meatballs I put 24 meatballs in a glass bowl and poured 1/4 cup of the teriyaki sauce over it.  I cooked it on high for 3 minutes.  After it came out I tossed in the canned pineapple and stirred it around to coat the pineapple.

I'm using some two compartment reusable meal prep containers that I found on Amazon - they seem to be ok but I think I might invest in some better containers at some point.  I'm not sure I trust these not to leak in my lunchbag.  In the large section I put 85g of the cauliflower rice and then topped it with 6 meatballs and 141g (approx 5 ounces) of the pineapple - I divvied up the remaining sauce among the four containers.  In the smaller section I put 85g of the broccoli.  Feel free to add salt, pepper, or other seasonings that you like.  I found that the teriyaki sauce tasted really good so I only put a little bit of salt and pepper on the broccoli.  I'm guessing that it will be best to heat this up for about 3-5 minutes on 50% power.  If it turns out different, I will come back and edit this post.  The one I had for lunch today I popped in for a minute on high since most everything was still fairly warm from the initial cooking.

This was really easy and I was done before I knew it!  The most time was spent waiting for the microwave to finish cooking.  Four healthy lunches ready to go!!

Nutrition:
Calories: 390
Fat: 9g
Carbs; 62.5g
Protein: 19g


Friday, May 4, 2018

Time is Flying!

Can you believe it's already May?!?!  I can't!!  I finished out my juice fast at about day 11 but my hubby is still going strong!  I've lost track of how many days he's been juicing now.  He took a meal off here and there when we had something going on but for the most part it's been pure juicing for him.  He has lost 20.6 just since he started juicing and is down 27.6 from his highest in October.  I'm so proud of him!!

I lost 11.9 in April through a combination of juicing at the beginning of the month and ending the month with calorie counting (WW Freestyle just doesn't work for me!) - most of the loss was through juicing though.  Unfortunately, I had a gain of 1.3 this week even though I was right on target with my calories.  When I decided to stop juicing I cancelled my WW app subscription and started using iTrackBites to track my calories.  It works really well for calorie counting and I highly recommend it.  However after my gain this week I started doing more research into how I could have gained when I knew I had a calorie deficit.  I read up on macros and how different body types react differently to certain combinations of carbs, fat, and protein.  Long story short - not all calories are made equal!  I know, so simple but for some reason my brain just clicked on that reality that probably everyone already knows.  It really made a lot of sense to me so I have decided to give macro counting a try.

I looked and looked through iTrackBites trying to find a way to easily track my macros and while I could see the macro counts for each individual food, I didn't find any area of the app that would add them up for me.  I am way too lazy/busy/opposed/whatever to using math to that extent!!  I knew there had to be a better way since so many people are on the macros bandwagon.

One of the blogs I researched for info on macros was Roni Noone's blog.  She shared that she uses My Fitness Pal.  I used MFP years ago and I still had it on my phone so during my lunch break I opened it up and started looking through the options.  I put in what I had eaten today so far and then put in what I planned for dinner.  I quickly realized that I was way too low on protein and way too high on carbs - hmmm...could that have been my problem all along.  I made some adjustments to my dinner plan and ended up getting pretty close to perfect at the end of it all.  I will definitely make some different decisions tomorrow!!

I really like MFP so far.  I put in my weight and goals and it figured my macros and my calorie goals for me.  I'll be completely transparent here - I'm 5'7" and I weight 234.7 (ugh!).  The goals the app set for me in order to be able to lose 1.5# a week are:

Calories: 1,390
Carbs: 174g
Fat: 46g
Protein: 70g
(and a bunch of other ones too but these are the ones I plan to watch the closest)

I love how the app tells you what you have left to use rather than showing you what you have used - again more math that I do not want to take part in!!  Here are how my numbers turned out today:

Calories:  31 left
Carbs: 9g left
Fat: 3g left
Protein: I went 5g over on this one

I feel really good that I did well on these numbers today.  I did have a little more sugar than I should have but I'll work on that tomorrow.  I think the granola bar I had for a snack is probably what put me over in that category.

