Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Build a Smarter Salad


In the meeting room this past week we talked about "Building a Smarter Salad".

Did you know that when you dine out at a resturant picking a salad can be a very dangerous choice? Many of you might consider salads "safe", but I am here to tell you that this is not true. Just in case you do not believe me, I am going to give you some examples of what I am talking about.

{Chili's Caribbean Salad with Grilled Chicken}
This salad sounds appeal with fresh pineapple, mandarin oranges, dried cherries, red bell peppers, green onions, cilantro, sesame seeds, honey-lime dressing, and grilled chicken. However, in total for one salad it is 16 pointsplus!

{Applebee's Oriental Chicken Salad}

Like the salad we read about above this sounds very tasty with fresh Asian greens tossed in a tasty Oriental vinaigrette and topped with crispy noodles, toasted almonds and golden fried chicken tenders. However, if you order the regular sized version of this salad with dressing it is 38 pointsplus!

These are just a few examples of salads that are high in pointsplus values. Always be sure to check the nutritional information before dining out, so that you can make the wisest choice possible!

Eating out and ordering a salad might not be the best choice for you. However, enjoying salads at home are a great option. When you make a salad at home YOU choose what goes on top of your salad. This week Weight Watchers encouraged us to look at our choices and make sure that we are building the best salad that we possibly can!

Here are just a few things to remember as you being to build better salads of your own.

1. Fill your plate with 0 pointsplus fruits and vegetables. Make sure that the majority of your plate is cover with fruits and veggies. These are not going to cost you any pointsplus. In addition, fruits and veggies are going to keep you feeling full and satisfied for a longer amount of time!

2. Try to avoid piling on high pointsplus valued toppings. If you enjoy croutons that's great, but is that going to keep you full for the longest amount of time? Maybe choose to top your salad with a protein like chicken instead! Also, you might have three or four favorite toppings to put on your salad. Try using just one or two, so that you can keep the pointsplus values down. Rotating through your favorite toppings each time you have a salad will help you to enjoy them more when you actually get to each them.

3. Beware of high pointsplus valued dressings! When I first started Weight Watchers I refused to give up my fatty dressings, because I enjoyed them so much. However, as I lost weight and had less and less pointsplus values to use each day, I reevaluated my high pointsplus dressings. Finding an alternative was a great option for me, because then I could use those pointsplus values on something else I really wanted!

Everyone is different and what I enjoy on my salad is probably not the same as what you like to eat. That's okay! Take time to build a salad that works just for you!

Monday, July 30, 2012

A Quick Post

It’s been a busy day already and it is not even lunch time!! I don't have a lot of time to blog, but I wanted to try and touch base with you all.

This morning, I had my weekly doctor’s appointment. Everything with both me and Olivia looks great and I am so thankful that we are healthy!! Just 29 more days until my due date!

Also, I wrote a blog post over at my other blog called, "Filling Empty Arms". If you would like to check it out and read it, please click the link. I wrote it last week and posted it this morning. It explains some of the things that have been on my heart recently.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Recipe Review: Egg and Cheese Breakfast Sandwiches

This recipe is another one the I found on Pinterest! I pinned it a long time ago, but I have never taken the time to make it. I thought that it would be too high in pointsplus values. This recipe ends up being about 6 pointsplus per sandwich. I thought that might be too high for breakfast, but it has actually done a great job of keeping me full until lunch time. You cannot beat that!

I think that the next time I make it I will try to find an english muffin that is less than 3 pointsplus per muffin. I have been enjoying these for breakfast all week and I cannot wait to make them again! They were not only easy to make, but they taste good too!

The ingredients

Just grab a muffin tin and spray each spot in the tin with cooking spray. Then crack an egg in each muffin area. Stick these in a 350 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes.

Given that I was making a bunch, I just sliced all of my muffins in half and laid them all out on a baking sheet. After about 10 minutes in the oven (you can toast these at the same time as your eggs are cooking).

Once everything has been cooked, you just have to piece it all together.

Take half of a muffin, add some cheese, add an egg, and apply the top half of the muffin. You could hit the sandwich with some pepper if you wanted or even some hot sauce!

