Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
This breakfast has a little of everything - healthy fat, a serving of vegetables, complex carbohydrates, and protein! That means it will keep you full for a while. This is one of those weird recipes - if I put the ingredients in the WW point tracker individually, I get 4.5 points. If I add up all the stats and put it into the point finder that way, I get 7 points. I'm going with 5 personally!
--Black Bean Polenta "Pizzas" with Eggs--
-3.6 ounces (or one serving) polenta (I used Food Merchants' Organic Green Chili and Cilantro flavor, available at Whole Foods Market or Cost Plus)
-1/4 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
-1 very small vine-ripened tomato, diced
-1 piece Weight Watchers Reduced Fat Cheddar Cheese Snacks, shredded
-Salt and Pepper to taste
-1/8 tsp. ground cumin
-1 tsp. olive oil
-1/4 red bell pepper, diced
-1/2 small yellow onion, diced
-1/2 cup fat free egg substitute (I use the Safeway brand)
-1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
-1 La Tortilla Factory whole-wheat, low-carb soft taco size tortilla
Slice polenta into 4 rounds. Spray a small baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray; place polenta rounds on it and bake at 350F for approximately 10 minutes, turning once. Mash black beans and tomato in a small bowl; salt and pepper to taste. Divide bean mixture evenly atop polenta rounds. Sprinkle each round with a pinch or two of cheese. Bake for 6 more minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted and bubbly.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small nonstick skillet until shimmery. Add onions; cook 2 minutes or until softened. Add bell pepper, salt and pepper to taste, and ground cumin; cook an additional 1-2 minutes or until bell pepper is just softened. Add egg substitute; cook and scramble 2-3 minutes or until firm.
Plate the polenta "pizzas" alongside eggs. Sprinkle all with chopped cilantro. Sprinkle any remaining cheese on eggs. Warm the tortilla for a few seconds and serve it alongside. (I like to make a little burrito with some of my eggs and the tortilla.)
Nutritionals: 349 calories, 10g fat, 13g fiber, 26g protein
WW Points: 7
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
C.G. the Foodie is having a recipe challenge over at http://www.uncoveringfood.com/2009/04/april-mystery-box-challenge.html based on the cooking show "Chopped". There are three random ingredients and contestants have to come up with a recipe that uses all three ingredients. I got to pick one of this month's ingredients! So naturally I felt compelled to try and make something using...drumroll, please...Ham, Beer, and Rosemary. (Rosemary was the one I picked). Ham and rosemary go together just fine about eleventy billion different ways, but what to do with the beer? And could I still make this recipe be healthy AND delicious? I looked around my refrigerator and pantry for inspiration. I had a ton of produce that needed to be used. I decided to come up with a casserole to use some of the produce.
How on earth do you use beer in a casserole? All I could think about was beer bread and fondue. I've heard of fondue recipes that use beer. Why not use a fondue-type sauce as the sauce for my casserole? Hmm, what about the "healthy" part? Ok, so use lean ham and reduced fat cheese. Ok, I had some direction now. This recipe is completely from my own imagination with no help. I didn't look in a single cookbook or online recipe for inspiration. I wanted to see if I could do it all by myself.
It took two tries (the first casserole came out delicious but a little too watery). The second result was much more visually appealing (and less messy to eat). The nutritional stats are impressive, too, for a cheesy and starchy casserole. I might still experiment with the right beer to make it perfect, but it's a good finished product for my first try at making up a casserole recipe using beer. I felt proud when my husband and kids ate it and said they liked it!
--Cheesy Potato Casserole with Greens--
-2 medium russet potatoes
-1 Farmer John lean Ham Steak, diced
-1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
-1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
-1 small yellow onion, diced
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-1 bunch collard greens, large stems removed and roughly chopped
-salt and pepper to taste
-4 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
-2 Tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour
-1 bottle beer (I used Trader Joe's Bohemian Lager)
-8 oz. Jarlsberg Lite Swiss Cheese, shredded
-1 pinch ground nutmeg
-1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
1. Wash potatoes. Prick with tines of a fork, and microwave 3 minutes or until beginning to soften. Let cool for several minutes, then slice in thin slices, leaving the skins on. Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick spray. Arrange potatoes in bottom of dish. Sprinkle with rosemary.
2. Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in a nonstick skillet. Add garlic and onion. Cook and stir until softened, about 2 minutes. Add collards, continuing to sautee until just wilted. Drain off any excess liquid; spread evenly over potato slices. Sprinkle with diced ham; add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Heat remaining 4 tsp. olive oil in same skillet. Using a nylon whisk, stir in flour until well-combined and frothy. Whisk in beer; bring to a boil. Stirring continuously, cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Fold in the cheese, nutmeg, and cayenne. Pour the sauce over the casserole. (At this point, for a make-ahead dish, cover and refrigerate the casserole until you are ready to bake).
4. Bake at 375F until potatoes are cooked through and sauce is bubbly and browned around the edges, about 35 minutes. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting for ease of serving. Makes 6 servings.
Nutritionals: 270 calories, 9g fat, 3.7g fiber, 20g protein
WW Points: 5
After dinner, we went to one of the instructor's homes for drinks and desserts. Seriously, there was about eleven different kinds of wine, champagne, mojitos, Midori Sours, and 3 kinds of cake. UGH! I managed to limit myself to one piece of chocolate cake, one glass of champagne, and 1 Midori Sour.
After we got home, I had fully intended (with the help of a wine-champagne-Midori-induced buzz) to fall face first into the massive pile of leftover Easter chocolate that is in my room. I was going to eat chocolate until I passed out. After 4 pieces from a Whitman's sampler (what used to be "warming up" for me and only cost me 5 points), I was over it and stopped eating chocolate. I completely stayed away from the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Eggs (we have regular size and King-Size) and the giant See's Bordeaux Eggs, and the "Ginormous Chocolate Egg" that JP bought for me (because the word Ginormous on a product is funny), and the dark chocolate bunnies, and the bunnies with extra big ears, and the M&Ms and Dark Dove Eggs. Yay! So even though I ended up being well over my WW points for the day, it wasn't entirely hopeless. I said I wasn't going to journal. Of course, first thing in the morning on Sunday when I woke up, I went through and journalled everything. I know, I'm weird like that.
Sunday morning my tummy felt gross from the excess of the day before. That didn't stop me from eating 11 points worth of breakfast, though. It was all healthy stuff, but come on, 11 points?! Seriously...
Guilty feelings about food leads me to work out a lot, even when I don't feel like it. Is that good or bad? I don't know. It gets the job done, though. I had run three days in a row previous to Sunday, so I wasn't sure how I would feel or how many miles I would want (or have time) to do. I talked JP and my 7-year-old Justin into coming with me for my first lap of 3.89 miles. Oy, they run slow! We did a 3:1 jog to walk ratio. It took us 50 minutes to do the 3.89 miles. It took some major convincing to get Justin to finish all of the jogging intervals. Especially when we saw a dead raccoon in the gutter. It freaked him out. LOL. Thinking about it now is making me laugh. I did a second 3.89-mile lap after dropping them off at home. That one took me 37 minutes. My stomach felt so gross, though, and I was sweating a good deal, so I decided to call it quits. 7.78 miles is nothing to sneeze at! I'll run tomorrow, too, as long as my knees aren't too tired. I'm still heavily considering signing up for the SF marathon again this year. I feel very confident that I'll improve my time substantially from last year. I am a lot stronger and a lot faster now.
Lunch was rushed as I had errands to run and things. One thing I DID have after my run, though, was a "Dark-Berry" flavor Mix1 High-Antioxidant Fiber Drink. I LOVED the orange-carrot flavor I tried the other day. The berry flavor has almost identical nutritional stats, and tastes just as good! I DEFINITELY need to go back to Whole Foods and get some more of those. At 2 points they are a nutritional bargain, and with all that protein and fiber in them, they really provide long-lasting satiety.
Dinner tonight after church was at Shari's Restaurant. It used to be Bakers Square. I am bummed that they don't have anything on the menu that is the same as Bakers Square except for some of the pies. No more dino tots or Honey Mustard chicken or fried cheese or stir-fry with rice pilaf. :( I ordered a veggie burger that came with fruit, and a side salad. It was delish! The bun the veggie burger was served on was dusted with cornmeal and just really hit the spot. I looked online to see if Shari's has nutritional info for their menu items. They have the calorie count, saturated fat, and a couple of other things listed. Not helpful from a WW point of view. Plus, it stated 713 calories for my veggie burger and fruit. The burger didn't seem to contain cheese. It was grilled, not fried, there was no mayo on the bun as far as I could tell, and the fruit cup was small. I have a hard time believing it had that many calories. I counted 8 points (7 is how many for Burger King's veggie burger with no mayo, which is comparable, and 1 for the fruit cup).
