LilySlim Weight loss tickers

LilySlim Weight loss tickers

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I Have Arrived.......Let the partying commence!

I woke at 3:45am as usual.  See I am an early bird cause I work at 5am.  Any hoo, I drove the 45 minutes to the train and boarded the 20 minutes late train for Chicago, figures it would not be on time.  The train ride was only 2 1/2 hours and it was fabulous so relaxing.  I even read some of Wicked.  I need to get that done before the 12th!  Oh well, I caught a cab from Union Station and my driver was fabulous.  A Muslim woman who was friendly, and a good driver to boot!  She delivered me safely to the hotel and I am happy to report that I am in my room.  It is not raining here, it is overcast and actually kind of nice.  It did rain earlier though.

Boobs 2.o has begun.  I am anxious for everyone to start arriving.  I am going to go hunt down some lunch, and do some shopping I think.  I then may even attempt to swim a few laps before the meet and greet at 4pm.

I am looking forward to a fabulous few days with these amazing women.

To those who could not be here, we will miss you and I am sure you will get plenty of updates!  LOL


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I am in a fitness challenge Yeap Sure Am!!!!!

Healthy Loser Gal  has created a wonderful challenge!  Head over and check it out.  I have signed up because I believe that this will keep me honest for the next three months, and help me to reach my goal I have for myself by Christmas!

So here are my goals for this challenge:

1.  Swim a minimum of 5 days a week: Increase my time to 60 minutes.

2.  Drink at least 65 ounces of water every day.

3.  I will do strength training at least twice a week.  (I hate machines).  This will be a challenge.

I am thrilled to have this to focus on.  I have averaged 2.75 pounds a week loss since my fill on July 5th.  I hope to continue this movement with being accountable in this challenge.  Chicago will not be an issue for me, as I have excellent restriction and overeating isn't an issue.  Healthy choices are getting easier and easier for me every day.

Head on over and check on the challenge, the prizes are really very nice!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

10 ways to find time to exercise

What is the number one excuse or reason you have for not working out?  Lack of time!  Sure we are all busy, with handling multiple priorities and rushing around from here to yonder each and every day.  However, I promise that no matter how busy you are, someone even busier than you are is working out right now.  If you look closer, you will discover that you do have the time to work out - and that you deserve to USE THAT TIME FOR YOURSELF!

Squeezing in just a few minutes of physical exercise a day has huge benefits on your health, gives you energy and perks up your mood. In fact, a new study published by The Lancet found that if inactive people increased their physical activity by just 15 minutes per day, they could reduce their risk of death by 14% and increase their life expectancy by three years.  Also please remember that working out does not have to be in a gym or last an hour.   10 minutes bursts of exercise over the course of the day can add up to big fitness and health gains too.

So you still are not convinced that you have the time to exercise?  Here are some pointers on how to fit in exercise into your busy, hectic life.

  • Wake up earlier - sleep is definitely important to overall health and weight loss, but could you hit the sheets just 30 minutes earlier, so that you could get up and exercise just 30 minutes before you begin your day?  Working out in the morning has definite benefits including regulating your appetite, boosting energy and probably the most beneficial thing is that your exercise is check off for that day 1st thing!  Because really, how often have you had the best intentions to make that workout in the evening, but been held up at the office, or something come up with the kids, or find yourself too exhausted after the stress of the day!  By working out 1st thing in the morning your time problem is solved.

