Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Day 29 - Weigh In... Ugh

Well, we could just chalk it up to having had the flu last week and being dehydrated. Or that the lack of eating for 3 days stunted my metabolism. Or we could say that I'm bloated. but let's be honest here: my 3.2 lb. weight gain this week (222.4 lbs. now) is likely the result of eating a whole bynch of processed foods and way too much refined sugar.


It's my own fault and I was fully aware of what I was doing when I was doing it. It comes from boredom. It comes from not eating a responsible breakfast. It comes from allowing a little bit of sugar in creating that blood-sugar high and crash, thus needing more to pull out of the nose dive. Shame on my choices.

...The only positive in all of this? I know what I did and I admit it to myself. I'm not sitting here acting delusional saying, "I have no idea how this happened! I tracked and got in my GHGs, and I only used my allotted weekly points!" Nope. I know why. The question is: how am I going to do better this week?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Day 22- Weigh In, Tamales and a Bug

I know. Crazy title for a blog post, right? Well it actually fully encapsulates my last 3 days.

I did in fact have that amazing tamale party with my sister, her fiancee, my nephew, my brother and his girlfriend, and my hubby and my boys. And it was wonderful! I know I promised a post regarding this delicious event and you will get it tomorrow along with my review of The Last Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe You'll Ever Need To Know.In the mean time, enjoy this picture of the final product, a picture that was barely taken before I devoured one of my favorite foods. :)

This was the pork filled tamale. We also did a beef filled one. Yum.

Which brings me to why I haven't told you about that delicious Sunday yet... This year's flu bug found it's way into my home. Well, more specifically it found me. I'm the only one in the house that didn't get a flu shot and I'm paying for it. :(  Today, however, is the best I've felt since Saturday. So I'm on the upswing. (And considering today's my birthday, it's a pretty good birthday gift!)

Speaking of great birthday gifts... Weigh in results: -4.4 lbs! And I believe only part of this had to do with being sick. From last Wednesday through Sunday I tracked all of my food, ate responsibly and got in my GHGs (Good Healthy Guidelines). I even ate within reason on Sunday when we indulged in homemade tamales and terrifically sweet, caramel-y, salty cookies. Granted, the fever I was running for two days probably burned a bunch of stored fuel (yes, it's stored fuel, not chub... at least in my head).

This week's goals: Continue to get in my GHGs like last week, but while reducing the processed foods. I need to focus on eating more whole foods. It was the cornerstone to my success pre-baby and I need to get back there. So here's to another fantastic week!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Day 17 - Today's Meal Challenge

I'm so excited! I have a couple's date today with my hubby and a married couple friend of ours :)  We're going to do an early lunch at Panera. This could be difficult, but utilizing online resources I'm able to plan ahead and figure out what I want within reason (sooooooo much stuff there is really sooooooooo not good) and that I can be content and happy with. Eating out now requires planning ahead, but I'm good with that, especially when I'll be rewarded with a tinier waistline! So, what am I going to have?
Panera's pic, not mine :)
  •  A Pick Two lunch combo (which I always like to get anyways) with a half tuna sandwich on Honey Wheat bread, and a cup of broccoli cheddar soup (Panera's broc/cheddar soup is my ABSOLUTE. FAVORITE. SOUP. EVER! So, win!)
  • A sugar free skinny vanilla latte
  • Possibly share a Peanut butter dream cookie with the hubs. 
I'm not usually one to share yummy cookies from Panera. I'll munch on it through the day, but It would be the 'pointy-est' item of the meal, even at half of a cookie. So we'll see if I feel like splurging once my meal is complete. If I can walk out of there peanut butter cookie free, I will have had a minor victory against my typical eat-cause-I-wanna behavior. I want to show the world that YOU CAN have a social life and go out and enjoy treats and still lose weight!


Again, not my pic. I'll post mine Monday :)
This weekend will hold more food challenges. I have the tamale party with my siblings on Sunday (which makes me sooooooooo happy!). We're making everything from scratch, right down to braising the beef to begin and layering everything into corn husks. I'll share on Monday.

Also, and this will be a test of my strength, but I think I can handle it, I'm going to test out this new chocolate chip cookie recipe I found yesterday. I know they will not be point friendly, but the experimental baker in me has to have a go at the methods and their results. And as soon as I find that the recipes truly is The Last Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe You Will Ever Need, I'll gladly share the source with you. But not until I can personally vouch for it as a pastry chef :) 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Day 15 - Weigh In Number 2

I lost again this week :)  Not as much as my unrealistic hopes, but I know better.

