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Weight Watchers Freestyle!

Disclaimer: I don’t work for Weight Watchers, nor am I sponsored by them in any way.  Outside of my meeting leader, they don’t know who I am.  All opinions expressed are my own, and of course if you are thinking about joining, you should consult your doctor.

 

ww-freestyle-books.jpg

If you follow me on Instagram, then you know that I joined Weight Watchers a couple months back.

I LOVE Weight Watchers.   As a chronic yo-yo dieter, I’ve tried everything- South Beach, Atkins, Slow Carb, Master Cleanse, My Fitness Pal, etc., but Weight Watchers is the only thing that has ever truly worked for me. I used it to lose weight for my wedding, and I had some great success a couple years ago when I rejoined.  I’ve never gotten to goal, though, because I keep giving up. (my issue, not Weight Watchers!)

I am definitely known to start a diet/workout plan, do great for a few weeks, and then fall hard off the wagon and gain everything back and then some.

This time feels different, though.

Since joining WW on October 13, I’ve lost 11.2lbs.  That is including a hiccup where I gained 5.2 the week of Thanksgiving. (Oops!) I’ve thankfully lost that weight plus another pound, so I’m good now!

The fact that I went to the meeting knowing I had a huge gain is how I know it is different.  In the past, if I knew I had gained, I would skip the meeting.  That would lead to more weight gain because I didn’t go to the meeting when I really needed the support.  And then I would think “well, I can’t go back to my weight loss support group until I lose the weight that I gained!” So, I would continue to skip, continue to gain, until I finally just gave up.

I’m learning now that those weeks that are tough are exactly the weeks that I most need the meetings.  My leader is amazing.  The group at my meeting is amazing.  I go to the meetings with two coworkers who are super supportive and definitely help hold me accountable.

And the biggest change that I’m seeing in myself is that I’m tracking everything, even if it’s not “good” food.  In the past, if I had an indulgent day, I’d just not track it.  Like, if I didn’t put it in my tracker, it never happened, right??? Now, I’m tracking the good, the bad, and the ugly.  It has helped me to see the “damage” and come up with strategies to get myself back on track. (work out more, eat under my points for a day or two, etc.)

And you know what?  *Most* of the time, it’s not as bad as I thought it was.  (we won’t talk about this past Friday when I ate 77 points in one day…. pizza, birthday cake, homemade papusas…)

This brings me to my review of the new WW Freestyle program.

Just this past week, Weight Watchers rolled out an update to their program, and though I just started it on Friday, I must say that I LOVE the changes!

First- They added a BUNCH of foods to their Zero Smartpoints list.  There are now 200 foods that I can have that cost me nothing.  And it ain’t just vegetables.  It’s all fruit and vegetables, even corn and peas that used to cost points!  Plus all beans/legumes including black beans, fat free refried beans, kidney beans, and lentils.  And the part I’m most excited about is that several proteins are now zero points, including eggs, plain fat free yogurt, boneless skinless chicken breast, and lean turkey!

yogurt bowl
Zero points for breakfast!

The next amazing thing thing that they have added is the ability to “rollover” unused points!  That’s right, if you don’t use all of your daily points, you can roll over up to 4 per day into your weekly bucket!  Got a big event planned for the weekend?  Be smart with your points and you can roll over up to 24 points for booze!  Well… I’d use them for booze!  You use them on whatever you want!

The only negative that I heard in the meeting was that people were a bit upset that their daily points went down.  This is true- your points go down by about 20-25%.  I used to get 34, now I get 26.  It’s all good though, because SO many of the things that I eat daily and used to spend points on are now zero! My turkey chili recipe is now zero points! In fact, today I’ve had breakfast and lunch and I’ve only used 3 points.

Turkey Chili
Turkey chili (0sp), Fat free cheddar cheese (0sp for 1/4 c) and sour cream (3sp for 2 tablespoons)

Overall, I think Weight Watchers has nailed it again.  This program is the perfect program for me given that my philosophy in life is to maintain balance.  I can eat mostly healthy, with plenty of flexibility for indulgences.  I’m so sure that this is going to be the time that the healthy lifestyle sticks for me and I will get to my goal weight!

Bravo, Weight Watchers!

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How to Make Perfectly Crisp Bacon

If you’re like me, you love bacon!  If I could, I would probably eat it with every meal.  What I don’t like, however, is the time it takes to fry bacon on the stove, not to mention the mess it makes!

I’ve been using the oven technique to make bacon for years, and I’m never going back!