I sure hope this new way of eating is the key to getting to a healthy weight range!!


Saturday, April 14, 2018

Dieting and Kindness

Today on a WW group I belong to on FB someone asked a simple question about water and/or juice fasting.  I was dismayed by all the negative comments and just downright meanness that came out of these people.  I commented recommending a couple documentaries (Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead (FSND) and The Science of Fasting) and shared a little bit of my experience with fasting.  Those of us who fight our weight should know how hard this is and that not everything works for everyone.  I'm sure we all know someone who lost weight on any of the major diets out there and you might have tried some of those diets yourself and not had the same experience.  Our bodies react to food combinations differently and being hurtful to each other is not the sort of diet community I am looking for.  I told my hubby when I hit post that I wondered how many flames would be shot at me.  I've had issues with this group several times over the last few months so it might be time to hit that leave group button.  This mama don't need more drama!!

That post is also very timely for me.  Hubby and I started a 15 day juice fast with FSND this week.  Today will be our first juice only day.  We spent the week having green smoothies for breakfast, salads for lunch, and vegetable soups for dinner.  I lost 4.1# over the five days and my hubby lost 7#. I feel so much lighter and less bloated.  My digestive system is singing and my sleep has been better.  It's not an easy thing to do but I'm finding that I'm actually not that hungry but more so it's my mind that I am fighting.  I feel like I'm winning that war by keeping my mind on what matters most.  I remind myself that what I want in the moment is not what I want the most.

I'm trying to refocus my thoughts on non-food related things.  I've been spending more time reading for fun (reading Outlander #8 right now), watching movies with my hubby (we are on a Marvel Universe adventure to watch everything in chronological order - yep we are such geeks!), and crafting (making cards, scrapbooking, and crocheting is on the agenda).  I've also been doing some yoga each morning (check out Yoga with Adriene on YT!), getting to the gym twice a week to work on cardio, and finding small ways to incorporate more movement into each day.  I've also started getting the yard ready for summer and have plans to do a big clean in our crawl space.  We are hoping to move this summer back to my husband's hometown so getting that crawl space cleared out now will definitely make that activity much easier when the time comes.

Well...gotta get going and get those jars filled with wonderful juice!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Freestyle Check-in

Well...Freestyle seems to be going ok with regard to staying within my points each day but my total loss for January so far is only .8 and I was hoping for more like 4.  Looking back in my tracker I think I might be overdoing some of the free stuff so this week I will be pulling back a little and measuring more closely.  I'm also going to leave the granola off my morning yogurt and stop eating eggs like they are going out of style.  I need to remind myself that just because so many things are zero points that doesn't mean they are zero calories.  It still comes down to calories in and calories out.  Another change I am going to make is that I am going to serve fish and veggies more often.  It seems like when I eat fish and veggies I do so much better in the weight loss area.

I'm still fighting my twisted ankle from back in December so I haven't done much movement either but I realize that I need to quit using that as an excuse to keep other parts of my body from getting movement.  True I can't do things that create much weight bearing or twisting actions (that means dance class is a no-no) but I can do other things like riding the stationary bike and using the weight machines on my other parts.  I also realize that I really need to strengthen my muscles.  I've been noticing that I'm having a hard time getting up off the floor (even before the twisted ankle) and when I just crouch down I can't get back up without something to pull on.  This led to a very embarrassing tip-over at a museum in Ft. Lauderdale back in October.  I crouched down to get a picture of an otter swimming in a cool display and when I went to get back up I fell backwards onto my butt instead.  It was like my thigh muscles stopped working.  I've also noticed it's hard to clean my house.  This is not going to work!!  I'm only 51 so I should be able to do all these things with ease.  Enough is enough!!!

