Monday, August 31, 2009

Southern Squash Casserole

I make this dish regularly and usually get at least 1 request for it, so I figured I'd share it on my blog. Here it is, my healthified Southern Squash Casserole recipe:

3 medium sized squash sliced into half moons (I use a mixture of yellow and zucchini)
1 medium onion chopped
1/2 cup fat free cheddar cheese
1/4 cup reduced fat parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fat free sour cream
Salt, Pepper, Onion Powder and Garlic Power to taste (I don't measure seasonings, I also change this up from time to time with different things)
2 slices of light bread ground into bread crumbs (you can also just cut it into cubes)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, lightly spray a 2 quart casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

Saute the squash and onion in a pan sprayed lightly with non-stick cooking spray until soft.

In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the bread crumbs, once the squash and onions are done, add them to the bowl and mix everything together. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish, top with the bread crumbs. Spray the top of the bread crumbs lightly with non-stick cooking spray.

Place dish in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Easy, peasey! It's a wonderful healthy alternative to the original, but for my friends who don't cut calories, the recipe would be just as tasty with the full fat options.

They don't call it a "challenge" for nothing...

Yesterday I completed Week 1, Day 1 of the Push up, sit up, and squats challenge.

Push Ups
Week 1 Day 1
Max 7

Sit Ups
Week 1 Day 1
Max 15

Week 1 Day 1
Max 30

Holy Abs! The sit ups are going to be my biggest problem I think. Although my arms were shaking like crazy at the end of the Max set. Then I did 3 miles on the treadmill...a slow 3 miles because I am still having a lot of problems with my calf muscle on my left leg. I'm only 29 and sometimes it feels as if I'm falling apart!

I had an on-point weekend otherwise, which is HUGE for me. I usually use a good portion of my flex points on the weekend, this weekend I used 1 extra point. I worked out Saturday morning, running two 11:something minute miles and Sunday I did the above. I love having successful weekends.

Successful consecutive days, weekends especially, to me mean that this really is becoming my way to live and eat. It's not just something else I started to quit, or a diet to follow until the weight comes off. This is just who I am now and I like that. Granted, I still have remember to make the healthier choice and get my butt out of bed, but it's slightly easier every week.

I hope everyone had wonderful weekends! Here's to a healthy week!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Put a "kink in the link"

Lately I've been thinking a lot about food triggers and binge eating. I am very susceptible to triggers, sometimes I bypass them and other times they send me flying off the edge into a pool of fattening foods that leave me bloated and filled with regret.

My main food triggers are:

1. Boredom - I will eat if I'm not doing something with my hands or otherwise occupied somehow.
2. Work stress - I think this is the same for everyone and this one, I almost have reined in.
3. Chinese Food - One sniff of a Chinese food restaurant can send me into a pool of low mien.
4. Alcohol - After a few beers, when I get a little tipsy, I feel that I HAVE to eat fattening food to "sober up".

I have more, many more, but they are becoming less as I am starting to recognize them when they start instead of just jumping in the pool.

The reason I bring it up today, well, is for 2 reasons...I have found a healthy snack that oddly enough seems to push away cravings pretty well and I read a really interesting article about stopping the over eating binges. The author calls it putting a "Kink in the Link" and I like that. She compares it to Christmas tree lights, if one bulb is out, the whole chain is out.

Her main steps for avoiding a binge after a trigger are:

*1. Change your surroundings.A shift in setting has the power to change your mood—and keeps you away from the refrigerator.

2. Take five. A five-minute break, whether it’s a walk around the block, a sprint up-and-down the stair or a deep-breathing pause, has a similar effect.

3. Fake out your mouth. If you're craving something sweet, try a pickle, hot pepper or any other completely different taste sensation. And if salty snacks are your weakness, go for something spicy.

4. Reward yourself.Treat yourself to a relaxing activity you normally wouldn't do: a warm bath, a surprise call to your college roommate in London or uninterrupted reading of gossip magazines!

5. Get physical.Go for a stroll, run or do any physical activity at all.The endorphins released will often balance the chemistry of a "craving brain").

6. Sit with your feelings. Rather than stuffing negative or uncomfortable emotions like fear and anger by stuffing your mouth, try "being" with those feelings for five to ten minutes. Can you locate it (in your stomach, your chest) and describe it (a hot pellet, ball of ice)? Write it down. You’ll discover it’s less frightening than you think.

*From the article by Jonny Bowden - Overeating Triggers 101 on AOL

It's a great article if you have time to read it.

Onto my second point, the healthy snack I learned about on The Dan Ho Show on FitTV and Discovery Health channels. He was helping a girl who was having cravings for salty things like potato chips. He cut up a Granny Smith Apple, sprinkled it with lemon juice and salt and this took care of the sweet, sour and salty cravings all at once.

Now, at first I was skeptical, that didn't sound very good to me at all. Salt? On my apple? No thank you. However, one day I found myself in the situation with very little Weight Watchers Points left and craving potato chips and chocolate (yes, at the same time...I'm not a freak!) and I tried talking myself down, it didn't pass. So, I had an apple, I had salt, I had a lemon...

