Category Archives: Dee Experiments With Food

I Am Becoming Really Bad At This!

So, my consistency is one epic fail of late… in posting, exercising, and eating right.

I have succumbed to the sad days of eating every sweet treat in sight, making excuses for exercising, and being too tired/worn out to keep up with this blog, which has given me much of the accountability I needed in the past.

Well, I am going to try to get back at this now that the weather is warming up. I decided to give power walking a try, since my elliptical was causing repeat injkury/train to my right leg.  I picked up a pedmoeter, a water botle and holder to hook around my waist, and loaded my MP3 player with power tunes! I managed two days of long power walks – one even in the rain – before the weather turned nasty and cold again. At least I know I enjoy it though, and as it warms up, it will be my go-to exercise to try. I am also looking for a treadmill for at home on ngihts when I don’t get in until later and still want to do my walking. Can’t afford a new one at the moment, but hoping to find a manual someone wants to get rid of, or buy one off of Kijiji.

Now, that aside, I did try a couple of news meals/foods lately, and went so far as to buy myself new 9 oz. tall drinking glasses, some small lunch plates and a big salad bowl – with the hopes of keeping up better with portion sizes.

Two of my recent meals turned out delicious!

YUM - 2 egg omelet with tomato, spinach, cherrywood smoked (low sodium) deli ham, green onion, red pepper, cheese. Slice of Sobey's wheat-wise bread (55 calories) with sugar-free raspberry jam.

AND for dinner tonight… with my new plate/bowl:

Thin slice of marble rye with margerine. 1/2 c. mixture of white & whole wheat pasta, topped with alfredo sauce with steamed chicke and steam veggies (zuch, spinach, grn onion, mushroom, & some of a frozen mixed bag) ... served on my new small plates. One big honkin' bowl of mesclun/herbed salad greens, with a diced Roma tomato and 1/2 tbsp. light poppy seed dressing. 🙂 My 4 yr. old boy ate the same stuff and loved it.

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Pumpkin Spice Muffin Cookies

So…. I was starving for something a little sweet, but didn’t have standard ingredients – so I went looking online for some inspiration, and then blended together a couple of recipes. What I ended up with was pumpkin spiced cookies that bake into perfect mounds, like the top of a muffin. MMMMmmmmm, so freakin’ good! Nice and moist in the middle, not too sweet, very spice muffin-like.

This little guy did not survive long after this photo was taken. His family disappeared too...

Here’s the recipe, for posterity, before I forget:

Blend wet ingredients:

1 & 1.4 c. pumpkin (make sure it’s plain pumpkin in a can, not pre-made pumpkin pile filling in a can)
1/4 c. margerine
1/4 c. unsweetened apple sauce (rather than a whole 1/2 c. margerine)
1/2 c. brown sugar, 1/4 c. white sugar and 1/4 c.creamed honey (I used Kittilsen’s wild flower honey)
Few splashes vanilla
1 egg white and 1 full egg

Add dry ingredients and blend in with rubber spatula or spoon:

2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 c. white flour (I actually used the easy blend Robin Hood stuff in the cannister, because it was all I had)
*If it seems TOO wet, add a bit more flower of either kind, whatever your preference – should be able to mash around with a spatula – it’s not the kind of cookie dough you could roll in a ball – if it is, you added WAY to much flour
3 tsp. pumpkin spice
cinnamon – to taste – I just found the pumpkin spice didn’t have enough cinnamon

Optional: Raisins or apple bits – I did a few with raisin, but tthe majority without. I think apples would be great in them though.

Chill in the fridge for an hour (or if you’re impatient like me, throw it in the freezer for 15-20 min.).

I put them on a baking sheet sprayed with Pam-type cooking spray, and baked for 10-14 minutes at 320 degrees. They turn nice and firm and rough, like a muffin (best part of the muffin!), and the bottom should be nicely deep brown. If you break one open, it will look like the inside of a nice, dense muffin. Makes about 2 dozen big cookies.

These are so freaking good.

I’m exhausted now – I think I probably shouldn’t have gotten so adventurous. Off to lay down…

Try these cookies… you will love them, I swear!

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I didn’t fall off the face of the earth! (Bonus healthy cookies!)

