Thursday, April 29, 2010
I just need to stay as active as my pain level will allow me to be. At least it isn't a MS thing...Hurray for freakin me!
After I got back from my Thursday night WW meeting I watched Survivor and the whole time I was thinking about how the doctor said I could ride my exercise bike. So you guessed it...after the show I rode for 1 hour and 12 minutes. I play my Zune while I exercise. And I have missed riding all week so I especially enjoyed the music tonight. The last few minutes I put on American Pie...What a great song to exercise to. Starts out slow (warm up) and then goes all out and finally the slow part at the end (cool down). And I can't ride without listening to my Kid Rock "All Summer long"...But mostly I love my country music. I put it on loud and sing right along with it. I can't carry a tone in a bucket either. Good thing it is at my house and not at a gym...
Missed a couple of my WW members tonight and I am hoping they are doing ok. I went with a big ice pack strapped to my foot. Nothing will keep me from my meetings. I learn SO much from them. I love our instructor and all the comments that others have. I am inspired by so many people there that it keeps me in check. It helps me realize that when I have bad weeks I AM NOT ALONE!
Cheers and here's to happy biking this week!
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
I thought I would share what I found~
Plantar fasciitis (PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis) is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves pain and inflammation of a thick band of tissue, called the plantar fascia, which runs across the bottom of your foot — connecting your heel bone to your toes.
Plantar fasciitis causes stabbing pain that usually occurs with your very first steps in the morning. Once your foot limbers up, the pain of plantar fasciitis normally decreases, but it may return after long periods of standing or after getting up from a seated position.
Plantar fasciitis is particularly common in runners, people who are overweight, a lot of walking or standing on hard surfaces especially if you have tight calf muscles that limit how far you can flex your ankles, people with very flat feet or very high arches and those who wear shoes with inadequate support.
The condition starts gradually with mild pain at the heel bone often referred to as a stone bruise. You're more likely to feel it after exercise.
If you don't treat plantar fasciitis, it may become a chronic condition. You may not be able to keep up your level of activity and you may also develop symptoms of foot, knee, hip and back problems because of the way plantar fasciitis changes the way you walk.How is it treated?
No single treatment works best for everyone with plantar fasciitis. But there are many things you can try to help your foot get better:
- Give your feet a rest. Cut back on activities that make your foot hurt. Try not to walk or run on hard surfaces.
- To reduce pain and swelling, try putting ice on your heel. You can even roll your foot on a frozen water bottle. Or take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin), naproxen (such as Aleve), or aspirin.
- Do calf stretches and towel stretches several times a day, especially when you first get up in the morning.
- Get a new pair of shoes. Pick shoes with good arch support and a cushioned sole. Or try heel cups or shoe inserts (orthotics ). Use them in both shoes, even if only one foot hurts.
Well that sure sounds like what I have. I got the good shoes now. I can surely ice it. I can even do the stretches. I have lots of over-the-counter pain relievers (and some not so over-the-counter). I just DO NOT WANT to rest and not exercise....That will throw my weight program off and I will be way sad. I guess I will be going to the foot doctor just to be sure.But until then I think I am onto something here...Don't you?
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Now my fridge is packed with healthy foods. I love fresh vegetables to snack on. I also have fresh strawberries, grapes, blueberries and pineapple. (and of course the stand by oranges, apples and bananas). I hope my dad and step mom are prepared to eat healthy while they are here.
Here are some pictures of the vegetables...(these are gallon size baggies, except for the radishes, red peppers and mushrooms)
I put a drizzle of Olive oil on it too. It taste really good and with the week I am having I need some good healthy foods to snack on. I love produce! Enjoy:)
Monday, April 26, 2010
Here's a little back ground on my life~I never really tried to loose weight before. A few of years ago I went to the MD Diet Center and joined and I did loose with the aide of their shots and pills. But I didn't learn any good eating habits (unless you call their pills good). The reason behind me joining that center was the fact that my health was getting to a point that I may have to be carried, due to my lack of strength. I knew at the weight I was at my poor husband would not be able to carry my fat butt very far if at all. So I wanted to get light for his sake as well as mine. After I lost weight my health improved and I no longer was STRESSED on having to be carried anymore. I kept the weight down for a couple years then it slowly started to gain on me again. I never got as heavy as I was before I started the MD Diet plan but I did gain a lot of it back.
Now I want to loose the weight to look better. I never really had the whole YO-YO thing before. And even now that I am doing WW I haven't had to deal with it like some of my friends are. I think that would really be a hard one. Just having a couple of weeks where I only lost .6 pounds was so STRESSFUL. I can't even imagine how hard it is week after week for some of my friends. I know my day will come and I feel sorry for any one in my path. Cause I think I would be a big pain in the rear!
