I Love What I Love…

“Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better.” ~Emilie Coue

Losing weight and keeping it off is no simple task. I knew starting this journey that it wasn’t going to be a quick fix, it had to be a drastic life change. I used to think I didn’t have it in me, or the strength to follow-through with it. I’ve proved myself wrong because I have changed my outlook on life. Instead of being negative and hard on myself, I am positive and push myself harder to get what I want.

“The elevator to success is out of order. You’ll have to use the stairs…one step at a time.” ~Joe Girard

I absolutely LOVE that quote. It not only resembles the struggles we all encounter in life, but more so for those of us who are trying to losing weight. I have post a few other quotes throughout my blog tonight, to give you all a little inspiration and motivation.

NOW, LET ME TALK ABOUT THE THINGS I LOVE

Reading

I absolutely love to read. I especially love when I find a good author. Emily Giffin is one of my favourites. She is the author of ‘Something Borrowed’, the movie with John Krasinski and Kate Hudson where several characters are trapped in a couple love-triangles. Things get messy, hearts get broken, but everything all works out in the end. I did like the movie a lot, but the book was a lot better. The story line was very different and it gave you a better understanding of each character.

Emily Giffin has written 5 other books and they are all very well written. They are easy to read and the stories are very detailed. Her writing is very engaging and she takes the time to describe each character in detail. She reintroduces old characters from previous books into her newer books. It gives the reader a mini update on how the characters are doing. 

I am currently reading ‘Where We Belong’ and I cannot put it down!

“I’ve come to believe that all my past failure and frustration were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy.” ~Anthony Robbins

Movies

I love all kinds of movies. Chick flicks, romantic comedies, comedies, suspense and action. I still can’t watch scary movies though, because apparently I am a child and still get nightmares from them. Here is a list of my top 10 favourite movies of all time:

  1. Boondock Saints
  2. Suicide Kings
  3. X-Men (All of the X-Men movies)
  4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  5. A League of Their Own
  6. The Bourne Identity trilogy
  7. The Shawshank Redemption
  8. Fight Club
  9. Bridesmaids
  10. 16 Candles

It may just be the most random compilation of movies ever, but they are all worth watching over and over again.

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life. It goes on.” ~Robert Frost

TV Shows

If you are looking for a few good shows to watch, look no further. I have a list of my top 10 favourite shows of all time:

  1. One Tree Hill
  2. It’ Always Sunny in Philadelphia
  3. Sex and the City
  4. True Blood
  5. The Walking Dead
  6. The Office
  7. Grey’s Anatomy
  8. Modern Family
  9. Desperate Housewives
  10. Dexter

I realize, it’s another very random list of different genres but who wants be simple? You’ve got to mix it up a bit.

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.” ~Mike Murdock

Recipe

I love finding new recipes. My friend Krista introduced me to Skinnytaste and I have been hooked ever  since. She shares detailed recipes and puts a healthy spin on them. She accompanies all of her creations with several photos. Here are some the recipes I will be trying in the next week.

  1. Broccoli and Cheese Mini Egg Omelets 
  2. Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps
  3. Grilled Chicken and Spinach Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette 
  4. Asian Grilled Chicken
  5. Guacamole 

“Be bold. Be confident. Be alive. A gallery of possibilities awaits you when you make change your friend.” ~Bob Bone

Instagram Users

I mentioned before that I get a lot of my motivation from Instagram users and their daily updates with progress pictures and meal ideas. Here are some the inspirational users I have been following for some great and practical tips:

  1. Fight4yourbody
  2. Stephsayssmile
  3. The_healthy_me
  4. Fitmomcooks

“The easier it is to do, the harder it is to change.” ~Eng’s Principle

Photo Update

diningwithcaro.wordpress.com

diningwithcaro.wordpress.com

Dave took these pictures. I tried to show the dates with my laptop with a news article. But the calendar is up to date behind me.

Dave took these pictures. I tried to show the dates with my laptop with a news article. But the calendar is up to date behind me (05/09/2013).

This next song is by Alex Winston, an Indie Pop rock singer-songwriter from Michigan. I am not familiar with any of her other music song, but I am a big fan of this song.

