Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Let's take a walk back in time

Let’s look back at myself, circa 4/16/2008:

What do I want this week/month in terms of weight loss?

I want to lose, no specific amount, just a loss. – Wow, I had a goal, eh?

What will it take to get this?

Follow program as much as possible (Core)

Watch portion sizes

Pay attention to my Comfort Zone

Rid house of trigger foods

Don’t buy trigger foods

Don’t eat trigger foods in the office

Drink more water

Eat more of the 8 GHG (Good Health Guidelines)

Track as much as I can

Be active as often as I can (cleaning house should do) – Seriously, that’s all I could do then!

Am I willing to do this?

I don’t want to but I don’t want to feel the way I do any longer. I am so unhappy with myself and refuse to allow myself to feel this way any longer. I want to be able to eat the yummy foods that I have been eating lately, but they are not helping me feel yummy about me. So, YES, I am! – Um, yeah. I wasn’t. I kept gaining after this and didn’t start until October 2009. Besides, no good goal or commitment can come from statements such as I am so unhappy with myself and I still want to eat the yummy foods that are making me fat!

What clothes/size do I feel comfortable in? (Simple Abundance question)

Honestly, my goal weight size, which is a 10 (mostly). I feel comfortable when my Gap size 12 jeans are baggy on my butt. These are ripped and I can’t wear them now, but I am keeping them as my goal pants. I like baggy clothes and I want those be in smaller sizes than I am wearing now. I also want to feel good in form fitting clothes.

I feel comfortable in the spring/summer clothes I have. I refuse to buy any more clothes for this year. I do not have the finances and refuse to do it. – Yeah, you guessed it. I bought bigger clothes.

What am I willing to do this week?

Follow Core Plan

Get activity pts via cleaning – Ha! This one makes me laugh every time I see it.

Drink more water

Eat more of the GHG

Not eat trigger foods at work – I still did!

Not buy any trigger foods

Throw away Jelly Belly’s at home

Progress Not Perfection

It’s Never Completely Bleak


Now, fast forward a couple years to today! Here are some answers to a few of these questions:

Am I willing to do this?

Hell yes! I have committed to losing weight, in a healthy manner and not rushing the process. I now know the things I need to learn in my head to help it stay off this time. Things I didn’t work on before, I know I need to tackle on the way down this time. I have dreams that I am working to make reality, and losing weight and achieving physical and mental health are part of that. I will be a derby girl, and I want to get in shape for that, and for my health and happiness.

What clothes/size do I feel comfortable in? (Simple Abundance question)

I feel good where I am now, but I still want to be able to wear my size 10 Gap jeans again. If I don’t lose another pound, I am happy with who I am at this moment in time.

What will it take to get this?

Drinking water

Exercise (5-6 times per week and varied activity; treadmill, elliptical, rowing machine, weights, yoga, punch-boxing, stability ball, biking, walking)

Eating Gluten Free – and a balanced menu

Being vocal about my needs and goals

Putting myself first (it’s not selfish when it ensures I will be around for my loved ones longer)

It may never be completely bleak, but who wants that as their motto for life? Not this girl!


I get these weekday emails from an online service, www.tut.com, Notes from the Universe. Today’s message really spoke to me. “xxx, you're the only person who knows what's right for you. The only one. And if you already know what this is, commit to it. If you don't, commit to nothing.”  Only you know,

The Universe

I know what I want. I know what it will take to get it. I am already doing the steps needed, and I want to continue. The foundation is set, the frame is up, the walls are taking shape, now I just need to decorate!

I hope the calendar inspired you last week. I looked at the entry for last Sunday, “stress relief”. I actually had to sit and think what was stressing me in my life. I couldn’t think of anything. Sure, I don’t want to be single all the time, but I am not stressed about that. Sure, I wish my bank account balance was higher and more secure, but I am not stressed about it. I always seem to have enough for what I need. Sure, I wish I could find a home for my foster doggy, but he is making my life beautiful while he is with me, so I am not stressed.

See how well he helps me exercise!  I had 10-15 pounds on my core for an extra workout, and for every crunch (sometimes sit ups) completed on my stability ball, I got a kiss on the nose.  He's such a good personal trainer!

It felt good to not feel any stress. I still got up early to go to the gym. I finally used the Lat Pull machine. I started at 25 pounds. Wasn’t enough. So, I tried 50. Wow, did that feel good! It was a challenge, but I did 15 reps. I am committing to using more of the weight machines and really working on muscle strength and composition! You have my word.

Tomorrow is weigh-in. I will post again later this week. I leave you with a recipe to use up the last of some of the summer veggies. Sadly, it is almost the end of many growing seasons! But, the yummy squashes and apples are coming! And the cool weather veggies will be coming back around.

Cucumber and Black Bean Salad

6 servings

2 points each

2 large or 3 medium cucumbers, peeled, halved, quartered and chopped

½ bunch cilantro, chopped fine

3 large or 5 small to medium ears corn, cut off cob

1 can black beans (14.5 ozs), drained and rinsed

¼ - 1/3 C fresh squeezed lime juice

Cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper to taste

(You can also add in some chopped bell peppers)

Combine and let sit for a little while. Yummy! (you can add some olive or canola oil to this if you like)

Have a great week and remember, Sprout something (seeds or seeds of change)!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Motivation...to exercise!?!

This post is long overdue. Please accept my apologies.

So, it is August 9th. We are in the dog days of summer. Forecast calls for 90’s all week, most likely no matter where you live. The heat is on! I love Glenn Fry. : ) How is your weight loss journey? Is it hot and sweaty like the temps on the mercury? Or is it cool and closed off like the air conditioned house you live in? If it’s cool and closed off, it’s time to get it cranked up as the mercury rises! Last time we discussed change. Today, let’s discuss motivation and exercise. And just to be fun, let’s talk about them together!

Not motivated to exercise? How many times have we said that we just can’t find the drive or desire to work out? If we had a nickel for each time, we’d all be rich! We could afford the surgeries to get us the body we don’t want to work to get. How sad is that? I bet most of us have thought about plastic surgery as a viable option to working out and sweating our way down in inches and pounds. Okay, maybe I’m the only one. Motivation is hard to achieve in the weight loss journey, let alone in developing an exercise regime. When we think of all we need to do to be healthy and at our goal weights, we get overwhelmed. We need to: eat less, exercise more, drink plenty of water, take a daily vitamin, eat enough fruits and veggies, get in enough fiber, get in our healthy oils (fats), watch our protein consumption, cut back on salt…the list goes on and on and on. And for many of us, this is a huge shift in our psyche and daily lives. You have had some time to digest the change discussion of last month. You know that change is constant and that we all go through it. You know it can be hard, and bruising, but that you are better for going through it! So, how can knowing this help you muster motivation?

Here is a link I re-discovered with weight loss motivation ideas: http://www.weight-loss-motivation-program.com/weight-loss-motivation-tips1.html

Now, on to exercise motivation. What keeps you from working out? What is it you don’t like about it? What will it take for you to do it regularly?

Here is an article with 7 good tips on exercise motivation. You even get a couple bonus tips. http://top7business.com/?id=460

Here is a great article on starting a regime: http://zenhabits.net/4-simple-steps-to-start-the-exercise-habit/

And the follow-up to this article: http://zenhabits.net/31-ways-to-motivate-yourself-to-exercise/

While your motivation to exercise may be weak and puny right now, it can grow into a mighty and strong aspect of your daily life. And the good news, so will you be mighty and strong. Set small goals for yourself, but keep an overall big goal in mind. Post your goals where you will see them every day. Maybe post a goal a week on your bathroom mirror or closet door. One great tip I heard a while back is to put goals on the inside of kitchen cabinets. Maybe post a special and truly meaningful quote on the cabinet that keeps all the junk that tempts you the most. You will think twice about eating it, I promise! Track your progress like the above article references. Seeing your number go down and having written proof is a huge motivator. Seeing your exercise minutes go up is a huge motivator to keep going. If you can only do 5 minutes the first time, by the 10th, you will be to 15 or even more or more.