Hitting close to 50 years old makes me STRESSED! I don't want look OLD I want to look as young as I feel. I keep my hair colored (even have been known to put pink and purple in it). I go tanning too (cause brown fat looks thinner than white fat). I missed out on all the cute clothes too. Adopting my 11 year old grand daughter is keeping me young I guess. (being in good health for her is STRESSFUL too) Did I mention I STRESS?
Not having really done too many diet programs makes me a greenie. I try so hard to do what I learn at my meetings and I over think everything I do. I get way STRESSED when I don't get all my healthy foods or come even close to my daily points. (I usually don't even get 18). Because I have OCD I think that this program maybe pushing me into a STRESS attack. I know I can do it and I have for the last 6 months. But I am getting STRESSED that I might not be able to get to where I want to be. The more I STRESS the sicker I get! I am a control freak and I think the Lord knew that with the MS I would quickly learn that I can not control that! So as I try to control my MS I become (you got it) more STRESSED! Sometimes my attacks can last days or weeks. What if this attack goes for weeks and I can't exercise and in return my weight goes up? I will really hate myself and even become so depressed that it scares me that I might just give up. STRESS! But I am trying to control my diet and my healthy lifestyle.
So I set my mind that I was going to drop 50 pounds and as a reward my husband and I would go to Hawaii. Now that I am only 4.8 pounds from that goal I am STRESSED that I might actually get there. (THEN WHAT!!!) Going to Hawaii is very scary for me cause it is out of my comfort zone. Yes, I know it is a beautiful place to go and I should be SO happy and excited to go. BUT the thought of going to a place I have never been before STRESSES me out.
With all this STRESS I just need to re-learn how to manage my anxiety better. I hate the feeling of taking Valium. (1 is good but not when you have to take them every 8 hours for days). I am a scale weight watcher. Meaning I weigh myself every night before bed just to see where I am. Usually by Sunday I can see something different on the scales from my Thursday night weigh in results. (normally it is less). But this week I am reading the same and it makes me wonder if I am going to have a gain at the last minute. I am still eating healthy but this week I am not able to exercise and my husband is FORBIDDING me to even think about it either. He and I both know I have to rest. Again more STRESS! (Not being able to exercise makes me feel like I am a failure) More STRESS!
With the help of my close friends and support members I am really going to lean on them to get me through this hard time. So if you see tears in my eyes and you think I need a hug, I probably do! I am not a good writer but I try to say whats on my mind I hope it made sense. Ty for taking the time to read this. Love you all!
Sunday, April 25, 2010
This past week I have had several stresses. 1~my baby boys court hearing with his sex abuser, 2~my dad's visit next week from Alaska for a week (getting my house in order and making sure my 11 yr old doesn't upset him with her dis respect towards me), 3~seeing my oldest son in Prison (not knowing if he is ok there and when he will be getting out or at least moved closer to me), 4~knowing my weight loss might not being as good as I expected it to be this week (after I felt like I am working and sacrificing to do it), 5~Where I am hurting my loved ones by talking about my weight loss so much (making them feel guilt that they aren't), 6~getting my home cleaned for my guests, 7~not spending more time with my grand kids so my daughter gets more of a break, 8~being there for my mom's emotional ride while she deals with her sick husband, 9~the fear of not being able to walk again and relying on the wheel chair, 10~the goal that I set when I reached a 50 pound loss and we were going to Hawaii but now that trip is causing me anxiety on whether I want to be that far away from my family. As you can see I worry about things WAY too much. My family told me once that "I would worry, if I didn't have anything to worry about."
A few weeks ago my feet were causing me LOTS of pain and I thought (was hoping) it was just the fact I was not wearing shoes. But now the pain has moved up my right leg shooting electrical shock pains all the way up to my growing area. And it is getting worse. And my right foot is constantly a sleep with the pins and needle feeling always sticking me. This morning my right side and arm and hand are now hurting. This is what MS does to me. I am taking my Valiums and trying to get as much rest as I can. But as I lay in my bed my mind races with ALL the things that need to be done before next Saturday. I wish I could turn off my chatter box in my head.
I was so excited to share with my dad that I could walk better now and that I am moving more. But if he sees me like this it will break his heart and mine too. It looks like my weight training will need to be postponed a week or til I get better. And the past has show me that when I get like this I don' want to eat which will also effect my weigh in on Thursday. It's going to be a hard week for me and I pray I can get past this as quickly as possible.
Friday, April 23, 2010
This weeks challenge, I am going to be adding muscle building (well more like weight lifting) to my program. I am still going to ride the bike and play some basketball (weather permitting). I know (well I have been told, which doesn't always mean I understand) that with muscle you will see an increase on the scales. Well that part I get. I know muscle takes less space. I will be monitoring my measures more now; so I don't get really mad on weigh in. (Easier said than done...So be prepared for my temper-tantrums at the meetings, if you are so lucky to go on Thursday nights...LOL)
I also am going to increase my protein intake (which is going to be hard since proteins are more points than I like to eat), but with the extra weekly point allowance I am going to DO IT! I already added EGGS to my morning breakfast. Which is a start! At this weeks meeting I heard that I should use my weekly points which makes me wonder "How IN THE WORLD can I eat ANOTHER 35 points, when I can't even use my 21 daily points?" I have asked my husband (my biggest support) to remind me to eat more.
