You Down With FPP? Yeah You Know Me.

Me: It’s FPP reveal day!

You: What’s FPP?

Me: It stands for Foodie Pen Pal.

You: Oh…

Still confused? Well let me explain. Every month I particulate in FPP. It’s a program with about 1,000 members from all over the United States and Puerto Rico.

You: Can I be an FPP member?

Me: Yes you can! It’s open to anybody who’s a foodie and who wants to participate. There’s a link at the end of this post to sign up!

It’s a monthly program where you are paired with 2 people every month. One of those people you’ll be sending food to, and the other person is who you’ll receive food from. You never send to the same person you receive from.

Every month you have a $15 spending limit on food. You email with your pen pal to see what they like and what they don’t like. It’s a really cool program because you end up getting local products from someone’s state that you may not have where you are. You also usually get products you’ve never tried before, so that makes it a lot of fun!

Every month your box of food comes from somewhere and someone different, so some boxes are better than others. My box wasn’t that great this month, but I’m going to blog about it anyways. Hope she’s not reading this…lol.

This month I got almonds, sunflower seeds, sun dried tomato bruschetta, and Italian sauce (similar to marinara or tomato sauce).

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I can get all of those things here, except for the Italian sauce. The Italian sauce was the real winner in my box. I got my box on Sunday before I made pizzas with my dad, so we decided to use the sauce on our pizzas. It was a super delicious sauce. I also liked it because it was a local product from Ohio, which is where my FPP box came from.

In past months, I’ve gotten some really good stuff. Here are a couple pictures from two previous months.

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The first picture had lemon pepper pasta, a local made spicy lime mayonnaise from New York, local salted peanut brittle, spicy local salsa, chili kale chips, mixed teas and more! It was a great month of food!

The second picture had local caramel corn, local spicy Dijon honey mustard with pretzels to dip in it, hot chocolate, sweet cinnamon almonds, and some yummy somersaults brand crackers.

If you think this sounds fun to you, here’s the link to the girls blog that runs the FPP program. I highly recommend signing up if you can. It’s a really cool program.
http://www.theleangreenbean.com/foodie-penpals/

You: What did you send your pen pal?

Me: That’s a great question! Here’s a link to Megan’s blog. Ironically, my BFF was my FPP this month. I definitely took care of her this month! Go check out what she got!
http://sweettrough.wordpress.com/

Only When We Begin To Be Awake Do We Realize Just How Asleep We Have Been

This week has been a great week so far! On Tuesday nights for the next 7 weeks, I’m doing a bible study with my friend Kara and a lady from her church named Carol. Basically Carol is teaching me the outline and basics of the bible. Each week we’ll talk about something new. The goal from this is to become more comfortable with the bible and feel more confident about being able to talk about it and I’ll hopefully learn a lot of new things that I don’t know. Also, I have not been saved and it’s something I want to do soon so that’s an end goal as well.

I wasn’t really raised in church, but both of my parents were. So I have good morals and I know right from wrong, but I feel like this God part of my life is missing and I’d like to have it. So along with my weight loss journey I’d like to make a spiritual journey as well. 🙂

I have this super cute notebook that my mom bought for me in London that I’ve been saving to use for something special, and I’ve decided to use it for my bible study. Here’s a pic of the notebook.

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It’s soooo me, I think that’s why I love it so much. Hearts=Love and I love Love and it’s colorful, and I love color. 🙂

This week has also been great because I worked out again tonight! Tonight’s workout was this:

Walk/run for 15 minutes
2 sets of 20 sit ups
3 sets of 10 push ups
3 sets of 30 second wall sits
50 right leg lifts
50 left leg lifts
2 sets of 25 squats
5 minutes of stretching

I really enjoyed this workout actually better than the 52 card workout. With the 52 card workout, it was a lot of standing up, getting back down on the ground, back and forth which made my lower back hurt a little. I injured my back playing softball years ago and it’s flared up here recently. So this workout tonight didn’t hurt my back as much, and I definitely still felt the burn during the exercises.

This week has also been great because I weighed myself tonight and I weighed 347.6. That’s another 3.4 pounds in 2 weeks, for a total weight loss so far of 24.4 pounds. Woohoo! I can officially go buy a scale (because I don’t have one) that goes to 350. Before, I couldn’t use a 350 pound scale, so this makes me super happy. 🙂

I hope the rest of the week continues to be great!

The Biggest Loser: On A Budget

Tonight on the show, the theme was healthy on a budget. Each team was allotted a $10 a day per person food budget. The white team, which only consists of one player (my favorite player!) had a $70 budget for the week for food. I liked that I could compare her total to what I typically spend for a weeks worth of groceries. She ended up spending about $62. I usually spend between $75-$100 a week on groceries.