After constructing my sandwiches, I stuck them on a baking sheet and put them all in the freezer, uncovered and unwrapped for about an hour.

Pull them all out after an hour or two and wrap them individually in plastic wrap or foil and then store them in a freezer safe plastic bag.

I ended up making 12 breakfast sandwiches that are ready for me to eat later on in the week!

I reheated mine in the microwave and it tasted great!!

. . . . . . . . . .
Egg and Cheese Breakfast Sandwiches
Adapted from: Macheesmo

Servings: 12
Serving Size: 1 breakfast sandwich
Calories: 367.3
Fat: 10.3 g
Fiber: 7 g
Protein: 20.9 g
Old Points: 7 pts
Points+: 6 pts+

12 large eggs
8 oz Weight Watchers Mexican Style Shredded Cheese
12 Thomas Hearty Grains English Muffins, 100% Whole Wheat
cooking spray

Cooking the Eggs
Just grab a muffin tin and spray each spot in the tin with cooking spray. Then crack an egg in each muffin area. Stick these in a 350 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes.

Toasting English Muffins
Given that I was making a bunch, I just sliced all of my muffins in half and laid them all out on a baking sheet. After about 10 minutes in the oven (you can toast these at the same time as your eggs are cooking).

Making the Sandwich
Take half of a muffin, add some cheese, add an egg, and apply the top half of the muffin. You could hit the sandwich with some pepper if you wanted or even some hot sauce! I would never call this Fast Food, but its definitely a fast way to make food.

Now you have two options:

Eat Immediately 
If you wanted to eat these right away, just stick them back in the oven for 5 or 10 minutes until they are warmed through and the cheese is melted and delicious.

Store for Later
If you want to store these for later, stick all your sandwiches on a baking sheet and put them all in the freezer, uncovered and unwrapped. Leave them in there for about an hour. This will give them a chance to give off some moisture and also freeze a bit. If you were to wrap them up right away then there would be all kinds of liquid that would condense. But don't forget about them or they'll get freezer burned. Pull them all out after an hour or two and wrap them individually in plastic wrap or foil and then store them in a freezer safe plastic bag. They will keep for a few weeks without a problem.

*Tip for Heating (or Reheating)
From completely frozen to warm and melted, it’ll take about 25 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

I heated mine in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes. Be careful, because with the microwave the muffin can get soggy.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Weight Watchers and My Pregnancy - Update


I blogged about Weight Watchers and My Pregnancy back in February. Since then, I have been receiving emails and comments from many of you who want to know how my weight gain is going. The most recent message I received was from Kristen, who just discovered that she was pregnant herself! This is not the way she thought her weight loss journey was going to go, but she is excited about the new addition to her family. Kristen had one question for me, "Can you offer any advice about how you were able to maintain your health and weight during your pregnancy?"

As I began to write Kristen back, I was shocked at how much I had to write about when it came to my pregnancy and healthy living. So, I've decided to turn my email into a blog post! I hope that this will encourage and help other people like Kristen, whose weight loss journey's are being put on hold for little bundles of joy.

. . . . . . . . . .

Before I begin, I want to make it very clear that what I am going to write is my opinion. It is NOT the opinion of Weight Watchers or anyone else. I am writing from my own personal perspective and opinion. I am not a professional nutritionist, just a woman trying to lead the healthiest lifestyle possible while I am pregnant.

With that being said, I think I should share with you that OFFICIALLY you cannot follow the Weight Watchers program while you are pregnant. A portion of the Weight Watchers health notice states, "Weight Watchers prohibits participation in its weight loss plan for children under the age of 10, those individuals with an active medical diagnosis of bulimia nervosa, those whose weight is less than 5 pounds above the minimum weight of the Weight Watchers Weight Ranges, and during pregnancy." To read the entire Weight Watchers health notice, please click here.
. . . . . . . . . .

As many of you already know the most important thing is for you to eat so that your baby can grow and be healthy. Like I said above, you may not officially follow Weight Watchers while you are pregnant. It is important to check with your doctor to see what he/she recommends that you eat throughout your pregnancy.

