Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Super tired and reporting from party planning central, but happy about a 1.5 pound loss (woo hoo!) in spite of 4 slivers of cake ( 2 Cooking Light pieces- see below, 2 posts down AND 2 high fat ice cream cake slices. side note: Both of my dds asked for Gold Medal Ribbon ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins. I, personally, enjoy the Jamoca Almond Fudge cake that they usually have on deck - when you are rush-buying a cake. mmmm...so I guess it's good they didn't pick that one, eh? I can just go with a paper thin slice of their choice and not feel bad about it. )
I have one last bday to do with 3 official birthday cake potential events this weekend and before month's end! We're doing the movie premiere bday theme this weekend for my older dd. We're planning on doing makeovers, activities around the red carpet and then having movies shown via an LCD projector and screen complete with a concession stand ( or kitchen table, depending on how you look at it ) with popcorn and candy on the menu.
Think my homemade oil popped popcorn will be as high in points as the movie stuff? Must. go. look. it. up. :) Hope everyone had a good week and has checked in. I'm always on the tail end of the check-in list!
Monday, September 22, 2008
Anyway, I tried a couple of other CL recipes at the party. I did the Avocado Salsa ( that I shared before. Still love it. The bowl goes fast- it's just the right amount of hot and flavourful. ) for an appetizer with tortilla chips. I did two BBQ selections from my Cooking Light Complete binder- so people could have a choice, or have both: Chipotle-Marinated Pork Chops with Chimichurri Sauce and Mediterranean Chicken and Vegetable Kebabs. They both got favourable reviews. The pork chops were on the spicy side- marinated in the chipotle. I really liked them. I only had a bit of the chicken. I'd never bbq'd fennel bulb before. I like to try new veggies, since I need more veggies in my life.
I went to boot camp today- even though still hung over with tiredness from the weekend slumber party. It was an intense session. Our warmup (15 mins?) was all different maneovers with the skipping rope- using it the standard way, then leaping over it in a variety drills. Next we did a full room circuit of muscle and cardio- 15 stations or so? It felt good...to be done. ;)
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Today, for the actual bday AND the family party, we made the Cooking Light cake pictured above. My dd decided that she wanted a chocolate peanut butter cake ( the apple doesn't fall far from the tree as they say- that being my favourite combo in life in general :)), so I did a search of the Cooking Light site and came up with a recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake with Bittersweet Ganache. Words cannot do justice to describe the deliciousness of this cake. *sigh* It is seriously one of the best cakes I've ever had AND it looks so pretty, too. The ganache is poured over the top and it kind of drips over the side making this perfectly even and glossy coat. Everyone was like "You made that?" It definitely has a professional "smoothness" to it for little effort other than spooning and pouring.
The cake does have several steps to it and you have to wait for things to chill in the fridge for chunks of time here and there. I kind of made other stuff in between. ( I'll share more CL recipes from the meal tomorrow. ) The peanut butter filling is made from melted pb chips mixed with Cool Whip. The recipe calls for a mixture of pb AND milk chocolate chips, but after reading the recipe reviews, I only used pb ones. The rest of the cake is super chocolaty, so you don't really need more in the center.
A slice will cost you 7 points, but they are well worth it for a special occasion, like when your baby turns eight. :)
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I have been doing more weights with regular boot camp attendance, building some muscle hopefully, so maybe that will slow down the scale a little? in a good, fat busting way? I'm not sweating it, too much. I've been feeling back on track, more in control and feeling better in general. I do notice that when I'm waaaaaaaay off program, in the land of poutines and pizzas, even when I'm not gorging myself, I still feel sluggish and less energized. With weight watchers- after the first week on program anyway, I don't really feel deprived and I do feel much healthier and in control. I heart feeling in control of my eating. Yeah for self control! :)
So hopefully I stay on this downward trend. I AM heading into the land o' the big birthday parties- both my girls have September birthdays, starting this weekend with a Hannah Montana sleepover birthday party and ending next weekend with a movie star theme sleepover. This might very well throw off my workout schedule due to exhaustion and throw me face first into a number of tempting cakes and snacks. I'm resolving to stay strong though. Maybe I'll jump into the Hannah Montana dance competition ( a la Dance, Dance Revolution ) to earn some APs? ;)
On a funny side note, dd of the Hannah Montana sleepover wants an ice cream cake for her friends party, but wants us to make a cake for her family one. She said, "Can you make one of your Cooking Light cakes for it?" lol. See how I'm training my children? ;P
Monday, September 15, 2008
I think I'm getting stronger. 3rd person commentary: Janet has little upper body strength and would like to work on that- and firming up everywhere else of course, too.
