September – 2011 – Frugal Novice
Monthly Archives

September 2011

Whew, We’re Back!

We had a whirlwind weekend, which was both amazing and exhausting!

First of all, we dropped Sally off to stay with friends while we were on our trip. She’s still a little uncertain of the car, but I could tell she liked having the windows rolled down. Ignore my squinty face. This is apparently the face I make while focusing on taking a picture!

Friday night Brian had plans to go to a concert with our friend Tim from college, so we met him for dinner in Dallas before the guys headed out. We stayed at a hotel in downtown Dallas, and the kids thought it was AWESOME – especially since we were on the ninth floor and had a small balcony! As a side note, I am totally in love with the Sheraton Preferred Guest program. We stayed at a Sheraton on our way back from Illinois this summer and earned 8,000 bonus points through a special promotion they were running. We used some for the hotel stay Friday night and just had to pay $30 for a suite. It was a small suite, granted. But $30 isn’t too shabby. I had promised the boys we’d do a movie and popcorn at the hotel without really thinking things through logistically. There were no kid-friendly things on TV, so we hooked up our portable DVD player… and the hotel shop didn’t have popcorn, but they were excited to get to pick out their own bags of chips to eat.

Saturday we got up and drove to Grapevine so I could spend the day with one of my best friends, Amber. She and I met at church camp back in high school but became really good friends during college. Brian and the boys hung out with her husband and kids while she and I went out for pedicures and shopping – I turn 30 this week, and Saturday was a great way to celebrate a little early. :) We also got feathers in our hair, which is something I don’t think I would’ve been brave enough to try without her, but I really like it (thanks, Amber)! Check out our cute feet and our hair – you can kind of see the feathers in this pic:

Sunday was a busy day – we got to visit with several different friends, one whom we hadn’t seen in over 10 years! When we go to the DFW area we’re typically visiting my parents, so there are a lot of friends we haven’t seen in a while. It was great to get the chance to see everyone (and we get to see my parents in a couple of weeks when they come out to visit us)!

We went and picked Sally up on our way in to town (Josie’s staying with someone else) – J was especially excited to be reunited with her, as you can tell:

She’s getting a little big for his lap, don’t you think? Anyway, although I know she had a great time at our friends’ house, she was glad to be home and crashed on the couch most of the evening – with her buddy right nearby.

So, all in all it was a great weekend… aside from a few meltdowns from the boys here and there. I swear, traveling throws their routines off SO much! They don’t nap at the normal times or sleep as much as they normally do, and I can always tell a difference in how they act.

I have to admit, though… I ate horribly! I ate a lot of Mexican food, which is a big weakness for me. With traveling, it would’ve been difficult to transport the Freshology meals with me to the hotel and then somehow store them frozen. I do know if you’re going to be somewhere on vacation for a week, for example, you can set up your meals  to be delivered to a different location while you’re there. For me, though, I am just picking back up on Monday right where I left off.

Watch my video below to find out how my weight fared as a result of this weekend’s eating out!

For Two Fitness – Review & Giveaway

I recently got the chance to review some maternity wear from For Two Fitness, but there was a slight problem – I’m not pregnant! Thankfully we had a good friend who is, so she agreed to do a guest review.

Jen got to review the Ultimate Maternity Fitness Pants:

Here’s what she had to say:

FEEL — I put them on this morning just to make sure they fit, thinking I’d get dressed afterward. Well, I’m still wearing them! :-) They are the softest pants I’ve ever worn, in a lightweight, silky kind of way.
STYLE — They are the perfect length, too, which is hard to find. Usually for me Regular is too short and Long is too long, so I was glad their standard L worked. The stomach panel gives just the right amount of support without putting too much pressure on your stomach. I was pleased with the flare at the bottom. Not too dramatic, but enough to be modern and stylish.
WEARABILITY — I wore them all day through cooking, playing on the floor with the girls, taking a nap, and playing chase (on all fours!). They look just like they did out of the package — not stretched out and not full of lint and dust (which is pretty remarkable considering the amount of lint and dust in our house right now). The thing I was most skeptical about was whether they would breathe, but they stayed cool through all the activity. I’m a size 12 pre-pregnancy, and these pants fit great now, so I might just go ahead and order an XL as things progress. Oh, and my husband likes them, too, so that’s a plus! :-)
 
I also get to share a giveaway with y’all! They sent me a tank top too that I set aside – and one of YOU is going to win it for yourself!
One reader will win a black “Sweating for Two” tank top, size L – MSRP $39.99. This contest is open to all US residents. Entries will be open until the end of the day (midnight Central) Tuesday, October 4.
Mandatory Entry: Visit FitnessForTwo.com and comment below telling me what your favorite product on their site is!

