Archive for December, 2009

Christmas Day 2009

Well I had a wonderful Christmas & 6 days off in a row!!!  

I hope everyone had a great holiday and time off with your family & friends as well!  =) 

In, light of my extended break from blogging I during the past week and the fact that I did miss taking pictures of several meals I am just going to cover Christmas Day in this post! 


Our Christmas Tree & Presents

My Daughter & Her Books From Santa!

My Daughter With Our Dog, Peanut & Her Santa Gifts!

Me & My Munchkin on Christmas Morning!

Christmas Morning Breakfast (Chocolate Chip Pancakes)

Me All Dressed Up f/Christmas Dinner

Christmas Dinner Table

Family Photo (Me, My Daughter, My Mother-In-Law, My Husband & Brother-In-Law)

Late Night Christmas Treat (Chocolate Covered Pretzels)

I also visited with my family in the evening after the in-laws house, however it was so busy & crowded (20+ family members) that I forgot to take pictures.  Luckily, my grandma did and I am sure I will see them soon. 

Well, I am working today (Tuesday, 12/29/09) and tomorrow (Wednesday, 12/30/09)……then I have the rest of the week off again!  =)  

My hubby has the camera as his son is down visiting so I do not have anything to take pictures with at the moment and most likely through the week so I will be resuming my regular post schedule beginning next week!  

I hope everyone has a Happy & Safe New Year’s Eve!!! 

Categories: Christmas Day 2009

Christmas Cookies!!!

Well, I finally returned to work on this Tuesday, 12/22/09 after my long “4” day weekend, however it is my ONLY day at work this week as I have the next “6” days off!  =)   

And, while we are on that topic I just wanted to let you all know that I may not post again until Tuesday, 12/29/09 as I am going to be very busy over holiday and I also am having issues with my “wireless router” at home right now so I can’t always get online.  

 On to the topic of the day……CHRISTMAS COOKIES!!!  

Every year we receive a tub full of these from one of our vendors and every year I look forward to it as there are several different varieties and they are always so good……take a look!  =) 


My family & I will be enjoying these over the holiday, in moderation of course….well maybe!  =O 

I had the last of my pumpkin cream cheese on a pumpkin bagel from Einstein Bagel along with a banana for breakfast this morning. 


Than for lunch I had some Boar’s Head roasted chicken and american cheese on a hoogie with mayo, plus a pear & baby carrots on the side


Just before quitting time, literally, I snacked on a nosugaradded low-fat strawberry yogurt


I then was supposed to go to the gym after work, but decided against it as I have been fighting a “cold” for a few days now and even though I really wanted to go as I haven’t been since last Tuesday I knew it wouldn’t be a good idea as I do not want to risk being sick over the holiday and all my days off!  =( 

I made a few last-minute holiday shopping stops on the way home instead, nothing major just in and outs.  Then I headed home and heated up dinner, which was spaghetti (I made yesterday) on whole wheat pasta with a side salad



I did some gift wrapping after dinner and then watched some holiday movies on t.v. before passing out. 




Eat What You Want—and Still Lose Weight! 

8) Keep Your Focus 

The last time you saw your cousin was back in college, so you have a lot of catching up to do. But swapping stories over a bowl of artichoke dip won’t do your figure any favors. Researchers from France’s Hôtel-Dieu hospital found that women who listened to a story during lunch ate 15 percent more than those who dined in silence. 

“When you’re preoccupied, you don’t fully taste everything, so you tend to overeat,” says Richter. “Give your full attention to the conversation or sit down to concentrate on the food in front of you—you’ll appreciate both much more.” Where you sit at dinner matters too. Try snagging the chair next to your brother’s cute friend: A new study published in the journal Appetite found that women who ate in the presence of a man consumed 358 fewer calories than when they dined with a group of women. Researchers at Canada’s McGill University say women often suppress their eating in front of a person of the opposite sex. They also tend to mirror their dining partners’ habits, so avoid the seat next to that friend with the huge appetite and enviable metabolism. 

