Monday, March 22, 2010

OK, I kind of found some pictures

OK, it's true that there are no pictures of me without a child somehow attached to me. It's true. So here's my before and after pictures, with baby:

Before (Sept 2009):

After (April 2010):

Weight Watchers -- GOAL!!! (26 lbs!)

I knew that I was close to my goal. I really did. But somehow I didn't feel like it was going to happen this week. In fact, I had been feeling so FULL recently when I ate dinner that I was sure I had made some points calculating mistakes (it turns out I have just been eating more "filling foods"). Wonderful Husband, who knows that Monday is weigh-in day, even bought me asparagus, my sooper sekrit weigh-in food, so that I could pack it in on Sunday night and lose a bit of water and not feel so bad about over-eating this week.

(Asparagus will get rid of any retained water but it's not going to make you lose more than, say, 1/2 lb of water weight overnight! Some people go to the bathroom before weighing in. I eat asparagus, go to the bathroom, and nurse the baby. And hey, I like asparagus, as does everyone else in my family, so it's yummy, too.)

OK, so I went off to WW wearing my new jeans and a light top and I was all ready to be SO close to goal but not there yet. And there was a new leader running the meeting today, though Liz was still there, so she was there for it all. The new leader weighed me in and OMG! Not just goal but beyond goal! 26 pounds lost! OMG!

I screamed so loudly I scared the baby.

So we had our meeting, and I got my information on maintenance, which gives me basically 4 more points per day. So I'm almost back to where I was when I had all 10 of my breast feeding points. Thank you Little Baby, for giving me all those extra points throughout this journey.

Now I get to do 6 weeks of maintenance, and then I will be a life member. Liz, my wonderful leader, asked me if I would apply to be a leader! So I did that today and we will see what happens.

Now, if ANYONE has a picture of me from sometime between July and November, could you please send it to me? I have no "Before" pictures! Jacalyn is coming here later this week, so I'll have her do an "after!"

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chicken with Penne and veggies (yum!)

I made an absolutely fantastic pasta dish last night, and it is light and delicious and reminds me of spring!

Chicken with Penne and Veggies

1 large boneless skinless chicken breast
1/2 box of penne (about 1/2 lb)
1/2 a head of broccoli, chopped small
1 bell pepper (I used yellow) chopped
1/2 a small onion, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 qt (or a box will probably do) fat free chicken broth
2 big handfuls of baby spinach
salt/pepper/garlic/italian seasoning

I used the Pampered Chef covered baker for this, but you can probably just use any covered baker that can go in the oven and the microwave. OR you can buy a Pampered Chef Covered Baker. Go to and put in Lynne Powell as the hostess. See? Now you supported my Pampered Chef party too!

OK, Here's what you do. Place the chicken in the covered baker and sprinkle your seasonings and cover. If the breast is frozen, microwave on high for about 10 minutes. If it is not frozen, microwave on high for 6 minutes. Chop chicken well and leave in the baker. Add everything else except the spinach, stir well, and put in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and add in spinach, stir well, and cover for another 5 minutes. Add more seasonings to taste.

Makes about 6 servings.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Kid Menu Review: Mimi's Cafe

First of all, my background with Mimi's: for the most part, I only go here with my office for our quarterly sales meeting. I did go with friends one time, but I didn't really pay attention to the kid's menu (since my son just wanted a burger that day)

This past weekend, though, we found ourselves headed to Dulles Town Center (so that I could trade in my size 12 jeans for size 6 ones at the Gap Trade-in Event!!) and I really did not want to eat at the food court. My brain kind of went on auto-pilot while I was driving in to the mall, and I found us headed toward Mimi's. Adam suggested we just eat there, because I had commented that they had some good, lower fat options, and I had also read that it was highly recommended by parents as one of the best chain restaurants for kids.

We got there and were told there was a 20-minute wait, but when I made the "OMG I think we have to leave" face, the hostess noticed the kids and said she would see if she could get us in sooner. She did, and within 10 minutes we were seated. My 3 year old got a kid's menu with crayons, and no one even blinked when I put my 7 month old in a high chair.

The kid's menu was a mix of breakfast and lunch/dinner items, and healthful and not so healthful. Here's the rundown:

"Mimi Mouse" Pancakes with fruit
Scrambled Eggs w/ Bacon
Chocolate chip pancakes w/ fruit

Lunch or dinner (includes drink, entree, dessert, and choice of side (0g trans fat fries, apple sauce, sliced apples, mashed potatoes, fresh fruit)):
Chicken Fingers
Mimi Burger (with our without cheese)
Mini Corn Dogs
Mac & Cheese
Pepperoni Pizzadillas
Grilled cheese
Turkey dinner
Soup & Salad

Now, as kid's menus go, this has a lot of variety, but a lot of it is a variety of not-so-healthful foods. But let's face it, some kids are so used to the "burger or nuggets" option that not including it might make the place feel less kid-friendly. The addition of the turkey dinner and soup & salad option really saves this menu, as does the option of fruit or vegetables on the side.

