Friday, January 29, 2010


I love food and I love to cook so watching what I eat is super tough for me. If I'm going to eat something, healthy or not, I want it to taste good! So, what am I eating?? Here is a list of what I normally eat. Of course it changes occasionally but this is typically it.

Cereal w/ 1% milk & orange juice
1/2 egg & cheese sandwich & OJ
Coffee with my new International Delight Skinny Caramel Macchiato creamer. (click here to save $0.55 on any flavor creamer)

1/2 sandwich (ham/turkey/grilled cheese) & salad
Chicken Chunks w/ salad

Reduced Fat Cheez Its
Kellogg's Fiber Bars (WalMart brand fiber bars are also good too. I get which ever is cheaper)
Carrots w/ light dressing
Light Popcorn

Like I said before, dinners are normal. I just watch my portion size and try to 'cut back' on the calories and fat. For instance, when I'm making anything that calls for 1 lb of ground beef, I only use half. This, of course, only works in things like soups and chili's and some casseroles. If ground beef is the main ingredients, as in meatloaf, this doesn't work! Not only does this save fat and calories, it saves money too! I don't buy reduced fat cheeses because we get WIC and it's not allowed. I do occasionally have to buy extra cheese when needed, but I buy what's on sale and it's usually not the reduced fat cheese. So, if you're in a situation like me where you're budget is tight just be careful with how much you use. I made baked ziti Monday night and only used 1/2 lb ground beef in the sauce and then for the cheese on top I only used 1/2 c Mozzarella and 2 T Parmesan. I also only used six cups of cooked noodles instead of the eight that the box makes. When I calculated the calories (out of curiosity), one serving equaled about 350 calories.

I haven't been 'counting calories'.. not exactly anyway. I am just kind of adding them up in my head as I go. I know this can get dangerous if you're not careful. But counting them exactly is just too bothersome for me. I try to get around 1800 calories a day, which along with exercise, will help me lose the weight at a good pace and not starve! I try to stick to 300 calorie breakfast 400-500 calorie lunch, 350 calorie snacks (2-3 a day) & 600-700 calorie dinners. It only takes a few weeks of learning about how many calories is in the foods that you normally eat to learn what you can eat and how much. Occasionally I'll go over to Spark People and enter in my daily food intake to see if I'm on track or I'll go to Spark Recipes to enter in a recipe and see how many calories are in a serving. That is what I used to figure out my baked ziti recipe. I've used SparkPeople in the past but I just don't have the time to enter everything, everyday. So now I just use my account to do things occasionally. It does have some good tools though and it's free.

This week I did buy one of the new DiGiorno 200 Calorie Pizza's. We had pizza night last week so I picked me up a package (each pack comes with 2-200 cal pizzas) when I picked up the guys their pizza. They were on sale so I thought I'd try one. I got the Chicken, Onion and Pepper and it was good... tiny, but good! I had it with a salad and I have another for lunch one day. I also picked up a Michelina's Lean Chicken Club Flatbread. They were on sale too (regular $1.22, got it for $1) even though they are pretty cheap anyway. I haven't tried it yet so I'm not sure how good it is. I use to get Lean Cuisines/Smart Ones a lot but our budget just doesn't allow for that. I figure that I can pick up a few frozen meals if I find them on sales for every once in a while.

Ok, I've rambled enough. I'll leave you with a few links of some recipes that I plan on trying on my next menu. They are all from Cooking Light on the website.

Beef Stroganoff (crock pot)

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Southwestern Chicken and White Bean Soup

Sloppy Joes or Super Sloppy Joes

Monday, January 25, 2010

Menu and the D word...

I haven't posted about this yet because I was scared that I'd just completely fail. I am on a DIET. Some people say to call it a 'lifestyle change' but let's be real.. when you're really trying to lose weight, it's a diet. After I had Luke I lost all of my weight by watching what I ate and walking, a lot of walking. And I kept it off.. until I got pregnant! With Eli it's been a lot harder. I'm not blaming or making excuses because of course it's all my fault but this past year was a hard one. And there was a lot of emotional eating! I'll admit much of this past year was just plain depressing! After Eli was born I lost about twenty pounds of the thirty I gained. Then after we moved in with my parents and up until about two weeks ago, I had gained about 15 of that back. So, if you do the math I have about 25 lbs to lose to get back to pre-pregnancy. And then I've added another 5 lbs just because. So, my goal is to lose 30 lbs by May 30th. That equals to 1.5 lbs per week, which I think is an attainable goal. I'm hoping I can make it there sooner but I do want to give myself reasonable amount of time.