Last Tuesday, I went to my gym. I did the ‘mill and I did some intervals with some jogging. The treadmills were noisy, so I didn’t do much jogging. I was mortified at first because the noise meant I was so heavy. But, I switched mills and the other was noisy too. I realized that the front plastic covers were loose and just jostling too much. I know it wasn’t me. I tried the rowing machine next on a recommendation from a message board friend. The exercise physiologist helped me get started. By 5 minutes, I was done. It was so much work. I kept going. He walked by around 9 mins and 30 secs. I asked him if 10 minutes was good the first time and he nodded. I asked myself, what would Maiden Do? She’s the derby girl that loaned me her skates so I could attempt tryouts, and a huge motivation for me in my journey to becoming a derby girl. That question gave me the answer. I kept going. I finished at 20 minutes! I was so proud of myself.

You never know what you are capable of doing. To some, 20 minutes on the rowing machine may not seem like much. But, for my first time, it was like climbing Everest. Okay, maybe that comparison is slightly exaggerated, but you get the point.

We all have to tap into our inner reserves of strength, power, and confidence. We have to find the person we have always been capable of becoming. We have to try, or we will always fail. To try is to succeed. Which do you want, failure or success?

Friday, July 30, 2010

Change and Derby

“Life is change; it is continuous change. Nothing is constant.” – Daisaku Ikeda

“The only thing that stays the same is change.” – Melissa Etheridge (song is “Change”)

These two thoughts always strike a chord in me.  I am a person that constantly craves change, although I find that I don’t always prepare myself enough to fully value the change and reap the most benefits. Change is hard. We have all said that and heard it. Change can be renewing. Change can come in many forms: sad, exciting, anxious, nervous, unsettling,…but it is always transformative. And it is the one constant in our lives.

We all know we will pass away some day. That is a given. Sorry, you aren’t the immortal you thought you were! I know we have all wished for that at one point in our lives, or thought we were. There are not many other constants we live by, save that every 24 hours a new day begins and the sun and moon orbit the earth. We also know that the seasons will change. Everything else is up for grabs!

When it comes to our daily lives, the change element is much more impactful. We are constantly given opportunities to learn and grow from mistakes. We are always making decisions about how we will live our life that day. Some of us are list makers and planners, others fly by the seat of our pants people. We choose to proceed one way and on one path, but life often derails us. I have certainly seen my share of derailments, as have we all. Some of us more than others. The true test of character and resiliency is what we do with the opportunities that come our way and what change we allow to sink into our moral fiber and existence.

I believe that we create the change we want. I believe that we create the resulting effects on our lives by past actions. I also believe that if we desire something, that our thoughts can manifest that in our lives. We have the choice to create much of our own destiny. Weight Watchers is a great example of this philosophy. During my tenure as a leader, I saw many people come and sit in meetings, talking about the program and their lives on program. Many of these members never hit goal, lifetime, or anywhere close to that on their journey. It always saddened me when I saw members week after week paying their dues but not getting anywhere on the scale. But, I finally realized one day that this was their path and that is where they were supposed to be. Who was I to judge their journey? The goal of WW is to hit Lifetime, lose your weight, maintain it for 6 weeks and then you never pay as long as you are at goal. You only have to weigh in once a month. Pretty cool and a great reward for ones efforts! Many members I saw were lifers, but would never hit lifetime. That was what was so sad. I had to come to the realization that the time wasn’t right for the weight to come off but by them being there, they were learning the tools they needed for when it was right. The change was happening in their minds and heart and beliefs, it just hadn’t come to fruition yet.

This realization hit me in 2009. I was my former members that had saddened me so. I was nearly back to my heaviest weight ever, just shy by 6 pounds. I was miserable. I was eating crap and I felt like crap. I was working at a health food store and gaining weight. What the heck? There were too many “healthy” snacks, a lack of desire to count points or eat core foods, and to step on a scale. I had “taught” weight loss enough that I was tired of WW. But, I also hit my rock bottom. It was Labor Day weekend of last year that I realized just how miserable I was. I was laid up from the foot and leg surgery and house-sitting for my parents while they were on vacation to my favorite place in the world, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. This is the one place that recharges me for the coming year. I was so sad that I couldn’t put any weight on my leg, that I was in pain, that I couldn’t be where I wanted to be, and that I had let myself get back to where I said I would never be weight-wise. All this time up the scale, I still hung around the WW message boards, I just never talked about my food or diet. I didn’t update my stats. I lied, in essence, to the people I knew there. Bottom line, I felt like crap.

I decided that weekend would be my last that way. While I have no idea what life will be like in the future, I knew that then and there I had to make changes. I stepped on the scale once I was healed and out of the cast, October 1, 2009. 240.5. Ouch! But, it was what it was. I started counting calories on the Daily Plate as I wasn’t ready to go back to WW. I finally realized after losing and gaining (not gaining it all back but teetering enough) that I needed WW again. It works and I know it does. So, 3/10/10 I started. I made a pact with myself that I would be down 30 pounds by 10/10/10, just sounded too good to be true. 7 months was enough time. I started WW about 8 pounds less than my 10/1 weight. I have now hit 16.8 since 3/10. So, I am down 24.7 pounds. I know I can hit 30! My reward, a yoga weekend at Cityoga with Kate Potter, creator of Namaste Yoga which has been a true blessing to me. I won’t attend the whole weekend, but you better believe I will be there for a class or two. And the studio is owned by a WW leader.

The change happens when we are ready for it. Even when we don’t think we are ready, it is happening in us. It may not manifest itself outwardly for some time, but when it does, watch out!!!!!!!! I knew that this time I had to look at my weight loss differently. I didn’t do the things mentally I needed to do in 2004 when I lost the 85 pounds. I wasn’t ready to be a 10 (size that is) and to receive all the attention that brought into my life. I was uncomfortable with that change. So, this time I am approaching this as I should for it to last, a lifestyle change. I am approaching this on many levels. I never exercised before and now I am getting a variety of activities in and loving it. My body even craves it now! Who knew that would happen?

I discovered the roller derby last fall with the help of another WW leader. I have decided that I will be a derby girl and it will be soon. I even attempted tryouts but realized very quickly I must change my body and my activity to be able to handle this rigorous sport. Since I desire this so much, I am taking the steps, at a pace that is comfortable for me, to get there. I want this, and because of this new world that has opened up to me, I am finally seeing the psychic shift I needed to allow my longtime dreams to manifest in my life. Because of this, and my desire to lose my weight slower, I am changing. It is palpable change as well as psychic. I can see the outer rewards and feel the inner physical rewards. I am more energetic and strong. I am smaller in my circumference. But the amazing things that are happening are not seen when I am glanced upon. I am so much happier with who I am. I am loving myself more than I ever have before. I am open to compliments and accepting that they are true. Believe it or not, when people compliment you they really do mean it! It’s the truth. So say thank you and zip your lips!

I recently finished Going in Circles by Pamela Ribon. She is an LA Derby girl that wrote a fictional story of a woman going through a break in her marriage and finding roller derby. While it was a bit cliché, okay very cliché, she discovered that the roller derby was the saving grace in her life. Even though I am not out there skating on a team, YET, I believe this is one hundred percent true in my life. I am learning so much about myself. It is truly helping me to get in the best physical shape I have EVER been in my whole life. And it teaches you that if you work hard enough, whatever you worked to get will come and your life will be the better. Sure, you get beat up and bruised along the way, but the reward is worth it!

Are you happy where you are? If you aren’t, what can you do to be happy? Decide to accept the constancy of change, embrace it and don’t fight it, and work hard enough to get banged up along the way. Transform yourself! No one else will or can! The journey is so worth it!

