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Miss Mindful Sparkles

Just trying to live my life as mindfully as I can. We only get one shot at this life & I do not want to miss a thing! I lost 47 pounds last year (and I am still a Weight Watchers Member) and I feel great...and this feeling is not about what I lost, it is about all the perspective I have gained. My journey is always evolving, so I decided that blogging about it would be a great way to share the joy. Thanks for coming along!

Inspiration Found at a Cher Concert

Mindful Musings: Inspiration Found at a Cher Concert 🎶

Inspiration Found at a Cher Concert

Inspiration Found at a Cher Concert

🎶 🎵 Inspiration can be found everywhere, even at a Cher Concert! 🎵🎶

🎰I was in Las Vegas over the weekend & we decided to see Cher in concert at the Park theatre in the Monte Carlo casino. She put on a great show, and all I kept thinking, throughout the whole show, was how inspiring she was! I want to be dancing around in body-hugging clothes when I am 70 and beyond! 😊😊😊

She isn’t rail thin, she just looked very healthy & obviously in shape. Her voice was in good form as well. No need for her to ‘Turn Back Time’ as she is a timeless performer.

🎶🎵She is an entertainer & didn’t seem to take herself too seriously. She spoke with confidence and humor to the audience. Her show took us though all the decades of Cher songs, acting, hair styles, and amazing costumes!

💃🕺Her dancers were spectacular to watch & the stage was colorful & 100% entertaining! We enjoyed a fun montage of her acting roles and seeing her accept her academy award for Moonstruck. She sang all her favorites from “I’ve got you Babe”, & “After All” to Ending the show with her big hit, ‘Believe’. 🎶🎵

⭐️⭐️The best lines were part of her opening monologue. She told the audience that she works hard to stay in shape and was excited to tell all of us that she did a 5 minute plank that morning! Then, she said, “What’s YOUR granny doing tonight?”🤣🤣🤣😂😂😂

Too funny! Just had to share because I found myself inspired by her confidence & spunk.

Look for inspiration every day, as you never know where it will pop up next! Who inspires you?  Feel free to share in the comments!

PS:  I took the photos above at the concert and made this little collage.

Posing like a star outside the concert just before we saw Cher perform! Lots of fun!

Posing like a star outside the concert just before we saw Cher perform! Lots of fun!

 

 

 

Life Strategies: How to Survive an Airplane Flight full of food!

Life Strategies: How to Survive a Long Airplane Flight Full of Food

Short flights are Easy….they don’t even offer much more than drinks and maybe a tiny, easy to resist snack bag of salty trail mix…but a long flight is a different story!

Now, let me share what I ate after takeoff on a 5 hour flight to Las Vegas from NJ…and this flight was through dinner time so I planned to have a ‘snack dinner’.

😊I started to eat the snacks I brought from home (SmartPoints listed in parentheses):
✔️Homemade Kodiak Banana Chocolate Chip muffin (4)
✔️Big Bag of sliced Green peppers (0)
✔️Homemade bag of air fryer wrap chips (2)
✔️1 Laughing Cow Wedge (1)
✔️Clementine (1)
Current On-The-Plane total at this point is 8sp.
And at this point, I had approximately 3 hours of plane time left…⏰✈️

📲I brought plenty to do, but was bored…our takeoff was delayed an hour, so that was an extra hour on the plane…then, my TV thing didn’t work….but that was ok as I had many non-tv things to do: New Book to read, 2 magazines, I downloaded 2 magazines on my iPad, I had a small notebook for ideas, to do lists, doodles, etc. I had a variety of posts to work on for my blog. I had PLENTY to do that didn’t involve the internet…but eating can be so comforting in some ways when you are a bit bored…

😜Then, the Flight Attendants started to serve the food selections…and this airplane went from a transportation vehicle to a food court!
My resolve momentarily weakened…
With eager anticipation, I realized I could buy myself:
🍔a hot cheeseburger on a pretzel bun!
🌯tiny chicken wrap!
🍭a candy pack of sweets!
🍴chips!
🍫chocolate!
🍝a warm pasta and meatball plate!
🧀an artesian cheese and 🥜 nut assortment!

🤔But would I actually buy food on the plane when I brought a big bag of carefully planned snacks from home??

I would say a majority of the people on the flight were eating at this point and about half purchsed food or ate the food they brought with them. Imagine hearing the popping sound of many soda cans….the rousing rustling of food bags opening…the sounds of people chatting about food…the smells of all kinds of food filled the plane instantly! No more ‘plane smell’, just a menagerie of food sounds.

