Tag Archive | Healthy

Stay Healthy, Have Fun!

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What can you do to stay healthy and have fun?

Lots of things!

Just to name a few:

  • Discover a new trail (I’m working on this one myself!)
  • Kayak
  • Go to the zoo
  • Garden
  • Lazy River (you stay cool and you’re exercising)
  • Cycling
  • Yoga

What will you do to stay active this summer?

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Healthier Chicken Parmesan

I love Chicken Parmesan! Do you love Chicken Parmesan? Of course you do! Who doesn’t?

So Olive Garden Chicken Parm is 32 points. Yikes! Now that includes the spaghetti that is served with it but still, wow. Not sure how much it would be if you were to make it at home but my guess is it would still be 10-15 points, including the spaghetti.

Mine, however, 4 points! Yay! Ok, not exactly mine but hers. Mine now though because I will be making this recipe time and time again. It is that good!

I did decide to omit the spaghetti. Spaghetti noodles and sauce would probably tack on another 8 points. Still not terrible. 12 points for a meal. But if you add roasted green beans and a salad such as I did, you have yourself a 5 point dinner. That’s even better!

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Tell me that doesn’t look good. Oh my! It’s as good as it looks. Let me tell ya!

What makes this version healthier than normal Chicken Parm? I’m so glad you asked. First and foremost, the chicken is baked rather than fried. Secondly, the chicken is only breaded on one side. Weird right? I thought so. Trust me though, you won’t even notice when you’re eating it.

So…this is how you make it.

Gather your ingredients and take a picture. Oops! That’s what I do. You don’t have to do that. I mean, unless you want to. Completely up to you. lol

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Mix together the breading for the chicken – panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, Italian season, salt and pepper.

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I just love the look of seasoned flour, breadcrumbs, etc.

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Beat an egg and set up your dredging station.

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Spray a sheet pan with Pam or whatever cooking spray that you use and start dredging. Now, remember to only bread one side of the chicken breast. This will feel slightly weird because it’s not what you’re used to. After the first one though, it won’t feel weird anymore. At least it didn’t for me. Spray the top of the chicken, after breading, with Pam to help get extra crunchy and brown.

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For the green beans, cut off the tips and toss in a bowl with some Pam, salt and pepper. Lay as many green beans around the chicken as you can. If needed, use a separate sheet pan.

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Bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 425 degrees. If your chicken is cut thin, 15 minutes will be enough.

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Spread the marinara sauce or spaghetti sauce of your choosing, beware this may change your point value, over the top of the chicken breast. I’m going to be honest here, I didn’t think half a cup of the sauce would be enough. In fact, when I first decided to make this recipe, I put the recipe in the WW app and entered 1 1/4 cups of both the sauce and the mozzarella cheese. I just knew I was going to put a 1/4 cup on each. Also thought I would be making 5 instead of 4, hence the 1 1/4 cup.

I was so wrong though. All you will need is 1/2 cup of each your sauce and your mozzarella cheese. Back to spreading the sauce on each chicken…then top with the shredded cheese. Put back in the oven for about 5 minutes so that the cheese will melt.

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This looks promising, doesn’t it?!

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After 5 minutes, pull the chicken out of the oven. If your cheese is not fully melted, leave it in for a couple more minutes. I thought mine needed a little more color and decided to sprinkle a little Italian seasoning on top. Excellent decision if I say so myself. Which I do! =)

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Doesn’t it look so good? You know it does!

Here’s the recipe.

Healthy Chicken Parmesan

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

4 points per chicken breast

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb chicken breasts (this doesn’t have be exact, I think mine was more like 1.34 lbs)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning plus some to sprinkle on top of cheese at the end
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lb green beans (or however much you like)
  • Pam cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce (I used garlic and basil) *note if you use one w/ meat, it will be higher in points
  • 1/2 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese

Directions:

