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Menu Plan Monday Sept 5-9

Menu Plan Monday

I love holiday weekends! We’ve had a fun weekend so far and it’s not even over yet. Saturday we were pretty productive around the house, doing what felt like a million loads of laundry, but we were also able to fit in some fun things too. We went out and got part of J’s big kid bed – the mattress and bedding. We’ll get a frame soon, but for now he’ll sleep on the mattress on the floor. I’ll tell you more about his bedding and plans for the boys’ room in an upcoming post – there’s an element I’m especially excited about and can’t wait to show you!

Today was a great day – church, lunch and games with friends, a get together with our small group, and then we ended the day with a walk… because it was actually COOL yesterday! It felt amazing after almost three months of triple-digit weather – the temps were in the 80’s during the day and in the upper 70’s when we went for our walk.

Tomorrow we’re planning to go on a bike ride at the park, hang out around the house, and then meet our friends at the park for grilling out and letting the kids play.

I ate well on Saturday but slipped up a little today! Saturday I had a cheese stick for 90 calories for breakfast, peanut butter toast for 350 calories for lunch, and a chicken strip kids meal from Sonic for 330 calories for dinner. I also had three chocolate chip cookies for 260 calories. Total calories for Saturday were 1,030. A little low, but probably a good thing considering how I ate today!

I had a cinnamon cake for 150 calories for breakfast – not too bad! For lunch we met our friends at Carino’s. I looked up what I could eat ahead of time, so I ate part of a Caesar salad and part of a pasta dish – angel hair pasta with spicy marinara. This totaled 376 calories. I ate bread too, though, adding another 200 calories. They didn’t include their bread on their nutritional chart, so I guessed on calories and probably ate more than I should have. C got to have a mini chocolate cake and I let myself have a couple of bites of that, for around 70 calories. This brings my total for the day so far to 746 calories. Then we had friends over for games and I ate some baked tortilla chips with salsa for 150 calories plus four chocolate chip cookies for 344 calories. Horrible, right?! The worst thing to me is that in the past I snacked like that all. the. time and thought nothing of it. For dinner I ate a taco for a total of 260 calories. This brings my total calories for today to 1,500. Walking two miles burned about 200 calories, so I ended up not being too far over, but I felt awful after eating so much. It was definitely a wake up call that eating less is so much better for me.

Menu plan time! I am starting back on Freshology tomorrow, on the Silver plan – I’m so ready! I know what I’ll be having each day so I can share my dinner plans along with what the boys will be eating. I’ll still be posting daily and will include breakfast and lunch info there.

Monday: Chicken Paillard with Fire roasted Spanish Rice for me. The guys will be having hot dogs and baked beans along with our friends.

Tuesday: Cilantro Crusted Tilapia with Salsa Verde is on my plan, but I don’t like seafood at all. Brian will eat this and I’ll eat something comparable in calories.The boys are going to have chicken and veggies.

Wednesday: I’m teaching a class and it will be a really rushed evening, so the boys are going to pick up Wendy’s to eat. I’ll be eating Turkey Meatloaf with Tomato Sauce. Not going to lie, I’m a little nervous about meatloaf, but I trust Freshology to make pretty much anything taste good!

Thursday: I’ll be eating Eggplant Parmesan Pasta, and the boys will be eating whole-wheat penne with pasta sauce and lean ground beef, along with a carrot and broccoli blend.

Friday: Braised Beef with Brussels Sprouts and Red Quinoa for me, and leftovers for the guys.

Hope you all have a great week! Be sure and check out my video update below to find out how much weight I’ve lost to this point, and what my goal is for the next four weeks while on the Silver plan!

On My Own

I’ve got to say, after being on Freshology for four weeks it has been WEIRD being on my own for making food choices – it’s nice knowing that I get to go back to their meals soon. It’s been a great learning opportunity for me, though, which is what I was really hoping for with this.

Yesterday (Thursday) I skipped breakfast. Bad, right? I was so hungry all morning! I drank a lot of water (with a wedge of lime in it, my new favorite) and that helped me last until lunch time. I met my friends at Jason’s Deli, and here’s what I had:

Lunch:

   

  • Build-your-own-sandwich (1/2) with french bread, turkey, mustard and lettuce – 173 calories
  • Cup of southwestern chicken chili – 116 calories
  • Organic tortilla chips with salsa – 220 calories (totally a splurge but soooo good)
  • Cranberry walnut mix – 107 calories (my treat to myself since I did skip out on free ice cream)

Total Calories: 616

That’d be too much if I had eaten breakfast too, but since I didn’t it actually worked out okay. Plus, I walked 1.5 miles yesterday morning, burning about 150 calories, so that makes a difference too.

