Food Find – Trader Joe’s

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I love Trader Joe’s.  I’d love it a lot more if there were one close to me, but as it is I have about a 50 minute drive to get to the one closest to me.  Armed with my insulated bags I stock up on things I consider essential to my success.

Stuff is going to happen.  Things will not go as planned.  I love to cook and don’t do processed food to much, but when life happens you need to be prepared.  Most of any “convenience” type foods that I eat are in my freezer from Trader Joe’s waiting to save the day.

ever

I love this stuff.  It is good mixed with cream cheese on a bagel thin, awesome to use to season eggs, chicken, and many, many other things.  It’s 0 Smartpoints to boot!

chicken

Did you all know that I will not post a recipe on My 30 Point Life until I make it 3 times?  I probably could be a bit more prolific in the recipe area if I didn’t follow that rule, but I want to make sure everything is tight in case you all decide to try it.  Food is expensive and ruined food is no good.

Anyway I have one more go-round with a creamy Spicy Chicken Sausage and Potato Soup that is to DIE for before I’m ready to post.  I used this chicken sausage and it is delicious.  It’s 3 Smartpoints a link.

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For the Newbs

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Losing weight is hard.  Being fat is harder.

That’s what I tell myself whenever I want to throw in the towel, when I get sick of watching what I eat, when I want to make a ton of comfort food (and eat it too).

I’ve had a lot of activity on my blog and in the interwebs this week since hitting my goal weight.  I have had such a huge amount of support and love thrown my way that I am seriously overwhelmed.  In a good way of course!

My Facebook Page has been seriously active and I’ve gotten hundreds of messages about what I’ve done.  I think I’ve finally answered them all, and thanked all the people that commented on the posts going around the ‘net this weekend.  It was important to me to say thank you or at least love their comment if they took the time to say “wtg girl!”.

A bunch of you also said you were going to try Weight Watchers, and this post is for you.  I imagine some of the things I am going to talk about will help with other weight loss/lifestyle plans too.  So here are some of the most asked questions I received and some sage advice from someone who’s been there, left, been there again and finally bought the damn T-Shirt.

Do you follow the Weight Watcher plan everyday, or do you do a cheat day?

I once had a girl in my WW meeting ask me how I was losing weight.  Ummm I do Weight Watchers…lol  Seriously though, this whole do I totally follow the program question came up over and over and over.

Yes, I follow the program.  Completely.  Does that mean I have always stayed within my points and done everything perfectly?  Hell no.

As human beings we are designed to not be perfect.  Did I have days that I went over my 30 points?  Yes.  Did I track every single one of those points?  Yes.  Did I get right back on the wagon the next day?  Yes.

Don’t sweat messing up.  It happens.  You just need to start sweating when you not only fall off the wagon, but are drug behind if for miles until it crashes into a fiery heap.

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Weigh In 8-12-17: What Kelly Learned

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I did it.

I reached my goal.

I am now at a healthy weight.

goal

I need to shop for clothes that fit me right…lol

I’m still in shock.  I don’t want to lose weight.  I mean I was probably like a little kid the last time I thought that, and I’m 46 years old now.

I didn’t spend my whole adult life as big as the posted picture, but I did for the last couple of years.  I had always battled my weight though, and probably spent most of my twenties around the weight I am now +5 or 10, and then packed on 20 or so pounds in my 30’s and then 30 or 40 pounds in my 40’s.

I figure now is a good time to reflect on what I’ve learned and why I was successful.

All About the Math

No matter what diet you follow – and I don’t mean diet as in losing weight I mean diet as in what we consume is called a diet – It will eventually come down to calories put into your body vs. calories you burn.

Yeah, some calories will keep you full longer, some have more nutritional value, and some might make you bloat up like a balloon but there is one thing for sure:

Math. Don’t. Lie.

The way that you control that number is a very personal thing.  You have to find the right help, and you best make sure it’s something you can live with for sure, because if you just go back to your own habits the minute you get close to where you want to go, you’re toast.

Speaking of Numbers…

I’ve learned to not dread the scale.  Far to many people. myself included, have used that little contraption to judge their self worth.  It is simply a tool to gauge your progress, and sometimes it’s a stubborn little bitch that doesn’t give us what we want.  Hell sometimes it doesn’t give us what we deserve.

