It Fits Again!

After losing a little over 50 pounds, I’ve discovered something pretty amazing… I can fit into clothes again that had become too small! This feeling is pretty awesome and extremely motivating at the same time.

When I first started losing weight, I tried on a gray lightweight hoodie to see if it would fit. It didn’t. I was bummed. Just a few days ago, I decided to try on the same hoodie and this time….it fit!

I can’t remember a time in my life where I have gone down in clothes size….ever. All my life I’ve grown and gotten bigger or taller. Then once I stopped growing UP, I started growing OUT. What a great feeling it is to be going the other direction for once! I can’t wait to go through all of my old clothes to see what else I can wear now. 🙂

Of course, the reason I can fit into some of my old clothes, is because I’m eating healthy. When I first started this healthy living change, I was “cooking” only in the microwave. Now, I’m cooking using the actual stovetop and oven. Also, I’m loving the idea of making one meal on Saturday night or Sunday and making 4 or 5 portions so that it lasts most of the week.

This past weekend, I made stuffed acorn squash. You can find the recipe I used, here.

It was a fairly simple recipe. I LOVE the idea of stuffing a squash or vegetable so that it turns into a complete meal, and that’s exactly what this was.

So first, I cut the acorn squash in half and removed the seeds. I roasted them cut side down for 30 minutes and then turned them over and cooked them for another 20 minutes.

While the squash were roasting, I prepared the filling. The filling was mild Italian chicken sausage (casings removed), bell pepper, red onion, garlic, ginger, cumin, and cooked quinoa.

After the squash had roasted for 50 minutes, I took them out of the oven and stuffed them with the filling. They baked for another 20 minutes. Then I took them out, topped each half with a slice of Swiss cheese, and baked for another 5 minutes or until the cheese melted.

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I thought these turned out great! I liked the texture of the filling after it cooked for the additional 20 minutes inside the squash. It tasted similar in texture to a Thanksgiving dressing. Thats when I got the idea that I’d like to change up the recipe next time I make it. Since I love the flavors of Thanksgiving, next time I’m going to create a Thanksgiving-like stuffing for the squash. I think I’ll use ground turkey, cooked quinoa, onion, celery, chicken broth, dried cranberries, and sage. How yummy does that sound?!

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TBL and My Habits

As I was watching The Biggest Loser, I started thinking about how far they’ve come on the show and how far I’ve come in MY weight loss journey. At this point, after exactly 2 months, eating healthy has become a habit. It’s so much easier than it was when I first started. It’s like second nature to me. It’s routine.

I’ve always heard it takes 21 days to make a habit. So for example, if you tell yourself you’re going to wash your hands everyday at 8pm then it takes 21 days of washing your hands at that time to form a habit that will stick. Being two months into this, I’ve realized how many new great habits I’ve started.

I eat cereal every morning for breakfast. Sometimes in the past I’d be too busy to eat breakfast some mornings. So now I’m not only making a habit to eat breakfast, but I’m also eating a healthy breakfast.

Another habit is that I don’t drink any pop that’s not diet. I’ve tried unsuccessfully to quit pop for many years. I couldn’t get past 2 days without it because I would get horrible headaches. Now, I don’t even miss “real pop” as I call it. I’ve replaced the pop drinking with either diet pop or water. That’s pretty much all I drink now at home.

The habit I’m most proud of is cooking dinner at home almost every night. I’ve actually started to enjoy cooking again. If you recall from earlier posts, I hardly ever cooked because I was eating fast food or take out pretty much every meal. Now I look forward to meal planning for the week and deciding what I’ll have for dinners this week, which leads me to my next habit.

I am in the habit of planning now. I plan out my meals, my snacks, my time, my exercise, etc. I like knowing what I’m going to eat for dinner before it’s even dinner time so that I don’t get lazy and stop to get something unhealthy on the way home. I like planning out when I’ll exercise so that I’ll actually do it. I like planning out my time and what I’ll be doing so that I can therefore plan my meals or snacks around that too.

For example, Sunday night was Church at 6pm. After that was Bible study. Eating at 5:30 was too early, but waiting until after Bible study at 11:00 was too late too. So I planned it out and brought my dinner with me. After Church, one person usually goes and grabs some Arby’s or something close by for everyone. I wasn’t even tempted to eat with them because I had my delicious dinner packed with me ready to eat. 🙂

These habits that I’ve created are really important to me and I don’t want to break them. I want to continue to create better habits for myself. I want to continue to move forward, to be better. And just like they try to teach the contestants on TBL, I’m worth it. I want to live. There’s an alive person under all this weight just trying to get out. 🙂

Healthy Cupcakes! Say What?

Tonight I got together with the BFF for some healthy cooking. It was a lot of fun and we made some good stuff!

First we made nachos. Mmmmm, nachos. 🙂

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We used baked tortilla chips, fat free refried beans, reduced fat cheese, and then topped it with whatever toppings we like. I topped mine with red onion, green onion, and lots of tomatoes. I also added some chunky salsa with lime. Delicious! My nachos were gone in about 3 minutes. Bummer. That’s ok though because I was actually really excited about the dessert. I’m not usually a dessert person but these chocolate blueberry banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting sounded sooooo good! And they’re super healthy! There’s no butter, oil, or flour in them and they still turned out delicious. Here’s the recipe.

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First we put the bananas into the kitchen aid mixer. Once mixed or mashed, we added the next 7 ingredients until it looked like this.

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Then we stirred in the blueberries and then put them into cupcake liners to bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes.

And here’s the cupcakes after they’re done baking. Megan said they looked like lumps of charcoal. Haha.

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The final step was to mix the light cool whip with the powdered peanut butter. This tasted just like peanut butter ice cream. Our whip cream mixture was a little soft so it doesn’t look like icing, but here’s the final product.

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They were really good! This healthy dessert recipe is definitely a keeper. It tasted a lot like banana bread. With the chocolate and banana in the batter and the peanut butter icing on top, it reminded me of a banana split. My only suggestion is that next time I’d substitute maraschino cherries for the blueberries. Then I think it’d be exactly like a banana spilt. Yum!