Monday, January 31, 2011

Because a little birdie told me it'd be helpful...

Per a friendly request I’m going to do Saturday and Sunday’s Food Breakdown. While I chose to not put it up because I took a “break” this weekend, my friend was right-what better time to do my food break down than on days I didn’t strictly adhere to the plan. So here goes nothing-no judging! =)

Saturday Food Break down:

Breakfast included an onion Alternative Bagel. I found these at Publix earlier in the week and figured it’d be a great alternative to the 7, sometimes 8, point bagels I love oh-so-much! I combined it with 1 oz of Cream Cheese for a total of 6 points (3 points for each the bagel and CC).

Lunch wasn’t exactly an ordinary meal. Michael and I were in the process of getting ready to go out for a run and breakfast happened kind of more towards lunch time so I went for something light: 2 servings of store bought tortilla chips (7 points) and some peach/pineapple salsa I got from Publix (around the deli department).

Snack was a plain alternative bagel (3 points) and 1 T of Jif’s Creamy Peanut Butter (3 points) that I had on my return from the run. Let’s just say-running isn’t my thing. I made it the mile Michael wanted me to run and as soon as I saw the mile marker I stopped. My day one mile time was 10:00 minutes. I’ve decided to keep track of its progress much like my weight-I’ve got a sheet of paper on my “goals” board that I track with at every weigh in. Here’s to improvement.

Dinner was a bit of a splurge. Michael’s dad and brother came to the house to help us start our painting expedition so we took them to our favorite Mexican restaurant on Lawrenceville Highway. I stayed away from soda (one of my favorite times to have it is when I’m having Mexican food) and opted for water with lemon. I had the chips and salsa but had a reasonable portion and didn’t have any of that oh-so-delightful cheese dip. I pondered between 2 dinner options-the steak fajitas or pollo ajallo (deep fried chicken with grilled peppers, onions, and fresh jalapenos). The fajitas (grilled) won! To stay within portion and reasonable points values I opted only to have the steak, peppers, and onions. What does that mean? That means I didn’t have any of the beans, rice, sour cream, guac, or tortillas that are served with them-all of which are super yummy but just add to the points. This brought my dinner total to 18 points according to the dining out guide from WW and put me at 8 points over my daily limit. However, if you factor in the running, walking, basketball and painting that we did during the day it more than counterbalances the extra points.

Sunday Food Break down:

Breakfast was a concoction of oatmeal (2 packets for 5), brown sugar (1 T for 1) and craisins (1/3 of a serving for 2) for a total of 8 points.

Lunch included a trip to the Wal-Mart deli (trust me I didn’t want it just as much as you are thinking to yourself right now that you don’t want it) for 7 wings, potato wedges, and broccoli slaw. The wings were small but accounted for 14 points (thanks to my complete food guide from WW). Potato wedges, according to KFC from the Dining Out Guide, count for 7 points but I didn’t have the entire serving so I counted it as 5 (better safe than sorry). The broccoli slaw was 2 points. Now I know some of you are thinking, I thought she said she made good choices. Take into consideration that my options were fried fish, fried chicken, fried okra, mac & cheese, potato salad loaded with mayo, fried jalapeno poppers, and did I mention FRIED…the choices I made were solid in my book! Lunch total of 21 points.

At the young couples gathering I made another GREAT choice. The hostess has an array of delectable goodies from dips and chips to sweets and sodas. I stuck with my water I brought myself. I also treated myself to some Texas Caviar and fresh fruit-yup, you heard me right-not a SINGLE sweet was consumed by yours truly! Considering I hung out in the kitchen the entire 2 and a half hours we were at the gathering surrounded by all those yummies I was super happy about my choices and will power! (pat on the back for me!)

Dinner included a trip to I-Hop. Again, I know what you are thinking-chain restaurant. I however did not have any meat-I stuck with pancakes. I had an order of the New York Cheesecake Pancakes topped with fresh bananas. According to the Dining Out Guide it was a total of 28 points but I didn’t finish my servings so I counted it as 21. I know I know-lots of points, but again we went running (I ran 1.25 miles yesterday and my mile time was 9:45) and did lots of painting.

For two days worth of a break, especially the week prior to that wonderful time, I think I did a good job. Did I adhere to my points? Not as much as I would have liked to but I have no guilt about my choices. I do wish I’d had more prepared at home meals and more fruit, but in the end I feel good about my choices. Did you see the part about no sweets at the gathering?

