Reaching a Milestone

I’ve lost 50 POUNDS!!

I’d say that’s worth a post of it’s own, right?  It seems like I’ve slowly been inching towards this goal, but goodgollygosh I finally made it!  I still have 100 lbs to lose, but here I am a third of the way through and I know I’ll make it to where I want to be.  And now I finally get to spend $200 on new clothes!  Well, my reward is listed as $150 on new clothes in my Milestones and Rewards post, but I got $200 in giftcards at Christmas that I’ve been holding on to for exactly this purpose (and now I can save that other $150 for new clothes in the winter since I’ll need them!)

First off, THANK YOU to everyone who “liked” my FB milestones yesterday on my RWWF page and my personal page.  It is extremely touching to know I have so many people in my support system.  And a very special THANK YOU to my wonderful fiancee who instigated the conversations which led me to deal with the fact that I needed to make some changes in my life.  She’s been there right next to me at every victory and every disappointment.  She’s been a wonderful motivator for exercise and her squeals of delight at all my tasty dishes (and willingness to photograph many of them) have made cooking and creating healthy recipes an amazingly fun and inspiring experience.  And another special THANK YOU to my wonderful parents who have always supported me in all my endeavors and even joined Weight Watchers together this year.  In fact, they’ve lost over 60 lbs combined and my skinny-minny dad even reached his Lifetime Goal a couple weeks ago!  How amazing is that?!?!  They keep me on my toes.

This hasn’t been a smooth journey, though.  It’s taken me a little over a year and a half to get off these first 50 lbs.  I’ve fallen off track with both exercise and tracking my points, but I always got back on.  That’s the important part.  I keep getting back on plan.  Weight Watchers (as reluctant as I was to start it) is really the right plan for me.  It fits my life.  I don’t even go to the meetings or subscribe to WW Online right now, but I use a free app on my phone called WWDiary to do all of my tracking.  It’s been a lifesaver.

Okay, I’m done with the thank yous and general life blah blah blah now.  I thought it might be fun to list out 50 things that have changed in my life during this first 1/3 of the journey.  Then I’ll be able to come back and look at it whenever I lose my motivation and reaffirm why I need to get back on track again.

1. I can shop in the plus size section of regular stores like Old Navy, Target and JC Penney.
2. My back is finally healthy!
3. My “front butt” is almost gone!
4. Smiles come with one chin, not two.
5. I have more energy.
6. Bedroom antics are waaay more fun (TMI?)
7. Sleep comes more easily.
8. I can run around with our dog and not get exhausted so fast.
9. Looking at myself in the mirror is a much happier experience.
10. I fit into chairs with arms more easily.
11. My skin is clearer and brighter.
12. My knees don’t creak much anymore when I go up stairs.
13. I can stand on my feet for much longer periods of time (important for when I actually DO go to culinary school!)
14. Clothes shopping gets more and more fun.
15. I actually WANT to do things like ride a bike and walk more than 3 miles in a day.
16. I can jump and dance around like a crazy person without worrying about pulling a back muscle (keep those abs tight!)
17. I am stronger physically.
18. I am stronger mentally.
19. I feel more satisfied by the food that I choose to eat.
20. I barely ever experience an “uncomfortable” fullness after a meal because I know how to stop myself from eating too much.
21. I chew more gum.
22. I am looking forward to swimming this summer.
23. I am generally more satisfied with life.
24. I have done two 5Ks with my baybsie and plan on doing at least 48 more!
25. I feel more accomplished.
26. Long trips in cars and trains aren’t as uncomfortable.
27. I found my passion in life: cooking!
28. I’ve learned how to reward myself with non-food things.
29. I feel less stinky.
30. Parks are much more enjoyable.
31. Losing 100 pounds feels like a POSSIBLE goal.
32. I’ve made great blogger friends with wonderful, inspiring people!
33. I can keep a bar of chocolate in my fridge for more than a day.
34. Going to the gym isn’t nearly as intimidating.
35. Other people in my life have started changing theirs for the better which continues to motivate me every day.
36. I’m looking forward to wearing my wedding dress!
37. I am not nearly as worried about how our wedding pictures will turn out.
38. I can reach all the places I need to wash in the shower without extra straining!
39. General check ups at the doctor aren’t as scary.
40. I eat a lot more fruit and vegetables and I love it!
41. I pee a lot more which helps to flush out all sorts of toxins.
42. I am more sociable with people in general.
43. Sweating isn’t such an uncomfortable experience anymore.
44. My body doesn’t have random aches and pains as much.
45. Moving into our new apartment was much easier since I’m stronger overall.
46. I’m more aware of the food I put in my body.
47. I’ve discovered so many delicious and creative ways to make food fun and exciting.
48. When I hug people, I feel closer to them because I literally AM closer to them.
49. I don’t get winded going up and down the stairs at work (since only take the elevator up in the mornings)
50. Life is exponentially more beautiful and full of hope because this is the right journey for ME.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Pie

