Oct 27, 2013

Bock Bock! Calorie-Friendly Chicken Salad

I have sucked at this better lifestyle for the past several weeks.  I have blogged on and on about needing to plan better, and while I make baby steps each week, my planning falls short.  Then, my eating is ok, but not the best it could be.   Yesterday, I got my butt in gear and did some food prep for the week.

I have a menu set up for each day including breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  I have decided to draw out my favorite recipes in order to renew my motivation for eating clean, real food.  Yay!

For lunch, I decided to make a clean chicken salad.  I am not the best at writing my own recipes, so I am not going to try and take credit for this entirely.  I got the idea from Jillian Michaels' Master your Metabolism Cookbook.  There really are some great recipes in there, if you have been thinking of purchasing it.

Anyway, there is a recipe in the cookbook for chicken salad.  I adapted it slightly and now I have lunch for the week.

The recipe itself calls for 1 pound of poached chicken breast.  I had a coupon for a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store, so went with that instead.  I also like the flavor of this much more.  I simply took the chicken off the bone and removed the skin.  I diced it up and voila! Obviously, this means there is a little bit of dark meat incorporated in, but the salad is predominately white meat.

Next, I cut up some celery and red grapes and tossed them in.  The recipe also calls for chopped pecans.  I was a dope and forgot to buy pecans at the store yesterday morning.  Luckily, I had some sliced almonds on hand, so I threw those in instead.

Instead of using mayonnaise for dressing, this recipe calls for plain Greek yogurt.  To be honest, I just do not care for Greek yogurt.  I went with plain, organic traditional yogurt instead.   Apple cider vinegar, honey, and salt are added in to complete the dressing.

Next, stir in the dressing.  This is the salad after the dressing was mixed in.  You can serve it on your favorite whole wheat bread or just eat it on its own.  I am trying to limit my grains, so I plan to eat it on its own or maybe even make lettuce wraps with it.  Yum!

I am really excited because I am well equipped for the week food-wise.  I have a feeling it is going to be a good one!

Chicken Salad:

1 pound chicken breast, poached and cooled (I used a rotisserie chicken that I let sit out and cool.)
1 cup halved red grapes
1/3 cup chopped pecans -- almonds or walnuts work too!
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
dash of pepper
1/3 cup low fat plain yogurt (traditional or Greek)

  1. Chop your cooled chicken and place in a bowl or container.
  2. Mix in chopped celery and grape.
  3. Stir yogurt, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper together in a bowl.
  4. Stir into chicken mixture until evenly coated.
  5. Refrigerate.

Nutrition Information (per 1/2 cup serving)
Calories: 118.6   Fat: 5.1 g   Protein:  12.9 g  Carbs: 5.6 g  Sodium:  93.8 mg

Oct 23, 2013

So What Wednesday

I love the randomness that is So What Wednesday!  So, here goes...

So what if...

  • My 8 year old son is a more talented artist than I am.  I am lucky if I can draw a stick figure. It is really very sad.  Here are some samples of his art work that have been my favorites recently:

This is his dancing skeleton.  I love this one!!

This is the fire-breathing alien robot.  Sweet!

  • Darcy has proclaimed that she wants an American Girl Doll for Christmas.  They cost $110.  Santa is cheap and cannot fathom paying that much for one doll.  Darcy got a Baby Alive doll for her birthday. She is convinced that it is an American Girl doll.  I am not going to correct her any time soon. What she don't know, won't hurt her!
  • Because of my crappy eating habits during the past week, I am going grain free this week to get myself back on track.  I am going through withdrawal like I did the first time.  It sucks.  If only I could have just stuck with it the first time and spared myself the agony twice.  Seems to logical, I guess.
  • I get the crazy desire to purchase stylish new clothing when I am broke.  
  • It costs over $40 flippin dollars to purchase school pictures these days.  Ugh...
  • Work has been stressing me out a lot lately.  I have got to learn that I cannot always be everything to everyone.  
  • I am reading Dan Brown's Inferno and it is really good.  Only problem is that reading seems to make me instantly tired this week and I pass out asleep before I can even finish a chapter.  It really is a good book!  Not sure why it is acting as a sedative.
  • I am waiting to put our pumpkins outside because the damn squirrels eat them every damn year.  We spend hours carving cool designs, only to have chunks eaten out of them less than 24 hours later.   I am going to try some internet ideas for repelling them.  We'll see if it works.  