I felt like it is important to say these things, because I do not want any of you taking extreme measures to avoid gaining weight during your pregnancy. This is a sacrifice that we make as mother's while we share our body with our unborn child. Above all, it is a privilege to be able to provide for our child in this way.

For me, I could not let go of Weight Watchers completely. Maybe it's because I have been on this plan since 2008 and it has become a way of life for me. Or maybe it is because I am a Weight Watchers leader and try to continue to be an example to my members of healthy living. However, for some reason, I just could not let it go.

Throughout my pregnancy, I have been able to follow the principles of the Weight Watchers program, with permission from my doctor of course.

Exercise - I have been walking and exercising throughout my pregnancy. I walk at least 30 minutes 3- 4 times a week. This has been one of the best things I have done for myself and Olivia! I am 35 weeks pregnant and still have energy to move around and get things done. I think that this has been a result of my exercising. If you are pregnant and you do not exercise, I highly recommend that you get moving!

Good Health Guidelines - I continue to follow the principles of the Weight Watchers plan when it comes to my eating habits as well. I try to fill my day with fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and more! I try to eat filling foods that keep me satisfied throughout the day.

Tracking - I have continued to keep track of my daily pointsplus values. It's not so that I will stay within a certain target number, but so that I will know what I am eating throughout the day. I did not want to default back into mindless eating again.

Weigh In - I know that the doctor weighs me in at each and every appointment. However, I have continued to weigh myself once a week to see how much weight I am gaining. This has helped me to know where I am at each week. It's not discouraging, but encouraging to know that I am gaining weight for my baby girl.

Please do not misunderstand me. I have not done this perfectly! I have given in to more cravings and splurges than I would like to admit. According to all the baby books I've read "healthy" weight gain for me is anywhere from 25-35 pounds. I am 35 weeks and so far I have already gained 36 pounds.

I am not frustrated with my weight gain, because I know that this is what Olivia needs from me right now. I am thankful that I have been able to continue my healthy lifestyle throughout my pregnancy, so that I can give my baby girl the healthiest start to life that I possibly can.

Just remember that there are lots of ways to continue to remain healthy throughout your pregnancy. These are a few things that worked for me. Always be sure to check with your doctor first!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Ride This Out

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Activate Your Environment


In the meeting this week we focused more on just getting started. We discussed things that we could do to our own environments right now that would help encourage us to move more.

So let's talk about your environments.
• What small changes could you make inside your home that would encourage more activity?
• car?
• workplace?
• garage?
• yard?

Let’s bust those excuses. Maybe we need to put our tennis shoes and a pair of workout clothes in our car, in a locker at work, or even in the middle of the floor in the living room.

Maybe we could actually pump up the air in our bicycle, dust it off and set it out more in the open in the garage.

Do you need to uncover your treadmill or workout equipment? Is it covered in clothes and dust?

What about those commercials, could you squeeze in time there to just get up and walk around versus fast forwarding through them.

Do you need to hide the remote, so you are forced to get up off of the couch? Park further away, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Every hour take a 5 minute break to walk around.

You have to start somewhere. Simply strive today to move more than you did yesterday. Each day become more aware of how often you are sitting still, and make an effort to decrease that amount of time tomorrow.

"Working out can be a pain, but the truth is sometimes you have to do stuff you don't want to do to get where you want to be. The key: just getting started."
- Marlen Esparza, Olympic boxer

This article from the Weight Watchers website does a great job of summarizing what we talked about in the meeting room on Saturday, July 21, 2012.

Move More — For Good
Ways to make activity a lifelong habit and setting up your environment to activate your activity level.

You've heard it a million times: Consistent, moderate exercise is a key component not just of weight loss, but of good health in general. It can help reduce your risk of developing cancer, heart disease and diabetes. And there are plenty of feel-good benefits too. It helps to relieve stress, boost your energy, and improve your sleep.

But you already know all this, so why is it still so hard to get out there and get going?

Motivated to move
"No time" is a popular excuse, but what it's really about is a lack of motivation. You've probably heard your Leader or other meetings members talking about a powerful solution to this problem called Motivating Strategy from Weight Watchers Tools For Living.

