Tuesday, November 25, 2008

chinese food and cake, cake, cake!

This is either a late Monday check in or a timely one for Tuesday. Part of the reason I'm late is probably the lack of anything worthy to share. I only have my crazy eating activities over the weekend ( including one movie night out, two lush birthday dinners) and the other "part" is 'cause rl has been real busy.

so to recap my last few days...

For those of you interested in the Twilight movie, we did enjoy it. It was fun- and unintentionally funNY in certain parts and made for an entertaining night out. We did go an HOUR early and still had to sit in the very front section- *sigh* Going on Opening Night is apparently a tad crazy. Who would have guessed?!
I think it helped having read the books to really "get" the movie's. kwim? Lots of stuff breezed over for the uninformed- as is kind of usual in movies based on books, I think.

sidenote: We were actually surprised at the groups of young men who went to the movie- without dates even. Not that there's anything wrong with that (as they say). The boys sitting next to me in the front section were very well behaved and seemed to enjoy the movie. They even clapped at the end. very cute, eh? I was worried about how they'd be at the start what with their cell phones out, texting and all.

On Saturday, my inlaws had us for Chinese food (low point food indeedy!) and a Bailey's cake (next to nothing in points, I tell ya!) for a belated bday celebration. The evening ended with a family skate at a local arena though- so that was fun (and more WW worthy). We hope to do family skates more often this winter. Hopefully, we're not all talk. Sometimes we're all talk.

On Sunday we went to TO to my sister's for yet another bday dinner. She is an amazing cook and made a lovely spread (roast pork with stuffing, mashed sweet potatoes, delicious salad, cake with ganache...) that wasn't lacking for points either. I enjoyed every mouthful. :) We did go for a walk briefly before dinner, window shopping. Does that help? not really?

I was better on exercise on Monday (step and boot camp). Boot camp was especially tough. A different instructor did the warmup, which was more WORKOUT than warmup. I do feel my clothes fitting me better even with my yoyo-ing weight due to party cals- and I think it's the boot camp that's helping. So yeah for boot camp!

My pic is of 2 videos I picked up at the library tonight. Fitness Fig's favourite fitness lady. I'm going to make myself add in more home exercise this week. Plus, stop all the bday celebrating. Enough already people- I know you love me! At this rate there will be a lot MORE of me to love by Christmas. ;)

Friday, November 21, 2008

It's colder than Edward Cullen...

out there and yet we're braving the cold to go to the Twilight movie tonight on the official Opening Night- us and many screaming teens, probably. Our newspaper ran a movie etiquette list suggesting that it was ok to scream for Edward's FIRST appearance- after that, not so much. lol.

Nothing much to report here in healthy lifestyle news, but I thought I'd do a quick check in as I've not been around much this week! ( It's been a busy life offline week. ) I did have a great boot camp work out tonight. Lots of running drills, then a 20 station circuit twice, followed by some ball work- push ups mainly, and stretching. I like muscle work in that you can definitely see you are improving over the weeks. I love how muscles improve- even if they're tired and rusty like mine!

I had a Quiznos sub for lunch. Note to ww girls: the honey bourbon chicken sub (small, of course) is 6 points. Not bad for a tasty sandwich and I find it really big enough if I take the time to eat it slowish- giving my body time to get the "I'm full" message sent to my brain. It has a bit of a kick to it (the sub, not the points) with its bbq sauce, that I quite enjoy.

Well, hope everyone is snuggled up in a warm house tonight, unless you are venturing out to see a very cold vampire.

Monday, November 17, 2008

You say it's your birthday...

...it's my birthday, too, ya! Yes, the muffin top is one year older- just like the rest of my body. Dh and the girls are taking me out for dinner shortly ( will have to go to Dottie's to check on Outback points, since I think that's where we're going ), so I thought I'd do a quick Monday check in and share the soup I made last night.

