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WARNING: I'm a little upset.

5/23/2012 *Sara-Marie* 0 Comments


Today is my Weight Watchers weigh in day, and as always, I was looking forward to seeing a loss today. Especially since over the last few weeks I have been tracking my food and exercising more than I have in a while. But NOOOOOOO, for the third week in a row, I've gained weight! I only gained .8 but it still upsets me, especially since I've been so diligent lately! How could it take so many good choices to add up to a pound of weight loss, but just one extra handful of calories or a meal with a bit too much sodium to cause so much havoc!


I guess this means that I just have to work harder. I need to increase the exercise. I really feel as though my food choices have been good so I just have to continue down that path. But I know I can push myself to do more activity. This past week, I earned 16 activity points. The goal for this week is 26. I already started today with earning 4 activity points. This morning I ran a complete mile again (14:08--12 seconds faster than on Monday!) and then walked for a while longer. I'm going to keep pushing myself until I can do a full 3.1 miles without any walking!

Until next time!


Steel cut oats: a FILLING breakfast!

5/22/2012 *Sara-Marie* 1 Comments

If you're looking for a hearty breakfast to keep you full all morning, then you should definitely consider some steel cut oats. They do take a lot longer to cook than those instant packets I'm used to, but I've been trying to eat less processed, less sugar filled foods these days and these definitely do the trick. The brand I purchased (Bob's Red Mill) also had more fiber and protein than even traditional, old fashioned oats. Probably why this kept me full ALL MORNING!

Just like any oatmeal from scratch, its going to taste pretty bland unless you spruce it up. I cooked my oats according to the package, using water and a bit of salt. Once prepared, I added a dash of vanilla extract, cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of unsalted sunflower seeds, a banana and a drizzle of honey. YUMMY. All of this for 5 Points. I also had a full glass of skim milk, which added 2 points.

The batch I made yesterday was enough for 4 servings, so I put the rest in a pyrex so that I could enjoy the rest of the week. This morning, I portioned out my 3/4 cup (6oz) serving and added about an ounce of skim milk before reheating in the microwave. It came out creamy, just like yesterday.

So even though it took about 30 minutes of cooking time yesterday, I was able to enjoy this satisfying breakfast again today in less than 3 minutes.  It's worth the effort to help me stay on track the rest of the week.

Give it a try and let me know if you have any other ideas for enjoying steel cut oats!

In other news, the month of April was pretty bad for my weight loss goals. I wasn't really tracking and didn't workout at all. It was gross. The last couple of weeks have been much better and I'm kicking myself back into gear. In the last couple of weeks, I've earned more activity points than I have in A WHILE. We went hiking for a few hours, I've taken BodyPump and Cycling classes, and I've run a few times. Yesterday, was a huge accomplishment for me because I was able to run a complete mile, without stopping to walk!!!! It took me 14:21, but I was so proud of myself. I seriously used to struggle with just running for 30 seconds at a time, and yesterday (in the rain!), I did a full mile! And I know I had more in me -- I was just so excited when I saw that I had completed the mile, that I stopped and then my leg caught a huge cramp haha! Tomorrow, I'm not going to stop and try to do 1.5 miles. I have a 5K in less than a month, and I REALLLY want to run the whole thing.

Okay, time to get back to work!



Who says you can't be Puerto Rican AND eat healthy?

5/10/2012 *Sara-Marie* 0 Comments

Yes, I really did have a fried egg (with a perfectly runny yolk!), fried sweet plantains, and some avocado for breakfast. AND it was AND it was guilt free!

How you may ask?

Well its simple:

1.) Measure everything out and practice portion control

2.) Instead of frying in lots of oil, I did more of a saute in olive oil cooking spray

Why it's healthy:

- 1 oz = 1 point
-They have good fat and all sorts of good for you stuff that promotes heart health and anti-inflammatory benefits, just to name a few

- 1 large egg = 2 points
- Good source of protein and despite the bad wrap that they used to get, they are actually good for you
- Something I learned recently: Eggs are an excellent source of choline which can boost brain health!
- I "fried" my egg in cooking spray and covered the pan so that the steam/heat cooked the top of the egg yolk without flipping. I enjoy a runny egg so I keep a close eye on it. I sprinkle a little salt, pepper and ground cumin. So delicious.

- 2 1/2 oz = 2 points
- Good source of fiber, vitamin C and A and actually have more potassium than a regular banana!
- When you have SWEET plantains (AKA yellow with dark spots) on your hands, there is NO NEED to pan fry in a bunch of oil. Just a couple of cooking sprays to ensure they don't stick to your pan and you are good to go! You can enjoy the amazingly sweet medallions without the slipperly/oily mess.

Here's the proof:
No oil in that pan! Just about 5 sprays of Olive Oil Cooking Spray

- Outside of boiling and baking GREEN plantains, the only other way to enjoy green plantains is to double fry and make tostones. The double batch of oil PROBABLY takes away all of the health benefits but its worth the treat every now and then. (Mark loves them, by the way!)

So today, I really enjoyed my Puerto Rican breakfast and enjoyed it even more knowing that it was only 5 points and full of good for me stuff.

Any other Puerto Ricans (or Cubans or Dominicans or Ecuadorians or Colombians or Mexicans, etc) out there that continue to enjoy traditional Latino foods but have cut down some of the fat/calories without losing the flavor? I love new ideas!


Hulk: SMASH!

5/07/2012 *Sara-Marie* 0 Comments of my favorite lines from The Avengers movie AND the first thought that came to my mind after blending my first GREEN SMOOTHIE!

I've always wanted to try this and really didn't believe people when they said that you couldn't taste the dark, leafy vegetables in the smoothie. This morning I decided it was the day I was going to give it a try. I have to admit, I was overwhelmed by the zillion different recipes out there for a "green smoothie." So I decided to make my own version -- taking ideas from a couple different recipes.

Here are the ingredients:

1 banana
1/2 cup of frozen peaches
1/2 cup of frozen mango
1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp of ground flax seed
2 generous handfuls of raw spinach

I started with blending everything except for the spinach:
Then, I added the spinach, one handful at a time. I made sure to blend REALLY well. I wanted it to be as smooth as possible with no trace of any spinach leaves. Outside of the color of course!

I thought it looked beautifully green! And it turns out to be pretty tasty! You REALLY don't taste the spinach at all as I tasted more banana than anything. I probably will add a touch of vanilla extract or some honey next time as I feel it was missing something -- but it was definitely a good start!

Considering how amazing spinach and other dark, leafy vegetables are for you, I am going to try to incorporate at least 1 green smoothie everyday. And for the record, to reap all of the health benefits, you MUST drink it through a hot pink flexi-bend straw ;)

What are your thoughts on green smoothies? What are some of your favorite combinations?