What Cooking Has Taught Me.

Well, another 30 day challenge has passed. I actually had 2 going on simultaneously – one was cooking new recipes, and the other was drinking 8 cups of water a day.

I was relatively successful on both. Honestly, I didn’t notice any real positive changes in increasing my water intake. I basically spent way more time in the bathroom because I had to pee a lot…and that was just annoying.

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But, over time I lost my desire to drink anything else. So that’s a plus, right?! I haven’t had soda in over two months now, and I don’t miss it all. So, yes – the water consumption will continue.

As far as the other goal, I did end up cooking, and ultimately tasting a lot of new recipes. (You know, all the ones I’ve been bombarding you with all month?!) At first I thought it would be a tedious goal.

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Grocery shopping alone is my least favorite thing to do. The time it takes, and the chore of buying food is exhausting to me. Kind of weird when I love to eat food so much, huh?

The thought of having to search for recipes, buy specific foods from a grocery list, and then prepare and cook those foods into something potentially delectable seemed like a huge endeavor.

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At first, I felt overwhelmed looking for recipes that were easy, low in points and delicious. But over time, I began to look forward to the recipe hunt. I got a little more adventurous in the foods and level  of difficulty. 

Making each dinner became a lot easier over time. Prepping the majority of the meal the night before made it easier to pop in the oven or on the stove the following night. I even tried a few breakfast recipes and enjoyed those too.

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I’d like to tell you that grocery shopping got more enjoyable…except it didn’t. I still dislike it. I did however enjoy going to the farmers market each weekend after my group run to pick up a few items to throw into my recipes.

I actually used to love to cook, but overtime lost the desire when life got too busy and buying food from a restaurant was the easier option.

Awww the bachelorette life!

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This experience has taught me that eating better and having a little fun in kitchen could go hand-in-hand. I felt much more in control of my food, and I saved a lot in both money and calories by not going out all the time. The few times I did go out to eat (less than 5!) It felt like a real treat, and not just another meal. Even more exciting is that it taught me to try different things and to be a little curious when it came to cooking. The worst that could happen is maybe not liking what you made…or a kitchen fire.

Haha… just kidding.

But for real. Try new things, you might be surprised to learn not only, what you can create, but what you’re missing out on by not doing it.

Yes, the cooking in my kitchen will continue.

And, as for July, I am thinking of another challenge :)

You might want to wear a toga while eating these…

I know, I know…

Recipe overload this week!

But in my defense – this is mostly a running blog, and running makes people hungry.

So running = food.

Okay, in truth – I had a lot of meals planned for the week and purchased all the food. My plans changed though, and I ended up not cooking two of the days. (My boyfriend actually attempted to make a healthy meal for us one of the nights. I think the healthy eating is starting to rub off on him! (Also, the dinner was delish!) When cleaning out my fridge yesterday I realized I had to cook all the food soon or it would spoil. I guess that’s a risk you take when you cook at home, with real food…

Go Figure!

Anyways….

I think, out of all the new recipes I have tried this month, this is one of my favorites so far! They are very flavorful and I love how the feta adds a bit of a salty kick. Plus the pita makes it so that it’s lighter. As a side note: I never realized how simple it is to make my own patties because I usually buy them pre-made/pre-packaged. Now I am wondering why?! If I make them myself, It actually costs less, I can choose the size/weight and more importantly I can add whatever I like to make them fun and tastey-licious! And It takes all of 5 minutes! I think it takes me longer than that to get the pre-made burgers out of the packaging half the time.

This time, I actually took pictures of the prep process, to show how quickly it’s done!

Excitement. AmIright?!?!

First I mixed all the ingredients into a bowl.

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Then I used my handy dandy hamburger smoosher tool, to measure out and form my patties.

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And created 5 perfect patties!

