Monday, July 27, 2009

We are getting ready to go...

Tomorrow morning we fly to Cancun where we will spend the whole week relaxing, and enjoying good food. Of course, I will do my best to stick to my plan. The hardest part is the variety. Because it is an all-inclusive resort, I can choose to eat whatever I want , whenever I want, however much I want. It is difficult for a food person like myself because I like to taste everything then decide what I liked best and order more of that particular food. I am going to try not to stress out about my eating, but just enjoy myself (within limits). I wish everyone could go with us to this resort. Our whole family would have such an awesome time. It is beautiful. The beaches and the ocean are exquisite. The ocean is turquoise and warm and the resort is clean with great customer service. Maybe we can plan a trip next spring. Everyone start saving up!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

It's in the genes

Today my mom and I went to Kimberly's house for lunch. She definitely has the Fuentes taste buds and knack for cooking delicious foods. She made us salmon, which she broiled perfectly after flavoring it with creole seasoning, pepper, and olive oil infused with grapefruit juice. It was delicious! I have never been able to make fish at home that isn't fishy, or overcooked. I love fish, but always wait for Dominick to take me out to a nice seafood restaurant. Kim has made me want to go buy salmon and try it at home. I want to duplicate her exact recipe. It was so good! Not only did we have the salmon, but she also made a quite tasty quinoa salad with halved cherry tomatoes, cilantro, pine nuts, and green onions. She tossed it with a grapefruit vinegrette that was very yummy. The quinoa is considered a "perfect" food because of its high protein content. Quinia tastes kind of like couscous but is even tastier. You make it like any grain. Make sure you rinse the quinoa before you cook it. I've made the mistake of not rinsing before cooking, and it can have a pretty bitter taste. Kimberly made the quinoa in her rice cooker and it was perfect. Great idea. I've always cooked mine on the stove. If you haven't tried quinoa before, I highly recommend it. Thanks Kimberly!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Salad and Salad

How delicious is salad?! Today I went to Surf Brothers Teriyaki for lunch. I love their simple menu. You have three choices. 2 teriyaki chicken skewers, 2 teriyaki steak skewers, or one of each. Your meal is served with a cabbage salad, and brown or white rice. Simple and delicious. I had the light bite meal (one skewer) with double salad and no rice. It was so good. The chicken is marinated and grilled and tastes just right with the cabbage salad. The salad needs a little teriyaki sauce and a tiny bit of soy sauce to have perfect flavoring. I ate every bite and was satisfied. For dinner I made a salad with lots of yellow cherry tomatoes, avocado, and leftover tri-tip. It was even better than my lunch salad. There is something about avocado. It adds such a creaminess and flavor to salad. I love it!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Days Later

Sorry I haven't posted in a few days. I was enjoying my time with Alyssa and Josh. It was so nice that they surprised us with a visit. Dominick and I are getting ready for our vacation in Cancun. We will be gone for a week and are so looking forward to it. My eating has been pretty good. I have been on my plan since July 6th. I do feel better and have more energy. The scale does not seem to be budging but my clothes feel a little better.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Best Recipe!

Yesterday's interview went well. Thank you so much for praying. The Lord really gave me a peace and I was able to answer the questions completely and with clarity. I felt really good afterward knowing that I did my best. I did feel unqualified when it came to the technology portion of the interview. The principal called me today to say that I was not going to be offered the job. She was very nice and complimentary of me and said I was a very strong candidate. She said she was looking for someone with a strong technology background to fill the fifth grade position. I'm so glad she called me today and didn't make me wait to find out. I know the Lord is in control of this situation and will work everything out.