Don’t forget to follow me on:

– Caro

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A Tasty Combination of Balance…

A concept that I’ve really had to take into consideration in order to be successful on this journey was time management. I’ve realized that it’s a juggling act and some people seem to do it so effortlessly while others struggle. I’m not struggling by any means, but I’ve had to plan and map out my days. I’ve been writing everything in full detail and it seems to be working but it can be time consuming. Soon it will be a part of my everyday routine and I won’t have to write it all down.

If you are the type of person that gets overwhelmed with meal prep and the gym, I highly recommend jotting things down and checking things off as you go. By writing everything down, it keeps me organized and prepared. I sit down with Dave before we go to the gym and create workout plans that I follow-through with. It takes a lot of pressure off myself as the gym still intimidates me at times.

I have been going to the gym in the evenings with Dave, except for Tuesday night this week. I have also been doing the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. I’m on level 2 and it is no walk in the park, let me tell you. It is very challenging and the perfect workout if you skip the gym for a day or two.

I feel awkward snapping photos of myself at the gym, but here are a few of myself and Dave, on our way to the gym. That’s got to count for something, right?

On our way to the gym...

On our way to the gym…

My kicks...

My kicks…

It’s nice that I have such a supportive boyfriend. He is determined to get back to his trimmed physique and wants to hit the gym hard again. Dave has asked me to take his before pictures and measurements. We will compare his before pictures in a months time to keep an eye on his progress.

I missed Tasty Tuesday yesterday, but I’d like to share a couple new recipes I whipped up for a few of my meals this week.

MEAL

diningwithcaro.wordpress.com

diningwithcaro.wordpress.com

Lemon Garlic Chicken

  • 5 ounce chicken breast
  • 1 lemon squeezed (lemon juice)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

I marinated the chicken in lemon juice for half an hour. On a plate I combined the rest of the ingredients and tossed my chicken in the seasonings. Once coated, I baked in the oven at 325 degrees for approximately 25 minutes.

Sweet Potatoes

  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • Pam cooking spray

I sprayed a baking sheet with Pam cooking spray, I laid out my thinly sliced sweet potato slices onto the baking sheet and added the seasonings, then tossed them around until they were coated. I put them in the oven at the same time as the chicken for 30 minutes.

This whole meal is worth 7 Weight Watchers points.

DESSERT

Fruit explosion muffins...

Fruit explosion muffins…

 

Fruit Explosion Muffins

  • 200 grams steel cut oat flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh strawberries and blueberries
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp baking powder

Directions:

Turn on the oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl I blend all my fruit with a hand blender (or you can use a food processor). You can make it as chunky or creamy as you would like. I also had to blend my steel cut oats to turn it into a flour.

In a separate bowl I added my steel cut oats flour, then added the other dry ingredients. I add my egg and fruit in with the dry ingredients. I stirred it all up and measured out two ounces per muffin. Then I put them in the oven and baked for 15 minutes.

These muffins are perfect for when you’re on the go as they are packed with protein and fruit.

To keep the muffins as fresh as possible, I freeze mine or keep them refrigerated.

Each muffin is 2 Weight Watchers points. 

NEW ITEM 

I am so happy with my recent purchase. I was working with a difficult to use hand blender and was getting fed up. Tonight I decided to purchase my first food processor to prepare most of my meals with.

Stay tuned to see what I create with this beauty of a food processor.

Yay! New purchase :)

Yay! New purchase 🙂

Tomorrow I will be sharing some of my measurements (before & present) as well as some updated photos of myself (before & present).

This next tune is by The Asteroids Galaxy Tour, they are a Danish pop band. I first heard this song in a Heineken beer commercial and loved it. Enjoy!

– Caro

Get Your GYM on… Motivational Mondays!

I’m going to keep it light for tonight. I went to the gym, hung out with Jillian Michaels (aka 30 Day Shred Challenge) for a little and baked up a storm. I am one tired girl.

Here are some quotes to motivate you to get your butt off the couch, to walk away from the chip bag and get MOVING!

Okay, I think I’ve made my point. My Weight Watchers leader Cathy always says “I don’t think I’ve ever heard a person say ‘I regret working out today’, after a workout.” Well, I certainly haven’t. Have you?

