Monday, January 15, 2018

The Wintertime Menu Blahs--EDITED


We're in a rut.  It's the same meals every week, which is getting very dull.

So last week, I looked up new recipes.  Usually, we have:

Monday: a chicken dish
Tuesday: pasta
Wednesday: something 'different' (like a beef meal)
Thursday: a 'make your own' meal (my husband goes to his part-time job then)
Friday: something fun like pizza
Saturday:  hamburgers/hotdogs or go out
Sunday:  steak and baked potatoes

Then for the other meals, you're on your own or you eat at work.  It's worked like this for years at our house.

The meals we have, though, are always the same.  So this week, I found a few recipes that fit into the theme, but are different.

For example, tonight, we're having chicken marsala.  We're not a 'drinking family' and I only use part of whatever a recipe calls for when alcohol's listed.  It's because the kids don't like the taste of the alcohol (even though they're all over 21), and too much ruins it for even me.  Yes, the alcohol is cooked out, but the taste can overpower the rest of the dish.  But it does taste good and is different.

Here's the recipe I'm using:

Chicken Marsala (

Now, since I'm on a diet, I'm going to change the recipe up a bit.  Here are the ingredients on the recipe:


  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour for coating

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - pounded 1/4 inch thick
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup Marsala wine
1/4 cup cooking sherry

Instead, I'm going to reduce the calorie count for the recipe by using:


3 tbsp. all-purpose flour for coating
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning (we're not oregano fans)
3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - pounded 1/4 inch thick (cut in half, to make it for 4 people)
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms
4 tbsp. Marsala wine
2 tbsp. cooking sherry

NOTE:  I made this and added about 2 cups of chicken stock and increased the mushrooms to 1 cup or so.  I also used 11 ounces of chicken breasts and cut them into chunks, after I cooked most of it.  This was DELICIOUS over mashed potatoes, with green beans on the side. YUMMO!

A half chicken breast, pounded out, is a lot when cooked.  I always have leftovers, and I'd like to reduce the amount of leftovers when done.  The chicken isn't rolled up, but just cooked.  I'll probably dice it to make it easier to eat.  I'll serve this with either noodles, rice, or mashed potatoes, on the side.

Here's what I'm making for the rest of the week:

Tuesday:  Orecchiette with Mini Chicken Meatballs (I couldn't find orecchiette, so I'm making it with fettucini)
Wednesday: Creamy Mushroom Stroganoff (with hamburger)
Thursday:  MYO (or leftovers)

I'll lighten these up a bit, by reducing the sugar and fat, and making the serving sizes smaller.  See if you can find a few new recipes yourself!  It's fun!

Have a great week!

Monday, January 8, 2018

It's Going to be a Great Week!

Positive self-talk helps, so tell yourself that this week is going to be great!  Use positive reinforcement, as well, and it'll reward your positive vibes.

Positive reinforcement is a reward system for doing something good.  For example, my mom was a teacher, and used it for her kids.  If they got their homework done, they got a sticker on a chart.  After so many stickers, they'd get a reward of some type--extra recess time, a piece of candy, something like that.

I'm using this for myself.  I made up a chart for the month of January (I used Excel, but a paper on the fridge works just as well).  For each day I hit my goal of calories and carbs on My Fitness Pal (, I get a green star.  After ten days, I get a blue star.  After twenty days, I get a red star.  And at the end of thirty days, I get a gold star.  I can assign a monetary amount to each star, or a reward, or whatever I want.  For now, I'm working for new mittens after 30 days.  LOL!  At least the reward isn't food-related.

Here are my stars:

If you right-click on them (on a Windows PC) and 'save as' you'll have a png file of the stars.  Print them out and you have stars you can tape to your calendar.

Right now, I have 5 green stars.  The weekend was horrendous, but I'm back at it today, trying to earn my stars.

So pat yourself on the back because you're a GREAT person who will do GREAT things some day.  I know you will!

Have a great week!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!!!

Today's the day for a new start with a new year!  Join me in losing weight!

If you don't know where to start, I'd suggest going to and start logging everything you eat.  It's easy, and you can make friends.

Good luck and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Merry Christmas...Just a Day Late!

Yesterday was such a blur, I forgot to post on here.  Christmas can do that to me...I forget everything I've been working for, and just veg out.  That included the food for yesterday.  We just 'don't talk about it.'

Did you have a good day yesterday?  I hope so!  Anyway, (belated) MERRY CHRISTMAS!  May your week be rosy and bright!


Monday, December 18, 2017

Serving Sizes

Our son came to visit us yesterday (he lives 10 minutes away but only comes over if my husband is going to the movies) so they could go see Star Wars.  While here, he showed us something to watch on Netflix.  It's called The Great British Baking Show (the link is for Netflix explanation of the show).

He wanted to show us the episode where they made a torte, like the one my husband and I want to make for Christmas (Baumkuchen Tree Cake or this recipe from Allrecipes).  It's a torte, where you bake very thin layer after very thin layer, then cover the entire cake with chocolate.  It's supposed to taste like a KitKat bar.

