Saturday, September 29, 2012

Homemade Egg McMuffins


I hope you're all having a great weekend. It's flying by as usual. We've been on the go already all weekend and I think we might be again tomorrow. Maybe after I go back to work on Monday I will get a chance to relax. Ha! Not likely, but a girl can dream, right?

I saw a recipe on Pinterest for Homemade Egg McMuffins a while back and pinned it, but never made it. Then a couple of weeks ago, someone on my WW Message Board was asking for new and convenient breakfast ideas. I told her about these sandwiches and realized that maybe I had better give them a try, too. I think it's pretty neat how you can bake the eggs in perfect shapes for the sandwiches. Here's the recipe:

HOMEMADE EGG MCMUFFINS
adapted from Macheesmo
Servings: 6
Points+: 7


1 package English Muffins
8 eggs
8 slices reduced fat cheese
8 slices Canadian bacon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray 8 cups of a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. Crack an egg into each of the muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 - 15 minutes.

Split the English Muffins and lay them all out, nooks and crannies side up, out on a baking sheet. Pop this into the oven while the eggs are baking.

While those are baking, heat the Canadian bacon on the stove until warmed through.

When the eggs are done, allow them to cool for a couple of minutes, then start assembling sandwiches. Layer the Canadian bacon, eggs and cheese on top of one half of an English muffin. Then top with the other half of the English muffin.

These can freeze very easily, too. Just wrap them in aluminum foil and place in a freezer bag. When you're ready, you can either wrap the sandwich in a paper towel and microwave for about a minute, or even better, you can bake it at 350 for about 20 minutes. Enjoy!


EXERCISE:
While the little one was napping this afternoon, I took the opportunity to get my walk in. I only walked 3 miles, but I must have really been booking it, because my HRM said that I burned 400 calories and earned 5 APs. That's a lot for a 3 mile walk...the most I've ever earned before. I'mh hoping that it wasn't a glitch or something and that I actually did burn that many calories, but who knows?

So long for today...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Yogurt Chicken


Happy Thur-Friday everyone! It seems like it's been so long since I've had a Friday off. That's because I swapped a couple of Fridays around in order to be able to make some appointments, but now I am back to my old schedule. Tomorrow I have an appointment with Jimmy so he can get rid of these dark roots of mine! I can't wait!

I finally tried a recipe that someone on my WW message board suggested a while back. (Thanks Madeline!) She said how good this was, so I went ahead and pinned it. But for one reason or another, I never got around to making it...until today. I really wish I wouldn't have waited. It was so good! TC and Addison both agreed, too! Here's the recipe:

Yogurt Chicken
adapted from Stephanie Cooks
Servings: 2
Points+: 6


2 4-oz. chicken breasts
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup grated reduced fat Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp seasoned salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Combine the yogurt, cheese, and seasonings in a bowl. Mix well.

Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Lay the chicken in the dish. Top with the yogurt mixture.

Bake for 40 minutes, until golden and chicken is cooked through. If needed, turn the broiler on for a few minutes to crisp the top- keep a close eye on it.


EXERCISE:
I am still loving this Fall weather. Are you getting tired of hearing that yet? I really hope not, because I think it's going to continue for a while. TC has really gotten into this whole exercise/walking thing, so I am definitely taking advantage of it while I can. Tonight, the three of us went for a nice 3 mile walk. Some parts were slower than others, but I still managed to earn 4 APs!

So long for today...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

WIAW #9

Here it is again! Another What I Ate Wednesday. I love these days because they really help me to stay on-track, unlike yesterday, but that's a different story. So I'll get right to it. Here is what was on the menu today:

Breakfast was one egg (2 Points+) with one egg white (0 Points+):

For a snack, I had one cup of Kashi Indigo Morning Cereal (3 Points+):

Lunch was a delicious Shrimp Salad (4 Points+):

Then I had to have some Special K Cracker Chips (1 Point+):

And some strawberries (1 Point+):

My first afternoon snack was my Greek yogurt (3 Points+) with flax seeds (1 Point Plus)

My second afternoon snack was a mini bag of 98% FF popcorn (3 Points+):

Dinner was a grilled burger (9 Points+) with 2 yam patties (3 Points+) and some Green Giant Valley Steamers vegetables (1 Point+):

I didn't have dessert tonight. Instead, we went for a walk again.

EXERCISE:
We went for a walk around the block together, then I went for another lap around. By block, I mean the mile long one in my subdivision. After that, I did a little bit of strenght work on my own, without a video!

So long for today...