Derby kisses,

Meg (soon to be Fresh Meat)


Tuesday, May 4, 2010


I am trying out for the Roller Derby this month!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Workshops start next week with tryouts on the 23rd!  I am so freakin' excited, nervous, scared, and excited!  Oops, I said excited twice.  Well, I am that much!

Monday, May 3, 2010


This is totally off topic, but I just had to share the latest picture of the 4 adorable kittens my stray kitty had.  They are only 4 days old and look how cute they are already.

One with his paw over the others shoulder, and 2 curled up into each others bellies.  So adorable!  And can I just say how it looks like momma had triplets plus one? 

I have not named them and am trying to keep my distance and not cuddle too much so as to not get too attached.  Someone please adopt that black and white one.  I am getting too attached to him!  I want to be able to see him as he grows up!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Check out this steal of a deal!

OKay, I am not a size 12 yet, but I will be soon enough.  I have gone from an 18/20 to a 16 in a month and a half.  Plus, with my new gym membership and motivation to get in shape to be a roller derby girl, it will be soon enough!    This is a great work into dress.  My sister is even motivated to work down to it as well, and I rarely see her in a dress.  Originally $129, marked down to $79.99, final price $5.34 with tax.  Yep, you read that right.  It was on sale for $4.99!  Gotta love good bargains!

I lost .8 this week.  I had the most tasty and enjoyable weekend.  My meal Saturday night may have kept me from losing more, but I lost and I enjoyed every bite!  I went to see the Indigo Girls in Bloomington, IN, and I ate at Roots before.  Roots is a wonderful local foods vegan/vegetarian restaurant.  It was so freeing to walk into a restaurant where I knew I could order anything I wanted and didn't have to pick from a few limited items with modifications.  My friend and I split the appetizer sampler platter which was all fried foods.  The breaded and fried seitan was awesome, as were the sauces that came with the appetizer platter.  We left food on it. 

Dinner was polenta with local farmer's cheese and homemade chunky marinara.  My friend ordered the Tofu in Peanut Sauce.  We got extra plates and shared the deliciousness.  OMG!  So delish!  She ordered the curried sweet potato soup that was amazing as well.  I sipped an ABC, Apple, Beet, Carrot juice.  The only regret, I would have ordered ginger in my juice.  Other than that, I have no regrets about this meal!  Well, that and I didn't have enough points of stomach space to eat more.  You know, the amazing thing was I wasn't stuffed.  I would say I was full, but we walked to the concert around the corner and I wasn't uncomfortable at all.  I was even hungry after singing and dancing to the Girls!  So, by leaving food, not cleaning my plate, getting some activity, and indulging appropriately, I lost weight!

I am .3 pounds from my first 5% goal.  Whatdya think?  Will my post next week say I did?  I think so!

If you are in the Indianapolis area, check out Livrite Fitness.  I just joined this week and I am loving it.  It is $1 to join right now and you get a free month for a friend.  Pool, sauna, cardio equipment, classes...I will be at basic yoga Mon and Wed nights whenever I can.  I was given a great rate and I am glad I made the decision to join.  The first night, I did 30 minutes on the elliptical.  I was drenched.  Last night, I was only able to do 15 but I didn't give up.  I did another 15 on the recumbent bike.  I have said for years, I have arthritis in my knees.  I can't do bikes.  My knees never hurt and don't today.  My muscles are awake and alive and it feels good.

I also welcomed new life into mine.  My stray kitty had her babies!  They are sooooooo cute.  4 little ones came into this world yesterday.  Here they are.  And they are looking for homes in about 6-8 weeks!

Have a great week and remember, Sprout something (seeds or seeds of change)!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day!!!!!! A little scattered today...

Yippee! I lost another 1.2 pounds, for a total of 10.4 in 6 weeks!

I increased my activity and did more yard work this week. Sadly, my yoga routine has suffered slightly this week. Monday I tried a yoga dvd from Netflix, and I didn’t like it. It was 45 minutes and it was hard, but I wasn’t impressed. Tuesday was the Crane episode of Namaste Yoga. I saw the description and said to myself, “Yeah right!” Last night was Weight Watchers night, so no yoga. I have been walking at lunch every day, sometimes only 15 minutes but it all adds up! I have cut our grass twice and my parent’s front yard (about half of a large yard). Today, 17 minutes walk at lunch, walk with a friend after work around a local park, and yoga at 6. I am even going to transplant a couple small Rose of Sharons tonight.

I have noticed 2 things today. I am in a foul mood. Lots of drivers were honking me off this morning. Hee hee, get it, honking me off! I kill myself. And my knees are sore. I know this is because I haven’t had my Namaste Yoga fix this week. I am not sore from walking, I am sore from not doing gentle, peaceful yoga moves. My knees and body need yoga. My mind and soul need yoga. I have been hungrier the last few days, and the urges have called to me more than in the past 6 weeks. I need yoga! So, looking at the Fit TV website, I am so happy to see this is the program airing tonight at 6 pm:



Earth series begins kneeling and continues with floor poses that are both gentle and invigorating. This series builds core strength and spinal flexibility and is a slow gentle sequence appropriate for all practitioners.

Ahhhhhhhhhh, sounds beautiful! After 2 walks and a few days absence this will feel amazing.

On another note, that stroganoff is kickass after a couple days! I was holding my little Ziploc container trying to get the last bite onto my spoon and it slipped out of my hand. I lost the last bite! I am heartbroken. I didn’t add any salt since I used the broth and canned soup. It could have used a little but the mushrooms were nice and soft and the taste was delicious! Try it! You will like it! Soooooo yummy. I love when I taste food, especially something I have created, and fall in love with it!

I watched Food, Inc. last night. It was heartbreaking. Parts of it I wish I had never seen, but it made me so happy for having been a vegetarian for 6 and a half years. In 5 days it will be 6.5 years exactly. Those poor animals, and workers that have to do such dastardly things. I was bawling, loudly, and heaving in certain parts, especially the Smithfield footage. Seeing this makes me grateful for all the animals I have saved, and the animals all my veggie friends have saved. May many more realize that factory farming is hideous and insidious. Please consider going more meatless if you aren’t veggie. Please remember that what you see in the store has a story and that story includes much pain and suffering.

Okay, off my soapbox now!

Off to track my lunch which included a delicious salad of homegrown lettuce picked last night and locally grown radishes! It was delicious! I want more.

If you are looking for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) to join this summer, please consider Seldom Seen Farm (http://www.seldomseenfarm.com/). I am mailing my contract this week! You can pick up your produce at many locations, including the Broad Ripple Farmers Market.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Recipe and Roller Derby! - Corrected

Use 1 T Veggie Worcestershire Sauce in the soup/milk mixture!

I had a hankering for some fatty, unhealthy stroganoff.  The healthy me won out, and I settled for a light version.  Here is what I created last night.  It was pretty good.

Veggie Stroganoff

Heat 3 t canola oil over medium heat.  Add in half of a large onion, chopped.  Cook for a few minutes.  Add 1 bag Quorn "meat" crumbles and continue cooking.  While this is cooking, make 1 cube of un-chicken broth in boiling water and slice 6 medium mushroom caps into small chunks.  (You can use canned broth if you like, I just happen to have the cubed kind you rehydrate).  Add the mushroom to the pan, stirring into the crumbles and onions.  Add the broth a bit at a time to keep from sticking.  Let it simmer in a bit of the broth to help soften the mushrooms.  Add in 1 can of 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup (make sure its vegetarian), dried oregano and basil to taste, a dash of paprika for a little color, and 6 roasted garlic cloves smushed (or however many you prefer - you can saute fresh with the onions if you don't have roasted cloves available).  Add about one half cup light soymilk to the soup to thin.  Cook until bubbly and warm, and all ingredients are married.  Add a bit of freshly cracked black pepper and salt if needed.  To finish, blend in 1/4 light sour cream.

