Archive for May, 2010

Winners never Quit

26 May 2010

Confession: I have body image issues. I’ve had them almost as long as I can remember.

Charlotte Astrid's Flickr stream

Does this measuring tape make me look fat?

Is that a big surprise? The majority of women in industrialized countries share my plight – whether they are thick, thin, obese, healthy, skinny, sick… In my opinion, there’s a huge problem with that, but that’s a topic for  a better thought out post in the future. This post is to clear my head and document my success.

So, what do I do in order to tackle the body-image monster? I meet it head on. Two weeks ago today, I re-joined Weight Watchers. I’ve been a member of Weight Watchers on-and-off since 2004 – with varying degrees of success. I have heard, observed and learned first-hand that the degree of success one achieves as a Weight Watcher (WWer) is in direct correlation to the degree of dedication that WWer has to meet goal. To quote a popular WWer mantra, “The Program works IF you work the Program.”


It can be easy to feel overwhelmed and frustrated when starting to revamp your lifestyle, but if you take it in small bites it becomes much more manageable. Well, at least for me, it is. 🙂 I think that my all-or-nothing mentality has been a detriment to my work toward the total revamping of my diet and overall lifestyle – I kept getting bogged down in the details and losing sight of the finish line.

No more: I will no longer allow myself to get lost in the overwhelming ball-pit of details. I will build up my healthy lifestyle block by block, rather than trying to do it all at once – and I will make myself accept responsibility and ownership for my decisions. I will hold myself accountable instead of trying to find things to blame my failure on; I want to blame myself for my success. 😛

The first week back On Program (OP), I wasn’t doing so hot. I’m not sure what my mindset was, but it was not success. I took stock in my decision to re-join Weight Watchers, and decided that I wasn’t going to allow myself to fail.

My first test was going out for dinner and drinks with friends at a locally owned Irish-style pub. I looked up the menu to plan my meal – but – gasp! – no nutritional information was available. I looked up similar foods so that I could estimate points values and limited my choices down to 2-3. I chose a Rosemary Oven-Roasted Chicken with Roasted Potatoes and Grilled Asparagus. I had a glass of wine with dinner. I even had dessert – which I shared. I thought I was going to use up the majority of my flex points – but I didn’t. 😀 I did use a few, but not many at all. That was victory #1.

My second victory came today. I had waited far too long to eat and I was getting light headed, it was time for me to prepare dinner, but I knew that I wouldn’t make it even that long. We have some tortilla chips in the pantry, as well as cereals, nuts, and chocolate chips. Normally, I would have chosen something chock full of carbs or (refined) sugar – I was drawn to the fruit bowl instead. As I got out what I needed in order to prepare dinner, I ate a banana, which held me over perfectly.

Am I too early in my journey to congratulate myself for a job well-done? I don’t think so. I have never before
taken the time to really think about my choices – a habit I’ve been wanting to change for a long, long time. I need to take stock of all of the great decisions I make so that when I might make a bad decision, I won’t beat myself up about it. So what if I go over my points one day, that’s what flex points are for. So what if I eat a piece of cake at a birthday party, I’ve budgeted it and will be making smart choices the rest of the day. If I beat myself up for every little thing, I’ll become dejected and ultimately quit. I’m a winner – and winners never quit. 😀

Simon Howden

I'm a Winner!

photos from: Charlotte Astrid’s Flickr

tinachensf’s Flickr


Mindful Menu: 23 May – 29 May

23 May 2010

Sunday: Tortellini with Tomato/Basil sauce and Turkey Meatballs. (7.5pts)

Monday: Crock Pot Cranberry Pork Loin (Slow Cooker Bible) (11pts)

Tuesday: WW Greek Shrimp and Orzo (7pts)

Wednesday:  Mustard Dill Chicken (WW recipe from old getting started book?), Baked Potato (3+pts)

Thursday: Pizza with whole wheat crust (11pts)

Friday: Salmon Cakes (11.5pts)

Saturday: Aunt Audrey’s Chicken Enchilada Casserole (8 pts)

1000 words: mini-container garden!!

23 May 2010

Where do I start with the Gardening?

Miracle Gro Organic Potting Mix

Fresh Thyme from the Farmer's Market

Texas Tarragon!

Sweet Basil - I LOVE Basil!

Marigold started from seed in April!

Dill from the Farmer's Market

Carrots and Mesclun

My attempt at hanging a plant bracket - not so successfully!

Banana Pepper Plant

Roma Tomato from the Farmer's Market

Wildflowers Mix, bonus Cilantro & Daisy, Sweet Pea and Baby's Breath

Jalapeno Pepper

Gerbera Daisy - Jaguar

My little container garden!

Mindful Menu: 16 May – 22 May

18 May 2010

bleh. I seem to have totally lost all motivation lately. Menu planning was awful this week – hence my not posting until today. I browsed, I searched, I lurked – but I’m simply not inspired.

I also (re)joined Weight Watchers last week – so I’ll be including points counts with my menu planning.

Sunday: Housewarming BBQ at baby bro’s place

Monday: Meatloaf w/ canned green beans (5 pts)

Tuesday: black bean tostadas w/ cheese, lettuce, taco sauce and tomatoes. (6pts)

Wednesday: probably not eating at home tonight – I have a memorial service to attend for a friend’s father.

