Posts tagged ‘Weight Loss’

Healthy Meal Options I’ve Been Loving

It’s been almost a year since I started my weight loss journey. I did fall off track a bit in the fall (by off track I mean I wasn’t consistently eating healthy, and more or less ate anything I wanted on the weekends), as the holidays were just way too full of delicious meals, treats, etc… But lately I’ve been doing much better and even entered myself in a “biggest loser” challenge between some co-workers as added motivation. I thought I might as well share some yummy dishes I’ve been eating lately that taste great but are great for you! Some are to be made, while others are just products you can find in stores!

1. Morningstar Farms Veggie Burgers
I absolutely love these. My favorites are the Original Grillers, Tomato Basil Burgers, and the Roasted Garlic Quinoa Burgers. I was never too keen on the idea of veggie burgers in general. Several years ago I tried a Boca burger and was far from impressed with those. Luckily a co-worker had me try a bite of her Morningstar Farms griller and I was surprised to find that I liked it! Liked it a lot, actually. I usually will pair them with some ketchup, onion, and a whole grain wheat bun.

2. Taco Salad
This is something I came up with using taco leftovers one day, and ended up being obsessed. I know taco salad is not something that’s never been done before, and is done several different ways, but this is just my way. I start out with lettuce and add in other veggies (usually for this salad I only add onions and red bell peppers). I then top it with fat free or reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese, fat free or light sour cream, some low-sodium taco sauce, and I sprinkle a bit of taco seasoning over the top. SO GOOD! It tastes seriously just like a taco. To bulk up the salad I’ve also added some grilled chicken, or even leftover ground turkey that was used to make actual tacos.

3. Lettuce Wraps
I literally just ventured into using lettuce as a bread substitute like a week ago, but I am hooked. I use heads of iceberg lettuce and carefully pull the leaves off in big enough sheets that I can fill them and wrap them up. I add different types of veggies depending on my desires of the moment, a lean meat such as chicken or turkey breast, and then use either low fat cream cheese or hummus as a spread. I was worried that it would more or less taste like a wrapped up salad since that’s basically what it is (and after eating salad SO. MUCH. I have a tendancy to get sick of it every now and again), but I was pleasantly surprised and this has become one of my favorite lunches for work.

4. Spaghetti Squash
I am a hardcore pasta/spaghetti lover, so I use spaghetti squash to help curb my cravings. I bake it with a bit of olive oil and garlic powder, scrape it, and top it with my favorite pasta sauce (which at the moment is a Tomato Vodka Cream Sauce by a brand called Paesana.)

5. Zucchini Pizzas/Lasagna
Another pasta substitute! To make the pizzas I cut my zucchini in long planks, reminiscent of the shape of french bread pizzas. I top them with spaghetti sauce, a little big of garlic powder (I’m a garlic fiend), and low-fat mozzarella cheese. Stick them in the oven until the cheese is melted and the zucchinis are a bit tender, and enjoy! For the lasagna I like to cut the zucchini in medallions, and slice a tomato as well. I then get an oven-safe container and start layering…zucchini (laid out so they cover the entire surface), sauce, tomato, garlic powder, cheese, sauce, etc… Bake it for about an hour or so at 375 and serve!

6. Special K Cinnamon Pecan Cereal with Vanilla Almond Milk
This is amazing. The cereal is amazing, and the milk is so good even my 9 year old loves it. It’s a not-so-guilty way of satisfying my sweet tooth.

7. PB2 and Oikos Vanilla Greek Yogurt
Another dessert favorite of mine lately. I like the Oikos brand vanilla the best out of the few I’ve tried because I find it to be more vanilla flavored and a bit sweeter than others. It’s delicious on it’s own, but to really take it up a notch I like to add a 1/2 serving (1 TBSP) of PB2 powdered peanut butter. It’s super addicting.

