Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Mexican Chili

Happy Hump Day friends! I know it's Wednesday, and usually when I post on Wednesdays, I do a WIAW post, but I have been really slack about taking pictures of the foods I've been eating. I've been doing really well so far with my 21 Day Fix meal plan, I just haven't remembered to take a picture of everything. I take a couple a day, but not of everything. Maybe I will eventually be able to have enough that I can show you a sample day of meals and snacks.

Instead, I thought I would share a new recipe with you all. I get excited when I come up with my own recipes that I don't see on Pinterest or somewhere else first. This is one of those recipes. I made this when we were having that miserable weather a couple of weeks ago. It's so easy to do, too. You just cook up the meat and then dump everything in the crockpot. Easy peasy. And absolutely delicious, too! We served it over some brown rice. I added some fat free cheddar and a dollup of sour cream (you could also use plain greek yogurt) to mine. It made it so creamy and delicious. This definitely took care of my comfort food craving that I had! Here's the recipe:

Points+: 6
Servings: 8

1 lb. lean ground turkey, browned
2 c. frozen corn
1 can Rotel
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can chili beans, NOT rinsed
1 - 2 cups chicken broth

Add everything to the crockpot and cook on low for 4 - 6 hours. Add whatever chili "fixins'" you normally like and enjoy!

I was in kind of a hurry when I made this, so this is just how I made it. But next time, I will probably sautee up some onion and green pepper with my turkey meat and add it in. Not only would that help to bulk it up some, but also give it a little more flavor.

So long for today...

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Weekly Food & Fitness Plan #26

Wow! I can't believe it's been a week since my last post! I had a couple of posts that I wanted to share with you all this week, but for one reason or another, I didn't get them up. I will try harder this week to get them up. I do have a couple of recipes I want to share with you, so hopefully I will get to them. 

This was a busier week than I had planned, so some of my plans got thrown off. I'm hoping this coming week is a little less hectic so I can stick to the plan. I'm starting the 21 Day Fix tomorrow morning. I have everything planned out, so please keep your fingers crossed I can stick to it. I'm hoping to see some pretty good results.

Southern Living Yankee

Here is my menu plan for this week:

Sunday - Grilled Pork Loin Chops
Monday - Turkey Tacos
Tuesday - Spaghetti & Meatballs
Wednesday - Grilled Chicken Breast
Thursday - Grilled London Broil
Friday - Turkey Patties
Saturday - Grilled Hamburgers

I was able to be pretty active in spite of the busy schedule this past week. Here is how everything played out with my exercise:

Sunday - Rest
Monday - 3 mile run
Tuesday - 3 mile walk
Wednesday - 30 Day Shred - Level 1
Thursday - 3 mile walk/jog
Friday - 3 mile family walk
Saturday - 3 mile run

I hope you all have a great day! It's a beautiful day here, so I'm planning to enjoy it after church.  Have a great week!

So long for today...

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Weekly Food & Fitness Plan #25

Greetings from North Carolina everyone! We are up here visiting my cousins for a birthday celebration. The kids are having so much fun playing with their cousins. It's so nice to watch them all play together. We are leaving shortly, so I need to make this quick...

Southern Living Yankee

Sunday - Grilled Brats
Monday - Crockpot Fajitas
Tuesday - Skillet Lasagna
Wednesday - Crockpot Chicken & Stuffing
Thursday - Crockpot Roast Beef Sandwiches
Friday- Leftovers
Saturday - Grilled Hamburgers

I had an ok week with my workouts last week. The ice storm threw me off for a day and then this trip put a monkey wrench in my workout plans as well. But here is what I did:

Sunday - 3 mile run
Monday - 3 mile run
Tuesday - 30 Day Shred
Wednesday - Rest
Thursday - Yoga Meltdown
Friday - Rest
Saturday - Short neighborhood walk

We are supposed to have some nicer weather this week, so fingers crossed I'm more active.

I hope you have a great rest of your Sunday and a fabulous week!

So long for today...

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Snow/Ice Day + WIAW

Happy hump day everyone!! Are you all hunkered down to weather the storm? The weatherman said we were supposed to get some bad weather last night and today, so school was cancelled, which means that daycare was closed. So this mama is home with her kiddos today. Wish TC were here with us, but we are making the best of it. 

I've had 2 on-plan days in a row so far and I'm hoping to have another one today. Being at home makes it a little harder, so we will see. I think I can, I think I can :-)

I remembered to take a picture of all of my healthy eats on Monday and thought I would join in WIAW this week. 

1 egg + 1 egg white, a whole wheat Sandwich Thin with spray butter and sugar free jelly and a banana

Granola bar and some strawberries

Ham & cheese wrap with some Pepperidge Farms Baked Naturals and a green smoothie

Light string cheese and an apple

Turkey taco salad

Fiber One Lemon Bar

I'm pretty proud of my choices. Getting back in plan is hard! I'm hoping this motivation stays. Wish me luck!