"I think I can, I think I can..."
If any of my readers have ANY suggestion in helping me with this weeks challenge, I would be gladly willing to listen.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
I started looking in the local paper. I found a lady by the name of Susan, who lived right down the road, who had a weight lifting gym for sale. So last night we went over to check it out. I was so excited to see that it not only was as nice as the picture in the classifieds was but I was able to do the weights. Susan had a beautiful home and recently had to move her daughter and grand kids back in. So she needed the extra space. Hence the sale of her Pro-Form Cross Trainer system. What sold me on it was that it was all electric. NO free weights to drop on my toes. It is all computerized with a smart card to save your favorite routines.
Susan had the system in the paper for $100.00 which was a great price. Tonight between the rain storm we went and picked up the gym. When Clay tried to give Susan the money, she refused all of it but $40.00. She was very happy just know that she was helping me with my disability and health. I know she will be blessed for her generosity. And we will never forget her and her thoughtfulness either. So we got this AWESOME gym for a steal!
After he got it all put together Kayla couldn't wait to try it out. Clay now can do weights along with the tread mill while I can ride the bike and do the weights too. It is just what we needed to complete our exercise equipment. Now I just need to figure out ALL the different exercises. Thank goodness she had all the books that shows everything it does along with the muscles it builds.
After we are done we the tread mill it nicely folds up to save room~
NOW LET'S START BUILDING SOME MUSCLES!!!!
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
Those who have known me, know that I don't wear shoes. With the nerve damage I have in my feet (from the MS), it makes it hard to wear anything on my feet. During the winter I wear lots of slippers. And in the summer I go barefoot ( I even have sole less sandals). I have several pair of slippers, so not wear out my favorite ones too quickly. For years I never really had a problem cause I spent more time with my feet on the foot rest of the wheel chair than I did on the floor.
Now that I have been up and walking they are getting pretty hammered. (my slippers that is).
There were several reasons why I couldn't wear shoes 1~the weight of the shoe was too much for me to lift in order to walk, 2~had to be completely flat (NO heals) to be able to keep my balance while walking, 3~with not having control of keeping the shoe to stay on my foot, they need to NOT be slip ons. (boot type works the best.) and lastly try to find a pair that meets ALL those rules was just not out there. So I wear slippers everywhere. (in the deep snow, heavy rain and even with dresses to church) Not the best solution for footwear but that's what has worked for me for years. Which brings me to this.
Its getting to warm to wear slippers now so I am experimenting other options. I got my sandals out and I have been wearing them the last few days. So is it not wearing my slippers that's causing my foot pain? Or the fact I have been going barefoot and with limited feeling in my feet I have bruised the bottom of them without knowing? Or is the deep dry cracks on my heals that are hurting? (I have been putting Vasoline on them every night). Maybe its the new sandals I bought. I think they are really cute (so I hope that's not that). More than likely I am afraid it's the fact that I am on them way more, now that I am hardly ever using the wheel chair. Or is it heel spurs. And if so how do I fix that? Is it the lack of arch support? I give up!
With the pain in my feet it is making it very hard to get my mind back to exercising. I would rather just lay back in my recliner and put my aching feet up in the air. I am so scared that the longer I skip my routine; the easier it will be to stop doing it all together. So I have this constant battle going on in my head: Exercise vs Pain. Right now the PAIN is winning. And I HATE THAT!!!!
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Last Thursday I started throwing the ball with her after school. We have a hoop in our driveway. After falling I decided to work on more of my balance so I can chase the ball better without losing my balance.
Bouncing the ball was difficult at first for me but after a few tries I was able to do it a couple times before it got away from me. So I got a good idea that I would work on trying to bounce the ball while I was sitting in a chair. Then I moved to standing but leaning against the wall bounce. After that I felt I was doing well enough to try it on my own. Bouncing the ball with both hands was a challenge but I was doing it. It took several minutes til I was able to change from one hand to the next. Keeping the ball under control and at a continuous bounce was really hard. I did about 4 bounces until I lost control and the ball rolled away.
Well today is Saturday and every night I have been practicing the exercise of the ball bouncing. And I am pleased to say I did 214 continuous bounces switching from one hand to the next. And I was standing with no assistance either. I hope this is helping me with my challenge and helps put my body in shock to get past this plateau too.
I guess I will find out soon enough. I am able to chase the ball better and even walk and bounce the ball at the same time. It ain't pretty but I can do it. Who knew that someone with MS and has been in a wheel chair 14 plus years would be dribbling a basketball? NOT ME!
