Thursday, December 30, 2010

Power of One, Part 2

Power of One Challenge

So, yesterday I recorded my weight for the world to see.  Today, before I started my workout I snapped a picture to record my progress and grabbed my tape measure.  I also went digging through my hard drive and found a couple of pictures I snapped before I started running last year. I am glad I have them to remind myself that even though the scale has not moved much, I have and my new muscles prove it.

Here are my numbers:
Bust:  37.5
Waist: 36
Hip:  39
Right Thigh:  22
Right Bicep:  12

Under the cut, you can see some pictures I took.  Clearly, I still have a long way to go, but it is nice to see some visible change happening.  In the first picture I was wearing size 12 jeans and now I am in 10s.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Year, New Challenge

Well, hello blog!  Long time, no see!

There is a new challenge starting up at The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans

It is The Power of One Challenge.

Today's mission is to look my scale in the eye and then record my goals for the upcoming year.    Well, I had a backslide and my weight has been creeping up and up and up.  Of course this is not being helped by the steady diet of cookies, candy, and assorted other rich foods I have been living on for the past couple of weeks.

So, here goes.....

Previous weight:  155.8

Challenge starting weight:  159.6

My goals for the upcoming year:

1.  Control my snacking.
2.  Drink more water.
3.  Exercise 3-4 days per week.  I have great workout games for my Wii, a treadmill and an aerobic step and dumbbells.  Weather can be no excuse for me.

You will probably notice a lack of weight loss goal.  This is on purpose.  I tend to fixate on weight in a very unhealthy way.  I know that if I can get those other dominoes to fall into place, my weight will too.  I need to focus on HEALTH and not a NUMBER.

Happy New Year!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

It's Monday again.  Time to figure out what to feed my hungry crew.

Monday:  Slow-cooker pot roast with potatoes and baby carrots

Tuesday:  Farfalle with butternut squash (for my Milk Calendar Project)

Wednesday:  Hot Turkey Sandwiches  (Thanksgiving is long over so we aren't sick of turkey around here!)

Thursday:  Cheeseburger Pasta

Friday:  Chicken minestrone and garlic-cheese toast

Saturday:  Leftover Buffet

Go to for more menu ideas!

2011 Milk Calendar: Ginger-Lemon Beef and Broccoli

Confession time:  I decided to do this project after I made this dish so there is no picture, and I tweaked the recipe to fit my pantry (like all home cooks do).  My sister-in-law stayed for dinner last night so I had to cook the beef separately because she is a vegetarian. 

So, go check out the recipe here:  Ginger-Lemon Beef and Broccoli.  When you come back, I will let you know how I tweaked it and how it worked out.

Notes: OK, so I didn't have any fresh lemons on hand so I subbed the zest and juice out for orange zest and juice.  I also didn't have six cups of broccoli on hand so I used a bag of frozen California Mix vegetables instead.  I cooked the beef in a separate fry pan while I stir-fried the veggies and then gave the meat  a splash of the sauce instead of mixing everything back together.   This worked out really well and is a good way to serve carnivores and vegetarians together with very little fuss.  I cooked plain spaghetti noodles to serve with the stir-fry, but rice would be great too.  The grownups garnished their bowls with Sriracha sauce since I went light on the red pepper flakes for the kids.

The Verdict: Everyone gobbled it up and my husband commented that he really liked how the added milk added a creaminess to the stir fry sauce.  I think it helped it stick to all the ingredients and noodles.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

2011 Milk Calendar: Sweet Cornmeal Surprise Muffins

I like baking on Sunday mornings.  I love cornmeal muffins.  I was really happy to try out this recipe.

Check out the recipe here:  Sweet Cornmeal Surprise Muffins

My notes: I love how you soak the cornmeal while you are prepping the rest of the ingredients.  It softens it up and takes away from the grittiness that corn muffins can sometimes have.  You don't soak it so long that you lose the lovely crunch that a corn muffin has.  I used Smuckers Double Fruit Strawberry Jam for the filling, but I am sure anything you have in your pantry would work well since the flavour of the muffin is so mild.  I might add a dash of cinnamon next time I make them.  I think cinnamon adds a nice flavour to almost any baked dish.  I also think lining your muffin tin with cupcake liners instead of just spraying with nonstick spray is a must since you run the risk of jam leakage and sticking with this sort of baked good.

I must make small muffins since I got 15 instead of the 12 the recipe specified.

The Verdict:  The muffin is moist, with a bit of crunch and the jam is a nice addition.  You definitely don't need butter with these.  Charlotte and Matthew gobbled theirs up.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Menu Plan Monday--Clipping binder edition with bonus recipe!

