New Year Challenge: getting healthy, seriously…


Current weight: 163/ goal weight: 130

So it has been 3 weeks since I started Weight Watchers, and I have yet to lose a lb since the first week. I’ve had some time to think about it and here are my reasons (excuses):

– Cecilia doesn’t like when I work out, because I’m not paying attention to her. So I need exercises I can do with her.

– I’m all fine and dandy until I leave the house. Or until people come visit. Or until I want pizza. Then all bets are off.

– I have no will power when it comes to sweet treats.

So, here’s what I’ve decided. I’m going to start planning our dinners for the week. I’ve used my slow cooker twice now and it’s wonderful! I’m going to walk my daughter to get the goods so I can exercise and keep her occupied and happy.

I’ve looked into some exercises I can do with her, and here’s what I’ve found:

12 exercises with baby, from daily green

10 fun exercises to do with baby, from

10 workouts for new moms, from

7 exercises with baby, from

The stroller workout, from

And finally, for those of you who need to see it to believe it, there’s a you tube tutorial from momsintofitness

Now, back to the food.

SONY DSCSince I haven’t made a smoothie in a while, I thought I would get back into the groove with a smoothie I pinned a while ago but had yet to try it out. It’s called the autumn sunrise smoothie, from I added bananas and blueberries to it, and a little bit of ice. I think the smoothie was intended to be warm, but I wanted it cold. It was quite delightful but the amount of ice I added wasn’t enough so I would add more later. I also forgot to add the cinnamon, so that will also be on my to-do list. I digress. At 2 Weight Watchers points, this is definitely a must-have in my kitchen.

enchiladasToday, I made these amazing slow cooker chicken enchiladas from Usually, I’m a little nervous about cooking with reduced fat or fat free food, but this was surprisingly full of taste and super good. Sam brought home pizza today and for the first time in my entire life, I wasn’t interested. And it was from Tony’s in Lodi, which reigns in the superior level of pizzas. It was 6 points per enchilada, which is what a normal plain cheese quesadilla is. So, I’ll be making this more often.

Then, it happened. It finally happened. I found a treat that was low in points! When one stupid little carrot cupcake was 11 points, I was discouraged. But then, I found this…oatmeal banana chocolate cookies from the health advocate…and they are only 3 points each! SONY DSC

So, now that I’m armed with all this defense, the Wii Fit shouldn’t ask me what the reason was for my recent weight gain (jerk).

Oatmeal Banana Chocolate chip cookies!

FINALLY….a healthy cookie! Definitely trying this today

Nicole Meadows

Temp1_Attachments_201314-001I loveoatmeal raisin cookies and chocolate chip cookies!For this reason, I decided that I wouldput the two together.Because I don’t like to use a lot of butter when cooking, I replaced it with a bananaand only used two tablespoons in this recipe. That is where the name“oatmeal banana chocolate chip cookies”comes from. The name is a mouthful, but they are absolutely delicious.Along with using less butter, I also replaced the sugar withsplenda, it’s your choice-but I like to make my treats a little bit less unhealthy 🙂Splenda works great when I bake or need a sugar substitute. Often times, I see people use applesauce in place of sugar or butter. This recipe is super easy to follow, I hope you try it 🙂

Makes about 30 cookies!
Recipe ingredients:

  • -1 cup whole wheat flour
  • -2 cups rolled oats

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healthy garlic mashed potatoes and honey roasted carrots

I have no problem maintaining a healthy diet…as long as I’m secluded in my apartment by myself and have no access to the outside world. Once I leave the house, all my willpower leaves with me.

The other issue is cooking for two, and making food that both of us will like. Sure, I can cook anything I want, but if we’re both not into it, what’s the point? Since Sam has agreed to support my diet by eating what I want to cook, I figured I would at least make something that wouldn’t make him gag when he looked it.

