Wednesday, February 29, 2012

To-Go Lunches

On days I go to work I need to bring easy to heat foods since we only have a microwave to warm things. Did I just say work? YES I work on average about 12 hours a week. Before the baby I used to work more, but now financially it makes no sense to hire someone to watch my three small children because they would be making more money than me. So I am grateful for some free family help which also allows me a little break, grown up conversation, and to keep my foot in the door at work.

Anyways on this particular day I was trying to keep my calories low in the day to keep room for a higher calorie dinner.

Here is my 110 calorie version of Cesar salad. TJ's butter leaf bagged lettuce is my all time fav. 2 cups of that, 2 teaspoons of Parmesan cheese, a serving of croutons, then the dressing is TJ's Champagne Vinaigrette, but to me tastes so much like a scrumptious Cesar dressing. It's 50 calories per serving. This dressing is NOT found in the refrigerated section and is just a few dollars.

A little tip, I save baby food containers for use with to-go meals and for my kids snacks. I'm thrilled my smallest just started solids so I can restock my supply. I paired this salad with some low calorie soup and also had a few other snacks throughout the day.

Make Your Own English Muffin Pizzas

We love pizza in our house, heck who doesn't. Well making pizza skinny is not an easy task because lets face it the CHEESE is the best part and packs a hearty calorie punch.

Our new favorite is make your own english muffin pizzas. You can add anything, next up I think we are going to do ham and pineapple. Yum yum.

6 pieces of Hormel Turkey Pepperoni - 23
1/8 C of Ragu pizza sauce - 15
1/4 C of reduced cal mozerella cheese - 70
GRAND TOTAL = 208 calories!!!

Add a salad to the mix and you have a great little low cal lunch.

*Note I toast the muffin in the toaster before I add the toppings, then I broil them.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Quickey

So as a busy Mama fast is almost always my friend and tonight fast was the key. See my amazing Husband offered to take the twins to the gym daycare with him after dinner tonight, leaving me in a somewhat quiet house with just the baby. So dinner around 5:15 and off the guys went around 6 which is giving me about 90 minutes minus pure chaos. The Hubs for sure won some bonus points. The list of things I can organize or clean is never ending and I hope to accomplished quite a bit. With two two year olds at my feet the deep cleaning especially in my room or the bathrooms is hard to get to. Ahhhhh the little things.

So I made the following dish obviously using the low fat soup, the only other change I made was using 1/4 C of white wine and 3/4 C of water oh and a little garlic powder so I guess the wine would add about 8 calories to the dish making it 334 calories per serving. Oh and the cooking time for me was 65 minutes NOT 45 and my chicken was around 4 - 5 oz. each.

Very good and super kid friendly we served this with a nice salad and everyone was pleased.

Now off to enjoy the evening of quiet time which is VERY rare in this house.

One Dish Chicken & Rice Bake

From: Campbell's Kitchen
Prep: 5 minutes Bake: 45 minutes
Serves: 4

Chicken and rice paired with a creamy mushroom sauce bake together for a delicious one-dish meal that's easy to make and easy to clean up.


1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)

1 cup water

3/4 cup uncooked regular long-grain white rice

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves


Stir the soup, water, rice, paprika and black pepper in a 2-quart shallow baking dish. Top with the chicken. Season with additional paprika and black pepper. Cover the baking dish.

Bake at 375°F. for 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the rice is tender.

Nutritional Values per Serving

Using Campbell's 98% Fat Free Cream of Mushroom Soup: :Calories 326, Total Fat 5g, Saturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 86mg, Sodium 371mg, Total Carbohydrate 33g, Dietary Fiber 1g, Protein 33g, Vitamin A 2%DV, Vitamin C 0%DV, Calcium 4%DV, Iron 14%DV

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sometimes Life Calls For Fast Food!

As a Mom of three and a hectic life sometimes we do eat fast food. Main reason being we know the calorie count. Sad right? But true. Tonight I called a local fish taco joint to see if they had calorie info, nope only chains and in our case around here fast food tell ya the calorie info.

So tonight I had my favorite fast food salad. 1/2 order of Wendy's Baja salad with EVERYTHING! 460 calories for dressing, chili, salad, and chips. Plus you can skip the chips for minus 80. This salad has Wendy's small chili to pour over it. How can you go wrong?

A hearty salad with a Southwest flair, featuring fresh pico de gallo, guacamole and slow simmered chili, all topped with a red jalapeno dressing.


So for this dinner, I made some panko and parm crusted baked chicken, but really I want to share the potato and dressing find.

Idahoan makes these pouches of mashed potatoes in different flavors. This was a four cheese variety and you get 1/2 cup for 110. Recently I found Betty Crocker to make the same thing for even less calories. Now don't go getting all judgey, I have THREE kids two and under and some nights you just need a quick side dish. For these you just add water and zap them.

The salad is dressed with this great dressing from TJ's. It is in the cold section and is a Champagne Pear Vinaigrette WITH Gorgonzola cheese in it! I know right? 2 tablespoons for 45, please run DO NOT walk to go find this.

Amazing Breakfast

Who knew you could have this breakfast for 240 calories?