So, it’s true. I slacked off severely for the last almost two months. I still managed to eat healthy until Christmas season (December), but the exercise dropped to nothing. I haven’t managed to lose a single pound since November and keep it off, though I have dropped as low as 209, Christmas season food, lack of exercise, and a massive plateau brought me hovering back to the 215 mark! I’m not discouraged though, because I realize that I didn’t try to lose weight, and can’t expect results with no effort!

I injured my leg, a strained muscle on the inside of my lower right leg, and since I didn’t take care of it properly, it has continued to haunt me. I went to the doctor recently though, and he gave me a prescription for anti-inflammatory, and advised me to keep it wrapped for two weeks, which I have been try to do. Hopefully this issue will resolve itself and I can get back to exercising. I’m going to need it, starting the year – always the most stressful time of year. I’ll need to be super careful with what I eat too!

So, in the past couple of weeks, I started slowly getting back on track food-wise. In doing so, I discovered the following things:

  • I LOVE steel-cut oats. They are amazing. I was making single servings, and baking chunks of apple and cinnamong to go with it. Yesterday I decided to make a large batch and test out how well they reheat. I had my first reheated single serving this morning (which already had the apples mixed in), and it was fabulous. I bit of water and mashed it up to mix it and loosen it up a bit again, 2 minutes in the microwave and voila – amazing, healthy, breakfast on the go!
  • I LOVE Spicy Hummus by Summer Fresh. This stuff is AMAZING. Today’s lunch was a half a whole wheat pita, with a tbsp of hummus slathered inside, some Compliments Peppercorn Spice Turkey Breast (lowest sodium of the Sobey’s turkey deli meats at the counter), mushroom pieces,  light feta, and lettuce. DELICIOUS! I didn’t take pictures because, quite frankly, I inhaled it before I had a chance!!!
  • Cookies CAN taste good and be healthy! I found a recipe for wholewheat oatmeal cookies yesterday, and due to an INTENSE craving for sweets during a snow storm, improvised my own version, and went a step further to create my very first healthy cookie! Oatmeal Whole Wheat Jam Jams!

Oatmeal Whole Wheat Jam Jams:

Wholesome-y goodness!

(Please excuse my horrendous pan – I need new pans – this is actually a pizza pan!)

1. Combine 1/4 c. margarine, 1/4 c. applesauce, and 1/2 c. peanut butter.
2. Add to this 1 egg and 3/4 to 1 c. brown sugar (depending on your tastes) and combine until smooth.
3. Add 1 tsp. vanilla, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp baking powder, and mix.
4. Add 1 c. rolled oats, 3/4 to 1 c. whole wheat flour, a couple tbsp. cocoa, and 1/4 c. wheat bran.
5. Combine all together into a cookie dough that can be rolled into balls. I didn’t give exact measurements on the dry ingredients, as you can see, because I just added a bit extra oatmeal and whole wheat flour, then a bit of cocoa until I got the consistency I needed to be able to roll into balls – they were still a bit wet and sticky, but rollable.
6. Put the balls on an ungreased cookie sheets, press down the middle, and cook in oven preheated to 325 degrees (depending on how hot your oven is – mine’s very hot) for about ten minutes – the bottom should be brown and the cookies firm enough for you to lift to check the bottom.
7. Place a dollop of your choice of jam in the middle of each, and put back into the oven for another 3-5 minutes.
8. When you take them, out, let them cool and bit, and then enjoy! Even Brad likes them – they don’t taste good for you at all. They’re high in calories (I didn’t figure it out, but with margarine, and grains, it would be – but the ingredients are much healthier than other cookies, especially substituting applesauce for part of the margarine.

They’re just nicely crunchy on the outside and bottom! Delicious. You could add more peanut butter if you want stronger PB flavor as well – the PB flavor is fairly mild.

I figured out the calories – I forgot to count the cookies I made, but it was at least 30. If I split the calories in the recipe by 30, its about 85 calories per cookie (actually not bad, plus wholesome ingredients). The jam I used is 20 calories per tbsp, and each cookie has about 1/3 a tbsp. of jam on it, so that brings each cookie up to about 92 calories.

If you substituted all of the margarine for unsweetened apple sauce, it would drop the cookies to about 82 calories per cookie, with the jam. Cuts a lot of fat out too, since the PB on its own has a great deal of fat in it. I don’t know if there is such a thing as reduced fat/calorie PB, but if there is, it could be used without affecting taste much, and reduce calories per cookie further.

You could also mix the brown sugar with some sugar twin to reduce the calories while maintaining sweetness, as the brown sugar contributes the largest number of calories (627 to the whole recipe, or 21 calories per cookie).

