Saturday, January 15, 2011

Comfort Food: Sheperd's Pie Recipe

There are tons of recipes out there for Shepherd's pie.  Tonight I made the full calorie version only without salt.

Here's my low cal good for you version

1 lb ground chicken or turkey 
2 tbsp GrapeOla
1 Packet low sodium onion soup mix or one can low sodium onion soup
1 tbsp ground flax seed
1 tbsp unbleached wheat germ
1 lb fresh frozen mixed veggies (no salt added)
Plain instant potatoes prepared according to directions (plain.  no salt, no seasonings, no butter or milk PLAIN)
OR  Enough mashed cauliflower to cover the pie
1-2 cups low fat shredded mild cheddar or Mozzarella or Tofu 'Cheese' Shreds

Now there's three ways you can do this
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Brown your meat in the GrapeOla, add in soup(mix), flax seed, and wheat germ.  Drain.  Spread in bottom of  a DEEP square or rectangle baking dish as this pie tends to run over sometimes, especially if you use the canned Onion Soup instead of dry onion soup mix.  Layer the frozen vegetables on top of the meat mixture.  Cover with mashed potatoes/cauliflower.  Sprinkle cheese over mashed potatoes/cauliflower.

The second way is to just mix the cooked meat and veggies together, pour in DEEP baking dish, then add taters and cheese.

A third way is to not even bother with the taters or cauliflower and just sprinkle the cheese over the vegetables..  I tend to use the potatoes because it adds that extra flavor and texture to the dish that makes it a delicious southern comfort food plus just plain potatoes aren't bad for you, its the stuff you add to them that make them bad.

I've been known to add the wheat germ and ground flax seed into the potatoes too to give them a more interesting texture.

So there you have it.  It's a fairly simple recipe.  Just adjust it according to your tastes.

This is my small oval Pampered Chef Baking Dish.  It holds enough Shepherd's Pie for two adults or one teenaged boy, depending on who you're feeding.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Clothes are falling off

I wish I could say I'd lost weight and or inches, but neither is true at the moment.  My clothes are still trying to fall off, so that's a good sign right?

The past two weeks I've backslid into the world of processed foods because they're more convenient and less expensive.  Bad Bad Bad Melissa.

So what am I going to do different this time? I was sick as a dog last night but still managed a few minutes on the recumbent bike so that's a start. Get back on my routine of veggies and little to no meats and make use of my new exercise mat and weights. WOOT!

I've discovered whole wheat tortillas, still not the best, but they make great chips when cut up into wedges, baked in the oven at 425 for a few minutes until they're crispy.  Have half a tortilla, 1 tablespon hummus of your choice and you have a yummy treat, or in my case, lunch on the run.  Couple it with a 8 oz cup of V-8 Fusion, I like Acai Mixed Berry and you've done yourself a nice deed for the afternoon.

V-Fusions are going to be my new go to drink.  Therefore my new (to me) product of the week.  1/2 serving of fruit 1/2 serving of veggies per 8 oz glassful. 110 calories.  Minimal amounts of vitamins and minerals so they're not too shabby a drink while trying to shed pounds.  There is a light version of these drinks, but I'll tell you now, they taste AWFUL!

Ten minutes of biking tonight because it's 17 degrees outside with about 6 inches of snow on the ground and I have no intentions of walking or running in that mess!  Why ten minutes?  Why not longer?  My knees HURT!  I'm slowly building up to do more.  Once upon a time I couldn't even do ten minutes.  It's baby steps I tell you.

I'll have unearthed my car and have my weights out of it in the morning so add in some resistance training and restarting pilates in the morning too.  At the end of the month I will be under 200 pounds and at least one size smaller pants. WOOT!

Now, about that contest everyone says they want to enter but haven't.  There is no deadline as I have people discovering my blog all the time, but I have to have proof of your blog and some measurements to determine who wins in June.  I'm not allowed to compete to win, but I am your competition/coach anyway.

To enter;
Sign up for a blog.
Give me your Blog's address so I can follow your journey to your new you.
On your main page, I need a current picture of you, your waist measurement and your goal.
Update weekly
Update your measurements monthly: Weight and waist only
One June 30th we'll have an independent person look at each blog and said person will pick the person who has lost the most weight.  I'm not allowed to win since I'm sponsoring the contest.  I'll probably ask one of the beach body coaches who read the blog to be the judge.  Heck, maybe we'll get them all to vote on it =)

The prize?  A $50 gift certificate to the spa of your choice. (changed it didn't I muahahahaha!)
There will likely be other prizes along the way =)

So c'mon girls, and guys, sign up and let the battle of the bulge begin!