I made the most amazing discovery today. You know how sometimes you can get sick of adding protein to every meal and snack? I know I do. Sometimes I just can't eat any more chicken, ham, turkey, hard-boiled eggs etc. and just want to eat a big strawberry salad or another delicious salad by itself. I found the solution! Add Greek yogurt and feta cheese to your salad dressing! Tonight I made a huge salad for myself. I added romaine, tomato, cucumber, and kidney beans. Then, for the dressing I put at least 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, a couple tablespoons of feta, lots of balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and a little olive oil. I mixed it all up and poured it over my salad. It was thick and creamy and so so good. It was kind of like a creamy Italian, but way better. You have to try it. I'm serious. It was delicious! With the kidney beans and dressing, there were 24 grams of protein in the salad. That is like having a whole chicken breast. Please let me know what you think.

Thanks for praying

Thank you for praying for me yesterday. The interview went well. The Lord helped me answer the questions clearly and I was calm and at peace the whole time. I'll let you know what happens. I will be fine either way. If that job doesn't work out, hopefully something else will come up.

Yesterday I had my protein shake for breakfast then I went out to lunch with my friend Norma. We went to House Fish Via Vera Cruz. They have gone downhill. First of all, they stopped including a side salad with your meal. They won't even let you substitute the other sides for the salad. The waitress said she would have to charge me $3.50 extra. Ridiculous. They also raised their prices. I paid $17.00 for a grilled piece of calamari, steamed broccoli, and six cherry tomatoes. What a rip off. Dominick said we are boycotting them from now on. By the way, even though I wasn't going to eat any bread, they also stopped bringing a loaf of sourdough bread and gave us two little rolls instead. Last night for dinner I made Dominick my strawberry salad (He's still not tired of it), chicken, and beans with jalapeño slices. I had a big bowl of Greek yogurt, sliced strawberries with splenda, and some raw almonds. It was very good.

Alyssa and Joshua drove in yesterday from Arizona. I'm so glad they are here. I am looking forward to her birthday on Sunday. I'm sure my mom will go all out. The food will be amazing. I can almost taste it.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Prayer Please

I have an important prayer request. Tomorrow I have an interview for a 5th grade position at Central School. It is at 11:00 a.m. I would really appreciate your prayers for me. Please pray that I would speak clearly and confidently and not be nervous. I have never wanted to teach upper grades, especially 5th grade, but I am willing to do it if it is the Lord's will. This is the only transfer opportunity that has been posted. I know that if the Lord wants me to have the job He will empower me to do it, and do it well. Thank you for your prayers!

I just got home from a funeral for my former student Andrew Hargis. He passed away last Thursday. He had a rare bone cancer called Ewing's Sarcoma and had been battling cancer for almost seven years. He was in remission when he started kindergarten with me, but the cancer came back midway through his kindergarten year. He turned ten last Monday. I went and visited him on his birthday. It was so sad to see him so close to death. He was loving and kind, and mature beyond his years. I will miss him. Three weeks ago, his hospice nurse helped him ask Jesus into his heart. I'm so glad that he is no longer suffering and is with the Lord in heaven.

My eating day was fine. I had another chocolate/banana Vivanno this afternoon. My recipe tastes just right.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Eating Out

Today I went shopping with my mom. We went to The Great Indoors in Orange County and two different Home Goods. My mom has such an eye for style and is fun to shop with. We went to Pei Wei for lunch. We did our best at sticking with the plan. We ordered the lettuce wraps and the Asian Chicken Salad. We picked out the crunchy wontons. Next time I would order the salad without them. It was a very flavorful and delicious lunch. I think it was close to my eating plan. Even though the salad dressing wasn't very sweet, I'm sure there had to be a little sugar in it. We are still moving forward one day at a time.