This next song is by Imagine Dragon, an American Indie band. THEY ARE AWESOME!

Don’t forget to follow me on:

– Caro

Clean Eating… What does it mean to you?

I’ve been asked by a friend what ‘Clean Eating’ actually means. For those that are new to the concept, it doesn’t mean running your fruits and veggies under the tap. It’s a little more in depth than that.

There are several concepts/lifestyles you can follow if you want to eat clean. If you are contemplating following a clean eating lifestyle, you should make a knowledgeable decision. After all it is a lifestyle, not a diet. Think LONG TERM!

Clean eating has been practiced for years by individuals who choose to stray from processed foods and extra additives from their diet. It’s a choice to eat whole and unrefined foods.

Eating what Mother Nature has prepared for us, is the best way to describe it. 

Eat fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as meats. Whole grains are very important when eating clean and it’s important that they aren’t broken down and this includes whole wheat, whole grains and brown rice.

Another key factor in eating clean is reading food labels. Try to eat foods that don’t have to be altered in any way to be prepared or served. Avoid anything that says artificial flavouring.

Anything with more than 4-6 ingredients on food labels should be a good indication that it is not au naturel.

If you want to be successful in truly eating clean, here are some guidelines to follow;

  1. Eating frequently and small portion sizes. Preparing 5-6 meals a day will level blood and sugar levels and prevent hunger.
  2. Try to eat lean protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats for in each meal.
  3. Avoid all processed and/or refined foods  & saturated and trans fats.
  4. Drink 164 ounces of water per day.
  5. Avoid high calories juices or drinks and steer clear of high calorie, non-nutritious foods.

Benefits to following a clean eating plan are fat loss, weight loss, increased energy, better sleeping pattern and mental well-being.

PLANS

Jamie Eason of Body Building.Com has created and implemented a 12-week trainer where she provides a standard meal plan and workout regime. She explains everything great detail and provides a list of foods to eat and stay away from.

Her workout plan is quite complex and it is to help achieve a toned figure. It is not by any means to get bulky and shaped like a body builder.

I did try this plan a year ago, but I wasn’t dedicated to it 100%. I fell off the wagon, but it would be a plan I would consider again.

Check it out here: Jamie Eason’s LIVE FIT 12-Week Trainer 

I purchased Tosca Reno’s cookbooks as well. She shares her experiences, lifestyle and amazing recipes. Check out her website and you will see why she is a woman to look up to.

Tosca Reno Cookbooks (diningwithcaro.wordpress.com)

Tosca Reno Cookbooks (diningwithcaro.wordpress.com)

Here are some other ‘Clean Eating’ lifestyle plans to look into, if you are considering this lifestyle for yourself;

I am going to continue on with Weight Watchers but I would like to follow a healthier lifestyle by eating as clean as possible. I realize it is difficult to be eating clean all of the time, but it is a lifestyle that is manageable.

Well I am off for the day! I’m going out to enjoy this beautiful Spring day (it’s 20 degrees in St. John’s – that’s something to celebrate.) I have to run errands and do some meal prep for the week. I will share a couple new recipes tomorrow and take some selfies at the gym.

This is the PERFECT song to cruise around the town with. Summer is just around the corner, it’s time to have a good time. Enjoy Brazilian Girls ‘Good Times’.

– Caro

Every Ounce Counts… AKA Successful Saturdays!

* My blog was acting up yesterday and wouldn’t allow me to post pictures, so it is a day late. Here it is though… Enjoy! 

Saturdays are my weigh-in days with Weight Watchers and I’m always on pins and needles when I wake up the morning of. I am in a panic because I’m never sure if I did enough the days leading up to my weigh-in. I am paranoid I ate too much “bad” stuff and not enough “good” stuff.

I mentioned before that every Friday I eat very light and try not eat anything that will sit heavy in my stomach for my weigh-in on Saturday morning. I try to eat a lot of fruits, vegetables and proteins.

On Thursday evening I prepared a vegetable stir fry with 6 ounces of chicken and butternut squash fries on the side. I prepared enough to have for dinner on Friday evening. I also drink water and tea all day long, I avoid anything with a lot of caffeine and sugar.

