Lyn's Journey to 8

A Weight Loss Adventure

Butternut Squash, Blueberries and Barley

Another week, and the dream is still alive! Hope everyone had a great week and is eating well and moving more. I had severe pain this past week so I didn’t get to do as much as I wanted to but better days are ahead, I’m sure. I did make some really cool healthy meals though. I absolutely love that each week I can try something new and healthy!

I had a delightful dish that was easy to throw together – Bowtie Pasta, Turkey Sausage tossed in a Butternut Squash puree. The original recipe called for canned pumpkin but – you know I don’t have any of that stuff (plus I’m not sure I like pumpkin). So I made my very own substitute – pureed Butternut Squash!  I use what I have and I make it work!

 

Turkey Sausage & Butternut Squash Pasta

 

 

Every week, I try to bake something for the family. I will avoid using a dozen eggs, shortening, 10 cups of sugar etc. I will always aim for simple and healthy ingredients. My son loves blueberries. My daughter… not so much. But she’ll eat almost any muffin you give her. So I decided to make Blueberry Muffins. And as I hoped… she loved it. Oh – and I am now the proud owner of traditional round muffin tins 🙂

 

 

Blueberry Muffins

 

 

I’ve been having rice a lot lately (out of boredom and the fact that it’s always there) and I wanted to try something else aside from Pasta. I came across a Barley recipe and decided to give it a go. I remember Barley being used more in soups, so this seemed a little different. The original recipe called for Lean Ground Beef but I don’t do beef. So I used Lean Ground Turkey instead. The vegetables included were carrots, tomatoes and zucchini. The zucchini kinda dissolved so it’s not visible …but it’s there! The texture was a bit chewy (different) but I’d definitely have it again. One cup of Barley went a long way. Fiber rules!

 

 

Barley Turkey Skillet

 

 

Have a splendid week! Let’s see what the first week of spring has to offer 🙂

L

 

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March 21, 2011 Posted by | food, Healthy Meals, Weight Loss | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Dieters Plate

Great week. Lots of  progress – which I’m thankful for. I really hate feeling like I’m at a standstill. And that’s a general statement! So imagine me watching my weight loss chart going in the wrong direction. No bueno! I got MAD and went on the treadmill 3 days in a row plus a 15 minute walking routine by Leslie Sansone. I actually have her DVD that came with Nutrisystem back in 2008. It was pretty awesome. If I could just place my hands on it… Anyway, so far I don’t feel terribly sore. I didn’t pass out or become bedridden so I think I’m okay to proceed!

On a trip to a favourite store recently, I found a plate that perhaps could have best benefited me at the start of my journey, however occasionally a  subtle reminder is good.

 

Roasted Zucchini, Minced Turkey, Butternut Squash

 

 

Tasty Bite!

I’ve been wanting to have fish other than Salmon. I’ve had so much Tilapia in my life that I’ve lost the taste for it. I tried Haddock and seasoned it very lightly, then pan seared for the first go. It was quite nice. Although a very soft fish once cooked, I still enjoyed it. I can start looking for Haddock recipes now 🙂 As for the baby potatoes, this was my first time having it. I needed a break from Sweet Potato. To see these little darlings prepared this way actually put a smile on my face.  I boiled them, allowed them to cool slightly. Then I smashed them with a saucepan! Ha! So much fun! Then I brushed them with Olive Oil and a sprinkle of salt and popped them in the oven for 20 minutes or so until the skin was crispy. I saw it on The Food Network ~ my favourite television station ❀

 

Haddock, Baby Potatoes, Green Beans

Have a great week! Stay motivated!