I had 3 servings as an end result, could very well be 4.  Heck, you could get 6 servings if not that hungry.  It would be good over pasta, but I didn't have the pernts available for that.  My count, 15 pernts for the whole recipe.  I didn't count the mushrooms and onions.   I ate it plain, as is, last night.  Today I had this over steamed green beans and it was reminiscent of Thanksgiving Green Bean Casserole.  Sure, it looks a little anemic, but stroganoff is supposed to look that way!

Here is an old video of the Tornado Sirens of the Naptown Roller Girls, my new idols!  Enjoy!  Four Leaf Cleaver and Touretta Lynn, both shown in interviews, are extremely nice women.  I have had the pleasure of meeting and talking with both of them, both urging me try out.  Maybe in November.  It is definitely my motivation to work out and lose weight.  I will be a derby girl someday!  For now, I am happy to be a non-skating official.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Beet Salad

A couple beets got a little overcooked, but this was a delicious dinner. 

4 small beets, peeled, chopped in 8ths and roasted with salt and pepper in spray (I didn't use oil and so they were a little dry) - 400° until done.

Fresh lettuce from garden (green and red leaf) - rinsed and torn
Fresh pea shoots from windowsill, chopped
Sargento cheese, nut, and dried craisins mix
Honey Mustard Dressing (or your dressing of choice)


Thursday, April 15, 2010

The scale is tipping, in a good way!

Happy Thursday everyone! I hope you are enjoying this string of beautiful 80 degree days. Looks like the weather will change tomorrow, so get out and enjoy it today while it is dry and warm!

This morning, a friend asked my online group: “How do you balance life responsibilities with taking care of yourself?”

Here is my response: I actually experienced this last night. I got home for a brief stint after work. Fed the cats, let the dogs out which means walking them on a leash, fed the stray kitty, and then was able to change and do my things, like potty. I then left about 30 minutes later to go to Weight Watchers. Okay, that is me time.  I came home and had to let the dogs out again, entertain the dogs and kitties, clean the kitty litter, put the groceries away, clean out the fridge a bit, take out the trash, make something for dinner, unload the dishwasher and load it again…I finally said to the animals after I put the food away, give mommy 20 minutes so she can work out. Everything could wait 20 minutes. I could shelve my responsibilities for 20 minutes. I have a responsibility to myself to be healthy, and working out is part of that. If I had said, oh screw it, I would have felt guilty and remorseful, which could lead to eating, which could lead to not doing WW, which could lead to loads of unhappiness and weight gain. Yes, that one small moment could take me there. I knew it could, so I had to act on my desire. I am just grateful a silly workout dvd called to me and not Dairy Queen.

I lost another pound this week, for a total of 9.2 in 5 weeks! Total from last October, I am down 18 pounds. But, I look like I am down more than 18 pounds. My inches, which I didn’t measure, are telling a different story. Don’t get me wrong, 18 pounds is wonderful. But, when I have many more to lose, just focusing on the scale can get a little slow and the desire to berate myself can increase. So, as my WW leader taught us last night, it’s good to track other things. Thus, I think I will take my measurements. I hope I can find a tape measure. If not, I will track my exercise minutes and work to increase that.

My goal is to get to 30 pounds lost by 10/10/10. I am almost 33% there. So, did I set my goal too low or am I looking at a struggle once my weight loss slows down a bit? Who knows? I am not going to worry about it. If I pass 30 pounds, well then hot damn! If I don’t get there, I will have lost what I lost, lost inches and gained much athletic abilities. I cannot control the future, but I can work to change the outcomes ahead of me.

I am getting back into yoga tonight after missing it last night for WW. I am also going to do more. I want more exercise than yoga. I have some workout dvds in my Netflix queue, after I get another True Blood dvd, but for now I will do my Leslie Sansone. I think I will do the 30 minute dvd tonight. I can do that and then finish with the 30 minute Namaste Yoga on Fit Tv. Wow, I never ever thought I would be here. It feels good. I know I have to do this, number 1, to lose and keep my weight off. #2, to train to achieve my goal of being a derby girl. I may not ever tryout, and if I do, I may not make the team. I may decide I want to be a ref and that’s it. But, I do know I am to be a part of the derby, more than a spectator, and that I love to roller skate. I learned that Sunday. I am going Saturday at noon, I will be there when the doors open, or within a few minutes. I will skate for an hour to 2 hours. Then, I get to come home and shower and get ready to go to the last home bout of the Naptown Roller Girls! It will be sad, but it is a double header and it will be fun. They’ll be back. They aren’t going anywhere! And now I can take the $ for the monthly bout and put it towards roller skating practice.

Having goals is good. To reiterate what my WW leader said, be like Elmer Fudd. Find the rabbit twacks and search out your Bugs Bunny!

And as always, sprout something (seeds or seeds of change)!

Here's a yummy recipe from Vegetarian Times.  A friend made it and said you can cut the honey in half, they are very sweet!

Honey Braised Carrots

Veg Times
6 servings

6 large carrots, halved and cut into ¼” thick slices (4 cups)

2 medium shallots, sliced into thin rings (1/4 cup)

½ C honey

1 T cider vinegar

¼ C chopped fresh parsley

Place carrots and shallots in nonstick skillet, and heat over medium heat. Cook 2-4 minutes, or until beginning to brown.

Stir in honey, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Partially cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook 15 minutes, or until carrots are tender. Uncover, stir in the vinegar, and increase the heat to medium-high.

Cook 2 minutes more. Stir in parsley, and serve.

¾ C serving = 126 cal, less than 1 g fat, 3 g fiber

Monday, April 12, 2010

Activity check and a yummy Greek recipe!

Hello dear peeps! How was your weekend? What did you do for fun, and to get moving? I thought I would do a week starter post just to keep you motivated. I spent the weekend on the run. Saturday, I had a workshop in the morning and then it was off to officiate a derby bout. Well, 2 actually. I didn’t do much but sit Saturday night, but I was active. Dodging chairs being pushed into me from fast skaters sliding in for the penalty they didn’t want to serve is hard work. Luckily, none of them were mean to me. One was even laughing with me on her last penalty, with just a few seconds left in the game I felt it was okay to joke with her. Yesterday was laundry day. I also did yoga both Saturday and Sunday, and I even went roller skating yesterday with a friend. I was able to do it, only went down once trying to stop, and it felt darn good! So, look for me on a local derby team in a year or so.

I had a moment of revelation yesterday. I still see my midsection as pretty big. I am certainly carrying the unhealthy fat, and always have. But, the top I wore to skate in was swimming on me. I got it from a friend in August that had cleaned out her closet after losing weight. I think I need to gift it to someone. It is huge! And it wasn’t that loose when I received it. My arms are still tight in it, but the unhealthiest area to carry fat is much smaller.

I have to say, I never had this much focus and determination before. I was willing and determined to count and weigh in and lose, but I did it without activity and that is a huge difference this time. It is clicking! My head is clicking too!

I planted some beet seeds this weekend, hopefully they will sprout! My pea shoots will be ready to eat tonight, and then more tomorrow! Maybe some more by the end of the week. I have 4 pots going now. I also have 2 beet pots going. I tell ya, I love sprouting!

I made this delicious WW recipe this weekend. If memory serves it is 6 pernts per serving. Oh, I just figured it up for real and my calculations are 32 for the whole recipe, 8 servings is totally doable, so it’s 4 per serving! Yippee! I am off to update my tracker. I counted too much! It’s decadent and rich. Make sure to use lots of cinnamon and a little more nutmeg. So delicious!

