Dec 31, 2010

2011 Goals and Guidelines for Success

Since just listing a bunch of goals with no practical steps to achieve them has never served me well, I decided to really think about what I wanted from this year and how I plan to get there.

2010 brought about a lot of changes for me and was overall a positive year full of growth.  I want to continue to be grateful, to continue to be happy as I've learned to do in 2010.

In 2011, I'm also getting married to the love of my life.  Above all, my goal is to enjoy every moment of the process - not overwhelm myself with stress over the elopement and party.  This is about us....not all the stressful details! 

Here they are, my 7 goals for 2011.


Run a 5K
How will I get there?
1. Continue with C25K program (9 weeks or however long it takes me!)
2. Register for local race – looking at Great Bay Race on April 2nd
3. Complete my first 5K!

Lose 35 pounds
How will I get there?
1. Continue with WeightWatchers and monitoring how and what I eat
2. Go to a WW meeting every week
3. Gym/workout – be active at least 5 days per week, 30 min per day

Honor my body by feeding it well
How will I get there?
1. Remember that binges might happen – figure out why it’s happening, forgive myself and move on
2. Be conscious of how I eat, what I eat and how it makes me feel
3. As I lose weight, notice the positive health effects and changes I experience
4. Cook at least one vegetarian dinner per week


Kick Anatomy & Physiology 2’s butt and end the semester with an A!
How will I get there?
1. Set aside 8-10 hours each week for studying – create a study plan and stick to it
2. See the tutor at least 2x a month (not just before exams!)
3. Utilize open lab times

Get an A in English composition
How will I get there?
1. Set aside 8-10 hours each week for studying – create a study plan and stick to it
2. Utilize the writing center

Take the pre-entrance exam for nursing school
How will I get there?
1. Already registered for January 22nd

Apply to nursing school
How will I get there?
1. Continue to research the programs I’m interested in
2. Decide on professional references and ask them
3. Meet with reps from each school to get advice/input on application
4. Work on essay and get help/feedback on the process
5. Know that this may be just practice, and KEEP TRYING!

Dec 5, 2010

Joining the Pumpkin Oatmeal Craze

I'm so far behind on this whole oatmeal craze, especially the pumpkin oatmeal craze.  But...I've finally joined the cool kids and made my own.  And now I wonder what I was waiting for!  This is a delicious, filling and nutritious way to start the day and I'm sure I'll be converting to oatmeal for breakfast for the entire winter.

Quick and Easy Pumpkin Oatmeal

1 cup milk
1 cup water
Pinch of salt
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 tbsp raw sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup canned pumpkin

Bring milk, water and pinch of salt to a boil over high heat.  Once boiling, add the oatmeal and sugar and bring to another boil.

Turn the heat down to medium and simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Add pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg and cook for another 5-6 minutes.

Let stand for a few minutes to thicken.  Garnish with pecans and serve.
Makes 6 servings (1/2 cup each).

Oct 31, 2010

The Big Day Diet

I'm struggling with the notion that now that I'm engaged, there's an expectation that I'm supposed to obsess about my weight, my goal weight, multiple daily workouts and a magical dress size that I'm supposed to fit into by next summer.

Sure, I want to continue to eat healthy and make good choices and continue recovering from my eating disorder and to take care of my body.  That's what I want more than anything.  And that's what I'm focused on - the baby steps it takes for long-term good health.

So I'm afraid this whole obsession that brides seem to get about THE perfect dress (that they see on a model that looks nothing like ME) and THE perfect weight are going to take over.  It hasn't yet, but I want to make sure I continue to make the choices I'm making for the long haul....and not just because I'm getting married and I have unrealistic expectations of what my body should look look like on one particular day.

The commitment I'm making to my health right now mimics quite closely the commitment I'm making to my fiance.  For the rest of my life, I promise to love my body every day, to make decisions about it's health and happiness every day.   I promise to not give up in the difficult times, and not take it for granted when things seem to be sailing along smoothly.

