Monday, January 12, 2015

Oldie But Goodie!

This week, lets focus on a few OLDIE but GOODIE weight loss ideas and foods to support your plan. While I am encouraging you to try some of these strategies, it is important to consult with your doctor before beginning any diet routine especially if you have special health precautions.  This blog is my personal weight loss and maintenance journey, so I will speak of my challenges and my triumphs from my perspective. As a disclaimer, let me say that this works for ME butHopefully my insights will inspire ALL (male, female, all nationalities). 

Insights into my Journey: As a Black woman, I find most diets and weight loss plans to be UNEFFECTIVE. My body seems to hold on to fat. Have you every noticed that even on shows like the Biggest Loser, the Black woman seem to struggle and leave before any others. WHY??? Even with Weight Watchers I have to adjust my points to see the difference. WHY??? I am not a medical expert but I do know that Black woman carry weight differently. After years of dieting ....I finally found what works for me.   So let me share.......Ready...............

1. Reducing Carbs! CARB CONTROL is the key.  High Protein and low carb is my general principal.  I limit my carbs per day and per meal. You have to read the labels but also consider your meal choices. As I consider my day...I allow myself 1 to 2 carb items per day. During my diet week, I avoid Breads as much as I possibly can and I have some standards carb options if I am craving carbs....:

   a. Breakfast - Oatmeal (low carb options)
   b. Lunch - Small Bag of Chips (1/2 oz), Veggie Straws or Fiber One fajita wraps (recipe of this    coming soon)
   c. Dinner - 1/4 cup of rice ,  potatoes  or Macaroni

Allow yourself to enjoy carbs if needed but limit your portion size.

2. Protein and Veggies! This is the key to help you feel full faster and longer.  Unique ways to enjoy veggies are the key. This will be my next blog....I promise!

3. Exercise: You have to get moving. Start by walking 30 - 40 mins at a time. What you want to do is work up a sweat but also hydrate with water. Cardio Cardio Cardio...helps to burn fat. I personally prefer working out in the morning. Why? My Theory is as body burns fat at night while you are sleeping. Waking up and going to work out before eating continues this process. I take a bottle of water and get my 40 min work out in first thing in the morning.

4. What diet foods work for you? Log what you are eating during the week. REPEAT that meal plan the following if it worked! I always repeat the previous week if I have major weigh loss the week before. I repeat the meal plan and my exercise plan. If your body likes it...stick with it! I generally know what I am eating Monday - Saturday and this helps me not only prepare but to keep a disciplined routine. My standard dinner is grilled chicken leg (s), veggies and a little carb/starch.  If you become bored with foods easily see my next tip below...

5. Give yourself a break! My weigh in day is my break day. I continue to drink my water that day but I EAT WHAT I WANT (within reason).  This is my TREAT and CELEBRATION DAY! Save your craving as your reward. 

 I have a small theory about this as well. Have you every noticed that you lose the most weight during your first week and then after that it is " slow go" at times. I believe the first week is your bodies SHOCK WEEK! Weight loss is your body way of saying : "hey what you doing".  After a week or so you body gets use to the reduction of fat and food. However, when I take my day shocks the body a bit again and the food fuels it for the next round. It is almost like doing week 1 of your diet again every week.  That sounds crazy I know....but it works for me and I do not get bored with my diet food because I know SUNDAY IS COMING.  Try it.....if it doesn't work for you then make the necessary adjustments.

6. Weight Watchers - I love WW! The plan gives me focus however the points allotted are too high for me. I always reduce the points allotted to me. If you find that you are not losing weight on WW, then reduce the points and be sure you are drinking the water.

Oldie But Goodie Recipe!

Grilled Chicken Legs are filling and are the bases for my dinner each week. When I am hungry....this is what i grab first. Make this recipe fun with your blend of seasonings and by using FRESH HERBS. Make enough for the WHOLE FAMILY. 

