Saturday, January 28, 2012

Black Bean Burger

Very excited to try these!!! Going to add them to my menu for the week!!! 

Black Bean Burgers
inspired by Rob & Rachel Brill
1 16 oz. can of black beans, drained well
1/2 c. frozen corn kernels
2 pieces of bread crumbled (I used the Saralee light wheat bread)
1 egg white
2 tbs. flour
3 tbs. chunky salsa
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. onion salt
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil (for cooking)
I used Tomato, Avocado, and Lettuce for toppings, OroWheat Sandwhich Thins for buns.
1. Drain black beans then mash until almost smooth using large fork or potato masher.
2. Mix in all other ingredients and shape into 4 medium size patties.
3. Heat a large pan with thin coat of olive oil on bottom. Cook patties on medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes each side.
These were so good and really filling. I actually think I prefer one of these burgers over a real meat burger. Do try!

funny yoga pic

How I often feel!! LOL

Friday, January 27, 2012

Kitchen Storage - Measuring spoons & cups

Another great idea for the inside of a kitchen cabinet door!!! Oh my hubby is going to love that I am finding so many creative ideas!!!  My measuring cups & spoons are always in the way and don't seem to have a they will!! YAY!!! 

Full directions: 

Ultimate Menu planning board


From the blog:

What I love about this particular design--- 
1) It’s weekly. I shop weekly and plan my calendar weekly. I can adjust for company, evenings out, leftovers, etc. 
2) Meal cards have ingredients listed on the back, so I just gather my cards for the week, flip them over, and jot down the ingredients I need on my shopping list. 
3) Using the two pockets I can store all of my meal cards right on the board. With a rotating system, I start with all the cards in the lower box and then after we have that meal, I place the card into the upper box until we go through the majority of the cards. Then, I start over choosing from all of them again. 
4) It uses clothespins so no slipping and no holes. I was afraid that after I laminated my meal cards that they would get too thick/heavy for magnets.
5) The base is a picture frame—easy to hang and by using two nails I can keep it from tilting under the lopsided weight.


You will need-
11x14 picture frame
2 sheets of decorative 12 x 12 scrapbook paper
2-3 additional coordinating decorative papers
several sheets of solid colored card stock (for meal cards and pockets)
7 clothespins
the boxes from two 16 ct crayon packs
Elmers glue
Hot glue gun and glue
letter stickers (for title)

Meal cards---
Preparatory to using your board, gather several meal ideas (I have about 35) and their recipes. Make a 2 column word document- typing your menu on one side of the page and the ingredients in the column next to it. You should have room to print about 5 menus/ingredients per piece of printer paper. After printing, cut the meals/ingredients out into strips and fold each strip in half, giving you a front and back. Laminate the cards. I used self-laminating paper which worked okay but not perfectly. (Because I didn’t leave much empty space around each card, some of my cards did not seal well all the way around. If I did it again, I would have them done professionally or with the use of a heated laminator.) My cards measure 1 ½ inches tall and then half of the width of an average size paper (4.25 inches) across.

Frame Background
Trim the decorative scrapbook paper to fill your frame. You will use one full sheet and just need a couple of inches of a second piece of paper in order to fill the entire frame. Where the two sheets overlap, place a thin piece of coordinating paper across the width to hide the seams. Put the title above that line using scrapbooking letter stickers. Place in the frame. Secure the background into the frame. Everything else will be done on top of the glass.

Trim strips of paper to fit on top of your clothespins. Using a mixture of 1 part elmers glue to one part water (homemade mod podge,) brush the glue onto the clothespin, place the paper on top and add more of the glue mixture. I think I did about 3 layers of the glue. When the clothespins are dry, you may add the days of the week to each pin if you choose. I punched out little circles and just used the letters m, t, w, etc to designate the day of the week. Space your clothespins evenly along the left hand border of your frame and hot glue them into place. 

