Friday, April 30, 2010

Other Things on Laura's Mind

Ok, so y'all are probably sick of reading about walking and I don't blame you.  I do have other things on my mind.  Some great weighty things and some other just interesting (at least to me) things and being that this is MY blog, I guess I get to be the judge of that.  I always wanted to be Queen of the World.  I just didn't expect the scope of it to be quite this small.  Oh well.  So here goes...

When I was a little girl, my dad called me Lard Bucket.  It was a term of endearment.  Really!!  and it fit.  I was a chunk.  Look..

Look at the rolls on those adorable thighs.  I think that was the last time my thighs were adorable. Anyway, dad called me Lard Bucket for years.  In case you don't know, lard used to come in little miniature buckets.  Back when my dad was young those buckets were made of tin and used for lunch pails once emptied.  So, it when I reached about 3 years of age, I think I was just about a year here, someone said to me "Aren't you cute?! What is your name?"  and I answered "Laura Bucket Powell".  My dad quickly found a new term of endearment!!

Ok, now a more serious subject.  If you are a follower and have read back in the blog, you know that my mother and I had to make a decision as to her care when she was diagnosed with cancer in 2007.  The treatment was as hard, if not harder on her than the disease, and we reached a point where we needed to just spend some quality time together and know that eventually her disease would kill her, but she would not suffer any undue pain.  We did just that and had a 6 months of her being ok and able to enjoy what was rest of her life without the constant interference of the medication.

The medication is the issue that I have.  First, I need to address the fact that modern medicine is amazing and can and does do miraculous things every day.  And Oncologists are often nothing short of miracle workers.  However, their reputations and careers are solely based on keeping patients alive.  Without regard to the quality of that life.   My mother's body was broken, her spine was crushed and compressing more all the time, her kidneys had been damaged by the disease.  The doctor said "Well, we can probably give you 2 more years."  But what kind of years?  Years in pain?  Years sick because of the potency of the meds?

The reason this comes up today is that last night I was watching the news and Dr. Sanjay Gupta was running on about a new Prostate Cancer "vaccine" that was probably going to be approved by the FDA very shortly.  And its big plus?  It could give a man maybe 4 more months to live.  4?  4?  And its cost?  Astronomical!!

Maybe I am seeing this through a different lens than others but I could not for the life of me grasp the benefit of this.  Is this what medical science is spending billions on?  Is this why our medical costs are so high because of R&D cost on drugs like this?  I love the people I love and like most everyone else and I would not give this drug to anyone that I love or like.  Because 4 months is a false promise at best and I can't imagine anyone that loves me or their families (the ones I like) willing to bankrupt their families to postpone the inevitable for 4 months.   Senseless.

Enough for tonight.  I will do more like this later

I got to walk today!

It was chilly when I got to work this morning, but I had a nice little fleecey jacket with me so I grabbed it, the iPod and my pedometer and took off.  I power walked 1.81 miles.  I am going to have to change up my route soon so I can add distance. Which means, of course, that I will have to make time concessions somewhere.  I don't know that I want to go in much earlier, I already get to work right around 5 am.  However, I don't like staying later in the afternoon either.  I could start running but not sure I am ready for that yet. 

Anyway, here is my picture of the day.  Just in case you thought I was kidding.

That's 5.25 miles today total.  I am choked up!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Still Moving (Sorta)

Well, I never put my pedometer on today because, as I anticipated, the wind was blowing something crazy and I didn't go for my power walk this morning.  Know how I felt about that?  Disappointed!!  Go figure!
So, in a snit, I just didn't measure any of my walking today despite the fact that I generally walk at least 3 additional miles over my power walk in the morning.  Oh, well, my mind measured it and somewhere deep in the flab, my fat measured and cringed a little. Imagine, cringing fat!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

