One Month Weigh In … Day 31 of 101

So I started this 101 days of summer challenge at 169 and I lost a whopping – 1.6 for the month.  I remeasured myself, and while my hips, waist and chest stayed the same, I lost 1/2 an inch on my bicep and 1/2 an inch on my thigh.

While I was expecting a better result, two things came to mind while reviewing my food journal.  A lot of days my calories from fat were above 30%, and the extra glasses of wine (which somehow never make it on my food journal) might have been the reason I basically maintained the month of June.

But then I look at the good news!  When I log into the bike machines online network, I biked 92 miles for a total of 7 hours and 32 minutes!  I am 8 miles shy of biking 100 miles for the month!   So my goal for July is to revamp my calories to ensure each day is under 30% of calories from fat, and to go easy on the wine! 😀

It was a good old breakfast sammie for me – I shredded zucchini into my eggs – makes them so creamy!

With watermelon and blueberries on the side:  311 calories, 37 fat, 20 protein, 11.4 fat and 5.9 fiber

I forgot my blood sugar Accu-Chek machine at home.  I always like to check it before working out to see where I am at.  While Tony was willing to bring it to me, I decided to just listen to my body and see how it went.  The sad thing is that to me, a good blood sugar number and a high blood sugar feel the same – its only when I start to drop that I feel anything.

I did a really hard bike ride yesterday – I didn’t realize that in the 8 mile ride at one point a hill climb was at 40% and that the last 1.6 miles was a steady hill climb!   I did eat one glucose tab while working out and I felt fine 😀

When I got back to work, lunch was a turkey wrap and my Wisconsin beer cheese soup. Although I did not make this soup!  My co-worker made my recipe and while she did put the onions in (pureed) it was absolutely delicious!  Thanks R! 😀  It’s cute because when she makes dishes, her husband rates the dishes – i.e., if they are good, they make it on the menu as if they owned their own restaurant.   This soup made it on their menu! 😀

I did add a touch more black pepper and Tabasco

with a turkey wrap: 543 calories, 36 carbs, 37 protein, 28 fat and 11.4 fiber

For dinner I made Greek marinated chicken kabobs with corn on the cob, roasted red pepper and re-heated spaetzle.  I bought the kabobs at my store – only $1.25 for each kabob!

ignore the pork shoulder on the top - that's for another meal! 😀

496 calories, 54 carbs, 52 protein, 9.1 fat and 1.3 fiber

We both thought the marinade was on the salty side, but it was still tasty! 😀   And I loved eating outside!

Stats for Tuesday:

  • 8.1 mile bike ride
  • 1,351 calories, 127 carbs, 110 protein, 49 fat and 18.6 fiber

Some things to check out:

How did you do this month?

I have a half day of work – Hannah’s home today!  She has taken 800+ pictures so that will be quite a slide show 😀

Oh, and Tony did some research – our eggs on the gazebo are from a green shield bug!

I want to see how big they get! 😀

Gorgeous Day!

Wow, after what seems like weeks of thunderstorms, Chicagoland’s weather could not have been better yesterday!  In the 70’s, blue skies, and perfect sleeping weather – I think it got down to 50 degrees last night 😀

For breakfast I scooped out half of a baked potato, leaving 3.5 of the shell.  I scrambled 1 egg, 1.5 ounces of deli ham and red pepper and stuffed that in the potato, then put it under the broiler with .7 ounces of American cheese – delish!

And more strawberries – breakfast comes in at 335 calories, 39 carbs, 22 protein, 12.1 fat and 6 fiber.

I went to the gym and did the bike machine again – I warmed up with something called “the chaser.”  Basically you ride the bike to grab tokens, then have to find the object on the token within a certain time to get points – it had me riding super fast, uphill, downhill – it was really fun!  I did that for 10 minutes, then did a 6.9 steady hill climb – in the end I did 41 minutes on the bike for 8.1 total miles.

I was hangry when I got back to work – quick and simple, just heated up my vegetarian chili with chips and fresh jalapenos:  lunch is 502 calories, 81 carbs, 25 protein, 11.2 fat and 16.6 fiber 😀

I need to thank my co-worker for bringing me these pickles – while I prefer dill pickles to sweet, these babies are jalapeno pickles from a farmers market!  I need to make these – you start out with the sweet and slowly the heat creeps in.  Have you made pickles before?

