Archive | September 2012

How in the heck did I get here? (Part 1)

Before I start I want to say that I understand that everything anyone has done to help me with losing weight has done so out of love.  Also, I understand that I have to take responsibility for the way I am today.  No one shoved Ho Hos down my throat with a milk shake chaser (wow that sounds good right now).

I cannot remember a time when my weight wasn’t an issue with the people around me.  I can look at pictures of me 2 to 3 years old and I was thin and sick looking.  I was very sick a lot for a few years and you can really see it. 

I was so pale in many pictures

I loved the water and did not mind wearing a bathing suit then

I even had dark circles around my eyes in a lot of early pictures.  Then all of a sudden I see picture where I have a stomach sticking out, then the rest of me followed by getting bigger and bigger. 

My mom used to call me “Little Mary Alice Powell”, who was (and still is, I believe) the main restaurant critic here in Toledo.  My dad and grandparents took me out to eat all the time and I developed my “foodie” critiquing skills and a deep love for “good” food.  Now we now know you get this “good” food by adding tons of tasty fat and carbs. Restaurant portion sizes weren’t as big as they are now but they were still a lot larger than they should have been.  I remember I could take down a whole adult meal in some really nice restaurants in Toledo. 

I liked fruits and vegetables but the strawberries were always better with sugar to make a sweet sauce or cheese on my cauliflower and broccoli.  Of course a tomato wasn’t good unless it had Miracle Whip on it.  Salads all had regular fat dressing on them. 

As I got older there were constant reminders that there was “something wrong” with me.  The doctors would talk real quiet to my mom about my weight while they were trying to figure what was “wrong”.  There were diet restrictions like no candy or sweets; talking about what I would eat and what days I was allowed to have dessert while on vacation before we even left town.  Even at 7 years old I would save up all my money and sneak over to the drug store and buy the things I “wasn’t allowed” to have and eat them anyway.  I even paid with 250 pennies one time at Hills and they got the supervisor to come over because the cashier didn’t want to take all pennies.  Oh, don’t mess with a 7 year old’s candy stash, YOU WILL LOSE!   I had to “weigh in” every weekend at my dad and other mom’s house (I hate the term “step” for my step parents but never figured out a good term with a better picture than stepmom, stepdad…) which I dreaded and absolutely hated. 

I remember the photographer talking about how to best angle this shot so I wouldn’t look so overweight. I still love him though.

There were times in gym class when you had to get weighed.  In Junior High they had a scale that still seems HUGE.  Maybe it was a perception thing, who knows.  I was always the biggest kid and it was so embarrassing.  The gym teacher would always have to comment, too.  Every doctor’s appointment we always get on the scale.  That was one thing I appreciate about my midwife group, they don’t weigh you.  You weigh yourself in a bathroom and tell them what you weigh.  I am an adult and don’t need someone standing over me like I am locked up in a hospital and need supervision so I don’t hide my meds under my tongue.  AND YES, I HAVE ALWAYS TOLD THE NURSE THE CORRECT WEIGHT!

GYM CLASS, every fat kids nightmare!  I would do anything and everything to get out of it.  First of all you have to change clothes in front of everyone else…Hell on Earth!  I was always picked last for teams…Hell on Earth!  I always sucked at all the activities…Hell on Earth.  And I was always last in the track or running activities…Super Hell on Earth!  The gym teacher would yell at me for stopping or running (usually walking in my case) too slow.  Other classmates made fun of me for being slow.  Tell me how this is helping me?  Wow, I really needed a chocolate bar after gym class. 

I will continue this topic in my next blog post.  I know I am long winded and you might need a break.

Our first show on MomTV. Time Management and Organization

I wanted to apologize to anyone who tried to tune into our first show.  MomTV has been having some technological difficulties that have been fixed.  We had a great time doing out live show but it seems like the video wasn’t available for the entire show.

Our first show was about Time Management and Organization.  I focused on finding ways to get activity and exercise in even when we are busy.

One app I featured was Nexercise.  Nexercise is a social networking and GPS workout app.  It helps you track your workouts, gives you challenges for fitness and activities, and rewards you with ribbons and prizes.  Get support while chatting with others.  It is available for Iphone and Android phones.

*Please check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.