Here are some of the stir fries I have concocted. Also take note that I only use Pam when I cook and don’t use oliver oil or vegetable oils.

This recipe is simple: Green pepper, red pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, onion, carrots and 4 chicken breasts. A dash of Mrs. Dash, garlic powder and pepper.  (diningwithcaro.wordpress.com)

This recipe is simple: Green pepper, red pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, onion, carrots and 4 chicken breasts. A dash of Mrs. Dash, garlic powder and pepper.
(diningwithcaro.wordpress.com)

Ingredients:  Broccoli, cauliflower, onion and 6 ounces of chicken - seasoned with Mrs. Dash, garlic powder, pepper and PC  Garlic and Herb Marinade (http://www.presidentschoice.ca/LCLOnline/products.jsp?type=details&catIds=cat40002&catIds=cat340019&productId=prod1680015)  Recipe for Butternut Squash Fries: Garlic powder and Mrs. Dash. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  (diningwithcaro.wordpress.com)

Ingredients:
Broccoli, cauliflower, onion and 6 ounces of chicken – seasoned with Mrs. Dash, garlic powder, pepper and PC Garlic and Herb Marinade (http://www.presidentschoice.ca/LCLOnline/products.jsp?type=details&catIds=cat40002&catIds=cat340019&productId=prod1680015)
Recipe for Butternut Squash Fries:
Garlic powder and Mrs. Dash. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
(diningwithcaro.wordpress.com)

The verdict is in… I went to my weigh-in this morning and  I was down 0.6 lbs. It is the “perfect amount” according to Weight Watchers as they recommend to lose anywhere from 0.5 to 2 lbs per week. I know my body will start to slow down and pulling big numbers will get harder. Either way I am happy with the loss today because I am still headed in the right direction. Each ounce counts and I have lost more than half a pound this week. I’m at a total loss of 25.9 lbs. That is something to celebrate!

At the meeting today we discussed ‘Finding Your Anchor’ and ways to choose and use an anchor that will help each of us stay on plan. It got me thinking about what my anchors are;

  • My long-term goal is what I envision and helps me stay on track.
  • I reflect on my before picture and it makes me proud of all that I have accomplished these past few months.
  • My health and well-being are also a top priority because if you don’t have your health, you’ve got nothing.
  • My support system – Family, friends & Dave.

After the meeting I left feeling optimistic and I wanted to treat myself to something pretty and new. I treated myself to a Pandora bracelet and bought an anchor charm to remind me of todays meeting and have it as a reminder to keep me on track. Every time I lose 5 lbs now, I will treat myself to a new charm as a reward instead of rewarding myself with food.

My new Pandora bracelet and anchor charm  (diningwithcaro.wordpress.com)

My new Pandora bracelet and anchor charm
(diningwithcaro.wordpress.com)

I thought this quote was funny and had to share.

 

Don’t reward yourself with food, buy something pretty instead!

I am not doing anything active today, but I will be doing the 30 Day Shred tomorrow and burn off some more calories. I will also be stepping it up at the gym with Dave this week. I’ll have pictures to prove it. That’s right, I’ll have some selfies to share.

Here is a song to give you a little inspiration to get moving… Or in this case walking!

I need a little motivation to continue with my positive losing streak and need songs with a lot of energy to pump me up at the gym. I am a big Calvin Harris fan and wanted to share his new song featuring Ellie Goulding.

Don’t forget to follow me on:

– Caro

Happy, Optimistic & Free… AKA Things I Love Thursdays!

I know I said I would enjoy writing Tasty Tuesdays because of my love for food, well I think ‘Things I Love Thursdays’ might take the cake. I get to share the things I love with all of you. Brace yourselves, because I love A LOT of things!

Friends & Family

First thing is first, I wouldn’t be the person I am today without my family, friends and Dave. I am a very fortunate person and have several groups of friends that have shown me such unconditional support and love. They have been there for me through thick and thin (literally). I try not to take any of my friendships for granted as I learn so much from each and every one of them. Thank you to ALL of you!