💥💥It was honestly, a FOOD and DRINK FEST! 💥💥

😩Everywhere I looked, there was food! 😳

>Some had brought yummy fast food on the plane…
>I saw a FAMILY-sized bag of Peanut M & M’s being passed around a group of 6 people. (I actually had to stare at this bag my entired flight as I was on the aisle and it was just 2 rows up!)
>Colas and Alcoholic drinks were being poured for almost every passenger.
>Bad coffee being served. (If I wanted coffee, I would have whipped out one of my Starbucks Via Packets or the Trader Joe’s 3sp Coffee with Sugar and Creamer added instant packets and asked for hot water)…but I didn’t want coffee at this moment.
>This one couple directly in front of me had seemingly endless bags of chips and snacks and food they brought onto the plane…I think they ate for most of the 5 hours of plane time.
>Across the aisle from me were 3 men…probably a bachelor party (this was a plane to Vegas)…who had many drinks and many cans of soda and lots of snacks. They never got rowdy, but boy, were they hungry and thirsty.
>Every TV screen that wasn’t on a movie was showing commercials (It is Direct TV on the plane) and I felt that there was FOOD everywhere I looked!

💫Luckily, as I was ‘weighing’ my options, I asked myself a few questions:

❓Did I really want a hamburger from a PLANE menu? No.
❓If I was home right now, would I be eating snacks every 20 minutes? No. It would be close to 8pm and I’d be closing down the kitchen.
❓Was I actually hungry at this exact moment? No.
❓Was I feeling full? Actually, yes. Very full.
❓Was I thirsty? No, but I had a bottle of water 💦 if I needed it.
❓Did I just want something to munch on? No, but I still had a Bag-O-Snack choices I brought from home.
❓Did I just need chocolate at this exact moment? Well, I always need chocolate, but at this moment, no, I did not…and I had some with me if I absolutely wanted some.

So…..
NO! I did NOT buy anything from the lovely friendly flight attendants pushing convenient 🛒 carts of convenience food & drink around the aircraft.
THIS story is part of the reason travel days can be SO hard…

I did NOT need to overstuff myself.
I stopped myself before I made a decision I would totally regret.

FYI: I always travel with a small toothbrush and tooth paste and floss. I figured that another deterrent would be to go brush my teeth (although not ideal in a plane bathroom!…..I also had mint gum 🌱, so that was a better option, but I didn’t end up needing it.)

🎰I was on my way to Las Vegas for gosh sakes!
Plenty of wonderful food to be had there! I just needed to get there.
I planned. I had plenty to do and EAT…
I could resist the smells of fast food & coffee
I could resist the temptations of watching others in close proximity ingest chocolate covered pretzels, cookies, candy, hot chocolate, and more. I just had to stick to my plan…but it was NOT easy!

👍So, I stayed strong, paced myself, and ate the following snacks for the remainder of the 3 hours on the plane (SmartPoints listed in Parentheses):
✔️A Jayone Crunchy Rice Log (1)
✔️My single serving of Harvest Snaps (1)
✔️1 Cheese Stick (2)
✔️1 baggie of baby carrots (0)
✔️1 Laughing Cow Wedge (1)
✔️1 Clementine (0)
✔️Half bottle of water (0) – don’t want to drink too much on a flight😉
So, 5 SmartPoints for this half of the flight PLUS 8 from earlier made this a 13 SmartPoint flight…not too shabby, if I say so myself!!!

🌈On a brighter note, In our row of 3, I really did luck out a bit…the 3rd passenger in our row was obviously health conscious and brought her own bag-o-snacks from home, too….all healthy options. She had a bag of veggies like me. She ordered herself black coffee only. She brought an avocado on the plane. She rocked! I didn’t really get to chat with her much, but we both eyed each other’s snack haul with a pleasant, non-verbal seal of approval on both of our personal snack selections.

I kept reminding myself that this time will pass.
I would be on vacation for a few days soon enough
and this long flight would be a memory.
I could turn this very stressful food situation into a win instead of a defeat.
Yes. I. Could. Do. That.
I could and I did.

🏆Yay, Me! 🏆 Victory was mine!