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Then I cooked them up, and created this:

Greek Turkey Burgers

NA
6PointsPlus Value
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 12 min
Other time:N/A
Serves: 4
From Weight Watchers Good Deal Cook Book page 94

Ingredients

  •   1 pound(s) uncooked 99% fat-free ground turkey breast   
  •  1/4 Cup fat free crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup(s) uncooked carrot(s), shredded   
  • 1/3 cup(s) dried breadcrumbs   
  • 1/2 tsp table salt   
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano   
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper   
  • 2 item(s) pita pockets, 100% whole wheat, warmed and halved (4 halves)
  •   2 medium plum tomato(es), sliced    
  •   4 leaves Lettuce, Singles, Green Leaf   

Instructions

  • Combine turkey, carrot, bread crumbs, cheese, salt, oregano, and pepper in medium bowl until well mixed.
  • Form into 4 patties.
  • Spray large skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium heat.
  • Add patties and cook, turning once, until instant-read thermometer inserted into side of patties registers 165 degrees F (10-12 min.)
  • Fill each pita half with burger, lettuce leaf, and tomato slices.

Want a gluten free version? Change the bread crumbs to gluten free bread crumbs, and instead of a pita use the lettuce leaf to wrap your turkey burger. Viola! Gluten Free! (and low-carb friendly!)

Now, give them a whirl!

Finger Lickin’ Good!

It’s finally Friday! I have another recipe for you. (You might be getting tired of seeing these, so sorry if you are!) This one is of course easy, and has a great summer time taste. BBQ and Summer go together like…
peas and carrots?
Remember if you want a gluten free version, you will need to change the bun to a gluten free one (Udi’s has GF buns.) I didn’t shred the chicken, because I actually cooked this at 10pm last night. I had a super long, busy and stressful day. Although thankful for such a quick homemade recipe – I was just too tired to stand there shredding chicken bits. I cooked it so late, because I realized I had chicken that I needed to use up before the expiration date, so I figured with another busy day at work, this would be a great thing for lunch. Adding the coleslaw (recipe listed below) adds a nice crunch that counters the BBQ flavor perfectly. Yum!
For my fellow runners, cabbage naturally has anti-inflammatory properties in it – so all the more reason to eat all the coleslaw!

Honey-Mustard Barbecue Chicken Sandwiches

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10 PointsPlus Value
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 25 min
Other time:N/A
Serves: 4
From Weight Watchers Good Deal Cook Book

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup(s) ketchup   
  • 2 Tbsp honey   
  • 1 Tbsp mustard   
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar   
  • 1 tsp chili powder   
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin   
  • 1/8 tsp ground allspice   
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger   
  • 4 bun Open Nature Sandwich Rolls, 100% Whole Wheat   
  • 1 lb Chicken Thighs, Organic Boneless & Skinless   

Instructions

  • Stir together ketchup, honey, mustard, vinegar, chili powder, cumin, allspice, and ginger in medium saucepan.
  • Add chicken and bring to boil.
  • Reduce heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until chicken is tender. 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and shred chicken with two forks, serve chicken and rolls .
  • Top the sandwiches with coleslaw :stir together 1 1/2 tablespoons reduced fat mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 2 cups sliced cabbage, 1 carrot, and salt and pepper to taste. ( the per serving Points Plus Value will increase by one)

Changes.

“Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.”

Mary Shelley

I have never appreciated change. In fact, I pretty much hate it. I never understood why things had to change, especially when things were perfectly okay the way they were.

Alas…

Life changes from the moment we are created. I mean, if it stayed the same, we’d all be tiny embryos…just like…rolling around. Because there would be no change in order to create the legs and stuff we need to walk.

I’ve gone through many changes in my life, especially in the recent years. Physical changes, mental changes, emotional changes – pretty much everything about me has changed. Without all of those changes, I would not be where I am today. I’d be stuck in a miserable marriage, literally going crazy, and so physically unhealthy – it’s scary. I wouldn’t have almost any of the friends I do right now, some of which are the best I’ve ever had in the history of my life.

