One Step Forward…

Well hey, everybody!

To say it’s been awhile would be an understatement, so let’s just say this – I’m not dead. Hooray! Much has happened over the last….ahem….almost 3 months (ew, gross), and most of it has absolutely nothing to do with me and my weight loss journey.

HOWEVER. I got up yesterday morning, after a glorious, relaxing, beautiful Spring Break, and I decided to go to Weight Watchers. It wasn’t even a decision to “get back on track”, honestly, my first step was just getting my ass out of bed on a Saturday and heading to the 9:30am meeting. (Trust me, that in itself was damn close to a miracle.)

Full disclosure here – when I went to WW yesterday morning, it had been at least 3 weeks since my last weigh-in. My expectations were low – in fact, I think I said to Walter, “I really hope that I haven’t gained 10 pounds.” But I hadn’t! I certainly hadn’t lost weight, but like I said – my expectations were low. All the world needs to know is my current weight, because this feels a little bit like starting over.

Current weight: 203.8 pounds

I’m still going to measure my success from the beginning of the journey, but today really feels like I’m starting over. And that’s okay. I mean, how many times did Thomas Edison have to start over? Or Sara Bareilles? (Yep, those are the only two famous, successful people who popped into my head. Get over it.)

Today, I’m taking one step forward. I’m not dwelling on all the steps I’ve taken back, I’m simply taking one step forward. Actually, it’s more like 2 or 3 steps forward. I weighed in at WW, I’m writing a blog post – I might even go to the grocery store today. **gasp**

One thing that has happened over the last few months will greatly impact my daily/weekly routine, so I thought I would let the blogging world know. In December, Walter was offered a totally fabulous and awesome new job – in Dallas. I am SO incredibly happy for him, because he deserves every bit of amazing success in his totally rockin’ career. However, this does mean that we are going to be long distance for awhile. He was able to work from home in Austin for the last two months, but just yesterday he moved all of his things to a totally killer apartment in downtown Dallas. I’ll be honest – it’s going to be really, really hard to be without him during the week, especially when it comes to cooking. (Over the past few months, the ONLY way we ate a home-cooked meal was because he so wonderfully made it for us.) A big reason why I’m blogging today is to get my mind back in the right mental place to start eating healthy ALL the time, with or without my cook of a boyfriend. I just didn’t want all six of you reading this blog to worry about me and WRG. He’s still as amazing as ever! :)

My mom always tells me, when I’m feeling down or in a rough spot, to write down 10 things for which I am grateful RIGHT NOW. Today I would like to take that advice, and share my findings with you.

10 (ish) Things For Which I’m Grateful TODAY: Sunday, March 17th

1. My family. No matter the situation, my mom and dad are ALWAYS there for me. Always.
2. This guy:
IMG_26403. Dark chocolate. Not a day goes by that I am NOT thankful for dark chocolate.
4. Dear, DEAR friends who understand me and put up with all my weirdness.
5. Starbucks. But only because I don’t have internet until Tuesday, and they have a 7-point yummy breakfast wrap.
IMG_49446. SPRING. FREAKING. BREAK.
7. Really, REALLY pink shoes. I can’t properly explain you how happy they make me.
photo 38. My incredibly demanding and TOTALLY rewarding job.
9. Playing music. Check out this amazing band I’ve been playing with: KP and the Boom Boom. We had a gig last night at SXSW. Amazing.
photo 410. FRUIT. Fruit is my weight-loss savior.
11. This blog!
12. Weight Watchers. I wouldn’t be where I am without it.
photo 1

That’s where we are today! To those of you still reading – thank you. Writing this blog helps more than you will ever know.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Grapes

You guys.  I had a stroke of genius the other day.  (I won’t mention the fact that I misspelled “genius” the first time I typed it.)

Are you ready?

I don’t think you’re ready.

Are you ready now?

Okay.  Here it goes.

Grapes are the potato chips of healthy food.

Just…mull that one over for a sec.  But seriously.  GRAPES.  Potato chips.  Healthy food. Think about it.

Walter and I buy grapes every time we go to the grocery store.  No matter how often it is. Then we’re all “Let’s watch Food Network” and I’m all “I want a snack – Walter, grab the grapes” and he’s all “They’re gone we ate them all last night.”  And then I realize that we’ve eaten THREE POUNDS OF GRAPES IN TWO DAYS.

Why does this happen, you might ask?  Good question, you.  We all mindlessly eat.  It’s something I’m trying to get over, but it’s hard.  So why not mindlessly eat grapes instead of potato chips?  Or whatever your vice of choice is?  And if you don’t like grapes?  I have nothing for you. You’re weird.