Click here for this “Healthier” Choco PB Cheesecake recipe from Shannon’s Kitchen Creations!

Life has been busy, to say the least.  Therefore, I have not blogged in SEVEN DAYS.  Holy freaking crap.  I feel like a bad blogger.  So, I am apologizing by FINALLY putting up the recipe for the Chocolate PB Mousse Pie that I’ve been talking about for ages.

Although you get the recipe, there still is no definite picture… because the pies disappear too fast.  But it’s pretty self-explanatory.  PB, cool whip, choco syrup, in a mini pie crust.  But before I give you that, I have other things I want to say.

I’ve definitely hit a mini-plateau.  Despite my working out and tracking points, my weight is fluctuating within the same pound.  It’s okay though, I’m keeping up with the working out and people are suggesting that I try eating all my earned Activity Points (which I hadn’t been doing) to let me body keep up with itself.  So I’ll just keep working hard and tracking…. although I’ll admit, I haven’t been tracking so well this past week.  Whenever I work out really hard and track right and don’t have a loss, I start rebelling against the scale (and punishing myself) by not tracking the next week.  It’s stupid, but I do it and I need to stop.  But I have been doing a LOT of activity outside!

We finally finished softball season with a whopping ZERO wins and 100% satisfaction!  We played our best and had a blast doing it.  The great thing about our team was that everyone got to play regardless of skill level.  I played three positions throughout the season – outfield (only once because I suck at catching fly balls), first base and catcher.  I got a lot of outs at first base and even got a few while playing catcher!  I may have dreaded taking the time out of my weekend to play some days, but ultimately, I had fun at each game.  I even got a double and two RBI’s at the last game!  I’ll definitely play again next year.

Click here for this WWF Peanut Butter Cookies recipe from the “Point-Less Meals” blog!

The girlfriend and I did a Women’s Build with Habitat for Humanity last weekend.  We put up the WALLS!  Seriously!  When we got there at 8am, it was just the base of a house.  When we left at 2:30, all the outside walls were up along with most of the inside walls.  Every single volunteer was a woman too!  Only two guys were there and they were in charge of the build – one was the president of the local H4H association and the other was the actual construction guy who told us where to put everything and how to do it.  We totally rocked it.  There were probably about 12 of us all together at the most and gradually, people had to leave.

The weather was perfect; it felt amazing to do a completely different kind of work than I’d ever done before and even more amazing that I could actually DO IT without worrying about my back or not being “fit” enough for intense manual labor.  I tell ya, I have soooo much more respect for construction workers now!  Even with the lower temperatures and cool breeze, I basically sweated and worked out at a moderate level for about 5 1/2 hours.  And the feeling of accomplishment was so wonderful.  Getting to talk to the woman who it getting the house; working with her side-by-side, knowing that my efforts would be benefiting another family… it made it all worth it.  Every drop of sweat was worth it.  And so were the brownies and cookies I had later that day!  Lol.

Click here for this Chocolate Banana Cupcake recipe from The Novice Chef Blog!

I’ve also been going to the gym twice a week in the mornings.  I get there around 7:45am and do about 20-30 minutes of cardio and then 20-25 minutes of weight machines.  It’s been really enjoyable because the gym is relatively empty at that time, so I don’t have to wait for machines or showers and by the time I’m done and showered, I’m into the office before 9:30am, which is usually earlier than my normal arrival time!  When I workout at home, I’m more likely to take my time getting ready and do other things around the house and I don’t get in until 10 or 11.  Of course, that means I have to work much later, so getting in at an earlier time is really helping to keep me sane in the evenings.  And I get to spend more time with the furry babies and the girlfriend in the evenings, which is the biggest benefit of all!

