Archive for the ‘new food’ Category



I meant to post this last night, when I was doing my food prep for Week 1 of the Fit Girl’s Guide Winterwonderland Challenge, but I had a lot going on and the time escaped me.

One of the main things I really appreciate about the Fit Girls Guide is that they provide a super organized grocery list for each week, organized by area of the store. That’s how I make my own lists, so this really appeals to my OCD side.  The other thing I like is that the meal plans are developed to get the most out of each item on the list, for virtually no food waste.  As someone who throws away more food than I’d like to admit, I’m happy that I’ll be able to cut down on this.

Even though the list was really organized and clear, I still spent over an hour at Trader Joe’s.  Partially because everyone and their brother seemed to be stocking up for the work week and partially because there were a lot of items on the list.  Here’s my haul, which I tried to divide into food groups:

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I had some items in stock already, so not every single thing I’ll be eating this week is here, but it gives you an idea.

Now that I had the groceries, it was time to meal prep.

photo 5 (1) Week 1 breakfasts actually call for Cherry Pie fridge oats, but since I’m not a fan of frozen cherries, I decided to go with a mixed berry medley.  These are the overnight oats that I love.  Oatmeal, chia seeds, almond milk, almond butter, honey, Greek yogurt, and the frozen berries.  I really enjoyed these this morning and liked the not-too-sweet taste that the 1 tsp of honey added.  I usually put protein powder in my overnight oats, but this version had a really clean, hearty flavor that I preferred.  And the stats aren’t too bad, either: 285 calories, 19g protein, 36g carbs, 7g fiber, 8g fat.

Next up were the lunches – chicken & veggie power bowls.  Because I’m someone who needs variety in all things (life, exercise, food) I made sure to make a few of the suggested variations on the traditional bowl.  I also cut down the quantities to make it more post-wls friendly. Also, instead of steaming the kale, I decided to sautee it with onions, garlic, and a tiny splash of olive oil.  I’m not eating as many snacks as they suggest on the plan (because I just can’t fit that much food into my post-vsg tummy), so I figured a bit more healthy fat in my day would be just fine. Plus I know it’s going to taste fantastic. I’ve never made anything like this for lunch, so I’m excited to try them and see how I like them.

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From left to right:

Pasta Primavera Bowl: less than a cup of sauteed kale w/ onions, 2.5 oz of lemon chicken, 1/3 cup of whole wheat pasta, 1/2 roasted zucchini, 1/2 cup roasted crimini mushrooms, 2T marinara sauce, 2T mozzarella cheese.

Faux-otle Bowl: less than a cup of sauteed kale w/ onions, 2.5 oz of lemon chicken, 1/4 cup black beans, 2T mozzarella, 1 oz roasted red peppers, 1/4 cup brown rice, 2T hot salsa (on the side).

Traditional Power Bowl: less than a cup of sauteed kale w/ onions, 2.5 oz of lemon chicken, 1/4 cup black beans,  1/4 cup brown rice, 1/2 roasted zucchini, 1/2 cup roasted butternut squash.


Last up, I hard boiled eggs that I’ll have for snacks this week, par-steamed the sweet potatoes for tonight’s “street tacos,” and chopped up a few other veggie for lunches and  the pita pizza dinners I’ll alternate throughout the week.  I’ve never done meal prep quite like this, but I actually really enjoyed it.  I’m  glad I decided to add the variety to the power bowls, because I know myself, and I can’t eat the same thing for 7 days straight at lunch.

Since the dinners aren’t make-ahead, I’ll post pictures of those on IG and make sure to write a post with a photos from both meals later this week.

I have to admit, I was a bit nervous to start this plan, because it’s less protein and more carbs that I’m “supposed” to eat.   But I decided to take a chance and try it out because it’s super healthy, completely clean, very well balanced, and seems really satisfying.  Plus, I’m far enough along from my wls that I can eat a bit more normally (albeit much less).

Here’s to the start of a great week, and a fantastic month.






