Bark for Life 2012 | Pet Profiles

I know this isn’t exactly food-related, but until I get back into the swing of things (and have my place unpacked), here’s a little love to brighten your day.

Although many of you are parents already, some of us aren’t there yet, but we ARE parents to some furry babies! So, happy belated Mother’s Day to all the moms of those wonderful, loving, no-talk-back, four-legged babies!

Beautiful Orange Productions

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Living my Life like it’s Golden

Oh man! Life has been good lately, and it’s only gonna get better :)

New hairs. I love that I can pull off asymmetry!

I got my hairs cut by my good friend, Chandra, at her new salon, The Studio. So awesome! I can’t give them enough praise. It’s a beautiful open space with fantastic colors, lots of IKEA furniture, and “green” innovations. Even the shampoos and conditioners are organic! They have this hydrotherapy tub that I’m bound and determined to try some day, massage, pedicures, manicures, all the hair cutting and styling you need, and a studio where you can get beautiful photos taken. Prices are reasonable and totally worth it when you realize just how green they are. There’s even a recycling bin for you to deposit your empty bottles and cans!

Chandra did an incredible job (as you can plainly see!) and I’m definitely going back. In fact, I revised my list of rewards a little bit after my wonderful experience there. Instead of buying a treadmill when I lose 70 lbs, I’m getting the “Spa Starter” – manicure, pedicure, hydrotherapy treatment and a massage! SO EXCITED!!

This weekend is going to be busy.  The girlfriend and I are driving to her hometown because her dad is buying her car off her.  So, we’ll be officially down to ONE CAR.  Yay to lower carbon footprints!  And since we won’t have a car to drive home, we’re taking the train to Chicago, staying a night and then taking the train back home.  We’ll be doing a LOT of walking around the city, so we decided NO luggage, just one backpack each!  Can you tell how excited I am about this?  We’ll be staying on the Magnificent Mile in the Hilton.  Oooohhhh yeahhhhh.  Gonna spend some time at Navy Pier, gonna watch the Memorial Day parade that’s on Sunday, gonna go to the Melting Pot for dinner (I think).  It will be grand!  And since we’re going down to one car, we’re getting an annual bus pass for each of us this afternoon!  I have a feeling it’ll be the best 60 bucks I’ll spend this year.

More walking, less money spent on gasoline, lots of train trips, eating organic, simplifying our lives…. This summer is going to be the best one I’ve had in a VERY long time.  And I get to enjoy it with less weight on my bones!  Can’t beat that :)

Just a quick Contest post…!!

Okay, so I want to win a free mixer, a year’s supply of flour and 50 bucks in cash.  Who doesn’t!?!?!  If you want to enter this contest, just click the link below and enter!  It only requires your email, first name and zip code. Just make sure you enter by May 2nd!

And if one of you wins it, then I get it too (if you entered by clicking the link on this blog! WOOT WOOT! I promise that if I one of you wins and I get a mixer out of this, I’ll send a big batch of WWF cookies to that lucky person. Cross my heart and hope to die. Pretty please with cherries on top. Click!

Healthy Microwave Cooking: Spicy Salmon

Photo Courtesy of: the Savory Sweet Life blog

You know, I think fish gets a bad wrap. It’s not a main entree for most Americans; chicken, beef and pork pretty much take over in that area. Occasionally, a parent might make “popcorn shrimp” or “fish sticks” to slowly introduce their kids to new foods, but that seems to be the only daring adventure into “the deep” that many kids under 10 experience. Not a fabulously exciting adventure if you ask me….

I remember getting Van de Kamp’s fish sticks for dinner in my youth. Luckily, that was only on a rare occasion (when life was hectic and they somehow worked their way from the back of the freezer up to the front). When we had fish as a main meal, we had fish steaks; tenderly marinated in all sorts of different flavors and (if we were lucky) Dad would grill them to perfection out on the deck. I tried shark, tuna, salmon, white fish, mahi mahi, swordfish, shrimp, lobster, clams, mussels, tiger prawns, scallops, calamari, etc before I graduated from high school. Needless to say, my taste buds have acquired quite a love for creatures from the deep!  I was lucky (thanks Mom and Dad!).

