Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Update

Life has been challenging lately and my eating has gone slightly downhill. I maintained my weight until this morning where it shot up a couple of pounds. With my grandpa passing away and family gatherings, weight loss has been the last thing on my mind.

Now that all of the events are over, I’m still left with that sadness in my heart over a loss. Thinking about never going to visit grandpa again, hearing him laugh and that sparkle in his eye…it just makes me sad.

I will be away the rest of the week and not eating meals at home, so it will be another struggle. I plan on watching what I eat, but understanding it’s not going to be perfect, with the intention of starting afresh once everything is all over.

I’m also still struggling with what I think is either the remnants of a cold or allergies with asthma issues. I’m never really sure. I’m hoping all of that goes away quickly!

Seems like every time I have a good week, something else happens unexpectedly in life that trips me up. But so is life. Hopefully everything starts to slow down soon!

Hope you are all doing well!

Going to College?

Books can get so expensive in college. I remember having to scrape every penny to pay for them. Have you heard of Campusbookrentals.com?

Campusbookrentals.com

Here are some of the perks:

-save 40-90% off of bookstore prices
-free shipping both ways
-can highlight in the textbooks
-flexible renting periods
-they donate to Operation Smile with each textbook rented, and have donated over 1,000 cleft lip surgeries to children of need each year.

Go to Campusbookrentals.com to see the price difference.

This post is in partnership to Campusbookrentals.com.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Low Calorie Strawberry Lemonade Recipe with Sweet ‘N Low

Lemonade 0091

This is a delicious and low calorie drink with just a few simple ingredients.

Lemonade 001

Lemonade 008

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of sliced strawberries
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of crushed ice
  • 4 packets of Sweet N’ Low

Lemonade 004

Instructions:

1. Place all ingredients into a mixer and blend.

Lemonade 007

2. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

Lemonade 0101

I was sent samples and recipes for Sweet ‘N Low as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Remembering my Grandpa

grandpa&Alissa

My grandpa passed away this morning. It is a blessing for him as he was ready to go but we are still saddened by the loss of such a special man.

He was faithful in all things. He was faithful to God. He was successful in business. He served his country as a Marine in WW II. He was a loving husband to my grandmother and a wonderful father to my mom and my aunts. To me, he was the best grandpa anyone could ever ask for.

He could always make you laugh and loved to joke around. I still remember taking this picture about 11 years ago. This is just the perfect picture of him being his silly self.

SillyGrandpa

The stories he told about his youth, especially in the past few years, were stories full of liveliness, feistiness, and wit. Grandpa was a fighter in everything he did. He never gave up. He was wise in every aspect of life.

Even yesterday, when I held his hand for the last time, he had a powerful grip. He still joked and laughed, even stuck his tongue out at my aunt when she told him he was cute!

I’m thankful for all of the memories in my heart. The little moments that, at the time, I didn’t value as much as I do now.

My grandpa was a good man. There aren’t many men quite like him in the world. I have a deep respect for the man that he was. He was the perfect example of how to live. I think everyone loved him and respected him. I am so proud to have had him as my grandpa. I am so thankful to have had him in my life. I am better because of it.

This picture was taken at my and hubby’s wedding. He was always the jokester, here he is with my brother in law.

.facebook_74099

And so I think of what kind of legacy I will leave behind one day. May it be even a short measure of what my Grandpa has left behind.

We love you. We will miss you.

Forever in our hearts.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Weigh in Day

I lost 3.9 lbs. this week! I am thrilled!

In the past, I would have a big loss followed by a gain because I wouldn’t have my head in the game after such a big loss, for some reason.

Not this time.

I’m taking it one day at a time. Counting my points. The exercise front is a little iffy because I am having severe allergies and can hardly breathe right now! But as soon as I’m feeling better, I will be back at it. I have to be careful as not to make it worsen. I did get in 4 of 5 workouts last week—and I enjoyed them!

Today should be my last day at the office. I have packed a healthy lunch every day and stuck to it. No trips to the vending machine. I actually eat my lunch in my car so that I’m not even tempted!

