Posted in Food, Menu Planning, New Food, Recipe, Weight Watchers

Orange Chicken

Yeeeaaaahhh… My version of orange chicken turned out almost nothing like the picture that I pinned on my pinterest foodies board.  When I was at the grocery store, a friend in need called and I missed out on a couple of ingredients such as the  sesame seeds, red pepper flakes and scallions.  We made due with what we had, though, and it turned out pretty wicked (in a good way).

After going through this process, I would say that there are some things to be desired in the recipe, as far as instructions go.  Here is how the recipe was published on laaloosh:

Orange Chicken Recipe

1 pound uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 2-inch strips
2 cup cooked white rice, kept hot
Rind of a small orange sliced into thin strips
1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
3/4 cup canned chicken broth, reduced-sodium
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp peanut oil
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 medium scallions, chopped
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, or 1 dried chili pepper, minced
1 tbsp sesame seeds

**For added nutritional value, substitute the white rice with brown rice

In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, broth, sugar, cornstarch, ginger, and vinegar, then set aside.
In a large skillet, heat peanut oil on medium-high heat. Add orange rinds, scallions, garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for about 2 minutes. Add in the chicken and cook for approximately 6 minutes, or until chicken is golden brown.
Now mix in the sauce and let simmer until the chicken is cooked all the way through and the sauce starts to get thick, this should take approximately 3-4 minutes. On a plate, serve chicken and sauce over rice and garnish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds

Serving size = 1 cup of chicken and 1/2 cup of rice

Here is what I learned by doing:

– Cook the rice according to package directions.  Then strain the rice because there’s still too much liquid when it’s done.

– Use an itty bit more oil.  It was pretty well gone before the chicken even got there.

– Dice the orange rind if you intend to eat it.

– On that note, add a little bit more sugar to the sauce recipe so that it caramelizes a little more.

– Dried chives are not the same as fresh scallions.

– Rice vinegar, though, is a good substitute for white wine vinegar.

– Use the pulp from the orange that you chopped up in a fresh house salad to serve alongside your chicken:

All in all, this recipe has got lots of potential, but we just need to refine the way that we cooked it a little and actually use all of the ingredients called for 🙂 We will probably make this again.  1 serving has 6 points on a popular weight loss program.

Posted in College, Food, Recipe, Weight Watchers

Menu Monday

Super Saturday was gone before I knew it.  I had accidentally forgotten to turn on the alarm.  I felt happy and content and as if I were waking up BEFORE the alarm.  I was so proud of myself and happy that I didn’t have to have a sleep cycle interrupted.  Then the numbers on the clock came into sharper focus and I realized that it was 8:01.


At first I rushed around like a mad person saying that if I just move fast enough, they’re only 10 minutes away, I can make it! But, alas, I needed to get my zumba gear together, I needed to pack a lunch and snacks, and where are my indoor shoes? Where’s my water bottle?  shoot, shoot, shoot!

8:35am.  Drat!  Missed the WW Meeting.  WELL! If I leave RIGHT. NOW. I can still make it to zumba!  More rushing around, then my car was covered in ice.  8:45am. FFFFFFF!!! (sprung a leak there…)

Too late for Zumba.. Now what?

*SIGH* I went to school instead.  I headed to the library and tried to study.  And by “study” I mean that I read a page or two in my business book, learned how to print off the notes I needed for my English class, fell asleep a couple times, wandered around campus, and then decided to talk to my Professor before class regarding topic approval for my essay.

Class went well that day, and the time flew by.  I never did pack that lunch, but I had acquired low fat Wheat Thins at some point and noshed on those during the break.  Afterwards, I met up with my friend Shannon for some great Vietnamese food and conversation.  We chatted about wedding planning (for me), baby shower planning (for our friend April), and the plan to stay at the status quo (for her).  It was a good time 🙂

After school and lunch it was already 4pm.  The roomies ate dinner and I did not, but I made a nifty menu for the week:

Sunday: Lime Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Lime Rice
Monday: […er… I procrastinated and stayed at work, so this one is on the roomies to figure out]
Tuesday: Baked Ziti with Spinach
Wednesday: White Bean Chicken Chili (Slow Cooker Recipe!)
Thursday: Balsamic Chicken with Roasted Tomatoes
Friday: Pizza
Saturday: (free for all)

So yeah… Making that list made me realize that I’m hungry and I should probably go cook some dinner.  🙂

Did you make a menu for the week? Post a link and I’ll check it out!

