Monday, January 31, 2011

Butter Beans and Barley meal

Here is another meal that I put together quickly, and it tasted so delicious that I had to stop eating, take a picture, and write down the recipe for you.

Butter Beans and Barley

Ingredients, all mixed together in a bowl:
-1 cup barley
-1/2 cup butter beans (canned, drained and rinsed)
-1 can tomatoes, green pepper and onion flavored
-1 teaspoon EVOO

Mix all ingredients together, and enjoy!!! PointsPlus value: 8


Well, folks... I maintained.

After a great week of pretty amazing eating, including one day of 100% Power Foods, and steady exercising, I maintained my current weight of 154.4.

And I'm actually NOT upset about it!


I love this weight. I feel thin and beautiful and... healthy.

It's not my ultimate goal weight (135 is!!!), but I'm pretty content to stay around this weight for a bit.

If the losses start to slow down, that's actually OKAY with me.

... Now, that being said, I'm not going to jump up and down with joy over maintaining after trying to lose.

There are a few possibilities for the reasons I maintained this week:

1) Water weight. I felt kind of bloated this weekend, after a salty day on Friday (triscuits, pickles... falafel...)

2) My body is adjusting to my new exercise routine. Last week was the first full week of my new college exercise plan, which basically is less time consuming, but higher intensity workouts, usually in the morning before work.

3) I'm so close to my goal weight now that the losses will be slowing down. Many have told me that this would probably happen, and I didn't want to accept it, but this just may be the case.

4) I didn't eat enough. I'm not sure if this is actually possible as a reason to not lose weight, but some WW members have told me that it is. I ended the week with some WP remaining, which never happens for me. And on Tuesday, I went to bed with a couple of DPs left.

My plan is to just keep on going, stay OP, and keep up with my new exercise routine. Oh, and to hope for a good loss next time! :-)
P.S. This is a picture of me in jeans that fit! I'm loving wearing fitted jeans. (size 14)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Food Pictures!

The responses were pretty much unanimous: You want to see pictures of my food! :-) So, I decided to post the last three delicious meals that I've eaten.

Chocolate Peanut butter and banana toast!
6 PointsPlus
-2 slices whole wheat bread, toasted
-1 small banana, sliced
-1 tablespoon Peanut Butter & Co. "dark chocolate dreams"

Lunch, bowl-style
10 PointsPlus
-1 cup leftover brown rice
-1/2 cup bean trio (canned, rinsed and drained)
-1/2 cup corn (canned, NSA)
-salsa, to taste
-1 teaspoon EVOO

Barley, beans, and veggies!!!
8 PoinstPlus
-1 cup barley (I just found out that I can cook barley in my rice cooker!!!)
-1/2 cup bean trio (leftover from lunch)
-lots of steamed broccoli and carrots
-1 teaspoon EVOO

A couple of links to share with you...

I found this cutesy scale picture on one of my new favorite blogs: This is Not a Diet. Such a cute picture, and such an amazing blog by a strong, beautiful woman who is losing weight the right way.
By the way, I "met" the blog author, Kate, on another weight loss website called Fat Secret.
I hightly encourage anyone who needs another kick in the right direction to visit Fat Secret! It was one of my favorite sites when I first started considering losing weight, before joining
Weight Watchers or reading The Kind Diet.

FAQ from the WW message boards... edition #1 "only 1 pound?!"

***Warning: This will be a preach-y post.***

I am on the Weight Watchers message boards a lot. Probably too much. And there are a few things that new members ask about that rub me the wrong way.

But I know what being a newbie is like! I was one pretty recently (late May/early June 2009).

This is the first installment of my WW message boards FAQ, with my personal answers!

1) I worked SO HARD this week and lost ONLY ONE POUND!!!
What am I doing wrong???

The only thing that you're doing wrong is placing unrealistic expectations upon yourself (and the scale, and WW). Weight Watchers is designed for a slow, steady approach to weight loss (.5-2 pounds per week).

Remember: Losing 1 pound every week is more than 50 pounds every year! The slower losses are because WW is more than just a diet. As cliche as this sounds, WW really is a lifestyle change!

Eating less, moving more, but nothing drastic. No food groups cut out, no extreme exercise plan, no intense deprivation from ANY FOOD. WW is simply: Everything in moderation.

I know that I could lose really fast (3 or 4 pounds a week!!!) if I stopped eating everything that I love, and spent hours at the gym every day. (And believe me, that is something I've tried in the past, several times, only to regain the weigh PLUS some). With a slower rate of loss, my mind has had the time to catch up with my body.