Hope you’re having a good week!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Health and Nutrition in Schools

It’s weird not to be going back to school this year. I applied for the masters program for this fall, but in the mean time I got a part time job as a reporter and my other job is starting to look like I’ll be able to write there too! So it’s all falling into place and no need to go back to school at this time in my life…not saying that I never will though! It may be something I want to do at a later date.

As stressful as it was sometimes, I enjoyed being a student. I LOVE learning about new things. It’s fascinating to me, which is probably why I like to read, too! If only I had more time for it…I need to make time for it. I read most days on my lunch breaks and that’s about it.

I have read quite a few books on weight loss and health, some of them helpful and others not so much. But I think that one of the most important parts of this journey is obtaining the knowledge to help you in the future.

Schools need to teach more about healthy living. It is an essential skill. I remember taking a home economics class in middle school and our cooking lesson involved opening a can of fruit and putting it in a pan. That’s not healthy living. Kids should be taught how to use fresh fruits and veggies to cook nutritious meals.

I think a class on health, nutrition and cooking could last at least a quarter or a semester. I have learned so much on my own that I was never taught. I don’t think I really understood what I was doing to myself when I would stuff my face with junk food. No clue whatsoever.

Is it a parent’s responsibility to teach their children or should children be taught at school? I think the majority of adults in the U.S. don’t have a clue about nutrition! I still have a lot to learn! I think children should be taught these things in school and hopefully, someday, they will be practiced at home in the majority of households, not just the minority.

Tell me what you think.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Update

I’m just checking in to say that I am still on track and still within my points. I have worked out 4 days out of my weigh in week so far, I am aiming for 5 days, so I have one more workout either today or tomorrow.

I am working at the office most of this week. I have packed healthy food for my lunch and my snacks with plenty of water. The project I am working on takes a lot of thought and so I’m not even thinking about food, which is a good thing!!

I’m taking this one day at a time. Trying to make choices that are good for me and my body. Have there been times when I noticed emotional eating take over? Yes. But I counted the points and took note of what was happening so that it hopefully doesn’t happen again!

How’s your week going?

Monday, August 20, 2012

A River Ride

I love day trips. There are so many places to explore that are close to home. We can leave in the morning and be back home in time to sleep in our own bed. Day trips are like a mini-vacation and we enjoy them!

This past weekend, we took hubby’s parents along with us and we went to Dubuque for a historic river cruise.

Dubuque 010

We rode on the boat behind us. Here’s a better shot.

Dubuque 005

We saw some beautiful scenes while cruising down the Mississippi.

Dubuque 012

Dubuque 013

Dubuque 014

Dubuque 029

Dubuque 033

Dubuque 034

It was the perfect day for a boat ride. It was gorgeous outside. We ate a deli lunch on the boat.

There were some amazing homes along the river. I had to snap a few pictures. This place looks like a castle!

Dubuque 023

And this one is more my style… sigh, maybe someday!

Dubuque 028

Dubuque 021

Hubby and I totally didn’t plan wearing matching Hawkeye shirts. lol. It just kind of happened that way.

After the boat ride, we did a little shopping and then visited by Grandpa at the assisted living facility. And then we headed home. It was a fun day!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Brownies on the Brain? #Giveaway #MyBlogSpark

Fiber_One_Brownies_logo

I know I have brownies on the brain…probably WAY too often! But it’s nice to know that Fiber One® offers a low calorie option to the decadent treat.

Have you tried out the Fiber One® 90 Calorie Chocolate Chip Cookie brownies?

MyBlogSpark sent me a box to try out and offer my honest opinions on.

I love the Fiber One Brownies and I often eat them for a low point dessert. My favorite way to eat them is to pop one in the microwave for about 15 seconds and then top it with a dollop of low calorie whipped topping. SO good. You’d never guess you weren’t eating a full calorie brownie.

So I did the same thing with the Chocolate Chip Cookie flavor. And it was delish! I have to say that I like the chocolate flavors better, but I’m also a huge fan of chocolate.

