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!