Category Archives: Diet & Weight Loss

Bad bad blogger

I’ve been a bad blogger.  I’ve made some pretty fine suppers but I’ve not been taking pictures.

For instance, I made Yakisoba for supper tonight and it was delicious.  I used a recipe that I found on the Just One Cookbook blog (you can find it here).  If you love Japanese food but aren’t sure where to start, Nami Chen, who grew up in Japan, has shared many of her family’s recipes.  I wish I’d taken a picture of our meal.  It looked wonderful and tasted even better.

Lots of little bits of news to share, though:

  • I have an update on my foot.  I’m still in the boot/air cast until May 11th and there are several small fractures, but no Lysfranc fracture so no need for surgery.
  • This past week, Jody and I had dinner with my “brother”, Bubba, when he came into town for a short work visit.  Years ago I met him online and he was pretty shy about sharing his real name, so I just started calling him Bubba.  We met on a (a game site) and before long were we convincing people we were brother and sister.  Somewhere along the line we convinced each other and now over a decade later, I still call him my brother and he calls me Sis.   I still call him Bubba even though I know his real name now.  It’s payback for initially thinking I was an axe murderer.
  • Jody and I will be starting a summer bowling league in June.  It’s been about 20 years since we’ve bowled regularly and, easily, more than a decade since the last time I actually bowled at all.  I’m really looking forward to that.
  • Got the garden planted.  We’ll be trying to grow tomatoes, bell peppers, spinach, potatoes, carrots, green onions and herbs.  DSC_0188
  • I’ve been sewing a bit and I’m looking forward to summer actually arriving and STAYING.

And that’s about all the news that’s fit to print.


I’m not saying I’m lazy, but….

I’ve been a little more motivated this time to lose weight.  I’ve been a member of SparkPeople for quite a few years now but I’ve never really been all that motivated to make a change.  This time, I’ve been working on it for about a month or so.  I know that if I had to change my eating habits too drastically I’d never stick with it, so I’ve changed enough so that I lose 1-2 lbs a week.  Closer to the 1 lb than the 2.  It’s slow going this way but I’m making healthy changes in a way that I can continue.

Before I go any farther, SparkPeople is a weight loss site that is FREE.  There you can find support groups, diet and exercise help, and the online tools you need to track it all.  Did I mention FREE?   There are extras that they do sell — cookbooks, exercise videos, etc. — but it’s all extra.  You don’t need any of it to feel like a part of the community.

Anyway, since I’ve been logging into SparkPeople every day and diligently entering all the food I eat and my exercise, I decided to take this one step further.  I purchased the Spark Activity Tracker.  It’s a pedometer type device that automatically uploads the information to SparkPeople.

In the past on the days I didn’t actually feel like doing exercise, if I had a good number of steps recorded on my pedometer app on my phone over the course of the day, I would count them as my workout.  That’s really cheating since 30 minutes of walking 2.7 mph is way different when you do it in one chunk or if you do it over the course of 8 hours.  *sheepish grin*

Now with the Spark Activity Tracker (SAT) I’m screwed.  It keeps track of my steps so that they get automatically uploaded to SparkPeople via wifi BUT it also knows that I didn’t do my steps in a work out of 10 minutes or more.  So now I actually have to do a workout to be able to count activity as a workout.  *sigh*  It’ll keep me honest but it undermines my inner sloth.

I received my SAT yesterday.  So today was my first full day with it.  I reached my goal of 6000 steps but I wanted all the lights on the SAT to light up so I knew I had to do at least 10 minutes of the Death Machine or Recumbent Bike.  So I did.  I was rewarded with this:  150322Spark

WOOHOO.  As crazy as it sounds, I’m motivated to work out so I can see all the lights lit.  That can’t be a bad thing.

Cooking Light Diet Continues

I’ve had pretty good luck with the Cooking Light Diet.  For the most part, the recipes are easy to make and actually quite tasty.  Tonight was no exception.  I made Weeknight Lemon Chicken Skillet Supper.  What could be easier than an almost one skillet meal?  I say almost because you do have to boil some red potatoes prior to putting them in the skillet.  Other than that it’s only the one skillet.  Reading the reviews on the website, most of the reviews were about the sauce being thin, which it was, and the sauce being a bit bland.  I can’t really argue with either one of those points but both are very easy to rectify.

One thing I did differently from the very start was that I chose to use broccoli instead of green beans.  As many of you know, I hate green beans with such a passion that I swear they are Satan’s second favorite vegetable — the first being Brussels sprouts.