I asked hubby what he thought about them, “I like them,” he said. I tried to probe a little further and he said, “They’re actually very good.” That’s all I could get out of him…probably because he was busy chowing down on one.

But give them a try and let me know what you think!

I also have one prize pack to give away to a very lucky reader. Here’s what you’ll get:

FIber One Brownies gift pack

  • Brain Stress Ball: To help relieve stress from a busy day
  • Water Bottle: it’s important to drink enough water during the day to stay refreshed
  • Ear Tube Buds: Listening to music (especially classical) can help you focus and spark creativity
  • Office Turf: Nature is a source of relaxation. Bringing a little bit of the outdoors inside can help you feel rejuvenated and calm
  • Mini tote bag: Can carry all the items for the "survival kit." This bag can also be used as a lunch bag or to carry wholesome snacks like Fiber One® 90 Calorie Brownies

So who wants to win!? Here are your options. Please leave a comment for each one.

  1. Like the Fiber One® Facebook page.
  2. Tell me why you’ll reach for Fiber One® 90 Calorie Brownies, Chocolate Chip Cookie flavor the next time you have “brownies on the brain”.
  3. What is your favorite flavor of Fiber One 90 Calorie Brownies?
  4. Tweet about this giveaway: Brownies on the brain? @AJourneyToThin is giving Fiber One brownies away! #MyBlogSpark

Giveaway will end Friday August 24th and 5 p.m. central time. If the winner does not respond with one week, they forfeit their winnings. Be sure to leave contact information!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

I Cried in front of my Doctor

I literally broke down and sobbed at the doctor’s office today. It was rather humiliating.

The doctor just mentioned that maybe there was a difference in scales because my weight was up about 9 lbs. in their records.

And I just lost it. I told her that it wasn’t the scale, it was me. I explained how I can’t seem to get my head in the game and that it scares me to death because I just CANNOT go back to 288 lbs. I’ve gained more than 9 lbs. according to my home scale! I told her how I’ve felt depressed and just not myself. How I’ve been dealing with life change and trying to figure out how to work my schedule out.

I have to tell you, I have the best doctor EVER. She just listened and I think she was slightly shocked at my tears, who wouldn’t be. She gave me the best advice and I think she really understood where I was coming from. I just want to share some of what she told me.

  • I need to think about exercise like a pill that I take every morning for my blood pressure. A pill you can swallow in a few seconds and while exercise might take a little longer, but it’s just as important.
  • She also told me she wasn’t here to be hard on me because I seem to be doing a pretty job of that myself. Which was a pretty good indication to me that I am WAY too hard on myself. Point taken.
  • She told me that sometimes in weight loss, we have these little bumps. And the weight that I have gained is just a bump. This is a life long thing.
  • And what really hit home for me—she told me I am not a failure. Gaining back some weight does not make me a failure. She told me that sometimes we get caught up in those negative thoughts and it just spirals out of control. She told me I have done wonderful things and in no way whatsoever am I a failure.
  • She also told me that she schedules her workout into her day. After I told her my schedule, she understood how it’s tough for me to try to fit it in, but told me a little secret to how she fits her workouts in. She said she HAS TO because she can’t come to the office and tell her patients to do it if she’s not doing it herself. What a great doctor.
  • She also told me that if I feel like I need to, that maybe I could consider counseling. It makes me feel like a nut case to think about it, but the more I think about it, and after the way out conversation went today—I wonder if it would be good for me.
  • She also told me that working out will be a great way for me to de-stress, and that it sounded like I had a lot of stress in my life right now.

After telling my mom about my sheer embarrassment of crying in front of my doctor, I realized something about myself. I internalize EVERYTHING. The fact that I am struggling with my weight must mean I am an absolute failure at EVERYTHING in life, my job, my relationships, EVERYTHING. One little awkward look from someone else, they must not like me because I am a), b), or c)….