Motivating Strategy helps you use your imagination to determine the goals you really want to achieve and then take steps toward them — whether those steps are tracking PointsPlus® values, eating more fruits and vegetables, or exercising.

It works because it connects you with an action's positive results. For example, use a Motivating Strategy to find the motivation to be more physically active, and you'll envision what it feels like to be a physically active person — what you look like, the things you get to do and wear, the way you spend your time and relate to others.

Once you're motivated to be more active, it's time to take those crucial first steps. Here are some tips for getting started:

1. Choose activities that you actually enjoy. You're not likely to keep up any exercise you dread doing.

2. Start small and work your way up by increasing your intensity or the amount of time you spend doing the activity.

3. Think about the season. Now that summer is here, how can you take advantage of the nice weather?

4. Buddy up. Do you have any friends or family members who are also trying to get fit? Can you do an activity together?

What do you need to have in place to get started today??

" Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right, or doing it better."
- John Updike

Monday, July 23, 2012

Stop Waiting for Tomorrow


I really enjoy receiving emails and Facebook messages from YOU my readers! Thank you so much for taking the time to open up and be vunlerable with me, someone you have never even met. I take time to pray for each one of you as I read your stories. Receiving your emails helps me to know what you all are struggling with, and it gives me some direction to know what to write about on my blog throughout the week!

This morning after reading and responding to several emails I was overwhelming with this desire to talk to you about getting out of the "waiting for tomorrow" mindset. Last week, I shared a meeting summary with you about Turning Slip Ups Into Success. If you have not read it, I would highly recommend that you check it out. 

If you are traveling the road called, weight loss, you have probably experienced your fair share of slip ups and failures. Anytime when we get off track and/or off plan we have two choices.

Option #1: The first thing we could choose to do after a slip up is to throw in the towel altogether. We can let discouragement take us farther and farther away from our goals until we have gained most, if not all, of our weight back. We choose to focus on the negative and see ourselves as a failure.

Option #2: The other option that we have after a slip up, is to decide to learn from our mistakes and setbacks. We decide that all of our hardwork is too important to throw away, because of one mistake. We find the courage necessary to get back on the scale and get back on plan.

When you choose option #2 you begin to realize the strength that God has given you to be successful on your weight loss journey. With every slip up you learn a little bit more, but each time you choose to continue to persevere. Before you know it, you will reach your weight loss goal and have developed a little bit more character along the way.

If you had a slip up last night or six months ago the solution to your problems is one in the same. Get back on plan TODAY! Stop waiting for tomorrow and making excuses for why you can't do it. This morning decide to change your mindset and choose to learn from your mistakes. It's not going to be easy, but you are worth it!

Below I've included a video of Mandisa's song and lyrics for, "Waiting For Tomorrow", because it has been such an encouragement to me. I pray that it will give you the encouragement you need to get back on plan today.

If you are committing to get back on plan, please leave me a comment, so that I can be praying for you! 

"Waiting For Tomorrow"
By, Mandisa
Maybe tomorrow we'll start over
Maybe tomorrow I will finally change my ways
Said the same things yesterday
Don't know why I'm so afraid
To let you in
To let you win
To let you have all of me
Can't spend my whole life wastin'
Everything I know I've been given
'Cause you've made for so much more than
Sittin' on the side lines
I don't wanna look back and wonder
If good enough could've been better

Everyday's a day to start over
So, why am I waiting for tomorrow

Maybe today I'll start believing
That you're mercy is really
As real as you say it is
It doesn't matter who I used to be
It only matters that I've been set free
You rescued me you're changing me
Jesus take everything

Can't spend my whole life wastin'
Everything I know I've been given
'Cause you've made for so much more than
Sittin' on the side lines
I don't wanna look back and wonder
If good enough could've been better

Everyday's a day to start over
So, why am I waiting for tomorrow

Oh, I'm makin this my moment now
To grab the hand that's reachin down to save me You saved me
And I'm makin this my moment now
To grab the hand that's reachin down to save me You saved me

