Sunday, August 28, 2011

BFC Breakfast Ideas - 20+ Ideas to start your day right!

I love reading all the blogs and facebook posts and get so many new ideas and recipes from them. The problem is I often forget where I read something and find myself skimming over blog posts and facebook discussions to find that one recipe or tip I was looking for.

I started cutting and pasting them into a word document and thought it might be a great idea to post them according to meals and snacks. So if you are ever in a hurry or stuck in a rut, you can turn to one place for some new ideas. I am not going to post where each idea came from because it would take too much time. Alot of these ideas and tips are from our blog sites. Hope this gives everyone some new meal ideas or reminds you of some you had forgotten.

Since breakfast is the most important part of the day, I'm going to start with this first. If you have been eating the same thing and are bored, or if you just need to mix it up a bit, I think you will get some inspiration here. Leave your own comments and ideas and I will add them to the post.

So here are some of the ideas that you all like to have for breakfast.

1) French toasted coconut bread!  I sliced up a loaf of coconut bread (each slice was a little over a half an ounce) and soaked it in 1 egg and 1/4 cup almond milk, along with a packet of stevia and come cinnamon. I fried the slices up in a pan with loads of butter, and ate 4 slices (3 ounces) with a bit of peanut butter and jam. S/C value 1/1. ( for coconut bread go to Rosalie or Dawns blog to get the recipe)

2) 2 poached eggs and 3 pieces of bacon on a toasted sandwich thin.

3) Oatmeal made with water, Uncle Sams cereal dry with a few blackberries or uncle sams with greek yogurt

4) a couple of eggs with melted cheese on toast....or 2 slices of WW whole wheat toast. And sometimes a couple slices of bacon with the eggs and cheese on the WW toast for an egg sandwich.

5) a cheese stick or some nuts. Doesn't have to be breakfast food!

6) Protein shake 1 scoop — Nature's Factor Whey Protein powder
                          1 − 1 1/2 cup — Almond milk (unsweetened)
                          2 tbs. — Flaxseed oil
                          2 tbs. — Probiotics
                          1/2 cup — ice
                          1 packet of Stevia

Try adding a cup of fresh spinach leaves sometime. You won't know it's in there, but it will turn the shake green.

7) peanut butter and jelly ( use the BFC approved kind) on toasted ezekial bread

8) saute some baby spinach,  mushrooms and a few onions. Add some eggs, scramble together, top with shredded cheese  and cook until melted.

9) toasted exekiel english muffin, topped with baby spinach, chia seeds, some grated cheddar, and 2 poached eggs,

10) uncle sams cereal with the unsweetend Chocolate almond milk and a bit of xylitol ....... feels like I'm eating coco puffs!
11) Cinnamon toast with stevia

12) Greek yogurt and a small handful of berries

13) Plain oatmeal, Tblsp pureed pumpkin, water & cinnamon. Micrwave for 2 mins

14) Cheerio's and unsweetened vanilla almond milk.
15) Oatmeal, unsweetened almond milk and cinnamon. Can also add a tbs of peanut butter and swirl it in.

16) Rudi's English muffin sandwiches with turkey sausage patties, cheese and eggs

17) 2 small smart and delicious tortillas with spinach artichoke cream cheese, baby spinach, small amount of diced tomatoes and 2 fried eggs

18) 2 chocolate coconut bread w/peanut butter and blueberries on top

Jay Robb Whey Protein Powder Chocolate
19)  Jay Robb Whey protein shake with unsweetened almond milk and xylitol (0/0), and NOW adding Chia seeds is AMAZING !!!!

20)  1/4 c dry quinoa w/zuchinni, mushrooms, onions, chicken bullion, and 2 scrambled eggs all together in a bowl

21) 2 oasis toast w/cream cheese and natures hollow sugar free preserves, 2 eggs scrambled w/baby spinach, cheese, and a handful of jimmy dean sausage crumbles

So hope these ideas will inspire you to try something new. Thanks to all of you creative people who cameup with them. Please post any others in the comment section and I'll add it to the post. I'm going to print it out and keep it nearby give me some new ideas!

Thought for the day:  All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast. ~John Gunther

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Storm's a Comin'

A perfect beach day!
Hello all. Back from the week at the beach. Had to leave alittle early ( Friday instead of Sunday) because  Hurrincane Irene is coming. Who invited her anyway??We had a mandatory evacuation in Longport, NJ. We are just a small little town, nestled between Margate, and the bridge to Ocean City. My house is not beach front, but we are a block away and have nice ocean views from our third floor deck. I told my husband we may be beach front after this storm! It was such a nice peaceful, sunny day there yesterday and I didn't want to leave. However it was hard to ignore the warnings coming over these loudspeakers..."WARNING, LONGPORT IS UNDER A MANDATORY EVACUATION". I never knew they had speakers like that. I think they are mounted on the tops of telephone poles at strategic places around the town.

