Hello!!!

I just thought I’d drop in for a moment to chat and not talk about food. ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope everyone is having a wonderful 2014 so far… February has been one HECTIC month for me work-wise. So many changes going on and tons of overtime and things to learn… I get a headache just thinking about it! For the most part the added stress hasn’t deterred me too much. I had a rough week the first week it all hit us. I had to cancel my workout sessions because there were just NOT enough hours in the day to get everything done…and that week was hard nutritionally. I am telling you, getting busy and running all the time partially how I got in this position of being over weight and I can see why. You get busy, you eat quick and easy foods, you lose sleep, you neglect your workouts, etc. It can spiral out of control really fast. Thankfully for me it was just a low week and I picked right back up the following week. I think one of the keys to success, or to my success to this point, is being forgiving when you get side-tracked. By forgiving I mean you brush it off and you move on, try to learn a lesson from it and analyze what you could do better. Before, I would have a bad week and it’d turn into a bad couple of weeks, then months…and you know the rest. Now I’ve stopped beating myself up over it. I take responsibility for my actions but I don’t wallow in self-pity and guilt. I learned something duuring that bad week and that is that I can be a stress-eater… I get stressed and I find myself resorting to food, particularly junk food, not just because I am rushed and not prepared, but because I am trying to cope or deal with the stress…through eating. I don’t know where I picked that up and exactly when I started doing it but I was quick to realize all of those feelings and my actions. So hopefully, next time I will be able to recognize it and prevent it from getting out of hand. That’s what it’s all about folks~ it’s a process, it’s a journey, and you have to learn as you go. Don’t be afraid to face those feelings and look at the truth… even if you don’t like what you see. It is within you to change those things and grow from every failure, struggle and set-back. To me that is a tell-tale sign that my mentality about this whole thing has changed. I have learned that this change is about life-style changing and as long as I am taking steps forward 90% of the time then it’s not the end of the world if I have moments of weaknesses. We are human and to expect perfection from ourselves is a standard we’ll never meet.

I will also say that I know my mentality has changed when my legs are SCREAMING in soreness and I get up and go to Zumba anyways. I was laying in the floor last night, stretching my back and playing with Zoe and my legs and shoulders are so sore and 6:30 was approaching and I was just like, “I do not want to go.” I thought of a thousand reasons not to. And went around in circles with myself… “Tracy isn’t going” “yea but I told Katie I would” “but my legs are really sore, they should probably rest” “exercising them would loosen them and make them feel better” “I should stay home and clean up, cook dinner for Troy when he gets home.” ย And round and round I went… but in the end I reminded myself to hush up the excuses and go get it done. I felt so good afterwards, and as much as working out makes me feel better, I was more excited that I overcame the inner voice and excuses and pushed through it. That just stands out to me as one of those little triumphs that will ultimately lead me to success.

Speaking of success… it’s so funny how you view yourself vs how others view you. This past week I’ve been enamored with compliments after compliments. When I look at myself~ I see what’s left to do…and very little change. But then people tell me everywhere I go how different I’m looking and how they can tell… and I look at myself and think they are crazy and they are just being nice. But considering it’s such a wide variety of people (church, work, random Facebook peeps) I realize that not everyone is just “being” nice. It’s really motivating to hear it…and rewarding to know that even though I don’t see it the same as everyone else does, something must be changing. And it’s uplifting to know… it fuels the drive. Not because I need compliments or people to tell me I look good, quite frankly, I hate attention, so no, that’s not it. It is just reassuring that all this soreness and hard work is making a difference, and for me that difference is my health. I just strive to be healthy.

Anyways, those are the thoughts floating around my head this evening. I just took a stroll through some old photos and am appalled at where I started… Just helped me see that I have come a long way… I am focused on the journey ahead ย and I appreciate where I am but I also look forward to where I am going. ๐Ÿ™‚

I just decided I will share with you one of those photos…which isn’t an easy thing but it’s a part of this process and so I am going to give you a glimpse of my starting point and one day soon I’ll post a pic of where I am now.

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Nevermind me ( :/ ) How cute is my nephew and how silly is my sister? LOL

Appreciate the journey…. it’s a beautiful thing overcoming adversity and reclaiming your life. It doesn’t happen overnight but it is very much worth the daily grind of getting there. ๐Ÿ™‚

Good night my friends.