Posted in College, Fitness, Weight Watchers

Super Saturday

Wow, huh?

My Saturday started at 7am.  I got up and headed to Weight Watchers.  I actually made it on time this time, hehe 🙂

I was happy with my weigh-in and I got to celebrate my first 5lbs lost.  Yes, it’s just a blue sticker, but it’s also a round of applause and people who are interested in my journey.  It inspires me to keep going so that I can keep contributing to the success of others too.  Today’s topic was planning for success.  I got a few good tips that I may apply to the next week of grocery shopping.  Plus, I met a couple new people 🙂 maybe I can make some friends..I

After Weight Watchers, I headed to Zumba at Social Dance Studio.  I love love love Jimi’s Saturday class and think it fits in well right in between Weight Watchers and College.


My favorite songs continue to be “We do the cha-cha” and “Hella Decale”

Hehe… Enjoy dancing your butt off for the rest of your day after listening to those songs 🙂

After Zumba I changed real quick and headed out to the college for the first day of my on-campus class.  I have been working all week to get the requirements done to stay enrolled in my online Introduction to Business course, but I hadn’t had to worry about English yet.  After this week, I am SO glad that the start times were staggered.

What I was NOT particularly glad about, though, was that unbeknownst to me, the bookstore was closed so I could not pick up my text book before class as planned. I guess I should have planned better.  I found the classroom at 11am and there were no other people in sight.  I went for a walk and came back and there were a few more people, including this poor guy who was obviously not ready for the day.the first impressions I received about the school and the class:

I took a deep breath and just kept to myself. I tried not to let the question repeat in my head “why am I doing this again?”  Neither did I let the declaration “this is why I dropped

out the last two times!” repeat more than once. Or five times.  Nothing irritates me more than people who pay for a class and then do not show it the respect/integrity that it deserves.  I mean, hello? Are we in highschool still?  This is a professional setting.  Act like it.

The professor was late to the class, which was irksome, but understandable given the hectic week this must have been.  She was really nice and genuinely interested in her

students and their thoughts.  I think that her personality will be what makes me appreciate an in-person class.  Of course, then she let us know that our group assignment is to find resources and make an outline to support a 6-8 page essay on how to dispose of a body.  @_@;; Well, she phrased it as “alternative methods to cremation or burial,” but we found all sorts of grotesque alternatives that are out there.  I believe the words heeby-jeebies would apply… if only I knew how to spell them.

The class went until after 2pm.  I was *starving* when we went to break because I was oh-so-unprepared.  I ended up noshing on vending machine fare for lunch today.  That WW topic was timely.  After today, I will definitely be investing in a lunchbox.

That’s all I have for you, loyal readers.  I am going to go get some shut-eye so that I can head off to the Bridal Expo with my mom and sister tomorrow.  I hope to have some great pictures for you.

If you do Zumba, what is your favorite song?  If you don’t do Zumba, what is the weirdest thing you’ve ever done an internet search for?

Posted in College, Wedding Planning, Weight Watchers

Another day for crunchy snacks.

To love someone deeply gives you strength.  To be loved by someone deeply gives you courage. – Lao Tzu

I made an important phone call today.  I called my future Mother-In-Law to get her input on the guest list for mine and Jeff’s wedding.  Our thought while thinking about our wedding is to be surrounded by our closest friends and family where we don’t have to whisper to each other “is that person from my family or yours…?”

When I explained it to my mom, I told her that I’d like to know people’s faces on sight.  I want to be comfortable hugging them.  I don’t want to invite weird consin Charlie* just because he’s family.. (Note: I have a weird cousin Charlie).  My mom understood completely.  When I tried to explain to Jeff’s mom it looked like her feelings were hurt, and that makes me anxious about it.  I am stickin with my 2012 mantra “we will figure it out.”