Dinner:

Brian made a chicken stir fry for dinner using no butter or olive oil, and making it a really healthy option. He used this recipe, if you’d like to try it for yourself. The recipe says there are 1,224 calories in the entire dish, and I had about 1/8 of it, for about 153 calories. I also had a cup of white rice for 205 calories, making dinner a total of 358 calories.

Dessert:

Lemon Cake. Brian had gone to the store, and I asked him to make sure and choose a dessert with nutritional value so I could figure out how much I could have. I cut it into 8 pieces and then cut one of those in half, making it worth 136 calories. I also ate 3 Hershey’s Aerated Kisses, for 60 calories.

Total Calories for Thursday: 1,170 (minus 150 calories burned with exercise)

I meant to keep my total number around 1,200, including factoring in calories burned, so I was a little under my target.

*************

So, today I still hadn’t had the time to figure out a truly good breakfast option. I grabbed two cheese sticks and a cup of natural (no sugar added) applesauce, for a total of 230 calories. Not the best breakfast ever, but it was filling enough.

Lunch time rolled around, and I ate with my boss. At Red Robin. Yeah, the burger place. I was a little nervous about this one, because it would be easy to go crazy with calories here! I wasn’t perfect… we did split my favorite burger, the Bleu Ribbon Burger. 1/2 of the burger alone was 500 calories. I ate a few french fries too, leaving most behind, but that still added about 150 calories to my lunch total, meaning I had now used up 880 calories for the day, leaving me with about 320-420 calories left for the day… and really meaning I needed to get in some exercise! I have to add, Red Robin has the best mobile app I’ve seen in a long time. You’re able to find out nutritional information and even sub out different ingredients to see how it affects calories, fat, etc. It’s dynamic and easy to use, and really helpful.

Dinner:

  

We needed to go out and run a few errands, so we went to Rosa’s, a semi-fast food Mexican restaurant. I looked up their nutritional values before we left the house to figure out what I could eat. I had a bean & cheese tostada for 220 calories, and part of an order of kids’ nachos for 225 calories. This brought my total for dinner to 445 calories.

Total calories for Friday: 1,320

I’ve learned even in just these two days how much I appreciate the convenience of Freshology planning out my meals for the day. It’s very cut and dry when I’m on Freshology – I eat the food they give me. When I’m planning my own meals, there are a couple of problems:

  • It could be easy to be off in counting up calories for the day.
  • If I want variety, that means buying a LOT of groceries in order to be able to achieve that.
  • Eating out is a challenge. I have to plan beforehand because it’d be awkward to sit out in a restaurant Googling calorie values and adding things up.
  • It is really easy to let meal planning fall to the bottom of my priority list when I have so many other things to take care of too.

I can tell a big difference in my attempts to eat less, though. Before Freshology it was a huge challenge. I would crave snacks and sweets all the time. I wanted soda or sweet tea at meals or even just to get me throughout the day. I don’t have the cravings I used to have, and that alone is freeing!

I’ll post again Sunday with my update for Saturday and Sunday meals, and I’ll share my video update with you then, right before I start the Silver plan on Monday. I decided to go ahead and fall into a routine for this next month, and I’ll start doing my videos on Sundays. With the Silver plan, I get a week’s worth of meals at a time, so I can also share with you what I’ll be eating all week.

Hope you all have a great (long!) weekend!

 

End of the Golden Era

Otherwise known as my last day on the Gold plan from Freshology! I have loved eating their food this past month and am so excited to continue on the Silver plan this next month. My meals arrive tomorrow and I’ve decided to start them on Monday so it’ll be easier to keep track of the start of the week. This means I have four days in between the Gold and Silver plans. I’ve decided to use these days to see if I can incorporate some lessons I’ve learned while on Freshology. I’ll still be tracking what I eat and how many calories are involved. And tomorrow I’ll still be doing a video update, so be sure and check in to find out how much I’ve lost this week.

Breakfast: Banana Raisin Muffin with Fresh Fruit, Cream Cheese and Turkey Bacon (390 calories)

Such a great breakfast to end with! The muffin was great – I ate the bottom half first because everyone knows the muffin top is the best (you Seinfeld fans know!) and I didn’t even end up eating the cream cheese. I loved having the orange, too – it’s almost like getting a little fresh-squeezed OJ.

