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Mar 30, 2010

Be a Follower!

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So, lets see what kind of following we can drum up eh?? I know some of my friends are reading this, cause you tell me you are!! So as a reward to you, I am putting on a good ole fashioned giveaway!! Now you can enter three times by doing these things

1. Leave a comment on this post
2. Become a follower
3. Find me on Facebook under April Johnson, Boise Idaho, and ad me as a friend, then leave a comments on my profile.

By entering all three ways your chances of winning increase.

Why April, what are we playing for you ask??

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You are playing for a six pack of Kernel Seasons Popcorn Seasonings! Any six flavors of your choice. You have until May 1st to enter!! Good Luck, and spread the word!!

And as always, please share any tips you may have as well! I am dying to hear what fun things others are doing to Snub the Chub!!

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So, when my dear friend called me tonight and asked us out to dinner, I will admit, I panicked a bit. I hate being that weird "girl on a diet" who can't eat anything, and makes everyone feel uncomfortable about what they are eating, and then has to spend the entire dinner talking about her weight loss...plus I really hate trying to guess what is somewhat safe on the menu only to have it arrive dripping in mayo. So, since we were bringing the kids, we chose Red Robin due to the noise level!! I had totally forgotten that they serve a Garden Burger! I almost kissed the waiter! The thinking was done for me, I didn't have to order anything weird with hold this and hold that, and put this on the side, and blah blah. I happen to love Garden Burgers, and this one is no exception. It is served on a whole wheat bun with pickles and lettuce and this yummy dijon mustard...fabulous! I ordered it with a house salad on the side, a Diet Coke, and I felt downright normal! And as an added bonus, this meal only cost me 5 points! So, thanks Red Robin for a low stress dinner out with friends!! I will return!

Mar 28, 2010

Bliss is Corn Chowder!

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We had this recipe while we were visiting my brother and his amazing wife in Las Vegas. I have been wanting to make it since we got back, and finally remembered to buy the ingredients on my last grocery store visit. Both Mitch and I were licking our bowls, and I know you will be too!! 2 cups of corn chowder is only 4 points!! And you can count it towards your veggies!! This recipe is so basic that you can really customize it to your individual palette.

Kara’s Corn Chowder

Approx. 8 cups water w/ bullion
OR chicken or veggie broth
2 small or 1 large potato, cubed
3-5 carrots, sliced
3 stalks celery, sliced
Green or yellow onion, chopped
4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
6-8 slices of bacon, chopped
2 cans creamed corn
1 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
½ t paprika
½ t chili powder
2 large bay leaves

Bring approximately 8 cups chicken broth to a boil. (I use bullion to make the broth.) Add chopped vegetables and onions (when using green onions, I generally use all the white part and about half of the green).

While vegetables soften, boil eggs and prepare bacon. Once the other vegetables are cooked, add eggs, bacon, creamed corn and milk.

Season to taste.

Enjoy!


TIP ALERT:

I used Turkey bacon instead of regular bacon. The trick with Turkey bacon is to cook it extra crispy and wait until the very end to add it because it gets soft again if it is in the liquid too long.

Also, I wanted a bit more thickness to the soup so I added a roux of 1 cup water and 1/3 cup flour. Mix that in a cup and after the flour is dissolved then add it to the soup, this way you avoid lumps.

I didn't have bay leaves or chili powder, so I opted for using a bit of cumin, and about a table spoon of curry powder, garlic, and parsley. It was a bit more like a creamy chicken stock, but totally amazing!

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things!! (so far)

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So this is a fun little desert and only 2 POINTS!! The only thing I would change would be to crumble up the rice cake before hand because it is a bit hard to cut with fork while eating it!

1 Quaker Chocolate Crunch Rice Cake
2 tbsp. lite whip cream
3 whole strawberries sliced
dash of coco
1 packet of Truvia sweetener, or splenda

Mix the whip cream, sweetener, and coco together. Spread on top of rice cake and top with strawberries.

I also mixed a bit of sweetener in with the sliced strawberries and let them sit for a minute so they got a bit syrupy.

