Monday, January 30, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Today I'm going to share a recipe. You should know that I don't really consider myself a cook and rarely do anything in the kitchen without ruining or other. However, this recipe was shared with me at one of my weekly meetings and it ended up being easy enough for me make! This recipe is a bit out of season, but I honestly enjoy it all year round!

(I also do not type up recipes the normal way most people do, so you'll have to bare with me.)

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
First, you'll need a glass 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Here are the ingredients you'll want to add to it:

  • 1 Cup of fat-free milk

  • ½ Cup of Pumpkin (canned, pure pumpkin)*

  • 2 tsp of light Olive Oil (optional)

  • 1 tsp of Pumpkin Pie Spice (you can use a bit less though)

*Make sure you use canned Pure Pumpkin. It doesn't taste good right out of the can but this can count towards one serving of fruits/vegetables if you're doing Weight Watchers. It is also measures as a liquid, which is why you can measure it out in a liquid measuring cup!

Pour all of the ingredients that you've just added to your liquid measuring cup into a blender. Then add the following ingredients to the blender:

  • 1 packet of Weight Watchers French Vanilla OR Chocolate smoothie mix (I've had this smoothie with both flavors and I like them equally!)

  • About 4 or 5 ice cubes

Blend all of the ingredients together for a delicious smoothie that tastes like pumpkin pie! Yum!

Please note that I really have no idea how or what you would substitute the Weight Watchers smoothie mixes for in this recipe. I've tried to change this recipe and ruined the entire taste of it. I do find the smoothies are completely worth the buy!

Just so this post isn't completely text, I'd like to share my favorite smoothie-making product!

Oster Blend-N-Go

With this handy-dandy product, you can blend your smoothie with the bottom blades and then change it to the flip-top lid so your meal is portable! Now you don't have to worry about cleaning a separate blender before running out to the door to go to work or school. I received this for Christmas from my mom and we both thoroughly love it!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Becoming an early morning riser

What time do you like to go the gym? First thing the morning, sometime during the day, or late at night? I'm sure it all depends on your schedule and how active your work & home life keep you.

For the longest time, I loved being a night owl. I think it started in college when I had the freedom to go to bed and wake up whenever I wanted. However now I work your stereotypical 8-to-5 job, which means waking up before the sun sometimes. Let's not forget that my life has been in a transitional period for the past year.

So this past week I've discovered that my old nighttime ways just are not working. Especially with days being shorter and the sun now hiding itself by the time I'd be set to go to the gym at 7:00pm. Just last week I would get home from work, have dinner, get ready for my work out, and then have no motivation at all to leave the house. In fact, my body was begging for rest rather than movement.

I started my new schedule on Monday night by drifting off into a slumber by 9:00pm (before I wouldn't be ready for bed until at least 10:30pm!). The next day, my body promptly woke up with the sound of my alarm at 4:45am. It used to be hard to drag myself out of bed before 6:30am but Tuesday morning I found it so easy to roll out of bed!

Alas, I am now an early-moring work-out person. I feel like I have much more energy in the morning as opposed to late at night! Plus I will still continue to go five days a week and work out on the elliptical or stationary bike for 50 minutes then finish off with 10 minutes of arm strength training.

Now working out doesn't feel like a chore to do after dinner! And I have my evenings all to myself to blog, watch television, or read! So even though I've only been doing my new schedule for a few days, I really do love working out in the morning.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

To love coffee or not to love coffee

Did anyone else have the pleasure (or pain) of dealing with some snow and icy weather this past weekend? Well now that it seems winter is in full-swing, I think now is a good time for my first food recommendation.

I'm usually not someone who will drink their points. That is, I'd rather enjoy some delicious that I can chew rather than sip away all of my points with a beverage. Before the new year, I had this method down: I drank water and Coke Zero, both of which are zero points. However, I made it one of my resolutions to cut out soda due to some recent health issues.

Water is boring though! It's incredibly refreshing but similiarly boring, right? There was no way I could just live on drinking water. So I went on a hunt for some zero or low point beverages with surprising success.