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February – love is in the air, and this month is going to be all about loving myself enough to continue making 2014 my year to shine. I’m vowing here and now that I will reach my goal weight in 2014. What an amazing accomplishment it will be! To achieve my goals, I’m going to focus on the basics – eating well, drinking lots of water, taking my vitamins and getting in 5 cardio workouts a week. I’ve started strength training with #ToneItUp and their #LoveYourBody series is helping see just how strong I am as I change my body. Sunday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the weekend. This month is going to be all about loving all the little things that make life special. My Sunday progress updates will be called Fabulous February Weigh-Ins.

Week 39 was nothing short of amazing!  I had the entire week off, got to spend time with a few different friends, planned to try a bunch of new fitness classes at the gym, like Spin and Zumba Step, and it was also my 9-month surgiversary.

So, what did the scale show?!

When I weighed in this morning, I was 189.6, which is a loss of 4.2 pounds this week, and a loss of 87.4 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 125.4 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 39.6 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds. What an amazing week!!  I’m in the 180s!!!!!  I haven’t seen a loss this big in quite some time, and I can only attribute it to the fact that I didn’t have any stress, could spend the days working out and drinking plenty of water, and cooked delicious, healthy meals for myself.

This week someone told me I was lucky to have lost so much weight since surgery.  I responded that luck had nothing to do with it, that it was a lot of hard work.  And it has been.  I haven’t just sat back and let the weight loss happen.  I’ve put in the effort of planning, shopping, cooking, and logging each meal.  I’ve spent the time in the gym, on the track, and on the hybrid.  I’ve chosen to make the most out of these first 9 months after surgery because I know it’s when the maximum weight loss happens.  I’ve changed my life.  And that has made all the difference. That’s why I know I’ll reach every single goal I set for myself.

I had a lot of time this week off to celebrate my successes.  I was able to write lots of blog posts, and reflecting like that really helps me put things into perspective.  I am in completely new territory in terms of my weight, and I don’t want to forget any of these moments.  For so long I dreamed of arriving at this moment, and I don’t want to take a second of it for granted.


Until next Sunday, my friends. I hope the scale treats you well, and that you have a wonderful week!

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2014-02-02 09.10.57

February – love is in the air, and this month is going to be all about loving myself enough to continue making 2014 my year to shine. I’m vowing here and now that I will reach my goal weight in 2014. What an amazing accomplishment it will be! To achieve my goals, I’m going to focus on the basics – eating well, drinking lots of water, taking my vitamins and getting in 5 cardio workouts a week. I’ve started strength training with #ToneItUp and their #LoveYourBody series is helping see just how strong I am as I change my body. Sunday weigh-ins will keep me accountable through the weekend. This month is going to be all about loving all the little things that make life special. My Sunday progress updates will be called Fabulous February Weigh-Ins.

Week 38 was stressful and challenging, but I’m happy to say I made it through better off than I began.  It wasn’t a terrible week, just one where everything seemed to be running at a fever-pitch.  I did get my workouts in, and I’m noticing some great changes in my body.

So, what did the scale show?!

When I weighed in this morning, I was 193.8, which is a loss of 0.8 pounds this week, and a loss of 83.2 lbs since surgery! I’ve lost a total of 121.2 pounds from my highest weight!! I have 43.8 pounds to go to my ultimate goal weight of 150 pounds. I’m really thankful for a loss this week, because of my poor choices on Friday.  Let’s be honest, it was one meal, and I still stayed under my calories for the day.  I made good choices the rest of the time, but with the challenges of the week, I’m happy to see a loss at all.  Plus, last week I had a big loss, and that’s usually followed by a smaller one.

One of the things that struck me this week were the changes I’m noticing in my body.  When I’m laying flat on my back about to do some ab work, I can really see and feel my ribs, and my hip bones are becoming apparent.  When I look at myself from a side-view standing at the mirror, I can see the start of definition in my stomach, and I’m definitely seeing a very slim profile. All of these changes are the result of my weight loss, sure, but I do think it’s because of the toning I’ve been doing with the #ToneItUp program.  I started four weeks ago, and I really wish I would’ve taken measurements at that time, but I didn’t.  Today the ToneItUp trainers will be sending a new set of workouts to get ready for spring, and I’m going to make sure to take measurements and photos for comparison at the end of the 6-week plan.

