Good Health Guidelines

I’m currently on Weight Watchers, and besides counting points, there are the Good Health Guidelines that help you to stay healthy and get your body in optimum shape for weight loss.

  • Eat at least five servings of vegetables and fruits each day.
  • Choose whole-grain foods, such as brown rice and oats, whenever possible.
  • Include two servings of milk products – low fat (1%) or fat-free – each day.
  • Have 2 teaspoons of healthy oils (olive oil, canola, sunflower, safflower or flaxseed) each day.
  • Ensure that you are getting enough protein by choosing at least a serving or two of lean meats, skinless poultry, fish, beans, soy products, and lentils.
  • Limit added sugar and alcohol.
  • Drink at least 6 8-ounce glasses of liquid a day. The best choice is water.
  • Take a multiple vitamin-mineral supplement each day.
  • Get in at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week.

For me, it’s really becoming hard to remember these guidelines. I do follow a few of them, like avoiding alcohol, getting my water in, and incorporating whole grains when I can. However, I want to follow all of them, so I’ll be incorporating the ones I have trouble with, one per week. (My Weight Watcher weeks are Thursday – Wednesday, since I attend Wednesday meetings.)

First, I’m going to aim to eat my fruits and veggies, since I usually have 2-3 servings a day, and it would probably be easiest for me to incorporate into my diet. Here’s what Weight Watchers considers a fruit/veggie serving.

Fruits, vegetables and leafy greens
Serving sizes are 1 cup for leafy greens and 1/2 cup for all other vegetables and fruits. The lettuce alone in a large salad may well count for 2 or more vegetable servings. The default portion for most fruits and vegetables is 1 cup.

Sound too hard? Well, here are some great ways and ideas to incorporate more fruits and vegetables in your everyday diet.

  • Add fruit to your cereal, oatmeal, waffles or pancakes at breakfast.
  • Create your own yogurt flavors with plain yogurt and different combinations of fruit.
  • Snack on raw vegetables or fruits instead of chips or pretzels. Keep sugar snap peas, raisins or carrot sticks in your car, your office or your backpack.
  • Use chunky salsa instead of thick, creamy snack dips.
  • Drink 100% juice instead of addictive coffee, tea, or soda.
  • Going out to lunch? Take a trip to the grocery salad bar. Use lots of dark green leaves and other vegetables instead of piling on all of the extras like eggs, bacon, or croutons.
  • Add frozen veggies to any pasta dish.
  • Keep fruits and vegetables in line of sight. Grapes, oranges, bananas, and apples make a colorful bowl arrangement on the table. If you see them, you will eat them.
  • Dried fruit is just as portable as potato chips — and less messy. Plus, it’s an easy way to increase your iron consumption.
  • When cooking vegetables, makes 2-3 times more than you need and immediately store the extra away for tomorrow. It will save you time later on when you might not feel up to the task of cooking.
  • Dried fruit tastes especially good when added to a basic trail mix.
  • Add your own beans and vegetables (tomatoes, spinach, peppers, cabbage) to canned and quick-serve soups. The beans will add protein while the veggies will pack in some extra vitamins.
  • If you must have pizza, load on extra veggies and pineapple.
  • Try berries, melons or dates for a naturally sweet dessert rather than the usual candy bar, cookie, or ice cream sandwich.
  • Frozen fruit and veggies are nearly as healthy as the fresh stuff, and only take minutes to prepare.
  • Combine fruit with your main meal courses. Raisins, apples and tangerine slices add sweet, crunchy variety to a salad. Apples complement pork and orange slices are perfect with chicken.

Source: SparkPeople

Anyone want to jump on the fruit/veggie bandwagon with me? I can’t wait to take a trip to the produce stand and have some fun!

Planning for Thanksgiving

About two months ago, the hubs and I talked about how the holidays were going to work. We both value time with our families during the holidays and hated the idea of choosing one or the other, because of distance. We came to a resolution…to host Thanksgiving. My family is from the New Orleans area, which is a good hour away from Baton Rouge, where we currently live. His family lives in the Baton Rouge area. So, Thanksgiving with our families is easy for this year!

Now, the house isn’t exactly company ready, so we have some tasks to do to get ready.

Here’s our house from Halloween.
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Since then, the decorations have come down, except for the wreath and a sign that says “Happy Harvest”. Our ongoing project has been painting the house from brick red  to the goldish color it currently is. Our task and goal is to finish repainting the white trim and painting the doors and shutters a dark grey/almost black color.

Our house is also pretty cluttered from doing random fix-it projects around the house. We plan on cleaning it out and making it look like more of a home than a construction zone. :)

I’m secretly hoping the hubs embraces the idea of decorating the house for Christmas a week BEFORE Thanksgiving so my family can see the house completely festive. I know it’s a little early, but the last time my family saw the house was a little over a year ago when they evacuated here for Hurricane Gustav. Not the brightest of times, I promise you.