9) Seize Some ZZZ’s 

Between prepping your house for out-of-town guests and finishing your holiday shopping, sleep may be the first thing that gets cut from your endless to-do list. But skimping on shut-eye can do more than create under-eye circles: Research published in the Public Library of Science journal found that people who logged fewer than five hours of slumber had lower levels of leptin, a hormone that controls how full you feel, than those who snoozed for eight. What’s more, the sleep-deprived also had higher levels of ghrelin, another hormone that stimulates appetite. “When you’re exhausted, you feel hungrier and less satisfied after meals, which can set the stage for weight gain,” says Richter. 

To make sure you get plenty of sleep, set an alarm for an hour before your usual bedtime as a reminder to start winding down. If you can’t stop ruminating about the 1,001 things you still have to accomplish before the week ends, make a list before turning in and keep it on your bedside table. Putting your worries and tasks on paper will help you clear your mind—so you can start dreaming about how you’ll look in that slinky New Year’s dress!

4 Days Off…..

…….in a row!!!  =)

And, not a bit of it spent resting………=O 

I am going to take you through all “4” days so please bare with me! 

Friday, 12/18/09 

This day was supposed to be spent doing some holiday shopping, however it totally got away from me and NO shopping was done at all! 

For breakfast I had a bowl of Raisin Bran Extra cereal with 2% milk and some melon on the side


Than around 2pm I met my BFF, Amy, for lunch at “Olive Garden”, which has become a holiday tradition for the two of us.  We ordered  soup, salad & breadsticks… some alfredo sauce for dipping.  And, then she split a tiramisu for desert. 





We dinned on the above for about 2 hours and did a lot of catching up.  I look forward to our holiday tradition every year, especially this year as I have been so busy these past few months that I haven’t been able to see her or talk to her much so I was very happy to see her today!!!  =)  Dinner ended up being a bit light as I was still full from my large lunch.  I nibbled on Chipotle’s chips & salsa that I added some black beans & corn so that it would be a bit more nutritious.


Saturday, 12/19/09

I had the last of my Raisin Bran Extra cereal with 2% milk for breakfast before I went out for my planned “long” run this morning, sorry forgot the picture.  

My run ended up only being 4 miles as my knee started to hurt again (3 weeks in a row now), just before the 1/2 way point of my run and on the way home I had to stop twice to run because of it and also had to “slow” down quite a bit towards the end as well.  So it took me just under and hour to run 4 miles.  =(  This was very disappointing to me as I was feeling really good.  The weather was chilly but sunny, my breathing was great and I didn’t feel tired at all either.  I think I could have done 6 miles or more if it wasn’t for my knee……….I am going to have to get a brace & new shoes soon!  

I skipped lunch today as we were heading to my Grandparents house at 4pm for their annual Holiday Gathering and I knew there would be lots to eat & drink there!  In fact I ate a lot while there, I took my camera but got caught up visiting with everyone that I totally forgot about it so here is a run down of what I ate:  

  • shrimp & cocktail sauce
  • little sandwich
  • crackers & brie
  • grapes & strawberries
  • devil egg
  • pasta, tuna & macaroni salads
  • petite vanilla/strawberry filling cakes
  • 2 glasses of white wine

And, you might have guessed I also skipped on dinner as I was plenty full after eating all of the above!  

Sunday, 12/20/09  

I only had a cup of coffee (not pictured) for breakfast this morning as I headed right to the grocery store after waking up as fridge & pantry were EMPTY!!!   I did snack on an apple while shopping to hold me over though.


After getting home and unpacking everything I started cleaning the house and doing some laundry as well.  Then I broke for a very late lunch around 3pm and had Boar’s Head oven-gold turkey & white american cheese with lettuce & tomato on multi-grain bread that I pressed with chips & baby carrots on the side.


I finished cleaning, took a shower and started my prep work for dinner.

Then we went to my Mother-In-Law’s for a visit and had dinner around 7pm, which was Pizza……….YUMMY!  =)


The rest of the night was spent relaxing on the couch.  I was looking forward to watching some holiday movies, but there weren’t any on…..=(

Monday, 12/21/09  

My final day off was spent doing “lots of chores” around the house, however I started the morning off for me and my daughter (hubby was at work) with a big breakfast.  We had scrambled eggs, sausage, toast with raspberry jelly, melon & strawberries on the side and a glass of orange juice.


I then did a few things on the computer, some ironing, laundry and took a nice long hot bath as it was actually very chilly outside today.

Around noon we had lunch.  I had a southwest salad, minus the chicken.


