Tag: dinner

Weekly Meal Planning ~ 04/06/13

In a perfect world, I go grocery shopping once a week, on the weekend. Sometimes we are so busy that doesn’t happen and I end up making multiple trips during the week and I buy too much of what I don’t need and not enough of what we actually do need. Yesterday morning all stars were aligned when I had the ability to go grocery shopping right after my WW meeting. As if that weren’t exciting enough, I took time Friday night to make a list so I was prepared.

I love to meal plan when I can. It makes the week easier when I am crazy busy and it’s one less thing that I have to worry about. I also love to make meals that create lunches the next day. It saves money and some meals are even better left over. Thank goodness hubby likes leftovers!

I don’t go quite as far as deciding what to have on a certain day, but I do plan enough for a full week and then decide the day before what to have the next day. That way if I need to take chicken out of the freezer, I can. Our schedules can vary during the week, depending on work, working out, or plans we may have.

I thought first that I would share what I bought at the store this week. It was a pretty big shopping trip and took me a good hour – another reason I love going on a weekend morning before the store gets busy.

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When I meal plan, it’s for dinner. Lunches are prepped from those meals or I’ll have a salad with either chicken or tuna. Snacks on hand are always baby carrots and hummus, grapes, bananas, etc… We also always have frozen veggies in the freezer to have with any meal.

I will say that the meals I make during the week are somewhat determined by what is on sale that week. Like this week, boneless skinless chicken breasts are on sale at Publix. I bought 3 packages. Whatever I don’t need for meals, I freeze for future use. Also, I freeze one chicken breast per bag so I can take out whatever I need for one of us or both of us. The pork roast was also on sale.

So, what do I intend to make this week with all this? I’m pretty excited about it….


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I made the pulled pork for dinner last night and there is enough to have again for dinner tonight. I am all about things being easy AND trying to eat healthy. For dessert, we are still hooked on pineapple cake. It’s so light and lasts the whole week. I  made another one last night! I keep wanting to try it as cupcakes but I haven’t yet.

A great source of recipes is Skinnytaste. The Italian Sloppy Joe’s recipe is from there, although I did modify it and I cook it on a skillet, not a slow cooker. The panko chicken is a WW recipe. The pulled pork recipe I now use has been tweaked several times (I used to make it with BBQ sauce and now I don’t). Here are my recipes for a few of this week’s meals…


Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork

  • Boneless Boston Butt Pork Roast (3-4 pounds)
  • Fresh garlic, sliced
  • 1 can chicken broth

Cut small holes in top of roast and insert garlic slices. Add can of chicken broth. Cook on low for 7 hours. When it’s done, I shred it with a fork and discard the fat. Put in a casserole dish and add a little of the chicken broth to it so it doesn’t dry out when you reheat it. Top with your favorite BBQ dressing if you like. I love Sticky Fingers Carolina BBQ Sauce.


Italian Sloppy Joe’s (my version)

  • 1 package Italian Turkey Sausage
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • Pepper

Remove sausage from casing and crumble as it cooks, till brown. Add garlic, onions, and pepper (to taste) and cook for a few more minutes. Add green and red peppers and cook a few more minutes. Add can of crushed tomatoes and simmer on medium heat for about 10 minutes. You can serve on rolls, we skip the bread and enjoy it without.


Baked Chicken

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
  • Olive Oil (I use an olive oil sprayer and do one full spray per chicken breast which is 1 point in WW world)
  • Basil

Drizzle chicken breast with olive oil and sprinkle with basil. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes (for 2 breasts). This chicken comes out very tender and juicy!


Panko Chicken

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
  • Plain Panko breading
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp. Paprika
  • Basil
  • Pepper

In large bowl, mix Panko breading, parmesan cheese, basil, and pepper. In another bowl, put egg to dip chicken in. Coat both sides of chicken with breading mix after you dip in egg. Cover a cookie sheet with foil and coat with oil spray. Bake for about 40 minutes (for 2 breasts).


Not every week is a planned out as this one, so I’ll share when I can!