Lunch: Southwest Chicken & Vegetable Soup with Side Caesar Salad (280 calories)

I love this soup – it’s another one that I’d choose to eat any day. It feels like a lot of food, too – especially with the salad on the side. The flavors were spicy and there were tons of veggies and chicken pieces in the bowl. It was a nice touch having the beans added to the salad, because it gave it more substance and seemed to tie the salad in to the Southwestern soup well.

Dinner: Whole Grain Mustard Crusted Pork Loin with Green Beans and Butternut Squash (280 calories)

I couldn’t get over how MUCH food I got for just 280 calories with this meal! The pork was pretty good (but we all know I’m not a huge fan of it in general). The veggies were great! The green beans were slightly al dente and had an almost buttery taste to them. The butternut squash was sweet and delicious.

Dessert: Dark Chocolate Caramel Cookies (200 calories)

These cookies were good but were so little, especially for 200 calories! It was crazy to me to look at my plate full of dinner and realize that I could get alllllll of that for just 80 calories more than two small cookies. Still, they were delicious, rich treats and I probably couldn’t have eaten much more than the portion provided. I heated them in the microwave for 10 seconds and they almost melted in my mouth!

Be sure and check back tomorrow for my video wrap-up. Can’t wait to share my final thoughts on the Gold plan and talk a little about the Silver plan I’m about to begin!

Freshology Gold Plan Giveaway Winner!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered – we had a great response! If you’re not the lucky name I’m about to share, be sure and pay attention to Freshology’s Facebook page, because they’ll share any deals and discounts there!

Let’s find out who the winner is……

Congratulations, Yona! I’ve passed your email address on to the people at Freshology, and they’ll be getting in touch with you to set up your delivery.

A Second Opinion

I can’t wait to update you on my weight loss tomorrow, because this has been a good week! For now, though, I’m checking in with a post to tell you about Tuesday’s meals. I’m sure you’re wondering about the title of the post – I’ll explain here in just a minute.

Breakfast: Feta and English Pea Frittata with Fresh Fruit and Chicken Apple Sausage (300 calories)

I had mixed emotions about the frittata prior to eating it. On one hand, I love feta cheese. On the other, I hate peas. What’s a girl to do? Well, give it a try, for one thing. And I liked it! The flavor of the cheese kind of masked the peas to me, and I really enjoyed it. I was happy to get some strawberries, too, because those are one of my favorite fruits.

Lunch: Grilled Vietnamese Beef Noodle Bowl (300 calories)

Here’s where the “second opinion” comes into play. I had tried a Vietnamese Noodle Bowl a while back, and it wasn’t really my cup of tea. So, I ate a lunch that equaled 300 calories and let Brian try this to give his opinion, since it sounded like something he’d like. He had to work through lunch and ate it up at his office, but he sent me the photo above and then this one shortly after:

Along with a text saying, “Verdict: Awesome!” He said he thought it was great and that he could eat this meal day in and day out. It didn’t seem like a “diet” meal to him at all. He’s a much more adventurous eater than I am, so he’s always a great person to get food feedback from.

Dinner: Citrus Lavender Glazed Chicken with Vegetable Ragout & Brown Jasmine Rice (390 calories)

I enjoyed this meal; at first I wasn’t sure about the lavender element of it, but combined with the citrus flavor it was nicely balanced and made for a great chicken dish. The ragout was filled with tender veggies and I especially loved the zucchini. I knew I’d like the rice, because we’ve tried Jasmine rice before and loved it! This felt like a step up from a meal we might normally have in our house – it had the basic elements, but dressed them up with another layer of flavor.

Dessert: Peach Cobbler (170 calories)

I heated this up in the microwave for 15 seconds, then broke up the breading and mixed it with the peach filling – YUM! I would’ve liked a little granola or something to provide some crunch, but overall it was a great dessert.

Today is my last day on the Gold plan! Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for your chance to try three days of the Gold plan for yourself – it ends today at 2pm Central/12pm Eastern!

Crazy Day

Have I mentioned before that I’m an emotional eater? ‘Cause I am – or used to be, anyway. If I had a bad day, I’d treat myself to something. If I had a great day, I’d celebrate with something. Either way, bad idea, right?

