Well, Here I am again…


I know I have been MIA for almost a year now. I apologize if you’ve come to this journal repeatedly and it hasn’t been updated. I could say that my priorities have changed, but that would only make it half true. The truth is, I haven’t wanted to update due to the shame that I have put myself in.

Let me go back to last year.

After my last post, I kind of went into a funk that I thought was going to be temporary, at the time. I stopped going to Zumba. I stopped going to the gym period. I actually became afraid of exercise due to the fact that I almost had a syncope in the middle of a Zumba class (Yes, it was extremely scary… I can feel when a syncope creeps in and I try my best to prevent them). Since that incident, I was basically sedentary and my eating was okay, overall. Nothing crazy, I guess. Until June/ July…

My food addiction quickly spun out of control. My work schedule changed abruptly on July 4th weekend. I got a call from the on-call at my job saying that my work schedule would change from 7:30/8AM to 6AM (3 days out of the 5 that I work)! At the time, I thought it was manageable. I mean, I used to wake up at 4:30AM when I was in college so how hard could it be, right? WRONG. I think that because my circadian rhythms were set to a certain point for so long I could not adjust to waking up when the sun had not even risen. I also was used to going to bed a little later at night. I started taking my melatonin a lot earlier, and although I could get to sleep earlier, I still had a hell of a time waking up (and I still do!). To this day, my body is still struggling to wake up before 5AM (side note: I get up this early because I work a half hour away and it takes me a bit to get ready, sometimes). On days like these, I have the worst time staying awake at work.

If you think that wrecked my body and sleep, imagine what it did to my food! I had to base WHEN I ate by WHEN I woke up. Of course, I bring my breakfast to work when I have to get up this early (I usually stick some oats and almond milk in the fridge overnight in a tupperware container and add the PB before I leave). I also had to pre-plan the next day’s lunch, which was a pain at times, too! I will admit, I’ve been better at pre-planning everything for the next day — it saves A LOT of time.

So basically since July, all of the food that has had a horrible influence in my diet has crept back in and cannot seem to leave. Also, the stress from everything (on top of increasingly getting treated like crap by people I interact with on a regular basis) quickly built up and caused my cortisol production to increase. When that happened, I could tell my stomach was getting bigger again, and it freaked me out, starting the cycle of eating crap, feeling bad, and stressing.

I know I am in control of my body and rationally I can say that I know what to do to lose the weight… I just lack the will-power and it has been like that for about 7 1/2 months now. I keep on trying to motivate myself. I’m in some private weight loss groups on Facebook motivated by friends… I keep a sparkpeople journal (I’m RHODY_FOODIE if you want to add me), and as of recently, I got back in the swing of Zumba (with a new instructor that ROCKS!) and even have tried pilates, have P90x on the computer, and have a Jillian Michaels DVD.

So, overall it has been better and I have been trying. The whole food component is still the MAIN thing that I am struggling with. I eat sugar and carbs and flour and I hate all of it. I feel like complete crap after I eat it, too. The thing is, I have a compulsion to buy that stuff because I listen to my body for the wrong reasons. I have alternated foods and substituted and I still want Ben & Jerry’s, Red Velvet, and cookies.

Yet, I also eat salad and use stevia and liquid stevia as sweeteners. So crazy.

Food and exercise go hand-in-hand, and if you’re the kind of person just starting your weight loss diet, you will soon learn that. When I was younger and with Weight Watchers, I only watched what I ate and didn’t exercise. The weight came off, but if I worked out even more… I am sure I would shed A LOT more weight! Now, I am older and a bit wiser and know that the exercise makes me feel AMAZING.

So, I am trying to re-start my balance act of food and exercise. My goal is this:

1. No sugar at all tomorrow

2. Continue pre-planning meals (I am in love with the salad I am currently making — it has chicken, avocado, red onion, grape tomatoes, and baby carrots tossed with a romaine mix with some Ken’s Light Balsamic Vinaigrette on the side. I feel SO satisfied when I am finished!)

3. Start Strength training again — 3x WEEK (that may be a lot but I need to fit it into my schedule). ; CARDIO 5x WEEK

I am hoping by just writing these three goals it will motivate me to get moving. I need to make it happen!