5 Miles Milly

Got my 5 miles in today (actually 4.66, but who's counting?).  I am developing a love/hate relationship with this.  I love doing it, I think, I hate the fact that I have to do it!! I will probably not walk for the rest of the week because the weather is supposed to be yucky and I don't do yucky weather.  Its all I can do to get out of bed in yucky weather.   But you know what?  I have walked almost 15 miles in the last 3 days.  That's freaking amazing to ME! Who'da thunk?  And I promise, if the wind is calm in the morning then I will walk.  I just can't walk in a hurricane!! (in Arizona?)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Walking, walking

Well, I now have 2 days of solid walking under my belt.  I start first thing in the morning and do an aerobic walk between 2 buildings at work.  It's almost exactly 2 miles and I can cover it in about 25 minutes (if I don't have to pee!!).  It not exactly flat as I originally thought, there is a slight grade to it, but its a good training course for someone that hasn't walked more than a 100 yards in damn near as many years.  The weather is changing and the winds are supposed to kick up and I hate wind.  If its bad, I won't walk, which inspired me to walk today.  Now there is a combination of words I would have never expected from myself;
Walking and Inspiration!! 

The balance of the day, the other 3 miles, is just the distance that I walk around work.  I make a concerted effort to go to the bathroom farthest away from my desk (without leaving the building) and as much water as I drink, I go lots!! 

Aren't I just something (or other)?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Activity Points

So, today I walked 10,400 steps, with close to 4000 of those being aerobic.  I would sure like to know how to convert that to activity points?  Help?!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Spaghetti Pie

This was pretty good.  Very rich!! I don't know who could possibly eat a sixth of this pie, its so rich!  So I broke it into 8 servings.  Even with that it is very filling.  With a salad, its a perfect meal.   And its very purty!

Spaghetti Pie

POINTS® Value: 6
Servings: 8


1 pound(s) cooked ground beef 93% Lean
2 cup(s) Prego Heart smart fresh mushroom Italian sauce
6 oz uncooked spaghetti
1/2 cup(s) Egg Beaters Refrigerated Egg Whites
1/2 cup(s) grated Parmesan cheese
3 oz fat-free cream cheese
1/2 cup(s) light sour cream
1 cup(s) scallion(s)
1/2 pound(s) brown italian mushroom(s)
4 clove(s) garlic clove(s)
1/2 cup(s) Weight Watchers Reduced-Fat Shredded Mozzarella Cheese


Brown ground meat and season to taste, I use salt, pepper, garlic pepper and a little Italian seasoning. Add the spaghetti sauce.  Set aside. 

Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain. Add the egg substitute and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9-in. deep-dish pie plate coated with cooking spray. In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sour cream, green onion and remaining Parmesan cheese. Spread over spaghetti crust. In a nonstick skillet, saute mushrooms and garlic until tender. Spoon over cheese mixture. Spread with spaghetti sauce. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese; bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 10-15 minutes before cutting.

Makes 8 servings.

Followers, WooHoo

Girls, I am loving this.  I didn't know a body could get so excited about internet friends.  Its too cool. 

I came across a Marilyn Monroe quote that I love and I think it reflects my attitude about myself.  I have always tended to try to "improve" me when I felt loved and accepted for being just the way I was.  When I am pushed to make changes, I am prone to bow up and resist with everything in me.  Interesting insight into myself.  Stubborn, I am!!

I wanted to put this in my sidebar, but can't figure out how to make it look cool, so for now, here it is::

"I'm selfish, impatient, & a little insecure. I'm OUT OF CONTROL & at times I'm hard TO HANDLE, but if you can't handle me at my worst, THEN YOU SURE AS HELL don't deserve Me at
My best"…Marilyn Monroe

Math and Spaghetti Pie

I just went to post my weight on the WW eTools which is where I keep all my "records" and realized that my leader needs some remedial math studies.  I actually had a 1.8 gain, not just .8.  Now is it the end of the world?  Absolutely not!  As a matter of fact, its a down right beautiful morning and I am making spaghetti pie for dinner.  Sounds good, huh? I have never had spaghetti pie before, but the recipe looks really good.  I will write up a review afterward. 

