Sunday, February 24, 2013

Experimenting and Progress

Last week was a week of really bad eating, I knew something had to change very quickly. I've been stuck on a plateau for almost three weeks and I could tell that I was starting to get discouraged. So, Thursday night I decided to get back on track. Instead of eating another prepackaged freezer meal, I decided to get creative in the kitchen.

After going through my little book of recipes that are WW friendly that I've been printing out from random sites and blogs, I found Chicken Breasts with a Coconut Chile Sauce (link here for the original recipe: Chicken Breasts with a Chile Coconut Cream Sauce). After making a few modifications (left out the scallions and cilantro, because I'm really not a fan) I started in on my adventure. HOLY COW!
 (Sorry, someday I'll learn how to take better food pictures)

This stuff is amazing and the best part is for a chicken breast and 1/2 cup of sauce it's only 4 points. I've been eating this stuff for dinner with 3/4 of a cup of brown rice and I'm still not sick of it (cooking for one is tough, so I have to be sure to find recipes I love since I'll be eating it for the next week).  If you like spicy food, this recipe is amazing. I used fresh hatch green chiles (medium) and even though it was almost too hot, I loved it. They say that adding spicy foods to your diet can help boost your metabolism (thank you capsaicin), so I'll gladly accept the extra heat.

Another new food that I'll be experimenting with is cauliflower. As a vegetable, I hate it. Now that I've discovered riced cauliflower, I feel that we may be able to become friends. Who knew that it could replace pizza crusts?

With some cheese and caramelized onions to top it, this completely satisfied my pizza craving and was SO good.  I bet I could make some tasty cheesy "bread" out of it, too! The asparagus were just baked with a tiny bit of olive oil spray in a hot oven for about 15 minutes, and they were great too.

All of this for 6 points tonight and the best part is- I'm FULL. I love creating dishes that make me feel fulfilled and are things that I would eat even if I wasn't dieting, helps me understand that I will be able to maintain in the future.

I think my next cauliflower experiment will be mashed, apparently they taste just like mashed potatoes!

For dessert tonight, I'm trying yet another new thing: oatmeal banana cookies (original link:oatmeal banana cookies).

Just 2 large bananas and a cup of oats plus whatever mix ins you choose (for me, PB2 and mini chocolate chips!) makes a ton of healthy cookies. Next time I make them, I will flatten them out before baking so that they're a little less like "bites" than "cookies" but they taste great all the same. If you would like them to be more crunchy, I would flatten them out pretty thin as my "bites" are soft and chewy. Considering this is oatmeal and bananas, I could even consider this a sweet breakfast treat if I needed an excuse.

After all of this, I've made it over my plateau and I'm at my lowest weight yet. About 18 lbs down and only 30ish to go! Off to another week of adventures and keeping my food choices clean, maybe this week I'll introduce even more working out...

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Another Day of Progress

After cleaning my room until 3 this morning, I was up and rearing to go quite early. Where this motivation has come from, I have no idea but I like it. Turns out it's a good thing though, I'm down another pound AND I'm getting stuff done.

Usually I'm not too much of a breakfast food person, though I still eat breakfast everyday. I'm pretty sure that the new Multi-Grain Peanut Butter Cheerios has changed that. PB is one of the things I miss most when I'm on WW, it's just too high in points to justify indulging in (2 Tbsp of PB or 6 chewy caramel chocolate skinny cow bites? yeah, no question there). For 3 pts+, you get 3/4 a cup of cheerios-way more than enough.

After rearranging my entire room, my roommate and I ran some errands then came home and made some tasty crab cheese wontons and shrimp fried rice. 10 points gave me 5 wontons and a full cup of rice, more than I usually spend on dinner but SO worth it. If anyone wants the recipes I'll post them.

Otherwise, I'm off to go do homework and pretend to be a good college student!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A New Beginning

Alrighty, let's try this again.

The focus of Pixies and Pincushions is going to change a little bit, but that's alright (I'm pretty sure I didn't have any followers anyways).

Like last year, this year is also about change (and I'm still going for my style not sweatpants mantra). After moving to a new school, new town, new apartment I have been given the opportunity to be who I really am- not who the people around me have shaped me to be. Emotionally, I think I've finally gotten myself back on track- I'm happier and not letting people control my life anymore.

But now, physically, it's my time too. The day after Christmas it was decided- back onto the Weight Watchers "way of life" (because you know, it's not a diet...).  So far, I've lost about 12 lbs and not only can I see it, I can feel it. People at work are starting to notice, and hopefully old friends will too.

I've found myself using this new life change to rediscover my passion for cooking. You can ask my roommates, it's now a rarity for me to not be in the kitchen if I'm off work.

Things I've discovered:
-The new "cupcake" fad will stay in my life for years to come. (Taking any basic meal and putting it into a muffin tin so that things are already portioned.) So far, I've made chicken enchilada cupcakes, buffalo chicken cupcakes, and shrimp alfredo cupcakes (all 5 points plus for two!) and they're amazing. They freeze easy, are quick to make, and the possibilities are endless!

-Forget buying tortilla chips, from now on I'm making my own. Instead of using up 3 points on just about 7 store bought chips, I can use 3 points for 18 homemade chips (and adjust portions accordingly). Again, with these, I feel like there are a bunch of different ways to season, so I can have a wide variety.

-Lean Cuisines may sound awesome, but in reality they are simply boxes of sodium and preservatives. Instead of purchasing these pre-packaged little boxes of salt, I've been making my own. For about the same price, and sometimes cheaper, I can increase my portions, avoid the preservatives and salt, and make the things that I want. I'm a college student, so my life tends to revolve around freezer meals when I'm busy- these little things are awesome and so much better for my body.