Also, in the show, Kat talks about staying organized with the kids homework, activities and morning routines.  Alison had great ideas for organizing your house.  Allie highlighted ways to keep your family and their activities organized so everyone knows what is going on.  Lily prepared a wonderful overnight refrigerator oatmeal.

Goodbye rice…Hello bulgur!

I have really tried to avoid rice and pasta the last couple months but I needed to find something to replace them that is nutritious and tastes good.   I really don’t like brown rice.  I don’t like the texture, taste, or smell and it doesn’t matter how it is cooked.  Bulgur is one of my new favorites.  It can be interchanged with most recipes that call for rice.  Bulgur is a quick cooking form of whole wheat that has been precooked and ground.  It is much more nutritious than rice with more fiber, B vitamins, iron, phosphorus and manganese.  It is easy to make either with a short burst of cooking in the microwave then let it sit for 20 minutes or put it in hot water and let it sit for up to 45 minutes then it’s ready to be eaten.


My favorite ways to use bulgur are in vegetable salads with beans or lentils or in meatballs and hamburgers.  It makes a great filler making your meat go a little longer.  We know how important this is in this economy.  I am including a meatball recipe with bulgur in today’s post.   My husband said these were the best meatballs he had ever had!  Even better than cruise food.

Mike said my bulgur meatballs were “better than cruise food!”
Best compliment ever!!!

If you use extra lean ground beef, ground chicken, or ground turkey this is a pretty healthy recipe even with the small amount of sausage.  If you wanted to make it a little leaner you can use egg whites instead of whole eggs, reduce the amount of bread crumbs, and omit the sausage all together.  If you omit the sausage, I recommend adding some more spices to compensate.

These meatballs can be used spaghetti, subs, salads, or just plain.


Beef and bulgur meatballs

1/3 cup bulgur

1/2 cup hot water

8 ounces lean ground beef

2 ounces  Italian sausage

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs

Put bulgur and hot water in a bowl, cover.  Heat on HIGH in the microwave for 2 minutes and 15 seconds.  Let sit for at least 20 minutes.  Brown beef, sausage, and onion in a medium sauce pan, then drain.  Let cool slightly.  Mix meat mixture with remaining ingredients and bulgur.  Shape into 1 inch balls and place on greased baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Curry and plan makeover

First of all I would like to remind you, our MomTV show starts Monday September 17, at 7pm on!  We have tossed the first show that was posted out the window!  It just wasn’t what we wanted.  The show has been re-formatted and we look forward to spending our “Mom’s Timeout” with you!

I knew when I started to blog this journey I’d have to write the good with the bad.  I really expected more good though and the opposite has been true.  I have gained 10 pounds in the last few weeks and I am really unsettled about that.  I had lost thirty before Weight Watchers buy cutting back on processed foods and sugar.  Weight Watchers Simply Filling Plan seemed like the way to go.  Basically, you eat from a large list of low glycemic index foods that are filling and nutritious.  If you eat anything else you count the points for them and I get 49 points a week to play with.  Well, when I gained weight on the steroids my leader suggested I switch to the most common Weight Watchers plan, PowerPoints.  Every food has a point value and you get an extra 49 as a cushion.  I get an obscene amount of points a day because I weigh so much and would end up with a ton of points left over each day.  Then I would scramble to eat them even if that included processed, sugar, starch filled foods.  The sugar monster reappeared and I was done!  Back to the original plan I go!

Friday I went to the fruit and veggies market, meat market, and grocery store, then cooked most of the night.  I made chicken, veggie, chick pea curry with a cilantro mint yogurt sauce and bulgur bulked meatballs.  The weekend is Mike’s cheat time for his diet plan so it’s really hard to totally follow my plan but I really did a lot better than the last few weekends.  Not perfect but better.   I feel like I am starting over!  But at least not giving up.

I want to share some recipes with all of you.  I would love to post pictures but I am still trying to figure out the correct lighting for that.  All my picture of food look so gross, you would never make the recipes.