Oct 22, 2013

My Punky

My son, Aidan, has been Punky since he was in diapers.  Somehow we gave him that nickname and it stuck like glue.  Many people write about how their inspiration to get healthy is for their children.  I can attest that this is true for me, but Aidan has motivated me in different ways.

For those of you who do not know Aidan, I must tell you, he is one of the sweetest children you would ever want to meet.  He is loving, affectionate, polite, and sensitive.  He is an honor roll student and has a junior green belt in martial arts.

Aidan getting his green belt recently. 

Aidan and his awesome martial arts coach, Mr. Geers.

Aidan is also mildly autistic.  When he was four years old, we began the evaluation process for Autism because we had some serious concerns about him behaviorally and emotionally.  Through the testing, he was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS).  What is this, you may ask?  Well, PDD-NOS is a diagnosis given to individuals who display several autistic qualities, but not enough to be diagnosed as having Autism or Asperger's.  Through multiple therapies and interventions, Aidan's behaviors have improved.  At his last visit, his doctor was so impressed by his high performance at school, that she felt it may be necessary to lift the PDD-NOS diagnosis.  We were thrilled, but Aidan still has different behavioral and emotional quirks that we have to deal with in a special way.

Why am I tell you all of this?  Well, it occurred to me how hard Aidan has had to work to accomplish what he has accomplished in his young life.  There have been no short cuts.  No one has given him any special favors or free passes.   If this little guy can work so hard to get to where he needs to be, then there is no reason that I can't.

Aidan is my inspiration.

Oct 21, 2013

Courtney in San Antonio

This past week I had the exciting opportunity to fly to San Antonio for a work-related conference.  This is the first time I have ever been sent anywhere for work that was so far away it required air travel.  I was so excited!  I was also excited because the conference took me to a destination on my travel bucket list -- San Antonio!

Before leaving, I was a bit nervous.  I am not afraid to fly, but I had not been in a plane since 2002!  It was just a year after all of the security measures were tightened up post 9-11, but since then things are waaaaay different.  Let's put in perspective how long it has been since I have flown.  The last time I flew:

  • George W. Bush was president.
  • Cost of a gallon of gas was $1.61
  • Kelly Clarkson won American Idol.  
  • The first of too many Ice Age movies came out. 
  • I flew without a cell phone because people did not have then chained to them at that point.  It wouldn't have mattered if I did have it though, because at that time no one texted and barely anyone had a camera on their phone.
  • I did not have a digital camera.  On this trip I took pictures the old fashioned way -- with a camera that required this strange thing called film.  
You get the picture...  ANYWAY.

I had a lovely flight.  When we were allowed to turn our phones on in airplane mode, I got some pretty pictures of fluffly clouds.

When I got into San Antonio, I was instantly in love.  The people are friendly, the architecture was beautiful, and every thing just seems so festive.  Places like the Riverwalk cannot be found anywhere else in this country.  Unfortunately, I did not get to do all the touristy things I would have done had I not been there for work, but I did see quite a bit.  The only problem was that it rained most of the time, so my pictures did not turn out so great.  Most of the native Texans said, "It never rains here."  Well, I am convinced that it did because I entered your lovely state.  Anything to make my trip a little less perfect.  haha...

Here are a few of my cloudy/wet pictures...

The needle was outside my hotel window.  Look at those ominous clouds.  It proceeded to pour all day and all night that day.  Did I mention that I forgot to bring an umbrella?  I was nowhere near a store that was open and sold them in downtown San Antonio on a Sunday.  Soooo, I was at the mercy of the hotel gift shop.  I am not going to say how much money I spent on an umbrella, but I WILL say that it was painful -- especially for someone cheap like yours truly.

The Alamo in the rain.  It still was darn beautiful at night.   The wet pavement also make it look like there is water in front.  Nope, those are puddles.  It was cool to see something so historic in the middle on the hustle and bustle of a big city.

The Riverwalk was awesome.  This is the best picture I could get, and it is not that great (my one regret) while in San Antonio.  When I actually went to explore the Riverwalk, it was dark and rainy.  None of my pictures turned out.  Boo.  

