Wednesday, June 30, 2010


So, as promised, here are the recipes. You better be grateful, these aren't quick to type out! :)
Let me say the mission of these recipes is to avoid salt, added sugars and processed foods, so if you need to substitute, try to follow those guidelines. 

Lasagna: serves 12
1 lb lean ground turkey
 2 jars (6cups/52oz) Classico tomato basil sauce
(or any sauce without added sugar and salt or trans fats)
4c low fat cottage cheese
1/4c grated Parmesan
1 lg egg
1 diced red bell pepper
1 diced green bell pepper
1 diced medium zucchini
1 bag fresh spinach (6 or 9oz) (or frozen with no additives)
2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 t minced garlic from jar)
1/2 box Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Lasagna noodles
(or any whole wheat or mostly whole wheat lasagna)

Prepare noodles according to package direction (kudos to you if you can find no-boil healthy noodles, and if you do let me know!) Rinse in strainer with cold water and set aside. (make sure they don't stick together)
Steam spinach and press out excess water.Or just thaw out if frozen and then squeeze out liquid. In a 3 quart or larger pan, brown turkey. Season generously, Italian style. Ground turkey needs almost twice the seasoning of ground beef. Drain meat and set aside. In the same pan spray with cooking spray and saute vegetables and garlic for 2-3min. Add meat and sauce and simmer for 5 min or until sauce is heated through. In a separate medium bowl combine egg, spinach, cottage cheese and mix well.
Heat oven to 350. Spray 15x11x2 casserole dish with Pam. Spread a thin layer of sauce in the bottom. Then a layer of noodles, then a layer of the cheese and spinach mix topped with some mozzarella, then noodles, then sauce mix, then cheese mix, repeat until dish full. Finish with a layer of noodles topped with sauce mix then mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover with foil. Bake 40 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbling. Let stand 10 min before serving. Makes 12 equal portions. 370 cal each.

Chicken Pot Pie: serves 3
1 medium onion finely chopped
4 medium carrots chopped
4 medium celery stalks chopped
1/2 c peas
2 T EVOO or cooking spray (Pam)
1 large chicken breast, pre-cooked and then cubed.
1 garlic clove minced or 1/2 t minced garlic
1/2t salt
1/4t fresh ground pepper
1/4t thyme
2T flour
1.5 c no salt added chicken broth
6 sheets phyllo dough, whole wheat if you can find it

Read directions for use for your phyllo when you buy it. You made need to thaw it for 2 hours or in the fridge overnight for use.
Preheat oven to 425. Heat 1T EVOO in medium-large saucepan. Add onions, garlic, salt and pepper and cook until onions are translucent. Stir in 1 cup broth. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining broth and the flour. Whisk this mixture into the already cooking saucepan. Bring to a boil, still whisking. Reduce to a high simmer and cook 4 minutes, whisking occasionally. Add carrots and celery and bring mix to a boil. Add chicken and bring to a boil again. Remove from heat. Add thyme and peas, allow to cool til only warm. Spoon into a 9" round deep dish pie pan or a small (9x11ish) casserole dish.
If using a pie dish stack phyllo and cut into an 11" round circle. if using casserole dish use whole sheet.
Place 2 layers of phyllo, brush with 1t oil or spray with Pam. Repeat til phyllo is used. Press phyllo down into sides of pan to hold in veggies. Bake 25 minutes or until golden and bubbling. 430 cal per serving.

Personal Pizzas: Serves 1
1 medium 100% whole wheat pita
4T prepared tomato sauce or make your own
1/4c part-skim shredded mozzarella
1/4 of a red or green bell pepper, diced
1/2 of a small zucchini, diced
2 mushrooms, sliced
2 oz cooked cubed chicken breast or gr. turkey or extra lean ground beef (consider adding a little extra meat in the above recipes when cooking and then reserve for use for pizza later)

Pre-heat oven to 375. Saute peppers, mushrooms and zucchini for 1-2min. Place pita "upside down" on baking sheet or pizza stone. Spread sauce, then cheese, then veggies then meat. Bake 15-20 min or until golden and bubbling. 372 cal per serving.

