Sunday, September 26, 2010

Chicken Cacciatore

I tried a new crockpot recipe for chicken cacciatore this weekend, and it's definitely a keeper!

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in half
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 green pepper, diced
1/2 onion, diced
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 cups Ragu Light spaghetti sauce (I used tomato and basil)
6 oz. wheat spaghetti noodles cooked

Combine everything but the spaghetti noodles in the crockpot. Cook on low for 6-7 hours, or until chicken is done. Shred chicken (should be able to pull apart with fork) and serve over spaghetti noodles.

Makes 4 servings, 7 WW points each.

*I added my 2 tsp of ev olive oil to mine, and we added reduced fat parmesan.

Disney on Ice. 'Nuff Said.

Chris and I at Disney on Ice!

My boys and their cheesy, fried goodness

We took Chris to Disney On Ice tonight, and we had a blast!! By we, I mean Chris and I because Mr. D looked so bored, or sad that he was missing football. Not sure. Embarrassed to admit, I may have been more excited than my 7-year-old.. Mr. D kept staring at me like I was nuts and I'm still not sure whether it was because I was singing along most of the time, or because I was singing along badly. The boys shared an order of cheesy fries, and I shared a soft pretzel with Chris. I easily avoided all the cotton candy, fries, etc. Two days in a row with carnival food in my face and I didn't cave. What an awesome feeling! Hopefully I'll get to see they payoff on the scale Thursday morning- that would be even better.

It's almost bedtime now, and it's been so beautiful outside today that we have all the windows open. Memphis is just now starting to see signs of fall, and it's my favorite season! First night sleeping with the windows open since we moved this summer- yay!

(If a bug sneaks in and crawls up my nose while I'm sleeping though, there may be a follow-up post asking why no one told me what a bad idea this was!)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturday Recap

Chris and I at Putt-Putt

Today was my dad's company picnic at Putt-Putt. There were so many opportunities to be bad today, and so few healthy choices available. Corky's catered lunch, so I settled for coleslaw and a chicken thigh I pulled the skin off of. I was starving halfway through the afternoon and the healthiest thing at Putt-Putt was the ice cream. Seriously? They had everything from pizza to funnel cake, but no side salads, no grilled anything, no fruit.

Here's the best part: I didn't want it. Any of it. All I could think of was how sick all that grease could make me after such a great week. I can honestly say that's new to me. Not once have I ever turned my nose up at a corn dog. Maybe I was sick, or under hypnosis. Either way, how liberating!

Now, to my Hot 100 Challenge weekly update...

I lost 1.5 this week, which puts me at 225.5 lbs. My goal to see 199 on the scale before 2011 is realistic at this point. Losing about 2 lbs per week will get me there, so consistency is key at this point. What I'm doing works, I just have to stick with it. Easier said than done some days. With Halloween, my birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas coming up, I'm nervous. My family has always celebrated everything with food, and my mom cooks like most traditional Southern mothers (think Paula Deen)- everything's fried, smothered in gravy, loaded with butter, or dipped in chocolate. My plan of attack? I want to make the way I thought about my food choices today (at Putt-Putt) a habit. I'm not sure how to change my mental process regarding food honestly, but I need to figure it out before then if I want to achieve this goal.

This week, my new recipe was pizza burgers, and I loved them. It was really filling for 4 points and a nice change from the same old burgers. Mr. D's always complaining about how the extra lean hamburger is drier, and the sauce does help hide that somewhat.

1 lb. extra lean hamburger
4 high-fiber wheat hamburger buns
1 cup Ragu Light Tomato and Basil spaghetti sauce
1 cup shredded fat free mozzarella cheese
salt, pepper, and onion powder to taste

**Serves 4- 4 WW points each.

I did get in 3 workouts this week, but it was difficult. I was doing really well to get in just 30 minutes, and I was really disappointed with that. Before the wedding, I was working out at least every other day most weeks, doing everything from Zumba, to the gym, to Jillian Michaels and even my first 5k two weeks before I got married. I was really stupid one night and talked Mr. D into trying P90X.. My first workout this week was one that was pretty routine before, just using hand held weights. The lunges and squats killed me, I was so sore the rest of the week. I've always hated lunges (and whomever decided they were a necessary evil), and it made my other workouts that much more miserable. Maybe I'm a wimp, but it will be a while before I try those again.