Can't spend my whole life wastin'
Everything I know I've been given
'Cause you've made for so much more than
Sittin' on the side lines
I don't wanna look back and wonder
If good enough could've been better

Everyday's a day to start over
So, why am I waiting for tomorrow
I'm gonna grab the hand that's reachin down
And I'm not gonna wait until tomorrow
Oh, tomorrow

Friday, July 20, 2012

Some Major Changes

I told you yesterday that this has been a busy week for me. Several times this week I have tried to sit down and write a blog post about everything that is going on, but nothing has come out! I sit in front of the computer longing to write about all the things on my mind, but it is overwhelming to know where I should begin. However, today I am determined to share what's on my heart and ask you to pray for me and Jon!

{change #1}
Last Saturday, Jon's brother Josh moved in with us! Josh has come to live with us while he goes to a local community college in town. I have been praying about this for months, because I was nervous and anxious about Josh coming to live with us right before Olivia is born. I am so thankful to say that God has answered my prayers and that this first week has gone by without any major problems! Please pray as Josh tries to find a job and get registered for classes over these next few weeks.
Josh and Jon at church this past Sunday.

{change #2}
As of this past Tuesday, I am 34 weeks pregnant! I cannot believe that I only have 6 weeks left to go in my pregnancy. My pregnancy has gone by so quickly! I am trying my best not to rush these last few weeks, but to enjoy the intimate bond that I have been able to share with Olivia over these last 34 weeks.

This is Olivia's newest outfit! It was made by Whimsical Pudding.

{change #3}
In August, I will begin to work from home! This is another HUGE answer to prayer, because we do not have the extra money needed for childcare. I will be able to work from home and stay home with Olivia all at the same time! The plan is that I will be able to begin to work from home before my due date, so that I can Olivia is born. Please pray for this transition and that I would be able to develop a good schedule/system while I work at home.

As you can see there are a lot of changes coming up in the next few weeks. Thank you for keeping Jon and I in your prayers over these next few weeks!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Recipe Review: Broccoli-Cauliflower Cheese Soup

It has been such a crazy week in my home! It would take too long to explain what kind of week it's been, so I will just save that for another blog post. However, this recipe for Broccoli-Cauliflower Cheese Soup was perfect for me to make this week! This recipe was easy and did not require a lot of my attention. Not only that, but I was so lazy that I just threw all of the ingredients into my Crockpot! It's getting very hot here in East Texas and I did not feel like cooking over the stove to make dinner.

I first learned about this recipe back in 2009 when I was a Weight Watchers member. I loved it then and continue to enjoy it now, because it was so low in pointsplus values!! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have over the years.

The ingredients

Combine frozen broccoli-cauliflower mix with chicken broth

Mix in Rotel tomatoes and Velveeta cheese 

I cooked this on low all day while I was at work.

When I got home I mashed up the vegetables, because they had cooked and gotten soft. I also added some extra spices like salt, black pepper, Italian seasoning, and garilc.

This soup tastes great and is very filling!! You can also top it with crackers or cheese, just make sure to count the extra pointsplus values that you add to the soup.

. . . . . . . . . .

Servings: 8
Serving Size: 1 cup
Calories: 107.4
Fat: 3.8 g
Fiber: 3.4 g
Protein: 9.6 g
Old Points: 2 points
Points+: 2 points+

3 cans of Fat Free Chicken Broth
2 lbs frozen Broccoli-Cauliflower Mix
1 can Rotel Tomatoes
8 oz lite (2%) Velveeta Cheese

Boil veggies in chicken broth. When veggies get soft, mash them up. Add rotel tomatoes and cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. I added garlic and pepper for flavoring.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Eat Less Sugar

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Turning Slip Ups Into Success


This week in the meeting room we talked about being able to learn from the slip-ups that we encounter in our weight loss journey.

I read three stories of famous people who had a rough start. I found these stories from an article called, "50 Famously Successful People Who Failed At First" and have posted them below for you to read.

Walt Disney: Today Disney rakes in billions from merchandise, movies and theme parks around the world, but Walt Disney himself had a bit of a rough start. He was fired by a newspaper editor because, "he lacked imagination and had no good ideas." After that, Disney started a number of businesses that didn't last too long and ended with bankruptcy and failure. He kept plugging along, however, and eventually found a recipe for success that worked.