And…I’d never know what it’d be like to be a runner.

To run a Brazen race, a Disney race, or to tackle such endeavors like the Double Dipsea.

There would be no blog.

So many things….

With that said, the other day I was faced with a huge, life changing, decision.

I didn’t take it too well. In fact I completely panicked and fought it out – in true-me-fashion. I pulled out all the stops, and negatives, and reasons that this would just not work. Except, I was countered with some very valid, and thought out points.

I really hate when that happens.

With my defenses weakened, my pride shaken, and my fear at an all time high…

I finally stopped fighting it.

I let it all sink in.

I thought about everything that was presented.

I thought about what it would mean if I didn’t go along with change.

I slept on it.

After a few days, and massive amounts of brain cells lost due to this gargantuan thought – I have come to this conclusion :

Things will happen they way they are supposed too. Taking this “leap of faith” might not work out. It might be the worst decision I’ve ever made. I might hate it. Or regret it.

But at the same time…it might be the best thing I could do. I might love it. I might only regret, never taking the chance in allowing for the changes to happen.

In my particular case, the changes are not something I could never recover from if they do turn out poorly. But, if I don’t do it – I will never know what would have happened if I did. And I think I would regret that, even more.

So, I’ve decided just to go with the flow, and let time tell me what’s on my horizon. I won’t waste time stressing or panicking over things that haven’t even happened yet. When and if they do happen – I will just do what I’ve never done…and go with it.

Yep.

Changes.

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Another Recipe for Your Eating Pleasure

Hello! In case you were just dying for a(nother) new recipe, I have come to the rescue.

I have for you, Cheddar-Chipotle Burgers. I actually prepped these the night before, If you have learned anything about my recent recipe posts – you know that I prefer things that are fast and simple to make. Well, surprise! (or maybe not?) This is another that took no time to prepare and cook up. I think in total, I spent 20ish minutes of my life working on these, and my reward was a delicious dinner! I consider that a win. (And my boyfriend loved them too – double win!)

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A pre-cooked prep photo for your visual enjoyment…

I cooked these on the skillet as per the recipes instructions, but I am almost certain these would work on the grill too. As a side note, I actually forgot the cheese (oopsies!) So, I essentially had a “Chipotle Burger” – but the flavor was great, and I guess I saved myself a few extra points by going sans cheddar. Also… I kind of forgot to take a photo of the cooked version and only realized it after I gobbled it all up.

Blogger fail!

So just imagine the above patty, on a bun, without cheese, with tomato and onion on it. :) Mmmm…I bet I just made your mouth water…

Okay, maybe not! But it will once you try this recipe on your own!

Make this gluten free by using gluten free buns, or even protein friendly by wrapping it in lettuce.

Cheddar-Chipotle Burgers

10PointsPlus Value
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 10 min
Other time:N/A
Serves: 4
From Weight Watchers Good Deal Cook Book

Ingredients

  •  1 lb cooked 93% lean ground beef  
  • 3 Tbsp (chopped) uncooked onion(s)   
  • 2 clove(s) (medium) garlic clove(s)   
  • 2 tsp canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce   
  • 1/2 tsp table salt   
  • 6 oz reduced-fat cheddar cheese   
  • 1 medium uncooked red onion(s)   
  •  4 leaves  loose leaf lettuce   
  • 4 Whole wheat hamburger buns    

Instructions

  • Stir Together beef, onion, chipotle, and salt in medium bowl until well mixed.
  • Form 4 patties.
  • Spray large skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium heat .
  • Add patties and cook turning once, until instant read thermometer inserted into side of burger registers 160 degrees F. (About 8-10 minutes)
  • Topping burgers evenly with cheese during last 2 minutes of cooking time.
  • Place burgers in buns and top evenly with lettuce and onion.
Recipe from the Weight Watchers Cook Book “Good Deal.” ©

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia…

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He’s pretty serious when it comes to trying new recipes.

