Monthly Archives: November 2011

“Recipe” and Fantastic Pasta Swap

My dinner last night was an appetizer of broccoli followed by stewed okra and finished off with fresh strawberries! It was delicious, who needs meat? So I attempted to keep up with what I was putting in my okra, but I was unsuccessful. And I totally ate way too much! I brought both to lunch along with apples, mandarins, bananas and berries! I can’t wait for lunch time!

When I dreamed up this blog I thought I would put various recipes and share my love of experimenting in the kitchen, but I’ve been blogging for a while and I haven’t shared one recipe. So would you accept a list of ingredients in my okra?

So here’s what I put in my stewed okra:

  •  2 bags of sliced frozen okra
  • 6 small tomatoes (quartered)
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Garlic cloves
  • Season all
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ large white onion
  • Olive oil
  • 4 Bay leaves
  • Italian dressing

I think that’s a complete list, Oh but I felt I didn’t have enough garlic and onion (I’m a garlic lover) so I added onion powder and minced garlic that I found in the fridge. I started with the onions and garlic and let them get all fragrant in the pot then I added the okra along with all the seasonings. Since they need to cook for a while (since they’re frozen) I waited about ten minutes or so to add the tomatoes. I love cooking with Italian dressing! It may be my favorite seasoning. Not so good for people who are watching their sodium, sorry.

So this is my pathetic excuse at sharing a “recipe”. I’ll make it my homework to properly measure and share a proper recipe by next Friday. What shall I cook? Any suggestions? I’m such a mad scientist in the kitchen. I’m constantly tasting and adding things. I’ll control and properly document all the madness and hopefully I’ll have a proper step by step recipe to follow sometime next week.

But I do want to share one of the most amazing finds I’ve made this year.

                                                          Serving Size: 4 oz.
                                                          Calories: 20
                                                          Fat:  .5g
                                                          Carbs: 3g
                                                          Protein: 1g
                                                          Fiber: 2g

You can get your pasta fix without the calories! These things have changed my life. They are kind of pricey at $2.99 per bag (which is only 2 servings). But I think I’d rather take a hit on my budget than my waistline.  A traditional 2 ounce noodle serving is 210 calories, 1 gram of fat, 42 grams of carbs, 7 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber! Did you notice that the Shiitake noodle serving is twice the serving size of the traditional noodles? I don’t know about you but I don’t usually limit myself to 2 ounces of noodles, so I would have o multiply those numbers by two or three!

I just substitute them in my traditional noodle recipes. They come refrigerated in a liquid. Let me warn you, this liquid is extremely smelly. To prepare them you just have to thoroughly rinse them and warm them in the microwave. Super easy! Sometimes I’ll add them to my microwave dinner to make it more filling without adding many calories. Taste-wise I think they’re fine but it’s the tofu texture I have to get used to. I mix them with regular pasta when I cook for my niece and nephew and they don’t know the difference. Here in Baton Rouge you can find the noodles at Fresh Market on Perkins. That’s the only place I’ve located them so far. Whole Foods didn’t carry it the last time I checked.

Does that make up for my impossible to follow recipe? Let me know if you try my okra recipe or the tofu noodles! Two more days until the weekend, I can’t wait! Fruits, veggies and beans…. yum! I’m really not missing meat at all yet! Happy Hump Day.

Xoxo.

Carnisha

 

I’ll take it

This morning I weighed in at 231.6. That’s 1.2 pounds down from last week. If you saw how I ate Thursday- Saturday you would have thought I put on a couple pounds, at least that’s what I thought. And no I’m not forgetting that I was not supposed to pig out any day other than Thursday. I found that trying to ignore a fridge full of leftovers was more than I could bear. My fast was supposed to last from last Monday up until next Monday with Thursday being a free day. Seeing that I lost a little bit of weight and did no exercise (all week), I wonder what the numbers would have looked like if I kept to my plan for the entire week. So I definitely wasn’t at my best but I’ll definitely take it. 1 pound will work for now.

For my newcomers; I post new blogs every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Welcom to my little corner of the blogosphere! Please excuse my missed post from last Friday; I was too busy stuffing my face with macaroni and cheese. Man it was delicious!

But that was last week. Now I’m back on track. I’m eating my beans and rice as we speak. But going forward, I think I will eat my restricted diet this week and next but with the option of eating freely one day of the weekend.

I feel like I failed my challenge, but truthfully if something isn’t working, you should stop and reevaluate it and see if you can make it work. <<< That sounds so grammatically incorrect, but hey I never said I was a writer!

 A date has been set for the final weigh in for my family’s weight loss challenge and I’m pumped. My dad is making me quite nervous, but I have a few tricks up my sleeve. Who wants to go shopping with me when I take their money? What a great Christmas present that would be. So I have to WORK! I am about to put my weekly workout plan on paper for this week.

Did you get through Thanksgiving better than I did? If you did that’s great! If not what are you going to do this week? Let’s not dwell on things we didn’t accomplish but focus on all the things that we still need to accomplish. The glass is half full, right? Haha happy Monday y’all.