Saturday, April 24, 2010

County Fair Food!

That ought to be illegal!!  I didn't even eat my entire corn dog, like maybe a third?  But...You knew that was coming right??  Chile Cheese Fries.  Dear Baby Jesus!!  Ok, so they were horrid and nasty (not) and we threw them away (yeah, right) and I wiill be a good girl forever and ever amen (or until the next county fair).  That was easy!!

Weigh In and the County Fair

Well, I was up a bit today, .8 to be exact, but that's ok. Traveling is hard on the Plan and regardless of what I did (or didn't do) there were so many variables that I couldn't meet.  Just my water intake alone was hosed!!  So, its all good and we move on. 

I am still really "puffy".  My hands are swollen and my fingers look like little sausages. I need to drink lots more water and wash this crap out of my system. 

Its been a busy weekend.  Got hair cut and colored yesterday, weigh in today and nails done too and we are going to go to the County Fair tonite.  One of my favorite country artists, Jake Owen, will be performing and I really would like to see him.  Linky thing -- > YeeHaw

And somewhere out there, there is a corndog with my name on it!!

Our leader today asked us if we "partied" after weigh in, knowing we didn't have to do that again for a week.  Of course the answer was Yes!  Then she asked "When do you start making those plans?"  My answer:  "As soon as I step off that scale".  I don't think I got any points for honesty!?

Friday, April 23, 2010

I Love Spring

Despite the fact that the weather has been weird, cold and wet for us, I love Spring.  Things are blooming and the birds are all dancing and singing and nesting and getting those eggs layed and hatched.  This is just my favorite time of year.  The following are just in my front yard.  And remember, I live in the desert and I don't water anything.  Mother Nature takes care of that for me.  Its the only way to roll when you live in a water deprived environment. 

This is a kangaroo paw.  Its native to Australia.  Its a strange, lovely plant and I should have taken this picture several weeks ago when those little fuzzy things were crimson in color.  Unfortunately, they fade over time and I didn't catch them soon enough.

This is my driveway wall.  Its covered with a cat claw vine which I need to cut down to the ground, but wanted to get some photos of before hand while it was blooming. 

Its very prolific and if left to its own devices will tear up the wooden cover of the driveway so we cut it down every year and it comes back looking like this.  I love my cat claw!!

See, up in the eves how thick it is.

This is an even better picture of that density. Its cool cause the birds like to nest in it, and I don't mind that myself.

And the flowers are beautiful.

Fish Tales

Am I weird that I don't like salmon?  I mean, I really don't like salmon.  I like mild, generally white meat fish, like mahi mahi, sole, tilapia.  Salmon is just too...something.  Yuck!  I think its because its heavy and kind of oily.  Fishy!!  Isn't fish supposed to be fishy?  I don't know, I am so confused.

There is No Place Like Home!!

Ah, two Wizard of Oz references in just a couple days.  I think I need to pull out my WoO video and watch it.  I would love to have a Flying Monkey or two.  Anyway...

I am home!  Yayyy!  Took me forever it seems like.  Yesterday morning I woke up at 2 freaking 30 in the morning and could not go back to sleep.  So I just got myself cleaned up, packed up and sat and read for several hours until I could go get some breakfast and head into the last day of the conference.  Talk about boring!! I actually did not stay for the entire thing as the last section was not pertinent to anything I had to deal with so went ahead and left for the airport.  Got the car turned in and went to check in, but they wouldn't allow me to check my bags more that four hours early?!  What?  I didn't think I was that early, so I asked the ticketing agent and she told me that my flight had already been delayed 2 hours!  OMG!  I wasn't going to get home until around 1 a.m.