Well, yesterday was insanely busy. First of all, it was a Monday. If you like Mondays, I’m happy for you – but for me there’s always a bit of an adjustment back into work mode. Our weekends are good, but almost always busy, so it’s not like we’re ever really starting off the work week refreshed and energized. So, I worked on my projects on work, ran across town at lunch to let the dogs out, came back, worked some more. I needed to get home quickly so I could get ready to teach my online class that started at 6. Being in a rush should have clued me in as to how things would go. When I was heading to pick up the boys I remembered my empty light was on, so had to stop & get gas. Then when I got to the day care, I had to trek back out to the car to get my ID since there are new teachers. I’m really glad they’re cautious, but yesterday was just bad timing. Then, we get home and Josie (our 7-year-old mini dachshund) had gotten into the bathroom trash and made a huge mess. All in all, not the worst day ever but in the past I would’ve used it as a reason to go get ice cream, or to make cookies.

That didn’t happen, though, and to me it was a sign of overcoming a big hurdle towards a healthier lifestyle. I ate my Freshology food like normal and decompressed after the class was over by relaxing on the couch with Brian and some good old HGTV. I am seeing results by eating healthier, and the desire for that is finally outweighing the short-term want for comfort food.

Breakfast: Sweet Corn Tamale with Canadian Bacon and Fresh Fruit (220 calories)

This was one of the rare instances where the meal seemed to get jostled a bit in transit and had a messy look to it. Everything tasted really good, although there didn’t seem to be much of the actual tamale filling – probably because of all the carbs. I liked this meal, but it wasn’t as filling as some of the breakfasts I’ve had on Freshology. I still didn’t end up feeling hungry until around lunchtime though, so it was plenty.

Lunch: Basil Marinated Chicken Salad with Mango, Watermelon Radish and Orange Dressing (350 calories)

This is another salad where I ate the components separately. It felt like a lot of food that way, and it was easier to eat it neatly that way than if I’d tried to toss the elements together in the tray. The dressing was nice and light and a good compliment to the spinach. The chicken that’s been in my salads has all seemed to be basil marinated, which is the way to go because I love the flavor! Having chicken with my salads while on Freshology has inspired me. Instead of eating grilled chicken leftovers the same way we ate them the first time around, I could dice it up, add some sauce and throw it in the fridge to use with a salad the next day. And I am totally going to start using lemon juice on all my salads – SO good!

Dinner: Rosemary Scented Lamb Sirloin with Baby Carrots, Sauteed Broccolini & Balsamic Glaze (490 calories)

I have only had lamb once or twice before, and it’s always been a protein I’ve been a little hesitant about just because it’s different. I was really impressed with this and have decided I actually like lamb! My friend asked me if it was gamey at all, but it really wasn’t. The flavor was mild and I could really taste the rosemary coming through. The glaze on the broccolini was nice, although I still like broccoli better! The carrots were perfect – and C loved them too because he snagged one to eat for his bedtime snack, since I had to eat late after my class was finished.

Dessert: Carrot Bundt Cake with Creme Cheese Frosting (150 calories)

Like the other desserts, I’ve had this one before, and like the other desserts, I love it! I had a small cup of skim milk to go with it.

Don’t forget – YOU could try Freshology for free, if you win my giveaway! Take a second to enter – the winner gets three days of food, a value of $169!

Menu Plan Monday Aug.29-Sept.2

Menu Plan Monday

Before I get started, I have to mention my Freshology giveaway that’s going on right now! I hope you’ll take a second to enter – the winner will receive three days’ of food from the Gold plan, a value of $169! This giveaway ends at 2pm Central on Wednesday, so be sure to enter soon!

I am running in overdrive right now, because I am going to adjunct and teach a couple of classes this semester, so I’ve been busy working on preparations for those. I’m excited about it, because I love teaching. I spent a lot of time Saturday and Sunday working on class prep, but the rest of the weekend was really nice and relaxed. Yesterday afternoon we all curled up on the couch and watched Tangled – such a fun movie and we all enjoyed it! I think some parts were a little scary for J & C, but overall it was a hit.

We’re still in the housebreaking phase with Sally (our new puppy, in case you missed the post about her). I’m sure we’ll be in this phase for a while, if she’s anything like Josie was! She will ring the bells on our back door to go out, but she still has accidents every day too. It’s funny to me because it seemed like so much bigger of an ordeal with Josie… but now that we’ve had kids and have been through diapers and potty training, this is nothing!

Alright, let’s talk food. We’ve got something going on almost every night this week, so planning is especially important. And leftovers are my friend.

Monday: Taco Night! Lean ground beef, refried black beans,  medium-grain rice are our staples for this meal.

Tuesday: Chick-Fil-A – we’re eating early before C’s gymnastics class. Brian has a meeting so I’ll be on my own… wish me luck!

