Tuesday, January 17, 2017

New Year's Resolutions UPDATE!!

So...one of my New Year's resolutions was to lose weight.  Another was to drink less wine.  Combining BOTH, I've been participating in the "Rejoin Weight Watchers/Dry January/Butt and Gut Challenge"...challenge (which I TOTALLY made up by mushing together three different programs).

So far, I'm sticking with it...I'm staying within my daily WW points total (32).  I haven't had a glass of wine, or any other type of alcohol since New Year's Eve.  I'm on DAY 8 of the "Butt and Gut Challenge" (incremental planks, squats, crunches, and squats).  Apparently, it's working...I've lost SEVEN pounds since January 1st!!!

Although the "not drinking wine" thing is difficult, my biggest challenge has been food.  Charting points is TEDIOUS, and getting bored with what I eat is a constant ANNOYANCE.

Luckily, the internet (and Pinterest) are FULL of interesting recipes and suggestions!  I'm posting links to TWO recipes I found online (or on Pinterest...I can't remember which...my brain isn't getting enough potato chips and cookies to work properly).  They are DELICIOUS, and MIGHT just keep me from quitting this whole ordeal!

The first recipe is Curried Chicken Salad.  You can find the recipe here.  I wrapped mine in a lettuce leaf, instead of using bread, and the entire meal totaled 4 points (her recipe says 3, but when I put it through the recipe builder on the Weight Watchers website, it said 4).  It was DELICIOUS!

The second recipe is Beef Chili Mac with Jalapenos.  You can find the original recipe here.  You will see that the recipe is actually called "Turkey Chili Mac with Jalapenos", but I altered the recipe and used lighter versions of ingredients than the original recipe to adjust the points.  Here's my version:

Beef Chili Mac with Jalapenos

T. garlic chives
tsp. onion powder
tsp. ground coriander
tsp. cumin
tsp. chili powder
tsp. salt
lb. 93% lean ground beef
c. beef broth
(14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes with green chiles
cups dry whole wheat elbow pasta
c. fresh jalapeno, seeded, membranes removed, diced
c. skim milk
oz. light cream cheese
c. reduced-fat shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Cook macaroni in boiling water until al dente.

In a small bowl, combine onion powder, ground coriander, cumin, chili powder and salt.

Brown ground beef in Dutch oven. When almost done, add minced jalapenos and garlic chives. Cook until tender but not mushy.

Stir in beef broth, diced tomatoes, and pasta. Cook for about 5-8 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed by pasta.

Pour milk into a small pan and heat up slowly over low heat. After the milk is warm and steaming add the cream cheese and stir until it is melted.

Add the shredded cheese to the milk and cream cheese. Stir until it is melted.

Pour the cheese sauce into the pasta mixture and stir until the pasta is evenly coated.

Serve hot.

9 WW points/serving.
Serving size: 1 cup.

Here's hoping YOU are sticking to YOUR New Year's resolutions too!!!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year, 2017!!

Well...it appears that I haven't blogged about my New Year's resolutions since 2009, but I always seem to have the same ones, so I should really just copy and paste (as I am now) with the heading "New Year, Old Goals"...

So...here they are...again...but check out the "addendum" at the bottom.  Something new that I've never felt the need to "resolve to do" before... 

1).  Lower my cholesterol. Still high.  Still needs improvement.  I'm taking high doses of prescription niacin, which thins out my blood, but is helping somewhat.  Except for the occasional "flushing" (which, I'm told, is like a hot flash...skin turns red, I sweat, I feel really hot for awhile), it seems to be helping...but resolutions 2 and 3 would help the medication be even more effective).

2).  Lose weight. Man...this one seems to be on my resolutions list EVERY YEAR. You'd think I'd have done it by now, but, I'm a little TOO FOND of fatty, salty, junky food. I've TRIED to lose weight, and have accomplished the goal, but then put it all back on when I get busy, or stressed, or bored. I'm starting the Weight Watchers "Points Chart" today. So far, I've only had a cup of coffee, and am planning to have bbq cheddar jalapeno chicken meatballs (www.slenderkitchen.com/bbq-cheddar-jalapeno-chicken-meatballs/) for lunch, but evenings and the time just before going to bed are when I crave junk food the most, so we'll see if I have the will power to NOT eat everything in the refrigerator!  I also find that my will power is not as strong as it was when I was younger, so...wish me luck!

3).  Get more exercise. I became a member of the community center gym this past January, and was pretty consistent with going there when it was cold and snowy (and even attended a number of Zumba classes with my friend Lynn).  When it got nice out, I also was fairly consistent with walking outside, but, as school got started again, and mornings got earlier and earlier, got lazy again. I've tried to get back to the fitness center a couple of times a week over the last month or two, but need to get back to three times a week.  It's always challenging to FIND an open treadmill at the fitness center until about mid-February (when all of the other "new year's resolution" people finally give up), so may have to attempt walking outdoors until then...brrrr...

4.  Drink less wine. Okay...I admit that I'm a little too fond of wine. Not slobbery, staggery, drunk fond of it, but DEFINITELY "it helps me relax" fond of it. I'm HOPING that the whole "lose weight/get more exercise" thing will assist with this resolution. Wine is HIGH in calories, and will TOTALLY defeat losing weight, which I think I REALLY AM now committed to doing.  At this point, I'm making a "tenuous" commitment to a DRY JANUARY.  That lack of will power thing is going to REALLY be put to the test!

5.  Work on my debt load. I like to spend money.  I like having a credit card.  They do not necessarily go well together.  I'm nowhere NEAR where I was when I went into the "debt management" program five or six years ago, but I definitely need to "reign it in", and pay off the debt that I have now accrued.  My car will be paid off in August, and the money going toward that debt will be redirected to my credit card balance.  Now if I could just figure out a way to refinance or switch my student loan to something that would actually show a decrease in the balance occasionally...

6).  Swear less. Okay...I admit it (although if you know me AT ALL, you already know this)...I get EXTREMELY "potty mouthed" when I drive around the cities. It doesn't HELP that 98% of the drivers up here are COMPLETE and UTTER morons, but, in an effort to "detoxify" my commute, I am stating here, for the world (or at least the three people who read my blog) that I am vowing to curtail the "blue stream of trucker talk" that seem to pop so freely from my mouth. Enough said.

7).  Spend MORE time with family and friends. I don't really need to elaborate on this one. I get too busy, and too wrapped up in things, and my personal relationships end up taking the brunt of it. No more (I hope). Family and friends are what it's all about, right? Why cut time from that for all of the "crap" that fills our days??  I MIGHT even try to work on my phobia of talking on the phone (I know it's not rational...that's why it's a phobia!).


8). Find a way to move forward with hope this year (and the three years after that).  I have not been happy since the election.  Everything leading up to November 8th was contentious, and mean, and full of hatred and bigotry...none of which I care to be a part of.  I pride myself on finding the good in things, and in being a, generally, upbeat and positive person.  I'm not at the moment.  

As the inauguration gets closer, I find myself feeling more trepidation, and less hope that things will be okay.  With each odious pick for "head of this" and "chairMAN" (because "person" is apparently not BUTCH enough) of that, my hopes for our country get dimmer and dimmer.  SO...I am still going to TRY to find the good in the future...whatever it may hold...but THIS could be the toughest resolution of all to stick with.
Wish me luck, and I hope that YOU are successful with your New Year's goals too!!!