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Monday, May 26, 2014

Quick BBQ Salad

Yep, it's Summer time! Diet time! And Salad time! My twin daughters are home from college and this mama is happy. We all want to loose some weight, exercise more frequently and eat healthy!


I am finally going through my mounds of recipes I've cut out from varies places and sorting, filing, pinning and picking out a slew of summer recipes.



This is one of my favorite parts of having my daughters home, they love my cooking and love when I create new things! As for my boys, they would be happy if I made Hamburger Helper every night.

I went "real food" shopping first, there are hardly ever coupons for "real food" deals, so I made a special trip and filled my basket with the good stuff. My basket looked pretty healthy, if I do say so myself! 



This week we picked out a few salad recipes and packaged them up for our work-day lunch time meals. 





This first recipe believe it or not is from an article I cut out of Good Houskeeping - October 2009. Yep, this has been hanging around my file bins since then. This recipe actually isn't too fancy and I've probably made it a few times before without even following a recipe. 



We made them all up at the beginning of the week in ziploc containers or throw away containers and even my daughter who works at a local burger joint took this salad to eat on her break at work and all her co-workers were like "we want that"!  Sometimes healthy just IS better!



BBQ Chopped Salad
(Recipe will depend on how many salads you wish to make up for the week or if you are serving just for one meal so here is just a general idea)

Can of corn with peppers (or Mexican Corn)
Left over Shredded Chicken
BBQ Sauce
Limes
Ranch Dressing
Favorite Lettuce Mixture
Fresh Cilantro
Tomatoes (we used grape tomatoes)
Shredded Cheese
Crushed Tortilla Chips

Portion, Mix and Serve. We put the dressing on the side in small containers for a good lunch-to-go option. 


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Effortless Meals from Walmart


Summer is all about quick and easy dinners, relaxing by the pool and having movie nights with friends (even when you have a broken foot)!



Walmart and Coca-Cola have made it easy for you to pick up an easy meal when you are in a hurry or just don't feel like hassling a big meal. They have a variety of easy meals take-n-bake pizzas; premade sandwiches; and market side rotisserie chicken.
 

It's Friday night; school is out for all these college girls what better way to bring in the summer then with a fun get together.
 
We threw the pizza and bread sticks in the oven and 12 minutes later, dinner was complete. That is a fast, quick and easy dinner.
 

I would say the pizza was a HIT! But my favorite part was the garlic cheese bread, this bread was so delicious and something I normally would have never bought, but I am so glad I saw the big EFFORTLESS MEAL sign by the pizzas and bread.






Dinner wouldn't be complete with out a little dessert so along with the Effortless meal we picked up some ice cream and made homemade chocolate chip cookies, and created individual pazookies for everyone. Once we figured out it was one of the girls half-birthday, no better reason then to add in a candle, sing Happy (HALF) Birthday and celebrate. Yes, we celebrate HALF birthdays. Why not?!?!?!
 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Homemade Family Pizzas

I am super thrilled about the Blogger iPhone app (I know I am behind the times)! I am sure it's been out way longer then I care to admit but I am just thrilled that I have it now and believe me this will increase my blog posts tremendously. 

I take all my photos on my iPhone and I do use iCloud but sitting down on a computer and getting all that stuff from one place to the next is just too much work (okay, not really) but it seems like it just never gets done.


Here we go with my first iPhone post. 

Tonight we made family pizzas, we haven't done this in a long time. There really isn't a recipe, only a few tips. 


We had Spaghetti last night, which is why homemade pizzas were on the menu for tonight. We like to use left-over spaghetti sauce for pizza sauce. It's great because it already has some ground-up hamburger meat in the sauce (I gotta get in the protein whenever I can, my son thinks he is eating cheese pizza, but I know he is getting a little something extra), we just add in a small can of tomato paste into the left-over spaghetti sauce to thicken it up, use that as the pizza sauce and presto instant pizza sauce. 


One of my daughters and my niece created their pizza masterpieces first.  My son and husband wanted nothing to do with making them, so I made theirs for them, but they sure enjoyed eating them.  Everyone agreed they were delicious.


Coppertone Clearly Sheer Sunscreen


I love trying new products and this one is WONDERFUL! Got my bzzzzzzzz going on and am just loving all these cool things to try-out. Our family goes through about 10 bottles of sunscreen on a one-weeks family vacation. So, we know a thing of two about a GOOD sunscreen.


I am a bzz agent and received sample products and coupons for this product, COPPERTONE® CLEARLYSheer

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Counter - Custom Built Burgers

I was given an awesome opportunity to experience The Counter. #thenewgoods When it comes to eating a delicious burger that is my forte'. I love love a good Cheeseburger, I was raised on fast-food burgers and have come to appreciate a good burger.
 You can read all about The Counter and check out their web site here to see if there is one near you!