Ciao

February 28, 2011 Posted by | food, Healthy Meals, Weight Loss | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Romantic Meal And Little Treats

I use the word “romantic” very lightly because on Valentines Day, all my loved ones were under the weather.  I made a lovely meal that I thought would have been nice for everybody but… no one was well enough to enjoy it. (Except me – it was flipping fabulous!) Thankfully my pain does not affect my taste buds. So here was my first attempt at Tarragon Chicken, Pan Seared Zucchini, Pan Seared Fennel, and Carrots in Butter and Brown Sugar [with a side of Basmati Rice for the husband]. Dessert was supposed to be on the same night but happened a few days later ~ Lemon Madeleines, a french dessert (petite cakes). This was my first try at everything and it was great, but I’m going to do it all over again with some minor adjustments. Stay tuned 🙂

I never had Tarragon anything before. It’s an herb and the leaves have a licorice scent. The flavour of the chicken was awesome – like nothing I had prepared in the past. This will definitely be on the menu for a dinner gathering at my home in the future. Zucchini wasn’t really a favourite of mine. But when I made it myself? Perfection! I liked Fennel but this was the first time I had it cooked. I like the crisp licorice taste. Its milder once cooked but still tasty. Another veggie victory! Now that I think about it… the rice looked like it didn’t belong on this menu.

 

Tarragon Chicken, Pan Seared Zucchini and Fennel, Carrots, Basmati Rice

 

The white wine was actually used in the chicken recipe to make the sauce. I felt quite sophisticated cooking with a glass of wine in hand! A nice French wine to go with the French themed meal. Terrific!

 

French Cross Dry White Wine

 

I need to check to see if these are still called Madeleines if I used a square-shaped muffin tin. Ah well! I used what I had and they were very nice. They are supposed to be served with a fruit so I will do that next time.

Lemon Madeleines

 

And these little mini cupcakes were for my little bundles of joy whom I love so much. I wanted to cheer them up since they were under the weather and decided to spend time with them instead of being in the kitchen. I won’t think about the ingredients. I know I make everything much healthier. But it’s just this one time.

 

Chocolate Valentine Mini Cupcake

Take good care of you.

Ciao

February 21, 2011 Posted by | food, Healthy Meals, Weight Loss | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A great healthy find!

As I continue on my journey, I sometimes get annoyed with minor setbacks. The main one is my inability to exercise at this time. If I can’t move, I can’t see any results and that in itself is frustrating. I keep watching infomercials (especially the Beachbody products) and I wonder if I will ever be able to take on such rigorous exercise. Aside from the fact that its HARD, it seems like a pretty tough challenge for someone who suffers from chronic pain. Is there any program out there for someone like me? I can only keep looking and hopefully I’ll find something suitable. Ah well. I still gotta eat 🙂

Last weeks meals were pretty darn awesome! I made a fruit bowl,  and an oldie but goodie, got a mood lifter for lunch from my husband, and then a brand new recipe that I simple adore ~ its another keeper! I like when I take traditional recipes and put my own spin on it – sometimes on purpose, sometimes because I use what I have and hope that it turns out well. I like when I come across other people online who make adjustments too. Recipes are guidelines, not rules.

I mentioned in my previous post that I’ve been struggling with snacking. Now that I’ve more or less removed myself from the kitchen table, I’ve been trying to make additional corrections as needed. I realized I’ve never made a fruit salad… until now! Navel Orange, Gapes, Cherries, Asian Pear, Blueberries, Kiwi and Strawberries. Awesome!

 

Mixed Fruit Bowl

I remember when I used to make this dish all the time. It was a real crowd pleaser. Its my version of Shepherds Pie – using lean ground turkey with mixed vegetables, and of course… my favourite… sweet potato instead of regular potato for the topping. A little cheese on top is great. Just a little 😉

 

Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie with Spinach

 

One afternoon, I was feeling pretty down from my pain, and my husband surprised me with lunch. Callalloo with Dumpling and Yellow Yam! It was a nice little reminder of home 🙂 Tasted good too. I checked – one dumpling, one piece of yam. Totally acceptable.

 

Callalloo, Yam, Dumpling

 

I typically get bored with eating the same dinner over and over again. Which is quite strange since I can have the same breakfast all week and be fine. Hmmm. So anyway, I was thinking about a comfort dish for the family that the kids especially would enjoy. I then came across a recipe for a low-calorie, low everything (per serving) version of macaroni and cheese and I decided to give it a try. This Sweet Potato & Spinach Macaroni and Cheese dish was really REALLY good. I was supposed to use squash but thats not really something I have readily available. The sweet potato was basically boiled and pureed [my immersion blender is earning its keep!] and that is what gave the dish body, as would cheese and milk in a traditional mac and cheese recipe. My great healthy find! ❀

 

Sweet Potato Spinach Mac and Cheese

 

I realize the need for recipes on my blog. The meals that I’ve been eating are great family meals and are figure friendly. I think my next project should be a healthy living/food blog [with recipes] as opposed to a weight loss focused blog. What do you think?