-If I hit a plateau, it means something needs to change (not that I should keep at it and push through). Whether it be upping my water intake or mixing up my diet, a plateau is my body's way of saying that it's had enough.

-It doesn't matter what people say. A good friend was very condescending when I started this program, and I have to say it pushed me even harder to prove him that this "stupid New Year's resolution that everyone falls into thinking will ACTUALLY work" is actually going to work for me. (12 lbs down? Take that. )

-Exercise doesn't have to mean going to the gym. I live a pretty busy life between work and school. By the time I'm off, I don't want to haul my equipment or gym bag through downtown to get to my car or the gym. My solution? Richard Simmons (yes, I'm going old school... better watch out, Jane Fonda may be next). I've found that by using dance workout videos that use upbeat, fun music make me want to work out more. By alternating one of the dance/ cardio workouts with a body weight strength workout, I'm feeling stronger and better about myself.

I'm sure there are more things to add, but I have to save some things for another day (when I can actually remember them...).

For now, I'm off to go make a 2 P+ cupcake (yeah, you read that right) and start on some homework.
Also, weigh in day is Monday, so I should probably go Sweat to the Oldies with my old pal Mr. Simmons.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Day 2 (6 months later!)
Alright guys, I'm so sorry. Things got super crazy last semester with school and I was hardly able to finish anything! I do have a few things to update you on though!

Update for those of you interested in my personal life: I lost my scholarship at CSU Pueblo which means I will be transferring home to UCCS. I'm still going for Elementary Education, so there will probably be some more kid related crafts soon.

My project for the rest of the summer now that my classes have finished up will be my room. If I'm going to be living at home again, my room desperately needs an update. I'm thinking something along the lines of the purple, turquoise, teal and gray color scheme. I can't paint my walls, but I'm going to try to convince my parents to let me modify my furniture (perhaps a black desk, dresser and side table?). Cross your fingers for me, this isn't going to go well.On a smaller level, I'll be redoing my bulletin board and wall decorations- it's time to get a bit more sophisticated.

In February I was able to go to a crop night at Archivers. While they're competition for me (I work at Michaels) nothing can compare to their paper crafting things...
I got a kit to make some fun Valentine's Day cards. I didn't get to give any of them away, so I may as well share them here. Sorry for the bad photo quality, I'm still mastering my phone camera and lighting in my room. As you can see, I have a very long way to go.
For now, that is all. I will certainly try to be better about posting! Until then, happy crafting!

<3 Alecia,
Pixies and Pincushions

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Day 1- Jan 11, 2012

Alright, so today I embraced my first day of expressing myself through style not sweatpants! And I was able to work on some of my "gifts".

What I was most excited about today was the way I looked. I felt good!I did one of those nifty headbands made from braiding your own hair, added a flower and wore of one of my dads shirts in new way (won't he be surprised when he finds out I raided HIS closet, not moms!). This was super simple too, you just take an oversized flannel shirt,don't put your arms in the sleeves,  button it right above your chest, then tie the arms into a bow!  Ta-da! Super easy, and with the right shirt it would be really cute.

Now onto my crafting projects for the day!
I made three quote boards, which I'm sure will later turn into birthday or "just because" gifts. They have some of my favorite quotes on them, which I hope will be easily relate-able. Ignore the messy words, I did what I could with the paint I had, but gloppy paint just doesn't work... I need to go buy some new ones.)
I love you to the moon and back.
(I think I may go over this one in silver sharpie to make it really shine.)

Color is joy. One does not think joy, they are carried by it.
Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.

I also made my jars for my sugar scrubs. I heard that you don't want to make your scrub too far in advance, so I'll wait about a month as these are going to be Valentine's Day gifts for my roommate and her best friend.
As you can see, I'll need to work on my lids, I really would like them to be more uniform. But doing them this way allowed me to see which way I preferred them. And I think I like the length of the middle one, but the label on that one got messed up :( -Note to self: wait for ink to dry when printing then modge podging!- But I love the jars. They're super cheap too, just $1.00 at Michaels! And if you really wanna be cheap, use one of their coupons and you can get them for 50 cents or 60 cents! The lids come out of the metal rings to put the paper on, but then when you put the rings on it holds them in plaec! I can't wait to make the scrub mix. ( See that one in the middle, the messed up one? yeah, that's my Valentine's Day gift for myself! ) The idea and directions for these jars can be found at Maybe Matilda. If you haven't been over to her blog, you need to. She is absolutely amazing! Since our jars are different, I had to make a few simple modifications (mostly for the lids) but it was not difficult at all.

Sorry that my photos aren't the best. I'll have to dig my actual camera out and as with everything else, it will just take a lot of practice. I'd love to hear any tips, tricks or suggestions!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My oh my, where to start?

So I'm new to this whole blogging thing, but I thought I would give it a try. This will mostly be for blogging my progress on my New Year's Resolutions:
1. Don't purchase a single gift, make them all!
2. Focus more on style and less on sweatpants. 
3. Get healthier.
For this to happen I have decided to teach myself to knit and crochet, I have learned to quill, I scrapbook and sew, I'll be making homemade sugar scrubs in cute personalized jars and there's so much more. I will also embrace each day as a way to express myself through my clothes, make up and hair. And I'll focus on losing weight by working out more, eating healthier and I'm going to do everything I can to be as healthy as possible. 

Just so you guys know a bit about me, my name is Alecia and I'm 19.  I have been crafting for as long as  I can remember and now I work at Michaels Arts and Crafts which fuels my motivations. I'm a college student working on majoring in Physics/ Astronomy. Pixie, my cat, is a pretty great inspiration for me, as she has an amazing personality which never ceases to amaze me!

This blog will link to other amazing blogs and websites and it -should- also have some of my own personal creations (aside from tweaking projects other people have done!).