This week, although started out with my wonderful banana fest, has been a roller coaster of emotions type of week. One of those weeks where one day you feel totally up, and the next day you feel totally down. Not my type of week…
Monday was a typical Monday, back to the doctor, than to work. I was lucky enough to be able to spend a little time with the number 1 man in my life, which made Monday a pretty good day all around, and was probably the least stressful and least emotional of all the days of the week so far. Because it feels like summer is hitting Southern California early, I decided that I wanted to do something light again. The random meat of the day for Monday was ground beef, and normally ground beef sits a little heavy in my opinion, but I was determined to make something nice and light. My sister gave me the suggestion of taco salad, and I thought that was a pretty nifty idea. I threw a taco salad together in a similar way that I had the week before when I was housesitting, but this time I just made a ton. It was a huge hit, and the perfect thing to do for a warm day at only 383 calories and 10.7 calories, you really can’t go wrong! Our taco salad night wouldn’t be complete without a sweet treat at the end. I decided to try my hand at chocolate chip cookies. I say try my hand at this, because almost every time I try to make cookies, there is something wrong. Something is missing. I can’t ever figure out a good way to keep a cookie, a cookie, and to make it healthy. It has been my Achilles’ tendon in a way, and I was really tired of it. I found on allrecipes.com, this amazing looking cookie recipe, they also toted themselves as the “Absolutely the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies”, and I’m not gonna lie, I bought into it. I printed of the recipe, and went to work madly. I first subbed all the butter for a half and half mix of light butter and applesauce, swapped the sugar for Splenda and used brown sugar Splenda for the brown sugar. For the flour I did a mix of white, wheat and oat and kept the same amount of chocolate chips that were in the original recipe, because what is the point of chocolate chip cookies with limited chocolate chips?? Anyways after all the modifications, cookies went in the oven, and after about 15 minutes they made the house smell delish for one thing and they looked ready to eat, at only 148 calories, 6.5 grams of fat, 20.7 grams of carbohydrates, 1.4 grams of fiber and 2.3 grams of protein I figured I was doing much better than the originals which rank in at 241 calories, 13.7 grams of fat, 28.1 grams of carbohydrates, 0.3 grams of fiber and 2.7 grams of protein! Not a bad swap at all, and according to my soon-to-be-brother John, these are probably the best cookies that I have ever made!
After dinner and scrumptious dessert it was time for bed. Tuesday was a little bit of an emotional day for me. Do you ever have one of those days when it seems like your world is being turned upside down. That’s how Tuesday felt, except for it felt much worse. It was a day that I just wanted to cry, not even for a reason really, but I just needed to sit and cry. Which is when I normally feel like cooking, when I am feeling emotional, but not Tuesday. Tuesday I was glad to be engaged to a man who knows how to cook maybe even better than me. My fiancee has taught me a lot about cooking, and I love that when I don’t feel like putting in the work, that he gladly steps up to the plate. The random meat of the day was pork chops, which Dan fixed Italian style. Dan is excellent when it comes to making Italian food, and his Italian stewed pork chops are one of the first dishes that he ever made for me, so they are a new comfort food favorite of mine. With Dan’s pork chops we also enjoyed some garlic bread and sauteed zucchini. Everything was super yummy, and it was kind of nice to have someone else do some of the cooking for a change. Dan’s pork chops came out only 386 calories and 5.8 grams of fat per serving! The perfect dinner before the dessert of a Skinny Cow ! Tuesday nights are always accompanied by Biggest Loser with our friends and family, and it was the perfect escape that I needed at that moment. Sometimes you just need a little break from the day to day, and Tuesday night was great for that.
Wednesday is normally a day that I have no time to cook, but I decided to make breakfast for myself before my long day of school. For breakfast I was feeling a little indecisive. I wanted something sweet, but I wanted something savory, so I decided, “What the heck!” and did both! For my sweet breakfast, I made a side of french toast sticks from a recipe that I found in a Clean Eating magazine, I had tried them before, and loved the fact that they were easy and super tasty so I decided to do it again. For my savory breakfast, I made a breakfast burrito with a La Tortilla factory tortilla, some canadian bacon, Eggbeaters and sauteed onion. Before I started losing weight, I never ate breakfast, I was convinced that it was just going to make me larger! I was sure that if I ate breakfast, I wouldn’t be doing myself any favors, but I was surprised to know how wrong I really was. I know that I tend to harp about breakfast a lot, but I guess it’s because it’s so IMPORTANT! It is amazing to see the link between breakfast and obesity, and don’t tell lunch or dinner but I think it is my new favorite meal ! My whole breakfast added up to only 425 calories and 9 grams of fat! Not bad and it totally matched all of my cravings! For lunch and dinner I had to live the California way by eating out, which isn’t a bad thing, but the more and more I cook, the less and less I prefer to eat out! I like my food better most of the time and it is normally just as fast. After a long day of learning to be a dietitian, one more day closer, it was time for bed.