I’ve been trying to figure out how to use our fresh herbs, and decided to add some to my spaetzle batter  – it turned out great!

thyme, basil and Italian parsley

I love my spaetzle maker – also found on for about $10 bucks.

I had grilled pork chops on the menu to go with the spaetzle – Tony picked up this marinade, and while I didn’t marinate the chops, I brushed it on at the last minute – gave the chops a nice tangy taste!

I tossed the grilled zucchini in a tablespoon of this dressing – I know it says onions on it (it’s actually Hannah’s!) but I liked it!

My plate:  521 calories, 52 carbs, 45 protein, 13.8 fat and 0 fiber

Then about 9:00, I could feel my blood sugar start to drop – must have overestimated the carbs in the spaetzle?  So a weird event happened here on BDL – I had dessert!  These shortcake shells are 60 calories each, with 2 giant sliced strawberries and whip cream.  I woke up this morning and my blood sugar was a perfect 101! 😀

A big thank you to Leslie – I won one of her gorgeous handmade bags, and I hope she doesn’t mind that I am giving it to my daughter – she loves green – thanks Leslie!

And have you seen our friend Lynn’s movie yet from Actor’s Diet yet?  It’s called White on Rice, available on demand. Tony and I watched it last night – it was so good!  Parts of it had us laughing out loud.  You have to check it out! 😀  Great job Lynn!

Stats for Monday:

  • 1508 calories, 204 carbs, 94 protein, 38 fat, 24 fiber
  • 8.1 total bike ride
  • 5 minutes abs on the ball

I’ll leave you with something creepy – look what’s growing on our screened gazebo!

some sort of insect eggs??

Have a great Tuesday! 😀  It’s another gorgeous day!

Monday again?

Weekends are going by way to fast!  Although I am excited about this week – Hannah comes home from Germany this week! We talked to her on the phone yesterday – her host family has treated her so nice and actually said they wanted her to come back to visit at Christmas!

Since it was stormy yesterday morning, Tony and I decided to take our Sunday papers and go out for breakfast.  I got something called a “Farm Steak” and really wished I would have gotten Tony’s chopped steak.  The only way I can describe this “steak” is that it was kind of like gyros meat – not actually sure what it was but it was shaped into a steak!

I ate the eggs, 1/2 the potatoes, 1/2 of the”steak” and 1/2 a piece of rye toast.

One of the things on my menu this week is homemade ravioli.  I decided to make the dough ahead of time and made six ravioli as a practice run.  Two things I need to do next time – roll out the dough thinner and cook the ravioli longer.  I make my pasta dough in the food processor – so easy!

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons water

The dough should look like this:

I then dumped it on my counter and kneaded it for about 5 minutes.  I had seen on t.v. where someone had put herbs in the dough so I thought I would try it.  My dough wasn’t rolled out thin enough to see it though!

you can barely see the herbs!

My lunch: 1/2 cup of my marinara sauce and four ravioli.  The ravioli filling is just ricotta cheese, salt, pepper and fresh picked basil.  Later in the week when I make it again, I think I’ll add marinated artichokes to kick it up a notch.

We were disappointed with the .39 cent tomatoes at the store yesterday.  Most of them were yellow, or bright orange.  I picked the darkest ones to make more baja fresh salsa!

Using our fresh picked cilantro brought this batch over the top – I could seriously eat it with a spoon!

afternoon snack 😀

I decided to make the steak I had on the menu last night, and decided to grill the green beans too – they were good!  Nice and cripsy.  I cooked them naked, then tossed them with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.

We went with ribeyes:

My plate:  I ate 1/4 of the baked potato, all the green beans and 1/3 of the steak.

the steak was so juicy!

I want to give a shout out to one of our 101 days of Summer Challengers!  John just finished his first triathlon of the season – only the second one of his life!  But here’s the kicker – John weighed in December 31, 2009 at 344 pounds . . . now weighs 250 pounds and is going to do another tri in just two weeks!  You have to check out his race recap – way to go John!

