Diet to Go Week Two Review: Food that makes me go Nom Nom

Hey everybody! I’m near the end of two weeks with Diet To Go, so I have to share my thoughts! It’s not my official weekly weigh-in day yet, so watch for that post on Monday to see how I’m doing. So far with Diet To Go I’m down 6.8 pounds. WOW.

I’m still really enjoying the Diet-to-Go food! I’ve only had one meals that I didn’t love, but I’ll talk about that in a minute. First let’s look at some yummy meals that rocked my socks!

Diet To Go Tomato Basil Soup

Diet to Go Tomato Basil Soup

This was a fire-roasted tomato basil soup. I’m not a huge fan of anything described as “fire roasted” because usually it’s just a bad euphemism for “burnt”. However, this soup blew away that stereotype of mine – because it was rich, beautifully flavored, and packed with charred bits of tomato and savory basil. Served with a warm wheat roll, this was a tasty treat of a lunch.

Diet to go egg quesadilla

Diet To Go Egg Quesadilla

First of all, look at the size of this meal! It’s HUGE, right?! This was an egg quesadilla with a side of citrus and a potato cake. The quesadilla was fresh and fluffy, and after two pieces and the fruit I was stuffed! This breakfast had all the components of a winner – starch, protein, carb and dairy with fruit. YUM!

Diet To Go Turkey Penne Pasta

Diet to Go Turkey Penne Pasta

Ok, I know I’m like a broken record, but again, look at this serving size. One of my big concerns about trying a pre-packaged food plan was that I’d be starving all the time. Not so with Diet To Go, as this is a generous pasta serving (maybe even bigger than is suggested. I hope my dietitian isn’t reading this! lol!). I’m all about volume, so a hearty pasta dish that gives you an ample serving feels nice and comforting. It had a tangy tomato turkey sauce that gave the pasta some nice flavor.

Diet to Go Chicken Pizza

Diet to Go Chicken Pizza

Last but not least is the Chicken Pizza! On Friday night I was feeling a little bit pouty as my husband had a smoked pork sandwich and a beer – so I picked out the Chicken Pizza. I cooked it in the oven and got the bubbly, brown cheese effect I was after. It’s nice to feel like you’re having junk food on weekends, so this pizza scored big with me.

Ok – so there has only been meals I didn’t love – an Indian chicken curry salad sandwich. I blame this on myself, mostly, because I’m a bit of a culinary snob and believe curry should only be served over fresh, fluffy rice or scooped onto a steaming hot tandoori naan. I couldn’t get into a cold curry salad, so this meal just didn’t do it for me, but the quality of the food was excellent with a fresh roll and big juicy chunks of white meat chicken. So, week two is a wrap! I’m really pleased so far with the results and am looking forward to my next week of meals. I even got to go in and pick out what to substitute for sea-food (I am anti-fish!) and I got to pick some intriguing things that I wouldn’t normally try (like Black Bean soup!).

Do any of these meals look yummy to you? Would you like a curry chicken sandwich? Don’t forget, at the end of my reviews, Diet-to-go is offering one of my readers a FREE WEEK of meals! Pretty awesome, right?! Have a great day!

* In coordination with the honest bloggers act, I am being compensated and provided complimentary meals for these posts. But don’t worry – my opinions are always my own!

Jessyca’s Guest Post about the Gunnar Challenge

Hi Friends! Today I’m thrilled to share a post with you from my friend Jessyca. Jessyca and I met in journalism school in college and bonded over our love of sarcasm, witty writing and good books. Read her thoughts about the Gunnar Challenge and don’t forget to check out her blog 76 and Sunny.
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I am so hungry. Pretty much the only reason I’m writing right now is to keep from shoving my fingers into the jar of Gummy Vitamins on my desk and housing the whole thing. Fingers—stay busy! Type faster!

You see, I did something dumb. Well, kinda dumb but mostly courageous. I agreed to do this thing called The Gunnar Challenge, with personal trainer Gunnar Peterson through LIVESTRONG, which is owned by my company. About 30 of my co-workers and I are working out together for an hour or so six days a week. Oh, and we’re also following a meal plan and eating limited calories. For two months.

And now here it is, Day Three, and I am so, so hungry.