*I thought this might be good to share because it is so easy to quickly forget what it is like to be on a plane for hours. It is easy to forget how frustrating it can be to be watching what you eat while many around are overindulging.  I wanted to write about my experience because I see that other people have challenges on travel days, too…Hope you found my experience useful. I fly a few times a year (or whenever I can) and I enjoy flying….and it’s much easier without extra pounds….no seatbelt extender…easier to get through the narrow aisles to use the tiny bathroom…fitting better in the tiny airplane seat….oh, yes…plenty of motivational reasons to not go hog wild on the airplane were all around me…✈️

Right next to the Peanut M & M’s. 😎

💥💥It was honestly, a FOOD and DRINK FEST! 💥💥

💥💥It was honestly, a FOOD and DRINK FEST! 💥💥

Air Fryer Chips: Turn your favorite wrap into a chip!

Air Fryer Chips: Make Your Favorite Wrap Into Your New Favorite Chip! 🌮

🌮Air Fryer Wrap-Chips🌯

Make Your Favorite Wrap Into Your New Favorite Chip! 🌮

⭐️ Add a healthier ‘chip’ to your weekly meal prep! Air Fryer Chips are not new, but they were new to me a few weeks ago….not sure why I didn’t make these when I first got my air fryer.

👍😁So easy! So delish! Add any seasonings you want to this base air fryer recipe.

SmartPoints Info: 2 (but would change based on the brand/type of tortilla/wrap you choose to use)

👉Always calculate your own points /calories based on the ingredients you actually use.

🌮🌮🌮

Air Fryer Wrap-Chips

Ingredients:

  • 1 soft 10-12 inch wrap / tortilla of your choice
  • (I like Toufayan Low Carb Low Sodium Wraps for 2sp each)
  • Olive Oil Spray or Brush with a few drops of Olive or any Vegetable Oil
  • Wire rack that fits in the air fryer

Instructions:

  1. Slice wrap into 12-16 triangle wedges
  2. Brush with Olive Oil & add salt or seasonings if desired (I do them plain most of the time)
  3. Spray bottom of Air Fryer Basket with non-stick spray or brush lightly with the same oil.
  4. Place about half of the wedges on the bottom of the basket.
  5. Place a wire rack on top of the slices to keep them from flying around and touching the heating element.
  6. Bake for 5-6 minutes at 390.
  7. Remove carefully and repeat steps again with other half of wrap.
  8. These chips last me all week in a sealed baggie or tupperware container.
  9. Serve with salsa or other dips. Crunch a few over 🥗 salads. Serve as a side with soups. Portion them out as a snack. Serve with ice cream.

😋The possibilities are endless!  Make your favorite wrap into your new favorite chip! YUM, easy, and fun-to-make! Let me know how they turn out!

 

♨️My preferred Air Fryer model is: 

Farberware 5L Digital Air Fryer, White – bought on Walmart.com for 99$ plus free 2 day shipping 

🔸The small wire rack I own is:

The Philips HD9905/00 Air Fryer Double Layer (Bought on Amazon for just under $30) It fits nicely in my Farberware air XL fryer.  It came with skewers, too.

 

Ode to a Blank Grid

Ode to a Blank Grid: A Fun & Mindful Way to Track Goals 📊📈📉

📊📈📉 Blank Grids + Pic Collage (or any collage app) = Fun & Mindful Way to track goals & plans. Instructions for saving the pictures are at the bottom of this post.

😉  The following is my playful attempt at Organizational Planning Poetry:

🎶  A Mindful Ode to the Blank Grid 🎶

get lost in the beauty of a blank page!

Oh, the endless possibilities that this empty grid holds for me!

Will it become my next week of meal planning?

Will I track my way to increased fitness?

Will I plan out my monthly goals?

Will I use it to check off items on my to-do list?

Will I use it as a graph or a chart?

The future is unwritten on my blank grid.

Will I motivate myself to accomplish more when I fill it in?

Will I decorate it with pictures to symbolize my personal goals?

Will I ignore this grid once I set it up?

Or use it as the tool it was always meant to be?

Oh, how I bask in the beauty of my blank grid.

😁 I hope YOU will find these grids useful to help YOU achieve your goals. Data is power, so find a way to track your own data so you can leverage it for increased empowerment. Use this blank grid mindfully to help you plan your way to a successful achievement!

Download these grids by clicking on the pictures above and saving them to your computer. Then, use them digitally or print them out to help you track participation in a challenge, food goals, fitpoints, monthly meal planning…or fill them out with your own vision for where you want to be in a few months.