How do you quiet "The Big Day Diet Voice"?

Sep 15, 2010

Shrinkvivor Challenge - Day 1

Kick ass.  Time to start the Shrinkvivor challenge that was created by the fab team over at The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans.  You can follow the progress of the Tribes here.

I had my first weigh-in this morning and the challenge will continue through November 3rd.  That gives me 7  weigh-ins to find myself DEEP into onederland (never to look back at this weight I'm currently at!).  Yee haw, here goes.  I'm definitely going to hit my 10% loss milestone and hopefully even my 25 lbs milestone!  If I push really hard, I might even make it halfway to goal. 

I'm excited to see the fitness challenges posed to us by the Shrinkvivor peeps.  I need to shake things up a bit in terms of exercise and motivation.

My plan is to keep following WeightWatchers for tracking food.  I'm also going to up my exercise by and I'm contemplating signing up for a 5K on Thanksgiving.  I am going to give myself a week to decide.  I like having a goal around the holidays that's positive and not focused around family stress or food!
Goal One  - Be the Ultimate Shrinkvivor!  There's some fantastic prizes to sweeten the pot.
Goal Two - Have a blast trying.

Sep 14, 2010

Lose-a-palooza - WeightWatchers Lose for Good Campaign

Join in with WeightWatchers for their one day giving fest to encourage participation in the Lose for Good campaign.

For ever mention of Lose for Good made today, WeightWatchers will donate $1 (up to $60,000) to Share our Strength and Action Against Hunger.

To learn more, visit or Lose-a-Palooza

What a lucky girl

One of the reasons I love my boyfriend so much - he always makes me laugh.  Here's an exchange we had on gchat earlier today:

Me: I'm bored of all my music.
Him:  you should listen to Lamb of God radio on Pandora
Me:  Eww, nope. I'm not that bored.
Him But you cold bang your head for all to see
Me: I'm not good at headbanging. Or the devil horns thing
Him don't be so hard on yourself
Me:  You're always so supportive.

Apparently he can support me with my weight loss efforts, my crazy days AND my attempts to rock out to metal.

Oh, what a guy.

(Seventies party - March 2010.  Y had lost the wig and I'd lost my sunglasses by this point!)

Sep 13, 2010

Body Image Warrior - When You Revert Back to Your Mean Self

Cakie Belle posted a fantastically thoughtful and honest letter to her size 12 body today over on her blog. It really struck me intensely as I'm having one of those days where I ate a little too much over the weekend (OK, a lot too much) and am expecting only a .2 lb loss tomorrow at weigh in. I'm feeling like my motivation and resolve is a little lessened and that I'm headed for another "failure".

I noticed this morning that my brown corduroy pants didn't fit me (there was no reason they should), how my arms are flabbier in the tricep area than they used to be, and that my stomach is a little larger than I wish it were. Just last week, actually just 2 days ago I was noticing that my stomach seemed a little flatter, that I had more energy than I've had in weeks, that I'm so proud of how well I've been doing and how good I feel.

Why does one bad day, and one slow week of weight loss, send me backwards into a forfetful haze where I revert back to beating myself up instead of dusting myself off and moving on? Why do I become mean and hateful and disparaging?

Cakie Bell has it right that instead of looking down and seeing the negative, I need to remind myself that this body I have is amazing. It's MINE and it's gotten me here, in spite of the abuse I've slung at it and the junk I've fed it for days on end at times. This is a day I should be grateful. Grateful that even though my head's not in it, my body's not going to quit me. Not today!

Sep 12, 2010

Recipe Box: Kale Chips

Since we’ve been seeing kale chips in the stores and reading about them everywhere (like on Kath Eats Real Food), I decided to try this healthy snack craze for ourselves. Y is someone who would give up all food for chips if given the choice, so he was seriously craving something salty and crunchy about halfway through the 10 Day Real Food Pledge. When we saw a bunch of kale at the local farm stand, we decided it was time.