On a side note, I’m really upset that I haven’t been taking measurements all along since my surgery.  I meant to, but one thing or another would distract me and then I never did.  I do have some measurements from way back pre-op, March 2012, when I weighed 297 lbs or so. I just went back on this blog and I noticed that I wasn’t weighing in regularly at that time, probably because I was having such a hard time losing weight and regular weigh-ins were stressing me out.  Plus, there was more than a bit of denial there – if I  wasn’t seeing that the scale wasn’t moving, I wasn’t having to admit to my failings.  Regardless, when I take my measurements later today, I’m going to do a major comparison just for fun. My plan is to start taking measurements every Sunday, along with progress photos, so that I can start recording the changes in my body, and post about the progress once a month or so.

This week I have the entire week off, and since I didn’t end up going to Tahoe (I decided to save the money I would’ve spent and put it towards my Hawaiian vacation in April), I’m going to spend the week trying out a bunch of fitness classes that I can’t normally attend.  Here’s my cardio plan for the week (I’ll add in the toning once I get the week of workouts from ToneItUp):

  • Sunday: Run/walk with Di. She and I have been meeting up every Sunday morning, and I really look forward to this time to catch up and then get our sweat on.
  • Monday: Pilates. I tried Pilates a long time ago, and liked it for the first 10 minutes, but my almost-300 pound frame just couldn’t do most of the moves, so I left the class early. I can’t wait to see how much more I’m able to do now.
  • Tuesday: Spin. This is the class I’ve been dying to try, but was also completely intimidated at the same time.  Not because I didn’t think I could keep up, because even at my heaviest weight, I had so much strength in my legs/thighs, but because of my girth and the close proximity of the bikes to one another in the spin room.  The bikes are literally on top of each other, and when I was at my heaviest, I felt like I’d be overflowing into my neighbor’s space, and that just wasn’t something I wanted to deal with.  So I’ve avoided the class for all this time.  I have a feeling I’m going to love spin and it’s going to become one of my regular things.
  • Wednesday: Warm Yoga Flow. This is a vinyasa yoga class done in a room heated to about 90 degrees.  I love taking heated yoga because you feel so much better afterward.  In the past I avoided any sort of vinyasa or flow class because the poses moved too quickly for me to keep up with, but I think I’ll be able to keep pace much better now.
  • Thursday: Zumba Step. I love Zumba and haven’t been a class in a really long time.  I somehow got out of the Saturday morning routine of going.  I think the fact that one of my favorite teachers stopped teaching at my location also had something to do with it.  When I heard that 24 Hour Fitness was featuring this new class, which includes a step, I thought it sounded like a fun thing to try. Right now the Zumba Step class is only offered in the middle of the day during the week, so this is a rare opportunity for me to try it.  If I like it, I’ll definitely seek it out once summer starts.
  • Friday: Body Combat. This is a Les Mills class and the description taken straight from their website says, “This fiercely energetic program is inspired by mixed martial arts and draws from a wide array of disciplines such as karate, boxing, taekwondo, tai chi and muay thai. During this ultimate warrior workout, you’ll strike, punch, kick and kata your way through calories to superior cardio fitness.” I’m not sure if I’m physically ready for the class, but I figured it doesn’t hurt to try.

All of these classes are brand new to me, and I’m excited to try them.  You guys know how much I love variety in my workouts, so this is something that I’m really looking forward to.  A few of the classes, like Spin and Body Combat, are offered several times a week at the gym, so if I like them I can take them regularly. Warm Yoga Flow is offered a few times throughout the week at the yoga studio I like to go to, but I only have a limited number of classes that I’ve paid for, so I’ll need to space those classes out a bit if I like it.  Pilates and Zumba Step are only offered in the morning during the week, so I’ll have to wait for summer if I really like those.