SONY DSC Lo and behold, I found a Skinny Slow Cooker Garlic Mashed Potatoes recipe on! I finally got to use my slow cooker…bonus! The mashed potatoes came out surprisingly full of flavor and the puny 1/2 cup I was allotted on Weight Watchers was actually filling.

Yields: 5 Cups | Serving Size: 1/2 Cup Calories:144 | Total Fat: 1 gm | Saturated Fats: 1 gm | Trans Fats: 0 gm | Cholesterol: 2 mg | Sodium: 37 mg | Carbohydrates: 28 gm | Dietary fiber: 2 gm | Sugars: 3 gm | Protein: 5 gm | Points: 7

  • 3 lb. russet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth, no sugar added
  • 10 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup non-fat, plain yogurt (Greek yogurt is fine too)
  • 1/2 cup 1% milk (or more for consistency)
  • Salt to taste


Prep your potatoes as usual by washing and cutting out any bad spots. Puncture holes in the potatoes with a fork (please don’t stab yourself! Do this carefully!)

Place all the potatoes in the microwave for 15 minutes on high or until they are nearly fully cooked. Allow potatoes to cool enough to be able to handle them.

Saute the garlic in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes (I did this while letting the potatoes cool)

Cut cooled potatoes into slices and place in slow cooker with chicken broth. Pour the garlic on top of that and mix everything up briefly to distribute.

Cook on low for 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until the potatoes are completely cooked and soft. Remove the insert from the heating element with pot holders and place on a heat-safe surface.

Using a hand blender or potato masher, mash the potatoes together with the milk and yogurt. Add salt to taste.

While I was tooling around on Pinterest, (I know…shocking, right?) I found a Honey Roasted Carrots recipe from one of my favorite sites, Six Sisters Stuff. I added the recipe to Weight Watchers and it turned out to only be 4 points per serving, SCORE!

SONY DSCHoney Roasted Carrots
1 lb baby carrots
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons honey
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray. In a bowl, mix together carrots and olive oil until carrots are all covered. Spread the carrots in a single layer on the baking sheet. Drizzle the honey over the carrots and sprinkle salt and pepper on top.  
Bake uncovered, turning once, under just tender (about 25-30 minutes). 
Serves 4-6.
Points: 4
So, my dinner totaled 11 points. This may seem like a lot, but when you consider that a carrot cupcake is worth the same amount, it doesn’t seem that bad!
Now, onto my next goal: finding exercises to do with the little babe since she’s not a fan of me doing anything without her.

the secret world of slow cooking

Before our baby was born, cooking was pretty simple. I would make Sam breakfast every morning, heat up some leftovers or make something like Top Ramen for lunch and then would make what seemed like endless amounts of pasta for dinner.

Sometimes I would try out a new recipe and if we didn’t have any food in our fridge, we would end up getting fast food or pizza. Then the baby came and Sam stopped getting his lunch made for him every day. When he gets home from work, he takes the baby so I can clean and get her bottles ready for them. Before we know it, we’re eating toast for dinner and he’s ready to go to bed.

SONY DSCSo, when I got a slow cooker for Christmas, it felt like gold had been dropped in my lap. Now I could start dinner when the baby took her first nap, and could pack Sam leftovers for lunch the next day. It was a miracle! There was only one issue. How the heck does one make a dinner in a crock pot?

I started doing some research on my usual gateway drug, Pinterest. A couple hours later, my grocery list was nearly two pages long. I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. And more than that, I had know idea about this secret world of slow cooking.

Who knew there were so many people who were so passionate about slow cooking, and that they even had Weight Watchers recipes!

In case I’m not the only one with a crock pot and no idea where to start, I’m sharing some of the blogs I visited and some good websites for finding crock pot recipes. – According to the blog’s About Me section, the blog is owned by Gina Homolka, an author, photographer and recipe developer of which features delicious, healthy, low fat, family-friendly recipes several times per week. All of the recipes include nutritional info as well as Weight Watcher Points. While the blog does not focus crock pot recipes, there is a crock pot section. – A website devoted to healthy slow cooking recipes. There is also a fitness section, menu planning and a shop. This site also promotes Weight Watchers and has a section with Weight Watchers recipes with five points or less.