Wednesday: Chicken Teriyaki with carrots, onion and zucchini. We use the Veri Veri Teriyaki and love the flavor of it! Of course, Wednesday is my last day on the Gold plan and I’ll be enjoying my Freshology food – Pork Loin with green beans and squash is on my menu!

Thursday: We’re having friends over and are making whole grain pasta with a semi-homemade meat sauce. We’ll serve it with green beans and garlic bread. Simple but I figure it’s something almost anyone likes.

Friday: Pasta leftovers – yet another reason to love making pasta dishes!

Let’s catch up on my meals from this weekend… and I have to tell you, I think I’m going to hit the 10-pound mark this week! I am so happy with the success I’ve had on Freshology so far.

Saturday Breakfast: French Toast with Raspberry Compote, Turkey Bacon and Fresh Fruit (330 calories)

I’m a huge fan of compotes and will have to remember to continue using them in place of syrup in the future. I like syrup in some instances, but a lot of times it’s too sweet on its own. The fruit compote is a great balance of tart and sweet, and is a good solution for me!

Lunch: Chicken & Mushroom Pizza with a Side Caesar Salad (320 calories)

PIZZA! I have really enjoyed every pizza I’ve had on Freshology. This was no exception, mushrooms and all. I let Brian try a bite (’cause I’m all generous like that) and he said he could eat that every day. It gives the satisfaction you get from eating “regular” pizza, but none of the guilt.

Dinner: Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Steamed Cauliflower and Green Asparagus (320 calories)

The steak, as always, was awesome. The asparagus was cooked well and I am learning to like it more, although I like the tips mostly! I have never liked cauliflower, but I tried it with an open mind… and discovered I still don’t like cauliflower. Oh well!

Dessert: Marbled Cheesecake (185 calories)

Good stuff! I mix up the chocolate so it’s spread all throughout the cheesecake. Because as we all know, chocolate makes everything better!

Sunday Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs with Cheddar, Chicken Apple Sausage and Fresh Fruit (380 calories)

This was a nice breakfast and similar to something I would have had pre-Freshology. I did add a little salt to the eggs to give them additional flavor. The sausage and toast rounded this out for a nice, traditional breakfast.

Lunch: BBQ Pork Salad with Zucchini, Roasted Corn & Lime-Ranch Dressing (300 calories)

This salad was incredibly flavorful. I let Brian try this one too and he LOVED it – I think pork is more up his alley than mine, but I definitely appreciated all the flavor and texture in this dish coming from the marinated pork, the black beans, the zucchini and even the roasted corn.

Dinner: Pan-Roasted Flat Iron Steak with Asparagus & Saffron Quinoa (320 calories)

It was a little odd to me that I had steak and asparagus two nights in a row, but I’m definitely not complaining about the steak! I’m hooked. The quinoa was my favorite I’ve had – the saffron infused the grains and it seemed more tender than some of the other quinoa I’ve had. SO good! This felt like a meal I’d see on Top Chef.

Dessert: Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (165 calories)

Talk about the ultimate comfort-food dessert… these took me back to childhood! I heated them in the microwave for about 10 seconds and OH MY WORD they were so good! I could taste cinnamon and a slight spice maybe provided by cloves… whatever the ingredients, the flavor was perfect and I loved these.

I’m excited to start the Silver plan on Thursday of this week and can’t wait to let you know about the types of meals I get to try. Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Freshology Update AND a Giveaway!

I am SO excited about the giveaway I get to announce in this post, but first things first – let’s get caught up to speed on my meals this week. Thursday and Friday were both super busy, with things we needed to get done around the house and then with company coming over last night.

Thursday Breakfast: Muesli Granola with Non-Fat Vanilla Yogurt, Fresh Fruit and Turkey Bacon (300 calories)

I’ve never had wet granola, that seemed more like a thicker oatmeal. That being said, it was really good. It was sweeter than the oatmeal (even though I actually really liked that) and because I was so busy, I didn’t even get up to run to the microwave at work and warm it up. I guess it might be better warm, but I liked it just fine as it was! The yogurt seemed really thin to me and more like milk, so I poured it into the granola and stirred it, giving a thinner consistency to it.

Lunch: Spinach and Baby Mozzarella Salad with Marinated Cherry Tomatoes (380 calories)

This salad reminded me of one I had before – and with that salad, I didn’t enjoy having the dressing on the mozzarella. So, I learned from that experience and ate this meal deconstructed – snacking on the cheese and beans by themselves and then having the spinach, cucumber and dressing (poor tomatoes got ignored… I just haven’t learned to like them yet).