The BBQ dinner ( that I shopped for on Sunday when I was buying the chicken burger stuff ) was Pasta and Grilled Vegetables with Goat Cheese. (Like the burgers, it was also from the Best of Cooking Light Summer Grilling issue.) The promise of goat cheese (which I already had in my fridge) caught my eye of course, and I liked that you sprinkled it over the dish with chopped basil- being a pesto loving girl. Otherwise it's a pretty basic recipe with no added oil (!) except for the cheese. (How oily ARE those goats?) I'd never grilled radicchio before (interesting flavour!) and I really liked the artichoke hearts.
Since we've been married so long, my dh loved all the same things that I did in this dish. He only disliked the goat cheese, the radicchio and the artichoke hearts. ( har. seriously, he said he didn't like the "look" of the artichoke hearts. Cause that's what's most important in vegetables. AND personally, I think artichoke hearts are very CUTE, what with all their layers? seriously one of the cuter pickled veggies in a can! )
Anyway, this dish will cost you 6 points if you are a weight watcher girl. I did enjoy it. I think I'd try some other veggies in it, too- like mushrooms. I'm NOT losing the artichoke though. :)
p.s. Our bbq ran out of "juice" ( as dh calls it ) during the making of this recipe. The veggies were cooked "enough", but I probably would have cooked them a little bit longer than how they ended up. :)
Sunday, September 14, 2008
The whole deal added up to 7 points, which I think is fine, but you could shave some of the points down easily by using a WW bun. (I actually trimmed off some of the overhanging bread since my bun was pretty big and I knew in my ww heart, I really wasn't supposed to be eating that much bread. :P
To explain: My children were "bun shopping" with me ( and shopping for OTHER things besides large hunks of bread. ) They actually picked huge white kaisers for themselves. I, at least, selected a smaller whole wheat number, so I was a better ww shopper than the tots anyway. Is there a prize? a smaller muffin top, you say? (The recipe suggests sesame seed buns, which my children don't like, ergo the individual bun shopping in the bun bin area). Ok. this explanation of the buns is running a little long, moving on!
You could also shave off some points by cutting back on the peanut sauce, but I'd advise against it! The peanut sauce was really, really delicious! It has dark sesame oil in it- I love the flavour of that and it's so good mixed with the pb and soy sauce, too.
The burgers themselves were interesting to make, because I've never ground up my own boneless chicken to make chicken burgers before. ( I tried to get the butcher at Fortinos to do it for me, but he said they don't do anything with the chicken- it comes packaged. ) Anyway, I guess it's good to know what is REALLY in your chicken burger *eep* and grounding it yourself, helps you know for sure. :P I just have a mini food processor, so I had to ground stuff together in little batches, but it all worked out ok. ...and I had dh bleach out the processor bits afterward. I am seriously raw chicken germ paranoid.
In the end, dh and I gave the burgers a big thumbs up. The kids were divided on them. It's probably, in part, because they wouldn't try the peanut sauce except on the teeniest, tiniest corner of their large kaiser rolls. I tried to tell them it was the best part!