I am in the healthy weight range after a year and a half on WW. And because it took me this long to get here, I see that in the mirror. I don't still feel like the "fat girl". Every time that I've lost weight quickly, I still felt fat, even when I wasn't.

And let me tell you: I am loving not feeling fat!!! It is great to look down at myself and think: YES! I've not fat anymore! And to KNOW that, not just because of the number on the scale.

Well, I've kind of gone off on a personal tangent here, but that's what blogging is for, right? :-)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Wow, what a powerful day I had yesterday! :-)

I ate 100% from the Power Foods list, and I have to say that I felt great all day long. From my oatmeal breakfast to my brown rice and beans lunch and dinner, to my fruit and veggie snacks... I was satisfied.

I ended up eating less than my daily PointsPlus. I ate 26 PointsPlus yesterday! It is a WW first for me. Since starting WW in May/June 2009, I have never gone under my daily points. Nope, I've been an eat-whatever-I-can kind of gal, usually eating all DP plus some WP/AP every day.

So I was shocked when I went to bed last night, satisfied at 26.

I almost took pictures of both my lunch and dinner, but ultimately decided against it! Would you like to see pictures of my food, or would that be too KERF-y for this blog? (I love KERF, by the way, I just don't know if people are interested in seeing pictures of my meals, or if reading about them is good enough for this blog).

Seriously, they were delicious! I need to make another big batch of rice in my rice cooker tonight, since I'm almost all done with what I made on Monday.

Lunch (10 PointsPlus): mixed together in a bowl- 1 cup brown rice, 1/2 cup ff refried beans, salsa (to taste), 1/2 cup corn (kernels, canned, NSA), 1 tsp EVOO. note: On a normal WW day, this would have tasted even better in a tortilla, and it would have only been one more PointPlus (I get high-fiber, low-carb tortillas)

Dinner (10 PointsPlus): mixed together in a bowl- 1 cup brown rice, 1/2 cup black beans, 1/2 cup corn (kernels, canned, NSA), 1 tsp EVOO, green beans (canned, NSA, entire can), sea salt and black pepper (to taste)

I usually don't eat corn, but I realized yesterday how much I have missed it! When I was planning my meals, I saw that I would be under points for the day. So I added corn to both meals, and I was still a bit under for the day.

Maybe it's that I stuck to the Power Foods list, maybe it's because I ate bigger, pointier meals, but whatever the reason, I had NO cravings for junk yesterday, and ended the day satisfied and with 3 PointsPlus to spare.

Since I don't enjoy eating less than my DP (in fact, I always want to eat at least my DP, never go under) I don't plan to have another Power Foods challenge day again.

I think that as a vegan who doesn't cook much, I need my nuts and nut butters to get me the PointsPlus that my body needs.

Yesterday did teach me some things:

1) Power Foods really are powerful. I was satisfied between meals, and never had junk food cravings, which is rare for me.

2) I will be able to do the Simply Filling Technique easily, if I ever want to. Yesterday's food + a tortilla and an ounce of almonds on SFT = 6 points. I can do it!

3) I don't need my granola bar for breakfast, but I sure do love it. And the simple sugars in it may be causing my junk food cravings all day long? I am not sure, but I've heard that theory and had never tested it until yesterday.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Delicious Power Foods far.

Breakfast: 1/2 cup oatmeal (4), 3/4 cup light soy milk (2), banana (0)

Lunch: 1 cup brown rice mixed with 1 tsp EVOO (6), 1/2 cup refried beans (2), 1/2 cup corn (2), salsa (0)

Snacks: apple slices (0), cherry tomatoes (0)

Planned dinner: brown rice pasta (5), 1/2 cup black beans (2), 1 tsp EVOO (1), canned tomatoes (0); steamed veggies (0)

Planned evening snacks: celery (0), carrots (0), boca burgers (3), green beans (0), banana (0)

Planned workout: 40 minutes cardio (+6)

I will have 2 PointsPlus left after all of that, but I will have eaten so many zero PointsPlus fruits and veggies that I will possibly be completely satisfied without eating any more. But if I need to eat more, I will probably eat some more corn, since it was so delicious with my lunch!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Power Foods challenge- Day 1 Plan

Today is not a Power Foods challenge day. I already ate the following non-Power Foods:

-Nature Valley crunchy granola bar, Roasted Almond flavor
-1 oz. Blue Diamond Almonds in Bold: Wasabi & Soy Sauce flavor
-Oreo stix (this is the last one that I had, thank goodness!)