J. K. Rowling: Rowling may be rolling in a lot of Harry Potter dough today, but before she published the series of novels she was nearly penniless, severely depressed, divorced, trying to raise a child on her own while attending school and writing a novel. Rowling went from depending on welfare to survive to being one of the richest women in the world in a span of only five years through her hard work and determination.

Michael Jordan: Most people wouldn't believe that a man often lauded as the best basketball player of all time was actually cut from his high school basketball team. Luckily, Jordan didn't let this setback stop him from playing the game and he has stated, "I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."

This article from the Weight Watchers website does a great job of summarizing what we talked about in the meeting room on Saturday, July 14, 2012.

Turn Setbacks into Success
How to learn from, and triumph over slipups.
Article By: Michelle Fowler

In any process that requires changing lifestyle habits, especially weight-loss, there are going to be ups and downs. The key to remaining positive during a setback is to remember that no one is perfect, and that getting thrown off track occasionally, doesn't mean you've messed up for good.

While it might not feel like it at the time, a slip can pave the way to greater success and boost your confidence. It's a perfect opportunity to slow down, reassess your habits, and decide what's working for you; what's not; and why. Open yourself up to the lessons that hurdles present and make the slip work for you, rather than against you. Doing so will help you regain control and avoid feeling discouraged. Look at slips as road signs pointing the way toward a more productive path. Each time you make a mistake, you learn what to do — and more important, what not to do.

It's feedback, not failure
Maybe you’re finding it difficult to commit to your weekly activity goal. Or you’re not as vigilant with tracking on the weekends. Or perhaps you’ve noticed your motivation waning during the lazy days of summer. Recognizing behaviors that hinder your progress and using strategies and tools to help you recover from lapses is a big step in establishing a successful weight-loss plan that will work for you, and that you can work with, too.

It’s also important to recognize negative thoughts when they run through your mind, and understand how your thoughts influence your weight-loss progress. Is an “all-or-nothing” attitude tripping you up? You know what we mean if you’ve ever overindulged and thought, ‘I’ve blown it so I might as well keep eating.’ Instead of throwing in the towel and overeating the rest of the day (or week), do something to help you feel more in control. View your next meal — or the next moment — as a fresh start.

Wherever your insights lead you, bravo for having the courage to take what might be an uncomfortable detour — and still move forward — on your path to weight-loss success. Give yourself credit for undertaking such a life-changing journey — slip-ups and all!

Just remember this quote from Michael Jordan,

"I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."

Friday, July 13, 2012

Recipe Review: White Chicken Enchiladas

I am a huge fan of Pinterest!! I always find and pin the most amazing recipes. However, most of the time these recipes are very high in pointsplus values. Instead of missing out on some of these incredible recipes, I tweak the recipe until it is more Weight Watchers friendly. I put these recipes into my Weight Watchers Recipe Builder in eTools and adjust them until they are much lower in pointsplus values.
For example, I found this recipe for White Chicken Enchiladas on Pinterest. If I were to make the original recipe as it is on Joyful Momma's Kitchen, each individual enchilada would be 8 pointsplus! I have heard that this recipe is good, but I cannot spend 8 pointsplus on one enchilada.

So, I decided to tweak this recipe to make it more Weight Watchers friendly. After I had finished tweaking this recipe it was only 5 pointsplus per enchilada, which is much more reasonable for dinner!
Most of the ingredients

Mix chicken and 1 cup cheese.

Roll up mixture in tortillas and place in pan.

In a sauce pan, melt butter, stir in flour and cook for 1 minute.

Add broth and whisk until smooth. Heat over medium heat until thick and bubbly.

Stir in sour cream and chilies. Do not bring to a boil, you do not want curdled sour cream.

Pour over enchiladas

Top with remaining cheese and bake for 22 minutes and then under high broil for 3 minutes to brown the cheese.

The final product!! Please note that I did not take time to broil the cheese.

This is a great recipe for white enchiladas that does not break the bank!