So, yeah.  Lots of exercise, lots of good things, and hopefully I get over this plateau soon.  I’m so close to having lost 30 lbs that it’s frustrating not actually being there.  My journey is slower than most and at this pace it’ll probably take me around 3-4 years to reach my goal.  But I can be patient.  I can keep writing blogs and inspiring others.  Not everyone can be gung-ho about losing 100 lbs in a year or two.  I can’t do it.  I know that I enjoy eating food and taking time to relax.  Losing weight is NOT my life.  “Living healthy” is a lifestyle that I’ve had for almost a year now.  That in and of itself is quite an accomplishment.  Losing weight is just a hobby.  I do what I can and I have mini-goals, but I’m losing it slow so that it STAYS OFF.  And I’m quite alright with that!  Okay, here’s that recipe….

Click here for the Five Ingredient Cookie recipe that I posted a while back!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Pies
Servings: 3
PointsPlus Per Serving: 8 (5 PP without the pie crusts and just as good!)


  • 2 tbsp Hershey’s chocolate syrup, 0 PP!
  • 4 tbsp creamy peanut butter (I used a reduced sodium organic one), 10 PP
  • 1 1/2 cups Cool Whip Free, 4 PP
  • 3 Keebler graham ready crust minis, 9 PP

1. Mix together PB, chocolate syrup and cool whip free until completely blended and creamy.

2. Divide mixture amongst mini graham crusts. Top with a swirl of chocolate syrup or a few chocolate chips (make sure to count those points if you use them). Chill in fridge until needed or eat right away!

Not only is this good in pie form, but it’s just as good without a crust. The first time I made it, I ate it right out of the bowl with a spoon! A friend of mine dipped pretzels and animal crackers in hers and loved it. Slice up some apple and dip that in it for a healthy, delicious snack! And if you want to lower the points value even more, use half the amount of peanut butter. It’ll still be great, just not as thick (but almost as rich and tasty!)

Cinnamon Peach Pecan Zucchini Muffins

Before I dive into any recipes, I have to say thank you.  Thank you to all of you who sent me such beautiful supportive comments after my last post.  After a hard week, it was so wonderful to read all the love on wordpress and facebook; to get private messages and texts from friends and family who wanted to let me know that they love and support me and my girlfriend.  My grandparents even sent us flowers!  It was so humbling.  So, thanks you all from the bottom of my heart.  It was exactly what I needed to jump start my tracking and exercising again!

A nice healthy glow from all the good eating and exercise.  And also from knowing how much I am loved and supported!

In fact, I earn 33 activity points this week from all the working out I did!  After my small weight loss of 3/10ths on Friday, I woke my ass up early and went to the gym before work on both Friday AND Monday, and I did 25 minutes of weights and some cardio each time.  It felt great and I don’t even mind the fact that my arms and legs are sore from it all.  I also did a MUCH better job tracking my food.  I’ve barely used any of my 33 AP or 49 Weekly Points.  And now I have a gym buddy (Sarah from the Reluctant Losers Page) and we’re going to the gym every Monday and Wednesday morning!  So, I will continue to get great exercise.  Lucky for us, one of the benefits of working for Wolfram is a SUPER discounted gym membership.  I basically pay 18 bucks a month for TWO “gold” memberships  (me and the girlfriend) at a local gym.  I have no excuses for not working out.  Period.

So, life is back on track, the weather is becoming manageable again, and cooking has been happening a lot lately!  On Saturday, I made a tasty gourmet sandwich for lunch using chicken, “zucchini linguine”, feta and tomatoes… that delicious recipe is definitely coming soon as I convinced the girlfriend to take a picture before we all dug in.  Last night I made a mexican pizza with homemade dough, refried beans, green enchilada sauce, chobani ‘gurt, corn, tomatoes, sliced up marinated beef, jalapeno, cheese and adobo spice.  It was gooooood!  Although, some guacamole or avocado would have cinched it.  Tonight, we’re finishing up our latest round of ravioli making using the ravioli recipe I posted last year (that was my girlfriend’s doing.  She loves those ravs!).  So good!  And tomorrow, I’m cooking up another batch of my Fried Rice with Prawns and Ham, although I think chicken will be replacing the ham since I no longer have any ham in the house.  That’s quite possibly our favorite leftovers meal, which is hard to come by since the girlfriend isn’t a huge fan of the leftovers.  But that’s the thing about fried rice, it always tastes better the second day!

