Saturday, June 18, 2011


Good morning!  Yep, I bet you can already tell it was a good weigh-in.  I am in a good mood (sad that a scale can do that - oh wait, I am usually in a good mood in the morning).  I am writing about my weigh-in early.  That's the real tell-tale sign. 
I am down 2.5 lbs this week, bringing my total to 32.5 lbs dropped in 21 weeks.  I will take it.  It is also incentive to try to do a little better in Vegas than I would have.  I know I will have a splurge 24 hours, luckily right in the beginning and I will make it my challenge to find healthier things to eat while I am there without doing just the salad routine with dressing on the side. 
I have heard that the expo I am attending has a lot of free stuff so I am not taking my computer leaving me with lots of room in my suitcase to bring that stuff home.
Have a great week and a half from the Tortoise's Weigh.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

My Cat Charlie

This is my cat, Charlie.

Isn't he the sweetest?  A little background on Charlie.  We moved here 9 years ago with two cats, Finnegan and Tiger.  They were both pretty old at the time.  For about a year, I saw this young, mostly feral cat, who would not come near any human, running around.  One day, I was sitting on the front porch, and this wild cat jumped in my lap.  That's all it took, he was mine.  He couldn't come in the house because of the other two, so, I had him fixed, fed him, and made him comfy during the winter. Once, it was so cold out that I brought him in, and kept him in our large basement study.  Needless to say, he did not want anything to do with that and the next morning, curtains and blinds had been ripped, papers spread all over and we had a cat ready to get outside (it was below zero so I still think it was the best solution).  For the next year, he and I got pretty close.  My other two cats died within about 6 months of each other (one was 19 and one was 21).  Charlie started to come in.  Within the last 8 months, Charlie has become a full-time indoor cat.  I don't think he is always happy about it but it is safer here especially with the coyotes and raccoons we see and hear. 
I think Charlie knows I am going on vacation.  I haven't gotten the suitcase out yet, I haven't started organizing my clothes and yet he won't leave my side.  He follows me around the house.  If I go into a room, he will lay in the doorway so I can't get out without him knowing.  If I walk really fast, he will run after me.  I am feeling horribly guilty about leaving him.  I have a house sitter for a few days who I know he likes but I think he gets really lonely without me.  My DH will be here for 5 of the days but Charlie doesn't really like him (must be a jealousy thing).  It makes going on vacation very bittersweet.
Only a few more days before I leave and other than leaving the cat and other than being in a total dither, I am very excited.   I haven't been to Vegas in over 7 years.  I have been saving since last November so I don't have to budget quite as much.  I will weigh in this Saturday and my plan is, thanks to a suggestion from Cammy at, "What goes on in Vegas, stays in Vegas". 

Have a great Friday!  See you on Saturday for WID at The Tortoise's Weigh.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Not A Recipe But A Recommendation

One of my favorite lunches is a "grilled" ham and cheddar (or turkey and swiss, or turkey pepperoni and mozzarella)) sandwich with a touch of mustard on it.  I have found if you get really good cheese, ones with lots and lots of flavor, you really don't need much to get that cheesy goodness.

So, when I am craving a grilled sandwich, here is what I do:
2 slices whole grain bread
5-6 slices of deli ham (I use Oscar Mayer Delifresh Ham at 45 calories for 6 slices)
1/2 ounce of shredded cheddar (get a good sharp aged cheddar)
Mustard (to taste)

Using a toaster oven, lightly toast both slices of bread.  Spread a little mustard on one side of each piece of bread.  Put the ham on one of the slices and sprinkle the cheese on the other slice (each one now looks like an open faced sandwich).  Toast each slice again (flat in the toaster oven) until the cheese is melted and the ham is warm through.  Put the sandwich together and enjoy.

This all comes to about 260 calories.  I will throw in some vegies and Ranch dressing for the perfect lunch. 

Some cheese options:
For Cheddar, try Dubliner from Ireland (available in most grocery stores)
For Swiss, try Gruyere
For spicy, try Yancey's Fancy Buffalo Wing Cheddar (just a little melted on chips is yummy!)

I do not like using reduced fat cheese unless I am baking and need the cheese more for texture than for flavor.  Again, using these stronger cheeses results in using, and needing, less cheese, even for a cheese-aholic like me.

I hope you enjoy this recommendation from The Tortoise's Weigh!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

WID - Weigh In Day

I was pleasantly surprised when I got on the scale yesterday.  I didn't drop any but, more importantly, I didn't gain any either.  Overall, in 20 weeks, I have dropped 30 pounds.  My initial goal was to let go of 1.5 pounds a week and that is what I have accomplished.  I am still learning that I can live my life, splurge once in awhile and still continue to move towards a much healthier weight and lifestyle. 
My current motto is "Life happens" and you have to be able to enjoy food events that are bound to happen without regret!
So, with that said, have a great rest of the weekend from The Tortoise's Weigh!

Friday, June 10, 2011

A Weighty Week

This week has been really fun in terms of social activity but a bit of a weighty week in terms of eating.  Wednesday night was our annual Chamber of Commerce BBQ.  The meal was the normal hamburgers and bratwursts, hosted by the Chamber, but then everything else was potluck.  There were salads, chips, cheese, crackers, bread with dipping oils and desserts, oh the desserts.  Okay, so much for Wednesday night, if you catch my drift.
Thursday night, was our quarterly gourmet dinner club get together.  We are one of the four couples that participate in this.  One couple brings appetizers, one couple brings salad, one couple does the entree, and one couple, dessert.   We rotate through the menu categories and whoever has the entree hosts the event at their house, and yes, it is an event.  We had dessert this quarter.  Here was the menu last night:
Appetizers: parmesan crusted grilled portabello mushrooms and crabcakes
Salad: Hawaiian salad with lobster, green papaya, cucumbers, orange and red peppers on a bed of lettuce with a refreshing dressing
Main Course: Tomato stuffed with spiced orzo, 3 types of manicotti, and asparagus stuffed calzones
Dessert:  A layered dark chocolate, espresso panna cotta topped with sweetened whipped cream, fresh raspberries, and a chocolate cookie
Needless to say, I was stuffed!
And for today, it was the DH's birthday.  We went to Red Robin.  I did eat only half my meal but the rest of the week has caught up with me and I just feel bloated and too full!
Back to normal tomorrow.  I wish I could always remember how I feel at this moment and bring it back to the fore front of my thoughts when I am tempted to overeat next time.  It would stop me in my track!
We'll see what the scale says tomorrow.  Until then, from The Tortoise's Weigh.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

MIM #12 - Beef and Blue Cheese Tart

Menu Item Monday is happening on Tuesday this week.  Yesterday was a shipping day for work and after boxing up and shipping 180 boxes, I was beat.  I think everyone can understand.
I found this recipe in June/July 2011 "Healthy Cooking" magazine.  This magazine has great recipes and is part of the Taste of Home publications.
I love reading recipes.  I read cookbooks like they were novels.  When I look at ingredients and how to make something, I can not only picture what the dish will look like but I can also imagine what it will taste like.  This one immediately grabbed my attention and when I showed it to DH, we knew we had to make it.  One item of note, leftovers were not as good so make sure you have enough people to eat it all (of course, that could have just been me since I am not a leftover eating person).

Beef & Bleu Cheese Tart - 6 servings
1/2 lb. lean ground beef (90% lean)
1-3/4 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 tube (13.8 oz) refrigerated pizza crust
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 cup crumbled bleu cheese
   (NOTE: We used Roquefort, remember, I also own a cheese shop, and because it is a strong blue cheese, we could have used less)

Cook beef, mushrooms and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.  Stir in salt and pepper; set aside. 
On a lightly floured surface, roll crust into a 15-in. x 12-in. rectangle.  Transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
In a small bowl, combine sour cream, Italian seasoning and garlic powder; spread over crust to within 2 in. of edges.  Spoon beef mixture over top.  Fold up edges of crust over filling, leaving the center uncovered (it will look like a rectangular framed pizza).
Bake at 425 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until crust is golden.  Using the parchment paper, slide the tart onto a wire rack (for cooling).  Sprinkle with bleu cheese; let stand for 5 minutes before slicing.
Each slice equals 328 calories.
We also thought you could use ground turkey for this instead of the ground beef.

I hope you enjoy this recipe from The Tortoise's Weigh!

p.s. I am back on track and have dropped a little bit of weight since Saturday. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011

WID - Weigh In Day

Well, I ended up with a 1 pound gain this week.  Overall, I am still down 30 pounds.  I guess there really isn't much to say about that so I will look forward to the next few weeks. 
We had a beautiful 80 degree, sunny, blue sky, day today and after several unusual grey, rainy days it was quite welcome!
I am mostly back on track today and my intense salt cravings have pretty much left (as did the headache I had for 3 days). 
I hope that everyone's weather has settled down and that people are able to get outside and enjoy whats left of spring!

See you soon at The Tortoise's Weigh.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Hectic Life

Life has been a little (very) hectic for me and I have been somewhat off plan.  Days seem to be flying by without me even realizing it.  Even my DH, who has tried to support me as much as he can, hasn't wanted to stay the course this week.  He brought home this very dangerous jalapeno yogurt dip from Costco and a bag of chips to go with it.  On Tuesday, he wanted to go out to lunch and we went to our favorite Mexican restaurant.  I did the best I could but the chips got me again.  Afterwards, he said, "It was nice to have a filling meal".  Unfortunately, he expressed my sentiments exactly. 
Throughout time, I have had a problem when people start noticing that I am losing weight and they start asking questions.  I don't know if it is that I start feeling more pressure to do well or what.  Any ideas?  There is one lady, who works in a shop across the hall from my shop, and now, everytime she sees me says "So, how much now?".  It just gets to me and I don't know why. 
I have been doing my plan for a little over 4 months now.  I have dropped 31 pounds.  Am I putting too much pressure on myself, is the 100 pound goal starting to feel overwhelming?  Am I making it into some sort of race with the calendar? 
There is just a few more weeks before I go to Vegas.  I was talking to one person, who is also trying to drop some weight, and she was telling me that the last time she went to Vegas, she was following some diet and she lived on salads the whole time she was there.  Everyone else was eating all this good food and she felt very left out and skipped some outings because of the temptations.  She did lose 3 pounds on her vacation but what a sad memory of what was supposed to be a fun vacation trip.  I will not do that to myself and maybe I am worried about letting go too much. 
I guess I have been feeling in a rut a little bit with my eating, same breakfast, similar lunches, and no time to make exciting dinners.  So, later today, I am going to sit down, and come up with a plan to get back on my plan through shaking things up a bit.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Wishing you a great weekend from The Tortoise's Weigh!

