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Fat Girls In The Kitchen: Staples

Stay in?  Go out?  That is the question.  The lazy me says, go out, you can always get a salad.  The healthy me says, stay in, you know you won't get the salad.

I've found that there are a few staples that I need to have in my fridge or pantry all the time.  If I have these things then I have no problem putting together a full day's worth of healthy meals. 

English Muffins - good for any meal.  Have for breakfast with a wedge of laughing cow.  Turn into a yummy sandwich (see below) for lunch or dinner.  Or the ever-classic english muffin pizza.  Yum!
Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges - oh how I love you Laughing Cow for making such delicious low fat cheese options.  I'm particularly fond of the lite swiss cheese spreadable wedges but also love the Mini Babybels.
Some Kind of Fruit - I've been on a banana kick lately.  They are easy to toss in my bag and enjoy in the car on the way to work.
Greek Yogurt - Chobani pineapple - I could eat this at least 4 times a day but limit myself to once.
Coffee - keeps me from going to Dunkin' Donuts.
Fat Free Cream - because I love creamy coffee.
Grilled Chicken - I always grill extra chicken to keep on hand for salads and sandwiches.  I even mix it in with pasta or veggies for a quick weeknight dinner.
Whole Wheat Pasta - because I am known as the pasta queen.
Hunt's Traditional Pasta Sauce - flavorful but plain and very low in calories.  I use this as my base and throw in veggies or meat and sometimes a splash of fat free cream to make it a pink sauce.

Yes, that is all I need to be a happy girl.  I'll even outline a normal day of eating using just these ingredients.

Breakfast
Coffee with a slpash of fat free cream and half of a splenda packet
English muffin with laughing cow
Banana

Lunch
Greek Yogurt
Chicken sandwich (english muffin with grilled chicken and a wedge of laughing cow)

Dinner
Whole wheat pasta with veggies and/or chicken and sauce

It's all about eliminating the urge to go out.  Knowing that I have quick and yummy options at home makes it that much easier.


Fat Girls Have Feelings Too

Yes, I have a whole lot of extra ME.
I'm sure to some degree all that extra padding acts as a buffer.
A PHYSICAL buffer.

Not an emotional one.

This was a very busy, emotionally draining weekend for reasons I'm not going to get into in this post. I'm still recovering. (I also haven't gotten to re-do the granola yet. This week, I promise, once I've had the opportunity to grace the inside of my local supermarket.)

I knew, ahead of time, that this was the type of weekend I was going to have, so I really set myself up to suck in as much positive energy as I could, to smile as much as I could, to enjoy other people as much as I could.

But some people simply suck. And it's amazing how just one thing can ruin your day.

Rewind to Saturday: I'm carrying my 6 month old goddaughter through the parking lot. I'm not wearing anything particularly tight, atrocious or skin-bearing. It was hot out (as in, like, 80 degrees - we go from winter to summer in a weekend's time here in New England) but I wasn't quite ready to break out the shorts and blind people with my pasty whiteness. So when I tell you my outfit was conservative, it really was. As I traversed the shimmering asphalt, the cutest child in all creation (no, really) perched on my hip, cooing away, I passed two girls in their mid-twenties, I'd guess, heading in the opposite direction. I catch one of the girls looking at me. I mean REALLY looking at me. So I glance a minute longer, wondering if I possibly know her. She finally breaks her stare, looks at her girlfriend, then back at me one more time before saying:

"If I'm ever as fat as her, just kill me."

Let me clarify - she said this at a volume which, unless you're clinically deaf you could hear ACROSS the aisle of parking we were traversing and, as I was the only other person in said aisle, and maybe the next aisle over, there really was no mystery as to who she was talking about.

"If I'm ever as fat as her, just kill me."

While I'm sorry to admit that my first, knee-jerk reaction was to respond, "If I'm ever as ignorant and insensitive as you, just kill ME," I didn't. I didn't say anything, truly afraid of what verbal garbage might spew from my mouth and burn my goddaughters ears with blind ire.