Honestly though, if you’re going to eat a cookie anyway, this one is so packed full of good things, a cookie or two won’t hurt. Of course, in the name of science, I ate a huge bunch of these myself, since my first day back to work, and my first official day back on track hasn’t started yet. Hehe. I’ll regret it next time I weigh myself I am sure.
Eats for this coming week:
So, heading back to work after vacation, I picked up some healthy foods to get me started for lunches, snacks and breakfasts. Dinner is usually easy.
  • Gala and Pink Lady Apples to try – I love apples, and needed something new from the Honeycrisp I was hooked on
  • Green pepper, tuna (in the seal packages rather than cans – tastes much more fresh), fat-free mayo, and corn – mix the last three ingredients together along with whatever else I decide on, and pout in a cleaned out half green pepper. I may just eat this fresh, or I may heat it up, not sure yet.
  • Whole wheat pitas, spicy hummus, vegetable hummus, turkey, low-sodium wheat-wise bread from Sobeys (110 calories per two slices, light feta and low-cal cheddar mix,  for sandwiches
  • Chickpeas, lettuce, low-cal cheese mix, and salsa – to try SalsaChickpea Lettuce Wraps  from the Healthy Herbivore blog: http://happyherbivore.com/recipe/salsa-chickpea-lettuce-wraps/

Christmas Rundown:

For Christmas, I/we received two very awesome things that will (a) help contribute to my fitness goals, and (b) contribute to this blog!

My little family received a Nintendo Wii System, with Wii Fit Plus, among other things, from my mother. I’m excited to track my weigh tloss with it, though I think it’s a bit extreme in terms of healthy BMI – it automatically puts me at the lowest end of my BMI, telling me I need to weigh 136 pounds. I am 5’9″!!! My actual goal weight is 170 to get into a health weight range – and I most certainly don’t plan to be 135 – I feel liek that would be really pushing it.

From my husband, I received a handheld mini-camcorder, so hopefully, somewhere along the way, I may do some video blogs to share on here! We’ll see!

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas, and wishing you all much success and happiness in the coming year! Welcome to the new decade!!!

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Updates, Birthday Fun, and Recent Eats (Pictures!)

Updates:

All right, so I think I am back on track. My weight at home is showing 224 morning weight up to 226-227 evening weight now. I also went shopping in my closet and found my old(er) jeans fit, and a pair of capris I haven’t been able to wear in a long time (unfortunately it’s now fall and darn cold, so those aren’t much good to me).

My Birthday!

Yesterday was my 25th birthday, and while I had some emotional moments, it was wonderful. My husband had little pity for my moping over my 25th milestone, as he is 30+. However, my most awesome husband got the wife of a friend of his to make me a homemade chocolate cake with … A PENGUIN ON IT! I’ve collected penguins for years, and yet in all of our 7+ years together, he never thought to get a penguin cake. LOL

For dinner he asked if we could have, ‘fat food’ (a joke, of course) so I had nachos with cheese, green pepper, and green onion and salsa, and he had loaded nachos with pepperoni, etc. Of course, making them yourself at home and controlling the cheese and number of chips REALLY helps keep calories in check at the very least. I managed to keep a nice big plate of nachos surprisingly close to my 500 calorie mark for dinner. I DID however, forget to take a picture. Rest assured, they looked delicious, though had way less cheese than I would have put on 2 months ago. Even still, I never was one for too much cheese on nachos because it makes them too greasy and soggy. My husband, however, ahs a different theory on nachos. *laughs*

My beautiful birthday cake.... oh so sinfully delicious. Worth every calorie, I swear!

My beautiful birthday cake.... oh so sinfully delicious. Worth every calorie, I swear!

AND here is me with my cake... another year older, and 22 pounds lighter so far!

AND here is me with my cake... another year older, and 22 pounds lighter so far!

And now for some of my recent eats, to catch up:

Stuffed zuchinni boats (zuchini, Laughing Cow Garlic & Herb, Light Feta, mushroom, chive, green pepper, spinach), sweet potato baked withy olive oil and chili powder, and chicken breast baked with olive oil/rosemary.

Stuffed zuchinni boats (zuchini, Laughing Cow Garlic & Herb, Light Feta, mushroom, chive, green pepper, spinach), sweet potato baked withy olive oil and chili powder, and chicken breast baked with olive oil/rosemary.

