Healthy Eating · Lightened Up Recipe · Refreshment

We Lost Weight and Feel Great!

I begin this post today with a little trepidation because I was warned that if I ever shared about weight loss on my blog, I would get some hard hits and ugly comments. I’m not sure why that would be the case, but I’m confident that anyone who disagrees will do so kindly. =) I’m sharing this personal subject matter because it refreshed my husband and me in helping us feel better, and I thought it could encourage and refresh someone who may be feeling as we did early this summer. How is that? In need of taking off excess pounds.

Shepherd’s Pie

I mentioned on Monday that my husband and I decided this summer that it was time to take charge of our health. I had a high cholesterol report and we both had felt uncomfortable in our clothes and at the sight of the scale. I’m only 4’9″, so if I gain a few pounds, it looks like a lot more. We had been eating whatever we felt like, and it was beginning to show. But what to do? I had tried before to simply “watch what I eat,” to no avail. After a day or two, I’d give up and cave into my old habits, so I looked around a bit at our options…

  1. We could do one of the diets where you order their food, drink their drink and eat strange things like cauliflower everything. While I’m happy for those that are helped by these plans, this option just didn’t work well for our lifestyle. We are with people in many settings that involve food and we didn’t want to have to bring our own meal along just to accommodate a diet.
  2. We could bite the bullet and sign up for tried and true Weight Watchers. I checked out their prices and found I could initially get 3 months for around $21. I liked the fact that :
  • We could eat “normal” foods.
  • Weight Watchers would give us an amount of “points” to follow for weight loss.
  • We could track every meal on the WW app, making it super simple.
  • We could save up extra points for the times when we would be celebrating with family or friends and going a little off the diet path.
  • We could find delicious recipes not only from Weight Watchers but also other sites that tally WW points.
  • We would not be hungry because they have a long list of “Zero Point foods” that keep you snacking if you need something to eat.
  • The WW app lists tons of restaurants and the points of their menu items, making eating out a simple choice of what we could enjoy and what we needed to avoid.
  • The WW app is so easy to use and also encouraging as you use it to track your foods and also weigh in each week.

When I contacted WW to begin, they asked for my height, age, current weight and how much I wanted to lose. My goal was ten pounds; my husband wanted to take off 30. They then gave me my number of points to use each day, along with a list of Zero point foods and access to all the great recipes right on the app.

My recent post of Turkey Meatloaf in the crock pot is a WW recipe!

One benefit of having the app was that I could search for a particular food and see the point value before I indulged. It was amazing to me how high some of our “normal” foods were. Seeing the point value gave me the option of choosing to lighten up a recipe, or even have just a bite of that dessert instead of a whole piece…which, by the way, always satisfied my sweet tooth!

Here’s a photo of my app one day. I had 23 points each day. The “Weekly remaining are the “rollovers” – the points that I hadn’t used that were accumulating for a day when I might need more than the 23 points.

In three month’s time, we had both reach our goals! It came off slowly and wisely and we ate so well we never felt like we were really dieting. Oh sure, we weren’t snacking on tortilla chips at the Mexican restaurant anymore or eating sweets each day, but we had delicious and nourishing foods at every meal. I lost track of how many watermelons I purchased this summer. That was our treat with zero points!

We’re both in maintenance mode and feeling terrific. We’ve really changed the way we eat are thankful for the Weight Watchers plan that made it so easy to get on track! I’m still using the app, just to keep up with our daily points. I think it’s going to help us with the upcoming holidays and all the gatherings and wonderful foods that come with them. Again, it’s not that we won’t be indulging, but we’ll know how much to have and when to replace it with something more healthy. I’ve learned that portion control is also key. You can have that bowl of cheddar popcorn for a nighttime snack, but make it a smaller bowl. As they say, all things in moderation.

I get no kickback from my promotion of Weight Watchers, I just wanted to share it with others who might wonder how to take off unwanted pounds easily. If that’s you, I’d encourage you to at least check it out. They’re always offering start-up deals that are quite reasonable. Since your health is involved, it’s a wise investment.

If you have questions about Weight Watchers, feel free to leave it in the comments!

Some of our favorite Weight Watcher recipes:
Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce
Shepherd’s Pie
Four-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies
Smoky Tilapia Tacos

Refresh yourself by taking care of the body God gave you; it’s His temple.

Biblical Womanhood · Motherhood

A Mother’s Strong Influence

The following is not my post, this is from Our Daily Bread, but I was so touched as I thought of the great impact mothers have on their children’s hearts. I wanted to share it because I thought you would be encouraged by it, too.

My son, keep thy father’s commandments, and forsake not the law of thy mother.

As I read Proverbs 6:20, which refers to “the law of your mother,” I recall some of my mother’s unique “laws” that have helped me many times.

The first I call “the law of the warm kitchen.” When we got home from school on a cold winter’s day or when the holidays rolled around, the kitchen was always so warm from baking and cooking that the windows were steamed. It was also warm with a mother’s love.

A second law I call “the law of a mother’s perspective.” When I would come to her all upset over some childish matter, she would often say, “Pay no attention.” Or, “Ten years from now you’ll have forgotten all about it.” That helped me put things into perspective.

But above all was my mother’s “law of faith.” She had an unswerving trust in God that kept her strong and gentle amid fears, pressures, and sacrifices of the war years and of the 1950s.

Mom’s been with the Lord now for many years. Yet I’m still grateful for her “laws,” because they have helped me through many difficult days.