I really shouldn’t be. The calorie limit is really not that bad. But tonight, I want to enjoy two glasses of wine (238 calories) with my friends and so I’ve sacrificed snacking. Lord knows those two joyous glasses of red wine will be worth it.
But right now? Right now I’m thinking about how I just finished a crazy hour-long workout and all I want is a big, fat smoothie or some jalapeno chips (let’s be real: mmm, chips). Either of those would be too many calories, so here I am, writing.

This is what I want to be doing.

This is what I want to be doing.

The name of the program, The Gunnar Challenge, is fitting for me. I lost a lot of weight in high school and since I’ve come to accept my body to a large degree, no pun intended. I generally eat fairly well, but I wanted and I’ve embraced the challenge.

I have no big revelations to share here about Day Three. There’s nothing I can say about my sore muscles and empty stomach that hasn’t already been said millions of times before. I can only hope that at the end of these two months, I will have plenty of revelations for myself, even if they’re not revelatory to anyone else.

Here’s what I’ve figured out so far:

Self-doubt is my worst enemy. I start out thinking, “Yes! I can do this! I will do this!” and it gets harder. Even though it’s not so hard I can’t do it anymore, I worry and worry turns to doubt. And I feel myself fighting the urge to quit. I’m not going to quit. Doubt is a very good, very real feeling, and I will fight past it.

 

This may not be what I want to be doing, but I'm doing it!

This may not be what I want to be doing, but I’m doing it!

There is a lot of vulnerability in group workouts. Working out with the same people every day reveals a lot about those people’s weaknesses, physically, mentally and socially. Though I’m not among the strongest physically (yet!), I can be strong in other ways. I can contribute to the group by being upbeat, encouraging, understanding and nonjudgmental. Ideally, I’ll be stronger in many ways by the end.

That’s it. Oh yeah, and …

Foam-rolling is important. Very important.

KalorieBox Review and Giveaway!

I love getting mail. Especially now that I work from home, I wait in anticipation for the 4:30 shuffle of steps up my front stoop – knowing then that hopefully, the postman will deliver a bevy of boxes, a parcel of padded envelopes, or at the very least, a stack of letters and not just bills. Usually my mail days are a bust, filled with the mundane reminders of adult life – political flyers, cell phone bills and grocery store circulars. But on Saturday, I scored with the mail – because I received a Kalorie Box!

Screen Shot 2013-01-29 at 9.07.55 AM

KalorieBox is right on par with the new monthly subscription type boxes sweeping the nation – As a current BirchBox member (if you sign up use this link and we both get credit!), a monthly premium beauty sample box for $10, I was eager to check out a box filled with low fat and nutritional goodies. The first thing that struck me about KalorieBox is that it has a charitable angle to it. For each box they sell, they donate meals to hungry children. Pretty cool – I like the idea of losing my weight caused from TOO MUCH FOOD to help out people who don’t have enough (which is why my DietBet winnings this month will go to No Kid Hungry!)

Upon opening the box, I was impressed with the amount of stuff they pack in it. I scored a full sized box of Cheese Thinables, a Zevia lime cola soda, a bag of pirates booty, a fiber one cookie brownie, Peeled dried mango, a Pacific Grove Almond milk drink and a $1 off coupon for Zevia. This was a pretty hefty score, and one I’m still exploring. (Love the Zevia!!!) I have definitely been curious about almond milk but didn’t want to commit to a whole gallon, so I’m jazzed to try this out in a sample size. Also, the Cheese Thinables are pretty darn decent for a large 60-calorie serving (you get a huge handful! They taste just like Cheez-Its!)

KalorieBox

My KalorieBox loot – look at all those goodies!

KalorieBox has a few different options for subscribing – if you order one month at a time, it’s $25. If you order three months at a time, it’s $21 a month, or if you order 6 months at a time, it’s $17 a month. I definitely might check this out for a few months, because I love trying new foods and don’t always have the time to hunt them down at the store. Because seeing is believing, KalorieBox has generously offered one of my readers a sample box! There’s a ton of different ways to enter this giveaway, but I ask that you leave one comment letting me know why you want to win, and “like” KalorieBox on Facebook. This is a RaffleCopter giveaway, so for each action you complete, just hit the “I Did It!” button to the right for your action to be accepted. This giveaway will end next Wednesday at 12 AM PST and is US Only, 18+. (Don’t worry international – I have a giveaway coming up for you soon, too!)