Unfortunately my second reaction was to cry and I gave into this one. I was so many things - angry, ashamed, angry, shocked, angry and, oh, I was peeved. I understand that people have a right to say and think any damn thing they want. I don't contest that. I wouldn't want anyone to take away my right to view her actions as petty, insecure and immature, but really? Really. You think it's ok to say something like that out loud? There are plenty of ways to express the same sentiment without being so blatantly RUDE.

I tried so very hard to move past it, but I couldn't. I can't. I'm not there yet. And it's still getting me down a bit. I need to work through this, since it's bothering me so much, and I know I have much more intelligent commentary on the whole scenario but to be honest, it all still feels kind of raw and to start I just had to get it out there.

"If I'm ever as fat as her, just kill me."

Wow. Just wow. Thank you, miss, for completely reinforcing my faith in humanity.

~ Nikki

P.S. More substantive posts to follow.

You know, I could start every food-related post by saying, “I love (insert specific food here).”
Perhaps I should just start each post by saying, “I love food.”
Period.

Because I do. But not all of the food that I love is unhealthy. Case in point – I love granola. And the heartier, more natural, the nuttier, the dried fruit-ier, the better. I mostly use it in my non-fat, plain Greek yogurt with a teaspoon of honey. And really, it’s not so bad for you. (That's the most filling 6 Point snack I've ever had, by the way.)

It’s a little hard on the wallet though. As of late I’ve actually opted for the Special K Low-Fat granola, thanks to all the coupons I had, but more and more I wanted to be able to make my own - bring down the price and control the ingredients.

When the student is ready, the teacher will present itself – isn’t that the saying?

I came across a granola recipe in a magazine recently. It was in body + soul (www.wholeliving.com), I think. (Great magazine, by the way. I highly recommend it and will be renewing my subscription when it’s up.) It was very simple, had almost no prep time (about 5 minutes) and was a great “base” for making a custom granola. On Tuesday night, following the success of our Mexican meal, I was ramped up and ready to give it a shot.

Unfortunately, my granola didn’t get the success memo from my enchilada bake. Read on…

Ingredients

4 c. old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick cooking)
1 c. sliced almonds
½ c. shredded coconut (preferably unsweetened)
¼ c unsalted pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds) or shelled sunflower seeds
½ c. pure maple syrup
2 tbsp. canola oil
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 c. dried fruit (such as cherries, cranberries, raisins, or currants)

Ingredient Notes:

First things first, I halved the recipe. I didn't have a pan big enough for all 6 cups!

I imagine you could swap out for another preferred nut or use a combination. I, however, love me some almonds. Also, I couldn’t find unsweetened coconut, so I used sweetened. In the future I’ll probably check the organic food aisle or a market like Whole foods to see if they carry the unsweetened version. Hulled pumpkin seeds also proved elusive so I used the sunflower seeds. I enjoy both, so no loss there.

The mistake that may have been my undoing in regards to the ingredients was the maple syrup. I used light maple syrup instead of 100% pure. I’m not sure if this was the issue, but the next time around I’ll opt for the real stuff. I’m also considering using a berry flavored maple syrup for something a little bit more special.

Finally, we have no kosher salt in our kitchen. While I plan to remedy this for the future, I used table salt for this incarnation.

Instructions

1. Heat oven to 350. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the oats, almonds, coconut, and pepitas/sunflower seeds with the maple syrup, oil, and salt.

The tossing is best done with your hands and is totally messy…and totally FUN! I imagine this would be a great recipe to do with kids. It’s nice that it’s also a one-pan/no-bowl recipe but if you wanted to control the mess with kids, you could probably do the tossing in a bowl and then spread it out onto the baking sheet.

I used a dark-colored baking sheet. Not sure if this had anything to do with how the granola ultimately cooked, but next time I’ll use a lighter colored one.

I was also a little curious if I should use parchment paper to keep the granola from sticking to the sheet but went ahead and followed the recipe as-is. Verdict – a teensy little bit may stick but is easily scraped away. This won’t ruin your pan.