The new menu also boasts five (5) new Expert Builds with unique flavor combinations showcasing the numerous protein options available (beef, turkey, bison, tuna and chicken):
  • Red Eye: hormone and antibiotic free beef topped with melted tillamook cheddar, applewood smoked bacon, ripened red tomato, a sunny side up egg on an English muffin with a side of sweet sriracha
  • Un-Brie-lievable: 100% natural ground turkey on a bed of organic mixed greens topped with soft-ripened brie, ripened red tomato, dried cranberries on a multigrain bun with a side of apricot sauce
  • Bison with Bite: organic bison topped with tillamook cheddar, spicy pickles, sliced red onion on a brioche style bun with a side of house mustard and spicy worcestershire
  • Southeast Asian Ahi: ahi tuna topped with pickled carrot and daikon slaw, ripened red tomato on a brioche style bun with a side of nori-soy sauce and sweet sriracha
  • Anaheim Jack: 100% natural chicken breast topped with jalapeno jack, Anaheim peppers, red onions on a ciabatta bun with a side of roasted garlic aioli 
All three burgers unique in their own way!
a little BRIE on my hamburger YES, PLEASE! YUMMY!

They have some AMAZING burger choices and endless possibilities of creating your own, which of course was the way I decided to go (I am a picking eater, so this place is perfect), it's so easy with the clip boards they hand you to order your burger just EXACTLY the way you like it.


It was my husband's birthday so what better way to celebrate then going out to eat, The Counter was a perfect choice.


My husband, my son and myself all enjoyed the excellent food options and our burgers were all made exactly how we liked them. We had the pleasure of actually having a very friendly and helpful waiter at the Irvine location, good and friendly waiters are hard to come by these days, so this made our dinner more enjoyable. Our favorite thing were the Parmesan Fries, one order was enough for our whole table and yep, they were all eaten, every last bite.


And it wouldn't be complete without a Birthday Cake Shake for the birthday boy, brought by our waiter compliments of The Counter, how sweet is that ?!?!?! You can check out The Counter on Twitter @CounterBurger , Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TheCounter or #thenewgoods .

The Counter provided me with a complimentary gift card to try out the
restaurant but the review and opinions in this post are entirely mine.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

TOP 10 RECIPES 2013

I know! I know! I know! It's already March (oh wait March is almost over?!?!). Where does the time go? I want to get BACK in the heart of blogging, I continue to make recipe after recipe after recipe, but never find the time to post them! I hope 2014 is the year I change that. But, before anymore time goes by I want to share with you all the recipes that you made POPULAR in 2013!


And just to let you know these are some of my own favorites too! Those of you who follow my blog know that I HATE making the same thing twice, so if a recipe gets made twice at my house then you KNOW it's a good one!

Thank You once again to all my loyal followers, guests, family and friends! You make this BLOG possible and I truly enjoy cooking and sharing with all of you! Now, for the TOP 10 RECIPES to date on my blog...


#1 Olive Garden Alfredo Sauce {copycat recipe}







#4 Honey Garlic Chicken {crock pot}























Wednesday Weigh-In



2009 My HAPPY weight (left side weighing in at 150 lbs)
May 2013 My HORRIBLE weight (184 lbs, my heaviest ever)
March 2014 MY "GETTING IN SHAPE" weight (168 lbs, with 16 more lbs to loose)

The first photo in still my INSPIRATION picture. I CAN do this! I WILL get there again!

It's been a few weeks since I've checked in, and maybe it's just because there is NOTHING to report! It's up and down and down and up! Not really ever making a BIG SIGNIFICANT change and it's frustrating. But, I do LOOK better! I do FEEL better! and I am LOOSING inches! The scale is just NOT moving!

I've had a few vacations and had a few lazy weeks here and there, but I've also continued my exercise week after week and even while on vacation I did IT! I really did go to the gym and I did the group water aerobics in the pool. (and I felt it)! I was SO sore (on vacation) for two days, but it felt great, and was worth it.

I am STILL determined to GET FIT in 2014. My little group of friends on facebook help me out here and there. It's great to have accountability and it makes the ruff times better.

My RESOLUTION for weighing in every Wednesday is really truly helping me stay on track! It's hard to watch the scale every week and NOT make changes each week to try and improve my results. And when the scale is NOT moving it's even better to have measurements to see progress in other ways. I measured this week too and I am happy with my progress. Weighing in is only HALF, shrinking and building muscle is the other HALF of the equation. I don't measure as often and weighing, only about every 3 months. Since January, I've lost almost 1" all the way around, this too me proved I was still heading in the right direction even though the scale isn't moving.

(photo credit from Pinterest with no link, sorry!)


Total Weight Loss
Down 15.2 lbs

Starting Weight (May 28, 2013)

184

Last Week's Weight (March 19, 2014)
168
Today’s Weight
166.8
This Weeks Results
<1.2> loss
Orange Shirt 184 lbs (almost one year ago next week!)
Purple Shirt 168 lbs (LOVING the way I look and feel!)