I asked her if she could get me on an earlier flight and bless her heart, she managed to get me on the next flight out.  Eileen, I love you. For real, Girl!  But now I have a 3 hour lay over at LAX.  That's cool.  They sell Lite beer and I can sit and watch people for hours.  And I am very friendly and enjoy talking to people. I got to pet Hercules who is the Pit Bull buddy of the Little Person who has the Pit Bull/Little Person show on Animal Planet!  It was kinda fun actually. 

My flight out of there was supposed to be at 7:05, so I head over to the gate, only to discover that it was going to be late too!  8:05 to be exact!  Except we didn't get off the ground until 8:30 and I didn't get home until after 10.  I said my hellos to the golfer, put my jammies on, took a sleeping pill because I was too tired to sleep and crashed.  I am still exhausted.  I am getting too old for this nonsense. 

Its good to be home.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

It's a Good Thing that Divorce is Expensive and I Am Broke!

Yesterday, before I left the house headed for the airport, I kissed the Hubby goodbye (woke him up to do this) and told him I would call him when I got to my destination later that afternoon.  We had spoken about this the night before so this was sort of an affirmation of that conversation and the plans we had already made.

So when I got to Santa Clara and checked into my hotel, I called home.  No one answered.  And I called again a short while later one answered.  And again and again and again.  Until I started to get frightened because this is rather unusual for Hubby.  When we have plans, he generally follows the plan.  So I called my sister who, as usual, did not answer her phone and then I contacted my best friend to schedule her to run by the house on her way home from work to check on Hubby, who by now, in my imagination, was lying in a puddle of blood after having amputated his arm with some power tool or had had a heart attack and one of the pugs was licking him to death. 

He called me when he got off the golf course.  I think I should have just let the pugs lick him to death.  It would have served him right!!

Watermelon, Strawberries and Grapes, Oh My!

Breakfast Blues

Ok, I am at a conference and registration is in an hour.  With Continental Breakfast which usually equal coffee and pastries. So to avoid that trap, I am on my way to the restaurant for an Eggbeaters Omelet.  Hopefully, the "free" food will also have some fruit.  That I will dive into!!

Hotel California

What kind of hotel is this?  There is no blow dryer?!  And I just now realized it! And its 3:30 am!  I am in deep doo-doo!! I do not have a hair style that will allow me to go wandering around in public without some extreme management technique being applied along with a can of hairspray.  Um, wonder if there is a Walmart anywhere around?

Edit: Why would you put the blow dryer in the closet in a little bag that says hair dryer? 

Monday, April 19, 2010


Tomorrow I fly into Santa Clara, CA for a conference.  I have never been there and am (was) really looking forward to going, but looks like the weather is going to be all hosed the entire time I am there.  Pfffftttt!

So, taking some work out clothes so I can go to the gym in the hotel instead of talking the walks I so enjoy and, of course, an umbrella so I can get from the car to the restaurant I want to go to (I am going to the Fish Market for at least one meal).  As for working out in the gym, hopefully, it will give me the opportunity to try some of the equipment out and determine if I would like to actually join a gym at home.  I can't see me actually doing that, but, hey one never knows!  I could start a wild affair with an eliptical thingy (have no idea what it is actual called!).

I am so pathetic sometimes.

By the way, Saturday is the 1 year anniversary of my quitting smoking.  Damn, I rock!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Birthday Parties - Someone Elses

We are going to a friend's house to celebrate her SO's birthday this afternoon.  I volunteered to make guacamole, because I make a killer quacamole and I like to make it (and I like to eat it!). 

Avocados are $1 each right now, which isn't horrid, but the last few I have purchased have been practically inedible with so many bad spots in them that you might get about 1/2 of an avocado you could actually eat. 

So with this in mind, I bought 10 avocados today, thinking if I get 5 avocados worth, it would be perfect.  Wouldn't you know, every stinking one of those avocados was absolutely perfect!!  So now, I have enough guacamole to feed a small country.  I will take some to the party this afternoon and the rest to work tomorrow. 

