Healthy Baking: Getting Ready

Since fall is officially here, I can feel the burning desire to BAKE! I love baking, love it. I like all the ingredients, I like the process, and I like the end results. One thing over the years that I have learned is that you can totally bake AND lose weight, its true. There are so many healthy options out there for even the most decadent baked good, have you ever read Chocolate Covered Katie?

Vegan Rice Crispy Treats

This winter is going to be a little harder for me, as I will be working in a cafe like atmosphere, that will be selling tons of baked goods. This just means I need to make sure I don’t feel deprived of these things at home. If I’m eating (in moderation) healthy baked goods at home, my desire to eat unhealthy ones at work will be much less (at least I’m hoping). In order to bake healthy treats though, you have to be prepared. A pantry stocked full of nutritious ingredients, and recipes ready to make! You also have to remember to portion them out, freeze leftovers, or giveaway anything that feels like something you couldn’t control yourself around.

Weight Watcher Pumpkin Cupcakes

So I figured in honor of the beginning of baking season, that I would make a shopping list, AND post some awesome websites, and recipes. (click photos for recipes)

WHAT YOU NEED TO BAKE HEALTHY:

  • Canned Pumpkin (Not canned pumpkin pie filling)
  • Canned Sweet Potato Puree
  • Salt
  • Baking Soda
  • Baking Powder
  • Xylitol (look it up)
  • Brown Sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Oat Flour
  • Maple Syrup
  • Shredded Coconut
  • Agave
  • Virgin Coconut Oil
  • Spelt Flour
  • Whole Wheat Flour
  • All Purpose Flour (I like Organic Non-Bleached)
  • Eggs
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Sugar
  • Apple Sauce (unsweetened)
  • Mashed Bananas
  • Rolled Oats
  • Quick Oats
  • Nut Butter
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Stevia
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Garbanzo Beans
  • Pitted Dates
  • Cream of Tartar
  • Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • Canned Coconut Milk
  • Ground Flax Seed
  • Chia Seed
  • Brown Rice Syrup
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Fat Free Cream Cheese
  • Fat Free Pudding Mix
  • Ground Ginger
  • Ground Cloves
  • Honey
  • Nutmeg
  • Molasses
  • Evaporated Fat Free Milk
  • FRUIT!
  • Lemon Juice
  • Pam
  • Cornstarch

Skinny Apple Cobbler

Lighter Apple Pie Turnover

Some great healthy baking websites:

-Chocolate Covered Katie

-The Healthy Chef

-Skinny Taste

-Averie Cooks

-Eat Yourself Skinny

-Eating Well

-The Gracious Pantry

Healthy Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars

Skinny Sweet Potato Pie

Oatmeal Spelt Honey Scone

 

Weigh in: 8 Weeks Till Thanksgiving!

What the what?!

8 Weeks until Thanksgiving! That’s coming up fast! My poor fall weather will be in and out before we know it! Sad day. I LOOOOOVE fall. Today after my Weight Watchers meeting I walked (yeah usually I would drive through the drive-through) across the parking lot, and ordered a “non fat pumpkin, spice? pie? whatever yah got that tastes like pumpkin” <—Imthatgirlinthefall. Needless to say DESPITE going on vacation and eating all kind of delicious foods, I still managed to lose:

-1.2 lbs

Huzzah! That’s also pretty awesome because with a big loss like last week of 5.4 lbs, in can be hard to follow that with another loss. Anyone who watches The Biggest Loser knows the DREADED WEEK 2 can strike, often resulting in a gain. So VACATION+WEEK2 = 1.2lb LOSS = ME A HAPPY GAL!

Next week I’m shooting for a solid 2lb loss, 10,000 steps every day, and at least 1 new physical activity with Mr. Gaunt.

Oh! I just remember on top of all that, yesterday my new job had Espresso training, plus they are in the process of deciding which baked goods to sell, so they wanted us to do a taste test. SERIOUSLY FOLKS! See Proof:

That’s me in the background with some SERIOUS BITCH FACE happening.