Now… for the recipe that claimed the title of this blog!  I LOVE these muffins.  They absolutely are the best right out of the oven or warmed up in the microwave and slathered in a bit of light butter.  My girlfriend doesn’t like nuts in baked things and she really liked these ones!  I didn’t take a pictures because, really, they look almost exactly like the Lemon Walnut Zucchini ones that I posted a while back.  Just a little more “peachy” than “lemony” :)  So just trust me, they look tasty!

Cinnamon Peach Pecan Zucchini Muffins
Servings: 12
PointsPlus Per Serving: 3

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour, 11 PP
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 5 PP
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 6-oz container of peach chobani, 4 PP
  • 1/2 cup sugar, 11 PP
  • 1 1/2 cups grated zucchini (and carrot if you want), drained
  • 1 egg, 2 PP
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract, 1 PP
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans, 8 PP
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 315 degrees.

2. Grate zucchini and drain. I used my awesome food processor for quick grating and squeezed it all by hand to get out as much liquid as possible.

3. Put all the dry ingredients in one bowl and mix with a wooden spoon. Then put all the wet ingredients in another bowl and mix with the same wooden spoon. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until fully blended.

4. Spray your muffin pan with some Pam and scoop the batter evenly into the pan. Cook for 40-45 minutes. They should be perfectly done once the timer goes off, so take em out and enjoy! I highly recommend heating them up if they’ve cooled down before you got a chance to eat one, then slice apart and put a little bit of butter on each side. It just brings it all together!

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

Mmmmmmm chocolate.

WOW.  Does it feel like it’s been forever since I blogged?  Sure does on my end.  Sometimes life just gets busy and you don’t have time to cook; that’s what life has been like for the past few days.  Luckily, that was not the case last night, and I had the chance to try out a couple new recipes with some of the Chobani ‘gurt from the extra free case of it that the amazing people over at Chobani sent me!

I can’t even express in words how much I love baking with yogurt now.  No butter, no oil, just pure awesome.  Add a little chocolate in there (like I did) and you’re basically biting into a little piece of heaven.

My girlfriend and I have a favorite chocolate chip.  It’s the Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate chips.  We don’t use any other kind anymore.  During the Christmas season, we went through about SIX bags of these chips in baking, eating them frozen, etc.  So, on our last trip to the grocery store… as we passed them in the aisle… they mysteriously ended up in our cart.  It was fate!  We had to buy them.  So last night, they became part of my new muffins.  And every bite was awesome.

See all the chocolate inside???

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins
Servings: 12
PointsPlus Per Serving: 6 (4 PP if you only use 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips!)

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour, 11 PP
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 5 PP
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 6-oz container of raspberry chobani, 4 PP
  • 1/2 cup sugar, 11 PP
  • 1 1/2 cups grated zucchini, drained
  • 1 egg, 2 PP
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract, 1 PP
  • 1 cup special dark chocolate chips, 36 PP

1. Preheat oven to 315 degrees.

2. Grate zucchini and drain. I used my awesome food processor for quick grating and squeezed it all by hand to get out as much liquid as possible. You don’t want the extra juices, believe me!

3. Put all the dry ingredients in one bowl and mix with a wooden spoon. Then put all the wet ingredients for your muffin of choice in another bowl and mix with the same wooden spoon. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until fully blended. No need to over-mix!

4. Spray your muffin pan with some Pam and scoop the batter evenly into the pan. Cook for 40-45 minutes. They should be perfectly done once the timer goes off, so take em out and enjoy! I highly recommend heating them up if they’ve cooled down before you got a chance to eat one, then slice apart and put a little bit of butter on each side. It just brings it all together!

Stay tuned later this week for another muffin recipe: Cinnamon Peach Pecan. These muffins were AMAZING too! Even the girlfriend, who doesn’t like nuts in baked goods, really really liked these muffins. Tastes a little like the holidays :)

Other recipes on the blog that I’ve used the Special Dark Chocolate Chips for:
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Five Ingredient Cookies
Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies

Popchips Giveaway Winners!

We have a handful of winners today!  So let’s get started.  The first winner of the Popchips Sampler Pack is….