(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 2 entries, for example, comment 2 times.

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  • Blog about this giveaway and link it back here; comment with the URL to your post {2 extra entries}
  • Unlimited Extra Entry Option: Leave a NEW comment on as many other posts as you like and get one entry for each comment (entering another giveaway counts too). Be sure to let me know which posts you commented on below.

Note: My guest blogger received a pair of pants to facilitate the review, and I received a tank top which I am using for the giveaway. I was not compensated monetarily. All opinions in this post are honest and are solely those of my guest reviewer, Jen.

Friendly Friday September 16

Welcome to Friendly Friday! Friendly Friday begins at 8pm Central Thursday nights each week. We hope you’ll come back and join us again next week – and remember, the earlier you link up, the higher up on the list you are!

Remember, YOU can host the link list on your blog, too! Just get the InLinkz code and copy it directly into your post. The code is different every week, so be sure to get the new code when hosting Friendly Friday on your blog. Hosting the list is a great way to get even more traffic to your blog and make Friendly Friday more beneficial for everyone.

Thanks for joining the Friendly Friday celebration hosted by Christi at Frugal Novice, Xenia at Thanks, Mail Carrier and Charla at Healthy Home Blog! We invite you to join us every Friday to make more friends in blogville, get more blog followers and follow other great blogs out there.

To join in the Friendly Friday celebration, include your family-friendly link in our list, follow the hostesses in the first 3 spots and then start blog hopping! Visit other blogs on the list and comment to give them some blog love. Then take a minute to follow them through Google Friend Connect – this is a good way to keep up with other blogs, but also lets us show support to each other! Please DO NOT list your giveaways here, links must be to either your homepage or your Friday posting with your blog title. All others will be deleted.

When people comment on your blog and let you know they’re a part of Friendly Friday, return the favor and follow them back. This way everyone gets traffic and followers out of participating, and it’s a win-win situation. We would love for you to also grab our Friendly Friday button and post it on your blog and/or in a post – the more bloggers that find out about Friendly Friday and participate, the better!

Spotlight on Friendly Friday Followers! We love your participation and want to show it! In addition to gaining followers, each week we’ll select one blog at random and will feature links and a write-up for that blog in the content of next week’s Friendly Friday post. There are so many seriously wonderful blogs out there, and this will be a great way to highlight one of those each week. Say hello to the lucky chosen blog & blogger for this week (and feel free to stop by and give her a little extra love):

Nicole at Our Pregnancy Roadtrip and Beyond shares experiences that she and her husband enjoy with their eight month old daughter, Blake, who is the love of their life.  They lost a baby while Nicole was 23 weeks pregnant, but now their lives are full of joy and adventure with Blake.   Not only can you see darling pictures of her and read about her adventures, but you can also read reviews on baby/infant products plus enter giveaways for family-friendly products on Nicole’s site.  Check out her ETSY shop to see the adorable headbands she makes for babies.  These would be great anytime but especially for special photos.

Now that you know about this wonderful blog, it’s time for you to join in! Add your family-friendly link below and we’ll see you back here every Friday! And don’t forget, you can
get the InLinkz code to share Friendly Friday on your blog!

All three hostesses appreciate followers through GFC and Twitter, and we’ll follow you back – be sure to leave a comment with your URL and/or Twitter username. Hope everyone has a great weekend!



Del Monte Giveaway Winners

Congratulations to all the winners! Elena, Angela, Catherine and Nancy have all won $25 in Del Monte Fresh Fruit Certificates, and Emma has won the backpack filled with supplies to donate to her favorite educator!

Sticking With It

This week has been busy, and I have a feeling it’s just the start. In addition to my regular job I’m teaching adjunct classes where I work, all of which are online classes and take up evening time. This was a choice (and honestly, an opportunity I’m really excited about) but it’ll take some time settling in to a routine. I’m a little late with this post, because I felt like I had to prioritize – family and work have to take precedence over blogging, as much as I love it! Anyway, I’m excited to get caught up on my Freshology posts.

I’m still walking twice a week with my friend from work – it’s not in my nature to wake up really early voluntarily, but I’m really glad we’re committing to this. It feels good getting exercise in at the start of my day, and I think it makes me more aware of calories I intake because I remember working to burn off calories earlier in the day!