Another 1.8 pounds down this week and a little over an inch lost all around which brings my actual weight to 223.6 lbs. I'll take it! Especially considering I had a couple rough days. But I kept myself accountable and on track and it paid off. Here's to an even better week this week!

What are my plans? Getting all of my GHG's (good healthy guidelines) in and planning my week's menus according to the TAMALE PARTY I'm hostessing with my siblings this weekend! It's the theme we chose to explore next after sushi night. This one excites me more than you could imagine! I <3 tamales :) And of course, I'll share the making of them and my photos.

For now, time for a smoothie... in a bowl.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Day 14 - The "Make or Break" Point

I'm putting chia seeds on hold. Obviously :)

Instead, I'm going to share my 'want' list with you. What is my 'want' list, you may ask? It's the things I want for myself parallel with my weight loss. I did this the first time around and it was empowering to state what I wanted for myself, to really put me first in this journey and make me and my wants important. So, here's my current list (I'm not looking at my last list prior to writing this one, it'll be interesting to see what's changed and stayed the same!)...

  1. I want to wear cute clothes! I loved finally getting into cute stuff and not having such a limited selection on my last go around. I sooooooo look forward to wearing cute stuff!
  2. I want my knees to not hurt.
  3. I want my pants to not slouch down below my crack line. It's brutally honest, I know. But it's a biggie for me. Curvy girls will agree, it sucks to constantly be thinking about your own plumber's butt.
  4. I want to not have my stomach hang over the counter when I lean over to do dishes. It gets soaked and it further highlights my chub. 
  5. I want to feel my husbands hands around my waist like they are completely wrapping me, not as though they are stretching like Spandex. 
  6. I want to be able to keep up with my kids.
  7. I want more energy.
  8. I want, DESPERATELY, the complete confidence walking out the door every day to face the world as just Kara. Not as chubby-girl-behaving-slightly-awkwardly-to-unsucessfully-hide-her-fat. It doesn't fool anyone.
  9. I want to prove to the world that you can eat delicious things, everyday foods, and lose weight. I can't stand the idea of eliminating food groups, living off of liquids, 3 day diets, pills, and letting someone else do the thinking and work for you by having food delivered to your door.
  10. Lastly, I want to conquer the world with cake. (For all my newbie followers, I'm a pastry professional specializing in wedding cakes and special occasion cakes. Go see here: When I'm comfortable in my own skin, I'm comfortable with asserting myself and taking charge of anything I set my mind to. Domino effect, I suppose. But man, I miss that feeling!
As I did once before, please feel free to state what YOU want for yourself in the comments below. Let the world know where you want to go. Say it out loud and make it real!

OH! Wait! One last thing I want...

I want to be featured on a Weight Watcher's commecial :) If I get to my goal, which is 100 pounds lost, I'm sure they would love another poster child! And if I get to my final weight I will have lost 115 pounds, then they can't ignore me :)  *Center of attention complex*

Friday, January 4, 2013

Day 10 - Didn't I Just Get Done Telling Me So?


I have eaten horribly today. The only positive is that I owned my decisions by tracking them and coming here to take responsibility. It's not the end of the world and I'm still on plan. I'm sitting in the kitchen right now typing and have decided that I'm not going to continue on this path this evening. I'm going to make myself a cup of Stash's Wild Raspberry Hibiscus tea. It's deep pink. It's sweet. It'll make me happy and fill the I'm-cranky-so-I-want-to-eat-everything-in-sight void.

Tomorrow's a new day to succeed. And I promise I'll share my chia seeds tomorrow. I think they're the same one used on the Chia Pet. At least my hubby thinks so. :)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Day 9 - I Told Me So

Remember a couple days ago how I mentioned that if I don't get breakfast in early I get ravenously hungry by evening?


That was today.

But I was responsible about it. I did have a good breakfast (a smoothie in a bowl). I ate kinda junky the rest of the day, but I accounted for it all and can call it quits for the day now. I know it's not going to derail me... But now my tummy hurts. : /

Tomorrow: The chia seed!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Day 8 - First Weigh-In


Week 1 loss... 5 pounds! I'm thrilled and that much more committed today than I was even yesterday. These little things help so much in keeping me on track day after day. Seeing results allows me to more easily be reasonable about my food and eating choices. :) So happy! And guess what? I ate sushi (and quite a bit of it), a chocolate strawberry cake that I made on the fly upon request after the sushi that night (it had scratch milk chocolate whipped cream, too-- I just can't help it, I'll always be influenced by my pastry background), and ice cream on more than one occasion. All of the good healthy foods help the body to more efficiently burn everything. 

