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Chinese Bhel

  1. Raw Veggies – finely chopped cabbage+ grated carrots+chopped baby corn+chopped green pepper+chopped green onions+chopped onions
  2. Sauce- szechuan sauce OR ketchup + sriracha +vinegar+soya sauce +
    chilli garlic sauce + Buffalo wild wings Asian Zing sauce (optional)
  3. La Choy Crispy noodles

Mix all the above and enjoy!!!

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2WC-Day 2

Breakfast
1 Thomas-Light Whole Grain English Muffin
1 cup fat-free skim milk
1 tsp Country Crock Margarine with calcium
3 tbsp egg white scramble (with canola spray)
1 small peach

Lunch
2 oz chicken breast (oven grilled with taco seasoning)
Salad (2 cups lettuce + 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes + 1 tbsp mexican cheese)
1/8 cup roasted corn and black bean salsa
1 tbsp Fat free ranch dressing

Snack
1 slice no-egg chocolate cake
1 banana

Dinner
2 chapatis
1/2 cup chole
1 tbsp fat-free yogurt
1/4 cup Jello with pudding

Total Points = 21

Exercise
1-hour Zumba

In Retrospect
Overall a great day except for the temptation of the decadent chocolate cake that a colleague got. But hey I scraped away all that peanut butter icing and only ate the cake. Overall I added an extra point for some other munchies I put in my mouth, like 3 small diet-chaklis that mom sent.

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I know its been about 2 months now since I posted something. Let start with what a fantastic 3 week vacation I had with my family. It was great to see everyone. But one thing hard was -the food. All that great home cooked meals. All that moms cooking. How can one stay away from it.Equipped with a plan -“eat all but watch potions” I landed home. Right at airport my family was happily shocked to see the “petite” me. Complements galore. I think I gained a pound just puffing up with pride.What girl does not like complements?I had decided to try to exercise/run if possible while on vacation. The heat was killing,but I managed to run at a park only twice in those 3 weeks.Eating was all I did. And there was no weighing scale to be found.Midway I decided to not bother much and just enjoy moms cooking guilt free. I thought reality will hit me hard one way or another when I get back.Soak up the moment.

Arriving back home at my first post vacation weigh-in I was expecting a shocker. Well it wasn’t so bad. I had hardly gained +0.6 lbs(Week 16) since a month back. Less than a pound is great for 3 weeks all-you-can-eat vacation.Back to the routine life and the daily lunches a week later I had lost -0.4 lbs of that gain. I started my gym right away too. This past weekend weigh-in I had a no loss no gain.That’s a little surprising,considering I have been running 3 days a week( as per the couch to 5K plan).But I think the main factor is that I have not been counting my points regularly. A bite here and a chocolate there adds up.So starting this Monday we are back to counting points. I say we because I eat while DH counts them up end of the day.Accountability works for me.

Today’s recipe is an “almost” zero-points soup.I say almost because if you skip the canola oil for sauteeing ,it will be zero points value. The original recipe is from the book Quick Fix Meals by Robin Miller.I don’t buy too many recipe books, but this one was gifted to me by my dear friend Kav, autographed by the author.

Roasted Vegetable Soup

Roasted Vegetable Soup

1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped onions
3 garlic cloves(chopped)
1 cup chopped asparagus( 1 inch pieces)
1 cup chopped carrots(1 in pieces)
1 red pepper chopped (large pieces)
1 cup zucchini (large discs)
oregano
thyme
vegetable stock or bouillon

  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spread the asparagus,carrots,zucchini and red peppers. Spray some cooking spray. Sprinkle some salt and pepper and pop the pan into the oven to broil or roast.
  3. Meanwhile in a deep pot take a tsp of olive oil and  saute the garlic pieces.
  4. Next add onions to the pot and saute.
  5. Add thyme and oregano and saute till you get the aroma of fresh herbs.
  6. Pour the can of diced tomatoes and about 4 cups of water. Drop in the vegetable bouillons at this point.
  7. Let the mixture boil. This forms the base of the soup. IF you want you can blend this mixture lightly, not smooth but chunky.
  8. Remove the vegetables from the oven and add them to the soup-base and boil for another few mins.
  9. Serve with a crusty bread or some brown rice or barley.

Servings: 6 ( 1 .5 cups)
Points :  1 per serving ( cutting out the oil will make it zero points)

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It’s a GOAL!!

Week#14 (2 weeks back) when I weighed in I was status-quo,no loss no gain. This to me was a surprise since I had already modified the plan as discussed in my last post. But then again I hadnt given myself enough time I think. I really,really wanted to reach my 10% goal before the BIG vacation.Not that it matters much,but its a huge boost of self-esteem and your ego. Plus,I was only  1.2 lbs away,thats not huge.

