working towards a better me... 1 pound at a time.

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Monday, July 18, 2011

It's been a while..

Yes, I know. I don't have too many followers, so maybe I'm less motivated to update. I am still going strong on my WLJ (and when I say going strong, I mean working hard.. not necessarily losing weight).

It's been frustrating the past few weeks. I've really been watching my intake - AND working my tail off at the gym. I go pretty much every day, sometimes twice a day. I've been okay at maintaining my 'stay away from carbs' rule that began during my foray into the 17 day diet. I think I'd like to try the full-blown plan again.. but I have to get Kris on board. He gets that *ugh* sound in his voice when I mention that I'm going to have a strict week.

I must say, though - he's been very supportive of me: being my buddy at the gym whenever he can, not tempting me with trigger foods, and being my shoulder to cry on. Especially when I had a complete breakdown that began at the gym last week and continued in the car on the way home.

Sometimes there's nothing he can say or do though.. because when I weighed in last week, I had GAINED a pound.. putting me farther from the 15 lb mark I was working so hard to hit. I was so frustrated, I couldn't bring myself to participate during the meeting and ended up leaving halfway through because I felt like crying, again.

It was probably just my emotions (ugh.. being a girl sucks) getting the best of me.. but that doesn't mean I'm any less frustrated. I'm gonna keep plugging along though.. because I have gotten some great compliments from people saying I look really good.. even though it's not reflecting on the scale.

I know the rest of the summer is going to fly by.. between vacations, and baking, and getting ready for the fall semester. I'll try and keep updating.. even though I don't have any fun recipes to share. I've been sticking to my tried-and-true foods that I know by heart and don't take a lot of time. Who knew being on break from school could keep me so busy?! If you're really eager to know what's going on with me, you can follow my tumblr, which I update more often with my rants: (fyi - you can plug it into your google reading list and my posts will pop up).

Now I hope to make it through my first night shift in weeks.. and have the energy to go to the gym when I get off. Wish me luck!

Friday, June 17, 2011

homemade superfood

Anyone else out there a fan of Odwalla Superfood? 
Because I am... I seriously can't get enough. But it's CRAZY expensive!!! Ahem - $7-10 a bottle? No thanks.. So I set out to create my own.. and after a couple of tries, I got it just right. Kris even agrees that it tastes just like it! The thing that sets superfood apart from your run-of-the-mill smoothie is Spirulina powder. I wasn't sure what it was until I bought it... but after reading the bottle I was convinced. It has a TON of great nutrition - a full day's worth of what you would get out of all your fruit and veggie servings, in 2 teaspoons. Crazy, right? Don't get me wrong, I still eat my veggies... but a little (or a lot) extra couldn't hurt! I bought mine at Andronico's, but I've seen it at Whole Foods, GNC and of course Amazon!

Homemade 'Superfood' - 1 serving, 3P+*
 2 cups frozen fruit of choice (I tend to use strawberries and mango - but I've also added passion fruit, blueberries and/or bananas)**
1/8 cup frozen OJ concentrate
3/8 cup water
(you can use as much OJ as you want, fresh even.. but when I have a carton of juice in my fridge, I'll drink it - and who wants to drink all their calories?? This way, I'm forced to measure it out to get the correct 1:3 concentrate to water ratio)
2 tsp Spirulina powder
When strawberries are really cheap in the summertime, I buy a palate at the farmers' market. I clean and slice them, then put them in ziploc bags to freeze and use the rest of the year. I'm at the tail end of last years' berries =).
*I count the concentrate as well as the additional cup of fruit. This is just what I do because it's more than one serving at a time... but I know there is much debate over how to count smoothie points, so to each her own! 
**If you want your superfood to be authentic, the actual ingredients are: strawberries, banana, peaches, mango, apple juice, & spirulina.

You have 2 options: you can make it as a smoothie, or you can make it more like a juice. I do the latter because I can prepare it ahead of time and whip it together in a second with my immersion blender. MUCH easier clean up than a blender.

Place fruit, concentrate and water in a cup. Cover, and leave in the fridge for a couple of hours, up to overnight. Right before blending, add 2 teaspoons powder. Blend until completely combined... in other words, until your entire drink is that lovely green color.
I have made more than enough at times, and left it in the fridge for a day or so... it's still yummy, but takes on a grainy texture from the Spirulina. So, if you want to blend it ahead of time - go for it, but know that the texture will change. ^_^

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Busy Summer!

I figured once I was done with finals I would be more free to exercise, focus on my weight loss and blog.. but that SO has not been the case.

I have been loosely following the 17-day diet because my mom got me the book... which, by the way, made me feel really horrible about myself. Ugh. Really though, once I read it, I was pleasantly surprised at how healthy it seemed and although it's very restrictive, I figured I'd give it a shot.

Basically it's a low-carb diet with some very specific features. For example, as soon as you wake up a cup of hot water with lemon. And you have green tea with every meal. The only carbs I'm allowed to have are fruit, which you're not supposed to have after 2pm.

I say I've been 'loosely' following it is because I haven't been doing these specific things. I had a couple big FAIL days where I went out and veered off track.

FAIL day 1: wine tasting with the bestie... not too bad except for the fact I had a TON of wine. Here's a picture of our picnic lunch - I brought hummus, carrots & celery, turkey and string cheese.
See our boxed wine? Only the best 'cuz we're so classy.
FAIL day 2: graduation party with the fam... I had tri-tip (not allowed), and an ice-cream sundae (I made it myself with 1 scoop of ice cream topped with strawberries and bananas, but not allowed nonetheless).

FAIL day 3: concert with friends... hamburger (without the bun and no condiments or cheese, but still), french fries (weakness), beer.. and it went downhill from there (2 long islands, kettle corn and a couple bites of a soft pretzel).

Needless to say - I do like how I've been pretty good at avoiding carbs, which are my big weakness AND trigger food... and I'm eating even MORE fruits and veggies even since I've started back on the P+ program. I'm stuck in a weight loss rut though (no gain or loss), and I think I need to concentrate on my eating habits more.