Light Caesar Salad, Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup. With a bit of care, this was a surprisingly low calorie dinner. Well under the 500 mark.

Light Caesar Salad, Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup. With a bit of care, this was a surprisingly low calorie dinner. Well under the 500 mark.

Not my lowest calorie meal, but I was lazy. A spring roll, and pita pizza. Portion controlled though.

Not my lowest calorie meal, but I was lazy. A spring roll, and pita pizza. Portion controlled though.

Broccoli tossed in light Parmesan, President's Choice corn, and chicken breast with Classico Ren Wine & Herb.

Broccoli tossed in light Parmesan, President's Choice corn, and chicken breast with Classico Ren Wine & Herb.

Salad and low calorie tuna melts.

Salad and low calorie tuna melts.

Strawberry & Maple Oatmeal with a side of low calorie, low sodium toast with local honey. I was a hugnry woman that morning.

Strawberry & Maple Oatmeal with a side of low calorie, low sodium toast with local honey. I was a hugnry woman that morning.

Well, that’s everything I took pictures of! Enjoy! 🙂

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Weigh In Week 4 & Good Eats – A Quick Post!

Office Biggest Loser – Week 4 Weigh In:

Week 4 Weigh-In of the office challenge (which started a bit after I started my weight loss journey mid-August) was today. I was very worried I’d not lost much and that my own scale at home was deceiving me (which, along with my chiropractor’s scale, typically shows me 2-3 pounds lighter than the office scale). Last Monday my weight on the office scale was 232.5…

TODAY my weight was… *drumroll please* … 229lbs! This means a 3.5lb weight loss AND I’ve oficially cracked the 220’s on both my home and office weigh-ins! In fact, my morning weight at home, which I believe is more accurate since it matches my chiropractor’s scale, was 225.5lbs!!! This places my total weight loss since mid-August at 20.5 lbs!!!

Now, I am exhausted and just finished an intense, but brief (25 minutes… but something is better than nothing!) workout on my elliptical with a 5 lb weight in each hand! Yikes! INTENSE! I’ll give a quick rundown of recent eats, then it’s off to sleepyland for Dee!

Good Eats:

Sunday Night Dinner:

  • Chicken breast baked with Salba Hot Salsa and topped with a pre-sliced slice of Monterey Jack
  • President’s Choice Peaches & Cream frozen corn from Atlantic Superstore (sooo good), with a bit of ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Light’ … interesting stuff.
  • Carrots, mushrooms, cucumber, cheddar and green pepper chopped and tossed with just a light coating of Renee’s Wellness Yogurt Dressing – Peppercorn Ranch
  • I COULD NOT eat all of this. Yikes I was full and there was still a tonne on the plate. I tried to make my husband eat it but he only wanted the chicken, and ignored the veggies. *sad* Too much cheese too, so I ended up picking out the cheese in the veggies and setting aside. Bad Dee. My eyes were bigger than my stomach, thank goodness.
Dinner....

Dinner....

Monday Morning Snack:

  • 100 Calorie No Sugar Added Jello Chocolate Pudding, topped with a crumbled piece of Nature’s Valley cocoa nib granola, and 2 sliced strawberries. This was SUCH a treat!
Chocolate, Strawberries and Granola

Chocolate, Strawberries and Granola

Monday Dinner:

  • I decided to whip together fajitas with whatever we had in the fridge
  • We ended up with: zucchini, onion, green pepper, mushroom, corn, seasoned with some leftover taco seasoning in a packet, and some medium salsa
  • Served on the small size whole wheat tortillas (90 calories each), with some grated cheddar, diced tomatoes, lettuce, and salsa – depending on what each of us wanted. I ate TWO of these. Gosh they were good!
The innards of our fajitas.

The innards of our fajitas.

Time to chow down!

Time to chow down!

And a close-up of the tastiness for good measure!

And a close-up of the tastiness for good measure!

GOOD NIGHT ALL!

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Product Comparison: Special K Red Berry VS. President’s Choice On Track – Vanilla Strawberry

So while wandering the grocery aisles to pick up a new box of cereal, I was pleasantly surprised to see a box of cereal that looked suspiciously similar to my all time favorite, Special K Red Berry. This was President’s Choice On Track – Vanilla Strawberry, found at the Atlantic Superstore under their President’s Choice store brand.