But in the foreground you see lots and lots of pastries (there are tons more not in the photo, and this was AFTER we had taste tested them). Anyway when we first got there and she started unpacking all the treats I really debated saying “Oh I can’t, I don’t eat that stuff” but what I know about Weight Watchers, is that they encourage you to face real life decisions with control and thought. So I took about 6 different items, items I had never tried (I’m not going to taste test a bagel or a croissant when I already know what they taste like) and I sat down. I then meticulously took one SMALL bite from each one, followed by a sip of water, and gave my opinion. GOOD, DRY, YUCKY, FANTASTIC. Then I put my plate that was full of one bite samples behind me, and never looked back.  I was one of the few people who actually gave an opinion and didn’t just eat them all and say YUM! I also was the only one who had a plate full of samples after I was done. Everyone else just ate big plates full. I felt really proud of myself. YO GO GLEN COCO!

On to today’s Weight Watcher meeting topic: 8 Weeks till Thanksgiving.

If you lost 2 pounds every week, you could lose 16 pounds by Thanksgiving! Holla! That’s what I’m shooting for. This weeks challenge is to write down everything you eat, and all the exercise you do for a whole week. Then at the end of the week we are going to submit our logs (with a made up name. Which once again to prove the “oldness” of this meeting, they all made jokes about using Della Street from Perry Mason as their fake name….seriously. I plan on using Suri Cruise…obviously) and then we go over/critique the logs. Did this person use their activity points correctly? Did they eat at the right times? Where were they consuming too much sugar? That sort of stuff. I’m looking forward to seeing what other people eat.

And as my personal goal (like I said above) to find one new physical activity to do. Preferably a hike that we haven’t been on. I’m making Mr. Gaunt research this.

Last someone in my meeting suggested picking out a Thanksgiving outfit now, that is maybe a little too small, and make it your goal to fit into it perfectly by Thanksgiving! Love it!

Have a Happy Friday!

 

 

Shredded Chicken and Eating Naked

I’ll get the naked thing out-of-the-way first. Did anyone see that article about model Marisa Miller, where she said her best tip to eating smart is to eat naked? Seriously folks, could you imagine sitting cross-legged on the couch eating a plate of french fries, or a big slice of cake? Every time you reached down to dip that fry you would get a glimpse of your whole body naked. If you have a rocking bod that you are proud of, this would be a great reminder that you want to KEEP it! If you have a body that needs a little improvement, this would remind you to make healthier choices. Excuse me while I wipe this frosting of my thigh.

Now by no means do I think you should eat entire meals in the nude (unless that’s how you roll) but if you are at home, alone, in the middle of the afternoon, and want a snack, get butt naked. Seriously. I guarantee the sheer awareness of your naked body will change the snack decisions you make. Try it. (:

Now onto shredded chicken. Awkward transition, I know.

I have been making large batches of shredded chicken the last few weeks in the Crockpot. I use this basic recipe, unless I have chicken broth on hand, and then I just do chicken broth and chicken. You can add spices later too, Mr. Gaunt loves just salt and pepper.  It’s really so versatile: salads, soups, sweet potatoes, pastas, you can add it to everything! And it’s so low-calorie, a great on the go protein. Sometimes I just eat a 1/2 cup of it with a fork and am satisfied. It also freezes well!

 

Weigh in and Weekends

It’s almost the weekend! Which is silly for me to be excited about, because I don’t even have a job lol. BUT BUT BUT! This weekend we are going away for our anniversary, so it’s something to look forward to!

Ignore my greasy hair and no make up, kthanks. It also looks like I’m talking on an imaginary telephone…which I am…duh.

Today I went to my Weight Watchers meeting. I went 1 day early because we are leaving tomorrow morning, and I have stuff to do. So I hauled my yoga pant clad ass across town to Weight Watchers, and waited in line (oh my god why is it so hard for adults to properly create a line?) to find out I lost…

5. 4 Pounds!   <— Week one’s are always like this.

Yay!

The leader of the meeting is the same leader from last week, who I REALLY don’t care for. I don’t connect with her, and I find her annoying.  This meeting however did have at least 3 women in their 30s, so that was nice. Although there were some women in their 80’s too, which makes me so sad to think that women in their EIGHTIES are still struggling with their weight. I guess I would have the “you only have a few good years left, live em up!” <— thisiswhyyourfat. Hmmm. Needless to say I want to find a different leader who I like, at a different time, but I’ll probably wait until I know my new job schedule.

This weeks topic was WEEKEND MAKEOVER, focusing on things you can do to make your weekends more weight loss productive. So many people think of Weekends as their free-pass, and the week as their “strict time” where they stay on track. According to “somebody who researches this stuff” The average American eats 115 extra calories on the weekends, equaling 17,490 calories a year, or 5 pounds of weight. I’m willing to bet, it’s even more for a lot of folks.