End of the month but only the beginning of the road

Well, it’s the end of the month. How’s everybody doing with sticking to their resolutions/goals? One month into the new year, have you given up or are you going strong? Have you learned anything about yourself in the last month with regards to the resolutions or goals you set to start the year? Are your goals attainable or out of reach? I ask you all these questions because I asked myself those very same questions this morning. While I didn’t make “resolutions” for the year (because we all know those never last) I did set personal goals for myself. As a recap from Day 1 of the blog, my personal goals are to be physically active several times a week, reach my goal weight and achieve a healthier me, and to love myself for myself! I believe I’m well on my way to making all of those things happen. With the recent addition of “running” to our regimen we are staying physically active SEVERAL days a week. With the help of you guys, I am staying highly motivated through this blog and through my own personal desire to live a healthier lifestyle. I even stopped in the mirror several times this weekend and took time to “love” on me rather than criticize every imperfection.

It’s been a great month and what better way to end it than with the blessing of 2 absolutely BEAUTIFUL days. It afforded the hubby and me the opportunity to get out and enjoy the weather and start on our “road race training” and we were also able to paint our living room. The beautiful weather and the physical activity also called for a “break” for the weekend from food. I didn’t go crazy: I had no soda and tried to make the best possible choices, but with the business and the hustling around to finish the room and to ensure that we enjoyed the outdoors as much as possible the only meals we had prepared at home this weekend was breakfast. While I took a break from being “good” I did track EVERY single bite. I also did several physically active things to counterbalance. We also didn’t eat at a single chain restaurant; I’m standing strong by that decision! All in all, this was a fantastic weekend in the Fox household. How did you take advantage of the weather? The weekend?

To make it even better, Michael and I found a church yesterday that we believe may be “the one.” In our 3 month time frame of being in the new house we have been searching passionately for a new church family. When we moved away from Marietta we left behind some amazing friends and relationships and a wonderful church family. They played such a key role in our lives and while we love and adore those guys so much we knew we had to make a “home” and “family” here, so with sad (but hopeful) hearts we sat out on the search for the new church. We tried several and they just weren’t the right fit. But with the help of the internet we ventured just a few miles from the house and stumbled upon what we believe could be the beginning of a beautiful connection! We even braved it last night and went to a “young couples” gathering hosted by the church, and we were able to meet several wonderful couples. God has been so gracious and loving and has opened so many doors! I know, I know this has nothing to do with food, but in a sense it does because it’s being FED in a whole different way!

As we venture into February are you on the right path to be successful? Do you need to reevaluate your goals? Don’t get discouraged by “bad days” or “screw ups”-it’s like I have to tell myself EVERY DAY…just one day at a time! My biggest mistake in the last 2 years has been getting so overwhelmed and so discouraged by the smallest “slip” and falling completely off the wagon. Don’t get down-just keep moving forward! And believe you me, I’m saying that just as much to myself as I am saying it to you! Until next time: wishing you all, good eats!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Spring Fever

As I checked the weather channel app on my phone this morning and it reported to me that today in Lawrenceville and the rest of the surrounding area will be having temperatures in the low to mid 60s I began to get a touch of spring fever. Michael and I have already made plans for the day that involve being outdoors for the majority of the day. On that to do list is a run and trail hiking at Stone Mountain. Notice I said run first. I’m not exactly looking forward to that. While I always played sports growing up, each of them consisting of a good deal of running, running was never my thing. In basketball there is a strategy. You run plays. Sure you are running up and down a court for 40 minutes but there are the occasional time-outs, fouls, the not so uncommon “injuries” and what not-not just straight running. My husband on the other hand was a cross country runner in high school. You guessed it, he runs for pleasure. I just don’t understand the concept. He keeps trying to convince me that if I run for 3 weeks straight (well every day for 3 weeks at least) that I will get in shape and I will begin to, get this, LOVE running. LAUGH. There is no part of me-past or present-that has ever loved running. However, I told him I’d give it a try. Now, the former athlete in me decided that we needed to run road races-start with a 5K and work up to a 10K-so as to give me something to be running for-a little competition if you will- and not just be outdoors running. In my opinion, why run when I can walk vigorously and still enjoy the scenery! Anybody with me? Hoover, I know you are! Anybody else? At least I got a new pair of tennis shoes out of it; however, the girl in me is thinking “I don’t want them to get dirty” and of course Michael’s reply is, “they are running shoes, they are supposed to be dirty.”

