Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Chilled Espresso Custard

I found this recipe in a South Beach cookbook and I love it! It also works great for WW as it's only 2 points per custard.

Chilled Espresso Custard
1 1/2 cups 1% milk
2 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons sugar substitute
2 teaspoons espresso powder or instant decaf coffee
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar substitute, espresso powder or coffee, and vanilla extract until well-blended. Pour into four 6-oz. custard cups or ramekins and place in a 10 in. skillet.

Fill the skillet with water to 1/2 in. from the tops of the custard cups. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the cups from the skillet, cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the pudding, and refrigerate for 3 hours, or until chilled. Garnish with cinnamon and/or lemon twists if desired.

Makes 4 servings. 110 cal, 3.5 g fat, 0 g fiber, 2 pts


Try them out - they were pretty easy and I thought they were delicious (you have to like custard consistency)! I even plan on serving them to company!

Lisa :)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Friday Weigh-In - SB Week 3

OK - a pathetic week since we hit Christmas! Too many goodies and yummy foods. To my dismay, I weighed yesterday and was up 2.5 lbs! In one week! ACK! I really didn't want to mention it, but I think it's good to post it in order to move on and work on losing it.

Hubby and I agree that we will go back to phase 1 of South Beach (SB) on Monday and do it for one week to get our systems back in control. I have no plans for New Year's parties or anything like that, so it should work out. I plan to report a loss (any loss!) next Friday.

Did you survive Christmas? Or is the week after harder because of leftovers, food gifts, and company?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Lisa :)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

Have a blessed and
Merry Christmas!

Luke 2:10-11

Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."

Lisa :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Super Light Granola

I found this WW recipe online a year or so ago and made it for myself and to give as gifts to health-conscious relatives and friends. I like the flavor and the fact that it's good for me! It's not a difficult recipe, but is a bit time-consuming. When looking for walnut oil - compare prices as it's expensive. I bought some and then later discovered that the same store had some in the organic section for $2-3 less!


Super Light Granola
 
6 cups rolled oats (not quick or steel-cut)
2/3 cup frozen unsweetened apple juice concentrate, thawed (5 1/3 oz.)
6 tablespoons walnut oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup powdered fat-free dry milk
3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup chopped dried apples
3/4 cup chopped raisins (sometimes I use dried currants instead)

1. Position the racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees F.

2. Spread the oats on a large, rimmed baking sheet; bake in the top third of the oven until barely beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer the oats to a large bowl; maintain oven's heat.

3. Stir the apple juice concentrate, walnut oil, and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Place over medium heat until mixture begins to steam - just until the first sign of a bubble. Set aside to cool 5 minutes.

4. Mix the wheat germ, powdered milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt into the oats. Pour in the warm juice mixture; stir until well-blended.

5. Spray 2 large, rimmed baking sheets with nonstick spray; divide the oat mixture between them. Bake in the top and bottom thirds of oven for 10 minutes. Stir well, move top tray to bottom and bottom tray to top, bake 10 more minutes, tossing a couple of times.

6. Transfer sheets to wire cooling racks and immediately stir half of each dried fruit into each tray's oat mixture. Cool undisturbed to room temp, about 1 1/2 hours. Seal in bags. Store at room temp 3 months.


WW 4 pts per 1/2 cup serving (Makes 20 servings)

I know - sounds like a lot - but it is yummy. And I do at least 2 batches since I already have everything out.

Have a wonderful week and a Merry Christmas!

Lisa :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Weigh-In - SB Week 2

I lost another 1.5 lbs this week! Yay! I was expecting a larger loss since I have been really good (until baking Christmas goodies last night) with the program. But I have had 2 weeks in a row of weight loss, so that's great.

Starting Monday, hubby and I will start phase 2 of South Beach (SB), but will be going day by day as over Christmas we will enjoy some things that we rarely have. I think if we try to do the program as many of the days as possible, that we should be able to maintain our weight.

One thing I have enjoyed about SB is finding some new recipes that I've never tried and some of them will become keepers in our house. There are some great salad recipes and I even managed to find one dessert recipe I like (VERY difficult on phase 1).

Hope you are staying healthy in spite of all the Christmas temptations around. Have a wonderful weekend!

Lisa :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Friday Weigh-In - SB Week 1

I am very behind in posting over here! Busy,busy this time of year. I did start South Beach (SB) Phase 1 last Monday and it's going well! I never thought I would be able to handle temporarily cutting out carbs and sugar, but have survived one week and after one more week I will enjoy a few Christmas goodies though I will limit them as much as possible.

I wanted to keep my weigh-ins on Fridays. As of Friday - only 4 of the days on SB - I lost 1.5 lbs! Woo-hoo! But I also weighed today because it is one full week of SB and I am down, yes, down 3.5 lbs now! Yay for SB!! I don't feel terribly deprived and I know that I will enjoy some goodies after the second week is over - though I'm really not craving them. However, when I see all the pretty Christmas goodies around, it make me want to have something. But I have not cheated once!!

I plan on sticking with this program for a while and my hubby is doing it also. I think the fact that it's something new for us is helping, too.

It's not the easiest diet to follow as there aren't many convenience foods. You really have to plan ahead and do a lot of prepping and cooking, but I was trying to do more of that anyway.

So that's the update! I will let you know on Friday how my weight is doing and will try to get another healthy recipe posted for you this week. I must say, this is a nice feeling to be losing weight this time of year. I typically gain 5 lbs between Thanksgiving and New Year's - every.year. Not this time! Merry Christmas to me!! :)

How are you doing right now? Struggling with all the Christmas goodies? Try just cutting back some and/or adding exercise. You can do it!

Lisa :)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Fat Ticker Friday - Week 13 - The End

I actually lost .5 lb this week! Woo Hoo! I haven't even lost anything in a while, so that is nice.

After 13 weeks of Hot for the Holidays, my grand total weight loss is 2.5 lbs. That's nowhere near what I wanted to lose. But - I didn't gain any weight for 13 weeks! That is something for me, it seems.

I will not be ending the weight-loss journey. Hubby and I had wanted to cut out carbs starting this week, but didn't get all the necessary groceries and we have a couple of things to attend this weekend with food. So, starting on Monday, we will do the no-carb thing for 2 weeks (I'm not crazy enough to do it right through Christmas!). Then we will limp along through the holidays. I am hoping that I will lose some weight over the 2 weeks and then maintain until January. Then we will either have limited carbs or do another week of no-carbs to recover from Christmas. That's the plan anyway!

I'll still weigh myself on Fridays and will check in here. Hopefully next Friday I will have a loss to report to you!

How are you doing? Are you surviving with all of the holiday food temptations?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Lisa :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Bow Ties, Tuna, and Vegetables in a Balsamic Vinaigrette

I've had this recipe for about 8 years, I think. I love it! And it sounds really good to have a lighter dish after all the heavy Thanksgiving foods.



Bow Ties, Tuna, and Vegetables in a Balsamic Vinaigrette
4 cups (8 oz) dry bow tie pasta, cooked, drained, and rinsed in cold water
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 cups (1 medium) peeled, seeded and cubed cucumber
1 cup (1 medium) diced tomato
1 cup (1 large) red, yellow, or green bell pepper strips
1 can solid white tuna packed in water, drained and flaked
1/2 small red onion, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup shredded fresh basil leaves

Whisk together vinegar, olive oil and mustard in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Combine pasta, cucumber, tomato, bell pepper, tuna, red onion and basil in large bowl; toss well. Pour vinaigrette over salad; toss to coat. Cover; refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Makes 8 servings.

180 cal, 5 g fat, 2 g fiber, 4 pts


I usually add a second can of tuna to add more protein when I have it as a lunch salad. It's so yummy! Try it out and let me know what you think!

Lisa :)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Fat Ticker Friday - Week 12

Finally, my Fat Ticker Friday post! I was busy with Thanksgiving and then haven't been feeling well.