Hope everyone had a great weekend.  My goals for the week: Jillian 30 day shred 3 times this week, and don’t do exercises that I don’t love! 😀

Another stormy morning and BSI – Bulgar Wheat

I couldn’t even turn the computer on this morning.  The storms rolled in around 8:00 a.m., and when it didn’t look like it was going to let up, Tony and I decided to go out to breakfast and run some errands.  We may get some more storms this afternoon so I have to be quick!

I did not do Jilian’s Shred yesterday as planned – I was on a cleaning mission!  It’s the domino effect, I started back by the computer and worked my way to the kitchen, bathroom and living room, in between doing loads of laundry – I probably cleaned for three hours!

I definitely worked up an appetite:

The Jack Daniels Burger at Friday's

I ate 3/4 of it, without the sauce, and a few fries.  After lunch we went to the grocery store!  I was so happy – I had an awesome shop – we spent $87, and had $17 dollars in coupons!

Some of the items on the menu this week:

I had steak and shrimp cocktail on the menu for dinner last night, but since we ate lunch so late and it was on the big side, so dinner ended up being shrimp cocktail, cheese and crackers, some deli ham and a sliced apple – love plates like that!  The recipe is no fail – you can find it here.

the ice water bath is key - stops the cooking immediately

My plate:

I had a hard time with this weeks BSI ingredient – bulgar wheat.  Turns out I’ve never seen it, or tasted it!  I thought it was a grain, so I was looking in the rice aisle – I couldn’t find it anywhere!  Then asked and it was in the flour section.

I decided to make a vegetarian chili, using bulgar wheat in place of ground beef.  I am actually really happy with this recipe!

Vegetarian Chili (printer friendly version here)

Makes 10 servings (1 cup = 325 calories, 1.7 fat, 61 carbs, 15 fiber and 19.5 protein)


1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
3 cloves garlic
2 cups tomato sauce
1 cup tomato, diced
2 cups red kidney beans
2 cups black beans
1/2 cup bulgur wheat
1 cup water
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin, ground
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup corn


  1. Put chopped peppers, garlic and tomato in a food processor and puree.
  2. Add pureed mixture to Dutch oven and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients, except for corn, and simmer for up to one hour, or until nice and thick and the bulgur is cooked through.
  4. Add corn and cook 5 more minutes. Serve with cheddar cheese and sour cream.

not a fan of chunky chili's so I pureed the canned tomatoes and veggies

these tomatoes give a nice heat to the chili - it was mild for me, but Tony liked it!

I had no idea how long it needed to cook - the package said 1 cup of bulgur to 1 cup boiling water, and let sit for an hour, so I simmered the chili for one hour

Of course, I added fresh sliced jalapenos to mine!  Thanks for hosting this week Healthy Exposures!

I am off to update the 101 Days of Summer Challenge!  I can’t believe its the end of week four already!  I hope to update it before more storms come in – so it might be updated in pieces.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Farmers Market Bust = No Exercise

Okay, I was really grasping at straws and only had enough to put together my breakfast!  I can’t wait to go grocery shopping!!!  I haven’t been in three weeks!  Looks like I’ll be making a lot of pasta sauce and salsa!  Check out the price of tomatoes!

For breakfast I had egg tostadas – 2 tostadas, 2 eggs, 1 ounce cheese and yes, pickled jalapeno and carrots on top – its okay to have spicy for breakfast!

With the last of the strawberries – breakfast comes in at 444 calories, 30 carbs, 26 protein, 15 fat and 5.7 fiber.   I put the tostadas in the toaster to crisp them up – so crunchy!

All morning at work I was debating whether or not to work out or go to the Farmers Market.  In the end, since I needed to pick up something for lunch, the market won!  Sadly, even though I got there 1/2 hour after it opened, nothing was set up!  When I remarked to the cashier about nothing being out yet, her response was “it usually takes us a couple hours to get everything out.”  Um, okay, so start setting up at 10:00 a.m. instead of noon when you are supposed to be open!

I knew there was a Panera in this mall, but upon opening the door, the line was 20 people deep!  So I walked down to:

The first time they opened one of these up near my office in Chicago, I ate there every day for a week!  I was trying to see what my healthier options were, and settled on the skinny turkey with hot peppers and a cup of their tomato soup.

OMG, this soup was so good!  I told Tony it made up for my shitty market experience!

