Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Day 40.

Just goes to show the objects of confection that I have been avoiding all week! 
My most favourite cupcake - Pink Champagne

So today is the day–The big 40.  
40 days since I've started this journey. And I'm am filled with mixed emotions. 
I am happy, proud, surprised, slightly disappointed and yet even more determined!
I've gone from 146.80 lbs to 140lbs.  6.8 pounds gone!
And somehow the 2 dueling sides are at odds. The competitive Skinny Girl on one shoulder is disappointed that it is not more–being 40 days–I should have been working harder! And yet, The Fat Girl on the other shoulder says "with all the traveling and working that you have been doing– Girl, you did good!" And they are both right! I am proud of what I have lost, it could have been nothing at all! And now that the fire has officially been lit, I am hungry for more! I am ready to work harder, push harder and I am excited! I guess these last 40 days have been the turning point that I needed to let me travel forward, to see the vision, see the goals that are very attainable and fuel the hunger to carry on.

I had wished that I had taken my measurements at the very beginning of this journey. Despite being 6.8 lbs down, DH argues that it is so much more than that. This past week, I have began to finally take notice, since DH and a few co-workers have started making remarks. I've kept quite about it because I don't really like to get my hopes up much. 
But I began to take some notice last weekend–it started with underwear. Tops + bottoms - elastic wasn't rolling over itself + the two seater convertible had a bit more wiggle room.  Then... on Monday, in a risk-taking attempt I try on a dress that has not been able to zip up in the back. It zipped! And not just a tight I can't breathe zip, but with a this is very comfy zip! So despite my blues yesterday, I tested my luck again. I tried on a pencil skirt that I could not even dare fit and have not worn in some time. It fit. Probably a little too snuggly for my self conscious modesty at this point. I even decided to wear my shirt tucked in!!! HORROR!!! But I had gotten several foxy blush-worthy compliments - so I guess that was a win. Despite the compliments, I do admit that after lunch, the shirt came un-tucked as I was feeling rather jelly bellyish for such tucking in. And finally today I dared to try on a tank top blouse that has been ill-fittingly tight around my chest and stomach and seemed rather shorter than I had remembered it being. I slipped on the tank. It fit with room and was actually a smidgen baggy and was actually long enough again that I could wear it with tights. 
So even though the scale has not moved enough in 40 days for The Skinny Girl to be satisfied. I am very happy with my accomplishments. And now even more fired up than ever! It's down to brass tacks and business now!
I decided today to set some new mini-goals to accomplish during my journey to the finale. These mini goals should be something I have as small stepping stones of measurement and provide me with absolute motivation to work toward until I eventually reach my ultimate goal. Even if I don't reach these mini goals in time, I'm not going to beat myself up about it. But I think it will be something fun to work towards in the meantime. These are my mini goals:

MINI GOAL#1 - Weigh 133 by August 5
MINI GOAL#2 - Weigh 125 by September 1
MINI GOAL#3 - Weigh 117 by September 23
FINAL GOAL - Weigh 110 by October 13 
I think these are very achievable goals if I stay determined and work hard! says the Skinny Girl. The Fat Girl is quivering, thinking omg. you foolish girl. (hey SG, stuff a sock in her mouth wouldja?) ha!

I am really excited and am ready to get to work. Tomorrows first mission - 5a gym workout + returning back to Zumba class after a long hiatus. I enjoyed getting out my pink Zumba dance pants and packing my gym bag with my Z gear. And oddly enough, I'm a little nervous about getting back in the groove. I hate going to class and not knowing all the new routines. But I'm sure once I hear the beats, I'll be shakin' my booty and have totally forgotten about my butterflies...
I am signing off... If I plan on getting back to a double routine - I need a good nights sleep. Happy 40 days! - Looking forward to the future that is going to be sweeter than a cupcake!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Raw Pasta.

I promised that I would share the recipe to the raw meal that I talked about here a few days ago. And I just have to share this delightful pasta substitute with you all! I loved it and is my new favourite dish!

I got the recipe from the newest issue of Whole Living magazine, which I have simply adored for such low calorie, beyond healthy recipes. Practically all the pages are dog-eared from my reading all the articles over and over and over again!

 I also greatly adored the article regarding raw food meals and it has highly peaked my curiosity on trying new yet practical raw food recipes into my everyday quick meal regimen.

