Three Things for Thursday

Take two on my Three Things for Thursday:

1. Cleansing from the Beach. If you read my previous post, you know I indulged at the beach with food and drinks. Let’s just say the scale is not my friend this week. Because of this and  how horrible I feel from all that overeating, I have been eating light(er) meals and trying to cleanse my body from all the alcohol and large meals. Here are a few of the meals I have had this week:

A Few of my Dinners This Week

A Few of my Dinners This Week

2. Mental Health. When I was little I wanted to be an author. While normal kids were playing outside, I  was inside spending hours on my computer typing up “books.” I wasn’t writing the next great American novel or anything, far from it actually. Those stories were horrible, but I loved it. I was able to express my feelings. Now that I’m no longer in school, I don’t really have the time to write and I’ve realized its been more than 3 years since I’ve even jotted my thoughts down (this blog excluded, of course). Yesterday, I took the plunge and did something for myself.  I signed up for an online writing class at UNC Charlotte. Health isn’t just exercising and eating right. It’s about finding things that you are passionate about and following what makes you happy. Happiness has a lot to do with health and fitness and it’s not something that many consider. Do something for yourself today!

3. Running. As most of you know, I did the Diva Dash a few weeks ago, and I had a blast! I remembered how much fun races could be. It’s a nice way to break up running alone. I already have two more races that I am going to register for before the year is over. I’m even thinking about joining a weekly group run with some local fitness stores. I was never one for group exercise but it’s definitely starting to grow on me!

Until the next Three Things for Thursday!

Kitchen Sink Salad

I view a meal for dinner as something that needs to be cooked, whether it be the stove, oven, or the Crockpot. I do have a few exceptions to this idea: cereal for dinner, tuna salad, and/or some sandwiches.

Thanks to ending the week with extra lettuce (Thanks Meredith!) and taking our first real trip to Costco (seriously the best place ever!) I felt inspired. And I really wanted to utilize all the fresh fruit and veggies currently sitting in my fridge. The best way to use all of it: Salad.

The points value changes based on how many olives/croutons/pecans/etc you add. I didn’t calculate mine. I went for a run in the morning and went with a “Salad? How bad can it be?” mentality. Yes, I know some salads are very unhealthy, but I didn’t go overboard on my less healthy ingredients

Kitchen Sink Salad 

Lettuce

Carrots

Mushrooms

Olives

Pepperoncini

Croutons

Goat Cheese

Pecans

Strawberries

Ken’s Fat Free Raspberry Pecan Dressing

Directions:

1. Mix and eat.

Kitchen Sink Salad

Kitchen Sink Salad

Verdict:

I wasn’t sure how I would like it. I only use strawberries in a summer salad and certainly never combined with olives. Surprisingly I liked the weird combination of flavors. The only thing I would change is the dressing. It was too sweet when combined with the strawberries. I think the Sun-dried Tomato dressing I have would have been better. Overall, I think I need to change my definition of dinner.

Barbecue Glazed Turkey Meatloaf

Let’s talk about meatloaf for a minute, shall we? I feel like everyone either loves it or hates it. For some reason, it isn’t a type of food that people can go either way on. Maybe it has to do with the name. There really is nothing appealing about a “loaf of meat”.

Growing up, I would have been classified as a meatloaf lover. I would go to my grandparents house once a week and after I had a piano lesson with my grandpa, I would cook dinner with my grandma.  Meatloaf was one of the recipes we would make and I don’t know if I truly thought it was delicious or if I just loved being over there.

After I traded in piano for my guitar, I stopped eating at my grandparents every week which meant no more meatloaf. I think I had it once a few years later and doused it in ketchup in order to get it down. There went my love for this food. I never thought I would voluntarily eat it again.

But when I started weight watchers, one of my coworkers gave me a weight watchers recipe for Barbecue Glazed Turkey Meatloaf and swore it was delicious. I decided to give the food one more chance and I am very glad I did.

Barbecue Glazed Turkey Meatloaf (6 servings=4 WW points plus)

1 1/4 pounds of uncooked ground turkey breast

1/3 cup dried plain breadcrumbs, seasoned

1/4 cup low fat shredded cheese

1/4 cup uncooked onions

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 black pepper

2 Tbsp ketchup

2 tsp packed light brown sugar

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp spicy brown mustard

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking dish with tin foil.

2. Mix the turkey breast, bread crumbs, cheese, onion, egg, oregano, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Mix until combined. Shape into a loaf and put in dish with tin foil.

3. Combine the ketchup, sugar, Worcestershire, and mustard in a separate bowl. Use the mixture to cover top of meat loaf in order to create a glaze.

4. Place dish in oven and cook until done, around 45 minutes – 1 hour.

Meatloaf and roasted butternut squash

Meatloaf and roasted butternut squash

Verdict: 

This recipe was originally meant for the crock pot, but we altered it for the oven. The meat is moist and the glaze gives it a great flavor so you don’t need to smother it with ketchup. It isn’t a meal I could eat every week but Kevin has requested this recipe 4 times now so it is slowly being added to our rotation. Not too bad, even for a loaf of meat.

Sweet Potato Chips

I’ve been on a sweet potato binge lately. Last night, I made another baked frittata with a sweet potato. (Which I won’t blog about because I swore off the egg recipes for a while!) So when I found this recipe for Sweet Potato Chips, I couldn’t resist. I even bought a mandoline for it.

 

Sweet Potato Chips (2 servings = 4 points plus)

1 sweet potato

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

Directions:

1. Cut off ends of the sweet potato and slice with a mandoline.

2. Mix the sweet potato, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a bowl.

3. Place in a microwave and cook until crispy, but not browned.

The few chips that weren't burned

The few chips that weren’t burned

I had a very serious problem with the last step. For some reason, it went right from soggy to burnt. It was so bad I even tried to bake them instead. Same result. The few chips that I was able to eat had a great taste. If I decide to give this another try, I think they will be great with a little brown sugar and cinnamon.

At least my failed attempt isn’t going to waste – Kevin really will eat anything!

I cheated on Valentine’s Day…but it’s okay!

I used to have an all or nothing mentality. If I ruined my diet, the day may as well be over. I would have to begin again the next morning. Or on Monday. Or the first of the month. Maybe I’d even wait until January 1st. New year, new me, after all. What a better time to start over!

That way of thinking was holding me back. How could I ever lose weight if I gave up every time I struggled? I didn’t quit my job every time I made a mistake or get a new boyfriend every time I started a fight. So why should my health be any different?

The thing I truly love about Weight Watchers is that I can cheat without feeling like I need a fresh start. Thanks to the weekly points, I can splurge if I really want to. Having cake at my nephews birthday? Sure. Drinks with some friends after work? Absolutely. I don’t need to trim down my social life along with my waist.

It may sound like I love to cheat, but that’s not entirely true. I rarely use my weekly points but if I do, it’s typically for alcohol – sorry, not sorry! When I am going to splurge on a meal, I eat healthier and squeeze in an extra workout.

Which is how I ended up with this delicious Valentine’s dinner my fiancé cooked for me:

Filet Mignon, asparagus, and summer salad

Filet Mignon, Asparagus, and Summer Salad

I don’t know if it had to do with the meal itself or the fact I got to stand around and drink wine while watching Kevin slave over the food. Either way, it was exactly what I wanted. And the chocolate covered strawberries at the end were the perfect complement. I didn’t hate myself. I didn’t even feel like I was being unhealthy. And the next morning, me and my wine hangover fell out of bed at 8 AM and kicked it at the gym.