19 February 2010

That's Amazing.

Okay, so who knows what I am going to do with this blog, but right now, I am going to post some before and after photos...

This is April 2009, right around when I started having chest pains...

Oh yeah, I actually think I wore this to work.

Then August 2009, about a month into my new lifestyle, I was feeling pretty good about myself....

(Jess, I am horrified that I wore this to your wedding!)

And now, here's me this morning, getting ready for work...

Oh yeah! Shirt. Tucked into... JEANS. That's me. And I'm wearing my snazzy new BELT. Yep.

07 February 2010

Another Delicious Day -- With More Chili Fries.

It's a sickness. I get these crazy cravings and find something I like, then make it over and over.

This weekend was no exception, and I had to make some Super Bowl Kick-Off Chili Cheese fries...

Oh yeah. I cooked that chili all day. I started with one onion, one fat carrot, half a red pepper, a stalk of celery, and some garlic all chopped up, then cooked slowly with some cooking spray and a bit of water. When soft, take out and then add the super lean ground beef. Use some paper towel to soak up any fat from the meat... Then add the veggies back in, along with chili powder. Stir up then mix in a litre of V8. Cook for hours and hours on the stove until it's super thick and the veggies are super soft. (I didn't add beans because G can't eat them, but they would be lovely here...). I gave G a bowl of chili for lunch tomorrow and I divided the other serving up into two containers of low-fat refried beans to have burritos for lunch! Can't wait!

The fries are oven baked, one potato each, cut into strips, sprayed with cooking spray and tossed with more chili powder, salt and pepper then baked at 450 for 15 minutes, turned over and then cooked another 10 or so. Fantastic! Top your crispy fries with delicious chili and some fat free sour cream... YIPPIE!

But that's not ALLLLL we ate today...

We started the day with a new recipe that G made... Oatmeal Pancakes...

Yummy! These were really really good and very filling, which is something I don't generally find pancakes to be. In fact, I rarely eat pancakes for breakfast because while I find them to be delicious, I also find that I am hungry right after! Not so with these... three pancakes were five points, I think.

For lunch, knowing that chili fries were coming, we had a low point lunch of broccoli soup that G made last night alongside a grilled cheese sandwich...

I cooked the sandwich in a non-stick skillet with a little cooking spray. The sandwich consisted of two slices of Weight Watcher's bread (1 pt) with some tomato slices (0 pt) and one slice each of low-fat cheese slices (1pt). The soup was about 1pt for a bowl based on the Recipe Builder, so we got away with that delicious and filling lunch for about three points.

Oh yeah. It's all doable if you just do it.

For the rest of the game, we've got some pirate booty to snack on (which is higher point than I expected, but I was just SO excited to see it in the store here... I used to love it when I lived in the States, but have never seen it for sale in Canada!) and lots of water and MAYBE some PC hot chocolate in a bit...

And COME ON Saints... sheesh!

Lowest Weigh-In Yet!

That's me after my lowest weigh-in yet! I've lost 29 pounds!!! I hit my unofficial (yet in my heart of hearts official) goal, and am pretty danged pleased with myself. This dress is now about a size too big, but it's still comfy and perfect for casual Friday's. (You can see Bello's backside while he's eating breakfast behind me!)

I am contemplating changing my WW points to the maintenance level. I see mixed reviews on the net... anyone with any real life weight watcher's maintenance they'd like to share? You can email me... I am now almost always eating my weekly points (I have 19 points a day), and about half of my activity points. I'd love to hear other's experience....

On Point and Delicious.

So after the hamburger binge of the day before, Saturday was an on point day!

I started the day with my morning training run. 2 miles!

That's my 5K training schedule (thank you Hal Higdon!)... the 2 miles went pretty smoothly. I have downloaded a bunch of new songs for my iPod and so I was really feeling it. You'll see on my schedule that I alternate running with Wii cross-training days (EA Sports Active)... it seems to be a combination that is working. I feel strong and I am not constantly sore, which is brilliant.