Zucchini "Pasta" with Garlic + Tomato
Serves 2

Note: Use a very sharp knife or a mandoline to cut the zucchini into long, thin, noodlelike strips.

  • 8 ounces cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped raw walnuts
  • 2 Tbsp torn fresh basil, plus leaves for garnish
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Sea salt
  • 1 zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise, slices cut into 1/4 inch long strips
Directions: In a bowl, combine tomatoes, garlic, walnuts, basil and oil. Season with salt. Let stand 20 minutes. Toss with zucchini and garnish with basil.

So mine didn't exactly look just like the magazine photo. 

I couldn't find my slicer. So my "pasta" strips were a little bit thicker. However, that did not affect the taste in the least! It was so good! I want to try this also with a combination of both zucchini and yellow squash, along with different varieties of tomatoes!  And this dish was only for 157 calories per serving! I think it was the first time I've ate pasta without feeling guilty afterwards! :)

Note: I will post the caloric breakdown a little later. I don't have my magazine in front of me at the moment.

Day 39.

Weight: 140.80
So my day started off kinda disappointingly wild. I missed my alarm for the gym this morning. Slept right through it! I managed to wake up just barely early enough to totally miss getting to go to the gym, but with plenty of time to sit and enjoy my breakfast - 8oz. of Bolthouse Farms Vanilla Chai Tea and half a banana. Not including my usual 8oz. of supplement water... However I still felt pretty rough, just completely exhausted and I noticed my sinus' were bothering me (so annoying). I guess I just needed the extra sleep + rest. I figured I would count today as my "rest day" from the gym.
 Once I got on my way to work, I was pretty bummed that I missed the gym. And that bothered me most all day. I was so bummed out that here I am staring down on the eve of Day 40. And I was feeling as if I have not made much progress on the scale. Even though I know I must be since a few folks are starting to take notice. And... I also know that the scale doesn't ever entirely count since you can lose inches before scale numbers. 
So then WHY in the world was it bumming me out?! I'm not sure but it absolutely was... and of course I know these days like this will come. And this is another stepping stone that I have to learn from, to not let the blue days take over my mission. It's blue days like this that literally eats at my mind- a struggle. Like WHY go on?  WHY even bother?!  WHY?!!! WHY?!!! well... because it bothers me! A Lot! That's why! I'm sick and tired of feeling slobby, sick of the cupcake muffin top that jiggles when I zumba, tired of all the weighty struggle when attempting to run. Tired of fretting about being unhealthy and the possible health problems that I could face all because I carry what looks like a slightly deflated, yet bulbous inner tube around my midsection and the passing of each birthday. I'm ready to be lighter, fitter, healthier! I mean don't get me wrong... I like having swerve in my curve. But I like those curves to be a little tighter and streamlined.

And so that was a rant in itself. But yes. I was bummed. Still kind of am. I'm fighting through it. And thank goodness for MFP interactivity. That has been keeping me going, keeping my fire lit for accountability.
Snapshot: Lunch at Desk - Honey Balsamic Chicken
So other than feeling a bit Debbie Downer today... my food routine was pretty good. All of my meals were all small food components added together into fairly low calorie meals. I did drink more teas today however my water intake could have been better. I did make it to 8 glasses yesterday.  Dinner was a simple Caesar salad and I managed to make a delicious "ice cream" for dessert!

We had Mango "ice cream". I had taken frozen mango cubes mixed with just a tablespoon of Coconut Milk Yogurt and a little bit of water and blended it until thick + creamy. And ta-da! Ice Cream for only 68 calories!  DH added 1/2 of a banana into the mix with the Mango - for his batch. I took a tiny taste. It was sooo amazing! Of course, adding an extra fruit meant that his ice cream was 113 calories - still not bad at all!  I think tomorrow morning I may make the Mango-Banana cream as a post-gym refreshing breakfast! If thinned down, this would also make for an amazing smoothie, esp if added with some low calorie lean Whey protein! What a power packed smoothie that would be!

at least there was a sweet ending to the day

Monday, July 11, 2011

Day 38.

Best Protein Drink Ever!
Weight: 140.80

This Monday morning was back to the grind. Down to business - 5am Gym. I have to say I pushed it hard in the gym this morning. 15 mins of quick + dirty Elliptical, followed by a 20min slow + sweaty session of the Stair Climber on Level 5, transitioned into 5 mins of a full blast run at 5.0 mph, graduated into the remaining 20 mins of cool-down fast walking. To some it doesn't seem like much, but I have to say, what I did do, I gave it 110%!!! I know it because I was literally a dripping puddle!