Crock Pot Recipe Exchange – A website that is all about crock pot recipes. The author, Ginger, stated on her blog that for over 10 years, she got requests for crock pot recipes and started a blog for people to exchange crock pot recipes.

Crock Pot Girl – TONS of crock pot recipes, with everything from breakfast to dinner, holidays and healthier recipes. Jenn Bare, the blog author, also wrote a book called “Get Crocked: The Definitive Guide to Crockpot Cooking.” Her website was named the “#1 Slow Cooking Website” on the Web by “All Women’s Talk.”

Crock Pot Moms – A facebook page devoted to crock pot recipes. I didn’t find a website on their facebook page, but they post all of the recipes on their page and they have a forum where it would appear the old recipes are archived.

What site do you visit for your crock pot recipes? What’s your favorite recipe?

How to screw up carrot cupcakes

We were lucky enough to be invited up to a cabin in Donner Lake with my dad and stepmom. I wanted to bake something to show our appreciation, like chocolate chip cookies. The only issue is that my dad is not a fan of chocolate…at all.

SONY DSCWhat’s a girl to do but to seek inspiration in her Pinterest page. So, I found a recipe for carrot cupcakes. The recipe looked pretty easy I was sure I wouldn’t be able to screw this up. Oh, how I was wrong.

First of all, it called for shredded carrots. I got a bag at the store, but the carrots were really big. Maybe that’s how they’re supposed to be but I don’t recall the carrots poking out of the dough like mine were. SONY DSC

Then I forgot to spray the muffin pan before, total rookie move. After I left the cupcakes in the oven longer than the recipe called for (35 minutes), I was sure that they would be overdone. However, after I checked and let them cool…they still seemed to fall apart when I tried to pull them out of the pan.

SONY DSCAnd no….I did not sneak two cupcakes. They are missing from the picture because they fell apart to the point of no return.

I haven’t tried them yet because I’m waiting for our trip to Donner but I will be sure to report back with how they tasted.

I’m starting to believe that I was a better baker when I first started. Maybe beginner’s luck? Hope not! Guess I’ll have to keep baking to find out.

New Year Challenge: pancakes gone awry

I became a breakfast person when I became a homebody. Before, I never gave myself enough time to have breakfast before work and on the weekends, I never got up in time. By the time I got up, brunch was almost over and I didn’t want my meal to ruin my mimosa high.

If there was one breakfast food I did like, it was pancakes. And not just any pancakes, they had to be homemade. I was spoiled by both of my parents being excellent pancake makers. When we were little, my dad was big into making our pancakes look like Mickey Mouse and even until I was adult, I could always count on my mom making pancakes if I was at her house in the morning on a weekend.

SONY DSCSo when I started Weight Watchers, I was a little depressed that I would have to kiss my beloved pancakes goodbye. Then I found what I thought to be an amazing pancake recipe with only two ingredients: eggs and bananas.

I found the recipe on Blogilates and the author made it seem like it was super easy. I’m assuming it took her a couple tries to get it right. Either that, or I’m doing something terribly wrong.

I followed the directions and also thought I would add apple slices to give it a little kick. Since I’ve only used my new mixer a couple times and I’m used to using my blending to do all the mixing, I thought I could just throw the apple slices in there. Then when the mixer started spitting the apple slices back at me, I learned my lesson.

SONY DSC SONY DSCI tried a pancake at medium heat and then one at low heat. The medium heat one started burning before I could flip. The low heat one took FOREVER to heat up and frankly, I didn’t have time to spend in front of the stove.

Perhaps I should narrow my search: healthy and efficient.

I will try this again when I have some time to spare. Given that school starts tomorrow, we’re moving in a couple weeks and I have a new baby…it might be a while.