Dinner: Roasted Chicken with Roasted Celery Root Puree & Wild Mushrooms (330 calories)

This was a very monochromatic meal. I had never tasted celery root before, and the puree was surprisingly good! It had a mellow, almost buttery flavor to it. I didn’t really care for the greens but the chicken was great!

Dessert: S’mores (180 calories)

Yay! I was really happy to have this dessert again. I want to figure out how to make my own low-cal version of it once I’m finished with Freshology because it is seriously SOO good.

Friday Breakfast: Soyrizo Egg Layer Cake with Caramelized Shallots & Fresh Fruit (330 calories)

I was really impressed with this! For those of you that don’t know, soyrizo is a soy-based product that mimics chorizo but is much healthier. I couldn’t tell one bit that it wasn’t the real deal. It was flavorful and had a nice kick to it. Probably one of my favorite egg dishes I’ve had while on Freshology.

Lunch: Asian Beef Salad with Carrots, Napa Cabbage & Ginger Soy Dressing (310 calories)

This was an interesting flavor combination. The beef was tender and I really liked it a lot, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the dressing. That’s most likely because I have a sensitivity to ginger. A tiiiiiiiiiiiny bit of it in recipes is really all I can stand; any more than that and it’s pretty much a given I won’t care for the dish. I just squeezed the lemon over the salad and ate it that way.

Dinner: Turkey Breast Scaloppini with Squash, Tomato & Green Beans (340 calories)

Pretty good meal! I of course love green beans, so I just added a little bit of salt to them and thought they were delicious. The squash was buttery tasting and cooked to just the right consistency. The turkey was really tender and it felt like I got a lot of it with this meal. Once again, I ignored the tomato. It looked pretty, though, and I’m sure it was really good with the seasonings it had on it.

Dessert: Zucchini Bundt Cake with Mascarpone Cream (190 calories)

I’ve got to be honest with you – I didn’t eat this dessert. I’ve had it once before and really did enjoy it, but… Brian brought home thumbprint cookies from our favorite local bakery. I let one of our friends have this dessert, and I ate a couple of thumbprint cookies (I found out the caloric value and matched up the amount in the Freshology dessert). Those cookies are a huge weakness for me, so I felt like it was a good trade.

I know this has already been a long post, but I’ve got to share my weekly video with you. Find out where I stand with weight loss, and get a good look at just how much the winner of the giveaway will get!

One lucky winner will receive three days worth of free food (including shipping) from Freshology – that’s three breakfasts, lunches, dinners and desserts, a value of $169! This contest is open to all US residents. This is a QUICK giveaway – entries will be open until 2pm Central on Wednesday, August 31.


Mandatory Entry: “Like” Freshology on Facebook. Let them know Frugal Novice sent you! Comment here letting me know you’ve done so.

(Only valid after the required entry has been completed)

Please leave a comment for each extra entry – if you blog about this giveaway and get 3 entries, for example, comment 3 times.

Note: Freshology provided me with the food for review and is providing the food for the giveaway. All opinions provided in this post are honest and my own. I am not being compensated monetarily for this post.

Wacky Wednesday

Can it be Friday yet? I have been SO tired all this week and am really looking forward to getting a nap. The boys seriously don’t know how lucky they are to have nap time built in each day! I’m going to do this post and then get to bed because I’m getting up early in the morning to go walking again!

Breakfast: Whole Wheat Pancakes with Berry Compote, Fresh Fruit and Mango-Filled Chicken Sausage (370 calories)

This morning was really busy and I got so caught up in things that I completely forgot to eat breakfast! I ended up just tasting it later so that I could review it. By the time I realized I hadn’t eaten it, it was time for lunch and I had promised to meet up with my friend. We went to Jason’s Deli, and I ate a cup of tomato basil soup for 171 calories; that way I could tide myself over until I got to eat my actual lunch for the day, which ended up being way later in the afternoon. I don’t know if that was the best solution, but it worked out ok. I think it was a good experience, though – I mean, there are always going to be crazy days and I better be prepared to deal with them and not eat bad food out of convenience. That’s another reason I think Freshology is so great. It IS convenient while also being healthy, and it takes the work out of it for us.

Like I mentioned, I did taste everything so I could let you all know about it… the pancakes were really good with the berry compote – so good that I didn’t even need the syrup. The sausage was pretty good but a little too sweet for me. My favorite part of this whole meal was the berry compote. I could practically drink that stuff!