Grilled Chicken Recipe

Grilled Legs
Pam Butter Flavor Cooking Spray (instead of oil)
Season All
Accent (if you choose)
Garlic Powder
Chopped Onion

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Throughly wash and clean the chicken legs
3. Lightly sprinkle both sides with all of the listed seasonings.
4. Spray with Pam Cooking Spray
5. Add a 1/2 inch of water to the bottom of the pan.
6. Cover with foil and cook for 90 mins covered.
7. Uncover and cook the last 20 - 30 mins uncovered. 

Serve with vegetables, and 1/4 cup of rice or potatoes. 

Option: This works well in the crock pot as well. Cook HIGH (4 hrs) or LOW (6 to 8 hrs). Be sure to cover the chicken 3/4 of the way with water. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Italian Chicken and Jasmine Rice

Italian Chicken
It's a snow day here .....which means HEALTHY COMFORT FOODS are on Deck! Today I am preparing Italian Chicken with Jasmine Rice.  I love fresh steamed broccoli with this dish.  Grab your crockpots and lets make something yummy and healthy!

4 pds - Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
1 1/2 cup - Chopped Onion (divided in half)
1 cup - chopped celery (divided in half)
1 cup - diced/shredded carrots (divided in half)
15 oz can - Tomato Sauce
15 oz can - Diced Tomato (i prefer the ones with onion and green pepper)
The main ingredients
Season All
Accent (optional)
Italian Seasoning
Lemon Juice - just a dash
Jasmine Rice - I prefer Uncle Ben's 90 second rice ...its fast and good!
Steamed Broccoli

Directions - 
1. *Weigh your chicken thighs - it is important to have an idea of the weight of each chicken thigh before all the ingredients are added.
2.  Turn your crock pot on HIGH as you are prepping to cook this meal.
3. Add half of the onion, celery, and carrots to the bottom of the crockpot.
4. Season both sides of your chicken thighs with Salt, pepper, Season All (this is a salt base so be careful), and Accent.
5. Add the chicken thighs to the crockpot.
6. Place the remaining vegetables on top.
Before the Tomato sauces
7. Pour in the Diced tomatoes and tomatoes Sauce.
8. Add a dash of lemon juice.
9. Add 1 tsp of Italian Seasoning
10. Cover and Cook on LOW for 6 to 8 Hours or on HIGH for 4 hours.
11. At the halfway cooking point (2 hrs on high or 3 hours on low), LIGHTLY mix everything in the crockpot. Be careful to not break the chicken thighs.

Right before serving cook the Jasmine 90 second rice in the microwave according to directions. After cooking the rice, place the rice in a bowl and add a little salt and 1 tsp of margarine.

For those who are aiming to lose or manage your weight,  your serving portion is as follows:

1 Chicken Thigh in Sauce (around 4 -6 oz precooked weight. Will weight a little more weight with the sauce)
1/2 cup of Rice (reduce to 1/4 cup if you have had a lot of carbs earlier in the day)
1 cup of Seamed Broccoli
*Serve the Chicken and Sauce over the Rice! Try to take the chicken out without breaking it first and then add the sauce on top. You can have up to a cup of the sauce so be careful to measure the chicken.

From the Heart,


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Post 3 - Week one Plan your meals!

Alright, now everyone it is time to start cooking and prepping.  Here is a few things I first want you to remember:

1. Take an afternoon to prep for the week - I use Sunday evening to prep so that monday I can just grab and go! Place everything is small baggies and containers so that you just have to drop in in your food bag. It takes me all of 5 mins to grab all my goods in the morning

2. Family Dinner/Cooking - I am loving all the questions that I am seeing on preparing food for the whole family that fits with your menu. YOU CAN DO THAT! My family eats the same things that I do and have no idea its all a part of my healthy plan. The days of SALAD and GRILLED CHICKEN ARE GONE YA'LL!! I will share recipes that work for the entire family and that do not take A LONG TIME. I always try to cook for 2 to 3 days at a time. When you cook...cook enough for a few days so that you are worn out and learn the art of hiding and stashing some so that they can not eat everything in one setting lol

3. Did you pick your weigh in / measuring day? I suggest 5 days completely on your plan and then weigh yourself. STAY OF THE SCALE DURING THE WEEK! That will discourage you...wait until the end.

