Slow Cooker (kinda) Enchiladas

I hope everyone had a great day!  Despite the fact that we really don’t celebrate this “holiday”, I had the best Valentine’s day:  A picnic with my funny valentine:

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Normally, she would’ve been at daycare today but they called me yesterday at work telling me that she had spiked a fever-so we spent the day playing and cuddling.  It amazes me that even though she feels so crummy, she can still manage to laugh and smile-I hope that she always keeps that positive attitude.  

It’s been a while since I’ve made a recipe worthy of sharing.  If I’m not making some sort of chili in the slow cooker, our meals usually consist of a protein (poultry or fish) vegetables, and sometimes a carb/starch.  Exciting stuff happening in the kitchen…I know.

Well tonight, I wanted to mix it up and do something different, yet easy.  Dealing with a sick baby who won’t nap leaves very little time for tinkering around in the kitchen.  Yesterday, one of my co-workers made an enchilada casserole that was amazing and I recently saw something on Pinterest for slow cooker chicken enchiladas.  So I combined the two recipes for something amazing.

  • I lined 5 chicken breasts at the bottom on my slow cooker and poured just enough chicken broth in the pot so that they wouldn’t burn.
  • I sprinkled the chicken with taco seasoning and then topped them with enchilada sauce verde along with low-fat cream cheese cubes.
  • I cooked them on low for 7 hours.  
  • About an hour before I was done cooking them, I covered them with a shredded mexican cheese blend and green onions.

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Instead of shredding the chicken, I found it to be easier to just put each breast on top of a tortilla and served it with a side of rice and beans.  Easy peasy and very delicious.  Each chicken breast ends up being 7+ points.  Skipping the cheese, would set you back 5+ points, but let’s be realistic :-) 

ImageI’m off to cruise Craigslist for some furniture to rehab!  If Pinterest were my full-time job, I’d be an expert at it :-)   

Spaces

A few weeks ago I posted about my lack of discipline with tracking Weight Watchers points just via E-Tools and I blogged about whether or not I would just switch back to MyFitnessPal because it’s FREE and it does work.  I tried it for about a week, and yes I did lose some weight but I also noticed that my milk supply was decreasing.  Instead of just giving up on the weight loss effort altogether, I quit doing Weight Watchers just online and I joined their weekly meetings + e-tools.  My first week was actually the week of Thanksgiving (what was I thinking?!)  I did end up gaining, but only .4lbs.  When I went last week, I was down 3lbs.  Success.  I also noticed that my milk supply was back to normal.

With Weight Watchers I get a daily points allowance of 44.  That includes the 14 extra that they give moms who are exclusively breastfeeding.  When Madelyn starts eating solids (which might be any day now), I will subtract 7 points from that total, because I will be breastfeeding but supplementing.  When I plan out my meals, the 44 points is more than enough.  One evening, I had 15 points leftover so hubs ran to DQ and got me a carmel sundae.  Probably not the smartest way to spend 12 points, but I really wanted ice cream and I could have it without sabotaging my efforts.

I attend the meetings every Monday morning with a bunch of older grandma types, and I really enjoy it.  Last week, I brought Madelyn with me and everyone just loved her :-) One of the topics of last week’s meeting was creating Safe Spaces.  They focused on home, work, dining out, etc. I carry apple slices in my purse and in my kitchen I’ve gone through all of our packaged stuff (yogurt, nut butters, hummus, trail mix etc) and I’ve written the points value on everything that I possible can. The most important thing I learned was how big of a deal planning is. You are allowed 49 “extra” points throughout the week.  You can choose not to use them or use them as you need them.  We are going out for my father in-law’s birthday dinner tomorrow and I will probably dip into my extra points for the meal.  I have decided yet if I’m going to treat it as a normal meal or a treat for myself.  I’ve been pretty good this week so I’m leaning towards treat :-)

The meetings keep me accountable with weekly weigh-ins, provide great support and awesome advice from other members.  One of my biggest problems is that I really like to come home from work and snack on random stuff in the kitchen or snack on things as I’m cooking or baking.  And because I’m picking here and there I don’t count points, which I should because those bites count for something.  So now, when I come home from work I try to remember to stick a piece of gum in my mouth so that I won’t snack or I grab an apple or some veggies and hummus from the refrigerator.

