Doing Much Better

It took some soul-searching but I think I have finally settled on something that is going to get me back on track. A few years ago, after the birth of my first child, my Gyn told me I needed to lose weight. She was concerned about my health. Funny thing is, I was 20lbs lighter then than I am now, but I digress. She recommended a nutritionist to me so off I went and ended up losing about 30-35lbs using her advice. We met weekly at first and then moved to every two weeks until I felt comfortable enough to keep up with everything myself. That worked out really well until I had baby #2. Now, after my second child was born, I really didn’t hold on to much weight, maybe 7lbs, but I was feeling panicky and began looking for a quick fix. I signed up for Weight Watchers and actually did really well on that, getting down to about 140lbs. Can I just tell you how thrilled I’d be to weigh 140 right now? Lord. Well, it’s hard to say what happened after that but, for whatever reason, even though I looked great, was working out, etc, I still wasn’t happy with my weight and wanted to lose more. So began my journey into low carb dieting with Suzanne Somers and Dr. Atkins. Please, don’t misunderstand me. These diets work and work well but they just weren’t something I could live with forever. This resulted in my falling off the wagon and putting all that weight I had lost back on and then some.

Last week, I decided to contact Bernadette. I felt like what I needed was that one-on-one interaction with someone who could work within the parameters of what I like to eat and what I don’t like. Bernadette was great. She fit me in the day I called; she could tell I was feeling deperate. She helped me create a meal plan for the week that still allowed me to enjoy my favorite flavors while teaching me restraint and moderation. Tomorrow is my next appointment and I’m really looking forward to it. All week, I was able to eat healthfully, enjoy small tastes of chocolate, and lose weight. Not much but, a loss is a loss! I can’t wait to go in tomorrow and get some good feedback. It felt so awesome to have stuck with it all week, even over the weekend when it’s SO tempting to go to Panera for one of their breakfast souffles and a chai latte!! Also, my brother-in-law had a birthday party but I didn’t overdo it. That felt like quite an accomplishment to not gorge on appetizers!! I did enjoy a small slice of pie for dessert but, again, didn’t go overboard like I would have in the past.

Here is a picture of my lunch today.  It wasn’t anything terribly exciting but it was light and tasty!  I grilled a bunch of chicken breasts that I had purchased this week, and while they were on the grill, I basted them with Bolthouse Farms Balsamic Vinaigrette Salad Dressing.  They weren’t drenched in it, just coated enough to give them a nice flavor paired with the smokiness of the grill.  To go along with that I just had some steamed broccoli that was lightly salted and that was that!

The nice thing about the chicken breasts that I purchased is that, I got them directly from the butcher counter instead of buying pre-packaged.  This allowed me to ask the butcher to select only small breasts for me.  It drives me crazy how big the pre-packaged chicken breasts are.  The small ones are a little more uniform in size and cook more evenly.  It saves me the step of pounding the breasts like I have to do when they are larger.

This afternoon I will be having a snack of a laughing cow creamy swiss cheese wedge and a small serving of cherries.  It’s a nice little treat to tide me over until dinner time.

This finally feels like truly the right move for me. It has been a long time since I was able to stick with anything like this for longer than a couple of days so a week feels mighty impressive!! I’ve been searching pinterest for blogs that post low cal/low fat recipes and plan to start posting my meals here when I try them. There are so many talented food bloggers out there, creating these masterful renditions of things we love to eat but with less fat and calories than we need. I’m excited to begin showcasing them!! Thanks for sticking with me through all of this. I know it has been monotonous so I appreciate your continued support!!

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Le Sigh

Honestly, my blog is becoming a lame repeat of “oh now I’m going to do this” and “oh that sucked, I can’t do that”. My last post was about how I was going to do Nutrisystem (which should be called Putri-system) to lose weight. Well, after eating grilled “chicken” and a couple of other meals, I was officially done. The food was seriously some of the grossest stuff I have ever eaten in my life and so here I am again. A failure at sticking with anything, wishing I had any will-power at all to make a plan and lose some weight. Right now, I just feel like a horrible person and a total failure and I’m hoping I can get a grip on a good attitude very soon.

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Starting Something New – Nutrisystem

Losing weight has been a losing battle for me. I started this blog in 2007 and am in basically the same situation I was back then. Over the years I have read countless books and magazines on the topic of losing weight and in the end, just found myself confused about which path to take. Which one was right for me? I was just plain frustrated. Well, this week I decided to take thinking out of the equation altogether for a while. My brain needs a break from trying to figure out what to eat and I need to see some success at the same time. So what did I do you might be wondering. I signed up for Nutrisystem.