After the run, I came home and made G and I some breakfast sandwiches. Nothing special, so no photos. Just a fried egg (in a non-stick pan so no added points), a very toasty English Muffin, some old cheddar, and for me, one slice of bacon and some ketchup. Yummy.

We then took off for errand running and ice skating lessons! The second lesson went really well. I feel like I am getting the hang of it, and today, we even learned how to skate backwards. It was really cold yesterday and the ice was crazily slick. I really enjoyed it, though. It's challenging but I am pretty proud of myself for trying despite my terror!

We realized that we hadn't had a lot to eat, especially since it was now after 5pm! We ate a couple of Fibre 1 bars, and then went home to make dinner...

Oh yeah, crispy turkey schnitzel with brown rice and asparagus. It may not seem glamorous, but it totally hit the spot last night. We had bought some very thin turkey scallopini that G breaded in WW bread crumbs and spices. The brown rice was a new try, we found this parboiled brand that all you have to do is boil the rice like pasta. It seemed to work, though G felt it was a bit dry. The asparagus was on sale at the Loblaws, so we had to get some. Lightly steamed, it was a delicious addition to the day!

We ended the day with some President's Choice low-fat hot chocolate (which RULES) and all in all, it was a good day. Went too long between breakfast and dinner due to the no lunch situation, but all in all, on point and delicious.

She's.....my number one....guyyyyy...

I love her wonky whiskers and perpetual tiredness. We are two birds of a feather.

05 February 2010

A Day on the Points -- and quite a few over...

I am very excited. I got a new lens! It's pretty awesome. I have decided that the only way to learn how to use it is to use it... I am starting with pictures of my day...

Oh yes, the day just doesn't start right unless there is a mug of tea! A little milk, no sugar. Delicious. This with a couple glasses of water get me through the morning... (I didn't photograph the water glass.) This mug of tea is blurry because it's first thing in the morning. Okay, no, it's blurry because I suck at taking pictures, but I kept going... practice makes more practice!

And then breakfast...

Oatmeal with a teaspoon of peanut butter and some maple syrup. I really have to be in the mood for oatmeal, but I've found that eating the oatmeal with peanut butter helps me not eat (or really crave) peanut butter all day, so that's a good thing.

Multiple gallons of water later, it was time for lunch!

Today's menu.. meatball subs leftover from last night's dinner...

A few Baked Lay's on the side. The meatballs are of the frozen variety, cooked with a tomato sauce and topped with half a slice of fat free cheese and cooked mushrooms and red peppers. Served in a Pita Break One hot dug bun. Really delicious and pretty low point.

I was pretty full from lunch and was on my way to having a healthy dinner when I bought myself a present (more on that maybe later) and we went off to have Winterlicious dinner at Byzantium.

Bad idea. Well, no, let me restate that. Not the most on point meal ever, but I am still within my points and will be provided that I follow the proper path. But dinner was AMAZING and I was really happy to have it.

I started my meal off with a glass of red...

Yeah! Fish Hoek Shiraz, from South Africa. It was delicious and reminded me of the vacation that we went on to SA last year.

And then came the food... first up... the Byz Caesar Salad.

Their salad is amazing! It comes in a bread rolly thing and is lightly dressed with a couple slices of cheese, no bacon, roaste garlic, and a little bit of lettuce. I ate about 2/3 of it and really enjoyed it.

I moved on from there to have my favorite thing... Byzantium makes a completely awesome hamburger. I had it a couple of years ago and they took it off the menu for reasons unknown to me (I still am shocked that I was not consulted on this decision). The hamburger is an amazing thing... check it out...

I ate one of the onion rings (and just the onion), the frites and salad, and about two thirds of the hamburger. It was really amazingly delicious. I was so full after. Crazy delicious!