So of course I check the nutrition after I ate – it kind of surprised me – I expected it to be around 400 calories – but it was 550 calories, 101 carbs (totally doesn’t seem right to me!), 32 protein, 4 fat and 10 fiber.  There is no way lunch was 101 carbs, because my blood sugar would have been through the roof and it wasn’t.

I did buy three things at the market though – jalapenos, an heirloom tomato and baby cucumbers.  The tomato and pepper were the inspiration for my party pizza Friday!  I made Tony a BLT pizza, and I had a Mexican pizza.  Sadly, when I do two pizzas in the oven, somehow Tony’s pizza doesn’t get a crisp crust so his pizza wasn’t as good – sorry Tony!

I heart pizza!

base of Tony's pizza

While that cooked I sliced and salt and peppered the tomato slices:

Then topped it with shredded lettuce:

The base of my pizza – the sauce is 1/4 cup refried beans mixed with 1/4 cup of my baja fresh salsa. Then I tossed 2 ounces of chicken breast from our herbed chicken last night with 1 tablespoon of taco bell taco sauce, then put corn and fresh sliced jalapenos – these were so fresh and spicy! 😀

Then I added shredded lettuce and Chipotle Tabasco on mine 😀  I need to remember to only cook one pizza at a time to get a good crust on both!

I ate 2/3 of the pizza: 580 calories, 58 carbs, 26 protein, 24 fat and 6 fiber

Stats for Friday:

  • no exercise (which means I have to do level 1 and 3 of 30 day shred today! – I’ve always hated level 2 for some reason)
  • 1,574 calories, 189 carbs (don’t think that is right), 84 protein, 57 fat and 22 fiber

On tap for today?

Have a great Saturday!

Everything is better with bacon.

It was back to my good ole breakfast sammie, although this time I added cooked red pepper left over from our fish taco fiesta.  Breakfast comes in at 380 calories, 45 carbs, 21 protein, 15.3 fat and 10.1 fiber.

With delicious strawberries on the side – these are so sweet!

I planned on running a 5k at lunch yesterday.  While I love the bike machine, I thought I needed to switch it around.  Well guess what?  I hated the run!  And I was watching FoodTV while running!  After 20 minutes I got off and went to the bike and pounded out a 4 mile uphill bike climb and loved it!  See how sweaty I am?

So I decided don’t do what you don’t love.  Exercise is exercise, and I love the bike machine so I am sticking with it! 😀

Lunch was leftover pork taco with chili.   I know, yet another episode of throw shit in a bag!  But after I defrosted the chili, there was like 2 pieces of meat, 3 beans and the rest was just the broth.  After one bite of the taco, it fell apart, so I ended up throwing my taco into my chili for taco chili – it was actually really good!

Lunch: 421 calories, 41 carbs, 31 protein, 10.5 fat and 8.8 fiber

I had a whole chicken in the deep freeze so made a butterflied herbed grilled chicken – I love that I just pick the herbs from the backyard and chop them up!  On the side I took red potatoes, hallowed them out and wrapped them in bacon!  I only used 2 pieces of bacon for three potato halves!  You need to cook the potatoes on a piece of foil to hold the bacon grease, otherwise they will catch on fire!

Our dog Ed just loves laying in the grass when we are outside!
This chicken took about an hour to cook – I had the potatoes on the whole time too.

I took the chicken off to rest, then added the cheese to our potatoes – my side has an ounce of goat cheese, Tony’s is shredded cheddar.

Best side dish ever!  The potato was tender, the bacon was nice and crispy with the tang of the goat cheese – yum!

My plate:

with mango habanero sauce on mine!  Dinner:  491 calories, 39 carbs, 41 protein, 17.8 fat and 2.7 fiberLet’s just look at the potato again!

Thanks to everyone who left comments for Brooke and Buffy yesterday.  We have such an awesome group of cheerleaders!!   For all the 101 Days of Summer Challengers, don’t forget to email me your week four progress by Sunday – email me at 😀

The winner of my eCookbook, 25 of my favorite recipes here at BDL, including Chicken Tikka Masala (which was recently a throw down on Bobby Flay’s show!) and Thai Basil Chicken Wonton Cups is . . . Morgan of Kicking My Trash!  I’ll get that out to you today!