Here.  I'll go first by posting a god awful picture of my previously fat self.  Leann!  Why did you let me go out looking like this????????????  Wait!  I don't think I knew you when this was made lol!

My husband says he doesn't ever remember me being this big.  I do.

I am 5ft 7
41 years old
Currently I weigh 206 (yes I gained a few pounds by being lazy. I'm working on fixing my laziness)
In the picture above I am 30 and weighed probably (guessing)  at least 270 if not more.  It looks like my thigh is thicker than Grant's then 4-5 year old body.  That's Caleb in my arms hanging on for dear life lol!.

My current waist size is 37.5 inches.  

Okay ladies.  Ante up.  I have far worse pictures and I'm slowly gaining the courage to show what I had become over the last decade.  No more.  I will be a fit and fabulous 40 something.  I challenge you to join me. 

Saturday, January 1, 2011


That's not a typo!  Welcome to the first day of the new year and the first step toward a new you!

My name, if you didn't already know, is Melissa.  I'm 41.  I'm 5 ft 8, and I'm weighing in at 203.6 lbs.  My target weight by August 8 2011 is 140 lbs.  It's a long long way to go but considering where I started (269) it isn't impossible.  Btw: I'm your coach in this friendly little competition that starts today.

This year I'm adding cardio into my fitness routine.  Last year I amped up the weight loss by adding Pilates and Yoga for toning my slowly but surely slimming down body.  This year I take it a bit higher by adding cardio either by running on the days it's fit for humans to be out (read, not snowing or ice storm central) or recumbent biking. 

I already eat much better, today was an off day.  It was a holiday.  I enjoyed my last fatty, salty, sweet foods today.  That's not to say only bland crap from here on out, on the contrary!  I have a reputation for carrying brightly colored 'pretty' food and I intend to start doing that again.  I can enjoy whatever I want, as long as it's in strict moderation.  Raw fruits and vegetables with lean cuts of meat are the order of the day every day for the remainder of my life.

I don't do diets.  They're traps.  They set you up to fail.  You have to relearn to eat and how to take care of yourself.  You have to learn to pay attention to what you are putting in your mouth.  That is the only way to lose the weight for good.

You have to decide what your motivation is.  If you're losing weight to please someone else then you're going to fail.  If you're losing weight to  look younger, you're going to fail.

My motivation is to avoid the many health issues  associated with being overweight.  I'm also losing the weight because someone I love told me I was only third rate on a good day, then tried to take some of the hurt away by saying it was for my own good that that hateful comment was made.  We'll just see who's third rate by the time this is done!

So, what will happen once you get to your target wight?  For me, my goal is to run a 5K, then write a book, then  open my own weight loss center....teach women, and men, that they don't have to be overweight. I want to teach others that they can enjoy food without fear of gaining weight, but they have to want it first.  I can't make them want to lose it for good.  I can't make them eat right or exercise.  It has to be a conscious choice they make for themselves.  If you don't care that  you're overweight then all the dieting and exercise and goading in the world isn't going to change the overweight person. 

People have the knowledge of what is good for them and what isn't.  It's their decision what they do with that knowledge.  I  know there are those who would like to control what goes into our mouths, look at San Francisco and New York City.  You can't legislate good eating habits.  Remember the saying, Knowledge is power?  The same is true when it comes to weight loss.  Knowledge *is* power.  give people information they need to make good choices.  Note I didn't say FORCE information on people.  If you legislate or force someone into something they don't want to do or know, they're going to resist.  It's just human nature.

Live the lifestyle you want others to follow. Teach by being the example you want them to see. It takes time. It takes confidence.  It takes persistence.  It also takes courage.

There will be  those who do anything and everything in their power to derail your lifestyle change. They will do everything they can think of to make you feel bad about what you're doing. The best thing I can tell you is blinders on and disregard.  You're doing this for you and you alone. Hold your head up and put courage on full display.
That's why I listed my stats.  That's why I posted pictures of my fat self.  I own it.  I am fat.  It's my fault.  I made the conscious choice to disregard what I knew about food and eating right and taking care of myself in favor of letting depression and boredom rule ten years of my life.  I regret it.  I can't change the past, but what I can change is my future.  And that is exactly what I'm doing right here, right now. Phooey on anyone who thinks I can't do it.

I challenge  you, my readers, to join me.  I can't promise you I'll be perfect and that I won't backslide, but I will promise you that I won't hide my failures.  It's all part of it.

So what do you say?  Game on?