I snacked on a banana between lunch and dinner time.


I tried to venture out to do some shopping, but quickly returned home after visiting Walmart and getting VERY FRUSTRATED while there!  So in light of that dinner ended up being early, around 6pm.  We had bbq chicken wings, with baked potoates and corn on the cob.


I was cracking sweets later in the evening but didn’t have any that I really wanted (Christmas Cookies) so I munched on a few handfuls of honey roasted peanuts, which always helps when I have this craving! 



Eat What You Want—and Still Lose Weight!

4) Take Dainty Bites

You know better than to shovel in your food, but even the average mouthful may be your dietary downfall. According to a new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who took bites about the size of a tablespoon ate 25 percent more at a meal than those who took teaspoon-size ones. “Smaller mouthfuls—of any kind of food—slow down the pace of a meal and extend the amount of time you spend tasting the food,” says Richter, “so you feel satisfied with less.”

Avoid taking a full fork or spoonful; your food should cover less than half the utensil. (At home, eat your meals with a salad fork or teaspoon.) Also, reach for the smallest plate you can find: Research shows people polish off nearly everything they’re served, so you’ll eat about 20 percent less if you use a salad plate rather than a dinner-size one or a cup instead of a bowl. In fact, a recent study from Cornell University found that people who had a large bowl of ice cream with a big spoon took in about 53 percent more—or roughly 74 additionalcalories—than those who were given a smaller dish and spoon.

5) Think Before You Eat

Just because your co-worker brought in her famous chocolate peppermint bark doesn’t mean you need to eat it until you feel ill. “Many women think they have to fit in all their favorite dishes now because the holidays come only once a year,” says Richter.

Before you reach for a treat, stop to ask yourself how hungry you are—and whether you really want it. “Also, remind yourself that there will be plenty of other opportunities to indulge all season,” she says. If you’re already full but can’t bear to pass up those goodies, consider having just a tiny taste or saving them for another day. (You can even extend the season by stashing that treat in the freezer for a few months.)

6) Stay On The Move

Gym attendance plummets in November and December, reports the International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association. But working up a sweat is especially important during these months. “Not only does exercise burn calories,” says Bermudez, “it also boosts mood and tames stress.” And that’s an especially good thing, since a recent survey from the American Psychological Association revealed that 41 percent of women say they turn to food to soothe their frazzled nerves during the holidays. Try hitting the treadmill instead: A study from Britain’s Loughborough University found that people who ran for an hour experienced a greater dip in their hunger level than those who lifted weights for 90 minutes. Researchers say aerobic exercise boosts the production of peptide YY, a protein shown to suppress appetite.

No time to get to the gym? Sneak in a little exercise by taking a fastpaced stroll around the neighborhood before work, popping in a dance DVD, or doing one of the three 15-minute cardio workouts featured in “Beat Winter Weight Gain,” page 114.

Still, even if you do fit in a good workout, don’t use that as a free pass to load up on snickerdoodles. “One exercise session won’t immediately cancel out the hundreds of extra calories you consume,” says Richter. If you know you’re going to be tempted, she recommends tacking on an extra 10 or 15 minutes to your normal routine.

7) Start Skinng Sipping

With just 123 calories for a 5-ounce glass, wine is a calorie bargain compared to other alcoholic beverages, like gin and tonic (164 calories), buttered rum–spiced cider (275 calories), and eggnog (321 calories). “Plus, you’re not as likely to guzzle a glass of wine the way you might a mixed drink,” says Jamieson-Petonic. If you’re in the mood for a cocktail, feel free— but have only one alcoholic beverage before switching to a lower-calorie drink, like iced tea or sparkling water with a twist of lemon or lime.

Regardless of the drink you choose, don’t pour yourself a glass until you sit down to dinner. “Alcohol loosens your inhibitions and stimulates your appetite,” says Jamieson- Petonic. By pairing that pinot with a meal, however, you may compensate for those extra calories in your glass by eating a little less of what’s on your plate: Research from Colorado State University found that people who sipped wine with their evening meal every night for six weeks didn’t put on any weight.

Next Post Keep Your Focus & Seize Some ZZZ’s

Thank gosh its…..