  • Cut down on media - For just a few days log how much time you spend watching TV, on the Internet, checking email, playing video games.  You might be surprised at how much time is eaten up by these activities these days.  You might be surprised how much time is spent on Angry Birds or Facebook.  Just a few minutes here or there can add up to a whole hour or more each day.  Cut out just some of that screen time an Viola you have workout time for 10 - 15 minutes even on the busiest of days.
  •  Be an Active TV watcher - don't just sit on the sofa,  do some jumping jacks at the commercials, sit on stability ball and do some crunches or just dance, move try not to sit for more than 20 minutes at a time. 
  • Try an active commute - if you can bike to work, or walk to the store, take the bus - walk to the bus stop,  if you do take the bus, get off a stop or two before you need to and walk the rest of the way.  If you drive to work park as far away as you can and walk.
  •  Make it part of your routine - one reason it is so hard to fit into our busy schedules is because we are not used to doing it.  Heck, it takes time to brush your teeth in the morning but you do it don't you?  You brush your teeth because it is important to your overall health and it has become second nature.  Try this with exercise, make it routine, whether it is walking your dog, yoga, running, walking or Zumba and my favorite swimming.  Make it a tradition, like hitting the Starbucks each morning, or showering.  When you incorporate it into your daily routine like hygiene you take the process away from willpower and make it habit.   
  • Mix socializing with working out - plan events with family and friends that get you moving.  Go for a hike, play a game of tag football, make a date on the treadmill.
  • Turn chores into exercise. While cleaning might not be the most fun activity, it's something we all have to do, and it can definitely be a workout if you want it to be. Set a kitchen timer for 20 minutes and see how much of the house you can clean. Try to be as efficient and quick-paced as possible, and I guarantee you'll work up a sweat. If you're doing lighter housework that is harder to get your heart rate up (like laundry or organizing), throw in some lunges or push-ups every few minutes to start feeling the burn!
  • Schedule an appointment. If you had scheduled a doctor's appointment, you wouldn't miss it would you? How about that important business meeting? Of course not. Working out is actually as important as going to the doctor or any other obligation that you prioritize, because it helps you perform better as a worker, parent, student or volunteer, and keeps you in tip-top shape. So whether it's scheduling in an hour to go to that group exercise class, investing in personal training sessions or even making a date with yourself to do that workout DVD over your lunch break, write it in pen in your calendar and treat it like any other appointment you can't miss!
  • Find an activity you love. Think of your favorite hobby or pastime. Do you have trouble finding time to do it? Most likely, you make time for it because you enjoy it so much. It's the things we don't enjoy that we put off and don't feel bad about missing. That's why it's best to choose a physical activity that you actually enjoy and look forward to. Not only are you more likely to do it, but it also adds more fun into your life. And we all could use some more fun in our busy lives, right?
  • Say no. If you've gone through this entire list of tips and don't think a single one will work in your life, then it's time to look at your priorities and responsibilities. Do you really have to bake cookies for that fundraiser? Babysit for your sister? Take on that extra project at work? Attend that wedding shower of your second cousin? Remember that there's nothing wrong in saying no.Yes we all have obligation to others, but do not forget about your OBLIGATION to YOURSELF to take care of your body and your health.
Remember, exercise gives you energy and keeps you healthy to keep going in that busy life of yours! So don't think of exercise as another to-do to squeeze in on your already busy schedule. Instead, think of it as maintenance for your health and a way to de-stress and do something for you!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Weather in the Windy City

Update Ladies:

The weather for Thursday is chance of showers, High of 71 and a low of 52.

Friday the High is 58 and partly cloudy and the Low is 43.  (Might be a bit nipply at night)

Saturday the High is 57 and Sunny and the Low is 43.  

Sunday the High is 62 and Sunny and the Low is 49.

I just wanted everyone to be mindful that when the weather in the city is in the 50's it is really chilly because of the wind coming off of the Lake.

So make sure you bring some warm clothes and rain gear!

Monday Mayhem

So it is Monday.  I realize this, I do, but for crying out loud people I have a birthday party to organize and a dinner to make, packing for Chicago and a Midterm to take before I hop on that little o'le train to Chicago on Thursday.  I am at work and we are swamped today.  I have no patience.  I am much better at balancing my life than I was lets say a year ago.  I am really working on not letting stress get to me.

After the battle this past year with my stomach ulcers, I had five of them diagnosed the end of June! They were confirmed healed the end of August.  I vow to never let "shit" work on me like that again.  LOL  with that being said, I have to get my butt in gear! 

I worked out over the weekend, and feel great about that.  I refuse to let anything get in my way of swimming right now.  In fact I will be swimming in Chicago.  I feel guilty if for any reason I cannot workout each and every day.  I am trying to take one day off a week, and I still feel bad when I do.