In other news, I entered my corset cookies into Sweetopia's "Sweet of the Week" contest and they're finally up! These are a set I made.. I sent her the picture of my red and black ones.
If you like them, go vote for me HERE!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Homemade Latte tutorial...

So in an attempt to save money, I did some trial-and-error to figure out how to make a homemade latte... I burned a lot of milk and dumped a lot of coffee before I finally got a quick enough system that I will actually do - and tastes good!!! Here's what you'll need: a mason jar with lid, coffee beans (dark roasts are best - I'm using Starbucks French Roast), a coffee grinder (you can buy coffee already ground, but it has a fresher taste this way, and you can grind it more fine - which works better in making 'espresso'), coffee filters, milk and a coffee pot.
Start by grinding the beans as finely as possible, using 2 scoops (4 Tbsp) for each 'cup'. I use 4 scoops of fine ground coffee for 2 'cups' of water. (I put cups in quotes because I always forget how many ounces are in each cup of coffee according to the marks on the pot). Place the scoops into 2 filters doubled up. Using a second filter allows the water to move more slowly through the filter, making a stronger brew.
Pack down the coffee using a flat-bottomed glass. I'm not sure why... anyone out there who works at a coffee shop - maybe you know?? (Notice the double filter? ^_^)
Now pour a cup of milk into the mason jar (easy to measure because it already has 8oz markings on it!)
Place the top on the jar, and shake the milk for about 15 seconds, or until you get a decent amount of foam started.
Now remove the lid (very important! I will not be held responsible for ruining anyone's microwaves or burning houses down!) and place the jar in the microwave. Heat on high for 60-90 seconds. Be sure to watch it after 60 seconds to make sure the foam doesn't spill over. Microwaving it does a few things: heats the milk (obviously), firms up the foam, and having the foam on the top prevents the milk from scalding. Anyone who has tried to heat milk knows about the film that milk gets when you overheat it. Yuck.
Pour the coffee into your cup first, then follow with the heated milk. The milk will pour without the foam, and this works out well.
I like to add my sweeteners before the foam, because it mixes better instead of settling on top. In mine, I use 1 teaspoon of turbinado sugar and 2 teaspoons of creamer (total of 1P+)
Once mixing in your sweetener (if desired), spoon the foam over the top.
And enjoy!!! Yum!
I must apologize for my morning face.. But I was really happy to have my morning coffee!!! All for 3P+, and getting one dairy serving in. Yay!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Easy peasy potatoes

I had some ham my mom gave me... and didn't want to spend a lot of time on dinner, so this is what I came up with... giant potato skins with a tomato and cucumber salad (TJ's tuscan italian dressing & feta on top)...
Giant Loaded Potato Skins (6P+ each)

2 potatoes (1/2 lb each)
2 tsp EVOO
1/4 cup fat free half & half
1/3 cup fat free sour cream (I added ranch dressing mix to mine)
1 cup shredded Jarlsberg cheese
1 cup diced lean ham
1/4 cup chives, plus more for garnish
1 tsp pepper
4 Tbsp light shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Scrub potatoes and pat dry. Rub each potato with a tsp of EVOO. Place potatoes directly on rack and bake for 1 hour, or until done. Remove potatoes from oven and set it to broil. Once you can handle the potatoes, Cut each one in half and scoop out the insides (leaving about a 1/4 inch edge). Mix the potato innards with the remaining ingredients, except cheddar cheese. Spoon mixture back into skins, evenly distributing it between the 4. Top each skin with a Tbsp of cheddar cheese. Return potatoes to oven and broil for 4 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Garnish with remaining chives. SO YUM!

And for your viewing pleasure.. a funny picture of Juno resting:
obviously the proper way to use her bed...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Dinner Solo.

Kris went to a concert tonight so I was on my own for dinner... it finally gave me an excuse to try Gardein's chick'n strips. I saw the brand advertised on Ellen a few weeks ago when she had an episode on going vegan.. so naturally I was ecstatic when I found them at Fresh & Easy. The best part? They're 2P+ per serving while packing a whopping 18grams of protein!!!

*Addendum: I just had this for lunch today and doubled the chick'n since I was starving.. and it came out to only 3P+ for twice as much! A little FYI.*

I sauteed them in a bit of EVOO...
Then gathered together a flatout light wrap, lettuce, WW's caeser dressing (recipe below), and parmesan cheese.
I drizzled the wrap with 1 Tbsp of dressing, sprinkled on 1 tsp of freshly-grated parmesan, and topped it with the sauteed chicken and a handful of lettuce.
Not the prettiest wrap in the world (what can I say? I was STARVING), but it was yum! Total: 6P+

Caesar dressing (adapted from WW site) 1P+ per Tbsp:
2 eggs 
2 Tbsp anchovy paste

5 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, grated
6 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese

1/3 cup EVOO
salt & pepper to taste (I didn't add any salt b/c the anchovy paste is pretty salty)

To pasteurize the eggs, bring a small pot of water up the boiling, add the eggs, remove it from the heat, and let them sit for 3 minutes. Carefully remove eggs from pot and run them under hot water for a minute to cool them off. Place the paste, juice, mustard, garlic & cheese into a food processor and blend until combined. Add in eggs and process until incorporated. With food pro running, slowly drizzle in the EVOO (very slowly), until you've added it all.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Finals = Stress = No loss

I've been freaking out about school the past 2 weeks.. and it will probably continue for the next 2. I've been pretty much on plan.. except for the fact that I'm probably not eating a lot of veggies and not getting enough exercise.. and guess what? This combined with my extreme stress equals no weight loss. I am pretty frustrated.. but I also know how the human body works. Unfortunately when we're stressed our body releases cortisol, which slows down your metabolism and causes your body to hold onto the fat, carbs and protein you have taken in to use for energy later...

