Sunday, October 28, 2012

Week 17 Weigh In: Falling off the wagon

Old Wagon by WKeown, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic License  by  WKeown 

Previous Weight =166 lbs
Today's Weight = 171.8 lbs
Weight Gained = 5.8 lbs
Total Lost = 8.2 lbs

Wow! I definitely fell off the wagon. I gained 5.8 lbs in the last 3 weeks. I thought I had it all figured out, I was losing weight at a steady rate, eating mostly healthy, and exercising. For the past 3 weeks I've been traveling quite a bit for work and for some family stuff, and when I wasn't following my normal routine I did terribly. I still got a reasonable amount of exercise (although less than normal), but I found myself eating too much junk food and huge portions. It definitely showed on the scale.

What I learned: keeping my normal routine is essential for me to stay on track right now. Now that my life has calmed down a bit, I'm back to it. I obviously have to work on strategies to stay on track when I'm not at home. But, I'm back at it now. I'm recommitting to eating healthy, and I just joined a weight training class to keep me on track with my lifting. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for major weight loss next week.

This week's goals:
  • Track my food and exercise daily
  • Don't exceed 2,000 calories per day
  • Exercise at least 4 days

What are your goals this week? Do you have strategies to stay on track when you're traveling or super busy?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Eating Healthy on A Budget: Do It Yourself "Chicken Rice-A-Roni"

My "Chicken Rice-A-Roni". I added corn to this batch.

I'm a grad student. I get paid a stipend, but I'm not bringing in a lot of extra money. So, it's important for me to make meals that are both healthy and inexpensive. This great recipe fits the bill, and it's tasty too. If you're not swimming in extra cash (and really, who is?) you may want to give it a try as well. Adapted from Kitchen Stewardship.

Do It Yourself "Chicken Rice-A-Roni"

1 cup brown rice
2 cups chicken stock (If you made my Fauxtisserie Chicken you've got everything you need to make your own chicken stock)
1 onion, chopped
2-3 stalks celery, chopped
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
salt and pepper to taste


  1. Saute onion and celery in a bit of water or oil for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add chicken stock, rice, salt and pepper.
  3. Bring to boil and stir.
  4. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes until rice is cooked and the liquid is absorbed.
  5. Stir in beans.
  6. Enjoy!
This is a great basic recipe. It can be modified depending on your tastes or what you've got on hand. You can mix in your favorite veggie with the beans, I added corn to this batch. It's also good with some chicken mixed in. And, you can experiment with adding your favorite spices.

Do you have a favorite budget friendly meal? What do you do to save money on groceries?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Friend Makin' Monday: Inside Your Home

Happy Monday Everyone! On Monday Kenlie over at All the Weigh hosts Friend Makin' Monday. How does it work? She posts questions on her blog. You answer them on your own blog, and then post a link at on All the Weigh. So, here are my answers. If you want to participate answer these questions on your own blog, and post the link in the comments of Kenlie's blog.

Inside Your Home

1. Do you live in an apartment/condo, townhouse or house?  Apartment

2. What is your home’s coolest feature? It has two balconies. I love sitting outside and reading when the weather is nice.

3.  Do you enjoy DIY projects?  If so, what are you working on now?  Not really. I can sew a bit, and do basic repairs, but I wouldn't say that I usually enjoy that kind of thing.

4. When using the dishwasher do you use powder detergent or liquid? Sadly I don't have a dishwasher. I use palmolive liquid soap and wash them by hand. When I finally have a dishwasher I'll know I've really made it in life. ;-)

5. Do you have a TV in your bedroom?  No. My bedroom is for sleeping. And, I definitely don't need to make it easier to watch TV. I watch too much already.

6.  Is your range gas or electric?  Gas. I love it.

7.  How often do you sweep/mop/vacuum?  Not nearly often enough.

8.  What is your favorite place to shop for home furniture and accents? Target. It's also my favorite place to shop for just about everything else.

9.  Do you decorate for holidays?  Not really. I'm much too lazy, and am rarely home. I occasionally set out a couple ornaments.

10.  If you could have HGTV come in and redo one room in your home which room would you choose?  My kitchen. I cook frequently, and I just don't love my kitchen. Everything is white and it's a bit short on counter space. Also, as a mentioned above, I would really love a dishwasher.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Kicking My Addiction and Healthy Oatmeal Cookies

My Addiction: Chocolate Peppermint Stick Luna Bars

I usually eat a reasonably healthy, varied diet- with one exception. I am absolutely, hopelessly addicted to Chocolate Peppermint Stick Luna Bars. It all started when I was looking for a quick, easy, filling, tasty snack   that I could leave in my desk at work for those days when I end up staying late and am absolutely starving. Luna bars are perfect for this, and I figured I'd end up eating maybe 3 a month. Fine. But, that's not what happened. I found myself beginning to eat them more and more frequently until I was up to 1-2 a day. They masquerade as a health food- high in protein and fiber, organic, just for women, but really they offer little more nutrition than a candy bar.

The next thing I know I'm eating one every day at work as a pre-lunch snack. And, these little bars aren't cheap or healthy. I might as well eat a candy bar every morning. So, I've been trying to cut back on luna bars and replace them with healthier alternatives. One of my favorites are these healthy oatmeal cookies. They usually satisfy my sweet tooth and are just as quick to snack on as luna bars. On the plus side, they are much healthier and cheaper. As a disclaimer- while these are good, they are more biscuit-like than cookie-like. If you eat one expecting a cookie you might be disappointed, but these are quite good.

My healthy oatmeal cookies. Yummy!