 Come Thursday morning I will be boarding my train, and leaving this mayhem behind me.  That part feels nice.

I got Nichole's birthday party plans all done, I just have to pick up her big present that has been on layaway.  Then I have to wrap everything and cook dinner for her on Wednesday.  I have a few people coming by it should be a nice evening with the boys for her.  Adam would be furious if we missed her birthday, as he should be.Cole will enjoy the candles, the other part not so much!

She want's cupcakes for her birthday cake so I will be making these on Wed afternoon.  I have taken the afternoon off!  I have a Dr appointment in the morning to have a skin tag removed, so all in all a real busy couple of days.

On the weight loss front, all is going well.  I am past 50 pounds down now and am well on my way.  I keep reminding myself each day that each pound matters, and to not discount them.  I am so thankful each and every day for the friends I have made here and all of your support.  Without you, this journey would not be as fun!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Finally FIFTY!

Looks like I made it, today I am down officially 50 pounds since my banding!  Hard to believe that I let myself put all of these pounds back on.  So hard to take back off!  I will advise anyone who reads my blog to NOT do what I did.

I am thrilled that I did it before Chicago, although I was hoping to be at 223, I knew this was unrealistic!  That is the weight that I got down to before I began my accent back up the scale.

I will never never ever see those numbers again, I now live by the BAND commandments!

Sliders, and things that easily pass through my band must be limited or completely banished from my daily life.

I feel great today!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Thank God For Fridays!

I cannot believe Friday has arrived.  It has been a bear of a week at work.  I am growing tired of my 12 hour days.  I will stop working the 4 10's at the end of October, and I will be glad I think.  It has been nice having Tuesday's off through the summer, but in all reality when I have mandatory OT that is required of me, that is hard to get into in just 4 days time.

I should not whine I at least have a very stable job.  School is going well, I have to get all of my homework and Midterms done before I leave for Chicago!  This is going to take some maneuvering on my part.  I emailed my professors and they have agreed to allow me to work ahead so I will be busting my butt these next few days.

The best of Chicago?  You dare ask?  well of course it will be:

Can you tell that I am freaking excited about this trip?

I mean really what is not to be excited about, I get to meet some of the most successful, amazing, talented, funny women I have come across in my nearly 50 years!

We have so much in common, and come from so many diverse backgrounds.  It will certainly be a few days of memories and education.

 I have to pack and I am going to pack light I believe, so I can have room for packages and some stuff for the Sisterhood!

You do not have to worry about me doing this with y'all I hate heights.  So you can all tell me about it!

So my weekend will be spent studying, working out, packing and perhaps finishing "WICKED" since I am going to see it with Nichole on the 12th of October!

I have a busy next month  ahead but I am so looking forward to it all, as well as my downward trek toward "Onderland"!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

What is going to keep you motivated?

In Man’s Search For Meaning, author Viktor Frankl survived years in German concentration camps due to what he felt was a good reason to survive: he was determined to finish his life’s work in psychology. Risking punishment or worse, he secreted away paper and notes, planning and preparing for the day when he could continue. Eventually, he was liberated and went on to pen one of the century’s most influential books on leading a meaningful life.

Meanwhile, Viktor saw that fellow inmates who did not have a “calling” (whether it was a family, a career, or a cause) seemed to have nothing to live for and usually died. The right motivation was literally the difference between life and death. 

That’s the power of motivation. Given the right reasons, people have changed lives, changed history and changed the world.

“Sure, that’s great,” you say. “But all I’m trying to do is lose weight.” That’s the old, misguided way of looking at it. You might not want to change the world, but you do want to change your world. Anyone can lose weight. To keep it off – to make that permanent lifestyle change – it takes something more. It takes the right motivation.

The right motivation is a potential diet deal-breaker. Recently, 32% of dieters polled said that a “Lack of Motivation” was their #1 weight loss hurdle. Motivation is what separates Dieters from Lifestyle Changers. That’s why it plays such a key role in everything you’ll do. 