Enjoy!!


Secondly,
Drum roll PLEASE!!




BAGEL THINS!
I LOVE THESE THINGS!

I got a big ol' Costco bag of them the other day and they come in 3 packs of 8 so I froze two and cracked open the other. My favorite thing to make with them so far is a breakfast sandwich that I am calling the McJohnson!

1 bagel thin
1 egg prepared to your liking
1 slice fat free cheese slice
1 Morning Star Farms Sausage Patty

Cook egg and sasuage
Toast Bagel Thin
Place cheese on egg
break up Sausage and arrange on top of egg
Shlap it all together and Viola! Yummy Breakfast

And last but SURELY not least...

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Kernel Seasons popcorn flavoring!

Pop up a bowl of air popped popcorn, spray a little butter
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Sprinkle the flavoring, toss and enjoy!

I get these at Wal-Mart or Winco. Both locations only carry a few flavors. My favorite is the kettle corn and I ad a bit of salt. Click on the pic of the seasonings to be linked to their site where you can shop for other flavors!!

The best part about this, is air popped corn is only 1 point per 3 cups and the flavorings have less than one calorie per serving!!!!

Well, that is is for this addition of My Favorite Things...Sorry I couldn't give all of you cars like Oprah...heahhahahaa!

Mar 24, 2010

My Favorite Breakfast

Here is a recipe for my all time favorite breakfast. I started doing this years ago when I was on the Zone diet. The fun thing about this recipe is that you can swap flavors around and come up with new and exciting tastes. I have swapped the berries for mandarin oranges, or pineapple, or other types of berries. You can also change up the flavor of yogurt!

1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese. (I use low fat because fat free tasted too slimy for me)
1 6 oz container of light yogurt blueberry or blackberry
1/4 cup Uncle Sam cereal
3/4 c-1 c frozen blueberries

The points value for this exact recipe is 4.5 points and it easily fills a good sized cereal bowl. Plus you can count two dairies and one fruit for your day! ENJOY!!

Hey Cookie...Whachu Wearin'?? Let Me Help You Get More Comfortable!!

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These little rice cakes are SINFUL. I tried to find a coupon, but alas, I was stumped again. Trust me on this, you have never loved 90 calories this much!!

Mar 23, 2010

Thanks Little Man!

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Tonight was the Season Premier of Me and my little man out on the bike! I love taking the bike for a spin and as an added bonus, I pull all 27 pounds of my little boy behind me. I have to say, the brief 2 miles that we did was a surprisingly great workout! I was enjoying the sun, and my riding partner was enjoying the free ride! What a fun night!

The Best Single Point I Ever Spent!

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For lunch on Sunday we made the Bear Creek Tortilla soup which may I remind you is only ONE measly point for a whole cup! So, to jazz it up a bit I added 1 oz fat free mozzarella cheese, 1 tbs. fat free sour cream, some green salsa and the piece de resistance, home made pita chips! Now, for those of you who already enjoy pitas, you know that a half of a pita is only 80 calories. Sooooo, take your pita, slice it with either a pizza cutter or a knife into triangle segments. Then, since a pita is two sided, split the pita across the seam. you should be able to get about 8 chips from one pita half. Next, lay them out on a cookie sheet rough side up, brush them with a bit of olive oil, sprinkle on some salt, put them in a pre-heated oven at 450 degrees and bake until they are golden brown, about 10-15 mins! These are awesome and they added just the right amount of crunch to this wonderful soup!! All in all my meal ended up being 6 points! NOT BAD!!

Mar 21, 2010

Coke Cake!!

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So tonight for desert my mom and I made the coke cake that I love so much! TIP ALERT...we added 1/2 cup of organic vanilla yogurt...yummy! The last time I made this cake it was a bit crumbly the first day, well seems to me that the addition of the yogurt has solved that problem! I also made some home made light whipping cream this time! DELISH!!!!

Mar 19, 2010










Dear Yo Yo's...this may seem too soon, and maybe a little crazy, but I love you...I think about you all day...I would rather see you than any other yogurt shop, you are the best, promise you will never leave me!