So we pulled up the awnings, brought in what outdoor furniture we could into the garage. We couldn't bring it all in, so we had to pile some of it up. I kind of feel like the media is hyping this storm up a bit, but I guess we will have to see.
Our awnings. Hope they make it through the storm!
It's raining hard in PA right now. They are calling for between 6 and 10 inches. New York has closed it's subway system, Philly has stopped all transit. The stores are out of bottled water, and I'm going out to dinner tonight! If this storm wants to come, so be it, but I'm still enjoying the rest of my weekend.
The storm begins here in PA.
Late tonight, and early tomorrow will be the worst of it I think. I plan to make the coconut bread and the peanut butter cookies from Dawn's blog post while I'm stuck inside. I have been on the go so much lately and I know I need to tighten up a bit regarding how well I'm following the plan. It's rare to be stuck inside, so this will be a good project for me. We get those snow days once in awhile, but it's unusual. I'm also going to use my "rain day" tomorrow to revisit alot some blogs, the bfc book, and plan for my upcoming week so that I will have everything I need. There are so many tips and good meal suggestions and I need to refresh my  memory a bit, because it will be back to the beach next weekend for the Labor Day weekend. That means houseguests, tempting food, and a change of schedule. I will need to have all my ammunition in place to get by!

So that's it for today. I hope the sun is shining in your neck of the woods. Let's hope Irene has a short visit, and leaves us none the worse!

Thought for the day: Into every life some rain must fall!.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Day The Earth Trembled!

Yesterday the earth trembled, and shook, and trembled some more. I wish I could say that it is because I reached my goal weight. No, that wasn't it for sure! I'm at the beach house this week, and I am holding my own, no loss, but no gain. Remember the tortoise and the hare? Well I am surely the tortoise in this weight loss game! Slow and steady, but really, this slow?????

Summer PeopleAnyway, I am savoring the lazy, hazy last days of summer. The beach is glorious, the sand warm and the breeze just right. I'm into the final pages of a great beach read ( Summer People, by Elin Hilderbrand) and just about to find out the sex of Beth's  illegitimate grandchild, fathered by her teenage son, who has had a summer romance with Beth's, former high school lover's, daughter, while she is coping with the loss of her husband, who died in a plane crash, while returning from a visit to a prison, where he is defending a woman, who murdered her sister, whose son is now spending the summer on her Nantucket family home, while forming a relationship with her teenage daughter....following me so far??? Hope I didn't spoil it for anyone!

 It was just a nice summer read, and I was enjoying beach......... chair.......... started.......... shaking......I looked up.I looked over my shoulder, thinking someone I knew had come up from behind to teasingly shake my chair.I looked over at my husband who had just been awakened from his nap.Then I looked at other people on the beach. Everyone knew something was up. What we didn't know was that an earthquake of a 5.9 magnitude had occurred in VA. I opened up twitter on my phone and the tweets were pouring in. People felt if all over the east coast and even up into Canada.
Some of the damage!
Now I know you west coasters are giggling a little this morning. I saw the tongue in cheek posts showing damage, where a yogurt cup and spoon are turned on it's side, and a wall picture is askew. I read the posts that said this is just  a regular Tuesday on the west coast. And the photos of the chair on its side with  someone saying " we will rebuild" even made me smile. But we are amatuers at this sort of thing, and it gave us a scare for a minute....or really a few seconds.

 Here was a tweet that I saw:

Dear sassy California people: Now might be a good to remind you that you freak out WHEN IT RAINS.

 And another funny post: Of course, the tables might just turn if a freak snowstorm ever hits San Francisco.
I know this is all my fault. I have had earthquake insurance on my homeowners policy for years. My agent said there is a fault that runs through PA. It didn't cost much, only a few hundred dollars. But when the policy just came up for renewal, I said to myself, this is silly. I told my agent to take it off. So blame this one on me!

Thought for the day: I feel the earth move, under my feet!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Little Engine That Could!

Good morning from Longport, NJ .Spending a week at the shore with the family. My oldest son is coming home from a quick trip to London tonight. My other two sons and fdl ( future daugher in law) are here now. We used to always plan big summer vacations, either to an island or a few times to Italy. But now that we have the house at the shore, it makes sense to gather here and get some use out of our investment. Plus everyone is going in such different directions these days. It's hard to get everyone together. It's nice when it happens. A few days of togetherness and early next week one son will be heading to college in Connecticut, one to his MBA grad school in Indiana, and one to New York to continue job hunting.

I was sitting on the beach yesterday when I read Rosalie's post. What a wonderful accomplishment to meet her goal. Then this morning I logged onto blogger and was going through my dashboard, and saw post after post of good news from all of you. I really felt motivated reading everyones blogs. All so different, but so much good advice. Everyone on a different path of the journey, but all heading towards the same goal of weight loss and better health.

For some reason while thinking over all that I had read, I thought of a book that I loved reading when I was little, and loved reading to my kids. It's called The Little Engine That Could, by Watty Piper.

Here is a quick version I took from Wikipedia in case you don't know the story.