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lighter Chicken Pot Pie


Since it's a short week for me, I can officially say that my week is half over! It's been a nice work week for me since all of management is at a conference this week. What that means, is that I can actually get work done without being pulled in other directions to work on things that come up. While I don't usually mind them being around the office, it's very nice when they're gone, too!

I made some delicious Chicken Pot Pie for dinner tonight. I combined two different recipes to come up with one that I liked. The result was a little watery, but this could have been because the veggies weren't completely thawed before I mixed it up, so some of the moisture fromo the veggies probably made is soupier. (Is that a word?) I will definitely make this again, but maybe make sure the veggies are thawed and drained first. Here's the recipe:

LIGHTER CHICKEN POT PIE
adapted from Wholesome Mommy & Betty Crocker
Servings: 6
Points+: 7


1 can of 98% FF cream of chicken soup
1 c. FF sour cream
1 c. low fat milk
1/4 t. garlic powder
1 package (1 lb) frozen mixed vegetables (thawed)
8 oz. cooked chicken, shredded
1 c. Heartsmart Bisquick® mix
1/2 c. low fat milk
1 egg

Spray 1 1/2 qt. casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. In large bowl, mix soup, sour cream, milk, garlic powder, mixed vegetables and chicken until well incorporated.

Pour this mixture into the casserole dish.

In medium bowl, stir together remaining ingredients with fork until mixed. Spread over top of chicken mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown and contents are hot.
Enjoy!


EXERCISE:
Other than a short walk around the block with the little one, today was a much deserved Day of Rest!

So long for today...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Homemade Fajita Seasoning


Earlier this year, I decided that I wanted to try to feed my family less processed foods. I understand that it would be very difficult for me to eliminate them altogether, but I try to use fresh foods when possible. You just never know what kinds of preservatives are going into those processed and packaged foods that you buy at the grocery store.

One way I've realized that I can reduce the processed foods (and save money at the same time) is to make my own seasoning for things like tacos and fajitas. I had made the taco seasoning before, but hadn't made the fajita seasoning, until yesterday. I was having high hopes and made a double batch. I'm glad I did a double batch because they turned out great! The fajitas were a little salty for my taste, but TC and Addison both loved them. I might add another batch to the container but not add the salt to tone it down a little bit. Here's the recipe:


HOMEMADE FAJITA SEASONING
adapted from Anne Jisca's Healthy Pursuits
Servings: 3 Store Bought Packages
Points+: 1

3 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp sugar
2 1/2 tsp chicken powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cumin

Mix all together. Store in air tight container. I used about 2 T. of this mix for 1.3 pounds of meat. Tune in later for my complete recipe for beef fajitas.


EXERCISE:
It's the night before my weigh-in, so I couldn't anything to strenous, but I still wanted to get some activitiy in tonight. I decided to do the 2 mile Walk Away the Pounds video that I have. I like that I get some cardio and some weights in at the same time, but I don't over do it.

So long for today...

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Funfetti Cake Batter Dip


I hope you all had a great weekend. Mine was very nice. We helped my sister celebrate her birthday on Saturday. Sunday, we got up and went to church then spent the rest of the day at home. We watched some football, did some laundry and generally just relaxed. This was the first time in over a month that we had an entire day where we didn't do anything. It was very nice!! Might even try to do it a little more often. I certainly think we're entitled to it!

I have a confession. I've been holding out on you. I made my first batch of cake batter dip last week and didn't tell you about it. In order to make it up to you, I made some more to post on here. Last week's was a different variation, but that's something for a later post. This was such an easy and delicious dip. I took it to my sister's house and everyone liked it. I hope you do, too! Here's the recipe:


FUNFETTI CAKE BATTER DIP
adapted from Eat Yourself Skinny
Servings: 24
Points+: 4

1 (18.9 oz) box Funfetti cake mix
2 cups fat-free plain yogurt
1 cup lite Cool Whip
4 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, softened

In a large bowl, mix together cake mix, plain yogurt, Cool Whip and cream cheese until completely combined. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to chill for about 4 hours. Garnish with additional sprinkles if desired and serve with animal crackers, graham crackers of vanilla wafers. Enjoy!


EXERCISE:
It has been such a beautiful weekend. I've been trying to get some runs/walks in. The weather is cooling down even more (welcome Fall) and I'm still doing everything I can to enjoy it! I also got in a short strength workout this evening since I've been doing so much cardio lately. Hope to get in more this week.