This soup Udon Noodle Soup with Chicken and Shrimp was loved by me, but pretty much despised by the rest of the family. Luckily, I knew it would be a hard sell going in, so I made them a full "other dinner." Anyway, the family is not big on soups, except very plain chicken noodle or tomato types, but I would like to work on that- so carrying on...head up and all that. ;)

The link with the recipe doesn't give credit to Rose Reisman of The Complete Light Kitchen, but it is exactly the recipe from her book except for the shrimp: the book copy calls for more shrimp- 8 oz. Another change that I did was not to put the sesame oil on any one's except for mine. The dh and I were the only ones with the floating parsley ( though dh was sarcastic and took it off immediately ). har.
All in all, I would definitely make it again ( halving the portions basically making it for myself ) and I'd probably add more seasoning. I didn't find it had much of a kick spice wise and if I'm having it solo, might as well, eh?

If you are a weight watcher kind of girl, a bowl counts for 5 points. I actually had it as a main course. It's pretty substantial especially when your family leaves lots of leftovers.

In check in news, I think my Wednesday wi will be good: IF I don't go crazy on the bday cake tonight. I'm back down to the basement bottom of the 160s and hope to be at the bottom of the 150s come Christmas. That will be my bday candle wish tonight! Posting this doesn't count as telling, does it? I didn't think so. :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Sunday evening and the weekend has sped by yet again. *sob* Anyway, we started off the day sweetly with the chocolate chip pancakes from The Most Decadent Diet. Mine are pictured above with the called for single tsp of maple syrup, dd's have considerably MORE syrup looking at the picture. lol.

Anyway, they were good. It worked out to 4 points for 2 pancakes. It called for the oat flour again ( like the Godiva brownies from the same cookbook ), which I again grinded using my coffee grinder. The cookbook's author, Devin Alexander, makes of point of using mini chocolate chips, so it seems like more. They did seem, overall, pretty chocolaty and pretty easy to make, though you have to pause in the middle of it to let the batter sit for 10 mins. ( Not a problem for us as everyone was doing something else while I was making them. ) The recipe calls for 2 mins of cookin' on each side- mine were pretty brown after 1 minute on each, so I cut it down a bit.

In exercise news, I did manage to get my lazy ar*se downstairs for a bit of a workout: DDR2 dancing. I try to do it for about an hour- if I have the time- and keep bouncing around in between songs. Luckily no flies are on my basement walls and the spiders are not talking.

I am thinking of cracking out a few video exercise tapes this week to supplement my working out. Fitness Fig is inspiring me to get back into that home video tape groove again. I preordered a few tapes and picked up a hilarious punk aerobics book from the library. I will share if I manage to bust a few moves with them.
Have sweet Sunday night dreams!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Beef Fajitas With Sweet Peppers, Coriander, And Cheese

It was a rainy, mild Saturday- perfect for snuggling up and reading. I didn't get around to that, but I did manage to read a few recipes and buy the groceries to make them. Tonight we had this one from the library's copy of Rose Reisman's The Complete Light Kitchen: Beef Fajitas With Sweet Peppers, Coriander, And Cheese. We really don't have beef that often- we're mainly a boneless chicken breast family, but with the children's new love of steak, I thought I'd add one in now and again.

Anyway, I really enjoyed these fajitas. I loved the combo of the sweet red pepper, onion and the steak with the melted cheese. I usually make fajitas with left over chicken and haven't had them with the sour cream AND salsa warmed on top in the oven. Nice!

My dds are still not much for the combined foods ( they mainly like everything separated ), so it was a bit of a struggle getting them to finish, though eldest dd CLAIMED to enjoy it. She was distracted by a Twilight actor interview in the middle of supper, so that didn't help with dinner completion. We are looking forward to the movie on Friday!