Janet Jackson wasn’t the reason I did it. Nor were Terry Bradshaw or Marie Osmond. I signed up for Nutrisystem because it is afforable and gives my mind a break from the noise I was hearing with all my thoughts trying to battle out which diet was the right one for me. Will Nutrisystem work? I hope so. Today, all my food arrived and I will freely admit to being a teensy bit freaked out that everything is shelf stable. For whatever reason I was thinking that some of the things had to be frozen. At any rate, I’m starting tomorrow and hopefully will see great results this month!!

So my plan for now is to post pictures of my daily meals and list which ones I like and which ones I don’t and why. I will also keep track of my stats. If you’d like to come by and cheer me on, I welcome your support!!

Krista - Looking forward to seeing updates on your NutriSystem journey!!! You’ll do awesome!

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Braised Beef Short Ribs – It’s What’s for Dinner. :)

Beef short ribs. I have SUCH a weakness for beef short ribs! We went to Disneyworld a couple of years ago and ate at a pub in Downtown Disney. There I had the most tender, succulent, delicious short ribs I’d ever eaten and I’ve been on a mission ever since to re-create the yummy goodness I had that night. Well, my dinner tonight wasn’t even close but it was good! LOL

Short ribs tend to go on sale a lot at our local Harris Teeter grocery store so I can get 4 ribs for around $3.50. The only bad thing that I’ve noticed about the ribs our store offers (and this could be typical of the cut) is that they are very fatty. So while they look substantial in the package, really, two packages is what would be needed to feed 2-3 people. Anyway, I found a recipe online which you may download here:

http://www.foodchannel.com/recipes/recipe/braised-beef-short-ribs/

It was a very simple and straight-forward recipe and the only thing I changed was the red wine. We have every other kind of alcohol here in the house EXCEPT red wine and I was feeling lazy and didn’t want to run out and get any. So instead, at that step in the recipe, I substituted beef broth and it seemed to work out ok. Oh, I also added 2 bay leaves and a heaping tablespoon of tomato paste before popping it into the oven. 🙂

Let me tell you, the fragrance that was wafting through the house was unbelievable. The kind of thing that I knew was going to make my husband happy when he walked in the door from work. Oh man, it smelled amazing!! To serve along with the short ribs, I made some mashed potatoes using this recipe, which never disappoints.

3 medium yukon gold potatoes
1-2 pinches of salt
1-2 tbs butter
a healthy splash of milk (i used 2%)

I chopped the potatoes into uniform cubes and then put them in a pot and covered them with water. Added a bit of salt to that. Brought the water to a boil and simmered it over medium heat for 15 minutes. Then I poured it all into a strainer and returned the potatoes to the pan, set over to the side with the lid on, and let the potatoes steam for 10-15 mins. Then, using a potato masher, I added the butter and the milk and just mashed it all up until it was the consistency I wanted. Always add the salt last and taste it as you go.

Here is the final result. Have mercy! Stick to your ribs delicious!!

Anonymous - I’m trying to lose weight too. Somehow I was searching for a picture of what a 3 oz piece of meat looks like to try to measure how much food I’m eating and your site came up. Your recipes look delicious! I think I would have a hard time controlling portion size since they look so mouth watering. Good luck on your journey!

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Scratch-Made Pizza!!!

Have you ever done something and failed miserably? Has that experience made you think you just weren’t destined to be successful at that task? I have. ANything to do with creating something with yeast has been the bane of my existence for a very long time. Either my yeast was too old or I would kill it with water that was too hot. Well, today I wanted to make pizza for my boys from scratch. While their eating habits certainly need some major improvements, I realize that those changes aren’t going to take place overnight and that baby steps are what are called for here. Pizza for dinner? Ok, fine. But we’re not ordering Pizza Hut or Domino’s nor are we getting Totino’s Party Pizzas (oh I do love those) or Red Baron. If pizza is what’s for dinner, then I get to control the ingredients and it’s going to be really homemade.

My sister told me about a pizza dough recipe that she uses by Tyler Florence so, once I located one I gathered my ingredients and got to work. You can see the recipe on the Food Network’s website here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/fresh-pizza-dough-recipe/index.html

The first thing that thrilled me to no end was, I managed to get the yeast part right. I didn’t kill it!!!! It was beautiful and foamy in the bowl. Next, I followed the directions for mixing it in my stand mixer then allowed it to rise for one hour. After an hour, I had two beautiful dough balls that I was able to top with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. Here is what it looked like from beginning to end.

homemadepizza.jpg

The boys loved it and I got to feel good about giving them a more reasonable version of one of their favorite foods!!! Also, if I can make this, YOU can make this. Believe me on that, ok?

Alisha - Looks like you did a lovely job. 🙂

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