Another totally awesome thing I discovered – Fiber One Blueberry Muffins.  Behold:

Use 1/2 cup of water, 1/4 cup of applesauce, and 2 egg whites instead of what the box says.  It lowers the points value and makes them so moist.  Add as many fresh blueberries as you’d like (just make sure to fold them in last if you don’t want them to get all smushy). Totally delicious!

Weighing in tomorrow.  Genius out.

Love for Lettuce

Because I promised – here’s the food I’ve eaten since my post on Tuesday!

Dinner Monday night: “Oriental Express Turkey Lettuce Wraps”!  The recipe actually calls for beef, but we wanted to keep it a little leaner.  My sweet friend Metta asked for the recipe, so here it is!

ORIENTAL EXPRESS TURKEY LETTUCE WRAPS

1 and 1/2 pounds of ground turkey
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/2 cup Asian peanut sauce
1 medium cucumber, chopped
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup torn fresh mint leaves
salt and pepper
cooking spray
12 large lettuce leaves (about 2 heads)

  1. Spray large nonstick skillet with cooking spray.  Brown ground turkey skillet over medium heat, 8 to 10 minutes, or until turkey is not pink, breaking up into small crumbles.  Drain the liquid if you would like, but leaving it makes it juicier.  Stir in hoisin sauce and peanut sauce: heat through.
  2. Just before serving, add cucumber, carrots, and torn mint leaves: toss gently. Season with salt and pepper.  Serve turkey mixture in lettuce leaves.  Bring lots of napkins because it’s a little messy.

MAKES 4 SERVINGS.  Per serving: 320 calories; 38 g protein; 26 g carbohydrate; 9 g fat (small disclaimer – these numbers are a guess, because we used turkey instead of beef)

It is one of the easiest things we’ve ever made, and it’s positively yummy.  The mint added incredible depth of flavor.  (Ohhhhh yeah – I’ve been watching waayyy too much “Chopped” lately.)  This just strengthens my new-found love for lettuce.  (Jimmy John’s makes a mean “unwich” with lettuce instead of bread.  It’s delicious!)

Yesterday’s food involved a little less cooking, but I still tracked everything.

  • Breakfast: Fiber One Shredded Wheat with almond milk and raspberries
  • Lunch: Chipotle Burrito Bowl – brown rice, chicken, veggies, salsa, guac, & lettuce
  • Snack: fruit cup and pop chips (snack of friggin’ CHAMPIONS up in here)
  • Dinner: Papa John’s thin crust pizza.  Yep.  4 slices.  Because we’re doing full honesty here.

We went to the gym last night, and I did TWO Nike Training Club workouts.  I hurt juuuuust a bit this morning.  Started the day with a bowl of oatmeal with cinnamon and apples:

Doesn’t that look delicious?  (It was.)

So now you’re caught up.  Thanks for reading all about my boring food habits this week. It’s really helping me stay on track!

Pesto Chicken Salad Sandwich

Happy Easter, friends!  A few of you asked for the recipes from last week’s post, so I thought I would post them!  Today’s recipe: Pesto Chicken Salad Sandwich, from Weight Watchers!

PESTO CHICKEN SALAD SANDWICHES

2 Tbsp reduced-fat pesto sauce
2 tsp reduced-calorie mayonnaise
2 tsp plain fat-free yogurt
4 oz COOKED skinless, boneless chicken breast, chopped
3 Tbsp roasted red peppers (packed in water), diced
4 slices reduced-calorie wheat bread, toasted
1 cup arugula, baby leaves
1 medium plum tomato, sliced

  1. Take all the things – mix them together. (Except for arugula and tomato.)
  2. Toast bread.
  3. Put things on bread.

It really is that easy. :)  We used spinach instead of arugula, and kind of forgot about the tomatoes.  However, you should try it!  Because I bet it’s delicious.  We have had this at least 3 other times since then – it’s that good.

Not particularly related, but last week I had a performance and Walter couldn’t be there. So he sent me these:

I firmly believe that everyone should send everyone else flowers.  The end.

Happy Monday!  (Ugh, who am I?)

Phoenix

I feel rejuvenated, inspired, and on fire.

When I was asking Walter what I should title this post, he said, “It’s like you’re a phoenix rising from the ashes of a fatter phoenix!”  I laughed out loud, so I had to include it here.

The further I get on this weight loss journey, the more I realize that ups and downs are absolutely inevitable.  There are days where I really just can’t remember why I would EVER want to work out, let alone go on a walk/run for 3 miles in 85-degree weather.  Gross. There are also days where all I want to do is cook and track and talk about being healthy and run around in the humid, Austin weather.  I am, very slowly, learning to accept the differences in these days, embrace the good ones, and figure out ways to push through the bad ones.  It’s a steep learning curve, friends.