We just did a basic version with olive oil and salt, but next time I might add some variety with something like parmesan chips, tamari or crushed red pepper. Because, yes, I will DEFINITELY be making these again! They are crispy, salty and a fun snack. Of course they're not just like potato chips, but they're interesting and healthy and definitely satisfy cravings for salty and crunchy munchies.

My one complaint about these is that they did leave a strong aftertaste. Not bad, just very kale-y. You've been warned! I guess it's the trade-off for the snackfest I had.

Basic Kale Chips

1 bunch kale
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp salt (I used sea salt)


Preheat the oven to 350˚ F

Wash the kale, remove thick stems and tear into bite sized pieces and then dry completely in a salad spinner.

Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread the kale on paper. Sprinkle with olive oil and salt. Bake until the kale is crispy and the edges are just browned, about 10-15 minutes.

Serves 4
Points per serving: 2

Sep 10, 2010

Sober Eating

Since I've cut out refined grains and refined sugars for the last 10 days, I've been feeling pretty amazing physically. I haven't had any strong cravings, no physical urges to binge and have been getting more an more sensitive to the subtle tastes of food -sweetness of carrots has increased, the complexity of flavors seems more obvious to me. Eating this way has been a pleasure, an adventure and mostly, as cheesy as it sounds, a gift to myself and my health.

I was talking to my crazy lady about how good it feels to eat well, how easy it seems this time around. I also mentioned how I've been more moody than normal. She thought maybe this is a direct reaction to not having binges and binge trigger foods to mask some of the emotions I would normally need to feel and deal with directly. She also thought that it might seem easy because I've drawn a line in the sand with the refined foods. That for me, this might be my version of "sober eating". That I might need to continue to do this to allow my body to adjust to feeling good and using food for fuel and nourishment as opposed to using it mostly as a drug.

The concept of sober eating was new to me, but as soon as she used that term, I completely understood what she meant. It seemed such a fitting term for how I should aim to eat and what I need to do as part of my recovery from this eating disorder. I had never thought of myself as seeking out sobriety. I don't have an issue with drugs or alcohol, which I usually equate with the concept of sobriety. But I do have an addictive issue with food and bingeing, and have been using something similar to addiction counseling to deal with my food issues. So this idea of sobriety and sober eating really put a new frame of thinking for me.

And how amazing that I've been not only free from binges for two weeks now, but free from even the URGE to binge?? When I've been eating clean (i.e., "sober"), it hasn't been a struggle at all and I haven't had to make any decisions about bingeing or just hasn't come up. Yes, I've been a bit moody, a bit sensitive, a bit sad. But I haven't been any of those things enough to drive me into a binge. Or to pull down my strength enough to make me consider a binge. I've just felt like I'm getting stronger, getting closer to the way I want to live my life. The way I WILL live my life. I'm doing it now. I would have never been able to do this even a year ago.... After 3 days max eating like this, I would have turned it into a control issue and binged privately and grandly.

I don't think I will continue on forever without another urge to binge. Life gets tough, I have my fallbacks and my coping mechanisms that aren't always the best. But for now, since I've found something that seems to be working, I'm going to give it a try for the long haul.

My goal is to do an 85-15 eating plan. What I mean by this is that 85% of the food I eat will be sober foods - no refined grains, no refined sweeteners, as few unprocessed foods as possible. Just real food. There's no reason I can't do this when I'm shopping and cooking for myself. The 15% comes in when visiting friends and family, out to dinner, away from home.

I'm going to think more about this idea of sober eating and clean living as it relates to the bingeing and the way my body feels. So far, I think I might be onto something.

Sep 7, 2010

Shake it off

I'm not really sure what's going on with me this past week but I'm moody and a little down. Everything's fine - I'm losing weight, eating healthy, being active, enjoying my class, feeling productive on the Board, excited for some upcoming plans....everything's really fine. So why am I feeling kind of sad and slow?

I need to shake this off or figure it out before I derail myself and get off track. I'm trying to feel good about the fact that I'm aware of it and trying to change it...but the hint of instability is starting to concern me.