  1. Set oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Mix together the panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Place in a dish so that the chicken can easily be placed in it for breading.
  3. Beat the egg and place in a similar style dish.
  4. Place one side of the chicken in the egg followed by the panko mixture. Press the chicken down in the breading mixture so that as much as possible will stick to it. Place breading side up on a sprayed baking sheet.
  5. Repeat for remaining chicken breasts. Spray tops of chicken with Pam to help brown and get crispy.
  6. Cut ends off green beans and toss with Pam, salt and pepper. Spread green beans around edge of baking sheet.
  7. Put chicken and green beans in the oven for 15 minutes.
  8. Pull out of oven and spread first the spaghetti sauce evenly over the chicken, then the shredded mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and put back in the oven for roughly 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  9. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this meal as much as I did. Share your pictures if you make it! =)

WW Week 19 Recap

I weighed in back to back this week. Interesting but I did show a loss each day. Woohoo! Of course it wasn’t a huge loss and I did not meet my own personal goal of losing 2 lbs to put me at a total loss of 30 lbs. But a loss is a loss and I’ll take it!

I thought it would be so easy too. But no.

I think this is why…One, I allowed myself a cheat meal. Last Thursday was my nephew’s first soccer game of the season. My sister and her boyfriend are both coaches on his team and my brother and myself went to cheer them all on. Afterwards, we decided to do a family dinner and went out for Chinese. Apparently my nephew loves sushi. Who knew?!

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I was feeling quite happy to be around everyone and to be at a Chinese buffet that I declared to myself and everyone that I wasn’t going to count points. This is only the second time that I have done this since starting the program with the other time being my birthday. So this was a big deal for me. I didn’t go all crazy and pile up my plate. I toned it down quite a bit from what I normally would have eaten.

I usually fill my bowl up with Egg Drop Soup but this time only filled it about half way. In the past I would have piled up my plate and made a second trip with a not so full plate but still a second trip. This time I only ate the one plate and didn’t pile it up high. I even passed on the rice and noodles. What? Yes! Crazy talk I know! For dessert I had to get a doughnut (you don’t even know how much I love these things) but filled the rest of my plate up with fruit. Oh and I shared my doughnut with my nephew.

This is big actually!

 

Ok the story behind these doughnuts. One time in my early 20’s my sister, myself and a couple others were at a Chinese buffet. I was on guard waiting for fresh “sugar puffs” err…doughnuts to be brought out. When they did I filled up an entire plate. Yes I did. I even put my arms around the plate so that others couldn’t get to them. My fork was ready to stab and may have once or twice if someone tried to steal some. This was a one time thing. I was being silly. But still I do love them. For me to share one, especially when I was only allowing myself one, is huge!

So there was this night of not counting points and not knowing if I went over or not that probably didn’t help me reach goal. And then with it being Labor Day weekend…and eating this huge ass breakfast with one of my best friends.

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Yikes!

But I did lose 1.8 lbs between the two weigh-ins and only need to lose .2 more to be down a total of 30 lbs. Yay!

I’ll get there. =)

In Saturday’s meeting, I met a leader that I had heard about but had never met. She is full of energy! Let me tell you. Wow! I liked her though. I may have to pop back in every once in a while for a burst of energetic motivation. So each leader does their own special little things. My leader does the perky pencils. This lady passes out charms for each time you walk or run a 5K. Now she doesn’t make or purchase the charms, at least I don’t believe so. They each have the legendary WW imprinted on them. But prior to Saturday I had never heard or seen them before. I feel that 5K’s had been mentioned in my normal meetings but perhaps they hadn’t.

Anyways last week the topic was “Get Happy”. Kim, I think her name was Kim, asked for a few people to share 3 things that made them happy the previous week. A couple people mentioned 1 but not 2 or 3. So I raised my hand and decided to share 3 as she had requested. Always the teacher’s pet. lol I started with saying that I ran a 5K last Sunday. The entire room, and it was a rather full room, was in awe and I think I even heard a few wow’s. I was taken back. I really was. But what really floored me was “Kim” ran out of the room hollering as she went “Keep going. Talk louder. I still want to hear you.”. I didn’t know what she was doing, these were not my normal peeps. I felt a little awkward. But I gave it a go and said 2) I reconnected with an old friend and 3) I went to my nephew’s 1st soccer game.  She even had me repeat the last one because she didn’t hear it. This made me feel like she was really listening, which I liked.