When I walked out the doors, I left feeling great!, accomplished, svelte (at least mentally) and productive. I knew that I had been and that I pushed it hard because I also felt like I was going to vomit.  I always feel like that when I push it super hard. Its a sign of strength. The yack is the weakness purging itself out of my system. However, this was not the feeling to encounter on the drive back home. Keep it together girlfriend. Do. not. puke.

Luckily, I didn't. I made it back home safe and sound. Feeling good enough to down 8oz of decedent chocolate protein bliss - Bolthouse Farms Chocolate Protein Plus drink is like a liquid smooth dark chocolate candy bar. So dreamy. So sweet. It almost seems sinful to drink. Like I need to be sneaking into a dark closet with big sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat to drink the stuff.

About 5 minutes later I managed to drink another 8oz of my supplement water and grab the other half of a banana for breakfast. Then it was time to hit the showers and get to work. By the time I got to work, my stomach was still playing havoc on me.  Remember on Jurassic Park, when the raptors were hiding in the tall grass, making that awful clicky growl, right before they jumped out + killed everyone... well that was what my stomach sounded like... I was frightened. I was waiting death.

Most of the morning my stomach felt and sounded like Raptors fighting. I'm sure my heavy liquid breakfast was not what it had in mind. By the time lunch rolled around, I was starved and temptation was waiting around the corner.

I love cupcakes. a lot. I would get a tattoo of a cupcake if I had spare cash to blow. I also love strawberry anything! So what lovely temptation awaiting me in the office kitchen - but a swoonworthy Strawberry Cream Cheese iced Strawberry Cupcake with Fresh Strawberries on top!!!! Son. of. a. Biscuit. On. A. Hot. Tin. Roof. In. the. Middle. Of. Mississippi. in. August. !!!!!!  oh life is mean like that. Oh what a test to my willpower! I soooo very much wanted to just shove my face right into the middle of that damn cupcake! Frig!

Ignore the cupcake. I turn my back. I get my Lean Cuisine, into the microwave. Gah! 8 minutes of slow microwaving hell! I can feel that cupcake staring at me from behind. Taunting me with its creamy sweetness.  No. I have to keep calm. Okay. Breathe. You know, girl, that cupcake is poison. I bet someone sneezed on it. Yeaahhh.. that's right. It's covered in cooties. Yeah... (dang it 5 mins left) ... um... *gulp* Not only does it have cooties, but it also taste like dirt! Do you want to eat dirt? No. I didn't think so. (3 mins. omg this microwave is soooo sloooowwww!!!)  Keep your back to the cupcake! Keep your back to the cupcake! Just breathe!  I start to break out in a shaky cold sweat when finally - BEEP BEEP BEEEEEEPPPPP!  Praise the Lord! I made it!  I quickly grabbed my lunch and get out of the kitchen pronto! I survived the glare + temptation of evil cupcakes. I may survive this journey after all!!!

Fortunately, I have the best DH ever. Because when I came home - he already had dinner planned and in progress. Hearty lean Pork Chops, an ear of Corn and later a sweet 1/2 cup of Coconut Milk Yogurt!

Now that was worth waiting for!

Well I made it through hard work, determination and survived temptation. I have to be a little bit proud of myself. I think I've come a long way. I know I still have a long journey ahead of me. But today was a good day! ;)

- signing off the Survivor of Strawberry Cupcake Apocalypse,

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Day 37.

Weight: 140.80

I thought I would share a photo of my breakfast meal.
Breakfast: Roasted Figs with Cinnamon on Potato Toast with 1/2 banana. 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Day 36.

 Weight: 141

Sharing a photo of my dinner meal.
RAW FOOD MEAL: Zucchini "Pasta" with Garlic + Tomato (recipe soon)

This evening I thought I would try something different and have a completely RAW meal. I have to admit I enjoyed eating a completely "raw" meal. I had my concerns... not because it was raw or that I wouldn't like it, but for the fact that large amounts of "raw" veggies have harsh negative effects to my tummy. 

Sadly, I can't eat raw broccoli lavishly dipped into any type of dressing anymore. Raw broccoli sends my stomach reeling in painful cramps, its tragic really because I love raw broccoli! I like that crunch! These days I have to steam it and eat in small moderate amounts. I also had the same thing happen with a decent amounts of raw squash, eggplant, cauliflower, and bell peppers. If I do eat these raw - it has to be in small portions. Otherwise I'm curled up tightly in a fetal position, waving my white flag of surrender.