After dinner, I wisely opted for a cup of coffee instead of dessert. This was a victory indeed. Shari's has all the same pie that Bakers Square had, plus a variety of milkshakes, a chocolate lava cake, a turtle sundae, a banana split, and a cheesecake sampler on their dessert menu. Ohhhhhh, all of those things looked SOOOOO good. But I didn't want to negate the work I did running today. I had a 2-point WW ice cream bar when I got home instead.
Tomorrow my girlfriends and I are starting a month-long challenge where we set our own goals and earn points if we stick to them. I am hoping that we will have a good competition and push each other to do well. I am coming up on 1 year of being hard-core on WW this time around. I don't want to lose momentum! I want to keep going all the way to goal, and I think this challenge will help me do just that!
Friday, April 24, 2009
Last week when I was at Whole Foods Market perusing the bakery section, a cute package with a heart on it caught my eye. Colorful lettering and the words "Nutritious Meals to Go" sparked my attention. Heart Thrive Energy Bars come in a package of two heart-shaped cakes - they are so cute, which is reason alone to get them! I am always looking for energy bars that aren't too high in calories. I like to stash them in my purse and gym bag for use after workouts or on days when I am too busy to eat all my snacks and meals at home.
The "too high in calories" part gets to be a problem. Many energy bars out there have as many calories as a full meal! Which is fine if you plan to use a bar as a meal...But I usually don't. I'd rather have a meal. Bars to me are snacks. I don't waste 300 calories on a snack that most likely isn't going to keep me full for more than an hour.
What about the bars that have under 200 calories? Hmmm. Usually they are boring and small. I can eat one in 3 bites and be hungry again half an hour later. They usually don't contain a significant amount of protein or fiber. This is not the case with Heart Thrive. I was excited to read on the package's nutrition facts that each cute little heart is made mostly of oats and dried fruit, with a calorie count around 150! Perfect for my needs! They come in many different flavors; I purchased the date flavor to try. Now I am wishing I had bought one of each, because the bar was delicious! The flavor of oats and dates mingle pleasantly in this bar. It's sweet but not too sweet, with a smidge of cinnamon and ginger. It has a tiny bit of chalkiness from the soy protein, but I am willing to forgive that based on the superior nutritional stats this bar boasts. In general, this bar is like a denser version of an oatmeal cookie.
The date flavor bar clocks in at 158 calories per heart and offers 5 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein. The Weight Watchers points (3) are printed right on the package! I ate my first one right after a hard run at the gym. I was on the way home in the car and had stashed these in my gym bag. Along with a bottle of water, this made for a satisfying and filling post-workout snack. It left me full for a couple of hours, and with only 11 grams of natural sugars, I didn't experience a sugar crash afterward.
I definitely look forward to trying some of the other flavors of Heart Thrive bars. The other flavors are: Raisin, Cranberry, Apple, Apricot, Poppyseed, and Chocolate Chip. You can order right from their website at www.HeartThrives.com. You may order individual flavors or a mixed assortment. Note that the chocolate chip has a slightly higher calorie and fat content than the fruity ones. These bars are vegan, Wheat free, Dairy free, low fat, contain no GMOs, artificial ingredients, or preservatives, and are high in calcium. All around a great addition to any healthy diet!
I ate my bars just pretty much right out of the package, but the web site has suggestions of other things to do with these bars. I think next time I might try warming one in the microwave and eating it with a spray or two of ICBINB and some sugar-free maple syrup!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
When I trained for the 2 full marathons that I ran in 2007 and 2008, I trained with the National AIDS Marathon Training Program. It was a 6-month program that got us ready to run the 26.2 mile race in addition to raising funds to support the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. One of the coolest things about the program was that the coaches taught us a lot about running from every aspect, including nutrition for before, during, and after running.
During aerobic exercise, the body will use the most easily accessible energy it can. Our bodies are efficient (or perhaps lazy) in that way. Carbohydrates are much easier to break down than proteins or fat, so the carbs get utilized first.
The carbohydrates we eat are broken down by the body and one of the results is glucose, some of which is temporarily stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen. Only glycogen from the liver can be made available to other organs for energy. Once your body has used any available glucose that is in your bloodstream and liver from recent meals, it will look to other sources for fuel.