So long for today...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Lasagna Cupcakes


We're almost there! This has been a never-ending weeks. Usually, the weeks that I work Fridays tend to go prety fast, but this one has definitely been the exception. I'm hoping that tomorrow doesn't drag by to slow so that I can get my weekend started! I'm really looking forward to staying local this weekend and trying to get some things done around the house, but also relax some, too. Those two go hand in hand, right? Ha!

Last week on my WW message board, one of the ladies mentioned that she was making lasagna cupcakes for dinner one night. So what do you think I've had on my mind ever since? When I was coming up with this week's meal plan, I knew that one night was going to be lasagna cupcakes. Well, tonight was that night. I love that these come together so quick. I actually cooked the meat and veggies last night, then came home during lunch and assembled them. When I got home from work, all I had to do was pre-heat the oven and pop them in for about 18 minutes and they were done. Pretty easy, huh? Here's the recipe:

LASAGNA CUPCAKES
adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything
Servings: 4
Points+: 9


1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/4 green pepper, choppe
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
24 wonton wrappers
1/2 c. grated reduced fat Parmesan cheese
1 c. shredded light mozzarella cheese
3/4 c. low fat cottage cheese
1 cup spaghetti sauce, such as Prego Light

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.

Heat medium skillet over medium heat and brown ground beef. Season with salt and pepper and add onion, pepper and garlic. Cook until veggies are tender.

Press a wonton wrapper into the bottom of each cup. Start layering your lasagna cupcakes. Begin with a wonton wrapper and press it into the bottom of each muffin tin. Sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, and mozzarella cheese in each. Top with a little meat and pasta sauce. Repeat layers again (i.e. wonton, Parmesan, ricotta, mozzarella, and pasta sauce). Top with remaining Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until edges are brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Enjoy!


EXERCISE:
Today was such a beautiful day! The humidy was gone most of the day, although it did return a little this evening. I definitely wanted to take advantage of it, so I made sure to get a walk in after work. I did about 3 miles and each one of those miles felt great. I am definitely not looking forward to having to turn our clocks back this Fall. I'm going to savor every minute of daylight until then!

So long for today...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

WIAW #8

Halfway there guys! Only two more days and the weekend will officially be here. We only have one thing planned for this weekend, but I am definitely looking forward to it. This is the first weekend in a month that we have stayed at home. Between camping and roadtrips, we've been gone, gone, gone. Can't wait to spend this one at home.

So today was another What I Ate Wednesday. I am continuing my quest to clean out the pantry. That means we had Hamburger Helper for dinner tonight. While I do think that Hamburger Helper is delicious, I don't like how processed it is. On the other hand, I don't like to waste food. So I decided to make it for dinner in order to clean out the pantry.

Here's what my day looked like:

Breakfast was 2 eggs (4 Points+):

Followed by one packet of Quaker Maple and Brown Sugar Lower Sugar Oatmeal (3 Points+) - Not pictured.

I also had a banana (1 Point+) with 2 T. of PB2 (1 Point+):

I had a meeting during lunch so I quickly ate a Roasted Chicken Salad from Subway (3 Points+) with one packet of Fat Free Italian Dressing (1 Point+):

After my meeting, I had some strawberries (1 Point+) with 15 Special K Cracker Chips (1 Poit+):

I'm on a quest to get in my WW Healthy Checks, so to do this, I had a pretty snacky afternoon. I had some greek yogurt (2 Points+) with 1 T. flax seed (1 Point+).

I also had a mini pita (2 Points+) with some Red Pepper Hummus (2 Points+):

Dinner was the Chili Macaroni Hamburger Helper (6 Points+) with some green peas (1 Point+):

For my after dinner sweet, I had a Milky Way Mini Ice Cream Bar (2 Points+):

So there is my day in food. Yes, I do eat a lot of the same foods most of the time, but I've also been trying to change it up a little bit. If you ever yhave any suggestions, please feel free to send them my way. I'm always looking for new ideas.

EXERCISE:
Tonight, since my back has been bothering me a little again, I decided to take it easy tonight with a yoga workout. I'm not sure which one I am going to do yet. That will depend on how quickly Addison falls asleep.

So long for today...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Weigh-In Day


I don't have a recipe that I really want to share tonight. So I thought I would just write about my day for you. Today was my weigh-in day. I was very happy that I weighed-in in lower than last week. 2 pounds lower to be exact. I'm going to be honest and tell you that isn't the result of a strict week of eating. What that is, is two days of strict eating after a complete blow-out day. I've realized that with Weight Watchers, you don't have to be perfect every meal of every day. You have to allow yourself to splurge here and there or else you will completely fall of the wagon. Which, if we're being honest, I still do that a lot more than I would like to admit. Whatever my formula was this week, it seemed to work. I did make sure to have a good workout last night, so that might have helped to make a difference.