……Thursday, 12/17/09 & my last day of work until next week (4 day weekend, YEAH)!!!  So even though work was CRAZY BUSY today I am in a good mood!  =)

I heated a really yummy warm bowl of instant high-fiber maple brown sugar oatmeal with 1/2 a diced apple mixed in for breakfast this morning after I got to work.


Than I had the chance to get out of the office for a little bit around noon to have lunch with my friend Laura who works in close by.  We went for pizza and I had one with lots of veggies.


Just before quiting time I snacked on a nosugaradded low-fat peach yogurt.


I was scheduled to do to the gym after work, however due to lots of traffic & bad weather my mom couldn’t make it in time to pick up my daughter so I ended doing so and skipping the gym.  =(

In light of tough time getting home, as I didn’t get home until late as well do to the weather, it became a “drive thru” night for dinner and Burger King was the picked.  I had 1/2 of my husbands chicken sandwhich.


T.V. time followed dinner and then bed a bit early as I was very tired after my busy day!_____________________________________________________________________________________________


Eat What You Want* and Still Lose Weight! 


With some advance plannin, even the most decadent buffet can become a diet do.  The first step: surveying your options.  According to a recent study form University of Pennsylvania, people tend to under-estimate how much they consume when they’re given a variet of foods.  Before you belly up to the table, peruse the entire spread so you know exactly what you have to choose from.  Then go back and, instead of tasting everything, help yourself to just three or four things that catch your eye.

“The best tactic is to opt for special dishes that you love and can get only during the holidays, like your mom’s honey-glazed ham or Aunt Susie’s macroni & cheese (for me this is my Cousin Nikki’s dish, she makes the best Mac & Cheese) and savor every single bite,” says Bermudez.  And because it takes at least 20 minutes for a feeling of fullness to set in, swap memories with your sister or slowly sip a glass of water before going back to the table for a second helping or dessert.

Weekend Take Dainty Bites

Scrooge has come early….

……..on this Wednesday, 12/16/09


And, I am really trying to not let some of the SCROOGISH things that have happened recently mess up my holiday spirit & my holiday’s this year, however I am having a hard time doing this right now, especially when they are such big hits and could have been prevented!!!  =(  

Seeing that I am not a person that likes to “dwell” on bad things and let it affect me for a long time, so I am going to do my best to do that this season…….as I know I am not alone and it could be so much worse!  So I am going to look at the bright side of things, stay positive and happy as possible!  =)  

This morning I had my breakfast at work and I had a nice big bowl of banana bread instant oatmeal with 1/2 a diced banana mixed in. 


The snack attacks occurred once again today and I had 1/2 an apple with some Harry & David chocolate covered cherries for my 1st snack of the day. 


And, here is a HUGE surprise I once again and 1/2 a stuffed green pepper for lunch.  This was the last of what I made on Sunday so luck for you guys you will see something different for lunch tomorrow……=) 


My 2nd snack of the day came around 3pm and I had a little Harry & David Moose Munch and a nosugaradded low-fat strawberry yogurt.  I only ate about 1/2 of the bag shown and threw out the rest as it was just to sweet. 


I headed straight to pick up my daughter and then home after work.  Once home I got dinner started as it took a little preparation.  We had fried pork chops, with baked potatoes and corn on the cob.  I only use a little flour and seasoning on my pork chops and I fry them in a little bit of olive oil as well. 


After dinner me & my daughter had the rest of the fresh pineapple that was in the fridge for desert, it was so sweet & juicy! 


The rest of the night was spent, surprise surprise, watching t.v. and a dog walk with my daughter. 




Eat What You Want* and Still Lose Weight! 


Helping prepare Christmas dinner or whipping up a dessert for the potluck can be a recipe for weight gain.  “Those little bites and tastes you take while cooking can add up to hundreds of calories,” says Amy Jamieson-Petonic, R.D., the director of wellness coaching at the Cleveland Clinic and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.  A slice of cheddar cheese, for instance, serves up 100 calories, while a handful of chocolate chips tacks on another 70 calories. 

 To avoid nibbling, pop a piece of gum to occupy your mouth when you’re in the kitchen so you cna save those calories for the treats you’ll really enjoy.  Researchers at Louisiana State university discovered that people who chewed gum throughout the afternoon were less likely to snack mindlessly than those who didn’t. 