2. Bake, tossing once, until golden brown and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes.

I set a timer for the 15 minute mark to toss. By the 10 minute mark the house smelled amazing. When I tossed it at 15 minutes, I thought to myself that it already looked pretty brown and decided I’d meet the recipe halfway and take it out at 27 minutes. I should've listened to that little inner voice (who's probably also thin and healthy) when she said I should probably stand there and watch it and take it out much sooner.

Also, tongs with a silicone tip (so as not to scratch your pan) worked great for tossing.

3. Add the dried fruit and toss to combine. Let cool.

I never actually made it to this step. When I walked into the kitchen at the 27 minute mark I knew it was a failure. I could smell the burn.

Yield: 6 cups

Holy granola, Batman!

The granola will keep in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 3 weeks.

Here is the result:

Unfortunately, my granola burnt to a crisp. It may not quite look like it in the picture, but it kind of look like I'd made it on a barbecue grill.

R.I.P. Granola Batch Number One

I’m not 100% sure why it went the way of the crisp, but here are some of my thoughts:
1. using a dark colored pan
2. using light maple syrup (not sure if the full sugar vs. a sugar substitute would make a difference in the way it would cook off)
3. while my oven says 350, it’s hotter. The last time I checked the temp. It was fine but things change.

My oven could be a liar.
Liar, liar, granola on fire.

I’ll be trying this again early next week and will do a few things differently. First, I’ll be using a lighter colored pan. Second, I’ll use 100% maple syrup and third, I’ll be monitoring the temp of the over AND monitoring the progress of the granola the whole way through. I figure I’ll check it out around the 5-7 minute mark and turn it then and then keep an eye on it very closely after another 5 minutes or so.

I did venture a taste, despite the char, and it wasn’t as sweet as I anticipated. It could be because it burned and/or because of the light syrup, so I’m not willing to offer a verdict at the moment. The texture, however, was great. Everything was crispy (obviously) and I realized afterwards that you can control how “chunky” or “clumpy” it is. Since I mostly use my granola in yogurt, I prefer it to be in small pieces rather than large clumps and this seemed to be the way it came out.

I’m really hoping I can perfect this recipe. I'm guessing I can probably pull together my own, customized granola for almost half the cost. SO. MUCH. CHEAPER. You can make it as plain or as “fancy” as you want. I’ve already thought about using diced, dried apricots or mangos as the fruit and, as I mentioned earlier, possibly using a berry flavored syrup.

So far as nutritional information, I still have to figure it out. Should the next trial be a success (crossing my fingers and toes, the boyfriend’s fingers and toes, the cats’ fingers and toes) I’ll be sure to include it then, particularly since I’ll be changing the ingredients up a little bit.

In the meantime, if you have any other suggestions or advice, I’m happy to hear it!

Happy Baking!

~Nikki


I could eat Mexican every day.
EVERY. DAY.
Yo quiero Taco Bell.

And yes, I know how bad Taco Bell is for you it is but it's probably the hardest fast food establishment for me to just keep on driving by. And to be honest, even non-fast food Mexican is tough because for the most part you have to assume that they are using full fat everything and you can never be sure exactly how much of all that everything you're eating...because really, who counts all those nachos?

So, I made it my mission to find a few good, home-cooked, Mexican recipes. I'd be able to manipulate them, and the points, however I chose and still get my Mexican on.

I'm happy to report that Mixin' Up Mexican Mission Numero Uno was a success! (Mostly.)

I give you...

::drumroll please::

Beefy Enchilada Casserole



Ohmigosh.
Yum.
Te amo.
Te amo muy mucho.

I got the recipe from one of my Pampered Chef cookbooks (29 Minutes to Dinner, www.pamperedchef.com). I chose to start with this one because, per serving for an entree, the Points value wasn't too bad - 7 points. I decided not to swap anything out and give it a shot the first time around as-is.

I wasn't disappointed.
Neither was my boyfriend...as evidenced by the TWO servings he ate.

It's simple to make and pretty quick too.