Since my kickass weigh-in on Saturday, I’ve been rocking it out.  We had a REVEL event on Saturday evening that involved lots of delicious, free, buffet-style food (the absolute WORST for a weight watcher), and I only went 11 points over my allowance!  (In previous free, endless food excursions, I faired much worse.)  Yesterday, Walter and I cooked Mushroom Herb Chicken from my WW magazine for dinner.  It was DELICIOUS and mega easy!  I would have taken a photo…except I was too hungry.  There was absolutely NO time for photos.

Walter also made this amazing Pesto Chicken Salad Sandwich!  (Another WW recipe…)

First of all, holycrapilovepesto.  My mom makes it from scratch, with basil from the garden, and it honestly should be illegal, it’s so good.  This little ditty totally satisfied my pesto craving!  And it’s just chicken, pesto, a little low-fat mayo, fat free plain yogurt, and roasted red peppers.  Brilliant.  (In fact, WRG is making it AGAIN for our lunches tomorrow…he’s such a good cook.)

On top of all of these things, I ralked a total of 6 miles yesterday and today!  Like I said – I’m rejuvenated.  And on fire.

Like a phoenix.

Tuscan Baked Zucchini Recipe

Hi all!

A few people have asked me about that kick-ass Tuscan Baked Zucchini recipe from Women’s Health magazine, so I thought I would share it here.  Enjoy!  You know I did. :)

TUSCAN BAKED ZUCCHINI

4 medium zucchini
1 jar of water-packed artichokes, drained (6 oz)
1 cup COOKED whole-wheat orzo or couscous
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 Tbsp seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp pine nuts, TOASTED
2/3 cup marinara sauce
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Cooking spray

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spritz a 9″ x 13″ baking pan with cooking spray.  Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out seeds and flesh, leaving a 1/4-inch-think shell and reserving the flesh.  Brush zucchini shells with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside.
  2. While zucchini is baking, chop the reserved zucchini seeds/flesh and artichokes and place in a medium-size bowl.  Add garlic and combine.  Heat the remaining oil in a nonstick skillet and cook the zucchini mixture for 3 to 5 minutes, until zucchini is softened. Remove from heat and add cook orzo (or couscous), bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and marinara sauce.
  3. Fill each zucchini shell with about 1/3 cup filling and top each with 1 tablespoon of mozzarella.  Return filled zucchini to the oven and bake for another 20 minutes, until filling is heated through and cheese is melted.

MAKES 4 SERVINGS.  Per serving (2 halves): 300 calories, 13 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 34 g carbs, 630 mg sodium, 8 g fiber, 15 g protein

(To toast pine nuts – put them in a small pan over medium-high heat, stirring every 30 seconds.  No extra oils needed.  Usually takes about 3-5 minutes?  I guess toasting is a normal thing, but we all know I don’t cook much…)

Enjoy, my friends!  Let me know how it goes!

I’m Back!

That’s right, friends – Liz Love is back on track.

Last night, WRG and I went to 24 Hour Fitness at approximately 10pm – it had been a long day for both of us, and we were having a rough time getting our asses in gear to go the the gym.  We chatted about possibly doing one of the Nike Training Club workouts from my iPhone app, and Walter was all “Yeah, I guess we could…”  See here’s the deal – WRG figured that the last time I talked about how much one of those workouts kicked my butt, that I was just being a pansy.  And let’s be honest – frequently, that isn’t far from the truth. But I was determined to prove to him that it’s a hard workout.  And that I’m not a complete wuss.

We chose our music to listen to while doing the work out (Radiohead – “In Rainbows”, if you’re curious) and set to work.  The first part of this particular workout was 4 minutes of some straight leg kicks, high knee runs, and walking lunges.  At our first “Recover” segment, I looked over at a totally beat Walter and had to remind him that “This was just the warm-up.” That’s right – Nike Training Club workouts are really difficult for my 6’3″, multiple mile running, weight-lifting boyfriend.  I think this means I’m doing something right! Boo-yah.

And, because I promised I would, I will now let you know exactly what I ate today:

Breakfast:
Fiber One Raisin Bran cereal (5)
Almond milk (1)

Lunch:
Spinach wrap with turkey, provolone, hummus, and lettuce (10)
Banana (0)
Popcorn (3)
Thin Mints (4)

Snack:
Skinny Cow chocolate candy things (4)

Dinner:
Sushi! (14)

Total points today: 41

That’s 6 more than my daily points allowance, so I used up a few of my weekly points.  Not a perfect day, but definitely not a terrible one either.  Now we’re off to the gym to rock yet another NTC workout.

I’m back, friends.  Back on track.