Hello blog! It's been a long time!  I took some time off to be sick.  I didn't feel like cooking when I was ill so the family lived on soup, sandwiches, pancakes....easy, quick and minimal cooking.

I am back, and this time I pulled one of my clipping binders off the shelf to make my menu.  There was a reason I saved all of those recipes, right???

Monday--Cheeseburger soup*, bread from my bread machine (handwritten, I have no idea where I got it)
Tuesday--Psycho Chicken (Cooking Light, June 2002), steamed vegetables, buttered noodles
Wednesday--steak. sauteed mushrooms, blue cheese crumbles, mashed potatoes and steamed green peas.
Thursday--Pork Chop Suey (cheating...Eat, Shrink and Be Merry)
Friday--Salmon Loaf (my Mom's recipe)
Saturday--Balsamic chicken with caramelized onions (Woman's Day, Feb, 1999)

You can check out more menu planning ideas at I'm an Organizing Junkie

*Cheeseburger Soup
1/2 lb ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup diced celery
1 tsp parsley flakes (I am subbing in fresh)
3 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup shredded carrots
1 tsp. basil
4 Tbs butter or margarine, divided
4 cups peeled, cubed potatoes
2 cups cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Brown beef in a large soup pot.  Drain and set beef aside.  Place pot back on heat and saute onions, carrots,  basil, and dried parsley  in 1 Tbs butter until tender.  Add broth, potatoes, ground beef and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes until potatoes are tender.  Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt remaining 3 Tbs butter.  Add flour.  Cook and stir 3-5 minutes until bubbly.  Add to soup and bring back up to a boil.  Cook and stir 2 minutes.  Reduce heat to low.  Add cheese, milk, salt, pepper.  Stir until cheese melts.  Remove from heat, stir in sour cream and garnish with fresh parsley if you didn't use dried.

Serves 4-6,  I think.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Menu Plan Monday--Kid and Husband friendly edition.

So, last week's menu did not go over very well with my family.  Veggie lasagna night was met with tears by my children, the salmon made them gag, and the black bean and corn salad made hubby's tummy upset.

Ok. Fine.  I will try to be even more stealthy with my healthy food.

Back to basics this week.

Shepherd's Pie (from my new Weight Watcher's Cookbook....don't tell)
Steak Sandwiches on ciabatta buns, raw veggies and dip
Panko-crusted chicken and steamed vegetables and oven fries
Roasted Chicken with twice-baked potatoes
Chicken fried rice

Monday, August 23, 2010

Menu Plan Monday--Pantry Clean-out Edition

Following yesterday's post about my newly cleaned and organized pantry, here is this week's menu plan.  I will be highlighting the ingredients for my meals that I found in the depths of my cupboards while I did my clean out.

Three Cheese Vegetarian Lasagna (lasagna noodles found in a dusty box, stewed tomatoes,canned spaghetti sauce, mushrooms and zucchini that were going South in my fridge, sundried tomatoes found at the bottom of the crisper)

Roasted Chicken, potatoes, steamed vegetables (all out of my pantry and freezer)

Chicken Fried Rice (brown rice, leftover roasted chicken)

Honey-Lime Salmon on black bean and corn salad (black beans and frozen corn)

Spaghetti Pie (wilting broccoli, whole wheat spaghetti)

Balsamic Chicken with Caramelized Onions and Mashed potatoes

Bonus dessert:  Apple Pie bars

Check out I'm an Organizing Junkie for more meal plans!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Pantry Clean Out

The Monday Project

This month's monday project has been to clean out your pantry.  I didn't think to take before and after pictures, but I spent an afternoon spreading all of my food out on every available surface on my kitchen.  I had hit my breaking point after one too many times of  losing things I knew I had in there, and then going out and buying more.

As far as junk goes, I am happy to say there wasn't much to throw out.  I keep one container of small candies in the pantry for the kids and that is about it.  I did find out I don't need buy stewed tomatoes for a very long time!  I had seven cans scattered throughout the shelves.

The cherry on the organizing cupcake for me will be printing out these adorable labels so I can mark all of my jars and canisters.  I am nerd like that.  I couldn't find the decal paper the instructions specify, so I settled for clear adhesive label paper (the full-sheet kind, not the ones pre-perforated)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Grown up Playdate.

I met a friend at the playground this morning.  She mentioned her afternoon plans involved a trip to the laundromat because of some home renovations that left her without a washing machine.  I suggested that she bring her dirty clothes over to my house instead.  My machines don't require quarters and her daughter would have kids and toys and a big yard to hang out in.