Rewriting the rules

I’m trying something different for a few weeks. Well actually it’s not too different since it’s something I’ve done  a few times in the past. I’m minimizing my intake of processed foods. When I started doing this a few years back I did so with the intention of doing a fruit and vegetable fast. I quickly discovered that was not a good option for me because basically I’d end up starving everyday. So over the years my little fruit and veggie fast have turned into something with a new set of rules.

I started on Monday and I plan to do this for at least two weeks. I haven’t forgotten about Thanksgiving, that’s my one free day! No limitations but I’ll try not to eat so much that I undermine all my healthy choices for this week. (We’ll have to see on Monday’s weigh in) But I am doing this so I won’t overload on all the Thanksgiving leftovers desserts all weekend. And also I need to drop a few pounds before my weigh in for my family’s weight loss challenge. I am such a procrastinator so it’s really not a surprise that I’ve waited until the last couple weeks to give it my all and attempt to steal the prize.

I got the idea to do this from an old roommate who would go on a raw fast. She wouldn’t eat anything that had to be cooked. At the time I thought she was insane, but her fast opened me up to the idea of creating my own.

So I can eat all fruits, vegetables, beans, cheese and nuts. Cooked or raw. I can eat one grain a day. But rice or tortillas only. I cannot eat any bread, pasta, or meat. Most condiments are allowed, I won’t get into that list. I’m going back and forth about eggs and milk. I haven’t had any so far but I haven’t excluded it from my list yet either. And I know you noticed cheese on my list. I’m a definite cheese head! I can’t give up cheese. I gave it up for Lent one year and it was SERIOUSLY one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.  And tofu? I can’t decide if I should allow that or not. I keep thinking about my tofu noodles with zucchini and mushroom sauce… yum! I should have that. So you’re wondering what I’ve been eating?

 

 

This is the stuff dreams are made of! 🙂

 

Refried beans, cheese and fat free sour cream. Less than 300 calories with my kiwi dessert!

 

My new kind of dessert
 

 

This morning was a smoothie. (I forgot my snack at home so I’m actually starving as I write this) I have a black bean soup for lunch today that I can’t wait to try. I think the recipe may need a little tweaking, but I’m happy that I’ve pulled down the slow cooker! Anyone have any slow cooker recipes that’ll fit into my guidelines? Regular recipes are fine too, I just love waking up to a cooked meal. It’s like magic! Just throw some stuff in a pot, go to sleep and awake with lunch! I plan on cooking a tomato-parmesean soup as well as a Japanese onion soup (chicken broth, green and white onions, and mushrooms).

This is what I have been eating this week, it’s been good but I’m excited about fried turkey and smoked roast tomorrow! Happy Turkey Day to you all. Enjoy your friends, family and most importantly the food! Don’t forget to think about what you’re thankful for and don’t forget your self-control! (The self-control was directed towards me) I’m thankful that you all continue to look at my blog and support my journey.

 

 

 

Races aren’t all about winning

The race on Saturday was so fun! It was a smaller crowd, which I’m normally not very fond of but you were so focused on your clues that nothing else really mattered. We didn’t do well in the race, but I’m not worried about that because I had a great workout and a great time. It turned out that this really didn’t involve much running at all; it was a scavenger hunt through downtown Baton Rouge.

As we got our first clue and started off to our first destination we were feeling great. We arrived at our destination and we had to play in the fountains in front of the Shaw Center and fill up bottles of water using small cups. SO as we completed our first challenge and tried to get our stamp for doing so, we realized that our bag and passport (this is the book that held all our stamps) was missing! So another team, which ended up being the winning team, had taken our stuff that we recovered at the next stop. You think that’s a coincidence? I think not!

But after that slight “accident” we had a few tough challenges ahead of us. There were eleven challenges in all. Some of them were really cute and some of them were difficult. We had to find certain stores and find items on their menu, read inscriptions on buildings and my least favorite was counting the number of different symbols on the fence surrounding the old state capital. I think the people who put this together were obviously very creative and it seemed like all the participants had a good time. Next time I enter one of their races I will practice my Sudoku skills and my blind bean bag toss. And then maybe I can be victorious!

On a more serious note, The Amazing Raise is an organization that designs, organizes and administers an “Amazing Race” style race fundraiser for different causes. Our race this past Saturday was a fundraiser for a little girl named Emily with Batten’s disease. Batten disease is a disorder of the nervous system that causes a child to develop vision problems or seizures. In some cases the early signs are subtle, taking the form of personality and behavior changes, slow learning, clumsiness, or stumbling. Over time, affected children suffer mental impairment, worsening seizures, and progressive loss of sight and motor skills. Eventually, children with Batten disease become blind, bedridden, and demented. Batten disease is often fatal by the late teens or twenties.

This was a great race and a great cause, if you’re from the Baton Rouge or surrounding area I hope you’ll come out and join us for the next Amazing Raise. I’m sure it’ll be for a great cause as well. I’ll make sure to let you know when the next race is posted. Happy Turkey week!