A little railroad engine was employed about a station yard for such work as it was built for, pulling a few cars on and off the switches. One morning it was waiting for the next call when a long train of freight-cars asked a large engine in the roundhouse to take it over the hill "I can't; that is too much a pull for me," said the great engine built for hard work. Then the train asked another engine, and another, only to hear excuses and be refused. In desperation, the train asked the little switch engine to draw it up the grade and down on the other side. "I think I can," puffed the little locomotive, and put itself in front of the great heavy train. As it went on the little engine kept bravely puffing faster and faster, "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can."
As it neared the top of the grade, which had so discouraged the larger engines, it went more slowly. However, it still kept saying, "I--think--I--can, I--think--I--can." It reached the top by drawing on bravery and then went on down the grade, congratulating itself by saying, "I thought I could, I thought I could."

I thought of this book because I have often doubted, and sometimes still do, whether I can reach my goal. I know we all have. It's part of the journey. But all those that did reach their goal, just kept trying and trying, like the little engine, trying to pull that train uphill when it was never sure it could.  It started slowly, but gained momentum and accomplished what it set out to do.

While looking at all of the success I see, and evaluating why I'm the slow loser, I had to ask myself, am I trying as hard as I could? Yes, on most days, but no, on the weekends. For some people like me, that may be the reason their loss is slower. It can also be genetic, hormonal, thryoid disorder or whatever. But it could also be adherence to the plan or lack of it. When coupled with the other issues beyond our control, it can lead to a slower loss. That's where I'm finding myself these days.

 But today I woke up, put on a pair of shorts that were tight in the beginning of the summer and they zipped right up. So there are other ways to measure progress too, even when the scale is inching down ever so slowly. Also another measure of success for me is not having those crazy sugar cravings, or constant feelings of needing to eat something. I am convinced those were swings in my blood sugar that caused those feelings. I really feel so much more control now that sugar is pretty much out of my life.

So I am keeping my goal of climbing up that mountain, just like the Little Engine. It's so nice that I have all of you who have made it over the top or are almost there to guide me along. I think of you often when my motivation is waning. For you it happened. I think I can, turned into I know I can,and it happened. The train reached it's goal. It didn't know it could, but that little train tried and tried, and it did. Just like you!

Thought for the day:  "I--think--I--can, I--think--I--can." It reached the top by drawing on bravery and then went on down the grade, congratulating itself by saying, "I thought I could, I thought I could

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Life in a fishbowl!

I have to admit I love to blog. I discovered when I started this blog, that I really enjoy writing. This blog started out as a way to journal and connect to others following a low sugar, low carb eating plan and trying to lose weight. But besides that, I'm finding that I want to talk about other things going on in my life. I hope you will indulge me when I do because I that's part of who I am too. I love reading all the blogs I follow, and besides the great tips and motivation I get, I really like feeling connected to what others are doing in their lives.

This was weigh in week and I am up a pound. I realized when you are trying something different, people look to you to see if what you are doing is working. Many of you can claim to have not just talked the talk, but walked the walk as well. You've lost weight and succeeded. I struggle and sometimes I feel my credibility isn't so good because I'm not showing how well this program can really work. I struggle, fall off the wagon, get back on, fall again. All the while I am still heading towards a goal, but my, it's a long journey! People are watching what I eat, what I don't eat and looking to see if this time I can really do it. Can I really follow this type of eating plan and make it work?

So I'm thinking that must be how Admiral Bubbles feels most he's being watched. Admiral Bubbles is my fifth pet. He's a fish. I didn't really think of a fish as a pet before. Not a real pet anyway.  But he needs me to feed him, clean his water, and keep him alive. He's dependent on he's a pet.

He didn't start out being mine. He belonged to my son. But then he came home from college break. The trip in the car from Connecticut to Pennsylvania was hard on him. He lost his color for a long while. And that's how he ended up with me. He just couldn't make the trip back. He was stuck in PA, stuck in a fishbowl on a kitchen counter, and stuck with me!

 I tried to spruce up his domain. I added some rocks,  and a little plastic plant I found at Wal Mart. I tried to make his new home comfortable. I figured maybe I would include him in a clever arrangement so he would fit in with my kitchen decor better. I took a tray and put it on the counter. Put some flowers near him, and  a candle. He was now part of a centerpiece!

 So two years later, he is not only still alive, he's thriving. He just got upgraded to a bigger bowl. For him that was like moving from an efficiency apartment to a one bedroom condo.  He watches me and I watch him. He could probably tell me all the things I'm doing wrong. He sees when I sneak alittle extra something here and there. He knows when I overdo the bad stuff.  I wonder if I can teach him how to keep a food journal?

Thought for the day:   You can see a lot by just looking. ~Yogi Berra

Monday, August 15, 2011

Good morning!

 Good morning everyone. Back from the beach. I had such a good week before I left, but those shore weekends tend to really challenge me. Got off track a little over the weekend. Had a big family dinner last night to welcome my son home from Chicago. He just finished an internship there and is home for a few weeks before he starts his senior year of grad school. Meghan, his fiancee was here, as well as my parents. I made some homemade pesto and we had fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and italian bread. Then it was on to bacon wrapped shrimp. Dinner was made by my Mom, and it was a delicious lasagna and meatballs. Salad and fruit completed things, as well as the delicious wines we had with all of the above. I'm not even going to try and figure out how many carbs were in that meal. But that was then, and this is now. Yesterday is in the past. Today is a gift and that is why it's called the present. So as Monday dawns, I renew my commitments, and plan for a great week ahead.