I had no change in my weight, which isn't bad for the day after Thanksgiving! I am afraid it might catch up this week - we'll see. This is the last week of Hot for The Holidays and everybody is trying to lose at least 1 pound this week. I had hoped for so much more of a loss during this time, but I will still be happy that I lost something and that I didn't gain. And hubby and I are prepping to start 2 weeks of no carbs - I've always said I wouldn't do that to myself, but I think that's exactly what my issue is. We will start sometime this week.

I hope everybody had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Lisa :)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fat Ticker Friday - Week 11

Well, late again this week. No change in my weight and for a good part of the week I kept track of what I was having by writing it down. And what about this week? I'm supposed to weigh on Friday? After Thanksgiving? Yikes! I will do my very best to stay in control this week and would actually be happy if I just don't gain.

Next week, I think hubby and I are going to try something totally new - one of the diet methods we haven't tried before and give it at least the first couple of weeks to see if a new way of eating might jump-start our bodies - LOL!

I hope all of you have a wonderful, healthy and happy, blessed Thanksgiving!

You should stop by A Box of Chocolates - she has great ideas for a healthy Thanksgiving meal!

Lisa :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Cranberry Gelatin Salad

Just in time for Thanksgiving, here's another recipe with cranberry in it. This is yummy - I got the recipe off the internet several years ago.

Cranberry Gelatin Salad
2 (6 oz) packages sugar-free cherry jello
2 cups boiling water
1 (16 oz) can jellied cranberry sauce
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup chopped pecans

1. Combine the jello and boiling water; stir until jello is dissolved. Mix in cranberry sauce and pineapple.

2. Transfer to glass serving dishes. Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Chill until set and serve.

Makes 12 servings, approx. 2.5 pts each


Try it out and let me know what you think. It could work as a side dish or even a dessert.

Hope your week is going well!

Lisa :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fat Ticker Friday - Week 10

I am running behind! Of course, if I had a loss last week that probably wouldn't happen, right?

Yes, I gained .5 lb. Apparently I got confused and didn't realize this was supposed to be a weight loss journey. Sigh.

I know I've said it before, but I'm really going to make an effort to do better this week. I must have a loss and I know that it is possible!

The best way I know to get on track this week is to write down everything that I eat and keep track of WW points.

How are you doing? What are you going to do this week to get back on track?

Have a great week! I hope to have a better report for you next Friday!

Lisa :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Roasted Spring Veggie Medley

I love this recipe! I have even included it in my Thanksgiving Menu on my other blog. I don't care if it says spring veggies - LOL!

Roasted Spring Veggie Medley
1 lb green beans, trimmed
1 lb baby carrots (2 cups)
3 medium red onions, cut into eighths
2 large red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1/2-in. strips
2 large yellow bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1/2-in. strips
8 sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon paprika

1. Place a rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a shallow baking pan with aluminum foil.

2. Cut green beans in half. Spread on prepared pan along with carrots, onions, peppers and thyme sprigs. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

3. Whisk garlic, olive oil, basil, paprika, salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Pour mixture over vegetables and toss to coat evenly. Roast for 20 minutes. Using a wide spatula, turn vegetables. Roast until tender, 15 to 25 minutes more.

8 servings
163 cal, 10 g fat, 5 g fiber, 3 pts


Hope you get a chance to try this sometime. My family really enjoys it!

I'm linking this up as a side dish for Tried and True Thanksgiving Recipes Week at What's Cooking At My House!

Lisa :)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fat Ticker Friday - Week 9

Well, brief again 'cause I am out of town visiting my in-laws. No change this week - at least I didn't gain! There are only 4 weeks left though and Thanksgiving is part of that! How am I going to do this? I am only down 2.5 lbs. If I could just manage to lose 2 lbs a week, I could end with a respectable 10 lbs. Help! I need a kick in the pants to really go for it the next few weeks.

Stop by Mel's 5 Point Friday to get some healthy meal ideas. And you can link yours up so we have more to try!

Have a great weekend!

Lisa :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Cranberry Nut Turkey Salad

This recipe is good for using up turkey after Thanksgiving or you can just use chicken. It came from Weight Watchers a few years ago. I really like this recipe - nice for lunch or a light dinner.

Cranberry Nut Turkey Salad
1 pound boneless, skinless turkey breast (or chicken), cooked and cut into 1/2-in. cubes
1/3 cup fat-free mayonnaise
1/4 cup low-fat plain yogurt
1/4 cup scallions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 cups romaine lettuce, torn

Combine ingredients (except lettuce) in bowl and mix well. Serve over salad greens.


4 servings, 5 pts each


Try it out now and then have it again with your leftover turkey after Thanksgiving!

Lisa :)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Bloggy Giveaway Winner!



What a great week of Bloggy Giveaways! The winner of this prize is...drumroll...

rlgrady

Congratulations!! The winner has already been notified by e-mail. Thanks everyone for stopping by and entering. Hope you had fun!

Lisa :)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Fat Ticker Friday - Week 8

I'll keep this brief - I gained .5 lbs this week! I am not a happy camper. All I can say is that I will try to do better this week. There aren't too many weeks left of Hot for the Holidays and I had hoped to lose at least 12-15 lbs! At this point, I think I would be extremely happy to hit 10 lbs, but I MUST at least hit 5 lbs.

I will keep my chin up and keep working on it! I can always look at the positive - I am down a little and don't weigh more than when I started.

How was your week?

If you stop by Mel's 5 Point Fridays, you might find a new healthy recipe to keep you going!

Lisa :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Garden Vegetable Soup

This is the famous 0 point soup recipe from Weight Watchers! It's included in the Eat Wisely book that's in my giveaway. I adjust some of the veggies to things I like better. You can experiment with it!

Garden Vegetable Soup
2/3 cup sliced carrot
1/2 cup diced onion
2 garlic cloves minced
3 cups fat-free broth (beef, chicken or vegetable)
1-1/2 cups diced green cabbage
1/2 cup green beans
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup diced zucchini

Spray a large saucepan with nonstick cooking spray, heat. Saute the carrot, onion, and garlic over low heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add broth, cabbage, beans, tomato paste, basil, oregano, and salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, about 15 minutes or until beans are tender. Stir in the zucchini and heat for 3-4 minutes. Serve hot. Makes 4 1-cup servings.

0 pts!


Give it a try if you haven't already - it makes a nice addition to lunch or dinner and another way to get your veggies.

Lisa :)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Bloggy Giveaway Carnival Is Back!

Bloggy Giveaways Quarterly Carnival ButtonAlign Center

It's time for the Bloggy Giveaway Carnival again! Lots of fun things to be won on hundreds of blogs. Here is what I am giving away today.

These are a few Weight Watchers resources plus a low-cal recipe booklet. Included is a Pillsbury Calorie Wise cookbook, WW kickstart booklet, WW Eat Wisely booklet, WW Meals 101 booklet, and a WW Points Finder and Points booster. If you are on WW, these are nice to have with some extra meal ideas and an extra points calculator. If you are not on WW, this gives you a good idea of how it works, and still has lots of healthy recipes and meal ideas that you can use.

One random winner will be chosen from comments on this post. This giveaway is open to bloggers and non-bloggers, but please make sure I have a way to let you know if you win! Giveaway is open through Friday night 10/31. Winner will be notified by e-mail and will be posted on Saturday, 11/1. If I don't hear from the winner in 4 days, a new one will be chosen.

Have a great week and be sure to stop by the Bloggy Giveaway Carnival to enter some of the hundreds of giveaways listed and visit some new blogs!

Lisa :)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fat Ticker Friday - Week 7

OK - Finally a loss! Not much, but I'll take it! I lost .5 lbs this week! I really want to try and lose 2 lbs this week (I might be dreaming, but I can try!) so I can hit the 5 lb mark. How can it take this long just to lose 5 lbs?

Christie at Baby Tea Leaves asked us to share our tips, recipes, etc. that help us. I love delicious healthy recipes! Most of our dinners are healthy and fairly low in WW points. My family likes them, too. Rather than try to list them all out for you, I'll tell you where to find them.