Congratulations, Elle!  It’ll be nice to have food sent to your doorstep for once rather than you having to walk through the city of Chicago to find a grocery store, eh?  I know you’ll enjoy them.  I’m hoping to see some tweeting/tumblring about this!  =D

The second winner of the Popchips sampler pack is….

Melissa!!  This woman is on a winning streak (and proves the randomness of  She was the lucky winner of the case of Chobani in my most recent giveaway!  Girl, you aren’t going to need to buy snacks for a whole freaking month with all this winning!  Congratulations to you!  You will LOVE the salt and vinegar.

AAAANNNNNDDDDD…. because I lurve you all so much and I looooove to give out free stuff, I also two more winners for some awesome coupons!  Both of these winners will get THREE coupons.

1. One FREE 3oz bag of popchips (no purchase necessary) from a local store where they sell these awesome chips. I found mine at County Market, but I know they sell them at Target too!
2. Buy one, get one free! That one explains itself.
3. $1 off on your next bag! So if you still love them after you’ve used up the first two coupons, you can save another dollar if you go back for more.

First winner is….

Congratulations, Brittany!  Aren’t ya glad you started following my blog on Pulse??  I don’t even know what that is, but I know it’s paying off already!

Second winner is….

Congratulations to Tif!  Good luck on your WW journey and I hope these chips help during snack time!  The salt and pepper is SO GOOD.  I’m excited for you to try them!

So!  For all my lucky winners; please go to the Contact Page and email me your contact information.  Full addresses (no PO Boxes).  I’ll get all that sent out the minute I receive all your information.  Remember, each 1-0z serving of Popchips is 3 PP.  And keep on reading my blog, you never know when the next giveaway will happen!  I’ve gotta start poking at some companies so they’ll give me more stuff to giveaway :)

Open-Faced Heirloom Tomato Sandwich

Beautiful colors of summer!

Tis the season for those sweet, sweet tomatoes!  I love them so.  So many beautiful colors, shapes and sizes.  So when I happened upon this awesome recipe from Gina’s Skinny Recipes I knew I’d be buying some heirloom tomatoes at the market that weekend.

And whaddaya know… the market had ciabatta bread too!  Bread can make or break a sandwich, people.  You wouldn’t make this with a slice of white bread.  Because of the juiciness of the tomatoes and the drizzles of olive oil, you need a sturdier bread.  And because of the natural sweetness of the tomatoes, you want something that’s closer to a sourdough flavor to balance it out.  Ciabatta was definitely the perfect bread for this sandwich.

So the next time you’re at the market and you want to buy up all those pretty tomatoes, but you’re not sure what to do with them, try this recipe.  Tomato sandwiches fill you up and leave you satisfied… even though the name makes it sound like a lame-o “icantaffordtobuymeat” sandwich!  I assure you, it’s not lame.  It’s gourmet :)

Come in closerrrrrrrrrr

Open-Faced Heirloom Tomato Sandwich
Servings: 2
PointsPlus Per Serving: 4


  • 4 oz ciabatta bread, sliced in half, 7 PP
  • 6 slices ripe heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 tsp olive oil, 1 PP
  • sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 large basil leaf, cut chiffonade (optional)
  • balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • 1 garlic clove (optional)

1. If you are using the garlic, cut the clove in half and rub the inside of both halves of the bread with it. Discard the garlic when finished.

2. Place fresh tomatoes on bread, drizzle with olive oil, salt and fresh pepper and top with basil or balsamic if using. VOILA!

And don’t forget, tomorrow is the last day to enter to win a sampler pack of Popchips!  Two winners will be announced on Friday, so get your entries in by tomorrow at midnight!  You’d win 6 snack bags of differently flavored popchips, some coupons and a chip clip!  Free stuff is always awesome, so get on it!

Fried Rice with Prawns and Ham

Sriracha swirls make everything better.

I have been searching for a really good fried rice recipe and I think I finally figured it out!  It’s no easy feat, I tell you, especially when you are trying to keep it relatively healthy.  Anything with “fried” in the name is bound to give you a bit of trouble when skinnifying it.

The secret isn’t just the ingredients or the sauce.  The secret to fantastic fried rice is the order in which your ingredients are cooked.  You need to saute the vegetables and protein together so that all the flavors infuse each other and become fragrant before you add any rice or sauce.