Friday, April 16, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
I decided to go weigh-in on Thursday mornings now. I will still attend the WW meetings on Thursday nights with my support buddies. Since I don't work and am home during the day, it was too much stress to wait til 6 pm, to know if I had lost or not. Last week I had a gain of .6 pounds and this morning I lost that same .6 pounds. So I am back at the same weight I was at before I weighed in last week. I am not going to focus on that today. I have been researching through the internet on possible reason why my weight loss has slowed down. First of all, I am going to take a deep breath and congratulate myself for a big accomplishment! Losing 41 pounds in six months is a big deal. It's also exactly the way it was suggested that I go about weight loss: slow and steady. Good for me! But now I've reached a plateau. UGH!!!
So what exactly is a plateau? "After your initial weight loss, your progress will slow down and eventually stop even though your exercise and food intake is consistent." Sound familar? Well it does to me. I also found that most people will reach this plateau around the 6 month period. Starting to sounds even more familar. I really don't like this word or what it stands for but it does help me to know I am not alone.
I read that I need to add muscle training to my routine, and that could help me get past this stage. But I ask myself HOW can I do that? If I really want to continue in my weight loss, I need to find ways that I can gain muscle. I have a big rubber ball that I can start to use as a tool to help with my core strength. I have vertigo issues, so a lot of the weight training exercises, will not work for me. But I am not going to throw the towel in yet.
I found this on the web too:
"throw your old program directly out the window. You have to switch things up and force your body to keep up with your new routine. This means that your mind and body are going to have to figure out how to handle the new weights, exercises, reps, tempo, or all four. By literally shocking your body with new techniques you're going to burn more calories and speed up your metabolism.
For example, if you're someone who is used to do long cardio sessions on the treadmill or elliptical, then hop off and start doing some shorter sprints. Better yet, get your heart rate pumping by including some squats, deadlifts, lunges, or step-ups to burn calories, boost your metabolism, and tone your muscles all at the same time.
Lastly, if you switch up your program every 4 weeks you'll be far more successful at never hitting a plateau again!"
Ok That does sound like good advise too, I will have to see what things I can do this next week.
It was suggested to add more protein (but not too much) to my diet. I did find a Kellogg's Protein shake at the local grocery store. It is 3 points, but do I really want to use 3 points, of my already small daily points, on THIS? I am going to look into other less point valued protein drinks at my WW meeting tonight.
Finally, it may be that your body (not to mention you) might benefit from a brief respite from active weight loss. Take a few weeks to allow your body to adjust to the weight you've lost and stabilize, without trying to lose more weight.
Just knowing that what I am experiencing is normal and I am not doing anything wrong, is encouraging. Not being on very many diet plans in my life, I was not aware that this was going to happen. I hope that this blog entry can help others. And also provide them with the understanding that it's ok.
I have had many obstacles put in my path during my life and this one is no different. I have a very strong personality and I don't give up easily, so I will keep pressing on. If there is a WILL there is a WAY...
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
So yesterday I packed up my wheel chair and headed to the local thrift store. I hate spending money on clothes that will be short lived, so the thrift stores work nice while you are down sizing. I knew it would take me several hours to search through the clothes in order to find what I like. So that is why I took my electric wheel chair, it saves on my fatique while shopping.
After 3 hours I headed to the dressing room with a lap full of clothes to try on. I liked everything I tried on but this one skirt and jacket that looked much better on the hanger than on me. It was bright yellow and I felt like a "bumble bee" in it. So didn't get that one. And one tee shirt that was too stretchy and would show all my fat rolls. Other than those items I loved everything else.
After seeing all the items laid out I noticed, a couple little sleeveless shirts to wear under the blouses, would look nice and maybe a skinny belt too. So I grabbed a belt and a couple shirts that matched my blouses. I headed to the register only to find out that ALL this only cost me $65.00! Gotta love that! Here's the break down on the items: 9 pair of capri pants, 5 blouses, 4 dress Tees, 3 summer sweaters, 2 skirts, 1 dress and a belt. All these items were a size that I think I will be wearing for quite some time. (since now I am getting close to my goal weight.) And even if I never get a chance to wear them it wouldn't break my heart or my bank account. I think I am set for clothes (at least til I drop another dress size).
I have countless options now to mix and match my outfits. I never enjoyed shopping when I wore a plus size but now it sure feels nice to get something and have it fit. I did caught myself several times looking at the plus size clothes though. I have to re-program my brain that I NO longer where that size. Could take me awhile. But I think I am up for the challenge.