Anyway, one will cost you 5 points and two, 9.5. Can you guess how many Janet ate? ;)

I had a really good workout at boot camp last night. I got a friend to help with piano lesson transportation, so I'll be able to continue on Friday (yeah!) Our trainer is really upping the difficulty/ intensity of the exercises now. One that totally had my muscled trembling: standing on the overturned bosu trainer while doing bicep curls from a standing machine. My legs were trembling all over the place just getting my balance. Another was doing a push up with one leg held through pulley and the other raised with your own core strength. oy.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Larabar Love

Thursday night= good tv AND moving closer to Friday and the weekend every minute! Yeah for Thursday night. :)

I don't have a recipe to share, but I thought I'd share my latest snack find at Costco. Probably, most of you know about them already, but they're new to me. One of the super fit people at work mentioned she loved the "Larabar" fruit and nut bar when we were looking through my copy of Shape magazine ( in which it was featured ) at a staff meeting. Yes, the attention wanes when the meeting gets long. :P

I bought the 12 Bar variety pack from Costco. It has 3 flavours: Key Lime Pie (4 pts), Cocoa Coconut (4pts) and Cashew Cookie (5pts). Anyway, I like all the flavours, overall. On days when I have step class or scrapbook club at lunch, I take them for a quick lunch with an apple or banana. They have that chewy and yet moist texture of a fruit bar, but they are thicker ( fluffier?) than the fruit bars I've tried before. Now if they were dipped in chocolate...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tuesday's Triple Chocolate Brownies

Not too much new to report for my HYC check-in that I didn't share on Monday anyway. My official weigh-in isn't until tomorrow and I don't think the scale will be friendly like to me. har. I do feel pretty good muscle wise- the boot camp workouts are starting to show muscle wise. I just need to get back to more regular food journalling, water drinking- the usual stuff I know I need to do.

I didn't find much at the library tonight in terms of light recipe books ( other than reserving a diet/ recipe book by Prevention magazine that looked interesting and a couple of videos by Fitness Fig's favourite fitness lady ), but I did renew all the recipe books I already had out. This brownie recipe is from the library's Rose Reisman's The Complete Light Kitchen. It's Triple Chocolate Brownies and it caught my eye because the intro said she created it for the Movenpick restaurant in Toronto- and who doesn't love Movenpick icecream? mmmmm...icecream.

Anyway, it works out to 3 points for a piece. I don't know HOW they cut their pieces into perfect ( and large looking ) squares. Mine are little brownie fingers ( an 8x8 pan into 12 pieces- maybe my math is rusty?) Perhaps one could add a point or so and do 8 pretty pieces? Anyway, one finger IS a chocolatey delight- if you are into that kind of thing.

The recipe also suggested drizzling chocolate over the pieces and in the picture they use white chocolate which looks pretty. It's not in the nutritional breakdown or ingredient list, so I didn't add it. It did make for a pretty picture in the actual book though- what with the perfect 2 inch looking squares, drizzled and all. kinda like false advertising though? Airbrushing and now this. sheesh. ;)

Hope everyone had a great week! off to do a bit of blog reading before bed.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Loving to Move

Remember when you were a kid and you thought you could be the fastest in your class if you really tried? you could jump super high- almost close to flying? when you could play till your face was sweaty and you were just DYING for a drink of water? (dh has fond memories of Charlie Horses from day long games at the ball field sans H20- and he's proud of these memories, I might add, like water is for wimps or something.)

Anyway, this picture reminds me of that love of moving. It's of my dds and with a cousin at the bday party we went to this weekend. They were literally drenched in sweat and yet so happy. They really didn't want to leave or stop. I love that. :)

Anyway, I do still love seeing what my tired old body can do- lol- though I jump a little more gingerly, more afraid of what might happen if I fall on my face. Actually, one of the exercises at today's boot camp made me a little afraid. We had to duck under this bar resting across a mount, pick up the bar and then step up onto a high bench on one leg with the bar balanced across our shoulders. I was so worried about doing a face plant and taking out someone with the long bar, I was hesitating. Luckily, our instructor spotted me- so I was confident enough to do the first large step up. :) Quite a leg workout, btw and one that really focuses on a single leg- showing me that my right lead is way stronger than my left. Go figure!