I haven't posted this recipe because most of us are trying to watch what we consume and this stuff has absolutely nothing to do with eating healthy.  However, if anyone really wants, just let me know and I will put it out there.  Its not a secret and as most know, there are as many guacamole recipes as there are people that eat the stuff.  I am just partial to this one (and I made it up so Mother Love and all that).

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Oh, Tacos, You Exquisite Creatures

Could I wax poetic about tacos? Um, yeah, I think I could!!

In case you missed the debut, here is the run through again, this time with some more photos to pique your interest. 


2 lb. 93% Lean Ground Beef (raw) If you can find leaner, use it.
1 large, finely diced potato
Salt, Pepper, chili powder, fajita seasoning, garlic powder (to taste)
24 small (4") corn tortillas
4 tbsp canola oil
3 cups iceberg lettuce (shredded)
2 cups chopped tomato
1 cup diced onion
1 pound low-fat colby cheese or 4 cheese mexican style cheese
1 cup salsa

Add finely diced potato to ground beef along with spices and cook over medium heat until meat is browned but not dry and potatoes are softened. Set aside.

I use Arizona Brand White Corn Tortillas for Tacos and Tostadas. These are 4" tortillas and are 2 for 1 point. If you can find something similar (really thin 4" tortillas) they will probably work.

These are made commercially in Phoenix, AZ and sold everywhere.  If your grocery store does not carry them, ask someone to look into them.  They are available.

In a deep sauce pot heat 2 CUPS of canola oil to very hot. Oil should be rippling, but not smoking. Fold tortillas into taco shape gently so as not to break the bottom (the thin tortillas make this easier) and holding from the top with tongs dip rapidly into the hot oil, making sure all of the "taco" gets a bath and remove immediately.

Lay on a cookie sheet, overlapping the next shell on the last one, until all 24 have had their "bath". If this is done right, and the oil is hot enough, if you measured out the oil, pour it back into whatever you used to measure it with (let it cool first) and you should see that the tortillas didn't absorb more than about 4 tablespoons of oil. You need the entire 2 cups for depth in the pot only. Leftover oil can be reused, might have a slight corny taste.  That lone ranger taco laying sideways there was dud.  It tore before I got it out of the bath.  Into the garbage.

Fill shells using a normal serving spoon. Each shell should take about one ounce of meat. With my spoons, that's about 1 and 1/2 spoons of filling per taco. Do not over fill tacos.

You may have meat left over or you might be short just a little depending on how much you filled the tacos. Play til it works for you.

Put the tacos in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and crispy. Bottoms will stay soft and pliable so you can open them without breaking. Are these beautiful or what?

Fill with Lettuce, etc.

This recipe is for 2 dozen tacos because that is what 2 lb of ground beef will make. You may have a little filling left over.  Freeze it or use it in a taco salad the next day. Making half the recipe should not affect the Points.

Edit: I just realized, I didn't put the best picture of all in!!

These are moist and delish and when you bite into them,. they crunch.  Divine! 

According to the WW Recipe Builder these are 3 POINTs per taco or 8 POINTs for 3.  I, under the threat of penalty of death, would not admit to how many I ate tonite.

Taco Night

Need I say more?!

WooHoo Weigh In!!

Ok, I did it.  I lost 3 lbs this week for a total loss of 31.2 to date.  This weeks meeting was about what motivates you and the things we may or may not track besides Points.  One of the things I do track sporadically is my measurements.  Our leader asked me how many inches I had lost and I couldn't tell her because I haven't checked it for a while.  So I came home and measured.  Are you ready for this?

Bust -5 inches
Hips -6 inches
Thighs -2 inches
Arms -1 inch

Somehow my waist measurement has gotten totally screwed but the fact that I can't keep my danged pants up speaks volumes even if I don't have good numbers. 