I'm missing some important people, but don't think you're not near and dear in my heart... (diningwithcaro.wordpress.com)

I’m missing some important people, but don’t think you’re not near and dear to my heart… (diningwithcaro.wordpress.com)

Shopping

I love to shop… I think most girls do, we are attracted to department stores and boutiques by some cosmic force, although I think it’s the magnetic strips on my bank card/credit cards that pull me in. My bank account isn’t too keen on the idea of me splurging and spending my hard earned dollars, so that’s why I shop on a budget. I have fallen in LOVE with Joe Fresh! The prices are reasonable, the clothes are good quality and the sizing is realistic. I bought 2 new jackets from Joe Fresh for Spring and they fit like a dream. 

* The mirror IS clean, but it's older and has imperfections - NO joke! (diningwithcaro.wordpress.com)

* The mirror IS clean, but it’s older and has some imperfections… But who doesn’t?! (diningwithcaro.wordpress.com)

Tea

I know I’ve gone on and on about my love for tea, but I don’t think you all realized how strong that love is. Here is my collection thus far:

  1. Goji Pop (Herbal Tea)
  2. Mamma Mia (Herbal Tea)
  3. Organic Lemon Myrtle (Herbal Tea)
  4. Bear Trap (Herbal Tea)
  5. Organic Razzmatazz (Herbal Tea)
  6. Midsummer Night’s Dream (Herbal Tea)
  7. Strawberry Rhubarb Parfait (Herbal Tea)
  8. Bamboozled (Herbal Tea)
  9. Forever Nuts (Fruit Infusion Tea)
  10. Organic Gold Rush (White Tea)
  11. Cookie Dough (White Tea)
  12. Coco-Lemon Thai (White Tea)
  13. Buddha’s Blend (White Tea)
  14. Lime Gelato (Green Tea)
  15. Merry Cranberry (Green Tea)
  16. Organic Hot Lips (Green Tea)
  17. Organic Some Velvet Morning (Green Tea)
  18. Movie Night (Green Tea)
  19. Berry Good (Pu’erh)
  20. Honeydew Maté (Maté)
  21. Chocolate Rocket (Maté)
  22. Organic Cocoa Canela (Maté)
  23. Birthday Cake (Rooibos)
  24. Alpine Punch (Rooibos)
  25. Creme Caramel Rooibos (Rooibos)
  26. Organic Buttered Rum (Black Tea)
  27. Cranberry Pear (Black Tea)
  28. Coconut Oolong (Oolong)
  29. Prairie Berry (Oolong)
  30. Organic The Skinny (Oolong)

It’s safe to say I have an obsession with David’s Tea, but if you have tried their selection you will completely understand the reasoning behind my madness.

Music

I am a lover of  all music. If it has a good beat and rhythm, I’ll typically listen to it. But my favourite type of music is Indie/Indie Rock. Here are a few of my favourite artists accompanied by one of their songs. 

Little Numbers ‘Boy’

MS MR ‘Hurricane’

Lana Del Rey ‘Blue Jeans’

M83 ‘We Own the Sky’

I LOVE Weight Watchers!

I’ve said it time and time again, Weight Watchers works! It has helped thousands of people lose weight by following a fool proof point system. The system calculates the fat, carbohydrates, fibre and protein in each food item.

It has helped me shed 25.3 lbs so far and I am confident that I will lose 38 more. Once I reach my goal, their system will help me maintain my goal weight. I mentioned in previous posts that I tried every fad diet known to mankind and nothing has ever worked for me. Weight Watchers has given me my confidence back and I can finally talk about my weight-loss freely and openly with all of you.

 

Blogs I Love

Here are a few of the clean eating blogs I have been following to keep me on track and provide me some delicious meal ideas. 

You just got to give credit, where credit is due. These bloggers share great meal ideas and are very inspirational.

Back to my 30 Day Shred… Day 9 of 30 for my monthly challenge. Jillian Michaels – You know what you’re doing!

Here’s some Florence and the Machine for you… Dog Days Are Over… NOW get moving!

Don’t forget to follow me on:

– Caro

Being a Healthier YOU… AKA Wellness Wednesdays!

Wellness Wednesdays will provide information on a variety of different topics such as nutritional information & fun facts, inspirational people & other bloggers, as well as taking the steps to leading a healthier lifestyle.