When she came back to the room, she offered me 1 of 2 charms for completing a 5K. The first was a running man and the second was literally a 5 and a K. I chose the running man but now wish I would have chosen the 5K since that is why i was receiving the charm.

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She said that anyone who walked or ran a 5K and told her would receive one. She said that it is a big accomplishment and she wants to recognize it. Love it! Love it even more that when I told her this was my first of the year but that I was planning on doing 1 each month for the rest of the year, she said she would give me a charm for each race. What?! I told her I might have to take her up on her offer so that I can at least get the other charm but that I didn’t need that many of the same charm. How cool is that though? So neat!

I’ve made a deal with myself that once I have completed the remaining 4 5K’s that I have planned this year, I will go back and get the other charm. It will act as a reward for having completed 5 in 5 months. =)

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Oh and when she told everyone that doing a 5K was a huge accomplishment, she looked at me and said, “Well maybe not for you.”. At first I was like what?? But then I took it as a compliment that I must have looked “skinny”, “fit” or “athletic” enough for her to say it. Oh yeah!

Sunday’s meeting was all about setting Fall Goals. We talked about the importance of setting seasonal goals. How the holidays are right around the corner and it can be so tempting to give up and say that you will start back up in the new year. How Fall and Winter may lead to you being less active due to the shorter days. And most importantly what we can do to help with both of these.

Prior to leaving the meeting, our leader wanted us to write down at least 1 goal that we wanted to work toward this Fall. I have two.

Goal 1: To make it to my Lifetime Goal by the holidays.

This is completely doable. As of today, I am 17.6 lbs away from Lifetime. That’s right, I’m a little over 2/3 the way there. Woot! Woot! Since it’s the beginning of Sept, I essentially have 3 full months to lose this. It can be done. It isn’t going to be easy because I’m slowing down. In the first month, I lost a total of 8 lbs. The second month was 6.6 lbs. And the third month, 6.4 lbs. Last month though was only 4.2 lbs. I have 1 more week until I officially complete 5 months. We’ll see what my total weight loss for this month will be but right now I am at a total of 4.6 lbs. So far a little better than last month. Thank goodness!

 

For me to lose 17.6 lbs in 3 months I would need to average 5.87 lbs each month. Can it be done? Yes. Will it be easy? Not necessarily.

Hopefully my second goal will help me with this.

Goal 2: To create and maintain a regular fitness routine.

Yes, I go to the gym. But not on a regular basis. I’d like to go at least 3 times a week. Right now I might go 5 or so times a week for a couple weeks and then nothing for a week or so. This is not regular and will not help me in the long run.

I’ve seen this Pin on Pinterest many, many times and am using it as my inspiration for this.

I needed this!

So there you have it. Week 19 and week 20 are in the books!

Here’s to making goal by Week 31. Though technically I’m ok with Week 32 because the weigh in for Week 31 will be the beginning of the last week before the holidays hit. And if I can somehow not make it Week 31 but do make it Week 32 with Thanksgiving in between…I mean that deserves a High 5!!

WW Week 18 Recap

I wasn’t able to make it to this week’s meeting. I had a good excuse though. I promise! Remember that race that I was training for? Well it took place at 8am this morning and my meetings are at 9am. Yeah, there was no way I was going to make it in time. I just don’t run that fast. lol

One of my old college friends, Heather, and I met up for dinner last month. The first time we had seen each other in more than 10 years. It was a really good time. While we were there she was telling me about a race that her and one of her friends was thinking of doing. They needed a team of 4 people so my friend, Becky, and I joined her. 4-Nados!

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I’ve been in the gym for the last 2-3 training for this race. You see my friend is a runner. Oh yes she is. She did 2 races this weekend, including the race we both ran this morning. Well technically all of my teammates ran 2 races this weekend. They crazy! Just kidding. lol

Heather ran yesterday’s race in 28 minutes. 28 minutes! I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to keep up with her. I’m not kidding myself. But I didn’t want her to have to wait for me long. So I trained.

It wasn’t all for her though. I wanted to do well. This was MY first race of the year and I wanted to do be proud of my time. So I trained for me too.