Are you taking on any house projects before you host your holiday party?



$367.86…lesson learned

That number shows how much of a wedding junkie I was. This number is how much money I’ve made (so far) from selling things that I originally bought for the wedding that ended up ultimately being useless for our wedding. Included in that number is the Gocco, which I sold for $185 after using it MANY TIMES though.

I know I spent more than what I sold the items for, but this serves as a great reminder to brides. Please don’t make the ring kill your wallet. Just because something says “wedding” or is in your colors, does not mean you will use it. Chances are, if you are like me, you will put things in a basket and forget they existed until 5 months post-wedding.

However, if you were like me and you have things to sell, here’s some of the services I used to help get rid of the items!

First of all, I gathered everything and put it in a basket in our craft room. That way, when I sold something, I knew it would be right there, in the basket, with no need to worry about where I put it last.

Then, I made a Google site. Very simple to use and format. It doesn’t need to be pretty…it just needs to show pictures and descriptions!

I posted the link on my signatures for websites that I post on, including  the Nest. Make sure your community allows you to post a link for classifieds before doing so.

Then, I used classified boards specifically for leftover wedding items to make people aware of what was available.

The Knot/Nest’s “Trash to Treasure” Board
Weddingbee’s Classifieds

I reposted/bumped my posts in hopes of selling things and that helped a lot.

After a week or so of posting, I would reduce prices, sometimes by $1 or by $3. I did this continuously with reposting until the item sold. Also, you can write things like “Willing to take offers on multiple items”, and that can help multiple things sell quickly!

Now, I will say that I still have some things left, so I’m not an expert, but I think these will help a fellow past bride get rid of that junk with a nice chunk of change in your wallet! :)

A day late, but hey, I need a challenge

After reading so much about NaBloPoMo on Twitter lately, I decided to join it today. Technically, I needed a post yesterday, but the prizes don’t appeal to me anyway. This is more of a challenge for me to see if I can indeed do 30 29 blog updates this month! Now, to ponder some things to blog about. I wonder if I’m that interesting or if you will get bored of me by November 30th!


You might remember when I made a vow to myself. A very important vow…to get healthier and lose weight.

You might even wonder how I’m doing, well, it’s fairly going well, but could be better. I’ve lost about 5 lbs. in total so far. This is my fifth week on Weight Watchers, and I’ve averaged about 1 lb./week. It’s good, but at my weight, I feel like I could pull bigger numbers.

For this week, I’m re-introducing exercise. I will be doing Couch to 5K 3 days/week for now until my body is ready for more (aka The Shred for the other two days in a work week).

So, to reinvigorate the lifestyle change, I’ve joined this holiday challenge! I’m still doing the Healthy Train challenge, but since that’s a longer term goal where I could probably convince myself to not care as much during the holidays and try extra hard afterwards, I feel that this extra challenge will help me!

On the scale this morning, I was 258.4…is it possible to lose 18.5 lbs in 3 weeks to reach my Thanksgiving goal? Chances are slim to none, but I’m aiming for 10 lbs. and hoping for more!

For this challenge, I need to make two of these bullets my goals daily. I chose the bolded.

  • 80oz of water a day, every day – ONLY water counts!
  • 320 minutes of exercise per week – works out to be just over an hour a day, five days per week – you can DO this!
  • Journaling EVERY morsel that crosses your lips – including the chocolate chips you sneak when you make cookies (Please tell me this is NOT only me…?)
  • Trying something new every week – food or exercise counts but you must tell us what it is!!
  • Weighing in only once per week
  • Volunteer an hour a week at a local organization or to doing something good for someone else.
  • On December 1st, I will have to change one of the two goals to a new goal to meet. I’ll surprise you with that one later.

    I feel that this will really help me beat the holiday weight gain. I love a good challenge, especially one for prizes!!

    How are you avoiding the impending weight gain of the holiday season?



    Cheddar Chicken Chowder


    I hope everyone had an awesome Halloween! I can’t believe we are already less than a month away from Thanksgiving. Since the weather’s changing, I asked my husband if he was up for a soup. I already had a recipe in mind, after seeing it on Dinner Delish. It sounded like a new way to use up chicken, besides grilling or baking it, and it was, most importantly, SKINNY!

    This soup definitely did not taste skinny, and my husband and I gobbled it up! It was delicious and not too hard to put together either!

    Cheddar Chicken Chowder
    Source: Cooking Light (originally found on Dinner Delish)


    • 2  bacon slices
    • Cooking spray
    • 1  pound  skinned, boned chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
    • 1  cup  chopped onion
    • 1  cup  diced red bell pepper
    • 2  garlic cloves, minced
    • 4 1/2  cups  fat-free chicken broth
    • 1 3/4  cups  diced peeled red potatoes
    • 2 1/4  cups  frozen whole-kernel corn
    • 1/2  cup  all-purpose flour
    • 2  cups  2% low-fat milk
    • 3/4  cup  (3 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
    • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
    • 1/4  teaspoon  pepper


    1. Cook bacon in a Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan. Crumble; set aside.
    2. Add chicken, onion, bell pepper, and garlic to bacon fat in pan; sauté 5 minutes. Add broth and potatoes; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add corn; stir well.
    3. Place flour in a bowl. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended; add to soup. Cook over medium heat 15 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently.
    4. Stir in cheese, salt, and pepper. Top with crumbled bacon.

