Spring Came Early!

I live in central Pennsylvania, so I’m normally buried under snow drifts and shivering in sub-zero temperatures this time of the year. This year? No way, Jose! The last few days have been absolutely gorgeous, hitting nearly 70 degrees at times. Is it likely to last? No. BUT I think that makes it even sweeter, and I’m enjoying it while it’s here.

The biggest impact of this weather (other than on my mood) is that it makes me want to be outside to soak it in. I’ve been going for walks with the baby (who is also loving the nicer weather), trying to get those steps in. My daily goal is 5000 steps, but I’ve been aiming for 7000, and I’ve been doing pretty alright! These walks have taken the place of my time on the recumbent bike.

All’s been well on the diet front since Friday. I had a pretty big binge on Thursday that included 2 dinners, but I bounced back. I’ve been journaling to try to nail down my triggers, and honestly… I can’t figure this one out. I was fine, had recently had a snack along with plenty of water that day when all of a sudden, I was pulling into a drive-thru. And later, I pulled into another drive-thru even though I was still full from the first time.

It’s silly of me to hope that I will never binge again, but it doesn’t change the extreme disappointment and shame every time it happens. During the first year of my “rebirth,” I didn’t binge — at all. But as soon as I did it once, it was like my body remembered how  wonderful it felt and never wanted to go without it again. I haven’t been able to get it under control for more than a few weeks at a time since then.

My next doctor’s appointment is on Wednesday, and I’m nervous about how she’ll react when I tell her about the past 3 weeks since she was so pumped up, positive and encouraged at my last visit when I’d lost 12 pounds. I hate disappointing people. I also need to prove to her that I am dedicated to making a change if I ever do decide that I want to move in the direction of a weight loss surgery.

I’m not sure that I’ve explained the way I’ve been doing my meal planning this time around. I don’t have all the time that I had before the kiddo came along to spend so much time prepping meals on Sunday, so I created an Excel template that allows me to 1. Plan my lunches/dinners for the week, 2. Create my shopping list as I go, and 3. Save these plans so I can easily go back through for inspiration. The usual plan is to make enough at dinner to provide leftovers for lunch the following day. I also periodically compile and freeze a few meals to make life easier (oven, crock pot, and skillet meals). Here is my dinner meal plan for the week:

  • Saturday: Skinny Beef Casserole
  • Sunday: (amended) Turkey sandwich
  • Monday: Ground pork and cabbage
  • Tuesday: Ritz cracker chicken with steamed asparagus
  • Wednesday: Meat loaf (freezer meal) served with sweet potatoes and green beans
  • Friday: Eat out/leftovers

Reviews:

  • Skinny Beef Casserole was pretty good, but could have used Worcestershire sauce, though I did use crushed tomatoes from our garden that I canned after a harvest last summer instead of tomato sauce like it called for.
  • Ground pork and cabbage was phenomenal just as written. Could maybe have used a touch more turmeric. I also divided into 4 servings instead of 3.

How’s your week??

Week 26 Weigh-In

Finally… an update! I have had a very stressful and crazy busy week and a half! There was a major crisis at work that was taking all my time and attention. I’ve mentioned before that I am a financial analyst, so I’m sure you can imagine exactly how awesome and fun that’s been.

I haven’t fallen off the wagon, though I did give into some carb cravings. All within the prescribed allowances, and I’ve kept up with the step challenge, in spite of Fitbit refusing to sync my actual steps to the challenges! I’m not as lazy as it’s making me look, I swear!

  • Starting Weight: 353.4 lbs
  • Last Week: 271.4 lbs
  • Current Week: 269.8 lbs
  • This week’s change: -1.6 lbs
  • Change overall: -83.6 lbs

Right now, I have the Pioneer Woman’s Chicken with Garlic and Tomatoes in my oven. I altered it slightly to fit my tastes and whatnot, but wow, does my house smell INCREDIBLE right now!

That’s all I have for now. I have many things to catch up with around the house since everything went to hell while I was busy. I will post my alterations to the recipe above, along with something more substantial, my monthly measurements and my step challenge results at a later time!

It’s good to be back! How have you guys been?

Slowcooker Chicken Corn Soup with Egg Rivels

If there’s one thing the Pennsylvania Dutch do well, it’s cook. Oh Lordy, do we cook! Pennsylvania is known for having at least one pretzel or chip factory, bakery, or some sort of bologna named after towns roughly… everywhere. I can safely say that I live within 15 miles of a potato chip factory in one direction, and there’s another potato chip factory 30 miles in another direction. And how could I forget Hershey, PA? I work just 15 minutes from Hershey!

Anyway, you fellow Pennsylvanians know where I’m going with this post. Chicken corn soup is some sort of religion around these parts. It is comfort food at its finest, loaded up with a whole chicken, eggs, butter, RIVELS. It’s not exactly usually waistline-friendly. If you are from outside the realm of Pennsylvania, you’re likely thinking, “What’s a rivel? Did she make that up?”