What To Do With Your Motivation?
Motivation happens in two stages. First, you find out what motivates you the most about weight loss. This is different for each person and even different situations. Second, you turn that motivation into a tool by surrounding yourself with it, immersing yourself in it.

Motivation can be useful and inspiring at the same time. Not only is it important to do things for the right reasons, but it’s just as vital to find creative, timely ways to remind yourself of those inspirational reasons. 

What Is Your Right Motivation?
The right motivation is whatever it is at any point in time that keeps you going for another day. Today it might be the mirror. Tomorrow it might be the look in your child’s face. Next week, it might be a picture of the vacation you want to look good for. Surround yourself with as many of these motivating options as possible, since inspiration could come from different sources each time. 


The right motivation will get you out of bed in the morning with pep in your step and an eagerness to meet the day.

The right motivation is a vision, a picture of what life will be like after you’ve lost weight.

The right motivation won’t let you quit. Oh sure, you may have setbacks and you may get discouraged, but it will never stop you from taking two steps forward.

What Types Of Motivations Work?
Some types of motivation are more effective than others. Most people spend too much time worrying about extrinsic motivators, where the standards are set by someone else (the scale, the mirror, negative comments from a spouse, fashion magazines, etc.). Instead of thinking about what’s important to themselves, they think more about what’s important to other people.

You’ll be more successful if you pay more attention to what’s important to you as a benchmark. Want to have more time with the family? To have more energy? To feel better about yourself? Those are the motivators that will keep your new lifestyle in play for the long run. 

What motivates you? What do you want your loved ones to say when they see what great shape you’re in? What kind of exercise is enjoyable and keeps you coming back? Discovering your motivating factors is a huge part of transitioning from "diet" to "lifestyle change." When you find out what keeps the fire burning inside, becoming and staying healthy will be something you can stick with.

Find a quote that you can use as a personal motto

When you need a jolt of inspiration, a personal quote or motto is the perfect remedy. A motto only takes three seconds to read but can have lasting effects on your mood and performance. Quotes like these are powerful tools:
"From a tiny spark may burst a mighty flame."
"Remember to live."
"Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness."
"Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat."
           "Nothing Tastes As Good As Thin Feels"  is one of my favorites!!!!
Finding lots of strong quotes is easy. You can look for a particular theme or choose from numerous quotes from a favorite writer, historical figure or celebrity, depending on what inspires you.  Find a quote that’s inspirational to you! Once you find a personal motto, use it. Hang it on your mirror. Put it in your car. Keep a copy in your wallet or purse. Tape a copy to your computer monitor. 

Watch an inspiring movie

Who said dieting is all work and no play? The best part of drawing inspiration from a movie is that there’s an inspiring movie out there for everyone. Some of us draw inspiration from cheering for the underdogs, especially in sports films. Others find inspiration in stories of tremendous courage or overcoming setbacks, through films of personal tragedy and triumph. A movie conjures emotions in us unlike any other form of entertainment. We can often understand what the characters are going through and think about how we can aspire to be more like them. All of these things can help you  draw inspiration to keep making changes in your life. Here are a few suggestions, but feel free to pick your own:

 The Blind Side

Stand and Deliver
Shawshank Redemption
Mr. Holland’s Opus
Apollo 13
Simon Birch
Patch Adams
October Sky
It’s a Wonderful Life

 I remind myself each and every day why I am doing this, and it does not take much to do that!  I just have to look back to where I was before I began my journey!

That for me is motivation to keep me in the gym and keep plugging along with my goal in sight now, I know that this WILL happen for me.  It is no longer just a mere DREAM!

One week til BOOBS!  The countdown continues!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I am finally moving again........... Wednesday Wisdom!

After weeks of no scale movement, I have begun the descent once again from this god awful place that I allowed myself to climb to.  I have to tell you that three months ago, when I made the decision to get back in touch with my band seriously, I thought gee Kristin, you are so behind the 8 ball.  You could have been done by now, in maintenance and loving life as a thin person.  