For those of you in the Boise area, check out Yo Yo's, I promise you will not be disappointed! I had a decent helping of frozen yogurt and it was only 3.5 points! This is for sure my new favorite place!!

WOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

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I AM IN THE 150's!!! I have not been in the 150's for 5 YEARS!! I am so excited! And I feel like it has been relatively simple. I have done TONS of different diets over the years. Anyone who knows me also knows I have done some CRAZY restrictive diets and have been so disciplined and still not had great results. Weight Watchers has been very doable and I am getting GREAT results....I just want to shout from the roof! ONLY 9 lbs. left until I am at my goal.

Mar 17, 2010

Luck O' the Irish to Ya!!

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So here is a fun little recipe I am making for the youth group tonight. I am subbing the regular pudding mix with sugar free and the sugar with Xylitol. Enjoy

48 Blarney Stones

2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup light cream or evaporated milk
1 3 oz. package instant pistachio pudding
green paste food coloring, (optional)
3 1/2 cups oatmeal
  1. Line two jelly-roll pans or baking sheets with parchment or waxed paper.

  2. Mix the sugar, butter, and light cream in a saucepan; cover and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

  3. When the mixture boils, remove the lid and whisk in the pudding mix and food coloring, if using.

  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the oatmeal.

  5. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto the parchment-lined sheets.

  6. When set, store in an airtight container.

Amount Per Serving
Calories 97 Calories from Fat 36
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 38% Protein 4% Carb. 58%

Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 4 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Cholesterol 11 mg
Sodium 38 mg
Total Carbohydrate 14 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 8 g
Protein 1 g

Vitamin A 3% Vitamin C 0% Calcium 0% Iron 2%


Mar 16, 2010

Does Anyone Have Any Motivation I Can Buy??

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Well, I am sitting here trying REALLY hard to convince myself to work out. We went on a family walk, and I did hair today, so that counts right? Any tips? Any great ideas on how to make me WANT to work out?? Anyone want to share some age old wisdom with me??? Man, I know I always feel better, and I always feel like I have accomplished something, but today, I would really rather stay home and chill with my family. I spent like an hour playing with Z and man, I am exhausted...that counts right? Can you tell I am trying really hard to make you all believe me??

Mar 15, 2010

YUMMMMMMMM!!


Okay, so I just tried this recipe from Weight Watcher, and...drumroll please....IT WAS AMAZING. It is called Creamy Orzo Risotto with Butternut Squash. Seriously, it was so good! I had this with cucumber and one piece of whole wheat bread that I made into garlic bread with Smart Balance spread, garlic powder and a pinch of parsley. This recipe was easy, fast and so good. My only complaint is that it wasn't really a main dish, so I think next time I will ad some chicken to it for a bit more protein. Here is the recipe:



2 cup(s) butternut squash, cut into small cubes

1/2 tsp olive oil

1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste

1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter

1 cup(s) uncooked orzo

1 1/2 cup(s) water

1 cup(s) canned chicken broth

1 tsp thyme, fresh, or 8 whole sprigs (sprigs preferred)

2 Tbsp fat-free half-and-half

1/3 cup(s) grated Parmesan cheese, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano

1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste

1/8 tsp black pepper, freshly ground, or to taste

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a small rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

  • In a medium bowl, toss squash with oil and salt; spread in a single layer on prepared baking sheet, leaving space between squash cubes. Roast, stirring halfway through, until squash is tender and lightly browned, about 20 to 25 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat; add orzo. Stir constantly until orzo begins to smell toasty, about 3 minutes. Add water, broth and thyme sprigs; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until liquid is nearly absorbed, about 15 minutes.

  • Remove thyme sprigs; stir in half-and-half, cheese and roasted squash. Season well with salt and pepper; serve. Yields about 3/4 cup per serving.

Notes

  • A medium-sized, 2 pound squash will yield approximately 3 1/2 cups of diced squash cubes.