However, running and hiking aren’t the only things the 60 degree weather evokes thoughts of. I long for the days of spring when everything is in bloom and the dead, dreariness of winter is gone. I want to hear birds chirping, see the grass green again, see leaves on trees, and flowers blooming. I want to be able to leave our windows and sliding doors open and have the fresh (warm) air flowing through the house! On a completely separate hand, I can’t wait to pull out all the spring/summer clothes that have been long packed away. The dresses, the skirts, the tank tops-no more layers! And this is where we come to food. Do any of you stand in the mirror when getting ready and critique every aspect of the outfit you are wearing? How many times do you change before going out? Do you check your reflection in mirrors, building windows and whatnot as you pass by? All too often I catch myself doing several, if not all, of those things. Hopefully by following my journey, you have found the motivation to continue (or even re-start) your tracking-or whatever method you are using; it’s definitely been a great motivation for me. In fact, last night as we had some friends over I got the chance to explain just how much of a motivation this has been. Hopefully you can find your reasons to give up the excuses. Trust me, I spent the last 2 years making them and feeling pretty terrible about it. What’s keeping you from tracking consistently? What’s helping keep you motivated? For me, my motivation comes from this blog-and from the knowledge that when I reach my “lifetime goal” I’m going on a cruise with my hunky hubby and I’m wearing that 2 piece I’ve had hanging in my closet for years. In fact, it’s no longer hanging in the closet. That’s right, I pulled it out and hung it on the wall downstairs where we workout so as to be a constant reminder of what I’m working for! More importantly that a 2 piece and a cruise, I’m doing this to be healthy. In a few years Michael and I will attempt to have babies and I want to ensure that my body is the best possible environment for a baby to grow in-not to mention I just want to be in a better place health wise overall! That’s what this is really about. Bettering my health and by doing so bettering my future! What are your reasons for doing this? If you are struggling with your tracking or your motivation right now take baby steps. Set some goals-start small than think big. Be reasonable about them. Get a buddy. Find your motivator-bathing suits, cruises, babies and better health are mine. What are yours? You can do this! The only one that can help you reach your goals is YOU! The rest of us are here for support as you make your way to it! Until tomorrow, wishing you all good eats! Now get out there and enjoy the weather!

Friday Food Breakdown

Breakfast was the same as the last several days-oatmeal with all the fixings for 8 points. I’m telling you, I’ve never really been in love with oatmeal but add some fresh fruit, some nuts, and some chocolate chips and you’ve got a winner!

Lunch I went a little over the top with and had a Dr. Rosen Rosen salad from Doc Greens. Unfortunately I didn’t check the website for nutritional information prior to ordering to know it was 20 points (that knowledge came after I got home and ate it). I know for next time-stick to the build your own salad and stay away from the buffalo chicken!

Dinner was a blend of chicken/steak/veggie kabobs with rice. It was super delicious! It accounted for 8 points 7 of which came from my weekly extra points. For dessert I made a Classic Pudding Pie for 5.5 points.

Classic Pudding Pie

2 boxes of Jell-o’s Fat Free/Sugar Free Vanilla instant pudding

2 ¾ cups of milk (I used 2%)

Nilla Wafer (or graham cracker) crust pre-made

½ tub of cool whip

Fruit topping of choice

Mix together the two boxes of pudding mix and milk. Pour into crust. Place in fridge to set. Top with fruit (I used fresh blueberries) and then “frost” with cool whip! I also had a few chocolate chips to the top!

Friday, January 28, 2011

What happened to my routine?

Wouldn’t you know the day after I dedicate a post to routine my evening last night and this morning has been anything but. Serves me right I guess! Last night was crazy. I got a call from the hubby letting me know that he wouldn’t be home FOR A WHILE. I took it upon myself to make dinner, pack it up, drive to his office, and have dinner with him there. I then packed everything back up, got back in my car, and made the 30 minute drive home-to an empty house. Well, Jake is here-but he doesn’t talk back! All of you that know me know I’m a talker. I’m also one that craves attention. Michael and I always argue about the fact that as soon as he walks in the door (regardless of whether I’ve been at school, work, hanging out with friends, or if I’ve spent the entire day home alone) I am demanding his attention and affection. That’s just the way I’m built. Something about human interaction says Candace Fox. Needless to say, Michael got home this morning at 4:30-not much time for that interaction.