When grabbing a pack, reach for spearmint or peppermint rather than a sweet or fruity flavor.  “The scent of mint may stimulate the area of the brain that registers fullness, helping you eat less,” explains Bryan Raudenbush, Ph.D, an associate professor of psychology at Wheeling Jesuit University.  In a recent study, he found that people who whiffed peppermint oil before meals consumed about 250 fewer calories a day.  Out of guy?  Grap a candy can off the tree or light a mint-scented candle.

TomorrowBe A Picky Eater

No Presents Yet!!!

Ok, I did not plan it this way, however certain circumstances out of my control have left me with not even “1” purchased present to date or under our tree for that matter on this Tuesday, 12/15/09!!!  =O 

I am planning to start my shopping this Friday as I took a PTO (Personal Time Off) day from work to do just that as my daughter will be at school and my hubby will be at work, so the tree should look less bare, underneath, in a few days!!!  =) 

Ok, onto my eats for the day……..I once again had a bowl Raisin Bran Extra with 2% milk and a glass of orange juice for breakfast


Around mid-morning I snacked on an apple and some chocolate covered cherries from Harry & David


And, just after noon I had lunch as I was “starving”.  I once again had 1/2 a stuffed green pepper……do you see a trend this week!?!? 


Than just like yesterday I had snack #2 around 3pm, which consisted of 1/2 of the below Moose Munch.  I only ate 1/2 as I started to feel guilty about eating it and it was a bit sweet too.  

Snack #2

 After work I headed straight to the gym and did the following: 

  • 10 Min. of Abs (leg lifts, sides w/ball & crunches)
  • 20 Min. of Upper Body Weight Machines (back, biceps, chest & triceps)
  • 30 Min. of Cardio
    • 21 minute, 2 mile run (5.7mph – 7.5mph)
    • 9 minute, “cool down” walk

I got home just before 7pm and quickly whipped up dinner, which was spaghetti sauce w/hamburger meat, that I made yesterday, mixed in with whole-wheat pasta with a side salad


 A “much needed” shower followed dinner, then a dog walk and some t.v. time before bed time at 12pm again, just can’t seem to get to bed early these days. 




While at the gym tonight I read a very good article in my December 2009 SHAPE magazine issue called “eat what you want*” that I wanted to share with you all as it had lots of good tips for holidays!!! 


Go ahead, have the stuffing and the pumpkin pie.  With these 9 strategies, you can celebrate the season without feeling deprived – – and may even drop 5 punds in the process! 

The holidays are supposed to be the most wonderful time of year, but for many weight conscious women, they’re anything but merry.  That’s because they spend the five weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s naviagting a dietary minefiled, dodging festive yet fattening foods, like sugar cookies, pecan pie, and butter mashed potatoes.  “But depriving yourself will only leave you feeling frustrated”, says Sharon Richter, R.D., a dietitia in New York City.  “Eventually you’ll give in, and that one taste of stuffing will lead to a second and a third helping.”  In fact, a recent study in the journal of Appetite found that women who followed strict diets were more vulnerable to tempation – and weight gain –  than those who indulged on occasion! 

So this year, we’re suggesting a novel new mind-set that will benefit your waistline and sanity:  Eat the foods you love!  The trick, of course, is to indulge in moderation!!!  

Follow these simple rules for shoring up your willpower and curbing your appetite and you’ll be able to relax and truly enjoy yourself at those seasonal soirees – and develop habits you can use all year long.  In addition to fending off winter weight gain, you just may get a jump-start on your 2010 slim-down resolution. 


Skipping lunch and your afternoon snack to save up calories for a night of feasting may seem like a smart move, but it almost always backfires! 

 “When you show up to a party ravenous, you’re more likely to make unhealthy choices and wolf down your food,” says Debbie Bermudez, R.D., senior clinical dietitan at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans.  To fill up – and still leave room for dinner – Bermudez recommends eating a light lunch packed with protein and fiber, like half a turkey sandwhich with a cup of broth-based soup or a green salad topped with beans or tofu. 

Then, about an hour before the event, take the edge off your hunger with a 100-to-150 calorie snack, like string cheese and a few crackers, half of an energy bar or even one of those small oatmeal-raisin cookies from the office treat table. 