Check out my favorite healthy recipes by going over to the sidebar and looking at my labels. Click on "healthy recipe" and you'll find over 20 great recipes! You can also click on categories instead, like dinner, dessert, etc. Almost all of them include basics on nutritional value and the WW points per serving. I think you will definitely find something you like and something new to try.

I hope your week went well. Let's make this next week a fantastic one!

Lisa :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Chicken Caesar Lasagna

This is such a yummy recipe. Found it in a magazine a few years ago.  I passed it on to some friends and they loved it, too! And I made homemade light Alfredo sauce from my friend Kathy's cooking blog. Turned out great!


Chicken Caesar Lasagna
9 dried whole wheat lasagna noodles
2 (10 oz) containers refrigerated light Alfredo sauce (or homemade)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
3 cups chopped, cooked chicken breast
1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained
1 cup bottled roasted red sweet peppers, drained and chopped
3/4 cup shredded Italian blend cheese

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain; rinse with cold water; drain again. Meanwhile, in a bowl combine Alfredo sauce, lemon juice, and black pepper. Stir in chicken, spinach, and red peppers.

2. Lightly coat a 3-quart rectangular baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange 3 noodles in bottom of dish. Top with one-third chicken mixture. Repeat layers twice. Cover; bake for 45-55 minutes or until heated through. Uncover; sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, 5 minutes more or until cheese is melted. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Makes 9 servings.

268 cal, 10 g fat, 2 g fiber, 6 pts


Personally, I say use the homemade Alfredo sauce and sprinkle extra cheese on. Increasing the points per serving by 2 is worth it and still reasonable for dinner.

Enjoy!

Lisa :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Fat Ticker Friday - Week 6

Well at least I didn't gain again. No change this week! I so wanted to lose that gain. I did get sick and was down about 2 lbs midweek, but started feeling better and obviously didn't try too hard.

It is very frustrating, but I refuse to give up! At this point, I will just set my sights on that 5 lb badge and keep working. Once I get that, I'll try for another 5. This is going to be really s.l.o.w. weight loss.

Christie at Baby Tea Leaves asked us to talk about our most favorite and least favorite body parts. It's hard for me to choose just one body part to work on right now!

I have always wanted toned legs though. I have lots of cellulite (yuck!) and had it even when I was a lot thinner. I have always admired other women's toned legs - no matter the size! Bigger legs still look great when they're firm and toned. To fix that requires many many squats, calf raises and things like that. I do think that running would be a great help, too.

My favorite body part would be my head or face, I suppose. I'm happy with my chin, nose, and eyes and I can usually manage to make my hair look semi-good! From the neck up - I'm OK with myself though I like my face better with less weight.

How did your week go? I hope to have a much better week this next week. Still gonna try to lose that gain.

Lisa :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Ham and Arugula Sandwiches with Cranberry Chutney

Since we are coming into the season of cranberry recipes, I thought it would be a good time to include this one. I found it in an older Weight Watchers cookbook. I tried it last year when a friend was kind enough to give me some homemade cranberry chutney. My hubby and I really enjoyed it - something different! I didn't even try to serve it to my son though!

Ham and Arugula Sandwiches with Cranberry Chutney
1 (8 oz) package Italian-cheese-flavored pizza crusts (such as Boboli)
1/4 cup cranberry chutney
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
8 ounces lean cooked ham, sliced
1 cup loosely packed trimmed arugula or chopped romaine lettuce

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

2. Place pizza crusts on a baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes or until warm.

3. Spread chutney over bottom side of 1 pizza crust. Spread mustard on bottom side of remaining crust. Arrange sliced ham over mustard-coated crust. Top with arugula. Place chutney-coated side of remaining crust over arugula. Cut into 4 equal sandwiches. 4 servings

246 cal, 5.5 g fat, .7 g fiber, 5 pts


When I couldn't find the pizza crusts in cheese flavor, I just used the regular. You'll have to try it out and let me know what you think!

Lisa :)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fat Ticker Friday - Week 5

Bummer! Not a good week, which I knew and maybe part of it is catching up from last week with company. I gained weight!! I gained 1.5 lbs! Yuck!

It won't stop me! But it is disappointing, especially when my losses are so small and then this gain takes almost half of what I've lost away.

I will work on keeping track of what I'm eating this week and try to do better. I want to at least lose what I gained.

How was your week?

Don't forget to stop by A Box of Chocolates for some healthy recipes to keep you on track! And you can check my labels on the sidebar for additional healthy recipes.

Hope you have a wonderful, healthy week and I'll see you back here next week - a little skinnier! :)

Lisa :)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Buttery Tarragon Chicken

This recipe is from an older WW cookbook. I have made it a few times - it's quick and easy and my family loves it!

Buttery Tarragon Chicken
4 (4 oz) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
Butter-flavored cooking spray
2 tablespoons yogurt-based spread (such as Brummel & Brown)
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 cups cooked angel hair (about 8 oz uncooked pasta)

1. Place a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Coat both sides of chicken with cooking spray. Cook chicken 5 minutes on each side or until done.

2. Combine spread and next 3 ingredients in a small bowl.

3. Place chicken on a serving platter; top evenly with spread mixture. Serve immediately over pasta. (I make extra spread mixture and toss some in the pasta.)

Serving= 1 chicken breast half with 1 cup pasta
347 cal, 5.1 g fat, 2.4 g fiber, 7 pts


Try it out and see what you think!

Lisa :)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fat Ticker Friday - Week 4

Another week done and I actually lost again! Amazing! I lost .5 lbs again. Small losses, but steady is good, I suppose. I have lost a total of 4 now. Um, that just puts me back to my weight at the beginning of summer. But, I think it's the most weight I've lost in one session of "trying to lose weight" this year! I will be really happy to hit 5, because that will be a good start for me.

I didn't keep track of points this week. Very busy and have company! But I did try to cut back and watch my portions. I think it actually worked. Woo Hoo!

Hope all of you had a good week! Keep at it - you can do it!

And check out Mel at A Box of Chocolates for some healthy recipes on Fridays!

Lisa :)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Ooey-Gooey Peanut Butter-Chocolate Brownies

Just the title sounds good, huh?! This recipe is from Cooking Light and I had kind of forgotten about it. I did make it for company before and everybody really liked it. Hope you do, too!

Ooey-Gooey Peanut Butter-Chocolate Brownies
3/4 cup fat-free sweetened condensed milk, divided
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted and cooled
1/4 cup fat-free milk
1 (18.25 oz) package devil's food cake mix
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
Cooking spray
1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow creme
1/2 cup peanut butter chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Combine 1/4 cup condensed milk, butter, and next 3 ingredients ( batter will be very stiff). Coat bottom of a 13x9 in. pan with cooking spray. Press two-thirds of batter into prepared pan using floured hands; pat evenly (layer will be thin).

3. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. Combine 1/2 cup condensed milk and marshmallow creme in a bowl; stir in chips. Spread marshmallow mixture evenly over brownie layer. Carefully drop remaining batter by spoonfuls over marshmallow mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Yield 2 dozen.

176 cal., 5 g fat, .8 g fiber, about 4 pts each


If you try these, let me know what you think and what you like!

Lisa :)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Fat Ticker Friday - Week 3

Week 3 - done. Not done well, but done. I lost another .5 lb! I really would like more, but also haven't been as "good" as I should be, which makes it harder. I really want to get to 5 lbs and get a button for my sidebar from !

I need to keep better track of what I'm eating and I will be less tempted to have the bad stuff. But, I have a challenge this week. My Dad may be coming to visit and when I was visiting him last month, I put on 4-5 pounds in 2 weeks. I really need to plan ahead and be strong! We both have a sweet tooth.

Keep me in your prayers for the week! I will post another healthy recipe next week, too.

Have a blessed weekend!

P.S. Stop over to see Mel at A Box of Chocolates - she has 5 point Fridays with Weight Watchers foods with 5 points or less. Good stuff!