SO as you can understand, I was quite concerned that this raw pasta would have me in fits of a stomach ache later. The entire time thinking "what am I doing?!"  But I was presently surprised I had not and actually felt great post-meal! Not only that I was safe but this meal was also hearty and I was very satisfied afterward. 

I am definitely now more curious in trying more raw recipes and seeing what else is out there that is amazingly healthy+tasty in this raw food realm.

Yay! for taking healthy risks! :)


Last weekend I found an old copy of Natural Health magazine in my bookcase. After leafing through the pages I discovered an article entitled: The Spices of Life - healing spices known for anti-inflammatory abilities. Included in the article were a series of recipes, one in particular - an enticing low calorie recipe for roasted figs with cinnamon. I dogeared the page for the day that I could get some figs to try it out. Luckily I did not have to wait long! My Creative Director brought in some figs yesterday fresh from the fig tree at her house. Thanks Michelle!

So first chance I got this morning I went to the grocery store to pick up the remaining essential ingredients I needed and came back to try out this new recipe! I decided to snap a few photos while preparing the figs to share with you all. I also altered the recipe so that the end result would be more of a fig preserve that way with my busy schedule, I would be able to have quick multiple uses for the roasted figs. My recipe alterations will be in italics. If you want to stick directly with the recipe, ignore the notes in italic.

Roasted Figs with Cinnamon
healing spice: cinnamon

Serves: 6
Prep time: 10 minutes (more if reconstituting dried figs)
Cook time: 25 minutes

  • 16 figs, stems trimmed and small x's cut into the bottoms
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted 
  • 3 Tbsp Honey
  • 1 Tbsp fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp fresh, finely chopped thyme
  • 2 Tbsp walnuts, chopped
  • Zest 1 orange
Note - I used slightly different, low calorie ingredients within this recipe as you will see. I used Brummel & Browns Yogurt Spread instead of butter. I also used sugar-free honey, an Omega infused orange juice. I completely skipped the thyme since I realized I was out of thyme (ha) after the grocery run. I also skipped the zest of orange since that is merely for garnishing purposes.

1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. In a baking dish, stand 12 figs on their bottoms. (press down if needed to keep them from wobbling). Brush each with melted butter and roast for about 20 minutes, until figs are tender.   Note: I did not reserve any figs. I roasted all of my figs first.

I halved my figs after roasting. At this point, the figs will be quite mushy/sticky.

2. In a food processor, puree´ the remaining figs. (again, after roasting I pureéd all the figs).
 Filling up the food processor with the halved roasted figs.

At this point I also added the walnuts in the pureé. I don't care for chunky nutty bits being in a preserve. The recipe calls for adding the walnuts at the final process upon serving. But again, for the quick multi-purpose use I am going for, adding the walnuts at this step seemed more practical.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine the pureéd figs with the honey

add the orange juice

and cinnamon 

and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes.
(Add a little water if the mixture is too thick to stir - aim for a syrup-like consistency.) Note: I am making a preserve with mine so in my photos its going to be thick.

3. Remove figs from the oven, pour sauce over them, sprinkle with chopped thyme, and return to the oven to roast another 5 minutes. Serve immediately garnished with walnuts and orange zest.

I spread my roasted cinnamon figs on warm potato toast.

Needless to say, it was delicious!

Per serving: 184 calories, 6g fat (3g saturated), 2g protein, 36g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 2mg sodium.

My version actually came out to be a little less in calories. yay!
Per serving: 150 calories, 4g fat, 2g protein, 32g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 2mg sodium.

I am looking forward to having this - not only with low calorie breads, but also mixed in with my Kashi granola and also served over vanilla frozen yogurt as a savory sweet treat!

Hope you enjoy this as much as I do and please do share any photos and comments of your batch!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sushi Dissected.

 I love Sushi. I’ve loved Sushi ever since I was introduced to it freshly made by our live-in Japanese exchange student. It was only a few years ago when I first lost 50 lbs that based on my meal plan that I started looking at the caloric value of Sushi. This was also motivated by a need to find restaurants where I could dine out. Being able to find new savory options that provide a wealth in health benefits but low on the caloric scale was difficult at the time until I discovered the nutritional benefits of sushi.  