Are you a chia seed fan? Have you ever wanted to try them? Well if you’re into strawberries and coconut, this might be a great recipe for you. Who knew those little chia seeds that once grew our childhood houseplants, were also healthy and yummy?! Here’s a recipe my cat Jacques picked out of the Weight Watchers Cookbook this weekend. I tried it yesterday, and I have to admit he’s got good taste. :) It’s a great, gluten free, no-cook recipe, that’s super simple to make. It’s also one that’s perfect for on the go!

Enjoy!

No-Cook Chia Breakfast Pudding

NA
PointsPlus Value
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time:N/A
Other time:N/A
Serves: 4
Serves 4 Gluten Free WW Love it, Cook it, Eat it cook book pg. 67

Ingredients

  • 2 cup(s) vanilla coconut milk   
  • 3 Tbsp honey   
  •   2 cup(s) (raw) strawberries   
  • 2 Tbsp sweetened coconut flakes   
  • 4 Tbsp dried shredded and sweetened coconut flakes   
  • 1/2 cup Chia seeds    

Instructions

  • Mix chia seeds, coconut beverage, and honey in medium bowl and stir until combined.
  • Cover and refrigerate until thick, about 8 hours or over night.
  • Stir pudding and spoon into 4 bowls.
  • Top each evenly with strawberries and coconut flakes.

Inspiration For Perspiration

This week has been a bit…exhausting. I’ve worked a lot of overtime and was very busy with a social life, so sometimes it feels incredibly hard to also fit in all my scheduled training.

Let’s recap the week: After my weigh in on Sunday I was feeling a bit glum…So I decided to do my Nike Training app, for 45 minutes of sweat and fun.

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Oh Nike...there was a lot of sweat.

I spent the rest of my day cleaning house and grocery shopping in an effort to make the most out of my food this week.

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That doesn't count as helping...

Cooking and eating at home, as opposed to going out all the time  means I have more control over what I am eating – and how much of it. I’m finally getting good use out of all my measuring cups and scales. So yay for that.

Except…when Monday showed up. After a 12 hour work day I was just completely spent and decided it would be one of my two weekly designated rest days. I tend to eat more on those days…so I really need to find a better way to handle my non-active days.
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Tuesday I mustered up the courage to do another 45 minute training session with Nike. That extra 15 minutes really just pushes me to my limits!

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I felt slightly dead.

Wednesday turned into another rest day. We have had some very confused weather here in Nor Cal this June, and Wednesday turned into a rainy day! (After a heatwave on Monday, and crazy winds on Tuesday…) I tend to stay inside on rainy days, because it just makes me want to curl up and do nothing…and so that’s exactly what happened. Thank goodness for rest day #2…I think I even went to bed by 830 that night.

Thursday, I split my work schedule and headed outdoors because the sun was shining and it was hot outside…so much for the rain the day before. (See… Totally confused.) I met up with my friend E and her daughter for some pool time. I love swimming outside as opposed to the indoor pool at my gym. The sun, and the water feel amazing. Admittedly, that day I just didn’t feel like doing much of anything. But I ended up swimming 1650 meters, which is slightly over a mile, in laps. By the time I was done, I felt much better and was glad I had done something. I also got to use my new Garmin swim watch, which I will review in a separate post – so stayed tuned! (Spoiler alert – I freaking love the watch!)

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I did another 150 meters...trust me.

Today I was supposed to run 3 miles per my Nike Coach…but I chose to do the Nike training club again due to time constraints, and because my ankle felt a little sore. I have the group run tomorrow, so I didn’t want to put too much stress on it today…see how I compromised?

Good runner. Good.

I’ve felt very frustrated this week, because although I have followed my plan and have had a relatively active week – the scale is just not moving. I keep thinking about how fast the weight used to come off, and become angry when it doesn’t happen in the same ways I am accustomed too. In order to curb my frustrations, I am trying my best to remain positive so that I stick with this, instead of just saying f*ck it, and grabbing the nearest bag of gummy bears in rebellion.

