I Must Love Me Too

If you have neglected yourself,
make a sincere apology to thee.
Gather the "love-me-not-petals" of your life
and start counting "I-must-love-me-too".
In no time at all you have
a beautiful flower blossom within you. ~ Dodinsky Writings

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Brazilian Collard Greens





Prep Time: 5 mins

Total Time: 25 mins

  1. 1 Remove and discard stems from collard greens and cut leaves into strips.
  2. 2 Heat oil and butter in large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots and garlic, sauteing until brown.
  3. 3 Slowly add collard greens, stirring until they reach the desired degree of tenderness, about 15 minutes (time will vary on your personal taste).
  4. 4 Add kosher salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition Facts

Brazilian Collard Greens

Serving Size: 1 (127 g)

Servings Per Recipe: 8

Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Calories 78.4
Calories from Fat 47
Total Fat 5.2 g
Saturated Fat 1.4 g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 3.8 mg
Sodium 29.4 mg
Potassium 158.5 mg
Magnesium 24.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate 7.0 g
Dietary Fiber 3.2 g
Sugars 0.4 g
Protein 2.6 g

8 servings

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Steph's High Fiber Brownies

source: myfitnesspal, posted by tcharrisjr

These brownies have a few secret ingredients: black beans and prunes, along with oats and whole wheat flour, boost the nutrition, while the dark cocoa powder and mini chocolate chips keep the rich flavor that you crave in a brownie.
I prefer the richer flavor of dark brown sugar, but you can use light if that's all you have.
Swap vanilla extract for almond or peppermint extract to alter the flavor. (If you use almond extract, mix in 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or almonds to the batter. For minty brownies, add a couple of chopped candy canes.)
These have 6 g fiber and protein each--and just 3 g fat. This is a treat you can feel good about eating. The result is a thick, fudge-like brownie that's rich and delicious.

1 15.5-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 1/2 cups cooked dried beans)
2 cups water
1/2 cup prunes
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar (I will use an equivalent amt of dark agave or agave molasses mix)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup dark cocoa powder

1/2 cup oats (certified organic)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (I will use King Arthur all purpose self-rising gluten free flour)
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (I use dairy free chips)

Preheat the oven to 350�F.

Place the prunes in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to start to break them down.

Add the black beans and process until smooth, adding a cup of the water in a steady stream to thin the mixture. The beans and prunes will be smooth with a few chunks.

Add the brown sugar and vanilla extract and pulse a few times to combine.

Add the oats, flour, salt and baking powder to the food processor and pulse until combined.

Add the remaining cup of water in a stream until a thick but smooth batter has formed. (You might not need all the water.)

Add the chocolate chips and pulse a few times to mix in.

Coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray, then pour in the brownie batter.

Bake 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before slicing into 12 brownies.

Note: For a party, slice into 24 brownies.

Number of Servings: 12

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Steel-Cut Oats with Apples and Pecans

Steel-Cut Oats with Apples and Pecans

Adapted from Jillian Michaels’ “Master Your Metabolism Cookbook”

  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 cup almond milk (recommended: vanilla-flavored)
  • 1 cup water plus 1 tablespoons (divided)
  • 1 cup quick-cooking steel-cut oats
  • 2 apples, cored and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup or agave nectar (divided)

1. To Toast the Pecans or Walnuts: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the nuts on a baking sheet, and toast them in the oven until you can smell them, about 5 minutes.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine the almond milk, water and oats. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

3. While the oatmeal is cooking, in a small saucepan, combine 1 tablespoon water with the chopped apples, cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of maple syrup. Cook over medium heat until the apples are softened and the liquid has reduced to a syrupy consistency, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the pecans, and cover to keep warm.

4. Stir the apples and nuts into the cooked and rested oatmeal. Divide among four bowls. Drizzle 1 teaspoon maple syrup over each bowl and serve.