Lisa :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Baked pumpkin Bread

In honor of Pumpkin Potpourri Week on my other blog, I thought I would post a healthy pumpkin bread recipe here. The recipe came from the internet a few years ago.

Baked Pumpkin Bread
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup solid pack pumpkin puree
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 egg
2 tablespoons butter, softened

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9x5 in. loaf pan.

2. Sift (I just whisk it) the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg into a large bowl. Mix in the pumpkin, brown sugar, buttermilk, egg and butter until well blended. Pour into loaf pan and smooth the top.

3. Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

12 servings, approximately 3 pts per slice


Try it out and see what you think! Good for snacking or for breakfast.

Lisa :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Fat Ticker Friday - Week 2

Another week done! I barely managed to squeak out a loss: .5 lb!! That makes 3 lbs total. Anything that isn't a gain makes me really happy right now! And I feel more encouraged to not just let the weekend go.

Go check out how everybody else is doing for Fat Ticker Friday. Christie at Baby Tea Leaves asked us to talk about what's on our life's to-do list. Then I realized that I don't really have one, so I'm just thinking about it now. Here are a few things:

1. Lose weight and keep it off!!
2. Be consistent with Bible reading and time for the Lord.
3. Learn to play the piano better.
4. Take cake decorating classes.
5. Write articles for magazines and/or write a book.
6. Take a trip to Europe.
7. Visit Alaska.
8. Visit Hawaii.
9. Write (create) a cookbook.
10. Finish all my unfinished projects!
11. See my son grow up, get married to a wonderful girl, and have grandkids!
12. Go on a cruise.
13. Own a cabin.

Those are the things that come to mind right away. Nothing too out there - a fairly doable list, I think.

What's on your list? And how did your weight-loss efforts go this week?

We're just starting, so keep on plugging away - we can do it!!

Lisa :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Mini-Cinnamon Rolls

I got this recipe from Weight Watchers magazine a few years ago. It's a great alternative to a huge, really-bad-for-you cinnamon roll.



Mini-Cinnamon Rolls
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon unsalted butter, melted
1 (11-oz) tube refrigerated breadsticks
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons reduced-fat cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray 9x13 baking pan with nonstick spray.

2. Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter in a small bowl; set aside.

3. Separate the breadsticks into 12 strips. Sprinkle the tops with the brown sugar mixture and roll each one into a spiral, pressing to seal the ends. Arrange in the baking pan about 1 inch apart and bake until lightly golden, 15-18 minutes. Cool on a rack 10 minutes.

4. To prepare the frosting, combine the powdered sugar, cream cheese, and vanilla in a small bowl, adding a few drops of water if needed to make a smooth, spreadable glaze. Drizzle over the tops of the warm rolls and let stand a few minutes to set. Serve warm.

Per roll: 94 cal, 1 g fat, 1 g fiber, 2 pts


OK, now I'll have to have some of these. Sounds like a plan for Saturday morning!

See you back here on Friday for my weigh-in! It was a bad weekend, but the week is OK. Don't know if I'll actually lose anything this week though.

Lisa :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fat Ticker Friday - Week 1



It's Fat Ticker Friday at Baby Tea Leaves with several bloggers talking about their weigh-ins.

I started on Monday and joined WW Online at the same time. I weighed this morning and was shocked to discover that I had lost 2.5 lbs !! Woo-Hoo!! A good start!

I didn't do anything drastic, just watched my points and cut back (I do not like to be deprived of anything, so it's more about moderation for me). I am excited to see what happens this next week.

We were asked what we wanted our legacy to be. First, I want to be a good example of a Christian wife, mother, and servant. I want to honor God in the things I do and do it all joyfully! Part of that is developing healthy eating and exercise habits and passing them along to my family. It's much easier to be joyful when you feel healthy, and you can get so many more things accomplished when you are fit. I pray that the Lord will give me strength and perseverance to continue on my weight-loss journey and help me to be an encouragement to others.

I am so excited for all of you that have lost weight this week, but also happy for those of you that didn't lose or gained and still posted! No matter what the scale says, you have started and you can focus on having a better week next week. Good job everybody!!

Lisa :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Fresh Start

I didn't mean to go so long without posting! It was a crazy week and I did not really follow my plan. But I have started the new things I wanted to do.

I officially signed up for Weight Watchers online and will do my weigh-ins on Fridays. We'll see how it works for me.

I also started with Hot for the Holidays at Baby Tea Leaves, which involves weight loss with a group effort. They will have weigh-ins on Fridays.



Doing both of those plus blogging about it here should help me. I plan to post more regularly here again and offer healthy recipes each week.

Let's see what happens by December!

Are you with me? What are you working on?


Monday, September 1, 2008

Weigh-In

Happy labor Day!

Well, for my week of transition and following the 7 steps, I struggled over the weekend to eat my fruit, drink water, and exercise. I weighed myself this morning and my weight is down - .5 lb. No, that's not 5 lbs, but Point 5 lbs - a half. I guess it's better than gaining, right?

I'll continue with the same program this week as I just try to adjust to being a little healthier. Then I will start keeping track of everything I'm eating. I think I will join another group on a blog that is trying to lose weight by Christmas - they are starting next Monday. I'll post that info later this week.

Hope you had a good weekend and have a great week of being healthy!

Lisa :)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

7 Steps Update

Are you trying to follow the 7 steps with me? How are you doing?

I am limping along, still working on it. Here's how the week went so far:

Monday: 2 fruits - check

Tuesday: 2 fruits - check
Write goals - did the next day

Wednesday: 2 fruits - check
6 glasses water - drank 5 (amazing for me!!)

Thursday: 2 fruits - check
6 glasses water - drank 5
exercise 20-30 min. - exercise video for 20 min.

Friday: 2 fruits - only 1
6 glasses water - drank 4
exercise 20-30 min. - walked 15-20 min.
eliminate bad foods - didn't do, though mostly did a few days ago
(was gone all day so this was a tough day)

That's where I'm at. I will finish out the weekend and I will check my weight on Monday just to see if anything happened. I plan to continue this next week before doing any other program.

Have a wonderful Labor Day Weekend!

Lisa :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Watchin' What We Eat Wednesday ~ Skillet Sausages and Peppers

I am glad to have a chance to link up to Watchin' What We Eat Wednesday! It's always good to "hang out" with other folks trying to be healthy. And I love sharing healthy recipes.

I can't believe that I haven't posted this one yet - I even had to double-check! It is one of our favorites and really easy. The recipe is from Weight Watchers.

Skillet Sausages and Peppers
6 Italian-style turkey sausages (I only seem to be able to find 5 in a package)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups frozen red, green, and yellow bell peppers (I use a Bird's Eye frozen stir-fry combo that has all these plus the onions, so I don't even have to chop an onion!)
1 (16-oz) jar spaghetti sauce with mushrooms (I buy a large can to make it more saucy)
6 cups cooked pasta

1. In large skillet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, brown sausages on all sides. Add onion and peppers; cook 3-5 minutes, stirring often.

2. Stir in spaghetti sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 minutes.

3. Divide pasta onto each of 6 plates; top each portion with a sausage and an equal amount of sauce.

Per serving: 338 cal., 8 g fat, 4 g fiber (7 pts)


Hope you like this one and that it helps make dinner a little easier.

For more healthy recipes, got to Watchin' What We Eat Wednesday at Honey, I Shrank Myself.

Lisa :)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Following the 7 Steps

I started my 7 Steps today that I mentioned in my last post. How about you?

All I had to do for Monday was eat at least 2 pieces of fresh fruit. I did that! I also got my grocery shopping done, so am somewhat stocked up with better foods. Oh, and I weighed myself this morning to keep track. Ugh! It was awful -even higher. It's scary how fast the scale can go up - and it takes sooooo long to go down.

Now, Tuesday, I will have to eat at least 2 pieces of fresh fruit again and write out my goals - all kinds of goals, not just weight goals. Will do!

Wednesday will be my real challenge - eat 2 more fruits (at least), review goals, and drink water. If you've been reading this blog, you know that I struggle with drinking water. But I will do it!