Since Jeff’s car is still broken down, I missed today’s workout again.  When we couldn’t pick his car up tonight I declared that we would either need to leave early or stay late because I refuse to miss my Friday workout.  At first he was more than willing to go, but now that it’s nearly 11pm and we have yet to go to bed, he’s less willing to get up early. It is unfortunately too late to text my mom, but I may just have to bum a ride home from her tomorrow night since she’s planning to work late.

To get back to food a little bit… I forgot to pack a lunch today but I had a HealthAhead meal from the cafeteria… stuffed green pepper with a side of steamed brussel sprouts.  I used to hate brusel sprouts because mom would buy them from the can and then they would turn into over-cooked brown slime-balls.  I have learned tht if you buy them fresh and do not over-cook them, they can be quite appetizing.  It was such an accomplishment that I posted about it on facebook =P  Go me. I ate mini cabbages.

Tomorrow I may post about my workout, but if it gets too late then I may not write until Saturday.  I definitely want to post about my Weight Watchers meeting on Saturday… I am feeling ambitious at the moment and considering going to the 6am WW Meeting so that I can make it to the 9am Zumba before my 11am English class at the college and hanging out with one of my brothers at 2pm. Hmm hmm…

Posted in Fitness, Food, Recipe, Strength Training, Uncategorized, Weight Watchers

Banana Bread Muffins

Today is one of those days where work was crazy.  I was practically sprinting to the gym after work this afternoon to blow off the stress of the day.  I warmed up with a Cumbia routine using Zumba for the Wii.  I quickly discovered that the expert level on the Wii is nothing compared to the Zumba classes that I go to.  Hehe… I have moves!

Once warmed up, I made it through my Phase 2 workout without any troubles.  Well, without any REAL troubles.  It’s been about a week since I’ve done strength training and so I had to scale the weight back on the deadlift-rows and the flies.  I rocked out when it came to the squats and the walking lunges, though.  Feel the burn!  I am loving this work out so far.

When I got home, dinner was not as expected and so Jeff and I made the executive decision to go to Wendy’s for dinner.  That may not sound like the smartest choice ever, but the alternatives were cereal (unappealing) or Pineda Taco (cannot even be disguised as healthy).  I ordered a 1/2 salad and a small fry and called it good.  Dinner was 11 points and I’ve used 40/35 today.  I earned 10 points with my work-out, though, so I’m still satisfied. I need to learn to track BEFORE I eat to make sure that I’m staying on plan.

Sometimes life gets the best of you though, and you forget to eat the good foods you bought.  Perhaps you spotted the brown bananas on my counter in the last entry?  Rather than throw them out, I rolled up my sleeves and made banana bread. … muffins.

The original recipe is pretty straight-forward, but I wanted to try my hand at healthifying it.  I substituted whole wheat flour for half of the flour called for.  I reduced the oil by 1/3 of a cup.  I cut the sugar in half.

Banana Bread Muffins

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup oil –> Make it even healthier by using apple sauce
2 eggs
3 bananas – Very Ripe
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup milk
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose (white) flour

Mix ingredients together, taking care to mash up the banana.  Pour into a greased loaf pan or greased muffin tins (note: I used high-yeild canola oil spray).  Bake at 350° F for about half an hour (note: muffins bake faster so keep an eye on them.  These took about 17 minutes).  Test a banana bread loaf with a butter knife or test muffins with a toothpick–it should come out clean.

Makes 1 1/2 dozen muffins.  [3 points per muffin on Weight Watchers Points Plus]

Posted in Measurements, Weight Watchers

WW Meeting Update: Believe

Today’s meeting was surrounding the Weight Watcher’s marketing campaign of “Believe.”  So, I guess it is unfair to say that it was surrounding the marketing, really it was just using the marketing in the meeting to start things off for the new year.

This morning I woke up at 7am with every good intention of going to the regular 8am meeting, but somehow, I convinced myself that the meeting didn’t start until 9am.  Well… around 8:30am as I was poking around the internet, I thought “Crap. What if the meeting started at 8?” And, sure enough, I was late for my meeting.  I had committed to giving Lisa a chance and I had left a few people with an engagement cliffhanger last week and so I really needed to be there!  Pedal to the metal, going over 20MPH over the speedlimit… er, I mean.. driving in a nice, safe and legal manner…I made it there to catch the Power Start Session and catch up with Lisa and couple other regulars, but I missed Runa.  Damnit! 😡 Huff.