I was looking through my Betty Crocker cookbook from 1950 when I was inspired to remake this delicious classic. When I mentioned to my husband that I was going to make it today, his eyes lit up like it was Christmas, and then he said, “REAL chicken corn soup?” The poor guy.

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Cheesy Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Breasts

Sometimes, you need something quick and easy that just looks like you put a lot of effort into it. I am totally into rolling stuff up inside a chicken breast and calling it dinner. It’s fun, a little messy, and husbands/friends are usually impressed by your awesome chicken rolling skills. Make them for your New Year’s Eve celebration!

These are a cross between every Skinnytaste stuffed chicken recipe ever and Hungry Girl’s Buffalo chicken tenders (from one of her cookbooks… I wasn’t able to find the recipe online). They are very simple and are sure to please your significant other!

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Peanut Butter Cup Overnight Oats

Ok, I get it. The holidays are over. You’re in a sugar coma. BUT I have an excellent way for you to incorporate those lingering sugar cravings into healthy eating.

I was browsing the web for more overnight oatmeal recipes one day when I stumbled upon a peanut butter cup oatmeal recipe. I was super excited! I tried it, and I found it lackluster. I loved the idea of it so much that I started toying with it until I developed what I believe is the perfect flavor explosion of peanut butter cups for breakfast! It’s pretty high in points, but ask yourself: is a peanut butter cup mousse-like breakfast worth it? YES!

For those of you who have never tried overnight oatmeal before, the premise is simple. You mix the ingredients together the night before, portion into jars (or bowls) with lids, and it’s ready to eat in the morning! It’s good for up to two days. I’ve also made portions ahead of time and frozen them. Just move one from the freezer to the fridge the night before you plan to eat it!

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Food!

I haven’t made a food or recipe post in a very long time, so here is what I have been up to for the past few weeks.

Yes, it’s been delicious! I’ve also typed up and scheduled 2 actual recipes to share with you.

Please let me know if you want additional information on any of the recipes pictured here. I’m always willing to share with you guys!

Also, I have made some pretty exciting changes to the layout of my blog, including a Progress section that showcases photos of me throughout the years in addition to my weight tracker and a new Before and During section. Check it out and let me know what you think! The link is in my menu bar – 3 pages in total. Is it too hard to navigate? Should I move the 25-photo gallery into a different area?

Thanks for checking in!

Week 16 Weigh-In

I was really worried that I was going to keep up my trend of gaining every other week, but I broke that streak!

  • Starting Weight: 353.4 lbs
  • Last Week: 292.6 lbs
  • Current Week: 291.8 lbs
  • This week’s change: -0.8 lbs
  • Change overall: -61.6 lbs

With the exception of my weigh-in posts, I have really been slacking on my blogging lately. I have a few posts floating around in my head that I just need to sit down and write, including at least 2 recipes and probably about 3 other posts that require actual thinking to write out.

I have been cooking a lot lately. I made this Buffalo Chicken Lasagna recipe yesterday, and it was a hit with the husband and even the little brother! I can’t think of a thing I would change about it (though I poached and shredded the chicken instead of cubing it because I am lazy and also didn’t like the idea of chicken chunks in my lasagna).

I can tell that my body is changing, and I am feeling much better overall. With these changes has come much dancing to oldies while cooking, washing the dishes, cleaning, and even while typing this post! I seriously just took a dance break when “Do You Love Me” by The Contours came on. It is a very rare occasion that I listen to music from this century. Some day, I will go into my love of all things vintage and mod at length… including the fashion that is one of my biggest motivators for getting healthy.

This afternoon I got to thinking about all that dancing and thought that maybe a few months from now, I would like to take dancing lessons. I always wanted to learn swing dancing (I love both playing and listening to big band music! I think I should learn to dance to it too!), but I was always too self-conscious and out-of-shape to give it a shot.

The Glenn Miller Orchestra

What things are you thinking of doing now that you’re not allowing yourself to be limited by your fear?

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Bake (bonus homemade ranch!)

Here’s a 2-for-1 recipe deal!

There’s just something about a good roux that makes me a very happy lady. Mix a roux with bacon, and I’m even happier! I also am a huge fan of dill weed. I put that s#!@ on everything.

D took a bite of this and said, “This tastes just like that Dominos thing!”

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Bake

ChickenBaconRanch3

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Jalapeno Popper Turkey Chili

Though I haven’t been posting many recipes lately, I have still been cooking a lot! Mostly, I’ve been totally obsessed with Skinnytaste. The other day, I made her Cheesy Jalapeno Popper Baked Stuffed Chicken. D told me that he would be perfectly happy eating that every day for the rest of his life! It was seriously fantastic.

After making these, I had some cream cheese left over, so when I found this chili recipe, I jumped on it! I did make some alterations, which I will post below.

My thoughts? While it was good, it didn’t taste like jalapeno poppers. I knew I shouldn’t have put the jalapeno peppers in so early on in the recipe. Next time I make it, I will reserve them for near the end.

With that tidbit in mind, let’s get to the goods!  Continue reading