My Weight Loss Progress

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Easy Baked Ravioli

I got this recipe from my friend Rachel. While it isn't the lowest in calories, I still make it for my family and make myself a big salad and practice portion control.
Easy Baked Ravioli
2 tsp. Italian dressing
1 medium red pepper
1 small onion (finely chopped)
15 oz. spaghetti sauce-Recipe to follow or you can use bottled or your own recipe
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
1 pkg. (9 oz) Ravioli cooked and drained
1/2 C Shredded mozzerella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat dressing in a large skillet on medium heat. Add peppers and onions. Cook and stir 2 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in sauce and crushed red pepper. Combine all ingredients. (the original recipe calls for layering of sauce and ravioli but I find this unnecessary. Bake 25 minutes or until heated through. Makes 3-4 servings.

Spaghetti Sauce
Let me start by saying that this recipe is famous in my family. My grandpa being adopted by Italians; this came from his ancestors and is a true "DeLuca" authentic Italian Recipe. My family won't eat anything but this. Hudson loves anything made with this sauce! I use it for spaghetti, lasagna, pretty much anything that calls for a marinara sauce. I will warn you that this tastes nothing like Prego or Ragu or your traditional american sauce made with hamburger and bell peppers. It may take some getting used to but everyone that tries it usually loves it. I have actually never shared it as it is kind of a family secret but thought that I would anyway. So for those of you reading, feel very fortunate. This will make quite a lot, so freeze half and pull it out next time you need some.

DeLuca Sauce
1/3 C Olive Oil
2 tsp minced garlic
1 small-med onion
1 regular can tomato paste (they also make a really small can, make sure to use the one similar to a soup can)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP italian seasoning
1/3 C red wine vinegar
1 Lg can tomato puree (I think it's around 27 oz)
1 C water (may add a little more if it seems to thick)
optional: add Italian sausage, diced tomatoes (fresh or canned) & mushrooms
**I prefer Hunt's brand for the paste and puree

Heat oil in large pan, add garlic and onions till translucent. If using sausage and mushrooms add now. Add tomato paste and stir allowing to simmer for 5 minutes. Add spices and vinegar, let simmer another couple minutes. Add rest of the ingredients. This recipe is best if it simmers a minimum of an hour and up to 3 hours to really let the spices give it maximum flavor. Do not use hamburger in this recipe. It would be an insult to it's heritage. :)

My Reward

So this may come as a shock to some of you but I think I have finally decided what my reward will be if I ever achieve my weight loss goal and lose 110 pounds.....a new set of grapefruits. This may seem vain or like an extravagant reward however after all of my hard work it is something I definitely want to take care of. I am going to start saving for them soon. I mean, your breasts are supposed to look like grapefruits....not oranges that have been dropped in a pair of tube socks.

Yes, I am doing this weight loss journey for my physical and mental health but I am also doing it because I want to be smokin hot! I let my 20s go and I was over 200 pounds for that entire decade in my life. Well my thirties and forties are going to be different.....and I can't wait. I am posting this pic on my fridge as inspiration to stay on track.

Compound Movements

A lot of people I know workout. They go to the gym and do the machines or they focus one day on legs, one day on arms, one day on shoulders and so on. One thing that I have learned through my reading, the Jillian Michael's videos and my trainer, Tammye is the importance of compound movements. These are so crucial for weight loss.
Basically, Weight lifting exercises can be separated into two broad categories: compound movements and isolation movements. Isolation exercises are those which move a single joint through its range of motion. Examples include the bicep concentration curl or the tricep kickback which both involve the elbow, the leg extension involving the knee, or calf raises which involve the ankle. They’re called “isolation” exercises because they put major stress on a single, isolated muscles. Compound exercises are multi-joint movements that rely on the coordinated actions of several muscle groups to move two or more joints through a range of motion. The squat, for instance, involves both ankles, knees and hips and puts major stress on the quads, hamstrings, glutes, back and core, and a host of small, stabilizing muscles.
Lets think about it. What are your big muscles in your body? Your biceps? Nope! Your back, chest, abs, legs and butt! If you only have a minimum amount of time then this is where you need to focus. Building these muscles will also build some of the smaller muscles by default from the exercises and it will help turn your body into a fat burning machine. You got to get the most bang for your buck. If you can work out your larger muscles while adding some small muscle exercises at the same time you can get more in your workout for a lot less time. For example as you do lunges also do bicep curls, as you do squats also do shoulder press, as you do bench press lift up your butt and squeeze those glutes and legs. Do you get the idea?

Give it a try! Here is a really great article that gives you lots more details.