I remind myself that this is a lifestyle. It’s going to take time to get used too, as well as time to show all my efforts. I also have to keep in mind that not all of my progress is going to show up when I step on the scale. Afterall, the scale only measures a number. Yes, it’s a pretty substantial number that drives a lot of what I do, and why I do it (remember I am aiming for a healthy BMI.) But, there’s so much more going on that a scale can’t report back to me on that little screen.

Here are a few of the “non-scale” victories I have had this week:

  • I was with my boyfriend and we were standing in his kitchen. I went to put my hair in a ponytail before making dinner. With my arms over my head my boyfriend looks at me, pokes my bicep, and says “Wow, I can really see some serious definition, all your push ups are really paying off. Great job!”
  • When I went to the pool this week, I went to put on a pair of shorts over my swimsuit. The pair I grabbed didn’t fit a few weeks ago, and on Thursday, they did.
  • While I was swimming, I instantly noticed how powerful my strokes were. My lap times were faster. My arms didn’t tire out as fast as before. And I could hold my breath the entire length of the pool (25 meters.)

All of these things are because of what I have been doing. They are small things, but they actually say a lot…much more than what a number on a scale can tell me.

So here’s a little something I’ve learned that I’m going to share with you…

It’s very easy to get tired, discouraged, or even just frustrated when things don’t seem to be going in the direction you would like them too. But try to keep an open mind, and try to look at the big picture. Track all of your victories, no matter how big or small. Write them down, blog them, have fun with it. When things get a little tough, look back on them – and I am certain it will make you feel a lot better and maybe even motivate you to keep at it!!
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Have a great weekend!

More Recipes!

Well, another successful (experimental) cooking week has passed. I have to say my boyfriend is probably the best ever for going along with my, “lets-eat-all-these-never-before-made-healthier-for-us-recipes”. He dutifully tries each one, without really knowing till dinner time what he’s about to embark on…

He’s a brave man…

And that’s why I love him.

Moving along!

Last night we had the following, again modifications were made to make it gluten free. We both very much enjoyed this! It’s light, and has the right amount of zing! It also makes a great summer time meal because its fast, easy, and we used the grill! Who doesn’t love grilling on a warm summer night? Although last night in northern California was cold and overcast… June gloom at it’s finest!

Mine turned out like this:
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Macaroni Salad

Macaroni Salad
Weight Watchers Recipe
4.5 Stars
Ratings (107)
3PointsPlusValue
Prep time: 25 min
Cook time: 0 min
Other time: 0 min
Serves: 12
Substitutes for high-fat mayonnaise and sour cream help give this salad its classic flavor, without the classic fat content.

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 cup(s) cooked macaroni, kept warm   
  • 3/4 cup(s) fat free mayonnaise   
  •   1/4 cup(s) fat free sour cream   
  • 3 Tbsp sweet pickle relish   
  •   1 medium sweet red pepper(s), diced   
  •   1 medium green pepper(s), diced   
  •   1 medium uncooked carrot(s), diced   
  •   1/4 cup(s) (sliced) uncooked red onion(s), minced   
  • 1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste   
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste   

Instructions

  • While macaroni is still warm, place in a large bowl. Add mayonnaise, sour cream and relish; toss to coat. Add peppers, carrot and onion; toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Serve warm or chilled. Yields about 1/2 cup per serving.

Notes

  • Consider putting a little heat in traditional macaroni salad by blending 1 teaspoon of wasabi powder into the sour cream.

Orange-Chipotle BBQ Pork Chops with Grilled Onions

Image of pork chops
Weight Watchers Recipe
4.5 Stars
Ratings (192)
6PointsPlusValue
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 10 min
Other time: 0 min
Serves: 4
We added fresh cilantro, orange juice and zest to bottled barbecue sauce for convenience and terrific flavor. It’s especially good drizzled over the onions.