Power Foods eaten:

I need to get better at this, clearly!

I neglected to make my huge pot of brown rice this weekend, so that has been procrastinated to today. I will be using my rice cooker, so it requires very little time and effort. It is one of those rice cooker/vegetable steamer things (simular item pictured, Target $9.99), so I will be steaming some veggies for dinner, too!
I have no clue what a Power Foods breakfast is like. I may have to wake up early enough to enjoy oatmeal... but with my late night homework/studying night + my early morning cardio session, the likelihood of that happening...? Not so good.
I will probably end up eating fruit for breakfast. And starving until lunch... At least that's what I have pictured in my head. Which I really don't want to do...
Plan for Day 1:
breakfast- maybe overnight oats made with soy milk and fruit...?
lunch- rice, beans, salsa, veggies, evoo
dinner- rice, beans, veggies, evoo
snacks- fruit, veggies, boca burger
What are some good, vegan, QUICK, Power Foods breakfast ideas???

Friday, January 21, 2011

I'm going to try to do a Power Foods challenge. I am inspired to do this by Cheryl a.k.a Bitchcakes, from this blog entry. You should check out her blog if you haven't already! Seriously, many of the things that I do and try on this blog are very much inspired and influenced by Cheryl's blog. Thanks, Bitchcakes!

Basically, I will try to stick to the Power Foods list 100%, for at least 3 whole days next week. This will mean that I will be stocking up on Power Foods at the grocery store this week. Here's my list so far:

-brown rice (I plan to make a big pot this weekend and warm up servings for myself after class, or even at lunch!)

-loads of fresh produce, both veggies and fruits

-soy yogurt (just to try it, I need to have something sweet for breakfast besides fruit, and my granola bars are definately not Power Foods)




-boca burgers (I love that these made the Power Foods list)

If you can think of any must-have Power Foods that I don't have to work hard to make (full time worker, full time student, AAURGH!), please add them to my list! Thanks.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ring NSV

I have been wearing my grandmother's pinkice ring for about a year now, always on my right hand ring finger.

Today, it fell off!!!

I had to move it to the next biggest finger, the middle finger. It feels weird, but I love the ring, and I know that this means that my fingers are getting closer to their perfect size.

Once I hit my goal weight, I will have the ring resized to fit my newly thin ring finger.

Until then, I will just move it on up, one finger at a time.

Will "college eating" destroy my Kind Dieting?

This thought occured to me yesterday. Now that I'm a college student, I'm eating more "on-the-go" types of vegan foods for dinner and snacks most nights.

Sandwiches, trail mix, cut-up veggies and fruits, oreo stix...

This also means that I'm basically switching from brown rice to whole grain bread.

In TKD, Alicia says that I should choose whole grains in their purest form whenever possible... so I'm hoping that by making the rice-to-bread switch I don't mess up my body. Or my weigh-ins.

My bread is 2 PointsPlus per slice. But it's actually only 3 PointsPlus for two slices. Don't ask me how, it's Weight Watchers math. Either way, I'm glad to save that point.

But will my new sandwich habit slow down my losses?

I'm actually craving brown rice right now... Which is a good thing, I suppose. But now I won't have time to make and eat my beloved brown rice except for on the weekends. So I guess that I will make a delicious, brown rice-infused meal tomorrow night, and stop worrying about my bread.

And it's only my first week as a student, I need to give my new way of eating a few weeks before I start to worry... right?

Or is there a way to make rice and beans in a crockpot? I will have to look into it, because it would be great to come home from class (around 9pm) to a home-cooked meal of beans and rice.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Help the stray puppies?

There are three stray puppies running around my apartment complex. They look kind of like this guy:
My heart goes out the them!!! I want to load them into my car and take them to the vet. Make sure that they are healthy, get shots for them, have them spayed or neutered, and find homes for them.
Unfortunately, I had to get to work. Then I have to go to class. Plus, my boyfriend gave me a big "NO WAY" when I told him of my "save the puppies" plan. Also, I have no idea where their mom is, if she would be part of the package, too, or not.
I hate when I want to help but I can't. :-(
What would you do?

For the love of the Nordic Track Skier...

Seriously, I love this thing. I'm sure that I've given the backstory of my love affair with the Nordic Track pro-skier, but here it is again, in detail:

1995: My parents bought the Nordic Track skier, back in the peak of its popularity. I wasn't allowed near it.

1997: We moved the Nordic Track with us from Hawaii to Nebraska, where it was almost immediately forgotten about, stored in the corner somewhere (I think in the basement?)