Okay, yesterday I said I was off to do Jillian’s 30 day shred – only problem is that it was in my gym bag at work!  So I did exercise on demand – her 37 minute Yoga meltdown.  I have to be honest – it was hard, and there were poses I just was not able to do, so I am only counting it as 20 minutes!

Stats for Thursday:

  • 20 minute Jillian yoga meltdown
  • 20 minute run on treadmill at 5.5 mph (which sucked ass)
  • 20 minute 3.0 hill climb bike ride (awesome!)
  • 1,429 calories, 151 carbs, 96 protein, 50 fat and 23 fiber

Hooray for Friday!  Hope you have a great day – any big plans for the weekend?  We have none which is awesome! 😀

Sunset, Clouds and More Cheerleaders!

I forgot to post this picture yesterday from our drive home from seeing Toy Story 3.  I thought my friend Beth would enjoy it – turns out we can’t get enough cloud or sunset pics! 😀

Breakfast was delicious – I have South Beach Steve to thank for the idea of adding basil to my scrambled eggs – so good!

506 calories, 45 carbs, 28 protein, 24 fat and 4.4 fiber

Lunch was another addition of “throw shit in a bag!”  Are you getting tired of that yet?  I brought a cajun sausage that I was going to wrap like a hot dog, but when I pulled it out at work it was all slimey.  😦  I look at the package and the sell by date was May!  I know I have cleaned out my refrigerator since May!

So with my pantry/fridge/bag items, I ended up making an edamame, corn and spinach quesadilla, with cucumbers and ranch and 1/2 cup white rice with a tablespoon of Trader Joe’s thai curry sauce – eclectic?  Yes!  Filling?  Absolutely!

441 calories, 54 carbs, 21 protein, 19.7 fat and 12.8 fiber

I had taco fiesta on the brain, and decided on fish tacos – only I cheat a bit!

extra crunchy fish sticks! 😀

I bring all the fixins to the table:

My taco x 2, with 1 1/2 servings of crack tortilla chips:

548 calories, 66 carbs, 19.5 protein, 24 fat and 8.6 fiber

It was another stormy night . . . just above and below us!  There were tornado warnings, my mom’s town got 3 inches of rain in one hour – even the Eisenhower expressway was closed because of flooding.  My mom lives right next to the expressway and when she saw no cars on it, she thought it looked like the end of the world!

We heard thunder, had a little bit of rain, but that was it.  After dinner the sky was so beautiful!

I want to thank everyone who stopped by Al and Charlie’s blogs yesterday – what a great group of cheerleaders we have!  I put all your names in a hat (twice if you left a comment on each!).  And the winner of a copy of my brother’s book is . . .

Congrats to Debbi!  Send me an email at with your address and I’ll get it out to you! 😀

Alright, we need to cheer on a couple more 101 days of summer challengers that are struggling a bit.

First is Buffy who is struggling to put the cheetos down!   She’s hoping to track her food better for the rest of the week – if you could pop on over and leave a comment, I would appreciate it!

Next up is Brooke.  While she’s already lost 100 pounds, she’s lost her mojo and is trying to find it – let’s help her get back on track!

For anyone who leaves a comment for Buffy or Brooke, you’ll be entered to win a copy of my eCookbook which has 25 of my favorite recipes on BDL with nutritional info!

I have another thank you – to Linzi who picked my name when I donated to her Team in Training.  Linzi is training for a marathon and is training with the Leukemia Society – she’s a ways away from her goal though!  If you can, check out her fund raising page.   She sent my a cool coffee/smoothie cup and a very sweet note – thanks Linzi!

Don’t forget BSI this week!  Last week there were only two entries!  This week’s ingredient is bulgar wheat.  I have to be honest, I’ve never even tried it before – but I have an idea of making a vegetarian chili subbing the bulgar wheat for the ground beef.  Do you think it will work?  Allison is going vegan all month – if it works out I’ll let you know!

Stats for Wednesday:

  • 15 minute AM yoga
  • 36 minute 7 mile hill climb on bike machine
  • 5 minutes abs on balance ball
  • 1,496 calories, 165 carbs, 69 protein, 69 fat and 26 fiber

Off to do 30-day shred for the 2nd time this week – have a great Thursday! 😀