Monday, May 30, 2011

MIM #11 - Kicked up Tuna Noodle Casserole

We made this the other day and it was really good.  I am not a fish eater but recognize that it is good for me and that I should have it once in awhile.  I could eat this a couple of times a month (which is saying a lot).

Kicked up Tuna Noodle Casserole - serves 6
6 ounces rotini (we use the Barilla Plus)
3/4 cup light sour cream
3/4 cup reduced fat Greek (2%) yogurt
3 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder
5 ounces reduced fat Cheddar cheese, shredded
3 cans (approx. 5 ounces each) albacore tuna, packed in water, drained
1 cup frozen peas
Salt & black pepper
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
6 lemon wedges

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Spray and 8x8x2 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
Cook rotini according to package directions and drain.
In a medium bowl, combine the sour cream, yogurt, mustard, cayenne and cheese together.  Add the cooked noodles, tuna, and peas.  Stir gently until the pasta is coated.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the mixture into the prepared dish and sprinkle the panko over the top.
Bake until bubbling and panko begins to lightly brown, about 15 minutes.
Serve immediately with a lemon wedge.  Squeeze the wedge over the serving for some fresh lemon juice.

Calories comes in around 325 per serving.  We served it with a tossed salad with light dressing (I really like Newman's Own Light Honey Mustard dressing).

I hope you enjoy this recipe from The Tortoise's Weigh! 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

WID - Weigh In Day

I am starting to think my body is taking on a pattern in letting go of the weight.  I have been charting my weekly weight and it is starting to show 1 week having a big drop and then 2-3 weeks of little drops.  I am okay with that, as long as it goes in the right direction! 

I dropped another .5 pounds this week but after the drop of 3.5 the week before, this does not surprise me.  My DH has done a good job of hiding his flavored chips so I didn't have any.  Maybe one day they won't hold any power over me. 

We did try some great new recipes which will definately be on MIM's (Menu Item Monday's).  I am not big on fish but I must say, we had the most delicious Tuna Noodle Casserole I have ever had.  I am even going to have it as leftovers for dinner tonight (and that is saying a lot since I do not usually don't like leftovers).  We also had an incredible Beef & Bleu Cheese Tart.  YUM!  It was kind of like a stuffed pizza.

Being a holiday weekend, the town and my shop should be quite busy (or so I am hoping).  Have a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend!

See you Monday at The Tortoise's Weigh!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My Latest Lesson Learned

I am hoping to gain insights into myself as I progress on my journey to let go of 100+ pounds.  I am looking at food choices, especially my comfort foods, to learn why it is I choose those items over healthier alternatives.  I have started to recognize some of the events that occur in my life that trigger eating unconsciously and now have to learn how to handle those events differently.

One of the most important things I've learned is that I cannot follow someone elses food plan.  It has to be my own plan.  I have to be able to incorporate the foods that I love, albeit less often or less volume. 

My latest lesson learned has to do with food choices and it is actually quite amusing to notice my mind arguing with itself over those choices.  For the most part, I have allowed myself anything I want as long as it fits into my calorie plan.  I have noticed myself choosing healthier options due to calorie counts (with the exception of the chip episodes). 

I surprised myself the other day, after some internal arguing, by choosing vegies and a little ranch dip over some plain tortilla chips with salsa (which I don't have an obsession with) because a) I wanted more volume than what those 10 chips would provide and b) I knew the vegies would be better for me.  Now, if I was following some diet, the choice would have been made for me, it would have said to have those vegies with a little ranch dip.  I probably would have rebelled, eaten what I wanted and then would have thought I blew the whole thing and then ordered a pizza since the day was ruined.  I guess there is more rebel in me than I realized.  Hmmm, interesting (at least it is to me).  Isn't it funny what just sitting down to write will bring out?

Have any of you experienced anything like this?

Thanks for reading, and hopefully following, the ramblings of The Tortoise's Weigh!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

MIM #10 - Grilled Chicken Caesar Wrap

For this post, I wanted to let you know one of my "go to" easy summer dinners.  It is light, refreshing and perfect for those warm evenings.  It is not a recipe per se and is really delicious.

Grilled Chicken Caesar Wrap - serves 4
When you go to the grocery store, buy some pre-cooked boneless skinless chicken strips (unless you want to grill your own), some flour tortillas (or flavored if you want) and one of those Light Caesar Salad bags (with everything in it). 
Make the salad according to directions, croutons and all.
Slightly warm the tortillas for easy rolling (we use the microwave for about 10 seconds).
Place some of the cooked chicken in a line towards the center of the tortilla, place about 1/4th of the salad on top of the chicken. 
Fold opposite parts of the tortilla over the ingredients and then roll up (this keeps all the ingredients from falling out the bottom or top of the wrap).
We serve these with some baked sweet potato fries.
So yummy!  Including the sweet potato fries, mine came in right around 490 calories.

I hope you enjoy these.  They are great for those days where dinner is running behind and you just don't know what to make. 

Sorry I am a day late on posting this, the day got away from me yesterday.

Thanks for checking in to The Tortoise's Weigh!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

WID - A Weigh In Day Woohoo!

I did it!  I made it to my first hard goal.  I am going to Vegas in a few more weeks and  I had set a realistic goal (1.5 pounds per week) of dropping 30 pounds by the time I went.  I set a hard goal of 30 pounds and a soft goal of 35.  Since I am still a few weeks out, I am now going to shoot for the 35 pounds.  I was actually down 30.5 pounds this morning (and you know how important that extra .5 is).  Woohoo! 

The first goal of dropping 35 pounds will put me at the weight I was before I quit smoking a little over 2 years ago.  The next goal will be dropping an additional 20 pounds, or 55 pounds total which will put me where I was when we moved here 9 years ago. 

Vegas is going to prove interesting.  We have paid for this 24 hour meal plan called "The Buffet of Buffets".  There are 7 hotels participating and you get to go to any or all of their buffets as often as you want for 24 hours.  That will be my splurge day for June and I will be careful the rest of the week.  I guess I really don't need to worry about Vegas for a few weeks but having the splurge day already scheduled will help keep me on track for the next 4 weeks.

Have a great rest of the weekend from The Tortoise's Weigh!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

What is it about chips?

Really, I must ask.  What is it about chips that I can't resist? 

It has been a pretty stressful week for my DH and as a result, for me too.  Besides helping me remodel my store (painting, moving shelves, building new shelves, etc.), yesterday, he had an employee show up to work only to say they were giving two weeks notice and then after about 30 minutes said they couldn't work that day and walked out.  Later, during a phone call, the employee said they acted too hastily, didn't want to quit, wanted to continue working and apologized profusely (it was that employees 21st birthday too).  It has all been about friendly bantering that went too far and now people's feelings are hurt.  My DH absolutely HATES dealing with things like this.  It's all about feelings and such.  He ends up not sleeping and then stresses me out.  Okay, okay, back to chips.

So, we go out to dinner last night and he wants Mexican food (Mmmmm!).  I can't stop myself from eating the chips.  Why?  And then today, he buys a bag of these new Loaded Chili and Cheese potato chips.  Of course, they have been calling my name even though I ate a bunch with my dinner.  I want them.  I will be thinking about them all night. 

I know I have a problem with MSG and flavored chips all have it.    It's a migraine trigger for me.  Why then do I want these so bad?  If it's just the salt, why won't popcorn do the trick or carrot sticks with salt on them?  I really wanted to reach my goal of dropping 30 pounds by the end of the week.  I was about 1/10th from being there yesterday morning.  You would think that would be motive enough to not eat all the chips but it wasn't.  Today, I was 8/10ths from being there and now, I am afraid of what the scale will say tomorrow.  I know, that the scale should not be the end all but...

What do you do to overcome your biggest craving?  What is the food that you just can't say "no" to?

Monday, May 16, 2011

MIM #9 - Angel Hair Pasta with Creamy Mushroom Sauce

Hope you all had a great weekend!  I did!  We had rain this weekend but are hoping to see the sun for the next four days (after today).  I am giving you my recipe for another pasta dish.  Can you tell that I love pasta?  Hope you enjoy it!

Angel Hair Pasta with Creamy Mushroom Sauce - Serves 2
4 ounces angel hair pasta (I use the Barilla Plus)
1 1/2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon butter
3 ounces light cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup skim milk
2 Tablespoons chives, snipped

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain.  Meanwhile, for sauce, in a medium saucepan, cook the mushrooms and onion in the butter until tender.  Stir in cream cheese, salt and pepper.  cook and stir over low heat until cheese it melted.  Gradually stir in milk and chives; heat through.  Pour sauce over pasta.  Toss to coat.  Serve immediately.
The whole recipe only has approximately 750 calories so add a tossed salad and maybe even a slice of toasted garlic bread.
Note: My DH added some ground beef to his and said it tasted like beef stroganoff.

Toodles from The Tortoise's Weigh.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

WID - Weigh In Day

Well drat!  I didn't lose any weight this week.  I stuck to my daily calorie allotment, I even went for a few walks, and I worked hard on deep cleaning the house.  So, I am still down 27 pounds in 16 weeks.  Still slightly ahead of the 1.5 pounds per week I was hoping/planning for.
I was told once that when you don't drop any pounds, your body is dropping inches.  I really hope that's the case, at least that is what I am choosing to believe!

Tonight I was a little frustrated, it's rainy and cold, I had a stressful day at work and after I ate my dinner I found I was still hungry.  Instead of finding something else to eat, I got on the computer, read a few blogs and felt better.  I just want to say "Thank you" to all of you for continuing to motivate me when I needed it the most!

Have a great rest of the weekend from The Tortoise's Weigh!

