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2/24/2011 *Sara-Marie* 0 Comments


Today, my coworker came into work with a tub full of homemade chocolate chip cookies. When you're trying to lose weight, that can mean DISASTER! So I contemplated my options and weighed the pros and cons:

Option 1
Kindly say "No, thank-you" when she came around and put the perfectly golden and chocolately goodness directly under my little nose.

I would feel empowered, knowing that I could deny myself the sweet treat and still remain on my eating plan for the day.

I don't get to eat the cookie.
My co-worker might get sad.
I would probably crave it for the rest of the day and then end of splurging on something much worse before bed time.

Option 2
Kindly say "Yes, I'll take 5!"

I would get to enjoy 5 delicious cookies.
My coworker would be happy to know that I trust her baking abilities.

I would totally throw off my eating plan for the rest of the day.
I would most likely feel horrible after I did it.

Option 3
Kindly say, "Yes, I'll have just one and don't let me have any more!"

I would get to savor and truly enjoy one chocolate chip cookie.
I would feel strong and completely in control knowing that I could treat myself (within moderation) and still keep on plan!


Clearly, I chose option 3 and I enjoyed that classic, American baked perfection...completely guilt-free.

Here's to healthy eating for the rest of the day!



Testing out Email Blogging

2/24/2011 *Sara-Marie* 1 Comments

This should be much easier to keep up with if I just have to compose an email and hit send. It also makes it seem LESS like I'm slacking off at work! Shame on me...


"The Lord is fighting for you! So be still!" Exodus 14:14

2/24/2011 *Sara-Marie* 0 Comments


Nutritious AND Delicious.

2/23/2011 *Sara-Marie* 0 Comments

One of my favorite ways to ensure I keep on my healthy eating regime all week long is to make a big batch of yummy (yet healthy!) soup on Sundays and then eat it for lunch (and sometimes dinner!) throughout the rest of the week. It not only saves time and calories, but also money!

This week I made a “Spicy Black Bean Soup” that I found on Weight a few weeks back. Of course I added my own seasonings to enhance the recipe a bit, and it has really been hitting the spot! It’s so filling and a ¾ cup serving is only 3 PointsPlus points. Nice. I’ve also been pairing it with a side of Minute Brown Rice (4 Pts) and a tbsp of 50% reduced fat Cabot Cheddar Cheese (1 Pt). Delish.

The soup is low in fat, HIGH in fiber and protein. Plus each day I eat it, it has also been getting a little bit spicier! And there is evidence that show that spices can raise the metabolic rate by up to 50% for up to 3 hours after you’ve eaten a spicy meal. WOOT. I can use all the help I can get!

I know, you’re thinking: Please S-M, please give us the recipe! So, for all of you cooks out there here is the recipe (foundation of the recipe from with my tweaks:



1-3 Sprays of Cooking Spray

1 medium onion (or about half cup of frozen diced onions – that’s what I used)

4 cloves of garlic, minced

3 Cans of Goya “Low Sodium” Black Beans, undrained

½ tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste

1 tsp Cumin seeds

1 packet of Sazon Goya

1 packet of Goya Ham Concentrate Seasoning

1 heaping tablespoon of Sofrito*

1 ½ cups of fat free broth (chicken, vegetable or beef) –use more if you want a thinner soup

1 can of diced tomatoes with green chilis (about 15 oz)

1 can of sweet yellow corn, drained (about 15 oz)

*Sofrito is a Puerto Rican blend of cilantro, peppers, onions and garlic. We puree the ingredients in huge batches, freeze and then use in every day cooking as needed.


1.) Coat bottom of a large stockpot with cooking spray. Heat to medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are soft but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add red pepper flakes, cumin seeds, sofrito, Sazon and ham flavorings. Saute another 1-2 minutes.

2.) Add broth.

3.) While the broth is heating in the pan with the sautéed mixture, take one can of beans and blend on high until smooth. (Use a blender, food processor, or immersion blender). Add blended beans to stockpot and mix.

4.) Repeat step 3 with second can of beans.

5.) Stir third can of beans directly into the stock pot (DO NOT BLEND). Add diced tomatoes w/ green chilies and corn. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium and simmer for 20-25 minutes.

Garnish with some fresh cilantro or a tbsp of reduced fat cheddar cheese!




From the Inside Out

2/23/2011 *Sara-Marie* 0 Comments

Here's a quick verse that says a lot:

"The King's daughter is all glorious within; Her clothing is interwoven with gold." Psalm 45:13

This princess that the Psalm is describing is not only beautiful on the outside, but she is GLORIOUS on the! I hope that one day someone can describe me as being glorious on the inside...that my true character, deep within my being, is valuable, powerful, and life giving to everyone with whom I interact.