When I grocery shop, I shop for convenience. As in, I buy the pre-cut cauliflower, I buy the individual serving cups of hummus, I buy the shredded lettuce, I buy the already hardboiled eggs, etc. I know it costs more to do this, but I fear that if it’s not convenient, my laziness will kick in and I’ll make unhealthy choices. I feel like everybody is different and you have to do what works for you.

I also do a lot of cooking in the microwave for the very same reasons as above. I hate doing dishes so if it can be cooked in the microwave on a paper plate or bowl, then that’s what I do. So I pay extra to buy paper plates, paper bowls, plastic cups, and plastic silverware every week.

Since I’ve been cooking pretty much everything in the microwave, I’ve come across some good products that are great even when microwaved. When I’m wanting a burger, which is maybe once every couple of weeks, I eat a frozen Ballpark brand burger.

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These take about one minute to cook in the microwave and they’re delicious and juicy. I pair it with my low calorie bread, fat free mayo, sliced tomato, lettuce, and steamed broccoli for a perfect and super fast dinner. Another product I came across just this weekend is frozen salmon.

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Each salmon is 5oz and 237 calories (give or take depending on the flavor). I had one of these with steamed broccoli and a small Yukon gold potato for dinner tonight. Yum yum!

Another thing I love about The Biggest Loser is when they have a chef come in and cook some healthy meals. This week their chef cooked a simple sweet potato stuffed with 2 different salsas, Greek yogurt to act as sour cream, and cooked ground turkey. They then showed the chef using other turkey products in the show. It’s nice to see that they’re using some of the same products I am. I love me some BLTs, so I’ve been making turkey BLTs for lunch a couple days a week. I have also been buying sliced deli turkey for my lunches as well. I haven’t always preferred turkey, I’m actually a ham lover, but recently I’ve preferred to have turkey or chicken over ham. I think that my taste buds are changing and adapting to healthy stuff again.

It’s great to see TBL showing that healthy can be affordable. I used to think it was cheaper to eat fast food just like the people on the show did. I used to spend about $30 a day sometimes on food. That’s about $210 a week! That’s a lot of money! With the extra cash so far, I’ve been able to pay off a doctor bill and put more money towards paying off my student loans. So it definitely shows, healthy is affordable, even if you think it isn’t. You can make it work! It just takes a little planning and effort.

~A healthy attitude is contagious but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.~
-Tom Stoppard

Sunday Funday

I love Sundays. My typical Sunday usually consists of sleeping in til ten, cooking a healthy lunch with my dad and step-mom, grocery shopping, prepping my meals for the week, doing laundry, and then relaxing in the evening while watching some tv. That to me is a great Sunday.

Today for lunch with my dad, I decided we’d make healthy pizzas. I really love pizza in all varieties. It’s just a good balance of bread, vegetables, protein, and cheese.

To make our pizzas healthy (and low carb) we used low carb whole wheat tortillas as our crust. I sprayed both sides of the tortillas with non stick canola oil and then laid them out on a sheet pan and baked them for about 5 minutes in a 400 degree oven. This got them a little crispy so it’d be more like a crust.

Next we took them out of the oven and topped the pizzas with our favorite toppings. Here’s what I gathered for our pizza topping options.

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I used the Italian sauce and added crushed red pepper to it because I like my pizza a little spicy. I then added some part skim mozzarella cheese, sautéed onions and bell peppers, turkey pepperoni, and some cooked chicken. I topped it off with a littler more cheese and then put it back in the oven for about another 6 minutes. Here is the deliciousness after.

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It was seriously soooo good! All together it came to about 615 calories for the whole pizza. I’ve got leftovers of everything so this week I’ll be having pizzas for dinner, except I’m going to make it on wheat toast instead.

Another great food I had today was a grapple. That’s pronounced [grap-uhl]. It’s an apple that looks just like any other red apple, BUT, it tastes like a grape! I was given this grapple by my BFF who said they are so yummy that I have to try it. Here’s what it looks like.

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See, can’t really tell a difference. But you can smell the difference. It smells just like grape juice! Yum! I ate the grapple in about 2 minutes. It was so delicious. It doesn’t have any nutritional value on the label so I googled it just to see if there were any added sugars or anything. I found out that there are NO added sugars or calories to the apple! This could be the most amazing thing I’ve come across ever. I pretty much hate apples, but I could eat a grapple everyday, no problem. Woohoo! Thanks Megan for this awesome discovery! 🙂

Along with my grapple, for dinner I had some store bought sushi. I have been craving sushi for a couple weeks now and I saw this at the grocery store and I had to have it.