I want to share what I have learned through this process with all of you… Today, I will be talking about bananas.

I usually eat a banana with each breakfast not only because they are filling but for all of their health benefits, although I have recently learned a few other things about bananas that I found very interesting. I got this information from the 45 Minute Skinny’s Facebook page. Check them out here.

45 Minute Skinny’s take on bananas

Bananas contain three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy.Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world’s leading athletes.

But energy isn’t the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

DEPRESSION:
According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

PMS:
Forget the pills – eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

ANEMIA:
High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

BLOOD PRESSURE:
This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit’s ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

BRAIN POWER:
200 students at a Twickenham school ( England ) were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

CONSTIPATION:
High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

HANGOVERS:
One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

HEARTBURN:
Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

MORNING SICKNESS:
Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

MOSQUITO BITES:
Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

NERVES:
Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system..

Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and chips. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.

ULCERS:
The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chroniclercases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

TEMPERATURE CONTROL:
Many other cultures see bananas as a ‘cooling’ fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand , for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has FOUR TIMES the protein, TWICE the carbohydrate, THREE TIMES the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around. So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase to, ‘A BANANA a day keeps the doctor away!’

45 Minute Skinny - Bananas (https://www.facebook.com/LoveToLose)

45 Minute Skinny – Bananas
(https://www.facebook.com/LoveToLose)

 Well, there you have it folks! Bananas are the new apple.

Now onto the REAL musical treat… Jessie Ware is a British singer-songwriting and I am loving her album Devotion. It’s always blaring in my tiny apartment and you will often find me cooking with her music playing in the background. Sometimes I try to sing along, but let’s be real… I should stick to blogging.  I hope you enjoy Jessie Ware’s ‘Wildest Moments’ as much as I do!

– Caro

Eat Clean… AKA Tasty Tuesdays!

Tuesdays will now be known as Tasty Tuesdays… I will share new recipes and some tasty treats, fun facts about food and drinks. I’ll even let you in on some useful tips/secrets to lose weight. Tasty Tuesdays will be one of my FAVOURITE days, as I get to talk about something I truly love. Food!

But first, Let me talk about my exercise plan for this evening, I will be going to the gym for an hour and a half with Dave to work on some cardio and lift some weights. Once I return home, I will stick to my challenge and I will pop that DVD in and get my shred on. Jillian Michaels, you will see my intensity through the TV.

Okay down to business… The newest recipe I have discovered was from one of my pins on Pinterest. The website is Real Simple and they cover a wide array of topics such as home & organizing, beauty & fashion, weddings, family & work and plenty other topics any person can relate to.

NEW RECIPE

Pan-Roasted Chicken With Lemon-Garlic Green Beans 

It was easy to put together and the preparation time was very minimal. I would recommend this meal to anyone and it’s a quick clean up!

The Ingredients (I didn’t add any olive oil or salt – but that is entirely up to you and your tastes!)

  • 2 lemons, 1 thinly sliced and 1 juiced
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 3/4 pound trimmed green beans
  • 8 small red potatoes
  • 4 chicken breasts

* I added chili pepper flakes, roasted garlic flakes and basil to give a little something extra…

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a large baking dish or cast-iron skillet with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Arrange the lemon slices in a single layer in the bottom of the dish or skillet.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the remaining oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper; add the green beans and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove the green beans and arrange them on top of the lemon slices. Add the potatoes to the same olive-oil mixture and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, arrange the potatoes along the inside edge of the dish or skillet on top of the green beans. Place the chicken in the same bowl with the olive-oil mixture and coat thoroughly. Place the chicken, skin-side up, in the dish or skillet. Pour any of the remaining olive-oil mixture over the chicken.
  3. Roast for 50 minutes. Remove the chicken from the dish or skillet. Place the beans and potatoes back in oven for 10 minutes more or until the potatoes are tender. Place a chicken breast on each of 4 serving plates; divide the green beans and potatoes equally. Serve warm.

Here’s a thirst quencher… TEA

I am a big snacker and I have the perfect trick to stop myself from overeating, especially in the evenings. In the past I was never a big tea drinker but I have discovered David’s Tea while living in Newfoundland and it has totally changed my outlook on life… Oops, I mean tea!

