Weekly Menu January 20-26

Weekly Menu 1/20-1/26

Weekly Menu 1/20-1/26

 

Click on image to enlarge.

Here’s my weekly menu! I am actually going to be out of town Wednesday-Sunday, so this won’t be exactly what I’m eating, but I didn’t want to leave you guys hanging if you try to plan your meals based on my menu =D Have a great week!

Recipes for this week’s menu:

Skinnytaste No Bean Turkey & Sweet Potato Chili 

Skinnytaste Skinny Buffalo Chicken Strips

Easy Egg Salad Sandwich 

Skinnytaste Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas 

Skinnytaste Crock Pot Picante Chicken and Black Bean Soup

Weight Watchers Baked Chicken 

Roasted Baby Potatoes with Oregano and Lemon 

Pecan and Chipotle Crusted Chicken: Recipe found in comments! Give her page a like, she posts awesome meal ideas!!

Healthy Garlic, Tomato, Shrimp, and Spinach Pizza

Healthy Garlic, Shrimp, Spinach, and Tomato Pizza

Healthy Garlic, Shrimp, Spinach, and Tomato Pizza

Ummm, yum. I’ve been craving pizza, and this one felt fancy and hit. the. spot. I added spinach to mine from the original recipe. I had 2 pieces for 7 Points Plus or 322 calories and a side salad for 2 points plus.

What you need:

  • 1/2 pound thawed frozen shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Prebaked pizza crust
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Red pepper flakes to taste

How to make it:

  • Slice shrimp in half horizontally.
  • Place a prebaked pizza crust on a shallow baking pan.
  • Combine olive oil and minced garlic in a small bowl; brush oil mixture onto crust.
  • Top crust with halved shrimp, halved grape tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake 10-12 minutes or until shrimp are cooked through.
  • Cut into 8 slices; serve.

Easy Fruit and Pecan Side Salad

 

Easy Fruit, Nut, and Spinach Salad

Easy Fruit, Nut, and Spinach Salad

I love fruit and nuts in anything…Especially salad!

What you need:

  • 1/4 cup chopped strawberries
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/3 cup chopped blackberries
  • 2 teaspoons pecans (sometimes I used sliced almonds)
  • 1-2 cups fresh spinach
  • Your favorite vinaigrette

How to make it:

  • Roughly chop strawberries and blackberries
  • Mix well in bowl
  • Top with dressing and enjoy!

Skinny Taste Turkey Santa Fe Lettuce Wraps and Skinny Taste Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice

 

Skinny Taste Santa Fe Turkey Lettuce Wraps and Skinny Taste Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice

Skinny Taste Santa Fe Turkey Lettuce Wraps and Skinny Taste Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice

Another Skinny Taste winner! I subbed ground chicken for the ground turkey. 2 wraps is 8 Points Plus (I actually counted mine as 6 Points Plus because I didn’t use the dressing, but your call!)  I served mine with Skinny Taste Cilantro Lime Cauliflower “Rice.” 1 cup is 2 Points Plus.

Wraps

What you need:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced red bell peppers
  • 1/4 cup minced scallions
  • 12 oz leftover turkey breast, diced small
  • 2/3 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 2 tbsp diced jarred jalapeno peppers
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup reduced fat shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 8 large Iceburg lettuce leaves
  • 12 tbsp Avocado Cilantro Ranch Dressing

How to make it:

  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the red bell pepper and scallions to the pan and sauté for 2 minutes until tender.
  • Add the diced turkey, corn, black beans, spinach, jalapeno peppers, cumin, chili powder, salt, and cayenne pepper to the pan. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, stirring well so the spinach gets mixed in with everything.
  • Place about 1/3 cup of turkey mixture in the center of each lettuce leaf. Top each wrap with 2 tbsp cheese and 1 1/2 tbsp avocado sauce if desired.

