Thursday, September 30, 2010

Stormy Weather (Jenny: Day One)

So much for the Sunshine State, it's been raining for days! Though it can get old after a while, I actually enjoy the dark & dreary weather a little bit. It provides a great excuse to curl up on the couch & read, watch movies or even accomplish some long-overdue projects around the Castle. Yesterday I did more of the former and less of the latter..grin...

So, I made it through my first day on Jenny Craig and I'm here to tell you, it wasn't bad! The food was surprisingly tasty and the portions were "normal" and appropriate, meals were filling as long as you add the required salad or veggies alongside.

Though I had a few moments of wanting something to eat, I didn't feel hungry at all! I didn't even use the "free" foods I'm allowed, wanting to keep it really strict at the beginning until I get a feel for the program.

Here's what my day looked like:

Breakfast: Jenny's Frosted Oat cereal with 8 oz fat-free milk, coffee, fruit (I actually saved the fruit for my morning snack), Jenny's multivitamin

Snack: Yogurt (80-100 calories) and mixed berries (saved from breakfast)

Lunch: Large green salad with Jenny's dressing, Jenny's Turkey Burger, Jenny's multivitamin

Snack: Fruit (apple)

Dinner: Jenny's Chicken Fettuccine, 1 cup of steamed broccoli, Jenny's antioxidant

Snack: Jenny's S'mores Bar, herbal tea

2 Liters of water consumed over the span of the day

How does that sound to you all? I took some pictures but since my camera is MIA and I had to use my camera phone, they didn't turn out nice enough to share.

I got up this morning feeling really good! Got up before the alarm went off, zipped to the bathroom and couldn't help but hop on the scale for a sneak peek. Umm..1.4 pounds less than yesterday. YES! I'm sure that's water weight, but I will take it! Of course it's only been a day and I'll get my official weigh-in with JC next week, but for now that's the motivation I need to Keep On Going!

As Misunderstood and Admired always says..Onward!

Have a Beauty-Full Day,

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I Called Jenny

I have a confession to make: even after saying I wouldn't, even after being adamantly against all of those "packaged food" diets out there, even though I believe strongly in a natural, clean way of eating...after reading Valerie's book and doing some long hard thinking, I signed up for Jenny Craig last night.

I know some of you might be disappointed in me but, you know, I think I need this right now. I think the structure and portion control will help get me started on the right track, and once I see some progress I will be motivated to continue. Right now I feel stuck, tired and simply without self-discipline to do this on my own.

So, today is Day One of Jenny food. So far it doesn't look so bad, and I like the fact that veggies are "free" and encouraged, wine is not off limits (in moderation) and the program focuses on more than just the food - the food is only one of three parts, a tool to help you reach goal. The other components are mind & body, equally if not even more important than what you put into your mouth.

I hope you'll stay with me on this journey, I could sure use the support!


Monday, September 27, 2010


We are "stuck" in Ormond this morning thanks to a little mess-up at the bank here, I need to go into the branch and try to rectify a HUGE error they made on my account.'s not that I mind staying here one more day; on the contrary, I had such a great weekend that I don't mind extending it a bit longer.

Over the past couple of days, I spent a lot of time at the library, scouring the shelves for diet inspiration and motivation. I found both in Valerie Bertinelli's book, Losing It. Valerie is adorable, approachable, smart & funny, very much the girl next door. Her first book was an enjoyable read, and though I don't plan on calling Jenny, I am encouraged by the fact that a 40-something woman can go lose 40 pounds and get her bikini body back! At this moment, I am the exact weight Valerie was when she started her weight loss journey. What would I give to have this be my "after" picture?

I also did some cooking, found a wonderful lentil soup recipe thanks to The Clean Eating Mama. Even though it doesn't feel like Autumn here in Florida, I am still craving hearty soups & stews so plan on seeing similar recipes from me in the next few days/weeks.

(You should go check out her finished soup pics 'cause they are much prettier than mine).

Beren and I also did some home repairs, including new blinds for the kitchen. I'm hoping Loki has gotten past his appetite for such things, but I doubt it.

I'll be doing some menu planning on the drive home so stay tuned!

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I'm back from a tiny little blogging hiatus. Mom's birthday tore me up a bit, as did preparing her favorite dinner in honor of her.