If you have read or stumbled across this, thank you for reading. I felt I needed to explain my long absence and show why I haven’t had anything to say on here… but I will make an effort to try more often. If you are starting a weight loss journey, best of luck to you and I BELIEVE IN YOU!




This better be good.

I’ve been MIA due to so many things going on. I’ll have a full-scale update later on tonight! I am trying a new workout class so I’ll review that as well as some cardio and Zumba. I always look forward to Wednesdays!

What day of the week do you look forward to?

Quinoa Mac ‘n’ Cheese, life, and the return of Zumba!

I went to the nutritionist on March 3rd. I only lost two pounds, but I didn’t think it was a big deal. That’s a total of 11 pounds so far this year, with my goal of 1 lb/ week. Not too bad!

I’ve been doing MUCH better on the food front and on the fitness front. I have rediscovered my love for Zumba and now go twice a week at my gym with a friend. The Monday classes are very fast-paced and the Wednesday classes are more lax due to the Wednesday instructor being new. She is great, though and regardless we get a decent workout. I am also trying rowing again (something I have not done in quite some time). I have also done some HIIT on the treadmill (HIIT = High Intensity Interval Training). I am trying to train for another 5K in June! My goal is to beat my time from last year (which was 40 min).

On the food front, I found a GREAT recipe for quinoa mac ‘n; cheese from the March 2012 Shape magazine that I made on Friday! Image

Quinoa Mac ‘n’ Cheese! (courtesy of Shape Magazine)

1 cup whole grain quinoa
1 ½ cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 medium leeks
2 tsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ 10 oz package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 TBSP chopped flat-leafed parsley
¼ tsp fresh ground pepper
¼ tsp salt
2 large eggs
¾ cup crumbled fat-free feta cheese
¼ cup light garlic & herb cream cheese (couldn’t find it so I used whipped chive instead)
¼ cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 TBSP non-fat milk
Cooking spray
4 garlic whole-wheat bagel chips, crumbled (Omitted for me)

(1) Preheat oven to 375’F. In a large pot, combine quinoa and veg. broth, cover, and bring to a simmer over med-high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook for 30 min or until broth is absorbed. Remove from heat and let rest for 5 min.

(2) Meanwhile, roughly chop only the white and green part of the leeks and discard the leaves. Heat olive oil in a nonstick pan over med-high heat. Add leeks and garlic and sauté for 2 min or until soft. Using a paper towel, squeeze excess water from spinach, add to pan, and sauté for 3 more min. remove from heat and stir in thyme, parsley, pepper, and salt. Set aside. Fluff resting quinoa with a fork.

(3) In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs and feta together; set aside. Place cream cheese and milk in a small microwavable bowl and heat in microwave on HIGH for 30 sec, then whisk to combine. Mix in parmesan. Spoon mixture into a zip-top sandwich bag, and refrigerate until ready to use.

(4) Add cooled quinoa to spinach and leek mixture. Toss to combine, then stir in egg mixture until combined. Coat a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray and pile quinoa mixture into it. Snip a corner of the cream-cheese filled baggie and squeeze evenly over quinoa. Scatter bagel chip crumbs on top and mist with cooking spray (omitted because I don’t eat bagel chips… I added 2 TBSP of parmesan and 2 TBSP of Mozzarella cheese instead). Bake for 25 min or until golden. Serve immediately.
Serving Size: 1 cup

Cal: 288
Fat 10g
Sodium 746 mg
Carbohydrates 30g
Fiber 3g
Protein 17g

Also contains 276mg Calcium & 3 mg Iron

Mine came out looking like this…


Let me tell you. IT IS DELICIOUS!!!!

Well, I am off to get ready for work. Have a great day, all!


Hey all,

I apologize for the hiatus. Things have been insane these past months. In a nutshell, I am overall content with my life.


In August, I found a new, full-time job. I am currently working around 45 hrs/ week between both jobs. I wish I could say I get paid well, but unfortunately with the economy and cuts within my company’s budget, that is not the case. But, I like what I do for the time-being and I am grateful that I am employed and that I have ETO (earned time off), and health and dental benefits.