Sleep is also a problem... when your circadian rhythm (the natural sleep-wake cycle) is off, your body has an unregulated release of melatonin and cortisol as well... so since you're not following the natural cycle your body expects, the way the calories are stored and used is affected (especially if you're snacking when your body thinks you should be sleeping - GUILTY!). Ideally, we would all sleep 6-8 hours a night, while it's dark.. and be awake during the day, while it's light. That isn't the case for most people, especially me when I'm studying (Hello, 3am bedtime and 6am alarm.. ugh). 

It's difficult to tell my patients (and friends.. and family) the importance of taking care of themselves when I don't practice what I preach... but the idea is that I know what I should be doing and I WILL once my final is over. For now.. I'm gonna try and up my veggie intake and take at least a short walk every day so I'm making a couple positive changes.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Breakfast for dinner...

I tackled my fridge today in an effort to clean it.. and wrangled up all the products that needed to be used STAT. What did this mean in terms of dinner fare? Breakfast!!!

Sweet Potato Hash (adapted from Cooking Light)
4 servings, 4 P+ each

4 small sweet potatoes, chopped into 1/4-1/2 inch cubes (about 4 cups)
2 tsp olive oil
4 Morningstar farms (or other veggie) sausage links
3/4 cup chopped onion (I used green)
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar-free maple syrup
salt & pepper to taste

Place chopped potatoes into a microwave safe dish with some water and microwave for 8 minutes (or until tender) stirring halfway through. Drain. Microwave sausage links for 1 1/2 minutes. Chop into 'crumbles'. In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add chopped onion, and some salt & pepper, and saute until tender (about 3 minutes), then add chopped sausage and mix well. Add cooked potatoes to sausage/onion mixture and mix - evenly distribute potatoes around pan and leave for 4 minutes to brown. Flip potatoes and brown for about 3 minutes on other side (or until they're as crispy as you want them without burning!). Add additional salt & pepper as desired.

Zucchini & Asparagus scramble
2 LARGE servings, 3 P+ each

1/2 bunch asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 small zucchini, very thinly sliced
1 cup egg substitute (like egg beaters)
2 wedges Laughing cow light creamy swiss, cut into small chunks
salt & pepper to taste

Place asparagus pieces in microwave-safe dish with some water and microwave for 3-4 minutes, or until tender. Drain. Spray a non-stick skillet on medium-high heat with cooking spray and add onion & zucchini. Cook until zucchini is tender, about 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, and pour in egg substitute. Scramble until eggs are fully cooked, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with chunks of cheese and stir until melted. Fold in cooked asparagus pieces, and add salt & pepper to taste. Enjoy!
We were absolutely famished.. so I didn't take a picture before.. but here's the leftovers packed up and ready for me to heat for breakfast! As you can see.. we didn't finish the scramble - the veggies really bulked it up.. so the servings we had were probably closer to 2 P+. It would be great rounded out with a toasted mini bagel and some fruit for a power-packed breakfast!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Fresh & Easy

Fresh & Easy markets just recently started popping up around the bay area. I went to one for the first time earlier this week and was pleasantly surprised. It's very similar to Trader Joe's in prices, but there is a TON more 'ready-to-eat' food available. So much so.. I was super overwhelmed. I picked up a few things to see how I like it  while staying OP. For my night in clinicals I bought salmon with spinach and potatoes and I got Kris a curry dish (butter chicken I think). I loved mine - so delish and filling at 8 P+, and Kris said his was really good too! They have pizza dough in the fridge case - the Rosemary focaccia dough comes ready to roll and bake - with the instructions on the package:

Rosemary Foccacia (6 servings, 5 P+ per large piece)
Roll out dough onto a baking sheet covered with parchment or a silpat. Brush with 3 tsp EVOO. Grate & mash 2 cloves of garlic w/ a tsp of salt to make it spreadable, and spread over dough. Sprinkle on dried oregano, basil, & thyme to taste.

I served this with Chicken & Orzo soup from Safeway (3 1 cup servings, good if you like the flavor of lemongrass) 2 P+, and Cucumber/Tomato salad (2 servings, 2 P+ each):

1 Tomato, 1 Cucumber & 1/4 thinly sliced red onion
2 Tbsp TJ's Tuscan Italian dressing
2 Tbsp feta cheese

One of the other things I picked out from there was their Tomato & Basil Chicken sausage (Delicious and 3 P+ each - a bargain!). I used it to round out an otherwise vegetarian entree of Pasta Primavera.

Skillet Pasta Primavera, adapted from "Cooking for Two" (a cookbook I absolutely adore)
Makes 3 generous servings, 8 P+ each.
I took this after we both served ourselves.. See how big the servings are? Next time, I would add some roasted cherry tomatoes to the mix for a pop of color and I would add more asparagus & zucchini to boost the veggies. 
Cooking Spray
1/2 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small zucchini, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
2 1/4 cups water
1 cup white mushrooms, quartered
3 garlic cloves, minced (grate over a microplane a la Rachel Ray to save yourself from chopping)
2 cups vegetable broth (veg. bouillon is helpful here, but don't add salt, b/c it's NOT low sodium)
2 cups bow-tie pasta (I used Barilla Plus - tastes better than whole wheat but still has good NI)
1/4 cup fat free evaporated milk
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
2 tsp fresh lemon juice (I used a pack of True Lemon, my favorite - shelf stable, and tastes VERY fresh)

Spray a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the asparagus, zucchini & 1/4 cup of water. Cover and cook for 3 minutes, uncover and cook 1-2 minutes longer until most of the water is gone. Transfer to a bowl and cover. Spray skillet again and add the mushrooms with a pinch of salt. Cook for about 5 minutes until they have released their moisture and are golden brown. Transfer to the bowl with the other veggies and cover.

In the same skillet, add 2 tsp EVOO over medium heat, stir in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds (don't burn!). Add the remaining 2 cups water and broth, then the pasta. Increase heat to high and simmer/boil until pasta is cooked, about 15-20 minutes. Stir in the cooked vegetables, milk and peas and cook until the mixture is warmed through. Turn off the heat and add the cheese, basil and lemon. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Note to self...

