Weightloss Tracker

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fast Food Facts

Fast food is one of the hardest things I had to let go when I changed my lifestyle back in December BUT it has been one of the BEST things that I have ever done! I will be honest with you and tell you that I was a frequent visitor to Chick-fila. I had my morning routine down pat and at the time thought I loved having my food prepared for me. Not anymore. I think back to what I used to eat for breakfast and it now makes me wonder how it ever gave me energy to get through the day with all the grease, unhealthy meat, oils, etc. It has been difficult to cook every day but at the same time, I LOVE cooking my own food and KNOWING what I put in to each recipe. If you want more information to help you steer your car away from your favorite fast food restaurant...check out this article below with facts about fast food. I bet it will make you think twice about driving through the drive through this weekend. :) Instead, go home and fix and easy meal either from my blog (all take 30 minutes or less to prepare and cook) or from Skinny Taste where I get a lot of awesome recipes and ideas!
Fast Food Article

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

The number I hope that I have lost by Monday. Only 3 pounds away!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Growing up, I was constantly around gardening. My grandfather taught me to appreciate the delicious vegetables grown from his two hands. Year after year, I grew up eating the best vegetables anyone could ever find and they were right from my grandfather's garden. I became spoiled, not realizing how incredible the fruits of his labor were until I no longer had them. I remember growing up, spending summer after summer helping Pop-pop dig up potatoes from the ground, picking the largest and most beautiful tomatoes anyone could ever find, snapping the ends of beans, and shucking corn. Oh how I loved sitting on the screen porch with my hands deep in a bowl of freshly picked green beans or running my hands up and down fresh stalks of corn. Those days with my grandfather will always be kept close to my heart.

Now that I am grown and have my own house and yard, I have started to plant my own garden. Oh how I wish I had the wisdom and advice from Pop-pop to help me plant and sow the seeds. Every spring when Shawn and I begin to plan and plant our garden, thoughts of Pop-pop come running through my head. I always stop and think, how would Pop-pop have done this? Where would he have put the tomato plants, how did he keeps the bugs from eating the leaves, how did he get the soil so rich and pure, which plants are the easiest to grow, what are the tricks to gardening, etc. I wish that I could have known Pop-pop as an adult. I wish I had time with him again, to soak up all of his knowledge about life and especially gardening. Or how much would I give to have his hands run alongside of mine as we plant the seeds in the earth. Unfortunately, I only have memories to keep alive and hopefully the blood line of Halfacre gardeners.

I am fortunate though that Pop-pop gave me hours upon hours of memories digging around in his garden that I continue to keep in my mind today. I am always asking myself, how would Pop-pop do this? I am also blessed to still have my dad who also has taught me to love gardening. Every year, my dad continues to grow an unbelievable garden and I am so blessed that I too have a love and passion for fresh veggies. I am thankful that I am able to call my dad when I have questions or want to know more about something I am planting. He has so much wisdom that Pop-pop passed down to him and I am eager to learn everything I can.

Shawn and I planted our garden this weekend. We were off to a great start a few weeks ago but our cat got a hold of some of our plants so we are having to start seeds from scratch again. We were able to get a few things in the ground before the rain came. So far we have peppers, tomatoes, squash, zucchini, onions, broccoli, and blackberries. I can't wait to plant the others in a few weeks when they are ready. I just love the smell of freshly tilled dirt, dark soil on my hands, and the memories of gardening that always come back to me when I am working outside. I do hope that our garden will produce wonderful, fresh veggies and fruit this summer and I look forward to the many recipes I will make with them.

Go out and buy a few veggies to start a garden this week. It doesn't take much to start at all! If you don't have a back yard or don't have a lot of room, try planting in pots around a patio or on a porch. There is nothing better than eating the fruits of your labor. :)

The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses. ~Hanna Rion

Gardening is about enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, getting dirty without feeling guilty, and generally taking the time to soak up a little peace and serenity. ~Lindley Karstens

As a gardener, I'm among those who believe that much of the evidence of God's existence has been planted. ~Robert Brault

Sweet Potato Fries and Shawn's Famous Turkey Burgers

We had the most delicious lunch today! We combined a few of our favorite foods that pack a lot of nutritional value to get this rainy Sunday going. We enjoyed working together in the kitchen creating a delicious meal. We hope you enjoy!!

