Sunday, July 29, 2012

Margarita Grilled Chicken.....yuuuuuuummmm!

As usual, I am slacking in adding recipe posts to the blog.  When times are busy (which they definitely have been at our house lately) I stick with what I know and what is familiar rather than venturing outside of my comfort zone much.  It’s just faster that way.  But I keep trying to push myself outside those boundaries because with familiarity comes boredom and with boredom comes….usually nothing good in my world.  It leads to laziness, overeating, etc.  No bueno. 

I am a person that if I like a meal I can eat it over and over again and it takes me a while to get bored with it.   And if I like it, as with everything else in my life, I tend to obsess about it and surround myself with it a lot (aka eat it often).  My hubby, however likes more variety than I.   So in an effort to keep us both happy, I try to find new recipes to introduce in to our meal plan.

A co-worker and friend of mine emailed me this recipe last week.  It had margarita in the name, so of course I was hooked!  And how can you have margarita without Mexican, another LOVE of mine!  Seriously I think I could eat Mexican food 7 days a week….mmmmm (yes, obsessed!).  So I decided to try it on Saturday and served it making my own copycat of Chili’s margarita grilled chicken – I served it over rice and black beans and topped with pico and tortilla strips….YUMMO!!!!  This will certainly be a regular in my menu planning!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Margarita Chicken
½ cup liquid non-alcoholic margarita mix – I use the Jose Cuervo (you are a friend of mine!) light – zero calories….bonus!!
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
3-3 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp coarse light salt

Mix margarita mix, lime juice and garlic in re-sealable heavy-duty Ziploc bag. Add chicken; seal bag and turn to coat with marinade. Refrigerate, turning bag occasionally, at least 1 hour but no longer than 24 hours. Remove chicken from marinade, reserve marinade. Grill or broil chicken. Brush with marinade; sprinkle with ½-teaspoon salt. Continue grilling or broiling, turning chicken. Brush other side with remaining marinade; sprinkle with remaining salt. Continue cooking until no longer pink.

I served it over rice with black beans and topped with pico and tortilla strips (Fresh Gourmet found in the produce section with the salad toppings).  I am impressed with myself in that there is no cheese or sour cream in here….I would have never thought I would be doing meals without adding all the “extra” flavors that also add calories.  In my opinion, this dish certainly doesn’t need it!  I think you could also easily make a southwest salad out of it that would be great too!

My homemade pico…
     Tomatoes, diced (2)
     Cilantro, chopped (1 bunch)
     Red onion, diced (1/4)
     Lime juice (1/8 cup maybe?  I don’t measure this – just to taste)
I don’t like spicy food or peppers, so I personally don’t add any jalapenos, but you could easily add some for your own personal taste.

A pic of my version....MISSING!
I am SUPER SAD to say at this time I can't find the memory card that I took the pic on :-(  So going to go ahead and post without it and hope I can find it soon.  Or worst case I will just have to make this dish again soon and take another pic!

Compared to the one I ordered at Chilli’s a few weeks ago.

The nutritional info on the Chilli's version was 550.  I am estimating mine at 557 calories so pretty darn close!
Chicken - 238 calories (6oz breast)
Rice - 134 calories for 1/2 cup (I used the skinnytaste Cilantro Lime Rice)
Black Beans - 120 calories for 1/2 cup
Pico - 30 calories for 1/2 cup (4 oz)
Tortilla strips - 35 calories for 2 Tblsp

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A quick hellooooooooooo...I am still alive!

I wanted to let you all know that yes, I am still alive.  I have at least 2 blog posts started, but not completed (and that doesn't include the list of blog post ideas I have that I think is now a mile long), I just need time to finish them.  Time....ha, ha, ha.  That is so funny!  I am now getting up between 5:15 and 5:30 am (yes, me the anti-morning person) to work out before getting ready for work.  Then dinner and family time in the evenings, and a sprinkling of facebook time to keep my sanity.  So that puts me to bed usually between 10 and 11 these days (yes, I am already late tonight - I will need coffee tomorrow!)