So there, now you all know. I definitely need some accountability!! I started this two weeks ago (I know, not the traditional January 1st) and I've lost 4 lbs so far. So far I'm just watching what I eat and exercising about 4 times a week. I'd like to be exercising Mon-Fri, but with the boys, there is usually a day where I just can't fit it in. Or in the case of last week, there was one night where Eli was up ALL NIGHT with his teeth and I just didn't feel like it! I've been doing The Shred & Walk Away the Pounds DVD's and walking on the treadmill. The Shred just about kills me! So I usually alternate and do the shred one day and then walking (either the DVD or the treadmill) the next day.

I plan on doing a more detailed post about what I've been eating tomorrow but as far as our dinners, they've been normal. I don't expect my family to eat diet food! Of course I want my family to eat healthy, but you can't expect them to eat baked chicken and steamed broccoli every night! So, I just have to be the responsible one and eat a normal portion size!

Here is the menu for the next two weeks:

Baked Ziti w/ Salad

Baked Lemon Pepper Chicken, Green Beans, Roasted Potatoes

Vegetable Soup, Corn Bread

Chicken Pot Pie

BBQ Sandwiches, Baked Beans, Corn on the Cobb

Pancakes, Bacon, Fruit

Brunswick Stew

Roast w/ Carrots and Potatoes

S'wich nights: Tuna and fruit, Grilled cheese and tomato soup

Check out Orgjunkie for great menu and recipe ideas! I plan on searching for some healthy family-friendly recipes!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Finding a minute..

I have totally been in a blogging rut!! I have lots of things I want to blog about but I just can't find the words, nor can I find the time!

So, I just decided to sit down while I have a minute or two and just write. Who knows what's going to come of this. We'll see.

I feel totally terrible admitting this but remember my last post about Eli's horrid sleeping issues?? Well, I wrote that on a Tuesday and the next Thursday I ended up having to take him to the Dr and he had a double ear infection. Makes total sense now!! And according to Dr C "Mommy, his ears are really, really bad"!! And that made me feel like poop for complaining and whining about him being up all hours of the night. The poor baby was in PAIN! And guess what? He slept ALL night Thursday and Friday nights. He was pumped full of tylenol and ibuprofen though. Thank you Jesus for pain medication and antibiotics! This was his 3rd ear infection in 4 months. :/ So... we we're that if he gets one more in the next few months we'll be going to see an ENT for tubes. We had a recheck today and his ears look much better! We have had one bad night since last week but it's his teeth. Eli has the two front teeth (the two on the sides of the front two) that I knew were coming in because I could see them. And then when the Dr checked him today he has one molar coming in the back. I could see it underneath the skin! Bless him, he can't get a break!

Luke is doing much better with his poop issues. He still goes in his pull up but I'm just glad he's going! He's no longer holding it in and he gets really excited when he goes (and so do I!). He's still on his meds but he doesn't get it as often. I think the combination of his meds and the lack of pressure to go on the potty has helped so much. I know he will get there in his own time. As far as his behavior issues.. well, we have good days and bad days. I know he's at the age where he's testing his limits and just plain wanting to be in control. We've been talking about what sin is and that there are consequences when we sin. I want him to understand that ultimately he is disobeying God when he sins. I know he is young but I think children understand more than we give them credit. I also want to couple this sin/disobedience talk with talk about who God is. That He is loving and kind but also must punish and correct us. Of course Luke must see that through the way the Hubs and I parent. I just want Him to know the character of God while we explain sin. I think if we constantly talk to a child about his disobedience and how it is against God's 'rules' without talking about all of the other things of God, we are painting an untrue picture of who God is. It's a delicate thing but there must be a balance. The goal is to teach our children who they are in light of who God is. And I pray everyday for God to give me wisdom.

Well, that's enough for now... we're off to eat dinner with my parents tonight!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I'm over it.