 One of my favorite breakfasts is poached eggs over an ezekial english muffin or toast. I top off the toast with some reduced fat cheddar cheese, a little baby spinach, a tbs. of Chia seeds, and top it off with the poached eggs. 

The ingredients

Break your eggs into a bowl
 Poached eggs are very easy. You don't have to have alot of time or get very fancy. Some people add some vinegar to the water, swirl the water before putting in the eggs and other little tricks. I keep it simple and just add some water to the pot, bring it to a low simmer, crack the eggs into a dish and then gently add them to the water.

I like mine very runny, so I time them for about 1 minute, 15 seconds and then drain them. You have to figure out how large your eggs are and how you like them. It takes a little practice, but for me, I never go longer than 1 1/2 minutes.  I use one of those spider things to drain, them, but a colander, or mesh strainer will work as well.
Gently pour them into the simmering pot of water.
Drain them immediately after timer goes off.
While the eggs are simmering, toast your bread or english muffin in the toaster. Top the toast with some baby spinach leaves, some shredded cheddar and some chia seeds. Top this with your poached eggs. I also like some fresh cracked black pepper, and sometimes alittle hot sauce.

The finshed product. A great way to start the day!
Wishing you all a great week ahead. Start it off with a good breakfast!

 Thought for the day: Welcome every morning with a smile. Look on the new day as another special gift from your Creator, another golden oppotunity to complete what you were unable to finish yesterday. Be a self-starter. Let your first hour set the theme of success and positive action that is certain to echo through your entire day. Today will never happen again. Don't waste it with a false
start or no start at all. You were not born to fail. Og Mandino

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wine post follow up.

Ladies, and gents ( if there are any gentleman followers!) I thank you all for your comments. And I would so love to go tasting with those of you who mentioned it. I love tasting and touring, although I guess for some it could be as exciting as watching paint dry! For me, I love the look and smell of the vineyards, the hurried pace during the crush and the relaxing tempo of the tasting rooms. It's heaven on earth to me, and if I was born a Rockefeller or a child of Bill Gates, I would so set myself up on alittle plot of land in California and grow me some grapes!!!

Dawn had asked a question about why red wine has carbs and white doesn't. I'm sure it has something to do with the juice coming in contact with the skins during the wine making process. I went to a site that had alot of information and is a great site if you ever want wine info. The writer is Lisa Shea and it seems from her blog that she follows the Atkins, low carb diet, so she posted some wine info I found interesting. I'm sharing it here for those who are interested. Hope you all have an awesome day. It's 82, cool, breezy, sunny and gorgeous in Blue Bell, PA today!!!!

 The information I have copied below is from Lisa Shea also has a low carb site and the link is below. I checked it out and there is some great info there. Isn't this little world of blogging wonderful? It takes us to all kinds of places. I started out looking into the carb count of wine and got so much more informtion.

The Calories in Wine

For a 3.5oz glass of wine, which is what many consider 'one glass', the alcohol provides around 80 calories. The calories in a glass of wine come solely from the alcohol in the wine. There are only trace amounts of protein in the wine, 0 grams of fat, and 0.0 grams of saturated fats.
There are about 3 grams of "carbohydrate equivalents", 9mg of calcium, .3mg of iron, and 5g of sodium. For more exact details about the vitamins, minerals and components of a glass of wine, read USDA Carb and Content Information on Wine.
For more about the carb-like activity of wine, read the Wine, Carbs and the Atkins Diet article as well as Wine, Alcohol, and Ethanol - the Chemistry of Wine.
Here are some caloric figures for 'full servings' of wine and wine-like products:
  • 5oz Wine: 100 calories
  • 5oz "Lite" wine: 80 calories
  • 12oz Wine Spritzer: 120 calories
  • 12oz Wine Cooler: 215 calories
How does this compare to other alcohols? A similar "single drink" would be:
  • 12oz can of beer: 146 calories
  • 2.5oz shot of rum/vodka/etc: ~100 - 120 calories
Mixed drinks are even higher in calories because many involve multiple shots, cream, or fruits.
Thinking about your health? Those few extra calories may bring far more healthful benefits per-calorie than just about anything else you could drink. Wine's healthy offerings including protecting against heart disease, cancer, and much more.
If you are dieting, be sure to read about Wine and Calories - How Wine is Metabolized.

Wine is actually VERY unlikely to get turned into fat. However, if you drink a *high alcohol* wine, that alcohol will get used by the body as energy first, before it decides to start using your fat cells. It does that at a rate of 7 calories/gram.
These are all generalizations, though. The true amount of calories in a glass of wine varies from wine to wine.