WW Pastitsio


3 cups light soy milk - 6

1/4 cup cornstarch - 0

3 eggs, lightly beaten - 6

4 TBSP parmesan cheese - 2

salt and ground pepper

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg


1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil - 3

1 onion, chopped

3/4 pound ground meat substitute, like Boca crumbles - 6

1 pound plum tomatoes, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced (although I used more--probably 4 or 5)

3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

salt and pepper

1/2 pound whole wheat spaghetti or elbow macaroni - 8

2 TBSP parmesan substitute - 1

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, combined the milk, cornstarch and eggs in a large saucepan. Cook over low heat until thickened, stirring constantly. This took me a while, but I think I turned the fire down too low--I was warming, not cooking--so make sure the heat isn't too low. When thickened, remove from heat and add the Parmesan sub, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Place a lid on the pot and set aside while you make the filling.

At this point, you'll want to preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 7 by 11 inch baking dish with non-stick spray.

For the filling, heat the oil in a large skillet and saute the onion until softened. Add the remaining filling ingredients and cook until heated through, and the liquid from the tomatoes evaporates. Stir often.

To assemble the casserole, start with half of the pasta, then top with all of the filling and the other half of the pasta. Pour the béchamel sauce over the top and sprinkle with the last 2 tablespoons of parmesan. Bake until golden, 30-35 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving, to set the casserole.

Have a great week and remember to sprout something (seeds or seeds of change)!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I scream, you scream...It’s all about the Frozen Treats today!

First, let me say thank you to the gals on a message board I frequent for these tempting and WW friendly treats. The heat is coming, and the desire for cool treats is intensifying. These are guilt free choices to help you stay on track, and indulge a bit.

Frozen Lemon Cup

Start by cutting off the top of a lemon, about ¾ from the bottom of the fruit. Make sure to save the cap! Using a hand held juicer, juice the lemon or into a fine strainer to remove any seeds and extra pulp. After diluting the fresh-squeezed lemon juice with 3 parts water to 1 part juice, add granulated sugar to taste (I add about 1 Tbsp. to every cup), depending on how sweet or how tart you like it. Whisk sugar until completely dissolved. Fill lemon with your juice mixture to a ¼-inch from the rim. Place in freezer for 3 hours, or until liquid has reached desired slushiness. Place cap on top and serve with a spoon! If you’re not a fan of lemons, you can make the same dish with blood oranges instead. [Lauren LaPenna] http://www.bust.com/

One Ingredient Ice Cream: http://bit.ly/do2Xq5

A variation of the above idea: http://fatfreevegan.com/blog/2010/03/08/banana-ice-cream/

I kept my vow of last week.  I got my 5 pound star and then some.  My weekly weigh in went great last night! I released another 3.8 pounds. 8.2 gone in 4 weeks! And we even had a big family dinner Sunday for Easter. And treats at the open Butler practice Friday. See, you can indulge, every now and then. Just be active and track the rest of the time. I have done yoga 5 of the last 6 days. I am joining the Walk-It Challenge issued by Weight Watchers, a 6 week training to go from couch to a 5K. I am not a couch potato, well not as much as I used to be, but I know I shouldn’t go out and walk a 5k today. If you are interested, check the WW website out for further info in the coming week or so.

Have a great week and sprout something (seeds or seeds of change)!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Spring has sprung!

Finally!  Here is my newest love, and I am so glad I am doing it.  I have discovered sprouting.  I tried last year with a sprouting container but it was a dismal failure.  I discovered sprouted peas at the Indy Winter Farmer's Market (http://www.indywinterfarmersmarket.org/) a few weeks ago.  Well, I bought seeds the next week, and soil.  Now I have these beauties which sprout pretty quick.  The lady I bet the sprouts from said 4-5 days.  Mine are about 9-10 days.  They're even bigger today.  I picked off a few, rinsed, and cut up and garnished my eggs this morning.  I had a wedge of Laughing Cow cheese as well.  It was yummers!  Next, I am going to try beet sprouts.  There are many options to choose.  So many, so little time.  Oh wait, I can do this any darn time I please!

Aren't they cute?  They're yummy on sandwiches too.  I use them in place of lettuce, and I can constantly keep a supply going.  I need to invest in some more containers.  I am even thinking I could poke holes in old margarine tubs and use that.

I even have some kale seeds started to plant in a few weeks.  I'll be getting a full share in a CSA, but one can always use more, in case the farm has a bad year.  I grow in containers, so I feel like I would be more immune to natural problems that farms face.  Maybe not.  I cut a couple pieces from my rosemary plant to try and start a couple more.  The kale is very young, just a week or so old.  And I watered just after this picture, so don't worry, it's not thirsty anymore.

What are you going to do this summer to help coax new life into this world.  Life that will reap you many rewards, both internally and externally?  Here is some info from Mother Jones magazine about the cals burned doing gardening activities.  It's a great workout.  This doesn't address height and weight, so take this as a rough guide.

Watering lawn: 61

Mowing lawn (ride-on): 101

Trimming shrubs (power): 142

Raking: 162

Bagging leaves: 162

Planting seedlings: 182

Mowing (push with motor): 182

Planting trees: 182

Snow thrower (walking): 182

Trimming shrubs (manual): 182

Weeding: 182

Clearing land: 202

Digging, spading, tilling: 202

Laying sod: 202

Chopping wood: 202

Gardening with heavy power tools: 243

Mowing lawn (push manual): 243

Double digging: 344

Here is the link for this article crediting the source: http://motherjones.com/blue-marble/2010/04/econundrum-gardening-exercise-calories

So, get out there and work some of your land.  Get some containers and fill with soil and plants.  Build a pretty corner flower bed in your yard.  Just do something that will brighten your spirits when you see it, give you some physical, tangible benefits, and possibly even help feed you this summer. 

In later posts, I will share preserving tips that I find, to help extend the season a bit.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Weigh in results

I weighed in last night and lost 1.4 pounds, total of 4.4 in 3 weeks.  I vow to get my 5 pound star next week!

Vegan Mexican Tortilla Bake - well almost!

I got the VegNews email last week, and the recipe was a vegan tortilla bake.  Here is the recipe:

Mexican Tortilla Bake
Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large garlic clove, minced

1-1/2 cups cooked pinto beans or one 15-ounce can, drained and rinsed

1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

Salt and pepper, to taste

1-1/2 cups prepared tomato salsa

4 ounces soft or silken tofu

2 tablespoons lime juice

12 6-inch flour tortillas

1 cup shredded vegan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 9x13-inch baking dish. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the pinto beans, tomatoes, chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

2. In a food processor or blender, combine the salsa, tofu, lime juice, and 1/2 cup of the bean mixture. Process until well blended. Spread a thin layer of the tofu and salsa mixture over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Arrange 6 of the tortillas on top, overlapping as necessary. Spread the remaining bean mixture over the tortillas and cover with another layer of tortillas. Top with the remaining tofu-and-salsa mixture and sprinkle with the shredded cheese. Bake until hot and bubbly and lightly browned on top, about 30 minutes.

It is tasty, but looks nothing like the picture included with the email.  It is kind of flat.  I used white corn tortillas that I had.   I added some dried cilantro and cumin to the bean layers.  Next time, I will add some mexican spiced cooked veggie crumbles, and another can of beans.  The tofu puree is tasty, and I can imagine using it many other ways.  I didn't have vegan cheese, so I used the cheese I had.  Here are my results!

Before baking

After baking

Their casserole!

I figured this up as 35 pernts for whole recipe.  I didn't count pernts for the salsa and tomatoes.  I ate this as 6 servings, well I am still eating it.  So, roughly 6 pernts each if done as 6 servings.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Please come see the Indigo Girls on Saturday, April 24, 2010 at the Buskirk-Chumley in Bloomington, IN!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Hummus Awaits!

Apple Hummus

2 cans of garbanzo beans

1 apple - peeled and chopped

1/3 c lemon juice

1/4 c creamy peanut butter

1/2 tsp apple pie spice

1/8 tsp cayenne

5 TBSP water (or mix of water & apple juice)

Pour all the ingredients into a food processor or blender and puree.

Thanks Patt!