I'm so ready to wean Eli. It has nothing to do with his age (he's 16mths). I'm just over it. He still gets up once a night, most nights, to nurse. He nurses before his nap and before bedtime. I honestly wouldn't mind nursing him if he was sleeping all night and if it didn't take him FOREVER to go to sleep. He use to be out in a matter of 15-20 minutes. But it's getting increasingly longer. Do you know how long it took me to get him to sleep last night?? Two and a half hours. And I nursed him most of those hours.

I am a big believer that children need to learn to sleep on their own, but I think that a parent has to discern when that time is right. And I'm just not sure Eli is ready... especially since he is so attached to my.. I mean HIS 'night, night'. Luke started sleeping through the night when he was around 8-9 months old. I was still rocking him to sleep and it started taking me 45 minutes to an hour to get him to sleep before nap and bedtime. So, at around 10 months we decided to try to let him cry and see how he handled it. The first night he cried for about 15 minutes (I went in and reassured him that I was there twice before he got quiet) and the second night he cried about the same. By night three and four he was crying 5-10 minutes and at the end of the week it was a whimper at best. After that Luke has always went to bed perfectly and slept all night.

Eli is already a much different story... (in many different ways.. I just fished a piece of chalk out of his mouth and Luke never ate things that weren't food!).

At this stage for me the more he nurses the more annoyed and frustrated I get. I'm just ready for it to be over but I want him to be ready to! After about hour one last night I laid Eli in his bed and said, "I love you but it's time to go to bed." (Don't dare say, "it's time for night night".. since that's what he calls nursing! He came up with that name himself too!). Then he cried.. and I'm talking screaming, mad, crying! He's screaming, "Mommuuuu... Night, night!!!" over and over. But number one, I needed a break and number two, I needed to go to the bathroom! I got in the bed and whined to the Hubs for a few minutes and then went back for round two. I attempted to comfort him, rock him, hold him without nursing him... all the while he's crying, saying 'night night' over and over.. so I finally just give in. By this time I think he was just so overtired that he couldn't go back to sleep easily. So, it took me another good hour to lay him down.. with crying on and off and nursing on and off. It was horrible. I just know I can't do that anymore. It was midnight when I got in bed. And then he was up at 6am.. wanting to nurse again. So, I did and thankfully it only took about 20 minutes to get him back to sleep and he slept until 8. Hopefully he'll take a good nap today.

I honestly don't know what to do but I'm praying. God knows I'm ready to wean him. (I may have told him a few times last night!!) But I'm praying that Eli be ready too. And I'm willing to continue nursing him until he can better understand. And if that's the case, I just pray that we can fix how long it takes me to get him to sleep. I am one worn out Mommy.

To anyone who read this.. thanks for letting me vent. And if you have any advice, I'm all ears. To anyone who wants to offer "16 months is too old to be nursing anyway" or "I can't believe you would let your baby cry".. just keep that to yourself! Please and thank you!

(I added that last part because this post will show up on facebook and well, we all know people like to give their honest opinion of fb!)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. I have been totally unmotivated at blogging. I hope to do better at it in the days to come because I do have a lot I'd like to share. But for now, it's menu time! I've got to get back to making and planning menus. Our budget and my waistline is in desperate need of menu planning! So, here's the next two weeks meals.

Sweet and Sour Pork Chops & Stir Fry Veggies (crock pot), Brown Rice

BBQ Sandwiches, Baked Beans, Salad

Roast Chicken, Green Beans, Roasted Potatoes

Cinnamon Wheat Waffles, Scrambled Eggs w/ sausage, Orange Slices

BBQ Ribs, Potato Salad, Corn

Chili & fixin's

Chicken Tortilla Soup (Crock Pot)

Pasta with Sausage Tomato Sauce, Salad

Pork and Potato Hash, Apple Cranberry Salad

If I can find steel cut oats and oat bran this week I'm going to make this baked oatmeal instead of the waffles. They didn't have any at WalMart. They didn't even have regular oatmeal, only the qiock/instant kind. Kelly gave me the recipe through twitter and it looks really yummy!

I planned 8 meals and there will be a few leftover nights and sandwich nights.

And since it took me forever to get this up today, I made the sweet and sour pork chops tonight. It was a new recipe and the virdict: Eh. Not so good. I ate it. Eli took one bite and spit it out. Of course Luke would would have pitched a fit if I would have even put it in front of him. I won't be making it again. The Hubs is in class so I'll be making him a ham sandwich when he gets home.