Friday, May 13, 2011

American Airlines - A Rant

Hopefully no one will take offense at this but I need to rant about American Airlines. Out of the 7 major airlines, they are the only one that did not make a profit last year and I think they are trying to make up for that!

Scenario history (I will keep it as short as possible):
Last year, we flew to the east coast. Two parts of the three were flown on American Airlines. We voluntarily got bumped in Chicago because we had a loooong lay-over on the next leg. We each (DH and I) got $300 vouchers towards a future flight.

Current scenario:
We are going to Vegas. We booked our flights on American Airlines. We have to drive 3 hours to the airport that they service to be able to use the vouchers. DH is flying home earlier than I am so he will drive the 3 hours back and for my flight, I booked a puddle jumper on Alaska Airlines.
Are you still following me?

Here is what has happened...
American changed my flight time for later. I would've miss my puddle jumper and have to wait 5 hours for another flight. So, we called American and changed my flight (instead of leaving Vegas at 10, now I have to leave at 6:30 in the morning).
Then Alaska Airlines changed my puddle jumper to later so we called American to see if we could change it back to the original. They wanted $90 to make the change saying only the first change was free (even though it was because of them changing the schedule). If we cancel the flight, they will credit us $17. Hmmmm.
So then, we decided just to use miles (on Alaska) to get me home so I can fly with my co-worker, won't have an 8 hour lay-over and won't have to fly through Los Angeles.

Here is the really crazy part:
We called American to let them cancel me off the home-bound flights (so they could re-sell the seats). We were told that they could not cancel part of the flight. They would have to cancel the whole booking, re-book the one-way to Vegas, charge us for that and then issue us a voucher towards a future flight for the balance. That really floored me. We did tell them that I just won't be showing up for the flights.

I do realize that I am flying basically for free due to the initial voucher (I did have to pay $2.65) so don't feel too bad for all of the hassle we are going through. I will have to see if American posts a profit for 2nd quarter 2011. Flying, in general, has gotten to be somewhat of a hassle.

How do you feel about flying these days?

Thanks, from The Tortoise's Weigh, for letting me get that off my chest!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Book Review - "Body Clutter" by Marla Cilley and Leanne Ely

I don't know what is happening to me. I have started de-cluttering everything, including myself. First I started letting go of my weight, then I got a new vacuum (which really started everything) and now, I am going through cupboards and drawers, throwing things away, giving things away and preparing for a garage sale. I AM going to get my life, home, and self, organized and dragging my DH along with me. (I did tell him that I won't ask him to do anything until I prove I can do it myself.)

I purchased the book (the hard copy was cheaper than the Kindle version and I was already ordering some stuff so shipping was free) "Body Clutter" by Marla Cilley and Leanne Ely. It was an excellent book and extremely thought provoking.

The book helped to identify and further examine the food issues I have. There were sections of the book where it seemed like they knew me personally. Some of the examples of excuses were ones I have used verbatim. I like the fact that they break down processes and you can add those processes into your life in "BabySteps".

Marla Cilley is also known as The FLYLady (Finally Loving Yourself). I loved the fact that when they started writing the book they realized that they were not "walking the walk" and ended up looking inside themselves for changes they needed to make.

After reading the book, I found myself looking at the website, I love the acronym of C.H.A.O.S. (Can't have anyone over syndrome) and realized I had not only grown up with that but was perpetuating it in my adult life. I have incorporated many of the suggestions in her Control Journal for organizing my home. At some point, I will probably invest in getting the book "Sink Reflections" (again, cheaper in hard copy than in the Kindle version).

All in all, I highly recommend "Body Clutter".

Have a great day from The Tortoise's Weigh!

Monday, May 9, 2011

MIM #8 - Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken Sandwiches

Yes, it is Monday again. Here is the MIM (Menu Item Monday) for the week. I made this recipe the other day and it turned out delicious. I ended up having it for 2 meals and DH had it for 3 meals. Oh, and just so you know, I typically do not like leftovers. There are a few things I can eat leftovers of, pizza or pasta and such, but not meats. So, for me to eat this for a second meal, it had to be good.

Crockpot Teriyaki Chicken Sandwiches - makes 5-6 sandwiches
12 ounces boneless skinless chicken pieces (I used a breast and a few thighs)
1 - 8 ounce can pineapple tidbits, drained
1 small onion, diced
1/2 cup teriyaki style BBQ sauce (I used Bone Suckin' Yaki) plus a little extra for finishing

Put all ingredients in a crockpot in order listed above. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
When chicken is cooked, remove the chicken and shred. Drain off the majority of the liquid left in the crockpot using a strainer if necessary to save the pineapple/onion pieces. Put the shredded chicken/pineapple/onion back into the crockpot, add just a little bit more of the teriyaki style BBQ sauce and warm through. Serve on your favorite bun/bread.
Total calories for the recipe, not counting the bread, is about 850, depending on the chicken pieces you use and the type of teriyaki style BBQ sauce you use. I served it on those 100 calorie sandwich thins and had some homemade coleslaw on the side. It was easy to stay within my 500 calorie range for dinner.

I hope you enjoy this recipe from The Tortoise's Weigh! See you tomorrow for a great book review.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

WID - Weigh In Day

I had a great week! The results... I dropped 3 pounds. I am now down 27 pounds in 15 weeks ((3 pounds from my first set goal (30 pounds in 20 weeks), 8 pounds from my first stretch goal (I was really hoping to lose 35 pounds in that 20 weeks) and 73 pounds from my overall goal)). We even went out to eat a few times and I chose some wonderful, healthy and delicious items.

I went for a walk, yes me, I purposefully went for a walk just to get more movement. I also helped a friend get ready for her garage sale, moving boxes, bending, lifting, etc. and I felt it the next day. I have started parking further away from stores to walk more. Just little things. My mind won't recognize things like these as exercise and thus won't balk at doing them.

For those of you who don't like exercising, how do you get more movement into your day?

Whether you are a "mom" to a child, pet, husband, friend, co-worker, parent, etc., I would like to wish you a Happy Mother's Day from The Tortoise's Weigh!

Thursday, May 5, 2011


I can't stop thinking about my off-week last week. My analytical mind continues to measure where I would have been had I not had that off-week. The perfectionist in me continues to beat myself up.
How many of us do this? How often do we say, "I just can't do this", or, "I failed, I might as well give up".
This way of thinking has to stop for me and it has to stop now! I have to look at the fact that if I have more on-weeks than off-weeks, I am doing 100% better than I was. My plan has to be a guideline, it can't be the all or nothing plan.
I have never expected perfection in others, why do I expect it in myself? I realize that for the previous 2 years, I was not watching my portion sizes at all and some of my food choices were not the best. I kept giving myself the excuse that I had quit smoking and it was okay to eat whatever I wanted. I gained 40 pounds in that 2 years and basically had 104 off-weeks. So, in the big picture, is one off week going to define who I am, how I am doing and the progress I am making? NO, it is not! One off-week out of 15 is still a way better percentage than 104 out of 104 off-weeks
So, as of right now, I am letting that week go. It is in the past, and maybe, it is what I actually needed to prove to myself that it is okay to have an off-week now and then. Again, I have to look at the big picture. It took 15 years to gain my 100 pounds. If I let those 100 pounds go in 1 or 2 years, still live life with all of it's ups and downs, and make healthier choices along the way, I will be doing well!
How many of you have that perfectionist thought process? How do you get beyond it?

P.S. Here is a great motivational thought...If you lose an ounce of weight every 2 days, you will drop almost 11.5 pounds a year. So, instead of hoping for those pounds to drop, just a few ounces a week will add up!

Thanks for reading "Thoughts" from The Tortoise's Weigh!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

World Events

Bin Laden is dead. I can't say I am unhappy about that but I do have some trepidation. What will happen now? Will there be retaliation?
I can understand all the celebrations that took place but wish the media had not sensationalized them so much.
Mark Twain captured my sentiments in the following quote: "I do not wish for the death of any man, yet I read some obituaries with a sense of gratification."

On to other news. I made the best crockpot teriyaki shredded chicken yesterday for dinner. I will be giving you the recipe next Monday for MIM. I also tried the cauliflower recipe from Snack Girl ( My husband does not, will not, eat cauliflower. I thought that maybe he would like this. The comment..."As far as cauliflower goes, this isn't as bad as other ones". Is that a compliment? Needless to say, I probably will not get to make another cauliflower recipe any time in the near future.

Wishing you a great day from The Tortoise's Weigh!

Monday, May 2, 2011

MIM #7 - Baked Lemony Pasta

First off, I dropped that pound I found last week. It is gone, never to be seen again. Now, back to Menu Item Monday...

I am a pasta freak. I think I could eat pasta every day. That is why I never lasted on a low carb diet (that and my hair started falling out). I feel that I metabolize grains very quickly. I try to use healthier pastas, whole wheat or ones like Barilla Plus. This is one of my favorite pasta dishes.

Baked Lemony Pasta - serves 4
8 oz. thin spaghetti
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lemon
3/4 cup light sour cream
1/4 teaspoon salt (or less)
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
Cilantro, chopped (as much as you want)
Extra lemon juice (used when serving)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. In a non-stick skillet, melt butter with olive oil over low heat. When butter is melted, add the minced garlic. Add lemon juice into the pan. Remove from heat. Add the sour cream and stir until incorporated. Add lemon zest and salt. Pour mixture over drained spaghetti and mix together. Pour mixture into an oven safe baking dish.
Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 10 minutes.
Remove from oven, squeeze a little extra lemon juice over it, top with Parmesan cheese and chopped cilantro.

Serve with a fresh green salad, lightly dressed. This is also good with some Italian dressing marinated grilled chicken.

The whole recipe has about 1500 calories or around 425 caloried per person (not counting salad or chicken).

I hope you enjoy this recipe from The Tortoise's Weigh.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

WID - Weigh in Day

The week ended up better than I thought it was going to be. I gained a pound and I am okay with that. So, in total, 24 pounds in 14 weeks, still ahead of my plan to lose 1.5 pounds a week.