Weekly Weight Watchers meetings are also a great source for new, healthy recipes.  I bought their salted carmel smoothie mix because it sounded heavenly, and my leader told me about smoothie pancakes-a pack of the salted carmel mix with 3 egg whites and a teeny bit of water just to thin it out.

smoothie pancakes

You prepare and cook them like pancakes and they turn out similar to the consistency of crepes.  With the salted carmel smoothie mix, no syrup is necessary because they’re already sweet and you’ve got 3-4 smoothie pancakes for a total of 3 points.  Add a banana or apple and you’ve got yourself a nice little breakfast :-) I’ve made them the night before and I reheat them at work the next day in the microwave and they’re just as good-creating safe spaces at work!

I’m off to earn some activity points-today we’re moving my mom into her new house :-) Have a great weekend!

Weigh in Friday-Week 2

Weekly weight loss: -2.6 lbs.
Total Weight loss: 5.6lbs

I had another successful week with Weight Watchers.  I’m learning that it only works if you track EVERYTHING you eat-everyday.  I’m surprised that I lost this much just because I didn’t get a chance to work out as much as I normally do this week, but on the other hand I’m back at work now and I had to plan my meals for the day.

Some of last week’s meals included:

-slow cooker jerk chicken w/brown rice
-breaded pork chops
-Salmon, cooked zucchini, and mashed potatoes
-And these somewhat healthy, delicious muffins posted below.  They count as a breakfast meal :-)
Pumpkin Muffins with Cream Cheese Middle
7 points +
Ingredients
  • 2 cups gluten free flour
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum-eliminate if you’re using regular flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 coconut oil-melted
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup agave nectar
  • 2 tbsp vanilla
  • 1.5 cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 12 tbsp low fat cream cheese-separated
Directions
preheat the oven to 350.  Line a 12 cup muffin tin with liners.  In a medium bowl whisk together all your dry ingredients.  Stir in coconut oil, agave, vanilla, and milk.  Stir until smooth.  Using a spatula, stir in hot water and pumpkin. Fill the muffin tin only half way.  Spoon in about a tablespoon of cream cheese.  Then, add more muffin mix  on top of the cream cheese, like this:
Bake for about 30 minutes, rotating the muffins 180 degrees at 15 minutes.  Check to make sure they’re done by poking a toothpick through the muffin.
  Onto week 3!

 

Weigh-In Friday: Week 1-Low Carb Night

Weekly Weight Loss: -3 lbs
Total weight loss: 3 lbs

This was my first week tracking every single thing that I ate.  I hit my points on most of the days and were left with a little extra on others.  I managed to workout 4 times this week, alternating between Zumba, Turbofire & Bar Method.  I’m looking forward to running more starting next week when I’m back at work but as of right now, my workouts are done when the little one naps.  I’ve been trying to get as much cuddle time as I can with her because I go back to work on Wednesday :-/ I’m hoping there are no tears from either of us.  We are putting her in daycare 3 days week.  I’ll be home with her one day during the week and LC will be home with her another day during the week. After doing lots of research and getting references, I have a very good feeling that she’ll be in good hands and the daycare is about 10 minutes from my job, so I can stop in during my lunch breaks.

Tonight’s dinner was low carb and full of protein and veggies.  I made stuffed peppers with  ground turkey and balsamic asparagus and tomatoes.  A glass of vino would’ve gone well with this meal, but I opted for a crustless pumpkin cheesecake instead (only 4 points!), recipe courtesy of Gina at The Fitnessista.

Turkey Stuffed Peppers-Italian Style

Weight Watchers + Points: 8
Serves 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 4 green or red bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery chopped
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 1.25 lbs ground lean turkey
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp of garlic powder (heaping)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes (italian style)
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • shredded parmesan cheese for topping
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions
1. preheat oven to 350.
2. in a skillet on the stove, sauté onions, mushrooms, garlic and celery in the olive oil until the veggies have softened.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the ground turkey, egg, veggie mix from the stove, garlic powder, italian seasoning, 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.
4. Stuff mixture into hollowed out peppers.  I cut mine in half length wise because they’re easier to eat and stuff this way. Place in a casserole dish.
5. Mix tomatoes and sauce in a bowl and pour over peppers.
5. Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese and cover with aluminum foil.  Bake for 50 minutes.

