Our Quest to change our lives began in Feb. 2010 and we lost 224 lbs. This is the story of our continuing Journey through the ups and downs of maintenance.
(For the fullest effect, begin at the beginning in Feb. 2010 using our Blog Archive on sidebar)

Monday, August 12, 2013

What to do with Zucchini!! Chips & Boats!

Happy Monday!!  
If you're reading this then you survived your weekend and hopefully are about to embark on an amazing week of WONDER.  Or at least another week of life.  It's about THRIVING and not just SURVIVING.  This week I'm gonna THRIVE.

To recap some of my last week, I made my long time favorite:  Zucchini Chips!!  I got this idea originally from Sandy here.  It's just so easy.  I take my zucchini (which is so prevalent right now, these green wonders are popping up in everyone's garden - except mine since I don't have one yet) and cut the ends off and then I hand sliced it using my cheese grater - using the side with the single slicer.  Or you can use our food processor for quick work.  Basically, you want them in thin little slices.

Then line your cookie sheet with parchment paper (I used tinfoil and then sprayed it with pam, the first time, but parchment paper doesn't need oil so I did that the second time).  Set out your zucchini slices on the tray, brush with a little olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt, then bake at 200 degrees for 4 hours or so.  SOOOO addicting!



WOW are these good.  Awesome to take to the movies or have as a quick snack.  These would count towards your "green" on your 5:1 plan, OR (for me, not official TSFL), they count for 1 snack.

Note - Do not turn up the temp over 200 to bake them quicker because they may burn!  Which is what happened to my first batch.  Also, do not over salt. I found that my first batch was way too salty (as well as burned).  They just need a light sprinkle before baking.

I burned my first batch :(

I also saw this cool recipe for Cheesy Garlic Zucchini Boats on FB (I don't know the name, I just made that up!) and made these last week too.  The original recipe can be found here.

I cut off the ends of the zucchini and sliced in half, brushed the top with a little olive oil and sprinkled with some garlic powder blend.  Then I put some sliced up mini red tomatoes on and sprinkled with reduced fat cheese blend.  Salt and pepper to taste and baked at 375 for 20 - 30 minutes - until soft.


WOW!!  


Hubs LOVED these!!  My son ate them without realizing they were tomatoes even!  lol
Very yummy Lean and Green - just added 1 chicken patty and with the chicken and cheese being my "Lean", the zucchini and tomatoes was my "Green".  Definitely a keeper!

Some other L&G pics from last week:
 Chicken salad for the hubs.  The Lean is the light cheese and chicken, the green is the romaine, peppers, & tomatoes.  We just tried this Bolthouse Salsa Ranch flavor which isn't bad.  Again, yogurt based dressings are so much creamier and LESS calories than regular dressings.  
For my lean, I found some Griller Morning Star patties in my freezer that I cooked up on my stove and added these mushrooms, mini tomatoes, and zucchini (sauteed on my stove with a little olive oil).  I like cutting the zucchini into long strips for a change.  Just added some salt and pepper and this was a quick tasty meal for me.

There you go!  If you have some zucchini sitting around, at least here some ideas of some stuff you can try!  Make it a great "ON PLAN" day!
~Margene

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Because it's not about food....

It's about being PREPARED and enjoying the fuel we put in our bodies.  
I am a BEING of ORDER!
Therefore, I am preparing my meals.
Woo Hoo!  
(This is big for a mom who is driving teens to/from work and activities for 90% of her waking hours, or so it seems)

Yesterday I tried some new things, thanks to Sandy at Sandy's Kitchen!!  Lover her!  She has a lot of recipes for those following the TSFL program and using Medifast food.  Or for those just wanting to eat healtheir.  I've followed her for years now.  So I tried two of her items listed.  First:

MEDIFAST PEANUT BUTTER FUDGE BALLS
I didn't follow the exact recipe she has because I didn't have almond milk, but here is what I did:


Ingredients:
1 MF Chocolate Pudding
1 MF Hot Cocoa
4 T. PB2
1/4+ cup mixture of Water and Sugar Free Peanut Butter Syrup

Combine all ingredients in small bowl.  Form into 8 fudge balls.  4 balls makes 1 meal (since you used 2 MF meals in the recipe)

I actually made 5x this recipe - that's why you see 40 balls in the pic up there.  Then I put them in baggies (4 per bag) and froze them.  We can just grab one and go and have it ready by the time we eat.  The hubs really likes them!!!