For dessert, carrot cake!!!! Yeah!!!

WHY OH WHY OH WHY OH WHY was this beautiful carrot cake surrounded by a mass of disgusting mango juice crap? I hate mango. It tastes like sweat. No good. But the carrot cake was delicious and the cream cheese ws lovely, as well. I enjoyed every bite of the, again, about two thirds I ate.

So all in all, about a 40 point day. Whew. Not so good, since the daily limit is 19 for me. But, as I said, still within my points for the week (I roll over on Wednesday's) so tomorrow is another day.

How was your day?!

04 February 2010

Help for Haiti.

A bunch of food bloggers got together and made a cookbook for Haiti relief called Blog Aid. According to Everybody Likes Sandwiches (who just suffered the loss of her mother), the details are as follows:

The wonderful Julie of Dinners with Julie had an idea. She enlisted some truly fabulous writers, chefs and bloggers (I'm lucky to be in their company) to create a cookbook and got the whole shebang done in under 3 weeks. A full colour cookbook available in both hard cover ($50 USD) and soft cover ($25 USD). Seriously, you can read about all her hard work here.

But the gist of the thing is that Julie partnered up with some talented folks with 100% of the book's proceeds going to Haiti via Doctors without Borders. What's more is that both the production company and the printer are matching the dollars raised to TRIPLE the amount of money going to Haiti. Add to that, until February 12th, the Canadian government will match that amount. There's the potential for a lot of money to be raised for the Haitian people.

(I hope she doesn't mind my direct quote!)

I was not involved, but I ordered my copy and am happy to help. What an amazing concept and a brilliant way to help. And kudos to the production company and printer company for helping out, as well.

The link above goes to the hardcover version for $50USD, but you can also order the book in softcover for $25USD. A BARGAIN and the proceeds help people who really need it. And you get a cookbook you don't need but may really want and love. Who doesn't win in this scenario?! Yes, Haiti has a long way to go and yes, there probably isn't very much you can do individually, BUT, you can buy this cookbook. So get to it!

Dona Luz Restaurant -- Toronto.

Recently, G and I ate dinner at Dona Luz restaurant. It was an extremely cold night, one of the coldest of the year at that point, and we were the only people there! That being said, we didn't mind. It gave us a chance to speak with the owners, and to get some advice on what to order as it was my first time having Peruvian food.

Here's the low-down on what we ordered...

First up, G's avocado salad...

G loves avocado somewhat fiercely so this was a no-brainer. It was also a very simple salad, just a mixed normal lettuce salad with slices of avocado and vinegar and oil. Very nice. I ordered the more hearty potato cheese dish...

This was BIZARRE and DELICIOUS all rolled into one package. It was these thickish slices of potato, perfectly cooked through and covered in cheese sauce, with a little lettuce salad on the side. It was cold, which the description said, but didn't register in any sense. I think there were about 6 slices of potato, that I ate with some of the tomato sauce that they gave us when we sat down that rocked. It was spicy and sweet, with just a mellow tomato taste. It mixed well with the sharp creamy texture of the cheese sauce, and the perfectly delicious cooked potato. A real pleaser, though to be honest, I wouldn't order it again. It was just too much for a young at heart woman on weight watchers!

For our mains, G had a lamb stew that the owners wife recommended...

It came with beans, but G can't eat beans so she opted for plain rice. This was really delicious, but a bit too lamb-y for the likes of me.

I had the steak...

OH MY GOODNESS. While they were cooking our mains, the owner came out and told me that they were out of black beans, but that his mother had made some delicious white beans to mix into the rice. So I had that. Wow, what a revelation. It made the rice super creamy, the beans were cooked to perfection, and the steak was tender, cooked through, and really full of spicy and delicious flavor. The salad on the side was the same AVOCADO SALAD that G had ordered earlier! It was still delicious, and I ate the whole lot with some gusto.