Do you meal plan? What is your number one reason for meal planning?

WW Weigh-In #13

Confession: I did not track my meals the whole time my aunt was here. After tracking religiously since the day I went back to WW, this seemed really wrong to me. We ate out A LOT, kept really busy, kept Starbucks in business, had sinful dessert in Tarpon Springs, enjoyed wine, played cards, and ate amazing home cooked meals. I do not regret one single minute of my indulgence and I certainly wouldn’t change it. Last week, I was up a pound which I absolutely expected but I was ecstatic with as I thought it would be more.

So this week, I figured I was really in trouble. The week before, I had run the Sarasota Half Marathon and we walked around Universal Studios one day. I knew that was my saving grace. This last week, I ran two days, which helped, in addition to keeping busy. My hands got a work out playing cards. That’s about it – not stellar.

When my aunt went home on Wednesday, I knew I had to immediately get back to tracking and preparing my meals. And honestly, I was ready for it. I function much better with routine. Spontaneity is not for me. I need a plan, and then a back-up plan in case the first plan doesn’t work.

The day after she left, I was back to bringing my lunch and snacks, skipped the Starbucks and used my Keurig in the morning, and made it back to hot yoga. I did the same on Friday, including the hot yoga class. Jumping back into the routine that has been successful for me the last 3 months is exactly what I needed.

When I went to my WW meeting this morning and walked up to the scale, I believe my exact words were “I’m afraid”. I still wasn’t regretting my indulgence, but I was very curious to see what kind of damage it did.

Drumroll, please….


WW Weekly weigh-in Week 13


What?! I lost 1.6 pounds! How does that happen? Talk about a mood-lifter! However, my favorite meeting receptionist Marilyn quickly told me to be careful this week, and she’s right. Here’s hoping all that indulgence doesn’t show up this coming week!


Things I did right this week are:

  • Regardless of all the things I did wrong, I made sure to drink plenty of water.
  • Thursday and Friday, I jumped right back into tracking, making breakfast and lunch, keeping snacks on hand, and having a healthy dinner.
  • Went back to hot yoga. It’s amazing how quickly your body becomes accustomed to an activity, and then when you don’t go for awhile, it forgets. It was definitely great to get back to my yoga practice.


What I will focus on this week:

  • Getting back to meal planning. Always having foods on hand for breakfast, lunch, and dinner is a huge help.
  • Back to splurging or eating out only once or twice a week. Tonight we are going to a wedding where there is sure to be amazing food and drinks, and then tomorrow we are going out to dinner for my sister’s birthday. I know I can indulge every so often and I will be fine.
  • Back to the beach early tomorrow morning for bridge repeats – the Iron Girl Half Marathon is in just 2 weeks!
  • I would love to make it to hot yoga three times this week. My unlimited month ends on Friday and I want to make the most of it. I really love it, even when I am a hot mess. (note to self: wash off the eye makeup before class…)


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Not too bad on the ActiveLink this week…. 24 points for the week – 2 runs, 2 walks (yes, I count walking the dogs!), and 2 days at hot yoga.


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So that’s that! As always, I’m excited about the weekend and NOT working for two days. I am also looking forward to getting back to my routine and then running tomorrow. It works for me!


Have you taken time off from your healthy eating? Regardless of the results, how did it make you feel?

Let’s all go to The Pig!

We had more fun yesterday, with dinner at a family favorite, The Ozona Pig, which my niece calls The Pig. It was great evening, we sat outside at dinner and enjoyed the breeze, the food, and ice cold beer. I love family dinners, and this week has been extra special with my Aunt Darlene here.


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After our delicious meal, we headed north a few minutes to our beloved Crystal Beach. It was cloudy and overcast when we arrived but the sun kept peeking out of the clouds during sunset. Autumn and I had a fun time playing in the water (chilly!), finding shells and rocks, and running along the sand. Autumn always makes me laugh… She fell in the water at one point and then took off running towards the steps yelling “Um, I have a problem!!!”. That kid cracks me up.