I really can’t wait to see how I perform in these classes, and I think each of them will offer a challenge, but one that I can achieve. So many times in the past, I had the desire to take classes like these, but physically I just wasn’t up to the task.  Not to mention that feeling of “other” that I got whenever I looked around a room and saw that I was, by far, the biggest person in there.  What a different experience it will be this time! Just another way that this weight loss has transformed (and is transforming) my life.


Until next Sunday, my friends. I hope the scale treats you well, and that you have a wonderful week!

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bilbl_shoppingsofiA few weeks ago, SomerSaults Snack Co sent me an incredible package in the mail. They’d contacted me a couple of weeks before that, asking if I’d wanted to try some of their Sunflower Seed Snacks and write about what I thought of them.  When I looked at their nutritionals, especially their fiber content, I said I’d love to.

When I opened the box and saw these happy colors and the care with which it had been put together, I was really impressed.

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The blogger sample they’d sent me included all of their varieties: cinnamon crunch, santa fe salsa, pacific sea salt, salty pepper, and dutch cocoa.  They’d also sent me large 60z bags, as well as two different sizes  (1oz and 2oz) of individual snack packs. I couldn’t believe how generous they’d been in sending me all of the snacks to try! (Several weeks later, I still have some of these snacks in my pantry).

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Since it was afternoon, and I was in the mood for something savory, I went for the Santa Fe Salsa first.

2013-11-05 17.43.42 How cute is the cowboy on the bag?

A serving size is 14 snacks.  santafe

Those totals are really great, especially for someone like me who is trying to get as much protein in as I can.  I also really like how much fiber a serving size has.

2013-11-05 17.46.20 The nuggets are really substantial, and I have to say, after eating 14 of them, I was really full!  They’re really satisfying, and make a perfect after-school/3pm snack.

The Santa Fe Salsa were slightly spicy (I LOVE spicy food, so the more spice, the better), and I could definitely taste the jalapeno and chile.   To be honest, after tasting the other flavors, these were actually the flavor I’d be least likely to purchase, but that says more about how much I liked the other flavors.

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The dutch cocoa were delicious and just the right amount of chocolate, without being overly sweet.  I would pop 5-7 of these as an after dinner snack that completely satisfied my sweet tooth.  For people who sometimes crave a bit of sweet in the afternoon, these would be perfect.

The salty pepper were one of my favorites because they have it all – a bit of spice, a bit of salt, and lots of nutty goodness. I enjoyed these so much that I’ll be keeping these in my pantry for regular snacking.

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The pacific sea salt were hearty, and would be a great accompaniment to a piece of string cheese for a snack.  One day I was rushing out of the house without much time to prepare lunch, so I grabbed a bag of these and had them with 2 hard boiled eggs, and for me, that was the perfect meal.  I shared these with my dad one afternoon, and he really liked them, too.

The cinnamon crunch were, by far, my favorite of all the snacks.  I’ll definitely be re-purchasing these.  They remind me of graham crackers, but these taste so much better.  The heartiness of the seeds adds so much texture to the sweetness of the cinnamon.  These were a great snack when I was craving sweets, and I liked that they weren’t bad for me as so many other sweet snacks are.  In fact, the fiber in these actually enhanced my diet.

One of the things I really like about the Somersault Snack Co is that they’re based locally in the Bay Area, in Sausalito, CA, which is about 20 minutes north of San Francisco.  Their whole approach is fun and light, and I like that.

The snacks are available at lots of retailers, including Target and Whole Foods, but they’re also at lots of supermarkets.  The cost is fairly pricey at $4 per 6oz bag, but I loved these snacks so much that I’d definitely spend the money.  Plus, for me, one 6oz bag lasts quite a while.

My recommendation?  Buy them.  They are a wholesome, hearty snack that will definitely keep you satisfied for a few hours. They’ve found a permanent spot on my shopping list.

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Today marked three significant milestones that I wanted to share.