While I've been thinking on these things in the back of my mind, an amazing video came across my subscription feed on YouTube.  The video is by Brianna from Diva and the Divine and it really spoke to me - almost like she was in my head!  She talked about how you just need to get out there no matter how much you don't want to - "suck it up anyway!"  She said you need to get into the habit of getting there before the desire will come naturally - believe me, I HATE exercise in all its forms!!  I think I'd rather scrub toilets than go to the gym.  But...I know that scrubbing toilets is not going to get me where I need to go.  I'm so glad that Brianna shares like she does!!  She inspires me so much because she's so real.  She shows that she struggles with the same things we all do but that she gets up and dusts herself off and gets right back into it.  Here's the link to the video - I highly recommend it!  https://youtu.be/39vrZRnBveE



Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Weight Watchers Freestyle | Chicken Taco Soup | Power Pressure Cooker XL

Wow!  It's really been a while since I posted.  I'm still plugging along with Weight Watchers but the new change to Freestyle has really infused me with renewed excitement so we shall see if that excitement finds its way on to the blog as well.  I'm having fun finding recipes and meal ideas that are zero (or close to it) points.  It's amazing the fun treats you can enjoy when the rest of your meals are zero points!!

I recently Frankensteined a taco soup recipe and I'm really enjoying it.  I read so many other recipes just to get an idea of what they do and then I pulled this and that into a pot to create my own version.  If you want to see an original version, just google "Zero Point Weight Watchers Taco Soup" and you can figure that I probably read the first six or so recipes to get the ideas flowing in my head.

My version comes out to zero points and the first time I ate it I added 4 points worth of shredded cheddar cheese (1/4 cup of the real stuff - life's too short to only eat fat free cheese!) but to tell you the truth the soup is so tasty that I really couldn't tell the cheese was in there.  I left it out when I had left overs and it was fantastic!  I also tried something new and topped it with plain fat free Greek yogurt and I did NOT miss the sour cream at all and I certainly didn't miss the points I would have had to count.

Here's my version:

No precooking, sautéing, blanking, or any of those other hoity-toity cooking methods needed - just dump all this stuff in your electric pressure cooker (I have the Power Pressure Cooker XL) and push the soup button (I'm pretty sure the Instant Pot also has a soup button that should work very similarly).  If you don't have an electric pressure cooker, I won't shame you (much) but I'm sure you could put this on the stove and cook it on medium until the chicken was fully cooked and tender.

  • 2 chicken breasts - I used these monsters from Sams that I didn't trim but don't be like me - trim those girls of all visible fat (trust me you will be glad you did!)
  • 1 sweet onion - diced
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 can whole kernel corn - do not drain the juice just dump it all in the pot
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes - again, no draining
  • 1 can chopped green chilies - yep, broken record - do not drain these guys
  • 1 can each black beans and kidney beans - these you want to drain and then rinse them really well
  • 3 tablespoons taco seasoning (I love the Penzey's brand but any type will work or you can just dump in one of those packets of pre-made taco seasoning mix)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin (does anyone else think this smells like BO?  My hubby mentioned it one day and now its all I can smell but oh, it tastes so good!)

After your pressure cooker has finished cooking just let it do a natural release for about 15 minutes.  Pull your fully cooked chicken breasts out and shred them with two forks.  Put the chicken back in and give it a few stirs.  I ended up with six good size servings and the leftovers are even better than the first meal!  I put a couple dollops of the Greek yogurt on top and it was fabulous!  So filling and it's zero points!!!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Pizza, Wine, and Cake (oh, my!)

Well...I finally made it back to the gym and it was HARD!!  I was only able to stay on the elliptical for 10 minutes and every minute was a struggle.  I also did the leg and ab machines.  I did a weight that was a challenge and did as many reps as I could before becoming very tired.  Most machines I ended up with about 20 reps.  I'd really like to get to the gym five days a week but I know that in reality it will be great if I could make it at least twice in addition to my regular Wednesday night dance class.  Speaking of dance class - I really need to push myself more in class and stop phoning it in.  While it's a great social outlet for me I need to also dial in more to the physical aspect of the class.