My morning wasn’t so routine either. Because he worked until the early hours of the morning, Michael slept in and we got to have breakfast together. Well, I made him breakfast and then made myself breakfast as he ate-close enough. Once I got him out the door and off to work the dirtiness that was my home (it wasn’t that bad-just dirtier than I prefer) had to be taken care of. The rest of my morning was filled with vacuuming, dusting, wiping, folding, organizing (hey that shelf in my closet finally got the attention it so badly needed), and general cleaning-I had to scrub the carpet in our downstairs room because our dog (who is 6 and hasn’t used the bathroom inside for 5 and a half years) must have been sick while I was out of town because he pooped in our floor (a lot of deodorizing was in order). At least it’s done now-I can sit back, relax, and enjoy this weekend with the hubby without worrying about any chores.

All this to say: being a “housewife” or in the future a stay at home mommy just doesn’t seem to fit the bill for me. After 4 weeks of staring at the same 4 walls (well we have quite a bit more than 4, but you get the idea) and not having anything to do or be responsible has started to eat away at me. My days are filled with thoughts of food, what meals to prepare, what errands to run. Do you ever feel that way when you have some time off? I’m over it. Time to get back to the daily grind! Thank goodness the phone call I’ve been waiting on finally came in yesterday-I will be starting my “temporary” position next Thursday. Bring on the dressing up, putting on makeup, being out of the house for multiple hours at a time, and the financial rewards that come with it! What things would you be excited about if you’d been out of “commission” for a few days/weeks/months? I’m most excited about the idea of filling my mind with marketing and not food! It should be interesting to see where the blog goes when my day is no longer filled with food but is instead overrun with CRM and other marketing related ideas!

Thursday’s Food Breakdown:

Breakfast was again my oatmeal concoction. Exactly the same as the day before. Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! It was 8 points.

Lunch was another package of sushi I picked up at H-Mart because I had to go get some ingredients for a soup Michael and I are going to attempt to make. 24 pieces for 12 points.

Snack was a mixed berries and yogurt blend. 1 point. 3 T of chocolate chips for 6 points.

Dinner was a chicken casserole I’ve made oh-so-many times but last night I actually calculated the recipe for points value instead of my usual guesstimating! Thanks for answering your phone in my time of need, Hoover! It makes 8 servings at 9 points each but you can make it into more servings for less points/serving. I added a cup of rice for 5 points. My dinner total was 14 points (12 of which came from my extra weekly points).

Chicken Casserole Recipe

2 cans (15 oz) cream of chicken soup

16 oz package of lite sour cream (regular is a little better taste, FF is a lot nicer for points)

1 onion; chopped for hotdogs (tiny cubes)

15-20 oz of boneless, skinless chicken breast

Poppy seeds (as many as you like)

1/8 c butter

1 sleeve Ritz crackers

1. boil chicken (20-ish minutes)

2. sauté the onion in EVOO

3. mix soups and sour cream

4. add onion once you are finished sautéing

5. remove chicken from water and let cool

6. once cool, cut chicken into small cubes

7. add chicken to soup, sour cream, onion mixture

8. add poppy seeds

9. pour mixture into glass baking dish and bake for 30-ish minutes at 375

10. crumble ritz and melt butter while waiting

11. after 30-ish minutes remove glass dish and top with crumbled ritz and pour melted butter on top

12. bake 10-ish more minutes and then ENJOY!

***We serve it over rice because it adds a little to the dish and helps with leftovers***

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Cravable Routine

Routine. Ain’t it grand! Yes I know that “ain’t” isn’t proper, but that’s just the kind of grand I was going for! Google defines routine as: an unvarying or habitual method or procedure. At one point in my life I would say this didn’t apply. While I’ve always been a planner I haven’t always fallen into a routine. In other words, I love knowing when something is supposed to happen; I just don’t necessarily like it to be repetitive. But, as is the case with most things in life, it changed. I crave my daily routine-well my morning and nightly routine anyway. As I’ve mentioned, the last 3 and a half weeks haven’t been exactly “normal” for me. I just graduated and I haven’t started work yet so there have been many hours of just sitting at home twiddling my thumbs. That I do not crave. The routine I crave is when my husband gets home. Since November of 2007, like our wedding day was some kind of magical switch or something, we have become very predictable people. He gets home from work, we either eat dinner or workout (the order varies), we shower, we watch Netflix, we play with Jake, and we cuddle in bed. Sleep, repeat! While this may not sound glamorous to any of the rest of you, it’s what I crave. Being on the road and away from home only makes that feeling worse. Any of you with me?