After dinner Thursday night, we headed up to Ormond, had a bit of a scare on the road when Bettie decided to hydroplane in a puddle, spinning us around I-95 for several hair-raising minutes. Thank goodness Beren knew how to handle the car, there was no traffic near us at the moment, and we were not near a guardrail or surely we would have been hit, or slammed into the rail. Oh, and Beren also says we could've flipped as well. Thanks for that reminder, hon. Anyway, he regained control of the car, we pulled over and composed ourselves, a kind-hearted lady in a car who witnessed it pulled over to check on us. She was pretty freaked out which leads me to believe it was almost as scary to watch as it was to experience. But, we were ok, Bettie didn't have a scratch on her, and we cautiously made our way home. Needless to say, after all of that emotional upheaval, I needed some time to lick my wounds.

So, yesterday we ran a couple of errands, picked up a stack of books at the library and mostly hibernated. Other than taking Loki to the dog park, we entertained ourselves safely at home. Cooked dinner, read a novel straight through, went to bed early.

This morning I'm feeling much better, up & at 'em and ready to enjoy the weekend! I logged onto my Sparkpage to find a friend request, always a nice way to start the day! You all have to check out this lovely lady, she is amazing! I am honored to be her "buddy" and know that you'll find her as inspiring as I do. If she can lose that amount of weight with clean eating and exercise, I certainly can!

I promised you guys some recipes, here's what I'm making for dinner tonight, courtesy of The George Foreman Lean Mean Fat Reducing Grilling Machine Cookbook:

Vietnamese Lettuce-Wrapped Shrimp

16 large uncooked shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed
1/2 teaspoon Asian chile oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablesppon sesame oil
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
24 leaves of butter lettuce, rinsed
2 cups carrots, grated
2 cups bean sproufs, rinsed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
4 8-inch wooden skewers, soaked in water and drained nonfat cooking spray

Thread the shrimp onto the skewers.
Lightly coat the grill with cooking spray and preheat for 5 minutes.
Combine the chile oil, pepper, sesame oil and soy sauce.
Place the skewers in the grill widthwise (horizontally) and brush with the oil and pepper sauce.
Grill the shrimp for 1 1/2-2 1/2 minutes.
To serve, place equal portions of lettuce, carrots and bean sprouts on individual plates.
Remove the shrimp from the skewers and add to each plate.
Place a tablespoon of hoisin sauce on each plate.
To assemble, place shrimp, carrots and bean sprouts on a lettuce leaf and roll up, tucking in the ends.
Dip the lettuce wraps in the hoisin sauce as desired.

Serves 4. Calories: 169; Total Fat: 8g; Protein: 9g;

Enjoy, and have a Beauty-Full Day,

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mom...We Miss You


September 23, 1940 - February 3, 2009

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ladies Who Lunch

Busy week so far, catching up on work after the lovely out-of-town weekend but took a break this afternoon to enjoy a leisurely lunch with one of my closest friends, Susan. I don't want to "call her out" but let me just say that this lady is looking incredibly svelte here of late! Being that both of us are working on losing a couple of pounds, we each had a Caesar salad with grilled chicken and lots of water. Even though we were at our favorite neighborhood Italian restaurant, we did not indulge in wine, pasta or dessert. Instead we filled up on each others company, delighting in stories, secrets and laughs shared instead of cannoli! Because no matter what Sophia says, I don't think I can get her figure just by eating spaghetti!

Besides, I want to save some calories for when I visit Allan in NYC in a couple of weeks! He has promised me the best Italian I've ever had..hmm...I'm sure he's referring to the food and not a person, right? *wink*

Not much else to post today, just wanted to pop in for a quick hello. I'll be doing some cooking and recipe sharing tomorrow, stay tuned!


Saturday, September 18, 2010


So, if you've got a craving and want to splurge on some good ol' New York-style pizza (ok, the best we can get here in Daytona Beach), you go to Pete's..

Where the cook looks like he belongs in a pizza kitchen...

and you limit yourself to one slice (Sicilian for Beren)..

So you enjoy every morsel, vow to add an extra few minutes to your evening walk with the dog..

and you eat something light & healthy for dinner..

It's all about balance, my dears!

Have a Beauty-Full Evening,

Fuel for Life!

I am ever-so-honored to receive this lovely award from one of my favorite weight loss bloggers, Misunderstood and Admired? I've written about him before, what an inspiration and motivation he is to me!

The details of the award are as follows:

This award is granted to bloggers who have given someone fuel for strength so they can move onward. Responsibilities: 1. List three things that you are happy about at this very moment 2. List three things that played a big part in your current focus on weight loss and inner growth 3. Pass this award on to a blogger that you feel really deserves it

So, here goes!