What did the grown ups do?

We dusted off my old pasta machine and cranked out some delicious noodles.  So simple.  So fun.  Even the kids took turns making noodles.  Emmett had a ton of fun making little shapes with the leftover bits of dough.

Sorry for the shocking lack of pictures.  It is hard to take pictures and deal with wiggly noodles at the same time.

The recipe couldn't be easier.

Home made Pasta.


1 lb semolina flour (I found mine at the bulk food store)
1 cup water (to start)


Mix flour and water together, adding more water very sparingly if necessary to make a dry, pliable dough.  Get right in there and knead for a good 10 minutes.  The dough starts out very crumbly and gritty to the touch, but as the semolina absorbs the water it turns lighter in colour and becomes very soft and workable.  The time goes by quickly when you are chatting with a friend!  You will also notice your triceps getting a good workout.

Wrap the dough in plastic and let it rest for 10 minutes.  This gives you time to wipe down your dusty pasta machine and figure out how to put it together again.  This will also give you time to drape some clean kitchen towels over your dining room table chairs in preparation for drying.

Pull off a ball of dough about the size of a small apricot and thread it through your machine, starting at the highest setting.  Repeat a few more times, turning the dial to lower and lower settings each time, until the dough is as thin as you want it.  We could almost see through the dough by the time we were done rolling it--I might leave it thicker next time.  Run the dough through the cutters when it is as thin as you want it.  Repeat this step over and over and over and over again until you have no dough left.

Alternatively, you can lightly dust your counter with flour, get out your rolling pin and roll the dough out by hand, and then cut it into noodles with a sharp knife or pizza cutter.

Gently drape your noodles over clean towels to dry.

To cook, blanch your noodles in salted boiling water for 2-3 minutes.  Home made pasta takes no time at all to cook.  Freeze any uncooked noodles.  (I dusted the uncooked noodles with extra flour and then carefully  wrapped them in parchment before sealing in a large zip top bag) You will have leftovers.  Trust me!  Be sure to send some home with your friend.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Weigh In Wednesday


I have been feeling quite disillusioned by my weight loss journey lately.  I decided to take a step back for a couple of weeks.  I had a visit with my mom for a few days and then went to work as a summer camp nurse for a week.  I did not step on a scale.  I did not count calories.  I only ran once.  I listened to my body and ate when I was hungry and stopped when full.  (easy to do at camp, where I was not doing the cooking or washing-up)  The only exercise I got at camp was walking around the camp grounds.  (Oh, there were a few sprints to emergencies as well)  My mother-in-law came one day to pick up the kids for their visit with her.  She told me she had noticed I was losing weight, that my face looked thinner.  I did notice that my jeans were a bit looser.  I blamed it on wearing them a few times without washing them since I was at camp.

I got home today and stepped on the scale out of curiosity.  It said 155.8.  I managed to drop  two pounds in 10 days without trying.  I can zip up a dress that has been taunting me in my closet now!

Previous weight: 158
Current weight:  155.8
Loss:                     2.2
Starting weight   161.0
Total loss:              5.2

My kids are gone for a couple of weeks now so I am looking forward to stretching my cooking wings while they are gone.  Nothing with 'n cheeze or nugget in the recipe name for a while!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Weigh In Wednesday

Yeah, yeah, I have missed a couple.  Truth be told, I am hiding from the scale.  I might even take the battery out for a while.  I haven't really lost any weight.  I am stuck at 158 right now, but yesterday I shaved SEVEN MINUTES off of the time I ran at my first 5K.  I am so, so, so happy about that.

I am just going to be happy about that right now.

I will miss next week's weigh in.  I am going to work at a summer camp as a nurse. I can hardly wait!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Food Journal, Day 6

Food Item Servings Cals Fat Cholest Sodium Carbs Sugars Fiber Protein
Eat, Shrink & Be Merry Fuzzy Peach 1.00 219 1g 6mg 106mg 34g 0g 3g 19g
Recipezaar #13226 Best Granola Bar 1.00 232 13g 10mg 85mg 26g 15g 3g 5g
Hungry Girl (1-2-3 Cookbook) Hungry Chick Chicken Soup 1.00 150 1g 0mg 570mg 15g 5g 4g 21g
Pepsi Diet Pepsi with Lime 1.00 0 0g 0mg 25mg 0g 0g 0g 0g
Apple Fritter 1.00 650 26g 0mg 1,020mg 91g 13g 0g 0g
Looneyspoons Cookbook Spinnochio Salad 3.00 318 10g 15mg 348mg 56g 0g 0g 9g
President's Choice (Canada) Pc Ciabatta Burger Bun 1.00 160 3g 0mg 320mg 30g 2g 2g 5g
Fitness Minutes Calories Burned
Weeding Garden 30.0 -166.0
Totals: 1,563 54g 31mg 2,474mg 253g 35g 12g 58g