NOTE: If you have leftovers, add a little more almond milk to the oatmeal before you reheat it, and stir it in for maximum creaminess.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Profiling Me

I probably should have been doing this all along, but I am going to post progress pictures every 3 months during this journey. I have noticed my belly toning considerably, but I still have a long ways to go. The hysto fat apron on my belly is gone, so we're getting there. Anyway, here are some profile pics to show my success so far:


Hello friends,

I had the dr. appt yesterday to review my lipid panel and do the annual physical. Overall, things went quite well:

Sugars are normal
bp is now normal
LDL is now normal
HDL is 56
Triglycerides are 156 (borderline high)
Total cholesterol was 210

She gave me a new calorie goal: 1800-2000 calories EATEN, not 2400 and exercising to get to 1600 or 1800 and a carb limit of 250. So I am very close to where I need to be so I will continue to do what I am doing because it is obviously working. I did grab a few low-carb books at the Goodwill yesterday for a bit more inspiration on the carb front. I'm not eating much bread or pasta since becoming gluten-free so the carbs I am eating are mostly from fruits and veggies. We'll re-evaluate in another 3 months but for now, no medication is necessary because she thinks I can whip this on my own.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Accomplishment of the Day

OK 15 minutes of Jillian's Shred It (not 30 day Shred - thought I ordered 30 day, but alas no) kicked my butt. I will take that accomplishment though because when I began this journey in October I couldn't lift a 3 lb weight for 15 minutes continuously. Making progress!

Roasted Garlic and Sweet Potato Soup Recipe

  • 10 Servings
  • Prep: 1 hour + cooling Cook: 15 min.


  • 1 whole garlic bulb
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 2-1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 4 large), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 2 large onions, cut into wedges
  • 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper


  • Remove papery outer skin from garlic bulb (do not peel or separate cloves). Cut top off bulb; brush with 1/2 teaspoon oil. Wrap in heavy-duty foil.
  • Place sweet potatoes and onions in a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Drizzle with remaining oil; toss to coat.
  • Bake garlic and vegetables at 425° for 30-35 minutes or until tender. Cool for 10-15 minutes.
  • Place 1-1/2 cups broth, parsley, thyme, salt and pepper in a blender. Squeeze softened garlic into mixture; cover and process until smooth. Transfer to a large saucepan.
  • In batches, process the sweet potatoes, onions and remaining broth until smooth; add to garlic mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Yield: 10 servings (2-1/2 quarts).

Nutrition Facts: 1 cup equals 109 calories, 2 g fat (trace saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 440 mg sodium, 21 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 4 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1-1/2 starch, 1/2 fat.

Making Progress

Hello friends,

It has been a while since I've done a blog post so I thought I would do an update and post a few progress pics as well. This has been quite the journey: I am now down 24 lbs and eating far more fruits and veggies than I ever thought possible. I'm enjoying discovering new flavors and textures and honestly wish I had made this lifestyle change sooner. Often when people comment on my weight loss and ask how I achieved it, I will explain that I gave up (most) dairy, refined sugars and flours, soy and gluten and they respond with "What's left to eat?" A LOT!!! As a result of the choices I've made, I have to eat fresh food, I have to connect with the people who prepare my food, I have to know what is in my food and I am finding that to a terrific adventure.

For example, today's menu consisted of the following:

carrot cake oatmeal, a banana and coffee for breakfast
Moroccan veggetable soup and Garden Fresh stir fry for lunch
paprika braised chicken, spaghetti squash, roasted root veggies and salad for dinner
Greek yogurt and an orange preworkout
dark chocolate and a rice cake post workout

The first picture is me at my starting weight of 247 lbs Halloween 2010. I was miserable and in pain constantly.

The second picture is me and my husband at my company holiday party. Six weeks post-hysterectomy at 226 lbs.

The final two photos are me gussied up for Valentine's dinner. Current weight 220 lbs.

I have to say that I am rather enjoying learning to take care of myself, to enjoy exercise and to find peace in the process. Onward and downward!