Those thoughts are true, but the reality is this, it is not easy, no one ever promised me that it would be.  Not the surgeon, not the nurse who led the support group, not the nutritionist, and least of all the people who stood before me at goal at my first seminar.  Where in the world did I get the idea that I could do this without hard work.  I know better.

Nothing in life comes easy, nothing that is worthwhile that is.  I look at my life and where I am today, verses where I was just a year ago, and I am actually more at peace now, than then.  Why?  Because I have worked on my inner demons.  The ones that are there whether I am thin or fat!  I still want to see a different me in the mirror, but now I am comfortable with who she is.  I know that I am a good person who was just fat!  I know that those who love me, love me because of ME not how much I weigh.  I think it is so funny how a drop of 1.2 pounds feels like winning the lottery to me.  I also think it is funny how, now today I think about working out, more than about what is for the next meal.

You see I used to obsess about food, it was always on my mind.  I would eat breakfast, usually something quick, like a breakfast sandwich from the Not so Golden Arches, and then in an hour, I thought I was in need of more food, and I would eat something else, and then in a couple of hours something else, when lunch would roll around I would eat another 1500 calories I imagine, not sure since I was not logging anything.  As I was eating lunch, I was thinking about dinner!!!!  Yes, I was thinking about what I needed to have for dinner, while I was eating.  It was so insane. You talk about people hooked on crack!  Really, how is this any different?  I was eating myself into a heart attack, early grave you name it.  I also closet ate, I would hide what I was eating.  I would leave work and go by Culver's and get a Snicker's Concrete mixer and devour it before I ever got home.  This was routine.  Exercise was non existent I was so tired when I would get home that I would just go lie in bed, depressed you think?  Most certainly I was, in denial, yeap I was there too, unable to see what I was becoming? well, I knew, but I stopped weighing cause I did not want to know, it scared the hell out of me. 

Something clicked, I am not sure what it was this time, but I am thrilled that it did.  I think it was the fact that I had gained so much weight back, that I had no clothes to move up into.  When I had lost down from the size 28 to the 14/16 that I was at before I began packing the pounds back on, I had gotten rid of anything in my closet above a size 18.  So here I was back doing those binges, and closet eating, and it was not pretty.  I was able to eat enormous amounts of food with my band.  I knew I needed a fill, but how could I face my surgeon after all of this time.  

I was the leader of the Lap Band support group for my surgeons practice.  I was the poster girl of "how to get the band working for you"!  I was so embarrassed, it was incredible.  So, after going back to therapy, and getting my head on straight and stopping the self bashing.  I picked up my size 18 jeans and big girl panties and went back to my Dr.!  He gave me a well deserved ass chewing yes he did.  But only because he could not understand why I stopped coming to see him, after all, he was my support, my key to helping when things were not going well!  He reminded me that he and I are a TEAM!  That we have to stick together on this or I will not prevail.  Great advice, and stuff I intend never again to forget.

I know that many of us have gone through rough times, with our bands.  I also know that many have not, they kept on the straight and narrow and are where the need or want to be already or are very close to be.  I want to say to those who have gone through the rough times, or are still fighting these demons, YOU can win the battle.  You have the inner strength, you have the determination, you have everyone here for support, and you have the BAND!  All of these put together equals success.

 I am down 2.8 pounds this week!  It feels wonderful!

Happy Hump Day!

8 More days til Chicago! Chicago!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Manic Monday!!! Where are you?

We want to be happy. Everyone, everywhere, is trying to find—and hold  onto—happiness. We do everything we are supposed to do: diligently follow the instructions, practice the techniques, and still, more often than we should be (given the amount of effort we are putting in) we are unhappy.

We human beings are remarkable creatures,  We can do anything we set out to do.  So why not happiness? Why is there such a split between our desire for happiness and our ability to find it? After many years of listening to people talk about their failed attempts to hang onto a  state of happiness, I began asking myself the following questions: 

What is this thing we call happiness? Is it achievable? Is it reliable? Is it sustainable? If it is, why are we not happy so much of the time?