Curry Chicken with Vegetables and Chick peas

I loved this dish!!!!  I have always been afraid of cooking curry and now I have no idea why!  The house smelled amazing.  I made so much I was afraid we would never eat it all but we did.  One serving left for my lunch tomorrow.  The chicken can be subtracted to make it meatless.  We ran to the Indian market to buy Naan bread and clarified butter to have on the side.


olive oil

 1 Medium chopped onion

1 cup (1/4-inch-thick) slices carrot

2 T curry powder

2 t. brown sugar

1 ½ t. chopped fresh ginger

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 jalapeno, seeded and minced

2 cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans)

2 cubed baking potato

1medium diced green bell pepper

1 cup cut green beans

1/2 t. salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained $

1 (14-ounce) can vegetable broth

3 cups fresh baby spinach $

1 cup light coconut milk

Juice of ½ a lemon

Heat the olive oil in a pan.  Sautee onion and carrot until just soft.  Add the next five ingredients and cook 1-2 more minutes.  Transfer to a crockpot and add the chickpeas, potato, green pepper, green beans, salt, pepper, red pepper, diced tomatoes, and chicken broth.  Cook on low for 7 hours.  Add spinach and coconut milk, along with the lemon juice and cook on low for one more hour. Serve over brown rice with the Mint Cilantro sauce drizzled on top (recipe below).

Cilantro Mint Yogurt Sauce

2 c. cilantro leaves1 c. mints (leaf)

1 jalapenos (seeded and coarsely chopped)

4 garlic cloves (chopped)

2 tsp ground cumin


Chop herbs, jalapenos, and garlic in food processor.  Add all ingredients and blend until smooth

2T lemon juice (fresh)1 cup plain Greek yogurt  

kosher salt

Do you need a Mommy Timeout?

Being a mom is a full time job.  Cooking, cleaning, car pool, kissing boo boos and we could all add to this list.  When do we get to sit down and do something for us

Maybe it’s time for a mommy timeout!  Tune into a show that is for moms by moms.

Labor Day weekend with the Family

I haven’t really touched on my family life yet and that is the most important part of my life!  The end of summer happens Labor Day weekend and we made the most of it this weekend.  My sister, Andrea has been in the Navy for almost 7 years

My sis

and hasn’t really had a chance to spend a lot of time with my little ladybug.  She is in town for six days and put aside two days just for us!  Saturday we went to the Toledo Zoo and of course I forgot my camera and left my Iphone in the car, so I have no pictures.  We spent time at Nature’s Neighborhood for their Butterflies and Bugs Day.  We saw a stick bug, leaf bug

Leaf bug

, and a praying mantis up close.  My little ladybug finger painted and played at the “beach”. They also enjoyed the merry-go-round and the fishys.  We dropped my husband off for some “daddy time” alone in an empty house and headed to Swig in Perrysburg for dinner followed by a Cone Head sundae at Friendly’s for dessert.  Our dad used to buy us Cone Head sundaes when we were little.  Then family time at Great Grandma and Great Papa’s house until well into the night.

Sunday, our little ladybug attended her first day of Sunday School ever!  She loved it and we loved our new church.  I don’t think we have been to church in over two years.  Sunday brunch at Sammy’s in Sylvania Township was wonderful.  Rest and relaxation was the plan until cooking out at Nana and Papa’s house with Mimi and Uncle Zack.

Uncle Zack on Halloween

I think my little ladybug has a crush on her very handsome Uncle Zack.  She loves playing with him and always wants to know where he is.

Labor Day, my little ladybug and I lounged around in our jammies, watching TV and enjoying each others company.  I did work a little during nap time.  Homework is a must on the agenda every day.

Our Labor Day weekend ended on Tuesday with a wonderful trip to the African Safari in Port Clinton.  It’s a drive through park with deer, emu, buffalo, elk, zebra, giraffe, and many other animals.  We fed them grain and 11 pounds of carrots.

Andrea and our little ladybug feeding the animals

Andrea was quite a trooper.  It was her first time there and it can be quite frightening to have these giant animals literally in your face.


Having fun at the Safari

We stopped for lunch and ran into Cheese World for sweet treats.  And a trip to Port Clinton with a military member isn’t complete without a stop at the PX at Camp Perry for a couple bottles of wine.  It is so much cheaper there!

I am so glad we got to spend so much quality time with family.  I am blessed to have such wonderful family and friends in my life.  And I would like to say a big THANK YOU to my sister for her many years of service to our country, here and in Iraq and Afghanistan.   Next month you are back to the civilian world and I am so proud of you!