20130528-182925.jpg 1. Last night I was able to sleep in my bed! I’ve been on a couch since I left the hospital, because my stomach was too sore to lay flat. Last night I was feeling good, and decided to give it a try, and while it wasn’t the most comfortable night’s sleep I’ve ever had because I couldn’t only sleep on one side (crick in the neck this morning), it sure felt great to stretch all the way out.

Pink-Fuzzy-Scale2. When I first got back to my house, about 5 days after surgery, it showed 284, which was up 7 pounds from where I was right before surgery, when I weighed in at Kaiser at 277. I wasn’t too freaked out because I knew the weight gain was all from fluids, gas, bloating, and constipation. This morning I felt less bloated than I have since surgery, and I decided to get on the scale. It was down a couple of pounds from the surgery weight! It showed 275.8, which is great. Now that I’m past the “hump,” I know that the scale is going to slide down, down, and down. I can’t wait for Sunday’s weigh in.

20130528-182931.jpg3. I got to move to Stage 2 foods today. These include things like cottage cheese, yogurt, and baby food. I’ve never in my life eaten baby food, but I’m intrigued by the variety of flavor that it will offer. My sister said that she tasted all the baby food before giving it to her girls, and that it was actually very good. To help celebrate this new stage, she kindly bought me a bunch of different “kiddie approved” baby food. Is it weird that I’m looking forward to having string beans and chicken tonight? LOL. One thing I learned this afternoon as I was eating 1/2 cup of cottage cheese was just how slowly I have to eat this more solid food. I was going slowly, chewing carefully, and putting my spoon down between bites. I thought I was doing well, but all of a sudden, I got super-full and a cold sweat came over me – a sure sign that I’d eaten too fast. So tonight I’m going to slow down even more. This stage lasts for the next week until Monday’s 2-week post op appt. Update: The baby food?  Definitely not something I’m going to repeat.  The taste wasn’t terrible, but the consistency and texture was pretty yucky. So, I’m going to donate the food to our local food bank and stick with the soups that I’ve been enjoying.

I’m feeling really good today; the best I’ve felt since surgery.  I still have pain, and need to take things slowly, but I don’t feel the terrible bloated/uncomfortable feeling that I was struggling with as recently as yesterday. I was able to vacuum my floors, walk 10 minutes on the treadmill, and do a bit in my backyard. This is what I’ve been waiting for.  I’m not trying to rush anything, but I’m so happy to be able to feel more normal again.

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Saturday+SmilesAs I sit in my classroom and proctor the SAT for the last time this year, I’ve been thinking about all of the things that are making me smile.

promTonight is my high school’s prom, and it’s all the students have talked about for the past couple of weeks. Even the boys get in on the act, figuring out exactly how their going to ask their dates to the dance. Last week I helped my student ask his girlfriend by playing a video he made for her at the beginning of our study hall period. She was floored and so happy, and seeing them relish in their teenage love really made me happy for them. I can’t wait to see the photos of everyone’s dresses, makeup, and hair.

20130504-103943.jpgI haven’t been on the treadmill in the morning all week (the 90-degree weather we’ve been having has made me ultra-tired), but next week I’m going to get back to it, no matter what.  This photo is funny because I’m wearing my pjs, but it’s a good reminder that when you want to fit exercise in, you do whatever it takes, even if it means hitting the home treadmill in your jammies.  Hey, that’s why it’s convenient to have it at home, right?  One of the reasons I haven’t been on the treadmill in the morning is that I really dread it.  Not doing the work, but the fact that this treadmill my friend is letting me use isn’t high powered, so my obese body is too much for the belt.  I have to literally push it along with my feet and legs in order for it to move.  So, I’m getting a good workout, and my heart is pumping because of the force, but it’s in no way pleasant or enjoyable, especially first thing in the morning.  So I’ve decided to buy a used treadmill that I’m hoping to find on Craigslist (I’ve seen great deals on there) that will work the way it’s supposed to, even at this weight.