I had my bestie in town last weekend for my b-day party.  I turned 36 this year.  I had a little shin-dig at my house and had some friends over.  We didn't have a huge crowd, but the ones that were there were greatly appreciated for helping make my bday week very memorable!  Even though it was hotter than hates outside and we only got to enjoy my new patio cushions and tiki torches for all of about 5 minutes, it was still a great time.  I am really blessed to have such wonderful people in my life!

Here are a couple of pics...(thanks to Melissa for helping me find a HOT MAMMA dress to really feel the part!  LOVE the compliments it gets me!!!)


My oldest daughter and mini me.  I can't believe she is 14 and starting high school this year....ugh!  I am not that old....I am not that old....

My bestie Melissa.  A fellow lifestyle changer, my motivation, my rock, and most importantly, my personal shopper!  :o)

Ok, so now my brain is mush, so I had better wrap up this spontaneous post and hit the hay.  The workout alarm is going to be blaring at me all too soon.  Hopefully I will have some time this weekend to get caught up on the blog posts, so cross your fingers for lots of posts!

Welcome to all of the new readers!  So glad to have you here!  :o)

In honor of my birthday week, I will leave you with this little funny....

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Yes, I am human too

Well, I vowed to be honest when writing this.  I promised to not just share the details of the good days.  But to show the struggles, challenges and frustrations of the bad days too.  Yesterday was one of those :-(

I had a good day at work, pretty much the normal for me.  But started getting super sluggish in the afternoon.    I was hoping to get a workout in before the crazy "mom schedule" got in full force that evening.  Actually, I had been hoping to get at least part of a workout in before work, but as usual lately my 3 year old helper decided to make a too-early appearance at about the time I was going to hit the eliptical...doh!  So on to plan after work workout....or so I thought.  By the time I got home I was so exhausted, I dozed on the couch for a bit before having to go play taxi to pick up my older girls.  I woke up in time to put my shoes on and head out the door....after inhaling some ice cream cake that was leftover in the freezer from a bday party this weekend.  I didn't even do thee sensible thing and cut a small piece to tide the craving.  I just got a spoon from the drawer and dove in.  And kept eating, bite after bite.  I am really not sure how much I ate.  Too much, that's what I do know.  That is why I can't keep that crap in the house....I can't be trusted!!

After the ice cream it was down hill from there.  When i got home I still hadn't eaten a proper dinner and still had the "munchies".  So I swigged a few sips of wine (no more taxi for me and hubby was home by then), had some pretzels and hummus, munched on food I was packing for my lunch the next day...and prob a few other things in there I have mentally blocked out.  Oh, I almost forgot the best part....I had ANOTHER piece of ice cream cake (I cut it and put it in a bowl this time).

I was sooooo mad at myself.  I felt guilty.   I felt ashamed.  How could I have such a total lack of control?  While it was a far "better" binge than I have had in the past (talk about your oxymoron) but it was still just that....a total loss of willpower and control.  

But I decided that setbacks are totally normal.  I can't be perfect all the time.  I have to fall down every once in a while to get back up.  The important part is that I DO get back up.  So I did just that.  I dusted myself off and today was a new day.  I met my calorie goal.  I got a workout in.  I blogged.  I cooked for my family.  It was a good day.

Each day I am thankful for being just a little but stronger than the last.  I WILL keep going.  I will NOT give up this fight.  I AM going to beat this addiction.  And so can you!!!!!  Keep the passion and fire in your belly.  Know that there will be bad days and off days but know that you can choose to keep going.  It how you handle the challenge that determines your character.  Show your strength in character.....I KNOW it is within you!!

I personally challenge you to KICK ASS the next day to pick yourself back up and start over, stronger and more determined than before.  Throw weakness, fear, insecurity and any other baggage you may be toting around with you to the curb!  You got this!!!

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My combination lock theory

I recently had an epiphany that losing weight is like trying to open a combination lock.  You can be so close, you can feel the lock start to open but even one tiny detail that is out of place will leave it stuck in place.   I am a very visual person so for me the analogy of a combination lock really sticks in my mind. 