    Peel the outside of a whole butternut squash with a sturdy vegetable peeler. Trim the ends and cut it in half lengthwise. Use an ice cream scoop or melon baller to easily scoop seeds and membrane from each half.

    Precut butternut squash is widely available in supermarkets and is a great shortcut for time-pressed cooks. Be sure to trim down the pieces to small, even-sized cubes or slices before roasting to allow for better browning.

A New Relationship With an Old Friend

http://ronisweigh.com/resources/foodfinds/boca.jpgI had tried veggie burgers in the past, and had always loved them. You know how sometimes you love something, and then you sort of forget about it?? Yeah, so while I was grocery shopping I grabbed some Boca burgers. I had one for lunch today and remembered why I loved them! I also love the Morning Star brand. They have a sun dried tomato and a mushroom burger that are both awesome.

The way I prepare these is like this:
a) place frozen patty in frying pan on medium heat. Cook each side until slightly charred...about 4-5 mins each side
b) prepare bun...I use the new sandwich thins from Oroweat and spread the Laughing Cow low fat french onion spread on it. Add pickles, lettuce and one slice of Kraft free American singles...tada! You have a yummy, lunch.

I ate my burger with carrots and a boston cream pie yogurt...delish!

Steel Cut Goodness!

http://proofofthepudding.files.wordpress.com/2007/11/pa260338.jpgI have loved the hearty goodness of Steel Cut Oats in the morning for a few years now. I discovered this little gem while I was on a mission to end my migraine headaches and I went on the no sugar, low carb diet. I loved oatmeal in the morning so my nutritionist led me to steel cut oats. These little gems have not been over processed and are left with the fiber that keeps you full longer! Plus for those of you who hate the texture of gummy, slushy oatmeal, these cook up firm and fluffy. My favorite trick is to cook them at night. This method eliminates the thick water and gummy skin that forms in the oatmeal when you cook it the conventional way.

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. The ratio is 2 parts water to 1 part oats.
2. Once water is boiling, pour in the oats, place a lid on top, turn off the burner and let the oats sit all night.

I even found this blog where she gives a crock pot recipe...I am dying to try it!!

Birthday Cake

http://www.sweetums.com.au/images/pageimages/birthday-cakes1.jpgSo Anyone know how to attend a birthday party and not feel left out of the face stuffing? Man, the one I went to tonight had oreos, and the most amazing cake I have ever tasted. And by tasted, I MEAN tasted...that is all....I just tasted it...one...single....solitary bite. As proud as I am of myself, I felt so left out, and stupid. Normally, I would have come up with some lame excuse in my head of why I was entitled to that giant piece of cake that I wanted to shove in my face...but tonight, I just took a bite...one....little....measly bite, and instead of feeling empowered, I felt angry. I will admit, after we got in the car, and the cake was out of sight, it was out of mind, and I was proud of myself...but if anyone has any thoughts on how to enjoy the party without enjoying the spoils, I would love to hear it!

I think one of my main issues to overcome is the fact that others who are enjoying their cakes and their size 2 pants make me feel really ripped off. I can honestly say, HONESTLY, that I have never, ever enjoyed a desert without some tinge of guilt. And I have never, ever sat in a room with skinny people who were enjoying their food and not been pissed about it. I realized tonight, that I need to stop being angry for genetics, and circumstances, and whatever else plays a role in the fact that I will never, ever be able to eat whatever I want and NOT pay any consequences. So, a new leg of my journey has begun, and a new goal has been set...April, you must learn how to enjoy yourself, and not care about what others are eating...GET OVER IT!

Mar 14, 2010

Comfort food...Heaven in a bowl!


So, a few weeks ago I bought one of these Bear Creek soup mixes on a whim. They looked good, and from what I could tell they were pretty balanced...well, may I say, I am a bit addicted. My FAVE is the Cheddar Potato. And my favorite thing to do is dip celery in it...I know right?? Trust me when I say that is is delish!! So for a cup of this stuff...which is magically plenty of food, it is only 4 points, PLUS since it has actual potatoes in it, you get to count a veggie too!! I bought the clam chowder and the tortilla mixes this last time and can't wait to try them. The Clam chowder is only 3 points and the tortilla soup is only 1 measly point!! One of the best things about this stuff is that it makes a ton, so I have a lunch ready to go on the spot! Try em...I swear, you will love them!