I’ve found a few new food items that are helping keep me on track.  The one above is Amazing Grass’ Green Superfood, and it was recommended to me by one of my friends on MyFitnessPal.  I tried it plain, in water, with a bit of fresh, raw ginger, and I really liked it.  But for those who don’t really like the taste of greens, you might want to mask it in a smoothie or buy their chocolate or vanilla chai flavors.  Right now I don’t have a problem getting my greens in, but post-op I know I will, especially at first.  After the initial healing is complete, I plan to use this to get my greens in.  When you can only fit 4oz, and you’re supposed to go to “protein first,” there’s not a whole lot of room, figuratively or literally, for greens.  Nor are they easily digestible in the beginning.  So this will be a really good solution.  Plus, it’s only 30 calories.

20130504-104016.jpg Have you guys tried kale chips?  I attempted making my own once, but the result was awful.  It sort of tasted like green ash.  Yuck!  I’d seen someone on Instagram or FB mentioning how delicious this brand was, so I gave it a try.  I love them!  The one problem is that they’re so expensive.  This 2.2 oz bag was $5.39 at Whole Foods.  I also tried the Trader Joe’s variety, and while they weren’t quite as good as the Kale Krunch, they were tasty.  And the $3.99 price is a bit more affordable. I’m going to the Triple-A Giants team game tomorrow (should be fun on Cinco de Mayo), and I’m planning to bring these with me so that I can have a snack, but still stay on track.

You guys know how much I love clothes, and recently I’ve been having a blast shopping in my closet! I’m able to fit into lots of the  clothes that I’d put away.  I’ve been wearing them to school, and getting tons of compliments.  The other day, a student I don’t even know told me how pretty she thought my dress was.  How cool is that?!  Tinkerbell also shared some clothes that one of her friends had given her in a recent closet purge.  I found some really cute things to tide me over and keep me from going to the store for new, smaller sizes.  Then on Thursday, I got a text from Amber letting me know that she’d just gone through her own closet, and had some clothes to share.  I was so touched by her generosity, because she and I live in two different states, and she’s paying the shipping costs.  She said it was a little surgery gift to me.  How sweet is she?  You guys will remember that I also have clothes from Meghann and Sylvia that I’m excited to wear soon. I definitely plan on paying it forward when the time comes and the clothes are too big for me.  I cannot wait for that to happen!!

The thing that’s making me smile the most right now is that there are 15 days until my surgery!!!!!

I hope you have a fantastic weekend!

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1. I’m really glad this was a short week (Monday was a furlough day) because tomorrow I’m losing half of my Saturday to proctoring the SAT.  On the plus side, I will (hopefully) get lots of grading done while I’m getting paid a little bit.

2. bowling Today our faculty social club has organized a bowling excursion, and I’m really looking forward to it.  It’s been ages since I’ve gone bowling, so who knows how I’ll score, but it will be fun to hang out with my colleagues and do something a bit active.

3. hot-hula_originalSpeaking of being active, I’m really looking forward to my Hot Hula Fitness class tonight.  I bought in on an excellent deal via Groupon, so this will be 1 of my 10 classes.  I can’t wait to shake my hips and burn some serious calories.

4.  The other day I found the BEST sweet snack: 20130307-233722.jpg They’re almost too good, but luckily my willpower is intact, and I kept it to a serving size.  If you’re looking for salty, buttery, and sweet – get them.

5. And finally, I’ll close with a great quote:


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bilbl_shoppingWhat a spectacular day it’s been, and it’s only about half over! I think every weekend I’m going to start writing a post called either #SaturdayScenes or #SundayScenes, depending on which day is filled with more fun. Who knows, some weekends it might be both. As I was posting photos on Instagram today, I made up the hashtag, and I think it will be fun to keep it as a regular feature on the blog.

So, for those of you who follow me on Twitter or Instagram (bellablogger), you’ve seen these photos, but I thought it would be nice to be able to write a bit more about each of them, as well.