As I looked at the state of happiness, I became intensely aware of its fragility.  When our life circumstances change and we lose the object that’s been making us happy…poof, our happiness is gone. When  uncomfortable feelings appear within our state of happiness or our desires change and whatever was bringing us happiness before no longer  works, happiness again disappears. We are constantly acquiring and losing happiness.

I began to see that it is not our efforts to create happiness that are flawed, but rather, our choice of happiness as a goal.  Happiness is the wrong goal for this life.  For most of us, happiness relies on our ability to control circumstances that, no matter how hard we try, we cannot control. For most of us, happiness relies on circumstances staying the same. Life always changes, uncomfortable feelings always arise, and what we want is always in flux. This is the nature of life.  The choice of continual happiness as a pursuit is irreconcilably flawed.

Is there something larger, deeper, more lasting than happiness? Is there a state of well being that can sustain itself in the midst of the changing circumstances and emotional shifts that life includes? Is there a way to feel grounded and well even when the contents of our lives are not?  If so, what shift must we make to create this state that is deeper and larger than happiness?


When Adam died, I never thought I would ever again feel real happiness.  I saw only the bad in the world.  I always prepared myself for the worst.  I still do.  I wait for the other shoe to drop. I would try to smile and pretend that everything was great!  I used FOOD to stuff those emotions, and believe me I did that well!

Somewhere along the path I got tired—luckily, tired of trying to get to peace and happiness, or rather, of getting there and watching it disintegrate. And with my weariness came an interesting development:

I  got curious about what was actually true.  I stopped trying to do something with what I was experiencing, to change it in any way, and just let myself see what was there, to experience what I was experiencing.  No longer trying to get to somewhere else, my meditation practice, and  consequently my life, could then be what it was, whatever that meant at any particular moment.  It was through this shift that I began to  glimpse a state of being that is radically different and amazingly okay, a state that is deeper and more eternal than happiness.  Indeed,  it was not until I stopped trying to create happiness—as a way out of now—and started investigating what is here—a way in—that I discovered a doorway to something far more blissful than happiness had ever offered.


Normal life is not easy for anyone.  Why then do we expect ourselves  to be happy all the time? This foolish expectation creates tremendous suffering. Rather than trying to hang onto something whose nature is transitory, we must discover a state of well being that can withstand and flourish within the inherent volatility of a human life.  We should be grateful for happiness when it is here, but as a goal for life, it is unwise.

We spend our lives trying to get to some imaginary there, where happiness awaits.  What we don’t know how to do is to get to here, where we are.  We discover wellness – what I believe we should seek instead of happiness -- when we shift our focus toward this moment and what is actually here. The secret to wellness is counter-intuitive: allow whatever is happening inside you to happen.  

Don’t do anything with it.  Feel what you are feeling, hear what you are thinking, experience what you are experiencing.  Let what is moving though you move through without changing it, judging it, or identifying with its contents.  When you let go of achieving a particular outcome with your experience and meet your experience, as it is, good or bad, you will be well.  You will uncover the place that relies on nothing and no one, but is inherently and eternally yours.

Through this journey of weight loss and weight gain I have learned an enormous amount of positive things about myself, as well as negatives.  I have embraced them both.  Because, I had to learn from the negatives and change them, so that I could continue to grow and find this place of wellness.  I had to stop hating myself.  I had to stop hating how I look in the mirror, instead  I had to realize that by doing the right things, working out, eating right and getting enough sleep, that my body would do the changing for me.  It will find it's own Wellness if I let it, and my mind will follow.

Am I successful everyday?  Hell no, I am not.  Is it what I strive for?  Yes, I do.  I am much better now than I was even 8 months ago.

Yes, it is a Manic Monday but I have a sense of calm that washes over me, knowing that this too shall pass!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Rainy Sunday Great Day For Making SOUP! Yum

Cream of Tomato and Basil Soup
I love to cook and until recently, I hardly ever made homemade soup!  It was not fattening enough I guess.  I have been searching for some wonderful recipes because I love soup in the winter time.  Quite frankly I refuse to pay what take out places want to charge for a bowl of soup or a cup for that matter.  I got a cup of vegetable soup at Panara a few weeks ago and it was $4.95 for one cup.  Outrageous I say.