Step 1:  Lay bacon out on a cookie sheet

 

bacon raw

We have these great racks (get your mind out of the gutter!) that we use when we cook on our baking sheets.  You definitely don’t need the trays, but I like to use them because all of the grease drips down and then I feel like it’s healthier.  They were maybe $10 for two of them and you can get them at any big box store. Here’s a set from Amazon.

If you don’t own the baking trays, you can just lay the bacon flat on the baking sheet.  Lining the baking sheet with aluminum foil will help reduce clean up as well.

 

Step 2:  Place bacon in cold oven and set to 450:

 

oven

Step 3:  Remove bacon from oven when it comes to temperature

bacon-done.png

I’m not sure why this seems to work better than preheating the oven, but going from cold oven and heating up to 450 gradually has been the best cooking technique for me.  Check it right when your oven comes up to temp.  You may need another minute or two depending on how crispy you like your bacon, but I think it comes out perfectly at the exact 450 mark.

 

Enjoy!

 

food, Recipes, Uncategorized

Marinated Flank Steak Wraps

Trophy Husband and I tag teamed on a delicious dinner the other day. (I previewed it on my Instagram story on Sunday)

We are big meat eaters, but find it hard to always stick to healthy meals when we do anything other than chicken breast.  These steak wraps definitely hit the mark with flavor and health!

Ingredients:

For the marinade:

about 1/2 c olive oil

about 1/4 c balsamic vinegar

Worcestershire sauce- a couple splashes

Pepper to taste

For the rest:

Flank Steak

salt

pepper

garlic powder

onion powder

1 green pepper

1 large onion

Low carb Tortillas

Cheese (optional)

Mayo or sour cream (optional)

Step 1:

Marinate the steak in the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire and pepper for at least 4 hours.

Step 2:

After the steak has marinated for the desired amount of time, broil for about 5-6 min on each side. You can probably just cook for 10-12 min without turning, but I like to cook mine on a grated tray so you kind of get grill marks.

Note that you may want to cook longer if you want your steak to be more well done.  We like ours a little pink, so this is the time that works for us.

You could also grill outside, or cook on your stove if you prefer.  The broil option just works best for us in terms of clean up.

Step 3:

While your steak is cooking, chop up your onion and bell pepper and sautee in some olive oil with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 4:

Slice your steak in thin strips.

cutting steak
I promised you crappy iPhone photography, and I’m definitely delivering with this shot!

 

Step 5:

Assemble wraps with desired toppings!

I did veggies, cheese, and mayo for more of a true philly steak feel.  Trophy Husband used sour cream instead of the mayo for more of a fajita feel.

 

Enjoy!

 

Cleaning and Organizing, fashion, Uncategorized

The Great Closet Clean Out Wrap Up!

Sorry for the delay in updating, dear readers! I started a full time job a few weeks ago and while I’m absolutely loving it, I don’t have as much time to work on the blog.

I wanted to give you the final wrap up of the Great Closet Clean out.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about- go here first. The Great Closet Clean Out Series

I’ve already cleaned out my shoes,  my dresses, my pants and tops.  Now it’s time to get rid of the rejects!

The first thing I did was post all of my more “collectible” sneakers to Facebook Marketplace.  These are items that I knew were worth a lot more than a consignment store would give me.  If you aren’t using Facebook Marketplace, I definitely recommend it for buying and selling, especially if you have kids!  It’s easier than Ebay because you don’t have to worry about shipping, and you meet up with people in person so you know you’re going to get your cash.

In all, I sold six pairs of sneakers for a total of $110.

I then took all of the remaining items to Style Encore.  They are a national chain of resale shops that buy and sell name brand, gently used clothing.  (They also own Plato’s Closet and Once Upon a Child)

consignment
Trunk full to the brim!

Style Encore bought about 1/4 of what I brought in.  They paid me $77 for what they wanted and I loaded the rest back up into my car.

I was determined to not bring the stuff back into my house so the plan was to drop everything off at Goodwill on my way home.  It’s odd, as I was transferring all of the items out of my reusable tote bags and into trash bags, I found myself trying to rationalize why I should keep some of the stuff that the consignment store didn’t take.  I overcame the urge, though.  I tried on everything in those bags and it did not fit.  There was no reason to bring it back in the house just to sit in the closet!

And now we shop…

After ridding myself of all of the items that don’t fit or that I don’t wear, I assessed my remaining wardrobe to determine what I needed to replace or any holes that I was missing.