Monday Breakfast: Spinach & Caramelized Shallot Omelet (350 calories)

This was my least favorite egg dish I’ve had, which surprised me because I like shallots and actually like spinach when it’s with other things. I think there was almost too much spinach in this one, but that was easily solved by setting some off to the side. I love the variety Freshology provides, but the egg breakfasts with different fillings in between do start to feel a little repetitive. Part of that is probably more noticeable to me because I don’t typically gravitate towards protein-heavy breakfasts.

Lunch: Roasted Vegetable Mosaic Bowl (390 calories)

I liked most of this dish way more than I thought I would! I avoided mushrooms and lima beans but the squash, zucchini, peppers and rice were really good. I would’ve liked a little salt added, but I know that part of the benefit of Freshology is that they make the effort to keep things low in sodium.

Dinner: Chicken with Creamy Mushroom Sauce (430 calories)

I really liked the sweet potatoes with this dish, and I liked the chicken itself a lot. I have to admit I scraped the mushrooms off to the side – I loved the flavor they provided but I can’t get past the texture of cooked mushrooms. I like brussel sprouts more than I did before starting Freshology, but they’re still not going to ever be added to my favorites list. :)

Dessert: Sweet Potato Chip Cookies (120 calories)

Tuesday Breakfast: Apple Cinnamon French Toast with Turkey Bacon (350 calories)

This was a good breakfast! I liked folding the toast over some of the apples to make a little sandwich of sorts – I didn’t even use the syrup. The turkey bacon was good, but I do think I can tell a difference between cooking it from fresh and from frozen. The peaches were good – it reminded me almost of a cobbler filling.

Lunch: Beef & Barley Stew (270 calories)

The flavors of this stew were great! Totally reminded me of something I’d have on a cool fall day. The barley added some heartiness to the dish and was great with the beef. I did avoid the mushrooms and peas, being the picky person that I am.

Dinner: Vegetarian Meatloaf with Succotash & Sweet Potatoes (450 calories)

Hm. Combining meatloaf + vegetables didn’t bode so well for me. The sauce was awesome, sweet potatoes were good… but I picked at this one.

Dessert: Marshmallow Cloud (170 calories) – YUM!

Overall I feel like this week is off to a good start, and I’m figuring out how to juggle everything (and fit in some sleep). I’m really glad that despite a busy, stressful week I haven’t been resorting to comfort snacking like I might have in the past. Here’s hoping the rest of the week goes just as well!

Car Buying

Do Americans like buying cars?

We’ve had our Mazda 5 for a year now, and although we love owning it, we didn’t enjoy the negotiating process. I did my research, finding out trade in value for our old car and a reasonable price for the Mazda, and that helped. How do you feel about buying a new car?

Disclosure: http://cmp.ly/3

Weekend Wrap-Up

So, I crawled through a mud pit this weekend. Voluntarily.

Have you ever heard of the Warrior Dash? Well, our city had a family-friendly version – a three-mile walk/run complete with obstacles and a mud pit at the finish. My friend Chemese and I decided to give it a try, and we’re so glad we did! This was a lot more fun than the typical 5K with the extra challenges added.

Here we are before and after the event… just a slight difference.


I went straight from the run to meet the guys and some friends at Chick Fil A, because they were offering free breakfast and we couldn’t pass that up! In the rush to get out the door for the run I hadn’t eaten breakfast, so I did order an 8-pack of nuggets (260 calories). I know I burned more than that on the run!

We’ve spent a large part of the weekend doing things around the house – I was suddenly struck with the need to get more organized (I’m sure Brian was so happy to be included in this whim of mine). We have some lockers we got for free a while back that need some work- the paint was scratched and rusting. I primed them and then started to spray a coat of paint on them, but the paint wasn’t spraying out evenly so I decided to wait until later to work more. Lesson learned: wear gloves while spraying paint… even after scrubbing my hands, I still look wounded:

Once the lockers are all finished I’ll show you before and after shots. We’re going to put them in the playroom to help organize toys, and I think it’ll be a really nice, fun solution. Let’s just hope I’m not covered in red paint too by the time I’m finished with them.

Let’s take a look at food for the weekend:

Saturday Breakfast: Pancakes with Turkey Bacon & Spiced Peaches (320 calories)


 

Great breakfast. I skipped the syrup and spread 2 teaspoons of peanut butter between the two pancakes, and it was so good! I liked this breakfast too because it’d be one that’s fairly easy to eat on the go (aside from the fruit). I ended up eating mine later in the day since I was out all morning with the run.