Find the original recipe here: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2013/11/turkey-santa-fe-lettuce-wraps.html

Cauliflower Rice

What you need:

  • 1 medium head (about 24 oz) cauliflower, rinsed
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 scallions, diced
  • kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1-1/2 limes
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro

How to make it:

  • Remove the core and let the cauliflower dry completely. Coarsely chop into florets, then place half of the cauliflower in a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower is small and has the texture of rice or couscous – don’t over process or it will get mushy. Set aside and repeat with the remaining cauliflower.
  • Heat a large saute pan over medium heat, add olive oil, scallions and garlic and sauté about 3 to 4 minutes, or until soft.
  • Raise the heat to medium-high. Add the cauliflower “rice” to the saute pan. Cover and cook approximately 5 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until the cauliflower is slightly crispy on the outside but tender on the inside. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Remove from heat and place in a medium bowl; toss with fresh cilantro and lime juice to taste.
  • Makes 5 servings.

Find Orignal Recipe here: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2013/10/cilantro-lime-cauliflower-rice.html

My thoughts on Weight Watchers Simple Start

So it’s been a couple of weeks since Weight Watchers officially unveiled its new Simple Start plan…I, being the app-loving girl I am, discovered the plan several weeks ago and of course being the impatient, love trying new things girl I am…I did it! There are several things I love about it, my favorite being how EASY it is to plan meals and snacks! I have been a Simply Filling girl for a long time now, so to me this plan is kind of Simply Filling on steroids- haha! The major difference between the two plans is the weekly allowance (Simply Filling) or weekly indulgence (Simple Start) points. On SF you can use all or none of your weekly points (to use on non-power foods) however you want to split them up. Meaning you could use all of them in one day or split them up. With Simple Start you have to split them up (if you choose to use them) so 7 indulgence points per day at most. I honestly try to keep my weeklies to 7 points plus per day at most on Simply filling anyway, so this wasn’t really to challenging for me.

Here’s where I think Weight Watchers is really smart. I’m sure you have all heard of “clean eating.” If not, clean eating is basically a diet consisting of no processed foods (sounds striking similar to Simply Filling, right?!) Even as a Weight Watchers member, I used to find it kind of terrible how little focus was placed on choosing “cleaner” options on Weight Watchers. Sure, you were encouraged to eat fruits, veggies, and lean proteins…but in my experience it was more about finding a way to live on the processed food we were all used to stuffing ourselves with, in a more portion controlled way…Which is good! I’m not saying I never eat processed food..Hello, I could eat my life away in sweets…But it seemed for a long time that Weight Watchers showed people how to lose weight by eating fast food and colorfully packaged 100 calorie packs instead of REAL FOOD. But times, they are a changing!

I absolutely LOVE that Weight Watchers sees the importance of teaching people to shift from predominately processed foods in

Cutting processed foods for 4 days

Cutting processed foods for 4 days

their diet to power foods. I have seen so many benefits from changing to a cleaner diet…Not only on the scale, but in HOW my clothes fit, muscles look, skin feels, etc. The biggest change for me is the bloated mess I become with I overdo it with the processed stuff! The picture to the right is the difference of 4 days of clean eating! So crazy.

So I challenge each of you to try Simple Start! It’s 2 weeks and I think you would be AMAZED at how good you look and feel, and the number on the scale. Are you going to try it? Let me know how it goes!

 

Weight Watchers Moroccan Chicken with Apricots and Squash

A weight watchers chicken dish

Weight Watchers Moroccan Chicken with Apricots and Squash

I really liked this Weight Watchers recipe! A different way to prepare chicken! I subbed the jasmine rice for brown rice. 9 pp per serving.

What you need:

  • 1 tsp table salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 pound(s) uncooked boneless skinless chicken breast(s), four 4 oz pieces
  • 3 spray(s) cooking spray
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin, or to taste
  • 1 tsp ground coriander, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, or to taste
  • 1 large uncooked vidalia onion(s), chopped
  • 2 cups uncooked butternut squash, peeled and cut into1/2-inch cubes (about 3/4 lb)
  • 3/4 cup(s) uncooked jasmine rice, or basmati rice, rinsed   (I used brown)
  • 16 halves dried apricot halves, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) canned chicken broth, or more if needed
  • 1/4 cup(s) cilantro, fresh, minced

How to make it:

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Rub salt and pepper all over chicken; set aside.
  • Coat a large oven-proof pot with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Add oil; heat until it begins to shimmer. Add cumin, coriander and cinnamon; cook until fragrant, stirring, about 30 second to 1 minute. Add chicken; cook until lightly browned, flipping once, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side. Remove chicken to a plate; set aside.
  • Add onion and squash to pot, scraping down sides and bottom of pot to incorporate pan drippings. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions start to turn translucent and squash begins to soften, about 10 minutes. Add rice and apricots; place browned chicken on top. Pour in broth; bring to a boil for 1 minute.
  • Cover pot and bake in oven until rice and squash are tender and chicken is cooked through, checking half way through to see if more broth is needed, about 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro before serving. Yields about 2 cups (including a piece of chicken) per serving.

Find original recipe here: http://www.weightwatchers.com/food/rcp/recipepage.aspx?recipeid=220921&ExplicitNav=food&ExplicitSubThirdNav=PowerFoodRichRecipes

Weekly Menu January 13-19

 

Weekly Healthy Meal Plan

Healthy meals and snacks for 1 week

Click on the photo to enlarge.

Here is what I am eating this week! Please note I also eat a 4pp Skinny Cow dessert every night…A girl has to live a little, LOL! I have included the Weight Watchers Points Plus values as well as calories for each recipe. What looks good to you?!

Recipes included for this menu:

Skinny Taste Quinoa and Spinach Patties

Shrimp and Garlic Pizza

Lemon Basil Shrimp and Pasta 

Skinny Taste Skinny Buffalo Chicken Strips

Skinny Taste The Best Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burgers 

Grilled Salmon with Mustard-Herb Crust

Skinny Taste Crock Pot Sesame Honey Chicken

Spicy Sweet Potato Oven Fries

Yogurt Parfait  

 

Yogurt Parfait

Yogurt Parfait

Easy and quick yogurt parfait for breakfast 

5 Points Plus as pictured

What you’ll need:

  • Yogurt (I use Chobani) 3 Points Plus or 120 calories for the entire container-you could do half for 2 Points Plus or 60 calories
  • Fresh Fruit (I used strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries for this one)
  • 2 tsp of nuts (I used 1 tsp chopped pecans and 1 tsp sliced almonds) 1 Points Plus
  • 2 tbsp raw oats 1 Points Plus

How to make it:

  • Slice fruit
  • Mix all of the ingredients together and enjoy!

This one really does keep me full all morning and it tastes amazing. The nuts, oats, and fruit give this quick and easy breakfast a lot of texture and crunch!

Yes I’m clean eating on Weight Watchers

So…As we all know the glorious thing about Weight Watchers is…WE CAN EAT WHATEVER WE WANT!!!  Now, while that is oh so true…And if/when I want candy or pizza or whatever I will have it…But…I’ve been feeling like a big fatty slug lately. Did anyone else struggle in June??! It’s been a common situation I’ve come to find out!  I also have a very important [THREE YEAR] anniversary coming up in August (yes with Weight Watchers!) and I’m still not at goal.  And I want to be. I’m ready to be. And mostly, I just want to FEEL my best.

My very dear friend has listened to me bitch and moan about feeling like dog doo and has encouraged me to “eat clean” before.  So recently when I came to her feeling overwhelmed and stuck she said “Let’s do a 31 day clean eating challenge in July!”  I couldn’t text YES I’M IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! quickly enough! This is just what I needed.

So what am I eating?  I didn’t give up my dessert. If this is going to be sustainable, I need my Skinnycow dessert.  But, as a general rule “If it’s made from a plant, eat it.  If it’s made in a plant don’t.” So yes, all of those brightly colored, delicious tasting snacks those tricky marketers make us crave…aren’t on the menu.  Now people…while this might sound impossible and terrible to you…What those do to our bodies is INSANE.  Please see exhibit 1:

No lie people. The left was actually taken last Sunday night (I started this journey on Monday!) and the right is from Wednesday night. Pretty crazy, right?  I’ve shared my dinner menu:

And will share some of the recipes…But it’s very important if you want to try clean eating to do some research and put meals on your menus for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks that you will enjoy and that won’t make you feel like you’re depriving yourself.  If you want to eat a starch here and there such as a baked potato do it.  Just don’t do it EVERYDAY. Some examples of things I’m eating for other meals/snacks are:

  • Buckwheat Pancakes
  • Oatmeal
  • Egg whites with veggies
  • Fruit with slivered almonds/honey
  • Hummus and celery
  • Salads

Another thing I’m doing…only eating my 26 daily points.  No extras, no activities (for now.) I will go back to at least eating my activity points because when I am doing longer distance runs (8+ miles) and I don’t refuel my body I tend to plateau.  But for now while I’m getting into the groove of things I’m sticking to 26.  (A little thing I try to remind myself of when I feel “hungry” at night…Food is used for energy…and I don’t need energy to sleep!) Now, if you’re STARVING…have a headache, can’t sleep, etc…by all means EAT! Just reach for the power food options versus the bad stuff.

Ok so who’s ready to give clean eating a shot?!?!

 

Guess who’s back…Back again…

Oh my gosh, you guys.  I can’t believe how long it’s been since the last time I sat down here to blog!  Life. Is. Crazy.

I’m still working on getting to goal weight.  I struggle.  I succeed.  I struggle.  But I focus on how far I’ve come rather than focusing on this last 10-15 lbs.  My body continues to change as I exchange fat for muscle…I’m stronger.  I’m faster.  I’m happier.  So that’s what I focus on!  This picture is something I’ve look at daily for months.  And here’s why:

My life the past few months has been utter chaos.  Starting last December I had a round of surgeries for what turned out to be a benign tumor.  (So many of you sent me well wishes via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and I am so, so thankful for that!!)

After the first surgery we weren’t sure I would need a second…As luck would have it…I did! Wooo (not.) My second surgery was a little more invasive.  The tumor was removed and the cause was discovered and fixed.

The recovery wasn’t [isn't] ideal.  To back up for a minute, they discovered what caused the tumor, but not what caused the thing that caused the tumor (ya following?) The area where the tumor was removed from is having issues healing properly (yes we’re going on 4+ months here) so I get to do a lot of waiting…see a doctor…not sure of answer…wait…see a doctor…looks better but still not quite right…wait…referred to another doctor…wait. I’ve now had 3 very trained doctors tell me either 1) I’ve never seen something quite like this or 2) I really don’t have an answer for this…Two things you never really want to hear a doctor tell you!!

But, the good news is it is much better than it was…and I’m allowed to run again (oh yeah, I was benched from all activity for SEVERAL weeks.) That was really fun…As someone who relies on running and being active to EAT the foods I LOVE…Yeah, go ahead and do the math on that one!  But, like I said…I am better than I was before and it could have been so much worse, so for that I am hopeful, grateful, and thankful to a wonderful team of doctors who is determined to help me get 100% back to normal!

Adding that to lots of family/close friends dealing with things…Missing people I wish I could see everyday…and at times being generally overwhelmed…Life has been kicking my ass a bit.  But I’m a firm believer in the Universe/God (whatever you prefer here!) not giving you things you can’t handle…So someone thinks I’m one tough, bad ass lady…Which duh, I am.  But I’m confident that things will all workout, because they always do…and I just know [something beautiful is going to happen.]

Shifting a bit:

I’m trying to focus more on “clean eating.”  I went all out for a couple of weeks and saw HUGE results…-8 lbs in 1 week!  It’s not easy though.

[Our society makes it very, very hard.]

When I’m not able to be fully in control of making my food (when traveling or even just eating out with a friend) I can’t guarantee I’m processed foods free.  And better yet, I don’t always want to be! I love cookies and candy and things that taste good (haha!) So I try to keep an 80-20 balance.  80% of the food I eat in a week is safe and “clean” while 20% is the good on the tongue bad on the body stuff we all crave.

I’m normal.  I’m human and I love sweets, damn it!

But I’m also sick of wearing 10-20 lbs so I’m hoping I can get out of the 160′s and look down at the scale at that magic 1-5-0! It will happen, that I do know.

Ok, so now I’ve said this before, but really really really I am going to get back on here regularly.  I will set aside time each week devoted to it! I hope you’re all doing well and haven’t forgotten about me, lol!