So jump to present day, after discussing with friends regarding sushi calories on MyFitnessPal, I decided that I needed to do a post on the subject and share the sushi caloric charts that I have been using for quite sometime now.

Below are the calories in sushi rolls, sashimi, nigiri sushi either by the roll or by the portion of fish. These numbers are only a guide and the calorie content will vary based on what the sushi chef does at your local sushi bar. Here is the list:

 Note: When it says per roll, it means the Sushi Roll before being cut into pieces. When Sushi is made, it has to have the rice, the veggies and the seafood placed within - on the whole Nori sheet (seaweed) which is about 5 by 5 inches. Then when the Nori sheet is finally filled and rolled into its cylinder shape, that is when the Sushi “roll” is cut into “pieces”. Typically the roll calories would justify for a serving of 4 'pieces'.

Calories for Ginger, Wasabi and Soy Sauce:
Pickled Ginger: 14 calories for 1 tsp
Wasabi: 5 calories for 1 tsp
Soy Sauce: 10 calories for 1 tbsp

Sushi and seafood in general are one of the best sources of nutrition available to us. It is packed with protein and nutrients, and is low in fat (depending on the preparation). Sushi is an excellent source of lean protein and contains very little heart clogging saturated fat unlike most forms of red meat.

The majority of the fat found in Sushi is in the form of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are not only a nutritional requirement for humans, but also a fatty acid that shows promise in re-mediating many ailments from which we suffer for lack of this essential fatty acid in our modern diet, including cardiovascular disease.

Another great thing about Sushi and especially Sushi Rolls is that the seaweed wrap used in rolls, also called Nori, is rich with essential vitamins and minerals. To add to the benefits, Wasabi and Ginger both have antibacterial qualities, and Ginger is widely regarded as aiding digestion and improving circulation.

So the next time you are planning on going out for dinner with friends, suggest Japanese as an alternative and you could even point out the many many health benefits of Sushi. Enjoy!

chart information source: Fat Loss School

Day 35.

Weight: 141.40

Progress Report: Seems that I am holding steady at 141.40 for the time being. While most would be discouraged, I'm not in the least disappointed about it, at least its not up, right?! I'm beginning to figure out my body's shedding cycle pretty good and typically if I hold steady at a certain weight for a few days, even toggle up a pound depending on how hard I bust it the day before in the gym, means by the end of the week I am down by a couple pounds at least. So I'm feeling like that is where I am at right now... I'm trying my best to drink a lot of water and now at least 2 4-8oz glasses of Kombucha tea to keep myself flushed out.

I believe that last nights serious icing of the wounded shoulder/back muscle has paid off. It was not nearly as twingy painful nor hardly noticeable all day. The only time that I really did notice it was during several slightly awkward Pilates transition poses during tonight's low impact workout - which meant - it hurt like a muthafrigger! And what I really mean by that is... if I could substitute the word frigger without feeling a guilty remorse, I most certainly would do so!  I still have not quite figured out how exactly I mucked up that shoulder. But its on the mend now and I don't want to continue to dwell on the negative.

So I was able to step up tonight's workout. DH + I went for our evening jog (which I am loving!) It is nice and cool (for Florida, that is) by the time we get out to jog and getting to spend time with DH is amazing! He has been so supportive and motivational! I don't even know what I would do if he were not! I can't even fathom it! Literally during the jogs, he is motivationally pumping me up, pushing me to go just a little bit further than before, building confidence on how great I am progressing and to not give up! ...that my goal is right there for the taking! And I swear by the time we are finished with our simple jog, I feel as if I could conquer the world! As if I could jog to Mississippi and back without breaking a sweat! (ha, yeah right!

But... I don't know what I would do without that support. Thinking about it frightens me more than I can bare so I do not think on it. Letting in that fear and doubt leads to feeling hopeless, as if this journey is a lost cause and to just give up... no! I need to keep my mind right! Not only am I working out in a physical sense, but I am also getting mentally fit as well! I am learning to workout my mind, thinking positive thoughts about my well-being, my esteem, and building up positive thoughts about my physical state and the winter coat I am shedding. Its a new season folks and I am ready to shed the layers!

So needless to say, today felt good. Despite there was not any large milestones accomplished. I still feel like I accomplished a greater sense of well being and am on the mend. And you can't help but feel good about that!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Day 34.