New Year challenge: no more cheating

SONY DSC SONY DSCCurrent weight: 163/ goal weight: 130

I was feeling pretty confident with myself after I lost 5 lbs in just one week. So of course, when we were visiting with family, I decided to take a break from recording every bite I took. When I weighed myself, I was a little surprised to discover that I gained two pounds IN ONE DAY.

Not only that, but the Wii fit rubbed it in by blasting my weight increase on the screen. It did not help that I tried on my old jeans just to see if I could possibly start packing up my maternity clothes and learned that that is not happening anytime soon.

fitnessLuckily, I went on Pinterest and found some inspiration. Here are a few workouts I’m going to try out this week:

5 Exercises that burn 200 calories in under 3 minutes

Running tips and workout plans

Post-prego workout (perfect for me!)

Tone your arms in 7 days

Whole bunch of workouts

Calorie blasting yoga moves

I am one of those people who need to have music blaring at all times. I can’t do anything without some background music. Needless to say (but I’m going to anyway), I love to hear new music or a new mix I wouldn’t have thought of, so I was pumped to find this “Clean Slate” mix on one of my favorite blogs, Design Sponge.

Nike_YesterdayTomorrowI also found some recipes that won’t kill my diet or my appetite (which would really help my diet if they did):

Natural pancakes: all you need is 1 banana and 2 eggs!

Weight Watchers yummy cheese soup

Weight Watchers flautas

10 Weight Watchers entrees

Zucchini Lasagna

Lumberjackie soup

I’ll be testing these workouts and recipes to see what works best for me and will be sure to document my research! This could be the best homework I’ve ever had…

New Year Challenge/ week 1

So, I have finally completed the 1st week of my challenge! I am very proud to announce that I stuck to my Weight Watchers diet and I lost 5 lbs! One more pound and I will be out of the 160’s! Since we are moving the first week of February, I’m making it a goal to pack up all of my maternity clothes and give them to Sam’s sister, who is also expecting.

I’ve been following the workout routines on anytime health and there is also a Nike training app which totally kicks my ass. I also finally caved and got the Wii Fit Plus with balance board. I consider it a great investment because I can weigh myself and it will track it for me, and it has a lot of great routines, like yoga and cardio. So I can do everything in one place. Also, living in an upstairs apartment makes me kind of limited with the exercises I can do, so this helps.

Another goal of mine was to focus on purchasing friendly clothing. So, my first purchase was a beautiful dress I got on Mata Traders, that was actually on clearance! I will have to post a picture of it when I get in….or when it fits.

SONY DSCSchool starts next week, so I’m trying to get everything done and my house packed up before the big move. I will definitely miss my craft closet, but there is word of a craft room in the works, as long as I can clean it out and do the renovation. Looking forward to a new project…and a craft room, of course!

“It’ll give us so much extra space in our room to do activities!”

How are your resolutions going?

Choose your clothes wisely

Do you make a conscious decision on where you buy your clothes and who you buy them from based on how and/or where they are manufactured? That is always a thought in the back of my head, but I must admit that when it comes down to it, I will usually choose cost (or lack thereof), to help save my wallet from ultimate destruction.

So, when I saw a blog post from the author of Delightfully Tacky (one of my favorite blogs) about making an effort to only purchase ethically produced clothing, it really got me thinking.

Yes, the clothing is usually more expensive, but that increase is worth it. Instead of just going shopping whenever I feel like it, I could save up for my shopping adventures when the seasons change, which would be a lot more fun and actually more cost effective. And, I would know where my clothes came from and how they were made.

This also made me think of fabric and yarn. I’m learning how to knit and sew and would love it if the materials I used were also ethically produced. A lot of the clothing websites I visited were off that blog post, but when I looked up fabric and yarn made in America, they were hard to find.

Needless to say, I have added a new resolution to the list. To really focus on purchasing ethically made items, whether it be clothing for me and the baby, body care, etc.To continue my efforts to shop locally and from small businesses or people who are just doing it on their own. I also have a lot of clothes I can go through and repurpose. Like I said before, this has always been a thought in the back of my head, and this year I am really going to try to make it happen.

