Saturday, March 26, 2011

Jenny Craig - Week Two

Today was my third weigh in and to my delight (and surprise) I was down three pounds.  I can honestly say this is for the most part a pretty easy diet, but I do struggle a little bit when eating out which I did four times this week.  By planning and staying strong I did fairly good, however the Mexican night did me in with a couple of margaritas, chips and table side made guacamole :)

I picked up my Bodymedia armband last Saturday and have worn it religiously since.  The armband tracks your calories expended, activity (broken down by moderate and vigorous), steps taken and sleep pattern.  The foods you eat and your weight is also entered into the website to help track your progress.  I have found that this awakens the competitive spirit in me to make sure I hit my daily targets.

I'm leaving tomorrow for a gambling trip with some friends.  Even though it's just one night away from home I did have to really think about how I was going to handle the bus ride where there is historically A LOT of fattening food.  The counselor really helped me think through things that I could eat during the trip that wouldn't make me feel deprived and yet keep me full.  Luckily the restaurant at the hotel is a little  bit like a supper club so I'm expecting that I should be able to eat fairly decent there since there won't be any chips on the table!

I'll let you know next week how it went.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Mini-Freezer Day

Today I'm planning a mini freezer cooking day.  As I shared earlier, I've started the Jenny Craig diet so I'm a little concerned about still having food (and family dinners) for my family and not being tempted by everything.  To help with this I've decided to do a little more freezer cooking so that I'm not spending a lot of time during the week, when I may be hungry and weak-willed, cooking.  My plan today is to accomplish the following:

Bake and shred two chickens (we'll eat one this evening since we're having company for dinner)
One meatloaf
Pulled pork

Since none of the meat was on sale, my grocery bill yesterday was pretty horrendous but still at budget.  At this point thought I'm not quite as worried about how much I spend but more about sticking to my diet.

On a side note, I've been wearing my armband for about 16 hours and I have to say it's pretty cool.  I've already downloaded the information a couple of times and the information has been pretty enlightening.  I'm amazed by how many times I wake up during the night and don't realize it.  I'm hopeful that this tracking will engage my competitive spirit and push me to work out more so that I can beat my previous records.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

World Events

We really do live in a small world and it never ceases to amaze me how such a catastrophic event so far away can have an impact on me, living in the midwest of the United States. 

First off I want to say to my readers in Japan as well as other affected areas that you have my thoughts and prayers as you go through this.  I hope that you and your families are safe from the earthquake, the tsunami and the scare of the nuclear meltdown that you are facing right now.  I have family over in Japan (as of right now everyone is fine) and am worried sick about their safety as events continue to unfold.

I was awake Thursday night/Friday morning (I've been having trouble sleeping lately) and saw the breaking news about the earthquake and the tsunami warning.  I have a cousin who is currently stationed at the Air Force base with his wife and two children, I wasn't sure where the base was located so I didn't know if I should be worried about him.  I did hear on the news later that morning that the base wasn't affected at all, which made me feel quite a bit better.  Another cousin (the brother of the airman) is living in a town on the coast outside of Tokyo teaching English as a second language.  By about 5:30 Friday morning I had heard from my uncle that both were safe and sound. 

Hearing about the tsunami warnings for Japan, Hawaii and the west coast of the US really makes me marvel at how fortunate we are to have the technology that we have so that warning could be given to evacuate the areas.  How many more people would have died if that warning would have been given.  Technology really does bring good things with it.

To any of you that are there or have friends and family that you are worried about know that you are being prayed for and thought of.  Take care.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Freezer Cooking Wrap-up and a Recipe

I finally had a productive weekend and boy - does it feel good!  I did go into work both Saturday and Sunday but I found time to do some cooking, housework and entertain some family.  I just need to find a little more strength to get my clothes and stuff ready for the coming week and then I can crash.

Here's what I did in the way of cooking this weekend.  Not as much as I would have liked to have gotten done but it will at least give us something to eat for the next week or so.

-1 pan enchiladas (recipe below - it's super simple)
-1 dinner of taco chicken meat (chicken wasn't on sale so I didn't want to buy more than one)
-1 pot of potato soup (it wasn't from scratch and we did eat some of it for dinner but it will feed the kids for at least one more meal)
-1 pot of chicken rice soup (1st time making chicken soup from scratch.  I used the carcass from the chicken I bought for the taco, added some frozen stew vegetables, brown rice and salt/pepper.  Not bad for my first time but I'm going to continue to work on the recipe)

I also found a frozen meatloaf from a couple of months ago that had gotten pushed into the back of the freezer, it should still be fine so we can have that one night too.

1 can/jar of enchilada sauce
8 tortillas
1-2 lbs of ground hamburger (we like a lot of meat in ours, you can use less if you prefer)
1/4 to 1/2 onion (depending on the size)

Brown the hamburger and onions, drain and put back in the pot.  Add about half of the enchilada sauce (I judge how moist it is, you don't want the meat very wet).  Lightly grease a 9 x 13 pan.  Take a tortilla, add a spoonful of the meat mixture, top with cheese and roll semi-tightly.  Please seam side down in pan and repeat with balance of tortillas.  I usually have some of the meat left which I throw on top of the tortillas along with the rest of the enchilada sauce and some cheese.  Bake in a 375 oven for about 30 minutes.

I'd love to hear how your weekend went.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Freezer Cooking Plan - March

Our house has been HECTIC the last couple of months.  My husband has been filling in on 3rd shift which leaves him very little energy to do much of anything around the house (except a little bit of cooking =:) ).  In addition I've been traveling for work and going in almost every weekend so their hasn't been any freezer cooking around here and very little cleaning (ugh).

As you know, one of my goals for the year was to try and have more family dinners which we have been successful at.  A lot of that has been due to the fact that my husband has been willing to get up and make the dinner from scratch even though I didn't have anything prepared.  You got to love a husband who is willing to bake a chicken, shred it for chicken tacos and make sure the table is nicely set so that when I walk in the door we can eat!

My goal for this weekend is to get some meals back in the freezer so that it's a little easier for the family to put dinner on the table.

Here is my plan - a little ambitious considering I'm leaving for work shortly, still need to grocery shop and have invited my parents over for dinner (I'm only doing pizza but it's still company)

Bake and shred chickens (how many I do depends on how expensive they are)
Lasagna pan (as many as I'm up for)
Enchiladas - haven't made these in a while so I think the family will be pleasantly surprised.
Chicken soup with the chicken carcasses - a friend of mine at work has been after me to do this as she states it's incredibly easy.  I'll be the judge of that!
Cranberry relish - a family favorite and I have some bags of cranberries to use up.

I'll let you know later how I do.  Good luck with your cooking plans - I'd love to hear what they are.