A salty dinner, hormones, a full moon….So many things factor into what we weigh.  I had weeks where I stayed the same even though my nutrition and exercise were on point.  Then I’d stay the same the next week.  Then I’d lose 6 pounds the third week.  It will eventually show up, because as I said before….

Math. Don’t. Lie.

While the scale isn’t exactly my best friend, I have learned to appreciate it as a valuable (if sometimes unreliable) tool in my quest to become healthy.

It’s Been All About the Health

I’m not going to lie to you all.  It feels good to get compliments, to feel better in my clothes and my skin.  When I joined Weight Watchers or tried very unsuccessfully many other diets it was because weight would creep up on me and I didn’t want to go from chubby to fat.

Then I got fat and it was even harder.  So much has changed in my life.  If you’ve read my About section you know I’ve suffered a lot of loss in the last 5 years.  Seeing that loss, and maybe a bit of feeling my own mortality has flipped the script for me.

I want to be healthy.  I could give a damn about fitting into a bikini.  Hell I didn’t even wear bikinis when I had what society would deem “acceptable”.  No, I wanted to feel better.  I wanted to move better.

I wanted to not be so damn tired all the time.  59.6 pounds ago I was seriously tired.  Working constantly, my life had become a continuous loop of working and sleeping and not much time for anything else.

When I was younger I had a false positive reading on a diabetic test.  My Mom flipped out.  You see my biological Grandma died at 54 when I was very young.  She became diabetic in her 30’s and did absolutely nothing that she needed to do.  She was addicted to Pepsi and was very overweight.

By the time she died she was bedridden for a long time and had her leg amputated.  My Mom was terrified I was on the same path, and drove me absolutely crazy about what, when, why, how much I was eating.

The women in our family and our relationship with food is a whole post in itself, so I’ll save that for another day.  My point is I could very well have been heading for that future and I did not want that.

I have not worked so hard for so long to not be able to enjoy the second half of my life.  Seeing a few of my friend’s parents that have so many problems now, many due to their own weight issues, really made me look at this in a whole new way.

Screw the bikini I want to be strong and healthy.

And That Brings Me Back to the Numbers…

I run now, and even when there isn’t danger!  I don’t run every day.  I don’t even run all in a row.  I kind of do a walk real fast 5 minutes, run 5 minutes, walk real fast 5 minutes – wash, rinse, repeat.

I exercise this way 3 days a week.  All in all I’m on that damn treadmill about 40 minutes with warming up and cooling down.  I used to exercise to lose weight, but this time around I do it because I want to be strong.  I want to be healthy, and you must move your body to make that happen.

I hate it though.  I do it, but I hate it.  Now give me a trail or a bike or really anything outside and I’m good to go.  In the warmer months I really don’t need a scheduled activity because I already get a lot of exercise, but I’m trying to discipline myself for when Fall hits and I turn into a couch potato.

I also love yoga and practice that every day, even if just for 10 minutes when I wake up.  I want to start strength training, and I don’t mind that near as much as the dreaded cardio.

I’m sure y’all don’t want to hear about my exercise practices or how much I hate it, but I have to include it in things I learned because before I would go gang-busters when I was trying to lose weight.

Then I would fail miserably when I couldn’t keep that pace up.  Again, for me it is all about what I am willing to do the rest of my life.

Weight Watchers has a social media site called Connect, and I remember this one lady on there said “Oh, I’m just not feeling it today so I only walked for 4 1/2 hour on the treadmill.”

What the heck does she do when she is feeling it???  Seriously I would be okay with being overweight and unhealthy the rest of my life if I had to walk on a treadmill for 4 1/2 hours to stay at my goal weight.

Like I would be a completely happy fat ass.

No, I exercise because it’s good for my heart.  It’s good for bone density.  It makes me able to run around with my little nephews and do penny drops off the monkey bars at 46 years old.

I want to be able to do all those things.  I’m not going to exercise to have ice cream or pasta.  I exercise to improve the quality of my life, so even if Weight Watchers gives us extra points for exercise I do not count them or use them, because it’s all about the health, not what I can put into my mouth.