And my happy thought for day 10? My personal little victory at Putt-Putt wins by a land slide. Putt-Putt can keep their greasy goodness.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Day 9: Coworkers with Kids

If Mr. D was allowed to blog here, he'd tell you I've been a snippy, grouchy psycho the last few days. Why yes, I do believe there is a little PMS involved.

While refilling the Brita pitcher at work today, Leigh and I stared at not one, but 3 (or 4?) pans full of chocolate chip cookies. They were all melted and gooey and warm. Damn you, catered lunches!! We packed them up for another coworker with a daughter and her friends. Thank you, Lori, for knowing lots of kids that need cookies more than I do.

I laugh in the face of temptation!

But then...

It's date night, so I suggested a movie. We're kind of boring around my house. And I suggested a specific theater. He checked the movie times, and there's a big enough time gap to stop at Muddy's. So someone suggested that as well. And THEN he had his "Aha!!" moment and figured out I really couldn't care less about seeing Resident Evil.

In my defense, I have 13 points left for the day, and a cupcake is 7. I've had all my GHG's (including my activity). And more importantly, there are people smarter than me that have proved chocolate becomes one of those basic human needs when PMS strikes. And you can't argue with me because it's not safe right now (just ask Mr. D). 'Nuff said.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Day 8: Muddy's

Chris showing a Prozac some serious love!

It's no secret that those extra 35 WW points are dedicated to my favorite dessert ever- Muddy's cupcakes. I whole heartedly believe that a cupcake can fix almost anything. It's the one thing, no matter how dedicated I am to living healthier, I may never be able to completely give up. It's usually budgeted into my points allowance, so it's not really all that sinful. Don't judge me :)

Last night, we had dinner with Cins because she's been MIA for a few weeks now. She lost her father, is moving and changing jobs, and had the horse show nationals this month. At this point, I'm fairly sure she'd rather be the headless chicken given how draining- physically and emotionally- the last few weeks have been. I'm horrible at giving that speech about how everything will be okay, and everything will work out, and God has a plan, etc. I know, I'm a horrible friend.

But here's what I AM good at:

Spicy healthy dinner that she had to do nothing for? Check.

Male-bashing for over an hour? Check. (It's healthy sometimes, you can google it.)

Muddy's? Check!

We sat in Muddy's, with the best cupcakes that ever lived, along with Chris and the husbands we were bashing between dinner and dessert. And she laughed- a lot. I haven't seen her much the last few weeks, but it's definitely the best mood I've seen her in for a long time. It was definitely worth all those points!

Cins demonstrating the proper way to eat a cupcake without worrying about icing up the nose!

What can I say, I'm a very self-sacrificing person.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

100 Days for Change

Always looking for new ways to stay motivated, and read about the 100 Day Challenge on a blog I came across just today. I'm definitely in! So glad I found this today, since the last 100 days left in 2010 start counting down tomorrow.

As I'm sure most people do, I made a list of New Year's resolutions for 2010. And, like most people, I can't remember what some of them are, let alone made much progress towards achieving all of them. So this challenge is like a second chance!

I'd love to make you believe I've put a lot of thought into my goals, but I'd be lying. I didn't have to. Mine are fairly cliche, but they're what I need. So here goes:

1. I know women aren't supposed to talk about their weight using specifics, but oh well. As of my weigh-in last week, I was 227 lbs. I haven't been below 200 since my son was born. My first goal is to see 199 on my scale before 2011. I'm fairly sure I'll cry when it happens, it's been that long. I technically did get a peek at it on a diet years ago, but I quickly sabotaged myself and haven't seen it since.

2. I'm going to try a new healthy recipe at least once a week. My mom is an amazing cook, but unfortunately, the only recipes she passed on to me are more comfort food than anything else (I learned stuffed shells this weekend). I'm basically rebuilding my recipe book from scratch. I love cooking, but I've got a lot to learn! Maybe I'll post when I find ones we decide to keep.

3. I'm going to work out a minimum of 3 times a week, no excuses. Even if it's for only 30 minutes, it's more than I was doing this time last year and it will be an improvement. I've really struggled with making this a priority since the wedding in July, but I have to. I want to do another 5k by the end of the year too, but I'm not ready to make that an official goal yet!