This is one of my favorite pictures that I took.  I believe this church is called Saint Joseph?  Anyway, I was talking a short walk in between my sessions and saw this lovely view.  I snapped a pic and I love the way the trees framed it.  

Another part of San Antonio was THE FOOD.  Every trip I take is paved with good intentions.  I wish I could say that I shied away from dessert or that I passed on the margaritas.  I didn't.  I ate whatever the hell I wanted.  It was bad.  It was delicious and marvelous at the time, but the consequence is that I feel like total crap this week as a result.  I went to the store yesterday and restocked the house with good foods, so I am back to eating the way I should be.

This is one of the margaritas I had on my trip, courtesy of Rosario's.  This combined two of my favorite alcoholic beverages -- sangria and margaritas -- so, naturally, this was called a Sangria Margarita.  It was so good.  I had something called a peachberry margarita the night before at a place called Pappasito's.  It was also delicious.  This was my favorite though.

I ate a delicious Gorgonzola-alfredo pasta dish with shrimp.  It was out of this world.  It is the first real pasta I have had in weeks and weeks.  It tasted good going down, but that white flour made me feel sick that night and into the next day.  Worth it?  It seemed like it as I was shoving it in my mouth, but afterwards? Not at all.

Mi Tierra was also one of my favorite restaurant visits -- not so much because of the food, but because of the atmosphere.  The decorations are awesome, and the food is very traditional, Mexican fare.  My favorite part was their lovely bakery.  They are famous for their pecan pralines.  I had one that took me a couple days to finish because they are so rich and big.  It was really good though.   

All in all it was an awesome trip, and I look forward to returning with Tim someday.  My biggest fail was the souvenirs that I bought.  I went to this jewelry stand that I thought was handmade by the salespeople. I thought, "What a cool souvenir!"...and the necklaces were so stinkin pretty.  It wasn't until I purchased them and got back to my hotel room that I noticed the "made in China" sticker.  FAIL!  womp, womp....  Oh well, those Chinese folk made some pretty necklaces. <sigh>

Oct 18, 2013

5 For Friday

Today, I am linking up with some lovely ladies for 5 for Friday.  Today is a special Friday because I have the day off and am on my own for the day.  Soooo, let's get started...


I got my hair done today!  As usual, my stylist, Cassie did a fantastic job.  I got my color done and opted out of a haircut.  I have had my hair cut fairly recently and I have not decided what I want to do with it yet.  Part of me wants to grow it out so that pony tails can once again be a reality, but the other part of me wants to chop it off.  She did something different with the style today and taught me how to curl my hair with a flat iron.  I didn't think you could do that with short hair, but it turned out so cute.  She gave me a great tutorial, so I am looking forward to grabbing a flat iron this weekend and trying it out for myself!


Since I was home alone today, I took advantage and did some cleaning.  Things are not dirty around the house, but they were messy.  There were toys and other nonsense everywhere, so I picked up and also took the time to do some fall decorating.  I even put our scarecrow out front with some mums.  Very pretty.  My favorite is always the mantle though.  I love having such a pretty fireplace.  

- Three - 

Today was silly hair day at Darcy's preschool.  She was NOT happy about having silly hair -- because she is a diva and must look FABULOUS at all times.  I coaxed her into letting me do it and she ended up loving it.  HA! 


I recently began reading Inferno by Dan Brown.  So far, it is a really good book.  One reason I like his books is because they are suspenseful, but I also learn some cool stuff.  Today, I learned that a childhood song we all sing is actually about people dying of the plague and trying to cover up the smell of their rotting flesh.  Fun!  It kind of ruined that whole childhood memory for me, but it was still darn interesting!


Tomorrow Tim and I celebrate 11 years of wedded bliss.  Some part of me does not believe it has been that long, while another part of me has a hard time picturing him not being in my life.  We don't have anything fancy planned -- just a day at home together with the kids.  Although, I do think we will make an appearance at Kings Island tomorrow -- gotta get one more trip in before the season ends.  Anyway, I am going to use the opportunity to wish my loving husband a happy anniversary.  I love you, and I pray for many more. :)

Oct 5, 2013

Toothy Dreams

I have never been one to get into the whole dream interpretation thing --  mostly because I have a difficult time remembering my dreams.

