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.