Have a super week! (whats left of it :-). Take good care of you.

Ciao

 

January 26, 2011 Posted by | food, Healthy Meals | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Warming Experience

Its been 2 weeks since I started my temp job and I’m already hoping for the remaining weeks to go by quickly. Dinner has been a bit of a challenge since I’ve become used to paying so much attention to my meals – every little ingredient and detail counts. I guess I’m learning how to be slap-dash-gourmet if there is such a thing. I haven’t resorted to pizza being delivered so I know I’m doing okay 🙂 I find fruits like apples, bananas and pears hold up well for snacks at work. I’m also packing sandwiches now! That’s a first for me. It is very important that I eat! I always had a cooked lunch at work but there is no fridge in the lunch room plus I only work 6 hours. I’m just ensuring that I am eating the right things during this time.

I’m still not quite good at going to bed early and that is causing havoc on my early morning start time. Can you believe I’ve been nodding off at work? That’s just not like me at all! My body is still adjusting to this new routine so I will have to grin and bear it for the time being. My efforts will continue because my level of determination is quite strong. Then to top that, its been rather cold (-10C with a wind chill of -20C last week) so I’ve been drinking coffee in the morning and sometimes… I stop off at Tim Horton’s on the way home (for a hot beverage). I know it’s just for a time, so I will proceed diligently and see where this experience takes me.

On these cold winter nights, it’s rather comforting to have a late night snack before bed. As much as I enjoy my herbal teas – my tea of the moment is Oolong Tea – every now and again, I must have something else. I’ve always loved hot chocolate but over the years, I haven’t had it as much. At the health food store, I picked up a few packets of Organic Hot Chocolate. I tried both the Chocolate and Dark Chocolate flavours and they were both wonderful. A definite plus for these little packets – I did not have to add any sugar at all. In regular brand hot chocolate, I always added sugar, and lots of it. Too much! I enjoyed my cup of hot chocolate with some Flat Bread (a new snack to my pantry).

 

Flatbread & Organic Hot Chocolate

The week is almost over… and so is the year! Happy New Year~~~!!!

Ciao

December 30, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

A Green Challenge Pt.2

Here are some more meals from my green challenge. Oh so tasty!

One morning I woke up and looked for a hearty breakfast and I decided to try a frittata! I never tried it before but based on my reading, its like a fluffy omelette. Fair enough! I used 2 eggs, spinach, garlic, onions, green onion, chopped mushrooms, tomatoes, almond milk, salt and pepper to taste. I cooked on the stove top first, then when the sides were set, I added some mozzarella cheese, then put the pan in oven and broiled until the top was set, and the cheese nicely browned.

 

Frittata - on the stove!

I think maybe I should have added more milk and whisked the eggs a little bit more. This really looked like an omelette 🙂 But it tasted great so I enjoyed it! Next!

 

Frittata - Spinach, Green Onion, Mushroom

 

I love curried everything. I prepared curried chicken for my family but instead of using potatoes, I replaced it with lentils. I thought I would try something a little different. For my own portion, I took some lentils, carrots and gravy and placed them in a saucepan. I added some spinach – just long enough to wilt and to bring out that lovely green colour. Then I served it over a serving of curried chicken breast. VoilĂ !

 

Curried Chicken, Lentils, Carrots & Spinach

 

Last but not least, something else I just threw together. I made minced turkey for the family and removed a small serving for myself. I then boiled some whole wheat spaghetti, drained it, added some light Laughing Cow cheese and mixed it until even. I added chopped asparagus, and spinach followed by the turkey then I gently tossed it all together. I sprinkled some parmesan cheese and this is what I got. Makes me hungry just looking at it.