I missed feeling like this :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Days 6 & 7 - Sushi and 2013

SUSHI! I completely forgot to post my sushi escapades yesterday, and it was soooooo fun! So here it is.

I watched a bunch of videos on YouTube about sushi making, which I'll include at the bottom. These sushi Chef's are amazing to me! So clean and precise through the whole process. I may have been culinarily trained, but the exactitude and respect for their craft that show is mind blowing to me!

It really was simple, but not easy (yes, those two terms can coexist). I got all of the ingredients from my local Wegman's, including the bamboo rolling mat and a package of chop sticks. The ingredients were simple for me: sweet potato, avocado, red pepper, cucumber, shrimp, crab and peanuts. (I had a craving for a couple specific combinations that I had a year ago at a little sushi place near The Culinary Institute).

The pics aren't step-by-step, but I got so excited about creating sushi rolls that I kind of forgot :) I had my sister, brother and his girlfriend over and my hubby joined us when he returned from work. The kiddos in the house weren't really into this so it was the grown-ups having a sushi experimenting party.

The vegetable ingredients prepped and ready to go. Sweet potato is easiest to handle if it has been boiled and allowed to cool under refrigeration for a few hours. Don't try cutting while it's warm, it'll become mashed, you want sticks.
More ingredients: the peanuts are slightly chopped and marinated in soy sauce for 30 minutes, and nori, or roasted seaweed sheets. For the inside out rolls I cut the square sheets of nori in half; the whole sheet would have been necessary if I were rolling them with the seaweed on the outside.

The nori is on my table here and I've patted down the seasoned sticky rice rice over the whole thing, overlapping the long edges slightly. To season the sticky rice I found a number of methods but I used a bit of rice vinegar, salt and sugar. Some call for just rice vinegar. From here I transferred the rice and nori RICE SIDE DOWN to the plastic covered bamboo mat and laid my chosen ingredients in a line across the middle and began rolling. See the videos below on technique. It's pretty neat!
My rolled sushi! I was so proud of me :) I've never done this before and got so enthusiastic that I made waaaaaay too much. Waaaaay too much.
This is the sweet potato avocado roll that I was craving. I also made a peanut avocado roll remembering the yummy one from a year ago. I dipped them in a bit of soy sauce using my chop sticks, and I made everyone else use chop sticks, too.
This was so much fun! We all decided it would be fun to gather every couple weeks and make from scratch some new food that we've never made... Next up: tamales!!!

YouTube videos that I used:

Enjoy and have fun! They all say the same thing, you're only limited by your own creativity when it comes to flavor and ingredients!

2013 - No Resolutions

I don't believe in resolutions. I did at one point in time, but I found for myself, like many others, just using a new day of a new year as the reason to change something about me doesn't work. In fact, it sends me spiraling in the other direction pretty quickly. I think setting new goals for yourself when you're ready to commit to change is the best way to set yourself up for success.

Serious and lasting weight loss is a journey and a lifestyle change and commitment. Being ready is key. In my initial weight loss journey prior to pregnancy I committed in many ways: I threw out every bit of clothing that I under-grew as soon as it was too big (not allowing myself the comfort to gain weight again); enlisted the complete support of my family to eat healthier foods and not bring trigger foods into the house; I was honest with myself and world and allowed myself to feel accountable to you, my virtual audience; I talked openly to friends thus gaining their support and admiration; I tracked every bit of food that entered my mouth--this is key! you need to be fully aware of your habits and understand that even little tastes and nibbles add to caloric intake; being ready to address that there are reasons that we eat the way we do and that other areas of our lives need to be healed and need to change along with just food and activity.

It's not easy, but when I started seeing the scale continually rewarding my commitment, I gained more and more motivation. It became a wonderfully addicting feeling to succeed and get closer and closer to my goal. And if I did have little set backs, they were easier to take when I knew that if I was honest about my behavior and kept plugging away, my body would reward me.

So, no resolutions. Today is the same as yesterday for me. I recommitted 7 days ago, and having nothing to do with the new year. It had everything to do with readiness.