422367_10151164129475426_268559075_nI started out this morning with my first Zumba class in months, and it felt so great to get back to it. I was so eager to give my Blochs a whirl, and so thankful that my heel is feeling better and the PF is giving me a lot less pain. I adore the energy of the class: the music, the movement, the smiles! I brought my friend Ani with me to the class, and it wiped her out! She said she really enjoyed it, but that she wasn’t sure how much more she would be able to do the rest of the day. I’m feeling sore already, but that great kind of sore where you know you used muscles that you haven’t used in forever. Zumba @ 10am on Saturdays is permanently in my iCal (except when I’m proctoring the SAT).

Today when I met Ani at the gym, she told me that she could definitely tell that I’d lost weight since she’d last seen me (NYE), and that made me feel so good!  This week has been fantastic with food & exercise, so I have a good feeling about tomorrow’s scale check-in.

580689_10151164411020426_1570796410_n Just look at that blue sky! Yes, it was 50 degrees and really chilly out, but the sun was shining and it was so clear that I just couldn’t resist putting the top down on the Beetle. (It’s funny that here in the Bay Area we’re bracing ourselves for the extreme cold (it’s been dipping below freezing at night), and my friend in Pennsylvania was saying that it was 50 there and she was out enjoying her garden. It’s all about perspective!). I felt so invigorated (and so hot) after the Zumba class, that I wanted to feel the breeze as I made my way to Sprouts to pick up my produce for the week for the week.

20130112-162159.jpg My haul from Sprouts. I got veggies, snacks (more on that in a minute), pb, tea, and almond milk for the week for $52. Not bad, at all. My Lean Cuisines/soups/Healthy Choice dinners add another $14, so my total grocery bill is $66 for the week – a far cry from $165/week that I was paying when I was on JC, right? I’m happy to say that my own version of it is working just a well, too. (More on that tomorrow for my weigh-in).

20130112-163344.jpg This is the snack find that made me smile today.  Wasabi Ginger Kettle Corn?  C’mon!  The stats are great, too.  I love the way it tastes, although I wish it was a bit “zingy-er” aka had a bit more heat from the wasabi.  Then again, I love things spicy!  I looked it up for you guys, and it looks like this is sold at Whole Foods and Cost Plus World market, too.  If you try it, let me know what you think of it.

20130112-162210.jpg So that was the first half of my Saturday.  Shhhh, don’t tell anyone, but this is an action shot (no doubt illegal) driving home with the top down.

1091185-football_49ers_extended_large And now, I’m going to watch my 49ers kick some Packer ass!

How did you spend your Saturday?

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Yesterday I got home from my frosty dip in the poolto discover a box on my doorstep. I wasn’t expecting anything, especially something addressed to me through my blog.


What could it be?! How fun!

20121017-200834.jpg The box was from Dasani, and now I was even more intrigued.


Why, Dasani, thank you, flattery will get you everywhere!

How cool is it that I got this box sent to me from Dasani Drops?  Completely unsolicited, I might add.

Inside, there were four different flavors of Dasani Drops: pink lemonade, strawberry kiwi, pineapple coconut, and mixed berry.  They also included that cute little 80z bottle of water and the cool pen.



What can I say, I’m an office supply nerd. I love the “lava lamp” feel of the pen and think it’s a clever marketing tool.

I am always looking for ways of getting my 8+ glasses of water in.  Lately, my goal has been 10 glasses/day.  I like the way plain water tastes, but after a while, it’s just, well, too plain.  Sometimes I like a little something in it to jazz it up a bit.  Yesterday I decided that I was in the mood for mixed berry.


I love the “grab and go” appeal of this little container. Easy to pop into a purse, gym bag, or carry on. This little container makes 32 8oz servings. Not bad.

I will say that these “drops” are more like a quick stream than anything else.  I tried my best to just add a drop, but it didn’t work.  Still, the amount of “flavor enhancer” you add to the glass is completely controllable, which I love.


This is how my water looked with about 3 drops/streams.  It tasted great!  And look how pretty that glass of water is.


This glass holds about 16oz.

I really appreciated that I could decide how much of the mixed berry flavor I liked.  I love that it’s “buildable,” so I can change it depending on my mood.  I really also like that it’s as easy to get the right flavor in a small glass of water as it is in a large 32oz Naglene container.  I haven’t found the same to be true for the powdered packets.  Whenever I want to add them to my Naglene, 1 is too bland and 2 is too much.  With the Dasani Drops, I can make it “just right.”  Ok, sorry, was that too Goldilocks and the Three Bears?