2002: The Nordic Track moved with us again from Nebraska to Tennessee, only to be stored in a corner again, collecting dust.

2010: The Nordic Track skier found its new "forever-home" with me. It is used several times a week and (if objects had feelings, of course) is happier than its been since 1997!

And it works, by the way. It's a wonderful cardio workout! My lower body, especially my butt and the backs of my legs, and my back and upper arms have all been completely reshaped since I started my skiing.

Oldies are goodies.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My easy filling late night snack/meal...

This is an example of an easy, throw-together meal. It may not look pretty, but it was delicious, and I will be eating this again! I created this myself, by the way... I've been inspired to create my own "open a can" recipes by the book PETA's Vegan College Cookbook.
Warning: This one is very spicy!
Black and Green Beans Salsa Surprise
1) half cup black beans, canned, drained and rinsed
2) can of green bean, drained and rinsed
3) salsa, to taste
4) garlic powder, to taste
Mix black and green beans together. Pour salsa over. Stir in some garlic powder. Enjoy!
2 PointsPlus for entire bowl

Snacks for vegan students #1: trail mix

Leah's Super Special Vegan Trail Mix!!!
Perfect for snacking on during class.
Mix the following ingredients in a gallon ziploc bag and shake:
1) 1 cup chocolate cheerios
2) 1 cup wasabi peas
3) 1 cup pretzel sticks (broken in half)
4) 1 cup granola
5) 1 cup raisins
entire bag = 36 PointsPlus. I have been eating 1/4 of the bag at a time, for 9 PointsPlus a serving.
The next time I make this, I am skipping the granola, or using a less point-y one, since that is where the majority of the points came from! But for now, I will continue to enjoy this tasty treat!

Back to school- meal #1

(not actual pictures of my food, but you get the gist)

1) peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole wheat bread
-PointsPlus: 6
-to be eaten on the drive to school

2) homemade trail mix (recipe coming later tonight!)
-PointsPlus: 9
-to be eaten during class

3) celery sticks
-PointsPlus: 0
-to be eaten...whenever.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Progress photos coming soon! (and 155 vs. 154)

Remember those progress photos that I take every ten pounds in my size 20 jeans and my pink sports bra?

I am now only .8 a pound away from taking the next set! And I have no doubt whatsoever that I will make that goal (155.0) this week. I'm so excited to be at the top of Weight Watchers' healthy weight range.

Which I always assumed was a healthy BMI, but I just found out that my top weight for a healthy BMI is 154, not 155... a fact that I am going to try to completely ignore, since I have been so focused on "155" for so long.

I will be celebrating 155 as if it is a healthy BMI for me, regardless of the facts... by the way, WW, why do you have 155 as a "healthy" weight if 154 is the real healthy weight??

Yes, I'm bothered that 154 should be my new 155... but I really want to celebrate being "normal" at 155, and WW tells me that I can, so THERE. :-)

Anyway, I will be posting updated progress pictures next weekend.

I lost 1.2 last week!!! I am absolutely thrilled to finally have surpassed my pre-christmas low weight of 156.8 by an entire pound. I'm so happy to be back on the weight-loss path.

P.S. I have not forgotten about re-reading The Kind Diet and posting detailed thoughts about each chapter/section of the book. I actually finally started to re-read it this weekend, and plan to start the posts next weekend. Yay for The Kind Diet!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Food and Exercise Journal, January 13
time- food (PointsPlus)

8:00am- banana (0), granola bar (5)

10:30am- almonds (5)

12:30pm- wasa (3), healthy bean dip (3)

3:00pm- apple (0)

5:30pm- bagel (5), peanut butter (3)

7:30pm- celery (0), carrots (0)

9:00pm- steamed veggies (0), brown rice (5), tsp evoo (1)

Points Summary:
DP used: 29/29
WPA used: 1/1 (remaining)
AP earned: 0
AP used: 0/44 (earned so far)

GHG Summary:
Fruits/Veggies- CHECK!
Healthy Oils- CHECK!
Lean Protein- CHECK!
Whole Grains- CHECK!
Activity- NOPE! But it was a DOR, so... kind of yes.
Sugar/Alcohol- CHECK!
Vitamins- NOPE...
Liquids- CHECK!

Lessons Learned:
I ate as soon as I got to class, out of boredom. Class started late, and I had a big peanut butter bagel in my bag... what was I supposed to do? Actually wait to get hungry? Next week, I will bring a book to read in case this happens again. I am trying to leave boredom eating behind me!