I gained a bit this week, and my body is pissed:

Jennifer.. it's me.. your body. I have a few reminders for you.

1. Simply because you bake, doesn't mean you HAVE to eat it. A small taste is okay, but a huge piece of coconut cake, ice cream, and 2 lemon cake eggs? NOT acceptable.
I blame YOU for the gain.. the eggs a little bit.. but mostly you.
you're not off the hook, delicious cake eggs.. thanks for being tempting.
2. You know that tracker you so religiously use? It would be nice to do it correctly. Gaining 1lb in a week means that you didn't only go 3 points over your allowance.. it means you're grossly underestimating the nutritional value of what you're eating.

3. And exercise.. have you heard of it? That flabby tummy isn't going anywhere unless you get your butt of the couch.. so how about you do just that?

4. I've noticed you drink a lot. Maybe not an alcoholic.. I mean your liver hasn't started screaming yet.. but watch it. While champagne, and wine, and vodka, and long island iced teas are delicious, they're terrible for you, and you can't drink them with no fatty consequences.

That is all. Let's make better decisions this week, eh?

Friday, April 22, 2011

WOOOHOOO!!! (and april fool's)...

First and foremost.. WW is going really well for me. I'm not limiting myself, still going out and having fun.. and making a lot of good choices. I've lost a total of 7 pounds so far.. plus the tad more I lost when I resumed my blog. I can't wait to get back into the 180's again!!!

I do need to exercise more.. but I was proud of myself for choosing to walk to BART instead of driving when I went to the A's game the other day.. it was a good choice considering I had 3 beers =X

Anyways.. although April is more than halfway done - I made a cute 'April Fool's'  dinner for Kris on the big day. I'm not so good at pulling off pranks (as opposed to my brother who staged a skateboarding accident when he was in high school and scared the crap out of my mom.. it was full-on: fake blood, friend running to get my mom, neighbor 'calling' 911.. mean - but so funny looking back on it).. so I went with something I know how to do - cook!

I made meatloaf 'cupcakes' and banana 'eggrolls':
For the meatloaf, I used my favorite recipe from Cooking Light. It made 8 'cupcakes' and they only took about 20 minutes to bake. The 'frosting' was my standard mashed potatoes: russets with a mixture of almond milk, low-sodium chicken broth, and brummel & brown yogurt butter (if you warm up all the liquids together you tend to use less and they still turn out super creamy - especially if you use a hand mixer). I garnished them with chive 'sprinkles'.. it was fun! when Kris first came home he was like - "why is there a cupcake on my dinner plate??" (even funnier considering he's not a huge fan of sweets).
For dessert, I made banana 'eggrolls'.. not quite as funny, but it's what I had on hand. I quartered and then sliced the banana lengthwise - giving me 8 long pieces of banana. Then I placed them diagonally in square wonton wrappers and sprinkled them with a mixture of brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice. I folded the edges in and rolled them up like eggrolls - and baked them in a 400 degree oven for about 12 minutes (or until golden brown). They were yum!

That was my delayed post for the month.. =).. Although Spring Break has gone by way too fast.. I'm looking forward to another week of weight loss progress! Happy Easter everyone!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

catching up...

I had a totally busy/awesome weekend to kick off my spring break. I hung out at Applebee's with Kris and his friends on Friday.. and in an attempt to be a good girl, I ordered a 'skinny' mojito - 90 calories. It was really YUM! But then Kris ordered the sliders and all hell broke loose.. I ate 2.

Saturday I spent making this for my friend Stephanie's son's first birthday!!
It was one in a handful of 'sculpted' cakes I've done.. so I'm still learning - but I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out! Needless to say, it kept me busy this weekend! After a good nights' sleep I had to get my house ready for bunco on Monday night. We just started a group and I was the first to host. I think it turned out really nice.. and keeping with my 'healthified' lifestyle right now, I served all Hungry Girl appetizers. Too bad I didn't take pictures though.. The menu was: Crab Rangoonies, Pigs in a Blanket, Spinach-Artichoke Dip (with pita chips, carrots and celery sticks), and Fruit Kebobs that I put in mini flower pots - cute! Because I had some Easter M&Ms on hand, my friend Lisa made some miniature Cowboy Cookies, which were not 'light', so I stayed away from them. For beverages I made Strawberry Lemonade using Crystal Light lemonade and wild strawberry flavors, with some fresh strawberries in it as well. I put citrus vodka on the side for people to help themselves.. =) It was fun!!

To get back on track today from all the festivities I had the intention of going to the gym to sign up, but got busy cleaning. Instead, I did an on demand video from Crunch fitness called 'Lyrical Hip Hop'. It was SOOO much fun, and when I put 15 minutes of hip-hop dancing into the activity tracker for WW, it gave me 3 points - woot! (It was 25 minutes total but a lot of that was warm up and practicing the moves). Then for dinner I made Gnocchi with Shrimp, Asparagus and Pesto (9 Points + for a BIG serving) from Cooking Light (with some strawberries & grapes on the side):
Instead of just shrimp, I used a "Seafood Blend' from Trader Joe's of shrimp, bay scallops and calamari rings - it was cheaper than shrimp alone and SO good (which, BTW, for 1/4 of the bag is only 2 P+). While boiling the gnocchi I sauteed the seafood blend. You just have to make sure when you're sauteeing it to drain out all the liquid before combining with the gnocchi. I added the gnocchi to the pan and allowed them to brown a bit while I boiled the asparagus. Then I combined it all with the pesto in that same skillet. I also cooked up a couple mini baguettes from TJ's (2P+) for my boyfriend and myself... perfect! My inspiration to make this recipe was my new basil plant.. I get one every spring since it's finally warm enough to keep alive. Only $2.99 from TJ's, and it keeps growing! We'll see how long this one lasts me!