Sweet Potato Fries

2 sweet potatoes, cut length wise into strips
Paprika to taste
Pampered Chef Chipotle Rub to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut sweet potatoes into strips.

Combine in a large bowl with olive oil and seasonings. Spray stoneware or cookie sheet with PAM before laying down the fries. Put in oven, flip after 10 minutes. Cook for a total of 25 minutes.

Shawn's Famous Turkey Burgers

Calories: 156/patty
WW Pointsplus: 4pts without bun

1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp Abodo seasoning (Publix)
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 zucchini, grated
1/4 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
1 clove garlic
1.25 lbs 93% lean ground turkey
PAM spray

In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, zucchini, garlic, seasonings, salt and pepper. Make 5 equal patties.

Heat large skillet on medium-high heat. When hot, spray with PAM. Add burgers to the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Cook on one side until browned, then flip. Flip over a few times to prevent burning and to make sure the burgers are cooked all the way. Shawn used a lid to help keep the heat in to make sure they were cooked all the way through. Enjoy with a whole wheat bun or without a bun! Delicious and a great way to sneak in veggies for kids!!!

Strawberry Breakfast Smoothie

This smoothie is so delicious and very simple. A great on-the-go breakfast or a quick and yummy way to get in some calcium and fruit. :)

Strawberry Breakfast Smoothie

1 cup of frozen strawberries
1 cup of 2% milk
1/2 packet of Truvia (to taste)

Combine all ingredients into a blender, blend for several minutes until all strawberries are combined. Enjoy! :)

Spinach Chicken Quesadillas

This yummy dish is a great one to enjoy this spring. Light, fresh, and extremely tasty, this will be a dish that you will add to your favorites! I got this recipe from the cookbook So Easy by Ellie Krieger. Enjoy!

Spinach Chicken Quesadillas
Calories 430/quesadilla
Fat 19grams
Protein 22g
Carb 43g
Fiber 8g

1 tbsp canola oil
1 large onion chopped
8 oz of button mushrooms or baby bellas
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups of cooked chicken breast, diced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
2 cups baby spinach, chopped
4 10 in tortilla shells (La Tortilla Factory makes the best!)
1 cup shredded sharp cheese (Cabot makes a great 75% less fat sharp cheese block)
1/4 cup sour cream (if wanted)

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and mushrooms.

Cook until slightly brown and mushroom water has evaporated. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute.

Add chicken and spices, stir until incorporated.

Stir in spinach, salt and pepper to taste, and cook until spinach is wilted (about 2 minutes.)

Lay tortillas on flat surface, add chicken/spinach mixture on one half. Sprinkle 2 tbsp of shredded cheese on top. Fold over to make half-moon shapes. Put on a Quesadilla maker (Target makes a great one for less than $20!) or spray a pan with olive oil and heat over medium heat. Place tortilla in pan, turn after 3 minutes. Cook in pan until slightly brown or around 6 minutes. Slice tortilla into smaller parts, add salsa or pico de gallo. Enjoy!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Need Motivation?

Are you in need of motivation this weekend to keep pushing to get to your goals?

I have had a difficult time the last two weeks with keeping up my motivation but I have regained it this week. I had an awesome workout (that I made up) last night when I got home from our school Relay for Life family night. My Zumba class was canceled so I decided to "try" to do some of the Zumba dances I had memorized by myself in the comfort of my own home. :) I downloaded the songs I needed and ended up getting an awesome workout in! When I couldn't remember the exact steps, I just made something up. Who cares, as long as you are MOVING! :) After dancing for 45 minutes, I lifted weights to tone my arms and situps for a good ab workout. I also used a stair step in our house to jump up (like on biggest loser) and step up. I ended up getting a high intensity workout at home! It was wonderful. :)

Check out these ideas for motivation this weekend:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3ilnNM7c1k Great video from Bob Harper on motivation
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljhpr5dkM7A&feature=related Danny from Biggest Loser
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgyRRwGHqdw Awesome video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Bcxwhzyh7c&feature=related Great motivational quotes
http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/exercise-motivation Exercise motivation
http://www.jillianmichaels.com/lose-weight/success-stories.aspx Success stories

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

March 22

The Good: We cooked a delicious dinner tonight from So Easy cookbook. We made Chicken-Mushroom Quesadillas and they were delicious! They were really good! I also logged my food today because I have to get myself back on track with that. I ended up hitting my calorie target just right today which was great!