    The Skinny – serves 6, Serving Size is 1.5 cups

    Calories: 306
    Fat: 7.5 g
    Fiber: 2.9 g

    Happy Halloween!

    As you may know, it’s October 31st. Man, time flies!

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    The house is decorated for the occasion.

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    The treat bags are ready to hand out.

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    The butter is softening to become a key ingredient for cute little pumpkins, ghosts and coffin sugar cookies before the night is over.

    Happy Halloween everyone! May your evening be filled with chocolate, fun costumes and if you’re like me and the hubs, college football! :)


    The weather is a-changin’, and of course, your summer shoes are past their prime. Oprah has taken note and is offering a coupon for 50% off your ENTIRE purchase at a Payless store through the end of today!

    An amazing deal…think about the gift possibilities in their accessories section! I know I’ll be there after work, hoping it’s not too much of a mess! :)

    More of my favorites!

    I know most people enjoy going to the counters, and trying all the fun products. I would find myself at the MAC counter falling in love with 3-4 products and the bill would be at least $75!  I mean, the face is important, but really, there are some GREAT items in the drugstores to be discovered, and they are really friendly on the wallet!


    I started using moisturizer about a year ago after reading that oily skin gets oilier when it’s not moisturized. I decided to go with the basic Olay moisturizer, because it’s been around for a long time, and I’m pretty young. It’s not like I need heavy duty wrinkle cream yet. This stuff is wonderful. It’s very light, has SPF 15 in it and just sinks in your skin really quickly. I put this on right before foundation and primer, so I can attest to how fast it dries/sinks in the skin!


    I’m sure you must think that I put the wrong picture in here. What does chafing gel have to do with make-up? Well folks, this is my primer. Don’t drop your jaws and think I’m gross, but I have proof that this is a GREAT primer. Almost a copycat of Smashbox’s $30 primer! It works really well and for $6 for a tube that’s double the size of a normal primer? Hello! Obvious choice here. :)


    I am very fair skinned with neutral tones. I used to have to go to Sephora or MAC to get matched. I found myself spending about $25 on a decent foundation, only to be disappointed that it made my oily skin (oh boy, am I blessed!) even oilier! I’ve tried everything from Makeup Forever to MAC to Bare Escentuals and MORE! I was going through oil blotting sheets like it was nobody’s business! Enter Revlon Colorstay for combo/oily skin. I bought this after reading raving reviews on blogs about this. I ended up bringing my empty MAC NC15 to Walgreen’s to see if I could find a match for this. Luckily, Buff 110 was PERFECT! And, the kicker, it’s $10 a bottle!  This stuff keeps the oil at bay and really stays put. I’m never going back to MAC again!


    I’ve heard such great things about MAC’s Mineralize Skin Finish (more commonly called MSF), but I wasn’t really eager to pay $27 for a powder. I didn’t see the hype in it, so I never bought it. However, last weekend, I was at Ulta getting more of my foundation and noticed that the Colorstay line was BOGO. So, I decided to give this a try (in Brighten) after reading great reviews on Makeup Alley from my iPhone. (yeah, classy folks…I was in Ulta surfing the net!) This powder is $14, but if you get a BOGO deal, it’s not so bad! I really wear it as a blush highlight so far, and I really like how it brings extra radiance to my face. It’s not glittery or too shimmery…it’s really subtle but makes a difference!


    My make-up artist used this on my wedding day. I went to buy it a few days afterwards, because it wasn’t drying and concealed my little pimples and random redness around my nose very well! I really like this stuff, and it’s pretty darn cheap if you ask me!


    When I went to buy my concealer, Walgreen’s had a BOGO deal on Maybelline face products. I was running low on my MAC  Studio Fix powder foundation, so I decided to give this a shot since I liked the concealer so much. This powder is great! It does really well to set my foundation and concealer, and again, super cheap!

    I find that because I’m using these drugstore products, I’m saving HUNDREDS a year! Seriously, give some drugstore products a try, especially when it’s BOGO. The quality has gone up to where it’s some fierce competition for the counter cosmetics!


    Pot Roast, Again!


    The temperatures dipped into the 40s out here. It’s absolutely nuts that the week before, we were experiencing nasty, summer weather. However, this new weather was a welcomed change. I told my husband I had to make pot roast for us. It just screams cold weather food!

    So, I made pot roast using the same recipe as last time. Diet friendly pot roast, in fact.  I highly recommend this simple, delicious recipe to anyone looking to make their first pot roast!