As I have said before, I believe that all bodies are different.  They are complex machines that operate in similar ways, but no two run exactly the same.  We all have our own “fingerprint” if you will.  While general theories and plans work for many, I believe that you need to tweak things to compensate for the chemistry combination in your own body.  Hence, the introduction of my combination lock theory.  Everyone has their own unique, specific combination.  The dials may need to be tweaked differently to get my lock to open vs yours.

I feel this has been true with my weight loss journey.  If my weight loss numbers aren’t what I want them to be I start thinking of what I can do to tweak the combination lock to get it to spring open.  Did I drink enough water today?  Did I eat too many calories (or too few)?  Did I get enough sleep?  Did I have too many carbs?  Not enough protein?  Too much sugar?  Did I work out long enough?  Was it at a high intensity level?  Do I need to change my workout routine?  You get the picture. 

There are so many opinions on what is healthy and what is not that it can be difficult to navigate….low carb, low fat, “clean”, high protein, high fiber….the list could go on to infinity.  I often feel like I am on information overload.  It is hard to navigate all the information that is available out there and know what I should change to achieve the results I am looking for.

 Knowledge is power – strive to understand.  The more you learn and educate yourself, the more tools you have in your arsenal to use in your battle to lose weight and get healthier.  Do you know what your BMR is?  Do you know how exercise impacts your daily caloric needs?  What difference does the temperature of the water you drink make? 

This journey should be one of conscious decisions to lead to a lifestyle change, not a crap shoot or throwing a dart at the wall to determine what option to try today. Understand how the human body works and how changes will impact your results.   I started out not knowing the first thing about how to be healthy (obviously, I weighed 281 pounds!).  I am FAR from knowing it all, or even much, but I feel like every day I learn a new tip or trick or piece of information and I am empowered by that.  I love being in control of my results!   

Seek out sources of information to help you find the right combination!  There are lots of options all around you!
·         Experts – find knowledgeable people that are sharing information that you can easily access…tv shows, websites, facebook page updates, etc.  A few of my favorites are:
o   Chris Powell
o   Jillian Michaels
o   Dr. Oz
·         Books – I never thought I would see the day that I would be reading weight loss books, trying to gain more knowledge and insight into the battle my body is fighting.  But right now I have multiple books on my Kindle (and yes, I am actually reading them)!
o   “Choose to Lose – the 7-day Carb cycle solution” by Chris Powell
o   “Weight Loss Boss” by David Kirchoff (weight Watchers CEO)
·         Blogs – I really enjoy following specific people through their journey.  I like having an insight into their journey…what did they do that worked?  What have been their struggles and ah-ha moments?  I particularly LOVE when I can sign up to get my favorite blogs delivered right to my email inbox…no having to stalk their page for updates or worry about missing out on any because I didn’t check.  (Of course this blog has that feature…are you signed up??)

I feel like I am hitting a plateau again.  My weight loss numbers are slowing down significantly.  Yes, the constant birthday and holiday celebrations of the summer are not helping but I also wonder if my body is getting used to my routine.  I am a creature of habit.  I like routine.  It is easy, comfortable, predictable…safe.   As I mentioned before, I just love watching Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition.  I am so amazed by the training Chris Powell does.  He is able to help people achieve amazing results in such a short amount of time.  While often such significant change isn’t sustainable and just comes back, I am following several of the “contestants” from this season and the lifestyle changes they have made seem to be lasting.  He is someone I admire for the way he motivates and encourages people.  As I also mentioned I have started reading his book.  I am intrigued to read more about his carb cycle theory.  Is this the combination I need to open my lock?  We’ll see.  If nothing else, it’s another weapon in my arsenal.

It's Q&A time...What things do you feel like are your greatest weapons or the things that have opened your lock? Now your turn!  Leave a comment to answer.....GO!

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Monday, July 9, 2012

Last week....I killed it!