Friday, July 02, 2010

Food Journal, Day 5

Food Item Servings Cals Fat Cholest Sodium Carbs Sugars Fiber Protein
Dempster's Wholewheat Bread 2.00 340 4g 0mg 700mg 64g 4g 8g 14g
Large Egg 1.00 71 5g 190mg 72mg 1g 0g 0g 6g
Lactantia Olivina Non-Hydrogenated Margarine 1.00 70 8g 0mg 70mg 0g 0g 0g 0g
No Name Natural Liquid Honey 0.33 20 0g 0mg 0mg 6g 5g 0g 0g
Wegmans Smoked Turkey Breast 1.00 50 1g 25mg 630mg 2g 1g 0g 9g
Lactantia Olivina Non-Hydrogenated Margarine 1.00 70 8g 0mg 70mg 0g 0g 0g 0g
Montery Jack Cheese 1.00 110 9g 25mg 180mg 1g 0g 0g 7g
Saurkraut 1.00 5 0g 0mg 0mg 1g 0g 0g 0g
Kraft Light Done Right Thousand Island 0.50 30 2g 0mg 170mg 6g 4g 0g 0g
Naval Orange 1.00 69 0g 0mg 1mg 18g 12g 3g 1g
Hungry Girl (1-2-3 Cookbook) Hungry Chick Chicken Soup 1.00 150 1g 0mg 570mg 15g 5g 4g 21g
AMC Movie Theatres Popcorn, Kid's sized 0.50 150 10g 3mg 0mg 0g 0g 0g 0g
Wawa Sugar Free Iced Coffee 1.00 90 4g 12mg 353mg 9g 0g 1g 0g
Cheerios Multigrain Cheerios (5wholegrains) Low In Fat 1.00 120 2g 0mg 200mg 24g 6g 3g 2g
Milk 2% 1.00 130 3g 20mg 120mg 12g 12g 0g 9g
President's Choice (Canada) Root Beer Float Ice Cream 1.00 170 7g 20mg 60mg 24g 18g 0g 2g
Fitness Minutes Calories Burned
Grocery shopping 45.0 -197.0

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Food Journal, Day 4

Today is Canada Day.  I knew I would be going out for lunch at my Mother In Law's.  I went running early in the morning and then went for a big walk with the kids.  That really burned off my big lunch with a beer!
Food Item Servings Cals Fat Cholest Sodium Carbs Sugars Fiber Protein
Rhubarb Oatmeal Muffin 1.50 468 7g 21mg 189mg 99g 2g 4g 7g
General Mills Multigrain Cheerios 1.00 110 1g 0mg 200mg 23g 6g 3g 2g
Milk 2% 1.00 130 3g 20mg 120mg 12g 12g 0g 9g
Italian Vegetarian Lasagna 1.00 250 7g 20mg 400mg 29g 6g 3g 17g
Olive Garden Salad With Oil And Vinegar Dressing 1.50 140 8g 2mg 68mg 15g 8g 3g 3g
Bread With Butter 1.00 145 1g 0mg 0mg 1g 0g 0g 0g
Kokanee Beer (canadian) 1.00 153 0g 0mg 0mg 0g 0g 0g 0g
Warm Gingerbread Cake 1.00 247 6g 0mg 177mg 45g 0g 2g 4g
Starbucks Iced Shaken Coffee 1.00 90 0g 0mg 5mg 21g 20g 0g 0g
Healthy Way Flax Loaf 1.00 170 2g 0mg 350mg 30g 3g 8g 9g
President's Choice PC Thick-Sliced Bacon 1.00 170 17g 25mg 320mg 0g 0g 0g 0g
No Name Mayo Light 1.00 40 4g 5mg 150mg 1g 1g 0g 0g
Avacado 1.00 50 5g 0mg 0mg 2g 0g 2g 1g
Tomatoes 1.00 25 0g 0mg 0mg 1g 0g 1g 1g
Co-Op Beans With Pork (tomato Sauce) 0.50 160 2g 1mg 405mg 28g 8g 8g 8g
Fitness Minutes Calories Burned
Running: 5.2 mph (11.5 min/mile) 40.0 -585.0
Child Care - walking with children 120.0 -368.0
Totals: 1,395 61g 93mg 2,383mg 306g 65g 33g 60g

Food Journal, Day 3

Today was a bad day.  I binged.  I went out for dessert with my Sister in Law. At lunchtime, after eating so much I felt physcially ill.  I ran on my treadmill but fueling my body with crap made my run go very poorly.  I could only go 3 miles, and I had to stop because I got dizzy and nauseous.