We were watching that episode (and others) and they had an 'etremet' round (the link goes to Pinterest, to show you examples).  I never heard of it, but basically, it's tiny cakes, made of sponge cake with mousse and/or other ingredients.  Here's a definition from Wikipedia:

An entremet or entremets (/ˈɑːntrəm/French: [ɑ̃tʁəmɛ]; from Old French, literally meaning "between servings") is in modern French cuisine a small dish served between courses or simply a dessert. Originally it was an elaborate form of entertainment dish common among the nobility and upper middle class in Europe during the later part of the Middle Ages and the early modern period. An entremet marked the end of a serving of courses and could be anything from a simple frumenty (a type of wheat porridge) that was brightly colored and flavored with exotic and expensive spices to elaborate models of castles complete with wine fountains, musicians, and food modeled into allegorical scenes. By the end of the Middle Ages, it had evolved almost entirely into dinner entertainment in the form of inedible ornaments or acted performances, often packed with symbolism of power and regality. In English it was more commonly known as a subtlety (also sotelty or soteltie) and did not include acted entertainment.

For modern pastry chefs, an entremet is a multi-layered mousse-based cake with various complementary flavors and varying textural contrasts.

It got me to thinking...why is it that we, in America, have such huge portion sizes?  I looked at those etremet desserts, which serve about 2 people, and realized that the rest of the world isn't nutso with portion sizes.  Go to any restaurant and you'll see what I mean.  The plates are huge.  If you consider that your stomach is about the size of your fist, why do we think we have to put 3-4 fist sizes into that small space every meal?

I found a few articles about how the French eat (since they make petit fours, and etremet desserts).  This is very telling.  From French Secrets to Staying Slim, American meals are at least 25% bigger than French meals.  They looked at restaurants in Philadelphia versus similar eateries in Paris.  Chinese restaurants in Philly are 72% bigger than in Paris.  Even candy bars, soft drinks, and yogurt is a lot bigger in Philadelphia, when looking at supermarkets.

Here are more articles:
Eating like the French – No. 2 Portion size
Portion Size Differences Between America and France

This article (Eating like the French – No. 2 Portion size) is really interesting to read.

I'm tempted to read up more on how to do this, with courses, instead of a huge meal.  I'll wait until after the holidays and that baumkuchen has disappeared.  But it's very interesting to realize that we're a large society because of these huge plates.  It's like we have to outdo each other, by adding more and more food to the plate.  Bigger isn't always better, and more stuff just adds to the clutter (I learned this from when our daughter had us clean out our house and organize).

I think the main goal is to stay true to your stomach size.  A fistful of food is enough.  Wow.

Have a great week!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Yum! It's the holidays!!!

If you're like me, you think of the holidays as a no-stop eating time.  But do desserts have to be high calorie and sugar?

No!  YAY!

Check out these ideas for diabetics and dieters for the holidays:

Holiday Dessert Makeovers
Diabetic Dessert Recipes for the Modern Holiday
Holiday Desserts Recipes
Diabetic Desserts
32 Diabetes-Friendly Holiday Recipes

A few things to remember--fruit can make a great dessert, and using less sugar in a recipe doesn't really impact the result all that much.  You may even like it better.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Are You Stressed?

This time of year seems to be doubly stressful for everyone.  Not only is it the end of the year, when everything might have to be done for a job, but with the holidays and shopping, it's tough to deal with it all at once.

Taking the stress out of life isn't easy, but there are things you can do.  Here are some ways to reduce the load on your brain:

  • Write out a list of things you need to do or remember.
  • Instead of downtime of watching television, work on that list, maybe just a little bit at a time.
  • Schedule your days so you can get things done in a more efficient manner.
  • By keeping busy, your brain won't be as tempted to wander or get depressed with everything that's coming up.
Good luck.  We're all in this together, and if you can keep the stress away, you'll be able to follow your meal plan easier.

Have a great week!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Do you have a picture goal in mind?

Our daughter got us for Christmas (for a year) and gave the present to us this past weekend.  I've been binge watching all these old shows I used to love.

Yesterday, I watched ten episodes (yes, ten!) of Alias.  It's this old show starring Jennifer Gardner.  She's an undercover CIA agent who's also a grad student.  Here's season 1 episode 1, on youtube.

She's thin, she's able to run, and she can beat up the bad guys in very creative ways.  I told our youngest I want to look like her.  I want to be able to walk without my legs rubbing together, and want to feel good in my clothes.  She agreed.

Do you have a picture of what you want to look like when you lose weight?  Keep that picture in mind whenever you want to eat.  It'll help.

Have a super week!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

May you have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving! 

Just's not a race to see who can eat the most.  LOL!  At least I tell myself that.

Thank you for being my follower!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Being Thankful

This is a great week to be thankful for everything in your life.  I'm thankful for a roof over my head, good food to eat, and family, friends, and fun times.  I'm also extremely thankful for each one of you, and I hope and pray you have a wonderful week!

Bless you all!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Stop! No more food!

Have you ever had to give blood and had to stop eating the night before, like 12 hours before the blood draw?  When I have to do that, I tell myself at the required time, 'stop, no more food.'

Now I'm doing that with after-dinner snacks.  Stop.  No more food.  Instead, I'm drinking ice water instead.

Try it.  It might work.  Every night, about 1/2 hour after dinner, tell yourself to stop eating.  Drink only water.  You'll feel better in the morning and may even sleep better.

Have a great week!

The Wintertime Menu Blahs--EDITED

NOTE:  EDIT BELOW. We're in a rut.  It's the same meals every week, which is getting very dull. So last week, I looked up new re...