At this moment I am happy about:

1. The time Beren and I spent last night with a friend/former co-worker of his. This lady had a very aggressive type of cancer, underwent intense and experimental treatment at a University a couple hours north of us. We really didn't think she would make it, it was very serious and scary. Well, a couple of weeks ago she went for her yearly follow-up and got great news: She is cancer-free, in remission! We were so thrilled, we met her for happy hour last night and toasted to her continued good health and recovery.

2. Being in Ormond, enjoying the peace & quiet of just me, Beren and the dog. As much as I adore my wild & crazy full house, I need the time away to rest, regroup and spend some quality time with my man...and with myself!

3. The big basket of produce on the counter..grin...can't wait to get into the kitchen and cook up something fabulous!
And three things that played a part in my current focus on weight loss and inner growth:

1. My mother's illness and death from lung cancer. This shook me to the core, affected me on every level of my being.

2. My children growing up, becoming young adults who don't require quite as much hands on mothering as they used to, leaving me with more time to work on myself!

3. My Man who never says a word about my weight, still thinks I'm beautiful and desirable, but really deserves a healthier woman to spend the rest of his life with.

Now, I am presenting the award to...

Mark at Fatophobia because he is constantly supportive and complimentary, I know I can always rely on him for a kind word and motivation! He responds to every comment, you can tell that he really cares for his readers!

Thank you, Mark, for being Fuel for Life when I need it!

In other news, Sherron at Shoes to Lose is hosting a giveaway, a $40 gift card to CSN where you can buy anything from dining tables to fitness equipment! You know where that $40 is going if I win, right? Yep, straight to my cute little tootsies! So, hop on over & visit Sherron, enter yourself and spend some time at her blog. She is adorable and such an inspiration!

That's it for now, hope you all are having a fabulous weekend so far!

P.S. Check out the image I really wanted to use for this post but it was unavailable without purchase.

Friday, September 17, 2010

On the Road Again

Yesterday was a bit of a bust as we were on the road for most of the day and I was at the mercy of restaurants for my food intake and the only exercise I did was turning pages in a book!

I did my best, though, opting for the tossed salad with grilled mahi at the biker bar. Loki got most of the garlic bread balanced atop there, I tossed the rest along with most of the dressing. I shudder to think that had I not ordered it on the side the measly amount of salad underneath would be swimming in all of that junk!

At least I didn't have the Rodeo Burger as Beren did. This thing was smothered in BBQ sauce, Swiss Cheese & mayo, then topped with bacon and jalapenos! Along with most of the fries, he was able to finish half of that monster. UGH!

Because I don't have a full-length camera at home, I took a "headshot" for you in the ladies room. Headshot, get it? I crack myself up.

We went to dinner at a local seafood restaurant, a favorite with the retirement crowd. ...rolling eyes..I was looking for a nice atmosphere to kick off the (early) weekend and I got that even even if the menu left something to be desired.

I ordered Orange Roughy stuffed with crabmeat and a baked potato, could not bring myself to pay $2.95 for a tiny side salad. I definitely need to make up in the vegetable department today so bright & early this morning we headed to the flea/farmers market.

The nice lady weighed my purchase for me; I came home with eleven pounds of fruits & veggies!

Beren asked, "Are you going to eat all of that in the next three days?" To which I replied, "I'm going to eat only that for the next three days!" Not really, but close!

Well, it's about lunchtime here so I'd better get busy preparing some of that loveliness! Afterward I'm going to settle down with Tosca's new book I just picked up from the library, then off to a beauty appointment. Dinner tonight is to be determined but you can bet some contents of that basket will be included!

Hope you're all having a lovely day - TGIF!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Secretary Spread

Joan: I really think this vending machine is a trouble maker.
Lane: I think it's been a great success. Revenue is climbing. I was gonna suggest we get a sandwich machine We'd probably get 40% of the work force keeping busy through lunch.
Joan: Or we'd end up with a bunch of fat secretaries who think the whole afternoon is lunch time because there's always another sandwich around the corner. ~Mad Men