On December 23, 2011, my boyfriend PROPOSED to me on our four year anniversary! Of course I said YES! So now I am engaged to my husband-to-be. I think about wedding things every now and then, but nothing is set in stone right now. We both agreed to have a semi-small wedding but no date as of now! Plus, I need to find a great dress. I signed up for updates on theknot.com and has really been helpful in pointing me in the right directions when it comes to planning, venues, dresses, etc.

Which brings me to my weight loss goals for 2012…

I want to lose another 50 lbs this year so that I can find a wedding dress.

I began my “diet” on January 1. To this day, I have lost at least 9 lbs! 🙂

I have also decided to go flour-free and it has been successful. I am keeping up the good work.

So sorry

Hi all,

Sorry I’ve been MIA for the last month. So much has happened and I’ve been sort of side tracked from continuing this blog, but I will do my best to get back on track.

As of right now, I have lost 55 lbs in 21 months! I am officially under 200lbs, which is a first in about five to six years. I feel amazing, look amazing, and continue to strive to lost more weight. My brother is visiting in about three weeks, so I want to show him how much I’ve lost. The last time I saw him was when I first started losing weight — back around Christmas time in 2009. I’m looking forward to his visit!

Me at the Warren Quahog Festival 7/17/2011

I recently celebrated my 26th birthday. It was definitely one of the best birthdays ever, and it was that because I welcomed a new member of my family — my boyfriend bought me a kitten! We named him Maximus (after Maximus Prime, of course), but we call him Max. I am more and more in love with him every day!

Here he is!

I also got new hair! Yes, the day before my birthday I cut my hair REALLY short — the shortest it’s been since before/ when I started my weight loss. I was SO ready for a change, and I figured new age, new hair!

Since it’s summer, I’ve been eating lots of fruit and seafood. I bought some scallops, shrimp, mussels, and cod fish. I cook all of it (but the cod) in olive oil and I’ve been having it with a serving of whole wheat pasta and I am not sick of it yet!

Summer fruits (and others) I’ve been enjoying:
Red Seedless Grapes

I also made some amazing peach protein shakes with some frozen peaches I had:

Peach Protein Shake

  • 1 cup Almond milk
  • ice cubes
  • 3/4 cup frozen peaches
  • 3 stevia packets
  • 2 TBSP water

Blend until smooth.



I’m going to be so sad when summer ends, although the thought of Fall makes me excited, in a way. I love the cooler weather, pumpkin flavored baked goods and coffee, and other things! I’m in no rush for summer to end, though. I am savoring the rest of it. It does only come once a year!

Well, that’s about it. Until next time!

The Fourth, Smoothies, & Summer Muffins!

Hope everyone had a great Holiday weekend! Mine was probably the most festive I had in years. I went to two Fourth of July celebrations, both of which I made these decadent white chocolate red, white, & blue strawberries! They were a hit!!!!


The first party I went to was my friend Erin’s. It was on Saturday, and I brought my boyfriend and his friend and it was great! It was a potluck, and everyone brought something festive from a red, white, and blue cake (red velvet cake & vanilla cake with blue frosting). I tried to stay on the healthy end, but that was very tough. I did eat some grilled zucchini, salad, and watermelon. and then I ate some not-so- great- for-your-waistline-foods. Of course, I took responsibility for what I ate (which was quite a bit), and decided that it was a holiday and it would be easier for me to take a day or two to indulge, and then get back on track the next day — at it’s been easy so far!

Sunday was basically a repeat of Saturday (food wise); My uncle provided wraps, chips, dip, watermelon, and burgers. My mom made a variety of pasta salads, brought organic hot dogs, chips, sweet & sour coleslaw (yum!), and also brought the angel food cake that I mentioned in another entry. My aunt made and brought a delicious salad, and made cheesecake. My brothers and sisters made a Chips Ahoy! mud pie, which was to DIE for. It had coffee ice cream, a chocolate chip cookie crust, and then it was sprinkled with chocolate chip cookies on top, Cool Whip, and chocolate sauce. Sound insane? It was. My strawberries were enjoyed by my family, and they also had fresh fruit with some dip, an assortment of cakes brought by my uncle’s daughter-in-law, and so many other things. I had a platter of everything, basically.