Healthy Oatmeal Cookies
Adapted from this recipe. This recipe makes ~40 cookies. They freeze well. I usually store them in ziplock bags, 2 cookies per bag, in the freezer. Then I just throw a couple in my lunch in the morning and they're thawed by the time I want to eat them. Like I said above, these are more like biscuits or granola bars than cookies, but they're delicious.

3 cups oatmeal
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup raisins


  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine applesauce, honey and vanilla.
  3. Mix in dry ingredients.
  4. Stir in raisins.
  5. Roll into ball and place on cookie sheet.
  6. Smash with spoons to about 1/4 inch thickness. These will not spread at all. So make sure they are the desired shape and thickness before baking.
  7. Bake 275 degrees Fahrenheit for 22-25 minutes.
  8. Enjoy!
Nutrition information is for entire batch (~40 cookies).
So each cookie is about 64 calories.

What foods do you find it hard to stop eating too much of? Do you have any favorite healthy versions of old favorite recipes?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Week 14 Weigh In

Prevent Yo-Yo Dieting by o5com, on Flickr

Previous Week's Weight =166 lbs
Today's Weight = 166 lbs
Lost This Week= 0 lbs
Total Lost = 14 lbs

Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License
by  o5com 

Bummer. I didn't lose any weight this week, but at least I didn't gain any weight either. Hopefully next week will be better. I got back on track with logging my food intake, and counting calories. However, I didn't do a great job sticking to my 2,000 calorie limit. I was closer to 2,200 calories this week. I definitely need to work on that.

Exercise was good this week, and I finally managed to lift weights twice. Here's what I did.
  • Saturday: Weights
  • Sunday: Tennis
  • Monday: Kickball
  • Tuesday: Tennis
  • Wednesday: Ballet Class
  • Thursday: Weights
  • Friday: Rest

Last week's goals: I achieved both!
  • Lift weights at least twice- I've been trying to get in twice weekly weight lifting sessions for the past couple months, but it's been kind of hit or miss. I'm glad I got it in this week, but I need to really focus on this to make it a habit.
  • Log my daily food intake- I logged my food every day- good. But, I went over my calorie limit most days- not so good.

This week's goals:
  • Lift weights at least twice
  • Don't exceed 2,000 calories per day

What are your goals this week?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

October Goals

October is here. Now that fall has arrived I can enjoy all things pumpkin! I LOVE pumpkin! And, it's time to set some new goals. Here's how I did with my September goals, and the plan for October.

September Goals
  • Swim at least 10 miles- Done! I got in an extra 1.5 miles for a total of 11.5 miles. Awesome!
  • Lose 2 lbs (bringing from overweight to healthy)- Done! I lost 3.6 lbs this month. I exceeded my 2 lb goal, and am now well within the healthy weight range. Super!
October goals
  • Lift weights at least 2x per week
  • Keep logging my daily calories (I've been a little bit lax with this the last couple weeks)
  • Lose at least 2 lbs
I'm very happy with how I did in September. Hopefully October will be just as successful. I haven't been doing a good job of logging my calories for the past week or so. I really need to get back on track with that so that I'll keep losing weight.

What are your October goals? Did you meet your September goals? What is your favorite thing about fall?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Week 13 Weigh In

Prevent Yo-Yo Dieting by o5com, on Flickr

Previous Week's Weight =168.2 lbs
Today's Weight = 166 lbs
Lost This Week= 2.2 lbs
Total Lost = 14 lbs

Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License
by  o5com 

Woohoo! I'm down 2.2 lbs. I'm super happy with that, and honestly, a bit surprised. I usually stick to 2,000 calories per day, but I didn't track my calories this week. I tried to make healthy choices and eat intuitively. And, apparently I did better with it than I though (or I just got lucky this week). It's funny how some weeks when I think I've done terribly I lose a lot of weight. But, other weeks when I working super hard and doing everything right the scale doesn't budge. That's life I guess.

Exercise was great last week. Here's what I did.

  • Saturday: Swim- 2 miles
  • Sunday: Swim- 2 miles
  • Monday: Kickball
  • Tuesday: Tennis
  • Wednesday: Ballet Class
  • Thursday: Swim- 1 miles, lift weights
  • Friday: Rest
I'm beginning to think it might be a good idea to schedule my exercise the week before, so that I make sure I get everything in. My ballet classes, tennis matches, and kickball games are usually scheduled in advance. And, I like being able to throw in a swim or lift weights whenever I feel like it. But, I haven't been doing a great job getting them in regularly. I usually have a tentative mental exercise plan, but it may be time to write it down (once it's written down it's harder to cheat). I'm thinking I need a giant whiteboard with a weekly exercise schedule.

Last week's goals: I achieved 1/3- I need to work a bit harder this week.
  • Lift weights at least twice- I only went once again this week. I really need to work harder to make this happen at least 2X per week consistently.
  • Continue logging my daily food intake- This week was crazy. Many unplanned things came up which made it impossible for me to plan my meals in advance which is what I usually do to hit my calorie target. So, I ended up only tracking my calories one day this week. But, I tried to make healthy choices, and practice intuitive eating. I was expecting this to show on the scale this week, but instead I lost 2.2 lbs. Awesome! I'm going to go back to logging calories this week, but it gives me hope that I will eventually be able to maintain without counting calories.
  • Swim at least two times- I did great with swimming this week. I went for 3 swims this week (2- 2 mile swims, and 1 1-mile swim). I feel really good about this one.

This week's goals:
  • Lift weights at least twice
  • Log my daily food intake

What are your goals this week? Do you plan your exercise for the week in advance? What do you use to plan your exercise schedule (i.e. a whiteboard, calendar, in your head, an app, nothing)?