So, use mine or Search on Google for endless images of blank grids. Import the image of a grid into a collage app (I love Pic Collage) to customize it for your own use.  You can find Pic Collage in most app stores for your cell phones and iPads and Tablets.

I love good chart, calendar, planner, or anything that will track my progress (like the Weight Watchers Members app).

How do YOU keep yourself on track? What is YOUR favorite method?  Let me know in the comments.

Happy Planning!

To Download:

  1.  Click on the pictures in my blog post.
  2. Then, click on the link that says, “View Full Size”.  This will open the photo in its own page.
  3. Save the photo as you would any other photo image from Google or Pinterest.  If you are on your computer, a quick way to save, is by draging the photo from the page to your desktop…or see step 4.
  4. Usually, if you are on your computer, it means clicking on FILE and then, SAVE AS.  I prefer to save photos to my desktop first and them store them in my photos app.
  5. If you are on your cell phone or tablet, follow instructions 1 & 2, but then click on whatever button you would normally use to save a photo.  I have an iPhone, so I click on the box with an arrow in it and it brings up various choices, but I choose the ‘save photo’ option.
  6. Still not sure?  YouTube will have actual videos on this subject & I like Wikihow.com for things like this.  As an example, here is a link to how to download from an iphone to your computer.

Special thanks for an adorable Summer take on the summer theme on the blank chart design by Weight Watchers Member @ingridalifetime.  She made the one with the cute ‘Summer’ image in the title.

6/15/17 – Just adding two more for a virtual summer challenge. Click on them (like the others) and download the full photo file.

6/17/17 – Tricia @tliberty63, from Weight Watchers Connect sent me another #summerpixchallenge grid to share!  It is wonderful!  Tracking progress is a great way to stay on track!

Edit: 8/18/17

And here is a lovely grid from WW member @ingridalifetime for her Labor Day Bingo Challenge. These challenges help us keep a great mindset & achieve short-term goals.  Below is a link to a PDF file.  You can click on it and print it out…or click ‘file’ and then ‘export as pdf’ to download the file for yourself.

LaborDayChallenge3 2

OR here is a picture file if you want to add it to your ‘photos’ folder.

LaborDayChallenge3 2

 

Frozen Cashew Bites

🔹New Cashew Frozen Treats for You!🔹

🔹New Cashew Frozen Treats for You!🔹
Frozen Cashew Chocolate Banana PB2 Bites

The beauty of a homemade treat is that you know EXACTLY what you are eating. This helps you out from a calorie or SmartPoints perspective, but it is usually, a healthier choice for you as well. These treats lasted 2 weeks in my freezer, but I bet they would last even longer! Easy to make! Fun to create! How will you make this recipe your own?

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Freeze Time: 1 hour
Serves: 6 (depending on size of silicone cups)
Always calculate your own batch using the recipe builder.
SmartPoints: 2sp (for the way I prepared it)

🔹🔹🔹

Ingredients:

  • 1⁄4 cup cashews, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Toll House Mini Semi-sweet chocolate morsels, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp PB2 Powdered peanut butter
  • 2 medium bananas, mashed
  • 20-30 sprays Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Cooking Spray, Original
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 2 Tbsp water

🔹🔹🔹
Instructions:

  1. Chop nuts and chocolate chips.
  2. Mash Bananas
  3. Mix all ingredients together and spray with the I can’t believe it’s butter spray and mix again.
  4. Divide into 6 silicone cups (or spray mini muffin tin or ice cube tray with non-stick spray) and then spray the top of each treat with one final butter spray.
  5. Freeze for 1 hour or more.
  6. Store in silicone cups, in a Tupperware container once frozen.

Make these now and enjoy as a fun frozen treat on a hot day! Easy & Fun!

Air Fryer Chicken Kebabs

Air Fryer Chicken Kebabs 🍡 in 20 Minutes or Less!