I’m off to catch some Zzz’s!  Tonight is Madelyn’s first night in her crib.  I’ve been so lucky to have a baby that sleeps as good as she does.  Up until tonight, she’s been sleeping in a bassinet in our room, but she’s getting too long for it and I’d like her to get used to sleeping her own room before I head back to work.  Here’s to hoping tonight goes well-fingers crossed!

 

 

Accountability

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had issues with my weight.  Up until my junior year of high school I was overweight.  The summer after my sophomore year one of my good friends and I got serious about losing weight and lost about 35 pounds.  We would workout twice a day and ate very little.  I remember some days only eating a footlong veggie sub from Subway-not good.  As you would’ve guessed it, over the years the weight has slowly crept back on and it’s been a roller coaster ride every since.

RIght before I found out I was pregnant, I was down to the lowest weight I had been in years.  I was about 10-15 pounds from my goal weight.  I credit that weight loss to my one month deployment overseas-there was nothing to do but workout and it was a month after I was advised by my doctor to go gluten-free so my food choices were very limited.  I came home in the beginning of November and by the middle of December I found out I was expecting my first child.

I continued to eat healthy and workout.  I wanted to give my baby a healthy start to life and I knew that if I stayed active I would have an easier pregnancy and a easier delivery-which I did.  Over the next 9 months, I gained 35 pounds.  I worked out at least 3 times a week and was very careful about what I ate.  I can’t imagine what my weight gain would’ve been had I used pregnancy as an excuse to “eat for two.”  I also read that if you remained active during pregnancy, it would help make those post-pregnancy pounds easier to lose.

On August 17, I gave birth to a healthy baby girl who weighed nearly 8 pounds.  When I got home and weighed myself, I had already lost 22 pounds.  The weight just fell off those 3 weeks after delivery.  Then one month postpartum things slowed down and my weight did not change.  I was up about 12 pounds and it looked like it was there to stay.

I continued to eat as healthy as I could, but I also knew that in order to support breastfeeding I had to consume 500 more calories a day to keep up my milk supply.  I remember shortly after I had Madelyn, running errands with Larry-we stopped at Kopp’s frozen custard for lunch and I ate a cheeseburger and a milk shake.  I didn’t think anything of it (besides the tummy ache I received from eating dairy and gluten) because I needed the “extra calories” for breastfeeding.  I then realized that I didn’t know how to eat in order to support both a healthy weight-loss and breastfeeding.  Before I became pregnant, I used MyFitnessPal to track what I was eating-but I was eating for weight loss and I didn’t know if I would be able to use this app while breastfeeding.

Back in college when I was trying to keep those pesky pounds from sticking around, I remember giving weight watchers a try.  I never really “officially” joined-my mom and sister joined and I kind of just went off of what they did.  I had a little book that gave me the points for all the food and I kept track of what I ate that way-and it worked until that is I got down to a weight I was comfortable with and stopped counting points.  The weight then returned.  A few weeks ago, I started doing more research with Weight Watchers and I found that they took into account nursing mothers and gave you extra points for breastfeeding.  I was sold.  I joined the online portion of it-my life with a newborn is too crazy to devote to weekly meetings right now, but perhaps in the future. The only problem that I’m finding is that with it being just online it’s easier to cheat or to not count that Reece’s mini pumpkin-it’s only two points and I earned 7 activity points doing 40 minutes of Zumba!  So, to hold myself accountable, I’m bringing my Weight Watchers weigh-ins to the blog.  Every Friday I will do a summary of how my week went and how much weight I’ve lost.  I want to get down to a weight that I’m comfortable at again and I want to stop this roller coaster once and for all!  Most importantly, I want to be a healthy role model for Madelyn.  I want her to be able to naturally make smart choices when it comes to food and to not have to worry about being overweight.

I realize that I just had a baby two months ago and some people might think that I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself to lose the weight quickly.  But, I’m already almost 2 months postpartum and I haven’t lost any of the weight that has stuck around.  In my job, I have to be physically fit and I have 6 months postpartum to get myself back into shape and pass a fit test.  At first I remember thinking, “No problem! 6 months is a long time!”  But now here we are with only 4 months left to go and I’m no where near ready-not even close.

So from this point forward, I’m making a commitment to myself to lose the weight once and for all.  I realize that it’s not going to happen overnight-it is something that is going to take time, patience, and willpower but it will definitely be worth it.

6 weeks postpartum