Monday, April 12, 2010
I don't think it will be as hard on me to NOT eat it only because now my daily points are getting smaller and I don't want to waste them on a piece of cake. But I hope the voices in my head will not be calling me to the refrigerator today. I guess Wednesday I will be making another cake for my friends birthday. Thank you Kris for posting such a great cake on your blog.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
So my husband was craving Wingers for some odd reason, and of course it wasn't listed in my handy dandy Dining Out Book. So I tried to remember my healthy foods and serving sizes as I looked at their menu. I remember that shrimp was very low in points (as long as its not breaded or fried) so I ordered that. The waitress tried to get me to add the fries but I asked if they had any veggies. The only thing they had was broccoli so I ordered that instead of the fries. Then she insisted that I order another side. I asked if she had any fruit or something healthy and her response surprised me. As a former waitress, I found her lack of nutritional value on food to be sad. She said "We have chips and salsa, or french fries." I said are you kidding me those are not healthy. Anyway just give me 2 servings of your broccoli then. OMG what an idiot. Anyway I thought I did very well with my food choices. Then my loving SUPPORTIVE family did this!
It was a warm giant chocolate chip cookie with a BIG scoop of vanilla ice cream on it topped with whipping cream and nuts! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!!!!!!!
The smell was fabulous too. I grabbed a spoon and thought I was really good with my dinner and 1 bite wont hurt so I went for it. And just as I thought; IT WAS AWESOME! The thought of ruining all my hard work of weight loss with through my mind. I thought about how sad I was just the night before at my WW meeting and all my support friends. I thought about my accountability at the scales next week. I thought about what my family would think if I gave up. I thought about was it really worth it? (it's just a stupid dessert). I remembered the saying that I rehearse in my head everyday "IF YOU BITE IT WRITE IT!" And just knowing HOW many points that 1 bite was made me sick! So I quickly put the spoon down after 1 small taste and picked up my glass of water. Between the two of them they polished down that dessert like no tomorrow.... Which made the temptation end quickly. I did it! I left the restaurant full and guilt free! It was hard but I NEVER SAID IT WOULD BE EASY, JUST WORTH IT!
Friday, April 9, 2010
I am the one who wants so badly to see a loss every week on the scales, so when I weigh in and it is a very small gain, it makes me ask WHY?
I was told that my body isn't ready to let go of the weight at that moment and there are many reasons why one's body would not show a loss on the scales. But that doesn't mean I have failed! And for some reason it doesn't make me feel any better either. If it wasn't such an effort for me maybe it wouldn't be so hard on my emotions. I know that everyone has similar trials with their weight loss and I am not alone.
I am thankful for a new week and that my weight loss will get back on track as soon as my body is ready. Just got to stay positive and hang in there!
Ok I am not a good writer but I am going to try to express what's on my mind. The last few days I have been reading and following people's blogs about their journey in weight loss. I want to start a blog with my successes and journey with Weight Watchers. I have found several blogs that fellow WW members are posting. Which has me wanting to share mine.
There are several that I could just cut and copy cause I feel the same way they have from time to time. But that would not be fair to them. So I am going to write about me!
It all started in Oct of 2009. I was doing really good with my ability to walk more since my brain surgery which got me thinking I could do more in the area of weight control. See I had a mind set that as long as I was in a wheel chair I was never going to be thinner. So as my pills decreased and my ability increased to get more active I decided to try riding the exercise bike again. It had been years since I had tried to ride it and I was tired of seeing it sit in my room with no purpose but to hold my coat on the handle and junk on the seat.
My first attempt was very discouraging, I was barely able to pedal it with no tension. But with my determination I didn't give up. I wanted to get stronger so I could remain out of that darn wheel chair.
I can't remember how long or how often I tried to ride but I do remember wanting to join a program that could help with my weight loss. I thought of joining Curves but after hearing their exercise routine, I quickly knew I could not do that. Then a neighbor talked me into coming to a WW meeting with her. So my first meeting/weigh in was Oct 2nd.
I wanted to loss 50 pounds so I could go to Hawaii. That was just a reward that I thought would get me motivated. After seeing how heavy I was I knew it was going to be a struggle to get to that goal. I started at 211.6 and I was NOT very mobile without my wheel chair.
Through my journey at WW I have really had great weight loss every week. The recommended lossing anything from .5 to 2 pounds a week. And I was exceeding that every week. So you can just imagine how happy I was. But sadly the friend who got me interested in WW was not losing and my loss was too much for her, which caused her to drop out. I feel responsible for her not going anymore, maybe I was not very sensitive to her feelings and that makes me sad. Knowing I was lossing was such a shock for me that I over looked her feelings. Since then I have tried to be more sensitive of others.
My journey has been incredible for sure and my exercise has increased. I am currently up to 15 miles on the bike with the program set to a high tension. Sometimes it gets as high as 9. Which is very hard for me to turn the pedals but I endure the pain. I currently weigh 169 and am down from a size 20 to a loose fitted 14.
This is a long enough entry for today if I make it too long I fear people will not read it. So I will post more later. This picture was in Feb. So I will try to get a more recent photo this week.