. . . . . . . . . .
White Chicken Enchiladas

Servings: 10
Serving Size: 1 enchilada
Calories: 230.8
Fat: 12.6 g
Fiber: 7.2 g
Protein: 22.7 g
Old Points: 5 pts
Points+: 5 pts+

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan

2. Mix chicken and 1 cup cheese. Roll up in tortillas and place in pan.

3. In a sauce pan, melt butter, stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Add broth and whisk until smooth. Heat over medium heat until thick and bubbly.

4. Stir in sour cream and chilies. Do not bring to boil, you don't want curdled sour cream.

5. Pour over enchiladas and top with remaining cheese.

6. Bake 22 min and then under high broil for 3 min to brown the cheese.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

When Doubt Won't Go Away


In the last two weeks I have been overwhelmed with all kinds of doubts and fears. Some of these doubts and fears have become so overwhelming that I just do not know what to do! I know that many of these feelings are understandable especially, because I am pregnant with my first child. However, at times this bombardment has felt like an attack from the enemy (i.e., Satan).

This is the main reason that I posted one of my favorite Bible verses from the book of Philippians for Wordless Wednesday yesterday.

“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13 (NIV)

I have received many emails from women who want to know how I was able to stick to my weight loss program and lose my weight. Many people want to know what kept me motivated to keep going on my weight loss journey. In my response back to them, I am always honest to explain that I did not do any of this in my own strength. I explain to them that I was leaning on and trusting in the Lord the entire time I was losing weight. I was able to lose weight, because God gave me the strength I needed to do it.

Today, I was so encouraged by the devotional from Proverbs 31 ministries, “When Doubt Won’t Go Away” that I just had to share part of it with you!

In her devotional Renee Swope says this,
“It's not a quick fix but a powerful process of naming our doubts, identifying what triggers them and then learning to rely on God's power to lead us into a place of living confidently in the security of His promises.

The next time you start feeling insecure, ask God what triggered your doubts. Then process the trigger point through God's perspective. Ask Him to show you lies you're believing and truths to replace them. Then let Him change your thought process by focusing on His thoughts towards you instead of your thoughts about yourself. For instance:

• When doubt tells you that you can't do something because it's too hard, remember God says you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13).

• When doubt tells you you're not good enough, focus on the truth that God says you're fearfully and wonderfully made; all of His works are wonderful and you are one of them (Psalm 139:14).”

If you are a believer in Christ, that same strength in Christ is available to you too! When you reach the end of your rope and feel like giving up, maybe it is time to ask God to be apart of your weight loss journey.

Who do you turn to when you experience doubts and fears in your weight loss journey? What is triggering some of these doubts and fears in your life? Have you allowed God to be your source of strength in this area of your life?

Take time to write down the Bible verses above. Keep them with you so that when your doubts and fears arise about your weight loss journey you are armed with the promises of God!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Through Christ

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Vacation Renovation

Here is an article from Weight Watchers that summarizes my meeting from Saturday, July 7, 2012.

Vacation Renovation
Extra weight is one souvenir no one wants to bring home. But the average vacation weight gain ranges from five to eight pounds. So why do so many people end up with extra baggage? The culprit — vacation amnesia! It can creep in when you've slipped into full R&R mode and before you know it, you've taken a break from your healthy habits. The good news is that vacation weight gain isn't inevitable. Take your Plan along and you'll have all the strategies and tools you need to beat the odds!

Four ways to avoid Vacation Amnesia
1. Choose your option
Setting a Winning Outcome — a powerful Tools For Living strategy — is like setting a goal, and it's important to do it before you leave for your getaway. Choose whether you want to come home having lost weight, maintained or maybe even gained a little. Knowing ahead of time what you want the outcome of your efforts to be will help you set a realistic plan and avoid surprises.

2. Determine strategies
Consider what aspects of your upcoming vacation might make it difficult for you to stick with the Winning Outcome you set. How will you manage offers of food and snacks? How will you eat out in restaurants? Will you be able to get online and track? How will you exercise?