So last week was a GREAT week for me with far my absolute best (so far).  It helped that I worked from home 3 days (so I could work out over my lunch break), had a holiday, and a vacation day (yes, I even worked out on the holiday and my vacation day....crazy!) so I got good workouts in 5 of the 7 days.

I thought I would share my stats with you.  I really have to say I am quite proud of myself.  :o)  This is why I keep the see how far I've come and to celebrate the victories!!!

Let me preface this by saying my goal is 150 min of exercise a week (that's 2.5 hours).  I KILLED it this week.  I got in a total of 5 hours and 6 minutes.  Not too shabby. A few other numbers that are noteworthy (for me anyway)....
I logged a total of 14.208 on the treadmill.
I jogged a total of 8.5 minutes (for me that is HUGE!!!)
I logged a total of 59 minutes on the elliptical.
I logged 10 minutes on the rowing machine (erg).

I know these numbers are not amazing by the standards of most.  But for a person that absolutely DETESTED physical activity and didn't think about working out a year ago (heck, even 6 months ago) this is HUGE progress for me.  

I appreciate you all for supporting (not judging) me and giving me this forum to vent and realize just how far I have come.  I am so thankful. 

For those of you that haven't started on the exercise yet, are just getting started, or aren't where you want to be yet.....just get started and keep going.  Don't give up.  Celebrate the successes. YOU CAN DO IT!!!!

So here's to another week even better than this in the near future!  Keep on pushing all!

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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Stay things (and a giveaway) coming soon on the blog!

I am SUPER STOKED to say that I have secured my first "product test" to review on the blog!!!  AND it will include a product giveaway for you the readers!!!!  I want to thank all of you for your support, encouragement and motivation.  

I am going to keep the product a secret for a bit, but I hope to be getting a package in the mail soon and then I can spill the beans!  Let me just tell you that it is a good one you won't want to miss!  

Don't miss a thing...I might even suggest (again) that you click the white box on the upper right corner and add your email address to receive new posts in your inbox.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Wine-o! May I see your license please, ma'am?

So today was totally a Monday!  Our refrigerator had started not working so well this weekend so I scheduled a repair call for this morning.  I was excited to have gotten in so quickly!  There is where I should have figured out that it was not going to be that smooth!  Nothing in my life is EVER that easy!

Snag # 1 - I had too many meetings and things on my to-do list today to take a vacation day to deal with this fridge fiasco.  Ok, no problem.  Onto plan work from home.  The repair call was scheduled in the 8-12 "window.  Easy-peasy.  I only had one meeting on my calendar for the morning from 10-11.  Well of course I am sure you can all guess when he showed up??  Yup, 10am.  Fortunately it was a somewhat flexible meeting, so it worked out.  

Snag # 2 - It only took the repair guy less than 15 minutes to diagnose the problem.  How is that a snag you ask??  Well the snag is in that it only took him that long to tell me that our fridge is pretty old and the repair would cost nearly half the price of a nice new one (or almost the full price of a cheap new one!)....YIKES!

Snag #3 - so off to the local home improvement store over my lunch for a quick shopping trip.  But I had to go make a deposit at the bank before I could go shopping for such a large purchase.  And After I left I found that I left without my debit card I needed.  So back to the house.  Oh and I forgot to measure.  Yeah, better do that.  My luck I would buy a new fridge and the silly thing would be too big and not fit. 

Snag # 4 - of course the store I went to didn't have the color of the model I wanted in stock!  Again, that would be far too easy.  So the friendly sales clerk checked and found that the East store had one.  So he just ordered it from there for me.  I paid for my unexpected purchase and crossed my fingers that the old fridge could be kept on life support long enough for the new one to arrive.

Snag #5  - of course my immediate gratification desire couldn't be fulfilled.  They couldn't deliver it today :-( Grrrrrrrrr!  Ok, so we're playing Russian roulette with a dying fridge, which of course is packed full of food.... awesome.  Ok, fine so they guarantee next day delivery, so it will have to do.