So Lets Get Started:

a. Weight and measure yourself and then log it in your journal. Take a selfie because you are about to evolve :)

b. Grab your lunch bag and fill it with enough food, fruits and snacks to last until you get back home.

Daily Routine:
Here is the daily morning routine that works well for me:
1. Water first! Before you eat anything....Drink 1 bottle of water but Aim for 2 bottles. This will begin filling you first before you evening eat but Lets be honest....the key to your beginning weight loss is URINATING. Drink until your URINE is one the clearer side. That fat flushing.

2. After my water - I have COFFEE. Coffee is known to help speed up the metabolism.  I do not like black coffee so I am careful about only adding things that are calorie free. If you remember in my last post I talked about loving to stop for a treat/snack. Coffee is my treat! I go to Starbucks every day because it fills that trigger need for me to stop and get a snack. I get my:
"Blonde Roast, Sugar Free Vanilla, Fat Free Milk and 5 splenda (yes its alot but I can not use sugar)" EVERYDAY! But I also have to trick myself a little bit. I do not allow myself to enjoy this beverage until I have finished my water. I am not a big fan of water so this motivates me to hurry up and drink it so that I can get to what I really coffee

3. Breakfast - I give myself a little time before I begin eating breakfast. The earlier I begin eating, the more I eat within a day. Remember I talked about knowing where your big meal needs to be in the last post. So what do I eat for breakfast.....glad you asked. Here are some breakfast options.

     Option 1: Weight Control Oatmeal, fruit (strawberries and banana)  and 2 pieces of Bacon
     Option 2:  Egg muffie (recipe below), fruit and 2 pieces of Bacon
     Option 3: Fruit (on days that I am not as hungry)
     Option 4: Veggie Egg White Omelet and 2 pieces of bacon (if you are home and have time to fix breakfast). Use Pam Cooking spray and load the egg white omelet with lots of veggies.

I know some folks do not like breakfast but I encourage everyone to eat a little something in the mornings in order to BREAK THE FAST. Your body needs a little fuel in the morning .  Use Opt 3 if you are not big on breakfast

4. Snack Times - every 2 to 3 hours eat a light SNACK. This keeps you from getting overly hungry and keep your metabolism going.  Snack Options : (pick one)
    Option 1: Fruit (grapes, banana...) and 100 calorie yogurt
    Option 2: Cheese Stick and Fruit
    Option 3: Fiber One Bar
    Option 4: Small Bags of Plan Utz Chips  or Veggie Straws (i usually by the  utz 1/2 chips)

5. Drink! - Water and low calorie beverages between meals help you to feel full longer.

Breakfast Egg White Muffies Recipe
" I suggest cooking no more than 6 at a time unless you are cooking these for the entire family for the week".
Egg Muffies

Chopped Onion
Chopped Peppers (yellow, green, orange, red..)
Chopped tomatoes
Fresh baby spinach
(other veggies of your choice)
Fat Free Cheddar Cheese (I use Kraft Fat Free)
Liquid Egg Whites
Seasoning (Salt, Pepper)
Pam Butter Flavored Spray
Cupcake Pan
Optional Fat Free Salsa: I love to top these with a little salsa

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
2. On top of the stove, lightly sauté the vegetables. Spray a cooking pan with Pam Butter Flavored spray and add all of the veggies. Lightly season to taste with salt and paper. Add more spray if the veggies need more oil.
3. Spray the muffin pan with nonstick spray
4. In each muffin tim: Add 2 tbsp of veggies to the bottom, 3 tbsp of egg whites, and 1 1/2 tbsp Fat free cheddar cheese
5. Cook in the oven for 20 - 25 mins until the egg muffies are light brown, puffy and the eggs are set.
6. Store in sandwich bags in the refrigerator.
7. To reheat these just place in the microwave for 30 - 40 seconds.

