Weigh-In Eve (AKA My First Vlog)

So, I’ve never done a vlog before, but I decided today was as good as any to try it out.

PS… The paused screen looks like I am saying something incredibly profound.  Don’t expect too much, alright? :)

Enjoy!

 

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Green Beans with Mustard and Country Herbs

I’m always looking for new ways to enjoy veggies.  This weekend at the Farmers’ Market, I hit the jackpot when it came to green beans.

I once again got a “bag” of veggies for $10, and I stuffed it with green beans in all the free space.  In looking at my most recent Weight Watchers cookbook, I found the perfect recipe to try…

Over the past few years, I have gotten into mustard.  As the pickiest of the picky, mustard used to be one of those items that I just wouldn’t eat.

After many years of turning up my nose, I’ve grown to enjoy mustard.  Not the bright yellow kind, but hot mustard, grainy mustard, honey mustard, and delicious mustardy vinaigrettes.  When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it.

The flavors presented are quite unique for green beans… I really liked it and can’t wait to make it again.  Who would have thought mustard and beans would work, but they totally do!

Green Beans with Mustard and Country Herbs

From Weight Watchers Five Ingredient 15-Minute Recipes – Summer 2012

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 (12-oz) package refrigerated trimmed green beans

1 Tbsp. butter

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

1 1/2 tsp. minced fresh oregano

2 tsp. whole-grain Dijon mustard

1/4 tsp. salt

INSTRUCTIONS

1.  Microwave green beans according to package directions.  Note:  I used fresh green beans and steamed them in a ziploc bag.

2.  While the beans cook, place butter and remaining ingredients in a serving bowl.  Note:  I used I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter, as opposed to real butter.  I don’t keep butter in the house unless my sister-in-law Beth is in town.

3.  Add beans.  Toss gently until butter melts.

4.  Serve on your favorite Fiesta dinnerware.  Pair it with a tasty protein that you enjoy.  I made a stuffed turkey burger to enjoy with my beans.  Delish!  Note:  I should really make the stuffed turkey burger more often… amazing.

Per 1/2 cup serving of beans:

CAL 55; FAT 3g; PROT 1.7g; CARB 6.8; FIB 3g; CHOL 8mg; IRON 1mg; SOD 232mg; CALC 37mg; WW Points Plus: 1

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Staying Motivated (Letter from a Reader)

I got an email from one of my dear readers Shawna earlier this week, and I knew it was something that I wanted to respond to publicly.  So, Shawna… I’m so sorry I haven’t responded until now, but thanks for the GREAT question.

Hi Kelly,

I’ve been following you for about 6 months and wanted to ask you something: how do you stay motivated on JC for so long? I’m on JC again, for the 4th time, and although it’s the easiest program I’ve been on and the food is super yummy, I am having a heck of a time sticking to it. I have about 80 pounds to lose, travel like crazy so I eat out a lot, but I’ve only lost 10 pounds since JANUARY! So lame!

I’d love any words of wisdom.

Shawna -

I can relate to your story more than you know!  Well, if you’ve read NTTC for 6 months, you know…. I truly feel like I’ve been on a diet since I was about 14.  Always “planning to eat better tomorrow”, and always having quite a bit of weight to lose each time I’ve “re-started” my diet.

When I selected Jenny Craig this time around, I chose JC because it was something COMPLETELY different that I hoped would keep my interest.  I’d been on Weight Watchers SO many times, that I got a little bored by the process.  When I look back, I don’t think I was really BORED.  I now know that I wasn’t 100% committed losing weight.

That being said, what was different this time?  What made me stick to it?  What has helped propel me through this process?

Here’s a few things…

I made the food transition as comfortable as possible for myself – With Jenny, they choose your meals for you.  That made it easy for me.  I didn’t have to decide what I was eating, especially when I was so incredibly out of control when it came to eating.  With my travel, I found a few meals (literally, 2-3) that I talked through with my JCC and that’s what I ate when I was on the road.  These meals for me were Subway Veggie Delite sandwiches, salads with lean protein and lots of veggies, and Jenny Craig food that I could pick up in most cities I traveled to.