 

 

p.s. Featurette coming soon, high-lighting my dear friend with MS and her journey…stay tuned, I promise it’s coming! โค

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Mexican Lettuce Wraps – Sun Feb 16th

This is another recipe that was passed on to me. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love trying new things… and this time I wanted to do a lettuce wrap. Since I can’t seem to ever find the pita’s/wraps the I want… I figured why not nix them all together… My friend Jennifer seems to have the best recipes or she seems to always suggest stuff that is right on what I was thinking of doing. Fun!

So here we have it, my lunch for this week…

Mexican Lettuce Wraps
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1 cup black beans, rinsed
1 cup pinto beans, rinsed
1 small tomato, diced
1/2 small avocado, diced
1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, thawed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Shredded cheese (optional)
Salsa
Stir together beans, corn, tomato, avocado, cilantro, lemon juice and chili powder.
Spoon into lettuce leaf top with cheese and salsa (if desired.)
Pretty good! I should also add to salt and pepper to taste. And let me just say, I love cilantro! I hear more often of people who hate cilantro and I am like what!? To me it’s not a good Mexican dish without some cilantro mixed up in it…. if you feel this way, feel free to add more than what it calls for. ๐Ÿ™‚
I spooned about 1/4 cup of the mix into a large lettuce leaf and then I added the salsa and a little bit of shredded cheese…and rolled it up like I would a tortilla…IMG_20140217_133511_983
I thought it’d be harder to handle than it was. I was expecting it to be flimsy and not easy to hold together, but it’s not. It holds together just fine. You could pair it with some healthy black bean tortilla chips… homemade salsa …etc.
Yummmmmy ๐Ÿ™‚
If you have any recipes you think I would like feel free to send them to me! I am always looking for new things to try and keeping it healthy as possible! I’d love to hear from you! email: amyount@gmail.com
Happy prepping!

Vegetable Soup – Sun Feb 09th

This week I am doing a vegetable soup…it’s a recipe that was passed on to me from a friend. ๐Ÿ™‚ Since we’ve been under a solid sheet of ice and snow I figured soup was in order!?!

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The original recipe called for 4 beef bouillon cubes and 4 cups of water. I just decided to use what I had on hand so I went with 4 cups beef broth which is just 1 of those containers.

4 cups beef broth
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 pkgs frozen mixed vegetables
1 clove garlic, minced
Half small head of cabbage, chopped
1 (large) can crushed tomatoes (pictured above crushed tomatoes with basil)
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Put in pot and simmer until cabbage is

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Easy as can be! I haven’t figured up the calories to it yet… But I divided that pot full in to 5 lunch portions for the week. Can be too bad…

All set for another week. I’ve got some fruit and things for snacks and breakfast.

Due to work constraints I didn’t get to work out last week… So I am really anxious to get back in gear this week. I really do miss it and it is amazing at how much better I feel physically (even when I’m sore!)…

Happy prepping…. Set yourself up for success this week!

What’s In A Name?

I’ve posted recently on Facebook and even mentioned on here the desire to come up with a better name for the blog. I feel like I should explain my reasons and desires for a new name…

It’s not that I don’t like Finding Amy… in the beginning (over ย a year ago) it made sense…. even though I never loved it for a long term name, I had to put something so I could get started.

The name Finding Amy sort of implies that I am lost and or that I don’t know who I am. Which is not true. I do know who I am and I am not lost. ๐Ÿ™‚ Quite the opposite actually. I realize that it describes the journey as I navigate my ways to a healthier self, but I don’t like that it’s specifically about me and then those implications I just mentioned.

Yes, I blog for myself… it is very therapeutic in fact to be transparent and to document ones journey… it builds accountability and keeps me focused. At the same time, one of the things that drives me is the feed back and comments that I get from YOU who tell me that my journey and openness is inspiring. It gives this whole deal a sense of purpose and I want it to be about us all learning and growing and journeying to better ourselves. Whether you read just to keep up with me or you read for other reasons, I don’t want it to solely be about me…. Hey maybe I should call it Losing Amy. ha ha.

I don’t necessarily want to completelyย commercializeย the blog but I do want it to be solid and focused and with purpose. I’ve seen them out there… there are prime examples such asย fromfattofitchick.blogspot.com/ and so on. Take a look at the link I posted… you’ll see where I am going with this. She has done and is doing the very thing that I am doing. (I didn’t find her blog until after I had started so I can say that though it is a similar story, we didn’t copy off of one another. ๐Ÿ™‚ )

So now you can see WHY I want to change the name. Can you help me come up with something? I feel like there’s an obvious answer and it’s right at the edge of my grasp….I’ve been brainstorming for so long that I just can’t see it…

HELP ME! ๐Ÿ™‚

Switching gears for a moment… be looking for upcoming “Features” on the blog. I’ve been wanting to do this for so long and I finally have a volunteer so I am excited to get her story up! My goal is to get it up before February ends. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have met so many fabulous and wonderful people who have overcome and are overcoming challenges and I want to highlight their efforts and how they are doing so! Stay tuned!