Saturday, September 13, 2008
I DID eat one of my new snacks from Erie, PA- the Fiber One bar naturally flavoured with Oats & Strawberries with Almonds. I still prefer the chocolate chip one, BUT this one was pretty tasty- quite jamm-y tasting and I couldn't believe how much fiber was in it: 9 grams! (+2pts) I had it for a rushed "lunch" with my favourite weekend beverage: a Starbucks Non-fat Tazo Chai Latte.
Hope all my blogging friends are having a non-rushed on track weekend! :)
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I went to my boot camp outside stair session last night and it was mainly a run- following a route I used to go on a lot with my running club group. Anyway, we did a warm up and then ran for about 10 mins to a set of stairs that climb the escarpment, climbed the stairs, ran across the mountain brow (about 20 mins) and then down through this woody path (another 10 or so?)
I started off running solo, because my one friend, who showed up for this event, has stayed running and is way faster than I am. (There were 3 groups: running, jogging and walking. I did the jogging group.) Anyway, I ended up running with a couple of ladies I didn't know after we found a comfortable pace. We did 10s and 1s. (10 min running and 1 minute walking.) It felt great! I was kind of worried going into it because I haven't run regularly or gone that far for awhile. ( I think it was about 6 km? I'll have to look it up.)
The stairs we went up are very exhausting by the way. Flights and flights leading to the sky. It's best not to look up while your climbing or you lose heart. I was totally puffing half way up.
I'll have to bring my camera sometime. It's pretty scenic ( esp. via pics as you can't hear all the huffing and puffing- that gets distracting from the scenery. ) ;)
I haven't really done a new recipe lately, so I thought I'd post on one of our regular quick dinner "meals"- scrambled eggs. My children like them plain with a side of toast (and a veggie or two- well, the veggies are more MY idea ;)). I've taken to doing one whole egg and one egg white for mine, mixed with a bit of skim milk. I've started having it in a warmed tortilla and adding things like diced avocado (good in everything imho), green onion, tomato, lettuce greens, a bit of low fat mayo and a wee bit o' low fat cheese. I also like olives with it, but I usually have them on the side, along with a nice green salad. mmmm....
One of my co-workers lost a ton of weight having micro'd egg whites EVERY freakin' day! It worked, but I'm not THAT crazy about eggs- though power to her for massive will power. She looked great in the end. :)
Anyone else feel like sharing their favourite egg concoction with me?
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Part of the problem with the water was forgetting my water bottle ( my purdy one which was a "just because" gift my my TO sis pictured above ) at home. I do do better when I remember to bring water to work. It's just fallen out of habit for me. I end up drinking too much coffee and tea. Anywhoooo...I'm going to pledge to do better this coming week. ( Though I can't go crazy on the water at work esp: frequent pee-er in da house! if you kwim. )
In terms of my week- for my HYC challenge- I stayed on program this week and looks like I shed at least 2 of my late summer pounds. woo hoo! Boot camp is shaping up to be another great session, but I'll have to firm up my cardio a bit more. I'm hoping to make the ( boot camp directed ) stairs tomorrow for some intense calorie burning cardio. I was hoping to run today after work, but then felt lazy after the fore mentioned beer. *see, water IS better! ;)
Monday, September 8, 2008
As for changes to the recipe, I used pasteurized egg whites instead of coddling the whole egg. (I didn't adjust the points, though it might have shaved off a little bit calorie wise? Probably put on again by my delicious President's Choice croutons?) I also- kind of embarrassing!- used lime instead of lemon, because I forgot that I used my last lemons for recipes the day before. It seemed to work just fine anyway. Garlic is the predominant flavour, so there was no telltale lime taste. Anyway, it tasted like an old-fashioned, home style caesar salad. I liked it, though dh thought it was a little garlicky. He's not crazy about garlic ( or a lot of things ). If you don't like garlic, you might want to cut back to 1 clove instead of 2. I liked the garlic kick.The other recipe that I tried this weekend ( also from the August Cooking Light ) was Vietnamese Summer Rolls. I did a post on making rice paper rolls a while back- I'd done a Thai class with a gf. Anyway, I was totally jazzed to see a recipe in Cooking Light for these. They were really good. My only change to the recipe was that I didn't have bean sprouts- the 2 grocery stores I went to on Saturday were out-- bummer, since I love bean sprouts in these. This recipe, btw, doesn't call for any blanching of the bean sprouts, which we did at the Thai restaurant.** The picture I took of the rolls (which cracked me up, so I kept it) also includes my skim milk strawberry/ banana smoothie, my lunch on Sunday. It was a nice lunch, before a trip to the mall with my girls. :)
The nice thing about the rice paper rolling, is you could add any fresh veggie mixture and protein in them and they look so cute and taste so fresh. I also love avocado in them, too ( as I've gone on about before. ) I was thinking I might try some various lunch ideas with them- prepare the filling in the evening and roll the wrap in the am. I think they'd hold up a few hours anyway? Anyway, my lunches are usually pretty BORING, if I even make them at all (don't tell Blendergirl- she of the amazing packed lunches), so rice paper wraps would definitely be an enjoyable change ( from soup or a bagel *yawn*!)
