Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Birthday Weekend

Hello everyone!

I wanted to give a HUGE thank you to Gina for guest posting yesterday! She has been a friend and inspiration to me for many, many years. We've been talking about her guest posting more frequently on the blog, and I'm so excited for it! Gina is quite the foodie, and I know she has some amazing recipes, food reviews and general information that is priceless.

Over the weekend, my younger brother turned 20!

Here he is with his girlfriend.

Most of my family members don't know that I have a food blog. Since I didn't want to seem like an oddball taking food pictures, the only picture I could really capture was of the cake.

My mom makes the best birthday cakes, and this one was no exception.

Back when I first started Weight Watchers years ago, I made the classic Diet Coke cake for my family. Whenever my birthday rolled around, this was the cake I requested. I remember my family tasting it for the first time-they loved it! Now, this is the only cake that my mom makes for birthdays. It's simple, easy and low fat! For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, here's the recipe:

Ingredients

1 (18 ounce) box dry cake mix (any flavor)
1 can of diet soda (any flavor)
1 egg white (optional) (if you choose not to use it, the cake will be more dense)


Directions
1. Mix the dry cake mix, the diet soda, and the egg white until well blended.
2. Pour into a 9 X 13 sprayed pan or prepared cupcake tins.
3. Cook according to the directions on cake mix box.
4. Remove from oven and let cool 5. Frost with fat free cool whip or frosting

At around 4 points per slice, you can't beat it.

In other news, I started Level 2 of Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred and it's ridiculous! It's a great workout, but I struggle to keep up with her!

I hope you are all enjoying the weather. It's 89 degrees, sunny and beautiful in Philly!

Until next time!

~Anne Marie


Monday, April 27, 2009

Guest Post From Gina!

Hi, everyone! I am a long-time friend of Anne Marie’s, and I told her when she has writer’s block, I’d take over! Needless to say, our good friend is struggling with a topic, but she’ll be back soon!

Let me give you a little background on myself. I’m 25 years old and I’ve been struggling with my weight since I was 8 years old. When I was 22 years old and 283 lbs, I decided to do something about it. Took long enough, right? So for the past 3 ½ years, I’ve done the Weight Watchers program (the past 2 years I’ve done it on my own), and I’m very happy to say that this past Saturday I reached a milestone...I finally reached my big goal of losing 100 lbs! I am beyond excited! I’d like to lose another 58 lbs and try to hit 125, but if I only make it to 130 I’ll be extremely happy about that! My wedding is in a year, and I need to be a sexy bride! Lol! :)

Anyway, weight loss and maintaining my weight will be a life-long journey, just like everyone else out there! I’m happy to say I’ve become very serious about it, and even though I like to splurge every now and then, I always get back on track! You can’t live your life depriving yourself of the things (foods) you love!

Anne Marie’s been talking about this 30-Day Shred DVD by Jillian Michaels and how it’s really kicking her butt…I’m following her lead and will be starting it whenever it arrives in the mail! I’ll let you know how I’m making out with it, too!

Oh, and once my fiancĂ© and I are moved into our own place, I’ll be able to post some pictures of recipes I’ve whipped up!As Anne Marie says, until next time! :)

~Gina

Friday, April 24, 2009

Rose's giveaway!

New Weigh of Life: Weekends and Shoprite Card Giveaway

Weekends and Shoprite Card Giveaway

Hey everyone!

Hope that you have a fantastic weekend! It promises to be a beautiful one (at least in Philly anyway!) This weekend is looking like it's going to be fun. My brother's 20th birthday party is tomorrow. Happy birthday, Kevin! Can't believe you are no longer a teenager!

I'll post pics from the party some time next week.

Oh, and before I forget -

Rose over at On a Lobster Placemat is giving away a $25.00 gift card to Shop Rite. Stop by on her blog and leave a comment to enter!

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Morning Workouts

Typically I am an evening workout kind of a girl. I enjoy my sleep in the mornings (although I usually am a morning person and rarely sleep in late) and I can't get my tush out of bed in the morning justify waking up at 4:30 in the morning to go to the gym when I know I have the entire work day to get through.
The husband is the polar opposite. He feels very energized and ready to start the day when he goes to the gym in the morning. I took a chance on compromise and went with him to the gym this morning.
We went to bed early last night so waking up at 4:30 wasn't as bad as I thought. During my workout I felt like I had more energy and after I was done, I felt really good about having a relatively free night.
Do you have a preference for when you workout? I'd love to hear about it!
I wasn't going to post this initially, but I made calzones about two weeks ago. I wasn't really in the mood to take a "nice" picture of it, but this is how it turned out. Please excuse it's bizarre shape. I still have to master the art of pizza dough!
This is my calzone stuffed with broccoli and veggie cheese with a side of my pizza. I realize that it looks undercooked, but it wasn't-it was perfectly doughy!



On another unrelated note, I am on day 10 of the 30 day Shred, and I love it! I was ready to call it quits a few days ago when I hurt my back, but I'm glad I stuck through it. I can't wait to see what Level 2 is like. Any tips or suggestions?


Until next time!

~Anne Marie

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Barney Butter Free Sample!

Just a quick update today, as my food eatings have been rather plain lately. For those of you who have yet to try Barney Butter (myself included), they are giving away a free sample!

I have heard so many things about Barney Butter and can't wait to try it!

Until next time!