Grilled Lime & Taco Chicken Bowl w/veggies – Sun Feb 02

I found this recipe/meal on Pinterest. Click here for the direct link to the originator of this meal.

Grilled Taco & Lime Chicken:

This is probably what sold me to try this dish. I love finding new and different ways to flavor chicken. I decided to marinade the chicken for a few hours and plan to grill it later this evening.

1 lb chicken
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
2 limes

I trimmed the chicken, put it in a plastic baggy… dumped in the spices, squeezed the limes.. and shook it up good; making sure everything is good and coated then I put it back in the fridge.

I’m putting it together with roasted vegetables and brown rice. I decided to try some new things, again my whole goal in these weekly meals aren’t just to tell you what I am eating but it’s also to discover new foods and ways of preparing. It’s not necessarily a new way to prepare but something new I’ve never done before. I am also trying to eat as cleanly as possible.

So to pair with the chicken I’m roasting cauliflower and asparagus. I had a tad bit of broccoli left over so I decided to toss it in as well. Roasting vegetables is easy…but I didn’t realize that until tonight.

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Preheat oven to 375
I cut up and washed the cauliflower and spread it evenly over a 9×13 cookie sheet.
I then snapped the ends off the asparagus and washed them really good and spread them across a smaller cookie sheet.
I drizzled extra virgin olive oil over both pans, tossed both veggies around a bit to evenly coat. Then sprinkled with kosher salt. Asparagus cook time: 7 minutes (or so…) and cauliflower cook time: 10 mins (or so…)

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I cooked up some brown rice (under the veggies in the pic) Honestly this is probably too much food but considering it’s all fresh vegetables it’s alright. I will grill ย up the chicken later and put it on top and the dish will be complete!

Maybe I’ll get Mr Y to eat some for lunch… I probably could divide this up into 2-3 more meals.

Anyways, Happy Super Bowl Sunday… May the odds be ever in your favor!

p.s. Happy prepping ๐Ÿ™‚

January – review of meals

I decided I would do a quick review of the recipes and meals I made in January and tell you what I liked and didn’t like. I would love your feed back… any and all feedback is greatly welcomed! I am not a pro… I am a regular girl, no special cooking skills to speak of…trying to learn new recipes and better ways of preparing food at the same time planning my meals and sharing the results. Despite what anyone may think, I actually do this blog more for my own sake than anything but I love hearing that it is inspiring and encouraging others. We learn and grow from each other so any of my readers are free to comment and tell me what they think, tips, tricks, and advice.

So in January I made oven baked fajitas, “skinny” tuna salad, and a chicken veggie wrap. Two bonus items I made was an oatmeal breakfast dish and kale chips.

I was super excited about the oven baked fajitas. I really liked them and it was a so easy to do! It was a bit spicy and got to be a tad overwhelming by the end of the week.. just from eating a spicy Mexican dish every day for lunch. Not to mention that I had a chicken tortilla soup that week for dinner that was a tad spicy as well. So next time I’ll probably tone down the cayenne pepper some and eat milder dinners and maybe my digestive tract won’t hate me as much. ๐Ÿ™‚ but for what really counts… it was very tasty, easy to make and pretty “clean” I believe. Click link for more details on that recipe.

The tuna salad was really good as well. A little more hands on in preparation for slicing, dicing, measuring and mixing but it was well worth it. I learned something new with this dish and it is the flexibility of using cottage cheese and plain non-fat yogurt in place of mayonnaise, etc. I really expected not to like this dish at all so I was pleasantly surprised…..if you are a tuna fan I really encourage you to try this dish. Like my hubby says.. “don’t knock it until you try it!”

So the oatmeal dish I posted as a breakfast was not something I liked. I don’t know what it is, I am still struggling with coming up with a oatmeal breakfast dish that I will eat and enjoy. The one I posted (see link above) was no different. It tasted bitter…bland…and just… not good. I’d be interested to hear if any of you have oatmeal dishes that are good or have good breakfast ideas… because breakfast is a struggle for me.

And that leaves us with last weeks post, which was a chicken wrap with vegetables and kale chips. The wrap was really good. I loved it.. I know that recipe/idea can be improved upon because I didn’t have the greatest “wrap” and I couldn’t find a hummus that I wanted to try. It was a good dish and definitely something I will make again.