Ingredients

1lb 95% lean ground beef (I used 93% and I'd wager you could use ground turkey too)
1 tbsp taco seasoning/mix (if you have the Pampered Chef Southwestern Seasoning, use this instead)
1/4 tsp salt
1 10oz can enchilada sauce
3/4 c water
1/2 c medium thick and chunky salsa (I used mild this time and you can use hot if you want it very spicy)
12 6" yellow corn tortillas (you can substitute white corn tortillas if yellow ones aren't available)
1/4 c snipped fresh cilantro (I'm not a cilantro fan so I omitted this)
1 c shredded Colby & Monterey Jack cheese, divided (I only used Monterey Jack)

Instructions

1. Combine the beef, taco mix and salt in a skillet; cook over medium-high heat 8-10 minutes until beef is no longer pink, breaking the beef into crumbles. Add enchilada sauce, water and salsa. Bring to a simmer and remove from heat.

Here we made our first mistake. We thought that it looked like much too much liquid in the pan for setting up the "lasagna" style dish. We were wrong. Don't cook off any of the liquid. It's NOT too much. You'll need it. ALL. Lesson learned.

2. While the beef mixture cooks, snip the cilantro. Also, place tortillas in a stack and cut into 1" strips.

Here I made my second mistake. Corn tortillas are NOT like flour tortillas. Don't try to eat them before you cook them lest you want to find yourself standing over the trash, spitting. And you're welcome for the visual.

3. Arrange half of the tortillas evenly over the bottom of a glass baking dish. Top with half the beef mixture and half the cheese. Sprinkle 2 tbsp of the cilantro over the cheese. Top with the remaining tortillas*, beef mixture and cheese.

*Originally the recipe calls for use of the Pampered Chef Deep Dish Baker, which I do not own. I used a 9X9 dish and did an extra tortilla/cheese/mix layer. You could probably also use a 9X11 or 9X12 dish and just do the two layers. Also, next time I will likely "prep" the bottom of the dish with a little of the liquid from the beef mixture so that the tortillas aren't dry on the bottom.

4. Microwave on HIGH 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Garnish with remaining 2 tbsp cilantro. Serve with sour cream and lime wedges.

I'm not the biggest fan in the world of microwaving my food but, in the interest of time last night, I did follow this direction. It came out perfectly fine but next time I will probably put it in the oven instead, at 350 for 10 minutes or so.

Yield: 6 servings

One Serving



That's not a large-sized dinner plate, but one serving was definitely satisfying. It has the texture of a firmer lasagna and a mild flavor that would be really easy to kick up with hotter salsa or some hot sauce. I'm also considering adding in some corn or red kidney beans next time. Half a serving would also be enough if eaten with a salad.

The nutritional values are as follows (per serving):
Calories: 340
Fat: 14g (Saturated Fat: 6g)
Cholesterol: 65g
Carbs: 33g
Protein: 24g
Sodium: 750 mg
Fiber: 6g

The next time around, I'll likely try to lower some of the fat content by using a low-fat sharp cheddar. Since the cheese isn't a main flavor in the dish (it seems more about texture), I don't anticipate it will make a big difference. I'd also like to try it using whole wheat tortillas, though, if I do, I'll likely use a little more liquid, either more enchilada sauce or more liquid from the salsa, as whole wheat tortillas are a little bit "tougher".

I was really so pleased with the way this dish came together. My boyfriend and I prepared it (we're a pretty good team in the kitchen) and had the hamburger been thawed and not frozen (oops, poor planning on my part), it would've taken just over 20 minutes. I also like that it's an easily mutable dish - while you could serve it as-is to finicky kids (or me) without veggies, you could also throw in just about anything you want. Extra peppers or onions. Squash. Corn and/or beans. Spinach? I wonder if you could add spinach...

Give the dish a try and let me know what you think! I'd also love to hear any variations you experiment with.

I'll likely be trying out my second Mexican recipe this weekend, so keep an eye out for that post. Also, after we made this last night, I took my first foray into the world of homemad granola. But that's another post for another time.

Namely, tomorrow. :)

Enjoy!

~Nikki

P.S. I'd like to thank my brother for torturing me this evening while trying to get this post up on the site. Careful boy, or you're going to have a whole bunch of Fat Girls giving you hell!