 Another option:  Stash a Granny Smith in your bag to crunch on your way there.  In a new study form Penn State, women who ate an apple before a pasta dinner consumed 15 percent less – about 187 fewer calories – than those who sipped on juice.  “Because high-fiber apples pass slowly through your digestive system, you stay satisfied far longer,” says lead study author Julie Obbagy, Ph.D, R.D. 

Smart Cocktail Picks 

  • Olives (5 Large) – 25 calories, 3 grams of fat
  • Shrimp Coctail (4 Shrimp & 1 Tbsp. Cocktail Sauce) – 72 calories, 4 grams of fat
  • Bruschetta (1 Slice) – 130 calories, 8 grams of fat
  • Chicken Satay (1 Skewer) – 135 caloires, 5 grams of fat

TomorrowChew While You Chop

Fruit & Goodies

Here we go again on this fine Monday, 12/14/09!  

It is going to be a crazy busy week at home & work as I am sure I am not the only one finishing things up at work and getting ready for the Holiday’s that are only days away now. 

I had a yummy bowl of Raisin Bran Extra with 2% milk and a glass of orange juice for breakfast.  I love this cereal….it has a perfect mix of bran flakes, raisins, cranberries, almonds & crunchy yogurt pieces.  =)  



I than snacked on a banana around 10am. 



Lunch came just after noon as I was “starving”.  I had 1/2 of one of the big stuff green peppers I made yesterday. 



Than a few hours later I had yet another snack #2!  I had a Harry & David pear and a few chocolate covered cherries as well. 

Snack #2


As you can see I am eating lots of “snacks” today as I am trying to keep myself full and satisfied so I don’t attack all the goodies in our office.  I find this approach works very well for me and I don’t feel guilty eating a few goodies as I am paring them with fruit. 

After work I headed to another Holiday Company Party at a co-worker’s house for a few hours and enjoyed lots of yummy dips, cheese, chips, crackers, fruit & veggies as well as a few glasses of white wine and great company of my fellow co-workers/friends! 

I then headed straight home to make dinner for my “starving” family, which I got on the table promptly at 8pm!  =O  It was taco night, however I ran out of taco shells so I had a bowl of the following: 

  • Yellow Rice
  • Black Beans
  • Corn
  • Taco Meat
  • Taco Sauce
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Tomatoes



It was REALLY good, but I only ate 1/2 of what you see above as I was feeling guilty about all the dips, cheese, crackers & chips I ate at the party earlier. 

The rest of the night, which wasn’t much since I got home so late, was spent on the couch of course staring at the t.v. until bed time at 12pm. 




Eat, Drink, and Still Shrink (continued) 

At the Coffee Shop

Sleep deprivation has turned you into a gift-wrapping zombie. An eggnog latte or peppermint mocha seems like the perfect pick-me-up, but it’s dessert in disguise, with up to 700 calories and about the same amount of fat as a Quarter Pounder with Cheese. And don’t tell yourself that a tasty drink will help you resist the pastries (there can be 500 calories in a slice of banana bread, BTW). Studies show that calories from beverages don’t fill you up as much as those from solid foods. 

Trim Tactics

Buddy up. When a java craving strikes, invite a fit friend (the one who drinks small skim lattes) to join you; that peer pressure may help you make a positive choice. “Or decide on a healthy drink before you go, and order first so you’re not tempted by a pal’s unhealthy pick,” says Sofia Rydin-Gray, PhD, clinical psychologist at the Duke Diet and Fitness Center in Durham, North Carolina. 

Use the five-minute rule. Drooling over the pastries? Tell yourself you can indulge if you wait five minutes, Rydin-Gray suggests. Pressing “pause” on a craving helps retrain your brain to resist the urge next time, she explains. Still want a cookie? Waiting in that line a second time may make you reconsider or at least take a smaller portion, says Stella Volpe, PhD, RD, a faculty member in bio-behavioral and health sciences at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing in Philadelphia. 

BYO brew. Bypass the coffee place by bringing your own joe to work or on a shopping trip. Think about the cash you’ll save; that’s what Elizabeth Wagner Buehler, 30, an IT specialist in Chicago, did. “I realized my daily coffee habit cost me $25 a week,” she says, “and I could use the money on one personal training session a month.” 

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, November/December 2009.