Everything is personal to me. I REALLY feel BAD about gaining weight. LITERALLY. It affects me so badly that I hate myself. I begin to dread life. I feel unattractive. I feel like an ugly person inside and out.

Even outside of weight loss, one little thing goes wrong, one person isn’t very happy…EVERYTHING is my fault. That’s how I feel. And I KNOW it’s not true, but I still internalize it. I’m the type of person that loves to see everyone smiling and make everyone laugh. I like to see people happy and if they’re not, I internalize it. I’ve been like that since I was a little girl standing in the middle of the living room doing silly things to try to make my family laugh.

I did make today another new start. I have literally hit rock bottom this time. I mean, I bawled in front of my doctor who just wanted to make sure that my blood pressure was normal (which it was for once) and that my asthma isn’t causing me too much trouble. I’m embarrassed, but she was very understanding.

So far, I have done very well today. I am making exercise a priority. Plain and simple.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I am doing these things for my health. Because I want to feel good and feel happy. I want to be a healthy wife for my husband and a healthy, happy mother to our children someday. Those things are more important to me than how I look or what clothes I can fit into. Those are the reasons I am doing this.

And now I need to make that connection every time I am confronted with emotional eating, for whatever reason.

I think that will be the tricky part.

This afternoon, I went for a walk. I decided my workout time will be a time for me to de-stress. It’s like that pill that will help me clear my head and refresh my soul. It’s what I am going to turn to when I feel that sinking feeling, pressure on my chest and like I am about to explode. It’s a lot healthier alternative than food!

And my walk was much more enjoyable when I thought about it that way.

So, will this be the time that I turn it back around?

I sure hope so.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Nectresse Sweetener Review

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Nectresse™ Sweetener for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Nectresse product family.jpg

SocialSpark sent me samples of NECTRESSE™Sweetener to review. Nectresse is the only 100% natural sweetener made from fruit--monk fruit extract.

It comes in two options, either a box of individual packets or a canister:

Nectresse product family.jpg

Since receiving NECTRESSE™, I began using it like sugar in my coffee and iced tea. I always like just a hint of sweetness in my coffee and tea and this is the perfect sweetener. At first, I was concerned that the sugar like crystals wouldn't dissolve, but they do, adding sweeteness to every sip. You really don't need to use that much! I often use half of a packet in a cup of coffee and save the other half for cup #2.

Lisa Ling talks about NECTRESSE™Sweetener in the video below. Check it out and feel free to share it with others!

I decided to take one of the recipes sent to me and modify it to what I had in the house. It turned out to be a delicious and healthy drink.

We'll call it Citrus Green Tea with NECTRESSE™Sweetener.

Ingredients:

1 cup of hot water

1 Tbs. orange juice

1 bag of green tea

3 packages of Nectresse (or to taste)

It's really easy. Just let the green tea steep for a few minutes and then mix in all of the other ingredients. It's a tasty drink!

You can receive a FREE sample of NECTRESSE™Sweetener to give it a try yourself.

I love the fact that it's 100% natural. It's also 150 times sweeter than sugar so you don't need a lot. It can be used in cooking and baking to help reduce the calorie count.

You can find NECTRESSE™Sweetener at your local grocery store, drug store, supercenters and online. The suggested retail price is $3.99 for the packets and $6.99 for the canister.

 

Visit Sponsor's Site

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Kale from my Garden

I haven’t been shy about my love of kale chips. I Ab-Sol-Ute-Ly love them! I ate them just today, actually!

So when we realized that our small patch of strawberries in our garden was doing more to feed the birds than us, we decided to pull out half of them. And what to plant in the newly opened space?

KALE!

AUGYOM 019

We planted it just a few weeks ago and I cannot believe how fast it has grown! I didn’t think we would have anything out there and I checked today only to find what’s shown in the above picture (please ignore the weeds in there too)!

I think that’s enough to make some homegrown kale chips! How fun!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Remember this!!

I just want to document that I feel TERRIBLE when I don't eat correctly. I feel bloated. I feel ugly. I feel fat. Ughhhhhhh.