Maybe I'm just feeling overwhelmed by everything I have going on? Good stress is stress too and I've never been good at being able to distinguish the two types.

Maybe I'm just nervous about everything going well and I'm looking for ways to doubt my successes or to self-sabotage?

I have to remind myself that this state of success is OK. It's natural and I deserve it. I deserve to be successful.

I deserve it. I'm working hard for it. And it's all mine. No one can take it away from me.

Looks like I've just tapped into the root of it. I'm scared. Scared of feeling good and having things go well. Scared of believing that I'm worth it. That I'm good enough. That I'm more than just OK.

This week I'll keep reminding myself that the only person that can ruin this is me. My doubt and my fears can either motivate me to work harder, or they can derail me completely.

I think I'll choose the former.


Sep 6, 2010

Motivate Monday

Happy labor day. Love having the day off, sleeping in and getting caught up on everything.

I sneaked a peak at the scale this morning, even though my official weigh-in day is on Tuesday. I'm down 3.4 pounds from last week! It could be that I'm a little dehydrated, but mostly it's that I've been really focused and working my b-u-t-t- off this week! Thanks in no small part either to the 10 Days of Real Food Pledge that Y and I have been doing since September 1st. Our bodies are liking it...very, very much!

Quick Real Foods Pledge Update:

I have been really committed to this and haven't "cheated" once - no refined grains, no refined sweeteners, nothing processed, nothing fake. I don't feel like we're eating hugely differently than how we did's been much easier than it might be for some. But I do realize how much we're both very aware of what we're reaching for. As someone who's struggled with binge eating disorder for years, I'm actually happy to be rid of the binge foods entirely. My binge foods (and I'm guessing most other bingers agree) are all the refined grains and sweeteners - the ones that spike your blood sugar quickly, leaving you numb and floaty and "high" until later when you crash and just feel worse.

Y doesn't struggle with weight issues or food issues and it can be refreshing to live with someone who's got such a neutral normal take on food. But, he has been appreciating the real foods we've been eating. He's actually been loving this and talking about committing to it for good. I'm thinking we'll be able to do a 90% goal - accounting for when we're visiting friends or family, when there are no other options, etc. But for what we buy and what we make at home, there's no reason to be bringing in processed foods. He likes knowing that he's doing something really good for his health and for his heart.

New week, new goals:

Monday – bike ride
Wednesday - ballet class
Saturday - bike ride or walk

Track everything I eat this week – even on the weekend
Think about what I’m eating, whether I’m hungry, what will fuel me
Continue doing the 10-Day Real Food Pledge!

Weekend (friends coming to stay):
Don’t use the weekend away as an excuse to eat and drink anything and everything thinking I can make up for it next week!

Thoughts on last week:
Was moody and argumentative with Y which is very unlike our normal state together. Felt like a jerk because I was taking things out on him. Great news is that I haven't binged in weeks. Bad news is I still have to get through my emotions in a positive way, not by taking it out on him.
Looking forward to another great loss this week.
So excited to start up ballet again - I haven't been in 8 years!

What are your favorite things about the upcoming season?

Aug 31, 2010

10-Day Real Food Challenge: Planning and Shopping

Since we chose September 1st as a start date for the 10-Day Real Food Pledge, we had to so some planning and shopping to prepare ourselves.

Surprisingly, Y (the boyfriend) was totally on board with this. As he pointed out, many times, this is pretty close to how we eat currently. Our meals are based around fresh meats and veggies. It just would get us to think a lot harder about the choices we make for late night snacks, convenience foods and sweeteners. Had I asked Y to do this before he moved in with me, I'm sure it would have been a much bigger struggle as he subsisted on his so-called "bachelor's diet" of subs, frozen pasta meals and potato chips.

As we sat down to make a plan for the next 10 days, we looked through our pantry and freezer to see what we could use and what we had to buy. I have class a few nights this week so those nights won't involve such big meals, but we wanted to make sure we both had food to eat without relying on take-out or any other quick fix.

