Monday, November 29, 2010

New WW Plan

So today, Weight Watchers launched their latest plan, called PointsPlus. It's a pretty big change from the original Points system.

The original Points system determined a points value based on calories, fat, and fiber. This new plan doesn't incorporate calories into Points at all!

The new PointsPlus plan calculates points based on:
  • Fat
  • Carbohydrates
  • Protein
  • Fiber
Some new and cool factors about the plan are:
  • Fruits are now 0 points!
  • Keeping carbs and protein into account will pretty much force me to eat more "clean" instead of eating processed crap-ola!
  • I get more daily points (DP's) and weekly points (WP's); however, that has increased because some points values for certain foods have increased, so that basically evens out
Although this is pretty cutting-edge and seems pretty effective (I know Jennifer Hudson was one of the "guinea pigs" WW used and she lost her weight on that plan, and they've been using it in the UK for about a year now), I have a love-hate relationship with change. I know you can't progress without some sort of change from time to time and that life is boring when things become stagnant. However, I find comfort in the familiar and get uncomfortable when that feeling of familiarity is messed up.

As I've done my homework on learning the new plan though, my feelings of discomfort have subsided a lot. The plan looks really effective and I think it'll keep things interesting. It'll take about a week or so for me to get used to it, but that's alright. I just hope this translates to some sort of a loss on the scale this week! I'm .6 away from losing my first 5 pounds. However I've kind of set a high goal for myself; I joined November 11th and I graduate college on December 18th. That's 5 weeks total, and I made a goal to try to lose a rate of at least 2 pounds a week so I can lose 10 pounds by graduation! If I fall short of that, I'll be fine- I just thought it would be something good to shoot for. I know a healthy rate of weight loss per week is between .5 and 2 pounds, so 2 pounds is on the obviously high end of that. I think if I work hard and be mindful of what I'm eating, I can definitely do it!

For those who are on WW, what are your thoughts on the new plan?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

For any broken-hearted ladies out there!

I know I can't take one more step towards you
Cause all that's waiting is regret
And don't you know I'm not your ghost anymore
You lost the love I loved the most

I learned to live half alive
And now you want me one more time

And who do you think you are
Running 'round leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts
And tearing love apart
You're gonna catch a cold
From the ice inside your soul
So don't come back for me
Who do you think you are

I hear you're asking all around
If I am anywhere to be found
But I have grown too strong
To ever fall back in your arms

I learned to live half alive
And now you want me one more time

And who do you think you are
Running 'round leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts
And tearing love apart
You're gonna catch a cold
From the ice inside your soul
So don't come back for me
Who do you think you are

And it took so long just to feel alright
Remember how to put back the light in my eyes
I wish I had missed the first time that we kissed
Cause you broke all your promises
And now you're back
You don't get to get me back

And who do you think you are
Running 'round leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts
And tearing love apart
You're gonna catch a cold
From the ice inside your soul
So don't come back for me
Don't come back at all

And who do you think you are
Running 'round leaving scars
Collecting your jar of hearts
And tearing love apart
You're gonna catch a cold
From the ice inside your soul
Don't come back for me
Don't come back at all

Who do you think you are?
Who do you think you are?
Who do you think you are?

-Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri

I'm not broken-hearted by any means (I have a wonderful man!), but a few women in my life that I'm very close to have been done wrong by their "man" and just thought this song was fitting for what seems to be a lot of people's situations lately. The lyrics are really cool and the song is just pretty.

What do you think?


Usually, I'm not a procrastinator at all. In fact, I'm that overachiever student who gets my homework done as soon as it's assigned. If I don't get something done right away, I always end up feeling like I'm falling behind in life (even if it's just one class). Well, I've known about the option to do an extra credit paper for two classes (Social Psychology and Adaptive Psychology) that I have the same professor for ever since the first day of school. They are due tomorrow, if you so choose to do them. I'm also the student who never passes up extra credit unless I have a 100 in the class. Well, I have an A in both classes, but I'm always one to make sure my grade is as secure as possible, so I usually end up doing the extra credit. Sure enough, with the stresses of working two jobs, being a full time student, and maintaining my relationships (family, boyfriend, and friends) while taking time to play with my dog and take some time for myself, November 29th (tomorrow) sure crept up on me like a thief in the night.