If you're following along, let me know how you're doing with it.

Lisa :)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Transition to Healthy

OK, I'm getting ready to get back in the groove of being healthy. How about you?

I guess back to school is a good time to start over. I'm not rejoining Weight Watchers quite yet. I want to try some things on my own first. I did gain an extra 3-4 pounds this last 2 weeks away from home, so now I have an even bigger amount to lose!

The first thing I will do is follow the steps in this article: 7 Small Steps to a Healthy You
from Weight Watchers. I did it in April and lost 3 pounds that week. I was also doing better at eating more fruit and drinking water. Those are good habits! Another one of the steps is to write out your goals, including personal goals. When I did that in April, one goal was to start a blog...I achieved that one!

Since the 7 steps start on a Monday, I will go ahead and start this Monday. That will give me time to plan for it and grocery shop to make sure I have plenty of fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods on hand.

Will you join me in following these steps next week? We can do it!

Lisa :)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Labels

I updated my labels on my posts and put the listing down on my side bar. That way, if you are looking for healthy recipes - it will be much easier to find them!

All the recipes are labeled "healthy recipes" and then broken down into breakfasts, dinners, side dishes, desserts, and beverages. Now you can look through to see if there is something that you like or that you missed!

I know that's helpful for me - hope it is for you.

Still struggling here with weight, but planning on getting back into a routine this coming week. I already have a plan for making the transition back into weight loss/getting healthy mode. I'll update you next week.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Lisa :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Marmalade-Broiled Grapefruit

I usually only post recipes that I've tried, but I just found yet another cookbook that I had tucked away. This recipe sounds easy and interesting and it's only 1 point for WW! I'm not a big fan of grapefruit, but I would actually eat it this way.

Marmalade-Broiled Grapefruit
2 medium grapefruit
4 teaspoons orange marmalade
4 teaspoons brown sugar

1. Cut each grapefruit in half crosswise; remove seeds, and loosen sections of grapefruit with a knife.

2. Spread marmalade evenly over cut sides of grapefruit; sprinkle evenly with brown sugar. Broil 5 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Yield: 4 servings.

69 cal., .1 g fat, 1.4 g fiber, ( 1 pt)


Try it out and let me know what you think!

Lisa :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Go Enter This Giveaway!

My friend, Mel over at A Box of Chocolates is giving away Weight Watchers 3-month Online Subscriptions! You better stop over there and enter.

It's a great way to get started on your way to healthy eating. There are many great tools to use online. And if you win, you can try it out for free!

I love Weight Watchers myself and plan to restart (no matter what!) since I am finally back home after another 2 weeks away from home.

Hope you win!

Lisa :)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Fabulous Fruit Salad

I'm still away from home, but at least I can give you one healthy recipe that I have memorized. I don't have the points for it, but they would be easy for a WW person to calculate.

I love this fruit salad - so yummy and so refreshing and...all the ingredients are good for you!


Fabulous Fruit Salad
1 red apple, cored and chopped
1 green apple, cored and chopped
1 nectarine, sliced or chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
1/2 cup craisins
1/2 cup walnuts
6-8 oz. lemon yogurt

Mix ingredients and chill.

**I always double this recipe when I make it. Also, to make points/calories lower if you need to, you can use fat-free lemon yogurt and decrease the amount of craisins and walnuts.

I hope you like this. I want some right now!

Have a blessed weekend!

Lisa :)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Struggling in Montana

Oh, it is so hard to be away from home for so long and try to stay healthy - especially when I wasn't doing so well with it before I left!

I'm trying to watch my portions while I'm here, but I'm still having a lot of foods that aren't the best for me. There are lots of meals out, meals with relatives, etc. I have cooked some healthy foods, but not enough. I haven't been very active (does going up and down stairs during the day count?). And I have hardly been drinking water.

Once again, I will not give up. I may not be able to accomplish much here (will keep trying though), but it is making me feel even more determined to get healthy when I get home. That is a better feeling than the "nothing's working anyway, so give up" feeling.

I will be home in less than a week. If I could just keep from gaining weight, I would be so happy. Let's see...6 days to make that happen. It CAN be done!

I'm sure some of you are struggling too. I'm with ya! Every day, every hour can be a fresh start if you want it to be. And I'm going to set a goal for tomorrow right now: Drink 4 glasses of water. Doesn't sound like much, but that would be an accomplishment for me!

Lisa :)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to the Bloggy Giveaways Carnival Winners!

Here is the winner of the Weight Watchers cookbooks (one of the recipes was posted previously):

semtaylor

Congrats!!

Lisa :)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Healthy Recipe:Sweet and Spicy Chicken with Orzo

This is a recipe from one of my cookbooks from the Giveaway in the previous post. I told you I would try to post a couple! I haven't made this, but it sounds easy and interesting. See what you think...

Sweet and Spicy Chicken with Orzo
1 cup orzo
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 (8 oz.) jars tomato sauce (no salt added)
1 tablespoon honey
1 pound cooked chicken breast strips

1. Cook the orzo according to package directions. Drain and put in a serving bowl. Mix in the parsley and 2 teaspoons of the oil. Keep warm.

2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a nonstick saucepan, then add the onion, garlic, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and cayenne. Saute until the onion is soft, then stir in the tomato sauce and honey. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce comes to a boil. Add the chicken and heat to serving temperature. Spoon the chicken and sauce over the orzo.

4 servings, 401 cal., 9 g fat, 3 g fiber, 8 pts

There you have it. Try it out and enter the Giveaway on the previous post to try and win the cookbooks that include this recipe and many more.

Lisa :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Giveaway!



Ooohhh - a Giveaway! First time on this blog! You have to go check out the Bloggy Giveaways Carnival! There are hundreds of giveaways on blogs. So much fun!

I am giving away to one random commenter: 2 Weight Watchers cookbooks; they are a few years old, but have plenty of great recipes, photos, and include the points for each recipe.


All you have to do is leave a comment on this post. Tips and encouragement for health and weight loss won't help your chances, but are greatly appreciated!! :)

This giveaway is only open to people in the U.S. (Sorry! - shipping...). I will do the random drawing on Thursday evening 7/31 and e-mail the winner. If the winner doesn't respond in 4 days, I'll choose a new winner.

Thanks for stopping by! I will even try to post a recipe or two from these cookbooks during the week.

Lisa :)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Update

I haven't been neglecting this blog on purpose! There has been a lot happening this week. We did get back from our trip, but then had some sad news - my Stepmom passed away. We were just visiting with her less than a week ago and now we'll be heading back. Appreciate your prayers for safe travel and strength to be a good helper for my Dad.

As far as Weight Watchers, I haven't weighed in in quite some time. I did maintain my weight during vacation. That was a good thing! My plan was to get back from vacation and restart the program. But since our news, my son and I will be going away again for another 2 weeks! I will just try to do what I can on my own during that time and will officially sign up again for WW when I get back in mid-August.

As I'm writing, I'm thinking that I should try my best to lose some weight while I'm gone. I can track my points while I'm there; I can exercise while I'm there; I can eat healthy while I'm there - no excuses! So, I will pack my points tracker, exercise DVDs, and recipes. And I will be blogging to let you know how I'm doing.

I always feel encouraged by the time I get to the end of my posts! I really think I can keep my focus on being healthy while I'm gone and maybe when I restart WW, I'll be starting at a lower weight.

Be sure to check back in during the week as there will be a giveaway!

Lisa :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Vacation Is Almost Over

I've been on a trip for 2 weeks and will be home tonight! Can't wait.

I did not achieve all my goals while on vacation. My main goal was not to gain weight - I think I achieved that, but I won't know until I see the scale. I did try to watch my eating and it could have been worse, but it certainly could have been better. I did stay active! Lots of hiking and walking around. But, I did not get brave and weigh in at an out-of-state Weight Watchers. I will go back when I get back home and either continue from where I left off, with a gain; or start over from the weight I am at right now. I will keep you posted!

I will have more healthy recipes and updates for you after I get back.