I still haven't figured out why I have been so hungry. Maybe it's because I am a little tired, which has been self-induced. I got a Kindle for my birthday. I think I love it. I really enjoy reading and am having a little trouble getting over not holding a book, not turning the pages, not finding something to use as a bookmark, etc. Here's the thing though, when I have a good book, I have trouble putting it down. I will read it all night. I have read 4 books in the last 6 days. At midnight last night I had to have a talk with myself about having to be at work by 9 this morning. Even after shutting down my Kindle, I think about the book and will take at least an hour to fall asleep. Maybe that's why I like reading other people's blogs. When I read, I cry for people (or animals), I cheer for people (or animals), I feel part of other peoples lives. I get totally immersed.
Does anyone else do this?

Well, it is almost bedtime at The Tortoise's Weigh (yep, I figured I better initiate a bedtime so maybe the hunger symptoms will stop). Have a great day tomorrow!

Friday, April 29, 2011

One of Those Weeks

Okay, I have to admit it. I am having one of those weeks. It's not out and out bingeing but it is definitely being off plan. I don't know what happened but I was HUNGRY all week.

Sunday - Easter - went out and had a splurge meal
Monday - DH made homemade pizza - had 1 extra slice and a Diet Pepsi (I really believe it makes me hungrier when I have diet sodas)
Tuesday - Ate fine all day until later that night - I just was not feeling right and did some snacking
Wednesday - Bad migraine to start things off - felt like I had been hit by a Mack truck - did not feel like eating anything but carbs and salt. Felt better later on and had pizza and Diet Pepsi again
Thursday - Felt much better, back to normal, got back on plan mostly (went out for dinner and ate just half my meal, just a little over calories)
Friday - I'm BACK! Whew!

I think my body knew it was getting some sort of bug and needed additional fuel. I am a little worried since the scale showed a 3 pound gain Thursday morning. I probably ate an additional 500 calories a day for Sunday through Wednesday but not enough to gain 3 pounds. We'll see what ends up happening tomorrow on WID.

Here are the steps I will take:
1) Analyze what happened during the week (was it that I was getting sick or was it Easter or was it that I had to fire someone, etc.)
2) Plan on what I can do if it happens again
3) Get, and stay, back on the plan (at least until I go to Vegas in June)

Any other suggestions for dealing with weeks like this?
See you tomorrow at The Tortoise's Weigh!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What I Eat for Breakfast

I have had some friends in town ask what I eat for breakfast. My breakfast does not vary much. My lunches and snacks are pretty routine also but my dinner is where variety is the spice of life. I will cover my dinner trials and tribulations at a later date.

My breakfast usually consists of:
1 whole Thomas' Multigrain English Muffin with just a little REAL butter
1 fruit cup, drained (I really like the pear or mixed fruit ones)
1/2 cup of 1% cottage cheese with a little black pepper on it
2 cups of coffee with a little fat free half and half

It comes to right about 300 calories, perfect for my plan. Sometimes, I will have a poached egg on toast with some fruit or half an almond butter/jelly sandwich with some fruit. I have found that I have to have my carbs and some protein which holds me over until my first snack a few hours later.

I have realized that I really can live the rest of my life eating 1500 calories a day (with some splurges here and there). I know that after I let go of a lot of the weight my pounds dropped will slow down and, eventually, 1500 calories will become maintenance. I can live with that.

Now, I need your help. I cannot get this out of my head. I think I heard, or read, somewhere that there is a concept regarding eating in calories what you want to weigh times ten. So, if you want to weigh 150, you would eat 1500 calories. If you want to weigh 125, you would eat 1250.
Has anyone heard of this? Did I dream it? Please help put my mind at ease!

Thanks for reading this eclectic post from The Tortoise's Weigh!

Monday, April 25, 2011

MIM #6 - Bean and Pineapple Tacos

I hope you all had a great Easter Sunday (if you celebrate Easter)! I used my May splurge meal yesterday. I had Eggs Benedict (my favorite breakfast item) made with chopped cooked bacon, green pepper, onion and spinach, poached egg over the classic English muffin with made from scratch Hollandaise. Add in some hash browns and some great apple cake (made just like carrot cake but with apples instead) with thick cream cheese frosting. Mmmmm! It was good and so worth the splurge. I did stick to my rule of eating only half of restaurant meals though.

But, back to the post at hand, it is Monday and I wanted to give you one of my favorite recipes. As I continue to post recipes, you will notice that I kinda like spicy foods. You will also notice that I post a lot of vegetarian recipes. It's not that I don't eat meat, it's just that as I have gotten older, my tastes have changed and I really don't find myself wanting much meat.

This recipe is delicious and very easy to make. I love the flavor combinations, a little spicy and a little sweet. Hope you enjoy it

Black Bean and Pineapple Tacos - makes 10 soft tacos
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
1 can (20 oz.) pineapple tidbits, drained
1 jar (16 oz.) salsa
1 can (4 oz.) chopped green chilies
2-3 jalapeno slices, diced (from a jar); optional
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon cumin
10 (8") tortillas, warmed
Shredded lettuce, shredded Cheddar cheese, sour cream (we used low fat cottage cheese), some homemade guacamole (with chopped tomatoes in it) or anything else you like on your soft tacos.

Mash half the beans; set aside. In a large skillet, saute the onion in the olive oil until tender. Add the pineapple, salsa, chilies, jalapeno, cumin, mashed beans and the remaining whole beans. Heat through. Remove from heat and stir in the fresh cilantro. Place 1/2 cup filling on one side of each tortilla. Add the toppings of your choice; fold in half; enjoy.
NOTE: Be careful with those jalapenos!

The filling comes out to about 90 calories per taco. Add in your tortilla and toppings and you still have a low calorie, healthy meal!

Hope you enjoy this recipe from The Tortoise's Weigh!

Saturday, April 23, 2011


Let's start with the weigh-in. I have let go of another 3 pounds, bringing the total to 25 pounds gone in 13 weeks. I am ready for the next 25 now. I have not changed my plan, still consuming about 1500 calories a day and eating 5 times a day. I have noticed I have a little more spring in my step and I probably "move" more than I was. I have actually caught myself dancing around to songs with a good beat.

I have noticed that my mind, and thus my attitude, has been slowly sneaking back into that strict "diet" thinking. Last night we planned out what dinner would be, teriyaki chicken (4 ounces), 1/2 cup fried rice and Asian style vegetables(1+ cups) with a touch of Asian dressing. Perfect! My DH made dinner and when I went in to eat, I noticed the vegetable oil was out and he was basically frying the vegetables. He said that he had used less than a tablespoon of oil, then said he used less than a teaspoon. The bottom of the pan was pretty greasy. I had a melt down. Instead of just eating a little less and being thankful that he made dinner, I was angry. We got through a tense dinner and basically dropped the subject. I do have to say that the vegetables were really good and I did just eat less.

I analyzed what caused all of the distress, and it came down to two issues:

Issue 1
The night before, we went out for dinner, to a Chinese restaurant. We ordered the dinner for two. When it came, there was enough for 4 people and everything (except the soup) was FRIED. Most of the meal was heavily battered and the noodles were really greasy. I barely touched my dinner. I ate a little chicken after peeling all the batter off, a little bit of the noodles and my soup. I figured I had consumed my calorie allottment and I was still hungry. It was too late to eat anything when we got home so I toughed it out until breakfast.
I ate as normal throughout the day yesterday and was really hungry by dinnertime. I had planned on having 2 cups of vegetables (me, the person who DOES NOT like cooked vegetables) and because of the oil, I had to eat less. In the end, after a little bit of time, I did feel sated.

Issue 2
I tend to be a perfectionist. Whenever I have a project, I try to make it perfect. I always try to improve on it. I have been trying to be perfect in my eating. I don't expect others to be perfect, just myself.
I am reading a book right now called "The Clutter Diet" by Lorie Marrero. She writes about learning to be happy with "It's good enough". I need to work on this!

Does anyone else find themselves trying to be "perfect"? Does anyone have any other clues to overcome perfectionism?

One thing I do know is I need to remember, this is The Tortoise's Weigh and that SLOW and steady will win this race!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Those Ads

You are sitting there watching your favorite show and an ad comes on for a new miracle diet pill/book/exercise tool/drink/food/or other such gimmick. Do you find yourself getting pulled in?

Do you start to think, "hmmm, maybe that would work"? I do, I always get sucked in, zoning out everything else except for the ad, the voice, the product, the promises. Luckily, I have put myself on a tight budget so I never "hurry, pick up the phone and call to order now".

The thing that bothers me the MOST about those ads is the people who say, I lost 40 pounds and went from a size 20 to a size 4 (or 6 or even 8). Can that really be true? I keep thinking something must be wrong with me. I have lost almost 25 pounds and am just now dropping one size. I am 5'10" tall so that may make some difference but really, come on. I guess the advertisers think that those of us overweight will want the miracle so much that we are willing to believe anything and take that "one more chance" to end our overweightness (new word for me but it is in urban dictionary - not very nicely I might add).

Thanks for letting me rant at The Tortoise's Weigh!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

That One Food!

I don't know if everyone has one or if it is just me.

In my plan, I am allowed to have anything I want, in moderation, and it has to fit in with my daily quotas. There is that one food item, that one thing that I cannot have in the house, the one thing that if I eat it I can't stop, that one thing where if I have it once, I will want it again and again, the one food item where I won't get full if I consume an inordinate amount.

What is it? Fritos, especially the honey bbq twists. They cause some sort of drug addiction/frenzy in me. If a large bag is in my house, it will be quickly consumed. I may feel sick the next day but I will still want more. So, the answer is that I just cannot have Fritos at all. Even the new kind I saw in the store yesterday, the Tapatio Fritos. I think I stood and looked at them for over 5 minutes (seemed like an hour) going back and forth on if (IF) I could stick to no more than an ounce. The answer was a resounding "NO". I also spent a LOT of time looking at the hot dogs. Why? I have no clue. I finally realized that if I was obsessing so much over how to incorporate one large hot dog, I was better off not having any! I just walked away and did not look back.

There are a few other foods that I have to be careful of, Smart Food White Cheddar popcorn, Nathan's hot dogs, BBQ potato chips, and thick cheesy pizza. They all point to a high salt addiction. Even writing about these foods is triggering something, making me want them, making me salivate. What is it?