I have been posting recipes on my Facebook account for several weeks now and I think I will try this forum for a change. I will see how this goes. Hopefully my Facebook followers will come to my blog to visit my recipes. If I don't notice any comments then I will not do them anymore. So these are some of my favorite recipes.Chocolate Dipped Macaroons
|POINTS® Value: 1 |
Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 20 min
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
|Terrific for Passover. But easy and delicious enough to make all year long.|
| ||3 large egg white(s)|
| ||2/3 cup(s) sugar|
| ||1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract|
| ||2 1/2 cup(s) packaged shredded coconut, unsweetened|
| ||3 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small bits|
InstructionPreheat oven to 350°F. Line one or two large cookie sheets with parchment paper
In a large bowl, whisk egg whites with sugar. Add vanilla and coconut; stir to combine.
Scoop up a level tablespoon of batter and form into a ball with your hands; repeat with remaining batter. Place each ball about 1-inch apart on prepared cookie sheets.
Bake until tops just start to turn light tan, about 15 to 18 minutes. Remove cookies to a cooling rack for about 30 minutes.
Place chocolate in a double boiler or heavy pot; melt over low heat, stirring occasionally (do not allow to burn). Keep chocolate warm and pliable as you dip tops of cookies into chocolate. Place dipped cookies on a metal tray evenly spread apart so they’re not touching; freeze until chocolate sets, about 20 to 30 minutes. Yields 1 cookie per serving.
Italian Pasta and Bean Soup with Sausage
|POINTS® Value: 4 |
Preparation Time: 12 min
Cooking Time: 15 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy
|Packed with beans, sausage and spaghetti, this soup delivers a big hearty taste. Top with minced pickled peppers for extra flavor.|
| ||31 oz canned white beans, small variety, drained and rinsed|
| ||2 spray(s) cooking spray|
| ||1 tsp olive oil|
| ||1/8 oz fresh sage, about 3 to 4 medium leaves, finely chopped|
| ||2 medium garlic clove(s), minced|
| ||1/2 pound(s) cooked chicken sausage, Italian-style, cut into bite-size pieces|
| ||28 oz canned crushed tomatoes, with puree|
| ||1 Tbsp canned tomato paste, or to taste|
| ||2 1/2 cup(s) water|
| ||3 cup(s) canned chicken broth|
| ||1 tsp table salt, or to taste|
| ||1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste|
| ||3 oz uncooked whole-wheat spaghetti, broken into small pieces|
- Puree half of beans in a blender; set aside.
- Coat bottom of a large soup pot with cooking spray. Add oil; heat over medium heat. Add sage and garlic; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add sausage; cook, stirring frequently, until sausage starts to brown, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add pureed beans, whole beans, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, water, broth, salt and pepper to pot. Bring soup to a boil; stir in spaghetti. Continue cooking soup according to time specified by pasta manufacturer.
- Season to taste with salt and red pepper flakes. Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving.
Creamy Scrambled Eggs with Scallions and Tomatoes
An incredibly indulgent breakfast or brunch. Wrap in whole wheat tortillas for a comfort-food lunch.
| ||1 spray(s) cooking spray|
| ||4 large egg(s)|
| ||4 large egg white(s)|
| ||1/3 cup(s) scallion(s), sliced|
| ||1/2 tsp table salt|
| ||1/8 tsp black pepper, freshly ground|
| ||3/4 cup(s) tomato(es), diced|
| ||2 oz light cream cheese, cut into bits|
- Coat a medium nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, scallions, salt and pepper until blended. Add egg mixture to skillet; cook, gently turning mixture with a heat proof spatula or wooden spoon, until eggs start to set, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in tomatoes and cheese; cook over low heat, gently stirring, just until eggs set, about 1 minute more (there should still be some creamy pieces of cheese). Yields about 3/4 cup per serving.
Raspberry Frozen Yogurt Pie
This creamy combination of vanilla frozen yogurt and sweet raspberries tops an almond-graham crust. It was devoured at our recipe photo shoot.
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup(s) sliced almonds
3/4 cup(s) graham cracker crumbs
1 serving(s) butter-flavor cooking spray
2 cup(s) raspberries
1/4 cup(s) sugar
1/4 tsp almond extract, optional
2 cup(s) low-fat frozen yogurt, vanilla
* Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add almonds and cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until very lightly browned, about 1 to 2 minutes. Spoon almond mixture into a small bowl; add cracker crumbs and stir well.
* Lightly coat a 9-inch, freezer-proof glass pie dish with cooking spray. Add crumb mixture, spreading in a thin even layer on bottom and 1/4 of the way up the sides; place dish in freezer for 1 hour.
* Combine raspberries and sugar in a medium bowl. Press down with the back of a fork to lightly mash berries; stir in almond extract. Add frozen yogurt by heaping spoonfuls; cut yogurt in with a fork to blend, but don't stir to a soft sauce-like mixture.
* Quickly spoon raspberry mixture into frozen crust; return to freezer for 3 to 4 hours. Cut into 8 wedges to serve. Yields 1 slice per serving.
