Enter for a chance to win Skinny Pop Popcorn!

Yummy SkinnyPop!

Hey Bloggies! You know how I have a loud mouth and asked SkinnyPop for some popcorn to give to you? Well, sometimes asking is a good idea – because the kind folks at Skinny Pop sent over a giant box of popcorn for me to give to you! As you recall, Skinny Pop is my newest and favorite find from Costco. It’s delicious and only 155 calories for four heaping cups. While the fat grams are a little higher than I’d like, this is a wonderful, salty snack that packs major volume and taste for few calories. Let me tell you – it’s actually been kind of dangerous having a giant box of popcorn sitting in my house. It’s not guilt free if ya eat the whole bag. (I haven’t done this yet. But I’ve come close. The whole bag is 699 calories. Not shabby… but I’ll try to avoid eating the whole bag.)

Today, all you have to do to enter to win one of three sets of two bags of Skinny Pop – (I know that’s confusing – basically I have six bags to give away, so three winners will get two bags each!) is leave a blog comment! I know RaffleCopter caused some confusion last time, so here’s what you have to do.

1) Leave a blog comment by scrolling to the bottom of this blog post and hitting “Leave a Reply”. You must leave a blog comment to be entered to win.

2) Press the gray button on Rafflecopter (embedded below) that says (+1 – Do It!).
a Rafflecopter giveaway

3) It’s up to you, but you have a few more chances to win if you follow the directions in RaffleCopter (ie, tweet, like on Facebook) and then just press the (+1) every time you complete a task. It’s easy, I promise!

Let me know if you have any questions! SkinnyPop did provide me with free popcorn for purposes of this giveaway. And it’s delicious. Oh so delicious. The giveaway ends next Wednesday, 7.18 at 12:01 AM EST. Please share with your friends for an extra dose of salty and buttery karma. If you win, I will ship out your popcorn and soon you’ll be on your way to guilt-free poppin’! GOOD LUCK!

A Popcorn Fiend’s Review: Skinny Pop Popcorn

Picture to show scale. This is a giant bag, folks!

This week while husband and I roamed around Costco (him begging me to hurry up, me  distracted by 10,000 bars of soap and a barrel of cheetos as big as my head), I spotted a new face in the snack section. It lay gleaming in a bin like a shiny, oversized pillow – but it was filled with popcorn! And not just any popcorn … SKINNY POPCORN!

Those of you who have been following my blog for awhile know how much I love popcorn, so I’m kind of an expert on this topic. I bought the bag for a mere $4.99 for a sack that shamefully only lasted three days (Don’t worry – I had help), and I want to share my findings with you!

1) Love how it doesn’t have the stale, kind of styrofoam texture that most pre-popped and bagged popcorns have. It tasted light and crunchy, and was surprisingly very fresh.

2) It’s very simple – no fake cheese powder here. Just three ingredients: sunflower oil, corn, salt. Tasty and not loaded with preservatives. Two thumbs up.

135 calories for lots of crunchin'!

3) The best part was, I could have a gigantic bowl for only 135 calories. With me, volume is the key to satisfaction, and a nice big bowl was the perfect snack for studying that didn’t deplete my calorie balance for the day.

Skinny Pop didn’t send me anything to review or pay me for my opinion, I just felt like sharing this good find with all of you because I personally think snacks are one of the hardest parts of dieting. Maybe they’ll like this post and send me some popcorn for a giveaway for you! 😉 Check out Skinny Pop here, and if you see it, give it a try and let me know what you think!

Weekly Weigh In June 11th

Water Aerobics has been helping me shed some flubber! PS - Like my new swimsuit?

I approached Monday’s morning’s weigh in with a little bit of caution – I had been tracking well, but splurged on movie theatre popcorn, and also went slightly over my calories on Friday night. All in all I knew I didn’t “blow it”, but I wasn’t sure I’d be in the weight loss zone. Well,  I must have done something right, because this week I….