8. Frozen Breakfast/Dinner Favorites
Now I know there’s some controversy over frozen meals. That they’re not really that good for you, that there’s too many preservatives, etc… but sometimes I’m running late and don’t have time to make breakfast or even put together my lunch, or I get home after a day of work and am too hungry and tired to wait for something to cook, so these are ideal. I usually grab either the Lean Cuisine brand or the Weight Watchers’ Smart Ones brand. For breakfast my favorite is the Smart Ones English Muffin Egg and Sausage sandwiches. The canadian bacon ones are pretty good, too. As for lunch/dinner favorites I like the Lasagna Bake with Meat Sauce from Smart Ones, and my favorite Lean Cuisines are Four Cheese Cannelloni and Sesame Chicken.

So there are some of my favorite current healthy eats. What are some things you like to eat when watching your weight?

February 24, 2014 at 8:35 pm 1 comment

TruMoo Vanilla Milk Review

When I got the e-mail with the invitation to try the new Halloween edition of TruMoo, I was genuinely excited. Not only for me, but for my 9 year old son, too. He loves flavored milk, and vanilla has always been his favorite by far. Don’t get me wrong, he loves chocolate milk, but when vanilla is an option he always goes for that. When I saw that TruMoo had a limited edition orange-colored vanilla milk for Halloween, I knew immediately that this was going to be a huge hit in our household, and I was right.

The problem with my son loving flavored milks is they tend to be on the not-so-healthy side. Milk is very good for you, yes, but when there are sugars, syrups, and other variants added into what’s usually the fattiest of whole milks, it becomes more of a milkshake than just milk, which isn’t the healthiest of options by far. TruMoo, on the other hand, gets that children (and adults!) love chocolate and other flavors of milk and still manage to maintain the good nutrition that milk is known for. With less sugar, fat, and essentially no additives (such as high fructose corn syrup and artificial ingredients) TruMoo is the obvious choice when shopping for flavored milk.

We set out to the grocery store and easily found the Halloween Orange edition of vanilla TruMoo in the half gallon size. Although we’ve tried their chocolate options before, we picked up a half gallon of that, as well, just for good measure. ๐Ÿ™‚ The vanilla flavor was absolutely delicious, and best of all it was mostly guilt-free! It wasn’t overly sweet or thick, making it refreshing but still sweet and flavored enough that it felt like a treat. Needless to say, the half gallon that was purchased on a Monday was gone by Tuesday evening, with the chocolate milk not lasting long after. I certainly have been utilizing the generous coupons that came in my Bzz Kit, as my family just cannot get enough. Not to mention the festive color made it that much more fun to drink!

Another bonus about TruMoo having the vanilla flavor was the big size it comes in. This may sound weird, and it may be much different in other places, but I’ve rarely seen vanilla milk in half gallon or gallon containers- only regular, and chocolate. Because vanilla is my son’s favorite, I end up having to buy several 16-20 oz. bottles which really add up financially. I’m glad I can not only save money on my son’s favorite drink, but I am also giving him a healthier option.

Note: I am a member of BzzAgent and was able to try this product for free in return for my honest opinion.

October 13, 2013 at 5:10 pm Leave a comment

Green Pineapple Banana Smoothie

Since I “officially” started my diet back in March (and by officially I mean that I started one and have actually continued one) I have been addicted to smoothies. They’re healthy, satisfying, and perfect for the warm weather we’re finally starting to have! Not to mention, my son loves them even after finding out I’ve been hiding spinach in it. ๐Ÿ™‚ I typically have been drinking them 3-4 times a week… at least. It’s a great way for me to attack my sweet tooth without compromising my diet. I finally bought a new memory card and battery charger for my camera, so you can best believe there will be several recipes complete with pictures being posted on here. Eating healthy has somewhat taken over my brain, and I’m practically obsessed with finding and trying new healthy foods. This smoothie is Pineapple Banana with spinach. I love adding spinach to my smoothies. Even though the color doesn’t always turn out very appealing (red strawberries + green spinach = vomit brown), you can’t taste it at all. If my son will drink it, anyone will! I have yet to experience with other veggies, but I definitely plan to sometime soon. The ingredients can be altered slightly according to your taste, which will obviously effect the overall nutritional values slightly, but for simplicity’s sake I’m just going to post exactly what I used and the calories I came up with.