In other weight loss news, I seem to be shedding some of my late summer gain. I did an extreme boot camp session after work today. There were only four of us, so we got a fair amount of instructor attention. (No hiding in the back of the room with shoddy technique!)
Sunday, September 7, 2008
...Fattening Dinners, that is! OK, guess it's not REALLY fightin' fat if you eat smaller portions of a whole LOT of lower point things, eh? Cause the points add up? Right? (Actually, I stayed on program, if doing a little flex dipping.)
Anyway, for the last day of my mom's visit, my TO sister, her dh and toddler cutie came out and we had a nice BBQ dinner on the patio. I kept forgetting to take pictures and/or started eating BEFORE I took the picture, so forgive any bite marks showing. har.
My sister and mom made the tomato sauce while dh and I were out at Ikea picking up a desk for youngest dd ( or trying, as apparently too many other locals liked the same desk, so we could only buy a part of it and we'll have to brave the Ikea hoards again! People heart Ikea around here. ) Anyway, they were scoping out our garden ( being TRUE gardeners and not rank amateurs like dh and I ), and started picking tomatoes and one thing led to another and it all led to homemade tomato sauce. I'm not sure the points for the sauce ( low, I think? ) but it was very fresh and tasty. I have to admit I pretty much always buy spaghetti sauce, rather than make it ( though with the whole can danger now, I guess it's a good time to start...but we'd have to grow more tomatoes and the season must be ending soon, right? Spaghetti sauce in bottles, it is! )
The other "side" I didn't make was the broccoli salad ( not picture, cause I didn't have any ) and the tzatkiki sauce ( the white mound pictured ) both from Costco.
The chicken was from the Gill Once, Eat Twice article from the August Cooking Light. I'd actually made it before, when I first got this CL, but I'm not sure if I linked it (and I'm too lazy to look back and check), so I'll link it again. Anyway, the chicken from menu one is Lemon-Grilled Chicken Breasts and it is super easy, but very tasty. (Menu 2 is Chicken Caesar salad. I'll lyk how that is, too.) The salad was the Arugula Salad that I did the other day, too. The dessert was from this month's Cooking Light: Dark Chocolate and Cherry Brownies. I made it with their suggested Chocolate Sauce and 1 side of Breyer's low fat vanilla ice cream. It was super good- I mean really, really good. The brownie was 3 points- so worth it. The sauce was 2 points. mmmmmmmmmm....It was a great Saturday night chocolate fix.
