Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Strawberries & Cream Smoothie Scrumptiousness!

Ok, maybe I made up that word - Scrumptiousness. But it sounds good, right?

Today's creation tastes almost like one of those Strawberry Cream Savers - and who doesn't like those?! It's super low in calories and fat - has tons of protein - and would make a fantastic post workout recovery snack!  But I'm having my smoothie as a pre-workout/afternoon snack.

1/4 Cup Fat Free Cottage Cheese
1/2 Scoop Protein Powder (I used Syntrax Nectar Sweets Vanilla Bean Torte)
1tsp Sugar
5-10 pieces of ice
1/2-1 cup Water
1 Sugar Free Jell-O Vanilla Pudding Cup
4 Frozen Strawberries

I like to mix the ingredients in blender with ice on bottom - since that's where the blades are so it usually works a bit better, and I like to add the water last. Blend until smooth. Makes a pretty large smoothie!

180 Calories
1g Fat
441mg Sodium
25g Carbs
1g Fiber
18g Protein

A lot of people I know would be questioning the Cottage Cheese.  DON'T!  It helps make the smoothie nice and thick, almost more like a shake, and you can't taste it at all!  Plus it's got tons of protein!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I'm on an omelet roll this week....

Yesterday's omelet was so good, I decided I wanted another one this morning!

3 Egg Whites
1 Wedge Weight Watchers Jalapeno Pepper Cheese*
onion, chopped
mushroom, chopped

Add egg whites to pan, top with mushrooms, onions, & cheese (sliced up).  Cook for a few minutes, then fold and finish cooking.  

Today I paired my omelet with Stonyfield Oikos Greek Yogurt - Honey on bottom!  These come in a 4 pack and they are a little bit of a smaller serving - but still pack a whopping 10g of protein! 

177 Calories
2g Fat
445mg Sodium
17g Carbs
1g Fiber
23g Protein

*The Weight Watchers Cheese Wedge is very much like the Laughing Cow Cheese Wedge - just slightly cheaper usually - and only 30 Calories a wedge - SCORE!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Power Breakfast!

I don't know why but I felt very ambitious this morning when I went to make breakfast!  I ended up making a delicious veggie filled egg white omelet, and had a nutritious fruit/veggie 'smoothie' with it.  So tasty - low calorie - full of protein!  Really this is the type of breakfast we should all be having every day - and it really only took about 5 minutes to put together (I keep chopped veggies in the fridge all the time for salads anyways)

4 egg whites
about 1/4 cup flat leaf or baby spinach
chopped onion
chopped mushrooms
reduced fat mozzarella cheese - (optional) just a sprinkle (about 1/10 - 1/5 of a cup)
Hot sauce (optional) - I use Mexican Hot Sauce
Add egg whites to pan.  Top with veggies.  Cook for a few minutes, fold in half and flip (I used a small frying pan for this so everything stayed together nicely).  Cook for another minute or two.  Transfer to plate, top with cheese & hot sauce.

The fruit/veggie smoothie is NAKED Green Machine!  I had an 8oz serving.
This stuff is amazing!!  One of my friends likes it - but it looks kinda gross so I was wary of it.  I was in BJ's yesterday morning, and saw a lady getting some -- she sang it's praises too.  PLUS there was a coupon - SCORE!!  Totally worth the price without the coupon too!  It's amazingly good!  
Some of the ingredients include - apples, mango, pineapple, banana, kiwi, broccoli, spinach, blue green algae, wheat grass, ginger, & garlic.

So, here's the breakdown for today's power breakfast... 
223 Calories
36g Carbs
1g Fat
17g Protein
258mg Sodium

Try it!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I've come so far....

I woke up on New Year's Day and thought "I'm going to do Weight Watchers".   So I started that day.  People ask me if something happened that made me want to make a change.  No specific event made me want to make a change.  I literally just woke up one day and decided to do it.  I am not one for New Year's Resolutions so I did not make any resolution.  I just made an immediate lifestyle change.

On January 20th, I joined the gym.  I had already lost a few pounds just from eating right, but I knew there was more to healthy living than that.  My friend had been bugging me to join the gym for the longest time, and I finally did.  At first, I hated it. HATED IT.  I would go every day.  But I felt out of place.  I felt like I did not belong there.  And I thought people were looking at me and judging me.  But no one really cared about me.  I realized pretty quickly that everyone was in their own little world there.  I still didn't like it even though I was seeing some results.  I just felt so out of shape.  It was not enjoyable, but I plugged along.  Even if I only went for 30 minutes of Cardio, I was there at least 5 days a week. 