My favorite soup has always been tomato since I was a little girl and mom would make it for me with grilled cheese.  There is still nothing better on a cold winter's day in my mind.  So I set out to make this incredible soup.  It turned out delicious, mouth watering if I do say so myself.

Creamy Tomato and Basil Bisque Soup


Butter, unsalted, 1 tbsp
Onions, 1 medium chopped
4 slices of bacon, cooked crisp
Celery, raw, 1 rib finely chopped
Garlic, 3 cloves minced
Whole wheat flour, 3 tablespoons
Chicken Broth, 4 cups
Canned tomatoes, (I used Fire Roasted w garlic) 14.5 oz 
2 cans
Tomato paste, 1 can
Granulated Sugar, (I use organic sugar) 1 tsp
Bay Leaves, 2 whole
Basil, 2 teaspoons
Light Cream 1/4 cup
Croutons and fresh Parmesan for topping
Salt and pepper to taste


Melt butter in a dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onion, celery and garlic.  Cook for 4 minutes.  Stir in flour over low heat.  Add broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, bay leaves and basil.  Turn heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove bay leaves.  In a blender, carefully puree half of the soup.  Return to sauce pan, stir in cream and season with salt and pepper.  Top with croutons and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  
Number of servings: 6
Nutrition info:  Calories 136  Fat 4.7g Carbs 11.0g  Protein 3.2g

Cream of Tomato and Basil Soup

My next soup would be Cream of Asparagus.  My absolutely favorite vegetable.  I thought well, I am going to give this one a try as well.

Asparagus Soup

It turned out really good too!  I was very impressed how easy and simple these soups are to prepare.

Cream of Asparagus Soup


2lbs of Asparagus
1 C chopped onion
2-3 garlic cloves minced
1 tsp whole wheat flour
1 tbsp Olive oil
1/4 tsp salt and pepper


Wash asparagus and snip off the hard stems.  Separate the tips and save them to be added later.  Chop onions and garlic cloves, saute in a tsp of oil until transparent.  Boil asparagus in approx 2-3 cups of water and let it cool. Puree onions and asparagus together using a blender.  In dutch oven add a tsp of oil, saute the flour until golden brown, lower the heat and add the pureed mixture.  Add evaporated milk ( I used Half and Half) and let the soup come to a boil.  Now add asparagus tips and let it stay for a few minutes.  Serve hot and enjoy with croutons and parmesan cheese on top.

Servings: 6 1 cup servings

Nutrition:  Calories 156.9    Fat 7.4g  Carbs 17.3g  Protein 8.3g

Asparagus Soup

Cheddar Broccoli Soup

The last soup I made today was requested by Alan and Nichole. Broccoli Cheddar Soup they love it.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup


2 T olive oil
1 medium sweet onion chopped fine
2 stalks of celery chopped fine
2 C low sodium Chicken Broth (I use organic)
2 C half and half
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 bay leaf
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 C chopped broccoli florets
1/3 pound of chedder cheese, shredded about 1 1/3 C
Croutons for topping


Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat.  Add the celery and onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the chicken broth, half and half, both potatoes, bay leaf, 2 cups of water, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, put the broccoli in the microwave and cook until fork tender.  When the potatoes are tender, remove the bay leaf from the soup and transfer the soup to the blender.  Puree until smooth, leaving the filler cap slightly open to let the steam escape.  Return the soup to the pot and thin with water if needed. Return to simmer over medium low heat; stir in the broccoli and season with salt and pepper.  Add the cheese and stir until melted.  Ladle the soup into bowls and top with croutons, if desired.

Makes 6 servings

Nutrion:  Calories 524  Fat 34g  Cholesterol 97mg  Sodium 642  Carbs 50g  Fiber 8g  Protein 22g

This soup is fantastic, and it is pure comfort.

The last thing I made today was dinner.  Tonight it was "Honey Mustard Roasted Chicken"

This is an easy recipe to make and oh so mouth watering.  My family loves it!