Ingredients:
*1 Banana
*1 Cup Pineapple Chunks in 100% Juice
*6 oz. Oikos Vanilla Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
*3/4 Cup Blue Diamond Unsweetened Almond/Coconut Milk Blend
*1 Cup Baby Spinach
*3 Splenda Packets
*Ice

Like I said earlier, you can make several different changes in this recipe to meet your personal tastes. I prefer the Oikos brand vanilla greek yogurt just because I think it’s creamier and sweeter than most other brands that I’ve tried. You can replace the Almond/Coconut milk that I used with any kind of milk, same with the Splenda. If you’re watching how many calories, carbs, sugars, etc. that you’re consuming, just be sure to adjust them likewise, as different kinds and even brands will have different nutritional contents. Also, I strain most of the juice out of the pineapple, so my totals are probably a tad bit higher than what they should be. Keep in mind that these totals are for the whole recipe (I believe it made about 3 1/2 cups worth, but to be honest I forgot to look at the measurements), so if you make this amount and split it, be sure to make the proper deductions.

Calories: 425
Carbs: 79g
Fat 3g
Protein: 18g
Sodium: 181mg
Sugar: 60g
Fiber: 5g

Step 1: Strain out most of the juice in the can of pineapple, and slice up the banana. Put the banana and pineapple pieces, along with the yogurt, almond/coconut milk, and Splenda, into the blender. Blend until smooth (I use the “Puree” button).

Step 2: Add in the baby spinach, and blend until smooth and green. This step is particularly important if you’re going to be serving to a child. They will surely catch on if there’s little leafy bits floating in their drink! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Step 3: Add ice and blend (I use the “Ice Crush” button). This step is pretty much up to you, depending on what kind of consistency you like. I typically add about a cup, and blend it pretty good. Enough so that there’s not huge chunks floating around, and small enough that it can fit smoothly through a straw.

Step 4: Pour, garnish, and enjoy!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

May 5, 2013 at 5:18 pm Leave a comment

3-Day “Military” Diet Review

I’ve mentioned on here several times about my desire to lose weight. It was last May/June, I believe, that I decided I was going to take getting healthy seriously. I managed to lose 10 lbs by the end of last summer, which I was proud of, but at some point I just totally let it go. While I luckily did not gain the 10 lbs back at any point, my eating habits were back to pure crap. Fast forward to early March of this year. Not only is it a good time to start dieting for summer, but my brother is getting married this September. We went in to have our bridesmaids dresses fitted and ordered, and I was not happy with how I looked in the dress nor the size I had to order. Size 16… for a 5 ft. tall girl. Ick! Now these dresses run much smaller than most other clothes, and my pants size is easily 3 or 4 sizes smaller than 16, but it still made me feel disgusted with myself (and it didn’t help that two of the other girls were ordering sizes 2 and 4!). On the bright side, it finally clicked in my head that I need to pursue a healthier lifestyle. Not only that, but I love fashion, and at the moment I absolutely dread shopping for clothes.

That following week I started dieting. The only reason I waited a few days to begin was because I had a few gift cards to restaurants that would likely have been major speed bumps in my road to weight loss had they have been staring at me in my wallet during my journey. I started out by searching the internet for some fad diets. I went in knowing that they are just that- fads- and that the results are not only varied, but not permanent. I needed to do something drastic, though, so I decided on trying the 3 day diet. It claims that you can lose up to 10 lbs in three days, but I would’ve been happy with 5! I will post the exact diet at the end of this entry, along with the few substitutions I made. The first go was really successful. I lost 7 lbs! Was it hard? Absolutely. The portions are so much smaller than I was used to, so I was hungry a lot. Not to mention many of the foods weren’t something I typically cared for, especially without much seasoning or flavor allowed to be added, and not everything was easy to substitute so I just sucked it up and did it. I did gain 3 or 4 of those lbs. back after going off of the diet, but then lost 5 more lbs. the 2nd week.