So what motivates me?  Obviously, positive results motivate me and I see their impact in every aspect of my life right now.  In our meetings the leader always asks "So how does that make you feel (losing 10, 20, 30 etc)" and today, I felt great.  I feel great.  My knees don't hurt so much, I have amazing energy (you are talking to the Queen of Naps here folks!), the comments and compliments are so good for my ego.  There are too many things to say about how getting the unnecessary baggage off makes one feel.  Its more than a physical concept, it forces you to examine different aspects of your life that contributed to you being overweight to begin with in order to not repeat those behaviours.  I think I am getting the hang of this!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Middle of the Week Crud

Well, I missed several hours of work on Tuesday and stayed home yesterday.  Did go to urgent care only to be told there is some kind of weird cold going around that starts in the throat and chest.  Yippy Skippy!  They prescibed some nasal spray that does seem to give me some relief, so I ain't complaining. 

I went to work today to run into the "April Birthdays Celebration" that was all about pizza!!  Damn!  I ate 3 pieces.  Now, before we get all up in arms here, these were not slices, they were cut pieces about 3 inches square.  Even so, I ate more than I should have and the really sad part is, I didn't really enjoy it.  Lesson learned.

More and more people are complimenting me on my weight loss.  Its nice.  Its also inspiring and drives me to keep it up. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Grandma Rubye and John

I love to read blogs and they often trigger memories, things forgotten in the rush as we move through life.  This is a favorite and I would love to share.

Grandma Rubye was my father's mother.  She was about as big as a minute, 5'2", about 110 lbs, fiesty as all get out and yet, every inch the Southern Belle.  She cooked good Southern food (read: biscuits and gravy and fried chicken), was a seamstress (made my wedding dress) and could and did put a dried pussy willow branch into the ground and coax it into living and growing into a tree.  She could also drink you under the table and I am sure from whence I inherited my love of beer.

My older brother, Bill, joined the Navy when he was 17, I think, maybe 18.  Of course, through basic training and tech school the whole family corresponded with him and once he was assigned a ship, he would share his family missives with his buddies.  Letters from Grandma Rubye got put on a bulletin board so everyone could see and we all baked dozens of cookies and packed them in real popcorn to send as care package to be shared with the crew.

Bill came home at least once during his tour and brought John home with him.  John and Bill served on the same ship and were buddies.  And John fell madly in love with Grandma Rubye. 

Bill separated from the service in '74 or '75 and John went on to do another tour, this time European (they were originally in the Pacific).  John sent Grandma presents from wherever he was including a beautiful and very expensive cameo he got for her in Italy. When he finally separated, John chose to settle in the same town we live in and he would come visit Grandma Rubye regularly.  He would bring her flowers, take her out to dinner, and just sit and pay attention to her. 

Now, Grandma was loved and appreciated by all of us.  She never did without and all she ever had to do was ask and anyone of us would bend over backward to comply with her every wish.  But we weren't a sweet young man who doted and paid court to her even with the most innocent of motivations. 

In the late 80's, Grandma was diagnosed with emphysema.   From Memorial Day to Labor Day, she failed rapidly.  John was ever present.  He even bought a window air conditioner for her room. She lived with my folks, and my parents were shocked and somewhat embarrassed.  They could have/would have done that, but John was so wrapped up in Grandma, he never even considered the appearance of his actions.

Grandma passed away shortly afterward.  John kind of drifted away.  He would ocassionally stick his head in the door just to let us all know he was doing ok.  I haven't seen him in years now.

However, I will never forget the young sailor that made my Grandma feel like a pretty young girl again.  Who was so gallant and caring.  He was and is a real hero to me. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

New Digs!!

Well, I think I like this?  It's a little busier on the banner than is my preference, but all in all, not too bad.  Your opinion please?


God, I hate to be sick!  I woke up this morning with some kind of bug and feel crappy.  It's in my throat and chest.  I am fortunate that I haven't been ill at all in quite some time, but I would have happily continued in that mode indefinately.  I am going to go to Walgreens here shortly and see what kinda new fangle snake oil they are peddling to cure the common cold these days.