Chili: Serves 12
2 lbs gr turkey
2 medium zucchini, diced
1 medium red bell pepper diced
1 medium green bell pepper diced
1 medium onion chopped
2 15 oz cans each of kidneys, black and garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 28oz can no salt added diced tomatoes, not drained
3t minced garlic
1T chili powder
1t paprika
1t oregano
fresh ground pepper and sea salt to taste

We like this but thought their seasoning left it bland. So taste and add more if desired.
In a large pot brown turkey with onions and then drain. Place veggies, oil and 1/2 the garlic in pot and saute til tender. Add beans and tomatoes and drained meat and onions. Bring to boil and then simmer 15-20min. Add spices and remaining garlic, mix well. Simmer 5 more min. Add salt n pepper to taste. 378 cal per 1.5 cups.

Southern Oven-Fried Chicken: Serves 6
6 (about 4oz each) bone-in chicken breast (we used boneless anyway)
2 lg eggs
1/4c nonfat milk
1/2c finely chopped pecans
1/3c cornmeal
1/3c WW flour
1t salt
1t onion powder
1/2t cayenne
1/2t fresh ground pepper
1T smart balance buttery spread, cut into thin slices

Preheat oven for 425 with rack in center position. Line at 9x13 pan with foil. In a bowl wide enough for dredging the chicken whisk egg and milk. In a shallow dish mix pecans, cornmeal, flour and seasonings. Rinse chicken under cold water then pat dry with a paper towel. Dip chicken in egg mixture then dredge in flour mix. Place in dish. Dot each coated breast with butter spread and bake until golden brown, approx. 40min. Be careful not to over cook. 295 cal per breast.

Brownies: Serves16 2x2" brownies
1c evaporated cane juice (like Florida Natural Crystals)
1c WW flour
1/2c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 heaping scoop vanilla protein powder
1t baking soda
1T 60% cocoa chips (found at Publix by Ghiradelli)
1/2c walnut pieces
2 egg whites
1c unsweetened applesauce
2T nonfat or soy milk
1t vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Set aside 1T of chocolate chips and walnuts for topping. Mix dry ingredients in large bowl. Whisk until lump free. In separate bowl mix wed ingredients. Slowly add dry to wet mixing well to prevent lumps. Spray 8x8 pan with Pam. Pour mixture into pan, top with leftover chips and nuts. Bake 30-40 minutes. Cool and serve. 169 cal per brownie.

My fingers hurt. Goodbye for today.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


that's what I should be. It was a trap of my own making really. I didn't pack enough for lunch and after I ate I was still pretty hungry. I didn't have an extra snack with me (mistake #2) so I ate 2 Tbsp of peanut butter. The bad kind. The kind with sugar and trans fats. I hope it doesn't wreck my metabolism. On a positive note it's 3pm and I've already had 75 oz oh H2O. Still feeling like a human sieve. John asked me the other day what a sieve was.
This is it and what it does: : a device with meshes or perforations through which finer particles of a mixture (as of ashes, flour, or sand) of various sizes may be passed to separate them from coarser ones, through which the liquid may be drained from liquid-containing material, or through which soft materials may be forced for reduction to fine particles

Last night we had chili, tried a new recipe for it. Chef John cooked. It was very yummy. It was also a lot like the taco soup we're so fond of, only healthier. Once again, recipes are coming. Today would have been a perfect time to post them, but alas I forgot the cards at home. I also need to upload birthday photos.

Can I just say these people:

Are pretty much crazy! John and I have been watching a season (not sure which one) on Netflix. I seem to remember in season one they were lovable people out to save Willy. Now they are like these crazy radicals who break laws and then try and turn it into a political circus and positive press. Currently in our watching they are about to try this again. The captain is very reckless. I do admit that the Japanese killing whales through a "loophole" in the law is a shame, but alas the loophole does exist. I guess there is something to be said for their dedication. All crew are asked to verify that they are "willing to risk their life for the life of a whale". Believe me, they better be. Even if their death is senseless. Whatever crazy crap the higher-ups come up with, they are expected to do it without question. Alas they have a somewhat high turnover rate. Anyway, I know some people really love the Sea Shepherds. I like to watch them, but I'm not sure I totally agree with all their tactics. What say you?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Hard day

Sunday afternoon was not the easiest. Mainly because although we had followed our plan, everything we'd eaten was low calorie. So I started wanting peanut butter and chocolate, badly. My sweet husband was so perceptive. I was just lying there listless and he asked "Having a hard day?" Yeah, I definitely was. He promptly fixed me a nice large glass of water, because we were both not anywhere near our quota for the day. He was hungry too.
So for dinner he fixed me a nice substantial meal- turkey burgers with American cheese- no bun, a baked potato and salad. Felt much better after that.