I didn’t forget my weigh in this week. The scale read 232.8 this morning. That’s 1.4 pounds down from last week! I hope you each have a happy scale this week too!

Amazing Race

I’ve been a bit under the weather this week, but I’m happy to say it didn’t hold me back too much. I was at the gym with my sniffles and all getting my cardio on! Saturday is my long awaited Amazing Raise race. I’ve been excited about it ever since I first read about it and I can’t wait to see what happens. I think it’s so exciting because it’s not your typical race. It’s not just 3.1 miles of me trying to prove I’m a runner; it’s a course through downtown that has ten obstacles and clues that you have to solve with a partner to get to the end. The unknown of those ten obstacles is really exciting me. I have no idea if they’ll be mental or physical obstacles.

When my teammate, Dora found out I was sick she said well you better get well before the race because we’re going to win. No sympathy! So I plan to do my best sick or not because this is the first race that is actually a real race. Teams coming in first, second and third place will be rewarded with prizes. And Dora has made sure to let me know that she wants to get a prize!

Wish me luck! Maybe I’ll actually get some pictures from this one to share? Get out and be active this weekend!

I’ve been keeping something from you

 I haven’t intentionally been keeping this from you, well at least not at first. But I think as time passed on I decided not to share because I lost hope in me winning. So what is this tidbit of information that I’ve not been upfront about? I’m in a weight loss challenge with my family.

I had a great post ready to announce it back when we started in October, but I kept waiting to get pictures of us all to add to the post and when that didn’t happen I started to give up on writing about it. When I thought about sharing the challenge again I didn’t do it because I was pretty much admitting defeat and that was not something I wanted to share with our little e-community.

But now, for some reason I’m ready to share. Most likely because I would love to get some advice for these last few weeks of this competition.

Sizing Up the Competition:

My competitors are my mom, dad, and brother. We all weighed in on October 15th and will re-weigh in the beginning of December. The winner is the person who loses the most pounds, there will be no second place or percentage wins calculated. The winner wins a nice sized pot of money that we all contributed to! I can’t think of a better motivator for me than cold hard cash, so I have no idea why I’m waiting until the last-minute to drop a few extra pounds.

Each person has a good reason they should have taken the prize, but at the beginning I was totally convinced I could come in and cause an upset anyways.

My mother has the advantage that this is her first go round at attempting to lose weight. And everyone knows at the beginning of weight loss it falls off quicker than it does once your body has gotten used to your new routines.

And then there’s my dad. He won a New Year’s weight loss challenge at his job earlier this year by dropping an amazing 50-60 pounds. (Don’t judge me because I didn’t do a fact check before writing this, my fairly accurate approximations will have to do.)So clearly he’s no stranger to dropping weight when he’s determined to do so. He was eating a very restricted diet and going to the gym sometimes twice a day. Ugh, that doesn’t look good for me. I don’t think I’m that disciplined.

Lastly and definitely not least is my brother. He didn’t start off as my pick to win this thing but he’s definitely pulling out his guns on the last stretch of this competition. He has dropped a lot of weight in the past and he’s definitely capable of doing so again. He’s a gym rat; sometimes I am sure that he and my dad may have a bed somewhere in there.

I hope everyone does well because they are my family and I love them and want them to be healthy. But hey I want to win!!! Anyone ever been in a weight loss competition? Do you have any quick pound dropping tips to share? Either Friday or Monday I’ll share my plan with y’all.

Sunday=Fun day

It’s Monday and that means weigh day! I don’t know why I decided to give myself another reason to dislike Mondays! But I’m just a bit cruel like that? But I’m sure Monday will soon become a celebratory day. So enough of the stalling, let’s get to the numbers.

This morning I weighed in at 234.2. That’s not bad at all, I’ll take it. But I do have a fancy new scale. I’m not impressed because it really isn’t living up to all its hype. It is supposed to tell your body fat percentage and body hydration level, but I can’t get either of them to work. And this morning I had to step on it a few times before it gave me the same reading more than once. So, as much as I love the appearance, if it’s not functional then there’s no use for it. So I’m scale shopping again. I hate that I’m using different scales because I feel like that’s not keeping a consistent portrayal of my weight. You can take a look at the progress here.

My workout yesterday was so much fun. I played with the kids; I couldn’t take another loss to my niece on the Wii so yesterday afternoon we took our workout outside. I jumped and played on the trampoline with her and my nephew (who isn’t into the Michael Jackson game on the Wii at all, he’s more of a golfer). I remember jumping for what seemed like forever on my cousin’s trampoline when I was younger, BUT now in my late twenties I cannot hang! I found myself taking breaks and needing to rehydrate. What a fun workout. Kids are so creative; they came up with all kinds of games to play on the trampoline. I am starting to love incorporating them into my activity plan!

Today is my last mini road trip of the year so hopefully I can have more time to dedicate to my blog and have some helpful tips instead of these brief run-downs of my life. I’m choosing to make today great. How about you? It’s your choice!