I have a new follower.  Folks meet Jessie, who in my opinion is quite adorable and has a fun blog.  You may also notice, I have lost a follower.  Its ok, it was just me.  Don't ask me how I wound up following myself but when I discovered I was going around in circles, I figured I better stop that before I got dizzy and fell down, or puked, or something!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Weigh In and What's for Dinner

So, I continue to march toward "less me".  Down .6 for a grand total of 28.2 lbs lost.  Not bad at all, if I do say so myself. 

The walk turned out to be 2.6 miles.  I plan to do it every day.  We will see.  Its an easy walk, level ground, with the only stressors being time and heat.  We have a short period in the day when we can get away from our desks and you don't want to take off on a hike in Arizona when its a gazillion degrees outside.  Even the coyotes have enough sense to get out of the sun and heat!!

Tonite for dinner I am trying a couple of new recipes: 

Lemon Thyme Chicken

POINTS® Value: 5

Servings: 4

3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp table salt
1 tsp black pepper
4 piece(s) Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium Vidalia onion(s)
1 serving(s) Brummel & Brown
1/2 tsp ground thyme
1 cup(s) fat-free chicken broth
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice


Combine flour, salt & pepper. Set aside 4 1/2 teaspoons for sauce.

Sprinkle remaing flour mixture over both sides of chicken. Add oil to Skillet and cook chicken over medium heat for 7-9 minutes on each side or unitl juices run clear. Remove and keep warm.

In same pan, saute onion in butter until tender. Add thyme and reseved flour mixture; stir unitl blended.

Gradually stir in broth and lemon juice scraping up any brown bits. Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Serve over chicken.

With this side:

Rosemary Potatoes

POINTS® Value: 2

Servings: 6

1 bulb(s) garlic clove(s)
4 medium Yukon Gold potato(es)
1/2 medium Vidalia onion(s), chunked
4 tsp olive oil
1 tsp table salt
5 item(s) rosemary sprig
3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
4 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar


Separate garlic in cloves. Leave unpeeled.
Cut potatoes into wedges.
Combine potato, onion and garlic in a bowl. drizzle with oil and add salt.
Arrange in single layer on cookie sheet coated with Pam. Top with rosemary sprigs. Bake at 450 degrees for 15-17 minutes or until garlic is tender. Remove garlic and cool. Stir potatoes and bake 5-8 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Discard rosemary . Squeeze softened garlic into a large bowl; mash with a fork. add mustard and vinegar. Add potatoes and stir gently to coat.

 This with some asparagus on the side and I will be one happy girl.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Birthday Tomorrow

Well, tomorrow is the B-day and, needless to say, I ain't getting any younger.  But you know, I am getting better.  I feel better, I look better, I eat better, I sleep better.  I am just all around better.  I need to give up my beer and that's a tough one.  I like nothing better than a cold beer or two (or 4) after work, so its decision time.  Looking in the mirror and seeing the progress I have made to date makes me wonder what I could accomplish if I stop the brewskis.  I drink light beer (and truly, rarely count it!) so I know without a doubt there is impact in that lovely cold can.  Hmmm, what a dilemma. 

I got an opportunity to take a really nice walk today.  I work for a very large company and we have a huge compound with multiple buildings.  We were having a meeting in a different one than the one I work in and it's quite a ways away. As we were getting ready to go, I piped in with "Who's car are we taking?", my co-worker said "Let's walk".  Now I immediately figured the dude had lost his mind because driving it I would say is easily a mile and we had about 15 minutes to get there.   He assured me it wasn't that far and we set out on our little trek.  Whatya know?  He was right!  and it was a beautiful glorious morning for a walk.  So I am going to start walking it everyday.  I don't know exactly how far it is, I will wear my pedometer tomorrow so I can get a better sense of that.  I think its about 1 mile round trip.  Which is easy to do on my lunch hour.  I love our desert and this path cuts right thru it with amazing plants and animals on both sides. 