This Fat Girl has a question for YOU!

I'm an emotional eater.
I'm willing to bet most of you are too.
Does depression have a better hand-holder than a Hostess cupcake?

(I realize the rational answer to that question is a very loud "YES!")

So, obviously, part of getting healthy is correcting your emotional association with food. For me, I'm trying to break the habit of eating when I'm: sad, mad, frustrated, hurt, depressed, bored, excited and...well, pretty much any other emotion on my radar. I've gotten better with not eating when I'm bored or when I'm mad but I'm encountering a new hurdle today.

Not eating when I am made livid by the scale.

See, I'm one of the few people who actually doesn't hate her scale. I like the fact that I have this emotionless little object who can show me how well (or not) I'm doing. I weigh myself every day, first thing in the morning and, while I know not everyone can do this without becoming obsessive about it, it's actually taught me a lot about how I carry water and weight throughout the week and month.

Rewind to yesterday morning. I stepped on the scale. Looked down. Didn't know what to expect.

But it wasn't what I saw. I GAINED 4LBS?! In one day?! What?! I re-weighed myself but unfortunately the scale was not playing a practical joke on me. I looked through my food log and thought that perhaps some of the things I'd eaten were a little saltier than others and I probably could've taken in more water. Ok, no big deal. I'll even out.

Fast forward to this morning. I stepped on the scale. Looked down.

SONOFA....

The 4lbs is still hanging out. Now, the reason I find this especially frustrating is that I've been very careful about the things I've been eating in the past week, with ONE exception, a splurge, and that was a lunch yesterday. Weight jumps around, true, but four whole freaking pounds? UGH. And it's entirely possible I'm retaining water, and not just because my salt intake was higher. But really? Is it necessary that I retain Lake Erie?

Sigh.

I know this is temporary. If I just keep on the road of eating right and exercising I'll even out, but I'm just dreading having to post even a 2lb gain on Monday, never mind a 4lb gain. I have a busy weekend too, so, while I can work in the normal amount of exercise and continue to make healthy choices, I don't have room to squeeze in a lot of "extra".

And I won't lie, my first reaction was to want to grab the cars keys and buy a dozen donuts. And not to share either.
I'm happy to report I didn't, and just had a bowl of Raisin Bran instead, but it was like a small war was going on inside my head. Lots of casualties. But I think we've at least reached a temporary peace treaty.

So, this got me thinking. About you guys. And how you might be able to help. I pose you this question/challenge:

How do you or could you avoid, eradicate or suffocate the immediate response to eat when you're experiencing some intense emotion, good or bad? I'm looking for all types of answers - Do you do something physical? Do you indulge and eat but make smart choices? Do you find something else to do? I'd love to hear from you because, though I won the battle this time, Raisin Bran isn't always going to cut it. My willpower might be growing but I realize that in the future I very well may falter.~

~Nikki

I'm making an executive decision.
I'm divorcing my old gym.
And I don't think they'll be happy.

I hope they don't want alimony. 

After the rather horrible experience at my gym on Monday (crowds like the Magic Kingdom on Christmas Day, rude AND apathetic employees, parking in the next state, etc.) I was determined to find a new gym. Even though I'm only paying $20 a month, it's still not worth it if I can't get at the equipment. The problem is this, there aren't any gyms that are convenient to my commute/home. My current gym is the closest.

Then I gave more thought to the obvious solution - sign up for the gym at work! It solves ALL of those issues - it's a small gym but I think I'd be working out really early when there are fewer people there and it also offers the option of working out at lunch, after work, etc. In addition, all of the people I've spoken to have said the gym employees are great, and since it's in my building, parking is obviously a non-issue.

While you might be screaming, "DUH! Why wouldn't you opt for your work gym?", it actually does have one pretty big negative - it's an hour from my house. If I wanted to use the gym on the weekends, I'd have to drive in AND pay $15 to park. Ick. So, doing this would mean alternative exercises at home on the weekends. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, I just like having all of my options open. I guess at this point, though, beggars can't be choosers, huh?