Lost 2 pounds!

YAY! I was kind of in disbelief, because this marks two consecutive weeks of having awesome weight loss success. I’m down five pounds in two weeks, which is shamefully more than I’ve lost in a year. Damn yo-yoing. Anyways, It just goes to show you that sometimes it’s just the smallest little things that can make a huge difference. Here’s what I’ve been doing that’s contributed to my success so far:

1)   Meeting every week on Monday mornings with my registered dietician. She keeps me in check and helps me work through upcoming challenges… and she reads my blog!

2)   Drinking water. Lots of it! It’s crazy how sometimes I confuse hunger with being thirsty. I’m trying to drink water now when I feel snacky.

3)   Realizing that little bites, licks and tastes add up. The things I pick at when I’m cooking can definitely add up, so I’m trying to be mindful of tracking every single thing that goes into my mouth.

4)   Allowing myself at least one good “splurge” a week – but realizing I need to balance it out with good choices otherwise, like the movie popcorn last week. I made a conscious decision to eat light the rest of the day and the week, and it didn’t mess me up on the scale.

5)   Letting myself feel crazy motivated and enthusiastic about my success. I’m a pretty enthusiastic person, and when I’m happy about something, I feel that much more propelled to keep going. I have some momentum now, and I love sharing with my friends that I’ve had some good weight loss.

How’s your week going so far?

Cake, Cake, a Smackerel of Cake!

Using the star tip to ice sugar cookies

Tonight I started my first Wilton Decorating Basics class at Michael’s Crafts. It’s only $22 for a four week session, and I get to learn basic icing piping techniques like shells, stars, flowers and ribbons. Tonight we started by learning star tips on cookies. While in class, the topic of weight loss came up, and as usual, a few people were shocked that I was trying to lose weight while taking a decorating class. “Isn’t it, like, torture?” asked one valley-girl teenager, smacking her gum. That’s what’s so weird… cake is fun and pretty and fancy and all, but I’m not a craver of cake. You all know by now that my poison is popcorn and salty crunchies…not cake! Cake, Cupcakes, Cookies – no worries. These cookies will be eagerly devoured by my co-workers anyways, so they won’t be loungin’ around my stomping ground for long.

Star Tipped Icing Cookies

Cakes and cookies and other crap aside, speaking of junk food, this week I saw 21 Jump Street with my gal pal Kelly. (It’s super funny, by the way!) I had decided to treat myself to some popcorn, so I diligently bought a small bag and passed on the butter. So – it was totally delicious and salty and yummy, but I should have stopped half way through, but I kept going and ate it all – and then, I had a gnarly stomach ache the rest of the night and woke up at 3:30 AM with heartburn, which I NEVER have. It’s really interesting how even just a week or so of healthy eating can translate into “Oh hi, junk food. We’re going to use you to remind Alyssa’s body that junk food is bad in oh so many ways. Let’s start with a stomach ache, then add heart burn, and then we’ll finish off with crazy bloating!” So it was good food for thought for me. I enjoyed the popcorn, but I don’t know if the side effects were worth it.

Do you guys notice that even subtle changes you make in favor of a healthier lifestyle can make a big impact on how you feel? It might have been my hyper sensitive imagination, but I even felt like I was more sluggish and low energy today after my junky treat. What do you think – are you what you eat?

Weekly Weigh In #3

Today was my third weigh in, and I’ll admit that I approached it with a somewhat pessimistic attitude. After last week’s weigh in, I was frustrated and disappointed that a week of staying on plan had gained me a gain! This morning, I got on my scale and was irritated that the number hadn’t budged in the direction I was looking for – in fact, it had stayed exactly the same. However, through my drama I knew I had to wait until I actually weighed in at the Weight Watchers meeting to make any decisions about the plan or my progress. So every time that little weight-loss rebel popped up on my shoulder, I told her to stuff it!  And happily, today I am

down 1 pound

It’s not a gigantic loss, but it’s a pound. And if you think about a pound in terms of hamburger meat, is a good chunk of blubber. I needed this little loss, because I needed an “attitude adjustment”, and now I’m encouraged to keep tracking, keep exercising, and keep losing weight.