You can find Sandy's recipe here.


Second:
MEDIFAST OATMEAL COOKIES



Ingredients:
1 MF Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal
1/4 t. Cinnamon
1 packet Splenda (I used Stevia)
1/3 cup water
1/8 t. baking powder
1/2 t. vanilla
1 T Peanut Butter (I used PB2)

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix all ingredients and let sit for 5 min.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.  Drop by spoonfulls and bake  for 12-15 minutes.

I doubled the recipe for me and the hubs.  Next time I would try to get the cookies flatter if I could to more crispiness.  But they were fine.  Definitely better than making the actual oatmeal.  My son took a bite and wanted more. :)  I will include these up in my Recipes - Medifast tab.  You can see Sandy's original recipe here.


I have also found the I love the Coleman Chicken Meatballs that Costco sells.  The carbs are lower and protein higher than other meatballs I compared and they looked like a great option for our "lean".

So we had them as our L&G last night and salad - So yummy and easy and fast.  That's really what I need, is easy and fast and yet still seems like a quality meal.

I love mushrooms on my salad and had 6 meatballs (on left), Brent had 4 meatballs with 2 turkey sausages. And of course light dressing.

Another meal I had that was super yummy, and also from Costco was this Garlic Pepper Marinated Sockeye Salmon.  Just defrost and bake for 15 minutes and it's total gourmet!  I added some cucumber as my "green" and had a delicious dinner.


For the hubs, I scrambled up 1 cup of egg beaters with some red pepper and added some light cheese just before it was done for a cheesy egg scramble.  Fresh cucumbers also finished off his "green".  So that was also a super fast meal fix that filled him up.


Onward and forward as a BEING OF ORDER!  
Yup, that's me.  If you have any quick and easy, healthy meal ideas, do share! 

oxXXOooXoo ~Margene

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Creating order | Margene's Lean and Greens

Howdy peeps!!  
Happy August!!

Dang, that came fast (August).  
I'm back again (on my blog here) and working at our new schedule and how life is changing for us with older kids.

As of today, we have 3 working kids!!  And only one of them can drive.  It gets tricky.  But I love having older kids and all the fun that comes with it.  I feel like I'm more one of them (at least inside I still feel juvenile), plus I get to be their mom.  There's truly no better job.  And it's been WAY FUN to have the hubs around more and working together with him.  Life is in a process of changing.

LIFE IS ALWAYS CHANGING.

It's like we put things in "order" and then chaos comes.  Then we adjust and put things in "order" again and then chaos comes.  I'm learning that the KEY to this is being GRATEFUL for success of creating ORDER, even though it may be briefly lived, it still happened!  Then things fall out of order OR change, it gives me a new chance to step it UP A LEVEL into a new level of ORDER!
The problem comes when I expect things to stay the same.  To stay clean, to stay organized, to stay unbroken, for relationships to stay just right, for kids to stay obedient and happy, ETC.  But WHY am I unhappy about that?  The world is constantly changing and NOTHING stays the same.  The earth itself is always in a state of change.  It's adjusting to that change and STILL CREATING ORDER that builds character.  It's gratitude for the opportunity to create order.

I AM A BEING OF ORDER.

Even if it's just my bookshelf.  Or a small area of my desk.  Or one shelf in my fridge!  I'm learning to start small and NOT be discouraged when chaos comes.  But see it as an opportunity to go to the next level. 
OKAY - so that's what brings me back to my blog.  I am a being of ORDER.  I can adjust to changes in my life.  And with those changes, I can adjust to KEEP EATING HEALTHY, and Being ACTIVE!


I've rebuilt my website:  Margene's Lean and Green's  - which I am MUCH happier about.  It's mostly for the visuals.  When you click on the pictures of the food, It will link you back to the corresponding post on THIS BLOG that either describes that dish or gives the actual recipe.  Hopefully, that is helpful to those who want ideas for lean meals. :)  I'm excited to be adding to it more as well.



There are also some cool links on the side like I have on this blog, AND my top videos - which is super nice to have easy access to.  :)

So... I'm off to creating ORDER today.  I will not look at everything OUT of order, but just focus on one small thing at a time, and get that in order.  And I will find joy in every little thing I create order with! 


LIFE IS GOOD!!!
XoxOxoX ~Margene