Each paper has to be 5 pages double spaced (easy enough-seriously, as a psych major I do so much writing that 5 pages can be done in an hour or two for me, given the right amount of motivation) and in perfect APA format to be counted for the full extra credit points. All it will do is boost the grade of my 2nd lowest test grade for both classes (the prof drops the lowest test grade), but I figure every little bit will help in case I need some extra security (yes, I'm that overachieving-A student-who-always-feels-worried-my-A-will-go-away-if-I-don't-do-extra-credit).

Once I get back into town and whatnot, I plan to sit myself down in the library with coffee in tow and bust out these bad boys. An update will be given when I finish. Thank goodness the professor isn't looking for high quality papers, as long as they're APA format and stay on-topic to the topic we choose to write about, the extra credit is mine! Bwahahahahaha *evil laugh*

My topic of choice for Social Psychology is going to be a comparative analysis of aggression among women and men. The hypothesis I'm going to "test" is that women are becoming progressively more aggressive in recent years and that soon enough they will be aggressive just as often as men.

My topic of choice for Adaptive Psychology is going to be a comparative analysis of the benefits of short-term mating among men and women (you know, one-night-stands!). The hypothesis I'm going to "test" is that short-term mating is beneficial to men because (a) men can "sow their seeds" in more places and (b) men can reproduce essentially until they die, so the more sexual partners the better. One-night-stands are beneficial to women because (a) women can find a potential long-term mate in the plethora of sexual partners they acquire over time and (b) women eventually want to find a long-term relationship so sleeping with a lot of guys could help her find the "right" one to reproduce with eventually (when she feels like settling down).*Keep in mind this class takes into account the evolutionary aspect of psychology, so basically how we've adapted over the years. I don't necessarily agree with all of these things, but it works for a paper (haha). So this class is purely based on scientific/evolution-related theories, not idealistic theories that suggest men want a monogamous relationship and whatnot (I still believe men want to commit, they just have to mature first haha)*

What do you guys think about these theories/topics? Any interesting idea to add onto this that I could talk about in my paper(s)?

End of one of my first nerdy blogs to come.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Breakfast Cookie!

I came across this recipe on under the recipes. It looked really good, so I made it and have it in the refrigerator, hardening up and whatnot as we speak.

The breakfast cookie involves the following ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup oats, uncooked
  • 1 tablespoon nut butter of your choice (I used extra crunchy peanut butter for mine)
  • 1/2 scoop of protein powder (I used some sort of chocolate protein powder that my mom had in the pantry)
  • 1/8 cup of milk of your choice (I used fat free milk because that's the only milk we have at the house)
  • Mix-in(s) of your choice (I used 1/2 cup canned pumpkin, 2 teaspoons of allspice, and 3 packets of splenda with the added 1 gram of fiber per packet)- I've also heard that chocolate chips and bananas are really good in this!
Directions for assembly:
  • In a small bowl, mix the oats, nut butter, and protein powder until crumbly
  • Stir in milk until blended in
  • Add mix-in(s) of your choice and stir until blended in
  • Transfer mixture to a small plate and flatten (with the back of your spoon) into a round shape with equal thickness all around
  • Refrigerate overnight and enjoy for breakfast in the morning!

I can't wait to try mine! The picture makes it look gross, what with the color combination (brown from the choc. protein powder, tan-ish from the peanut butter, and orange from the pumpkin). I really need to work on making food pretty! I'm one who doesn't care how it looks as long as it tastes good, though :) I tasted a spoonful just to make sure it tasted good (I didn't want to eat some crappy-tasting cookie for breakfast in the morning, especially because I don't have much time to eat breakfast) and it tasted AWESOME! I got a small taste of the peanut butter, chocolate, and the pumpkin/allspice/splenda mixture. It was like pumpkin pie in the form of a (wet) oatmeal cookie.

