Archive for the ‘Tips’ Category

Hey guys, as usual you can find the video here.

My trip to GenCon was beyond amazing. I’ve been gaming now for just about eighteen years, and have been hearing about GenCon for about seventeen of those years. During that time I’ve only ever made it to one convention, and it was a very small local convention put on by one of the gaming stores that used to be in my area. That store is, sadly, now closed. However my experiences at that little con of about two hundred or so people just kind of whetted my appetite for a bigger and better con. For whatever reason though, it took me fifteen years to get to another one. I made up for it by going to the biggest and best however, and loved every minute of it.

Unfortunately we were only able to afford to go a single day, even after saving for two months to make it happen at all. I guess that’s what happens when you’re unemployed. Anyway, digressions aside, GenCon was an experience that is not to be missed. In that one day I was able to go I met so many gaming celebrities and people that I know from online. While meeting those people I had a chance to meet “whutaguy”, a fellow fan of the Happy Jacks RPG Podcast. Now, before I talk about him, I need to preface this with the statement that I’ve never really thought anyone was getting anything out of this little blog of mine. Honestly, I was considering giving up and not even bothering to record anything or post anything ever again. I think I have two or three subscribers, and only a few people ever post comments to either my videos or my blogs. Don’t take this as some sort of ploy to get more subscribers or anything, it’s more just a statement of fact in regards to how I perceived the whole thing. When I started this I assumed I would maybe have ten or fifteen followers, mostly people like me who were looking for someone like themselves to see that it is possible to lose the weight without surgery.

Anyway, whutaguy(Keith), was telling me about how much impact I had enacted on their lives. He took the time to explain to me how his wife kept refreshing the blog looking for a new post, because she really wanted to see more. Apparently I influenced them to join Weight Watchers and he has since lost twenty five pounds. I am not too shy to say that it took a lot of effort to keep from crying when he told me that, and I made a promise to myself right then that I wouldn’t stop doing this blog until I had no more to offer. So… Keith and Tammy thank you guy so much for following me, and congratulations on the great start you’ve had. You really have encouraged me to keep doing this and keep going for the good of the few fans that I do have.

Another great thing that happened was that two different people approached me on two separate occasions to tell me how much they like the blog and that they think I’m doing a great job. Apparently Sean K. Reynolds and Jodi Lane Reynolds(the two amazing people I mentioned in a previous blog who offered to pay for my GenCon badge), had told the offices of Paizo Publishing about me and they are in turn watching my progress. It’s awesome to me to know that the people who make the game that I love to play are paying attention to what I’m doing. So, thank you Paizoites! I promise to do my best not to let any of you down.


Like the title says, I lost eight and a half more inches this week which puts me at twenty four inches of total loss. That’s amazing for me to consider.  That I’ve lost two feet of fat.  In just six weeks of work I’ve lost two feet of fat from my body.  I have to assume that’s about forty to fifty pounds.  Which means I should be getting close to the point that I can weigh myself on a scale. There is a scale my wife found at Bed, Bath, and Beyond that goes up to four hundred and fifty pounds, so I’m hoping she gets it and I can start weighing myself in addition to my measuring.  Until then though, go check out the video:

Really think about good ways to add low point and low calorie flavor to the foods you eat, it can make a dramatic difference in your enjoyment of what it is you’re eating.  Also, I want to take a minute to talk about Sugar Free/No Sugar Added/etc.  I am not a fan of artificial sweeteners.  I’m just not.  I think they taste horrible, I think they do bad things to your body, and there is documented evidence that they increase your appetite.  So do yourself a favor and don’t buy these things.  Unless of course they are sweetened with natural things like honey, fruit juice, real sugar, etc.  Its much more likely to be good for you if its a real ingredient and not a chemical made in a lab.  Be smart, and don’t take what seems like the easy way out.  Work on more than just the numbers and you will be rewarded.  Think about the big picture.

Ok folks, time for that part you are always waiting for… my recipes!

Asian Chicken and Rice Casserole 2 servings, 12 points per serving

½ c long grain white rice, uncooked(6 pts)

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts(10 pts)

1 can cream of mushroom soup(4 pts)

½c chicken broth(0 pts)

1T soy sauce(1 pt)

1T rice wine vinegar(0 pts)

1T brown sugar(1 pt)

2 garlic cloves, minced(0 pts)

1T ginger, minced or grated(0 pts)

1t toasted sesame oil(1pt)

3 carrots, peeled and diced(0 pts)

1 onion, sliced(0 pts)

1c frozen peas, thawed(1 pt)

1c broccoli cuts(0 pt)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix uncooked rice with the carrots, onions, peas, and broccoli and pour into the bottom of an 8×8 baking dish. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place on top of rice. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over the chicken and rice. Bake for 40 minutes or until rice is tender.