Thursday was the beginning of my weekend this week, which is a little earlier than normal, but it was due to special circumstances. My good friend Jackie, who also writes blogs check her out at http://www.scrapsoflife.dreamhosters.com/ and http://navywifelife.dreamhosters.com/, asked Sarah and I to photograph her hubby’s homecoming from the Navy. Jackie’s hubby had been gone for 8 months and had contacted me about photographing Derek’s homecoming, Sarah and I were more than excited and after a morning of school it was off to San Diego for a couple of days. Thursday night was fun in San Diego, being big time “partiers” Sarah and I meandered around San Diego and got lost in Target for a little while window shopping, as you can see we are BIG party animals ! After hanging out for a while, it was time to head back to the motel and get some sleep. Friday morning was a big day because it was Derek’s homecoming and it was also my little sister’s 21st birthday! We meet up with Jackie on Coronado Island at the Navy base, and just before noon her hubby came home! It was so sweet to see the two of them together and see how their love for each other was just spilling out, needless to say one of my favorite things so far that I have been able to experience and to photograph, so sweet! After the big arrival, Sarah and I began heading back towards home, only to stop by Irvine and do some real shopping at the Irvine spectrum, before meeting up with my family at Disneyland in celebration of Amanda’s birthday. We got there a little later than we had originally hoped but in only a couple of hours were able to jump on a few rides and celebrate in style, all the while staying away from the churros.
After arriving home just before two it was time to get some sleep. Saturday was a little bit of a lazier day for everyone, except for all the cooking that took place. I prepared breakfast quesadillas and a different recipe for french toast sticks for both Sarah and I in the morning. Our breakfast came to 586 calories and 17 grams of fat, but a normal breakfast with both of these items would add up to quite a bit more at just over 1000 calories and 45.5 grams of fat! I think that we probably ended up making the smarter choice, thanks to Devin Alexander’s two books, Fast Food Fix and The Most Decadent Diet Ever, they were great tools for us to be able to cook a pretty great breakfast! After breakfast, we hung out around the house for a little bit, and began to come up with some basic ideas for Amanda’s birthday party next week. After we had come up with a few general ideas we went out shopping, but not before lunch. Burgers and fries were sounding tasty and with a little help from Sarah, in less than 30 minutes we were enjoying a very fast food type of lunch, on 471 calories and 11.5 grams of fat! Not a bad swap from the regular option which would have cost us just under 900 calories and 45 grams of fat! Not worth it in my opinion. To put in perspective that old fast food burger and fry combo would take me more than 4 hours to walk off!! I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to get in thirty minutes of exercise, 4 hours seems a little ridiculous! After our quick lunch of burgers and fries, we were off to begin our shopping for the party. It was nice to get out of the house and get quite a few things accomplished for the party, which I am sure is going to be awesome next weekend! After getting some of the errands done it was back to the house. I was determined to use up the rest of the ground beef that was leftover from burgers earlier that day, so I decided with Sarah’s help to make penne and meatballs. I took a recipe that one of my teacher’s loves and gave out to us in class and remade it a little, for an even better version. My version of her meatballs, came to only 211 calories and 9 grams of fat, her original meatball recipe was not so fortunate at 371.5 calories and 25 grams of fat per serving! The ground beef really makes a difference, at only 4% fat you can’t really beat it, and you still have that great beef flavor! For dessert, everyone was okay with finishing off the last of the brownie bites along with some no sugar added icecream and berry sauce, super yummy and a very decadent way to close out a very emotional week at 202 calories and 5 grams of fat.
Well, until I’m in the kitchen again…
P.S. My very first tasting and debut are happening next weekend the 3rd at the clubhouse where I live! Interested in coming? Please sign up on my Facebook fan page or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org! Thanks!