Lunch: Southwestern Chicken Soup with Grilled Focaccia (410 calories)

 

This was a good, spicy soup with plenty of chicken and veggies. The foccacia bread got tough in the microwave, but that actually was perfect for soaking up soup. I was a little surprised at how many calories were in this meal – maybe because of the bread?

Dinner: Braised Pork with Whole Grain Mustard Glaze & Butternut Squash (330 calories)

 

I’ll be honest – when I peeled back the film the pork did not look very appetizing! Once I tasted it, though, I was won over. It was incredibly tender and flavorful. I would have loved a little spicy BBQ sauce to go with it, but even just as it was I enjoyed it a lot. The squash was slightly sweet and balanced nicely against the saltiness of the pork. And the green beans were perfect! Just the right texture and amount of seasoning.

Dessert: Dark Chocolate Caramel Cookies (130 calories)

Sunday Breakfast: Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal With Roasted Pineapple (370 calories)


 

I never thought I’d look forward to eating oatmeal so much but I actually really like it! Cinnamon has always been a favorite flavor for me too, so this was especially good. I haven’t typically loved the reheated fruit – I prefer it fresh – but the roasted pineapple was good. It almost seemed like a dessert, and I really enjoyed it.

Lunch: Cajun Shrimp & Wild Rice Bowl (350 calories)


 

Brian ate this one… like I’ve mentioned before I just don’t like seafood at all, especially shrimp! I was able to avoid seafood on the Gold plan but receive 2-3 meals each week on the Silver plan that have seafood in them. It’s not a huge issue for me since I just have Brian eat those and then I find a low-calorie alternative. I believe you’re typically able to avoid proteins while on the Silver plan, so there may just be an issue with my settings.

Dinner: Jerk Tofu with Mango Wild Rice (430 calories)

 

This is really a nicely composed dish, don’t you think? When I opened this one I thought immediately how visually striking it is. The sauce on the tofu added some good spicy flavor, but the texture of it still throws me off. If you’ve had tofu before you’d probably really enjoy this dish – I think it must be an acquired taste, though! The broccolini and red peppers were a great side dish.

Dessert: Peach Cobbler (110 calories)

Here’s my video, tacked on a little late because I shot it at lunch Monday (9/12). You can get a glimpse of my office and find out how much weight I lost this past week!

Friday Update

You’d think that after having Monday off for Labor Day that this week would fly by, but it’s been such a busy week that it felt longer than normal. Today I woke up feeling like I was fighting off getting sick, which wouldn’t be all that surprising since apparently strep is going around. Thankfully I felt better as the day wore on, although I’m still not at 100%. I’ll be heading to bed soon – I’m hoping for a productive day tomorrow!

In the morning my friend Chemese and I are braving a 3-mile walk/run – from the description, I get the feeling it’ll be a tamer version of the Warrior Dash. Regardless, it sounds like a fun way to get in some exercise. Wish us luck!

In the spirit of getting to bed early, let’s go ahead and talk about food for the day:

Breakfast: Soy Chorizo Egg Stack with Roasted Mango (330 calories)

Completely forgot to take a photo of this one, but I actually had it while on the Gold plan, so you can see a photo of it here if you’d like. It tasted just as good as I remembered it from last time – I seriously would never guess I wasn’t eating real chorizo with the eggs! It combines my love of breakfast with my love of Mexican food – can’t go wrong there!

Lunch: Roasted Provencal Vegetable Pizza (330 calories)

When it comes to pizza, I’m generally a cheese pizza kind of girl. I’ve ventured into different toppings, but would never have thought I’d like a veggie pizza. This was really good! I don’t know what all vegetables were included in the toppings, but I think that’s a good thing. The crust was crunch and a great texture against the soft veggies and stringy cheese. It was really filling, too!

Dinner: Braised Beef with Brussels Sprouts and Red Quinoa (360 calories)

The beef was SO good! It reminded me of a great home-cooked pot roast. The meat was tender and the gravy added a TON of flavor. I also liked adding some of the gravy to the quinoa to add a little flavor to that component. The brussels sprouts were a little too tender for my liking, but the peppers provided a nice hint of spice.

Dessert: Zucchini Bundt Cake (140 calories)

I’ll post tomorrow to let you know how the run goes!