Atkins, Low Carb and Wine
I also run a Low Carb website so it happens that I do a ton of research into how wine affects health, how wine affects weight loss, and every other combination. I have been on a low carb diet for many years now, and am quite happy and healthy with it. It's important to realize that low carb is NOT about eating tons of fat. It is about eating low SUGAR. It's about avoiding junk food, avoiding processed foods, and focusing on quality vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus and so on.
Cholesterol is one of the key concerns of people on a low carb diet. As you probably know, scientists have now divided cholesterol into groups. There is the "good cholesterol", HDL, which gets fats to be excreted out of your system. And then there is the "bad cholesterol", LDL, which keeps those fats in your blood stream. When the fats hang out in your blood, they tend to stick inside your arteries, clog them up, and cause things like ... death.
Wine, in addition to lowering your blood sugar levels, has also been shown in scientific experiments to increase the amount of HDL found in your bloodstream. So if you have a glass of wine along with that steak, not only do you help depress the blood sugar levels in your body, but you also help bring in some HDL, to counteract the LDL that is flooding your system!
Plus, with the USDA listing carb values of 0.8g to 1.8g per glass of wine, the wine shouldn't even dent your total carb count!

Dark Chocolate Nut Clusters!

I can't remember where I saw or read about making these little treats.  I think it was somewhere on the BFC facebook page or on Jorge's website. But wherever it came from, I changed it up slightly by adding the salt. I just like the sweet and then the little taste of salt. By all means leave it out if you're not weird like me!! You can alter the amounts, more chocolate, less nuts or vice versa. They chill up very fast in the fridge and then you can peel them off the cookie sheet and put them in a container. I store mine in the fridge because I like them cold! I also bought some lavender salt when I was in California and used that last time I made them.

Here are the ingredients I used:

3 bars of dark chocolate, at least 85%
2 or more cups of nuts, rough chopped ( I like macadamia and walnuts)
Fleur de sel, or other fancy large grain salt

1)Line a baking sheet with wax paper

2)Break up chocolate in microwave safe bowl and microwave for 1- 2 minutes stirring intermittently until chocolate is melted

3)Roughly chop nuts and add to melted chocolate

4)Drop a tablespoon full onto the tray spread out like you would do with cookie dough

5)Sprinkle with a few grains of sea salt....or not depending on how you like 'em

6)Chill in the refridgerator about 15-30 minutes

Store in sealed container or in fridge. Calculate the s/c value based on how many your batch makes and the amount of nuts and chocolate you use.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Good wine is a necessity of life for me. ~ Thomas Jefferson

View from our terrace at the Wine Country Inn
Hello Everyone. There has been so much discussion on wine lately that I felt compelled to add my two cents! That's what I love about our blogs. We all give our opinions, and respect each others thoughts, and we certainly get alot of points of view. The topic of wine seems to be a big one though, and I wanted to share my thoughts.

In the champagne caves at Schramsburg, with my son, his fiancee.
When I started the BFC, I was surprised to see that wine ( good wine, not sweet dessert wine) has very little to no sugar. I remember googling it to verify this fact. Sure enough I found it to be true. But as a wine lover and a participant in many wine tours ( I have this deep love of Northern California and the wine country), I remembered some of the wine lessons I learned;fermentation occurs when the yeast consumes the sugar in the grape juice. So wine is not a sugar laden beverage. There are some super sweet dessert type wines, but they are not what most people consume.

I realize there are many schools of thought, as well as some of you, who say you can't lose weight while consuming a couple of glasses of wine a day. Well, wine is a caloric beverage, with little nutritional value. There are some good properties and health benefits associated with red wine, and we all know the Europeans have been enjoying wine with meals from a very young age. It has no fat, a minimal of carbs, little to no sugar. The alcohol componet does make it caloric, so it has the ability to count towards a daily calorie allowance, but there's not alot to it. But to say that you can't lose weight if you have two glasses of wine a day, but you can if you have several slices of bacon, cheese, nuts or chips, doesn't make any sense if you really think about it. I know we don't count calories, but you all know you can't eat unlimited amounts of the "free 0/0 " food. That is the mistake that I have been making. I have been overdoing the bacon, the cheese, the nuts. Staying within my limits, but overdoing nonetheless. I could be wrong, but I believe therein lies my problem, not those two glasses of wine a day. Even though we don't count calories, they do play a role in the loss of weight. That's why some weeks our losses are better than others. If we were to count, we would see that we had too many, even if they did come from belly good foods.

I love wine. It's something I like to read about, talk about and pair food with. I'm not an alcoholic, but I can't imagine going out for a nice meal and not pairing a glass of wine with it. It may seem strange to some, but I don't get cigars or golf, yet I would never dare to tell those that are passionate about those things, that it doesn't make sense to me. It's just not my thing.

I did lose this week, and it was a big loss for me, 3 lbs. I had gained the week before, so I was playing catch up, but I had my two, ( and a few more on the weekends) glasses of wine each day. I did cut out the extra cheese, bacon, nuts, and cut back on one carb each day. I think that was the difference

So I guess what I'm trying to say is, I do think it can be worked into the program. Can you have your wine and all your 6 carbs too? That I'm not so sure about. I have the sugar under control, but I am struggling with the carbs. So that's what I'm working on. But my wine, well that's another story. That bottle of Sean Minor Pinot Noir I shared when we went out to dinner tonight was delicious, and it made my seared scallops and spinach all the more heavenly. I passed on the bread though! And that's where I'm concentrating my efforts on. Cheers!