I am happy to say, that my positive thinking has paid off. I tried my best to get back on track, and it’s worked out so far. I am continuing to aim for the no sugar diet, and I’ve been craving some summer foods!

This was my lunch. I made a homemade Cobb salad with chicken, a hard-boiled egg, turkey bacon, and an assortment from veggies given to me by a friend. I topped it with some fat free balsalmic vinaigrette dressing. Satisfying and great!

I also made a delicious smoothie for an afternoon snack.

Berry smoothie

1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk

1/2 cup of water

1/2 cup of frozen berries, unsweetened

2-3 stevia packets

4-5 ice cubes

Blend & serve.

close-up of the smoothie goodness.


Tonight, I was in a bit of a muffin mood. I searched the web for some recipes that included whole wheat pastry flour, but nothing really caught my eye. I did come across a protein muffin recipe for carrot cake protein muffins. I didn’t have any carrots on hand, so I decided to make a summery type of muffin using peaches!

Peach & Ginger Protein Muffins (altered from http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=96550)!

      8 egg whites (1 cup)
      1 cup Rolled Oats
      1/2 cup cottage cheese, fat free
        4 scoops Any Whey


      powder (I used vanilla)
      2 teaspoons baking powder
        1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
            1 TBSP of almond extract
              ½ cup splenda or Stevia
              1/2 TBSP cinnamon
              1/2 TBSP ground ginger
            3/4 cup of frozen peaches, unsweetened/ No Sugar Added
          • 2 tablespoons almonds — or walnuts, optional


          Combine Egg Whites and next 7 ingredients (Egg Whites to Cinnamon) in a blender. Blend.  Spoon batter into muffin pans coated with cooking spray, filling ¾ full. add peaches (I put 2-3 peaches per muffin) Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden. Remove from pan immediately.
          Here they are baking away in the oven.
          After. Seriously… how good do these look?
          They came out SO big and golden!
          I ate this one. It was DELICIOUS! It was moist in the middle, cinnamony, and summery!
          This looks like an orange slice… nope, it’s a peach slice! Seriously, go make these! You won’t regret it!
          Well, I am off for the night. Have a good one!



          Holiday Weekend!


          A quick update to say Happy Canada Day to all of my Canadian friends 🙂 and also a Happy Fourth of July weekend to the rest of my friends and my family. I’m going to two parties this weekend, so I’ll be sure to update on how that goes. I just made these to bring to the party I’m going to tomorrow as well as the family party on Sunday.

          I love holiday weekends, but at the same time, they stress me out. The food front is one thing that stresses me out. Temptation seems to creep into our lives not only when we celebrate THIS holiday, but all holidays. The best way to approach it is to keep reminding yourself of the goal you want to reach, and if you do slip up, to not be so hard on yourself. We all slip. Just be sure to watch extra closely what you eat the next day and maybe follow it up with a more intense workout. I know that when I slip up, I feel even more motivated to get right back to where I was before and to NOT lose sight of my goals because they are really important.

          Remeber: You’re in control of your life so don’t reverse the roles with food and allow that to rule your life.

          So, my rules this weekend:

          Enjoy yourself, be responsible, and have fun!

          Have a good one!

          Kale Chips, homemade chicken nuggets, Veganomicon

          Hey! How’s your Monday? It’s been a beautiful day here in Rhode Island. It’s starting to finally feel like summer, and I have no reason to complain about the weather.

          I want to start by sharing some foods that I’ve had recently and haven’t got bored or sick of yet.


          Today, I had an amazing workout at the gym. I ran intervals on the treadmill and was *literally* dripping sweat (sorry if TMI). I also went on the elliptical afterwards, and as I was watching TV (’cause I really can’t look anywhere else lol ) , I saw a commercial for a fast food restaurant’s chicken nuggets and I really started to crave some! So, I decided to  make my own instead of going out and getting some fatty, deep-fried ones.