I only did this diet twice over the span of 2 weeks. After doing so well the first time, I had originally planned on doing it once a week until a big chunk of the weight was off, however, the food is just so bland that it was highly unlikely I’d stick to it. It did help me with portion control, lowering my carbs, and giving me a whole new appreciation for the taste of veggies and meats (that aren’t covered in sauces)! I decided to try eating healthy by myself without a strict diet controlling what I put in my stomach, and the weight is still coming off (I’m going to do another post about my current eating habits)!

Anyway, while most people would advise you to avoid fad dieting and anything that claims to help you drop heaps of weight in a small amount of time, I have to say this experience was a positive one for me. I do agree that it’s unhealthy and unrealistic to continue a diet like this for a prolonged period of time, but it worked as a great motivation for me. Seeing 7 lbs come off made me have more confidence in myself and gave me the push I needed to continue with my healthy eating. I’m sure it also gave my metabolism a boost and helped shrink my stomach a bit so I was used to smaller meals. It also made me realize that I could actually get full off of just meats and veggies! My new mentality is eat to live, rather than live to eat!

Here is the diet, with the substitutions I made marked by an asterisk (*) and in italics. The plan I followed and copied is from this website!

DAY 1
Breakfast: 1/2 Grapefruit, 1 Slice of Toast, 2 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter, and Coffee or Tea
*I drank a cup of water with 1/2 tsp of baking soda and an orange in place of the grapefruit. I used whole wheat bread, untoasted, and put the peanut butter on it. I added 2 packets of Splenda to my coffee.
Lunch: 1/2 Cup of Tuna, 1 Slice of Toast, and Coffee or Tea (any brew, as long as it’s caffeinated)
*I substituted the tuna for a 1/2 Cup of plain chicken, cooked with Pam Cooking Spray, and seasoned with a small amount of salt and pepper. The bread was whole grain wheat, and I added 2 packets of Splenda to my coffee.
Dinner: 3 ounces of any type of meat, 1 Cup of Green Beans, 1/2 Banana, 1 Small Apple, and 1 Cup of Vanilla Ice Cream
*I ate (roughly) 3 ounces of chicken for my meat. I don’t have a scale to measure food, so I more or less just eye balled about a half of a small chicken breast. I cooked it in a pan with Pam Cooking Spray and a small amount of salt and pepper, as well as on the green beans.

DAY 2
Breakfast: 1 egg, 1 Slice of Toast, and 1/2 Banana
*I ate my egg scrambled, with a small amount of salt and pepper, with whole grain wheat bread toast. I still drank 2 cups of coffee sweetened with Splenda. I need my caffeine not only to maintain energy, but it’s an excellent appetite suppressant, too!
Lunch: 1 Cup of Cottage Cheese (Or 1 Slice of Cheddar Cheese), 1 Hard Boiled Egg, and 5 Saltine Crackers
*I went with one slice of cheddar, and cooked it with 1 scrambled egg into an omelet, as I just cannot eat hard boiled eggs. Scrambled eggs aren’t my favorite thing in the world, either, but much easier to swallow!
Dinner: 2 Hot Dogs (no buns), 1 Cup of Broccoli, 1/2 Cup of Carrots, 1/2 Banana, and 1/2 Cup of Vanilla Ice Cream
*I used Oscar Mayer regular pork hot dogs. I cooked the broccoli in a pan with cooking spray and seasoned with a small amount of salt and pepper. I boiled the carrots and used salt and pepper on them, as well.

DAY 3
Breakfast: 5 Saltine Crackers, 1 Slice of Cheddar Cheese, and 1 Small Apple
*I broke up the slice of cheddar to eat with my crackers. I saved my apple to act as more of an in between breakfast/lunch snack to try and curb my hunger better at work, and it really helped! I still drank 2 cups of coffee sweetened with Splenda.
Lunch: 1 Hard-Boiled Egg, and 1 Slice of Toast
*I ate a scrambled egg with salt and pepper on whole grain wheat toast.
Dinner: 1 Cup of Tuna, 1/2 of a Banana, and 1 Cup of Vanilla Ice Cream
*I ate 1 cup of plain chicken cooked in a pan with Pam Cooking Spray and a small amount of salt and pepper in place of the tuna.