So, is it just me at The Tortoise's Weigh or do most people have "That One Food"? And if so, what is yours?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Menu Item Monday - Easy Pad Thai

As stated in Friday's post, this is now my favorite dinner! I love all the flavors. If you want, you could add some cooked chicken to it but I like the way it is!

Easy Pad Thai - serves 4
8 ounces whole grain spaghetti
3 Tablespoons peanut butter
1/4 cup light soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (we call them pizza peppers)
1 1/2 teaspoons siracha sauce (I found mine in the Asian section at Safeway)
3 cups shredded cabbage
1 scrambled egg (optional, it really is only a texture addition)
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 lime cut into 4 wedges

Cook spaghetti according to instructions on the package. In a separate bowl, whisk the peanut butter, soy sauce, water, rice wine vinegar, garlic, red pepper flakes and siracha until fully combined.

Once the noodles are cooked to the desired doneness, scoop out 1/4 cup of pasta water and set aside (in case the sauce needs thinning). Drain the noodles and return to the pan.

Add the shredded cabbage, egg (if using), and green onions. Pour the sauce over all and stir until well coated. If the sauce is too thick, add some of the pasta water, a little at a time.

Divide the noodles onto plates and top with cilantro and chopped peanuts. Serve with a lime wedge for people to squeeze the juice over the noodles if they want.

Total calories is approximately 1430 (or about 357 per serving).

Remember, the siracha is spicy (add more or less to taste)!
I think I may have to add this as a dinner item to this weeks menu planning.

I hope you get to make this recipe presented to you by The Tortoise's Weigh. You won't be sorry!

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Yep, it is Saturday again. Oh right, this was a short WID (Weigh In Day) week for me since I weighed in on Monday (due to the mini-vacation).
The results...down another 2 pounds. Yay! That brings me to 22 pounds in 12 weeks.

I find myself wanting the weight to go away faster. I find my mind thinking "just eat less and you will lose faster". I have to keep reminding myself that it took a long time to gain the weight. I also have to remind myself that eating less to lose faster is what has typically ended all previous attempts. I will keep doing what I am doing.

I am The Tortoise. Slow and steady will result in winning this battle. That is The Tortoise's Weigh.

See you on Menu Item Monday.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Blur of a week and a new car

This week has been INSANE! We got back late Sunday night from our mini-vacation. Our router died and we ordered a new one. We spent all day Wednesday driving 2.5 hours, each way, to a car dealership to get a new car.

We got a new Nissan Rogue and I have claimed this car as "Mine". I love the car. I drove home, in the dark, over a mountain pass, through rain, snow, sleet, had to pass a truck spewing sand all over the road (and on any car that tried to pass) and all the time watching for any critters walking onto the road. Whew, it was exhausting.

The actual car buying experience was a piece of cake. I had talked to a few dealerships and had been told they were getting close to MSRP for these cars but, they did tell me what the invoice price was. I ended up using the website for some quotes on the car I wanted. You choose the car, color, and options. The website comes back with a quote (or quotes) with a dealership's offer on the car that they are willing to commit to. I got the car for about $3000 under MSRP and about $1200 under invoice. I am sure that the manufacturer was giving dealerships some kickbacks and I got about $400 less on our trade-in than I wanted but I am extremely happy!

Our router came in, we hooked it up, got my computer re-connected wirelessly, got our Netflix to work with the Wii, and got my new Kindle (birthday present) connected. Oh, and we both worked a few days. I think I need a nap after all of this!

It is probably obvious that I won't be posting a Menu Item recipe this week but I promise a doozy on Monday. My new favorite dinner. I think I could eat it weekly (and I just may).

Thanks for joining me at The Tortoise's Weigh! Have a great weekend. If it stops raining, I will take and post a picture of MY (in case DH reads this) new car.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Back to Business and WID

I have returned from the mini-vacation we took to Penticton, British Columbia, Canada. I love that area and recommend visiting to anyone (especially if you like wine as it is a HUGE wine area). My eating did not go as well as I hoped they would. Tickets for the day/time we wanted to go to the ale fest were sold out resulting in a complete change of plans.

Friday went fine and then starting Saturday morning, it went downhill. For lunch on Friday, we ate at Cantalope Annies in Oliver BC. Wonderful, healthy lunch and had a great time catching up with the owner whom we had met on our previous trip 5 years earlier. Friday evening, we walked 6 blocks to dinner at our favorite Greek restaurant (Theos), had the perfect meal of Avgolemono soup, Tzatziki sauce with pita, and Chicken Souvlaki with roasted vegetables. We split the soup and the pita and I ate half my dinner, skipping the rice. We walked the 6 blocks back to the car, went to the casino for awhile and then called it a night. All in all a pretty good food choice and fun day!

Saturday morning, my DH went to get real coffee and to find something for breakfast. He does not like to eat breakfast, usually because of a big meal the night before as was the case here. He wanted to bring me breakfast (sweet of him, don't you think?) and ended up getting me a chocolate crossant (oh oh, this is a sign of things to come). The tickets for the ale fest were at noon, cutting the day in half. We went and the food choices were what you would expect at a beer festival, chicken wings, pizza, sandwiches with fried chicken, stir-fried noodles, etc. I tried to eat small amounts and did okay but was quite hungry (and a little irritable) when we left around 4. We didn't go to dinner until around 6 and ended up choosing this incredible Italian restaurant (Villa Rosa). The service and the food were outstanding! When we got there, we were told that the next available seat wasn't for 2 hours but luckily they had a cancellation and were able to seat us. I was overly hungry, we ordered an appetizer and a full salad (which we split) and I ended up eating my full meal (although I did order the smaller portion) and had dessert. Oh, I forgot to tell you, it was my birthday meal as well as my splurge meal.

The next day, we ate breakfast/lunch (it was a little late for me) at a fast food restaurant, didn't do too bad in choosing but then had pizza for dinner.

The good news, I got right back on track today because after all, I am not doing a "diet", just watching my calories and portions. I classified the weekend as a splurge weekend (which I won't do again until my trip to Vegas in a few months). ALSO, I weighed in this morning and still managed to lose 1 pound this week. I was quite surprised especially because of the pizza (loaded with salt). That brings me to 20 pounds down after 11 weeks.

What I learned from this past weekend:
1) Need to try and plan a little more for the unexpected
2) Make sure DH knows some better breakfast choices (he did cut up a lot of vegetables for the trip but since we were crossing the border there is no way they would have let us take them into Canada)
3) Make sure tickets/reservations, etc. are taken care of as early as possible
4) It would have been great to stop at a grocery store and get some snack/food things to keep in the hotel refrigerator
5) I am going to skip my splurge meal in May and save it for another splurge weekend in Vegas in late June.

Let me know if you have any other suggestions for The Tortoise's Weigh!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

1st Big Challenge

This weekend is going to be my first big challenge. We are going on a mini-vacation. We already have reservations for dinner one night at a great Greek restaurant. When we have gone before, we ordered the platter with everything. Not this time. I already checked out the menu and have a plan for what I will be ordering. Okay, that is 1 meal out of 7. We are attending a beer fest (for DH), going to a casino (for me) and going to the Greek restaurant (for both of us).

I did pre-plan my once monthly splurge meal for this weekend so that will help. I am finishing up some last minute laundry, writing up instructions for the house/pet sitter, finishing up some business taxes, and getting ready to pack. You would think that I am leaving for a week with the amount of work I have had to do. Oh well, isn't that always the way with vacations, even if they are mini ones?

Have a great weekend. I guess weigh-in day will have to be Monday (because I surely am not going to weigh in Sunday night)!

Check in on The Tortoise's Weigh on Sunday night to see how it went!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Induced Spring Fever

I got a new vacuum cleaner, the Shark Navigator Lift Away. I am loving this vacuum cleaner. I got it home, put it together (easily), and started using it, practically dancing with it.

We interrupt this post to bring you a warning about purchasing this induces spring fever. First, vacuumed the entire house. Second, boxed up a bunch of old cookbooks. Third, moved china to where the cookbooks were. Fourth, rearranged everything in the china cabinet. Fifth, moved my desk area to a different part of the house. Sixth, as soon as hubby (DH) got home, rearranged furniture. This was all in one day. I think I burned some calories that day.

Sorry for the interruption, we will now return you to the original post.

In the past week, I have vacuumed the house 4 times. I think I got a good deal on the vacuum. On their commercials, the price is around $200 plus shipping, although you do get the steam mop(good deal). I saw it on QVC for $159 plus shipping (better deal). I received an email coupon from Bed, Bath and Beyond for 20% off any single item. The vacuum was $169 at BB&B. Got it for $135 plus tax (best deal) and didn't have to wait for shipping. Woohoo! The carpet is looking better than it has in a LONG time. Supposedly, this vacuum will not lose suction, time will tell.

Do not take this warning from The Tortoise's Weigh lightly. Spring fever is going around and I have heard it is contagious.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

MIM #4 - Menu Item Monday

I was so intent on getting yesterday's post done that I forgot it was Monday so, Menu Item Monday is on Tuesday this week. Better late than never (that quote is also appropriate for letting go of my weight). Without further ado, below is one of my favorite (easy and delicious, not-so-light) casseroles:

Hominy Casserole - serves 4-6 as a side dish or 3-4 as a main dish
4 slices thick bacon
1/2 large onion, finely diced
2 14.5-ounce cans white hominy, drained
1 4-ounce can diced green chilies, drained
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar
4 slices pickled jalapeno (optional, for heat)
Extra cheddar, bacon, and chilies for sprinkling

Fry the bacon until almost crisp; remove from skillet and drain all but a tablespoon bacon grease. Crumble the bacon and set aside. Add onion to skillet and cook for a couple of minutes. Pour in hominy and stir for a couple of minutes until warm. Add chilies, jalapenos (if using), bacon, and cheese and stir until cheese is melted. Remove from heat. Pour mixture into a greased 10x6x2" pan and sprinkle with a little more cheese, bacon, and green chilies, if desired. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, or until hot and heated through.

NOTE: The whole recipe has about 1350-1400 calories so divide it accordingly. Add a tossed green salad with light dressing for a perfectly decadent dinner.

Hope you enjoy this recipe from The Tortoise's Weigh!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Path of the Past

Last week, there were about 4 days in a row that I did not drop even a tenth of a pound and suddenly I had this mental epiphany in regards to my past attempts at dropping pounds.