Weight: 141.40

Progress Report: I was down a pound this morning which was some motivation to this week. I'm still working through this muscle injury. I did a lot of ice therapy this evening and it is starting to feel a bit better afterward. I'm looking forward to stepping up my workouts this weekend, regardless. I have to step it up. I'm sick of diddly daddling along, I'm ready to get back to serious business. However in the meantime, I've been able to keep focused and hone in on my eating regiment. So far so good....

As I have been researching for new healthy dinner recipes, I have came across so many great fitness, food + health facts + articles that I cannot resist sharing with everyone! So today I decided to start a Fittest Fat Girl Facebook Page - so definitely 'Like' my Facebook page so more interesting tidbits! -------------------->


Tonight for dinner I decided to make Snack Girl's "Z-Fries" (aka Zucchini Fries) as a side dish. Z-Fries are suppose to be a healthy substitute to the delectably greasy, crispy, crunchy salty french fry.

Usually I'm a bit leery of trying out a new 'healthy' recipe for the first time for dinner, since I have not had great success from some very famous foodie's 'health food' recipes in the past and have ruined a meal from a recipe turning out to being a total flop. But I figured how hard could it be to mess up this simple recipe? But I also wondered how is this fry going to compare to the epic french fry?! Is it going to be a soggy bland flop or will it be beyond our expectations?! The greater question being - will my super picky, alpha-male meat+potato eating DH even like it? ....... pins + needles!!!!

Luckily I have several farm fresh zucchinis that I brought back with me from home. I quickly made work of slicing up fry wedges (even though most of my wedges are a bit wonky shaped). Easy! I combine all of the ingredients, except I make 2 separate batches - #1 the original recipe oregano batch. #2 an oregano/Cajun season mix (hey I'm a spicy Southern gal, I love Cajun fries... I'm already out on a limb, so why not?!)

So I prep and bake as the recipe suggests (note - do NOT skip the flipping mid-bake, otherwise it could be a burnt disaster) Once done baking, I let the Z-fries cool and I taste test..... drum roll....... DELISH! These are waaaaay better than french fries!!!! So I grab a plate, squirt some ketchup and serve some to DH. ***Holds Breath***  He loves them! He also agreed these were far tastier than french fries.

Win-Win!   These little healthy morsels were amazing! Crispy, slightly salty, savory with a hint of subtle soft zucchini meaty sweetness! I loved the fries plain, however I also adored them with ketchup! Snack Girl suggests even serving with a marinara sauce - which I bet is equally amazing! And the best part of all - ONLY 161 calories with 9 grams of protein, and over 4 grams of fiber!!!

Z-fries hot from the oven!

So check out this recipe and let me know what you think about these savory substitutes! Enjoy!

Zucchini Fries Recipe  (2 servings)

  • 2 zucchinis
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup corn meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • non-stick spray
  • 2 teaspoons oregano (optional)
Heat oven to 425 F. Spray large rimmed baking sheet with non stick spray. Slice zucchinis in half and then again in half along the length. You should have 4 quarters. Slice quarters into 5 slim pieces. Put egg whites in a shallow bowl and beat with fork until a little froth appears. Mix bread crumbs, corn meal, salt, and oregano (optional) in a shallow bowl.

Dip zucchini pieces into egg whites, and then into bread crumb mixture. Place on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Flip and bake for 10 minutes longer. Serve with ketchup or marinara sauce.
These can be made ahead and just eaten at room temperature. They are best out of the oven.

161 calories, 1.6 g fat, 30.0 g carbohydrates, 9.3 g protein, 4.3 g fiber, 200 mg sodium, 4 PointsPlus


Southern girl note - yes, these are very much like the same full-on fried zucchini as I had as a child. However these are not nearly as greasy bad AND you have more options of seasoning these with different herbs + spices adding a zesty mix on a classic Southern favourite dish!

Diet Soda.

Yes I have to admit it. I. Am. A. Soda. Addict. And while I clearly understand that quitting my addiction will indeed help me in my weight loss mission, it can be a hard thing to kick. Comparable to my recent past consumption of soda, I've come a long way and am doing much better. I used to kill an entire case of Dr. Pepper in one day. That equals 7 cases in a week! Since then, I've switched to Diet Soda and toned my bad habits back to at least 3-4 sodas a day. Even more recently since starting this blog, I've been able to cut back even more to at least 2 cans a day. But I still have a long way to go in completely kicking the habit. And some days are worse than others.