Tomorrow: Weigh-in results!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Day 5 - Smoothie In A Bowl

Breakfast time for me is a make or break time of the day. I know two things to be true for the first meal of the day for me:
  1. If I put off eating till, say, afternoon, I don't get the hunger pangs and cravings.
  2. If I don't just buck up and eat a breakfast featuring fiber and protein I'll be in binge mode by nightfall.
To help focus on number two and avoid number one, I make SIABs...Or 'smoothie in a bowl'.  I first got this idea from a cool blogger named Kathy. She writes a great healthy food blog called KERF- Kath Eats Real Food. Many of my best breakfasts are thanks to her.

This mornings smoothie was fantabulous! Let me show you :)

I'm such a perfectionist... That little bit running down the inside of the bowl at 5 o'clock in the picture is driving me CRAZY!!! And I already ate it, so I can't snap another shot. Please forgive me.

What's in it? Well there's a base that I always star with, but I improvise to suit my cravings.

  • 1/3 cup raw rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup fat free milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Chia seeds*
  • 1/2 cup vanilla or plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups frozen fruit (this is also changeable, which makes tailoring it so easy and fun!)
The frozen fruit were strawberries and peaches. My typical toppings (which are shown here):
  • 1 whole sliced banana
  • 14 grams shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1 Tablespoon Justin's Chocolate Almond Butter** softened in the microwave to make it drizzle-able
How do I prepare it? Well, the oats need to be softened with the milk. You can do this overnight by just placing both of them in the bowl of your food processor or blender, or heat them together gently over a low flame just before blending. I also add the Chia seeds at the same time to soak up some of the milk and get soft. After the oats and Chia have softened, I scoop it all into the food processor with the fruit and yogurt and blend away. You could put the banana in, too, but I prefer slices atop my bowl. More chewing action. Drizzle/sprinkle your toppings and then omnomnomnomnom!

For weight watchers this bowl provided: 1 serving low-fat/fat free dairy and 5 serving of fruit (wow!). Also, with the Chia seeds you get tons of wonderful Omega-3's and lots of fiber. They keep you feeling fuller longer. Yum...

Tomorrow: The results of the sushi making evening.

*Chia seeds... I use Bob's Red Mill. I met Bob (yes, the real Bob) last Fall and toured his facilities. I was impressed by his genuine nature, good heart, and commitment to wholesome, healthy, delicious foods. He's kinda the Grandpa everyone would want to have ;) Find this in your local grocery store's health food/natural food section, or specialty stores. He has TONS of gluten free products too.

 ** Justin's Chocolate Almond Nut Butter... Yum. Just yum. Find this also in the health foods/natural foods section of your local grocer. He has quite a variety of nut butters and flavors of them. And they also come in individual squeeze packs. Traveling packages of deliciousness. Oh my.

And just an FYI-- I'm not paid by any of the companies whose products I review or drool publicly over. They don't send sample or anything like that. I find good tips from others online or see them in my grocery store and like anyone else I figure, "Eh, what the hay... If I don't like it, I'll give it to the kids." :)  But if anyone wants to send me free yummy sample I would gladly review them. But I'm brutally honest. So it better be good. LOL

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Day 4 - Sushi-ish Issues

I've been craving sushi. Not seafood sushi, veggie roll style.

When I was pregnant with my last little one (that cute munchkin over there ------>) I went out for sushi with a bunch of friends. Even if I liked seafood, I wouldn't have been able to eat it raw, so I ordered some veggie rolls to "fit in", hoping that I would be able to stomach them. You know- just being social.

I ordered sweet potato rolls and peanut-avocado rolls. O.M.G. I never knew I liked Asian cuisine this much!

So I got a hankering for it today walking through my local and beloved Wegman's*. I picked up some sweet potato sushi made fresh by their in-house sushi chefs. Also, I've convinced myself that my culinary background has given me enough backbone to try to make it myself... So tomorrow I'll be making the peanut-avocado. I'll post pics. It'll be epic. Either epic great, or epic fail. I'll let you know : )

These are my rolls that I bought. But they're the same thing. This I found on

*Don't know what Wegman's is? Check out this awesome video of Alec Baldwin talking about his mom refusing to leave her home due to Wegman's : )   It's a funny clip, but long. Watch from 2:15-3:45ish. It's so funny! He actually did a series of commercials for them after this... And I've included those here too! LOL

Friday, December 28, 2012

Day 3 - Successful Aches

Well, my first 2.45 days restarting my journey have been good and successful. I've already seen results on the evil numerical monitor that resides in my bathroom, though nothing is official till Wednesday's weigh-in.