Mmmmm. Kebabs are great on a grill, but how about the air fryer? Oh, yes! Totally possible & delish! Enjoy as an appetizer, side, or as the main meal! Easy to make & fun to eat!
🔹🔹🔹🔹🔹🔹🔹🔹🔹🔹

Air Fryer Chicken Kebabs 🍡

🔹Prep Time: 10 minutes
🔹Cook Time: 15-20 minutes @370
🔹SmartPoints (per skewer): 3
🔹Serves: 4 (with 1 skewer each)

❇️Ingredients:

  • Thick Chicken Breast cut into 2oz. squares (approx 24 oz)
  • 1 large Red Onion cut into large pieces (approx 1 cup)
  • 1-2 Bell Peppers cut into large pieces
  • Olive Oil (or similar) spray
  • Optional: Any seasonings. I used garlic powder & a pinch of salt.
  • Optional: Your favorite BBQ sauce

❇️Instructions:
1. Spray skewers & wire rack with a quick spritz of olive oil spray (this can be done without the rack, but cooking time may need to be adjusted & you may need to flip them once.)
2. Add pieces to skewers. 3 pieces of chicken on each plus onions and peppers.
3. Brush or spray with olive oil & add your preferred seasonings. I used a pinch of salt & a few shakes of garlic powder.
4. Place on prepared rack & cook for 15-20 minutes at 370. No flipping or turning.
5. Remove rack and drawer when finished and let meat rest for 3-5 minutes.
6. Remove from skewers using tongs and enjoy with your favorite side dish or on top of a salad (cauliflower rice or brown rice or my sir fryer spicy zoodles)

Enjoy something that tastes almost like it was grilled, but without the actual grill!  Easy to make! Fun to eat!  Healthy meal!  This is my kind of dinner!

 

Tale of an Oatmeal Newbie: The Mystery of the Overnight Oats!

Tale of an Oatmeal Newbie: The Mystery of the Overnight Oats!

📌(Chocolate PB Breakfast Recipe at the end of the post)

Why did I wait so long to try ‘Overnight Oats?’ 

Because, well, oats sounded icky. Oats sounded way to healthy for me!  Oats?  Nah, I’ll pass. They won’t be tasty enough. They won’t be filling enough. I don’t eat oats. I can’t eat oats. I am not one of those healthy eaters?

🔴But, I was wrong. Oats are going to be a permanent addition to he foods I eat.

Oats are high in protein and fiber and healthy, digestible carbs. They barely have any sugar and have no sodium.

🔹Change is slow.  I am 44.  I have 44 years of habits and routines to modify.  Change doesn’t happen overnight.  Going cold turkey and changing everything at once has never been sustainable for me.  Slow change is working, so I am not messing with my pace.

🔹The type of carb you eat can make real difference…intellectually, we all know this, but I promise that you will FEEL the difference when you start to use more whole grains.  This past week, I started to focus on oatmeal.  My goodness!  There are so many types of oatmeal!  Rolled, Steel Cut, Old-Fashioned, Frozen, etc.  I could spend days explaining the difference, but generally, they are all ‘oats’…but may need different prep time and may taste different.

🔹Part of the personal ‘tweaks’ to my personal food selections over the past few months has been to see if I can still be happy with ‘healthier’ and ‘less processed’ versions of regular foods.

🔔The answer is usually, a big YES…but we all have different taste buds.  Trial and error is key to my process.  Many of my ‘experiments’ do not work out.

☑️You have to actively try new things and figure out what will work for you and YOUR taste buds.  I look at this effort as a grand adventure in food…after all, we all LOVE to eat, right?  Why not dive into the food arena and figure out  new ways to enjoy foods you love?

☑️I find that my list of healthier foods that make me satisfied AND act as the whole, ‘Food is Fuel’ mantra, grows every single day.  Personally, I am all about variety, so I am always looking for new foods and products and recipes that add a little ‘sparkle’ to my daily food menus.

🍫This chocolate breakfast felt like a dessert and I cannot wait to make it again!  In fact, I bet if I served it as dessert, it would be a hit!

😎My breakfasts can range from 4-10 sp, so although 8 is a little on the higher end, this fills me up for hours and I feel great knowing that my body is processing every bit of what I ate!  So, not the prettiest-looking food, but a pretty fabulous choice!

📌Overnight Oats📌

8 SmartPoints or 1 sp on Weight Watchers Simply Filling

  • 2 tbsp PB2 = 1sp
  • 1/4 cup fat free skim milk = 1sp
  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats = 4sp
  • 1-2 super sweet, ripe bananas = 0sp
  • 1 tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder = 0sp
  • 1 container Fage 0% Nonfat Greek Strained Yogurt = 2sp

Questions?  Comments?  Do you have any links to fabulous overnight oats to share?  Feel free to add it into the comment section.

😻Happy Experimenting! Consider Oats for your next trial and error adventure!😃

Unlock your own oats mystery!