We have a birthday coming up at work on Thursday, so I made some cupcakes tonight. I know, some people call me the Cupcake Queen. It seems like I make cupcakes at least once a week, sometimes even more than that. My sister's birthday is also Saturday, so I will be saving some of the cupcakes for that. Once again, being honest, my sister's birthday is the main reason for me making the cupcakes. But since it's just going to be immediate family celebrating, we won't need 24+ cupcakes. So I'm taking them to work on Thursday for a co-worker.

EXERCISE:
Unfortunately, my back started bothering me a little bit again today, so I didn't want to push it too much by doing a strength training workout tonight. Instead, I did the 2 Mile Walk Away the Pounds Video. I could still feel my back, but nothing too bad that made me need to stop.

So that was my day. I know, not extremely exciting, but sometimes, that's what I like best!

So long for today...

Monday, September 17, 2012

Creamy Slow Cooker Enchiladas


Ah! Antoher Monday in the books. This is my least favorite day of the week, but I don't think I'm in the minority with that. Of course, if we had Mondays off, then I guess no one would like Tuesdays. It's really a no win situation, so I guess we need to just deal with Mondays. Maybe even learn to like them...I said maybe!

Since I have been on my slow cooker kick, I've been trying lots of different dishes lately. This was one that I made a while back and never got a chance to share with you. You could adjust this however you wanted in order to make it a little spicier. Since I'm not a big fan of spice, I stuck with the green chiles, but feel free to add some jalapenos if you want to. Here's the recipe:

CREAMY SLOW COOKER ENCHILADAS
adapted from Crock-a-doodle-doo
Servings: 4
Points+: 12


9 corn tortillas
2 4-oz. chicken breasts
1 c. fat free sour cream
1 can green chilies, drained
1/2 cup onion
2 c. 2% milk cheddar cheese, shredded
4 oz. light cream cheese, cut into cubes
1 can tomato sauce

Mix chicken, sour cream, chilies, onion & 1 c. cheese in bowl.

Cut tortillas in strips. Spray slow cooker with cooking spray.

Layer 1/3 of the tortilla strips then chicken mixture, 1/2 of the cream cheese and another layer of tortilla strips. Pour 1/2 of the tomato sauce on top. Start again with chicken mixture and cream cheese then tortillas and tomato sauce until gone.

Sprinkle remaining 1 cup cheese on top.

Cook on low 5-6 hours. Enjoy!


EXERCISE:
My back is finally feeling better. I'm not sure why, but after the crazy weekend, I realized that it wasn't sore anymore. I'm pretty happy with that because I didn't want to have to make a trip to the chiropractor. Since it's feeling better now, tonight will be the Biggest Loser Last Chance Workout. I've been doing cardio and yoga for a week now, so I am way overdue for some strength training with weights. Hope my back holds up for me!

So long for today...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Weekend Update

Why is it that the weekend flies by so much faster than my week days? Nevermind. I already know the answer to that one. Something about time flies when you're having fun. Whatever the reason, this weekend sure did go fast for me. I've never done a weekend update on the blog, but I thought maybe I would since we did some fun things this weekend. Actually, it was only 2 things, but they were still "Blogworthy."

The weekend started with TC going to the movies with his brother on Friday. This was my way of getting him out of the house so that I could make some food for the game we went to on Saturday and also pack our suitcase and the car so we were ready to go Saturday morning. I also made the icing for the cupcakes that I made for the baby shower that I went to on Sunday. More on those later.

Saturday morning came way to early for me, but it was planned that way so that we could get on the road early enough to avoid most of the traffic for the football game. We had very little traffic on our way to the game and found our parking lot pretty easily, too. Shortly after we got there, we walked up to tailgate with some friends that have season tickets and an awesome parking place. We had so much fun and even saw the "Tiger Walk" where they stop traffic so that everyone can see the players get off of the buses. There was so much delicious food at the tailgate. I went WAY over points Saturday, but I'm not planning to go to another Clemson game for a while, so I wanted to enjoy it, which I did!

We made it to the game around 2:30. We wanted to be there in plenty of time to see the players touch Howard's Rock and run down the hill. Our seats were really good, especially once the sun moved far enough over to put us in the shade!


We were happy that we cheered the Tigers to a victory over Furman 41 - 7.

We stopped by a couple of tailgates of some friends after the game, then fought our way through traffic to the hotel where I think I fell asleep before my head even hit the pillow!

We got up early again this morning so that we could make it back in plenty of time for me to finish the cupcakes and get ready for the baby shower.