Today's Plan:
breakfast- banana (0) and granola bar (5)
lunch- wasa (3), healthy bean dip (3)
dinner- brown rice (5), beans (2), evoo (1), veggies (0)
snacks- bagel with peanut butter (8), fruit and veggies (0), wasabi peas (2- I don't know how many or few peas this will be yet, I am new to this snack food!)
activity- Curves (+2), Nordic Track (+8)

Thanks, everyone, for bearing with me as I tracked on here this week. It has really helped me to get re-focused and back on track during this post-holiday, pre-school year week. Up next: I will be doing a series of easy to make/low in points/easy to eat in class/vegan snacks and sandwiches! I hope that you enjoy the posts as much as I intend to enjoy making them. :-)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sharing my Journal

Food and Exercise Journal, January 12
time- food (PointsPlus)

8:00am- banana (0), granola bar (5)

10:00am- almonds (5)

12:30pm- wasa (3), refried beans (2), salsa (0), evoo (1)

3:00pm- celery (0), carrots (0)

8:30pm- brown rice (5), kidney beans (2), evoo (1), veggies (0)

10:00pm- 1 hour Nordic Track

11:00pm- bagel (5), peanut butter (3), soy milk (2)

Points Summary:
DP used: 29/29
WPA used: 6/6 (remaining)
AP earned: 8
AP used: 0

GHG Summary:
Fruits/Veggies- CHECK!
Lean Proteins- CHECK!
Healthy Oils- CHECK!
Whole Grains- CHECK!
Liquids- CHECK!
Vitamins- NOPE!
Activity- CHECK!
Sugar/Alcohol- CHECK!

Lessons Learned:
If I'm truly distracted, I will not be hungry right after work. I'm wondering now if for months I've been eating at 5:30/6 is because of routine, not true hunger... I went to do a test-run at my school with my mom last night (pictures here) and completely forgot about dinner. That is, until my stomache reminded me around 8. So I will be bringing a snack and a sandwich to class tonight, just in case I get hungry. But it looks as if I could wait to eat dinner after class if I need to, which makes me feel a lot better!

Today's Plan:
breakfast- banana (0), granola bar (5)
lunch- wasa (3), beans (2), evoo (1), veggies (0)
dinner- bagel (5), peanut butter (3), carrots (0), celery (0), apple (0)
snacks- veggies w/ evoo (1), almonds (5), triscuits (3), hummus (1)
activity- Nordic Track hour (+8)
29/29 DP, +8 AP

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sharing my Journal, Day 2

January 11 Food and Exercise Journal
time- food/exercise (PointsPlus)

8:00am- banana (0), granola bar (5)

10:00am- almonds (2)

12:30pm- wasa crackers (3), refried beans (2), evoo (1), salsa (0)

3:00pm- almonds (3), carrot sticks (0), celery (0)

5:00pm- Curves (+2)

6:00pm- brown rice (5), kidney beans (2), vegetables (0), evoo (1)

8:00pm- treadmill jog/walk on incline (+8)

9:15pm- crackers (3), hummus (3)

Points Summary:
Daily Used- 29/29
WPA Used- 1/7 (remaining)
AP earned- 10
AP used- 0/26 (earned this week)

GHG Summary:
fruits/vegetables: CHECK!
healthy oils: CHECK!
liquids: CHECK!
lean protein: CHECK!
vitamins: NOPE... oops.
whole grains: CHECK!
activity: CHECK!
sugar/alcohol: CHECK!

Lessons learned:
Once again, I learned that I always feel so much better when I'm eating the right foods. When I follow the GHGs, my body and mind just feel so much healthier than when I'm not. Also, I need to remember that blasted vitamin. Why is it so hard for me to remember that?!

Today's Plan:
breakfast: banana (0), granola bar (5)
lunch: wasa (3), beans (2), evoo (1)
dinner: rice (5), beans (2), veggies (0), evoo (1)
snacks: almonds (5), triscuits (6), hummus (3), apple (0), peanut butter (2)
exercise: 1 hour Nordic Track (+8)
Points Plan: 35/29

Leah: The Kind Weight Watcher's first official retraction...

Remember how excited I was about Curves zumba? Remember this stellar review?

I take it back. I take it all back!

I just wish that I was already a lawyer so that I could really do something about this, but here is the injustice that I was faced with yesterday:

They are charging for zumba!!!! $2.00 per session. This wouldn't be a big deal (Oh, I'd still be furious, but it wouldn't be quite the upset that it is) if Zumba took place in a seperate room. But no, Zumba takes place in the only room, right around the equipment that is for PAYING members to use during all hours of business...