What challenges have you been facing lately?

Lisa :)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Easy Chicken Tetrazzini

Finally, here is a healthy recipe for this week. It's a good quick recipe and came from Weight Watchers a few years ago.

Easy Chicken Tetrazzini

1 tablespoon red.-cal. margarine
1/2 cup scallions, chopped (about 5 scallions)
8 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup fat-free chicken broth
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 pound cooked, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1/4 cup canned pimentos, drained and sliced (I never use these)
2 tablespoons sherry cooking wine
3-1/2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
8 oz. uncooked spaghetti, broken into thirds and cooked

1. Melt margarine in a large saucepan over med-high heat. Add scallions and mushrooms; cook until tender, stirring, about 5 minutes. Combine flour, garlic powder, pepper, broth, and milk in a small bowl; mix until well blended. Add flour mixture to saucepan; cook until mixture boils and thickens, stirring constantly, about 10 minutes.

2. Add chicken, pimentos and sherry; cook until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes. Stir in cheese and add cooked spaghetti; toss gently. Yields about 1 cup per serving.

~ 5 pts.



There it is - hope you enjoy. Comfort food recipes always come in handy.

Will be heading back home from my trip next week, so things should get back to "normal", I hope!

Lisa :)


Thursday, July 17, 2008

I'm Still Here!

Sorry it's been a while. I'm on a trip and it has been hard enough just keeping up my other blog.

How am I doing on my goals? So-so. I have not braved an out-of-state WW yet to weigh in. My weight was up when we left on our trip and I used a scale today - seems about the same. That is OK, since I really just hoped to maintain during this time.

I have stayed active - did TONS of walking and climbing stairs in Yellowstone and had another day this week of walking for hours.

My eating hasn't been great. I'm not eating that much, just the foods aren't the most healthy. Will keep trying to make better choices.

That's my little update for now. I have my class reunion starting tomorrow which is causing stress, though I don't seem to be stress-eating.

Lord willing, I will post another healthy recipe for you tomorrow. See you then!

Lisa :)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Cocoa Crispy Bars

A nice variation of rice crispy treats - these are good! They are best the same day, but can keep up to 3 days. The recipe was in a Weight Watchers magazine a few years ago. The Dutch-process cocoa can be expensive, but the taste is great.

Cocoa Crispy Bars

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped or grated
1 (7 oz.) jar marshmallow creme
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 cups crisped rice cereal

1. Spray a 13x9 in. baking pan with nonstick spray.

2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the marshmallow creme, cocoa, and vanilla; stir until smooth. Remove from heat and add the cereal, stirring until well-coated.

3. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan. Spray your hands with nonstick spray and press the batter down evenly. Let cool 10 minutes, then cut into 24 squares.

69 cal., 2 g fat, 1 g fiber (1 pt)


Better try it out and save me a piece...or two!

Lisa :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

On A Trip...

I am currently on a trip. I will be gone for 2 weeks, but will still post! This is quite a challenge for my healthy goals.

I failed miserably at my goals last week! And haven't we all done that at some point? Of course I am disappointed and frustrated (especially since I'll be attending a class reunion in a week and a half!). The key here is to not give up. Just because I've had some tough weeks doesn't mean I can't get it back together. My real goal for this vacation is to...NOT GAIN WEIGHT!! It can be done!

I need to try to go to a new WW center during my trip just to weigh in even if it's a big gain. And other than that, I will try to keep my eating in moderation and keep active.

Say a little prayer for me and feel free to share your tips. I feel better already and tomorrow is a new day!

Lisa :)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Parmesan Chicken and Rice

This is a good recipe - we just had it again today. It's fairly easy and it's healthy. And the smells in your kitchen when cooking it are wonderful! The recipe came out of a Cooking Light magazine a few years ago.

*Updated to add pic


Parmesan Chicken and Rice

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 (8 oz.) package presliced mushrooms
3/4 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup uncooked instant rice
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup (2 oz.) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, thyme, and mushrooms; saute 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add chicken; saute 4 minutes or until the chicken is lightly browned. Add wine, salt, and pepper; cook 3 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates.

2. Stir in rice and broth. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Stir in cheese and parsley. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 1 cup).

395 cal., 8g fat, 2 g fiber (8 pts)


Hope you like it!

Lisa :)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

Picture obtained from www.archives.gov



Happy Independence Day! God bless America!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Struggling...

I didn't go weigh in at WW last night (go ahead - slap my hand!). According to my scale, I was up about a pound. That is very frustrating since I really focused on exercising and drinking my water this last week.

I am leaving for a 2-week trip next Tuesday, so I definitely want to weigh in before that. I will either go weigh in this Saturday or on Monday. It will be hard to keep on track and try to get my weight down by then, but I will try!

I also have to get in the mindset that vacation does not mean eat whatever you want. My goal will just be to maintain and not gain during my vacation. And I will try to stay active (usually not a problem - our vacations are about being on the go!).

Don't worry, I'll still be posting healthy recipes for you and letting you know how things are going.

How has your week been? Any tips for me while I'm on vacation?

Lisa :)

Monday, June 30, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Poached Chicken Breasts With Apples

This is a delicious recipe. It's fairly simple and it's even nice enough for company! It's from a Better Homes and Gardens New Dieter's Cookbook that we got years ago. It's also good this time of year because it doesn't use the oven.

Poached Chicken Breasts With Apples

1/2 cup apple juice or apple cider
1/2 teaspoon instant chicken bouillon granules
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon, crushed
Dash pepper
4 medium (12 oz. total) boned skinless chicken breast halves (Oops - I've always used boneless!)
1 medium apple, cored and thinly sliced ( I use a red or Fuji)
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 tablespoon water
1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

1. In a 10-in. skillet combine apple juice, bouillon granules, garlic, tarragon, and pepper. Bring to boiling. Add chicken breasts; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 7 minutes.

2. Turn chicken over; add apple slices and green onions. Cover and simmer 4 to 5 minutes more or till chicken is tender and no longer pink.

3. With a slotted spoon remove chicken and apples; keep warm. Reserve cooking liquid.

4. In a small bowl stir together the water and cornstarch. Stir into liquid in skillet. Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Spoon over chicken and apples. Makes 4 servings.

182 cal., 3 g fat, ? fiber (approx. 4 pts)



Hope you get the chance to try this one out this week. Have a wonderful healthy week!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Apple-Bran Muffins

I like giving you breakfast recipes for the weekend! Here's another one from Weight Watchers a long time ago. The flavor is very mild, but they are nice for breakfast, especially since you can have 2! They are nice when served with some healthy bacon or sausage and a little fruit.

Apple-Bran Muffins

1/4 cup fat-free egg substitute
1/2 cup fat-free milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and grated
1 cup All-Bran cereal
1 cup all-purpose flour (or 1/2 cup each whole-wheat flour and all-purpose flour)
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a nonstick 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray.

2. With a fork, beat the egg substitute in a large bowl until frothy. Stir in the milk and oil, then the apples.

3. Combine the cereal, flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and stir just until blended (do not overmix). Spoon the batter into the cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in a muffin comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool completely on the rack.

per muffin: 107 cal., 2 g fat, 1 g fiber (2 pts)


Try them out and see what you think. Have a wonderful, healthy weekend!

Lisa :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Yay! A Little Loss

Thank you to the Lord for small victories! I weighed in at WW this evening and actually lost 1.6 lbs!! That is the first loss in a month. The thing that I am happiest about is that I have been rewarded for not giving up.

When you don't see the scale move or it's moving upward even when you are working on being healthier, it can be very discouraging and cause you to say,"Forget it!" It was tough for me to hang in there, but I know that I need to do these things to get healthy even if the scale barely moves (but PLEASE let it continue to move downward!). I do feel encouraged and more motivated now, which will help me this next week.

My first mini goal is to lose 10 pounds. I will be able to feel that difference and it will be enough of a loss to be considered a serious start for me. Overall, I need to lose 40-50 pounds, but that's just too big to think about right now. Let's go for 10!