3. Gather the necessary tools
Along with your clothes and toiletries, you should also pack things that will make it easier for you to stay on track. For example, what will you need for your work out? Do you have favorite healthy snacks that might be difficult to find where you're going? Are you prepared to track PointsPlus® values? Or perhaps you'll want to take a break from tracking and give the Simply Filling technique a try (see below).

4. Make a post-vacation commitment
Vacation amnesia can often linger for days or weeks after the actual getaway. Some people may let a slip turn into a landslide — derailing their progress by not jumping back on the healthy track. Decide before you go that no matter what happens, you'll pick up your efforts again the day you get back.

5.Try the Simply Filling Technique
We encourage people to track, because it makes you more aware of what you’re eating, and helps you maintain control when you’re aiming to lose weight. Still, it’s not for everyone, and you might find yourself in certain situations where you’d prefer to just stick to certain foods and not have to think too hard about what the PointsPlus values are.

With the Simply Filling technique, you track only your weekly PointsPlus Allowance for foods that are not Power Foods. Your Leader can tell you more about this technique, so you can figure out if it's right for you.If you decide to go for it, the Plan Manager makes it easy. Go to “Settings” and select “Tracking Preference.” We’ve updated the Plan Manager to allow you to follow it for as little as one day at a time. You can always switch back any time you want if you decide Simply Filling isn’t for you.

Why would we even want to revert back to old habits just because we are on vacation? Why not continue with the newly formed habits but use your PointsPlus values for a few indulgences in a controlled manor?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Our First Maternity Photoshoot

Last week, Jon and I had our first maternity photos taken. Our friend Becky is an amazing photographer and I was so excited when she said that she was willing to take our pictures! I completely trust Becky and her artistic eye. She did an amazing job with our pictures and I can't wait to share them with you!!
I posted a teaser picture on my Facebook page, Living a Changed Life, but here are my top ten favorite pictures.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Recipe Review: Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad

Every month the women in my Sunday school class get together for Ladies Night Out. It is a time for each of us to get away from our regular routine and visit with the other women in our Sunday school class. I love these nights!!

Every time we get together we try to make a potluck meal. This is one of the reasons that I am always searching on Pinterest for good recipes! This coming Ladies Night Out our dinner theme is Summer Salads. I've been looking on Pinterest for just the right recipe to make and share with my friends. I found this Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad recipe and knew it would be perfect to make for Ladies Night Out. I cannot wait to share it with them next week!

I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as I did! There are a few things I did and/or want to do differently the next time I make this. So, make sure you read all of the comments below.

Ingredients for the dressing, except the chipotle chile...I forget it, because of my silly baby brain!

First, I chopped up the fresh cilantro

Add all of the dressing ingredients together. Please note that I also added some black pepper. Next time I make this, I will also added a little bit of salsa to my dressing so that the acid will balance out the sour cream flavor.

Stir together to dressing ingredients and set aside.

Ingredients for the salad...well everything except the chicken, because it was cooking.

Stir together the romaine lettuce, cooked chicken, cherry tomatoes, avocado, and red onion. I had leftover cilantro that I did not use in the dressing, so I added it to the salad.

Next, make sure you drain and rinse the corn and black beans before adding them to the salad. Stir everything together.

Next, pour dressing over salad and toss gently to coat.

You're salad is ready to go and may be serve immediately!

This is a great recipe to make during these hot summer months!!

. . . . . . . . . .
Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad
Source: Nutmeg Notebook

Servings: 5
Serving Size: 2 cups
Calories: 359
Fat: 12.2 g
Fiber: 11.6 g
Protein: 32.3 g
Old Points: 7 pts
Points+: 5 pts+

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2/3 cup fat free sour cream
1 tablespoon minced chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

4 cups shredded romaine lettuce
2 cups chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 breasts)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup diced peeled avocado
1/3 cup thinly vertically sliced red onion
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (8 3/4-ounce) can no-salt-added whole-kernel corn, rinsed and drained

To prepare dressing, combine first 7 ingredients, stirring well.

To prepare salad, combine lettuce and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle dressing over salad; toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.

Tip: Add a spoonful of adobo sauce for a spicier salad. Kidney or pinto beans also taste great in this dish.


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