Now, if a PAYING MEMBER wants to do the workout that was PAID FOR at 5:30pm on Tuesdays or Thursdays, they will have to PAY an additional $2.00???!!! I'm sorry, but I PAY $35.00 a month to have unlimited access to Curves.

I want to see my contract. I should not have to pay anything about my $35.00 monthly fee to use the facility at any time it's open.

It's ridiculous. I am going to be writing to the corporate office about this, just as soon as I figure out how, and who exactly to complain to.

$35.00 a month is not chump change for me. No sir-ee, I budget around that number. When I joined Curves back in February 2010, I decided that it was worth giving up some fun things every month to get in shape with Mom. So for almost a year now, I have sacrificed movies and going out to eat for going to Curves.

And they have the nerve to charge me more, just because the only time that I can fit it into my schedule is right after work, which just happens to be when the now $2.00/session Zumba classes are?!

Not cool, Curves. Not cool.

And yes, I know that school starts for me tomorrow and that this will basically no longer apply to me since I will only be able to go to Curves on Fridays until Summer break... but it's the principle of the thing.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sharing my Journal to get back on track

Well, yesterday was a 50% OP day for me. Meaning that I stayed in my points, but... that's it. No GHGs were met. Well, maybe a couple... Here's yesterday's journal, GHG foods in bold:

8:00am- banana (0) , granola bar (5)
12:00pm- chocolate cheerios (3), soy milk (1), banana (0)
3:00pm- almonds (5)
6:00pm- triscuits (6), hummus (2), oreo sticks (3)
8:00pm- 2 hamburger buns (4), more hummus (2), redvines (3)

34 Points consumed. I had planned to use 33, so that went pretty well, but... I met basically none of the GHGs except water.

This is very PMS-related, I'm sure, but still. Today the plan is to get back to 100% OP, and to ignore my TOM cravings. I'm out of oreo sticks and almost out of chocolate cheerios, so it should be easier to ignore the chocolate cravings today. But I do still have half a box of triscuits and half a bag of pretzel sticks, so I will have to work to ignore the salty cravings... I will plan some into my day, which should help.

So, I'm back to sharing my journal with you guys again, at least for the next couple of days. Here's the plan for today (GHGs in bold):

8:00am- banana (0) and granola bar (5)
Lunch- refried beans (2), wasa crackers (3), evoo (1), carrots/celery (0)
Snack- almonds (5), fruit cup (0)
Dinner- brown rice (5), beans (2), veggies (0), evoo (1)
Snack(s)- triscuits (6), hummus (2), apple (0), peanut butter (1)
Workout(s)- Curves (+2), Nordic Track (+8)
Total Points- 33DP/WPA, +10AP

I feel better already. :-)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Recipe fail: "Open-a-Can Bean Salad"

I have always assumed that if I make a recipe correctly that I will like the taste no matter what. I was wrong! And this recipe makes a huge amount of food, so I will still be eating this, despite not liking it. I'm not sure where I went wrong... But this is the first recipe out of my new favorite book (PETA's Vegan College Cookbook) that failed me.

"Open-a-Can Bean Salad"

-1 can black beans
-1 can garbanzo beans/chickpeas
-1 can black-eyed peas
-1 can corn
-1 can tomatoes with onion and garlic
-1 teaspoon chives, chopped
-4 oz. Italian dressing

Drain and rinse all beans and the corn. Mix all ingredients in one bowl. Makes 4 servings.

Okay... I skipped the chives, but I'm pretty sure that's not why I don't like this. I'm not sure what the problem is, since I love all of these ingredients. Although I had never tried black-eyed peas, so I guess that could be the gross flavor that I don't like. Hmmm...

I have a GIANT bowl of this stuff in my fridge, and I don't like it, but I don't want to waste all of this. So I will try to get creative. Mix some with rice or cous-cous, make a soup with vegetable broth, mix with pasta and ragu. I'm sure that there are ways to save these (usually delicious) beans.
Do you have any other ideas? How do you not waste recipes that you don't like?
***edited to update: I rinsed them off, and it's still disgusting. I think that it's the canned tomatoes that taste bad to me. :-( I will still try to salvage what's left tonight was a soup (mixing half of the beans with a bunch of vegetable broth and pepper) and some pasta (mixing the other half of the beans with pasta and ragu).