Since I’m not a huge fan of pineapple or coconut, I brought that flavor enhancer over to my sister’s house, and my nieces loved it!  My sister said she was glad that it was flavored using natural ingredients and that they didn’t use aspartame to sweeten it.  (It does have sucralose, though).  I wish they were sweetened with stevia instead – this is really the only downside, in my opinion.

Today I tried both the pink lemonade and the strawberry kiwi flavors, and I liked them both, too.  The Dasani Drops have a light, fresh flavor that I really appreciate.  They let water remain crisp and refreshing;I’ve found that some of the powdered packets do not.

Overall, I’d absolutely buy these Dasani Drops. They’re convenient, easy to use, and they taste great.

Do you think you’ll try them?

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It’s Wednesday, which means it’s time for another WIAW. What I Ate Wednesday is a fun weekly post/blog social event started over at Peas and Crayons. If you want to follow my eats everyday, become my friend on MyFitnessPal.

This post is going to be my last WIAW for awhile. I’ve embarked on a new phase of my weight loss journey which doesn’t include a ton of creativity in the kitchen. This week’s post is actually one that I meant to write up last week, but just didn’t find the time.

Last week I did my best to make recipes that use the bounty of late summer veggies. A Sunflower Farmer’s Market/Sprouts went in down the street from my school, and I’ve been hitting it once a week to stock up on veggies and other essentials for these recipes. It won’t replace Trader Joe’s, but it is coming in a quick 2nd.

What’s better than pizza on a Friday night?  I made taco pizza, which I found on Julie’s blog.  You can’t tell from the photo, but it’s got lots of healthy toppings – tomatoes, bell peppers, fat free refried bans, olives, and lowfat cheese.  I used ground turkey instead of ground beef, which also saved some fat.  I’d definitely make it again, especially for a football party or something like that.


20120916-094920.jpg Can you tell how gigantic these prawns are?  Sunflower Market had them on sale for $5.99/lb, and they were phenomenal.  I quickly sauteed them in a chili lime marinade that I found on sale (98 cents!) at Target, and they were delicious.  Keeping the shells on insures that they won’t come out dry.  I cooked them until the shells were just pink, and they were perfect.

Last week my sister made dinner for me, and since the weather was hot, she thought a Chinese chicken salad would be great.  It was!  She makes this amazing dressing with hot Chinese mustard and sesame oil that is a show stopper.  A little goes a long way, so this was still a really healthy salad.  She also topped it with a tablespoon of chopped peanuts for some crunch.  We had jasmine rice on the side.

20120916-094929.jpg If it looks like there’s a ton of chicken, it’s because there was.  LC was tired when she put this together and used an entire container of Trader Joe’s Just Teriyaki Chicken for the two salads.  As soon as I looked at the plate and realized it, we immediately removed half the chicken.  She had enough for two more meals.

This next recipe is a Summer Veggie Stew that I put together from a recipe I found on Pinterest. It made a ton of stew, so I froze half of it to enjoy for the next couple of weeks.  The flavor is wonderful, especially since I kicked it up a notch with some added spice.  The only thing I dislike is that the colors of the vegetables get so dulled when you cook them this way.


Finally, another recipe from Skinnytaste.com, Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken.  I love crock pot recipes, because once you get everything organized and chopped up, you just set it and go.  This one takes 10 hours on low, and it is worth the wait.  So yummy.  Very versatile, too.  I ate mine over some brown rice, but you could make tacos or burritos out of it as well.  There was so much chicken that I shared half with my parents, and we all made several meals out of it.


  • What was the best thing you’ve eaten today? This week?
  • What’s one habit you want to “fall into” this season?

I highly recommend joining in on the WIAW posts! Not only do you get a TON of great ideas for healthy, interesting meals, but you can make some new blogging buddies, too.

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