80s Party Power Hour

Today was a power hour class at the gym. It was an 80s theme and we were encouraged to dress up. It was pretty fun and pretty hard. I am really loving my ladies and my trainer. I am totally addicted. When Travis used to get mad at me he would make comments about me needing to "get up and go do something" now when he gets mad at me he is like "hope you enjoyed your four sessions at the gym this week". Hee hee. I know he is supportive but sometimes I think it is hard for him to work and watch the kids frequently. Here is a picture of my outfit today. Don't I look like I just stepped off the cover of a Richard Simmons Video? I was really sad I didn't have any tube socks. I almost went to Walmart this morning to get some but decided I better not go inside looking like that. haha.
Right now though I have to just finish this goal. In the long run it is not only better for me but it is better for our whole family as I know I am also getting healthier and stronger through this journey. In todays class we did 1 minute of weights and then 1 minute of cardio drills and then 1 minute of rest, repeat. It is tough but I can totally tell that I am getting stronger and have more endurance. I still need to work on my running. I still kind of suck at that. I just don't love to run.

I rewarded myself for getting to 179 with the digital display that accompanies the bodybugg. I LOVE IT. It can be worn like a watch and gives you up to the second accuracy regarding the calories you've burned, steps you taken, minutes of activity, etc. Before, I had to plug it into the computer to see my results. Now I have them right then. Nothing like the satisfaction of NOW. It really helps to push me harder too. If I look down at the end of the day and I haven't met my burn then I go for walk or do an extra workout, etc. Hopefully it will continue to aid in the loss.

No internet, No TV

So, we were out of internet and TV all last week because there was a water leak across the street and when the county came out to dig they broke the cable line. This was no big deal because I can get email and facebook on my phone and I very rarely watch cable television.... However, it did put me behind on my blogging. Sorry.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Getting There

Well, getting closer and closer to the goal. I must admit that I can now start to taste the finish line. The last couple weeks I have added some intense cardio to my workouts through zumba and dancing. What a fun way to burn calories! I could do it every day. However, the impact is bothering my ankles and knees a bit so I have been trying to ice them occasionally.

I borrowed a dress from a friend. It is from Anne Taylor, size 12. I will be wearing it during my trip to Chicago. Pics to come. I think the next 25 pounds are going to be really important. They are going to be when people really notice. Cause I'll be going from overweight to closer to a normal weight. Its kind of like fat is that different from more fat, fatter, fatest. I think people just look at you and think, "she's fat" but having a few extra pounds is different. Almost everyone has a few of those.

I have changed my goal to be a loss of 110 pounds. I want to weigh 142. That is a normal BMI for my height. Considered healthy, where 152 would still be considered overweight. I know I can do this!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Memory Lane

So my grandparents are headed out of town and we decided to borrow their truck so we could take some more trips to the dump and goodwill. We have lots of yard work to do with spring arriving and it is always nice to have a way to haul stuff off. Yesterday we began in the attic and I found a box of pictures I had been looking for as well as Travis and I's album of our first 5 years together. What a trip down memory lane. For those of you that have only known me as fat; here is some proof that I once was skinny.

As I looked through the album what I was amazed to see is that almost all of my weight was gained in what seemed to be instantly. A lot between Oct 97-July 98, and lots more from 98-2000. However, then from 2000-2010 I about stayed the same. Below are some fun pics of Travis and I when we first got together as well as some of my senior pictures and a pic taken at my high school graduation.

Below, we are at Junior Prom. I still have this dress! It is hanging in my closet and I can't wait for the day that I can put it on and it still fit. Look how skinny my arms were? I have always had wider hips and thighs but am amazed at how small my arms, neck and waist were. Here is some motivation to stay on track. I don't care to ever be a size five again or to be as thin as I was the summer after high school (117). But I really hope I can make it to the 140s and wear a size 9 someday. That is my dream!

p.s. You better not be laughing at my hair or my bangs. It was totally cool, then! :)

Chicken Soft Tacos

Okay so I have started out with all the really easy recipes. This one also has only a few ingredients. I will be adding some more difficult ones as well but for the most part I try to make meals that don't take too many ingredients or things I don't usually have and I try not to make anything that takes a whole lot of effort. Making dinner should be fun, right?

Chicken Soft Tacos
Pkg of chicken breasts or chicken tenders
1 can (just a soup can size) of red enchilada sauce (mild or medium)
1 tsp cumin
1/4-1/2 chopped red onion (doesn't have to be red, but preferred)
1 can diced green chilles
Cilantro (optional)

Put all the ingredients in a crock-pot. (My crock-pot has several different settings, the highest setting is 4 hours. I like to use this high setting on Sundays since I like to have dinner ready to eat right after church.) After it is cooked, shred the chicken into pieces. Serve with a slotted spoon to drain off some juice.

I served this with canned pinto beans (you could also do black), soft flour tortillas (I used special low carbohydrate tortillas), salsa, sour cream, guacamole and shredded cheese. Shredded lettuce would have also been good but I was out. You could also serve with some boxed or homemade spanish rice.