The only other con is that it's $10 more a month but that's offset by the fact that it comes out of my paycheck automatically and pre-taxed so I won't even feel the difference.

I want to do another tour of the work gym before I set anything in stone and, I'm pretty sure I'm well out of my contract with my current gym, but need to review that paperwork as well just to be sure. They're kind of sleazy when it comes to that stuff (my boyfriend uses the same gym and has had the most ridiculous billing issues) so I want to be prepared.

I didn't want to put off Week 1 of my c25k training but I really want to do it on a treadmill so that I'm running on a consistently flat surface and I can monitor the times I need to run v. walk, my heart rate, etc. In the meantime I'm still walking, and I'm content with that for now, but I'm anxious to move forward into the "real" training.

Weekly Weigh-In and Then Some

Life has been very good here at FGS HQ.
Very, very good.
Like, eating a really great tasting, low-fat frozen yogurt kind of good.

Both Jill and I are down this week! FINALLY. While we've stumbled off the beaten track in the past month or so, we've both been making an effort to be disciplined, to be focused.

Jill is down to 191.2 and I am back down to 217.0. Not HUGE losses, but we appreciate every pound gone bye-bye.

Both of us are settling into a fitness routine on top of making better food choices. Jill has begun a couch to 5K program (c25K) and is currently on week 2. I'm on schedule to start week 1 this week (and I'm sure you'll hear all about it here...). I started by doing a whole lot of walking this past week to shock my body back into the exercise cycle.

I've done a bunch of research on yoga studios in my area and am currently at an impasse. It's EXPENSIVE. I know there are some great videos out there, and even programs for the Wii, but I wanted to at least begin in a studio where I'd have a professional to keep an eye on and correct my posture. They do offer a class at my gym a few times a week but, as I found out today, because their membership has literally swelled to overflowing in the past couple of months, you have to show up in person ahead of time, sign up, and then receive a ticket to be able to participate in the class. As I'm coming from work and am at the mercy of the train schedule, I'd never be able to make it in time. Also, when I walked into the gym I was, quite literally, overcome with people. Example - there are about 30 treadmills and at least half as many elliptical machines. Every single one was taken. Every. One. It never used to be like that and it was kind of a downer.

I'm going to look into another gym a little bit further from my house that gets rave reviews and also at the gym they have in our office building. Either may be a viable option for not only yoga but a less crowded atmosphere. My ideal would be to have some equipment at home (as in addition to cardio I'll be adding in weight training in the future) but we don't have the money or the space right now.

As I was writing this, I realized in the past that I would've used said gym woes as an excuse to skip the gym and exercise only the fork-to-mouth circuit but right now I'm totally frustrated. I want to keep this momentum going! So, I'm trying to creatively find ways to add some extra movement into each day until the actual gym issue is resolved. Some ideas:
-walking the "long" way to work from the train station
-parking in the farthest spot from where I'm going
-taking the stairs if I'm going up 3 flights or less (anything more than that gets me light-headed, but I'll add flights as this passes) and always walk down
-walking with Jill at lunch now that it's nicer out
-Wii! (and convince my boyfriend to do it with me - a little bit of healthy competition never hurt anybody!)

Jill will likely start posting again this week. Her new nephew has been taking up a lot of time, and rightly so. Things to keep an eye out for over the next week:
-recipes - smoothies, a Mexican "lasagna", homemade granola
-exercise - the trials and tribulations of our 5K training and more info on our half marathon goal
-more info about some of the tools/sites we use for tracking, research, points calculation

We hope you're all having a great week so far! It's so wonderful to see all the new people who have found their way over here, particularly from the AOL posting. Welcome to all of you again and thank you for joining us on our journey. We're trying to respond to EVERY ONE of your comments personally and are a little overwhelmed but we promise to get back to all of you over the next few days. Please keep posting your ideas, your advice, your questions and your critiques. We welcome it all*.

Thanks again to you all and have a healthy week!

Nikki & Jill

*NOTE: As was mentioned in response to some of the comments on thatsfit.com, we will delete any comments that are intentionally hateful, rude or otherwise inappropriate. While we expect and appreciate comments that may express opinions other than our own, we will not tolerate hate.