That weekend I was craving seafood, so we had scrumptous dinner at Joes Crab Shack,one of our favorite. What a way to start a week,I thought.Come Monday I was back on my gym plan change and a new salad and soup lunch.Middle of the week I couldn’t make it to the gym for some reason or other.  In addition to that I enjoyed slices of a nice banana nut bread and sweet sheera on couple of nights. There was no way this week was going to work.

Oh well, I never miss my weigh-ins. I havent in the past 16 weeks. And I was not going to miss out this weeks one just because I slacked. So I weigh in and holy-canoli- I am down 3 lbs!!! That 10% and more. I was ecstatic to have made my 10% goal. I wanted to shout at the top of my lungs and dance around town.At WW they treat you with a neat key chain as your prize. And your name is up on the wall-of-fame.:))

For those reading (and my future reference).Here is the summary

Weeks: 16
Total Loss: 17.8 lbs
weightlossgraph1

DH was surprised too.Because in his books, I had been “bad” this week. But hey you never know,when or how your body works. How it gets out of that plateau. One thing I have realized is, if you think you are workig hard on weight loss but the dont see the numbers , SHAKE IT UP!! Make whatever changes you can to shake it up, be it lifestyle,activity,food,mood,stress.

For me this is not the end though. I think I am only half way there. When I get back from my vacation, hopefully not with a major weight gain, I am plan to set up new goals for myself. This vacation will be a huge test for me. No regular gym. No pre planned lunch and dinner. It worries me, but I know I will be fine, I have tremendous support from my family.I couldnt have done this without the sacrifice and support of my dearest husband.

Okie so this week’s recipe is a typical American meal we had one weekend nights. Oven-Fried Chicken with Mashed Potatoes,Grilled Asparagus and Biscuits. Simply southern. Here’s the twist, the chicken is  oven fried  instead of deep friend aka HEALTHY!! I modified the recipe I found in a weight watchers booklet. (The mashed potatoes and biscuits were store bought)

Southern-Style Oven Fried Chicken

Oven Fried Chicken

2 chicken breasts
1/2 cup buttermilk or yogurt(thinned down with water)
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tsp cayenne pepper or red chilli powder or sriracha sauce)
1tsp garlic powder
1 cup breadcrumbs (store bought)(I used italian style)
1 cup any crispy cereal (ground coarse)

  1. Trim the fat from the chicken breasts and pound the breasts thin.
  2. Next marinate  the chicken  in buttermilk, dijon mustard, chilli powder,salt and pepper .Let it sit int he refrigerator for an hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 365ºF. Lightly coat an 8 X 8 X 2-inch baking dish with olive oil cooking spray; set aside.
  4. Combine ground cereal flakes, breadcrumbs, red chilli powder and salt in a shallow dish.
  5. One at a time, dip the chicken pieces in the crumbs mixture, packing crumbs onto chicken.
  6. Arrange the chicken onto the baking sheet and spray lightly with olive oil cooking spray.
  7. Bake until chicken is tender and no longer pink, about 30 to 45 minute.
  8. Enjoy with a side of mashed potatoes,grilled veggies and warm biscuits!

Servings: 4 (half of chicken breast=4 oz pieces)
Points :  5 per serving (approx.)

Note:

  • I  defrost the chicken in ziploc bags so they are easier to pound and thin down. Then I marinate them in the same bag.
  • You could use egg subsitute or eggs if you prefer as a binding agent. Just dip the chicken in the egg subsititue first and then dredge in the crumbs.
  • I used Fiber One Honey Clusters and they lended a sweet flavor.It wasnt bad,DH liked it too.But I would prefer to just use regular bran or corn flakes next time.

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Alive and kicking

My post title rightly describes how I feel this very moment,after my first kickboxing class today at the gym. I have aches in muscles I didn’t know existed. Just glad to be alive,I say.

I know I have been very lazy about updating my blog.The past few weeks have been down and up.After the 2.2lbs loss with the new gym routine,I  was  -1.2lbs in Week#11. Week #12 I was  -0.8 lbs but week#13 I was back up a +0.6 lbs. So the net loss in 3 weeks was 1.4lbs not noteworthy at all I feel for 3 weeks. But I think I can list a few reasons for this.

One, I think I have started to tone up a little. And when you build muscles, you don’t see it on the scale. How you ask? Well 5 lbs of fat = 5 lbs of lean muscle. Its just that its lean, toned up and better for ya.

Two, I know for sure that the reason for the gain in Week#13 was because of bad eating habits. DH was out of town for 2 weeks. And with my guinea pig/ pig out, I  was being lazy with cooking. No,I did not raid the chips and cookies, what I did wrong though,was pick up some “healthy choice” frozen entrees. Bad idea. One, they didn’t fill me up and two, they didn’t taste good. I feel sorry for the people who eat them everyday, morning,noon,night.And when you exercise but don’t eat right or enough, you don’t see results. That just how the body works. You feed it to lose it. I know it sounds stranger than what we are used to but believe me it works. Its the crux of weightwatchers.Forget the starve to lose philosophy.