Another area of routine I’ve come to “crave” in my life is with food. When it comes to food, however, I don’t mean repetitive at all. How many of you eat the same things over and over again because you know the “values” for those foods/meals and you know that you’ve seen success when eating those foods? Do you ever shake it up? I am not a person that loves eating leftovers; it’s one of my least favorite things in existence. That doesn’t mean I won’t eat the same things. In fact, when I discover something that is super tasty and delicious, I’ll have it several days in a row. Especially because I’ve already figured out the points and it’s convenient, but also because I know I love it. Reference my Greek Yogurt with berries and oatmeal meals! But I do that by choice. The thing with leftovers is that I no longer have a choice. They just stare me down every time I open the fridge daring me to eat anything else. When I lose my “choice” with food, that’s when I no longer desire to have it. What I mean by routine here is the control and predictability that comes with a routine. I like knowing that I can eat whatever I want because it’s at my house, I bought it, I know what’s available, and I’ve provided myself with the best possible choices for success. Again, being on the road with my mom the last few days brought this into perspective as well. I guess what I’ve noticed is that I like control. I’m sure you’d all agree that control is an area of life where I do very well-maybe a little too well, in my husband’s mind.

Do any of you have a certain area of your life where you crave routine? When you get out of your routine do you struggle? I do. In fact, prior to leaving for North Carolina, Michael and I were doing so well with our Power 90 workouts. We were chugging right along. When I left for NC I took my computer, I took weights, and I took the intention of doing my workouts. In fact, I did Saturday’s workout at 1:00 AM after everyone else in the house had gone to bed. Why so late, well you know sisters and their gossip! But Sunday and Monday’s workout got pushed to the back burner as we were out late and were just exhausted. Tuesday and Wednesday’s workouts just got lost in the long hours of Michael’s day. Our intentions are good. We talk about it. But when Michael gets home at 10 PM after working ALL day a workout is the last thing on his mind. What happened to my routine? So I’ve decided that on days I know he’s working late and the likelihood of him doing a workout is slim-to-none I have to just step up and do the workout on my own. It won’t kill me, right? Today I’ve scheduled to meet a friend to go on a walk. That’s a plus. What do you do on days you know your “routine” is going to be interrupted? How do you stay focused?

Since returning home I feel like things have just sort of fallen back into place. I made my weekly trip to the grocery store yesterday-BIG sigh of relief! I cleaned the house-HUGE sigh of relief! I started blogging again-HUGE sigh of motivation! I got to cuddle with my husband last night-GINORMOUS sigh of relief! Things are just right in my world! Until tomorrow, wishing you all: good eats!

Monday’s Food Breakdown:

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, from here on out the breakdown is just in WW points but I’m more than happy to give you the caloric breakdown of something if you just ask.

Breakfast was super delicious yesterday. I took the oatmeal idea from NC and got a little more creative. I still had my blueberries (a berry I discovered I liked eat outside bagels and muffins this weekend) and banana (0 points), I even had my 1 T of walnuts (1 point), but I added 1 T of chocolate chips (2 points). So with my 2 packets of oatmeal (Quaker Instant: Plain) being 5 points that was an 8 point breakfast and SUPER yummy!

Lunch was a bit of desperation. There wasn’t very much in my house around lunch time because I hadn’t made my trip to the grocery store yet. I wasn’t super hungry (my oatmeal was still hanging around-it was super filling) so I opted for 2 servings of ritz crackers and some block cheese. The crackers were 8 points and the cheese 4 for a total of 12 points.

Dinner was supposed to be a Vietnamese Soup dish I was going to attempt to make for the first time but I got a phone call from the hubby letting me know he wouldn’t be home until rather late so I opted to just use the sushi I picked up from H-Mart (an Asian grocery store by our home that we just discovered) yesterday while grocery shopping. It had crab, cucumber, carrot, radish, and pork. It was really quite tasty. I had 12 pieces for 6 points. I then added a bowl of my mixed berries and yogurt blend for 1 point and then added 1 T of chocolate chips for a bit of a twist (can anyone tell that next week is going to be that “fun” week with all the chocolate I’m adding this week-oh the joys of being a woman) for a total of 3 points.

When Michael got home I sat down with him and had 2 more pieces of sushi and 2 T of chocolate chips for a total of 5 of my extra points.