At the gym I had been running a mile in 13 minutes 20 seconds. I figured 3 miles I could finish in 40 minutes. So that was my goal. I wanted to finish this mornings race in 40 minutes.

I was close. So close! I started off strong with my first mile only taking me 11:37. It may have been a little too strong though because I got progressively slower as the race went on. My second mile was 12:40 seconds and my third mile was 13:15 seconds. Not bad though. Technically I ran 3 miles in 37 minutes and 32 seconds. Awesome, right?!

Except a 5K is not just 3 miles. It’s 3.1 miles and today’s was closer to 3.19 miles. That extra little bit killed me and my total time was 41:12. I’m happy though!

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BTW the distance and time on MapMyRun was inaccurate because I didn’t hit STOP right when I finished. Oops!

We all had a really good time and that’s all you can ask. =)

So no weigh in today but I feel good. Really good! I even got 10 Fitness Points in today due to the race. Woohoo!

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I’ll go next Saturday. It’s the next morning class. Then I’ll get back to my normal meeting time the very next day. =)

Last week I was down a total of 28 lbs. Surely in 2 weeks time…err, 1 week 6 days…I can lose 2 lbs and get past that 30 lb mark. Fingers crossed!

Dinner Tonight

I made a variation of an old dish tonight. I didn’t quite have all of the ingredients but was able to make do with what I had. It was just as good, if not better, than I remembered it. What is it you ask? Chicken Tortilla Soup!

Well I chose not to use any tortilla chips. Does this mean that it was just chicken soup? lol

Maybe it can be Chicken Fajita Soup. Call it whatever you want, it was freaking good!

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WW Week 11 Recap

Yes! I’m officially down 20+ lbs! 20.6 to be exact. =)

Tracking every thing you eat every single day really does help. I know that it can be a pain to some people. But it is so easy to not look something up or to not record something that you ate and before you know it you are way over your daily points. Fortunately there are the weekly points to fall back on. But things add up so fast.

I think I have mentioned this on here before but just in case… My group leader passes out “perky pencil” stickers to anyone who tracks to the best of their ability at least 5 days a week. I look forward to getting my “perky pencil” every Sunday. I put it right next to that day’s weigh-in information along with any Bravo stickers I might get for that week.

I have received one each week that I have been a part of Weight Watchers. It means a lot to me. It shows me that I’m following the program and I’m seeing the results. So far I haven’t really had a week where I gained weight. I think this is because I do track. But I have heard of others that go up and down. It would be interesting to see if the good weeks were weeks you tracked and maybe the weeks you didn’t always track were the ones where you didn’t lose.

Don’t think I will test my theory though. lol

Tracking takes dedication. It really does. But it doesn’t take that long. Not when you get used to it. And it can even be fun. I love scanning items at the grocery store or looking up foods from restaurants. Sure it might mean it takes me longer to decide what to eat, or to track what is on my plate but shouldn’t we pay better attention to what we are putting in our body anyway?

Plus it works!

One area I can really improve on is working out. I hardly ever do. Oh did you just hear that? I do NOT work out. Know what that means? I have lost my 20+ lbs entirely because I have changed my eating habits.

That doesn’t mean that working out isn’t also important though. I really should make it a part of my weekly, if not daily, routine. I have mentioned at least a couple times on here that I will get back in the gym. It hasn’t happened yet.

Motivation. Or lack of it.

I feel so good when I work out. I really do. But starting back up is always so difficult. I try to tell myself this week I’m going to go. Today I’m going to go. But I don’t. I just go home, sit on the couch, mess around online and watch Netflix.

The last couple of days I have gotten a couple I have earned some fitness points though. Saturday I went bike riding for the first time in 2 1/2 years  and yesterday I tried yoga for the first time. Both of them were unusual for me but both were still forms of exercise. In fact I think I got 4 fitness points for each day. Not bad.

It really is an awesome feeling to be where I am. 20+ lbs gone! I love it!

I’m not done though. Not even half way. I just need to keep doing what I’m doing. Maybe add in a little exercise here and there and I’ll get there.