Veggie Mix

From The Heart,

Post 2 Week One - Reflect before beginning this week

Lets get started folks! Hopefully you have purchased many of the suggested items in the first post. In order to begin this will,  I will be breaking up the post so that it is not overwhelming but please be sure to read each post because all of the post will be interrelated. In order for you to make a plan that works specifically for you, please take a moment to reflect on the following:

1. Are you are eater or drinker? Personally I can care less about drinks...I actually have to force myself to drink anything. But that works well for me because it allows me to use my calories on foods that will keep be feeling full and satisfied. Now some folks love to sip and drink (soda, coffee, juice, tea, water ...all day).  Just be aware of your pattern and we will talk about drinking a little later .......but it is important to know if you prefer to drink a lot or eat.

2. What is the most important meal of the day for you? More importantly which meal do you want to be your BIG MEAL?  Initially I thought it was breakfast for me...but then I realized I used more calories in the morning and was starving near dinner time. This caused me to overeat and snack at night. Take a moment and note where and when you need the largest meal. I suggest dinner but everyones body is different.

3. Are you a snacker? and do you prefer Salty/Sweet snacks? I like salty snacks...and actually have to have a small bag of utz everyday. I love to snack so I have to plan for that each day. I keep a grab bag of every type of snack possible so that I do not go to the vending machine or make food stops. Small no calorie snacks is the key for snackers. This is a subject we will explore more on this blog!

4.  What is your trigger? What causes you to eat?  - Is it the vending machine, stress, watching tv, hunger, or being bored. I have a few triggers, the first one for me is DRIVING! Yes when I drive I feel like should need to stop and grab a snack. For 16 years I commuted 90 mins a day, so the car was my meal and snack time. Now I plan for this trigger.

My second trigger is the battle of salt vs sugar. Once I have something salty....I immediately want a little something sweet and that causes me to want more salt. That entire scenario causes me to go crazy with snacking. So whats your trigger..... I guess this is another topic we have to tackle huh?!?!

Reflecting on all of these will help you to substitute my suggested menu items and replace some  of the menu items with things that work well for you.  Feel free to reply below or reflect quietly in your journal. The goal is LIFE STYLE CHANGE that works and getting to know YOU!! Changing for the moment leads to momentary weight style changes leads to lasting results!

From the Heart,


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Prep Yourself for Success- Good and Healthy Eating

Weight loss and Healthy eating is a challenge but with good advice, help, support and suggestions ....we can do this together. The first step is preparing yourself for success. I am going to first suggest some things to have and how to prepare ourselves for success.

Ensure you have:

1. Food Scale: It will be important to weight your food (meats in particular). It does not have to be a fancys scale, just reliable one. I use the weight watcher digital but prior to that I used a basic walmart food scale

2. Weight Scale: This will help you track you success. Do not get on the scale everyday. Pick one a day week that will be your "weigh-in day".

3. Tape Measure: Sometimes we loss inches and you want to ensure that you weigh and measure yourself once a week. Its really encouraging!

4. Journal: you have to write down what you are eating.

5. Snack or Lunch Bag: I have to use a grab bag to ensure I have all my treats handy.

6. The right foods handy (see my list below)

Things to do:

1. Get rid of the leftovers and junk food. We are going to restock the food pantry and fridge with good and healthy stuff.

2. Grocery Shop and Prep for the Week (see the list below).

3.  Get your mind ready for the battles. This is a journey and a little by little you will see a difference.  The first two weeks your body will be fighting you a bit but it gets easier! Prepare now !

4. Please feel free to follow my plan, however I strongly recommend joining Weight Watchers also. I use their basic guide for weight loss and maintenance. Their tracking app and fitness link band helps!