I do have one complaint, however. My knees are killing me again! They last hurt like this when I originally started my weight-loss journey April 3rd, 2011. But now I'm 20 pounds less than I was then. So what gives? I figured it out this morning...

Though I'm no longer at that original weight, I still carry it around in the form of an ever-growing munchkin. :)  even more reason to get back to healthy, to keep up with him!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Day 2 - Motivation from the Boobs

Reason Number... oh I don't know... I want to again lose weight:

Once again my body doesn't match my boobs. They look much happier on a healthy sized me. (I never said all of reasons for wanting to lose weigh were altruistic!)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Day 1 (Decmber 26th, 2012)

New Info (as of December 26th, 2012)

Since my last regular posting we have had many, many things changed in our lives. New baby. No more working for me. Move across NY state from NYC area to Buffalo. It's been an adjustment and I have to wrap my head around weight loss differently now. As of this day, I am recommitting and starting over. This is no longer an extenuation of my original 100 pound, 365 day journey. It's different because life is different. Time to adjust and get back to healthy. It won't be the same and I can't expect to succeed in the same way now as I have in the past.

So let's get on with it!

My current (and scary) stats:
  • Weight: 230.4 lbs. I was 207 a month ago. This was the lowest I got after baby #3 and before beginning to gain again. Still not my highest weight ever, but scares the ever-loving bejeezus out of me.
  • Eating habits until today: any and everything without thought, but always in response to boredom, stress and lack of energy to make anything healthy.
  • My hubby is along for the ride intentionally this time, which will be a huge help for me. He came along last time because I gave him no choice with being the food buyer/preparer in the house. This time he is going to face this challenge and revamp of lifestyle head on. Thank you my Love :)
So today I start over at Day 1. New lifestyle, new challenges ahead, new commitment.   

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Day 260 - Weigh In, Humor, and Thai Peanut Chicken

Hi! : )

I'm a much happier Kara this Sunday morning. I lost 3 lbs last week! Bringing my current weight to 207.8. This a good start to the new week. I would like to thank the water that I was better about drinking and my GHGs that (mostly) got in every day. Working the plan!

So... I promised a recipe for the amazing Thai Peanut Chicken that I posted yesterday. Here you go:

Thai Peanut Chicken


- 1 large chicken breast or 2 small
- 1 box SnapDragon Roasted Peanut Chow Mein Noodles (see pic below)
- I small jar of Thai peanut sauce (Asian section of the supermarket)
- 1 large red bell pepperm sliced to 1/4"
- 4 cups fresh snow peas, packed
- baby corn (sometimes you can find them fresh in the produce section (holla to Wegman's supermarkets for having these fresh always!) or you can find canned ones, again Asian section- and they aren't that bad!)

To make it:

1. Saute over medium-high heat the chicken breasts till golden on both sides. Finish cooking to 165 degrees in a 350 degree oven.
2. Prepare the Roasted Peanut noodles according to the package. Do not over boil the noodles or they become gross and sticky. While the noodles are boiling prep your veggies!
3. Place peppers in a Zip 'n' Steam bag. Microwave for 2.5 minutes.
4. The baby corn should be fully ready to cook/eat. Prepare the same as your peppers.
5. Wash the snow peas in cool water. No need to steam them, they'll become too soft and limp. Yup, I said limp. No one wants limp peas.
6. Finish preparing the noodles with the chopped peanut and spice package 
7. Toss all ingredients, including teh Thai Peanut Sauce, into the pot with the prepared chow mein noodles and toss to coat. Place the lid on and add a touch of chicken stock to keep moist, allow all ingredients to come to the same temp.

This recipe makes 5-6 servings with amount of veggies I specified at 11 Points Plus. Add more veggies to cut the PP values for Weight Watchers. I love baby corn and could even take out the chicken for more peppers and baby corn : ) This is fantastic and is easy and quick to prepare.

I found these in the Asian section of the supermarket. Walmart also sells them as well as many on-line sellers.

 Oh! The humor! I mentioned Kat (from a board on WW) yesterday and how she helped me put some things in perspective. I posted a new profile pic there to keep my mind and attitude light. I thought I would share it with you too.
Curious about this scary and odd image? Click here!
Enjoy your Sunday!

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