Here are some facts about drinking tea and the benefits they provide for us:

  • Tea protects our bones. A study was conducted and compared tea drinkers vs. non-drinkers and it was uncovered that those who drank tea for several years had stronger bones (taking several things into account such as body weight, exercise, smoking and other risk factors.)
  • Tea is calorie free – Enough said!
  • Tea can help increase ones metabolism. Green tea is known to increase the metabolic rate and can help you burn up to 70 to 80 calories a day, just from consuming several cups of green tea.
  • Tea helps prevent cancer. The antioxidants found in tea are known for their cancer-fighting effects.
  • Tea is hydrating to the body.
  • Tea can boost exercise and endurance. The catechins (antioxidants) in green tea extract increase the body’s ability to burn fat into fuel.

Those are just SOME of the benefits of drinking tea. I encourage you to steep a cup of tea today. Below are two of my favourite teas by David’s Tea.

Chocolate Rocket - A Maté tea Check out David's Tea for more flavours (http://www.davidstea.com/)

Chocolate Rocket – A Maté tea
Check out David’s Tea for more flavours (http://www.davidstea.com/)

Birthday Cake - A Rooibos  Tea  (P.s. check out my Weight Watchers 360 medals)

Birthday Cake – A Rooibos Tea
(P.s. check out my Weight Watchers 360 medals) 

PERSONAL VICTORY

Since I started Weight Watchers, I have lost a total of 25.3 lbs. A couple weeks ago, Weight Watchers gave me the round medal to add to my 20 lb keychain, if you take note to the Birthday Cake tea picture above. After my meeting, I came home and steeped my Birthday Cakes Rooibos tea and had a little celebration of my own.

For the month of May, I would like to lose 5.5 lbs, to make a total of 30.8 lbs. I have to stick to my clean eating, exercise and have my eye on the prize. Anything is possible, if you want it bad enough.

MUSIC

This musical treat is by Passion Pit, they are an American Indie Rock band from Massachusetts. Their album Gossamer is so uplifting and have fun music to workout to. Their song ‘Where I Come From’ was also featured on The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 soundtrack.

I am feeling very generous today, so please enjoy the following two songs by Passion Pit: Take a Walk & Where I Come From. 

Don’t forget to follow me:

– Caro

Get A Move On It… AKA: Motivational Mondays!

I am starting a new theme for my blog. Theme number one: Monday’s have turned into Motivational Mondays and I will share some inspiring quotes/pictures.

I have realized that since I started my weight-loss journey, I appreciate other peoples success and find inspiration in that. Last weekend I started to follow several users on Instagram that post their meals daily as well as progress pictures. They share new recipes and give shout outs to others. They also share inspirational quotes and show each other love. I have found this truly inspirational and I get lost on Instagram just getting to know these people through their photos, as well as through their very own blogs.

Check out my Instagram and have a look at who I am following and the things I have “liked”. I am sure you will find some inspiration: http://instagram.com/caroline1086

I have started my Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred challenge. She is very motivating and I absolutely love her. I am sad to say that with this knee injury, I really set myself back because I wasn’t exercising as much as I should have been. It’s been a little difficult for me to find my rhythm, but I am determined to be healthy and fit… With a rocking bod, obviously. Here are some of the photos of me completing my challenge (p.s. Dave wasn’t around to take my photo, but I took some of myself).

Day 1 - Look at my pink face (diningwithcaro.wordpress.com)

Day 1 – Look at my pink face (diningwithcaro.wordpress.com)

Have a look at my progress since I started my weight-loss journey back in December 2012 and I took some progress pictures today (April 29, 2013). I know that it is hard to tell one day from the other, so I will start using daily newspapers to show my TRUE progress.

BEFORE

Before my journey: December 8, 2012

Before my journey: December 8, 2012

AFTER

Progress pictures: April 29, 2013

Progress pictures: April 29, 2013

My 30 Day Shred feedback

  1.  I have completed Days 1 through 5 and at first it was very difficult for me. I am still on level 1 and it’s still not “easy” yet. I will work my way up to level 2 by Wednesday.
  2. I will post a picture of myself with a newspaper tomorrow and I’ll wear a different outfit. So far taking pictures of myself and sharing them with the cyber world has been the most difficult for me.
  3. I did go to my weigh-in a day early this week. I went on Friday, April 26 and was up 0.2 lbs. Not a big gain, but I am optimistic this Saturday I will lose.
  4. After each day of my challenge, I have gone for a brisk walk around the neighbourhood. It has gotten nicer and I am determined to work my way up to jogging again.