Here is how my past attempts have gone:
Start strong and drop weight for a 4-5 weeks
Then, have a week where I don't lose anything
Then, feel frustrated, eat less (thinking that will help),
Weight stays the same, feeling more frustrated,
Then binge, because eating less has caused me to be really hungry and the frustration has gotten to me,
Then, the scale might say down 1/2 pound and I would think "I wonder what it would have been if I hadn't binged".
But then, the really unhealthy thoughts would kick in like "Hmmm I ate a lot and lost, I might as well eat more".
Then I would eat, gain back 2-3 pounds and end up giving up on the "diet du jour".

NOT THIS TIME! Within those recent days where the scale did not change, I felt the urge come on to eat less to see if that would help and that is when the epiphany happened. Weight will fluctuate. I told myself, "Keep doing what you have been doing because it is working".

Someone told me once that when you aren't dropping pounds, your body is reshaping itself and you will lose in measurements. I don't know if that is true but I am hanging on to that belief. I made it through the week, dropping two pounds almost all at once.

So, if what you are doing is working and what you are doing is something you can live with for a long time, keep with it.

Remember "Slow and steady" is the motto at The Tortoise's Weigh.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

It's April, It's Spring, It's WID

I believe we have really finished winter! If it snows one more time, I may move. It is April and I have flowers coming up - no more snow!

We had our first festival in our small town today and it was busy. Woohoo, the season has started.

I am going to keep this short. I weighed in first thing this morning and guess what...another 2 pounds this week and I even went out to dinner last night. The running total is 19 pounds in 10 weeks.

Vacation next week, we will see how that goes.
Have a good rest of the weekend from The Tortoise's Weigh!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Say Cheese

If you look at my profile, it says that I am a tea shop owner. This has been my career for only the last year. My DH and I also own a cheese, beer, wine, salami, snack, cracker, (you get the idea) store. We worked together for the 8 years prior to opening the tea shop.

When we moved to the town we currently live in, I weighed 60 pounds less than I do now. Have I told you how much I LOVE cheese? Well, I do, lots. We put cheese in, on, or around everything. When we get invited to parties, asking what we can bring always gets "cheese" as the answer. We have over 100 kinds of cheese and not your basic kinds. We have smoked blues, carmelized onion Cheddars, Wasabi cheese, ones that finish like butterscotch, ones with fruit in them, ones from France, Holland, England, Australia, Germany and more. Now you can better understand the gaining of 60 pounds.

Now, working together with your husband, no matter how much you love him, being together 7x24 (or close to it) can get to be a little difficult and sometimes stressful. I found that I needed my own shop and when a spot opened, after discussion, we grabbed it and thus the birth of my tea shop, selling over 100 types/flavors of loose leaf tea. Somehow, I think that tea is going to be much better for the waistline! It is also nice to go home in the evening and ask "How was your day dear?" and not already know the answer.

We are trying to use less cheese in our meals and need to remind ourselves to use it as a flavor/texture enhancer and not as the main ingredient. There are some dishes I will miss having. Yes, I know I have said that nothing is off limits in my plan but there are some recipes that given the portion I could have for the calories just wouldn't be enough food for me.

So, if you hear me say cheese, it will be for photographs instead.

I hope you didn't find this post, from The Tortoise's Weigh, too cheesy!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Exercise or Exorcise

I hate to admit it but I really don't like to exercise. My DH is always saying let's go for a bike ride (oh that seat hurts) or let's go on a hike (there may be bugs or snakes). If you saw my reaction, you would think that he was performing an exorcism, attempting to pull the evil exercise spirit out of me. Just kidding..., kinda.

I know that I need to move more (hey I did move furniture all around that one day). I know I am really really out of shape - I did 5 sit-ups last night (yes I said 5), I saw a video of with a big ball passed from hands to knees, down, back up and get the ball back to your hands again from a laying down position and thought that it looked like something I could do. IT HURT TO LAUGH ALL DAY TODAY! Okay, I can't believe that I just wrote that.

I do love to walk. One problem though, last year I wore Crocs all the time and have almost ruined my feet. I now have Plantar Fasciitis and it is painful. I am telling you now, if you wear Crocs, only wear them occasionally, as in for slippers around the house. The doctor and the shoe store owner told me that they are seeing many people with problem feet because of Crocs.

I have started lifting some 5 pound weights when I am watching television. Now that the snow is almost completely melted, I may start walking some. Oh oh, I think I just heard a new mini goal. Starting on Sunday, I will walk at least 15 minutes 3 days a week. I will replace the battery in my pedometer and start tracking my steps and start setting some goals around my number of steps. I will continue working my arms with light weights and research some exercises around that and will do those nasty sit-ups 3 times a week, building up the number that I perform (keeping at 5 for now).

It is in writing now so it will be so.

Stay tuned for updates from The Tortoise's Weigh.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Portion Distortion

Yep, I have it and nope, it is not contagious...portion distortion.

After 9 weeks of being on my own plan of eating, I am starting to get better at portion sizes. Initially, unless it was basic counting, I was not good at portion sizes. So, here is one of the things I started doing. Take an item whose calories are based on weight and not a number (i.e. 7 crackers is a serving = xx calories). Try to guess a correct serving size (or the correct weight) for your "allowed" meal. Then weigh it and see if you are close. I was always having to cut extra off or take some away. Having to take away or add more has helped my visualization of the correct amount/volume.

I must say, now when I am eating certain items, I think back to how much of it I used to eat and realize how grossly distorted my portion sizes were (though I really don't think I was even paying attention at that time).

I found a great article on Spark People, The Bikini Diet, which is all about portion sizes. One part of the article has the analogy of using a bikini top for your portion sizes. For example, on a 9 inch plate, dinner should consist of one bikini top cup being meat or beans, one bikini top cup being your starch and the bikini bottom is your vegetable and/or salad. Now, if I picture what my bikini top and bottom would be, STOP, let's not go there, remember, it is a BIKINI (haha). Here is the link for the article:

I hope The Tortoise's Weigh has given you some ideas about portion control (if you have any issues with it)!

Monday, March 28, 2011

MIM #3 - Menu Item Monday

As promised, here is the recipe for Turkey Noodle Bake. It was delicious (and easy to boot)!

Turkey Noodle Bake - serves 3-4
1/2 lb. ground lean turkey
8 ounce can tomato sauce with garlic freshly ground black pepper
4 to 5 ounces whole grain wide noodles (mine were Ronzoni)
1/4 cup light sour cream
2/3 cup 1% cottage cheese
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 ounce grated sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Brown ground turkey in a non-stick pan. Drain off the fat. Add freshly ground black pepper and the tomato sauce to the drained ground turkey. Turn down the heat and let simmer until noodle mixture is made.
Boil the noodles till al dente. Drain the noodles and return to the pan.
Add sour cream, cottage cheese and sliced green onions to the noodles. Stir gently till mixed.
Spray an 8x8 baking dish with non-stick spray. Pour the noodle mixture in evenly. Top evenly with the ground turkey mixture. Sprinkle the grated cheddar cheese on top.
Bake for 20 minutes. Serve with a tossed salad. Enjoy!

Total calories for Turkey Noodle Bake is approximately 1350. If serving 3, it is about 450 calories per serving and for 4 servings, about 337 per serving.

If I make it again, I would probably use regular sour cream. DH says he doesn't taste the difference but I do!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

WID - Already?!?!

Wow, these weeks have just been flying by. I really don't know where the time goes. Okay, back to the business at hand...
I was a little worried about today. We ran errands yesterday and since our town really doesn't have a lot of shops for necessities, we had to drive to the next town, 40 minutes away. We decided to eat lunch at home, take a snack, and go out for dinner.
We ended up at Olive Garden. Yep, the place where 1 breadstick is 150 calories and 1 serving of there regularly dressed salad is 350 calories. There were seats available in the bar area and there was a wait for the dining room so we made the decision to just sit at the bar (also basketball was on the TV for DH).
I asked if they had nutrition information for their menu items. The server ran into the back and came out with handouts of all the information I could possibly need. It was great! I had skipped my 100 calorie snack for the day so added it to my 500 for dinner, giving me 600 calories I could use. Here is what I ended up with:
1/2 breadstick
2 servings of salad with light dressing on the side (I skipped most of the croutons)
1/2 serving of the Ravioli di Portobello (there were 7 Ravioli's, I ate 3)

I was stuffed. I estimated calories at, 75 for the 1/2 breadstick, 150-200 for the salad, and about 300 for the 1/2 ravioli's. Total: 525-575

I felt really good about my choices! It was kinda funny, a woman and her husband came and sat next to us while waiting for their table. She kept staring at what/how I was eating. It felt weird. I even saw her husband tap her to get her attention. At the very end, she asked if I had to ask for the nutrition information and that she had checked online before coming for dinner to see what she could have. We got to talking and I told her what I had and how it worked out. I think the biggest surprise was the low fat dressing you can get which was delicious! Thank you Olive Garden!

Oh, I almost forgot, WID (Weigh In Day). I lost another 2 pounds, bringing my total to 17 pounds in 9 weeks, still a little ahead of my goal. This is working and it is a plan I can live with the rest of my life. Why was I worried you ask? I felt sooooo full after dinner last night that I thought it would show on the scale (and even tho I stayed within calories, I didn't know how much the sodium would affect me). Whew!