Christian mother, you too are writing “laws” for your children. Are they worth remembering? – D C Egner

That question is truly worth considering…”What ‘laws’ are you writing on the heart of your children?” Are they the kind of laws that will help and encourage them as they mature and move on in life? Your personal life has everything to do with whether or not you have anything to pass along to the next generation. Walk with God today. Let Him fill your heart with His joy, His Word and His directives.

Refresh the heart of your children with your “laws.”

Chicken · Healthy Eating

Crispy Chicken with Deconstructed Guacamole

This summer my husband and I made a decision to lose a few pounds. Why? Tight jeans and increased numbers on the scale! We were serious and steadfast. However, that does not mean that we ate tuna fish and boiled eggs! We have eaten so many new recipes filled with delicious foods simply lightened up. We’ve eaten a lot of chicken, and today’s recipe might be my favorite! This recipe came from Skinny Taste, a great place for lightened up recipes and scrumptious food!

We loved this recipe because of the crispy chicken, but also the deconstructed guacamole on top. That simply means that instead of taking all the guacamole ingredients and blending them together, you toss them in a bowl and serve them over the chicken.

Deconstructed Guacamole

I made a couple changes to the original recipe – I coated the chicken with taco seasoning (I make my own), and I used Panko crumbs to give the chicken that lovely fried-taste!

One thing I love about healthy eating is how colorful the plate is! So many fruits on the plate make it pretty and healthy!

Here’s the recipe…

INGREDIENTS
For The Chicken:
  • 2 8 ounce boneless chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/4 teaspoon  salt
  • 2 large egg whites, beaten
  • Taco seasoning, homemade or packaged
  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 -1/2 tbsp olive oil
For the Deconstructed Guacamole:
  • 4 ounces avocado, from 1 small Hass
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup slivered red onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • juice of 1/2 lime
INSTRUCTIONS
  • Season cutlets with salt. Place bread crumbs in a shallow bowl. In another bowl beat egg whites. Dip chicken cutlets in egg whites, then breadcrumb mixture, shaking off excess.
  • Heat a large nonstick frying pan on medium heat. Add the olive oil. When hot add the cutlets and cook about 6 minutes on each side, until golden brown and cooked through.
  • In a large bowl combine the avocado, red onion, tomato, salt, pepper, cumin, and lime juice. Gently toss and serve over the chicken with additional lime wedges, if desired.
That chicken, that topping – yum!!

Does that look like diet food? I don’t think so! But it was. More later this week about how we lost the pounds slowly and wisely.


Here are a few more of our recent favorite recipes from this summer ~
Shepherd’s Pie
Tandoori Grilled Shrimp
Smoky Tilapia Tacos

With love from my country kitchen,

Marriage · Refreshment in marriage

Making a Marriage Last, Part 2

Last week I shared some of the many ways my husband demonstrates his love to me. Not only is it a great blessing to me, it’s also a nudge to me to keep my own demonstrations active each day we’re married. I promised I would share at least five more ways he demonstrates his love towards me – gestures that make a marriage strong and lasting. So, let’s go!

Yep, these roses were a recent gift from my sweet husband.
  1. He protects me. Last week while I was taking my morning walk, I called him, alarmed at a car driving slowly up and down my country lane. Minutes later he sent me a text, “You okay?” When I didn’t answer within 30 seconds, he called me to ask the same question. He doesn’t smother me, but he lovingly protects me with gestures that remind me I’m not alone in life.
  2. He reminds me that he wants to spend time with me. Recently we realized that our mornings were getting consumed without us getting to spend time together first thing in the day. He asked if we could rearrange our morning routines so we could have that time together before the day got too busy. Wow, that spoke volumes to my heart. After 39 years, he still wants to spend quality time together!
  3. He still enjoys just having fun together. We play games, sing love songs in the car, ride bikes, go on picnics, hold hands while walking, share our meals together at the table, talk and share our hearts, enjoy a sappy movie, and laugh lots.
  4. He is such a servant leader. He constantly takes a back seat to his own needs so he can serve me. No matter how I refuse or want him to put himself and his own needs first, he always serves me first. He seats me at the table, opens the car door for me, brings me my morning coffee, carries anything I have in my hands, makes sure I have breakfast, the best seat, or whatever the pressing need is at the moment.
  5. He points me to our Heavenly Father. This is truly the greatest way to keep a marriage strong. Without the Lord, any marriage is weak because we’re depending on our own flesh. So every day Dale guides me spiritually. He shares what he is reading, what he’s praying for me and others, and he lives out personally what he talks about. He has shown me so much about how to live the Christian life with boldness and joy. He has helped me grow towards Christ in incredible ways.

Not only am I thankful for my husband’s loving demonstrations, I’m rebuked by them. I often say, “I don’t do nearly as much for you as you do for me.” Trying to out-do your spouse in loving gestures is a good thing and a good way to make your marriage last!

What could you do this weekend as a simple reminder to your spouse of your love for him?

Uncategorized

Have You Heard?

Rahab leaned in as her friend cupped her hand around her mouth and said in hushed tones –

“Have you heard the news?  The Israelites have finally been freed from their slavery in Egypt.  Hundreds of thousands of them left…in the middle of the night!  They say that when they got to the Red Sea, their leader, Moses, lifted up His rod and the water parted, and those people crossed on dry land!  But when the Egyptians tried to go after them the waters crashed down on them, and not one soldier was left alive!  I heard it was their God that cause all those plagues to happen beforehand, and that He was the One that made it possible for them to cross the sea safely.  I wonder if they’ll try to come here to Jericho?  I’m afraid of what will happen to us if they do!” 

Rahab sat back, wide eyed and disbelieving at first, but then nodded as she remembered other things she had heard about the Israelite’s God. 

Continue reading “Have You Heard?”