April 6, 2013 at 3:20 pm 121 comments

Kinda Late…

I may not have blogged for a while, and January may be half over already, but I love me some memes to get me through my boredom. So, here is my 2012 wrap up!

1.What did you do in 2012 that youโ€™d never done before?
Nothing super special that I can think of at the moment. And if it’s not sticking out in my head, chances are it wasn’t very exciting. I did get to see Madonna in concert in November, which was cool. And considering that was apparently the first time she’s performed in Pittsburgh since 1985, that’s obviously something I’ve never done before.

2.Did you keep your new yearsโ€™ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don’t recall if I made any half-assed resolutions last year. If so, it’s safe to say I didn’t keep them. This year I planned on dieting (which lasted all of one lunch hour- but I WILL get back on the ball) and start saving money from each paycheck.

3.Did anyone close to you give birth?
I know several people that had babies, and my cousin had her daughter in August, but no one particularly close. I’m somewhat close with my cousin, but she lives 3-4 hours away so I don’t see her very often.

4.Did anyone close to you die?
Not in 2012, no. This year has been awful with people I know passing away and it’s only 17 days old!

5.What countries did you visit?
None. I didn’t even travel out of Pennsylvania. Sad.

6.What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
More peace of mind, and definitely a more stable income. And if you want to throw my own house in there, please do.

7.What date from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
November 6th was the Madonna concert, but I only remember the exact date because it was the same night as the presidential election, and she was all kinds of excited when she found out Obama was re-elected. Also 4th of July, only because I had a job interview the very next day that I felt really good about, and started my new job a few days later! ๐Ÿ™‚

8.What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Finally landing a new job after about 8 months of being unemployed. It’s not the best paying job in the world but I really do love it.

9.What was your biggest failure?
Probably my diet. I did start “dieting” in early June, and by August lost about 10 lbs. It’s not a huge accomplishment, but it was a start. Then came the holidays and while I luckily didn’t pack the lbs. back on, I’m still well above my ideal weight and my eating habits are back to crap.

10.Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nope, not really.

11.What was the best thing you bought?
I can’t recall anything note-worthy.

12.Whose behavior merited celebration?
Mine, in the sense that I finally found a job and managed to work the crazy hours that came with another receptionist getting fired after a few months. They were still barely 40 hour weeks, but it was 6 days a week, which was tough.

13.Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Jon’s brother… such a sad, sad individual.

14.Where did most of your money go?
Food! Groceries can be expensive, not to mention a lot of the time we order out because I’m too lazy or tired to cook, haha. Plus, I’m not one for packing my lunch very often, so buying food at work took a toll on my bank account, too.

15.What events did you get really, really, really excited about?
I was excited to start my new job, to see Madonna live, and for all of the holidays!

16.What song will always remind you of 2012?
Probably “Broken” by Seether and Amy Lee, and “A Whole New World” from Aladdin- they became staple karaoke songs when we hung out with our friends, lol.

17.Compared to this time last year, are you:
i.Happier or Sadder? I’d like to think happier.
ii.Thinner or Fatter? Thinner, but still fat, lol.
iii.Richer or Poorer? Richer, but not rich by any means.

18.What do you wish youโ€™d done more of?
Spend time with Tyler. There’s always more time to be spent with your child!

19.What do you wish youโ€™d done less of?
Bitching. I tend to bitch about a lot, and even if a lot of the time it’s well-deserved, life’s too short to complain about everything.

20.How will you be spending Christmas?
Christmas day me, Tyler, Jon, my mom, and my brother went to my other brother and his fiance’s apartment, along with her parents, for Christmas dinner. Jon and I left after a few hours and came back to my house to relax and watched Ted. ๐Ÿ™‚

21.Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
Either Jon or my Dad. I’m so not a phone person…

22.Did you fall in love in 2012?
No more than the past several years!

23. How many one-night stands?
None.

24. What was your favorite TV program?
I started watching a ton of TV shows this year, mostly thanks to Netflix, which is weird for me since I usually hate trying to keep up with stuff on TV. Dexter and Pretty Little Liars would probably be my favorites, but I also religiously watched Nip/Tuck, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Make It Or Break It, America’s Next Top Model, Californication, Girls, Revenge, The Voice, The X Factor, and multiple shows on the Food Network.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didnโ€™t hate this time last year?
I donโ€™t think so.

