Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hospital Food and an Update

I don’t have the time to do my normal food posts, but when I find a chance, I’m going to try to write about what I’ve been thinking about instead. It takes a lot less time to do that. Hopefully hubby’s Dad will start improving very soon! As of last night, he was about the same but had some pockets of fluid in the surgical area along with a temperature. He’s still on the ventilator. We are just waiting, waiting, and waiting—wondering when this will improve. Thank you for your continued thoughts.


In the past week, we have eaten a lot of hospital food. I find myself shocked when I visit the cafeteria in the hospital. While there are healthy options available, you really have to look for them. I would say there are more unhealthy options available than healthy ones. In a HOSPITAL, nonetheless. A place that should be top of the line when it comes to health and wellbeing.

For example, one day they served deep fried chicken wings. They serve pizza everyday. Lots, and lots of sweets. Pies, cheesecake, an ice cream sundae bar, candy, pudding parfaits made with candy and cakes, brownies, cookies, you name it. They have deep fried foods available everyday, like fried mozzarella sticks, onion rings, and even french fries. For breakfast options, they have sausage gravy over buttermilk biscuits, bacon, greasy sausage patties, donuts and plenty of pastries.

This doesn’t seem quite right to me. I’m sure there are plenty of people in that hospital being treated for obesity related diseases and here they are serving up the food that gets people to that place. It’s quite scary.

But there are plenty of healthy options. And I don’t know what kinds of foods hospital cafeterias served twenty years ago, but I’d like to hope they are improving and the healthy options available are a result of that. But I don’t know that. They have a salad bar with plenty of healthy options. You can make yourself a sandwich on a sandwich thin or bread along with some veggies. There are cheese sticks, low fat milk, and fruit cups in the coolers. They have boiled eggs and plain oatmeal on some days. Otherwise, they have those packs of oatmeal that are loaded with sugar. They have a yogurt bar that you can add, what looks like, frozen fruit to or granola. They also offer Well-Being meals that are less than 500 calories. I ate one of those last night and it really did seem like it was healthy. It was served with steamed veggies.

But honestly, the hospital cafeteria is just like walking in to any other restaurant these days. Healthy choices are available just about anywhere. It’s like walking in to McDonald’s (which by the way is also in the hospital—along with a Starbucks). You can either buy a salad and drink water or unsweetened iced tea, or you can buy a greasy burger, fries and a Coke. You just have to make the choice. Healthy options are available but those other options can be too tempting sometimes. But I have to say, I expect more out of our health systems. They should be models for healthy eating and well being.

I try my best to eat something that is healthy. I’ve eaten a grilled chicken sandwich, plain oatmeal and a boiled egg, soup and salad, and whole wheat pasta. I always try to pair my meal with at least a side salad. But the sweets are very tempting to me and I have to admit I have indulged in more than one throughout this past week.

It’s been a bit of a balancing act. I’m kind of seeing this as what it will be like when I reach goal. What habits have I formed? What knowledge have I gained that influences my eating decisions? I am happy to say that I would never buy fried chicken or a burger and fries. I am making better choices, even if I am still tempted by those sweets!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Weigh in Day

This week, my weight basically stayed the same. Well, I lost .1, but that’s literally nothing at all. So I guess I can be happy that I haven’t gained with all of this craziness.

I try to make good choices when I am eating meals. I’ve eaten a lot of salads. But not everything I’ve eaten has been on plan. There has been a little stress eating, a little boredom eating when sitting at the hospital and just waiting. We have literally not eaten a lunch or supper at home for a week. We did get a few breakfasts at home though. Today has been the first day for me to eat lunch at home in a week.

But it’s just been a little crazy so I guess losing weight isn’t my top priority right now. Staying healthy and eating the right foods is. I’m still very conscious of that, although not perfect. Chocolate and I have become a little too friendly! But overall, I think I’m doing ok right now eating wise.

Healthy eating seems so trivial yet so important right now. Things like this will really scare you.