Never More Proud to Be A Fat Girl!

We girls can do anything...and we all know how that saying ends..
But here at FGS we're REALLY feeling it today.
We're finally able to share some exciting news with all of our readers!!!

Cannoli's have no fat and actually help you LOSE weight!!!

Ok.

 

No, not really.

We're kidding.

Maybe that was a little cruel.

But really, we do have some pretty cool news to share. About a month to a month-and-a-half ago, Jill and I were contacted by an editor at That's Fit (www.that'sfit.com), AOL's health and wellness site. They profile people that are blogging about their weight loss and FGS was chosen to be profiled! We filled out the profile and sent it in with our fingers crossed. Until it was a definite, we didn't want to say anything but today it's official! Our profile is up! Click here to check it out!

More exposure is a BIG step for FGS because it's just more people we can hopefully inspire to get healthy. Thanks again for all of your support!

I think it's time to go celebrate...why oh why can't celery taste like Mud Pie ice cream?!



Ok, let's get some business done first.
Jill's up one pound and I'm STILL the same. We both know why - Jilli hasn't been eating great and I haven't been good about writing anything down. AND I'm on vacation this week...which makes it a challenge to not eat my weight in ice cream...especially since I sampled a Mud Pie flavor at the ice cream place down the street.
Tsk, tsk, tsk.

I love how even when you gain weight when try to lose it you learn so much.

Like how helpless you are in the face of a sugar cone...sigh.

I'm thinking that my goal for this week is to pull some of my journals together, take some pictures and show you some of the tracking tools I use. I think it'll also help light a fire under...well, you know where, to use them regularly!

On to the exciting news...

Jill is an auntie for the first time!!! Congrats Jill! Her nephew (finally) arrived at 3p.m. this morning and is adorable! She may be a little absent from the site while she bonds with the new little angel but I'll try to keep things up to speed around here.

The next piece of news is DIRECTLY related to the healthy lifestyle we're all about here at FGS. Jill and I are training for a 5K in June that will help benefit the foster care program where my mother and sister-in-law-to-be work. If you care to sponsor us, there will be more info. to follow. However, in the meantime, we'll be regaling you with the glory and horror of training for a 5K. I have a feeling in the first few weeks there will be much of the latter and only a wee bit of the former.

I already have a blister the size of Kazakhstan on my heel. Back to Olympia for some sock advice...

Once the 8 weeks of training is over and the 5K is run, we'll begin training for a half marathon in January in.....DISNEY WORLD!!!

More details to follow, particularly regarding our training program, as they unfold. Stay tuned!

Have a happy and healthy week!

Nikki & Jill
I'm a girl who loves comfort food with a passion.  If it's carby and cheesy, it's for me.  So when rummaging through my cabinets this past weekend I was delighted to come across a can of 98% fat free Campbells cheddar broccoli soup.  I just knew I could satisfy a comfort food craving without being too bad and without going to the grocery store.  And that is how this small fiasco started...

Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 an onion, diced
1 can 98% fat free Campbells cheddar broccoli soup
2 cups water
however much fresh broccoli you have in your fridge, cut into bit sized pieces
1 cup rice
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Saute the onion in the olive oil until tender.  Stir in the rice and let it sit for a minute or so.  Stir in the water and the soup, turn the heat down to lowish, cover the pan and get on the treadmill for about 15 minutes.  Stir the concoction and add the broccoli.  Put the cover back on and get back on the treadmill for about 10 minutes.  Give it another stir.  The rice should be cooked by now, if not cover it and get back on the treadmill for 5 minutes.

Sounds like a great idea, right?!?  Not quite.  The cheddar flavor didn't come through at all.  It just tasted like slightly creamy broccoli rice that I had to add a bunch of salt to.  I have a couple of thoughts on making it better:

1.  Make it in a smaller batch using the same amount of soup.
2.  Use low sodium chicken stock instead of water.

I'm not giving up on this.  I think it could be really good maybe in casserole form with some tuna or diced up chicken.  Any input on how to make this better is welcome!