Herbed Chicken and Potatoes 2 servings, 9 points each

400g potatoes(about 2 medium), sliced(4 pts)

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts(10 pts)

1 packet of herbed soup mix(0 pts0

1 onion, sliced(0 pts)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1T olive oil(3 pts)

1/3c chicken broth(0 pts)

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Scrub, slice, and rinse potatoes. Dry them on a towel then toss with the oil, salt, pepper, onion, and garlic. Layer in the bottom of an 8×8 baking dish and top with the chicken. Mix soup mix with broth and pour over the chicken. Bake 30-40 minutes. Serve with a nice vegetable side dish.

Mike’s All Purpose Seasoning servings vary, 0 points per serving

4 parts onion powder

3 parts garlic powder

2 parts black pepper

2 parts paprika

1 part cayenne pepper

Mix all together, pour into a shaker, and use to season vegetables, meats, soups, stews, eggs, just about anything. For a spicier seasoning, increase to as much as 3 parts cayenne pepper. For pork and chicken add 1 part of poultry seasoning, works perfectly. For a more Mexican styled seasoning you can add 2 parts of cumin powder. For Italian add 2 parts each of dried basil and oregano.

Next week I intend to concentrate a bit more on one of my favorite foods… SOUP!  Soups can be extremely flavorful and are generally low in points.  So stay tuned and look out next week for that!  Until then don’t forget to keep waging a war against your waistline…

Everything is in the video, but for those of you just looking to see where I am by way of progress… You’ll be pleased to know that I am back on the good side of my measurements again this week with an additional 7.5″ lost.  Based on my wife’s calculations that puts me at 15 3/4″ total loss since I started this whole thing a month ago.  Not too bad if I do say so myself.

Here is this week’s video:

So to revisit this week’s topic of prepping for success, there are many things you can do to help yourself get where you need to go.  On top of the basic labeling I mention in the video, you can add multiple notations to the label if you’d like.  For example, if you plan to regularly use more than the serving size indicated, label the package with the point value for whatever serving size you are most likely to use.  The same goes  if you will use less than the package’s indicated serving size.  Another great idea is to print out a list of some standard food items that you will have but that you can’t easily label.  For example fresh fruits and vegetables are hard to label so I instead have a list of all the things I buy on a regular basis and their associated serving sizes and points values posted on my refrigerator door.  This way, if I’m looking for a quick snack or need to throw together a fast last minute meal that I didn’t plan for, I can very easily do a points value on the fly.

Planning ahead and thinking about what you will be eating is definitely something that you need to do if you are going to be starting a weight loss plan.  If you’re anything like me you are probably mostly used to tossing some frozen package of meat in the fridge the night before, and then when dinner time rolls around just tossing together whatever sounds tasty and hoping something delicious comes out the other end.  For me, that was never really much of a worry.  I was brought up with a good steady foundation of basic cooking skills and techniques thanks to a caring mother and doting grandmother.  The delicious part was never really an issue, the healthy party however, tended to be the issue.  Now that I think about what I’m making in advance and how its going to affect my plan in the end, I end up making tasty and healthful meals.

Now, speaking of my skills in the kitchen… Here are this week’s recipes:

Beef Stroganoff(4 servings, 9 pts per serving)

1 pound Ground Chuck(15 points)

¼ t salt(0 points)

1/8t pepper(0 points)

1t olive oil(1 point)

8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced(0 points)

1 medium onion, chopped(0 points)

3 cloves garlic, minced(0 points)

1 can fat free cream of mushroom soup(2 points)

1/2 c fat free sour cream(2 points)

1T Dijon mustard(0 points)

2t Worcestershire sauce(0 points)

1 8oz package of egg noodles, cooked(16 points)

1T fresh parsley, chopped(0 points)

1/2c beef broth(0 points)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown meat,drain well, and season with salt and pepper before setting aside.  In the same skillet sauté the onion, mushrooms, and garlic in the oil until mushrooms are cooked through and onions are translucent.  De-glaze skillet with the broth and reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in all remaining ingredients. Pour into sprayed 13×9 baking dish and bake for 30 minutes.