After a month or so, I began to feel the effects of my efforts.  I began to have a lot more energy.  I started looking forward to going to the gym.  In March I signed up with a trainer for 'Fight Like a Girl' -- a striking/kickboxing program that was twice a week for 6 months.  Sounded great, I thought it was outside of my comfort zone so it had to be good.  And I was going to like it - it wasn't cheap and there was no way of getting out of it so I better like it!  I didn't at first.  It kicked my butt!  And I didn't think I would make it through 6 months of it!  But my trainer (Erin) and my partner (and awesome new friend Shelby) had faith in me - way more than I had in myself!  They were both so encouraging to me.  Even though I was very motivated on my own, it's so nice to have people that believe in you.

In April I signed up with an additional trainer for twice a week - just for general personal training. Four days a week with personal trainers?  What in the world was I thinking?!  He took it kind of easy on me at first.  I was his first client here at this gym, and he wasn't sure how hard he should push me.  Another trainer and his client trained with us one day - He insisted I 'had it in me' and that my trainer (Daniel) could push me - and from that day he started kicking my butt too! 

For months, the cardio I was doing on my own was either walking on the treadmill or riding the bike.  I tried the stairmaster once - I was about dying after 5 minutes!  Daniel made me do the elliptical one day - I hated him... But after that I started doing the elliptical almost daily - I do the stairs regularly now too.  It's fascinating to me that now I can do over an hour on the elliptical at one time - and not die! And 20 minutes on the stair climber on a decent pace is nothing!

I was told I should try classes.  My friend at the gym - Tony - suggested Pitaiyo -- and I thank him for that now.   At first, I didn't want to try classes.  What if I mess up?  What will people think?  Everyone will be watching me - eek.  Well once again, I was wrong.  They're paying just as much attention to me as I am to them.  NONE! Pitaiyo (which is not offered everywhere I've learned, but is at my gym because one of the founders/creators works there) is a blend of Pilates, Tai Chi, Yoga, and Qi Gong.  Yea, I'm not coordinated, and my balance I've found is not great.  But I love the class, and I go as often as I can.  I still want to try more classes - Body Combat, Body Pump - and I may even want to try a water class as well. 

The gym is the highlight of my day, and has been for a while.  I work from home now full time, so the gym is like my escape!  I have friends there.  People know me when I walk in.  How did I go from being someone who has never set foot in a gym to someone everyone knows there?  I've even been the topic of conversation at trainer meetings! I've been told I'm an inspiration -- that's flattering, but I don't really see it.  People have asked me how I do it.... What diet am I following... What diet pills am I taking.... 
*I am not dieting.  I made a lifestyle change - and that's the only way to do it I believe.  A diet is temporary.  Diet sounds like you're depriving yourself of things you may really want.  I did weight watchers - but if you know about weight watchers, you know it's not a diet.  You eat what you want.  It just teaches you how to track your food, and helps teach you how to make healthy choices.  I stopped doing weight watchers over two months ago.  I started using a wonderful app called MyFitnessPal.  This app counts calories.  Let's face it, counting calories is a lot more practical than counting points.  Eating right + working out + sleep  = a healthy lifestyle. 

As of my last weigh in on Sunday (9/18/11) I have lost 74.8 pounds.  In my head I know this is a lot.  Everyone tells me they can see such a difference.  I don't always see it.  I notice little things.  Like I know now you can see my collar bones all the time.  I've had to basically get rid of ALL of my old clothes because nothing fits.  I see a difference, but it doesn't seem as dramatic to me as everyone makes it out to be - but I guess it is.  Isn't that like what a super model weighs?  LOL My quest is not to be super thin.  It is to be healthy and happy.

VitaTop - Awesome snack idea!!

So I tried this the other day, and it was amazing.  I decided when I had it again today I had to share.

I am a huge fan of VitaTops! They are delicious, healthy, and can really satisfy a sweet tooth craving - there's so many things you can do with them!  Per the VitaLicious Website - These VitaTops are 'All natural cholesterol free Kosher muffin tops contain whole wheat, oat bran and 15 vitamins & minerals'

This go 'round, I had the Raisin Bran VitaTop, and I topped it with about half a tbsp of Maranatha Natural Almond Butter (Creamy).  VitaTops are frozen, so I just popped mine in the microwave, in package, for 30 seconds.  Came out steaming hot, added the Almond Butter, and it melts a little and creates almost an icing!  It's delish! Almost dessert like but much healthier - very guilt free!  This is perfect for a mid morning snack, or even an evening snack -- I think it could even work for breakfast paired with some egg whites or something with some more protein!

145 Calories
5g Fat
0mg Cholesterol
140mg Sodium
24g Carbs
6g Fiber
6g Protein

Friday, September 16, 2011

Vanilla Frosty Fake-Out!

Just happened upon something great!  And it tastes like a Vanilla Frosty! 

2 Scoops Visalus Vi-Shape Sweet Cream Shake Mix
drizzle of honey
1/2 cup water (could use skim milk or soy/almond milk if you like - would probably make it even creamier)
 *I also added a Fiber Supplement that mixes in - flavorless. 

mix all items in a blender.  Enjoy!  
The perfect sweet treat! 