The Bad: I did not get much cardio in today but I did work out with weights and did a good bit of strengthening and toning during Biggest Loser tonight.

The Ugly: I did not get a lot of movement in today so it made it difficult to reach my calorie target.

Monday, March 21, 2011

March 21

The Good: I enjoyed a fun dinner with Haylee and Hanna at San Jose. Yes, I said San Jose. I promised them way back in January that if I got my 10%, I would go with them. At the time, I knew it was far away but sure enough it came quicker than I thought. I couldn't let them down so of course I have been preparing myself to go. I knew this was going to be one of the toughest temptations I have had to be around. Mexican food is my weakness and trigger food. I did go prepared. I wanted chicken tacos because they are one of the healthier items on the menu and some salsa/pico de gallo. I actually didn't miss the cheese dip like I thought I would and I also took off almost all of the cheese on my tacos! I was surprised by my change in taste and thinking. :) This will continue to be a rare occasion but at least I was able to show myself that I CAN resist the temptation, have foods in moderation, and make healthier choices.

The Bad:
I obviously proved to myself that I HAVE to exercise 5-6 times a week and I HAVE to record what I eat...the scale proved it this week. I did lose but only 0.2. I almost didn't go to the WW meeting tonight but then I told myself that no matter what the number on the scale this week, I can't give up and I have to continue to push on. I made a promise to myself to exercise this week and get back on track with recording my food. It really makes a DIFFERENCE!

The Ugly: Stress....the end. :) Ready for a break to enjoy some time for ME!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

March 17

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

The Good: I had a delicious sushi dinner tonight with my wonderful husband at Miyo's. I decided to go out of my normal sushi selection and choose something different. I am so glad I did! I found a new roll that was soooo good: Sunrise Roll. Very tasty and had just enough spiciness to kick!

The Bad: I have been soooo busy this week that I haven't been tracking my food intake on my Bodybugg. I feel very lost even though I know I am making good decisions but I still like to know my numbers and how they add up. I definitely have to work on getting back into tracking my food intake asap!

The Ugly:
Once again, I am overwhelmed by stress. My stress comes from so many different areas of my life so it really makes it difficult to pinpoint. I have been praying about what I can do to lessen my stress level daily and I think I am figuring out a few answers. I love doing everything I am doing but it has also gotten to the point that I just can't do it anymore without letting my new exercise and lifestyle go. I am not willing to do that so I know I am going to have to refocus what I am involved it and lessen my load so that I can take care of myself. This has been very difficult for me to do but at the same time it is the only way I can find peace and have less stress.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Three Months

I am proud to say that 3 months ago, I decided to change my life by changing my lifestyle to eating healthier foods and becoming active again. I honestly have NEVER felt better! Getting rid of the junk I kept putting in my body day after day has made a huge difference. I look at pictures of me from a few months ago and yes, I can tell a slight weightloss but the biggest change I have seen has been in my complexion. My skin looks so much better and I look "healthier." I still have a LONG way to go but it is nice to see the changes that have already taken place in just 3 months!

I am constantly asked how I am accomplishing what I am doing. I am always honest with whoever I speak to and tell them that I have changed my lifestyle completely. The biggest change I have made is to stop eating fast food. Period. Too many times I let myself go grab a "value" meal because it was somewhat inexpensive and CONVENIENT! Let me tell you that it has been CONVENIENT to gain all of this weight and I do NOT want to feel CONVENIENT anymore! Fast food companies are not worried about what they are putting in their food that is ruining your body day by day, all they care about is the money that they are making on CONVENIENCE. I challenge you to try going a week without fast food. That is where I started. Once I got to a week, I challenged myself to another week, and another week, and another week and here I am 3 months later without fast food and I feel amazing! I am not going to lie to you and say that it has been easy or I haven't craved my usual Chick-fila sandwich with fries, because I have. I remind myself when those cravings come that I DO have time to cook a delicious meal, I DO have control over what type of "fuel" I give my body, I DO have easy and delicious recipes I can cook at home, and I DO NOT want to give myself an opportunity to go back to my old habits.