My newest snack obsession... (and general WW update)

Triscuits with hummus. I could eat this all day long. Seriously, have you tried triscuits with hummus? If not, you are missing out.
Anyway, I am down .6 for 2011 so far. Not my best weigh-in, but very far from my worst. I will take the loss!
Now I am finally back to an "even" number. 157.0. Maybe I can get back to losing a pound a week now, for awhile? Stay at an even number?

This weekend I ate 37 of my 49 weekly points, which is insane. But in my defense, there was a LOT of down time. And it's that time of the month (TOM), and around TOM I tend to overeat more than usual, especially the snack-y stuff like chocolates and french fries.

So I have 12 WPA left to get me through to my next weigh-in, which is Saturday the 15th. My plan is to eat 4 per day for three days and then stick to my DP on Thursday and Friday. I'm hoping that this way of spreading them out will help me on the scale, but who knows?

Also, it's a SNOW DAY in Memphis today! Which is so rare that it's amazing. I love snow. I think that it was such a beautiful evening last night, watching the flakes fall.

Of course, now comes the nasty part: Sleet and freezing drizzle is expected to fall all day today, which will make the roads worse than they already are. To me, the roads weren't that bad this morning. I took it slow driving to work, and made sure to WOFI (Watch Out For Idiots).

I did track 100% over the weekend, which is why I know exactly how few WP I have left. And it feels pretty great to be back to tracking. Even though I only took a couple of days off (December 25 and 26) it has taken me this long to get back to being at 100% tracking. And I'm glad to be back OP.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tips added...

I have taken the plunge. I have added some extra pages to my blog. (at the top of the main page)

"Tips for Going Vegan"
"Tips for Weight Watchers" and
"Interested vs. Commmitted"

I just put together all of my thoughts on going vegan and WW. Interested Vs. Committed is an excerpt from a book that really spoke to me. Please enjoy my new pages! Or don't. Whatever.


I made a smoothie!

...and I liked it.

-1 ripe banana
-4 strawberries (I left the stems on!)
-handful of baby spinach
-1 clementine
-1/2 cup of orange juice
-3 ice cubes

I put all of these into my Magic Bullet (using the blender top) and it was pretty good. Tasted like a "Naked" juice. Looked kind of like this picture, but with a few more green specks in it. Couldn't taste the spinach. Amazing!

I have also made a few things from the book, "PETA's Vegan College Cookbook" and I'm OBSESSED with this book now. It makes me happy! It gives me the delusion that I am a great cook.

After reading many online reviews about this book, I have found out that many people make fun of it as not being a "real" cookbook. And yes, there are some very simple recipes in it, but that's why I love it!

It doesn't intimidate me like many other vegan cookbooks, like "Veganominicon" which I have picked up in many bookstores, gotten scared, and left behind. So many foreign ingredients!

And yes, I have the same problem with all the recipes in The Kind Diet. Too many expensive ingredients, lots of steps to every recipe, many recipes take hours to make. :-(

Finally, I have found a cookbook that I can commit to, and I really do think that I will be trying most (if not all) 275 recipes in this book. :-)

The best one so far:

Dirty Chick(pea) Cleansing Salad

-1 15.5 oz. can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
-an apple, cored and diced
-celery, diced

-Mix all ingredients together. Eat.
In the book, it calls this 1 serving. I split it into 4 servings, 3 PointsPlus each. Each was a pretty decent sized bowl! I did eat 2 servings at once for lunch once, for 6 PointsPlus. I can only imagine the effects of eating an entire can of chickpeas in one sitting. Perhaps that is why this is a cleansing salad?

I look forward to putting more of these fun recipes into the recipe building on and seeing how I can modify either the amount of olive oil (some recipes call for an insane amount!) or the amount of servings.

Seriously? I am a chickpea convert. I now love chickpeas!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


If you want to get to know the "real" me, and watch me freak out about going back to school (and balancing that with working full time, being in a committed live-in relationship, making new college friends, and still keeping up with Weight Watchers and fitness), please follow me in my new blog, "Back to Cool".

I will still be blogging here about food, fitness, and all things Weight Watchers and The Kind Diet. The new blog will be for everything else, with a big focus on what it's like to be a 26-year-old college freshman.

Should be a fun ride!

Curves is doing Zumba!