Have a great week from The Tortoise's Weigh!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Mothers and Daughters

My mother always had somewhat of a tense relationship with her mother. I have always had somewhat of a tense relationship with my mother. I guess it was passed down.
My mother has always struggled with her weight. I have always struggled with my weight. I guess it was passed down.
My eating patterns, up until this time, have always been similar to my mothers. Her food motto, when I was growing up, was eat it all so no one would know you had any (hide the empty bag, wrapper, etc.). I consciously caught myself doing this in the past and remember being aghast that I did it. It was also to always be looking for the next weight loss diet, pill, clinic, camp, etc.
My mother seems to love it when I am overweight. She wants to talk about her latest diet, what she has learned, what I SHOULD be doing. If I visit her and am trying to be careful, it is always "I want to go out to this or that restaurant", "I never get to eat out because I have to go by myself", "Let's get a dessert and split it, PLEASE". It is like she needs for us to have being fat in common but, at the same time, she always makes comments about my (and my brothers) extra weight and how she is sooo worried about my brother or me dying before her. She wants me to be on the same diet plan she is on. Tonight, she told me that she is losing weight and I should do the New Atkins diet like she is and the kicker was not just that I should do it but "You could do this diet, I just bet you could, you should at least try it". I just wanted to scream but I refrained. I try to tell myself that she is old (82) and this circle of wanting me to diet and trying to sabotage my efforts has gone on for 30+ years and will not change. With most people I can stand up for myself but not with her, always being afraid of hurting her feelings and being made to feel guilty if I do say anything.
If anyone has any suggestions for dealing with a sabotaging mother, I would love to hear from you!
Thanks for checking in to The Tortoise's Weigh!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Portion Sizes

I learned something very important about my eating habits/food thinking habits on Monday. I took a recipe that sounded wonderful and altered the ingredients to make it lower calorie, lower fat and overall, healthier. Now, you are probably thinking to yourself that this was a step in the right direction and it was and is, BUT, I keep finding my mind trying to figure out how to get the most food for the least calories. This is not healthy thinking and shows that I still have a lot of work to do on my healthy thinking habits.

I really need to stop thinking about the volume and quantity of food and start thinking about the quality. If, when eating, I slow down and really focus on the flavors, ingredients, and textures of the food I find that I am satisfied quicker. If, when eating, I focus on the volume and eating quickly, I find that I am not satisfied and when I am not satisfied is when I tend to eat more, get hungry quicker, and tend to want a snack/dessert afterwards. This volume fixation is more prevalent when we go to a restaurant. I find myself looking at portion sizes and thinking to myself, "this cost X dollars and it is this small". Sometimes I even judge a restaurant based on cost to volume ratios. When making recipes at home, I will take the recipe and use low-fat versions (I tend not to use fat-free versions because most of them taste horrible and I cannot use sugar-free versions due to some migraine trigger) of ingredients to ensure a greater volume of food. See, I do need to work on this. I guess writing about it is the first step.

Okay, here is my next mini-challenge (in the overall big challenge of losing 100 pounds).
-Within 1 week - research and start using proper portion sizes
-Choose recipes that are naturally healthy rather than substituting items with "light", "fat-free" or "sugar-free" versions.*
-When eating, focus on the flavors, textures and quality of the ingredients.
-Start choosing restaurants based on quality, not quantity.

I am going to Las Vegas in a few months. My first mini-challenge was to lose 30 pounds by the time I went. This new challenge is going to be extremely important for the Vegas trip, given the buffet situation there (I know we will be doing some buffets, but more on that later).

* There are some items that I prefer lighter - I like skim or 1% milk, I like 1% cottage cheese, I am not a big red meat lover so if recipes call for ground beef, I tend to use ground turkey or chicken.

That's all for today from The Tortoise's Weigh.

Monday, March 21, 2011

MIM #2 - Menu Item Monday

I made a great dinner tonight but the recipe for my Turkey Noodle Bake will have to wait until next Monday. Why, you ask? Because I promised the recipe we use for Tabouli (or Tabbouleh).
Tabouli is soooo delicious and healthy. You should try it!

Tabouli - serves 6-8 (about 1 cup per serving)
1 cup boiling water
1 cup fine cracked wheat (bulgar)*
1 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
1/2 - 2/3 cup minced fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
3 tomatoes, diced
2 cucumbers, seeded and diced
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (+ or - to taste)
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large mixing bowl, pour the boiling water over the cracked wheat and cover (make sure to use a bowl that can withstand boiling water). Let stand about 20 minutes or until the wheat is tender and the water is absorbed. Cool in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Add the parsley, mint, onion, tomatoes and cucumbers and toss with the cooled wheat. Combine the oil, lemon juice and salt in a separate bowl. Pour over the wheat mixture and mix well. Chill completely. Toss and serve.
*We found bulgar at a larger grocery store as well as a natural food store.
I think it is around 200 calories for a whole cup.

I never really thought much about parsley until I had this salad and trust me when I say it works. The salad has such a fresh clean taste and is really wonderful in the summer with some grilled meat.

I hope you enjoy reading (and maybe even trying) out the MIM recipes on The Tortoise's Weigh!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

It's Saturday - WID

I can't believe another week has gone by already, my how time flies. Let me get right to WID (Weigh In Day). Can you tell I am excited by the news? Well, I let go of 2.5 lbs., bringing me to 15 pounds gone in 8 weeks (not lost, just gone). Woohoo!

I had a huge work project this week which I was both excited about as well as dreading. I told you in a previous post that my DH and I own a cheese shop, which is in a tourist town. After working together for 8 years, building the business and a great staff, I needed something different. So, with a lot of research and a 20 page written business plan, I opened a tea shop almost 1 year ago. I have had a lot of requests for a website/listing of all the loose leaf teas I carry (now over 100), so I did it, I built a website this last week. It is very basic, it isn't pretty but, I think it will work for the immediate future.

You may be asking what the project has to do with WID. Well, I did find that I lost track of time. I wasn't thinking about food as much. I think I skipped a few snacks here and there. I am an emotional eater, eating when I am happy or sad but even more so when I am angry, anxious, or bored. Hmmmm, maybe I should give myself more projects, like cleaning out my closets (which will be a big one - I have trouble getting rid of stuff). Doesn't that sound like fun? NOT!

I will be posting the recipe for Tabbouleh on Monday. Have a good rest of the weekend.
See you Monday at The Tortoise's Weigh.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Cleaning your plate

I read a great article on SparkPeople today about portion control, something I struggle with. I am learning and trying to put into practice the things I have learned.
The article discussed the fact that you can lose weight just by eating single portions of your favorite foods. Learning what that single portion is though is the toughest part.

My DH is a wonderful cook. I love that he is willing to support me on this journey and helps as much as he can (some things I have to do for myself), trying new recipes and calculating calories.
About 1 week into this, he had made a wonderful, creamy, and rich, mushroom risotto for a dinner party we had. We were having leftovers for lunch a few days later. We each had our serving and there was some left in the pan. He kept eating and tried to give me more. I refused, saying I had enough. He does not like to throw food away. He got a little upset, stating there wasn't much left, he had already eaten more and I should finish it since it was such a small amount. My response was, "I have had enough and what is left can go to your waist, or my waist, or the garbage waste". He laughed and threw out the rest (there really wasn't enough to save). I remember feeling a sense of accomplishment. I didn't eat it just because there was a little left. Most people would not understand the significance of letting the food be tossed. I just have to keep remembering that saying "No thank-you" is okay.

A few other tips from the article, that I have been trying to practice are:
1) Using smaller plates or bowls
2) Ordering a non-fried appetizer as an entree
3) For dinner, ask if you can order off the lunch menu (typically they are smaller portions)
4) Have the restaurant box up half the meal as leftovers before even bringing out the entree
5) Ask upfront if you can order a "half" order but still watch the portion size
6) Pay attention to what you are eating - this is hard for me if other people are around as I get to talking and don't realize how much I have consumed
7) Read the food labels for serving size

If you have other suggestions, let me know!
That is all for today from The Tortoise's Weigh.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Top O' the morning to ya. Are you wearing green today? I am. I have a little bit of Irish in me (I think most people make that claim), being that my maiden name begins with "Mc".
What is on tap for dinner tonight? You guessed it, Corned Beef and Cabbage, of course. I will be making it in the crockpot with some potatoes and carrots added. I was looking for the calories in this meal and came upon a great article in Shape Magazine, written by Jennipher Walters of the websites and It not only has the calories but also nutrition information. The only information I would add is to by a flat cut of Corned Beef as opposed to a point cut. The flat cut is leaner.

The Health Benefits of Corned Beef and Cabbage: Shape Magazine:
"Corned Beef. High in protein, zinc, B-vitamins and thiamin, a 3-oz. serving of corned beef has 210 calories. Like any beef, it's high in fat, so limit your portion and enjoy every bite!
Cabbage. You can't have corned beef without cabbage! Although cabbage may not look as nutritious as say broccoli or Brussels sprouts, it is, in fact, an excellent source of vitamin C and folic acid, an important vitamin for women. It's also high in fiber, which helps fill you up!
Potatoes. Potatoes sometimes get a bad rap for being high in carbs, but potatoes are a complex carbohydrate perfect for active lassies. Potatoes contain some protein and calcium, along with iron, potassium, zinc and vitamin C. Be sure to eat the skin to get even more health benefits, including fiber!
Guinness. This dark Irish beer has been found -- when consumed in moderation -- to reduce the risk of blood clots that cause heart attacks and improve blood flow and pressure, according to researchers at the University of Wisconsin. Additionally, the type of beer is high in flavonoids, which are antioxidants. We'll toast to that"

Enjoy, and may the luck of the Irish be with you!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I am glad the weekend is over!

How many times have you heard someone say that? I bet not many.

I am very sad that my friend had to leave yesterday and I will miss her terribly BUT, I will not miss the eating out. Three restaurants in three days (and two of them were Mexican). I was told, a few times, "I don't want to be the only one eating" and "It's vacation". I was not on vacation and I was eating, just trying to make healthier choices. It can be really hard for people, who don't have to let go of any weight, to understand the internal mind workings of someone who wants to let go of some weight. (Did you notice I said "wants to" and not "needs to", although I did think it momentarily?)

I am glad to say that I did not gain any weight nor did I lose any weight. I think one of the most positive things to come out of the weekend was that I was once again reminded that I can go out to eat, eat the foods I love and not over consume those foods. For the most part, I cut each meal in half or ordered a smaller portion. The plan continues to work.

My next goal is to start weighing myself only once a day beginning the day after my next WID. I really do have a bit of a scale obsession (addiction). This will be a tough goal for me.

I will continue to report from The Tortoise's Weigh.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Menu Item Monday (MIM) #1

My DH and I love to cook. We love to try new recipes. He is a dear to help me find recipes that tantalize my tastebuds and still be waist friendly.
I have decided to post a new menu item every Monday, thus Menu Item Monday or MIM for short. Today's item is a salad we had for dinner last night and it was thoroughly enjoyed!