4. As always, I'm working to improve my overall outlook on things. Staying positive, being thankful, all that jazz.

That's it for me! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Day 7: WW Nazi Infiltrates the Office

I've been dieting for years. Since I hit puberty pretty much. I wasn't obese until I got pregnant, lost all the weight, then regained it plus some before my son was 6 months. But even pre-pregnancy, I was chunkier than socially acceptable. Now that I'm sitting here thinking about it, I can't think of a single time in my life when I truly liked my body. Not one. Thus, the constant dieting.

I've tried several of the fad diets, and they work as long as you don't deviate from the plan. They don't truly teach you how to make it a lifetime change though. Rewind several months, and my BFF, Leigh, comes to work with me. She's on Weight Watchers, and having someone in the office that also avoids the kitchen until the daily catered lunch is cold and gross is awesome. It took me a few months before finally breaking down and trying things her way. In short: it worked, I lost 26 pounds between April and July. After the honeymoon though, I struggled getting back on track. I have good days, and then really bad days. So I've pretty much just hovered around the same 3-4 pounds since the wedding.

Last week, my boss finally decided to try WW with us. We've been trying to talk her into it for a LONG time, but until she made up her mind, there wasn't really anything we could say or do to help her.

Here's the weird part... she's really helped me (my boss) even though she's just now letting us help her. Even though she wouldn't commit to WW for the longest time, she's been cheering us on from the sidelines the whole time. And now she's doing it too, so I feel like I have to set a good example to keep her on track. Today, another coworker asked if I'd help her get started too. Several others seemed interested, but I don't know if they're ready to jump on board yet. How's that for motivation?

I still can't say that I like my body (working on that part), but today really made me feel like I inspired someone, or maybe a few someones. Hopefully my BFF got that same happy feeling too!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Day 6: The Coolest Kid That EVER Lived

My 7-year-old son has severe ADHD, and OCD is just something that comes with it. We're still working with his pediatrician to find the right dosage for him, so some days are good, some days are awful. The kind of awful where I have to take a 5 minute break alone out on the balcony so I don't pull my hair out. I *hope* all parents have moments like that though, I tell myself they do so I don't feel like world's worst mom.

Despite all of that, my son is the coolest kid that ever lived. Seriously. I've started putting a weekly menu on our dry erase board on the kitchen to avoid arguments over dinner, so the boys KNOW when their scheduled good-but-not-good-for-you dinner is (they pick dinner on cheat night), and so Mr. D can't use a lack of knowledge as an excuse for not starting dinner when he beats me home.

So this morning we made a change to the menu for tonight. Just one. And he looked at me and asked:

"Seriously? You've deviated already?"

We read a lot.

He's also the coolest kid that ever lived because we've already pulled out Halloween decorations while Mr. D was still at work. He's one of the only people I know that digs Halloween as much as I do. And that's awesome, because then I have a legit excuse for pulling it all out.

Best. Kid. Ever.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Day 5: Football Sunday

It never happens, ever, but Mr. D and my dad both had today off. It's scary how much they have in common, and the love of football is in the top three shared loves. So, after round two of crazy porn star sex this morning, we headed to my parents for the day.

Mr. D and my dad spent the day parked in front of the TV while mom and I kept them stocked with beer, wings, cigars, etc. They yelled at the TV and attempted to explain football to mom and I. At one point she asked if the colored lines that were popping up over the field are really there, or just for the folks at home. Bless her heart.

We all ate way too much and were way too lazy all day, but it was fun and needed.

AND I learned how to make stuffed shells :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Male-Female Language Barrier

It's Saturday, I'm alone in the apartment for once, and I actually have time to sit and sip my pumpkin spice coffee (courtesy of Mr. D) in peace rather than racing around getting everyone ready for work and school. This is as close to meditation as I get.