Tonight I made Dominick a veggie patty with an over-medium egg on top and served it with a side of beans. It wasn't the most beautiful meal, but it was filling, high protein, and tasty. He said he enjoyed it.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sweet Success

Today was a great day. It is definitely easier to eat the right way when I am busy and not right next to the kitchen. Have you tried the Vivanno protein/fiber shakes from Starbucks? They have 280 calories and are made with 2% milk and a whole banana. Recently Starbucks went all natural. They used to add high fructose corn syrup and artificial color and flavor to their shakes. Now the shakes have just the fruit puree or cocoa, milk, banana, and their protein powder. I have ordered them three times and have never really liked them. I knew that they could taste good and fit my eating plan if I could tweak them a little. I tried them with half a banana and skim milk. They were pretty flavorless. I tried the chocolate/banana with a shot of espresso, and half a banana. It tasted like cold bitter coffee. Today I think I did it. I ordered the chocolate/banana Vivanno with half a banana to lower the carbs and calories, skim milk instead of 2%, and two pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup. It was deliciously cold, sweet, and satisfying. It has around 200 calories and 15 grams protein. A great small meal or snack. Just perfect for such a hot day.

Dominick loved the dinner I made for him. We had flounder with homemade tarter sauce, and my strawberry salad. Half way through his meal, his mouth full and a grin on his face, he gave me a look that said it was so good he couldn't stop to talk. He just grunted a couple of times and gave me a thumbs up. I'm so glad he likes my cooking.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

End of Week 1

Well, I got through the weekend without falling off the wagon. It was hard though. I just got up and ate some Greek yogurt with fresh strawberries. I did have to put a package of Splenda on the strawberries because the yogurt was so tart. Now I just ate a few dark chocolate chips. I am done. I was going to go exercise around 2pm. I am still wearing my workout clothes and tennis shoes. I couldn't get myself to actually drive there. Now it is 8:30 p.m. and it is too late. I will go tomorrow. It is easier for me to exercise Monday through Friday and not on the weekends. Next weekend I will exercise one of the days.

Sandi's recipe for Lobster Rolls is in the comment section for yesterday's post. They sound so delicious and fresh. I have never cooked lobster either. I want to try making those for dinner this week. I think Dominick would really enjoy them.

This weekend I had oatmeal for breakfast. Not regular oatmeal, but protein oatmeal. 1/4 cup dry oats has only 13 carbs. I put my oats in an extra large mug and cover them with approx. 2 inches water. Then, I put it in the microwave for two minutes. You can make it on the stove if you like. I just don't want to wash the pan. When you take it out of the microwave if should look cooked and kind of creamy. Then I stir in a little peanut butter. In a separate cup, I mix one large scoop protein powder with approx. 1/2 cup water. Then I add the "shake" to the oatmeal. It is delicious, filling, and satisfying. I like it just like that, but you could also add a small handful of fresh blueberries. It is even better!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Day 6

Today was the hardest eating day of the week.  I think this was because I am used to eating whatever I want on the weekends.  My mom and I went to Sam's club and luckily they were offering chicken breast, flounder, and sugar-free popsicles as samples.  This afternoon I wanted to munch on something so I snacked on a small handful of dark chocolate chips and raw almonds.  I did read this was an ok snack on the Zone diet so I guess I am safe.  I was really craving chocolate and the chocolate chips really hit the spot.  I don't know why weekends are so much harder than Monday through Friday.  I need to get through tomorrow. Then I will know that I will be able to succeed in my eating plan.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Day 5

Yesterday, Dominick had a bacon cheeseburger from George Burgers. He said it was so delicious he couldn't take big enough bites. Tonight I served him a salad with grape tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, red pepper, fat-free feta, and grilled shrimp. We were watching an action movie while we were eating. Half way through my salad, I realized I hadn't really tasted it because I was so focused on the gun battle in the movie. I commented on my observation to Dominick, and he said that he tasted everything and that every bite of the salad was delicious. I guess I kept looking at him, so he changed the channel while telling me that "I was a woman scorned." He explained to me the adage "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." Apparently it is about a woman who has been betrayed by her man for another woman. He said it was like he was cheating on me by watching the movie while eating my delicious salad. In essence, he was cheating on the salad I created by watching the movie. So, by extension he was cheating on me. He is so funny. I loved his analogy. He switched the channel and talked to me while we finished our meal. I just wanted him to really taste all the yummy ingredients in the salad. He is so nice to me and always tries to understand my perspective on things. I love that about him.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Day 4

Good Morning! I thought I'd explain about our "huge taco salads" from yesterday's blog. I had to deviate from my weekly menu because I wasn't at home. I use the term "huge" because like I said in my first post, I can and do, consume a large quantity of food. I enjoy eating and don't want the meal to end. The taco salads were still in line with my eating plan. Lots of veggies, lean proteins, and beans. The Greek yogurt acts like sour cream but it has zero fat and lots of protein. You should try it! The taco salad was delicious.