131 Calories
1g Fat
11g Carbs
10.5g Fiber (w/Fiber supplement - 5.5g without)
15mg Cholesterol
75mg Sodium
12g Protein

Monday, September 12, 2011

Peanut Butter Cup Protein Shake!

Look how pretty!!!

I typically have fruity smoothies, but I wanted something different today -- came up with the perfect solution! 
3/4 Scoop Jillian Michael's Natural Whey Protein Powder - Vanilla Cream Shake
1.5 Tbsp Peanut Wonder Low Sodium Peanut Butter
1/8 cup 1% or Skim Milk
1/4 cup dry Oatmeal
1/2 cup Water
5-7 Ice Cubes

Combine all ingredients in blender until smooth.  Pour into cup, and drizzle with a tiny bit of Chocolate Syrup. 
232 Calories
30g Carbs
4g Fat
19g Protein

Sunday, September 11, 2011

PB & Banana Breakfast Goodness!

This morning I didn't know what I wanted for breakfast - but I did not want my normal yogurt, oatmeal, or eggs.

Found some Eggo Nutrigrain Waffles in the freezer - and I just got this AWESOME low fat peanut butter (Peanut Wonder Low Sodium -- gluten/dairy free, 85% less fat than peanut butter).  I microwaved the waffle - topped with 1Tbsp Peanut Butter, and sliced up half of a small banana to put on top -- and to finish it off - drizzled with 1/2 Tbsp Reduced Calorie Pancake Syrup. 


And I've been craving coffee lately - not sure why - But I had a Green Mountain Coffee Half-Caff K-Cup, and added about 1/2 tsp sugar, and just a splash of Hazelnut CoffeeMate (about 1/2 Tbsp) - Only 23 Calories - way better than Starbucks - but just as yummy!

So here's how breakfast stacks up.....
177 Calories
2.38g Fat
0g Cholesterol
271mg Sodium
33.65g Carbs
3g Fiber
5g Protein

Plus coffee -- you're right at 200 calories!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

SKINNY Taco Salad!

I adore Mexican food!  But I try not to eat it out because it's usually so unhealthy.  So recently I put together a healthy meatless taco salad!  YUM! I got the idea from Hungry Girl (LOVE HER!)

Take one low carb Tortilla - push it into an ovensafe dish, and bake to crisp up -- because it's in a 'bowl' it will take on the shape of a tortilla bowl!  

Sautee or microwave some meatless soy crumbles (like Morningstar Farms or Boca) - about 1/2 cup.  It doesn't take long.  I also like to add some Emeril's Original Essence, or taco seasoning is fine as well. 

Put that into your taco shell bowl, top with lettuce, tomatoes, onion, fat free sour cream, salsa, reduced fat shredded cheese - whatever you like -- I did mine without the sour cream.  Try to think healthy toppings here!  There are so many different varieties of salsa, or you could make your own!  

You are running about... 
200 Calories
Under 5g Fat
900mg sodium
under 30g Carbs
15.5g Fiber
21g Protein

Compared to Taco Bell's Fiesta Taco Salad
770 Calories
42g Fat
1350mg sodium
74g Carbs
11g Fiber
26g Protein


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Never drink your calories!

I've been hearing this for a while.... and it's so true! 
If you're drinking your calories, you could be destroying your diet!
Seems like dieters -- or those trying to lose weight - don't seem to worry about calories from beverages -- I think they think that it's liquid, how many calories could it have?  Well let's see... (again all this information is readily available for anyone who cares to look for it)

Empty calories -- there's no nutritional value for these drinks.  Plus drinking alcohol can leave you dehydrated. 

Just a few drinks could easily exceed half of your daily calories, or more!

Frozen Margarita - 16oz.
300 Calories
30g Carbs

Long Island Iced Tea 5oz.
292 Calories
32.9mg Sodium
6.61g Carbs

Corona Beer - 12.2oz Bottle
148 Calories
1g Carbs

Yuengling Light Beer - 1 Bottle
99 Calories
9g Carbs

Vodka Martini - 1 Cocktail
200 Calories
3mg Sodium
3.4g Carbs

Mint Mojito - 8oz 
175 Calories

Screwdriver - 1 serving
195 Calories
12.61g Carbs 

 Calories in Non-Alcoholic Beverages can even ruin your diet.... If you want to drink soda, stick with Diet.  If you want something fruity, try to go with a low sugar juice, or drink Crystal Light.  For the those that work out, Gatorade now offers low calorie options with the G2 line, and Powerade has Powerade Zero. 

Coca Cola - 1 Can
140 Calories
50mg Sodium
39g Carbs

Welch's Grape Juice - 8oz 
100 Calories
5g Carbs

McDonalds Strawberry Banana Smoothie - Large
330 Calories
77g Carbs

Lipton Pureleaf Raspberry Iced Tea - 1 bottle
120 Calories
31g Carbs