Here is my mise en place:


While the potatoes boiled, I browned the chicken on the stove top and then moved to the skillet to the oven to continue cooking.  (As you may be able to tell I used chicken breasts instead of the boneless skinless chicken thighs the recipe called for.  As a result, the chicken did over cook a bit and next time I would definitely use the chicken thighs.)


Next up I sautéed the mushrooms and potatoes together to get a nice browning on both.


Finally, it was time to marry everything in the skillet on the stove top.  Lemons, potatoes, mushrooms, chicken, chicken broth, and a slurry of milk and flour simmered for about 10 minutes and then it was time to eat.


If you don’t like a lot of lemon, you may want to cut back on the amount of lemon they tell you to put in the sauce.  We actually like a good tart lemon flavor.  Similarly if you prefer a spicy sauce, I bet this recipe would take well to an addition of red pepper flakes.  I will probably do that next time since we do tend to like our foods spicy.

All in all, it was a very good start.  I do think I would prefer a thicker sauce and I would probably add the red pepper flakes.

I definitely would rate this recipe as Good and with a couple of tweaks I think it could get a rating of Excellent.

Walnut Crusted Oven-Fried Chicken

I went way outside my comfort zone today for supper.  I made Walnut and Rosemary Oven-Fried Chicken for supper.   It’s a recipe from the November 2010 issue of Cooking Light Magazine and it just happened to come up as the choice for tonight’s supper on the Cooking Light Diet.

I’m not a nut lover and I was really quite sure that I would end up having to scrape all the walnuts off the chicken in order to eat it.  I didn’t have to do that.  It was really quite tasty.

I did put the walnuts that I bought already chopped, into my spice grinder (aka coffee grinder that I use solely for spices and the like) and chopped them up pretty finely.

I served the chicken with Buttered Carrots and Sauteed Broccoli Rabe.  I’m NOT a fan of broccoli rabe I found out today.  I’d never tried it so in the spirit of opening up to new things, I made the chicken with walnuts and the broccoli rabe.


Two Weeks of Nutrisystem….

As I mentioned in my last post, I need to lose weight and I wanted to give Nutrisystem a try.  Since Walmart sells 5 day kits, I bought two of them….one was “regular” and the other was categorized “diabetic.”   After I bought them, I then decided to google them and see what the consensus was.  Not being able to find any recent reviews, I embarked on this taste test.

I was going to try each one and give you a run down on each meal, but that seemed a bit presumptuous.  Not even my husband cares about my opinion that much.

So overall the food wasn’t bad.  I wouldn’t consider it good, but if I didn’t enjoy cooking or I were a bad cook, I wouldn’t think twice about staying on the Nutrisystem diet.  But the truth is that I think I”m a pretty good cook and so does my husband and I felt pretty bad feeding him microwave meals just because I was doing a diet with prepared meals.

On the two weeks  I was on the diet, I lost about 5 pounds.  For the most part I didn’t feel hungry, but honestly, if I never see another clementine or another string cheese stick it will be too soon.

I don’t tend to eat breakfast or dessert so my husband was the recipient of those items.  He wasn’t fond of the Oreo-type cookies, but everything else he seemed to like.  I LOVED the chicken pot pie and the home-style chicken.  Most everything else was ok.  The cheese tortellini met an early death.  That was NOT good.

I’m glad I tried it and if you’re considering Nutrisystem it may be in your best interest to go to Walmart and get a 5 day kit and give it a try.  Some of the meals are good; some not so much.

Now that I’ve proven to myself that I can live off of “normal” portion sizes, I’m eager to continue on my weight loss journey.  I know I need something less restrictive than Nutrisystem but I also know that figuring the points for Weight Watchers isn’t quite for me.

I’m a fan of Cooking Light Magazine and have tried many of their meals and haven’t gotten a bad one yet.  They just happen to have a new Cooking Light Diet.  They come up with 7 days of meals (breakfast, lunch, supper and a snack) and you do the shopping and cooking.

I did the first supper of that diet tonight.  It was a Southwestern Salsa Burger.  It consisted of 90% lean ground beef, ground chipotle pepper, pepper jack cheese, and salsa.  It was really yummy.  It didn’t taste like “diet” food but the entire burger — including the bun — was only 328 calories.  What gave it away as diet food was that it was served with a salad instead of french fries.  Still at the end of the meal I was full and satisfied.  I felt naughty.