Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pasta Salad Goodness

Only one more work day and it'll be weekend time!

I wanted to share with you a recipe for the pasta salad I made on Memorial Day. I asked Gina if she had any recipes, and of course, she did!

She basically told me to mix together whole wheat pasta, cheese, veggies (olives, tomatoes, etc.), cheese and low fat Italian dressing. I used what I had on hand (no cheese or olives) and made this amazing pasta salad.

My mix included:

Whole wheat pasta
2 heads of broccoli
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 green pepper
1/2 onion
2 cloves of garlic
fat free Italian dressing





Close up of the goodness!

Thanks again for this recipe, Gina! It was amazing!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

30 Day Shred Review

I promised a review after I completed my 30 Day Shred, so here goes nothing!

30 Day Shred is a system developed by Jillian Michaels (of The Biggest Loser fame). There are three levels, and although there are no technical instructions with the DVD, I spent 10 days on Level 1, 10 on Level 2 and 10 on Level 3.

Level 1: Looking back on this, I was very happy the way Level 1 was structured. Level 1 made me feel very empowered and completing the 20 minute workout gave me energy and made me feel empowered.

Level 2: OUCH!!! Level 2 was a big jump up from Level 1. It was extremely intense and a very big leap from the comfort zone of Level 1. After I completed it, I felt like I had a hard, intense workout, which was a good thing!

Level 3: Although this level was challenging, it wasn't as bad of a leap from Level 2. I liked the jump training and muscle building in this Level. I think this was my favorite!

I took my measurements yesterday and I lost an inch on my waist, lost .25 in the hips, gained .75 in my thighs (I'm guessing that's from all of the lunges!) and my biceps stayed the same.

All in all, I was impressed with Jillian's workout and look forward to incorporating this DVD into my workouts!

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Friday, May 22, 2009

Bubble Up Pizza

Happy Friday!

I can't wait for the long weekend. Even though it'll be busy with my nephew's Baptism and a family bbq, it should still be a nice time to relax and enjoy the weather.

I've been wanting to post this recipe since I made it, but I wanted to wait until I actually ate it before I revealed the amazingness that is Bubble Up Pizza. There have been many variations on this recipe, but I typically go to Jaime's website to find the recipe. I use the meat in this version, so it's 6 points per slice. It's completely worth it when you want pizza but don' t want to make homemade dough. I have also found that it's much easier to eat one slice of this stuff than it is to have one slice of regular pizza.

This recipe is a keeper for sure!

I leave you with the yummy pictures.....


Right out of the oven


Close up of the cheesiness!

I hope you all enjoy your weekend!

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Gina's Holey Donuts Review!

Hello all! I’ve been telling Anne Marie I would write a review on Holey Donuts for awhile, www.holeydonuts.net, and I’m just getting around to doing it now. First of all, I found out about them through a friend. She tempted me into getting them! lol! Just kidding, Kate! :) They are low fat donuts that use no artificial sweeteners. Does that even make sense?! :) Anyway, I ended up getting 3 boxes: 6 glazed donuts, 3 toasted coconut, 3 vanilla coconut, 3 cinnamon strudel, 3 chocolate crumb, 3 vanilla crumb, and 3 caramel crumb. For all you Weight Watcher members, each one of those donuts is 3 points!! Many of the other flavors on their website are more than that, but I refused to get any above 3 points.

So what do I think of these donuts? Well so far I’ve only had the glazed donut and a toasted coconut donut. The glazed donut was alright. It was very sweet, maybe even a little too sweet, and too doughy. If you don’t heat it up properly then it’s going to come out too soft and end up hard as a rock. The toasted coconut was DEFINITELY better, AND I put some fat free cool whip on top. The cool whip helped, but I think this particular donut would’ve been good without it. Kate thinks these donuts are delicious! She’s been having one almost every morning, and her favorite is the vanilla glaze with pink sprinkles! Head on over to the site to see more flavors! :)

As far as cost, they’re pretty expensive. Also, you must order at least $35 worth of donuts because of their shipping method. I got these just to try them out, and I probably won’t get them again for awhile, but I’m glad I did! If you have a sweet tooth, they’ll definitely satisfy it!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Sleepover Weekend

Hello everyone!

Happy Monday. Thank goodness Monday is almost down the drain. I don't know about you, but it's the toughest day of the week for me.

This weekend was a lot of fun. My 13 year old cousin, Allison, slept over my house for the first time. The husband was away this weekend, and I thought it would be a great time to hang out with her. Allison loves to cook, and so when I told her we were making homemade pizza, she was so excited!