~Anne Marie

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Yummy Lunch

I have been craving a salad for what feels like forever. Every time I went to make one, I never felt inspired enough. Last night, while rummaging through the fridge, I decided it was time to make a big salad for lunch today. This is what I came up with:


(Sorry about the lighting. I had to take the picture without the flash because it was way too bright with it).
In the mix:
Baby spinach
Garbanzo beans
About a 1/2 tsp or so of walnuts and peanuts
Chopped carrot
Tofu
Raisins
A few slices of strawberry
Oil and balsamic vinegar dressing
This salad rocked my world. It was so amazing and just what I needed for lunch today.
I also packed carrots with hummus and some strawberries:
I can't believe I waited this long to make it!
On a side note, I decided to purchase Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred DVD. I took my measurements and a few pictures. Let me tell you, I'm on day 3 and I'm ridiculously sore!
I will report back after 30 days!
Until next time,
~Anne Marie

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mock Meatloaf

I am extremely lucky to have a husband who doesn't mind when I experiment in the kitchen. He will try almost anything once, without any complaints. When I told him I wanted to make a meatless meatloaf, he told me that he couldn't wait to try it.

I went off to Trader Joe's looking for some Boca crumbles and came up empty-handed. The only thing they had was Lightlife mock sausage meat. I figured I had nothing to lose, put two packages in my cart and hoped for the best.


When I set out to make the meatloaf, I was a little weirded out. The fake sausage stuck somewhat to the wrapper and was extremely moist. I used my normal meatloaf recipe and baked it for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. The result? Well....mock meatloaf of course!



As far as taste goes, it was more like a sausage loaf (obviously because they only had sausage mock meat). I was surprised that the consistency was similar to meatloaf and I didn't even miss the ground beef. In the future, I think I'll stick to the meat crumbles, but the Lightlife mock sausage wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to me. In fact, I think it would make an excellent addition to breakfast.

Until next time,
~Anne Marie

Monday, April 13, 2009

Indulging and Understanding

I just don't get it. Or rather, I do get it, I just don't understand why I respond the way that I do. Over the past two weeks, I've noticed an extreme tendency to overeat and indulge after dinner. I was raised in a family where a meal wasn't complete until you ate dessert. It's a nagging sensation after I eat every meal and yet, even though I know I will be more miserable after eating dessert when I'm not hungry, I do it anyway. Ending a meal with dessert mentally makes me feel better for a fraction of a second, and then the guilt sets in.
I had been doing well for awhile - trying hard to listen to my body to tell me when I had eaten enough. I even had a lot of success when I listened and opted for dessert only when I was truly hungry. I felt better about myself and my appearance. I didn't over analyze every bite that I put into my mouth. Lately it seems that I am starting down the path with no self-control at all. The strange part about this entire situation is that when I eat dessert, it's not chocolate, cookies or ice cream....it's a mix of cottage cheese or soy yogurt with almond butter, raisins or nuts. My lesson learned is that even if what I'm eating for dessert isn't as caloric as some other choices, my body doesn't need it, and it will make me gain weight and feel badly about not listening and trusting myself.
Despite the lesson learned, the negative thoughts and physical effects this has taken, I still need to challenge myself to truly listen and not to jump up from the table the second that dinner is done so that I can have dessert. For me, it's a complete and total mental game.
Does anyone else have similar experiences or suggestions? I'm completely open to them!
Until next time,

~Anne Marie

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Total Cranberry Review

A few weeks ago I sent away for a free sample of Total Cranberry Crunch. It's been sitting in my cabinet for a little while and yesterday, after I discovered I bought plantains instead of bananas, I grabbed the little box and added it as a topping to my oatmeal.



According to Total's website, one serving contains 100% of your daily vitamins and minerals. As a topping to my oatmeal, I thought it was delicious. It was a little bit sweet with a nice crunch. I loved the chunks of cranberry and clusters. The only downfall was that there weren't enough cranberry chunks for me. Other than that, it was a pretty tasty cereal! I don't think I could eat it alone, as cereal alone never seems to fill me. It's definitely worth trying, especially if you are a cereal eater.

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Monday, April 6, 2009

Massive Meal Making

I had a ton of fun this weekend! Friday night, the husband and met up with a few other couples and presenters from the marriage encounter last weekend. We had so much fun catching up with everyone and it was nice to see how other couples were doing since the retreat.
Saturday night a group of friends decided to make meals for a group called Aid For Friends. They bring frozen meals to shut-ins and the elderly. We all decided to make baked ziti with green beans and a cookie for dessert. The husband and I were in charge of the pasta and gravy (I'm Italian, so I can't justify calling it sauce!)
The goods before heading over to Pete and Maria's.
Everyone chipped in and we made 27 meals. It didn't take very long and it was a great excuse to see some amazing friends.
Pete cleaning up while everyone else filled the trays.
The meals before filling them with cookies.
From another angle.
Maria and Michele wrapping up the trays.
The husband bagging and labeling.


The finished product!
It was wonderful to know that all of these meals served a good purpose. We all agreed to continue the tradition and make these meals once a month.
Sunday was a pretty chill day. I made some calzones out of my pizza dough recipe, and they came out pretty tasty! Pictures to come later!
Until next time!
~Anne Marie





Friday, April 3, 2009

Attack of the Ziti

Well....not really, but I needed a catchy title. Last night the hubby and I sat down to leftover baked ziti and vegetables with some bread on the side. I opted for a flatout light and some hummus which hit the spot! When I told the husband that I needed to take a picture of the food before we ate, he immediately asked if he could be in the picture. I think he's getting a hang of the whole blog thing. I can't keep him away!



Here's my dish. I know it might not look tasty, but it hit the spot!



I can't wait for this weekend. Tonight I'm going to a reunion of the Marriage Encounter retreat and tomorrow a bunch of friends are getting together to make meals for the homeless. It will be our first monthly meeting of casserole bake-off. I'll be sure to bring my camera and take pictures of all the yummyness.

Have a great weekend!
Until next time!
~Anne Marie