Vegging Out

This week has been harder, I’m noticing! Not as much of a challenge as when I first started Freshology, but I can tell that after having a few days “off” I’m having an adjustment period. Even though I tried to be careful while I was on my own, I think I still ate a larger quantity of food than I normally do, so now my stomach needs to shrink back down and get used to eating less food again.

Wednesday Breakfast: Signature Granola with Raspberry Yogurt (380 calories)

I really liked the granola and yogurt, and especially liked that the granola included pistachios (yum!) – but I wasn’t a huge fan of the fruit. I think that’s something I’ll have to get used to with the frozen meals, because I typically don’t eat fruit unless it’s fresh.
Lunch: Vegetarian Meatballs with Whole Wheat Penne Pasta (400 calories)

I was nervous about this one because I have to admit that hearing “vegetarian” makes me assume it won’t be as good as the real deal – now do you get where the title of this post comes from? I was pleasantly surprised! I did break up the meatballs and mixed everything up in the sauce, but all in all this was a really good lunch.
Dinner: Turkey Meatloaf with Tomato Sauce (390 calories)

I have never been one to eat meatloaf. I was apparently one of the few American children who didn’t grow up with this as a staple meal item (thanks, mom!) so the first time I remember having it was in high school. I have mixed opinions on the Freshology version. The sauce was great – amazing, really. Full of flavor and something I’d eat on pasta any day. The meatloaf tasted good and even had a good texture to it, but it just looked weird to me, so I had to make myself not think about it (or look at it) while I ate. The green beans and mashed potatoes were good, although the potatoes tasted a little more like instant potatoes than homemade.

Dessert: Marble Cheesecake (160 calories)

Thursday Breakfast: Banana Pecan Muffin With Vanilla Cream (370 calories)

Notice that this is still in the package? Wellll I didn’t grab this out until this morning and only then realized that this was a meal to be defrosted overnight. I stuck it in my fridge and later got the muffin out to have, but the yogurt and fruit were still frozen. The muffin was GREAT, though – it tasted just like banana bread so it felt like a real treat.

Lunch: Thai Style Chicken Bowl with Buckwheat Soba Noodles (440 calories)

Great, flavorful lunch option. The noodle bowls from the Gold plan rate a little higher, but overall this was good. The breaded chicken was a nice touch because it makes it feel a little less “health-food.”

Dinner: Eggplant Parmesan Pasta (470 calories)

Another vegetarian meal! I’ve had eggplant parmesan before and didn’t love it, but this was actually really good. I also noticed, between this and the meatballs from lunch on Wednesday, that Freshology adds in spinach with their pasta sauce. What a great idea! I barely even noticed it, and just think of the added nutrition it provides. You could even puree the spinach before adding it to sauce to allow it to blend even more.

Dessert: Carrot Cake (120 calories)

Although the food on the Silver plan is really good, I do miss the freshness that the Gold plan provides. It also seems like the calorie totals for the day tend to range more around 1,400 calories versus the 1,200 calorie totals on the Gold plan. I will be incorporating more exercise to try and burn off the difference and keep losing weight at a good pace.

Do you have any good tips for incorporating exercise into your routine?

Friendly Friday September 9

Welcome to Friendly Friday! Friendly Friday begins at 8pm Central Thursday nights each week. We hope you’ll come back and join us again next week – and remember, the earlier you link up, the higher up on the list you are!

Remember, YOU can host the link list on your blog, too! Just get the InLinkz code and copy it directly into your post. The code is different every week, so be sure to get the new code when hosting Friendly Friday on your blog. Hosting the list is a great way to get even more traffic to your blog and make Friendly Friday more beneficial for everyone.

Thanks for joining the Friendly Friday celebration hosted by Christi at Frugal Novice, Xenia at Thanks, Mail Carrier and Charla at Healthy Home Blog! We invite you to join us every Friday to make more friends in blogville, get more blog followers and follow other great blogs out there.

To join in the Friendly Friday celebration, include your family-friendly link in our list, follow the hostesses in the first 3 spots and then start blog hopping! Visit other blogs on the list and comment to give them some blog love. Then take a minute to follow them through Google Friend Connect – this is a good way to keep up with other blogs, but also lets us show support to each other! Please DO NOT list your giveaways here, links must be to either your homepage or your Friday posting with your blog title. All others will be deleted.

When people comment on your blog and let you know they’re a part of Friendly Friday, return the favor and follow them back. This way everyone gets traffic and followers out of participating, and it’s a win-win situation. We would love for you to also grab our Friendly Friday button and post it on your blog and/or in a post – the more bloggers that find out about Friendly Friday and participate, the better!