We followed this recipe and made a white pizza instead of a traditional cheese pizza. Allison couldn't believe her eyes when this came out of the oven.



I was able to restrain myself and only have two pieces. We decided to have some veggies and wheat thins on the side. It was delicious!

I finally told her about my food blog and she was very excited. In fact, after dinner, she spent the next hour or so checking out the blog.

After some fun times playing Wii Fit, shopping at Kohl's and looking around at Blockbuster, we decided to call it a night.

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend.

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Friday, May 15, 2009

VitaTops

Happy Friday everyone!

I think I've been hiding under a rock, but I had my first taste of VitaTops on Wednesday. I have heard so many wonderful things about them, but they can be pricey. Honestly, that's why I've stayed away from them for such a long time.

After I decided to start tracking again, I debated about purchasing VitaTops to combat my chocolate cravings. Gina is a huge fan of them, and she is asomeone I can trust to provide good food reviews. She recommended trying the Triple Chocolate Chunk VitaTops. I ordered them last week and was majorly stalking patiently waiting for the UPS guy to show up and bring me my goodies.

As my luck would have it, the UPS guy showed up just as I was about to finish my ice cream on Wednesday night. I quickly stashed the rest of my serving back into the container just so that I could try the much talked about muffin tops. I took this picture before ripping into the package.






Oh.my.goodness. They were amazing! For 100 calories, 1.5 grams of fat and 5 grams of dietary fiber, you get a delicious, chocolaty, fudgey muffin top that does the job of stopping all cravings for chocolate. Gina, you were right-they were worth the money! I'm trying very hard not to eat one every day, and so far, so good!

If you are interested in buying VitaTops, you can do so by going here.

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend. My 13 year old cousin is coming to my house for a sleepover tonight. It should be a fun time!

Until next time!

~Anne Marie








Wednesday, May 13, 2009

CoCo Pop! (No, not the cereal!)

Hello everyone!

Happy Wednesday! I have been a little busy since the last blog, but I am here to give a review of a product.

Welcome CoCo Pop!



A co-worker of mine found these little gems at Fresh Grocer. One of these monster sized cakes (5 ounces per serving) has 16 calories, 0 grams of fat and 0 grams of fiber. On their own they taste pretty plain, but paired with some salsa, hummus, or some other dip, they are fantastic!

The ingredient list isn't too shabby either: wheat, rice, corn and sea salt. I love snacks that are made from natural ingredients.



The only gripe I have about these little rice cake-like dreams is that they are ridiculously delicate and it made it hard to transport them home. Some of them are crushed at the bottom of the bag, but they are still yummy!


The nutritional information is blurry, but I just had to take a picture!

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Friday, May 8, 2009

Cheesy Pasta Goodness

Hello and happy Friday!

Thanks, Gina, for posting your review of FRS! Gina and I are meeting up tonight for some sushi at a restaurant called Blue Pacific. I've never been there, but Gina said their food is awesome. I can't wait to try it!

Tuesday's meal (as well as tonight's meal) was Italian Vegetable Casserole, or as the husband calls it, Cheesy Zucchini Pasta. The recipe is so simple and it makes for a great, filling and comforting meal. For those of you counting points on Weight Watchers, it's 7 points if you cut it into six servings.

Italian Veggie Casserole
1 medium zucchini
1 medium onion
2 cloves of finely chopped garlic
1 rounded teaspoon basil
2 rounded teaspoon parsley (I omitted this and seasoned how I wanted it!)
1 package whole wheat rotini pasta
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 cups fat free shredded cheese

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice zucchini into coins and chop onion however you'd like. Put water on to boil. Add pasta to boiling water and cook for 10 minutes. Saute herbs, zucchini, onion, and garlic in olive in a large saute pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Cook until zucchini is slightly browned and onions are translucent. Drain pasta in a colander, and place in a "9 x 13" baking dish. Pour veggies and diced tomatoes on top. Mix well. Sprinkle cheese over pasta/veggie mixture. Put in oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.


Right out of the oven



Close-up of the yummy cheese!

Enjoy your weekend!

Until next time!
~Anne Marie

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Another One from Gina and a Review!

I'm baaaack! Anne Marie has asked that I write another blog, and I'm happy to oblige! First of all, I wanna say her blog has been great! I love the recipes she's sharing with us, and I love how she is willing to share her weight management struggles. I'm sure we can all relate! Thanks, Anne Marie!