1. Bottle Waters: this is a must have
2. Hot Coffee/Tea
3. Variety of Fresh Fruit: Strawberry, apples, oranges, bananas, grapes, cherries.....
4. Peppers and Onion: You can buy this already mixes and chopped in most stores. I suggest, red, yellow, orange,  green peppers, along with chopped onions
5. fresh baby spinach
6. Egg Whites (100% Egg Whites)
7. Bacon (or turkey bacon yuck!) - i use Gwaltney low sodium
8. Kraft fat free Cheddar Cheese (Shredded)
9. Pam Butter Flavored Cooking Spray
10. Promises I can't believe its not butter cooking spray
11. Oatmeal: I like Brown Sugar Oatmeal - Look for WEIGHT CONTROL OATMEAL
12. Chicken: Legs and Boneless Skinless thighs
13. Cracker Barrel Cheese Sticks (regular is fine)
14. Fiber one bars
15. Sugar Free Flavored Coffee Creamer (if you  like coffee)
16. Crystal Light packets  (I like Raspberry Lemonade Packets)
17. Veggies: Green Beans, Broccoli , Collards....whatever GREEN veggies you like
18. Rice: I like the 90 second heating packets: Jasmine and Basmati Rice.
19. My Treat : Veggie Straws (i like the Zesty Ranch) By the individual bags.
20. Fiber One Wraps
21.  Weight Watchers Individual Chicken (freezer section)
22. Fresh Finely Cut Fajita Veggie Mix: I like the mix with Broccoli, onion, peppers, carrots. Many stores have it already chopped in the produce section. Wegmans can cut it up for you.
23. Weight Watchers/Smart one meals: Look in the freeze section for meals. The points are at the bottom. Aim for items under 8 points. Definitely grab some of the soups and I love the Sante Fe Chicken. Go with your taste buds.
24. Meats: Salmon (individuals), Turkey Wing Sections, Lean cuts of Pork Chops (if you eat pork), Fish (if you are fish eater)
25. Sweet Eaters: Look at the weight watchers snacks aisle. Aim for things under 4 pts.
26. Plenty of the Sandwich Bags!
27. Alternate Sweetener: I prefer Splenda
28. Yogurt: I prefer Yoplait 100 calorie Greek or Dannon Light and Fit (100 calories is the key)
29. Seasoning (pick from your likes..however i use all of thes): Salt, pepper, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Thyme, Chicken Bouillon, Ground Ginger, and  Accent (i know some folks don't like it but i do)

Okay I think I covered the beginning bases. We will prep meals for the week to make this easier. Grab and go is awesome! Starting on Monday....Plan to food prep on Sunday.  Together we can do this!!

From the Heart,


Monday, April 29, 2013

Eating to Lose Weight....This is my meal plan!

Eating to Lose Weight

Since November I have been working hard to lose the remainder of the weight that I have been carrying since having my baby girl 2 years ago. So I decided to go to Weight Watchers. Let me first say that 100% endorse Weight Watchers and encourage anyone wanting to lose weight to join. It is worth EVERY DIME. I am willing to help keep you motivated so please just let me know if you need support.  On May 4th, I will become a LIFETIME MEMBER of Weight Watchers! WOOHOO!!
So how did I work the plan??? I’m glad you asked. The following things worked for  ME but please know that everyone’s body is different and that is why I encourage EVERYONE to go to Weight Watchers to help learn about yourself.

Guiding Principals
1.     You have to eat to lose weight. Do not skip meals. Plan on eating 6 mini meals a day.
2.     Remove Junk Food and Triggers. If its not handy then you can not eat it.
3.     Know that the first 3 days are your most challenging but once you make it to the 4th day……YOU ARE GOOD!
4.     I am strict to my plan Monday – Friday. Saturday and Sunday I allow myself to moderately eat the things I like and want. In a strange way, I believe this tricks my body to lose weight even faster.
5.     Pack your meals and snacks and take them with you so that you will have those things handy.
6.     Keep fresh fruit handy. This helps curb sweet cravings. I have fresh cut strawberries, melon, grapes and bananas – handy at all times.

First thing I do is PRAY for God’s Strength. I know that I can not win this battle alone.  I realize that  working on my weight is easier when I am having my quiet time and am spiritually “in tuned” with God . Get connected! Remember “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.

1.     Drink one bottle of water before you eat anything. Give yourself 30 mins to allow it to circulate through your system before eating anything. Personal note: I drink a bottle while driving to work and make myself drink it before I can stop for my morning cup of coffe.
2.     Drink one cup of coffee/hot tea next.  This was my routine long before Dr. Oz announced that it helps boost your metabolism.