Chicken Hash(Makes 2 servings, 8 pts each)

2 large potatoes(about 300 grams, 3 points)

1T margarine(1 point)

Salt and pepper to taste

1 medium onion, chopped(0 points)

2 cloves garlic, chopped(0 poitns)

1c red bell pepper, chopped(1 point)

¼ t cayenne pepper(0 points)

2c shredded or cubed chicken(10 points)

1 can corn(2 points)

Scrub potatoes and cut into chunks(peel if you must).  Microwave in covered container for 6 minutes on high. Heat margarine in a skillet and add potatoes, onion, garlic, red pepper, and seasoning.  Cook on medium high until onions and pepper turn soft and potatoes are browning nicely.  Add chicken and corn and heat through.  Serve with some scrambled eggs or egg whites for a nice breakfast or any meal.

Green Bean Chicken Bake (makes 4 servings, 7 points each)

1 can fat free cream of mushroom soup(2 points)

½ c 2% milk(1 point)

Salt and pepper to taste

2t Worcestershire sauce

3 cans of Green Beans(3 points)

2c cubed or shredded chicken(10 points)

½ cup French fried onions(5 points)

1/2 c fat free cheddar cheese(2 points)

1 ½ c mashed potatoes (6 points)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together soup, milk, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce.  Stir in beans, chicken, half of onions, and half of cheese.  Pour into sprayed casserole and top with potatoes.  Sprinkle potatoes with remaining cheese and onions and bake for 30-35 minutes.

I just posted a new video over on YouTube, so be sure to go check it out.

For those of you wanting to see the cake, here you go:

Not too shabby if I do say so myself.

So anyway yeah as you guys know it was a bad week, I ended up gaining inches this week.  Not real happy with things right now but hopefully that means I work that much harder to get some inches to drop next week right?  We’ll see.

Here’s your recipes that I mentioned on the video.

Quick Taco Soup(6pts per serving, makes 1 serving)

½ c jarred salsa(0 points)

1c cooked chicken(5 points)

2c chicken broth(1 point)

Taco seasoning , salt, and pepper to taste

Bring the broth and salsa to a simmer, add the seasoning and chicken, simmer to warm chicken and enjoy.

Mexican Lasagna(12 points per serving, makes 4 servings)

1 pound ground beef(15 points)

1 packet taco seasoning(0 points)

1 onion, chopped(0 points)

1 red bell pepper, chopped(0points)

1 sm can of diced green chiles(0 points)

1 can of diced tomatoes(1 point)

1 can of whole kernel corn(2 points)

1 can black beans, drained(2 points)

8 whole wheat tortillas from my recipe(8 points)

1 c cheddar cheese(12 points)

Shredded Lettuce (0points)

½ c Sour Cream, divided(3 points)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brown the meat and then drain the fat, add the onions and pepper and sauté until soft.  Add seasoning, water, salsa, tomatoes, corn, and beans.  Bring to a simmer and let simmer for 5-10 minutes. Layer 4 tortillas in the bottom of a 13×9 casserole dish, top with a third of the meat mixture and repeat until all ingredients are in the pan.  Top with cheese and bake for 25 minutes. Serve with lettuce and sour cream.

Tortilla Soup(6 pts per serving, makes 8 servings)

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into small dice(20 points)

2 pkgs taco seasoning(0 points)

2T chili powder(0 points)

1T onion powder(0 points)

1T garlic powder(0 points)

2t black pepper(0 points)

1 large onion, diced(0 points)

4 cloves garlic, minced(0 points)

1T olive oil(3 points)

2 small cans diced green chiles, undrained(0 points)

2 cans whole kernel corn, undrained(6 points)

2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained(2 points)

1 can black beans, undrained(3 points)

8c chicken broth(6 points)

8 whole wheat tortillas my recipe, sliced into strips(8 points)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, place tortilla strips onto cookie sheet and toast in oven for 5-10 minutes until crisp. Set aside.  Saute onion, garlic, and chiles in the oil until the onions are soft.  Dump all ingredients except chicken into the pot and stir to mix well. Bring to a simmer and then add chicken. Simmer for 25-30 minutes until chicken is fully cooked.  Serve with tortilla strips on top, and possibly sour cream and cheddar cheese if you have extra points.  Honestly though, you won’t need it.

Week 2 update.

Posted: May 1, 2011 in Exercise, Recipes, Tips, YouTube

Don’t forget to check out the YouTube channel at

In this week’s video I discussed a few different things. First I mentioned my measurements which I will post here:

Rt Bicep: 18.5″
Rt Wrist: 8″
Neck: 23 1/4″
Chest: 67.5″
Waist: 70 1/4″
Rt Thigh: 35.5″
Rt Calf: 28 3/4″
Lt Thigh: 35 3/4″
Lt. Calf: 19″

Which is a total of 7.5″ lost this week and an overall 21.5″ lost since I’ve been keeping track. Contributing factors in the decline I think were lack of sufficient exercise this week and a few days where I got really close to my points totals. Also, I didn’t drink quite as much water as I probably should have.  So hopefully next week I’ll be able to show you guys a bit more in terms of results.