Ok, time to go help Addison finish up her Valentines for her school party on Friday and maybe start working on her cupcakes, too.

So long for today...

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies

Good morning friends! I'm so excited that I had a great on-plan day yesterday. I have been really struggling to get back on-plan lately. I'm not sure why, but I haven't been able to find the motivation. I've been starting over so many times in these last couple of months. After my Simple Start failure last week, I realized that I would do better with the PointsPlus tracking method. So I decided that's what I was going to do. Yesterday was my first day back on plan. It went a lot better than I thought it would. I even got a 3 mile run in during lunch. It was a beautiful day and they are forecasting some pretty nasty weather for us in the next couple of days, so I wanted to take advantage of an outside workout while I could. I'm so glad I did because it's pretty dreary around here today. I guess I'll just have to work harder to be sunny indoors, right?

So I would have had a pretty decent weekend with my points if I hadn't have made two different kinds of cookies. Yes, two. I didn't have anything specific that I needed to make them for. I just made them. Friday after dinner, I decided I needed (yes, NEEDED) some chocolate chip cookies. Luckily, my recipe doesn't call for room temperature butter. Although, I'm wondering if it might do me some good to always have a stick of butter at room temperature on my counter. You never know when you might need it, right? The other cookies that I made were these Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies. Guys, I couldn't stop eating them. They're that good. I added a little frosting that I had left over to them, too. Even better. I figured they would be a good Valentine's Day treat. But after I made them, I realized that I couldn't keep them in my house. I gave some to my parents, gave some to our neighbors and made TC take the rest to work with him. I just can't trust myself around them. Here's the recipe:

Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies
adapted from Tidy Mom
Servings: 30

1 package Red Velvet Cake Mix
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c. butter, softened
1 large egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, combine the butter and cream cheese. Mix until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, mix well. Add cake mix and continue mixing until a thick dough is formed. Add chocolate chips and gently mix. Place powdered sugar in a small bowl. Form one inch dough balls using a cookie scoop and roll into powdered sugar to coat. Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper and place the cookie scoops about 2 inches apart. Back for 10 - 12 minutes or until the centers are just set. Allow to cool completely on wire rack.

Now, at this point, I found it necessary to add some thinned out cream cheese frosting. I had it in the refrigerator, and it was BEGGING me to use it. Who was I to say no?

You will also notice that I didn't include the Points+ value for this recipe. I honestly don't even want to know what it is! I'm sure it's pretty high since it has the cream cheese AND the butter AND the chocolate chips. Sometimes, it's better to not know things. Ignorance is bliss, right?

So long for today...

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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Weekly Food & Fitness Plan #24

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope you're all having a great weekend! Ours has been very nice so far. We have just stuck close to the house and tried to do our usual weekend chores. I got in a great run today. It felt so nice to run after taking almost 2 weeks off! The last time I ran was a treadmill run in the ship's gym on the first night of the cruise. Feels like such a long time ago!

So I have decided to change things up a little bit for my weekly plans. I'm still going to post the meals that I plan to have in the upcoming week. But instead of posting my upcoming workouts, I'm going to recap the ones I had in the previous week. I think it will be better this way. We'll see how it goes for a while. So here is what I have planned for the week:

Southern Living Yankee

Sunday - Dinner with my parents
Monday - Turkey Tacos
Tuesday - Mexican Turkey Chili
Wednesday - Leftovers
Thursday - Kielbasa Sandwiches
Friday - Out of Town
Saturday - Out of Town

Fitness Flashback:
Sunday - Rest 
Monday - Ripped in 30 - Level 1
Tuesday - Rest
Wednesday - 3 mile walk
Thursday - Ripped in 30 - Level 1
Friday - Rest
Saturday - 3.30 mile run

So I ended up having more rest days than I wanted to, but I still feel like I had a decent week considering its the first one back from a super indulgent vacation where I only exercised once. I still got over 10,000 steps every day this past week, which is always a win as far as I'm concerned. So for this week, my foal is to get a bit more regular with my workouts and also increase the strength work that I do. It may take awhile, but I'll get there.

I hope you all have a great week.

Son long for today...

Friday, February 7, 2014

Simple Start Drop-out

Ever since I thought of the name for this blog post, I've been singing the song "Beauty School Drop-out" from Grease. It's been since yesterday. My co-workers hate me :-) And if you know the song, you probably will too for the rest of the day. It's a seriously addictive song. I need to find some other obnoxious song to start singing now.