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Superbowl Slimdown: Guacahummus – The best hybrid guacamole/hummus you’ve ever had!

A lighter alternative to Guacamole - Guacahummus!, hummus, low fat hummus, low calorie dip

A lighter alternative to Guacamole – Guacahummus!

It’s February and that means its time for FOOTBALL! However, do your usual Super Bowl snacks leave you feeling bloated and puffy, like YOU’RE stuffed into a pigskin? Have no fear – Guacahummus is here! This lightened-up dip saves you over 75 calories on average from fatty restaurant style guacamole. The best part is because of the tangy cilantro and creamy avocado, you really won’t even notice this fiber-rich fakeout isn’t the real stuff. Give it a try and let me know what you think! Note: You MUST use a food processor or blender for this recipe. One 2.5 tablespoon serving is approximately 88 calories, but you could certainly have much less and still be satisfied – I’m just all about volume! :)

Ingredients for Guacahummus - water and garbanzo bean liquid not shown!

Ingredients for Guacahummus – water and garbanzo bean liquid not shown!

1 can of Garbanzo Beans, drained, with 2 TBSP liquid reserved
1 small, ripe avocado
2 peeled garlic cloves
2 TBSP lemon juice
3 TBSP water
1 big bunch of washed and dried cilantro, stems mostly chopped off
Salt and Pepper to taste (Add Cayenne if you’re feeling spunky!)

1) Drain the garbanzo beans and add to your food processor. Blend until chunky and beans look like “crumbs”. Add the reserved two tablespoons of garbanzo bean liquid from the can.

chickpeas in blender to make hummus

Put your garbanzo beans or “chick peas” into your food processor with the garlic.

2) Add in the two tablespoons of lemon juice and garlic cloves. Blend until smooth.

Add your lemon juice to the food processor.

Add your lemon juice to the food processor.

3) Add the avocado, removing the pit and blending until smooth. Add the 3 TBSP water and blend again until smooth and thin.

avocado hummus

Add your avocado to the mixture.

4) Cram the cilantro in the food processor. For easier blending, split it in half and do it in batches. Blend, blend, blend until it takes on a beautiful guacamole color and there are no big lumps.

Put your cilantro into the food processor.

Put your cilantro into the food processor.

5) Season to taste with pepper, salt and garlic powder. If you like your guacahummus thinner, add a little bit of water until it reaches the desired consistency.

6) Serve with carrot chips, tortilla chips, cucumber slices or anything your low-fat heart desires! Enjoy!

Serve with tortilla chips or fresh vegetables of your choice - and enjoy!

Serve with tortilla chips or fresh vegetables of your choice – and enjoy!

 

Weekly Weigh In!

Hello everybody,

Happy Friday! I wasn’t sure how this week’s weigh in would go because I had a few wildcards pop up – like getting into the minor car accident that left me kind of lazy and slow so I didn’t do a ton of cardio, and having a slight delay in my diet-to-go meal plan that left me to my own devices. However, I mostly tracked on MyFitnessPal and tried to be as active as I could and just hoped for the best. So, this morning when I stepped on the scale, I waited for something not too nice…. but instead I …

Lost 3.7 pounds!

This is HUGE, folks. With the DietBet I’m participating in, I only need to lose 4 more pounds to make my 4% weight loss target. This was exactly the type of success I needed, because I’m so used to weighing in one week, doing well, and then yo-yoing upwards the next. I haven’t had three consecutive weeks of weight loss in like… 10 years. (Y’all know I love my hyperbole.)