We settled on a meal plan for dinners that looks something like this:

Wednesday - fresh whole wheat pasta with ground turkey, marinara sauce and spinach
Thursday - (class night) hummus and cheese sandwiches on whole wheat bread with baby carrots and celery sticks
Friday - grilled chicken thighs with local corn on the cob, green beans and salad
Saturday - grilled swordfish with sauteed spinach and local corn on the cob

Our shopping list
Agave nectar (to replace Y's sugar in his coffee)
Honey (mmm, on toast, in tea, in yogurt - Honey is LOVE!)
Almond butter
Whole wheat bread (made with honey, not sugar or corn syrup)
Brown Cow Plain Greek Yogurt (see here for a taste test of Greek yogurts)

Salad greens
Slaw mix (for salad topping)
Cherry tomatoes
Alfalfa sprouts
Organic kidney beans (I love kidney beans on salad. And you should too: B-complex, niacin, folate, magnesium, omega-3, calcium, fiber. )
Balsamic vinegar and olive oil (for dressing)

fresh whole wheat pasta
green beans
jarred tomato sauce (normally I make my own but I didn't have time this week, it was our one "cheat"and it's was a compromise we made together. We carefully read each label and chose something with the least ingredients, no sugar and no preservatives. I'm feeling a little guilty though since it's jarred and pre-packaged so I think I'll try to find the time to make the sauce - even a quick sauce with crushed tomatoes and spices would work fine)

Dried figs
Raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
Raw almonds
Raw brazil nuts

Everything else we already had in the pantry or freezer.

Here we go!

Aug 30, 2010

Motivate Monday

Sundays are usually my day to relax, be lazy, spend way too much time on the couch, have an extra cookie. And the result of this is that I’m even more tired and lazy on Mondays. Hmm, not working. Though, I must admit, it seems like a good idea every single time Sunday rolls around again.

Dreaded Monday – back to work, responsibilities and schedules. Screw that old routine. I’m taking Monday back and making it mine. I’m motivating. I’m setting out my goals and I’m going for a mandatory Monday workout. (Mandatory in that I must check in here and report it….every single week. Otherwise, the internet police might get me. See how that works?)

My goals for this week:

Monday – gym
Wednesday - yoga DVD at home
Saturday - bike ride and swimming

Track everything I eat this week – even on the weekend
Think about what I’m eating, whether I’m hungry, what will fuel me
Start the 10-Day Real Food Pledge!

Weekend (long holiday weekend):
Don’t use the weekend away as an excuse to eat and drink anything and everything thinking I can make up for it next week!

Thoughts on last week:
Talked myself out of going to the gym at least twice. What’s the point of that? Why try to punish myself? I felt GREAT after that Monday workout.
Lost over a pound in spite of a trip to Florida and a camping trip. Woo hoo!
I did choose great snacks most days (fruits and veggies) and tracked everything every day. Keep it up.

Aug 29, 2010

Taking the 10 Day Real Food Challenge

Starting on September 1st, my boyfriend and I will be taking the 10-Day Pledge to eat real food and consciously cut out any processed food from our diets.

I took the challenge based on the 100 Days of Real Food blog. I'm not quite ready for that level of commitment, but I am excited for the new start.

I've been many whole foods as I've been making a conscious effort to be mindful of my health and the way different foods make my body feel. I find myself relying on packaged granola bars and frozen pizzas when in a pinch though and I'd love to move away from that dependence.

I'm going to spend a few days planning what I'll need to buy, what I'll want to eat and really commit to this challenge. Check out Lisa Leake's blog and think about making your own pledge to eating real foods, if only for 10 days.

(As an aside, sorry it's been so long since I've posted...I'm sure no one even checks back here anymore. I struggled a bit with the healthy eating/blogging/honesty about my weight and body issues for a while but I find that when I do blog, it gives me some accountability and somewhere to talk about successes and failures. So I'm giving this another go.)