Snag # 6 - he said they would call to setup a delivery time for tomorrow.  As the clock rolled to about 3:15 and I still hadn't received a call, something in my gut told me to call the east store and ask them to schedule it.  The gal that answered the phone looked up my order (after asking for numbers and information that was NOT on the receipt copy I got) and told me that there was no way I was getting the fridge that was ordered tomorrow.....what?!?!?!  Uh yeah, the helpful sales guy must have been having a Monday too, because instead of ordering the stock one from the east store he fat-fingered the keys and instead placed a special order....which takes about a week to be sent from the warehouse to the store.  Scheduled for arrival....7/12. Uh yeah, Houston we have a problem!

Snag #7 - so to fix snag # 6, the original order needed to be cancelled and re-ordered with the correct in-stock item so it could be delivered tomorrow.  Ok sounds simple enough...of course it wasn't!  They had to credit the sale amount back to my card.  Which as anyone that has ever returned a purchase knows wasn't immediate (sidebar....I am really curious why it's ok to IMMEDIATELY charge my card for a purchase but it is ok for them to take 2-3 days to credit money BACK on my card.....ugh!!!!).  So I needed another big amount of money on my card to make purchase #2 until the first was credited back.  Thank goodness for savings!!!  

Snag # 8 - so the correct order was finally placed so now it's time to schedule the delivery.  She asked if the 12-5 "window" would be ok.  Uh no, not really.  I have a dead fridge, can you please do the morning?  So she asked a manager.  Nope they were 2 trucks down and already overbooked for the morning.  Awesome.  Of course you are.  Sure, afternoon would be peachy.

Snag # 9 - of course tonight the old fridge was losing the life support battle.  It was getting worse by the minute.  Walk away from the light!!  It's not your time yet!  Who knows if the thing will listen or go peacefully while I sleep.  So we moved as much of the critical and sensitive food as possible to the dorm fridge in my office and the frozen items out to the deep freeze as we could.

So all said, mamma was a wee bit stressed by the end of the day and really needed a drink.  So I opted for a compromise....First, I acknowledged that normally I would be tearing through the kitchen, stress eating everything in sight.  But I wasn't doing that this time.  I was dealing with it all.  Huh, what a novel concept.  That was success # 1.  

Success # 2 was when I took some "me time" (didn't ask the fam first, I just did) on the treadmill first to work off some of my frustration.  Wow, who would have thunk that not only would I not eat when stressed, but I would choose exercise as my outlet?  CRAZY!!!  Another indicator that I really have come a long way in this journey!

Success # 3 was in the fact that I still cooked dinner.  It was waaaaaaaay late (I didn't start cooking until after I was done on the treadmill, so the poor people didn't eat until 8:15!).  But again, instead of dwelling on my failure as a mom and wife, I will celebrate the fact that I made them a healthy dinner instead of going to the fast-food drive through as I would have a year ago!

So I decided that after the day I'd had that I had earned a glass of wine!  So I enjoyed a glass while on the deck grilling chicken for the fam's dinner. that is relaxing!

Success # 4 is that I that I made a "healthy choice" here....I opted for the std size wine glass instead of my jumbo size snowman one (that I think may hold a half a bottle of wine!) lol. I take the wins when I can get them! :o)  And yes, I logged the calories on is a great "snack".

So in case you were wondering where the "may I see your license" reference comes in during this lengthy (and prob boring) story....that is success # 5....No, I wasn't drinking and driving.  I was home safe and sound.  I am trilled to say that I have hit another milestone this week.  I have made it under my driver's license weight!!!!  As most women are well aware, a driver's license weight is usually SEVERAL pounds less than a woman actually weighs.  I think the last time I renewed mine I felt a twang of guilt and upped my number to something slightly more reasonable, but inaccurate none the less.  But I am thrilled to announce that I now weigh LESS than my driver's licence thinks I do!  Wooooooo hooooo!

So again, I remind you to celebrate your successes.  This battle is mostly mental.  The more you stay in a good, place and embrace the positive, the better off you will be.   So in closing, I leave you with this thought...

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