 

Whole Wheat Spaghetti, Minced Turkey, Spinach, Asparagus

 

It may look like a large serving, but don’t be fooled by the pictures. My serving bowls are smaller than a traditional dinner plate. I specifically use them for portion control purposes. I think when a plate or a bowl looks like its full, it helps you to feel full at the end of your meal. Maybe that’s just me. But it works!

Have a great day!

December 9, 2010 Posted by | Healthy Meals, Weight Loss | , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Green Challenge

This past week, I decided to see how often I could put something “green” in my meals.  We all know that as far as salads go, the darker green vegetables are the better choice. I really had fun doing this. They were so simple to prepare, and I really enjoyed most of them. Well – all except one :-)…

Okay (laughing a little bit), so I tried this soup called Spinach and Avocado soup. It’s basically spinach, avocado, salt, garlic, and some freshly squeezed lemon juice, blended in water. I opted to use vegetable broth. You just blend and enjoy.  A lovely looking vegetarian meal. Lets just say I prefer to eat the ingredients separately and not in the form of a soup. It’s very healthy though. I had it with some plain crackers.

 

Spinach and Avocado Soup

I wanted a spinach and avocado salad and decided to add grilled pear and pomegranate to the mix. This was a lot better than the soup. I actually forgot about how great pomegranates are, in terms of their nutritional value. I did remember, however, how much they stained. Luckily, I did some research how to handle and prepare a pomegranate.

 

Spinach, Avocado, Pear, Pomegranate Salad

I also tried a salmon dish called Lemon Herbed Salmon and it was amazing! I served it with mashed sweet potatoes and asparagus. A very simple and tasty meal that I’m sure I’ll have again and again. I even made my own breadcrumbs! I didn’t have any but I did have some whole wheat bread 🙂 Please try this recipe!

 

Lemon Herbed Salmon, Sweet Potato Mash & Asparagus

That’s all for now, but more to come. Have a splendid week! Choose all your meals wisely and don’t forget to treat yourself every now and again!

Ciao!

December 7, 2010 Posted by | Healthy Meals, Weight Loss | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Back to a new normal

I took my time coming off the Master Cleanse because I read that if you have solids too quickly, it could cause pain and gastric distress. I wasn’t about to have any drama. The  first 2 days after the cleanse, I had mint tea first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Throughout both days, I had freshly squeezed orange juice. On the third day, I had a banana and a pear around the lunch hour, lots of water too. For dinner, I had carrot and sweet potato soup (I browned onion and garlic, added vegetable broth followed by chopped carrots and sweet potato and thyme. When cooked, I just used an immersion blender to thicken it all up). It went down well.

By day four, I upgraded dinner to a real meal. A meal I’ve never cooked before and it was so lovely 🙂 I had Parmesan Spinach Polenta served with Italian Sausage and Butter Maple Glazed Carrots. It was really nice however the small portion that I served for myself (in a saucer) seemed to be a bit too much and I felt slightly uncomfortable afterwards. And I didn’t have much of the Sausage either. I wasn’t trying to have much meat, never mind le hog.

 

Parmesan Spinach Polenta, Italian Sausage and Butter Maple Glazed Carrots

I think I’ve been bitten by the health food bug. I’m in love with my local health food store. They have EVERYTHING a health food freak could ever need. I found a variety of brands of organic honey, some coming all the way from Australia. Anyway, I’ve decided that if I’m going to use honey, it’s going to be unpasteurized. I also picked up some Agave Nectar since I wanted more options with regards to sweeteners.

I’ve decided to give a few new things a try. For example, I’m going to replace Cows Milk with Almond Milk, Whole Wheat Bread with Organic Spelt Bread etc. Here’s what I had for lunch today – Scottish Oatmeal with Almond Milk, sweetened with Agave Nectar and a slice of Organic Spelt Bread with BUTTER (not margarine or butter substitutes). I had some more carrot and sweet potato soup for dinner. I think I will have soup more often.

I have been collecting recipes and I’m looking forward to testing them out and of course sharing with you guys. 🙂

Life’s good 🙂

November 15, 2010 Posted by | Healthy Meals | , , , | 5 Comments