Today I needed a little inspiration and wanted to share these quotes I got from The Chive.

Don’t forget to follow me:

Here is a musical treat for your ears. Miike Snow is a Swedish Indie band and their sound is so unique. I can listen to any of their songs when I workout. It’s electric and energizing. What do you listen to when you work out? Comment below!

– Caro

Keep Looking Forward…

I have so much to be thankful for in this world. I have an amazing family, awesome friends, a supportive boyfriend and most importantly my health. I try not to take things for granted and I am appreciative of the smaller things in life.

It hasn’t always been like that. I’ve had my fair share of struggles and face some obstacles, such as eating. I didn’t become overweight because I watched my portion sizes. I have a food addiction and food was controlling me.

I decided in December 2012 that I would take control of my life and my addiction to food. And as I mentioned before, I am down 25.5 lbs because of it. Along the way I also shed some of my insecurities and negative thoughts.

You just have to keep looking forward…

I look forward to my weekly Saturday morning weigh-ins. I have formed such positive relationships with my group members from my Weight Watchers. Everyone is there to support one and other and we all share the same goals: To be healthy, skinny and to look good naked (in the privacy of our own homes – obviously!)

So how did I lose the weight? PORTION CONTROL! I weigh all my food and write everything that I eat.

Here’s a new recipe that I decided to test out. I love stuffed peppers and wanted to know exactly what I was eating and how much I was eating.

NEW RECIPE

Turkey Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients:

  • Green Peppers
  • 1 pound ground turkey or chicken
  • 1 tbsp per serving Light Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Large White Onion
  • 1 Cup Brown & Wild Rice
  • 1 Cup of Low -Sodium Tomato Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Basil
  • 1 tbsp Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Garlic Powder (No Salt Added)

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Boil water on stove.
  3. Put peppers in boiling water for approximately 30 minutes or until they are soft.
  4. In a pan fry up onions and add basil, pepper and garlic powder.
  5. Add chicken to the pan with the onions and spices. Cook until it is no longer pink.
  6. Weigh out meat on scale and set aside (I weighed out 4 oz per serving.)
  7. Mix 1/4 of rice for each serving of chicken.
  8. Once peppers are soft, remove from water and let sit for a couple minutes until they have cooled down.
  9. Add chicken and rice mix into pepper.
  10. Add 1 tbsp of parmesan cheese on top of stuffing.
  11. Use 1/4 cup of tomato sauce and pour it onto the pepper .
  12. Bake in oven for 20-30 minutes.
  13. Remove from over and let cool for a few minutes as the inside is very hot.
  14. Serve and enjoy!

Each one is worth 8 points on Weight Watchers. Again, the key is to measuring out the portions.

IMG_1485

IMG_1487

The final and delicious product of my creation

The final and delicious product of my creation

Workouts have been going well. I wanted to challenge myself by doing workouts at home. I ordered a few Jillian Michaels DVDs. Man oh man, that lady knows what she is doing.

I am going to start something new and EACH month, I will challenge myself to something new. I will document the process and progress.

THE CHALLENGE

I am challenging myself for the next 30 days to complete Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD. I will complete it each day and accompany it with either a brisk walk outside, or a light jog around the neighborhood.

Here’s what I am committing to:

  1. Completing a level each day (there are 3 levels – work your way up)
  2. Document how I felt after doing the workout
  3. Having PROOF that I did it (Dave will snap pictures of me)
  4. Before and After pictures of what I’ll look like in 30 days
  5. Weekly weigh-in updates

I challenge YOU to doing something active this month.

I’ll leave you with this song by Icona Pop that I absolutely LOVE… Let this pump you up and GO WORK OUT!

Don’t forget to follow me on:

  • Twitter @CarolineKrucas
  • Instragram @Caroline1086
  • Pinterest @CarolineKrucas

– Caro