          • 1 boneless chicken breast
          • 1/3 cup of whole wheat bread crumbs (can also use other substitutes such as oat bran, etc)
          • 1/4 cup of egg whites
          • salt, pepper, onion powder, spices to taste
          With a knife or kitchen shears, cut the breast into smaller pieces about 1″ –  1 .5″ long x 1.5″ wide (bigger or smaller if you prefer). mix the salt & pepper and other spices with the bread crumbs. Dredge the pieces of chicken by placing in the egg whites and then into the bread crumbs. Place each chicken piece in a frying pan and cook for approximately 3-5 minutes (or until chicken is completely white) on each side on medium high heat.
          Voila. My apologies for picture quality. These were taken with my Android. Eaten with some spicy brown mustard. Next time, I think I’m going to try some wasabi sauce!


          KALE CHIPS!

          Saturday after the 5K, I went to the store and picked up some fresh kale. It was on sale for $.79 a lb, and I picked up a bunch and it ended up costing me around $1.78! Not too bad! With the kale, I’ve been baking up some kale chips. If you’re unfamiliar with kale chips, they are a nutritious substitution to potato chips due to the fact that they contain lots of antioxidants and other vitamins and minerals that help prevent cancer. They are extremely easy to make and delicious, and I obtained a great recipe from here . I usually take them out after 12 minutes and they are absolutely perfectly crunchy and not overcooked 🙂

          These are the chips before going in the oven. I topped them with some extra virgin olive oil, onion powder, NuSalt, pepper, and some curry powder for more of a smokey flavor.

          Here they are baking away in the oven.

          Finito. The yellowish stuff on the plate is actually spicy brown mustard from the chicken nuggets I made.


          A friend lent me the cook book VEGANOMICON this evening. It contains many gluten-free, low-fat, vegan recipes ranging from salads to soups to desserts. I was looking throw the book and I came across SO MANY that I want to try! I will let you know what I decide to make when I take the time to sit down and pick one. Right now, it is REALLY hard because everything looks delicious!

          Here I am with VEGANOMICON!

          Well, that’s about it. I am off for the night to relax and possibly watch ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT with my boyfriend. Oh, and of course,  search through the book to find something delicious to make and post about 😉

          Have a great night!


          5K, Gazelle, Intervals, & New foods!

          Hola amigos, how’s your Sunday going? Mine’s pretty good so far 🙂

          I had an overall good weekend that I’d like to share. Yesterday, I ran my first 5K! It was intense but I LOVED IT.
          It was at Colt State Park in Bristol, and it was to raise money so that others wouldn’t go hungry — a great cause! $10 bought 100 lbs of food, and registration was $30 so I alone bought 300 lbs of food for needy and hungry families! It was such a great feeling to participate in something that not only made me feel good, but also made others feel good, also.

          The water I bought for the 5K. It’s over 50 fl oz!

          Can you believe I drank it all before/during/after the race? I LOVE water!

          It was such a beautiful day for a race yesterday. We were really lucky we didn’t get the thunderstorms that were predicted.


          Here I am ready to get my 5K on!


          The race began near the beach, looped around by the water, and continued through the park. I finished in 41 minutes. Not first, nor last, but I was SO proud of myself, and for my first 5K, that was EXCELLENT TIMING!

          After the race, I grabbed an apple, and they were also giving away this…

          They had regular baked chips, white cheddar popped crisps, and these — kettle corn crisps! Trust me, they were delicious (sadly, not entirely sugar-free), but they hit the spot!



          Last week, a friend of my boyfriend and I gave us a Gazelle for free! Since then, my boyfriend has been using it religiously in the mornings. Oddly enough, the Gazelle was the way my brother lost all of his weight. I hopped on it the other day and worked out on it only to pull a muscle in my left calf!  Luckily, it did not interfere with the 5K, and I am feeling much better! I love going to the gym, so I personally wouldn’t use the Gazelle in place of it; but it sure is a nice alternative!

          I’ve been looking into more interval exercises to do. I downloaded a HIIT and Tabata timer to my Android. I do best with interval exercises because:

          • they are effective in a short amount of time
          • I don’t feel like I’m exercising
          • they work out many groups of muscles at one
          I’ve been searching the internet for some great  HIIT and Tabata exercises, many of which include push-ups, mountain climbers, lunges, high knees, and floor jacks. I am hoping to try these out and let you know how they go!