I heard that she went, though, and that’s promising because that means I might catch her next week.

I sat through Lisa’s Power Start Session and paged through the weekly while I waited for the 9:30am meeting with Krista.  I don’t like her meetings as much, but she’s a nice gal.  I was able to contribute a little to the meeting and to get others to contribute too, so that was cool.  One thing that I want to do as part of my “homework” is to make some “I will” statements/goals:

– This year, I will complete 5 5k races.
– This year, I will complete the Warrior Dash in July.
– This year, I will keep on keepin’ on and continue my weight loss journey.
– This year, I will not get crazy about weight loss just because I am engaged.  My weight loss journey is for myself and my future, not to look good in a wedding dress.  My engagement will not derail my end-goal.

Weigh In:
Weight: 216.6
Waist: 36
Hips: 46.5
Dress Size: 16

Posted in Life + Living, Self-Reflection, Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers Meeting Leader Change: Rude Awakening

I was blind-sided when I went to my Weight Watchers meeting this morning, excited to see Randy again, and instead come face-to-face with someone named Lisa. I was so bummed out! A few weeks ago, I switched up my meeting time from Saturdays at 11 to Saturdays at 8 because starting in January, I am going to have a conflicting appointment at 11. I discovered the most powerfully motivating leader ever! He was insightful, humorous, down-to-earth… The last meeting I went to, he concluded the meeting by strumming on his guitar and singing about how “this week I’ve really failed, it’s time to strip at the scale…” and we left laughing our butts off and determined not to have to strip at the scale the next week.  Last week I was out of town for Christmas in Canada and so I didn’t hear the news until this morning.  I was so excited to talk to him about my progress, but my buddy wasn’t there.  He has trimmed down to one weeknight meeting across town that I will probably never make it to.

Randy’s meetings were PACKED to the gills because people WANTED to hear him, wanted to share their stories with him, and wanted to interact with the other people there who shared the interest.  Therefore, today, Lisa started the meeting by letting us talk about the loss of the leader.  The pre-meeting buzz had a distinct tone of WTF!?  I didn’t get as much time with Randy as I would have hoped, but there are two things that I distinctly want to take away from my time with him:

You can never FALL off the wagon.  You make the conscious decision to JUMP off of it.  You must make the decision to JUMP back on it.

We discussed this little tidbit in the meeting today and Lisa expounded on it saying that we are not the victims of our circumstance and we have the knowledge and the power to make choices for ourselves.

We’re all on a bus together.  Some of us got picked up at one stop, some of us got on the bus later, but we will all make it there together.

That’s what I really liked about the meetings and what really  kept me coming back.  YES the meetings were packed.  YES the meetings were huge.  But there was talking, there was laughter, there were friends.  He called us all family when we were at his meetings and we knew that we were in it together.  One of the people at the meeting today (who was blindsided like me) said that we lost our bus driver.

The first half of the meeting today was like a funeral for Randy because the majority of us will never see him again.  There were tears, there was laughter, but most of all there was acceptance.  Bruce said that the best way that we can honor Randy is to succeed.  And I fully believe that it’s true!  The Weight Watchers website, rules, points, and now leaders have changed.  I usually do not accept change very well, but given the circumstances, I think that this is the best time for it.  It’s the new year and people are primed for changes.  I think Lisa was very brave for standing up there and facing all of our scrutiny, knowing that the odds were stacked against her.  I’m going to go again next week and the week after and the week after… I’m going to give her a chance because although I dragged my butt out of bed for Randy at 7am on a Saturday, Lisa dragged her butt out of bed at 4:30am to be there for the 6am group.  And she let us talk about Randy.  And she then did the regular WW meeting and just took the next step.  If she can be that dedicated to us, then I can be that dedicated to the program and give her a chance–because at the end of the day, I’m doing this for me.  Not for anyone else.  And if that means that I get a new leader, well then, that’s what it means.