Jicama, Red Pepper, Carrot Slaw with Pepper Jelly Dressing - serves 6
1/4 cup Pepper Jelly (your favorite flavor - we used a Raspberry Chipotle flavor)
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 pound Jicama root, peeled
2 large carrots
1 red pepper
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro leaves

Whisk the pepper jelly, lemon zest, lemon juice, white wine vinegar, and canola oil together. Cut the jicama, carrots and red pepper into matchstick size pieces (or you can use a food processor and shred the jicama and carrots and dice the red pepper). Toss the jicama, carrots and red pepper and chopped cilantro leaves together and pour the dressing over all. (You could also add a little bit of chopped jalapeno to this salad to spice it up even more.)

NOTE: The total calories per serving is about 180 BUT, there is a lot of dressing left over and I am not quite sure how to account for that. I just know that this slaw is healthy and delicious.
NOTE2: I know I said I would post the Tabbouleh recipe but this salad was just too delicious not to post first.

I hope you enjoy reading (and maybe even trying) out the MIM recipes on The Tortoise's Weigh!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

It's Saturday - WID

Saturday is here again and it is WID (Weigh In Day).

I survived last night at the Mexican restaurant. There were four of us and luckily, all of us are trying to watch what we eat.

The restaurant we went to does not have free tortilla chips which made it really easy not to eat any. The server came over and I asked her what would be a lower calorie option. She pointed to the salads - not what I wanted. There are too many restaurants that I have gone to, when being on various diets, that all I can remember having is salad. Again, I love salad but not every time I go out!

This restaurant has the BEST mole sauce ever!!! I couldn't pass it up. I asked the server about having just one a la carte mole enchilada and she stated that she could do the lunch menu bargain bite of one mole enchilada with a little of their saffron rice. Perfect!

We all split an order of the appetizer green beans. Yes, green beans, they are amazing. I think they are just steamed in some great broth, have lime juice squeezed all over them with a little bit of seasoned salt. Really good. I ate the majority of the chicken mole enchilada and half of the rice. We were celebrating our friend being in town and a birthday so the four of us split the flan for dessert. I only had a few bites and that was enough. I did drink about 5 glasses of water so I really felt full.

Okay, back to WID - even after the splurge last Saturday, even going out last night, even having homemade veggie pizza 3 times during the week, I lost 2.5 pounds - that is 12.5 lbs in 7 weeks now. Amazing. I'm kinda liking this slow and steady pace. Again, I am NOT feeling the least bit deprived.

We did make tabbouleh one night with some grilled chicken. I will post the recipe on Monday (which I am going to call Menu Monday).

Thanks for reading The Tortoise's Weigh!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Big challenge weekend ahead

I have a good friend visiting this weekend. She has already stated that she wants to go to her favorite restaurants while here. The first, a Mexican restaurant, the second, an Italian restaurant, and third, a barbecue restaurant. I haven't quite figured out what I am going to do yet and I am a little bit worried about it.
In the past, when dieting, I would order a salad, dressing on the side. Although I love salads, I hated feeling like that was the only thing I could have. We have ventured out to a few restaurants since starting this plan and I have been successful at eating only half my meal. BUT, three meals out in three days, I don't know about that.
I have been reading articles on what to eat at the Mexican restaurant and the Italian restaurant but, the barbecue restaurant is going to be a little tougher.
If anyone has any ideas, let me know!

I do want to let you know that we had a terrific lunch today - tuna melts. It came out to 300 calories for each person. Here is the recipe that serves two:

Tuna Melt - serves 2
2 - Thomas' multigrain light hearty muffins (English muffins)
1 - can (5 oz.) Albacore Tuna packed in water, drained
1 - stalk celery, diced
3 - tablespoons red onion, diced
3 - tablespoons chopped dill pickle (or pickle relish)
2 - tablespoons light Miracle Whip
1 - tablespoon Olive Oil Mayonnaise
1 - teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
1/4 - teaspoon celery seed
1/4 - teaspoon onion powder
1/4 - teaspoon garlic powder
2 - ounces Swiss cheese (we used Emmanthaler), grated

Open the English muffins and toast till slightly crispy (yes, each person gets two halves). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (we used the toaster oven for both toasting and baking). Mix the drained tuna, celery, onion, pickle, light Miracle Whip, Mayonnaise, mustard, celery seed, onion powder, and garlic powder. Divide the mixture into 4 equal parts and top each English muffin half. Top each part with 1/2 ounce of the grated Swiss cheese. Bake for 12 minutes until cheese is melted and the tuna mixture is slightly warmed.
Note: If you are wondering why both, Miracle Whip and Mayonnaise, my DH like mayo and I like Miracle Whip so we compromised.

I hope you enjoy this recipe from The Tortoise's Weigh!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My Blog Disclaimer

Disclaimer: All posts in this blog are formulated in my mind. Any resemblance to other blog posts, or blog names, is purely coincidental.

I started letting go of my weight a little over 6 weeks ago. I had not started looking for any motivation on the web yet (although in the last week or so I have found some great ones). I came up with my food plan using what had worked and not worked over the 30+ years of dieting.
I had finally learned that if you choose an eating plan that you can't picture yourself doing for the rest of your life, it will not work. One example of this for me is the high protein-low carb method. I don't like meat that much, I feel as if I don't metabolize meat that well, I cannot live, or picture my life, without my bread, pasta, pizza, etc.
I developed the plan for my blog, wrote it down and then did some internet surfing. For the name, The Tortoise's Weigh, all searches resulted in how much giant tortoises weigh. I thought it was a perfect name for my blog especially since I was planning on letting go of my weight slowly and steadily.
Since then, after reading one of my favorite blogs,, and linking to some of her favorites, and then some of their favorites, I have come across a few other blogs with references to tortoises and the motto, "slow and steady wins the race". And here I thought I was being so original.
So, as I go forth with my blog, my posts, my plan, my letting go of weight, if similarities exist, I apologize and please know that the similarities are purely coincidental.
Thank you from The Tortoise's Weigh.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Impetus

You might be asking what the driving force was to get started on letting go of 100 pounds.

Here goes...
I am attending a convention in Las Vegas in June.
I will be flying to Las Vegas.

The last time I flew, I had to use a seatbelt extender. It was a horrible feeling for me. I felt very embarrassed. I couldn't even bring myself to ask for the extender. I am blessed to have a husband who saw my consternation, understood, and got the extenders for me. On one of the legs to our destination (there were 4 in total for the whole trip, 2 going and 2 coming back), I was able to get the regular seatbelt buckled but I could only take shallow breaths the entire way. I don't even want to think how that looked. LOL!
The weight I want to let go of before the trip is just one of the mini-goals that I have set. I am not going to let this trip be the final destination in my weight journey.

As William Shakespeare said, "To climb steep hills requires slow pace at first", and as always, the motto I am using, "Slow and steady wins the race". Thanks for visiting The Tortoise's Weigh!
(Picture by Michelle Henry)

P.S. No offense to Sumo wrestlers who follow a special diet for strength and weight.

Monday, March 7, 2011

I made it through

Yesterday was a long day. I had a few more arguments with myself surrounding getting back on track. I ventured into town to get a few things done at work and it took longer than I thought it would. I got hungry, really hungry. The type of hunger that makes you want to just start grabbing whatever food is around. Oh, did I tell you my DH and I own a cheese shop. Over a hundred types of delicious, imported, high fat/high calorie cheese. We also have quite an array of delicious salami's and some imported snack foods. Needless to say, it was quite tempting to indulge in the food around me. MeB4 kept saying "You blew it yesterday and is this really worth it? You had an increase of 1.5 pounds even though you consumed less than you used to. Why not just go back to how you were eating before. Let's go out for a big lunch or have some cheese/salami/chips/crackers." MeNow won again and I ended up having a healthy sandwich from Subway.
I kept thinking that I hadn't done THAT bad at the dinner party. I was watching my portion controls (or so I thought). I entered everything I had consumed at that dinner into the nutrition chart on Sparkpeople. It ended up being around 1800 calories. 1800 CALORIES! IN ONE MEAL! That is more than what I am trying to consume in one day. I also can just imagine how much sodium I had and it was late. No wonder the scale showed that increase. Well, this morning, the scale showed that I am back to where I was before that fateful dinner. I am glad I got back on track. I have found that I can have a splurge and not give up the plan entirely. In fact, I have now planned my next splurge for an upcoming mini-vacation in April.
Thanks for checking in and remember, if I can get back on track, so can you!
Slow and steady wins the race at The Tortoise's Weigh.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mind Battle

We had friends over for dinner last night. We planned the meal and the time to work with my plan (have I mentioned I am a tad bit structured (anal)). Dinner got delayed, I got really hungry, I ate too many appetizers and then followed it by eating too much dinner and then decided I would go ahead and eat dessert.
I did a little mental kicking last night, I got on the scale this morning (twice, have I mentioned I have a wee bit of scale addiction), and guess what, a 1.5 pound increase.

Now my mind is battling with itself...
MeB4) You failed, you didn't have enough willpower to stop yourself.
MeNow) Your plan is a guideline. It is okay to splurge every now and then.
MeB4) Why did you have the ice cream? Why did you keep taking more? Why didn't you quit?
MeNow) It is okay. You didn't eat an additional 5,000+ calories for a 1.5 lb. gain.
MeB4) You might as well give up and go back to eating the way you were.
MeNow) No, let's figure out a way to a) get back to the plan and b) allow for splurges in your plan and c) figure out how to keep this from happening every time you entertain. It is your plan and you can do what you want. Part of living life is to have some splurges but you need to be able to enjoy them and not avoid them. We need to plan for the splurge. Let's see, maybe once a month, allow for a splurge. Let's calculate out what we ate last night and see what the result is next Saturday at the next WID (weigh in day).
MeB4) I am cool with that.
MeNow) Whew, I won that one.

Okay, the old me and the new me are now back in sync. If you are reading this, you might think, "This woman is whacky". I'm not. Really. It is just the internal dialogue that many of us have. I just happened to write it down as a permanant record. Oh no, what did I do? Maybe I am a little whacky sometimes and that is okay.

I hope I didn't scare you away from The Tortoise's Weigh!