Apple-Raspberry Stuffed French Toast
Frozen and canned fruits enjoyed on their own - or used in this tasty fruit-stuffed French toast - are a great way to get in some of your five-or-more servings of fruit and vegetables a day.
1 cup(s) canned fruit pie filling, apple, chopped
1/3 cup(s) sweetened frozen red raspberries, thawed
8 slice(s) raisin bread, or cinnamon raisin bread
1/4 cup(s) regular egg substitute
1/4 cup(s) fat-free skim milk
1/3 tsp vanilla extract, or maple extract
1 Tbsp margarine
1 Tbsp powdered sugar
2 Tbsp reduced-calorie pancake syrup
* Combine apple filling and raspberries. Arrange 4 slices of bread on a flat surface. Top each with about 1/3 cup fruit filling. Cover with remaining bread slices.
* Combine egg substitute, milk and extract in a bowl.
* Heat margarine in a large skillet.
* Dip each sandwich into egg mixture; place in skillet. Cook on medium until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Sprinkle each with 1/4 tablespoon powdered sugar and then drizzle each with 1 1/2 teaspoons syrup. Serve.
Slow Cooker Lasagna
No need to cook the noodles first or stay home while it bakes. Just let it sit a few minutes before serving so it can firm up a bit.
1 pound(s) uncooked lean ground beef (with 7% fat)
1 small onion(s), chopped
1 medium garlic clove(s), minced
28 oz canned crushed tomatoes
15 oz canned tomato sauce
1 tsp table salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 cup(s) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cup(s) part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided
6 item(s) dry lasagna noodles, no-cook
1/2 cup(s) shredded Parmesan cheese, strong-flavored like Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano
* Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef, onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon as it cooks, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt, oregano, basil and red pepper flakes; simmer 5 minutes to allow flavors to blend.
* Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together ricotta cheese and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.
* Spoon 1/3 of beef mixture into a 5-quart slow cooker. Break 3 lasagna sheets in half and arrange over beef mixture; top with half of ricotta mixture. Repeat with another layer and finish with remaining 1/3 of beef mixture.
* Cover slow cooker and cook on low setting for 4 to 6 hours. Remove cover; turn off heat and season to taste, if desired.
* In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese; sprinkle over beef mixture. Cover and set aside until cheese melts and lasagna firms up, about 10 minutes. Yields 1/6th of dish per serving.
Slow Cooker Chicken Paprikash
1 spray(s) cooking spray, or enough to coat skillet
2 cup(s) mushroom(s), coarsely chopped
1 small onion(s), chopped
1 small garlic clove(s), minced
1 small sweet red pepper(s), diced
1 tsp paprika
3/4 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup(s) canned chicken broth
1 pound(s) uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup(s) fat-free sour cream
* Coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat. Add mushrooms, onion, garlic and pepper; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in paprika, salt and pepper; cook 30 seconds more. Spoon mixture into a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker; add broth.
* Cut each chicken breast into 4 long strips; add to slow cooker. Cover and cook on low setting for 5 to 6 hours.
* Stir together flour and sour cream in a cup; stir into chicken mixture. (Note: We stir flour into the sour cream to prevent the cream from curdling in slow-cooked dishes.) Cover and cook on low until the mixture is thick and hot, about 10 minutes more. Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving.
Cranberry-Orange Glazed Ham
There is nothing easier to prepare than a ham, but it always makes a meal seem special.
2 Tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate
1/4 cup(s) canned cranberry sauce
2 Tbsp unpacked brown sugar
1 Tbsp whole cloves
2 pound(s) ham, lean only
1 medium mandarin orange(s), cut into wedges
* Preheat oven to 375°F.
* For glaze, in a small saucepan over low heat, stir together orange juice concentrate, cranberry sauce and brown sugar, whisking until smooth.
* Stick cloves into top of ham. Place ham in a baking dish and brush with some of the glaze. Bake for 1 hour, brushing with glaze every 15 minutes.
* Slice thinly, garnish with orange wedges and serve.
Broccoli with Lemon-Garlic Crumbs
Steamed broccoli is okay. But broccoli tossed with buttery lemon-and-garlic bread crumbs is a definite home run.
1 pound(s) broccoli, florets, fresh
1 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup(s) dried bread crumbs, panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
1 tsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp table salt
* Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large pot. Place broccoli in a steamer basket and set over water. Cover pot and steam until broccoli is crisp-tender, about 5 to 6 minutes; drain. Alternatively, you can cook broccoli in microwave.
* Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add bread crumbs, increase heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until lightly toasted, about 2 to 3 minutes.
* Remove skillet from heat; stir in lemon zest and salt.
* Spoon broccoli into a serving bowl and toss with crumbs. Yields about 1 cup of broccoli and 2 tablespoons of crumbs per serving.
This meat is wonderfully tender and so well-flavored. Marinate it in the morning before you go to work and just pop it in the oven when you get home.