Things are not improving. We are worried. He is still on the ventilator and his BP and HR have been all over the place. Sad smile We wish we could be up there all the time but we have jobs and we need the money—so we do what we can to get off work early and make the 2 hour drive to the hospital. Friends and family have been so supportive, so we know Hubby’s Mom usually has someone there with her…but know she needs to rest, too.

One of you asked what happened, and I might explain at a later date but don’t really want to be posting everything all over the internet, if you know what I mean!

But thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Update on FIL

Life has been pretty crazy since last Thursday. We initially thought that the situation with hubby’s Dad was not serious so we left for my hometown, which is 4 hours away. We ended up making the trip back to Iowa on Friday. Hubby’s Dad had major surgery and had many problems. They have temporarily sewn him back up. They have been unable to wean him off of the ventilator since then. So far he is stable and sedated so he is resting and hopefully healing inside. His body cannot handle being off the ventilator yet. But that is the next step. There is a lot of fluid on his lungs yet. My Mother in law is worried, as anyone would be, but she is holding up well. The hospital is a couple of hours from where we live. We slept on the floor at the hospital Friday night but got a hotel room for Saturday night. We came back home to check on things Sunday night and slept at home, but went back up to spend Monday there. Hubby had to work today. I am just resting and getting things done at home. We will go back up tonight and back home again. We are glad for the family who has been supportive. We are keeping positive all will turn out well! Just wanted to update you all on what’s going on.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Quick Update

Just wanted to let you all know that hubby's Dad had major surgery yesterday and the past few days have been a whirlwind as will the next days. He is stable so that's good in that respect. Just wanted to let you all know as I will not be blogging for a few days.

Hope you have a happy and healthy holiday to you and yours!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Michelle Obama has a big butt…!? WHAT?!

I don’t care what side of the political spectrum you’re on…but saying Michelle Obama has a big butt is out of line. According to this article from the Huffington Post, Wisconsin Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner was quoted saying, “She lectures us on eating right while she has a large posterior herself."

WHAT? Did I miss something!? THIS woman has a big butt?!

I don’t think so. Michelle Obama is gorgeous. I’d be very happy with her figure! I would LOVE to have her arms—you can tell she works hard for them. She is curvy and beautiful.

What really outrages me is Rush Limbaugh’s comment, “The problem is, and dare I say this, it doesn't look like Michelle Obama follows her own nutritionary, dietary advice...I'm trying to say that our First Lady does not project the image of women that you might see on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue or of a woman Alex Rodriguez might date every six months or what have you."

This is the biggest misconception with health and fitness. Health and fitness are not measured by how ‘Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue ready’ you are. It has to do with a healthy diet and consistent exercise. Just because a girl looks good in a swimsuit does not mean she is healthy. Why am I not surprised that men are making these statements? Women are expected to meet these impossible standards imposed upon them! Women come in all shapes and sizes. Being obese is another matter because it poses serious health risks. Michelle Obama is thin and trim. She should not have to be attacked on that level.

I commend Michelle Obama for what she has done to make America healthier and get kids more active. Growing a garden at the White House is a good example for all of us. America has serious issues with obesity and her work to combat it is commendable.

Michelle Obama, don’t listen to them! You are beautiful! Oh and by the way, how did you get those arms?!

(photo source)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Being Honest about WI and Guest Posts Needed

My WI did not go well today. I gained 3.3 lbs.—added on to what I gained last week. I am up about 5.7 lbs. from my lowest weight. It’s no surprise to me. I saw it coming. Please understand that it’s very hard for me to come on here and admit that I have gained weight AGAIN, so please be kind with your judgments. I didn’t even want to post today. I tend to be hard enough on myself, I’m just putting it out here so I know I am being honest with myself and with you. Losing weight can be a winning battle and also a struggle sometimes. Just being real.

I am blaming it 60% on myself and 40% on TOM. Oh and can I also blame it on there being too many celebrations and delicious foods around? I normally keep sweet treats out of the house, but I’ve had to make things for social events, so here they are…and so I eat. I’ll be happy when the holidays are over. Normally our holidays are pretty low key, but it seems like it’s been one event after another this year. And today was the work Christmas party… a potluck was involved. But I made up for it by eating a healthy and delicious salad for supper.