It was a great workout yet again. We had more cardio tonight than usual with the dreaded floor ladders. We ran patterns over them for quite some time and then went to the other room for circuit, only to return to the cardio side for drills after each (of 3) circuit sessions. *whew*

In Monday check-in news, my weight was up a bit this morning due to certain female reasons *cough*, but I think I'll be down on Wednesday. I've stayed in the low 160s for awhile now- my own fault, of course. Gotta get back to tracking better.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunday Night and Chicken with Pistachio Pesto

Weekend: the fastest 2 days of the week. Tonight on day 2 of the happiest days of the week, I made another recipe from the Rose Reisman cookbook ( The Complete Light Kitchen ) that I got from the library. It was a simple chicken recipe- perfect for the rush of Sunday night dinner after skating lessons.

I couldn't find the recipe online, so I'll type it out here.

1/4 cup shelled pistachios
1/2 c basil leaves (well packed)
1 small clove of garlic
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
4 skinless boneless chicken breasts (about 1 lb)
1/4c flour
2 tsp vegetable oil

mix first 5 in a small food processor. (add water if mixture is too thick)

pound chicken breasts b/w pieces of waxed paper to 1/2 thickness. Dust with flour.

Spray non-stick pan and then add vegetable oil and place over high heat. Saute chicken 3-5 minutes or until lightly browned on both sides and not pink in the center.

Place on individual plates and serve with a dollop of pesto on top.

----------------------- 8 points per serving
Cals: 344/ fat:17g (sat2.7g)/ fiber 1.3g

In terms of recipe changes, I actually skipped the extra vegetable oil. I'm not sure what the flour added to the grilling. I usually just grilled without flour- I used a grill pan, btw- and the flour didn't "seem" to add a lot of new flavour. I might try it again without the flour. You could also probably cut back on the olive oil a bit, though the pesto didn't seem greasy in any way.

The pesto was really good and younger dd helped with the pistachio shelling, but other than that none of my family would have a part of the pesto. ( I personally LOVE pesto, but dh doesn't like basil for some crazy reason. Go figure, eh? The man misses out on some of the best flavours of life, I tell ya. )

Anyway, it was quick and tasty. The pesto was flavourful and I've never made it with pistachio nuts before.

In exercise news, this weekend has been pretty l-a-z-y with a day scrapbook crop for me on Saturday AND a kids' bday followed by a craft store open house- not a lot of movement over all for me (though the dds worked up a sweat at the playhouse bday party- adults weren't allowed on the equipment, though we had to take off our shoes anyway. lol.) Tomorrow's step class and boot camp will hopefully get me back on track exercisewise.

Friday, November 7, 2008

100 posts and a scary Chipotle Shrimp Taco picture :)

woo hoo! This is my hundredth post I noticed in logging on. Is there some kind of a prize for this? a release of balloons, perhaps? no? ok. moving on. :)

Sorry for my scary food picture. In looking at the picture of it on the Cooking Light site in comparison, I laughed. ( This Chipotle Shrimp Taco recipe is from my new copy of Cooking Light (Nov.2008)- which is full of Thanksgiving recipes, btw, too late for all us Canucks, BUT ok as early recipes for Christmas turkey feasts- so bonus there, at least. Anyway, this recipe was in the quick recipe section in the back. ) I guess they put their tbsp of green salsa ( or salsa verde )under the lettuce, as opposed to poured so attractively on top. lol. BUT the salsa tasted good anyway. :P

I did like this recipe overall, though my corn tortillas (that I found on my trip to Erie, PA and froze till now) were a tad small for the filling- making for a super messy taco to eat. I like to pick up my taco, as opposed to eating it with a fork and knife like dh, so I went through a bunch of paper towels. ( Lucky for you, there's no pic of that, eh? ) It is also pretty spicy with its combo of chili powder and chipotle chile powder. dh still doesn't care for the chipotle flavour (crazy man) while it remains one of my favourite flavours. The best part of this recipe, however, is the avocado slices. mmmmmmmmm...a nice, fresh cooling flavour amidst all the chipotle heat. I'm crazy about avocado.