This week I’m going to keep it up with a whole new batch of yummy Diet-To-Go meals, and tons of exercise – because I have a new toy! I got myself the Polar USA Heart Rate Monitor because I really want to start heart-rate training to see how to best burn calories. I already took it for a test drive on my walk/jog tonight and had a great time seeing myself burning calories depending on how I worked. Watch for a full review of that next week – I’m excited to see how it helps me on this journey!2

Allright – I’m off to bed. Thanks again for reading and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

fullbeauty Bra Review – Lace Soft Cup Camisole by Comfort Choice

Y’all know I am well-endowed in the boobular region. (Yep – gentlemen – it’s another one of THOSE posts. You may want to head over to ESPN.com for now, and come back tomorrow for a guacahummus recipe.) I remember with a grimace something that happened at one of my college jobs. My boss was a very well-off older fellow who frequently liked to make inappropriate comments and must have thought having money was his pass for being a dirty old man. On my way to work, the little stitch in the v-neck of my blouse had split, leaving me all kinds of bare, showing off waaaaay more of the girls than is appropriate for the office. I found a safety pin in my backpack (thank God for my high-school punk rock days), and clipped the shirt to hide my tumbling tatas. I thought I was being slick until I got in the office and my boss pointed at my chest and said “What’s that all about?”. I blushed about 50 shades of red and stammered that I was having a wardrobe malfunction. In my haste to cover up my little snafu, I ended up making it more obvious. LE SIGH. This is where I wish inventions like the Lace Cami Bra had been around a few years back. Ugh… Does anyone else have any embarassing boob moments? Anyways…

My "before" picture !

My “before” picture !

I’ve tried the Cami-Secret, and I thought it was weird. It’s almost too much coverage, making me feel like an Amish lady with a shameful chest. I like my girls, so it’s fine to have a small, feminine amount of cleavage – just not the “Hey boys!” kind, so when my friends at fullbeauty offered my sister and I the chance to review their new lace cami bra in exchange for a complimentary bra, I couldn’t turn them down. Because nothing is better than photographic proof, here’s my “before” photo. This dress is one of my faves – comfy, flowy, cute and feminine. The fit is great, but without a camisole underneath, I’m in boob city. If I’m not wearing a camisole underneath it, I’m tugging at it all, self-conscious that I’m giving the world an unintentional show. I avoided bending over or squishing my arms here to avoid making this pornographic, but you can see even from this photo that things get a little low-cut.

FullBeauty Plus Size Comfort Choice Lace Cami Bra!

Trying out the FullBeauty Plus Size Comfort Choice Lace Cami Bra!

Now I’m wearing the bra, and TA DAAAA! No more endless v-neck. One of my favorite things about this bra is that there’s no underwire. Because it’s wireless it won’t be your most supportive bra, but for layering, this is a definite win. I was initially worried it would itch because of the lace, but that hasn’t been a problem.

FullBeauty Lace Cami SoftCup Bra in Lavender Tulip

FullBeauty Lace Cami SoftCup Bra in Lavender Tulip

 

 

 

 

I’d definitely recommend this bra for any gal who’s looking for a more modest look without sacrificing the sexy. It comes in a bazillion different colors and ranges from 36B to 54G at $14.99-$29.99. My only slight complaint about the bra is there’s a seam right across the cup of the bra and I feel like under a light material you might be able to see it, but then I realized that the lace texture would offset that anyways, so I really can’t see any drawback to this bra.

So – now that we’ve had our weekly girl chat, you should go check out the Annual Bra Sale at fullbeauty. There are bras up to 75% off ranging from cotton “weekend” bras to sexy-might-end-up-on-the-floor bras, like this one. I also have this to say about bras – as someone who always bought whatever was cheap at Ross, I now know it’s a million times better to invest in a nice quality bra. A bra that fits you well and is made out of durable material will last you ten times longer than a cheapy from Forever 21 – and you’ll look better, too. It’s kind of like purses and makeup. Cheap ones are fun for a quick fix, but for something that’s going to stick with you through long days, you’ll want to spend a little more. If it’s time for you to get some new bras, stock up now (Valentine’s Day is on its way!), use coupon code FBA9009 for 20% Off Highest Priced Item + Free Shipping on $50+. (Expires 03/31/13). Not in the shopping mood? That’s ok – “like” fullbeauty on Facebook to stay up to date on the latest sales and promotions.

Ok gals, now that we have a solution to boob overflow, share – what are some of your boob-related embarassing moments? (There’s also that time my boob pressed the keyboard in a work presentation and typed a bunch of punctuation marks on my powerpoint. Now THAT was an icebreaker…)