26. What was the best book you read?
None. Pathetic, isn’t it? I may have read some of “The Carrie Diaries,” but I can’t remember if I bought that in 2011 or 2012. Either way, I didn’t make it any further than chapter 5, and now that it’s a TV show I’ll probably just watch that to get my Sex and the City fix.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery or rediscovery?
Nothing, really. I haven’t heard anything on the radio this year that particularly got me excited. I won’t deny that I know the words to Justin Bieber’s two big singles… can’t lie, haha.

28. What did you want and get?
A job! ๐Ÿ™‚

29. What did you want and not get?
My own place, but that wasn’t to be expected this year.

30. What were your favorite films of this year?
I think I actually went to the movies once to see Titanic 3D, which wasn’t new… I can’t think of any new movies that I loved, either.

31.What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 27, and I honestly can’t remember what I did. Probably not much, to be honest.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Reaching my goal weight and/or finally moving into my own place.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
Anything bright, colorful, animal print, and sparkly!

34. What kept you sane?
Jon, Tyler, and my kitties.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most/least?
The usual… Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera… my 3 all-time favorites!

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Meh… I’m not into politics. Yes, I care about my future and especially my son’s future, but I just cannot stand getting into it with people about something that once upon a time was personal. And I cannot stand when others get into it about political issues, either. Both parties end up sounding like complete morons.

37. Whom did you miss?
No one, really. I mean I always miss all of my family and friends that don’t live close, but it is what it is.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Hmm, I do love pretty much everyone that I work with. They are a great group of ladies, which makes the job that much easier. ๐Ÿ™‚

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012:
Persistance pays off! (In regards to my job hunt- I interviewed with the salon in May and got a call saying the position they were hiring for was no longer available since the girl who was leaving decided to stay. In July I noticed another ad posted on Craigslist so I called immediately, and it paid off!)

40. Do you have any lost feelings of others.
For others in general, yes. People seem to be getting crazier and crazier by the day.

Hope you all had a great 2012 (and holiday season, since I was too busy to even think about blogging in December) and much love and luck into the new year!

January 17, 2013 at 11:57 am Leave a comment

July 29th- Last Thing You Bought

The last thing I bought was frozen yogurt yesterday after work. There’s fro-yo places in the same plaza I work, as well as in the one across the street. Lucky for me yogurt is much healthier than ice cream, so I can indulge without the guilt! ๐Ÿ™‚ The one a few doors down is actually better than the one across the street because they use all greek yogurt, making it that much healthier and full of protein! Yesterday I got the fat-free strawberry and put granola in it. So yummy and low calorie- the perfect treat!

July 29, 2012 at 11:18 am 2 comments

July 17- My Addiction

I was going to use something that I really, really like but am not actually physically addicted to, but I couldn’t come up with anything clever enough, so I decided to take the serious road. I am a smoker. I started when I was 16 or 17, quit when I got pregnant (morning sickness wouldn’t have let me smoke if I wanted to), and started again about a year after I had Tyler. I don’t smoke more than a half pack a day, so I’m pretty certain I could quit much more easily than most, but unfortunately, I like it. I don’t like that it’s bad for my health, expensive, sets a bad example for my son, and smelly, but the act and feeling itself I enjoy. I did promise myself, though, that if and when I meet my goal weight, I’m going to quit. No use going through the struggle that is getting fit if I’m not going to make myself healthy in every way possible, right? Drinking, however… well, that will have to remain an occasional necessity, lol. ๐Ÿ˜‰

July 17, 2012 at 8:45 am 2 comments

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The Amy Blog

Hello, I'm Amy! I was born in '85 and live in Pittsburgh, PA. I became the mama of my wonderful son in 2004, and also own 3 kitties that I treat like children. I am a self-admitted cosmetics and beauty addict, but I also enjoy fashion, music, art, and am totally guilty of reading way too much celebrity gossip. :P

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