Hubby and I have a plan to compete from after the holidays until the cruise. He wants to get rid of a few pounds too. It should be great motivation to not only get the weight I’ve gained off…but to get to ONEDERLAND! Which I will get to eventually…guaranteed.

I also had a great talk with my sister this afternoon and I told her how I felt. She reassured me that even thin people struggle during the holidays. She suggested to enjoy the foods but up my exercise and really put in the time and work in that area right now to try to make up for enjoying some of those foods I only get once a year. That made me feel better. So I’m going to try to work out over the weekend more than usual.

Are you struggling this holiday season? What is your game plan?

Also, I am looking for people to write guest posts during our time away! If you’re interested, please shoot me an email at AJourney2Thin@gmail.com. I have quite a few days that I need covered, so please don’t be shy! I will, of course, link back to your blog also!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hosted a Christmas Dinner

Today was my day off, but I decided I’d get up at 5 AM with hubby so I could get a lot done today. Crazy? Maybe.

For breakfast, I had oatmeal with milled flax and blueberries along with skim milk.

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I spent some time trying to figure out what to buy for a couple of gifts I need to get…but I spent way too much time trying to find something and didn’t have any luck. I have been so busy with school, I kind of put off buying gifts until now!! And I’m really pressed for time now. While searching, I drank coffee with FF creamer.

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And then I got to work. I had laundry and dishes to do. And then I got started on getting everything together for the holiday dinner that that we decided to host tonight, kind of at the last minute! Not a big deal because it was just hubby’s parents…but I still wanted everything to turn out well.

I baked peanut butter kiss cookies. I also got the dough made and in the fridge to chill for cut out cookies.

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I may have eaten one…why is it so hard to control oneself when cooking? I should have chewed some gum!

And  then I started the prep for supper. I was pretty tired out by this point, so I sat down for a few minutes to make a list of all of the things I needed to accomplish. I am all about lists and organizational tools, so I am LOVING my new iPad. I found this really cool app for making a to do list.

I also love it for cooking. Most of the time, I get recipes online and I don’t feel like wasting paper by printing them out, so I always have my laptop in the kitchen and it just takes up too much space. The iPad is PERFECT. I have an app for allrecipes.com, where I get a lot of my recipes, and I can just prop my iPad up and get to cooking! So handy!

I had the inner battle of should I or shouldn’t I work out today. And I won. I worked out. I did a run/walk for 30:33 and completed 2 miles. I am proud of myself. It’s so hard for me to run the entire time on the treadmill, but I find if I break it up into runs and walks, it really helps. I need to get over feeling guilty for not running the entire time. I can work on speed this way, so it’s actually a good thing! I burned 274 calories. Do any of you workout each day to achieve a certain calorie burn? How do you figure out how many calories you want to burn? I’ve been thinking about getting a Body Bug type device, to see if that would help motivate me to see the numbers of what I’m consuming vs. what I’m burning. Do any of you use something like that? Does it help motivate you?

For lunch, I ate a protein packed salad with lettuce, tomato, FF cheese, a boiled egg, chicken, and Canadian bacon. I topped it with FF ranch and FF Western dressing. So good!

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After lunch, I made my cutout cookies. This was the first time in my life to make these as an adult and by myself! They’re a bit of a mess and apparently, I made neon pink Christmas cookies. lol. But they taste good. Winking smile

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That’s a lot of work though! I was tired out by the time I was done with that! But I had a lot left to do…

I feel like I spent all day preparing for supper tonight…and I pretty much did!

I made recipes that I saw on the Biggest Loser Thanksgiving special. It turned out delicious! I was able to sneak my pictures when everyone else was in the living room!

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We had Herb-Orange turkey with roasted pear gravy.