Are you struggling? Have you had a bad week? I encourage you to just start again. Don't beat yourself up for today's failures - every day is a fresh start. If I can hang in there, I know you can, too!

Lisa :)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Asian Chicken Slaw

Since the weather is hot, this recipe was sounding good - no heat involved! It's yummy - I liked it and so did my parents, though my hubby thought the flavors were a little mild. The key would be letting it chill for at least 1 hour to let flavors mix. This recipe came from Cooking Light last summer.



Asian Chicken Slaw

SLAW:
2-1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (I cheated and used a rotisserie chicken)
3/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped sugar snap peas
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 10-oz. pkg. angel hair slaw
1 8 oz. can sliced water chestnuts, drained

DRESSING:
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

REMAINING INGREDIENTS:
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted

1. To prepare slaw, combine the first 7 ingredients in a large bowl.

2. To prepare dressing, combine cider vinegar and next 6 ingredients (through black pepper) in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Pour dressing over the slaw; toss to coat. Cover and chill 1 hour. Sprinkle with slivered almonds and sesame seeds before serving. Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 1-1/2 cups).

152 cal., 3.7 g fat, 4.5 g fiber (3 pts)



Take a break from the heat this week and try this one out. Let me know what you think!

Lisa :)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Oven French Toast

This recipe was from a Weight Watchers magazine. It's nice if you're trying to do a lighter version of baked french toast for breakfast.

Oven French Toast

1 (1 lb.) loaf French bread, cut into 1 inch slices
1 pint fat-free half-and-half
2 cups fat-free milk
1 (16 oz.) container fat-free egg substitute
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 large apples, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup light stick butter, melted

1. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick spray. Place 3 rows of the bread in the baking dish lengthwise, overlapping the slices slightly to fit.
2. In a bowl, combine the half-and-half, milk, egg substitute, vanilla, 1/4 teaspoon of the cinnamon, and the nutmeg, beating with a whisk until blended. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the bread. Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degress F. Uncover the baking dish. With the back of a spoon, lightly press the bread into the egg mixture.
4. Combine the apples, brown sugar, melted butter, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon in a medium bowl. Top the bread mixture evenly with the apple mixture. Bake until puffed and golden and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 12 servings, 246 cal., 4 g fat, 2 g fiber (5 pts)



Hope you get to try it and that you enjoy it!

Lisa :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Getting Back on Track

I did go back to Weight Watchers tonight, just to weigh in...and I GAINED...AGAIN! Arghhhh!

The negative me: What's the point if this is all you can lose? Why can't you do this?

The positive me: Hey, you're still down from your original weight! Good job weighing in. Start fresh - you can do it!

Need to listen to the positive and get back on track. Also, I need to ask God for help! What was I thinking trying to do it all on my own?! I need to humble myself, ask for help, work hard and see how this week goes.

Anybody else struggling? Any tips?

Lisa :)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Pan-Glazed Chicken with Basil

This was a recipe in a Weight Watchers cookbook ad a few years ago. It's our favorite chicken recipe. I make it quite often as it's so quick and yummy, too!

Pan-Glazed Chicken with Basil

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons chopped fresh or 2 teaspoons dried basil

1. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over med.-high heat. Add chicken; cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Turn chicken, and cook 6 minutes or until chicken is done. Stir in vinegar, honey, and basil; cook 1 minute.

4 servings, 161 cal., 3.7 g fat, 0 g fiber (4 pts)


Doesn't get much easier than that! And it's good leftover, too. Could use the leftover chicken in other recipes.

Try it out - I think you'll like it!

Lisa :)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Carrot Cupcakes

This is a yummy recipe for dessert or breakfast. I found it in Weight Watchers magazine a few years ago. It's really good!

Carrot Cupcakes

CUPCAKES:
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup apple butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups shredded carrots (about 3 medium)


FROSTING:
1/2 cup reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)
1 tablespoon honey

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 mini-muffin cups with paper liners or spray with nonstick spray.
2. Whisk together the flour, granulated and brown sugars, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk the eggs, oil, apple butter, and vanilla in another bowl, and fold into the flour mixture, stirring just until blended. Stir in the carrots. Spoon into the muffin cups, filling them halfway. Bake until a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Cool completely on a rack.
3. To prepare the frosting, combine the cream cheese and honey in a small bowl. Dab a teaspoonful onto the top of each cooled cupcake.

Makes 24 servings. Per cupcake: 111 cal., 5 g fat, 1 g fiber (2 pts)


A little work, but a yummy result and makes quite a few - enough to share! What do you think?

Lisa :)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Confession Time

OK, I did the very thing that I always tell other Weight Watchers members to never do! I did not go to the meeting yesterday or weigh in. I could tell by my scale at home that my weight was up for the second week in a row. Grrr... I know that I was not perfect last week, but I snacked less, made healthy dinners, drank a little water, and exercised twice. Those things are good even if the scale didn't move.

I do think that I know what's happening. The weather has warmed up and I am definitely not drinking enough water. I am probably a little dehydrated and I can tell that I am swollen and retaining water.

So, I will stay on track, do better this week, and force myself to drink more water! Next week should be better. Don't worry - I'm not quitting WW; I bought 10 weeks of passes so I have no choice - ha, ha!

How did your week go?

Lisa :)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Summer Corn Salad

I love this recipe - we make it a lot throughout the year. It came from a Weight Watchers cookbook called Winner's Circle. Some people like to use it as a kind of salsa, but I like it as a salad.


Summer Corn Salad

4 fresh corn, husks and silks removed, or 1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
4 scallions, thinly sliced
4 radishes, thinly sliced (I've always left these out)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Cut the kernels from the corn cobs and place in a large bowl. Add the tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, scallions, radishes, cilantro, vinegar, salt, and pepper; gently toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Makes 4 servings (generous 1 cup), 114 cal., 1 g fat, 4 g fiber (2 pts)


I always make a double batch - I don't think the single batch is enough. And to save time, I usually use frozen corn, but the flavor of fresh corn can't be beat!

Hope you try this one. It's so fresh, healthy, and colorful. I like to have it whenever we have tacos or enchiladas, but also like it as a side dish for lunch.

Lisa :)





Friday, June 6, 2008

A Yummy Food Find

I do love dessert - can you tell?! I just recently discovered these and am in love! They are Weight Watchers English Toffee Crunch Ice Cream Bars. Oh, they are so yummy - my hubby and son like them, too.

They are only 2 points each! Of course, that means they are small, but packed full of flavor and they satisfy the sweet tooth. I loved English Toffee ice cream bars when I was a kid, and these bring me right back to that time.

Are they all natural? No way! Are they really yummy? Absolutely! And there are no trans fats - that's something.

Try them out. Even if you're not dieting, it's still nice to have a smaller portion of dessert.

Lisa :)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Big Sigh...Not of Relief

Bummer...I gained weight this week. I'm not terribly surprised; I didn't do my best - went over my points a few times. But I did pretty well on my goals for the week, so I really thought I would at least have maintained. Also, I did a new body sculpting DVD and was sore for 2 days...that could have had an effect (something about overdoing it with muscles and they retain water to recover?).

The important thing is that I still went and weighed in at WW!! That is one of the hardest things to do when you know for sure that your weight is up. It really is better to log that gain and then have a loss the next week rather than not logging it and having to lose the gained weight plus more to even see any loss on paper. Does that make sense?

Anyway, I drank water, exercised, and tried to keep track of what I ate. That's a good thing! I will do better this next week and try to keep a good attitude about it all.

Oh, and apparently driving from my house to the WW meeting does not burn enough calories to lose a couple pounds...in case you were wondering. :)

What do you do to overcome discouragement?

Lisa :)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Salisbury Steak with Mushrooms

Hope you had a great weekend! Here's another healthy recipe for you to try.

This recipe is a nice change of pace. My husband and son really like it! It's easy, too. I adapted it slightly from a grocery store free magazine (Raley's Something Extra). Try it out for dinner sometime this week.