Before I share this food with you let me tell you a secret of mine. I absolutely HATE coffee. I'm guessing you, the reader LOVE coffee. I'm sure you live off it and probably can't go a day without drinking a cup (or three) of it. Kudos to you! I wish I enjoyed it even half as much as you. Oddly enough, I do thoroughly love the smell of coffee. I just cannot STAND the taste of it.

So if you're like me and dislike coffee or even if you're a coffee addict, I think you'll appreciate today's food recommendation.

Maxwell House International Latte Peppermint Mocha

The great thing about this blend is that it's coffee but it doesn't TASTE like coffee. The first time I tried this brand was when my co-worker introduced the plain mocha to me. It tasted exactly like hot chocolate but with a little kick to it!

Finally, a coffee I can enjoy!

This peppermint mocha blend is equally delicious if not better. Whenever I think of winter I remember mint hot chocolate -- and this blend captures the smell & taste of it perfectly. Plus, of course, you get to enjoy some caffenine just as all coffee-lovers do!

The other great thing about Maxwell House International Latte? It's only one (1) point per serving! And one serving of this mix is about a heaping spoonful or four (4) teaspoons with hot water.

So, stay warm, readers! Read by the fireplace and maybe try some of this tasty flavored coffee on chilly winter morning. Otherwise, keep calm and carry on!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Keeping it short and sweet (like me!)

I do plan on making posts to this blog more often. I was only going to post blog entries every 3 days instead of waiting 4 or 5 days between posts. However, life keeps me busy between work and the gym. I have plans to write up some blog entries so that when I do get overly busy, I have something post so I don't neglect this blog!

Anyways, the reason why I wanted to wait until later in the week to write this blog entry is because I weigh in every Thursday at Weight Watchers! That's the program I do and it's what has helped to get this far in my weight loss journey.

I'm not going to bore you right now with the story of how and why I joined Weight Watchers. In short: I joined because it worked and there was a WW building close my job. There's a plethora of reasons WHY I joined, so I'll save that for another entry at a later date. :)

You should know now that I will talk about Weight Watchers a LOT. Any food recommendations that I make will include point values. (I point EVERYTHING food that I come across.)

Now that we have that out of the way, I'll leave you all with my statistics and before/'current' picture of myself.

Started WW: May 5, 2011
Starting Weight: 242.6lbs
Current Weight: 165.8lb
Goal Weight: ~115lbs
Lost so far: 76.8lbs

I still have about 50lbs to lose as I don't know if 115lbs will continue to be my goal weight. Honestly, I can't remember being a smaller size so I wasn't able to look back and say, "Oh, I want to be that weight again!" I can't even remember weighing 165lbs in my adult life. Of course, I am only 23 years young.

Anyways, I'll end this post with pictures. As always, keep calm and carry on!

April 2011 || January 2012

Monday, January 16, 2012

How Charming, A Blog

I never know where to start when I begin a new blog. Personally, I find opening sentences just as difficult as ending ones. If I should start anywhere then I guess I should mention that I started Weight Watchers on May 5, 2011 and at my last weigh-in I hit the 75lbs lost mark.

So, why am I just starting a blog now? Well, this isn't my first try and keeping a weigh-loss blog. My first attempt was through another blogging site, which you can view here. Obviously I wasn't very successful that time with only 8 blog entries over the span of three months. However, just as many people do the first month of a new year, I've decided to start fresh. I want to give myself the challenge of keeping up with a weight-loss blog!

My goal is to keep my entries short and sweet. Who has time to read several hundred or thousands of words when time is so precious? I certainly don't as I have a pretty active yet quiet life at the present time.

Still, I want you -- the reader -- to know that I want to keep your interest! Expect pictures! Recipes! Food recommendations! Helpful tips! Videos! Music play lists! And, of course, stories from my weight-loss journey.

Since this has turned into an introductory entry about my blog, my imminent next post will be more about myself. Until then, keep calm and carry on!