All my Littles in 2011. L-R, Samantha (5), Kendra (9), Patricia (5), Christian (5), John (4), Jayna (7), Madelyn (2)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Trash Bag Snack Mix

I don't know about your kids but mine tend to get bored with snack foods.  We end up with mostly eaten bags of chips, cookies crackers and cereal sitting around the pantry.  So what we have come up with is a trail mix type of snack.

Here is what I started with:
In this batch we had pretzels, marshmallows, several mostly eaten bags of cereal (don't you hate when there isn't enough to to have a bowl, but too much to throw away), cheese puffs, a crushed pack of ice cream cones, several single serving snack bags, vanilla wafers, graham crackers, and crushed up Christmas sugar cookies.  Other ideas we've added in the past are nuts & chocolate chips. It's really just for whatever you have laying around.  We also almost always add freshly popped popcorn.  The heat from it causes the crumbs to stick to it, which creates a great flavor.  

We dump all the ingredients in a clean trash bag and mix.  (We all love this part!)

And this was what we ended up with:

I use a soup ladle to fill cheap ziplock bags 1/2 way to create take and go bags for the kids.  This batch made 30 bags.

This is a great money saver since most of these items would've ended up in the trash anyways.  The kids love it!  Enjoy!  

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Weight Watchers

I have been on the road to get in better shape for quite some time .  In January of this year we started trying to eat better.  We stopped drinking pop and switched from white bread and pasta to whole wheat.  We stopped bringing sugary snacks into the house and started bringing in fruits & veggies.  From January to March I lost 20 lbs.  I was pleased! Then... I started to gain it back, blah! I had gained back 4 lbs when I decided something had to give.  I joined Weight Watchers in the beginning of May and have really enjoyed this experience so far.  I want to tell you about what I have learned, as well as some tips, tricks, and strategies I have implemented, thus far.  Please keep in mind that I have done this for only 2 weeks, I am not a Weight Watcher professional, or success story (yet.)

Things I have learned:

1. Subway isn't nearly as healthy as I thought.
My normal sandwich is a heated, foot long, oven roasted chicken on wheat bread with light mayo, sweet onion sauce, and pepper jack cheese.  Anybody wanna guess about the point value on this healthy sounding sandwich?  Anybody?  Well it is 22 points!!! 22!!! 

2. E-tools & meetings are awesome!
I have tried WW before, but didn't want to fork out the extra cash their e-tools subscription and/or the going to the meetings every week.  Now they have the option where you can buy a monthly WW subscription to the e-tools and get unlimited meetings for only $44.xx.  They have 3 apps that I use on my iPhone & iPad.  The tracking app can be used on both.  It allows you to easily track all your food with the aid of the scanner app (only on iPhone.)  It will scan the barcode of most any item and tell you how many points it is.  There is also a recipe app (only on iPad) that allows you to incorporate ingredients of you own recipes and see how many points they are per serving.  

3. When you start working out, you will have a slight weight gain.
The 1st week I just dieted and didn't work out at all.  I lost 5.5 lbs. The 2nd week I decided to step it up a bit and got back on the treadmill 4 times that week.  Well on weigh-in day I had gained 1.5 lbs.  However, all my clothing is fitting loser and I can tell a difference when I look in the mirror.  It will come out in the wash.  I will be down next week, I know it!

4. Many of your recipes are probably already healthy (or can be by changing only a few things.)
I have put many of my own recipes in the recipe building app and have been pleasantly surprised at how healthy most of my recipes are or how easily they can be made healthy.  I will share some of them in a couple of days.  

For now the kids are calling and life is happening.  Blessings to all!