Despite the fact that it is almost "that time of the month" which means I want to eat everything in sight, I am focused to have another good eating day. My new trick (which I got from my friend Laurie): drinking a cup of hot tea whenever I feel the need to go back in the kitchen and browse.

Who knew something so simple could help so much? My new fav: Tazo Zen Green Tea. They say that green tea has a lot of health benefits including helping dieters, reducing the risk of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Sounds good to me?! Sign me up!

And when that fails, I just go to bed...can't eat AND sleep!

Just gotta lose 1.4 lbs by Tuesday...Just gotta lose 1.4 lbs by Tuesday...Just gotta....okay, you get the point.

Hope everyone has a happy Wednesday!



The Difference a Year Can Make!

2/22/2011 *Sara-Marie* 0 Comments

Wow, I actually forgot that I started a blog back in Nov 2009. I'm not sure what is more shocking: the fact that I forgot I had a blog or the fact that I stopped blogging after only 3 days!

They say that everything happens for a reason, and I'm actually really glad that I just stumbled on this today. It brought me back to a time in my life where there was so much uncertainty and it seemed like my world had been turned upside down.

Yet little did I know that it was the beginning of the best year in my life...

"Entrust your ways to the Lord. Trust Him, and he will act on your behalf." Psalm 37:5

This verse cannot be more true!!! When I lost my job in Oct 2009, I made a conscience decision to surrender everything to God. I clearly couldn't get by on my own and I needed His help...BIG TIME! So I truly put my trust in Him and He did some amazing things in my life!

Exactly one month later after losing my job, I began working again. I knew this was miraculous because so many people are STILL looking for jobs during this terrible economy. I was blessed enough to only have to experience that for 1 month. Shortly thereafter, God blessed me with a promotion that I truly LOVE! The pay was exactly what I had prayed for and God has graciously granted me the knowledge to perform well in this new position. Praise be to God!

During this past year, I've also found a WONDERFUL church where I've been able to call home. I began singing again (every Sunday morning) and that has brought me so much joy. I also have become very involved in the Young Adults ministry which has been awesome! I'm so grateful that the new job that God blessed me with has allowed me to have more time to focus on the things I LOVE to do, instead of devoting 125% of my time to my job.

All of these miraculous changes have really renewed my faith and commitment to putting God first in my life. Trusting 200% in the Lord is the best decision I've ever made...


2010 also brought me a future husband!!! On September 25, 2010, Mark proposed in an apple orchard in NH! It was so romantic, exciting and perfect!!!

I can't be any happier to be marrying the love of my life on January 28, 2012.

I thank God everyday for blessing me with such a wonderful, ambitious, loving, focused, handsome man who truly loves me for me.

Well I already explained above how fortunate I am to have found a new position that I love!
Mark is also pursuing a change in career that could potentially move us to PA (closer to my family!) so we are trusting that God will open up the doors for us if it is His will for our lives! Very exciting while we wait and see....

So, I'm still trying to lose weight. Even though I said the last time that I was really serious...I am REALLY serious now. Plus, I have a wedding to look amazing in so that has been the best motivation. I joined Weight Watchers this time around and it truly does work!

Weight Loss So Far:

-5 lbs prior to joining WW
-8.6 on the WW program
-13.6 lbs total (as of this morning!)

Although I need to lose a total of about 60 lbs, I am attacking it in weight loss chunks. I am 1.4 lbs away from my first goal...hoping this week I can keep "on point" and reach that by Tuesday 3/1. I'm not even going to think about my next goal until I lose that 1.4!

*New Category Alert*

Wedding Planning
Wedding planning has been so much fun so far. Since I've been planning my wedding since I was about 2 years old, everything is now in just execution mode!

Even with 340 days left to the wedding (who is counting?!), we already have the reception venue, florist, DJ and photographer booked. Save the Dates have been sent and I also already have my dress! I actually bought it unexpectedly less than 2 weeks after getting engaged!

The only things left to finalize: bridesmaid dresses, formal invitations, limo service, cake vendor, hotel room block, random decorations/accessories, and favors. I think we are in pretty good shape!

Not stressed yet! :)

Wow, this post was quite lengthy...but so much has happened in the last year! I'm excelling in a new career, renewed my relationship with God, and fell deeper in love with my future husband! (<--love saying that!)

Hoping I can stick with this blog and maybe somebody will actually read it ;)