I do want to take time to tell you how much I appreciate every one of you who follows my blog. I am amazed at how many people have cheered me on the last 3 months. I am truly blessed and I want you to know that I could not do this without the comments, Facebook messages, personal comments, etc. They have constantly kept me going during the last 3 months. THANK YOU for being a part of my journey!!

Today: March 15
Weight lost since December 15: 35lbs
Weight loss from February 15-March 15: 11lbs

Goals for next month:

-lose another 10 pounds (or more)
-start working a good bit with weights to tone up my arms and legs
-continue to track my food with my BodyBugg
-memorize Zumba steps and songs so I can reteach them one day! :)
-try 10 new recipes this month from skinnytaste.com or some of my healthy eating cookbooks
-start a garden
-walk the dam in the afternoons after school 2 days a week
-sign up for another 5K
-enjoy one nice dinner this month without worrying about calories
-try to get to my 50lbs lost by my 2nd wedding anniversary on April 18 (really want this so it will keep me very motivated!!)

Goals for next month: (February Goals)
-lose another 10 pounds (or more)
-try to eat a vegetable during lunch and dinner (almost accomplished)
-continue to try new fruits and veggies

-complete my first 5K February 26
-continue to track my food intake on LiveStrong.com
-get my 25lb award at WW
-get my 10% award at WW
-exercise 6 days a week, twice a day on Saturday and Sundays (almost accomplished)
-enjoy one nice dinner this month without worrying about calories

*PS-I wanted to remind you that I do use 2 different versions of my weight. I use the ticker at the top of the blog to count how much "true" weight I have actually lost. I weigh in on Monday mornings before I put anything in my body so it is my "true" weight. I weigh in again at WW on Monday nights so my weight is about 3 lbs different than the morning because I weigh with clothes on, have 2 meals in my body, and water. Just an FYI if you were wondering. :) Confusing sometimes I know but I like to keep track of my "true" weight too.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pampered Chef March Giveaway!!

I am so excited about announcing my March GIVEAWAY! I am a Pampered Chef consultant and just received the new Pampered Chef catalog. I was ECSTATIC when I saw the new products for this season! Every new product they came out with is geared for a healthy lifestyle!! Woo hoo!!!! I couldn't wait to try out some of the new products and I promise you, none of them have failed to meet my expectations. I am in love with the new vegetable slicer which is the black thing beside my Pico de Gallo in the last blog post. It is AMAZING! Also, the chili-lime rub I used for my shrimp recipe is part of the new stuff and I honestly can say it is the best rub I have had!

There are so many new products that can help you cook and live a healthier lifestyle! Please check out the online catalog on www.pamperedchef.com. I am offering 10% off ANY item from Pampered Chef this month. I want to help you get excited about changing your lifestyle and creating delicious healthy recipes for you and your family. :) If you spend $60 or more, you get 2 free rubs! Yes, that includes the awesome Chili-Lime rub!! You can email me, halfacreh@aol.com with your order or send me a Facebook message with your order.

I am also giving away 1 chili-lime rub, 1 large mixing bowl, and 6 Season's Best cookbooks this month! You have a chance to win 1 of 8 items! All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me your favorite healthy recipe or food. That's it! If you would like to leave the recipe for everyone to try, please do!

You have until next Sunday, March 20 (7pm) to post a comment for the giveaway AND to receive 10% off ANY item in the catalog this month.

Below are a few ideas of how I use my Pampered Chef items in the kitchen. :) Please let me know if you have any questions!

Chili-Lime Shrimp Tacos with Grilled Pineapple

The weather was absolutely gorgeous this weekend and all I wanted to do is be outside to soak it all in. I wanted to recreate some shrimp tacos we made last weekend when we were at Pawley's Island. They were good last weekend but I wanted to spice them up a little and add some more flavor.

This past week I was browsing through some of my favorite blogs and came across my friend Bridgette's blog, Against the Grain. She is a believer in organic and raw foods and I enjoy getting ideas from her blog. Go check it out, she is very knowledgeable and writes a wonderful blog! :) She posted a pico de gallo recipe that I was dying to try. I have had pico de gallo before but I have never made it. It was really easy once I got the ingredients together. The flavor increases the more it sits as the flavors mix together. It definitely was a winner in our household and will making it quite frequently this spring and summer!