I just finished my blueberry protein shake. It was so good. Today I used non-frozen blueberries. I liked them just as much as the frozen ones. The only difference was I needed to add ice today because I like my shake really cold. Does anyone have a breakfast idea for next week? Should I keep drinking shakes? They are very good and perfect for summer. Any ideas? Please post a comment or email me with your response. Thanks!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Day 3

Today my mom and I went up to go shopping with Sandi. It was fun. We went to the Nordstrom Preview Sale. Afterward we went to Sandi's house for dinner. We made huge taco salads. They had chicken and tri-tip, avocado, kidney and garbanzo beans, tomatoes, cucumber, and a salsa/greek yogurt dressing. Very good and filling, and Lolita was quite satisfied.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Day 2

Today was a very relaxing day. I love being on vacation. My eating day was good. In fact, my strawberry salad was even better today than yesterday. I added more dressing and less lettuce this time. That made it much more flavorful. I was laying around most of the day, watching the Michael Jackson funeral. I kept telling myself to get up and go exercise, but I couldn't get off the couch. At times, I wanted to get up and raid the refrigerator, but somehow I was able to hold the line. Finally, I got up and went to the gym. I did fifteen minutes on the treadmill, fifteen minutes on the recumbent bike, and fifteen minutes on the eliptical. I get bored doing the same thing for a long time. Boy do I need to get into shape! I'm really glad I went.

Dominick just told me that he loved the lunch I packed for him. I sent him the leftover fajitas and beans. He said they heated up perfectly and tasted even better than last night. He is so sweet. I made him my strawberry salad for dinner tonight and he wants me to send him one to eat for lunch tomorrow. Hope everyone is having a good evening.

Monday, July 6, 2009

A Successful First Day

I did it! I made it through my first day, eating the right things. Here are some tips. It is best to add the blueberries first instead of the protein powder. If not, you risk having the powder stick to the bottom of the Magic Bullet mug. I grilled a whole package of chicken breasts and then sliced them and put each breast in a zip lock baggie before putting them into the freezer. This made putting together my salad so much easier. I always have one bag defrosting in the fridge for the next day. Also, Sam's club has a huge bag of washed and cut romaine. This is so convenient. I made my strawberry salad for my mom today. She said she liked it. Dominick said my fajita dinner was delightful. He said he didn't even miss the tortillas. He wasn't joking either. I made lime jello with Greek yogurt for dessert. I'm serious, it tasted almost exactly like Ruben's green jello. Delicious! I am ready for day two!

So proud of you!!!

What a great idea. Now you can plan all of our menus. When you go grocery shopping be sure to buy two of everything...and stop by my house on your way home. This week's menu sounds delicious. ---Lilly

Sunday, July 5, 2009

New Start -Week 1

Tomorrow is Monday. I polished off the leftovers from July 4th and am ready for my new start. I have been putting off for too long starting and sticking with a way of eating that will help me lose weight. I am not starting a diet but, instead, an eating plan that I need to follow the rest of my life. As I get older, I am finding that I am gaining weight much easier and faster than before. I love to eat and am always thinking about what I will eat next. I consume mass quantities of food, especially at family parties. I have no full button at these events. I just eat and eat because it smells good, looks good, and tastes so good. I also think of all the hard work that went into making the food and I want to show how much I appreciate it. It seems like all the hard work of eating right during the week is seemingly undone by one family party on the weekend. To be honest, it's more like every weekend, whether there is a family party or not, I let myself eat whatever I want. That has got to stop.