I don't mention it nearly enough, but part of my exercise routine is going to Curves. I try to go at least twice a week.
I originally joined for my mom. I really want her to be healthy, and to live to be at least 100 (she's 50 right now). I thought that Curves would be too easy for me, that it was meant for a "more mature" crowd.
But... I have come around. It's been a great ride, going to Curves! I first knew that I wasn't doing this just for Mom anymore when I went without her on a day she couldn't attend. For someone who does mostly cardio workouts, mixing in some strength training at Curves is a great idea! I definately feel it in all of my muscles the next day, especially if I actually work hard.
Anyway, I've always wanted to try Zumba. And now, Curves is offering Zumba classes! It was pretty cool.
Basically, Curves is circuit training (and oh yeah, for women only.). There is a circle of strength training machines, spaced between "rest stations" which are springy boards on which you jog in place or stretch for 30 seconds between the machines. I will usually jog in place.
For Curves Zumba, instead of the rest stations, we were following a Zumba instructor. And the intervals were all for 1 minute instead of 30 seconds.
I loved Curves Zumba! My mom looked amazing out there, doing the Zumba moves along with the rest of the crowd. We all looked and felt pretty silly doing those dance moves. But, we were a team. It was great.
The only sad part about this is that these Zumba classes will only be offered at certain times on specific days. All of those times and days will be when I am either at work or at school. So this will be the only week that I will get to Curves Zumba until summer break. Oh, well. These are the sacrifices that I have to make to go back to school! :-)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Two exciting Christmas presents to share with you...

I got plenty of amazing Christmas presents. I am spoiled and lucky, I know.

The two that I received that will most help me with this blog are the ones pictured:

The Magic Bullet (Thanks, Mom and Dad!)
PETA's Vegan College Cookbook (Thanks, Kevin!)

Both of these are pretty cool for anyone, but especially for a vegan on a budget.

The Magic Bullet is something that I desperately needed and wanted. I have been dying to try a "Green Monster" since I joined Weight Watchers. And now that fruits are zero PointsPlus, these powerful smoothies are way more point-friendly than before. I'm way excited to try this out! I will share any and all recipes that work and/or fail right here on this blog.

Plus, my kitchen was lacking a food processor and a blender, and this is both!

My brother Joel and I used it once to make salsa. It was very onion-y, but to me that worked. I looooooooove onions! I do think that next time I will use more tomatoes, though. It would be nice to have salsa that is red. (Ours was green).

Next up, PETA's Vegan College Cookbook. When I first opened this present, I thought: Another cookbook that I probably won't use, since cooking takes so much time and effort!

But upon opening it, I was hooked. I've already "cooked" from this. I put cooked in quotes because no recipe in this book required a stove or oven. It's all microwave or less. Some recipes are just like mine: open a can or two, stir together, add sauce, and you're done.

It's amazing. I love this book. It is everything that a lazy vegan such as myself could hope for. Please look at this book, especially if you ARE NOT vegan. It's a great testiment to veganism made easy. One of the first chapters mentions that most ingredients in this book can be bought at a DOLLAR STORE.

Tonight I am going to make a recipe from this book using the following: a can of chickpeas, an apple, some diced celery, and vinegar. I will post the recipe tomorrow, especially if it turns out okay. This book will be coming up again and again in this blog, so look forward to that! :-)

Is it Weight Watchers friendly? Of course it is. Not all of it is points-friendly, though. Especially the desserts section! And a lot of the recipes call for something like 5 TABLESPOONS of olive oil, for something that has 2 servings. That's crazy points. But, I plan to modify some of the oil amounts and to eat everything in moderation. In that sense, all cookbooks are WW friendly. This one, I will have to experiement with. I look forward to plugging in some of these to the recipe builder and finding out!

Get to Goal in 2011!

Remember that amazing goal that I had in 2010? It was: "Lose 50 Pounds in 2010". It inspired me to do just that. I lost 50 pounds in 2010, using a combination of Weight Watchers and The Kind Diet.

It was so successful for me to have that big calendar goal that I decided to try again in 2011. This time, I have a lot less to lose, largely thanks to the 50 pounds that I lost in 2010.

I put the old challenge ticker in my sidebar, to remind myself that I did it. :-) But I added the new ticker to the top of the blog.

Get to Goal in 2011!!! I have 22.6 pounds left to lose, and I fully intend to lose them in 2011.

And yes... you may have noticed that I gained .8 since my last blog entry. That is less than a pound of Christmas Cookies and Bon-Bons, so I consider that a huge success.

And yeah, technically if I gained this before the new year, that would mean that I was .6 above my 2010 goal weight of 157.0, but I don't care. I'm being honest here, and that's the best thing that I can do for myself. .8 is nothing. .8 is laughable. .8 will be gone by the end of this week (and then some).

Bring it on, 2011!