Not only would this be good for me to do for myself, but it would be awesome to pass this on to my daughter.

Here are a few websites I found:

Fashioning Change – you can set your “style profile” and it will find you clothing from ethical clothing companies that are similar to what you are already buying

Heartsleeves Blog – a blog dedicated to discovering sustainable fashion

Bead for Life, Musana Jewelry – jewelry with a cause

Annie Greenabelle – eco-friendly clothing

Style with Heart – eco-ethical clothing and news

Ethical Fashion Forum – find ethical fashion designers

Krochet Kids – hats crocheted from woman in Uganda and Peru, proceeds go back to them. They also have really cute clothes, like this sweater that I adore.

Mata Traders – fair trade fashion

Inspirewireblog – Resource for finding fabrics made in America

Live Forever Couture – baby clothing line started by Jenny Roberts Woods, a wonderful woman and mother of two in Sacramento. She takes thrift store clothes and turns them into cute baby clothes

If you know of any more websites, please leave them in the Comments section. I will keep updating with my progress.

I’m excited to get this started. Now…all I need is money!

New Year: New Me?

Alas, the new year is here. And with that, comes resolutions. I told myself I would not do it, but I just can’t help myself.

Of course, the obligatory resolution is to lose weight. I have lost 20 lbs since I had my baby last month, and I’m hoping to lose another 30 lbs in 3 months. No, I did not gain 50 lbs when I was pregnant…I gained 30, and I would like to see an extra 20 lbs disappear. My main reason for wanting to lose the weight is pretty simple. We are moving and I was going through all my clothes to pack. I have been lugging around two bins of clothes that I love and never want to get rid of, but if I don’t lose this weight, it will come down to that.

My boyfriend advised me that the most a person should lose in a week is 2.5 lbs, which is about 10 lbs a month…so this goal seems totally feasible.

I signed up for Weight Watchers for what seems like the 1,000th time in life, so hopefully this time I will actually follow through with it. The good thing about being a new mom is that it’s not like you really get a chance to eat anyway!

SONY DSCHowever, before I signed up for that, I made this really excellent BBQ Chicken pizza from a recipe I found on Pinterest. The recipe calls for homemade bread but I knew that wasn’t going to happen, so we just got french bread. It also called for carmelized onions but I didn’t want to do all that, so we just used fresh onions. If I were to make this again on one of my cheat days, I will add fresh tomatoes and maybe make a garlic sauce instead of just doing garlic and olive oil, to add more of a kick.

So along with Weight Watchers, I also found this Anytime Health website, which allows you to make a weeklong workout plan with exercises you can choose from, for free! You can also pick a pre-designed workout plan, and I of course went with the weight loss option.

SONY DSCWhile on my hunt for some healthy food to eat, I came upon a good smoothie recipe. It’s really simple and full of yummy fruits! I just do 1 cup of ice, 1 banana, 1 apple, 1 orange and 5 strawberries. Add a cup of nonfat plain yogurt and you’re good to go! The recipe I found called for 2 handfuls of spinach but I don’t have that right now so I did without. Thinking I will also add blueberries next time. I love blueberries.

I’m enjoying mine as I type!

Although my boyfriend and I made the decision that he will work and I will be a stay at home mom, I want to help out as much as I can. So, I’ve made a resolution to find something I can do from home that I love and that will help our family out. I’ve tried just about every direct sales company I could, but I wasn’t fully invested into any of them, so it was hard to sell the product.

My final resolution is to finish this semester of school that starts in a couple weeks. It’s all online classes but I’m taking four of them, so that could be a little much with the baby. I just need to schedule time to do my schoolwork when my boyfriend is home from work and can help with Cecilia.

So, with all of this in mind…do you know of any health and fitness websites/blogs that you think would be beneficial to me? I’m hoping to find some healthy recipes that everyone in the house will enjoy.

Hope your new year is filled new promises to continue being the person you want to be!