Since switching to diet soda, I knew that it can't be good to be drinking that much artificial sweetener. But how else am I to try to ween myself off in a calorie free way without breaking out in an un-caffeinated lack-of-soda rage and attacking every living person that I came in contact with during the day?! And to be quiet honest, its not the addiction to caffeine - I've switched to decaf diet soda and I cope absolutely fine during the day. - I think its the actual taste and bubbly feel of soda that I am addicted to. weird huh?!

A week ago my cousin brought an interesting article to my attention about diet soda.  Of course after reading it, I immediately thought 'I have to share this' right after 'I've got to kick this habit for good!'

Check out the article and please let me know what you think about it!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Muscle Remedy.

As I mentioned in today's blog post below, I've been battling some wounded muscles, so I thought I would post up some home remedies that I've been practicing to get back on the road to recovery.

Home Remedy Treatments for Muscle Pain

Stop. If your muscle cramps up while you're exercising, STOP. Don't try to "run through" a cramp. Doing so increases your chances of seriously injuring the muscle.
Give it a stretch and squeeze. When you get a cramp, stretch the cramped muscle with one hand while you gently knead and squeeze the center of the muscle (you'll be able to feel a knot or a hard bulge of muscle) with the fingers of the other hand. Try to feel how it's contracted, and stretch it in the opposite direction. For example, if you have a cramp in your calf muscle, put your foot flat on the ground, then lean forward without allowing your heel to lift off the ground. If you can't stand on your leg, sit on the ground with that leg extended, reach forward and grab the toes or upper portion of the foot, and pull the top of the foot toward the knee.
Walk it out. Once an acute cramp passes, don't start exercising heavily right away. Instead, walk for a few minutes to get the blood flowing back into the muscles.
Chill out. If you know you've overworked your muscles, immediately take a cold shower or a cold bath to reduce the trauma to them. World-class Australian runner Jack Foster used to hose off his legs with cold water after a hard run. He told skeptics if it was good enough for racehorses, it was good enough for him! Several Olympic runners are known for taking icy plunges after a tough workout, insisting that it prevents muscle soreness and stiffness. If an icy dip seems too much for you, ice packs work well, too. Apply cold packs for 20 to 30 minutes at a time every hour for the first 24 to 72 hours after the activity. Cold helps prevent muscle soreness by constricting the blood vessels, which reduces blood flow and thus inflammation in the area.
Avoid heat. Using a heating pad or hot water bottle may feel good, but it's the worst thing for sore muscles because it dilates blood vessels and increases circulation to the area, which in turn leads to more swelling. Heat can actually increase muscle soreness and stiffness, especially if applied during the first 24 hours after the strenuous activity. If you absolutely can't resist using heat on those sore muscles, don't use it for more than 20 minutes every hour. Or, better yet, try contrast therapy -- apply a hot pad for four minutes and an ice pack for one minute. After three or four days, when the swelling and soreness have subsided, you can resume hot baths to help relax the muscles.
Take an anti-inflammatory. Taking aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen can help reduce muscle inflammation and ease pain. Follow the directions on the label, however, and check with your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions about whether the medication is safe and appropriate for you. If aspirin upsets your stomach, try the coated variety. Over-the-counter salicylate (the active ingredient in aspirin) creams can also reduce pain and inflammation. They're greaseless, usually won't irritate the skin, and won't cause the stomach problems often associated with taking aspirin by mouth.
Avoid "hot" or "cold" creams. The pharmacy and supermarket shelves are loaded with topical "sports" creams designed to ease sore, stiff muscles. Unfortunately, they don't do much beyond causing a chemical reaction that leaves your skin (but not the underlying muscles) feeling warm or cold. If you do use the topical sports creams, test a small patch of skin first to make sure you're not allergic, and never use these topicals with hot pads, because they can cause serious burns.
Do easy stretches. When you're feeling sore and stiff, the last thing you want to do is move, but it's the first thing you should do. Go easy, though, and warm up first with a 20-minute walk.
Take a swim. One of the best remedies for sore muscles is swimming. The cold water helps reduce inflammation, and the movement of muscles in water helps stretch them out and ease soreness.
Anticipate second-day soreness. You may feel a little stiff or sore a few hours after overexercising, but you'll probably feel even worse two days afterward. Don't panic. It's perfectly normal.
Massage it. As long as it's gentle, massage can help ease muscle soreness and stiffness.