Future daughter-in-law and me listening intently to our wine guide!
Late afternoon champagne on the terrace at Mumm

Drinking good wine with good food in good company is one of life's most civilized pleasures."--- Michael Broadbent
Hubby finally gets in a photo!
Wine tasting at Jordan vineyards

Back on cruise control!

Good day everyone. I've missed blogging lately but I have been following everyone. I really enjoy all of your posts. Wouldn't it be great if we were closer and we could meet one day every couple of weeks to catch up and chat in person? We sure are spread out all over the place!

Today was weigh in day and I am happy to report that I lost 3 lbs from last week. I had gained last week, so I lost that and 6/10 more. So I am happy, and I know that the reason is that I got serious this week. I have been really portioning, and making my lunch ahead of time so it's ready in the fridge, and I also cut back on the bread for breakfast. Only one slice of Ezekial instead of two. I don't count calories per se, but the app that I use to track my food does. I pick for it to track sugar, carbs, fiber and it tracks a fourth category as well, so I pick calories. I could see by the amount that I was eating in a day, even staying within the BFC guidelines, that I was way overdoing it. I realized that I had to make some changes, or I would just be hanging around the same weigh forever. It's amazing how I lost just by doing those few things for the last few days.

I have been working alot too, and it helps to have stuff planned and ready when I need it.I've been packing a lunch in the morning and snacks too. Even when I'm working from home, it helps to just stop for a break and everything is a ready.

 So I finally got my son to take a photo of me to post this week. I would like to see my progress as I go on this journey. So here's the good the bad and the ugly!! I couldn't find a place in the house with a neutral and/or empty background, so he just took it in my bedroom. I used to take pretty good photos when I was younger, but now I'm never happy with how I look. I'm hoping this will change for the better soon!

So thanks to all of you again for following along and for all your wonderful blogs. It is nice to have our little group for support. Until next time!

Thought for the day: There is no telling how many miles you will have to run while chasing a dream. ~Author Unknown

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Evil Jungle Princess!

It's a humid, cloudy, post rainy Sunday morning here in PA. Just took the dogs for a walk and feel like I need a shower. I got up refreshed from a great night's sleep. I am enjoying the life of a single girl, even if only for a weekend. Some of the guys should be home shortly.

Yesterday, even though it was supposed to be a Pattie day, I ended up doing work and catching up on stuff that will need to be done for work this week. I felt good to get that out of the way. Then I did a few errands, and got takeout Thai food while I was out.

My favorite dish is called Evil Jungle Princess. It's chicken and veggies (eggplant, onions, carrots, broccoli) in this very light, thin, orange sauce. The offical description says "boldly spiced chicken, sauteed with vegetable medley and flavored with exotic herbs and spices". I think I taste some coconut in there, and it does have some spices with some kick to it. They serve it with white rice. I asked for brown but they didn't have it. So I put alittle of the rice into the concoction, stirred it together and ate in on my deck with a nice glass of Chardonnay, and a few new magazines that came in the mail. It was quiet and peaceful and very relaxing. I forgot to take a photo to post, so I looked online and found a recipe on a blog for it. I think it would fit in ok on the BFC. The one I ordered has different veggies, but I don't think it would matter what veggies you put in. I'll post the recipe at the end.

After dinner, I curled up on the sofa and watched Eat, Pray, Love,. I enjoyed it and even shed a few tears in some parts. The 'eat' part of the movie was alittle hard to watch. She was in Italy and all the pasta and pizza reminded of the two times I was there. My mouth was watering, especially for their pizza. It was so good, and one of the best food memories along with the gelato!

I made myself a little dessert to top off my evening., I melted one of my dark chocolate nut clusters ( I promise I will post this reipe soon) and added some blueberries and redi whip. Stirred it all together, and it was like a sundae with the nuts and melted chocolate. So delish! I confess I over did it alittle on the berries. And that brings me to my next thought.

I really think that if I am to be honest, I don't lose the way I should because I overdo my portions. Even the stuff that we are allowed to have that's 0/0 in sugar and carbs, like cheese and mayo, I am overdoing it on. The same with nuts. I really have to get strict with this, or I will just be treading water here and not moving forward.

Today, because I felt like I had the time, I went through alot of the blogs looking at what everyone eats. I pulled out the BFC book and now I am going to come up with a plan for 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 5 dinners that I can make, and especially quick ones when I'm working or in a hurry. I need to have a written plan, and not the 'hmmmm., let's see what shall I have for insert meal  today' plan. So that is my goal for today. To put all this great info that you all share and is written in the book into a working plan for the week.

I have a birthday coming up in 2 weeks and I have set a little goal to reach. It's a high goal, but I'm going to go for it. If I fall short, at least I will be closer to my goal. I know it's better to set short, attainable goals, but I just want to go for it this time and see if I really get strict, really count and track, and increase my activity, if I can do it. Wish me luck!