I hope everyone's doing well.. I'm looking forward to a very productive spring break!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

busy busy busy.

i'm so friggin tired.. i just want to shower and go to sleep. but i feel very good about how i've been doing nutrition-wise this week so i thought i'd toot my own horn. i did start weight watchers last week.. so we'll see how successful i've been when i weigh in tomorrow. also, i've been on my feet for 2 days straight in my clinical rotation (10 hours tuesday and 9 hours today).. i'm soooo tired. but i've been wearing my shape-ups (the knock-off ones from payless) to clinicals so my legs are feelin' it more than usual!!

some of my favorite things i've eaten this week...

another awesome tofu recipe from cooking light: "Korean-inspired sauteed tofu" which i served with bok choy, broccoli and brown rice

easy peasy sushi: sliced sashimi-grade salmon with seaweed salad and brown rice. i served this with hungry girl's "Crab Rangoonies" which tastes JUST like the crab wontons from PF Changs!!!

sweet potato (microwaved b/c i'm lazy) with 1tsp brown sugar, 1Tbsp marshmallow creme and a dash of pumpkin pie spice. (3 points plus), and SO good.

and this isn't food.. but it's good - the mocha light frappucino from starbucks. they're SO yum.. and i always get an extra shot of espresso blended in for a boost. and i love that it shows up as a "filling food" for weight watchers.. (a small green triangle usually reserved for lean meats, fruits and vegetables lol).

okay.. off to bed. school has really drained me lately - i can't WAIT for spring break.. 2 more days!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

hi.. it's me. i'm alive.

UGGGGHHH school has been KICKING MY ASS lately! on top of that, I've been mildly depressed about my fat-ness for about a month now. It's like constant low-level depression that makes me feel blue every time I think about how I look. I have issues, I know.

Anywho.. here's what I had for breakfast this morning, and it was FANTASTIC:

1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup 'quick cooking' steel-cut oats (because I'm too lazy to stand at the stove and stir the regular ones for an hour.. although they probably taste better)
1/2 cinnamon stick
2 tsp ground flaxseed
1 cup blueberries (I used frozen)
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp vanilla (pure madagascar - not imitation! it makes a difference, I swear!)
1/8 cup pecans, chopped

Make the oats according to package instructions, adding the flaxseed and cinnamon stick to the boiling water with the oats. When they're almost finished cooking (this was about 6 minutes for me), add the blueberries, brown sugar and vanilla. Stir, cover and finish cooking (a couple more minutes). This allows the blueberries to plump up a bit and release some of their flavor into the oats. Spoon into 2 bowls and garnish with pecans.. I really like the crunch they add. YUM! (8 points + value per serving)

It was delicious, and I don't like blueberries all that much. They added a great tart burst and went well with the oats. Also, it kept me full for a LONG time. Gotta love that! Anywho.. I'm tired but I'll update on my weight loss stress soon...

Friday, March 18, 2011

grocery outlet.

A 'gross out' as my dad calls it just opened up here in Fremont. While I wouldn't do all my shopping there.. you can luck out sometimes which is why I like to stop in now & then. This is my bounty from today!

Barenaked cereal: $1.99
Snickers marathon energy bars: $2.99
3# bananas: $1.99
Mixed greens: $1.79
Crystal light lemonade packs: $0.99
Roasted red pepper hummus: $1.99
Chicken sausages: $2.99

Plus I had a $3 off coupon of my whole purchase. Not too shabby!
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breakfast: vitatop with tsp peanut butter cream cheese (TJs - delish!) & coffee
lunch: 2 pieces bbq chicken musubi from ohana hawaiian bbq (rice, chicken & seaweed)
dinner: "bangers & mash" using the chicken sausages i bought earlier, frozen mashed potatoes from TJ's (SO EASY - you microwave the 'medallions', then mash them with a fork. no additional seasoning needed. get them! NOW!), and caramelized onion gravy (recipe here), and i surrounded the plate with a mixture of steamed peas, corn and carrots. yummy!
late night snack: 1/2 guinness, hummus & pretzel crisps, handful chex muddy buddies (i also got these at grocery outlet for kris' friends.. good thing they'll be gone by tomorrow or i'd be in trouble)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

mid-week madness. kinda. not really

i'm still lacking fruits and vegetables in my diet.. but i think i made some good choices this week. we'll see (fyi.. i've lost 3 pounds since i started blogging again - did i tell you? hehehe)

deep chocolate vitatop (yummmmm)
1/2 marinated tofu sandwich from cafe intermezzo
salad from intermezzo (romaine, alfalfa sprouts, cucumbers, tomatoes, croutons & poppy seed dressing)
1/2 cowboy cookie (see below)
movie snack (we watched up in the air. SO GOOD!):
1 glass wine
1/3 bag popcorn

fyi.. i loooooooooooooooooove intermezzo. we happened to be in berkeley today for the first portion of clinicals, so i had to stop in. it's just a soup/salad spot.. but omg. their sandwiches are incredible, and the poppy seed dressing puts the salad over the top!!! if you're ever in berkeley, you have to check them out.

here's a picture of cowboy cookies i gave with a baby shower gift a while back... substituting light blue and green m&ms for the regular. she loved them so much she contacted me for the recipe later.. thank you bakerella!!
fast forward to thursday. St. Patty's!
string cheese
nonfat dark chocolate mocha freddo from peet's (270 cals)
'reduced guilt' primavera pizza from TJ's
15 m&ms
dinner: (see pics below)
1 can guinness

i went out today to look for a dress to wear to lisa's sister's wedding this weekend and found one that i LOVE, especially because i'll be able to rock it this summer with some gladiator sandals.. i'll have to post a picture of my 'adjustments' to dress it up for the wedding:
floral shirtdress from the i heart ronson collection at jcpenney.
apparently it's popular, because it's sold out online!
glad i found it in the store!
after i got home from shopping i got to work on dinner.. being that corned beef and cabbage is my all time favorite meal, you would think i would have made that for St. Patrick's day.. but I love this stew.. and it's much better for you and filling in smaller quantities. instead of potatoes like you would expect, it uses carrots, parsnips and turnip. kris couldn't tell the difference. plus.. i got to buy vegetables that the checker at the supermarket didn't know the codes for. fun! ^_^ 
here's my before and after pics:

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

ugh.. allergies.

every damn time the weather changes.. i swear. without fail my allergies haunt me. and, good for me, i have allergy-induced asthma.. so you can guess what else happens. to get through the day it takes a whole lot of zyrtec, claritin, benedryl, albuterol and one other steroid inhaler. ugh. i haaaaate it.

anywho.. today was LEFTOVERS day!!! how exciting!

multigrain cheerios w/ almond milk

1 piece leftover cheese pizza from sunday

leftover pork, potatoes and haricots verts from yesterday
carrot sticks
15 almond joy pieces (omg. these were amazing - glad they came from my friend.. or else i would have eaten the whole bag!)

snack (on the way home from my clinical rotation.. in the car. lol):
gala apple
2 peanut butter cookies
handful granola

now that i popped a benedryl i'm sure i'll be asleep any minute now.. after i finish my homework.. maybe. for your viewing pleasure.. pics from my phone of my weekend endeavors:

it's monday, and i can't stop eating.

soooo tired today. still getting used to daylight savings i guess. plus, it's a certain TOM.. so i was completely RAVENOUS all freakin' day!!!

to-go oatmeal bar
tiramisu cake pop (thanks so my classmate who works at the 'bucks)

chicken wrap (tortilla, chicken lunch-meat, ranch dressing from yesterday, crumbled blue cheese, lettuce & tomatoes)
carrot sticks
tomato-basil hummus

snack (this was throughout the duration of my afternoon when i couldn't stay out of the kitchen):
3 fresh mozzarella balls
pretzel crisps
2 peanut butter cookies
snack bag cheese-its

bacon-wrapped pork loin
potatoes and haricots verts (TJ's frozen side)
1 glass wine

here are the changes i made to the pork recipe: i used a 1.5 lb pork loin (maybe smaller.. i don't quite remember), 3 slices bacon, frozen pre-chopped onion, dried rosemary, omitted the raisins, and doubled the sauce. i seared it in my cast-iron skillet and threw it in the oven straight from the stove. it ended up taking about 45 minutes, and i basted it with the sauce every 10 minutes or so. hi, i'm a bacon-wrapped pork loin, and i'm amazing:

after you let it rest for about 10 minutes, slice it into medallions. serve with pan sauce drizzled over top. YUM!

Monday, March 14, 2011

daylight savings...

ugh.. losing an hour TOTALLY sucks.. i'm super tired right now. didn't do much today.. some homework, a lot of cleaning (my oven is SPARKLING!).. and visited my parents for a bit.

leftover sugar free mocha from yesterday

deluxe turkey dog from wienerschnitzel (260 calories, 11g fat)
chocolate cake scraps from the little mermaid cake i made yesterday

salad w/ homemade ranch dressing
homemade pizza
small box raisins

1 peanut butter cookie
15 m&ms (yes, i counted)

i made the dressing because i have leftover buttermilk from my baking extravaganza yesterday.. i switched the sour cream to greek yogurt, omitted the chives, and used all dried herbs. really yummy! the pizza used trader joe's herbed pizza dough (my favorite of the 3), newman's own tomato pesto pasta sauce, sliced fresh mozzarella, shaved parmesan cheese & fresh basil. super yummy. if you haven't experimented with pizza dough yet, DO it! so cheap, easy and fun to create your own pizza!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

and the weekend begins...

i'm running on very little sleep right now. because of my scatterbrainedness (i'm coining that word).. i forgot i was babysitting the boys today, and i have a cake/cupcakes to decorate...

fiber plus bar

cobb salad (using chopped up leftover chicken saltimbocca)
        mixed greens, carrots, cucumber, cherry tomatoes,
        blue cheese crumbles, french fried onions, tuscan italian dressing
peanut butter cookie

dinner (applebee's)
2 mozzarella sticks
chicken & shrimp entree
long island iced tea

applebee's has really great options for eating healthy.. but i was limited because kris wanted to do the "2 for $20" deal. it breaks down to a lot, but the entree had the best stats of my options.. mozzarella sticks: 235 cals, 11.5 g fat, entree: 760 cals, 45 g fat (i ate about 2/3 of it). eh.. next time i'll fight for my right to choose.
fast forward to today (saturday).. and i wasn't much better... i spent my morning baking/decorating a cake and cupcakes for a little mermaid birthday party, so all i had in the AM was a sugar free mocha my mom brought me... until we went to our friend's daughter's birthday party at 3pm. note: my 'scoops' are on average 1/2 cup.. i'm pretty good at estimating (the baker in me i guess).

1 scoop pancit
2 pieces lumpia
1 grilled chicken leg
1 scoop rice
chicken & vegetable curry
2 chopped pork lettuce wraps
1 piece chocolate cake

the amusing part of my day was eating the cake, because the talented young woman kristine who made it is the one who gave me the chocolate cake recipe that i use for all my orders: when i bake it, i don't really want any, but i HAD to try kristine's! it was amazing. i can see why people rave about it when i use it.. lol. and it's so friggin easy! the only chocolate cake recipe you'll ever need.

and that's all i ate today... my stomach is punishing me now. note to self: don't skip breakfast and then load up on greasy filipino food... but oh.. so good.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

day off..

thursdays are my day off.. so they're usually spent not doing anything. considering i did some studying, finished 2 assignments AND ran errands makes me feel accomplished. so what if i woke up at 10:30 to start my day?

greek yogurt w/ raspberry preserves
pretzel crisps w/ hummus

16oz "skinny" mocha @ starbucks
tiramisu cake pop (it was FREE!)

missed lunch because i was studying at starbucks then running errands...