Ingredients

  • 3 spray(s) cooking spray, divided   
  • 6 Tbsp barbecue sauce, Chipotle flavored   
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro, fresh, chopped (plus more for garnish if desired)   
  • 1 tsp orange zest   
  • 2 Tbsp fresh orange juice   
  •   1 pound(s) uncooked lean only pork loin, four 4 oz boneless chops, 3/4-inch-thick each   
  •   1/2 medium uncooked vidalia onion(s), cut into four 1/4-inch-thick rounds   

Instructions

  • Off heat, coat grill rack or a large grill pan with cooking spray; heat grill or set pan over medium heat.
  • In a medium bowl, combine barbecue sauce, cilantro and orange zest. Remove 2 tablespoons of sauce to a small bowl and stir in orange juice; set aside. Add chops to medium bowl; toss to coat with sauce.
  • Coat onions with cooking spray. Add onions and pork to grill or grill pan. Grill over medium-high heat, turning once or as needed, until onions are lightly charred and tender and pork is just cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Transfer pork to serving plates; separate onions into rings and scatter around pork. Drizzle each serving with 1/2 tablespoon of reserved barbecue sauce mixture; sprinkle with extra chopped cilantro. Yields 1 pork chop and 1/4 of onions per serving.

Notes

  • Never spray cooking spray directly into a heat source, whether a grill or a stove.

Sunday night we went for more of a “comfort food” type dish. This one takes much longer to prep, and bake. We didn’t mind as part of this “experiment” is to cook together so we have more time to talk and all that fun stuff. But if you’re making this for a family and have a bunch of hungry little ones waiting…it might be better to prep it all the day before so it’s ready to just pop in the oven when you’re ready to enjoy it. It’s tastey and very filling! I used gluten free penne pasta, which thankfully baked well.

Baked Ziti with Turkey Sausage

Baked Ziti with Turkey Sausage
Weight Watchers Recipe
4.5 Stars
Ratings (3185)
8PointsPlusValue
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 35 min
Other time: 0 min
Serves: 8
Here’s a comfort-food classic, a dish that’s sure to get everyone to the table the minute it comes out of the oven.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 pound(s) uncooked turkey sausage(s), spicy-variety, casings removed   
  •   1 medium uncooked onion(s), chopped   
  •   1 medium green pepper(s), chopped   
  •   28 oz canned diced tomatoes   
  •   10 oz frozen green peas, thawed   
  • 2 Tbsp canned tomato paste   
  • 1 tsp dried oregano   
  • 1 tsp dried basil   
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme   
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seed   
  • 1/2 tsp table salt, or to taste   
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground   
  •   12 oz uncooked whole wheat pasta, ziti, cooked according to package directions   
  • 6 oz shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese   

Instructions

  • Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Crumble the sausage meat into a large saucepan and brown over medium heat, stirring often, about 4 minutes.
  • Drain off any fat, then add the onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, peas, tomato paste, oregano, basil, thyme, fennel seeds, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat and cook uncovered 5 minutes, stirring often.
  • Stir in the cooked pasta and half the cheese. Spread evenly into a 9- X 13-inch baking pan. Top evenly with the remaining cheese.
  • Bake until the cheese has melted and the casserole is bubbling, about 20 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes at room temperature before slicing into 8 pieces. Yields 1 piece per serving.

Here’s what mine looked like :

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Hopefully you have a chance to try either of these! Happy Cooking….and of course – EATING!

Recipes for Success

The last time I had a significant weight loss, and got very fit – I was single. It was relatively easy because all I had to do was focus on me, myself and I. I had all the time in the world, to dedicate to myself and my fitness goals. I could make and eat whatever I wanted, and there was no one to convince me otherwise.