The kale chips did not work out for me. I have never made them before so this was a test run. I may try again and tweak some things. They were crispy right out of the oven and tasted okay.. definitely something that I would have to get used to..but I could see the appeal. I expected that they would last throughout the week but they didn’t. The next day they had wilted down some. They were still some what crispy but had become very chewy and seemed to me the bitterness was stronger. I ate a few of them but then had to toss them. The concept with this lunch was sort of like a sandwich and chips. I did a wrap instead and the chips were to be kale chips. It was a nice idea…but you win some and you lose some. It’s all a part of the learning experience and the journey. ๐Ÿ™‚

So we’re into February now! I don’t know about the rest of you, I can’t wait for spring. I don’t mind the winter but we’ve had a lot of snow here in the Ohio Valley, along with arctic temperatures and I’m over it! I am ready for spring and summer where I can get outside for some exercise and also fire up the grill! But the part I am most anxious about is all of the farmer’s markets!! You just can’t beat fresh produce!

Somewhere sunny and 75 is what I need…. ๐Ÿ™‚

Whole wheat wrap, chicken & vegs with kale chips -Sun Jan 26th

So I am kinda making up my own thing this week. I browsed and browsed for something similar that I could follow and couldn’t quite come up with something I’d want and or wasn’t too complicated. I had already decided that I wanted to do a wrap of some kind but there are a thousand types of wraps out on the web and so I figured I’d might as well make it a thousand and one.

I do need to remind you that I am learning as I go. I don’t pretend to have it all figured out and I am almost positive that my recipes and meals can be improved upon. I am just trying new things and adjusting as I go.

I don’t have any pictures for you yet because this will be something I’ll have to take after I assemble at lunch time tomorrow. But I will give you the outline of what I am going for…

I have whole wheat tortillas… I was not super enthused about my choices of “wraps” at Wal-mart and we were shopping in a hurry ..but this is a good lessen to take from me… don’t shop in a hurry and go to more stores if you have to. But this is where I am at this week. I am just being real with you. ๐Ÿ™‚

Okay, so the whole wheat tortilla’s are what I plan to “wrap” with. 1 tortilla is 170 calories.
I have “shredded” chicken that I cooked earlier. I just boiled it. I’m not exactly sure how much I plan to put in each wrap but probably between 3-4 oz each. I have sliced up (peeled) cucumber and sliced tomatoes. I also bought an organic “spring” mix of baby spinach and other greens.

I debated a long time on some sort of dairy… whether to go with cheese or something else.. or try something like hummus. I was going to go the hummus route but once again, last minute shopping at Wal-mart left me with few options and I couldn’t find a flavor to go with what I have going on. So I got some feta cheese..which 1/4th cup is 80 calories but feta cheese is one that very little goes a long way…so I probably won’t eat a full serving at once. My other option if I don’t go the feta route, I got some Laughing Cow cream cheese spread which is a garden vegetable flavor. 1 serving of it is 45 calories.

So….
Screenshot_2014-02-03-22-20-22-11 tortilla (170 cals)
3-4 oz shredded chicken (120-180 cals)
1/4 cup feta cheese (80 cals) or 1 wedge laughing cow cream cheese garden vegetable flavor (45 cals)
1/4 cup cucumber (4 cals)
2-3 thin sliced tomato (3-5 cals)
1 cup Baby spring mix (spinach, etc) (6-7 calories)
…. So somewhere between 380-400 calories depending on your serving sizes of each ingredient.

I also made kale chips for the first time which is pretty easy to do though I’m not quite sure how much I’ll like them. They aren’t bad… they are just different. ๐Ÿ™‚

Preheat oven to 350
1 bunch of kale -washed dried, torn off stems into 1-2 inch leaves
approx 2 tbs a healthy oil… I used extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt to taste…(after baking)

Spread kale pieces onto parchment paper on a baking sheet. Make sure they are not on top of each other and laying fairly flat. Put in oven for approximately 7 minutes… adjust if you need based on your oven. My original instructions suggested 10 mins but my first batch was bitter and a bit brown. So I went down to 7 minutes and they were just right. Sprinkle with sea salt once they come out of the oven. I’m storing mine in an air tight container on the counter.

My plan is to have the wrap with kale chips for lunch this week. ๐Ÿ™‚

That’s it for now. I must go. My four legged baby is insisting to be held which makes typing super difficult. I’ll follow up with pictures and my thoughts after I eat tomorrow.

Happy prepping!