Breakfast Options

Serving Size
Option 1

(add fruit, splenda- regular splenda/brown sugar splenda)
1.    Weight Control Brown Sugar
2.    Weight Watchers Oatmeal (buy at WW centers)
3.    Starbucks Plain with Brown Sugar

1 pack

1 cup containers

1 serving
Option 2

Home Breakfast Sandwich

a. 2 slices of Bacon
b. One Boiled / Fried Egg
c. 2 Slices of Toast

a. Gualtney Low Sodium Bacon

b.One Large Egg (use butter flavored Pam Cooking Spray

c. Sara Lee 45 calorie Wheat Bread

2-3 slices

1 Egg

2 Slices of Toast
Add on to Option 1 or 2

Pair Fresh Fruit with
Any of the above option

Slice Fresh Strawberries/peaches, sprinkle with Splenda/Equal, Cover and allow to sit over night in the fridge.

1 cup

Place in a sandwich bag and add to your oatmeal or eat seperately

Mid Morning Snacks ( about 2 hours after breakfast)

Serving Size
Option 1

Cheese Slices


Cracker Barrell 2% Individual Cheddar Cheese Slices

Regular Ritz Crackers
1 Cheese Slice

5 Ritz Crackers
Option 2

Honey Roasted Sunflower
Walmart Brand
3 tables spoons
Option 3
Boiled Egg (w/salt and pepper)

1 Large Egg

Add on to Option 1 or 2

Pair Fresh Fruit with
Any of the above option

1 cup

Lunch Options
Serving Size
Option 1
Frozen Meal

Smart Ones
(no more than 8 points)

1 meal
Option 2

Veggie Wrap
With or without chicken

*add mustard for a great taste

a.    Stir Fry Vegetables
(I have a great recipe let me know if you want it)

b. Carb Control Wrap
     Fiber One Wrap

c. Weight Watchers Chicken Strip (baked)

½ cup

1 wrap

1 chicken strip
Option 3

Low Fat Soup

Grilled Chicken Patty/Strips

1 cup of Campbells Gumbo Soup (my favorite

WW Brand Chicken Patty/Strips

2 Cup

1 Patty or 3-4 strips
Add on to Option 1 or 2

a. Pair Fresh Fruit with
Any of the above option

b. Cooked Veggies


Snack 2 – mid day
Serving Size

Option 1
Broccoli with FF Salsa

Fresh Broccoli

Any fat free Salsa

*note – this taste better then it sounds.
Option 2

Cheese Slices


Cracker Barrell 2% Individual Cheddar Cheese Slices

Regular Ritz Crackers
1 Cheese Slice

5 Ritz Crackers
Option 3

Potato Chips
1.    Smart White Cheddar
2.    Utz Plain Chips (1/2 oz)
Yes I allow myself good snacks
Option 4

Snack Cakes

Weight Watcher have lots of low calorie cake snack. I like the Coffee cake/Lemon Snack Cake

Dinner Options
Serving Size

grilled legs
green beans

2 legs
1 serving
1 biscuit
Home meals

a. Grilled Chicken/PorkChop/ 1 turkey wing or Steam Shrimp

b. Vegetables (cooked non fat..see me for recipe)
c. Starch

1 Leg, Lean Chop, Turkey Wing
Veggie (season without meat or use a few slices of bacon)

Starch (corn, mash potatoes, bakes sweet potato

½ cup of veggies

½ cup of starch
Baked Sweet Potato with Splenda Brown Sugar

Serving Size
Make sugar free strawberry and cherry jello. Add fruit cocktails

Any sugar free jellos
Add a touch of non-fat whipped cream

1 cup
Strawberrys w/whipped cream

Giant food store brand Angel Food cake rounds
Add Strawberries and whipped cream

Low Calorie Whipped Cream
Freeze it
1 cup with strawberries.
Just like ice cream
1 Ice cream Cone (small)

Special Note:
1.     Aim for 3 bottles of water each day.
2.     Try to get in 30 mins of cardio exercise at least 2 /3 times a week.
Drink Options: Water, Crystal Light (I love Rasberry Lemonade), Milk, Coffee,  Tea (not sweet tea – use a sugar substitute). Avoid Sodas. I do not drink Sodas at all. Sodas cause you to retain weight