That said, my own kid wanted a cheeseburger. With apple slices.

Kids can also choose from soda (ick), whole, 2%, or skim milk, chocolate milk, lemonade, strawberry lemonade (hidden option not on the menu), orange juice, apple juice, or Hi-C (ick). Micah asked for lemonade and was given an option of regular or strawberry lemonade, and he was happy to have the strawberry.

They asked if we needed anything else for the baby, and I asked for some grapes, which they gladly brought to me, along with a plate for each kid containing a small cup of cheerios, some fruit, a wet wipe, and a bib. I was so impressed! Our server asked if it was our first time there, and I told her that it was not mine, but it was our first as a family. She brought us 4 giant muffins to take home! Not so great for the weight watchers, but a very nice thing that this restaurant does for its new customers. (Oh a note about the grapes before the internet starts flailing at me: we did sit and peel the grapes and cut them up for her. The girl loves her grapes.)

As for adults, I have, as I had told Adam, very good luck with Mimi's either finding a healthful choice or creating one. For instance, any omlette can be changed to an egg-beaters omlette, and potatoes on the side can be changed to fruit. And for lunch and dinner, they have a lighter side menu, where the lowest calorie item seems to be around 360 calories. That was the "Just Enough" Citrus Salmon, which came with a 3 oz salmon filet, citrus wedges, and a salad with strawberries and fat free dressing. If you're really hankering for a soup, you can have a naked onion soup, which has all of the oniony goodness and none of the bread and cheese. It was all delicious, and I did not feel like I was depriving myself at all. In fact, I felt downright full on that lunch! And then I got to walk around the mall for some exercise.

As a note, Adam got the turkey sandwich and he said it was a bit dry and needed more mayo. It was HUGE though, and he ate half and took the other half to lunch the next day.

So, my final verdict: great for kids, great for weight watchering, great for people who don't have kids or weight issues too! :)

Oh and by the way: weight watchers count is 19 weeks (16 meetings), -23.2 lbs, 1.6 pounds from goal.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What do you eat on your sandwich thin?

If you have not learned about these yet, you must know about Arnold Sandwich Thins. They are like a hamburger bun, only thinner. Picture a round piece of bread that has been successfully sliced in half. They are crazy high in fiber, and on WW they are one point. I think that Pepperidge Farms also makes something similar, but I love the Arnold ones.

So I use them for a lot of things, like breakfast sandwiches, lunch sandwiches, snacks, etc. I have a few favorite recipes but could use some more ideas! Here's what I do these days:

  • Ham & Egg -- Get a small plastic bowl, like the kind you feed cereal to a baby in. Line the bottom with a slice of ham and throw a scrambled egg on top. MIcrowave for 1 minute. Spread 1/2 teaspoon of Smart Balance Light and some salt & pepper on one side of the sandwich thin and add the egg and ham to the sandwich. Tasty! 4.5 points

(Note! If you decide that you really prefer eggs that are not scrambled, you MUST pierce the yolk. If you do not, you can create an air pocket and then when you bite into the sandwich you'll get hot steam exploded on your face and lip, and then you'll be in excruciating pain for most of a week while your lip scabs and peels and you won't be able to eat anything the least bit acidic because ow ow ow ow ow. Guess how I know this.)

  • Spinach & Egg -- Just like above only start by filling the bowl with spinach, sprinkle with water, and nuke (without the egg) for about 45 seconds. Then do the egg separately. Do the same with the Smart Balance and salt & pepper as above. 3.5 points
  • Add Cheese -- You can do the same and add 1 T of reduced fat shredded cheese for an extra 1/2 point.
  • Almond Butter & Banana -- This one comes from my friend Abby. 1 T almond butter and 1/2 a banana. YUM. This one is kind of pointsy at 5 points, but if you use 1/2 T of the almond butter it will come down to 3 points. I think that peanut butter might be fewer points, but you'd have to check as we don't eat peanuts.
  • Roast Beef -- 2 oz roast beef cold cuts, some mustard, some horseradish. 3 points. My husband adds a slice of cheddar which makes it 6 points. I would do this if I were on maintenance :)

So so far that's it. Anyone else do anything fun with your sandwich thins?