12 oz beer
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large garlic clove(s), peeled and smashed
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tsp table salt
1/8 tsp whole cloves
1 1/2 pound(s) raw lean flank steak, 1-inch thick, washed and patted dry
* In a 9- X 13-inch glass baking dish, combine beer, oil, garlic, lemon juice, sugar, salt and cloves; add steak. Cover dish and marinate in refrigerator, turning once or twice, at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
* Place a grill pan in broiler; preheat broiler to high. Remove meat from marinade and broil about 3 1/2 minutes per side for medium rare, or longer until desired doneness.* Remove meat from broiler and place meat on a plate; loosely cover with aluminum foil and let stand for about 10 minutes.
* Meanwhile, place grill pan on stovetop over high heat; carefully pour marinade onto grill pan. Bring to a boil (beer will foam) and cook until all alcohol burns off, about 5 to 7 minutes.
* Thinly slice steak against the grain and serve with sauce. Yields about 4 ounces of steak per serving.
3/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp table salt
5 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 cup(s) sugar, granulated
1/2 cup(s) light cream cheese, softened
2 large egg(s), divided into yolks and whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup(s) crispy rice cereal
2 Tbsp powdered sugar
1 Tbsp butter, melted
* Preheat oven to 350°F. Place 2 sheets of nonstick aluminum foil in bottom and up sides of a 9- X 9-inch baking pan (or place regular foil in pan and coat it with cooking spray).
* In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa.
* In a large bowl, cream together granulated sugar and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating until fully combined; mix in vanilla. Slowly blend flour mixture into cream cheese mixture.
* In another medium bowl, whip egg whites until soft peaks begin to form. Fold egg whites into brownie batter; spread batter evenly in prepared pan.
* Combine cereal, powdered sugar and melted butter in a small bowl; sprinkle on top of brownies. Place pan on middle rack in oven and bake just until center sets, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely and cut into 12 pieces. Yields 1 piece per serving.
BAKED SHRIMP in LEMONY GARLIC SAUCE
This no-fuss shrimp dish comes together in minutes.
1 1/4 pound(s) shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 spray(s) cooking spray
1/4 cup(s) fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp light butter, melted
3 medium garlic clove(s), minced
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3/4 tsp lemon pepper
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
2 Tbsp parsley, chopped
* Preheat oven to 425°F.
* Arrange shrimp in a single layer in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Combine lemon juice and next 5 ingredients; pour over shrimp.
* Bake at 425°F for 8 to 10 minutes or until shrimp are done. Sprinkle parsley over shrimp; serve immediately. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 3 ounces shrimp and 2 tablespoons sauce).
General Tsao's Chicken
You can enjoy this Asian classic once again by sauteing it, instead of deep-frying it. Serve it over rice to sop up every drop of the sauce.
1 pound(s) uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 medium scallion(s)
2 tsp peanut oil
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
3/4 cup(s) canned chicken broth
In a medium bowl, whisk together broth, cornstarch, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar and ginger; set aside.
Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallions, garlic and pepper and cook 2 minutes. Add chicken and cook until browned all over, about 5 minutes.
Add reserved sauce and simmer until sauce thickens and chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes.
Serve chicken and sauce over rice. Yields about 1 cup of chicken and sauce and 1/2 cup of rice per serving.
|No need to deprive yourself of this crunchy, coconut dish any more. We lightened it up for your eating enjoyment.|
| ||2 spray(s) cooking spray|
|2 large egg white(s)|
| ||3/4 cup(s) all-purpose flour|
| ||6 oz beer, about 2/3 cup|
| ||1 1/2 tsp baking powder|
| ||1/4 tsp table salt|
| ||2 cup(s) sweetened coconut flakes|
|24 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (leave tails on)|
- Preheat oven to 450ºF. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together egg whites, 1/2 cup of flour, beer, baking powder and salt. Place remaining 1/4 cup of flour and coconut in two separate shallow bowls.
Holding shrimp by their tails, dredge each shrimp in flour and shake off any excess. Dip flour-coated shrimp into egg batter and allow excess to drip off. Roll shrimp in coconut and turn to coat both sides (press coconut onto shrimp to make it stick).
Transfer shrimp to prepared baking sheet and spray surface of shrimp with cooking spray.
Bake until coconut is golden brown and shrimp are bright pink and cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes.
So my goal this winter was to go snow skiing and I think this is about as close as I will get...lol
I can actually do this machine. When I am able to stand longer than 15 minutes maybe I will be able to use it longer. I did do it for the 15 minutes though. It was like I was dancing and skiing at the same time. It was very funny but I WILL NOT be posting the video. Too incriminating...lol
This was very scary getting off it when your legs are wobbly and it moves on you. Good thing my wheel chair was close for me to get to.
I even got Clay into the exercise program.
And of course Kayla can't be left out...lol
Kayla telling her dad to keep going the timer was NOT done!