The big thing I wanted to talk about today is an energy drink. Hungry Girl is a big fan, so I became curious and had to buy it! We all know who HG is, and if you don't! Go to her website! www.hungry-girl.com. HG has specials for the energy drink, FRS, every once in awhile. It's expensive, so I only get it when a special is going on, but I must say...these drinks are worth it! They're NOTHING like the other energy drinks. Many of them have nothing but sugar in them; FRS is not like that at all. They only have a small amount of caffeine, and you really are energized the whole day. I usually have one in the morning on days I know I have a lot to do after work. The last thing I want is to have no energy running errands, painting in our house, or doing housework. I've never been a fan of energy drinks, but I've definitely gotten hooked on these. They come in an assortment of flavors, including Low-Cal Wild Berry and Low-Cal Peach Mango. Those are the two I've had. They both taste like a non-carbonated juice drink, but the Peach Mango one has a creamy taste to it...not sure how I feel about that yet. Oh! Also, get the low-cal drinks...they're only 25 calories each rather than 130 like some of the others they have. Go on over to www.frs.com to see what I'm talking about! :)

As Anne Marie says, until next time!

~Gina

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Yummy Bean Enchiladas

Good morning and Happy Tuesday!

Is this rain ever going to stop? As far as I'm aware, it's supposed to rain the entire week! Yuck!

I'm always open to new recipes and ideas, even though I tend to be a creature of habit. When I found this recipe on the Kraft website, I knew I had to try it. I made the meatless version and it came out looking pretty yummy!



My portion for 7 points:


The verdict: Delicious, filling and very cheesy! Can't beat that for 7 points!
Here's to day 2 of tracking!
Have a great day!
Until next time!
~Anne Marie


Monday, May 4, 2009

Realization and Lunch

After having my weigh in for Weight Watchers this month, and having another gain, I decided that it was time to switch up my routine. Ever since becomming a vegetarian, I have been slowing gaining weight and I am not sure why. If I want to be honest with myself (and I certainly am on that path), it's because I'm not making even receplacements with my food, I've lost track of eating until satisfied and I'm not tracking what I'm eating. I think I've hit a point where I assumed replacing lean ground beef with soy crumbles would equal out to be the same, and they do not. It is a little frustrating considering that when Weight Watchers came out with the Core Plan, I was able to succeed and maintain my weight for over a year. Another thing that's getting my goat? I'm exercising more now than I ever have since beginning Weight Watchers! I'm doing Shred every day and I also go to the gym twice a week. Will I go back to eating meat? I'm not so sure. I know that I feel physically better when my meat is limited, but to me, returing to meat would be an easy way out. The smart solution? Learn the points of the soy products and adjust accordingly. And, if I want meat, eat it. Sounds pretty simple, right?

I've been talking a lot with Gina and she suggested I start tracking my points again. I know she's right, but it's a roadblock I have to get past. Throughout my struggles, frustrations and successes with Weight Watchers, Gina has been an amazing soundboard, friend and advice-giver. I don't know what I'd do without her! Her support means the world to me, and she motivates me to continue to track and be honest with myself on a daily basis. This means being accountable on weekends. (when I seem to lose track the most!)

So, with that off of my chest, here's to a new start!

Today I started journaling my meals, and I almost forgot how much it challenged me to maximize my points.

On Sunday, I made a batch of Couscous and threw a few cans of beans together with red wine vinegar and some canola oil.

The beans in the colander.


Couscous with the beans. (Sorry for the sideways picture-I don't know why blogger is flipping my pictures!)
I leave you with something Gina said that really stuck by me:
"Weight Watchers isn't your life, it's just a tool you use."

Thanks again, Gina!
~Anne Marie






Friday, May 1, 2009

The Great Breakfast Cookie

Good morning and happy Friday!

After salivating over the breakfast cookie mentioned in Gina's blog for quite some time, I thought it was time to make one for myself. My one problem? I didn't have any protein powder in the house. Lucky for me, I came across Meghann's version of the breakfast cookie and whipped one up last night.

My version contained:

1/3 cup of oats
1/2 mashed banana
1 tbsp of applesauce
1/2 tsp of peanut butter
sprinkle of cinnamon


Mixing it in the bowl


Spread out nicely on the plate.


Before going into the fridge to harden overnight.

I woke up this morning to this concoction:



The verdict? Yummy but not hard enough. I didn't want to use too much peanut butter in the mix, and since that is what causes the cookie to harden, my assumption is that less peanut butter=softer breakfast cookie. I happily enjoyed it with a spoon and some coffee.

I also noticed that this didn't fill me up as much as my cooked oats do in the morning, so I ended up eating this with soy yogurt from Trader Joe's. I would definitely make this again but next time increase the oats to 1/2 a cup and increase the peanut butter. This could be my answer to summer breakfasts!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Until next time!
~Anne Marie