Planned snacks also worked really well for me.  JC allows me to have a few snacks every day.  I like the idea that I’d get to have snacks, even on a very planned out weight loss program.  This pre-planned snack also helped me to plan for what I was going to eat later (and I always had something to look forward to!)

I’ve also done a lot more planning this time around.  I plan to eat well, whether it’s a JC meal or a lightened up recipe I cook.  I keep veggies and fruits on hand, and plan to eat those over granola bars whenever possible.

I also didn’t force the exercise.  I used to HATE to workout.  So, rather than go from hating it and being sedentary to an instant marathon, I tried to do a little bit more each time I worked out…. and then the next time, a little more than that.  I was reasonable with myself about it, but made sure I was moving more than before!

I take it one pound at a time - The big numbers are daunting.  They just are.  Right now, my number is 10.  That freakin’ 10 lbs is huge.  It’s been lingering forever… If I focus on 10, it seems horrible.  If I look at it 1 lb. at a time, it works.

I also celebrated every 5-10 lbs.  5-10 lbs are significant!

Psst… Shawna – 10 pounds is NOT lame!  That’s 10 pounds you no longer have to carry up the stairs everyday! :)

I focus on the now – Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard several mentions of the “now.”  I took a time management course at work, where the instructor said that “nothing happens in the future; everything happens now.”  How true is that??  I really try not to focus on what I did yesterday or what I will do tomorrow that will be better or worse.  I really just try to stay in the moment and impact my life TODAY.  That means making the decision to go to the gym TODAY, when I have zero interest in going.  That means waiting in line at Subway rather than driving through at a local fast food restaurant.

Geneen Roth has been talking about the NOW in her book Women, Food, and God as well.  She talks about the importance of living in the moment, taking positive steps today, and forgiving yourself for the past.

Everyone is telling me to focus on the now, and I’m doing my best to do so.

I mix up what I eat and, for the most part, eat what I want - Whether I’m volumizing my JC meals or trying something new, I eat what I love every day.  I never feel deprived.  With the internet loaded up with so many healthy resources, I seriously see no reason why I should ever cook in an unhealthy manner again.  It just doesn’t make sense.

Last night I had the Healthy General Tso’s Chicken, and tonight I had Jenny Craig’s Meatloaf dinner.  Both were EXACTLY what I wanted to eat, and both contribute to my weight loss plan in a positive way.

I don’t feel deprived.  I think that helps.

I constantly come up with new habits -  I refuse to let myself get into a rut.  I literally try to come up with new things to try…. just to try them.  I refuse to get bored, and I really try to stay open-minded.

For example, I took my first Pilates class a few weeks ago.  Just to try it.  I could have totally hated it, but instead I’ve been back a second time.  I’m thinking about taking a Hot Yoga class.  Not because I want to sweat like crazy, but because I want to see what it’s about.  Fitness-wise… new habits, new classes, new strength training, it all helps!

The new habits don’t end with exercise.  I’ve also started socializing differently.  I’ve got a few friends who have been VERY supportive of this.  Rather than getting together and having a big dinner, sometimes we just watch an outdoor movie.  Rather than going out to the wine bar once a week, I go maybe once every few months (and savor every morsel and every sip.)

I feel like I owe it to myself to get there, and I also owe it to “my village” – For the first time in forever, I also feel like I deserve to be  healthy.  I deserve to be at a comfortable, healthy weight.  I deserve to experience success.

This weight loss process has been influenced by an entire “village” of people.  My friends, my family, my Jenny Craig Consultants (Amalia at Westminster, Alicia at Sugarhouse, and all those who’ve helped me inbetween), all of my readers who’ve taken 5 minutes out of their day to say hello or even those who have silently read, my co-workers who patiently wait while I order my complicated meals, other bloggers I follow, my yoga instructors, the folks that check me in at the YMCA… there are so many people in my village.  While I’m working toward this goal for myself, I know when I get there…. we all get there.  I can’t let any of us down.  I won’t!