I also started counting WW points again and yesterday was a perfect 30 day!  I tried a few new things and for the most part they were pretty good.  Brianna from Diva and the Divine raves about the Trader Joe's Guiltless Mac & Cheese so I tried one for lunch and I have to admit I wasn't too blown away with it - sorry Brianna :-(.  However, she doctors hers up with extra cheese, crab, and bacon bits.  Unfortunately all I had to use was the crab.  I might try it again with her additions before I make a final determination.  Mac & cheese is one of my all time favorite comfort foods (yep...the blue box stuff!!) so I think my psyche messes with my ability to enjoy other mac & cheese's when they don't taste like the blue box.

Last night we had pizzas made on Flat Out flatbread.  I liked it much more than my husband did but he was a really good sport about it.  I just brushed the flatbread with EVOO and then topped it with mostly zero point toppings (artichokes, basil, jalapeños, capers, and mushrooms) but also included black olives (1SP), jalapeño pepperoni (2SP), and shredded pizza cheese (2SP).  All in all the pizza cost me 8SP and it was very filling.

I also had 4SP worth of red wine (totally worth it!!) and ended the evening trying out the 3-2-1 Mug Cake.  I was quite impressed how good it was!  You take 3 tablespoons of any cake mix, add 2 tablespoons of water, and cook it on high in the microwave for 1 minute.  I used spice cake mix and drizzled 1SP worth of sugar free chocolate syrup on top.  It doesn't make a huge amount but the flavor is quite intensified due to only adding water.  I'm looking forward to trying some other flavors!

Tonight I am trying a new recipe from the WW site - Grilled Chicken with a Corn/Tomato Salsa.  I'll let you know how it is.  I also have dance class tonight so I don't have to wait long to push myself to be present in the dancing moment!!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Back At It!

Well...it's been so long since I've written here.  I see that my last post was at the end of February.  Shortly after that post we began a very hard journey with my mother-in-law.  It would require leaving home and traveling a two days drive away to Tennessee to care for her during her final months on this earth.  It was hard, exhausting, and frustrating but at the same time incredibly fulfilling and we both know we were where we were supposed to be.  It was a huge comfort to know that no matter how much we wanted to just lay down and give up that God had everything under control.

What wasn't under control was food!!  I ended up gaining about 24# over those nearly five months.  There were lots of desserts and comfort food over those months and it showed!!  So...when we got home we got together our plan to do a reboot.  We started with a week of vegetarian eating and then my husband had to quickly go back to TN to get some emergency repairs done to the house there so things got a little wonky on the food front.  When he got back we ate a few special dinners out and then got back on the reboot wagon full steam.  We've been at it for 11 days now and I've lost 8.6#!  It hasn't been easy and the last five or so days have been incredibly frustrating for me.  I know I shouldn't let the scale take as central a part in my life as I do but when you are juicing like this (for weight loss) the scale is really the best barometer of daily progress (and dare I say motivation).  I lost really good for the first five days but then I started leveling off and had several days where I lost nothing or just a few tenths.  I know in my head that these things will happen and that if I just push through, I will be successful.  But (you knew there'd be a "but" in there) it can really sap your willpower and motivation.  However, I am so blessed that when I am weak on this journey my husband steps up and can push us both through.  If it would have been just me, I would have thrown in the towel days ago.  But...here we are on day 11 and I woke up today to a .8 loss!!

Another piece of this pie is that I know I need to get back to the gym to at least do some walking on the elliptical if nothing else.  We have a vacation coming up in about seven weeks and I know we will be doing a LOT of walking.  I really need to get my stamina back up - keeping up with my very physical and very TALL husband is a challenge on a good day!!  I've been feeling so tired and exhausted but I think I just need to push myself to do these things anyway (and come back here to stay accountable!).    I WILL call the gym today and get my account taken out of a frozen status and WILL get my hiney to the gym no later than tomorrow!!  I WILL be kind to myself and even if all I can squeeze out is 10 minutes on the elliptical, I will be proud of myself for getting out the door and showing up.  Yep...this will definitely be a participation trophy sort of event!

Wooo....watch me go!!  ;-)