This recipe makes 1 cookie. In my recipe builder, this came out to 7 Weight Watchers points. Enjoy if you decide to make this!

First food post! (Buffalo Chicken Lasagna)

So I found this cool looking recipe on the "20 year olds" message board for Weight Watchers sometime over the summer I think. I always thought this recipe looked good but it wasn't until tonight that I decided to give it a whirl for myself. I've seen various recipes of people's different spins on the recipe, but this one looked the best.

The picture provided below does not look the most appetizing in the world since I forgot to take a picture of the finished product BEFORE cutting into it and serving. However, it was a big hit! I cooked it for my parents and I (I'm home for Thanksgiving weekend). My dad went back for seconds (he rarely does that with dinner) and my mom raved about how good it is! The only thing I'm going to do next time is instead of using a whole (small) bottle of the buffalo sauce, I'm only going to use about 3/4 cup (hence why I put 3/4 cup on the recipe) because buffalo sauce is both incredibly salty and spicy. Of course, that didn't take away from how good it was! One more thing I may not do next time is the ranch dressing. Honestly, it was really good on its own and I'm not sure if it even needed the ranch. I know buffalo and ranch go together like peanut butter and jelly (or peanut butter and banana- YUM!), but I may just do ranch on the side next time in case it tastes better without the ranch.

I served this with grilled asparagus and challah bread (I bought the bread from Central Market- they have the best bakery EVER!). DELICIOUS!

  • 1 pound of chicken breast, cubed
  • 3 cups marinara sauce of choice (I like to use Central Market's homemade marinara sauce, yumm!)
  • 3/4 cup Frank's Buffalo Wing Sauce
  • 1.5 cups fat free ricotta cheese (you can use any kind you like, I used fat free to reduce fat and calories)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 12 whole wheat lasagna noodles (I ended up using a little less than that though)
  • 9 slices pepperjack cheese
  • Blue cheese crumbles (however much you want, but I used it sparingly since it's such an intense flavor- also, I happened to have the blue cheese flavored Laughing Cow cheese on hand, so I used 4 of those little wedges and sprinkled them on the top)
  • Fat free ranch dressing (again, I used fat free to reduce fat and calories but feel free to use any kind you want)
  • Preheat oven to 350. 
  • Cook the chicken in a large nonstick skillet until almost done. 
  • Add marinara and buffalo sauces and combine thoroughly with the chicken. 
  • In a small bowl, combine eggs, ricotta, and garlic. 
  • Working in layers, add half a cup of sauce mixture in the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan, followed by a layer of noodles, cheese, and more sauce. 
  • Repeat until noodles, sauce, and cheese are used. 
  • Bake covered for 65-70 minutes (depending on how hot your oven gets- mine gets hot really easily). 
  • Remove from oven, add pepperjack cheese and blue cheese crumbles to top. 
  • Bake uncovered for 10-15 additional minutes (again, depending on how hot your oven gets). 
  • Drizzle with ranch dressing. 
  • Wait a few minutes to let it cool, then serve.
Like I said, it doesn't look the most appetizing right now, but it would have looked better had I taken a picture of it BEFORE cutting into it. Next time, I'll just drizzle the ranch over into pretty zig-zag lines instead of just spreading it over. The spreading was for functional purposes, not aesthetic (obviously). Bear with me- remember, I'm still new at this blogging thing :)

You should try this recipe soon! You won't regret it at all.

One additional note: this makes 9 servings (huge servings at that!) and totaled up to 9 Weight Watcher points when I put it into the recipe builder.

Friday, November 26, 2010

My favorite "things"

I'm a firm believer that the best things in life aren't "things". Here are some of my favorites!