I used 16 count crayon boxes as the base for my pockets. Turning the box horizontally, cut out one long side- this will be the opening of your pocket. Lay the box out flat onto a piece of card stock and trace it. Cut the card stock out and glue it on top of the crayon box—making folds to match the boxes folds as you go. Reassemble the box, gluing or taping together the open sides. I left just about a half inch extra along the long sides so I could wrap my paper over the top edges of the box for a smoother look. After assembling your boxes, cut a strip of coordinating paper to use as an accent and glue around the pocket. Hot glue the pockets directly onto the glass of your frame

10 Commandments of Weight Loss

1. LifeStyle, Not a Diet
This is not a short term fix; It's a way of life.

2. Get Organized
Structure your life and you'll structure your eating

3. Eat Small
Portion control is crucial for loosing weight.

4. Learn To Leave Food On Your Plate
This helps you take control of compulsive eating.

5. Never Feel Deprived
This only encourages binging

6. Make A Meal Out Of It
Make a ceremony out of every meal, so that you really appreciate what you have eaten.

7. Eat Slowly
That way, you'll feel satisfied before you have eaten to much

8. Enjoy Your Food
It's one of life greatest pleasures, not a punishment

9. Move It
Exercise is a key essential to loosing weight

10. Get Enough Sleep
Structuring your sleep patterns will regulate metabolism 

7 Treadmill Workouts for all levels

Who knew you could do alot of different workouts on the treadmill......I just walk walk and pray I don't fly off the back of it...LOL!  

  • Getting Started: If you're new to running, try our 40-minute beginner treadmill workout. The workout combines walking and running to get your heart rate up while also priming your body for distance and speed. If you feel like the workout is too easy or hard, play around with the speed, but be sure to give your body time to adjust to the physical demands of running for the first time.
  • Woggle Workout: Once you're feeling a bit more comfortable on the treadmill, give this wogging workout a chance. This 60-minute workout alternates between walking briskly, jogging, and running slowly; plan to burn around 300 calories.
  • Pyramid Intervals: Keep boredom at bay with this pyramid interval treadmill workout. By changing your running speed every minute, you'll also be winning the war against weight gain.
See the more advanced, calorie-busting treadmill workouts after the break!
  • The 500-Calorie Workout: If you can find about 40 minutes in your day to do this high-interval treadmill workout, you'll lose about 500 calories. Do it five times a week and you're already down a pound.
  • Rolling Hills: This treadmill hill workout will show you what it's really like to run in San Francisco. After doing the incline variations in this workout, running flats will seem like a breeze. will
  • Go For a Hike: Even if you can't make it to Yosemite, this treadmill hike workout will mimic what's it like to be in the great outdoors. The 45-minute workout involves walking and jogging up steep inclines so you'll strengthen your quads and work your booty.
  • Graduate to a Mountain: Once you've hiked up some hills, why not try for a mountain ascent? This treadmill mountain climb mixes a brisk walking speed with steep inclines.
  • Add Leg Work: The treadmill doesn't have to be just about running. This treadmill leg workoutallows you to go at a comfortable pace while mixing in lunges, squats, and pliĆ©s.
Source: Thinkstock

Kitchen Conversions

I am horrible at remembering how many of one thing = another.  So....I am printing these out and sticking them in my kitchen!



Thursday, January 19, 2012

Unstuffed peppers

One of my next recipes to try! 

UnStuffed Pepper Skillet -

1/2 lb ground turkey (we use extra lean)
2-4 T minced onion (or 1/2 onion, diced)
2 medium carrots, sliced
3 bell peppers, seeded and cut into large chunks (we used green, yellow and orange)
1/8 - 1/4 tsp. pepper
1 15oz can of tomato sauce
1/3 C water
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp. chili powder
2 C brown rice, cooked
mozzarella cheese, shredded... for topping!

For full directions:

1 lb of fat

Monday, January 16, 2012

Cut it up

My house if full of fruits & veggies!  But, I am finding that if I don't cut them up and have them ready to go, I don't seem to think about them to snack on (even though they are all over my counter).  

We had a family birthday here this past weekend, and I made a veggie tray & cut up a cantaloupe.  Because we sat in the the kitchen for awhile, I snacked on them!   After the party I put the leftovers away.  The next day when I opened the fridge, and there sat the left overs up front and ready to eat.  So........that is what I chose!  

My daughter has been craving apples lately.....that has become her favorite snack! YAY!!! I have started to cut them up and leave them out for her & ME!!  As I walk through the kitchen looking for something, there they are....ready to go!  ( If you don't like lemon juice on them to help keep them from browning.....use some diet sprite or 7up).   

Not sure it is lazy or convenience....but if it is ready to go, I will eat it.  So......either at  night , or early in the morning I am going to cut some fruits & veggies for the day!  Better choices = better results!!!  

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Breaking out

Wow.....this really shows how I feel!!!  LOVE IT!!!! 

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Laughing burns calories right??? 