REMEMBER THIS, ALISSA!!!!

When I eat healthily, I feel good. I feel small. I feel happy.

I am going to try to remind myself of how I will feel after eating ______________.

Will I feel energized? Good about myself? Bloated? Like a failure?

My next choice will be a good one.

I hate feeling like I look like a pregnant woman when I'm not pregnant!! I will just die if someone asks if I'm pregnant.... :(

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Weigh in Day

I gained back most of what I lost last week. I had a pretty bad week. I let one little thing trip me up and then I can’t seem to get back on track.

Once again, today is a new day and I’m trying again. I bet you’re getting pretty tired of hearing that, huh?

I really do feel like I am starting from square one. Might as well forget the 80 lbs. that I lost, 75 of which I’ve kept off. I feel like I need to learn to practice will power and figure out the reasons why I want to get to goal so badly. I am unhappy with my body, I’m unhappy with how I feel mentally, and I want to change!

So what was the first thing I did when I started back in 2008? Wow…has it really been that long?!

Well, I started with a post talking about why I wanted to lose weight…this was 2 months after I actually started dieting.

Funny thing was, my second post was about a failure. Ok, so I failed even back then! But I didn’t give up…and I lost 80 lbs.! Holy Smokes!

If I could do it back then… I can do it now.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Swimming Dilemma

At swimming lessons last night, I learned the butterfly stroke. That is quite the workout! The instructor told me it was the hardest one and she wasn’t very comfortable doing it. So I felt like I was just flopping around and I came back and she said, “Wow…I have never seen anyone do the butterfly stroke so well on their first try! I’m impressed!” She kept saying that over and over. lol. I guess I was doing it right!! It made me feel good, I don’t ever get compliments on any athletic pursuits.

I have now learned all of the swim strokes! She gave me a lot of tips on swimming for a triathlon. I may have to start training for that. I have A LOT of work to do to increase my endurance while swimming. She also started to teach me how to do flip turns. There is more to learn!

I need to find an indoor pool that is closer to us. I want to keep swimming through the winter months. I want to be able to work up to the point where I really can swim numerous laps without stopping to catch my breath, and being able to do flip turns will make that easier.

So what do you think? Should I continue my swimming lessons with hubby, where the trainer can teach me more swim tips for a triathlon someday, or should I take a workout class while hubby has his swim lessons?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Weigh in Day

I lost 2.4 lbs. this week! Yay! Finally a loss again. I weighed in at 213.2.

I have to say, I just hate seeing that number. I will be happy when it’s below 210 again and even happier when I see numbers I’ve never seen before! Onederland, anyone? I am glad that my clothes fit better and I feel less bloated though.

I have to be very careful not to let the fact that I’m not at my lowest discourage me. Now that I am feeling back to myself and no PMS or TOM issues, I should be good to go…for a few more weeks!

Plus, I’m getting back in to exercise and I can already see the benefits of that.

For breakfast, I ate Cheerios with strawberries, blueberries, and skim milk.

LemonadeStand 001

While working, I sipped on an Almond Joy iced latte with skim.

LemonadeStand 003

On my break, I ate mini Triscuits and Greek yogurt spinach dip.

LemonadeStand 004

I got off of work from job #1 early, so I had more time to work on Job #2. I got started right away.

I stopped at a lemonade stand and bought a glass.

LemonadeStand 017

For lunch, I ate egg salad (1 egg, 1 white, and Miracle Whip), in a whole wheat Salad Pocket.

Aug2 002

I also had a side of kale chips. Nom Nom.

Aug2 004

And still felt hungry, so I ate a Carb Balance tortilla with FF roast beef and thin sliced swiss.

Aug2 005

I finished it up with a sugar cookie from the lemonade stand.

Aug2 003

I thought about eating the other cookie but decided that would be just terrible to eat hubby’s cookie. haha

I must say that I am loving my new camera. Some of these pictures really bring out such detail. I don’t take a ton of time taking my food pics, so they’re not spectacular, but I do love my camera!