2 Eggo Nutri-Grain Waffles - 140
1 slice of Kirkland fully cooked bacon - 40
60 ml of sugar free syrup - 23
1/4 cup of strawberries - 12
4 oz. of Tropicana 50 calorie OJ (1/2 serving then I add water, I am not a fan of sweet juice) - 25

A Veggie Spin

After the Superbowl we happened to have a left over veggie tray. I was just going to grill them up with your average spray olive oil and some spices. Once almost complete I got an idea... teriyaki sauce! Yes it is sort of high in calories, but considering this would serve about 4 people the 80 calories of sauce was VERY justifiable and also VERY worth it. They were delicious! I cannot wait to make them again with some rice and maybe teriyaki chicken.

Deli Sandwich

So after we had the pasta we had a left over baguette and what I had been really missing was a nice sandwich on a french roll. Bread like that is really high, so I hollowed out the insides and weighed it to get it to the correct weight to only be 180 calories, instead of the average 300 calories for a roll like that. Then I opted for a half of ounce of cheddar cheese, thin sliced turkey, some light mayo, veggies, pickles and 15 baked lays. Hollowing also gives you room to stuff the sammy with lots of goodies. This insanely good lunch was 365 calories!

Salmon and Salad

Note the cardio exercise on the bottom of this diary. We happen to live in walking distance to many great stores including Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and Target so another part of this journey has been ONLY walking to the store. Now this serves three purposes. One - Great for the kids to get out. Two - Burns calories. Three - Have you EVER loaded and unloaded three kids FOUR times just to go to the store? So I make it a point to walk pretty much everyday. We walk to the store and the park or the frozen yogurt shop. GASP... YES I can have frozen yogurt. Also on my cardio is hip hop dance exercise on the TV and this activity is not just ME, YES you guessed it the kids dance with me and they LOVE it.

So if you look at lunch note the salad. It is a packaged ready to go Greek salad from TJ's with the dressing. Feta cheese, red onion, and tomatoes and very yummy. YES I could have made this, BUT if you are in a pinch this is tasty and low. I grilled up salmon and crumbled it on my salad and it was yummy! Also easy would be the TJ's Just Chicken it comes in three flavors and is in the cold section. We like the caesar flavor the best for on top of salads or in wraps and the kids love it too.

Pasta Pasta Pasta!

This was a cooking light recipes from the 2005 Annual Cookbook, but I attached the link from another source. We omitted the clams. For 390 calories you get 1 cup of pasta, 1 cup of the mixture AND a teaspoon of parmesan cheese. This was a for sure keeper! We really wanted french bread so we got a baguette, cut the slices thin for around 55 calories of bread and then sprayed it with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray, which is zero calories. That night I was close to my calorie limit (most likely due to two glasses of wine) so I opted for a 15 calories dressing. Great Value (Wal-Mart) brand fat-free italian.

Cheese Puffs

My twins LOVE cheese puffs or as Noah calls them "cheenos!" So I was on a mission to find them something healthier and here it is. Trader Joe's Cheese Puffs 35 puffs for 130 calories. For me when I had them I didn't even need 35 nor do the kids so I cut the serving in half. I do that A LOT I do just half a serving because I like to keep my snack foods under 100 calories. Now go get some, of and I think they were $1.99 a bag, another plus.

Breakfast Sandwich

First off I must give mad props to the app which has allowed me to even be capable of making ANY progress. My Fitness Pal! With this app it will give you a calorie goal for the day. You can log and scan, YES scan bar codes of foods you eat. Plus you can keep track of your exercise AND chat with friends and view their progress so you can encourage each other.

So this is a screen shot of an average breakfast sandwich I eat often. The picture actually includes egg beaters for some extra protein that day, which was just over the weekend. I try to keep my breakfast under 250 calories to allow me flexibility later in the day.

How The Journey Began

After three babies in two years my body was NOT what I wanted it to be and neither was my Husband's. We got comfy making convenience food and indulging in wine and tasty high in fat foods.

My Husband went to a meeting for gastric bypass surgery, he walked into the meeting and saw the people there, this was NOT him. I cried for him as he told me about the experience and we KNEW that we could do this on our own. He had more will power than the people in that room, he had faith in himself and most of all we had each other for this journey. But even above that we had three little boys depending on us for adventures, play time, fun, and to stick around to be a part of their lives for a very long time.

We began our journey January 4th, 2012. As of today I am down 15 pounds and my amazing husband is down 35! Never did we imagine that we would enjoy this journey so much. For me it is sort of a game. Scoring new and exciting food finds or making a recipe which feels like I am cheating, plus we are showing our boys how to eat right and that special treats are just that, special and not something we get often.

I started off with my first goal being to lose 30 pounds by my 30th Birthday on May 24th, today I reached my half way point. Obviously after that I would like to hit another goal, but for now that is where I stand.

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I am a wife and Mama to three boys. I had THREE babies in 23 months and went on a mission to reclaim my health and body. By eating better and exercising I have lost 70 pounds. This is my food, and my journey mixed in with our crazy life. A better me for them!

Send me a message and we can chat more about how I can coach you to your goals!

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