Pico de Gallo
3 jalapeno peppers-chopped (remove seeds from center)
3 large tomatoes-chopped
1 onion diced
1 lime (squeeze juice over ingredients at the end)
Several sprigs of fresh cilantro (from your new herb garden ;) )
1 clove of garlic minced
Sea Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and mix together. Squeeze lime juice over all ingredients and enjoy. :) Very simple and VERY tasty!

Chili-Lime Shrimp Tacos
La Tortilla Factory Whole Wheat tortilla shells (Publix near the bread)
Organic Valley shredded Mexican Cheese
Pico de Gallo (recipe above)
Shrimp (peeled)
Chili-Lime seasoning from Pampered Chef (March Giveaway!)
Lime juice
Old Bay seasoning (could use this and chili powder if you don't have PC seasoning)
Pam spray

Peel shrimp and place in a bowl. Combine chili-lime seasoning, salt, pepper, and old bay seasoning to taste on shrimp (I use about 1 1/2 tbsp of chili-lime seasoning, 1 tbsp old bay seasoning.). Mix around until all shrimp are evenly covered with rub. Heat frying pan on high heat. Spray Pam in pan before throwing shrimp in. Cook shrimp for about 4-6 minutes or until pink.

While shrimp are cooking, warm tortilla shells in microwave.
Add shrimp onto tortilla shells, add pico de gallo, add cheese, and fold up to enjoy! :)

For dessert, we grilled slices of fresh pineapple on our George Foreman grill. Grilled pineapple is very tasty because it is served warm and is very juicy!

Herb Gardening

I could not wait for spring to come so I could plant my herb garden. I spent all winter working on a plan for my herb garden. Where do I put it, where do I plant them, do I plant them in containers, which ones do I plant, will they be easily accessible, etc.? I finally had a plan... I would plant them in a tiered planter (willowhouse.com), I would put the planter on the front porch over on the side where we don't have anything, and I would plant my favorite herbs that I use quite often. I decided to plant: parsley, cilantro, rosemary, chives, oregano, and thyme. These are the herbs that I use the most when cooking so I figured they were a good start.

Shawn and I bought seeds to plant the herbs a few weeks ago and they grew fine until our cat got a hold of them. Since it is warmer outside and time to plant them outside, we opted to get the plants to put in the planter this go round. I am excited we did this because I am already able to use the herbs we planted! :)

This was a very fun project and I hope you will think about starting your own herb garden. All you need is a few plants, dirt, and a planter or pots to start. Very easy and fun to use! :)

Happy Spring!!

Delicious Breakfast Idea

This morning I realized that I was finally out of egg beaters. :( My usual breakfast consists of scrambled egg beaters, center cut bacon, and greek yogurt. Since I was out of egg beaters, I had to dig through the fridge, freezer, and pantry to find something to eat this morning. I had forgotten that I had bought some Van's Waffles a few weeks ago at Publix so I decided to try them. I had the Van's Apple Cinnamon waffles with I Cannot Believe It's not Butter Spray, and Log Cabin Natural syrup. They were AMAZING!! I sprinkled a little extra cinnamon on them to bring out all of the flavors and MAN THEY WERE GOOD!! You can find these delicious waffles in the freezer section of Publix, 14 Carrot, Earth Fare, Fresh Market, etc. I only listed the places I have found them so far. These waffles are wonderful and not only do they taste great, they are made of whole grains, gluten free, and pack lots of nutrients. :) Try them out for yourself, I promise you will like them!

*Shawn tried the Van's blueberry waffles this morning and gave them 2 thumbs up as well!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Books and Exercise Suggestions

I wanted to share some of my favorite things lately and I hope they will continue to help you on your journey to a healthier lifestyle. I am truly amazed at what my body can do just 3 months after changing my lifestyle and I feel wonderful! I cannot wait to get the rest of this weight off and I am looking forward to feeling even better than I do right now. :)

Some of my favorite books:
I have gotten almost all of these from Amazon.com. Amazon.com seems to have the best prices. :) You can also find many of these at your local library.

Favorite Exercise DVDs:
These also are very inexpensive on Amazon.com and I have also found a good inexpensive collection at Target.

Favorite Exercise Necessities:

Amazon.com and Target have great prices on these!

If you want my personal reviews on any of these products, please message me on Facebook and I will be happy to answer them! I recommend all of these and I don't mind giving you a better review of them if needed! :)