I’ve Learned that I Want to Be Strong

One of the most exciting things that has happened for me since really getting my weight loss on had nothing to do with how I look, or even the health benefits really.

My little three year old nephew was having a discussion about monsters.  He  denied being afraid of them.  When asked why he said “Because if they tried to hurt me or my Mommy or my Daddy my Aunt Kelly will Take. Them. Out.”

Strong.  I run around the playground with him, hang upside down on the monkey bars, fly kites, you name it.  And he thinks I’m strong.  I couldn’t be that person last summer.

I’ve Learned to be Humble

It’s super easy to get all cocky when you lose weight.  Hell I’ve been one of those people that shouted from the rooftop how Weight Watchers was THE BEST THING EVER AND WORKS IF YOU JUST WORK IT.

Then I gained my weight back.  Not all of it mind you but a significant portion.  I’ve been told on several occasions how this would never work because I ate this or that or I should just be eating like organically grown grass from a pasture in the upper UP or whatever.

If that works for you, rock on with your bad self.  This works for me, and everyone needs to find what truly speaks to them.

But it’s easy, so easy to fall off.  I know this so I also know I need to be humble with my success.  I need to respect it and care for it.

I’ve Learned to Give up the Fairy Tale

One thing I know for sure – there isn’t a magic pill out there that will take away the extra pounds.  There is no crash diet that will give me lasting results.

I think a lot of us just want something, anything out there that will tell us this isn’t our fault.  Once you truly embrace that while there are many factors in this complicated journey it really is up to us.

Losing weight is hard.  Being fat is harder.

If you’d like to get updates to my blog you can subscribe on the left hand side, follow My 30 Point Life Pinterest Board, follow or like me on Facebook  and if you are an Instant Pot fan join my group for healthy recipes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Italian Beef Sandwich – Instant Pot or Slow Cooker

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Italian Beef Sandwiches are one of my all time favorite meals.  This is one of my favorite recipes and it was my Mom’s.  You can do this in either the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker or in a slow cooker.

You can also prep this in a freezer bag and freeze for later.  When I’m making this I like to do two – one to make then and one to freeze and cook later!

Smartpoints on this one are going to depend on how you build your sandwich, and what kind of bread you use.  The meat is 5 smartpoints for 3 ounces.

Ingredients:
3 pound rump roast
3 tbs Wildtree hearty spaghetti sauce blend  (or spaghetti sauce packet found by the gravy packets in your grocery store)
2 tsp Wildtree California Style Garlic Pepper Blend (or 1 1/2 tsp ground garlic with 1/2 teaspoon black pepper)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 12 oz jar mild banana rings
1 12 oz jar pepperoncini peppers chopped
At cook time:
2 cups good beef stock
6-8 hoagie rolls or your preferred bread
Optional:  2 cups mozzarella cheese
Method of Preparation:
Get out a large gallon freezer bag.  Add the whole jar of mild banana rings, juice and all.  Open the pepperoncini peppers and add 1/4 of jar.  Now if you like spice you can add some of the juice and more of the peppers.  If I’m making this for all adults I’ll add at least half of the jar and half of the juice, but it is spicy.  I like spicy 🙂  Make it your own!
pepbp
Add spices to your bag and swoosh around to incorporate.  Add the rump roast and squeeze as much air out as is humanly possible mixing the liquid with the meat.  Either freeze or get ready to cook.  If you freeze one defrost it before you cook!
Add two cups of broth to the Instant Pot and contents of freezer bag.  Hit manual and adjust time to 65 minutes.  Once the time is up do a natural release, which took 15 minutes for me.
Check internal temp of beef and make sure it is at a safe level.  Mine was well above, but I always check my meat because I’m paranoid like that 🙂
Remove roast and let sit for 10 minutes.  I always keep my pot on saute and adjust to low while I’m letting my beef rest.  Shred and return to pot.  If you have a meat slicer you can put it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours and slice thin.  I don’t have time for that!
Slice your rolls and fill them up!  You can place a ramekin of the juice with your sandwich.  It doesn’t need it but oh my is it delicious!  I like to wrap mine in foil with the top open, place on a cookie sheet, and put it under my broiler for a couple of minutes to get the bread all toasty.  It is also awesome if you top it with 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese and toast it up.  The foil makes it much easier to eat without destroying your clothes, because it is messy!
This sandwich has such great flavor!  My mouth waters while I eat it, it’s so good.  I hope you enjoy it!
If you want to do this in a crock pot, add all ingredients and cook on low for 6-8 hours until it reaches a safe temp and easily shreds.
I use Wildtree products in this recipe.  If you’d like to try them you can order from my website or learn more about it here.
Follow me on Facebook or subscribe to my blog on the left side bar or follow the My 30 Point Life Pinterest Board to be notified of updates!
Love the Instant Pot and are trying to eat more healthy?  Check out my Instant Pot Healthy Recipes group on Facebook!