Apr 16, 2010

Week End Weigh In

Friday morning and that means it's weigh in time.

And this week........ Down 1.8. Woo hoo!

Apr 15, 2010

How do you tackle cravings?

It's one of those days where everything seems like a good replacement for sleep and a means for comfort.

I simply saw the words peanut butter and I was craving a spoonful. I saw someone drinking an iced coffee and actually felt a surge of longing for a sweet one. I'm not stranded in the desert with no food or water. Why the longing!!??? That's just too intense of a reaction!
Oh, silly hormones. You are tricky buggers.
(Must remember these cravings will pass. Must remember these cravings will pass.)

I'm going to keep telling myself that these are the kinds of days that make me stronger and that will make my weight loss efforts more successful if I just stay focused. Glass half full mumbo jumbo, maybe, but it might work. But man, I want a big bowl of popcorn and a nap! I'm going to drink a seltzer instead. It will at least fill me up a bit and distract me.

What do YOU do to tackle your cravings?

Apr 14, 2010

New Blog Title

I still have to figure out the rest of the logistics...but ta da.....I changed my blog title today - I'll now be known as Losing to Win.

I feel refreshed. Or something.

Time for a change.

HYC Challenge Check-In

Joy of joys, I'm back on track. Sure, there have been some mess-ups and some slips. But isn't that part of being on plan? Isn't that just a normal part of living? You make mistakes, you have a bad day, you live with it and you move on.

One of the things that always surprises me when I come back to focus after flailing for a while is that it's SO much easier to be on plan than off it. Without staying on plan, I'm worried that I ate too much so in turn I eat more to deal with the stress. I feel guilty about my indulgences and so avoid the scale. I "feel fat" and skip the gym and the weight creeps up and up and up. And my overall mood creeps downward steadily. I let myself be disempowered. (Spell check wants me to change that to disemboweled!! Errr, not quite what I was going for.)

The mental energy it takes me to feel badly and beat myself up for days/weeks/months about what I'm doing "wrong" is hard to get out from under. It seems to spiral, to linger, to weigh heavily..... And then things shift, something snaps, motivation returns (or even just a glint of motivation!) and it's time again to TRY.

Trying is the best we can do. And trying includes the good and the bad. But giving myself a chance to try is the most I can ask for.

And the more days that go by with me trying, the better I feel. And the more I try, the EASIER it is. What keeps many of us from trying is that we assume that it will be SO hard. That we'll have to make so many sacrifices and so many changes. What's tough is beating myself up every day. What's not is believing in what I'm doing, believing in myself, and nourishing my body. Giving myself a chance to be healthy? I have to admit, it feels pretty amazing!

Apr 13, 2010

The little self-destructive devil on my shoulder

Yesterday was totally up and down. Started the day motivated and on track. But I had this nagging little voice (PMS!) telling me how hungry, how stressed, how restless I was all day. Every time I tried to ignore it, it came back twice as strong. I forgot my sneakers for the gym so had to change my workout plans. Disappointment! So...I eventually gave in and had too many snacks in the afternoon. I chose mostly healthy options (yogurt, granola bar) but I ate my points I had allotted for dinner. I changed things up and planned on a salad for dinner to make up for the extra points.

The idea of not just letting the whole day go to pot and eating everything in the cupboard wasn't a temptation at that point yet. I knew I could handle it....I just had to stay focused and eat my salad for dinner. The day was not lost. When I got home from work, I asked the boyfriend to go for a walk with me. We just took a short 1.6 mile walk around the neighborhood, but I did feel better. At least I could undo a TINY bit of damage and then enjoy my salad for dinner.

But then around 8:30 or 9...I let that little voice win again. While I was prepping the crock pot for tonight's dinner, I reached into the cupboard for a handful of M&Ms, then another, then another. Then I managed to make a large bowl of popcorn to share with the bf. By that point, I was so stuffed and disappointed, I just went to bed.