Lunch: Five-Bean Vegetarian Chili with Cornbread Sprinkle and a Side Salad (400 calories)

The chili was AMAZING. So, so, so good. I noticed a spiciness to it right off the bat, and then had a little bit of a slow heat that followed. This is a soup I want the recipe for! I let Brian taste it too, and he agreed that we needed to try and make our own version of this sometime. It was great today and would be even better once it gets cold outside. Yum!

Dinner: Roasted Chicken Breast with Ratatouille (330 calories)

I’d never had ratatouille before – my only experience with it was watching the Pixar movie!  It was a nice blend of veggies with a blend of spices, which was also used on the chicken. Everything was cooked perfectly, the textures were spot-on, and it was a good introduction to the dish! I let Brian taste this one too and he loved the ratatouille.

Dessert: Flourless Chocolate Cake (150 calories)

I decided to take a photo of this dessert that would give you an idea of the size a little better. They’re small, but still a decent size – and they pack a rich, chocolaty punch. Who wouldn’t want to end their day with chocolate? It’ll be sweet dreams for me, I guess. :)

A New Commitment

I am doing really well sticking to Freshology, but haven’t been as great with exercising. Until now. I, the queen of sleeping as late as possible (even if it means only 10 minutes to get ready including a shower), have committed to walking at 6:30 twice a week. A friend from work and I are going to meet at the park and walk a mile and a half. We started today, and it went really well! I admit I was a little thrown off that it was still pitch black when I left the house, but once we started walking it went by quickly, and it was SO nice having my exercise over with before my day really even began.

Breakfast: Cheddar and Broccoli Omelet with Turkey Sausage & Fresh Fruit (270 calories)

This is probably my favorite omelet I’ve had so far – the broccoli and cheese was a really nice flavor combination! I also like this sausage the best – the maple sausage and the apple chicken sausage are a little too sweet for me.

Lunch: Teriyaki Beef & Vegetable Bowl (310 calories)

Great Asian option! I avoided the cabbage/salad mixture you see on the right, but everything on the left was SO good. The teriyaki sauce they included tasted just like something I’d get from a restaurant. The broccoli and beef were both tender. The rice initially seemed a little dry to me, but once I mixed in the teriyaki sauce it was perfect.

Dinner: Herb-Crusted Turkey Breast with Roasted Potatoes and Wax Beans (435 calories)

I didn’t really get the “herb-crusted” feel from the turkey, although a herbed flavor did come through nicely. My favorite part of the whole meal was the potatoes. SO good! The green beans were great too – I enjoyed this whole meal.

Dessert: Apple and Cranberry Cobbler (140 calories)

I heated this up before eating it – it was a down home, comfort-food kind of dessert. The tartness of the apples and cranberries was really good!

Please excuse me now while I go crash! ‘Night everyone!

Busy Busy

Our week got off to a busy start by having to take our van in to get fixed – finally! In the meantime we’re driving a larger van – a Chrysler Town & Country. It’s not my style, but I have to admit I’m totally in love with the automated doors and hatch. The boys are too… when I picked them up they kept talking about “how cool” every aspect of it was.

J had another gymnastics class tonight and it’s been SO great to watch his progress! When he first started he was a little unsure about everything but now he’s confident and proud of what he’s accomplished. Tonight he came running up to brag about having done some flips in the suspended harness. I’m really glad he’s loving it so much! Tomorrow it’s C’s turn as he and I head to Mom & Tot class, where I get just as much exercise as he does!

I really liked all three of my meals from Freshology today, but I did have some hunger pangs and some serious chocolate cravings… those should go away in a few days, though. I know you ladies out there know what I’m talking about! I was able to resist and ended up with a pretty successful day.

Breakfast: Dark Chocolate Muffin with Turkey Maple Sausage and Fresh Fruit (400 calories)

I thought this muffin would be my favorite, but that spot is reserved for the lemon poppyseed one I had a while back. This was good, but a little drier than the other muffins I’d had. I spread the vanilla ricotta on it and then it was perfect! I just ate a little of the sausage – but I can definitely tell that having protein in the morning helps curb my hunger throughout the morning.

Lunch: Creamy Italian Chicken Salad with Cherry Tomatoes & Cucumber (310 calories)

This chicken salad tasted like one I’d order at my favorite little tea shop here in town – creamy and full of texture. I missed having grapes, which is my favorite chicken salad addition, but the dried fruit provided a nice pop of tart sweetness. This felt like a light lunch, but was pretty filling.