But other than just being able to provide a new and refreshing taste to your mouth (when done right), seafood (salmon, especially) is actually quite healthy for you. Here’s an article I found on the benefits of eating fish and the differences between wild-caught fish and farmed fish. Did you know that fish are “farmed”? I’m sure that you did. But did you also know that the same issues that arise with conventionally farmed animals (like higher fat content, more chemicals, etc) are present in the fish farming industry? Check out the article to learn more.

I support the nom-nomming of wild-caught fish! AND… I support quick and tasty methods of preparing them. I haven’t actually given you ANY “microwave” recipes, so here’s the first one! It’s quick, it’s healthy, and it’s full of flavor and omega-3’s to keep you sharp in the brain and looking good on the epidermis. I found this recipe over at the Sweet Savory Life blog and I knew I just had to share. It’s both gluten-free and low-carb.

Spicy Salmon (Modified from the Sweet Savory Life Blog)
Servings: 1
PointsPlus Per Serving: 7 (using a 5 oz fillet)


  • 1 single portion salmon fillet, 5 PP (or 1 PP per ounce)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1.5 tablespoons light mayonnaise, 1 PP
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce (depends on how spicy you want it)
  • 2 or 3 fresh cut lemon slices
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley (or 1 tsp dried)

1. Rinse salmon fillet with cold water and pat dry. Place the salmon skin side down in a microwave save container (a smaller glass dish will work best). Season the salmon with a bit of salt and pepper. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise and Sriracha sauce. Generously spread the mayonnaise mixture on top of the fillet. Sprinkle parsley on and then top with a couple round slices of lemon.

3. Cover the dish tightly with microwave safe plastic wrap. Microwave the fish for 3 1/2 minutes. Check the center of the fillet for done-ness with a fork. If there is any uncooked fish, microwave for another 30-45 seconds. Garnish with additional parsley and lemon wedges.

See!?! SO SIMPLE!! And the best part? You can flavor it however you’d like. Try using a teriyaki glaze instead. Just poke a few holes in the fish to let the sauce soak in. Or maybe you don’t want the spice; just the mayo and a tbsp of orange juice mixed together and then topped off with some toasted sliced almonds would do the trick. Try anything you want! And when you find something tasty, post a comment and let the rest of us know!


I made this for lunch the next day and it was AWESOME!  I didn’t have fresh lemon, so i just mixed some lemon juice into the mayo mixture and then sprinkled dried parsley over top and put it all over a bed of spring mix.  I scarfed it down like I’d never eaten food before!  Never have I made such a gourmet meal in 5 minutes.  Dude.

Weekly Weigh-In

I stayed the same. Well, I didn’t buckle down and eat right every night and exercise like I said I would, but I am really glad I didn’t gain! I thought I might, so it was a relief that I didn’t.

Boy, oh boy did I make a good investment when I bought my Kinect. I’ve only had it for two weeks and I’ve been more active in those two weeks than I have the whole first two months of being on Weight Watchers. Exercising is fun now! We play a LOT of Kinect Adventures and Kinect Sports. I also bought The Biggest Loser kinect game! Haven’t done as much of that lately, but its in my plans for the rest of this week.

My Aunt Jodi sent me an email a while back about how she’s had to find something fun to do in order to stay active every day, otherwise its really hard. I totally agree! I’m more than content to just sit like a couch potato all day, but I do end up feeling sore and pooey. This kinect has definitely changed my level of activity for the better. I feel more alive. Aunt Jodi plays tennis; I KINECT. :-)

Other good news…. some of my awesome readers decided that they DO want to go on this journey together, so I have officially started our group of “Reluctant Losers”! So far there are seven of us. Its just a place to track progress, talk about what worked and what didn’t for the week, and overall just experience a little more accountability! If its something you are interested in, check out the page and the sign up form if you decide you want to join us on our journey!

I’m going to start keeping track of how much we lose together as a group, but more importantly, how many goals we reach and what they are. That’s the real truth here; seeing just how much our lives are enhanced by our healthy choices. We aren’t doing this just to see how much we can lose. We’re doing this to live our lives to the fullest. The time we spend on this earth is a short blip in the great expanse of time, so we’d might as well make the best of it, right???