This is me and my boyfriend of almost 3 years. We've dated practically all throughout my college career (since my 2nd semester, since his 2nd year) and I couldn't imagine living life without this amazing man! We met my first semester of college at band camp (we were both in the college marching band). He played tuba, I was in the drumline playing bass drum. We became friends quickly and sometime over Christmas break, I saw his phone number on Facebook and sent him a text just for fun (just texting a friend!). We quickly developed a "crush" on each other that developed into really liking each other, into dating, then quickly developed into love. I have known for a long time that he is "the one"- even before I fell in love with him, I knew he was the one I'm supposed to spend forever with. *end of corny rambling*

This is my sweet 1 year old yellow lab, Marshall. I adopted him when he was 4 months old. My dad's secretary told us about him because one of her long-term friends and that friend's husband had him as a Christmas present from their daughter. However, her husband got terminal cancer and could not handle a 4 month old lab. My dad's secretary is a good friend of the family and she told me ASAP about the situation and my dad being the generous, caring person that he is, could not let me NOT adopt this little fella! I love him sooo much!

These are my parents at their wedding in February 1982. My mom was 20 and my dad was 22, and they were both poor college students. The odds were against them in many ways and a lot of people thought they would eventually divorce, but their marriage pulled through as a result of their determination to make their marriage work. 28 years later, they have proved everybody wrong. They are proof that marriage is much more than that "romance" love (believe me, it's a big part of what keeps the attraction, I know)- real love faces many trials and can always persevere as long as you take time to nurture it and resolve any problems. My parents taught me that. My dad and I are two peas in a pod, even down to the personality type (both INFJ). He has been one of my best friends ever since I can remember. Usually we get along great, but at times we butt heads. He will always be the best man I'll ever know as well as the person who gives the best advice. My mom is one of the most compassionate and caring people I know. She is the best listener and is always there to support me, and she will be the first to tell me when I'm in the wrong about something. Both of my parents are the most caring and generous people I will ever know. Perhaps this is why I'm such a "softy" too!

This picture is really old. I had just turned 18 and my parents and I had just returned from a trip to Hawaii as a high school graduation present for me. The two wonderful people standing on either side of me are my grandpa (left) and grandma (right). They have always been there to take care of me when my parents had to work (when I was born, my mom wanted to be a stay-at-home mom but my parents were both too poor for her to do that; if my mom quit her job, we would have had to move to the ghetto basically). They moved from their hometown to the town my parents were currently living when my mom found out she was pregnant with me just so they could take care of me while my mom had to go to work (my mom got my grandpa a good job, don't worry!). My grandma and I have always been especially close. I've been cooking with her ever since I can remember, and she is a large part of the reason I love to cook. We can talk about anything and everything for hours on end. My grandpa and I have an odd relationship. He's never been much of a talker and isn't the best conversationalist, but now he has been diagnosed with dementia (about 5 years ago, I guess). He's still pretty sharp, but he has definitely changed a lot over the years so our conversations don't really go on very long. I will always love him and admire him for not just giving up when he found out he had dementia. He's been fighting it from day 1, taking medications prescribed by his neurologist and keeping himself busy so he doesn't fade away into atrophy. My grandparents are both incredibly strong, generous, loving people and I wouldn't trade them for anything.

I know not everyone who reads this will feel the same, but my faith has always been a large part of who I am. Don't worry, I'm not trying to "preach" or "convert" anybody by any means. My faith in God has carried me through many tough times in my life. Times when I doubted God's existence is when my faith and prayer have pulled me through a situation I wouldn't have gotten through otherwise. There has been an instance where I believe an angel was sent to me when one of my tires caught on fire (I didn't see him come or go, but I saw him put out the fire- he left before I could thank him)- if that man (or angel) hadn't came to the rescue, my whole car would have caught on fire and who knows what would have happened to me. Basically, I wouldn't be who I am today without my faith in God.

Day after Thanksgiving

So yesterday was the goodness that is Thanksgiving. I made the green bean casserole, asparagus casserole, apple-cinnamon cranberry sauce, pumpkin cheesecake, and mashed potatoes. Everything was awesome and I'm proud to say I exercised portion control! I ate all my favorites (turkey, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, crescent rolls, and pumpkin cheesecake) and only went over my daily points by a few points. Lucky for me, my points reset yesterday since my weigh-in day is on Thursdays.