I also made a discovery this weekend- we stayed at my mom's Saturday night through Sunday afternoon because she is out of town long-term and her house is 2 min from John's work (our church). Anyway, she has cable. The archenemy of healthy food choices I discovered. I don't do too bad in my little cable-free-eating-at-home environment. But all the commercials and food programs really started to get to me. John really enjoyed watching some TV and I fit in a few shows I like myself, but overall I am really glad we don't have cable at home. I also felt highly unproductive and slob-like from 5-6 hours of the boob tube.

Saturday was spend in domestication :) Sweeping, vacuuming, changing sheets, laundry, ironing, cleaning the car. These days make me feel accomplished.
This week I am starting to prepare for the big "move" next week. We'll be spending from Friday or Saturday to Thursday at my mom's because our church is having a conference which John will be pretty busy with. This way he can just walk home when he has free time. The only thing that is such a big deal for this is planning out a menu to ensure we stay on track. And that means pre-cooking and dragging a lot of food supplies with us, not to mention clothing, toiletries and pet essentials. I hope to do this all Friday afternoon.

John Moment- John reads this blog- so I threatened him the other day- "You better stop this or it's going in the blog." And as promised, it is: I was standing in the laundry room folding clothes and John walked in. Then, he stopped stone still and then stared ahead like a mannequin. Every few seconds he would take a step or two, robot-like, still staring straight ahead. Since I am used to this sort of "creativity" I just started trying to make him dance around the room with me to a song I was singing. It was like dancing with a post :) So, I quit and went back to my laundry. Tin-man maintained his stance. Then as I turned my back to grab more clothes from the dryer, he pounced, doing the "ahhh" scream you do when jumping out at people. He was like "Were you scared babe, were you?" Goodness that boy is so silly :) I love him.

Friday, June 25, 2010

More food news :)

Last night i made a chicken pot pie. Only in a casserole dish :) It was yummy. There is something so satisfying about slaving over a meal that ends up looking and tasting good :)

Per request I am going to blog 3 recipes soon.
Plan now includes drinking 96oz H2O and 12 minutes of cardio. I still feel a little like a human sieve :) Doing well- still not feeling deprived. But also, still not feeling like I've lost a lot of weight. Anxious to get on the scale. But I must remind myself- even if I've only lost 3 lbs and keep it off and do the same each month, that will be 36lbs in a year. It's a marathon, not a sprint. I'm just impatient.

Next week will be a challenge, as i will start to cook extra to prepare for youth conference week. John will be busy day and night and I'll work during the day and be at church at night. I hope to have everything apportioned out and sitting in the fridge ready to consume :)

I had a little fun with leftover phyllo :)

This is about 3/4 of the water I'm supposed to drink everyday. It's a nice container though. It has a freezable core and a straw :)

Ttfn bloggy buddies!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The puppy

So I realized my blog is so boring compared to some. I don't jazz it up with colorful fonts and cool pictures. I vow to change that... a little anyway.
Last night John and I were watching Dog Whisperer on Netflix- and Eby jumped up on the sofa and curled right up in my lap...sigh. It was too sweet. Wish I would've had a camera. it was especially sweet because although cute, Eby doesn't initiate affection all that much. She'll accept it, she just still seems a little stand-offish to us.I guess it's good to have a dog that's not too needy, but I'm not accustomed to it. My only other dog was very attached to me. Even though Eby doesn't always wanna be right up in our business- she sure doesn't want us to leave! Oh how she howls, barks, makes noise and sounds so pitiful. I asked our upstairs neighbor if she's loud the whole time we're gone, "Sometimes, but I think it's cute," was her reply. Oh no! I am so glad we have a nice upstairs neighbor. Anyway, I think Eby still has a bit of a "stray" mentality. A little afraid to get too attached, but doesn't want to be alone. Eventually she'll figure out she gets to stay. Who knows what happened to her before we had her.