Thai Style Evil Jungle Princess from

This has long been my favorite to get at Thai restaurants! I was thrilled when I found this recipe and tried it out right away! It was so good! The kids were licking not only their plates, but the serving bowl by the end of dinner. I didn't make it too spicy - between a 1 and 2 but next time I might make it a bit spicier so I can have leftovers! ;)

Thai Style Evil Jungle Princess

1 TBSP olive oil (or Peanut)
6 garlic cloves peeled and minced
1 1/2 stalks lemongrass chopped into 1" - 4" pieces (variety is fun!)
4 TBSP lime zest (or 6 Kaffir lime leaves, softened in warm water)
4 8 oz chicken breasts, skinned and sliced into pieces
1 C coconut milk
1 C chicken broth
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp sugar
10-12 fresh mint leaves, chopped
4 TBSP fish sauce (I left this out, since I had none... I just added a small amount of salt toward the end of cooking)
2 tsp cayenne pepper - or to taste
6 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 C finely chopped red cabbage
1 C finely chopped Chinese cabbage (or regular - that is what we used!)
1 2/3 enoki mushrooms (I didn't use these but might next time!)

Cooked Rice if desired

Heat the oil in a large skillet or Wok and add the garlic. Cook until oil is infused with garlic and add the lemongrass, lime zest, and chicken. Stir fry chicken until no longer pink. Add coconut milk, chicken stock, and chili powder and stir fry until chicken turns white and sauce has cooked down into a coating cream. Stir in the sugar, mint leaves, and fish sauce. Add your cayenne, keeping in mind that how much you add will determine the 1-5 heat factor. I would say that 1 1/2 tsp was about a 1.5 on the heat scale. A little spicy, but still fine for kids. Stir in lemon to suit your taste.

Put the sliced cabbage and mushrooms into a hot skillet with a little chicken broth or water (just enough to cause steam) and allow to heat through (I did 8 minutes or so)

Serve the cabbage over rice (if desired) and top it all with the evil jungle princess! YUM!!!

***NOTE - towards the end I wanted it a little saucier so I added more coconut milk (about 1/2 cup) so it was a little thinner... but still awesome and it went farther that way! Woooo hooooo;)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Wishing you a restful weekend!

Hydrangeas from my garden. They make me smile!
Hello Everyone. Happy Friday. Hope it was a good week for all. Sorry I have been a little out of touch. I think I mentioned once before that I work for my husband. I am a nurse, but actually run his medical practice. It takes up almost as much time as a full time job, but I am able to do alot of the business end of things from my home office. One of our staff is out sick for awhile, and I  just found out, may not be returning, so I will have to cover all day Monday and Friday for her, until I hire and train someone. I'm trying not to feel sorry for myself, but it's frustrating when you put time into training and teaching someone and then they leave and you have to start all over with someone new. Those two days let me have alittle more "me" time, but now I'll be up and out the door at 7 and somedays not returning until 6 or 7.

But I really rely on you my blogger friends, and I will be checking in and keeping in touch. It might be a little harder to post more than a few times a week. But I'll do my best.
I'm getting better with my photos too, so I will try and post more of them. I promise to post my chocolate nut cluster things later this week. They are so good and BFC friendly!

 Hope you all enjoy the warm weather. It's sure hot here in PA! I am staying put this weekend and not traveling to the shore. Hubby and the boys are down, well two of the boys and three of their friends. I need to just chill out here with the dogs. Work is about 30 minutes closer to the shore than my PA home, so with the dogs, I would have had to leave work, drive back 30 minutes, get the dogs, and turn around and drive the other direction to New Jersey in rush hour traffic. Just wasn't feeling it!

So dinner tonight with my folks, and tomorrow I plan to catch up on a few things, maybe get a much needed mani/pedi and just relax by the pool. I need these alone days sometimes! It rejuvenates me. Living in a house with all men ( one hubby and three sons) and all male dogs can be a bit much sometimes. Even though two of the boys are not home for the summer, their visits can wear me out, even though I love them. That male testosterone!

Hope you all have a great weekend, whatever you do!

Until next time:

Thought for the day:

Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop - Ovid


Tuesday, August 2, 2011


A great big thanks to all of you who answered the questions I posed. There was alot of cutting and pasting, but I think I got all the answers organized under each question. All of your ideas and tips were great. I love to see things through other people's eyes and there was some great advice given. So big drumroll are the answers!!!