We did end up ordering dessert. I don't think the dessert was home-made, and it really wasn't anything special. I didn't even take photos of it. They weren't bad, they just weren't worth it. At all. A disappointing end to a very delightful dinner!

I highly recommend the restaurant, and hope that the night we were there was just a fluke and that it's super busy all the rest of the time.

Thai Green Curry -- bad photo, nice dinner.

In BBC Goodfood's weekend round-up, I found a great recipe for a No-Fry Chicken Green Curry and decided that since we had some green curry paste AND light coconut milk in the cupboard, we would give it a go.

And yeah for giving it a go!

Mmmm, super white food in a white bowl in low light looks like blue food in a blue bowl. No good. (I am getting a new lens next week, fingers crossed that it helps little ol' me take some better low light handheld photos!)

This obviously has red pepper and peas in it, and thin slivers of tender chicken breast (my favorite)... yum!!! This link will take you to the recipe... http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1478/nofry-thai-curry.jsp ... and I highly recommend it! We lightened it up a bit with light coconut milk, etc., and still really loved it.

02 February 2010

Alfredo suckfest.

Like many people who didn't get fat overnight, I love love love Fettucine Alfredo. (Or maybe, just like me who ate alot of heavy pasta dishes.) Add some chicken, a little diced tomato, extra cheese, and yeah, I could eat my dinner and yours and the rest of whoever else happens to be nearby. I really love it.

But it's not particularly healthy, and so it's something I don't have very often. In fact, I haven't made it in months and months. So, with G being out of town (and her not being a huge fan of the original dish) I decided to whip up a "what I had on hand" version of the recipe in the new Cooking Light magazine.

Barf. The sauce tasted like diet alfredo sauce, like the kind that comes on frozen dinners, and it was just really not substantial. The original recipe called for bacon, which I didn't have, and I did mix in some fresh parsley and tomato to try and make it not taste like total crap, but it didn't work. Diet-y and not at all pleasant, I really could not believe how unpleasant it tasted. And I even used extra cheese!

If you have the January/February Cooking Light and you have tried this recipe, please let me know and I may try it again down the road, but for now, thanks but no thanks.

I didn't make a full recipe, and so the points came out to be 7 for a serving. Not really worth it, but whatever.

New Widget.

As you can see on the sidebar over there, I have added a daily mile running widget. I am running three times a week, slowly building up for first a 5K then a 10K in August. If that all goes well, I am CONSIDERING (emphasis on the CONSIDERING) a half-marathon (something I have ALWAYS wanted to do) in 2011. But I gotta build it up. Dailymile.com is pretty cool it syncs with my nike+ so it does all it's own updating and I read a few blogs who use this at present, so I am going to test run it. If I hate it, I can lose it pretty easily. So there's the update on that.

Oh yeah, and that paprikash underneath this post, YUM! It makes me hungry just to read about it. AND my new lens is on the way, I should get it tomorrow!!! Lots of exciting things (if you're me)... and we're going away on holiday soon.

01 February 2010


Beef paprikash. Amazing.

I found the recipe in one of the British magazine's I read, but I can't for the life of me remember which one! But it was simple, brown some stewing beef dusted with a little flour, add some sliced onion, garlic, red pepper and a bunch of mushrooms with 1/2 teaspoon of smoked and regular paprika with dill and cumin, cook for a bit then add in some beef broth and stewed tomatoes. Cover and put in the oven to cook for a couple of hours. Stir in some chopped parsley and serve. YUM! It came out to be about 6 points a serving, so a goodly dinner amount...

I served it with some delicious cooked orzo and a dollop of fat free sour cream. It was an amazing dinner which made superb leftovers and really was extremely satisfying. I loved having it with orzo (also remarkably low point) and the fat free sour cream tastes exactly like regular sour cream.

I highly recommend this, and the recipe above, while not very specific, gives you a general idea of how you can make it and what to do. It's deliciously low point and feels really decadent.


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