Homemade Tahini Free Hummus
(was so good and easy to make) - Serves 6:


* 2 15 oz cans of Chickpeas, drained and rinsed

* 1/2 tsp of salt

* Juice from one lemon

* 2 garlic cloves or 1/4 tsp of garlic powder

* 1 TBSP of olive oil

* 1 TBSP of sesame oil

* 1 teaspoon ground cumin


1. Drain and rinse beans.

2. Blend beans, along with the other ingredients.

3. Process in food processor until the mixture is smooth.

4. Add water until the desired consistency is reached if needed.

5. Adjust seasonings along with more cumin, lemon juice, salt and pepper if needed. Chili powder or red pepper flakes is also a nice addition to this if you want it spicy.

Loved this, from recipezaar.com

Thanks Rae!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spinach Bean Soup

Saturday, I soaked a bowl of Great Northern Beans, I didn't measure.  Sunday, I cooked them.  Yesterday, I made Spinach Bean Soup.  It needs a little umph, but it is good, and colorful!

2 t canola oil
1 onion, chopped
4 carrots, peeled, sliced in half and chopped
3-4 ribs celery, chopped
1 zucchini, cut in quarters and chopped
1 can diced tomatoes (I used Italian)
3 C cooked Great Northern Beans
1 bag chopped frozen spinach, thawed and slightly drained
1-2 C low-sodium veggie broth (I used Trader Joe's)
kosher salt and pepper to taste
Dried Basil to taste
dash cayenne

Saute onion in oil until slightly soft.  Add carrot and celery, saute for about 5 minutes.  Add zucchini and cook for a minute or two.  Add remaining ingredients and enough water to give soup consistency you prefer.  You can do more broth if you like.  I wanted to control the sodium, so I used broth and water.  Simmer on low for about 20-30 minutes.  Don't let veggies get too soft.  Everything is cooked, you just want to marry flavors and bring it to temp.

The whole recipe is only 14 pernts!  And you can get 6 good sized servings!

Oh, and I stuck to my S'Bux plan, even though the mini pastry items are 3, not one.  I got the mini scone as the vanilla flavor went with the Skinny Vanilla Latte.  I was all set for one, and he gave me three.  I gave 2 away!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Starbucks shockers!

I was emailed a coupon for a free pastry at S’bux with the purchase of a drink. The free pastry day is tomorrow, Tuesday, March 23, 2010. Check out www.starbucks.com for more info and a coupon. I joked with the coworker that sent this to me, but I am interested in S’bux and something free, of course. Who doesn’t love free? What did I find as a WW looking at the menu? Some shockers to say the least! Here is a rundown of the light options that aren’t so light! Keep in mind, I am researching first the options that seem the lowest pernts and the best choice on WW. The shocker is some of the seemingly unhealthy choices are lower pernt.

Lowfat Red Raspberry Muffin 7 pernts

Apple Bran Muffin 7 pernts

Asiago bagel 6 pernts - no cream cheese

Plain Bagel 6 pernts – no cream cheese

8 Grain roll 7 pernts

Multi Grain bagel 6 pernts – no cream cheese

Reduced Fat Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake 7 pernts

Reduced Fat Very Berry Coffee Cake 7 pernts

Outrageous Oatmeal Cookie 8 pernts

Zucchini Walnut Muffin 12 pernts

Okay, so I figured the last two weren't low pernt, but the stats are suprising.

What did I find as good buys?

Blueberry Oat Bar 5 pernts

Chocolate Mini Sparkle Doughnut 3 pernts (Probably the size we should be eating anyway)

Petite Vanilla Bean Scone 3 pernts

Of course, if you have the pernts available, the bagels aren’t bad. But, if I have to buy a drink to get a free pastry, I do not wish to spend 6 pernts. So, I think my order will be a choc mini sparkle doughnut and an Iced Skinny Flavored Latte (Sugar Free syrup) for 2 pernts. Sounds good to me for a treat!

Meg's Weight Watchers version of "Irish Colcannon"

I am Irish, but know nothing of my heritage.  I wanted to celebrate St. Patrick's Day this year with food.  I admit, I miss the typical corned dish of St. Paddy's Day.  But, I found a dish that will be in me repertoire for years to come, and not consumed solely on St. Paddy's Day!  Here is my version of Colcannon, veggied up so better on the WW plan.

Irish Colcannon

1.5 lbs red potatoes, washed and diced 490 cals, .7 fat, 11.6 fiber

1 T oil 119 cals, 13.5 fat

1 onion, chopped 46 cal, .1 fat 1.5 fiber

1 bunch ramps, whites only, chopped 54 cals, .3 fat, 1.6 fiber (leek data from calorie king - 1 leek)

2 cloves garlic, minced 9 cals, .1 fiber

1/2 large head organic cabbage, small chop 218 cals, .9 fat. 18.2 fiber

1 head organic kale, wshed, drained and small chop 100 cals, 1.4 fat, 4 fiber

1/2 C light soymilk 35 cals, 1 fat, .5 fiber

1/4 C light non-hydrogenated margarine 150 cals, 15 fat

salt and pepper to taste

Cover potatoes with just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, salt water and reduce to medium low, cover and simmer until fork tender.

While potatoes are cooking, saute onion, leek, and garlic in oil on medium for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add cabbage and kale, salt and pepper. Stir until it starts to soften, cover and cook on medium low heat for about 10 minutes, until softened.

Drain cooked potatoes, add soymilk (warm if eating right away) and margarine. Mash with a potato masher. Add in cabbage mixture and stir.

Whole recipe data

1221 cals

33 fat (32.9)

37.5 fiber

Data for non-zero point ingredients, whole recipe

794 cals

30.2 fat


Oh my gosh, so good!  I don't count pernts for zero point veggies.  I am losing weight that way, and I am okay with that!

I also made a yummy green juice to celebrate.  It had:

1 organic granny smith apple
1 organic anjou pear
1/2 organic lime, peeled
1  orange (only non-green ingredient)
2" or so peeled ginger
1/2 small cucumber, peeled

Yum!  I so miss fresh juices.

So, I was able to celebrate St. Paddy's Day, stayed on plan, and didn't consume any icky green beer.  Ick!  Eew!

Week 1 weigh in at last weeks meeting netted a 1.4 # loss.  My goal, 10/10/10 to be down 30 pounds released.  I will be happy with more, but I won't beat myself up if I lose less.  I rejoined meetings on 3/10/10.  10/10/10 just has a nice ring to it!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I have been gone for a while!  So sorry!  I am down 14 pounds, I have gained a few back, but only a few.  I am currently working on creating, and stickign to a food plan.  Here is my next weeks plan!

TH 2/25

BF: Spinach rice Casserole and MSF sausage
L: BBQ Lentils with veggie meatloaf
D: etouffee

FR 2/26

BF: Spinach rice Casserole
L: Veggie meatloaf with etouffee
D: BBQ Lentils and cheddar biscuit

SAT 2/27

BF: English Muffin sammie
L: BBQ Lentils
D: Vegan Alfredo with pasta & veggies

Cooking: Vegan Alfredo Sauce and pasta

SUN 2/28

BF: Four Seasons with parents
L: BBQ Lentils
D: Vegan Alfredo with pasta & veggies

Cooking: Impossibly Easy Cheeseburger Pie, PEANUT BUTTER PASTA

MON 3/1

BF: Cereal & soymilk
L: Vegan Alfredo with pasta & veggies
D: Cheeseburger Pie

TUES 3/2

BF: Egg Muffin
L: Cheeseburger Pie
D: PB Pasta

WED 3/3

BF: Cereal & Soymilk
L: PB Pasta
D: Cheeseburger Pie

Of course, all of these are WWized and Veggieized recipes.