Lately, I have been remembering my dreams better and have noticed that a large percentage of them involve my teeth breaking, crumbling, or falling out.  It is so disturbing and I wake up thanking my lucky stars that it was just a dream and will not have to invest in dentures.

Finally, after several dreams like this, I decided to look up what this all means...or could mean, rather.

I went to this website and found this explanation:

One theory is that dreams about your teeth reflect your anxieties about your appearance and how others perceive you. Your teeth help to convey an image of attractiveness and play an important role in the game of flirtation, whether it is flashing those pearly white, kissing or necking. Thus, such dreams may stem from a fear of rejection, sexual impotence or the consequences of getting old. To support this notion, a dream research found that women in menopause report to have frequent dreams about teeth. This points to teeth dreams as being related to getting older and/or feeling unattractive and less feminine. Teeth are an important feature to your attractiveness and how you are presented to others. Caring about how you look is natural and healthy.

Another rationalization for these falling teeth dreams may be rooted in your fear of being embarrassed or making a fool of yourself in some situation. These dreams are an over-exaggeration of your worries and anxieties. Perhaps you feel that you are unprepared for the task at hand. However, you will find that your worries are unfounded in most cases. Sometimes what plays out in your mind is far worse than what is reality.

Teeth are used to bite, tear, chew and gnaw. In this regard, teeth symbolize power. And the loss of teeth in your dream may be from a sense of powerlessness. Are you lacking power in some current situation? Perhaps you are having difficulties expressing yourself or getting your point across. You feel frustrated when your voice is not being heard. You may be experiencing feelings of inferiority and a lack of self-confidence in some situation or relationship in your life. This dream may be an indication that you need to be more assertive and believe in the importance of what you have to say. 

Did they really use the term "necking" in that explanation?  Anyway, I digress...

This makes so much SENSE!! It makes sense for the following reasons:

  • I am in a perpetual anxious state about my appearance and how others perceive me.  I can't help it.  I am working on it.  I am honestly considering finding a therapist to help me with this.  
  • I feel unattractive most of the time and it is honestly having an effect on my love life.  Tim thinks I look great.  I disagree.  It is complicated... (another reason I want to find a therapist.)
  • I do have anxiety of making a fool of myself in my professional life.  There is a lot of accountability in my job and I have to be very detail oriented.  I am always afraid of missing something.  Also, I have had increased responsibilities, so the "unprepared for the task at hand" part makes sense.
  • Powerlessness.  This also makes a lot of sense in my life.  I have had that feeling in relation to my health lately.  I know I am the only one with the power to make a change, but I have felt like my power was taken away somehow.  Thankfully, I am finally started to get that empowered feeling back.
  • I definitely need to be more assertive.  
I found this to be incredibly interesting.  So, if you are having strange reoccurring dreams with a theme like this, maybe look into the interpretation behind it.  What do you think your dreams say about you? There may be more to it than you think.

Oct 2, 2013

It's Time For ... So What Wednesday!

Life After I Dew

Sooooo, here goes!  So what if...

  1. We had a bomb threat at work today and because of that I got ABSOLUTELY NOTHING accomplished.  The day dragged on for a flippin' eternity.  Glad to be home.
  2. I am coming down with a cold and it pisses me off.
  3. My butt muscle still hurts like hell.  The pain meds and things are making me sleepy, so I have zero energy.
  4. I ate a bag of snack sized peanut M&Ms today out of hunger and desperation.  Bomb threats tend to throw off your lunch routine.  
  5. When I asked Darcy how school was today she said, "Three kids threw up today."  I hope this is not a sign of what is to come in our household.  Yucky.
  6. Darcy's 4th birthday party for my side of the family (Our families are spread out in different sections of Indiana, so she gets two parties.)  is Sunday and I have done absolutely NADA to prepare for it.  
  7. Darcy's actual 4th birthday is this coming Monday and I have only bought one gift so far. 
  8. I am leaving to go to a conference next Saturday and am flying to San Antonio.  I am going alone and am honestly a little nervous about the flight.  I have not set foot in an airport since 2002.  So many things are different.  I am afraid I will have no clue what I am doing.   On the bright side... I get to go to San Antonio!!  I have never been to Texas and if I had to choose a city to visit there, it would be that one.  
  9. I cleaned my house really well last weekend and now it looks like a toy box threw up in it.
  10. I am super sick of my clothes and wish I had unlimited funds to go shopping.
  11. I could go to bed right now and sleep through the night. Zzzzzzzz....
  12. It is only Wednesday? Booo