I discovered this while following (for the most part) the directions for the fried rice recipe in my “Stir Fry” cookbook.  It’s one of those random cookbooks I picked up from a Barnes and Noble somewhere and all the recipes in it are over-involved, you know, where there’s ONE ingredient in almost every dish that you don’t even know where to find because it’s sooo gourmet?  Yeah, I just cut that out and do my own thing, but I generally follow the directions.  My theory proved to be correct and this dish has quickly become a favorite in our home.  In fact, I have about 7 cups of white and wild rice chilling in the freezer right now so I can make a huge batch of it tonight!

So, take it from me and my girlfriend; this fried rice is fabulous.  Full of veggies and a delicious mix of meats, you’d might as well make a huge batch of it so you’ll have leftovers for lunch!

Soooo much better for you than the average Chinese restaurant!

Fried Rice with Prawns and Ham
Servings: 9 (around 1 to 1 1/2 cups each)
PointsPlus Per Serving: 7


  • 5 cups cooked white rice, 26 PP
  • 4 cups cooked wild rice, 17 PP
  • 6 tsp canola oil, 7 PP
  • 4 medium carrots, diced
  • 2/3 cup frozen green peas, 2 PP
  • 1/4 cup diced scallions or white onion
  • 15 large prawns (slice in half length-wise and then cut each side into 3 more pieces), 3 PP
  • 2 oz lean deli-sliced ham, 1 PP
  • 5 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 tsp fish sauce (optional)
  • 1 tbsp sriracha chili sauce
  • 4 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce, 1 PP
  • 4 tsp unpacked light brown sugar, 1 PP
  • 6 egg whites, 2 PP

1. Heat up 2 tsp canola oil in a wok. over medium-low heat. Pour egg whites in and stir them up until they are just cooked enough and slightly scrambled. Place in a bowl and set aside.

2. Reheat the wok and pour in 3 more tsp canola oil. Put in garlic, green onion, shrimp, ham, carrots and peas. Cook for about about 5-10 minutes until shrimp has been thoroughly cooked.

3. Whisk together soy sauce, brown sugar, fish sauce, last of the canola oil and sriracha in a bowl.

4. Pour rice and sauce mixture into the wok and mix up with the vegetables. cook for a few minutes until well coated. Then throw in the egg. Cook for another minute or so.

5. Serve immediately and enjoy! Keep some sriracha and soy sauce out on the side so people can add it at their leisure.

You can always switch out which meats you use, so if you want chicken in there, just make sure you switch out the points since it’ll be more.  Maybe you have leftover pork that you need to use or even bacon or scallops!  Don’t like peas?  Put in some edamame.  Make those flavors work for you!

Weekly Weigh-In and a Popchips Giveaway! CLOSED

Thumbs up for another loss!

Minus 1 pound. Yay!  I’ll totally take it.  the pattern is usually that I lose a big amount and then I gain some the following week, but not this time!  I’ve been very careful to make sure to drink lots of water, exercise and not go over my daily points for at least two days leading up to my weigh-in.  Granted, I’m also doing those things, plus tracking on a regular basis, but the water consumption especially is monitored more during those two days.  Helps to cleanse my system, ya know?

So that makes me only 1.4 lbs away from 30 lbs lost and 4 lbs away from my 10% goal!  Slow and steady wins the race, right?  A few weeks ago, I had this “moment” where I was really thinking about just how impossible it seems to get to where I want to be.  I have to lose HALF of the weight that I started with.  HALF OF MY BODY WEIGHT.  And in that moment, it felt almost impossible.  It wasn’t that I had gained weight that week and was feeling bad about it.  It was just one of those moments like when you’re sitting at work and you think to yourself that is feels like the day will NEVER END.  But, of course, it does end and you feel better when you’re back at home in your pjs.  I know I’ll get there, it just felt overwhelming for a minute. I mean, shoot, I’m almost 1/5th of the way there!  That’s waaaay better than where I was eight months ago, but I know that it’ll be more than just a couple of years before I reach my goal.  Probably more like 4.  But I’m okay with that.  Every day I get closer and every day I feel better.

So!  Enough with that.  Now for something fun!  Recently I tweeted to Popchips about how I was interested in a “taste and tell” about their product and whaddaya know… they sent me samples!  Actually, they sent me TWO sampler boxes, both with invites to “pop it forward” so that my lucky readers could share in the poppin!