Double Up Super Juicy Air Fryer Chicken & Peppers

🔷 Double Up Super Juicy Air Fryer Chicken & Peppers 🔷

🤠Double Down or Double Up on your next air fryer batch!!! In a previous post, I shared my glee in making smaller chicken cutlets in the air fryer, but what about the big thick skinless chicken cutlets?  Would they be just as juicy?

😋Yep. Yes. For sure. Simply Amazing! 👍😍❤️

Chicken is a wonderful, lean meat, but I ALWAYS overdid my chicken…until NOW!  Once again, my air fryer is proving to be a real game changer in the kitchen!

  • Prep Time: 4 minutes
  • SmartPoints: 4
  • Air Fryer Cook Time:

Cook Both veggies and chicken at the same time using a wire rack: 20 minutes @ 380 for chicken and 10 minutes for the peppers .  Always put the meat on the bottom so the juices do not drip onto the veggies.

🔷Ingredients:

  • 7 ounces skinless thick chicken breast – 3sp for one (and I made 3 at one time!)
  • Baby Bell Peppers (about 9-12) – 0sp
  • Olive Oil / Canola Spray – 1sp
  • McCormick Salt-Free Garlic & Herb seasoning – 0sp

🔷Instructions:

  1. Quick oil spray of bottom of air fryer basket
  2. Lay 3 chicken breasts in basket, spray tops with oil, & add seasonings
  3. Add wire rack on top of chicken
  4. Place baby bell peppers on rack & spray with olive oil spray. Adding sea or kosher salt is optional. (I do not use the salt)
  5. Cook for approximately 10 minutes at 380. Thickness of chicken breasts affects the cooking time, so adjust time as needed.
  6. At the 10 minute mark, use oven mitt and remove rack with bell peppers. They will be super hot, so just let them rest a bit.
  7. Continue cooking chicken breasts for at least 10 more minutes at the same temperature (380) or until fully cooked.
  8. Remove basket & drawer from air fryer & let chicken rest for a few minutes.
  9. Serve & Enjoy oven roasted food in less time with your air fryer.

🔸The small wire rack I own is: The Philips HD9905/00 Air Fryer Double Layer  (Bought on Amazon) And it fits nicely in my Farberware air fryer.   It came with skewers, too.

♨️My preferred air fryer model is:  Farberware 5L Digital Air Fryer, White – bought on Walmart.com for 99$ plus free 2 day shipping

Try Doubling Up on your protein & veggies in one air fryer session!

 

We Must Cultivate Our Own Garden - Voltaire

🌷Tend To Your Own Weight Loss Garden🌿

🌷We Must Cultivate Our Own Garden – Voltaire 🌿

Just a little ‘Spring-Inspired” Mindful Musing introspection as we finish up the month of March.

🐉Untended gardens look wild and overgrown. Overgrown with weeds means the plants are at the mercy of animals and insects. Sometimes, a neglected garden looks pretty on the outside, but get up close & you’ll see all the lost potential. Don’t let a few wild off-plan days ruin all the efforts you’ve planted in the past. Seeds take root somewhat quickly, but sometimes, sprouts may take weeks or months.

🌀We MUST tend to our own personal gardens of weight loss & maintenance. It is not optional, we must take care of ourselves & place our personal needs at the top of our lists (most days!). Old habits will creep back into our routines & it could lead to a complete collapse of our other hard work to lose or maintain weight.

🎋I chose the Voltaire saying “We Must Cultivate Our Own Garden” for this post because it sums up all the prepare-for-spring ideas I had for this month of March. When we focus on mini-goals each day or week, looking at the calendar or our watches becomes unnecessary. Instead, we can measure the passage of time by what we have or haven’t accomplished. We can look back and see what we learned & what still needs work. This gained knowledge marks the time more than any calendar could…or SCALE for that matter!

🍁We cultivate our weight loss wins by working on creating better habits that will serve us well for the long term. Review your larger goals & break them down into their components. See if you can create a routine for regular ‘maintenance’. A garden has to be attended to regularly, because if you just gave it everything it needed in one day, it wouldn’t help with the growing process.

🔆We are the owners of our own unique ‘gardens’ of functional routines, joy, fitness, & food, so we have to take responsibility for nurturing the seeds of our personal growth. No one else is going to magically know what you need unless you have taken the time to identify what those needs are…and even then, you need to tend to those needs on a regular basis. Never forget that YOU are in charge of you!

🌞Sunshine is a key nurturing agent for our mental health & it also reminds us to get outside and enjoy some fresh air. Spring is a great time to get some more outside time.