Sunday morning I did get some Eby love:
Isn't she a cutie patootie? If you can kinda tell her paw in on my chest too.
This is pretty much Eby's favorite place to be:

Oh how that little girl LOVES a bed :)
Spoiled rotten!

Monday, June 21, 2010

As i sit here tapping my foot

from the 60oz of water I've consumed while sitting at my desk, which in itself makes one more vulnerable to the effects of fluid intake...

I was thinking today how radically my life has changed in the last 2 years. Moved back to Pensacola after college, been on 3 cruises, started leading a cell group, stopped leading a cell group, started dating, got married, got a new dog, moved to a new house twice, saw the Grand Canyon, made over my finances, paid off a car, started a whole new way of eating. I was thinking how "grown-up" I feel sometimes. Seeing all your friends around you, some a little younger, some a little older getting married, having babies, buying houses. Getting responsible about finances and fitness. I am most proud of the last two :)

So today is day 6 of the 21 induction. Going really well. Curious to see what the scale will say at the end of the 3 weeks. (Rule is not to weight until the end.) I honestly don't feel like I've lost any weight, because they keep you eating all the time. This weekend went really well. We made marathon shopping trips- going to 4 grocery stores to stock our kitchen full of all the healthy veggies and fat and sugar alternatives.We even had to add a shelving unit in the kitchen (since we have microscopic cabinet space). And, it was NOT cheap to buy all this. But some of it is just start up cost.
Saturday night John made some fabulous oven-fried chicken and I made a batch of healthy brownies for dessert. They were quite good and 170 calories each. And literally a miracle is occurring. You know how they say if you eat good for you food all the time eventually you'll start wanting it- well it's true. For the first time ever. Although my palate still has a looong way to go in the veggie department.

Kudos to me (toot toot)... I got up at 5:15 Sunday morning to make healthy biscuits and gravy for John and me. It was okay-ish. Edible, but not so much like the "real" thing.
Sunday afternoon I hustled big time to make a healthy lasagna at a moment's notice. It did taste pretty darn good though. But it was like 2 hours of work.

So, I will definitely post results at the end of our time- July 7.

Oh- did ride with new tires. Was a lot easier but John still goes faster than me :(

John moment- Yesterday at my grandma's the dog jumped into John's arms while he was standing up. A pretty good height for someone only 10 inches at the shoulder. But more importantly John was so excited :) (We have a little problem with Eby favoring me more, even though she was supposed to be mostly John's dog) You should've seen his cute little grin. Like a kid in a candy store.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Day 2

Of our change of eating lifestyle. Going pretty well. Today we just have to incorporate day 1 plus the "foodlovers" plate. We're either having grilled chicken and garlic green beans and corn or a southwest salad.
The only blunder I had was that I went 4 hrs 20 min without eating due to being in a work meeting. But I just ate my snack. (Not supposed to go more than 3 hours)

Vent: Sometimes working for the government can be frustrating. Policies change weekly, nearly daily, and the only updates given are word of mouth. Hardly ever on paper due to fear of litigation. Having to rearrange things and word them in such a way as to satisfy computer systems and the legal department. Not being able to change things that should be changed. Ugh.

On a happier note- we walked the doggie last night. Then we decided to finally see how far this route is we take with her. Sadly, it is only 1.6 miles. And the route we do on our bikes is only 3.5 :(
And when we did probably 4 or 5 miles on the bikes Saturday, I thought I would die. As it turns out, my tires were under-inflated by about 30lbs each. John fixed that for me so I am anxious to see how much more endurance I can get. I was starting to get a little bit of a complex on how I am winded so much faster than John and have to pedal almost constantly while he coasts frequently. Anxious to see how much of that was from the tires. Hopefully a lot :) Just thinking about how the days of jogging a 5K are so far behind me :( Not that it was ever easy. In fact it was one of the hardest things I've ever done. But still, I did it. I don't think I could today.

Well, it's off to home with me!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I've had the best of intentions...