I didn't get any workout in yesterday- with all the running around and visitors and excuses. Today it is supposed to rain all day, so I won't be able to retest the Sportband. Maybe I can motivate myself to crack open one of my new workout videos? Boot camp is on again tomorrow, thankfully for my under exercised body.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Thursday, September 4, 2008
First of all, after promising to try out my Nike Sportband yesterday, I did actually make myself get out there and do it. The bad news is that I didn't do it right and so will have to retry it and share again (though not tonight, obviously- due to supreme tiredness OR tomorrow due to boot camp duty after work- after which I'll be super, super tired, I'm sure.) The reason it didn't work out? We had some errands to run yesterday after I posted (more school supplies for eldest dd who claimed they could NOT wait until the weekend, a wok to buy for the CL recipe I wanted to try, the groceries for fore mentioned CL recipe), so by the time we finished getting it done, everyone was tired and it was late, so we went out for dinner- since we were "out" already and all.
*sidenote: I had the Chopstick Chicken with the dressing on the side which I've expressed my love for in a previous blog (@Jack Astor's)
So, by the time we got home it was dark outside. I really wanted to take out my contacts, but I felt compelled to endure it and run, after posting and all (you guys are GOOD for my motivation- thanks!), so off I went. Unfortunately, it was too dark to see the Sportband's "window" and so I couldn't tell if it was working. har. I plugged in the computer do-hickey and tried to upload it anyway, when I got home, but obviously I didn't have it set up right and it didn't save my run.
bad news: no run to look at or track
good news: I actually ran
The second health related item that didn't turn out that great was my wok dinner that I finally made tonight. It looks lovely in the Cooking Light picture- "it" being Curried Chicken and Cashews but it was pretty bland- in our house anyway. Part of the problem might have been my failure to find 3 small dried hot red chilies to break in half and add. I found actual, not dried chilies, but thought that they might be too spicy, so I just put in one and didn't break it. The dish was NOT spicy AT ALL. The other reason I didn't like it was the strong cilantro flavour. I'm not crazy about cilantro anyway and in the CL picture, their bits are super tiny (looking way beyond the called for "chopped", while the best part, the cashews, which are supposed to be chopped (as per the instructions I followed) look pretty whole in the picture. argh! (Should have followed the picture, rather than the instructions. I think whole cashews could help ANY recipe, eh?!)
Maybe I'd chop my nuts less and the cilantro more if I made it again...though I'll probably not make it again. I have a honking big bag of Madras curry powder as a result of this recipe, hopefully, I at least make more Madras curry powder recipes. lol.
bad: bland dinner that involved the purchase of a new wok pan
good: a new type of curry to explore and a new wok to make curry'd things in
The third weigh loss related new thing I tried, that I actually liked- which probably isn't new to anyone except me, was my lunch time snack: Buttered Popcorn flavoured Mini Delights, that I found in Erie, PA. They are pretty teeny- like all the mini delights, but if you eat them sloooooooowly, it almost seems like you're having a long lasting treat for a mere 2 points. I find when I'm watching what I'm eating, I crave salt more. Think this is as a result of less processed foods? hmmm....
anyway. Thanks for reading, if anyone lasted this long. You are a true blogger friend and the wind beneath my sails and all that. Night! :)
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Monday, September 1, 2008
In recipe revisions, I used apple cider vinegar in place of their sherry vinegar, cause my wine vinegar looked skunky (with hardened bits in the bottom) and so I tossed it. I kind of kept parts of the salad separated for the kids (ergo the steak bits not really "tossed in" in the picture).
I actually did a lot of tossing today, shovelling out (quite literally) both of my daughter's rooms. We could have QUITE the garage sale on Barbies and Polly Pockets and stuffed animals. Anyone need a few? hundred? I had hoped to get out running, but this activity consumed my day- maybe earning minor APs? :P It feels so good to have their rooms organized for the new school year, though.
In the exercise news dept, today I talked to my friend who is organizing another boot camp- after work on Mondays and Fridays- and told her I'm in. (until piano lessons start in Nov). So that means at least 3 days for committed exercise for the fall. I hope to add an aerobic class at school and maybe at a gym on the weekend, too. I'd really like to try to do something every day- well, maybe with one day off for good behaviour. I need me some good behaviour, as I'm truly lacking in it. It's been helping reading all your blogs to get some re-commitment going...so thanks y'all, as Aunt Kim would say. :)