Challenge goal weight (in the next 8 weeks, April 30, 2014):
158.0
Dream/Ultimate goal weight:
139.0

LIFE-TIME Goal:  I would love to be in the 130’s, and yes I don’t even care if it’s 139. I am posting my weight here because it's said 

"Coming to terms with the number on the scale can aid you in your weight-loss”.
(photo credit Pinterest)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wednesday Weigh-In


2009 My HAPPY weight (left side) 150lbs
This is my INSPIRATION picture... so I think I should just KEEP that photo right here at the
TOP of every BLOG Post to compare myself each week, to my "NOW" self and the "SELF" I want to be again.

It's week TWO here reporting my #2014EatYourselfSkinny challenge on the blog, coming to you laying it all out there in black and white. I am determined to GET FIT in 2014. My facebook group that I started with a few other ladies is growing and is a daily reminder that there are so many people in the same situation, it's nice to have them to talk to, to vent to, to get ideas from and to just check in weekly with our weigh-ins. I guarantee you if I had been weighing-in every week for the last few years there is NO WAY I would have let that scale grow by 20 lbs. This is a NEW RESOLUTION for myself this year! I will from NOW and FOREVER more weigh myself once a week. This way I can always have a checks and balance type of system (yeah, I am an accountant by trade, that's my day job) for my OWN-SELF; and to never let this happen again. I have been making my phone screen saver, my weight/scale. What a GREAT reminder (almost every second of the day); yeah I am on my phone about 100 times a day!

My diet last week (Jan 2 to Jan 8, 2014) was excellent, better then excellent, I lost 3.6 lbs. I did high-protein and watched my calories (eating 1200 calories per day). Here is what I ate:

#1 Breakfast : 5 Egg Whites (with diced peppers, onions and tomatoes) - I mixed this up and cut it down to 3 eggs (2 egg whites and 1 full egg). I tried to eat it different ways each day (the final one being I added 2 slices of bread, made an over-hard egg) and ate it like a sandwich (I prefer that way the best)!

#2 Snack : Protein Shake (I use Herbelife Cookies n Cream, and I love it) and I have HATED all protein shakes. I mix it with a few fruits (very few like 2 strawberries and 1 slice pineapple or 1/4 cup blueberries or something like that); ice and water (do NOT want to add extra calories using milk) and mix in a banana only 2 days; plus I add 1 tbsp of chia seeds. (Did you know chia seeds have calories? Who knew? Amazing? Make sure you count those in your daily calorie intake.)

#3 Lunch : 4 Oz Breast of Chicken and 4 oz Sweet Potato (I added lettuce and green vegetables, sometimes salad, sometimes asparagus, zucchini and celery). I only had the salad 3 times this week, other days just ate chicken and potatoes only.

#4 Dinner : 4 oz Breast of Chicken and 1/2 cup Brown Rice (and yep, that's it).

You can check out last week's chicken recipes, but this week I found a CREATIVE way to make two flavors of chicken in the same crock-pot AMAZING! I love those crock-pot bags and now I love them even MORE! I will be trying this again soon, making two items in ONE crock pot. All I did was add two bag, using a small piece of tape on the front and back side of the crock pot to hold the two bags together. SIMPLE!

#5 Snack : Another Protein Shake. I actually only needed this a few of the days. One the days I worked out, I felt MORE hungry and needed this second shake on the other days I did not. I tried to use this as a dessert. Since it's cookies n creme flavor already, I made it with 1/2 cup almond milk and full glass of ice, added 1 tsp vanilla and mixed in my Magic Bullet. It was AMAZING and DELICIOUS.

This week (Jan 8 to Jan 15, 2014); had been a little more challenging and I had a weight gain of 1 lb. Although, I KNOW I am doing everything spot-on. My eating is excellent, my exercise is increased from 2 days to 3 days a week, so I honestly believe my body is just in shock! BUT, I am going to mix some things up, change a few things around and see what happens.

Changing My Menu (for this week)!  I am moving my protein shake to early morning (like I use to; more time to burn off); replacing morning snack with a protein bar (or nuts); Lunch doing Shredded Chicken on Spinach-Spring Lettuce with other veggies; Afternoon Snack - Apple; Dinner (something small and light, and under my calories, but eating whatever, not just chicken); skipping the second protein shake at night. We will see how this goes for THIS WEEK and re-evaluate next week!






Total Weight Loss
Down 15.2 lbs
 
 
Starting Weight (May 28, 2013)
184

Last Week's Weight:
167.8
Today’s Weight:
168.8
This week results:
1.0 gain
 
 
Challenge goal weight (in the next 8 weeks, February 28, 2014):
161.0
Ultimate goal weight:
139.0

LIFE-TIME Goal:  I would love to be in the 130’s, and yes I don’t even care if it’s 139. I am posting my weight here because it's said "Coming to terms with the number on the scale can aid you in your weight-loss”.

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