Mr. D and I talked a lot yesterday. Right after my mother and I talked a lot. It's still eerie how so many of the fights Mr. D and I have are just the modern remake of the same ones my parents (who are still happily married after 24 years) had. Nothing is magically fixed, that only happens in movies and sitcoms due to the time constraint, but I think we each finally understand where the other person is coming from and that's a good place to start. We agreed to have dinner together (being that it was date night after all) and had planned to see a movie afterwards because date night out alone never happens anymore. We're never off together on a night when Chris is staying with his Mimi. But, one too many of my concerns were shrugged off at dinner, and the movie was nixed. Instead, we sat in the car for almost an hour attempting to communicate. And I came to these conclusions:

1. Mr. D is blind. He truly doesn't notice that the laundry hamper is overflowing, or that the bathroom is in need of some attention, or the dust on the bookcase. I'm not his mother, and I hate feeling like I'm giving him a honey-do list, but that's what he's asked for. The things that I notice truly don't register on his radar until he trips over them or I start to do them, and by then it's too late. So starting this week, we're making a list of things that need to be done during the week and we can both check things off as they're finished.

2. Mr. D does not own a translation guide for women-speak. Like a lot of women, unfortunately, I drop hints in hopes that he'll catch on without me needing to say what I actually mean out loud. But guess what? When I ask, "Have you been in front of the Xbox all day?" That's exactly what he hears. He, like most women, doesn't analyze and pick apart what I said until he comes to the accurate translation, "Why are the dishes and laundry still piled up?" So I have to start saying exactly what I mean, and draw pictures if necessary.

3. Mr. D has grounds to gripe about our "communicating" just as much as I do. Because I bite my tongue for too long and then blow up, he really doesn't realize why I'm mad or where it came from. He just thinks his wife is nuts. When I do something that irks him, there's not much of a delay on his reaction. He doesn't explode like I do, he just points it out right then. A lot of times, that drives me crazy (the constant negativity is a separate issue) but I'm never left wondering how that one thing I did/said led to Mr. D's head spinning around exorcist-style. Although I could argue how he doesn't hear me when I try to tell him nicely at the time, I don't know that it would hold up (refer to #2).

Our issues are still there, but now we're at least able to discuss them in ways the other person can understand.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Day 4: My BFF

Saying that my BFF, Leigh, is having a bad week is an understatement. There's so much going on with her family right now AND she's been sick all week AND work has been craptastic- all right after she gets back from vacation. Yet, when I couldn't bite my tongue anymore, and all my frustrations with Mr. D boil over, she listens. She's supportive, and she lets me vent, despite everything she already has on her plate this week.

I'm very blessed to have such a wonderful BFF that I love so much!! So, she's my happy thought today :))

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Day 3: The Snooze Button

Yes, my pillow and I were BFF again last night, but that's not what I mean. The snooze button is one of my favorite inventions, ever.

It's dark, you're warm and cozy, and then the alarm goes off.

Insert groan here.

Just as you're stretching and preparing to throw the covers off and start the day, someone next to you shifts in the bed just enough to remind you he's there.

(And this is where the snooze button becomes my favorite thing today.)

Reaching over and smacking the snooze button wins me 30 minutes (I hit it 3 times) of extra snuggling in bed with my husband.

And there's my happy thought for today. Especially since I went to bed irritated with him last night. Snuggling made me late for work, but totally worth it. AND when I finished my very fast shower, there was a cup of coffee already sitting on the bathroom counter for me. He makes my coffee better than I do.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sleeping through the alarm..

...For almost 2 hours. That's right, I'm a slug. First night off my medicine and I actually slept. I forgot how wonderful it was to wake up late, with my hair matted to my face, and yes, even a little drool on the pillow. I haven't slept in over 2 weeks thanks to Zoloft's big side effect- insomnia. I've cat napped here and there, but have still been completely aware of my surroundings at all times. If I were a ninja assassin, that would be awesome. But I'm not, so sleep is better.

Speaking of which, I hear my pillow calling me now. So there's my happy thought for the day.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Think Happy Thoughts

In an effort to stay OFF the new medicine that really isn't working all that well anyway, I'm doing what I can to improve my over-all mood. I'm cooking healthy meals again, I'm staying on track with my diet, I'm going to start working out again this week, and I'm going to start blogging more often. I say that a lot, and it never happens, but I have to. My goal is to blog daily for at least the next 30 days about one thing (other than the usual- family, friends, etc) that made me smile during the day, or something I'm thankful for. Not unique whatsoever, but maybe having a topic already will make it easier.

So to start the 30 days toward a more positive attitude, I absolutely loved having a nice dinner out on the balcony with my boys tonight.

Now off to bed! Maybe tomorrow I'll be thankful for a good night's sleep!