BBQ Lentils

Serves 4


1 cup green or red lentils

1 cup barbecue sauce

1 tablespoon brown sugar or honey

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 cup brown rice
1 large yellow or green zucchini

2 to 3 tablespoons shredded or grated Parmesan cheese


1. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup of lentils, 3 cups of water and a dash of salt to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the lentils are soft. Once cooked, drain any excess water from the lentils. Mix in the barbecue sauce, brown sugar or honey, and the crushed garlic. Simmer for 4 to 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, cook 1 cup of brown rice according to package instructions.

3. Slice the squash into 1/4-inch rounds and place in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 4 to 5 minutes or until squash is opaque. Drain excess water and sprinkle the cheese over the hot squash. Serve over rice with squash Parmesan on the side.

Peanut Butter Pasta

Adapted from The Garden of Vegan

Makes 2-3 servings.

Dry pasta (enough for 2 people)

1/4 cup natural peanut butter

1/4 cup hot water

1/4 cup soy milk or coconut milk (or more water)

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp steak sauce or vegan worcestershire sauce

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 tsp cayenne (more if you like it spicy)

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

3-4 cups veggies (broccoli, bell peppers, edamame, carrots, peas, corn, etc), cut into bite size pieces

1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Cook the pasta. While the pasta is cooking, whisk together the peanut butter, hot water, and milk (soy, coconut, rice - if using) until smooth. Stir in the soy sauce, steak sauce/worcestershire, garlic, cayenne, salt and pepper. When pasta is almost done, add vegetables and cook for another couple of minutes. Drain and return to pot. Pour in the peanut sauce and toss well. Garnish with chopped nuts, if using.

Impossibly Easy Cheeseburger Pie

Get all the great taste of a cheeseburger magically baked in a pie.

Prep Time: 15 min

Total Time: 40 min

Makes: 6 servings

1 pkg Morningstar Farms Crumbles

1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)

1/2 cup Original Bisquick® mix (using Aldis Fit & Active mix)

1 cup milk

2 eggs

Total Time: 10 min

1. Heat oven to 400°F. Spray 9-inch glass pie plate with cooking spray.

2. In 10-inch skillet, cook crumbles and onion over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cooked through; drain. Stir in salt. Spread in pie plate. Sprinkle with cheese.

3. In small bowl, stir remaining ingredients with fork or wire whisk until blended. Pour into pie plate.

4. Bake about 25 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Veggie "Meat" Loaf

By Joanie Fuson

Nutritional information

Calories: 309.4

Sodium: 1,624 mg

Fat: 5.2 g

Carbs: 51.6 g

Fiber: 6.8 g

This was on the Indystar website a couple weeks ago.  It says it serves 4, but you can easily get 8 or more servings!  It's good on bread with light mayo too, like a cold meatloaf sandwich of my youth!


1 tablespoon canola oil, plus more for the pan

1 3/4 cups vegetable stock

4 teaspoons vegan Worcestershire sauce

3 teaspoons hickory liquid smoke

2 cups textured vegetable protein (TVP)

1/2 cup diced red onion

1/4 cup diced red or green bell pepper

1 cup quick oats

1 3/4 cups ketchup

2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten

1/4 teaspoon each sea salt, pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a loaf pan or baking sheet. Bring stock, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce and 2 teaspoons liquid smoke to low boil in pan. Add TVP, stir, let sit 5 minutes.

2. Warm 1 tablespoon canola oil in saucepan. Add onion and bell pepper and saute for 2 minutes. Put onion mixture, rehydrated TVP, oats, 11/4 cup ketchup, wheat gluten, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce and 1 teaspoon liquid smoke in a large bowl. Stir until combined.

3. Put the mixture into a prepared pan or shape it into a loaf and place it on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 cup ketchup to the top of the loaf and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool for 5 minutes and serve warm.

Monday, February 1, 2010


Do you feel stuck? Is the newness of your weight loss regimen wearing down? Are you tired of counting, buying “diet” food? Are the cravings getting stronger and more intense? Has the scale slowed down or come to a screeching halt?

This week, we are going to discuss plateaus in weight loss. According to Weightlossforall.com, ”While you lose weight, you likely are cutting back on your calories. Although calorie-cutting helps you lose more pounds, it also can decrease your metabolism.” Livestrong.com goes on to include how exercise can be a factor in plateaus. “Once your body becomes too accustomed to a particular type of exercise, your muscles adapt and you will not lose as many calories.” So, according to this, we have to watch our calories, but adjust as we go and we have to keep increasing our workouts. Fun!

Plateaus happen. Your body has to adjust, much like your mind has to adjust to the physical changes taking place with your body. You will be getting compliments. One thing I have learned with my own journey that applies to many of us, if you have fought your weight for a period of time, the compliments are hard to take at first. Weight is often a barrier to physical contact or to make us invisible. I remember when I was first at goal in 2004, wearing more girly clothes that fit, I would have the door held open for me almost everywhere. It was always men and I always wondered what sick intentions they had going through their minds. I had to realize, hey they see an attractive woman and are being courteous. But, since I was heavy for so long and hadn’t had such attention, it was odd and uncomfortable for quite some time. Until my mind realized that I deserved such attention. Of course, everyone of every size deserves such chivalry, but sadly it isn’t always expressed.

How can you break a plateau in weight loss? Well, first you have to know what you are consuming to know if changes need to be made to your food. You can’t know what you are doing if you can’t look at what you are doing. In other words, track your food. Get a journal and write about your emotions, or at least your food consumption. If you have fallen into a rut of eating the same foods as they have become easy and give you more time in your schedule, find new foods. I have come to the realization that your metabolism slows down if you eat the same things all the time. Your body no longer has to think. It stands to reason that if your body gets ‘bored’ with a workout regimen that stays the same, it will do the same with regimented and similar food consumption. If your activity is becoming routine, switch it up. Now is a great time of year to get some new workout dvds. There are sales galore now. This is the time of year to get workout materials. And you may even want to get different clothes to wear during your workout. You may be bored with the same workout outfits and not even realize it.

Celebrate your successes! You won’t want to keep going if you aren’t giving yourself enough credit for all that you have accomplished. Remember this thought, what would you say to your best friend? Would you tell her to give up? Would you tell her she deserves to not lose? Would you tell her to eat whatever she wants? No. But I bet those thoughts go through your mind. Recognize and reward your successes, just not with food.

I have said it before, but I think it bears repeating. Look online for new websites and recipes. Switch up your food. You will enjoy the new tastes and your body will enjoy the new nutritional variance. And you will enjoy the scale the following week.

If you take any medicine, you may want to look at the side effects for weight gain. You may also have lost enough that your body needs less. Contact your doctor if you have any concerns. You will also get a boost if you make an appointment and your doctor congratulates you on your weight loss and efforts!

And lastly, realize that your body can plateau for no reason at all. It’s cruel, but it’s true!

My week was very inactive. I had 2 asthma attacks and felt like crud Tuesday through Sunday. I also started taking prednisone. Lovely! I worked out only Monday and was happy to see that despite being laid up quite a bit, I still lost .5 pounds! So, I am proud that I didn’t eat my sickness, which has been a pattern most of my life. I stuck to my program, but didn’t track. I am back on that wagon today. I am ravenous, as the prednisone is kicking in. But, I only take it through Wednesday, so hopefully that urge will calm. I am now down 11 pounds in the month of January. I am happy with that. And, I will be happy if I go to a more appropriate number of .5-2 pounds per week.

Here are my January and February pictures side by side. I can see some changes! Yay!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Week 3 was a success!

Have you ever found that the cravings come back after a couple solid weeks on plan? Do you start to feel restricted or bored? Has life happened and thrown several events at you that could cause a swift fall from that mountain you were progressing so nicely to its summit? Most people on weight loss plans find that the initial exuberance wanes after just a couple weeks. “When motivation to stick to your new eating and exercise habits wanes, and a quick glance in the mirror doesn't do the trick, considering the many health risks of obesity probably will get you going. By maintaining a healthier weight, you are more likely to live a longer life with fewer medical problems. Wearing a smaller size is just the icing on the cake; a happier, healthier life is the ultimate reward,” Weight Loss 101 on about.com. It happens to most of us, at some point in time. I have not met one person that has solid stick-to-itness ALL of the time. That implies perfection, and we all know perfection simply does not exist.