I am going to follow my own plan which is a combination of South Beach/Zone/Jillian Michaels/Body for Life. I have studied all of them and they all have the same strategy for safe and healthy weight loss. Basically, I need to cut out bread, pasta, rice, tortillas, potatoes, and corn. I need to stick to lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and beans. I need to eat between 4-6 small meals a day each with a balance of protein/carb/fat. I am also going to cut out full-fat cheese. Sometimes I tend to overdue it on the cheese and have a hard time digesting it. I am going to follow my plan even on the weekends. I want to enjoy family parties, so that is the only time I will let myself eat whatever I want without following my new plan. Family parties come up quite often. At least once or twice per month.=)

For breakfast I am going to have a protein shake. I use the Magic Bullet and it works great! My goal is to have the same thing for breakfast every day this week. I don't want to have to make a lot of choices. My shake has two scoops protein powder (140), 3/4 cup frozen blueberries (80), 1/2 Tbls. olive oil (60), and water. Total calories 280. It is so delicious!! I promise you cannot taste the olive oil. It just makes the shake richer and keeps me satiated a little longer. Does anyone have a great breakfast idea for me for week two? Please post a comment, email, or call me with your recipe for a fast and delicious breakfast.

For my first snack I am going to have a turkey roll-up. I just use romaine lettuce and mustard with my turkey. I roll it up, and eat it. It's a perfect snack. (60 for two)

For lunch I am going to have a salad with romaine, strawberries, cucumber, fat-free feta, grilled chicken and a homemade balsamic dressing. Again, I am going to have this everyday this week. I might change out the strawberries for grape tomatoes if I feel like it. Both are great. Please let me know your favorite lunch for week two. (400)

This next snack is my favorite. I hardboil a bunch of eggs. Then I throw out the yolks and fill the cavities with hummus. These are truly decadent and delicious. Two eggs with hummus are the perfect amount. (100)

For dinner I am going to make shrimp fajitas. I figure I can change out the shrimp for chicken or beef every night so it doesn't seem like I'm making the same thing. I am going to use three different colored bell peppers and lots of onion. We are going to have salsa, Fage 0% (greek yogurt as sour cream), and a side of refried beans. (500) If you have a delicious dinner option for week two, let me know. I don't know if Dominick will let me feed him the same thing every night. But we will see...

For dessert I am making sugar-free strawberry jello mixed with 2 cups Greek yogurt. I made it last week and Dominick loved it. It makes about six servings. The jello taste better and turns it a pretty pink color. It also turns the jello into a protein snack. Plus, a big serving is only 25 calories. Try it, you'll like it.

I just added up my calories for the day and they equal 1365 total. That's right where I want to be, give or take a hundred calories or so.

I'll be letting you know how I am doing in a daily post. Any hints, tips, encouragement or questions will be appreciated. Have a great day!

So Full

We had the best 4th of July party yesterday at Dulce's house. She and Di are the best hostesses. Their whole house was decorated with stars and stripes. We even received patriotic mugs and Statue of Liberty notepads as party favors. The food was incredible. Starting with the appetizers, there was marinated/grilled shrimp, caprese salad, a veggie tray with homemade ranch dressing, and meatballs in bbq sauce. I was full with the appetizers. Next, was our main meal which included tri-tip, chicken, hot dogs, and spicy Italian sausage. My uncle Robert made the very best potato salad. He topped it with tons of crispy bacon pieces. Diane marinated and grilled eggplant in a sesame/soy/cilantro mixture. We also had fresh fruit, baked beans, and a yummy Greek orzo salad. Was I stuffed!! For dessert we had two apple pies, a boysenberry pie, and a birthday cake (homemade carrot compliments of my mom) for my cousin Kimberly. We were able to watch three different fireworks shows from their backyard. It was a wonderful party with family and friends. We are so thankful to be living in America!