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I also made mashed beans with cauliflower and leeks—SO good! It was really funny because hubby’s parents are the “meat and potatoes” part and they had no clue these weren’t mashed potatoes until hubby said something!

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And Spinach salad with pomegranate—this was supposed to have pears but I forgot! It was still beautiful though. I also made the vinaigrette that goes with this and OMW…so good.

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And for dessert, we had the cookies that I worked so hard to make along with decaf coffee.

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Supper was very healthy. All made with filling foods. Simply amazing! The cookies were the worst part about today, otherwise I think I did well!

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Better Day

I hope that you had a good weekend! Mine started out on Friday night when my parents arrived and my sister came, with her youngest, as a surprise! I was really surprised to see her. Thanks so much to all of you for coming! SmileWe enjoyed dinner out at a Mexican restaurant. Saturday, I graduated. YAY!! Finally done! After that, Loren and I, my family, and hubby’s parents went out to eat at Hu Hot—it’s possible to eat really healthy there, BTW! For the rest of the day, hubby and I took it easy and relaxed. Sunday was the usual church meetings and planning for the week. It was a good weekend!

I am super excited because Hubby surprised me with an iPad for my graduation present. I have been researching iPads, Kindles, and Nooks and had decided to get a Kindle Fire, mainly because of the cost, but what I really wanted was an iPad! I was SOOO excited, which you can probably see in this picture! lol

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What are your favorite Apps, for you iPad users?

The scale did not show me any love this morning, but that was totally expected. And wouldn’t you know that I had to have an unwelcome visitor in my life this morning also…which never helps my weight, if you know what I mean! And I am NOT happy. I NEVER got it on my old BC. Not only that, but I have acne like no other since switching BC pills. GRRR!

Moving on, I continued to struggle with eating the right foods and not continuing to allow myself to indulge. Didn’t go so well! But it’s something for me to work on. I want to learn to master the art of learning that it’s ok to indulge in celebrations, but getting right back to healthy eating afterwards. I always want to continue to indulge AFTER the celebrations.

So today, I’m back to SFT for the day. I know I won’t be able to do it all week, but I know that doing SFT will help me on the days when I am able to.

For breakfast, I ate an egg, 1 slice of Canadian bacon, 1/2 serving of oatmeal with blueberries, and a glass of skim milk.

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I did the Wii Fit for 30 minutes. I just did random aerobic activities. It’s not a huge calorie burn, but I can feel it in my muscles and I broke a sweat. It was fun! I burned 160 calories—so it’s something anyways! It seems about an average calorie burn for an aerobic activity for me.

While working, I sipped on coffee with FF vanilla creamer.

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On my first break, I ate a banana and 2 clementines.

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For lunch, I ate a salad with tuna, tomatoes and FF cheese.

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I also ate an apple with PB for 3 points.

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No snacks for the rest of the day.

For supper, I made baked chicken, lentils with apple cider vinegar, and green beans.

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For dessert, I had FF lemon chiffon yogurt.

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Overall, a pretty good day! Lots better than the past few, that’s for sure!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Celebrations and Food

It has been a busy week! With finals, hubby’s birthday, holiday parties, and graduation—we’ve had a lot going on. It has been fun!

I gave myself permission to relax my eating a bit during all of the celebrations. I mean, who wants to be worrying about food instead of just enjoying the moments? I don’t feel like I did terribly, but I definitely wasn’t eating like I’m trying to lose weight either!

And then the inevitable thoughts of failure started to strike. “Ugh, I really blew it this time” or “I sure fell off the wagon” or “Well, I’ve eaten this terribly, I might as well have some cookies.” On and on. You know the drill.

But then I stopped myself.

I’ve been following this healthier lifestyle for about three years now. THREE YEARS! That’s an accomplishment. And granting myself permission to eat with my family and enjoy the moments, celebrate the things worth celebrating, is not failing. It is part of having a healthy relationship with food. Food is such a huge part of our social lives. It’s cultural and there are countless traditions involving food. Was the food the most important part of these celebrations? Absolutely not. But we all enjoyed a few delicious meals together, talking, laughing, and enjoying each other’s company.