Tools – Wildtree

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There is no doubt in my mind that trying new and different cooking spices and techniques have been a big part of my success thus far.  Being on a “diet” can leave you bored and with bad cravings.  It is important to switch it up to avoid that.

The image that society places on overweight people is that they are “lazy” or “lack discipline”.  As someone who sometimes works more than 70 hours a week I can guarantee you that I am not lazy.  It takes a lot of discipline to work that much too.

No, it’s been my experience that most people I know that are overweight or obese are not either of these things.  They simply take care of everyone else before practicing self care.  They are at the bottom of the totem pole, so things like eating right and exercising are not at the top of their list.

As I say in my Disclosure Statement the purpose of this blog is not to make money, but if it can not cost me money that’d be great 🙂  I’ve agonized over writing an actual post about Wildtree.  You see so much predatory behavior out there – People praying on vulnerable people that just want some help to get their life under control.

I most certainly do not want to be one of those people, but I also know how much Wildtree has helped me in my weight loss endeavors.

I fell in love with Wildtree back in 2014, but really started using their products when I ramped up my weight loss efforts this last winter.  It helped me get organized and avoid the dreaded boredom that can come with being on a “diet”.

It is a business for me, but I use their products every single day.  I always provide an alternative to the products I use on this blog, and I’ve tried them, but it’s usually a lot more delicious with my Wildtree.

Their oils cannot be beat.  The Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil is so versatile and delicious that I use it almost every single day.  It adds another level of flavor and ups your game in the kitchen.  The spice blends make it easy to make more complicated dishes without using many ingredients because it’s prepared for you.

I mean a couple teaspoons of seasoning and some oil and you have a great marinade for any meat/vegetables.  My freezer is full of chicken marinaded like this, ready to go when I find myself unprepared.

They also have great freezer meal bundles.  You get all the oils/spices, a grocery list, labels, recipes – it’s really a phenomenal tool!  Whole meals ready to cook in your freezer?  Seriously?  It doesn’t get better than that.

Actually, it does. Wildtree tries to be as organic as possible, practices ethical treatment of our environment, and has many, many gluten free products.

The company is continually expanding to help their demonstrators and customers.  They now have a meal app available!  They have ready made grocery lists of wholesome meals and freezer meals.  It’s just such an awesome company!

If you’d like to try my recipes as written with Wildtree products,  you can visit my website here.  Whether you want to try some of the products or are looking for a new business opportunity you’ll find everything you need there.

Here are some of my all time favorites.  You will see them used over and over again in my recipes.  My absolute must haves that I always keep backups are the Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil and the California Style Garlic Pepper blend.  These two together make the BEST chicken that is great added to either Italian or Asian dishes!

Here is a Google Doc of my favorite products.  

If you decide to support me I appreciate it!  You can also search for another demonstrator from the site if you’d like!

A 30 Point Day – In the Zone

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So when I first decided I needed to change my life, and it was a decision, I knew I just needed to get a few weeks “in the zone”.  No matter what diet you follow you get those times when you are in the zone – your eating is on point and you feel great.

If I get a few weeks in the zone I am usually good to go – I’m in for the long haul.  Yesterday was definitely an in the zone day and I felt on top of the world.