Stay motivated - You Can Be Happier & Healthier & YOU DESERVE IT! 

Monday, January 9, 2012



Well I am not sure why I never really thought about it before - probably because I am just overwhelmed by the amount I want to lose...but a light went off in my head! 

So - I want to lose atleast an additional 35lbs. grrr! As a total that seems frustrating, overwhelming, and out of reach.  But if I said I want to lose 35 by June - 6 months away - and divide the weight among 6 months - that is only about 6 lbs a month!  Holy Moly I can do that!! (LOL but if I lose more than that a month I won't complain).  

Taking the big number (35) and making it seem more attainable (6) keeps me motivated!   

I have to say though - I am pushing it a bit harder this month! I have an event in one month that I want to be down 10  lbs for.  So really watching what I eat, and adding in the extra exercise classes where I can!!! I know it is healthy to lose 1-2 a month, but hoping that a few extra melt away!!!  

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Weigh In

Well I weighed in yesterday!  I am happy to say I am down 4 lbs....YAY! LOL....I would be even happier if I hadn't gained over the holidays....but oh well getting back on track now!!!!

Very proud of my sister - down 7 lbs!!! YAY!!! Great Job!!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Easy after school snack - Pretzel Pops

I thought this was another great snack the kids could help make & I could have one without killing the diet.  

pretzel pops

How to make pretzel pops: 
1. Take a pretzel rod, roll it in a soft natural peanut butter.
2. Provide a couple goodies such as: chopped peanuts, chopped almonds, chopped walnuts, mini chocolate chips, chopped chocolate candies, sprinkles, or other favorite small treats that will stick to peanut butter.
3. Dip the pretzel rod into the goodies. 
4. If using a crunchy or thicker peanut butter, spoon it onto the pretzel and press the peanut butter around the rod with your fingers.

Pretzel Sandwiches

You can also make pretzel sandwiches with the waffle or mini pretzel twist varieties. Just add some peanut butter in between the pretzels and let a little of the peanut butter ooze out the sides of the pretzel sandwich. Then roll the peanut butter around in the suggested goodies and let them stick to the peanut butter. Or, place a thin slice of banana inside the pretzel-peanut butter sandwich.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

DIY - 100 calorie Snacks

100 calorie snacks can get pricey - I am a thrifty shopper so I tend to skip these unless they are on a really good sale.  In the past I have bought a big bag of pretzels and I would get little baggies and count out the serving size.  That way my hubby and I could just grab and go and not over eat.  Doing this again to help keep on track!

Here are a few things that are 100 calories (brands can make a bit of a difference so read the labels)

*14 almonds
*25 pistachios
*16 Popchips
*15 Guiltless Gourmet Tortilla Chips
*40 small hard pretzel sticks
* 19 mini hard pretzel twists
* 5 cups popped 94% fat free microwave popcorn (I like Jollytime)
* 13 Quaker Quakes Rice Snacks 
* 4 Hershey's Milk Chocolate Kisses
* 4 teaspoons mini semi- sweet chocolate chips
* 27 Reese's Pieces
* 45 mini marshmallows
* 1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries
* 25 small jelly beans

FYI: Pretzels by numbers
1 oz of hard pretzels has about 120 calories and 1 gram of fat. 
1 oz =   
1 large sourdough-style pretzel
3 to 4 rods, aka the stocky sticks
8 to 10 standard-size twists
18-20 mini twists
30 - 50 sticks, aka super skinny rods

* from hungry girl 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

$5 Dinners

I love finding new sites that have recipes that my family will love! 

Today while browsing I came across the $5 Dinner Mom.  Love her site!  She has alot of recipes & coupon help (not really a couponer - no time). 

Being able to plan a meal for $5 would be helpful!  I have not looked at WW points with her recipes yet....but will try to soon (kids just woke up form a nap).

Gone Fishin Snack - for the kids

Always looking for creative fun snacks for my little ones.  I LOVE THIS!  

Kiddos can dip pretzels (fishing rods)  in the peanut butter, then fish for the fish crackers and chocolate chips. Portion control is key...but can't wait to try this with my little ones - should keep them busy for atleast 2 minutes LOL! 

I got this in my email this morning from weight watchers!!!  WOW....3 sugar cookies...hmmm good thing that wasn't my cookie of choice! LOL! I'm back on track!!! 

Post-Holiday Gain?