Dinner: Blackened Flat Iron Steak with Dirty Rice, Creole Alioli and Jambalaya Vegetables (380 calories)

The steak was SO SO SO good! The beef entrees have pretty consistently been my favorite. It had a slight cajun flavor to it and was incredibly tender. The rice was flavorful albeit slightly dry. I just picked at the veggies because, well, I’m picky like that! Brian said he thought they were good.

Dessert: Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake (150 calories)

So, I was a little eager to get to dessert. Obvs. This is such a nice, bright dessert with a great tartness to it countered by the sweet glaze. SO good!

And now, my friends, I’m going to CRASH. I’m getting up to go walking early in the morning so I’d better get some sleep while I have the chance. Hope you all have had a great start to your week!

Menu Plan Monday – Aug.22-26

Menu Plan Monday

I always hear about how kids need routine… well apparently I do too. Today our church switched to two services, and we got up to go to the early service. This means we had to get out of the house TWO HOURS early than most Sundays, which also meant I got a nap in later today. On the plus side, it meant we ate lunch earlier, got home earlier, and the boys napped earlier. I’m still tired, and am about to go crash after finishing this post!

Monday: Lime chicken with black beans & rice, with German chocolate cake for dessert – for everyone but me, that is! My brother’s 20th birthday was Saturday, so we’re having him over for a little celebration with his dinner & dessert of choice.

Tuesday: Chick-Fil-A – C has gymnastics class, so we’ll go early and all eat together as a family beforehand.

Wednesday: Date night!!!

Thursday: Chicken, veggies & brown rice. Something plain and simple! I got broccoli, which is now one of C’s favorites.

Friday: We’re having friends over and will be sampling some Schwan’s food for an upcoming review – they’ve got a lot of good meal options perfect for how busy things can get at the start of the school year.

I noticed a difference in the way a pair of my pants fit today – wahoo! I think one of the hardest things for me in regard to losing weight is impatience. I want to see a difference – a payoff – for all my hard work. It’s been nice actually seeing a little bit of a change, because that provides me with motivation to continue onward. I also had a realization – if someone dangled a candy bar or a healthier lifestyle in front of me, I would choose the instant gratification of the candy bar. I’m realizing that there’s some maturing that had to take place. I had to have the willpower to hold out for the long-term goal.

Breakfast: Baked Eggs with Tomatoes, Basil & Mozzarella with Turkey Bacon and Fresh Fruit (290 calories)

I’ll be honest – I didn’t get to eat very much of this meal. We were rushing around trying to get out the door on time, so I was just able to take a taste of everything for review purposes. I’d love it if Freshology offered a couple of “on the go” breakfast options because so many people do have to rush in the mornings. I was SO hungry all through church, but I was really proud of the fact that I resisted the donuts in our class! We met some friends for lunch at their choice of location – a Mexican restaurant. I had hoped to hit up Jason’s Deli where I could get a side of fruit, but since that wasn’t an option at this place, I googled the amount of calories in tortilla chips and portioned out the number I could afford to eat calorie-wise, along with salsa. I won’t lie, this was a difficult lunch, but being able to munch a little and gulp down three glasses of water really helped. I was a little jealous of everyone’s sour cream chicken enchiladas, but I couldn’t even imagine how many calories would be involved!

Lunch: Grilled Chicken Salad Nicoise with Sherry Vinaigrette (410 calories)

I’d never had this kind of salad before, although I had heard of it. It had grilled chicken, green beans, various colors of potatoes, half of a boiled egg, red peppers, and spinach leaves. I know this is a classic salad preparation, but it was a different combination than anything I’m used to! The flavors were great, though. I don’t think I’ve ever had a blue/purple potato before. :)

Dinner: Pork Tenderloin with Baby Carrots, Dried Fruit & Nut Stuffing, & Applesauce (380 calories)

I’d always heard of the combination of pork chops and applesauce, but had never tried it before today. The sweet/tart flavor of the applesauce was SO good with the pork! The stuffing was slightly sweet and had a mixture of textures thanks to dried fruit and sliced almonds. And the carrots were awesome! See that skinny one second to the right? C totally stole it – and wanted more. Oh well, he’s cute. :) He passed up french fries for it, so that’s saying something! This was a nice, filling dinner. It felt a little like an autumn dish, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying it!

Dessert: Sweet Potato Chip Cookies (160 calories)

You can find out my thoughts on these cookies here.

Hope you all have a great week!