I recognize how far I’ve come and seek to understand how I got here – I have set up intervals of rewards throughout the process which have kept me motivated.  And, outside of those tangible rewards, I’ve recognized non-scale victories as well.  That first person who told me I looked thinner.  That day I noticed how much better I fit in the airline seat.  Selling all of my plus size clothes, as a symbolic end of the cycle of going up and down in sizes.  Completing my first spin class.

I write about my growth, but I also reflect upon it.  I think this has been critical to my success and ongoing motivation.

I also seek to understand…. I read other bloggers who are on the same journey, and I consult the experts reading articles and books by the industry’s finest.  I want to learn this time around.  I don’t want go through this process again.  I want to get it right this time.

Lastly, I’ve had a glimpse of the rest of my life, and I love how my days look now.  I love the promise of the future, and I know what it’s going to take for me to maintain this lifestyle.

Frankly, it’s not over yet… that’s what keeps me going!

I’m sure that I’ve made this sound too easy, but it’s my truth.  Now that you’ve heard how I’ve done it… I’m sure that you’ve got a story of your own to share.

What keeps you motivated?  How do you stay on track?

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Healthier General Tso’s Chicken

So far, the week is going fabulously.  I’m hitting the gym, and I’m eating right!  On the scale this morning… I saw a beautifully delightful LOW number.  If it holds tight until Saturday, I’m going to have a heck of a weigh-in update for you guys next week!

I will share… that I tried a new Pinkberry treat today.  Whoa… have you tried the Chocolate Hazelnut???

Let me assure you… I did not have all of those toppings. Although, I wanted SOME of them badly…

This stuff tastes like heaven.  Seriously.  Close your laptop/smartphone/tablet and go NOW to your closest Pinkberry.  It’s AMAZING…

I also have an important Pinkberry tip for you today!!   Did you know they have a MINI size you can order??? It’s  super-small, and just a taste of the fro-yo you crave.  I spotted a child with one last time I was in and had to ask.  It’s not on the counter on display, but they have them.  And, my fro-yo (pre-toppings) came in at just 70 calories.  Perfection!!!

Even after enjoying my Pinkberry snack today, I eventually got hungry for dinner… which is where today’s recipe comes in.  This recipe has been on my “Healthy Recipes to Try” board on Pinterest for some time, and tonight was the night I decided to try it out.  WOW… uh-mazingness.  On your way back from Pinkberry, pick up the ingredients.  You won’t be sorry…

Also, please note that it’s Tuesday night… the perfect day to eat Asian food for me.  Not Friday night!

Healthier General Tso’s Chicken

From Kitchen Simplicity via Pinterest

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

Sauce:

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 cup water

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Chicken and Coating:

1/4 cup egg substitute

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 pound chicken, cut into bite-size pieces

2 cups snow peas, trimmed and halved diagonally

Veggies:

1 cup broccoli

1/2 cup snow peas, sliced

1/2 cup onion, sliced

4 garlic cloves, sliced

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Mix together water and cornstarch until smooth. Stir in remaining sauce ingredients. Set aside.  Note:  I used the whole 1/2 tsp. of crushed red pepper.

 

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg whites, cornstarch, salt and pepper. Stir in chicken.

3.  Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan, dripping off excess coating. Cook, stirring occasionally until golden brown and cooked through.  Note:  I used tongs to shake off the excess egg/cornstarch mixture before placing it in the pan, but it still had a little egginess (in a good way!)

4.  Remove the chicken from the heat and set aside.

5. Add onions and garlic to the pan and cook for a few minutes until browned.  Add broccoli and snow peas and sauté for a 1-2 minutes.  Note:  I added a LOT of extra veggies to “volumize” my meal.  The original recipe only called for the snow peas, for example.

6.  Add sauce to skillet and cook until snow peas and broccoli are tender and sauce is thickened. Add chicken (and any collected juices) to skillet. Toss to coat.

7.  Place a portion of the dish on your favorite Fiesta dish, and enjoy!

Per 1/4 Recipe Serving:

CAL 221; CARB 21g; FAT 2g; PROT 30g; FIB 2g; SOD 678mg

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