4 Ways to Recover

How to get back to your healthy habits after the holidays. Painlessly.
Article By: Erinn Bucklan

"By adding just 500 calories per day, or three homemade sugar cookies and a glass of low-fat milk, you could gain two pounds in two weeks over the holidays," says Jenna Bell-Wilson, PhD, RD, LD, a board certified specialist in sports dietetics.

Now the merriment has ended, here's how to get back on track to healthier habits in the New Year.  

Don't get discouraged by weight gain
 Even if you overdid it, it won't destroy your health goals. In fact, you may unconsciously reduce your intake as the holiday season winds down. "When you don't realize you're eating all those cookies, that's automatic eating," says Wendy Wood, Ph. D., professor of psychology at Duke University. But when those cocktail party invitations stop coming, so do the temptations.

Up your fruit and vegetable intake
Ideally, you should consume at least five fruit and vegetable servings per day now. These vitamin-rich foods boost your fiber and antioxidant intake and help you feel full. A tip: Replace that midafternoon 16-oz. cola (200 calories) with an orange (65 calories) as a nutritious snack.

Pre-arrange exercise time
You'll stick to a regimen if you schedule exercise ahead, says Brad Cardinal, Ph.D., associate professor of sport and exercise psychology at Oregon State University. Try to get in 30 minutes almost every day. Wear a low-cost pedometer (it counts footsteps) or sign up for a charity walk/run to stick to a plan.

Resist depriving yourself
Focus on what you're going to eat rather than what you're not. "It sounds indulgent," says Colleen Thompson, R.D., a nutritionist at the
University of Connecticut. "But concentrate on ways to feed yourself now. It helps you to stick to healthy eating habits." For example, don't skip a nutritious, fiber-rich breakfast, like oatmeal or a half of a whole-wheat bagel with peanut butter. It can help prevent overeating later.

Christmas Gift

My little sister got me a great Christmas gift - A food measurer thing!  (don't you love my technical terms!)  

I have always been one of those people that guess what a cup or 1/2 cup would be.  LOL boy was I wrong (my husband will love that for once I was wrong - I guess that is my one time for the year).  What a reality check!  I know this contraption will be one more thing to wash after meals, but I rather take an extra minute to wash it then have to work an extra hour to work off the extra mashed potatoes that I really didn't need.  I also think my kids will get a kick out of using it, even though they are young I don't think it is ever to early to start teaching them good habits!  

My little sis is on board with my weight loss goals - so she also bought me a food scale!  So to all those I said I would never weigh food - here I go!!!  


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Dinner Meal Plan (& recipes) for 2 Weeks

What I am cooking for the next 2 weeks!   

Monday: Lasagna & Salad (meatless – got the step kiddos)

Tuesday: Roaster Potatoes, Chicken Sausage & Peppers

Wednesday: Spaghetti & BIG Salad

Thursday: Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken

Friday: Left Overs

Saturday: Island Insanity Burger

Sunday: Veggie Quesadillas

Monday: Western Omelet Potato Skins 

Tuesday: Vegetable Soup

Wednesday: Honey Mustard Pretzel – Coated Chicken Fingers

Thursday: Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup

Friday: Night Out

Saturday: Chicken Rollatini with Spinach alla Parmigiana

Sunday: Chicken Pot Pie Soup


I'm Back!!!!

Thanks for all the prayers for baby Adam - I am sad to say that he passed away, but he got to spend Christmas with Jesus!  Our sweet little angel is watching over us now - please continue to pray for his family as they now adjust to life!   

Hope Christmas & New Years was wonderful. I am blessed and so thankful for all the wonderful people I have in my life.  But - all the cookies, yummy food, and holiday stress has not been kind to my body!  A few pounds have found their way back, but not for long!  I am not going to beat myself up, just going to hit the gym even harder this week.  Also got my meals planned for the next two weeks - I AM READY!  

2012 -  this is going to be my year of hitting my goals!  
I have been chatting with the hubby alot about our plans for making our health number one this year! We are planning our workouts, meals, and looking at how to limit the stress in our house & lives. 

I am excited to be back in the gym tomorrow morning!!!  I gotta say - two weeks away, and my body is letting me know! I can't believe the pain in my hips from being so tight - Pilates I am going to hate you tomorrow during class, but I am going to love you after! 

Here we go 2012 - get ready to see this body shrink and tone!!!  Bathing suit season will be here in the blink of an eye....and I am going to be ready!!!!