Now, I am much busier and making time for my relationship takes a little more effort due to conflicting schedules and other life things. In an effort to stay on track, and also to get my boyfriend to eat a little better I decided to make up a little challenge that involved the two of us. We tend to go out to eat a lot, which is always fun – and yummy…but it usually means portion sizes that are not weight loss friendly, or choosing foods based on the deliciousness factor rather than the health factor.

The idea is that for the month of June, instead of going out all the time –  will cook at home. We will pick Weight Watcher friendly recipes and make them together, and then – enjoy them together. Yum!

Last week I chose two recipes. Both were relatively easy, and pretty quick to make. I had to make a few tiny adjustments to make them gluten free, but that wasn’t hard and didn’t change the points value all that much. It was nice to spend the time at home, talking and making food. AND my boyfriend enjoyed both dinners, and said that he is looking forward to more.

Success. 

Here are the two recipes I made, if you’d like to try them. This is not the GF version, but if you need them to be – you can change the items to make it compatible. (Both are available and taken from the Weight Watchers Website: http://www.weightwatchers.com)

Chicken and Chile Wraps

Chicken and Chile Wraps
Weight Watchers Recipe
4.5 Stars
Ratings (292)
8PointsPlusValue
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 5 min
Other time: 0 min
Serves: 4
These wraps feature roasted chiles, fresh chives and creamy avocado. Use leftover grilled chicken breast to assemble them in a flash.

Ingredients

  •   1 small poblano chile   
  • 1/4 cup(s) reduced-calorie mayonnaise   
  • 4 medium whole wheat tortilla(s)   
  •   1 cup(s) (shredded) romaine lettuce, chopped   
  •   3/4 pound(s) cooked skinless boneless chicken breast(s), cut into strips   
  • 2 Tbsp chives, fresh, minced   
  • 1/2 item(s) (medium) avocado, sliced*   

Instructions

  • Place chile over stovetop flame; char on all sides, about 5 minutes (careful not to burn hands). Remove chile from flame and place in a paper bag; close bag and set aside to steam for 15 minutes. Remove chile from bag and remove blackened skin with your hands, under running water. Core, seed and chop chile; set aside.
  • Spread 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise over each tortilla and top each with 1/4 cup of lettuce. Arrange 1/4 of chicken in a strip down the center of each tortilla; top each with 1/4 of chile, chives and avocado.
  • To serve, fold the bottom third of each tortilla toward the middle. Then fold the left side to the center and the right side to the center; serve. Yields 1 wrap per serving.

Notes

  • To make this zesty wrap in minutes, substitute a small can of roasted mild chiles for the poblano chile, a cup of baby salad greens for the romaine and refrigerated, cooked chicken strips for the roasted chicken.

Fettuccine with Salmon and Asparagus

Fettuccine with Salmon and Asparagus
Weight Watchers Recipe
4.5 Stars
Ratings (300)
6PointsPlusValue
Prep time: 8 min
Cook time: 20 min
Other time: 0 min
Serves: 4
This pasta dish serves two for a main meal, but it could also serve four as a light first course. For variety, substitute broccoli for the asparagus.

Ingredients

  •   8 oz uncooked asparagus   
  • 2 tsp olive oil   
  • 3 clove(s) (medium) garlic clove(s), finely chopped   
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes   
  • 1/4 cup(s) hot water   
  • 1/4 tsp table salt   
  • 1/8 tsp table salt   
  • 4 oz uncooked fettucine   
  • 6 oz uncooked salmon fillet(s) with or without skin, skinless   
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice   

Instructions

  • Snap off woody ends of asparagus; cut each stalk crosswise diagonally into 1-inch pieces.
  • In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes; sauté 1 minute. Add asparagus and sauté 2 minutes. Stir in hot water and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cover skillet and cook asparagus 2 minutes or until almost tender. Uncover and cook 1 minute longer. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Cook fettuccine according to package instructions. Meanwhile, place salmon in a microwave-safe bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Microwave 2 to 3 minutes or until fish is just cooked through. Separate fillet into bite-size chunks, and mix gently with cooking juices in bowl.
  • Drain pasta and mix with asparagus in skillet; add salmon with juices, gently toss and serve.