Food Item Servings Cals Fat Cholest Sodium Carbs Sugars Fiber Protein
Quaker Raw (uncooked) Oatmeal 1.00 150 3g 0mg 0mg 27g 1g 4g 5g
President's Choice PC Soy Protein Shake Mix - Vanilla 0.50 69 1g 0mg 96mg 9g 7g 0g 0g
Dole Frozen Blueberries 0.50 35 1g 0mg 0mg 9g 6g 2g 0g
Publix Brown Sugar 1.00 35 0g 0mg 5mg 9g 0g 0g 0g
Milk 2% 1.00 130 3g 20mg 120mg 12g 12g 0g 9g
Black Coffee 1.00 5 0g 0mg 4mg 1g 0g 0g 0g
Homemade Barbequed Chicken Pizza 2.00 640 16g 90mg 1,480mg 64g 0g 6g 58g
Avacado (medium) 0.50 125 11g 0mg 0mg 8g 0g 3g 3g
No Name Light Marble Cheese 1.00 90 6g 15mg 260mg 0g 0g 0g 9g
Hungry Girl Hot Chick Bbq Chop 1.00 320 3g 0mg 929mg 48g 26g 10g 32g
Rhubarb Oatmeal Muffin 0.50 156 2g 7mg 63mg 33g 1g 1g 2g
7 Up 1.00 210 0g 0mg 55mg 56g 54g 0g 0g
Mud Pie 1.00 525 30g 0mg 0mg 50g 20g 5g 0g
Fitness Minutes Calories Burned
Running: 5 mph (12 min/mile) 30.0 -390.0
Totals: 2,100 75g 132mg 3,012mg 324g 126g 31g 118g

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Weigh In Wednesday.

I run with the Sisterhood

I am slipping again.  I hate that I have to be SO careful all the time.  I have not lost anything in two weeks, in fact, I have gained.

Ok, not totally true.  The Tape Measure of Truth reports that another 1/2 inch is gone from my waistline.  I will have to be happy with that.

This new mini challenge is really helping me.  I always do so much better when I journal my food.

Last Week's Weight:  158.0
This Week's Weight:   158.6

Loss:                            +0.6

Tomorrow is Canada Day.  I will not use it as an excuse to eat.  Girl Guide's Honour.  I will use it as an excuse to go to our local celebrations and walk, walk, walk.  I will use it as an excuse to go for an early run since Hubs will have the day off so he can make sure the kids don't burn the house down while I am gone.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Food Journal, Day 2

Food Item Servings Cals Fat Cholest Sodium Carbs Sugars Fiber Protein
Quaker Raw (uncooked) Oatmeal 1.00 150 3g 0mg 0mg 27g 1g 4g 5g
Dole Frozen Blueberries 0.50 35 1g 0mg 0mg 9g 6g 2g 0g
President's Choice PC Soy Protein Shake Mix - Vanilla 0.50 69 1g 0mg 96mg 9g 7g 0g 0g
Publix Brown Sugar 1.00 35 0g 0mg 5mg 9g 0g 0g 0g
Milk 2% 1.00 130 3g 20mg 120mg 12g 12g 0g 9g
Black Coffee 2.00 10 0g 0mg 8mg 2g 0g 0g 0g
Hungry Girl Hg's Too-ez Mac 'n Cheese 1.00 202 5g 0mg 825mg 36g 6g 5g 9g
Cadbury Triple Chocolate Snack Cakes 1.00 140 7g 5mg 45mg 17g 13g 1g 1g
Culinary Circle Soft & Chewy Chocolate Brownie Cookies 2.00 260 12g 10mg 240mg 36g 22g 2g 2g
Schlotzky's Pizzas (8-inch) - Barbeque Chicken 1.00 683 15g 73mg 2,533mg 93g 19g 2g 37g
Fitness Minutes Calories Burned
Walking, pushing a stroller 10.0 -54.0
Cleaning - vacuuming, around home 30.0 -129.0
Totals: 1,531 46g 108mg 3,872mg 249g 86g 16g 63g