Breakfast:

1 Hard Boiled Egg – 2 Smartpoints
1 Premier Chocolate Protein Shake (for coffee creamer) 2 Smartpoints
1 Overnight Oats – 5 Smartpoints

I was hungry, like really hungry when I woke up so I had a hard boiled egg before I left for work.  You see I leave for work at 3:45 am (it’s terrible, I know) so I usually eat breakfast at work.  On days like this I have learned that my body needs fuel if I am that hungry, so I eat.  I ate my oats once I got to work.  Yeah, I know, I eat those a lot but what works works 🙂

I was satisfied all morning long so I didn’t have a snack.

eggg

Lunch:

Opa! Chicken Sandwich – 6 Smartpoints

opea

Snack:

Cherries – 0 Smartpoints
Light Mozzarella String Cheese – 1 Smartpoint

Dinner:

Fettuccine with Meatballs and Red Sauce – 8 Smartpoints
Salad w/2 Tablespoons Bolthouse Farm Dressing – 2 Smartpoints

spa

Snack:

Skinny Cow No Sugar Added Ice Cream Sandwich – 4 Smartpoints

I probably could have skipped the ice cream, but I don’t like going under 30 points and it put me at 30 on the nose.  I am picky about my ice cream and that is about the only “low calorie” alternative I can tolerate.  They are actually pretty decent and help satisfy that part of me that LOVES ICE CREAM.

 

 

 

Weigh In 8-7-17 – It’s Not Me It’s You

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So I’m done with my temper tantrum from last week and was down a pound.  That means one more to go!  It’s still just weird to think about not thinking about losing weight.

I mean I’ll always have to be mindful of what I’m putting in my mouth and I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I will always need to track my food unless I want to go back up 70+ pounds.  Yes as the title in my blog states I am a serial Weight Watcher and if you go from my very first (and highest) weight with Weight Watchers I’ve lost 79 pounds.

You do what works and that’s what works for me.

It’s funny when you lose a lot of weight.  You get a lot of compliments of course and there are also a lot of things that can derail you if you let them.

When you are overweight you get treated a lot differently than when you are not.  You are almost invisible when you are an overweight woman (and maybe man, sorry guys I can’t speak for you), and when all of a sudden you are not it can make you almost uncomfortable or have negative thoughts.

Like the other day – I was at the gas station and this young man jogged past me to open the door for me.  It was a very nice gesture and I said thank you, but those thoughts entered my mind – he wouldn’t have done that 60 pounds ago.

This particular person very well could have, but in my experience that’s not the case.  You can let things like that bother you, or you can just accept the nice gesture.

Having those thoughts or negative feelings will not change the way people are treated one way or the other.  I had a revelation a few months ago, and it has totally changed the way I think of myself, other women, and how we treat each other.

You see I was in the bathroom at work when a couple of women came in.  They were talking and laughing.  I guess they didn’t notice that someone else was in there because one proceeded to say “God have you seen how much weight Kelly has lost? She looks great!”  The person with her said, “Yeah, but she’s done that before.  She’ll gain it all back in no time.”

I sat there, literally, dumbfounded.  Normally I am not a person who would keep quiet about something like that, but this one….Oh dear God I just prayed I wasn’t discovered.  I didn’t know what to say to that.

They left without finding out I was in there and I waited a few minutes to be sure they wouldn’t see me leave.

When you lose (or gain) weight it makes you a target for conversations like this.  When you lose people say it to you, and things like “you look great!” turn into “oh you are to skinny eat a sandwich!”.

When you gain obviously they are saying it behind your back.

Instead of letting this send me of the rails I really thought about it.  I thought about how I talk about women.  Am I innocent in not saying something like “man her butt got big”?

Nope.  I’m not innocent of it, and more than likely neither are you.

Of course I’d never say that to someone’s face or make a snide comment if I thought they would know about it.  We as women are way worse to each other than society, the media, or men.

It is a reflection of ourselves and our insecurities with our own weight when we say negative, nasty things.

I had this one female say something like, “I want to lose weight too, but I know at our age you just are left with a bunch of nasty loose skin”.

Passive aggressive anyone?

Before my revelation that might have bothered me, but I realize that statement wasn’t aimed at me.  It’s not me, it’s you and your own insecurities with your body.

I can’t change other people’s behavior, but I can change mine.  I can refuse to knock down other women with negative talk and actions.

Until we as women stop doing it to each other we can never expect society to stop doing it.