SpecialKRedBerryVSPCVanillaStrawberry

Since the cost was cheaper and the box larger, I thought I may as well read the nutritional info to compare.  WELL… let me tell you, the two seemed very similar, with calories almost on par (110 for 3/4 c. of the PC, and 120 for 1 c. of the Special K), but even better is the fact that the PC brand is LOWER in carbs/sugars, matches in dietary fiber, LOWER in sodium, and HIGHER in protein. Special K has extras of other vitamins and nutritional items, so depending on your needs, you’ll have to check out what nutrients are missing or lower for the PC brand.

I purchased a box and tried some this morning, and I have to say the two taste almost identical, and oddly enough the PC brand seems to have more BERRIES! YUM! Totally delicious, has kept me full so far today.

The Verdict: I completely and totally recommend anyone with access to these stores/this brand try this product if they like Special K Red Berry – and even if you don’t, try it anyway!

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Pizza Pizza! Whole Wheat Pizza Dough From Scratch!

So yesterday we had pizza and more pizza. Yipes!

...read on below to learn more about this delicious looking whole wheat pizza!

...read on below to learn more about this delicious looking whole wheat pizza!

First, for lunch, I made a quick pita pizza with:

  • Classico Pesto
  • Rosemary Deli Ham (Sobeys Grocery Store)
  • Organic Baby Spinach
  • Whole Wheat Pita
  • Sliced Mushroom
  • Monterey Jack Cheese
Pita Pizza!

Pita Pizza!

I actually couldn’t eat it all, so gave almost half to my husband. He liked it so much he wanted to make his own pita pizza last night, but I stopped him because I’d decided I was going to experiment with a whole wheat pizza dough FROM SCRATCH!

So, for dinner (the pizza in the photo at the top of this post):

I used this recipe, ‘Amazing Whole Wheat Pizza Crust, submitted by Marla at Allrecipes.com.

The only changes I made were to use 2 1/2 c. whole wheat flour (I use Speerville’s Flour Mill Organic Stone Ground Whole Wheat) instead of 2 c., and only 3/4 c. white flour instead of 1 c. I found that the flour it called for, all together, was too much, and dropped 1/4 c. off the full recipe.

I meant to take pictures during the process, but entirely forgot, so perhaps next time. I had never made dough of any sort with yeast before, so this was very new to me – quite an experience!

Once I had everything mixed and kneaded together per the recipe, I let sit for about 1 hour. It rose SO MUCH! I then split it into two dough balls, firmed up, and let sit to rise again 45 minutes. Again, rose up SO much. Only problem was that my husband was cooking Kaiden chicken strips in the oven, and I had my bowls sitting on top of the stove to rise, so the heat from the oven made the dough form a light crust over the top, almost like it was rising. Didn’t hurt anything though.

I used two large non-stick pizzas pans, and sprayed lightly with a vegetable oil spray just to be save. I then pressed the dough right on to the pan and spread from there like I normally do, rather than following the recipes directions to roll out on another surface, etc.

On my pizza went:

  • Kraft Pizza Sauce
  • Light Mozzarella
  • Oregano
  • Light Parmesan
  • Pieces of turkey bacon and Cherry wood smoked deli ham
  • Mushrooms
  • Green Pepper

On my husband’s pizza went:

  • Turkey Bacon, Ham, Pepperoni
  • Mushrooms, Green Peppers
  • Catelli Spicy Onion & Garlic Pizza Sauce
  • Parmesan, Oregano and Mozzarella

I didn’t get a picture of his, but did get pictures of mine. I only managed to eat 2 pieces, and put the rest into baggies after cooling and threw in the fridge to see how well they’ll reheat in the oven today for me and the kiddo.

Just after going into the oven - had forgotten to take a raw picture.

Just after going into the oven - had forgotten to take a raw picture.

Crunchy Whole Wheat Crust Tastiness!

Crunchy Whole Wheat Crust Tastiness!

Check out that crunchy crust!

Check out that crunchy crust!

The Verdict: It took a few bites to get used to, but this crust was REALLY good. The edges were super crunchy, though the middle was a bit sofy from sweating when we let it cool on the counter. I cooked at 425 degrees for about 22 minutes.

The husband said it tasted like Brown Bread at first, but then decided he liked it too after getting into his own pizza.

The dough takes a long time to make, but seems almost fool proof and is VERY well worth the wait! Much better than the pre-made store-bought whole wheat doughs that look like frisbees. Yuck!

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