I am one lucky girl!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Low Point Italian Food?!!

I found a good looking recipe online yesterday and did a little finessing it.  It came out sooo good.  I am not a big pasta fan so I think I really liked it because the pasta content was minimal. 

Pasta Bake

POINTS® Value: 3

Servings: 8

1 pound(s) Laura's Lean Beef® 96% Lean Ground Round
1/2 medium Vidalia onion(s)
2 cup(s) mushroom(s), sliced
1 item(s) bell pepper(s)
30 oz Del Monte Petite diced tomatoes in brine, seasoned with basil, garlic & oregano, 2 15 oz cans, drained
1 Tbsp canned tomato paste
1 Tbsp McCormick Oregano leaves
1 Tbsp garlic powder
2 tsp black pepper
1 cup(s) Weight Watchers Reduced-Fat Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
4 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
2 serving(s) Dreamfields Rotini


Bring a pot of water to boil and add 1 1/2 cups of Dreamfields Rotini. Cook until not quite done, a firmer al dente. This is going to cook in the oven a bit so you don't want pasta mush.

In the meantime, dice onion and bell pepper. In a good sized non-stick skillet (cause you are gonna need some room to work here!), added ground beef, onion, bell pepper and mushrooms and spices. As always, spice to your taste. I list what I like and use, but that does not limit you in anyway. Cook on medium heat until meat is no longer pink and onion is translucent. Drain 2 15 oz cans of petite diced tomato and add to meat mixture. Add 1 tbls of tomato paste. Mix thoroughly.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Drain and add in pasta. Mix and pour mixture into large casserole dish.

Sprinkle top with cheeses and pop into the oven for about 30 to 35 minutes.

I served this with a green side salad. Yummy and Low in Points!!

I didn't get a picture of this, but it was quite attractive as well as tasty.  I don't know if you can find all the name brands I have cited here, but three of them are important toward keeping the points low.  Laura's Lean Beef is carried at our local Fry's Stores (Krogers) as is the WW Mozarella and the Dreamfields Pasta.  The Dreamfields pastas are specially formulated for diabetics. This formulation with a low glycemic index factor makes this ideal for my limited carb consumption.  I am not diabetic, but I don't do carbs well.  1 serving of the Dreamfields pasta, 3/4 cup dry Rotini in this case, is only 3 points.  Gotta love it!!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Weigh In and Hubby

Weigh In was good, -.6, can't complain considering the week contained things like fried shrimp and rattlesnake eggs (jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese, wrapped in bacon and broiled. To Die For!). Sometimes, Ms. Suzi I think our bodies just are so happy we gave them something NOT good for them, they reward us.  Like kids at Halloween!!  You don't need all that crap, but it sure makes ya happy!

I think Hubby has finally figured out that I am serious about this weight loss and not off on one my tangents, not that I do that often, but its not unheard of. 

Last weekend,  I decided to celebrate my 27 lb loss with a steak barbeque.  I made baked potato and black eyed peas to go with.  I bought a T-Bone for me (I only eat the loin side!), and a Porterhouse for Hubby cause that's his favorite.  So, I got my plate prepared, my loin steak, half a baked potato and about a cup of beans and I went to the table.  Hubby came in a few minutes later with HALF of his steak, the other HALF of my baked potato and about a cup of beans.  WOW, I was so impressed.  He's starting to pay attention to what he eats.  I can't get him to weigh himself, or at least tell me what he weighs, but I figure he could stand to lose 30 to 50 lbs, just like me.  So if I am rubbing off on him, this is all the better.

BTW, I was thinking about my weight loss to date earlier today.  I am averaging 1 lb per week.  That's good, right?!  So, to extend that out to one year, I will lose 52 lbs if I stay the course.  Thats only 6 months away!!  I can do that standing on my head!!  Well, maybe not on my head, but you know...