Tomorrow is payday, so I got to pick up my checks from job #2. Whoohoo!! I’m always amazed at getting money for doing something I love.

Job #1 on the other hand, I’m always amazed it isn’t more money… because I’m certainly not making enough to have to deal with some of the people I have to deal with!!

And then I got back to work again. This time with a cup of strong coffee in hand. The mug was a thrift shop find—sweet!

Aug2 006

Ahhhh…been a while since I had hot coffee! I promptly spilled my second cup all over the carpet in the living room. Thankfully, the carpet is slightly lighter than the coffee color and you can’t see it after cleaning it up.

So I called today a work day and a “no pool” day. I thought it was going to rain. But it didn’t. Oh well, I got a lot of work done! I have to work a long day at Job #1 tomorrow, so that’ll take the stress level down a notch since I have most everything completed for job #2.

For a snack, I ate some pistachios.

Aug2 007

For supper, I made sandwich thin pizzas with Jimmy Dean turkey sausage crumbles and turkey.

Aug2 010

I also made a side salad with lettuce, tomato, and blue cheese crumbles topped with BBQ sauce and light ranch.

Aug2 009

The color in the tomatoes is just gorgeous. Just packed full of nutrients I am sure!! I love garden tomatoes! Thanks to my in-laws!!   

Aug2 008

Vibrant, huh?

I finished it up with my cheesecake concoction. When I perfect this recipe, I will share. I haven’t posted recipes in a LONG time!

Aug2 011

That puts me at having 2 points left for the day. Another good day!                     

Hubby and I have our last swimming lesson tonight. That will be my exercise for the day. I’m not sure what swim stroke I will learn. I feel like I’ve gotten enough out of the five lessons and I don’t need any more. Hubby will sign up for more lessons.

Hmmm…maybe I can find a class to take!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

At Peace Again

The scale showed me some love this morning. Open-mouthed smile

For breakfast, I ate oatmeal with sliced peaches and skim milk. The very last of the Missouri peaches. *sniffles*

Aug1 001

Until next year!

While working, I sipped on a Caramel Macchiato iced latte with skim.

Aug1 002

I got off of work early again today. Yay!

My knees were finally feeling good today, so I got to try out the elliptical for the first time. I did 30 minutes. The distance said 1315 and I have no idea what that means and cannot find a manual online. It was a good workout though!

The elliptical doesn’t have a place to put magazines, which kind of sucks, but for $25, I can deal. So I tried to rig up my own creation to hold a magazine on. Didn’t work the greatest, but it sort of worked!

Aug1 003

Yep, a DIY magazine rack for an elliptical. Involving ribbon…lol I don’t really recommend it. Winking smile

For lunch, I ate a turkey brat on light bread with PB and ketchup.

Aug1 008

I also had a salad made with lettuce, strawberries, blueberries, and almonds topped with poppy seed dressing.

Aug1 009

I was still hungry, so I ate an apple with PB.

Aug1 011

And then I got to work on job #2. I got a good amount of work done, and decided I might as well spend some more time at the pool!

On the way there, I stopped at the library. They have a book sale going on, so I bought a book about how to make small talk. Hey, I need help. lol. I read that at the pool for a while.

I swam during the adult swim for 10 minutes. Wow, that’s a good workout!

And then I dried off in the sun and sipped on a slushee..

IMAG0321

A nice, cool treat on a warm day.

I love getting off work early because that means I get more time for ME! Open-mouthed smile

When I got home, I got supper prepared and in the oven and did some house work.

For supper, I ate chicken and rice (with brown rice), steamed broccoli, garden fresh tomatoes, and homemade refrigerator pickles.

Aug1 012

The chicken and rice wasn’t as delicious as when my Mom used to make it. She must have a secret ingredient!

For dessert, I experimented and made some vanilla cheesecake cups.

Aug1 014

Delish!

Another good day on the books! Open-mouthed smile

I’m starting to get my life balance back and it feels good. My priorities are back in line and I feel more at peace again. Ahhh… a good feeling.