So I had the revelation, but then came the next part. Not every day is a celebration. So it’s about getting back on track and not continuing to eat like I’m celebrating the next day or the next meal. And I’m struggling a bit with that. But I don’t like how I feel when I eat like I'm celebrating all of the time. My body is telling me, “Eat some vegetables!”, “Drink that water!”, “WORK OUT!”.

My body knows what it wants and needs. Now I just need to listen to it!

It has a struggle for me to come to terms with the fact that there will be no “falling off the wagon”. It’s not going to be a part of my vocabulary anymore. Enjoying food is not falling off the wagon. It is part of a healthy life. Some days I will be celebrating life’s achievements and deliciously rich foods might be a part of that. But those types of celebrations are few and far between. And they should be enjoyed and treasured. But more often, I will be celebrating health and life…EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Every day is a celebration of another day to live. And I’m going to live most days like I am celebrating good health and happiness by eating fresh and nutritious foods, drinking lots of water and working out. And then I'll be around to see those big, life celebrations and be there to celebrate them with my loved ones.

In the long run, life’s celebrations will be just little blips on the healthy living journey. What matters most is all of the days in between. It cannot be all or nothing. That never works. Finding the balance will ensure a happy and healthy lifestyle—guilt free.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Graduated!!

I graduated today with my B.A. in English. I am SO excited to be done and to start the next chapter of my (our) life!

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday D├ęcor and Last Final DONE!

I just wanted to share a picture of hubby from his birthday last night. Smile He was surprised with all of the decorating I did and I know it made him feel special. Mission accomplished!

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So handsome! SmileAnd why didn’t I think to close my messy cupboard in the background. Doh! lol

And now for a little honesty. Hubby got home very late last night. But I wanted to wait for him to eat supper because it was his birthday after all. I did really well at first. I had a couple of healthy, simply filling snacks like a clementine and FF lunch meat. And then I just got so hungry I started raiding the cupboards. The good news is that we don’t keep too many “snack” foods in the house. But I did find myself eating out of a Pirate’s Booty bag… And then I felt terrible. So I decided to change my tracking over to the counting points method and realized that I was doing better than I thought for the day. So I changed it to tracking for yesterday and plan to do the same today. I feel out of control. My weight is forever climbing. It’s not the Simply Filling plan that’s not working—it’s ME. And right now, I need a little more leeway in what I’m eating, especially with life’s celebrations as of late and those to come this week! I need to do something I’m comfortable with and I’ve been tracking points for years. I plan on doing Simply Filling again when my life calms down again, probably after Saturday! But this is how the new WW plan works, you can switch plans everyday if you want to. So I’m still on track! And I talked to the supportive people on the SFT message board on Facebook, and they all agreed that sometimes life requires you to count points instead, and that’s perfectly ok. Thanks to everyone on that board for being SO helpful!

I just don’t know why losing weight has to be such a struggle. Why is it so hard for me to just control myself?! I get so frustrated with myself sometimes.

And after eating supper so late last night, I wasn’t very hungry this morning. So I ate toast with PB and a sliced banana and a glass of 1% milk (I meant to buy skim yesterday and realized when I got home I bought 1% out of habit)—6 points.

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And then it was time to get to studying. I had my only traditional test today, the rest were papers and essays to be done at home.

While studying, I sipped on coffee with FF creamer for 1 point.

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I spent a couple of hours studying and creating study guides for myself. One thing about having an actual test is that it’s easy to get very anxious about it. I was stressing!

I ate a snack of 2 clementines and 1/2 serving of cinnamon almonds for 2 points.

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I have to admit, it’s kind of nice to be able to eat almonds without using weekly points. Winking smile

My pictures are a lot more fun when I have a tablecloth…lol.

It’s always nice to sell my books back at the end of the semester. Yay! Nice to have a little extra cash.