I cut up my apple into slices, sprinkled salt and lemon on once piece, took a bite...and it's an odd (but tasty) combination of flavors, but it worked. It's like it hits every different kind of taste bud on your tongue. Sour, salty, sweet...took care of every craving I had. Now I use that snack when I'm craving chocolate covered pretzels or any time of sweet/salty thing. It doesn't work all the time, it's not a miracle worker, but most of the time it will tide me over. It's little things like this that make my day just a little bit easier, so I wanted to share!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I'm up for the challenge

Yesterday our fearless leader over at Blog to Lose told us "Why Wait?!? Challenge Starts This Weekend!" She challenged us to join the One Hundred Push Ups, Two Hundred Sit Ups and Two Hundred Squat Challenges. Since I'm growing a little bored with my routine work outs, I decided to jump on board. Today, along with a 3 mile jog/walk, I did my initial exhaustion testing, here are my most pitiful counts:

Push Ups: 10
Sit Ups: 43
Squats: 30

I look forward to working on my training and building these numbers. I know it's going to help my upper body and core strength, 2 places where I am severely lacking. I plan to start on Sunday and do my training Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday.

Now it's time to give the dog a hair cut...I wonder how many calories that burns?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Cajun Kick Tuna Burgers

Last night for dinner I made quite possibly the world's best tuna burgers. Oh yeah. They are absolutely yummy. I modified the recipe from StarKist, they have a lot of great recipes on their site. Here is my recipe:

Cajun Kick Tuna Burgers

1 (3.5oz) pouch of Tuna packed in water

1/4 cup bread crumbs, divided

1/4 cup fat free shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup reduced fat Sargento Mexican Cheese Blend

1/4 cup non-fat ranch salad dressing

1/4 cup diced onion

1/4 cup diced green pepper

1/4 cup egg substitute (like Egg Beaters)

1 tbsp. Cajun Seasoning Blend

1 tbsp. olive oil

Combine Tuna, 1/2 of bread crumbs, cheese, salad dressing, onion, pepper, Cajun seasoning and egg substitute in medium bowl; mix well. Form into four patties; coat each side with remaining 1/2 bread crumbs. Heat oil in non-stick skillet over medium heat. Cook patties 3 to 5 minutes on each side until golden brown.

I ate mine on an Arnold's Sandwich Thin with a side of sauteed squash. Absolutely amazing dinner! I put the point value at right about 3 ww points per patty if you make 4 or 4 ww points per patty if you make 3. I made 3, but after seeing them finished, I could have made 4.

It was quick, easy and delicious. My favorite kind of recipe to have on hand for the crazy weeks!
*Photo courtesy of StarKist website, they do look similar. :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Serenity Prayer...for us.

So, I've been thinking a lot lately about how hard this journey is. It's a journey I will be on for the rest of my life. Every single day I make a choice to eat right, or not, exercise, or not. This will never come easy for me. I'm not saying it will never be EASIER, but it will always be something that lingers in the background. I have a problem with food. No matter how badly I want to be the kind of person that can sit on the couch eating bonbons, watching TV and never gaining a pound, I will never be that kind of person.

So, thinking about all of gets a bit, for lack of a better word, heavy. So, since I need to find humor in everything, I started thinking about meetings "Hi, My Name is Tonyne and I'm an Emotional eater" and then I came up with the idea to write a Serenity Prayer...for us. For the people like me, the emotional eaters, the binge eaters and the just plain old over eaters. So, here it is:

God grant me the serenity To refuse those things I should not eat;
Energy to be active, even when tired

And the ability to abide by both daily.

Counting one calorie at a time;
Walking one mile at a time;

Learning not to comfort emotions with food;

Turning away the cravings of sinful desserts

As tempting as I may find them

Trusting that my hard work will pay off

If I just stick to my plan

So that I may be healthy & happy in this life

and find a pair of jeans that fit

in any store I choose to shop in.

I didn't disappoint!

Well, I certainly didn't disappoint my gym clothes yesterday. We ran/walked 5miles yesterday on the treadmill!

It felt great! After a week off I was like a pent up bull let out of a cage at a Rodeo! My music was blaring in my ears, I was singing to myself, I was pouring sweat, I kept a great pace...I was sad to see it come to an end. In fact, I wanted to keep going...but my hips were starting to hurt a little bit, and I hadn't done 5 miles in a long time. So it was probably enough for the day.

I came home, felt great, had a good lunch, sat down for a bit, watched some TV. Then I stood up.


The pain was insane. The pain is still insane. I stretched; I did what I was supposed to do! It's such a weird area to have pain in. It's like where the tops of your thighs connect to your pelvic bone? I guess that's the best way to describe it. It hurts all the way around to the sides too, almost too my butt. It hurts to stand, walk and even sit. I used heat and ice, still hurting.

I didn't let it discourage me though, I knew walking/running or elliptical (which I think would have hurt the worst based on that movement) would really hurt it worse. So this morning I got up and did a FitTV stability ball and upper body strength work out that I had DVR'ed. I am proud. Last week this would have totally been an excuse to bail.