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Our evening ended perfectly with a trip to Cold Stone for ice cream. I haven’t had Cold Stone in quite awhile and it was GOOD!! Hubby and I shared a Cake n’ Shake milkshake. Oh heavenly sweetness in a cup. Cutie pie Autumn had a cotton candy milkshake that was almost as big as she was!




Do you have a family favorite restaurant that you go to? What do you do for fun when you have family in town?

I highly recommend playing hooky…

With my Aunt Darlene in town this week, I am trying to work as little as possible. I don’t address it too much on here because I do my best to keep it separate, but being a small business owner is hard work and STRESSFUL. It is 24 / 7 no matter what, and my brain is constantly “on”. So if the opportunity comes along to skip work for the day (despite how incredibly hard that is), I’ll take it. Hubby surprised us with tickets to Universal Studios and Island of Adventure and we headed to Orlando on Tuesday along with my mom and aunt. It was a PERFECT day and very much needed. I went as far as not taking calls OR checking work email all day long. It was so nice.

After a quick stop at Starbucks, the four of us hit the road towards Orlando. Considering it was in the heart of rush hour, we made great time. We were also anticipating rain, and even with the cloud cover we saw heading towards Tampa, we never saw a drop of rain all day.






We arrived around 10 and made our way thru City Walk. It has been WAY too long since hubby and I have been there. We used to have annual passes and went often. We really need to do that again….








My Aunt Darlene lives in California and has been to Universal Studios there. And just to make you laugh, I’ve been to Universal Studios out there too, in the 80’s when Miami Vice and Conan The Barbarian were big. If only I could find those pictures…. Anyhow, they do not have Island of Adventure out there, so Darlene was beyond excited to go. It’s even on her bucket list. She was most excited about the whole Harry Potter thing. I guess I should also mention that I have never read one single Harry Potter book nor have I seen one single Harry Potter movie. I couldn’t tell you why, I just never have. When we arrived, we headed to Islands first and made a beeline for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, along with every one else on spring break. Of course, we had to walk through Seuss Landing to get there, which is my favorite part of the park.






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Clearly, this is still the most popular part of the park. It was packed, The ride lines were really long, as were the lines for Butter Beer, and the stores were packed. When we were done here, we headed out to the rest of the park.


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After we walked through Islands of Adventure and had lunch, we headed over to Universal Studios. This is my favorite park. I love ET and Twister, and walking through all the different area of the park like Beverly Hills and New York. The weather was perfect and I was having such a great time with my hubby, mom, and aunt. I was also happy to be getting some mileage in, and even more happy that I could walk just two days after the Sarasota Half Marathon. It’s the little things in life…


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On our way out of the park, we stopped in the Universal Gift Shop and my mom bought these key chains for my sister-in-law Jenna and I. Remember how we were Boob 1 and Boob 2 for the 3 Day last year? They were perfect!




We had such a great time being big kids at Universal for the day. It’s always a great time when you get to spend that day with loved ones.




On our way home, we stopped for dinner at the original Hooters in Clearwater. Hubby and I are no strangers to Hooters and Darlene was excited to go too. We sat out on the patio and enjoyed the nice breeze, wonderful company, great food, and ice cold beer.


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Thank you so much to my hubby for the tickets and a great day. It was the perfect escape and a fun time!


What is your favorite escape? Do you have a favorite theme park?

An Italian fiesta!

Yesterday we celebrated my brother Nick’s 31st birthday at their house. As always, Nick and Jenna had a great dinner for all of us, and it was a nice afternoon. What more could you ask for on a Sunday afternoon than great family, Scrabble, silliness, a hedgehog named Freddie, cute kiddos, ice cold beer, and delicious Italian food? Sounds pretty perfect to me.

Would you believe I forgot to take pictures of dinner? Bad blogger!! We had salad, lasagna, and garlic bread. I was in carb overload and enjoyed every bite of it! And there was birthday cake. Yum!

Our day in pictures….


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Happy birthday Nick! We enjoyed celebrating with you!