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!

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!'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. 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! me go!!  ;-)

Monday, February 27, 2017

Could My Mindset Be Changing

I read an amazing blog post by Roni Noone and it really reinforced something that has been flitting into my head off and on over the last few years.  Specifically should I really be so focused on what the scale says?  I'm still unpacking what that means for me but in the meantime here is the post I'm referring to:

I'll keep thinking on this issue and will probably post more on my thoughts.  However, I really need to get back to the gym!!

Monday, January 2, 2017


Well...the hubby and I have realized it's time to get back on the wagon after all the festivities of the holidays - which we indulged in fully!!  As a part of that we are going to juice fast again so this week is the veggie ease in week.  We actually really like the recipes from Joe Cross' plan so it's really not too much of a sacrifice.  I went grocery shopping today and I have to admit it was sort of nice to stay in the produce section to get everything we needed.  We will do the ease in this week, juice for 10 days (maybe longer depending on how we feel) and then do the ease in again for a week before adding back in some SmartPoints recipes.  I really feel like we need to jumpstart ourselves and we feel so much better when we are juicing.  It's just that darn urge to chew something that kicks in!!

I also joined three DietBet Kickstarters.  I figure as long as I was juicing I might as well give myself some extra motivation.  I've never done three at a time but DietBet makes it really easy to do so I went ahead and invested in myself.  Hubby said that the winnings would make for some good clothing money.  He's so right since we have a really fun vacation coming up this spring and my goal is to be down a couple sizes before we leave so I'm sure I'll need some new capris.  My skirts are mostly all elastic waist so those should be fine but pants just aren't quite so adaptable.  If you are interested in joining any of the DietBets with me here are links to each one:

Get Lean in 2017 With Heidi and Chris Powell:

Happy New "Rear" With Jamie Eason:

Time To Get Lean in 2017 with GraciesJourney:

I picked the first two because they have huge pots of money and I picked the last one because I love Gracie and she is so incredibly motivating.  I would recommend you check her out on Youtube and Instagram.  She has lost over 100# through diet and exercise and she takes you along to show you how she does it.

I also saw this really cool meme on FB to help you drink your water so I picked up a gallon of water at the store and I'm going to mark it like this one I found at:  Although I think I better have it end before 9pm or I'll be up in the middle of the night.  Gotta love 50 year old bladders!!!

I'm still going to Planet Fitness and really liking it.  I'm following the pyramid training schedule that the trainer there worked up for me and I'm also increasing my time on the elliptical each week by one minute.  I'm up to 12 minutes now and will increase it tomorrow to 13.  I'm finding that I really prefer the elliptical to the treadmill and don't find my plantar fasciitis giving me problems on it.  I had hubby and the son move the treadmill out to the garage so we would have more room in the family room since I really don't think I'll be using it.  I'm continually doing StepBets but have been able to get in my steps without using the treadmill.  It really opened up the room by moving that out and if worse came to worse I could always go out in the garage to use it but I really don't think that's going to happen.

What is everyone else doing to make sure that 2017 is their healthiest yet?!?