As I mentioned in the blog I have been working on some recipes so I’d like to go ahead and post those here. Keep in mind though that these point totals are based on the products that I buy, and they might not be quite the same as what it is you buy. You should pay attention to the labels to see if you can find something comparable.

English Muffin Pizzas(2.5 pts per mini pizza, makes 4)

2 Lite Whole Wheat Thomas’ English Muffins(1 point per muffin)

4 Tablespoons Pizza Sauce(0 points)

1/2c Low Fat Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese(4 points)

Sliced onion to taste(0 points)

16 slices Pepperoni(4 points)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Toast english muffins in your toaster to a light setting.  Spread 1/4 of the pizza sauce on each muffin half and then top with a quarter of each of the toppings, finish with 2 tablespoons of cheese per half.  Place in the oven for about 10 minutes to melt the cheese and warm the muffins through completely.

You can make these even lower in points by dropping the pepperoni in favor of a lower point topping option.  Some suggestions: mushrooms(0 points), olives(1 point), eggplant (0 points), thin sliced potato(1 points for a small potato), chicken(4 points for 4 ounces), garlic(0 points), or broccoli(0 points).

Whole Wheat Tortillas(1.5 per tortilla, makes 24)

2c All Purpose Flour(16 points)

2c Whole Wheat Flour(16 points)

1t Salt(0 points)

2t Baking Powder(0 points)

2T Margarine(2 points)

1 1/2 c Warm Water(0 points)

Pulse the first five ingredients in a food processor until they resemble a coarse cornmeal.  Slowly add the water through the feed tube until a dough forms.  Knead slightly to form a ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.  I usually let it rest overnight. Portion the dough(preferably by weight) into 24 equal pieces and roll into balls. Place in a bowl and top with a damp cloth or paper towel.  Preheat a griddle or cast iron skillet to about 350 degrees.  Roll each ball into an 8 inch round and cook for about a minute on each side.  Once cooked keep wrapped in a towel until all of them are finished.

Italian Quesadillas(4 points each, makes 4)

1T Olive Oil(0 points)

1t Garlic Powder(0 points)

4 Whole Wheat Tortillas(from above recipe)(4 points)

1c Low Fat Part Skim Mozzarella(8 points)

16 Leaves Fresh Basil (or 2t dried)(0 points)

2 Tomatoes, sliced(0 points)

Salt and Pepper to taste(0 points)

Mix olive oil and garlic powder and brush both sides of the tortillas.  Separate the mozzarella and 2 tablespoons of mozzarella on one half of each tortilla, top with 4 leaves of basil(or 1/2t dried), and a quarter of the tomato slices.  Season the tomatoes to taste and top with 2 more tablespoons of the cheese, then fold the tortilla in half.  Toast the quesadillas in a skillet for 3-4 minutes per side until cheese is melted and tortilla has crisped.

Again, many different options her.  You can add even more vegetables if you like such as onions(0 points), eggplant(0 points), if you like.  Adding a 1/4 cup of pizza sauce for dipping isn’t a bad idea either and is 0 points.  You could do a mexican version of this using monterey jack cheese, some taco seasoning, 1.2 c of pinto beans(2 points), 4 ounces of chicken(4 points), and dip into some fat free salsa(0 points).  I’m sure there are other options as well if you want to experiment with the basic concept.

Chocolate Meringue Kisses(3 kisses is 1 point, makes 48)

4 Egg Whites(1 point)

1c Sugar(16 points)

Pinch of Cream of Tartar(0 points)

1/2 Vanilla Extract(0 points)

1/4c Cocoa Powder(1 point)

Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Place egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in a glass or metal mixing bowl and place over a pan with a little simmering water.  Whisk constantly until the sugar is fully dissolved(about 3 minutes).  Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer(if you have one, if not whisk by hand or use a hand mixer), and beat until stiff peaks are formed.  Add vanilla and cocoa and stir to combine.  Using a piping bag(or two spoons) form small cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 2 hours, turn off oven and leave overnight.  Store in an airtight container.

Suggestions: You can substitute a flavoring of your choice for the vanilla and omit the cocoa powder to make cookies of just about any flavor.  Lemon flavoring would be very good I would think.  or perhaps leave the cocoa powder and add mint for a mint chocolate kiss.  Food coloring can also be added if you want to get playful with the kisses as well.

Ok, that’s it for this update.  Hope you enjoy.  See you next time!

And don’t forget, keep waging that war against the waistline!