In boot camp news, I went today after work- even though I had to rush the dds to their piano lessons and drive madly to get there. Sadly, their piano teacher doesn't want to carry on this new tradition ( she's kind of high maintenance ), so I won't be able to make the Friday class any longer. *sob* I'm going to attempt to make another class, as I don't think we can move piano. Anyway, the class tonight (boot camp, not piano) was super intense. The instructor gave us 7 (?) stations that were pairs of cardio and strength. You started with the cardio part and then switched to muscle- with 3 sets at each. It was uber exhausting and a very good workout. I think I will sleep VERY well tonight!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Checking IN and Checking OUT (Recipe Books from the Library)

Every Tuesday, the eldest dd and I drop off the younger dd at Brownies and then swing by the local library to pick up books ( dd loves to preorder online ) and assorted DVDs. I recently- on one of our visits- discovered a hidden shelf of new additions to the library including a circulating treasure trove of new recipe books. If you haven't already guessed, I heart new recipe books and how cool is it to check out new ones without spending a fortune on buying them- like I usually do? :)

The muffins pictured above ( I've been doing a lot of muffins lately, it seems, eh? ) are Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins from Rose Reisman's The Complete Light Kitchen. They are really good- moist and a perfect blend of banana and chocolate (mmmmm)- and will set you back 3 points for one.

There seem to be a ton of other recipes I want to try in the book, too. Rose does good books. Maybe I'll have to buy it in the end anyway. :P For now, I renewed it for another week.

In Tuesday check-in news, I've been Halloween-bad this weekend (see yesterday's post) and I'm up, of course. I doubt any of it will rub off before tomorrow's official wi. I feel back on track again though, so I might re-evaluate my Christmas challenge to make it more doable and get rid of the rest of the crack- er, Halloween candy.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Dagmar does Halloween

I have fallen under a bowl of Halloween treats and can't get up! I'm like a drug addict and my drug of choice is anything dipped in chocolate. help! I need an intervention.

annn...ny..way! Halloween was pretty slow trick-or-treater-wise. I think it was, in part, because all the teens were at private parties since it was Friday night and all. So bad news for me: lots of candy left AND not much doorbell interruption from snacking. You know sometimes I can be so in the zone and on program, and sometimes I can be so. very. bad. ( well, chocolate greedy rather than pure evil to be fair to myself. )

Saturday night we were invited to a dinner party at friends'- a dinner party with a German theme. The Germans are not known for their low-fat cuisine, apparently. *sigh* I could have been so much better- well, worse, too, but I ended the even feeling pretty full- in the Thanksgiving dinner fullness sense of the word. We all were given German names on place cards at dinner. Mine was Dagmar. Not a light eater- that Dagmar.

I did manage SOME sane eating over the weekend. I made this Cooking Light panko chicken recipe ( Crisp Panko Chicken ) that was very tasty. My children protested at first at the sight of it (they have an aversion to a coconut coating recipe and this looked a bit like that), but then my eldest- non- coating loving dd admitted that it was pretty good and ate all of hers.

I'd definitely make them again. I liked the crispy, not soggy outside to the pieces. I didn't make the salad, since salad was what I took to the German party ( thankfully not knowing the German theme at the time- I think most of their salads are heavy, too. ) and so I had a couple of salads ( sans dressing ) left over and we ate those.

Also in better fitness news, after work today I did go to boot camp for another tough workout. This time we started with partner exercises with HUGE rubber bands. I had the instructor as my partner so no slacking there. It was a lot of leg work with squating and lunging across the room whilst being held back by a large rubber band. lol. Our circuit afterwards seemed especially tough, too (crashing from a sugar high perhaps?), so it was a very good workout overall and now I'm pretty tired.

All in all if I can just step away from the candy, everything will be alright. Luckily for me, my dh is a bit of a choco-holic. So the bowl is emptying quickly, at least.