My breakfasts as of late... Greek Yogurt, Fruit and Coffee. 5 points!

I’ll admit – this weekend will have challenges. I’m visiting my friend Monique in Seattle (She’s getting her Master’s in Social Work at U-Dub – cool!) and I tend to get a little out of control when I’m out of town and having fun. Wine, popcorn, dining out – these are the traps into which I often fall. But she’s also health conscious and I think we’ll try and hold each other accountable and get some exercise into our days. I’m now down 3.2 pounds in three weeks, and next week I’d love to hit five pounds.

So yay! Weight Watchers is working! I’m working! It’s working! Sometimes, a little encouragement is all you need!

 

Weekend Wrap Up

**Before we get started, did ya notice my cool new header?! Isn’t it awesome?! Special thanks to Amy Adams Studios for the darling illustration and to Nathan G. for the help setting it up!

I had a really good weekend! On Saturday morning, Matt and our friend Jason ran together at the Balboa Lake Path… and I went along! Don’t get too excited, I wasn’t running (maybe one day soon), but I did bring my music and pedometer and walked a good mile and a half around the park. It was a beautiful day and I clocked in 5,000 steps!

Balboa Path

On Saturday evening, we had pizza at our friend Matt’s house (he was my Matt’s best man!) with our other dear friend Julie. Julie and I met in grad school, and we had an immediate bond due to our awkward sense of humor, sharp wits and fondness of all things delicious. (She’s a frequent commenter here on the blog – everybody say HI JULIE!) While the boys made pizza, Julie and I enjoyed our buzz and sang songs as she strummed the guitar. (FYI, WW Peeps: Widmer’s Raspberry Hard Cider is only 4 points for the whole big bottle! Boozy score!)

Julie rocks out

My officemate Sacha says “Manishewitz” when she’s frustrated, and I’ve taken to the same habit. Julie and I got in a conversation about Manishewitz the other day (she’s Jewish, I’m not, so I had no knowledge of the grapey sugar water), and I told her I wanted to try it. Julie gifted me with my very own bottle. The verdict? Tastes like grape flavored hummingbird nectar. I’m told it’s the most sneaky hangover ever, folks.

Me trying Manishewitz

The first pizza Matt F. made was a delicious pesto, potato, garlic and bacon pizza. It was perfectly delicious, with savory hints of basil and crunchy pork. I ate two pieces.

Pesto Potato Pizza

The second pizza was spicy italian sausage, roasted peppers, caramelized onions, chevre, garlic and mozzerella. I was too stuffed to have a piece of this one, and I’m not much of a goat cheese person, so I watched as the others enjoyed it.

Thumbs up for Pizza Pies

We then played Apples to Apples (husband Matt won! Go Matt!) and then stuffed our bellies once more with the amazing Popcorn CakeI found on Pinterest. I used a bag of Trader Joe’s Kettle Corn instead of buttered popcorn, and I also omitted the pretzel sticks. I used two bags of M&M’s and about 1/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips. This dessert was very rich, but super yummy because of the saltiness and sweetness. It came out to about 8 points plus per serving, but I’d say it was worth it. Nom. Definitely making this again for a party.

Popcorn Cake

It was a challenging weekend in terms of healthy eating, but I tracked everything and used some flex points. I also had a good workout in there, so that should help even things out a bit. If I can keep drinking lots of water and fit in a few more workouts this week, hopefully I’ll see the loss I was expecting last week, this week. Moderation when I’m around delicious things is always the HARDEST thing for me, but I think I did okay this weekend!

So – you heard about my weekend – how was YOUR weekend?