I looked for a coupon to share with you, but truly after all of my searching, I discovered that Win-co had the best price at just around $3.48.

Mar 13, 2010

I Heart iTouch!


So for Christmas my amazing husband got me by far the best gift EVER! My new love, the iPod Touch. I am sure he completely regrets it now since I am obsessed with it, but can I just say, my obsession comes with huge rewards!! Two things I am in love with right now:

1) The FA-REEEEEE Weight Watchers App, it is WONDERFUL. Seriously, you can take your nutrition info with you everywhere!

2) Nike+iPod. My iPod came with this app, so I just bought the amazing little bean sensor and put it on my shoes and BAM your workouts are tracked, times, paced and then sent to a personal website online! AMAZING, plus you can set a power song to play whenever you need a boost during your walk or run(immabe by Black Eyes Peas thank you very much!)

Here are some links to check out!
NIKE+iPod

Weight Watchers App

AHHRRRGGGGG!


So I get to work today..feeling good, feeling fit, feeling ready to take on the day, and I walk in the back room to grab a drink and NOOOOO some sweet sweet soul brought doughnuts and pastries for everyone to share! My instant response was OH CRAP...I am not ready for this...but I am proud to report that I did not partake in the beauty that is a maple bar! To my benefit, that same sweet sweet soul brought apples and a meat and cheese tray and whole wheat rolls...I know, right, lots of food to bring eh? So, I sat and munched on apples instead and watched as everyone else enjoyed their pastries.

Usually, I would be bitter and jealous that they got to enjoy a treat without the immense guilt and self hatred that I would feel all day, but today was different, I felt majorly powerful and in control. I was also so glad to report to my trainer who just happened to be coming in to get her hair done today, that I was clean! Sooo, April 1, doughnut, BIG FAT -0-!!! (I am pounding the keys as I type that!)

Mar 12, 2010

Oh DIet Coke I knew I loved you!

So, two recipes that I have already tried that use less than 3 ingredients, one of them being a can of diet coke!

1) Combine a Diet Coke with a box of Devils Food Cake mix...stir...pour into a cake pan and bake according to directions and voila...you have a yummy cake. What is awesome, is the cake kind of condenses over a few days and by days 2 and 3 you have more of a brownie texture

2) BBQ Chicken

1 cup ketchup(I am going to try it with tomato sauce and see what happens, plus you will be skipping all of the sugar in ketchup)

1 can Diet Coke

Combine those two ingredients in a large frying pan and bring to a slow boil.

Add 3 or four large chicken breasts and let it all simmer for 1 hour.

I served this over Quinoa so so so yummy!

When I make Quinoa I boil broth instead of water, that ads extra flavor!
Follow the link for some info on this amazing grain!!

UREEKA!!

So one time, long ago I am sure, someone once told me to put GoGurts in the freezer for your kids and they will think it is a popsicle...well, no luck with my 3 year old, but UREEKA...I tried one, helloooo, amazing little treat. And if you get the NEW Simply GoGurts, they are only ONE point, plus you get to count it towards your dairy for the day...nice!!

Click on the link for info, and a coupon!!

This is Horrifying!




MMMkkkk, so as horrifying as this is for me to do, I am posting my "before" pictures. These were taken about a year ago at the beginning of yet another failed diet attempt. I am however proud to say that I am 25 pounds lighter than I am in these pics thanks to a lot of counting calories, and working out. Again however,I am at a standstill with my weight loss and I am even slowly putting it back on, soooo, I joined Weight Watchers this morning, and am starting this blog for selfish reasons really, I need to vent! I would invite anyone who reads this, to please comment, share, vent, brag, whatever. We are all in this together, and if we can help each other along the way it is all the better right!! RIGHT! So, here we go! WE ARE SNUBBIN' the CHUB!!