I made some cupcakes for one of TC's cousins that is having a baby in October. Her baby shower was today and I volunteered to make the cupcakes. I got some ideas from Pinterest a while back and had been working on them all last week. I was very happy with the way they turned out and everyone else was, too!

Now it's time to play catch-up on everything like laundry and meal planning for this week.

EXERCISE:
We made pretty good time getting home this morning, so I decided to go for a 3 mile run before I started on the cupcakes. It was a little humid, but not unbearable like during the Summer. I am still debating on whether or not I should do Yoga or a strength workout tonight or just relax and go to bed. If I wouldn't have indulged so much yesterday, I would just relax, but like I said, I sampled way too many treats, so we'll have to see what I end up doing.

If you want to see what decide, check out FB for my updates.

So long for today...



Friday, September 14, 2012

Cheesy Quinoa Bites


I have been running around tonight trying to get everything taken care of for tomorrow. Tomorrow is TC's surprise. I think I might be a little more excited than he is...maybe. I have the car all packed and ready to go. I suggested he go out with his brother tonight to get him out of the house so that I could take care of all the things I needed to without him looking over my shoulder to see what I was doing and packing. We are headed out first thing in the morning. I hope he likes it. I will update FB with posts if you want to see them.

Last night for dinner, we had some soup and these Cheesy Quinoa Bites. I had tried quinoa before, but wasn't too impressed with it. I think it's because we had it plain. This recipe has so many delicious flavors in it. I was surprised by how well these little bites held together, too. This is one that I will definitely be making again. I dipped mine in some ranch dressing while TC dipped his in honey mustard. But you can try something different if you want to. Here's the recipe:

CHEESY QUINOA BITES
adapted from So Very Blessed
Servings: 4 (7 piece)
Points+: 5


2 c. cooked quinoa
2 large eggs
1 cup shredded carrot
1/4 c. onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 T. all-purpose flour
1/2 t. seasoning salt
1/4 t. freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together quinoa, carrot, egg, onion, garlic, cheese, flour, salt and pepper.

Distribute mixture into a greased mini muffin tin, filling each cup to the top (1 heaping Tbs each).

Bake for 15-20 minutes.


EXERCISE:
With everything going on tomorrow, I'm not sure that I will be able to get a run in, so I made sure to get one in tonight after work. It was only 3 miles, but it felt really good. The weather is really cooling down, too which makes running so much nicer these days.

Hope you all have a great weekend! Check out Facebook for some updates!

So long for today...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WIAW #7

Happy hump day everyone! We're halfway through the work week. Not only that, but we've made it halfway to our next weekend! I'm really looking forward to this weekend. I am surprising my husband with a day trip/event. I'm not going to share anything else in case he reads this post. But I think he's going to really like it. He's had a few gueses, but hasn't gotten it right yet, which makes it even more fun!!

So I remembered that it was WIAW. I did a great job of taking a picture of everything that I ate today. Some weeks, I have a lot of trouble with it. So with no further adieu, here's what I had today:

Breakfast was 1 egg plus 1 egg white (2 Points+):


I also had some Quaker Lower Sugar Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal (3 Points+):


Of course, I had my morning banana, too (1 Point+):


For lunch, I had a great chicken salad that I made (6 Points+) on a mini Pita bread (2 Points+) with 15 Special K Cracker Chips (1 Point+) and some carrots (0 Points+):


My afternoon snack was some Cherry Light n Fit Greek Yogurt (2 Points+) with some flax seed sprinkled in (1 Point+) and some strawberries (1 Point):



Dinner was leftover spaghetti and meatsauce (10 Points+) with 3 T. of Reduced Fat Parmesan Cheese (1 Point+) and some green beans (0 Points+):


After dinner, I had a Weight Watchers Double Caramel Ice Cream Cone (2 Points+):


Total Points+ for today: 31. I think that's pretty good considering my last couple of days have been off the charts.

EXERCISE:
I'm not sure why, but my back has been bothering me lately. It actually started Monday evening while I was working out. I ended up cutting the workout short because it hurt pretty bad. I think it's just muscular, but it's still pretty painful. I ran last night because I didn't want to try any weights. Tonight, since it was still hurting, I've decided to do some yoga. I"m planning to do Bob Harper's Yoga for the Warrior. It's a longer workout, but when I'm done with it, I feel like every muscle in my body was stretched. Definitely what I need tonight!

Well, there you have it, another WIAW in the books. I'm glad that I did better with not only my pictures, but also my eating today. I feel like it has been out of control the last few days, so it felt good to have an on-plan day.

So long for today...