As the title says, I'm a Simple Start Drop-out. I tried. I tried really hard. But it's just not going to work for me. I need more structure. When I was reading the information about the plan, it seemed simple as much as you want from a specific list of foods for two weeks and allow yourself an "indulgence" here and there. Well, once I started looking into it more and talking to a friend of mine that goes to meetings, I realized that you need to read the fine print. It's not an all you can eat from that list, because let me tell you, I can eat! There are specific sized plates, bowls and cups that you are supposed to use for everything. You can fill those plates, bowls and cups until your heart's content. And then, you can go back for a second helping of those same foods. You still need to think about portion sizes. Maybe this is a no brainer for most, but it wasn't for this nursing mama here! I thought I had found the jackpot for my extra calorie needs. Unfortunatly, I was was wrong. Or maybe fortunately, whichever you look at it. I guess it is a good thing that I found this out before too much time passed and I started going back for third and forth helpings.

I'm such a structured person in life. That's why Weight Watchers works so well for me. But the Simple Start (or even Simply Filling technique) just won't work for me. I need definite boundaries for everything. Plus, if I need to be measuring portions and serving sizes anyway, why don't I just go back to what I know? So that is exactly what I'm going to be doing now. I'm going to stick with what I know...and that is Weight Watchers Points Plus. I know it works for me when I stay on-plan, so now I have to do just that...stay On-Plan. I'm trying to figure out some kind of a reward for me for when I finally hit goal, which if I stay OP for a few weeks, should be very soon. Any ideas?

So long for today...

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Book Review - The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels

I know I don't usually do reviews, but I read this book last week while we were on the cruise and I liked it so much, I wanted to share it with all if you. I was talking to some women at work about the book and I knew that they weren't all "foodies" like I am, so I asked them if they knew who the Pioneer Woman was. One of them said, "Doesn't she cook on that food channel?" Haha. Yes, she does, indeed, cook on that food channel.

This book is by Ree Drummond aka "The Pioneer Woman." It's a "love story" about how she met her husband aka "Marlboro Man." I had seen the book many times when I was searching Amazon and other places for her cookbooks. But for some reason, it never appealed to me. A few weeks ago, I was looking through our local library's website for a couple of books to download to my Kindle to read while we were away. Well, when I saw this one, I decided to give it a try. It was already checked out from the digital library, but I put my name on the list hoping it would be checked back in by the time we left. Luckily, I was notified a couple of days before we left that it was ready for me to download.

I started reading it our first night away and could not stop reading it! She tells such a cute story the whole way through. I don't want to give you a lot of the details of the book, but it starts with her moving from Los Angeles to Chicago with her making a "quick" stop in her home town in Oklahoma. Only, what was supposed to be quick ended up much longer than she anticipated. She ended up having a random meeting with her cowboy in a local bar. Little did she know just how much her life would change after that one night!

This was such a great book, Seriously! Ask TC about it. I just couldn't put it down. It's not the typical "Oh my gosh I can't put this down" book that I read. But it was just so good. I feel like I know her a little better now. When it ended, I found myself wanting more. I'm hoping that she writes a sequel to this one. I'd love to know what made her decide to start blogging, how she developed her passion for photography and when her love for cooking started, too. If you're interested, you can purchase the book from Amazon here.

If you read it, I would love to know your opinions on it. Stop back and share if you can.

So long for today...

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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Weekly Food & Fitness Plan # 23

Happy Groundhog Day everyone! So did you hear that Phil saw his shadow this morning? Looks like we won't be having an early Spring. Anyway, this is a special day for me and my family because I grew up about 45 minutes from Punxsutawney. I've been there many times over the years and have even taken Addison to see Punxsutawney Phil a couple of times. It's a big deal to us. We always look forward to Phil's predictions every year even when he predicts an early Spring like this year.

Moving on, I promise to do a recap of my vacation later this week, but let's get to this week's Food & Fitness Plan. I'm planning to start the Simple Start plan tomorrow morning (have to have my last hurrah for the Super Bowl today.) So I'm hoping that everything I have planned works for the plan. I'm excited to start this and hopefully see some great results. I'm hoping to be able to do a recap of my two weeks on the Simple Start plan for you all and talk about any changes I've noticed. Anyway, here is this week's plan:

Southern Living Yankee

Sunday - Super Bowl Fare
Monday - Honey Balsamic Chicken
Tuesday - Grilled Pork Chips
Wednesday - Italian Chicken
Thursday - Linguine & Meat Sauce
Friday - Leftovers
Saturday - TBD

Sunday - Rest
Monday - Ripped in 30 - Level 1
Tuesday - Yoga Meltdown - Level 1
Wednesday - Ripped in 30 - Level 1
Thursday - Rest
Friday - Ripped in 30 - Level 1
Saturday - 3 mile run

I'm hoping I can transition into a healthier lifestyle pretty easily. I've definitely had many indulgences this past week and it's showing up on the scale.

I hope you all have a great week!

So long for today...

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