I got home from work especially early yesterday, wanted to give the Castle a good cleaning before we left for the long weekend. As I was on my hands & knees scrubbing floors & toilets, bent over the vacuum & mop, racing back & forth from room to room, folding laundry, moving furniture, etc. etc. I started thinking to myself, "hmm..look at all of the exercise I'm doing here, I wonder if this is the reason I was 20 pounds thinner when I worked from home instead of at the office?" I spent about four hours scrubbing, vacuuming, mopping, the whole deal. Even with only logging two of those hours, check out how many calories I burned:

Whoa! Maybe there is something to this Secretary Spread concept after all! Let's face it, we sit all day long, chained to the desk, only getting up for occasional trips to the ladies room and around our small office. I can't imagine we burn many calories crunching numbers. Then you add the convenience of eating at one's desk and the always-present donutDon't get me wrong, there are plenty of overweight housewives who sit around eating bon-bons and watching Oprah all day, but I wasn't one of them. I had a routine, I stuck with it, lead a very busy & active life. I mothered my three kids, volunteered at their schools, cleaned my house, took care of my husband, and also managed to run a successful part-time business on the side. I wasn't joyous all of the time (hence the divorce) but my house was clean, my kids were happy, and I was thinner. Not skinny by any means but definitely smaller than I am now. Even though I wasn't doing much formal exercise, I was apparently working out enough in my daily routine.

Since I'm not able to quit my job and don't want to become a professional housekeeper, I'll have to find another way to keep the pounds off my already ample hips!

My daily eating was pretty good as well:

I was feeling great last night! Accomplished, in control, content! I do need to up my veggies and lower the white-ish stuff a bit, had too much bread yesterday and am feeling a bit bloated this morning. We had run out of apples (my go-to snack) and I was too tired to run to the store.

NSV: I made crock-pot ravioli & meatballs for my family's dinner. I considered having some, figured just a little bit wouldn't hurt, right? But I stopped, thought about the calories and fat in that little pile of white cheesy stuff, and changed my mind. Instead I was able to enjoy a healthier meal, guilt-free, leaving the ravioli to the skinny folks around here.

It's going to be harder to work in the exercise this weekend since I don't have a treadmill up there, but I can certainly get my derriere to the park down the street for a good walk. Besides, Loki needs it as much as I do.

Have a Beauty-Full Day,

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Just a Quickie

Running late this morning thanks some extra cuddle time with My Man. So worth it and I'm sure that counts as exercise, right? *wink* In addition, I did my 30 minute Loki walk, came home and fussed around with the scale until it gave me some numbers: 171. Two pounds down from when I got cracking a couple of weeks ago. Since during "moontime" last week I actually saw readings of 175, I'll take it!

Off to work, see you later!

Have a Beauty-Full Day,

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Woman vs Machine

Loki and I hit the pavement bright & early this morning, did our usual 30-minute jaunt around the neighborhood. We arrived home hot & sweaty, he was dog-tired but I felt like I'd just gotten warmed up. Hmm...I dusted off the treadmill and did another 30 minutes of fast walking, Pink & Madonna blasting in my ears. Got off, feeling absolutely amazing and crunched some numbers:

Wow! Look at the difference between (estimated) calories burned on my home walk as compared to the same amount of time on the treadmill! I mean, I know it's a much more intense workout but didn't think it would make that much of a difference! Guess me and my treadmill are going to be much better friends from now on!

By the way, I haven't posted any weigh-ins lately because my scale is on the fritz. I'll pick up the spare one from Ormond this weekend if I can't manage to get to the store between now & then.

Off to work, hope you all have a Beauty-Full Day!

Monday, September 13, 2010

My Inner French Girl

I arrived home from work today and realized I hadn't planned anything for dinner. Hmm..since Kali's (seriously carnivorous) boyfriend was due home from a business trip, I decided to make him a special (read: meat-laden) dinner to welcome him. I had some ground beef thawed for the dogs I figured he & Beren could share that..giggle. Since it was only just after noon, I figured I could toss something into the slowcooker. A quick google search resulted in this meatloaf recipe. Sounds good, right? I mean, if you're not a mostly-vegetarian watching your weight. Alas, no eggs. I grabbed my keys and was ready to jump into Bettie when I thought..wait! It's a beautiful day, why don't I just walk to the market like the French girls do! Oui! Oui!

While my Suburban streets are nothing like gay Paris, there are lots of shade trees making for a pleasant walk.

Half an hour later, I'm back home preparing dinner, feeling pretty fabulous about my petite accomplissement!

Once again, I stayed on program and managed to burn over 200 calories on that walk. Enough for a little glass of vin, no?

Have a Beauty-Full Evening,