I wanted to take a minute to talk about a few things that have happened to me over the course of the last week or so. First my wonderfully amazing wife schemed behind my back(don’t worry I say that in a good way), to plan a possible trip for me to GenCon. Some things are unsure at the moment and we weren’t sure we could afford it and I had to tell the person she was planning it with that we couldn’t afford to go. In turn this person, in a great act of awesomeness and charity, offered to buy us the passes. I am not naming this person because I don’t know if they want this to be advertised, but to you I say… wow. The act in and of itself was quite touching and I still am not sure how to react to it. I still have to think on whether or not I want to take you up on your offer, but I will let you know soon.

So, the thing I learned. People are just amazing. I had kind of given up on the human race a long time ago to be honest. After the local gaming store Gateway Games and More opened and the people there were so cool to me and have made me feel so welcome I started to rethink my position. Today though, with what happened… I can’t keep thinking that people suck. Because people are awesome. At least… some people are.

Also, I tried on a pair of pants today that are two sizes smaller than what I have been wearing for like three years now. My wife, again being the most wonderful woman in the world, was cleaning out our closet earlier tonight and found several shirts and a pair of jeans that I hadn’t worn in at least three years. She begged me to try them on “Just to see where you are now.” I tried them all on and the shirts mostly fit, just a bit snug over my gut, and the pants fit pretty well too. The jeans were mostly snug around my calves which I’ve been having problems with lately, but overall they were actually fairly comfortable. I’m actually kind of proud of myself at this moment even though I’ve been feeling cruddy about myself lately. So yeah… interesting day.

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Short update this week.

Posted: June 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

Yeah its going to be short this week. I just don’t have the desire or drive to do much this week. Tired from preparing for a yard sale and kinda having a dumpy week altogether. So, go check out my video on YouTube. No recipes this week, again I apologize for that. I’ll be back next week with your usual update. Oh yeah, my overall measurements this week is zero inches. I lost some in waist and chest, but gained a decent amount in my legs again. So the net is zero. Oh well, hopefully next week is different.

Here we are again, another week in and five and a half inches thinner.  I have to say I do feel really good in the two months now that I’ve been doing this. Much better than I ever expected to, and it’s also much easier than I had anticipated.  Make sure to go check out my video on YouTube where I discuss some of the changes I’ve noticed in the past eight weeks.

 

This week is fairly short and for that I apologize, but as I mentioned in my video I’ve been very busy.  So instead of expounding upon what I recorded I’ll just say… go watch the video!  And leave you with your recipes:

French Onion Soup (Makes 6 servings, 10 pts each or 6 w/o croutons or cheese)

6 pounds yellow onions(12)

6T margarine(6)

1t salt

1/2t pepper

16c beef broth(8)

2T Flour(2)

1 sprig fresh thyme

1/2c white wine(2)

6 croutons(6)

6oz swiss or gruyere cheese(18)

 

Peel the onions, and cut in half, then slice lengthwise.  Melt margarine over medium heat in a 6 quart dutch oven, and add the onions, salt, and pepper.  Sweat the onions for 10-15 minutes until they’ve given up most of their water and gone translucent.  Turn heat to low, and cover.  Cook for about 90 minutes stopping to stir every 10 minutes.  At the end of that period deglaze with a few tablespoons of water and continue cooking for 45 more minutes, deglazing and stirring every 5 minutes until the onions are very brown and soft.  Add the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes more.  Add the broth, thyme, and wine.  Simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Pour into crocks and top with croutons and cheese if desired, placing crocks under a broiler until cheese is brown.

 Greens Soup(makes 6 servings, 7pts per serving)

4 slices bacon(4)

1 large onion, chopped

6 cloves garlic, chopped

4 cans of assorted greens, undrained(4)

1 can tomato puree(1)

1 can diced tomatoes, undrained(1)

4 qts chicken broth(8)

2t crushed red pepper flakes

salt and pepper to taste

bay leaf

1/4c apple cider vinegar(0)

4oz small dry pasta(stars, orzo, etc)(8)

1 pound chicken or ham cooked and diced(15)

Cook bacon until rendered and partly crisp.  Saute onion in the bacon fat until translucent.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant.  Add all remaining ingredients except pasta and meat.  Simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Add pasta and meat and simmer 10 more minutes.

 

Chicken Noodle Soup(4 servings, 7 points each)

2T margarine(2)

5 ribs celery, chopped(0)

4 carrots, diced(1)

1 lg onion, diced(0)

salt and pepper to taste

1 bay leaf

8c chicken broth(4)

2c egg noodles(8)

1 pound cooked chicken, shredded(15)

1T dill, chopped

1T parsley, chopped

Melt margarine in a soup pot and add vegetables.  Saute until soft.  Add remaining ingredients except dill and parsley.  Bring to a simmer for 10 minutes.  Stir in the herbs and serve. You can make this Italian style by omitting the dill, 2 cups of broth, and the egg noodles and instead adding a can of diced tomatoes with juice, a can of chick peas, some whole wheat penne, and a few ounces of  grated parmesan.  This will take it up to 10 points per serving.

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.

Hard week.

Posted: May 5, 2011 in Temptation
Tags: , , , , ,

Hello all.  Just thought I’d take a minute to drop in and let you know about he difficult week I’ve been having.  As some of you know my wife and I own our own cake decorating business.  We make cakes like the ones you see on TV.  This week we have the honor and privilege of making the cake for my good friend Hope’s wedding to her husband to be Josh.  Its a ton of work, and I’ve been slaving over it every single day this week to get things baked, get buttercream made, trim, fill, stack, crumbcoat, etc.  The first problem was being so danged busy that I couldn’t really think enough to actually remember to eat.  So before I knew it I was done or the day and making dinner and just then realizing I was hungry and hadn’t had anything to drink all day.  That’s when the headache came.  Same thing happened on Tuesday and Wednesday really.  Then there’s the temptation of having some of my favorite things, cake batter and buttercream frosting, right in front of my face all day long.  Not to mention the fact that I do actually have to taste things to make sure they are flavored correctly.  Its been really hard.