When we exercise for an extended period of time, and/or work out major muscle groups, the muscles involved will begin to use the glycogen stored there as fuel. Endurance athletes (such as marathoners, long-distance cyclers, competitive swimmers and the like) will eventually use up all the glycogen in the muscles and go into what is called "glycogen debt". Marathoners know this phenomenon well. We call it "hitting the wall" because the runner suddenly experiences great muscle fatigue and sometimes pain. It suddenly becomes excruciatingly hard to continue moving forward. The body is now in a state of hypoglycemia, which can become dangerous, and can be accompanied by diziness, weakness, and even hallucinations. This is why Olympic-level marathoners sometimes run with smelling salts.
At this point, the body may begin to cannibalize proteins from the muscles for fuel, and begin burning fat stores. Sounds good, right? Well, maybe not. I'd like to keep my lean muscle mass as opposed to using it for energy, wouldn't you? Adults tend to lose muscle mass over time anyway, as part of the aging process. I'd like it if my body could solely burn my accumulated fat stores (even after losing 80 pounds, I still have plenty). But it takes more energy to burn fat than it does to burn protein or carbs. It also requires more oxygen. After prolonged running, most runners are not able to consume enough oxygen to keep this anaerobic process going for long. Additionally, some experts believe that this type of stress on the body can be damaging to the immune system!
So what is the best way to keep from going into glycogen debt during exercise? Consuming carbohydrates before, during, and after exercise is the best way to prevent hitting the wall. Sporting goods stores, nutrition stores, and running stores offer a host of products that endurance athletes can consume easily while exercising in order to replenish the glucose that has been used.
Some of my favorite products to use during exercise are Gu Brand Energy gels, Clif Shot Bloks, Luna moons, and PowerBar Gel Blasts (especially the Cola flavor...just like a Coke Slurpee!)
Just as important as fueling DURING exercise is what you put into your body AFTER exercise. After intense and prolonged exercise (over an hour), the body will convert carbohydrates into glycogen to replace what was used up to 3 times faster than it does at normal times. This is called the "glycogen window". You want to take advantage of this period and get that glycogen back in there ASAP so you have it available for your next workout. If you don't, you will certainly notice the lack of readily available energy in the form of fatigue, sluggishness, and maybe even muscle pain.
In addition to consuming carbs after your hard workout, you also want to consume some protein to help repair any microscopic muscle tears. An ideal ratio has been suggested by nutritionists of 2:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio. If you have been sweating a lot, you will also want to consume some sodium, which is lost rapidly during prolonged exertion. Now, a big mistake that many people make is to eat a huge meal after working out. They justify their hard work as an excuse to consume huge amounts of calories. Regardless of your increased caloric burn after exercise, any EXCESS calories will still be stored in the body as fat, negating all the hard work you just did. And research has shown that most people tend to overestimate the amount of calories they burn during a workout.
So what are some healthy, great-tasting foods with a 2:1 carb to protein ratio that contain sodium and won't destroy your calorie budget for the day? Here are some great suggestions:
--A glass of chocolate milk, half a banana, and a piece of string cheese
--A hard-boiled egg, plus half a bagel with hummus
--Half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a piece of fruit or glass of juice
--A Big handful of Trail mix (the type with nuts and raisins) and some sports drink
--A tuna sandwich with dill pickles
--An energy bar that contains protein, carbs, and some fiber, along with water or sports drink
Obviously, I am NOT a doctor or a nutritionist, so these ideas come solely from my own opinions and experience of what works for me personally.
Energy drinks are everywhere these days! In the gas station in Castro Valley where I frequently fill up after karate, they have about 4 refrigerator cases full of different flavors, sizes, and varieties.
Being a mom of 4, a wife, a teacher, and a full-time workout nut is tiring. Sometimes I drink energy drinks to give me a boost during the day. I don't drink the ones with sugar in them. I hate "wasting" calories on drinks - I would rather spend my WW points on food. That automatically cuts the selection of energy drinks available to me by about 80%.
Unfortunately, the 20% that are left for the most part don't taste so good. I choke them down because I want the functional ingredients in them. The only one I think I really enjoy the flavor of is Go Girl.
Imagine my delight when I was shopping in my local grocery outlet (AKA rainbow market) and stumbled upon a club soda-flavored energy drink. Club soda has no calories, and virtually no flavor. My mind reeled at the possibilities for mixing this thing and having an endless choice of flavors of energy drink that I wouldn't have to choke down!
The drink is called JetSet. It comes in 5 flavors: the club soda, original, diet original, ginger ale, and tonic water. I only saw the club soda flavor. I think they were 6 for $1.00 or some ridiculous price. I should have bought more than the 6 I got. Maybe I'll go back and see if they have any more.