mixed green salad w/ TJ's tuscan italian dressing
steaks with port reduction and blue cheese
confetti rice pilaf with flaxseed
sauteed mushrooms

late night:
glass port wine (well.. i had to use the leftovers somehow... ^_^)

can you say YUM?! because dinner was amaaaaazing. for the reduction on the steak, i used raspberry preserves instead of jellied cranberry and omitted the broth (i'm sorry, but who opens up a can of broth for a couple spoonfulls?) i wasn't sure how the rice pilaf would be.. it was my first time experimenting with flaxseed. but it was so good! the only thing i changed was that i used brown basmati rice. i will definitely be making it again!

now i'm off to find more things to make with flaxseed! exciting!

encouraging day...

i have to say, even during the tough times, i pretty much enjoy every moment of nursing school. it's something i'm truly passionate about, and the material is so interesting and applicable to patient care. i had a great moment with my clinical instructor today where he pulled me aside to tell me how much he believes i should pursue a master's degree as soon as i'm done with the program. i believe what he said was "i've seen A LOT of students in my time, and i can tell how bright you are. you ask insightful questions and definitely have what it takes to continue your education and be excellent in either administration or as a nurse practitioner". my head only grew about 3 sizes during our 10 minute conversation... the boost in self confidence i experienced really made the rest of my day great - i sang karaoke with the psych patients and got up the gut to have conversations with a couple of the severe psychotic and schizophrenic patients...

soooo, what did i eat? lol.

TJ's honey crunches & oats and almond breeze
coffee w/ creamer

trail mix bar

annie chun's udon bowl w/ added tofu
carrot sticks
tomato basil hummus (my FAVORITE from TJ's)
4 pieces lumpia

late night snack:
pretzel crisps
tomato basil hummus
peanut butter cookie

notes on food for the day: if you haven't tried the tomato basil hummus from trader joe's yet - DO IT! i used to not like hummus, until i tried this one. it's amazing - SO good that i could lick the container. the pretzel crisps are a calorie bargain - 23 pretzels for 110 calories! seriously, lumpia - it was in the break room at the hospital.. i couldn't resist. but i DID resist everything else in there.. cake, pan de sal, empenadas, and potato salad.. YAY ME! lol.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

back to clinicals...

after i was sent home from my rotation both days last week for being sick, i got used to being home all day.. but today i had to return, and it was a long one. i was extremely lethargic all day - even though i got plenty of sleep! i guess i probably do need some more exercise and better nutrition in my life.. if for nothing else than to provide me with the right energy to get through my long patient-care and study days... here's what i did wrong.. maybe:

cup honey crunches & oats (TJ version) w/ almond milk
coffee w/ 3 Tbsp creamer

fiber plus bar

late lunch:
leftover chicken saltimbocca and pasta from yesterday
carrot sticks
chocolate biscotti

light dinner:
apricot 0% greek yogurt
popcorn (orville redenbacker's natural)

here's the problem with clinical days. because i know i'll be up late, i sleep in (until 10am today), so i eat breakfast around 11am. i leave the house to be at the hospital by 1pm, and we don't get a dinner break until 5:30pm.. so essentially this is my 'lunch'. then, of course, i'm hungry again when i'm on my way home at 9pm and since i know i won't be in bed until late by the time i get home an get settled, i eat a snack on my drive (yogurt and popcorn in this case)... so overall.. a weird day/screwy schedule. i don't think i'm properly fueling myself.. on a more positive note, can i take a moment to say how much i ADORE trader joe's version of honey bunches of oats??? (much less sugar and still just as delicious!).. and, of course, my almond breeze unsweetened vanilla. i mean, 40 calories for 1 whole cup?!? you can't beat that.

addendum: i just remembered that i ate a scoop of ice cream before i left the house at noon. worth it.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


so today kris and i talked about signing up for planet fitness in fremont. the problem with gyms is that they are UBER expensive.. but fortunately this one is not. for $20 a month, you get a membership, plus you can bring a guest each time you go. so basically, you get 2 memberships for the price of 1, as long as the second person goes with the member. i'm hoping that going with someone will get me to go more. we'll see! also, there's no contract.. so we can quit whenever if we feel like we're wasting money. on to today's menu:

coffee w/ 3 Tbsp creamer
odwalla bar

panko-crusted fish  & potato wedges (from the campus restaurant - yum!)
fiber plus antioxidant bar

tortilla with refried beans, shredded pork, tomatoes & lettuce

lemony chicken saltimbocca
angel hair pasta w/pesto
green beans

late-night snack:

tip of the day: the fiber plus antioxidant coconut caramel fudge bars taste JUST LIKE girl scout samoa cookies (or are they called something else now?). regardless, if you want to fulfill that craving - these will do the trick!

Monday, March 7, 2011

weekend 1

if you thought friday night was bad.. you might want to avert your eyes for my weekend food choices. my excuse is that it was my step-dad's 50th birthday, and we had celebrations both days. but let's be honest, i've never been able to resist weekend food temptations.. they're my 'free days'.. HA!

-crepes with ricotta filling and molasses drizzle, cup of tomato soup, and MULTIPLE mimosas
-approx. 10 pieces of sushi (the kind without mayo - go me!), a couple spoonfuls of artichoke dip with pita chips, a few spoons of hummus with veggies, 3 pieces bruschetta, 3 or 4 glasses wine.. i can't remember. lol. 1/2 piece carrot cake
-late night snack of 1 piece flatbread pizza

-approx 15 pita chips w/ hummus, caesar salad w/ shredded pork, 1/2 tamale, 1/2 piece cake, 1 scoop chocolate ice cream
-10 tortilla chips w/ guacamole, handful potato chips, lemon drop martini

i guess the fact that i didn't drink quite as much on sunday is encouraging... but obviously on saturday i had a problem. i think i might cry if i counted the calories from the amount of champagne/wine i consumed. but it's SOOOOO good! also, i probably would have eaten the cake even if i didn't make it.. but because i did... of course i HAD to eat it!

bonus: the carrot cake was DELISH, and the rainbow cake turned out SO CUTE! after a massive fight with the frosting i finally got it right. swiss meringue buttercream is tough, but it tastes so yummy. anywho.. i took a picture of the carrot cake on the outside, but not the inside.. which is too bad.

here's the photo of the birthday boy with his rainbow cake (courtesy of my mom's phone):

Saturday, March 5, 2011

it's friday!

i had an exam this morning, so my day started with my customary mocha from Suju's in an attempt to get my brain rockin' and rollin. i did okay.. it's done now. so i came hope to get going on david's birthday cake and in the process of pulling out the food pro to shred carrots, i cut the crap out of my finger. needless to say, it has made the rest of my day exceedingly more difficult than it could have been. hopefully it heals without needing stitches...