I have to say, I’m a fan of the Popchips!!  Each serving is only 3 PP, although it’s a good idea to count them out (you get 20 chips per serving compared to the average 10-13 you get for another chip) because you’ll just keep on eating them.  My favorites were Salt and Vinegar (of course.  i’m obsessed with that flavor), Barbeque and surprisingly, Salt and Pepper!  I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about Salt and Pepper, but I was pleasantly surprised!  And for those of you that are watching your sodium, the flavors with the lowest sodium content is actually Salt and Vinegar and Barbeque with only 210mg of sodium per serving.  The others were like 240mg and 260mg.  You’d think that SALT and Vinegar would contain more sodium…. I’m glad to see that it’s not the case!  I definitely recommend these for anyone who’s trying to eat healthier but doesn’t want to give up their chips.  Not the same texture as a potato chip, but the flavor is still the same.  The texture is more like… cereal puffs, only shaped like a larger circle rather than a small ball.

Photo Courtesy of:

TWO winners will receive a sampler pack in the mail. Each sampler pack includes one snack sized bag of each of the flavors shown in the picture above, along with some coupons and a chip clip! (At least that’s what I believe….)  There are a bunch of different ways to enter, but make sure to leave a separate comment for each entry!  The winner will be chosen on Friday, July 29th using, so all entries MUST be received by THURSDAY, July 28th at MIDNIGHT!

1. “Like” Popchips on Facebook and leave a comment on their wall telling them how you found their page and what product you’re trying to win and then leave a comment on this blog post telling me that you did.

2. Follow @ReluctantFoodie on Twitter and leave a comment on this blog telling me that you did or already do.

3. Subscribe to my blog through RSS feed or through email and leave a comment telling me that you did or already do.

4. Share my blog post link on Facebook with the following in the comment box, “Win a free sampler pack of Popchips on The Reluctant WW Foodie blog!” and leave a comment on this blog telling me that you did.

5. Tweet the following message “Win a sampler pack of @Popchips from @ReluctantFoodie! Enter here –” and leave a comment on this blog telling me that you did.

6. Leave a comment on this blog telling me what flavor you are super excited to try!

And who knows, maybe a few of you will win some coupons for a free bag or buy one/get one free!  The only way to find out is to enter!!  Each person may only win one prize per giveaway (ie. if you win the sampler pack, you can’t win the coupons too).  GOOD LUCK!

Chobani Giveaway Winner and a Delicious New Recipe!

WOW! I received 45 entries for the Chobani giveaway and the lucky winner was…

Congratulation, Melissa!  She had six entries, so she was bound and determined!  Melissa, please send me an email with your contact information so that I can get that case of Chobani to you!

In true fashion, it chose the number 13, which was actually pretty perfect since I became the Featured Blogger on the 13th day of the month!  Kewl.  Thank you to everyone else for participating and don’t be disheartened!  I’m having a Popchips giveaway soon!

Now, I was going to post a recipe for the tzatziki sauce that I made, but it still needs a little perfecting, so that will be done later this week.  But I’m not leaving you with NOTHING!

My girlfriend and I have made a few big purchases in the last month, so we’ve been budgeting like crazy, thanks to You Need a Budget.  It’s this awesome software that’s keeping us in line and on track.  Needless to say, buying meat isn’t a priority right now, lol.  We have so many vegetables from our awesome CSA that vegetarian dishes are working their way into our weekly menus.  I’ve actually enjoyed the challenge.  I’m definitely one of those people who could never be a full-time vegetarian.  I like my meat!  I like the texture and the protein and the flavor… so, I’ve had to be creative.

This recipe was inspired by Budget Bytes.  She made zucchini pizza boats and they looked so appealing that I took it and ran with it!  I wanted to do it with more of an Italian style, so that’s what I did.  What happened next… was pure deliciousness.  I didn’t miss the meat and my girlfriend said she didn’t even miss the noodles; if you know ANYTHING about my girlfriend, it’s that she loooooooves her noodles!  Noodles are a weekly occurrence in our home, so that statement is a true testament to how exquisite this dish was!  Plus, it’s made with stuff that you probably have in your kitchen right now.