Makes me thing of that country song- "Never could give you a castle, even though you're the queen of my heaaart (country drawl), but I've had the best of intentions, from the start." Lol.

     I only mean that I aimed to update this blog twice a week, and alas, it has been 9 days since I last posted.
They've been a rather eventful 9 days. I can't even begin to recall it all. But the weekend was mostly filled with trying to relax, and spending time with my momma. She left yesterday morning for Texas to work. For like 3-6 months. I've only cried a few times :(
     I've been thinking; I am soooo emotional since getting married. Thankfully mostly only John sees this. Just a sad or tender thought can get me going. I can ONLY imagine what it will be like when I'm preggo. Hopefully by then (since it's so far in the future) I will have chilled a bit.

     John and I's latest adventure is to try a new eating program/lifestyle called FoodLovers. It's a moderate plan about eating the right combinations of food in the right portion sizes, and snacks between meals to keep your metabolism going. However, it starts with a 21-day induction where you avoid all refined sugar/sugar products and processed flours. Today is Day 1- goal is to eat a snack between each meal and not go more than 3 hours without eating and keep a food journal. So far so good. Tomorrow is day 1 plus making one meals a "Foodlovers" plate. 1 protein, 1 fast carb 1 slow carb. By the end of the week we'll have incorporated all the major eating rules- snacks are only 200 calories or less, Foodlovers plate at each meal, out with refined sugars/flours, limit added fats (condiments) per meal to 1 Tbsp, drink plenty of water. Later in the program adds in exercising, sleeping enough etc. Then after 21 days you can continue on in this, or go to incorporating back in "junkier" foods in moderation. Like a few times a week, but still follow the calorie limits for snacks, always making each meal the right combo and the right portion, eating every 3 hours and exercising.
     The program also comes with an optional 6 day detox. We made it through 1 day. I wanted to give up but wasn't going to. Then night one John vomited a large amount and got a nosebleed. Poor him, yay for me :) So we decided to opt out of that option for now :) That also led to a sick day for John Tuesday, and I insisted on staying home with him. It was nice to spend time together. Makes me long for the day, if it ever happens, that I can stay home. Running the kids to dance and soccer, laundry, ironing, cooking. Most of all, I think it would be great if John had a work-from-home job too. Lol. I think we just need to find a way to be independently wealthy :)

My hubby reads my blog, and confessed to me that he wishes he could blog. I told him to go for it. The only obstacle I see is his severe spelling impediment. But blogger has a spellcheck :)

John moment for this blog: (This is Monday night when John had just vomited and then went and laid in bed.) "I highly recommend marrying a nurse, it's really nice." Me: "Babe, what I've done for you tonight almost any woman is good at, it's just about caring." John: "I know, but it's better when it's a professional." :)
He's so sweet :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Just another Mundane Monday

It's not really busy, so I couldn't put manic. But I am your typical mourner of Mondays. I am always so sad to see the end of a weekend. Specifically, sad to leave my hubby at home and head off to work. Oh how I wish I too were off on Monday, and that we could spend the day together, just us. But John commands me to my job ("You'll love me a lot less if we're living under a bridge.") So here I am.
We did have a very busy weekend, which seems to be the norm. Friday night was church, which was really John and I sitting in the TV control room in the back while he directed one camera operator and tried to hone his directing skills. Oh my how things look/seem different when you are just watching on a TV screen.
Saturday brought a whole day of socializing. Saturday morning we joined 4 other couples to go boating. Which turned into just one short boat ride because of some nasty nasty weather. Then a teaching on breaking generational curses by the group leader. It was nice to get to know the other couples more.
Saturday night brought a dinner party with the Lugones. These people were brave enough to host dinner for like 20 people with a day's notice. WOW! We had some delicious baked ziti and lots of laughs.
Sunday brought my 1/2 single day :) Nothing too special about that. But then Sunday evening we had the Lugones over to our house for dinner. Also more great conversation and getting to know.
I am always so sad to see these times end. :( But John says they must so the weekend can come again. Stupid glass-half-full. :)

