Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Panera Bread free deals tomorrow

Tomorrow Panera Bread is giving away free coffee with breakfast samples. I guess some of the breakfast samples are grilled breakfast sandwiches and also yogurt parfait.

I usually don't go to Panera anymore because you can't customize your cafe lattes like you can at Starbucks. Panera Bread is awesome, don't get me wrong here...but the calories at this place can set you back. I try to save this place for a splurge day. The bagels range anyway from 290 calories to over 430 in yumminess. Here is their link to check out on all nutritional information http://www.panerabread.com/pdf/nutr-guide.pdf

Some quick and easy recipes to make mock Panera Bread items.

Yogurt Parfait = A quick and easy yogurt parfait that I make is 1/c cup of fiber one, 1/2 cup of thawed strawberries (place in mic for about 15-25 secs), and 1/2 cup of fat Dannon Lit N' Fit vanilla yogurt. Add a dash of cinnamon and you are set. Calories are roughly around 140 calories and can be used as a snack or light breakfast.

Breakfast Sandwich = 100 calorie English muffin (you could even use some toasted low calorie bread like Auntie Millie's), 1/4 cup of egg beaters, 2-4 pieces of turkey bacon. You can go ahead and add a little ketchup or salsa to your English muffin. Also there is the option to add slice of fat free cheese or even laughing cow cheese wedge.

Coffee = I recently purchased a coffee grinder and also buy my coffee beans in bulk from Sam's Club. My preferred coffee beans are Starbucks coffee beans. I don't add anything to my coffee except some Splenda. Some suggestions to add in your coffee is Almond Breeze milk.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Give me a beer, bit%h!

Beer! It is either you love it or you hate. I have become a huge lover of beer and had the chance to try so many. The bad thing about beer is if you like to get drunk or drink a few here and there the calories can add up. Let's put it to you this way, if you want nice flavorful beer with taste you are going to expect the calories. If you want to get drunk and want to drink a lot you are probably better off going with lower calories beers.
Some of my favorite low calorie beers are: Bud Select (99 calories), MGD 64 (64 calories), Beck's Premium Light (64 cals), Bud Light (110 calories), Michelob Ultra (95 cals), and Yuengling Light (98 cals).
Also when I get mixed drinks I stick with diet soda for all my drinks. I usually have a diet with vodka. The problem with using diet in your mixed drinks is it causes the stomach to empty faster and go to the bloodstream much faster. This equals getting drunk way faster.
All in all, if you are going to drink alcohol while dieting it can cause you to eat more food than you normal do. So be careful if you drink and be more careful when you drink and eat.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

My progress photos

I started Weight Watchers in August 2005. I hit my all time heaviest at my nephew's birthday party in June 2004. This was before I joined a gym as well. Now I weighed myself around this time frame on this super cheap Rite Aid scale and it showed me about 200 pounds. I think I was heavier than that. This photo is funny to me because the fact I was drinkin' an Ultra Light Beer!!

This photo was probably at my very thinnest in April 2006. This was before I really rediscovered alcohol and really enjoying eating back out with friends and family after weight watchers. This photo I was probably just at 140.

This is me currently (right before Christmas 2008) before a work Christmas party. My weight varies back and forth and I have really made a decision the end of last year not to weight myself anymore. I fell into the trap of the scale would rule my day and mood. I try to weigh myself about once a month and also check my weight based on my clothes and pictures.

X Style!

I love working out plain and simple. I have talked to many people about working out and I get the same question, "What gym do you go to?" I answer simply, I don't go to any gym. Then I get the errrghhh WHAT???! Ok, let me explain. I first got back into fitness in 2004. My first real gym membership (besides when I was in the Army) was Bally's Total Fitness. My problem with Bally's was the fact I was at the older style Bally's gym and they were horrid. Then I joined Gold's Gym when they were building in the area where I use to live in Ohio. This was the start of an amazing gym. They have a cardio fitness theater, indoor track, basketball court, spinning room, women's only fitness area, weights upstairs and downstairs, and so much more. Before this Gold's Gym actually open there was some problems with the owner or something or other and they had to change the gym to Urban Active. This was no big deal because I could keep the same price. After we moved to VA it was hard to find a job and my apartment complex has a gym (really crappy one at that) up front near the rental office. I decided to save the money and use what I have already. I had purchased a Space Saver Elliptical trainer back in 2007 due to my new clinical hours when I was in school. Anyways, I decided to finally bust this bad boy out again. I now use my elliptical trainer everyday for about 40 mins while watching TV. Good way to get fit and watch my latest shows (thanks Tivo!!)