Oct 1, 2013


I have decided to take things a little at a time and to get back on track.  I have started with food because that seems to be where the most issues arise.  So, I am going to begin with my food plan.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am eating on the go.  I am going with a protein shake that I can drink in the car along with a piece of fresh fruit.  I love the idea of taking oatmeal or something similar with me to eat when I get there, but that is just not realistic for me.  The minute I walk in the door I am busy.  I cannot make it from the door to my office without someone needing me for something.  It is just par for the course in my profession.  If I start to eat breakfast in my office it could literally take me two hours to finish because of all the interruptions.  Soooo, I am going to stick with food that can be eaten while driving down the highway.   I have my protein shakes ready to go and plenty of fresh fruit.  So far so good on breakfast.

I eat lunch with a group of colleagues.  Someone is always bringing in cake or cookies or brownies or fried chicken.  For the past several weeks I have had a real difficult time saying "no."  I have decided to start though.  I think the first step is by making food for lunch that is satisfying.  If I am looking at a lunch that is smallish and that I am still hungry after eating, that fried chicken is gonna look damn good.   This week I tried a new recipe (Thank you, Pinterest) for Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup.  It a reasonable amount of calories for a pretty generous serving.  It is also filling.  Therefore, paired with some fruit or yogurt, it makes a great lunch.

I topped it with a sprinkle of reduced fat colby jack cheese and a few crumbled, organic tortilla chips.  I ate this for dinner last night and had not had any grains for the day, so I used a few more.  I would probably cut that in half for a lunch serving.  It was outstanding!!  It actually reminded me a little bit of the tortilla soup from Max and Erma's -- only not as spicy.  I cannot take any credit for this recipe at all, because I found it online.  Go here and you will find this great recipe posted by a fellow blogger.  She even has a recipe for making your own cream of chicken soup, so that it is an even cleaner recipe.  I honestly, used the 98% fat free canned version, but I could see myself making my own in the future and freezing it for recipes.

I have to go to a luncheon at work today.  I have gone to the same luncheon each year for the past 4 years, so I can anticipate what will be served.  The meal itself is usually not bad-- typically it grilled chicken with potatoes or rice.  They serve a tossed salad too.  My strategy?  Ignore the bread basket and pass on the mediocre dessert. 

Dinner can be a little more complicated, because I have a picky household.  I have decided on the following menu for the week:

Monday:  Taco Salad

Tuesday:  Grilled chicken breast, steamed broccoli, and a sweet potato.

Wednesday:  I typically make spaghetti, but so I can avoid the grains, I plan to make meatballs with sauce and pair it with a veggie.

Thursday:  This is the night of the week I eat grains.  It is Chipotle burrito bowl night.  No worries though.  I do not get any cheese on it and I get sour cream on the side.  I use only a couple tablespoons worth of it. 

Friday:  We usually go out on Friday nights.  I plan to figure out what I want ahead of time and go for a sensible option.  No burgers and fries.

Saturday:  Honestly, I have not planned for Saturday, but I will have plenty of leftover chicken and veggies.  Will likely go for a round two of Tuesday's dinner.

Sunday: Darcy's birthday party.  There will be some unhealthy options here,but I plan to avoid the cake and opt for meat and veggie choices.

As mentioned in yesterday's post, I am nursing an injury.  I am doing much better, but I do not want to agitate things -- as it still is painful when I try to do certain everyday tasks.  Instead of jogging 30 minutes at night, I will walk instead.  Then, when I feel confident that my butt is back in business, I will begin jogging again.  Activity is activity.  As long as I do not spend the whole night on the couch, I consider that a victory.  


So, there you have it -- my plan for this week!  I am hoping that by sharing my plan, I will stay more accountable. Here's to a new week!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...