Ugh! I ate all my daily points, the rest of my weekly points and all my activity points for the week! Plus two more!! I did track it all, which I feel is an accomplishment...but I shouldn't have let myself get so out of control.

Today I'm dusting myself off and moving on. I have a really busy day, and then two meetings after work. I'll make sure to have a snack around 5 since I'll be eating a late dinner.

Maybe I can even squeeze in 20 minutes of yoga or so before bed? We'll see. Today's a new day.

Apr 12, 2010

Monday morning: I peeked

This morning I hopped on the scale to take a peek at my weight. For me, it's generally not a good idea to check mid-week (my weigh-in day is Friday) as I know how much your weight can fluctuate daily. But I still wanted to make sure I was on track. I made a few poor decisions this weekend (like when I dove head first into a bottle of wine and had pretzels for lunch the next day), but overall I recovered by eating well and doing some exercise.

Looking back, starting my Monday morning looking for affirmation from the scale could have been a bad set-up for a rough week, so I'm happy my efforts showed on the scale. But this was a good reminder that as much I think the scale doesn't affect how I feel about myself, it totally does.

I'm going to keep this as a positive though and count it as a GREAT boost of motivation for the week. Hope you all have a great week too!

So here are my weekly goals:

1. Start the C25K (pending how my hips fare with the program!)

2. Continue doing my XBox Fitness Yourself workouts (5 days)

3. Track every meal and snack

Apr 11, 2010

My Recipe Box: Chicken Parmesan

My boyfriend loves chicken parm and when we first started dating, I cooked it for him. Lucky for me, he was hooked (both on the chicken and on me!). After that, I knew I had to come up with a way to lighten up the meal so I could make it occasionally for us. Just a few easy changes and I've worked out a great, quick way to put together chicken parmesan. Enjoy!

WW Friendly Chicken Parmesan

29 oz canned diced tomatoes, with Italian herbs (i large can, or 2 smaller cans)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 pound uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, four 4-oz pieces
4 tsp olive oil, divided
1 spray cooking spray
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, fresh
1/3 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs

Cooking Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350°.

To make the sauce, combine first 5 ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 35 minutes. Stir in sugar and vinegar; simmer 5 minutes.

While the sauce is cooking, place each chicken breast half between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap and pound to 1⁄2-inch thickness, using a meat mallet or rolling pin. Dredge chicken in breadcrumbs.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 chicken breast halves to pan and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Repeat procedure with remaining oil and chicken breast halves.

Arrange chicken in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Pour tomato sauce evenly over chicken, and sprinkle with cheeses.

Cover and bake at 350° for 35 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 chicken breast half with sauce and cheese).

Points: 7 pts per serving.

Serving suggestion: If you don't have time to make your own sauce, a jar of good store-bought sauce would work (Remember this may change the points per serving). Serve over whole wheat pasta or spaghetti squash and veggies on the side.

Apr 8, 2010

The weight creeps back on when we're not looking.

Between months of anxiety/depression, skipping the gym for who knows how long, and starting new meds to help combat the blues (which have the lovely side effect of making me SO hungry!), I've put on some weight. I haven't regained everything, but I'm worried if I stay on this path, I will.

So to get my weight back down AND to start feeling healthy again, I'm back.

Back to making good food choices.
Back to thinking about feeling good and being healthy.
Back to exercising!

First order of business - get the Easter candy OUT of the house. And not in the "Quick, eat it all so it can be gone" way....I'm going to bring it to work and leave it in the kitchen. It's safer being shared by 30 people than being eaten solely by me!

Apr 5, 2010

2010 Reading List

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer

The Alchemist by Paulo Cohelo

Backpack by Emily Barr

Gatecrasher by Madeline Wickham

Little Bee by Chris Cleave

April - August

*Since I'm not updating this until September, I'm sure I've forgotten something.*

The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell

The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent

Vinegar Hill by A. Manette Ansay

Three Junes by Julia Glass

A Good Dog by Jon Katz

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Day After Night by Anita Diamant