My other form of exercise is another great creation by Tony Horton. P90X. I am currently in the more advanced stages of P90X which is called P90X PLUS! So what is P90X ?? P90X consist of about 12 DVD workout programs. Based on the day and the week of program you do one of the DVDS. Now the workouts aren't your typical DVD workout videos with the stick thin girl screaming high pitched at you to move your ass. Nope, p90X is Tony with about 2-3 other people sweating their hot ripped bods off. The great thing about this DVD is you will be sore and requires minimal equipment. All you really need is the DVDs, pull up bar, and either resistant bands or weights. I use to use the bands until I came across an awesome deal on Craigslist for BowFlex Select Tech dumbbells. Check out the site at http://www.beachbody.com/ They also have other fitness programs for people who aren't P90x ready. I have actually taken P90x on vacation with me to Europe. I pop the DVD inside my laptop and worked out.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Baskin Robbins

Baskin Robbins has a new ice cream called BRight Choice. I was able to try this new ice cream a few weekends ago and was pleasantly surprised. I had two scoops. One scoop was the Butter Almond Crunch (140 cals) and the other was the light Raspberry Chip (140 cals). The Butter Almond Crunch was freakin' awesome!! The Raspberry Chip was good but could be a little overwhelming the in the berry department. They have other flavors as well: Vanilla, Pineapple Coconut, and Milk Chocolate.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Peanut Butter what has happen to you?!?

I am a super huge fan of peanut butter and it came as a shock that peanut butter was affected by salmonella. The great thing is there is alternatives to peanut butter that taste great and also are lower in calories.

PB2 is a very yummy powder peanut butter. Powder peanut butter?!?!?? Yes, this isn't a typo. What you do is dish out 2 tablespoons of the PB2 and then mix in 2 tablespoons of water in bowl. It forms into a yummy peanut butter like paste. Now, I will put this on Fiber One bars, vitatop brownies, or even eat with apples. The calories are 50 calories for 2 tablespoons. Check them out at http://www.bellplantation.com/

Another alternative is Better 'n Peanut Butter. This alternative is okay but I enjoy eating it mixed with something else. Like if you are making a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich. http://www.betternpeanutbutter.com/ They also just came out of a chocolate peanut butter jar. I haven't tried this but this stuff can be find at many groceries nationwide. 2 tablespoons is 100 calories and only 2.5% fat!!!

Last but not least I found out about this peanut butter from http://www.hungry-girl.com/. http://fitnutzbutter.com/index.html is the website. I haven't ordered this peanut butter but I have read rave reviews and it is low calories. It is only 1 weight watcher point! Woo Hoo!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Cans for dinner?

My whole goal in life is to make meals that are super easy and simple, but at the same time satisify my hunger. This morning I had a few extra minutes to spare before going to work. I knew later on this evening it would be hectic trying to get dinner around. So I made some super yummy and delicious dinner with leftovers to spare!

My recipe:
1 can of canned chicken
1 can of corn (low sodium)
1 can of sauerkraut
1 can of seasoned butter beans

I mixed all the cans together in a huge bowl and added spicy to the whole mix. I am in love with crushed red peppers and Cajun seasoning. When I got home this evening I popped this bad boy in the microwave for about 10 minutes and got 5 servings for around 192 calories. These were about 1.25 cups of goodness. I have made this recipe before with 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup before. Also changed up the type of beans and or veggie can. I decided just to serve this with meal with buttered toasted (of course it was spray butter). :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

"Healthy" Brownies???

"Healthy" brownies?? Well, I got this recipe from Hungry Girl's cookbook. Which I need to first add that I love her emails that she generates everyday during the work week. She has taught me so many "diet" friendly things. Check her website out at www.hungry-girl.com This one recipe has been a hit every time I have made them. It all started when I got the book and bought it into my old job. The people I work with would make fun of me for eating so healthy and having so much disciple. I would share my recipes with them and they would be like...ugghhh whatever. So this fudgy peanut butter pumpkin brownie recipe I made really made them think! I tend to add more peanut butter to this recipe because I love peanut butter! Now you can alter this recipe in so many ways to make it have more or less calories. Here is the original recipe:

1 box of fat free brownie mix (family size)
1 can of Libbey pure pumpkin
2 tablespoons of peanut butter

You are suppose to mix the brownie mix and pumpkin together. Do not add anything else and it will mix into a really thick paste. Place this into a brownie pan. After that, melt peanut butter in microwave and drizzle on top of the brownie mix. Place the pan into the oven at 350 degrees for roughly 35 mins. The mix will look under cook and it is suppose to. Some people can taste the pumpkin but it seems like this only happens after you tell them what is in it. With this recipe I have added spices to it as well. Sometimes I will add pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, vanilla extract, etc. It is really all up to the person. Experimenting is always the best after you made it a time or two.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Red Lobster

My husband and I had our official date night last night. We went to dinner and a movie. On New Years Eve we got a special pass to see a sneak preview of Mall Cop out in VA Beach. So we figured we would take advantage of this free sneak preview. It was hard to officially decide on where we were going to eat till we managed to make it out to the theater. This was due to traffic and time. So based on all that we managed to decide on Red Lobster. I was happy on this choice because I knew I could eat pretty healthy. A. Due to it being seafood B. Red Lobster has a lightchoice menu and C. I could always use my Calorieking book that I keep in my purse. So I start to find the Lighthouse menu as soon as we sit down to officially decide on what I want. Our waitress hurries over to take our drink order.

Waitress::: Oh, I see you found our lightchoice menu. There are so many healthy choices. We also have the fresh fish menu as well which are always your best bet. They coincide with the lightchoice menu.