1 lb potatoes, cut into wedges
2 lbs of chicken tenders cut into chunks
6 medium carrots, sliced into chunks
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1 1/2 Tablespoons of Honey
3 Tablespoons mustard
1 teaspoon of rosemary
2 heads of garlic, peeled
salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 425 in a shallow baking pan, toss potatoes and carrots with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Nestle peeled garlic cloves amongst the vegetables and scatter the rosemary on top.  Arrange the chicken among the vegetables and bake uncovered for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, stir the mustard and honey together.  Remove the pan from the oven.  Carefully take the chicken from the pan to another and spread the honey mustard mixture over the chicken.  Stir the vegetables in the pan, return coated chicken to the pan, and place pan back into the oven.  Bake 10-20 minutes, until chicken is cooked and vegetables are tender.

Nutrition:  Calories 356.7   Fat 8.9g  Carbs  39.4g  Protein 30.5g

Weight wise, Nichole and I swam this morning and I actually did 32 laps.  I was amazed, I am sore tonight.  My shoulders are tender.  

I also had an NSV, Alan was rubbing my sore shoulders and I was sitting on the floor in front of him.  When he was done I said thank you and just hopped up.  That is right, I just hopped up.  It was effortless.  Alan was like "WHOA" I have not seen you move that fast from the floor in 30 years.

It felt great!

Well 4am comes early for this Chick, and I am off to bed.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

My Dress!

I found it for Wicked!, on the 12th of Oct.  However, I will be wearing it on Sat night to BOOBS!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Healthy Diet Habits - - What is Number One?

If you pick up one habit early on in your program that will make a major difference in your weight loss, this is it. 

The list of benefits of water is so long, you’d think people were selling it as an 18th-century miracle tonic. There is evidence that fully hydrated bodies have higher metabolisms and can burn fat at a faster rate than thirsty, dry bodies. Water also helps you: 

If there is one thing that is clearly difficult with the band for me, it is getting in ALL of my required daily water.  I have to sip and sip and sip.  I have  good restriction with this fill and so it is just like a funnel in there.  I feel it pool at the top of my band and trickle through.  So I have to be drinking and sipping all day long!   So I cannot stress this one enough for the newly banded.  DRINK! DRINK! DRINK!

When you drink more water, and your body gets used to it, you ironically store less water. Seems that your body needs to trust that it’ll continue to get plenty of the good stuff, otherwise it’ll hold onto what little water it does receive. Less water means less weight. Early on, losing several pounds – even if it’s water weight – can be a huge motivator. 

A pound of FAT!

A healthy diet should NOT rely on fluids to provide calorie or nutrient needs, but water is necessary for metabolism and normal physiological function. In fact, water is the only fluid that the body truly needs. How much water do you need? Most people need about 8 cups every day, but active people usually need to drink more. Remember that water can come from lots of different sources--even foods contain the water that your body needs! 


Fresh fruits and veggies are tremendous sources of water. Fruit juices, milk, teas and decaf coffee also count. Watch out for caffeinated beverages. Caffeine can actually increase your need for more water; so a lot of caffeinated coffee or soda may do more harm than good. 

Relying on thirst is not a good strategy. By the time the brain signals thirst, you’re already dehydrated. If you’re working out, by the time you’re thirsty, your performance can drop 5-10%. The idea is to stay consistently hydrated for optimal performance and weight loss. Seesawing between hydration and thirst can hold you back. Again, your body needs to know that it’ll get what it needs all the time; otherwise it’ll store some back. 

Weekends are the toughest, so be aware of your water and fluid intake throughout Saturday and Sunday. Keep more than one water bottle in the fridge so you always have a cold one. Take a bottle of water with you everywhere you go.  Alan teases me because there are literally bottles sitting on the beside table, the bathroom counter, I have them all over my house most of the time.  But he also knows, that I get extremely  bitchy when I am dehydrated!  So he is always encouraging me to drink!

This is my second post about the importance of WATER!!  I have realized through out my journey how very important water has become to me and to my success at weight loss!


Happy Friday!