I couldn’t believe it, but the only item that I felt that I needed was a pair of black ankle boots.  I really thought that I was going to have to buy tons of clothes, but the beauty of trying everything on in my closet was that while I got rid of a lot of things that I don’t wear, I’ve discovered that tons of items that I couldn’t wear because they were too small now fit me!  I’ve still got a ways to go in my weight loss journey, but I’m 20 pounds less than I was BEFORE I got pregnant.  This weight loss has allowed me to go shopping in my own closet.  So many items that I’ve owned for a couple years feel new again because it’s been so long since I’ve worn them.

Will I go shopping for new clothes this season? Of course!  But for now, I’m enjoying my “new” wardrobe.

Now, back to the boots.  I went to DSW because I had a coupon and a gift card from my birthday.  I found the PERFECT pair of black suede boots, and after my coupon and gift card I only spent $8. Whoop!

new shoes

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my closet clean out process, and I really hope that you’ve taken some of my tips to help free yourself from clutter that is weighing you down.

Thanks for reading!

 

food, Recipes, Uncategorized

Freezer Breakfast Burritos

When times are tough- us moms have to stick together, right?

A former coworker just gave birth to twins a couple weeks ago.  She also has an adorable 20 month old girl that was in my son’s daycare class before we transferred locations.

Twins + Toddler = no time to cook (or sleep, or shower, or anything else)

A group of us moms have gotten together to make some freezer meals for this sweet family and my contribution is breakfast burritos.

I’m making two different kinds- one with turkey sausage, cheese, and potatoes, and one with black beans, cheese, and potatoes.  These are super easy to make and so convenient to have in the freezer for a quick morning meal.

Ingredients: (for 16 burritos- 8 sausage, 8 bean)

12 eggs

Milk (just a splash)

Sour cream (about 3 tablespoons- optional)

1 pound turkey sausage

1 can of black beans

1/2 bag of shredded cheese

1/2 bag of frozen hash browns

Butter or Ghee (about 2 tablespoons for cooking the eggs)

Salt

Pepper

Onion Powder

 

Directions:

Brown sausage in a bit of olive oil or non-stick spray.  Set aside.

 

turkey sausage

Brown potatoes in olive oil or non-stick spray.  Add salt and pepper. (sidebar- season your food, y’all! salt and pepper goes so far!)

hashbrowns

Combine eggs, milk, sour cream, and seasonings and whisk until blended.

eggs

Now, let’s talk scrambled eggs.  Please, please, please do not cook your eggs too hot too fast!  They come out sooooo much better when you cook them low and slow.  Seriously.  no more than 50% heat on your stove, and only stir them occasionally.  My husband, who is a much better cook than I am, taught me this technique and I’ve never looked back.  I have enjoyed my eggs so much more over the past 9 years since I met that man.

Again, turn on the stove to no more than 50% heat and add your butter or ghee.  (highly recommend ghee)

ghee

Then add your eggs.  Cook them sloooooooooooooow.  If there’s any brown on them, they are overcooked!

Halfway there!

scrambled eggs 1

And Done!

scrambled eggs 2

Now it’s time to build your burritos.  Add your ingredients, roll your burritos tight, and wrap in plastic.

build bean burritos

 

Now, let’s talk plastic.  I know it’s not exactly popular these days to use plastic wrap due to sustainability and health.  I don’t normally like to use plastic wrap, but I have not had success freezing these in foil.  I’d love to hear some suggestions on how my readers have made foil work for freezing and/or if you have other non-plastic tricks.

Once you have these wrapped, just throw in the freezer until you are ready to eat!

To warm up, the best technique in my experience is to leave in the plastic and warm up in the microwave for about 90 seconds.  This keeps the tortilla from drying out.  If you’re iffy about the plastic in the microwave, I’d suggest wrapping in a damp paper towel and placing on a microwave safe dish for 90 seconds.  The paper towel will help the tortilla retain it’s moisture.

I hope you enjoy these breakfast burritos!  If you make them, let me know how you like them!

I especially hope my friend and her family enjoy these and that it helps take a little bit of stress away from them as they care for their sweet family!

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Welcome!

Welcome to Trophy Wife, Balanced Life!

I’m a happily married mom to one energetic toddler boy.  I’ve started this blog to document my struggles to end my yo-yo dieting cycle, feel better in my skin, step up my style game, and keep my house in order.

I love good food, craft beer, fashion, working out, and am slowly starting to enjoy cleaning and organizing my home. (slowly…)

I’m not an expert at anything, including diet, exercise, home organization, or style.  This blog is intended to document my attempts at self improvement through crappy iPhone photography and a lot of sarcasm.  Please don’t take any of my advice as fact, I simply am sharing what works and doesn’t work for ME.

I hope you enjoy reading!

Cheers!