Italian Stuffed Zucchini
Servings: 2 (or 4 if you are serving sides)
PointsPlus Per Serving: 8 (or 4 if you have 4 portions)


  • 1 ginormous zucchini (a 3-5 lb one will do!)
  • 1 cup reduced fat spaghetti sauce, 3 PP
  • 1 oz parmesan cheese (fresh if you have it), 3 PP
  • 1 oz feta cheese (i used full fat cheeses), 2 PP
  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs (any kind will do), 5 PP
  • 1/4 cup diced sweet/yellow onion
  • 1 tsp olive oil, 1 PP
  • 1 tbsp italian seasoning (parsley, basil, oregano)
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425.

2. Slice zucchini in half and scoop out the insides, leaving about 1 cm – 1/2 inch all the way round. Put insides in a bowl and set aside.

3. Lightly spray the bottom of a roasting pan with Pam and place 2 zucchini halves in, insides up.

4. Heat up tsp oil in a small non-stick pan and saute onion. Once sauteed, put into bowl and set aside.

5. Get out a chopping board and roughly chop up insides of zucchini and then place back in the bowl. Add spaghetti sauce, onions, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, italian seasoning, bread crumbs, cheese and a little salt and pepper if you’d like. Mix together.

6. Spoon mixture into zucchini halves until evenly distributed. Sprinkle grated parmesan cheese over top and place in oven.

7. Cook for 35-50 minutes depending on how firm you want your zucchini to be. Serve and enjoy!

Now, make sure not to cut off the ends of the zucchini. In my picture, I have one side cut off because I used part of it for a different recipe a few days before. The zucchini was that big.  You can use smaller zucchinis if you want.  Maybe two normal-large ones.  The wider the better, too!  You want your zucchini to be like a little boat so that none of the insides drip out. Seriously, this dish is AMAZING. You won’t want any little bits dripping out!

Weekly Weigh-In and a Smoothie Recipe

This is Immi doing a happy dance for my good weigh-in. Or maybe it was an escape attempt….

After three weigh-ins of gains and not enough time spent at home cooking, I finally made up for it and lost 5.4 lbs this week! But really, it’s just 2 lbs less than what I weighed in at before I gained those 3.4 lbs back. So yay for redeeming myself!

They were pretty, delicious AND WWF. Better than a cake!

A list of random things before I give you the yummy smoothie recipe….
– I turned 27 this past Sunday. Happy birthday to me!
– My girlfriend is awesome. She bought me a bouquet of chocolate covered strawberries for my birthday rather than a cake! Sweet AND WWF :)
Chobani chose me as their featured blogger of the week, so I’m currently accepting more entries for the case of Chobani ‘gurt they’re letting me give away! Enter here.
– I need to buy MORE Chobani ‘gurt so that I can make more muffins. I’m all out.
– 3 new people joined the Reluctant Losers in the past two days, so there’s 19 of us all together now!
– I got a subscription to Cooking Light for the next two years and I am PSYCHED. 218 recipes in the latest issue alone! I’m in heaven.
– I bought a juicer after watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and I’m totally a convert. Zero PP and it’s incredibly good for you? YES PLEASE.

And now, for your yummy smoothie recipe!  This is another recipe that I created using Chobani ‘gurt.  It was quick, easy and delightful.  You can switch up any of the ingredients to make it your own.  I’m not a HUGE fan of bananas and berries in the same shake, but it’s what I had on hand.  I’d much rather pair bananas with peanut butter or coconut and some chocolate syrup… and let the berries do their own thing with either lemons, vanilla gurt or ice cream, or…. chocolate syrup.  Yep.  Chocolate syrup is pretty much my “go-to” in many dessert situations.  But not too much!

Berry Banana ‘Gurt Smoothie…  Made with Chobani Pineapple ‘Gurt.

Berry Banana ‘Gurt Smoothie
Servings: 1
PointsPlus Per Serving: 5


  • 1 6-oz container of Chobani Pineapple, 4 PP
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup mixed frozen strawberries/raspberries (or fresh if you have them)
  • 1 cup frozen banana rounds (slice up bananas when they are just starting to brown and then freeze them!)
  • 1/3 cup low-fat milk or Silk Coconut Milk, 1 PP
  • 1 packet sweetener like splenda or truvia

1. Add all ingredients to blender. Blend. Pour. Enjoy. The end.

Since the bananas were frozen, there’s no need for ice! But if you don’t have any of your fruit frozen, then you’d want to add about 4 ice cubes or so. One more picture for the road!!

Pretty much the same picture, just more saturated and sultry….