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It’s cooked shrimp, cream cheese, avocado, rice, sesame seeds, and nori, and it’s topped with a little bit of spicy sauce and crunchies. And of course I had some soy sauce and wasabi paste to make it salty and spicy.

Today was a great food day filled with lots of new and delicious things. I love trying new foods, so if you ever have any suggestions I’d love to hear them!

BFF: Best Friends Fo-drizzle

It’s always a good day when you get to hang out with your BFF. And that’s exactly what I did today!

When we used to hang out, we’d usually go out to a new restaurant we hadn’t been before or go to the dollar movie theater and see a movie. But this time, my BFF suggested a healthy dinner and a workout. We’re both trying to lose weight, so it’s great that we’re both in the same boat.

We decided to do our workout first. I’ve been inspired recently from an episode of The Biggest Loser and from seeing it on other blogs to try this workout using just your body and a deck of cards. I have a small gym space in my apartment complex, so we decided to workout there. It was great because they had mats and water, which is all we needed.

So this card workout, I’m going to call it 52 card workout. Here’s how it works: First, you have four suits on the cards. Each different suit stands for a different workout. For example, we had hearts=push ups, spades=squats, diamonds=jumping jacks, and clubs=sit ups. You shuffle up the cards and draw a card one by one and do that workout. So if the first card was a four of spades, we’d do four squats. Jacks, kings, and queens all were tens and we made aces ones. To mix it up a little more, I threw in the two jokers. The jokers=run on the elliptical for 30 seconds.

I’ve only worked out once since I started my weight loss journey so I’m terribly out of shape. I was out of breath, or at least breathing heavy, by the 4th card. But overall, I thought the card workout was fun! It really made me sweat and my muscles are definitely already a little sore. After the 52 card workout, we used the elliptical machines for 5 minutes. Luckily me and the BFF like talking to each other, so we didn’t even notice that the 5 minutes were up.

Next we went to dinner. We had planned on going to this place called Muscle Maker Grill. I’ve been there twice before and I really like it because they don’t use butter or oils and it’s super healthy. They’re chicken “nuggets” are baked and served with fat free sour cream. They use whole wheat pasta and brown rice. They’ve got grilled chicken, salmon, broccoli, spinach, etc. Literally everything there is healthy. So we were super bummed out when we got there (at 8:20) and they were closed! Who closes at 8 on a Saturday night?! This isn’t a small town, it’s Tulsa people!

Anyways, after much (or little) deliberation, we decided on HuHot Mongolian Grill. We looked up their nutritional info before and it all looked pretty good. We both hadn’t been there before so we were excited to try it out. I’m really glad we did! The dinner comes with a soup or salad, then unlimited trips to the Mongolian grill bar. We ended up getting the hot and sour soup since they were out of the egg drop soup. It sucked pretty bad. But that’s ok because the Mongolian grill made up for it.

They have everything you can imagine on this bar. They had chicken, steak, pork, mixed seafood, cabbage, broccoli, sprouts, celery, squash, peas, black beans, pineapple, onions, zucchini, mushrooms, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, cilantro, etc. They also had pad Thai noodles, soba noodles, Chinese noodles, and rice. Then they have a whole other bar with a TON of sauces. They had black Thai peanut, garlic sauce, kung pao, ginger, sweet chili, soy sauce, spicy mustard, sherry, and lots of other different flavors to choose from. We mixed and matched and came up with some yummy combos! They then stir-fry your meal while you wait and it takes about 3 minutes or so and it’s ready to eat. We both made pretty healthy options and felt full afterwards, but not gross. I think we’ll both go back for sure!

Afterwards, we made a quick trip to Walmart and we both got some One-A-Day women’s gummy vitamins. I haven’t been taking a multi vitamin and I probably should be.

We had planned on getting some froyo after dinner but for some reason, we forgot! But that was ok with me because I didn’t even feel like I needed anything sweet.

Today was a great day. I got to spend some time with my family and as you just read, also with my BFF. I hope we can make it a habit of getting together for a workout more often! It’s always more fun with a buddy. 🙂

Tomorrow should be another great day. I’m going over to my dads and we’re making a healthy lunch and I’m going to introduce him to the 52 card workout! 🙂

Feeling Good

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day
It’s a new life, for me
And I’m feeling….gooooood!