Thursday: Salmon Cakes w/ Creamy Dill Sauce, Green Salad w/ Feta (11.5pts)

Friday: Whole Wheat Penne Pasta w/ Parma Rose sauce, broccoli and baby bellas. Green Salad (5 pts)

Saturday: Homemade pizza w/ whole wheat crust and LOTS of veggies! (on my part at least!) and a green salad. (11pts)

Mindful Menus

Mindful Menu: 9 May – 15 May

10 May 2010

Sunday: impromptu BBQ at my baby brother’s new house

Monday: Anniversary Dinner at Kato Japanese Cuisine. 🙂 Celebrating 7 years as husband and wife!

Tuesday: leftover chicken pot pie i made friday night.

Wednesday: never got around to my tostadas last week, so they’re making a repeat appearance on the menu

Thursday: salmon patties

Friday: burgers

Saturday: another afternoon/evening of parties and get togethers.

there were a bunch of unplanned menus last week – my mom ended up taking me out twice and my aunts once! craziness…i never eat out that much anymore!

check out the others on the Mindful Menu Blogroll!

Mindful Menus

Mother’s Day Brunch

7 May 2010

Mother’s Day kind of snuck on me this year – for some reason I was thinking that it was on the 16th and not the 9th! whoops!

Fortunately, my mom inadvertently reminded me and suggested we have a brunch at my house, as one of my aunt’s is flying back to Chicago that afternoon and I’m near the airport. 🙂

After consultation with the family, this is what we decided to have for the brunch:

Mother’s Day Brunch Menu:

The Beverage Menu:

It is a lot of food, but with picky eaters and about 15 people showing up, I think there will be a good variety and amount for everyone!

Now, back to cleaning up the house so this brunch can happen! 😀

Mindful Menu: 2 May – 8 May

3 May 2010

I was so on the ball last week with my menu – so of course this week, not so much. :-/ I didn’t stay exactly on menu last week, mostly just switched days. 2 days I ended up with unexpected dinner plans, one with my mom and the other with my BFF. 😀

I don’t know how this week is gonna roll – not really very inspired, honestly. But I’m gonna give it a go!

Sunday: breakfast for dinner!

Monday: Pasta con Broccoli (holdover from last week)

Tuesday: Chicken Pot Pie – I have an extra pie crust and all of the other ingredients on hand, so might as well use ’em up! Check out this “story” I posted about it on Whrrl last week!

Wednesday: CINCO de MAYO!! so, of course, it’s gonna be something Mexicano! I’ve had a craving for Chile Rellenos since I went to I*X*T*A*P*A con mi madre y mi tia (I like to pretend I can speak Spanish sometimes)Friday, so I’ll probably make a few of those and go lighter with the rest of the meal by making taco salad/tostadas. (disclaimer: we didn’t actually eat any Chile Rellenos, I had the Chicken Mole Enchiladas, but they sure sounded good!)

Thursday: Salmon Cakes. I’ve made this recipe twice – once with frozen Salmon fillets I ground myself, and once with canned chopped Salmon. It was SO MUCH better the first time with un-canned salmon. It might have been ok with canned Salmon had I bought a premium brand – I just grabbed a can at Aldi. I should have known better – I don’t like off-brand Tuna, so why would I like off-brand Salmon when I’m iffy about Salmon in general? Learning experience, for sure.

Friday: I think that I might make another pizza from scratch (will Friday turn into my version of Jenna/@chivetalker‘s POW night?) I made a whole wheat crust with honey last week – the flavor was great, but I think I need to tweak it a little.

The crust wasn’t exactly doughy in the center, but it wasn’t exactly the perfect pizza crust consistency. I think what I’ll do is bake it a few minutes BEFORE I add the toppings, so that the crust doesn’t get soggy from the sauce, etc.

I use Pampered Chef  Stoneware Pizza Stone, so I don’t know what kind of effect that may have had on the pizza crust. I’ve been using the stones for years now, and I know that baking times/temps and all that should be slightly adjusted for premium results, but I haven’t quite figured out how to do it! (I tend to OVERCOOK things on my stoneware!)

Saturday: This will be an eating out night. Missouri Mustangs 8-man Football (my brother’s a Line Backer for the team!) game at 17.00 and then a wedding reception-party-picnic for Darla and Freddie.

Darla was my roommate throughout college – except for that year I spent in Germany, that is. 🙂 We were randomly pooled together by the University freshman year – sometimes those random pairings work out pretty well! 😉

Well, that’s my week in a menu! I’m hoping that this week I can also whip up a couple of interesting posts so that this blog doesn’t become solely a repository for my weekly menu! Those definitely can’t interest everybody.

Have a great week!

Mindful Menus
Go check out other Mindful Menus! There’s some great inspiration out there for healthy -yet exciting- eats!

DISCLAIMER: I have not received any type of samples, services or money for any of the goods and services I have written about or linked to in this post; these are all personal testimonials or recommendations. If in the future I am asked to write about products, restaurants etc, with the promise of reimbursement through samples or payment, I will make it very clear that I am doing a sponsored review of said product or service.