So my immediate goal is to reach my goal weight at least by the end of this month. Thats 1.2 lbs in 2 weeks. For that I have decided to do a few things different.

  1. Change my exercise routine more, which I did today starting the kickboxing class
  2. Change my lunch. For a long time for my lunch I have been carrying a deli sandwich on wheat bread, ww zero-point soup and broccoli. I think I need to spice things up a bit. So salad-soup comb it is for the next 2 weeks.

As a note, I have to mention that I have an extended vacation coming up next month. So its good to lose as much as I can in the next two weeks, so I can indulge in some home cooked food,guilt free.

P.S. Sorry I dont have a recipe today.Blame it on my laziness to take pictures right after stirring up a meal. But I promise something next time.

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Oh, what a weekend…

What an amazing weekend it was. Good food, good friends and an awesome Superbowl game. Oh yes and how can i forget the surprising results of this weekends weigh in- another 2 lbs , people.Why was i surprised? Well if you read my post last week, all that eating we did on the weekend, I was sure it would show up on the scale. Looks like sticking to the gym however kept it away.

Since I started this journey (Dec. 1) I have been regular at the gym 5 days a week. M,W I run. T,Th I Zumba and  Fri I attend the gyms happy-hour. Sa,Sun I rest. Yes rest is very important. As far as possible you should avoid workout 7 days a week. You need to let your body recover.

Fast forward to this weekend ,and it was just about the same as last,except for a whole lot of more eating. However,on Saturday when we visited our friends, they had made a healthy spread – appetizer of a warm hearty tomato soup and cheese-chicken sandwiches followed by Falafel and topping it with Gulab Jamun (who said they are not healthy). How can you resist such spread you ask ?. I didnt, I ate everything, just that I watched my seconds.Anyways I have realised, I tend to eat less anyways. Maybe as you lose weight your stomach shrinks.Who knows?. Evening I had lip smackingly good Pav-Bhaji cooked up by DH. Again it wasnt that bad. Because the way DH cooked it up- measuring everything- it came to about a point per half cup. Who knew pav bhaji was a  1 point food? Superbowl Sunday however was a whole another story. The day started with Poha, lunch at IHOP and sharing Big Ben’s spotlight that evening was –Tandoori Chicken.

I was thinking of posting the Tandoori Chicken recipe-since many of my friends have asked for it. But I didnt have any picture to post.So here we go with another one of my creations. I had this as a light dinner one Sunday, however you it fits equally well as a finger food(appetizer). This is my entry to Rachana’s Healthy Bite event. The original recipe called for ground beef,but I used ground turkey instead. Also, one of the key ingredients I would not skip or replace is Bibb Lettuce which is a mild flavored, smooth leaf lettuce and is easily available at any grocery store in the US.

Lettuce Wraps

LettuceWraps

Ingredients

16 oz ( 1lb) 93/7 lean ground turkey
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup green pepper
2 tbsp ginger (chopped/paste)
2 cloves garlic (chopped/paste)
1 cup cabbage finely chopped
2 cups mushrooms
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp any chilli sauce (Sriracha)
8 bibb lettuce leaves.

Preparation

  1. Heat a wok and spray with cooking spray. Add ginger,garlic and onion and saute for few mins.
  2. Add ground turkey,soy sauce, chili sauce and salt  and cook till turkey is brown and cooked.
  3. Add chopped cabbage ,mushroom and green pepper and cook till mushroom is soft and green pepper is crisp but cooked.
  4. Spoon 1/2 cup of the mixture into each lettuce leaf.

Servings: 4 (2 leaves per serving)
Points: 4 per serving

Note: This same mixture if stuffed inside wontons will make yummy dumplings. Maybe that recipe next time.

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hostess_productsI have a nocturnal sweet tooth,meaning I crave something sweet after dinner almost every night. D,my WW buddy suggested Hostess 100 calorie cakes as a healthy way to feed that craving. I must say these are awesome!!. They are basically mini  creme-filled cupcakes and come three in a pack adding up to 100 calories only. Sometime I eat all three,other times just one does it.

To begin with I tried the Carrot Cake with creme cheese frosting. The cake was good but I found the frosting to be too sweet. I would eat the cake and feed DH the frosting layer. Second time, I tried the chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and creme inside, and it was oh-so-good chocolatey.

Next, I may try their Cinnamon Coffee (Streusel) since hungry Girl raved about it. I also hear they now have a Twinkie Bites version too.However its a god awful 2 points.

Chocolate Cupcake/Carrot/Cinnamon Coffee/Banan Muffin/Strawberry= 1 Point
Twinkie Bites=2

Try these, its definitely healthier than hogging down a giant muffin or a slice of cake !!

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