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.