The company that makes these energy drinks is in San Francisco. Supposedly they sell their drinks at Safeway, Vons, and BevMo! I'll have to check my local stores and see if they have any of the other flavors. Their website is at www.drinkjetset.com.
The club soda tastes like regular club soda. I was surprised that it didn't have a "vitaminy" taste like some of the energy drinks out there. If you put me in a blind taste test, I wouldn't be able to distinguish between this product and another club soda. It comes in a 10.5 ounce can (perfect serving size for mixing) and contains 120 mg of caffeine (about the same as a cup of coffee and more than an 8-ounce Red Bull), along with B vitamins, taurine, ginseng, and guarana.
The mixing possibilities with this drink are endless. I tried mixing this with half of an OceanSpray Cranergy drink (cranberry pomegranet, yum), half a cup of Minute Maid fruit punch (again, yum), and a couple of different flavors of Crystal Light (pink lemonade was especially tasty). The Jetset website has a bunch of recipe and serving ideas as well (including cocktails).
My favorite though, was this sparkling ginger limeade that I whipped up in an empty water bottle and took with me on a 2nd grade field trip (I didn't have time to make coffee, but I needed SOMETHING to deal with all those 7- and 8-year-olds!)
--Sparkling Energy Ginger Limeade--
-2 small limes
-1" piece of fresh ginger
-2 sweetener packets (I used Equal but you can use Splenda or Truvia)
-1 can Jetset Club Soda Energy Drink
Juice the limes. Peel and grate just the outer soft part of the ginger (the core is tough and stringy). Combine the lime juice, ginger, and sweetener in a tall glass; stir to combine. Carefully pour in club soda and stir. May be shaken and served in a cocktail glass over ice. Or give it a "kick" with a shot of vodka if you don't have to drive anywhere!
Nutritionals: 22 calories, 0 fat, 0 fiber, 0 protein, 80mg sodium
WW points: 0
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
This morning, I was feeling guilty from the millions of calories I ate over the weekend. (Easter party and a birthday party). I struggled out of bed (with a Food Hangover) at 7AM and made myself go for a 4-mile run. This meant I didn't really have time for breakfast. I nibbled on some snacks on the way to work. After running a morning camp (where I nibbled on some more low-calorie snacks), I rushed home because my husband had said that he wanted to run today, too, and make the kids go with us. It's their spring break and I'll be darned if they are going to sit on their butts all week!
We set out at a nice, easy pace. Approximately 4 minutes into the jog/walk intervals, my 11-year-old was whining and complaining and falling behind. 5 minutes later, my 7-year-old was, too. I didn't have enough time to walk the rest of the course and get back to work on time for afternoon classes. My husband told me and my 13- and 14-year-old to continue on ahead and they would finish at a slower pace. About 4 minutes later, the 14-year-old pooped out. He has the longest legs and should be able to run the fastest!
My 13-year-old and I are the only ones who finished at our 3:1 jog/walk intervals that we had started with. He was complaining of a cramp in his side but I encouraged him to run through the discomfort and finish strong. The last 3-minute jog nearly defeated him, but as he is starting his Jr. High School track team next week, he sucked it up and finished. I barely was breathing hard, despite being tired and sore from my morning run and the 11.7 miles I did yesterday.
Vinnie and I finished the course in 43 minutes (slower than my normal average of 37, but still pretty good). The rest of the stragglers trickled in around 55 minutes. My husband couldn't get my 11-year-old to jog any more past the halfway point on the course.
I am in complete shock that I am in better shape than my 4 energetic, skinny, athletic boys! It's not supposed to be that way, is it?
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Even though it usually works for me, eating too much junk and then trying to work it off with crazy amounts of exercise is not a recommended strategy for lasting weight loss!
Imagine my surprise when I stepped on the scale this morning and saw that I had lost 2.6 pounds. YESSSSS! Total lost is now 78.4. Sweet...
Then I went to my Grandmaster's karate school in Castro Valley and got WORKED by my instructor. We hadn't worked out in a while due to him traveling a lot. I think it had been 2 months? Anyway, even though we weren't going all-out on anything, I was really trying to focus on my form, stances, and extension. That put together with trying to remember material I hadn't worked on in 2 months was EXHAUSTING!
My instructor made a comment that I look "lanky". He said a little of my movement is awkward now because I have a different body type than I used to have. (Kind of like teenagers that grow a lot very quickly and then don't know what to do with those extra inches in their limbs)...Um, hello, I am trying to get ready to test for my next degree. I don't need an awkward phase right now!