So we discussed how to limit your beer (there was even discussion on how many points are in O’Doul’s Non Alcoholic Beer…ugh, I hate this group, the answer is 2 points, I looked it up on my iphone while they all pondered, GET SMART PHONES PEOPLE!) and wine intake, how to watch your football game snacking, and how you should just move more. CHECK CHECK CHECK! I have no plans to mess up my work this weekend! We will be finding entrainment in the great outdoors, not food and alcohol!

SIDE NOTE!

As I was writing this post UPS showed up and delivered this:

It’s a birthday/Christmas gift from my mother in law! IN ICE FREAKING BLUE! (or as I like to refer to it: Tiffany Blue, or Martha Blue). Oh she is such a beauty. I can not wait to bake a million treats (and give them away…obviously) this winter! We want to get the pasta roller or Ravioli attachment (So we can make our own whole grain pasta!) and the ice cream maker (so we can make our own frozen yogurt!). Seriously I feel like my life as a housewife (ha ha ha) is complete! What more could I need? Oh…maybe a kid or two, I’m working on it! Jeez!
Thanks Deborah!!! It’s seriously amazing! I’ll bake yah a pie when you come out for Thanksgiving!

For the rest of the weekend I have auto-scheduled posts of our wedding photos! Which I never even posted last year because I’m lazy, and it took 12 weeks for us to get them, so I lost interest. Enjoy.

 

Working For?

I got a new job! Yay! It wont really start until mid October, but I’m excited. It’s a pretty awesome job, and I’m very much looking forward to working there, however when they offered me a super low hourly wage, I definitely had to think about it. I talked it over with my mom and with Mr. Gaunt, and we all agreed that for me, the opportunity to do something I really like, be appreciated, and have flexibility in my schedule trumps poor pay. I know a lot of people wouldn’t have accepted the salary, but I’ve always been someone who prioritizes quality of life, personal happiness, free time and creativity over money. It’s why I’m always poor, but also get to do a lot of things I really like, and get to spend a lot of time with my family. This new job also has some opportunities for my personal business, including giving me a ton of free time in the summer to focus on weddings. It will also probably be a job that would work around a pregnancy/babies in the future, and that is very valuable to any mom! I wont be talking about the name of this business on my blog (for privacy and professional reasons) but if you know me in real life feel free to ask, it’s not a secret. (:

In weight loss news, I have been soooo good all week! No slipping up, no feelings of hunger, and lots of moving! Yesterday I hit 9,100 steps on my Pedometer! Today I’m at 7,000 and I accidentally left it at home while I ran a bunch of errands, so I’m at way more. I even made the conscious decision to park at the back of a parking lot and walk further, go me! I have my first weigh in tomorrow, hopefully it goes well.

EASY HEALTHY DINNER OF THE WEEK:

-Whole Grain (or low carb) bow tie pasta

-Olive Oil

-Fresh Zucchini

-Cilantro

-Fresh tomatoes

-Garlic

-Parmesan

-Salt, Pepper, and Red Pepper Flakes

 

 

Monday Night Football Snacks

Mr. Gaunt is a huge football fan. I pretend to be. Well, I wear the outfit every now and then, and say “GO BRONCOS” when the mood strikes, but the actual game is lost on me.

For our one year anniversary I bought him a Broncos house flag. I let him open it early for the first game of the year.

Last night we went to a friend’s house to watch the game (we don’t have cable). I decided to attempt some healthy football snack foods. I made Zucchini Tots and Skinny Buffalo Chicken Dip. The Zucchini tots I have made before, and they are really yummy! I recommend them for kids and men alike. The Buffalo Chicken Dip was a new thing, and Mr. Gaunt LOVED it. The Zucchini tots recipe is from here, and the Skinny Buffalo Dip is from here. The only changes I made for the Buffalo dip, was that I didn’t bake it after I mixed the shredded chicken in with the sour cream and such. I only had enough time to make crock pot shredded chicken, not to crock pot the dip, so I didn’t and it was still delish.  I also only did about half the blue cheese they recommend. Needless to say I would make this again and again!

You also eat so many vegetables with both these recipes. We ate a whole head of celery, a bunch of carrots, and two Zucchini! Excellent!