Salisbury Steak with Mushrooms

1 lb. ground round or extra lean ground beef, shaped into 4 thin oval patties
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups sliced mushrooms
10 oz. beef gravy ( I used beef herb gravy mix packets with the required amount of water added)
1/3 cup chopped onions
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 teaspoon thyme

Melt butter in a large skillet. Add meat; cook over med.-high heat for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Stir in remaining ingredients; reduce heat and simmer, loosely covered, for 25 minutes or until beef is tender.

Makes 4 servings. 210 cal., 9 g. fat, 1 g. fiber (5 pts)


I always like having something new to do with hamburger. Let me know if you like it!

Lisa :)


Friday, May 30, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Fruity Lemonade Slush

It's been a while since we've had this - but it is so good! And simple, too. Perfect time for this now that warmer weather is here. I got the recipe from a Kraft ad years ago.

Fruity Lemonade Slush

Country Time Lemonade Drink Mix
1 cup water
2 cups ice cubes, divided
1/2 cup each fresh strawberries and frozen sliced peaches

1. Measure drink mix into cap just to 1-quart line.

2. Place drink mix, water and 1 cup of the ice cubes in blender; cover. Blend on high speed until smooth. Add remaining ice cubes and fruit; cover. Blend using on/off action until smooth. Serve immediately. Store leftover slush in freezer. Makes 4 servings.


Can use Country Time Lite (approx 1-2 pts per serving)

Enjoy!

Lisa :)


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Still Going...

OK, definitely a slower week - lost .8 lbs. But that's still yay 'cause I lost weight! And I still had chocolate - ha,ha! I did have trouble this week with snacking and eating too many things I didn't need to have. I needed to be better prepared for the week.

I am feeling good though! I want to do better this week and follow through with all of my weekly goals (listed on the sidebar). This blog is helping because my goals are right there for me to see and remind myself.

One of my toughest is drinking water - I don't like to do it! I know, for you people that have no problem with water, it's like saying, "I don't like to breathe air." I have been making decaf iced tea and drinking it with a splash of lemonade which can count as some of my water. We are actually working on replacing diet soda in our house. We now have 3-4 a week, I think, but are trying to eliminate it completely.

Any tips on how to make drinking water easier? Should I try making myself drink a glass before every meal? Even consistently drinking one glass a day is an improvement for me, but I need to better than that.

Hope all of you are having a great healthy week!

Lisa :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Tony's Breakfast Couscous

OK, another couscous recipe - but for breakfast this time! Again, a great recipe from Cooking Light. This feels like comfort food and it's healthy. It's a yummy way to start the day and it's good leftover, too. You can eat it warm or cold and it's easy to double.


Tony's Breakfast Couscous

1-1/4 cups water
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
1/2 cup uncooked couscous
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup raisins (I like to use dried currants)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt

1. Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan; stir in milk and remaining ingredients. Remove from heat. Cover; let stand 10 minutes. (Mixture will thicken as it cools.)

3 servings (2/3 cup each), 305 cal., 6.9 g fat, 3.3 g fiber (approx. 6 pts)

If you need even lower calories and fat, you could eliminate one of the dried fruits and use half the walnuts and half the sugar - it would still be yummy! Try it for breakfast this week and let me know what you think. I love it!

Lisa :)




Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day, 2008

Remember...freedom isn't free.
Thank you to all the men and women who have served and now serve our country.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Vegetable Couscous Salad

I'm thinking about good recipes for picnics and potlucks. One great way to help yourself stay healthy while attending these events is to take a healthy dish yourself! I try to find healthy recipes that appeal to many people.

This recipe came from a Cooking Light magazine. You can even take this camping - you prepare it at home and put it in a plastic bag. Keep it in the cooler and pull it out to eat. It keeps well and the flavor just keeps developing.

Vegetable Couscous Salad

Dressing:

1/3 cup water
1/4 cup sherry or balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (.6 oz.) envelope Italian dressing mix (such as Good Seasons)

Salad:
1-1/2 cups water
1 cup uncooked couscous
2 cups chopped red bell pepper
2 cups chopped tomato
1/2 cup (2 oz.) crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives (I leave these out - sorry, not a fan)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1. Combine the first 4 ingredients in a jar. Cover tightly, and shake vigorously.
2. Bring 1-1/2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually stir in couscous. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Combine couscous, bell pepper, and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add the dressing mixture. Toss couscous mixture gently to coat. Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 cup).

169 cal., 5.6 g fat, 2.7 g fiber (3 pts.)


Probably not a recipe that too many kids will like, but most grownups enjoy it. My hubby & I love it! Let me know what you think...

Lisa :)






Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Woo-Hoo!

Well, I had my weigh-in after 1 week. You've figured out by the title that the news is good! I am down...yes, down, for once...3.4 pounds!! Don't be thinking that I'll lose that much every week. It's typical on WW to lose a lot the first week, then slow down. The nice thing is that I didn't feel restricted. Included in my week of weight loss were: In & Out burger & fries, blended coffee drinks, chocolate, and some homemade sugar cookies. Um...I'm not recommending these as part of a healthy diet, but occasional (or more often!) treats are a part of my life.

I know that weight loss isn't the most important part, but that's the part that motivates me. I can't feel my possibility of future type 2 diabetes decreasing, but I can feel my clothes getting looser. And I did notice that I felt just a hair less uncomfortable after that loss! :)

I am very happy and that gives me a boost to keep going. I have to say that this blog has been key. Part way through the week, I wasn't tracking my food yet - since I had written out my weekly goals on here, I forced myself to do them - how could I fail the general public?!

I did actually eat some fresh fruit and drink more water this week (both are not my natural food/drink choices). And I didn't exercise, but did succeed in making some less lazy choices!

So, on to week 2!

Have you had any healthy successes this week?

Lisa :)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Healthy Recipe: Oriental Green Beans

This is my favorite green bean recipe. Healthy and company loves it! I got it from Weight Watchers a long time ago.

Oriental Green Beans

1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon oriental sesame oil
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
6 garlic cloves, minced

1. In a large pot of boiling water, cook green beans until just tender, 4-5 min.
2. While beans are cooking, in small bowl combine soy sauce, oil, and sugar; set aside.
3. Drain beans; set aside.
4. Spray wok or 10" skillet with nonstick cooking spray; place over med-high heat. Add garlic; cook, stirring constantly, until softened, 20-30 seconds. Add green beans; cook, stirring and turning constantly, until well-coated, about 2 min.
5. Add soy sauce mixture; continue to stir and turn until most of the liquid is absorbed, 1-2 min.

6 servings, 68 cal, 2.4 g fat, 4 g fiber (1 pt.)


Easy and yummy! Try it out and let me know what you think...

And, by the way, I am accomplishing my goals for the week so far. We'll see if that makes a difference by Wed. I do feel mentally better just knowing that I am trying to be healthier.

And I even had chocolate! :)

Lisa :)


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Start Making Changes

My other blog is called Stop and Smell the Chocolates, but when I stop and smell the chocolates, I grab the box and run off with it. Is that a problem?

I am determined that now is the time to permanently make some healthy lifestyle changes before I get any older. I'm overweight but still medically healthy...for now.

I have had success in the past with Weight Watchers, so that's the easiest thing for me to go back to. I rejoined yesterday! I like the focus on: portion control; eating only until satisfied; and adding in fruits/veggies, water, some dairy, healthy fats, and exercise. It's a program that can be tailored to your own life and doesn't have to be restrictive. I get good tips and encouragement from the meetings, and the weigh-ins help keep me accountable.

I'm at my highest weight I've ever been, which is depressing and uncomfortable. I am looking forward to change for the better! Since I just started in the world of blogging, I thought this would be a great way to encourage myself and keep me more accountable. I'm not going to give you the number that the scale said yesterday, but I will let you know each week what change took place. I plan to post 2-3 times a week with my progress, successes or failures, ideas, and healthy recipes.

I hope you'll join me so we can encourage each other and share tips, ideas and recipes!

Lisa :)