Me::: Huh??? Ohh yeah I know, I always order off this menu. (rolling my eyes).

Waitress::: (still smiling) That is great! So what drinks can I start you off with??

So after we finish up our delicious meals. I had gotten the rainbow trout (half order), broccoli, side salad with dressing on side, and a baked potato with pico de gallo. Ohh and I should mentioned I ate two of their yummy cheddar biscuits. I have been known back in the day to inhale over 6 of these bad boys. The waitress comes back to the table.

Waitress: Could I interest you in dessert?

Me: Nope!

Waitress: Well I didn't think so, because we wouldn't want to ruin that discipline! (hands the check and walks off)

Me:: Huh!? (I look at my husband) Ugggh this girl is nuts. Why couldn't we have dessert?

It bothers me that just because I order off the lighthouse menu it is because I am on a diet for the new years. How many other people have come in here doing the same this month? I feel like they are copying off me for something I have been doing for 3 plus years. The same applies to all the people we get gym memberships or just start to reuse their memberships after the New Year which causes overcrowding at the gym till the end of January. Don't get me wrong, people should diet and exercise. But don't do it because it is a new year or a work contest. Do it for yourself and that is the only true way you can be successful.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The art of two breakfasts

I have mastered the art of eating two breakfasts to help with my hunger issue. Now it all depends on what I am doing for the day. If I am going to work I will enjoy egg beaters (1/2 cup) with a laughing cow cheese slice. I will also add some yummy seasonings and sauces to the mix. So sometimes it will be red crushed peppers with Cajun season. I have also been known to add some yummy sauces like Tabasco Chipolte or Tabasco Habenero. I also sometimes use this local hot sauce called 301. http://www.301hotsauce.com/ This hot sauce is great if you love spicy with flavor.

My second breakfast can be quite a few things. I have been known to eat a piece of fruit (apple, oranges, blueberries, strawberries). I also love the combo of La Tortilla Factory wraps (http://www.latortillafactory.com/jadworks/ltf/jwsuite.nsf/sitewelcome/Home) with 1 tablespoon of hummus.

Vitatops are 100 calories of yum. It is almost like diet porn because it makes you feel like you are cheating on your baby carrots. These babies pack in tons of fiber to help you feel fuller longer. Check the website out http://www.vitalicious.com/ There are various flavors to choose from: Banana Nut, Fudgy Peanut butter chip, Blueberry, Apple, etc. You can also finds tons of online coupons codes to help with the cost. Oh and be sure to check out the Vitatop Brownies. I will take that baby and microwave for about 15-20 secs and add a dallop of fat free cool whip or even some Pb2 peanut butter.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Some of my top tips and ideas

My top 10 current snacks that I am in love with:

1. Rice cake (vanilla my favorite) with sugar free pudding on top
2. Dannon Light and Fit Yogurt Vanilla flavor (1/2 cup) with Fiber One (1/2 cup) with some berries on top. Also add some cinnamon
3. Fiber One bars (chocolate, peanut butter are my favorites)
4. Kashi bars (all of them!)
5. Pb2 peanut butter with apple slices
6. Fudgicles
7. Baby carrots with salsa
8. Diet hot chocolate with an orange
9. Boca burger with pickle on the side
10. Turkey slices with pickle

Top 10 fast food choices:
1. Subway - 6in roast beef on wheat, no cheese, mustard with all veggies (290 cals before veggies)
2. Chic-fil-A Southwestern Grilled Salad with fat free italian or no dressing (240 cals without dressing)
3. Chic-fil-A Chargrilled chicken sandwhich with medium size fruit cup (330 cals)
4.McDonald's ice cream cone (150 cals)
5. Zero's turkey and cheese 6"sub (301 with no cheese or vinger and oil)
6.Quizno's honey bourbon small sub (320 calories with dressing)
7. Arby's Melt (278) with small onion petals (248)
8. Penn Station Turkey Dagwood without cheese (242 cals)
9. Sonic jr Oreo sundae (150 calories and it is on the new $1 menu)
10.Panera Bread full size Asian Seasame Chicken Salad (410 calories)

Monday, January 12, 2009

To help out

My first posting will be a basic story of my dieting history. The heaviest I have ever weighed was about 200 pounds and that is the highest I saw on my mom's dollar store scale. So the world may never know the true weight of Amanda. I had been overweight my whole kid and teen life. Finally back in 2005, I did it! I joined Weight Watchers (w.w.) and the weight dropped off me. When I joined w.w. back in 2005 I weighed in at 190 pounds and the less that I ever weighed (this was naked in my apartment at the end of a perfect weight watcher week) was 138 pounds. So where is my weight now you ask? I am weighing in around 145 or so. I still enjoy eating normal food, alcohol, cookies, etc. I just have to keep certain foods out of my apartment or I will overindulge. I make replacement type of foods when I have craving. So when I crave pizza I will take a tortilla and load it up with pizza sauce, turkey pepperoni, fat free cheese and bake. Or even better I will take a huge portabella mushroom and top with pizza sauce and turkey pepperoni. I have had many people ask me for advice and suggestions. So I am making this blog to help maybe someone out.