Besides, do you really want to be perfect? It’s a lot of work to maintain perfection!

Some of the reasons for motivation to fade, even slightly, and how to overcome them

Boredom with menu - Try some new recipes or switch your lunch and dinner choices – look for new websites with proven recipes

Feeling that it will take too long to achieve your ultimate goal - Focus on smaller more tangible weight loss goals

Not enough acknowledgement from others about your progress - Acknowledge it yourself! After all, it is your body and health.

Scale isn’t going down as fast as you think it should - Track your food to make sure you aren’t eating more than you need - Switch up your foods, your body may be bored.  Also remember that .5-2 pounds per week is the healthy weight loss range and that loss is the most sustainable once your ultimate goal is reached

Lots of events happening that have lots of temptations - Take an on plan dish - Maybe choose yourself and your goals and not go to all of them - Don’t under eat during the day (you will be starving and will go off plan)

Having cravings? - If you can eat a small portion of something you are craving that will help.  If not, acknowledge the craving and accept they will come, they will fade and your motivation will increase as you don’t give in

And the most important thing to remember: Reward your efforts, just not with food!

My stats: I released 2.5 pounds, for a total of 10.5 in 3 weeks (222.5 pounds). I exercised about 5 days this week, doing yoga mostly. I did clean out and rearrange my storage unit, all to get to my refrigerator out of storage. Mom and dad lost their back-up refrigerator. I spent about 45 minutes, and I moved a washer and dryer, and the refrigerator out and then put everything back in! My dad was shocked as he drove up to help and saw me standing next to a refrigerator and the unit closed. I think he was truly impressed. This was Saturday and I did 2 yoga sessions that day as well!

This will be a week of more aerobic workouts. I tried an excellent recipe this weekend and here is the link. It took some time but it has such depth of flavor. http://www.theppk.com/recipes/dbrecipes/index.php?RecipeID=113. And my reward for myself this week, to acknowledge 18 pounds gone, is to buy Whip It! It releases tomorrow and is about the same price. It will also help me to achieve my goal of being a derby girl someday soon. I am learning how to be a non-skating official in early February! Next step, tryout and get on a team!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Well, I apologize for getting this post up late. My computer is on the fritz, and I am not a happy camper.

But……………my weight is a different story! I lost a whopping 5 pounds this past week. I worked out all but Wednesday. I had an appointment and just didn’t feel like it when I got home. I ended up accruing 12 activity points (a food plan term). I knew I wouldn’t get a home tv workout in on Sunday (football at mom and dad’s) so I stopped at a local park and walk for 25 minutes there. The first part has a nice hill, so it gave some resistance. I felt it in the legs for sure. I did yoga, cardio boot camp, total body sculpt, and I even tried a belly dancing workout. Wow, I am so not a belly dancer!

A friend said this to me last week: “If I don't move I can't lose, and if I stop moving I gain.” Thanks Laurie, you are so wise! She hit the nail on the head. We have to move. A 5 pound loss on week 2 makes me think of the Biggest Loser. They always talk about how bad week 2 is weight-loss wise. Maybe it is that I actually worked out, but my week 2 was amazing! So, what are you doing to move and be active.


I have found this to be true about weight loss:

To lose weight, we must eat healthy food. We must workout and lead an active life. Both will fuel your emotions and you.

If our emotions are in check, we will have more desire to eat well and lead an active life thus leading to weight loss.

If we are active, we will be more prone to positive emotions and to eat healthier food, thus leading to weight loss.


What will you do this week? Will you check out Fit Tv? Maybe buy a dvd and use it? I purchased a dvd by Leslie Sansone with 5 workouts, including a Pilates workout. It even came with resistance bands for the Pilates. Is there a cleaning project you could do around the house? I earned 3 points cleaning on Monday, a day off work. That is not how I wanted to spend my day, but it is what it is.

I challenge you to burn some calories this week!

And let’s hope Monday posts a weight loss too! I am trying not to fear a rebound gain. But if it happens, I will accept it as my body fighting back. It happens. I am not going off plan, so my conscience would be clean!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Week one was a success!

Well, one week down and I released 3 pounds! It was so good to see that working hard, staying on my chosen food plan, and keeping track of my efforts paid off. But, I knew it would. It really is simple, if you choose healthier options, watch how much you eat, get some activity and water, you will shed pounds and feel better!

My week consisted of overnight oats, mush, and eggs for my breakfasts. My lunches were sweet potato shepherd’s pie, tofu with spinach and whole wheat couscous, a Veggie Subway Kids meal one day, and roasted veggies. Dinners consisted of the tofu and spinach dish, whole wheat pasta tossed with mushrooms, artichoke, and diced tomatoes, and plenty of seasoning. I had a couple salads, even taco salad without the shell Saturday night.

My activity was light, but I am not beating myself up about that. I am just starting. I did a circuit of a weighted ball for 15 minutes Monday evening. I shoveled plenty of snow for 45 minutes one night last week. Let’s see, Wednesday, I do believe. Saturday I did some lifting of heavy things into an attic. But I got to stay on the steps and have it handed to me so I am not counting that.

I had a volunteer orientation Saturday and I resisted the pizza that was provided. It wasn’t required to stay for lunch so I spoke my gratitude for the food provided but politely left. I just wasn’t ready to put my newfound momentum under that much stress and examination.

This week, my focus is on new foods as to not get bored. I am getting tofu on the way home and I am going to make something like this: Cornmeal “Shake and Bake” Tofu – Corn meal and seasonings added in for the dredge. Dredge your drained and cut tofu in soymilk and then coat with the mixtures. Spray a pan with oil, line it with tofu, spray the tops and bake at 350-400 degrees until it is looking nice and crispy. You can flip these after 15 or 20 minutes to make sure both sides look nice. (This is from a friend that has a young son. He loves these!) I made chili with pinto and chili beans, added in whole wheat pasta. I am planning on lentils this week. I discovered I have 3 bags plus a partial bag. Wowzers! I am also going to make chickpeas with a lite coconut milk sauce. Not sure how I am going to proceed with that one yet. But, it will have curry in it for sure. I have black beans and my sis wants Rachael Ray’s Pumpkin Black Bean Soup this week.

I am also going to focus on ramping up my activity. No snow in the forecast, unfortunately, so no shoveling. That is a good workout! I am going to do chores tonight. Tomorrow, while watching the Biggest Loser, I will do my weighted ball workout. I would do it tonight but I can’t do it 2 days in a row. Tonight, I think I will go for a walk. I will come home and put on my exercise pants, do that and get in the car when I get home and go to the store for my tofu. Yep, that sounds like a plan.


Update: It was just too cold when I left work.  I went to the store, got my tofu, and came home and cooked.  I looked on Fit TV, I forgot we have that channel, and found Namaste Yoga at 6.  So, I did that!  I hate the commercial breaks but I kept doing the breathing moves.  I made chickpas with spinach, onion, and a coconut curry "sauce."  I also cooked barley, hard boiled eggs, and I am heading back to the kitchen to make my cornmeal tofu.  So, all in all, I think I have done well and I can sit and enjoy my Big Bang Theory.


And you know what else? I hated water and was drinking loads of diet pop before last week. Now, I can hardly down a whole diet pop. I still like diet root beer and diet Dew, but I am drinking loads more water. Using a Brita at home and a pretty cup at work and home is helping.

Here are some links on fruits and veggies, and exercise tips from the CDC:





Have a great week everyone. I will be discussing the BL more next week. I identify with many of the contestants but I need to work through my thoughts before putting them here. Oh, and I will be doing monthly pictures. I just don’t think enough will be visible right now from week to week.