So, this is me, braggin' on myself just a little bit...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

An apology

I know I've let you down. Every morning you stare at me and I know I've failed you. I haven't made you a priority this week and I should have. I had the best intentions, that's why I put you out on a shelf. I promise tomorrow will be different. I know I've promised you before, but I mean it this time. I will give you the time you deserve. It will be just you and me, for at least 1 solid hour, I promise.

I know you feel as if I've been unfaithful to you and in a way I have been. It's not what you think though. I've just been so tired. It's broken my heart to see you sitting there every morning, just ready and waiting for me.

So, Gym Clothes...tomorrow we start anew. I will explain things to Bed Sheets and they will just have to understand that 6am, that's our time. You will understand though, if tomorrow, my day off, we aim for 10am, right? Give me and Bed Sheets just one last good morning...ok? I knew you would. You're so understanding. Thank you. I'll never leave you sitting alone for a week on the shelf again.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Hello? The Old Me? We need to have a chat.

Dear The Old Me,

Hi! It's been so much fun having you visit sporadically these past few weeks. I have enjoyed our binge eating of low fat foods and our "well, I've already blown today, let's eat what we want anyway" nights, but you have overstayed your welcome just a little bit. While I feel that I can manage the poor eating and keep that in check while you're around the real problem I have is the way you force me to stay in bed in the mornings when I need to be at the gym. I like that time and frankly you laying on top of me like a child saying "five more minutes, just five more minutes" of sleep is really disappointing and you weight a lot more than me, so it's hard to push you off.

I'm glad that you love the taste of my new lower fat ice cream and sweet treats. However these are supposed to be enjoyed in moderation. Just because I make a tray of No Pudge brownies does not mean that you must eat 3 or 4 of them at a time. 1 will suffice and you know if you push me hard enough I will eat 3 or 4. That's not nice. Stop that!

Work is difficult, yes, I know. This does not give me the right to eat an endless amount of cookies no matter how hard you try and convince me it does. I know recently I have given into you on this, but I'm here to tell you, I don't want it to happen again.

We like beer...we like beer a lot. That doesn't mean we have to drink 7 or 8 of them every single time we go out. You are a pusher and you always have been. The other night, you weren't around, I only had 4 beers and I had a great time! Put that in your pipe and smoke that! And speaking of smoking, I quit, remember? I did so well. Drinking is not an excuse to smoke because that merely leads to me drinking so that I can smoke, which leads to no good at all. Remember? We've covered all this before?! When will you get it through your thick skull?

Anyway, thanks for visiting and that 1/2lb bag of gummie bears yesterday was fun...but pack up your 43lbs and get out. Don't let the door hit ya, where the good Lord split ya! (That would be your giant ass, by the case you didn't know...)

The new, improved, 43lbs lighter Me.

Friday, August 7, 2009

So, the Tweet, Eat, Post tool is working great for me. It's something new and different and it's keeping me on track. As evidenced by the fact that I am down 1.6lbs...which is awesome because on Tuesday when I weighed, I was up 2lbs. I don't weight myself constantly. Just once on Monday or Tuesday to check and make sure I have no big shifts and then on officially weigh in Friday.

So, my current weight is 166.4lbs!

There's my little thing. I'm almost to my first goal! Of course, I've been almost to my first goal for awhile now, but still, it's exciting! It's been slow and steady. I started in January, but I know by doing it the way I have, making changes to the way I think about food and exercise is the right way and I know it will stay off. I have my set backs, we all do. I have my days where I do not want to be healthy. I don't care. But, the next day, I stand up, brush the oreo crumbs off my shirt and head to the gym. It's not the end of the world.

This is my life now. Do I just give up whenever I don't feel like working? Paying my bills? Doing laundry? No. I do it anyway because these things are essential. Working out and being healthy has become essential to me.

Ok, /end pep talk to self. :)

I do have to share something that I think you guys might understand. Over the past 2 days I've seen 5 people that really haven't seen me much since February. They all were astonished by how much weight I've lost. I mean, they continued to talk about it. The first compliment or two are awesome and they are motivating! However, when they continue to talk about how great I look and how hard I must have's giving me a complex that I must have been as large as a cow or possibly a house. Was I hideous then? Was I repulsive? I do like the compliments that come with my new body, but sometimes my head turns it into a negative. Maybe I'm just programmed that way, I don't know. Just been thinking about that. :)


I hope you have all had wonderful weeks and I hope that all of you with weekends have happy ones!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Idle Time is a Fat Girl's Buffett

Wow, I have been avoiding this place. It's so much easier to write and be active here when I'm doing well. When I'm eating OP. When I'm exercising daily. When I'm proud of myself....not so easy when I'm up 4lbs from my lowest weight on this journey, having a hard time finding motivation to work out as much as I was before and mindlessly snacking all evening long.

The truth is, those are the times I should be here. Writing about why I feel this way. Why I feel out of control. This summer work has been especially stressful. It's not an excuse, but it's a factor. Then, I've had idle time in the evenings after work and you know what happens when a fat chick has idle time, right? Well, they don't do jumping jacks.

Today is the day I regain control (again). I am committing to #TEP on Twitter. I'll be there under TonynesFood if anyone is bored enough to follow my daily eating habits.

I will be accountable.

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