          I’ve been trying my best to eliminate sugar from my diet after a fall-back. I was at the store the other day when I spotted some unsweetened coconut. As I inspected the package, I saw a recipe for some chocolate macaroons and then my mind got creative.

          I followed the recipe as given. However, these were  my substitutions:

          • instead of using chocolate chips, I bought some Baker’s unsweetened chocolate and used that instead. I used between 4-6 oz.
          • I used 1/2 cup of Stevia in the Raw baking stevia instead of the sugar
          • I added 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract, as well
          (taken from Bob’s Red Mill package) You will need:
          • 2 Egg Whites
          • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
          • 1/2 cup sugar
          • 1/4 teaspoon Almond Extract
          • 1 cup shredded coconut
          • 1 6-ounce package (3/4 cup) semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled.

          Preheat oven to 325’F. Beat egg whites and salt until almost stiff. Add sugar (or stevia), slowly beating until egg whites stand in peaks. Add flavoring. Fold in coconut. Add melted chocolate and stir until well mixed. Drop my teaspoonfuls on parchment paper on cookie sheet and bake for 15 min. Cool slightly and remove from paper with spatula.

          Mmm melted chocolate.
          This is the coconut mixture with the stevia, egg whites, salt, and flavorings. I folded the chocolate into it after it was cooled.
          The macaroons looked like this upon baking!
          The verdict?
          They were not bad! I think next time, I will add some more stevia and use less chocolate. The flavor wasn’t exactly too bad, though. It was EXTREMELY chocolatey, but not sweet chocolately. Next time, I may try a different method of chocolate. I think perhaps cocoa powder? I love the way my black bean brownies come out when I use the powder 🙂
          But, on the plus side, it’s curbed my chocolate craving for the week and I still love the taste!
          Hope you’re having a great weekend!

          Food Buys, Good Buys

          Hey everyone 🙂 How’s your Monday going? Mine’s going pretty well! I am actually in a great mood because I went grocery shopping at a new store and bought a lot of food at a fraction of what I usually spend!

          I’m not sure if you’re familiar with Price Rite, but that’s where I went today. Usually, I go to Shaw’s or Stop & Shop (living in New England, these are the stores available in our area). I actually have a Shaw’s that’s *literally* a two minute drive from my apartment, and that’s where I usually buy my food. Because I work part-time now, I really have to watch my spending. I was trying to think of ways in which to do so, and then remembering that Price Rite was fair in their pricing. I hadn’t been there since September 2009, so going back was interesting.

          What my boyfriend and I do is split our groceries down the middle. I get what I need, and if he’s not with me, pick up what he needs and he reimburses me for it. Because he’s working today, I ended up getting his favorite meals. I noticed that I was saving between 1-3 dollars an item, and even as much as $.50 on some items. I spent $60, but I got A LOT of food. Plus, with Massachusetts taxes, the price was even cheaper! So, in all, it was a win/win. Some of what I ended up getting (NOTE: not all of it was for me. Can you guess what I bought for myself and what I bought for my boyfriend?)

          • 4 boxes of Velveeta Shells $1.99/ each (usually around $3 in other stores)
          • 4 Chobani Plain Greek Yogurts $.99/ each (usually $1.29)
          • 1 package of Chips Ahoy! Chewy cookies $1.99 (usually around as much as $3 in other stores)
          • Buffalo Chicken Anytizers $1.99
          • 1 gallon 1% milk $2.99 (I was paying around $3.59 – $3.69 in other stores)
          • 2 boxes of Kellogg’s cereal $2.99 each
          • 3 packages of alfredo and noodles $.79 each
          • 1 wheel of Weight Watchers Swiss Cheese wedges $1.99 (usually around or more than $3.00 in other stores)

          So, overall not too bad. I was really happy about my purchases, and next time I’ll remember to bring my reusable bags. I forgot today, and made for a sad shopper! But, the ladies at the checkout were very helpful in giving me information on what to expect shopping there (I told them it was my second time there).  You can purchase bags there, too, for $.10 each. I got 4.

          Well, I am off. I have to shower and get ready for tonight’s plans. Adios!