1) You are with a group and everyone is ordering takeout from the pizza/sub shop for dinner. What would you order? 
  • a salad w/tuna and some veggies.
  • Small pizza with whatever toppings you love. I put all the toppings on 2 crusts and eat the 2 crusts. If they don't fit on 2 crusts, I eat the toppings off and leave the crusts on the plate. I have been asked many times if something was wrong with the pizza! This amazes my friends because I can eat all that and still lose.
  •  at the pizza/sub shop today I'd get a salad. If I were eating wheat I'd eat a slice of pizza and a salad.  
  • I would order a sub and eat it without the bread, or I would put the sub fillings in a smart and delicious totilla or ezekiel bread
2) You go to a baby shower or other ladies event and there are sandwich trays, chips and dips, fruit trays, pasta salad, and cake and candy. What do you choose?
  • take a sandwich and leave the bread
  • I went to a baby shower recently and I just ate the chips and salsa. I may have had a grape or 2? I am more focused on the sugar than the carbs!
  •  at the shower I'd eat some chips and dip (portion out 10 chips or so b/c that's about a serving), and have a few berries. I'd skip the cake. Regardless. 
  •  I would take the sandwich and leave the bread and have several pieces of fruit. I would drink lots of water, coffee or iced tea to fill me up and keep my hands occupied.
3) What do you order at a fast food restaurant?
  • chicken strip or hamburger wrapped in lettuce and a side salad
  •  at the Fast Food restaurant, I'd do a bunless burger. If I were doing well the rest of the day, I'd have some fries too.  
  • We just went to McD's on the way out of town Saturday. I had the Southern chicken sand. It is supposed to be like Chik fil a...not even close:( But I ate the chicken patty with mayo and the dill pickles and threw the bun away. I would have eaten 1/2 the bun, but it "wasn't worth the calories" fresh. I also eat a lot of chicken strips when I eat fast food. 
  •  a hamburger with no ketchup and eat it without the bun and I would share an order of fries.
4) You go to a restaurant and they bring out hot fresh baked artisan bread with cold butter. Is it okay to eat those carbs if you count them in your total?
  • a small piece
  • This is one thing I really try and stay away from. My Sailor daughter only wanted an Italian restaurant before she left. I knew if I went I would eat their bread that is LOADED with garlic dripping butter. I ate 5 pieces. Keep in mind I would have eaten the whole basket and asked for more in the past.
  •  Today I'd skip the bread, but if I were eating bread I'd have a piece and count it in my carbs, unless I were going to choose pasta for my dinner, then I wouldn't.  
  •  Starting to eat the bread would be hard because once I start I don't want to stop, so I would only have a small piece if I was feeling strong to stop at one.
5) What salad dressing to you choose for your salad when you are out and can't check the nutritional labels?
  • cesar
  • I always eat ranch dressing. I think it has either no sugar, or 1 sugar. I love ranch with everything.
  •  blue cheese. Although last time I went out I asked the manager what the label said and HE LOOKED IT UP!
  •  I would ask for dressing on the side and have either blue cheese, ranch, balsamic vin.
6) How do you handle going to someone's house for a dinner when you have no idea what will be served?
  • don't panic, just eat the meat and veggie
  • You are lucky to be invited:) I think we can always eat meat, some salad and if you need something more, a small slice of bread or potato.
  •  If it's possible, I talk to the hostess before I go somewhere. This is where the wheat free helps out tremendously. People look at you much less oddly when you are not eating wheat than if you are not eating sugar. Go figure. Anyhow, put yourself in your hosts' shoes - if you are having someone over, don't you want to serve them food that they are going to enjoy? It's your responsibility as a guest to make your needs clear. That being said, if that's not an option, I'd just do the best I could with what I was served. And look at it like a good opportunity to spend time with friends. Food is secondary. :) 
  •  I have a snack before going to someone's house for dinner,that is still a work in progress for me :)
7) What do you pack for a brown bag lunch?
  • smart & delicious wheat tortilla w/meat and cheese
  •  I would pack my usual sandwich, on a sandwich thin, and a small baggie of chips. Again, this is a lifestyle. I would rather eat a small amount of chips, than to never eat a chip again.
  •  hard boiled eggs, celery, cheese, peanut butter and no sugar jelly sandwich. :) Eat what you love, love what you eat!  
  •  Salads or sandwiches on ezekiel bread, baby bell cheese, celery and cucumbers with hummus
8) If you were to plan so BFC friendly appetizers that others would enjoy, what would you serve?
  • That dubliner cheese and artichoke dip w/celery
  • My BFC appetizer for my recent get together was little smokies in crescent rolls. Everyone else ate them whole, I ate them sans the roll:)
  •  I had friends over last week and served celery sticks, deviled eggs, sliced chicken lunchmeat and cheese crispiees. If I would have had any tortilla chips, I would have served those with salsa.
  • an assortment of meats and cheese, olives, maybe some low sugar veggies and tzatziki.
I told you how I really like it when you write what you ate. I am trying to write down what I ate each day. I'm not too good at that. So here it goes for yesterday;

1 ezekial english muffin, topped with reduced fat cheddar cheese, chia seeds, 2 poached eggs
coffee with cream and stevia drops
total s/c - 0/2

wrap made with chicken, lettuce, ranch dressing, cheese, onion
small bag of chips
green iced tea with stevia
s/c - 1/2

afternoon snack one piece of dark chocolate nut cluster ( I am going to post the recipe soon)
iced coffee with cream and stevia and benefiber
s/c - 2/1

dinner out at Houlihans, shared tuna appetizer with hubby
chicken breast topped with cheese and bacon and side of ginger cole slaw ( no roll)
2 glasses of wine
s/c- 0/1

pm snack 1 glass of red wine and one square of dark chocolate
s/c - 2/1

exercise: 30 minutes of elliptical at the gym
Until next time:

Thought for the day: Questions focus our thinking!