Spotlight on Friendly Friday Followers! We love your participation and want to show it! In addition to gaining followers, each week we’ll select one blog at random and will feature links and a write-up for that blog in the content of next week’s Friendly Friday post. There are so many seriously wonderful blogs out there, and this will be a great way to highlight one of those each week. Say hello to the lucky chosen blog & blogger for this week (and feel free to stop by and give her a little extra love):

Create With Joy is an inspirational blog that celebrates creativity! You’ll find art and crafts, mouth-watering recipes, books and resources and so much more! The author behind this great blog says she hopes you’ll be inspired to live each day to the fullest, and infuse creativity in all you do. If you want to get ideas for books to read, crafts to make and food to create, this is the blog for you. There is such a variety to the topics covered that there’s something for almost everyone!

Now that you know about this wonderful blog, it’s time for you to join in! Add your family-friendly link below and we’ll see you back here every Friday! And don’t forget, you can get the InLinkz code to share Friendly Friday on your blog!

All three hostesses appreciate followers through GFC and Twitter, and we’ll follow you back – be sure to leave a comment with your URL and/or Twitter username. Hope everyone has a great weekend!



Silver Plan Start-Off

I started back on Freshology yesterday, this time on the Silver plan which consists of frozen meals and refrigerated desserts. Instead of receiving two packages a week, I’ll now get one per week with seven days’ worth of food at once.

It’s good to be back on the plan – I realized how hard it is to find the time to plan out meals ahead of time. It’s so nice having it all taken care of for me, and I’m excited to lose more and get closer to my goal.

Monday Breakfast: Baby Artichoke and Roasted Pepper Egg Stack with Turkey Maple Sausage (360 calories)

This felt like a very familiar breakfast, since I’d had various egg stacks throughout the Gold plan along with the sausage. The combination of artichokes and peppers provided a nice texture and slightly spicy flavor. One thing I miss immediately from the Gold plan is fresh fruit. The spiced pineapple that came with this was pretty good, but felt almost more like a dessert since it was warm. Overall, a good breakfast to start with though.

Lunch: Shrimp & Corn Chowder with Grilled Focaccia Bread (340 calories)

When I was on the Gold plan I was able to specify no seafood, but somehow in the switch to Silver I ended up with a few seafood dishes for this week. I tasted the focaccia bread which surprisingly retained a great texture despite being frozen and reheated in the microwave, but Brian ate the soup. He said it was really good and had nice flavor to it. I can’t stand shrimp so even the smell of it was unappealing to me! Brian rarely gets seafood since I dislike it, so he was excited to have the soup.

Dinner: Chicken Paillard with Fire roasted Spanish Rice (460 calories)

I had never eaten Chicken Paillard before, but had heard of it on Top Chef, so I was intrigued to try it. I think this is probably the highest-calorie meal I’ve had while on Freshology but the calories were definitely worth it. This is one of my favorite meals I’ve had on Freshology. The sauce, which I assume was a tomatillo, provided a slight tang that complimented the spicier chicken and the rice mix. Such a great dish – definitely one I’d eat again and again!

Dessert: Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (130 calories)

Tuesday Breakfast: Cinnamon Apricot Oatmeal with Turkey Bacon (420 calories)

I think I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – Freshology has converted me to being an oatmeal lover. Having the apricot provided a nice pop of flavor to the oatmeal and complimented the cinnamon nicely. The turkey bacon was just as good even being heated from a frozen state – I was impressed with how it retained its texture.

Lunch: Philly Cheesesteak Panini (270 calories)

I really enjoyed this, although I did dodge the mushrooms in it. The steak was well-seasoned, and the peppers and cheese just added to the flavor. I didn’t really get a sense of a panini, but this was a good dish through and through and is something I’d eat again.

Dinner: Cilantro Crusted Tilapia with Salsa Verde (430 calories)

Another seafood dish, and another meal  Brian got to enjoy. I thought this had a beautiful presentation, and Brian said the flavor of the cilantro really shone through. He did add a little salsa to it for added spice but said overall he’d give it two thumbs up.

Dessert: Smores (170 calories) – my favorite Freshology dessert!

I’m starting to feel back in the swing of things with food, and am also feeling good about being more active. Yesterday we spent quite a bit of time at the park since temps were actually pleasant, and I got in about 6 miles on my bike, pulling a trailer with at least one child in it at all times. It was fun getting out and being active, and just affirmed to me that I want to commit to an active lifestyle for me and for our family.