🌸So, pull out the weeds, drink plenty of water, and tend to your own soil so you can grow more confident, joyful, and secure in your ability to lose/maintain the weight. 😊

😁I am ‘rooting’ for ALL of you! Let’s do this. The time is now.

How will YOU tend to your weight loss garden?

🌷We Must Cultivate Our Own Garden - Voltaire 🌿

🌷We Must Cultivate Our Own Garden – Voltaire 🌿

(And fyi: I do not garden as I have zero patience for it. My plants think they live in a desert!) 🌵🌵🌵

Amazing Air Fryer Asparagus

🌱Amazing Air Fryer Asparagus!

FINALLY! I have found a way to make asparagus in my air fryer!!!! (And not kill it!)

Instructions:
▪️I used about a half cup of asparagus (0sp)
▪️Sprayed the air fryer bottom of basket with olive oil spray
▪️Sprayed the asparagus with olive oil.
▪️6 minutes at 360 in the air fryer. No tossing.
YUM! They were crisp and lightly browned on the outside. Completely cooked, but not wilted.

Sirloin steak (3oz for 3sp) was done at 390 for 9 minutes after being brushed with olive oil. Check out how I made filet mignon in my Air Fryer Nirvana post.

I gave myself 1sp for the oil used. It is 1sp per tsp of olive oil….and even though my amount may not have added up to that point, I tend to err on the side of tracking that point anyway.

So, 4sp and about 10-20 minutes to a grear dinner. I made this steak yesterday & reheated it for 40 seconds on high in my microwave while the asparagus finished cooking, so only 10 minutes to my filling dinner!!!

Some Green Notes:
🌱Thicker Asparagus are better than skinny ones.
🌱Make sure they are washed and dry.
🌱One layer is best because you will NOT need to shake or toss during cooking time. But you CAN do a larger batch, but you’ll need a longer cooking time of 9-15 minutes depending on your machine.
🌱Always calculate your own SmartPoints/Calories based on the ingredients you use & adjust time and temp to your own machine.
🌱Oven cooking takes more time and tastes different to me (not better just different). I will still make these in the oven when I have 40 minutes at 400 to roast them (because I like them that way, too), but some nights, speedy is better!! YAY! I usually steam them when I am in a hurry, but not tonight!

😊👍6 minutes works for me! I am the only asparagus eater in the house. Faster than the 40 in my oven.

Amazing Air Fryer Asparagus

Amazing Air Fryer Asparagus

🌱Many asparagus were sacrificed over the past few weeks to make this discovery possible. 🌱

11 Minutes or Less to Lamp Chop Taste Perfection!

11 Minutes or Less to Lamp Chop Taste Perfection!

Mmmm. Lamp Chops are great on a grill, but when that is not an option, try your handy-dandy air fryer!  These are a bit ‘fatty’ for air frying so do not pre-spray the basket or you’ll end up with a little, ummm, 🔥 smoke. (I have no idea how I know that! 😉)

♨️But seriously, stand nearby with the temperature at 370 for 8-11 minutes.

I simply brushed them with olive oil (approx 1 tsp) and a very small bit of salt & pepper. I flipped mine once, but it is not absolutely necessary. They were delicious and juicy and once again, cooked all the way through with beautiful color. I love how the air fryer cooks meats so evenly!

(Always adjust time and temp for your own machine)

♨️Unlike a grill or grill pan, you do not get sear or grill marks, but when those things are not an option, the air fryer will do the job. Unlike my normal soap and water clean up, I put the basket and drawer in the dishwasher for a more thorough cleaning.

For Weight Watchers folks: 3 SmartPoints per 3oz lamb chop.

I would set aside 9-12sp as lamb chops are tiny, but tasty!

We like them once in a while. 11 minutes or less to lamp chop taste perfection.

What are you waiting for?  Start cooking! 👍👍👍

Frozen or Fondue: It's up to you! Melt 1/2 tbsp chocolate chips, dip fruit, enjoy or freeze for an hour. 1 recipe, 2 ways.

Frozen or Fondue: It’s up to you!

Frozen or Fondue: It’s up to you! Want a quick way to get your chocolate fix?  Melt 1/2 tbsp chocolate chips, dip fruit (I used a few clementines ans banana slices), and enjoy as a fondue for 1 or freeze for an hour. 1 recipe, 2 ways.  Quick and easy, just like this post.

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