He is really proud of me, though, and I just need to focus and learn how to move in my trimmer self. I'll just rework a few things and get used to a new mindset about how I move through space now that I am slimmer and stronger. If I am willing to put in the effort, he thinks I can move up to a completely whole new level of skill. That is exciting to think about! Pushing through this little weird patch will definitely be worth it to get the results he is mentioning. I owe it to myself to do it. What kind of role model would I be if I didn't?
Saturday, April 4, 2009
We always get Noah's bagels for everyone that helps set up on tournament day. I don't get lunch until well after 2:00 when the whole thing is over and cleaned up and everyone is gone. I decided to take a day off from counting points, journalling, or even trying to be good. It's a decision that might mean I am unhappy on the scale come Wednesday, but I have been really, really good for the past few months, so I figure one day off in the long run isn't that horrible. (Besides, I'll do a long run tomorrow, and that will help burn off some of the junk).
Public Service Announcement: the chocolate chip coffee cake at Noah's is a naughty little slice of heaven. I'm afraid to even look up the nutritionals on it, so I won't. I only had half and shared the other half with my 7-year-old. Oh, and the cinnamon sugar bagel "poppers" - also good.
Lunch was Baja Fresh. I was bad there, too, with 3 tacos and some shared queso dip. Oops. At least dinner will be healthy - baked falafel with hummus and lots of veggies and maybe a whole-wheat pita.
I made these stuffed zucchini on Thursday for lunch. I had zucchini that needed to be used, and one of those annoying less-than-one-serving-leftover-in-the-box situations with some whole wheat couscous. These were super filling and the stuffing was very flavorful. You could split this into 2 or 4 servings if you are having it as a side dish instead of a meal, although if you eat the full recipe, you get a healthy oil serving, 2 veggie servings, and 12g of protein! I let mine cool for about 5 minutes and then I was able to just pick them up and eat them with my hands. If you have company, though, you might want to use a fork and a knife. :)
--Baked Stuffed Zucchini--
-2 small zucchini
-1 tsp. olive oil (I used Basil-infused)
-1 tsp. minced garlic
-2 Tbsp. minced onion
-1 ounce shredded parmesan cheese, divided
-1 tsp. Mrs. Dash seasoning
-1 rounded Tbsp. whole-wheat couscous
-1/4 fat-free cup chicken broth or water
Preheat oven to 375F. Place couscous in a container with a lid. Add one generous Tbsp. of boiling water or chicken broth, stir briefly, and cover. Set aside and allow to sit for at least 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the zucchini in half vertically. Use a spoon with a sharp poing to scrape out the seeds and pulp, leaving a 1/8 ' - 1/4" shell around the sides. Chop or break up the seeds/pulp. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until shimmery. Add zucchini pulp, onions, and garlic. Sautee for 3-4 minutes or until garlic starts to turn golden. Remove from heat. Stir in the Mrs. Dash and all but a few pinches of the cheese (no need to be exact).
Spoon the filling into the prepared zucchini halves, rounding tops if neccessary. Place in a glass baking dish and gently pour chicken broth around the halves. Bake for 10 minutes. Sprinkle reserved parmesan over the 4 halves and bake an additional 3-5 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown around the edges.
Nutritionals: 220 calories, 12g fat, 4g fiber, 260mg sodium, 12g protein
WW Points: 5
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Ok, so, probably the main reason why I had that big loss was because I earned 68 Activity Points (APs for short) for the week. But that's ok. I don't mind putting in those hours exercising. Exercise has many more benefits than just weight loss. It lowers cholesterol, helps you sleep better, increases heart health, reduces stress, and is good for the bones. I still journalled everything and stayed within my weekly points and APs. I am just scared that as I get closer to goal weight, I won't be able to "get away" with that so easily. I am scared of maintenance. I hardly ever just maintain. For me it is a gain or a loss. But I'm not going to cross that bridge until I come to it.
I think I am going to eat a banana now and then go squeeze in a run before I go to some appointments. I should have run Monday and didn't. I only have time to do 4 miles this morning, so I will have to run a little further on Friday. Then Sunday I don't know what I want to do for my long run. Should I bump up to 16 or do a shorter run for a recovery week? Maybe 8 miles?
Check out my friend Carol's review on Clif Z Bars - the organic energy bar for kids. She is giving away some bars. Oh, and I like 'em, too, even though I am allegedly an adult.