Speaking of my WLJ (weight-loss journey), I signed up for Weight Watchers on November 11th, and have lost a total of 4.4 pounds so far. My first week, I lost 2.4 pounds, and yesterday the scale said I lost 2 pounds. I was ecstatic to see -2 on the scale considering I had just gotten off my period-imagine what the scale would have said had I not just been coming off my period!

I have a love-hate relationship with my body. The thing is, I can lose weight just as fast as I can gain it (ok, maybe I gain weight a little faster-but doesn't everybody?) so my body is very sensitive to what I put into it. If I eat really healthy and exercise, the weight usually just falls off. However, if I eat crappy and don't exercise, the weight just piles on. I was chubby for most of my childhood and finally got thin when I was 12 (I just put myself on an eat healthy and exercise diet and got down to 120 pounds at 5'4''). As the years progressed, the pounds piled back on and I found myself a little chunky last summer (2009). I put myself on another eat-healthy-and-exercise diet and lost 24 pounds in 5 months and got back down to a healthy weight for my 5'5'' frame. Sure enough, the stresses of balancing school, work, my boyfriend, my family, and trying to have a social life ensured that I forgot to make healthy eating choices and put my workouts to the back-burner...I gained back 25 pounds (gained back everything plus 1 pound). I felt disappointed and disgusted with myself to the point it was negatively affecting my relationship with my amazing boyfriend, who (God bless his heart) still thought I was the most beautiful girl in the world. I decided I had enough and signed up for Weight Watchers (I had tried a little before but didn't follow the plan right). Since then I have been following the plan to a "t" and it's  been working for me!

This time, things are going to be different. Before, I put myself on a "diet"- I'd eat super healthy, never allowing myself any occasional treats. In the past, I've either done one extreme, or the other. I either ate really healthy and exercised, or ate really crappy and didn't exercise at all. This time, I'm finding that "happy medium", as my blog says. I'm determined to live my life in moderation instead of going from one extreme to the other. This is the only way I'll lose weight and keep it off. I absolutely HAVE to lose weight and keep it off. I have a family history of heart disease and diabetes, and I will inherit that without a doubt if I don't get my weight under control while I'm still a young ripe age of 21.

For anybody who wants to lose weight and hasn't tried Weight Watchers, I strongly recommend you try it. I have been able to have all my favorite treats without feeling deprived or feeling like I'm on a "diet". Since being on WW, I've had pizza, tortellini, pie, cake, potato chips, lots of good stuff. The trick is staying in my daily points and weekly points and balancing all that out with mostly healthy meals. Those "treats" I speak of are only an occasional thing, and I do not eat them every day by any means. 95% of my meals are based on lean protein, fruits/veggies, and a whole wheat "starch" of some sort. I only drink water and tea, so I don't drink my calories.

I look forward to getting to share my life with you guys as my blog progresses. Hope you guys enjoy it!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Oh, hai...

Well guys, this is the first blog I have ever created so if I seem a little "newb"-ish, please bear with me!

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Stephanie and I'm a 21 year old (almost) college graduate from Texas. I'll get my B.S. in Psychology next month and then hopefully go on to graduate school in August for School Psychology.

  • My 1 year old yellow lab (see dog in my profile picture-isn't he cuuuuute?) 
  • My boyfriend/college sweetheart of almost 3 years 
  • My family
  • God (don't worry, I'm not the kind to push my religion on anybody in case you are not a Christian). 
  • Cooking 
  • Reading food blogs 
  • Learning new things (especially psychology related) 
  • Watching TV and movies
  • Eating (too much, probably)
  • Reading
  • Music
On this blog, I'll basically talk about my journey to lose weight and keep it off (I've lost and gained weight too many times to count!), the various antics of work and school, and basically all the factors of my life. Basically, I'm going to write about whatever seems like a good idea at the time :)