Today was sooooooo much better than yesterday. I decided last night, after my not so great day, that today would be nothing like yesterday. I got out of my lazy mindset and put my focus back on my goal.

I packed my lunch early. I made sure I had lots of backup snacks. I made sure I had plenty of water in my car (I’m a delivery driver so that’s my “office”), and I got plenty of rest.

My snacks today were lightly salted popcorn, hot pickled okra, and hummus with cauliflower. I packed hummus one day this week and for some reason it was just ok to me, nothing special. But today, I absolutely loved the hummus! It was the same hummus, I just used cauliflower instead of carrots and broccoli. It was so good that it tasted like it wasn’t healthy. I enjoyed it so much that I have a feeling hummus and cauliflower will be my new favorite go to snack. This makes me happy because I’ve been wanting to actually enjoy some healthier foods and maybe, just maybe, my taste buds are adapting.

I also made an effort to drink more water and crystal light today. I felt like it really helped keep me from getting that hungry all day feeling that I had yesterday. Today is also the first day that I went without pop. I’ve been drinking diet and I’ve definitely been drinking less pop in general than I used to when I drank full sugared pop. Maybe cutting back on the pop, even if it is diet, helps me more than I think.

Even though this doesn’t have anything to do with my weight loss journey, I wanted to share a cute picture of a flag that I came across while walking my dog. This flag is exactly how I feel.

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And here’s a picture of my doggy, Pudgy. She makes everything better when I’m having a bad day. 🙂

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This picture looks like it could be a grade school picture, but for dogs. It makes me smile every time I see it! Hope it brings a smile to your faces too! 🙂

Food: My Drug Of Choice

Today was a hard day. For some reason I have been hungry ALL day. Even shortly after I ate, I was still hungry and couldn’t seem to get my fill.

The day didn’t start as it usually does. My boss called me in an hour and a half earlier than normal, so I didn’t get enough sleep. Not a great way to start the day. I ate breakfast earlier than usual and was fine until lunch. I ate lunch around 11:30, which is a little early for me considering that I don’t usually get home from work until at least 7:30. At around 2:00 I was already hungry and I knew if I didn’t eat something now, that I’d have a higher chance of giving in to eating something unhealthy later. So I got a grilled chicken salad from Wendy’s, which I ate at around 2:30. By 5:00 I was hungry again and at 5:45 I ate a small individual tuna cup instead of giving in to my stomachs desire which wanted an Arby’s roast beef or Tacos from Taco Bueno.

I knew the tuna cup would barely hold me over until dinner. On my drive home from Okmulgee to Tulsa all I could think about was food. I tried turning up the music, singing, thinking about stuff, whatever I could think of to distract my one track mind. Nothing helped. I felt mentally exhausted. I was tired. The last thing I wanted to do was come home and prepare dinner for myself.

At this point laziness had set in and I was determined to pick up something for dinner instead of going home and cooking something. I couldn’t stop thinking about pizza. And I mean every word I just said…I couldn’t stop thinking about pizza. It’s like my mind gets consumed with thoughts of food and I can’t break away from it. I decided to look up a place that sells individual pizzas and just look at the nutritional guide. If I was going to get a pizza, I was determined to at least put as much effort as I could into getting the healthiest pizza I could find.

I ended up getting a pizza from Top That Pizza. I chose their multigrain crust, spicy red sauce, grilled chicken, artichokes, turkey pepperoni, tomatoes, roasted garlic, green onions, and Canadian bacon. And of course a little low fat mozzarella cheese.

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That pizza really hit the spot. By getting pizza for dinner, I went over my 1800 a day calorie limit by 300 calories. I’m not exactly happy with myself for that, but I felt like I had this huge craving. If I tried to ignore the pizza craving, it just felt stronger and got harder.

I know not everyday is going to be easy, but this was definitely my first hard day. It was my first day of craving something really bad. Combine that with being tired and exhausted, you get a bad combo. I’m hoping that I can catch back up on my sleep tonight and that tomorrow will be a new day. I know I’m not perfect and I’m not going to eat perfect every single day. I’m going to try and not dwell on today or let it get me down. This was only one off day compared to my 34 good days.

The thing that scares me the most is that it only takes one bad meal for me to feel defeated and think about giving up. I’m trying hard to keep my head up and not ruin what I have worked so hard for over the past 5 weeks. So tomorrow is back to my healthy eating and cooking at home. My plan for tomorrow so that I don’t have another day like today is to have plenty of snacks on hand tomorrow. I’ll keep extra hummus and veggies, pickled okra, and string string in my lunch so that I can conquer tomorrow. Wish me luck, I’m going to need it! 🙂