I was literally stomach growing hungry and I wasn’t about to be embarrassed about my stomach growling loudly in a silent room during my final. lol. So I picked up a cheese stick in the union for 2 points. It worked! No stomach growling. Winking smile

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My final went just fine. I feel like I at least got an A or a B. I was so excited when I was finally done!! That's it! NO MORE FINALS!!

I had to run a few errands. I picked up a McDonald’s SF FF Vanilla Cappuccino for 2 points. Thanks to my employer for the gift card for Christmas!

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I picked up Subway for lunch. I haven’t had Subway in a long time. DELISH! Instead of chips, I was enticed by broccoli cheese soup. 12 points. It was a cold and windy day today and it hit the spot!

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And then it was time to clean the house! My Mom, and possibly my Dad, are coming tomorrow night! YAY!! So excited.

The house is nice and festive!

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I got these very cool “smart candles” at Younkers. I love candles, but in the past few years I just can’t burn them or I am coughing like crazy. But these are flameless and they flicker and everything. Very cool!

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In the background, you can see the poem I made for hubby for our anniversary. I don’t know if I ever mentioned it on here. But I made a poem in the shape of a “K”, for our last name, and thought about our first 5 years together and there are a million words and phrases that describe our first give years, the things we did, etc. He really liked it! Smile

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My best friend in elementary school gave this to me in 6th grade—and I still have it! Smile

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Tonight, I am getting together with work friends for a little holiday party. I have 7 daily points and numerous weekly points left. It just so happens to be in the same town where my Grandpa is living in assisted living. So I’m going to stop by and see him. I bought him burnt peanuts, his favorite candy!

And I’m pretty excited because now I can just unwind and relax. Finals are over and graduation is coming up!! Oh, and I emailed the Grad School organizer to get some info…so we’ll see where I go after this! Smile

Oh and I thought this was really cool. It was an ad in our local paper:

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Thanks, FTC! Smile

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Happy 30th Birthday to Hubby!!

I lost a little weight today, but I still had a gain of 2.4 lbs. this week. Not a good week!! Well actually, I should say the weekend wasn’t so great! The rest of it wasn’t that bad. And this week is full of celebrations too. I’ll try to focus on eating those power foods and saving my weekly points for the celebrations.

For breakfast, I had an egg sandwich on a light english muffin along with a banana.

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I missed my usual glass of milk, but we were out!

Today was hubby’s 30th birthday. He opened a few of his gifts. I think he liked them all! I got him his very own pair of Zippearz ear buds…since he’s always stealing mine. Smile

I didn’t feel like working on my finals…but I was so close to finishing a paper that is actually due tomorrow and I wanted to get it done today and turn it in early to get it off of my mind. So I brewed a cup of coffee and added FF creamer to get me through the work.

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It took me about 2 1/2 hours to finish up my paper and it was a big relief when I was done!

It was unusually warm today—with a high of 50 degrees! So I took advantage of it and went outside for a walk. I walked 1.67 miles in 30 minutes and burned 178 calories. It was very foggy today though! I took this picture on my phone on my walk and I love how it turned out. I love the way trees look against the sky when they don’t have any leaves. I don’t know why? lol It’s pretty.

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For lunch, I ate a grilled cheese sandwich made with whole wheat bread, FF cheese and a few sprays of butter spray. of course I had to dip it in ketchup.

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I also had a side salad with lettuce, chicken and tomatoes topped with FF Western dressing.

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I finished it up with FF yogurt topped with milled flax seed.

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I am really loving yogurt with milled flax seed. It gives it this delicious flavor.

And then it was off to run a few errands and drop off finals at school. The day went super quick for some reason.

I picked up a Skim milk to drink because I was really hungry.

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I ate a square of Godiva Dark chocolate with raspberry for 1 point. I was shocked to see it was so low in points!

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Hubby is going to be late again tonight. I did some decorating and am trying to make it special for his 30th birthday. He actually requested a healthy meal that we call Broccoli Slaw. It’s all power foods, so I should be good to go.

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But I did pick up some cupcakes from the fabulous cupcakery to celebrate. Yummy!

Happy 30th birthday to my hubby!!