12 oz nonfat mocha
odwalla trail mix bar

15 tortilla chips
3 mozzarella balls, chopped
1/4 cup pico de gallo

10 teddy grahams
2 tbsp chocolate chips

pan-fried tilapia (dredged in whole wheat flour mixed with mccormick's lemon pepper seasoning, fried in a spoonful of olive oil)
ann-marie's chinese "chicken" salad (recipe below)

i was just about to go to sleep when i remembered this...
friday night munchies:
small bit of salad at olive garden
pomegranate martini
1 piece digiorno pizza
honest tea

Chinese "chicken" salad:
this is a party fave that came from my mom's best friend ann-marie. i'm putting it down as written, but for the same amount of veggies, i cut the dressing in half and it's PLENTY. when making it for just myself and kris, i half the dressing again as well as the rest of the ingredients, add shredded carrots and omit the almonds. i also 'fry' the ramen noodles with some pam, just enough to get the powder to stick.. rather than adding extra butter, and i use grapeseed oil (more heart healthy) for the 'salad oil'.

16oz bag shredded cabbage (or you can shred your own- 1 large head cabbage)
6 green onions - chopped
1/2 cup slivered almonds
2 pkgs. Chicken Top Ramen
1 to 2 Tbsp. sesame oil
1/4 cup butter

Melt butter in large pan, add sesame oil, and chicken flavor packet from Top Ramen
Crush Top Ramen and add to pan...brown and set aside to cool.

Dressing - mix together and chill
1/2 cup salad oil
1/4 tsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp.each-salt & pepper

Right before serving, Mix shredded cabbage, almonds, onions, ramen noodles and dressing.
Toss & Serve!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

day 3

so i'm still uber siiiiiiiiiiiiick... and spent the entire day home, studying at the kitchen table. these are the days when it's tough not to CONSTANTLY snack, being that i'm sitting in the kitchen all day.. the food calling out to me. "eat me! eat me!" so here we go:

coffee w/ 2tbsp creamer
0% greek yogurt w/ 1Tbsp raspberry preserves
1/2 cup hemp plus granola

4 ritz crackers (again.. i have a problem)

pita bbq chicken pizza (see below)
2 shortbread cookies

grilled cheese sandwich (on whole wheat sourdough, using reduced fat shredded cheese)
1 cup tomato bisque
leftover "superfood" smoothie from yesterday

as you can see, my fruit/vegetable intake has been drastically low since i started this... that is for a few reasons: i haven't been to the produce stand in over a week, i've been sick and home-ridden (i was sent home from clinicals both days this week), and i have an exam tomorrow. excuses, excuses.. but i think i've done okay. goal for next week: INCREASE VEGGIE INTAKE. the fact that i had spirulina powder in my superfood yesterday and today makes me feel a little better...

pita bbq pork pizza:
1 pita
2 Tbsp bbq sauce
1/4 cup shredded lite mozzarella cheese
3oz shredded pork (or chicken)
chopped red onion

top pita with ingredients in order, and broil in oven (or toaster oven) on medium for 5-6 minutes... or until cheese is melted.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

day 2

i'm baaaaaaaaaaaaack!
i have to say, i spent a lot of time thinking about how i promised to blog my menu again... so i think it helped. kind of.

vegan cinnamon roll from Cinnaholic (it was uh-mazing.. and i don't even feel bad)

homemade superfood (recipe below.. kinda)
1 cup multigrain cheerios
handful hemp plus granola

4 ritz crackers (i forced myself to stop)

barbacua salad from chipotle
10 tortilla chips

not too shabby... in the morning i actually did make myself coffee, but was feeling so crappy that i didn't drink it. and.. note: when i ate the cheerios and granola, what i REALLY wanted was a big fat bowl of cookies. but i held back, and was really proud of myself.

I HEART SUPERFOOD!!!! my superfood smoothie didn't turn out quite as well as i would have hoped.. but i think that's because my ratios were off. i needed more OJ and less frozen fruit. it was kinda watery-tasting.

2 cups mixed frozen fruit (i used a blend of strawberries, banana, mango, & papaya)
1 cup OJ
1 1/2 teaspoon spirulina powder (this is what makes the odwalla superfood green!)

put fruit and juice in blender, and gradually add spirulina powder while blending is going. i was worried it would clump, so i mixed it with some juice and poured it in. i'll adjust my ratio next time, but overall this was my attempt to stop spending $3 for the odwalla drinks at the store.

hasta manana!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


so here i am, attempting to get my brain to concentrate on community vs. public health.. and all i can think about is my belly hanging over my pajama bottoms. i try to eat healthy for the most part, but i think my problem is quantity.. and sweets. okay, maybe i'm not as healthy as i thought lol. being that it's the first of the month (anyone else here bone thugs in their head right now??), i've decided to attempt to blog my daily menu every day to try and keep myself accountable for what i'm eating.

hey.. maybe i'll even fit some physical exercise in here and there...

coffee w/ 3tbsp peppermint mocha creamer
mcdonalds oatmeal

1 cup 1% chocolate milk w/ chocolate chip cookie

2 eggrolls

wonton soup w/ added tofu
1/3 pork vietnamese sandwich

2 pieces mochi

try not to judge.. i didn't start my day planning to blab to the world about my healthy food choices (can you hear the sarcasm??). man i feel super gross now. i seriously spend the middle part of my day fueled by sugar and deep fried deliciousness. wow. the only bonus points i can give myself are to the fact that i did actually measure my creamer and milk out of habit. go me!

here's to day 2!