When 1.6 lbs feels like a huge weight on your shoulders.

Happy Sunday. I am hoping you had a good week. Mine was pretty good, as mentioned last week I tried to renew my focus (AGAIN) when it came to my overall diet, and fitness. I made it to the gym that Sunday as planned and did 15 minutes of rowing and 35 minutes of “hills” on the treadmill, with a 5 minute cool down after that. On Monday I made it to the gym again doing the stairs-of-death, the bicycle, and another run. I was aiming for 2 miles as per my Nike Coach app, which was accomplished – again doing “hills.” Tuesday was Nike+ day. I was excited when I noticed small differences in the painful 30 minute workout, like not having tears during the jump squats, or being able to do more consecutive push ups without pausing to contemplate life, and the possibility of my arms giving out.

Wednesday was National Running day, and all I did was rest. Way to celebrate it!
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Thursday I was just not feeling it, and decided to use up my second rest day.

Friday I was short on time, so I did Nike+ but this time instead of the usual 30 minute workout, I tried a 45 minute one. Except I accidentally backed out of the app 7 minutes in, and had to start over. So I ended up doing 52 minutes of Nike+ and all of its high intensity, I am going to kill you now, glory. I was dripping sweat during the workout, and was just done after I finished. But in all honesty, I felt pretty accomplished for getting it done, because just last week 30 minutes seemed impossible.
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Saturday was group run day. I really look forward to the Group Runs, they are fun, they are outside and they are done with some of my favorite people. This week my Friend “E” and I headed out for a 5.76 mile route. This particular route doesn’t have a lot of shade, and it was warm out yesterday. I ended up with a pretty awesome racer-back sunburn.
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I didn’t have my Garmin, nor my gymboss so I just made up my intervals. It was more of a, “let’s run from this tree to that tree up there” and so on. We still managed (roughly) 15-16 minute miles, which is still the goal right now. It was a lot of fun, and my friend did great!

I spent the rest of my Saturday at the Farmers Market, and then by the pool.

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3 dollar farmers market dahlias!

Today was my Weight Watchers weigh in Day. I was excited to go, because I did exceptionally well all week with my food and exercise. Even on Friday, when we had our Girls Night get together, I ordered all the right foods, and when our plans changed from Golfing to Frozen Yogurt – I was happy that the impromptu frozen treat was still doable in my food plan.
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I weighed myself midweek, and I was down 4 lbs! So I had high hopes for my official weigh in today. I stepped on the scale, and my weight was tracked. The lady congratulated me on my less and sent me on my way to the meeting room. I looked down, and…just felt let down.
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I have to admit that when I saw that it was only a 1.6 lb weight loss this morning, I was disappointed, frustrated, and angry all at one time. I spent the first 15 minutes of the meeting sorting through the emotions swarming through my head. The negativity was running rapid, and I just wanted to give up, leave the meeting, and go eat food. I felt like I had worked so hard to eat all the right foods, drink ALL the water, and exercise…

and it was only 1.6 measly, insignificant, pointless pounds.

Infuriating. 

This is not like when I was 25 and could easily drop 2-6 lbs the first few weeks. NOPE.

My 30+ year old body makes its own rules. It loses at a much slower rate, with 3x the effort.

I text my sister and my boyfriend in my moment of anger, and both offered encouraging, and true words helping to calm the raging inner turmoil. 1.6lbs might not be what I had hoped for…but what it is –

  • Is a healthy weight loss (1-2 lbs per week, is safe, efficient, and healthy)
  • Is a loss…I could have gained that much if I continued on my path of not trying.
  • Shows that my efforts are doing something.

So I will keep at it, and hopefully the continued effort will get easier, and continue to get me to my overall goal.