My John moment for this blog- where I'm going to start posting a few of the silly things John (or John and I) do behind closed doors:
Last night after company left John was laying on the bean bag. I came over to tackle him and he was like "Don't, I'm so full I might vomit." He then proceeded to fake vomit on me. A really good impression actually. He even forced hot air out so I felt like something was hitting me. It was pretty realistic and gross. He then says, "I'm a great fake vomiter babe." and keeps doing it, over and over. I tried to return the favor, but alas, it appears I'm a horrible fake vomiter. I guess you just have to be okay with failure sometimes. Lol.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Getting married is not good for the waistline

So, all you other married ladies out there- what say you? Being single, I had always heard the term "fat and happy" said of the newly married. I thought this was because newlyweds ate themselves silly love each other so much they feel comfortable to gain a little weight. I found this is not true. Somehow, magically, being married adds at least 2% to your body weight. Here John and I are, cooking dinner several meals a week, packing our lunches, and not eating out but maybe once a week, and I GAIN weight? Somehow I thought I would lose! Thankfully my clothes still fit, although all more sungly :(
I am finding exercise hard to fit into our packed schedule. Little did I know getting something more to add in the schedule (our dog) was the answer. Now John is determined to raise her right, so we walk more. And we're getting fired up to bike more now that both bikes are up and running.
We'll also be starting this soon:

It's about Diet-Free Living. I agreed to join John since this is supposed to be about no food restrictions, right combos of food, portion control etc. All the stuff you know to do. But anyway, I am ready to hop off the plump train and at least switch to the "thick" one. :) Being a bridesmaid this fall is great motivation. Also would like to be more svelte for the sis-in-law's nuptials.

In more somber news- I guess I don't need to worry about being beach ready since our shores are being invaded by oil as we speak. So sad :( It's so hard that no one seems to be able to do anything to stop it. I will greatly miss clear cool water on a hot day :(
Tomorrow we join other newlywed couples in our church for a boating and pool day. May be our last time to enjoy saltwater/inland water for a long time...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Birthday/Holiday weekend

Hi to all my (3) bloggy friends. Lol :)

So this weekend was really nice. But I've eaten so much I felt like I had a "food baby" all weekend. Sometimes I wish I were my dog and my food was doled out to me in such I way that I was forced to eat a certain amount of certain things. Lol.
The hubs was too sweet for the day. I got 4 cards altogether throughout the day, 1 from the "dog" and 3 from him. A sweet one finished it off that made me cry. And he thought of a really unique gift. He's heard me say several times that I wish we would've gotten to taste the other 2 layers of our wedding cake, so he had our baker re-create it, plus 1 new flavor. They looked great. And I now have 25 lbs of cake at my house. Lol.
Well I was going to put pics in here, but my flash drive is being dumb. I'll have to add them later.

I ate fabulous pizza Friday night thanks to mi momma. Mellow Mushroom was delish with hubs, mom and BFF. Mom got me a great seat for my new bike, so now I can ride without feeling like I'm sitting on a seat made for a barbie doll :) This girl's bootay needs some support! And a 3-bike car rack is on it's way. The hubs and I plan on trying a 15 mile trail in Milton. We did test out the bike Saturday. The seat is so much better. We decided to try and take the pooch along. Not the greatest plan at noon in the deep south. Poor thing looked like she would pass out. She only made it about a mile before we had to take her home. Then we continued on without her. Stopped at a kid's park where John pushed me on the swings, and I was still able to accomplish a simple flip on the high bar :) Go me. 26 and still can :) Not that it was a pretty sight at all :)
Saturday night brought dinner with a good friend and meeting a new friend of hers. Great girl chat into the wee hours. Sunday was church where I now feel really single sometimes. The hubs now directs the TV show from a room behind the sanctuary. I can't see him at all :( Oh well. Sunday mornings are just my "play the single" time. Sunday night was an engagement party for a good friend and then staying up til like 11:30 steam cleaning my furniture in preparation for company Monday night. It's been on my wishlist to clean it.

Monday- BBQ with the fam. Yummy food. Then Prince of Persia movie which I rather enjoyed, then the girls watched The Pianist (edited version) while the guys played each other in some computer war game and got way too competitive as usual. Fell in to bed at midnight. Man was it hard to get up for work today.

So how does 26 feel? Feels about the same as 25 so far. Except that now I have a wonderful hubby to share my days with. I love you babe!